This is one of those muzzy catch up posts with no particular point, so if you're hoping to find the meaning of Christmas I suggest you look here or here (depending on where your spiritual beliefs lie).
December began with Martin working, me at home with Avery and no car or public transport and the problem of getting Una to and from kinder (which is a ten minute drive on open roads at 80km/h and so not at all walkable) in the lead up to her kinder play (in which she had a Very Important Role) and a fugitive on the loose in our town. Somehow I got through it with minimal upset, despite sleep deprivation and crappy weather and a few days of acute cabin fever. Most of my Christmas shopping has been done online, trawling through websites until my tired eyes are dry and squinty. Luckily we have lovely neighbours, which means I've been able to regularly interact with people who are not me. And good friends who have taken the girls out or fed them dinner. And good family, including my mother in law who has regularly driven up from Blackburn to do the school and kinder run.
Despite everything (or because of) we have attempted to keep up the Advent activity house tradition. Popular activities have included: making Christmas pinatas, making and decorating gingerbread houses, playing parlour games (he said, she said which was HILARIOUS and featured a lot of toilet humour), and getting the girls to write their own activity together (they agreed on the zoo with no fuss).
Una was brilliant in her kinder play, in which she played the lead (if not the title) role of the bossy emu in Wombat Divine, and then she graduated, with a hat and everything, which would have been extremely tacky if I'd been able to see it through the TEARS. Fred was great in her school play too - though her role was part of the chorus she proved that there are no small roles, she was really switched on and clearly knew exactly what she was doing. She sang in a clear, sweet voice, which carried over the little community hall (oh yes, all right, I am a Proud Parent). The funny thing was the topic of the play was wobbly teeth, and a few days before the performance she got her very first wobble (and a day after she lost that tooth, which she tells me led to an impromptu encore performance of the play in class - aww).
Avery also got his first cold last week and on Saturday night developed a nasty wheeze and cough and seemed to be breathing a little fast. We were sure he was probably fine, but rang the maternal health line, and then Martin's mum (who used to be a nurse) and in the end took him to Box Hill Emergency, dropping the girls off at their Nana's first. They seemed to think it was Something. We were lucky enough to be put in a private Infectious Diseases room (woohoo!), sealed with a glass door, with our own ensuite, and a kitchen round the corner with sandwiches and hot milo. Avery's breathing improved pretty much the moment we arrived at Emergency so we relaxed and enjoyed our Saturday night date. It turned out he had bronchiolitis, but all his stats were good so we were sent home, with strict instructions to ring an ambulance if he was having trouble breathing. But it was obvious he was on the mend, and he has continued to improve. He even slept for five uninterrupted hours last night.
And now it is holidays and we are all at home. We are waiting on our tax returns so we can get a car loan and then a car. We are Christmas cooking and scowling at the rain and smiling at the sunshine. We are getting on each other's nerves and singing Christmas carols in the car and busying ourselves and playing games together and reading books and eating dinners and going for walks and to the library and cooing at the baby. Martin and I are quietly buying big screen televisions. Avery is prodigiously growing and even Una and Fred look bigger. We are grocery shopping and some of us are eating too many lollies and some of us aren't because some of us have to book in a diabetes test for next week. We have encountered the odd Santa (both in the occasional sense and in the weirdy sense) and continued to add decorations to the Christmas tree and opened many cards and forgot to send any and I bought shoes on the Internet.
AND THAT BE THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS (oh look, there it was, all this time).