Friday, March 30, 2012

The lights on the city look so good....

This morning, I went for a run in the rain, after a week loaded with emotions, good and bad, loaded with overwhelming sadness about Harald and pride for my son in his school play and love for the community that we get to belong to... after a week with a lot of hard work, making and delivering a meal to a family who has been hit with a loss, and a migraine, and talks with Tad and on and on...

And it's Friday. And two of my close friends are coming into town to see my baby boy in his play, and I have my last day of work, and I am so goad for that.  And I went for a run in the rain and the Jayhawks came on my ipod shuffle...  They were singing a lovely song by Victoria Williams. These are the lyrics

What kind of song would you give if you had a song to give
What kind of life would you live if you had a life to live?
Wouldn't you want to make something good?
That you could look on?
Give you lots of pleasure, yeah you would.
What about this thing you gave...what if it weren't quite perfect?
What if there was something bad about it?
Would you love it just the same?
Would you still care about it?
The lights on the city look so good, almost like somebody thought they would.

I leave you with this, dear readers and happy weekend to you. Below is the youtube link to the Jayhawks singing this number with its writer-Victoria Williams.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Time management

I've been at a three-day training this week. Well, so far a two-day training but tomorrow's day three so all told, it's a three-day training.
Anyway, today they gave us the option of starting late tomorrow since we're way ahead of schedule and then paused for people's opinions.
Being the kind of person I am which is the kind of person who really likes it when things end early and when things run late really thinks she might run screaming from the building like it is on fire, I piped in.
"Well, I always say, the earlier we end the better."
Our trainers said, "So we start on time then?"
And then I noticed cringes on a few of my fellow trainees faces.  "Oh!" I said, "It's not just me! You don't have to listen to me!"
And one of the trainees said, "Well, I just really like to sleep in..."
And our trainer said "Well even if we start a half hour late, we can still end around 12:30"
"Oh!" I said, "Well, that's fine with me.  Ending early at all is a thrill to me. If we're outta here by one well..." then I trailed off sort of and our trainer said, "Well, of course if we're having really good conversation I don't want to cut it short."
"Oh my God!" I said, hand over my face.  "I'll stop talking!"
Then someone laughed and said, "Well, Alie just wants to get the heck out of here!" And everyone laughed.
At this point I felt a bit bad for sounding that way, and so I said, "No no! I don't want to get out of here. I will gladly stay if we're having good conversation! I'll just be happy if I can pick my kids up from school at 3:30."
But the truth is, if it goes beyond 1:00 I'll likely be pulling my nails out by the cuticles and trying not to writhe in my seat.  I like a good early ending. Especially on a Friday.
And it's not just because its a work training.  I am like this at sporting events, plays and concerts too. I'm always thinking "When's this gonna end so I can go home and think about it?!"
Is this blog post over yet? Sheesh!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Inside my head

Sometimes things make me laugh that haven't even happened.  Which is really weird but makes it rather entertaining to be me.

For example:

I was just walking with my lunch from the kitchen to my desk at work.  I nearly dropped my baggie of crackers on the floor.  I bobbled them but caught them before they fell.  They are very fragile crackers, and if I had dropped them, I might have then stepped on them and they would have been crushed to bits! So in my head, I did drop them and step on them and then I yelled "Dastardly!" And then I imagined laughing because 'dastardly' would be a funny thing to say and my coworkers would likely have heard and either laughed or asked me what happened. Then I would have to explain about having crushed my very fragile crackers.  This vision in my head made me laugh out loud and then two more things went off in my mind like fireworks made in two chambers to explode and then explode again.  I thought of how funny it would be to try and explain to my coworkers why I was laughing (which I often have to do, happily) and then I thought of the phrase 'very fragile cracker' which could describe a group of very sensitive white people. And this made me laugh more and then I stood up and saw that my cubicle mate, Tiffany, was not there to hear me and ask why I was laughing. 

