I’m happy today. I really am despite the fact that I laid on my bed and bawled uncontrollably this morning–full on stomach lurching, body shaking, eyes swelling–an ugly cry to the utmost degree. After hours of packing last night and a heap of suitcases, bags and bins of presents next to the front door ready to be loaded up this morning, we decided to stay home. Yes…we. For the first time, I really feel unselfish–like I did something for Brett because I love him despite what everything inside me told me I wanted to do. I wanted to go to Michigan so badly–to spend Christmas Eve surrounded by family, to bundle up and sit next to my dad’s fireplace on Christmas morning with Karen Carpenter singing “Merry Christmas, Darling” in the distance while the cinnamon scent from the rolls in the oven wafts through the air and the cold snow falls silently behind the window. Don’t laugh…it’s not a storybook…it’s what it’s really like in Michigan every Christmas–magic. I had every outfit for Lainey picked out from the red plaid dress she was going to wear at my brother’s on Christmas Eve to the new green Fair Isle cardigan for Christmas morning. But, circumstances prevailed. Brett’s in the middle of selling his business, and the stress overcame him this morning as he painfully admitted that leaving for a big trip in the midst of all of this was going to put him over the edge. The word “heart attack” was mentioned, if I recall. I could have cried and told him this was too important to me and that it would kill me not to go. That’s true, but what is more true is that I love him, I love our family, and I want what is best for us regardless of how sad I am. So, instead, I cried and told him I thought it was best for us to stay. Now, I have to make the best of it. I could easily sulk and dwell on what I’m missing, but I’m not going to. For the first time, I am the matriarch of the Christmas traditions…I get to choose how we are going to do this. I will make cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning and play Karen Carpenter’s “Merry Christmas, Darling.” I will spray fake snow on the windows and tell the kids we are in Michigan. I will light a fire and choose to be happy. It’s Lainey’s first Christmas, and it WILL be magical. So, for now, I unpack and do things that make me happy, like take pictures of Lainey.

The day after Christmas, I will go to Michigan for three days with Lainey to do a quick Christmas with my family. And, I just bought my mom a ticket to come spend Christmas with us. I am choosing to be happy.

Bassinets, Crawling and Procrastination for $100, Alex

Lainey has a beautiful crib. From the day we had it set up, both Brett and I said we wish we could sleep in it. The thing is, she still sleeps next to our bed in a bassinet made for a newborn, her 25-inch body fast approaching the state where holes will need to be drilled into the ends of the bassinet. Seeing as the bassinet will soon be passed to Baby Hutcheson, that’s not an option to consider. And, it’s not that she won’t sleep in her crib–she’s a beautiful sleeper and would easily make it all night in a box in the garage if she had to (she won’t…don’t worry). It’s us. I pull the bassinet right up to the edge of my bed so there’s nothing to separate me from watching her little sleeping chest go up and down, hearing her little breath if it’s quiet enough, holding her little warm hand as I fall asleep. When we went to Rockford for vacation when she was three months, we both vowed that we would move her to the crib when we returned. Didn’t happen. And now, at seven months, I think it’s time. I actually said to Brett last night, “Want to try the crib tonight?” and was shocked when he answered, “Not yet. Maybe when we get back.” See! It’s not just me. Just a little longer.
Speaking of not moving on, our sweet little baby girl seems to defy all the baby books and does things on her own times. I actually called the doctor once because I thought she had something wrong with her when she didn’t recognize she had something called hands after five weeks when the book said to expect it. So, it comes as no surprise to us that she has absolutely no interest in anything to do with crawling, scooting or mobilizing herself in any way to get to a toy out of her reach. Can’t reach it? No problem. She’ll find something else to play with. However (yay!), I actually captured a pseudo-crawl position last night followed quickly by the face-to-the-carpet position you see here.

And, as far as procrastination goes, let’s just say I think I’m going to pull this whole packing/cleaning/prepare for trip thing off. I always leave things to the last minute, but I always manage to succeed. I’m gettin’ close. Now, I just have to finish the twenty-minute family Christmas DVD, burn 14 copies, pack 4 suitcases and wrap some presents. I think I can do it!