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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 10 ~ November 10, 2008
~ When Mom Gets Sick, Will The House Come to a Screeching Halt?

November leaves
November Leaves Keep Us Busy
Have you heard it yet? It gets here a little earlier each year, I think. Last year, I remember noticing it for the first time around Veteran's Day; this year however the day after Halloween I heard my first Christmas song! I was driving to my daughter Brittany's volleyball game and I surfed the channels there it was-"I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas". That particular radio station and one other have already gone to 24-hour Christmas tunes from now until midnight Christmas night!

First off, the music of the season really is my favorite part of the holidays. I just love Christmas music and the two I could listen to over and over again are Josh Groban's version of Oh Holy Night and Faith Hill's song-Where Are You Christmas. So now, while driving in the car, I shamefully admit that I am listening to holiday tunes. When I went through McDonald's drive-thru yesterday with Annie, the 17-year old girl that waited on me started to laugh. She said I reminded her of her mother! Oh my, it's come to that now! Well, if that's the worse someone says about me, I guess I'm doing OK.

Speaking of doing OK, I'm really not. I have been sick for the past three weeks and this morning I finally succumbed and called my doctor. I am prone to chest colds but for the past two winters I escaped with hardly a sniffle. Payback time, I guess. I have one of those coughs that hits the minute I start to talk, laugh or move! I'm practically using sign language now to speak to my kids (I think they are enjoying that part of it!) so that I won't start coughing.

I expected to hear that I had bronchitis or even worse pneumonia, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I simply had a chest infection! Yikes! And not only that, I have a sinus infection as well. So, now I'm on an inhaler with steroids, two cough medications, and a decongestant. This on top of my diabetes meds and the baby aspirin I take each day makes me feel like I'm about 100. It's only temporary, however, so I really have no right to complain. The kicker was the words my doctor issued at the end of the appointment, "Please go home and stay in bed for the rest of the weekend!"

I snickered at the thoughts of such a luxury. I've only been a patient of his for the past two years, but he's one of my favorite medical people of all time. My husband now sees him and I'll start taking my sons to him next year because my teenaged boys are starting to feel a bit uncomfortable with our woman pediatrician-that whole "cough test" to check for hernias now gets them a tad embarrassed. Dr. Salisbury knows I have a hectic schedule with 8 kids at home, so he understands that staying in bed has about a 2% chance of happening, especially on a weekend.

Saturdays in our large family consist of soccer and other sports, errands, dropping kids back and forth at play dates, catching up on things around the house that didn't get attention during the week, visiting our families and on Sunday mornings we always attend 8 AM Mass and then I teach 2nd Grade First Communion at our Parish.

Brittany helps>
Brittany Helps While Mom Is in Bed
For me, attempting to stay in bed for a day even is about as likely as Congress balancing the fiscal budget! But that doesn't mean I'm not going to give it a try, in fact, as I write this I am snuggled under the covers of my bed with my laptop perched up on a few fluffy pillows. I have several writing assignments due this week, so this may be a blessing in disguise-a chance to hide in my bedroom for a day and get some rest and some work done. (Multitasking even while sick is really going above and beyond the call of duty, don't you think?)

I will say, I'm getting loads of attention. Brian has asked me dozens of times what he can get me and my little guys have already made me three get-well cards that they made to look like Thanksgiving turkeys. This must really be making an impression on them. Seeing mom down and out is not something my kids are used to witnessing.

As I lay in bed I can hear lots of activity in the main end of the house-dishes clanking, toilets flushing, kids running back and forth looking for things they took out of their backpacks after school yesterday. Now I hear my husband's voice (still in a good mood after my being down for a full hour!) asking Annie if she needs to go to the potty. I know secretly he's praying that she doesn't! I'm not used to observing my family from this angle-under the covers and not in the thick of things. I have to tell you, I'm not sure if I like it or not. But given the fact that I can't turn my head without a coughing spell, I have no choice.

And although I guess I'd like to think I'm indispensable, I'm sure that meals will still get cooked (or at least made!), the laundry will somehow get washed and dried, the kids will still get driven to their various activities by my husband and the house will still be standing by the time I get out of bed and get back on my feet again. Or, maybe not! Brian has just called down to me that he can't understand the homework assignments some of them have for the weekend and is wondering why I promised to let my Junior High daughter go to a movie this afternoon when there are more boys than girls going. I also just heard him ask my oldest daughter if she thought pizza two nights in a row would be bad for dinner and did she think it was necessary for him to iron the church clothes for tomorrow.

Well, I guess that means that even though I'm sick in bed, things will definitely get done, just not the way I would do them. He's loading them in the car in a few moments to go to the food store because I was too sick to go on Friday-my usual shopping day. If that doesn't push him over the edge, nothing will.

For now, I'll sign off and try to catch a little rest while everyone's gone. I'll let you know next week how Brian makes out during the remainder of this weekend-right now everything seems to be under control. I probably shouldn't but maybe I'll throw a quick load of laundry in for him. It's the least I can do seeing that he's going to come home with 20 bags of groceries to put away. And I forgot to warn him that Annie loves to use the bathroom several times while at Stop & Shop!

Have a great week everyone and I hope none of you end up with a rotten chest cold! Stay healthy and maybe you'll start hearing Christmas tunes in your neck of the woods soon too!

Take care,
   ~ Cheryl

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