A similar firework of laughter occurred when I was at IKEA.  I was in the cafe, thinking about what to eat and deciding on Swedish meatballs.  First of all, I asked the guy at the counter if instead of the 16 meatballs that the menu advertised as the lunch, could I just have 8.  "I can't eat sixteen meatballs" I said to him, "No way! But I could eat eight. I just don't want to waste them."
He barely looked up at me. "No." he said gruffly. "You cannot have eight.  Only ten." And then he gave me twelve!
And guess what! I only ate eight.  This made me laugh but it wasn't inside my head, but rather outside my head in the world.  At any rate, because of the Swedish meatballs, what did happen inside my head was this:
I thought about how we do these cultural potluck dinners with some friends of ours.  Half are vegetarians and we always bring vegetarian dishes from other countries. And I thought about how if we did Sweden, I could try and find some vegetarian take on Swedish meatballs.  But what to call them?  This is what caused me to laugh at what was inside my head.  I thought, Swedish tofuballs? Meatless Swedishballs?
And then I was overcome with a fit of giggles by myself in the bathroom about Meatless Swedish Balls.  I am laughing out loud right now. 
And Tiffany is back at her desk so I have to go explain to her why I'm laughing.  Even though she didn't ask.  She'll wanna know.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

All Apologies

I have, at times, been a chronic apologizer.
"I'm sorry."
"Stop apologizing."
"Oh, I'm sorry...Damnit!"
Like many women, I have apologized for things beyond my control. Like a rainy day ruining a plan, or someone else not doing well on a test. 
Tad, on the other hand, is not a fan of apologies, heartfelt or otherwise.  And he especially dislikes it when I get mad at him and then later apologize for being mad.
"Stop apologizing. You can be mad at me."
"I'm sorry...oh CRAP!" 
But he has a special way of apology that makes light of whatever argument or conflict we were having and I think I finally understood how to do it this morning.

So first let me explain Tad's method of apology.  On the Ikea night, (You can read about that here) we argued about the fact that I chose to spend all night putting two beds together even though it was seventy degrees outside and sunny.  Simply put, it was something I wanted done immediately and something Tad wanted done far in the undetermined future.  And though it was a tense night which carried out into the next morning, Tad came and gave me a warm hug goodbye on the kids' school playground.  As he embraced me, he said into my ear, "I'm sorry you had to put two beds together last night."

See how that works? HE is apologizing for something for which he thinks I might be to blame.  Impressive, huh?

So Coen's going to be in a play this week, more on that in another post and there are play T-shirts for sale at school.  Tad and I simultaneously, but unbeknownst to each other ordered T-shirts for our whole family.

When I was in New York, I sent Tad a long text explaining that I ordered shirts for all of us and to bring a check for $30 to play practice.  Tad, apparently only read, "bring a check" and texted back "It's already by the coffee maker" and I was impressed with his on-top-of-it-ness. 

When I came home, I asked him what size he got me and he said something like "I'm sorry if I got you the wrong size. They were very boxy shirts."  But I noticed that I was only seeing three shirts floating around, and I assumed his was in his closet or something. Finally this morning we had this conversation:
Me: What size shirt did you get me?
Tad: I don't know. You can take whichever one works for you.
Me: Well, who's shirt is on the dresser? That big one?
Tad: Mine.
Me: Okay, and where's Lucy's
Tad: That's the other one on the dresser.
Me: Okay, wait. How many shirts did you buy?
Tad: Three
Me: So you didn't buy me a shirt! Why didn't you just tell me?  How much did you pay for them?
Tad: I don't know.
Me: You don't KNOW?
Tad: I don't know.
Me: *heavy sigh* Why didn't you just tell me you didn't buy me a shirt.  And if you paid $30, then you DID buy me a shirt, you just didn't get it. 
Tad: I paid for three shirts
Me: Coen's shirt was free.
Tad: Okay, I paid for two shirts then. 
Me: Okay, let's start from the beginning
Tad: (getting up) No! no! I don't want to start from the beginning
Me: Well, why didn't you just tell me that you only bought three shirts?
Tad: I guess the question you should have asked in the first place would be 'how many shirts did you get'
Here, I made a very frustrated and annoying noise and then we both laughed.
Here, we also came to understand that Tad didn't really pay attention to my message and he just assumed I didn't want one. And that when he saw the boxiness of the shirts, he assumed I would not want one.
When I left for work after all this discussion, I hugged him close and said in his ear, "I'm sorry you forgot to buy me a shirt."
Tad laughed. "You finally got the apology game down!"

