Friday, December 2, 2011

A rose by any other name...


Raquel received her Hebrew name last Friday, and we could not be more pleased with how it went. Even though it was past her bedtime, she was excitedly basking in the attention. After the service, we came home for a party dedicated to the occasion. Of course, the guest of honor was asleep as soon as we got home, but we had a wonderful time celebrating her. I had a lot of fun decorating and baking for our little shindig. One of the best parts of being a parent is getting to make days like this special!

Our table-scape! For some reason I'm obsessed with polka dots at the moment.

The proud Grandmommy!

This is a better view of the decorations.
My brother and his fiance put up what I made/ ordered in a frenzy off the internet.
Paper lanterns can be used all the time...right?

I'm so happy with this cake. It isn't bad looking for homemade.
It was white cake with raspberry filling and salted buttercream icing...so delicious!
I'm now obsessed with food coloring, so I hope B doesn't mind brightly colored cupcakes from now on.
B made fresh homemade popcorn for everyone.
I will never be able to top that gift; he uses that popcorn popper nightly!


The following is a link to the service. The naming starts at 11 minutes in.
http://www.templerodefshalom.org/live/archive2.htm

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Things to be thankful for

Yesterday, while she was napping, I was overcome by the sight of my daughter's feet. She has the most adorable feet I have ever seen. I immediately started to play with them, as anyone with a pulse would have done. I ran my finger along the bottom, trying to memorize the texture of her perfect skin. She opened her eyes for a second, saw me, smiled a sleepy little smile, and went back to sleep. That was the first moment that I realized that she is mine.


Right now she is working on giving her arm a hickey thanks to that whole teething process thing. Our little lady is very, very needy right now, and being constantly held is at the top of the needs list. In the haze of exhaustion it can be really hard to appreciate this unique time. For the only time, ever, I am completely loved by another person. I am exactly what she needs, just being myself. So I'm going to go back to pacifier patrol...because teething isn't easy, and someone needs me to get through it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunny days...


This is my life now, and I am enjoying learning how to live it. I hung up these diapers at 8 am, while my coffee was brewing. I had been up for over an hour, first feeding R and then settling her down for some more sleep. She likes to be awake all evening while Brian is home and awake. I've been baking all kinds of apple and pumpkin flavored things, and I'm almost back to cooking a meal from scratch every night.

This stay at home mom thing is much harder than I thought it would be. I am way too lazy and disorganized right now, and so I'm trying to find ways to make sure that our house runs smoothly. Once I feel like I've gotten a handle on that, I'm going to try to actually keep it neat. Yep, I am going to try to live in a clean house!

Right now we are super behind on that, but that is because I still can't really move around much. Also, I'm kind of hating the multiple floors, which is quite strange to me. I'm looking forward to apartment hunting this spring, because for the first time...wow...EVER, I'll be able to actually take my time and pick out a home that I like. Brian picked out our house in PA by himself, we had three freaking days to pick out a house in Omaha, and we had a day, yes, one day to pick out a place here. We are planning on staying in our next place until R starts kindergarten, so we are going to take our time and really try to make the best choice possible.

The best choice with one floor. Who knew that it would be so much harder to keep stuff neat when you had to go up and down stairs? (Falling down a flight has not really helped my opinion of them.)

Can someone come over and yell at me to decorate for Halloween? It is this week, and all of my decorations are in piles instead of out! Maybe tonight I'll get it done. Tacos don't really take that much time, and maybe I can convince Brian to help, if R will let him.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Someone Like You

I adore Adele. Her songs are just so emotional, the lyrics well written. Her voice just seems to cut into your heart.

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Picnic" in the Park

Yesterday we took the Metro to Capitol Hill for a picnic. Due to my inability to plan properly, we didn't really have picnic food in the house, other than PB&J. Since we were trying to make a date/family adventure out of this, we decided to find a local eatery and grab lunch there. The plan was to eat and people watch at the National Mall, and let R roll around on the (blanket covered) grass.

