Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby Drake

Colin Drake was
born one year ago on Dec 30th, 2009, around 3:45pm at Clovis Community hospital.
He is a perfectly healthy, happy baby boy.
From early on (see pictures) he would smile with his whole, big ol' mouth. He has
a dimple. He was born with a spot of dark hair on his blond head, but that seems to be growing out. But people mostly remark on his eyes. Huge, sparkling, light blue eyes with long, long eyelashes.

He gets REALLY excited when ever music comes on. In church, when the organ starts, he waves his arm like he is leading mucic and raised his eyebrows with a "whoa! listen to that" look on his face. When he first learned to sit up, he would bounce both legs at the same time (quite a feat) to the beat of what ever music was on. He LOVES to dance with his mom. He eats everything and takes long naps. He wakes up a lot in the night, but goes right back to sleep.

At one year, he has taken his first steps, but isn't confident yet. He can stand up from the ground (without help), loves water, loves his brothers and sisters, he can clap, use a bit of sign language. He is very expressive- jokes, teasing, mad faces, laughing games, noises, etc.) He is supe
r happy all the time, and it is rare for him to be cranky. Just lately he gets put out if he can't have something. His favorite things to do are dancing, running with someone holding his hands, taking a bath, and going outside. He spends his days puttering around,
following Jack, moving, watching the dog, exploring, and eating, eating, eating.
We love out last little man and are so glad he
is in our family. He brings us joy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

That's Astute, I Say

Theo often goes to Beth's house when I have to work, and he loves it there. He disappears into the herd of cousins and bounces off of Jackson and gets bathed regularly. I think there's a sense of freedom that comes from being supervised by the pack instead of having one mom looking just at you all day long. After we come back from a visit he will ask me every day if we can go to "Beth's house".

Today he was campaigning to go there as usual and I asked him what he liked about it. After listing off all of the people he likes, he said:

"Beth's house- too many kids, not too many mommies, right?"

Monday, December 27, 2010

We Wish You A Merry Hot Dog

Christmas was perfect this year. Seriously, I can't remember ever having a better one. Not only did I get to go to California, see Claire marry Gordon, hang out with all of my sisters and cry like a baby while Gail sang 'O Holy Night', I also got to come back to Atlanta and have a letter-perfect Christmas day with our little family.

Because Chris had been gone for 3 weeks, having us all back together had an extra shine to it. Then, the kids are at perfect ages for Christmas magic. Lucy had fallen off of the Santa bandwagon, but when it came down to crunch time she jumped right back on: "Mom, I know what you told me about Santa, but you and Dad can't be doing ALL the presents. Plus, SOMEBODY eats the cookies!" Good point, Lucy, good point.

We went caroling. I made toffee and ate it till my mouth hurt. We took some gifts to a family and doorbell ditched them on Christmas Eve, running giggling and happy to our getaway car. Theo ran around telling everyone "We wish you a Merry Hot Dog" and then falling down laughing. We had a big present to set up, and Chris and I stayed up late putting it together. In the morning the kids were appropriately amazed and we drug out present opening for an hour and a half. I got a big fat Christmas nap on new fluffy pillows from Claire. We played with toys, worked on a puzzle, ate cheese and chocolate...and then it started to snow. After 2 years of Puerto Rico "Christmas"...well, it was magical, let me tell you. So, hot chocolate, the world's tiniest snow man, another secret Santa errand and bed. One of my favorite days ever.
Chris looking dapper in Christmas scarf and snow.

Lucy's recipe for 'Snow Julius'- snow, orange juice and whipped cream

Theo looking adorable in new panda head gear.

The world's tiniest snowman.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Amazing Year in Review.

Wow. Wow. What a year. Put it all down for posterity and old age memory assistance. Feel free to add detail and edit. Doesn't need to be in order. Big or small, just important.

Sisters / Husbands:
Colin was born this year -2 days
Vivian / Jerry got a job at Los Alamos National Labs and moved to New Mexico
Claire, Sarah, Carrie and Rachel visited the Thomas family in New Mexico (at different times)
Rachel and Claire went to South Dakota
Carrie / Chris took a job with the CDC and moved to Atlanta, GA
Rachel (does she need her own category?) graduated with honors, won major awards
Mom retired from ? years of teaching
Mom, Sarah, Carrie (x2), Rachel, and Dad bought new cars
Rachel took a job with the CDC and moved to Auburn
Rachel went to a CDC training in Atlanta and got to hang out with the Gregory's
Claire and Gordon got engaged
Vivian / Jerry took a job with ? and moved to New Hampshire
Rachel went to visit the Thomas family in New Hampsire and took a road trip to Quebec
Tim / Beth quit rigging business and started Lawrence Tire and Service
Vivian and Jerry are expecting their 2nd baby - yay!
Claire / Gordon were married- yay!
Chris went to the Congo, Philippines,