I know this was a very long and possibly pointless post.  If this feels like the case for you, I'm sorry you took time out to read it.

Not really though.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Free Sprinkles

I was in New York again this weekend.  Visiting Harald.  His nephew told us if we were going to come again, we should come sooner rather than later.  We got the soonest flight we good to Albany.  We spent a long time with Harald in the nursing home Friday and then all day Saturday from morning until night.  I'm glad I could go and be with him and hold his hand and just be together for a while. 

After an emotionally draining day on Saturday my friend Steff (who I went with) and I stopped at a gas station, looking for ice cream, on the way back to the motel. 

We were a little punchy going in there.  There was a bearded gentleman sitting at a booth who I kept trying to engage in delightful banter, smiling at him, directing my excited ice-cream related commentary his way.

Nothing. Not even a smile from this guy. Actually, I think he sneered at me.

We were very much in want of ice cream though and we had planned on going to the local ice cream parlor which was closed by the time we got there much to our disappointment.  But at this gas station, they actually had home made ice cream served behind the counter.  Tons of flavors! 

We hadn't noticed this at first and so we were excitedly digging in the freezer case through the pints, exclaiming loudly at all the flavor options (in between each flavor announcement, I looked at the friend I was trying to make but he just stared at me pointedly, unsmiling).  When we'd each chosen a pint, we turned to pay and lo and behold ....  this is when we noticed the options for cones and cups, and fresh packed pints, and even more flavors. I gasped. 
"Look" Steff said.
"Whoah!" I said.
We quickly put our pints back and got ourselves some samples.  I sampled the Firecracker which actually had pop rocks in it.

"What!" I shouted when the clerk told me, "Pop rocks!  Can you believe this?!" I directed this comment to the guy in the booth, but he just looked away.
It was good but I settled on Mint Chocolate Cookie. Steff got Double Chocolate.
Then I looked up at the sign and gasped again
"Free sprinkles!!!"  That is the coolest!
I actually didn't get any sprinkles which I later regretted but it's nice just knowing that such a thing is out there.

The sign gave me more excitement than perhaps it should a thirty-six year old woman, but it was a lovely thing to see nonetheless. 

And after a day, spending time with someone who just six months ago was back from travels in Europe and building his own house with his own two hands by himself in the woods of northern New York..watching him lay in bed and have to call a nurse just to get up...seeing my friend not only lose his independence, but also thinking about the end of his wonderful, interesting, well-lived cream (and free sprinkles), however small in the grand scheme of things, was a lovely thing indeed.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Tad and I went to IKEA together first when we first moved in together.  As we left the building, Tad said, "I will never set foot in that place AGAIN."
And he hasn't.
But I have.
I went after we bought our house, and then again just recently. I went with a friend and we had a nice time and were in and out in just over three and a half hours.  Including eating a meal there.  Impressive.

I purchased beds for both my children, and a dresser for Lucy. And all the other stuff that called out to me. So much other stuff that at the end of the excursion, I had three carts.  Full.

And then I came home with my wares and proceeded to put the two new beds together. It had to be done! Immediately! Plus I couldn't just leave those indescribably heavy and big boxes just sitting around. Could I? It was too exciting.  And also extremely frustrating.  What is the deal with those wordless instructions?  I had to examine long planks of wood endlessly until I could figure out just which plank of wood was depicted in the step I was at in the instructions.  And position myself over piles of wood pieces trying to place them in the same position as the pictures showed so I could figure out which was top left and which was bottom right.  I lost screws and dropped pieces and sweat profusely in my kids' attic bedrooms. 

