Friday, December 12, 2008
Wiggly says: "Merry Christmas, Everybody." Okay, well he really said: "A-goo, SQUEEEEAL, ahhh, ehhhhh." But in Wiggly-ese, we all know what he means.
Wiggly's very first Christmas. We had pictures done last Saturday. He was a trooper for the first few shots and then hated it. Silly department store photo studios. I don't know why they bother making appointments when it ends up being first come first serve anyway.
Whatever. The pictures turned out very well (although E said it looks like a godzilla baby in front of a very tiny fence!). Our Christmas cards will be going out next week. I'm so excited for his first Christmas and look forward to a few years when he'll start to understand and get excited, too! Hopefully we can get some santa pictures done, too.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I am thankful. For my life. Each and every day I wake up. For seeing the sun rise and set. For each new experience. For my health, even when I have a cold or stomach ache--it could be worse. To live in a country that sees me as a full fledged citizen who can achieve all that I want if I'm willing to try.
I am thankful. For the roof over my head and the food I am able to put in my belly. I am grateful for a job that pays, while not very well, well enough to pay my bills and keep me feeling secure. Though the job is often stressful and exhausting, I still get a pay check twice a month. I realize there are so many people not as lucky as I am. I know.
I am thankful. For my incredible friends. Especially my closest. Whether they live close or far (too many live far...E, A, M, S...I'm looking at you). They hold me up. Steady my feet. Ground me. Keep me moving forward each and every day. Shoulders, ears, hearts, souls. I love them.
I am thankful. For my family. My parents are wonderful people, it took me far too long to realize that in adolescence. We do not always agree but we always love. They support me, even when I don't recognize the need. They are there, just in case I fall, while hoping I don't. They created me, encouraged me. They have faith in me. I can never repay them for their generosity. For my extended family, those related by blood or otherwise. A village raises a child. I've always loved having that village around me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I am thankful. For my husband. My other half. My best friend. Together for going on 6 years and married for over one. I have a hard time remembering life without him. Finishing each other's sentences. Thinking the same thoughts. Sometimes I forget we are two different people. He holds me when I need it and can tell how I'm feeling just by looking at my face. He is my constant rock. I take him for granted too often. I am grateful for him.
I am thankful. For my son. My beautiful little boy. Five months old and his first Thanksgiving. I'm thankful he came into the world healthy and has remained so. For each milestone he crosses. For the person he is steadily becoming. I am blessed far more than I can say to have this little soul in my life. To watch him grow and change. He has brought true purpose to my life.
Take a moment, tomorrow and always, to step back. Look around. What do you have to be thankful for?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I was only 13 when we met, she 15. I was in awe of my older friend. She and her two brothers moved into the house across from mine. Just another family in the string of military families who would inhabit that home while the owners were stationed in Africa. I didn't know. Had no way of knowing, what it would mean to have her as a friend.
I rode the bus to the high school in the mornings, even though I was still a lowly middle schooler. Ana showed me the ropes, let me hang out with her friends. Made me feel part of them. Special. I loved it. We talked about movies, music, television, friends, boys. Had sleep overs. I went to church a few times with her family. She gave me my first alcoholic drink, nevermind that I was only 14 at the time. She told funny stories and loved her brothers. She did everything passionately.
The day she died is still so vivid for me. A game of street hockey. A bicycle. A boy telling me once, my brother telling me again, my mother telling me a third time. Collapsing to the floor. My father telling my mother to take me into another room for fear of watching the emotional wreck I had become. Ana's father hugging me and telling me to never let it get that far, never that bad. Seeing her brothers cry. Not knowing what to say. Tears coming. The funeral a few days later. A skirt with a missing scarf. Screaming on the inside. So many kids missing a friend. My mother holding my hand. My parents afraid to leave me alone. Sitting on the staircase talking to the only person who understood how I felt. Only wanting to talk to Ana again. See her smile, laugh one more time.
I wrote to her. For two years. I put my thoughts and emotions on paper. It was my catharsis, my way of healing. I wrote her letters, poems. Copied song lyrics. Whatever it took. In the last entry, I realized I was officially older than she was when she died. More mature than she would ever have the chance to be. With each milestone I cross, I do so with the knowledge she never did. No driver's license, no senior prom, no high school graduation. No college memories. Adult friendships. College diploma. Marriage. Buying a home. Having children. She never did.
Close to a decade after her death, I found out she overdosed on muscle relaxers. Too many for her heart to handle. I still want to know what was going through her head. What she was thinking. What could have been that bad? Suicide never makes sense. It's sharper, it stings more to the people left behind. Why did she go? I forgave her many years ago, but it was not easy. I forgave her for myself, but not for her family. I see them from time to time. Talk to her brothers. The pain is still visible in her parents' faces. I remind them of her. The good and the bad.
For years, just the thought of Ana would send me into a sobbing puddle. Never knowing when or why it would hit, but there she was. Or wasn't. The pain grew duller with time. Less sharp, more like a missed friend visiting when it comes. I miss her, still. I think I always will. The life she should have led, the person she should have grown to be. I don't know that we would be good friends today, lives have a way of changing us and pulling us apart. I hope we would. She'll always be with me and live on through me.
I dreamt of her often after her death and still do on occasion. It helps. Getting those last conversations. The "I love yous" and "I miss yous," even if it only a dream. It helps. Even if I always wake up in tears.
Happy Birthday, Ana. You would have been 28 today. In my heart, in my mind, you'll always be 16. Forever young, they say. I hope God is treating you well. I still imagine you dancing in the wildflowers and waving hello. Maybe there is a bunny rabbit running along side you.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Halloween came and went. Wiggly was a monkey. He is afterall our little monkey boy (reminder to self to post a picture or two when I get the chance). Fussy for most of the evening, he didn't seem to relish in the holiday. We dressed him up, took him to my mom's, visited with two neighbors and my aunt. Then he fell asleep. He's only 4 months old. He'll have fun next year, hopefully.
November is going to be a tough month for my family. Jason and M should have been married on the 1st, but they're not. Thanksgiving dinner will be a little more empty without his presence at the table. We've lost a family member one by one these past few years. First great-grandma, then great-grandaddy and now Jason. Before that, years before I was born, my maternal grandparents perished. A mentally ill uncle whose whereabouts are rarely known and seldom seen. A baby nephew far away and a first Thanksgiving missed by us. My mother's family seems to get smaller as the years go by. Now two tiny members join our ranks, hopefully bringing some joy in through the veil of sadness. Belle and Wiggly, you are our bright stars.
Did I mention Ana should have been 28 this month? I'll have to devote a post to her. A few sentences will never suffice.
November. You're here. We were just beginning to heal.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I've discovered something: I enjoy getting up at 5am with my child. This is bizarre. I really value my sleep and I always have; in essence, this is quite a shock to me. Sometimes he wakes me up, others I rouse him, but it's generally the same. Somewhere between 5 and 6 am, we are up. Nursing and cuddling. It's blissful and quiet. Sometimes I turn on the tv, others I don't. The dogs and Bubby are generally still asleep, so this time is just for us. He eats quickly and efficiently in those early morning hours; hungry from having not eaten all night. There are mornings he promptly falls back to sleep after eating, when I get the chance to snuggle his warm, sleepy body.
Other mornings he is bright eyed and happy. He smiles, coos, babbles and squeals. I laugh, he does it some more. I give him a million kisses and he returns with happy, toothless, drooling, open-mouthed ones. We love every moment, he and I.
If there are professional cuddlers, then my son is the MVP. Curling in and often hanging on, his favorite place is against someone bigger than himself. After he finishes eating and I am sufficiently drained, I change his diaper and clothes. I try to sneak in a few more moments, when he inevitably falls back to sleep. In my arms. Where he belongs...until I have to put him down and get ready for my day. A day spent away from him. The rest of the day he spends with a sitter, my husband or whomever else we spend the day with. Even the time I spend with him tends to be with other people. It's not just us.
I know these moments will disappear all too soon. He will grow and no longer need to be nursed at 5am. But for now, I look forward to it. It's our time. No one elses. Like the knowing I had of him in the womb no one else knew, I know him at 5am. No other person. Just me. I quite like it that way.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
My little boy will be four months old on Friday. It's amazing how quickly these tiny, little creatures grow. At this time last year, I didn't even know I was pregnant and now I have this boy. This amazing, sweet boy. We're taking bets on his pediatrician visit on Friday, I think he's at least 17.5 pounds at this point. Bubby says 18. We shall see.
We had some professional photos done on the 11th. The amazing photographer trekked to my mother's house and took the shots for us. They came out beautifully and I'm sure I'll be posting them periodically once I get the cd (the one above is from the shoot...I snagged it from her blog!...but I also paid for a digital copy of it for myself). Wiggly was really good, until he got tired. A good portion of the pictures he's conked out with a paci in his mouth. Poor kid. It was a big day.
He giggles now. As if the smiles didn't make me well up enough, now the giggles. My knees are like jello around him. And I thought first love as a teenager was rough, this love trumps it all. I have the urge all the time to be near him just. To touch his soft skin and snuggle him. I'm going to miss that when he grows up. His snuggles.
I must mention, although it is not about my child, my best friend in the whole world is having gall bladder surgery on Friday. Send up a prayer, a thought of good health and spirits for her. I'd appreciate it. I miss her. If there are soul mates, then she is my soul sister. Today we discovered we both owned embarrassing shoes in elementary school. That's awesome.
Bubby and I are fairing better these days. We needed some time. Some time to connect. Remember. Who WE are. This. This marriage. Our love. We're back. It feels good.
Although work is stressing. Especially right now, especially with a specific family I'm working with. Things are okay. I'm at peace.
Monday, October 13, 2008
WE ARE THE DUKES OF JMU
MADISON, JAMES MADISON
THE FIGHTING DUKES OF JMU
FIGHT FOR GLORY
BRIGHTEN THE LIGHTS OF MADISON
FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT
MADISON, JAMES MADISON
SHOW YOUR COLORS
PROUD AND TRUE
WE ARE THE DUKES OF JMU
On Saturday, I went to a football game for my alma mater. How I have missed it. The sea of purple and gold. The chants. The energy. The streamers. That one guy you could always count on to wear the funny hat and socks. I love this time of year, but I especially love reconnecting with my not so distant past. I graduated in 2005 and went back for two homecomings but missed it last year and will not be going this year. I have started to feel old, I mean the current class of college freshman were born in 1989 and 1990. The game wasn't all played well, but in the end we won. I cheered and screamed myself hoarse. I can't believe it's been so long. I've missed it. I really have.
It was Wiggly's first experience at a football game. He only stayed for the first quarter. Sweet boy was exhausted from his photo shoot that morning and went home to take a much needed nap. He was all decked out in his purple and gold. I hope he loves this season as much as we do.
Bubby and I will be traveling to his former University in November to see another football game. I'm so excited. I love how it all feels. The air getting crisp. The changing of the leaves. The tailgates and grilling. The beer. The hope for another season. Football heroes new and old. The roar of the crowd. All over the US right now, students and alumni are cheering on their favorite teams. I love the sense of unity.
I was able to meet up with a few friends from my college days. I've kept in good contact with one and not so good with the other. It was lovely to see them both. Amazing people, they are, and much missed. Going in their own directions, leading their own paths. It's what adulthood has brought us. C kept saying, "You're a real grown up. You're married and you have a baby." We can't go back and do it again, we're too old now, too grown, too removed. But for a day, we could relive our college years. Or at least for me, I could have just that day.
It's been too long, it was good to feel home again. J-M-U DUUUUUUUKES!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Happy Birthday, Bubby. I love you.
Even when I'm grumpy.
Even when I forget to say so.
Even when I don't ask how you're doing or feeling.
Even when I'm mad.
I love you. Period. End of story. We're in this. Always.
You're 25 today. Can you believe you were only 19 when we met? Started dating. Babies, we were. We still have a long road to go. I'm glad you're my partner.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Annoyed. Frustrated. Pissed off. Grumpy. Sad.
I think I need more sleep. My favorite idea right now is to curl up in bed with a warm blanket and sleep until next week, but, I know, full well, that cannot happen. Crawling out of my skin and hiding under a rock? Out of the question, too. Too much to do and a sweet little boy to care for. It's not his fault, he didn't choose to be dependent on me, but he is. He's the one bright light. His smile makes me feel better, but I can't be with him all day.
I don't want to work anymore. Not necessarily where I'm currently employed, but anywhere for that matter. I would even be happier if I could get a part time job. I want to spend more time with my son. We have a fantastic sitter, and I feel more than confident when leaving him there, it's just that I wish that was *my* job, not hers. She gets to see him all day, play with him, read to him, sing to him, watch him change. Apparently he rolled over a few times yesterday. He's only done that once at home and I didn't get to see it. I miss him, all day long.
I'm also upset about work. I do an incredibly difficult job and the people you work with can make or break this kind of work. Communication is not the strong suit of my agency and the work environment gets hard to navigate with out it. Blah. I wish they were a bit more understanding about my work hours and the fact I am a new mother and my priorities have changed. I'm still angry about an incident that occurred yesterday, and I think it is going to take some time to get over it. I've been angry for a few weeks at work, mostly over other coworkers and their actions or inactions. It is what it is.
I'm not feeling so great about where Bubby and I are at the moment either. I know he loves me, I really do. I just don't feel like we're connecting lately. He half listens, half answers, every other conversation revolves around his job. He's on business right now. And will be going again in a few weeks and then again a few weeks after that. Involuntary single parenthood is not my cup 'o tea.
So yeah. That's where I am today. Could be somewhere completely different tomorrow, and hopefully I will be. Maybe I'm PMSing...one can hope.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
He's three months old, my beautiful boy. The reason I wake in the morning, much earlier than I would like. My reason for moving forward. My hope. My continued faith in a loving and aweful God. Wonderful boy.
My days are stressful. I have this sweet face to come home to. My calm. I find, despite my short attention span, I can stare at this wonderful creature for hours. Touch his little fingers, toes. Smell his sweetness. Listen to him coo, breathe, snore. I'm enthralled.
Can time slow down a bit? I don't want to miss any of this. Precious time. Growing, changing.
Friday, September 19, 2008
What is better? I have wonderful friends. Too many to name, but amazing they all are. They never fail to remind me I am loved and needed by them. It seriously makes life worthwhile. Of course I love my husband and my beautiful son, but a girl needs pals as well.
I just wish they lived closer. Especially a few who live in other states, clear across the country nd even some in other countries. Telephone calls and letters aren't the same, but they help. Actual human contact is so needed. In a world where almost everything we do can be done via cyberspace, it is so wonderful to receive a piece of mail.
I spoke with my best friend today for close to an hour. I think it lifted my spirits exponentially. She is a wonderful person and I miss her dearly. I actually sent her a list of ten reasons why she should live closer to me. Alas, her husband is bravely serving in the military and thus, their station is not up to me, or her. We wait, and hope, though. We may live nearer eventually. I pray her children can grow up with mine. She's amazing. I miss her everyday.
She's not the only one. It's difficult to work in a sometimes hostile environment and come home to a place where few friends reside. I lean on them, my friends, for their support, their encouragement, their willingness to listen, their openness, their joy, their ability to point out my weaknesses and help me through, their shoulder to cry on, their hopefullness, their love. They make me smile and my heart feels good.
Wherever you are, my friends--you know who you are--I love you and thank you.
I am blessed. Lest I ever forget. I am blessed.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
My roommate's mother woke us up with a telephone call. It was 8:30am on that Tuesday morning. A plane had flown into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. We turned on CNN, like so many around our nation, and we saw a second plane fly into the other tower. We were dumbstruck. Shocked, appalled. What had just happend? We then watched the towers collapse. Within a few hours, we would learn that four planes were highjacked. People dead in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. 2,999 in total. America changed forever on this day, and I remember.
I was a freshman in college and had only been at school for about 2.5 weeks. We all muddled through the day, talking, crying, watching the news. Discussing what happened, why, how, what could have been done to prevent it. Wondering if we were safe. CNN/MSNBC stayed on our television around the clock for a week. We couldn't do much else. It bonded us together, this terrible tragedy. I learned a dear friend's mother passed away in the Pentagon. I can still feel the way my gut twisted upon seeing a still smoking Pentagon weeks later while driving past.
What I remember most, aside from the sadness, the fear and the politics, was pride in our national spirit. We began to see a collective movement of patriotism. While I've never appreciated the "put the boot in their ass, it's the American way" or "with us or against us" mentalities, I do like the joining together of the people of a nation to say: "We can overcome this. We are strong. We will survive. We will go on. We will not forget."
Today, I'm thinking of all of those who lost their lives, so senselessly and yet bravely. I'm thinking of the families and friends who were lost. And most of all, I'm thinking of America and how proud I am of all of us.
Someday I will take Wiggly to see the memorials at the Pentagon and World Trade Center. I want him to know the history of our country. This event that changed the course of American history. Wiggly will see, Gigi has a picture of mommy, Uncle R, and Uncle J sitting on Liberty island as small children. In the background, the Twin Towers. I want him to know. Mommy remembers.
I'm so happy for their family. I wept with joy this morning at hearing the news of her safe arrival into the world. I've prayed a great deal and hoped for B. She deserved this, this beautiful miracle.
Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!!!
Congratulations, B, D & O. Welcome precious Jem. Welcome.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
If you want to read the whole speech: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/04/mccain.transcript/
A few highlights for me:
- His thanking of many people, including the other candidates who ran for president along side him. In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn't any different. That's a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They're leaders of great ability who love our country and wish to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor that I won't forget. I found this to be gracious and humble.
- His statement toward Obama and company: We'll go at it -- we'll go at it over the next two months -- you know that's the nature of this business -- and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and my admiration.
Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, and that's an association that means more to me than any other.
We're dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our creator with inalienable rights. No country -- no country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn't be an American worthy of the name if I didn't honor Sen. Obama and his supporters for their achievement. I was thrilled to hear this and glad he made a point to reach out to his opponent and make it a fair fight.
- And let me just offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me first, country second crowd: Change is coming. Much of the Obama campaign has focused on "Change" and the McCain camp is really trying to make everyone see that they want change, too. McCain does not tend to backdown from adversaries, Democrat or Republican. It's one of the reasons I like him so much.
- You well know I've been called a maverick, someone who...marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment; sometimes it's not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you. On the topic of the "Maverick" nickname. I thought this was fitting.
- He talked about big spenders and his fights against them in the past and his dedication to continue doing so in the future. I'm a fiscally conservative Republican and it makes me ill to see a White House that has spent more money frivolously than any other president in history. That's not being a responsible president or Republican.
- Talking about his fights for the military: when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.
- The mentioning of specific families and their needs. I liked that, sincerely. There are over 300 million people in the US. It was nice to hear a few of their stories.
- I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. Why has every other person brought up Lincoln? I find this a bit odd. I mean he was an amazing president but why is he in nearly every speech of this convention?
- Beliefs and promises. I. Agree. On. Almost. All. Fronts.
- I didn't particularly like the jabs at Sen. Obama, but I did see the point in showing the differences between the two candidates. I can appreciate it, even if I didn't like it.
- I loved his statement on education. I believe in equal access to education and believe it should be the right of the parent to choose the schooling for their child. I believe in vouchers and competition. When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them...I want schools to answer to parents and students.
- Energy & Terrorism had to be discussed. They continue to be hot topics. I think they always will be. I just don't know that change is going to come as swiftly as we would like. We'll always be dependent on an energy source, I just wish it wasn't oil. Terrorism isn't going to go away. It has existed for thousands of years and it's difficult to see an end in sight. I think we just want to believe we're safe. Or at least safer than we have been.
- This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to. I'll ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability. I'm beyond ecstatic he made this point. He's standing in front of a crowd of die hard Republicans and he's making the point to them that we MUST learn to work together to impact change. I was blown away.
- His comments on duty and bravery. His heroism in Vietnam and the men that saved him there. He brought me to tears. His commentary on serving our country in some capacity made me proud to be a civil servant. My friends, if you find faults with our country, make it a better one...Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier, because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself. And hasn't he lived his life in this manner?
On the crowd of delegates, etc. Seriously, why the chanting of "USA" every chance you got? You were annoying me. You're at a Republican National Convention for the USA. It's not the Olympics. We're not fighting another country. Just shut up and let the man speak. ps. That's the reason why it looks like he's stuttering throughout the speech but it's really because he got interrupted repeatedly.
I'll be honest, I didn't watch many of the other speeches because, well, I have a 10 week old child and I can't pay attention to the television for long periods of time while he's awake. He puts a damper on my tv time. Ha. I did, however, catch Rudy Guiliani and Cindy McCain. I was far from blown away by Rudy Guiliani. I'm just not a fan of his. Yes, he was mayor of NYC on 9/11/01 and did an amazing job of rebuilding the city in infrastructure and morale. BUT, I just don't like his politics. Again, too conservative and close-minded for me. I also didn't like the repeated jabs at Barack Obama. It came off as childish. Seriously, why all the jokes about "community organizer"? I'm a social worker and I understand the importance of people working in the communities to create change. Why is this something funny? I though Cindy McCain's speech was nice. She was far more eloquent than I had originally thought she would be. I, also, was not fully aware of all of her humanitarian work around the world. Kudos to her.
And finally, my favorite part of the speech. Not for the content but because of the power it exuded: Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We don't hide from history. We make history. He started speaking faster and louder over the roar of the crowd. I loved this. I wanted to be there. Cheering him on.
If you didn't catch it, he also accepted the nomination to the presidency by the Republican party. Don't worry, Mr. McCain. As for me and my house, you have our vote.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary. Bubby and I have been together for well over five years but married for one. I'm not sure where time goes. I don't think we realized on the day we were wed, how different our lives would be just one year later.
I feel as though I should really express how amazing my husband is. Because, frankly, he is. And I don't tell him often enough.
We began dating when we were going to two different universities more than a hundred miles apart (127 miles on the highway!). He once surprised me to front row tickets to a concert I was desperate to see. We danced through the whole thing. One summer, we watched a meteor shower while at the beach, curled around each other in the sand. My last semester, he was not attending school and came to visit me EVERY weekend. For Valentine's Day that year, he bought me 9 dozen roses, cooked me dinner and bought me a board game. He's not always that romantic, but the brownie points from that will most likely last for at least the next few decades. The marriage proposal didn't hurt either...
It's not the big grand gestures that matter most to me, though. It's the little things. It's the kiss and "I love you" when he leaves for work. It's the big hug and "I missed you" when he returns home. It's the calls in the middle of the afternoon just to tell me he he's thinking of me. It's the way he looks at our son when they're cuddled on the couch. It's the way he listens when he knows I've had a rough day. It's the way he worries about me when I go to work. It's the way he doted on me during my pregnancy, even when I was not very nice. It's how he tucked me into bed when my belly was so big and my back hurt too bad to share our queen sized bed with anyone, even him. It's for making me laugh everyday. It's how he plays with our dogs, after he's had a long day at work. It's the dreams of the future we've always shared. It's the joy he expresses over being a father. It's how he sacrifices fun to do well at work to provide for our family. It's the respect he gives me. The loyalty I never have to question. The honor he shows as a man and husband and father. It's how he makes sure I know I'm loved every minute of every day of my life.
He's wonderful. And I'm incredibly lucky to have him by my side. Happy Anniversary, Bubby.
Friday, August 29, 2008
(1) Wiggly had his two month shots today. Talk about a stab in mommy's heart. I hated every minute of it. I've never heard him cry like that. He's been sleepy and fussy ever since. Poor kid. As of today my ginormous child weighs 13 pounds, 12 ounces and is 24 inches long. The doctor told me to keep doing what I'm doing. Apparently momma milk is magic.
(2) I just rambled on yesterday about my undying love for McCain. I just watched Obama's speech from last night and I'm thoroughly amazed. He is an incredible orator. I was brought to tears at certain points: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the rights of homosexuals. I was proud of him for not sinking to the points he could have against John McCain and instead talked about their commonalities. He really talked about the issues with such passion and charisma. No wonder this man has won the hearts of many. I feel as though this is finally an election where it's not "the lesser of two evils" to choose from. I would be proud to stand behind either of these men as my president...I would just much rather one over the other. (insert evil grin)
(3) So Sarah Palin. I have to find out more about her. What I, limitedly know at this moment: she's too conservative for me. We shall see. I'm happy to see a woman on the ticket who has the conviction that she does. From what I can tell, she really lives what she believes. Interesting. Time for research...when I get the chance.
(4) Hurricane season is really putting a damper on my life. Last year a Hurricane in Aruba sidelined our honeymoon plans, although it allowed us to glorious days in Puerto Rico, which we loved. This year, lovely Hurricane Gustav is preparing to ruin my plans for my first anniversary. Darn storms. I hope what they are predicting doesn't happen. Our country can't handle another "Katrina" right now.
