Sunday, November 27, 2011

Home again, home again...

No jigs, though.  Just sickies again!  Thank God for a mid-week Liturgy in celebration of Thanksgiving!  I wondered about whether to go (the kids were fussy, we were trying to pack to leave town that night or the next morning), whether to receive communion (we were somewhat late, was I prepared enough?), but ultimately, the reality of Winter with three kids who are passing around colds and fevers hit me with enough force for me to think, "Who knows when I'll have the opportunity again?"

And as I'd suspected, we're home again this morning.  Susannah had a slight fever last night and hives.  She slept in a lot (after tossing, turning, and itching through parts of the night), has lost the fever, but the hives remain.  Anyone have any magical ideas on how to convince a picky four-year-old to take benadryl?

Thankfully, my little guy is mostly back to normal.  Fever's been gone a week, and I finally get the sense he has slept and eaten enough to make up for being sick for several days with a high fever.  His giggly, inquisitive personality is back, he chatters up a storm, and he tries to scale various pieces of furniture once again.  Just now, he crawled into my lap and nursed to sleep.  Cutie.

Well, I'm off to try some more tactics on the benadryl front.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We Thank Thee Dear Father

We seem to have a history of illness at Thanksgiving.  (And Christmas, for that matter....)  When we lived in the tiny apartment, it was stomach flu.  The next year, we spent Thanksgiving with dear friends in Pennsylvania.  I think I had a bad cold and a breast infection.  I don't remember the next Thanksgiving, but the one after that, the week previous we had a horrible stomach bug (Noro virus or something like that—it was going around Chicago) and then the actual week of Thanksgiving, nearly everyone at my parents' house (except us because we'd had it the week before!) had the same thing.  Ugh.

This picture makes me happy.  Stomach bugs do not.

This year, it's a bunch of sniffles, colds, a fever for the baby (that lasted forever and accompanied other symptoms, but he's now on the mend), and other stuff for other family members.  I'm sure we'll all be well enough to travel (barring any unforeseen stomach flus!), but it's been a little hectic getting ready for the big day and trying to fit in some school while a certain cute boy wants to be held all the time.

This is a healthy Johnny.

Who happens to be diving into a bowl of bacon.

What's odd about that?

What's been nice today is that the kids have been coming up with all kinds of things that sound to my ears like "school," all on their own!  Maggie wants to start a weather chart to document the daily weather.  Later she did some phonics at Starfall, and then she followed that up with inquiring about "curvess" (cursive), pulling out the letter formation chart to check it out (she was shocked by the cursive b and also surprised that the uppercase E looks like a backwards 3), and finally tracing some block letters to spell various words.  Next on her self-made agenda is playing the game Mastermind (which I think fills the Math void for the day).

Baths followed by french braids provide the curls.

Meanwhile, her sister Susannah tagged along and while Maggie was tracing, Susannah was writing out the alphabet from start to finish.  Right now, they've been playing happily for some time, and John has again fallen asleep in my lap, as he still seems to need about three naps a day to recover from his illness.  At least he's cheerful today and letting me put him down to go to nap occasionally!

Something intellectual, certainly, going on here with Grandpa K.

Most of our days are not quite so free-form (or at least, I do make them sit and do various workbooks and read from previously chosen—by me—books), but it's so helpful for them to have so many interests all on their own on a day when I need to get our lives back together after tending to a sickie!

Fr. Andrew and Grandma K.

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my kids' inquisitive minds, for our (mostly) healthy bodies, for the good food we will have, and for a holiday that brings my dispersed siblings back together in the home of our parents once again. Yes, there will be plenty of sibling revelry this weekend.  God bless!

This girl gives me lots of love.  :) 

*Photos from our trip to Schmidt's Sausage Haus and Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.  Isn't it impressive that we managed to capture all of us at some point on this outing?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mug Shot

I'm very particular about the mugs I use.  This quirk of mine particularly struck me tonight as I gazed into our china cabinet at over ten different mugs, considering the merits of each, and instead of choosing any of them, went to the dishwasher still in progress.  Out of the steam, I picked the one I'd been looking for, my North Park University mug.

Thinking about it, I've been this way for a long time.  I've given my Mom several mugs over the years, and in all the instances, part of the impetus towards the gift was to provide me with something pretty and feminine to drink out of when I come to visit.

More recently, my brother used to live with us.  He owned a set of colorful stacking mugs that sat in our kitchen.  One day I confided in him that there were certain colored mugs that I refused to drink from because I disliked the hue.  I think he just shook his head.  But as I was visiting his new apartment a few days ago, and the coffee was nearly ready he asked, "So, would you feel more comfortable drinking out of an orange mug or a blue one?"  Definitely blue.

The one's I rejected tonight?  First of all, my regular set, which we registered for when we were married.  I really like these dishes: white with a blue border and blue backs.  Sturdy, hardworking, easily matched with other patterns.  But not in the evening.  Not after a long day.

My regular set is my go-to for morning coffee.  They are the right size: not too small (too little beverage) or too large (beverage gets cold before I can finish it).  No words to read early in the morning.  Just calm white and blue mugs that evoke images of hearty farm-house crockery.  But in the evening, I can't face their peppy shape.  All day long they are telling me to wake up!  Get the kids dressed!  Let's get doing our school for the day!  Get that clean!  Figure out what's for dinner!  What do you have to do tomorrow!  You can do it!  Rah!  Rah!  Rah!

Not now.  At this moment I crave a mug that can receive my exhaustion.  My NPU mug is not my idea of pretty or feminine.  It's a dark blue and has straight sides.  In a way, it's "all buisness."  It is connected across what feels like many years to dim memories of studying through the night in college.  It's there to keep me going just a little longer.  It's not for a night of cheery, intentional relaxation as would be my over-sized Touchstone or AFR mugs, but for an evening of "Finally, I'm done."  Hard work was done today, and now you may rest, this mug tells me.

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