Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A very uninteresting post...

Hi from 2635, the disaster zone...

So, we're downsizing and by downsizing, I mean we are seriously eliminating! We're selling oodles of things and more to come. If you are interested in any of the below, you'll get a much better price now than through the consignment store (because they need to eat, too!)-- shoot me an email and let me know what you would like to take a look at....

wine glasses (a bunch of those)
lamps (a bunch, too)
wine cooler (electric)
two bed frames
artwork/pictures/things that go on the wall
tea cart
throw pillows
misc. pots/pans
(sadly) several, several, several silver pieces- various shapes/sizes/makers/ages
king size duvet
queen size duvet w/shams
two brown/pink paisley print curtains
wicker toy box
4 linen chair covers for armless chairs
sheets- full size and queen size
bedside table
small picnic basket
bathroom rugs- white and green
2 wicker outdoor chairs (make up in comfort what they lack in looks)
2 bar chairs
heavy glasses with cobalt rims (like the ones at TakoSushi)

So... my email is rmcagle at gmail dot com -- drop me a line and I'll be happy to email you a picture or 12 to see if you want to come by and take a look.

And yes, the house will be up for grabs, too- call Ross. Not today, it's a disaster. But tomorrow, maybe.

UPDATE: RED indicates SOLD!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Christmas Hop

Dad used to always joke that we hit the Big 4 when it came to church- Christmas, Easter, when the in-laws came to town... seriously though, Christmas Eve, the Merrys could be found at the Children's Mass at St. Mary's. The music was better, the kids were adorable, and nothing put us in the Christmas spirit more than hearing a slightly out of tune piano in the fellowship hall surrounded by 300 others looking to celebrate before the celebration.

Several years ago, we were in college I think, St. Mary's did away with the children's mass (unless you had children...) and we showed up late to church- still 20 minutes early, but 45 minutes past the time of the last seat inside the church. I was leaning against a table, Brad was pacing and the 'rents were standing next to each other. It was noisy in the Narthex and we had no idea that mass had started until half the people started praying together. 15 minutes in, Brad looked at Mom and said, "I'm all for being reverent, but this is about as un-reverent as it gets."

The Merrys dipped. No one missed us, too many people were talking to each other, and someone needed to drop the a/c about 15 degrees. Feeling the need to give thanks, we headed to Aldersgate Methodist. A friend of Mom's was "warming up" on the harp and she plucked away at Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, and another before the preacher came up to the lone 4 in the pew and asked if there was anyone he could pray for... assuming we were there for a distress in our family. Turns out, we were not just really, really early for church, we were 14 hours early.

Back in the car and we are off again to a small Episcopalian church on Wrightsboro Road. The priest welcomed us in as he was rehearsing his homily for the midnight mass. Reid Presbyterian... letting out from their service. Another church, whose name escapes me... standing room only.

The Merrys hopped from church to church trying to find room in the inn, all to no avail. We back-tracked over to St. Mary's and bypassed the church. We went straight to the chapel of perpetual adoration. Quietly, we sat and prayed for 15 minutes along with a handful of other quiet people. At the end of 15 minutes, we were ready to go home as a family and have our Christmas Eve traditions.

Fast forward 364 days. We are a year older and wiser about the children's mass. We made plans. We were organized. We had a schedule. We were going straight to perpetual adoration and then home for some of mom's cooking before Santa runs and bedtime. At the end of 15 minutes, Brad looked at Mom again and said, "That was reverent, but is there anything else we can do?"

Our Aunt was in the hospital-alone. She had fallen and was there alone with a skeleton staff of nurses who were not excited to be working Christmas Eve. We showed up and within ten minutes she fell nauseous. Brad, Dad, and I stepped out and Mom helped her as she got sick. No nurse in sight. We found one and found her to be less than helpful. Brad looked at Dad and said we were not leaving her there to fend for herself. Two minutes later, Dad is on the phone with a friend who is a personal nurse- also with no family. She hopped off the couch and left Jeopardy in the dust to come and sit with my sweet old aunt.

Fast forward three years... more like five... maybe six and I welcome you to Christmas Eve, 2009, the first time in a long time that we stepped foot back into church on Christmas Eve, together as a family. Most Holy Trinity welcomed us with a cool temperature, a breathtaking altar, and a brother and sister in the pew behind us with humbling voices as they sang in perfect harmony- stark in contrast to the 5 who cannot sing. Period.

The organist spoke from above and said, "Our first hymn is Number 387, 'O Come All Ye Faithful' Verses 1-3. Please sing verse 1 in Latin."


We had come a long way from the Fa-La-La-La-ing in the Children's Mass.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baby Food

Have I mentioned yet that I am making my own baby food? I am not green. I am not holistic. I am not one with nature. I do not eat granola. Our house has zero feng sheu. I am, however, extremely cheap.

