Friday, August 31, 2007

Part of him, part of me

I love it when Guy wakes up before the alarm. Since I never wake up before the alarm (not including the 52 trips to the bathroom each night), that means that he is going to be the one to wake me up.

To be woken up by kisses on the forehead is to have the first thoughts of your day be of how much you are loved. It's a pretty amazing way to wake up.

This morning, I had to be woken up twice. The kisses on the forehead were the first time. Then I dozed off again. I can't help it. There is this spot right below his left shoulder that I just melt into and can't help but relax into slumber.

The second time I woke up, we had turned into spooning, with Guy's hand on my belly. I rolled back over to face him and he says,

"The baby kicked me while you were asleep."

Later, while I was driving to the school for more substitute teaching goodness, I had an emotionally overwhelming thought. It was one of those thoughts that is so incredibly obvious, and when you say it out loud, it sounds almost stupid. An "of course" thought.

When I was young, I used to sit and ponder the fact that I was a unique person. Saying that doesn't find the depth of importance that my mind would explore. The questions that arose from that statement and the way I related and fit into a world of other unique people. It just sounds silly, but it felt like a deep meditation to me.

I had another one of those moments today. I thought about the baby kicking his daddy. It doesn't sound like a deep thought, but it felt like one. The enormity of how lucky I am to have created a life with the man I was created to be with struck me with such force that it took my breath away. That he could feel that life this morning was one of the most amazing things I have experienced.

What has been a really hard week is ending up being pretty wonderful.

A fabulous pair of boots certainly doesn't hurt either. But perhaps that's a bit shallow of me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Guy: I think someone hijacked Britney Spears' website.

Moi: Why?

Guy: Well look at this. I lean over and see the apology she wrote to the paparazzi. The one in which we are all affirmed of her insanity.

Moi: Oh. No. She actually wrote that. And posted it herself. It's all her.

Guy: That is sad.

Moi: With the question I should have asked before "Why?"
Um, why are you even looking at Britney Spears' website???

Guy: You'll have to read my blog.

I'm afraid. Very afraid.


One time, Guy and I went to Carowinds for a couple of days. I love roller coasters. It's just a thing with me.

While there, Guy noticed a large segment of the population seemed to be of a certain demographic. I told him he couldn't know that just by looking at people.

Then he hauled off and hollered, "Brit-NAY! Hey, Brit-NAY!!"

About 20 girls in bikini tops and butt high cut offs showing off their tramp stamps turned around.

He won that match.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Not so happy

Guy said to me yesterday, "I don't know what it is, but you are missing something."

Maybe it is him. Maybe it is his company.

We are grateful for his new job, a job that he really likes and hopefully will become permanent. He is good at it, he likes the people there, and it is a challenge. Guy loves a challenge. He likes to think about his projects almost all the time so that when he sits down to actually produce the work, it just flows.

I get that. It is the same way I used to write grants. Entire grants would be laid out in my head so that when I finally sat down to type them, it would just appear on the page. People thought I was the fastest grant writer in the west, pow pow, but really, I had been working on it for weeks without writing anything down.

Guy leaves early because of the traffic and comes home late because I teach until 7:00 anyway. We spend our evenings together. I like that. A lot.

But I'm lonely. My friends are scattered and busy. I don't connect well with my neighbors even though they are very nice people. My yoga class is the only guaranteed time that I will interact with a group of women during the week, and that's not really that interactive.

Maybe I might be a bit jealous too. Jealous of Guy's job and the grown up things he does all day long. I know that he needs me to be here, running the house, performing, and teaching. And I would do anything for him. But I think I really miss my non-profit work sometimes.

Maybe I just miss the drive. I have a lot of drive, and there really isn't anything I can focus it on in a house where nothing is finished. This week, I have focused it on blueberry muffins. Lots of blueberry muffins. With different recipes. The freezer is overflowing with blueberry muffins.

Maybe that's why I like it here so much lately. There is a little community. A comment or two. The occasional email catching up or just saying hi. I get to be with people. Not feel quite so lonely.

Sort of.

I don't know what I'm missing I guess. Could be anything.


It could be nothing at all.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rest in peace, Boo's daddy

God bless Boo and her family. Her daddy passed away this morning. All his girls got to say goodbye and tell him how much they loved him.

He finally got his healing.

Monday, August 27, 2007


This week, I am substitute teaching a high school orchestra class. It's really a strings class, I suppose, as it only has 13 students in it.

The reason I'm subbing is because Boo's daddy is very sick, and she has gone to be with her family. Boo and I have many things in common, some of which aren't the happiest things. Our parents' health is one of those things.

