Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 51- The Passport Shuffle

December 16th-22nd.

On Monday night, Brad realized that my passport had expired back in April. Our flight was set to leave for Nova Scotia on Saturday. That gave us 4 business days to try to figure something out. Needless to say, some tears were shed as I tried to imagine how I would tell my mother (who was at that very moment posting Facebook statuses about how excited she was to see us) that we weren't going to make it. After lots of Googling, scrambling, and praying, the Canadian Consulate in Atlanta gave me an early Christmas Miracle by approving a temporary passport for me. We had to rush to Atlanta on Wednesday morning to apply in person, and we had to drive back on Friday to pick it up in person. Thankfully, our flight was leaving from Atlanta on Saturday, so we were able to spend the night at Ben and Nancy's house. I am still shaking my head at this whole preventable fiasco. Needless to say, we'll be extra sensitive to passport expiry dates for the rest of our lives. I wish I had pictures to share of this Amazing Race, but the whole thing is kind of a blur, and I have no photo evidence that it ever happened.

Saturday, we woke up early, and we were anxious to get on the road in the air, but our flight wasn't scheduled to leave until 5 p.m. That turned into 6 p.m. We got to Toronto too little too late to make our connection back to Sydney that night. Par for the course when it comes to holiday travel-- especially holiday travel up north where you're not only dealing with heavy travel traffic but also unpredictable weather. I was excited to see that my uncle Raymond was waiting for us once we got through customs, and he helped me stay calm as Brad got us re-booked. We were very lucky that we got pushed through to Halifax that same night (even though it was really late and we just wanted to sleep) because ZERO flights got out of Toronto the next day. Air Canada put us up in the airport hotel upon our arrival at 2 a.m., and by 2:30 we were all fast asleep. Our new flight to Sydney was scheduled to leave at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, and thankfully, we had no further delays.

We waited as patiently as we possibly could at this point.

Thank you, Ipad video app.
Watching for our airplane with Daddy.
Waiting for our boarding call with Mommy.
Once we arrived back on the island, Mom was waiting for us with a taxi in tow. She says she was so worried we weren't going to be able to land because we were flying into some bad weather. Thankfully, that was not the case, and we made it back to 291 Champlain in one piece and no worse for the wear.

We arrived to hugs, kisses, and happy faces.

Bonding with cousin Tessa over a pink guitar.
So many kisses from Auntie Laura!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 50- Countdown to Christmas

We are in full-fledged Christmas spirit in the Lyle household. Nora loves looking at the ornaments and moving them around. Notice Cinderella in one hand and a french horn in the other.

Brad also introduced her to his favorite Christmas special ever- Rudolph. I'm more of a Mickey's Christmas Carol kind of girl, but I have to admit that watching these 2 watch Rudolph together was awesome. Nora was very into it, especially the parts with the abominable snowman.

This week, I took Nora for another hair cut. As usual, it was just a trim, but this time for the first time, Nora sat all by herself in the big girl chair instead of on my lap!

Traci showed Nora her hair and encouraged her to blow it away. That trick was a big hit.

Also this week, Nora went to a birthday party for another of her church friends. Sophie turned 4 and had a "Princess and Pirate" party. Kids were asked to come dressed up.

Nora found the Princess Nail Salon pretty quickly and had her nails painted for the first time.

After decorating her own cookie and getting her first tattoo (see Ariel on her right hand), she ate some icing off of a piece of cake and watched Sophie open all of her presents. Wow, is it tough for 2-4 year olds to watch other kids open presents and not want to help themselves to everything in sight. Nora tried to make away with a baby doll, but I got it back to its rightful owner before we left. Thankfully, she was distracted by the balloon station where Sophie's dad made her a special flower.

We also spent some time at Dede and Grandpa's where Nora got her Christmas gift from Elisabeth, Patrick, and Naomi early since we won't be there on Christmas Day this year.

She even got to Facetime with Naomi for a minute! On our way out, she gave Dede and Grandpa some big hugs as she always does.

Finally, this weekend, we returned to the scene of "the crime" (epic meltdown) to make a 2nd attempt at Christmas photos. I'm SO glad that we did. Nora was a perfect angel, smiled beautifully for the camera (with perhaps a little candy cane motivation), and we walked away with some perfect pictures.

And just for a fun comparison, here is my own Christmas picture from 1979 when I was the exact same age that Nora is now.

I see a resemblance, but I don't think we look identical as so many others seem to think. I can't look at Nora without seeing Brad in her face even if the resemblance isn't as obvious to others.

