Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For mom it was the gold beads, for me it's the ribbon

I've not been able to get the tree to look right this year, something about how the ribbon is hanging. I tried buying more ribbon, draping it differently, etc -- I just can't get it to work. Today was my third and final try. I popped Nutcracker in the cd player, dragged a chair over from the dining room, took the ribbons off, and set to work getting them just right.

Whenever we would finish putting ornaments on the tree at my house growing up it would be time for mom to put on THE BEADS. We were never to touch the beads, no less hang them on the tree. Mom used to tell us the really old ones were real gold. As they would break through the years, some got replaced with plastic beads, but the original ones that were left were always saved for the very top. She would meticulously go around the tree, on her tippy toes on a chair, draping the beads so they were just to her liking. I never understood what the big deal was with the beads -- they're just BEADS, slap them on there and be done with it. Until I got my own tree.

This is our fourth Christmas with it being just the two of us in Lexington. We LOVE going out to the farm every year to pick our tree -- the same big black lab, Oscar, greets us at the end of the drive, and the man who owns the farm remembers us and what kind of tree we got last year. We always get a nice tall fir, something that will touch our 8' ceiling. Pete hangs the lights, we both hang the ornaments, and I finish the tree by adding ribbon. Last year's tree was PERFECT! Last year's Christmas was perfect -- Audrey had just gotten married, we had just seen the Rockettes in NYC, life couldn't be better.

I wasn't sure we would get a tree this year at all. I was campaigning to skip Christmas -- it sort of worked, we're going to St. Lucia, right? But over Thanksgiving my Grandma told me I WOULD get a tree and told us we WOULD decorate it because that is what my mom would have wanted. So we went to our tree farm. We got our tree; a nice, tall, fat Frasier Fir, and took it home to decorate. We put on the lights and the ornaments. Then I tried adding the ribbon. It didn't look right, but I left it until this week because I was pushing all Christmas things to the back of my mind until after finals. Saturday afternoon I messed with the ribbons, still no good. Flash forward to this afternoon. Sugar plum fairies were dancing on the cd and I re-draped the last ribbon, climbed off the chair and looked at the tree. It was beautiful. And I couldn't stop crying.

I know why mom hung the beads, she was the only one who get them just right. She was the only one who could do a lot of things just right. My ribbon is still a little off -- but that's okay. Christmas is off this year -- and will be for quite a while I suspect. I think of my mom everyday and I miss her everyday, but it is especially hard right now.

So, for Grandma, here's our (slightly off but beautiful just the same) Christmas Tree:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Gimpy Girl

We're not sure how, but Hannah hurt herself tonight. I was sitting at the dining room table addressing our Christmas cards, and Pete was in his office doing the same thing with his cards for his clients. Hannah and Fiona were in the office with Pete when all of a sudden Hannah lets out two long, sharp wails!! I jumped up from the table and ran to the office to see what was up -- Hannah and Fi were just walking out of the room, and she yelped again. Neither Pete nor I could see anything, so we had Hannah walk down the hall toward me. That's when we saw that she was bleeding!! Somehow our little Hannah severed the claw on her back right paw!! Poor girl!
She must have cut it outside this afternoon, then snagged it on the rug in Pete's office.

We called her into the bathroom so she would be on easier-to-clean floor to investigate -- once she was calm Pete left to go buy some supplies because we are horribly lacking in the first-aid supplies department. Pete returned with my 'tools':
We cleaned the wound, then I cut the claw the rest of the way off, applied Nik Stop, wrapped it in gauze, taped it, then we wrapped her whole paw with an ace bandage. She looks so cute!! (and sad)
I took a little video to try to show how funny she looks walking on it (please ignore Christmas Card central on the table in the background)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I should be studying...

This has been the phrase of the week. I'm taking a break right now (as I have been all night pretty much, talking to my brother on the phone, ordering everyone's Christmas gifts online, writing a new blog, etc). Tomorrow afternoon is my last final - Anatomy & Physiology of Speech @ 1pm. Hopefully I'll do pretty well on it and have 4 As for this semester. I managed to get an A in Neuroscience (thank God for the curve!), and, despite pretty much a disastrous score on my Audiology final I held on to my A in the class (I really don't know what happened, I thought I did better than the grade on my final suggests - but have already requested to see my test to see where I went wrong). I get my ABRs, OAEs, and ARs confused (along with about a bajillion-other hearing-related acronyms). My phonetics final was fun -- I love that class! On the test we had to write a paragraph in IPA with diacritic marks and phrasing and I wrote the verse to "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" (complete w/lisping) - hopefully Dr. Deem was amused.

