Monday, December 7, 2009

Opps, I posted the wrong video clip...

I posted the wrong video clip on the last blog, so here is the right one...the one with Royce actually singing. Enjoy!

Royce singing in the Christmas program.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Family Times

September – Just backing up some months… I really don’t know where else to start but back in September, when time and events started to blur together and slip out of focus much like my own eyes when taking off my glasses. Anyway, the being of the month brought Joe and me our 10 yr anniversary, and although we talked about what we were going to do to celebrate nothing ever was settled on (probably because our minds were really on Gannon’s upcoming surgery the following weekend) until a day or two before. Then last minute calls were made and arrangements for us to stay with Joe’s bother and family in Minnesota, and that we would join them in going to the state fair. Unfortunate Randy ended working all night, but we still enjoyed going to the State Fair with Kelly and Cameron. I have to say with all the walking we did the boys were excellent!

Butterflies landed on Royce in the butterfly house.

Aunt Kelly shows Gannon the butterflies.

The next day just our family went to the Renaissance Fair, I don’t know how our children handled that, but they did really well keeping up. Also, being our 2nd time there we were able to manage the time and see some really neat, kid appropriate shows. At one of the magic show, done by a father and son, my older two boys decide that they would participate and actively voiced their opinion at the point in the show of the disappearing bunny trick. At the being of the trick the magician said that once the bunny disappeared he would not bring him back out, or make him reappear due to the limited time they had on stage. The magician set up a box in which the son place the bunny and shut the lid after waving his wand over the box the magician said some magic words and then stated, “there the bunny has disappeared.” Royce at this time yelled out, “Yeah, right! Prove it!”, so the magician called another boy from the audience up on stage to assist with the trick. Opening the box and having the boy look at the audience and hold the lid of the box with the top of the lid facing the crowd, then proceeding to take the box completely apart to show that the bunny was no longer in the box. Royce watching the boy with the lid then yells, “Hey, the bunny is in the lid, show us the top of the lid.” The magician then flipped the lid over where a cloth that bubbled out and moved gently as if the bunny was under it. With that Royce yells out, “Lame!”, so the magician takes a long pin and pokes the cloth, making a ‘POP’ sound. Giovonnie then wails dramatically at the top of his lungs, “You killed it! You killed that poor poor bunny!” Then tragically continuing to cry very loudly, as I tried to reassure Giovonnie that the bunny really wasn’t dead, that it was their pet, and they wouldn’t really kill it. The magician finally told his son to get the bunny out of the shed behind them, so that on one would be mentally scared from the experience. After two full days of walking around in the hot sun Joe and I were way too exhausted to go on our fancy dinner date; instead we had a very tasty meal prepare by Randy and Kelly. The rest of our time was enjoyed hanging out with the MN Cox families before slowing getting ready to go home on that Monday. (I’m thankful that Joe and I picked Sept. 4th for our wedding date… it’s always nice to celebrate over a long Labor Day weekend.)

Royce, Giovonnie, and Gannon get their picture taken with a the Knight we cheered for at the Renaissance Fair.

The following weekend we were right back in MN for Gannon’s surgery, which I’ve already blogged about, and The Cox Brother’s trip to the Boundary Waters. That was along week for my boys and me with Gannon’s recovery, but we made it through, and Joe had a great time doing that manly guy thing with his brothers.

Since then one person or another in our family has became sick with the flu, colds, and such, which leads me into October.

October – Just as I was getting over one of my little colds, we had a make-up parent-teacher conference with Royce’s teacher. Surprisingly, the overall report was good. Maybe it’s the male teacher thing, or maybe Royce is just finally getting it, but this is the first year where “age” or “ADD” hasn’t been a concern, and Royce talks about the things they do in class instead of telling me how much he “H-A-T-E-S” school.

We also had our fist snowfall were the snow actually stuck for a whole day. Giovonnie loves the snow and was so happy he went and played in it for about 1 hour before I made him come in. He made the cutes family of snow angels.

Giovonnie making a snow angel on our first snowfall of the year.

Our family of snow angels that Giovonnie made, Dad and Mom on top and Royce, Giovonnie, and Gannon on bottom.

