Sunday, December 23, 2012

Unspirited

Ugh.  You know, I really felt like I had this Christmas thing licked this year.  We had an extra week thanks to the early thanksgiving, I had a week of vacation, and I had this crazy nesting instinct pushing me to stay organized.  And yet, here we are a couple days out and I have been defeated.  The gifts are all bought and wrapped, and we're in Buffalo through the 26th now.  So, I guess on that front we got the job done, but getting here has been a bit on the soul-sucking side.  I'm obviously beyond grateful to be pregnant right now, but I'm not going to lie--it has not made this season easy.  Up until a few weeks ago I was feeling good--energetic, relatively comfortable, happy to be feeling kicks regularly--but in the past week or two things have gotten considerably harder.  I feel like I'm rapidly expanding, and I have gotten increasingly uncomfortable doing simple things like sleeping, bending, and sitting.  Doing dishes gives me a sore back, and I have to pee all the time.  This week was a very busy week, as expected, but what I didn't expect was having to sit and relax so much because my belly was sore and I was slightly worried I was setting myself up for early labor or something.  I was up late pretty much every single night, and that didn't do me any favors.  Mentally, physically, emotionally...it was not a pretty picture.  I had a ton to do at work, and a lot to do at home.  The Sandy Hook tragedy was on my mind a lot (I would have blogged about it but there just wasn't time--I may still), and all of the rushing around turned Christmas into more of a chore than I would have liked.  And then last night happened.

Friday night I went out after Jacob was in bed to do some shopping.  I bought the doctor kit I wanted to get him (after his fascination with treating the animals at Strong Museum), and then settled on a bike.  I don't know if I had mentioned it, but I dropped the idea of getting him an educational tablet when none of the reviews were glowing, and decided he was at the right age for a bike.  We weren't convinced he'd be totally into it, but it seemed like a good plan.  Given our crazy schedule and the fact that I, the more mechanically inclined one, was in no shape to be contorting myself to assemble a bike, I paid the $10 to have it assembled, with the plan to pick it up 24 hours later.  So, last night after picking up some last minute gifts, I sent Craig back to Toys 'R' Us with our receipts, only to have him call and say that the cashier that checked me out was apparently clueless and didn't give me the right paperwork, so the assembly order was never placed and they didn't have a bike to give us.  They could have had one by noon today, but ummm, we were doing Christmas morning today. 

We never get to do Christmas morning at our house...or really Christmas morning at all.  Usually we're flying home from work and daycare, saying that Santa came during the day, and opening presents as quickly as possible before inhaling dinner and trying to get ready to travel, be it that night or first thing the next morning.  But this year we actually had a weekend day to work with so today was it.  And if there was no bike...well, that sort of took away the big visual we were hoping for.  And knowing that was the big gift, we hadn't really gotten a lot else.  I mean, I had a handful of things, but a lot of them were things Jacob would know were from us, so I couldn't just magically transfer them to Santa.  It was probably somewhere around 11pm at this point, and I was in tears thinking of how disappointed Jacob would be.  I know I had talked about skipping Santa entirely to send a message about his behavior, but at the end of the day I just couldn't do it.  Despite some ridiculous tantrums this week, I know he has been trying harder to be good.  His reviews at daycare this week were very good, and other than those tantrums, he was trying to be better.  Listening is still tough, though.  Anyway, because of that I figured the bike and a few smaller things would be a good mix of "Nice effort, here are your gifts," and "Perhaps there would have been more had you been on the nice list all month," but now here we were without a big Santa gift for Christmas morning.  And before you ask about why we didn't just get one in the box, please understand that Jacob is a visual kid and unless it's something he's already predisposed to being excited about, seeing a picture on a box just wouldn't do it for him.  Unless the bike was sitting there for him to hop on, he just wouldn't get it. 

Craig looked at Target, to no avail, and then came home so I could run out and get something we saw earlier in the evening at Kohl's that Jacob wanted very badly.  I had the coupon and charge account to get it cheaper, so I had to get it.  I knew regardless of everything else he would really like that and we could play it off that Santa must have seen it even before we did.  After I got back, Craig headed back out to Toys 'R' Us (open 24 hours) to try to pick up some Legos we knew he wanted.  The set is obscenely expensive, but they did have a $25 off deal and we had a $10 credit from a promo I used when I bought the bike.  It was far more than we wanted to spend, but we were sort of stuck.  However, once Craig got it home, I panicked a bit.  It was such an expensive gift and was beyond what I wanted to reward him with this year.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, but I decided we should take this one step at a time.  I wrapped it and put it up in our closet.  It's still there.  I decided that we'd see how things went this morning, and if he seemed disappointed (or if his behavior was exceptional over the next few days) we could say that it was one more gift that Santa dropped off on his way back through on Christmas Eve. 

