Saturday, September 29, 2007


How does a person deal with the loss of a child? I can't breathe thinking of it. We are all given the strength we need I suppose for what life hands us but I don't know how I would survive. I look at pictures of my boys minutes after their birth and remember my love was already overwhelming. I look at them now and love them so furiously (even when I am, well, furious).

  • Emotional response to an external and consciously recognized loss; self-limiting and gradually subsiding within a reasonable length of time.

  • This definition seems really stupid. Self limiting? When a hole gets shot through your heart, of course its limiting! Fuck.

    M is alive but won't wake up again. He was a sweet, smart, funny, beautiful boy. He still is but now all is quiet. I guess all that is left is to remember his 12 years and to stay with the living. And to keep breathing. Breathe by breathe. This is the time for me to create prayer of any sort. Religious or not.

    This past week while waiting to hear more news...I began to run again. Someone suggested the treadmill, how stupid. I needed to be outside. I needed to be in the big world of trees and sky. In fact, I ran through condos and shopping centers but...still, the sky and trees poked through. I am reminded that the world is so much bigger than me and that I have no control over any of it.

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    home sweet home

    Although there is a smell of some sort that I just can't figure out, It's great to be home. I was met at the airport, which I love. As I came through security, Max was running toward me with the best smile, "Mommy!" We got home and I got to say yes to chocolate pudding and yes to computer games. I am a hero.

    I just got home from a week in hell. The theme of the week was war. The company hired ex-marines to entertain and "train" us. No kidding. We played war game simulations to work as a "team." We had a Marine type guy screaming at us "recruits" about being motivated. Spelled, M-O-T-O-V-A-8-E-D . That's right. Clever.

    The special treat at the end of the week, Thursday night was getting to go to Mirimar, a military base to see the bombers and to eat at the officer's club with the marines. It was hard to look at these young guys and not feel respect as well as extreme sadness and fear.

    I think I wouldn't be so bothered by the military stuff if there was some room to feel differently out loud but its just a bit scary to admit to too many people or to the people in charge that one might feel differently. These events always make me feel like I work on an alien planet. And then, I return home. Where I belong.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    A prayer

    I hear bad news and I don't know exactly what to do with it. I guess that's where religion comes in for most other people. I'm not so religious. I like to say I am a spiritual person but when it comes to crisis I have to admit, I don't know where to go with my feeling of helplessness.

    My friend's son is very ill. I can't imagine what it would be like to have one of my children in ICU not knowing whether or not he will wake or ultimately be...OK. How to reach out and help? There is not much I can do but send love by phone or email or, if I ever get home again, in person. I find myself praying. For this boy. For this family. For my family.

    I am an awkward pray-er. I'm a fair weather believer of sorts. I am desperate for hope and faith. I am filled with guilt for not being there all along and now when its critical, I realize how little support I have given along the way. Alternatively, I know that I am filled up with my own life and taking care of my family, but still. I have guilt and sadness today.

    Last night, I'm told, Aiden woke up screaming and was inconsolable for over 45 minutes. BZ gave him Tylenol and he passed out immediately. Its not the first time. I wonder if its a physical or an emotional thing? Is it night fright? Is it "where the hell is mommy?" Again, the guilt. Shit. Yesterday, I went running (for the first time in years) and it made me feel so much better for about an hour. Perhaps, I should run again. Or sleep. Or eat. Or not be alone. Or be alone.

    If you are better at prayer than I, can you say a prayer or at least send good positive thoughts of health and strength and love for young M and his family?

    Thank you. I will keep you posted and, will hopefully be a bit more positive my next rant, er, blog.

    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Packing for yet another journey

    I still haven't unpacked all the way from the Phoenix trip and yet, I need to pack for San Diego. I am happy about frequent flyer miles but its been three different airlines and all relatively short trips.

    What to bring beyond the work clothes? I don't bother worrying much about the clothes because I never seem to bring the right things, I always end up wearing practically the same thing each day after discovering stains or rips or impossible wrinkles and creases. I wear ugly shoes and that won't change at all...sigh.

    OK, so what knitting will I bring? I think Max's scarf should be ready to block and finish tonight, I hope to finish up the pink hat/helmet tonight. I will bring the multicolor hat project and...drum roll.....the yarn for a hot pink scarf I'm making for Christine.
    I got this GREAT hot pink cotton (Blue Sky, of course) and this Blue Sky Suri (baby alpaca) fuzzy light pink yarn for the border. I am not sure yet of the width or the pattern, if any. I just love the color. I am debating whether or not to bring another project as well, the Wavy Scarf.

