Wednesday, December 30, 2009

johnston family christmas and flu epidemic

Would it be considered an epidemic if 21 27 people out of 50 got violently ill within a 48-hour time period? I'm thinking that it would . . . it was 21 27 people at last count. That's when we flew the coup and came home two days early. I'll come back to those fun details . . . first I'll start with the fun stuff before the epidemic hit.

Saturday evening we had an awesome turkey dinner and all the families took turns sharing what they had been up to for the past year. (My husband has 11 siblings with spouses and children, so this always takes an evening.) Sunday we had church and an afternoon at the beach. That evening we had dinner and a "decade dance" at Tim's brother's store across from the Mission Inn--he has a empty floor at the top of his building. We were to all come dressed in a decade of our choice. We had everything from the 1930's to the 1980's. It was SO MUCH fun! Thanks Jilinda for organizing! Here are some pictures:

Monday we had our annual cousin gift exchange and then the grown-ups had our white elephant gift exchange. Most of the time we have GOOD white elephant gifts--like cash and gift cards--this year there were a few duds--like The Clapper that we ended up with. After lunch we went to Craig's gym and played for a few hours. This was a highlight for our kids.

At this point in the day, a few kids had gotten sick with the flu. We tried our best to keep them apart from other kids, but with 50 people running around, it's not an easy task. (Most of us stayed at two different houses.) That night eight more people got sick at the house we were staying at (including my husband and his 80-year-old parents). With five bathrooms in the house, there were not enough toilets to go around. Just picture buckets and lots of laundry. Richie, my 23-year-old newphew, was staying at a different house. He threw up so much that he passed out and woke up with his hand in the toilet and a bleeding cut on his head from hitting the tile. Early the next morning, four of my little nieces and nephews were throwing up on the front lawn because all of the bathrooms were in use. It wasn't funny at the time, but now it sounds quite comical.

Tim was through the worst of it by 7am (I had been up with him all night) and I said, "Let's get out of here!" He agreed even though he wasn't 100%. We did not want me getting sick or our kids. A few other families left early as well. I had a fever all the way home and held onto a bucket. I've been weak all day today, but still have not succumbed to the worst of the flu. My sister-in-law, Rachel, left early with her family as well. They had to stop on the freeway for her to throw-up. As of this morning, 21 27 people came down with the flu. I think that qualifies as an epidemic, don't you?

When we got home last night, we were sure our girls were going to get the flu in the middle of the night. So, we had them sleep on the floor on either side of our bed so that we could quickly help them when it hit. They thought it was so much fun. They set up a towel walkway from our bed all the way to the bathroom so that they wouldn't get throw-up on the carpet. They practiced running back and forth on it. I'll leave you with this final picture--throw-up cups in hand. They didn't get sick last night . . . if we can make it through tonight, I think we'll be in the clear.

Apart from the flu, we had an awesome time! This is a Christmas adventure that will not be forgotten.


Christine said...

Yuck! I hope you make it thru the night! We have our kids sleep on an old crib mattress in our room, complete with the towel walkway, when they're sick too. Of course they think it's great...and I wake up with every little noise ready to shove their heads into the toilet! Good luck!

Pam said...

I hope that the girls make it without getting sick. Nina always brings the flu home on the last day of school before winter break and we all end up getting sick around Christmas. Thankfully this year, we were spared, except for Nina. Glad you guys had a good time down with the Johnston clan.

Cravinchoc said...

So sorry, Brenda! But it looks like you had fun before the flu hit. What great pictures.

Unknown said...

Oh my word, Brenda, what an adventure!! Hope your kids stayed well and you and Tim are better!! Happy New Year!