Pretty much for the last eight years we have spent Christmas in New York then travel to Kansas for New Year's. It is pretty much a tradition and we are both happy with keeping it that way. I was actually thinking on the way to New York that maybe it would be better to just have Christmas at our house but after the holidays I always appreciate the adventure that we have during our Christmas and New Year's break. Of course there is nothing like being in your own home and opening gifts in front of your Christmas tree but there is so much more for our kids to see and do that I think they get more out of it being in New York then they would being at our house (wherever that may be). I also feel like it is a very special time of year for our families. I know it's not so easy for them to travel to us so if we did not go to see them I feel like we would miss a big and important part of the season. Anyway I guess I just want it to be clear that I'm blessed and I think the whole family is happy that this is our tradition and I'm sure we will keep it going for as long as we can. The other plus side is that we never have to buy the kids presents because they get enough from everyone else they don't seem to notice who got them what. Maybe that will change when they get bigger but we will ride that wave while it lasts!!!
so we flew out of Shannon airport this year which actually wasn't very bad. Our flight was at noon so we did not have to get up very early to make it there on time. The flight over was easy enough, the boys didn't sleep but at least they were good.
First day in town and Sean was so exhausted that Leno was able to pet him to sleep. This has never happened before so I had to take a picture of it. OMG so sweet!!!
The first couple days we spent doing a little bit of Christmas shopping and just hanging out around the house enjoying being together. Of course we had to make a stop at Whitecastle because it must be one of our favorite places to go in New York. We had lots of Starbucks coffee but none of them were really as good as we wanted them to be but that didn't seem to stop Mike from getting one if not two coffees a day!!
A little evening snack of Dunkin' Donuts holes… Yum yummy. Lino with his Nini.
Silly face of course
Shaun with his PopPop!
Mike making homemade pasta for Christmas soup.
Mike was trying to be good the first week back in the states and he was eating lots of vegetables and going for a run most of the days. One day he decided to take the bike out instead of going jogging. Normally this would not be such a big issue but that morning it had rained and was pretty wet out and Mike didn't seem to take that into consideration for his bike ride. Needless to say when he returned home he was all covered in mud and so was the poor bike. I should have taken a hose to him before he came into the house but I was nice and let him just strip at the door before coming in. He was such a mess and totally covered even his face had dirt splashed all over it… That crazy guy.
For Christmas Nini and pop-up got us a reservation at one of Jeffrey Zakarian's restaurants in New York City. Plus they were going to watch the boys for the evening which was more of a Christmas present than anything else… Free evening without the kids and dinner! So we ended up walking to the train station and took the train into the city. We got there early enough that we were able to make a quick detour to a place that Mike had seen on the food network. It was a popular cafe that is known for their Kronuts and it appeared like it wasn't too far from the restaurant so we decided to head to that place first. Of course we end up further away from the cafe then we had planned but it's hard to figure out the whole train line so Mike sort of under estimated the distance between the stops. Also we were on one train line and there was only a couple of options to transfer so this was our best and closes option. It really wasn't that far maybe 10 blocks away from the train station. The weather wasn't too bad so it wasn't a horrible walk at all. It actually gave us time to talk which was nice. But once we got there we were thoroughly disappointed because there were about three signs indicating that they were completely sold out of the Kronuts which is the only thing we came to get. So what do we do now???? Well I guess I should kind of explain what a Kronut is to begin with… We must have saw an episode of About good & unique food of NYC and this place was known for its croissant/doughnut creation which equals the Kronut. Based off of the pictures and descriptions and all of the people reaction on the TV we just knew we had to have one. So we were more than a little sad when we found out we came all this way and they were sold out. Come to find out they sellout of the crow nuts about 2 hours after they open so there was not a hope in hell that we were going to get one anyway. So since we came all this way we didn't want to come back empty-handed so we decided to get a peanut butter snickers something-or-another just to see how good the cafe was. This little treat cost us $12, it was good but I cant say it was worth that much.
Next, back on train and heading to our dinner reservations. On the train a guy notice that we were checking out the maps and trying to figure out what stop to get off on so he tried to help us which was very nice. So we chatted with him for a little while, he thought we were visiting from out of town which I guess we kind of are. I think he was a little surprised when he found out Mike was from New York but once he explained he hadn't lived there in over 10 years he kind of understood why we were a little lost. And then randomly the guy was like "I can tell you guys are in love, it's easy to see". Mike I gave each other a crazy look because there was no way we were giving each other goo-goo eyes so we had no idea where that comment came from. Then we told the guy that we were out on a date without the kids and he said that must be why we looked so happy. I guess I cannot complain with that logic. It did make us feel pretty happy that someone could look at us like that and see the love. We know it's there but sometimes it is hard to see when you are dealing with two crazy, busy, active kids!! Finally we make it to the restaurant and we are actually early which is not very common for us. So we have the chance to sit down at the bar and have a drink before we go to our table.
Enjoying drinks with my hubby… We are actually having a blast just having drinks in the city.
