We're back in the USA. Yah, all of us.
We plan be around for about six weeks -- basically spending the month of February working, then the first two weeks of March driving around seeing family and friends.
The day before we left, Claudia's parents took all four kids and we spent a day cleaning the house. (Conclusion: we should do this once per month regardless.) As we got in the car, Claudia pointed out that this is our first plane trip in almost ten years without a stroller. Yeahh. -- It's definitely helping that the kids are getting older. Leah can walk everywhere and we don't need to drag a diaper bag around; Alan and David are old enough to pull suitcases, and can sit quietly and read books (though of course they'd rather play Nintendo or something explosive on the iPad.)
The trip over was, as these things go, pretty straightforward. The plane was almost empty, which let us spread out a bit. We flew over Greenland, which was pretty cool. (Okay, cool for Claudia and me. Bunch of mountains sticking up through an ice cap. Boys were mildly interested for a minute or two.) Then we were through US immigration in about five minutes, which was totally a record. There was a lot of traffic on the DC beltway -- it took over an hour to reach our apartment -- but otherwise, smooth enough. Kids fell asleep in the van, woke up, went back to sleep (with a lot of jet-lag addled whimpering and complaining), woke up a few hours later FULL OF ENERGY. It's now a quarter to six and they've spent the last couple of hours playing Angry Birds and watching Phineas and Ferb.
So, America. Howdy.