Friday, February 27, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

02.24.2009 -- What a Difference a Year Makes

This afternoon Lucy miraculously made it out of the house to go to a much anticipated birthday party. Miraculous? Let's just say that she was as tired as she's ever been minus one hard-fought hour's worth of napping.

While she was out, some friends stopped by to visit. One of the many "things" about the LDS church (Mormon church--My church), is the "Visiting Teaching." I am a "Visiting Teacher," and I am also "Visit Taught." The idea, basically, is to get together once a month to talk. We talk about everything--and church stuff too. Like this month, the suggested subject for non-secular discussion, or "message," is the special role of women.

Anyway, I was talking about how much more respect I have for moms who have lots of kids--because I only have two, and...let's just say that life is not the same. I mentioned my erstwhile goal of being more social and how it's been turning out. Namely, that it's been throwing things off. (Not that I've been out partying, or anything...)..But, I've been coming to the realization that now is not really the time in my life to be putting my energy into socialization (not, at least, for myself.)

To be the kind of mom that I want to be, my own social life is going to be on the back burner until our kids are older. And that's okay. Of course, I recognize that there's a balance that needs to be struck. But for me, I've decided to make being a mom definitely more important for a while.

It's a little sad for me. I haven't lost my love for these friends. (And let's be honest, even before I was a mom, I've struggled to keep in touch the way I've wanted.)

Yes, it's become pretty clear that, in initiating these social forays (on the internet or not), the ends of my proverbial rope start fraying...leaving me with way too many ends: Dozens of half-fast :) contacts and conversations. So, I think to myself, this is not working. And that is how I decided, for now at least, to narrow my focus.

So, with this thought, or at least in this vein, the topic turned to women that we admire. One friend, Laura, commented on one specific woman's calm demeanor (she's got lots of children), and her depth. When Laura suggested that this Mother of Lots of Children (MLC) join a group of quilters, MLC simply said that it was "not her season." Very wise, right? Simple. Deep. Impressive.

Laura said that this admirable woman (MLC) reminded her of me when she first met me. (Got that? She, MLC, her, me, she, me.) I was a little bummed. Laura said that I was like that when she first met me. I didn't want to make a big deal about it, and it really was a huge compliment to me, but I was bummed--I found myself very aware that Laura had used an anterior clause: reminded, first met. In the past. I tried not to dwell on it too much, but I kept returning to it.

What's so different about me now?

Here's the difference. When I first met Laura, I was hurting, a lot.

I wanted another child. Brian and I had been trying for a while, and I was trying to make peace with our situation.

We were also going through some heavy challenges with other significant relationships. We couldn't seem to communicate effectively in order to solve problems that kept popping up unexpectedly. Sadness, stress. Heartache, anger. Weariness, patience.

Another factor: We had just moved, so I was meeting a lot of new people--I wasn't really comfortable around any of these new acquaintances, although I liked them.

I was on my knees a lot those days.

“Trials and tribulations tend to squeeze the artificiality out of us, leaving the essence of what we really are and clarifying what we really yearn for.”
Neal A. Maxwell

These days, time for extensive prayer is a luxury. And there is an abundance of joy in every hour with little Gabe and Lucy around. Not that Lucy wasn't enough before--we just wanted another one--a sibling for her and a bigger family for us.

I know I can speak for Brian when I say that we felt and feel so lucky and blessed and relieved and happy when we learned that we were expecting. A new baby...reaches down your throat and pulls the joy out by force, no matter how tired you happen to be. (Joy lives down there by the gizzard, I'm pretty sure.)

Sure, I'm sleep deprived and my body has endured the thrashing of another pregnancy (a year ago, I was in fair shape, for me). But every time I make eye contact with Gabe or adjust him, happy little lump, in my arms, I get a shot of pure joy and amazement and gratitude. Lucy. AND Gabe!

One more kid, exponential growth in Joy (J) and Love (L). But that isn't quite right or maybe it's just not that simple....To say that it (J&L) isn't more than we had before doesn't quite cover it. But I guess it (J&L) really isn't any more than we had before. What's different is that before, we wanted another child. What's different is that we don't see a hole now where that next child could be. Maybe that's right, maybe not. Either way, there's a lot of good feeling going on in our house these days.

