Thursday, March 29, 2007

i really am here

i know i know i have been a terrible blogger and blog friend lately-- I made it through my way over-full sloshing over the sides week (which only was further complicated by a tragedy in the lives of some close friends and a few other unexpected events). Despite all of that, I made it through kids night out at school, finished sewing my dress, finished a painting, taught my last after school painting class for the year, finished all the gift baskets, had fun at the town ed foundation auction and now my mom is here visiting (so i am trying to use every precious moment!)- our plan was of course to whip my sorry house into shape after some serious trauma forced upon it by the ever active almost 2 yr old smart baby and to help it recover from the serious neglect I had shown it as of late. So I have been spending my days cleaning everything out from under bathroom sinks, sorting through those piles that seem to spontaneously appear, revamping laundry room closets, spring clothes clean out, food storage shelf redo, etc. This cleaning extravaganza was interrupted slightly by a phone call yesterday at 1pm (you should know when the caller id shows it is the school -that you afternoon is about to be shot) Smart son was running a fever and needed to be picked up- so we have the coughing and fever action going on here- So I will probably be scarce for the next week or so as i continue to use my every moment of maternal assistance on behalf of my house and sick kids-anyway stay tuned

Saturday, March 17, 2007

my cup runneth over... (a new twist)

The other day I was at a meeting and a woman remarked that if she didn't work she didn't think she'd get anything done (she would just put everything off). I had to laugh I don't "work" and at many times it seems like i don't get things done (seeing as cleaning the house and organizing with a toddler around is purely lateral movement and yields no quantitative measurable progress) in a day I really do get a lot done. If you know me you know I like a full life, My life is one giant multi-tasking extravaganza- there are always 100 things going on in my life. And most of the time it is all fine and I stay very busy, but very satisfied with my life- sometimes though there are delays, unforseen incidents that get thrown into the mix and that when things get dicey and i push myself or things get more chaotic than I would like. The common response I get though is that i need to learn to say no--(unlike many women I am actually a good limit setter and generally feel very in control of the boundaries in my life) but you know the simple answer is I don't want to say no. Here is reason- if i can work it into my schedule I'll say yes-I say yes because life is short- you get just so many minutes- as much as i would love time to sit contemplatively, to ponder, relax-- I tend to prioritize in the camp of doing etc- I am by nature a doer- a fast and furious doer. And I take my analogy this way- if life is a glass of water would i rather only fill it half way or would i rather fill it so full some sloshes over the side (yes the stuff I don't get to or get to put the time or energy I want into) Now, if i got paid for all i do I would probably be a wealthy woman. I find I am constantly in a state of decision making, prioritization. My to-do list right now has 19 things on it-- None of those are cleaning, meals, child rearing, etc. They are the other responsibilities. See to me the family stuff comes first (okay not all the cleaning does and sorting my food storage shelves doesn't always rank) and the rest are squish ins- which is why my to do list is never done- actually there are things on there that stay on there for months. I wake up knowing that i can never accomplish what is on my to-do list which is at times very depressing...But to me there is a moral element to it. I have to be the kind of mom that lets my kids make messes, that doesn't let them watch much TV, that cuddles them and reads to them because it makes a big difference. I care about the quality of education and not only for my children but the rest of the children in my community and so I go to meetings and volunteer. I believe in helping people in areas where I have expertise it is the moral thing to do. Yes it's alot- but you tell me what i should cut out? what doesn't make a difference? I can tell you i feel better doing these things than watching oprah or getting my nails done.
Here's my week in review (by sub categories):

Town ed foundation- meeting at my house with fresh cookies, shopping for gift basket items (3 different stores), assembling glam baskets for auction dance event next sat, sewing dress to wear to event, working on painting to donate at event, met up with two different people to drop off/pickup items
PTO- meeting this week, researching available grant money, and budgeting out a family book writing event, making posters/sinage for next friday festival.
Church- planning a lesson, helping a few different individuals with personal crises at the time, family night, scriptures, prayers
School- volunteered in smart sons classroom doing learning centers, taught after school painting class
Family- family night complete with games and instruments, made homemade donuts, got tadpole shrimp habitat set up, played countless rounds of legos, read a ton of books, played creative games, helped smart son make a kite for show and tell, took boys to the library, set up after school treasure hunt, practiced piano w/ smart son & took him to music.
Friends- helped two friends on their dissertations this week, spent more that 3 hrs this week on the phone with people providing professional educational counseling, delivered muffins to someone sick, committed to do cake and flowers for a wedding in july,
Home- paid bills, 7 loads of laundry, dinners, cleaning, grocery shopping, lunch making, planned vacations, booked 4 sets of airline tickets, set up 3 appts for the kids
Personal- had a drs appt, painting, listened to a few podcasts, watched dvd of oscar wildes good woman, showered 75% of the time, hair done 50% of the time, blogged!
Other - cleaned major diaper disaster (more than 2hrs), major makeup disaster,

