First day of maternity leave. My due date is a month from now; effectively this means I could have anything from a two-week to a nearly six-week break. I really hope I have at least a few weeks of rest before the birth; I badly need it!
I started having carpal tunnel syndrome, so typing is becoming painful. I never had that the first time, although it is supposedly a fairly common occurrence in late pregnancy. I started swelling all over. Very strange feeling.
My (very flexible) plan this week:
-work on my flower business website, logo, FB page, etc... Actually M will mostly do the work, and I'll just
boss him around tell him about my vision. I'm also rethinking and establishing my rates, ordering business cards, assembling a portfolio that looks more professional, etc. I just want to be ready for the next wedding season...
-continue preparing things around the house, in the nursery, etc., although I must say we're fairly ready
-visit a store that specializes in cloth diapers; my really thoughtful and generous co-workers gave me a gift certificate there, and upon visiting the store's site, I learned that our town offers a $150 rebate to families who decide to go this route! Isn't amazing? Somehow this project is becoming a lot more affordable, and I will likely buy more diapers than previously thought.
On Friday night, we'll also go visit my good friend G's newborn boy at the hospital. We were due two weeks apart, but she's having a scheduled c-section on Thursday because she has a placenta previa. I can't wait. This will probably make my own impeding experience much more real.
So, I decided to take this week off blogging, because I have no posts ready, and I want it to feel like a real vacation, with absolutely nothing I "have to do". I'm also hoping this will somehow help my achy hands. I'll be back next week. You all take care, all right?
Monday, October 25, 2010
First day of maternity leave. My due date is a month from now; effectively this means I could have anything from a two-week to a nearly six-week break. I really hope I have at least a few weeks of rest before the birth; I badly need it!
Friday, October 22, 2010
For two reasons.
First, it's M's birthday. 38. This feels strange. I met him when he was 29 and it doesn't seem like he's aged one bit since then! Happy birthday, my love. Je t'aime. Thank you again for everything you do for me, for us. It won't be long until your much expected, much loved daughter is born. I can't wait to do this with you again.
Second, it's my last day of work. This feels bittersweet. More sweet than anything else, because I'm excited about finally resting a little and then embarking on this journey one more, and one last, time. However, it's also the end of something, of a very important era in my life. I've said it many times, but I know it's a great job and great people I'm leaving, and knowing that I'm not coming back feels weird. It's also something else. I'm not saying I'll never do technical writing again, I may well return to it, because, hey, you never know. But this is the time when I need to try and make a change. Thankfully I have a year to figure things out. I'm very well aware, though, that this year starts. Now.
Here's to celebrating loved ones and new beginnings tonight.
P.S. This also marks the end of my beloved twice-monthly massages. Sigh. I swear sometimes, I almost asked the therapist to marry me just so I could get the wonderful back rubs all the time. That is, you know, if I weren't happily married and he actually was into women.
P.P.S. Do you think they will notice if I leave with my (fantastically stylish and comfortable) Aeron chair? Kidding. Absolutely kidding.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
LP's drawing skills have just taken a big leap lately. Parents of kids about the same age kept bringing home elaborate and quite skilled drawings, but we were still in the all-overness abstraction phase of his art development. Like this, for example:
Then, suddenly, this. Welcome to the figurative world! A statement probably as big as when Picasso, who was an amazingly precise and elaborate classical drawer, suddenly went berserk and came up with Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, a 1907 painting of prostitutes in which the perspective is slightly altered, shaking the art world entirely and announcing much bigger changes to come. (You know I'm kidding, right?)
Daddy is the long and lanky (true to form) figure in blue. I'm smaller and green (LP's favorite color), and you can very well recognize bébé in my belly. And of course there's his self-portrait, the most promising in my opinion. The line over his head is not a halo, rather his hair (so he told me). We're framing this and putting it in the nursery.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Damon Albarn has sort of been of crush of mine since 1997, when Blur's Song 2 came out. I spent so many hours listening to that album (which was very different than that somewhat brash anthem, by the way), marveling at his vocals and the range of the melodies and way he wrote simple yet very evocative lyrics. I was especially sold at "Death of a Party," which so clearly echoed a favorite song (and band) from my teenage years: The Smiths' "Death of a Disco Dancer."