Of course, the place that we chose is closed on Sundays, so we ended up eating at the Capitol Lounge. R ate there too, which marked the second time we've taken our baby to a bar and that I breastfed her near drunk people. I'm a real winner when it comes to that sort of thing. The food was great, and we were lucky enough to sit outside. The bar (we thought it was a restaurant!) is across the street from the Library of Congress, which is just beautiful. I should have taken some pictures, but I'm not so good at using the giant camera that we lug around the city.

After lunch/dinner, we walked along the Mall. R had a snack in the garden outside of the Botanical Garden, after screaming like a banshee to get her diaper changed. I almost body slammed some jackass who said something rude about the way B was holding R. She was practicing standing while looking around (while I was cleaning up the evidence) and smiling at the trees moving in the wind. She was breathtaking, and this guy walked by and said something snarky about first time dads. Other than losing three cloth diapers (seriously, B, how did you do that?), B has been the best Daddy a little girl could ask for! Since most of you know how I feel about my dad, y'all know that is high praise indeed! R loves him so much, and you can just tell how safe and loved she feels in his arms.

After calming down while nursing R, I realized how anti-social I've become. B and I definitely need to get out more, or else R won't realize that there are other people in the world! So this upcoming weekend, we will take our little family for a real picnic along Skyline Drive. Duke will be invited this time, and I promise that I will actually take more than one picture!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bryce's Birthday

One year ago today we went into the doctor's office to check on a little bit of bleeding, and for an early anatomy scan. That night our stillborn son was delivered.

Now we have a beautiful little girl who is starting to smile hourly and is having conversations with us in baby talk. She is everything to us.

It isn't enough. There is still a hole in my heart, and I'm learning that there always will be. There is nothing that will ever replace our son. Raquel is a unique miracle.

Bryce, there is a quote from a book my mother used to read to me that runs through my mind at least once a day. I never really understood it until you were gone. The book was written as a memorial to the author's stillborn daughters.

"I love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be." Robert Munsch

It is a cloudy fall day in Omaha today. I wish we could visit you. I hope your bunny and copy of Peter Pan are still there, and that you are happy in Neverneverland. Our little bolt of lightening, you are missed more that words can convey.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bittersweet

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!" Percy Bysshe Shelley

Today on Pinterest, I found this great bucket list for fall activities.


B and I are always trying to figure out fun date ideas that are more than going to a movie after dinner at a chain restaurant. It is also really important to me to create family traditions that we do together, year after year. With many of our childhood traditions centered around religious holidays, we need to put in a little extra effort to create family memories that everyone can participate in. This list, with a few football and Westie related activities added, is a great inspiration for a wonderful season filled with laughter, love, and orange.

This weekend I'm hoping that we can go on a picnic on Capitol Hill, but we are going to have to go on Sunday. Saturday is Bryce's birthday, and I don't think I'm going to make it out of the house. I'm planning on lighting a Yahrzeit candle in his memory, and I'm going to spend the day taking care of his sister as best I can. I may go for a drive and let B take care of the baby. I think I need to just cry. I haven't let myself really grieve since I knew I was pregnant, which was December of last year. I'm hoping that by taking the time to mourn his death that I will be able to spend this fall in a better mental place.

I was so excited to be pregnant last year.

I love the fall. I hope I can learn to love it in a similar way again.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I want to see this movie with my girlfriends, some wine (or an unending amount of tea and Pumpkin Spice Lattes), and an entire pack of tissues from Costco. Wow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And the Summer blooms...


"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby




Raquel Rosalind V. was born on July 24, 2011 at 12.48 pm. She was 8 pounds 1 oz, and 21 inches long. The last month has been the most rewarding and exhausting of my life. She is growing so fast, and has such a strong personality already.

So our little family is filled with July babies...my birthday, then Raquel's, B's and Duke! It will be a busy month for us, with our wedding anniversary in the mix as well. Summer is going to be a very special time in our house.
Honestly, I feel like every day is a special day now. I am overwhelmed with how much I love this little person. She is starting to smile with regularity, and at times the only thing that can console her is being cuddled up in my arms. Late at night, I (with varying levels of success) sing Disney songs to put her to sleep , and she snuggles into my chest. She makes the most adorable noises, and I've started to call her my little bird.

