Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Progression of the Flu

It all began at a Gingerbread House making party.

It was a fun-filled evening of kid chaos: candy, icing, graham crackers, and stickiness galore. The kids had a blast and loved their houses. Anna was the perfectionist (wonder where she gets that from).

Jesse ate all the candy off of his when our backs where turned. All that is left of his by the end of the night was a pile of graham crackers.

And that night we left for Wisconsin to spend Christmas with Joel's parents and Aunt. We drove through the night and were miserably tired the next day, taking turns napping while the tired kids ran a muck. We got a few texts from friends that had been at the same party saying that their whole families had gotten sick with some kind of flu bug. I shrugged it off in my haze of sleepiness. Then it hit on our 2nd day in Wisconsin. Joel, Anna, Josie, and I were all sick, immobile, that day.

Friday was better except Asher spiked a fever and we took him and Jesse to urgent care. Both had ear infections and Asher had some sort form of croup, brushed off by the doc that the ear infection antibiotics would take care of whatever it was. Christmas Eve looked promising until my Mother-in-law woke with the flu and Asher still had a fever. Joel and I still weren't eating. Jesse was running circles around us all. Lots of Christmas traditions get thrown out the window when you are sick. We had cookies and food stacked to the ceiling but no one could eat anything! We actually had soup for Christmas Eve dinner, much to my Father-in-law's disappointment.

Now Christmas day really looked better. Most perked up that Santa found us in Wisconsin and squeals came from everywhere as the kids searched for their stockings. That Santa is one sneaky guy.

Asher still had a fever (and a haircut! Can you tell my mother-in-law got a hold of him?)

Jesse as the most expressive to watch as he opened presents. Then something started to happen and his joy got less and less. He opened Cars 2 and then crawled into Joel's lap, and threw up. The flu wasn't on his list Santa! He was asleep before we finished opening presents.

Josie was just a joy to watch in her excitement of everything. She mainly loved the maze that presents provided.

and the tree ornaments where in danger every time we turned our backs.

The day after Christmas, we found ourselves in the ER for 6 hours with Asher, diagnosed with a bad case of pneumonia. It was a crazy experience in there and we can now see why the make TV shows based on this environment...a few of ours during this trip: a grandpa kicked by a cow, a woman with a chicken bone stuck in her throat befriending everyone, drooling while she talked and no one could understand her, a mother yelling in anger as she walked out about how they were going to here from her attorney, and a helicopter landing outside the ER doors. Poor Asher was miserable through and I wish I could get my hands on that urgent care doctor!

We extended our trip one day after all this hoping for some actual normal time with the grandparents and woke that day to find my father-in-law with the flu. We felt so bad! Joel's aunt also left that day and I am wondering if she is the one who got away without it catching up to her?

It was a Christmas to remember. It was hard to watch a lot of things get pushed aside...all those traditions you are looking forward to. But we realized the best part was that we were together as a family. Those moments are always treasured whether they were what you expected or not. The kids loved all their gifts and we still made Jesus a birthday cake (all though it wasn't eaten much), and we reflected in the best gift of all: Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tales Of December

Next week we head out to WI for Christmas. The kids have been busy preparing their Santa lists, making cookies, and we have been busy shopping and running from pageants to parties. It has been a truly fun month and we realize how blessed we are as we reflect on the real reason for the season every night on our advent calendar. However we talk about Santa a lot too and are sad to realize this might be the last year we get away with Santa for Asher. Why do they have to grow up?

Chick Fil A has become a family favorite restaurant and even more so in December when Santa comes to town. Not only do we get to see Santa, but the Santa cow too!

Josie wasn't so sure about Santa. We thought this was hilarious since she seems to love everybody. How could you not like this man, doesn't he look real!?! I made that same comment to a lady next to me and glanced down to see Anna looking up at me wide eyed...and the lady says "Because he is real!". Nice save. Duh, you wouldn't know I had 4 kids.

Chick Fil A took their pictures, printed them out to turn into ornaments, and had the kids decorate them. So this is the picture on Josie's 1st Christmas ornament..haha!!

She warmed up after awhile...long enough to get a picture with her siblings.

So I had to add a picture of her beautiful smiling face after that.

A picture of our whole family at our Church's Christmas program. Shoes are missing since we had to drag them out of the bounce house for this picture.

We also made a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo to see their amazing display of Christmas lights. We got their a little before dark to see some animals and enjoy our packed dinner. This peacock is about to get Josie's dinner and she is oblivious. It was a pretty funny encounter.

The lights were amazing, complete with Santa and live reindeer.

Jesse's school did a Holiday program where every kid got to say a line and perform to a song with their class. This was the 1st time we have ever dragged the whole family out for Jesse. He is normally being brought to Anna's and Asher's performances and swim meets. He was so excited to be the star! He got to dress up like a train conductor and perform to the song "Hot Chocolate" from the Polar Express. His line was "We run the polar express!" and he did great! He now insists on wearing this outfit every single day!

Here is is with his buddy Olivia. He tells me he "loves" her and that she is his best friend. Below is his performance.

We hope each one of you is also enjoying a beautiful December rejoicing in the true joy Jesus brought to each one of you lives. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tales of November

When a good friend texted me to say she was worried because I hadn't updated my blog in awhile, I realized that I just had to buckle down and do it. I am often wondering what happened to all my blogger friends and now I have seen how easy it is to fall into the abyss of web silence. Forgive my absence! I know we are in December now, but I can't move on to Christmas news until you get the November updates. November went by in a whirlwind since I came down with bronchitis and a sinus infection, my OCD insists that I get Christmas shopping done before December 1st, and then we traveled to WV for Thanksgiving. With the passing of the thankful month, the temperatures dropped and the winter boots and jackets were dug out of their bins. Asher has been perched on the window sill waiting for snow. Since it hasn't come yet, he has decorated every glass surface with paper snowflakes. Josie refuses to wear a winter hat and looses a sock every day...I hate baby socks!

Poppy and Joel took turns taking Asher hunting. I am not sure how they get him to sit still for very long but Asher truly seems to enjoy hunting. He has yet to get a deer but we will keep our fingers crossed for next year.

I made Oreo turkeys with the kids. These turkeys don't have a very long life span since they are made out of candy corn, icing, and chocolate covered cherries.

Josie got her hands on some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I am pretty sure she liked them.

and she started standing. Everything that was once safe is now being moved to higher shelves.

Swim season is in full swing and the kids have had their 1st swim meet. Asher has progressed to flip turns. See how I caught him in action..hehe. He is doing awesome in swimming and still loves it. We love what it has done to his confidence. He has yet to win a race but he is always placing in the top 10 and is consistently beating his previous times. We are super proud of him!

Anna has joined the swim team and swam in her 1st race. She did great! She too is consistently getting better but we now see that she is the one with the competitive gene. We were so excited for her 7th place, but she pouted and said, "I wanted 1st". She changed her mind when she saw that 7th place was a purple ribbon and squealed with delight.

Joel says we are a swim family now!

Come back next week for tales of December!