28 August 2007

Eight Things, Doggie

1. I had my chakras treated (by pendulum) on my last day of massage clinic. Do I believe in chakras and energy centers? Yes. Maybe. Mostly. Everything was open and flowing freely except my sahasrara (higher consciousness/ spiritual connection) chakra was spinning in a wide circle. Backwards. WTF.

2. So we went to church on Sunday, in part because I was feeling a little shaken by the whole "your spiritual connection is not only off, it's backwards" thing. My bedside reading has been Blue Like Jazz, a gift from my Dad, and there have been many other nudges lately pointing me back in the direction of our sweet and liberal neighborhood Episcopalians.

3. My Gran is in the hospital, three days before we were scheduled to visit. We will still visit, of course, because what trip to the home town of both of my parents would be complete without forty-seven lunch and other various commitments and the pressure to really soak up the family that is all together all too rarely? She left me a bizarre message Sunday night, and according to my mother there is still an unexplained fever and some not-entirely-with-it behavior. But hey, who among us doesn't exhibit a little fogginess now and then? And then again, I'm also going to guess you're not eighty-seven. Because there's also that. So-- good thoughts toward my Gran, please.

4. I'm reading the History of Love by Nicole Krauss, which had been suggested to me and which I avoided for some reason, probably because I thought the title was hokey and it sounded like one of those best-sellers on an end-cap shelf at the check-out at the grocery, a book by someone with a first name common in my own generation, a book with little to no content, just a semblance of a story riddled with brand names and the pursuit for Mr. Right. Of course, it is not that book. It is beautifully written and twisty and I can't put it down. Next up on the reading list: frantic studying for for the national board exam. I promise not to write any kind of review here.

5. I've been checking this group regularly. Because it's like going to some hipster place and people- watching, without having to fight the line at the bar to buy a beer. Though I wish there was beer involved, sometimes. And sometimes there is.

6. A disturbing new trend in my office: continuing to participate in conversation after you are safely in the little bathroom with the door closed. This is a small office, and now we can no longer pretend the hearable is unhearable. inaudible. whatever. If we can continue our conversation while you're in there, I can't pretend you can't hear me pooping.

7. I got really dedicated to my job a few months back. And now I'm taking a break from that dedication. Many reasons, one of which is that my office is an ovening bunnery, with everyone gestating and wearing granny panties and complaining of heartburn, and wanting to talk about breastfeeding and what kind of pack-n-play they should put on their registry. I am completely willing to kill an hour or two a day this way. Another reason is that I've made it known that I plan to stick around there for a while until I figure things out, and I believe that at that very moment when the words came out of my mouth, my dedication went from flame to flicker. Another reason is that it's heart-wrenching work, no matter what your boundaries, and sometimes I just think you have to lay low, dammit. I'm on break. I'm still doing the nuts and bolts of my job and nothing is falling through the cracks, still enjoying the steady paycheck and the flexible hours, and I'll get my act together soon.

8. Once again, you are rewarded for making it to the end of this post. Bird has been singing "you are my sunshine" on a continuous loop for days, sometimes going for 30 minutes at a time. A. shot and cut this together. Please notice "you make me happy, and that's okay"

25 August 2007

Recipe Corner and Deeper Thoughts

Okay, so I know what you're thinking. That's just pasta and vegetables with melted cheese.

You're right. It's just pasta (the very last straggly pieces of 2 mismatched boxes, combined) boiled right in the same water with frozen peas, carrots, and corn. Then drained and served with a healthy handful of shredded marble cheddar and some delicious, sinful butter. And some salt.

I didn't invent it and I'm not even pretending it's a big deal. I know you probably make your own version. I just don't want you to forget how fabulous and uncomplicated it is.

So I am eating this always-true formula of comfort food deliciousness while my Bird naps and my husband plays basketball with kids half his age at the community center. The house is quiet. I just finished an article I'd been wanting to read. I'm still in my pajamas, and it's 2pm. Even more delicious.

Last week, I got worked up about chemicals and the toxic dangers lurking under our sink, and I threw every spray and solution and powder away, replacing them with a Farmer's Almanac guide to simple cleaning, a bottle of vinegar, some lemons, a bottle of peroxide and a box of baking soda. So far so great, as Bird and I spent the morning deep-cleaning the kitchen, and she was completely welcome to go buck wild with the spray bottle of safe, homemade cleaner and her own sponge. And now my kitchen is mostly clean, my 1930s cast-iron sink is closer to white than I have seen it in a while, the house is quiet, and all is well.

Like I was saying, I'm eating my lunch. I heard some stirring from the direction of Bird's room, and I walked down the hall and leaned against her door frame for a minute, listening for the normal scritching and scratching as she wakes from her nap. No scritching. But all of a sudden, I am socked in the gut by the fact that I am somebody's parent. That I am standing in my quiet house with no larger agenda than to take care of my own, listening for that little person, human being, thing that I created, thing that is both a part of me and a separate life, to rejoin our day. I have a child. I am a mother. It's a sock in the gut and a deep embrace at the same time, and I have to catch my breath because it is too big and too powerful and to sweet and too terrifying to handle.