This year? So much less sadness, so much less stress (seriously--even with Lucy's shunt revision and the day to day of living with a normal (very determined) three-year-old). So much less heartache and anger. Weariness and patience? Well, I guess not everything is totally different. :) But truthfully, the "weariness and patience" that is a major factor in my life now is very, very different than I was experiencing a year ago.

I am probably very different to interact with these days. I don't have the time I had a year ago to think as many deep thoughts. I lack the sadness and heartache that gave my conversations that anchor. Introspection? What's that? (Nah. It's not really that bad.) My lack of sleep and familiarity makes me way more likely to blurt out half-baked thoughts in the middle of a conversation. This makes me much less impressive and deep-seeming, I'm afraid.

Oh well.

I hope my friend isn't too disappointed. Maybe she'll be able to say that I'm amazingly calm and insightful and deep someday. If not, I'll settle for genuine.

Lucy a year ago

Monday, February 16, 2009

02.16.2009 -- Very Random List About Brian

1) Brian is incredibly generous. When we were dating, it sort of stunned me. It still sort of stuns me.

2) Brian does not often do things he doesn't want to do.

3) Brian is a man who can work hard and play hard, but play will probably always rank higher than work, which makes it all the more impressive that he works as hard as he does.

3) Brian is very, very ticklish. I'm not telling where, because he doesn't really like to be tickled.

4) When he's sick, there aren't many things that Brian likes more than a footrub.

5) Brian is not afraid of babies. This is something that impressed me way back when and still does. He's great with kids.

6) Brian likes to ski or snowboard at least once a week.

7) Brian likes to rent movies the old fashioned way: not Netflicks, not Redbox... Brick and Mortar Blockbuster. And he likes to get at least two movies at a time.

8) Nine times out of ten, Brian rents new releases. He's just not into old movies.

9) Brian can be an early riser--for play or for work--but he doesn't really go to bed early.

10) Brian has had work done: both rotater cuffs have required work, and he's had a lot of stitches.

11) Brian has a thing for good architecture, and has a definite opinion about pretty much any design.

12) Brian has a hard time finding books that really hold his attention. He tends to prefer magazines.

13) Brian has great self-control and will-power. He rarely goes to extremes in anything, whether it's a hobby, his diet, or how he spends his time.

14) The first time I saw Brian wakeboard and waterski, I fell in love with him a little deeper. He's graceful, dynamic on the water, and full of joy when we're boating. I can't take my eyes from him.

15) When I first met Brian, he had a platinum buzz-cut and both of his ears were pierced. I still have one of his little silver hoops. (I lost the other.)

16) Brian used to climb with me even though he doesn't like heights. Used to, that is, until he fell to the deck once and broke his ankle. Can't say I blame him.

17) Brian's good in the river. Growing up with a dad who loves rivers, Brian learned how to read a river and is a good man to have oaring if you want to get a raft through a hard stretch of whitewater.

18) Brian is 80 inches tall, or 5 foot 20. This is 12 inches taller than my dad.

19) Brian mostly thinks things through himself then talks about them.

20) Brian likes cars. A lot. He likes fast cars and nice cars and tough cars (or trucks). This explains the chip in his gigantic truck.

21) When we were in college and he worked at a gas station, Brian heard lots of people announce that they "had gas" as they approached the cashier with twinkies and a drink. Ever since then, if he goes in a gas station and buys something in addition to filling up, he says, "I have fuel."

22) Brian cannot relax if he's misplaced something.

23) Brian does not like beets.

24) It doesn't matter what the weather's like outside, flipflops (and shorts) are always an option.

25) Yes, he can see that the top of your fridge is covered in dust; no, he doesn't care.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

02.15.2009 -- Very Random List About Me

From Facebook, with a few changes.

1- I used to wear a t-shirt that said “Mean People Suck,” then got rid of it when I realized it was kind of mean. There may not be anything that makes me more angry than meanness. Ask me about the time I bent two axles on my Subaru by sliding into a curb! Meanness. Road rage.

