petie


As we flipped the calendar to 2008 we looked forward to a fun year – Elise’s 1st birthday party, family trip to Disney World, girls going to meet Joaquin in SLC…all in the first part of the year. Instead the highlights have been:

Jan 1 (day after flexible spending due) – someone puts a pin in the Chris voodoo doll (herniated disc)

Jan 27 – Elise’s 1st birthday party (ok, it hasn’t all been bad)

Jan 28 – Elise gets sick and basically doesn’t eat anything for a good part of the week – she’s pretty much her old self again but she gets tired and hungry quickly because she’s still trying to catch up on calories.

Jan 31 – As Elise is just starting to be able to at least be able to drink gatorade, Joelle gets sick

OK, we can look forward to February – Disney! Uh, hold on there…

Feb 2 – Petie is next in line and gets sick after feeling under the weather most of the week.

Guess who’s next?

It has been really, really sad to see my girls not just “sick” but SICK. One by one they have been picked off and the life just taken out of them. I think Petie would agree (although right this second she might not) that the worst moment was when we took Elise to the doctor on Thursday. We had her 1 year appointment scheduled but used it as a “sick visit” because she basically hadn’t kept anything down in almost 3 days. The doctor asked if she was showing normal emotions (like smiling) but was just lethargic. We realized that we couldn’t really remember the last time she had truly smiled.

Which reminds me, the next time we saw her smile might have been later that night when Joelle was around, now sick. It was ironic because when Joelle would go up to Elise when Elise was sick, Elise would kind of swipe at her. When Joelle was in her zombie-sick state Elise would go up to Joelle and grin as if to say “see, how do you like someone smiling at you?” Joelle for her part showed great restraint and did her best to deliver a fake-perky “Hi Elise”.

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It seems appropriate that I pay tribute to a professor I had at Trinity because Trinity seems to be coming up so much lately.  The strange lateral pass video clip, Chris helping out at Westside’s college fair for Trinity and Meg and Danny having just been to campus. 

Dr. Frei passed away while I was at Trinity.  I always found it a little strange that he was so pissed about being diagnosed with lung cancer because, after all, he was a Biology professor.  He smoked before every class; the correlation isn’t that hard for me to see.  He was a great professor and, aside from my own grandparents, his is the only memorial service I have attended.

Chris knows firsthand that I didn’t always take all my classes at Trinity seriously (sorry mom and dad!).  If I was interested in the subject, I was an A student; however, if the class was a bore (take genetics), I seriously struggled to make myself study.  I loved Dr. Frei’s class.  It was the second semester of my freshman year.  I don’t remember the class name (Chris probably does or could look it up in his handy dandy courses of study), but it’s probably why I actually stayed a bio major. 

In this class, I took away two very important things that changed my outlook on life.  I should also quickly interject that I became a Christian again during this first year at Trinity.  A science major at a liberal arts university.  How did that happen?  Biology.  I could not dismiss the beauty, the intricacy and the absolute wonder of life.  It was all too perfect and I was able to embrace God again. 

So, the first lesson I took away?  Abortion is taking away life.  Dr. Frei convinced me in a lecture that, “you are kidding yourself if you don’t think life happens the moment the sperm and egg meet.”  I was completely moved by his lecture and believe that he is right.  I do still think that there are reasons to have an abortion and definitely don’t think abortion issues have a right in politics, but life is triggered upon conception.

Second, we are all imortal through our children.  I remember another lecture where he laughed and said, “who cares about finding the fountain of youth, we all live on through our children.  Our unique genetic code is carried on.”  I had been reading through the trashy Ann Rice novels that concentrate heavily on immortality issues, so I think this is why his comment cemented in my memory.  

