December 26, 2006

The Cactus-Fish Christmas

This Christmas was, well, different. To properly explain, I need to back up a few days...

On Thursday evening, I was headed home from a meeting in D.C. During the commute, I gave Beth a call to let her know I was on my way. She sounded bad and admitted she was sick. When I arrived at home, she crashed. Very early Friday morning, Mia followed suit. Beth rebounded by Saturday but Mia stayed under the weather. We took her to the doctor and she made some headway on Saturday night and Sunday. On Christmas Eve our parents came over for dinner and the excitement was apparently too much. Mia was out of it on Christmas Day. She was in and out of bed (and consequently not opening presents) until noon and we canceled on the family Christmas dinner. We stayed home and ordered Chinese food after spending two hours trying to get Mia to bed. So, you'll forgive the lack of Christmas pictures, no?

So, yes. Not your traditional Christmas. Jingle bells, ho-ho-hoing, angels singing from on-high...and vomiting. But I don't want to leave you with the impression that it was bad.

On Sunday night before everyone left, I found myself taking a turn trying to get Mia to sleep. Ten minutes into the attempt, the door to her bedroom opened and my mom snuck in. At first I was a little annoyed. Mia's picky and anything different throws her off. She wasn't going to fall asleep with my mom in the room. But it was nice. There I was rocking my daughter to sleep - or trying - with my mom who no doubt did the same with me thirtysome years ago.

"It's pretty much the best thing in the world, isn't it?" she whispered after a few minutes.

"Yes. It really is," I replied. My mom snuck back out a few minutes later. They left while I was still trying and I never was successful. Beth had to bail me out half an hour later.

Sure, Christmas wasn't exactly how we'd envisioned it. But this dad thing? The best thing in the world. No amount of sleepless nights or getting puked upon can change that. Although, I hope your Christmases were a little healthier.

Posted by Chris at December 26, 2006 07:47 AM

Poor Mia - and all of you! But your realization seems to have been worth it...

Posted by: Leah at December 26, 2006 08:42 AM

What a great thing with your mom. The little moments of realization like that are what make life special.

Posted by: Heather at December 26, 2006 08:42 AM

Poor baby. Hope she's feeling better now. Happy day after Christmas.

Posted by: pea at December 26, 2006 08:47 AM

I was so with you for the miserable Christmas of illness. The kids took turns being sick for the past three weeks. Two weeks ago I had run myself down enough to get sick too.

I remarked to hubby that this is the exact time we were all sick last year -on vacation, no less. I'm thinking mega doses, for the month preceding Christmas, of Vitamin C next year.

Posted by: hrmommy at December 26, 2006 09:03 AM

Poor Mia :( I hope she's feeling better.

Posted by: Jules at December 26, 2006 09:08 AM

Hope all is much better now.

Enjoy the week together, she is till young, pick a day when she is a 100% and do Christmas then.

Posted by: Wicked H at December 26, 2006 09:34 AM

Ah, our poor girl! I hope she is feeling better today.
Our Christmas was quiet as it was just Hubby and me and the dogs. All 7 of them! The puppies eyes opened and yes, it was really special.
And I watched old corny movies that made me get all teary eyed!
Today my daughter comes to celebrate her birthday (12/20) and Christmas. I need a fork lift for all the presents! Can anyone say, "Mom went overboard this year?"

Posted by: Maribeth at December 26, 2006 09:36 AM

I have to say that I much prefer this Christmas to last year when I had to get a root canal after being in severe pain all through Christmas. But this is not about me! I hope everyone is feeling better! :)

Posted by: Stephanie at December 26, 2006 09:42 AM

Aw, poor little Mia :(
I hope she's feeling much better soon.

Posted by: Opal at December 26, 2006 10:02 AM

hope everyone is feeling better.

merry christmas :)

Posted by: suze at December 26, 2006 10:03 AM

Poor Mia, She looks so sad :( I hope she makes a full recovery soon.

Merry Belated Christmas!

Posted by: Colleen at December 26, 2006 10:31 AM

Your mom rocks no?

Here's to a healthy rest of the season! Merry day after Christmas to you all.

Posted by: Snapper at December 26, 2006 10:38 AM

Poor Mia. She looks so miserable in that picture! What a sweet moment. Sorry you spent the day up to your armpits in puke but at least you had your girls with you! :)

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at December 26, 2006 10:41 AM

Poor Mia, poor all of you. I was sick on christmas eve night but I recovered pretty quickly, it's not the time of year you want to be ill.

Mia's face says it all!

Posted by: Katherine at December 26, 2006 10:42 AM

Very sweet. I hope everyone is well soon.

Posted by: mdv at December 26, 2006 11:14 AM

I read Beth's earlier post and wondered how you were doing.

