Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

All my pictures went into flickr, like usual.  This is the highlights.

We arrived in GJ the afternoon of the 23rd.  My other siblings were already there.  The next day Grandma Cook flew into town.  She got to meet her second great-grandson!


Brian came over to visit briefly. 

Jack entertained us with a Christmas carol.

Then the middle generation went to see The Hobbit Part Deux.  It was fun, but wacky, and even less like the book than the first one.

We came back from the movie to the traditional Christmas Even dinner - Chinese food!


Sam photo-bombed me and Ben.


Then we introduced Jack to the other Christmas Eve traditions: reading scriptures, reading Santa Mouse, setting out stockings and cookies and milk. 


Surprisingly, we didn't get going Christmas morning until after 7 AM.  Sam and I were up for the usual feeding, and Ben was up with his usual Christmas antsy-ness.  We roused Jack (easily) and sent him to gather the family.

Jack was most keen on Skylanders Swapforce this year.  So we fired it up before opening much else. 


Sam got a soft monkey and it's perfect for his latest craze: putting fabric in his mouth.  Om nom nom.


Andy and Amanda amazed us with their homemade presents.  I got some beautiful art from both of them.  Andy won most elaborate by making this vertical chess set for my Dad.  The characters are all based on The Big Lebowski. 


Meanwhile, Jack ate a croissant while playing his video game with one hand.


Sam got this play mat from Santa.  He was immediately entranced:


Lucy got cuddles :-)


Mom mulling spices with her laboratory spinner from Dad.  Checking the temperatures with the laser gun I gave Andy.


We played games and puzzles.

Went sledding.


The next day we opened presents from the Mason family.  Sadly, they were without power due to the ice storm, so we waited until they were able to facetime to celebrate together.  The boys got matching outfits.

But the runaway surprise winner was the pirate dagger and eyepatch. 


Indulgent food, visiting, movies, games.  That's pretty much the week. 


And baths.  Baths are fun. 


Ben and Jack went home Saturday as planned.  I stayed with Sam a couple more days to wear out the sinus congestion.  Even still, the drive home over the mountains was head-pounding.  But the extra days meant more relaxing and baby helping.  Amanda and I even went to see another movie - Saving Mr. Banks (meh.  entertaining but not a real winner).

I was also glad to watch the Nutcracker one last time.  I really love that ballet.

The dancing led to this.  Enjoy!

A Christmas Sweater for Sam

I made this over the holiday!




So cute, right?  I could have made it even bigger around his tummy and in length.  I was trying to get the size right for wearing this winter.  I can easily add another 1 1/2 inches if I decide it's rolling up over his tummy too much.  Next I'm going to make some matching pants using this pattern.

You're sick of me saying it . . .

But there's sick here again.  Since I last wrote, pre-Christmas, Sam, myself, and Jack have all been sick again.  Here's a summary, read it and pity me:

Nov 11-15 Jack diarrhea
Nov 13-15 Ben cold (missed office party)
Nov 18-25 Jack flu/cold
Nov 22 Jack ear infection, plugged eye duct
Nov 20-25 (ish) Ben cold part II
Thanksgiving - Jack and Ben still recovering with mild symptoms
Dec 1-4 Jack stomach flu
Dec 3-4 Ben stomach flu
Dec 10  Jack stomach flu part II
Dec 12  Sam rash
Dec 15-17  Rachel stomach flu
Dec 20-25 Ben walking pneumonia
Dec 22-26 Sam cold
Dec 25- 29 Rachel cold
Dec 31 Jack stomach flu part III
Dec 31 Sam plugged eye duct


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cozy cozy

Brian is coming over to eat pizza and play munchkin with us after bedtime. Sam and I are cuddling by the cedar fire.  It's softly snowing outside.  We are watching the Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular.   It's. . . weird.  But jolly, and Jack likes the Muppets.



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Two of a kind

For fun, I put Sam in the same outfit Jack wore in this 3 month photo.  Can you tell who is who?


Ok, the extra hand going "Boop!" gives it away. 





They actually aren't that different.  I know Sam is humungous for his age, but Jack was big too.  And the difference is just an inch or so.  I think Jack had more limbs, and Sam more belly.  But both boys are big and perfect!

Ho Ho Ho - We're Back!

I made a quick recovery and now the whole family is HEALTHY!  Jack has sprung back to life.  His imagination and his appetite are both in full swing.  With all the presents bought, parties done, and errands run, we are in spontaneous jolly mode.  Pics below. (kind of wonky, I realized part way through that flickr changed my default code, and I'm too lazy to fix them all. :-P )

Adorable Sunday outfits:

Self-wrapped present to send to Maine:

We delivered on foot to the UPS store:

Which had cookies!  and toys! and a tree!

Devouring cupcakes from Amanda

Sharing toys with brother

Showing me his "Shield attack upgrade"

From today, Jack practice wrapping more presents.


We made BOTH tree ornaments and cookies today.


Feeling jealous of Ben's Christmas party at work, I took the kids to Chick-fil-A.  Sam was sleepy.  Jack was ecstatic.

I had to buy a peppermint chocolate chip milkshake to share with Jack, because he lost so much weight.  It was for his heath, guys.  I HAD to.

