March 22nd, 2011 | 2 Comments »

hope springs eternal

Spring is springing and I think I may be getting ahead of the seasonal blues, so I am hereby stopping the Wellbutrin XL therapy.



We shall see shortly whether or not this is (was) a good idea.

December 8th, 2010 | No Comments »

I need to learn how to accept the limitations of time.  I find myself, over and again, succumbing to anxiety rooted in the inability to mold my life around the constructs of time.

The hyper awareness of time interferes with my rationale and affects some priorities that I set, decisions that I make, thoughts that I think, and emotions that I manifest.

This is already a broken record.  I can tell, even before I get the words out.

There is only so much time available.  Somehow I have to work, mother, keep my household, foster my friendships and tend to my budding relationship.  I would like to have some self-nurturing or at least recovery time.  I have to multi-task even that, and glean whatever pleasure I can wherever I can.  Rather than choke at yet another chore, I choose to savor the upkeep of my household and the shopping for groceries or other sundries.  It gives me a smidgen of peace.

And what of this budding relationship?  How does it fit in?  How does one have quality adult time and not compromise child time?  Beaten down by logistics.  There’s no time for seeing each other during the week, which leaves only the weekend.  Friday nights are nearly shot.  It’s late by the time any meeting can take place.  Saturday, and part of Sunday constitute the window of opportunity and the dynamics shift dramatically as a function of child visitation arrangements.  How to be relaxed and content when there’s no time for just plain living?

I don’t like juggling.  I don’t like the ‘hurry up and wait’ mentality.  I don’t like not knowing what time I will have with whom and when.  For all I know, I could be dead in five years.  Or tomorrow.  I’m grateful to make it home alive, each and every day that I have to traverse the freeways in the dark, when it’s raining.   It’s harrowing.  I don’t want a future life, I want a now life.

So I am confounded and frustrated.

I don’t know how not to be anxious about the time.  I don’t know how this life balancing act works.

Sometimes I find myself in thought, and realize that I’m not breathing.  Stress.  It’s a stress of some sort.  I have to remind myself to breathe.

Maybe I should ask myself what I want.  Why is the time or lack of it so stressful or so important?  Or did I not just write ad nauseum about it?

After I’ve put the kids to bed, there is a small window of time that I get for myself.  It’s all I have, and there are a thousand and one mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally productive or constructive things I could do with that time.   But for whatever reason, the need to decompress and refuel is amplified lately, and I find myself floundering and anguishing, at a loss for doing this with the faculties I have available.

Ideally (this is pure speculation) decompression and refueling could be a symbiotic process with one’s partner, given that there is regular contact.  But there isn’t regular contact, and there’s not likely to be regular contact in the foreseeable future.

So I am confounded and frustrated.  And feeling alone.

I said it was a broken record.

November 29th, 2010 | No Comments »

I found a Barry Manilow album at Costco the other day – Ultimate Manilow – and I’ve been waxing sappy and nostalgic ever since.  Love him.  And not afraid to admit it.


One of the hazards of Manilow Immersion – I’m coining a new phrase and accompanying acronym (MI) – is the tendency to wax melancholic.  It could go either way, but the weather, the time of year, the music, the memories.  What is a girl to do.

In years past, the season dredges up memories of being poor and feeling desperate, as though financial well-being would or could solve any of the real problems in life.  I’m finding that the deeper issues are internal, and immune to monetary influence.

And truly, what problems remain?  There are blessings beyond measure, really.  My life dreams are all realized.  Motherhood.  Home.  Loving family.  Rewarding and satisfying livelihood.  I can hardly ask for more.

And yet.  Melancholy pervades.  Emotions swing as the sun rises and falls.  Fragments of memories float through my periphery.  Waiting for babies to be born, waking through all hours of the day and night to feed or pump, and the accompanying exhaustion, the sudden loss of friends and loved ones, the desperation of life’s realities not measuring up to what a holiday season should represent, a marriage that crashed and burned.  Loved ones in loving and growing families having new babies of their own.

Can I somehow rise above my own inner turmoil, or at the very least, hide it from my children?  What does it take, to let the sun shine in?   A little less Manilow?

On the up side of the MI experience, I dance around my living room and smile from ear to ear, belting out ‘Could it Be Magic’ at the top of my lungs.

