We took our Christmas tree down early this year. I may have mentioned that we had such a beautiful Christmas tree this year. It was one of the prettiest trees I think I have ever seen, although I'm might be a bit biased:).
The boys were very intrigued by it. They wanted the lights on all the time and found it disconcerting when we turned them off as we were getting ready to leave the house or preparing for bedtime. They loved touching the bulbs and lights and pointing to the various ornaments.
Unfortunately they were not very gentle with it and it was losing needles fast. Every time it was bumped or touched, more needles fell off. The cats would walk under it and brush branches with their backs and needles would go everywhere. I found several balls stuck in the tree and up pretty high actually (the boys are getting pretty good at throwing these days:). The needles would get tracked all over the house, even though we swept them up at least once a day.
Then there came the evening that I was in the bedroom, taking a short break and relaxing for a bit, while the boys played with the dad. It was probably only one or two days after Christmas. By the way, have I mentioned that the dad is not the multi-tasking sort, but focuses extremely well on one task at a time? It seems he was focusing on something in his office while the boys played with some of their new toys.
I remember hearing something in the background, as I relaxed in my room and read a book or blog or something. I remember hearing the boys playing and laughing in the living room. But I wasn't paying much attention beyond that. The next thing I remember hearing was the dad saying "hey, you guys, what are you doing??!" "Stop that!" I was not sure what had happened but I heard the dad cleaning up.
Turns out the boys had been having a ball, beating the Christmas tree with their new stick horses....and not with the stick end but with the stuffed head end of the stick horse. They did quite a number on the tree. I could actually see right through the middle of it. All of the branches they could reach were all hanging downward, towards the ground, and ornaments were on the floor or hanging underneath branches that were knocked downward. It was quite a sight.....and this was after the dad had finished cleaning it up, as much as possible.
My sister got the biggest laugh out of this and was wishing we had it on video. I'm glad I am not the one who discovered them beating the tree with the stick horses. I probably would not have taken it very well, since I spent a lot of time decorating it. Since it happened on the dad's watch, I ended up finding it kind of funny and the further we get from the scene of the crime, the funnier it gets:). Yee Haw!!
Nick's rash got much worse and started spreading so we took him to the doctor. There were four doctors in the room and none of them were real sure what it was. We took him to a dermatologist the next morning (yesterday) and he said he thinks it is a dry skin type of rash (I can't remember the name he gave it). Soooooo, we have ointment to put on it twice a day and we are suppose to try to avoid any water contact with his skin, as much as possible.
We are not of the mind that children of this age need to take a bath every night, much to our doctor's surprise. Apparently, this is a very common thing now days but my sister never did that with young children and I think it is a lot of extra work that is not necessary. Our normal schedule for giving the boys their baths is Wednesdays and Saturdays, but we do more in the summer if they have been playing outside and getting dirty. Our doctor thought that was perfect and spent some time telling us how bad it is for our skin to take daily baths. So, the times we really have to be careful now are when we wash up around meals and brush teeth before bedtimes.
I moved our humidifier to the boys' room, so now they have two going when they sleep. I really think this is helping a lot. Nick woke up this morning looking so much better. The dad is investigating the humidifier systems that hook into the central heat/air system and we are now thinking this would be a good investment for our family.
My husband and I both suffer from multiple cracked finger tips and heels during the winter months. I usually end up with at least two cracked finger tips a week and they are so painful. I also think generally it will be healthier for all of us to have the right level of humidity in our home, since we spend so much time here. I will not miss having to fill up several humidifiers every evening and I definitely won't miss the cracked finger tips.