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the rules are changing

seriously, someone keeps forgetting to give me the memo on the "new normal"

I have blogged before about children's birthday parties going out of control-I don't know where i was but the cost of the party locations be at least 15-20$ per child- then the gift bags, and don't get me off on presents Seriously smart son got a gift card from a girl who didn't even attend his party that was 60% of the entire budget I spend on his Christmas gifts.

And babysitters- I used to get 2$ an hr growing up- the going rate around here is $10-- what happened to the babysitting rate to minimum wage ratio?

Next item on the agenda --bottled water- when you go to someones house and they offer you a drink of water no longer is it cool to get it from the tap, not even from your filtered ice and water dispenser- the new thing is their very own sealed bottle- seriously.

It's not that i am not all for generosity but -- whoa...

Anyway I must be missing the meeting when they vote in the new rules- or maybe they didn't invite me because i'd object...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

saturday thoughts- why i am not a doctor

Today was a divide and conquer saturday- smart daddy-o took smart son to Y for swim and gym and I took smart baby to Boston for a quick pop in at a vascular malformations clinic to take a quick peek at a mysterious blue spot on his back (which thanks to an ultrasound which provided a clear diagnosis a fairly superficial venous malformation with only low flow vessels). I knew almost all the clinic docs from my work with the vascular birthmarks foundation. As I walked through the halls of Mass General Hospital - it made me realize how much i miss being in a hospital-- it sounds crazy but when i step into a hospital, I just want to go read charts, journal articles, go on rounds, and visit patients. seriously- even cafeteria food and linen carts make me nostalgic. It makes me think back to my days as a child life specialist- the training at johns hopkins was second to none, I turned down an offer to stay on and do a special fellowship because i felt i needed to finish up my classes and see where things were going with smart daddy-o (we were dating at the time). It was a hard choice but the right one-- after all i have two cuties to show for it. I love being a child life specialist because I love coming up with things to help patients and families and tailoring it to a specific individuals diagnosis, procedures, and needs- and it is the closest I will ever get to being a doctor. I really would have loved to have been a doctor-- and I think i would have made an incredibly good one- but i also knew i wanted to be a mom-- and i knew they were two jobs i couldn't do at the same time and do well (insert irate comments from feminists to me here). Life is about choices- I am happy with mine- it doesn't mean we can't miss things though--Life is short and in the words of a song I used to sing as a child "there are pages you'll turn words, that you'll never know, things that you never will learn". There is a truth in that that has always made me life my life fully- knowing my time is short- To me life is liking getting lots of invitations to parties all on the same day and at the same time. You might make a few appearances, but ultimately you pick the one you want to be at most!

here are my smart boys riding around together on the plasma car during family clean- aren't they too cute- I wouldn't trade them for a white coat any day (okay make that most days!)smart son with his all purpose "super gadget" and smart baby with his pencil aka wanna be super gadget

watch out mark hamill

smart son's hair has been getting thicker and straighter. His hair has never been short. Today though I noticed he was sporting mark hamill hair. I pointed out the uncanny resemblance to smart daddy-o who agreed. When I tried to tell him he looked like luke skywalker- he cut me off before I could even say it, "I know-I have looked in the mirror hundreds of times and noticed I look just like him!" It was the funniest thing I had heard in a long to time to imagine that whenever my 6 year old looks in the mirror he thinks to himself "I look just like luke skywalker". I then suggested maybe that's what he should be for Halloween to which he remarked- "yah- that would be good because i wouldn't even need to wear a mask" -- It's shame it's not han solo- I always thought he was the cutest and Luke was kind of whiny.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

