Friday, March 31, 2006

I quit. (not the blog, don't worry everyone)

I just quit reading a book. Before finishing it. AND (this is the real kicker!) it was by Margaret George, who I adore. I started this one with some doubts, and for only the 2nd time in my life, I said to myself, "Self, you were right. This isn't worth reading." Not that it was written any differently than her others, but it was just... weird. It's her book about Mary Magdalene called *Mary Called Magdalene* (clever, no?). I thought I would like the more story-book take on Mary's life, but it was too weird. It's odd to read sacred stories in a novel when there are certain things we know she had to make up (different personality traits or comments of famous people like, say, Jesus). I remember learning about fiction vs. non-fiction in school and the idea of a historical work quoting conversations that were the author's best guess. (For example David McCoullough couldn't know that Thomas Jefferson said, "Hey, there, Mom, can we have roast beef for dinner" although he has to put that in the book to make it readable.) Maybe I can't read novel-remakes of Biblical events at all. I don't think it was Ms. George's lack of capability because I LOVE her other works. Anyone else read this?

A (hopefully) lovely new way to cart my baby around

I found a new kind of kid-carrier... and I can't resist them! I should be getting one soon and the anticipation is killing me.
I have a baby who likes two things which are nigh unto impossible with my current sling. He likes to be upright (but can't hold his head up on his own, so no kangaroo-ing it yet!) and he likes to see out. If he's sleeping he'll do great in my sling (which I must mention is compliments of my dear sister's m-i-l) but awake he goes BALLISTIC if I put him in it. So I'm getting a Mei Tai, which can be found at as well as other places. I'll post a pic when it comes. LOVE wearing the baby, don't love back pain (or getting nothing done because he's still a two-handed project these days!). Stay tuned. (I know all 5000 readers of you are at the edge of your seats to see the results of this one!)

Good thing we're doing this blog thing together...

Since neither one of us can post regularly enough to provide a consistent blog experience for our readership. Oh wait, that's you, LCS!

So, the red realtor sign went up in the front lawn yesterday. The yard needs some work, but we wanted it on in case anyone's in town looking this weekend. Here in the middle East, there *is* such a thing as spring-when-house-buying-picks-up. At least, that's what we've been told.

And yes, if I had any spare seconds of time (and a stronger housing market), we'd try selling it ourselves. It's awful to add up what we'll pay to get this house sold, as the market ain't so grand around here. Bryan, want to sell for us too? Thanks.

The winter semester is winding down (yes, another sign of the middle East: that semester that lasts from January-April or May? Called winter here) and I can't wait for it to be over this time--only because it's hard to be in one place and try to do a good, thorough job, while also wanting to be doing the interesting work of planning for the fall somewhere else!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Who am I kidding?

We went to the city we used to live in for a day last week. I really miss that place. With all that has happened in the last six months, I hadn't really given myself permission to miss it. (I roll my eyes at that term "give myself permission", but it's the closest way to describe how I have kept my feelings at bay.) I've gone through this whole move with a "it's-great-for-my-husband-and good-for-us-too" mentality, and those things are true... it's been a wonderful move, but why do I feel like I'm not allowed to be sad about leaving one place, like it's somehow being unsupportive of my husband and family? My husband's family believes in expressing what you feel, even if it's hard for someone else to hear.... a good trait, really, because it leads a person to be a lot more honest. If he's upset, hurt, irritated, etc about something, he tells me. It's hard for me to do the same because somehow I start to feel like my feelings are selfish. I'm no martyr, believe me (aside to p: My mother is a martyr.). I just need to be honest about my feelings before they turn into resentment.
Like about motherhood. What I really, really miss about my pre-motherhood life is time alone. I don't go to the bathroom alone these days, as anyone who has lived with a toddler might understand. I'm even now holding a soon-to-be-bellering infant. I don't do errands alone, I don't talk on the phone alone, I don't drive alone. I don't think my husband understands what the big deal is since he misses the kids a lot during the 48 hr shifts he works. Perhaps I didn't realize how much I missed that time until I responded to proff's post about going away for three days sans the kidlets. I felt a little resentful. Going to a conference to discuss something other than double strollers and diaper rash? Sorry to go, are you crazy?!! I'd give my eye teeth for a few days of talking or even just thinking unabashedly about what matters to me! I miss that. Maybe more than I realized.
One thing I can be honest about, I don't think I've made decisions based on entirely on guilt or simply because I haven't been honest with myself. I know it wouldn't work for me to be the kind of spouse that says, "No, I won't move to another place for your career, Mr. Breadwinner, because I just don't want to." It really has been a good thing for our family, but there's always some sadness involved with leaving a great place and it's OK to be sad about it. I also know it wouldn't work for me to work and do the mom thing at the same time. I'd rather feel torn up about my professional me-time than feel torn up about my time with my ever-changing kids... but that is just me and a VERY personal decision. I just need to be OK with the fact that not everything is 100% good or evil. There are some great things about his new career and some not so great things. There are some great things about stay-at-home parenting and some not so great things. But what I should not be editing my feelings by saying, "everything is really great except this one thing, but it isn't a big deal, so don't pay attention to it anyway". Like that old song we used to hear in 2nd grade back in the early '80s... "It's OK to cry". It's OK that everything isn't 100% positive too.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Out the door...