Our experience was great and the food was pretty good I wouldn't say it's the best that I've ever had but it was good. This is just one more box we can check off of our bucket list. We want to visit about two or three more of the food network chefs restaurants because we think it's cool to eat the food of the chefs that we enjoy watching on TV all the time. During dinner we were discussing staying in the city for the night instead of going back home. But realistically it would not have been fair for Nini for us to stay out all night at the last minute. Make even found a cheap rate at the Worthington which was only a minute walk from the restaurant. We almost did it but did not want to have to deal with getting up early in the morning to make it back to the house in order to get back in the car and come back out to the city for dinner. I guess we could have just left the boys there and let Nini deal with them for the day but like I said it just seemed cruel to spring that on them at the last minute... but maybe next year!!!!
The appetiser that I got, which was curried muscles, was absolutely amazing!!! I'm sure I could have eaten another two bowls of that amf would have been more than happy, talk about good and rich. Mike had beef tartar which was also equally as delicious!
Like I said earlier the food was pretty good, not amazing but the experience me all of the difference. I had some sort of Portsche Mike had the steak we had grades polenta couscous and broccoli. I know it's cheesy to take pictures of your food but I like to remember it.
After read thoroughly stuffed our faces and had a couple more drinks that were really really good we took a short walk before heading back to the train. Week that we might try to find the Garretts popcorn shop that opened in the city since neither one of us had Internet and we did not know exactly where it was we just kind of walked around hoping we would find it...but we didn't. I did see the Empire State building while we were walking and it just looks so amazing I had to take a picture. Not like I don't already have about half a dozen pictures of the darn thing.
Christmas eve is one of the most special days of the season for us or maybe just funny me. But this year and every year forward it will always have a slightly different meaning because it's the anniversary of Nan's passing. Well we all know she is in a better place is still sad to know that she left us on this day. And it's still crazy to me that she left us last year so that we could keep our normal Christmas Eve tradition of going to the city for dinner. It's just unbelievable to me that even on her again then she was thinking of us. And now I know she is up in heaven sill thinking of us too because Lino talks about her in the most random ways so I have to believe that she must be talking to him as well. Even though we did not make it to our absolute most favourite restaurant and our traditional Christmas Eve restaurant, Carmine's, we had a nice night out at Bobby Vans with Steve, Patty & Tyler.
Our traditional photo at dinner. Somehow out of all the years we go to the city I forgot my camera this year. Talk about a big bummer. The picture came out ok anyway but I was still upset about forgetting my camera.
This is so cute!
Our family...I wish Lino would have just smiled but that's not him so it makes it more interesting I guess.
I had to take another picture as a backup option in case the other one did not show up as good. I still cant decide which one I like but I am pretty sure I like the one of them sitting down better, even though there is a little bit of a glare.
It's so funny when we were walking from the restaurant to the tree and Lino kept stopping me and making me take pictures of random buildings because he thought they were cool. I think this is a byproduct of too much tourist type vacations with mommy and daddy. I hope I haven't ruined him completely. It was actually a really nice night, it wasn't very cold at all and Mike did not even have on a coat. I guess that is not saying much because Mike goes without a coat all of the time but I was even able to take my coat off and Shaun's and I don't think anyway felt too cold.
Random building #1
Random building #2...this one at least has Christmas lights.
The guys looked so cute together walking that I had to stop them and take a quick picture. I don't know why I like it so much but I absolutely love it.
This year it wasn't so busy in front of Rockefeller Centre but it was still crazy nonetheless. Nini and Patty ended up taking a taxi to the tree because it was quite a long walk from the restaurant to the tree. But once we get there we spent a little while taking pictures in front of the tree just like we always do. Too bad I did not have my camera because most of my pictures came out blurry. Just reconfirming my annoyance with myself for forgetting to bring my camera.
I asked Tyler to take the picture of all of us in front of the tree hoping that he would be able to get a better shout then the older adults but he filled me completely… Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Super super blurry but you get the idea
This one is definitely another prized picture came out so good even though Shauny is covering up a little bit of his face it is still really nice.
Here is a better picture of us but unfortunately Shaun is having a meltdown at this point. It's only to be expected I guess since the poor kid is up way past his bedtime and tired.
We had a great Christmas eve night out and we were all completely exhausted on the ride back home. In typical Renee fashion I passed out in the back seat with the boys well Mike and PopPop drove us home. Of course we had to watch a Christmas movie because we did not watch one all week. So we ended up watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Lino loved it!
