Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I am "here" enough to realize that people have been checking my blog and have noticed the lack of activity over the past month. I am not "here" enough to care about reassuring their queries with my okay-ness.
I am "here" enough to want to post something special on this Day. Something that speaks from my depths to the depths of others. However, I am not "here" enough to be able to dredge those depths and procure something of worth.
I am "here" enough to look out over this snowy Michigan landscape, it's unbroken white, and feel absolute stillness and acceptance inside my heart. Though I am not yet "here" enough to translate this vision to voice.
Is there a voice left?
Somewhere in there.
It is a quiet day.
And I'm still here.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
At Target...as I pushed the cart into the store, Ari bumped his head against the side when we wheeled over the bump at the threshold. "Oh shit, shit, shit. Oh shit. Shit." He proclaimed to whomever would listen. In my attempts to ignore, and not laugh at, his outburst, I probably did not provide enough attention to the much celebrated ouchie. Which is possibly why he tacked on that last "shit".
At the grocery store...again, a cart incident. Trying to maneuver the gigantic grocery-cart-with-kiddie-car-on-front (if you don't have small children you probably have no idea what I'm talking about) through the freezer aisle, I got hung up on a freezer door (don't ask). "Son of a bitch," I mutter as I struggle to free the cart. Ari, all the way in the kiddie car on the front of the cart, cheerfully calls out, "Son of a bitch!" Sharp ears on that one.
And a couple more anecdotes from a precocious two-year-old...
Two Mondays ago, I was having a rough mothering day. Everything seemed to be going wrong. I caught Ally's skin in a buckle. Ari kicked her swing as I was pulling her out and she bumped her head. He flew a wooden toy airplane into her head, on purpose. Ari and I were butting heads on almost everything. By lunchtime I was pulling my hair out and decided to throw caution to the wind, build a blanket fort on the patio and have some dinosaur sandwiches inside it...thinking that "fun mommy" would save the day. Um, no. It began with Ally starting to fuss because it was getting pretty hot in the fort (she hates to be hot). Then Ari refused to sit still and eat more than a bit of his dino sandwich. After some supreme frustration, I held it for him so he could take a bite. Whoops, bad precedent. He wanted me to hold it for the next bite, then the next. I refused and said, "I can't do that, Ari, you can use your hands." He threw my parent psychobabble back in my face with, "You can do it, Mommy!" with as much enthusiasm and encouragement as he could muster. I sat there as stoically as I could before cracking a smile (one can only hold back so much) and picking up the sandwich. He took a bite, grinned at me and blessed me with, "You did it, Mommy!"
Two minutes later, Ally was in a full-fledged tantrum because of the heat so I took her inside, followed by Ari, and tucked her into her infant seat then went back to the patio to clean up. I hear the sliding glass door slide shut behind me. And then..."click". Damnit. I knew it was a bad thing when Ari learned how to work the door locks. You see, our patio is enclosed by a six-foot wall and picky shrubs. Slowly, I stood up, turned around and walked to the door. "Ari, you will unlock this door now." He smirks at me. The little shite smirked at me. And walked away. What the f...when I get my hands on him... What to do? Baby inside with insidious toddler. Am stuck on patio. Please, God, help.
Ah, inspiration! I decided to work on my tan. I laid down in the middle of the patio and pulled my shirt up over my head. And waited. Sure enough, through the glass I hear, "Mommy, what you doing? Mommy? Mommy?" And then, a click and a whoosh as the door opens. Slowly I get up, walk to the door and sit down in front of him to give him the 411 on why we don't lock Mommy out of the house. As I begin my speech, he interrupts with, "But Mommy, I was being patient!" As in "I was being patient while I waited for you to be able to come back into the house." Since we've been working on "being patient" lately, I wasn't sure if he was genuinely learning a lesson here or if he was snowballing me. I'm leaning towards the latter.
Sometimes it's very funny in our house and sometimes it's very tiring. Usually it's both at the same time.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Ari helped...gotta love power tools.
It was a big job but, whoop, there it is.
Ari looks like quite the enthusiastic helper here, doesn't he? In reality, his enthusiasm is more the product of having a "project" and playing with his toy power tools. The quantity of his enthusiasm for his baby sister can be summed up in two examples:
"Mommy, the beebee's crying." ..."Ari, can you rock her a little, please?" ..."No. You do it."
...and one rare instance that almost landed me on the floor:
(as Sascha carried Ally away to change her diaper) "I like dat beebee." (We're still not sure if he really meant that.)
