Our second Christmas with Missy has passed; such a long build up and then, whoosh, it's done.
It was lovely to see Missy far more excited this year about Christmas, about Santa coming, about receiving presents, about making mince pies and, well, Christmas in general. Santa brought her, as requested, a cat onesie and a big dolls house full of furniture and people (my mega-find on ebay!). Daddy and Mummy got her a bike and a few other presents, alongside the mountain she got from other friends and family.
For the first time ever Missy visited a church, first of all to attend the Christingle Service and then the Crib Service on Christmas Eve. I think she liked it. I certainly did.
On Christmas morning a very excited Missy was in our bedroom at 4.06am and then again at 4.30am. I managed to get her off to sleep again and then we actually had to wake her up at 7.50am so we could all go downstairs and see what Santa had left.
My Mum stayed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day nights and spent a lot of time with Missy. Missy loves her grandmas -she also spent a lot of time on Daddy's mum's knee when we went to visit his family for a few days. Interestingly, previously when our families have been around, Missy hasn't screamed or shouted, but this time she certainly exhibited some less than festive behaviour - I suppose in a perverse way we should see this as positive as Missy is now beginning to feel comfortable enough with them to be herself and express her feelings.
The weekend before Christmas I was ill, completely off my food for nearly four days - thankfully my appetite was almost back to normal by Christmas Day. However, since then I've had bronchitis and have been coughing like a mad thing. This past year I've been ill so many times which just goes to show how stressed I've been. That's one thing I really need to change in 2014. My diet has been dreadful this last year and that will definitely change.
Another lovely thing this Christmas was sitting down and watching films. Last year Missy couldn't hold her attention long enough and was constantly up and down and asking what was going on. This year however we've all thoroughly enjoyed sitting and watching Polar Express, White Christmas, The Jungle Book, It's a Wonderful Life, Gangsta Granny to name but a few. Mary Poppins is on in half an hour and I'm pretty sure Missy will like it.
We've only had a couple of big meltdowns in the last two weeks which is great. Yes, we've had tantrums, strops and the word 'No' is the most used word in Missy's vocabulary, but on the whole, all things considered with the lack of school routine, visiting Daddy's sister's house for the first time, excitement of Santa coming, food anxieties etc, it's been an ok Christmas I reckon. For me, it's been made all the better by having Daddy home full time too.
Looking back over the year, it's been a heck of a ride and I'm looking forward to a calmer 2014. There's still lots we have to learn about therapeutic parenting; I'd give us 5/10 this year. We need to learn to not sweat the small stuff far more than we do, not to take things personally (most times we don't but there's only so much verbal abuse one can take), we need to empathise more, accept more and learn how to deal better with situations so as to diffuse them rather than escalate them. But we're doing ok. We're still here. We haven't imploded and ended up a chocolately sticky mess on the floor. Daddy and I need to get out more too, get a bit of life back for ourselves.
Right, time for Mary Poppins. I wonder what she'd be like as an adoptive parent?