Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Where's that Christmas spirit?

I confess to have not caught the Christmas spirit this year- yet. I keep hoping it will magically appear but nothing yet.

I think I'm granted a pass this year. The craziness of the past few months has caught up with me and I really don't have much energy or motivation right now. I still have boxes to unpack so the thought of bringing out MORE boxes to decorate for Christmas just sends my delicate balance of survival into a tail spin. But the fact is that its not just me here and I have some children who are really into Christmas so I'm doing what I can when I can muster up the energy.

I haven't put up a Christmas tree yet. I feel like I should be attending some 12 step program meeting introducing myself:

"Hi, I'm Denise. It's December 18th and I haven't put up my Christmas tree."

I my own defense I do have an excuse-- I couldn't find it. It sounds like a really "convenient" excuse but it is true! Of course I must be honest here, that hasn't been the entire reason. The first 2 weeks after Thanksgiving "Because I don't want to" was a good enough excuse. But as Christmas began approaching at lightening speed it somehow started to lose its strength. It was then I began to search for the tree. But never fear! Just when you thought that I had completely ruined Christmas for my children I came through, well almost. Yesterday I made one last ditch effort to dig through my remaining storage unit. I finally found the tree buried in the back corner underneath a couple of bags of throw pillows; it was just too heavy to get out by myself and I really couldn't see Jenna, the four year old, and the sleeping baby offering much muscular support. But today is a new day and I have 2 strapping young lads at my disposal!

When you think about Christmas the tree is right up there at the top but for children what's underneath is even higher on the priority list. But hey, doesn't Santa have that covered? Well nevermind, nothing to worry about...

By Sunday it was quite apparent that I was a scrooge. No tree, no presents, yep total scrooge. So what's the best way to jump right into the Christmas spirit a week before Christmas? A shopping trip at the mall. With 3 children. Yay!!!!

For some bizzare reason I actually had high hopes for our shopping excursion. Julia had to be at a birthday party by 5:00 but other than that the day was free. I told the girls I would even take Ross, who was off that day, and them to an actual resturant for lunch. This was announced around 10:00 am but there were conditions to going. They had to pick up several areas of the house first. There's a whole other back story there, but we'll just say we didn't leave until 1:30-- without Ross who was still sleeping. I was somewhat discouraged over our lost time but still hopeful. And then we got to the mall.

A cold front came through and the mall parking lot was packed so we had to walk farther than 50 feet to the entrance. Jenna was whinning the entire way that she was cold. Then Julia had to go to the bathroom. I forgot the diaper bag in the car. By now its after 2:00 so I told them that we had to eat at the food court. They picked McDonalds and I had no cash and with the huge crowd I wasn't standing in 2 long lines. By 2:45 we finally began shopping. What was I thinking? I had a huge stroller and a baby who wouldn't stay in it, trying to get into packed stores with aisles that were too small to begin with. Throw in 2 bickering sisters and you've got a very fun afternoon. By 4:30 I was practically running for the exit or was I running from the girls who had just argued over who got to push the button in the elevator? Doesn't matter, I just needed out!

So I'm not ready for Christmas yet. But hey! I think I just heard that Christmas was cancelled this year due to lack of interest.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wow! What a life!

As any observant person can see, its been awhile since my last post! Trust me I haven't spent the last few months laying on a beach or anything even remotely relaxing.

Someday I will make my Vietnam adoption story public but for now we'll have to leave it with the conclusion: I have a new daughter Emma Linh.

Emma is a very sweet mostly happy baby who loves her bottle. She just turned 5 months old on Monday. Her brothers and sisters adore her but lately she really prefers her mommy. However, Jenna is the one person who can make her laugh out loud. When she smiles sometimes she gets this great big smile and tilts back her head but no sound comes out. But Jenna is the one person who can get a giggle out of her.

Emma has decided to follow one tradition of being a Swank girl-- being a Drama Queen. Ten days after coming home from Vietnam Emma decided our new house was too boring and wanted to check out Children's Hospital. What was supposed to be a one night observation for RSV turned into a ten day stay, 5 of which were in ICU on a ventilator. But we're home now and she's doing quite well except that her GI system seems to have gone crazy. Lots of gas, massive spitting up, some days constipation some days the opposite. Emma has officially earned the title Head Drama Queen.

As mentioned above we are now in our new house. Trace and Ross were in charge of moving all of our worldly possessions from storage into the house and they did very good job! I was in Vietnam calling them every hour checking on their progress. Of course when I came home I was greeted by mountains of boxes some of which have been unpacked, some have been taken to the basement and some are still hanging around my entryway and dining room waiting for my attention.

I have wanted to post here several times since coming home but thought that I should "backfill" first. I hope to start sharing our craziness soon. And believe me, if anything its gotten crazier!