But my children have new beds, granted they were up way past bedtime because their beds weren't quite ready for them to sleep in at bedtime.  But they are done.  And they do look lovely.

I have compiled for you, this visual description of mine and Tad's very different feelings about IKEA.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Political Breakfast

This morning we all sat down to breakfast.  When everyone was seated and eating, we had this conversation:

Me: Guess who came to my work yesterday.
All: Who?
Me: Scott Walker.
Tad: What! Why didn't you tell me last night!
Me: I forgot
Coen: Scott Walker was at your work? What does he look like, I forgot!
Me: I have a picture.
I show them a photo on my camera.
Lucy: Mommy, was he mean to you?
Me: No! Of course not.
Coen: Lucy. Scott Walker's not a mean person.  He's probably nice and even polite.  We just  don't like his decisions.
I explain to them that he was at my work because he was signing several bills, including one lifting the cap on enrollment for Family Care-a long term care program for people with disabilities and older adults. This bill was passed to get rid of caps that Walker himself placed on Family Care not too long ago.
Lucy: Does Scott Walker have a Mommy and Daddy?
Coen: Of course he does!
Lucy: Well do they like his decisions?
Me: I don't know Lucy.
Lucy: What do his Mommy and Daddy look like?
Coen: No one knows.
I'm not sure how he has come to the conclusion that Scott Walker's parents are shrouded in such mystery but it's an interesting concept.

At any rate it made for very good breakfast conversation.

For more information on these bills:

Check out Disability Rights Wisconsin's Facebook Page
This article in JS Online

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hand Frenzy

Well, this weekend, I had to introduce Lucy to my hand frenzies.

But before I tell you about it, I suppose I should introduce you to my hand frenzies.

It is no secret that I move in a rather rapid fashion.  Tad oft times says that he feels like he's living with a tornado.  I have always been like this. The upside is that I get a LOT done.  In one night I can return voice messages, make cookies, prepare tomorrow's meal, and clean the kitchen.  At work I am a whirlwind--a grant report, e-mails dashed off and two or three projects finished all in one day.  The downsides are there too of course.  I'm not always that good at focusing my energy on one thing at a time.  And of course, hand frenzies.

A hand frenzy is when I'm moving too fast for my own good and I go to pick up something (somehow it often seems to be a beverage) and my hand moves in a seemingly uncontrollable, frenzied fashion causing the item (usually a beverage, remember) to go flying and tumbling through the air, raining liquid (or whatever else) down upon me and whoever the unlucky person sitting near me might be.

One time, I was sitting at the table with a friend of mine, just sipping coffee and talking calmly.  And to her it appeared as if I took up my mug and threw it into the air, spilling coffee all over my head.  I tried to explain that it was a hand frenzy. Perfectly logical. But it was hard for her to hear my explaination over her laughing.

So Saturday, I had a beverage next to me--Lucy's cup of water.  We had some friends for dinner and while the kids played upstairs we sat and talked in the living room.  I was gesticulating a bit wildly perhaps. This gesticulation culminated into a hand frenzy which sent Lucy's water careening off the table and on to the floor.  I was having such a nice time conversating that I just sort of looked at the puddle and went on listening and talking.  When Lucy returned for her water, she was quite upset to find that she had soaked her socks in a puddle of water on the floor and that the water on the floor was, in fact, HER water.  She sat down on the floor and cried with the utter injustice of it, as I tried to explain hand frenzies. 

She was not interested to hear about hand frenzies, however as big tears rolled down her face and she cried, "Why did you spill my water!"  Tad came to the rescue telling Lucy that "accidents happen" and asking me to perhaps grab a towel to mop up my mess.

All ended fine as I replenished Lucy's beverage, and now she knows about her mother and the hand frenzy.  She is soooo gonna love me when she's a teenager. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Watching the sun rise.

I woke up this morning at 5:30 with a full bladder and Tad not in the bed next to me.  I got up and could hear him upstairs dealing with whatever blanket, pillow or other issue that Coen might have been having at this early hour of the morning.  When Tad got back into bed, we snuggled back in, but I couldn't fall back asleep.

