The Flu Ain’t No Joke!!!!

So, the Monday before Christmas was the last Nutcracker performance and I was in it.  It seemed like almost immediately the next morning I started to feel bad.  When my mom got home from work on Tuesday, I was lying on the couch and I told her I was sick.  It was just the usual stuff……runny nose, a little coughing.  I took some medicine, rested, and did all the things you usually do when you have a cold.  My grandma made me some hot herbal tea with lemon.  My mom made homemade chicken noodle soup.  I still wasn’t feeling well on Wednesday, but it was Christmas Eve.  That night, my mom and dad, my brother, my sister, and I piled into the car with our white hot chocolate from Starbucks and we went to look at Christmas lights.  We even took Ziggy with us.  My sister had gotten over a bad cold the week before.  My dad had also been fighting a cold for a few days and he never gets sick.  During the trip, my brother started coughing.  Then my mom said that she felt her throat getting sore.  I was already sick and didn’t feel that great.  My mom even made my dad stop by Walgreen’s to get some Zicam for her.  We got home, got ready for Christmas, and went to bed.  My brother set his alarm clock for 3 a.m. and woke everybody up so we could open presents.  By that time, my mom was feeling pretty sick.  We opened presents and she went back to bed.  So did everybody else.  My mom was in and out of bed all day long.  So was I.  Then on Friday, I started to feel worse.  I was achy all over.  My mom said she was all achy too, especially her knees.  My dad and my brother were sick, but not as sick as we were.  We felt like Spongebob Squarepants when he was sick.  I think we looked like him too.  See.

Sponge bob By the time Saturday rolled around, we were still sick and then my mom goes all a sudden, “I have the flu!!!  My knees are killing me!!!”  For me, it was my back.  Finally, we got out of bed and got showered and dressed, which took every bit of strength that we had and we went to the Urgent Care Clinic.  We were there for 2 ½ hours, along with what seemed to be the rest of the city.  They tested us both for the flu and guess what?  Both tests came back positive.  And then when the doctor listened to my breathing, he heard something and ordered a chest x-ray.  They said that they saw a shadow on my lungs and so they prescribed me antibiotics for pneumonia.  The flu!?!  Pneumonia!?!  I’d never had the flu before, neither had my mom.  We were sick as two dogs.  I tell you what, the flu ain’t no joke!!!

It wasn’t so much the runny nose, sneezing, and coughing as it was the fever, chills, extreme fatigue, and the achiness.  I never want to get the flu again.  And to think that we got our flu shots this year.  We get our flu shots every year, but apparently that doesn’t always matter.  From what I read online, this year’s flu vaccine only covers you for the most prevalent strains of last year’s flu.  Now, what kind of sense does that make?  So, apparently we got this year’s most prevalent strain of the flu.  Sigh……….  And the flu is just getting started.  Flu season runs from October through April.  It’s just December and the flu is sweeping the country.  I even read a story that said that the flu is especially bad so early in the year in the very state that I live in.  Double sigh………

To prevent the spread of the flu, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, cover your nose when you sneeze and your mouth when you cough, and stay home if you are sick.  Believe me; you don’t want what I just had!  Be well.

Merry Christmas!!!

Hello everyone.  It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post….almost a whole month!  I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and spent time with their families relaxing, opening presents, and eating good food.  I had a great day even though I’ve been sick with a cold the last few days.  I wanted to share with you what I’ve been doing all month long, since it clearly hasn’t been blogging.  Well, as you know, I changed dance studios at the beginning of this school year.  At the end of my first week there back in August, they held auditions for the traditional December/Christmas time ballet, The Nutcracker.  And after being in class for only two days, I got a part!!!  Yay me!  Remember, my ballet school is tied to the city’s ballet company, and because The Nutcracker has so many parts for kids, they let the kids who attend the ballet school be in the professional production.  I got the role of a Peppermint Page, Cast B.  There were two casts.  Cast A performed in five out of the ten shows and Cast B performed in the other five.  Some of the older kids were in both Casts A and B and so they had to perform in all ten shows!  We began practicing on Saturdays, every Saturday in fact, starting in September.  Then beginning on Tuesday, December 9th, we began practicing at the downtown venue from about 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night.  This included regular stage blocking rehearsals and dress rehearsals in full make-up and costume.  I performed in the first show on Saturday, December 13th.  It was the 2 p.m. matinee.  On Saturdays and Sundays there were two shows –  a 2 o’clock and a 7 o’clock.  The two casts traded off on whether we did the early or the late show.  So, you see I’ve been busy for the last three weeks straight.  I haven’t had much time to blog.  Not to mention that I still had to go to school every day through Friday, December 19th.   And we had final exams because it was the end of the semester.  My last show was on Monday night, December 22nd.  And man oh man, was I tired.  Then, I got sick!!!