I think though, that we get each other so well because the issues of caring of aging parents, or parents with health problems, is not an issue that many people our age deal with. My mother and father were in their 50's when they had to deal with the really serious health issues of their parents.

The other thing Boo and I have in common is that we are both the absent children. Boo's older sister lives near their parents several hundred miles from here. My older brother lives near my parents several hundred miles from here.

It is hard to be the absent child.

I could tell you how much harder it is to be the present child and have the responsibility for day to day needs, emergencies, and anything else that has to be taken care of, but you probably already assume that. You would be right in your assumption.

The hard part about being the absent child is coming into decision making without all the information. Hearing the words, "You don't know, because you aren't here" stings. It stings because in a way, it is true. We aren't there, and we don't know as much. And we feel guilty.

But we do care as much as we did before. Boo dropped everything and went on the very day it became clear that she needed to be present, not just available by phone. And she will stay. Because deep down, she does know her daddy. She may not know every detail of every conversation with the doctors. She may not know his daily medicine routine. She may not know the levels of his latest blood work.

She knows him.

That is the blessing of being the absent child. We have a much easier time holding close to the actual person inside the trappings of a body and mind that are staging a coup.

I think that is a blessing to Boo and to her daddy too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

In which I say how I really feel

I love Izzy. She started Props & Pans and gives people like little ole me the chance to spout forth their opinions on products, services, websites, and just about anything else consumer related.

If you are so inclined, you can pop right over to this post and view the email that I sent to the Motherhood Maternity marketing folks and then posted as a review on P&P. Needless to say, I haven't heard back from them.

I really really hated this advertisement. And I really really will not be purchasing anything from Motherhood. I hold a stiff grudge.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Loss is loss is loss

Time to rally. If you have words in your heart for mothers who have lost children, please go and leave your kindness for Kami and her partner.

Every loss is cruel. But this. This strikes me incredibly so. Please. Go and leave your love.

Saying this isn't fair is such a ridiculous understatement. I said it anyway though. What else is there to say?

Today's conversation

Nice lady at birth center: How many pregnancies have you had?

Me: This is the second. It will be my first child. *gulp*

Shit. Why does that still make me cry?

Happy and Sad live together. Each has their own little room. Sometimes they come out and play. Sometimes Sad kicks Happy in the shins for no reason. I'd like to give Sad a time out now.

At least I don't live in the past

My therapist told me that I should live in the now.

The now is fine with me. I like the now. Right now, it is good.

But I have this habit of skipping out of the now and jumping ahead into the future. It's far easier to worry about the future than it is the now. I can plan ahead, chart out different scenarios, think about all of the beautiful "what if's" and the trail of events that might follow each one. Never mind that I work myself up into a panic doing this.

Then I try to get Guy to play along with me. He will satiate me through a couple of what if's and then remind me that I'm wasting my brain power and emotional energy on planning the unplanable.

I think there is a subtle difference between controlling and planning that I need to learn from him. And I think I've used the wrong word for what it is that I try to do.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

TWM Update

Just a little update about Team Whymommy.

It has sort of taken on it's own life. With Whymommy's post on IBC popping up on blogs, in emails, and on message boards over 250 times that we have been able to count, the word is definitely getting out. Thank you for that.

I moved the list into it's own page because my blog was taking 879 years to load. You can still get to it by clicking right underneath the Team Whymommy button. If you aren't on the list and think you should be, there could be a few different explanations.

First, it could be I screwed up and just haven't added you yet. Please feel free to send me another email with your link and a gentle reminder that I suck and need to add you.

Second, it could be that you just left me a comment and have no Blogger identification. If I can't track you through your comment (if you aren't clickable or have "no-reply" set as your email preference), then I can't add you. Because I don't know where you are. Please feel free to send me an email with your link and I will add you.

Third, it could be that I went to your blog and didn't see a button. It doesn't have to be the original button even. Some people have tweaked it, added a pretty ribbon, changed the font, and that's a-ok with me. But it needs to be on your sidebar, always linking back to Toddler Planet or the Team Whymommy post. If it's just in a post, then it disappears and people won't see it after awhile. We want for it to stay on the front page all the time so that your visitors see and go, "Oh, what's this? Team Whymommy? I simply must click on this lovely button and find out more!" So please feel free to send me an email with your link if you move the button to your sidebar and want to be added.

After you link and post, you might wonder what else you can do. I do. I wonder all the time. So I keep forwarding the post. I keep talking about it. I wear my Team Whymommy shirt so that people will ask me about it.