The next time I post a blog entry, it will include some pictures of our arrival into Canada for Christmas. Momma, I'm comin' home!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Week 49- Sesame Street Part Deux

Sesame Street Live was in Knoxville this week. I really wanted to take Nora and get the "Sunny Seats", which included front row seats and back stage passes. Brad didn't think we should attend because we have a big trip to Nova Scotia coming up, and let's face it-- that's not cheap!  We compromised and used a coupon code on less expensive seats. This was all going down on Tuesday, a "school night", and it was actually a struggle to get Nora ready and out the door (to Sesame Street!) She was also really demanding while we were at the show. Since we forced her to attend, she needed popcorn, candy, and juice to be able to suffer through. She also needed to (pretended to need to) go to the potty three times.

Despite all the drama, we managed to enjoy ourselves.

Is it just me, are are the lights actually twinkling in this still picture?!
Checking out the Elmo balloons. At $10 a pop, we declined.
Nora's favorites, Abby and Elmo
Saying goodbye to the whole gang.
The part Nora actually got the most excited about was a group of chickens that came on stage. She pointed and yelled with glee, practically shaking, "CHICKENS!!" You probably had to be there, but it was very funny. We didn't get a picture of them, but here they are:

In the end, it was probably the best we didn't get the Sunny Seats because every time a character came into the audience and got near us, Nora didn't want to have anything to do with them. I'm still glad we went, though because it was fun for all of us.

On Wednesday, Brad had to go out of town to work at the high school football tournament in Cookeville, leaving Nora and me alone for 3 nights. I picked Nora up from Tracy's, and we decided to stop at the playground. Nora had the best time on the swings, which used to be her least favorite.

However, before the night was over, she was complaining of aches and pains all over her body. It turns out she had a stomach bug. Poor little thing. She got sick 5 times in 3 hours, and she was just so upset and confused by it. She wanted me to sleep with her, so I got us into her bed surrounded by towels, and we managed to get a good nights sleep.

Thankfully, she didn't get sick again after we fell asleep. We obviously stayed home on Thursday, and while she didn't eat much, she was feeling much better. We did take a 4 hour afternoon nap, but other than that, her energy level and mood was back to normal.

We went back to school on Friday, and Brad got home late Friday night. Hooray!

By the the time Saturday rolled around, Nora was feeling good and was ready to hit the gym. We went to her Little Gym class, but we were sad that Ms. Sarah had the week off. Afterwards, we joined Allison and Amelia for lunch at Tomato Head. The girls had fun checking out the menus and picking at their pizza together.

It was a busy week with so many ups and downs. I'm glad it started and ended on a positive one.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Week 48- Thankful

Thanksgiving week has come to an end. It had its ups: Family and good food. And it had its downs: Nora ended up sick with an ear infection and something funky going on in her throat- hopefully not strep- results will be in tomorrow. She also threw an epic tantrum when we tried (and failed) to get her Christmas pictures taken.

But still, we are thankful.

We are thankful for family, especially these children who give us so much joy, and maybe a few head aches here and there, but mostly joy.

Adelle and Nora waiting patiently for Thanksgiving dinner.

Nora laughing hysterically at Matt who was making funny noises and faces.

Lovely, sweet girls.

Smiles from Jack, Nora, Matthew, and Adelle. I love these sweet Wroblewski kids.
We are thankful for quality time together, like during our excursion to Fantasy of Trees, even though Nora was feeling under the weather. We didn't know it when we went. Her fever spiked that night, which explained her grumpiness at the event. Still, though, we are thankful.

On our way, Nora all decked out in her favorite polka-dot hoodie and winter hat.

Who is this teenager? Walking from our car to the Convention Center.

Checking out one of the displays in her cute little Levi jeans.

Do you see that look in her eyes? 1 second later, she dropped this ornament, which was thankfully not made of glass.


Checking out Mommy's Rudolph nose.

Fun on the carousel.

Reluctantly posing with Daddy- the cookie helped.


She insisted on sitting by the water for a little while. 

Enjoying some fresh air, and still digging into that Christmas cookie.

Too cool to hold hands.
So, today, we were supposed to have a fun-filled afternoon filled with Christmas pictures, Santa Claus, the in-door play ground, and tree decorating, but Nora is still under the weather. As I mentioned, we attempted to get pictures done, but Nora was having none of it. I just love when she throws a public tantrum. Is my sarcasm apparent? We came home, and she tantrumed and tantrumed and tantrumed some more. Then she slept for 2.5 hours. She woke up and tantrumed some more. It was epic. Then something clicked, and she decided she was ready to join the world of the reasonable again. She was back to her sweet self as though nothing had happened. 

So pictures were a bust. Santa was a bust. The playground was a bust. And as of now, 9 p.m., the tree still isn't decorated. 

But still, we have so much to be thankful for at Thanksgiving and always.