I like Gorillaz, too, and its slightly darker, but simultaneously catchy and even sometimes upbeat tempo. M is a big fan of the manga-inspired cartoons aesthetics and characters they've adopted, but frankly I hate them. I guess I'm really not the targeted audience for that anyway.
This song has been playing non-stop in our house lately. I'm sure we'll always remember it as "the one from right before bébé was born."
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sometimes I kind of wish I had shut my mouth about the not-too-much-pink-and-no-princess thing. It's one thing to have your own taste, but now I think I've kind of scared people and made them see me as some sort of a very difficult and weird person. The other day my mom was almost apologetic about giving me a little (brown and dusty rose) sweater that had a small crown on it. Honestly the thing was cute and I never even made the connection between crown and princess, not in the way it was done. But it seemed she was afraid I would throw a fit or something. I was wondering whether I had become this as* who is perceived as turning up her nose at what people have been generous and thoughtful enough to give us. Why do I always have to be so complicated?
I don't *quite* enjoy shopping for girls as much as I thought/everyone told me I would... Sure it's cool, but I don't feel like I've suddenly entered pint-size fashion nirvana either. Perhaps there was too much hype? I mean, don't get me wrong, when I find something I like, I REALLY like it, it makes me wants to shriek and gets me in a very, very girly way. But even though there is definitely much more choice than for boys, it doesn't mean that there's a lot more I dig (I would buy just about everything from BabyGap, but that would be way too expensive. I did get a few things simply because I couldn't resist though). When browsing online, I even feel a strange nostalgia when finding the boys' side, and seeing mini Converse shoes, mini ripped skinny jeans with a turn-up, mini argyle sweaters, mini t-shirts with skulls, and mini tweed newsboy caps. I don't know, it had some sort of a second-degree attitude. I am most likely the only woman in the world who feels this way!
I feel very uncomfortable when people tell me I'm "so lucky" bébé is a girl. I understand what they mean, and I do feel blessed and thrilled we'll get to experience what it's like to have and raise both genders. But last week at daycare I saw the mom of one of LP's little friends, for the first time in a while. She has given birth to her third boy over the summer. "Did you find out what you are having?", she eagerly asked. "Yes, a girl!," I replied, all smiles. Then she took a long look at her small football team and let out this very deep, primal sigh. "LUCKY YOU!", she shouted. And frankly in these situations I just really want to run away, so I never know what to say (usually something like: "Oh you know, you get what you get and you love them.") Would I had been "less lucky" to have two boys? I certainly don't think so, and hope no one thinks so... I don't really get this sort of bad rap boys have, as well. At my dad's party, two women came up to me and started cheering when I told them I was expecting a girl (fine, and cute). Then they proceeded to tell me that they were both "so relieved" when they learned their own babies were girls (3 between the two of them), because yuck, they "really didn't want nothing to do with boys". This crosses my line; I plainly can't understand. I took a look at my beautiful LP (who was standing right besides me, and hello, could definitely hear this), then at my beautiful nephew nearby, and it broke my heart. As simple as that. They just don't know what they're missing.
Monday, October 18, 2010
In the words of a wise and wonderful fellow mama-to-be (twins!), "please stop saying don't buy clothes for little babies because they grow so fast! They still need to wear something while they grow!"
Of course I know the tiniest clothes don't really fit that long... And you shouldn't buy too much. But to each their own, however I've never been capable of leaving babies in their PJs/onesies all the time. I know they don't mind, I know it's less complicated and all, these are totally valid points to make. But nah, that doesn't work with me, probably because how could I have fun with dressing them otherwise? LP wore onesies as layering pieces and PJs at night, but was always dressed in clothes during the day ever since he was born. I know that may seem like total overkill to some people, and it's fine, I don't pretend it's logical or anything. But, you know, I see not dressing them in cute clothes as such a wasted opportunity!!!