So when I heard Coen's voice from upstairs, calling, "Daddy?"  I got up, grabbed a sweatshirt and shut our door behind me.  When I got into Coen's room, he said, "Oh! It's you Mommy.  Can you fix my sheet?" He thought it was still night.  I climbed into bed with him and he exclaimed in contentment. We cuddled up together and he played with my hair.  He's growing his long and is very interested in my length.

After a while, Coen got out of bed and went to the window.  "Mommy!" He said, "Come look! We can watch the sunrise."  He pointed out of his window, raising his blinds.  "See that star? That's where the sun is rising."  Never mind that the 'star' was actually the radio tower. Never mind that we were looking entirely in the wrong direction to see the sun.  I was watching the sun rise with my son.  The sky was blue-ish purple and he put his smaller hand into mine.

I thought about a Saturday morning like this in 1998, when Tad and I -- just neighbors, becoming friends -- went down with a few others to Lake Michigan to watch the sun rise.  It was a spring morning after a night at the bars--likely we'd either not slept at all or only slept an hour or two.  We stood silently at Bradford Beach and watched the sun come up, and went to get bagels and coffee afterwards.  Remembering that, watching the sun rise with my friend Tad, who would someday help me create this child I was standing next to, really made me think.

When I was in my twenties, it was so easy to just go with the flow, and appreciate moments.  To sacrifice sleep for a special moment, to forgo one plan for one that might be better.  Now, in my thirties, as a parent, it is harder to do that naturally. There are so many routines, and there is so much more work in my life than there was then.  But this moment, at 6:00 in the morning, standing with my baby boy at the window I thought, I must remember to allow moments like this to happen more often. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happiness is a new magazine

Tad and I both chose a magazine from which to get a subscription.  I already subscribe to BUST and Tad subscribes to The Believer.  I highly recommend both.

For our new magazines, Tad subscribed to the Atlantic Monthly.  I subscribed to Psychology Today!

The Atlantic Monthly arrived today.

Lucy was looking at it and said, "Mommy? What does T H E H E R O spell?" 
I thought.  Thehero?  What word is that.  Then I said, "Oh! The Hero."
Then Lucy said.  "Whaa?  That guy doesn't look like a hero!"
Then she looked back down at the cover and she said, "Mommy! Why is that guy wearing a cone?!"

I went over to look at it.
It was a picture of Dan Bernanke, the economist.  He was wearing a suit. Which I suppose does look like a cone.  When you really look at it.
I thought it was pretty funny.

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's all about the Lunchables

Saturday night, Tad and I talked about what we should do with our Sunday. All I knew is that I had two Lunchables in the fridge, a big treat for Coen and Lucy and I wanted to plan a day that would make those Lunchables necessary.  "So, you wanna plan our day around Lunchables?" Tad asked me, smirk on his face, gesturing towards the refrigerator.  "Yeah!" I said, indignantly.  So we did.

We went to Seven Bridges trail in Grant Park and walked down to the lake. We dug in the sand and threw rocks in Lake Michigan.  Coen balanced on a log and Lucy and I followed Tad down a risky, muddy, cliffy path.   We took a more reasonable path back to the car and took it to the playground for lunch.   It was a gorgeous day. Coen and Lucy happily ate their Lunchables on a park bench. And Tad and I got lots of lovely photos.

Happy family at the beach in February


Lucy throwing leaves and screaming "It's FALL!!!"

Coen with an incredible jump off the swing

Peace, everyone. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Before school educational activities

Tad takes the children to school most mornings and they like to go into his classroom with him and read books while he gets things ready for the day. 

Today they worked on making words with movable letters and Coen produced this sentence:

Well, at least it's educational!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I now pronounce you...totally weird kids.

Coen and Lucy were in the playroom the other night dressing up with costumes in their costume box.  They began as a prince and a princess.  I was in the kitchen cooking and Tad was keeping me company. Lucy kept running in over and over asking things like: "Do princesses have wings?" "Do princesses carry a shield?" "Do princesses have swords?"  (We said yes to all of it.  Princesses do what they want, right?)
Then Lucy changed into a bride costume and Coen and Lucy said they were going to have a royal wedding.  "You can come, Mommy and Daddy!" Lucy shouted (by way of a royal invite). 

