The Christmas Follow-Up

12:34 PM

In spite of all that happened during the month of December, and in particular, the week surrounding Christmas, it turned out to be a very wonderful Christmas for our family.  Yes, we were sick, and no, that part wasn't fun, but it provided an opportunity for us to simply relax and be together for the holiday. And THAT was quite simply, the best way I could think of to celebrate this favorite holiday of mine.

Here are some pictures from before Thanksgiving, actually, when we set up our house for Christmas...

August, Brooklyn and Dorien take much more personal pleasure in decorating the tree now.  They are getting old enough to be trusted with more precious ornaments, although there are still certain ones that only Mommy and Daddy put on the tree.

Wyeth wasn't too bad, either. We wisely loaded the more breakable ornaments towards the higher areas, but even then, he figured out that the tree wasn't a plaything. More eye candy.

Dorien, age 3.

Brooklyn, age 8.

August, age 6.

The beautiful (and delicious) gingerbread house we put together! I ordered a kit from King Arthur Flour, and it turned out really well! We held off nibbling the house for quite awhile, then gave in and slowly dismantled it. It was the first gingerbread house we've done as a family, and I think it's a new tradition for us.

Dorien, petting Dottie, reads a book at Aunt Anna's house.

August and his friend/cousin, Avery.

Once the flu worked its slow way through our family, we had some truly wonderful days relaxing together.  August did manage to catch a stomach bug for a few days, but thankfully, no one else got sick. There was lots of playing together all over the house.

I love moments like this, when you see your children curled up in a chair reading a book. It warms my heart.

I love my naps with Dorien, too.

To complete the story on my knee surgery - I wasn't able to have it on the 26th as planned. I was running a fever of 102 that morning, so I called and cancelled it. The Lord was so kind, though, because although the schedulers initially said I wouldn't be able to get in until late January, they found a spot for me as the very first surgery on Wednesday, December 31.  Thankfully, by then, I was feeling almost normal after the flu. Kyle stayed home with the kids while my dad accompanied me to the surgery center at 5:00am.  I'm so grateful for my large family at times like this, because Dad had to leave at 9 for a work meeting, and my sister, Rachel, was there at the surgery center when I woke up and drove me home.  I got back to my house right as all my kids were just waking up. Not bad! I ended up sleeping about 5 hours after the surgery, then spending the evening cooking food to take to my mom's for the next day - our huge family celebration! 

In hindsight, I should NOT have spent that much time on my feet the day of the surgery, or the days after my surgery. But it is just about impossible to stay completely off your feet, or to keep your legs elevated above the level of your head. You try it sometime. Especially with 4 kids.

Long story short, my knee got really swollen. I could barely bend my knee and I could actually feel fluid squishing through my knee joint. It was gross. It was also uncomfortable.  I had a post-op visit on Thursday of this past week, and they ended up draining my knee of 60cc of fluid. About 1/4 cup worth of nasty bloody gunk. I felt 1,000 times better after that, and have much better range of motion! It still feels tight, like it's not used to moving, but I can bend it more every day. 

In the surgery itself, they did find a plica band (a piece of my knee's synovial lining) which was clearly in the way and visibly inflamed, and they removed that. They also shaved off 3 cartilage soft spots that were probably causing me pain, given their location and where I have been hurting. Other than those things, they said my knee looked great and should be 100% very soon! 

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