Final Tasks of ’10 ~ A Lively ’11

Wow, I can’t believe we’re half way through the first month of the new year. So much has happened since my last pre-Christmas blog.

  • 12/18: Daddy took Houston to his final basketball game of 2010. Instead of busting out his “light sabers” during the game, he instead tested out intense karate chops on the air, as well as milder chops on some kids.
  • 12/19: The family attended our church’s Christmas play that evening. Then we hit a drive-through Living Nativity before heading home and collapsing from our full day of church activities and holiday-related fun.

Initially scared of the mammoth decoration, Houston finally decides to strike a pose w/ Mr. Scott’s Grinch.

  • 12/21: We visited Miss Pat for the year’s last appointment and then went to the Y so I could squeeze in a swim before Christmas. Unfortunately, the pool was closed due to a broken pump. Not willing to load the boys right back into the van, I thought that the least I could do while I had some free childcare was to take a long, hot shower, serving as a much-needed break from my Mommy duties.
  • 12/22: I packed my bundled-up boys back in the van because the twins had a doc appointment very early this morning. Regrettably, my pediatrician didn’t have the vaccine Gabriel and Zeke needed, so this was a totally unnecessary and extremely frustrating trek made way across town.
  • 12/23: Daddy and Houston ran errands for 7 hours, while I hung out with the twins and wrapped all the Christmas gifts during their nap.
  • 12/24: Unable to find a brisket yesterday, Daddy took the clan out in search of the cut of meat. He also decided to pick up a last-minute gift for Houston: an X-Box remote so that the two gamer geeks can bond via video fun. That night we watched “The Nativity,” while we treated the kids to cookies and popcorn for dinner. Later, of course, Daddy and I had Santa duty, of which assembling Houston’s Buzz Lightyear bike was the lowlight.

Daddy instructs our caped crusader, Gabriel, in the proper ways of playing w/ radio-controlled cars.

  • 12/25: The kids seemed pretty overwhelmed with the magic of Christmas morning. Even though they didn’t get tons of gifts, the spectacle off silver-wrapped boxes, goodies within red velvet sacks and full stockings had the 3 Amigos (for once in their lives) speechless. The customary hyperactivity eventually returned as the boys figured out their toys and culminated by the time Granny and Grumps arrived that afternoon. Daddy, the kids and I built a crooked “Frosty” in the fresh snow. Then the family feasted on yummy brisket, which Daddy somehow managed to smoke outside, despite all the white stuff cooling down the grill’s firebox.
  • 12/26: Church was cancelled due to the major snowfall, so Daddy and I took the boys sledding in the back yard on the kids’ plastic rocking horse. The make-shift toboggan actually worked well, although buying a real sled would probably be a good investment.
  • 12/27: After Granny and Grumps hit the road, we went into town to buy each boy (including Daddy) a cool Keepsake ornament from Hallmark and Mommy some half-priced ornaments from Pier One. Too tired to cook at home, we ate dinner at Chik-fil-A. Daddy and I were able to relax a bit while Houston, Gabriel and Zeke ran around with some other spastic boys in the play area.

Ignoring Daddy’s instruction, Zeke says, “Maybe if I hit the vehicle w/ the remote, it will move faster.”

  • 12/29-1/1: We stayed at Gramsey and Papa’s house in Virginia and spent lots of time with family, including a rare visit from Great Grandma Bobby. Lisa and Albert were no-shows because Rick ended up having his appendix removed. Poor dude. But we did get to hang with Ingrid, Ellie, Mia and Ashley, who made a special trip out to see us and partake in some spicy oyster shooters.
  • 1/5: Houston had a blast attending his first Adventure Club at church. This is a weekly program for kids that is more action-oriented than is children’s church. He went this past week, too, and says he loves it, so we hope to keep Houston him involved in the club throughout the new year.
  • 1/6: This was the day the dreadful stomach flu reared its ugly head in our house. It began with Zeke, who had it intermittently coming out of both ends starting in the morning, but seemed pretty happy regardless. Since the twins had to get vaccines that afternoon, we told our pediatrician about Zeke’s symptoms, but he said that stomach bugs just have to run their course. Bummer.

Even w/o an assembled track, the choo-choo-loving 3 Amigos get into playing w/ Thomas, Toby & James.

  • 1/7: The virus spread to Houston (who projectile vomited on our recliner) and then Gabriel (who hurled on our couch). By evening, the nasty excretions from all three kids was nearly constant. And by night, the violent bug was raging throughout my body. The only thing that made me feel any better was sleeping, so to Daddy’s dismay, he had to tend to the sick masses.
  • 1/8: Daddy’s body was the last to succumb to the virus, although his symptoms were never as intense as was the rest of the family’s. Now that the entire clan was ill and exhausted, I begged Granny to come to town to help with the healing and cleaning. How quickly our fairly tidy and orderly house had devolved into an utter wreck. Nearly every blanket, towel and piece of clothing had been used to (initially) wipe up and (subsequently) cover up the disgusting bodily fluids that coated our floors and even some walls. A heartfelt thanks goes out to Granny “the saint,” who drove through 10″ of snow to save us.
  • 1/10: Since I was still battling the bug, I couldn’t make the year’s first Greensboro Mothers of Multiple (GMOM) meeting. I’m finally getting involved in this group, as well as the Moms Club of Greensboro, which is a organization aimed at stay-at-home moms and their families. Both offer lots of fun opportunities for the boys to play and friends, as well as an outlet for me to bond with other moms and perhaps make some new friends myself.

Since Santa was too tired & frustrated to attach the training wheels, Daddy helps balance Houston on his new bike.

  • 1/11: Although we opted to skip Miss Pat’s in case we were still contagious, this was the first day everyone started feeling well. School was cancelled because of snow and ice, so we invited Maddie and her dad over to play outside. After an intense snowball battle, the twins headed indoors to hang with Daddy (who was working from home due to the wintry conditions), while Maddie and Houston went for some wild downhill rides on our rocking-horse sled.
  • 1/13: We took Zeke to see an ear, nose and throat specialist for his cough, which never went away, and in fact, had worsened, despite using various cough syrups under doctor supervision. It had gotten to the point where Zeke sounded like he was coughing up a hair ball and was waking up every night. The specialist checked him out and ordered him a CT scan. Thankfully, nothing is wrong with Zeke’s nodes, tonsils or any other throat anatomy. The doc thinks the most likely diagnosis is that it’s a sinus thing, so we’re giving him a two-week round of antibiotics. I think the meds are finally working because last night was Zeke’s first totally restful sleep in a while. The doc did say that some kid coughs are never diagnosed, and then out of the blue, it ceases to be — kind of a medical mystery, which is also my new way of referring to Zeke: he’s “our little medical mystery” for sure!

Staking his claim on Thomas the train, Gabriel announces to his brothers, “My choo-choo!”

  • 1/14: This was the first time I got to swim at the Y in nearly a month, and boy, did I need the work out and the alone time. Child Watch was packed so the boys had a blast. And then we rounded out our pleasant day with Zeke taking his first doo-doo in the potty at home. Yay!
  • 1/15: Having missed last weekend’s game due to the stomach bug, Houston attended his first basketball game of the year. Gabriel went with Daddy and Houston so that Zeke could have some one-on-one time with Mommy.

I still have lots of Christmas photos to edit, but in the meantime, click the above photo to check out all the pics from Christmas morning. There are also a few random shots at the end of the December gallery.