Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jonas Bothers

We are snowed in! And loving it! It's Saturday and I got up extra early to brew fresh coffee and watch the snow fall before sunrise. No exaggeration, that's how excited I am. Of course, we're still enjoying power. If that goes out, as they're predicting, I may be singing a different tune. But so far, the coffee is electrically hot and the crackling fire is for atmospheric purposes only.

Really, really excited about snow! Just wait kids, it only gets better!
 And the only thing marring this perfect winter morning is the coughing. Oh, the coughing. I can hear my kids all over the house. My head aches from all the lung clearing. And my husband is still abed after spending half the night sitting downstairs, hacking himself awake. And this is the recovery!


I was inwardly high-fiving myself  that the whole family made it through Christmas with just two colds. But then I noticed that the boys' weren't getting any better. In fact, Jude's cough kept getting worse. So after toughing it out one week at school, I told Jude I was calling the doctor the next morning and he'd be missing a day of class. Naturally, Jack was not pleased to overhear this information. Suddenly, his ear started to hurt and he felt he needed to miss school the next day too. So I scheduled them both and told Jack that if the doctor said there was nothing wrong with him he'd be in big trouble.


Jager tolerates so much from this girl.

Amazingly, he told me his ear felt better within a few minutes. But the appointment was already made and there was no turning back now! Besides, ya'll know how much I LURV taking all my children to the pediatrician. It's just so fun to show up 15 minutes early, like they asked, and then to end up sitting in the waiting room another 20 minutes beyond our scheduled time, because that's how they roll. We all enjoy watching the credits to "The Little Mermaid," since the front desk always forgets to restart the movie. And those 3 toys with missing pieces available in their play area--what a great diversion!!

I digress. It didn't help that our doctor wasn't available and we had to go with a different one. Actually, it's never a good sign when a pediatrician has two back-to-back appointments open within an hour of calling, in the middle of cold and flu season. Kinda makes you wonder ...

In this case, I think it's because this particular lady doesn't like kids. I don't want to judge the inner workings of her heart or her motivations for becoming a pediatrician, but let's just say her outer expressions weren't convincing me she liked her job. Of course, it doesn't help when we're forced to spend 35 minutes in a dull waiting room, followed by cramming a mama and four anxious little ones into a 8x8 examination room to wait some more. I'll just stop now.

Art is the new thing this winter!

Sooo many handmade books of Star Wars Lego pictures.




Much to Jack's relief, he had an actual ear infection. She decided to put Jude on meds as well, but said both boys were fine to return to school. So that's what we did. Then two days later, Joci climbed up on my lap and started crying and screaming that her ear hurt. It got so out of hand that when a nurse finally called me back, we couldn't even hold a conversation over my poor little girl's tears. There were no openings so they referred us to the nearest urgent care center where my little Princess Elsa met with the sweetest older gentleman doctor who said he was her best patient all month and that she had strep throat. Wonderful.


A few hours later my throat start hurting as well. By the following day, I was huddled under blankets nursing a fever. I stuck it out a few days more, telling myself I was getting better, but when I woke up Sunday morning with one very pink eye, I realized I might be fighting a losing battle. The doctor's office was closed on Monday so that night it was back to urgent care where I was told I had pink eye and an upper respiratory infection. Which sounded terrible, until I Googled the term and found out it just means a common cold. A common cold that included a fever and also knocked me off my feet for a good week.

This 5:00 Joci when she hasn't had a nap.

And this is Jäger, quite please his master has the day off.
Jon started suffering from the same ailment that evening and thankfully took a sick day on Tuesday so the both of us could limp through a day of parenting together. So other than these terrible coughs, we were all feeling much improved by the time Snowzilla/Jonas hit on Friday afternoon.

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Annnnddd it's now the following Saturday. A full week since I started writing this post and 8 days since the first snow flakes fell. The kids haven't had school all week. And since the storm just missed Virginia Beach, I've still been working. Couple that with the three books I'm in the middle of reading and now you know why I'm just now getting to wrap up this post!




Army men in the snow. Every day the snow melts and we find a few more ...




A one-man shovel crew!




These were our roads on Monday--3 days after the start of the storm!



Needless to say, it was a great snow! Certainly the biggest our kids have ever seen. I think we got somewhere around 20", which was a little hard for the kids to play in at first. And a bit too deep for Joci to walk around. But once things settled down and the sun came out she started to appreciate snow a little more. And now she asks to go outside all the time. And when she's inside she likes to wear her snowsuit just for kicks. So while I'm a little sad that we'll likely retire the sarcastic #jocilovessnow hashtag now, it wouldn't be very motherly of me to not cheer on her new delight!



This is her attempting to walk through the snow.

Snow banks almost as tall as she is!

And snow pants all day long.
Jon's work was closed on Monday, so after working half a day myself, I discovered it was impossible to focus while the other 5/6s of my family were having fun and signed off early. Our road didn't get plowed until Tuesday afternoon, but thanks to 4WD in Daddy's car we could be a little more adventurous. We got everyone dressed for outdoors (no small feat), loaded in the car and slowly made our way to the "Farm Park" and the nearest big hill. I think half the town had the same idea as us and since there were no clear parking lots, everyone just parked along the road.


The boys had lots of fun sledding down the hill and even Joci and I got a few runs in before we ladies decided to head over to the playground.


She couldn't fit in the swing with all those extra layers!
My parents had plans to come down for two days while school was closed for in-service early in the week, but with the snow and Jon having off work, they delayed their visit until late Monday night. And each night they closed school again, they extended their stay by another day. So instead of leaving Tuesday night they wound up staying through until this afternoon, which worked out great for Jon and I since we were able to score a date night out of it and grab dinner and a movie. We've been looking forward to "The Finest Hours" coming out but thought we'd have to wait a few more months before we could rent it from the comfort of our couch. Instead, we got to catch it on opening night! (It was very good and I highly recommend seeing it!)

You probably can't tell, but this is a photo of baby sister Jocelyn tramping her big sister Julia in a storage container. She's a brute!

PAW CHOOLS ON YOUR PHONE!

Someone recently posted an article on Facebook about why handheld devices should be banned for children under the age of 12. I didn't read it. I don't want to know.

Speaking got handheld devices, since my kids aren't yet able to text me, they pass me notes the old fashioned way. And it makes me smile.
So it's been an unusual week around here. The roads are finally clear and, although a lot of snow has melted, there is still plenty left to enjoy. Here's hoping school starts back up again tomorrow because, while this unexpected winter break has been fun, mama's ready to get back to her routine!
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