Ally is the doll of a daughter that I had always hoped for. Her patience, grins and baby chuckles are what get me through the times when Ari declares that he does not love me or turns his back and pushes me away. Sometimes I think what have we done? only because my firstborn seems to be unravelling, not because of the adjustment to sleep deprivation and a crying newborn. Whatever. We're still here and we'll live to fight another day.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Needless to say, there is no friendship or mutual admiration present here. And though it may only last a few months, I am sad.
Here is a scene from this morning:
I wake at 7am to Ally stirring next to me, knowing full well that Ari will be walking in our door (in a questionable mood) in approximately 5 minutes. I sit down to perhaps nurse Ally quickly before he arrives and then hear a loud thump from Ari's room and his door opening. Shit. Quickly, I set Ally down as Ari comes barreling into our room, his face crumpling and his arms outstretched to me. We sit down in the chair together and rock. He won't look at me. Won't talk to me. Ally starts to cry. Sascha picks her up. Not good enough. Ari is still catatonic on my lap. Ally increases the volume. So I figure, "Well, there's room for two, right?", and ask Ari if perhaps Ally needs to eat in order to stop crying. No answer. With nothing left to lose (presumably, I've already lost him), I plunk a pillow on my lap and nurse Ally in a football hold while holding Ari with the other arm. He arches away from the baby, frowning. "Ari, as soon as she's done, I'm only going to hold you," I placate. No go. After two minutes he twists away from me, slides off my lap and runs to his room. Ally finishes. I hand her to Sascha and make my next move to Ari's room to see if I can fix the wrong-doing of which I am guilty (mothering two children). As soon as I walk in he starts crying, whining and writhing. The prefix to a tantrum. Again. I sit down with him and try to resume "our time". No go. So I ask if he really wants me to leave. Yes. Really? Yes. Okay, I'll be downstairs when you need me. Okay. Would you like me to cover you? Yes. I tuck him in and he allows me a kiss (amazing). Which brings me to the kitchen, a cup of coffee, Guideposts, and tears of frustration. And that's one of the less dramatic starts to our day.
To be continued...
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wendy (looking around her): So. We really need to get our shit together.
Sascha (with wide eyes and mumbling around a mouthful of roll): Mmm-hmmm!
The above exchange basically means that Wendy needs to get the collective shit together.
The shit is still all over the place.
Because Wendy is tired.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
As far as the story of Aletha's birth goes...I guess that I'm not all that anxious to share it. Which is, perhaps, why I haven't as yet. Nothing out of the ordinary happened this time around, thank the good Lord. No hemmhorage, no going into labor in a parking lot, no breaking point at 8 cm and almost asking for the epidural. This time around we knew what to expect (a load of pain and a lot of mess) and for how long to expect it (at least as long as last time). We didn't go into this thinking I could "hypnobirth" my way through and smile as the "birth surges" passed (what complete crap). We weren't expecting a 5 hour labor because our birth class instructor said we could put our desire out into the universe and receive it in kind (again, what crap). We went into this expecting solid reality and that's what we got. But in a good way. No, really.
My parents flew into town three days before Ally's due date. My dad could only be in town for one week and as the days ticked by and I didn't feel anywhere near labor, a slight panic set in as I realized that he may have to fly home without meeting his granddaughter. Since we were naming Ally for my grandma (Dad's mom), I was not happy with this possible scenario. So. I had a little talk with our little fetus...No pressure or anything, kid, but you've had a lot of time to cook in there and we're all very anxious to meet you. I'm ready whenever you're ready. But let's be ready in the next couple days, 'kay? She was due on a Wednesday, we had our "talk" on Friday, contractions started on Saturday and she came sliding out on Sunday. Since a frank discussion worked with her, I'm thinking her personality is light years different from her brother's. Again, thank the good Lord...because I'm not smart enough for two of Ari.
So Saturday around noon I started feeling icky and exhausted and went to lie down. Some people get an energy burst before labor starts...I get an energy drain. I'm not kidding. Saturday afternoon random contractions started and Sascha and I actually got to take a walk by ourselves through them. I woke up at midnight with more contractions and got up and went downstairs to get things ready for the hospital (second kid...you don't have a hospital bag waiting weeks in advance...it's the night before). Around 3am I got too tired to stay up and keep the contractions going so I fell asleep for a while and woke up to stronger ones around 6am. After hanging out in the shower for a while with Sascha "timing" the contractions (i.e. "How long was that one?" "Oh, I forgot to look at the clock." Again, second kid.), I called in to the midwife on call and in response to his "What can we do for you, Wendy?" I said, "Yeh. We're coming in. Now." At this point, I had no patience for excess verbage.
