I am sitting at home with a little girl who has been running a low grade fever for a few days. The rest of the folks are at church and the baby is playing in her crib. It is very, very quiet. 🙂 I listened to a sermon online, threw a load of laundry into the dryer, (Gasp.) and decided to attempt a bit of an update. Funny, how sometimes I can’t sleep until I write something, and other times I let it lapse for weeks on end. Methinks a bit of discipline would be good for me! I keep tossing around the idea of taking some online courses in writing, but how would I ever accomplish those kind of deadlines? Ha. I also keep tossing around the idea of committing to a post a day, or something like that. New year’s resolution, perhaps. For one month. Maybe. See what I mean about discipline?
It feels like we have been trying to get well for ever. It took about a week for us to dig out from under all the graduation hoopla. The primary emotion around here was weariness. For the children it was Crankiness, mingled with colds and a spot of flu. Thank God, there was no puking! I might have had a touch of Crankiness myself. Addy has had two solid weeks of the worst runny nose. How much snot can one small body produce? Apparently about its own weight, as evidenced by the prodigious amount of tissues and hankies we snorted through. I brewed up 3 batches of home made elderberry syrup and dosed everybody constantly with that and vitamin C. The thing with home remedies is I don’t know whether we would have gotten a lot more sick without them, or if they are a total waste of time… At least it makes me feel like I am doing something for the suffering one, apart from drugging them into a stupor. I feel pretty confident about my immune booster regimen, enough that the boys’ groans and protests don’t intimidate me at all. I feel like Tom Sawyer’s aunt, mercilessly wielding an enormous spoonful of brew. Addy is the only one whose afflictions lasted more than two days. She got tired of the elderberry juice and hasn’t yet learned about No Spluttering Medicine.
So, then it was Christmas time. For the first time since we are married, we did not spend the day with extended family. I anticipated a quiet day, just making our own little traditions, although I have to admit, it felt a little flat. (Christmas has been growing exponentially louder with the years as the amount of children in the Schlabach family increased.) Gabe had worked 18 hours on Christmas Eve until 7 AM Christmas morning, so he opted out of the waffle breakfast the boys made and got some sleep in the forenoon. The littles and I lighted all the candles, watched the Jesus Film for children, then played outside in the gorgeous snow for a while. Gabe made a heroic effort to get up at noon and we spent the afternoon refining our game playing skills with our new Settlers of Catan, our collective family gift.
I was really surprised at how well the boys caught on to the nuances of the trading and developing of their lands. Gregory, unambitious and kind-hearted, was constantly making impractical trades with his resource cards. Alex was a much more competitive player, specializing in getting the Longest Road. I have often looked at these games but thought they were too expensive. Obviously, I have revised my opinion. It is the most beautifully crafted board game of my acquaintance. We even like the tubby little wooden robber.
We took a break from Catan to get out the fine China and goblets for our ham and mashed potato dinner. I had made a tiramisu to eat at bedtime. And so the first Christmas with Just Us was fun and understated. I made one kind of candy this year, peanut butter buckeyes. That is all. Yesterday I gave the children permission to divide it out and eat it all up because I was so tired of their begging. 😉 I decided one colossal sugar buzz would be better than five mini sugar buzzes. I know, I know, that made no sense when you consider all the elderberry syrup I have been feeding them.
Gabe is still working all kinds of crazy hours, since he can’t start working as an RN until he passes the nursing board exam. Because he is a PA resident and the school is in MD, his paperwork was not submitted for an exam date before the holidays. At the moment it looks like he won’t have the exam until the end of January. But he does have the job he wanted at the local emergency department as soon as that is done. Until then he continues to haul sick people to the E.D. and then often taking care of the very same people on the med/surg floor during his hospital shifts. Usually when he has a shift in EMS, he can sleep at least a few hours before night shift at the hospital. Then he will have 24 hours at home before the next marathon. It is kind of a weird lifestyle, but we are so grateful that he has a job!
Sometimes I think “normal” is so far out there that we have completely forgotten what it is. Ha. I have been assured that “normal” is greatly overrated. What say?