We had a Chinese food Thanksgiving years ago for the same reason except I was the one who bailed on cooking.

Your Christmas wasn't ruined anymore than my T'giving. It was just different and you were flexible.

Hope they're both feeling better.

Posted by: ann adams at December 26, 2006 11:21 AM

My Christmas dinner came from the 7-11 because it was the only thing open. I eagerly await Christmases with a husband and children, pukey or not, to form new traditions and reclaim my holiday. I'm glad you found some magic in it even with a sick baby. I hope Mia feels better soon.

Posted by: Judy at December 26, 2006 11:59 AM

Too bad Mia was sick for christmas ;( But at least you were together. we wore my little guy out pretty thoroughly and he took a 3 hour nap in the middle of the day.

hope new years goes a little better & everyone gets healthy soon!

Posted by: kristied at December 26, 2006 12:16 PM

Hope she's doing better today.

Maybe I'm very tired from the whole weekend, and being back to work sucks.. and I've only been here for 2 hours .. but that was a very touching entry, and has me in tears. Thanks for that. You're so right. Parenthood is so wonderful, and it is truely the greatest gift anyone could receive.

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: molly at December 26, 2006 04:11 PM

Sorry to hear about everything going so poorly for the actual holiday. Just try and remember it's a time not a day (at least that's what we have to say, with two families too far apart to see both on Christmas Day).

I hear you about "this Dad thing". Seems totally underrated sometimes. (Although admittedly I'm still in the "just got up from a second wave nap with my daughter because she woke up crying after 10 minutes and she needed more of a nap" fog.)

PS - did you ever find a second "monkey"? (Beth mentioned your journey to seek out one.)

Posted by: Jeff at December 26, 2006 05:09 PM

yep. pretty much sounds like my first five christmases. i'd always get sick.

Posted by: Denise at December 26, 2006 07:07 PM

I'm sorry everyone was under the weather there, but at least you got to spend the day together. I was exhausted Christmas morning due to a late night into an early morning. I didn't take any pictures of Sam opening gifts because I was too tired/helping him open them/assembling gifts as the opened. But we had a great time. Hope Mia is back in fighting form.

Posted by: Annie at December 26, 2006 10:27 PM

Aaaww poor baby! She still looks adorable. I hope she is feeling better and I know you are gonna have many more awesome Christmases which will makeup for her in/out of bed-ness this time around.
I love your Daddy posts. Really love em!

Posted by: Dee at December 26, 2006 11:02 PM

My youngest has been battling something also. She has been hacking up a lung since Friday and Monday night she decided to play the vomit card. Your right though, being a father is worth all the sleepless nights and stained clothes. I wouldn't trade a moment of it for anything!

Posted by: Jeff A at December 26, 2006 11:38 PM

That's so sweet, Chris. I find the time before bed so intense. I can never say goodnight. I tell her I love you over and over. I reflect on the day with her and kiss her and sing to her, and I can't get enough. Sometimes, she waves goodbye to me in her crib because she's ready to go to sleep.... Don't get me wrong, I'm relieved when she goes to sleep. And, sometimes, I jump up and down because I'm so excited for my free me-time, but I just find saying good night impossible. :) I've been thinking about stuff like this a lot lately -- waiting for the blog post to come (haven't really formed the words yet -- this helps, thanks!). BTW, love this picture -- her hair looks so red against the purplish couch. :)

Posted by: haley-o at December 27, 2006 12:21 AM

We had a rough christmas night. Kira just would NOT go to sleep either; normally she goes down around 8pm, but that night not until closer to 11pm - her dad and I took turns until she *finally* fell asleep in my arms (which is as rare as hens teeth). I hope Mia's feeling alot better by now :)

Posted by: erica at December 27, 2006 02:25 AM

aww.. I hope Mia is on the mend. Happy belated Christmas to you!

Posted by: starlite at December 27, 2006 07:02 AM

Not that this is really any consolation, but I was quite sick one Christmas when I was very young, and that's the year we got the cutest pictures. :\

So sorry your ladies were sick for the holiday but that that the holiday spirit still lived on through it all.

Posted by: Emily at December 27, 2006 07:40 AM

It is absolutely the best thing in the world, cuddling your little one. No doubt about it.

Holiday cheers to you, Beth and Mia!

Posted by: ewe_are_here at December 27, 2006 10:26 AM

It's a little sadistic isn't it? But the best thing about the babies getting sick in my house is the cuddling with Mommy, something that on well days they are too old and too cool for. Poor Mia!

Posted by: Kelly at December 27, 2006 10:27 AM

An unconventional Christmas will stay in your memory for a long time. Mine was pretty unconventional as well. I stayed in my PJ's all day.

I heart your mom.

Posted by: Nila at December 28, 2006 04:42 AM