Friday, May 30, 2014

Not helpful

Yesterday was the last night Coen was gone camping so we told Lucy she could pick anyplace she wanted for the three of us to go out to dinner.

See now this is a lot of fun when we give Coen this option. He picks places that serve sushi and stir fry.

Lucy, when given this freedom, says, "I can go to CULVERS? Or MCDONALDS?"


So on the day of our little dinner, I go up to Tad on the playground and I says to him, I says,

"Hey.  Is it okay with you if I tell Lucy that McDonald's is not an option for tonight?  I mean, she can pick ANY other place. I just can't do McDonald's."
"Sure!" he says, "That's fine with me.  Want me to tell her?"
"No, no." I say. "I just wanted to make sure we're on the same page. So that when I say 'we can't go to McDonald's', you won't say 'Yes we can! We can go to McDonald's!'"
"Oh no, that's fine with me." He says again.

So when Lucy and I are ready to head home from school, I take her little hand and she jumps up and down talking about where she's going to pick for dinner. 
"McDonald's?" She asks, looking up at me.

"Honey?" I say to her. "Anyplace but McDonald's.  That's the only place we can't go." 
Her eyes immediately fill with tears.
"Well that's the ONLY place I want to go!" She says, her voice cracking.
I sigh.
"Well Lucy, we can go ANYWHERE else! We could go to Jimmy John's. Or Culvers?"
"No! Jimmy John's is a me, Coen and Daddy place and Culvers is a Grandpa and Nana place!" She says indignantly.
"We could go to that place in Tosa near Yo Mama? Or anywhere else!" I say.

Tad joins us after that and Lucy grabs his hand with her other one.  He looks down at her unhappy face.
"What's going on Lucy?" He asks.
"The ONLY place I want to go for dinner, Mama says we can't go."
"Where's that?" Tad asks.
He looks at her.  He's going to fix it. I think.
"Well let's go to McDonald's then!"


I look at him incredulously.  He shrugs. "Sorry." he says.
"I SWEAR we just talked about avoiding this VERY conversation!" I shout as he laughs.

We went to McDonald's

I brought a carry-in.  An egg salad sandwich and a baggie of sweet potato chips and half an avocado. I did get a Hi-C orange drink though.

Effing McDonald's.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Swimming in overwhelm without any water wings

Recently a friend asked me what I do when I feel stressed out or overwhelmed.  She knows I don't drink or engage in any substances that can sort of take you away... and all we ever really hear about people doing when they get overwhelmed is having a drink.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard it.

I need a glass of wine

I need a stiff drink

I think a drink is in order after today

From functional (and non functional) alcoholics to people who really just have a drink once in a seems like everyone's "taking the edge off"!

So when my friend asked me that, I was

1. Flattered (she's very intelligent and having my personal advice called upon is quite nice)
2. Introspectively brainstormy...  I am currently overwhelmed and am not sure how to deal with it.

What I told her is that I like to take some personal time for me during those periods--to do what I want.  But my kid keeps being sick and I am so busy at work and I have to take personal time from work for the purpose of my sick kid which does not at all involve me doing what I want but involves me trying to give my sick kid attention whilst staying focused on the emails coming through on my computer.

I'm not going to have a drink.  I never have and I never will.

I probably need to meditate or something.

But for now, this is me....

My question for you, dear reader: If you do have a drink every so often to soften things up...what does it do for you?  And if you don't, what do YOU do to take the edge off?

Sometimes for me it works to imagine myself as I am above..buried under a pile of things...and then imagine myself rising above the pile so I can oversee it and take each thing one by one and dismantle it.  But right now I feel like I have a lack of time for dismantling much less actually doing anything on my list!  

I know it will disperse. That shiny sun will stop yelling at me and I will have a great weekend with my coming visitors. My son will get over whatever this illness is that he has and we'll pay the stupid doctor bills and the work stuff I'm planning will come and go.  I know that.

So I need to take the edge off in a natural way...  I'll let you know if I come up with anything.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

TBT Post #3

It's a funny thing, retrospect.

