Monday, October 30, 2006

Explaining myself to my child

Sometimes I forget that my kids don't really know me. I mean, realistically, my son has maybe two good years of memories of me. I've known him his whole life, so I figure that must mean he knows my whole life too.

But he just noticed my scar. I've had it his whole life. He used to caress it with his fingers sometimes as he would nurse. He used to tell me that my chest was lumpy because the wires that hold together my breastbone would hurt his head when he laid down on me. He doesn't remember that, I guess. He just all of a sudden a few weeks ago wanted to know why I had that big line on my chest.

So I told him. I had a bad heart when I was born, and when I was older they had to fix it. I didn't want to gross him out, but he really wanted to know how they got to it. I explained to him how they had to use a knife and cut the skin, then take a saw (like Daddy has in the garage? COOL) to cut through the bone, then fix the heart, then wire the bones together, then staple the skin together, and all that left a scar where the cut was.

The fact that I had another person actually touch my heart just elevated my cool factor by about fifteen points to my son. This week in gym they learned all about the heart and lungs and Marc made sure his teacher knew all about how the walls of my heart were broken and the red and blue blood mixed together and it made me tired and sick all the time until they PULLED MY HEART RIGHT OUT OF MY CHEST and then sewed it back up. (I think the teacher thought he was making it all up.)

Marc asked me if I was scared to be in the hospital and to get all those shots. I told him yes, I was. I was very scared and it hurt a lot. He asked if daddy stayed with me in the hospital, but I told him it was before I knew daddy, so my mom and dad stayed with me the whole time.

Every couple days now he'll ask another question. Was there lots of blood? (yes) What happened to the staples? (they took them out) Is there something wrong with my heart too? (no, we had you checked when you were a baby) Do the wires hurt? (no, just make a little bump under the skin)

It's been thirteen years since my surgery and I don't think about it much any more. I usually forget that I even have a scar. I was self-conscious about it at first but with time, I just got so used to it that I'd wear low cut shirts without even noticing it in the mirror. But I was surprised at how vivid the memories still were.

I remember the painting on the wall opposite my bed (Toulouse-Lautrec) and my mother having to hand-wash all the betadyne out of my hair and getting the hiccups for three days straight and the first time I looked down and realized my toenails were PINK (they'd been purple for as long as I remember). My son was fascinated by all these things. But mostly, he was fascinated by the idea that I had a life before his life started.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My son and Miro

Friday schools were closed so I took my son to the Baltimore Museum of Art. This is his first visit to an art museum. It never occurred to me to take him, honestly. But when my sister returned from Paris, she brough him a book called My Little Orsay. He was fascinated by the paintings and wanted to see the real ones. I told him Paris is a little far, but the BMA has a fantastic collection by the same artists, so we'd go there.

He surprised me by recognizing both the Thinker and the Kiss (he called it the people getting married) by Rodin. He also recognized Little Dancer by Degas, which is also at the Orsay. We saw paintings by Renoir, Monet, Seurat, Gaughin, Matisse and Cezanne. He was funny with how he recognized things... Seurat was the dot-guy. Gaughin was the orange painter. Cezanne was the fruit painter. His favorite of that group was Matisse - he said he liked the grey cat picture best. (The painting is actually called Interior with Dog but I see where it could be mistaken for a cat.)

We also looked through the modern art wing and his face was just so alive. We saw a few pieces of installation art. Our favorite was an entire room filled with floor fans, tubing, thousands of small pieces of styrofoam and little automatic floor sweepers. The fans and tubes would blow air at random, moving the floor sweepers and styrofoam pieces around. You can actually go into the room and be part of the art, moving things around yourself.

When we were done we went to the gift shop. I let him pick out a calender for next year. I partly expected him to pick the Chagall, since his name is Marc spelled the same way. But after looking through all the painters, his favorite was Miro. His favorite painting in the entire museum was also by Miro. His adjective to describe the painting was melty/blobby. He told me he liked the colors and the shapes and that each painting could be many different things.

For his sister, he picked a calender of Degas. He told me his sister loves ballerinas so she'd like that one. They look like princesses.

I was so glad I took him. It was such an amazing insight into his mind. Letting him discover and see new things, and observing what he liked and what he didn't. Seeing what he was drawn to and what he walked right by. He told me for Christmas he wants a paintbrush.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The subtlety of a five year old

Last weekend, the holiday Legos catalog arrived. My five year old always gets the mail, so he was beyond excited about this. For the past 5 nights, I have gone to bed, only to find the Legos catalog laying open on my pillow - open to the Star Wars lego page, with a big black marker circle around Jabba's sail barge and the Jawa Sandcrawler. Every night I take it and put it back on the table with the other catalogs, and the next night - there it is again.

