Monday, December 21, 2009

A Mother Should Be So Proud

Colin is predictably unpredictable. You never know what stunt he's going to be up to next. In the spirit of the holidays he recently became enamored with some themed underwear. Maybe he has a future as a Chippendale? That's my boy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Praise God!

I'm generally not an effusive person when it comes to religion and spirituality, but upon hearing the good news today that my dad's cancer has not spread I think a good amount of celebration and worship is appropriate. Thank you for all of your continued blessings, Lord, on our family. And, as my dad and I agreed, 2009 has been a rough year, so looking on the bright side, 2010 has nowhere to go but up.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Outfits

I remember well the excitement of a new dress for Christmas (the one that pops into my mind was a little black velvet number with a dropwaist and metallic green, pink, and blue ruffles, which had to have been in the early 90s). We've been keeping the tradition alive and although the budget was much smaller this year than its been in previous years all the kids were still outfitted in brand new duds for Christmas brunch and the Sunday School Christmas program at church. I bought Cecily's Christmas dress from Dillards after Christmas last year (the timing was just perfect - finding out the gender right before Christmas and in time for all the post-Christmas sales) - it was a traditional plaid with a teeny bit of smocking. Colin wore a plaid button down and red corduroy pants, a huge score I made at The Children's Place outlet last spring when we went to Oregon. Ian's outfit was black dress pants, a red button down, and a red, grey, and black argyle sweater (that dude is very dapper and likes to dress up). Allegra had a lovely dress with a black velvet bodice and gold diamond-patterned full skirt with matching doll outfit, and Hero had a red sleeveless dress with black sheer netting and a black knit jacket to go over (both purchased the day after Thanksgiving). They looked cute as ever. Allegra and Ian had group solos during the Sunday School program and Colin just about made me cry when he was up there singing Away in A Manger with the itty bitty kids.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This is about our bazillionth season of Nutcracker, or so it feels. Way back in September Ballet Idaho holds auditions for the supplementary childrens' roles in their professional production of The Nutcracker. Hero was in the Party Scene and, for the first time, was one of the garland girls (they perform a dance during the party scene). She gets to be on stage for quite a long time and this year she finally landed a beautiful costume. Allegra was a mini mouse and in the Arabian mini-variation. SO many hours of rehearsing were put into the show - it really takes dedication on the girls part (they literally have had just one weekend off from October through December). James and I got to go to the Saturday evening performance and they were wonderful. Once The Nutracker is over, the girls are both happy for their weekends back and sad to be done (Allegra especially finds it magical - she insists that she will be Clara some day).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Violin Time

Friday marked the end of the first semester for my violin studio. I had six students perform in my recital of the eight that I currently am teaching. It was a tad crazy with having to shuffle between ballet and the music academy, but everything worked out and we celebrated with cake and punch after the recital. Now I'm officially on Christmas break, woo-hoo.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December Drama

This is a post I would have been more than happy not to have to make. But, in the interest of telling it like it is, here goes:

On Wednesday night I had to teach a makeup lesson and James wasn't home from work yet, so Allegra, Cecily, Colin, and Ian hung out in the office for 30 minutes. When I was done and came into the office Cecily was really upset and inconsolable, which is not like her at all. It took quite a while for me to calm her down and even after she was calm she still would erupt in screaming every few minutes. Then she started coughing and gagging, which resulted in vomitting - it scared me, but at the same time, sometimes kids do that when they get super upset. It was Awana Grand Prix night and Hero had a car to race, so we bundled Cecily into her carseat and headed down to pick Hero up from ballet and then scooted over to Meridian for Awana. Cecily screamed bloody murder in her carseat, so much so that she gagged and vomitted some more. She even refused to take her bottle. Once we got to Awana and I was holding her she calmed down again and even took a nap in my arms. We got home late from Awana, about 9, and we bathed Ceci and she acted like her normal self for most of the time, but then started screaming again. She wouldn't take her nighttime bottle. I thought that maybe she was just sick (she's had a little runny nose and congestion for most of the month) and put her crib mattress on an incline and turned the humidifier on. But she just wasn't acting like herself, and I told James that in all of my baby-raising experience I've never seen one acting like this, which concerned me greatly. So he called the pediatrician's after-hours number and spoke to a nurse who suggested that we take her to the Urgent Care facility that was open til 10 out in Eagle. I was afraid for her to be in the carseat by herself with the choking and all the children were already in bed, so we told Hero that she was in charge and took off with Cecily at 9:45. She fell asleep in the car and slept the whole way there, very peacefully and I was starting to feel foolish for panicking. As the doctor began the assessment everything looked completely normal and Cecily was happy and smiling. And then I lied her on the table and the doctor shone her light in her mouth and used the tongue depressor and there was something silver in the back of Cecily's throat! I about passed out when I saw it. The doctor immediately said that she wouldn't pull it out there and sent us to St. Luke's ER, calling them ahead of time to let them know we were coming. That car ride was SO scary! We got there and were immediately brought back and Cecily's breathing was monitored (which was steady and fine) and the ER doctor ordered x-rays. She had partially swallowed the metallic spring from a wooden clothespin (which, we learned later, Colin had broken while I was teaching). The x-rays were pretty scary-looking. The ER doctor felt that it would be prudent to remove the item in the OR, so the ENT doctor was called in. About an hour and a half after we got to the emergency room Cecily was taken downstairs for surgery. They put her under general anesthesia and did a laryngoscopy (I think that's the right spelling). The surgery took less than five minutes, but it was a nervous wait for James and I in the deserted OR floor. The ENT doctor said that it came out without a hitch, only drawing a tiny bit of blood and leaving no swelling. What a relief! After the surgery Cecily went up to the PICU for monitoring. When they finally let us up to see her she was in a nurse's arms and completely back to her old self, smiling and happy. She showed absolutely zero effects from the traumatic events of the night. I can't say the same for her parents. It was horrible. But the outcome turned out as well as could be expected. We were able to take her home just an hour after surgery and we made it back to our house by 1am, which isn't bad, all things considered (we'd called Lynn over to spend the night with the older kids since we thought we'd be there all night). I feel so fortunate that we followed our gut instincts and try not to spend too much time dwelling on the "what-ifs". Thankfully the Man Upstairs was watching out for our little angel that night. Here's some pictures of her pricey ER visit souvenirs - the item in the bag is what was in her throat.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