Coen put on his  wedding garb which consisted of a cape, a hiking vest, a shield and a broom.  He acted out displays of courage and feats of strength for us, knocking over Lego structures and little plastic dinosaurs.    Lucy donned a wedding dress.   After much ado about how tight the sleeves were and yanking down the lace bodice while staving off a temper tantrum (in true bride...or four-year-old style) she was finally dressed   She put the veil on backwards and ignored all Coen's protests that she had it on wrong, finishing off her outfit with a purple beaded necklace. 
By the time they were ready to be wed, dinner was done so I clanged a fork into a glass three times and announced in a very regal voice, "It's time for the wedding feast!"                           Both kids looked at each other excitedly and Coen said, "Let's eat BEFORE we get married!"  And so we did.    The children enjoyed their dinner. Here's a photo of the bride, stuffing her royal face. 
After dinner, Coen rushed away from the table, saying this:
"Lucy! I will marry you when I'm done going poop. See you at the wedding!!"
Lucy followed him into the bathroom, leaving Tad and I at the table, looking at each other with great amusement. 
The wedding followed.  Tad did the proceedings, Coen waved his broom around, and Lucy continued to eat while standing at the "altar". As Tad officially announced them "Princess and Prince" Coen said, "Lucy, clean that ketchup off your mouth before I kiss you!" 

It was the best wedding I've ever been to.

The royal duo celebrated their nuptials by taking baths and having bed time stories read to them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 want it you got it!

In my house we complain about Capitalism.  Tad even wrote a song about it.
I wish this blog could sing it to you.
It goes: Capitalism, you want it you got it!  Capitalism, you want it just buy it! Capitalism, just go on the internet. Capitalism, you already bought it!
(I will sing this to you upon request if you see me in person.)

Anyway, there is one time when I love Capitalism. And that is when I buy a product that is not as quality as it should be, I call and complain, and they send me coupons for several of that product.  Free stuff. I love it!!!

Me with the bag of caramel corn that had a strange chunk of what appeared to be caramelized hair.

Me after calling the company and getting three free coupons for more popcorn.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sensitive and Vulnerable...

My family is made up of sensitive people.  I am no stranger to crying. I cry at commercials, at the end of almost every movie--happy or sad, I cry when I'm sad, frustrated, angry or any other number of emotions.  I cry anytime anyone else cries. 
Lucy takes great care of animals and people smaller than herself.
Tad kisses me on the shoulder every morning before he goes to take a shower and has incredible empathy for our children. 
This weekend, Coen watched his first real amazingly done special effects movie ever: The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  After it was over, he put his head on my chest and sobbed.  "Why am I crying?" he said.
"Oh Coen." Tad said, "I sometimes feel sad at the end of movies too."
"Me too." I said, stroking his hair. "That just means they did a really good job."
"You feel like you're one of the characters and all of that happened to you too." Tad added.

Coen got his cry out and I tucked him in bed.  The next morning I heard him say to Lucy, "I cried at the movie last night.  But that just means they did a really good job making it."

Coen was also amazed at the special effects.  This is his explanation about how they made the green smoke to represent the evil: "Maybe they took a bunch of round rocks and piled them up. And then someone who smokes, smoked all over them. And then they used a computer to color it green."

So with all this sensitivity in my house, you'd think a willingness to be vulnerable would come along with it. 

No dice.

I know, I know. It's hard to be vulnerable.  When you REALLY need help, it seems that's the hardest time to ask for it.
Sometimes, Coen or Lucy will fall down. And I'll say something like, "Let mommy kiss it!" and I'm met with a belligerent, "NO!"
I know I'm extra vulnerable.  And that sometimes my particular partner is not always the best at being vulnerable.  Most of our talks about it are amusing.  Some are serious.  I had a talk with a girlfriend this weekend about how it seems like our male partners have such a hard time being vulnerable. How sometimes it looks like this:

Of course it is not always like this.  The more talking we do in my relationship, the more closely our faces and attitudes match what's going on in our heads.  But I do know this: Vulnerability does not come easy for many people--men and women, boys and girls alike!

