Saturday, January 6, 2018

December's here, where's the Christmas cheer?

We had been home from Hawaii for less than 12 hours, when, at 7 in the morning, I heard Jared yelling.  This is not that uncommon, since B likes to be extra irritating to Jared in the mornings, so I rolled over and kept my eyes closed.  Todd went to tell the boys to pipe down, and discovered that Jared was yelling legitimately this time.  He had been climbing the closet shelves to reach a game on the top shelf, slipped, and whacked his head against the closet door frame, splitting it open.  I took one look and knew that Jared was going to get the first stitches of any of our kids.  Eight years with a house full of rambunctious boys is a pretty good track record.  I packed Jared into his coat and drove him to the emergency room.  
 Jared was looked after there by a couple of young nurses who made me very glad we had gone to the emergency room.  Jared was terrified, and the numbing shot was very painful, which didn't help.  He was crying and squirming, and these guys were strong enough to keep him still, but also able to relate to him.  When I told him how impressed his friend, Grant, would be when he showed up at cub scouts that evening with stitches, one of the nurses said, "You're a scout?! I love scouting! I did scouts all the way to eagle! Scouting is awesome."  While this didn't calm Jared down, it was the part of the emergency room experience that he was most excited to tell his dad about.  Four staples later, we were home.  I had planned to give all of the boys haircuts right after our trip, but Jared's had to be delayed for a while. 
 We had a pretty quiet week after that.  We unpacked.  Sinterklaas came and brought everyone Christmas pajamas.  Eloise and B decided to get in on Sammy's kitchen counter sitting action.  Sammy lives on this counter before mealtimes. 
 On Friday, B was a little bit sniffly, but we were missing the beach, so we went to the Lynnwood pool to swim and do waterslides.  Jared swam in a swim cap, which kept his stitches nice and dry. 
 Sammy is getting braver.  He is starting to be comfortable drifting away from me in a regular life jacket, instead of the puddle jumper which keeps his face out the water, and he puts his own face in the water to blow bubbles sometimes.  If he started swimming lessons he would probably catch up with B pretty quickly, since B is a little bit more hesitant about water. 
 Jared is part fish.  I hardly saw him at the pool.  Fortunately his bright orange swim cap made him easy to spot when I wanted to check on him. 
 Saturday was our ward Christmas brunch.  We barely got there in time to see Santa.  B was really excited to ask Santa for Christmas socks, but he was not feeling well on Saturday, so after he saw Santa, Todd took him home. 
 Later that day B had a fever over 104, so I took him to pediatric urgent care.  He wanted a picture with this Christmas tree covered in zoo animals. 
 After a chest x-ray, vital signs, and a nose swab (which was not pleasant, but was quickly followed up with a popsicle), we were sent home.  A couple of hours later the doctor called to tell me that B had influenza B.  So he caught Todd's flu.  Todd must have had the mild case, though, because B was wiped out.  The poor guy could hardly keep his eyes open for a couple of days. 
 Two days later, though, the fever was down, so we ventured outside. 
 B, who sometimes spends an hour a day "practicing" the piano, decided that he was ready to channel John Schmidt in this video.
 On December 12, Jared had some testing to do at the district office, which they call "community resource center" in downtown Redmond.  We had a couple of hours to kill, so, after Eloise and B finished their math and writing assignments for the day, we investigated this music playground.  The day was bitterly cold, so we ended up looking for something more indoor to do.   
 Pastries from the French Bakery were incredibly filling.  Then we wandered into a book store to see if we could find a Christmas present for Grandpa Michael, who was planning to come visit for Christmas. 
 We saw a carousel, but I knew Jared would be very disappointed if we rode it without him, so we waited until he was done testing to check it out.  The carousel was accepting money donations to benefit the food bank for rides. 
 We had to ride twice because B had his eye on this dragon, which was taken the first time. 
 Then we stood in line to see Santa.  I was opposed to this, but I was overruled.  People are crazy about Santa pictures.  The cheapest package for pictures was $40, but most people got more than the basic package.  Consequently, two small families in front of us in line took over half an hour trying to get perfect pictures of their babies and toddlers sitting with Santa.  We were just there to say hello and get the free candy cane.  Sammy was traumatized by this Santa snatching him onto his lap without asking.  Sammy's eyes got huge, but he didn't cry.  He just got very wary at every mention of Santa after this experience.  Kids have boundaries, people.  Respect their space!  I can't recommend seeing Santa at the Redmond Town Center. 
Sammy felt better afterward when he found a life sized dog statue, and then we went on an escalator joyride before we went home.  I don't know why my kids love escalators so much, but they really do. 
 As if the day hadn't been full enough, we still had Shadow to walk, so we took her to Rhododendron Park, which has had some recent construction to build a path from the playground down the the nearby river.  The floating dock and the flocks of geese nearby were a hit. 
 The next day, after spending most of the previous day outside, B's fever spiked again, so we took it easy at home as much as possible. 
Thursday morning we had scheduled B's well check for turning 5 (which we initially missed when I was in the emergency room with Jared), and Jared's staple removal.  Jared was mad because, although B's appointment was at 8:30, Jared's appointment wasn't until 9:30, which meant missing the last day doing hockey with his PE class.  Thanks to some well timed stitches, Jared had been the only student in the class wearing a helmet during the hockey unit.  I was pretty sure that the doctor would see Jared and B at the same time regardless of the scheduled appointment times, and I was right. 
Jared was not at all pleased about getting his staples out.  Poor Dr. Belarmino inadvertently pulled Jared's hair grabbing the first staple with his removing tool, and after that Jared wanted nothing to do with staple removal.  I think what finally persuaded him was the doctor's description of the hard way of getting the staples out, which involved a room full of nurses holding him down, my reminder that he needed to hurry things along if he wanted to make it to school for hockey, and a promise that we would get frozen yogurt and a visit from the staple/stitch fairy once they were out.  The last three staples hurt not at all coming out. 
The doctor's office waiting room was rather festive. 
 I can't believe Jared is old enough to walk Shadow around now.  She still pushes him around a fair bit, but he has recently learned to whistle, which seems to have given him a lot of authority with her.  Jared now has the judgment to let go of the leash if Shadow gets too rambunctious, too, which is important.  She still outweighs him by around 20 pounds, but she adores Jared, and always wants to be with him.  Now to train Jared to pick up dog poop. 
 We got our frozen yogurt, and the stitch fairy did, indeed come and replace Jared's removed staples with a quarter each.  Injuries can be lucrative. 
 Finally, Sammy was persuaded to wash his beloved Froggy, but he only consented as long as it was done with his close supervision.  Fortunately our washing machine has a clear lid.  I thought this was just about the cutest thing ever.
With all of the fevers and special doctor visits, we hadn't really gotten around to starting our Christmas season.  Our usual December rains never really arrived, though, so we got to enjoy a lot of time at the park, as long as we could stand the cold. 

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