Sunday, November 28, 2004

November Foliage

How appropos that I choose "November Foliage" as the paint color for my living room? It is a deep chocolatey brown, and I just want to lick the whole wall when I have a chocolate craving. Like the crazy "J" that I am, I stayed up until 3am finishing painting, putting a book shelf together and trying to bring some order to my living room last night. This was not a wise thing to do. I missed out on church because D slept in until 9 and L went down for an a.m. nap shortly after that. I didn't get enough sleep, so I am rather grumpy now, but the room looks good. The brown complements all the light robin's egg blue accents I have in there, as well as the wood tones. TT also just gave me two fabulous pillows from the fabric printing place where she works, and they match perfectly!

As for the kinderen while I was away... they did just fine. I secretly hoped that L would give her father a little more difficulty in the night, just so he could feel what it is like for a change. But I am glad for her sake that she only woke once, which is usual for her. However, she wouldn't take a bottle for him, (she took one fine for me the morning I left) but she also didn't lack for food and drink. And my little men are used to being away for me for that long, so it was no biggie for them

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Philly, Vietnam, and Bridget Jones

I just got back from my twenty-six hour leave. I had a wonderful visit with my long-time (of eightteen years!), we had some good conversation on our long drive. I spaced out, and so missed our exit, and then we decided to take the back roads to make it up instead of backtracking on I95, which disturbed our conversational flow somewhat since we had to pay better attention to the roads we were on or looking for, etc. Anyway, we got there, and her place is... well, it is.... in need of much work, but I definitely see the potential. We were grossly disturbed by the odor as we entered. Apparently Toby, her cat, has been having some urinary trouble, and since the whole house is in construction induced disarray, he was probably stressed and felt the need to communicate that stress on the floor. Yuck! I like cats, but I hate that smell. It is so disgusting.

So we decided to go to Vietnam for dinner. I, never having Vietnamese food before, let TT take the lead and recommend a dish for me. I don't remember the Vietnamese name for what I had, but thought it wise to stick with something on the menu labeled "house specialty" (good principal in general). It was a giant bowl of vermicelli noodles and bean sprouts and other fresh veggies and several different meats on top. There is also a sauce that smells like stinky feet, but tastes delicious when poured over the noodles. We drank fancy tropical drinks, I had the Mai Tai, and she the Suffering Bastard. A very delicious meal indeed. I had never know Vietnam was so close... and that it is in China town...weird. So after that we went to this mod martini bar, which was styled like a diner and very cool and hip. My favorite design details were how the bar stools looked like cross-sections of stuffed olives, and the lights over the booths were giant olives with toothpicks in them. We sipped on our chocolate martini and cosmo, until our movie was about to start and then headed to the Ritz. I could tell this was a chichi movie theater because in the candy case they had Black Rhino Bars (yum), Lindt bars, and other fancy candies as well as fancy teas, coffees, scones, etc. I guess it is called Ritz for a reason. Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, wow, it was much funnier, I thought, than the first one, and TT and I were roaring in laughter with the rest of the crowd at several parts. I think the best part is when Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver have a very prissy fist fight--that was hilarious.

I got to sleep in, and didn't wake naturally until eight a.m. a whole hour later than usual! But TT and I lazed in bed and stared at the dust swirling in the sunbeam above and chatted for almost two hours before we got up and out. Had a big, fat Belgian waffle with fresh fruit and bacon for my noon breakfast. It was so delightful to have a leisurely morning and yummy cafe vittles. The drive home was full of thoughts, things that have been weighing on my mind, good think time, although I can't say that I came to any real conclusions, but it was good to hear myself think.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Food, Family, Friends (and some total strangers)

This was the first year in many that I was able to enjoy sitting at my parents' table for the traditional family feast. Every year there has been some felt tension about where we (M and kids and I) would eat the meal-his family or mine, and would we go to both homes or just one. The choice was very easy to make this year, and I felt no guilt whatsoever. There were 12 around the table, including my munchkins, and three individuals whom I met for the first time tonight. Some "strays" from church that were unable to go home this year. My oldest friend, TT was there with her folks, and tomorrow we head north- to Philly. Yay!

