The Spring Egg Hunt

on 31 March 2010

In a nauseating display of political correctness, the hospital hosted a Spring Egg Hunt for the children of employees.  

Chris, as the Administrative Resident, was designated the Easter Bunny (which, why is it a Spring Egg Hunt but we still have an EASTER bunny?  Makes no sense to me...), so naturally the Boy and I went to show our support in his hour of humiliation.  But it was all for the children, man, so he was a good sport.

After all, he got to ride in on a HARLEY!

(Samwise!  Check it out! Just like in Steel Magnolias!  Only, I'm not pregnant so I couldn't be in labor, but still!  Just like it!)

Chris was awesome, the kids loved him and mauled him just to prove it...

The Boy was the ONE child who had an absolute melt-down at the sight of him.  Of course, that could be my fault--1) I hate people dressed up in costumes like Chris could tell you--we went to Disney World and I made a WIDE path around any and all characters.  They give me the heebeejeebees. And maybe that's genetic...OR 2) I kept telling him that it was ok, it was his DADDY.  And he just couldn't wrap his darling little mind around that one.  Either way, he wouldn't get within 4 feet of him so there are no pictures. 

But I did get some pics of him at the egg hunt!  He was an awful hunter!  It was just perfect!  We got to stroll and look at the trees and the grass and the pineneedles and he could NOT have cared less about those tacky plastic eggs until I pointed one out and then he decided that they might just warrent further investigation.

Oh, and if you noticed the red on his fingers and worried that he was bleeding, he wasn't.  He just had to sneak off and STEAL the small pot of face paint from the woman painting faces.  Before I could nab him in the act he had stuck his fingers in it.  

All in all we had a smashing time.  The weather was charming, if a bit windy and it always amuses me to see the Boy interacting with other children.

What's Been Going on...

on 29 March 2010

This is your Husband:

This is your Husband on an Administrative Residency in Coastal Georgia:

And on that front...we're job hunting like mad, but we've officially decided NOT to stay.  There are some fantastic people down here, friends that I will sorely miss, but it's not a good fit for our marriage or for our family.  So in the event that we don't have anything lined up by July, we'll still be moving.  We're hope hope hoping that we have something.  We've moved once with no job and no school and no real reason to be somewhere and it was haaaaaaard.  But it turned out really good, so for now we're having faith that we'll get something and as soon as we know.  You'll know.

And now you have been updated.  M, over and out.

The Sun is Comin' Up

on 24 March 2010

Have you ever had one of those conversations that left you feeling filled with hope?  Maybe it wasn't anything consequential, nothing earth-shattering or deep or serious.  Just the act of sitting and talking to another human being, of laughing together and commiserating over shared frustrations and ultimately laughing at how far you've come.

My friend B called me last night.  We talked for almost 2 hours and lo, it was wonderful.

I haven't felt like I could really confide in anyone for a while now and it was so great to just sit and talk and not worry about how everything would be interpreted.  We talked about crafts and Easter and our kids and our husbands and job search frustration.  We talked about service and trying to feed our families healthy foods.  We talked about the logistics of having more than one small child and laughed about our efforts to get by with the hands that we have.  I told her about the Boy's goofiness and how he cracks me up.  We talked about her sister's upcoming wedding and the drama of planning said wedding and I laughed and sighed and was just so GLAD it wasn't me!  We talked about the posters we had up on our walls when we were teenagers and oh man, that was a good laugh.

I'm not sure if it's that I'm finally getting healthy enough to have a good conversation without breaking down into wheezing coughs (I've been sick for 2 weeks, oh how I wish I was exaggerating), or if it's just been too long since I've had a good laugh (January--New Mexico--Samwise...oh that girl can make me laugh so hard I question my bladder), but whatever the reason I went to bed feeling happy and woke up feeling a wonderful sense of hope and peace. 

(If you're curious the Boy is cracking me up.  Yesterday he was rolling a golf ball back and forth across the window sill and cracking himself up.  If there is anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, that he really likes whether it's a toy or his SHOES, he puts it up close to his neck and face and gives it a bone-crushing hug.  It's awesome.  Oh, and at one point I had a wall covered in posters of New Kids on the Block--until I developed my current (fabulous) taste in music.  Yes, it is a bit mortifying, but dude--I was 13.  Is there anything at 13 that ISN'T mortifying?)

I've blogged about it before but it bears with repetition.  I remain pleasantly surprised at the amazing women I meet.  No matter where I go, no matter the town or the geography, there are extraordinary women there.  They are smart and fierce and kind and incredibly funny. 

I went to bed late last night.  I didn't sleep particularly well again.  But I woke up this morning with a sense of light at the end of this long tunnel.  A wonderful feeling of having never really been alone, despite how it felt at times.  A sense that things may still be hard, but there WILL be laughter.

Behold the power of a good conversation.

Notable Absence

on 22 March 2010

Over the course of 2 days I've gotten 2 different emails inquiring as to my absence in the blog-o-sphere.

How to explain?

Writer's block?  The white, blank, staring of that terrible box.  Yes.  But also not quite.

