One more down

I suppose the skeptic’s way of looking at today is that we only make it out to be a big holiday because we have a calendar that tells us it’s a new year. Really, tomorrow is just another day. You could say that any day could be the beginning of a new era or time to start on those resolutions. But Americans like to have a common cause, a celebratory happening to light that fire.

I was feeling pretty sad this afternoon about not being able to go to a party tonight. No one wants to babysit on New Year’s Eve and besides, it’s no fun being the pregnant one at a party. I really don’t mind since my stomach hurts and my sciatic nerve is flaring up. Plus, I’m tired and kind of cranky; being home with Elliot all day wears on me. I love the kid but his ups and downs drive me nuts. I’m glad that for the next 3 days, I won’t be on my own.

I know this is an awfully pathetic post but I have been on this computer doing school/work related stuff for about three hours now. Guess I will go watch all the crappy New Year’s TV thingies and probably fall asleep on the couch in my Snuggie. Ahh, parenthood.

From the trenches

As per usual, FSU is closed down for the holiday and I am off work until the fourth. I am always torn about about this because on the one hand, who doesn’t want to get paid to do nothing? On the other, I actually like going to work so sitting at home makes me slightly crazy. Did I mention that this time, Elliot’s daycare is closed? I’m kickin’ it SAHM style and uh, two days in and I am pretty sure I was not cut out for this.

Admittedly, he’s not been that bad but it can be exceedingly tedious. The days are long and the afternoon hours pass at a snail’s pace. Already, I am running out of ideas. It’s cold out so it’s not like we can reasonably step outside and run around. Plus, Elliot’s bordering on a cold – I think – so I am trying to ward it off with lots of juice and bundling him. He’s acting normal but the runny nose is ridiculous. Right now, he lining up all his bouncy balls, over and over. His need to organize both warms my heart and makes me worried. Don’t be obsessive about that stuff like your mommy.

SO, Christmas was a whirlwind of chaos and excitement. Like all family affairs, it didn’t last long enough and yet, at the same time, when everyone left it was about damn time. My house is still not put back together but it’s getting there. I’ll miss the light that the tree puts off but I also would like to regain that space.

Meanwhile, my biggest source of stress is coming from my ipod. Got a new Touch and though it worked the other day, it somehow now has issues syncing.(Something about SyncServer not being able to load data.)  I never had a problem before with my nano (ok, maybe once a while ago I did but I resolved that with a new version of itunes.) It seems to me, after reading a million threads and troubleshooting advice here and there, that itunes 9 might just be my problem. Newer isn’t always better, I suppose. I really don’t even feel like sitting at my computer to deal with it anymore but I also can’t seem to give up. It’s just pissing me off.

Three more days of stay at home parenting. Five more days until I go back to work. Two days for which I need to find a babysitter. Twenty four weeks tomorrow. Four months until I’ll have a toddler AND an infant. I guess this ipod problem is pretty insignificant. In the meantime It’s so annoying I think I need to go do some yoga to relax.

The season of giving

Yesterday, when I was walking into Goodie’s to get breakfast, there was an older black man standing by the door with a sign. It was cardboard with some scrawl on it and a picture of two small children. He bid me hello and I told him I’d help if I could, which was true, but I only had a five and needed food first. I got my bagel and drink and on my way out, said, “Here you go, man.” and handed him a single dollar, which was what I had left. He thanked me profusely and asked me to read his sign. Personally, I didn’t actually want to know. From what I could glean, he had children and needed money but wasn’t necessarily homeless.

This is how I prefer to partake in charity. I put spare change in the bell-ringer’s bucket, I do the 3 dollar food ticket at the Publix check-out and I will give non-threatening beggars money so long as they don’t try to interact with me more than necessary.