Like knowing all along there is light in the world and one day looking right into the sun.

22 August 2007

We Have Reached Maximum Occupancy of Brain

Oh, oh, oh, my head is on the verge of explosion. There's too much going on in there, bumping around and against itself and still not making a shred of sense.

I have one more day of intern clinic, and then one more weekend of classes (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, which is not as bad as it sounds), and then school is over. I will study. I will take the national board exam and I will become licensed.

And then I can't use "I'm in school" as an excuse to not have my shit together, or at least have some kind of a plan for thinking about deciding how said shit will come together. And by my shit, I mean my whole family's shit, because I tend to be in charge of the shit that needs to come together. And I can no longer use "I'm in school" as an excuse for working part time and keeping my family broke. Even a little bit. I'm going to have to own the part-time thing as it relates to the broke-ass thing, knowing that the good-hearted effort to spend more time with Bird also includes the reality that I could be doing more. I could be trying harder to save us from broke-assness.

So then maybe I will give massage somewhere one day a week in addition to my now three-day-a-week job with the dying people and the small-but-steady paycheck. But then, am I following my initial plan to have more time with my family? Or am I just really looking for full-time work after all, no matter how you piece it together? And do I really want to stick around with the dying people? This was supposed to be temporary. And oh, what a mess.

So begins the whirring of my gears, but the cogs and wheels are getting all mucked up with muck and it becomes overwhelming. What if this, what if that, what about childcare, what about another baby, what about the bills, what about the mortgage, what about that ten-year-old car, what about a drink? Yes, I could use a drink, thank you. And I'll kiss you on the mouth if you give me a smoke and talk to me about something else.

21 August 2007

Apparently I Post a lot of Video All of a Sudden.

I've been listening to a lot of Sirius satellite radio lately, thanks to my long-ass drives to see patients in the past couple of weeks. Mostly the Gay Radio station-- the morning show is like sitting with a towel wrapped around my head in my best friend Joseph's kitchen in college with a Vodka + Grapefruit, reading a Celeb-tabloid Magazine while waiting for some kind of freaky-ugly hair dye to work its magic. Except it's early in the morning, I'm wearing slacks, and I'm in the car going to visit dying people. Other than that, it's exactly the same.


I've also been listening to the "Left of Center" station, and being married to an indie music snob for so many years makes me automatically skeptical of a mainstream-ish media outlet serving up some band we saw three years ago at the Springwater. But whatever. I bought a Feist CD with some of my precious, fast-spending Christmas money a while back, on the recommendation of a friend. I hated it. I hated it so much I returned it to Grimey's and got a refund. And now I hear this Feist person all over the Sirius station I listen to the most. And I don't mind it so much. And THEN (please let this get interesting soon), I was bumbling around the internet, stopped at Sweet Juniper, and found this link:

And I must say I like the song much, much better now that I know there's choreography involved. And now that I know that this Feist woman and I have pretty much the exact same haircut.

16 August 2007

Thursday is the New Friday

And to celebrate, I've a wee bird movie for you:

14 August 2007

Scenes from a Marriage

Me: I had the strangest dream last night.

A: Mmmghhh.

Me: We were at our house, but it wasn't our house, it was kind of like my grandmother's house but only in the attic, and there was this giant gold rug in the bathroom and they had a huge jar of allspice in the kitchen [blah blah, standard dream descriptions about how it was like this but not this exactly]

A: Brmgghhh.

Me: and I had to go somewhere, and it was like an hour and a half away, and you had to go somewhere else, but then you came with me, and we were driving an old blue car.

A: Grummmbhuhhhgh.

Me: And then all of a sudden I realized we'd left Bird asleep upstairs in my grandmother's attic, but we were an hour and a half away from her and nobody was home.

A: mmmghhh.

Me: It was so terrifying. We couldn't get to her quickly and there was nothing we could do and we knew she was up in that attic all alone and that she might fall down the stairs or any other horrible thing. But for some reason we stopped at Pizza Hut as we were trying to get back and the service was sooooo slow.

A: What did you order?

Me: A personal pan pizza.

A: (very concerned) Why would you order a personal pan pizza if we were together?

12 August 2007

Another Post about Things

So, the big girl bed? Flawless transition. We dismantled the crib this weekend and won't be looking back. In fact, after the last several months of rocking her well past sleep just to get her to a point where she wouldn't wake during the chair-to-crib transfer (yes, it's as graceful as you might have imagined), the past two nights she hasn't even wanted books or even snuggling, sadly. She just hops into bed, demands the lights off, covers up, and door shut. And I lie there next to her because I think she still needs the company, until her breathing deepens and slip out of the room. We have turned a corner, folks. And the best news of all is that I didn't ruin my child's ability to self-soothe or sleep by refusing to let her "cry it out," alone and terrified in a small cage with blankets. I couldn't ever do it with our dogs as puppies, and I sure as shit was not about to do it with an infant. And it turned out fine, see? We're only months away from her kicking us out entirely. About which I am a little sad. But I'll stop there.

