I really think I need to do a bi-weekly book recommendation. Or, maybe monthly.
I also think I need to post this blog on Facebook. Problem is, I'm shy. Or something. And I'm not sure I like Facebook. It's just...I'm not overly interested in what X. had for dinner, where Y is going for vacation, or what celebrity Z. (thinks she) looks like. Plus, every once in a while, someone posts uncomplimentary pictures of me. I really have enough uncomplimentary pictures of my own. I don't need more posted on the world wide web. (Honestly, people of my high-school past: Stop It.) Ok, ok, I posted a few "old school" pics of others, but that was a long time ago. Back when I thought I might be a Facebooker. And the photos I posted were not from the 80's. So, come on.
Now, one could comment that a blog is simply Facebook at it's worst: exploiting a daily status and expounding on it. But somehow it's different. Isn't it?
Let's leave it at this: if you are reading this and you like it, then please link www.ladycordelia.com to your status one day. I would really rather if it came from you. And since I know NO ONE reads this (except my mom, who is also afriad of Facebook) I'm safe to not be posted on Facebook. (See? See what I did there?)
Brad says I am a horrible at selling myself. He's absolutely right. (It's why I was a decent songwriter but a weak performer.)
So, as Byron Katie brilliantly offers; let's love what is: myself, my blog, and my mommy as my irregular & sole reader. I'm down with it.
Ok, sooo.... here's the book:
"A Slice of Organic Life."
And on that note, I wonder if we could fit a dairy cow in our yard. I really think I might need a dairy cow. Because I love my chickens so much- I really think I could have the same affinity for a dairy cow.
It's the little things, remember? Saving chickens, home grown chard and home grown children (ok, that's a big thing) and now... milking my own dairy cow. I can see it. (can't I?)
What a wonderful weekend it's been. M. was here for two nights at a hotel down the street with her mom and nine-year-old kiddo. So, for the last two days there were lots of texts back and forth about "when should we meet for breakfast?" and "see you later tonight" and "will wine be ok or do you want beer?" M. and I have truly have not had time like this for years perhaps 10 of them, or more. Usually, it's just one lunch or one dinner. Why? We live 90 miles apart and have children. Voila.
L. & her kids and joined us later in the day today. L. has these 2 unbelievably perfect gorgeous teenagers and the third sibling is a nine-year-old self-professed "nanny." When she is around, my girls out of sight for hours. Oh, how I love the nine-year-old.
So, we all ate sandwiches and then the adult women (me? an adult? really?) conversed about things such as APGARS, rapid decels, needle gauges and meconium. M. is a labor & delivery nurse and and L. is a home birth midwife. So,if you hang with either of them, and especially if you hang with both, there's lots of birth talk. They tell their stories, and once in a while I interrupt to ask something like: "What does BPM mean?" Answer: beats per minute. A very important thing, evidently, when tiny new hearts are in utero. Some stories are quite gross ( i.e. a laboring woman had ongoing bright green diarreah so foul that her attending nurse vomited in the delivery room. Ew.) And some of the stories are sweet. But, I've noticed that a good amount of the sweet ones usually involve a home setting, first time parents, a very long labor and an eventual water birth. Sweet and gooey as that all may be, it's hella boring. I like the ones with a little drama and suspense. If it's L's story, it may involve a home birth that is transported to the hospital. If it's M's story, it may involve a woman who comes to the hospital in pre-labor, is sent home to advance on her own for a bit, and comes back hours later to deliver with no baby in her uterus. Things like this happen. It's perfectly unbelievable.
Anyway, it's 10 p.m. and I still have one child up. Brad is gone and I really would like a moment to myself. But, Olivia (2 years old) has a most frequent phrase: "Mama, I need you, I need you so much, Mama. I love you so much." Did you see the movie Fargo? Do you remember the Asian guy who is in love with (and has lunch with) Margie, the Frances McDormand character? ("Margie, I like you so much Margie. I've always liked you so much.") Well, that's exactly how my two-year-old sounds when she says this to me. And what do you know! Here she is now, rubbing my leg and saying it. How did this child get a mid-western accent?
Anyway, lack of photos, lack of photos. I hate when I don't have a photo to go with the day. But I just won't put up face shots. And that's all I took today.
My lack of keeping this glob up has not to do with a recent demise of heart enthusiasm. Rather, I've had freaking bronchitis and no energy. (And still have only a modicum as I write now. ) The last 48 hours have been the worst- due to a horrible headache. I do feel slightly on the mend now. And so, I write.
Well, I think it's pretty much official- the only person truly known to read this blog are my mom and my best friend. I think my mom is the only regular-checker-inner. And I dare say even she has not checked in frequently. So, gosh- I could truly just say about anything here and not offend a soul (except my mom and my best friend, of course. But who would want to offend them?)
