Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's turning out to be one of those days....

Why is it that there are days and days that can go by and I feel like a completely "normal" person - that is, I don't feel the weight of grief pressing down on me - and I can go about my day doing "normal" things - going to work, coming home, making dinner, doing laundry - doing the things that mommies do...

And then all of a sudden, out of the blue, one of those days happens along, and all I want to do is curl up, miss my mom, miss my dad, and cry.

All of a sudden this afternoon, while sitting at my desk and trying to finish a proposal, I was hit with an enormous wave of grief - panic - dread. Perhaps it's the impending trip west to see my mom. Perhaps it's the summer storm that blackened the sky. Who knows. All I know is it's here. And it's not going away.

I should be happy and excited to be going 'home' to see my mom. And I am. At least part of me is. Truth be told, another part of me is dreading it. I want to see my mommy, to hold her hand, to touch her hair, to tell her I love her. I do NOT want to see her hunched over in her wheelchair, drooling, and trying to communicate but not making any sense. I don't want to feel the uneven ridges in her skull when I kiss her head - where bones are missing from her surgery. I want to hug her and tell her all about everything . I want to have one of our marathon coffee-talks where we pour our hearts out.

What I want I can't have. I probably can't have again. I'm looking forward to seeing my mom. I'm terrified to see my mom. And I'm even more terrified that makes me a bad person because I'm frightened to see her like she is.....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Movin' on Up....

So the discussion continues between D and I - should we or should we not move to Seattle. What precipitated the conversation coming up again this time? The ongoing stress and guilt of being 3,000 miles away from my mom who is struggling for her life and fighting with everything she has to regain some semblance of her life.

I laid it on the line again for D, gave him all the reasons why we should move - not only because of my mom and her health issues - but also for better schools for the kids, better climate (for me), way better job opportunities for D (and getting him out of the job he isn't too thrilled about.) I told him that we keep debating and analyzing this to death - and its ridiculous. If we're going to do it - we need to just do it.

Yes, it will be a pain to pack everything we own and move it across the country. Yes, it will be a pain to list and sell our house. Yes, it will be a pain to completely disrupt our lives and start anew.

Worth it? Yes. Are we ready for it? I hope so.

I need to be there. I need to be away from here. I need to be with my children (which moving would basically allow me to do - it would take some time for me to establish a job and childcare that I trust). I need to be closer to my family.

What about D's needs? I think he needs to get out of here too - only he can't see it yet. I wonder if the only way he'll be convinced is to just do it.

We'll see - the conversation is out there again - I've started looking for homes and communities again - D is looking at firms out there again - time to get the ball rolling.....

Mermaids Don't Wear Clothes??

As a working mom - I dread seeing the Children's Center number pop up on the caller-id on my phone. It's usually either someone fell down and is bleeding, has been bitten, thrown up, or done something terribly wrong.

I answered the phone Friday morning to Ms. N - one of A's teachers - and could tell from the hesitation in her voice that something had happened - that A had to tell me about. Now, A has been having a hard time at school lately - mostly being a cantankerous three year old - so I could only imagine what she had done or what she had said. She gets on the phone to tell me that she is in big trouble. Apparently during Friday morning water play (when the kiddies get to run around in their bathing suits and get wet in a variety of sprinklers) she and four of her friends decided to play mermaid. Apparently these mermaids do not wear clothes. So she and all of her friends stripped themselves of their wet bathing suits, and danced around in a little circle, sort of hiding themselves from their teachers underneath the big playground set.

Not so well hidden though - one teacher described it that she looked over to the playground and saw a row of five naked behinds.


At the age of three she's already an exhibitionist....

We explained to her that it is NOT okay to take your clothes off - only when you are taking a bath. Got it?!? Yes mommy.

We'll see. I'm still holding my breath every time my phone rings....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Music and Prayers

I recently added some music to this blog - songs that make me think of good times, happy times, sad times, hopeful times. Just a short list (for now.) One song in particular, makes me think of a very special person who I've only gotten to know through the virtual world of blogland.

