My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Auld Lang Something or Other

2005-01-06
Well, before I delve into the way past and act as my own analyst, I thought I’d summarize 2004. Quite a bit happened.

This time last year, I was almost over morning sickness. Soon after finding out I was pregnant, the job I’d been waiting for was finally created at a small liberal-arts college closer to home. It would entail more responsibility and more money at half the commuting time. I had an interview in January. I was four months pregnant.

In February, Dusty had tubes put in her ears after 5 successive ear infections over a 6 month period. I cannot tell you how awful it was to see the Dusty climb in the wagon and watch the nurse pull her down the hall and out of my sight to be anesthetized. I just knew something would go wrong and that the image of her happy little self rolling around the corner of the corridor would be the last I’d see of her alive. The entire procedure took about 15 minutes and Dusty, obviously, was perfectly fine.

I got the job (I head the research department in a college fund raising office), worked out a maternity leave agreement (6 weeks: 5 paid, 1 unpaid), and started in March.

Red’s due date was June 21 or 23, depending on which ultrasound and which technician you wanted to believe. The first date is my birthday. How cool would that have been for us to share a birthday? I already share my birthday with my best friend.

On June 1 I could not sleep and had such enduring Braxton-Hicks contractions that I was convinced she was ready to come. We packed up the car, Dusty in tow, at 6am and headed for the hospital. The contractions continued, I was 3 cm dialated………and then nothing. I was released around noon.

Red finally arrived on June 16 at 11:45pm. Had she waited fifteen minutes more (or, I should say, had the doctor waited 15 minutes to break my water), I could have gotten an extra day in the hospital. As it was, I had 2 blissful days of being taken care of and sending back food I hadn’t ordered (I don’t know why they thought a vegetarian would want beef stew but I’m thinking nobody in the kitchen spoke English, or maybe they just didn't give a shit).

In July, in desperate need of getting some writing done, my novel gathering figurative dust in the computer, I started this journal. I wanted to capture my children’s growth in a way that a baby book does not. Plus, since I spend most of my waking/working day in front of a computer, this outlet was doable. I could scribble notes at my leisure, compose my thoughts into some kind of cohesive narrative, and post when I had time. So far, so good.

In August, I returned to work. My assistant and I moved our office and all of the alumni and donor files (which had been living in a SHED behind our building) to another building on campus. Then, I had to find as many wealthy donors as I could, given limited time and budget. Still working on that one.

In October, Dusty went Trick-or-Treating for the first time. I’d avoided the whole candy issue this long, but I figured I couldn’t cheat her out of the annual tradition any longer now that she had friends, and those friends were able to go out and gather what candy they could. I don’t think kids are served well by complete bans on things like sugar. They only grow to want it all the more if it’s viewed as contraband. So, she was allowed to eat a few pieces a day, after dinner, until it was gone. Her costume? Princess, natch.

In November, sickness descended and continued unremittingly until this week. Or maybe this is just a respite. We’ve all had our flu shots, so there’s one less thing we’ll catch over what I hope is a short winter.

After Thanksgiving, Dusty turned four and had her first birthday party with friends. I’ve detailed that star-studded gala in a previous entry.

Christmas. Here are some pictures, courtesy of my brother-in-law, that will illuminate our festivities. Here is

Red and Me at my sister’s Xmas Eve party. Here is

Dusty and Giant Sock Monkey. And, here are two pictures from Xmas Day at my mother's house:

Baby’s First Christmas Ribbon, and

Dusty and Daddy reading Harold. The statue behind them is one my mother did. This is my inheritance – a lot of enormous painted styrofoam statues.

I read 56 books in 2004, down from 60 in 2003. I think you can determine why this might be.

The first book of 2005 is “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” by Susanna Clarke. So far, I highly recommend it.


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