It seems like a lot has happened in the last two weeks, but really then when I think about it, not so much. It seems as though at the end of March/beginning of April each year, we all give winter a big farewell by getting sick as dogs. Lucy and I both got the flu. Elaine got something that hung on for weeks. We were all supposed to go to dinner at the Aniol's house. (Lucy adores them.) About five minutes before we were supposed to leave (and as I had just gotten home from work), I took Elaine upstairs to change her. She felt a little warm. Then when I lifted up her shirt, I saw she was covered in little red spots. I yelled, "And...you didn't notice that the baby has chicken pox?" You can imagine how well that went down.
Turns out, it was hives. And a sinus infection that dragged on for weeks. We took her twice to the pediatrician--once to the on-call Saturday doctor and once to our new ped., Dr. Sroka. When Dr. Sroka was examining her, she turned and threw her arms around my neck and tried to climb up me like a frantic monkey. A howler monkey that is, because she roared deafingly into my ear as well. He did the best he could with her, and Lucy told him kindly, "Well, actually, I think she just likes Dr. Perryman better."
Then came birthday parties. My dad turned 75, and my mom threw him a grand party--filling the house with their good old Wheaton friends. Everyone laughed and talked and stuffed themselves, and he was in his element. We left that party and drove to Peoria to Aunt Kimmie's 40th. That was fun too, except that both girls were partied out and Elaine decided to stay up all night and cough and cry. And by all night? I truly mean all night. We took turns with her until around 5:30 a.m., when my sainted mother-in-law, who we are planning to put forward for canonization any time now, said she would take her so that we could rest. I planned to lay down on the bed for just maybe 30 minutes but actually woke with the sun streaming in the windows and Darren shaking me saying, "Al, Al. It's 8:30." We drove home, bleary-eyed, leaving the girls in their pajamas, and that was our auspicious start to Holy Week.
I'm not sure what else I did then, it's a blur. But on Thursday we had our first Seder dinner. It was modified of course, but really nice. Elaine went to bed early on, and then we could enjoy it more (sorry, Smoochie, you'll understand when you're reading this, I promise.) Lucy found the hidden afikomen, opened the door for Elijah, and asked Darren, "Father, why is this night different from other nights?"
Easter Sunday stood out as actually being colder than Christmas. The girls had gotten Easter haircuts (Elaine looks like a boy! It's the cutest thing ever) and put on their Easter dresses and bonnets (with winter coats over). We had a nice day with brunch at our house with friends from church afterward. Finally at about 4:30, after completing what felt like a 4-day cycle of cleaning / entertaining / cleaning / entertaining oh and then some more cleanup, I pulled on some pajamas, got a cup of tea, and sat down in the rocking chair, only to have Lucy come up with a glass of ice water, stumble, dump it all over me, and then start crying. (The other day when she did one of her ultra-early wake-ups, I said grumpily, "Dad and I are going on vacation soon. We're just going to sleep our heads off and never stop." She put her face close to mine and said tearily, "Don't tease! We want to go on baykayshun with you!" It's cute while I'm writing it, but man. I could totally write a scary Twilight Zone episode out of it.) Sometimes I don't feel cut out for motherhood.
But all in all...we're well. Sickness is lingering but slowly giving up. We got to do a lot of nice, meaningful things for Easter as well as see family and friends. And maybe someday we'll get that vacation.