Monday, December 19, 2011

First Family Christmas Minus One...

Yesterday was our very first family Christmas party without my Dad. Our "new normal." We don't celebrate Christmas on Christmas - we haven't for a long time. With a sister in New Hampshire and a brother in Virginia...and everyone's kids getting older and wanting their Christmas at their own home - it just makes sense. It also ensures double the gifts. Which makes me think - why didn't we come up with this brilliant plan sooner? *wink*

My Mom hosted everyone this year and she really outdid herself. She has been baking for a week and had incredible desserts for all of us. And she outdid herself with gifts, too. All of us congregated in Granny's famous "basement" (where the kids always want to be!) for Granny's gifts to her grandchildren. She gave both boys a Hallmark recordable book - "The Night Before Christmas" and "Charlie Brown's Christmas" - which she, herself, recorded! I half want to store them away so their little fingers don't accidentally record over their Granny's voice!! But Gavin is already enthralled with his - I'll just have to be sure to read it with him. What a great gift idea from a Grandparent, eh? She also gave Brian a cash register that is the coolest thing ever.
It has a scanning gun that really reads bar codes - lets the child talk into a microphone (clean up on Aisle 3) and has play money and change for the drawers. I see this toy growing with Brian and being a useful tool to teach him about money and how to pay for things. Granny gave Gavin new hard flip books (click here for one of them!) that have music and sounds - he loves having these in his crib.

Brian's cousin (and my Godson!), Sean, had him for "pollyanna" this year. He got Brian "Follow Me Thomas." Everyone had a lot of fun with this toy - when you shine the flashlight, Thomas follows the light everywhere you go!

Gavin's pollyanna was his cousin, Meghan, and she totally scored with the best present ever. Gavin got the Fisher Price Twirlin' Tumblin' Fun Park and he loves it.
My youngest niece, Isabella, loved it too!
Although it's considered a "baby toy" - it has every feature that Gavin loves. He pushes one of two buttons - or spins a wheel - to turn it on. Once it's on there is lights and music and activity - it's the perfect toy for Gavin!!!

I was lucky that Ed just grabbed my camera. (There might not have been photos otherwise, quite honestly) I was not thinking about my camera yesterday. It was a very hard day (and night) for me.

Here's Gavin giving his cousin, Emily, an unsolicited hug. Remember when Emily spent a month with us while Miss Sarah was on a mission trip?

And Brian playing with his cousin, Mark.

Brian and his cousin, Sean, were practically inseparable! They had SO much fun playing and tackling each other. Sean was telling Brian after some of the tackles - "Now remember, Brian, don't do this with Gavin!"

Meanwhile, Gavin was bonding with his oldest boy cousin, Dan. They spent so much time together - and Gavin was so happy playing and being silly with Dan - that by the end of the night I was calling Dan the "Gavin Whisperer." Gavin usually wants only short spurts of playing before he moves on and gets annoyed with people "in his face." Dan was incredible with him and as you'll see in this video, Gavin was super-excited!!

Brian was over the moon to get to eat the cupcakes he watched me bake and ice right in front of him the day before the party. He savored every last bite...and made us all laugh while he was doing it...

He also loved hanging with his Godfather, Uncle Mike!
The party went on all night. Ed and I had come in separate cars, just in case either of the boys crashed and had to go home. That never happened. We left the house with our party animals close to 11pm! After getting them strapped into their car seats, I put the car in reverse only to hear a big sigh and then Brian's little voice say, "The End.". Needless to say, both boys slept in the following morning until a little after 9am.

I spent Sunday morning back at my parent's house - saying goodbye to everyone and helping clean up. It was a long day of recovery - physically and emotionally! There was a planned event in the neighborhood Sunday evening - but I just couldn't bring myself to go. It was the neighborhood "Luminary Night." Everyone lines the streets with candle-lit white bags at dusk. It looks gorgeous. Then, at 6pm, Santa comes through on a fire truck. He drives through the development and then stops where all the families congregate. There's food and drink and socializing and the kids get to visit with Santa. Every time I thought about going, I'd get choked up. I knew I wouldn't make it. Lucky for us, Santa comes in to the neighborhood on our street! The four of us walked up to the top of our driveway and waited...

Santa was so kind to stop, get out of his truck and make a fuss over the boys...

He got back in his truck and waved goodbye before he went to join the neighborhood party.

Brian was very excited about his visit and he went to bed so happy about Santa!

Unfortunately, the night did not end well which is why I never posted my journal. Earlier in the day I broke down Brian's crib. After putting the boys to bed, I decided to carry the crib mattress down our basement for storage. (Hopefully we'll need it again!!) We have a cedar closet which is where I wanted to keep it. As I lifted it up in the little room, the mattress knocked the globe that was covering the light bulb from the ceiling. Next thing I knew I was seeing stars...and quickly thereafter, seeing blood drip from my face. The globe clocked me right above my eye. Ed was worried I would need stitches, so I quickly got dressed to drive myself the the E.R. I wasn't in any pain - I was fine, really. Although I had a HUGE goose egg that was starting to swell my eyelid shut!

After several hours of waiting and waiting on a gurney, feeling like a schmuck, I finally saw a doctor who told me I didn't need stitches. He did say to expect it to look worse - and that I'd have a little scar and some bruising. I'm pretty bummed about the whole thing. Can anything else go wrong for me? (That's not a real question okay, God? So please don't answer.) I sent a message to my new helper - who was supposed to start this morning - to tell her not to come. I didn't know how I'd feel (or look) and just wanted a day to recover. Today I woke up looking like I'd just been through the war. My eye is swollen and black and blue - and the cut is still oozing blood. When I walked into Brian's room this morning he instantly pointed to my eye and said, "Uh oh." And then, "ouch!"

Don't worry - it only hurts when I laugh. Ha ha! (Ouch!)


  1. What a lovely party, it looks like a lot of fun. :) I hope your eye heals quickly, and that you have a lovely Christmas.

  2. Hope your eye heals quickly. sheesh, when it rains it pours right? We donated to the Salvation Army bucket yesterday & I thought of you and your dad, and told my son why we were doing it.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with your kids & your life, you are helping so many people.
    Lisa F.


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