I can't believe it is already 2009. The year just flew by. We had a great Christmas. My mom came to visit and stayed with us for 3 weeks. It was great for so many reasons. Ben and I were able to go out and see a couple of movies along with have a date night with Nicola and her husband. I can't remember the last time we were able to do that. We also got a chance to celebrate New Years with some of our close friends. Last year Ben and I were so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open to see the ball drop. This year was a lot of fun and I actually didn't go to bed until 2:00am. We paid the price the next day because we were so tired and hung over, but well worth it.
All of December was full of exciting fun stuff. We had a first gift exchange at the mother's breakfast this year. We each picked a name and brought a gift for that person. It seemed that everyone loved it and each gift was picked so nicely for that person. I love those ladies and it is great that we almost always manage to make time for it each month. I also love that Petra made it possible for all our families to get together for a holiday celebration. It wasn't an easy destination to get to but it just goes to show you that we all love each other enough to make the hike.
We took the kids to see Santa at Macy's again this year. I was a little worried about how it would go. In the past we were able to go on a weekday when nobody is there but because Coolidge is in school full time now we could only go on the weekend. I planned it that we would get there right when it opened so we would miss the rush from the puppet show. It worked out perfectly because there was a very small line and it moved quickly. This was the first year that Coolidge wasn't frightened by any of it. He enjoyed the Santa land and really explored every little toy. Brody on the other hand got scared by the tree at the beginning and insisted on sitting in his stroller with his blanket the entire time. He also didn't like Santa so as you can see we took a family photo. I don't mind him crying in the photo but he had a death grip on me so I knew I had to be in the photo. Hopefully next year he will take a photo alone.
It was fun to see how different this holiday season was compared to last year. Coolidge was able to do so much more than in the past. His patience and attention span is much longer. I attempted to make a ginger bread house with him. Me, Coolidge and Ben put it together and added our own little touches. It was a lot of fun for all of us and just as much fun to eat it. Coolidge didn't want to eat it to soon because he wanted Santa to see it. I think that is the first time he showed restraint on eating candy.
For the first time we spent Christmas day with friends instead of family. We invited our good friends the Lewis's. We had a great time having them over for dinner and the kids loved playing with their good friends. The kids also loved that they got to have a Christmas picnic in front of the television. It was nice and casual and the only day that my house was warm because of running the oven all day. We had a great holiday.
I also experienced my first trip to the emergency room. When Brody was at a friends house he fell and hit his head on the elevator. After I picked him up I realized that the cut was too deep for just a bandage. I wasn't really worried about Brody being hurt. However, the moment I knew I had to take him to the emergency room my stomach turned at the thought of seeing him scream from the stitches. Luckily my mother was in town so I had her to help me while we were there. Brody had a blast in the waiting room. After sitting there for an hour I started to evaluate each person. It took everything in me to keep myself from going up to them and saying you don't really look that sick. I couldn't believe some people thought was a reason to go to the emergency. The only reason I was there was because I had no other option. Brody eventually got too tired and wanted to go home but I think everyone there thought I was the patient because I looked like I was going to throw up at any moment. After 3 hours Brody fell asleep on my lap and the doctor came to look at his cut. She said the best thing in the world, "I think all it needs is glue." I prayed he would sleep through the whole thing but once I layed him down and they wrapped him with a sheet like a burrito, he woke up. He then started to cry and scream. She squeezed the cut and easily glued it shut. Just when I thought we were in the clear she tells me, "don't let him touch it for a minute." Before I could keep his arms down he swiped at the cut and re-opened it. My whole body tensed up and we had to do it all over again. I thought he screamed bad the first time. This time I made sure it was dry before he got up and again he went to swipe at it. But I was fast enough to keep him away. He calmed down and I even managed to get him to laugh. That is when I was able to relax and then I started to cry. There is nothing harder than seeing your child in distress.
One of the wonderful things that happened last month was that Sara, Sam and Kate came to visit. Sam and Coolidge hadn't seen each other in a year. You wouldn't think any time had passed when they got together. Immediately they started playing just like old times. It was also Coolidge's first sleepover at his house. It was so nice to see how both Sam and Kate had changed and were still the same. I also got a chance to sit and have coffee with my best friend. I sure do miss having her around. What I learned watching Coolidge and Sam and hanging with Sara was that no matter how far away they are or how long it has been, When you connect with someone you can always connect each time. I sure do miss them and Coolidge was reminded of how much he misses Sam. He went through a few sad days after he left. It felt so good to see that they are doing well and how open they are to talk about John.
I also learned something new that I feel I must share with everyone. You might already know this tip but if you don't you will be thanking me later. If your kids have a bad cough or even you have one when you going to sleep at night or even for a nap, lather Vick's rub on your feet and then put some socks on. I can't explain the science but I have been doing it with my kids and for some reason it works miracles. If they start coughing in the middle of the night. I go back in and put more on. It always seems to calm there cough. It is hard for anyone to get sleep when someone is constantly coughing. Give it a try next time.