And, I took the information to my OBGYN's office. Had a lovely little talk with the doctor about how important I thought it was for them to remember that IBC is out there. Then I gave her a sticky note pad with the address for Toddler Planet and asked her to have all the staff take a look at Whymommy's blog, which is a powerful and personal tool for IBC patients and their caregivers. She seemed genuinely surprised that I knew a 34 year old mother with IBC. And her surprise let me know that I had done the right thing.

The team was started to support Whymommy. Whymommy wants to get the word out. So that is what we are called to do. Help her get the word out.

If you have a story about an encounter you have had telling someone about IBC, please leave it in the comments or a link to it in the comments. I would love to know about it.

And by the way,

Because Izzy said to, and I think it's a nice thing to do. So go ahead, tell us who you've told about IBC and give yourself a little linky love at the same time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Waiting for that game of fetch

This is Pupstar and her pink spikey football. Chasing that pink ball has been her favorite activity forever. She would leap for it, do flips for it - basically anything a Frisbee dog would do, she would do for this pink ball.

I had to put the ball away a couple of months ago. She has looked for it. Sniffed it out and whined at the shelf up high where she knows I stashed it. Not only did she love to play with it, she carried it around like a security blanket, often taking naps with her chin resting on it. Ensuring that when we were ready for another game, she wouldn't waste one second getting to it.

But Pupstar is getting older. She has arthritis in her hip. And at night, she struggles to climb the stairs and pants while she looks at me with big black pleading eyes. I know she hurts.

The vet gave me a choice. There is a medicine that she can take for the pain. Over time, it will probably affect her kidneys and possibly her digestive tract. It might shorten her life. My choice is to let her be in some pain, limit her activity, and help her up and down the stairs, or to give her the drugs.

We tried the drug for 10 days. She was a new dog. I know that it helped her and that she was happier. The panting stopped. She began following me up and down the stairs again. She jumped on the bed with me for the first time in weeks. She felt better.

For some reason, I couldn't get past the fact that I might be harming her in some other way though. Until KimmieRo said this to me,

"I have grown accustomed to quality of life being much more important than quantity with my dogs."

I realized then, that I was being selfish in wanting her to live as long as possible, when really, I should be keeping her as comfortable as possible.

Maybe, if she keeps feeling better, we can pull that pink ball out again for a few short grounders. Because it makes her so very happy. And isn't that what I really want? To make her life as wonderful as it can be, no matter what the length of it is?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Through a window

There is a woman I know. Part of a woman that I know. As she will so clearly tell you, a blog is only a tiny window into someone's life. Lucky for me, she lets me peek into a couple of other windows as well.

Recently, I read something somewhere about how people who haven't met in real life cannot be your friends. I'm not disagreeing with that 100%, but I think it is too general of a statement. Of course I think this because of Girl.

I'm sitting here trying to think of how to convey the impact she has had in my life since January, but everything I think of to say, I end up wanting to keep to myself. Tucked into the place of my heart reserved for warm fuzzies. I don't want to share because it's little pieces of treasure. She is made up of little pieces of treasure.

When she hurts, my heart hurts. When she has a good day, I share her joy. The pictures she takes warm me through and through, and where she struggles to even call herself a photographer, I call her an artist.

There are words, sentences, paragraphs that she has written that helped me put one foot in front of the other months ago, and I don't think she knows that. Even if she did, she would never admit to anyone, including herself that it was true. So I say it here. It is true.

So when this came the other day, I sat down and cried. Just a few tears. Because it made me so happy, but it also made me miss her so very much.

She made this. For Little Bird. Who she always believed would be here, and she never stopped telling me that.

It's an important thing to a first time mom with a loss. Reminding her that there is hope. And Girl does that all to well. Then when the hope sees you through, she is there with the celebrations.

Call her what you will in my life. An internet buddy. A pen pal. A blog friend. I call her a blessing. A blessing that I will sit down with one day in person, and we'll be lucky enough to already know one another.

Friday, August 17, 2007

17 weeks

Dear Bird,

You've stuck with me for 17 weeks now. Hanging out. Hiding from the nurse trying to find your heartbeat. Giving me some wicked heartburn. Or perhaps that was the 2 Black Bottom cupcakes I ate. Either way, I don't mind. I just like having you here.

I'm starting to think a lot about how we are going to get you here. I've found a really nice childbirth coach, or at least I think that is what you call her, who is going to do classes for your daddy and me here at the house. I'm reading some books, and trying to gather information rather than make a plan. Because the one thing I've learned so far is that there really isn't much good in planning. You have to be ready to go with the flow.

I know though, that I want your birth to be a happy time. A positive experience. I want to choose to make the environment tingle with anticipation and excitement. Have it be about you and not about me. That is what I want. I want for the focus to be on the outcome.

