Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sometimes you need to have lost all faith in yourself and your ability to make decisions for you to be able to see what you need to do next.
Sometimes you need to be patient, so your next move will be revealed, so to speak, rather than being a decision that you make.
I'm going to do a teacher training course in yoga. I want to be a certified yoga instructor. I am shooting to start in January. I need to decide exactly where, and to do that, I need to review programs. But, I absolutely need to do it.
My life has become unrecognizable to me. The only consistent thing in my life between August 2007 and August 2008 was my husband. EVERYTHING else changed. Such a huge part of my wellbeing was tied to my regular yoga practice. One of my favorite things in the world is going out to dinner, but if dinner plans would conflict with a yoga class, I would skip going out to eat to go to yoga. In my past life, I let almost nothing get in the way of going to yoga.
For the past year, I haven't practiced yoga. I am not very disciplined, and I really depended on classes. I haven't known where to go around here, nor have I felt like we had the $$ for me to take classes. I've felt like I've been at the end of my rope A LOT in the past couple of months, and suddenly I have realized that going back to yoga is the key to feeling better again.
I thought I would just go back to taking classes. Then, on the way back from my Grandfather's funeral, my sister Cat was talking about needing exercise and all the tension she had. I evangelized about yoga like Sarah Palin does about drilling for oil. I wanted to get down on the floor and start teaching her positions and help her find her tense spots and share everything I've learned about the benefits of yoga on mind, body, and soul. I didn't, because we were in the car, but I think I was pretty convincing.
I know that my future life is not going to include one 8-5 job that pays for everything. I'm going to make a crazy patchwork of a living that involves a lot of independent sources of income. I'm going to have a creative career, and one part of it will be teaching yoga.
So, yeah. That's one piece figured out. Namaste.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
It was a sad trip to New Jersey, but honestly, he looked far better at the viewing than he had in years. In fact, I couldn't help but smile every time I looked at him, because all I could think was that he finally had his dignity back. He was given a very dignified service and memorial, and because he had served in the Navy in WWII, he had the flag-draped casket. Two Naval men in dress uniforms played taps, performed the flag folding ceremony and presented the flag to my grandmother. I'd never been at a military burial before, and the ceremony was so reverent and respectful- it was really beautiful. The two gentlemen who attended my grandfather's cemetary service were amazing, and I'm so grateful to them for how genuine they were while thanking my grandmother for Grandpa's service to his country.
I also enjoyed meeting my Dad's cousins, partly because that generation seems to have avoided The Crazy that my grandparents and their siblings had, and partly because it was so good to hear their fond memories of Grandpa. He was extremely cranky in his last decade or so. It was nice to remember what a friendly and generous uncle (and grandfather) he was in the past. I think every single one of my Dad's cousins said he was their favorite uncle. He was always out in the yard, on the roof, or tinkering with something. Everyone had stories of him helping with their bicycles as kids, and later, their cars. I think that's why he might have been cranky later in life- he never really recovered enough from that first heart attack to be as active as he liked.
One of the saddest parts for me was that the funeral was on Blue's first birthday. My baby girl turned one on the 9th, and, unfortunately, I wasn't there. I'm so glad I went out for Grandpa's funeral, though. It was good for all of us to be there. I'll post again soon with cute kid pictures.
I think my Great-Aunt Mary said it best on Sunday (she'll be 99 in December, and she's starting to get a little confused, which is sad), "Hug and kiss, hug and kiss. Time is short."
Monday, August 25, 2008
I found this old picture of Kouros after he had gotten rid of the fleas and upper respiratory problems he had when we found him. He was our Christmas present that year. This was one of the few times he wasn't trying to climb the tree...
I've been knitting and making jewelry a lot lately, and it's helped me through the sadness. I do have a pang when I realize he isn't going to come try to chew on the yarn or chase beads around. He would explore whatever I was working with, and then he'd settle in and just watch what I was doing. He was a great companion while I was creating. It didn't work with painting, though. The fur flying through the air was a problem.