Christmas morning the boys were up around 7:30 AM which is pretty typical. We had to wait a little bit for mike to wake up and then they got started opening all of their presents. I typically have my Grinch fleece pants and shirt but for some reason I could not find my pants...it's not the same without my costume. I was actually pretty sad to not have it and even more upset because I did not have any idea where it was. If I don't find it before next year I'm going to have to buy me a new one or else our Christmas tradition could be last forever. So the boys of course got a ton of gifts from Nini and PopPop. But surprisingly Shaun was not that interested in opening the gifts. He was more interested in opening the presents which makes sense I guess. Either way both of them had a great Christmas and so did the rest of us!!! We spent the rest of Christmas cooking dinner and hanging out with the family. This year Mike went to the Bronx to get his grandparents and gave his dad the day off from driving which was very nice. I guess it wasn't exactly him giving PopPop the day off or more like PopPop l telling him to go and Mike not putting up a complete fit about going. The end result is the same and I guess that is really all that matters. I called my family so that we could play pass the phone like we normally do but I couldn't get in touch with half of them for some reason...they must have been out and about visiting other people. So the Damons came over for dinner as usual and we ate way too much good food. This year Nini made a pork roast which turned out pretty good. Mike did not make enough of the pastor so everyone was a little bit disappointed that there was not much for second helpings. The neighbours came over for desert later and we played Italian bingo which is also a tradition. I really enjoy playing it I just wish I knew how to say some of the numbers in Italian… But I guess if I spent some time practising I would learn it. Another Christmas card and all I can say is that we are so blessed to have such great friends and family. The boys and us always get way more stuff can we really need and the love we get from our family and friends seems to be more than anybody I know. Honestly we are truly blessed!
Shaun surprised me with his interesting attraction to the fenuck which I call onion.
He was tearing it up and loving it!!! I've gotta make sure to get some when we get back to Ireland so he format loose the taste for it.
The next morning we had to get up early to head to the airport for our flight to Kansas City. Why does daddy picked is really flights I will never know but it is what it is. It actually worked out because PopPop had to go to work early so he was able to drop us off before going into work. I passed out in the car because I was so tired but want to get to the airport it was non-stop from there. When we were beginning to the line we got a call from PopPop letting us know that he had a flat tire. That really sucked and I wish Mike would have known so that he could have helped to change it but I guess he got someone else to help him. I guess it turned out to be a good thing to get a flat tire at the airport instead of it being on the road. The airport was completely packed and it took what seems like forever to get through security but we made it through. The boys were a complete nightmare as expected because they were both very tired Lino was the worse but Shaun wasn't too much better. Lino just wanted to cry the whole time where is Shaun was trying to run around like a crazy kid so Mike was going crazy chasing after one in trying to deal with random milltowns from the other one. The nice thing was that once we get onto the plane we realised that we get an extra seat just because there was more people even though we were not in for seats… I'll because of limited oxygen mask. That turned out to be really handy so Mike was able to sit on one side with Shaun and I was able to sit on the other side would Lino. Not too long after we took off Shaun passed out… Which we expected since he did not sleep much on the drive to the airport and he was going crazy at the airport.
We made it to casing early in the morning and mum was there to pick us up. Of course she was really happy to see us even though we were a little bit delayed ...she didn't seem to mind. TT tried to surprise me with GG that I already had an idea that she was there. Partially because I figured she would be there in the rest because mom told me a week or so beforehand. Mom is getting just as bad as GG about keeping secrets, which means she can't!
So over the next couple of days we just relaxed because between mom, TT, dad and Pierre everybody took turns with the boys so we got lots of kid free time!! On Sunday of course we went to Nick and Jakes for brunch and dad and Connie met up with us. It was my first time meeting her and her first time meeting us. Branch was amazing as always and I think we spent about 2 1/2 hours and eat enough food to last us all day but that is what we do we go there. Mike was very excited to go because we were not able to make it last year due to Nan's funeral. So it was extra special and the food was extra delicious. The crazy part is that it is amazing how cheap the food is prepared to eating out in Ireland. I guess it is mainly due to the exchange but some of it is also just because it's expensive to eat out in Ireland. Needless to say the little bit of money respect was more than worth it for all the food and limosis which it seems like we got a discount for because TT knows the server. The sad part is that Robert and Frederick missed out but I guess they get to go there enough that it wasn't a big deal.
Daddy and Shaun taking a nap after our food fest...it's always a question of who put who to sleep but these are the moments that we will cherish for the rest of our lives!
One important thing that I have to do every time I come back to the States weather is KC or NY I have to go and get my toes done. This time it was a group affair in Morgan got to come to which was her first time… Talk about being spoiled.
Even daddy got his heals scrubbed off!!
Morgan so happy with her pedi!