And, so, since no one reads my blog, I feel it's safe to write this: M. was recently diagnosed with Leukemia. And that is why things have been so much less than perfect. And that is also why I believe I got sick these last two weeks. Sadness & madness can get into a persons lungs, you know. Not only extreme sadness at the diagnosis- but complete "what-the-fuck"-ness at how a caring, healthy, young, hard-working person could get cancer. It blew my socks off. Left me sleepless for nights, and gasping for air.
Life Happens. And it is clearly (one M's most cutely overused words) not our business how or why life happens, but it does. It's hard on a mind and body, though. You know?
Poor M. In the midst of all the craziness about the diagnosis, they also thought they found another totally different cancer. So, check it out: on going to find the results of one cancer, the oncologist basically says to her: " Well, in addition to leukemia, we see what could be a malignant mass" Upon hearing this, M. started screaming bloody murder in the MD's office, as any rational person would. (I personally would have kicked the MD in the groin and bit his hand. But M. has always been much calmer than I.) As it turned out, the mass was not cancerous and lucky M. was left with only the one cancer, and not two.
Just don't know how M. made it thru these past few weeks. But M. made it. And the most current test results say that there is no chemo in the near future. (You're damn right there's not or, as I told M., someone's gonna lose some teeth. Can't say who yet...might be the universe, or God, or the doctors in their little white coats testing on mice and not coming up with a cancer cure. But I can tell you, if my M. needs chemo, someone's goin' down.)
What else? Oh, so much more. Always more. But don't you think that's enough for now? SHouldn't I go do something wonderful and artsy and crafty for my sweet children? Let's go cut up magazines and make a collage.
This picture was taken a couple of days ago when, feeling so crappy, I asked the girls to do the watering for me. They do such a fine job. They also water the dogs- which is fun to watch. They bother us so with their stinky summer coats- all the itching and scratching and panting. Sorry stinky dogs, payback's a b----.
There are a few things I think I will not miss when the girls get a little older. Big fat poopy 2-year-old diapers. Wiping 4-year-old butt. Picking up damp pee-pee underwear from all over the house. Cleaning quinoa, that was thrown of course, off the lions share of floor. Debating whether or not to throw away, give away or keep various small and stupid plastic toys. That's pretty much it. The rest will be sentimentalized. I know it all goes way too fast. It already has.
I remember so clearly the first time friends came over to see newborn Chloe. I had to let them hold her, of course, or I would have seemed like one of those over-protective weird mothers. After the people left, I held Chloe and cried my eyes out as I gently wiped her little body clean with a warm washcloth. One of my friends daughters had held her with grubby fingernails. It seriously took me days to recover.
I remember so dearly being in the hospital after the births. I miss those moments when I think back. Not only was I holding my baby (and two years forward, the next baby), not only had I withstood natural childbirth (both times!), I was being doted on by sweet nurses who offered me painkillers and orange juice. And then, in between the flurry of family members, were the quiet, unreal moments of being with the new addition. People call it "bonding", I think. But for me the bonding had been done long ago, before conception. At this point, we were just hanging out.
Fast forward to the chaos. Which is where I am now. Never a dull moment. Never a moment where I am not thankful. Never a moment that I don't realize the moment is passing too quickly. Never a moment without damp pee underwear on the floor, or a kid asking me to read to her...and that is what is happening now. Oh, and she also just informed me, the two-year-old, she has "a poop." Oh joy.
some people can write so gosh darn well.
here is one of those people...
What I love about this book is that in the midst of a somewhat dark week, this book had me lying in bed & laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. I think it might be the absolute cuteness of it mixed with the fact that a dude wrote it. But then again, I really think it's the irreverence. Also though, the sheer lightness of subject matter. I need lightness sometimes because The New Yorker gets pretty wan after a while. This book reminded me of the medicinal value of laughter. After "Zoo Story"- (which certainly won't have you rolling in the aisles) this is a tall glass of lemonade.
On another joyous note, Chloe is now swinging on the "big girl" swing. It was so amazing to see, all of a sudden, the little legs pumping in and out, the little hands holding on so tight. It was a total rite of passage. You know, like driving is at sixteen but a little bit safer and a whole hell of a lot cuter. I didn't realize it was time for her to conquer the big swing. But SHE knew it was time. Chickens know when it's time to lay eggs, and 4 and 1/2 year olds know when it's time for the big swing. It's very simple. Life happens. Whether you're ready or not.
I went to LA to spend the night with a friend (for reasons, again, that I can't elaborate on now.) And left the girls all night for the first time. They did fine, I did fine. When I first left I felt that I couldn't make it 3 hours without them, much less 24. But as the hours passed... and there was no screaming...it came to me that I probably could have stayed another night, or even two.
