Sunday, February 26, 2006

the easy way out

I'm sorry I haven't been writing. First our internet connection was down for almost a week. Then we had weekend family visitors. And then I just had too much baby poop on me to touch the computer. So now, after all that, I have taken the easy road and done my first meme. I feel like a cheap floozy of a blogger. But then again, maybe you will get to know me a little better, and maybe I will have a little extra time to go wash my poop-encrusted self so I can write a bigger, better entry.

Four non-teaching jobs I've had:
  • nanny
  • travel agent
  • concert manager
  • volunteer development
Four Authors, Books, or Series I read over and over:
  • Roald Dahl
  • Barbara Kingsolver
  • Virginia Woolf
  • parts of the Bible that interest me
Four movies I can watch over and over:
  • Next Stop Wonderland
  • Rocky I
  • Ciao Professore
  • Meet the Parents
Four TV shows I love(d):
  • I Love Lucy
  • All in the Family
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Globe Trekker
Four places I've lived:
  • Greater Philadelphia
  • Florence, Italy
  • Boston
  • New York
Four places to vacation:
  • Philadelphia (we fell in love there, so...)
  • Maine
  • Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Italy
Four sites I visit/use daily:
  • Hotmail
  • Google
  • Weather
  • Unwellness
Four people I'd like to meet in person, based on their blogs:
(sorry - too lazy to link. see my list on the left.)
  • Jen of Addition Problems
  • Lisa of A Letter to My Children
  • Em of Eggs Akimbo
  • Reesh of 2 Pink Lines
  • (many others too!)
Four foods I yearn for:
  • clementines
  • a bialy with butter
  • salmon sashimi
  • coffee (milk, 1 sugar)
Four inventions I'm grateful for:
  • musical instruments
  • hot showers
  • refrigerators
  • electric breast pumps!
Four musical choices for my personal soundtrack:
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Jill Scott
  • Astrud Gilberto
  • Abbey Lincoln
Four nouns that describe me:
  • singer
  • dreamer
  • skeptic
  • individual

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

happy broken hearts day

Well, my grandpa died early this morning. My dad called to tell me. I was surprised at how much I cried. I guess it's just a letting go, even though he hadn't been in good health for a long time. Sigh.

Last night was pretty much the worst Valentine's Day I ever had. Not only did I know my grandfather was fading, but the babies were high-maintenance, and SP and I got into an arguement. I ended up leaving the apartment to take a little walk, during which I saw cheery couples out for romantic dinners and a man in his late twenties ringing a doorbell, bouquet of flowers and Victor*a's Secr*t bag in hand. Okay, cheesy, but I wouldn't have minded, you know? That's not us anymore. Maybe it will be us someday again, but it's not right now. SP came home to a JB wearing yoga pants and a red fleece top (at least it was red!), and unbrushed hair.

It's not a simple task anymore to look good. I mean, I still have to stuff myself into my pre-pregnancy pants, which becomes uncomfortable by about 5PM, hence the yoga pants. My other pants that I bought in late December are now falling off. I'm at that in between point where I have nothing that fits, other than... you guessed it. Yoga pants. "Say, JB, why don't you go get a couple pairs of jeans that actually fit?" Oh, I don't know, I guess it's because when I have the free time, I'm usually too tired to go try on clothes. I'd rather get together with a friend and chat, quite frankly. But then of course I regret not using the time more wisely when I am feeling shitty about how I look and feel in clothes, which is pretty much every day. And I don't know what size I am, so online buying won't work. But boy do I digress - sorry. Where was I? Oh yeah, sucky Valentine's Day. Well, maybe next year will be better.

I remember that before I had kids I used to think that if people with kids just put a little more effort into their relationships, they would be so much better off. Now I'd like to slap the pre-kid me clear across my pre-kid face. If there's one thing I learn as I go through life, it's that being judgemental about most things is just plain idiotic. I think that SP and I are doing relatively well considering the whole two infants thing, but it's not the same as it used to be. I used to write long messages on cards about how I couldn't believe my fortune to have found him. I was sincere. He remains the best thing that ever happened to me. I remain in love. But there was no card this year to say it how it should have been said. Still, as I sat on the couch this morning crying and telling him about how sad I was that my boys would never meet my grandpa, there was love. Maybe next year it will come back in its old form, a heart-shaped box.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A time to say goodbye.

It seems that my grandfather, who is almost 98 and is in a nursing home, will die soon. Probably tonight. He is dying of old age. He cannot communicate anymore, and it seems like he does not hear, see, or feel anything either.

He has not been very well for a number of years now. He and my grandmother, who is also alive but suffers from severe dementia, operated a business into their 80's. They were amazing, thoughtful, dynamic people. My grandfather was in love with my grandmother to the end. He used to recite a poem from a Valentine card they'd exchanged before they were married. He knew it by heart. We should all be so lucky to have a partner who still gets a thrill out of reciting a silly little love poem to us at 80-something. I think it is fitting that he leave this world on Valentine's Day.

