Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Hello everybody! I hope you all had fantastic holiday weekends full of family and new memories. (For related taled of holiday debauchery, see Amy's Blog). Owen and I sure did and Sam especially did. Not even born yet and he’s spoiled rotten – he got his own bag full of Christmas gifts from members of the entire family (including a "my first MP3 player" from Aunt Rachel and Uncle Jeff)! Just as Owen did for himself when he was a kid, he insisted on laying all Samuel’s loot out in a picturesque array on the floor so it could be studied and admired. He then decided we couldn’t put any of it away until we took a picture.

We had quite a crowd opening gifts at HL on Sunday: 1 great grandpa, 1 great grandma, two sets of grandparents (that equals 4 of them), 11 of my generation (this includes spouses) and 5 of the generation we like to call the great grands – and that’s not even counting Sam! We also had six more people for dinner. What a houseful!

I feel I must apologize to them all now for being less than chipper on the big day. I was up all night on Christmas Eve not out of excitement, but due to severe pain in my left ear and a sore throat. After having finally made it to the doctor this morning, she has told me that I have “Severe Sinusitis” and am in the running for a bonus ear infection. She sent me home from work today and told me to take tomorrow off too. So, for once, I am writing from home. It feels odd.

But, back to the fun part! I also wanted to just sent out a preliminary thank you to everybody (the real thing will be coming along soon, promise) for once again being so generous to us this season, especially our parents.

Among his favorite items, Owen received a KISS bowling ball. I was unable to get my hands on it to take a picture (I think it may very well be in our bed where he’s been sleeping with it), but it is quite a sight to behold! He also got a handheld police scanner, which, he says, is quite enjoyable to listen to. We live just across the street from the local fire department and now he gets to know all the happenings. His buddy/golf league partner/bowling league cohort Kevin, says he has spent many an enjoyable evening hearing his ex-girlfriends getting picked up for DUI’s and the like. I also made him a book of essay's from NPR's "This I Believe" series, which we both love and which I highly recommend. They don't have a book out (yet) and so I copied and printed all of them and then bound them into a binder so we could keep adding them as they air new ones every week (check your local listings - ours is on Monday mornings). Owen also received, though he has generously offered to share it with Sam, a small nest full of baby dinosaurs. There’s a story behind it, but I’ll leave that for him to tell if he ever writes on his blog again (I’ll remind him).

Sam also received a number of baby-sized KISS items: a bib, a cap, a onesie and a twp-piece set. They’re quite funny though I have to admit that I don’t know anybody else who shops for their
baby at Hot Topic. Our thanks to Laura and Grammy Sylv for those awesome items!

P.S. The two-piece set says “Rock and roll all night” on the shirt and “Potty every day” on the rear-end of the bottoms.

As for me, my favorites were mostly smaller in nature. I got an iHome stereo into which I can plug my iPod to listen to in the kitchen. It has fantastic sound and also picks up NPR extremely well. One of the coolest things I got was a doorstopper in the image of the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East (from the Wizard of Oz) still wearing the Ruby slippers (this would be after the house fell on her and just before Glinda gave the slippers to Dorothy).

I also got several games (I LOVE family game night!) and a few books. My favorites of the books are the children’s books (nothing new there!): one called “Mooses Come Walking” by Arlo Guthrie and one called “Nothing but Miracles,” which is composed of pictures and the poem of the same name by Walt Whitman excerpted from his 1900 larger poem called “Leaves of Grass.” It’s an absolutely beautiful poem that seems to be especially appropriate during the holiday season. Perhaps it strikes a chord with me as I feel the kickings and flutterings of my unborn baby boy, who truly is a miracle, by any definition. (Whoever says that science and religion are a world apart ought to take a look at reporductive medicine - nothing but miracles!)

Nothing But Miracles
By Walt Whitman

WHY, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with anyone I love, or sleep in the bed at night with anyone I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships with the men in them, What stranger miracles are there?

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