Priya Bradfield (priyabradfield) wrote,
Priya Bradfield

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"Our *memorable* Christmas" (OR "How Daddy Saved Christmas")

The night before Christmas the girls got cookies and milk ready for Santa. Maya put her letter to Santa next to the plate on their little table. Nadia was very excited about getting presents in the morning. She started pulling Chris into the bedroom to get her PJ's on. She *wanted* to go to bed! Chris read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to the girls before bedtime and they were tucked into bed by 8pm. Chris and I were up until about midnight getting all the presents wrapped and under the tree (and chatting with the usual suspects on the computer).

Ready! Ready!

All the presents are wrapped and waiting under the tree. Santa was here!
Our Christmas Scene Our Christmas Scene

Midnight on Christmas morning. I took this picture with all the apartment lights off, just the lights from the tree and the city outside our window.

The next morning the girls were up before 7am. Maya had to go to the bathroom and Chris teased her about not peeking at the tree before we were ready. Maya took him seriously and covered her eyes all the way to the bathroom, loudly proclaiming "I'm not peeking. I'm not peeking!" She was so cute!

I went into the living room and got my camera ready - and got the first shot of them coming out and spying the tree.


The moment on Christmas morning that the girls saw the tree and all the presents.

The first thing they did was go to the little table to see that Santa had indeed eaten the cookies and drank the milk. He left a couple of little presents there as a thank you. Nadia kept looking at the empty plate and cup and saying that Santa finished his milk and cookies. She seemed truly surprised by the fact, as if she couldn't believe that he actually ate her cookie (they left one cookie each).

After that, present opening ensued. Maya would find a present for Nadia and one for herself, then they would each open them.

Nadia seemed quite content to play with each gift after opening, rather than moving on. Maya was somewhere in between, except for Chris egging her on to open the next present. All the presents were opened by 10am.

The rest of the day the girls played with their toys, read their books, and watched some Avatar on TV. Chris and I just goofed around. Later in the early afternoon, we talked to Chris' parents on the phone while Chris was setting up Maya's new digital camera (a gift from her grandparents). I had given him a 512MB card to use in it - it was empty and I had reformatted it. In the card reader already was the 1GB card which had all the video and the pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas morning - I was about to sit down and edit and upload them.

Can you see the disastrous road we are headed down?

Yup, somehow, in the midst of talking to Chris' parents and trying to set up the camera, Chris managed to mix up the cards. I did not realize this until about 5pm, when I finally was able to sit down to check out the video and pictures. I had told both my parents and Chris' parents that we'd have the pictures up soon for them to see. So, I figured while Chris was getting dinner ready, I'd get started. I think I must have loaded and reloaded that card a half dozen times before that sick feeling finally sunk in. I tried so hard not to just explode at Chris. I went into the kitchen and calmly told him that all the pictures and videos were gone from the card and that I think he must have mixed up the cards for Maya's camera because the only picture I could find on the 1GB card was the test one he took of me with Maya's new camera!

I sat at the kitchen table with my head in my hands, trying hard not to cry or to yell at him for being such a dummy. And beating myself up for not hovering over him as I usually do. ;-) I was just so upset at the prospect of pictures from Nadia's first real Christmas, the first one where she got the idea of Santa Clause and of presents. Of losing the video of her telling us how she left a cookie and milk for Santa so he can "bing me peasants!". I was trying not to think of all the little details that I would not remember because I did not have pictures to remind me of those moments. I am very much a picture person - I take 100s of pictures of every event. The beauty of digital, as I don't have to develop them all, but I have them to look at again and again (which I do - I will every-so-often just rifle through my archives of pictures and wonder at how time has passed).

While I was sitting there, Chris had this look of "Oh shit, I really fucked up this time, didn't I?" on his face. But also one of quiet determination - as if he could fix what happened.

And my amazing man set about to do just that.

He finished up dinner and sat at my computer to Google recovery software. He found a couple online that would scan the card. I had some hope, but fighting it so that I wouldn't be too disappointed when it didn't work out (boy, when did I become such a pessimist?). I actually didn't want to hope because we had formatted the drive - what could possibly be left? When the program that he tried said that it found about 200 files, I REALLY tried not to get excited. We quickly paid the $49 it cost to download the full program that would actually recover the files it found, downloaded the program and Chris got it working on the card.

While it was doing its thing, we had dinner and proceeded to get the kids into bed. After it finished, I crossed my fingers as we opened up the folder. I think the final number was 191 files, but out of that, we recovered 123 actual pictures. No video though. I was bummed about that, but extremely happy that we recovered a lot of pictures.

And that's how Daddy saved Christmas. For Mommy.
Tags: changing traditions, chris, homesick, maya, memories, nadia, pictures, priya, traditions, xmas
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