Duke is not a fan yet, but she is growing on him. Once I'm feeling a bit less cut o
pen in the middle (oh, C-sections), we will go on regular walks with the two of them. I'm sure that will help his opinion of her. Once she starts solids, they will be best friends. Until then, I just try to cuddle with him when I am not attached to the baby. My life is one big cuddle-fest. B has even jumped on that train, and hugs me CONSTANTLY. It must be nice for your wife to lose 30 pounds of gut in a week and a half. He is especially loving all of the extra room in our bed. I was such a whale.
Tomorrow we are doing a "photo shoot" for Raquel's 1st month. I'll post the pictures soon, but until then, here is one to tide you over!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Childbirth classes and a tour of L&D

Yesterday B and I went to our new (sob) hospital for, as you probably guessed from the title of this post, a day of childbirth classes and a tour of Labor & Delivery. I will give Omaha this, Methodist Women's Center is the nicest hospital I've ever been in, and as most of you know, I've been in a few. Our new hospital is just not up to snuff.

When you go into labor (or at least think you are), you go to L&D and you are set up in a triage room where they check to see if you are in active labor. If you are, then you need to get up and scoot your tush to an actual delivery room where you will give birth (if having a vaginal delivery). Once you've popped the kid out, you get stitched up (since most doctors perform episiotomies...um, fuck no), the baby gets cleaned up a bit and weighed, and then you get sent to the closet. Oh, I'm sorry, I meant the Mom and Baby area, where there is not enough room in the actual room for the father of the child and the shower is too small to turn around in. To add insult to my already injured psyche, the food is also so ad that our instructor told us that the L&D nursers will be ready with take-out menus for when you get hungry. We did try the food, and suffice to say we will not be partaking in it again if it can be helped.

We also learned during our class that about 35% of women who walk in the doors to this hospital will receive a C-section, that they use forceps, and that it is usual for nurses to withhold information about how dilated you are, which in turn has more women asking for epidurals earlier than they planned. Due to this issue, pitocin is used in about 75% of all births in this hospital. Why all of this crap is happening in one of the best rated hospitals in the suburbs of the capital of the free world, I have no fucking clue.

I am PRAYING that our instructor just didn't realize how invasive she was making everything out to be. I was under the impression that my OB was not so....old school, and that he trusted in the natural process a bit more. I will be bring up my concerns at our next appointment, and B has a birth plan drilled into his head about what I want to fight with the L&D team about. All I want is a healthy baby, but that doesn't mean I am willing to let people do things for convenience or because it is their personal routine procedure. This is still my body, as broken down and worn out as it is.

I miss Dr. Carlson at Methodist, and the wonderful nurses in the high risk L&D area, the beautiful hospital itself, and the delicious and stomach pleasing food from the cafeteria. I almost wish I had never been there, because now nothing else can compare. Over the next few weeks I am going to do everything in my power to convince myself that the hospital doesn't matter. Getting her out safely, getting her out in a way that does minimal damage to my body, and getting her home safely are the only things that are important. Everything else is just a moment in time to get through. It will pass. She is worth it, and much, much more.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh the places we go...

B got a new job about a month ago, and our entire life has been turned around. We now live in Northern Virginia in a suburb of Washington DC. We are renting a lovely town house while we wait for our condo in Omaha to sell. Duke is slightly traumatized, which has not been helped by his newest obsession. He needs to sit or lay touching me in some way, which would be perfectly fine if Raquel wouldn't kick him in the face while he was napping. He is convinced that I have become possessed, which is overwhelming his already strained psyche. Thankfully, Westies are resilient, and Duke is no exception. We (also known as my husband with much appreciated help by my mother) have done a wonderful job of setting up the living/dining room and the kitchen.

B and I are quickly falling in love with this area. We have both started (giant) lists of things to do and places to see. The greenery is absolutely intoxicating after living in the prairie for so long. Living close to us are close family and friends, and we will be within two hours of my brother and his fiance.

