Holidays with Small Children, grand and exhausting

We were lucky enough to rap up another year with family visiting for Christmas and then a week-long trip with friends to a house in nearby MI for New Years. Both were fun and exhausting and i can't tell you how much more relaxing going back to work Monday morning felt. This is the first year that being off the boys' routine seemed to be a real factor to contend with.

I don't know if it was just coincidental or what but Henry has entered a very defiant phase in which he frequently says no to whatever is being suggested and often breaks down or gets mopey at the slightest hint of things not going his way. It takes a significant amount of parental effort not to lose it on an hourly basis and to balance funny and cajoling with "i mean it" discipline. It was hard to tell how much of his meltdowns over Christmas were due to being over stimulated and what was just this phase he's in. Anyhow the extra hands were appreciated and it was of course fun to see everyone open their gifts together. Unfortunately our visiting family took turns being sick during their stay but we all amazingly stayed well for the most part.

We spent New Year's week with three other couples with kids. It was mayhem and after all the kids were asleep a ton of fun. We had a few outings to the outlet mall and lots of games of hearts as well as a favorite ice cream treat called chunky monkeys. The boys had a short outing to the lake where they enjoyed tromping around on the snow covered sand and throwing stones into the snow.

Now that we're back to our routine we almost have our sleep schedules back to normal and the house somewhat put back together. I got a promotion at work that took effect Monday so i've been feeling my way through a job that's mostly known to me with some new challenges and JT is working on a case that looks slotted for trial. So we're busy and doing well and just hoping we have only light snowfall for a bit!

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