Monday, December 29, 2008

It's 12:55am. Do you know where my sheep are?

So.  It's nearly 1:00 in the morning.  And I am very, very awake.  Not very happy about it, either.

This holiday season, it's not been one for the ages.  Don't get me wrong -- in a lot of ways it's been lovely.  Sara, I am convinced, had the Best Christmas Ever (until next year!) and that's really all that mattered to me.  So in the end I suppose I should count this a success.


Well, she threw up Christmas Eve (her first real emesis -- cool!) and that really threw us all for a loop.  My grandmother has spent the past two holidays in one sort of healthcare facility or another and, though I would not have had it any other way, I'd really rather spend Christmas day at the farm than in the rehab unit at the Four Seasons.  To top it off, I've been under the weather myself for the better part of two weeks.  I'm getting tired of it if you'd really like to know the truth.  Sleeping proves tricky when you can't breathe, and waking up gasping for air has been commonplace the last few nights.

But then again at least I was asleep, right?

I had been looking forward to five days away from work, enjoying the freedom to hang with my daughter and get out & about with the family.  Instead?  Haven't left the house since Christmas day.  And when I finally do, it will be to go back to work in seven short hours.


I did, however, get to spend a little quality time with the seed catalogues today.  And while to the untrained eye my back yard looks like little more than a mud pit housing several large earth-movers & a cement mixer -- set off quite nicely by a large, silty pool I might add -- to me it is nothing but potential.  I am having to remind myself that perhaps I shouldn't try to install EVERY new plant this year.  (I am also having to remind myself that, at the rate construction has been going, those large earth-movers and the cement mixer might still be here this summer.)  Still, the thought of new raised beds for square-foot gardening is giving me a thrill, not to mention imagining a cutting garden that will keep us in flowers half the year.  And I'm even dreaming of some berry bushes.

Day-dreaming, naturally.  Because did I mention?  I'M STILL AWAKE.

Yep, yep I am.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Ah, the holidays!

It's about 12:30am on Christmas morning.  Sara got to sleep at about midnight, after tossing & turning and coughing and vomiting and bathing and tossing & turning some more.  She has a lovely rash and sounds, well -- horrible.

My Christmas cards?  They arrived via FedEx today.  So be on the lookout for your post-holiday Merry Christmas from the Gunns real soon.  (I've never ordered cards from Snapfish before and likely won't again -- these were supposed to be picked up in the store.  Grrrr.)

Santa is hard at work assembling his toys for the big unveiling in just a few hours...  He sure does use a lot of packing material.  Must be a bumpy ride all the way from the North Pole.

But before you leave here thinking I'm nothing but a Grinch, I have to say that in many ways this has been an especially lovely Christmas.  I wish Sara wasn't sick for so many reasons, but among them is that I don't want her first "real" Christmas to be spoiled by an unforgiving bug.  It has been so much fun watching her experience all of what will become our family traditions for the first time:  learning about Santa, singing carols every night together in bed, taking drives to look at all of the pretty lights, making cookies for the big guy -- she has loved it all.  She believes, and if you want to know the truth I believe a little bit, too.

I miss my parents but they are still here, living in many of our rituals.  There's an apple in every stocking and Santa still doesn't wrap his presents.  We'll have our grandmother's coffee cake in the morning and, hopefully, still make a trip down to Columbus to see Grammy.  And in the midst of all of this is the joy of seeing that little face anticipate, imagine, and wonder.  It's really the most fun I've had in a lot of Christmases and is probably the best gift I'll get this year.  I think now I understand why my parents never cared so much about the presents they received but still counted this time as the best of the year.  

They were right.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Saunter on over to...

... Sara's blog for some really lousy outstanding pictures from her gymnastics demonstration last week. I'm not sure how Miss Jeanie does it week after week, but God love her for it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Please answer in the form of a question

I'm pretty sure that Sara is destined to be a Jeopardy! champion, because EVERY FREAKING THING SHE SAYS IS A QUESTION.