Spirit move me
Every time I’m near you
Whirling like a cyclone in my mind

Sweet [insert name of loved one, GG in this case, my Giant German]
Angel of my lifetime
Answer to all answers I can find

Baby I love you
Come, come, come into my arms
Let me know the wonder of all of you

Baby I want you
Now, now, now and hold on fast
Could this be the magic at last

Even better, if when my giant is here, I can put my arms around his neck and swing around my living room, looking into his eyes, singing this song.  Better yet, he happily puts his arms around me and amusedly tolerates my MI.  What could be better than a European man who is a child of the 70s and 80s?  I can play ABBA and sing to my heart’s content.  There’s probably not much that can challenge the manhood of a nearly six and a half foot tall, three hundred pound German man!

There.  Bang bang.  I’ve gone from melancholy to cheerful in the span of a few paragraphs.  I don’t suppose it’s quite what the professors in engineering school had in mind, but the phrase (and phase) has stayed with me, through all these years, this past quarter century.  Who would ever have guessed that an education in classical control theory would ever fit someone the likes of me?  Yet, somehow, it does.

It’s a miracle
A true blue spectacle
A miracle come true

December 22nd, 2008 | 5 Comments »

It looks like Mother Nature is granting us a white Christmas (in the Pacific Northwest, anyhow).  Even the trio of miniature trees on my covered front porch are blanketed in snow.

drifttreesThey’re tiny trees and I decorated them with fruits and birds.

drifttreecloseAwww, isn’t that sweet?

Speaking of sweet, my cookie baking failures continue.  Alas!  If I were to put a price on these cookies based on how much time they took and what I get paid for real work, these would probably cost $10 each.  No cookie is worth $10.  Not even a Versace (if there were such a thing).  I’m a terrible cookie maker.


I gave up on shaped cookies and tried drop-smashed instead.  This recipe emulates the Lofthouse cookie.  It’s light and fluffy and the icing is surprisingly good.  They are a far cry from uniform, though.

sugarcookies3To my credit, they all taste good.  The execution, however, leaves much to be desired.  Because I like to beat a dead horse, so to speak, I may make one final attempt at holiday cookies before Christmas.  I’m thinking of a sugar cookie dough that is rolled, refrigerated, and cut with a wire to make uniform circles.  Or, I could try to overcome this ridiculous perfectionism personality disorder, and resist the urge to produce a beautiful, delicious, uniform cookie.  That would be the better road, in many ways.

I also made some sweet and spicy almonds, which turned out okay, but could be improved upon.


The same can be said for the Chex Mix as well.


Again with the dead horse.  I am SO very tempted to try again with all of these concoctions.

The thing is, in the interest of giving home made things to friends and family for Christmas, I can hardly feel good about giving something that looks gross or tastes gross, now, can I?  I think I’ll just put these out for people to nibble on (if they dare, and if they care) and not use them for any sort of gift.  Eventually I’ll get these recipes figured out, and hope for better luck next year.

December 15th, 2008 | 3 Comments »

I’m through with the domperidone, and not sure whether the milk supply has taken a hit yet, but am hoping that having the drug out of my system will improve my hormonal outlook.

Post partum hair loss has set in.  If only weight loss were as easy as hair loss.

I hit the jackpot with this bundle of babyliciousness.  He has the best disposition.  When he’s hungry, he kicks  his legs a certain way –alternating, like running or cycling.  When he’s playing in his bouncy seat, he kicks his legs another way, in unison, to get the seat bouncing.  He can really get it going.  Such a smartie!  When our eyes meet he bursts into a giant radiant slobbery smile that melts me to the core.  When he’s tired he flails and squirms until I give him his pacifier, then he contendedly burrows his face to one side or the other, settles in and goes to sleep.  Lately he’s been studying his hands; he’s figuring out that they’re attached to his arms, and trying to make them do his will.  It’s amazing, really, to watch this learning take place.  He’s discovering his voice, which has the most gorgeous resonance.  I hope he will be interested in music!

It is a winter nightmare wonderland around here.  While the snow is quite pretty, and there is a glorious bite to the crisp crisp air, I simply can’t bring myself to drive on the icy roads if it’s not absolutely necessary.  So I’m holed up in my house, still, and feeling a bit gypped with this so-called vacation.  Whine, whine, whine.  We’re nearly out of milk, so I have to decide whether it’s worth a venture out.  I could get out of the driveway without sliding the van into the truck, but getting the van safely back in the garage is another story.  Our cul-de-sac is very short on actual curb space, so street parking is almost impossible.

