Merry Christmas at last!

Merry Christmas finally from all of us here at Crazyland! My friend Leah gave me a funny note today that said, “Better late than later!” So while I drink my coffee and ponder whether to say I’m sick of being too tired to blog, or tired of being too sick to blog, I’ll begin.

We finished a busy month of redoing the basement suite just in time to decorate for Christmas. I tried really hard to fight my scatterbrained last-minute ways and do stuff ahead of time, so my tip of the season is this: pre-stuff the stockings a few days ahead and put them in a giant Tupperware tub so no tiny visitors (children move or other) will get into them.

It sure was awesome to not be filling the stockings in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve! Instead, I could just lay them on the kids’ beds (which we do to buy a little time in the morning) and head off to midnight Mass with my husband and the baby, while the kids slept with Grandma and Auntie Karen.

It was beautiful. Our parish florist always does an amazing job, and our choir is phenomenal. All the light and warmth in the darkness of night brings home the beauty of the Christmas message. Happily on the incense didn’t set off the fire alarms–until Christmas-day Mass the next day that is! Needless to say my 3 year old son was in his glory at the back of the church when the firemen came to check it out. He was still wearing his red fireman costume (to avoid a pre-Mass meltdown…plus…it’s red! Super Christmassy!).

Nice costume, buddy! Fist pump!

Best. Christmas. Ever.

But back to midnight Mass. When we got home around 3am (there was a celebration with treats after the Mass) we found out that the kids had already woken up, opened, partially consumed, and played with the contents of their stockings, and had gone back to sleep! Rascals! And they look so innocent…

Christmas Day was lovely. We had James’ mom and sister as well as my brother spending the day with us. “Gezellig” (cozy), as they say in Dutch, and everyone enjoyed spoiling each other a bit. My big surprise was opera tickets for La Boheme from my husband! 🙂 Date night, here we come!

I discovered that it’s really easy to cook a whole chicken in my Instant Pot (just add a cup of water or sauce and your flavourings…we put lemon, herbs, garlic and butter), and we made potatoes, yams with cinnamon and maple syrup, and Brussels sprouts, which apparently contain excellent health benefits, even if you only look at them! 😉 I can’t quite remember where I read that…

All was good until after pumpkin pie, when I totally crashed and fell asleep early. My Christmas duties were complete…so my body figured it was the perfect time to get the stomach flu that night! 😦 No fun. Thank goodness our relatives and James were still home the next day to hold the fort, because I could not move. All I really wanted for Christmas was a nap and a massage, but this was quite the price to pay…watch what you wish for!

As I lay there with a churning stomach, headache and sore muscles, I contemplated the Incarnation…how incredibly generous it was of God to enter our world as a tiny, vulnerable baby, unable to move or protect Himself from suffering. He could have remained aloof in the golden warmth of Heaven, safe from our sufferings, not subject to weakness, but chose instead to enter into our frail human existence to show us His love.

I will never comprehend the depths of His generosity!

Well, that’s about it for now! Normal life sure feels good after you’ve been sick. A breath of cold air when you can stand upright again is a real treat.

God bless you all, and best wishes for a beautiful 2019!!

Tummy-Flutes and Air-Sickness

  

3 year old: “Mama, what does tummy-flute mean?”

Me: “A what?”

5 year old: “She means tummy flu.”

Me: “Oh, to have a sick stomach and need to throw up.”

3 year old: “I won’t throw up cause I only have a little tummy-flute.”

Me: “Oh, that’s good.”

3 year old: “Sorry, I have a coughing tummy; don’t worry. And I keep coughing and the air doesn’t get my cough because the air doesn’t want my cough but I don’t want to be sick, except the air wants to be sick but it doesn’t want to have the tummy flu.”

Me: “Ooooh….”

Sleepyhead vs. the Tummy Bug

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Today my little one battled it out with a nasty tummy bug, using the best arsenal she had: closing those luscious blue eyes and sleeping whenever, and wherever she could, always accompanied by her special beige blankie. She napped on the carpet, on the couch, in her bunkbed, and most sweetly, in her highchair.

Although a few of my kids having fever and stomach flu aren’t the highlight of my week, I’ve got lots of things to be grateful for: my kind landlord who came right away and spent two hours repairing my oven when the oven door handle fell off earlier that day (a tricky task, we discovered!), Ida who gave me loads of lovely bread from Cobbs to feed my little monkeys, Milton who brought us muffins, Maria who come over today and helped me make dinner and clean up, too (using all the courage necessary to face my jungly sink and baby’s banana-covered highchair), and Natalie, who offered to drop off anything we needed, or even just felt like.

Sometimes, when life hands you a little icky flu, you see how surrounded by love you really are.