Here, a transcript in real time:

Are they fixing my house?
But why do they fix it?
How many naps until school?
You don't?
Can you get my circles and my star for me?
Why am I driving you crazy?
Is it funny?
Why isn't it funny, Mama?
But why?
Are you laughing Mama?
What did you see?
What are you doing?
Mama, what are you doing?
I'm killing you?
What is he gonna do?
Why's he gonna fix the house?
Gramp isn't here?
What did you say (sigh) for?


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Best. Thing. Ever.

The only thing to make me laugh during the past fever, chills, stomach-cramp filled 24 hours:

Keep spraying to get to the King... you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Just moments before the time out:

Rob:  Sara Hope, don't grab the kitty!
(Sara grabs the kitty)
Rob:  Sara!  What did I tell you?!
Sara:  Don't grab the kitty.
Rob: What did you do?!
Sara:  I grab the kitty.
Rob:  Why??
Sara:  Because I grabbed him.

And you know, you really can't argue with that.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I just wrote up this whole post about a story that simultaneously breaks my heart and turns my stomach, and how I don't understand why the writer feels at all apologetic about her opinion on the matter.

And then I promptly archived it because I didn't want to offend anyone.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Close to home

I work for one of the largest employers in my state.  A few weeks ago, during my weekly meeting with our department's director, I was told that our organization was going to have to cut costs by 5% across the board but that "at this point, no lay offs are anticipated."

Well, at this point, they are.

My husband read me the headline from the newspaper this morning.  Because we are a hospital system they are not eliminating positions involved in direct patient care but are instead cutting personnel in "white collar" positions.

Did I mention that earlier this year I went from a clinical to an administrative postion?  Yes, yes I did.

I'm not anticipating a pink slip, though perhaps that is naive on my part.  Going forward I suspect that I am going to witness a lot of things I never thought I'd see as this economic situation continues to unfold.  In reality, I already have -- I had never personally known of families whose financial security was rocked by job loss, and now I knew several.  Rob's desire to own a piece of land and buy a few chickens is starting to look a lot more appealing.  "Farmers don't starve," he says.   I suppose he's right.

Earlier today we three adults, sharing this charming little two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow with one very active almost-three-year-old, had pretty much had enough with each other.  It's easy to step on toes, make bad assumptions, or just stop caring about who you piss off when you're constantly running into someone.  But I'm reminding myself now that I need to remember how very lucky I am.  I have a job.  I'm healthy.  We live in a safe neighborhood, in a nice house, with hot water and cold ice and piles of warm blankets.  We're blessed to own our homes without the burden of a monthly mortgage payment.  We have insurance, safe & reliable cars and a full pantry.  I'm throwing a Tinkerbell birthday party tomorrow and I'm not worried about whether or not it's a luxury I can afford to spend on my favorite very active almost-three-year-old.

It's clear to me now, as I watch my employer start to make those cuts that just a few weeks ago they "didn't anticipate," that all of this could very easily go away.  Just a couple of years ago this would have kept me up at night, worrying about rent and student loans and a baby on the way.  Now, life has changed -- quite a lot actually -- and my perspective is a bit different.  But still I wonder:  What would we do?  

Buy a few chickens, I guess.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Wonder Years

Somehow, in a blink, my baby is gone.  I miss her to be sure, but my consolation is this wonder-filled little girl.  And oh my word -- do I love her.

She spent all night talking about Santa, asking if he would drive here, or if he would ride in our car, and if he would bring his bag.  And she would help him with his bag!  She would hold it for him!  And could he come to her birthday party?  And she would take her soft soft Tinkerbell blanket to the "Nerf Pole" so she could see him.  And why was he making toys?  And will it be Christmas after she takes a wiwwy good nap?

Many times over the last week I've found myself seeing Sara through my mom's eyes.  This isn't new.  It's overwhelming but nice, somehow allowing me to imagine that Mom really isn't missing out on these moments:  wide, shining eyes as her birthday cake is placed in front of her; eager anticipation of a visit from Santa; the tiniest bear hugs you can imagine and "I wuf you so so much."  Truly, I want to burst.

Sara is just now beginning to see the wonder in everything, and I am lucky enough to see it again too thanks to her.  Maybe this is why Mom loved Christmas so much -- an annual gift of wonder, the kind you only get from a child.