Christmas really started off with a bang when Max and Jack both decided to start getting new teeth, take on some nasty stomach bug (think horrid diapers) and catch a cold, simultaneously, on the 22nd of December. It was awesome.... what, you don't believe me?
Well honestly this did all happen-- we're not totally over it, and I'm so negative in the sleep the department that I see things from time to time, BUT my kids rocked it. They were sweet and happy, we enjoyed family and celebrating, and we celebrated Jesus' birthday party with gusto!
On the 23rd, my parents arrived from Indiana. (Sam had to stay in Indy of this job.) My mom had just had foot surgery and had just been released from crutches to her boot, so I fretted over her while she was here- wondering if she was doing too much and worrying if Max would accidentally hit it-- but despite her insistence on carrying Max and Jack as they wished, the trip was great, we enjoyed their company, but as always it went too fast!
On the 24th, Gabe came over and we watched him open his presents. This is the first year that he got all toys from us (none of those yucky clothes/ jammies/ etc) so he was pumped. Then, that afternoon, we had my Dad's family over for Christmas Eve-- we served lunch and they brought all the desserts and goodies.... yum! We enjoyed seeing everyone, swapping some gifts, hearing good stories, and celebrating Christmas. We also were blessed because my aunt Nancy who had had open heart surgery just weeks before was able to come.
Later that night, after attending the Christmas Eve service and getting the boys to bed, Chad and I got to be "Santa's Helpers" for the first time-- putting a few new things together for when the boys came downstairs in the morning. Max really wanted a red car (aka a Cozy Coupe) and we got Jack a jumparoo. (I think that's one of those gifts that's actually for mom too!) My parents and Uncle E-yi helped with that and it was just really fun.
Christmas morning was great- Max seemed to understand that it was Jesus' birthday and he could tell you the gist of the story and the reason for celebrating. This is the first time he has shown any interest in presents and enjoyed opening them and playing with things as he got them. He thought pi's, big boy undies, books, play doh, and his red car was all awesome! He'd open something and play with it, then a few minutes later ask, "Can I open anudder one?"
For the most part, it was a lazy day- we had a yummy brunch, everyone got naps, and I packed all of our bags to head to Texas to see Chad's family. My parents and brother cooked a great steak dinner as I did laundry and made my last check on my lists, and then we had time to play some games that evening too. It was a great Christmas with my family, and it left us really excited about their move down here in the next month or so.
Now for Christmas part II:
On the 26th, we picked up Gabe while it was still dark and headed to the airport for our trip to Texas. Gabe's school started back earlier this year (Jan 3rd!), so I trip was short, but we all had a great time. On the 27th, we had Christmas morning all over again... Texas style! Chad's brother, wife, and their two boys all came over to Chad's parent's house, where we were staying, with donuts. After a yummy and healthy breakfast, we turned our attention to the stockings and another Christmas tree. Once again, the boys were so spoiled, getting great gifts and lots of love from everyone.
The next day, we all headed out to Chad's brother's family's new piece of property. It's on top of a big hill (I'm pretty sure in GA, we'd consider it a mountain!) and has and incredible view. It's many many many acres- so they've had to overhaul brush, and make places for roads, pour the pad for the house, dig for a well, and lots of other labor intensive things. The men worked for hours, as an 18-wheeler dumped 3 loads of dirt-- Gabe and Max even got to ride on the tractors- they thought they were hot stuff!
On Thursday, we took our annual trip into San Antonio for lunch at Chris Madrid's- Chad's favorite restaurant- and lots of friends and family met us there. We then hit up some shopping- like the Bass Pro Shop, of course, and ended the night with some family karaoke.
By Friday, I was so worn out, purely from my nights with Jack. I told Barbara, my mother in law, that I don't think I've ever slept through the night at her house! I've managed to have a sick child or a new baby at every visit, ay yi yi! This time it was Jack, and instead of his pre-Christmas cold getting better, it kept getting worse. I spent the wee hours of the morning on Friday with his pack n' play right beside us so I could check for his breathing. After speaking with his pediatrician from home first thing in the morning, they decided a trip to the ER was necessary. After an X-ray, a breathing treatment, and some other tests, it was determined that he had RSV, which can be really serious in babies. We got loaded up with medicines, a breathing machine of our own, some antibiotics, and a list of signs to look for, and were released. It wasn't exactly what we had in mind for the last day of our trip, but we're so thankful that Jack is doing much better now!
On Saturday morning, we boarded a plane once again with our crew, and headed back to Georgia. Despite the germs and all the lack of sleep, everyone was wonderful and so well-mannered, even Chad :) Honestly, all of the celebrating and visits with family feel like a blur at this point. I know they happened, and they were wonderful, but I'm pretty sure we didn't get ample time to appreciate it all. More than anything, we are grateful for the birth of God's son, who came as a babe, to shower his love and his sacrifice on the world. We're grateful for our big family that we get to celebrate with, and our three precious boys that make each day, and especially Christmas, wonderful!