T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Sunday, February 15, 2015

First Posting of 2015...

Oh my goodness...

I cannot believe that I have not posted anything here this year yet. So maybe a quick run down of what's been going on around here.

Work for Hubby is quite busy. He's doing great and loving his job, especially where he works. My work has been a little slower of late but I anticipate it picking up very soon. I did my first pollen count last week (something new I have learned) and there is tree pollen in the air which means I will be getting really busy really soon. I also took my first on-call weekend a couple weeks ago. That was busier than I thought but I did fine.

The kids are finally on the mend. Baby has been pretty healthy. She's cutting some new teeth but otherwise, pretty happy. Little S struggled with a cough, stuffy nose, and throat clearing for over a month. I even took her to see my boss and while she did test positive for some allergies, it would not account for these symptoms. Her pediatrician did some antibiotics after she had been ill for 6 weeks. Within a week, she was better. The antibiotics did not set well with her gastrointestinal system but she survived. T had strep after a negative rapid and positive culture. He was also on antibiotics for 10 days. He's allergic to penicillin but seems to be okay with newer generation cephalosporins. Baby is still on antibiotics (low dose) and has not had a recurrence of infection.

My friend, Iron Woman, went back to school in mid-January so I have my part-time kids back which has been great. I adore them and enjoy our time together.

Little S also had her 5th birthday in mid-January and I threw her a Frozen birthday. It was wonderful. She and I practiced making her cake about 3 times before the 4th one was the final. She taught me quite a lot about cake decorating in the process. The first prototype did not even make it to decorating stage. It fell apart out of the pan. The party was a pretty good success but most importantly my little girl was SO happy and still talks about it. 

I am still volunteering at the school one morning a week and still enjoy it so very much. I am so fateful for our school and the teacher T has.

The kids have had several medical appointments - wellness appointments for all three, eye appointments for the older two, and dental cleanings for the older two. It's been busy getting to these appointments and Hubby has been a huge help.

The kids are also busy with their activities - S with dance and gymnastics and T with taekwondo and soon to start baseball. Little Baby goes with her sitter to library story time every Monday. She has great fun with her. 

I've finished several projects but have not been great about taking photos of them. I'll try to do better.

For now, here are some snapshots of our lives from the beginning of this year. With illness hopefully behind us, we're hoping we are now on track for a great 2015.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Gauntlet Part VII - Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...

Lyrics from one of my most beloved Christmas songs:

It's not the glow you feel
When snow appears
It's not the Christmas card
You've sent for years
Not the joyful sound
When sleigh bells ring
Or the merry songs
Children sing

The little gift you send
On Christmas day
Will not bring back the friend
You've turned away
So may I suggest, the secret of Christmas
It's not the things you do
At Christmas time but the Christmas things you do
All year through

My greatest 2015 resolution will be to achieve a true spirit of Christmas the whole year through so that come December 24th and 25th I will not feel guilty about taking that for my little family to be with them - not feeling the pressure to be anywhere or do anything. I want to have the option of baking cookies that day should that be our desire. I want to spend as little or as much time on the Nativity story and have time to act out a Nativity play. I want to be able to sit through the entire viewing of Charlie Brown Christmas. I want to be together with my family. I will not feel pressured or patronized for choosing this over other activities because I will have given my time, talents, and gifts throughout the whole year. It is not because I am a Grinch or Scrooge, it is because I want to focus on what I consider to be the true meaning of Christmas and that is the birth of Jesus and what he did for me. And no, I'm not shunning Santa or giving up on him. We enjoy the spirit of St. Nicholas and I am familiar with his story and origin and I think giving generously in secret is a great tradition and one I will always believe in. I don't think it detracts from true Christmas spirit until the emphasis becomes all about Santa visits, Santa gifts, and stressful secular traditions. I believe it is possible to achieve that true Christmas spirit and I am challenging myself now that 2015 will be the year to achieve it.
Below are photos from our Christmas. We did not have time to bake cookies but we did have time to make some reindeer food. That was extent of our baking this year. The kids did enjoy our brief Nativity reading and enactment. Hubby managed to sneak in a quick photo that makes me smile when I see it. Santa did visit. BB is still learning to unwrap gifts. The girls and I all had matching PJs - I love matching PJs - we do this all year but these were gingerbread ones so I could not resist using them for Christmas. T received some refurbished toys from the North Pole - Star Wars toys from the 90's. He is so happy with them. S has so many Barbie things she is not sure what to do. Actually, she put some away for opening at a later time. Hubby and I both received sonic screwdrivers of our favorite Doctors from Doctor Who. We got a good laugh out of that. BB's favorite gift was a silver box that some earrings for me arrived in. The fairy wings she received were also a big hit.. The older kids each gave a treasured item of their own and "wrapped it". It was a special surprise for us. Our little 4 foot tree was adorable and off the ground so our resident toddler would not bother it. The 100 year old angel has survived to see another Christmas. Santa's elves did raid my yarn stash and craft some items for T's beloved stuff animals. This is becoming a trend the past several years - wondering if that is going to continue. Oh, and it was a white Christmas. 

