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Christmas recap

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I already typed a blog of this topic earlier today, and it got swallowed by my computer somehow. Awfully frustrating...usually I give up when this happens, but I decided to try again.

Mostly it was a good Christmas, but unfortunately I did spend a part of it feeling pretty rotten. I have been persuaded to have a doctor check me out, which is a big hairy deal for me, because I really hate going to the doctor.

I woke up around 5:30 A.M. (after having gone to bed Christmas eve without putting the presents under the tree or stuffing the stockings because I wasn't feeling well) and couldn't sleep. So I decided to go ahead and put the presents out, which I did. Note to self - next year, buy more stocking stuffers - there weren't enough. Then I played some computer solitaire until I felt sleepy and went back to bed.

I was dragged out of bed to open presents a few hours later, and that was a lot of fun. I got some very nice presents, and I think my kids were happy with what they got also. Meanwhile, I was dealing with pain in my stomach, and was mostly incapacitated for the afternoon. I was too sick to walk the dog, and, if it hadn't been Christmas, I would have made the kids scrounge for dinner. As it was, I had promised my son my cheddar mashed potatoes, so I dragged myself up to make them. He did help by doing the mashing. Dinner wasn't ready until after 8 P.M., because I just wasn't too functional - and also had to wash a bunch of dishes before I could cook (washing dishes was very low on the priority list before Christmas).

The mashed potatoes were the only real indulgence we had. It was a very simple dinner for Christmas - ham, the potatoes (made with half and half, a whole stick of butter, cheddar, and fresh chives from our garden), and fresh broccoli with cheese sauce. No dessert. In fact, other than one four-ounce chocolate Santa each for the kids, and cinnamon rolls (from a tube) for breakfast, there were no sweets for Christmas. That is NOT the norm for me, for sure.

After dinner I got sicker - felt really terrible, even though I didn't think I had eaten that much. I went to bed early, and did wake up feeling better today. I had also lost almost a pound from three or four days earlier. I guess there's something to be said for feeling queasy - it does prevent overindulgence.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 12/28/2012 11:24AM

    Hope you are feeling better. Glad you had a good day with your family.

I home schooled 4 kids also. 4 are in college. It was so worth it.

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WORTHART 12/27/2012 1:54AM

    I hope you are feeling better and to haul out another old saying "It's an ill wind that blows no good." Being sick on Christmas is the pits though. Take care.

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BLITZEN40 12/27/2012 12:02AM

    The silver lining in every cloud of sickness is weight loss. I always gain it all back and then some when I'm well again though. Good for you for not doing lots of sweets this year. Glad you made it through the day and hope you get well soon! And put those college kids of yours on dish duty. ;) emoticon

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Oh Dear...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I think I am coming down with something that may even be the flu. I am feeling achy, very, very tired, and also shivery. Late on Christmas eve is not the time to be getting sick. I can't let my kids down in the morning. I am going to take some strong meds and head for bed. God willing, I will wake early feeling better and get the presents under the tree and in the stockings.

Wishing everyone out in Spark land a very happy Christmas! And lots of health and well-being for the coming year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLITZEN40 12/26/2012 10:47PM

    Hope you are feeling better and had a great Christmas with your kids!

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ARCHIMEDESII 12/26/2012 1:47PM


My brother is getting over the flu now. The nieces and nephews had it too ! Something is definitely going around. Drink some hot tea. I find hot tea helps.


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CLAIREINPARIS 12/26/2012 1:34PM

    I hope you are feeling much better!

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TRYINGTOLOSE64 12/25/2012 8:57PM

    Merry christmas and I hope you get to feeling better!!

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ALICIA214 12/25/2012 12:38AM


I hope you kick whatever you have to the curb ..not a good time to be under the weather.......I just had some sort of stomach bug took up residence for a little more than
two weeks .... not fun. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year.

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POWER2XCEL 12/25/2012 12:29AM

  Merry Christmas and I hope you are feeling better!

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Oh, Christmas Tree...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A couple of years ago, I discovered that, if one waits until late in the month, Lowe's will have their remaining cut Christmas trees on sale for half off. Their trees aren't that expensive to begin with, and cheap is one price that appeals to me greatly.

So, for the last two years, we have gotten a tree - admittedly, a pretty ugly tree, but hey, that really doesn't matter once it's decorated - for around $10-$15 at Lowe's. I don't mind waiting, anyway, because I don't do the decorating in the first place - my 22-year old does, and he doesn't get home from college until around the 15th. And we do do Advent, which I have come to appreciate more and more through the years, and which makes Christmas even more special when it comes.

So that was the plan again this year. However, this year, it seems I waited just a little too long. Yesterday (the 21st) we headed out to Lowe's, only to find that they were totally out of trees other than the artificial kind. We are a 'real tree' kind of family, so that wasn't going to cut it. We tried two nurseries, but all they had were live trees in large pots. I would have been OK with that, and we did get a live tree one year (it lives on in our back yard), but the nurseries wanted over
$100 for tiny little trees, and that is not within budget. All the freestanding tents full of cut trees were also sold out/closed.

