I feel the need to mention for the record that we drove from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to spend Christmas with my sister and family, and Owen was really an angel all ten hours there and ten hours back. Although he got through the Bag Of Intriguing New Toys I had packed for him relatively quickly, he rarely fussed, enjoyed the rest stops heartily, and was just all out a good boy.
Dorothy rode shotgun, and she was a good girl too:
In general these days Dorothy is an excellent traveler. She no longer gets nervous or carsick, and as long as she is with her dad, all is well in her world. She was quite well behaved at my sister's house too. She growled a bit at her cousin Yuki, a shelty-ish sort, but after that initial grumpiness they got along quite well. Dorothy is also a very low-keyed houseguest. She pretty much just hunkers down and goes along with the flow.
Owen did well, too, although he didn't really pay much attention to the Christmas aspects of the visit; he was even not very interested in the presents, but was instead very interested in climbing repeatedly up the main staircase and then walking down while holding our hands. This of course meant that Sean and I had to spend the majority of our time following along behind him, which got a little dull, but next year when he's two should be different, right?
He enjoyed seeing his grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, and had an especially good time with my niece, Josie, who was very patient with him. She even spent about forty-five minutes squatting next to him in front of a bench outside while he put sticks and leaves and stones on the bench and then took them off the bench. Over and over and over, as he is wont. Here are a few pictures of Owen and Josie, all the good ones taken by Martha.
Here is Owen playing with some new legos he got from his Great Aunt Elsie. He liked them! It is interesting for me to see what he will play with when. For example, he was very intrigued by a Christmas Village Meredith had set up on a table. But one never knows with him--his favorite car toy on the way down (out of about 12 new little toys I purchased to try to keep him occupied in the car) was a soft shampoo bottle with a flip lid. He opened and closed the lid and made sounds into the bottle for a good hour, no joke.
As Owen is still sleep-challenged, I basically had to get him to nap on my lap, and then go to bed at night when he went to bed. So here is a view I saw much of during the stay:
My sister and her family moved into a beautiful new-to-them house in Charlotte in the summer. It was really quite stunning; it had a lot of character (not to mention an obscene amount of bathrooms!). But anyway, here is my favorite feature of the house. In case you are wondering, as was I, that plumbing above the stove is a pot-filler! So that you don't have to turn around and fill your pots at a nearby sink. Tee hee.
Sean, Owen, Dorothy and I stayed in their poolhouse, which was nice since we didn't have to worry about Owen crying in the night and waking everyone else up. It was also nice because it had a fridge Meredith had stocked for us with beer and puddin and chocolate and chips, and a wall of windows with shades that opened by remote. In fact, they are really lucky we left when scheduled.
And last but not least, here is Owen on Christmas Eve, walking outside and looking natty.