Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Bug, and other things

What a month!!

I did get most of this week off (which was by no means certain, what with all the impeachyness going around at work), and have loved every moment of it!

I was ready for the Big Day wayyyyyy beforehand, which was wonderful, and yet still managed to be up until 1:30 the night before doing things I just forgot about, or didn't plan well enough for. Bread, it turns out, takes 2 hours to rise whether you're in a hurry or not. Huh.

We had pulled back on the reins HARD this year -- everyone got the one item they wanted more than anything, and then some little stuff, but we spent less total than we ever have. I'm particularly proud of the bargaining and haggling. I feel like I made out like a bandit this year.

Christmas was a blast. We had ours at home, then went to the Pike County family for lunch and such -- we did soup and sandwiches this year, with desserts, and it was really great. Much lower maintenance. I'm a big fan.

We wrapped it all up, and came home. Glen got a bit carsick-y on the way, but we made it home and everyone went to bed. About midnight, he came in and told us he had a belly ache, and couldn't sleep, and could he please lay down with us for a bit? We said sure, and dozed off a bit, and within 5 minutes...... the Merry Christmas Flu arrived!! Wheeeee!

He threw up in my hair, on my pillow, on my pajamas, sheets, blankets, ....

ohhhhh, uck. (At least he was facing me, and not dad).

Those who say that humans can't levitate have never had a 7-year old throw up in their bed. Seven-year-olds don't throw up "cute".

We tossed him in the shower, and stripped the bed like a well-trained navy seal team. Tossed the ick sheets in the very hot, very bleachy washing machine. Bleached the (plastic, we're not fools) mattress cover, put on new sheets, found new blankets, and yanked the now clean and much happier child out of the shower.

He feels so great that he asks if he can watch TV. I'm still waiting for my turn in the shower. :(

So the kid gets a new bed of his own on the floor -- starting with a vinyl tablecloth and several old sheets, and finishing with the plastic pillows we've adopted after replacing quite enough of the fiber kind.

I hop in the shower.

It is...



I do not exaggerate. I would serve water this cold with dinner. You could have used it as an ice bath after blanching.

I got to sit in the bathroom for 25 minutes, waiting for hot water, before I could shower. On the plus side, I got to read two uninterrupted chapters of my book...

It was awesome.

Happily, it does not seem to have been the actual flu. I think it was a combination of an unholy quantity of cookies and fudge and a killer case of motion sickness. Nobody else has gotten it, and he never had any other problems. Thank goodness!!!

There are Xmas pictures on photobucket -- here -- but I'll post a few favorites below.

Willow, in her new sleeping bag.

Glen at Grandma's House.

Larry... with his fancy new phone.

The Whole Clan at Grandma Shaw's (the late-rising bread in the background...)

Oh, and one video.... Glen got the amp he wished for for Christmas.

It'll be a noisy year. But he's already got a band going.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

...and a happy new year

I came in the door at 6 am (we have a paper route... I wasn't out until then!), to find Willow standing all by herself in front of the Christmas tree. The tree lights were turned on, but otherwise the house was dark. And she was singing at the top of her lungs to the sweet little tree -- "We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy new year!!" Over and over again. I convinced her to do it again a few minutes later, hoping to catch it on video....

yes, I know it's sideways, but it's bedtime and I haven't figured out how to rotate it yet... just turn your head, I have faith that you'll get it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Santa, Schmanta

Glen has asked at least four times whether Santa is real.

Each time a little differently.

"Mom, who puts the presents under the tree?"

"Mom, is Santa real?"

"Mom, are you Santa?"

Each time, the same answer, because I'm lame.
"What do you think, honey?"

And each time, in response,
"I think he's real."


Because, after all, you can't get presents from a fake guy.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little updates

The gig playing duets with Megan on violin (me on flute) and singing duets went so very well!! I have long battled with performance anxiety. In Larry's words, "Sally doesn't do so well on the spot". And boy, that's usually so very true. But this time, after that initial rush of all my body's blood directly to my face during the first song, and the brief moments of panic and existential weirdness, it all leveled out pretty well, and I think I actually (**gasp**) made a connection with the audience!!! I flubbed a few minor times, but they were a forgiving audience.