The Gauntlet - Part VI - Winter Garden A Glow...

Tradition that we go every year. The first year I can recall was 7 years ago while in labor with T - I was trying to get that stubborn little one out. Since then, we never miss a year. I really wanted to take Ms. M this year. It was the one outing I insisted we do while she was here.

It was a bonus she took some photos of us so we could use them on our Christmas card. This year, we stayed longer than we ever have - 2 1/2 hours. Usually after an hour we are done. The time went so quickly. We learned that next year we need to bring our own sugar cookies for Baby and T - they like to eat their way through the garden and we cannot keep donating to get cookies!

It was also unusually warm this year. Last year we went after the first snow of the year. This year it was closer to 45 degrees. We still bundled up but did not need snow boots or suits. This was BB's second year - last year she kept me warm when I carried her in the Ergo. She, like the other kids, loved the trains. So glad they come back each year.

Photos from our longest trip ever to the winter garden...

The Gauntlet - Part V - Gingerbread House...

We we in a bit of a time crunch when we did this so I skipped the drama of trying to put it together with frosting and took lead from my sister in years past and pulled out the hot glue gun. Flawless.Worked better than a charm. Plus, plenty more frosting for decorating.

Ms. M and the kids decorated the house. It looked wonderful. Less than an hour project. Probably closer to 30 minutes from start to finish. Yes, as in years past, S stuffed herself with more candy that she should have but lots of protein was eaten later that day to make up for it. I loved the finished product. 

The Gauntlet - Part IV - Ms. M's Visit...

Ms. M, my dearest childhood friend, came to visit for Thanksgiving. We kept our activities fairly quiet so we would have plenty of time to visit. The kids seemed to dominate most of our awake times and our evenings we were hooked into watching Downton Abbey. Still, we were able to catch up and just enjoy each others' company.

Ironically, in the past year, completely unknowingly, we both went straight with our hair - this after decades of curly hair for both us of. When we met at the airport, we both exclaimed to each other about it!

One request I had was for her to play Christmas music on the piano. She is an K-8th music teacher. She even helped me put together the music for the program I was going to have the kids do on Christmas Eve eve. Sadly, we were not able to get the kids from both the N family and our N family together to do the program due to illness. My heart was pretty sad about that. But, it was still fun collaborating with my dear friend to incorporate music. The kids loved her tunes and danced most of the time. She and I used to both be piano accompanist at our high school.

We also did a visit to the Winter Garden and made a gingerbread house. I learned from my sister last year - hot glue holds gingerbread together far better than frosting. Worked like a charm! We made soap. Every year I like to make soap. It's kind of my new tradition instead of baking. It certainly is labor intensive and always helpful to have an extra adult helper. My past and present met up while we were making soap - Iron Woman stopped by to meet Ms. M - that was a special moment for me.

We are already scheming Ms. M's next visit. I hope I don't have to wait another year but if I do, it is always worth it!

Last photo is our Christmas gift to her - a special book for her to create memories with her family. Remember, I am all about creating memories together. I am sensing this as a theme for 2015.