Saturday, December 28, 2019

It Was Great And I'm Glad It's Over!

Christmas is a beautiful time of the year, with food and friends and family. There's the celebration of the birth of Christ, the anticipation of Christmas morning and the excitement of Santa Claus visiting (and let's face it, you NEVER outgrow that!).

Thank GOD it's over, or nearly so! I love it, don't get me wrong, but I am exhausted.

I guess that's my number one on my Ten Things of Thankful.

I put all the Christmas decorations away today, except for the tree. Yay, me!

Global warming is real. Not thankful about that, but I am thankful the tornado warning that was issued about half an hour ago for where my dad lives was canceled without a tornado making an appearance. There should not be tornadoes in December, even if we DO live in Tornado Alley.

I called my dad as soon as I got the notification that there was a tornado warning where he lives to make sure he was aware of the situation, and he said his Red Cross tornado app had notified him. I told him to gather up a few necessities and head down to the basement now rather than wait until he had to hurry down (to which he pointed out that he could always get DOWN to the basement in a hurry; however, it might not be by going down on his feet). I told him to call me if the roof blew off the house or the warning was canceled., and when he called me a few minutes ago, he said he had gathered up his pills, a bottle of water, and the sack of caramel popcorn I made for him and was heading to the basement when the warning was canceled. Glad to see he has his priorities straight.

Both of my kids are home this week and haven't killed each other. I'm hoping they outgrow this before I die.

Last year, my husband got me the Tile tracker and it's paid for itself over and over, as I lose my phone and keys all the time (not REALLY lose, more like misplace, but still). One morning last week, I got in the driver's seat of my car after putting some items in the backseat and realized I didn't have my phone. I pushed the button on the Tile tracker on my car keys and faintly heard the merry little song that the lost item plays, but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. After thoroughly checking my purse, my pockets, and getting out of the car to check the backseat, I noticed I could still hear the tune outside the car. That's when I got down on my hands and knees and looked under the car, aaaaaaand there was my phone, lying on the driveway under the car. Pretty thankful I looked for the phone before I pulled out of the driveway, because it would have been one squishied phone!

We got a 3" memory foam mattress topper for our bed for Christmas, and it is heaven on earth! 

I ate the last of the peanut brittle for breakfast this morning, so it will no longer be around to tempt me.

Lewis ate a Christmas light TWICE from my front door decoration, and he also ate a hole through the plastic about halfway down a 40lb bag of kitty litter, which caused kitty litter to pour out onto the basement floor, and I didn't kill him. 

He is wrist deep in about ten pounds of litter.

I love my job, and I miss my little nugs, but having this week and most of next week off is niiiiiiiiice!

Whether you were naughty or nice this Christmas, I sure hope you were thankful in some way!
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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Late Again To The Thankful Party

If you think only school-aged children are old enough to get hyper excited about Christmas, then you have never been in a roomful of 1-2 year olds. They may not know WHY they are excited, but believe me when I say these kiddos have been wound up tighter than springs since Thanksgiving, and I don't foresee any let up until we get back from break in January (if then).

In spite of this mania, can I still find thankfuls in my every day life? You betcha! Here's what I'm thankful for this week (and always, actually):

1. My little nugs have already arrived at school when I get there in the morning, and when I appear in the doorway, their faces light up. It does a heart good when they run to the door, arms held up for me to pick them up and love on them.

2. We have been learning the Chicken Dance. There is progress.

3. I ordered some jingle bells on canvas straps from Amazon on Sunday night and got them Tuesday afternoon, and we have been playing them to Christmas music every morning. Make a joyful noise!

4. I have THE BEST student workers in my class! I feel as though I have gained a passel of daughters (and a few sons), and I love having them in my world.

5. A couple of my little nugs are getting fairly extensive vocabularies and can even put two words together to make a sentence, but most of them can only say a few words. Every one of them, however, can say "Cheerio", because I use them as a bribe an appetizer to get them to sit at the table when it's time for lunch. They can't say my name, but by golly, "Cheerio" rolls right off their tongues!

6. They may have only contributed a footprint, but we ended up with super cute Christmas gifts for the kids to give to their parents. They were more work to make than I anticipated (dammit, Pinterest, why do things look so cute and easy when I'm scrolling through for craft ideas?), but the end result was worth it:

7. Not long after we were married, we were given my husband's grandmother's glider rocker. I used it with my kids for rocking them to sleep and nursing them in the night, and I now have that rocker in my classroom. It's so very useful for rocking little ones at nap time or when they have a boo boo (real or imaginary) or when they just need a little extra TLC, and I'm sure my husband's grandmother is smiling down from Heaven every time it's been used over the past 25 years.

8. I not only work with a fantastic group of student workers, but I also work with a terrific staff. They have made me feel welcome and appreciated, and it means the world to me.

