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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 11 ~ November 17, 2008
~ Finally Feeling Better

Cheryl is under the weather
A rare sight - me under the weather!
It's only been four weeks, but I think (hope and pray!) that my rotten cough is finally on its way out. This has been a tricky chest infection-if I didn't talk, laugh, sneeze or move I didn't cough (much). If I so much as moved my lips that lead to a string of coughs that just wouldn't stop. And then at night-forget it. Breathing would trigger the coughing spells which meant that I wasn't sleeping (and neither was my poor husband!)

This past weekend, however, I started to feel a lot more spunky, so I knew I was on the mend. Let's just say my family is quite relieved that my illness is just about over. The 1 1/2 days I spent in bed last week really took its toll on them. Laundry backed up, a book report went missing, two separate sneakers ended up in the wrong closets so that Brian thought two of our younger kids had to go shoeless (he doesn't realize that they do own more than just one pair of shoes) and when I checked the refrigerator Monday morning, I found things that were mysteriously wrapped and shoved in the back-I still haven't a clue what was in them, and I have no desire to find out. All in all, though, the troops rallied to keep the house in tact, and best of all, no one else got sick.

My worse nightmare in a household of ten is that when one of us gets sick, it usually travels through the rest of the family like wild fire, and when it's some type of stomach virus, I am usually ready to sell my most valuable possessions if it means we will be spared with even just one child not getting sick. Thankfully, those nasty stomach bugs are usually done within 48 hours. These horrible colds we get this time of year can linger for weeks. Tis the season!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, my kids are definitely getting very excited about the entire holiday season! They've already caught me, a holiday junkie, listening to Christmas music on my laptop and in the car! Right now I'm in the "list phase" where I have about 10 different lists going all at the same time in regards to holiday meal planning, decorating the house, bribing the kids to cooperate for the annual Christmas Card pose (I make my own cards each year . . . I know, I know . . . I'm a glutton for punishment! I may knock the total cards down from 75 to about 70 this year!! That will save me at least a day). The kids have already started their Christmas Wish lists but I keep reminding them that we just had a 10-day vacation to Disney World this past summer. Hmmm, we'll see how much of that they remember on Christmas morning.

Regardless of the gifts and decorating and other job-oriented aspects of the holidays, Christmas time has always been a very magical time for me, especially when I became a mother 15 years ago. I only thought the holidays were special before I had kids of my own to share it with. Soon we will begin baking, making colorful paper chains to hang around the house, the music will be playing 24/7 and the decorations will slowly begin going up right around Thanksgiving. Everything always seems so hopeful, more cheerful and just plain old more special when the house has that feeling of "Christmas in the air".

The trick is trying to remember how great that feeling is when we are in the raw, wet months of March and April!

Before that all happens, though, we are going to concentrate on having a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year we will go to Brian's parents' house for Thanksgiving. We never go anyplace on Christmas, so this at least makes his mother feel like she's still putting on a good show for her family. My mother and father-in-law are both 83 years old and you'd think they were about 60-especially my mother-in-law! She loves to cook and dotes on her grandkids with any chance she gets, so it makes me feel good that she will get to pull out all the stops on Thanksgiving by cooking two turkeys (even a ham) and all the fixings! I'll be sure to take some pictures.

With all of that in mind, I look forward to this week ahead to hopefully enjoying cough-free, healthy days where I can just have a normal routine again. All the coughing didn't help my "lose 10 lbs by the holidays" goal, so Monday morning Annie and I will hit the walking trail to try and get back on track with that as well.

Being sick is the pits, but the one thing it always does for me is reminds me how much I need to appreciate my own health and that of my family's when we have it.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and healthy week and that your Thanksgiving plans, whether they are small and cozy with just your immediate family, or grand as can be with lots of family and friends are coming along nicely.

Take care,
   ~ Cheryl

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