Wednesday, December 29, 2010


So, you may have noticed I've been a bit absent this week. It wasn't intentional. Blame it on what I got for Christmas while visiting my sister for four days. You'd think the least she could have done was warn me all the kids (my niece and her four cousins) had been sick at some point over the past week. But no....

We shall come back to that momentarily.

Other than a less than spectacular ending, the Christmas holiday didn't go too bad, though a lot louder and more hectic than I like or am used to. And believe me, saying my sister and her friends are LOUD is a huge understatement. I went down Thursday afternoon, and had no sooner arrived and carted my stuff into the house than we were off for a Christmas party at the house of a friend of theirs. Very loud and, despite how huge the place is, nowhere to really slip off for a quiet moment or two (partly because he is still moving in while simultaneously fixing it up).

It started to snow around 7am on Christmas Eve and continued throughout the day, leaving about four inches of fresh powder in its wake. My sister, niece and I spent a good portion of the day doing laundry, baking cookies and decorating a gingerbread house (or rather, my sister put it together and I "helped" my niece decorate it). Around 4pm, my BIL's family descended: dad and stepmom, mom (issues, anyone??), grandmother, SIL and her four kids. It was quite the houseful and again rather loud. At least I was able to escape into the guest room for a few moments of quiet now and then! The kids all got to open multiple presents, and we had homemade turkey potpie for dinner.

Christmas Day was, thankfully, much more low-key, though it started way too early! Especially since Santa's elves had to put together a Barbie townhouse that took at least an hour to do, but had to wait until they were sure a certain someone was asleep. We were up around 8/8:30 to open presents. I got an itty bitty 2GB ipod shuffle with an itunes gift card and 100 Classic Books (USA version; sister has the UK version) for the Nintendo DS. It probably won't surprise anyone that I have already read one of them (A Christmas Carol—had to get that last classic for 2010 in there!). And, of course, there was the oh-so-lovely gift received from all the kids. Yeah. Gotta love 'em. The Bug definitely had a good Christmas. In addition to the Barbie townhouse from Santa, she received a ton of Barbie stuff, stuff for her dollhouse, a Tangled play set, a couple games for the wii, a few books, stuff for her baby dolls, and a guitar. Basically enough for six 6-yr-olds, LOL.

Anyway, after presents were opened, we all moved down to the basement family room so mommy could play her new Epic Mickey game. The Bug was busy moving one of her new Barbies into the dream house (the angle of the picture is a little misleading; she's actually about as tall as this thing!) while my BIL and I each gravitated towards computers to check email and such while laughing at my sister's attempts to navigate her new game. I must say, the graphics are awesome and it's as much fun to watch as it is to play.

Around one, my sister went up to start the sauce for lasagna while BIL made an emergency run to Walgreen's for mozzarella. Might I add, he made not one, but two trips to the grocery store the day before, and my sister never realized she had forgotten to add cheese to the list until we—I mean, Santa's elves—were deep into construction mode on Christmas Eve. Oops! Thankfully, Walgreen's was open part of Christmas day and had just enough cheese in stock. Whew! We were joined for dinner by a few friends of theirs, after which we again adjourned to the family room to watch the sister play Epic Mickey (not without plenty of commentary and laughter, of course) for an hour or two. The Bug also had a chance to try out her new Ultimate I Spy game for the wii—also pretty cool in that the images are 3D, which sister apparently did not realize when she bought it, snicker.

It was somehow another late night, as the previous few had been—partly because sister and I had to finish The Bug's birthday cake before we went to bed, and partly because I was reading one of the books on the DS until I could no longer keep my eyes open.

And then I was rudely awakened by their next-door neighbor who decided 6 in the freakin' morning was an ideal time to dig out a car with the world's loudest snowblower. I was not happy! I had barely gotten back to sleep before it was time to get up and get moving. The foul and groggy mood I was in probably should have clued me in on how Sunday would end. Probably, but it didn't.

I felt fine while dressing and getting all my stuff together. I felt fine through breakfast (big, ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls!). But just before we left for my niece's birthday party, around 12:45 pm, my stomach started to feel a bit queasy. Yeah. Not good. The Bug's party was held at a local gymnastics venue, and while many of the adults were out on the floor assisting and helping to keep an eye on the dozen or so kids, I sat on the sidelines trying to move as little as possible. I was hoping the buffet we went to after would have chicken soup, but no dice. The only soup they had was potato, and it only took a couple bites to decide that not eating it was in my best interest. The small dish of chocolate pudding and sprite I nursed went down much easier.

By the time I was headed home around 5pm...well, let's just say there were a few times I wasn't sure I was going to make it without incident. I got in at 6pm, threw all the food sister had sent home with me in the freezer (since I knew there was no chance in hell I was going to be able to eat it any time soon), and collapsed on the couch to watch the last half hour of the Packers football game. Then from roughly 7pm on I spent a good portion of the next 24 hours in the bathroom, wondering why I hadn't thought to stop at the corner market for 7-Up.

