Wednesday, January 2, 2013

December update #6: Christmas Day

At 3:30am Christmas morning, I awoke to Lila crying.  I went in to check on her and she was wide awake and agitated.  I told her I would lay with her for a little bit to help her go back to sleep.  Soon, though I started to  I told myself it was just that I was exhausted having been up until 1:00am wrapping gifts and now being up again two and a half hours later.  But after a few minutes, I decided to wake the Husband and hand over the baton in the get-the-toddler-back-to-sleep relay.

I'll spare you the details.  Let's just say that neither of us got much sleep that night and I spent more time on the bathroom floor than in my bed.

All I could think was, It's Christmas Eve! I can't believe I'm throwing up on Christmas Eve!  Actually it was Christmas morning already and my fantasies of watching Lila's eyes light up when she spotted the gift-adorned tree were being rudely replaced by fantasies of, well, not throwing up or pooping.

Oh yeah, I told you I'd spare you the details.  Sorry.

So, skip ahead a few hours and we awake to the sound of Lila finding the toy keys we had included in her stocking.  Sometime in the chaos of the early morning, the Husband had put her stocking on her bed just like his mom used to do when he was little.  By no small mercy, I happened to be feeling okay for all of about ten minutes while Lila opened her gifts so a small part of my sentimental mommy hopes were preserved.

A few notes on the video:
- When we came in her room, she was already wearing her backpack that her cousin Addison gave her the day before.  Putting it on must have been the first thing she did when she woke up.
- Yes, she still has her bink when she sleeps.  Every time I plan to break her of it she gets sick.  I know it's time.  I know.  I know.  Drop it, okay?  I'm DREADING getting rid of her bink. Ugh.
- When I ask her what Santa gave her, it's hard to understand what she says.  Here's the translation: A gum (not actually gum), princess socks, keys, princess toothbrushes, Ariel from Target (she loves playing with the princesses in the checkout lanes at Target), a headband, and new princess undies (which she had already put away in her underwear drawer).
- Side note: I always thought little girls who were in to princesses must be egged on by their girly mommies. I'm here to attest that my girl came into her princess obsession quite by accident and, although we are now contributing to it with plenty of princess paraphernalia, it came as quite a surprise to me when one day she informed me, "Mommy, I love princesses and I love pink and purple and I love sparkly things."
- I love that she bypassed the gifts to see if Santa ate the cookies.  "We must eat these the rest."  We must.
- I wrapped the gifts from Santa in special Santa wrapping paper because when I was little, I learned the Santa Secret because my mom used the same wrapping paper for gifts from my parents and from Santa.  Her cover-up attempt was, "Santa borrowed our wrapping paper."  Right.  He can fly around the world in a single night, fit down chimneys, and knows who is naughty or nice but he needed to borrow our wrapping paper?  I don't think so.  Clearly my mother was not anticipating such eagle-eye observation skills in a four-year-old.

She wore that backpack all morning.  Could she be cuter?
She opened her gifts slowly and wanted to play with them in between opening the others, which we were all for.  I love giving and getting gifts - it's my love language - but I want it to be about the thoughtfulness of the gift, how much she enjoys it, rather than just gifts for the sake of gifts.  The fact that she wanted to play with the gift she had just opened rather than move through them quickly meant that she was excited about the gift itself - not just that it was a present.  Cue the warm fuzzies.

Speaking of gifts, she got a wooden train set which we picked up from Ikea on our trip to Minnesota in September, a coloring book, a book, a movie, a dress, some pink sparkly shoes, Candy Land, an outfit for her baby doll, and at the last minute, we nabbed a scooter at 50% off on the 23rd at Toys R Us after we realized we hadn't spent a Groupon that expired on the 24th.  A $60 scooter for $10.87 - that's what this mama calls a good deal!  (Good deals are also my love language.  I inherited that quality from my mom who, when my dad gives her a gift, asks "Was it on sale?")

Unfortunately, my wave of health wore off quickly and I rushed to the bathroom while the Husband got started on our Christmas breakfast.  Which I never enjoyed because I ended up going back to bed for the next twelve hours.  I kept hoping that I would wake up and feel better, but puking and pooping evolved into chills and a fever so through tears I called my mom to say we wouldn't be coming to Christmas at my grandparents' house.  She suggested that the Husband and Lila come, but Lila was still fighting a fever and cold of her own and selfishly I just didn't want to be by myself on Christmas.  I cried at the thought of missing my absolute favorite Christmas tradition - watching my sweet Grandma conduct our rowdy family in a rousing and off-key version of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

I went to bed that night feeling horribly sorry for myself having missed Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family this year, but thankful that I had a window of feeling okay so that I could see Lila enjoying her presents.

The next morning, I was feeling well enough to go to my parents' house to celebrate Christmas with Little Sister (who is a nurse and had to work Christmas day) and her hubby.  We opened presents, ate breakfast (me, a bit warily), and then just relaxed in our jammies the rest of the day.  My mom and sister and I watched Little Women, a favorite of ours from when we were younger, while the boys...well I don't know what they were doing.  Probably taking naps or playing with the remote control helicopter we got for Kyle.  By the end of the night, I wasn't feeling so hot again and Lila was in meltdown mode.  We both ended up with fevers again which lasted the rest of the week.

The poor husband had taken the entire week off for what was supposed to be fun family time and he ended up playing nurse to Lila and me all week.  (What a guy!)  Every night I would go to bed and think, Maybe we'll be better tomorrow, and it just never happened.  In fact, by the end of the week we found ourselves at Children's Mercy because Lila's fever had spiked to 105.3.  It turns out her little cold had grown into a double ear infection and early pneumonia.  With antibiotics in hand and a tuckered out little girl, we finally stumbled home around midnight on Friday night.  Merry Christmas.   

So for us, 2012 petered out with a pathetic whimper.  We're still not 100%, but by some miracle, the Husband has been spared despite being in the trenches with his girls all week.  He had yesterday off after a long day the day before, so we decided to treat ourselves to a movie as a salve on the wound left by our disappointing Christmas.

The Hobbit in 3D.  I love you, Peter Jackson.
I'll be back tomorrow with a quick recap of our 2012 and our hopes for the new year.  I hope all of you had a healthier Christmas than we did.  We wish we could call "do-over" on this year and are already hoping for a merrier Christmas next year!

By the way, I hope it goes without saying that, although we do Santa and gifts and other secular holiday traditions, we are a family first and foremost about Jesus.  The greatest gift the world was ever given was not a train set or a princess dress or even a pink scooter.  And it wasn't wrapped in colorful paper and tied with ribbons.

From Lila's Jesus Storybook Bible:
And there, in the stable, amongst the chickens and the donkeys and the cows, in the quiet of the night, God gave the world his wonderful gift.  The baby that would change the world was born.  His baby Son.
Mary and Joseph wrapped him up to keep him warm.  They made a soft bed of straw and used the animals' feeding trough as his cradle.  And they gazed in wonder at God's Great Gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. 
Mary and Joseph named him Jesus, "Emmanuel" - which means "God has come to live with us."
Because, of course, he had. 
No crappy Christmas can diminish the power and worth of God's greatest gift.  In spite of our whining and self pity over our disappointing Christmas, we want to be clear about where we put our hope as a family.  And our hope is in the Promise made and fulfilled by a God who said he would send a Rescuer to bring his people back to him.

Praise God for his beautiful and improbable plan of sending a baby to rescue the world.  Praise Him for the birth of His Son, our Savior - the Baby King.  Praise Him for becoming small like us.  Praise Him for coming to live with us.  Praise Him.  He is worthy.

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