I decided just to let Christmas pass before I wrote another entry. Seems like the days leading up to "the big day" are always so hectic and full. But it really was wonderful this year. The weekend before Christmas, my family had our annual Progressive Dinner. As the kids get older, this event gets more fun. There is a lot of loading and unloading the car, but it's easier when two of the the kids can buckle themselves! Our house hosted the salad course and that was easy enough. Connor fell asleep in the car on the way to the dessert course and didn't wake up when we arrived. So I ended up in a chair with him crashed out on top of me--both of our winter coats still on! As we walked into our house at the end of the night, Connor finally woke up and asked where everyone went--lol!
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were filled with family and an insane amount of presents. Not necessarily because everyone got a lot of gifts, but because there are just so many of us now! The kids seemed happy with what they got and did amazingly well with both sides of the family. We don't really put any emphasis on Santa and the kids get to open presents from Randy's side of the family on Christmas Eve. So Christmas morning, Randy and I woke up at 7:30am and the kids were still sleeping! They got up slowly after that and Lilly was still sleeping when my side of the family arrived around 9:30am. Christmas morning is a lot different than I would have pictured it, but I'm wondering if it will change as the kids get older. Either way, I loved every minute of it!
We hosted a New Year's party with three other families. In total, there were eleven kids (ages 1 to 7 years old) and eight adults. I made a big pot of chili and everyone else brought lots of goodies. Around 9pm, we got all the kids laid down in two of the upstairs bedrooms. Lilly had gone to bed at 7pm and got to keep her room all to herself! It was so fun to lay down all the kids like sardines across the floor. Connor and two other little ones slept in our bed. Unfortunately, one of the little guys decided he didn't want to sleep at our house, so they had to leave "early". All the other kids were still giggling at around 11pm. So one of the dads went up and got firm with them. They all fell asleep and the adults got to play our new Wii game system until around 1:30am--yikes!! It was so much fun, but I'm just not good with staying up that late anymore. We did all recover and breathed a sigh of relief that all the parties were finally done.
We had a very sad event that happened on Christmas Eve. I found that my 13 year old cat had passed away. I went out to take some garbage to the recycle bin, when I found her lying in her usual spot in the sun. I knew right away it wasn't good. I called her name "Imogene", she breathed out a long breath and that was it. I was crushed. I wrapped her in a small blanket and waited for Randy to get home from work. We shared the news with the kids and their reactions were precious. Ella cried, Owen said, "I'm not really sad. I'm just a little worried." Sweet boy didn't really understand why Ella and I were crying. Connor's reaction was priceless. He said, "It's okay, Mom. I will go put on my Flash costume and go find her!" He was ready to run out the door and make it all better for us. We finally convinced him that he would be unable to find her and that she was gone forever with Jesus. It was then that he cried with us. Later at the Christmas Eve service at church we were singing and one of the songs had a verse about Heaven. He looked up at me and said, "Mom, that's where Imogene is!". I gave him a huge hug and thanked him for being so special! My cat has been with me since my first year out of college. Longer than Randy and I have been together! I miss her deeply.
I realized I have not given any updates on Lilly for a while. A physical therapist has been coming to our house one day a week to work with her. She made amazing progress in the first couple of weeks, but seems to have plateaued now. She is crawling like an expert and she can now pull herself up to standing. We are still working hard on getting her muscles stronger and helping her to stand and kneel appropriately. She is able to do both, but not by using the right muscles, so we have to continually adjust her position. No interest in cruising the furniture yet. The therapist thinks she may need special shoes eventually, but we are waiting to see what happens as she gains strength. Overall, I am happy with her progress. I am also incredibly impatient and have lots of lingering worry. I just want to be on the other side of this already. I am anxious for her to walking before summertime. But I know I just need to take it one day at a time with her and she will do all these things in time!
Owen went back to school today and Ella returns tomorrow. We already have to register Connor for preschool in the fall--yikes! I will have three kids in school next fall! Connor will attend preschool for two years and be an "older" kindergartner. So I don't have to let go of him all at once--lol! We should get Owen's kindergarten acceptance by the end of the month. Ella is in a charter school which is free, but admission is based on a lottery. Siblings get first acceptance, so I'm sure Owen will get in. Hard to believe he will be at the "big" school with Ella!
Lots of fun activities for our family in the coming months. Randy and I will be taking a class at church together. Ella will continue with piano and then start soccer again in March. Owen and Connor will be starting gymnastics. Lilly will continue to work hard on her therapy! I love that the days will be getting longer. I have a feeling that all the snow we got before Christmas will last a while, but I am already dreaming of Spring . . .
Happy New Year!