Thursday, January 03, 2008

Holy hectic holidays Batman

Well, the running of the holiday gauntlet is over for another year and for the most part we have come away unscathed.

The fun began the weekend before Christmas.

My wife's twin sister and her family came into town. My kids were super excited to see their cousins (they have 4 kids to our 3...and they're all about the same age) and we were happy to see the long distance fam we don't see so much. Saturday we had a Christmas get together at our house that started around noon and lasted into the evening. It was a fun and tiring endeavor.

The next day after church and a quick home teaching appointment, we went up to Ogden for some festivities at my wife's dad's house. Once again it felt like wild and hyper-excited children outnumbered adults. Much fun was had and despite the gaggle of kids racing up and down the stairs, no broken bones were to be found. We ended the evening with a bit of "Scene it" on-demand courtesy of Comcast.

The next day was Christmas Eve. The day was fairly low key, especially compared with the excitement of days past. The kids were chomping at the bit for Christmas Day and they were exploding with anticipation of gifts and Santa. Lynette did her morning walk with the gals and came back letting me know that we were going to a movie...she had two volunteers to babysit. So we went to see "National Treasure 2."

That night we went to my parents' home for a bit of fun. We played a few games, read the "Christmas Story", and chatted for a bit. We got the kids home around 8 and had them open their Christmas Eve present. Andrew was rather disappointed with the pajamas and refused to wear them, much to the sadness of his parents who thought he would love them (don't worry...he wore them the next night).

After a bit more anxious excitement, the kids were asleep by 9. I stepped outside to shovel the lightly fallen snow a bit to make sure it didn't get too packed down with Christmas Day travels. By about 10, we were all asleep so Santa could come.

Sadly (for me *grin*) Lynette has "never been able to sleep on Christmas Eve." Which means, my Christmas sleep was a bit restless as well. Over the years, I've tried to instill the idea that we don't get up until at least 7. Yet somehow, this year when Jason wandered down the hall at 5:45, Lynette got up to talk to him and the next thing I knew he was running down the hall to let his brother and sister know that Santa had come. Andrew and I groggily walked to the living room...Julia remained in bed until Lynette and I each took turns gently waking her up so she didn't miss the excitement.

The kids poured over their fun filled Christmas gifts from the big man in red. They each had tons of fun comparing their Pokemon cards. Julia got a "baby as big as her" while Jason got a Spider Man lego set. Andrew's fun excitement was a big Sea Rescue set with a big boat, smaller sub, and a couple of killer squids and sharks. Lynette and I were thrilled with new books, DVDs, CDs and toys. After playing with their toys for a bit, I suggested that I work on breakfast and we open the rest of the presents after that.

I was quickly vetoed.

We've made it a tradition to be sure and open only one gift at a time so everybody can see what each other receives and share in the fun. The kids have a hard time with this sometimes but we try and let them help hand out the presents to make it go a little easier. Julia was the least patient of them all this year...constantly asking for "another one for me." Still, they were all well behaved and soon our living room floor was covered with new fun toys, clothes and entertainment as well as a flood of wrapping paper.

It was just after 7 when I fired up the griddle and cooked up some sausage, eggs and toast. Everyone contently ate and then was sent back to tidy up the paper mess and start playing with their toys. The plan was to play for a couple of hours before we started the rounds.

My time was spent "helping" Jason put together his Spider Man lego set. The set is actually pretty cool. After 2 hours of working on it, I had completed the dump truck (complete with dumping action) and about half of the construction site. My back told me I'd better take some Ibuprofen before we began running the gauntlet.

Our first stop was back to my parents to see if Santa thought they were naughty or nice and to deliver our gifts and help clear their tree of goodies. Santa apparently thought everyone there was good, much to their relief I'm sure. My grandmother showed up shortly after we did and we started unwrapping beneath the tree. Everyone seemed to love their presents, given and received. We relaxed and chatted for a few minutes, but then it was time for the next stop.

Just after lunchtime, we parked at Lynette's mom's & sister's house. Aurora was super excited to see her cousins and show them that Santa had visited. The kids overwhelmed the apartment quickly and we had a lot of fun getting Aiden to giggle at his new toys. For our Christmas goodies from the "name drawing", we received some cool Halloween decorations that will grace our yard next year.

