Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Update that ends with H's playdate at the hospital

November - well, how I am supposed to remember what happened in November? It's almost January. I know there was Thanksgiving, and good food, and visit to my parents house, and much to be thankful for. And there were flu vaccines all around. Of which I am SO thankful for because seriously everyone I know has a kid with the flu about now. Let's see, what else? Oh yeah, Hannah volunteered to sing a song for the residents of a local retirement home. My church does a worship service there every month for the residents. Hannah practiced (and perfected!) "Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet" and sang it beautifully one Sunday morning. She was a bit nervous, but had a blast and did a great job. She sure put a smile on everyone's face. She has a beautiful voice and loves to sing. Sadie loves to sing too. But her ability to carry is a tune, is, well..still developing. So is mine. :-) Actually Sadie has a great ability to change songs in the middle. What might start out as Jingle bells could easily become Silent Night or Old Macdonald or the ABC's or something else she made up. She doesn't sing *songs*, she sings *medleys*. But Sadie put a smile on everyone's face too because she walked around saying hi with her beautiful smile and giving out hugs. We also spent an afternoon at a nearby farm having pictures done. It was fun and they turned out so great. I'll try to get a few up on here soon.

So November consisted of Thanksgiving, flu shots, Hannah singing, and pictures. And 26 other days that were busy but I don't remember with what.
And then December. Christmas parades, visits with Santa, and parties galore! School parties, Brownie parties, dance parties, going to see the Nutcracker, elf mischief, church events.

Like most people, it was busy. And yet, there was a calmness this year too. Most of the busyness ended a week before Christmas. When school got out, we spent a couple days at my parents house celebrating Christmas with them.

Then we came home and spent the rest of the week relaxing, playing outside, making home-made playdoh, reading stories of Christmas, driving around to see lights, and just enjoying the time we had not to hurry. On Christmas eve, we spent a good part of the day outside while the girls rode their bikes.

We saw Santa as he came through the neighborhood on the fire truck as he does every year. We enjoyed the Christmas eve service at church. We came home, ate supper, enjoyed Charlie Brown's Christmas with popcorn and hot chocolate, and made sure to put out reindeer food before bed.

And food for Santa. Only Santa didn't get cookies at our house. He got a piece of bread and a spoonful of cranberry sauce (since we didn't have grape juice). And Hannah left a note "We left you kind of communion so you can remember Jesus is more important". See, Santa had made a suprise visit at church that evening and had taken communion. It made for a good conversation on the way home about how even Santa knows he's not the most important. Even Santa takes time to stop and remember Jesus. So Hannah decided to serve him communion at our house too! Very sweet, even if I was kind of hoping for chocolate.

I shopped online almost exclusively this year. So there was no running around searching for gifts. And pretty much most of the gifts our family gave were homemade gifts. Santa's gifts were not, but most of the others were. And it was great. The girls had a great time making gifts, such as scarves for cousins. They enjoyed painting old soft drink bottles that we turned into bowling sets for a couple of younger cousins.
I found printouts online for a "Journal in Jar" gift that I loved. So that's what most adult family members got. Except a couple of the men - since I didn't think they'd be as into journaling. But they're basically old mason jars with writing prompts inside. Presented with a notebook and pen. I loved the questions too - questions about family, childhood, favorites, opinions, and memories. They also had a child-version. So one of the girls' 9 year old cousins got that. And the girls both got one too. Sadie likes it because it's like Hannah's. Hannah LOVES it. She's been using the prompts every day. She had seen me making them for others and she was so very excited to have her very own.
As far as Santa goes, the girls were pretty thrilled on Christmas morning with their pillow pets. That's the one thing they asked for. And Sadie..thrilled beyond belief with her new camera and dancing Mickey Mouse. We have had a lot of pictures being taken lately. And Hannah got a karaoke machine. Which she LOVED until the microphone just died that evening. She was a bit dissapointed, but was okay when I told her we'd get a new microphone. She amused herself with her new Magic Science kit.

And it snowed! We didn't have a white Christmas like so many of our neighbor cities. But we did see snow falling on Christmas day. Beautiful. And the day after Christmas, we got enough of a dusting for a few snowballs. And an attempted snow angel!

We spent some time the day after Christmas at our friends' Beth and Wayne's (a.k.a. nana and granddaddy) house. The girls had a ball with more gifts, snowball throwing with cousins, lunch, and play-time. Then Hannah and I headed for her appointment at the Children's Hospital after-hours clinic. For an ear infection. And yes, I did let my 7 year old that I suspected had an ear infection out in the snow to play. It only snows an average of once a year here - I wasn't about to make her miss it. (But don't worry mom, I made her wear a hat!) And yes, she did have an ear infection. We found that out after waiting 4 hours. But we were lucky because as we were leaving, they changed the sign to read "6 hour wait with appointment". Yikes. But at least all she had was an ear infection. One that wasn't even particularly painful. So many of the other kids had the flu. Or suspected flu. You kind of get to know people when you sit in the waiting room so long. And while I was thinking "lots of sick people..let's just sit over here by ourselves and read or play video games quietly", Hannah saw the situation a little differently. Her view was " many kids. I'm going to make new friends!" So she had a 3 hour play-date (the 4th hour we were in a room by ourselves) with kids who probably had the flu. great. Again, so thankful for that flu vaccine. Oh, and by the end, she'd become such great friends with one little girl that the other mom wrote her phone number and address down for me and invited us to come over to play anytime. But finally, armed with a prescription for antibiotics, we went home. And I bathed Hannah in the hand sanitizer in my car before we pulled out of the parking lot. Just kidding - sort of. As much as I hated to spend 4 hours in the after-hours clinic on a Sunday for an ear infection that didn't even seem to really bother Hannah (rather than waiting until the next morning to see her regular pediatrician), I needed her seen that day because the next day day. (coming soon!)