Sorry its been more than a week since my last post, but it has been one heck of a week. My in-laws came for Thanksgiving and stayed through Sunday. I realized that I have somehow managed to lose my charger for my digital SLR camera, and I have looked EVERYWHERE. Monday I had to fast for a procedure that I had on Tuesday, and the husband switched back to 3rd shift (that's right, after a full 4 weeks on 1st shift, they have now rotated him to 3rd). Also on Monday, we had to take the nearly 8 year old to the doctor about her swollen knee, and ultimately had to take her for an MRI where we discovered that she had a torn meniscus. Tuesday, I had a procedure all morning and spent the afternoon in the bed. Wednesday and Thursday were normal craziness made a little nuttier by the addition of Vicodin, and then Friday happened.
On Friday, the 2 oldest went to school like always, but I knew that I had to pick up Bella to take her to the orthopedic surgeon later that afternoon. Now, in an attempt to expedite this process in the hopes that whatever needed to be done for her knee could be handled before January 1st when the insurance resets and out huge deductible starts over, I agreed to take her to the doctor's OTHER office. The main office is in Fort Worth, about 20 minutes away. The "other " office is in Hurst. I had no idea where Hurst was exactly, but according to Mapquest, it was about 35 minutes away and I said that it was worth it. Her appointment was at 2:45, so I planned to check her out of school about 1:30 (just in case) and to give us plenty of time to get there and complete any necessary paperwork and such. (I really wanted to fool this new doctor's office into thinking that I was a super-responsible parent and not the slacker that I really am). So with the younger 2 in tow, I got to the school and signed out my daughter. We got about 10 minutes away from the school when they called to let me know that the oldest had just thrown up all over the place. (He was supposed to go home with his best friend). Soooo, we turned around and went back to the school to get him, putting us off our schedule by nearly 30 minutes. Then, turns out that Mapquest's 35 minute estimate was off by at least 10 minutes and there was Friday afternoon traffic to contend with so we were pushing it to get there on-time, and we ended up being about 5 minutes late. Oh well, better to not give the office any false hope of future performance on my part.
The doctor informed us that her meniscus in her knee is malformed, and that is probably why it tore. It is supposed to be a thin C-shaped thing under her kneecap but hers is a thick disc. They will have to do a laproscopic procedure to go in and trim away the excess of the disc and make it the C-shape that it is supposed to be. The thickness of it cannot be fixed. And her other knee, that isn't torn (yet) has the same malformity. They will not do anything to it unless it also tears someday. The problem is, that many children who need orthopedic surgeries schedule it for the 2 weeks at the end of the year when school is already out, so we won't know until Monday if they can get us in before the end of the year or not. If they CAN fit her in, then we cannot go home to Alabama for Christmas because it would be bad to try to make her ride in a car for 13 hours. If they cannot fit us in, then she will have to have the surgery after the first of the year when our deductible starts over and the surgery will cost us about $1,500 MORE than it will before the end of the year, and we really shouldn't spend the money that it would take to make the 1,500 mile round trip to go home for Christmas.
So we will be having our first Christmas in Texas.
If you read my post from before Thanksgiving, you know that I have not decorated for Christmas in 5 years. Not since Christmas 2006, before we moved here from Georgia. We moved over the Holidays in 2007, so I did not put up a tree that year. I have/had a very nice artificial tree. It has been in a box for 5 years. We will most likely have to replace it. We have lights and ornaments, but the lights probably don't work anymore. We figure that we are going to have to spend about $300 to make this happen. But creating that Christmas vibe that my kids are used to having from the decorations at their grandparents homes is worth it.
In addition to having to worry about the safety of my child as she undergoes the knee surgery, the major medical bills that will be coming regardless of when the surgery happens, and all of the hassle of having toun-wrapped presents from Santa, eat our traditional Christmas morning breakfast pizza, settle into the den around the tree with fresh cups of coffee to watch as everyone rips into the 5 gazillion wrapped presents under the tree. As soon as that madness is over, we get dressed and drive the 6 or 7 miles to my husband's parents house where the cycle repeats. Santa must be confused because he also leaves my kids stockings over there. Then there are 500 more presents from Grandma and Papa Raffy, and we eat again -- a huge spread of ham, rice, green beans, and tons of other stuff, followed by a traditional Puerto Rican Flan for dessert. At some point after Christmas Day, we travel south to Tuscaloosa where we spend the day with my great-aunt Martha. No presents at this feast, but what a feast. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash casserole, green beans, fresh rolls, and at least one dessert choice per person -- sugar cookies that melt on your tongue, moist oatmeal raisin cookies, red velvet cake, chocolate pie, pecan pie, lemon meringue pie, hot fruit compote, pumpkin pie, and at least one other type of cookie, cake or pie to choose from. I usually gain about 5 pounds over the Christmas holidays.
But I will miss all of that this year.
To add insult to injury, other than the purchases I made here on Small Business Saturday, I ordered all of our Christmas presents online....and shipped them to Alabama. I decided that it would be easier than trying to hide them here for weeks and pack them into the car without being seen with the kids. Craptastic. I guess that is what happens when I try to be efficient and plan ahead.
And I cannot let my incredibly sensitive daughter know how sad it makes me to be missing out on my Alabama Christmas because she already feels like not going to Alabama is her fault thanks to her incredibly insensitive big brother who said "Thanks a lot Bella" when we informed our kids that we will not be making the trip "home."
So today we are getting ready to go out and find our Holiday Cheer, and I find myself wishing that some of those Facebook friends who finished decorating their houses and doing all of their Christmas shopping right after Halloween were here to help me.
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