Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Here's a brief travelogue in pictures. We've done a lot of driving and visiting on this journey. Our daughter and grandson stayed with his other grandmother in CA while we drove from the Central Coast of CA up to Tacoma for a few days. Along the way, we stayed a couple nights in San Francisco and a night on the coast of Oregon before landing on our boat in Tacoma where it drizzled and rained the entire time. Our New Year's celebration was very sedate, as usual, but special in that we got to spend it cozied up in our boat, watching...ahem...Mamma Mia! Some of you know that I am a hardened ABBA hater, but really, this was an outstanding movie...great cinematography, great story, great musical (as in, not too musically if you know what I mean), great music (I know, I know...I never thought I'd say that). Anyway, Mamma Mia and a bottle of wine made for a nice celebration.

Now, we are on our way back to CA a bit early, to pick up our daughter and grandson. Unfortunately, he has come down with a serious respiratory cold (thankfully, it's not pneumonia or RSV) for which he's being hospitalized for the night. While he's in good hands, we'll feel better when we can see him again and give him a big hug. Please say a prayer for the little bugger.

So, from the beginning (sort of)...

Flagstaff, AZ (by the pool)

Ragged Point (Big Sur coast), CA

Union Square, San Francisco

Chinatown, San Francisco, CA

Giant Redwoods, Northern CA coast

Tacoma, WA

Smokey, at the Navigation Station

Sophia, at the Entertainment Station
(for Christmas, my husband received an autographed photo of "the most beautiful woman in the world" to personify the boat's new name)

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Quiz

A question for mothers everywhere...when your baby is crying, should you...

a) Attend to the baby in an attempt to determine the cause of crying,
b) Leave the baby in the motel room and go sleep in the car (when it's 17 degrees outside), or
c) Lock yourself in the bathroom to escape the sounds of the crying baby and sleep in the bathtub...all night?

Here's A Hint (Exhibit A)

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Travelogue in Pictures

Deep Fried Twinkies (Oklahoma City) *

* Positively the biggest waste of 9,000 calories, ever! This was taken after we were finished eating (as in, none of us could eat another bite...they were absolutely awful and tasted like catfish...I think they were cooked in the wrong fryer...and the berry drizzle did nothing to help).

Today, we managed to make it as far as Amarillo, TX before the little one had a melt down. 10 hours of driving appears to be his limit. Tomorrow, we hope to make it as far as Flagstaff.


Never Too Young To Read


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Knock, Knock

Is anybody out there?

I know it's been awhile. I'm not myself lately. Life has been hard. Not as hard as it gets, by any means, but frustratingly challenging as compared to the easy life to which I've become accustomed. And while it might prove to be an interesting topic for the tabloids someday, I'm afraid I'm still so enveloped in the details that I can't muster up the strength to write about it. I'll let a few bullet points serve as a place marker for the day when I can look back and laugh. That day will come, right? Right?!

Yesterday marked my informal last day of gainful employment (yes, I realize this is a time when people are losing their long-time jobs and bemoaning the fact that they are woefully unemployed...and yet, somehow, I don't care). It's been a fast paced furious march towards the day that would really be my official last day...12/31/08 (but since I will be on vacation for the duration, yesterday was my informal "last day," and it went mostly unnoticed and uncelebrated by my co-workers, in part because there are so many loose ends that I will have to return to the office upon returning to clean things out...that, and I agreed to assist on a contract basis through 4/15 as long as I could work from really? I'm not free yet). This march has involved a lot of lengthy transition conversations with clients and co-workers as well as year-end planning for my soon-to-be former clients. Along the way, I've had a number of conversations about outsourcing tax services to other CPAs as well as a few of my clients who prefer not to be "transitioned" to anyone else. And while I wasn't looking for this kind of work, the requests have offered some assurance that perhaps we won't go hungry.

November 4th marked the day we checked our daughter into outpatient drug rehab. While we were very disappointed to discover she had returned to a habit she developed before getting pregnant, we were optimistic when she acknowledged that she needed help and volunteered to seek treatment.

December 14th marked the day we committed to taking steps to obtain guardianship of our grandson when our daughter tested positive yet again for crystal has become painfully obvious that she can't work on recovery and parenting at the same time, especially when she is only partially committed to we will do the parenting...and we pray that she will choose to commit to her recovery, but we're not very optimistic...this breaks our hearts, but we know she is in God's capable hands.

The vacation? Those with babies will, I think, appreciate the sheer insanity of this...we are currently en route to CA, and Seattle, starting in Kansas car...with a 6 month old baby and his drug addict mother. The trip started just 5.5 hours ago. I'll update as I feel motivated, but so far, so good. I can only report that so far, the daughter and grandson have slept the entire way. The funny part is the luggage ratio. While the adults are carrying roughly 1/8 their body weight, the baby is packing roughly 10 times his...everything from clothes and blankets, diapers and formula to a crib, stroller and bathtub, and everything in between. Should we encounter a blizzard, we're all prepared to live on formula and wrapped in baby blankets for a few days.

Okay, that was a bit more than a bullet point list, but still...there's so much more...

But in all the "blah," Julian makes us smile and giggle every day. He's doing great, growing faster than a beansprout and making us happy. He's already 18 pounds and very healthy, according to his 6-month checkup last week.

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