Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Happened to March?

Well, I think that this year March was in like a lion and out like a lamb, because I didn't even realize it was over. Which it totally is. Tomorrow is April 1. WHAT? Good grief.

I have a job at Sylvan Learning Center tutoring basically whatever they need me to. I have some training modules to do as soon as possible, but right now I'm babysitting and blogging and I can probably get them done relatively quickly if I work tonight. Also, new tablet is coming today, allegedly, so perhaps I can work on that this weekend. But oh, yeah, Kim and Jessee are coming to visit, I have some minor housecleaning to do (not much, I managed to maintain after last week's Ginger Invasion 2011) and I have to drive to Boston at rush hour TWICE. Tomorrow and Monday. How bad will it be?

I have this sneaking suspicion that I'm coming down with something. The last two days I've had severe pains in my stomach and I've started getting those weird, pointed (that's the best word I can come up with) headaches that are concentrated to one spot, except they're recurring in the same spot. It's the right side of my head, and the pain shoots down into my neck and then fades. This has happened 5 or 6 times today. I'm going to chalk it up to tension, since while babysitting Jack he managed to UNPLUG SEVERAL CORDS FROM THE XBOX AND TRY TO EAT THEM. I was feeding Calvin a bottle, and I look up and there's Jack, with the Xbox turned around and cords clenched in his tiny fists. I yelled, "Jack, NO!" and he looked up at me like I didn't even matter, and went back to playing with these weird snakey things he had found, and weren't they fun? I stuffed a blanket in around the Xbox and will let Brandon deal with whatever has been pulled out.


(Oh, who am I kidding, he doesn't read this.)

I might like to go see Spring Awakening when it comes to Worcester. I know four kids in this cast (and generally like them, although I doubt they remember me from Elon). I'm not even that interested in the show, but I hear it's good and, well, it would be cool to see a bunch of Elon kids in a professional production. I guess we'll see if it happens.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011

Dear Calvin,

You are nine months old today, which means that if you had stayed on the inside for as long as you were supposed to, you would have been out for the same amount of time you were in. I'm very sorry for any trauma that you may have gone through this month, including bonking your head multiple times while you LEARNED TO CRAWL WHAT IS THAT. You're moving now, and it's scary.

This month I lost a very good friend, someone who really wanted to watch you grow up. Instead of taking you to a wedding in May, we took you to a funeral. It was really difficult, and I hope that I can teach you some of the love of the arts that I know she would have instilled in you.

There are so many things I want for you, and so many things I want you to know, but I know that you won't always listen to me or trust that I know what I'm talking about. That's okay, and I'll learn to deal with it. For now I'm taking advantage of the few times you snuggle with me, and the fact that I can still carry you around and make you feel better when you hurt yourself, and doing the best I can as a mommy.

Love you, munchkin,


Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Stages of Grief

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross described the pattern of emotions that a person goes through when confronted with a tragic situation. She observed that people go through, in order: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. There is apparently no scientific basis for this pattern. Which makes sense to me since I'm not going through them in order.

Ginny's death was such a shock to me that I kind of hit the depression angle first. I got angry yesterday, and cried the whole time I wrote my blog post. There's nothing I can bargain for or with. I guess right now I'm in denial because I'm removed from it, but I know that as soon as I see our friends or her family I'm going to jump right back to depression.

What I'm saying is, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is an idiot. I'm not saying she wasn't a smart lady, but her model is severely flawed. You can't map someone's grief. You can't define the way a person is going to feel in the wake of a tragedy. I reacted totally differently to Patrick's death last fall. Some people never even reach acceptance. You may be able to live with it, but you don't necessarily accept it.

I keep remembering all of these random things about Ginny that make me inexplicably happy. (No, not inexplicably; there are some HILARIOUS memories I have of her.) I almost feel guilty for feeling any happiness right now because nothing makes sense. But I want people to try to be happy whenever I die. I want the good things remembered. I think most people do, and I think it's wrong to try an shut down those memories because of some prescribed idea of what it is to grieve. Remembering happier times is getting me through this, and if I smile or laugh in the next few days, it will keep me from going to a dark, unforgiving place where acceptance isn't an option. It's what I need to make sense of something that you really can't make sense of.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
-E.E. Cummings

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Ghost in the Machine

I lost one of my best friends yesterday. Somehow it gets worse every time I have to say it or write it or even think about it. Personally, I don't want people telling me that she's in a better place or that it's part of God's plan, because where I am right now is: it's a stupid, messed-up world and stupid, messed-up things happen in it. This wasn't supposed to happen. And there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.

