Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So this is how I deal with stress...

Yesterday while I was packing up the first floor bathroom, feeding Pursy lunch in her high chair, talking with my best friend on the phone and trying to keep Elliott from encouraging Pursy to drop said lunch on the floor- I chose to perform the seemingly innocent task of leaning over to pick a sock up off the floor. As I quickly stood up, the top of my head connected with the edge of an open cupboard door. I literally saw stars. I also immediately burst into tears. I laid my head down on top of the dryer and just sobbed. And as I took my moment, I thought about why exactly I was losing it to this degree.

1. I am 12 weeks pregnant and my in utero child is making me eat things that I would not eat if I were desperate and on the brink of scurvy. Specifically, anything that leaves that layer of fake mind-blowing cheese on your fingers: Cheetos, Doritos, Sunchips and Goldfish.

2. I am moving from a 3 story, 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom house into a 6 room total rental home across town.

3. My daughter is 11 months old. She loves stairs, electrical outlets, and basically any sharp-edged furniture object that could maim or kill her. She also loves grape juice which gives her inhuman amounts of energy.

4. My husband is writing his doctoral dissertation and several nights a week is calling Singapore at one AM.

So I will put my head down and cry my stress away for just a minute. Don't feel sorry for me- I actually think that the fact that it is almost midnight and all members of my family are alive is a huge accomplishment.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stone Blind Love

I was introduced to Tom Waits by my older brother when I was in High School- maybe earlier. My first introduction was Closing Time- one of his oldest albums where his voice is still clear and his lounge singer style pulled me in. Over the years I ventured into Swordfishtrombone, Small Change, and Mule Variations- and I tumbled happily down the rabbit hole of his "German Railroad" style. He has a solid place in my Top Five artists, and although his albums progress in complexity and I just might enjoy listening to Orphans more then Closing Time, I will always love it the best. Closing Time was my first love, and you don't just toss that aside.

Yesterday I was driving a load of boxes to our new house across town, and the song Stone Blind Love came stumbling out of the stereo. I have heard this song so many times but the lyrics always faded as soon as the song was over- their repetitive rhythm lulled them into just me humming the melody.

Here they are:
Now you're gone, and it's hotels and whiskey and sad-luck dames
And I don't care if they miss me, I never remember their names
They say if you get far enough away, you'll be on your way back home
Well, I'm at the station, and I can't get on the train

Must be blind love, only kind of love is stone blind love
Blind love, the only kind of love is stone blind love
With your blind love, oh it's blind love, stone blind love
It's your stone blind love

Now the street's turning blue, the dogs are barking and the night has come
And there's tears that are falling from your blue eyes now
I wonder where you are and I whisper your name
The only way to find you is if I close my eyes

The beauty of Tom Waits is that it can seem like he is saying something that he wrote just for you. I know different individuals have written ad nauseum about how Tom Waits has been able to "say what I couldn't say" and made them feel a certain way that they just couldn't explain. It's mysterious. I think that he is on to something very simple in this song. When you love someone, there is only one way to take them- completely and without pride. All you can see is the person that you love and accept that it will hurt. If you open yourself that much, you would be foolish to think it will be easy. It is a son of a bitch sometimes.

But when you get it right, there is nothing that feels like knowing the person that loves you is all in. Stone Blind Love.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I can ask for nothing more

Grant was a champion during my first pregnancy. While I laid on the couch and moaned about wanting to die after throwing up an ice cube, he was right there to offer me Ginger Ale and flip to Side B of Bridge Over Troubled Waters on the record player- for the millionth time. We got through my first trimester with Pursy like the well oiled machine we were. I was working full time so we had disposable income to use on things like acupressure wrist bands and 4 kinds of prenatal vitamins to see if there was a kind that I could keep down. I even called a maid service at one point to clean our house- with Grant's permission. He asked for nothing more then for me A. not to die and B. not to hate him for impregnating me.

This time around things are a little different. I am not able to lie on the couch for hours (or days) on end bemoaning my nausea and fatigue. I have a little 11 month old tornado of energy wanting me to follow her up the stairs for the 27th time in one hour. Even if I wanted to call a maid service to pick up the slack on housework, we wouldn't have the money for such a luxury. I am working 1-2 days/week and Grant is furiously trying to pound out a dissertation. He works 50-60 hours a week in order to make ends meet and try to finish up this long-awaited PhD. We want for nothing, but I have no idea if my brand of prenatals are making me sick or not because they are what I have- thus, they are what I will take.