I used to try to draw Kouros, and they never turned out very well. He needed to be drawn from pictures, because he was always moving. He made it into my September art project from 2006, here and here.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Kouros, Keeper of the Pizza Summer 2004-August 20, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I just haven't known what to do about Kouros, and this situation is bringing it all to a head. I never wrote about the aggression problems we were having with him last year. He would bite and draw blood, sometimes unprovoked. He would jump at you and continue to jump until you picked him up and locked him away. It started when we moved into our second apartment in Geneva, and I'm not sure why that seemed to be the trigger. He had other problems, too. He would dig in his water. He was mounting blankets and stuffed animals. He woke us up numerous times a night. I took him down to the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell, and they put him on kitty prozac. It worked beautifully. He settled down, we weren't bitten any longer, and all of the other problems went away. I taught him to sit and get up and down from things on command. It helped to let him know I was the boss.
Now we have Blue. She's in his territory all the time. I NEVER leave them together unattended. In fact, I rarely even allow him to be out in the same area as she is when I'm right there. He's been good for the most part. He nipped at her when she grabbed his paw and pulled it through the pet gate. He seems to hold back with her, but given how hard I know he can bite, I can't let my guard down at all. Keeping them apart has worked so far since the in-laws' house is pretty big, but how will it work when we're back in a small apartment? (I won't even hazard a guess as to when that will happen anymore)
The Animal Behavior Clinic gave him a poor prognosis. I think if he has to ever go off the prozac, we definitely won't be able to keep him. They said he has no fear. It's true- biting is a pretty confident behavior. He has never used his claws on a person for all the years we've had him. He only bit, but it was hard, either breaking the skin, or ripping fabric. Once he bit me through my jeans and left a bruise. Most people would probably have put him down. He's not exactly a very adoptable cat- he's on prozac AND prescription food. He's still sweet, and he's quite the hunter (he caught a mouse and a chipmunk that had gotten in the basement), but he's unpredictable. I can't let him spend too much time near my girl. I don't even know what to do when we're in the position to have babysitters come to watch Blue. He's a liability.
And none of that changes the fact that right now, he's at the vet, possibly obstructed, because he's moved down our financial priority list. I feel so terrible.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Why was I against them for those years? I think I was busy being cynical or something... angst was the emotion of the 90s after all. Was it the McDonalds commercials? The Coca-Cola commercials? All these companies peddling unhealthy food in connection with an athletic event? Or how about the medal counts on the news every night? Then there was the whole IOC bribery scandal during the 2002 Winter Games. That didn't help my cynicism. Or was it the fact that there have been so many instances of Olympic Athletes testing positive for various performance enhancing drugs? Or the fact that the gymnasts all look 12 years old, and I'm not sure how I feel about children giving up their youth to train so hard?
I wonder why I'm excited at these games. Why not Athens? The Olympic stadium for the 2004 Olympics had just been finished when I was there for my study abroad program in 1998. Our friends who ran the Marathon finished in the stadium. The subway was being built while I was there-I seem to remember a newspaper kiosk disappearing as a newly dug tunnel collapsed into a building from a previous millennium. We visited Olympia while we were there. Greece and Athens have such significance for the Sleepy-Voiced Husband and me. Why didn't I get over myself then?
As someone who gets so indignant at the trampling of human rights, how is it that I'm not feeling I need to protest these games in a country with such a wretched human rights track record? There has been so much bad news coming out of China in the past year... lead paint in toys and cardboard in food. Or the American man who was murdered (CEO of Bachman's Floral in the Twin Cities).How is it I'm not busy ranting about all of the things that are wrong with China?
How is it that I can edit out all those things that have bothered me in the past?
I think I'm feeling the spirit of the games; the chance to put aside the disagreements, and even violent conflict, to meet as humans and enjoy friendly competition and camaraderie. Maybe a few wars later, I want to see something peaceful. I want to see positive relations between my country and the rest of the world. Maybe it's because I'm a mother now, and I want to see the positive aspects of the world in which I'm raising my daughter. I want to see the joy of physical activity in a country in which we face such morbid obesity. I want to see something we can appreciate as a family. I want to see something beautiful and inspiring.
