Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk!
Here are some photos of our Christmas at home. Last year, Jack had eye surgery just a few days before Christmas and was still getting acclimated to being a Curran so Christmas was low-key. This year, we kicked it up a notch but let him go at his own pace. Opening gifts took most of the day because he wanted to open each one and play with it for a long time before he opened the next one. He guessed at each gift prior to opening it, and was surprised when the gift wasn't a 'phone' or a 'book'.
One of the funniest moments, was when he saw that Santa had eaten the cookies and drank the milk that we left out the night before. He just stood there, and you could see his mind processing why on earth someone ate his cookies. He did finish off the crumbs though ;)
"I'll be home for Christmas" is Michelle's favorite Christmas song, and for the first time in several years, it wasn't just "in her dreams". Last week we travelled to Missouri to visit her side of the family.
Over the last year, Michelle has racked up about 3 million or so frequent flyer miles with her job (give or take a few miles), and we were able to use the miles for free tickets to Missouri. We flew out of here on Tuesday and landed in Chicago where as soon as Michelle turned on her phone she was informed that our connecting flight had been canceled. This set off a whirlwind of a few days for us. Michelle finagled a connecting flight for us despite most flights being canceled due to weather. So the three of us made it to Missouri late on Tuesday night, but our luggage didn't make it until Friday. You may notice in the pictures that we are wearing the same things most of the time! We washed our clothes every night, so it wasn't too bad and we managed to turn it into a big joke all week. Our friends, the Duda's, who live in Chicago generously offered to help us locate our bags back in Chi-town, but they eventually arrived just in time to make the return trip back to VA with us.
Anyway, onto the actual visit! We stayed at Grandpa Tony's house all week, and Jack enjoyed Grandpa Tony's cows, horses, dogs, 4-wheelers, chiming clocks, the huge hot-tub like bath, and of course, Grandpa Tony himself.
The first day we were there, we went to Michelle's brothers' house and had Christmas Meal #1 of the week. Grandma Sherri, Michelle's Mom, was there and she spoiled Jack with some great Christmas presents! Mark, Michelle's brother, and his wife Petia smoked a turkey and a ham and had all the fixings to go along with the meal. Everything was great, but the best part of that visit was meeting our new Niece, Sofia! Sofia is a little angel and we were happy to finally meet her. Jack was really good with her too, patting her when she cried and just being very gentle around her. He did however, decide at one point that he wanted his Mommy back when Michelle was holding her, so he said "baby off" and pointed for Sofia to get off Michelle's lap. That was good for us to see as Jack felt he had shared his Mommy long enough and wanted her back.
The 2nd day of our visit, we bounced from house to house, visiting both sets of Michelle's Grandparents, then heading back to Grandpa Tony's house because the proud Grandpa wanted to show Jack around his farm. Another one of Michelle's brothers, McCoy, took us out on 4-wheelers and Jack rode with Grandpa Tony on a Mule (the 4-wheel cart, not an actual animal) and we met Pepsi the horse and saw some cows up close. Jack loves animals and this was certainly one of the highlights of the trip. I had never been on a 4-wheeler before, so I had a blast as well. I half expected myself to flip the thing over or drive it into a tree, but I didn't so I am proud of that. After we were done with the 4-wheelers, we went back to Uncle Mark's house to hang out with Sofia some more.
The 3rd day we were there, we started the day visiting Michelle's Grandparents on her Mom's side before going to Grandma Louise's house for another huge Christmas meal. Michelle's older brother Matthew was there and it was good to see him as well as several of Michelle's cousins. Jack played with Conner, the two year old son of her cousin Angie, all day long. They had met once before, but they buddied around like they had known each other for years. They had a great time and wore each other out. Jack, Michelle and I made out like bandits in the gift department during the family gift exchange too.
