But let’s backup; it’s been forever since I last blogged, so here’s the quick recap of what I missed for the rest of 2015 while trying to keep up with life:
My best friend and I enjoyed a wonderful getaway to Houston together, although it was mostly a quest for one indulgent meal after another as that’s what we love most when we’re together: eating. It was also the first time in a long time that I got to explore a city by myself (while she was at a work-related training). That time alone, walking aimlessly, enjoying a quiet meal by myself, having absolutely no one to account for was incredibly rejuvenating.
We found him – or rather, he found us – when he walked into our garage one evening, and we kept him for the night to keep him safe from the neighborhood predators (coyotes and hawks and snakes, oh my!) and let him go the next day. Since then he’s been coming back every day. We’d happily keep this sweet, friendly kitty except our cats aren’t socialized with this wanderer yet, and we are now a house divided. Indoor cats versus the adventurous outdoor one. We don’t quite know what to do yet, though My Guy had already named him - Baltar. Because the cat is not neutered, and the first thing My Guy noticed were its rather sizable balls. Hence BALtar, after a character from Battlestar Galactica. If he stays with us, we’d have two out of three cats named after a TV science fiction character. Two out of four in the house, if you count our second child. A house of geeks, what can I say? (See exhibit 12.18.2015 below.)
The holiday season seemed to be a blur this year. We immersed ourselves in whatever holiday festivities Austin had to offer, and every one of them had some kind of spectacular display of lights. Even in the heart of suburbia, where several homes banded together to create light shows synchronized with music and had a fire pit and hot cocoa for gawkers who visited their cul-de-sac. I mean, wow. These people were serious about their lights. The Joneses ain’t got nuthin’ on these folks.
How is this a neighborhood light display?!!
Of course, what's a holiday season without the cookies? Here are my little elves helping me with their favorite, sugar cookies, that they get to decorate as creatively as they like. Pickle is still at the point where creative = as much sprinkles as humanly possible.
For Christmas, My Guy’s parents and brother celebrated with us at our home for five days. It brings me great joy to have a houseful of family during the holidays, and I could tell the girls felt the same. It was a wonderful time of memory making, and it warms me to know that my girls are so very loved.
Another highlight of the holiday is that Little Miss got to see “Star Wars - The Force Awakens” with her daddy, papa, nonna, and uncle, while I entertained her sister with our own outing. My Guy had previously watched the marathon at the Alamo theater – yup, all 17 hours of it, seven movies back-to-back – and then again with me on the next night. Christmas 2015 would probably be a hazy collection of light sabers and X-wings in his memory, but I have to say that I was happy to see him so giddy and geeked out about this movie.
On the day the grandparents left, we experienced another milestone. It’s not the good kind however, though I have to commend Pickle on her impeccable timing. At least she waited until after everyone left to get an infection on her right pierced lobe. I felt awful that she had to endure such pain, but she didn’t seem too shaken by the event. Like the doctor said to us that night, “she’ll be okay; you’ll be scarred for life.” She might be right.
At 8PM, the whole family accompanied the eager four-year-old on her first ER visit upon discovering the infection at bedtime. This also explains why the girls were in PJ’s.
This was Pickle before the hospital visit:
This was Pickle when they were trying to get an IV in her so they can put her in conscious sedation after several other non-invasive attempts failed.
“AAAAAAGGGGHHH!! NO! NO! NO! NO! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! DON’T HOLD ME DOWN! I DON’T WANT YOU TO DO THIS! PLEASE STOP! NOOOOO! AAAAGGHHH”
It took about five adults to hold her down while they inserted an IV. Twice. Because they botched the first attempt due to her flailing. I think every ER staff that night came by to see our screaming kid and probably walked away impressed that something so little was capable of so much sound and fury.
This was the first thing Pickle said coming out of sedation, with her daddy right by her side:
Oh, this kid. Ever so full of love. Soon after, however, this episode started: “You have five eyes! You have five eyes! You have bive deyes! Dive beyes! … I can’t talk!”
By that time, we were in tears, laughing at our loopy little girl. While ER visits are often stressful, I have to say, Dell Children’s Hospital made the trip bearable, even - dare I say it? - enjoyable because of their sweet, capable, funny staff. Kudos to the team who took care of my baby! And the whole family, really.
This ER trip was also their first experience staying up past midnight. We left a little after 2AM, and we were so obliterated the next day, we didn’t even leave the house. I don’t think we got out of our pajamas either.
Three days later, they stayed up past midnight again; this time, it’s for a much less harrowing reason - to ring in the new year. After a fun impromptu dinner party with a neighbor and her kids that stemmed from a “What are you doing tonight?”-“Um absolutely nothing” conversation, we figured we might as well keep them up until midnight when it was already 10:30 by the time we reached home.
And 2016 began with a couple of kids sleeping in past 9AM. That’s one (terrific) way to start the year, I must say. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the sign of better, brighter things to come.
One can always hope, right?