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About a week before Thanksgiving, Carl left for a conference in San Diego. We survived, and even managed to have fun despite Joy’s inability to recognize that both Carl and I are her parents, not Carl is her parent and I am her baby-sitter.

He got back the day before Thanksgiving, around 8:00 in the morning. About lunchtime, I had developed a full-blown fever and was on the verge on the throwing up. By suppertime, I had thrown up and was huddled under a pile of blankets on the couch, desperately trying to get warm.

It was a virulent but thankfully brief illness. I was able to eat a little by Thursday (Thanksgiving Day!) and was no longer feverish, but still spent most of the day in bed, sleeping. Friday I had recovered enough to totter around the house and get a tiny bit accomplished (I washed dishes and made chicken noodle soup). Saturday I fully expected to be all better, but neglected to take into account how starved my body was, nearly passed out when I didn’t eat enough for breakfast, and crawled back into bed for half the day.

Carl and I spent Saturday afternoon making pies, and then Sunday we finally had our Thanksgiving feast. Turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, squash, crescent rolls, cranberry sauce, and wine for the adults. For the first time since Wednesday, I ate enough and my stomach didn’t knot itself up afterward either. Then we finished off with apple pie and pumpkin pie, and Carl and the kids decorated the Christmas tree while I took pictures (the usual division of labor, much to everybody’s satisfaction).

“This is my wonderfullest day ever,” Gracie sighed in heartfelt satisfaction after the tree was up and fully decorated. And we kind of had to agree. Given a choice, I would have preferred not to have gotten so horribly sick, but it all turned out beautifully in the end.

***

It’s back to normal life today, at least somewhat. Joy started second grade! Which is not normal. First grade took us eighteen months to get through, due to nothing but my own errors when it came to social studies and math (notably: trying to do too much; pushing too hard). But we have completed it now. She started her second grade math book, we did a quick recap of the collapse of the western Roman Empire today preparatory to diving into the middle ages, we start basic chemistry tomorrow, and she’s actually almost finished with her second grade handwriting book. I would love to find some sort of reader for her to use for second grade, but we’ve been doing fine with me reading aloud and her reading library books for her own interest (Magic Tree House and Alphabet Mysteries and Magic School Bus are the current favorites, as well as anything fairy-related) so far. If I could find some sort of medieval-related series of early chapter books, I’d be in seventh heaven …

Gracie is coming along nobly with her attempts to read. It hasn’t all “clicked” together for her yet, but she is making strides and not frustrated, so I’m no fretting. She reads as well as if not better than many kindergartners; just because I was a fluent reader by age 4 and Joy by age 5 1/2 is no reason to insist she must match that. She is almost done with her first kindergarten math book and start on the second. We’ve not been doing much of anything for social or science, focusing heavily on reading and math skills for now, but I’d like to start incorporating those in as well. Study the planets a little bit, weather, nature, that sort of thing, for science, and look at major holidays, traditions, our family background, that sort of thing for social. Nothing too major. Even though this is going to be our shortest “term” (I’m attempting a six-ish week on, one week off routine this year) due to Christmas and New Year’s, I feel like I’m starting fresh with school after our Thanksgiving break, and I’m excited to get into the second half of the year.

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