I took Gannon to MN for his follow-up visit after his cleft surgery. Dr. Sidman stated that both layers (one layer on top of the other) of stitches were dissolved except for two little stitches of the top, or inside layer. He was also glad to see that Gannon didn’t lose any weight during his recovery. All looked good, and after a 10-minute visit we were told that we would only have to be seen twice a year at his office for the next 3-5 years, and once a year by the cleft specialist team for hearing, and speech. By three years old if he can clearly say, “I want some cookies.” Then he will not need a speech therapist to work with him regularly, but if not then he will be setup with someone around our area to work with him. If his speech doesn’t get better with the therapist by age 5 they will redo the cleft surgery at that time. A few differences that I’ve noticed with Gannon since his cleft surgery is that there is no longer drink, nor food coming out of his nose, when he sneezes he wrinkles his nose, he also likes to blow is nose (but hates when I wipe it), he can now suck out of a spill proof sippy cup and he snores very loudly when he sleeps.

Gannon blowing his nose.

Holly and her children came out for a visit, which has become a bit of a tradition, that will hopefully continue thru the years that we live here (we are always talking of moving back home to Wisconsin, but that’s all it’s really been over the last 6 years that we’ve been here). Every year we take the kids to Pumpkin Land to go through the corn maze, and then we do some sort of crafty thing, and carve pumpkins. This year it was surprisingly enjoyable as we trekked through the corn maze in the rain, and mud.

Bk to Ft, Lt to Rt: Ella, Giovonnie, Royce, Gannon, Ony (Navatine), and Jonah at Pumpkin Land.

Mapping out our route to find all 6 mail boxes.

Ella, Jonah, and Giovonnie show they mastered the muddy corn maze.

Holly helps carve Ella and Giovonnie's pumpkins.

All the Pumpkins are carved looking spooky for Halloween.

Joe accidentally got this spooky shot of the lit pumpkins faces jumping out of their shells.

By the end of Holly’s visit I was back to being sick again, and the following Monday I went to the clinic to be told that I didn’t have the flu or strep, and to go home and get some rest; by Wednesday I felt even worse and went back to the clinic, after having x-rays taken the Dr. told me there was a bit of fluid on my lungs and prescribed me an antibiotic along with some cough syrup with codeine. I was finally feeling better again, and so I started sewing. The boys wanted to be Ninjas for Halloween, and after piecing together a few patterns from different websites I whipped together a couple of costumes which got me on a crafty sewing binge. I’d been spending my time making some cute crayon roll-ups for my younger nieces and nephews and one for Giovonnie, a few pincushions, and a small blanket for Joe instead of being on my computer (to explain some of my nonexistence on facebook, emails, and my blog).

Giovonnie's mans kimono shirt. (Royce's was black.)

Giovonnie doing his rooster Khufu moves.

A few of the things that I made, pincushions, color roll, and the blanket the boys and I made for Joe for Veteran's Day.

On Halloween day we went and had family portraits taken, they were so over due the last family photo we had taken was when Giovonnie was 2 weeks old (over 6 years ago). Then we met up with Joe’s brother Scott’s family for dinner and trick-or-treating. Of course the last day on October brings us into November.

November – Wow, with November here I remembered that I hadn’t been writing in Gannon’s baby book between him turning 1 year old on November 5, and with him beginning to walk I really wanted to document these moments, so I made sure to have my camera on me, but it seemed that I was always just missing the shot of him taking those first steps during that week, and with in a few days he was toddling around the house! My baby is not longer that little infant I can cuddle up to whenever I want, but a little toddler who is on the go. Unlike the other two boys we just did a quick one-year party at home for Gannon with just us. Gannon really didn’t get the concept of present opening, and got quite frustrated when we would snatch the gift away after he tore the paper off and hand him another, just as he would tare the paper off the next one we’d do it again. Finally he after getting the paper off the last gift, he hugged it to his chest with a screech as Giovonnie tried to reach for it. Joe peeled all the other toy cars and trucks out of their boxes then we put Gannon on the floor to play with them before Joe, Giovonnie, and Royce rushed out the door for an evening of boy scouts.

Gannon's car birthday cake I made for his 1st birthday,and his gifts.

Gannon reaching for his cake, as I try to get a picture of him with it.

Gannon trys to get the cake as Joe is putting it back on the table.

Gannon's happy birthday dinner, he love pizza too.

Gannon opening one of his birthday gifts.

Gannon playing with two of the cars he got for his birthday, as Joe takes others out of the packages.

Gannon walking!