Raquel's nursery is going to be gorgeous. We painted the room a beautiful buttery yellow, and it is bright and cozy at the same time. After we get back from a wedding that we have been waiting for for 6+ years, (we love you guys!) B will put together the furniture and we will start on the little details to make her room a perfect little world for her to escape to NeverNeverLand in.

I am working on believing that she will be here in August. She is helping by dancing up a storm to Michael Jackson, kicking Duke in attempts to make friends, and generally obsessing over her father constantly. Her favorite thing in the world is his voice, and she will do anything to hear as much of it as possible. Apparently, paternal worship is genetic in my bloodline.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

To Learn

I've learned over the last few years that it isn't really possible for all of your dreams to come true, and that it ok. Other than that, I don't think there is any one thing that I know enough about to say that I have "learned" it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Disney World is the bomb, bitches!



A few years ago we spent a week in Disney World, and it was by far the best vacation that we have ever been on. We opted to purchase the meal plan, and both gained about 10 lbs. B lost it in a month, I still haven't. We went to both water parks, and to every park. Because we went the week after Labor Day, the parks were practically empty, and we were able to ride most of the rides multiple times. We rode Space Mountain about five times before I made B leave Tomorrowland.

As juvenile as it may sound, DW is an amazing place to visit. The designers of the parks have done an absolutely amazing job at making it as much an adult's fantasy as a child's. We can't wait to go back; in fact I have been trying to convince B that a 13 month old will REALLY enjoy the most magical place on Earth. He'll probably win, and we'll go back when she is five. I can't wait!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Orleans, LA



I grew up in the suburbs of New Orleans, first in Harvey and then in Metairie. Even though we live very far away, I still consider it home. Between the food, the seasons (shrimp, crab, crawfish, and king cake), the weather, the food, the culture, the food, the history, and (did I mention) the food, there is just so much to do, see, and eat! I can't wait to take Raquel through the streets of the French Quarter, to feed her gumbo and beignets, and to run her feet over the grass in Audubon Park. I want to share snowballs and levees and glittering parades with her and B.

New Orleans is so much more than a place to drink and eat your self silly. It is a place where you can enjoy life effortlessly, which I cannot wait to do with my growing family!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Self Portrait



When you don't like having your picture taken, it can be difficult to find a picture of yourself that you think is a good representative of what you think you look like. I think I look silly, slightly bitchy, and incredibly bratty. I also really like my eye makeup, minus that weird eyebrow hair.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What is a name?

I don't answer to any nicknames, even though I have over the years. I love my name; I think it is classically beautiful, and it has so much religious and familial meaning. That is why we named Raquel after my grandmother, who I love and respect very, very much.

To quote Forrest, "That's all I have to say about that."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bryce Addison


I miss Bryce every day. Sometimes it is in a small way...a lady bug lands on a windowsill, or a little blonde boy smiles at me in an office waiting room. Other times I am completely overwhelmed with grief. I am learning to live with it, and it gets easier to handle every day. The pain doesn't go away; it is still as fresh and cutting as ever. I am just learning how to live with it. To actually live, which is exactly what I need to do to honor my son.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Regrets

I spent most of my early and mid twenties regretting choices that I had made, and honestly I just made myself miserable. When I turned 26, I decided that I was done with regrets. Now I try, granted with extreme difficulty, to be as happy as I can. When I have a bad day, I spend as much time with Duke as I need to to turn my mood around. I'm working on forgiving myself more easily, and I try to see B's side of things whenever we disagree. I take a more active role in the major decisions of our household, and more pride in it as well.

I'm not in the headspace I want to be in yet, but I am happy with the progress that I am making. My marriage is better, my dog is happy and content, and both B and I ready for what comes our way.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Something I can't wait for

August 3, 2011

That is the day that Raquel is expected to make her arrival, and I am overwhelmed with excitement and fear. I can't wait to see B's face when he sees her for the first time, or when she smiles just for him. I can't wait to hand her to my parents and watch my father cry in happiness while my mother makes funny faces at her. I can't wait for my brother to see his niece, and hopefully understand why we have been so obsessed with this whole baby thing. I can't wait for my in-laws to see B in our daughter.

