Fast approaching is my favorite time of the year, the annual trinity of companionship and fun. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And there is nothing in this world that prepares me better for this season than a drive through wooded mountains through the falling reds and golds of autumn leaves. This past Sunday I got to do just that. I almost felt like I was in a commercial for some new sports car - granted it took alot of imagination since I drive a mini van. But it is red, so at least I didn't have to imagine the color.
My drive Sunday led me to my parents' house to visit with my brother, his beautiful wife, and my precious little neice. She had her first birthday party on Saturday which we, very unfortunately, had to miss because of monetary reasons due to my having been sick the previous two weeks. More on that later. It was a grand affair including clowns (my brother and his wife), costumed children, a pinata bigger than my youngest two children together, jumping balloons, and cotton candy! I would've loved to go and my brother and his wife were sorely disappointed that we could not attend, though they did understand why. So, in true loving brother manner (even if he won't admit it), my brother offered to meet at our parents' place with cotton candy machine in tow and even assist with our gas costs to get there. With my parents' home only 2.5 hours drive (5 hrs total) instead of the 4 hour drive (8 hrs total) to my brother's place, we were able to meet them after a little shuffling around of the financial picture and catching two errors in Daddy's balancing of the checkbook. We were up to our eyeballs in sugary goodness - cotton candy, cake, popcorn balls (my favorite!!! You did hear that Crystal, right?), cookies, and rice crispy treats! Yum! I think I managed to gain back all that weight I lost when I was sick! Best of all, baby Kate loved her present!
This weekend is our annual Halloween Costume Party! I've got more decorations this year, a better idea of the menu, and some party games to play with prizes for the winners and costume contest. It's pretty exciting getting the house ready for the encore party to last year's that people are still talking about.
Thanksgiving this year will be at my home for the first time. This isn't to say I haven't made Thanksgiving dinner before. This is just the first time when my parents are coming to MY house. My mom is having surgery on her wrist and won't even be able to lift a pan, forget about a turkey. My dad is having a procedure done on his spine (ouch) and will be a little out of commission as well. So we'll bring them here to Alientown for a three legged turkey and green mashed potatoes! Just kidding! Traditional flair here with a couple of dishes made special for my mom who is watching her diet because of diabetes. In my book, there is no reason why she shouldn't enjoy the feast and still not worry about going over her limits.
Christmas will be with Nana Alice and the Greats in Phoenix! I'm so excited about visiting with them. I can't wait to play Perfect with the Greats until the wee hours of the morning! I want to gift them something special, but I'm unsure of what. Any ideas from the blog-o-sphere would be appreciated on gifts for a lovely retired couple.
The Dreaded Flu---
Luckily, I did not get the H1N1 or N1H1, whatever - swine flu. But this season's normal flu kicked my ass (sorry for those with tender ears/eyes but it really did)! I went to bed very early on the 12th and woke up at 4:30am with a fever and in pain all over! I called in to work and crawled back into bed after begging Daddy to just try to get me an appointment with ANYONE! Sleep was my body's friend. I was seen by a doctor by 9am. I had the flu which weaken my body so much I also got a bladder infection and strep throat - a triple whammy ala "mommy isn't home right now, please leave a message and if she's still living she hug you later, just keep away because she doesn't want to get you sick." I had so many antibiotics and medications that I couldn't stomach anything other than soup, noodles and ginger ale. I only made my return to beef a couple of days ago, the thought of hamburgers turns my stomach. This was, however, a prayer answered by God. The weekend before, BB had been very sick with a fever, headache, and her asthma was really bad - all the signs of swine flu which has killed several children in our town. As I held her in my bed to try to cool her body, I prayed to God to not have any of my babies be sick. I prayed that if anyone should be sick, let it be me because I didn't want to risk losing my babies. The next day, BB was better (her asthma still gave her fits all week) and I was sick. Thank you God! I tried to go back to work after two days and lasted just the day, going home to sleep the rest of the night and most of the next day. I went to Oktoberfest in Ruidoso and it wore me out again. I went again to work on Monday, only to be told to turn my hacking little self around and go home and sleep until I visited my doctor and got the okay to come back. I wasn't trying to get anyone sick (and no one did) but my doc had only given me two days off on the note to my boss. My boss said she didn't care what the doctor says, she would rather have me all the way rested and better than delay my recovery coming back to work not fully recovered. Have I mentioned I really love where I work! The toll on the checkbook was not pretty, nearly $200 worth of co-pays for medications and the two doctor visits (dr visits are only $10 so you can imagine the costs of the medications, glad I have insurance). This led to being unable to travel for my niece's first birthday party, but I am glad to have my health back. Now I'm just working on the stamina.
So if you haven't or don't usually get you flu shot, I highly recommend getting it/making an exception. If not for you, do it for your kids, it's no laughing matter. Besides, you want to be able to eat that "parental tax" from your kids goodie bag this Saturday. Happy Halloween!