2- The Meyers Briggs Type Indicator is something that I’ve found really useful ever since my cousin, Justine, introduced us years ago. The MBTI never gets old for me. (ENFP)

3- As far as I’m concerned, I learned 2 useful things in my Communications 101 class in college: about the Johari window, and that you shouldn’t bring up a problem without presenting a solution of your own.

4- I love exercises like this because of their effect on the Johari window. Okay, maybe it's not that useful--but I really like it anyway.

5- I think Macroeconomics is way more of a pseudoscience than Psychology.

6- I bought a set of Tony Robbins CDs from TV once—I listened to all of them and liked them.

7- TV scares me, but I still watch it some. Sometimes, I read TV on the internet (recaps), or listen to it on the radio.

8- I am a word nerd.

9- I can touch my tongue to my nose.

10-My favorite type of humor is where I trick people into thinking that I think I'm better than I'm pretending to be. I used to do this thing where, with a very earnest face, I danced horrifically. Now, I think that maybe I have a fear of people perceiving me as less competent than I think I am, and that I've used this humor to take control.

11- I like to try to analyze myself. (See #10 for an example.) However, although I may have tried to analyze YOU, I have more than likely concluded that I can never be certain that I'm right (about you), so I'd better not try too hard (because that would be unfair to you).

12- I used to dig Nine Inch Nails. Now I think Trent Resnor is sad and a little ridiculous. Other than that, my taste in music has stayed pretty much the same for as long as I can remember: I like pretty much everything except speed metal and I have a hard time with opera. I manage to stay sort of current on music through my husband, friends, and iTunes.

13- I remember crying only one time before I turned 22 years old. It was about our cat, Pierre. Now I cry all the time and consider it a valuable mental health tool.

14- I took karate for a few years and used to teach kids. I decided to stop because I was becoming too violent. Ka-pow! This is a video of the instructor of my instructor. I went to some clinics with him (Paul Mills). By the way--the reactions of these people being hit are 100% real. I have seen the bruises from Paul Mills' hits: they go all the way through and are very colorful. (I haven't looked at this stuff for a long time.)

Man, watching this makes me want to do it again. (Seriously. It's addictive.)

15- I remember vivid details of my dreams all the time.

16- I like to think that I’m a pretty sensitive person, but I’m always realizing how insensitive I’ve been in retrospect.

17- I have been “tan” about 5 times in my entire lifetime.

18- I have observed Ramadan. In college. In Senegal. For solidarity.

19- I am a practicing member of the LDS church and I think Mitt Romney would have made a great president.

20- I read an article about (President) Barack Obama's bid for the senate way back when and said to myself, “this guy’s going to be president someday.”
Really. I did. (And I've never thought that about anyone else.)

21- Before we got a dog, I didn’t want the dog on any of our furniture. Now, our dog sleeps in our bed with us—I loooooove it. She’s so cozy.

22- When you say something nice to me, I secretly think you’re just being nice, but I believe in giving only sincere compliments.

23- I’m embarrassingly good at remembering names and faces. This means that once I know it, you may have forgotten who I am, but I haven’t forgotten who you are: yes, I saw you in the grocery store, but you looked busy and I hadn’t taken a shower that day.

24- I love to dance, especially with a partner, but it’s a lot harder for me to dance now that I’m married to a man who thinks people look silly when they dance.

25- I’m a published (not paid) poet. That was in college. I’ve tried poetry recently. It wasn’t pretty.

26- Art makes me swoon. Museums move me, but it doesn't have to be in a museum to be art. I am a closet artist. The last time I painted, a little girl visiting us smudged the oil. I decided that being a painter and being a mom of small children isn’t a great fit, but I have a small stockpile of canvases and paint.

27- I went to my first yoga class in Senegal in 1996 and have been doing it on and off ever since.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

02.10.2008 -- Just Thinking..

Loving my sleeping lump o' love.

Congratulations! Through a friend, you've discovered a local place where, for not a lot of money, you get very decent food and the atmosphere is good, too. Yes, local! It's right around the corner--right in your neighborhood! Another great thing about this place is that everyone knows your name. Yes, like that: NORM!

