Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas To You...

And so Xmas 2009 hits the history books. We had some great times and made some great memories! A snowstorm with hype so big it challenged Y2K, Harry jamming with the Beatles on Christmas morning through the wonders of technology, and me making my very first turkey. It was a great holiday! We had my parents over this year and it was fun and relaxing. Becca got an ipod touch from Santa, and Bella got the much coveted Zhu Zhu pets. Harry as you might have guessed received Beatles Rockband for Wii. Over the past few weeks we have been busy preparing for the holiday. Visits to Santa, shopping, research on the best way to cook a turkey, more shopping, then wrapping, wrapping, wrapping. It always feels a little empty the day after. And yet, I always find it comforting to return to a more normal schedule. Last night we capped off Christmas with a visit to the movies. Harry, Becca, Erick and my parents saw Avatar 3D and Bella and I saw The Princess and the Frog.

Now that Bella is getting older I am able to see how the holiday season seems to affect her differently than the other kids. I think her hearing loss makes the season a little more draining and tires her system faster. I have noticed over the past month how she seems to wake slower in the mornings, and tell me on a regular basis that she is tired. There is so much more stimulation during the holiday season. Also, if you notice people seem to speak faster because they are constantly in a hurry, all the malls/stores are playing holiday music at loud levels, and with family gatherings and more people together, people speak louder. When you work harder to hear on a regular day, I think the extra trappings of the holiday can make it tougher on your system. I would love to hear if other parents with kids with cochlear implants/hearing loss have also experienced this.

Hope everyone out there had a great holiday too!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Opening, Another Show...

For all of you thinking you have made a parenting mistake (or two) today, never fear, I probably have it beat! Yesterday we had our family birthday party for Harry and when Erick went to pick up the birthday cake I received a very disturbing phone call. Apparently I had mistakenly put "Happy 10th Birthday Harry" on my my son's cake even though he just turned 11! Wow! My sister said it reminded her of something that might happen in the classic movie "16 Candles". I guess Harry can chalk it up to another reason being the middle child stinks. Anyway, the party was fun even with the mess up and we were all in good spirits with the Vikings win.

Becca and Harry's play, "Scrooge: A Musical" opened on Friday. Weeknights have been a little crazy taken up with rehearsals. Dinners have been quick, but not necessarily full of all of the major food groups. Oh well, we do our best! The play runs through this weekend and we will see it on Friday with my parents.

Through all the craziness and busy times of the season, I am proud to say that I have kept Bella's homeschooling on track. It continues to go well, but I am in a little bit of a panic as the book we have been using for Language Arts ends in 4 weeks. I spent a lot of time this weekend researching new curriculums to replace it with. Reading the reviews written by other homeschooling mom's is somewhat helpful, but it can also lead to frustration when there are equal amounts of pro and con comments. On the positive side, I am seeing alot less number reversals in Bella's work.

Now with the many days of Harry's birthday behind me, I can forge ahead into the abyss of wrapping Christmas gifts. Wish I could say I see the point of all the pretty wrapping, when it gets torn off in milliseconds...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What a Wonderful World

Okay so excuse me while I wax poetic (or try to) in this posting today. Perhaps it is the holiday spirit or the society imposed expectation that we reflect on our lives at this time of year, but I have to say that I am truly thankful for the life I have. Yesterday as I read the headlines about Tom Petter and Tiger Woods, I thought about how the glamorous lives of the rich and famous consistently turn up with huge holes and deep secrets in them. I will just stick with my mundane, middle class life, thank you very much!

We had a very nice Thanksgiving spent with Erick's family in Wisconsin Dells. Each year we meet at a cabin in the Dells, as it is halfway between Minnesota and Chicago, which is where his brother and sister travel from. His mom, who now lives in Costa Rica for retirement, always visits for Thanksgiving too. Mix in some cousins and an Aunt and Uncle and you have Thanksgiving. Erick's brother is quite the chef so the turkey is always done in a tantalizing and unique way. The rest of the family helps with sides and desserts, making the end result a fabulous feast!

Yesterday was Harry's 11 birthday. I can't believe he is 11 already. His birthday always reminds me that it has been almost 11 years since I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease (a cancer of the lymphatic system). He was just 4 weeks old when I received the diagnosis. I have been cancer free now for 10 years and am very thankful for my health. Anyway, we had a mini celebration for Harry because Erick had to travel this week. We will be going out to eat this weekend for his birthday, he will go to the Science Museum with one Grandma on Friday, and then we will cap it off on Dec. 13 with a family birthday. Kind of like the 12 days of Birthday. I have come to appreciate the difficulty for kids who have December birthdays. They have to wait the whole year for presents. I guess that makes the days more special, but there is also lots of pressure to ask for what you really want because it's going to be 11 really dry months.

So there you have it. Lots of reasons to be thankful.