Thrilling update on the stomach flu front: We were all fine, until we were not. Noah woke up complaining of nausea this morning...but still managed to seem a bit too chipper about the whole stay-home-on-the-couch-and-watch-TV aspect for me to be fully convinced that the plague and pestilence were once again upon us.
"Now I can't go to school today!" he wailed dramatically, yet he was unable to mask the quiet level of glee that was bubbling just below the surface.
"Mmm-hmm," I replied, struggling to walk the fine line between Sympathetic Mommy Who Makes Sick Days All About Fluffy Couch Beds & Cartoons Because Poor Baby...and Suspicious Mommy Who Kind Of Thinks You're Faking.
Compromise: I made him a Couch Bed but refused to turn the TV on. You get to stay home but you're gonna be bored out of your mind.
THAT'LL LEARN YA.
45 Minutes Later: The TV is on now. He really is sick, and I'm an asshole.
It turns out, though, that seven-year-old children can get themselves to the bathroom and throw up in the toilet like civilized human beings. So that's nice. And a first. Practically a vacation day, comparatively speaking.
Anyway, there WAS a time this weekend when everybody was feeling fine, so we went out in search of a Christmas tree.
You know we've never actually done the whole tree farm cut-your-own thing before? Right? What's wrong with us?
(Don't answer that.)
In the past we were hesitant to take Noah, since he can be a little...unpredictable.
(One year he was happy to go to a tree lot and select a tree, then lost his ever-loving mind over the idea that we had to put the tree on top of our car in order to get it home. We ended up leaving sans tree, only to have Jason go back out and seekritly transport it home after bedtime. The next morning, Noah was thrilled to see the fully decorated tree...as long as we steadfastly promised him that we'd managed to get it home some other way than on the roof of our car.)
(Christmas! It truly is the magical season of lies.)
Sure enough, Noah was initially very distressed to hear about our change of plans this year. No farm! Go to the regular place with the normal usual trees like always and before! I don't care if they cost twice as much and are half as fun, STOP TRYING TO MAKE MY CHILDHOOD ENRICHING AND ALL THAT STUFF.
He complained pretty much the entire drive there, straight on through a McDonald's Bribery Meal of Please Let It Go, LET IT GO, THE TREE FARM IS HAPPENING, OKAY?
As usual, his anxiety melted away the second we got there and he realized that the tree farm actually is pretty fun, and involves absolutely zero children-eating trees or whatever it was he was scared would happen there. Math tests, maybe.
He declared the very first tree he saw to be the Most Perfect Tree Ever.
It turned out he was right, but we still spent a very fun hour hiking around the farm and judging tree after tree and giving them all complexes over their natural imperfections before circling back to this one.
GLOVELESS CITY SLICKER MEETS COMMUNITY TREE SAW.
Watching the cutting process from a safe distance, like that thing was gonna be all, "TIMBERRRR!" in a matter of minutes.
This part might have taken a little longer than everybody was expecting.
Okay, maybe a lot longer.
Luckily, the farm had arranged some haybales for (I assume) festive family photo opps and such.
My kids were all, I DECLARE THEE FORT THUNDERDOME!
(Still managed to get a photo opp or two out of it, though.)
When we got the tree home we did learn the first lesson of tree-farm Christmas trees: They look at LOT smaller out in the wild, surrounded by bigger, taller, fuller trees, than they do once they're smack dab in the middle of your average suburban living room, surrounded by displaced furniture.
This tree is HUGE. Who lives here, the pope?
Ike napped through the decorating process and woke up to find a giant illuminated monstrosity of a tree hanging out in his house.
He was pretty cool with it, though. It's a'ight. Nothing phases these third babies, you guys.
After countless close calls and one direct in-the-face hit, I finally replaced our stupid heavy pointy metal stocking holders with something lightweight and...less likely knock teeth out and cause concussions and ER visits. I know, I know. I obviously spoil my children too much and they shall grow up soft because of it. But Sterling Pear sent me these awesome child-safe stocking scroll holders and Ike's face and I thank them very much for that.
After the kids went to bed, the pets came out to bask in the warm glowy festiveness.
And Jason and I did the same, with some help from all of y'all's helpful hot toddy recipe suggestions. This one is hot apple cider, brandy, cinnamon sticks and of course, swanky far-out vintage ski resort style, because I insist on being as ridiculous as possible at all times.