Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Mini-Poll: If you celebrate Christmas, when do you decorate? When do you take it all down?

I decorate whenever it's convenient, though always during Advent. I undecorate when it's convenient too, though I try to do it around Epiphany, 12th Night, the 12th Day of Christmas, January 6th, the day we celebrate the arrival of the three wise men with gifts for the infant Christ. Last year everything came down early because we were sure that Adelaide's arrival was imminent. We were, of course, quite wrong.

The first hurdle for me is removing all the autumn decorations and cleaning the house (straightening and dusting). Then we decorate all together as a family with carols on the stereo and eggnog in our cups. Well, that part's just for Ellie and me. And really Paul hangs most of the ornaments on the tree. I unwrap them and hand them to him or Ellie. Ellie takes what she wants and runs around the house with it, excited about all the new stuff. Ada just watches and plays with the wrapping paper at this point.

My mother's parents decorated on Christmas Eve, so that when she and her brothers came downstairs on Christmas morning, the newly installed tree was part of the big reveal.

We had a good Christmas this year, and a lovely visit with my family at my parents' house. We won't see Paul's family this year, which does suck, and all their gifts (so many!) are still piled under our tree. Maybe we'll dive into the pile this weekend, or maybe we'll celebrate on New Year's Day. Why not? It's a holiday and the tree will still be up!

Ellie was very excited about Christmas this year, lighting candles on the advent wreathe she made in Sunday School, opening doors in her advent calendar, talking about baby Jesus, and watching Shrek the Halls daily throughout December. I'm not entirely sure that she's differentiating between Eddie Murphy's Dreamworks character and Mary's transportation into Bethlehem, but more's the fun, right? I mean, don't you think Eddie Murphy's Donkey would be an excellent addition to the nativity?

Unfortunately, she was very sick on Christmas Day. I was really worried about her. She wasn't having GI issues, and she wasn't running a fever. She was, however, completely uninterested in food, touch, or interaction, and she was terribly lethargic. Just when we were about to start loading up the van on the morning of the 26th to drive back down to see her doctor, if not go directly to Children's Hospital, suddenly pink flowed back into her cheeks and lips, and she ate a little breakfast. She's a little whiny but otherwise back to normal now, and we're keeping an eye on her. Both girls and I are congested, but what could cause such a strange illness? I'm still clueless.

I had a little bout of illness myself; on Saturday night I developed mastitis. That afternoon, my breast started hurting. I just figured that someone had been a little too rough with it; my breasts are community property after all. But by dinner time it was hurting worse, and by the time our friends left that night, I was running a fever, shaking and miserable, and my breast was throbbingly sore.

I woke up Ada and had her nurse for an hour, then took some Tylenol (should have been Ibuprofen for its anti-inflammatory effects; I switched over in the morning after my fever was decreased enough to allow internet research) and went to bed, sleeping with my breast on an electric hot pad. Set too high.

My nursing shirt must have slipped open, because I have an impressive blister on the underside of my breast, which I didn't notice for a couple of days until Paul pointed it out to me. I didn't even feel it, because my breast was so sore. But it was worth it; the treatment (ibuprofen, frequent nursing, self-breast-massage, and heat) worked: my fever never broke 101 and I didn't need to go to the doctor or get antibiotics. Hooray for my body!

Other than that, we're all tired, happy to be home, and ready for a little rest. I was thinking that if I had the sort of blog where I assigned nicknames to my family members, I'd call Paul Major Whiny. Or, maybe, Captain Passive-Aggressive. But then I realized that he could probably just call me "Ms. Pot" (as in, calling the kettle black).


Karaoke Diva said...

I try to set up shortly after Thanksgiving and then try to get it all down by or on New Year's day.

Ugh to the mastitis! Glad it cleared up on its own.

Amanda said...

Thanks for the memories. Mastitis. Had it with both children same breast. The first time my fever raged out of control and I was bedridden for a day or so. Fortunately mother in law was in town and helped take care of things. It is definitely not fun. Glad you're doing better with it.

As for the poll, I put up around the 1st of December and take down during the week between Xmas and New Year.

Beverly said...

Good job dealing with the mastitis. I had that several times with my third child. The first time, I didn't go to bed soon enough. At least I knew enough to keep nursing.
I think it happened with child No. 3 because I was running myself ragged. I hope you're not doing the same!

Tracey said...

I was INCREDIBLY lucky and never had a problem while breastfeeding with anything other than "man this freaking hurts" in the beginning and latch with E. I am aching in empathy for your poor boobs!!!