Inspite of the timing with Emily, we had a special time in Minnesota. I haven't been home in a year and half so it was wonderful to see the extended family and be with friends. The cousins have all grown a bunch so it's nice to see them regularly. We have been so loved by family and friends during this difficult time with Emily that it was nice to be able say how much we appreciate their support in person.
My family does Christmas Eve. Mom made fabulous Chicken Kiev and Chicken cordon bleu. We played the dice game, went to a candlelight service at Balsam Bible Chapel, and the kids got presents from the grandparents.
Christmas day the kids and I headed for the hospital to be with Emily and dad. Jeff and Kim and their families stopped by to meet the newest niece in the afternoon. I know it took time away from being with their extended families but I appreciated it VERY much. I had been so disappointed earlier that I wasn't sure they'd have an opportunity to meet her. Of course, it isn't quite the same meeting a puking kid or a well one but that couldn't be helped. The room was a big one so the kids were able to play with their loot without feeling like they were sitting on each other's heads. The highlight of the day for me was when Davis announced as we were leaving, "Thank you, dad and mom, for the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER." Obviously cafeteria food and the hospital room didn't cramp his style too much. It actually was a pretty nice day.
Wednesday morning Emily was released from the hospital after doing her usual quick turnaround. We spent a few more hours hanging around mom and dad's trying to time our return to avoid bad weather through Indianapolis and Columbus. It gave us the opportunity to show her off a little and let her unwrap some gifts. She loves it. She now thinks that every gift is hers to open.
Emily decided that we were getting off too easy and made the first eleven hours of the trip home a nightmare. She screamed a phantom-of-the-opera scream repeatedly for most of the first four hours. As her voice began to give out she switched to crying. She cried until 3:30 in the morning. Lucky for her the car had no eject button. She was about as popular as a root canal without novocaine on your birthday.
We arrived home safely last night...with Emily...with no one in straight jackets.