Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Memories from another life.

August 30, 2012

I woke up one morning recently with “Somebody that I used to know” already stuck in my head. I got ready for work while humming a few bars. In between cake orders I would sing a few lines. I would think of various memes on the internet with Gotye’s face on it and chuckle. And then I started to think about all the somebodies that I used to know. And I realized there are a lot more of them than I’d thought. Myself included.

Sometimes I’ll talk about things that happened when I was a teenager or younger and it always feels like I’m talking about somebody else. I’m not sure if this is a common feeling. I used to be so haunted and now I can’t even remember what my ghosts look like. You’re going to have to bear with me here, I have a point and I’m trying to make it but lately when I try to tie my various selves together, I don’t get the paper doll chain that I’d like to have. I usually end up with a pretty jumbled mess. I can’t decide what this means. Maybe it means that I just no longer know the person that I used to be. I feel so far removed from incidents, encounters, and occurrences of the past that most of the time I wonder if they ever really happened or if it was all a dream.

I remember a girl secretly holding hands with a boy in the back of a van. I remember a kiss that changed everything. It was late, in the girls living room, I’m pretty sure she was wearing pajamas. I remember a girl being secretly in love with a boy. I remember a girl being afraid to sleep in her own home. I remember a girl who stood in front of her mother to protect her from her stepfather. But I don’t remember being this girl. And it’s so strange. Some days this girl found it hard to even get out of bed for fear of what the day could bring. Some days that girl would go home from school early because she just couldn’t. On at least one occasion, the girl didn’t go to her after-school job because for whatever reason she just couldn’t stop crying. I remember a girl having a full blown panic attack while in the company of her friends. But I don’t remember being this girl. This girl? this frail pigeon of a person? She’s somebody that I used to know.

I don’t think about her very much anymore. She’s fading into nothing but words, photos, and memories. I’m sure I should be scared to lose her. She’s as much a part of me as anything else. But oh, how she reminds me of all that I wish I could forget. I look at her pictures, I remember her thoughts, I read her words, and I find it hard to believe that they were all once my own. I keep certain artifacts around for the sake of posterity. The Livejournal account, for one. I went back some time ago and read the remaining entries. So many had been deleted for various reasons. I realized it then, that I didn’t know the person who had written these words anymore. I felt such a disconnect, because I remember feeling the things I was writing about at the time, but I still couldn’t make a linear path.

I’m slowly realizing that I can’t keep trying to reopen closed chapters of my life. These chapters are centered around people who were once so important but are now strangers to me. The boy I held hands with in the van. The other boy that kissed me when I was in my pajamas. The man that kept me awake and the same man I protected my mother from. High school. Anxiety. Pain. Tears. I might still talk about these things, these people, these chapters, but I’m not that girl anymore. That girl is someone I used to know.

This entry has been surprisingly hard to write. I’ve been tossing around the general idea of it for a couple of weeks, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to translate into comprehensive text. I guess sometimes it’s hard to put your ghosts to rest. And I suppose not everything has changed.

But I look at my life now, and everything is so vivid. So clear. So certain. I know which direction I’m going. I look toward the future and I know that it exists. I don’t dwell on the small things anymore. I know what it means to be happy. I’m not going through the motions. I’m the perfect counter to the girl I used to know. In fact, I now often forget that the girl and I are the very same person. She lives in the back of my mind, and in the small chambers of my heart. And I’m sure that who I am now and who I was then will meet in the chambers of the heart of the person I have yet to become.

Good News.

August 23, 2012

I was having a particularly boring day at work today. Ignoring my phone most of the afternoon because let’s face it, nobody ever texts me while I’m at work. Except for today. I decided to check my phone and I had a message from my dear friend Angela. She was texting to let me know that she’d found a great deal on airfare and she’d decided to come and visit me again. I admit that I made absolutely no attempt to talk her out of it. I also admit that when she finally declared that she bought the tickets, I may or may not have done a little happy dance in the bakery. Okay, so I totally did.

It’s only going to be for a couple of days, but I’m beyond thrilled.

