Despite my lengthy absence from this and other blogs, I am alive, and so is the rest of the family.
As if working 30+ hours a week around a child who only goes to school until noon, taking said child to various appointments, and getting orthodontic work for other child wasn't enough, the calendar rolled into December and I got hit by the holidays.
Though busy, I have no other complaints about this holiday season. On the contrary, I really enjoyed Christmas with the kids this year. Tree decorating is no longer an tense struggle to keep the kids from breaking heirloom ornaments: they are old enough now to handle everything with the care and reverence they deserve. We didn't have a single meltdown at any of our gatherings: the kids are older now, and don't get as overworked at Christmas as they have in past years, and better know how to handle themselves when they are excited. And after their first attempt to get up at 12:15 am, the boys went back to sleep until 7:00 am, which is a very respectable rising hour for Christmas morning.
The boys got a Nintendo Wii from one side of our extended family, and several games for it from the other site. Lucas was so happy, he literally had tears in his eyes. To my utmost pleasure, playing the Wii is much more fun than any of the other game systems we have had in the past, and the whole family has been bowling together regularly ever since. I never thought a game system would create more family together time, but it has.
When we had very young kids, new Years Eve was always a non event. If we did anything, it was watching a movie and we were lucky to stay up until midnight. Now that the kids are older, they are excited to stay up themselves and ring in the new year. So, this year we had a small party with one friend. We made New Years ornaments, fizzy pink punch, and had chocolate fondue. Coram was worried he wouldn't be able to stay awake, so we took our noise makers outside at 9PM and shouted 'Happy New Year Ontario!'. At twelve we went out again and danced around the yard with our horns and shakers. Having made it to midnight, the kids were happy to go to bed and we were all asleep by one.
After New Years, we had a week of just hanging out around the house. The kids played their Wii for hours, but did take breaks to read their new books, build lego, and play with various other toys they were given. They also had some cool field trips through Kidsafe to the Vancouver Aquarium, Watermania, and skating.
This week is back to school, and so far it is going ok. Coram is at his new school, still half days, but with the intention of working up to full days. He has been spending sometime with his class mates, mostly for un-structured activities like library and gym, but it is all a slow process to get him worked into the classroom. His aid is motivated and positive, and I am cautiously optimistic. My work hours have gone back to the normal pre-Christmas level, so I am no longer rushing out for 6 am starts, for which I am very thankful.