Having two children of my own now, I often think of this immortality belief because of how often people like to play the “she looks so much like ____” game.   I really should start keeping a poll of people who believe Elise and/or Joelle look like me vs. Chris (or any deriviation of any family member.)  This game is so important for people to play – Dr. Frei was definitely right about the importance to humans to carry on that genetic code.  As for myself, I am truly happy if the girls look like Chris.  I think the majority of votes would go to the girls looking like their daddy.  Many people often think I should be sad about that, but I’m definitely not.  I love Chris, why wouldn’t I love for my girls to remind me of him?     

It’s so frustrating.   Three weeks ago, I was jubilant about losing 7 pounds.  I felt great and loved it when people asked if I’d lost weight.  Fast forward to today, I feel awful.  I’m the exact same weight that I was three weeks ago, but the effect has worn off.  Losing weight is addictive.  I want another hit.  So far, the wanting to lose more weight hasn’t overcome the desire to eat.  🙂

Inspired by the holy rhetoric from Joelle’s vacation bible school, “Take the Plunge with Jesus”, I have finally dedicated my life to raising my children.  I have worked part-time since Joelle was born and I am so glad that I did.  It enabled us to move and enjoy lots of other things that we couldn’t have otherwise.  I always knew that once we had two children, working would become even more difficult.  I had no idea that it would be quite so difficult. 

I’m tired.  Very tired.  I have worked for about 6 weeks now, almost always at night after the girls go to bed.  “Working” from 6 am to 7:30 pm with both girls and then working from 8 to 10 is absolutely exhausting.  I know people do it, but, wow, what kind of life is that?  True, I do have my mom’s help.  Without it, I wouldn’t be sane.  However, she gets tired, too, and I hate having to rely on her all the time.  She’s worked hard her entire life and should get to enjoy lazing around and most certainly her water aerobics whenever she wants.  Most importantly, I want her to come over when she wants to enjoy her grandbabies – not because her daughter has to work. 

I kept telling myself that things would get better once summer was over and Joelle was back in school, but I realized that it wouldn’t really.  Joelle will be in school 5 hours on 4 days, but of those 5 hours, I have to work out, run errands and keep the house tidy.  Oh, and play with my baby.  When exactly will work fit in?  I just didn’t see substantial time pockets opening up.  When I realized that I wasn’t sleeping at night because of the stress, I decided enough was enough.  I hung on for so long because it was a great gig – working exclusively from home with pretty good pay.  Plus, if I stop, I can’t really rely on getting to do it again in the future… and I have absolutely no idea what I may decide to do once my kids are in school.  I do know that a huge weight was lifted from chest today.  I have only until the end of August to continue this juggle.  The future and what I do with it can’t dictate what I do now, right? 

I almost forgot – the biggest irony of it all?   About 15 minutes after I e-mailed my boss to tell him I was hanging the hat, another old co-worker (who is now at a new company) IM’d me to ask if I’d consider working for his company. 

Ironically, my mom found a copy of a diet plan while she was looking for her recipe of my favorite cake.  The diet is faded, worn, and clearly from an era before laser printers.  Chris read it and dubbed it the “chain letter diet.”  It reads just like a chain letter you’d get in your inbox, “if you send this diet to 5 people, you’ll lose 5 pounds.”  If I wasn’t so frustrated about not losing a single pound since joining the MAC in late May and exercising almost every day of the week for an hour,  I might have had better sense and not tried it out.  Alas, I was desperate and did.

It’s a seven day diet and I’m on day 3.  It’s kicking my butt.  Every day, you’re supposed to consume large quantities of a cabbage soup (which consists of onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, cabbage and lipton french onion soup mix).  Then, each day varies with what you can eat. 

1 Day – fruit, 2 Day – veggies (one potato allowed), 3 Day – fruit and veggies (no potatoes), 4 Day – skim milk and up to 8 bananas, 5 Day – 10-12 ounces of beef and up to 8 tomatoes, 6 Day – all the beef and veggies you can eat, 7 Day – brown rice and veggies

It seems so easy on paper, but it’s really, really hard.  My parents have just completed day 7, luckily, or I think I would quit.  If they can do it, I can.  I’ll just be ticked if it’s all water loss and no real weight loss.  In looking for recipes tonight on the internet, it appears that there is a flock quite devoted to this diet.  Just giving up my skinny cows at night should net out at least a pound lost, right?? 

