Aidan handled the holidays very well, with the exception of Christmas Eve night (see post, below).  His next hurdle will be starting daycare on Monday, January 5.  He has visited once and will go again on Friday to stay for snack time before we go and see my travel mate's mother-the two of us have China photos to exchange.  Hopefully he adapts as well to this change as he has to all of the others and remains a happy little boy.  Here is a photo he was especially proud of, taken yesterday with him holding nephew #2, BB:

 
 

Christmas this year will consist of candlelight service at church, followed by stockings and a tree at G's parents, both on Christmas eve.  On the next day it will be stockings and a tree at home-just the four of us-then a tree at my mother's house-about 40 or 50 of us and a sledding party afterwards.  Then, on the day after Christmas, we will have stockings and a tree with our big kids and their families joining us, followed by lunch of Chinese food.

The Northern Lights came out on our way to George's parents' house.  We didn't see the full light show, since a storm moved in.

Oh, and of course the power outage.  It was out for about 3-1/2 hours on Christmas eve due to high winds and more freezing rain.

RB and Aidan at G's parents' house, above, on Christmas Eve.

Aidan trying on his new Cars helmet that he got from LB.  She gave him both the helmet and shin pads so that she could take him ice skating, but his head is too big.  We'll have to hide the helmet on him because he loves it so much.


LB loved these shades.  She is also sitting in her new computer chair, though you can't see it.

Below, Aidan is both showing off some of his new monster trucks and also his new monster truck shirt.  He insisted on being in the picture though he wouldn't smile for it.

Last, he figured out how to pedal the big wheel.  As soon as our Christmas junk is out of the way, I'm sure he'll be a little speed demon.


Overall, Aidan handled Christmas really well, even my family Christmas.  He was super excited by the idea that these toys were his and his alone.  On Christmas eve night I think he had a moment of fear that they were only temporarily his and that in the morning he would have to share them with other kids or they would be gone, so he didn't want to sleep, but did eventually succumb.  He slept poorly and woke crying once in the middle of the night-sitting straight up and crying-he would not be comforted but rolled into the space between his bunk and wall and eventually went back to sleep.  That was the extent of the rough moments, though.

Pictures of my family's Christmas can be found in the Photos section.

 
 

UPDATE:  As of December 24, 2008 when PSNH closed its operations for the holiday, they announced that 99.9 per cent of the households that lost power in early December had their power restored.  Hopefully that means the people I know are now restored after two full weeks without power.

I know that some of you who read this blog are religious.  If you pray, please pray for the Northeast and especially for the people that I work with and teach.  Last Friday the ice storm hit and still today, Sunday a week later, several families in the district I teach in have no power.  Some have been told that if it is not restored by today, it will be several weeks before it can be.  So I know a lot of people without water, without a primary source of heat, without electricity.  They cannot cook, take a bath, flush the toilet, or do laundry.  Many already have had their pipes freeze and burst.  They cannot buy a tree or get ready for Christmas.  They need all your prayers.

Now, on a lighter note, we all got out in the deep snow today.  LB and Aidan first tried to make a snowman (Aidan loves Frosty) but the snow is too powdery.  That did not keep them from trying to throw snowballs at one another and G and I.  Eventually they ended up sledding while G and I stacked firewood.  Here are some shots:

 
 

Aidan knew exactly what the haircutting kit was for.  He showed me how the razor should be used, and he very much did not like the scissors when I used them to trim around the ears afterwards.  Here he is before the cut, showing off the new cut, and then during cleanup, both of himself and the floor.

 
 

Another day out of school (work) due to the ice storm, so LB an I went to the daycare center where she works when not home on maternity leave and where RB has gone for the last two years.  MB and Aidan will both be joining him in January there.  Aidan was his usual self; shy with the teachers and would not talk, but then he discovered the toys, played silently for a while, interacted a little bit with a very friendly boy there, then wanted to go home.  I think he will be fine there when the time comes.  He and RB will be in separate rooms and that will actually be good for them, too-they will see eachother enough for Aidan to be reassured but not enough for rivalry over friends, etc.

 
 

Returning to work was great for me.  Aidan did just as I expected-fine the first day, not so fine the second, and very unhappy the third.  On the fourth he stayed with G, and on the fifth he was with me since we lost power and I didn't work.

Here are some random photos from our week:

Aidan decides that he loves turkey, after all.  He came out into the kitchen, sniffed it, said yum-yum and rubbed his belly, then spent a good twenty minutes with the baster.  He also decided that he loves cranberry sauce.

Entertaining in the dark-Aidan loves to operate the camera-forgive our grimy appearance (no showers or baths until the electricity came back on)

We went shopping both to get it done and also to get warm.  Here are the boys, both smiling at the same time, with Santa Claus.

Getting into the Christmas spirit now that the lights are back on.  LB was playing carols in the background (driving me crazy-I can either listen to music or have conversations, but not do both at the same time).  Aidan was trying to be ever so helpful with his first tree.  Mangus was trying to check everything out and also get out of the way (not too successful there).  But we finally got the thing up and lit.

 
 

Tomorrow I return to work, so I have been preparing Aidan for getting up early and for going places with his backpack for a few hours.  I have also been preparing for my classes, mentally more than anything.  My half year courses need syllabi adjustments because my sub was off schedule and I can't make up for everything before the semester ends.  In addition, I've got college recommendations to give out and AP Microeconomics work to give out to kids taking the class next semester.  I am excited to see my students again, though I hate to leave Aidan, and I am glad that Christmas break is around the corner so that he and I will both have time together again soon.

Speaking of Christmas, we are starting to get ready for that, too!  Aidan is right now watching Frosty the Snowman (which he loves).  He also loves Santa Claus is Coming to Town and I found out last night that he can sing Jingle Bells, though after the first couple of lines he sings it in Chinese.

Here are some of the things we've been up to:

Visit to the Shrine at LaSalette with RB and Aidan

We took the boys to the shrine first, then to McDs for McNuggets, then G had a couple of stores to look in for Christmas gifts, so the boys stayed with me in the car.

Then we came home where the boys hung out until PB arrived-she and JM had gone to her work Christmas party.

I also put a couple of decorations up-tons more to go.


Getting the Christmas Tree

 
 

Today Aidan got two shots-one in each arm simultaneously-a chicken pox vaccine and a flu shot.  He has had the flu shot twice before but either they don't immunize against chicken pox in China or he just wasn't old enough to get the vaccine before coming home to America.

I was afraid he would be scared again when he saw the doctor's office but he was fine.  He got a little scared and tense just before the shots went in (there was a nurse on each side, he was on my lap, and another nurse was in front of him, holding his hands with me and talking to him) but then he was fine.  Of course, he enjoyed having "stickers" to put over each shot wound.

We then went back later in the day for LB to see the doctor and then he was your typical four year old-running around the place like he grew up there, being silly, and babbling away.

BTW-Yesterday he began calling me Mommy!  He has referred to me as Mommy and he has actually called G Daddy for a while, but calling me Mommy to my face is new.  I think he's trying to wear it out already.