I've written out post after post over the past few weeks.  Relating stories that I found funny, putting thoughts and jumbled up feelings into cohesive sentences.  And then it's the frantic DELETE DELETE DELETE.  It's more like Writer's Second Guessing.  Writer's Commitment-phobia.  Publication Paranoia.  With a steaming side of self-doubt.

I find myself thinking obsessively about you, my audience, my friends, family and former co-workers.  And there are those of you whom I've never met but still consider to be my friends.  After all, we talk.  Well.  I talk.  I worry about reception and comprehension.  I am frustrated at my inablity to communicate effectively and that frustration makes me mean.

Just ask Chris.  He's been on the business end of my mean-streak for the past 3 or 4 weeks.  Poor guy.

(Just for the sake of honesty, I'm currently, furiously, fighting the urge to DELETE DELETE DELETE right NOW.)

I don't know what to say and so I find myself saying the same poor, tired words.  All used up from so many previous posts, so many already told stories.  And I hate myself for the repetition.

Coupled with the, sometimes irresistible urge to DELETE DELETE DELETE, comes the urge to DELETE the whole blog.  End it.  Destroy it.  Find some sort of solace in burning it all to the ground.  But the quiet part of my mind understands that the blog, ultimately, doesn't belong to me.  It belongs to you, dear reader.  It belongs to Chris and the Boy.  I'm just the unnamed narrator.  My job is to captivate, to illustrate, to illuminate--not to govern.

And so I remove myself from temptation.  I step away from the blog with my hands in the air.  I turn off the computer and pace. 

And to fill up the time, I read a lot.  I'm currently working on Adam Bede by George Eliot and a book called Inside the Victorian Home--which, in spite of it's title is a fascinating look at where we were 100+ years ago, which isn't so far away from where we are now.  We like to think that we're so evolved, so very different from our history and yet...we really aren't.  I read a collection of essays called the Mother in Me and it was wonderful.  I read the introduction to War and Peace by Pevear and Volokhonsky and then went back and reread all of the introductions to all of their translations to gain a more thorough understanding of what it is they're trying to do for Russian literature.  I reread some Isaac Babel, and sections from some of my previously read and much loved favorites.

I listen to a lot of music.  I just picked up the soundtrack from (500) days of Summer.  The movie was only ok but the soundtrack was AMAZING.  I went out two days later and bought it.  It makes me and the Boy rather happy to have it on.  I keep listening to this song obsessively (no, it's not on the soundtrack, it's from another playlist I have going most of the time).  I find it suits my current mood just perfectly.

And I do stuff.  I hang out with friends, I take the Boy and we go walk around.  I find it hard to sit still.  Sitting still I remember how very tired I am.  I'm not sleeping well.  I don't really know why.  Well, right now it's because Chris isn't here.  He's in Chicago this week.  Once the Boy is in bed for the night the apartment is despairingly quiet.  But this is all beside the point.

Don't worry about me.  I'll be ok.  It's just a funk.  It's partly spring and allergies and long, long days.  There's no exciting news, we're not pregnant, we don't have a job yet, we're not moving or vacationing any time soon.  I would tell you.  I like communal happiness and private anxiety.  And that's really all it is.  It's not unhappiness, it's not foul or sad or grumpy.  It's anxiety and nervousness and jittery fidgets.

And now we have reached the end of this post, at which point I would normally proof and edit and then pace a bit and then come back and DELETE DELETE DELETE, but instead I'm just going to click PUBLISH and then step away. 

So tell me.  How are you guys doing?


on 15 March 2010

Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan, stays just long enough

to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark
source.  As for me, I don't care
where it's been, or what bitter road
it's traveled 
to come so far, to taste so good.

Stephen Dunn

Breaking the Rainy Day

on 11 March 2010

I have to admit, spring has sprung 'round these parts.   We've had sunny days in the mid 60s all week, complete with a dusting of yellow pollen powder over everything.  The Boy and I have taken to spending most afternoons out behind our apartment.  We pull out his Tonka push toy and a chair and my crocheting and plop our lazy selves in the sun.  The cats have taught us well.

(Tangent the First:  It's highly amusing to watch the Boy plough that Tonka toy through the grass and watch the yellow pollen float up behind him like he was driving down a dirt road.  Of course, that's probably why I've spent so much time and tissues wiping his nose this week.)

Today dawned grey and wet wet wet.  Not the soft misty drizzle of my former Seattle days, this was a torrential SAVE YOURSELVES flooding down pour.  I know.  I had to run errands in it.  The poor Boy kept going to the back door and pulling on the knob.  I explained it was too wet to go play outside.  He was NOT happy.

It doesn't help that he's not quite back on his schedule yet.  (We had an impromtu visit to North Carolina last week and Grandma's House = NO Schedule whatsoever.)

Anyway, after battling him for naps all morning and wiping snot and drool all morning I thought  there had to be a solution for this.


We live just down the street from a Wendy's.  So into the car we went and down the street.  1 Frosty was acquired.  We came home, we put on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and shared the frosty. 