So here's what we have as far as bébé's first clothes. How long are they supposed to fit? Not long, for sure. A couple of months at best, depending on the pieces. But it's still a good number of days during which they have to wear clothes! Honestly I don't mind at all, or regret having done the same for LP. None of this is very expensive, and LP's clothes were worn by 3 other little boys around us since then, with a 4th one on the way.
4-5 each footed pajamas and basic short-sleeved onesies to wear under them. These pieces are overwhelmingly on the pink-with-little-bunnies-and-butterflies side. It looks like it's next to impossible to find them in another color.
1 pair of jeans
3 pairs of leggings (stripes and polka dots)
2 skirts: red cord and gray with bow. By the way prior to buying these I had no idea all skirts and dresses came with assorted little panties...
1 heart bubble top
4 long-sleeved onesies (to wear as sweaters): two white, one with fawns, and one with apples
2 dresses: one with big flower print, one tiered heather gray
1 outfit for the Holidays: silky polka dot ruffle shirt and twirly skirt
Tiny, tiny white socks and thighs (white, black, color stripes), and bronze ballet shoes.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I was recently inspired to do this after seeing a similar post on my cousin Lucie's blog (in French). She received a dare to show her purse and detail its content.
It's Coach. I've had it for about two years. M bought it for me during a business trip (I told you, he's amazing for buying me girly stuff like that. His skill is uncanny). It was apparently on sale, and a good deal for the price. I've never kept a purse for such a long time before, probably because I've never had one that was such good quality before. I'm going to use this one until it falls apart, but even though I like it my next one will probably be a little less subdued. I don't like too much bling or anything, but I like a good size, patent leather, lots of zippers, and a not-too-classic color (say like red or teal).
Pockets and inserts:
-Front insert #1: iPhone
-Front insert #2: Swiss card (the female equivalent of a Swiss Army knife), office security ID, Clean & Clear oil absorbing sheets, card with all my ob/gyn info and appointments.
-Back insert: Organic lip balm, cold sore remedy, two packs of Listerine breath strips, two hair elastics, pocket mirror, Cars Band-Aids, needle and thread (?), hoop earrings, euro coin, broken toy piece, key from my dad's house (which I forgot to give back the last time we were there, oops).
-Back pocket: pen, nail file, individually wrapped wipes from a restaurant, cheque book, Cars stickers, a home improvement store receipt, the plastic-covered imprint of LP's hand (a craft he made), the cessation of work form my doctor gave me (and I can't use), and some government form I forgot to file for my company.
Wallet: Guess, embossed patent leather. Another present from M.
Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren. My birthday present from the boys this year!
Plastic bib in a Ziploc bag
Small carton of organic raisins
Some notes and inspiration pictures from my last wedding flower gig
LP's health and immunization booklet, including his health care card, hospital ID, etc.
Nature Valley granola bar, all smushed up
Small tube of Vaseline unscented hand cream
Two containers of eye drops: one Visine and one saline solution for contact lenses
Tums antiacids (which I'm popping non-stop these days)
The receipt for my new (old) car!
What's in your purse, ladies?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I was not supposed to have another sonogram for the rest of my pregnancy, but my doctor recently decided to do one more around 32 weeks. Nothing of concern, just something he told me he started doing more routinely since the last time I was pregnant, to better assess the baby's growth and guesstimate her weight at birth. So compared to three ultrasounds four years ago, I had no less than five this time. It's always fun to compare the mind-blowing progression of a baby in utero, with such important changes occurring every week.
Bébé F is doing well. At the time of the scan, she weighed about 4 1/2 pounds, and should weigh around 7 pounds 3 ounces when she's born (LP was 7 1/2 pounds, 10 days early). All through the pregnancy, her measurements and development, the stretching of my uterus, etc., have been exactly, exactly the expected average. She's continuing to put on 1/2 pound a week, which is extraordinary! I've gained over 35 pounds so far, pretty much the same as last time (I'll probably gain 45 overall again). Only this time I know how difficult and long it was to lose it.
