Thursday, October 19, 2006

A deluge of ramblings and rain

I haven’t changed my clothes all week. Literally. Yoga pants (brown), shelf tank (sky blue), cosy cardigan (sage)’s my new uniform. I’d post a pic but it’s pretty nasty at this point. I’ve been working from home and pulling 12-14 hour days all week. In that time I have neglected to shower, do the dishes, cook for my husband, go to the gym (let alone go outside), practice the piano, or anything. at. all for that matter....except hunch over my work laptop. From the time I wake the time I go to bed. Tippity tapping...tippity tapping...working. THIS is why I may have a hard time keeping my job when I go back home. I don’t know how to give less than everything I am to it, which is a problem even when it’s just Floyd and I. Add a little Thor to the mix and it becomes a very big problem. So, this week in particular, I’m struggling with how I can still do my job and be a good Mom at the same time.

News Flash!!!! Darkness envelops small island in north Atlantic!! Yea....that’d be Ireland. The sun doesn’t poke it’s lazy head above the horizon until about 0730 and, even after it does, it hides behind an impenetrable cloud cover. No sun. Darkness. And it’ll be this way for the next...hmm...7 months or so. And then we add the rain on top of that. This morning I woke up and thought “my, that’s quite a wind storm out there” but then I noticed the leaves weren’t moving. It was the sound of a million tiny raindrops smacking the crap outta those leaves. The skies opening up. A deluge. And Floyd (who has lost over 13 lbs since we got back from Croatia – round of applause please) was riding his bike to work....happily. He’s like that. Maybe this is the winter I’ll read Ulysses.

This season is marked by giant spiders in the bathtub (or in Guiness glasses as the case may be), eating oatmeal with fresh apples and cinnamon, mushrooms in the grass (have you ever seen so many 'shrooms?), muddy cows, Jezebel leaving muddy footprints all over my work, comfy sweaters, wool socks, my big black boots (hmmmm...which pair?), robins singing, wellies, crabapples falling and leaves bunching up around the doorways. Oh, and rain, and darkness.

I don’t think I know of anybody getting a referral in this next round...which makes me sad. Because I loves me some referrals. Seriously. I could almost punctuate our wait by referrals. Months (or years) just sound so tedious. Maybe if we could think of the wait like “we’ve got 24 rounds of referrals before we get our little Thor!” Yea, whatever. But, seriously, I enjoy seeing the new pictures and reading the blogs of the excited parents. It’s even better when you’ve been following the family’s adventures before the referral and you get to see how their lives, their blog, their personalities completely change once they get their referral. It’s amazing. So if any of y’all know of any good bloggies getting their referral this next round, lemme know. Hook a brutha up.

We’re off to Prague-Bratislava-Budapest in a few days. I haven’t thought about the trip. At. All. (I really hate those little punctuated words, but they work so well for bloggy speak.) I’ve heard that Prague is a beautiful city and that Budapest is right up there as well. I also know that a lot of people don’t know where Bratislava is...including me. I know that it will be cold there and that there are spas with big women that like to pummel you with their fists and firehoses....and you will pay them to do so. I’m looking forward to the trip. I’ve begun keeping a travel diary, which really helps if you have the memory of a gnat.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Don't Hate, Part 2

The short answer for how to get the opportunity to live in Ireland and travel around Europe for two years? Sell your soul to a company that’s about the size of the Death Star (with about as much personality). Don’t like that answer? Here’s the long version....

Have I told you that I am the luckiest girl in the world? Well I am. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t shake my head in disbelief at how fortunate I am. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever imagine I’d have the opportunity to live in another country, on the other side of the world, and do this kind of travelling. Never. Ever.

Floyd and I are not rich. Not even close. We come from white, middle-class backgrounds. My Grandma pronounced quiche “kweechee”. We went to school, studied hard (at least when we got to college), and made choices that would (eventually) lead to good jobs and stability. Even now, with the good jobs, Floyd pours over the budget to figure out how we’re going to make it all work.

Floyd and I started talking about the opportunity to move to Ireland before we were even married. I still have the scrap of paper tablecloth that Floyd scribbled on to explain how the Death Star operated and where all the little Death Star satellites were located. I still have that little scrap of paper because I also drew a little clock (representing my biological clock) and the two little babies that I was going to give birth to by the time I was 39 (which I just turned). So say what you will about the Death Star. It’s more dependable than my biological clock. Interestingly, I actually drew three little babies on the scrap of paper, I just knew one would be adopted.

I have a job too, but it’s not with the Death Star. More like R2D2. I love my job, but, at the time, we thought the move would be perfect. We were ready to start a family and envisioned using our time in Ireland to have and raise our children without the pressures of my work getting in the way. That plan was so perfect it just needed a little bow on top.

After we got married, Floyd let the officers of the Death Star know his wishes to work at their Irish satellite, and we got it all lined up. When the folks with relocation (Storm Troopers) asked us the size of our family (for housing, etc.) we told them “There's just the two of us now, but we’re expecting a baby once we get there!” I shudder to think of how simple-minded we were. As it was, the Storm Troopers don’t consider optimism when checking their boxes.

So here we are in Ireland and, well, let’s just say we’ve had a slight change in plans. Those little ones that we drew on the paper tablecloth when we were planning out our most fortunate of lives? Well, they’re still just twinkles in our eyes. After we set our sights on Thor, we found ourselves with a little bit of time on our hands.