I wanted all of this with Bryce, and it breaks my heart that all I got were a few precious moments with his body. If G-d would grant me one thing, it would be that there is a place where I can see him again. I guess that is why we don't know what happens after death, so that we can wait to see it, and have other experiences while we wait.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Our dream home

In a perfect world, Brian and I would own two houses. One would be in Uptown New Orleans, close to the cultural heart of the city. I would love to spend winters and springs there, escaping the cold. We would begin our stay celebrating Hanukah, and leave around Memorial Day, making sure to down our fill of snowballs before running up north away from the heat.


We would spend our summers and falls in Eastern TN, B's childhood home. The weather is beautiful, as is the land. We would live in a sprawling plantation style house, where we would take full advantage of the wrap around porches to live outside as much as possible. Situated on a lake lot, this house would be filled with memories, and our family would constantly visit.


I hope that one day at least one of these dreams becomes a reality!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bible Verse - What am I, Christian?

I don't have a favorite Bible verse, or even a favorite story. I personally don't have the sort of faith that I need to reference the written word for spiritual belief.

I should have probably changed this post into something else, but I'm lazy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A photograph I love

So, I couldn't decided on just one photo. The first one is my favorite photo of B and Duke. I am so glad that we got Duke, as he really completed our family. This picture showcases B's real reaction to Duke's first day home.


Over the winter of 2007/2008, B and I went on a hike in the smokey mountains. I took a million pictures, and this one is my favorite. I am not a good photographer by any means of the imagination, but I am really proud of this picture. I love everything about it, and it inspires me to learn how to create photos that showcase the world in the way I see it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My two year plan

Honestly, all of my goals are related to Raquel and my physical health. This pregnancy and Bryce's have taken a toll on me physically, and I wasn't healthy before I got pregnant. I haven't ever really made the life changes that I needed to in order to be the healthiest version of me possible, and now that I will (hopefully) have a little girl to chase around, I need to be as healthy and energetic as possible for her sake. My known list is:

* I want to breastfeed Raquel for at least a year, to make my own organic baby food, and to use cloth instead of disposable diapers.
* Once the pool opens up I want to swim for at least 30 minutes a day, even if that means I am in the pool for hours in order for me to get that exercise in.
* After her birth, I want to walk outside with her for at least an hour a day until the weather gets too bad. After that I want to use our elliptical machine for the same amount of time. I have no stamina right now, and I really need
* Weight Watchers is going to be my drug of choice after she is born, and I'm sure that it is going to be one heck of a shock. B is not looking forward to his hungry, tired bitch of a wife.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

G-d and other theological thoughts

To quickly answer the question, I identify religiously as a Conservative Jew.

The long version is that I believe in G-d, but I believe that G-d is something that we can't fathom. My beliefs allow me to have faith and to believe in scientific theory. I don't think that G-d takes an active role in our daily lives, but I do believe in a bigger picture. I don't think that bad things happen in order to punish the wicked, or that humanity has any idea of what true wickedness is. We simply try, and we live the way that we were designed.

Pregnancy has made me appreciate life, and nature has always made me appreciate the world around me. I always find it easier to pray outside, and I love the Jewish rituals that allow me to be thankful, gracious, and appreciative of the world around me without asking for things for myself. I tend to heartily dislike selfish prayers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Favorite TV shows

If a show has monsters, magic, or is by Shonda Rhimes I watch it. Right now The Vampire Diaries is my favorite hour of brain numbing activity, followed by True Blood. Being Human is getting up there, but I right now I would watch Grey's first.

While I am slightly embarrassed at how "main stream" my choices seem to be, I would like to point out that I watched all Joss Whedon shows religiously (except for Firefly, which I made up for in late night marathons), and that I could still watch Xena for days without a break. My bookshelves are overflowing with mystical and magical stories, with the Wheel of Time and the Kushiel series having top billing. I may seem like a lemming, but I like to think of all of these fair weather vampire fans as the same sort of people who rooted for the Saints only when they were winning.

