Saturday, December 15, 2018

1, 2, 3, Yum!


They were eating their advent chocolates like some folks drink shots.  
1,2,3, Yum!  
And on Yum, they were all pounding back their chocolates. 
We'd gotten behind.  It's hard for me to want to sugar them up, right before bed.  So this time, they ate their dinner, and were all begging for dessert, so I let them eat their chocolates.  5 days worth.  
Oy, we'd gotten behind.  Still, it's not Christmas yet, so we're still on schedule. 

They make me smile. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Wonky Pneumonia

So, let's start off by saying I had no idea I was sick.  I had an annoying cough.   I'd been cutting back on milk for the last couple days, because I had some drainage, and milk was aggrevating it.  But towards the late half of this week, my slightly annoying cough, was growing to more than mildly annoying.  I was coughing so hard in the mornings that I peed!  I thought only old people did that.  I've heard once you have a bunch of kids that happens.  But I had 3 c-sections, my bladder should be fine.  Except apparently, when I cough that hard.  Then Thursday afternoon, I was coughing telling Eric a story and laughing had set me off.  I told him it was beginning to hurt my head when I coughed.  A lot.  Like I might "Blust a burd vessel." I mean of course, if I had aneurysm, that blood vessel would burst.  But that's not how it came out.  OK, ok, maybe I am feeling little more run down than I thought.  I went for a nap.  Then I got up, coughed some more, peed some more, so I called and made an appointment with my doctor.
I didn't think I'd need to keep it for myself. Honestly, Jacob coughed once so hard at breakfast, I thought he'd need it.   But nah, he was fine after one good go.   And he wanted to go to school.

Meanwhile, my appointment was set for 12:30.  I sent Jacob off to school with his brothers.  And then I met my Dad for a cup of coffee.   This was particularly interesting as he was coughing a little, kind of like me.  He apologized (just like I have been) for his "mildly annoying cough".  He'd been diagnosed with bronchitis two days prior.  But he said, he was on antibiotics and fine.
Huh.
Come to think of it...
Uh oh.
I sound a little like that too.  I wondered if I might have bronchitis.  Maybe I should keep that appointment.   Maybe I should get Jacob checked....  I felt fine.  I thought to myself.  No biggie.  My Dad ordered a drink, a Chai Latte.  Funny, I never knew he drank those.  I got a Medicine Ball from Starbucks.  Since I realized I'm feeling funny, I've been disinclined to have super milk and sugary coffee.  I didn't want any of that.   The Medicine Ball was what I needed.   And it was good to talk to my dad.  So I thought as I left, I'll keep that appointment, but maybe first pop by the school and check on Jacob.  Maybe he'll need to come with me.   You know, actually, maybe we both should kidnap Jacob for lunch.  I haven't spent enough quality time with him lately.  I take the big boys to therapy and out for lunch dates all the time.  But I don't take Jacob.  Poor kid, I thought.  He gets the fuzzy end, being the littlest.  I got to feeling quite bad for him.
Eric was on board with kidnapping Jacob with me, just to take him out and give him a little Quality Time.  He was working from home.  He's been working a gig lately, where he works from home.    It's just we can't predict when that will be. We never know when it's going to happen, so we can't plan anything. Anyway, he got all set up and we went to the school.
Eric dropped me off by the entrance, and waited.  We didn't think it would take long to grab Jacob.  It did though, we caught him just as he was entering the cafeteria.  When they brought him to the office, I said "Guess what?!  We're kidnapping you for lunch!  It's a rainy day, you'll have recess with us.  Don't you want to go out for macaroni and cheese or pancakes?"  I  must've overwhelmed him with my joy, because he was mellow, and quiet.  By the time we got to the car, he started to cry.
"I'm gonna miss Choice Time." What?!  He didn't want to miss Choice Time. I don't know what that is, is it instead of outdoor recess, is it part of class. We told him we'd bring him back after lunch and recess.  Instead, he burst into tears.  Not just tears, giant growing snowballs of tears slowly rolling down his face.  There were little words. (Note he hasn't been talking about his feelings much either, but we're working on it.)  It was pitiful.  He told me he wanted to stay and do Choice Time.  He wanted to have lunch with his friends.  I thought, Oh, OK, you tell me a problem, this is one we can fix.  OK, we can do that.  Eric said, I'll go park the car.  I turn back around and take Jacob sobbing back into school.  I explain to the gals, that he didn't want to leave.  So the second he's back, I look around, and he has left me, and run for the cafeteria.  He didn't even want us to stay.  Shocked I turned and left.  I kind of felt like crying.  I couldn't believe he didn't want to have lunch with us, that he'd rather eat at school.   That's the first time I've ever had a kid do that.  He really wanted to be at school.

So I left.

