Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Moving

Okay I too am going the way of wordpress.
You can find me here:
http://thelifeyouchoose.wordpress.com

You'll have to cut and paste because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to paste this as a link. Sorry!
Hope to see you there soon!

Peace.
out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I am agnostic

This post has been started in my head a number of times but I have yet to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as the case may be).

This blog started from an idea I had following another horrible act that was committed in the name of god.

I remain unclear on how religions that have the same basic principles can cause such division but I truly don't want to understand it. It is much like the star bellied sneetches.

The sum of it as I see it is this:
We want to be different, better than others and when you combine that with our need for community then in fact we want our group or community to be different and or different than another. And then you have trouble.

Oh wait, maybe I do understand it.

I just don't agree with it.

And don't get me wrong. I am not above feeling superior. Oh, no. I am pretty sure I am better than a lot of people. A WHOLE lot of people.

But I wouldn't kill them because of this. (want to, yes. actually do it, no.)

So anyway I was asked recently about my religious beliefs and I was able to answer the question the best was I have been able to - ever. I think that reflects my learned comfort level with my personal answers and my toned down lack of perceived censure from those that don't agree.

So. Here it is. I am agnostic.

I almost linked to the definition but I won't be held to it. Like all religious folk my definition of what I am is personal. I am what I feel it is to be agnostic. No two Catholics are the same. For some it means mass every day, for some it means mass every Christmas, maybe. They happily define themselves as Catholic and make no effort to reach the truest meaning of the definition.

And so it is with me.

What it means to me is that I am still asking the questions. I have not made a final decision regarding the God thing. Yet.

I still call on the ever-present deity of my youth when I am worried (in fact I made him some "bargain" promises lately that I am working hard to uphold) and all the time during sex. But for the most part that's just habit, not belief.

Because I am not sure. While I truly admire the faithful and think that there is nothing prettier than the sound of voices raised in praise of God, I am not that certain.

So I am living my life without God. This does not mean that I get angry when someone says "god bless you" when I sneeze. (you'd be surprised, I was once hissed at for this) But I say something else that means "good health to you".

And I am trying to raise my kids without God. This means they don't watch Veggie Tales because I refuse to diminish the importance that some feel for their god by treating it like any other fairy tale. That would be easy. And I rarely choose the easy route.

So I am trying to avoid the issue until they are old enough to understand the nuances. And I will talk to them then. And I will help them find answers to the questions they have. And I will let them explore their faith.

I might not know what I believe yet as far as god goes, but I have faith in my children. My strongest wish is just that they are happy and that they learn to be good people.

I have made the decision that this does not mean they need religion or god as their moral compass. They may choose differently.

And I won't want to kill them for their religious choice either.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The best of the breat

In case you were playing along at home.

This is what I have.

Just a little lump of tissue. No big deal.

Just thought you might be interested in the final result.

I know I was.

In other news, I am thinking about moving to WordPress.

Any insight is appreciated!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Gift of Life

First let me say that this is not an abortion post.

Nope. That's not what I am talking about with my title.

I mean the gift of life that all of you who are reading this are enjoying.

And that's the key.

There are all sorts of sayings and cliches.

Live each moment to it's fullest.

Love what you do.

Life is short, enjoy it.

All of those basic stances lead to the fact that euthanasia is illegal.

And self termination is illegal.

And assisted suicide is illegal.


My grandmother died.

finally.

I loved her. And I liked her. Which is an important distinction to make.

She was a fun lady. Full of life and stories. Always moving, traveling, dancing, joking: eating life.

That is my grandmother.

Not the woman who sat in her nursing home room for the past years looking out. Not the woman who laid down for the last time almost a year ago and still somehow continued to wake up every morning.

That was not my grandmother.

My heart hurt every time my father called to give me news about her because it meant she was still here. Still hurting. Still this stranger who was not my grandmother.

And so she died. Passed away in pain.

And I don't believe in Heaven but she did. So I am certain that somehow she is happy and she is with my grandfather.

And all of this made me think of my sister-in-law and the choice she made when she took her own life.

She was not suffering from some mood swing. She did not make the decision in the spur of the moment or take it lightly.

She decided that this was not the world she wanted. She made her calls, made her plans, said her goodbyes and she left.

I can't agree with what that leaves behind. I cannot agree with the hole that she left in my husband's heart. I cannot say I agree with her decision.

But this episode with my grandma has made me realize that I can kind of agree with the sentiment.

Life is a gift. But if it doesn't fit, it stops working, or it's the wrong size, you should be able to return it.


Speaking of gifts, Christmas is only 14 days away.

Stop reading blogs and shop damn it!

Monday, December 08, 2008

In the famous words of the CA governor...

It's not a tumor.

More later.

But that's the good stuff.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Boobies

This post will explain the ins and outs (get it?) of a breast biopsy.

Step one.
1. Arrive at testing center worried and annoyed. (and hungry because you couldn't remember if they told you not to eat.)

2. Be greeted by the nice lady who did your ultrasound after your mammogram (nice).

3. Calm down a little.

4. Disrobe from the waist up. (a nice change from the usual request when dealing with anything female)

5. Wait a little with your tummy grumbling...

6. Lay down on the bed/table in front of the ultrasound machine while the tech checks your boob.

7. Yep, the lump is still there. (no surprise, but - gulp!)

8. Wait for the doctor to arrive...

9. Be amazed at how nice she is while she too pokes and prods your breast. (oops I forgot mention that step six is to abandon any and all modesty regarding your boobs.)

10. Listen while she explains the procedure.

11. Turn away so that you don't watch the long needle entering your breast tissue.
11a. Pretend that the boob on the ultrasound machine is not yours.

12. Be amazed at the immediate numbing of your entire boob. (what boob?)

13. Watch the ultrasound screen as she inserts a hollow shaft into your boob that reaches into the lump. (how fascinating. I can see the white line as it enters the black mass, neat!)

14. Watch (the machine)as she then inserts the biopsy needle into the hollow shaft.

15. Try not to flinch at the loud click of the biopsy needle as it snips of a portion of your boob. (if your doctor is smart, as mine was, she will have clicked this mechanism outside of your boob so you know what to expect)

16. Try not to flinch four more times as she takes a total of five samples.

17. Don't watch as she finishes and removes the biopsy needle and the hollow shaft and blood oozes down your booby.

18. Thank the doctor and tell her you will wait for her call in TWO DAYS to let you know what they find.

19. Don't ask all the questions you have if it IS cancer, you will have plenty of time for that if it IS cancer.

20. Wait with a band aid and ice pack on your poor booby in the waiting room until they tell you to go home.

21. Wait for Monday without going insane.

oh and whine a lot to your husband. They have an amazing affection for this portion of your anatomy and they are sure to be overly sympathetic...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Six degrees

I always seem to get those annoying emails.

The ones that should have been verified by someone, anyone, before being sent to the 1000+ people in that person's distribution list.

I get those emails from my parents.

Mostly my mom really, but sometimes my dad. (I think I sent my dad the link to snopes enough times that he stopped sending them to me.)

So the fun game that I play with these emails is to drill down to the original sender (usually at least three sender lists removed) and look at their original email list and see if I recognize any names.

I am not sure WHY I do this.

The list I am looking at does not include my mom's name. Hers does not usually appear for three or more forwards, three or four more email lists.

But for some reason I always scroll through that original listing to see if I know anyone. I usually don't. And in truth even when I recognize a name I can never be sure that it is actually the person I know...

I also follow the path to my mom.

I look to see who sent it to who, who then in turn sent it to my mom.

Somehow this makes these emails more bearable.

I don't always do it.

Usually I just erase these pesky emails.

But somehow the tracking of the email path has some fascination for me...

Not sure why.

The new age six degrees of separation...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Betrayal

I have been decidedly absent from this blog.

Sorry about that. I have been dealing with some stuff (read shit).

I am not sure just how open I am going to be but let's just say that the truce I signed with body has ended and the cease fire is over.

I am being assaulted again.

On an entirely different front this time...

Oh well, I will update more information as soon as I know more.

Until then, send me good wishes.

I am traveling to Florida to eat some Turkey and will be gone from all connections.

So have a great turkey day!

Peace Out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brain dump

So much to write about so little time.

I actually came up with a meme.

5 reasons I am a freak.

1. I love musicals
I fell in love at seven when my parents took me to see Annie and have been going strong ever since. I am considering a SIRIUS subscription solely on the basis that they have a 24/hour Broadway channel. Heaven!