My poor son, who really, really cares about such things, far more than I do - because that isn't really what Christmas is or should be all about - was in despair. "Be not afraid," I said to him. (Well, not really, but I wish I had said that.)

Thinking creatively outside the box, I sent him to the Internet and told him to search on Christmas tree farms. The first two he found had both closed on the 16th. How completely unfair of them! However, the third one was a WINNER. They cheerfully advertised that they are open every day right up until Christmas eve. Definitely folks after my own heart. The fact that their farm is over an hour away was not a deterrent. We mounted our trusty steed, er, car, and headed out.

We reached their very nice tree farm, grabbed a wagon, and started looking. Some spirited disagreements about the relative virtues of various trees ensued. After about another hour, we managed to agree on an acceptable tree, ruthlessly sawed it down, stuffed it into the back of our car, and headed home. Damage done - $30. Not my usual super-duper deal, but an acceptable price.

So, after some hard work by my wonderful son, here is the result:

And here are my amazingly fantastic children:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLITZEN40 12/23/2012 12:17AM

    Pretty tree and a great picture of your kids! Glad you found what you were looking for... sounds like a fun adventure!

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MRSOLIVER455 12/22/2012 7:43PM

    that's awesome, any way to save a few dollars! I can't wait until I get in a house instead of this apartment to get a real tree.

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UMBILICAL 12/22/2012 7:34PM

  A bargain

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Ah, yes!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLITZEN40 12/20/2012 10:42PM

    Haha! I had that doughnut on one hand today! On the other hand I had some brownies, cookies, candy and a bowl full of frosting. Tomorrow, on my belly, I'm sure there'll be a few extra pounds. emoticon

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Adventures in Daycare

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Well, I didn't think I would have anything worth blogging about today. I guess one never knows. I did have to work today, which is unusual since I work very part time. Today I was watching kids whose parents were at a school music programme.

Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal at all. There weren't all that many kids, and some of them I know quite well, because I have babysat for them many times. But it was just one of those days.

One little girl, who is never any trouble at all, had evidently been drinking a bit too much. Drinking water, juice, or milk, mind you. At all events, she peed a LOT. She not only filled her pull-up, she overflowed it. There was urine down her pants, soaking her socks and shoes, and there was a huge puddle on the floor. In all the years I have been babysitting, this is the first time I have had a puddle of pee on the floor.

What was worse was that I was just in a fifth-grade classroom - no sink, no toilet, not even any hand sanitizer. Luckily there were Clorox wipes, plus of course a clean pull-up and baby wipes. We wiped down the floor with paper towels and Chlorox wipes, I changed her pull-up, and pants, and crisis number one was over. Though we had no place to put the resulting trash...

Next, her little brother, who is not used to being away from his mom, decided it was time to start some serious crying. My son, who was helping me, is totally grossed out by snot and drool, and this little guy was producing copious quantities of both. I took him, did what I could to console him, and started using equally copious quantities of Kleenex to wipe up the snot and drool.

Meanwhile, a mom dropped off her little boy, who was really no trouble compared to the others, but who was fast - amazingly fast - and who was into absolutely everything, so he required a lot of watching. I got pretty miffed when his mom, after leaving him for over half an hour (of a one-hour concert), took him out without bothering to pay us. Sadly, not so very unusual. The rates were clearly listed, everyone knew what the cost was supposed to be - but my son and I were too busy to go chasing after her to try to force her to pay. I'll admit it makes me not all that willing to do it the next time I'm asked.

Then, while the unhappy little guy was still crying and producing bodily fluids, another (very sweet) little guy created, shall I say, a rather bad smell in his diaper. I don't mind changing diapers, but it is kind of hard to do while holding and cuddling another child. And did I mention that the same son who dislikes drool isn't all that fond of poop, either? But he decided that, of the two, he'd rather deal with the drool, so I got the diaper and he got the unhappy baby.

By the time the concert was over - and the whole thing was just under an hour! - I was wilting. My son and I cleaned up, the janitor was informed that new trash can liners were needed in the fifth-grade classroom, and we headed home. I'm not sure I've ever had one hour with that many crises before. And I got paid...$12. Definitely not sure if it's worth the trouble.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLITZEN40 12/20/2012 8:12PM

    As much as I love babies and little ones, I do NOT miss the diapers, pull-ups or potty training days! Chasing after the little ones IS a great job to help keep you in shape though. I miss my baby carrying biceps. If the gal who didn't pay comes back tell her you cannot allow her to leave her child with you again until she pays for last time's services. Business is business. Wages paid for services rendered. Fair and square. Good luck!

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NOTSETTLING 12/20/2012 12:06AM

    Wowzers! Despite all of that, you seemed to keep a great attitude! emoticon
I wish you body fluid free dreams.

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