Nate's mother, Sue, died; her funeral was on Christmas Eve. She had been so sick for so long, but I believe she willed herself to stay alive until the baby was born, and then to be able to enjoy him for a few months. Baby Paul was a blessing to her. May she rest in peace, and may her family have peace after this traumatic time, as well.
Paul spent a night in the hospital the day after Sue died. Maggie and Nate had been concerned about his breathing, and he had a blue circle around his mouth, which in one of Maggie's books warned could be a sign of RSV. They took him to the ER where a super-conscientious doctor scared them to bits (RSV, Riley, heart defect and surgery were some of the frightening words he threw around.) Although Paul's breathing is still a little iffy, all his tests came back good; they're just keeping a close eye on him.(This picture is from Friday evening -- Maggie was working, Nate was with his mom and we kept Paul, who was perfect until 9:00, when he became inconsolable. After an hour of tootling and deep knee bends, he finally went to sleep on Clay's chest.)
Sue's wasn't the only funeral Christmas week; a dear woman at the Methodist church died of some sort of blood infection (which she thought was a bad case of the flu) --I played her funeral on Monday. Tuesday was the funeral for a dear friend of our parents (and our Pet and Hobby Club leader when we were small. She was the Queen of Crafts, and always had the coolest things for us to do, like dipping wire forms into some sort of goop to make flower petals. I couldn't even guess how many hundreds of nursing home tray favors she helped us make over the years.) So, it was a sad week.
Christmas Eve I had three services -- the world famous St. Ambrose Children's Mass at 5 (which as usual, was a sweet welcome for baby Jesus, complete with little girls lifting their skirts and little boys using their battery powered candles as light sabers), the Methodist service at 7 (lovely) and Mass at Providence at 8, which featured Ann the trumpet player, who filled that little church with joy.
I'm not even going to elaborate on our Christmas Eve dinner -- let's just file that under "The Most Disappointing Fancy Meal We Ever Tried to Cook" and leave it at that.
Christmas morning was lovely, and Will was happy with his gifts (as would anyone who had e-mailed me his list with the appropriate web sites for ordering). Sarah called and said that she and Tommy had been sick, but they thought it was from the meatballs they had had for supper; we told them to come down if they felt like it. They did, but both spent most of the day on the couch and they went home early. Nate went home to be with his dad, but Maggie and Paul stayed, and Will, Maggie and Clay got in some quality Mario Cart time together.
We were to leave for Akron early the next morning, but Clay came to wake me and said that Will was very sick. Later in the day, I was sick as well, so we postponed our trip until Saturday. We felt better, and headed to Ohio, but since no one there wanted our cooties, we stayed in a hotel Saturday evening. Unfortunately, Clay began to feel bad on the way, and was walloped full force by the virus right after we checked in. Sunday morning, after exhaustive calls to mom's, we decided to pack up and head back to Indiana, sad, disappointed and without even one Swenson's burger. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
Nate and Maggie were both sick, but luckily, my sisters and their families, who left for vacation to South Carolina on Saturday, didn't get the bug.
The rest of the week has been spent in quiet recovery. Will went to a friend's house and Clay and I spent New Year's Eve watching movies. I fell asleep but woke up in time to watch the ball drop, get a kiss and have a swig of champipple. (What's that from? I know we didn't make it up.) Thursday we had corned beef and cabbage and black eyed peas with Sarah and Adam, so we should all have a prosperous 2009 despite economic forecasts, right?
Clay and Will go skiing on Sunday, and then this holiday season is officially over. School, piano lessons and a wrestling meet on Tuesday -- 2009, here we come!