In the days leading up to Christmas, people often said things like "It must be great to have all those kids on Christmas!" Or, "Wow, Christmas in your house must really be something!" It is great to have "all those kids" on Christmas (and the other 364 days of the year!) and this year, our Christmas really was something. Something like this.

It started at 5:15AM because little Mac couldn't find his "Wawa" and was wailing like a madman. That smelly, soggy "Wawa", as it turns out, was right underneath him the whole time. With that crisis solved, we sighed, rolled over and said a prayer that we would fall back asleep until sunrise. No such luck.

At 5:30, Liam appeared in our room. You might think he was there because of the excitement of Christmas and anticipation of opening his gifts but alas, that was not the case. As it turned out, the reason for his pre-dawn appearance was a bloody nose. A very bloody nose.

It was about 6:00 when that nose stopped bleeding and Ciara got up to pee... and ask if it was time to open presents yet. This reminded Liam that it was indeed Christmas and started the frenzied repetition of "Did Santa come? Can we go downstairs? Did Santa come? Can we go downstairs? Did Santa come?" You get the idea.

We managed to hold them at bay until about 7:30, which was no easy task. Liam and Ciara took a peek downstairs and scampered back up announcing, as if with a megaphone, that "Santa came! Santa CAME! SANTA CAME!" These whoops of joy awoke the triplets -- all of whom, until then, had been peacefully slumbering with their respective WaWas.

What happened in the next two hours is unclear. Perhaps because my husband and I were so tired, we couldn't see straight -- not to mention the fact that it was especially hard to see through the flying gift wrap, bubble wrap, boxes and tissue paper that blew across our living room much like last year's Christmas blizzard blew across the Northeast. It is also possible that our memories of the gargantuan gift opening are vague because our camera batteries died at roughly 7:32, just as the kids were coming down the stairs. I'm not sure how it happened, but Christmas Day dawned without a single AA battery to be found in the Lyons Den; next year, I'm putting batteries on my list for Santa!

At around 10:00, we were putting away dishes from our Christmas Eve dinner and getting ready for breakfast; as I reached up to get the silver chest out of a cabinet, a stack of dessert plates came careening down onto my head, shattering on the floor around me. Needless to say, this just about shattered my Christmas spirit. And, my scalp.

With that mess cleaned up and pancakes and bacon on the table, we all enjoyed a merry breakfast. All of us except Ciara, who suddenly looked flushed, dazed and confused. Out of nowhere, the poor girl spiked a fever of 102 and was whisked off to bed. Where she slept for two hours. Leaving me to wonder, "any chance I could spike a fever and get a two hour nap out of the deal?!"

By around 1:30, Ciara was up (and pumped up with Tylenol) and we went over the river and through the woods (well, over the river, anyway!), to my parents house, where we had a truly wonderful time. It was a remarkable, memorable and magical Christmas with generations of family visiting and exchanging gifts. It was really very Norman Rockwell. The fire was crackling, the music was playing, the kids weren't fighting, it was all good. Very good. And very much the way Christmas should be.

Of course, this little reverie was abruptly broken when we returned home; Declan had a fit because he couldn't find his Hexbugs, Kevin peed on the rug and a quick glance in the mirror informed me that I received a zit the size of Texas for Christmas. Oh well. Such is life. And I will take it. All of it. The good, the bad, and the merry. Because really, on Christmas and every other day of the year, life with "all those kids" will undoubtedly have ample bits of good, bad and merry. And I, for one, wouldn't have it any other way.