In May of 2000 I was getting ready to leave for the Peace Corps. Excited for all the new adventures ahead of me but so pained to be leaving my friends and the life I knew.

I remember riding a bus from Latvia to Estonia on my twenty-fifth birthday and looking around at the people riding with me, hoping I would connect with someone, anyone during my time there.

And here I am, fourteen years later and right now I would like nothing more than just one of those dear, dear people to come over and chat with me tonight.  That there are people that I was just meeting, really, on that bus ride that would become my closest friends. 

Christina in Tulsa
Steff and Hannah in San Francisco
Ryan in Baltimore
Sinki in Australia
Brenda in South America
Rebecca in Madison

and Harald..wherever he is.

Estonian Flag

PC Estonia 2000

touring Tartu

Brenda and me heading to her host family's house

Swearing In ceremony

Summer Solstice, Kuressaare
 Next weekend Rebecca, Ryan, Steff and Hannah are coming to spend some time here! I am beside myself with anticipation. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Remembering Harald

Harald died two years ago today.

I miss him still very much.

Tonight is one of those nights that, were he alive, I would call him and he would tell me exactly what I need to hear.

I was looking through his letters tonight and found the very last one he ever wrote me. Strangely enough...on May 9th of 2011.  It was all about the house he was building and chopping down a tree and squirels and birds building love-nests all around his house in the woods.

His last paragraph:

Headers and trees! What a silly letter. I hope you don't mind my obsessing about my house but it is THE big thing in my life, and frankly writing about it is easier on you than if I had just fallen in love and went on and on about her!  Alie. I'll be seeing you in November.  Sorry it can't be any earlier, but that's life. Be well, be happy and love lots. Harald.

I didn't see him in November because the month or so after that letter, he started having symptoms of his brain tumor.  I was lucky enough to see him and laugh with him two more times after that.

I love you Harald Knudsen.

Friday, May 2, 2014

My heart skipped a beat

Since my last post about journal entries on the last day of April I felt like sharing this story.

It's funny because I just mentioned this story the other night when I was out for dinner with Tad's parents and the kids and Lucy and Coen were checking their heart rates using an application on their grandfather's phone.  And then I was going through journals and found it right there in my own handwriting!

I was sent home a couple months early from the Peace Corps because of the tumor in my ear that made me lose my hearing.  After my surgery to remove the tumor and all the healing, etc.. I had to have a full physical before I was released to go home once and for all.

I went to that physical on May 2nd of 2002, all jacked up and excited.  I had to pee very badly before I even left for the physical but decided not to since I knew they'd make me pee in a cup and I didn't want to waste it.  I arrived feeling extremely healed, happy, in an on top of the world-ish sort of way and also really really having to urinate.
When the nurse finally called me in she told me they were going to take some blood and then do a urine sample.
In my agitated state, I jumped up and said, rather loudly "Can we do the urine first!?!"
She laughed at me and I went to pee in the cup.
Afterwards, I shot out of the bathroom feeling quite relieved and walked fast right by the door of the examination room. I heard the nurse laugh and she called down the hall, "Where are you going?"
I laughed too and went back to the room to sit in the chair that was sort of high up and I found my feet were dangling so I swung them back and forth.  The nurse looked at me.
"Are you okay?  All I saw was a red blur go past and now look at you!"
"I just really had to GO!" I said.
After the blood and the pee I went into the other room and a doctor came in.  He was listening to my heartbeat and as he did I looked out the window and thought about how I was going to go home and see Tad for the first time in many week and really BE with him. Joy sort of surfaced in my chest and suddenly the doctor said, "Did you feel that?"
"Your heart just skipped three beats!"
And I was like---"Well...No!  I mean, yes. It's just that I was just thinking..."
He started to rise, talking about getting an EKG ready and then I said sort of loudly, "No! No! I'm fine. I was just thinking!"
I didn't really want to tell him I was thinking about my boyfriend.  But in the end I convinced him I was just fine and he listened again while I tried not to think about Tad and make it happen again.

Anyway, I was deemed healthy and let go.  I got to go home and see Tad one week from that physical.  It's a funny thing, love.

Tad and me...brand new