We left St. Louis the day after Christmas to set off on our trek across Missouri and Kansas. Aside from the binky incident, our time in the car was blessedly uneventful, but we were busy. (Speaking of the Yucky Binky, I took Cousin Amanda's advice and took Cooper to the vet to get his butt squeezed (anal glands expressed) before we headed to Kansas. The vet tech who took care of him was very nice and declared that his glands were "Really thick and full." gag-gag-gag.
Butt juice aside, here are some of the highlights.
A conversation with Zuzu the day after Christmas:
Me: It doesn't sound like you're using a kind voice to talk to your sister.
Zuzu: Well, Elsa isn't here anymore so she can't tell Santa.
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In the two days we stayed with my in-laws, Cooper peed on the carpet, and ate double his allotted food as well as David's parents' dog's food and a bunch of people food scraps he was not supposed to have. This resulted in him vomiting four times. He also stole a cinnamon roll right out of David's mom's hand, and another one off of Coco's high chair tray, so he was basically following Zuzu's logic (Elsa the Tattling Elf is gone, so eff you all).
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Cooper had a vet visit that cost a million dollars because we ran a bunch of blood tests to find out if he has diabetes or kidney issues causing the peeing in the house.
No diabetes, thankfully. He's just fat because he steals cinnamon rolls.
His kidney numbers came back on the high end of normal, though, so we're shifting him to a low-sodium diet.
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The girls had so much fun playing with their cousins. The weather was nice enough that they could play outside so they had some time at a park while we were in Kansas and got to play outside when we had family Christmas at my aunt Tammi's. They definitely get wild, but they have a great time together with minimal need for Peace Talks.
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I struggled a little bit not just with missing Eliza, because that's all the time, but more with feeling like she was completely forgotten by everyone else. But my cousin Amanda gave me three ornaments, one for each girl, and it meant so much to me to see Eliza remembered in a visible and tangible way.
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Crafty Cousin Amanda also got me a shirt with the message "This Wine is Making Me Awesome" on it and it's one of my favorite Christmas gifts!
That tagline went well with the sampler I painstakingly cross-stitched for my mom: JOLLIEST BUNCH OF ASSHOLES THIS SIDE OF THE NUTHOUSE.
It's a quote from her favorite Christmas movie (Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase) and also an excellent caption for virtually any family photo we take.
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On NYE, we went out to my aunt's house to eat and play dominoes and let the little girls run wild. They had a good time playing and stayed up way past their bedtime (we were there until 10:00pm). When we got home, we discovered that Cooper had managed to drag a bag down off the dining room table and get into a container of beef jerky that had a plastic screw-top lid. He ate the entire thing, then washed them down with a package of birthday cake Oreo cookies. So much for his low-sodium diet!
He was so stuffed that his stomach was distended and he looked like he was about to pop. I was freaking out because I figured at best he'd be puking all night and at worst the salt in his system would send him into kidney failure.
We crated him for the night to keep the barf off the carpet and put a big bowl of water in with him to help him flush the salt. I was tossing and turning all night, worrying about him and hearing him slurping up water. The next morning he hadn't barfed at all, he peed about a gallon when I let him outside, and pooped twice. Then he seemed to be feeling fine.
I'm calling it his last hurrah of 2016, as he must have known that 2017 would bring him a new diet and exercise regimen.
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The girls have done a lot of singing this Christmas season, but I always want to remember how Coco sang the ABC's. Of course, when I tried to video her, she didn't perform it the way she usually does. I'll have to try and capture it again soon. It goes like this: "A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I J, K, ELLA LELLO PEE, COO, R, S, T, U, BEE, DUBERRY, X, Y, AND Z!"
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My favorite gifts this Christmas? Tickets to Rent when it comes in May, Aveda hair products, a cute pair of earrings I might have hint-texted to David, the Hamilton biography that inspired the musical, and Hamilton: The Revolution which is all about the musical.
Of course, my MOST favorites were the gifts the girls chose for me when they went "shopping" at our friends' church in Kansas City: Coco selected red fuzzy gloves, and two jeweled broaches. One is shaped like a rose and the other is a silver bow with jingle bells on it. Zuzu got me a set of two square plates with gingerbread men on them and a larger square serving plate. They also made us candle holders at school by mod-podging tissue paper on small glass votive holders. Treasures, all!
Also funny was the ornament Zuzu selected for David. She'd told me it was baseball, but I didn't expect it to be a KC Royals ornament! Cracked us up. She knew it was baseball, but didn't quite get that it was for the wrong team. Of course it will be lovingly and prominently displayed every year, just like the grandma ornament I once got for my dad.
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I got ornaments for the girls this year and tried to commemorate something about them for 2016. Zuzu was easy--she got a mermaid ornament. Coco was a little more challenging, but I ended up getting her a pink baby stroller ornament. It's probably intended for new babies, but it will always remind me of the circles she makes around our house pushing her little pink stroller!
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And that wraps up the Holidays 2016. Back to the new year!