2. I love romance novels
This is one of those things that seemed to be a much bigger deal when I first fell in love than it is now. This is a huge genre. I once thought that the romance novel love affair would end once I found real love but it hasn't. And I will add smugly that I can in fact see my own love in all the fantasy and somehow that has made it even better.

3. I love fantasy - books, movies I am not choosy
Lord of the Rings to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If it has an element of paranormal - I am in! I used to play Dungeon and Dragons when I was in elementary school and I loved the imagination involved. I love to suspend cynicism and skepticism for just a while and enjoy the story.


4. Sometimes I don't use a tissue
Ha ha just kidding. That doesn't make me a freak!
right?

5. I love to sing
See #1. My all time long-standing dream is to actually be IN a musical. But it will probably never happen because I think I would actually be greatly disappointed. I prefer to imagine the wonder of the thing. Plus I am at heart a coward.

So I am tagging all (3) of you who read this blog and are looking for something to write about for NABLOBAMA.

Get your freak on!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Setting the tone.

So I didn't watch the election coverage.

Instead my husband and I retreated into our DVR and hid. Did I mention I was terrified?

At approximately 11 o'clock my mother called me screaming.

"Turn on CNN" she said, "He won!"

I hung up with her and turned on Fox instead.

And then I believed her.

I didn't turn the TV off again until just before two am.

I thought both candidates gave excellent speeches.

They both seemed to be reaching over to pull everyone in together. Obama more than McCain, but that is how it should be. He is the one we elected to do the job.

I was not overwhelmed by Obama's speech but I think that was actually his point. I truly believe that he began campaigning to the rest of America with that speech.

And I can't remember when a candidate acknowledged those that didn't vote for him in his acceptance speech.

I know Bush didn't.

So I am glad to be an American.

Proud of the country that made this choice. Opted in to this future.

And I am hopeful that those who made a different choice will look with open minds and understanding toward a future that includes them too.

I am not gloating. And I am not celebrating too loudly.

I did both of those things when my vote helped elect Clinton.

Now I am aware of the other side in a way that I never was before and I know good people who are sad that their candidate will not lead them into tomorrow.

And while I am so glad that my candidate is the one who will be doing this I am willing to do whatever I can to make sure that they understand that my choice included them.

My choice was for them too.

Barak Obama will be the president of these united states come January. He seems to be willing to accept that challenge.

And so am I.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Teacher of our country

I have been having fun trying to explain exactly what it is that mommy and daddy are so excited about.

And more importantly what the sign is in our front yard.

My four and two year old are very interested in that sign.

So, we told her that there are two men who would like to be the "teacher" of our country. And tried to put it in daycare terms. Barak Obama is Miss Tami and Joe Biden is her assistant teacher, Miss Carrie.

We chose Miss Tami as our example because she is my daughter's teacher and both of my kids love her. My husband and I both think that if Miss Tami asked her, Maya would disappear with her forever. And we wouldn't blame her one bit.

Miss Tami is wonderful.

So Barak Obama is Miss Tami. The teacher of our country. The one who guides your day and answers your questions, etc. He's the guy that mommy and daddy would like to be our next teacher.

And much like on movie night the kids get to pick which movie they would like to watch, mommy and daddy will be picking Mr. Obama as our teacher today.

So this is the question I got today.

"Who is the other movie choice?"

So I explained that he is named John McCain.

And so she asked, "Is he the bad guy?"

My husband quickly said yes. My daughter waited for me while I thought about it.

"No, he is not the bad guy. But Obama is the better guy. The best guy. And that's why mommy and daddy are voting for him. We think he will make the best teacher for our country."

And she said "oh."

And then she said, "Nate and Sammy like him for teacher too."

Nate and Sammy are her classmates and I am friendly with their parents but have never discussed politics with them.

But somehow knowing that they are also for Obama - made my morning.

I hope they are among the many. The majority.

The decision makers.

Or else, in 2012 I am nominating Miss Tami.

Monday, November 03, 2008

On the eve of something...

I have been ignoring the election for the last few days.

And I realized today that it is due to one simple reason.

I
am
terrified.

Down in the depths of my stomach terrified.

I am not sure what I will do if Obama is not the next president.

I didn't realize just how much this means to me.

I very much want to believe that this is the country I live in.

The country that would choose Obama.

A country that would elect change.

A country that actually represents what our fore fathers intended.

Freedom

And Justice

And equality for everyone.

I want this country to be the package we have been promised.

The promise we were given as children.

The victory that my parents fought for and my grandparents bled for.

I don't believe that this election is about race but I do think it is about opportunity. And I do think it is about stepping forward. Stepping toward a tomorrow that is colored with promise and opportunity.

And equal opportunity.

And a chance for a future that is hopeful for everyone.

And as someone of color, I find that this is about race for me. If Obama were who he is, and standing for what he stands for and he were white he would still be my choice.

But he isn't. His skin is the color of my family.

I would love to believe that my brother could be president, that my nephew could be president.

I have been told this. Promised this.

But deep down I knew it wasn't true.

I didn't believe it. Not really.

Obama has made me hope for this.

He represents the promise kept.

Equality and opportunity.

I don't think I wanted to admit how much this meant.

I chose to ignore it.

And now it scares me to my soul.

A people is standing up to be heard.

I pray they are loud enough.


I want us to have the America that Obama promises.

We deserve it.

All of us.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Abortion Conflict

I am terribly conflicted about abortion. It troubles me that it is such a divisive issue and that there seems to be so little common ground on which both sides can stand.

And everyone is always angry when they talk about abortion.

Let me start by saying that I have driven two girlfriend's to get abortions. I have waited in the waiting room and held their hands as they cramped and cried. And I have watched as they returned to their normal college existence and moved on.

I myself, have never had an abortion. Nor would I choose to.

There are is one thing I am sure of about abortion:
Women will get abortions, regardless of the law.

I would never get an abortion but I will fight for the right for someone else to have the right. That might seem contrary but the truth is I am not conflicted.

And yes I can say that. I know many anti-abortion activists will tell me that I am a hypocrite but I don't see it that way. There are many very important things that I do or don't do that I would never assume to make someone else comply with.

And I don't think that the anti-abortion activists are all wrong. I do think that killing doctors and bombing abortion clinics is wrong. But I feel that thinking of all anti-abortionist like that is kind of like what most of America does with the Muslim faith. They view the entire faith based on a few extremists. I try not to do that.

I try to listen to the arguments and try to find some common ground.

Abortions are nasty things. Horrible things. And I do believe that there are very few people who are "pro-abortion". Again, don't judge a group by it's radicals.

So believing this I have to do what Barak Obama is doing. I have to look for the common ground. I have to try and see what we can agree on.

So, what can we do to stop the number of abortions in this country?

I think we have proven that abstinence only programs just don't work. If you disagree with that statement then this is where we will officially diverge.

But if abstinence only programs don't work, what will? How can we make sure that unwanted babies are never conceived? How can we make sure that all babies born have good homes to go to?

There are hundreds of thousands of children in foster care right now. How many of these children are being adopted into loving homes by pro-life zealots? I think that is the truest way to practice what you preach (and this is one of the reasons I respect McCain.)

I don't know the stats but I do know that there are thousands of couples waiting for babies right now that talk about abortion as though it is preventing them the family they so desperately want. When in truth there are thousands of babies available to love, they are just the wrong color. You can't be pro-life, but only worry about white life.

In order to make any progress here, we have to zoom in on the things that we can agree on and work outward from there. Flippant remarks, name-calling and sarcastic banter is not the way to have a discussion. Not the way to make a point or more importantly, to make progress.

Commit to being part of the solution to the abortion conflict. No matter what side you are coming from, we can come together on this.

We are going to have to if we want to make any change.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In real life I am a princess...

Last week was national adoption week.
apparently.
I missed it.
Never even knew it existed. And still I feel the need to address it. Honor it.

Being adopted was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

If I had not been adopted I would not be who I am or where I am.

So therefore, it is the best thing that happened to me. It was the first step toward getting me where I am and where I am is pretty damn good.

Having said that I will also say that being adopted is sometimes hard.

Some of the difficulties are trivial:
my brother is model good looking and I often wished as a teen that I could have enjoyed some of those genetic good looks

To the not so trivial:
Most people thought my father was my stepfather and wondered how I could be so fair growing up with "black" parents. I suffered from racism from all sides.

And even with all that. I never thought to look for my birth parents. Never felt a need or a loss or anything challenging like that.

I have always known I was adopted. I don't remember a time that I didn't know. It is a part of who I am but it is such a small part. Such a tiny insignificant part.

