We recently watched the movie Four Christmases and found it very amusing and similar to our family holidays. We realized that Christmas spans 3 separate weekends before it is all over for us. We did Christmas with my Mom and step dad last weekend, and spent the weekend of Christmas with my in-law's. We had Christmas Eve dinner with them, Christmas morning with them, and then Christmas dinner with them. In all, it was a lot of driving and running around, but also a lot of fun.
My husband's family would best be described as stuffy. Their "living room" with the T.V and comfortable couch is a tiny nook in the corner of the house that is always cold. Their "sitting room" is a large space for entertaining with antique furniture and oriental carpets. When I asked his mother what we could bring for Christmas Eve dinner, we were requested to bring a "pureed root vegetable."
We ended up bringing a tropical mash (sweet potatoes, bananas, and coconut milk) to compliment the decadent meal of ham stuffed with mushrooms and pate, salmon with herbs, green beans with a chestnut cream sauce, and homemade rolls. In total there were 13 adults and 3 children.
My sister-in-law is the person I have the hardest time dealing with. She is extremely dramatic and LOVES attention. The fact that she has a 3-year old helps her to soak up more attention. Since she has been pregnant with him, it has been her excuse to get out of anything "I have a baby, I have a two-year old, etc." It's not that I want any of her attention, I just find her to be over-the-top about everything. So I have been feeling pretty crappy with this dry cough I can't seem to shake. I have tried cough medicine, the humidifier, cough drops, deep breaths, convincing myself it's not worth coughing, etc. and nothing seems to be working. When she heard me cough the first time she asked whether I was sick. I said it was just a little cough and she replied with "stay away from me, I don't want to get sick." Now I understand that most people were probably thinking this very same thing. The difference is, they didn't say it directly to me. When I returned to the kitchen a second time she looked to her mother and asked if there was any hand sanitizer that we could all pass around. Her fear and overreaction to sickness didn't stop there.
My husband's cousin came with her two boys and husband. Apparently their boys had been sick the previous week with a stomach bug and the husband a few days prior. My sister-in-law refused to eat the salmon dip they brought and was very vocal about not wanting to get sick from them. When the wife came down with the bug on Christmas morning her fear only increased (she immediately threw out the remaining dip). I have never felt so much collective anxiety over a cold or stomach bug.
Christmas morning was good with the exception of everyone getting extremely upset with me. My sister-in-law and her husband had Christmas morning at their house and then, like us, made the drive to her parents. I knew my nephew was getting a new bike for Christmas since his father had posted pictures on Facebook.
When I talked to Owen about what he got for Christmas he was mostly ignoring me. Being the first grandchild on each side I guess leads to a lot of self-direction and rude behavior on his part. He doesn't really listen to anyone when they talk to him and he is extremely bossy. Well, I made the mistake of asking if Santa came to his house and his mother started prompting him to tell me what Santa brought him. Looking under the tree at the in-law's there was no bike so I guess I assumed that he received it at home. Of course when asked what Santa brought him he barely listened and didn't respond. So I said "Did Santa bring you a new bike?" Holy crap did I get yelled at by his mother, father, great-grandmother and even my hubby! They were all like, "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST SAID THAT!!!!" How was I supposed to know that Santa only brought a few things earlier in the morning. The only good that came out of it all was that Owen wasn't remotely listening. So after being yelled at by everyone, we all moved on and continued to have a nice Christmas. I got a panini press I have been wanting and am super excited to use it.
My hubby got me a nice terry-cloth robe, a thermos, and a whole bunch of nice Smartwool socks. My hubby got a bunch of tools for the new house along with a workbench. He was very excited about it all. Our brother in law loved the Subway gift card we got him and I think we will have to repeat this one in the future. He is impossible to shop for because he always just buys himself whatever he wants.
For Christmas dinner we went to my husband's Aunt and Uncle's house along with a few additional people from the previous night. I really enjoy his cousin's husband and we both swap stories of my sister-in-law. As someone else who married into the family, he understands all too well. It is hard to imagine that my husband is related to her and that they were raised in the same household because they are SO different. We were able to go furniture shopping in their basement and are going to take this really neat antique couch for the foyer of our new house. My father in law has been trying to sell it to me since we moved into the new house but always referred to it as the "pink couch". In reality it is somewhat pink, but has all this ornate carved wood along the sides, top and bottom. I think it will look great in our house and maybe someday we could get it reupholstered.
One of the hardest parts of Christmas was everyone asking us what was new and what the next project on our house was going to be. When we first bought the house I was at the surgery part of all of this. I hadn't yet learned that my tubes were blocked. I thought my remaining savings after the down payment on the house could be used to update the bathroom or kitchen, I didn't realize it was all going to go towards IVF. It is hard when people ask specific questions and you don't know how to answer. We have decided not to tell anyone in either family about IVF. I think I am scared it won't work and I will have to explain that to everyone. In addition, it seems like they have all forgotten about everything that has happened (from the PCOS diagnosis, to the surgery for the cyst, to learning that my tubes were blocked.) It is amazing that just last night my Dad asked the first follow-up question, "How is everything with your fallopian tubes and all that?" All I said is that the cyst has returned and that it probably means future surgery.
I guess my husband had a dream the other night that we were meeting about IVF with our nurse and it happened to be all the mall and all of his family kept coming over and asking what we were talking about. It is hard to keep such a secret, but it seems like the best for now. I don't know what other people are going to say that could help. Unless you have been there yourself, it is hard to understand. I have debated telling my mother-in-law or father, but don't really think I will. I guess in a sense it means admitting that we aren't able to get pregnant by ourselves and need to spend a ton of money and time to do it (hopefully).