I am leaving all three children in their father's care while I spend a day with TT. I will get to see her new-old house, that is in the process of major redo, and have some quality female bonding. I am a little aprehensive leaving L overnight, because she is not yet weaned, but she also doesn't need to nurse for nutritional purposes, it is only for comfort at this point. I have never left her overnight before. I think the longest I was away from her was a whole afternoon-maybe six hours. So this is a big deal for me. When D was this age, I made a similar trip, and he faired just fine. It will be fine. Sure, fine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Art Therapy II

Last night I took out the pastels and charcoal and went to it once again. This time to the backdrop of Nick Drake's meloncholy crooning. Twice while drawing I burst into tears, I don't know why, once a tear droped to the paper and smeared the chalk. I didn't feel particularly sad, just full, like I was emptying myself on to the paper, and it was costing me something. I just drew (from my head-not life) and this is what happened on the paper:

A self-portrait (suggested- an ambiguous female, that sort of resembles moi) to the shoulders, face and eyes cast semi-downward-closed eyes? My face is rosey and smooth, my hair is down-resting on my shoulders, a very ominous shadow is cast on my neck, almost gripping it. I am wearing blue and purple. To the right is a great tree looming up, extending branches over my head and off the page to the right, and casting a shadow beneath me. The branches are mostly bare. A few orange and yellow leaves are dangling, it is fall. To the left of me, the leaves have accumulated and three are still falling. There are cumulous clouds billowing around my head and swirling the leaves that are suspended in mid-air. Blue sky is on the horizon, and just beginning to break overhead.

So you tell me, what is it all about? I have my own interpretation, but would like to hear yours.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Art therapy

I have always thought of myself as an even-tempered, generally patient, mostly calm person....
But every so often, I just lose it. In the past ten years, it probably has only happened a handful of times. This phenomenon is referred to by the psychological profession as "leaking". I am not quite sure why "leaking" is the term, when it actually feels more like bursting or exploding, but this is what they call it. It is the result of "unresolved or old anger" and the reason it is unresolved or old, I am guessing, is because it is left inside and not expressed in some way or another.

Friday night, I drew a very surreal landscape. I had been advised to draw more, because as an "I" (introvert) this is how I process things, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I didn't know what to draw, so I just started "doodling" on this huge sheet of paper (props to Tree :) , and it evolved into a kind of landscape. When I am not drawing from life/observation, my images tend to get surreal. This influence I attibute to Dali and Munch (even though he is an abstract expressionist-my work sometimes mocks his style and/or mood). So after I was finished, I stepped back and looked at what I had done... Tree analyzed it for me, and I came up with another interpretation which built on that one. Needless to say it has much to do with my present situation, and it is too personal for me to write at any length here, but the effect was great.

The next day I dreamed. In this dream, it all came crashing down, exploding from me with such force that I was surprised to be whole at the end of it all. I ranted, and screamed and hollered and wailed and cried and waved my arms and pounded my fists in such a fury at M, and he was nonplussed. There was no getting through to him, hardened like a wall of clay, (which I guess will one day come crumbling down). Anyway, it was such a relief to dream this outburst, because it helped me to see my own rage, and feel the benefit of letting it all out without hurting anyone. I think the drawing opened this up for me, so perhaps I do need to draw more. I aim to.

Friday, November 19, 2004

"Baby-shaped" diapers

I just bought a new package of Huggies, and apparently they are improved...
...they claim they are "baby-shaped". Now I ask, pray tell, what shape were they before?

L has the worst rash EVER, but she is a trooper. Has had a rough spell of diarreah, and threw up last night on her very-most-speacial-blanket. Boy, am I glad she got that flu vaccine. *I say with sarcasm*

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

She's on a roll

Last night the sink was loaded with dishes and I fully intended on washing them after I tucked the boys in...
...I promptly fell asleep on the top bunk with K, and woke an hour later. Not quite in the mood to wash dishes, and late enough for me to rationalize going to bed, I did. Guess who didn't wake me all night?! That's right little miss prettiness, herself. This is the third time in a week, and I am estactic about it. Hooray! It does mean that she wakes earlier in the morning, but that gave me some time to wash up those nasty dishes before both boys were conscious and begging for food.

Now all I need to do is train D to stop coming in bed with me in the middle of the night and digging his boney knees and feet into my back. Ouch! He tries to get so close, he is practically under me when I wake in the morning. I find myself waking several times in the night to push him away, or push his knees away, and he creeps right back. His comfort thing to do is play with my hair, which even though my hair is long, it still requires him to be close to reach it. I have thought of cutting off a chunk and fastening it to his bed post, but that just is kind of creepy. It has been suggested I get him a manequin head or something--also too creepy. The point of it is, he likes my hair, and that is what comforts him when he has a bad dream or can't fall back to sleep. So I am flattered and yet frustrated that I can't get a full night of uninterrrupted sleep. Perhaps when they all go away to college...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Saturday, November 13, 2004

wishes do come true

I am so proud of myself today. Today I got my internet up and running all by myself. It only took three or five tries, and it finally worked. I let go of my defeatest attitude, that I am not computer savvy, and tried one last time this morning to install the Linksys connecter thingy for my DSL line. For some odd reason, it didn't work the first few times, and I had to manually install some of the components, and I am not even sure why it worked, but I am so pleased that it did. My computer has just had a frankensteinlike harddrive swap with another compatible comp, so all seems to be well thus far...knock on wood.

