It's been winter, and while it's been a mild winter - almost warm some days - it's still winter. We've been mostly going about our lives as usual - school, work, homework, etc. There have been a few things of note though.
1. My grandpa - my dad's dad, my last living grandparent - died on the 16th. He was 98, and he was ready to die, and i am honestly happy for him. But it's sad for us, and we will miss him. The funeral was this past Saturday, and i couldn't help thinking that it might be a really long time before i see all of my cousins again, because the only times we've really seen them in the past few years has been at my grandpa's house, and since that'll be gone, we won't have a common place to meet up. So that is also sad.
2. Houston had exams. And it was SO much better than last year's exams! I think it's partially that he actually realizes that he has to study now, so i'm not just trying to drag him into studying like i was last year. But it's also partly the teachers that he has this year as compared to last year. Last year he had 2 teachers who gave him no study guide at all, and since he had no notes (why???), we had to go through the book and re-learn everything they'd learned the whole year. It was torturous, and i am SO HAPPY that this year's teachers were kinder.
3. Zane's room, you guys. For months and months, i've been trying to convince him to clean it, and it's gone through various levels of horribly messy. It's been a couple of months since he's been allowed to play computer or have friends over, and still he hasn't been able to clean it. I finally reached my limit and couldn't bear it for another day and went in and helped him clean the entire thing from top to bottom. And he was so happy. I mean, even while we were cleaning it, he was super happy. It took us 2 days, but it is now completely clean and organized and he is under strict orders to keep it that way. And so far he is cheerfully agreeing that it needs to stay clean. We shall see how long that lasts.
4. Katrina, Zane, and i went to Winter Camp with the youth group from church. We left on Friday and got back yesterday a little after noon, and we all collapsed from exhaustion. It was a good weekend - Katrina and Zane both loved it. Katrina got a makeover from her group and got her hair straightened. She hated the makeup but liked the straightened hair, so i imagine she'll be learning to do that to herself. Her cousin Gabriella went to Winter Camp this year as well, and she loved having her there. Zane had fun, though he couldn't actually remember what he had fun doing. Every time i saw him, he looked a little bit...lost? I think he really likes his group, but he's not awesome at the whole group dynamic yet, so he just does his own thing and is surprised when his group isn't there with him.
5. We got home from Winter Camp and headed to the Symphony a couple of hours later. I would not normally plan something so soon after being gone all weekend, but we got 4 free tickets from the library and one $5 student ticket, so our whole family could go for $5, and that is not something to pass up. Plus it was "Blockbuster hits;" songs from Broadway musicals that have been super successful. So there was Annie and Les Miserables and the Phantom of the Opera and Wicked and others. Everyone really enjoyed it, even though we were tired.
6. Zane went to school all happy and healthy, and at noon i got a phone call from the school that he had just thrown up and i needed to go get him. Poor little boy - he was miserable. I asked what happened, and he sounded all surprised when he explained that he was "completely fine, and then i started getting a headache and then i threw up and now i feel terrible." I took his temperature when we got home, and it was 101.4. There's the flu-type-A or whatever it is going around, and so while i would usually just throw him in bed and let him sleep it off, i called the doctor's office to just double check what i needed to be looking for, and the nurse was all, "Does he have a sore throat? Because those sound like strep throat symptoms...." He didn't mention it, so i said, "Um...no?" and she was all, "Well, watch for that, and if his throat hurts then call back." And a few hours later, his throat DID hurt, so i called, and they were all, "If you can get here in 20 minutes, then we'll do a strep test today." So i dragged him out of bed and forced him to come with me (he would SO much rather have just stayed in bed and slept). After the nurse checked his weight, he collapsed on the floor and just laid there while she took his temperature and the strep test thingy. The good news is that he DOESN'T have strep. So. Yay!
7. As long as i was going to the doctor's office anyhow, i dragged Houston and Katrina along so they could get flu shots. Neither of them was very happy with me. Katrina was really hoping for the spray vaccine so she wouldn't need to get a shot, but apparently they don't make those anymore because they're not effective. And as soon as she heard that, Katrina started getting all teary and worried and working herself up to be panicky. Houston got the shot first and just looked at me sadly the whole time and then was like, "Huh. That really was just like a pinch." Katrina, meanwhile, worked herself up to a full-blown panic attack. She was gasping for breath and i was honestly worried that she was going to pass out from hyperventilating. I just kind of hugged her while the nurse gave her the shot, but even afterwards, it was a good 15 minutes before i was able to get her calmed down and breathing again. So that was a first.