9.30.2007

Like a river flows, surely to the sea

There are times when I open my mouth and it's the 12 year old me speaking. I normally don't realize it until it's too late. Until I glance at my husband smirking, waiting for my ears and brain to catch up to my voice.

A friend once told me that's why my husband and I make a great couple, he noticed how patient Mike was with my Lucille Ball moments. Keeping quiet and giving me small clues like a grimace or chuckle, guiding me back to the educated, occasionally bright grown-up that I am.

I mix up words. I get names wrong. I insisted in one conversation that the lead singer of R.E.M. was Michael STRIPE. There are times I speak with too much confidence and the other person might not catch it, other times my husband comes to the rescue and eases in the right information before the transmission enters the ears of another person. We're a good team that way, tries when he can to eliminate me creating an awkward moment for myself. Sometimes he's too late.

For years I would tell him about the time I met my sister's husband while they were dating; it was on the 4th of July. We all went to see fireworks and Karl Marx performed. He always smiles and says quietly, you mean Richard Marx? And we laugh. We will be 98 years old sitting on the porch and have that exact conversation all over again. And we will laugh the same together about it like it was new.

****

During our courtship, I took him to Vegas for his birthday so we could be sinners by gambling and making out like rock stars. I arranged the whole thing and was quite proud about it. I even got us tickets for an evening performance. We were so wrapped up in making out, that we were running a few minutes late. As we sprinted across MGM Grand (hey what can I say, I was a big spender) I realized I had no idea where we were supposed to go.

I finally spotted the concierge desk as Mike trailed behind me (he wasn't quite the marathon runner yet). I caught my breath and put on my proper adult voice to request the location of the magic show. She said we needed tickets, bla bla bla, make me more late why don't ya. Then I held up the tickets and inquired again which direction we needed to go to see the David Hasselhoff Show. She told me she had no idea what I was talking about. I was getting frustrated and more time was being wasted. Mike finally overheard my part of the conversation and leaned in casually to inform her we had tickets for David Copperfield. I turned 5 shades of red and shrunk to about 3 foot 2. We were quickly on our way and got into our seats just as the show began.

I love that we can laugh about that part of me. I love that he handles my verbal slips gently in a way that works with me and gets us where we need to be. Or that, at times, they are not discussed and never criticized. That sometimes I get angry with the B student in me, the lazy part of me that may surface at really inconvenient times when I wanted to make a good impression.

I love how careful Mike is to speak and choose his words. How he takes a moment before he explains something to gather his thoughts and deliver them graciously. I love that my goofiness adds humor to our marriage, even if they are little kinks I sometimes wish I had ironed out when I was 12.

9.27.2007

getting the shaft

It's funny how people always tell you how something is going to be. Logically, you hear it, but the emotions and feelings associated with it never connect in your brain about what that experience/ emotional tangle might be.

Having a second child I knew logically the world would not revolved around this one like it did with my first. I knew there would be guilt, I push it away from my mind several times a day.

With Zane, I literally stared at him almost every moment of the day when he was a baby. I studied every feature and examined how they all changed a little at a time. From the curves of his ears, the decoding of facial expressions, the shape of his toe nails. I remember noticing the day his finger prints were more distinctly raised and the day I felt hair starting to bud on his legs for the first time. I drank him in by the gallon for as long as my eyes would stay open. Then I would hop out of bed the moment I fell asleep to make sure he was still breathing. I think it's what some would call an obsession.

This time around, I spin my attention from one thing or person to the next. I multi-task and when I am sitting to nurse I think of all the other things I could be doing or plan to do next. I need to remind myself to relax and enjoy this baby more. I know it's normal, this different experience between mother and child. I also know he doesn't know anything different than a slice in the pie of my attention. And that makes me sad for him. Will there be a time he gets to be my obsession? It's only been a handful of weeks and I feel like I have missed out on him somehow. It's hard to describe. I guess I just don't feel like I know him the way I knew Zane this early on. If I was asked to draw Evan's face I fear I would miss too many of the fine details.

None of this, by the way, is associated with the measure of love. That's an entirely different topic and feeling. The love is just there all the same and just as big as the sky. It almost comes more naturally and easily because I learned how to love innocence and 2am screaming in the same spot deep down inside my soul 3 years ago.

