We started things off right once Ryan's sister Sara got into town from Florida, as she, Josie, and my nieces spent some quality time in the bathtub.
On Christmas Day, we headed out to West Virginia nice and early to open presents and have brunch with my mom and aunt. Josie took a stab at opening her first present.... very, very slowly and painstakingly. Hence why we took over the task for her.
Her very first present was some blocks from Ryan and me, which Josie was so pleased with that she insisted on holding at least one block at all times for the rest of the morning... which also probably contributed to her not so stellar present-opening capabilities. But she was quite delighted to tell her reflection just how wonderful that wooden block was.
After dinner, we got ready to head to Michigan. We changed Josie into her jammies so that way she would be all ready to go straight from the car to bed when we stopped without having to wake her up to change her. This turned out to be overly optimistic. Josie was quite happy in the car for the first few hours, although she didn't go to sleep until 9:30pm (about a couple of hours later than normal).... but then she woke sad crying every half hour after that from being so uncomfortable in her car seat. We ended up stopping around midnight in Oberlin, Ohio (which we do not recommend... although this may be less because of the city itself and more because of our association with it now), and since Josie woke up fully as we were getting the hotel situation squared away, we then spent the next FOUR HOURS trying to get her back to sleep. By 9am we were awake again (more or less) and back on the road, and finally got to my dad and stepmom's house around 3pm, when Ryan and Josie immediately went down for a nap until we woke her up after 5pm. And she still went down for bed ok that night, so I guess it could have been worse.
We then opened presents the next morning, once we convinced Josie to give up the word search she was so intent on.
Josie had a great time in Michigan, playing with my dad, stepmom, brother, and sister-in-law, holding court on the stairs, talking on the fireplace remote control "phone", and getting to see some snow. We had only planned for a short trip, and although I'm having troubles imagining ever making that drive again, when we do, it will definitely have to be for a longer trip.
Once Josie woke from her post-brunch nap, we headed over to Ryan's sister's house for more presents and dinner. Her cousins had already opened their presents, so she immediately found her favorite presents of theirs to play with... namely, the musical instruments Taylor and Riley got.
We learned from our lesson on the drive up, so we planned to drive during the day on the way back and stop by bedtime. Josie continued to be more cheerful in the car than we really could have expected (although admittedly Ryan was sitting in the back seat the entire time, entertaining her with his renditions of "This Little Piggy" and the "Itsy Bitsy Spider", over and over and over again), and when we stopped for the night (one exit away from Oberlin, but a world of difference in our experience), she was more than happy to play with Mirror Baby while we got settled in the hotel room before she crashed for the night.
The next morning we got back on the road again, and finally arrived home in the afternoon - luckily, after Josie was able to get her full nap in (thanks to Ryan holding/propping up her head and rubbing her forehead to get her back to sleep each time she woke up). So now we're still busy working on house stuff and Josie's busy playing with all her Christmas toys :) Josie's 18 month (!!) update will be up sometime soon, and then I'll probably post another house update at some point too.