This Christmas was wonderful and sad at the same time. The sad part was that from the minute 5-year old Grayson was done opening gifts, he developed a fever and the fever stayed the entire four days he was here (and four more after he left.) Because he had a little cough we assumed he was coming down with a cold and Tylenol/Ibuprofin seemed to be helping. Except for not being able to go to “Get Air” which is a bouncy place his aunt Jodie takes him to every year, he was able to keep up with his cousins so we weren’t too worried until the fifth day of fever. Once home his doctor diagnosed him with Flu B, and his little brother had it by then too.  

But this started on Christmas and we needed the children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofin. Jeremy and I chased down area gas stations and pharmacies but they were either closed or didn’t carry what we needed until we came upon Walgreens. I thanked everyone there profusely for coming into work on Christmas night and being there for us. 

The rest of the holiday week was a lot of fun. The night after Christmas we met in the city, divided into three teams, and went on a scavenger hunt. There was a very lengthy list of things to find and have your picture taken with, plus bonus points if you put yourself out there, such as engaging with people on the street by getting them to sing or be sung to kind of stuff. My favorite was when Jeremy, Rachel and Griffin acted out the nativity scene and Grayson took the picture. I’m gonna frame that one. 

Oh, and “videoing yourself running around the town Christmas tree five times while singing Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” was just too dang hilarious to watch.

Each night we all got together to play games and such. Wanting to prepare a snack, I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a new recipe I thought they would like. I texted one daughter, “You don’t need to bring any snacks. I made caramel corn.”

She texted back “Who is this and what did you do with my mother?” Oh that girl cracks me up. And by the way, they devoured it.

There were a lot of toys here those four days. Griffin spent it elbow deep in play doh, Grayson was content designing with perler beads (which meant I was ironing a lot of designs) and Henry just continued to play with the rice pan that I always have here. It has little dump trucks and bulldozers that move the rice around …. much like a sandbox but cleaner. (Sort of.)

I tried to get a picture of all the grandchildren together. Everyone was on board except Henry, who didn’t want to leave his toys — even with the bribe of a cookie. So I have about eight pics of the kids and he is open mouthed crying in every one – while holding that cookie. You can also see his mother’s hand pressed against his tummy in a sad effort to keep him in the picture. Oh well, it’s a memory we’ll laugh about some day. I hope.

As you can see, Henry — my very sweet boy — is discovering his not so nice side. He came over the other day and saw that my village was still set up. He and his sister spent time gazing at it just as I had hoped — while I made lunch. I called him to come eat. “NO! I looking at the houses!” he yelled back to me from the living room.

 “Well, we can look at them some more after you eat.”

 “No! I don’t want to!”

I went in to where he was to try to sidle him out of there but he was on to me and went totally beserk when I tried to pick him up. “I see the houses! I see the houses!” he raged. Well, my job was to get food into him before his mother came and took him home for his much needed nap so I did what any self-respecting Gramma would do. I took the food into him and told he could eat while looking at the houses, and not to touch anything with dirty hands. 

He ate, then brought me the plate and wiped his hands off all by himself so I’m pretty sure my sweet Henry is still in there — but I’m putting the village away before his next visit.

In fact it’s time to put everything away and start concentrating on a new year, with all kinds of hopes, plans and possibilities ahead. My resolution is to try harder to follow through on everything I planned to do last year.

Wish me luck!

debbiehough@hotmail.com

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