Yup, I got the flu for Christmas. Thankfully, I had not eaten much that day, but still not exactly the way one likes to end—or extend—a holiday, even if it does give one an excuse for a Gilmore Girls DVD marathon. Which is what occupied a good deal of my time Monday and Tuesday, at least when I was awake and—ahem—not otherwise "occupied."

And, of course, being sick has completely thrown me off my schedule for the week. There were things I wanted to get done before the annual New Year's Eve bash with friends. And, of course, there was a little bit of shopping I needed to get done Tuesday. So, the shopping has been pushed back to Thursday and a few small gifts may not get done by Friday night, but oh well. Some things are simply out of our control. And sure, I probably could have tried to finish piecing together a couple of the little craft projects, but I didn't want to contaminate anything with sick germs. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I felt slightly vindicated this morning when I received an email from my sister that she and two of the friends we'd seen a lot of over the weekend were also now sick. HA!

So, I missed Teaser Tuesday this week, had an extra long (and, consequently, exhausting) day at work today to make up for missed time, and therefore have decided to sit out the last Thursday Thirteen of the year in a vain attempt to try to get at least a few things done before Friday afternoon while not overdoing. Since both the hostess and I have New Year's Eve day off, I volunteered to go over early to help with food prep (don't worry—I promise to wash my hands often and not breath on anything) or cleaning. Most everyone else will arrive around 6 or 7pm. We have a buffet dinner (which means grazing all night long and into the next day), exchange presents, and play games and talk and laugh until the wee hours of the morning. It's a family-friendly affair and something we've been doing about fifteen years now.

As my friend's house has ample space, most of us stay the night and then spend the next day together grazing on leftovers, watching TV or movies, and—of course—there is more talking and laughing together. This year's party is being extended into Saturday night, as our Badger football team will be playing TCU in the Rose Bowl. Which means more food, etc, LOL. Should be a fun but tiring weekend!

And now, it's getting late, I'm tired, and I have a long weekend ahead, so think I'd best get this posted and get to bed. I'll try to share more pics from Christmas and The Bug's birthday later. I hope you all enjoyed a good Christmas and have a rockin' New Year!


Shelley Munro said...

Heather, I hope you're feeling much better now. Your Christmas sounded lovely, despite the illness. The 6.00 am wakeup call would've made me grumpy too!

Maggie Nash said...

Oh no H! Sorry to hear you got sick. But Christmas sounded pretty nice for you...thank goodness the sick waited until it was over.

I hope you catch up on all your stuff soon. Have a wonderful NYE celebration. I know how much you look forward to these annual get togethers!

Take care


Heather said...

Thanks, Shelley. It was a pretty nice Christmas, despite the 6am wakeup Christmas day. Thankfully, it was one of the few low points of the weekend, and I did like spending time with my niece.

Heather said...

Margie: Yes, at least I was able to enjoy Christmas and the bulk of my niece's birthday celebration before being wiped out by that pesky flu virus. And I'm glad it happened early in the week so I won't miss NYE or risk getting anyone else sick.

I just got in from shopping and am feeling in dire need of a nap. I'm thinking I may need to lie down for a bit and maybe watch a couple more eps of Gilmore Girls--I just started on season two. Then if I'm feeling up to it later I'll finish making cutout cookies for the weekend. Happy New Year!

Alice Audrey said...

I didn't catch any colds - which I might easily - but I still went down for the count this holiday. Just got busy and dropped the blog for a few days. I'm so bad.

Heather said...

Alice: Don't worry about it, I've done much the smae thing this week. Sometimes you just need a short break from everything!

Alice Audrey said...

I'm not sure you can all all you did a "break".

Heather said...

Good point. And now I feel like I could use a couple of days to recover from this weekend. Up far too late Friday night, then up too early this morning. It's been a really, really long day, and the disappointing and depressing loss in Pasadena isn't making it any better.

LauraRose said...

Hey Heather! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope you're feeling better and I hope it's not too cold your way!

Jana said...

Boo on the getting flu for Christmas. Not exactly the ideal Christmas gift, right? lol Glad to hear that you are on the mend and hope you continue to feel better.

Sounds like prior to that you had a great time. I'm loving the Barbie Townhouse. I actually had on of those when I was about the Bug's age. Loved that thing.

Heather said...

LauraRose: Thank you, New Year's weekend was pretty good, though exhausting on so many levels. As for the weather...we went from unseasonably mild for this time of year to below freezing in 24 hours. Gotta love it! Not! lol

Jana: Definitely not the ideal Christmas gift. None of us ever had the Barbie Townhouse (did you know it's now electric and includes a hot tub and wide screen TV?), though one of our older nieces did. The joys of being a little girl!