Jan 18 2009

And Everyone Got Sick

We’ve made it through that unpleasant event of having a sickness passed around from one family member to another. After our sledding and snowman-making morning of last week, Jude and Noah began to get sick. First, it was a cough but it progressed steadily until they both had fevers, Jude’s worse than Noah’s and had to stay home from school. I stayed home with them on Monday and then on Tuesday Angie got the first part of the day off and brought them to see the doctor. As it turned out, Jude and Gracie were put on antibiotics, as Jude also was diagnosed with Pink Eye in his right eye (fun, fun…).

Noah somehow avoided getting seriously sick. Well, then on Thursday morning, after several nights of having various kids sleep for periods of time in our bed, Angie and I started to feel sick as well. Neither of us had to go see the doctor, but I’m just beginning to feel normal again today (Sunday) and Angie is still under the weather. Gracie was proscribed antibiotics twice daily, and it’s an event we both dread. She had an aversion to the stuff, and it generally requires our having to force her to open her mouth and swallow.

Angie was a champ this morning. She woke up and made cinnamon roles (for breakfast) and cupcakes (for later) for Noah. What a girl. She then had to head to work, so we’ll finish decorating the cupcakes when she returns. I will post more after our little party tonight. We’re just doing the family thing tonight for Noah, then we’ll have a bigger party with both sides of the family next weekend.

Jan 11 2009

Jude and Noah’s First Snowman

Jude and Noah's first snowman

Jude, Noah, and I went sledding yesterday. We had been waiting for some real snow to head our way, and we’re lucky enough to catch some on a weekend. Angie coordinated a plan; I brought home the boys snowpants from school, and she purchased sleds from WalMart Friday night before she came home. After swapping a loaner for our car at the Ford dealership early Saturday morning, we bundled up and headed towards the hills.

Noah was much better about climbing the hill than he was last year, which was a bit of a relief as carrying him up the hill is a bit tiring. We started out on the same section of the hill that we frequented last year. But, after around twenty minutes or so, we decided to shift to a different area of the hill, bigger of course. I made a trail and then the boys went down a couple of times. However, as is often the case with me, I felt the need to change it up a bit to keep things interesting.

Angie purchased two circular sleds, one red and the other blue. Jude has a red coat, Noah a blue one. So, I plopped by bum down on the red sled, placed my legs in front of me onto the blue sled, had Jude stand up on the red sled and hold onto my shoulders while Noah sat between my legs in front. Noah pretended that he was Thomas and Jude was the caboose. My job was to steer and create the sound effects. After a couple of rather long trips back up the hill, we decided to head in.

Noah insisted that we make a snowball before we left, so I started to make one. The snow was perfect for packing and so I asked the boys if they’d like to make a snowman (they’ve been watching a cartoon version of Frosty the Snowman over and over for the last couple of weeks) and they agreed. We ended up making a pretty big snowman, their first and my first in ages. We used small pieces of pine for his “bushy eyes”, a pine cone for his nose, and sticks for his crooked smile and arms.

After finishing, Noah insisted that we “dance around Frosty”. Jude wasn’t interested, but I gave in and made a fool of myself. Good thing that we built the snowman in the back of the house. I’m pretty sure the only people who saw me were the boys. I hope anyway. I snapped the picture just before we went in.

Jan 7 2009

Jude and Noah’s First Soccer Practice

Jude and Noah's First Soccer Practice

Jude and Noah had their first “soccer practice” last evening at Acres of Fun in Wooster. Angie didn’t have to work, so she picked up the boys after naps and met soon after I was finished at the Career Center. We headed up to the Lodi Outlets to look for some soccer shoes for the boys. It turns out that the Adidas outlet had a decent selection of shoes, but the smallest size that they carried was eleven. We got two pairs of cheepies for the boys, and some clothing for Angie and myself, then headed back towards Wooster.

