The morning of Christmas Eve we woke up around 8 relieved that we all survived the long night and that Ava was now keeping fluids down. We had been hoping that it would be a quick stomach bug and that we could keep our plans to go down to Southern California to visit my family. We were already packed and ready to go. But Ava didn’t seem like she was feeling better. I couldn’t see packing a sick child into the car for a six hour drive, plus, what if the rest of us caught it and started throwing up once we got there, or worse, on the way there?
As I brought her in to see the doctor at urgent care that morning we both cried on the way. I was very disappointed to be missing Christmas at my parent’s house. It has been years since I’ve been able to be there. Plus, we had already opened our presents to each other. What would we do on Christmas by ourselves with no presents to open? I was having a little pity party for myself, then scolding myself for not realizing that Christmas is not really about presents or even about spending it with family. Christmas is about Christ and you can celebrate the gift of Jesus no matter where you are.
Anyway. When we got the doctor and I explained Ava’s symptoms the doctor said she thought it was an ear infection. What??? You know how I feel about ear infections. I love them! Why? Because they are not contagious and can be treated with antibiotics. Sure enough, she checked her ears and her right ear was infected. Apparently nausea and vomiting can be symptoms of an ear infection. Hooray! We scooted off to the pharmacy to pick up the meds, called Dan to tell him the trip was on and did the happy dance in the car all the way home. I figured Ava would just lay on the couch and watch movies all day, so why not sit in the car and watch movies all day on the way to Grandma’s house?
We got everything packed up, including one of the chucks I took home from the hospital and a “just in case” bowl for Ava, and headed out by 12 for the six hour drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
We made it there just before six and joined my mom and dad, brother, sister and her boyfriend, Aunt Lisa and Uncle Tommy, GG and Grandpa Oddone, Uncle Joe and cousin Meghan, and Kathie, Kristine and Michael. It was a full house! We traditionally celebrate my sister’s birthday on Christmas Eve, so first we had her favorite dinner, pasta and salad from ChiChi’s and then she opened her presents. Then we opened Christmas presents to each other and then we had birthday cake.
Me and my sister
By then it was pretty late, so we hung up our stockings, the kids put out cookies and milk for Santa and got into their Christmas jammies. They went straight to sleep. Then Dan and I got busy preparing for Santa.
And then we went out to a bar to celebrate Rachel’s 21st birthday. What, your family doesn’t go to bars on Christmas Eve? Well, we don’t usually either, but it was a special occasion. Dan and I, my brother Thomas, Rachel and her boyfriend Marshall, my dad and my uncle Joe all went out to a local dive bar. We stayed until midnight (her official birthday) and then the oldest among us called it a night. Those youngsters stayed out quite a bit later (and paid the price when the kids woke up bright and early the next morning)!