Christmas came and went and left behind a house covered in trash, a kitchen overtaken with leftovers and stuff, stuff, stuff to take care of. It literally took me over a week to get my house back after Christmas. This included cleaning, putting things away, washing clothes, sorting out toys (because, believe me, we just couldn’t keep them all) and then FINALLY de-Christmasing the house. I LOVE the Christmas decor during the month of December up until the 25th. Then, the next day I’m ready for it all to be gone so I can have my house back. To me, part of the beauty of Christmas is the sense of normalcy that settles back in after it’s over. I get such an appreciation of simplicity and calmness when it’s all said and done.
Well, my cat died. My instructions for her trip to the vet were for them to put her out of her obvious misery. But, they convince my mother and bleeding heart brother and girlfriend that the cat is going to be fine. I suppose they then feel that they cannot go through with having her put down. My mother (for whatever reason) feels like she should put the $678.00 on her credit card that it’s going to cost to monitor her at their facility for one night. I still to this very minute cannot believe she paid that amount for a cat that wasn’t even hers. Jeff thinks it was probably guilt because her dogs were the ones who tore the cat up. At any rate, it’s just too much money. After convincing my family that she’d be fine, we get a call Christmas morning that her lungs had collapsed overnight. We were given the choice to pay about a thousand more dollars to put her through some difficult to recover from procedures or we could put her down. We chose to put her down. After spending the day bopping around Anderson, we have to go by and pick up our dead cat’s body on the way back home. That flat out creeped me out. Then, Jeff didn’t make the effort to bury her. After a day and a half of seeing that little box, I went out in the rain and dug her little kitty grave myself. I ask Jeff to please put her in it and cover her up and all he has for me are complaints about my hole-digging skills. “Who taught you how to dig a hole?” No one. “What did you do with the sod?” Put it in the pile with the other dirt. “Why did you put it where you did?” Seemed like a good spot. (eyes roll, mind thinks: why didn’t YOU do it, then?)
A good thing that came from the death of Lizzy is that Jeff has now felt compelled to make Soot (a VERY fluffy gray kitten from Lizzy) an indoor kitten. Today was his first day in the house and he’s a wonderful, affectionate indoor kitty. I love, love, love having a cat in the house.
I have a new position at The Edge now. One that I am really psyched about. I am the new director of Waumba Land (the name Waumba is Swahili meaning “Father”: Land of the Father). It’s the preschool, toddler and nursery area of our church. For those of you that don’t know, I was a teacher for 8 years. I was a darn good teacher and leaving my job was a tough decision in some ways and an easy one in others. It’s been exactly one year to the day tomorrow that I left my school. And, tomorrow I begin a new teaching position. That just occurred to me and I think it’s so cool.
I feel such a higher sense of purpose with this teaching position. My class will be smaller and it will only be a hour and a half each week, but still I feel so honored that I get to do it. Of course I won’t be able to be in all 3 of the classrooms each week, so part of my job will be to plan for each room and make sure that the volunteers know what to do and are able to do it easily as well. I have just as much fun with organizing, printing, labeling and planning as I do with teaching itself. That’s just the huge nerd in me.
I was telling Robin a few days ago that I get such huge satisfaction from teaching. I told her that I enjoy and feel like I’m good at the other things I’ve been doing (organizing, managing, communicating, creating graphics presentations), but teaching is something I’ve always felt I was meant and called to do. Now that I’m back into it there is a part of me that simply clicked back into place. These new duties will be in addition to the other duties, so that will mean more hours of work each week. My dad will be keeping Carter on Tuesday afternoons for 4 hours to give me one solid block of time to get things done. I think that will help, but time management is going to be very important. I know me and my tendency will be to totally dive into teaching again, but I’ve got to be careful to still spend some good, quality time with Carter each day.
Speaking of Carter, he’s had his own little roller coaster of craziness over the past few weeks. Last Monday when I got home from our staff meeting, Carter was burning up. He had a fever of 103. I’ve been told before that up to 105 or 106 can be tolerated by a baby, but when you see that HIGH number on the thermometer your mind goes wild. The weird thing about the fever was that there were no other symptoms. So, we gave him Tylenol. That helped a little, but as soon as the Tylenol would wear off the fever would pop right back up there. We went through 2 nights of wiping him down with wet rags and letting him sleep (off and on) in our bed, which meant low quality sleep for the both of us. Wednesday morning I took him to the doctor and heard what I expected: “It’s a virus. It will run it’s course” She was right. It did. The fever was gone by that afternoon. But, I’d rather pay to hear it from her than spend time in wonder and worry. But the worse was yet to be seen.
Thursday night we put Carter down at his regular 8:30. He lay in his bed for a few minutes before starting to cry. It was a freak out cry, so I knew I’d be going in to get him. The reason behind the crying: huge, knot-swollen gums from molars trying to break through. This was the worse bought with teething we’ve had. He cried hard and long without consolation until 10:45. By this point, he was laying limp in my arms crying with his eyes closed. So, I put him down and he was asleep within 10 minutes. It didn’t last. He was back up wailing again an hour later and continued for another hour before he was able to sleep again. Poor guy. I hate knowing he’s in pain and there’s nothing I can do to comfort him. As I sat crying in his rocking chair holding him while he’s writhing in pain, I thought of Jesus. That must be how He feels sometimes with me.
On Friday Carter wakes up and he’s covered in a rash–all over his face and neck and stomach and back. Thank goodness for the phone nurse at my pediatrician. I was ready to toss Carter in the car and head back up there, but she assured me that it was nothing. Because he’d had a high fever for so long, it caused the rash. Thankfully, it wasn’t going to itch or bother Carter and it would go away on it’s on.
The final thing I’ve been trying to cope with on the Carter front is screaming. It could be related to the fever and teething. Or not. He is screaming about everything. If you say the wrong thing, he screams. If he wants something, he screams. if he doesn’t like something, he screams. If he’s sitting on the floor happily playing, he’ll scream anyway. I’m gonna have to take a video of this sound so you can get the full effect of how SHOT my nerves have been at the end of every day for the past week. Tonight Jeff got so frustrated that he called him a cry baby (real mature, Jeff). He told him to stop crying because he didn’t have anything to cry about. I told him that he’s a baby and baby’s cry. “He’s been a baby for 16 months now and he’s never cried this much.” He’s a baby with an opinion now and he doesn’t know any other way to express it.
That’s my life and my year right now. How’s yours?