I had to post that with a question mark because it has been a challenging week for the little ones in our house. We took a quick trip to Nashville on the 16th to see the family. It was a great trip as we were able to spend some quality time with the cousins/nephews and enjoy some special holiday fun. Aunt Marsha told us about an amazing puppet show going on at the library downtown. This particular type of puppet show was in the Japanese style known as Bunraku (I think).
I was very fascinated and appreciated that the two main puppeteers showed the children how they would be covering their faces with black cloths but there was no need to be afraid. Clark wasn't particularly interested but the girls stayed focused for most of the thirty minute program.
Aunt Marsha also got out the cookie dough and the kids made some Christmas cookies. We got a kick out of their Elf on the Shelf and how Marshall was able to locate him very quickly each morning. The kids also love their gigantic collection of Legos and other "big-kid" toys.
We returned home late on Sunday evening and it was a relief to fall into bed that night. We had no idea what the next week would bring aside from the excitement that Christmas was just around the corner.
Monday morning came and the girls both woke up with fevers so I stayed home with them and Clark went to school. Kendall recovered quickly (or so we thought) and she and Clark both went to school on Tuesday but Emma and I hunkered down at home. She was definitely feeling worse and was just pitiful.
I was so thankful that her doctor was able to fit her in that morning as I noticed that she seemed even warmer and more lethargic. At the office, we were all alarmed when more than one thermometer read over 106 degrees. I was preparing myself emotionally for a trip to the hospital and was relieved when they decided to treat her pneumonia aggressively with antibiotics for 48 hours and see how she did. I was worried but more comfortable with the idea of having her at home while we tried to get her better.
By Thursday, she was improving and Kendall and Clark took a wrong turn somewhere that took them down a similar road with fevers. I was at wits end at this point as Christmas was a couple of days away and my kiddos were miserable and was really thankful that our sitter was already scheduled to watch them since school was out.
Since we already had one with pneumonia, I ended up taking Kendall and Clark to the doctor and they decided we were now dealing with a sinus infection (K) and bronchitis (C). Now all three would be taking an antibiotic which was just fine by me.
Daddy stayed home with them on Friday and then we had a relatively quiet Christmas weekend at home with just the five of us. Our plans to spend time with the family had to be cancelled but we did get them out Friday and Saturday evening to look at Christmas lights. Clark and Emma really enjoyed getting out of the house and seeing the light displays but Kendall was not interested at all.
They were so excited to hear that I had received emails from the North Pole because Santa had sent each one of them a special video message. We were all relieved to hear that all three were on his "nice list." In light of the positive feedback from Santa we felt it would be wise to leave some cookies and milk for his pending arrival during the night. We set out a few carrots for his reindeer as well. It is important that Santa and the reindeer keep up their strength for the long night they have ahead of them you know.
On Christmas morning we were all amazed to find magic footprints left behind by Santa (see photo below)! They expected to see snow outside since his footprints were white, but we explained that these were magic and not really the typical snow that was cold and would melt.
The kids were so excited about the goodies left in their stockings and under the tree. The big ticket items were new toothbrushes and some candy (chocolate Santas, peanut butter cups, candy canes and festive Peeps). And what a great combination of sugary treats and dental care items, right?!? Santa is one smart dude.
We had a yummy breakfast which included monkey bread and then opened gifts and played with the new toys. Daddy had to make an unplanned visit to a walk-in clinic due to a serious ear infection. And I was thankful that Aunt Marsha and Uncle Bill had sent along a gift that needed unwrapping which turned out to be a play house. It was a great diversion and kept the kids happy while we spent another day at home with just "us."
The rest of the day was nothing out-of-the-ordinary and pretty peaceful. All in all, it was not the picture-perfect Christmas but we still feel fortunate that we were together and no one ended up in the hospital. This was really the first year that the kids had any idea of whatever role Santa might play. We also spent a lot of time during the month talking about how it was Jesus' birthday that we are celebrating on Christmas day and that is what makes it so special. This was definitely special for us.