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It's been a long week. At the tail end of a long month. I am so totally not feeling Christmas is here.

Colin's aunt passed away earlier in December of pancreatic cancer - it was a decline of about a month, sharp and fast as these things go. In a way, it was as good as such a thing can be; it lasted long enough for a lot of out of town kin to come in and say goodbye, and short enough she didn't suffer horribly. She actually passed on in the presence of her brother (my father in law) and a friend - literally the day he returned to Winnipeg to help with funeral arrangements and packing away her apartment. Her funeral was well attended and there was a lot of sincere respect and love expressed, from family, from people who worked with her, people who went to church with her, friends in the community, people she volunteered with. She was 83.

We usually spent Boxing Day with Colin's aunts, and found a day on the Easter weekend, and some other occasions. He visited slightly more often to help with her computer issues, or other things of that nature. She wasn't a huge presence in my life specifically, but she was the one of Colin's kin we saw most often after his parents.
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This week in particular was mostly about being sick. I took Joseph to Children's Hospital last Friday for a false alarm (He'd got into a bottle of Tylenol, but there was, it turns out, only one pill left in it; the one he took out of his mouth and offered to me still intact when I found him).

Thanks to the 2 hours and up of waiting surrounded by 20 other kids and their parents, he picked up a flu bug from someone. I'm pretty sure it was there and not as school earlier the same day, but of course it could be either.

So yeah. Fevers, aches, and while the worst only lasted a day or so each, the cough lingers. Ever had a cough while 6 months pregnant? Let's just say you spend a lot of extra time on the toilet because the bladder is already under serious pressure.

So we were well enough yesterday to feel up to getting to a friend's Christmas party and not worrying too hard about infecting the whole room. I REALLY hope I'm right about that> otherwise I owe most of the people I like best some serious apologies.

Also, I don't know if I'll be up to singing for the Christmas Eve service, because between this and the family stuff, I've missed all but one practice this month AND I don't know how I'll be cough-wise by Christmas Eve. (And the one practice I *Made* it to I had to pass over a favourite alternate activity to get to.) So argh.

I'm not a soloist, I don't think *the choir* will lose a lot for my absence, but I did want to end my singing with them with the big day, and it meant something to *me*. Because I've been losing breath control rapidly as I get more pregnant, so I wasn't really intending to press on in the new year.

I'm not even sure we'll make their Christmas party tomorrow. Because we kinda pushed our limits this weekend.

At least the Christmas Eve service is early enough i think I'll make it to See it.

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We're also not doing anything resembling the family get together with all the aunts and uncles and cousins. For several different reasons, nobody is up to hosting, and some aren't up to attending. Not doing Thanksgiving, as we didn't, is one thing - we've missed that before as a family. But Christmas and Easter are sorta bigger deals.

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And, tiny and petty as it is compared to the rest, my brother and I haven't been able to do our annual shopping session together yet - it got put off to Tuesday because mom is also sick so no Joseph-minding was available Friday - and I have even less idea when I'll go shop for *him*.

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AND we're not doing our new Year's Eve cabin retreat, but this one I think was a good choice, and we're *hosting* a New Year's Party with the same suspects instead, possibly bookended by another friend hosting related activities to attempt to get the same "2-3 days of escape" feel. I also think we need to suggest an outdoorsy session of something during that stretch. IF it bothers to snow a bit more by December's end, instead of giving us freezing drizzle. Sledding, skiing, snowmen, quinzy-making and skating are ALL better with actual snow (Or rather, skating is better when the only ice is the ice deliberately meant to be there, not the stuff that makes you fall on the way...) Even just a quick romp through a park feels better if it's in snow proper.
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