- We flew to Chicago Friday morning. I had studied up on all the "flying while pregnant" articles and advice, and had snacks, extra water, a copy of my medical records (just in case), and a note from my doctor informing anyone who asked that he had cleared me to fly. (The articles suggested this, as some airlines require a doctor's note just to make sure that you're not going to try to spontaneously give birth at 30,000 feet. I'm still three months away from my due date, but I studiously followed the advice and got my note just to be sure, which exactly no one requested to see. I was actually a little bummed).
- Tony's parents, brother and youngest sister were all in attendance for Christmas (his other sister and niece were scheduled to arrive the day after we left), and we had a grand old time playing in the snow, attending the Christmas Eve mass and having a hearty holiday dinner at his grandmother's house. (With Christmas cookies. We can't forget Grandma's famous frosted sugar cookies. I had failed my first glucose test and wasn't scheduled to take the 3 hour one until after we returned, so I ate my body weight in Christmas cookies, just in case it would be my last chance until after the baby was born).
(Or something like that anyway).
- They had a good 6 inches or so of snowfall while we were there, so Tony challenged his whole family to a snow ball fight in the front yard. (Well, not me, obviously. I was bundled up and assisted to a nice non-slippery spot out of firing range to observe. No hitting the pregnant lady and all that...although that didn't stop me from tossing a couple at Tony anyway, especially since he couldn't retaliate. Gotta take advantage of this baby thing any way you can, you know?).
- Christmas presents were awesome as always, with Baby Girl making out like a bandit. (Is it fair to get Christmas presents when you aren't technically born yet? Apparently family members think yes.) She racked up dozens of cute little outfits and toys and a stuffed Tigger that is bigger than she is (at the moment anyway), all of which I'm sure she'll appreciate once she does arrive.
- Tony had to work the following Monday, so it had to be a quick trip. We did manage to get in a nice brunch and visit with Seester and her hubby, (Stubby) back in Chicago though, so we were able to spend some time with all of the Illinois relations, quick trip or not. Then it was back to the airport, back through security, back on a plane (delayed an hour and 15 minutes, but in airport time, that's still practically considered on schedule) and back to scraping three days worth of ice and snow off the car in economy parking.
- The cats were certainly happy that we were home. Due to the above mentioned delay, we actually didn't come stumbling in until after 11pm, but that didn't stop the cats from being significantly relieved to see us. So relieved, in fact, that we couldn't move with all the cat attention. (You know those kids who cling to your legs as you drag them from room to room? Imagine that, only smaller, furrier, and times 5). You'd think we had abandoned them for years instead of just three days. In fact, they were so excited that we were back that we were showered in homecoming gifts. That following morning, I opened my eyes to discover that I was nose to nose (beak?) with their rattiest, most chewed, best loved stuffed toy, Birdie, nestled lovingly on the pillow next to me so I would be sure to see it first thing. (In addition to a slightly slobbered on bundle of feathers and escaped stuffing, further investigation also revealed another stuffed toy (Mason's favorite) and a catnip pillow, tucked under the covers and next to my feet, respectively). I'm not sure if these were tokens to express their appreciation that we returned or bribes to keep us from leaving again, but these most beloved toys, willingly shared, were some of my favorite Christmas gifts this year.