I'm sure I'll go back to all of my causes and righteous indignation later, but for now, I just want to feel the hope and excitement of the games.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there! It is an honor to join your ranks.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Tempting - Remember when I said I was going to frog it? I still haven't. In my mind and heart, it's frogged. I simply haven't physically pulled out the yarn. I need to get on that.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Today and yesterday, I did a lot of marketing and outreach. I took information and candy around to a bunch of businesses in the area. This was SO far outside of my comfort zone. I learned a lot, but I'm so much happier being at one of the properties where interested people come to me rather than barging into a car dealership and asking if they know where apartment complex X is located and would they pass the word on to any of their employees who may be in the market for a new apartment. I walked out of most of them saying to myself as I left, "God, I am such a TOOL!" It's good for me to learn these skills, I know. I want to be a working artist someday and I'll need to get exposure. I used to be one of those people who feared public speaking more than death, and I spent a year doing Toastmasters to get over myself. What I'm doing now will only make future representation easier. Still, I'm glad I'm done with that part of my job for a while.
SVH got a part-time job, too. He's a contract copy editor for a publishing company or something like that. A friend of ours from college works for said publishing company in Manhattan and has a certain number of these contract editors working under him, and HOORAY, now my husband is one of them. We are really excited and hope that this will lead to further opportunities in this area. SVH is an independent soul, and the more control he has over his working hours and conditions, the happier he'll be.
Blue has become enamoured with her tongue. This is her near-constant expression these days.
I an such a lucky mother to have such a happy baby!
Next episode: The Spring Cleaning Knitting Project List... stay tuned!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Beesknees - For starting a blog and sharing her lovely poetry
Valkyrie - For finishing the Mommy Snug. I always thought I'd knit one, but I was showing from April through September... not sweater weather.
Amanda - For showing me green grass and blue skies in April. We just got rid of our snow.
Cari - For weathering adversity in the creative world, and continuing to write.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Little Blue is going to have to be a tomboy. We know 11 babies born or coming between January and October of this year. One, we don't know the sex yet. My cousin is having a girl in May. Otherwise, they're all boys. If Blue wants girls for friends, she's going to have to find them herself, because all the friends we've made for her are boys.
Incidentally, the January boy? He was born to my friend Berit, the woman who taught me to knit. He was the new year's baby for Norway. Pretty cool, huh?
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Now I don't use the computer quite so often (and I miss you guys so much!). I kind of feel like I'm the low man on the totem pole as far as my need for internet access. My free time is a bit limited, too, being the main caretaker of a little one about to start crawling! So I've lagged behind in my clicking for mammograms.
Last week, a school friend from my hometown had a double mastectomy. She can't be more than 34 years old, and was just married last November. She had cancer in both breasts. The good news is, she's cancer free now! They got it all.
It reminded me of the importance of early detection. It also reminded me of how cool these internets can be, since Jill has a care page where people who haven't seen her in 10 years (like me) can drop her a line and let her know they're thinking of her. Sometimes technology is really really good.
Please click here to help fund free mammograms, in honor of a very young and brave woman.
Monday, February 25, 2008
The turning point yesterday evening was her bath. She loves bathing and once she got in the tub, she seemed to improve steadily. I'm so glad we have that... no matter how rough a day we have had, once she gets in the tub, she always feels better. We started bathing Blue at night as part of a bedtime routine since we brought her home from the hospital, and I think having that as a constant has been so good for all of us. It's nice, at a time when you're feeling a little frayed and tired, to see your efforts pay off. Last night, I think we were all about ready to cry in relief when we saw how much better she felt after her bath. So rewarding.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
This weekend, I am recovering from the creeping death influenza that Typhoid Gabby brought over here. I'm actually much better, but yesterday I wasn't sure I would survive. Of course, the night before, Blue decided to get up every 2 hours until 4am, after which time she got up every hour. It was painful, but we're all here on the other side. Fortunately, Blue is nursing, so she's getting my antibodies and not getting this awful stuff.
