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.