Sorry for the lack of posts, but we have had a busy holiday. Two weeks ago, Jeff's parents came down for Uncle Wayne's heart surgery. Of course, they also had to see their gorgeous grandson! I am pleased to report that the surgery was a success, and they got to go home well before Christmas.
That weekend, the weekend before the Christmas weekend, we also went to two parties. On Saturday night we went to a friend's 20th birthday party. His mom and dad were really excited to meet Vinny and even us. Then on Sunday evening was the Math group holiday party, hosted by one of my colleagues at his house. His house was really interesting: it's built into the side of a big hill and it's so far up the hill that he had everybody park down at the cul-de-sac of the street, and he shuttled us up and down the hill in his minivan.
While they were here, Granny and Granddad left a carload of Christmas gifts, most of them for Vinny. In addition, Mommy and Daddy bought him some toys. So on Christmas morning Vinny really got the haul.
Unfortunately, he wasn't in top condition to appreciate it. (Well, not that an 11-week-old baby really gets what's going on anyhow...) He got his first cold, probably from a little girl at the party who was coughing everywhere. He started really coming down with it on Saturday night, when we were at the next-door neighbor's for her holiday party. Jeff took him home early while I stayed and socialized. The neighbor's daughter and son-in-law invited us over to their place for Christmas dinner, but we had to decline because Vinny was too sick.
Yes, continuing the family tradition, he was probably at his sickest on Christmas Day. But we called up Jeff's sister, who is a pharmacist, and she told us what we could give him to make him feel better. We had these decongestant nose drops but we weren't sure if we could give them to him, and if so, how much. But Rhonda told us it was okay to give him one drop in each nostril. It really made a difference, once we cleaned his nose out and then applied the decongestant drops. But the next morning I took him to the doctor anyhow. And, it was a good thing I did, because he was also coming down with his first earache. The doctor prescribed amoxicillin, so we are giving him that.
When you were a kid, do you remember taking medicine? Because I do remember taking a few things. I remember liquid actifed, and it was bitter but not too unbearable. Amoxicillin I remember as tasty good. His is this thick, pinkish-orange liquid that has to be refrigerated. It smells very strongly of that fake berry flavoring. I haven't sampled it but he seems to like it.
But I digress. In the afternoon, Dad and Marvis arrived, en route to Florida. Now that they have a stopping point here, they like to take advantage of it. We had some Mediterranean food and opened the presents they brought and the presents we gave them. They seemed pleased by their gifts. Once again, though, it was Vinny who got the biggest haul. In fact, some of the presents for Jeff and me actually turned out to be for Vinny!
On a more serious note, the holidays have long been a hard time of year for me. They remind me of the family that I will never again have, that family with whom you're supposed to share these special days. It was also after Christmas five years ago that my mother moved away, marking the date at which my family was permanently broken. There is never a good time for your parent to move out, but the fact that it occurred during what would become an extremely difficult season (made difficult by the event in question) has made this time of year even worse.
I'm not going to pretend that it was easy this year. After all, any hope I had last year of being able to at least work out some of the old family conflict is gone. But having another person to think about has helped distract me at least a little. I now have a responsibility to make Vinny's holidays happy. I owe it to him to make his holidays memorable not due to mommy's moping, but due to genuine positive family moments. I don't know that I will ever feel comfortable darkening the doorstep of my parent's house on a holiday, but perhaps I can create a comfortable holiday environment in my own home for Vinny.