Speaking of the big girl bed, I've been using the quilt my great-grandmother made out of scraps of her old house-dresses on Birdy's new bed. It's a simple and lovely quilt, and I rather like the idea of Birdy snoozing under something made by the hands of her great-great grandmother, and I'm sure that my Great Grandmother (her name was Anna Cecelia, isn't that beautiful?) would be tickled to know that she's snuggling her great-great grandaughter to sleep, in a way.

This morning I happened to walk by Birdy's doorway to catch a peek of Bear the Dog, full-on licking his mangy ass on Birdy's perfect, emotionally-charged little blankie. This is why we don't have nice things around here. Because of all the mangy asses.

Secret Stash
My daughter is obsessed with three things. Okay, more than three, probably, but these are the ones I'm thinking about: My sunglasses, my big blue water bottle, and chapstick. Three things on which I depend on a multiple-times-daily basis.
And, being nearly two, even the mere suggestion that she can't fondle and hold and eventually break/ spill/ slather one of these items sends her into an emotional train wreck of a meltdown. So I have been wearing a stupid old (but durable!) pair of sunglasses and hiding my water bottle behind a box of cereal in the kitchen, sneaking sips of water and swipes of chapstick while she's not looking.

You heard me. I'm sneaking chapstick and water in my own home. Tyrant!

I went in for a haircut/ trim-up on Friday, and thought it might be a fabulous idea to get bangs. How fun! Bangs! Bangs which I have had before and passed through the lengthy agony of the grow-out. And oh, do I hate them now as much as I ever did. I even tried to do a little fix-n-trim on my own in the bathroom, but to no avail. Bangs. I look like a six year old. If I thought my falling-apart shoes and ill-fitting clothing marred my credibility in the workplace, lookout, because now I've got these Bangs! Hello, patient with a horrible disease, would you like to talk about your end-of-life wishes or would you rather hear who asked whom to the prom during second period?

This post is turning out to be a bit gripey, which was not my intent. The hundred-plus-degree heat has finally broken and the weather is beautiful, my little one is sleeping peacefully, and I'm enjoying my second cup of delicious coffee and some scarce alone time. The sun is shining and the birds are singing on this slow Tennessee Sunday, and we have lazy dinner plans with dear friends to finish off the weekend. But as long as we're on the subject, my house is filthy and we're broke. There. Now it's all out.

08 August 2007

Effing Good Morning to You, Too.

This is how it goes with mama-hood, I guess. Yesterday I was all high on toddlers, mine in particular, and today all I can say is this: Sometimes they are assholes. And they will rub your nerves raw and then, as a bonus, hurt your feelings pretty badly. Before they even turn two.

Look. Out.

07 August 2007

Don't worry, the baby is odor-free

I know, I've been absent from this blog lately. But hey! I've been busy as a little bee, and my wheels haven't stopped turning in months as I plot and plan and waaaaaaaaait to figure out my next steps for work, childcare, et cetera. I turned thirty-one last month. I made an appointment to get my hair cut. I left my dome light on for an entire weekend and had to buy a new battery. I've made some delicious meals thanks to a new wave of library cookbooks (which I promise to share someday) and I've made commitments and promises all over the place, as usual. Bird is sleeping in a Big Girl Bed by herself (for the most part), and yesterday she looked A. right in the face and said "Dreams come true."
Really. It just doesn't get any better, even with all the madness.

Yesterday, while putting my makeup on in the kitchen mirror (better light, long story), I turned around to find Bird smearing chapstick under her arms like deodorant.

Later that morning she actually got her hands on Andy's OldSpice Red Zone or whatever, and swiped that all over her chest and arms as well.
When I dropped her off at daycare, she still smelled suspiciously masculine.

Today I was putting on makeup sitting on the floor of Bird's room (long story, again), and I looked over to find her smearing blush on her face. She had the right idea, but she looked like a little geisha and she screamed like a tiny, rabid monkey when I wrestled it off of her face with a baby wipe.

From these stories, you might think I actually wear enough makeup to know something about it, but you would be wrong. Any time I've worn it, it's ended up in the wrong place facially in some way-- mascara under the eyes or lipstick on my teeth or weird swipe of something on the side of my head. And yesterday in preparation for a patient visit, I thought it would be nice to finish off my grown-up costume by wearing some actual foundation, which has not happened since I don't even know when. I keep that in the spice cabinet, if you were wondering, and no I am not making that up. And I managed to get splotches of it all up and down the arm of my nice meet-and-greet summer sweater. The only clean and presentable upper-body clothing available, I might add. I was just never cut out to be a functioning adult, I suppose.

Your Reward for getting this far in the post:
Here's a video of my Bird singing a song a couple of weeks ago. (21 months)