Goodbye Xmas, Hello NYE (aka Andrew's birthday!)

I can’t believe Christmas is over!  I say that every year around this time, but every year I can’t believe how quickly the holiday comes and goes.

We had a really great Christmas.  I spent a lot of Christmas Eve cleaning and preparing food for Christmas day, and then in the evening we just relaxed, James and I worked on a Christmas puzzle.  We actually completed two puzzles so far over the holidays.

I figured the kids would have had us up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, and I was restless in part because I was expecting to be woken but also because I’m a big kid at heart and couldn’t help but feel the excitement of it all myself!  But we were pleasantly surprised to not be woken until almost 645!  Which for little kids on Christmas day is amazing, if I were to compare them to what I was like as a child.  

The kids were so excited to race down the stairs and check that Santa had indeed been to our house!  His cookies were all eaten, just the stem of the carrot for Rudolph was left behind, clearly he’d glugged down the eggnog, and he left a cute little note behind thanking the kids.  We all opened our stockings, and then James and I had some coffee while the kids started opening their presents.

Margaret and Emily got what they asked for from Santa - Cinderella dresses, and shoes (which also happen to light up and are so cool!  It’s possible Santa got them right from the Disney store!!).  And they even got Cinderella tiaras that came with little bouquets of flowers.  Andrew got an Earthworm Jim toy and DVD, the KAOS trap for his Skylanders game, and a Joker Duplo set (all things he'd asked for).  Of course they also got a million other toys, books, games, and so forth.  The girls got a dollhouse and lots of accessories and dolls to use with it (which I have to admit I have had some fun playing with, too!)  Andrew got a cool dart board and some Nerf guns.  And like I said, so much more.  It was a bit overwhelming.  I always forget how much other people are also buying them so once everything has been unwrapped I have no idea where we’re going to put it all!  We really have to scale it back.  But everything they got is great stuff that we can rotate throughout the year, and the plan is that before James goes back to work we are once and for all SERIOUSLY getting rid of a LOT of what they had before Christmas.  I really do want to have quality over quantity and at the moment there’s far too much quantity happening!  

The kids really loved all their gifts, though, and James seemed happy with his (I got him a piano bench, since he was using a really uncomfortable step stool as his piano chair, some new cozy pants, a Scotch decanter, Santa brought him some booze, and he got a Star Wars t-shirt from Andrew and cycling sunglasses from the girls, etc, etc).  I was also very grateful for my gifts.  I always get great stuff in my stocking, and I also got a bottle of Grand Marnier from Andrew (lol!) (which I’ve always wanted but have never actually received before!), a day planner from Margaret and Emily, and a new camera from James that I was so shocked by because I really wasn’t expecting a gift like that.  It takes great pictures and works so much better than my iphone in the lower lights that we have in our house.  The feature I love the most is that with the click of a button I can sync it to my phone so it’s still really easy to send or post pictures when I want to.  I also got pj’s and lots of great bath stuff, a necklace and earrings from my mom.  Etc, etc...I felt so spoiled!

My parents came over at 11 and we exchanged gifts with them and had some mimosas and some nibblies.  Then they went home for a few hours and the kids had naps and actually I had a little nap myself later in the afternoon which helped me keep going for the rest of the day.  My parents came back for dinner and we had such a delicious meal, a lot of which my mom cooked and brought which was awesome.  James was of course in charge of the Tofurky, which never disappoints!  It was a great visit and I loved having such a low-key, happy Christmas day.

On Boxing Day we just took it easy in the morning and then in the afternoon my parents, and bro and sil came over for a post-Christmas get together.  We put out an assortment of nibblies and had some drinks and chatted, it was such a nice visit.  I felt completely fine the entire visit and then about an hour after everyone left, I felt like I was starting to come down with something.  By the morning of the 27th I knew for sure I had a cold, and it just got progressively worse from there.  I should mention that a few days before Christmas, James came down with a cold but was basically better by the day of.  It seemed to only last 3 days tops.  Margaret came down with it on Christmas Eve, so I wasn’t entirely SURPRISED that I got it, just annoyed since it’s the worst time of year for illnesses and I’m tired of getting colds all the time!  It turned into more of what felt like a flu bug with so much achiness involved and just this really ill feeling in my head, plus the head cold.  Unfortunately I just didn’t have time to properly rest up because we were having my bil and sil-2b staying with us yesterday till today.  James’ dad and partner were also coming over, and we’d booked the party room in a nearby building to have a get together with them as his dad’s partner is very allergic to cats and can’t come to our house because of that.  Which meant having our place all geared up for the bil and sil staying with us, but also the party room all set up with decorations and food and entertainment.  It felt like more work than it probably was because I wasn’t feeling well at all yesterday, but it ended up going as smoothly as it could, given the circumstances.  We provided lots of nibblies but then to make it easier on us we decided to order in Greek food for dinner so we weren’t having to worry about that as well.  It turned out being a great choice, everyone loved it.

