Thursday, December 07, 2006

the most wonderful time of the year

Lucas has been home sick since Tuesday with the stomach flu. His fever kept going up to almost 104 degrees -- he would have the reddest cheeks and was hallucinating one night, yikes. It's been all about the thermometer, ibuprofen, cool washcloths, and having a bowl in close proximity for the last few days. Today his fever broke around noon and he is now eating a little bit, hooray! I keep disinfecting things he has touched and keep hoping it won't make the rounds in the whole family.

Now that he's feeling a little better, he is living the life of Riley on the couch, playing
Nintendo, reading, and watching movies. He seems to have gotten used to being waited on, because he keeps asking me to change the disc for him. I'm pretty sure he can do it for himself now, but what the heck? I'd love to revert to childhood when I'm sick and just be taken care of.

**Update: the fever is back! &*@!!%**

It's here! My Pink Christmas gift arrived and I couldn't be more excited. I can't wait to find out who sent mine, but I am afraid to open the card in case it has clues about the contents of the gift. I love to wait to open gifts, so I really don't want to ruin the surprise. I think it is so cute that she (whoever she is!) wrapped the gift in pink paper. It is the first gift under our tree, and everyone else in my family is jealous.

We had our annual December book exchange last night at book club. Jenn had my name and she gave me The Glass Castle, which I have heard a lot of good things about. I am most excited about the bookmark she made for me! She is an innovator, that Jenn. It actually gives me a pain in the chest, that's how cute it is. I only wish I had thought of it myself! (By the way, it has more lines on the back, but for some reason I can't find the scan of the other side...)

As to the title of my post, is it really the most wonderful time of the year? I always have the best of intentions, but when December finally hits (usually blindsiding me big time) I am just such a stress case. I know that a lot of my stress is self-imposed: I truly enjoy making gifts, and while I don't make gifts for everyone, I do tend to get a certain perception in my head of what I want to do -- and that perception is usually not all that realistic, but it's stuck in my head nonetheless.

Another problem is that I tend to have a hard time getting going on these things until at least the end of November (thank you, thank you, Kristi, for the early Pink Christmas deadline!). I really do not thrive under pressure, so why do I do this to myself?? When Christmas is over, I always vow that I will make changes so that the next Christmas season will be less stressful and more enjoyable, but I guess I haven't figured out exactly what those changes should be, because here I am again.

Yesterday I think I actually had an anxiety attack (not sure because I don't get those). I needed to run some errands but couldn't leave Lucas alone, couldn't ask anyone to come stay with him and risk being sick, etc. I was venting to Jill, and she just came over (and brought me lunch to boot). I don't know what I'll do if she gets sick! It was good to get out of the house, and even though I didn't finish my book club gifts by my self-imposed deadline of last night, I do feel better today. I've been hanging out at home and baking cookies for Hannah's cookie exchange.

So here's my plea: if you have figured out the secret to slowing down and enjoying the holidays without making yourself sick from stress, please share it with me!!!


Liz said...

That bookmark is super cute! Great idea!

That stinks that Lucas is sooo sick! I hope he gets better quickly and that no one else catches the nasty bug! Jill is surely a lifesaver to come and give you a respite!

If I had a good plan for not getting stressed and sick around Christmas, I would share it with you. I would love to know how people do it. I guess maybe the answer is to just say no to some or most of the events/activities that people want us to do. That would certainly cut down on the stress factor. Good luck, and I will be keeping an eye out for what others might post about this.

Jenny said...

Love the bookmark. And ooo the suspense of the christmas gift. Looks pretty and pink!

No advice on the stress thing. I have seriously 4 zits on my face as we speak!

Sorry to hear about your sick household and hallucinating thats scary! Get well soon--glad your back :)

Crystalyn said...

when you get that answer please pass it along to me...i soooo need it right now! i feel like i'm barely keeping my head above water.

hope you all feel better!

TX Girl said...

I swear- your family gets all the nasty sickies. I'm sorry to hear Lucas is under the weather. Wishing you a quick reprieve.