I must say that many of the things I had hoped and wished for on my birthday have come true, and I am so blessed to have such thoughtful, loving friends and family. Thursday was the "spa day" and it was divine. It all started with a Swedish massage ( I am not sure what was so "Swedish" about it, but it felt wonderful), then a facial (which is like a special massage just for the face and neck, that cleanses the pores), then a pedicure and manicure which were enhanced by the super-cool shiatsu chair massager I had going the whole time (once I figured out how to turn it on). So I think MK and I know what we want for Christmas....
.....we want those shiatsu chair pads, a worthy investment for tired, aching, baby holding/chasing, moms. Oooohh, it was soooo nice.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Blessing leaves

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded to focus on the things in our lives for which we are thankful, the blessings we have received. After reading K's November issue of Clubhouse Jr. we were inspired by one story to make our very own blessing leaves. These are simply construction paper cut-outs in leaf shapes (preferably fall colors) that we have written one thing for that we are thankful for. My original idea was to have the children dictate to me one thing to write down on a leaf each evening and then place it in a basket, but once we got started, we couldn't stop. We filled up each leaf in one night. These are just a few of the things that K and D are thankful for: the moon and stars, the sun, outer space, flowers, trees, leaves, cousins, friends to play with, a bedroom to play in, toys, mommy, daddy, L, books to read, school and the list goes on and on. I highly recommend this activity for those of you with children (it isn't bad for adults too- although you could skip the leaf part and just make a list) because it gets us to focus on what is good, and how we are so blessed in so many ways. I am also thinking that I will pick out a leaf or two each night and make sure that I thank God for the blessing listed as we pray together at dinner.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


I know I am making progress. I know this because I can recover from a blow faster than I used to. I know this because I can embrace my faith and receive the love and grace that is offered me by Christ. I know this also because I can look back over the past year and see how far I have come. Those baby steps add up.

Another Saturday, full of potential chores, errands, dreams. I am getting better at using my "free" time. I feel productive, even if somewhat overwhelmed with all I hope to accomplish with my few hours of being an off-duty mother. I have been able to reclaim my studio, although not finished doing so. I have worked on a second cheongsam mock-up, making progress here, but still not perfect- it needs some fine tuning before cutting the "fashion fabric." I washed a huge sinkful of dirty dishes (mostly spoons and sippy cups), and folded and put away the gargantuan mountain of laundry heaped on my bed. Yay me!

Great news on L: we were at a party last night, and didn't get home until close to ten o'clock, where I promptly put her to bed, and she slept through the whole night! Only thing is, she woke at the usual time- about seven thirty this a.m., and I was up until one (when will I learn?).

I have some great pics I hope to post soon, but can't figure out how to do on this computer- I wasted over an hour trying earlier this week. I have good news that I will (eventually) have a replacement comp, but not sure how long it will take to get it fixed, etc. So, please bear with me people who want more pictures. :)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Another day older...

It happens to us every day, aging. So, I am thirty-two. Thirty-two. hmmm.

The birthday was good, except for a couple things: the headache, nausea, and cruel gift from M.
Had girl time at Egyptian Pizza, lots of good laughter, but that Tandori Chicken didn't like me very well. I was blessed with magnificent gifts, including but not limited to: chocolate rose tea, a beautiful giant mug, bath supplies-tried them tonight-lovely, and a day of pampering at the spa-to be had next week! woo hoo! A much needed time of pampering, I am psyched.

I had a very crappy day today, and I am not sure I know what to say about it. Was feeling good and motivated this morning, and then it all came crashing down when I read two pages of M's birthday present to me: Against Love, by Laura Kipnis. It is probably the cruelest birthday gift I have ever received, and that includes the cow tongue that the boys threw into the girls res at Refreshing Mountain that one time, back in 1987(?) (I'm not sure if it was specifically for me, but I was the one who decided to "regift" it back to the boys with some alterations. hee hee- ah, good times.)

I am in need of large doses of "Girl Power". Maybe I will watch "Kill Bill" this weekend.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Happy Birthday Heinz! (and me too)

All through grade school, middle school and high school, there was a boy (often in my homeroom for we shared the same last initial) named Heinz with whom I shared my birthday. To this day, he has been my only aquaintance with whom I share my special day, and it became sort of an inside joke between us to wish each other Happy Birthday. So, Heinz, "Happy Birthday!" I have no clue where or what he is up to, as I never saw him again after graduation. Our friendship consisted of making funny faces at each other in elementary school (in the second grade class photo, Heinz is making his fang lips- just for me--he could also turn his eyelids inside out, and I thought that was really gross, in a cool sort of way), and it kind of dropped off after that, but we were always friendly in the hallways and such.

So.....Thirty-two. It usually takes me a whole year to remember how old I am, and then it changes, so if you catch me saying thirty-one, I am not deliberately fibbing, I just simply have forgotten my own age.

I just received my first gift, a bouquet of flowers. Thanks mom. Happy Birthday, to me. :)