Thank goodness the Co-op is close by -- otherwise we might not have eaten this week as I have seriously fallen of the wagon as head chef and chief grocery shopper of our household. Tomorrow night we're going to see the Nutcracker at the Opera House, and Saturday (hopefully) we're joining friends for a holiday dinner at Holly Hill Inn. I just have to make it through tomorrow!

Fiona DID bark last night -- but not as loudly or for as long. Her barks were more like long whines as if to say, "when I made noise last night you let me out...please, please let me out again."

I don't know if we'll post a picture of our tree this year -- I can't find a good topper and our tree is fatter than last years so I need more ribbon to go aroud it. Since today was my first day to go shop for decorations (when I should have been studying) - many stores were already down to slim pickings. Maybe Saturday I'll make the trek out to Hobby Lobby -- they usually don't let me down as far as holiday decorating goes.

Just had to take a break to see what Fiona was in to -- why, of all the trash cans she could raid, does she manage to open the door to the laundry room and get the one full of LINT and DOG HAIR?!?!

Oh well, better get back to the books.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh My GOSH Fiona was trying to get us to throw her out into the street last night!!!! I have four finals this week and was lucky enough to have only scheduled at 8am. THIS MORNING. We had our normal nighttime routine last night -- a little later than usual because Pete was running through my Audiology flashcards with me: Ask the dogs if they're ready for bed, dogs scurry off toward their crates, we go get some kibbles, give kibs to the dogs, latch the crate doors, go down the hall to our room to get ready for bed -- you get the picture.

Well last night went all as planned, until about 30 seconds after we climbed under the covers FIONA STARTS BARKING HER HEAD OFF!!! After about 15 minutes Pete gets up to see if she needs to go out -- he lets her out, she goes, he puts her back to bed. Ten minutes goes by and she starts up again, by this time I am trying earplugs....Pete gets up AGAIN and lets them out of their crates -- I think he gave Fi some food this time (we were all about the negative reinforcement last night). This time when he put her back to be he made her wear her gentle leader which usually works for settling her down. Ten more minutes of see where this is going....
After about TWO HOURS of nonstop barking Pete goes to sleep on the on the sofa so the dogs can be out of their crates and just sleep in the living room with him. Everything seems okay for maybe 5 minutes until JOSIE starts wigging out in our bedroom! She was going CRAZY with this roll-ball scratch thing she has until I had to get it up and take it away. After I took it away she decides she's going to scratch on the bedroom door to be let out. I figure the dogs have settled so I open the door a crack to let her out and crawl back under the covers. In a flash of a second there is a giant black lab on my head! (Poor Hannah, she had nothing to do with all this barking and waking up in the middle of the night -- but when presented with a fresh cat and/or a warm human in bed, she's going to pursue) I can't really remember what happened next (it was around 1:30am after all) but it involved me carrying Josie to the bedroom door only to meet Pete, who was trying to wrangle the two dogs away from our bedroom. It somehow resolved itself and I got about 5 1/2 hours of sleep -- poor Pete got about 5 -- and apparently the dogs slept ON TOP of him on the sofa!
So that was our night -- my final is over, I did fine, I only have one more to go (Friday at 1pm). If Fiona barks tonight we're not getting up for anything. I just wanted to share our trauma and point out how wonderfully thoughtful Pete was to try to give me some pre-test ZZZs.

UPDATE: yes, of course, now that it's daytime, Hannah and Fiona are both sacked out on their bed in the corner of the living room seemingly wondering why we kept them up all night :)

2nd UPDATE: yes, Pete and I have discussed how, someday, after the wee-est Crawford has arrived, 5 hours of sleep will seem like a day at the spa.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

remember last year....

when I had the best husband ever? Well he's struck again!! We made plans last night to go on an awesome post-Christmas vacation to ST. LUCIA!!!

We're excited about starting out 2009 on such an up-note (2008, after all, has not been the best year for us) -- now I just have to make it through finals and we can celebrate Christmas and then go soak up some sun.