We didn't get to bed until at least 1:30am, and Jacob was awake a little before 8am.  He was excited to see if Santa came, but he was patient waiting for us to get around to getting out of bed.  He opened his gifts with little fanfare.  He was happy with what he got, sure, but we didn't have a "WOW" moment, which was really a first for him in the years he's been conscious of Christmas.  Two years ago it was his hockey net and his little toy hockey rink, and last year was the Batcave.  This year he was excited by the last minute Kohl's gift, and he did enjoy a couple other things, but the doctor kit didn't phase him and most of the other stuff was just okay.  It wasn't that he was unhappy (though he did ask when he gets to open more gifts), but I wouldn't say he was particularly ecstatic, so that felt a little sad.  We had a special treat for breakfast, and then lounged around while Jacob played a bit.  Of course, right around the time I needed to get up to get ready for church I started feeling really crappy...tired and just a little off.  By the time I got all of us moving, I realized it was too late.  I felt so guilty about missing church since we weren't there last weekend either.  And the mess of how Jacob's gifts had panned out was bugging me, too.  I ended up taking a much-needed nap, figuring that the crappiness I was feeling was my body's way of telling me it had had enough.  I've still been pretty tired all day, but did finally manage to pack up and get out of town by 5pm.  Later than we wanted, but quite frankly, after this week I am grateful for even that. 

Most of the time once the gifts are wrapped, the tree pictures are taken and we're on the road, I'm pleased with how things have gone.  But this year...ugh.  I feel like we missed a lot of traditions.  I am not thrilled with some of our gift choices.  I didn't get to do the baking I wanted to.  I'm nervous about the foods I'm making for gatherings over the next couple days.  I'm still wondering what to do with the gift in our closet.  On top of all that, once we get back home on Wednesday, we have to spend most of the day clearing out the rest of our bedroom for our carpet installation on Thursday.  Craig did an amazing job getting Jacob's new room cleared out completely, and he got a great head start on our room as well.  I can't do a lot of the heavy lifting, so he's been on his own for a lot and has done fantastically.  We were so happy to discover that Jacob's room's old carpet wasn't actually tacked down beyond a small spot near the door, so that came up quite easily.  Our room will be a different story, though.

Jacob's been enjoying the hardwoods in his empty room for the last couple days because it makes the perfect basketball court for the mini-hoop that's been in there since last winter.  Hopefully he'll like his new carpet, too, and we can start slowly migrating him over to the new room.  We have no furniture for him yet (I either don't like what I've seen or don't want to pay hundreds for kid furniture), so for now he can use my old (plain) bedframe and we'll hopefully have a couple days after the holiday to look around, for a dresser at the very least.  Beyond that he really just needs a book/toy shelf, and we'll be well on our way to making it a room.  Our room will be able to get a slight makeover too, once the carpet is done.  I have curtain rods to hang (and I guess I've pinpointed curtains), and then we'll just need something for over the bed and it will look like a whole new room...I hope.  Next up after all that will be painting the baby's room blue.  God knows how that's going to get done.

As you can see, I have a lot on my mind right now and Christmas is just a part of that.  It hasn't left a lot of time to focus on the season and now that we're done to a couple days it is really bumming me out.  I'm not sure how I could have done much more given how I've been feeling recently and how busy we've been, but it's still a bummer.  I knew this month would go fast (hello, we're only 11 weeks away from baby time!), but just how fast it went it crazy.  And I am sad that I just haven't been able to enjoy it, baby, holiday, and all.  I'm tired.  My Christmas spirit is lacking.  And whenever I feel sorry for myself, I think about the Sandy Hook parents and realize how petty I'm being about everything.  But still, it's been a challenge.  And I'm praying that some Christmas miracle in the next couple days will strip the bad stuff aside and bring back my joy.  I don't want this season to pass without a chance to sit back and take it all in, to appreciate God's gift and reflect on how it might be different next year with another little boy to enjoy. It's going to be a big year and I'd like to send this one out on a good note. 

Much more to come (including pictures), but in the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!

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