The Christmas season makes me feel rather giving but I also feel guilty that I don’t do this all year ’round. I don’t think I could necessarily afford that but right now, I seem to have a bunch of extra money. At least enough to give here and there. I make promises like, “When I have a higher paying job I will give more to charitable funds.” But I don’t know. It’s not exactly easy to make those kinds of changes to your life. I already recycle and do my part when necessary. For example, I found this site on Etsy that I fell in love with. Well, the concept was intriguing anyway. I go to coffee places frequently and thought it would be cool to have my own sleeve. If you read the shop profile, you’d realize that the recycled sleeves are actually quite pollutant, as is all garbage, I suppose. But, like the canvas grocery bags, I feel like every little thing helps. Are there less plastic bags being produced just because I don’t take my food home in them? No. But I’m not throwing any away either.

(Though, as a side-note, plastic bags are really just dinosaurs fulfilling their destiny. They died, sunk into the earth and decomposed, creating crude materials that were then harvested millions of years later and turned into plastic. Tell your dinosaur-interested kid THAT the next time you’re in the grocery store. :))

Christmas being right around the corner and my bank account dwindling due to all the shopping, I don’t know how much I can keep giving before I’ll need to start cutting back. But I do what I can, and that’s all anyone can do.

Merry Christmas, everyone.  This includes my commenters and my lurkers. I probably won’t be around too much until next  Monday when Ash goes back to work and I’m off with Elliot. I’ll try to save naptime for blogtime. See ya next week!

Mouthbreather

But only because my nose is too stuffed up to even use it. I woke Sunday morning with a sore throat but I thought it was the kind you get from the cold air at night. My nose is usually somewhat stuffy but every now and then it clears so then, the air I actually bring in does more harm than good and my throat gets hoarse. I felt fine too, by the way.

Monday morning, I couldn’t stop sneezing/blowing my nose. By the afternoon, I was really worn down but I kept going because if I stopped, I’d feel guilty because there’s so much to do. Well, at around 9:30, I realized I couldn’t fall asleep anyway because my nose was too full of crap and my ears too stuffed up. I started to get a little, well, over-reactive about my ears not being able to pop. Like, freaking out slightly; felt like I was going insane. I finally fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion at 12. I woke, however, at 2 and the awful chest-aching, throat-mutilating cough was imminent. Plus the runny/stuffy nose and the ears issue. I ended up going into the guest room and, with the weather channel on as background noise, reading until I fell asleep. Just lying in bed was too much. I coudn’t take the assault on my ears – the rushing blood that sounded like deafening silense and the heaviness like a concrete block on my chest.

SO, being sick while pregnant SUCKS ASS. If I were just myself, I would have taken a dose of Nyquil and called it a night. As it is, I think I’m running on maybe 4.5 hours of sleep. My nose is ok today but it’s moved to my chest – my natural progression when I get a cold – so at least I know I am getting “better”. My mother is getting over the same thing and Ash had a minor version of it last week. I feel like saying a bg Eff You to winter and this weather and being all pissed off. Not that that would actually help me get any better. To calm myself in my ear freak-out, I tried taking deep yogic breaths but, um, yeah, I CAN’T. My one good relaxaion technique has been taken from me!

BUT, I think all my Christmas shopping is done. My house is somewhat put together, though there are last minute things I’d like to also do. I don’t think this was brought about due to stress; I actually don’t feel very worried at all. I used to think my mom judged me if my house wasn’t super clean but I have learned that she really doesn’t.

I just went upstairs and there’s only two people in. I have a feeling this is going to be a very short day for me even though I put in for a whole. My body needs rest. I need sleep.

Christmas meme

Stolen from Siwstle

Eggnog or hot chocolate? I like both, but I don’t drink either one very often. I usually buy a couple small packets of hot chocolate and the smallest container of egg nog. And it’s mine all mine.

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree? This is a big issue of contention now, now that Elliot is old enough to understand the concept. When my sister and I were little, we would go out to the living room to see the tree encumbered by gifts, all laid out perfect and neat. Some things would be wrapped, and those were from mommy and daddy. But everything just placed out there was from Santa. In Ash’s household, his parents wrapped all the gifts, even from Santa. Though he and his brother stopped believing way too early. I still haven’t talked to him about how we’re going to do it but if I have my way, some will be out in the open.