But I had some "adoption trauma" moments.

When I was a preteen I became convinced that my aunt Sheila was my mother and that she had given to me my mom to raise. Some old family story about how she watched me when I was a baby convinced me that I was her love child.

I was terrified that she would want me back. I stopped hugging her and wanted no part of her for most of a year. Then my hormones calmed a little and I forgot all about it.

Then as a teen my dad and I had some pretty tough times and I started to imagine what my birth father would be like. In my imagination he was a king, a rich, nice, sweet king and he would bestow a bunch of money on me and leave me independently wealthy.

I never dreamed that he would be my dad, just my bank.

And that's as close as I ever came to any real issues with my adoption.

Then I read an article in Brain, Child (awesome mag btw) written by a birth mom about how much she misses her child and how she still thinks of herself as her daughter's mother...etc. And as a mom I started to think about this wonderful woman. This woman who had given me into a life I adore.

And I wondered if she worried about me.

And I wondered if she felt an empty part of her because I was and unknown. A lost child.

So I called my dad and told him I was thinking about finding my bio mom. And he said "It's about time, I don't know how you waited this long" and went about finding whatever records he could behind my mom's back because we both believed that even now, she wouldn't take to the idea.

Turns out we underestimated her. I told my mom. And she said, "I can understand that, she has grandchildren now."

And I said, "no, you have grandchildren. She has no claim on them. None whatsoever." and that was all it took for my mom. Apparently one level of removal was enough for her.

She would not have been nearly as understanding if I had made this decision at 18 but now, she's okay with it.

So. Using the information I had gathered from the little bit my parent's knew, I called the adoption agency that handled my placement and left a message for the woman the receptionist guided me to after explained what I wanted.

I waited.

Two weeks later, I called again and left another message.

And I waited again.

Then I poked around on the internet and registered at some sites that help children find missing bioparents.

And I was done.

And I sit here wondering if I will ever go further...and doubting it.

I am my mother's daughter.

That's enough.

It has always been enough.

So to the mystery woman who gave birth to me, named me Jennifer, cared for me, and then handed me over to the NJ adoption agency at the age of 6 weeks I say a heartfelt thank you.

And to everyone who is looking to adopt I say good luck. Like I said, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Happy belated National Adoption week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It was seven years ago today...

That I married my love.
Much like many Americans we are really feeling the pinch of the economic crisis so there will be no lavish gift or exciting date night this year.

But we will be together.

And we have decided to renew our contract for another year.

I love him in a way that I never thought was possible to love another person and I love him more today than I did when I married him 7 years ago. I never thought that would be possible either.

So it really is a happy anniversary.

I am on my way out of town and will be unable to blog while gone. So I want to acknowledge the little soul that would have probably already joined our family but was officially due on October 18th.

My heart hurts whenever I think about the fact that we will never meet.

And I miss you.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

If you choose not to decide...

So when I was growing up my brother used to be in LOVE with Rush. He still is as far as I know.

I hated them.

Hate

hate

hated them.

I can't think when there is music on. Even to this day if I am doing anything requiring any thought the only music I can tolerate is instrumental only.

So I spent most of my youth trying to think AROUND some very loud music. He was into very loud music. (Rush was actually one of the more mellow bands he listened to.)

So I hated the music.

And so I hated Rush.

Now that I am older I can control the when and the volume - I like Rush.

They are skilled musicians and their lyrics are sublime.

sublime.

And so I asked my brother for some cd's and he burned them for me and I occasionally sit around and listen to Geddy Lee and the gang.

That's all. Sometimes I listen.

And today I was wondering what else I missed out on because it was presented poorly and how I can avoid that mistake for my kids.

And then I realized that I have no chance.

The way my brother listened to Rush as a teen has helped to shape who he is and what he values.

It made me not like Rush.

No real harm done. And it helped Michael a great deal.

balancing.

Always balancing.

Anyway I thought about Rush today because there are still a great number of people out there who have not yet decided who they will vote for in less than a month!

And I am hopeful that they will either support Obama or stay home.

But as Rush says:
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Passion

I am fairly good at a lot of things.

I can play a decent game of tennis, dance to the rhythm and carry a tune.

I play the drums, when I am near them.

As a child I tried piano, tap, ballet, gymnastics, softball, field hockey, soccer and played the flute in band.

My parents exposed me to a lot.

And I was never very passionate about anything.

Not really.

My brother has music in his veins. My sister-in-law has Yoga in her soul. My husband will be a Ford Mustang in his next life.

I am not sure what I am passionate about.

Not like that, not in a hobby kind of a way.

I've never encountered anything I wanted to do that I couldn't do reasonably well, so I've never really been challenged.

And of the things I did, I never really felt the desire to be any better than mediocre...

Except writing.

I love to make up stories.

And I love to read what I have written to someone so they will enjoy the world or person I have created for a few moments.

But this is a passion I have no room for at the moment.

It is a passion that I cannot support.

So I am looking for a little passion.

Something small that will not consume me but will still help me with something to look forward to.

Can you help me out?

What's your passion?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Good News!

While not the train wreck I predicted I can still name two people who swung into the Obama camp last night because of Joe Biden. And one of them voted for Bush in both elections!!

Yipee!

Overall I thought the candidates did what they were supposed to. I did think that it was unfortunate that Palin never once had to answer a question with thought instead of a scripted and rehearsed response but she handled herself well...

But I was tickled by this and thought I would share.

Oh and I think Biden did a great job of following his orders which was to not look like he was picking on the poor hockey mom from Alaska while still calling her on some very key points.

Overall it was tragic only in its pure lack of tragedy.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Truly?


This site amused me. So here is the link.

I hope this evening's debate proves to be just as fun as I anticipate it will be.

I am almost heady in my girlish excitement.

There is most likely going to be a train wreck tonight...

And here's the thing that stops the giggle.

I truly feel that I would make a better choice for VP than this woman.

And I am truly saddened that she will be our benchmark going forward...

And I don't have anything against her personally. But she is a piss poor choice for vice president. piss poor.

And she should have known better. And I know that there are all those people that say that if someone offers you the vp spot you don't say no - but she should know how to say no. She believes in abstinence only for God's sake.

And I am trying really hard not to turn this into a joke because I feel like McCain already did that and I find it so so sad that there are so many people who don't get the joke.

Lots of women are out there right now feeling pretty good about our sex because of where she is.

I don't. But I do feel like she is the best example of sexual equality we've seen in a long while. Except. Well. Can you be an example of sexual equality if you were selected because of your sex???

Is there such a thing as reverse sexism?

no.

there isn't.

And I had a great deal of respect for McCain going into this. I did.

And he lost it all with his VP choice.

I cannot contemplate a world in which there is a president Sarah Palin.

I will not.

Please vote people.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Barak the Vote

I am not sure how to start this post.

The Presidential address and all that is going on in Washington scares me. Terrifies me actually.

And I watched the president of the United States of America tell me that our economy is collapsing and that we have to do something RIGHT NOW to protect our country.

And I was scared. What he said frightened the hell out of me. I am still scared.

And I am pissed.

Because not once in his speech did he address the point that we should all be FURIOUS about. While this is a genuine emergency now - why didn't we take steps to prevent it reaching this point?

Unlike 9/11 we saw this coming.

And I am not blaming this administration for creating this problem, because they didn't. As far as I can tell, with my very limited understanding of the situation, this is a problem that started more then 30 years ago and became exacerbated by the de-regulations that Clinton allowed. But this is not about cause or blame.

This is about what we do next. I have my answer. It it lies here. I love this commercial. I watched it this morning and became even more certain in my vote in November.

I hope that our politicians will come to some sort of agreement that will not send us spiraling into a dark age. But more than that I hope that Obama wins in November.

Because I am afraid for our country in a way that I have never been before. And I am tired of being afraid. This administration has used our fears to justify a lot.

They told us that we had to go into Iraq to prevent another attack on our country. They told us that there were weapons there that were pointed at us.
They told us we had to approve the Patriot Act to protect our citizens after 911.

They have played on our fears and created a domestic policy that is built on those fears. And so I am questioning the president's call for haste in this instance because I have seen what his calls for haste in the past have gotten us. I do not doubt there is a problem here - but I am cautious about the solution.

I am tired of acting from a place of fear. I am instead looking toward the future with hope for change.

This election is SO IMPORTANT.

So if you haven't registered - please do so - NOW - and make sure your voice is heard.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back in the saddle

Weirdly enough while on vacation I dreamed (dreampt?) of horses. and riding.
I am a horse person. It is in my soul.

