Thursday, January 07, 2010


Sorry for the delay, but after Sophie got sick, things got crazy (not like they aren't usually). Here's the catch-up:

-We pushed back Christmas for Sophie. She was still sick later on the 24th, so we laid low at my parent's house on the 25th, came home after dinner, and pretended that the 25th was Christmas Eve. Tim read her "Twas the night before Christmas," she wore her Xmas PJs, and once she was in bed, we got ready.

-I had gotten a bunch of toys off of Craigslist for free/cheap, but they needed to be cleaned up. It took me till 11 PM to clean everything off with lysol. Tim wrapped gifts, and I started to feel sick. I had more abdominal pain than I had in labor, so I knew it was going to be a rough night.

-Sure enough, 1 AM on the 26th, I was sick. Almost seven years to the hour after I had to be hospitalized for the stomach flu, I had another terrible bout. As I was laying on the cold tile in the bathroom, I willed myself to stay awake. I was dizzy and disoriented, and I was worried that I was dehydrated. Since that caused me to go unconscious seven years ago (resulting in an ambulance ride in a blizzard), I wouldn't let myself go back to sleep until I kept some powerade down.

-I was sick all day. Really sick. Sick to the point that Tim videotaped Sophie opening her gifts because sitting upright made me almost faint. Poor Sophie.

-And I suffered some additional Christmas guilt too. I spent $13 on Sophie for Christmas. That's it. $5 for a little tikes vanity, $7 for a step 2 kitchenette, and $1 for a coloring book. The rest were Craigslist freebies (books, stuffed animals, clothes, a few games, and some learning/alphabet toys) or CVS freebies (a magna doodle and fishing game). I spent more on an exchange gift for my extended family than I did on my daughter! Luckily, she liked everything, and she got spoiled rotten by our families. Money is tight, but it's not that tight. Is there a line when getting good deals becomes being too cheap?

-I was upright on the 27th, and Tim started feeling off. He never had the full flu, but he didn't feel 100% until the 30th/31st. Since Sophie started on the 24th, that was a full week killed by the flu. We washed every piece of bedding in the house multiple times. Fun.

-And that was my week off. I didn't have a car for three days of it (one to get the window fixed, one to get the rest of my maintenance done, and an extra because the mechanic tripped the security system I didn't know I had, couldn't start the car, and had to get the dealer involved). So I was car-less and recovering for my vacation. So much for the long to-do list I had hoped to clean up.

-On New Year's Day, we finally planned to visit the extended family we didn't get to see on Christmas. And on that day, it started to snow. We made it to my mom's side, but by the time my dad's side started, the roads were horrific. We had to bail and head home.

-The next day, we headed down to visit my parents. On the way down, the car in front of me hit a deer. I saw the red spot going up the hill, but the car and the deer were just after the peak of the hill. The car was off on a side road, but the carcass was in the middle of my lane. And there was another car coming up the hill towards me. I couldn't swerve, and all I had time to do was slam on the brakes and hit it head on. It was revolting.

-My car drove ok, but the check engine light came on, and we could see a wire hanging down. I took my car into the shop (again) a few days later to get it fixed, and luckily it was an oxygen sensor, a cracked bumper (which I didn't care about--it's plastic), and a hose-down. Less than $150, no insurance involved.

-And this was the day after Tim and I talked about how my car should be up to speed for the next five years after doing $$$$ worth of maintenance to it in 2009. Figures.

-And since New Year's Day, we've been getting constant snow. On Monday night, in a brief break, we had 15 inches on the ground, with drifts over four feet tall. And it's snowed since then.

-And we're in an Alberta clipper now, which should drop 3-6 inches, with lake effect snow tomorrow potentially dropping another foot.

-Did I mention I have experiments tomorrow? And Saturday?

-And that Cleveland is only supposed to get 60 inches of snow in a winter? We'd be at almost half that in a week!

-This is the time every year when I ask, "why can't I live somewhere warmer?"

Anyway, that's been what is keeping me busy. Despite all of that, I have been really upbeat. I am looking forward to 2010. I'll get my PhD, have a baby, return to med school, and generally progress in my life. Things have felt stuck during my PhD years, especially as I watch everyone around me move on to bigger and better things. But soon, it will be my turn...

I'm hoping there is much less car drama in the near future. I would have never put that much money into my old cavalier (which started clunking at 50k miles and didn't make it to 75k). The difference is that every mechanic has told me that the car *should* run problem free for another 100k miles without more than oil changes. Let's hope so...

Money is tight, especially with daycare costs going up this year, but I am thankful that we have jobs, a house, and our health. None of those should be taken for granted ever, but especially not with what other people are facing right now.

Sure, I wish I would've gotten a vacation. I wish it would stop snowing! But I'm taking things in stride as much as I can. Now, we desperately do need to get to the grocery store soon, but I'm hoping we can make it past the next round of snow. And I have a lot of experiments scheduled. But other than those two things, I think everything else can slide for a little while.

No new year's resolutions this year. I am trying to improve many aspects of my life slowly, and I feel more successful without imposing start/stop times. Life in general is a work in progress.

I'll try to be back sooner rather than later. If I get snowed in, you may hear from me more than you might want :)

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