I slept in the pool house at my parents' place, because all the bedrooms were taken. The downside was that it tends to get rather cold out there, since it's not actually attached to the main house. The upside is that it is quieter and I could sleep in past 6 am, when all the kids got up. The space heater out there is possibly Bowie's favorite thing, ever.
The whole family was home and it was lovely. [Insert here something vague about how spending time with my extended family tends to be stressful.] I'll refrain from remarking on the presence of my aunt and uncle, but suffice it to say that after Thanksgiving dinner I had to go midnight Black Friday shopping with my sister in order to UNCLENCH.
For the purposes of this next story, let's give my nieces some names so they don't have to go by their ages. I'll call one 10 year old niece Princess, because she put on the best puppet show in the history of the universe. I'll call the other 10 year old niece Lucky, because she just got a new pony. I'll call my 12 year old niece Sassy, because she's at that sassy age and also that's the name she gave her video game horse. The 10 year olds aren't twins, by the by, they're cousins. Are we all following along?
Okay, so. I was in the car with a couple of my nieces, driving them somewhere. They wanted to listen to different music, and I had to explain that almost everything in my car was stolen, so I only had the one CD. The asked lots of questions about the robbery and I answered them. Then, the conversation took a different turn....
Sassy: Where was your car when it got broken into?
Me: Oh, um. It was by KC's house. I was, uh, dropping off some stuff for him. When we were still together... [sarcastic jazz hands].
Sassy: Don't worry. Lucky never liked him anyhow.
Me, laughing: What?!
Princess, piping up from the back seat: Yeah she was the only one at the time, but now we all don't.
Sassy: He was nice to us, but I remember Lucky was always like "I GUESS he's okay."
Me, laughing: Wow.
Princess: He gave me the creeps once, too.
Me: Well. I guess that means I'll have to bring any new dude around you guys so you can tell me what you think before I get too attached to him.
You read that right, my 10 year old niece, whom I shall now refer to as Lucky, just got a new pony. A PONY!!! A whole crew of us went out to the barn on Wednesday to check her out and watch Lucky ride her. The barn people were all super nice and brought out four old, fuzzy, Western horses for the rest of the kids to take turns riding around the arena, while the rest of us gazed at Sugar.
There was also a RIDICULOUS pony at the barn. He was like a Corgi-- regular sized body, fat belly, and teeny stubby legs.
For reference, here is a nearly regular-proportioned horse.
And here is the Corgi pony.
As part of an elaborate scheme to keep the children out of the house so the adults could have thirty seconds of peace and quiet, my parents built a tree house in the back yard. IT IS THE COOLEST THING EVER. The list of reasons to be jealous of my nieces and nephews is getting progressively longer.
My sister did my hair in a side braid for Thanksgiving dinner. I have since incorporated it into my limited rotation of hairdos. It makes me feel prepared to represent my district.
We took the whole crew of kids to see The Muppets on Thanksgiving day. I took them all into Rite Aid beforehand to buy sodies and candy. I tried to crack the whip a little and say, hey, no you guys can't ALL get king sized candies. But that quickly fell to pieces as the line grew longer and we had to make our selections and leave because Grandpa was trying to save 11 other seats by himself. So I bought them whatever they wanted, which turned out to be pretty great. My littlest nieces both chose giant king sized candies, but Princess picked Mentos, Lucky wanted ChapStick, and my tiny nephew chose Tic Tacs.
I've had "Life's a Happy Song" stuck in my head on and off since Thursday. It makes me smile. Because it's true: I've got everything that I need. Right in front of me.