On the 10th Gannon had his one-year check-up, he is a big boy weighing 25 lbs 9 oz, he is 32in. tall and has a head circumference of 19in. All went very well until he had to get 5 shots! They gave him 4 at once, then the nurse that gave him the final shot got the brunt of his anger with a mean scowl, a loud long growl, and then wailing tears. I know that seems like a lot, but the first 3 were just the regular vaccines that most children get, but the other two were important to add on being they were the flu vaccine and H1N1 vaccine which both have been present in our area and schools. He did have a fever of 102.1degrees on day 9 after the shots were given, but I was unsure if it was from the shots (the papers I was giving said side effects could last up to 10-12 days), or from him teething, or both.

Thanksgiving weekend we headed to Wisconsin to see my family, and so that Joe could go hunting with his dad. The boys and I ate lunch with my dad on Thanksgiving Day while Joe and his dad went hunting, and then later met up with Joe and his dad to go to Thanksgiving dinner at Joe’s Uncle Bob and Aunt Marlene’s. Giovonnie kept asking if we were going to Uncle John’s bar (another one of Joe’s uncles), but we’d say, “No, we’re going to Uncle Bob’s house; where we went last year.” Finally when we pulled in the driveway, Giovonnie exclaimed, “Oh, this place. I love this place!” The following day Joe went back out hunting with his dad, and the boys and I went to Portage to hangout with my mom and Granny Case. I was so glad that Holly went to Green Bay to pick her up. It was the first time Great Granny Case saw Gannon. The boys were glad to see her too. Aaron and his family stopped by, and so did Holly and her family, we played so cards and the kids played outside. Later we went to the Holiday parade, which the kids kept getting cookies from every stand we walked by, and collected candy from the parade. (I still have candy lying in the back seat of the car.) After the parade we all headed back to my mom’s for dinner, the boys and I ate quickly then headed back out the Farm. We met up with Joe, Papa Royce, and Uncle Jamie (who was a good surprise for the boys) at Uncle John’s bar/dinner where I found out that Joe got two deer a doe and a 8 point buck. Then Saturday came and Papa Royce and Uncle Jamie went to Minnesota to see the other Cox family and have Turkey dinner with them, and Joe, the boys, and I went to our good friend Jody and Chong’s for a bit before heading to my mom’s for Turkey dinner. It was really nice hanging out and spending time with everyone. We spent the night at my mom’s and then met up with my friend Robyn for breakfast before going back home to Iowa.

– has started off as fast paced as the following months with the boys’ school Christmas program last night (Thursday, the 3rd). I was so proud to find out that Royce was picked to sing in a double quartette, and I could even hear him. This was a boy who at one of his other Christmas programs walked right past a microphone skipping his 3-word part completely, now singing in front of a huge gym full of parents while standing among three girls. I really just can’t how much Royce’s character has grown in just a few months. I also have to give credit to Giovonnie of being very well behaved during the concert, singing and keeping his hand to himself a great improvement from last years, end of the year kindergarten graduation.

Royce singing in the Christmas program.

I’ve been enjoying spending some one on one time with Giovonnie as well, because he is very interested in some of the crafty things that I’ve been doing. A couple of days ago Giovonnie must have heard the story of the Ginger Bread Boy at school again, and was asking if we could make a Ginger Bread Boy. I asked like Ginger Bread Boy cookies that you can eat, or a Ginger Bread Boy Puppet, or stuffed animal (Giovonnie doesn’t care much for dolls, but loves stuffed animals)? Giovonnie replied a stuffed animal one, so last night before the Christmas program we worked together; I traced out the shape onto a piece of brown felt and he cut it out, then I sewed the pieces together and turned it inside right, and he stuffed him full of fiber fill, then we hot glued eyes, and buttons, and then made his guy some red pants out of red felt. Giovonnie now loves his new guy, Gingy then Ginger Bread Man.

Gannon will be 13 months tomorrow, and next week we are due to go to the Children’s hospital in MN again this time will be our first meeting with cleft team specialist, Dr. Sidman, hearing specialist, and a speech therapist. Gannon will also need to go get his second set of flu shots sometime that same week.

Funny little movie of Gannon playing and tickleing his own feet in the car.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed catching up with us now, and being that it is December I hope this counts as the family update because I won’t be sending any in the mail with the Christmas cards, but I will try to do better at blogging more regularly. I hope you all have Happy Holidays together, and many blessings befall you and yours this season.


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