She's been head-down (in position for birth) for a while now, about a month and a half. This time, I felt her turning this way (ouch). Her movements seem much more frequent and stronger than they were with LP -maybe I just don't remember, or maybe it's just the way she's positioned... She is very active, wiggly, and responsive, becoming agitated when LP cries, and starting to move whenever M puts his hand on my belly. She's often plain hurting me, although I don't hold it against her. :-) She's hiccuping (sometimes very strongly) several times a day, which her brother also used to do at this stage. A very good sign, my doctor told me, since it means she's practicing her breathing, working hard to get her little lungs ready (they're the only thing that could still not be fully functional if she were to be born at this point). We didn't get pictures from this last sonogram; at this stage they're getting too big to have a clear, general view... It was more like isolated body parts popping in and out of view. She was in a strange position, which made my doctor laugh and say: "Poor baby, good thing we don't remember that time"... She was kind of stuck on one side, with one leg spread over her stomach.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats
I'm all for little handwritten notes. They're personal and sweet. But this is just stupid marketing. Who's really going to say, wow, I *need* to buy these, so I can write my kid (or husband) a cheery message in their lunch? That's just fake, especially when, you know, you only have to take a piece of paper instead.
Surprisingly, though, the buzz about the ad and product seemed to be positive: some people applauded the company for "putting their own brand image aside" (see how small it is on the package) and "letting people get interactive and creative with their product". Mmm. Interactive and creative?
This has a "good mom" aura all over it -just look at the corner tagline: "Send a little love." It wants you to believe that you'll be such a better person if you send your kids to school with a warm and fuzzy note of encouragement. But I'm sorry, the last time I checked, love didn't exactly come in the form of no-nutrient, additive-filled, high-fructose corn syrup sweetened snacks given to kids*.
Olay Body Wash
So, what, water is the new bad guy now? I think this is the third ad I see with a similar spin lately: "don't get ripped off by buying products that contain mostly water" (the others were laundry detergent and a household cleaning product). Corollary message: "we have more product, hence you get more for your buck".
I'm a little dumbfounded, here. I mean, at first, what smart consumer wouldn't want to obtain "more ingredients" for the same type of product? More is more, right? But when you think of it for a second, it just seems like a misleading marketing claim. I think we can reasonably assume that water is probably the main ingredient is basically every kind of liquid you buy (as it is the main component in uh, everything?) And it's probably not a bad thing, I mean, undiluted cleaning supplies or even soaps would probably be way too harsh and strong if it weren't the case. What do we care if it has more or less water as long as the product does its job well and you like it, anyway? There's probably more of a gray zone for laundry detergent, but in my view, much less so for cosmetics! To me a body wash that contains a good amount of water is in fact very reassuring. Water is pure, and harmless against your skin. "More ingredients" does not exactly mean "more extract of meadow wildflowers", you know. Rather, more DMDM hydantoin, more ammonium laureth sulfate, more tocopherylacetate, and more methylchoroisothiazolinone**.
*On a regular basis, and on a day-to-day setting like school. Once in a while, sure, and even yum.
**Actual ingredients of Olay Body Washes. In their defense though, the product ranks at 5/10 on the scale of toxicity, which is not that bad compared to many others.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Here are the results for the wedding flowers I've done on Saturday. It was a wonderful celebration, by the way: an afternoon party with tea, champagne, sandwiches and cakes, with an underlying classic Alice in Wonderland theme.
Flowers used: carnations in white, orange and fuschia, sunflowers, purple lisianthus, white spider mums, asters in purple and fuschia, orange dahlias, orange chrysanthemums.
I absolutely loved doing centerpieces in teapots, and working with carnations especially. I can't understand people still loathe them so much; they're so easy to work with, extremely durable, inexpensive, and absolutely lovely! These fluffy round balls had such an impact, I really hope they become increasingly popular in the future!