Here are some photos from our family vacation to Eureka Springs last month.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

That’s all for now. I’ll write again soon. Maybe.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

August 16, 2012

I often struggle with the idea of blogging about my life because the things I’m willing to talk about are probably not all that interesting. It’s not that my life is dull or boring, it’s just, well, normal? I struggle with the idea of normality. It’s not a concept I’ve ever been all that familiar with. But to those of you who may know me, this is simply not news. I can be completely addle-brained or completely serious at any given moment. My kids are doomed to die of confusion and embarrassment.

Take the other night. It was a late night and we were driving home. Lucinda started to fuss because it was past her bedtime and she is one of those weird children who won’t sleep anywhere but her own bed unless she merely passes out from exhaustion. (Side-note: trying to get her to sleep in a hotel room was an exercise in futility) I decided the easiest way to entertain her and make her happy was to sing to her. So Rob and I took turns singing various kiddie songs to her but her clear favourite was Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. In this way, she is just like her big brother.

I used to sing to James at bedtime, in this order, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jesus Loves Me, Mary Had a Little Lamb (all 6 verses that I knew) and then he would look up at me and ask for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star one more time, please? Every night, without fail. I would kneel down beside his bed, stroke his tummy, and happily oblige. He would pull his favourite blanket up over his tummy and turn on his side when I was finished. Then I would kiss his forehead, ruffle his hair, and say goodnight. He would say back to me, in almost a sing-song voice “I’ll see you in the morrrrning!”. Lucinda is still not too interested in being sung to before bedtime, She’d much rather you read Goodnight Moon, turn out her light, and leave. But in the car when it’s past bedtime, singing is pretty boss. So we started to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star all together, James, Daddy, and me. We went a few rounds before James started suggesting “styles” for his parents to sing the song. Loud, quiet, fast, slow. Pretty standard requests. It was when James requested that we sing it “Cool” that we were briefly stumped.

Now, I don’t know if it’s because at that point I’d been awake for 21 hours, or if I’m just significantly weirder than I think I am. But I instructed Rob to start singing it sort of like a rap song, so he did his best. And I beat-boxed the whole way through. Much to the delight of my children. At the very end of the song, my husband looked over at me and said “I had no idea you could beatbox like that.” Neither did I. So you see? you learn something new every day.

I’m a little sad tonight. We had such a great summer together while Rob was on summer vacation. It’s always hard when he starts going back to work, but for some reason, it just seems so much worse this year. I think I’d gotten used to having the silly ol’ hubs around when I was off of work on a Tuesday. Tomorrow is his first day back and I know all of us are going to take it to heart. We did our best today to make a good day for the kids. We went to Sea Center Texas, and then followed that with Chuck E. Cheese. Both kids came home and napped despite James insisting he just wasn’t tired. He was so not tired that he fell asleep on the sofa while playing Storm in a Teacup.


(photo by Angela Galli Photography)

My children are growing. I wish they could stay this age but their physical and emotional growth are inevitable. James is going to be 5 years old soon, and Lucinda will be 2 years old even sooner. Baby photos of her are only one page back on this blog. Which not only is a testament to how fast she’s grown, but also to how little I write. They are both becoming more independent in their own way, and someday the idea of Goodnight Moon before bed will seem old hat. I’m not excited about those routines being thrown away. But I have hope. Because every once in a while, James still requests his songs before bed. And he still almost always wants Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, just one more time.

Five.

November 23, 2010

Five years ago I wore a pretty ivory dress and tiara. I stood in a courtroom facing the most wonderful man I’d ever met and I couldn’t stop gazing into his eyes. Five years later, I still can’t stop losing myself in his eyes.

Five years ago my new husband and I had our first dinner as a married couple at a fast food restaurant. Five years later, we laugh and remember fondly every time we choose to dine at Whataburger.

Five years ago we had our whole lives ahead of us. Five years later, we still do.

I love you more and more every day.

And thank God, you love me too.

Introducing…

October 12, 2010

Introducing Lucinda Maria!

princess

Thursday October 7, 2010 at 8:43 am.
7lbs, 6oz. 20 inches long.