I left my baby at school, and went to have a lunch date with my hubby.   It made me kind of sad.  He preferred school to me.  We'd gotten such a good motivation for pancakes thinking about what Jacob would want, we decided to take ourselves to IHOP.


I opted to go for the dairy.  After all, I'm not very sick, just got a little drainage.  
Plus, green grinch cocoa!  
Well, they were out of green whip cream, probably better for my colon after all, so I got white whip with red heart candies and peppermint cocoa.  It was So Good! 


My handsome date.  
Each of us got omelettes with a side of pancakes. 
I was STUFFED!  
My Cinnamon stack of pancakes was Awesome.  
We drowned our left out sorrows in pancakes and omelettes, and it was actually very nice.
So then I went to the doctor.  Turns out she didn't like what she saw.  
She wasn't as vocal about grossness, Dr. Cooper would've said Eww, Gross.  He and I have that repoire.  Dr. Wright not so much.  But when I asked if it was gross and disgusting in my throat, she bobbed her head yes.   And then she diagnosed me. 
With Walking Pneumonia. 
Walking Pneumonia. 
Have you heard of it?  I have.  I had one friend who got it a few years back.  She was "lucky", she never got hospitalized, but she was miserable for weeks.   And she had littles. 
But for me, it's Birthday season, and Christmas!  
I can't be Sick!  
With Walking Pneumonia.  

OK, fine.  Give me Drugs.  I openly admitted I was "drug seeking".  I know there's a negative connotation with that, but I didn't care.  I am not going to be sick at Christmas. I have 3 Sweetboys to Spoil! I'm not cancelling birthday parties for my own sickness.  

She put my on a Z pack, azithromycin.  I came home for drugs and nap, after I had some difficulty at the drug store,  Turns out after much brouhaha, I was in the insurance company as a male.  And at the drug store as a female.  Eric got it worked out for me, and picked me up my drugs.   I took a booster double dose of the Z pack with dinner.   We took the kids out, to the Kumon Center for Reading Night. You'd think Eric and I would have gone on a date.  Nope. My energy was gone, and now I knew why.  But once I got back in the car to go get said yahoos, I got an idea. 
As my friend Marta says, "Make Every Trip Count."  
So while we were out and about, we took the scenic route home, and stopped in town to see some Christmas Lights.  We drove through a friend's neighborhood.  


We stopped at the Town Hall Light Show. 
I was glad to see a proper show with the boys. 


We found the lights at Arbuckle.  
Lucky for us, it's kind of pain to get to, so there wasn't a crowd.  
So we got the kids out real quick for a photo op.  
That was fun.  
And when I got home, I was pooped.  I read up on Walking Pneumonia.  It's not like the pneumonia that people die of.  It's obnoxious and rude, and interferes with people's holiday social schedules, but I'm not going to the hospital.  Drugs should help.  It's a milder form.  Still obnoxious though. And I'm already tired of springing leaks every time I cough. I'm just gonna feel kind of gross for a while. 
If you hear my coughing up a lung or running to the bathroom while coughing, don't worry.  
I'm OK. 
I just have Wonky Pneumonia. 


These two oils: Peppermint and RC have brought me 8 tons of Supportive Relief tonight. 
And on that note, I have babbled enough and need to take my pneumotic self to bed. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Key and Yeses Yee

My nieces Kaylee (14) and Alexis (17) performed in the Holiday Orchestra concert last night.  Unfortunately, Eric was toast, had a massive head and leg ache.  And 2 of the 3 boys were crazy.  I won't tell you which, because it kept changing, so much that we knew not to bring them to the concert.  So I went to Represent.  I talked to my niece on my way in, but she was so out of it, she didn't even look at me, it was almost like she didn't know me.  I think her mind must have been getting in the Zone. I was so excited for her.  I always loved concerts, but would get nervous at the crowds.
I sat alone in the concert last night, just thinking, I knew them when they were little.  Now here she is, a Senior, 1st Chair of her school's highest Symphony Orchestra.  She's up front and serious, and she has Mad Skillz with a cello.  And it made me sad.  Being her aunt changed my life.  In the time it took my body to make one child, I was gifted with two amazing nieces.  I remember Alexis calling herself  'Yeses Yee Merman'.  And Chris called Kaylee, Teeyee, or Tee, or Key.  And last night, for the first and only time, they both performed on the same stage at school.  This was because the Orchestras invited the 7/8 Symphonic Wind Ensemble to perform.


So Kaylee got to play on the first song of the night.  
Kaylee does Percusion with the Avon Middle Symphonic Wind Ensemble. 


Trust me she's back there. 
Unfortunately, her director completely blocks the view. 
He does move back and forth and we can see her blonde head for a moment. 
And we can hear.  That giant bass drum is hard to miss once the music picks up.
Well done Kaylee! 