Frugal. Tight. Thrifty. Whatever you call it—I clipped coupons before it was cool (from my parents newspaper) and long after we have made our millions, I will continue to ask the cashier for the family discount or what the “cash” price will be. I’m a haggler and proud of it. My father would be so proud.

Thriftsters and Super Moms Alert! Moucho money can be saved by making baby food. Proudly, once a week my little Gerber sweat shop goes to work. I chop, steam, puree, and pour veggies into baby containers. These are things that I do not eat myself (healthy is not how I would describe my eating habits), but baby girl screams if we do not shovel these yummy treats into her mouth at a scary fast pace.

Eileen eats. She is still hanging on to the growth curve with all that she has, but she eats. It is silly to think, but a $.50 container of baby food can be made for mere pennies when it comes to carrots, squash, zucchini, and sweet taters and less than a quarter for peaches and mangoes.

Oh! The colors! What a silly thing to notice, but the colors are so vibrant of homemade baby food- brilliant oranges, bright lime greens, Georgia clay reds and the prettiest yellows line my freezer walls with little tags that say things like “sweet taters,” “carrots-puree longer,” “zoo-ke-ney,” and “sweet peas for my sweet pea.” She likes those the least, sweet peas.

I pinch my pennies where I can… with my $150 Williams-Sonoma baby food maker…Hey, I said I pinched pennies, I did not say I stashed dollars.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Calling the doc

We, as a whole, hold doctors as the end-all, be-all for knowledge. And why not? They have anywhere from 4-8 more years of education and 2-6 years of training on us. Most importantly though, they wear white coats.

New parents, doctors being no exception, are clueless about most things. Things you NEED to know- is it normal that she drools this much? She tinkles... a lot. Is it okay that her nose is turning orange? Yes, okay, and yes-it's the carrots. You learn by doing and by child six or eight, you pretty much have the rhythm down and the answers to the 8,966 questions they don't teach in medical school.

Things we would never call on for ourselves will hit "speed dial 3" for the doctor's office and in a panic, an absolute panic, we breathlessly tell the nurse It's Important. A few minutes later... the calming air of the doctor says, like they almost always do, "Baby is fine." You sigh, get off the phone, and move forward with your day... minutes later, forgetting what a panic you were in because they were sucking two fingers instead of three.

I was not going to be this mom. I want to be a model patient. I want to be a model client. Just ask my Excel sheets.

So... Husband was unreachable one afternoon and Eileen and I were just having the best day playing and otherwise having girl time together. Until I noticed something... she was breathing.

No, no, no-don't give me that. She was breathing...funny. Puff Puff Puff Puff sighhhhhhh and then a few minutes later, same thing- Puff Puff Puff Puff sighhhhhhh. Of course, it took me an hour to realize that she had been doing it for so long. Once I noticed it, I hit speed dial 3.

"MOM. Eileen's breathing funny."

"WHAT?!? Call Dr. Freeman. Quick!"

Panic? Oh, panic left me 10 minutes ago- multiply panic by 50.

Phone calls between nurses and Dr. Freeman called me back, "What's wrong with my girl?"

My. Girl.

Instantly, instantly....I knew I had officially fallen into that category of those moms. Dude....

Soft and easy, this old southern gentleman asks if she was turning blue...

Are her lips blue?

Her ears?
Her EARS? No.

Is she playful?

Does she otherwise seem...normal?

Well, have Will give her a looksie when he gets back, but my diagnosis is she's fine.

I felt like a moron. He made me feel like a responsible parent and mother, but I called my doctor because my child was... breathing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Homeward Bound

Jimmy Buffett has this great song, Nautical Wheeler. I am a recent fan, admitting that my knowledge of music is not as vast as my movie quoting abilities. There is a line, “The left foot’ll follow where the right foot has traveled,” and that is where we are right now.

The left foot will be following the right foot soon. Soon, we will pack up our little home at 2635 and this farm boy and Georgia girl will get a dose of something outside of the Savannah River, the arches of Athens, and the town square of South Georgia.

His first pick for college- his only application- was to the University of Georgia. Husband did not believe in silly things like “safety schools.”

His first pick for medical school- his only application- was The Medical College of Georgia. He said that if he could not get the best in the southeast- he would just find something else to do with his life’s dream.

His first pick for a wife- this lovely girl- said yes.

His first pick for residency- his first time submitting more than one application- was The Children’s Medical Center, the best in the southeast; top in the nation.

And now, his first pick for fellowship- the second time submitting more than one application- is Children’s National, in Washington, D.C., top three in PICU fellowships across the country.

Who is my husband? My husband builds boats, plays the guitar, and sings to our sweet Eileen. Who is my husband? My husband has committed himself to taking care of the sickest of the sick kids and I have committed myself to taking care of him and our family. Our home will always be here in quaint Augusta- our roots were entwined in the Savannah River clay without even noticing.

But, for the time being, home is where the heart is and my heart is with Will.