So because my life is not nearly busy or challenging enough, I decided to pack for all 3 kids (new toys included) and myself and to my mom's house, on the Monday after Christmas.   That means doing all our laundry and packing the suitcases PLUS loading the van.  All while watching aforementioned 3 children.   And Zoey is like having 3 extra because she is into everything thing right now.   Oh my.....toilet water is just the tip of the iceberg.
Left Brain was back at work as of 5:30 am, so I was on my own.   To say I was exhausted Before I Ever Left the fracken house....understatement.   Then Oh Yeah, 2 hour drive with 3 children.  and the DVD is broken.  Oh great ..... all their new toys make sounds.  Lots of sounds.  And the baby absolutely needs to nap on the drive because the house will be full at Grandmas!   But it actually went okay.....minus a few false alarm pee stops.  urrghh.  Feel like a jailor when I tell them they can't have anything to drink in the car...but seriously....ever tried to undo 3 car seat straps when one of the occupants  "Really has to go now, mama".  we made it and sound, which really is the most important part when traveling with precious cargo.

It was really important that we go though....not just for them to see Grandma and Grandpa, but my other brother Jay had missed the party at our house, and we wanted to see him and his son.  So we all gathered at mom and dads for dinner.   And what turned out to be a very late night.  At 10:30 pm Angel Girl actually asked to go to bed.   Truly amazing eh.  She'd been up since 7 am......and it took until 10:30 pm for her to hit the wall.  As for Monkey Boy......he never hits the wall.  you have to throw him over it.  Which I finally did closer to 11:30 pm....and he still fought it.   Ah.....remember our chat little boy?  I still have all the receipts for your Christmas I bluffing?   Good choice little man.....night, night.
 As for the incredible non-sleeping (at home) baby Zoo Zoo????  Slept through the party and all the noise.  That's Murphy for ya.

The kids had a great week with Grandma and Grandpa.  and it wasn't too bad on us adults since they basically just wanted to play with their new toys all day long. and they have this tradition that they sleep in inflatable beds when there.....perfectly good bed right there.....but they always want to "camp" at Grandmas.   We all shared the same room, which is a good trial run for hotel rooms and actual tenting in the summer.  So it actually is kind of nice.....we are truly all together.

And most fantastic part of all.......I took a nap!   A 3 hour nap.   Zoo Zoo had one rough night where she kept me up until almost dawn.....just before the other 2 woke up. (d#$ U again Murphy!), so when she went for a watched the kids and I went to sleep too.  I didn't wake up until Zoo Zoo did.   Best Christmas Gift Ever.   (Well, aside from that Dyson this domestic divas' been eyein! LOL)  Which only proves yet matter how old you get....sometimes you still need your mom.   So thanks mom.

And thankfully Left Brain arrived shortly after and was there for the great migration home.  I cannot wait for the day when we travel much lighter.   And yes, by that I mean .....we leave the children behind.  haha

So we had a weekend at home to relax and prepare for the return to school and activities.  Resolutions?  I don't know if I would say I make resolutions.   I'd like to think I am always striving towards self-improvement.......or is it self realization?    I really enjoyed all the baking I did to prepare for the holidays...but then I always's just hard to cook with one child pulling on your leg, the other digging up your plants and eating the dirt, and another demanding you mold a crocodile out of play-doh for him.  But I would really like to keep it up.....especially making our own bread.   They are getting old enough now that they can help out with the recipes, and what's more fun than licking the spoon when you are a child anyway?!

And there are a nice pair of jeans that I would really, really love to fit into by my 40th birthday.   Thinking the baking thing is not gonna help out much there.   Well, some people climb Everest.....  but the majority of us don't have to wander any further than our own backyard for challenge and adventure.  And I wouldn't  have it any other way.....
some pics and stuff to end the holiday posts.....

back off boys!  I don't have to specifically be their mom to kick your but!
 a little movie break for the kiddies.....and Uncle Bear.
 Princess Jer!  Actually, I think all the boys were wearing this tiara at one point or another.
 this last shot is a great one of Zoo Zoo taken by my brother......peekabo, I see you!