I wish our bookclub was as fun as y'alls. Ours has fallen to the wayside. I'm thinking it was the recommendation of "Mothers and Fathers defending marriage at the UN"- yeah.. real page turner.

My recommendation- don't over do it. Christmas is when you stick up for yourself and say NO. I know- it has been a hard concept for me, but I seem to get better each year.

Jill said...

That bookmark has caused me internal pain as well. I don't know how Jenn continually comes up with such great ideas, but we're very lucky to benefit from them (especially you since you get the bookmark).

I don't want to advise lowering your standards, but maybe lowering your expectations might be helpful. You make wonderful gifts, but you second, third, and fourth guess yourself over and over again so perhaps just going with your gut instinct would save a ton of time. (This is advice I need as well.)

melanie said...

I love that bookmark! I'm totally coveting it!

I start to over do things at Christmas too (this is not a recommendation) and when I hit burn out mode, I just let things go and don't finish them. I need better ideas on how to combat this too. Good luck, I'll think of you.

So jealous of the Pink Christmas gift under the tree. Proud of you for waiting! Anticipation can kill me...

Claudissima said...

oh michelle i hope lucas is feeling better and that neo one else has it in your family...this flu...i am glad i flee utah when I did, althugh I did catch some kind of bug (not the throwing up one..thank goodness>>>) but we are still lingering in the caugh and stuffy nose. I love the gift under the tree that is awesome. And stress? I tend to think that as long as you take care of the asap of your family then the rest just take the back burner...I think with this unexpected trip...we can't take a lot (weight) so I am just sitting in the back seat and enjoying myself. I have a few gifts that I would like to deliver before I leave, but truly it is all about Jesus and remembering who we are and what we are all about. Sometimes I wished I had a very packed agenda...sometimes I even idealize it...but lately I just do what I NEED To do by 3pm and then what I WANT to do for the rest of the time (excluding dinner/putting kids to bed...of course).

Anonymous said...

I audibly gasped when I saw that bookmark- Jenn is amazing. I will admit right now that I am scraplifting it this weekend during my scrapping endeavors.

I hate that your kids get sick so often- hate it for you more than them. Your perspective on being waited on hand and foot when you are a sick kid is so true- you are a great mom.

For the holidays for me it is making lists at the beginning and reminding myself over and over what the season is about. It is so hard to say no sometimes but necessary I think in order to remain somewhat sane. I agree with Jill on the second guessing yourself thing- cut yourself some slack. Good luck.

Alison said...

I hope your son is feeling better! He even looked sick in that picture!

jenn said...

I have no right to give advice- me, the princess of chaos (I still give Jana queen's rights). But, I am trying really hard to do as much as I can and let go of what I don't get done. Wednesday was madness for me and the list of things not finished included: mailing two important packages, finishing the book, having a thank you to give the activity day leaders at our meeting that night, finishing another surprise for my sweet friends and making the appetizer I wanted to. Just to name a few. But, bookclub was just fine with my cookies, the leaders never knew I wanted to give them a thank you so I'll do it later and until I just said it, you didn't know I never finished my other project. Everything turned out just fine despite my failed or altered plans! So, do what you can and don't fret the rest! That's my long winded advice!

jenn said...

And keep the Christmas lights on! It helps me feel happy and festive all day long! :)

Tasha said...

Michelle, ya'll have had WAY MORE than your share of the sickies over there! I am so sorry you've been on sick vigil again!

Amie said...

I was excited to read everyone's advice. I just keep trying to remember, that "it doesn't matter" - the holidays should be fun. I know I have a lot to do too but if it doesn't get done - oh well. I know easy to say but I have really noticed that the kids thrive on the things we do together and little traditions and not about the details I do. I have learned to make it about the 4 of us first and if I get to the rest great.

PS - I WOULD NOT be waiting to open my pink Christmas gift. Perhaps I shouldn't advertise that so my girl will wait and send it last minute to make me wait!

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