So apparently, my ideal audience is well-seasoned church and music people, and my ideal venue is the MCL Cafeteria. After all, who's not comfortable at MCL?

And the Burt Carol Sing was as much fun as ever, and then afterward, my parents and Glen and Beth (a friend) and I sat around the piano and sang other Christmas carols. The kids normally come up and sing carols at the end, but we'd skipped that this year, but Glen was all ready to sing.... So we sang. And Beth did her Elvis impression, which made Glen laugh so hard that he couldn't breathe anymore, and he fell right off the piano bench, still laughing and holding his sides.

The gig at the festival of trees was... loud. They miked us, which was nice. But there was a train going around the middle of the room. A TRAIN. As in .... "Jingle bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the... RUMBLERUMBLE TOOOOOOO TOOOOOOOOT RUMBLE RUMBLE... one horse open sleigh!" It was a challenge. But I think we met it pretty well. It was a good experience.

And the recorder consort concert at Cantrell Methodist was a whole lot of fun! It turns out that Dan Blair is a really good MC... and what a great group of people to play for! They made you feel good just for being there. And I got to play the fife for a little snippet (an octave down, for the sake of their hearing).

Anyway, the next few weeks look like they'll be a race to the finish. I am very, very much looking forward to the two weeks off I'll be taking at Christmas, so I can play with my kids on the floor and really pay attention to them and their thoughts and words -- I'm afraid that all the gigs and work and extracurricular activities will take up most of that time between now and then.

Oh, and I am nearly done Christmas shopping! I have NEVER finished before Christmas Eve, EVER. This is so wonderful.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


This year was the first year I doubted our tradition of helping at the church for the "Feast of Plenty".

I've never questioned whether volunteering on Thanksgiving as a family was "good" for the kids -- I just assumed that it was good for them to learn about giving of themselves in order to show gratitude for all that we have. Humility and service are so hard to teach, but so important...any opportunity is a good one.

We usually get strange looks when we tell people about doing that for Thanksgiving -- the ones that say, "Oh, that's nice, but you're a little strange..." (Now, we always do a "traditional" thanksgiving -- we just do it on Friday rather than on Thursday -- so we're not robbing them of turkey-day festivities.)

But this year, as we left the house to get to the church, Glen was stifling sadness. He was doing a good job of trying not to show it, but what he wanted was to have a thanksgiving like the ones they talked about in school all week. He wanted to sit around the table with family and eat turkey and casserole and play games and watch movies -- he didn't really want to go bus tables for homeless or otherwise very disadvantaged people for two hours, then wash dishes.

I just felt awful all the whole drive there. Doubt, guilt, and a little more doubt... are we "ruining" their perception of holidays? Are we warping them, and will they come to resent volunteer work? Will they think forever that I put other people first and them last? Oh, jeez, parenting certainly hasn't helped me deal with this stupid "guilt" problem I've got...

Anyway, all the kids were WONDERFUL for the whole Feast of plenty, and we stayed until nearly 4 pm cleaning and putting things away until next year, and then we went to Grandma's and had a nice little dinner and watched a movie, and everyone seemed to be pretty happy.

Then on Friday, we went back over to mom and dad's for the afternoon, and they prepared a fabulous feast of thanksgiving-y-ness, and everyone had the most marvelous unstructured play time all afternoon. When Larry got off work, we all sat down to our Thanksgiving meal (Gideon ate almost exclusivley summer sausage, but whatever...).

Then the two little guys wanted to watch Wall-E (again, and again, and again), and the rest of us played Rummy around the kitchen table. (It was a big leap from "go fish", and the adults are so happy to have a new game to play!).

After Grandpa had cleaned us out three or four games in a row, Glen looked around the table at everyone, just glowing from head to toe, and said, "Now THIS is Thanksgiving."

So, all that guilt and doubt for nothing. We may have taught them that sometimes you have to put other people first, and then have what you want later. And we may have taught them that we don't always do the same things that other people do. And hopefully we've taught them that we love them very much and expect a lot from them, even when it's not what they want.

But I don't think we're 'warping' them, or their holidays. And thank goodness.... now if I can just remember this next year, when it all happens again...