Julia made the buckeyes by herself for the first time this year.
(I think she might have sampled a few along the way.)
Lucy was the official “turkey paster.”
Bee was a whirling dervish who insisted on wearing a fancy dress because she felt special, but refused to brush her hair or wash the chocolate off her face.
And Jack soaked up some quality time with his dad.
The kids were excited to use the “fancy” glasses at our meal, which was delicious.
After, we waddled to the living room and settled in to watch one of my all-time favorite movies – Planes, Trains and Automobiles. When it was finished, Julia said, “Hey, wait. No one move. We’re all here.”
Julia was in her dad’s lap. Lucy was in my mom’s. Bee was in my dad’s. And Jack was in mine.
“No one move. Let’s watch something else together.”
And so we did.
I have a lot to be grateful for today, but there is nothing greater than this.
It started with Julia on Friday night. She threw up. A lot. The next day was better. She slept for most of it, but the puking seemed to be done. So when we all woke up this morning, happy and healthy, I thought we were in the clear and decided we should try to take some pictures for our Christmas card.
This was about half an hour before it hit the rest of them.
Since then it’s been like the barf-o-rama at the pie eating contest in Stand By Me.
I performed the Heimlich Maneuver today which is something I never thought I’d ever actually have to do to someone. My insides are still jumbly from the burst of adrenaline that came from, “Honey, are you okay? Julia, what’s wrong? Are you choking? DAVID, IS SHE CHOKING? DAVID SHE’S CHOKING!!!!” followed by abdominal thrusting, then hugging and crying. I’m still talking three times louder than normal because I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED!
The thing about choking is a choking person cannot tell you they are choking. You may be thinking, “Well, duh,” but it’s sort of surprising how long it takes to fully realize that when it’s happening. Julia just kept pointing at her open mouth. Then her face went from red to blue so quickly. I sprang to action before I really even understood what I was doing and I guess I went a little far with the thrusting as Julia says that broccoli floret popped out with the first one and I went on for two or five more because it was hard to just stop SAVING HER LIFE.
She’s a little sore, but she says it was worth it to be alive. And she’s never eating broccoli again.
It happened. We saw it.
Amazing. Incredible. Life-altering? Well, I don’t know. Did I cry? Yes. Yes, I did.
After I parked the van in the pull-off spot and opened the door, I brought each of the kids out, one by one, to take a peek. Julia had seen it before she even got out. She stood quietly next to me while I snapped pictures. When I lowered my camera, she grabbed my hand and we watched in silence for a bit. Then it was Lucy’s turn. I stood her in front of me, crouched down behind her and wrapped my arms around her. I could feel her heart pounding wildly as I pointed and she whisper-shouted, “I see it! I see it there, Mom! I see it!” I helped Phoebe to see it first with my camera. I zoomed in as close as I could and asked her to point in the direction the camera was pointing, then I pulled it away. It took a few tries, but I feel confident that she saw it. Jack never even looked at the eagle. He simply studied my face as I looked, smiling and cooing at my delight.
We quietly loaded back up and reluctantly pulled away until a few feet down the road when we let loose with a whooping celebration of our sighting. We said we were lucky. We said we live in a beautiful world. We said life is good. We said we’ll never forget this.
We went to The Enchanted Forest at The Wilderness Center in early October. It was a super-cool wear-your-costume event, but we weren’t really Halloween-ready, yet. Jack was the only one. He had a Tigger costume I’d found at a yard sale over the summer (for one dollar, friends!). Bee and Lucy were able to pick costumes from previous years (which they were so excited about, they wore them as The Costume this Halloween. Money-saving SCORE!). Julia, being the biggest of the bunch, didn’t have that luxury, so we made a quick trip to the store late the night before. Since she didn’t want to be a nearly-naked pirate, witch or vampiress, she chose to go with a ninja costume. A “boy” costume. We found her a set of nunchucks and she happily ninja-d it up at The Enchanted Forest and also tumbling class and even Trick or Treat.
But she didn’t really want to be a ninja. And two days before the dress-up party at school, she confessed it. She really, really wanted to be Vanellope Von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph.
“That’s not exactly a costume you can just buy, Julia.”
“But it’s one you could make, right?”
“Oh, gosh,” I sighed, googling for an image. “I guess I could. I mean, geez. We’d really have to scramble…and I’ve still got treats to make…”
“That’s okay, Mom. You don’t have to.”
Well, of course I have to.
I bought a white hoodie and Julia and I dyed it, then I added the drawstrings and stitches with pink yarn. We also bought a skirt and white leggings that I painted with fabric paint.
I was thankful to have found this post from The Lovebugs Blog. It was a lot of help, especially with making the leggings.
I hot-glued real candy to bobbie pins to put in her hair and we used a real licorice rope to tie around her high pony tail.
And there you have it.
Vanellope Von Schweetz.