Friday, February 27, 2009

5 year olds

I think I could be a pre-K teacher and just love it. Well, maybe not, but my point is I just love that 4-5 age range. So fun! They're intellectually curious but still will play pretend at the drop of a hat. And they're old enough to express their own logic, and it's so quirky.

A 5 year old asked me today, as she was hanging on my back, if i was still a kid. She said this with such an honest curiosity. Here's the conversation:

Her: Are you a kid?
Me: No, not anymore.
Her: Really?
Me: Yes, I'm an adult now.
Her: Are you married?
Me: No, not yet.
Her: Oh, you ARE a kid.

I never expected to hear nostalgia from such a young child. But we were looking through scrapbooks and every once in a while she'd wistfully say "that was such a great day" or "good memories (sigh)".

And if anyone reading this is in doubt of the effectiveness of play therapy, here you go. We were playing with her dollhouse and I was the mommy and she was the daughter. She said we were going on a trip so we left the house and landed near the window. Her doll says Mommy, do you have a minute? Sure. Can we talk over here on this bench? Yes, what would you like to talk about? Can you tell me what cancer is?

One other thing I like about kids this age is their lack of censors. In the middle of a sentence, she says: "Hold on a minute, I gotta go poop. You can play with my toys until I get back."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

marriage advice

I am posting yet again because I'm waiting for Gabe to come home so we can get to the gym. It's 8:30 and I'm starting to think that perhaps this resolution will have to begin tomorrow.

This morning I co-facilitated a wonderful group - it was around issues of aging and there was a group of 10 or so ladies who were in their 70s or 80s I'd say. We did some guided imagery and art and everyone was so creative and just wonderful. Near the end we read a quote by Madeleine L'Engle: "The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been." We went through different ages: 5, 10, 20, 30, etc. and people reminisced. At "30" I noticed everyone in the room smile. They all said it was a great time - you are older and know yourself better, but are still young. A few called it the best age. I suddenly felt so blessed by these women, somehow. They gave me such appreciation for this time in my life. I often feel so overwhelmed with work and finances and making a nice home and marriage planning, etc. And it was this moment of awareness that this time is one of great transformation but it is exciting and special and not a burden. Thanks old ladies! I hope I gave them something in return.

Oh, and the title of the post. We drew an image of 'peace' and I made an image of a peaceful wedding as an antidote to my anxieties about it. I shared it with the group, and one lady said, "Oh, you're getting married? I have one piece of advice for you, and the only one you need to know: just keep your mouth shut at all times, and you'll be fine."

Hmm..... that would be impossible. Plus Gabe has dealt with a fair share of my sometimes mouthy opinionated self and he seems okay. But note that she has been married over 60 years!

Check out the belly!

Here's my sister Kim and baby Niko (not quite pictured). He's expected on or around April 10th. We're so excited to meet him!!! I want to buy every baby book, soft blanket and stuffed animal I see and I know I'm not the only one. Oh, and the clothes! Irresistably cute. I hadn't realized til recently exactly how big the baby market is. I have an idea for a baby store in my mind... filed under 'post-recession business ideas'.

Niko is the pioneer of this generation (at least on my dad's side) and I'm excited to think that at some point he'll be joined by others. It's very interesting as a family, to be moving from the youngest generation to the middle-ish. I think of our Easter egg hunts when we were little - I see the pictures of it, and have this surreal feeling when I think of sisters and cousins as the mothers. It's also interesting how my generation has all scattered around the country - I'm curious to see how time and babies reconfigure the landscape.

Farewell Dunkin' Donuts

Today I had my last cup of medium hot blueberry coffee, cream, one sugar, please. I don't remember exactly when this bad habit started. I always drank tea, but then I got a job where I lived in my car and was always tired. Dunkin Donuts is on every. single. corner around here. I like blueberries and cream. Then suddenly I'm there every morning... I am not a morning person so never get up early enough to cook myself breakfast and make tea..I guess it was just easier this way.

But I HATE Dunkin Donuts with a passion. They never get my order right, it's priced differently every day for no apparent reason, they are unfriendly and the coffee and bagels aren't really that good. Oh, and they don't put butter on the bagel, so by the time you get a chance to do it the bagels are cold and the rock hard butter doesn't spread. IF they give you butter - often it's this weird, oily 'spread'. And they don't own mayo at most of them, and if they do they ALWAYS forget to give it to you if you ask politely.

I thought I was the only one with this love-mostly hate relationship, but then Gabe and I went to a comedy show by this local guy. He claims there's crack in the coffee because he doesn't like it but goes all the time. He also poked fun at the notoriously apathetic staff: Welcome to Dunkin Donuts - what the f***?

So today I'm joining a gym. I am motivated by many things... I want to do justice to my beautiful wedding dress. I have gained fifteen pounds or so this past year (which may not sound like a lot but I've never been able to break 100 pounds my whole life, so percentage-wise, it's significant). I have been much more moody, depressed and tired this past year. That is probably due to lots of things but I'm sure my lack of exercise is a huge contributing factor. In general I feel lethargic and unhealthy - and I'm 31! This seems a bad path to be on. The other thing in the back of my mind is that I plan on getting pregnant within a year and I don't want to go into that process feeling terrible. I also don't want to try to start getting healthy again once I am pregnant - that's just silly. I have gotten past the 'I don't have time to join a gym' thing, and then I was up against the more realistic 'I don't have extra money to join a gym' thing. But it occured to me that somehow I was funding my bad Dunkin Donuts habit. If I give that up I can pay for the monthly dues. Plus work gives me a $20/month reimbursement if I go 12 times a month, so part of my internal negotiation is that I'll make it there at least that many times.

The gym itself is AMAZING since it's brand new. It's 5 mins. away with easy parking, on 3 floors, and has a sauna and swimming pool and lots of mind-body classes. Gabe belongs to the same gym (different location) and is tweaking his membership so that he can go to this gym as well. So I know I have an awesome workout buddy :) We'll help each other get our fat asses in shape and we're going to look awesome for our beach honeymoon!

The ironic thing is that a few years ago I was teaching at this chain of gyms. Now I'm wondering if I can make it ten minutes on the treadmill - wish me luck!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wedding Dress!

Today I went to the Running of the Brides and felt very Bostonian. It's the traditional biannual sale at Filene's basement, but was actually held at Hynes Convention Center this year. It's a crazy stampede of engaged women and their 'teams' - here's pictures/video:

We went after the chaos and it was a smart choice - there were thousands of dresses and very little crowd. My mom came up from NJ and Anne (Gabe's mom) joined us. We were there six hours and I tried on many, many, many dresses. I liked two particular dresses that were not my expected style - they were huge ball gown type Cinderella dresses. One was champagne colored with intricate beading and it fit so beautifully. The other was a light sage/aqua (sounds weird, but it was gorgeous) with ivory, heavier lace all over - somewhat vintage, Victorian garden looking. They were both stunning. But I thought it would dictate a more traditional wedding as opposed to the more casual affair we're going for. I also couldn't embody the Cinderella-princess thing completely - it felt too much like dress up. I also want to be able to dance with Gabriel and not have hoops of tulle in the way. And when I asked a stranger's opinion on the 40-pound lace dress and she replied 'oh my god, that's hilarious!'...well, that might not be a good sign.

So I found another gorgeous one that makes me feel like Alysa on my wedding day. It's beautiful and I wish I could reveal some details, but I'm not going to! You'll have pictures in 5-6 months!

The dress ended up being something like 85% off the original price - woo hoo! All of the dresses were awesome bargains, and so many beautiful ones. It's an interesting feeling to have it, because it's the first concrete part of wedding planning we've managed. Hopefully the other pieces will fall into place just as easily.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

more dreams

Have you seen this video of something falling through the sky in Texas?

At first they thought it was some debris from the recent satellite crash. But then that was ruled out by NASA. The FAA doesn't have any information. I watched that and thought.. this is how all those sci-fi alien apocalyptic movies begin. I didn't think much of it, but then I had a dream that I could not sleep. Before dawn I went out for a walk. I had a great idea to see the sunrise on a hill. Many others had the same idea. Then suddenly from behind us a giant meteor-type light flies across the sky and blows up on the horizon. But from the light you could tell it was a laser-bomb type thing and not a natural phenomena. Wow! Everyone thought. That's crazy. But then to our horror some laser-bomb-light bursts from the horizon towards us, and we all start running for our lives.

The next night I dreamed it was my wedding day. I had let someone do all the planning and it was a disaster. There were so many people and it was in a big school cafeteria type place. I was anxious the whole time because people were doting on my gown and my make-up and where to stand and what was blue, and I found myself realizing that I hadn't prepared my vows - I didn't know what to say yet. And it was so noisy and crowded that I couldn't think.

Well, I don't need a dream analyst for these. Just wanted to give you an example of my usual, transparent anxiety dreams :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Return of the the Twins

I have a pretty close relationship with my dreams. It's rare to not remember at least one dream a night, and usually I can see how I'm processing something through them or it's something from my recent past being subconsciously regurgitated. But there are some dreams that just arrive and make me pay attention, because on some level they feel separate from me.

For the past while I've been dreaming of twins. For a few months they were very frequent, but more vague. Now they are a bit more far apart (about once a month) but clearer. It started out as a vague series of dreams that I was pregnant and just knew they were twins somehow. And then I was getting ultrasounds and saw the woman's surprise at the two. Two times ago I dreamed I already had two twin boys, and they were in those twin stroller things in the kitchen and Gabe was there with them. And then last night, dreaming, I was in labor. I was in the hospital and we had a baby boy. They told me the next one was a girl but she'd be arriving the next day (ummm...I told you this was a dream). The feeling of this dream was mostly anxiety because we didn't have a name picked out for a boy. (In real life Gabe and I can think of lots of girl names but have no boy names at all.) So I told him we only have a day to pick this out. So this morning I woke up and told Gabe the dream, and said the name we chose was Caleb. He said hmm.. that's a nice name. I like it too. And it's weird because I don't know any Calebs...haven't seen any in the news that I'm aware...I know the name so must have heard it somewhere, but I can't tell you the last time. I thought perhaps it was symbolic so looked up the meaning (bold, faithful, with heart, dog). I thought the whole twin thing might be symbolic but try as I might I'm just not getting the message if there is one. Perhaps it's due (ha!) to my sister's pregnancy, or an impending marriage (twinship?), or a premonition... if anyone has insight let me know. Is there a Caleb in my family I'm not fully aware of?

Anyway. I had a very restorative half hour or so yesterday. The day before I cleaned the kitchen and it was REALLY clean - love that. Gabe had taken out the trash and left the side door open (so the heavy door was open, and a thinner glass/metal door was closed). He had also wonderfully gone food shopping before I woke up that day. I took out the fresh, perfect strawberries and blueberries he had gotten and made awesome muffins. These berries, in combination with the sunlight, gave a perfect illusion of early summer. It just made everything slow down and I felt so happy for no reason. (This is not usually my normal february-boston self.)

Today I am feeling really disappointed, surprisingly. We are having layoffs at work on Friday and I got a strong hint that I'll be staying. I know I should be thankful for this. But part of me was craving the sudden liberation of the ending of endless projects, and the impetus for a new, unknown life. Gabe also mentioned that he'd probably have to get a job-job if i got laid off, and that it may as well be in California, so I feel once again that the 'go west' door has been shut. Again. GRRR....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, almost. I realized today that I don't remember any Valentine's Days. I suppose it's not a particularly special day for me (or my memory is worse than I thought). Even this year, it's my first V-Day with my fiance but we have no plans. It seems silly to make a big production out of our love, or to try to be romantic. I feel very blessed that my days are full of love and romance.

We might go get Indian food and a movie, though. That's what we did for Christmas. Seems to be our go-to plan. I briefly thought of asking Gabe to elope with me this weekend, to avoid the hassle and budget of wedding plans. But there's something essential in the witnessing of others that keeps me from going through with it.

Anyway, I hope you all have a special-in-some-way Saturday. And Gabriel, thank you for your ridiculous amounts of everyday romance.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

i'm totally vindicated on the barbie thing...

What weird timing. So I wrote Tuesday about my issues with Barbie, and then on NPR today Tom Ashbrook had a show about the lady who invented Barbie. She based it on a German sex toy. Thereby proving my theory that this is totally inappropriate for children :)

Speaking of hypersexualization of the body for children..... one of my co-workers was telling me how her nephew, 3, is fascinated by her boobs. This is because (1) they're very big and (2) his mother refuses to name any of the 'private parts' on a man or a woman. They apparently just don't exist. So of course this boy is confused and trying all the time to figure out what these two lumps are all about, embarrassing the mom. Finally my co-worker auntie breaks it down and explains they are breasts, and a private part on a lady. Oh, ok - hasn't mentioned it since.

I have no big social commentary here, it just all seems a bit odd.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Well, that little girl's dad died recently (see last post). I saw her a couple hours after it happened, and got another big hug, a guess what, and then she told me that her dad went to heaven. She laid on his empty hospital bed and told me she missed him. Then she looked at the nightstand and gasped. "His glasses! He forgot his glasses!" She looked pensive, then asked me if he could see in heaven. It's so interesting to see children's reactions to death... a friend of hers (five or six years old) came skipping in the room and said "Hey, where's your dad?".... "Oh, he's at heaven today"... "Yeah, I knew that already, my mom told me...let's play Dora".

Speaking of Dora, I visit a lot of little girls and am a bit alarmed at their toys. I don't have kids *disclaimer* so this is philosophy and not practice. I'm guessing I won't be so uptight when the time comes. But I have spent a good amount of time on the Barbie website (holy crap - when did kindegarteners master the Internet??) and it's full of fashion and shopping and sleepovers and everything is pink and popular. In general girlie games are mindless, the dolls wear nearly nothing and everything seems so superficial. Roughly 80% of everything is princesses - and don't even get me started on that. I am sure there are plenty of things that encourage deeper thinking and social skills and emotional intelligence, but why do people have to sort through piles of crap to find it? It's just disturbing to me. (I am hereby doomed to have a daughter that wants to dress like a princess everyday and make fashion runways in the house.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentimes Day

I'm working with a little 5 year old girl whose daddy is dying. She greets me with an exuberant hug, grabs my hand and leads to me to the table where she is filling out 'valentimes day cards' for her school friends. She looks at me like she's got a secret and says 'guess what?'. I ask what. "My daddy is going to heaven soon." Oh. She tells me it's ok, because one day she'll see him again. I ask what will be different when her dad dies. She thinks hard and says earnestly, "Well, mommy will be taking care of me then. That's different, right?". Yes, that is different. I ask her what she misses doing with her dad now that he's sick. She tells me a string of beautiful memories and I say a little prayer that she'll remember them.

I help her create a picture of heaven and she makes a cutout angel of herself. After that, we get down to business - Valentimes Day cards. This is serious. She decides which card each person will love, and I help her by reading out the letters in each person's name. After, she holds it up, smiling, and announces 'they are gonna LOVE this card'.

Holding the cards, I remembered elementary school valentine's day cards and all the classroom dynamics and crushes and cupcakes that went with every celebration. And then I wondered at my fifth-grade self, who communicated with others by house telephones and never once said the words email or blog or ipod. I miss sending real cards.


I finally went to the doctor today and apparently I have an issue with my lacrimal duct due to allergies. My allergies are probably worse due to being cooped up in the house and possibly our new heating system... and Daphne's preferred sleeping area. My left nostril is also bloody and swollen, to go along with my broken left eye. She prescribed me the most expensive eyedrops known to mankind, and Daphne is ordered off my pillow - cat dander is one of the most insidious allergens, since the molecules are so small (learned that today). I don't know how to break the news to her.

After the doctor I went to Whole Foods for two hours. I only got 2 1/2 bags of food. Supermarkets (good ones) put me in a trance. It's almost a meditation practice for me because I am so present to everything. It's one of the rare times my mind stops its worries and deliberations and fantasies. I can concentrate on the vegetables I've never eaten, the color of oranges, the endless combinations that could be tonight's dinner. The steadiness of my footfalls, the squeak of the cart. The comraderie of two women searching for the perfect potatoes. I lose myself, in the best of ways.

This didn't strike me as odd until I said it out loud a few weeks ago. I didn't even articulate it well for myself before then. Perhaps it has something to do with my lineage :) My mom worked in a supermarket until her second life as a therapist. And my dad worked in a supermarket his entire working life until 4 days ago when he retired for his new life in South Carolina. Mind you, I don't need to work there. I'm just happy to roam the halls a few times a week and imagine possibilities.

Addendum: Maybe I lied a bit about being fully present. Because sometimes I do imagine myself not in Boston, but somewhere in northern California where you can grow things ALL YEAR. And I would be at a farmer's market getting things that have come off a farm that day. It's sunny and I feel totally confident about my culinary prowess and I find the best things to come home with, and make my family an awesome meal. With herbs from my own garden :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

food and sex

I mistakenly looked at an article on what makes a good blog, and now I have a blog esteem issue. Apparently it is missing many elements. In any case, I browsed some of the 'best blogs' and this one caught my eye: Cook to Bang. Besides the catchy theme, it looks like it has some good recipes and lots of pictures. Enjoy!

pirate wedding theme

No, I'm not that tacky...but we may inadvertently have a pirate wedding. I have woken up with a very swollen left eye about five times in the past couple months. It was easy enough to brush off the first few times but this can't go on. It usually lasts two or three days and I obviously can't meet patients looking like a freak show. I tried going to the doctor once but by the time my appt. came around it looked fine. Part of my denial about this is because I am apparently very allergic to everything, including cats. Daphne sleep right next to my face, and Ookie at my legs. I don't think this set up is going to change, because they wouldn't approve and I'd miss them.

Why the left eye? My only guess is that I most likely sleep on my left side. I use allergen-free laundry stuff. The other piece of the puzzle is that my only time to the ER was two years ago when my left eye suddenly swelled up horrifically - the white part of the eye ballooned up. Scared the crap out of me.

So I'm a bit mystified and if anyone has any ideas please let me know. I did allergy testing a while back and am allergic to everything they tested for, so I guess it might be time to do the medication route, though I'd prefer not to.

So anyway, I had to call out of work on a planned busy day, and spent my time curled up in the electric blanket looking at wedding stuff online. I did get some level of motivation later and cleaned the house.

Oh, I forgot to explain the heading. So I woke up this morning with my eye all weird and I said to Gabe what happens if I wake up on my wedding day and my eye is swollen shut. We said I could wear an eye patch and berate the guests for not following the pirate theme!

Monday, February 2, 2009

gustav klimt

I added a gustav klimt gadget to the right and below. It may be temporary, I'll see how annoying it may be. But i have been in a romantic mood so it seemed fitting.

Nothing too much going on... Monday was a bit draining. I probably should not have scheduled back to back little ones with big losses. I should probably not be up after midnight. I'm watching stand-up: "I don't know much about babies. I know two things: don't shake 'em, and don't feed them chocolate. And I think the second one is for dogs."

Sweet dreams!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

wedding preview

I had a big drawing pad lying out in the living room today, and Gabe crouched down and starting drawing something. I thought he was drawing Ookie, who was lying on the paper. But later I saw this.

oh...that's where i left it...

I couldn't find my scarf all morning (last week) - this is what I saw when I left work and went out to my car.


I guess that was a short hiatus. I've gotten through it less by way of forgiveness, and more by a short attention span recently. Also a good dose of perspective.

Right now Gabe and I are playing Scrabble, and he's taking a long time on this turn so thought I'd blog. I kick ass in Scrabble. It's one of those rare things that I feel supremely confident about. We're watching The Office and eating chocolate chip cookies that he made all by himself - this is the first time he remembers making cookies so it was very special. (I told him last week that one of my fantasies is that I come home and he's baked cookies for me.) He also made super awesome sangria. We realized tonight we haven't left the house since Friday night - we've just been eating, drinking and wedding planning. I think we have a clearer idea of our vision.... it's just that the choices are so overwhelming. I think we're leaning towards September or October this year. Gabe was all about May or June "I can't wait til you're my wife!" but since many have to travel this feels a bit soon. I guess it is very soon, though it's difficult to imagine it being warm out.

I think I need to add a visitor counter or something to this blog, because it feels a bit like I'm talking in a vacuum. Oh my goodness. The weather just came on the news - it was in the 40s today! Shoot - should have gotten outside. Ok, I just won the game: 373 to 272.

My sister is having her baby boy in a little over two months now. She tells me she'll send a belly pic soon, so I'll post it with her permission. Gabe and I are doing some family planning of our own, but more on that when the time comes... I had a weird experience with a patient the other day. She has very advanced dementia, and doesn't speak coherently at all. I was sitting with her and holding her hand as we listened to someone play piano. I was spacing out and imagining Kim and how big her belly was, and then I tried imagining what that must feel like to have a baby squirming around inside you. Right then my patient squeezed my hand and said very clearly: "How is your baby?" Chills.


Related Posts with Thumbnails