Snow is great fun for those who don’t have to drive in it, though!

I’m the world’s worst cookie maker.  I followed the recipes, and instructions, for both gingerbread and sugar cookies, but the dough didn’t roll properly, so I had a heck of a time making shapes.  I used the food processor, as directed by the instructions.  I may make another attempt before Christmas, if I can muster the wherewithall, but will use the stand mixer instead. I’m the only one who likes gingerbread, though, so won’t be making any more of that.

In the interest of home-made Christmas gifts, I made some posters for my 8 going on 12 year old nephew using the raster tool.  I like how they turned out and I think he will be pleased.

For my 12 going on 24 niece, I made an Audrey collection.  These are 8.5×11 glossy photos in 10×13 frameless frames (the photo shows their protective styrofoam), and should fill up quite a bit of her wall space.  She’s very inspired by the beautiful Ms. H, and I think she will be delighted.

Next up, therapeutic bath salts.  That is, if the peppermint oil I bought on eBay arrives in time.

May 19th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

It’s the contrast one feels when one awakes to find that the travails of the last day are a thing of the past.  A lightness in being.  Bliss.

Glorious sunny days are a rarity in the Pacific Northwest.  The abundance of lush greenery comes at the price of many a gray and drizzly day.  Yesterday was just such a glorious sunny day, a terrible shame to waste, but I was overcome with fatigue and lethargy.  It was all I could do to drag my body from room to room.  I had a nagging headache and some nausea, reminiscent of a migraine, but on the milder side, as my migraines go.  We managed to go to the store for some groceries, but that about did me in, and I collapsed on the couch and fell into a groggy nap state for an hour or more.  The day wore on and I finally broke down in tears, Googled the use of hydrocodone during pregnancy, and decided I could allow myself to take one.  Gadget never understands why I torture myself all day long before I finally break down and take something at the end of the day when I can stand it no longer.  I always try to see if I can wait it out, if it will resolve on its own.  Occasionally, I give in, and sweet relief comes in less than half an hour.  Bliss.  No wonder people get addicted to narcotics.  Luckily, the thought of addiction terrifies me, so I’m almost overly cautious.  And all through this, little mister man wouldn’t take a nap.  I was a bit concerned how this would affect the evening, envisioning a three year old meltdown or more on the horizon, the last thing I needed in my fragile state.

As luck would have it, he zonked out like a light, around 8:30 p.m. (coincident with the hydrocodone kicking in) and wonder of wonders, slept until 8 a.m.!!!!  I’m wondering if this means we ought to give up the nap altogether, so he can have a reasonable bed time.  A child in bed by 8:30.  Now that’s a dream come true.  He had a three-hour nap the day before, and he and his dad stayed up watching Ghostbusters until midnight that night.  Simply atrocious parenting.   (Gadget gets full blame for that one – I went to bed at 9:30, as usual.  I can’t keep my pregnant self up very late these days.)

Today is not such a delicious sunny day as yesterday, but it’s reasonably clear.  Dogwoods and magnolia are in bloom (I’m coveting these for my garden) and I feel like a new person.   It’s a shame to have lost half my weekend, but the simple feeling of revival makes up for it.

April 27th, 2008 | 4 Comments »

Yin: All American boys at an All American game.

Yang: Chili-cheese goop on a certain youngster’s shoe. Now how did he manage that?

Yin: Garlic fries at the baseball game. Don’t tell the carbohydrates police.

Yang: Finding a sweaty piece of minced garlic lodged beneath my left boob, having survived the game, a night of sleep, and half the morning. Ewwwww.

Yin: A sandbox for a cyclone boy. He loves that thing!

Yang: The new neighbors have a cat. Apparently. In spite of our fully fenced yard, said cat has discovered the nirvana of litter boxes. Hello toxoplasmosis. Now Gadget has to dispose of ALL the sand, douse the box with scalding water (bleach and chemicals supposedly don’t work), build an ingenious lid mechanism, and refill the box. Meanwhile, we have to keep Cyclone away from it, and sanitize all the toys. Oh joy.

Yin: A double strength latte, first thing on a Sunday morning, made with fully caffeinated beans and half&half cream. Divine decadence.

Yang: The espresso factory requires no trivial amount of cleanup, what with loose grounds sprinkling the counter (bench, as the Aussie’s say), milk froth stuck to the steaming wand, and a hot puck of compacted espresso grounds in need of a good home. Still, totally worth it.