After our little pamper afternoon Mike, TT, Morgan and I headed out to the mall for a little shopping. I got a gift card from Mike to go to NYC which is all that I wanted for Christmas so I wanted to go and get my shopping done early. We ended up spending almost 3 1/2 hours at the mall but we get tons of cool stuff. We even start by to see Nana and got a few more things. By the end of our shopping spree poor Morgan was beside herself mainly because she was starved but also because we did all the shopping for us and she get nothing. Even Mike got him another pair of Oakley glasses so it made it even worse. We had made plans to go to the movies that night so we headed there to get our tickets to see Hunger Games but of course the show we wanted to see was sold out. So we decided to get tickets for the next show which was at 11:30. Since we have the time we decided to go and eat so that poor Morgan could get herself together. We decided to go to 5 guys since Mike and I haven't been there in awhile. I was actually still pretty full from branch and so was Mike so we just shared one burger. Actually I think I had one by any of the rest… I just wasn't that hungry but it was tasty. We had a few minutes so we start by target is well and picked up a few things. We ended up getting Morgan a call little chair because she said that's what she wanted for Christmas. After that everyone was happy, everybody got something from the store, we were all fed and heading to the show! The movie was pretty good and follow the book about is good as the other ones so I was happy. This whole trip to KC is all about catching all the movies for the books that we've been reading over the last few weeks. When we got home we even tried to watch maze runner but we were all too tired so only got to see a little bit before passing out.
On Monday I had already made plans to go to the city and have dinner with Mike. I did not tell him that I had booked a hotel as well so that we could stay out the whole night so that was a surprise for him. We kind of got delayed a little because in the morning Lino had a dentist appointment and we ended up having to go back later that afternoon so that he could get 2 fillings done. Last year he had one feeling and now too I have no idea what is going on with this poor kids teeth. Last year he got his filling with no problem at all so I almost let TT and Nana take him to get the feeling so that Mike and I could have more time to hang out but we both agreed we should go just in case there was any issues. Thankfully we weren't because he was a complete nightmare and did not sit still for the procedure at all. They even gave him the laughing gas like they did the previous time but for some reason he just wasn't okay with them drilling in his mouth. I cant really blame him but at the same time we couldn't let him go on with the cavities that he had so we were kind of in a bad position. So the doctor tried to fill one of his canine teeth first but it seemed like he was feeling all of the drilling so they ended up giving him a shot to numb the area… But it was it just as easy as giving a shot. The poor kid was crying and screaming and we were holding him down it was pretty bad. So the doctor tried to work on the molar tooth but he was too upset so she took a break and came back a few minutes later hoping that he would have calmed down some. Although he was a little more relaxed at the beginning by the time she started to drill he was all worked up again. Even with the TV above him he just wouldn't calm down so we had to hold him down while she worked on his teeth. She was able to pretty much get the molar tooth done correctly but the canine just wasn't happening. It was so bad that she didn't even try just for the canine filling… She was pretty sure that the partial she put on there would come off eventually. But the whole procedure took about 20 minutes and I just felt bad for Lino the whole time. I told Mike that I did not want to go through that again so we needed to make sure we are brushing his teeth are well and doing lots of rinsing and whatever else we can do to avoid more cavities. The crazy part is that I have only had one partial cavity and Mike has had almost all of his teeth filled at one point so I guess he gets the cavities from his dad!!!! After the whole traumatic event Lino seemed to calm down right as we got into the car and especially after I mentioned we would get him chicken nuggets and French fries for lunch. It's amazing what a special lunch will do for kids moods. Anyway, he was all good and we left him at the house with his other cousin and he seemed to be fine. We were supposed to go to the doctors office earlier in the day for his well child visit & shots but the appointment got moved because the doctor was sick so I felt good that at least he didn't have to get poked on twice in a day. After Mike and I got ourselves cleaned up and made plans to meet up with TT we headed out to the Plaza area. I knew TT wasn't going to be able to go but I told Mike that she was in order to try and distract him from my plans. In the end it all worked out and I was able to surprise them with the hotel room and reservations at Capital Grill on the Plaza which he was very very excited about. It turned out to be a very good Christmas gift/surprise for Mike. When we checked into the hotel we saw there was a gift box for us but we assumed it was from the hotel and cost us so we didn't open it and instead just headed out to dinner. The hotel was only about a five minute walk from the restaurant which was nice. And the hotel was fairly new which was nice as well I was shocked at how cheap it was and how nice. Dinner was amazing as always and we ate so much food we were both bursting… The crab mac & cheese was to die for as always and even though we could not finish all of it we took the leftovers home like savage pigs. Neither one of us were ashamed of it either, there was just no way we were going to let that delicious dish get thrown into the trash!!
Dinner at Capital Grill!! It is sad to say it but the food and experience was better at capital grill then it was at The National in New York...sorry Jeffrey Zakarian!
So we had an amazing dinner and I think we were sitting across from a few of the KC Chiefs players which was kind of cool. We kept it calm and didn't look too much so I was proud of as for that. The plaza is a nice place to hang out to have dinner and do some shopping but not as much to do for after dinner like bars or places to have drinks. So we figured we would skip desert and go to the cheesecake factory and have desert and a few drinks just to extend our night out. But our waiter was so great he asked us what we wanted for desert and he was the menu and we told him the types of things we would like and before we knew it he was bringing out to deserts for us. Cheesecake for me in some sort of chocolate cake thing for Mike which was actually perfect for both of us. We were very excited that the waiter was so kind and so thoughtful to bring us deserts that we would actually like but then we started to think was it a trick to make us by desert??? But before that part even came into our minds we had already started to dig into the desert. So all the way through our desert we were trying to figure out if we were happy or annoyed that he did that. Then we were trying to figure out if he was going to charge us for them or give it to us for free since we didn't actually order it???? In the end it was on the house which made it even more cool. We have no idea why he did there but it was very nice and we made sure to give him a very nice tip as well. So now that we have our desert we were not sure if we would go to the Cheesecake Factory or not so we decided to just walk around the plaza area to see if there was another place to have a few drinks before heading back to the room. There was a little Spanish place right across from our restaurant but we thought we would walk a little bit to see what the options were before we just picked a place. The walk around the Plaza was nice and this is the time of year to be out there because the Christmas lights just put you in such a good mood.