Ari threw a fit as we tried to leave for the hospital without him and the only way we could get out the door was to give him the gift-from-his-new-baby-sister early...meaning, right then. So we left with tears dropping behind us as I muttered over and over "we waited too long, we waited too long" through the contractions.
In reality, we had not waited too long. I was only 4cm dialated when we reached the hospital, though it felt like 8. As soon as we walked into our lovely birthing room, I promplty headed for the bathroom and threw up (same thing happened when Ari was born). Yep, I'm a birthing puker. Some women scream and throw hysterics while bringing their children into this world. I moan loudly and throw up.
I'll spare you the details of the next nine hours. All I will say is that birthing tubs rock. Always, always, always ask for a birthing tub. And nurse midwives are the saviors of the birthing world. Always, always, always go with a midwife if you can. Our midwife, Rebecca, was fantastic...humor at the appropriate moments, wisdom at others and an endless source of tips and suggestions. She was truly "with woman" (which is the meaning of "midwife"...only intervening when necessary) in that she didn't deliver our daughter, she intead received her. Because Rebecca held to the true meaning of being a midwife, we felt that Ally, Sascha and I were in charge of our own birth process and it was just the three of us that brought Ally into this world. It was a wonderful thing and I have nothing but good memories from her birth.
Thank you, Rebecca, for standing by with patience and wisdom and for gently handing me my girl. Thank you, Sascha, for holding me when I needed to be held, breathing with me through the pain and for politely asking me to release your nipple as I blindly grabbed it during the "ring of fire". Thank you, God, for guiding us safely through our daughter's birth and for giving us such a beautiful gift.
And thank you, Aletha, for trusting us to be your family throughout your journey on earth. May we always do right by you.
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living my baby you'll be.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
7 pounds 4 ounces
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Those of you who have not the child-producing capacity (ahem, men, ahem) don't get this and can be pretty insensitive to it. I'm sure they're thinking something along the lines of "oh suck it up". Trust me. I'd love to suck it up. I'd love to plow through the housework, meal preparation and freezing, endless loads of laundry and toddler tantrums with a serene pregnancy glow. Barefoot, too. However, when climbing the stairs has me resting at the top for 30 seconds lest I pass out; when bending over sends me into contractions; when I'm battling my 4th sinus "thing" since February; when a ligament in my groin spasms and sends me to my knees throughout dinner prep; and when a healthy sneeze or belly laugh forces me to cross my legs or reap the consequences...it's a little hard to "suck it up". Basically, I defer to the shirt. Think what you will, I don't give a damn.
**Ari sings "Shimmy Shake" along with the Wiggles while I type this. He doesn't care if I don't give a damn.**
All of this isn't to say that I am ready to have this child. Sometimes the thought of a second child terrifies me and sometimes I am overwhelmed with curiosity and a desire to meet her. Ah, the dichotomies of parenthood. They begin even in utero. And, really, there are only three things that frighten me in respect to this blessed event: a) parenting two children - when I previously believed Ari took everything I had; b) the possibility of another hemorrhage; and c) postpartum depression. People frequently say that you fear the unknown. However, I don't. I fear the known. I know what it feels like to give your all to a child and know that it's still not enough. I know the fear of hemorrhaging after birth. And I know the darkness of postpartum depression. I'm taking steps to prevent and/or deal with each of these things but how much can you prepare? Will nature even let you? Sometimes you just have to trust and take the leap.
I think of people I know and love who are taking leap after leap after leap. My grandma, who is giving up her home, her things of 70 years, and moving to a retirement home. For good. A friend who just moved to Chicago to begin a new job and a new life. A strong woman who will follow her husband to a new state and start all over. Someone who is beginning his life again with someone new. An amazing woman still healing from the sting of loss. Leap after leap after leap. Life.
Another dear friend of mine wrote in her blog about a man who predicts that in 35 years we, as a human race, will have merged with our technology and may be able to overcome death. He did not state that this is a positive thing. And even so...even if this is true someday...can it detract, make less of, the Life we follow here? Our Path? Can our knowing that death or struggle is not inevitable make these leaps of faith less significant? Maybe. Our Lives are about lessons learned and choices made. Consequences. And what if, someday, there aren't that many consequences left? That may be a scary day for our children and I'm not sure I want that.
