The Pre-Christmas Plague

Unfortunately, the first three weeks of the Christmas season were a haze of changing sheets and scrubbing carpets in the middle of the night and tending to sick kids all day.  I was going to write a post with the stats of this illness the kids had but I didn’t have the energy to figure that out.  I washed the sheets so many times that I ran out of laundry detergent (which never happens here).  I ran out of carpet cleaner and but they still look like they need some professional help.  My hands were raw from washing them and scrubbing things.  I didn’t make dinner for two weeks unless it was pasta or a frozen pizza and I didn’t go to the grocery store unless it was for Vitamin Water or popsicles or bananas.

I’m so glad it’s over.  It was a little bit of a roller coaster.  At first I didn’t think Casey was going to get it or at least she got a milder version.  Then she’s throwing up all night.  As soon as I thought Jack was better and sent him to school, he was throwing up again and soiling his sheets in the middle of the night.  I still cringe when he tells me his belly feels funny even though I’m sure it’s from the massive amounts of food I’m feeding him.  He lost a little weight but I think he’s more than making up for it this week.  He’s finally eating like I heard boys eat!

We missed a lot of things in the last few weeks – school field trips and birthday parties and holiday parties and church practice.  But now everyone is doing well and we’re getting really excited for Christmas!  I’m so glad I got most of my shopping done early or was able to buy online.  We’re counting down the days (we have 4 countdown calendars) and I think I might get through this without being too frantic about the things I have left to do.  The silver lining of spending so much time at home is that I got to sit down and watch a lot of Christmas shows with the kids and that was kind of fun and brought back good memories.  The kids are really into Christmas specials now!

Despite being pretty sick kids, the highlight of each morning was coming downstairs to open their Lego Advent calendar.  Each day they pull open a box and there is a Lego figure or car or spaceship they can build.  Jack has a Lego Star Wars calendar and Casey’s is a Lego City calendar.  Jack is already excited about next year.

Here are a few pictures of the first day…

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My Favorite Christmas Present

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went out to dinner with Pat’s parents before they left town.  We went to Pat and the kids’ favorite restaurant which attached to the mall.  We go there quite often and then we usually stop by the pet store after dinne to look at all the animals.  This time, Nana took the kids into the dollar store as well.  Casey desperately needed some pencils I think.  And then I guess they decided to do a little Christmas shopping.  Both Jack and Casey came out of the store with a bag and a Christmas present they picked out for me.
The first thing Jack wanted to do on Sunday as we were starting our Christmas decorating was to wrap his present.  I got all the wrapping paper out for him, tape and scissors and told him to have at it.  After a little bit of time he asked if he could use some tissue paper instead because he decided it would be easier to put it in a bag.  
After it was in there, I asked if he had labeled it.  He got a piece of paper and wrote out his from and to lines.  Then he asked me if that was a sentence.  I told him it was just a label and he wanted to know what a label was.  There was a wine bottle nearby so I tried to explain it with a wine label.  I think he was satisfied because he was quiet for a little longer.
Then he showed me his bag and he was very proud of it, even if he isn’t smiling in the picture:

He wanted to make sure it had a sentence, so he wrote “You wil like it.”  And I believe I shall because that is the cutest tag on a present ever and I already like it!  Although I’m pretty curious about what’s in the bag but that will have to wait a few more days.  21 actually, according to our 4 countdown calendars.

Christmas Decorating

On Sunday, we started our Christmas decorating.  Pat pulled all the boxes out of the attic and brought them downstairs.  The kids pulled everything out of the boxes, set them on whatever surface they could find and left the boxes strewn around.  I attempted to make our fake Christmas tree presentable by using zip ties to hold branches in place.  Casey and Jack asked when they could decorate the tree and where the ornaments were about 45 times.  We strung the garland and then it was finally time to decorate!

Actually it was a pretty fun afternoon.  I liked that I could let them pull everything out of boxes and not worry about them breaking things (too much.)  I loved their excitement.  I loved watching them find all their ornaments and remembering when they got them.  I love how quickly they decorate a tree.  I even love their clumps of ornaments on the tree.

The afternoon’s pictures:

Casey never shies from an opportunity to pose.

 Jack waits patiently so he can put the first present under the tree.

Casey helps Daddy under the tree.  He’s turning it to hide the bad spots.  Yes, our fake tree has bad spots.

More smiling and posing.

Pulling all the ornaments out and “staging” them for tree decorating.

Casey’s clump of special ornaments.

Casey’s favorite Cinderella ornament that’s lost its wheels from rough handling over the past two years.  She kept asking who broke it and denied that she would have done that when we told her she did it.

Jack hanging an ornament.

Jack’s turn to put the angel on the tree.

Jack as a human crane.

Almost there.

Casey makes sure the angel looks good.