Monday, December 30, 2013

Please, no pukies! Please, no pukies!

After seeing The Naptime Decorator's post today of her most popular posts of 2013, I curiously looked at my stats.  I didn't look very long before getting completely sidetracked by the few posts I never finished and never published.  

This post I stumbled on from earlier in the year reminded me why I sent Mike a couple of texts urging him to take precautions (wash hands a lot, shower as soon as he gets home) while he's playing poker today with friends who have been sick recently.  Influenza and the Norovirus are knocking family after family off their feet.  Am I paranoid?  Read on to see why! (There are no near-death experiences involved, just stuff that made me whine a bit.)

From January 2013

If Michael and Sophie remember anything specific about their first official gymnastics class from today it might be meeting their teacher Ms. Michelle, or swinging on the ropes and rings, or balancing or something like that.

Mike and I will remember it as the day after the stomach bug sent us straight to hell, how we watched both kids tumble like champs all the while hoping nobody, including ourselves, puked.  And nobody did!  Miraculous.

Sophie was sick earlier this week.  We came home from the zoo on Sunday after only seeing penguins, birds, and reptiles because about 20 minutes into the adventure Sophie wanted to be held and then asked to go home.  We knew that was a pretty bad sign.

On Monday my mom came, and kiddo seemed back to her playful self by the afternoon.  

However, on Tuesday morning, just as I was wrapping up my morning routine and putting my coat on for work, Sophie threw up.  Twice.  I was too late (by two minutes!) to put in for a substitute teacher in the online system, so I had to make phone calls, email sub plans, and once again re-adjust my vision for how this week would go.

By Wednesday morning Sophie didn't have a fever and hadn't puked in 24 hours, but Mike stayed home since she was still pretty lethargic.

My mom came on Thursday and emailed me that we might want to plan to be home on Friday as Sophie just still wasn't herself yet.  I called Mike, he prepared to be home on Friday just in case, and I made a mental note to dock Sophie's first year of allowance to cover one week of missed child care.

But since the kids had been well for over 24 hours and all looked good, they did go to child care on Friday. 

I, however, stayed home after enduring a night of my own stomach bug torture--it hit me around 11 PM Thursday night.  Amid my agony I took a mental account of this week's damage: two sick days, two days of sub plans, incomplete plans for next week to finish at home by Monday, and an out-of-control stack of ungraded work for me to return to. So not my style.

At least I got a day to myself to recover...

Except that by noon the child care center called to say Michael was flushed, sleepy, and just not himself.  He didn't have a fever or anything, but he fell asleep at the lunch table without eating anything.  I called Mike so we could figure out our game plan,  knowing from experience that our boy was sure to throw up at any second, and I was still in rough shape myself.

To my further dismay, Mike answered his phone from our driveway.  He had come home having gotten sick at work.  

So at this point, twelve hours into the stomach bug and feeling the need for rest and assistance myself, I was essentially a single parent with two kids to pick up, and lots of puking still on the horizon. I knew grandparent back-up was unavailable, so I did my best to take on the "a mom must do" mentality.

I'm pretty sure the kids' teachers felt sorry for me with my sick-day hair, no make-up, and shaky hands as I tried to put the kids' coats on.  They kindly helped me get the kids out the door, but I had to sit down in the lobby for a few minutes to settle my stomach.  Thankfully, Michael was willing and able to walk to the car along with Sophie, and she was relatively cooperative about climbing in the car herself (there's typically a little silliness involved).  

Once home, I rolled out the nap mats, turned on Little Einsteins, and we chilled like that well into the evening--with the exception of when Michael did in fact puke.

This is where the draft ended.  I don't recall much more, so I'm glad I documented that much as it reminds me, at least, why I feel something akin to PTSD when I hear of highly-contagious garbage going around.  It also brings to mind this post about the kids' first stomach bug.  Ominously, these two posts were written in the middle of the last two Januaries.

Alrightly, time to wash hands again, kids!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013


We became an elf family this year!

Aside from sitting in a toy airplane on top of the fridge one day and sipping syrup on a kitchen counter on another, most days Ginger just returned from the North Pole to sit simply on a cabinet or table or shelf to be discovered there by Michael and Sophie in the morning and to do her scout elf duty.

On Friday, coincidentally on my last day of work before Christmas, Ginger left a note for Michael and Sophie at the top of the stairs saying that Santa knew they had been good and wished for her to do some tricks to make them laugh. After reading that note we found this:

On Saturday she left another note for the kids explaining that her favorite color is red (favorite colors are a big deal around here lately) and that she hoped their Cheerios would be extra cheery thanks to the milk she had prepared.


On Sunday she made a "snow" angel.  Although the kids did get a kick out of that, Sophie requested more red milk.


Perhaps in response to Sophie's request, last night Ginger left a note saying she would only be hanging around for a couple more days.  She also asked, "What color is the Grinch?  Go have some milk to see!"

The ornaments she strung are ones Michael and Sophie have been making over the last few weeks.  She must have overheard us talking about stringing them in the playroom doorway.


And that colored milk got a big laugh again.  Silly Ginger!

Tomorrow I bet she'll be in the Christmas tree so she can easily hitch a ride back to the North Pole with Santa.

I'm very glad that Ginger came to us.  We will definitely miss her and look forward to her return next year!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A glimpse of winter

Here's a quick glimpse into some Christmas and winter fun from this last week...


Last Saturday we picked out a tree in 20 degree weather and decorated it on Sunday.  This is the view from the landing upstairs.  Looking at it, especially from up there, fills me with joy, gratitude, and awe, so I think we picked a good one.

While we could (and surely will) put some living room furniture in that space as well, I'm really enjoying how functional it is empty.  Furniture would just get in the way of our "ice skating" in slippers.

On Wednesday evening we attended our 4th Christmas party at the kids' child care center.  Like last year, Sophie tried to sing in the two-song class concert and tried to muster up the nerve to sit with Santa, but once again both events led her to tears.  Another kid kept bumping her as they stood to sing, and her big smile and excited waves turned into flustered sobbing.  She spent the concert snuggling on my lap.  Later she walked right up and started to talk to Santa, but when he and Mike both leaned down to lift her onto the big guy's lap, she screamed in terror (for real...terrrrrror), her feet kicking in a blur as Mike carried her away.  She really tried!

Michael participated in the concert, but he was hidden a bit behind some taller kids, so the video isn't great.  He said he would sit with Santa after Sophie, but her reaction caused him to politely decline his turn.  The sweetie.

Sing it with me: Maybe next year.  However, Mike does have a work party this week and the kids know they can try again to talk to Santa there, so they're thinking about it.

LT Party-1

Prior to the songs and Santa, we hung out in the kids' classroom for a bit.  I got there a little early and changed the kids into fancier clothes than the finger-paint and spaghetti stained gear I usually pick them up in, sitting in the same spot you see above to do so.  This is where the teachers sit for circle time, and within half a second of sitting there I had a dozen preschoolers around me showing off their sparkly shoes and tambourines and...that spot is asking for it.  When Mike arrived and offered to read "Sleeping Beauty" to Sophie in this spot, I almost warned him. Instead I enjoyed watching him get initiated as a preschool teacher.

This morning we welcomed the first big snow in our new house and finally put that little hill to the use we envisioned back in September.


Happy winter!

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