Your room is painted. In a couple of weeks, you are going to get a new bamboo floor. I bought you a rabbit off of Etsy and a couple of bunny prints too that I had framed last week. Your room is still full of your daddy's guitars, but I'm thinking that you are going to like listening to him play so much, that it's alright. Besides, after I considered bitching about it, I realized that mine were in there too, and my amplifier. We are the pot and kettle, me and your daddy.

You got a present this week from your Auntie Girl. It is a beautiful quilt with birds on it. Chicks to be exact. You are going to love it. You are going to love her. I know because I do.

Your daddy likes to rub the belly more now that it feels like a belly and not a gut. I would like to take this moment and thank you for growing straight out and pulling my love handles right along with you. You are actually making dressing much easier these days. But back to your daddy. Your heartbeat is louder and more complex now, and your daddy likes hearing it. He gets excited. I feel him connecting to you, and it is such an amazing feeling. You have such an awesome daddy.

I think I felt you move this week. We were at our yoga class, and yes, I know I should move to a prenatal one, but I like this one so much. I don't know if you can hear her or not, but the yoga instructor sounds a lot like I imagine Martha Stewart would sound if she were a yoga teacher. And I like it. Down dog, it's a good thing. Anyway, I was on my belly doing that back bend where you grab your ankles behind you, and I don't think you liked it. I could feel something, maybe you, swishing about, fluttering almost, as if to say, "Get off me, woman! You aren't a lightweight, you know." So I did. I got up and crossed off belly yoga poses from my list. Sorry about that.

In a few weeks, we will know if you are a boy or a girl. Your daddy thinks you are a boy. I think you are a girl. Neither one of us cares what you are, really. You are our little Bird, and that's all that matters. I just want to know because, well, I want to know everything about you that I can. I think you are fascinating.

Even more exciting to me than finding out about your boy or girl parts though, is when you can actually start hearing things. Like music. How much can you hear of the piano when I play? How much of my students' playing can you hear (I might be able to bribe them into practicing more, you know, tell them they are scarring your development when they massacre Bach)? Can you hear your daddy practice guitar at night when I sit and listen to him? Will you be able to hear Crowded House when your daddy and I go to the concert? I hope so. I hope you are already getting to enjoy music like we enjoy music.

Most of all, I hope you hear me when I tell you that I love you. Because I do. So very much. And I'm excited that you are still here. You are the best Little Bird of them all.

Your Momma

Thursday, August 16, 2007

This one's for the poop

Heh. My mom reads my blog. And I love that she comments sometimes. Really, the whole telling the story of how I pooped in my training pants and then flushed them down the toilet was pretty funny. At least she didn't tell about me flushing my Fisher Price people down the toilet. For apparently no reason.

But, in light of our honesty, I have something share. It was in the box. The box my former MIL sent to me that she had been storing for many years. In between the Sweet Pickles books and my ONJ albums was sandwiched this:

The program for the 1960 Miss Arkansas pageant. What daughter would not be proud to say they had a beauty queen for a mother? I am. I think it is pretty cool. And she is by far the best looking one in the group. Of course we are talking about Arkansas.

Here she is in all of her stunning glory:

I only wish that the picture showed the dress too, because my grandmother Honey made all of her clothes. Even the evening gowns, and they were incredible.

My momma has gone out of her way though, to be known for something more than her looks. She doubled majored in piano and Christian education. She taught, she worked, and when my Bro and I were out of the nest, she went back to school and got her Masters of Divinity. She's a smart cookie. And a lovely cookie too. I mean, look at those eyebrows and the teeth that didn't need braces. Amazing.

So she didn't go on to be Miss America. She did have a couple of other great articles written about her that made her cringe and made her mother radiate pride. As Momma was busy studying in college, she had to put up with articles that praised her "deft hand with make up" and her "shiny well kempt hair." Oh, the tortured life of the beautiful! However, they did leave out her GPA and ability to whip up a snappy comeback to just about anything.

Not being Miss America, or even Miss Arkansas for that matter wasn't something she regreted I don't think. Perhaps the only thing she missed out on were the photo shoots. Because the pinnacle of every woman's life should be this Pepsi ad:

Be sociable, Have a Pepsi

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Because I need more than 100 blogs in my reader

A friend of mine asked me in an email today if blogging "made me write." She is a writer. Like a for real honest to goodness talented superb writer. So I told her yes it did, and that she should start a blog (for the millionth time already). Besides, you couldn't make up the stuff that happens in her life. It is amazing. She should have one blog where all she does is post the emails that her ex-husband sends to her. Then we could all write our fake email responses in the comments section. Just for kicks.

