Friday, January 09, 2015

New Year's Eve (December 31st, obviously)

Our first line of business for the day was the Noon Year's Eve party Grandma and Grandpa's neighbourhood puts on for the kids. They have crafts and food and carnival games, a dance floor with crazy neon lights, and at noon they do a countdown with a balloon drop and everything.

It looked like a lot of fun, but I wasn't feeling it. What I was feeling was headachy and everything achy and the smell of the food wafting around the room was making my stomach queasy and there wasn't anywhere to sit down and I was going to die.

So after we did a craft and took some pictures in the photo booth, Andrew ran me back to Grandma and Grandpa's house and I napped in that quiet, empty house until everyone was finished partying and then I napped in that full, quiet house while the babies (Benjamin and Gavin) were taking their naps, and I woke up feeling much better but still terrible.

Later we were able to diagnose what we had. Kind of.

Benjamin got sick first, if you recall. He got a fever and a rash and his mouth hurt and we couldn't figure out what was wrong but figured maybe he was teething (because eventually he really will need his 2-year molars to come in, right?). So we gave him tylenol and put teething gel on his gums and "magic" lotion on his rash because it was bothering him...though his fever rashes usually don't bother him and this rash looked more bug-bitey than welty.

Then I got sick, but only with a fever, sore throat, and head ache (oh, and diarrhea).

Then Miriam got sick with a fever for several days. She got a couple of blistery spots on her hands, but that's all.

Then Daddy got sick, but only with a fever and sore throat.

And then Grandma got sick, with a fever, and sore throat, and sores inside of her mouth.

And then Grandpa got sick and he did a very good job of it. He got the fever and chills and sore throat like everyone else. He also got a rather characteristic rash—on his hands and feet and around his mouth. It was so bad (and might still be pretty bad).

"I think you have hand, foot, and mouth disease," I concluded. "Not that I'm a"

I'm pretty sure we all had hand, foot, and mouth disease. We just didn't exhibit every symptom—except for Grandpa and Benjamin (looking back I was able to see that Benjamin's rash really was isolated to his hands, feet, and around his mouth (though he had a few stray spots in his "knee pits" and his bum and his ears, for whatever reason)).

Rachel never got sick like everyone else, though she did run a fever for a couple of days. Oh, and we gave it to Gavin, too, because we're sharers! Oh, and Naanii got it, too. And probably a few other people that we accidentally shared with.

"Is that the same as hoof and mouth disease?" Andrew wanted to know. It's not.

"How did they name this disease?" Grandpa wanted to know. "Here we have a disease that only seems to affect hands, feet, and mouths. Let's call it hand, foot, and mouth disease!" Genius, really.

"Hand and Foot?" Rachel asked. "That's a disease? I thought it was a game."

Josie had hand, foot, and mouth disease when she was a little so I was a believer of the diagnosis long before anyone else was. I'm pretty sure Grandpa thought I made it up at first. But seriously—his rash was so perfectly hand, foot, and mouthy.

I suppose with the potential measles outbreak (which two Utahns caught in Disneyland and brought back to Utah with them while we were out there), I'll be happy we only contracted hand, foot, and mouth disease...or whatever we caught. We're all immunized over here, but still.

In the evening we had a little family dinner with some of Andrew's siblings, his parents, and my mom and Josie. The highlight of the evening was when Uncle Morgan brought out his Appalachian dulcimer. He played some songs for us and gave everyone a turn playing it. Now Andrew's positive he wants to get one of these.

Here's Auntie Josie, Uncle Morgan, and Daddy playing a song together:

Josie was strumming and Morgan and Andrew were playing different parts.

Here's Rachel smelling the pick to make sure it's made of an okay material (she has this weird thing against metal and plastics and can't stand to hold keys, hair clips, buttons, and any number of things because they "smell funny"):

And here she is trying out the dulcimer:

And here's Miriam taking a turn:

My mom and Josie left around 8:00 but we took a picture with Emily first. Emily used to work for my mom at the library so they're pretty good friends (and all three of them are basically the same height, apparently):

And here's my mom saying goodbye to Benjamin (though I'm mostly posting this picture for Uncle Jacob's photo bomb in the back):

Slowly, slowly the non-longterm company trickled off and we were left with all the little kids to do our New Year celebration.

Rachel loved having Gavin around. She's excited to have a new baby in the house since Benjamin's kind of outgrown the wanting-to-be-held stage and she's just now getting into the wanting-to-hold-babies stage. It looks like Gavin's starting to outgrow the wanting-to-be-held stage, too:

Unless, of course, it's Grandma offering to hold him. These two little boys, I tell you! They just couldn't get enough of Grandma. Benjamin was jealous of Gavin the whole time he was there, demanding that Grandma "Put down him!" and "Pick up me!"

And whenever Grandma had only Benjamin you could bet money that Gavin would find his way over to her and start pulling on her pant leg.

But just because there was a bit of cousin rivalry going on, it doesn't mean these two boys didn't get along. Benjamin " uvs Cuzzy Gassy!" (He loves Cousin Gavin).

We got ready to ring in the New Year with the kids around 9:30. They were excited to try out the glow-in-the-dark glasses they got in their stockings.

We watched the King Julian New Year's Eve countdown on Netflix. It was pretty funny. At one point King Julian asked, "Is it close to midnight?" Then he paused and answered, "Who cares?! It's midnight somewhere!!! 10, 9, 8..." It made all the grown ups laugh.

We all counted down until we could yell "Happy New Year!" together. Except for maybe Miriam, who was burning up with a fever and was doing well to be awake, sit in her comfy chair, and suck her thumb.

After the countdown the kids got to enjoy some sparkling cider before bed. Benjamin was a huge fan and kept asking for more "Gammy juice!" Miriam was much less enthusiastic. She drank her cider, brushed her teeth, and crawled into bed without protesting at all.

Rachel stayed up a little later, snuggling with Auntie Emily, and then reading books while the grown ups played yet another round of Hand and Foot. She stayed up until midnight, of course. She's managed to make it every year of her life so far. 

It was a pretty good way to ring in the New Year. Rachel was a little upset that we didn't do our "light walk" at midnight. The past couple of years we've given the kids glow sticks and taken them on a walk around the neighbourhood. But it was so cold—it was 8°F (-13°C)—and I wasn't about to willingly run about the neighbourhood in that weather.

Last year in Durham, at 12 AM on January 1 it was 32°F (0°C), so going outside wasn't terrible.

The year before that it was 43°F (6°C), so going outside was just fine.

Our "light walk" is a fun tradition but I think it will last only as long as we live in a pleasant climate. Because I'm a wimp. Sorry kids!


  1. The sickness over Christmas in Utah seemed to be worse than usual this year. Glad you didn't get hand, foot and mouth too badly (I hear it can be horrible for adults.) We passed a whole host of sickness around our family members too while they were all in town for the holidays.

    1. Well, Grandpa definitely got it the worst. He's still suffering.

      I'm glad my symptoms were fairly mild! Sorry you guys were all sick, too! It kind of put a damper on our plans (we didn't get together with many friends because we were all sick the last half of our trip)! But it's still nice to see family even if it means sharing germs (I guess). :D