Colored lights on a tree or white? Colored, for sure.

Do you hang mistletoe? I have, when we used to throw Christmas parties.

When do you put your decorations up? I don’t have any kind of traditional day but as soon as I can after Thanksgiving.

What is your favorite holiday dish? I could eat an entire can of cranberry sauce all by myself.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? When I was younger, we usually did and it was always pajamas. Apparently Ash did too so I guess we’ll be starting this tradition soon.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Well, it’s a pre-lit one so that’s taken care of. We have a gold star for the top and I have a bunch of basic ornaments and a box full of my childhood ones. This year, there are far less because Elliot likes to attack said tree.

Snow: love it or hate it? Having only dealt with it a few times, I can say that it is pretty but if I had to live in it, I’d die.

Can you ice skate? Last time I did it I remember my ankles turning inward a lot.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? Lane cake or fudge

What is your favorite holiday tradition? I love going to church, even though we barely make it anymore.

Candy canes: yum or yuck? I like the cherry ones – the rainbow colored ones. But I rarely eat them.

Favorite Christmas show? Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

Christmas Past

December 17th, 2007

December 21st, 2008

Today, December 19th, 2009

Click for full sizes; I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday times, even though parking lots are jam-packed with people trying to make lefts into traffic and stalking for parking spaces and there’s either a shit-ton of leaves on your grass or a few feet of snow. I hope we can all forget about these minute annoyances long enough to appreciate what we have. I am thankful for my son, who doesn’t cry for Santa and looks unbelievably cute in preppy clothes. Come on, what are you really thankful for??

Agenda:

  • 6:15 AM:  wake up to pounding rain, groan, go cut fruit for Elliot’s Christmas party
  • Delay taking dogs out due to heavy rain
  • 6:30: Wrap a present  for “Santa” to give to Elliot at daycare
  • 6:40: Force dogs outside to no avail; get them on leashes and use umbrella
  • 6:45: Realize there’s a hole in my slipper’s sole; foot is wet, cold
  • 6:55: Finally take a shower
  • 7:05: Get Elliot dressed, turn on Blue’s Clues, finish preparing stuff for work/daycare
  • 7:18: Drive to daycare in torrential downpour
  • 7:45: Starbucks Drive-thru
  • 8:00: Sit down at work computer, sigh. Check email
  • 8:45: Check multiple things off to-do list
  • 10:00: Stop by library; exchange one book for another
  • 10:30: Holiday party at Daycare
  • 11:00: Drive to mall
  • 11:30: See Avatar
  • 2:15: Eat lunch
  • 4:30: Pick up Elliot
  • 5:40: Make some kind of meal for Ash, wish him good luck at Magic tonight
  • 6:oo: Debate whether or not to go shopping with Elliot or watch Barney specials on Netflix
  • 7:15: Put Elliot to bed
  • 7:30: Wash towels, edit pictures, wrap presents, sweep the floors, empty dishwasher
  • 8:30: Pass out on couch, exhausted

Catching up

It’s funny; I haven’t actually been busy and yet, I haven’t managed to blog. Mostly, I have been unwinding after the craziness of the semester. I finished grading all my students’ papers (which, by the way, grades came out today so the complaint emails ought to be rolling in any time now) and I have almost finished my Spring syllabus. All relatively loose ends are tied around the office so I am, well bored. This doesn’t explain my lack of blogging. Maybe I just don’t have the willpower to write anything down.

But I’ve been up to stuff, certainly. I mailed my Christmas cards yesterday, which is a relief. Somehow, there’s only 9 days until Christmas and um, YEAH, that caught me off-guard. December usually feels a LITTLE longer but this year, it’s flying by at rapid speeds. We have half of our outside decorations up. The process had to begin with getting all those GD pine needles off the roof. (Ash’s job, not mine.) So he got that done last night but with the early sunset, our outdoor lighting is limited. With a kid, it’s pretty impossible for both parents to work on the roof before the sun sets.

