Sunday, May 23, 2010

Birthday week

A long birthday week. It all started in Chicago for business. I usually dread these 5-day trips away from family but Chicago is such a great city it made it more bearable.

I got to walk in Millenium Park and see some pretty cool video installations. There were these two screens about two or three stories high facing each other. Crazy.We also went to see Billy Elliott, which was visually amazing. I forgot how much I love live theater.

Finally, I got to visit the Art Institute, but for a really short period of time. I wish I could have had a full day there.

All week, everyone kept asking what I was going to do for my birthday. I had no plans but to be home after a week away. So we went to see Shrek in 3D, walked around Lake Merritt and played in the playgrounds along the way.

We went to Little Shin Shin's for dinner and came home for a chocolate cake.

I ended the evening watching Planet of The Apes with BZ. He bought me the full series on DVD, sweet.
One of the themes in Shrek was about appreciating what you have. The movie wasn't so good but thematically it hit me hard. Sometimes the everyday can be difficult, frustrating, boring, stressful...fill in the blank. And, its very easy to dream back to "before all this...". So today, post trip, post birthday, I may be dreading the preschool birthday party that looms ahead of us...but what's the alternative? