Now that the holidays are behind us, I’ve had some time to reflect upon coping with the juggle of increased social commitments, shopping, and travel. Though it was hard and I was often sleep deprived, I am happy I pushed myself to finish the holiday projects. In the end, I was happy to create memories with Kermit.
Timing of the holiday demands was not ideal. Kermit started solid feeds right before Thanksgiving and so did his teething. He would not tolerate anything near his gums and went on a hunger strike from Thanksgiving to Christmas, resulting in a decrease in his growth development and a stern talk from the pediatrician to double his milk volume and increase solid feeds to three times daily. In her exact words, “make a valiant effort.”
I attempted to feed him every 2-3 hours throughout the day and night. Kermit was not happy with the early morning feeds because he would always rather sleep. At one point, to my dog’s dismay, he learned that screaming his high pitch cries was most effective. During this time, Kermit was evaluated for the Early Intervention Program in New York which comprised of a series of 3 scheduled meetings with a service coordinator, developmental and occupational therapist, and a physical therapist. On top of these activities, I needed to plan a 3 month move to the west coast and pack up our New York home by early January. When time was a valuable commodity, I found myself wishing there were more hours in the day.
To accommodate all the meetings and holiday dinners, I learned to schedule Kermit’s meetings (doctor’s visits, evaluations, and play visits) in the morning. Social dinners were scheduled early so I could return home to Kermit and administer his feeds when he was more amenable to eat. Solid feedings were given routinely after he woke up and diligently every 3-4 hours afterwards. All shopping, holiday gifts and grocery, was done online. Organizing and packing was completed when everybody else in the house slept.
I remember making the conscious decision sometime in early December to forego the Christmas tree and holiday cards. I was too exhausted. I thought I was at peace with this decision but was haunted by the nagging thought, “Kermit’s First Christmas.” The voice in my head got louder and louder every time I went to the mailbox filled with holiday cards or opened my email and received discounts from online card makers.
By mid- December, I resolved to pull a few all-nighters to get what needed to be done. I kept telling myself, “I can do this.” The holiday card including a series of 12 photos was completed in one night and it took another 3 nights of compiling everybody’s current addresses. Decorations were purchased online. I broke my personal vow not to pay for express shipping. Thank goodness I did or else everybody would have received a card in mid January instead of December 26.
It makes me smile when I go to a friend’s house/ apartment and see our card hanging on their wall or when we receive compliments from our friends. I feel like our card served as a conversation starter among our peripheral friends, too. It was so nice to catch up with them. Mostly, I am so glad I have something to show Kermit when he gets older.
A little bit of effort goes a long way.