Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The joys of living with a 3 year old

Well that was an eventful 3-day weekend! We really had no plans, and we weren't very sociable. Abby had been tired all week before the weekend, and she's been fighting some sort of illness for a while as we've been changing her asthma medication around. So to be on the safe side, we left the calendar as empty as possible. On Saturday she didn't want to go to the grocery store with me, so my husband put her in the stroller and they went for a walk. She got him to walk about 2 miles before she let him turn around, somewhere in Wendell, and come home. Even though he was the one doing the walking, she finally did take a nap later in the afternoon. She didn't wake up for much of the evening either. Pretty tired kid all day.

Sunday she wouldn't nap at all, and then she was disappointed that I hadn't bought carrots at the grocery store, so we went out later in the afternoon to go to the library, and to the grocery store. She vomited in the grocery store. Guess she really was sick. Maybe it was something she ate. We also managed to do a walk down to the state beach that day too. No nap Sunday, and she stayed up until 10pm. Go figure. One day she's exhausted, and the next day she won't sleep.

Monday it seemed like she was feeling better, and more like her normal self. We went to Northampton, finally getting out of the house around noon. Had lunch at Taipei & Tokyo - best lo mein she's ever had! Great food, and it was quiet and uncrowded by the time we got there. Walked around Main Street for a bit, and got a lollipop or 2 at Sweetie's, but didn't buy anything at Faces. Came back to the car, and decided to go to Hadley. The kid says "We haven't been to Target in a LOONG time..." LOL! So we go to Target, get some clothes for her- shorts and nightgowns. She insists we spend $2.50 on a big red bouncy ball too. I also managed to get some washer fluid for the car, which we needed. We got out to the car, and the husband decides to fill the washer fluid right away, and the run the wipers. Abby thought that was MAGIC!! She was in such awe of it for some reason. This is the same kid who I was screaming at to get her into the car at home because she was stalling so long, and was just in JOY watching the windshield and back window get cleaned. Haha!! Of course by the time we got home she was asleep. We let her sleep in the car.
While she was napping, my husband got the grill going, and then decided to set up the tent. When she woke up and saw the tent she decided that not only were we going to have our picnic inside, but we were going to sleep in it too. We tried to tell her that it was too cold, but her response was "well then you better get more blankets", and she wouldn't even wear her socks or long pants to bed. I know she was cold, but we did what she demanded. We dragged out lots of pillows and blankets, and settled in for the night. She slept better than we did, and we were very surprised to not have to sprint inside at 2am because of a scary noise or something. We actually had to really drag her back into the house when morning came because we had to get ready for work and school etc. She didn't want to leave. I guess we'll be doing some camping this summer!

The hard part too is that she won't use her inhaler medicine so we are back to the nebulizer. That thing is bulky and needs electricity so it will make camping a little tricky. Maybe we can run it off the car battery or something, but I wish she would have switched to the inhaler. Oh well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Who is here today?

I'm really wondering who these people are in the Learning Commons at the UMass library today. I figured the place would be completely empty, but I still see people studying at the tables, and a few on the computers. I wonder what the story is with the guy with gray hair and a mustache who really does look like he's studying. He is here every day, and not at the computers, but at one of the study tables. He must have a story of some sort. Maybe he's rich and going to school for the fun of it, or maybe he's unemployed and studying for a new job or something. Dedicated guy, that's for sure. I figure a few of these people are bloggers and locals who just need some air conditioning and a place to hang out, and I do recognize one guy, but what are these students doing here? Graduation is this weekend, finals are over. It's a beautiful day outside, get out!!

If you are one of them, and happen to see this, leave a comment or something. Let me know you're here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

more stories- warning strong language

Here's my warning- I'm not actually going to swear, but this is not a kid-friendly piece of work. It's stronger than my usual ramblings. Be warned. It's another piece I wrote back in April, and after some editing, I guess I will share this version of it. Some members of my writing class heard a slightly stronger version, but I really haven't toned it down much. I just deleted a few of the details.

