Saturday, January 6, 2018

Christmas, eventually

On December 16 I was scheduled to run a trail 10K in Seattle.  I wasn't feeling great.  My throat hurt.  I was obviously coming down with the flu, but I told myself that since I was just coming down with it, and I wasn't really down yet, I could still run my race.  Why do I always get sick when I sign up for races?  I didn't manage to finish this one.  I started out pretty well, taking it easy, but after three miles my throat was a throbbing mass, and my body ached all over, so I walked the mile to finish the lap, and then I dropped out with two miles left to go.  I went home, cleaned up, put on my jammies, and spent the next three days in misery.  Todd took care of me.  When I woke up, the kids sometimes sat near me and did their own thing, since the didn't know when I was going to pass out again.  
 I found these pictures that Todd took, and, until I saw them, I had no idea that this kind of game had been going on near me.  I was really out of it. 
 For future reference, if I take nyquil, the effects of the alcohol are instantaneous, and take about 15 hours to wear off.  Night time mucinex was worse.  Between the medicines and the feverish narcolepsy, I was pretty useless for a couple of days.  The whole family stayed home from church on the 17th so that Todd could take care of me, and he stayed home from work on the 18th.  Todd is already superdad, so it was no problem for him to run things while I was down and out.  The kids are getting better at knowing and taking care of their own responsibilities all the time, too, which is very helpful. 
 B was over his flu by then, except for a lingering cough.  Jared and Eloise, who didn't have a big pool trip or a long run at the beginning of their illnesses, both caught the flu, but didn't stay down for long with the fever.  They bounced back twice as fast as B and I did. 
Just when I was at my most sick on the 17th, our beloved babysitter, Bailey, and her family brought over a box full of gifts for all of us!  There was a stocking for each kid, treats for all of us, and a box of candy and gifts for me and Todd.  Bailey even remembered Shadow with some new tennis balls.  This was really a miracle, since the kids were getting very stir crazy from having a sick mom for so long.  B is posing here with his Spiderman puzzle that he got and put together. 
 From the time we put up our Christmas tree, B begged to make a Christmas wreath.  We made this one out of the kids' handprints and glitter glue for our Family Home Evening activity on December 18th.  If Todd looks a little run down here, it is because he had been doing the work of both parents for three days and nights.  The nights were no picnic with kids taking turns getting sick. 
 Sammy caught it next.  Todd took him to the store for more children's tylenol, and he couldn't make it through the store. 
 We had to cancel everything the week before Christmas because someone was sure to be sick.  B lives all year for Christmas.  I found this Santa shirt at the thrift store for a dollar, and B still wears it every time he can find it clean. 
 I could tell that Sammy was still sick because after he accidentally falls asleep in the car, he usually pops up as soon as we get home and demands a snack or something.  This time he was unwakeable. 
 After a long hard week of illness, a serious game of "Faster than Light" is definitely called for.  Are you totally impressed that I recognized the game, Todd?
 Two days before Christmas, our tree was on its twentieth redecorating.  A few days earlier, the kids were playing with a helicopter drone that B got for his birthday when one of them flew it into the tree.  The helicopter blades hit a glass ornament, shattering it into a zillion pieces.  We vacuumed the entire living room, swept the dining room, moved the presents and the tree, vacuumed again, put the tree back, vacuumed again, and still kept finding pieces as the tree got jostled and more bits fell out of the branches.  It took me two days to find the part of the ornament that was still hanging from its branch.  This ornament breakage came a day after B lunged for something on the dining room table and knocked over a snowglobe full of glitter, which shattered on the dining room floor.  Finding all of the bits of glass in the midst of all of that wet, sticky glitter was a nightmare.  It took about five sweepings and a mopping of the dining room (and then the kitchen when some glass got tracked in there) for us to be comfortable walking through there barefoot again. 
The presents under the tree got a lot of love.  With each new package that arrived from our generous relatives, the excitement mounted.  B kept going through the pile trying to sort them by who they were for.  He was sad when the paper started tearing from all of the love the presents were getting, so I asked him to stop rearranging the presents. 
 Christmas Eve finally arrived.  This year it fell on a Sunday.  I hadn't thought of it, but the kids asked for Santa pancakes for breakfast, so that is what we had. 
 We went to church, and then, as evening fell, we had a Christmas miracle.  Snow!  Because snow here is so rare, and we almost never have a white Christmas, the kids dropped everything to go outside and play in it.  They were outside when Grandpa Michael arrived.  Grandpa said that his childhood dream, never realized growing up in Tacoma, was for a white Christmas.  Oddly enough, even though he had to drive over a high mountain pass to get to our house, the first dangerous road conditions he encountered were as he drove into our neighborhood, where the snow was starting to pile up on the less used roads, and snow removal equipment does not exist. 
 We had our annual performance of the Nativity. Eloise was Mary, Jared was Joseph, Sammy was a sheep, and B was both an angel and a shepherd.  It was delightful.  Finally, right before bed, the kids put their stockings on the hearth for Santa, and opened one present before bed. 
 Sammy chose his present from Grandma Jill, which was a set of alphabet beads, which, once strung on a string, became Sammy's pet snake. 
While the older kids had to be assured that Santa would come only after they were well asleep, Sammy had to be assured that Santa would not be allowed to prowl around the house without strict supervision, and he couldn't come in without Mommy and Daddy knowing about it.  Christmas had finally arrived, and we were finally free of fevers!

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