Others in our "Family"
Adam Smith died
Joel and Regina got married
Darcy turned 12, began YW, middle school

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Couple of Beth Quotes Worth Saving

"Keeping 5 kids simultaneously fed, clean, polite, healthy, engaged and safe is a Herculean effort. Especially while they are trying really hard to be hungry, dirty, rude, sick, bored and dead."

"Failure to schedule will result in a life decided by whim and chaos." - fortune cookie

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Case of the Missing Santa Claus

First of all, Santa is real. But, not the one who came to our church party and not the one who came to last year's church party, either. And here is why:

1. Last year I saw the guy pretending to be Santa was wearing flip-flops under his fake boots.

2. This year, I saw a regular guy with white eyebrows. Later when I saw Santa he had the same eyebrows.

3. I saw the regular guy hide a coat. A RED coat.

4. They had the same glasses.

PS- I never saw those two at the same time.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

she is but she isn't.

on the one hand:
darcy is tall. she is beautiful. she is 12. she goes on YW trips and firesides. she wears heels and doesn't look awkward. she took money to school, bought a ticket during break to a school play, asked if i would drive her, took sydney with her, bought syd a ticket, found a place to sit, called me on my cell phone to come pick them up when it was over. and after 5 months of class, you should see her cruise around on a computer. it is all very grown up.

on the other hand:
i still fix her hair, and i still get comments like this - "but mom, i NEED a weapon!" - darcy on why she should be allowed to take a sling shot to the temple.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm so lucky.

Gordon and I made a tough decision to move into a very small apartment. There is not a lot of room for excess furniture that would supply horizontal surfaces. But I have a lot of pottery, and there was some mystery about what we were going to do with it all.
Turns out there's a little jog in the wall in one corner of our living room, due to the remodel our landlord did years back.
Wouldn't it be great if we had a shelf that would utilize that space? On which to place all my pottery?
Oh, what's that, Gordon? You'll build me one??

Isn't it beautiful?

(Note: Not its final resting spot)

Say What?

Over the last year, Theo sometimes has gone to stay at Beth's house when I've been working. When I'd pick him up, Beth and I would have a conversation like this:

Me: how'd it go?
Beth: great! he's so cute, he's perfect, he's so funny, I love him, why can't he talk?
Me: what do you mean he can't talk?
Beth: I mean, he can't talk in a good way! It's so cute how I can't ever understand him!

I pretty much figured that anybody not yelling at Beth's house automatically went into her "doesn't talk" category, and didn't think too much about it. I mean, he talks. He obviously says more now than he did a year ago, right? Just cause he doesn't say the sounds for T,R,C,K,TH,SH,P,F,G,L...ok, the only consonants he uses are B, D and sometimes S, but there are a lot of words with those sounds that he says just fine...

Finally last month I realized that Beth was right. He IS too hard to understand for being almost 3, and I scheduled a hearing test for today. Which didn't go so well.

We started out in a little room with a two way mirror (one way window?)and they taught him a game where they rang a buzzer and he dropped a toy into a bucket and if he did it he got a prize, but only if he waited until he heard the noise. He was really cute, listening and holding the toy poised over the bucket. They started the beeps really quiet and kept making them louder until he heard one and dropped the toy.
After that they did something similar with headphones that didn't go over his ears but to bony spots on his head. If he hears better from vibrations through bone than he does through his ears, then there's nothing wrong with him neurologically, it just means the sound isn't getting through his ears right.

And that's what happened. If the little bones in his ear pick up vibrations through his skull, they pass on the sound just fine. If you try to send vibrations through his eardrums, it doesn't work so well. What that means is that he has fluid behind his eardrums that is keeping them from vibrating, and that he'll likely need tubes in his ears to drain the fluid. Then I'm going to drop him off at Beth's house and let him talk her ear off.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Would Robert Pattinson Do?

Alright, I have to admit that even in the best of times, Theo's hair is...questionable. One might even say it was a hairstyle decided by whim and chaos. Here's a picture from the other day, a fair image of a regular Theo hair day:

But sometimes it really suited him and he would look downright handsome:

But no matter what you think of my hairstyling skills, it had to be better than THIS:

Yep. Lucy finally took matters into her own hands.