Christmassy Things

Christmas “break” started out just dandy. I took Friday off so we could spend a stress free morning snoozing, prepping, and packing before our short 3 hour drive to Williamsburg, VA. I had intended to leave around 1 to get there early and check in, steal the best room in the suite and get started on the Christmas decorations. Instead, it was nearly 3:00 before we got on the road but it worked out perfectly anyway. My sister made a pit stop at my house to return some old patio furniture and the cousins got some advance playtime. All of the drivers descended upon the hotel at roughly the same time to find my mother and father “engaged” in some timeshare upselling talk that I was very happy to have missed.

We investigated the suites, assigned rooms, and got to the unpacking with a swiftness. Some decorations went up to give the place the Christmassy feel, and then of course a list was made and the first trip to Wal-Mart commenced. I drove with my mom out to the airport to pick up the last of our arrivals at roughly midnight, and crashed almost immediately upon returning to my room.

Day 2 was rainy and cold. We had intended a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, but most of us were still pretty beat from the journey the day prior, so we sat around and chatted instead. The kids played together in the adjoining suite with an adult rushing in every few minutes to make sure all limbs were still intact. (Thankfully, there were no hospital trips, broken bones, and shockingly few bumps, scrapes, and bruises.)

Hannah spent most of the trip not being able to decide if she was totally on board with her cousins. She followed them around, played with all the toys with them, climbed on all the things with them, ate all of their chocolate (I kid you not), but would often get over stimulated or stressed out or sad that so-and-so took her flying foam disk thing and would spend the next several hours glued to my legs. Her cousins usually weren’t far behind.

I really enjoyed watching them play together. She was so cute with them one-on-one. She and Jack seemed to be the most in tune. They communicated through silly faces and body positions. He’d squat then she’d squat. He’d squint then she’d squint. He was delighted by her completely. She and Liam shared toys the best. He would show her how to do something, then she’d take over and try. Sometimes she did it right, but almost always it devolved into flappy arms and throwing whatever it was she had in her hands but that didn’t seem to bother Liam. He picked up on what she liked and they did that thing together. She and Craig are the closest in age and are both still pretty self-centered. Mostly they existed in each other’s spaces. They acknowledged the other was there, but didn’t really share or play together. They were just content to play separately in the same spaces. Of course, every once in awhile one of them would want the toy the other was playing with. Sometimes Craig shared. Sometimes it went a different direction. I don’t think Hannah ever reeeeeally shared. She’d either take what she wanted, or decide she didn’t want it anymore and rush to my legs.

The nights mostly bleed together. Some assemblage of adult gaming and child taming. On different nights, Hannah cut a tooth (a molar! My little monster), woke up screaming with some pretty sudden and horrific diaper rash, woke up crying from a little too much fun happening in the adult gaming room next door. And then of course, there was the night of the flu.

My mom got it first. She spent so much time searching, booking and adjusting a nice lunch out for 15 people the day after Christmas and then was slammed by the flu the day we were supposed to go. By Monday afternoon, she seemed to be feeling better and Tuesday everyone seemed just fine. Tuesday evening, Hannah was fussy, but no more than usual. She woke up at some point crying like she was in pain, so I heated up a bottle, gave her a half dose of tylenol and laid her in the bed next to me. She snuggled into the crook of my arm and fell asleep halfway through the bottle. And that’s how we stayed until about 2:30 in the morning. I’m not sure if it was the sound or the convulsions of her tiny body or the wet warmth and smell that woke me, but I knew immediately what was happening. I tried to get her to the bathroom as quickly as I could, but I was on the wrong side of the bed and ended up just leaving a trail over everything in my wake. Shelby, for his part, caught on quickly too and set to work stripping the bed and starting the laundry. He drew us a bath and I got us as cleaned up as I could before the next wave hit. She was so groggy. That was the most terrifying. She could barely open her eyes or move her arms and legs. She couldn’t lift her head. We eventually caught a break and I took her out to sleep on the couch outside my parents room so Shelby could maybe get some sleep before our drive home the next day. Hannah and I were up every hour. And then I could hear my dad echoing Hannah’s sickness like clockwork. Tuesday night was horrible. A terrible end to an otherwise delightful family Christmas.

I’m happy to report that by the time we got home Wednesday afternoon, Hannah seemed fine. I read it could take up to 2 weeks for the healthy bacteria in her intestines to recalibrate.She’s had some epic diaper events, a few extra baths and has gone through a ludicrous amount of outfits, but she’s been just as giggly and active as ever.

And on that disgusting note – Shemanda Out!

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