I will write much more thoughtful entries when I have fully recovered. Until I do, you can go over to a new blog that my friend just started. She's the BeesKnees on Ravelry, too. She's writing much more insightful stuff than I'm capable of at the moment. Must go. Blue is rolling all over the place these days... nothing is safe.
Friday, February 08, 2008
The other night we took my 6-year-old niece Emily to dinner. We gave each of the kids dinner and dessert out alone with Sleepy-Voiced Husband and myself (and Blue, of course). SVH came up with a simple game to play with the girls, where he asks a question, like "Would you rather be Batman or Superman, and why?" and they get to give us their answers. They love it, and this was all Emily wanted to do during dinner. It was hilarious. This was by far my favorite exchange:
"Would you rather keep the ring, or throw it into Mount Doom?"
[that's a Lord of the Rings question, just in case you weren't familiar with it... but
then again you're reading a blog... you're already a little nerdy, so you probably know LOTR well]
"I would keep it."
"But then you'd become the
next dark lord."
"Oh... then I'd throw it into Mountain Dew."
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Today, I got out of the shower at 1:30. I could not get Blue to nap anywhere but in my arms. Each time I tried to put her in bed, she woke up immediately and cried. She wanted to suck her thumb rather than eat. I didn't get the bed made until just before the Nieces came home from school. I feel like I am doing nothing, and doing nothing well.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I went to the mall. I know, the mall. But they have lovely family bathrooms and nursing rooms with gliders and ottomans! It makes it so convenient to go out with an infant.
Anyway, I was positively giddy! I was as manic as Britney Spears! I saw people! I walked around! And I got a pair of sassy pants and a completely impractical satin shirt, all on sale big time. It made me feel so good. Blue thought it was hilarious the way my head would pop out of the neck of whatever top I tried on. A good time was had by all.
I also had a big pretzel.
It's good to get out.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
All phases go quickly at this age... here's hoping this one will do the same...
Toast me with an advil, won't you?
Monday, January 14, 2008
tonight- we had hotdish. Tater-tot hotdish, to be exact.
I haven't been much of a fan of the hotdish, because they're so often composed mostly of ground beef and cream of mushroom soup. Sometimes they have cheese, or green beans, or noodles, but they ALWAYS have ground beef and cream of mushroom soup. I grew up with a lot of ground beef, and I think I grew tired of it.
The hotdish has been the one yankification of my southern mother. When Blue was born, she came out and made us several different casseroles, one of which was tater-tot hotdish. The other had chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese. And there was a pan of lasagna, too.
Mmmmm... lasagna. It can have ground beef in it and it's served in a casserole dish, but it is most definitely NOT a hotdish. Too fancy. Midwestern hotdishes are humble. You find prime examples of hotdish in the basements of Lutheran churches in Minnesota. Just as Garrison Keillor.
Tonight's hotdish was pretty good. I'm not usually a tater-tot hotdish fan... but since I've become a mother, I love anything I haven't cooked myself.
I may not cook it for myself in the future, but for now, I eat hotdish. Because I am home.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Last year my new year's resolutions were
1. Have a baby
2. Move back to Minnesota
3. Continue to not smoke*
4. Knit the Enid Cardigan
I accomplished 1-3, and failed miserably on 4. Who knew knitting would make me nauseous in my first trimester? I did eventually cast on, and I've got a sassy 4 inch band knitted so far. I think Enid will make my 2008 list of resolutions, too. Which leads me to...
2008 New Year's Resolutions
1. Be the best mother I know how to be to my little Blue
2. Move out of the in-laws' basement (by June at the absolute latest!)
3. Continue not to smoke*
4. Finish the Enid Cardigan
5. Work on my photography
So that was purely for me... you don't care, but it helps me to have it written down someplace, especially someplace public so I feel a little pressure. Good pressure. You know, like a massage.
Guess what else!? Little Cindy Lou Blue is 4 months old today!
*3 years ago on New Year's Eve I nearly set my head on fire having a casual party cigarette. I had a lock of hair that stood straight up for about 4 months while it grew back. I took it as a sign that even the casual party cigarette isn't for me any longer.