After a 36 hour stay in the NICU for TTN, Little miss Lu was given the clear to move to the regular nursery and we were able to have her in my room. She is doing very well and is well on her way to being spoiled rotten. We arrived home on Sunday October 10th!

She is named for her maternal great grandmother and her paternal grandmother.

James isn’t quite sure what to think yet. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Random Tuesday (Or “I’m starting to worry my toddler may be smarter than me”)

September 28, 2010

randomtuesday

My husband is a smart man. Very smart. He doesn’t update his blog with sentence fragments. He doesn’t have a blog. That latter point there is pretty much the proof pudding that he is smarter than I am.

I remember when I was pregnant with James that I fondly remarked that I hoped he would be smart like his daddy. Rob remarked that his mommy is smart too. Fair enough. My son, however, seems to be sharp as a tack in a way he could only inherit from his father.

Bring to mind the incident a few weeks ago with the unguarded bottle of Tums and the exchange James and I shared before I realized I’d been had. I’d like to tell another story about the sly cleverness that my son chooses to randomly exhibit.

James is well aware his mommy works at the grocery store. He knows we go to the grocery store to buy things that we need. the other day he was messing about with a toy he hadn’t played with in some time. As a result, the batteries were dead. When we explained to him that we couldn’t fix it because we didn’t have any batteries, he brought us our shoes and explained we needed to go to the grocery store so we could fix his toy.

Painfully cute.

But I digress.

Rob and James were at the store picking me up from work (we only have one vehicle), and as usual we needed to pick up a few things. We needed to pick up some fish food because James had gotten his hands on the bottle we already had and decided to redecorate the living room. Glad I wasn’t the one in charge when that occurred, that must have been smelly hell to clean up. So we are in the pet aisle trying to determine if there was anything else we needed when we remembered the batteries. I’m walking with James, holding his hand, while discussing with Rob whether they were C batteries or D batteries that we needed. Suddenly I noticed that we seemed to be making a dingle noise. James was holding my hand but in his other hand, he’d picked up a set of cat toy balls. I laughed and say “James, you don’t need those. You are not a cat!”

He looks up at me with his big brown eyes and says “Meow! Meow!”

Should I be concerned?

The other day I was sitting down on the floor so I could change his diaper (smart, but not smart enough to use the potty) and I kind of groaned in the process of sitting down. We then had the following exchange.
James: “Mommy tired?”
Me:”Yes sweetie, your baby sister makes mommy tired sometimes.”
“Yeah. me too.”
“You’re right, you make mommy tired sometimes too.”
“I’m sorry.”
“You used to be in mommy’s tummy too, do you know that?”
“yeah. It was dark.”
“It was dark in there?”
“yeah. Dark.”
“Was it quiet in there?”
“Yeah. Dark and quiet.”
“I bet it was boring in there.”
“I had books.”
“Wait, you had books in mommy’s tummy?”
“Yeah. Hungry Caterpillar.”

*blink*

Did that really happen? Yes it did. I’m in as much disbelief as you are. He’s screwing with me, isn’t he?

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Rainy Day version.

September 7, 2010

randomtuesday

I was up half of the night (re: 2:47 am to 4:34am) because I was so hopelessly uncomfortable. Were I not nine months pregnant, it would be easier to relieve what ailed me. Take a fistful of different stomach discomfort relievers and call it a night. But no. At this juncture I am left with no options but to sit up in bed, cross my fingers and hope like hell I burp or something. Pregnancy is super awesome. Over the course of the two hours, I was eventually relieved enough (or exhausted enough) to go back to sleep. The next time I woke was 6:15am. DH was already out of bed which meant I could rearrange all pillows and take over the entirety of the bed.

Success.

A combination of the pouring rain and my son muttering to himself in his room is what woke me. Can I say I love when it rains like this in the morning on my days off? The sky stays dark and the pitter patter of the rainfall keeps my toddler asleep longer than usual. Which means I get to sleep longer. Which means that even though I’ll have a headache later from sleeping too long, I don’t really care.