Not the best picture but this is the plaza Christmas lights.
So our walking to find another place turned out to be a funny decision because there was literally nothing else open other then the Cheesecake Factory and one or two other restaurants. And the restaurants that were open looked like they were about to close so it would not have made much difference to go there and have drinks so we ended up at the Cheesecake Factory bar. We were a little bit bummed out because we wanted to do something fun but we made the best out of it and had a nice chat with the bartender. After a couple of drinks we headed out and the ironic part is that we found an Irish pub that we decided to go into and have some drinks. How funny is that, us living in Ireland and travelling to Kansas and going to an Irish pub...too funny. And what was really funny was that I was so tired that I was falling asleep sitting drinking my drink. Mike felt so bad for me that he gave me a reprieve and said that we could go and crash we did not have to stay out long. But I was determined to take advantage of our free night without kids so I ended up having a Redbull and vodka which I told myself six years ago I would never have another one but I needed it. After a few minutes it started to kick in and I got my second wind. We ended up staying at the pub until they closed, 12:30 and we had a good time! At this point I got my second wind and we were not ready to call it a night so when we got to the hotel we chatted with the guy at the reception desk and he told us we could get a free shuttle to Westport and go to the bars there which did not close until 3 AM. We were really excited about that so we put our things in the room and headed out to a bar that the guy suggested. Once we got there we realized we probably should have went to a dance club or something like that but the bar was good enough. We ended up talking to the bartender for a while then another guy came and started talking to us randomly about smoking weed. It was pretty funny and pretty random but it wasn't bad at all. Then Mike and I got on a random and weird conversation about people being interested in me and somehow we involved is weed smoking guy in our conversation and he seemed to think it was pretty random as well but he humored us and made it even more funny. The things that you do when you are drunk and have a free night without kids. It was crazy because I was so tired only a few hours before but we ended up closing the bar down, I did have to have another Redbull and vodka but that's okay. We had a great day out both of us really enjoyed the time together and away from the kids and it was nice to be able to explore a little bit of Kansas City because Mike has never seen this part. We were both thinking we should do it again next year even if we went to the same place and do the same thing it was so nice that we could definitely do it again no problem. So even though we were tired when we got back to the room we stayed up and chatted for a while and finally crashed what a cool day!
The next morning we finally decided to open up the box that was in the room and once we did we realized it was from TT!!! I remember her making a big stink about meeting up with us on the plaza for drinks but not being able to make it work. I wasn't sure why it was such a big deal but now I understand. Somehow in the middle of us going to the dentist with Lino and getting ready to go she drove down to the plaza and dropped off this box of goodies for us at the hotel. It was so nice and thoughtful of her and funny because she put some crazy stuff in there but totally the best gift ever gotten in our life. The best part was that there was chips and salsa in there, and not just any old chips but our favorite Cantina chips from Tostitos!!!! Once we opened up the goodie box and found that we completely devoured most of the bag of chips and salsa. There was also some water some Reses trees which are our favorite and cranberry and vodka which would have come in handy before we went out to Westport. There were a few other things in there that were pretty hilarious and I couldn't believe she put them in there… Leave it to TT and Pierre. TT is so thoughtful and creative we are so blessed to have her as a sister. so after we had our chips and salsa snack we realized it was still early so we took another nap before finally dragging ourselves out of the super comfy and quiet hotel. Even though we got a complementary breakfast we did not want to miss out on an opportunity to have IHOP. So even though we were one hour late checking out they did not seem to mind and we had it on to IHOP before heading back to the house. IHOP is always so much better when you are recuperating from a long night of drinking. Before we even got there I told Mike I wanted to stop at QuickTrip to get a Gatorade because that is a Nother staple hangover cure that we don't get to have in Ireland. That cool blue Gatorade taste is so delicious and so did the crazy amount of IHOP that we ate!!!! Talk about being complete pigs! When we got back to the house everyone was wondering how our evening went and was happy to hear that we had a good night out. It sounded like the boys were pretty good as well so we were happy about that too.