Alexis backed up one of the younger orchestras. 
Alexis is in the Avon Symphony Orchestra, but in her "spare time" she helps out the other kids. 


Doesn't she just play Beautifully! 
She really has a Gift.
I hope she carries it on through college. 
 

She's First Chair this year.  


They snuck their first piece up on me, sorry for the late start. 
It's the Avon take on the Trans Siberian Orchestra version of Carol of the Bells.  
And it was Powerful. 
I could've stood up, applauded and gone home right then. 
Game, set, match.

But there was more. 


Action shot. <3
She really has amazing form. 


Guess who paid a visit to this concert?!  
We had some very good boys and girls at this concert! 


This smile on Lexi's face as Santa and the Director interacted with a young guest touched me. 


So after introducing Santa, he got to visit with lots of little kids as the Orchestra played on. 
I saw my nephew Jeremiah in line with Kaylee, but didn't catch them.  
It really was a Wonderful concert.  


A Grand Finale.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Decorating the tree

Thanksgiving was early this year, just about as it can be.   As our reward for a short November, we get almost a whole week before December starts.  Dec 1 will be Saturday.  We rarely get our trees and whatnot all completely decorated over Thanksgiving weekend.  That's the one downside of having all our family close in town, we get to travel over the holidays, to a different branch every day.  Eric got the lights up outside before it got cold on Monday, and put trees up too.  He got the third tree done yesterday and brought up the rest of the stuff to finish decorating.  That and the fact that Wednesday nights are our free night, was enough for us to do ornaments as a family tonight.


All three boys put ornaments on the tree. 
Together.  
Mostly at the same time.  
It was a Christmas Miracle. 


Christopher gets to be one of the big guys this year, so he gets to reach higher to put up some of the breakable ornaments.  
The non-breakables are lower down, so youngsters can't hurt them. 


I love Sam's focus face as he tries to find the perfect spot for an ornament. 


Jacob is an old pro. 
He even had his own box of non-breakable ornaments from which he could choose. 
Now that he can read too, he would call out for his brothers if he came across an ornament that they had made or had a picture of them. 

Something funny I learned.  
They don't know what the other ones looked like as babies.  It's hard for them to tell who was who. 
I had to write names on a couple things because they didn't know, and I wouldn't want ornaments to fall in the wrong hands.  

But that wasn't a problem tonight. 
Actually the only one who had trouble with things falling out of hands was me. 
For the first time, none of the kids lost an ornament on the big tree. 
Last year, we lost a couple. But this year, the only person who dropped one was me, and it wasn't a breakable.  I thought it was, but it turned out, the pair of teddy bears with our names is not glass.



They got ALL the ornaments on the tree. 
Generally, we don't count lights or ornaments to see how many we have. 
I know it's a lot. But I don't have numbers. 
We added almost dozen new ones from our road trips over the last year: one from Great Wolf, a Starbucks mug ornament from Georgia, (I need one from Indiana!), a Lincoln ornament from our adventures this summer, a Smokies NP ornament, and a Mammoth Cave NP ornament top my favs. 
There were also a few homemade ones that just never got put away last year. I now have a storage spot on the mantle next to this tree, so they don't get left behind or forgotten. 


This year, Jacob was thrilled to be the one to put the angel on top. 

He hasn't had this job before.  


And he did a great job, except that it wouldn't stay.  It kept wobbling. 
So when Daddy put him down, and corrected it, he burst into tears. 
Eric pointed out, the boys are getting awfully big to lift up now.  
We're thinking maybe next year, put the angel on first instead of last. 
Maybe. 

It occurs to me that we've been putting this same Angel on our tree for 20 years. 
We bought her at Target our first year together, and amazingly, there was a typo, she rang up for like 75% off.  We have more than gotten our money's worth, and now she's our family heirloom.


Afterwards, we just sat there in the dark, and enjoyed our work. 
All 5 of us on the couch, snuggled fireside by tree light.  And enjoyed it.  

It's a Beautiful Tree.  

Tomorrow we'll try to get the littler two finished. 

Wordless Wednesday


The 2018.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Christmas at the Zoo

I told this boys this will be the last year we have a Zoo Membership.  I seem to be the only one interested in going.  It's an awfully expensive membership for us to maintain and not use.   I told them I wanted to go to ZooBoo.   They didn't.  Two days after the last opportunity to attend Zooboo, Sam came downstairs, crying, saying he wanted to go to ZooBoo.  Too late.
I told him, wait, and when I ask who wants to go to Christmas at the Zoo, say Yes.   Last night it was 50 something degrees outside, our plans got bumped from dinnertime to lunchtime, and we had the evening open.  So I asked.   Sam immediately said Yes.  Eric and Jacob said No.  (Free Will and all that.) And as I was backing out of the garage, Chris said Yes, and hopped in the car. 