50 things you might not know about me

50 Things you might not know about me-
I hate the ice cream truck music
My favorite food is pot roast
I bake (cookies/cakes/muffins) at least 3-4 times a week
I love foreign films
I used to play lacrosse and like sports with skirts
I get nostalgic for jr. high when I hear Milli Vanilli songs
I was in Math club
I was almost a cytogeneticist
I said I wouldn’t marry someone from UT- but then did
I have been to 47 states.
I love Moroccan and Turkish food
I always find good deals
I really like to help people
I always have creative projects going
I can talk to just about anyone- which is surprising because I was a very shy child.
When I taught at the college/university level most of my students were older than me.
I hate drying my hair
I really like HOT baths
I hate to get water in my eyes even in the shower
I love going to school
I had a fabulous collection of leisure suits and 60’s clothes in high school (only for special outings)
I can play Latin scrabble
I get whiny when i am sick
I can’t stick to a rigid schedule- it stresses me out
I hate not wearing mascara because my eyelashes are blonde
I rarely just watch tv- I am always doing a project at the same time.
I keep these weird free form journal/sketchbooks where I record things from favorite quotes, to plans for parties, painting sketches, Christmas shopping lists.
I am kind of a flavor of the week girl- I love change
I get very attached to my friends, they affect me deeply
The only time I wear tennis shoes is when I exercise- I hate them any other time
I make great homemade whole wheat bread
I don’t get intimidated by anyone.
I have been pregnant 8x- miscarried all but my 2 boys
I love sour things
I fall asleep in movies 90% of the time
I can’t buy really expensive of extravagant things- it freaks me out
I have been to 13 countries but never to mexico.
I think watching local news is torture
I like marshmallows in cold chocolate milk
I sound like my mom on the phone
I have many many pairs of shoes
I love museums
I don’t like the way lotion feels
I do well in math but I can’t remember number sequences and only have 5 phone numbers memorized
I can hear really really high pitched frequencies that most people can’t like those emitted from TVs even when they are muted.
I like overcast days as much as sunny days.
Sometimes I forget how tall I am walk into things like branches
I was a totally easy obedient teenager
I hate looking at condiments (like puddles of ketchup on a plate)
My arm span is 4” longer than my height (yep you guess it I am really a monkey)

puerto rico- part 2

okay back to where I left off (i have so wanted to blog these week but it has been insanely busy and every time something has been in my way- but no more!!)- beautiful warm Puerto Rico - Wednesday we got up and drove to Arecibo to the worlds largest radio telescope- It was cool I really i enjoyed the topography of the karst region with the sinkholes. We stopped at a scenic lookout - i informed smart daddy-o that i wasn't hiking up any further because i knew it was going to rain and yes within 1 minute of my exclamation a sudden downpour started- at a full sprint we were soaked by the time we hit the car. We stopped and had pinchos (tasty and the bread was really good too) at a roadside truck thing- and then went down to Lagos dos bocas- were we went on the free water taxi ride- we were the only people beside the workers and one old man headed home and a boy taking it as his ride home from school. It was so beautiful. We sat there for a while just watching a pelican swoop down and catch fish- and admiring the amazingly gorgeous views. On the way back we stopped at some gorgeous beaches in Arecibo. The surf was rough and i loved watching the waves crash against the rocks- I totally love beaches with sand and rocks. Smart daddy-o was climbing on some rocks looking at hermit crabs and called me to come over- of course just as i tried to get over there a giant wave came and soaked me and slammed me against the rocks. Thursday we got up and went walking with our friend , she takes this beautiful walk along the beach each morning- it was so gorgeous and then we just stayed on the beach for hours- not a person in sight- basking the in the sun and reading books under the palm trees and finished off the afternoon with a trip to Coldstone creamery and went on a little hike up to some bluffs where we sat and enjoyed the sunset with A. Then we night swimming at the pool in our friend's the H's neighborhood. Then Friday we went to El Yunque the rain forest. It was beautiful we went on a gorgeous little hike to a waterfall-we brought a lunch and just sat on the rocks out in the water for hours relaxing. Then that night we met the H's who brought kayaks and we went kayaking in the bio luminescent bay for a few hours- seriously although they are the age of my parents they put us to shame kayaking! It was a gorgeous night and you could see all the stars. We made smart daddy-o jump out and swim around for us so we could appreciate the full effect of the glowing water. (he could have totally been in one of those 1940s MGM movies with the swimming in them- he could be the next esther williams). Saturday we enjoyed our last moments at the beach and the H's graciously invited us to join them with for a delightful lunch at a club overlooking the pristine beach where they were entertaining some church authorities in town for a training meeting. From there we left for the airport- and made our way back home. It was such a wonderful trip and many thanks to our friends the H's who made it absolutely perfect and are the best Bed and Breakfast in PR! and sadly my essence of tan i acquired is now hidden under the layers requisite of 20 degree weather and sunny warmth is a mere memory. So if you are thinking about a trip to PR- I say just do it!