There's fashionably late, and then there's late late. My attempt at sending out Christmas Cards failed (again). I knew I wasn't going to get them out at the beginning of December or even mid-December, but I thought I could possibly squeeze them in somewhere between Christmas and New Year's. I wrote the letter, visited the photo lab and almost placed an order for a photo-card to accompany it. As luck would have it, we ended our year of years by all getting sick three days before Christmas. So--big and small--here's a wrap of the year (and it won't be coming in your mailbox)...
We learned about cooling caps, NICUs, and what it means to have a miracle baby named Chaim. We learned that being able to hold Chaim was the best moment we could have experienced. This little guy's birth happened when Brooke's uterus ruptured at home, and a trip to the hospital ended with an emergency C-section and a 10 day stay in the NICU. We are so grateful that God placed the nurses and doctors where we needed them to be before we even knew we needed a miracle. Brooke and baby Chaim came through the experience with the help of many people and many prayers, and our family is very grateful for the wonder of life.
Brooke is learning how to handle 3 kids at home while still working part-time as a Scholarship Advisor (it's a slow learning curve--she is resorting to frozen dinners often). She is learning rules of the NFL (thanks to tutorials by Scottie). Most of all, Brooke is falling in love with her kids again now that she isn't sick from the pregnancy or worn out from the blood transfusion. Life is good.
Scott has learned that Brooke will watch NFL if he explains the rules to Brooke. ;-) He has learned everything possible about cooling caps, NICU schedules, and calling for an ambulance in the middle of the night. He also is somewhat (really) happy that Chaim is his twin--including the red hair and complexion. We are going to buy stock in sunblock.
We learned that all rules of nutrition go out the window when you are on a flight to Florida with children. We learned that reading a map of an amusement park is helpful during the first hour you are there--not the next day (which is how we approached it). And finally, we learned that a day at the beach in November is a very different experience, including howling winds and frozen toes.
We have joined the craze of all things Frozen, dressing up as Elsa (Noel), Anna (Juliet), and Olaf (Chaim) for Halloween. Noel has loved her year of preschool and is learning to read...through multiple readings of the Bob Books. Noel thinks they are great, Brooke is ready to hide the "Sam sat. Mat sat." book after the 100th reading. Juliet is learning how to write squiggly mountains and pretend they are letters. The girls are pretty good at helping Mom--it now only takes 30 minutes for them to get dressed instead of the usual hour. We're hoping to make some progress on the morning routine in 2015.
Chaim learned a lot in those first few days. We are grateful for amazing nurses and doctors that acted very quickly to save his life, and help his brain perform normally. As of now, he is a normal little baby. Every moment that we have with him is a treasure. (By the way--the name Chaim means "life" in Hebrew)
That's the year in a nutshell. We're grateful for our family, our faith, and the gift of each day.