I apologize for being so horrible at keeping up with this. I always say that I'm going to be better, and I update once or twice and then I slack again...lol I'm really going to try to be better, but we'll see what happens when school starts.
Our Christmas this year was definitely one to remember. We debated back and forth (and by we, I mean I did) about what we should do for "our" Christmas.
Our first Christmas together ended pretty rough because we spent the entire holiday running from house to house, visiting everyone, and never had our own Christmas together.
Last year, we stayed at Dan's aunt Rita's vacant condo over Christmas. We brought our small fiber optic Christmas tree to set up on an end table, and woke up a little earlier on Christmas morning to open each other's gifts and have somewhat of our own Christmas morning. Boy, it made ALL the difference! We were so much happier and enjoyed Christmas so much more just because of that extra 15 minutes we spent together first.
So...I was debating, because the vacant condo is no longer vacant, and we didn't really have any other options of places to stay alone. The thought of staying home, and driving up to Mesa on Christmas Day crossed my mind...and quickly left. I did not want to make that drive on Christmas morning, plus we always spend Christmas Eve with my dad. Which in turn alleviates some of the demand for us on Christmas Day.
We decided to have our own Christmas on Christmas Eve, here at home before we left for Mesa. Dan worked until 1, so I made a small lunch to tide us over until we had dinner at my Dad's and then we opened each other's gifts and let the dogs open their stockings. We also decided to stay at my mom's on Christmas Eve. Our dogs would be there also, and we would be able to keep them calm and sleeping well, so as to not disturb the rest of the house on Christmas Eve.
Well, it didn't really work out quite as we'd hoped...
We spent Christmas Eve at my dad's like usual. Everything went well there. We got back to my mom's around 9:30 or so, and did a few things before going to bed.
My brother Alan, after the festivities at my Dad's went to meet a couple of his friends to play basketball for a few hours. He got back to my mom's around 1am, and went immediately into the restroom. He was SO sick. We weren't sure if it was something he ate, but since none of the rest of us got sick, it wasn't very likely. He ended up sleeping on the bathroom floor because of his frequent vomiting. With the bathroom being right next to the room Dan and I were sleeping in (which is normally Alan's room), we didn't get much sleep either. I kept getting up to see if there was anything I could get Alan to help him feel better. I felt awful as he laid on the bathroom floor with one hand sticking out into the hallway as he moaned "Jill...help me". He just kept begging me for water, since he was getting so dehydrated. He could hardly keep it down though.
Finally around 3:30 am, I went up to get Alan some more water, and my mom was standing at the top of the stairs. She looked like she had been hit by a truck, and said "Annie started throwing up about an hour ago"...
My 9 year old sister with Down Syndrome was also in her room throwing up, the same as Alan. My step dad was in her room with her, holding a bucket underneath her, since she doesn't understand throwing up in the toilet.
Obviously this wasn't something Alan ate. My other brother Leo, had come down with a bad case of the stomach flu himself the weekend before Christmas; and it was becoming obvious that this was the same thing...All on Christmas Eve.
I finally fell asleep at around 4 am on Christmas Day. We woke up at 7, and I went to see how everything was going. My mom was still at the same place on the stairs, but sitting now with her head in her hands. She said that she was starting to feel really nauseous and she didn't know what to do about Christmas? My grandparents were scheduled to come over around 11am with a full meal and gifts. So my mom asked me to call my Grandma and let her know what was going on and see what she wanted to do. Grandma decided they would drive over (from Sun City) and leave the food and gifts at the front door, but wouldn't come in. (My grandma has COPD, and is incredibly frail and weak. If she caught something like the stomach flu, she very easily could die from it)
Dan and I wanted to get out of the house as quick as we could, so we didn't catch this stomach flu that was spreading fast. We got dressed (somewhat), loaded up our stuff, grabbed our dogs, and went to his family's house to have Christmas morning there. I was so exhausted that I could hardly function. After we opened gifts, I went to Dan's grandma's where we normally stay, and took a 3 hour nap.
Alan was texting me around then (about 11am) asking when we were going to open gifts, and saying that he voted this the worst Christmas ever. I felt awful. He was still in bed, terribly sick. Annie was at least down on the couch, but was still sick, and my mom was up in bed with horrible nausea, aches and pains. The worst part, was Leo, my 13 year old brother who had the stomach flu the week before, was having to just sit around and not really do much of anything on Christmas Day because everyone else was so sick. They didn't open gifts or anything in the morning, so for him it was just like any other day.
We had lunch at Dan's grandma's, which was most enjoyable. We were able to spend some good time with her and even play a game or two. She loves having us over now that she's a widow and lives on her own.
We then went back to his other Grandma's (where I had slept earlier), and met up with some of his cousins and other family. I was finally able to shower and put on clean clothes. Which after the night and day I had, made me feel like a million bucks! We played "Loaded Questions", and had fun visiting with family.
Finally around 9pm, Alan called and said Leo couldn't wait any longer and that they were going to open gifts. He was feeling well enough to at least come sit out on the couch, Annie was asleep, and my mom was also able to at least come sit down and open a couple gifts. We were nervous to go over there, and my mom was "scared to death" for us to come, in fear that we would catch it. But we wanted to spend at least a little bit of Christmas with my family, since we had been with Dan's all day. So we went for about an hour, and opened gifts and were able to enjoy some Christmas together.
It was definitely a rough Christmas, and not one that you would wish on anyone. But, at the end of the day, it will definitely be a Christmas we will never forget.