The next day I went to water the tree and ran into a problem. The water was at the exact same level as it had been the day before. Given that I'm used to a tree gulping down water at an impressive rate the first few days it's home, I found this rather upsetting. I mentioned it to my hubby, who said I worry too much.
Three days later and the water mark was the same. I knew we were in trouble. The needles were already starting to shed way too fast. About that time, DS2 started coughing and showing signs of congestion. His chronic health problems put me on high alert. The timing was a bit too coincidental for me. So on Tuesday, a little over a week after it went up, the tree came down. I cleaned up the needles, mopped the floor and aired out the house.
DS started feeling better almost immediately. I guess that means our days of a real tree are over. Ironically, the day before I decided to ditch the tree, my Mom mentioned that she had decided not to put up her artificial tree this year - she was just going to use a tabletop one. I called and she was happy to offer up her tree to us. So tomorrow, DH and DS1 will go get a Christmas tree - again.
All's well that ends well, I suppose. And I'm warming up to the idea of not having to string lights ever again!