Things have been pretty crazy lately. Between me working on finishing one book while preparing for another scheduled for publication next month, coping with having a sick baby and taking care of all the holiday madness associated with this time of year, it's hard to find time for much else. Least of all among them being sleep.
I am just glad that I am finally over being sick. For a while there, hubby, Jennifer and I were all sick with a cold, which we caught from the baby.
The baby, unfortunately, has not gotten over being sick. He went from having a cold to coming down with an ear infection. His cold lasted a long time. In fact, he's been sick since Thanksgiving. I took him to the doctor for the third time yesterday (despite everybody saying I'm overreacting) and the nurse was concerned because he's lost a little weight. (He hasn't been eating as much since becoming sick.) The worst of it is his fevers. His temp has gone as high as 104 twice in one day. Last night, he woke up at 1 a.m. and his skin was boiling hot to the touch. Hubby spent some time sitting outside with him, trying to cool him off. I've also given him cool baths to bring down his temperature. Jennifer has been distressed over her baby brother being sick for so long. Last night, she broke down crying because she thought he was going to die. I assured her it was not that terrible. He just needed extra time to get better.
Because of the baby being so sick for so long, our travel plans for Christmas are on hold. We might not go to California as planned. I, for one, certainly don't want us to travel if the baby is still sick. (I have to take him back to the doctor if he's not better by Monday.) I love my family, but I have to put my children first. Family members are welcome to come out here to Oregon and visit with us, if they want to be with us for Christmas. But us traveling with a sick baby? No, I forbid it.
We have not really gotten the house ready for Christmas. In fact, we don't have a tree yet. As mentioned, we have all been sick lately, so we're getting a VERY late start in Christmas-izing the house. And, anyway, I didn't think we should decorate if we were going to go to California. Now that we probably won't, we might as well get some Christmas stuff out. That means getting a tree up this weekend. Yay!
I have managed to do just about all of my Christmas shopping so far. Millie and Allison were here for Thanksgiving, and we went Christmas shopping on Black Friday. I had also taken advantage of free shipping from Amazon.com and bought gifts through there, too. But there was one gift I bought that I was not sure of giving to a particular someone: My brother-in-law, Donnie. I bought him a gift since hubby HARDLY buys his family gifts (what's up with that, anyway??), but not sure if he'd like it. I finally decided he'll probably think it's a stupid gift and figured that Jennifer could give it to her teacher instead.
Turns out, we needed TWO teacher gifts!
The helper teacher was teaching the class for the early part of the semester because Jennifer's regular teacher was out on maternity leave. I didn't expect her to come back until after winter break, but I found out last night, AFTER Jen was asleep, that she'll be back today! And we didn't have a gift for her! Yikes!
I started scouring the house, looking for extra gifts or...something "giftworthy" that hadn't been opened yet. Why, oh why, did I open that package of peanut brittle yesterday?? Oh, I know. It's because I was craving some peanut brittle! But that made me think that maybe candy is not a good gift idea. What if she was a diabetic? On a special diet? She just had a baby -- maybe she was trying to watch her weight. So, no. Candy was NOT a good gift idea.
Hm...candles? The only unopened candles I had was a bag of tealight candles. I thought that was dumb. Sure, we could always use them, but I thought it was silly to hand someone a gift and say, "Merry Christmas! Here's a bag of a bazillion tealight candles!"
Then a thought struck me. I DID have something giftworthy to give away: A copy of one of my books. Why not? It's not like I'm grabbing something from my own personal library of books (though I'll admit I DID scan my own collection of books to find something, but wasn't sure what she liked to read).
I started to think. Which one? Which one? Poetry? Writing? My novel?? Hmmm. What if she doesn't like poetry? What if the novel was a genre she didn't enjoy reading? What if she didn't write?? (Well, maybe she DOES write. Or will write someday.)
As I started to decide on which of my books to give to her, I started to question if I was being vain in giving away a book I have written. Was this a shameless method of self-promotion? Was I being so prideful that I'd expect someone to really want a book I have written?
Sure, people like receiving autographed copies of books (and I did sign it for her), but I had to wonder how the whole thing would look. Was this a bad idea?
Well, it was my ONLY idea for an emergency gift. Hey, being an author is the gift that keeps on giving!
I also wondered if Jennifer would be upset at my choice. This was HER teacher and HER moment of giving her teacher a Christmas gift. Me stepping into that with MY book might hurt her feelings.
That's what I thought until I told her about my selection this morning. And, actually, she got excited that her mom was giving her teacher a signed copy of her book. She even gave me a high-five. (She's often proudly informed people at her school that I write books and I have even done readings there. In fact, there's talk of another reading to do when my next poetry book comes out!) I was relieved she was okay with this choice. "I only hope she likes poetry," I said. Jennifer nodded her head and said, "Me, too."
Now if only I can get those Christmas cards mailed. And help the baby get better in time for Christmas. Or almost better.