Both Jude and Noah got very excited when they entered the building and saw the turf. We changed in the bathroom then headed back to the field. The coaches, two middle-aged women, put the kids through their paces. They did some stretching, some dribbling, and some ball skills. The focus of the night was “no hands” and “keeping the ball close” when dribbling. The “no hands” rule was observed by pretty much everyone; the “keeping the ball close” rule was more problematic. However, it was nice to see Jude and Noah be so comfortable dribbling.

I was especially impressed with Jude’s overall ability in terms of dribbling and controlling the ball. I was equally impressed with Noah’s athletic ability, as he tends to lift his knees abnormally high when he runs, making him faster than he would otherwise be. The evening ended with a game in which half of the kids had scrimmage vests tucked into their shorts while the others tried to capture these by chasing them down. Both of the boys were visibly exhausted afterwards, and were quite cranky for the remainder of the evening.

In preparing for the evening, Angie had put together a bag of athletic type clothes for the boys to change into after school. I advised (unwisely) to include shorts and then, even more absent-mindedly, did not put the sweats back over the shorts when I had them get ready for practice. So Noah, who tends to jump around and fall a lot, ended up with some minor strawberries which were especially painful in the shower afterwards.

Unfortunately, I will be starting coursework again in two weeks, and those days correspond to the days in which Jude and Noah have soccer. Angie will be able to bring them once every three weeks, but I’m hoping that Dad or Mom will be able to help out on the other nights. I didn’t realize that this was going to be a problem until after I signed the boys up for the classes.

For our family and friends, some photos of Jude and Noah at their first ever soccer practice have been added to the gallery.

Jan 2 2009

Christmas 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Well, Angie and I didn’t get Christmas cards out this year. You might want to get used to that…My sense is that we’re not going to be very good about that sort of thing, although, you never know. We very much enjoyed the cards that we received, especially those that included images of everyone’s families.

We had a good Christmas break. The boys were showered with gifts, including one XO laptop each (from Santa). Our family spent the majority of time either at my parents or at Angie’s parents. Angie had to work a lot, so she saw everyone a little less than last year.

The family went to the five o’ clock mass on Christmas Eve. We arrived around 45 minutes early, then struggled to save seats for Mom, Dad, Lawrence, and Will (Lawrence’s friend from COW). The showed up about five minutes before mass began, just as Father Steve came out as asked Jude and Noah to participate in the processional. Noah carried the ceramic baby Jesus around the parameter of the church and up to the alter. He then handed it to Jude who placed the figurine into the manger. Father Steve then mentioned the boys during his homily, indicating that I has sort of threatened them, essentially saying that if they dropped the baby Jesus, they would ruin everyone’s evening. After mass, Lawrence and Will came back to the Lackman’s with us. It ended up being a real nice evening.

Christmas went well. The boys woke up around 8:30 and we opened gifts soon after. The big evening at mom and dad’s was later in the week, on the 27th. The kids got together and bought them a new set of flatware, which I think mom really liked. We used it later in the week. Each of the families with kids (Angie and I, Charles and Laurie, and Anthony and Ellen) also exchanged gifts for each other’s children.

Christmas and Larry and Jeanne's

New Years Eve was spent at Lackman’s as well, up until around 11:00 PM, at which point Angie, Grace, the boys and I returned home. Midnight arrived as Angie worked through reading her latest novel (on her Kindle) and I spent time examining software on the web (typical evening). We had a real nice time New Years Day at mom and dad’s. Charles, Laurie and Charlotte came over as well and we all made and ate pizza while the boys mostly watched the Cartoon Network.

I spent a lot of break trying to get started on putting together a team of contractors who might be able to work together to build our house, which we hope to start around the first of June. I’ve made good progress, but we won’t know anything until the bids start coming in and we see if we can afford what we’d like to do. And now we are getting ready to get back into the rhythm of things, probably later than most of you who’ve already started working this new year. To be fair Angie has already done so, it’s Jude, Noah, and I who’ve been taking it easy and now have to adjust rather quickly to waking up and getting out of the house early again.