The Death Star (being the Death Star) had to exact a price on Floyd for bringing us over here, so he was pretty busy for the first six months. The travel started out slow. Reluctantly almost. Sure, a trip to London here...a weekend trip to Amsterdam there. Thinking about money, not enough vacation time, all the usual concerns. But after we got our dossier over to China, something happened...

Floyd is now a reservation-making fool. FOOL I tell ya! He tippity-taps at the computer and finds these crazy deals on the nasty, budget airlines. Last weekend he booked something like four weekend trips for January and February. I think we’re going to Oslo, Edinburgh, Riga and Krakow (but, frankly, I can’t recall hate hate hate). Tonight he’s booking our trip to Turkey (red hot hate). One of the reasons I think he’s booking all these trips is to keep me occupied....lest I figure out a way to steal babies from fertile Irish women (joke). We have five more trips booked between now and the end of the year. Soon, Jezebel won’t even recognize us.

In between trips, I still do some work for R2D2. Write/edit reports, a little project management...basically keeping my foot in the door while making money for our next trip. I also take piano lessons, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, write, clean the house, host a book club, go to the gym, and make my husband healthy and nutritious meals (Jaysus, who is this woman?).

So there you have it. The best laid plans. If I’d had it my way, I’d be eating exotic foods like pureed carrots, learning baby-talk rather than French, dipping into the crystal clear waters of the kiddie pool, and making unexpected weekend jaunts to the pediatrician. Instead, I get to visit places that I’d never dreamed of, which is not a bad second place.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Don't Hate, Part 1

I sent out our pictures from Croatia to friends and family last week and I got one response, from a friend with a particularly dark sense of humor, that said, quite simply

hate you

It made me laugh because I know her (let's call her Gooshy D) and the spirit with which it was written. You see, she's crusty on the outside but all gooshy on the inside (but mostly crusty). So, this post is for her (even though she doesn't read the blog...because I haven't given her the address...hehehe).

Tomorrow I leave (sans Floyd) for the Cote D'Azur on the French Riviera (I can feel Gooshy D now...hate hate hating me) where I'll be spending the week with a couple of wonderful friends from the States that have rented a place there for an extended holiday (I am love love loving them). I'm looking foward to warm sun, funny old men in banana hammocks, salad Nicoise, wearing rhinestone sunglasses that are bigger than my head, writing, reading and marveling at the wonder of it all.

So there you have it Gooshy D. Hate away...

And stay tuned for Don't Hate, Part 2 where I try to explain how dorks like us get to bumble around Europe for a couple of years.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Where I'm Coming From

My good friend C1, over at Walternatives, had this great idea (at least for those of us that are settling in to our new comfy-cozy blogging community) to show a picture of our bloggy space to give the folks that read our blogs an idea of where we might be coming from...literally (sadly, you will still have no idea of where I am coming from - in the figurative sense).

This is a picture that I took a few months ago, when I first started to blog, and I was thinking a lot about what I was doing and why I was doing it. It was, and still is to a certain extent, pretty fascinating to me, this whole blogging thing, and I wanted to capture the physical space that I was in while doing it. For posterity’s sake I suppose. For Thor.

The interesting thing about this picture is that we don’t own much of the stuff that's in it, so I don't know if you get a real insight into our personalities. We live in a furnished rental while in Ireland. So the shredded, purple velveteen couch with fringe along the bottom and gaping holes in the cushions? Not ours. The TV, TV table, DVD player, etc. Nope. The bookshelf and books? Those are ours. The movers thought we were crazy bringing so many books over here. But that’s how we made it our home. Oh, and Jezebel? Actually she owns us. Laptop? Sadly, I think it owns me too.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

E-Mom Speaks

My friend, E-Mom, called me the other night. She’s an amazing friend that I’ve had since the dawn of time and the story of our friendship deserves a mega-post...but I’ll save that for another day (hmmm...maybe she can help me write it). Anyhoo...E-Mom has two absolutely beautiful children and she’s sad that we’re having problems makin’/gettin’ some of our own. She knows how hard we’ve tried and how sad we’ve been...but she also knows how happy we are to be adopting from China... and then how sad we were to hear that the wait might be excruciatingly long. It was very easy for her to get pregnant both times and I think she feels an eentsy bit guilty because she’s watched us have a pretty tough time of it and she also sees how much we love her kids.

So when we were on the phone the other night she pointed out that almost all of my experiences surrounding motherhood have been negative. Bad eggs, short luteal phase, high fsh, bad, bad, bad...and now the wait for China is going to be quite a bit longer than we had thought...bad, bad, bad. So she thought that maybe, with all this negative stuff floating around, I could do with something a little more positive. So she went on to tell me (quite convincingly I might add) that she believes that we WILL be parents and that we WILL be wonderful parents and that all of this parenting stuff that we dream about WILL happen for us someday.

And then she said, “...and I’m not just blowing sunshine up your ass”.

And I believed her.

And then I started to cry like I haven’t cried in a while.

Thanks E-Mom.


My Nickname

In the summer between 5th and 6th grade we moved across town to a different house with a plum tree in the back yard. I was a rough and tumble tomboy and I didn’t have any friends, so I spent the summer weeding the yard and picking the rotten plums off the ground and putting them in a big, black garbage bag (I can still smell that sickly sweet...and I am just now starting to enjoy plums again). One time my Mom was talking to the little old lady that lived across the alley from us. I don’t know what the context of their conversation was but the little old lady said to my Mom, ”I just thinks it’s so sweet of you to put that little retarded boy to work for you.”

And my Mom said,”You mean my daughter?”

So my family likes to call me “the little retarded boy”...and I don’t mind because I like the story.