(5) I love catching up with really old friends. Time goes so quickly.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We rescued Ruby in July 2006, when she was approximately six months old. She is a hound mix of some sort and is the most timid dog I've ever met. She is amazingly sweet and affectionate, but she never licks your face. She likes to curl up into a tight ball and sleep in a corner pressed up against something. She commandeered the oversized chair in our family room long ago and will look at you beseechingly if you are sitting in it. She loves it when my husband does not sleep in bed with me, because it means she can sleep on his side. She is *my* dog to the core. She will follow me from room to room and will not rest until I do. Poor thing wears herself out on the days I'm cleaning house. She can be super annoying and destructive, but gosh darn it, I love that dog. And I know, she loves me more than anything in the world.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Something else these games brought into my worldview has been China, in and of itself. China is beautiful, seriously. I've loved all of the shots of the Great Wall and temples. I've enjoyed the special op ed pieces on different events, people and places in China. It's amazing how little I knew about China. I've known some information on China but I'm ceased to be amazed by what an interesting culture, language and people it possesses. Chinese is not just one language but a combination of over a dozen dialects. More than a fifth of the world's population speaks Chinese in some form. Most of the games were played in Beijing, and others in other cities, but I found it odd that the equestrian events were in Hong Kong. One reporter on MSNBC equated the difference between Beijing and Hong Kong as the same as he distance between Chicago and Miami. Sometimes I forget how big China really is.
In these games, China won an astonishing 51 gold medals. The USA trailed them with 36. I think this is incredible in that China has an estimated 1.3 billion people and the US only has 300 million. That's a huge difference. It's like Ohio State University playing John F. Kennedy High School for a football championship. Yet the USA had 110 total medals and China only 100.
The topic I've known the most about in regards to China has been the one of human rights issues. I've always been fascinated by the on-goings amongst the people and government of China. The one child law was instituted in China in 1979. This law would not seem especially difficult for most Americans, since our average birth rate is less than 2 children per family right now. In China, however, this has caused a loss of multiple generations of children (or at least portions there in). China is a patriarchal society who rely on the birth of boys to continue one's family. The older generations depend on their sons and grandsons to care for them in their old age. Daughters, on the other hand, are not looked upon favorably because they leave their own birth families and become members of their husbands'. Shortly after Wiggly's birth, I saw a documentary entitled "China's Stolen Children," which explains how the one child law has impacted families, particularly the epidemic of kidnapped children. Did you know that a child born out of wedlock is not considered a person in China? Or that you can be forced to have an abortion? Ugh, it makes me sick to my stomach. I understand the need to control the population but in this society, it has done more harm than good. There are now three boys for every girl, families will die out without a woman to continue the family line.
Approximately 40 million baby girls have been electively or forcibly aborted in China since 1979. It makes me wonder what those girls, women could have been or become. Watching the athletes compete, made me wonder what other girls could have been there to make their country proud. Could they have been the greatest diver, swimmer, table tennis player, gymnast? It makes me sad to think about what might have been. Simply because boys are more valued than girls, we'll never know.
I also thought about some of the athletes as well, especially the particularly young ones. Most have been plucked out of their families at very young ages and forced to train in a particular sport by their government (this has also been a practice in many Soviet nations as well). I wonder about those who failed to obtain the glory at these games? What happens to them?
See, here I go worrying about things I can't possibly change.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Wiggly is in love (well as much as a two month old can be). So here they are together. We didn't pose them this way, but found it quite funny.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Bubby and I took a trip when we were juniors at our respective universities. We drove 2900 miles round trip. 10 days. So in love. It was a blast. One of the stops along our travels was Charleston. We fell head over heels for the place. Now, more than four years later, I long to go back.
In the months and years we spent at separate schools and in different towns, we dreamt of being in the same place and creating a life together. Not many of those conversations came and went without the mention of Charleston. At times, I think, these dreams and longings were what kept us together. We would talk about the colorful houses we saw in Summerville--the lovely little town we stayed in on the outskirts of Charleston with one of B's gracious fraternity brothers. The houses with the multi-level porches. A rocking chair and babies. Magnolia trees. Hot, sticky summers. A slower pace. We both grew up in a growing, bustling metropolis and knew whole heartedly, we would not be returning to that place. Avoid the rat race, we said. Charleston, or there about, seemed like the perfect idea for us.
So how did we end up here instead of there? Life happened. I was accepted into an accelerated graduate program in the area we live in and when I graduated, this is where we stayed. It is close enough to our families to visit when we want, but far enough away to avoid the unwanted pop-ins. We're comfortable here, but I still don't feel settled. I don't know that I want my children to grow up here. It's not a bad place. There is a lot of growth here and we're able to access pretty much whatever we want fairly quickly. There are four shopping malls within fifteen minutes of my house--which is wonderful except for the whole being poor thing (see reference below to the indentured servitude). It's still a busy area, which we were trying to avoid. As a fairly outgoing person, I've never made a really good friend here. I have a few from work--but none whom I would call a best friend. B is in the same boat. Maybe I just don't think we fit here. I wonder, though, if we would have an easier time anywhere. What makes me think the community would be easier to acclimate to in Charleston?