We then boogied  to JatATD.  It was super FUN.

(Tangent the Second:  I love's goofy and odd and immenently singable.  The Boy loves the colors and the music so we both get down in our goofiest, please-close-the-blinds way.  It was a perfect rainy day afternoon.)


2010 Mission Statement

on 08 March 2010

I rarely write these down, but I wanted to make sure I'm not crazy for doing this, so here goes.

Every year--at the start of the year--I start thinking about what I want to focus on during the year.  I usually pick just one thing.  Last year it was physical fitness.  I had this phrase that I kept poking in my brain--my inner athlete.  I wanted her to feel the love, so last year I focused a lot of energy and time on working out and trying new things--30 day Shred (the video that makes me want to DIE, but also makes me feel strong), running, walking, a fitness buddy (hey Debbi!  I miss you!), and yoga--all done regularly.  And by September I was in pretty decent shape, back in my pre-pregnancy denim and skirts, back to feeling pretty healthy.

This year, I've been thinking about this passage from the end of a Christmas Carol.  I read it back in December and it's been stuck in my mental socks ever since:

"Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms.  His own heart laughed; and that was quite enough for him."

Charles Dickens

 I've been thinking about how much time and energy and STRESS I expend in dwelling on what others think about me.  About how I look, how I dress, how I speak, how I write, how I parent.  And it bothers me.  Mostly because I know that at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what other people think about me.  And also because I don't WANT to care what they think, I don't want to dwell on it.  I just want to live my life.

So that's what I'm doing in 2010.  I'm living my life and if people laugh.  They laugh.  If they criticize, they criticize.  If they stop reading, stop calling, stop whatever-ing.  So be it.  I am M and I can be nothing more nor less.  This is the year I set myself free from everyone else's opinions.

Updating for Updating's sake

on 01 March 2010

So I watched this interview that Michelle Obama did with Matt Lauer and she was telling him that she does Roses and Thorns with her kids at dinner at night.  They tell things that they liked and didn't like throughout the day.  In that spirit, here's what's going on in these parts:


  • The Boy's first discernible word is Pickle.  I wish I was exaggerating, but alas, I am not.  And yes, it is HILARIOUS.
  • I'm working on 3 separate Easter projects (a sweater, a basket and a bunny--all for the Boy) and while they're taking all of my time, they're super cute and soft and it feels good to make things with my hands.
  • My friend Mona sent me cookies!  In the MAIL!  And they were AWESOME.  We shall not discuss how many cookies I ate last weekend.
  • Our local library had a book sale and I found a copy of the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace for $1!  I was so excited I came home and started it and lo, I am delirious with the joy of reading.  I finished the introduction and I sighed and Chris asked what was wrong and I said, "I just LOVE these people.  I love their minds.  I love the way they see the work of translation.  I want to sit at their feet and learn the art of it.  It makes me so happy."  And yes, he shook his head and thinks I'm a little odd.  It's ok.  I'm at peace with my oddness.
  • My friend Brett had her baby!  Two weeks early!  I get to go and hang out with them this afternoon.  
  • I have watched an abnormal amount of Olympic figure skating this past week.  I have to say, I love the short programs because you get the whole field of skaters.  I LOVE to see the skaters come from poor countries, or poorly represented countries.  I love to hear their stories and see their parents in the crowd.  I cried 3 times during the women's short program and twice during the men's.  It's just so amazing to see how far they've come, how hard they've worked and all of the sacrifice that's gone in to the skaters being at the Olympics.  It's awesome.
  • I've done some other writing.  Some of which may be published in a book...but we'll see.  I'm sort of assuming that I'll get more information and as I get it, I'll pass it on to you guys.
  • I made muffins to freeze and then thaw for quick breakfasts and they are yummy.  Of course, eating one means that the Boy chases me around the apartment with his mouth wide open begging for bites.
and Thorns:
  • Chris' laptop died.  And by died I mean it's DEAD.  It won't even turn on.  Not even a little bit.  BUT!  The silver lining is that our friend Jeff told us about this cable that we could run between his laptop and my own and transfer all of the data from Chris' laptop on to mine.  So we did that (the hospital had one that they loaned us), so the good news is that we have everything that was on Chris' laptop. 
  • We still have no job.  We haven't heard anything from the places where we've submitted applications and that makes me sad.
  • I'm back to working out 3-4 times a week.  I started out doing yoga again because yoga makes me happy and I love the way I feel after wards, but then I got all ambitious and decided to go back to 30-day Shred again.  I guess I forgot, having not used that program for many many months, how it makes me want to DIE.  I used it last week and was so sore after wards that I walked like an old woman for the next 2 days.  It was bad.  I felt very lame.  But I'm going to try again this week because apparently, I am glutton for punishment.
  • I only took 4 pictures of my child during the month of February.  I feel terrible!  I'm usually so much better about documenting him than that.  But in a way it's ok, for I have resolved to do better by March.

And now you're in the loop with Burnstopia.  Happy March, y'all.  I for one am relieved to bid adieu to February.  What's next?