I'm off to the annual rite of spring for geeky academics like me--our yearly convention. Yes, thousands of profs and grad students from across country descend on one unwitting city a year--to talk about writing, about teaching, about technology, about working conditions, about ... grad school memories, about our jobs. I'm looking forward to this year's bizarre-ness--I'll be catching up with some old friends and meeting up with some new ones. The biggest major bummer that I'm not thinking about right now: leaving my two darlings for far too many days. But I won't think about that.


Monday, March 20, 2006

eighth wonder of the world

It took me a month of riding in a filthy car to finally get it together to go through the drive-through car wash. How does it happen that today it is POURING down rain? The same karma that strikes me when I've finally got two kids ready to head out the door and the baby decides the last round of breastmilk is better suited to his outfit (or diaper) than in his belly... and another round of we're-ready-oops-no-we're-not begins.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I hate money

It boggles my mind how many thousands of dollars we go through just to have a regular life. We aren't taking wild vacations or buying Eddie Bauer limited edition SUVs. We don't eat out every night (believe me, with two little kids now that doesn't even sound appealing anymore). But somehow, we manage to drain the checking account (and then some) each and every month.
Hard to believe that there are people in this world who are so fabulously wealthy that they don't think twice about how much they spend. I often dream of being one of them. Not because I want the latest Louis Vuitton bag or a nicer house, but just because I HATE the stress of living a little too close to our means. Don't go out there and hold a bake sale on our behalf, and I know that there are many, many people striving just as hard, if not harder, than us and having even more barriers in their paths. I don't really want more stuff (although I'd never turn down a new pair of shoes) I just want to not stress about bills.
But with any kind of blessing comes a level of stress, right? If I had a bunch of money, maybe I'd be worried that I didn't get the RIGHT Louis Vuitton bag, or that the circle I ran with was going to a better resort than I for my Carribbean vacation. Maybe I'd be stressed that the zip code my house was in was not the hippest place to be anymore. Maybe I'd worry that my interior decorator was not going to finish decorating my house before the big cocktail party I'd be hosting for my many wealthy cohorts and then they'd wonder about my ability to hire a decorator. Maybe I'd meet the president at some sort of soiree for rich people and I'd pop off at the mouth and he'd have my phone lines tapped. Then I'd end up in Abu-Garib or some such place just waiting for my charges to be published and an attorney to be granted.
So I guess I don't wish for more money. That would really stink.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Return to the planet!!

So after a month of using the "I have a toddler and a newborn" excuse, I'm back to the blog. I don't know as if I've ever had a busier month, nor a more interesting one. We've had visitors nearly non-stop (and that won't subside until Sunday at the earliest).
It's going quite well with the newborn who I have to say (whilst knocking on much wood) is a wonderful sleeper, and a sweet sweet baby. Even at that, sleep is a hot commodity here at my house, and while driving back from the airport today, I actually considered closing my eyes for a moment, until my rational brain said, "wait a minute. You can't do that while driving, you know." Then I was daydreaming about pulling over to the side of the freeway and sleeping... both kids were doing that, so why couldn't I? Motherhood does something special to one's neurons I suppose.
Well, a hungry mouth cries. Off I go...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Dental Work

Until yesterday, I could never figure out why people didn't like going to the dentist.

I mean, if it's painful, you're given pain meds, right?

Until yesterday, I'd never had anything drilled. Drilling is beyond words: I was sure the drill was going to end up in my upper jaw and poke out through my eyeball. The vibration nearly made me sick--my head felt, all of a sudden, not-me. It was totally repulsive.

Apologies for all of the times I've laughed inwardly at people bemoaning trips to the dentist. I'll be joining you now.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Someone we know well is on a trip across the US right now--five weeks, two young European guys. They're seeing more of this country than I've ever seen...and yes, a teeny, tiny part of me felt old and settled as I watched them pull away Monday morning.

Then, I stumbled on this on another blog:

(Hmm. I'm a techno loser: why can't I copy-and-paste the code on this page into this one? I tried to add in my map here but it didn't work. Can anyone tell me why?)

I've visited 41% of the states. This actually looks more impressive than it is--for many of these states, I've been to the major city for a conference or we traveled through it on our blitz-move out here. That's not *really* visiting a state, is it?