In particular, I think that people with funny stories should share. I suppose it is selfish, but I can't help it. I really like to laugh. Love to laugh. It's why I thought Guy should blog. Because he makes me laugh.

Speaking of laughing, another friend of mine did in fact start a blog. An internet friend, but a friend nonetheless. She has just had a baby girl, and is somehow still finding time to make me laugh so hard I snort and wet my pants a little. I've got to do more kegels.

There is this one story about the satellite company and how they wouldn't come get their equipment - wait - you really should just go read it for yourself. Karma is a bitch. But oh so funny.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thank goodness I have my Sweet Pickles books back

About 10 years ago, I attempted to clean out my bedroom at my parents' house. They were getting the house ready to sell so that they could move to California after living most of their lives in Mississippi. That is another story all together though.

I don't keep things. Not like my momma does. In fact, she has threatened not to pass down certain items to me because I might get tired of them and throw them away. She isn't wrong.

A box came yesterday. One of the mystery boxes from my former mother-in-law. It was huge and heavy, and probably cost her a small fortune to send it.

Guy and I opened it last night in the foyer, because it was too heavy to move into the living room.

There were two things that I'm really glad were sent. A satin bag full of my grandmother's handkerchiefs, and a necklace that belonged to my great great grandmother DeLoach.

I almost feel a little guilty because the rest of the stuff could have just stayed there. When she said she was sending a "small" box, I stupidly believed her.

I wonder though, if it was just a box that she chose, or if she went through the boxes and chose things to send.

There were my school annuals from 1980-1983. The fun there was reading the signatures and having Guy almost pass out when he was reminded that his first year of college was when I was in the fourth grade. That's always good for a laugh. Never gets old. Unlike Guy. Who is old now.

A small box within the enormous box contained my band awards. Yes, my high school band awards. I was that person who won the band awards. The John Philip Sousa band award, and two jazz band awards. I tried to throw these plaques away 10 years ago, but my momma wouldn't hear of it. She said I would want them one day. I'm still waiting on that day, and now find myself unable to toss them since they were just shipped across the country at someone else's expense.

Also back in my possession are dozens of pairs of gloves. Because every Southern woman needs gloves. They were also my grandmother's. Now I really hope Bird is a girl because the dress up possibilities have gotten quite good around here.

There were folders and folders of music that I've written. I suppose I should want to keep it, but since no one will be performing it, I don't really see the point. But again, it will probably just move to the attic and take up space with my band plaques.

My mother's violin was in the box. It was the violin she had when she was four. Somewhere I have an audio tape of her playing that violin, and it is far more entertaining and useful than the actual violin. Perhaps I can find a nice shelf to display it upon, and then curse when I have to dust it weekly.

I also got back a giant framed collage of pictures from high school. They were of me and Hope, me and Shelster, Shelster and random person, Shelster by herself, and then a bunch of people whose names I can't remember. There were none of Matthew, who is by all accounts the only person from high school who I wish that I hadn't lost touch with. Scattered amongst the pictures? More band memorabilia. Oh yeah.

There were children's books, more costume jewelry that belonged to my grandmothers, and the Jefferson cup that Salem College gave me when I went to interview for scholarships.

They are all things that marked milestones in my life, or that I once held dear. It was fun to look through the box and have the memories come flooding back. I don't even want to know what it cost her to ship it though, because most of it will be going in the trash or to Goodwill.

Most of it except my Olivia Newton John album. Get down with my bad self.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Guy likes to have his work clothes done at the laundry down the street. The shirts are pretty cheap if you take six or more at a time, and they certainly do a better job than I could. It is about $1.20 something a shirt, and considering it would take me around 30 minutes to press and starch said shirt, I think that is a bargain.

The pants, though, not so much. I finally asked on Friday exactly how much the pants were a pair. She said it was $3.90 a pair. Yikes! That is way too much money to be spending on laundry!

I told Guy I wanted to start doing his pants myself and just taking his shirts. He raised one eyebrow at me, wondering if he had ever seen me pick up an iron, and I reminded him that before home renovation hell, I used to press the sheets and pillowcases for crying out loud. I just can't do dress shirts very well. I can press a pair of pants, thank you.

He hadn't actually agreed to this arrangement yet. He also thinks I should have less to do while I'm pregnant. I've tried explaining that if I do any less, I will die of boredom. Not having a kitchen has been torture, and left me making up stuff to do around the house. Getting to press his pants will probably be fun in reality.

This morning, he was in the bedroom getting dressed while I was putting in my contacts and getting ready to take Lovely to school. He lets out a big gufawing laugh, and comes in with a pair of pants that they have obviously heavy starched instead of lightly starched.

He sets them upright on the floor. They stand on their own. He tries to put them on, but they won't bend. Sprawled across the bed, he finally gets them on and proceeds to separate all the pockets while I lean down and pull them apart at the ankles.

As he walked across the room without being able to bend his legs, he decided it might be okay for me to launder and press his pants at home after all.

I just wonder how he got in that tiny car of his with his legs sticking straight out in front of him. That's something I would have liked to have seen.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What aren't you telling me?

I'm a little behind in the baby making game. As a first time mom, I'll be delivering Bird just a few weeks before my 35th birthday if all goes well. Not quite AMA, but pushing it. Considering the fact that I would like to do this again, we are really pushing it.

I say that, but then there is my amazing sister-in-law. She is the queen of pregnant women. She is that woman who glows during pregnancy, looks great in maternity clothes, and smiles at the camera during labor. I am in awe of her, and she has done beautifully with being an AMA mommy here recently.

Although I won't disclose her age here because I'm too lazy to pick up the phone and ask if it's okay, I will disclose how many kidlets she and my Bro have. They have four. And one on the way. And no, I don't want to hear any jokes about "Do they know what causes that?" because they make really terrific kidlets. Smart ones too.

Number five is due in November, and will most likely be their last. And apparently, I have been the absent and oblivious aunt because they have not scared me. I cannot think of one story to tell you that would make you shudder at the prospect of motherhood.

At this point, it is appropriate to point out that they have obviously been shielding me.

I want to know. I want the truth. After reading about Jessica's precious angel flinging poo onto the floor of Toys 'r' Us, and Jennifer pointing out a downside to toddler independence, I'm starting to wonder. Well, after I dried my eyes from laughing so hard, I started to wonder.

What am I getting into?

I know there a lot of moms out there. And dads. And people who are smarter than me. How about it? Care to fill a clueless mom-to-be in on the other joys of babydom that no one is telling me? What other ways is poop going to become very very frightening? And possibly mobile?

Let me in on the secrets. I can take it. I need to know about the poo.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Laying foundations

Pupstar and I are hanging in the kitchen watching Guy continue to insert the endless stream of drawers in our fantabulous new cabinets. I love the drawers.

There was a post I wrote last night about pain. A post that I actually hit "save" instead of "publish." I'm glad I did. It was a little whiny. There is this pain caused by my SI joint. It can be very hurty and bad. That is all.

Today I had the chance to visit with a blogger on her way through these here parts. If I hadn't met her in Chicago and had a short conversation with her, then I probably wouldn't have gotten to have the longer visit today. That was what I was trying to convey about the conference I promised not to talk about again in the post where I promised I was done talking about it.

It was a weekend for laying foundations, not building houses.

And I have to add that she has the most adorable, friendly, terrific children. Seriously. My heart was melting. Melting faster than her strawberry ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

All in the family

I am sitting with my girls. Two pups are laying at my feet quietly as I type. They might let out an occasional groan when I reach down to scritch them with my foot. They might lift their head for a moment to see what Guy is doing making all that noise with a drill.

But they stay close to me. Spoiled and content.

These pups, my girls, were my only immediate family for a year. They have stood by my side, lay by my feet, and walked with me through a multitude of changes. And they adapted. They are happy.

The eldest has been with me for 11 years now. I watch her aging and I want to stop the clock. I want to find some magic that will preserve her health forever. She is so much a part of my life, and I will be a wreck when she is gone. She was the first to know I was pregnant, and has not left my side longer than 10 minutes ever since.

The younger is only five. She is a bad girl, passing obedience with flying colors only to come home and poop on the floor because she was too lazy to ask you to let her out. Some days I could shoot her. But she is so sweet. Gentle and observant. Quiet and unobtrusive. Unless you are sitting in her spot on the couch.

I have read how their status will change once the baby comes. I have read how they will no longer be my babies, and that I will see them for the animals they are. They are just pets.

It is true that the welfare of my child will come first. I understand that. I had to demonstrate that understanding and put down my boy dog who jumped Lovely for no reason other than he was sick. Not right. He was broken. And so I did. I ended his life and stayed with him through it. I said goodbye and that I was sorry I couldn't fix him.

But these girls. I will not love them less. I will not send them outside. I will not treat them like they are disposable.

And the people tell me I don't understand because I don't have my own child. They tell me to wait and see.

I tell them, come back in January. Come back and see how my family has grown. Wait and see how my pups are still my pups. They will adapt. They always have.

In return, my child will learn the importance of caring for an animal. She will learn the power we have to make their lives happy or to make their lives hell. She will learn that we have a responsibility to care for all living creatures, especially the ones under our own roof.

Best of all though, she will learn the unconditional love of a dog.

And if she is a patient grasshopper, she might even learn from Princess the joys of holding your face directly above the air conditioning vent and having your ears flap in the cold breeze.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Love for my girlz. All 2 or 3 or possibly 4 of them.

I don't think that self esteem and confidence are the same thing.

Take me in front of a large group, for instance. I have the confidence to stand up before it, speak my mind, field questions, debate issues, or simply represent a cause. I have the confidence to play and sing in front of 10,000 people or with a television camera swooping down on a boom arm inches from my face. I don't lack confidence. I know that people listen to me when I am behind a microphone.

Take me in a large group, however, and not in front of said group, and I become one of the masses. And I know that I am far less interesting and far less worthy of your attention than anyone else in that group.

So why on earth would you want to talk to me?

Well, I usually think that you don't. Therefore, I don't bother you. And I look like a stuck up ass. And I usually don't care. Because you don't want to talk to me anyway. It's a vicious cycle.

Over the years, I have actually practiced working a room and learning how to small talk. I hate it. I would much rather sit down and have a heart to heart with you than chit chat across a bar table any day. But small talk is necessary if you are going to attend social events, so I try.

My strategy is to get people to talk as much about themselves as possible. When they stop talking about themselves, I ask another question. That way, I'm not boring you with me, and you enjoy talking to me, because most people like talking about themselves.

What happens though, is you leave our speed date of small talk feeling good about yourself and not remembering one thing about me. Because I have told you nothing.

This probably explains why I have heard from multiple bloggers about how they wish they could have met me at Blogher, and maybe they can next year. Each of these bloggers are women that I did meet. It is not their fault. I am really that unmemorable in a social setting.

It's alright though. That's where the confidence comes in. Even though I don't believe myself to be someone that most people would enjoy hanging out with, I know that I do a lot of things well. I know that I am a fiercely loyal friend. I know that I am a good musician. I know that I can make a kick ass pound cake and some jump off a cliff for them biscuits (thank you, Momma). I have confidence.

Maybe that's why Blogher didn't really bother me that much. I'm used to having friends without having a crowd. I'm used to being forgotten soon after being met. And I'm used to relying on my own confidence to quickly heal what wounds might occur when I realize that someone doesn't really want to be my friend after all.

These ladies got it right. It was like high school. It was also like being out at a bar for 3 straight days. It was like a sorority party.

There are positives to that though. The relationships that last out of those experiences are invaluable. No matter how hard and not fun the rest of the experience was . . .

In junior high, I met my BFF and we made it out alive together.

In high school, I hooked up with Shelster, and she made all four torturous years worth it.

And in college, I met T, who keeps me grounded and in style to this very day.

Just remember this. The head cheerleader probably married the quarterback and looks back on high school as the best years of her life. I think that is sad.

The bloggers who didn't see anyone standing alone at Blogher weren't looking at you and me. I think they were looking at the lens of a camera, waiting to make the next shot be the one that remembered the actual event as the best part of Blogher. Maybe they were just waiting to come home and write a snarky piece that looks down on anyone who admitted that a huge group of women is sometimes a lonely place to be. I don't know. I didn't look at them long either. I didn't need to.

In all honesty, I loved Blogher. And even better, the best part of Blogher is yet to come I believe. It is the part where I find that I have forged real friendships that will continue on past the posts of parties and pictures. A handful of women who I plan on tucking in my heart for good. Accomplished with no late night parties and about 7 crappy pictures taken on my cell phone.

And that. Is all I have left to say about Blogher. Love to my girlz.

Turkish predictions

I'm back from another OB visit. I finally gained some weight. Three pounds.

Nurse Whisper took me back today. I'm sure she's a very sweet lady, but I just can't like her very much because of my initial introduction to her.

Today, Little Bird played a mean trick on her. She was using the doppler to find Bird's heartbeat. I have to admit, my own doppler sounds a million times better than theirs and seems to be easier to use.

Nurse Whisper couldn't find the heartbeat.

Of course, she was looking way too high. I know where Bird likes to hang out, and it is down low, just off center from my belly button. Nurse Whisper was looking way too high.

I just lay there quietly and let her search for about 3 minutes. When I could tell she was getting frustrated, I gently said, "You might want to look lower. That's where I usually find it."

Another five minutes goes by, and nothing. She keeps wiping her brow and trying not to glance at me. I'm just laying back grinning. Because she is moving the thing so quickly, she has missed the heartbeat about 3 times at this point. I could hear it, just one blip of it, and I knew what it was even as she was flying past it.