After an hour or more there, it was time to head back home. I spent another couple of hours finishing Jason's lego construction site and secret lab so that Venom, Sandman and "new Goblin" could battle Spider Man. Meanwhile, Karla quickly and excitedly set up the Wii...avowing that she wasn't setting it up "properly" and that I'd have to re-set it up later if I didn't want cables hanging all over the place.

The Nevada in-laws showed up a bit later to play and we spent some more time playing around and having a good ol' time. We kicked (almost) everybody out between 8 and 9 and got the kids ready for bed. They were both exhausted and wired. About an hour after being put to bed, we had a bit of puking wake us up. Poor Andrew was sick. :(

The next day the plan had been to do some "day after Christmas" shopping...but with Andrew sick, we didn't think it was a good idea. He was doing well that morning and all looked well by noon, so we decided to chance it and meet the kiddies for lunch and a trek around the mall. Somewhere amid the shopping expedition, my iPod decided to either "fall out" or be "stolen" from my coat pocket. Either way, I am now iPod-less. :( I didn't find out until a day or so later.

We pushed through the shopping and were home that night. Tired from busy days, everybody fell asleep quickly and soundly.

It's now Thursday and I went into work for at least a "half-day" of work. I could have worked from home, but with all of the distractions, it would have been less than productive. Still, I went in fairly late in the day. Back home, many visitors stopped by as the Nevada clan was spending the night with us that night, much to the excitement of our kids. Fortunately nobody threw up that night. :)

Friday was another work day for me...I left for work around 10 but came home around 3. It was "holiday party" time at some old family friends...Lynette actually babysat for them when she and I were first dating ages ago. The little girl she was babysitting is in 9th grade now and gave us a performance on her violin. We sat around and chatted with them for a bit and then headed home to be ready for another busy day.

Saturday morning at the crack of dawn, Lynette and I hit the road to hit the Salt Lake Temple for my cousin's wedding. It was very cold. After the wedding, we rushed home to relieve Karla the babysitter, but she said she was fine, so we turned around and headed back southward for the Wedding "breakfast." We had to leave early to rush back and get Julia to the "princess" birthday party for cousin Aurora. She modeled a lovely Snow White dress to the party but was sad that she was the only one that dressed up. By that evening, neither Lynette nor Andrew were feeling very great, so Julia and I went to the reception ourselves so Julia could compare her princess dress with the bride's.

Sunday came peaceably enough to begin with, but we all descended on Lynette's mom & sister's apartment again by early afternoon for a family birthday wish to Aurora. Frankly I don't think that 2 bedroom apartment was built with the idea of a party of 9 adults and 9 kids in mind. It was fun, but very hectic. We took the kids home and put them to bed. That night Julia whimpered a bit and as I went in to check on her, I found her asleep in her own vomit. A very pitiful site...poor kid. We got her cleaned up and back to sleep.

New Years Eve day, we ran a few errands and just tried to relax. Each of the kids had been sick over the past week and Lynette wasn't feeling too great I went to my parents for a little bit by myself to play games and make a showing at their New Years party. I came home around 11 and Lynette & I were asleep by 12:30.

New Years Day promised to be a bit more relaxing. The kids all seemed to be feeling better though sadly I was starting to get sick. I spent the day playing video games with the boys and teaching them how to play "Kids of Catan" that afternoon. We ended the day with a Family Home Evening viewing of the Testaments per Julia's request.

The next day, I felt like death and stayed home and slept the day away. Lynette introduced our neighbor to Wii Sports and Holly and Andrew apparently spent a few hours playing each of the sports. Around 4 I rolled out of bed and joined the family as we returned Karla a few things she'd forgotten.

That brings us to this morning where just before 4 AM, Lynette is awoken by a sharp pain in her side which she suspects to be appendix problems. The pain subsides and the best guess right now is muscle problems...possibly related to a really ugly spider bite on her leg that has been swelling up.

With that, our holiday festivities are officially done for another year. However, January marks a huge birthday month for our family, so that gauntlet will be run shortly.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Uh, yah, well, uh, sounds like a rip roarin good time interspersed with bouts of puke. Ahh, the memories!