After all the fun, visiting, and food, it was time for us to pack up and leave Missouri on Christmas day. In somewhat of a Christmas Miracle, our flights home were on time and uneventful so we got home and put Jack to bed in his own bed. He had to get some good shut-eye because Santa agreed to visit our house on Christmas Night rather than Christmas Eve (wasn't that nice of him?). We will post more about our Christmas at home in the next day or so....
Friday, December 10, 2010
First of all, welcome to Sofia, our newest Niece that was born Nov 14th . She was 6 lbs, 6 oz and 19" long. Now Jack has 5 girl cousins to torture! Her parents seem to be adjusting well and are very proud of their little one. We get to meet her soon and are very excited.
During Thanksgiving, we did the annual Curran vacation where we meet "in the middle" and rent a house at the beach for a week. All 3 of Bill's siblings and parents were able to make the trip and everyone had a good time. With 5 kids in the house, there was lots of laughter (and some tears), but it kept everyone on their feet.
We also attended a Lady Vols basketball game! Bill called into a radio contest and actually won 2 tickets so off we went! I was concerned that all the loud music and yelling would bother Jack but he LOVED it! Of course, it didn't matter who made a basket (us or the opposing team), because Jack cheered anyway. Bill is such a sports fanatic that a couple of years ago he would have freaked out - but he is wrapped around Jack finger so he was able to just laugh and enjoy that Jack was enjoying the game.
We also visited Santa (or "Sansa" as Jack calls him) Claus for the 1st time. Last year we had just come home, and it was too soon after his eye surgery to really get him out and about much, so this year was his first experience. He was THRILLED to see "Sansa" and clapped and hopped and waved....until....we got close to him. About 1' away he freaked out and started screaming. Needless to say, we now have a family "Sansa" picture instead of just a Jack and "Sansa" picture.
Jack has also had a of couple doctor appointments lately. He had a 1 year follow up with the Pediatric Opthamologist which overall went very well. Jack is farsighted but at this point he is too young to wear glasses. On a rare occasion (when he is tired), his eyes will slightly cross and then immediately readjust. The Doc says this is common, and at this point it doesn't warrant a 2nd surgery, but we will continue to follow up. We also had our 1 year follow up with the Pediatrician. He has grown 5" in a year, and is in the 50% of height. His head and weight are normal for his age as well. He has a small physique, so will be slim more than likely. The only issue we have is all his pants are either too big around the waist or too short!
For Christmas, we are going to fly to Missouri to see my side of the family. I was able to book 2 of the 3 of us coach for free on United with frequent flyer miles - so I am pumped! Also, I was able to get us a free car rental! WooHoo! May not be a big deal to some, but to a 1 income family it's an awesome deal. We will get to meet the new addition, Sofia, as well as play with cousin Conner. Jack is excited to go on a plane ride and play with his cousins. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to a newborn baby too.
Last but not least, CONGRATS to Jim and Rita! Bill's brother Jim finally popped the question and he and his fiance Rita plan to tie the knot soon. They are considering a beach wedding, so Rita and her Mom are driving up for the weekend to check out our area! WooHoo! We want Rita to like this area and hope to persuade her to choose Virginia Beach! Nana is also coming down this weekend to look at potential wedding sites with Rita so Jack is looking forward to her visit and showing her his Sponge Bob Square Pants PJ's!
Sofia and Daddy
Jack and his 4 cousins
Daddy, Mama and Jackson (before AM coffee)!
The soon to be newlyweds
Friday, November 19, 2010
Seriously though, the wildlife refuge where the Super Cobra Constrictor Boa Pit Viper Thingy lives is really a beautiful place. Jack and I went down there again today to walk some trails and get some exercise. Jack loves walking the trails and playing on the beach. We were the only two people for miles around, so it's really peaceful (aside from the obvious snake infestation). Michelle and I like the picture of Jack walking with his hands behind his back. He looks like he is deep in thought about something.
Anyway, if we don't post again before next week, we want to wish everyone a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving!