Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I am breathing through two nostrils right now

Had my sinus surgery last Wednesday - septoplasty and turbinates trimmed. So much less unpleasant than tonsilectomy. Went back to the doc today because I was in pain, and it seemed like my nose was getting bigger. (It wasn't supposed to change size on the outside). We had to wait forEVER, but HH was SUPER patient and did not freak out when Dr Eskew stuck this needle suction thing up my nose, which felt pretty gross, sounded gross, but has allowed me to breath in through two nostrils. At the same time! And we got home at exactly the right time for trick or treating. Whew! I go back Friday for more suction, then I go back next Monday for hopefully the final suction and the removal of this plastic thing that is holding my septum in place, I think. I am not supposed to blow my nose, but can sniff and saline and hydrogen peroxide with q-tips. I am also not supposed to do anything strenuous. Maybe I don't do anything strenuous anymore, but it seems like most things I do are strenuous. I HIGHLY recommend Dr. James Eskew otolaryngologist, and he is going to get a stellar review from moi on Yelp. You are welcome, Dr. E. I am obsessed with sewing. But, I can't seem to do it often enough that I don't have to mentally reinvent the wheel each time I sew stuff. But, it's fun. Doesn't take that long per step, and I feel the joy of creativity. Visit my Etsy shop. Of course, I had intended to sell these things, but have just given them away. I want to give them away, but I see the frown on Brad's face when I say these things are flying off the shelves. I've probably spent about $100 on fabric, needles, and zippers. I WILL make the $100 back. Just wait. I will get Ellen to like them, and we will have to set up a sweatshop in Hank's room just to keep our inventory stocked. CH is almost 1 year old. I cannot believe it. I want 2 more babies. If I get one more I will be happy. I am so happy I have 2. I want as many as we can make in the next 5 years. I don't want to play genetic roulette. I'm not crazy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sinus surgery

Worrying about the aftermath of my upcoming sinus surgery on Oct 26. I hear there will be blood coming out of my nose for 24 hours, and it will be packed. Apparently, it is not as painful as a tonsilectomy at age 30, but I am afraid I will feel claustrophobic. I would like to simply be fed soup and sedated the 48 hours after surgery if anyone knows a fairly reputable drug dealer in case my surgeon will not leave me in comfort. Granted, I have a high tolerance for most medications. But, I had 2 huge holes in my throat following the tonsilectomy, and vicodin was not even taking the edge off. I was MISERABLE for 2 weeks and then just crappy for another week. I asked for more or different pain meds, and the said no. I want to get something in writing or at least a verbal agreement that i would not like to suffer. Is that so much to ask? I'm not asking for a Keith Richards-style morphine drip. Just use some modern technology to keep me comfortable while I heal. And I hope this will end the 10 years of chronic sinus infections that have progressively gotten worse. I don't ever get tonsilitis, anymore. That's great news. I was pretty sure it was lung cancer or brain tumor until I got my imaging results back this week. Nothing bad in the lungs, just bronchitis and only the symptoms of chronic sinusitis inflaming those passages.

Why am I awake and typing? L'Shanah Tovah a mes amis Juifs!

There is never enough time to do anything in life, is there? There is time to do what we absolutely have to do, go to the bathroom, eat, drink, work. There must be exactly enough time to do exactly what we should be doing or time wouldn't be the way it is. When I find myself wanting to get HH or CH settled into an activity so I can go do something, I remember it is stupid. Then, I have to talk myself down off the ledge that I placed myself on, "stupid." Then, I remember, this is the ONLY thing in life to spend time on. BEing with each other as much as possible. It doesn't matter if the to do list isn't done. It's not a moral failure to have a long list left, it's a moral victory. We've avoided making this home improvement since Hank was born, just enjoying his wonderful little 3 year-old self. I sometimes feel too overwhelmed and sad about how extremely ephemeral it is. But, I know that misses the point, too. {Not going to walk down the "stupid" road, again). Enjoy in this moment the moment that has been freely given to me and my family. It is delightful to be around Hank and Charlie. Even when they challenge my patience or I am very tired. It's never not a joy. Of course I want more kids. The baby stage is challenging, but it's so short over one's lifespan. Once you get to enjoy every moment of babyhood with intense adoration and attention, a few years, and it's over. They never need you like that, again. They don't, and they shouldn't. Embracing the present and embracing the coming changes without panicking about them. Simple, but not easy. To enjoy Brad with delight like I enjoy the kids. That is a challenge. I am sure equally true for him. Strange how much the person you made the kids with becomes a complete enigma and powerful need to receive affection from. I thought it would be more casual. Like, you do your thing, I'll do mine, and we'll meet every once in a while. Ours does do his/her own thing, but not knowing what the other one thinks the first one should be doing. I do have opinions about what I think Brad should be doing, but I try to ignore them and keep them to myself. But, I always yearn to have the "yeah, you get me, and I get you" connections that we had tons of before marriage and here and there in the past 9 years. I want to model our excellent communication skills for the kids, but also so that we can enjoy each other in a way I think is possible for families.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Do you know the metabolic rate of breast tissue?

I don't like it when people say, "I ate_____, and it made the baby gassy." 1) Babies are gassy. 2) Is that the only food you have eaten for the past week? How long does it take from the time you ate it to get made into breast milk? 3) Why don't cows ever get blamed? Hey, lay off the St. Augustine, Elsie, I'm stinking up my cubicle! 4) What am I supposed to eat? I don't think there are any foods that don't make me gassy. What about me? I'm gassy, too. No one cares. 5) It's not like I'm drinking whiskey or taking carbon dioxide colonics. I eat a balanced diet (except for ad libitum mini-heath bars, which are currently a little out of control) that contains complex carbohydrate starches, fruits, vegetables, legumes, a little dairy, no meat, water, some iced tea, a little coffee. And, by the way, my unscientific determination about coffee is it has NO effect on his sleeping or gas or not sleeping, because whether I drink it or not, he does not have a clockwork schedule, and I don't drink coffee everyday or even at the same time on days I do drink it. Yes, I take credit for his adorableness, his preferring to tummy-sleep, his eyes, his hair, his wit, his intelligence, his moodiness, his biceps, his perpetual optimism, but I will not take responsibility for his gas. That digestive system has been passed down through many generations, from what I can tell through my dad's dad's mom, as far back as whopper candies and Dr. Pepper, maybe farther.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Trying Evernote: Click [Current Affirmation]

Also, took HH swimming at J pool. Got him to close his lips a few times to not inhale water. He floated in his floaty vest by himself for the first time today. Several times, too. He said, mom, don't hold me! And he closed his eyes and spun around, completely vertical in the water, smiling, sometimes with his lips open, and sometimes closed. He inhaled a few sips of water, but that didn't stop him from doing it, again. He also even wore his goggles, some. What miracles today.
I was wanted someone in particular to tell me good job, but I realize, again, that it is completely irrelevant to my happiness what anyone else thinks of me. It is harmful to a family to have resentments lingering and lingering, but in the long run, the best one can do, is the best one can do, and that's the best anyone ever does, at best.
I have an f-ing sinus infection which is probably a little of the reason I feel discouraged. Only an alcoholic can look at a something beautiful and see the tiny smudge on the back of it. All you need is love.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Brent wood and pretending to work

HH was collecting bark out of the pea gravel in Brentwood Park this morning and calling it, "brent wood."  Makes sense to me.  Why else would the park be named Brentwood?  It's funny he likes to pretend to work.  I remember doing the same thing.  As if to say you aren't the only one who is too busy to play.  I also whispered to myself while I was playing like he does.  I know they are cute to no one else, but his speech impediments (which are developmentally normal, but impediments by adult standards) kill me.  The way he talks like Elmer Fudd.  He calls Sir Topham Hat, "Toppin hat."  In the cars movie, a truck says to "Lightening A'queen," I'm  not a Mack I'm a Peter Built.  Turn on your lights, you moron."  When Hank quotes it, he says, "I'm not a Mack, I'm a Federbuilt.  Turn on your back and foron."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sisyphus: The Villain of Household Chores

I never knew Sisyphus was such a creep.  I think about that rock a lot, though.  And, I'm not complaining.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  But, laundry and cleaning the house often feel pointless.  Arlene said she prayed for each son while she was folding his clothes.  I like that.  Rather than cursing whoever got the floor dirty within 30 seconds of it being clean.  I guess I am afraid (and it's no one I know, just some imagined cleaning police) is going to say my house or my House is dirty.  Yet, I know my house and House are clean.  Well, at least clean enough.  : )   I can think of any Dirt that remains to be cleaned.  Although there are Dirty Projects, I suppose.  My side of the Street is as clean as I can get it by myself.  No one has ever been harmed by dirt.  It is evident that our combined Dirt does need to be thoroughly spring cleaned.  In ways, it's one huge rock, but maybe instead of the pushing it uphill metaphor, our Rock is more like creating the statue of David.  Not done in a day, takes a lot of time, care, and planning, and is worth doing. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Not so much a communcation breakdown...

but a communication never existed.  It takes a lot of practice to learn a new skill, and although the status quo is often painful, change doesn't happen without some pain, too.  Before, during, and after.  At least I think it's true about the after.  Mars/Venus problems are real and noticeable, but learned family styles that originated who knows when are also very powerful.  Maybe after the Civil War?  I think my people came over just before the Civil War.  Not sure about Brad's people's immigration.  For the record, there is no such thing as mind-reading.  I am fast forgetter and a slow learner.  My intentions are 100% benevolent.  Sometimes, I get caught up in impulsiveness and selfishness, but I have made a LOT of progress.  And I can always recognize it in hindsite, and sometimes recognize it while I am doing it.  I am 100% committed to change and movement towards adaptivity, and not perfection.  We are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO blessed by our children, and I want to have one more baby.  That would really turn us into a herd.  One day at a time.  One hour at a time.  One uncomfortable change at a time.  Always look on the bright side of life!
Eric Idle is beyond brilliant in this segment - his delivery, so silly cockney drawl.  I love it!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Puppies Behind Bars (PBB)

About PBB:

Millions of innocent puppies are imprisoned each year for crimes they didn’t commit.  Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) offers free legal council to wrongly accused puppies.  Not really.

  PBB trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for the disabled, including PTSD-suffering veterans, and explosive detection canines for law enforcement. The puppies live in prison with their "puppy raisers" from age eight weeks to 18 months. As the puppies mature into well-loved, well-behaved dogs, their raisers learn what it means to contribute to society rather than take from it.

If they are deemed suitable, PBB returns the dogs to the schools where they continue their formal training.  If they do not continue on the track to become working dogs, PBB donates them to families with blind children. In either case, these puppies, raised in such a unique environment, spend their lives as companions to people who need them.

The puppies have affected the lives not only of their puppy raisers, but of virtually all the inmates and staff at the prison. It is literally impossible to walk a puppy around without being stopped by inmates who want to pet the dogs or who want to just say 'hi' to them, and [the founder is] constantly being approached by corrections officers and senior staff who ask about the puppies' training. One of our particularly sensitive pups goes to several different areas of the prison: the sixteen- and seventeen-year-old inmates play with her; domestic violence classes use her to get the women to open up and talk; and she even visits inmates who are about to go before the parole board, for it has been found that her presence has a calming effect on the women.

PBB pays 100% of all costs associated with raising puppies in prison, including dog supplies, educational supplies for the puppy raisers, teachers' salaries, and travel.

I am going to give them some money in honor of my 39th birthday and hoped you would join me!

I have a dream

I have a dream that someday diet soda, tobacco products, and alcohol will be classified as schedule I drugs, and marijuana, peyote, psilocybin, exercise, and meditation will be schedule V "highs."  HEB has a cane sugar sweetened soda I plan to opt for next time I have a craving.  Artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup have similar effects on blood glucose.  Love my bubble water

Read about the origin of seltzer.  I have German ancestry!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


 I've been playing Monk episodes on instant Netflix for the past few weeks.  I also noticed the entire series is out on DVD.  Love the Monk! 
If I were a celebrity, I would endorse products I liked and used.  I am 39 years old and still get pimples.  I tried proactiv, and MD Formulations.  Now, I just use neutrogena anti-bacterial facial wash or something like that.  But, when I do get pimples, this is my favorite product.  It's a powder concealer/healer.  It doesn't look stupid and it seems to actually help get rid of pimples.  It has 3% sulfur, so it kind of smells, but just when you first apply it.  I've never tried their other products, but the RareMinerals concealer is awesome.

Feeling loved

Thank you for all the happy birthday wishes. I am feeling loved. Facebook has facilitated people remembering birthdays all over the world, and it is pretty awesome. I used to pride myself on remembering birthdays, but I don't think it's bad NOT to remember them. I have also forgotten some important ones and important dates over the years, and it doesn't diminish affection I have for the person. Now that I have kids, I know how my mom must feel on my birthday. What joy to have a new, healthy, tiny little baby. But, now the baby is 39 and sometimes ornery. The baby pictures are good reminders of the sweet and unadulterated feelings. But, I guess despite years of wrinkle-causing life, there is always unconditional love. And it's mutual.

Going to wear my Latin dancing shoes around the house all day today. Going to make a cake with Hank after we get home from the J playground after school. Bought him a bucket of sand/pea gravel toys to play with while we are out and about. Charlie did well in the sleepywrap on Friday when we went to the J playground. I am also going to organize my hair and toothcare drawer, and if I have some spare time, I am going to do 6 of my fingernails. I have a client at 10 am at the house. She is a very sweet lady.

Hank, Brad, and Charlie are still asleep. Surprising. Hank had a chocolate milk/yellow cup crisis about 4 am. I got the chocolate milk, and Brad was trying to calm the beast. He finally calmed down and fell asleep after I insisted Brad was tired and Brad held him. My analysis was Hank wanted to be held, but can't put together milk and comfort, so he yells for yellow cup/chocolate milk. We have been validating his want verbally, but not indulging the cup change. Eventually, he calms down. I remember feeling frustrated and misunderstood at points in early childhood. I hope he is feeling somewhat understood. It's seems to be hard to find a balance between acknowledging what is important to him in the moment and not creating undesirable habits or making life more challenging for ourselves. Progress, not perfection!

Friday, February 11, 2011

World's Best Dad

Have you seen the Seinfeld with Lloyd Bridges about the competition for world's best dad based on heavy lifting and t-shirt proclamations?  It's funny.

But, I just wanted to let you know I have the world's best dad.  He made 2 trips to CVS pharmacy, and 1 trip to Walgreen's to try to find Charlie the elusive, generic Mylanta Cherry Supreme.  No one has the name brand because it was recalled due to a labeling error.  He also bought Charlie some Colic Calm as recommended by the Mayo clinic website.  Very sweet.  He's the best.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I think my sweet little three year-old has some of my hyper-sensitivity.  I've been told and have come to believe this trait is not a character defect, but can be troublesome.  He notices changes and details I think will escape him.  While considering pruning the refrigerator of "art" and various commemorative papers, I thought I had best take the items down and save them to make sure one of them wasn't, in fact, a prized possession.

My caution regarding his sensitivity reminded me of a sweet story.  My first pet, a goldfish, whom I think was named, Curly, as in Larry, Moe, and Curly, died when I was about 3.  I watched the Three Stooges every morning at 6 AM with my dad.  We both like the stories and predicaments the Stooges get themselves into, and ignore the slapstick stuff.  I don't remember becoming particularly emotionally attached to the goldfish, but, in an act of fatherly love, upon Curly's passing in the night, my dad went to Kmart to replace him, assuming I would not notice the impostor.  When I got up the next morning to feed Curly, I remarked he had grown - quite a bit.  I think my dad chuckled.  I don't remember being sad about Curly's demise, and I was perfectly happy with his successor, probably named Larry or Moe.  Even three year-olds can handle some changes without trauma or later need therapy.

I have a hard time seeing Hank get upset.  But I know, if I prevent all pain, I will be robbing him of valuable human experiences.  Better to go through pain with my support and carry that skill into adulthood.  It's such a knee-jerk and unconscious drive to want to immediately take away or prevent any discomfort.  But, I should give him credit that he has been stepping back from the ledge of panic sooner and with more ease when something upsets him, little by little.

It's also a balance between validating his wants and emotions with trying to help him put them in perspective and/or simply distracting him away from being upset.  When you spill milk for the first time, it IS a big deal.  But, on the 50th time, maybe we come to the realization that it's no longer a cry-worthy event.

The other day while schlepping food, drinks, and Charlie into Hank's room to play, Hank suggested we bring Charlie's pacifier "so he didn't cry."  Apparently the urge to prevent pain develops early.  (Of course, I understand it's also a matter of who gets the attention, but he did seem to have some genuine sympathy for Charlie).  I've been trying to remind Hank that when he was a baby and was upset, we tried to comfort him in the same way we comfort Charlie.  I hope that will sink in on some level at least for future reference.  (And not the memory that when Charlie came along, Hank became less important).

I don't at all feel like there isn't enough love to go around, but I do feel guilty that Hank has less of my attention than he used to.  But again, I think that's probably not a bad skill to acquire as a human, and what better time than when he is developing the hard wiring of the way the world works.  At some point we all move from being the neediest little person on the planet to becoming more and more self-sufficient and less in need or want of undivided attention.  That is, until 80 or 90 years later, when we do need someone's undivided attention, again.  Loss is still a ledge I don't even like to look at.  I just try to breath and enjoy the moment, rather than to stand on the ledge, looking at it, and worrying about when I will fall off.

Last night I stayed up past both kids going to sleep.  When I went up to bed, I had kind of an LSD-whoa that we have two little people who live with us and sleep with us, and all we did to get them was have sex.  It's pretty amazing that having sex one time leads to the creation of another human being who will call you mommy or whatever you tell him your name is, probably.  I think I'll go by "mum" with the next one.  Not really.   And I was not taking LSD last night, it just reminded me of the awes some people experience.  (Although 99.9% of the time the deep thoughts LSD inspires are totally stupid or totally incomprehensible the next day).  Or the idea scribbled on a napkin or toilet paper roll or forearm is illegible and lost for the benefit of humanity.  Too bad.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Dear Zeus (or whichever One of you does the weather),

Since we are having winter this year, can we please have fewer bugs, and in particular fewer mosquitos in the spring and summer?  Spring and fall would be as perfect as winter were it not for those blood-sucking mother mosquitos.

Had Uncle TH and Aunt JH down for the first snow I have ever seen stick to the road in Austin.  They did have 2.5 days of nice weather.  We felt guilty about the snow.  Silly.  HH LOVED having them down.  I can see how it takes a village...because Brad and I were so much more at ease having some backup.  I want another baby, too.  It is such a miracle that at almost 39 I have an infant and a three year-old.  What a great way to prolong getting "old."

I am trying to figure out ways to work from/at home so that I can generate income enough for Brad to go to nursing school.  I am going to try insurance companies for wellness coaches.  More writing possibilities.  Personal training at home.  Maybe yoga and pilates classes?  If training is during the day, people have to be cool with a baby (or two) around.  I feel much more at ease with caring for a baby while working.  Just feed it, burp it, or rock it.  Or, it might even just be sleeping.  With Hank I felt very unsure of what I would do depending on what he would do, and I had no idea what that might be.  All of my personal training clients are women.  The vast majority have kids and like being around a baby.  The drawback is, sometimes a crazy night leaves me stupid.  I fight the urge to nap and hibernate, but I'm not a good fighter.  Ideally, I would like to write more, but I realize it's not my turn to find ideally.  Just to find an economical use of my time and expertise while being able to care for young children.

BH and I have seen Judith Sokolow from Jewish Family Services 2x.  We have one more time to see her.  She has given us some practical communication skills.  Skills I learned in group therapy, but am out of practice with and can't practice in a vacuum.  I feel very hopeful.  I am determined to model adaptive communication for HH and CH.  Not perfect, but adaptive.
For some strange reason I am awake at 9:50 PM, and everyone else is asleep.  For some other reason I don't like being awake alone at night, but love it during early morning hours.  It's an artifact from my past life, but I wonder why, after 15 years of piety, it still feels yucky to stay up late.  I guess it's just OK to be no matter what time it is.  And it's OK to say, well, there you go, silly.

This morning I remembered that I would never say, "you are a big fatty," to anyone.  Even to a big fatty.  : )  So, why would I say that to myself?  I am feeding a baby.  I am 11 weeks post-partum.  It doesn't matter what any other mother looks like at this stage of post-partum.  As long as all the parts are working, that's all there is.  That's what is to be grateful for.  Thank you.  It is such a gift to care for an infant.  So amazing and impossible to reciprocate.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Middle of the Night Poems (Mostly Hokey)

I don't remember the format for Haiku, and these are not, but I did try to stay to an odd number of syllables per line. 

I gave up
books I left open
stayed unread
missing the person
who are you

loving the winter
cloudy skies
capillaries of the trees
sanctuaries now revealed

a hermit
facebook is my New York Times
always something worth reading
keeping up with how you are
all of you

late night hours
I was always up
lacking peace

never thought
angel face
precious time
speeds away
so holy
divine kiss
always loved
my two sons

Letter from Lloyd

I'm on Lloyd Doggett's email list (Lloyd's List).  The last email he sent, I replied with something along the lines of, "You are so awesome.  I love you!"  And, those things are true, but I assumed the email would either bounce back, go to spam, or at least go unread.
Nope, not my Lloyd.  He sent me this letter AND a 2011 calendar from the US Capitol Historical Society.  My home address wasn't on my email AND I'm not even in his district, anymore.  Lloyd Doggett is so awesome and I do love him!