Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sickness Creeps In

The Grinch arrived early this year. However, instead of stealing presents he gifted us with a seriously ugly illness. It presented itself in different ways, depending on the Flegal. For the two boys, there were "upset stomachs," which is a fairly soft description of what transpired. For the girls, Mom included, there were fevers, chills, aches, sore throats and a lot of coughing. It was not pleasant. Lottie was especially hit hard. She was in pretty good spirits, as long as we kept the fever reducer flowing, but it lingered for days. 

Did I mention that Andrew was out of town? That Grinch timed his cruel plot so well. ;)

This morning during our family scripture study, we talked about cultivating an attitude of gratitude. So, if I was to try to apply our lesson to today's blog post, I would point out the good things that came from our week of "yuck."

We shifted out of the hustle and bustle holiday gear into something more low key. There was more cuddling, I cleaned the bathrooms really well and extra time spent in the bathtub and/or shower. Hopefully I was more tender as I handled my sick babes. It's for certain that the kids stepped up and helped more (depending on who was healthy) when they could as they knew I was struggling myself to keep it together without Dad. Friends and neighbors stepped up with acts of service to our family which is always very appreciated. Just yesterday, a friend brought us a big crock pot of chicken noodle soup and rolls. I'm feeling "behind" in regards to my Christmas preparation and am not 100% better myself, but I feel grateful that we are well on our way to being healthy for Christmas day (knock on wood).

Wanting to escape the house for a bit on Friday, Andrew (who was finally home) drove us to Willard bay to see the lights and visit Santa. We got there early which meant there was no line to see Santa. Knowing the children were void of fevers, they were allowed to sit on his lap and share with him their Christmas wishes.
 
 
 
 and for the grand finale:
 
Without having to wait at all, we boarded the train outside to go see the lights! I didn't know they'd have the train (I thought we'd be driving our car to see the light display), but thankfully we were prepared with hats, gloves and scarves. Bundling everyone up, we cozied up on the train to take in the pretty lights together. I was grateful for the fresh, albeit chilly, air and to be snuggled up with my kids.
 
You can't compare the lights to the majesty of Temple Square or Christmas Village, but the kids seriously enjoyed them. Christmas music played in the train which added to the ambiance which is probably what I love most about visiting Willard Bay. It's timed (and priced) just right for families with small children. We ended the night with peppermint ice cream cones. Brrrrr is right!

Other December happenings I'd like to note include:

Forrest is 19 months old! 
He has moved past mischievous into a phase of dangerous curiosity. He is a problem solver and is determined to accomplish what his mind has made up to do. Sometimes this impresses and delights us; while other times it is incredibly frustrating as we are constantly needing to step up our baby proofing game. I don't want to share his latest misadventure in detail as it still makes me sick to my stomach. Let me just say that it is important, friends, to put the safety plugs into all electrical sockets. I am not trying to be funny. It's not funny. It scared me to death. He's okay, thankfully, but it could have been tragic.

As for his big brother, look how handsome he is in his first grade photo.
 This past October, Henry was the student of the month. I am so proud of this boy. I love him, I love him, I love him.
 
Speaking of good kids that I love, I have a great Eliza story to share. During our week of illness, I dragged the kids into the school as I was checking Eliza in late. I wanted her to sleep in that morning and make sure she was no longer fevered. Having woken up feeling better, we decided to send her. I also needed to add money to Henry's lunch account as he has recently jumped on the school lunch train.

The secretary surprised me when she looked up, noticed me standing there and said,

"Oh, I have something for you!" I thought that was really odd for her to have something for me. Of all the parents who have kids at that school, she had something at her desk for me. She had no idea I was coming in that morning. She smiled as she explained:

"This note was found in the hall and it belongs to your daughter. It's just so cute, I thought you should read it." I was touched by her thoughtfulness in hanging on to this for me. She was right, this letter brightened my week in a big way.
Eliza has told me about this boy before. She likewise thinks he is a great friend. I know that he makes her laugh. It was so nice of him to write this for her. Anytime you hear your child is kind from someone, it feels good. This sweet letter was no exception.

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