What does fit is B's job. He L O V E S what he does. It's foreign to me. I'm passionate about my work. Social work picked me not the other way around. But I've never loved my job. I wish I did. The red tape, the inability to help in the way I want, the political system, inane policy and mandates. It's hard. I find great joy in working with families and children, it's the other crap that ruins it for me. I wish it made me happier. I know I could find another job if we relocated, but I don't think (no, I know) B wants a different job. Even talking about moving is a touchy subject for him. It stings a bit. He has a deadline though, we must be settled in the house we plan on growing old in by the time Wiggly starts Kindergarten. We shall see.
We bought our first home a year ago in May and we are now indentured servants to the all mighty Mortgage. It's simply understood--we can't move any time soon. So why do I continue to desire to do so? Have I now built up this place on such a pedestal to which it can never really hold up? I certainly hope not.
For now, I can dream about the house we could buy with the multi-level porch, the rocking chair and the magnolia trees. The pitter patter of Wiggly and other babies' feet. Did I mention this house could also be nearly twice the square footage for the same price as our current house? *sigh*
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Wiggly was born eight weeks ago today. Mommyhood is still sinking in--this understanding of responsibility over another life. (insert multiple cliches). 9 pounds and 11 ounces of pure love. This little boy, this light, was brought into my life faster than I could have imagined. I don't know that we really expected him to be conceived so quickly, so easily. Bubby says almost every night, he can't believe Wiggly is here and we get to keep him, like, forever (or for the length of his childhood).
Some may know, we changed his name at the last minute. Wiggly should have been something completely different. Sometimes I regret not using the name I had originally intended for him. For nearly 17 weeks, I walked around with my big baby belly and called him a name, and now he's living, breathing, smiling outside of me and I call him something different. Wiggly fits his name to the nth degree and we know the sentiment behind his name means the world to the family members he was named for. I, still, however, miss the other name. I fear I will never call another child that name, it's been tainted, used. Another human born from me could never carry that moniker because, in so many ways, it belongs to Wiggly. This boy who I know so intimately, from his hiccups and kicks to the rump that stayed wedged in the right side of my rib cage for three months, carries two names in my heart. I love the way the original name sounds, its seeming obscurity and opposing warm familiarity, it's softness and yet complete maleness. I miss calling him one but delight in calling him the other. I remember the look on Bubby's face when Wiggly was born and announced what he should be called. How could I argue with that?
My next boy, if I should have one, will be given another name. When someone else is pondering the use of Wiggly's original name, I find myself having a pang of regret and envy. I can't use it, but she can. Only a true name nerd would spend this much time worrying about things such as this. I think and ponder the naming of offspring far too much.
When he looks through some of the books he received from loved ones with the inscription written out to the original name, we'll have a funny story to tell him.
With the mild sadness over the loss of the original name, I'm glad we went with the one we did. I hope he understands why he has the name he does, and why it is so important. His namesakes are plentiful, some here some in Heaven. All guiding him and loving him. We hope this makes him proud.
In the span of a little over two years, I completed my Master's Degree in Social Work, moved in with my (then) fiance, started my first (real) job, adopted a dog, bought a house, got married, bought another dog, got pregnant and had a child. Whew, are you tired? Because I am. A friend once said, "Bean, you are on the fast track to death." I've never known how to slow down and really smell the roses, so to speak, and I'm trying to do so now. Bubby and I spent so much of our courtship in separate parts of our state, that I couldn't wait to just get on with life. When we were finally in the same place, we didn't really take our sweet time in creating the family and life that we've always strived to have. Here we are, with our home and our child and, of course, our crazy dogs and we're still trying to figure out what we want out of life. Or atleast, I am.
I have faith, in God, in people, in the universe. I believe there is an inherent grace that has been bestowed on me and I'm trying not to take it for granted. It doesn't make sense most of the time but I think things generally work out the way they are supposed to. Tragedy and Sadness can coexist with Renewal and Joy, even when I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it.
I am who I am. I bumble along and babble a lot.