Also, I started a Tumblr page. I figure with my lack of good blog posts lately, maybe being able to post little things here and there will give me the impetus to THINK. Maybe my tumblr posts will spark more in-depth blog topics. Who knows? You can check it out here: Scriptor tumbles. I really like the layout I chose but it doesn’t have the ability to receive comments. Do you think I ought to change it to a layout that does?

I may have also mentioned the project I was doing for my boss. As a professor, the department expects and requires her to publish books. She co-authored a book about multiple literacies and, to avoid stock photo fees, asked if I could take some content appropriate photographs. I obliged but was nervous, I admit. What if I didn’t do a good enough job? So I took this very seriously. Using this tutorial, (thanks, Brenna!) I constructed my own lightbox. It’s not perfect but it works. I used a copier paper box – 11×17 – and bought some real tracing paper for the sides. Using a work light that we usually have in our rock wall, the photos came out decent. I thought they could be better but my boss and her co-author were super impressed. Now I just have to get a couple more out in the field and I should be done. I used a Canon EOS 40D for the majority of the lightbox work but since it was a device on loan, the outdoor photos needed to be handles by my Canon SD 850. It’s a good little camera but nothing like the SLR.

Also, as you may have seen on my flickr page, Dave and I visited the Florida caverns, finally. If you’ll head to his site you can get the full story. We’d been planning and replanning and rescheduling for some time and even though we went for it on a particularly dreary and cold day, it really worked out in our favor. Some observations about the caves: thought it would feel colder inside, though it was a mere 65 in there, it was a heck of a lot more comfortable than outside. I didn’t realize how slowly the stalagmites/-tites grew: a cubic inch per 100 years! The area was larger than I suspected but being in there just the three of us was an exceptional experience. If we’d gotten there any later and been on the normal tour, all the other people would have crowded us out. All in all, I am super glad that we went.

So that’s what we’ve been doing. Coming soon: holiday lunch at Ash’s office (for which I leave in ten minutes to go home and bake an apple crisp), Santa pictures for Elliot, and house cleaning in preparation for my parents’ arrival on the 23rd. Busy times but fun times!

Randomness at its finest

  • I realized today that there are only 11 days until Christmas. Where is my life going??
  • I really wanted egg nog this weekend but Publix didn’t have the small size; only half gallons.
  • When I remember that the thing inside me is another little boy, I get extremely excited. Being a two boy mama is going to rock!
  • Slow work week but so much still to do.
  • I’m almost done addressing Christmas cards and I have got to get them out this week.
  • This endless rainy, foggy, humid weather is sucking my will to live. And my Christmas spirit.
  • The recap of my trip to the Florida state caverns will be up very soon.

Walls are closing in

Perhaps it’s the fact that school is basically over and my job revolves around the collegiate school year, so I feel this impending something… Once grades are all in and posted, I think that will subside and I can read my vampire porn in peace, thank you. But until then, I still feel relatively anxious. Though, traffic was A LOT thinner this morning, proving that the students have been trickling out of town all week as finals have finished up and by next week, it’ll only be real Tallahasseans around here. And won’t that be different? And nice? Yes.

I hate that I always feel stressed around Christmas. Doesn’t that even sound silly? This should be a very happy time of year. I have been on and off listening to the XM Christmas stations but I don’t want to overdo it. However, I always stop when this song comes on: (partial lyrics)

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away

I think this is really good advice for me now. I’ve got to let go of my anxiety and worries and that mental to-do list that’s been driving me insane. If I could just write it all down and stick to it, then my brain wouldn’t feel all overloaded. I just wish it were easier to do this. What will it take for me to feel in the Christmas spirit and able to slow down and appreciate things? Maybe now that it’s colder, I can feel wintry. And maybe since I am about to mail out my Christmas cards, that one line through an item on my list will bring about a feeling of accomplishment.

I don’t know; what do you do to get in that Christmas mood? Shopping kind of works but then I feel guilty about money. Please, halp!