So the three of us hit the Zoo, at 5 pm, to do the Christmas at the Zoo.  And we had a Wonderful time!


It felt a little strange only have two of my boys at the Zoo. 
I definitely missed Jacob.  
The only perk I could find was that I have enough hands to hold hands when there are only two.  


They had a tunnel of lights, blue and white, for us to walk through. 
It was a time warp.  
I bet Eric would've loved it. 


The boys didn't care much at first.  
But then later, they asked to go through again.  
So I think they did like it.  


I sure did.  


We opted not to visit Santa.  
But we did make it to Mrs. Claus's kitchen. 


Mommy's a sucker. 
I totally bought the kids cookies to decorate.  
The world's most expensive sugar cookie. 

Not at all surprising, but Sam chose to color his green.  
Lots of Green food coloring.


Chris desperately wanted to be able to decorate in his favorite color, blue. 
But they didn't have it.  
Although all the lights in that room were pink, so he picked up a very dark bottle.  We thought it could be blue, but later as he was using it, it was very clear, it was black. 


Chris made a penguin face with black, white, and orange icing. 
Sam made a green ornament with chocolate jimmies. 


We even got a quick picture with Mrs. Claus. 
She was as nice as she could be. 
Maybe I can be Mrs. Clause when I grow up. 
I wonder if Eric would be my Santa. 
I'm going to have some rocking white hair here in a few years.... hmmm.


Then we stopped to eat our cookies. 
So Much Food Coloring. 
Chris's face turned black. 
I took this picture, and he didn't believe me.  
But it was black, I couldn't even see his braces. 
Can you?


Then I drank our cocoa. 
It was HOT!  
And the kids ate their cookies, with so much food coloring, their teeth were grossing me out. 
They thought that maybe drinking the cocoa would 'rinse the food coloring away'. 
Is that what we call it now?  Rinsing cocoa?  Nope.  
But it was so hot, I opened it up to cool, and we split it.  
We got the expensive cup of cheer (aka cocoa) to share, and we were allowed to get free refills for it. I got a total of three 'cups of cheer' by stopping all over the place. 
It was so hot though, at one stop we asked for ice.  That worked wonderfully! 



Did you know reindeer and caribou are the same? 
Yeah, they are the same species!  
It's just that caribou aren't domesticated, and reindeer are, and have been for the last 2000 years or so, so they are smaller.  Though there are some groups of reindeer that have gone wild, much like the wild horses in America.  


Woohoo! 
We made it to the Zoo and actually saw an animal. 
I was worried we wouldn't. 
But reindeer are surprisingly sweet. 


I mean, who wouldn't love those flews! 
I heard  a joke today that I'll share along these lines.  
Apparently, the male reindeer antlers fall off every season.  The females don't.  
So that would mean that in all the pictures of Santa pulling reindeer, they are all female.  No wonder they are strong enough to pull a fat man on a sleigh around the world in one night and not get lost. ;)


Meanwhile, these males were completely enchanting. 
So I bought cookies and cocoa, and shared them, and they didn't go bonkers.  


I thought the dolphin lights were pretty neat. 
They were even having dolphin shows at 7 pm at night, I don't think so. 
It seems awfully dark and late to work, if I was a dolphin. 


OK, this cracked me up.  
The flamingos were a. Out!  2. Wide Awake. d. Surrounded by pink lights.


We three trees. 
The kids got a kick out of these trees labeled, we three trees. 


3 trees coordinated to music.  
I think the dancing music light shows are their favorite parts.  


Another real life animal. 
An orangutan was out, and he was very interested in all the kids watching him. 
It was like he was in there watching us, more than we watched him, he was moving around trying to get a better view at us, more than vice versa.  Also very sweet.  
Some days orangutans seem sweeter than these monkeys. 


My favorite tree. 


I loved this green, white, and blue lit tree. 
It came off turquoise. I loved it! 


The boys and the last tree as we headed home. 
We were only there for 2 hours.  And that was fine. 
That's why I enjoy having the Zoo Membership.  
I've decided to take a few years off from having it.  I think I'll miss it. 


My sweet boys.

This tree was swarming with people, so this was as close as I could get to a photo with just them. 


I would've waited a bit longer, but they were Ready to Go. 
I didn't even have to fight them. 


They loved these spinning snowflake projections. 
Every time we saw them, rather than just notice the beauty, they had to stand on them, run with them, dance with them. 
That was kind of beautiful in and of itself. 
I stopped for one last cocoa too. ;)
But since they were sugared up, we got to do one last walk through the Tunnel for the road. 

I love their dancing. 
They said it reminded them of a time warp, or warp drive.  
So clearly, we were going to arrive in another time once we were through.
Sweet little silly geese. 


And that was the Perfect note to end on.