As I think I’ve mentioned before, Epiphany has always been as important a holiday as Christmas with my family. We go to midnight mass, have a big dinner, get stocking stuffed and gifts from Santa on Christmas; but Epiphany is when we exchange gifts with each other.

This year was a bit more subdued than some previous years have been. My sister, still recovering from pneumonia was sleeping about 18 out of every 24 hours, my brother Tim had to work and also was slammed with some nasty flu bug. But we did manage to all gather that Sunday to spend a day relaxing as a family. I love the feeling when both of my brothers and my sister and I are home. There’s a different dynamic when it’s all four of us, though I’m hard pressed to find words to express it.

Isabella loved all the attention from her grandparents, her uncles and her aunt and they were completely smitten with her. it’s a very different scene than gatherings on the Bettinelli side where she is just one more kid in the herd, well-loved and appreciated but by no means the center of adult attention.

My family tends to be very laid-back about exchanging presents. We always sit down at some point during the day (It gets later every year.) and have a massive present opening; but we never really stress about finding the perfect gift. Not everyone gives a present to everyone else every year. No one keeps score. We just enjoy giving when we find (or make) something we think another will like and we don’t worry if we come to the party empty-handed.

The best present we opened this year was from Tim, the artist. He drew a lovely portrait of Dom, Bella and I, with elements taken from a couple of different photographs. I’ll have to try to scan it in so I can post it. I also got some books from my wish list, some of my favorite chocolates, and a few other thoughtful odds and ends.

But really the best gift of all was time spent with my family. The yearly scrabble game in which I once again reigned supreme (though by a very, very close margin) was the perfect closer to a perfect day. I love my family and wish we didn’t live so far away.

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  • She reacted the same way when we went to the hospital to visit my mother-in-law before Christmas, screaming as soon as we entered the hospital corridor. I’m not sure if it’s the look of the hallway with all the doors leading off into exam rooms, a smell, or what…. At her last two visits to the pediatrician she didn’t get any shots. I’m afraid she has a very long memory. But I’m hopeful that it will get better eventually, especially as she accompanies me to the many appointments the new baby will require.

    It did also occur to me that perhaps there’s some lingering memory of our hospital visit when I had the miscarriage last year. That was a pretty traumatic day for all of us.


  • Cecilia shares two of those. She likes elevators esp. when she gets to push the buttons. But vacuums and doctor’s office are still pretty evil to her. And not just her doctor’s office….she doesn’t like my OB/GYN’s office either – she gets scared of what they might be doing to mommy and gets upset when I can’t hold her while we are there.

    We have thought of bringing Cecilia to one of Felicity’s dr. visits since nothing would happen to Cecilia then, but she already gets so upset when Felicity cries and, as she is getting shots, we weren’t sure how well Cecilia would handle it or if it would be worth it.

  • Oh that’s something I hadn’t thought of… distress over the baby getting shots.

    My OB was very nice and let Bella sit up next to me on the exam table while she was examining me.

  • Poor Bella!  At least, though, she has now been to one doctor’s visit when nothing at all was done to her!  That was crucial for my little one, and she is much less fearful now.  smile