Friday, January 6, 2012

Back In The Saddle Again

I don't know why it is so hard to get back in the groove after an extended blog silence, but it is.

It probably has something to do with my health. I'm sick again. Although I am finally starting to recuperate, it has been a long, very slow process. I was almost completely well by the time we made our Christmas trip.

Our trip to Reno to visit our oldest son and his family was awesome. Their house is so cute and those decks that wrap all around their house, front to back, and the trees that will shade them in the spring and summer are just phenomenal. I'd spend every waking minute out there during the summer and never get anything done.

Mike is using their garage for his wood shop. I think it's even bigger than the oversized garage we had when we lived in the country. It's huge and he's so proud and thrilled to be able to work at home.

The night we arrived, 7-year old Zoey was in a Christmas performance at her school. She was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, with antlers and flashing red nose. Near the end of the play, Zoey - er, I mean Rudolf - led the other reindeer on a jaunt around and through the audience and back up to the stage. I smile again just thinking about it. She was so cute. It was a rare treat for us, since we live so far from all of our grandkids.

Of course, the next evening we were off to Sushi Club where I watched in amazement as 9-year old Lily packed away copious amounts of mussels laced with firery Sriracha and crab rolls. Whew! And we were so happy that grandson Zak and his girlfriend Shelby could join us for dinner before they made their trip to Utah for the Christmas holiday.

Before Christmas, we busied ourselves with introducing the girls to Secret Santa. Zoey tore up pieces of paper and wrote on each piece a person's name - Mommy, Daddy, Grama, Grampa, Lily and Zoey - then we picked our person's name without looking. We would purchase a gift for our person which could not cost more than $15.00. We were not allowed to say who our person was because it was a secret.

The mall was packed! The girls were so excited! They learned quickly to calculate the costs of little gifts that did not exceed the dollar limit. "Grandma! Look! This is $14.99! That's less than $15.00!!" It was fun, but exhausting. I hadn't been to a mall that big since our last Christmas in Savannah. We walked and shopped, mostly in the larger department stores, to the very end of the mall and back again.

The next evening, we wrapped our Secret Santa gifts and the girls got really giggly when they decided to play a prank on their dad. After they finished wrapping the Secret Santa gifts, they laid them carefully underneath the tree towards the back. Then they carefully wrapped the well-used Sharpie marker and etched out their plan for Christmas Eve. They would give their dad his "prank" Secret Santa gift first {giggle, giggle, giggle} so he would open it in front of everyone {giggle, giggle, giggle}.

When Tom heard what the girls were doing, he decided to play a "prank" on both of the girls. He wrapped a raw hot dog for Lily, who, of course, hates hot dogs, and a can of tuna for Zoey, who likewise hates tuna.

Christmas Eve the girls could hardly contain themselves. We gathered in the family room and the girls, according to plan, retrieved their dad's joke gift first. Mike smiled as he opened it and as he held up the Sharpie, the girls burst out in giggles, yelling, "It's a prank! It's a prank!"

Tom then retrieved the girls' prank gifts. As each of the girls unwrapped their gift, they smiled and yelled, "Grandpa!!" Gypsy, their dog, does not have the same aversion to hot dogs that Lily does and happily devoured Lily's hot dog in little more than one gulp.

Christmas Day Lily woke up with a runny nose and sneezed and coughed all day. By the next day, she was running a fever. Four days later, the day we were to leave for home, I woke up with a runny nose and sneezing, which continued throughout the day. During our four hour flight to Chicago and our connecting two hour flight to Little Rock, mothers sitting near me gave me the stink eye and cuddled their babies to protect them from my obviously infectious presence. All I could offer between germy sneezes and nose blowing into one kleenex after another was a shoulder shrug, the unspoken "sorry, but I can't help it."

That was on December 29th. Two days after that, Tom got sick, too.

Today, the sneezing has stopped, but I'm still blowing my nose. I take Nyquil every night to keep my nose from running all over my pillow. I wake up with dark circles under my eyes every morning. My ears are plugged. I have a sinus headache. I feel like I need a nap every afternoon. Tom had to escape to the guest bedroom two nights in a row because of the snoring....mine, not his. But it's getting better every day. I'm hoping that some day...this year I will feel like I'm back to normal.

On second thought, maybe I should set the bar a little higher this year. ☺


gina said...

Your Christmas sounds just lovely! So sorry that you're sick, though :( Hope you're back to yourself soon.

altadenahiker said...

And your long lost cousin?