Does anyone want to wash my dishes? No? Just checking.

I’m wearing James’ favorite pajamas. Before you think I wrestled myself into a pair of size 3t pajamas with sharks on them, I’m referring to my own pajamas that have baked goods on them. He loves to point out the cookies and cupcakes and ice cream. “Mmmm. Ice cream! Delicious!” He’ll say as he rubs his belly and licks his lips. Okay the first time he licked his lips, I had no idea what he was doing. Clumsy and awkward? thy name is toddler.

Speaking of toddler. Last…thursday? James managed to get into my bedroom while I was in the bathroom (and I’m always in the bathroom these days) and while I was in there, I guess James helped himself to the very last 3 tums in the bottle on my bedside table. I didn’t find out until hours later, when I discovered the empty bottle behind my bedroom door. All I could do was knit my brows together and do my best not to laugh. Am I basically admitting I’m a bad mom? No. I have a reason for stifling laughter. You see, when I came out of the bathroom, I fetched James out of my room and we went to the living room. I thought I saw something in his mouth. So I asked him. James, what’s in your mouth? His reply?

“Teeth, mommy.”

How could I argue with that?

I brought the empty bottle with me to the computer and consulted my trusty friend Google. It turns out that my son is definitely not the first toddler to get his hands on tums and he definitely won’t be the last. After reading about many other experiences with toddlers and tums and phone calls to poison control, I determined that three tums in my mammoth toddler would be nothing more than a blip on his stomach’s radar. Especially considering hours passed, along with 2 soiled diapers, a snack, and 2 drinks of water.

If this is the worst thing he ever gets into, I would call that a success.

When I was a toddler, I drank a bottle of floor wax. It’s why I’m so bright and shiny. And demented.

The point of the matter though, is that I was cursing my inability to have eyes in the back of my head at about 3:01am this morning. “Dammit. If I was a better mother and had made sure my bedroom door was closed all the way, I might still have some tums and maybe that would make my stomach feel better.”

I really brought it on myself, yet again.

What has your child gotten into when your back was turned for a second? What did YOU get into when your parent’s backs were turned?

ADDENDUM: I found James playing with my cell phone. It was about to send some kind of mass photo message of James’ foot. I asked for my phone back and he gave it up without a fight. I noticed I’d received about 5 text messages. From my mother. In a panic. Evidently, James had sent her 2 text messages. One read “O” and the other read “T”. She was concerned this was my very shorthanded and insane way of informing her I’d gone into labor. Oh James, you’ve done it again.

So much beauty in dirt.

August 10, 2010

I was in the backyard with my kids. It was a beautiful, clear, spring day. I sat in the grass while my son and daughter ran around laughing and screaming the way happy children do. The saturation was turned up on this day. The grass, such a vivid and bright green. The smiles and eyes of my children, so bright and happy. The cool and calm breeze blowing the scent of my purple flowers across the yard.

This.

This was life.

I picked up the phone.

I called every boy that ever broke my heart.

And thanked them.

I thanked them for letting me love them even if they didn’t love me.

I thanked them for moving on, and for letting me move on.

I thanked them for every mistake that was ever made.

Because they all led me here.

To the green grass.

In my beautiful backyard.

With my wonderful kids.

I hung up the phone and laid down in the grass. I closed my eyes. The pure blue sky and radiant, warm light of the sun seeped into my soul. And I knew. Nothing can ruin these moments.

And then I woke up.
Lying in bed.
Staring at the ceiling fan.

Just as happy.

friendly reminders.

August 6, 2010

kissykissy

After a bit of a long and frustrating day, James gave mommy a kiss while having a picnic at the park.

*clap clap* Defense! *clap clap* Defense!