There are a lot of wonderful things I can say about Ginny. She was one of the most outspoken, crazy, fascinating people I've ever met. She was one of the best friends I've ever had. She gave amazing birthday presents, but more than that, she was always there for you if you needed to talk. She's the only person who called me on a regular basis after I moved just to see how things were going and how Calvin was doing. She's the one who gave me the idea of finding the baby tuxedo for him to wear to the wedding. She made me laugh, and she gave me a reason to go to the theatre. I know that I tried to be a good friend back. I'm not as good with the telephone, but we went through a lot of difficult stuff together. She called me on Sunday, the day before she went into the hospital, to thank me for a box I sent her with a whole bunch of random stuff in it--things to keep her entertained in the hospital, mostly--and then she wrote on my Facebook wall to tell me that she loved the CD I had made for her, that it was "like an aural photo album of the last 6 years!! LOVE YA SO MUCH!"

I told her a lot over the last few weeks how much I loved her. I'm glad I did.

What I keep thinking about, and what I can't escape, is how present she still is in my life. She has a blog that she won't write in anymore, a Facebook page that someone else will keep going, a Twitter account that will go dark. Her number is still in my cell phone, her email still in my contacts list, and more than 800 photos of her are floating around the Internet. In the last 12 hours her Facebook page has exploded with people offering condolences and memories, because that's how we do it nowadays: we maintain this presence, virtually, so that in a way we never have to totally let go. In many ways I'm glad of this. It makes us less alone. In some ways it's just a reminder of the things you lose, the voice you'll never hear again. That's especially hard, because Ginny was becoming a fantastic opera singer. She had pursued musical theatre for a long time and still did, but when she went to Italy senior year she dove into opera headfirst. I still have six recordings that she sent me at the beginning of December, before any of this blew up the way it did. There will be a time when I can listen to them again.

Every time I see the bridesmaid dress or the shoes I bought for the wedding, my stomach knots up, because there's this wonderful guy who loved Ginny so incredibly much, and I can't fathom what he's feeling right now. And there are her parents, for whom she was an only child, who were planning for a wedding that isn't going to happen. I know that as much as I hurt, what they're going through is infinitely harder. So even if you don't know them, please keep them in your thoughts.

I miss you, Ginny. Thank you. For everything.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Snow Is Disappearing

Wow, I almost took a drink out of Calvin's bottle instead of the 2-liter Diet Dr. Pepper I should have been going for. This is what happens when you don't sleep.

Last night was Calvin's worst in months. He's teething (!) so he's been fitful. He cried in his sleep and woke up several times and was just generally unhappy, and that made me sad, and I spent half the night in the spare bed in his room and the other half in my bed after I realized that I can't sleep with his nightlight and it was hot under that denim comforter. Anyway, by 2am I was back in my own bed, and managed to sleep about 4 hours before he woke me up at 6 with his leg through the crib rails. Anyone know how to stop him from doing that? Yes, I have a bumper, and no, he hasn't injured himself (yet).

We went to the doctor today about his atrocious rash. Note:

It's apparently just some crazy eczema and she prescribed some high-strength cortisone ointment, along with some baby Benadryl to stop him scratching. He's still, as she put it, "wicked cute." (That's the one expression I like up here. But only as a modifier, not by itself. Something must be "wicked ____" in order to be cool with me, not just "wicked.")

I desperately need to work out a GOOD organizational system for the diaper bag. I'm still furious about losing the changing pad at Christmas; it makes me really sad because it was all coordinated and APPARENTLY you can't just buy the pad by itself, so I need to get my spare out of Brandon's car someday. Perhaps when I actually buckle down and organize it I'll post it on here so that you, too, can be organized like me. I tend to make sure I have everything I need with as little extra as possible, but it can be customized to fit your needs. Give me a day or two to get everything sorted and I'll do that.


Saturday, March 5, 2011


Calvin has a tooth!

Yesterday Molly and I were at the Wrentham Outlets with our babies. Calvin was in the side carries and kept on flopping backward to look up at the ceiling, and at one point I could see up into his mouth and...wait a that a tooth? I managed to get a finger into his mouth and feel that it was, in fact, a tooth that had popped through, but it was in the wrong place. Everyone told me that even if it looked like other teeth were coming in first, the bottom center two teeth would be the first to break through. I guess Calvin's just doing things his own way, because this is the top left lateral incisor (your incisors are the two middle teeth, and the lateral incisors are right outside those). Ordinarily that is the 5th or 6th tooth to pop.

I feel disgusting saying things like this, but I love my child and think he's the most perfect thing in the world. He's so pleasant and smiles all the time and makes the funniest noises.

We also got some AMAZING cupcakes yesterday at (5 Bites in Wellesley. They were delicious and the people there were so awesome, they pulled some cupcakes from the next day's batch because we had driven 35 minutes to get there! I went because I had a Groupon but I'll definitely be going back soon. Certainly when Meredith and Seth come visit, which is going to be super fun and is ONLY TWO AND A HALF WEEKS AWAY!

Anyway, Brandon's computer has crap for battery so I have to end this, but that's about all for now anyway.