The stomach bug that Owen had has ripped through our entire house like wildfire; Sam was stricken Friday night and into the wee hours of Saturday morning, then Eli came home form his friend's house sicker than sick. By Saturday evening I had it as well (and it is the true measure of friendship that we were shopping with Jacquie and Hannah and her boys, and Jacquie patiently waited outside the bathroom for me to make sure I hadn't vomited up a vital stomach organ. Also, on the way home, she had to pull over once so I could barf on the side of the road; I didn't even get the truck door closed before spewing everywhere, so she and all the kids had to hear it. Believe me, all barriers are down now. It struck me, though, that I haven't had to have someone pull the car over so I could puke since I quit drinking-a bonus even in the midst of shit. Literally). then, early this morning, Hannah got it as well.
The best thing about this bug is that it is relatively short lived. I am fine now, as are all the boys, and I think Hannah is fine, just tired. We are at Jacquie's as I write this doing some Christmas baking; cookie dough is chilling, we have peanut clusters and chocolate-covered spoons hardening, and fudge is next on the list. It has been years since I have done any kind of holiday baking; I can't remember why I ever stopped, unless it has something to do with all these kids and no money. To be in the house of a friend and be very companionable baking together is really, really neat.
Sam finally had his eye appointment yesterday; poor kid, he can only see about 8 inches in front of him, so I am amazed that he is still doing well in school. We get to pick up his glasses on the day after Christmas, and Sam is completely thrilled with the prospect of it. Steve's mom had Owen and Sam all day yesterday, so she is actually the one who helped him pick out the glasses; I told her what I DIDN'T want for him, and they came up with some round metal ones; he says he looks like Harry Potter, which is funny to even imagine. I feel like shit that his eyes were SO bad, though. I have had the money saved for the exam but didn't have enough for the lenses and such, which is why it has taken so long. Still, the fact is that this kid has been basically half-blind for several months now, and here I am yelling at him for sitting so close to the TV. I have ALSO been yelling t him because he acts like he doesn't hear me half the time, but the eye doctor told Linda that Sam has been using his ears to help him make up for the things he can't see; therefore, when he hasn't heard me, it is probably because he has been focusing on listening to the TV to make up for the stuff he can't see. Odd. Anyway, Sam is excited, which is good, and thinks that the glasses are part of his Christmas present, which is also good.
Another good thing: we were all still gone when Steve got home from work, so he went over to his mom's and picked up both Owen and Sam and took them to his sister's house. His nephew just got back from a mission, so there was a big family thing going on-dinner and visiting and candy making, and I know it really meant a lot to Sam to be included. Even better than the chance to go was when they got home and Steve was telling me how GOOD they both were; I could see Sam visibly puff up with pride when Steve was so complimentary toward him. So no, Steve isn't his dad, and never will be, but he can give Sam some of that attention he so desperately needs, and for that I am grateful.
There is much to be grateful for today. I am grateful for the snow, for the smell of chocolate cooking, for the fact that I am no longer sick so I can eat large amounts of it. I am grateful for the help of those who have made this Christmas be one of hope and joy instead of fear and worry and sadness. Someone recently said to me that she hopes I can feel the joy of the human spirit; along with the lovely sentiment came a door-hanging that says, "Believe in the magic of Christmas." and I think I am, I do. There is an entire blog post just waiting for Christmas to be over before it can be written, but for the moment, none of this wonderful stuff, feelings, events have been MY doing, and I am so grateful.
And speaking of gratitude, I won a Hot Blogger Calendar from Mama Smurf and can I just say a heartfelt "Day-ummmm." Because I thought BusyDad was hot, but Mr. December? Whew. I would like for him to sugar MY cookies, I tell you. Just sayin.'