But man, I have vulnerability down.  Me? I don't wear my heart on my sleeve.  I wear it on my forehead, billboard size, in neon blinking lights.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hypochondria caused by an excess of googling

When I was pregnant, my doctor wrote me a prescription and handed it to me.  It said:

So on Sunday, I was kneeling on the floor doing a puzzle with Lucy.  When I stood up, my legs felt strange.  Not numb exactly but it almost felt like my legs weren't connected to my brain, like they were made of rubber and might give out.  I got totally freaked out. I was sure that I had Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

You should know 2 things:
1. The week before, I had heard a presentation on MS, signs and symptoms
2. I have had a pinched nerve in my lower back for the past couple weeks

Now, one who is in possession of her sanity might think of point #2, followed by point #1 and concur that I was overreacting and it was likely due to point #2.  No, not me. I am not in possession of my sanity.  I nearly hyperventilated. But I was home alone with my daughter so I got it together and shortly after a dear friend came over and talked to me and I felt better.
But not better enough to stay away from the computer. That night I googled 'numb legs' and 'symptoms of MS' and 'rubbery legs' and was propelled back into a panic.  "Look at this!" I told my poor husband.  "Oh my God! Look at THIS one!"  I got up for some water and when I returned, Tad handed the laptop back to me.  "Look at this one!" He said. 
He had googled "Hypochondriac"
But he was right and I settled down again. 
But on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday I had tingling feelings in my legs which made me panic more until I wasn't sure if I was really feeling it or just thought I was feeling it.
I went to the doctor on Thursday.
I was incredibly worked up. I explained my problem to the nurse, self-diagnosing my MS.  She took my temperature. I had a fever! "A fever!" I exclaimed, beginning to freak out, "Why do I have a fever?!!"  My blood pressure, as you might expect, was rather high.
When the doctor came in, I burst into tears.  She and I had a chat and she told me
1. I most likely do not have MS
2. I need to stop googling ailments
3. It is probably due to the pinched nerve in my back but we'd do some blood tests for vitamin D deficiencies which also causes such sensations.
She also talked a lot about the mind-body connection (which made me very happy) and how these days we are all so stressed out, she's seeing more and more patients come in with physical sensations mocking illnesses and diseases and are really just panic attacks.  She told me to talk myself down when I get worked up like that.  And once again to stop googling things.

I left feeling two things: 1: like a huge ass and 2: much much much much better.

So since yesterday, I have felt back to my normal self.  And I will not do any more googling of any more ailments ever ever ever again. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tattoo Time.

I went out and got a tattoo the moment I turned eighteen.  This sun was my first and it was a picture I drew myself over and over again while sitting in classes. I chose the sun because I have always had a rather "sunny disposition" causing people to call me things like "Sunshine girl" and in Estonia "Vaike Paike" which means "little sun" Then I got the armband. The armband has two X's in it to symbolize how straight edge I was.  You can read about the straight edge movement here.  I'm really not (nor was I ever) that punk rock so I decided now that I'm in my thirties, I wanted my tattoo feminized a bit.  I went to several artists who gave me ideas like flowers and fairies and I didn't really mean that.  But then my son's art teacher Jesse began working at Mania Ink Tattoo and Gallery and I was very excited to have him work on my body art.  Below are pictures of the process and the tattoo.  I am happy! Also, I did promise my mother that I wouldn't get any more tattoos but as I pointed out, this was actually getting one less tattoo as I had two combined into one. Does this mean I can get another one? Mom?  
Prior to new tattooing

Post new tattooing

Here is me getting tattooed.  I feel really bad ass.

Another action shot.

And we're done! That's Jesse. My tattoo artist (also my son's art teacher--how cool is that?)