Every time you go, you run into a friend of yours. You keep your cell on you because it's a lot easier to put numbers in than just writing them down--besides, you also have a bunch of pics on your phone that are fun to show people who haven't seen your kids or all places you've been since graduating. You are seeing people there that you haven't seen in years!!! People you never expected to see again, even. It's almost a shame that there are so many people you know, because it limits the amount of time you have to catch up. Sometimes all you have time or energy for is a wave or a shared nod of acknowledgement.

The place is jumpin! Any time day or night, you can step in for a drink to see and be seen. You give a shout out to your peeps and feel the love. Of course, there are people there who seem a lot more popular. It's like they know EVERYONE, but on the other hand, maybe it seems like you know everyone to other people. That's always the case with popularity contests, isn't it? Look, there's that study buddy you got through History with! She looks great!!! Does she recognise you? Yes!

This place, let's call it BaceFook... it's a good place. But you start to notice that you keep getting the same food, only they keep charging more and more. It gets so you've blown your budget for the month on who knows what just so you can hear your high school peeps shout out your old nickname. You love that nickname! It's very ambiguous, which makes it an exclusive joke and hey, who doesn't like being on the inside of an inside joke? Besides, what would you be doing at home? Laundry? Haven't you already done ike 270 loads of laundry already this year? You going to read the Dora the Explorer book again to your kid? Does she even listen? Go to the gym? Take the dog for a walk or heaven forbid, a run? At BaceFook, they only see what you want them to see. You DO still look like those photos you posted from a few years back! Those were taken professionally, and they were worth every penny, 'cause you look gooood.

Here's what I'm trying to internalize though this little exercise in supposition. I get 24 hours in a day. Subtract a portion for sleep. The rest is what I have to make a difference in the world today. It's sometimes more of a temptation than I care to admit to blow my 24 hour budget on stuff like perusing a book of faces while I forget about my 271st load of laundry. But that laundry matters. The books I read my kids matter. Reviewing pictures of a college roommate's trip to Barbados? My old landlord's grandchildren? Mmmmn. Maybe not too pressing. For that matter, reading the latest gossip about the Grammy's can probably wait, too.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

02.08.2009 -- New Fish

Welcome, "Book Storage."

Last night, Lucy and I made a run to the pet store to get bagged food for Zoe. Lucy said that we should get a friend for Baby Fish because "she's really loooonely." After looking in the goldfish tank for a few minutes to wait our turn, Lucy asked the fish girl for a little fish that wouldn't grow. "They're all alive, so they all grow," said the fish girl. Lucy picked out a baby goldie with a black stripe along his back and we paid 13 cents to take him home.

We'll see if his name sticks. So far, it's made it through a night's sleep. I asked Lucy the fish's name this morning and it was still "Book Storage." Yes, Book Storage. Lucy enunciates pretty well.

Other news: This makes day six for me on Amoxicillin, and day six of the GHR (Great Hair Release--you know, when half of your hair falls out after hormone shifts and all that). My earache and sore throat are almost gone. I guess for me, like my mom says, "Patience is a four-letter word." My love for a three-day, three-pill course of antibiotics (Z-Pak Azithromiacin?) is unabated. The doctor that saw me put me on the forever course because I'm nursing and because with a sinus infection, lower dose is better because it's hard to get to the sinuses....or something like that. I may have misunderstood.

Lucy has three bottles of that pink goo Amoxicillin from her pediatrician, so maybe the "twice a day forever" thing is really what's best. She loves it and loves to squirt it into her own mouth. Hooray for sweet pink goop!

Wow. It is now painfully clear how eventful our lives have been these past few weeks. I officially blogged about antibiotics.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

02.06.2009 -- Warning

This is a warning to all spiders in our house. Lucy has been playing dress-up today and just came to show me about 5 squares of toilet paper with a squashed spider on it.

"Mom, I found this spider under Daddy's office thingy."

"Wow. Did you find it squished, or did you squish it?"

"I just got tissue and pinched it. Now I'm gonna put it outside."

"You could do that, or you could just put it in the garbage."


She's not afraid of spiders, but she still thinks this is gross.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

02.01.2009 -- Gabe

This boy is sick. He has the same thing I do (I think)--and he has no complaints. He's the best.