Tonight's entry will be brief, but important. We had our first egg appear today! Brad had started telling the chickens to "start laying or start praying." Well, I guess they heard him loud and clear, or at least one of them did, for today when I, as usual, peered hopelessly in the nesting box....THERE IT WAS! A tiny little brown perfect egg. It had a white downy feather attached to it which makes me assume that it was none other than sweet Cinderella. She clobbered me today when I reached for the egg. Literally threw herself against my feet and pushed against my ankles with all of her 5 pounds of weight. At the time I thought, awwwww...she really does love me! But, now I gather she was protecting her perfect little gem. Her first one! I hope she still respects me tomorrow when we cook our real itsy bitsy omlette.
I'm so tired. SO tired. I'm one of those people who needs at least 8 hours. 8.5 is good. 9 is perfect. 7 is abhorrent. 6 is downright evil. I think I had close to 5 last night. I went to bed at 11 p.m. and got out of bed around 6 a.m. That would seemingly put me at about 7 hours, sounds merely abhorrent, right? Well, hold on. I was woken up at least 9 times by one child or the other crawling into our bed and/or kicking me, pushing me, crying or screaming. Then, add in: Brad's snoring, having to pee, Brad's initial 4:30 a.m.alarm, Brad's "decide-to-sleep-in-an-hour-longer" 5:30 a.m. alarm, Koko needing to be let out, the computer somehow coming on and lighting up the room, the paperboy revving up our dead end street and, I could keep going here. I assure you.
See. sometimes I can fall back asleep right away after being woken, and 99.9% of the time, I can't. Ok. I'm going a little overboard. 99.8% of the time I can not fall back asleep within, say, 15 minutes. And every once in a while I can't fall back asleep at all and I need to take a sleep aid.
Last night I should have taken the sleep aid, but it was too late for consideration (or too early, depending on how you view 4:30 a.m) and anyway, I hate having to take a drug to sleep- even if it is only once in a while.
Let's also take into account my lovely hormones and "monthly cycle" as they seem do seem to play a role in my insomnia. And, the fact that I have been ultra-sensitive lately due to that unsettling reality I have vaguely alluded to for several nights now.
A friend of mine who is a mom, once said to me that the fatigue of parents is an oversight on the list of certifiable mental illnesses. I'm not sure I would go that far, perhaps because I have only two children and she has three. I would agree though, that deep fatigue makes for bad social graces. It does not wax attractive on a parent who is sincerely trying her best to raise children in a loving, fun, caring fashion. I am almost always loving, but today I was only moderately caring. Fun? Not. Just ask my four year old who spent most of the day asking her vegetative-state mom to play with her.
Suffice to say, there will be no photo today.
Today my mother in law came & watched the kids as I worked on the computer. Among other things, I wrote a letter to the LA Times book section promoting my dad, his career and his new website. Why the heck not. What is there to lose?
Then, I went to a raw food store and got a thingy that makes "pasta" noodles from raw veggies.
Later, I tried to teach Chloe how to sew (she didn't take to it much.) Instead, we played Memory game and Chloe counted all her cards and Olivia counted along... just one beat behind.
All the while I am thinking of what I wrote about last night.
Then, I go out to visit the chickens. (I love them.) And the one who has never let me get close to her (never) runs to me, jumps on the roost in front of me, turns around and crouches down so I can pet her. I stroke her beautiful black-green feathers over and over. All I am thinking is Why? Why tonight?
i can not pretend to understand them.
Some of these things are so sweet, they break my heart open.
And some of these things are so maddening...
i want to turn my back on the world.
How dare it.
I can hear my husband and my oldest daughter upstairs. He is teaching her things as he packs up his art for the show. They are talking about The Grand Canyon...
Her little four year old brain soaking it in. The clean, beautiful slate of her mind ,so hungry for knowledge. I love my people.
I love them.
Tonight, there is one more post--cause....I need to share this now when it is in my head.
I do not know sisterhood. Or siblinghood.
I loved animals, real and pretend. I played with adults. I spent time alone in my room, drawing, organizing, writing, and in my teens; songwriting.
I love being an only child because I am the apple of my parents eye. Or, I love being an only child because it's all I know. And it is good.
That said, our girls are loved equally. And they are both the apples of our eyes. Two suns, revolving around us in giddy laughter, witty sayings and..well..whining. Ok. Yes, there is that. All healthy children whine. (And that's why there is wine.)
But, what I wanted to share tonight is this: the first glimpses of real sisterhood. Real playing together. Real sharing (not just tolerating the order to: "share!") And tonight, Chloe was truly helping Olivia play the Memory game. Chloe was being a big sister.
It's all news to me. I'm learning right along with them. As they hug and fight and chase and push and laugh and invent and suddenly feel left out of each others world, only to envelop each other again as if it had been years between sightings.
I plan to take some more pictures of their current togetherness, but this, taken a few days ago, will suffice for tonite.