Yin: Spring in all its glory.

Yang: Allergies. Weeds.

March 28th, 2008 | 5 Comments »

Happy Birthday to Me. Look. Snow. In March. I love cherry blossoms. They’re so pretty, yet they cause so much misery. That is, to those with pollen allergies. Like me. Claritin at night, Zyrtec in the morning. Oh joy. Plus fish oil and a handful of other things. My current prenatal vitamins have a DHA supplement that leaves a horrible aftertaste. I’ll be glad when they’re gone, and I can switch back to a different prenatal vitamin.

Yes, a very exciting 43rd birthday. Up at 4:30 a.m. to attend a 4-hour class in the city, that started at 6 a.m. What kind of people set hours like that? Excruciating. We did venture out to a Chinese restaurant for dinner that was very good! The busy body loved the fish tank, and wanted to get in. He makes dining out a challenge and an adventure. Needless to say, we don’t dine out often. We could work on our parenting skills and establish some discipline. Or put it off for another day when we have more patience and energy. I know, wrong answer. Meanwhile, the wild child grows wilder still. Seriously. I AM trying to teach him to be considerate. Three year old’s, I’ve discovered, haven’t much attention span with which to work.

Daffodils are such a happy sight in spring. So cheerful. Not as cheerful when snowflakes are falling on them.

My leeks survived my garden and winter, both! I ventured into the realm of gardening last year, planted too late, and didn’t make the wisest choices for my garden box. The broccoli overpowered everything, and got infested with some gross larvae stuff from what I originally thought were pretty white butterflies or moths. They left a horrible wake, and I ended up yanking all the broccoli up and throwing it in the compost. The snap peas, string beans, and tomatoes choked out the poor leeks, but when all was said and done, I pulled them all and left the leeks for the winter. They are surprisingly hardy. This season I may just stick to herbs. And leeks.

January 11th, 2007 | 1 Comment »

There is seldom a time when there is daylight, snow, the lot of us home, and a sled on hand. Seizing the opportunity, we ventured out into the cold for a few minutes of fun. Look at that red nose! Yes, we all have the sniffles.

Noh! (Snow!) Words are flowing. Dooh! (Stool!) Doh! (Door!) Bab-bab! (Backpack!) Myeeoon! (Moon!) It’s a delight. He runs from room to room pointing at things and announcing them with great pride. He is so pleased with himself, my sweet little one.

November 29th, 2006 | 5 Comments »

I was so anxious to see the doctor.  My first prenatal visit.  I wanted to see that ultrasound!!  I have been waiting, with as much patience as I can muster, and the day had finally arrived.  As did the snow.  Unable to confirm my appointment via phone or fax, I decided to brave the roads and go.  Luckily, MG was home and had put chains on the truck.  Enroute, there was one particular ice patch where the cars immediately behind us piled up in a body crunching heap.  We missed that mishap by a mere thread.  It was a very dangerous day to be out on the road.  Needless to say, when we arrived at the doctor’s office, and found a hand written note scrawled on a piece of paper taped to the door, stating, “We’re sorry.  We’re closed, due to the weather,” my patience reached its limit and I was sorely vexed.  Hrumph.  I’m going to give them a piece of my mind, I told MG.  He nodded, in dismissal.  He knows I’m not one to bark or raise a fuss.  Confrontation is not my thing.  Once safely home, I composed a note: 

Dear Health Center,

If in future you are closed due ot the weather, PLEASE change your message to clearly state that you are CLOSED.  To say you are understaffed implies that you are open, at less than full capacity.  I called about a dozen times, and at no point was I given the opportunity to leave a message, which is what your voice recording instructed callers to do.  It would have been nice to get a call telling me my appointment was cancelled.  A clear message on your voice recording would have sufficed.  I drove to your office, only to find that you are closed.  This wasted 2 hours of my time, and was completely unecessary, had you had an INFORMATIVE message on your recording.  Please leave a CLEAR message if this happens again.  It would save your patients a great deal of frustration. 



MG read it and asked me if I was going to send it.  Yes, of course I am, said I.  He was skeptical.  But I did it.  I faxed that note.  He was quite surprised at my gall.  (And so was I.)  Now I wonder if I should have just let it be, rather than send it.  But it’s too late for that.

Posted in health, seasons/weather