On Wednesday Mike and I had dentist appointments in the morning and then Lino and Shaun had their well child visit. Mom and TT had to Courtney to get the boys to the doctors office because Mike and I were at the dentist and had one of the cars. It was so complicated but it ended up working out anyway. Shaun had woke up that morning with a very bad fever and I gave him 1 dose of Tylenol before we went to the doctor but he still was very hot and lethargic. I was worried that he could have got a bad bug or something from the travels from NY to KC and it would last for the rest of our trip. I also knew I did not want to give him any shots while he was sick so we were going to have to try and reschedule between Wednesday and Friday knowing that the doctors office was closed on Thursday because of Mew Years. So we didn't even see the Dr because he was booked so we had to meet with the nurse practitioner who was a little spacey. She thought Shaun had the flu but I wasn't convinced. I had to ask her to test him which she did a piss poor job of swabbing him and the results were negative but she made a big stink about the test only being 60% accurate and he should just take the antiviral meds anyway. Anyone who tells me to give my kids medicine just in case is totally not on the same page as me. So needless to say I already didn't like her now I really didn't respecter so I gave her the courtesy nine and continued on with the rest of the exam. She asked a few more questions about Sian and I tried to blow her off and I think finally she got the message. Lino was all good and at the end he get his shots which he was not happy about that he needed them. When we were leaving I was trying to figure out when we could come back to get Shallant shot and she made it clear that she could have given him his shots today because there is no research that shows there is any negative impact of administering shots while the child has a fever. But I just wasn't comfortable so she said just to make another appointment for shots which shouldn't be an issue. So that will be good and the lady at the reception desk really seem like we could come in at any time we wanted since it was just for shots but we made an appointment with the nurse just to be safe. after our appointment I want to go and get my hair done before our Christmas/New Year's Eve festivities begin. It's Molidor special treats that I get every time I come to KC… I look forward to it!!
So today is our Christmas but it is actually New Year's eve. There wasn't much time for us to just sit around because we had to get ready for the evening which meant there was dip to be made groceries to buy alcohol to get and presents to be wrapped. Frederick showed up mid morning with just J'ziya so the whole crew was finally there! I'm not sure if there was enough presents for everyone but there was at least 100 gifts to be open for six kids under the age of eight… You might say that is a little bit upset but it is a typical Christmas at our house. I guess there was a few dozen gifts for the adults to but the large majority or for the kids. Just look at how happy they are to have all those gifts and look at all those freaking presents... spoiled rotten those kids are!!!
I love these little faces more then people know.
So of course we had to wait for dad and Connie to arrive before we could open the presents and the kids did not enjoy the weight but somehow they managed. Once the opening ceremonies begin it was hard to keep track of who's whose but we figured it out. It's great to see the happy faces after they open their presents even if it's a small little gift they all seem to be very appreciative and excited about their presents. All except Morgan!!!!! That girl has me dying laughing because she would give the most sour look when she opened a present that had clothes in it which unfortunately for her was about 50% of her boxes. I couldn't stop myself from laughing and what she realize what I was laughing about I think it made her even more annoyed about the present, that's Morgan for you. It's not that she's not grateful she just gets a lot of clothes because she is the first granddaughter so she is super super spoiled. But I love watching her open her presents anyway all the emotions that she has are completely raw and an edit it and there is nothing like it in the world I love that girl to bits. Between all the kids in the adults it took over two hours to open all the presents and sort through stuff it was a great Christmas for everybody. Mike and I got a lot of cool stuff and the boys got a ton of clothes that they needed so we were both really happy about that. The only issue is that we have only one extra suitcase so there's going to be a little bit of a struggle trying to figure out how to get everything back to New York and then to Ireland. We will figure that out in a day or two but for now we will enjoy the moment. After all the gifts are open we had to start using some of them which were the iPhone music boxes that the boys got. We cranked up the music and started jamming! The day before Pierre got a huge moon cake delivered from one of his favorite bakeries so even though we broke it open and had a few slices the previous day we had to have more today. TT and Pierre were being funny but this is a reenactment from Ike & Tina..."eat the cake Anna Mea"
We had a really great New Year's eve and New Year's introduction. The kids stayed up long enough to have their toes and a few more dances then they were in the bed. The rest of us stayed up for a while playing cards and dominoes and taking lots of shots of course. We had a ton of food too but we were a little bit sad because dad forgot to bring the pulled pork but we would get it in a couple of days so it wasn't that big of a deal. We had a really great night and I did not drink too much but just enough to enjoy myself. Actually I think this is one of the few years that everyone understood their limits and only drink with they could so nobody was sick and nobody was to wasted. Dad and Connie left early but even after they left we still had a few shots and after TT went to bed we ended up playing spoons with Robert, Frederick, Mike, Pierre and myself! This is a pretty ruthless game but oh so much fun and TT's house. It was peers first time playing spoons with us and let's just say he realised we did not play around… Lots of fun!
The next morning we got up at a reasonable time and hung out at the house most of the day. The funny part is that the younger adults, aka Robert & Frederick were more exhausted than the older ones. I cut this morning taking a nap in the dining room trying to escape his daughter and of the talking and playing with the other kids. How sad is that this boy is only 22 years old and he can handle one late night of drinking!
