What a Christmas holiday frenzy it has been!
We started the week of Christmas good. The girls and I had school Monday through Wednesday. Monday night we made and wrapped the teacher's presents and took them to school for everyone on Tuesday. Boy am I glad we did.
Tuesday evening, the girls were in bed and I hear Hannah asking Mila if she was okay (through the baby monitor). Upon arrival in their bedroom, I realized Mila had gotten sick to her stomach. After stripping her bed, giving Mila a bath, and redressing her bed, she was back to bed. Two hours later, she was sick again. So she moved to our floor for the night, and was up every hour or more. So no school for Mama or Mila on Wednesday. Thanks to Grandma, Miss Amy, and Uncle Mike, Hannah was able to go to school for her party on Wednesday.
Thursday and Friday were busy days since I hadn't wrapped a single present. There was plenty of time to cuddle with the kids and play. We made an attempt each day to call and talk to Max.
Saturday, we got up and called Max. You could tell in his voice he was sad. His winter break had started, and he knew what tomorrow would be. The second question he asked us was "what are you doing tomorrow?" We always go to church on Christmas Eve. So much fun to get the kids dressed in their Sunday best. It was a great chance for us to worship as a family. After church we have a tradition to get together between services. (My parents church has a 11:00pm service). We always have a good time together. With 8 children under 8, how can you not??
Christmas Day we got up and opened presents that were under our tree. Then we called and talked to Max. You could tell he was sad, knowing that it was Christmas Day. We tried not to talk too much about the day's activities we had planned. I kept telling myself, "this is the last year, there is an end in sight." We went to Doug's parents house for Christmas. Doug unwrapped the turkey fryer he has been talking about for over a year. Fried turkey was part of the Christmas Day menu! After many hours of playing with new gifts, it was time to head home and stop in at Grandma and Grandpa Ray's (Mila's words) to say Merry Christmas.
December 26th we were up and at it again. My side of the family (my sisters, parents, and the 8 grand kids--17 of us) get together to open presents. The tradition at Mom's house is to take turns opening presents, so opening gifts takes hours and makes Christmas last that much longer. After opening presents, Mike (my brother in law) made each of our own omelet. Amy calls these "Mike eggs".
The rest of the week was filled with an ENT appointment for me (gotta rule out the Ukrainian diagnosed "tumor"), therapy for the girls, a CAT scan for me (ENT reccommended) and a get together with friends for a "fried New Years eve". We fried onion rings, mushrooms, turkey bites, pickles, and green beans. We had a great time and so did the kids judging by the way my house looked at the end of the night!
Bring on 2012! We know that Mila will be scheduled for tendon release surgery this winter, which will involve 6 weeks in a massive cast. Max will receive amnesty in January. We have a interview with Canines for Companions for Mila in April, and Doug will make one more trip to Ukraine to bring Max home--forever. Doug is looking forward to returning to Ukraine, and there is a possibility that a friend of ours may be going with him.
We are looking forward to summer already. We hope to plan a trip to the beach!