Now I want to go read a book. Figures.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The thing I am most afraid of

I am terrified of having another loss. I've barely survived Bryce's death, and that was only because of the amazing support system that I have between my husband and parents. My friends were wonderful, but there is something about crushing grief that sends me into my own private world of pain.

I love Bryce so much, and I will never get over the fact that he didn't live the life that B and I wanted for him. As happy as I am that Raquel is on the way, she is not a replacement for him. She is her own separate person that we are looking forward to meeting. I don't know what I would do if we lost her as well, and that is perhaps the most frightening thing of all.

Monday, February 28, 2011

My friends

B and I are lucky to have a lot of amazing friends. Unfortunately, most of the pictures that I have with them are eight years old and decorating our walls. I am super excited that B got a new camera for the baby's arrival, and I hope that we get back into the habit of documenting the moments in our lives with hundreds of photos.



I am forever grateful that I was such a photo whore while at PSU. I had an amazing group of friends, and some incredibly entertaining pictures that always manage to cheer me up when I am feeling lonely.


There are so many people that I am close to that I may never post pictures of on here. Phone conversations don't lend to photo opps, but that doesn't make them any less special to me.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oh, the places you'll go



I'm a Jewy Jew, so I (of course!) went to Israel as a teenage with a youth group. I'd been before with family to visit family, but we didn't do very much sight seeing. The trip I took when I was 16 was amazing. I ate too much ice cream, got fat, trudged along on the hikes, and lived for any and every historical experience presented to us. I went back when I was 18 to spend my freshman year of college there, living on a kibbutz for 4 months and then Jerusalem for four. It was one of the most rewarding, challenging, painful, and educational experiences of my life, and I am forever thankful that my parents allowed me to go.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oh, you're in theatre? What is your favorite movie?

I never understand why people hear the word theatre and think acting. Film acting and live acting are related, but they are kissing cousins at best. I don't love movies. I have a few that I can watch again, but that is pretty rare. Once a story has been told, I'm done. I intellectually ingested it. Finite.

If I had to pick a favorite movie, it would be Julie Taymor's Titus. It is nothing like the stories that I enjoy reading, and watching it disturbs me for months. Artistically, it is a masterpiece. The acting is superb, the pace is excellent, the technical and design elements are outstanding. I wouldn't suggest eating while watching it, especially pie, but I think it is a must see for performance artists.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Audubon Park, New Orleans



My favorite neighborhood has always been Uptown in New Orleans, and my favorite part of that neighborhood is Audubon Park. Across the street from Tulane and Loyola Universities, it is a true slice of local community living. I love to walk Duke along the winding paths, watching students play frisbee or read under towering oaks, mothers playing with babies in the grass, children scaling trees and playing tag. The houses in the area are gorgeous, but nothing compares with the lush greenery and elegant sculptural accents that seem to stretch out endlessly. You feel like the neighborhood is an extension of the park instead of the park acting as an escape from the surrounding habitation. I am extremely excited to be able to spend an afternoon there in April with Duke, taking pictures of my growing bump and the frolicking males that will be my husband and dog. I think I'm going to force a picnic on them, and stuff myself with po'boys, Zapps, and Red Cream Soda.

If I close my eyes, I can feel the thick grass between my toes. I can't wait.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My brother

My younger brother is one of the most charming people that I have ever met. He simply makes people happy when they are around him. He's funny, goofy, sarcastic, has a heart of gold, creative, and incredibly endearing. He is marrying his love soon, and I am so excited for all of the opportunities that are opening up for the two of them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My parents

I am adopted, and I have to physically contain myself when people ask me about my "real" parents. My mother and father are the only parents I have ever known. They are absolutely amazing, and one of the main reasons that I believe in G-d is because of my family.

My father is a tall, goofy, man who can always make me laugh and cry. His opinion means more to me than anyone else on earth, and I want to be him when I grow up. He lives his life in his own way, rarely compromising and never letting anyone down. He is kind, generous, and passionate about life. He also cannot keep a pair of glasses in decent shape to save his life.


