2012 really went out with a bang. After hosting a wonderful Christmas celebration at home on the 29th with all of my siblings, their children and my parents (equaling 50+ people total...no joke) I had more leftovers and laundry than I ever I knew I could have existed. We used every towel, sheet, blanket, and roll of toilet paper in the house. It was an incredible time and you could tell by the 20+ black garbage bags at the end of my driveway the morning they left. As all big families do, we spend a lot of time eating, drinking and telling each other how much we appreciate them...no seriously, we do. We went around the crowded living room of my house after a big Christmas dinner sharing all that we were thankful for. My response wasn't as deep as everyone expected. I had said "I'm thankful that dinner was a hit and now over". If I could take it back I would say that I was thankful for the time we spend together and that we have all made a very big effort to live close to each other, support each other and listen to each other. Of all ten siblings and my parents, we all live within an hour or two or as close as 15 minutes away. My one sister lives in South Carolina but I suspect she'll end up back in the great sunshine state eventually. When big bad things happen in families, like they did with the loss of my brother and sister years ago, it really forces you to evaluate what's important and it's not something you can articulate too well. You just want to be close physically and spiritually. Most of us have gone great lengths to be together...like Ginger spending less than a year in Iowa, Michelle spending less than 2 years in North Carolina...and those stories are just a few examples.
So now we're on day 4 of leftovers and my kids are starting to whine. How many versions of turkey and ham can you really invent night after night? Turkey sandwiches, ham sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey tetrazini, ham omlettes...you get the picture. Tonight it will just be plain old ham OR turkey along with baked potatoes and leftover casserole...for the kids. Scott and I will be dining at Outback. Tomorrow night will be what my dear cousin calls "Fridge on Parade"...you see something you like, eat it up! This is a picture of the main fridge in the kitchen. The fridge in the garage is just as packed. I yell at everyone who opens it to be careful of falling objects!
I even made an appointment with a therapist for my dear Ava for her ongoing eating disorder. There is nothing more stressful or frustrating than a child that will not eat. She had gotten a little better before the holidays but now her eating has taken a nose dive into just plain awful. She has never finished a meal in under two hours. She holds foods in her cheeks and refuses to swallow. We've had her completely checked out by doctors and other than the previous infestation of parasites that are now gone, there's nothing physically wrong with her...just mentally. I'm hearing all over the news "What are we going to do about the mental health of our children?". I just want to scream each time as I yell at the TV! Make counseling more accessible and more affordable to families!!!! Educate them on the warning signs and be proactive to help these kids!!! That would be a start. Until you've gone down the path that we have, you would never understand the high cost of mental health care and insurance does not cover it!!! So, we will do the right thing and get Ava the care she needs for as long as it takes. It's the right thing to do. We're not even gauranteed results in the end, but we'll still take the leap of faith that it will help to some degree. The good news is that we know the main counselor of this practice and they are very good at what they do...so, we're in good hands.
Well, time to get ready for my "big night out" to Outback...woohoo!