My parents bought tickets to each and every show so that I always had family in the audience to see me perform.  That was very nice of them and it was very expensive.  They also took me to see one of the Cast A shows that I was not dancing in because all that being backstage, I hadn’t even seen the show in full.  Both my mom and my dad saw the show three times each.  My big sister, Ashley, saw it twice.  As a Peppermint Page, I performed in Act II, Scene I.  The pages escorted the Sugarplum Fairy out on stage, more or less.  Now, here’s a little background on The Nutcracker.   The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the book called “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by E.T.A. Hoffman.  In 1891, the legendary choreographer Marius Petipa commissioned Tchaikovsky to write the music for the Nutcracker Ballet.  In 1892, the first showing of the Nutcracker took place at the Mariinsky Theatre of Russia, home of the Kirov Ballet.  The Nutcracker made its way to Western Europe in the 1930’s and to America by 1940, performed by Ballet Russe. The first American full length Nutcracker was performed by the San Francisco Ballet, choreographed by W. Christensen. The Nutcracker has since become an annual holiday tradition.  In The Nutcracker, a Christmas present — a nutcracker — comes to life as a handsome prince. After being given to a young girl, Clara Stahlbaum, at a Christmas party, the Nutcracker takes Clara on fantastic adventures where toys come to life, including a sword fight with the Mouse King.

Take a look at some of my pictures below and come back tomorrow so we can talk Christmas presents and American girl dolls.

2014 Nutcracker

2014 Nutcracker Tree 2

2014 Nutcracker curtain

2014 Nutcracker tickets

Snow Day, Sick Day

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A couple of ducks hanging out in the icy lake near my house..

Hello winter.  I know it’s not officially winter until sometime in December, but the last week has been super cold!  With temperatures in the 30’s since Tuesday and winds up to 30 miles per hour on some days last week, today was the first snowfall of the year!  It started out this morning and continued all day, but it didn’t accumulate very much.  But nonetheless, there’s NO SCHOOL TOMORROW.  SNOW DAY – OOOOOOHHHHHH!!!!  And did I mention that it was 80 degrees last Monday?  I know right.  I’m glad I get another day off tomorrow because I came home from school on Wednesday feeling pretty icky.  No fever, just a crazy runny nose.  I went to dance class on Wednesday night and school on Thursday, and a band demonstration for parents and family on Thursday night (we’ll talk about band in my next blog post).  I also went to school on Friday because I had a math test.  But, I stayed home from dance on Friday night, skipped my private dance lesson on Saturday morning and my friend’s birthday party that afternoon.  I only went to my one hour of rehearsal for The Nutcracker yesterday.  It was mandatory.  The rest of the time, I’ve been in bed, blowing my raw, red nose and trying to control the cough I developed.  I have had a ton of medicine and even more chicken noodle soup and hot tea these last few days.  I started feeling better today, so I am thankful for a snow day to give me more time to rest and get well.

100 Happy Days

Gandhi Happiness Quote

Fourteen weeks ago I started the 100 Happy Days Challenge.  Yesterday, I finished it.  The goal was to record something that makes you happy each and every day for 100 days in a row.  I did the challenge on my Instagram account and I am happy to say that I never missed a single day.  The point of the Challenge is to show people how to enjoy the little things in life, because in the world we live in, most people forget to do that.  I took pictures of everything from an origami swan that I made to new shoes to food that I ate to my dog, Ziggy.  I shared pictures of me with characters from our trip to Disney World, the audition flyer for the Nutcracker, and a picture of me on the first day of school.  It made me appreciate my life and to be grateful for all the little things that make me happy.  If you haven’t heard of the 100 Happy Days Challenge, you can read about it right here http://100happydays.com/.  Try it, you’ll feel much happier.