Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Now That's What I Call Christmas Break

Back in the day when I had four babies that had to be sleeping by 7 p.m. to avoid major meltdown and were awake at 6 a.m. every single day, I didn’t know there was something called “school vacation” or just how beautiful it really is. Now that all the kids stay up until at least 8 p.m. and have a concept of sleeping in, the benchmark of a great morning is staying in our jammies past 8:04 a.m., the time we leave each morning to go wait for the school bus.

Last week was jam-packed with wrapping up all things Christmas related before the “holiday” (because you can’t call it Christmas in public school) break. It also was an exercise in learning to roll with the punches. Tuesday night was a 6:30 p.m. Community School Showcase that featured Kaitlin and Alli’s Jazz Jam dance class. But it also featured Paige in her first-ever school performance, a Christmas pageant (she goes to a Christian pre-school) made up completely of three and four year olds. Paige made her angelic debut at 7 p.m. so it was with quite a bit of planning and shuffling that we managed to get at least one parent to both performances. Every 4-year-old was in costume. There were angels, a star, wise men, sheep, a donkey, Mary and Joseph. The kids that weren’t in the nativity got to dress up as “a choir” and wore cute purple robes. They practiced for weeks to get their songs just right and Paige was very intent on getting the lyrics correct. She over-emphasized each syllable to the point that she appeared to be singing with a mouth full of gravel. The choir kids sang “O come let us adore Him” to a faster tempo than the kids in the nativity scene resulting in a cacophony of noise somewhat resembling a round. It was pricelessly sweet.

We tucked four tired but happy kids into bed only to be woken up around midnight by Kaitlin barfing her brains out. Poor kid vomited nine times in six hours then spiked a fever. She was horizontal all day and my very busy Wednesday schedule was automatically cleared. Katie’s fever prevented her from going to school on Thursday, the day her class had a mini-party planned, and my heart broke for her as she cried over all the festivities she was missing due to illness. She did manage to finish her home-made gift and card at school on Friday. Her sweet note read, “Dear Parents, I love you and you are a joy to my heart. Thank you for all the presents. Merry Christmas to you. You are so cool and I love how you take good care of me. Love, Katie.”

We thought we were in the clear health-wise, so we hosted our house church Christmas party on Thursday night. Kids and adults had a blast and we tucked four tired but happy kids into bed much later than usual only to be woken up in the middle of the night by Grant barfing his brains out. Poor kid vomited every twenty minutes from 2 to 4:30 a.m. then spiked a fever. Like Katie, he was horizontal all day and my very busy Friday schedule was automatically cleared. I wanted to cry with Grant over all the fun activities we both missed due to illness: Alli’s first-grade class party and an all-school sing-along assembly featuring the entire student body performing the dance to Thriller for the staff. Grant promised to give us a private performance when he felt better. I think it might be time to dig out the video camera and hold him to his promise!

We proactively cancelled our plans for a mountain snow day on Saturday which ended up being a good idea since Alli got hit by the virus on Saturday morning. Even the dog was under-the-weather and spent Saturday curled up in a ball ignoring food. We skipped church on Sunday to avoid spreading germs and spent the entire weekend coloring, watching movies and football, napping, making photo books on the computer, sanitizing everything in sight, and cuddling. Not exactly what we had planned, but surprisingly fulfilling.

Everyone appears to be healthy now, but just in case I’m holding out for another day to start my holiday baking. The kids planned a “party” for this morning and I overheard Grant laying out the rules for his sisters last night before bed. “When you get up in the morning, if you see the light on in the play room, go to the play room. If the light in the play room is off, check for a light in my room. If my light is off, go back to bed and keep checking for me to wake up. Once I’m up, we’ll start the party. We’ll eat breakfast, stay in our jammies and then watch a movie.” So that’s what all four of them are doing, wrapped in blankets and sacked out in their jammies well past the time when they would have been on the school bus. Paige, who has no concept of time and is eating breakfast at 9:45 a.m., just hollered up the stairs, “Do I have school today?” Now that’s what I call Christmas break!

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