Before lunch mom was telling us that we had reservations at a restaurant later that evening that she had booked for us. Even though I wasn't hung over I just wasn't in the mood to go out to dinner again. I kind of feel bad because I'm sure she planned for us to have a nice dinner in Mike was kind of looking forward to it but I just wasn't mentally prepared for it. I guess I just wanted to hang out with the family because I knew it was one of the last few days we would have altogether. On the other hand it's not very often that Mike and I can go and have a quiet dinner together so it was very mixed emotions. I kind of debated with Mike about it for a little bit but decided that it wasn't worth it so we pulled ourselves together and headed out to our early evening dinner reservation. The whole time we were talking about these reservations very Mike was acting like he wasn't sure about the place. He knew it was in Kansas City but that was pretty much all he was given to me. Finally we get to the place and I realise it's a fancy hotel & Reason I'm immediately annoyed and pissed off. Really annoyed with my mum because I'm sure the place cost more than what she should have spent and even more annoyed with my husband for acting like he didn't know about it when apparently he did. I almost made Mike drive us back to the house because I couldn't be bothered to stay there but I didn't want to hurt my moms feelings either so I figured we could make the best of it so we checked in and went to our room. Talk about a huge shock!!! I just that we were in some sort of fancy hotel near the legends but it turns out it's a fancy team hotel that is just slightly creepy. Well maybe it was just our room there was creepy??? Apparently we got some sort of Safari/jungle theme and I was completely mortified!!!!!
this is work you walk into see when you get into the room...
Around the corner from that was a scary looking crocodile. I was afraid it was going to eat my feet!!
Then some weird rock like stairs to the upstairs bed and some weird tree structure over the Jacuzzi… Weird weird and more weird!
I literally had to sit in the room for about 45 minutes to calm myself down. This is just another example of why I am so crazy but I couldn't handle it. Maybe it was just I wasn't prepared for the craziness of the road and I was just thinking about how much it cost which I have no idea that I can only imagine it costing way more than it was worth. Finally Mike was able to call me down and we just laughed for about 20 minutes before we decided to make plans for the evening. I was under the impression we were going to dinner so we had no dinner plans but at least we have a room to go back to it we decided to stay out late drinking. The bad part was that we were just getting over our hangovers from New Year's Eve so we were not likely to drink very much. Eventually we decided to just head over to the legends and walk around and see what was available because neither one of us really knew. There was a shadow from the hotel to legends but it was only a three minute drive so we decided to drive ourself. We ended up at a bar/restaurant called Yard House which was pretty good! We got there just on the tail end of the happy hour so we had a couple of beers which is what they specialize in. I guess they have one of the largest supply of tap beer in the states. They even have a cool little area where you can take a picture of all of the kegs of beer… I guess I should have took a picture that I didn't think about it until later. Anyway we ended up having a few beers from all over the world and a couple good burgers… It was a pretty cool and relaxing evening. It was nice to be out but not have to feel so uptight by being at a fancy restaurant so we laughed and talked and watch sports TV!
Mike got a new shirt while we were out at Kohls earlier!!!
So after we ate dinner we went over to Dave and Busters and played games for a few hours. It's been at least four years since we've been to Dave and Busters so that was very very out of the usual and very fun! At one point we were going up to the bar to get a drink and this group of young adults (20 something's) came up to me and asked if I would act like I was there aren't so that they could stay at the restaurant and have dinner. They didn't look like they were teenagers but they were surely young adults and I didn't want to spoil their plan so of course I agreed. It was kind of funny because the restaurant manager was acting like he had no idea about the rule that the girl was saying was keeping them from staying at the resturant alone...eventually he just let them go in and reminded them that I had to be at the restaurant while they were there. We said our goodbyes and date you in called me TT which I didn't even prep them to say and that was that. By the time Mike is coming up to me to figure out what happened to the beers they were heading to the restaurant and I was heading back to the bar. Once I told him the story he got a good laugh out of it and then we had to deal with the bartender head more rules for us. Apparently no one person can get more than one drink at a time even if it's for someone else so I couldn't get appear for Mike and I he had to get his own beer which I think is kind of crazy. But I guess in this area, even though it's pretty nice, lots of people from different areas come here so you never know what they are up to. So like I said we hung out there for a couple of hours and then decided to go back to the yard house and have a couple more beers, cheaper beers, then head back to the room and crash. The cool this is that the bartender there remembered us by our names which I was impressed by since the place was so packed when we went earlier. We didn't stay long because they were closing soon so we headed back to the room. Before we left Dave and Busters we got a pack of cards and a few toys for the kids so we get back to the room we play cards for awhile before passing out. At some point I remember playing and then I remember being asleep in the bed I must not have been very good company for Mike but I think we had a good time anyway. Breakfast came but we were too tired so they ended up calling us to make sure we wanted our breakfast and since it was part of the room we win ahead and import ourselves together and got our room service breakfast which was just okay. The cinnamon bun was apparently pretty good but I didn't want to waste my calories