Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Excessive Chaos, Even For Us

We said good-bye to a beloved family member last Friday. After 14 and 2/3 years Garfield, probably the best cat that has or will ever live, has gone the way of all the world. We will miss him. The children are doing amazingly well with it. Since Precious died last year we have been dreading this. Rachel and Emily were terribly sad about Precious and talked about her for weeks. This time they have been remarkably unaffected. Of course, we have been trying to prepare them since last year. In fact, last Wednesday, two days before his passing, Rachel had a play date who said, "I really like your cat" to which Rachel replied, "Yeah, they say he's gonna die soon." On Friday morning, she knew we were taking him to the vet and when I picked her up from her friend's house she asked when Garfield would come home and then said, "I think he's already dead!" I guess we prepared her well especially since she claimed Garfield as her cat since she started talking.

Now that we are pet-free (and I intend to stay that way for a very long time) we have turned the house completely upside down. We are moving James upstairs and the playroom to the basement. The kids are so excited but that may just be because virtually all their toys have been in the attic for almost a week awaiting carpet cleaning, etc. I have to say I don't really miss the toys everywhere all the time. I am most excited because I am having a professional organizer come in to help make that large area in the basement function in all the ways we need it to. It's a splurge, but if you've been to my house in the last few years you understand. Poor James had to move his truck out of the garage indefinitely so that we could put all the giveaways somewhere. If you are thinking of going to a thrift store or yard sale for anything, stop by here first--we are in extreme clean-out mode.

Here's to finally keeping a resolution that we did not even make this year!

On the kid front, Emily got her hair chopped off, Rachel is still living every moment to its fullest, Eli is finally talking up a storm (though we still struggle to understand some words)and Sam is off the charts tall, super chunky and at long last is starting to sleep through the night!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Year in Review

Well, it's been a fun and incredibly short year! We've had alot of firsts and a few "hope that never happens agains". In chronological order:

-Tonya begins the new year pregnant again

-Rachel became a Sunbeam in Primary, leaving just one Cannon in the church nursery

-Tonya falls while holding Eli, whose head hits a concrete floor and his skull is fractured (our first paramedic experience, our first overnight stay at Children's, and an extremely stressful but faith-promoting event)

-Precious succumbs to kitty old age-she was a great, if psychotic, cat for 14 years

-We decided to find out the sex of the baby for once and came right home and started giving away the girl stuff

-Mauzy came for her annual visit and Emily lost two teeth in the same week (our first Tooth Fairy experience)

-Eli turned 2--Mauzy and Mary Lou were here for the party

-We had our first family vacation since 2003 at Disney World and Sea World. All-in-all it went well, the kids had a great time and we all have some great memories. In the same trip we visited Pa and Granny in Englewood, FL and the kids had their first boat ride and got to see dolphins in the ocean; and James did some flooring work at MeMa and PaPa's in preparation for the family reunion.

-Emily graduated from Preschool and performed her first solo at the ceremony

-MeMa finally got her family reunion. I don't know how many, but alot of siblings and cousins were there!

-We began the "Summer of Togetherness"--It was hot, Mommy was uncomfortable and June seemed to last forever!!!

-Samuel Pierce Cannon arrived in dramatic fashion--5 weeks early--but healthy and happy!

-Emily started Kindergarten--Big School already!!!--Honestly, Sam was a great distraction, otherwise Mommy may have been committed!! It was never about how Emily would do, she was sooooo ready and is doing great!!

-Mother's Day Out began for Rachel and Eli. Tonya returned to her 2-year-old class two days a week at the end of September.

-Halloween was fun. The girls were black cats and Eli was Bob the Builder. He went trick-or-treating for the first time this year. He got the hang of it pretty quick!

-Rachel turned 4 and Emily turned 6. They had a huge party together at Pump It Up and everyone had a great time.

-Thanksgiving and Christmas came around much too quickly. I guess your parents are right at least once--the older you get, the faster time goes....

Now it's another new year. We will start out with new (or old) goals and good intentions, fill our calendars with lots of to-dos and run frantically from one appointment to the next. I hope to live in the moment a little more this year. I sometimes worry that I am wishing away the precious moments of my childrens' childhoods. As my good friend reminds me, "just play with them". The song "Let Them Be Little" has been playing in my mind lately. So when you visit this year and the house is a disaster and the kids are in their pajamas at 4 pm, it won't really be anything new, but it won't be out of surrender to survival, it will be because we have embraced the moments that make memories and build forever families.

Happy All Year Long!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas at the Cannons'

We had a truly wonderful Christmas together. Christmas Eve was spent making cookies for Santa, wrapping presents, and watching endless Christmas movies. Finally, that evening we shared our birthday gifts to Jesus and read the Christmas story at bedtime.

At 3 am Emily came running into our room to let us know that it was Christmas Day. I groggily told her that she was right and to go back to bed. Amazingly she complied. James and I slept lightly for the rest of the morning though listening for little feet (and feeding Sam). She made it until 6:15 when she came down and went into the living room before coming to tell us that Santa had visited. We told her to she had to go get her brother and sister before she went back to check it all out, which gave us time to start the video camera. I got some still photos this year as you see but mostly we were just enjoying the moment.

They were so cute!! Eli still doesn't really get the whole Santa thing, but he enjoyed his train table and tracks anyway. Emily and Rachel got their "growing puppies" that they have been seeking for 2 years. Sam got cute stuff that he is too little for. We spent the day making cupcakes, playing with dolls, puppies, trains and cars. It was a nice, relatively quiet (not really a word we use often in this house), enjoyable day as we celebrated the most important birthday, that of our Savior, Jesus Christ by sharing the day with those who mean the most to us.