Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Week in Review

So, the first week in December did not exactly go as planned. We lost Jeremy's grandfather, PaJoe, early Thursday morning due to congestive heart failure. For those of you in the Malvern area PaJoe owned and operated the local barber shop on Main St. for many, maany, years and was an absolute character. I have two "catch phrases" that I will always remember him by. The first was his greeting-Anytime you saw PaJoe he would stand up (because he was too much of a gentleman to remain seated) and give you a big hug. I would say "Hi PaJoe, how are you doing/feeling today?" To which he would reply "Oh, I'm as mean as ever." And then when you parted you would again get the standing hug and a "I'm glad you got to see me today!" So, while the entire Johnson family is very sad to see him go it is also a blessing in that he is no longer in pain/discomfort and he is now with God.

So, while dealing with the loss of PaJoe we also still had to pull off the first of 2 Santa Trains on Saturday. Jeremy and I would have easily backed out, but his dad was insitent that we still participate; mainly because we had promised our 4 year old nephew Holton that he could help Uncle Jeremy drive the train. And apparently, Jeremy is now cooler than Santa Claus-I really don't think there is any higher praise from a child do you? Holton was so proud of himself and actually did get to "drive" for a minute. And let me tell you, I could learn a thing or two from him about the inside of a locomotive. Holton could name every control in the cab and what it could do-he was even telling Jeremy what he needed to be doing. Thomas the Train is one informative little show!

And, I bought Holton and Emma little engineer's hats and had their names embroirdered on them. Holly said Holton wore his hat that night to his "girlfriend" Elizabeth's house. Aren't they adorable? (It was so cold Emma wore her's over her toboggan)

We have sort of made it tradition that our Christmas card picture is from the Santa Train but I'm not sure that will happen this year. Emma was so bundled up in all of the pictures that you could only see a fraction of her face and she's just too cute to not be the focal point of the pictures!
Getting a present from Diana Claus while waiting to catch a ride on the train . . .

Also, I've had two things running through my mind continuously over the last week. The first is the realization that I am utterly and completely addicted to my cell phone. I am now one of "those people" that cannot live without their cell phone. Mine died and I immediately got it replaced with a new HTC smartphone but could not get all of my information downloaded to it for about a week. I am so dependent on having my email, calendar, and 300+ contacts on my cell phone that I almost went spastic. It. Was. Not. Pretty. I get calls at odd times in odd places (10pm on Sat night at Walgreens for example) on my cell phone from customers, other railroads, etc that I HAVE to have full and complete access to Windows Outlook. Nevermind that I have a laptop- I need it on the phone also! Sigh. Oh well. There could be worse addictions . . .

And the second thought nagging me is a comment that one of my customers made. Now, I've known this guy for 4 years and he is wonderfully kind and I'm sure did not mean to offend me, but he did. Following Emma's last hospital stay he was calling to check on Emma and see if I needed any help with the Santa Train. He made the comment that if he could do it all over again he would insist that his wife stay home with their kids while they were growing up and place more importance on that than the lifestyle they both worked to maintain. That was not word for word, but hidden in there I felt a subtle rebuke for still working. I really have been struggling with guilt for continuing to work after Emma was born ever since she was born; only made worse now by her asthma. I think it is up to each family to decide what is best for them and there are days when I really wish I was a SAHM. But, it's just not feasible for me for two main reasons-1) Jeremy makes good money, but I'm paid very well for the $$ I generate for the railroad in new business and contract negotiations. It's a simple matter of we cannot afford our bills on his income alone. (Jeremy jokingly says it's my fault for going to college and being a smarty pants!) 2) I love my job and it is the type of job that will be quickly filled if I vacate it. With a railroad you have certain geographic limitations so if I leave AKMD and then get ready to jump back into the workforce my job will not be waiting and it will require that we move to find a similar position. So, I do the best I can and make sure I put Emma's needs first. Luckily, AKMD is willing to work with me and allow me to be there for Emma when necessary.
And, to end on a light note-we finally traded belated birthday presents with our friends the Stuckeys (their daughter Ava had a birthday the week after Emma but we were not able to attend each other's parties) and Emma loved the baby stroller they got her. I tried to show her how to use it properly-I strapped her little baby doll in and tried to get her to push it around the house. OH NO. She threw the baby in the floor and crawled into the stroller herself. Then daddy got the idea to turn our hallway into a drag strip so he would push Emma down the hallway as fast as he could, do donuts, etc and she would just squeal and laugh her little head off. Here is a picure of her mid-360 turn. I see a lot of gray hairs in my future from this little adrenaline junkie. I'm afraid she's going to take after me (3 broken arms, stitches 7 0r 8 times . . . ).

Here's hoping Santa Train #2 and week #2 are not near as eventful . . .

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