Vacation…?

Right. So going somewhere to hang out for a few weeks used to be the way to refresh and relax. Used to be, as in, before I had two young people to care for during the weeks of “vacation”.

The time change coupled with the break in routine completely borks my children’s circadian rhythms, they don’t ever want to go to sleep, are so tired they fight sleep like crazy, and are generally sleep deprived. (This of course leads to a generally insane behavior, at least on the part of my 6 year old, though the baby can be nuts too.)
So instead of relaxing and lazing the day away, I am eternally engaged in the struggle for master of fate with my daughter, while trying to calm a really cranky boy. The struggle with my daughter looks a lot like boundary pushing, arguing, rule flouting, whining, and losing the ability to say please and thank you. For the baby, it just means being unwilling to sleep during the day, ever, and therefore being too tired to be happy with anything, resulting in lots of crying fits.

Ack!! Headache central here I come!

I love seeing everyone, and have been pretty good at limiting the social events to a minimum, but I still have the desire to lock myself in a room and be alone for a few hours. I spend a lot of time alone at home, so it is strange to be surrounded by so many people now. Wonderful, as I get to fill my days talking to people I rarely get to see, but strange.

I think I am going to have to hide in a closet for a few days when I get back to Jersey!

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Out the mouths of sassy babes….

Monkey and her Uncle monkey played three games of tic tac toe today. She won two and they tied the last. They had the following exchange after the final game;

Monkey: I don’t want to play anymore.
Uncle Monkey: Well at least you beat me twice.
Monkey: Oh, I have won more than twice.
Uncle Monkey: Really? How many games have you won?
Monkey: About ten thousand…. Now it’s ten thousand and two.

Oooohhh the sass on my girl!!

Hmmm…. the warm glow of the Rocky Mountains…

So far I have missed two exits to and from Boulder due to mountain ogling and prairie dogs.
On the way to Hatchet’s house the other day I missed my exit because I was busily showing Monkey the fat and happy prairie dog colony that had sprouted along the sides of the highway. Happily, missing the exit meant I got to drive towards the mountains and stare lovingly at them longer. How I miss their ever present profile against the sky!!
On the way home I missed the exit for the highway because I was too busy watching the sun light the clouds behind the mountains in golden gleaming rays.
I feel my muscles unclench a little more each time I get to look at that lovely backdrop. I seem to be able to breathe the thinner Colorado air, resplendent in it’s late summer crispness, more deeply, and to relax more while doing so. Hmmm…. yummy Colorado air!!
It’s funny, I took the mountains for granted while I lived here, generally using them as a compass point to orient myself with, but not imagining that other landscapes in other places would seem emptier, more naked, because there were no mountains spiking up into the sky.

A good day…

Today was a good day. Mom and I took the kids to the mall, where Monkey ran around like a fiend in the Petri Dish and Otter practiced his standing. We were there originally to find Croc’s and petti pants, but failed to leave with either.
After the mall we went to Las Delicias for real Mexican food.
Mmmm…. chicken flautas in guacamole…. mmmm.
After our food arrived, Otter began looking from dish to dish, and person to person. He was watching us eat with a great deal of interest, and began to get his little sad face when he realized there was no plate for him. Poor guy! He really wants to eat!

I took pity on him and gingerly smeared a tiny bit of guacamole on my finger and offered it to him. He sucked it right off my finger, happy as could be, and began to scoot towards the bowl. I gave him a few more tastes, but really not much, as guacamole is a little too complicated to be a first food. (The recipe they use there if fairly simple, it is not the three-alarm chipotle pepper madness I make, but more of an avacado whip.) He loved it, and was much happier sharing in the feast than he had been watching it.

After lunch we returned home for a lazy day of snuggling and reading before dinner. Then I left Monkey with my parents and took Otter to the Village Inn of my youth to meet Coni for coffee. She and I haven’t had the chance to sit and talk for a long time, so visiting with her refreshed my soul. Coni is one of my Angels, and has been as long as I have known her. Having the chance to talk with her for hours was an amazing gift. I feel more at home, and more relaxed, than I have in a long, long time.

Home is beginning to work it’s magic.

Going under…

Grief is such a very hard emotion for me. As a young adult I was always the happy, chipper one. I always had the quick lines and comebacks, and the cheerful silver lining comments to hand out. Any major grieving I did was done alone, in my room, door shut, loud music playing, and my face crammed into a pillow to muffle the sounds of crying.

As I got older, there were times when I would grieve in front of others, but it is still a hugely private thing for me, and it is still hard. I guess I expect to be able to pick myself up and move on with life whenever it demands, sans grief.

This time it is not working out that way.

Today and yesterday I was surrounded by loving, amazing friends and family. I am so incredibly blessed to be cared for by so many intelligent, funny, and neat people. I loved being able to see everyone, and being able to talk to everyone. I have scheduled time to see my family in smaller groups, have plenty of time left for my friends, and am overwhelmed by the love I have available in my life.

Yet here I am, at high tide, thinking about Nick and how much I miss him. It’s as though my grief is like the ocean, the tide of sorrow will ebb long enough for me to really enjoy myself, long enough to feel almost normal, and then will come back in, submerging me in it’s waves, wiping out the footprints I left during the day.

I know it’s only been five months since he died, and that my time since then has been full of new baby, moving, and family life. I know that I am still flush with hormones, that these hormones are probably enhancing or intensifying my emotions. I know I haven’t given myself the time needed to grieve fully, and recover. It’s just I am not sure I can ever grieve fully and recover. I feel as though there will always be this well of sadness waiting to wash over me in my quiet moments.

Today, at my mother’s birthday party, I was speaking with my cousins about Otter’s tendency to lie in his crib, point up at a spot in the ceiling, and talk and smile at it. They said their kids had always done the same thing, and they had always figured the babies were talking to angels or fairies only they could see. Suddenly I thought of Nick. Is Otter talking to Nick when he coos at the spot in the ceiling? Is my friend introducing himself to the baby he was so excited to meet? Is he out there, watching over me and my family in death, as he was so apt to do in life?

It was then that the waves came in, washing the now familiar feeling of sorrow over me, settling into my bones. So it was that I sat, surrounded by so many people who love me, thinking about the one I will never see again.

Why I won’t put my client on the stand.

Here it is, the mating call of the Mississippi Gopher Frog!

It’s been likened to a revving motorcycle or a jackhammer. It is not the sexiest sound I have ever heard, but then again, I am not a Mississippi Gopher Frog. I am sure this particular specimen sounds quite charming to all those lady frogs out there.

Colorado is fun, we went to Hatchet’s baby shower today and got to reconnect with many old friends. There were a crush of people there, and Otter was a little unhappy about all the noise. He is so different from his sister. She always loved a crowd, but my little man prefers a quite, dim, air-conditioned room with a soft place to sit and a boob nearby. He was pretty high maintenance during the party as a result, so I am tired now, and I have that “feel the burn” sensation in my arms from carrying my big fella around and helping him sit and stand.

I am relaxing a bit now, sipping high quality wine and trying to let the muscles in my neck, shoulders, and back un-knot.

Mom’s party is tomorrow, and Aunty Mop and I spent the day shopping for much needed party supplies, and two-ply toilet paper, because for some unknown and completely irrational reason my mother bought one-ply last time she went shopping. Shudder (I can’t abide one-ply toilet paper, it always makes me feel as though I am wiping with a shopping list, or a receipt, or many of the other desperate alternatives a woman may consider when stuck in a public restroom sans t.p.)

I am looking forward to the party, though it will mean another day of Otter being surrounded by too many people. This time though, our room can be a quite resource. He and I can sneak off for a good long nurse as often as he would like.