 Waiting for Ben to come, I let Jack play Skylanders while I sat with Sam.  Ahh, knitting and ballet.  I found a new-to-me Nutcracker on youtube!  It opens in a kitchen with sausages and carcasses, Drosselmeier looks like Nosferatu with a mustache, and the family is like the Thenardiers in Act 3 of Les Miserables.  Can't wait to see the rest of this.  It's from the Mariinsky Ballet.  Those crazy Russians.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Last night I became the latest victim of the stomach bug.  Luckily I think tomorrow I'll be good.  Ben stayed home with me today and I was able to actually sleep and heal. 

Too much sick.  If you will recall, this streak started on November 18th with a flu-like virus for Jack (and a week of diarrhea for him prior to that).  Almost a full month later and we are still dealing with illness.  Blech blech blech.

Friday, December 13, 2013


Sam is 3 Months Old

Well I'll be, it's another Friday the 13th!  I wonder how often those happen so close together?

Sam is 3 months old
He had this rash on his belly and back this morning.  He doesn't seem bothered by it, so I'll just keep an eye on it. 

Sam is 3 months old

Nope, not bothered at all :-)

Sam gets bigger and bigger.  I have no idea what his weight or clothing size is.  He fits Gerber, Circo, Gymboree and Carter brands size 9 months, some 6 month things still fit but are quite snug.  This outfit from Tea is 12-18 month sized.

Sam is 3 months old

He loves peering into faces and laughing at toys.

Sam is 3 months old

Everything gets swept into his mouth now.  He's been trying to suck his thumb by using the other hand to push it into his mouth.  Moderate success with profuse drool.

Sam is 3 months old

He still hates tummy time.  This was the best face I could coax from him.

Sam is 3 months old

Sam is 3 months old

Sam is 3 months old

Sam still eats every couple hours during the day.  For the last week he has been going down to bed at 7:30 pm, staying asleep until 5 am, then up again at 7 for the day.  Of course, last night he got up three times and broke the pattern.  That's babies - always changing :-) 

Sam is 3 months old

I love you, big guy.

Sam is 3 months old

Done, lingering

We made it through auditions and turned out a stellar cast.  We are really excited about this show and group of kids. 

Jack was well enough for me to leave with sitters on Monday and Tuesday.  Still uneasy, still coughing from the November cold, but well enough that I would have sent him to school were he in school.  Tuesday night he had another bout of stomach flu, complete with fever and nightmares and hacking cough.  I think I slept 3 hours that night, between him and the usual Sam needs.  So Wednesday and Thursday were spent in our never-ending convalescence.  Sam and I are still healthy, and I don't think Ben cough the stomach bug (though he suffers from lingering cough too). 

I remember thinking, if we could just get well by Thanksgiving, I'll be happy.  Now I'm repeating that mantra but for Christmas. 

Oh, and my hormones have changed and I'm losing my hair like crazy.  And Sam had a weird rash this morning. 

I'm so glad I don't have to go back to a full time RN job now that Sam is 3 months.  Being a mom is work enough. 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Haul out the Holly . . . and the popsicles

Auditions have been pushed back AGAIN.  Friday school was cancelled due to cold temperatures.  I guess -23 wind chill is pretty cold.  Whatever.

In a way it was nice, because I had tons of time to clean my house and put out goodies for Babypalooza!  Our friends Trevor and Cate were visiting from Boston with their new girl Maggie.  She was born within a few weeks of Sam, like many babies I'm finding out.  They wanted to get together with all their old friends who had young ones and we volunteered to host.  It was wild with all the creepers and cooers, but so fun.  Bonus about having parties with friends who are parents - everyone left by 9:45 and they all cleaned up after themselves!  It was the easiest party I've ever had.

We dedicated one moment to taking pictures, and it was no small feat.

The mommies:

 Novline and baby McKayla, Jessica and baby Petra (for Petrachor), Cate and baby Maggie (for Margaret), Rachel with Jack and Sam (for Samwise), Libby and baby Wyatt

(the middle three babies all born within a month of each other)

 The daddies:

Neil and McKayla, Josh and Petra, Trevor and Maggie, Ben and Sam and Jack, Brian and Xavier, Stephen and Wyatt.

Saturday was crazy fun and busy.  Ben took Jack to the Apex jungle gym after breakfast so I had time cuddle and play with Sam.  Then we went downtown to visit with Trev and Cate some more.  Amanda watched the boys while we had a wonderful date at Bonefish, then I stayed up too late to make an appearance at another holiday party.  How I miss my friends!  I'm trying to host another one this coming weekend so I can spend more time catching up with everyone.

Before our date we made a stop at the mall for an important task.  Can you guess who Jack spied coming back from break?



He was bounded up to Santa with a springing skip so fast I didn't have my camera focused.  But you can see him tick off his wish list right away.



I think here he was asked whether he had been a good boy.  That was a real thinker. 




He told Santa "Happy Christmas" then bounded back to Dad.  So adorable.


We had such a fun couple days I thought it was all sugarplums and jolly and ho ho ho for the season.  But Jack woke up this morning with a stomach virus.  Egads. Give. Me. A. Break.

I think he's better.  He went from 9 vomits in the morning to only 2 after nap.  He was keeping water down, a popsicle, some crackers, and asking for more food when we put him to bed.  I told him no, to not push his stomach.  I hope he feels better tomorrow.  It makes babysitting difficult.  Auditions are now pushed to Monday/Tuesday.  It will be a Christmas miracle if they happen and everyone stays healthy for one solid week.