Here was the bride's bouquet: all white carnations (around 45 of them), tied with a vintage satin sash fabric that belonged to the groom's grandmother. (This will likely be the picture on the home page of my upcoming website!)
Unfortunately I couldn't take more pictures of the numerous centerpieces, as M who was supposed to arrive early enough to capture them ended up being stuck in traffic, and arrived right before the ceremony started, as everyone were already seated at the tables and children had already started pulling the flowers apart, pouring water from the teapots into toy cups and such! :-) Lesson learned this time: I need to stop relying on my husband for this. Timing is especially important in weddings, and sometimes your window of opportunity is very short. I really should minimally invest in a decent point-and-shoot camera that would allow me to take some pictures as I do the setup, before the craziness starts!
And, in a somewhat related note, here is a photo of another white carnation bouquet, albeit one worn by a blushing bride during the winter of 1960. This is the wedding picture of my stepmom's parents, whose 50th anniversary we also celebrated this weekend. I thought it was so classic and exquisite I wanted to post it here!
Friday, October 8, 2010
Even though as I've said before, we people of French ancestry don't tend to really celebrate it as such. But it's still a long weekend!
And it will be a busy one. Tomorrow is my last wedding flower gig this year: the Alice in Wonderland tea party-inspired celebration! I'm so excited about it, you have no idea. Other than a wonderful carnation bouquet and a lot of boutonnieres, I have more than 20 centerpieces to make in tea pots, tea cups, tin canisters, pitchers, sugar and cream serving pieces, etc.
The next day, we also have a very fancy brunch in honor of the people I call my honorary grandparents (my stepmom's parents), who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few months ago. This will probably be the last time I see them, and my dad and stepmom, before the baby comes...
Then Monday, we'll rest and work on ongoing project nursery/basement and playroom organizing.
I'll have pictures of the wedding on Tuesday, but meanwhile, here were a few I put in my inspiration folder. Have a good weekend!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Last year while in my hometown for the Holidays, my dad sent me to fetch something at the supermarket. While there, I saw that they had a huge clearance sale on children's outerwear, and within a couple of seconds, found a totally cool, warm, well-made winter jacket in a size that would be perfect for LP the next winter (now this upcoming winter). It was Joe (one of my favorite brands for kids' clothing, hell, for the whole family), only $16, so I immediately bought it, and I was so proud of my deal-savvy cleverness.
It didn't come with snow pants, though, which yes, a kid needs to play outside during the winter here. But I thought these would be easy to find when the time came. I took it out of his closet last week. It's still really cool (camel and beige camo), and an incredible value.
But now I've went to what seems to be every relevant store possible, only to find out the few that do sell snow pants on their own only do so in black, or if they're incredibly forward-thinking, in navy. I've furiously looked at all the online stores I could think of, and basically my only option in either 'camel' or 'brown' appears to be a pair of high-tech Burton snowboarding pants, retailing at $129 plus shipping and duty fees.
I guess now we'll have to buy him another TWO-PIECE winter suit, and keep this jacket for like, running errands when it's not that cold. And a big round of applause for me please.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
By the way that is pronounced "Bree-guee-te", the German way. It's a women's magazine, the most popular there is in the language of Goethe. I used to buy it from time to time while living there, although I must say that the gossip tabloid-like Bunte was more appropriate to my Deutsch proficiency.
A year ago, they announced that they would soon stop using professional models for their shoots. This month's issue is the first one in which this new rule has been observed, and the US website Jezebel currently runs a feature on what it looks like. Spectacular, if you want my opinion! The pictures look amazing, and the women portrayed just look so full of personality and real. Not that models aren't real, but you know, it's their job to showcase a product, not to pose as themselves. You rarely see their name or for the matter, any kind of information about them. Whereas, on an article about black clothes where horses are used, Brigitte used real-life mounted policewomen, and added a paragraph about each of them, adding to their "relatableness".