August 5, 2010

This is a follow-up to my last post. You may want to read it here. Or not. Whatever.
————————

When Robert and I began trying for another child, I always knew in the back of my mind that chances were strong that I’d have another c-section. I mean, James was 2 days overdue when I was induced and he weighed in at almost 9 lbs. Nobody was really all that surprised that I needed the section considering how big he was, especially for a first child. But I was excited to work with Dr. Awesome. I felt like we could really have a dialogue about the probability of a VBAC. I admit I was a bit hesitant to ask about it, but when I finally asked her opinion on the matter, I got the honesty I was looking for. “I’m not a fan of them, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if it’s what you really want to do, I will let you try. I just want to make sure you know the risks.” That was all I needed to hear before agreeing to proceed with another cesarean.

For me, what it boiled down to was being able to make the choice. I chose what was likely the inevitable, sure, but it was my choice. When I sit and think about the worst thing that happened the day James was born, in reality it wasn’t that I had an emergency c-section. The worst thing about the whole day was how out of control everything was and how I can’t put the puzzle pieces together. Early in my labor, I was given a medication to help me relax and save my energy for the main event. It was not a painkiller. I still felt every last twinge of my induced contractions (and let me tell you…) but I would knock out in between them. I would be awake one moment, in the midst of a contraction, asking my mother for some ice chips or some chap stick, and she would turn around to give it to me and I would be gone. Knocked out. Unconscious for another 3 minutes. And I don’t remember any of this. This is all what I’ve been told by my husband and my mother. I remember waking up at some point later in the afternoon, and my legs felt weird. Or rather, they were numb. I pinched my skin and tugged and scratched and I didn’t feel any of it. When I frantically told Rob I couldn’t feel my legs? He said it was because of the epidural. Wait, what? I didn’t get an epidural, did I? I would surely remember that!!!

I didn’t.

I didn’t remember anything. I didn’t remember asking. I didn’t remember receiving. I didn’t remember that it took them nearly 30 minutes just to place it because it kept kinking and popping out every time they would try to lay me back down. Something the anesthesiologist said he’s only seen a handful of times. I have zero recollection of it.

I remember Dr. Phil was on tv when it was finally time for me to push. I remember coming to again and I was wearing an oxygen mask. Why am I wearing an oxygen mask? what the fuck is going on?

I barely even remember meeting my son for the first time.


Ultimately, making the decision to just go ahead and schedule another cesarean was surprisingly easy. My husband supported me, my mother supported me, anybody who was aware of what I went through with James supported me. But I wasn’t prepared for the fact that I’d have to defend my choice to members of the world at large. People would congratulate me on my pregnancy in one breath and chastise me for not trying for a VBAC in the next. As I would stammer out an explanation without getting too in depth, I’d legitimately start wondering if I’d made a mistake. Maybe I was doing the wrong thing. Maybe I was being selfish. Maybe James’ birth day wasn’t as bad as it seemed. I was confused. I didn’t really know what to do.

I felt so defeated. Maybe I really am a dud after all. Maybe the fact that I wasn’t willing to be aggressive in this matter was a plot point for my future parenting skills.

So I did what any woman would do. I asked my mother.

She confirmed that James’ birth day was really as terrible as I suspected.

I asked Robert.

He told me that the day James was born was one of the most emotionally exhausting and terrifying days of his life. And most of that had nothing to do with the fact that he was becoming a father.

It was all I needed to hear.

I thought about the two of them holding my hands, trying to keep me calm while the OR was prepared. I was so scared. At that point I had no pain medication in my body (my epidural catheter was shut off because they thought it was interfering with me knowing when to push). I was in the final stage of labor, my contractions on top of each other, and I’d been instructed to stay calm and don’t push. In other words, go against your instincts no matter how strong they are. My mom was crying. Rob was stone-faced. The 30 minutes it took to prep the OR was the longest 30 minutes of our lives.

I couldn’t put all of us through that again.

How could I even justify taking that risk? How could anyone?

I started to realize that the women who chose to berate me for making my choice had no idea of my personal story. Nor would they really care. I started to remember the lesson I’ve had to learn time and time again. I can’t please everyone. It doesn’t make sense to try. In the end I was able to confirm that I am making the best choice for myself and for my family. And nobody can really tell me otherwise.

Nine weeks from today, I may already be holding my newborn daughter. She’s my light at the end of the tunnel. And I can’t wait to see how brightly she shines.