My mother is one of the most easy going people I have ever met. She is always calm (unless woken from an afternoon nap), and has a wonderful tolerance for foolish and dramatic behavior. She was (and still is) my rock after Bryce died, and without her quiet confidence in my ability to get through the hard parts of life I would be lost.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My first love


This is such a difficult post for me, simply because I have loved so many things in my life. Places, items, food, and most importantly people. If you were to ask what was first in my heart I would say my children, followed by my husband and dog. If you were to ask me what I fell in love with first, I would sit and stare off into space, trying in vain to come up with something. I simply don't know what I loved first, but I do know what I love the best.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why Westies and Raspberries?

As usual when I am trying to create something, I rarely stem far from what gave me the initial spark of interest in an idea. Many of the blogs I have begun to read this past year have very simple, easy names that manage to describe the blog and writer in a few words. So what is an insecure want-to-be to do when forced to identify her internet space?

I own a Westie, and I want to breed them seriously after B and I retire. When we got engaged, I knew that the first thing I wanted to do was to buy a puppy. While I respect and admire people who rescue animals, I didn't feel that would be the best choice for our family. I wanted to know what to expect (generally) from a dog, and what that dog would expect of me. We did our research, found a breeder, and brought home the most amazing animal I have ever met.



Raspberries are my favorite food, and a way that I tend to think about life. Fun to play with and eat, they are delicious right off the bush and cooked down into sauce. They are slightly tart yet sweet, and no two are alike. B bought me two bushes which we planted at our first house. Only one made it through the winter, and we got no more than a dozen pieces of fruit off the bush, but I can't wait to plant more in our next house.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Introduction & 15 (hopefully) interesting facts

I am a 27.5 year old married woman who is obsessed with her Westie, Duke. I am nerdy, geeky, and dorky, but not enough of any of those descriptions to be described as one by people who know me. I am a fatty who fluctuates between starving and looking decent and eating and looking like a whale. I have a son named Bryce who I miss in an indescribable way, and a daughter named Raquel due in August. I am Jewish, I have the most supportive family I've ever met, and I am from NOLA. I honestly want to retire to a house on St. Charles with a fence for my Westies, a large kitchen to puddle around in, and a gigantic living room that I plan on converting to a library. I am married to a man who forces me to be better while holding me up when I fall. My life is far from perfect, but I am doing my best to life it in the right way.

Some (probably boring) facts...

1. Purple is not my favorite color, it is a visual obsession for me. My mood changes when I see the hue. It is such a strong need of mine that my husband has allowed me to paint rooms in our houses purple.

2. I have freakishly small hands and feet for my body type. Sometimes I'm not sure how I am able to walk. I had to quit piano lessons when I realized that I could not hit to keys in major chords. I cried.

3. I read 600 - 700 words per minute. I was trained to speed read from kindergarden to fifth grade, and I have never been able to slow is down. I read Robert Jordan's "Towers of Midnight" in about seven and a half hours.

4. I taught myself how to cook from watching the Food Network. I am apparently a visual learner when it comes to crafts, which I find odd since I read so much. I wonder if it is that I absorb concepts better that way, and specific facts in other ways.

5. I own more makeup than anyone I have ever met. A significant amount more. I am friends with drag queens.

6. I become lazy when I am depressed for extended periods of time.

7. I don't think I have ever met anyone with my eye color. They are blue, gray, and yellow. Supposedly they are pretty, but I mostly find them confusing.

8. I still sleep with stuffed animals. I create a fort with them and a blanket my husband got me for my birthday seven years ago.

9. My dog is a dream come true to me. He is honestly the cutest stuffed animal, come to life with a dramatic and inquisitive personality. He also makes my husband very happy.

10. I can cry any time, any place. On stage, in the middle of a restaurant, sleeping...it doesn't matter. I am awesome at crying.

11. I can drink copious amounts of milk. My favorite is 2%, and the most I have ever had in a sitting was a gallon and a half. Not only did I not throw up, but I was barely queasy. I like to think that makes me part cat, but I'm pretty sure it makes me part cow.