Unfortunately it is not in my budget. So for now I just dream. Good earthy dreams where I can smell the heat of the horse and the grass in the early morning...

I guess it shouldn't be too surprising that I dreamed about this while on vacation. I was well and truly relaxed for the first time in, well, a long time.

We had a wonderful wonderful vacation down at the beach.

I was a kinder gentler mommy. The mommy I would like to be all the time but can't because of - well - life. The kids had a blast playing with (and eating) the sand. They were happy to sink into the sand for a half and hour and only cried out when one or the other became the victim of a random act of sandness. (little boy likes to throw it as well as eat it).

We went to the beach, the pool, the park and the board walk and while I was not excited to be home I was not sad either. The vacation was nice and while it reminded me how much fun I am not having in my everyday life...it also made me appreciate what I do to make sure that I can enjoy the occasional week off to enjoy my family.

Truly I wish America was more like Europe in their vacation policies. I think a healthier work/life balance would make for more productive workers. I think if we had more vacation we would be able to better apply ourselves when we are at work.

Of course I am blowing a hole in my own theory by spending my first day back catching up on blogs and blogging. But I have hope for the rest of the week...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shall I compare thee...

I wave goodbye to my daughter from the side yard of her school. Her class room is sublevel so I am in fact waving down to her.

As I approached the window yesterday I began with:

"Juliet, where fore art thou Juliet"

which was greeted with a charming blank stare.

"it's from a play" I explained.

"Like Alladin?" was the response. (I recently took both kids to the local theater for a child's production of Alladin, so...)

"Yep, just like Alladin." I wonder how Shakespeare would feel about that?

As I turned to leave my little pixie said:

"mommy I love you so much I want to crawl inside your mouth!" *giggle*

Looking down at her with an indulgent smile I said

"sweetie, I appreciate the sentiment. And the lack of action."

And cracked myself up.

I am still laughing actually.

I love being a mom.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

funny video on politics

Regardless of party I think you will find this cute.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

If you are not part of the solution...

I am getting ready to go on vacation.

The one real vacation we had planned this year. I was so excited. We are renting a house in Delaware near the shore. The housing community has a pool, tennis courts and a shuttle to the beach and the outlets.

Turns out the husband decided not to request the time off and instead decided to be sneaky and "massage" his reports and not claim the time as official vacation. So they didn't know we had these plans when they scheduled him to attend a show next Thursday. So he will need to leave our rented home three days before our vacation ends and fly to North Carolina.

And he will leave me with my two little ones and both sets of grandparents.

And he is currently in Atlanta and won't be back until Thursday night at midnight.

Which means, once again, I have been left alone to do all the shopping, planning and packing.

BUT IT GETS BETTER

Because I am not alone. I have two (very adorable) toddlers to "help me" and no way to go anywhere significant because they must come with me.

And I am pet sitting one dog and two cats across the street. And our neighbors don't have a fence. So the dog has to be walked on a leash three times a day. Did I mention I have two toddlers and no spouse at home? (and that their house is dark at night and I am a scaredy scaredy cat?)

And I am getting tired of the whole "single mom" lifestyle I am living lately.

I am thinking about taking a lover. Or applications for a second husband. Or even a wife.

Today I am feeling like gender equality is just a shitty illusion. It doesn't matter what your title or your salary - you are still the mom, housekeeper and general do everything person. And you are the person everyone else expects to do all of these things.

Tomorrow I might feel better. Maybe.

But I am having a hard time lately with my life role. I am a stay at work mom. SAWM. I find comfort in the fact that there is an acronym for this because lately I feel like such the exception.

All of my female friends and all of my female neighbors are home most of the time. So they have play dates and get togethers and I can never be part of that. I will always be the odd one out. I will never get to fully be a part of that circle.

I am an exception.

And I take exception to that.

I am not sure what all that means. But it has to mean something. All this doing is wearing me down.

In other happier news...I volunteered to go read a book and teach my daughter's class a song today.

My little doggies name is Rags
He eats so much that his tummy sags
His ears flip flop and his tail wig wags
and when he walks he zigs and zags...

I had such a great 1/2 hour of my day. Four is such a fun age! They all seem to be so far.

And in a few days I will be relaxing by the beach...seems wrong to be whining.

oh well. I'm doing it anyway.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I never promised you a Biden Post



Oh okay, so I did.

Here's the clif's notes version of my thoughts on the subject.
I have stated before that I feel that it is imperative that Obama surround himself with BTDT people. Experienced, intelligent people. People who don't all think like he does but are as intelligent and THINKING as he seems to be.

And the good news is that Obama seems to feel that way too. I was rooting for Biden in the early days of the race for the dem ticket. Biden is a man who has walked the walk and knows the talk - even though he clearly doesn't know when to NOT talk the talk. He does tend to say what he really thinks doesn't he? And that's why he won't be president. Ironic that his comments about his now running mate effectively ruined his chances - isn't it?

But I think Obama chose an excellent vice president. In fact of the pool he had to choose from I think he made the best choice. For his administration and for our nation. Biden will make a strong and excellent VP.

I am just not sure Obama selected a good running mate.

And let me say with no malice intended that most of America is not very...um...informed. They don't understand what Biden is bringing to the candidacy. He is not a Washington star (except maybe in Washington), most people don't know (or understand) what he has done and continues to do for our country. To most Americans he is just a senator from Delaware. And Delaware is a tiny, not really good for much, state.

And I am sure that the democrats are hoping that Biden will help them carry Pennsylvania since we are kissing cousins but I am not so sure their confidence is well placed.

Only time will tell.

I for one am more certain that this an administration that can make a difference if elected. I for one was worried that he chose a running mate with substance and not for flare. This is a vice presidential choice that is well made. Obama/Biden can make some real progress.

If they get elected.

And I for one am going to vote for them. Oh, me and the 18 million Hillary supporters. Or at least they better after the speeches that Bill and Hillary gave on the subject. If you only saw the excerpts you didn't get the whole story. They were each very impressive.

Hillary's speech was truly presidential and Bill proved that he can (and will) in fact fight the good fight with Obama despite what happened leading up to this point. They are true party supporters and it was fun to see.

If you're into that kind of stuff.

Which I am.

Apparently.

Because Clif would be appalled at how long winded I was...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandmama

It is my grandmother's birthday. She has been 100 years old (if you ask her) since I was old enough to ask and so I am pretty sure today she turns 126 or there abouts. Or 91ish in real life.

I was going to write a post about Biden and what I think his selection as Obama's VP means but instead I will post the birthday letter I wrote to me grandma. Because she rocks and is amazing and wonderful and I am honored to have known her, let alone loved and been loved by her.

oh, and for purposes of this letter you should know (if you don't already) that I am adopted.


Dear Mama Rita,

Daddy told me recently that when they first brought me home you didn’t think of me as your grandchild and said as much to daddy. He went on to say that he made it clear to you that if you couldn’t love me as much as you loved Michael then he wasn’t sure when you would see us again.

It made me cry. Not because I wondered how you could feel that way but because I know the ending of the story.

You quickly came around and you loved me. And as dad said, pretty soon he had to remind you that you had a grand son too, because you were so taken with me, and I with you.

The story surprised me only because I have never once doubted your love for me and I hope you can say the same for me.

Because I love you. And I have loved you always.

Happy Birthday Lady.

With Much Love from your granddaughter.

Me.

Take the time to honor those in your life with the words in your heart. She is old and won't be here much longer (I hope for her sake) so I am taking every opportunity I can to make sure she knows how much I love her.

Have a great Rita's 91st birthday day!


And don't worry, I will chime in on Biden tomorrow...

Friday, August 22, 2008

The "I was gonna post" post

I was going to post here about how I was going to post today because most of the people who's blogs I read regularly seem not to have posted today. So clearly everyone needs something fun to read and I was going to do my part for internetmanity, humanernet, humaninternity. (I wish I knew how to do that fun cross out trick right about now...)

But.

Then I thought about the fact that everyone who I regularly read hasn't posted because they are on vacation or are busy doing something in (gasp) real life!

And.

Since they are the people who read my blog, they won't be reading blogs either. So I don't have to post.

So I am not going to bother.

(but I did anyway. see how I did that? Lately I am too damn crafty for my own good)

If you are "out there" reading, and you have had experience with an ectopic prenancy, I have a question. How long did it take you before your system was regular again?

I am about to go insane and should really own stock in ept by now...and it's been 5 months for Chrissake!

Hope you are all enjoying your vacations.
Traitors.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Things to Avoid doing with your 4 year old

I should lead here with 1. spend time together. Based on the week I have been having with my daughter but I won't. (but still I did - see how I fooled you?)

1. Don't watch movies about orphanages (Annie) or Orphans (James and the Giant Peach). How do you explain the concept of an orphanage to a toddler. No matter what you say you end up here: "But where are their parents?". I also include James and Giant Peach in this category because trying to explain that the insects were his family is tough!

2. Don't have conversations about marriage and love. When my daughter talks about marriage now she leads with "one day I will find a boy or a girl that I love so much that I will want to spend my whole life with them". While it is nice that she is paying attention I feel like I somehow brainwashed her??? oh well.

3. Don't disagree with them. Lately I feel like I should just concede from the start to make it easy on both of us. She is so very sure about her opinions that I am sure that she somehow went from 3 to 16. oh and yes, I know that I am in trouble. BIG BIG trouble.

4. Don't discuss morality and ethics. So far we have gotten to the concept that sometimes good people do bad things but that does not make them bad and sometimes bad people will do good things. And that when you steal because you need something for your very survival it is somehow not as bad as stealing something just because you want it. And then I am lost. And she is loster. And my husband is laughing his ass off.

5. Don't lie to them. They remember everything and talk about leading by example. Just. don't. do. it.

I'll stop here basically because I have run out of venom (which is good) and time (which is bad). Are there any things that you have discovered don't mix well with toddler?

Let me know so I can do my best to avoid them.

Oh and tomorrow I will try and post some things that are great to do with a four year old. The top of that list at the moment is sleep...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Marriage in Real Life

I'm following along from Absolutely Bananas, which may be illegal (I don't know the rules). But oh well, I am a rebel.


Hmmm. I have often told people that my husband is not perfect, but he is perfect for me. And I can honestly say that there is nothing that I would not tell my husband. And I can think of very little that he doesn’t already know about me.

We are each other’s secret keepers. He is the first person I think of when something exciting happens. He thinks that I am sexy, funny and smart and I think he is insane for thinking that but I go along with it because that’s my kind of insanity. And the truth is, I feel the same way about him.

He is my best friend. And he is a terrific person and father. And as much as I am enjoying raising kids with him I am always aware that he and I will be it some day and we have to make sure we don’t lose sight of that.

Together we make sacrifices for our kids and we put their happiness and health before our own but I don’t put them before us, if that makes any sense. They are these wonderful, amazing, awe-inspiring creatures that we marvel over together. Our love made that. They are the embodiment of Us. But someday they will leave. And it will just be us again.

So he leaves empty clothes hangers on the doorknob and he changes the atmosphere of a room when he walks into it (by turning on the fan, changing the tv channel or even adjusting the lights) but he is always there for me. And he knows me. Truly knows me. And he’s still here.

And one thing that is essential in our marriage: we are each other’s greatest cheerleaders.
I will root for him until I lose my voice if I have to. I will remind him about all of the wonderful things that make me love and respect him more every day. And I make sure to do this when he needs it most and when he doesn’t need it at all. And he does the same for me.

I do feel that many marriages fail when one person thinks they are somehow better than their partner. I do not feel superior. I do not feel inferior. We are partners in this together, each strong in our own way. And we bolster each other’s weaknesses and support our individual strengths.

Marriage is hard. It takes work, and compromise and COMMUNICATION. Communication is key. If you don't keep the dialog open then you will be lost. We talk about everything and nothing and we talk several times a day. We learned early on that if you don't talk about it that it will just become something between you, and nothing should ever be between you. Make the time and be brave. Talk about the things that you know might hurt their feelings but have to be said. But make sure you do it all with love. Words are powerful weapons and need to be treated as such. If you can't talk, you will be lost...

Again, marriage can be hard. But for me, the alternatives were impossible to consider. I cannot imagine traveling through this world with anyone but him. He makes the colors brighter and the journey fun. Even as his temper flares and I am forced to watch the Speed channel for the 500th time - I am happy.

And that is my marriage in real life.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two scenes in the life of a four year old

Scene 1
Mom and two kiddos are driving home from school. The oldest, and the girl, has received a sweets bag from one of her teachers.
"mommy, can I have a candy when I get home?" says the girl.
"after dinner" says the mommy
"mommy sweets too?" asks the little boy.
"no, sweetie, this is your sister's special treat and -"
"no mommy,"interrupts the girl "I'll share with him. I want to share with him." she says.
mommy sits in stunned silence in the front seat.
"because," the little girl explains further, "if I don't share with him, he won't have any candy and he might be sad."
mommy tears up and can't say anything at all.


Scene 2
Later that day Mommy is putting her little girl to bed. Feeling especially loving she cuddles on to her little girl's bed and kisses her gently on her forehead.
"mommy loves you very much." she says kissing her again. "and I want you to know that I was very proud of you today"
"Why?" asks the little girl, snuggling in and enjoying the kisses and the cuddles.
"because you shared your special treat with your brother" mommy explains "That was a great big sister thing to do and I am very proud of you."
The little girl smiles and kisses her mommy. They both enjoy a special cudddle moment. And then-
"so what does that mean that I get?" the little girl asks expectantly.

And the moment is gone.

"my most sincere congratulations." mommy says with a light pat on her arm as she pulls away with a hidden smile and a shrug.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm back

So I feel like I have had many posts floating around in my head and absolutely no time to write them down.

Things have been hectic at work and the death toll here is at 3. Meaning I had to fire 3 people in the last two weeks. And it is a horrible thing to have to fire someone.

But it is better for the company and probably, in the long run, better for them... at least that's what I tell myself.

And I have had other employee drama that I won't even go into but makes me wish my firing gun were bomb instead of a rifle and I could just make a clean sweep...

But not really.

I had an occasion to sit down with my scrap books last night, thank you mothers and more, and got to relive my kids. From birth until, whenever I last stopped scrap booking. In my daughter;s case that was 1yr and in my son's 1 month... Actually that sort of works in terms of the differences in their ages and all.

And during this process I got to read their birth stories. I wrote a one page description of the day (or in Maya's case - days) of their birth.

It was a fun trip down memory lane. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

And it made me remember just how much I loved those infant months. Such a perfect little bundle of potential and love. So dependent and cuddly. I can remember the smell of each of them. Perfection.

Lately I have been leaning toward adopting an older child as the final resolution to our family circle. There are a number of reasons but the main ones are:
a) because not that many people adopt children older than infants
b) already potty trained
c) No frantic chasing around, pulling your hair out, post-ambulatory, pre-logic and reason stage.

But I got to tell you. I could do it. As much as there are so many reasons not to, I could so have another infant.

And when I looked at those little baby photos the money, and timing, and other incredibly realistic reasons just disappear. poof.

And I am back to wanting to take another roll on the genetic craps table.

Ready to risk explosion and hospitalization and the truly staggering hospital bills that come along with it.

All of that.

for that little person I created.

And I got to tell you as I watch my children get older and my daughter become this little individual I become even more convinced that we should have another baby.

Because, my husband and I, we do damn good work.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

AAAARGGGGH!

I am so frustrated right now!

I am not sure what is upsetting me more but unfortunately I have a lot of areas to choose from.

AAAARGH!

(and to top things off I am now a pirate)

I Promise to post more tomorrow but I needed to send this virtual scream out into the internet.

Can you hear it echoing?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hold the Veggies Please

The name of my blog may seem misleading once you've finished reading this post. But maybe not.

I am not Christian. Nor am I Jewish. In fact I am not religious.

At all.

I describe myself as agnostic. I am exploring the world and the religions that exist within it to discover if there is one group of thoughts and ideas that match what I feel to be true. For me that means I am still asking the questions. Still trying to find my own personal answers.

I want this for my children. I want them to be good moral people. But I want it to be because they KNOW that it is the right thing to do. Not because some huge powerful force or writing in a book tells them to be that way.

I want to raise good humans. Good caretakers of the world and the beings on it. I want my children to understand how important love and respect are so that they will treat others well.

I also want to raise questioning beings. Children who do not always choose the easiest way and know that the best choices are usually the hardest choices to make.

So I will probably raise two evangelical Christian republicans. But until they make that choice (which is their choice to make) I am doing my best to make sure they understand what I want for them.

And so today I asked my daughter's teacher not to show Veggie Tales in class.

Let me say that this was an awkward conversation. It is hard to know just how offended people will get when you tell them that you do not want your children watching shows or reading books with God in them.

But to their credit they handled it well. And apparently when my daughter was much younger I had a conversation with them about some religious book they had in the class room and so my daughter's teacher said:
"Oh I know that about Maya"
and it made me feel that in my trying to make sure she is not labeled with one religion or the other, I am still labeling her. Oh well.

So my kids are the kids who can't watch Veggie Tales.

And let me say that I don't make decisions without knowledge. And so I did in fact watch Veggie Tales with my kids one day.

The main three veggies were working in a manufacturing plant and were being treated unfairly. They rebelled against the main guy in defense of one of their friends. (Good moral teaching - strength of character,etc so far I'm on board.)

Then the bad guy rounded them up and threw them all into a big melting pot in an effort to burn them alive. (what?!?!?!)

And then a great white light blasted out of the melting pot. The evil henchman sauntered over to see what that was all about and relayed to his boss that he saw a bright light and "another person" in their with them. And this person was all in white and shiny, etc etc.

(And they lost me.)

hmm. So these main characters weren't able to save themselves but instead had a visit from a higher power in their magical melting pot and were saved?

So I explained to my daughter about Jesus and God and how some people believe...etc etc etc.

And these are discussions I am happy to have with my kids. But I want to have them. Because I am not sure how to answer questions about the man in white that saved the veggies that doesn't make this mysterious person sound like any other mythical super hero. I am not sure how to impress upon them just how much more important Jesus is to some people than say, Spiderman is.

Because if you think about objectively. Jesus is a superhero - maybe the first ever. And he has some pretty great super powers, not the least of which is his ability to come back from the dead.

So I will work on my delivery and in the mean time, for the first time in their young lives, I am encouraging my children to stay away from the vegetables.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why I hate Verizon or How I spent my Thursday

Why I hate verizon
oh mere words can barely tell
the place that I would put them
'cause they're too evil just for hell

Verizon saps the joy
from my tiny little life
and fills it up with lost connections
missed appointments and, well, strife

I hate the frustration
and the waiting
and the waiting
and the waiting

That's all Verizon is to me
so I waited and I waited
But it wasn't meant to be

No blazing net connection
no dazzling TV screen
Instead I am still waiting
for my promised FIOS dream

I am sad to say Verizon
does not care about my day
and tells me they can't reschedule
until very far away

And while I hate verizon
There is one thing that's for sure
much as I hate Verizon
I hate Comcast even more

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Planes, trains and etc.


I am leaving on a jet plane. And I will not be back again until - well, Tuesday.
I will be loading my wee ones onto a plane today where we will meet their father in Florida.

I am a little nervous.

And the fact that my two year old was called into the principle's office twice yesterday doesn't help.

I have traveled with my kiddos alone before but one was a little bittle infant and somehow that seemed far easier.

Maybe. Maybe not. I guess we'll see.

Overall I am just relieved to be going. Vacation and I are long time, long trusted friends. I would love to have vacation as a job.

Not sure yet how that can work because they do in fact seem to cancel each other out but I am going to give it some serious thought.

While on vacation.

Did I mention that I am going away?

On vacation.

I will be with my folks who seem to have been busy this past week planning ways to make sure that I have the best vacation ever.

I love my parents. I love their house with it's pool and hot tub. I love that they will wine and dine us and most importantly -

I love that they love to babysit!

I will be going with my mom, my cousin and my aunt to lunch and then to see Mama Mia. And later that day, or the next (isn't vacation wonderful?) I will be going out on the town with my love. While Nona and Pop pop commune with the kiddies.

Yipee just doesn't cover it but you get the point.

I think vacations are what life is actually all about. Those are the things you remember and what you draw on to get you through the monotony of everyday life.

I am happiest when I have that next vacation to look forward to - this even made my favorite things list - and the memories of a recent vacation can carry me happily through my regular life for a while.

So. I pity you your ordinary life as you sit and do what you do everyday. I was there yesterday and will be back there on Tuesday but for a few glorious days - I am going to be on holiday!

Peace out.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What's in a name?

I hate my name. I always have. It became apparent to me at a pretty early age that I do not look at all like what people expect when they hear my name.

I often heard:
"Oh, I thought you'd be blonde."

Which I translated into:
"Oh. I thought you'd be cuter."

So during college I tried to go by my middle name. Nicole.

I think, overall, that this is a name that better suits me. It is a stronger name. Less fluffy. I never got that slightly disappointed and confused look when I introduced myself as Nicole.

But it didn't stick.

My mom tried. While I was home on break she would try to remember to call me Nicole.

My dad didn't. Neither did my brother (but he was away at college too at this point and didn't call me much of anything).

But to them - I WAS my name. Didn't matter if it suited. It was who I was. How they thought of me. They didn't think of my name as anything other than my name. Which is true of friends and family whenever I mention that I don't like my name. They don't get it. Because to them I am Tiffany. Not "a Tiffany".

"A Tiffany" is not who I am, I have instead defined the name as myself. If that makes any sense to you - then congratulations.

But all of this name reflection gave me great pause as I sat forming a baby for nine months. This is a HUGE decision. And I have always played the name game. I love to name things. I love to give names to inanimate objects. My house is named Ashley, my car is name Mackenzie (but I just call her Mac), etc. One of the things I like most is choosing a name. Giving something a label that matches how I feel about it or what I think about it.

So you can see why naming a baby is such a monumental task.
What if the name didn't suit the person the baby would one day become? What if I chose a name that was perfect for my toddler but a horrible name for a grown woman.

So this is what I did.

I started thinking about who I wanted my child to be.

I wanted her to be strong.

I wanted her to have a poet's soul.

I wanted her to be empathetic.

I wanted her to be empowered to fight for what she believes in.

I wanted her to be passionate.

I wanted her to love life and take the time to enjoy it.

The list is long. Longer than I have written here. But once I had given some thought to what I wanted for my daughter, I thought about the women I knew that possessed some of those traits. And so I thought of the women I admired most.

And so my daughter is named Maya. For Maya Angelou.

And it turns out that this is a popular name right now. And it is not because of the poet. I'm not sure why it gained such popularity but it did. And Maya is one of 3 Maya's in her daycare.

But she is the only one named for one of the greatest writers of our time.

Good name. Great connotation and connection.

And I am sure at some point, she will hate it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hey Ho Howdy

Any one read Sandra Boyton - hmm I think I butchered her last name. oh well. Hey Ho Howdy is one of the dinosaurs from her book. He is a happy fellow with a guitar and he is always friendly.

This is just a quick note to say hello.

I am crazy busy at work the past few weeks so I have been limited in my blogging. And WHERE THE HELL DID JUNE GO?

I have been bad about reading blogs and worse at commenting. so...

How ya been?

I will think of something that is fun tonight and post tomorrow.

promise.

Quick Cute kid moment:

Me to my son: "we can't do that tonight, sorry charlie"

my son to me - with as much indignation as a two year old can muster:
"not charlie mama - D!"

I laughed out loud before assuring him that it was just a saying.

And then I had to try and remember where the saying came from.

Do you know?

hint: something's fishy about this question...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A few of my favorite things


When A tube pops. When A life stops. When I'm feeling sad. I simply remember a few of these things, and then I don't feel so bad.

I am ignoring the obvious here. My daughter, my son, my husband, my extended family not because they do not matter but because they matter so much it seems silly to list them here.

The following are things that make me smile. Always, no matter what. It's a fun list - you should try it.

1. A child's laugh.
Any child. Any laugh.

2. A hanging swing or hammock.
I made a promise to myself that I would never walk by one without stopping and I have kept it. Sort of my version of stopping to smell the flowers.

3. A vast open field.
I cannot pass a huge field without dreaming of the ride I would take across it if I were on horse back.

4. The smell of baking cookies.
Yum.

5. Any song from Annie.
Almost any musical will do this but Annie is sure-fired.

6. A puppy, kitten or any other animal baby.
I like almost every animal in it's baby form. Even lizards are cute when they are tiny.

7. Infants.
Love the sound, smell and sight of them. Always have, always will.

8. Old couples in love.
Even when I wasn't one, I still thought this was such a sweet sweet sight. An elderly couple holding hands will evoke that same "aaaawwww" smile that infants do.

9. A picture of either of my kids as infants. (see 7 and quadruple it)
Okay I couldn't help it. They are damn cute.

10. Nature.
Our planet is this amazing place and I see things every day that amaze and astound me. I am happiest with dirt under my nails and grass under my ass.

11. Vacation.
This includes the planning for and dreaming about stages as well. I am happiest when I know when our next vacation is so I know how long I have til the fun starts.

12. A great book.
A good book will do, but a great book? That can make my year.

13. Motown music.
My parents were huge motown fans (still are) and almost any song from that era will make me smile and groove. My kids will most likely be Motown fans too. Great stuff.

I'm sure there's more but this is where I stop. To do one of my other favorite things - read blogs.

And so of course I challenge you to think about your favorite things. This was a fun list to write and I invite you to do the same.

Again, happy 4th!

911

So I need to (and want to) say thanks to all of you who posted words of support and comfort to my last post. I am feeling better and thinking about the whole "blogging while depressed" thing and whether I should be put on restriction. It's almost like a drunk call.

It's a moment. And it passes. But not if you've placed it up on the net for all to see for the rest of days.

But it felt very nice to get the comments and calls. So thank you.

I was watching some very disturbing September 11th video this morning. And I was crying. Sitting at my desk in my office. Crying.

And it felt good.

Because this is something to cry about. And I knew that anyone who walked into my office and saw what I was watching would not only understand but they would feel the same way.

We all felt the same way.

We all remember where we were that day. We all remember how we heard and who we were with. We all felt similar things.

panic. concern. panic. loss. concern.

All of us. All Americans. All of America. And much of the world. Unified.

We all held our breaths hoping for the best and cried openly and without shame when we took that breath as the worst happened.

We all put out our flags of support. We all grieved the lost.

We honored the heroes and mourned the innocent. All of us. Together.

That is the America I am choosing to honor this July 4th.

That unified America. That great America.

Those few days where color did not matter, race did not matter, politics did not matter. Those few days where we showed each other that the dream that built this country can indeed come true.

The America that I hope we will one day be able to achieve without the loss of life and catastrophe.

So I wish you a Happy Birthday little country.

We are young and we are learning but we have so much potential.

I wish you all a safe and happy July 4th.



editor's note: I in no way agree with those that say we needed 9/11 as a "wake up call" because that is such a ridiculous notion, there is no word sufficient to describe it. I am just commenting on the moments of unity that came from these very senseless acts of violence.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

slipping

I feel the balance shifting again.
You know that ever precarious balance between happiness and sadness. Comfort and...well, discomfort.
The weight is sliding toward me and I can feel the pressure.

It's showing itself in lots of ways.

1. I am crankier with my kids.

I hate it when I am cranky with my kids.

2. I am unhappy with my friendship circle.

The fact that I don't actually have one is what's making me sad. To be exact.

3. I am thinking about my work to life balance and it is troubling.

Does anyone ever say - "oh I appear to be having too much fun living my life - I
should probably get to work?" I mean other than politicians. Sometimes. maybe.
Okay, no one ever says that.

4. My house is driving me insane.

We have a lot to do and it is so hard sometimes to do what I am always telling my
husband to do and focus instead on all that we have done since we moved in. Golly
aren't I annoying? What am I a cheerleader?

5. The events of recent months are weighing on me.

For a while I felt like I was bothered by my ectopic pregnancy and subsequent loss
of baby and fallopian tube just because I thought I should be. Just because I
knew it should bother me. But it does. It legitimately bothers me.

And now that I am hormonally recovered - I annoy myself.

I have taken 2 pregnancy tests every month since this happened 3 months ago. I'm not sure if I am worried or hopeful.

This is a very painful game I am playing with myself.

Every time I get a gas pain I freak out that it is another ftube baby.

I sometimes think my body still thinks it is is 5 months pregnant.

I am tired.

All the time, tired.

And for today I am feeling a little like an escape is in order. But I get about 1/2 hour of every day to myself. That is when my husband puts the kids to bed and during that time I am making dinner.

Tough.

I am thinking I am in serious need of some me time.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fun with Art - click to change colors - Enjoy!

Just because I thought this was fun. Make a pretty picture!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's a disease

I changed my blog again. (in case you can't tell)
It's an illness.


I rearrange the furniture in my house at least one room a month. I am trying to find the best fit, the best flow.

My husband gave up and accepted this long ago.

And recently he listened to an NP article that he feels helped him understand it a bit more.

He claims that it is one way for me to be artistic. It is my artistic expression coming out and that is one way I allow myself artistic freedom.

I like that so much better than it's because I am a little neurotic and I grew up in a home that was ever changing. Literally changing.

We moved a lot.

My kids have known one home. They were both born there and in living in this home for six years I can claim with a degree of confidence that this is the longest I have ever lived in a home.

And I want to move.

So I move the furniture. And the room becomes new and different. And, I hope, more functional.

I would love to hear that I am not the only freak out there.

What are your odd behaviors and how do you explain them to yourself?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Sibling Difference

So I am adding my comments to Mommy wants Vodka's post here because it made me think. She was talking about her two (and a quarter) kids and how different they are.

My brother and I are very different.

Always have been.

My brother was homecoming king. He ran with the "rich and the famous" of our groups in our little town. He was a model. Cuter than a teenage boy should be and an even handsomer man.

He was in to heavy metal (still is). Played football. Liked to go out drinking. Messed around a lot with a lot of girls.

Basically my polar opposite.

I was into poetry. I was on the school literary magazine. I tried beer in 6th grade, didn't like it and didn't drink again until my senior year.

I had one boyfriend during high school and two best friends and a few ancillary friends but nothing close to the huge entourage that followed my brother.

And he has a temper. A quick and fast temper. He and my father had huge amazing storms of temper that collided and were awesome in the their power.

I was the peace keeper. I was the responsible one. I was the one that my parent's trusted to do as they asked.

I was grounded once during high school and it was because of my brother. (feel free to comment here Mike) He wouldn't return a rental movie and I was afraid my parents would be mad if it was late so he told me to take the car myself if I was so worried. He was laying on the couch with his girlfriend and wanted me gone. So my older cousin went with me and my permit and we returned the movie and came straight home.

Straight home into a shit storm. A shit storm so epic it traveled to Georgia from New Jersey and involved my aunts, uncles and my grandmother.

All over a rental movie.

Anyway my point is that we are as different as day and night but we still have the same experiences (different perspectives on them maybe, but the same) and we still have the same foundation. We have the same parents.

We are both a lot like both of our parents. Some of the good, some of the bad and some that is just ours.

And I hope that the same is true of my kids. I do think that birth order matters but I also think that children are born with personalities. They have a lot of what they will ultimately be right from the beginning.

And I love that my brother and I are who we are. And while I wish we were closer - and not just in physical distance - I am proud of who we both turned out to be.

Well I obviously turned out better but who's comparing?

And I see the differences in my children. And I hope that they take only my strengths and that they turn into these wonderful terrific amazing people. But then I remember that they are born with it. They are already amazing and terrific people. And I am pretty sure that there isn't much they can do to make me change my opinion.

Except maybe, become teenagers.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nothing is free

I just got some very cute dresses and clothes for my daughter from my dad.

Nothing is free.

I just had to call him to tell him how cute I think they are.

And they are not my style.

mostly.

But you do what you have to.

The price of gifts from my father has always been the same.

Obscene amounts of gratitude.

No effusive noises of appreciation?

No gifts.

And don't get me wrong. I am like this too. But I like to think I am not so much about the crazy ass kissing part of this as I am the basic manners of the thing.

You don't have to tell me you liked what I did for you - you just have to say thank you.

And tonight I will have my daughter call pop pop to thank him for the clothes. Because that will make him happy.

But I will not make her lie.

And I will not make her tell him anything but thank you.

And this weekend I will most likely take a picture of her in my favorite piece and email it to him.

Because nothing free is free and this is a lesson I learned at a very early age.

From my father.

My father also taught me to meet someone in the eye when you are speaking to them, to cross my legs when sitting in a skirt, to always wear lipstick (this one I still don't do) and that you always ALWAYS send a thank you note.

He also taught me a great deal about humor, and business and stopping to enjoy the music of life.

What did your father teach you?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

white privilege


First let me say that I uploaded the wrong image and in so doing changed the title of my post.

My blog about Obama received some responses that I did not post here. Not because I edited or screened them but because some people chose to email me and I figure if they didn't want the comment here - they didn't want the comment here.

But let me tell you that I removed some of the quotes from my post. They are the quotation marks I usually put around the word "black" when I refer to Obama. And I removed them because many people take them the wrong way. As though I am trying to imply that he is posing as something he isn't. I am not doing that. And I refuse to call him mulatto. Look it up and if you have ever used it to describe someone before - stop!

I am actually commenting on the fact that the "one drop rule" is still in effect here in the U.S. and Obama and those like him are still black - no matter what their true ethnic make up.

The girls in the picture are my niece and my daughter. They are both born of people of color. My niece is of a darker hue - but blonde. My daughter is olive skinned but brunette. My daughter has "good" hair. My niece has GREAT hair.

No one will ever guess that my daughter (and forget about my son, my genes didn't even graze him) has black grandparents (no quotes there). She may go through life as I have - alternating between enjoying or suffering from white privilege. This is a relatively new phrase for me. Basically it means that I am a "black" person who can "pass" as a white person and as such can take advantage of the awesome set of amazing stuff that comes from that racial status.

It's possible that my daughter will simply be "white".

But she's not.

Whoa.

What a tangle of race relations.

I have no interest in letting my daughter forget who and what she is. But I also won't force her to integrate other people's form of racism into her world. She has not asked me why her uncle and her grandfather are "brown" (that's a quote from her) she just knows that they are.

No questions asked.

And color is amazing. Check out those little girls. They are cousins.

Color is amazing but has far less power than we tend to give it.

They are just two little girls.

Who love each other.

You can see that in the picture.

They don't notice that one is darker in any way but fact. Someday I hope that is the case with everyone.

I am including a poem I wrote about my personal struggle with this - because I can.

Black Denial - 2004

I am not black.

I say it with a deep sigh that comes up from my soul and escapes on the wind of my breath.

I am not black.

I carry this secret with me
Even though it rings false on the bells of my heart.

I am not black.

To latinos I am them.

Angry and insistent voices tell me

I do indeed speak Spanish.

“Look” they say, “you are like me.”

“si?”

I am not Latina.

Many try to see themselves in me.

Others try harder to find the differences.

I am not black.

Made clear in the exclusions of my youth
that mocked my cries of racism.

I am not black.

Made clearer when refused admittance
based on my skin tone. High yellow what?

The only reverse of racism is acceptance.

I am not white.

Once I wished for the sun kiss that would make that statement unnecessary.

I am not white.

My grandmother’s grandfather bought his freedom in the fields of North Carolina.

My mother sat in the colored section despite her light skin of confusion.

I am not white.

I am so many things that no one but me will understand.


“What are you?” Is the frequent question.

I am what we all are.

I am a human being, spouse, worker, lover, singer, writer, child, sibling, friend.

I am wonderful, beautiful, magical.

I am so much more than a color.


I apologize for my own personal little civil rights movement but for some reason this has been in my mind lately. If you are interested, I would love to hear about how you are handling color and ethnic differences with your children.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Highs and Lows

I may have mentioned this before.

My sister-in-law was bi-polar. Manic Depressive.

In other words she was pretty messed up.

She was sexually abused in her early years and when she confided in her parents, they did nothing. They even continued to talk to the "uncle" that did it.

Did I mention she was pretty messed up?

I shouldn't cast judgments on my in-laws. I wasn't there.

But I do it anyway because I know how I would have reacted and it is nothing like that.

I'm not sure if maybe they didn't believe her - or what - but they didn't even talk about it or get her counseling. My husband found out about it years later and by accident.

She was bi-polar and she was bi-sexual. She had relationships with women and men that looked like women. Or at least were so wimpy there was no way she was a threatened.

And she was brilliant. This amazing personality that floated up high and drug you along on a trail of power and fancy. She played with our dogs on the ground - throwing her whole person - all that she was - into that play.

And she was moody. She once decided that she didn't like the way my husband was treating her (he was being too helpful and considerate) while on vacation with us at my parent's house so she packed up her bags and checked in to a hotel. They didn't speak again for several months.

But more than any of these other things she was my love's big sister. She was his first playmate. She was the one that shared each Christmas memory and giggled with him under the covers.

And she is gone. I am sure you knew that by my use of the past tense but she is dead. Has been for almost seven years.

She took her life away from us a few months after my love and I were married. My wedding was the last time we ever saw her.

And I am so sad for her father - as he celebrated father's day yesterday. And I am so sad for my children - who celebrate her birthday every year but will never get to meet her.

And I am so sad for my husband.

so sad.

A part of him died that day. A large part of his childhood and his innocence.

dead.

And I am so pissed at her for doing that to him.

And I smile as I type that because truly he was (and still is) the only one that seemed to understand why she ended her life.

And he misses her but doesn't ever seem to be angry or have regrets - so what right do I have, really?


This week a friend of mine confided that she had tried to commit suicide five years ago. And I find that this knowledge does not in any way affect the way I feel about her or for her.

I am also so glad she failed.

And that made me think.

That I am not so sure that I am not glad that my Sister-in-law succeeded. I know that sounds weirdly phrased but that's the best I can do, given the emotion.

I cannot imagine what my life would be like if she had survived her attempt. What her life would be like.

So it is not that I wish she had not taken her own life. It is that I wish she had never felt that need, that desire.

And she had tried and failed once before and was humiliated. SO in a way I am glad that her final attempt worked. That she succeeded.

Now her ashes sit in a closed in my in-laws house and her spirit is free.

Maybe she made the best choice she could. Given the circumstances.

Maybe.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Civil Rights

So. Long before the Obama Clinton race became so heated I was asked by a very intelligent man what I thought the effect of a "black" democratic nominee would have on our country.

He may have actually worded it in terms of if he becomes president but I think that his nomination by the party and his endorsement by so many people and states and super delegates is significant enough that I am now giving it some thought.

He prodded me when he originally asked the question but I hadn't considered the answer and discovered that I refused to until I had reason. Maybe I am more hopeless than I thought but I didn't even want to consider the changes until there was in fact a possibility for change. And part of my wondered what the hell he was talking about.

So here is what I think:
Racist white people probably won't change because their national leader is half black. They will either comfort themselves with his half whiteness, wait patiently until the negro leaves office or the more extremists may conspire against him. Any direction they choose, will not matter. There will be no amazing uplifting of the identity of racist white America because of a black president.

That's not where the change will happen.

I work with a 60 year old black woman. She reminds me a great deal of my grandmother at that age. She has a sharp sense of humor but she is a quiet unassuming woman.

I came in several times this spring asking her what she thought about "our boy". Her initial reaction amazed me. She was 100% sure that there was no way a black man would get the nomination. She was not bitter or angry in her assertion - just confident. She was certain that there was no way a black man could win.

And she is not alone. Such is the way of much of black society.

I live in a town that is not particularly racist. I also live in a town that does not have much of a racial mix. That makes it easier I think. And I understand what Biden meant when he said that Barak Obama was well spoken and appealing to white culture. He is a very "white acting" black man. And please do not rail against me for the statement. I could have spent a great deal of time making it a prettier statement, a much less charged statement. I chose not to. Barak Obama fits in. To white culture. And it seems, to black culture. He knows the secret hand shakes and can gain entry.

And that is I think what will change the face of race relations in America. For centuries now the black mentality has been that of oppression. The civil rights movement stopped moving but the race divide widens in most cities everyday.

The bad section of almost every major metropolitan city is also a dark section. And yes we have black attorneys and doctors and teachers and anything else they choose to be. But true equality is still elusive.

I see hope for this when I see Barak Obama. I hope he will win the presidency. I would love for the face of America to not require sunscreen for a while. And I would love for our president to know what soul food is.

This is a man of our future. This is the face that young black men and women will look to to see where their bar has been set. A black president will mean that a black man can in fact do anything. Achieve any goal.

And I worry now that he has the nomination that his defeat by an old old white man might mean that folks will assume that that is what happens to the black man.

But this is huge! And I hope we can hold on to the import of just this moment. This accomplishment.

And retain the hope.

Monday, June 09, 2008

What I learned today...

1. I don't know how to read a pregnancy test
2. I am not pregnant
3. I wouldn't be upset if I was pregnant
4. I would definitely like to have a third child (today anyway)

5. My husband is not ready

and

6. He may never be

Hmmmm. That's a lot for one day.

I'm going to bed.

With my husband. After kissing my little ones good night.

It was a good day.

And next time, I will read the package - BEFORE I pee on the stick...

My love asked my why I am so sure that I want a third child now, after the miscarriage, when I was not so sure before we got pregnant.

I had to think about it and I think that miscarrying before you have an infant is very different than when you have other children. I am not saying one is harder than the other - I have no idea and I don't think in my heart that is true - just different.

I know what I lost. I know the love I feel for my children and for one day my heart stretched to accomodate that next little princess or practically perfect little boy. And now I have stretch marks and a little empty space that wasn't there before.

My life feels a little empty. Just a tiny spot of empty.

But infants are tiny.

And they are the entire world.