9. I volunteered to have the staff Christmas party at my house, which made me feel anxious and nervous and vulnerable, but part way through the evening, I finally relaxed and enjoyed myself. I think your home is a reflection of who you really are and not just what you show people from street view. I have now shown my co-workers that both me and my house can clean up pretty good, but we're a little messy around the edges and have stuff shoved into dark places and hidden from sight. And parts are aging a little roughly, but other parts seem to be improving with age. 

10. We were blessed with not one, but TWO snow days this week! I LOVE snow days!!!

Over and out.

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Thankfuls From The Trenches

There's a thankful or two in here somewhere, but I'm not sure where, exactly. You decide.

I didn't write a Ten Things of Thankful last weekend, because I was fairly sure I was on my deathbed. Turns out, I wasn't, but who knew at the time?

See, I have prided myself in the fact that I have only thrown up three times IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. The first time was when I was in kindergarten. The second was when I was seven and had gotten my tonsils out (you can read THAT story right here, and you should). The third and what I believed to be final time was on December 23, 1971. I was 11, in the 6th grade, and it was so horrible that I vowed never again.

I survived pregnancies, surgeries, and a couple of bouts with the stomach flu without ever throwing up. I cleaned up after my kids when THEY had the stomach flu and threw up, but I never did it myself. I was invincible, or so I thought until the early morning hours of November 23, 2019, when my streak ended. 

I believe I had food poisoning that night/morning, mostly because neither my dad nor my husband caught it, and my dad gets the stomach flu if you just say the words in front of him. Also, I had eaten pasta carbonara at a restaurant (something that will never pass my lips again), and it is rife with ingredients that could cause food poisoning. I felt like hammered horseshit for two days and nowhere near 100% ever since (including now).

Fast forward a couple of days to this past Wednesday. My husband, daughter and I picked up my dad and drove up to Kansas City to spend Thanksgiving (incidentally, my very favorite holiday, because you don't have to buy gifts for anyone and there's food) with my brother and his family. My brother wanted to take us to a favorite pizza place near them that evening. There was a 30 minute wait when we arrived, so we decided to go next door to a super cool toy store to kill time. My dad wasn't acting quite like himself, but I thought maybe he was just tired from meandering in the toy store (my dad will be 85 in two weeks, so he's entitled), but a few minutes later, I saw my husband and my dad go out onto the sidewalk, then saw my husband looking panicky and waving his arms around while my dad stood there, and I knew something was up.

When I went out the door, my dad was saying he was about to lose it. My first thought was that he either was having some kind of panic attack or there was something wrong with his heart. Neither. He thought he was going to throw up.

He didn't. Yet.

We canceled our plan to eat and went back to my brother's house. As soon as I had my dad settled in a chair with an empty wastebasket "just in case", my brother and I went to Target and picked up some clothes he would be more comfortable in if he were ill (he only had khaki pants and button down shirts with him, and who wants to dress like that when you feel like death?). We also got a couple of large bottles of ginger ale. Shortly after we got back to the house, he made use of the wastebasket, and it all went downhill after that (and by "downhill", just use your imagination). I took care of my dad all evening, until he finally felt he was ready to go to bed.

By morning (THANKSGIVING morning, mind you), my dad was downhiller than ever, and I had to make a Walmart run for more sweatpants and other things that I won't mention but you can figure out for yourself. In the meantime, my brother, with the help of his mighty  spreadsheet, were making our Thanksgiving feast. My dad didn't join us for our meal, but he was feeling better, and by evening, he was able to eat something bland and the Kaopectate that he took (enough to stop up an elephant, according to my dad) was finally doing its job, and by the time he went to bed, he was doing fairly well.

I went down to the basement guest room and tucked myself into bed. That lingering feeling of yuck from my own barf fest had not improved a bit and I was exhausted. My husband and daughter watched movies on their computers and I slept, or I did until about 10:00 pm when I heard the unmistakable sound of my husband throwing up.

And again.

And then he came to bed and turned on his side, facing me, breathing what was obviously stomach flu germs in my face, so I went back upstairs to sleep on the couch.

A few hours later, I heard my daughter throwing up.

Then husband.

Then daughter.

Then I tried not to hear anything that was going on downstairs, but know that things went rapidly "downhill" for them as well, and I had to make another trip to Walmart for more ginger ale. I spent the rest of Friday washing clothes, sheets and towels and cleaning two bathrooms (I am a good guest), and my husband and daughter determined they were able to travel the two hours home around 3:00 that afternoon. My dad, on the other hand, woke up that morning feeling great.

Halfway home, I got a text from my brother saying my niece was throwing up.

Two hours after that, I got another text from my brother, this time telling me HE was throwing up and that we were uninvited for next year.

The next morning, another text that my sister in law was now throwing up and he blamed me for all of it.

Here's the real question: did I have food poisoning when I got sick, or was I, indeed, Patient Zero as the family has taken to calling me? And how could I be Patient Zero if I was sick in the early morning hours of Saturday and no one else who had been close to me caught it until Wednesday evening? I believe I am being blamed needlessly and it was all a big coincidence, and I'm maybe a little nervous that instead of being Patient Zero I am actually Patient Seven.... 

What say you?

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