9.26.2007

W4

Several years ago I had a job at a bank in a department that was sold off to another bank. I was either going to join another department or take a severance check. I wasn't intrested in either option and began to job hunt. I had ideas of getting another fancy bank job with all those benefits that someone of my youth couldn't possibly appreciate. I hoped it would be in Midtown Manhattan so I could shop during my lunch break and admire huge, flashing, sexy advertisements darting at me from every angle. I wanted to feel the heartbeat of New York with every breath I took.

At least that's what I thought I wanted. I started to wonder if there were other options, something less stuffy than a formal bank setting. Something that would allow me to be a little less corporate, but still professional in work and pay. That potential something came by way of headhunter within a couple weeks of my searching.

It was a job in Greenwich, CT. A locale thick with trees, Mecedes, and fleece pull-overs. It would mean leaving the urban plan and subway to hop into my car for a commute that could be upwards 2 hours one way. It would mean leaving the security and learned tricks of the banking world to figure out a new industry entirely. It was a risk I wasn't sure about. I spent the initial pre-screening process uncertain about my interest.

I remember my commute home one evening, transferring at West 4th Street. I had spent many hours pouring over the pro's and con's of this job prospect. I crawled out of my pounding mind and looked around from the outside of myself. I saw myself stepping down from the curb and crossing the street with yellow taxi cabs flying by. I watched myself pass the usual street performers and inncense burners. I determined on W4 for certain I wanted this to be my job. This would be a risk worth taking and an opportunity worth checking out. I would put my very best foot forward, research everything I could about the company and prepare myself for my best interview possible. I committed to giving it my all, my 110%. I packed up the fence I was sitting on and left if behind as I boarded the F train home to Brooklyn.

That moment at West 4th was important for me to determine the level of confidence and ability I would have going into the process of something new and different. If I went in with a ho-hum attitude or lack of complete interest in succeeding, If I didn't believe in myself I might not have gotten the job. A job that was my favorite, most memorable experience as a working girl.

*

People keep asking me how it's going with two kids. I admit I was terrified to bring a new one to the fold, uncertain of how I would do. I worried about all the things I might fail at and what challenges might face me that I might not be prepared for. Even once Evan was here, I cried in a room alone at the idea of my mother leaving my side and worried I would not be able to handle this on my own. I was on the fence, partly convinced I could not do this alone during the day.

Monday was a West 4th Street day for my new life with two. I decided when I woke up I would give it my all. I would be entirely patient, accept the energy I had no matter how little, focus on specific and realistic tasks, enjoy my toddler, and coo with my baby. I had a plan, I wanted to succeed and I determined it would be productive and positive.

I had the confidence to know I could handle it with a calm heart, even the scrubbing of accidents on the carpet from my toddler. I was amazed at what I accomplished at the end of the day and felt a sense of ability I had not felt as a mother before. I was happy with the way I divided my time between my children and the home and even had dinner on the table by 6pm.

*

Is each day a West 4th Street day? No. Some days are a train wreck. Tuesday was a train wreck and we had fast food for dinner. But it's nice to know a Monday Kind of Day can exist and can be my example for myself of what I can handle when I set my mind to it. And to accept that not every day can be like that. Many will not be.

So, how am I doing? Depends on the day you ask, and even that day my answer changes from hour to hour.

9.23.2007

turn, turn, turn


The seasons changing here is quick and if you blink you might miss it. But I had an exclusive clue, the lemon bush in front of my kitchen window begins to bear green little fruits right before Autumn. So once the green appears I hold it like a secret in my hand and wait for the cool breeze to roll in.

I caught it last week. I was sitting with Evan next to an open window and felt the first crisp rustling of the air blow through. It had the scent of fresh cut grass and the sound of leaves preparing their annual drift to the earth. It had the taste of pumpkin pie, Halloween costumes, and outdoor festivities. It had the feeling of calm and secure and newness. Autumn arrived and I welcomed it with open arms through an open window.

I took a walk with the older of my two and we saw a few leaves gently resting on the ground. It was nice to know even though I have locked myself inside for a couple weeks, I still caught the change of the season right on time.
photo from 11-06

9.21.2007

housewife crushery

Andrew Bird appeared on a re-run episode of Jack's Big Music Show. There's just something extra cute about a talented, accomplished musician when he sings to puppets for a children's program. He has a magical singing voice, give a listen here.




