Christmas Keeps Going…

When I was a kid I always thought that holidays were a time to relax, a break from homework… and then I became an adult and realized all the busyness and work that goes in to holidays! We have been so busy! I’m exhausted! It has been a good busy though.

After our immediate family Christmas’, we had our first extended family Christmas with my Mom’s family. I think it was the first year in a VERY long time nearly everyone was there… except for four cousins (including my sister). It was nice to see everyone and see how happy in made my Grandparents. My Grandpa barely made it, as his health seems to be taking severe dives from day to day. It is definitely in the back of everyone’s mind that this is his last Christmas… although we could be thinking that for the next five Christmas’ too!

We couldn’t stay very long at the get together because Livi and I had a ferry to catch. We had to eat and run. We were headed to the Island for a new charity board meeting! I brought Livi with me to visit with her Auntie Lisa and Uncle Tony. They don’t get to see her very often. Livi had a lot of fun… aside from basically crying herself to sleep. It had been a very overstimulated last few days!

By the way… taking a one year old on the ferry alone is VERY TIRING! I’ll write about the meeting in another post when I have more time too.

Today, I’ve been at a First Aid Course all day. It is a requirement for the group home I work at. My sister and her co-worker/a friend of ours came with me, which made the eight hour day a little more bearable. The instructor was not my biggest fan… I made the mistake of mentioning that I had not done the required reading because I’ve taken the course at least 4 times before. She didn’t think that was very acceptable and kept making comments in every section about how we should have read this already and she is doing those who hadn’t pre-read a favor by going over it. Oh well… I got 100%!

Tomorrow we go to Vancouver to ring in the New Year with some dear friends of ours. Livi is going with Jon’s Mom to Chehalis Lodge for an extended family reunion weekend. His Mom’s family does this weekend every two years. It is a lot of fun, but a lot of family over a longer period of time! This will be the first year with the start of the next generation. Livi is the first Great Grandchild. Two years ago we announced to the family at this weekend, that we were pregnant! Now Livi gets to help us make even more memories! Jon and I will join everyone on New Years day… hopefully not hungover πŸ™‚

I’m a little apprehensive to send Livi ahead though. She has been so overstimulated this past week and as a result is over tired. I’ve tried to be anally rigid with her schedule and meeting her needs at every possible moment to compensate. I was away from her all day today, which never happens, so I’m already feeling a bit guilty. Damn Mother Guilt! I expect her to be a little more clingy than normal tomorrow and then I have to send her with Mom! I have no concerns about Livi’s safety or needs being met with Mom, but she is going in to a new surrounding, with a lot of people who are going to be very excited to see her and I won’t be there to read her signs and comfort her. The idea that I won’t be there if she wants me KILLS me!

I’m usually not this tense about her being with out me. She does great! She is such an easy going, independent little angel. I think my anxiety is a little higher than normal because of the holidays and busyness for myself. I’m probably a little overstimulated too! Hopefully though, with so many people to watch Livi this weekend, I’ll be able to relax and catch up on my sleep πŸ™‚

Christmas Extravaganza!

Christmas is so much more fun with a child to remind you of the wonder of it all. It was a complete joy. Livi was beautiful, as always, and I was at peace.

Our Christmas extravaganza started on Christmas Eve. Jon worked his last day as a Behavioural Interventionist and came home just after lunch. We went for a quick visit to my Grandparent’s home. My Grandpa’s health continues to worsen but he was in good spirits. They enjoy seeing their Great-Granddaughter so much. From there we headed out to Langley to celebrate Christmas with Jon’s family. Lisa (Jon’s sister) and her husband, Tony, couldn’t make it, so it was just Jon’s brothers and Mom.

Even though some of the family was missing we had fun! Dad being gone was not such a fresh wound as it was last year either. We missed him. We skipped some of the traditions that he would have held, but it was okay. We’ll figure it out eventually and maybe come up with some new ones. Mom tried hard not to cry at one point but Livi was a pleasant distraction to us all. She was so fascinated by the Christmas lights and the bows. She was so enthralled by the bow of her first present that it took her a little while to figure out that there was, in fact, a present beneath the wrapping. She got the hang of it pretty quickly though. Her first present, from her Uncle Jeremy, was the the most entertaining and she was not interested in the clothes that followed.

The biggest surprise of the Christmas was the gift from Jon’s mom… or is it from Dad. We received a bit of money from Dad’s estate. I started crying. What an unexpected blessing! Remember how I was completely stressing about our finances just a few short weeks ago? It could have come at a better time! Now, with this gift and Jon’s new job we could potentially be debt free withing 6 months! (Okay, we’ll still have our huge government student loans and mortgage of course, but our maxed out student line of credit will be gone!) That is, if we are VERY good. I do expect there will be a little bit of splurging in the beginning.

We have decided to take a little bit of the money and go on a real vacation. We never had any time to relax and heal after Dad died. Livi was born exactly one month after he died. That was a VERY rough year. We’ve never gone on a “real” vacation either. Our honeymoon was only three days in Whistler and other than that we’ve been camping-ish in the Okanagan and on the Island…usually with other people. Being raised Mennonite and by a single mother my first thought in talking about a vacation was that it was a frivolous idea and my Grandpa would definitely not approve. I’m not sure if I can say that we deserve a vacation but I do think that taking some of the money and putting it towards something that will potentially be healing, relationship building and just plain fun is a very good thing. I just have to look at it like Dad is paying for it!

Christmas day we woke up to Livi beginning to stir and brought her in to the living room to discover the presents under the tree. She was ADORABLE! She stood and stared for a few seconds then crept up and sat beside the presents pointing and babbling. She wouldn’t touch them until I handed one to her.

Β She remembered what she was supposed to do from the night before and dove in. She LOVES all her presents! It was so fun. She couldn’t decide what she wanted to play with and decided on sitting in her chair, holding her blocks while ordering Daddy to tickle her with her puppet.

We headed out in to the beautifully, bright sun and drove to Chiliwack right away for my family’s Christmas.

More food, presents, fun, and laughter were had! I tried not to think about my sister who again chose not to come to Christmas. I miss her and it is not quite the same with out her. I think I’m going to have to come to terms with the fact that it is never going to be the same again… even if she does come back to us. Why is change so hard?

Well, I’m tired from a long day of Boxing Day sales and should head off to bed. My next few days are just as busy. Extended family gathering tomorrow, then catching the ferry with Livi for a meeting on Monday. I’ll catch you up on that soon πŸ™‚ I hope you all had as fabulous a Christmas as I did!

This Christmas Extravaganza will be continued… Two more family gatherings and New Years to blog about soon!

Merry Christmas!

I finally have access to my pictures again! So here are a few of those picture I promised…

Livi having tons of fun in the snow for the first time!
She had to use her forehead to help herself get up. Pretty awesome, I think!
This next picture makes me smile EVERY time I look at it… I dare you to try not too.
One of her new favorite pastimes to do with her Daddy is to watch the Muppets singing on YouTube. I’m not sure if Livi or Jon enjoy it more!

One last thing to update… I got a January 13th date for my gallbladder surgery! Yay! I had hear horror stories of people having to wait months or even a year! I think the doctor actually prioritized me because I’m having to take the pain meds every time I have an attack. I could really use some help with Livi the first few days after the surgery if anyone is available. I don’t think I’ll be allowed to pick her up and Jon will be at his new job… so anyone want to take my baby for a play date or come get her up in the morning for me?