The funny part is that as soon as I saw those two items, I knew he would love them and I ordered them - one for Christmas, one for his birthday in January. But I am just cracking up at his Ralphie-esque persistance.

I told my mom this story and she reminded me of the summer when my younger sister really wanted a cat. We thought we'd be all subtle, so we took post-it notes and wrote "CAT" on them and put them all over the house. In the cabinets, in the fridge, on the doors, in the car. For two days, everywhere my mom turned, there was a yellow sticky with "CAT" on it. Finally, she couldn't take it any more and my sister got her cat.

Apparently I passed this gene on to my child. My mother laughed at me and said payback is a bitch.

Highly Addictive...

So last night was my second swing around the pole. I took the beginner class to focus more on some basic techniques (i.e., nothing that could cause bruising!). By the end of the class my thighs were shaking and my arms were giving out. This is a tough work out. But OH MY GOD, I love it. I love it, love it, love it.

But I know I have crossed the line now into addiction - today in the car I was practicing my ab circles to songs on the radio and then tonight as I was putting away the dishes, I realized that I was doing a little hip pop every time I bent over and tracing my leg with my hand as I stood back up. Soon I will be strutting everywhere I go.

I must be getting braver because I just bought a pair of 3 1/2 inch heels to wear to a cocktail party coming up in November. I am 5' 9" so most of my life I have not worn heels. I've never liked standing out in the crowd, and being the tallest woman in a room tends to be something people notice. But damn, I'm feeling sassy, baby. Bring on the stilettos!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Warning! Pole dancing may be hazardous to your health

I was warned, but really... I just had no idea. My first true foray into practicing on the pole was today. Holy Hell, I am sore. My legs, thighs, abs, and arms are all mush. After 20 minutes I was sweating and hurting. That is the best work out I have had in a long long time.

But the crowning jewel of all this was my first pole bruise. The instructor warned us - the mark of a true new pole diva is the pole bruise... and I have three. One on each knee and a truly spectaculary whopper on my ankle. I have never been so proud. My hubby said that he'd never seen me look so happy. It's true - hot damn that was FUN!!! I can't wait to do it again.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Okay, I actually love these little memes...

3 smells that I love:
· cinnamon
· sage & citrus
· peppermint

3 smells that I hate:
· pizza barf
· old lunch meat
· body odor

3 jobs that I have had in my life:
· secretary for U.S. Army
· desk clerk at library at BYU
· lawyer

3 movies that I could watch over and over:
· Fools Rush In
· This Is Spinal Tap
· Office Space

3 fond memories:
· hiking with my husband and infant son to see waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park
· getting engaged on a moonlit night on the beach
· seeing my newborn children for the first time

3 jobs I would love to have:
· travel writer
· music critic for magazine
· massage therapist

3 places I have lived:
· Maryland
· Utah
· Japan (very briefly but long enough to need a visa)

3 things I like to do:
· eat
· drink
· be merry

3 of my favorite foods:
· mac & cheese
· coffee (yes, I consider this a food)
· pizza – New York style

3 places I would like to be right now:
· Outer Banks, NC
· Bryce Canyon
· New Zealand

3 websites I visit daily:
· yahoo (it is where I get my news) -
· Further Light and Knowledge (to purge my post-Mormon angst) -
· lexis (for work) -

3 things that make me cry:
· when I let myself be overwhelmed by how much I love my children
· when I think about my friends who have died for stupid senseless reasons
· when I think about how beautiful this world can be

3 friends that I am tagging:
· cool-Jen sister-in-law (because I’d love to see her answers)
· Sister Mary Lisa (because she’s also addicted to blogging)
· Christy (because she finally has a damn blog)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Autumn blew in today

This morning as I walked back from court I was happy for the beautiful weather. So far we've had a very mild Fall with beautiful sunny days and mid-70's temperatures. Apparently while I was in the office today trying to deal with other people's crap, Autumn decided to arrive. I walked out of the office to low 50's and windy. I had to turn the heat on in my car. I had to trade my normal nightly gear of a tank top and shorts for jammie pants and a sweat shirt. Sigh.