"Stories I do not want to tell"
I do not want to talk about when I was arrested, or the time my mother fell down a flight of stairs. I do not want my daughter to hear about the time I was given a ride in a police car to the edge of town and told never to come back. I do not feel the need to share about being raped by a man who I lived with. I do not need to write about the scar on my arm and how it got there.

I know how hard it is to escape from an abusive boyfriend, but I do not need to write about this. I have no need to share about the speech I gave in a college classroom in 1992 advocating that same sex couples should be allowed to marry. I do not think anyone cares about the paper I wrote for my psychology class that same year. After all I married a man, and I am happy. I do not want to write about leaving a love, and coming back and then leaving again even though I knew it was wrong, and eventually had to leave again. I do not want you all to listen about how I held my breath for days when my period was late, and how much I rejoiced when it finally came and I knew I was not pregnant.

My mother is or was an alcoholic, and all the crazy stuff that comes with that. My father hit me. Once. I was fifteen, just beginning 10th grade, and I left. Before the age of 16 I drank, I smoked you-can-guess-what, and I had sex. I went to church and was born again, and then laughed at myself for that too. The summer when I was 21 was one of my homeless summers, and there is a lot I could say about that, but I won't.

I have lived, I have cried, I have nearly died. I do not need to write about all of that. If that is where the energy is, then I need to find it somewhere else. That is the past, and I am here now. When I hear the stories though, I feel it again even though I believe I am cured. My heart goes out to the world over and over. Maybe that is why I don't watch much television. I may not always show it, but I care. I haven't lived the wildest life, and others have suffered far worse than me. I am just a grain of sand on the beach, just one grain among the masses.

more old homework

I'm going through my writing class folder, and sorting through it a little bit. Here's another piece I wrote as homework. This one is about "privilege". I wrote it back in April.

I do not like the word "privilege". I am not sure what it means, or how to spell it,
or even how to pronounce it. It is not a word I am comfortable with. I do not feel
as though I have lived a privileged life or had many privileges in my life, although
I suppose I have. Dictionary.net defines the word as "1. A peculiar benefit,
advantage, or favor; a right or immunity not enjoyed by others or by all; special
enjoyment of a good, or exemption from an evil or burden; a prerogative; advantage;
franchise." So I have the privilege of having a job, of having a desk job, of
having a desk job where I can use the internet, and do personal things like
write this assignment on my lunch break. I have the privilege of having a car,
that I share with my husband. I have the privilege of having debt, a car payment,
a mortgage, two credit cards, a tuition bill for my daughter every month. I have
the privilege of having food in my house, food that will not be eaten this week
or even next week. I can afford to stock up on things when they are on sale,
and buy food that I'm not even sure if everyone will like.

I have not always had these privileges. I have been homeless, lived without a car,
and carefully purchased my groceries for exactly the number of meals that I felt
I needed to eat that week. I have had an empty refrigerator, and empty shelves,
and an empty stomach. I have been to the "Survival Center" for groceries.
I have been jobless, friendless, and alone.

I have the privilege of a husband, a daughter, good friends, and a loving family now.
For those I am most grateful.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

a poem I wrote in February- 10 more minutes

I just stumbled across this on my desk, as I'm cleaning, and I don't think I ever posted it before.

Ten more minutes

10 more minutes until it's time to go home
What do you do?
Find one last project to finish?
Clean your desk?
Grab a quick snack?
Check email
Surf the web
make your grocery list
call a friend just to say "Hello"
10 more minutes until it's time to go home
Do you pay a bill?
Send someone a birthday card?
Talk to a coworker
Stare at your child's artwork hanging on the wall?

