Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year

Well I didn't exactly envision ringing in 2009 with a vomiting 14 month old. Not exactly. It was my first time with a vomiting child, other than the innocent and not so scary "spit ups" of my daughter's infancy. At around, oh, 4 a.m. when her crib was stripped to our last set of sheets, and us to our last sets of jammies and towels, I felt pretty rehearsed, prepared even, for this bout of the stomach flu. Graphic, I know, but if you have children you will understand, if you don't, please use your imagination and then forgive me!
How heartbreaking to see your child so sick and so helpless. I think I went into auto pilot mode. My poor squeamish husband stood by, wads of waiting baby wipes in both hands, trying to clean me up as I had to remove layer after layer of clothes with each wave. He was a bit pale, now that I think about it. Ashen even. But he stayed with us, changing over loads of laundry, cleaning me up, changing her crib and trash bags like a worker bee. All night. I guess he figured that if I was the one on rocking, puke catching and comforting duty, he could at least provide janitorial services. We were a brilliant team in those sad, endless and dark hours. I knew the day would come, but I didn't expect it on New Year's Eve! Good times were not had by all. Then for the finale, the next night I too was not well and the poor husband had to help two of us vomiting ladies. All night. Good thing he had a dress rehearsal the night before. Ahhh-vomit-makes for a pleasant new year, don't you think? The next day, my husband told me I handled everything, " excellently" I'll take that as a compliment. As excellently as you can handle such adventures I guess. I just did the best I could to keep Ava comfortable and clean and calm.
So on a lighter and less disgusting note, our wood stove is up and running! The Reactor we call it, and we have been sans oil heat for a few days, enjoying that radiating heat of a wood fire. Though I feel like I have a new infant in the house again, that needs to be fed every few hours, I am adjusting. Ava likes to yell down through the grate in the floor to the basement when her Dad loads the wood stove- "DAAADDY!!" she screams, until he comes over to the vent and looks up at her through the floor. "Hi!" she squeals as though it is the first time, every time. So funny.
Chris and I have conferences in the basement now, after Ava goes to bed, we sit around the wood stove in our 98 year old basement, (visualize here with me-not such a soothing atmosphere!), drinks in hand, sitting on children's school chairs and we talk until our cheeks are pink and we can no longer bear the 500 degree heat coming off of the wood stove. Is there a better winter feeling than soaking up all the warmth you can stand of a wood stove in your jammies, teeth already brushed and face already washed, and then racing up to bed and cozying in while your entire being is still toasty!?! Divine.
On installation day I was on Ava duty, and the boys were outside, up on the roof, in and out of the basement, measuring, measuring again, out in the street wrangling a 30 foot steel tube, scuttling up and down ladders, yelling up a hole in the chimney from the basement to the roof to communicate the position of the liner and such. It was all very exciting.
The success of this great project cannot be celebrated without the mention of many great people who had a hand in the process.
(Thanks Dad & Uncle Glenn for getting up on the roof and installing the 30 foot chimney liner to make this possible! Thanks Dad for the many limited availability hours since this summer spent splitting wood with us, thanks for your determination and expertise. Thanks again to our friends Ted & Vicki for generously giving us the wood stove! Thanks to our talented and trusty friend Matt for expertly fixing our chimney top and for cutting the hole in the base of the chimney for the wood stove on a very short and inconvenient notice!) You are all cordially invited to our lovely basement for refreshments and lively conversation around the warmth of the wood stove, any time.
And to leave you with a better image than I gave you at the start, here is a little friend that Ava and I have been feeding outside our kitchen window. This little cream dipped Junco comes for breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack at the same times that Ava sits by the window eating her respective meals and snacks-much to her delight. I love his little legs and his plump little belly-Ava screams in amazement every time she looks out from her high chair and there is this little gray -blue fellow, snacking away on the millet we sprinkle on the railing top. Juncos are ground feeders predominantly as I understand it, and they love millet. I encourage you to sprinkle a bit where you can see them, they will come and gorge and leave the sweetest little footprints in the snow. Happy New Year!


AlewivesGirl said...

Hi Meagan,

Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my blog! I wish I had been in the shop to meet you in person, but it was my day off and I was watching "Mama Mia" for the first time (You don't mess with that!).

I've bookmarked your site and you can bet I will be reading regularly from now on: I love the local Blog action.

And, oh, yes, I have total Wood Stove envy!!!


Samantha Warren Weddings said...

We have a Jotul in our living room and sitting with the dogs on the floor so close that you fear you're frying is a winter delight. Happy woodstoving! Isn't it grand!

Ashley said...

So sorry to hear about the death in your family. Loss is complicated.
And the sick baby. Yikes. I've been with Porter through high temps and nursed him down. That's gotta be easier than having the stomach flu! Poor things.
I too love wood heat. We don't have any in our home, but when we go visiting our family up north, they do and it smells and feels soooo good.

Philigry said...

oh, no! meg, i hope we didn't get you sick. i hope, i hope. i am so glad you are feeling better though.
i love the pictures of the little birds. so sweet.