Chris is right though, after this – we’re just going on the strict 1000 calorie plan to get off the rest of the “baby”weight.  (Mine, not his – he’s just always very supportive.) 

“And with all the party invitations stuffed into parents’ mailboxes these days, making her children’s birthday parties the ones that parents clamor to place on their youngster’s social calendar is definitely a priority.”  (Absolutely! Memorial by Kathy Suerth)

No, I’m not making this up.  It was taken from an article about throwing birthday parties for your child(ren).  I hope that if I ever get this crazy, someone will shake some sense into me.  Or, tell me to find a job.

Which leads me to something else that has been on my mind…  I’m reading a new book for book club:  The Feminine Mistake.  The author asserts that women should not stay home with their children because it makes us economically vunerable.  I think she says we are making a “willfully retrograde choice.”  For obvious reasons, this put me into a bit of a foul mood for a few days.  Who likes to hear that they are ruining all the work done by the feminist movement and are putting themselves at risk if their husband divorces them, is disabled or dies? 

Luckily, Bennetts arguments haven’t dazzled me thus far.  I will concede that it is true that if something were to happen to our marriage, I would definitely be more vunerable.  It is Chris who has gotten his MBA and continued to make strides in the working world.  If I go back to work in 10 years, I will be starting over.  I’m ok with that.  I am confident that I would always be able to provide for myself.  It may not be at the same level as I am now, but even working women would find themselves at a lower income bracket if they divorced.  Isn’t that the biggest drawback of divorce?  If I am worth $138,000 a year (quoted on the Today show), as a mom who stays home, wouldn’t Chris find himself economically setback if we were separated?  Certainly, his quality of life would suffer if he didn’t start paying someone to do all the cleaning, cooking, etc.  I would rather enjoy my 30s now with my children and have to work when I’m 40-60.  I honestly always felt that I didn’t want children if I couldn’t enjoy them.

She says that we’re letting down women by not fighting for better workplace environments for families.  Wouldn’t I be letting down myself if I didn’t stay home?  This is my choice.  Maybe I’ll be encouraging more leniancy towards women who have taken a hiatus to raise kids and want to return to the workforce.  Maybe companies can have aggressive training programs for those who haven taken a decade to raise kids.

It’s strange that I consider myself a pessimist and can so easily dismiss the tragedies spun by Bennett’s forecast of my future.  I guess I have complete faith in Chris and in myself. 

Although I have a dreaded cold (hate colds in the summer), I enjoyed my mother’s day.  I got to see one daughter dance and snuggled with the other for a marathon nappie.  I love falling asleep to the sound of that binky being sucked. 

In my opinion, there are two camps of people:  those who like to see the same movies and read the same books over and over and those who don’t.  To Kill a Mockingbird was our latest Alley adventure.  Truthfully, I wasn’t that excited about seeing it.  I knew exactly what would happen and have always thought that was boring – knowing the ending before the play even began.

However, I loved it.  It was a wonderful production and I think I learned something very valuable.  These older classics can demonstrate how much you’ve changed.  I did really like To Kill a Mockingbird in high school, but it was superficial.  I liked the story and found it entertaning.  Who wouldn’t laugh at Dill?  However, I didn’t comprehend the magnitude and true meaning of the story.  I now see how losing your child(ren) is the greatest sacrafice and sadness.  I also mourned for Tom Robinson with a greater intensity because I knew what it would feel like to leave your children.  I can imagine how distraught he felt – distraught enough to try to escape prison.  I wonder what other classics would have new meaning to me?  Perhaps, I will side with the other camp and start rereading some of my favorites from high school.

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