I started to tell her where it was again, but decided to just be still and quiet. Let Little Bird have her fun.

She finally found it, and the exhale she let out could have taken care of a 90 year old's birthday candles. She said, "I was scared I wasn't going to find it."

I said, "I knew it was there."

About halfway through her counting, Bird moved. I thought Nurse Whisper was going to chuck the doppler across the room. She turned to me and told me not to move. I couldn't help but laugh. I apologized and lay still, even though it wasn't me moving in the first place, and she finally got the heart rate.

152. And she said it sounded "just perfect."

Several years ago, a Turkish friend of mine used my wedding ring to predict how many children I would have and what their genders would be.

As the ring swung over my palm in a circle that got bigger and bigger and bigger, she clicked her tongue and said, "Oh dear."

What, 'oh dear?' What do you mean?

She said, "My angel. You will have a girl. A very very naughty girl."

We'll see if she's right about the girl on September 5. We already know about the naughty part.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel

I was beginning to wonder if there would ever be a kitchen again. When we made our trek up to Ikea and subsequently ripped out our old kitchen, we didn't know that Guy would finally be given a start date for work the following week.

It has been a long summer. With no trips to the farmer's market.

This past week though, we put in the floor. Then Saturday, the cabinets started taking shape. And yesterday, shelves and doors began appearing.

And Ikea stuff is as easy to put together as they claim it is.

Since I'm on a quest to have my blog load faster, I'm putting the pictures in a flickr set that you can view here.

And if you have a moment, can you leave a comment and let me know if the blog is loading fast or slow in your opinion, and if there is any difference today that you notice? Many thanks.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Let's make a deal

There are boxes of my things that my former in-laws have. Four big boxes and one little box. Today, a lawyer from their town called me and asked if I would like to have them delivered. The little one they would ship, and the bigger ones I would have to arrange to have moved by a truck.

I have no idea what is in those boxes.

It crossed my mind that they were filled with stuffed animals and Swatch sweaters. It crossed my mind that they are probably filled with books, old greeting cards, and notes from junior high school. It crossed my mind they might be filled with wedding gifts that we never used.

Then it crossed my mind that I didn't even know I was missing these things. Things from my past. Things I have forgotten. Things that I once thought were important.

I told the lawyer to ship the small box and just dispose of the larger ones.

Will I regret throwing away part of my past without finding out what it was? Will I wonder for years to come what I parted with without giving it a chance? Will I always wonder if the afghans that my grandmother Honey crocheted were in those boxes?

Maybe. But it's just stuff. When you get divorced, you say good bye to stuff. I watched my ex walk out of my house with thousands of dollars worth of dishes, stainless, music equipment, cd's, and whatever else. I knew that he would sell it all. I knew that he wouldn't be throwing any dinner parties with our Ralph Lauren flatware. It didn't matter. It was just stuff.

I didn't want stuff. I wanted a life.

So I said good bye to a bunch of boxes. It felt almost like the lawyer was a game show host offering me the unknown behind curtain number one in exchange for weeks of discomfort. In exchange for me paying to have them moved here. In exchange for a little piece of the peace I have found.

No thanks. I'll pass. But please tell my former in-laws that I said thank you for asking.

I'll be getting a letter from the lawyer documenting our conversation and confirming that I gave my permission for disposal. At first, I thought they really must be scared of me to have to have a lawyer call about some boxes.

Then I remembered that they were scared of my Daddy. I remembered that when they heard he was coming to see me after the ex and I separated, they hired their son a lawyer straight away. They were scared of my Daddy, his knowledge, his record in the courtroom, and his fierce love of his daughter.

What they didn't know was that Daddy got lost in the airport while changing planes on that trip. They didn't know that I had to beg, bribe, and cry to the airlines for them to help me find him on the night he was supposed to come in. They didn't know, and they don't know, how much of him is gone.

Funny though. Sometimes I don't know how much of him is still here. On the day that I think about that, and the day that I spend mourning the losses my Daddy has faced thus far, he is busy defying those losses.

Even on what was a "bad day," he was translating legalese for my momma as she talked to their lawyer concerning my grandfather's estate. Translated the Latin. Explained the processes. Helped guide her through the conversation.

And then he had her email me and suggest that a friend of his go and look in the boxes to see what is there before I make up my mind to get rid of it all. It's an excellent idea. I'm not going to do it, because Guy and I decided over dinner that there was nothing I needed that was worth the hassle of getting it here. But still.

It felt good to find some of him that I thought was gone. I would much rather get parts of Daddy back than whatever was in those four big forgotten boxes.