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Dec 30, 2008

Christmas Tour '08

The last week has been absolutely insane. INSANE. Though it was lots of fun and I'm glad that we were able to see everyone in the western hemisphere, I am also telling myself NEVER AGAIN. You know, until next year. Or perhaps Easter.

We started out last Sunday with a trip to my maternal grandmother's house. We met my mother, all my sisters, Brother-in-Law, and the Best Nephew Ever there and had a lovely lunch. Colin was fussy, which stressed me out because I have been rather pleased with his previous behavior of sleeping through any social engagement. But we survived the fussy. Then we went to our friends' house, which was fabulous and Christmas-y and lovely, but I was feeling all guilty. But I've already been over that. I'm on to other, bigger things to feel guilty about.

We were supposed to have a big, fancy dinner party on Christmas Odd last week, but poor Patrick was sick all over the place and we had to cancel. It was very unfortunate timing, actually. I sent our would-be guests a "can't wait to see you!" email at 1:30am when I took a little break from cleaning, then had to send a "sorry but we have to cancel" email at 3:30am when I came up to bed to find Patrick clearing out his system. So we stayed in, wrapped presents, and Patrick recovered while Colin and I kept our distance from him.

Christmas Eve morning brought lots of fun; we did our little family gift exchange and we were delighted with how it went. Colin, of course, had no idea what was going on, but occasionally contributed a "Goo!" just to remind us that he was there. Patrick and I decided to only exchange stockings for each other this year, and to each get Colin gifts, wrap them, and give them to the other to open. My God, people, this was so much fun. I cleaned up on Etsy and Patrick on Ebay - rather telling about our personalities, I think - and Colin cleaned up altogether. He ended up with so much stuff its obscene. And awesome. Some of his goodies won't be useful for awhile (Patrick's big gift of a push-pedal Mercedes would still be a little early NEXT Christmas, but whatever.) but it was a fantastic way to introduce the kid to Christmas.

Then came the most harried and ridiculous packing session ever witnessed. We had done no laundry, none of the three of us had bathed, and it seemed we had misplaced our luggage. We thought we could be on the road to Louisville by 2pm. We left at 6.

Herein lies the guilt. We put Colin in his carseat a little before we left so that he could fall asleep while we finished the insanity. In our rush, in our stupidness, in our complete and utter worthlessness as human beings, we forgot to buckle him into the seat. OH MY GOD. We should be shot. Needless to say, there was much flipping out about this once I discovered this oversight and I have since quadruple checked his fastenings every time we have loaded him up. I am telling you this so that if you have ever done anything stupid, you can feel better knowing that there are people out there (with medical degrees, no less!) stupider than you are. Now let us never speak of this again.

Initially, we were to visit Patrick's 94-year-old grandmother for her birthday, but she was leery of Patrick's illness (as was I), so we rescheduled her for Saturday and went to the Mother-in-Law's instead. We had Christmas with her that night, visited with friends until the wee hours, and grabbed a few hours of sleep.

Next! Off we were! North to my family! First to my mother's, where we had an extended gift exchange and lunch, followed by a few rousing games of Mad Gab and Apples to Apples. (Mom, Patrick, and Colin napped, which might have been a better idea.) There was much merriment and excitement and the kids - well, all of us - were exhausted. But! There were more stops to make! We went next to the Baby Mama and B-i-L's, where there was no choice but to play their new game Family Feud. The B-i-L was very, VERY excited about this game and kept shouting, "I always wanted to be on this show!" Patrick was only slightly less enthusiastic. The Baby Mama passed out face down on the floor (totally sober - that's how she rolls.), while Sister #3 and I shouted answers at Patrick and the B-i-L. Eventually, finally, we went to bed.

By this time, Colin had had about enough of all the traveling and crap, and so started his now tradition of waking up approximately 14 times a night. This has not made the holidays any more merry, I must admit.

Then it was Friday. First stop: coffee with Mom and Sister #4! A lovely and peaceful time where other people held and tended to the baby (who, of course, slept angelically and didn't make a peep.) and I could enjoy the use of both arms. We swapped impressions of the Christmas Extravaganza '08, gossiped about the locals, and discussed Sister #4's Etsy prospects, all over a tasty lunch and coffee. I rather wish all of these stops could be like that; it is much more manageable and requires a lesser dose of caffeine to survive.

Next! Dad and his sweetheart, plus all the sisters and families, for a Christmas dinner and playdate. My father lives in the middle of nowhere on a ton of land in a giant, monochromatic, comfortable house. Everybody could lounge around and make as much noise as they wanted without disturbing anyone. Patrick, Colin, and I stayed the night there. We love staying there not only for the company (hi, Dad!) and the sugary cereals that are always in stock (mmm, Cocoa Pebbles.) but also for the to-die-for oversize king bed and down comforter in the guest room. After little sleep for the previous three nights, it was no real surprise when we overslept the next morning by a good three hours.

On to the next! Back to Louisville, where we met up with friends (hi, Rendas! We love you!), then Patrick's grandmother, then Patrick's father, then Patrick's mother, then different friends. Then it was 1am and we collapsed into bed. There were more details than that - I specifically remember a walk around the neighborhood in short sleeves at some point - but there was so much going on that I can't really remember. Colin blessed us by only waking up three times that night.

Then came 8am Sunday and with it my turn with the gastrointestinal illness that has been so blatantly disruptive in my life lately. Damn it all! I spent seven hours either on the toilet in my M-i-L's house or lying on the floor in front of it. Patrick and his mother cared for the baby while I wasted away in the bathroom. I have never, ever been so miserable in all my life. Finally, at 7pm, I felt strong enough to walk to the car and we got home. I am still recovering and have yet to eat anything more substantial than Cheerios. Stupid Christmas Tour, nearly killed me.

I say, it was great and stuff. We love our families and our friends and wouldn't trade them for anything. But NEVER AGAIN.

1 Readers rock!:

~Ashley said...

oh man, and i thought my Christmas was crazy! also, i love etsy(!) but i've yet to buy anything off of there yet :-/