Let's start with Wednesday before Christmas. While still snuggled in bed at home in Austin, Texas; my wife had gotten up with the kids to allow me to "sleep in." Our little two-year-old girl had gotten up about 7:15 and was watching Sesame Street. I know this because "sleeping in" doesn't necessarily mean sound asleep. She'd fed our 5 1/2 month old son and was carrying him around throughout the house as she continued packing us up for our trip to Oklahoma.
At 7:25 am I heard a very loud pounding on our front door. I awoke and sprung to my feet. Looking down at my underwear, I hoped my wife was more adequately dressed than I for answering it. The only thing I could think of was that one of my neighbors had backed into my truck accidentally...random I know, but I remember a day when I was a child that my Dad's truck rolled from our driveway across the street through a neighbors gate into their car.
It was the police. They asked my wife if everything was OK. She said "yeah, for the most part." (I could strangle her for the last four words) He said they'd received a call to 911 and traced it back to our address and needed to verify there was no incident. About that time my daughter came to her side flipping the screens on my iPhone. She replied "And I have a two-year-old with a phone...I'm so sorry." They said they thought so...what Cookie Monster wasn't telling enough? I truly am glad it only takes 8 minutes to respond to a 911 call. Oh and she dialed my brother-in-law one minute after 911 according to my call log...Mr. EMT didn't answer, thank you very much! Gotta love drama on the first day of vacation.
I took a couple of conference calls for work which sucked since it was my day off. Then, time to get on the road...so I thought. (I switch out vehicles twice a week for work. It's part of my salary package, but to avoid being taxed, I must keep the vehicles in constant revenue rotation) I drive the Ford F-150s quite often. They typically get 420-450 miles to the tank. This one I'd just switched into the night before (for the trip...super spacious and you have a whole bed for luggage and gifts!) was reading 340 miles left on the tank and I'd just topped it off with a gallon that night! WTF? I'm not driving 500+ miles with 100 less miles in my tank!
I got to work and tried topping it off more to no avail, so I asked one of the techs. He suggested the last customer to drive it might have filled it up with Ethanol. He said that Ethanol gets on average 75% the MPG that regular unleaded gasoline gets. I'm not corroborating his claim, but the numbers seemed to add up. So I was on the hunt for a new vehicle...took nearly an hour to find a low idle truck on a tight fleet day! (Side note...when you return a rental car; fill it up with Ethanol because it's considerably cheaper and it only screws over the next renter.)
Let's move on to the vacation itself...my family traveled well this year albeit a half day later than anticipated. As I loaded the new truck my little girl flew over the driver's seat into her car seat squealing "CAR TV!" when she saw me installing the portable DVD player! Our infant son just slept most of the way along the 8 hour journey.
I'll skip the family drama that led up to this because this post is already considerably longer than expected. We stayed at my father-in-law's parent's home. They have a beautiful two story in the north Tulsa, Oklahoma suburb called Owasso. My daughter took a tumble down them the next morning. Always a good way to start out...near heart attacks and potential fractures. Luckily all was well after the sea of tears was dried.
The next evening did not fair as well. Christmas Eve is always the aforementioned in-law's parent's designated night of celebration for Christmas. We went to Christmas Eve communion at their church and came back for feasting and present exchanges. So much fun until my daughter gets knocked over (her fault) by our cousin and busts open her chin. Thing is gnarly. Serious crying and bleeding!
Christmas morning was a slower build than normal....too much wine. My family foursome exchanged gifts and Santa delivered a red wagon...whose construction the night before came with its own share of correctable mishaps...and we were overly late to the next scheduled event.
We arrived at my Dad's father's house for our typical Christmas afternoon to find my Grandpa had a black and blue shiner on his right eye. This 86-year-old man had fought a brave battle with and airborne wooden hanger and frankly, was not the victor.
We later ventured to my mother-in-law's mom's house for Christmas night festivities...which included two different stuffed TurDuckHens! OMG...yes I just wrote OMG...EFFING FANTASTIC!
Started out like normal until...while sitting in front of me...my daughter called 911 AGAIN!!!! The Tulsa police called back and all was cleared up quickly without a visit luckily! Later, I began to see a second pattern emerging but for some reason didn't connect with it...My wife's aunt had taken a tumble outside and fractured her skull on the curb...two black eyes!
My four-year-old niece and two-year-old daughter played most of the night. More crying and family drama ensued when (still still currently a mystery) my little daughter wound up with a corner of the coffee table shaped wound on her eye/cheek bone). Lovin' the homonym usage there.
The next day we drove a 150 mile one way to my wife's other grandmother's house (yes there are three families...on both sides). Things went really well over there. Everyone got along, no one was injured.
On the way back we stopped by my wife's aunts home because I'd never been and it wasn't too far of the route back. Me and her Uncle watched the Sound of Music while they all played...no big deal really...just a cute home and happy visit.
The last stop that day before retiring was to my In-Law's home. (I don't know if it's come up...well, I'm sure it has...but my mother-in-law is "The Crazy Cat Lady" of her
I was actually starting to feel sorry for my little girl until the next day we visited my best friend. She has an eleven-year-old, a six-year-old and an 18-month-old. My daughter cannot share and was straight up MEAN to the little one! I tried to be positive yet stern...I'm sure it came across as lackadaisical!
Whatever, my poor little girl. Busted chin, black eye and a cat scratch too boot! I just have to say, all the visiting was great, the celebrations were great but I'm so freaking glad to be home and I know they all are too! Oh and our cat is so grateful to not have to drink out of bowls bigger than him I'm sure!