If you had asked me a year ago if I wanted to spend all of Thanksgiving week locked down at home with the kids, not seeing any family or friends all week, I would have said, “Uh… no.” But things have changed. The girls and I had a pretty amazing pandemic Thanksgiving to ourselves.
It was so good, in fact, that I forgot to take any pictures of the kids, so this is going to be a mostly photo-free post. 😉
For nine days, we all chilled and barely left the house. The kids got lots of rest and down time. I worked most days, and the girls settled into a relaxed groove alternating between relaxing for a while, and then hanging out for a while. 🤔
At the end of the week, I asked the girls if they ever got bored. “Yesss!” they both said in unison. “But it was good!”
A few highlights:
Molly set up a pillow fort in her room dedicated to reading Fever 1793.
We had some seriously crazy games of Uno. I didn’t know that game could get so crazy. 🤷🏻♂️
We watched Jojo Rabbit, an astonishingly beautiful, sad, and funny movie about a Nazi youth. 🙃 I assured the girls ahead of time that it was heartwarming, made fun of those stupid Nazis, and it even had a funny Hitler. 🤔
I took a walk with Claire during which we exclusively discussed nuclear power and radiation poisoning. 🤷🏻♂️
The girls discovered the joys of my PC and worked out a peaceful PC-sharing system. I did not have to get involved. ✌️
Claire and I joked a lot about the “most definitely” Roblox guy on Twitch. 😆
I told Molly I was going to have to serve 81 meal portions over nine days, if you could three meals a day for all three of us. That is a lot! I told her I thought we could get that down to 54 portions if we all just skip one meal a day. “Noooo nooo! No!” Molly said. “You’re trying to trick us!” 😆
So we cooked a lot.
We made our favorite “Very-aki” chicken from memory. We made what Claire described as a “modern Mexican Thanksgiving meal”. Between the apple crumble dessert and making Claire’s apple birthday cake, we peeled, cored, and shredded 6 pounds of apples. 😮
We got to Houston for a couple of days this Christmas. My mom and I coordinated everyone between Austin and Houston, but we came up one stocking short, so we improvised and used a gift bag for Noni’s “stocking”. Molly wanted to make sure Santa Claus was clear on this, so she wrote him a super sweet note:
The gift bag is for Noni. We only had three stockings.
Btw: the cookies are stale, you do not have to eat them!
Have a merry Christmas.
Some pics from Christmas Eve dinner, which we got on the table hot and delicious despite being coordinated across me, None, and Noni’s helper, Patience.
We also saw an amazing and slightly scary performance of A Christmas Carol at the Alley Theater.
Kit and I worked out a pretty good Christmas schedule, where we had the girls in Austin with Kit and her parents on Christmas morning, and then I drove the girls to Houston on Christmas afternoon to see may parents for a few days.
The girls had not seen a lot of my parents lately. My parents have been going through a number of medical issues for the last year of so, and while I had made many solo trips to see them and help them, I hadn’t brought the girls for those trips. This time the girls got two spend two full days in Houston with them plus two partial days. This is the longest they have spent in Houston in years!
We took advantage of our full days by finally getting to Galveston, which I had been trying to do almost as long as Claire has been alive! We also hit the mall, in particular the American Girl store for Molly, and saw the 3D movie Sing. Sing was a really sweet movie and way better than crap like Home Alone 2, which we watched at home with my parents.
The girls loved Pleasure Pier in Galveston. My dad tagged along and mostly sat on benches while Claire, Molly, and I did rides. We got there early and played on the beach in the fog for a couple of hours before it opened. After Pleasure Pier, we went to Rainforest Cafe to live it up all the way. We made fun of inconsistencies on the menu, such as Jurassic-themed chicken nuggets. We also envisioned a Texas History themed restaurant, featuring Sam Houston’s Tennessee pulled pork and Santa Anna’s green enchiladas. (So wrong!) The we listened to the Anna Kendrick memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody, on the drive back to my parents’ house in Houston. It had drugs and sex all over the place. Talk about wrong! We eventually turned it off and just drove quietly back to Houston.