Of course, some were quick to point out that these women were not exactly average-looking, rather all quite beautiful and thin. Some also said that the magazine did not present much ethnic diversity... And it's all true... But Germany is still not very multicultural. It's far from the "melting pot" of the American society model, or even the "mosaic" of the Canadian one. Most non-German people living there are still of European descent - as far as I remember, 10 years ago, the two most important "visible minority" groups were Turks and Croats. So I think that in their own way, by presenting some women who were not the North-European blond type, they do offer a sample that is realistic for their own society... Like this woman below:
And about the biais against beauty/thinness... It's kind of sad and harsh, but also a reality of life: beauty is attractive, beauty pleases, beauty impresses, beauty sells. I'm in no way opposed to showing a greater diversity of body types and non-traditional facial features and what not. But ultimately, it's still the world of fashion and magazines we're talking about. The big revolution isn't for tomorrow, but I'll take these baby steps. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but when I open a magazine (whether fashion, or design, or cooking, or whatever), I'm looking for a little dream, not really "every day" and "average."
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Two things I've been thinking about lately...
First, this article on Salon, from Babble contributor Madeline Holler. She discusses the birth of her third child, which she went through at home. But what she mostly focuses on is how she made her two young daughters be present during the late stages of labor and the delivery, despite the girls repeatedly, pleadingly, clearly, stating that they did not want to be there. She educated them about birth beforehand, which I think is fine and necessary, because it is true that birth is natural and part of life and what not. But after she gave them a choice and they told her no (four times), she simply ignored them, dismissed their answer and frightened feelings, and continued to believe that this would be "a great gift to them".
Should children witness births? I'm a bit on the fence with this one, but I guess in some cases it can totally be right and positive for families. But the child should be ready, and willing. Some children probably think nothing of it, or even really be into it. But I can also totally see how much of a traumatic experience it could be for a young child, how scary, and confusing, and deeply upsetting it could all seem. People know their own kids, and they should respect them in that. I got cold sweats reading about that little girl hiding in her room, sobbing, shaking, repeating that she didn't want to be there, horrified by her mom's pain, and saying that she was going to faint. Do you think she was ready and should have been there? I know I'm oversensitive and this can be perceived as totally melodramatic by people who simply don't have that gene - and of course it figures... But how could you think that this was no big deal or that they will come to appreciate it over time? It doesn't work that way. After witnessing how crazily traumatized LP got over a seemingly harmless, meaningless thing like a fire drill last year, I just don't think that some kids will, or should, simply "get over themselves".
Holler said that "she's not a Type-A Organizer" person, and that's why she didn't really made plans for the kids to go elsewhere. Hmm, hello? No plan is not an option, especially when the kids make it really clear they don't want to see that. I usually try to avoid being too snarky, but I couldn't help agreeing with some commenters there: don't say you were "surprised" by the birth, that you "didn't have time", and that's why they ended up there, then go on to say that you updated your Facebook status on more than one occasion. I mean, you were not surprised. This was your third child, you knew the drill, such plans are not that long or complicated to make -everyone does it. Even at the last minute, you could have called a neighbor, a friend, even an acquaintance to come fetch the girls, anyone. I mean, if I ever received a phone call to come and help like that, even in the middle of the night, and even from someone I didn't know that much, I would definitely step up. Because that's just what you do. I don't think that having a bad taste in my mouth after reading this makes me a "sanctimommy", just, you know, someone who has feelings and empathy.
Second, any of you have been watching the Sister Wives show on TLC? It's about a polygamist family in Utah, that promises to make you reconsider your initial ideas about them. And, it's true! I'm a little disconcerted ever since seeing it. My view on polygamy hasn't changed: I think there's something completely wrong and one-sided and unfair about it, because even though these women say they chose this lifestyle you just know the playing field is not level... But this family is a million miles away from the idea I had of fundamentalist Mormons, and how the way they live tends to perpetrate the women's submission and acceptance of the marriage: isolated from society, receiving minimal education and contact with the outside world, wearing old-fashioned clothes and living very simply, etc. But this was definitely a modern family: with one wife teasingly telling her husband to "shut up," the guy working in ad sales and driving a shiny Lexus, one of the teenagers (totally goth princess) being allowed to express her disapproval of the lifestyle for her own future marriage, the wives openly and jokingly talking about their sex life (with the same man!), one of them pursuing a college degree, and another one working! I mean, every day she drives her big SUV to an office where she talks to people, lunches out, textes her kids on her cell phone, and brings home an income, yet still willingly stays in this marriage. Maybe I'm narrow-minded (and I don't pretend not to be ignorant about this culture), but I can't really compute the two!
