For the last 30 years of my life I’ve spent New Year’s day holding my nose against the reek of sour kraut and pork while groaning through an entire day of football. Football, ugh, the bane of my existance. I am irritated by football for a number of reasons, none of which will be included in this post. Because year 31 was my lucky day. While the rest of my family was whooping it up over football, I managed to escape to my daughter’s well appointed basement for a lovely quiet day of sewing and writing. Sadly, I still had to put up with the stink of sour kraut.
Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas! This year, more than any other, I pity the Scrooges. The intellectuals that want to argue about the actual date of Christ’s birth and that it isn’t December 25th. The discouraged who see only the commercialism and fail to see the spirit of joy behind the display. The angry folk jaded by all that is ugly in the world and can’t let go for even this one glorious day. The scoundrals who will take advantage of the kindness of others. To all of them: I wish you a day of peace, joy, and optimism.
Katie is home and Preslie Grace is doing her best to follow her mother. She is no longer jaundiced, and out from under the heat lamp. She’s eating a little more every feeding and has just one more milestone to reach to come home. She must be able to maintain her body heat when they take her out of the box. Merry Christmas!
It was a cloudless night. Crisp but warmer than our usual Decembers. The path from the parking lot to the hospital’s entrance was lined with small evergreen trees trimmed with tiny twinkle lights. Just as I stepped out of the car I could hear church bells pealing, “Oh Holy Night”. A combination that took my mind off my aching baby and her tiny daughter. A reminder that I have so very much to be grateful for. My girls are alive and this scary time will pass.
Baby Preslie will not eat. She has no interest in all the work of sucking on much of anything. As a result she’s now jaundiced. Nobody is yet sure whether her intestines are working properly and since she won’t eat they’ve decided to feed her with a tube until she will. There are so many wires and tubes connected to that tiny body it breaks my heart to look at her. I feel like there are things they aren’t telling us. Why would she need a heart monitor? If she’s on a feeding tube, why does she need an IV? Talking to nurses is like talking to a career politician sometimes, they say a lot of words that add up to zero content.
This should be an interesting day. Preslie made her entrance into the world last night before midnight, at 4:30 my phone is ringing. Hysterical daughter “can you or Dad come”. Apparently my son-in-law collapsed from exhaustion and is now in the emergency room. Katie is recovering from the c-section and Preslie, since she arrived a month early, is hooked up to a variety of machines, gadgets and other hospitally things. Pap is most experienced with hospitals and I’m most experienced with toddlers, so he’s dashed off to boss all the nurses around and I am home with Makenna, Katie’s almost 2 year old. Ugh.
As I type this, my youngest daughter (the one I usually call Princess), is having her second child. With complications. It’s maddening to sit at home waiting for news from her shy, beleaguered husband when every cell of my body is calling for action. But this is the way she wants it.
Her real name is Katherine, she’s a type A as you might have figured out if you’ve read this blog since I started it in 2006. She had no interest in filling her labor time with friends and family as is the modern custom. She likes that time to be spent quietly, with her husband, like we did in the 80’s. Toxic and ill through most of this pregnancy, after two days in the hospital they’ve now rushed her off for a c-section. Preslie Grace is six weeks early.
It isn’t unusual now days for babies to come early and show no side effects from the experience. I haven’t heard of anyone dieing in childbirth for many decades. But I can’t stand not knowing what’s going on in intimate detail. What’s going into her IV? What is her blood pressure? Let me see that read out from the fetal monitor….without the intimate details, I’m definitely worrying myself into a headache.
Today the extended clan gathered for our annual Christmas party. A weird event this gathering. With the exception of my own children, I only see these people once a year, at Christmas. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins…I know their names, I know their faces, but I can’t say I know them. It wasn’t always this way. We used to be a more tightly woven group. We got together for more holidays than just Christmas, had the occasional dinner together throughout the year, sent cards and letters, talked on the phone…but then our matriarch passed away and with her, our energy to stretch out beyond our immediate families and friends.
The fun has gone out of this party which leaves me two choices. Stop going, or attempt to pump the fun back into it.
Holy cow, back from the dead and failed to update about my run away dog.
If there is one thing we know about our little man it is that he knows where his supper bowl is. He is easily distracted, imagines himself a fearsome hunter…but in the end, he’s a house dog. When he hadn’t returned by nightfall, we started canvassing the neighborhood, we put up flyers and we waited some more. The neighbors in our new place are all dog people, so everyone was looking for Walker but there was no sign of him for over a week.
One night we stopped at the Exxon outside our neighborhood intending to get gas (duh) and put up one of our flyers. There hanging on the window was a Found Dog flyer with a picture of our dog! The girl inside the convenience store knew who dropped it off and gave us their phone number. We called and called and called. We left messages, we went back to the Exxon to find that the people who had dropped off the flyer had never returned. She gave us a description of their truck and a general idea of where they lived. So Pap drove around until he found the truck, knocked on the door and heard Walker barking his head off. He waited there until the homeowner showed up. You should have heard the excuses! The guy even tried to pull out the “my little boys will be so sad to see him go” card. Pfft…dog thief.
A few days later we figured out how our dog managed to escape the neighborhood so fast we lost him. The owner of the land behind our house raises long horned cows, they often come down to the fence that divides our two properties to graze. Our little dog loves those cows, and is small enough to slip under the fence. Which he did. From that point he had to have run toward the barn instead of toward home which would have got him to the road where we walk him. If the guy in the truck would have left him alone, he would have trotted on home.
Anyway, Walker is home and no worse for wear.