12. I meow at my husband in order to communicate with him. He understands the varied nuances of my odd and slightly imbalanced sounds, and usually responds accordingly.

13. I love water, but I hate to bathe. I miss the days of my body being powerful enough in order for me to spend the day in the water frolicking.

14. I want to teach theatre history on the collegiate level one day. I doubt that will ever happen, which is depressing because it is an attainable goal.

15. I wouldn't drink cola until I was 23. I still think any cola but Diet Coke is gross, but I could live without it in an instant.

Blog Challenge

I have been awful at blogging lately, mostly because I am having trouble dealing with the fact that we are pregnant again. Today, I am 16 weeks 4 days pregnant, and I am stressed out to the max. I want to be able to sit back and enjoy this pregnancy, but I don't think I am capable of that this time. Hopefully this pregnancy will end with a healthy baby in August, and I'll feel more confident in the future.

So in order to try to focus on the positive, I am trying to do things that are not necessarily pregnancy related. I found this list on a fellow Bumpie's blog, and I decided to jump on the bandwagon. Over the next 30 days I'm going to fill this blog up with as much happiness that I can muster!

Day 1-Introduce yourself and give 15 interesting facts

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your siblings

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite TV shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-Favorite city

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-A picture

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Late Night Angst Filled Musing

I have been so lost the last few years. I have been in a career killing spiral that I no longer see a way out of. That is ridiculously sad considering I am 27, hold a degree from a major university, have studied at four separate institutes of higher learning at various levels of scholarship, and have an IQ that is too high for my own good.

So why am I unemployed, have been for a year in two days, and all that I can offer to my family is that I can breed and work at a tax service for $10/ hour if the woman I'm supposed to assist can get organized enough to get me started?

It is simple. I am a failure at life in general. I have no idea how to succeed at anything. I am an overly emotional mess that can't seem to tap into my extensive intellectual capabilities except through some sort of strong emotional connection. It is pathetic, and very, very frustrating for my overly analytical husband.

I used to blame my husband for "ruining" my career, but I know that I did that all by myself. I didn't do the research into CPA requirements in PA until after we set our wedding date. To be perfectly honest, that wasn't my first mistake. My first mistake was turning away from the path that I had been on since I was in third grade. That path that I was placed on when my random, ill-fitting, and grating personality traits forced my parents and teachers to the conclusion that I belonged in the world of the theatre.

Where else could my inability to not be the only focus in the room be an asset? I was never able to be ignored. It didn't matter if I was reading in a corner with my back to the room. Something about my ability to completely absorb myself in a task is exceptional visually compelling, not to mention frightening. It is almost as if I lack the ability to come up for air from whatever I am experiencing, and yet I don't drown.

Some of my friends sweetly lie to me that my magnetism is a positive; that I am charming or funny or approachable. I don't know how they miss the vulgar, intimidating, shameless way I breathe. Every once in a while, one of those friends will see me through the lens of a stranger, and they run away from the truth of my personality. I am an aberration; I have no filters. I have never truly communicated with another human being. It isn't possible for me. Most people learn words, body language, even thought processes from other members of society in order to exchange information. It is imprinted during childhood. I accidentally ignored those lessons by existing only in my own reality, and I've never been able to catch up. Instead I try to make myself understood, and without fail unknowingly manage to become the worst version of myself possible in their eyes.

I don't want to be like this. I have fought my nature ever since I realized that I was different. I try to study other people in order to learn how to highlight my possible contributions to society; I usually just end up mimicking whomever I am trying to learn from. I've come to the conclusion that it is too late for me to understand another way of looking at the world. I am not a computer that can have a different operating system installed. As much as I would like to say that I am in some way freed from perpetually beating my head against that psychological wall and that I am comfortable in my own skin, all I can truthfully say is that I hope I've learned to stop consciously trying to conform.

It is just so hard. Why? The word lonely encompasses a minute sliver of the distance I feel from other human beings.

I wish I was...something more human.