Archive for the ‘Love’ 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.

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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.

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.
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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.

Because the sky is blue

June 25, 2010

I admit that I didn’t quite know how people were going to respond or react to the post I wrote yesterday. And I still don’t know. Are you reeling? Are you annoyed? Did I drag you down into the same existential crisis? If so, I apologize. I had something weighing on my heart and I needed to get it out.

You’ll be happy to know that I spend most of my time excited by the life ahead for my children. I learned some time ago that dwelling on the negative leads to surrender. I daydream of watching my children succeed in life in a way I never attempted.

My son carries around an ultrasound photo of his baby sister. He already loves her and wants to protect her. I can’t describe to you the pride that fills my heart when my sweet little boy comes to me, puts his hands on my belly, and says “Hi baby!”.

Lucinda is well loved. She has James who will protect her (even when he’s annoyed by her or annoying her himself). She has her daddy to dry her tears and make her laugh until she can’t breathe. She has her grandparents who will undoubtedly spoil the crap out of her. She has her mommy. She has me. The one that sings to her. The one who will teach her so much. The largest influence in her life.

Well, shit, that is a little scary isn’t it?

For now, I’ll continue to sing to her. James will continue to say Hi to her (and give my belly the occasional kiss or tickle). And Daddy will continue to spout gibberish to her “because it’s not like she can understand me anyway honey!”. And the two of us will dance together. In gentle, side to side, swaying motions.

The rest we’ll figure out as we all grow up together.

Gifts

June 24, 2010

Today is my first day off of work in 8 days. I’m pleased. I’m excited. I’m lazy. Outside of getting dressed and possibly going to the library, my only plans for the day were to relax. And by relax, I mean veg out on the sofa with a bag of potato chips my mother sent me from Canada and watch Discovery Health all day. The only way Mystery Diagnosis could be any better is if they didn’t air the interview with the person all the junk actually happened to until AFTER the diagnosis was made. Knowing they survive kind of sucks the suspense out of it. But at the same time, I find myself grateful for the knowledge that people can survive through such medical haphazard.

When I find myself reading Violence Unsilenced, more often than not it takes my breath away. It reminds me of both the strength and weakness of the human race. Of the individual. And I admit I find it comforting that the person making the contribution survived. But I find myself wondering, are they living?

I only say this because I survived various torment inflicted on me by the world at large. There was a period of time that I woke up every morning not sure of whether or not I was thankful to see the sunlight again. I was standing still and the world was spinning on it’s axis. The voices and actions of the world I’d been exposed to had infiltrated my head and my heart. I lost my faith. I couldn’t understand. I collapsed under the weight of my own self loathing. I tried to hide it. I don’t think I succeeded very well. I was surviving, but I was not living. My heart beat. My lungs expanded. My nails grew. But I was a shell. It’s not a good state for a person to be in. And I wonder if the contributors on V/U are living, and if so, how long did it take them to get there?

If you’ve read my blog before, or if you know me personally at all, you’d know that so many things changed in my life right around the time I met Robert. I learned how to fight for happiness. I learned how to love myself. I learned so many things about life and love and how to deal. I regained my breath. My heart occasionally skipped a beat. I painted my nails. I began to shed the weight of the past and started moving with the world instead of standing still against it. But I would be lying if I said that the same small sad version of me doesn’t still exist somewhere inside of me. I admit that certain people and certain things feed into that former self and make my weakness stronger again. I’ve been criticized before of leaving places and people behind with not much explanation. There you have it. Whether the people or places like it or not, they are inherently tied into the version of myself I can’t stand in the least.

I don’t want my daughter to learn how to love herself by first having to hate herself. I don’t want her to have to endure the crippling self doubt and self loathing. I want my daughter to live. I want to give her life. I want to give her the gift of love, of confidence, of self-assurance. I want to do everything I can to protect her from becoming a shell. I don’t want her to abuse herself. I’m not so naive to think I can protect her from everything. Some boy will break her heart. Some friend will hurt her feelings. She’ll deal with what I can only hope is a normal level of adolescent frustration. I can only hope that I can bestow upon her all the things she will need. Love, strength, faith, assurance, security. The most frustrating thing is knowing it will take decades to know whether or not I am successful.

Because sometimes, Love isn’t enough. And that’s the scary part.

I want to make it 100% crystal clear that I do not blame my mother for anything. My mother is a fantastic woman and were it not for her, I would not be the person I am today. It is a clear cut case of bad algebra. Too many variables, not enough control. I can only hope for fewer variables for my own children.

This is so not how I envisioned my day off. Pass the chips.

What do you think is the most terrifying aspect of parenthood?

Wordless Wednesday: 20 weeks

May 27, 2010