Twenty-Eleven greeted us with a sigh of relief that Elise’s surgery was pushed back a month and a half. We had a very, very, belated Christmas with the Shannons because of winter weather and Jim and Ruth won major points for keeping the Christmas spirit alive for an extra month. The boys started playing Minecraft with Tim and it was the beginning of a whole new era of lava falls, hissing spiders and really tall towers. We found out that Patrick needed tubes in his ears. Elise turned 6 months and it is documented that Patrick bites his tongue just like his Dad. Then Patrick got the tubes in both ears.
and that was just January.
In February, Elise wasn’t the only one who got a razor taken to her golden locks. The boys got their first Big Boy haircuts complete with spikes and gelly goop. Not to be out shined, Elise got her head bic-ed bald for the much anxiously anticipated Cranio Reconstruction. We wrote about the surgery extensively throughout the process (Pre-Op, Day of the surgery, Recovery Day One, Recovery Day Two, Video just 50hrs after surgery)
We did some major overhauling on the website. Tim did stuff behind the scenes and I added a bit of pizzazz in March and not a whole lot else except for a weekend of Fun Run fun in Jamestown, the kids and I spent a random Friday in Mankota with Beth, Steve came to visit and Elise continued to heal and she rocked that scar like no other 7 month old could rock a zigzag scar from ear to ear.
In April Tim called me out on the world wide web and told me I needed to start posting more. He was right. We keep up the blog for our family but even more so for the kids. I want them to be able to read, watch videos, and laugh at the funny photos of all the mischief they created on a daily basis. Tim kept up the back end of the website and the front end of the photo gallery as a thank you for the increased volume of posts. Elise started crawling. I started tweeting. Michael reminded us that God favors a child like faith. Patrick took to swim lessons like a duck and I wished that I had a sci-fi magical teleporting device that would send my Dad to the Y once a week to watch Patrick swim. We celebrated Easter in Grand Forks with the Shannons, complete with all the traditional Easter festivities.
Auntie Buff came to visit in May. Elise fell in love with Beth. Michael graduated Preschool, twice. Patrick got to have his own special holiday in Minot, and when the rest of us missed Patrick so much, we drove to Minot and joined him on his special Holiday. Then Elise turned 10 months old.
We kicked off June with the first of many great weekends at home. Minot flooded. I cried. I am still crying actually. It breaks my heart but I know they will rebuild because a town that is made up of casserole and lefse eating mid-westerners don’t know how to fail. In a slightly less heroic battle than the Minot Magicians taking on a “Prairie Tsunami” I took on ants. While I battled ants the boys wasted water in the most fun way possible. I single handedly clogged Tim’s arteries in one meal. I shared some happy thoughts (and videos) with my folks while they worked exhausting hours dealing with rising flood waters. The boys rode bike and Elise wrapped her Daddy around her finger more than I ever thought possible. And then they rode bike some more. The boys started summer Preschool. And Michael asked for a book about grass for his birthday.
I don’t remember how I did it but I managed to convince Tim that the best way to spend the 4th of July holiday was to build a coffee table. The kids played outside while we worked and we finished the day off with kid friendly fire works. Michael turned 5. We took a trip to Minot to see the flood devastation first hand and Patrick suffered a bad chemical burn. Michael became really religious. Michael became more like his father. I became very sentimental as I turned one year closer to 30. Elise turned one year old. I took way too many photos trying to get the perfect shot of her in the dress I made, only realize that what I was missing was her Daddy standing behind the camera. The girl gives her Dad smiles like they are going out of style. We started building the play kitchen that better be treasured for generations to come. Elise fell in love with water all over again when her Auntie Buff bought her her own little pool. Oh and she ate lots of cake and opened many presents.
August was kickstarted with a Skyped celebration of my parents 30th anniversary. A set of t-shirts highlighted the difference between Tim and I. Michael and Patrick practiced their circus side show acts. As Elise’s personality unfolded we began to realize quite quickly that we have a very stubborn little girl. Michael started negotiating. We finally got around to writing a post about Elise’s surgery. Elise moved into a big girl car seat. We moved Beth into her new Duluth apartment and fell in love with the water front town. We got a honest family portrait. Michael continued to be crowned our funniest kid. Patrick and Michael finished up summer preschool, and I got a much needed mommy vacay.
Ruth came to visit in September. Elise started taking a few steps. The Shannons came up for Labor Day weekend, and Patrick went to Preschool on his own. I still can’t believe that he is in Preschool. Michael started his second year of Preschool. Patrick kept me humble and hide and seek became his new favorite game. We shared a little secret. I played dress up. And I had my 5 seconds of fame.
In October I tried to blog a week in the life series and life got in the way. We started a new tradition of story telling. I realized how good it is to be first born. Patrick got crowned Birthday boy. He is the only one of our 3 that has a birthday during the school year. Coming from a July birthday perspective, he is a pretty lucky kid. Patrick turns four. The kids and I fell into the routine of playing outside in the morning waiting for the school bus. Patrick is the undeniable champ of tantrums. Halloween costumes were debated. Patrick went to the ER after some accidental high raking by Michael. Michael reads. We spend a weekend in Duluth. And we become official Bulldog fans. Patrick expresses his feelings and shares some poetry with us and takes the most honest school portrait ever. As for the costume debate, the boys chose theirs and I chose Elise’s
In an effort to up the levels of responsibly in the house, November brought about the beginning of chores. The colors changed. The ever observant Patrick calls out Beth on her static hair style. The pride and joy that this photo elicits can not be described. We cheered on the Bulldogs. Still the king. Ridiculous fights in ensue. Lucy continues to shed a bed of fur on our bed. Elise wishes she was bigger. Still the funniest. And the clouds parted and angels sang. Elise held a grudge for a while after this happened. Patrick supported Men’s Health. Elise got HUGE!
In December Elise sported serious tails. I tried to keep up with a photo challenge. Elise got lazy while channeling her inner couch potato. I predict a yearly plague of mono for Patrick James. Story Time starts to make sense. Elise gets even HUGER! And on the 23rd we began our Christmas Sojourn.
We got home on the 30th and have spent the last 2 days unpacking, tearing down Christmas (much to Patrick’s dismay). When Tim carried the tree box upstairs Patrick protested sit in style on top of the box until distracted with a shiny toy he had forgotten about. And finally, I’ve been working on this post and uploading and editing the 1600+ photos we have taken over the past 2 weeks.
I will be back with photos tonight or tomorrow along with all of our resolutions for 2012. For now, Happy New Year from us to you!