This is one of those, if you care please read and if not feel free to skip posts. Sometimes reading people's blogs is like peering in their front windows, which I love to do in a nosey, yet non-creepy way but if that's not your thing, I totally get that. So, with that, here's what our holiday weekend looked like.
On Thursday the 23rd, I had to take Elaine to her ENT appointment in the afternoon because her eardrum ruptured for the second time in two months, and now she was crying about her other ear, too. We got there and I had to fill out all that paperwork that you do, and three of the worst-behaved little boys (all in the same family) I have ever seen in my life came in. The whole waiting room was in an uproar, and even one of the nurses stepped in and told one of them to knock off whatever mayhem he was causing. One of them took Elaine's Bitty Baby, and when she politely asked for it back, he dropped it on the floor after spitting on it. (We scrubbed her with a Lysol wipe when we got home).
Finally the nurse called Elaine's name, and we virtually ran out of the waiting room. The doctor looked in her ears and throat and told her to say "ahhhhh," which she never does because I think she feels stupid doing it and secretly I can't blame her, though while she's refusing I'm always giving her the stank eye to just.do.it. Finally the doctor said, "I'm going to tell Santa on you," and when he left the room she looked at me and said, "That guy doesn't know Santa."
On Christmas Eve, I felt horrible for some reason, but we were hosting Christmas the next day so I followed my mom's timeless advice to just "work it off" and pushed on through. Darren took the girls to the Christmas Eve church service in the afternoon, and when they got home I found Elaine, sitting by herself in the living room and crying silently because her ear hurt so bad.
But we pulled it together and had our traditional Christmas Eve picnic of eggs, bacon, and monkey bread in front of the fireplace while the girls debated whether or not Dad is actually Santa and if he's been down our fireplace before or not. Not if you don't say "ahh" at the doctor, I guess. We hustled them off to bed and, remarkably, they fell asleep right away while Darren wrapped the presents he bought them. I wrapped mine ages ago, but he works better under pressure. We watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" until I fell asleep and then Elaine came in to my bed at midnight, crying about her ear. Darren hadn't even come to bed yet, so when he did I told him, "If you want any rest at all tonight, I recommend the guest room." That was sage advice because she kicked and thrashed and moaned and woke up at least every hour, crying with pain. It was kind of awful.
We woke up for good around 6:30, and she spent the day walking around with her head tilted to one side. The girls ran down to see what was in their stockings, and my family started arriving around 10:00. As soon as the cars pulled in the driveway, the girls were all, "Can we open the big presents now?"
So for the next 30 minutes or so, it was happy chaos, I'm sure just like where you live, especially if you've got little kids. There were dolls and and E-Z Bake Oven and a Strawberry Shortcake remote control car and books and clothes and, their favorite present of all--they each got their own diary from Darren. Lucy's even has a lock and a little key. She ran away to write in it immediately, then showed it to all of us because it was all about how she, Lucy, had been holding Tuppence, and Elaine started her new Dora motorized toothbrush and startled Tuppence so that she jumped out of Lucy's arms, scratching her in the process, and now Christmas Day was essentially ruined because of Elaine. And the flyleaf to the whole book is inscribed, "Elaine is mean."
After everyone left and we got the girls in bed, Darren and I dismantled the Christmas tree and put it out on the curb while watching a documentary on John Gotti. It was a precious holiday moment together.
The next day we travelled to Darren's family. We met for dinner at this place called Fairview Farms, which serves food family style--food as in fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn fritters, and chicken noodles (those are just in the winter time. I like the noodles as an accompaniment to mashed potatoes). As Darren always says, it was a "strap on the feedbag" moment.
When we went back to their house, it was another present opening time--this time Skechers for both girls (their favorite present there), more clothes, a whiteboard, lots of Polly Pockets, and I can't even keep track of what all. They had a blast playing with their cousins--Drew (10), Ryne (9), and Joseph (4). I love those guys--it's just a whole new world for me, being around boys and everything Star Wars. I like to call Joseph "Ruff Ruffman" for the sole pleasure of hearing him say, "My name's not Wuff Wuffman!"
We got all the kids to bed late, but that didn't stop my girls from being up before 5:00 a.m. until the Swift Hand of Justice aka Dad visited their room. Then they were quiet until 7:00.
We came home by Sunday evening and all the Christmas decorations and junk that were still out was driving me crazy, so I pulled everything down, boxed it up, and put out all my regular books and china and candles and such. I created a minor firestorm on facebook proclaiming my achievements because I guess a lot of people don't believe in doing that before New Year's. I would go mental if I had to wait that long. It's over, people. Let it go.
Now we're home and on winter break. The girls are playing with all their toys and watching their new movies. I'm going to organize their bookcase and mine, and I have the lofty goal of trying to teach Elaine to read. She's dying to begin because every where we go and every conversation we have is punctuated with things such as, "Mom, what does E-X-I-T spell?" etc.
Later this week I'll try to post some lists of things I'm planning to read, watch, and listen to in the new year.
Hope your holiday was lovely, too!