This has become more of a monologue on the virtues of technology v. the sacredness of Life than a rant on the weariness of pregnancy. And that's okay. I guess, when it comes to the former, time will tell. Hmmm, looks like a give a damn after all. Rats.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Ari: Mommy, I pay wif shooshiver?
Me (giving him my best regal-queen-of-the-Amazon-I-take-no-crap look): Ari, do we play with screwdrivers in this house?
Ari (actually looking abashed): No.
Me: What do we do with it then?
Ari: Put back in dwawer.
Me: That's right. Thank you very much.
Ari (slight chuckle, shaking head and smiling as if suprised by his former silliness): Okay.
I was shocked that the above exchange went so smoothly and so according to what I wanted. Could not believe that he actually looked embarrassed when I called him on the screwdriver thing. My God, my kid is growing a conscience!! And then...he pulled the same stunt again with a second screwdriver. It played out exactly the same way again but I knew he was testing a) his boundaries, b) how tired I was and how much I was going to give, and c) my benevolence in not yelling. Mission accomplished, lesson learned, I announced that I was done with my krispy treats and that we could go into the living room for two more songs before naptime.
Aside: One of his favorite activites is rocking out to adult music and seeing his parents dance along with him. See below post.
So I played the "Animal Song" and the "Move Song" (renaming compliments of Ari) and danced with him, pulling out some fomer clubbing moves and shaking my pregnant belly for all I was worth. Consequently sending me into another contraction. However, the Ar-man bellowed out, "Go, Mom, go!" so I knew I was doing just fine and the contraction was worth it.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Right now, Sascha and Ari are rocking out to songs with lyrics that should be labeled with a Parent Advisory sticker. Sascha sings the lyrics (yes, he does, out loud) and Ari repeats whatever words he can keep up with. Case in point: Ari called the last song on the playlist the "Animal Song"...that's not the actual name and I refuse to share it.
Someone is going to call Children's Services...
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Overall, we've moved the "office" out of the "office/guest room", turning it into a "baby/guest room"...the office being relegated to an IKEA P.O.S. desk in the corner of the living room. I've never heard someone cuss so much when putting together a piece of furniture...yes, each component seemed to have been created in separate international factories without any communication whatsoever, but it contains our paperly chaos and keeps nosy little fingers at bay. This move displaced our CD racks, which are now living, backwards, in the kitchen. In order to find a CD we have to pivot a case at random and glance in sideways. Of course, all we ever play anymore are Jock Jams and the Wiggles so I guess it doesn't really matter. We've repainted and big-boyed-up Ari's room with some bright colors and a toddler bed (pictures to come). And...our biggest project, we removed our old TV solution and, thanks to Sascha and his Dad's ingenuity, rigged a whole new space-saving way to watch TV. Here begins the odyssey...
Our former TV and armoire, a beloved wedding gift that we just don't have space for in this house...maybe in a future house. It was butted up against the built-in TV alcove with a curtain covering the wall and alcove behind. Adios armoire. It now resides in the garage and our old TV with our babysitter.
Hello built-in. With a little work, you just may do...
You see, we had to fit this new flatscreen (37") into a 26" space. Ain't. Gonna. Happen. I tried to tell Sascha that maybe we just had to settle for smaller this time around...you ever try telling that to a man? Nope, 37" it had to be and thank goodness we have an engineer in the family. Maybe two now...
No, not him. Although he was a big help...
Sascha and his Dad (Arnie) collaborated via phone on this project and came up with an amazing solution. I was SO impressed watching it all come together.
Our couch and living space will eventually be across the room from the TV (it's a completely whacked set-up in this house) so the TV had to be able to articulate and turn almost 45 degrees. So this is what happened...and it happened beautifully.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
As Andy walked us out of the Portland airport and an icy 40 degree wind blasted us (truth: gently buffered us), I knew we had been living in San Diego too long...the wussification process was almost complete...that, and I had neglected to pack appropriately for 40 degree weather. Hopefully, there's a parka I can borrow somewhere...
Our first night at Andy & Mel's was spent meeting their dog Bodie, eating some delicious pasta and drinking some great Oregon wine...yes, even I decided to partake. Ari and Bodie quickly took a liking to each other and as long as we kept wine glasses clear of wagging tails and flying balls, things went pretty well.