I am sad even though we all said for a while now that it would be good if he could go. His quality of life was pretty poor. Even when you say and know that, the point of saying goodbye has to come at some time, and that is inevitably sad. At least a little sad. It is, however, also a time to reflect on the amazing things about the person and the legacy they leave. My grandfather, for example, loved to teach. Before he and my grandmother started their business, he was a teacher and professor. He loved talking about theories of education (sometimes to the boredom of his family!). He liked telling old stories, though it took him quite a while to get to the point because he loved details. He was fascinated by his family's history and did a lot of research on our ancestors. He grew up on a farm and was good at growing things. He liked to tell jokes. And he loved to read and learn into his old age.

I don't know if I'll be able to go to the funeral. I feel very uneasy about taking the boys out of town, J away from his doctors. And yet I don't want to leave them while I go either (it's about 5 hrs one way). J isn't very good at bottle feeding yet. He can do maybe 2 per day, but his choking and sputtering can be bad sometimes. I am not too upset about missing the funeral for my grandfather's sake. I know he would understand. It is more that I feel I should be there for my father and should show my support to others by being present. But there is such an urgency in me to take care of my babies first. I will have to see if my sister is going or not. If she's not, I'll really feel like I should, in which case I will have to rethink this whole thing.

In any case, I do want to say that he was a good grandfather, and I appreciate things he has left for me to think about. I will pass tell my sons about him. When his time does come (if it hasn't come already), may he rest in peace.

They will be sorry!

Here is an email I received this morning:


Your request to join the pre*miesorg group was not approved.
The moderator of each Y*hoo! group chooses whether to restrict
membership in the group. Moderators who choose to restrict
membership also choose whom to admit.

Please note that this decision is final and that Y*hoo! Groups
does not control group membership.

What the F, man? All I wanted to do was chat with other preemie parents about my babies' needs and progress, and perhaps most importantly the trauma of my NICU and PICU experiences, both of which I am not over. But noooooooooooo. Apparently I'm not special enough to be a part of this elite group of preemie parents. Or something.

What did I do wrong? Is it that I only wrote like one or two sentences in the field in which you're asked to say something about yourself? Was it not enough that I said I had two preemies who spent a month in the NICU and were now home? Perhaps I should have said something about my quest to find the teensiest of organic cotton diapers, or how very touched I am when I look into my precious darlings' eyes each of the 20 times per day I breastfeed. Would that have done it? Or was it just a matter of having too many members already? Yes, I know it's hard to fit us all into that little room down at the local VA center for the monthly meeting. Wait, that can't be it, because it's a freakin' VIRTUAL!

Guess I'll never know why I was rejected since, as you can see from the message,
this decision is final.
But they will be sorry when they find my suicide note, in which I will be sure to include the fact that if I had gotten the support and camaraderie I needed from a certain preemie parent group, things might not have taken such a drastic turn. Oh!, how they will cry and cry.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cleavage rocks!

One of the best things about nursing is the increase in bra size. I guess for those gals who already have big ta-tas is not that much of a thrill and is probably even a burden to get bigger. However, for me, having started out in the B zone, it's pretty sweet. I always wondered what it would be like to have big boobs. I thought it would make me look a little skinnier elsewhere, and I think it does. I used to have this plan that I'd get implants when I was around 55. I thought that surely they'd invent a safer implant by then, and also my breasts would be droopy enough at that point that I could really enjoy some new ones. And SP could too, but let me make it clear that I alone came up with this plan. My mom always says that her boobs are not droopy so mine won't be either. But she didn't breastfeed. Have you seen how deflated those things get after being sucked on for an extended period of time? And mine are being sucked on twice as much. I guess I could just keep having babies and nursing for the rest of my life, to keep 'em afloat. I wonder if that's how The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe ended up with so many kids... breast obsession.

Initiation ceremony

Today I experienced my first drive-by parenting incident, and I consider it the true initiation to my career as a parent.

Yes, the drive-by took place at none other than the coop! I was there alone with the boys, who were in a double stroller. Admittedly I was struggling to get through the tiny aisles. I politely said "excuse me" to some middle-aged lady with a gray fro stocking frozen burritos. She looked up and grimaced. I knew right away I was in trouble. "You know," she said, "you really shouldn't come here with a double stroller and expect to get around without a problem. You should leave your babies with someone else when you come to shop!" Beautifully, like music from the angels above, my response-to-be wafted into my head. I said, "Yeah, I would do that, only my husband left us to go join the rodeo," then turned around and left. Go me.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The calm AFTER the storm

Things are awesome lately. The babies are sleeping well - waking up only once or twice per night, at the same time of their own accord. J's health seems to be improving. Our pediatrician is so wonderful. The babies are beginning to smile and giggle. SP is well. I am feeling strong and well. I am working on some music projects again. No (scheduled) doctor appointments for this first time ever this coming week. We did homemade pizza. Things just seem right. Now for a GIANT knock on wood!

Only a little glitch, which is that I am getting over a small cold and am just praying that neither of the babies gets it. I still have a fear of R*S*V, but fortunately they got a second shot to work against it (I cannot disclose how - let's just say there's a Robinhood in our local forest). Also, we are waiting for some test results to show if J has a more serious blood disorder; we are, however, hopeful.

A little J just woke up. More soon.