10 more minutes until the little one is here
The nurse said just 10 more minutes and then
you and your loved one will have a baby in your arms
IF only it was that easy!
10 more minutes until it's time to go home

10 more minutes until your guests arrive
everything is done but what's left?
do you sit quietly and wait
or call to make sure they are on their way
do you give the bathroom one last scrub?
or eat some celery off the plate?
10 more minutes until your guests arrive

10 more minutes in the emergency room
you sit and wait
do you hold hands or hug
or call a friend
or nibble on a candy bar
or sip from a coffee cup
10 more minutes in the emergency room waiting

10 more minutes is what the doctors said
10 more minutes until they pull the plug
10 more minutes feels like an eternity
do you cry, laugh, or just sit and shrug?
do you hold hands, kiss, or look away?
10 more minutes before this life slips away.

------Draft, Feb. 11, 2009

Writing exercise- from a photo

Here's what I wrote for one of the exercises we did in our last writing class yesterday--

writing exercise- Photo- May 12, 2009

They are a gray-haired couple. He wears his grayness on is face with a full beard that is more white than gray. She is heavier than he is, wearing a floral shirt of some sort. His eyes are shining brightly, glasses aimed at his granddaughter on this happy occasion. A hearing aide glimpses out from behind his ear, aging him too quickly. Daughter and granddaughter smile for the camera but the true joy is his. He wears a university sweatshirt, a gift from the daughter probably, and he really is a happy man, in the midst of the women who love him dearly. If you could see the cake, hidden in the cardboard box on the table, then you might guess the occasion to be Spring, Easter, or a little girl's birthday. All are good answers for an April afternoon.

The lighting isn't quite right. You know this wasn't a professional with a camera, just a cheap disposable used for quick picture taking to capture memories, not for creating family heirloom displays.

The young child is happy. Happy for the camera, for the party, for grandpa, and for friends. She is hoping this day will never end. She is tall and muscular, looking older than her 3 years maybe, but I could be wrong.

The mother or daughter.. the woman in blue... who is that? Who is that overweight woman with the long messy hair? Why is she wearing such ugly, cheap clothes? What's wrong with her face? She's too frumpy for this picture. She can't possibly be related to the cute little girl with purple pants, or the smiling old man in the gray shirt. Is she the cleaning lady or something? She doesn't belong! But the man, unseen, holding the camera, refuses to be in the picture, so someone must hold the child and there she is.

The gray haired man, wearing the gray sweatshirt, he is the star of this photo.

(time is up)

Some writing about class, life, and being me

Well the writing class that I was taking finally finished yesterday. It was supposed to be a 12-week class, but I think we stretched it to 13. I only missed class once, and that was because I was at the doctor's office getting diagnosed with pneumonia. Anyway, I'm going to miss class. It gave me an excuse, and time to write. Today I feel very disorganized, lethargic, and just generally out of it. It has been difficult to get any work done. I am trying to get organized though. I'm going through my writing papers, and seeing what I can assemble for my boss, for work, to say "this is what I did, and this is what I learned, and this is what is useful to my job". It's a slow process. Maybe a cup of coffee will help.

In the meantime, is anyone giving out free makeovers? I could use one. One overweight woman, who does not believe in painting her face with cosmetics, has no budget for a wardrobe of nice clothes, is in desperate need of some assistance. Every time I see myself in the mirror or see a picture of myself, I cringe. Where did that double-chin come from? I know the extra 40 pounds isn't going to disappear tomorrow. I just wish I could look better today, this week, now. You know?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hello again, catching up

I just realized that it has been about 2 weeks since I last posted. Wow! Time goes fast sometimes.

My writing class is supposed to be over, but we are meeting one last time tomorrow. That will probably be it for me for a while for classes. Not getting much support from work for taking them. Oh well. Summer is coming, and Abby is growing, and my husband was away for a week but is back now. I seemed to have outgrown the "Toddler Mom" message board that I had been posting on. Abby isn't really a toddler anymore. She's in preschool, and almost completely potty trained (some nights are dry, some nights aren't, but we're improving every day).

Life just keeps happening, and we keep going, and I never even have time to turn the computer on at home. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and hoping that we are going in the right direction. You know? I'm not sure if I'm going to keep this blog going much longer or not. I seem to not be paying much attention to it. Might be time to pull the plug soon. We'll see.