    So the hardest part of leaving is these little guys. As much as I get annoyed, frustrated, stressed out, exhausted...there is nothing better than an almost two year old with a plastic helmet on his head to hold two pacifiers as he stumbles down the stairs. Or Max's lopsided grin and, "I love you mommy."
    I also will miss BZ. Its hard to leave my other half, which I think he really has become (this may seem like a Duh moment but these things don't come automatically for me). And as gripe-y and snarly as I get, I still want and enjoy having him around. The greatest thing when I return is when Max sees me hugging BZ and immediately yells, "Family Hug!" Both boys drop everything and come running for the big family smooch. What's more ridiculous and wonderful than that?

    Friday, September 21, 2007

    The glamour of travel

    I do love to travel. But I don't usually like the trip. I know its supposed to be all about the journey but have you been to an airport lately? Its really an awful experience. I had to fly out of Oakland and, they happen to be going through loads of construction. Most of the hassle is that they have dug up half of the parking area but haven't really put up directional signs to help you find your way.

    Finding a parking spot was near impossible and after about 20 minutes I just created my own spot and hoped that I would still have a car when I returned. I was parked so far away from the terminal with no parking shuttle in sight. I walked about 15 minutes to get into the airport. I was in a crappy mood by the time I got to my airline.

    Our Hotel in Phoenix was also under construction and they were very busily painting into the night. Now this is definitely a quite activity but also a quite stinky and toxic one. I still slept really well. the bed sure was comfy and large.

    Although getting to my car on my return to Oakland was very scary and potentially life-threatening (10 pm parking lot, will anyone hear me scream?), I am not in Iraq and this can be avoided on the next trip. I will make better choices.

    I finished Max's scarf...almost, I forgot how to cast off. Shit. I guess I really am very tired. I then picked up the hat project and began knitting madly at it backwards. I turned it around forgetting where the yarn was supposed to be. After about 10 rounds I looked at it and thought...oops. Ugly mistake. I ripped out the whole thing and started the whole thing from scratch.

    My projects before leaving for San Diego: Pick up dry cleaning, finish the pink baby hat for Linda and Tod, finish the red scarf for Max, get the hot pink scarf/boa started for Christine, MAYBE start the wavy scarf for me.

    Good night! I am exhausted and must get to sleep before Aiden declares the morning at some time during the night.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007


    A college friend
    I was on a work trip and got to see a close friend for a very brief visit. We went to NYU together. I think we may go back 23 years. That's really crazy. We've had ups and downs, have lived far away for years, don't communicate often but...the connection just runs deep. When I first saw her Thursday night (around 11:30pm-ish) I felt such a surge of emotion. We didn't have much time for a visit (half a day) but we got to share ourselves. I found myself talking faster and faster as our time got shorter and shorter. We both cried as she dropped one of her boys off for Kindergarten. One of the teachers came out to assure me that they would be OK. I was embarrassed for being so emotional but stayed emotional the entire visit. It was a great visit. Hopefully it won't be two more years before our next get together.

    A roommate
    I got back late on Friday night, She was already gone. In fact, by Saturday morning she already had a blog update on her arrival in London. I think she starts training for her Iraq assignment this week. I feel myself trying to detach from the danger of it and just consider it a long distance assignment. We were roommates for how many years? 5? I can't remember but we have known each other for 9, 10 or 11 years. Shit, how is that possible? We've gone through a lot as well. Living spaces, cats, dogs and men. Oh, and cheese. I am trying to set aside my feelings at the moment because I keep finding myself with "fear" as the overarching element. Perhaps she'd like a scarf on her return? But what color? This might help me focus on the positive, on the future, on a safe return.

    A Neighbor
    We met through a neighbor who insisted we meet. She said, you guys have to meet these other neighbors-they are just like you! We immediately hit it off. Most of what we had in common was our boys. Then we both got pregnant again and we did that together too. So it could have been just a friendship of convenience but it turns out that this relatively new friendship is beginning to show deeper roots. We've moved and friendship has become inconvenient and yet, it is such a pleasure each time we connect. We remind each other that there is humor in the stress and craziness that seems to overwhelm and stun us. There is beauty in the chaos and there is sanity in how we feel, however crazy...we are not alone. And although she is my "Christian" friend, and I suppose, I am her "semi-Jewish" friend, our beliefs and values are mighty similar.

    A Playdate
    The newest chapter. As a working mother of two, my ability to socialize is severely limited, especially with those more than 5 miles away. One of those very "mom" type social events is the playdate. They can be horribly boring or surprisingly fun. One of the more recent ones, 2 months ago-ish...probably longer, was one of the good ones. Not only did the boys get along, I got along with the other mom. We don't really have tons in common but for some reason its hard to get either of us to stop talking. There seems to be so much to say and share. We are now a regular fixture in each others life and even though the boys now fight like brothers, we, the moms, find ways to placate them long enough (ice cream , videos) to enjoy our grown up visit. Its a great feeling having a new friend. It doesn't take the place of the others, its just cool to have that NEW feeling of sharing and finding common ground and learning a new person's deal. And, of course, having a local friend is a great thing.