Shout Out Louds.......speaking of The Cure, this group has a similar sound that I adore. Someone told me about this band recently but I didn't follow-up on it (Brooke?). Two thumbs up, sort of that shoegaze, mellow yet poppy sound to me.

9.20.2007

remembering you standing quiet in the rain


UPDATED: Early in my marriage I realized I married a man who was not fond of writing poetry, engaging in public affection, whispering sweet nothings, writing love notes, or taking photos of his wife.

Searching for recent photos I have taken in my defunct digital camera card, I found this hazy picture of me. Most women would be appalled at the fatty chin and lack of grace in the way a hot, uncomfy summer day was stolen in the frame of a shot. But it made me smile to know I was captured by the man who flutters my heart in non-traditional ways.

I love this shot in all its unabashed, realistic, non-glamorous, husband-loving glory.

I love this marriage, these years where we try less to shape and mold and change each other and enjoy each other for who we are a whole lot more.

****
Hrm.

Later, upon further investigation, it appears the camera was actually in the hands of NOT MY HUSBAND.
O well. I guess I still love him.

9.18.2007

When I first moved to my town here in the East Bay I was a little uncertain of how I felt about it. It seemed too pretty, too clean, and too stepford-wives-ish. I wasn't quite sure I fit in or that it would feel much like home any time soon, if ever. It kind of still doesn't.

Don't get me wrong, I adore the amazing weather and the vegetation it allows to beautify the land every direction I look. It's just that everyone is kind of the same. Except one day I noticed an honest-to-goodness dirty punk rocker walking down the street. This made things around these parts a little more interesting. We crossed paths often as he would walk his bull dog (with a studded collar) and I would walk my kid (an actual stud). I had even spotted him at the skate park, which seemed a little odd what with his skin tight black pants and spiked hair.

I wondered, as I often do about strangers, what his story was. He seemed to be in his mid 20's and not employed (?)- at least not during the day. I wondered if he was in a successful band and worked nights. But why would he choose to live in these kind of 'burbs? Another likely scenario I thought of was perhaps he lived with his parents or grandparents until his band takes off. Because, really, what else can a truly obvious punk rocker do for a living? I guess he could work a funky shoe shop that sells creepers.

I totally wish I could stop and interview him. I wish I knew his story so I could tell you about it. How the Punk Rocker Blends in the Burbs is how I would title the article. Every time we pass I always wonder how he felt about that whole Gap skinny pants hype a while back. Did it make you not want to wear yours anymore, punk rock boy?

9.14.2007

perfect



So far, I can totally say
based upon my pregnancy
and delivery
and even a sore tail bone,
I think I would
do this again.
But don't put money on it.
It's only been a week.

9.11.2007

happy tuesday


I am glad I have a hopeful attitude about this postpartum shape I am in. You know, it's totally the second time around so I know I can get back to the old me and I know the work and time it will take. I can be patient and I can accept this temporary state of looking androgynous. Every outfit I try to wear leads me to smile and think you know, I'm totally IT'S PAT right now and it's all good. We'll get there soon enough, just keep snacking on healthy things and remember somehow there are no stretch marks and there was miraculously no swelling.


Hey, you gotta learn to toot your own horn about something when you walk around feeling square with a turkey sandwich in your pants!

9.09.2007

gross

okay, so after you have a baby you bleed some. you just do, plain and simple. the hospital provides giant pads that are basically the width and length of an entire human adult arm. the thickness is about that of, oh, i dunno a foot long piece of bread cut in half length-wise.

they also give you witch hazel pads to place along the length of the giant pad. they are little round circles of pain-easing joy. to help you pretend you aren't bleeding and imagine it's not so sore in that special area.

and normally, when having a baby you have not eaten for a while and it's no big deal, you are kind of too busy to notice or think much about it. even if it's obscene amounts of hours for the food lover to normally experience.

so....when it comes time for that 12 step bathroom routine after having a baby, i couldn't help but look at this giant bread-like pad and white circles and think of anything less than HOW FREAKING TASTY A SUBWAY SANDWICH WITH TURKEY AND PROVOLONE WOULD BE.