For Cecily

For the first time, we needed a new stocking because we've run out. I bought a bunch of really pretty sequined stockings back when James and I first got married, but they are all claimed now. I was feeling pretty bad about Cecily not having a stocking but I just wasn't finding anything cute. This morning I received an email from Pottery Barn Kids advertising free shipping on all stockings. They were already on sale, and I'm a sucker for anything personalized, so the timing was positively serendipitous. So now Cecily will have a stocking for Christmas, yay!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Even the Dog's in the Mood

We always go way too long between grooming for Rory. I have the best intentions - everytime I pick her up and she's so cute and fluffy I say "I WILL take her in earlier next time". And inevitably that doesn't happen. Her last grooming was in August so it was sorely needed. I tried to give her a trim around Halloween and it did not go well. Luckily the groomer was able to fix it (although they still had to shave most of her body) and even give her some Christmas bows to match her Christmas collar.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tree #2

I think that my formal tree in the music room turned out the best it's been in a long time this year. We went with an 8.5ft Grand fir, which is really full and wide - the needles almost have a bit of curl to them. I had some new green fern leaf picks that I'd purchased last year at Macy's post-Christmas sale and I just wish I'd bought more, they look fantastic. I really need to work on that tree skirt though. I bought a cheap silver one from Walmart when we first started doing two trees instead of one and I haven't upgraded yet. Silver's actually a hard color to find in a tree skirt. Some day. I think that we kept up with watering the tree for about a week this year - that must be some kind of record (I know, I know, we're pathetic). The tree looks kind of funky in the picture, but I promise the angel is straighter than it looks and there aren't whole chunks of no tinsel LOL.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Weather Outside

Is frightful for driving but delightful for getting in the Christmas spirit. We woke up yesterday to softly falling snow and it stuck! We're blanketed in a downy, soft covering of fresh snow and it isn't likely to melt this week with cold, cold temperatures predicted for the duration. This morning it was -4 (-14 with windchill factor). We've given up on making the girls ride their bikes to school this week, for which they are quite grateful, I'm sure. I love snow and cold weather prior to January. After we're done celebrating the New Year though, it can go away and spring can come LOL. I'm praying this sticks around til Christmas, but not holding my breath.

Monday, December 7, 2009

More Firsts

It seems like every month I have to make a "firsts" post, but I suppose that's par for the course with an infant. Cecily had her 6 month check up (a little bit late) on Friday - she's doing great (weighed in at 16lbs4oz, which is perfectly average). Then on Saturday came a day I've been waiting a very long time for - I got to put a little ponytail with a barette into Cecily's hair. I felt bad putting it in because I had to pull pretty hard to get it to stay, but Cec was so cute all day. We've got a long way to go til pigtails though. She also got her first taste of finger foods (rice crackers) and juice in a sippy cup. She's growing so fast. Love you, Cecaroni (as your littlest big brother calls you)!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Preparations

I've tried to spread the process of getting the holiday stuff up out a bit. We put the artificial tree up the weekend before Thanksgiving, finished up the outdoor lighting this past Sunday, and purchased and decorated the real tree on Saturday. Managing to do all this while doing some serious shopping on Black Friday (up at 3:15am, hit the mall by 4) has been a bit of a chore, but I'm glad it's all up and oh-so-pretty. I think I'm going to cut back on my holiday baking somewhat as I'm just too exhausted this year, but hopefully I can keep up with everything else. I love Christmas, even though I'm already down two Christmas ornaments and one Christmas in the City figurine (thanks Colin and Allegra). I wonder how much Christmas paraphernalia will actually survive the kids' childhood.