When it was time for the girls to be going to bed, we packed up and had to clean the room entirely before leaving because otherwise we’d lose our $50 damage deposit, which I didn’t want to lose over having to do a bit of clean up.  It really wasn’t too bad as it’s not like we were partying and spilling stuff all over the place or something!  Between us all pitching in we got it done relatively quickly and brought everything home.  The fil and sort-of-mil went to their hotel and the bil and sil came back to our place.  They tucked the girls in for us, and then Andrew as well after a bit more visit time with him.  Andrew was SO EXCITED that his uncle and aunt were spending the night, he just couldn’t get over it!  We don’t tend to have people stay with us because we don’t actually have a spare room, but they seemed happy with an air mattress on the living room floor, and it actually ended up working just fine for them.  

We played Caption Captions after all the kids had gone to bed, which is a BLAST, it’s so hilarious and we were laughing so hard we were practically crying.  We were in the midst of a round of the game, sitting in the living room around 11:45pm, when I noticed a bit of a rattling sound but thought it was just something outside, no big deal.  Then it sounded as if something had majorly crashed upstairs, like as if Andrew’s entire loft bed had fallen over.  Not just a small crash sound but BAD and then everything started shaking and we knew it was an earthquake.  I’m getting goosebumps just writing about it!  It seriously freaked me out.  I was sitting on the couch and I found myself just holding onto the couch, frozen in place, saying, ‘Oh my god, oh my god!’  LOL  Nice to know if the big one hits I will be completely useless, but to be honest we all seemed to be in the same boat.  There’s just no time to actually react to do anything, and really, what can you do?!  Luckily it was minor in the sense that nothing actually fell or broke.  The Christmas tree was rattling and swaying a bit but no ornaments fell off.  It was just really scary, because it’s that reminder no one ever wants that we are ALWAYS vulnerable and we have no control even though we like to believe that we do.

Luckily there were no aftershocks, or at least not yet.  I’m praying that was the worst of it and it’s over.  It really terrifies me, honestly.  I just can’t stand the thought of it being any worse than that, and I know it was pretty minor.  I was happy to have my sil-2b (who I ADORE btw, she is awesome, I’m so happy my bil is with her!) there for her comradery because we both really felt the same about how spooky the earthquake left us feeling.

The kids all slept right through it, which was good!

This morning we had breakfast and then headed over to the hotel for a last little visit with the fil and sort-of-mil, and then it was time for them all to head to the ferry.  So we came home and the girls went for their nap after a little snack, and I thought maybe I was starting to feel a little less achy and maybe not quite as sick.  But then it’s like it came back with a vengeance and I felt wretched having done next to nothing, so after James slept for a few hours, I went to bed and basically didn’t do anything for most of the day.  I felt so awful, I could barely even roll over in bed.  I ended up getting a horrible headache that I think may be a sinus headache, which I’m still dealing with now but it’s not as bad as it was earlier.  It floored me, and I was starting to panic because we’re having Andrew’s birthday party tomorrow morning and I didn’t have any other time to prepare but tonight!

Luckily James helped me out and after the kids went to bed we got the decorations up and things relatively tidied.  In the morning I just have to vacuum, clean the downstairs bathroom, and keep things as tidy as I can with 3 kids in the house!  Andrew chose a Skylanders theme, and my mom and dad took me to Party City a few days ago (when I felt extremely ill but had no choice but to go get the stuff since I’d left it till the last minute!) where I found all the stuff, including paper masks of Skylander faces which I know the kids will LOVE.  I had the awesome idea (if I do say so myself!) of taking all the decorations off the Christmas tree, and I put the masks up as decorations so it’s a Skylanders themed tree for his bday.  I KNOW Andrew’s going to think that’s super cool.  Because I feel like I’m practically on death’s door with whatever stupid illness I’ve got, we decided to go simple for his birthday party (and the guests know I'm sick and are still OK to come to the party, I made sure to give them the option of backing out!!) and we’ve already ordered the pizza that will be delivered in the morning, and we got his ice cream cake as per his request.  We’ve got easy foods to go along with the pizza that will require no muss nor fuss and I feel confident that everything is going to come together nicely.  We’re just having a few family members for his party so it’s not going to be stressful at all.  It’ll be fun, AND it’ll be the last party I host FOR A LONG WHILE!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t believe my ‘baby boy’ is 7….SEVEN!  How did that happen so fast?!  There’s another thing I find myself saying at this time of year, but seriously.  Time seems to fly by faster each year that goes by.


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