A while back, msfitzita did a slide show to music, "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow" to be exact, that showed her love for her beloved and their dear, precious son Thomas, who was only with them for a short 20 hours after his birth. I added this song to my list because it reminds me of her, of her love for her husband, and her son. This song gives me hope - of happier times and sweet lemon drops - somewhere, over the rainbow.

Kristin, you are in my thoughts as you navigate what can only be a stormy sea - and I wish in some small way I could erase what has plagued you for so long. I dedicate this song and the hope it gives to you. I hope in some small way it helps to know that I remember Thomas, his life, and am praying for you and your beloved.

All you blogreaders out there - if you can, take a moment and pray for this little family.

Turns out you can't have your cake and eat it too...

As I sit here typing this blog, my heart and my thoughts keep drifting to my children. Long before D and I ever embarked on what turned out to be a long and harrowing journey to have children, we decided that I would be a mommy who worked outside of the home. Scratch that - I decided I'd be a mommy who worked and kept my career.

My mom did it. She managed to be a successful nurse while raising my brother and I. She somehow finagled to have a part time job with hours where she could drop us at school in the morning and be there to pick us up when it was over. She was able to chauffer me to ballet lessons, brother to soccer and scouts, and all the while seemed to have it all under control. I don't recall eating out much - dinner was always ready and on the table at 6 pm - and we always ate together as a family.

Many a day goes by when I wonder how in the heck she did it all. I love my job (most of the time.) I worked really hard to get here - two degrees, a lot of research, and I paid my dues working for 10 years for the state environmental agency at a lousy paying job so I would get loads of experience.

But I also love my children. Some days, I admit, I look forward to that drive to daycare when I can drop the kids off - telling myself that they are at preschool not daycare and that they are learning more from trained professionals than I could ever teach them.

But lately, I have come to dread the morning rush and the daily drop off at daycare. At 15 months, J is entering into separation anxiety - and it breaks my heart to see him cry every day when I leave. A has been acting out (typical three-year old stuff) but when I ask her why she's being such a pill the answer is 'because I miss you mommy.' She's been very clingy as well lately.

There are more days than not that I find myself daydreaming about what it would be like to be a stay-at-home-mom. I always said I'd lose my mind if I was around little people all day with no interaction with adults. I always said I worked hard to get where I am so that I could be in inspiration to my daughter.

But you know what? I miss my kids. I feel like I'm missing out on their lives. I'm seeing them grow up and learn things and I'm not a part of that. Sure, I can ask them what they did, or how their day was - but I'm not a part of the painting or the sno-cone making or the learning the alphabet. I get two, maybe three hours with them each evening during the work week - and a majority of that time is spent rushing them to the house, trying to keep them happy while I get dinner on the table, cleaning up after dinner, and finally - spending a few moments with them after their bath that Daddy gives them before bed.

And after it is all said and done - it turns out you can't have your cake and eat it too....

So should I just quit work? Perhaps. But we're not in a financial situation where I can just do that. We have a beautiful home that I love - that we bought on a two salary income. Should we decide for me to stay home - well that would entail selling the house, buying a smaller one (which is certainly okay) but with the housing market these days - not an easy task.

I miss my kids. I wish I could talk to my mom about this - I know she'd have some worldy advise that would make it all seem okay.

I miss my mommy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

3 1/2 year old temper tantrums and separation anxiety

Why is it that little children know exactly how to pull those tender heart strings of mommies everywhere? How is it that a 3 1/2 year old little girl can completely dissolve me by crying into the phone "mommy I hit my friend EG because I MISS YOU much!" How is it that a 15 month old little boy can completely derail my entire day by running to the door of his daycare room - splaying his little hands across the windows and staring at me - sobbing - as I try to leave for work? (Only to see him happily playing away 5 minutes later when I sneak back to check in on him?)

My kids have me completely wrapped around their little fingers.... but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day Daddy. This is my third Fathers Day without you. I miss you.

I'd always heard that a little girl's heart always belongs to her daddy first - and I know now how true that statement is. My heart will always belong to you.

I hope you are smiling down on the little family I've created, loving your granddaughter (who prays for you every night) and your grandson - who is so much like you with his wide smiles and love for laughter.

I miss you and I love you. I can't seem to say that enough!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sliding Doors

Do any of you remember the movie "Sliding Doors?" It came out sometime in 1998, starring Gwenyth Paltrow and some cutie Scottish guy. I was living in Glasgow at the time, and remember viewing it with some friends who I no longer know.

I love that movie - sure it is kinda cheesy and silly - but the basic premise of the film is how one person's life can change in a split second - the story of two paths a woman's life takes if she 1) hurries and makes the train before it departs from the station or 2) doesn't quite make it in time.

I admit, sometimes I play that 'what if' game. Not that I want my life to change, but I wonder who I would be, or where I would be if I had made different choices. Had I decided to push for my phd, would I have returned to Scotland to complete it? Would I have ever found love? Would I have slowed down enough to realize the burning desire to have children that was deep within me (that I honestly never knew existed until I met the right man?)

This weekend was a good reminder that I made the right choices. A very dear friend from college was in town (well, sort of in town - we met her at the Isle of Palms.) She flew down for the weekend to hear a band play. To hear a band play. She is currently an attorney, working for a big important firm in New York, living in her own apartment in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Her life is fast paced, exciting, and she travels internationally. She is able to get on a plane and scoot down the coast for a weekend, with no worries about hauling around pack-and-plays, diapers, or sippy cups.

Listening to her talk about her life, I felt a tiny twinge of envy - I wanted that life; about a million years ago. Back when we were all DG sisters living in our sorority section (because Whitman was so tiny we didn't have sorority houses), we fanatasized about our lives to come. She and I talked for hours about our careers and the exciting places they would take us.

She went on to do the things she said she would. She became that powerful attorney. She has that apartment in Manhattan. She has that jet set life. You go girl!

At the end of the weekend visit, as we were driving home on boring I-26, I turned around to look at A, who was absorbed in watching Cinderella and absently twirling her hair while grinning as the mice fixed Cinderelly's dress, and at J who was stuffing his face full of Pringles and getting more crumbs in his carseat than anywhere else - and then to D, who was concentrating on the road in front of him, like any good, strong, husband/daddy should, and I was content. I realized at that moment that I chose this life - this life full of diapers and sippy cups and crumbs - and I love it.

I'm happy and so very blessed that I get to come home to these three beautiful souls each and every day. So yes, it was good to see my dear friend, to see her vibrant life, to see her successes, and to realize my own.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


It's been a few days since I've been able to blog. Tuesday night we were robbed - right out of our own garage. Yes, we forgot to close the garage door. Yes, we left our vehicles unlocked. Yes, I left my pocketbook and laptop and digital camera and cell phone in the car. But I don't think that means we invited someone to enter our home and steal from us.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity - from dealing with the Richland County police, to closing out our checking account and reopening a new one, to getting a new drivers license, to calling security at my work to report stolen laptop and cell phone, to dealing with our bank and the police again as 'someone' tried to cash a check for $650 and the bank called to verify that I had indeed written the check. Uh - NO - isn't there a big red flag on our account that we just spent two hours closing and re-opening - that we just CLOSED that check's shouldn't draw from??? The super intelligent teller instructed the man to go back to the person who wrote the check to get his payment - and did not call the police to report him. WE had to call.

Now it's a mess - dealing with the City police, County police and the bank. I think the most frustrating aspect is that everyone seems to be so laid back about it - and are treating this just like any other bad check problem. HELLO!!! This was a ROBBERY! Someone came into our home when our family was sleeping, stole from us, and are now trying to reap additional benefits! Who knows how many other bad checks this person has been writing all over town - and given our crazy bank - who knows if they have authorized them.

More importantly is the ongoing creepy-crawly feeling I have being at home. Someone was in our home. There was nothing to stop that person or persons from coming up the stairs and into our kitchen/den - or worse - up the next flight into our bedrooms where our sleeping children lay. Sure I don't like that things were taken - but the possiblity that one of us could have been harmed - well that just freaks me out.

We've tried to make sense of this to A - who just couldn't understand why we had such a delay in going to school Wednesday morning. Who didn't know why the police were at our house. D tried to explain about the 'bad people' that came while we were sleeping and stole things from us. When everything was said and done and we were on the way to drop the kids off at daycare so we could attend to banking and identity and police issues - little A tried to rationalize it to herself.

A - the bad people didn't come upstairs, right?

Me - yes, sweetie - that is right.

A - the bad people didn't steal any of my toys, right?

Me - yes, that is right.


A - where did the police go?

Me - to help someone else, that is what the police do.

A - why did they come to our house?

Me - because we had to write a report to help the police find the bad people so they can be punished.

A - punished?

Me - yes, you know how when you do something bad that you have to be punished and go to time out?

A - yes.

Me - well, the police punish people - they put them in time out - it's called jail.

A - ooohhh. (as if she really gets all this)


A - I think the bad people were wearing white panties.


Thus ended another converstaion with a three year old ......

Monday, June 2, 2008

The recap...

So the 80's theme reunion wasn't all bad - I had a chance to catch up with some of the other 'wives' that I haven't seen in a long time, and that was very nice. It's funny how well we get along - even though we never get a chance to see eachother. The 'husbands' were best buddies all through high-school (actually grade and middle school too, if you want to be techincally correct). I suppose the traits that made them all friends carried through to the women they chose to marry - as we all get along well - I wish we all lived closer so we could have a chance to visit more... although honestly I'm not sure that geography would matter all that much - we have some very dear friends that we never get to see that live right around the corner (literally). Between naps, kids being sick, time commitments, work - its hard to get together with grown ups.

I do think we need to work on that a bit more - spending time with people whose idea of a good time entails more than a full cup of apple juice, a Disney Princess flick, or a kiddie pool full of cold water and leaves.

It was a good weekend - spent mostly around the house - kids playing in the backyard, D grilling on the Weber - I did get to visit my fav. children's store here in town (that is sadly going out of business) and stocked up on some clothes for the kids. And, we actually made it to church on Sunday (but that probably had more to do with the summer schedule starting and the service beginning at 10am rather than 9.)

Favorite moments from the weekend (in no particular order):

1. Letting A stir the brownie batter without stopping her or trying to make sure it all mixed in. (so what that there were unmixed clumps in the baked and cooled brownies)
2. Watching A lick her vanilla ice cream cone - then handing it to Daddy to eat the ice cream out so she could eat the cone.
3. Watching J lick Daddy's ice cream cone - then shuddering from the cold - and seeing him try to decide if the flavor was worth the chill (he doesn't like cold things.)
4. "Going to church" - A's answer to the question we ask her every evening - what was your favorite thing about today.
5. Naps (A, J, and mommy all took a 2 hour nap on Sunday!)
6. Seeing A learn geography with the puzzle of the US she pulled out of the basement.
7. "What's that for?" the endless barrage of questions A asked while sitting on my bathroom counter watching me put on make-up. (trying to explain oil.of.olay anti-wrinkle cream to a three-year old was particularly hysterical.)
8. "J has hair like grand-pa" - A's realization that mommy's wetting down and brushing to the side of J's fine baby hair to try and tame it strongly resembled his grandpa J's comb-over.
9. Seeing old friends at the dreaded reunion.
10. Hearing my mom's voice for the first time in over a year as she works to regain her speech - priceless.