And even working like crazy, stressing about completing the final chapter of his academic life and figuring out what job will be best (possibly for the next 30 years), and writing his dissertation- Grant finds the time to be an amazing husband and father. Every morning he goes and gets Pursy out of her crib, changes her first diaper of the day and chats with her about how her night was and if she has plans for the day. He tries to get home most nights by 7:30 so he can kiss her goodnight and say a prayer over her. He dresses her for church on Sunday mornings and makes sure we are on the same page as far as not letting her drop food off the side of her high chair. He dances with her in the living room on the rare evenings that he is able to relax for a few minutes before disappearing in the office to work until midnight.

And me- he still tells me every day that I am pretty and that I am doing a good job with our daughter. He thanks me for carrying another child, and makes sure that I am eating enough of whatever it is that I can keep down. He cares when I have identity crisis about being a stay at home Mom, and when I asked him if he would mind if Becki and I went away to a Bed and Breakfast for a night (she is 16 weeks pregnant) his immediate answer was "If you can wait until I defend my proposal, I think that would be great".

I can ask for nothing more. I married Superman.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Beautiful Pregnant Woman

I have seen pictures in magazines and even met the occasional wonder of nature that is the happy pregnant woman. She glows through her first trimester with nary a wave of nausea or craving for coleslaw. She is unfazed by the onslaught of hormones flooding her body and remains calm and in control of her every emotion. This woman talks about the "miracle of life" and eats three full servings of green leafy vegetables a day.

I have no idea what this is like.

I told Grant this morning that Pursy is so lucky that she is cute because there is no way I would go through this again if babies weren't so adorable. She is just of the age now where being a parent starts to get rewarding. When Grant walks in from work, she laughs and claps- making him instantly feel like he can do anything. In the morning when I am lying in bed trying to force down the urge to vomit, she lays her head on my belly and shares my animal crackers. She eats the nutritious food I make for her and laughs like crazy when I bite her toes. She responds to us, and even when she is cranking in her high chair, we are watching her learn and adapt to us and life. It is crazy fun.

So I am happy about starting over with Babe #2. I think Pursy will be a great big sister, and I am grateful that she will be too young to remember life without a sibling- hopefully we can avoid jealousy and difficulty adjusting.

It is just too bad that I have to go through pregnancy in order to have a baby. I told Grant our third child will be a beautiful orphan from Sierra Leone or Haiti. All the benefits of a child without the morning sickness.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

She Did it Again

I have discovered my arch-nemesis. She plagues every fiber of my being and irritates me beyond the ends of the earth. Her smile is plastic and disingenuous, her constant need for attention is grating, and her appearance on Sunday night at one of my most anticipated television events was the final straw. If we met in a dark alley I cannot promise she would leave intact.

I know so many people who think she is wonderful. They talk about her, quote her and read books endorsed by her "book club". They talk about all the humanitarian work she does and how fabulous it is that she is so transparent. I think she is a media whore who loves the sound of her own voice, and when Anne Hathaway announced at the Oscars that she was pleased just to "be able to breathe the same air" as this woman my antichrist radar went off.

What is so great about her? She gives away free Ipads, which I wouldn't turn down if she offered one to me. But she doesn't do ANYTHING without a camera following her, and this offends me. If you are going to help those less fortunate then yourself, why do the rest of us need to worship you for it? She reminds me of Sean Penn who spent 15 minutes in New Orleans after Katrina helping victims of the flooding, but took up most of the room in his boat with his camera crew who were documenting every second of his heroism. Give me a break.

I'm glad that she has been able to encourage some hurting people towards healing. Her entourage of gurus, wise men and sages always seem to have some pithy system for "10 steps to the perfect person". And I'm sure that every once in a while someone's tears last longer then her one hour talk show. But trying to make yourself a better person doesn't last. And the fact that she takes credit for any happiness that people experience is the ultimate narcissism.

She has ruined my guilty pleasure of looking at celebrity rags in the grocery store because her big smiley face is right there on her magazine. She has ruined my love of browsing bookstore because her table of Book Club novels is always in the front, and they stopped making the book club stickers and now print her name right on the book cover. And when she walked out on that stage to rousing applause and ruined the Oscars for me, I declared her my mortal enemy. Congratulations Oprah.