on that if I was going to have cinnamon rolls at TT's house. All in all it was worth it and I made sure to let mom now once we go back to the house. Well I guess I didn't let her know as soon as we get back to the house but eventually I let her hear the recap of our evening and she seemed pretty pleased with herself. Unfortunately we didn't make it back before Robert had to head back to school so I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to him which was sad. Frederick was heading out a couple hours later so I barely got to chat with him before he left as well. Both of them had to be back to work so I couldn't be too upset. It just seems like time goes by so quickly when you don't get to see your family very often. Sometimes I wonder why we do this to ourselves by living so far away but everyone seems to understand and we make the best of our time together so I guess there's no reason to be worried. Mike and I ended up taking a nap later that day to make up for the last two days of late night drinking. But we knew we had to pull ourselves together quickly and start packing all of the crap that we got for Christmas… Or should I say the boys got for Christmas!!!! So my Migranal and got a couple of Ziploc storage bags and we started to test it out. They actually work pretty good but I think I was over stuffing them which is a normal problem of mine. We have most of the day Saturday to finish packing before heading to the airport so we made plans to get up in the morning and get a few more bags so that we could maximise the space in our suitcases. On Saturday we ended up spending about 2 1/2 hours packing unpacking and repacking in vacuum sealing bags until we get the perfect fit. The boys got a teller close which was great but it took up a lot of room plus I had a big shopping trip at NYC and I had about four pairs of jeans which was a lot of weight. So between all of the extra close it would have been almost impossible to get them all in the two suitcases that we had without the storage bags. We even took advantage of the small carry on suitcases that the boys got for Christmas. Even though they were small they were perfect fit heavy things like jeans in because they wouldn't be weighed and it would help with the weight of the bigger suitcases. Somehow we made it work and I was pretty impressed with our progress. At repacked think I cleaned up we headed out to get something to eat before going to the airport. We ended up at red Robin which was cool because it's one of my favourite places to go and because the burgers in Ireland leave a lot to be desired so it was great to have a good "goodbye burger" before heading back to Ireland. well we are eating we got messages on phone to let us know that our plane was delayed which was kind of great because that meant we have more time to spend with the family. Mum was supposed to be at work but she must've called in to say she would be a couple hours late to so that she could stay with us. It was sad to have to say your goodbyes and in the Pierre and GG ended up deciding to drive out to the airport as well to give us a proper goodbye.
Before we left the restaurant we had to have a goodbye picture with GG. Love that woman to pieces!!!
We get to the airport in all check-in and peer GG in Morgan headed back home well TT stayed at the airport with us just in case our plane was completely cancelled. Our client ended up being about 2 1/2 hours delayed but it was cancelled. The bad part is that once we get to New York it was already past midnight and we were heading out the next day, or the same day technically so we weren't going to get much rest. The boys didn't do too bad on the plane and once we get to the house they crashed so it wasn't as bad as it could be. On Sunday we just spent the morning repacking bags and trying to fit the stuff that the boys got in New York into the suitcases but we ended up having to add an extra suitcase because there just was too much stuff. Somehow we were responsible for paying for the extra bag which was pretty cool. We had Chinese before we headed to the airport and oh man was it great. I'm pretty sure that's the best Chinese food I've ever had or at least the best fried rice. I cant be sure if it's authentic or not all I know is it is freaking delicious!!! So we get to the airport and get all checked in and as we are walking to our gate PopPop calls to tell us he had a flat tire. Apparently he was storing a little bit of swearing on the road to the airport and they couldn't figure out why… But now we know why. I'm sure all the bags of junk in the back didn't help but at least he got it fixed before he headed out to work. Our flight back to Ireland was pretty normal. Nobody slept but nobody was overly out of control either so that was a blessing. Once we got pretty close to Ireland both of the boys fell asleep so that made my Kanai that about one hour nap as well. Once we get our car and got the boys and I ended up driving at home so that Mike could get a little bit of rest in the car. He was even more tired than I was and I didn't mind driving because otherwise I would be passed out and no help to him at all. The boys passed out maybe 5 minutes after we got on the road and slept in the car for another good three hours... while they slept we slept in the house as well! Somehow we pulled herself together and get up around 3 and tried to make use of ourselves but ended up just sitting on the couch watching TV. When it was getting close to dinnertime I started to get the pizza out of the freezer but I had planned for us to eat and realise that the refrigerator had crashed while we were gone. Talk about being totally pissed off!!!!! I spent one full day before we love cooking meals so that they would be ready for our return and so I didn't have to do a lot of cooking the first week back but that was all shot to Hell now.H onestly I couldn't be too mad because the same thing happened to us last year. Although I didn't prep any meals beforehand so it wasn't as big of a loss as it was this time the end result was still the same...everything in the refrigerator thrown out and spend half an hour bleaching out the refrigerator!! What a welcome home gift. So we still ended up with pizza but it took a little bit more effort than I had planned but in the end it was all good. It we made it back safe and sound and we didn't come back to a dead bird in the house so I have to look at it on the bright side.