Apart from that, there was something perplexingly warm about this family, with all three wives (soon to be a fourth) living under the same roof, with the husband and their 13 kids. I thought the guy was mostly insufferable (although to them he's probably "very charismatic"), with his sense of being "the big prize" (constantly saying things like "I must assure that everyone gets the same amount of time with me"), and his initial turning up his nose at the woman who will become wife #4 since she's divorced and thus "used goods" (er, dude, you're making your three wives, who love you and put up with you, go through knowing you're sleeping with others in their own home every day)... But although it probably isn't always easy, you could sense real affection between the wives, and towards each other's kids. The two who are busy outside the house can rely on the third, who happily stays home, takes care of all the children and makes dinner for them, so everyone is less stressed. Wife #1, who wanted a very large family but was only able to bear one daughter, says she's so happy that her daughter has siblings anyway, and that she could still be able to participate in parenting a large brood herself. I'm quite confounded, actually.
What do you think?
Monday, October 4, 2010
This weekend was the BIG surprise party for my father's 60th birthday, which is coming up next month. I couldn't tell you about it, obviously (although I don't think he or my stepmom have been coming over here more than a few times at best), just in case. But it's been in the works for a long time, since the winter actually, after my middle sister pointed out that since our parents divorced in 1990, there was never even one of his birthdays when all three of us were present. I don't deserve much credit for the huge amount of organization that was required for this one night though: my sisters do.
Anyway, it was an emotional night for an emotional milestone. My dad the doctor has been working like crazeeey all of his life, since even before I was born. It makes me mad when people complain about doctors being sort of soulless, materialistic and especially greedy; yes he makes more money that most, but it's a calling, people. Think working basically every day, weekends, nights, Holidays, leaving precipitously during numerous important occasions to rush to the hospital... All the time. For over thirty-five years. In my hometown, there aren't many doctors, so it's just part of the deal, take it or leave it. He's always taken it, because for him it's always been about the people, the patients. He has a good but pretty average house, a good but pretty average car... The only luxury they actually splurge on is traveling, which they usually do three times a year (China was their last destination, and Argentina is the next). He's doing well tough, easily looking and feeling a decade younger. But he's now turning sixty, and finally considering the next part of his life. He doesn't plan on retiring any soon -he'll need a young doctor to come and replace him before anyway. But it's coming. And I think it's going to be really weird for him to adjust.
In order to present a slideshow at the party, I recently went through and scanned tons of pictures of him from different eras. And I especially loved the following ones, from his early twenties. My dad. Brilliant med student. Young, fierce, selfless doctor and father to three little girls. Middle-aged human being, going through a really tough time after which he was never completely the same. And now grandfather, sixty, serene, thinking about retirement. Stages of life.
Friday, October 1, 2010
And by that, I mean when I'm no longer with child...
-Sleeping on my stomach
-Well, sleeping in any position comfortably, more like
-Walking for more than 5 minutes
-Working out (or rather the post-workout good feeling)
-Talking normally without becoming seriously out-of-breath
-Finding my body again (not sure whose this one is, but it's not mine)
-Having a glorious, dewy, slightly chilled glass of white wine. All of it.
-And a beer! Oh my. The other day I had a sip of M's amber, and the taste seriously blew my mind.
-Wearing normal clothes, and normal shoes (arem, heels)
-Putting my rings back on
-Not having that "dreading childbirth thing" come to me randomly, especially in the middle of the night
-Falling in love with a little one again
-And finally, especially, moving on to the next stage of my/our life...