So there you have it, my first non-hospital food request. He was a little confused isn't wasn't going to be sushi he would bring me like I had planned all these months because yes, i spared him the details of my maxi pad-inspired food obsession.

pretty sick, huh.

don't answer that.

9.08.2007

sappy

wow, thanks for all the congratulations and empathy on baby hugeness.

i have had so many things to think about and write about, but obviously not the energy or awareness much. although since writing is an enjoyable outlet, I am making time for it now.

+++

there are so many little moments that i loved about my experience bringing little evan into the world, but one that keeps coming to my mind goes a little something like this.

after he was born and all cleaned up, the nurses helped us transition out of the awesome delivery room and down the hall into the recovery section. which i lovingly refer to as a closet from the set of Welcome Back Cotter. The thought of it made me smile more than actually caring about my surroundings at that point, I was honestly so glowing in the joy of being over the hard part and the fact that me and baby were both safe I think they could have dumped me out on the street and I would have been just as happy.

anyway- back to the hallway transition. Mike was pushing the baby bed with evan in it while i was getting wheeled behind in a wheelchair. the nurse parked me next to a counter and told me to push a button. i though it would be opening the door. but it didn't, a little lullaby twinkled in the air throughout the entire hospital. that was evan's own little lullaby, each baby gets one played after they are born to announce another delivery to everyone in the hospital. it was like the soft lullaby you hear in a jewelry box, i wish i had that little moment in my pocket to play over and over.

as we got settled in our new room throughout the early morning and night i heard the faintest sound of more lullabies being played on the other side of my door. i would hear them just as i was feeling some tummy shrinkage pains or weariness and it always snapped me back into a better mindset. It was like heaven reminding me another spirit son or daughter has graced the earth and crossed the veil, welcome this child here. It was an instant reminder of the anxiety I had about delivering and the safety and health of my baby and how that fear was all gone. For me and my baby anyway.

then i started to think of the mommies that don't get to push that button. the ones that have babies that go to heaven instead of being born or after their birth. I have read about such babies on various blogs over the past 9 months (or watched stories on t.v.). i have dropped a lot of tears with every word related to such circumstances. Of course for fear of that being my experience, but more for the unbelievable pain in my heart I have for each of those mommies.

so for those mommies without their babies, i know there is a different kind of announcement when they leave the womb. it's not the jewelry box lullaby. it's trumpets sounded by angels and it's more magnificent and special than our human ears could possibly handle. those babies have very important work that He needs them for right away.

i am not glorifying the loss of a child, it's something I believe must be one of the more challenging experiences humans face on this earth that may only make sense when we are on the other side to see things for ourselves from His perspective.

i know any of those mothers would give anything they could to be up all night nursing and burping and changing diapers.

and that thought gives me strength to try to be a better mommy, to try harder to handle well this amazing gift that doesn't always feel amazing EVEN THOUGH IT SHOULD. So here's just a big chunk of gratitude, for my body that is healing properly and a baby who is healthy. and that i am able to care for him. and a big prayer for those mommies hurting and trying to understand and listen for those trumpets playing for their babies.

9.07.2007

**sigh**


Evan Michael
9lb. 11oz.
born 9-5-07
at 10:08 pm
[8 hour labor]
We are home now, all is well and happy.

9.04.2007

same old stale topic

We watch the Noggin channel a lot in my home. There is this little video short they play often between cartoons that talks about turkeys. We get to learn about how they hatch by breaking their shell with a little egg tooth that later falls off.

For some reason I thought of this turkey process in the middle of the night and I have to be honest here, felt slightly envious of the mama turkey. How different my induction plan would be tomorrow afternoon (like the subtle update?) if I just had to show up and watch the egg hatch. If this little guy had a little egg tooth that would later fall off (well, quickly if he wanted to nurse).

So Mama Turkeys, today I am giving you a high five. Although our lives as humans are a lot more interesting and we get to eat better food, I have to tell you how great that egg deal you get sounds to me right about now. Even despite the fact that you get all cooked and shredded in November.

9.03.2007

conversation





the people: Soooo......how many more weeks?



me: negative one



There was an error in this gadget