I am in love. They just opened a new fitness center near me called Xpose It's basically exotic dance and pole dancing classes for women. My friend Kristen and I went to check out the introductory class. I swear to GOD I have found my nirvana. I'm all about the beginning pole right now. I've been wanting to learn to do more with the pole in my basement. My goal is to be able to do the upside down spins...

I'll keep you posted...

And provide photos...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

More Things I am Loving Right Now

I did this a few months ago. I've decided to make it a tradition. Here are things I'm digging.

1. Netflix - Wow, this is the greatest idea ever. I am finally watching all of those foreign movies that I just never got around to renting and my husband never really wanted to watch with me. Plus, we were able to set up a queue just for our kids, so every 3 or 4 days they have a new movie to watch. They recognize the Netflix red envelope and get all excited!!

2. Washable Suede Pants - from Victoria's Secret. Not only do they make my ass look great, but they are comfortable and cute. I think I might have to go back and buy another pair in black. I bought these for myself as a treat because I earned a bonus at work.

3. Southern Comfort and Lime - This is my favorite shot. But please be careful. I woke up this morning with several tank tops on the floor that said "Property of the Gold Club". Apparently I earned them last night at a visit to the local strip club. I blame the SoCo. Maybe also the washable suede pants.

4. Pumpkin Spice Latte - the harbinger of Autumn. This drink makes me happy. It makes me warm. It makes me want to put on a sweater and go to the orchard to pick apples and carve Jack-O-Lanterns.

5. Annie at the Odyssey - my waxer. Deciding to get the Brazilian is not an easy thing. But if you are going to do it, it sure helps to have a good waxer. Annie is German - she has no sense of modesty. This was disconcerting at first... Um, you want me to just drop my pants and let you see my what? But now that we've bonded, I adore her. She is strong, which is good - she never slips. And she does a great job.

6. Xpose Fitness - a new fitness center just opened nearby that teaches pole dancing classes and also chair/floor. I am so excited - another girl from my Bunco group and I are going to check it out next week.

7. $5 Halloween T-shirt from Target - I am currently sporting the Sweet & Sinister black shirt with the silver sparkly design. For 5 bucks, who can you go wrong?

8. DVR - I can now watch all of my Thursday night shows without having to choose. I get Grey's Anatomy, e/r, and CSI - all commercial free. And I can tape all the cartoons during the week so on Saturday I can do laundry while the kiddos watch a Lilo & Stitch marathon.

9. Buffalo Chicken Dip - this is heaven. 2 cans of chicken, 3/4 cup ranch dressing, 3/4 cup hot sauce, 2 cups shredded cheddar, 2 block cream cheese. Mix it together and heat. Dip Fritos. Oh... My... God... I made this for hubby's poker night and it was GONE. Highly addictive.

10. Laguna Beach - I'm sort of embarassed to admit this, but I do... I love this show. The teen drama, the horrible outfits that probably cost more than my first car, the relationships... It's like brain crack. I am hooked.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sara and the Jumping Goat of Versailles

My little sister Sara just got back from a two week vacation to Paris. I had the chance yesterday to sit and watch a slide show of her pictures. I'd never really wanted to visit Paris until I saw her pics. I am mostly jealous she went to the Orsay Museum. Anyway, she told me this story and I laughed so hard, that I feel the need to make sure it makes its way into the world.

I did not know this, but apparently Marie Antoinette made herself a little peasant village on the grounds of Versailles. She'd go wander around so she could feel like she was mingling with the common folk. Sara visited this little village, which today is still complete with pens of goats.

She was taking a picture and noticed something in the corner of her eye - in the picture you can actually see a smudge in the lower right corner. She realized that a goat had just jumped out of the pen. My sister speak a little French, but the word for "goat" is not one she knows. She is convinced that "little fucker" (her words) waited until all the French people were gone and said, Hey, this American girl probably doesn't know the word for goat, before making his escape.

So she walks over to the groundskeeper, who doesn't speak any English. In fact, he is Portuguese. So now she's trying to tell the Portuguese groundskeeper in broken French that the goat just jumped out of the pen. Except the little fucker is a wily goat, and is actually hiding behind a tree. Every time Sara points at it, it hides, and the groundskeeper thinks Sara is a crazy American who can't find the exit. Finally, Sara physically brings the groundskeeper over to the goat, and he starts screaming and chasing the goat, which goes bounding away towards the village.

And Sara is standing there yelling after him, "That's what I was trying to tell you!!!!"