While I sounded really down and depressed in my last post, life hasn't been all that bad overall. Post-holiday let down is a real thing, folks. I am already feeling better and more hopeful, and each day gets a little better as well.
December definitely had its moments, but overall there was much to celebrate. We took a family trip to New York City to see all the touristy, holiday things. Despite it being a wacky trip full of ridiculous shenanigans that really deserves a post of its own, it was a great little getaway and I am really glad we did it. We celebrated my oldest son turning 11 with a trip to the trampoline park and a sleepover where we woke up to a very icy morning. We watched lots of Christmas movies, ate lots of yummy treats, made homemade gifts of pumpkin bread, jam, and cookies. We tried our best to get a picture of all the kids in front of the Christmas Tree, with a little success. We listened to Christmas music, drove around looking at lights, wrapped gifts, and tried our best to really enjoy the season.
The week leading up to Christmas was a cluster of epic proportions that left me not only saying "What else could possibly happen?!" but also supremely frustrated and ready to cancel the entire thing. Not one of my kids wanted to be helpful or cooperative, and things were falling apart at every turn. I tried to space out things I needed to do in hopes I would give myself enough time, but somehow, as always, it came down to the last 2 days and I was non-stop and exhausted. Seriously, the week had everything from illness, to a whole days worth of baking ruined by someone "trying to help", to a potty training toddler smearing poop on every surface of the living room (curtains included) 3 days before the house was to be filled with guests, to a dog dripping blood all over the house after she cut her mouth chewing on tree branches, to a washing machine leaking all over the basement in a fluke event that hasn't happened since, to a 12 year old kicking her 11 year old brother in the nuts so hard he was on the floor for an hour in tears, to me just losing my shit because my kids were acting AWFUL. And at the end of that very ridiculous week I ended up in Walmart on the Friday night before Christmas basically in my PJs because a gift I had bought for someone had the correct size top but 4 sizes larger in the bottoms, which I only found out because we were wrapping the last of the gifts. And I KNOW there were other insane things that happened that week but for my sanity I must have blocked them out. In the grand scheme of things it wasn't the end of the world but in the middle of it it felt like that very famous line in Christmas Vacation where Clark flips out and says "Look around Ellen, we are in the thresholds of hell".
Christmas Day itself ended up being ok, if not a little weird. The older kids are mostly not believing in Santa (although you dare not say you don't believe in my house) and the younger ones are still too little to really "get" it, my husband and I don't do any real extravagant gifts for eachother (and he's not the greatest gift-giver anyway, sigh) and my dad isn't here, and now I'm the adult who has to do all the cooking...so yeah. I love going to mass, though, and celebrating Jesus' birthday, but we do that on Christmas Eve.
The week after Christmas we had nasty germs going around our house so it was a very long week. No one felt well so everyone kept to themselves, except Toddler boy who was really down and out with a fever so he spent hours each day just laying on me. I escaped a couple times to go out for more medicine and juice and other sick day supplies, and managed to get myself together enough to go back to work. After 2 weeks at home I felt weird like I didn't want to leave my family bubble. I remember feeing the same way at the end of my maternity leave. Which is so crazy because I got to work and was like yeah...these are my people, they have my back and I'm protected. Ive mentioned that I've been an emotional weirdo lately, I wasn't kidding!
Maybe soon I will write about our New York trip...our traveling circus is certainly one for the books!