Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Sixth and Seventh Days of Christmas

The Schaumburg Zimmermans brought with them to Iowa presents, tidings of comfort and joy as well as a touch of the flu. While Maura was pretty much in remission on Monday, Sam became horribly ill during Christmas Eve dinner. He improved on Christmas Day (ah, the medicinal power of Santa) but apparently had a relapse after they returned home. Owen, who emulates his older cousin Sam, succumbed in the wee hours of Friday morning and spent the bulk of the day either throwing up (mostly on Mommy) or sleeping. We wisely rescheduled dinner with the Fawcetts until Saturday evening, when Owen was more rested and less nauseous. We're just hoping he doesn't have a recurrence at 10,000 feet.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Fifth Day of Christmas

It wouldn't be a Christmas in Iowa without a gathering of Gradys, so Wednesday morning we packed ourselves into two minivans and drove 2 1/2 hours to Hampton for Uncle Bernie's curiously named given the absence of both, "Dancing in the Grass" celebration. While not everyone could make it, Owen was finally able to meet Great Aunt Jeannine and cousin Molly as well as Great Uncle Al and cousin Nicho and Elaine got to meet the much lauded boyfriend of cousin Caitlin, Paxton. Owen was in heaven as Great Aunt Ellen was happy to wash his hands upon request, Molly gave him piggy back rides and due to a well stocked coffee table, he was able to help himself to all sorts of treats (until Mommy took them away). We left a bit early in order to avoid the worst of yet another snowstorm, but not before cousin Blaine broke out the "Maura wig."

(You've seen our pictures by now, click here to see Blaine's pictures)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Third and Fourth Days of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas (i.e. Christmas Eve) we finally had all of the grandkids together under one roof. Owen was in awe of the things his cousins could do, and his cousins were thrilled to have a new playmate, particularly one they could bathe. Olivia and Maura let Owen join in the annual 're-enact Allen & Elaine's wedding with Elaine pretending to be a princess and Allen pretending to be a chicken-watermelon' game and declared Owen a very good chicken-watermelon baby (don't ask). Meanwhile, Sam had caught a little stomach bug from Maura, and was sick most of the night (we'll revisit the ramifications of this in a future blog post).

On the fourth day of Christmas (i.e. Christmas day) we headed over to West Branch for an early morning mass and then (finally) opened presents from Santa after we returned. Dave and Kara arrived that afternoon to finish bringing the family together, and we gorged ourselves on delicious homemade candies and cookies all day, leaving just enough room for a little pie after Christmas dinner.

(click here for all the pictures)

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Second Day of Christmas

Traveling to the Midwest in any month ending in "ember" is always a bit dicey, and when reports surfaced of mass flight cancellations due to menacing weather over the weekend, we grew a bit nervous. That is, until we found out that due to a winter storm front, our friends Joe & Cate and daughter Gigi who'd been scheduled to leave Friday would be able to join us in our three hour (which turned out to be 4 1/2 hour) layover in St. Louis on Sunday. Time passes a lot faster when there are drinks and a new 10 week old to meet. While Gigi was mostly oblivious and Owen was preoccupied with the three foot Santa next door to the bar, all the Moms and Dads were grateful for the serendipitous layover.

Owen was in a less gracious mood when we finally made our way to Iowa. After finally locating our luggage amid the dozens of stranded bags, we flagged down Grandpa & Grandma Z as they circled the airport, unable to park due to snow drifts and ice. Owen immediately crashed in his carseat as we slowly made our way to Iowa City where we finally settled in for the night.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The First Day of Christmas

We reminded friends and family as the holiday season approached that we have a small house with no storage and so, should they feel compelled to give Owen a present, diminutive was the way to go. We then proceeded to get Owen the "monster truck" of wagons. It's not like we intend to do a lot of off-roading with his Radio Flyer, but I suppose it's nice to have the option. And this way, we have a place to store all those diminutive gifts everyone else got him.

After opening presents in the morning at our place, we headed to Mom-mom's & Grandpa Don's for another marathon session of gift giving where Owen received two more alternative modes of transportation. Ten hours and a delicious dinner later, we headed home, stopping only to pick up the Pearsons. After a quick visit with Chris and Elise, we (finally) put Owen down for the night and then packed in anticipation of our trip to Iowa the next morning.

(Click here to see all the pictures)

Friday, December 07, 2007

It's Time to Dance

Owen found a new button on the phone (one Elaine and I didn't even know about) that plays music. His new favorite game is to press the button and throw down some of his new found dance moves. It's pretty adorable, and totally worth not knowing what it will sound like next time the phone rings.