    Sunday, September 9, 2007

    taking risks

    Aiden tried the Merry Go Round again today and loved it. This is a big deal for him. He has freaked each time and yet, today, he pointed to it very clearly and wanted to try again. He took a risk and it paid off, He was so proud of himself.

    My risks are whether or not I should try knitting a hat or a sweater. Sometimes I enter risky conversations. I hardly ever take large physical risks. I guess I drive most days and that is risky. I drove home tonight (exhausted) around 10:30pm and that is potentially dangerous.

    This is Kim in a bar. We are discussing her upcoming trip to Iraq. Kim is a reporter so naturally, this is an exciting adventure. Not being a complete idiot, she knows it is risky and crazy and yet, its an amazing opportunity.

    I'm not even willing to sky dive. And since the kids were born, my fear of risk taking has increased. I know that many things scare me more than they should but Iraq is such an unknown, uncontrollable violent place...

    When we left the bar, I drove her back to her apartment building. I wanted to make sure she got home safely. Its the least I could do.

    Saturday, September 8, 2007


    Ah hah! My second project done. Actually I finished it almost a week ago but was struggling with downloading onto the computer. Its a washcloth puppet but it is big enough to be a hat. Note to self, make it smaller next time.

    I am off and running with the renewed effort on Max's red scarf. I have started with a whole new skein of yarn, the Blue Sky Alpaca that I love (super soft), and with big fat needles so it is going much easier than before.

    I also started my first hat. And started it, and started it, and started it...very frustrating. I have ripped it out about 5 times to start over. I have changed patterns three times and have decided to go back to the original pattern but have a friend explain what the secret knitting code actually means in the pattern. Perhaps if I understand the language, it won't look so bad. Pictures will not be shown until complete (mainly since it is going to be a gift if it doesn't look too terrible).

    In other than knit news, my parents sent a care package with loot from their France vacation. Yahoo, more chocolate!! We were down to only about ten pounds so it couldn't be soon enough. They also sent clothes for the boys, super duper cute. Max even wanted to go to bed in one of his new shirts he loved it so much. What kid likes getting clothing? My special boy.

    And in other ramblings, if you haven't heard, Apple has reduced the price of their Iphone after a tiny bit more than two months. Lame for those who bought early. Great for the rest of you. I go in the super LAME-O category. So, to appease the pissed off customers, they are giving us $100 bucks to say sorry, stick around, we still love you...sucker.

    Friday, September 7, 2007

    Golf Land

    Yes. Miniature Golf. I love it. You may call it PeeWee Golf but I have always used the word miniature. Perhaps that's an East Coast thing or perhaps its a generational thing. I don't care. I love it all.

    In Junior High I won a prize for miniature golf, a hot fudge sundae. For some reason I was never able to collect on that prize. When I was a bit younger, I had a mini golf birthday party. It was pretty hot out then too. I remember going to the soda machine to get something and then, since I was so hot, I tried to get into the shade next to the machine. At some point, I passed out. that was the end of the party. So lame.

    Last weekend, I found Golf Land in Castro Valley and brought Max and Aiden while BZ was working. Max and I had such a great time that we went back again the very next day with BZ. Aiden pretty much slept through both times.

    I love the windmill, I love the doors that open and close, I love the loop de loop...ah...the best.

    Golf Land has a perfect level of tackiness to make it work perfectly. You can choose to play the Castle course or the Shipwreck course or both. I can't wait to go back.

    Sunday, September 2, 2007

    A scarf,a real tomato and a search for cheese

    I finished my first scarf. Well, I put the first scarf on hold and finished the second one I started. So, really, It's my first finished scarf even though it got started second. Hmm.
    Now for hand puppets. I will continue to slog on with Max's scarf but still need some quick wins along the way.

    I also want to start my mom's scarf but have to decide on a pattern that she might actually want and wear AND something that I can actually do within a month or so.

    In food news, yesterday I went to the Grand Lake Farmer's Market. It is a beautiful thing. Other than the sweltering heat and the three out of control and whining children, "Jumpy house! Jumpy house!" it was amazing. So many choices of local organic produce...I have forgotten how beautiful vegetables and fruit can be. I also forgot how they can taste. The tomatoes were unbelievable.I live in Montclair Village in Oakland which you would think would have one good grocery store. We had an Albertson's that carried some organic produce, and alternative foods for those of us who actually read all the scary reports on pesticides and hormones and plastics. Albertson's got bought out by Lucky's and that was that. All healthy food gone. Now we need to commute to find organic or locally grown food. Shit. Aiden is allergic to milk products so I have to go many miles now just to get goat cheese, which, is not especially alternative but– it ain't Spagettios.