Life was getting back to normal. We got over the flu and in two short weeks we celebrated Sage's 13th birthday, we went ice skating, we saw Santa, I got all the laundry caught up again, I was feeling 100% better, I cleaned and de-cluttered like crazy; I even dusted the ceiling fans. We decorated inside and out and baked tons of cookies, we made Christmas cookie care packages for all service people/ mail carrier who stopped by, we happily made crafts, Smith-wick (our elf) brought great joy and fun. Sugarplums danced in our heads for the better half of December. I spent loads of time doing other things with the kids too, like making Santa faces from paper plates and cotton balls, watching Christmas movies, hanging red and green paper chains all over the house, playing and reading. We made delicious homemade pretzels and everyone settled in and enjoyed the time together (and being well again). On the Winter Solstice we decorated a tree outside with apple rings, birdseed pine cones and circle pretzels as offerings for the "snow angels" just like in Little Bear, and we sang.
Things were indeed TONS better. The kids were weaned of the TV after being sick and overloading on it, the house looked great, we were happily awaiting Christmas Eve. Then I noticed sniffles and sneezes starting up in the kids. I soon woke up with a sore throat, it appeared we were getting a cold. Just a day before Christmas Eve a few younger kids had fevers. I was nervous but super hopeful and sure it would be no big deal... Christmas Eve came and we watched my favorite comedy Christmas movie that we all totally enjoy and laugh wildly at, Jingle All The Way. Christmas morning came early (5:30am) and we had a lot of fun and family time full of joy. Sebastian enjoyed his toys for a few hours and then laid down on the couch with a warm rosy face; the poor little guy burned up from there on and didn't get up the rest of the day except for us to give him drinks. Ricky felt under the weather by 11am and took a nap until 1:30. Aunt Sharon and Grandma visited and overall we had a nice time and pretty Christmas dinner. By the time they left Charlotte was in bed sick and other kids seemed feverish, too.
For the following seven days after Christmas I walked around the house getting lethargic laid up kids orange juice, water, hot tea, cold rags, medicine, tissues and small meals while repeating to myself "I just CAN NOT freaking believe this. THIS IS SO NOT FAIR." Ricky recovered quickly and was able to help me thank goodness ( just as I got sicker). It was/is an upper respiratory virus and some of us now appear to have bronchitis. It's not nearly as bad as the flu but it still took its toll on all of us. With the flu it was just misery, with this "cold" at least Ricky and I got to spend time together snuggling and watch TV (although interrupted often by kids needing us). So now we're back to square one, recovering as I pick up the pieces of a messy house and getting caught up on laundry. I so did not expect this! We've never all been sick with a flu or cold ALL at the exact time and here it happened back to back in the same month and with a vengeance!! I can't fathom it still, even though I lived it! I'm thankful we are up healing up faster this time and even us bronchitis stricken people actually seem to be fairing okay. In hindsight we are awesome and we are troopers and we overcame all of this: but man did it suck. (Still sucks since we really aren't over it yet.) New Years Eve is upon us and no one feels like eating much, nothing sounds good at all and as a result we have no party food or drinks or noise makers. Bah! Humbug! :) In reality though my head is full of snot and I'm coughing like crazy so I don't care. I've been holding Everett all day because he's still not feeling well. I wanted SO bad to be all better this morning that I thought I was... I was so determined. I started trying to do my normal Monday routine: stripping the bed for washing, making the bed, cleaning my room, starting the laundry, making breakfast... I made it as far as taking the pillow cases off our pillows, making hot tea and starting one load of laundry before I was EXHAUSTED and holding a fussy baby on the bed as we both dozed off restlessly.
I can not wait to be normal again!! I have things to do and kids to enjoy and decorations to put away and a house to clean... we have loads of school we have to catch up on and I have so much hope that this was the last of illness we need to have for a long time! I hope the winter goes by as fast as it came and with lots of: trips to the Magic House, school/art projects, more pretzel making, good conversations, family games, hot cocoa, winter hobbies, a few home projects... and a snowman or two!