Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When You Can't Find Your Car In The Snow...

A blizzard hit Northern Ireland on Friday.  Shoot me. Maybe that seems a bit dramatic?  Maybe they told me it never snows here.  Maybe you didn’t slip and skid across five feet of snow, slush, and mud on your bum.  Maybe I just really hate snow.

Waking up to snow on the ground seemed bad enough, but when the stroller practically blew over on  my way out my door and my eyeballs hurt from particles of ice slamming into them during the short intervals I had to walk outside, life really seemed dire.

Then we lost electricity.  This doesn’t just mean “the lack of television and all-day movie marathons.”  For us it means no heat, no hot water, no telephone, and no way to cook food, and no fireplace to generate any sort of heat.  In this rare instance, it also meant, no cell phone service. 

These discoveries, coupled with some unfortunate interactions with a handful of people, immediately sent me into a state of extreme grumpiness.  I was argumentative. I shouted at my children over nothing. I stomped around with the scowl I inherited from my beloved grandmother.  It was lovely.

Then I went home to feed my youngest son.  I’ve never read about this anywhere, but in my case there is some sort of surge of hormones that happen when I sit down to breastfeed my son.  The first 30 seconds of a feeding makes my heart race, and a flood of unacknowledged anxiety surfaces.  I can’t name it, or describe it, and it only happens in the daytime feedings.  It also usually results in me examining what I’m truly anxious about.  In this case I realized I was anxious about our situation.

No electricity or heat is fine for my husband and I.  I grew up in the middle of nowhere, and we were guaranteed at least a few power-outages a winter – some of which could last days. As an adult we lost power, but I was always guaranteed to have power restored within just a few hours, but also had family close by to rely on if things got dire. Dustin and I can cuddle under some duvets and read by candlelight, while sipping glasses of red wine to keep warm.  It actually sounds luxurious.  When you have three small bodies to take care of, a lot changes.  I realized I had no idea how I was going to keep Oliver warm if the power stayed off for more than 24 hours.  My mind raced through the bare fridge inhabiting our home, and searched for non-existent ways to feed out kids since the weather was so bad we couldn’t even take them out of the house to walk across the property.  Then add on this feeling imposed on me to “take care” of the "twenty-somethings" on-site.  I didn’t think I could take it. 

But it went deeper.  What about the homeless mothers who are out in this right now, searching desperately for shelter for their tiny baby?  Life seemed dire, but the sadness I felt at that moment for those women sent me into a state of mourning.  There are moments I feel so angry.  So self-pittying.  That life is so unfair.

Then I remember this beautiful life I have. This fortune I don’t deserve.

I’m happy to report that the electricity was restored, and then lost again, then restored, and then lost again…and as I write this I’m waiting for it to turn off at any moment as the snow continues to whiz past our window in a horizontal fashion.  There is still no internet access, and I can’t find our car, although I’m pretty sure it’s out there somewhere.  But our house is warm, our friends are near, and there is light by which to read. Life is lovely after all.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ollie at 7 months

This guy... growing way too fast.
The other day I caught him trying to crawl.
He didn't get the memo...

...that I need him to be teensy and tiny and immobile - at least until I get my act together.

Sooooooo...I'm thinking in about 15 years? 

On an unrelated note: I could kiss those cheeks all day long.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I would sleep like I haven't slept in a year.

It's been awhile.
Blame it on being busy, unmotivated, the weather being too nice (luckily THAT'S over). The thing about taking an unplanned hiatus is that you find it so overwhelming to get back into what was so easy at one time. This includes writing, as so many other things - art, photography, cooking, letter correspondence, etc.

So instead I'm going to do myself a favor and begin with a simple prompt, because we all need  little boost to do hard things sometimes.

If you could do anything, what would you do today?

Breakfast with my college friends. I would tell them how much I miss them and how much I've changed - the things I can't tell them over email. We would laugh and laugh and laugh at nothing, but at everything. I would touch Audra's pregnant belly.  We would listen and oogle over baby pictures, new houses, and new adventures.  I would get waffles, because I think I forget what those taste like.

I'd buy new jeans - ones that don't have holes where my thighs rub together constantly.  I would bring my friends Steph and Dawn with me because they are marathon shoppers and "yes" people.  I would also consider new shoes that don't have holes in the soles, and look great with my new jeans. We would get coffees and Auntie Annes, even though Steph is eating paleo...since I can do anything, I would make Auntie Annes have paleo pretzels.

Since it's my day, it would be summer in Northern Michigan and we'd go to the beach armed with sunscreen and shovels. My skin would feel hot under the sun, but the water would feel cool on my toes. The sand would squeak under my feet.  Lunch would come in the form of crusty bread, cheeses and turkey, with plenty of grapes of Liam to have his share while the rest of us still get one or two. Sand doesn't get in the food on today.

I would meet my friends from our last recent home for dinner at one of the new restaurants I haven't tried. It would be dark and candlelit, and would make us feel fancy and adult-like. We would laugh about our husbands, and I would probably cry at some point, because that's what I do when we get together and talk about our babies and them growing up.  I would probably just start crying the minute I saw them because I do that too.

There would be a movie with my husband, in a real movie theater, with the kind of movie-theater popcorn they have in the States, extra butter, and forty different flavored salts to pour over the top.

Afterwards drinks in a Toledo bar with the friends I already rarely get to see from home.  Travis would be there from North Carolina. Michelle would be up from Columbus.  Tiff and Dawn would be able to leave the babies at home.  We'd laugh at all of the stories we have to catch up on since I've been gone for so long.  Michelle will tell me about her wedding.  I'll cry again, because that's what I do, and it's been so long.  There are new babies, new husbands, new everything.

On the drive back to my mom and dad's house I would hold Dustin's hand.  We would crawl into bed with our sleeping babies surrounding us, and I would sleep like I haven't slept in a year.

Sunday, March 10, 2013