Greetings! May I extend best wishes for your holiday season and the new year on behalf of our family! I wanted also to apologize for the lack of birthday and anniversary cards, emails, phone calls, thank you notes, presents, and general correspondence coming from us in the last year. I thought I would send along a brief summary of this year's chaos in case you wondered why you did not get a birthday or anniversary card, email, phone call, thank you note, present, or correspondence of any kind!
December 2009 brought us home to sunny funny Florida from arctic Rochester, NY. Hubby's responsibilities along the journey included: driving the huge truck; coaching me on how to not kill myself on the ice; negotiating the large trailer attached to the truck; feeding (including dealing with multiple food allergies), pacifying, and entertaining 2 year old Nicholas; dealing with my hunger and "call of nature" related emotional breakdowns; walking and feeding the dog at rest stops; paying for everything; and navigating the whole trip. My HERO! I was 8 months pregnant, and my responsibilities included: not wrecking. and listening to "Cheeseburger in Paradise", which I find to be the best driving music for snow storms. Haha. As we approached South Carolina, a miracle occurred. I was on the phone with Mama when I realized the white stuff by the side of the road was no longer snow/ice/mud/goo. It was COTTON! I wept for joy, and if I knew how to do a "rebel yell", I would have! We made it home in one piece and enjoyed a crazy/ beautiful Christmas at Mom and Dad's place with my brother and sister and all our munchkins.
The new year passed uneventfully and February brought us the birth of Samuel John. I think I did manage to send you a birth announcement - maybe my only outgoing mail for the year. He is 10 months now and walking, smiling, laughing, and jibber jabbering. He is such an easy going, happy child. What a joy!
The hubby left us in July. Our last days at home were a freakin nightmare because Nicholas contracted the stomach virus from hell- so bad we had to take him to the ER (the first of many trips during this year). Then we ALL got it, and I mean all of us- even Nana and Pop. I feel God was trying to teach us not to suffer too much from the separation, that we should all just be thankful to be alive and not vomiting. Thanks, Jesus. haha! Since his deployment, I have been able to speak to hubby frequently via phone or email. He seems to be doing as well as can be expected in a war zone surrounded by dirty men and sub optimal bathroom facilities. His facebook status updates are agitated and cynical, but he was agitated and cynical before he left.... (just kidding!)
In August, Nicholas, or Pickle as we like to call him lately, began preschool. He loves the directors and his teachers and (some of) his classmates. He is deeply passionate about race cars and he and Pop (my dad) spend hours racing go karts at a local thrill park, driving RC cars, thumbing through techy magazines, watching Nascar, and discussing their mutual need for speed in terms of RPM, MPH, horsepower, and whether or not they are inclined to "drop the hammer". Mom and I are just glad they have each other. We shake our heads and chat about fashion and makeup. Speaking of Mom, she and Dad have been spending about 80% of their time here in Palm Bay with me saving me from my children and vice versa. I've taken to calling Mama the "good little elf" because I'll go out to run an errand or take a nap and return to find that *poof* the laundry is done, the dishes are put away, the carpet has been vacuumed, the whole house is pressure washed, the lawn is newly landscaped, etc. They make every day easier for us, and I am truly blessed to have them. Thanks, Mom and Daddy.
In October, Nicholas decided to experiment with not holding on to the swing in midair. The result was our second trip to the ER 2010.
November brought a new realization in the battle that was becoming Nicholas' health. He had some sort of food allergy, and we couldn't figure out what. Abstaining for everything on the planet finally lead us to the solution: no soy, almonds, strawberries or MILK of any kind. All the stomach complications from the food allergy produced a hernia that had us in the ER again. The hernia was corrected 12/6, but complications from the anesthesia during surgery lead to an aspiration (stomach contents ended up in his lungs), which produced a panicked Nicholas upon waking up (3 nurses had to hold him down), which lead to the need for more sedation, which lead to decreased oxygen saturation, which got us a one night stay in the pediatric ICU. It was a nightmare, but he is 100% better now, and I have many blessings to count this Christmas!
I start back to school in January. Hubby comes home in April. Life is chaos but full of love and laughter. I fully intend to be a better friend this year. Thank you for supporting us with your prayers and kindness and understanding. Merry, Merry Christmas!