Monday, January 11, 2010

The Sickness Saga...

As said in previous post (which you probably haven't read yet), this holiday season was one to be remembered in the Brown household.

It all started on Monday the 28th of December with the expected arrival home of Caleb from his mission. Mom wanted there to be a grand welcoming home party, but since he got home on a Monday and everyone is pretty scattered and couldn't take off work, Mom did the best she could and brought home as many of the grandkids from Arkansas as she could. Thank goodness Amberly decided to abandon her husband and accompany her kids to help with chaos control! So Caleb arrived home Monday night to the empty (and I mean EMPTY) Tupelo Airport. (Hey, how were we supposed to know his flight was 30 minutes early?) So Tuesday as is customary, he had to meet with the Stake President to be released, well a month ago that would have been pretty easy, as it was our Dad, but the new Stake President is my brother's father-in-law and they live 2 hours away. So my dad and Caleb head to Florence, Alabama to get him released and naturally stop in on my brother's family to see them... AND HERE'S WHERE IT STARTS....

My brother's son Evan, had the stomach virus the day before that he got from his mom's side of the family (it should also be mentioned that Evan is my mom's favorite grandchild, and his presence in our house is sought out every chance they can get (I will also note this is no fault of Evan or his mom, his dad also happens to be my mom's favorite child)). So of course Evan comes home with Dad and Caleb to play with the cousins. I'll be honest and say I was not pleased with this decision (nothing against Evan personally, just viruses) and decided to keep Betsy in our apartment as much as possible for the rest of the week despite my parents' reassurances that he was "better". So "mysteriously" Wednesday night Caleb gets sick, with symptoms an awful lot like, you guessed it, the stomach virus. Thursday (the day EVERYONE is supposed to arrive for Brown Christmas) Johanna, Evan's mom, comes down with it and decides to postpone their trip over until Friday. Let me take the time to inform anyone who doesn't know, when all together and accounted for there are 35 people in the Harry Brown family. So Friday afternoon, Andrew and Johanna arrive and yep, Friday night Andrew is sick. Saturday morning goes pretty well, all the guys are making preparations to watch the Arkansas football game, and all the ladies are trying to figure out what to do with 19 kids to keep them out of the guys' way during the game... well mid-game Carson starts feeling not well, quickly followed by Edyn, Peyton, and Ryan. During an after puke shower for Edyn, her mom discovers HEAD LICE! So a quick trip to Wal-Mart is made to buy out all Lice Killing products and they are quickly distributed out and kids are immediately treated. During treatments 3 more kids get sick... and so the night continued.... by 3am Sunday morning there are a reported 24 cases of the stomach virus in the Brown family AT ONE TIME!! That was no night for the weak, I'll tell ya that! Betsy and I both got it that night, but miraculously Eric was able to dodge it and take care of Betsy for me. He was a LIFESAVER! Needless to say, no Brown attended church on Sunday and each family headed home as soon as they felt well ENOUGH to travel... I do not envy those road trips. I will also throw out there was a case of Thrush in the mix as well... it was one HECK of a weekend! There are talks of shirts being made, "I survived Brown Christmas 2o09".

Christmas is over... Now what?

The holidays are done and life is back to semi-normal. We had a blast over the holidays and it was definitely one to be remembered... but that will come in its own post.

With almost all the kids in my family married, we have a rotation that works out quite nicely. We trade off Christmas and Thanksgiving every year with "the in-laws". So this year was supposed to be in-law Thanksgiving and Brown Christmas. Well, my youngest brother (and only unmarried sibling) Caleb returned home from his mission to Korea on Dec 28th, so my mom opted to put off Brown Christmas until he could be home, so everyone just did their own thing Christmas day pretty much. Christmas Eve my brother Daniel and his family came over to stay the night before heading down to his wife's family's for Christmas day. Eric's sister Sarah is here in Mississippi so Eric invited her down to have Christmas with us. We played games, ate junk, watched A Christmas Story, continued the Johnson tradition of chocolate milk, and Hostess cupcakes, and put the kids to bed. Daniel and Lacey have 3 boys so they had plenty of presents to spread out under the tree for the boys to wake up to. Eric and I didn't see much need in a lot of presents when the idea is basically lost on Betsy. We did get her a Playskool Busy Ball Popper and Eric's parents got her a Step Start Walk 'N Ride. So we start putting them together to be set under the tree and wouldn't you know the little stinker wakes up! So she came down to help us set up her toys and try them out.
I don't know what it is about Christmas morning that is automatically programmed into kids to wake up early, but even Betsy the late sleeper was up by 7am! The Busy Ball Popper was a little too loud for her first thing in the morning and she wasn't impressed. She didn't quite "grasp" the concept of holding the handle on the walker to push it, but she loved watching the boys play with their gifts! Eric and I opened our gifts to each other. We had bought our big gifts on Black Friday and had been using them since, so Christmas morning was small. On Black Friday Eric bought me a Cricut, and I got him an iPod Touch and 1TB external hard drive he wanted. Christmas morning he got me pens to go in the Cricut to make it write, a thread organizer, and curlers... all things I had been hinting at for months, so Good Job Eric! It was awesome! I got him some cologne that he had been hinting at and a new wrist watch.
Presents were followed with the traditional Johnson aebleskivers (Danish pancakes in the shape of balls). Eric's mom got me an aebleskiver pan for Christmas so I could carry on the tradition! After a trial and error with the recipe, breakfast was delicious! Daniel and his family raced out the door immediately after presents to start making the rounds of Lacey's family. Mom and Dad packed up after breakfast and headed to Grandma and Grandpa's for the weekend. We stayed behind to allow more time with Eric's sister Sarah, but sent Betsy with Mom and Dad to allow us to fit in Daniel and Lacey's car when they came back through on their way home.
The weekend in Arkansas was fun! We had the Sherwood cousin party on the 26th and stayed up WAY too late playing games, but had a blast. We stayed with my cousin Valerie and always enjoy that. We got to visit our friends Joe and Celeste and see their adorable little girl Liz for the first time! Sunday was my niece Deserae's baptism and that is always wonderful. Then after church Eric and I headed home for him to be ready for work on Monday.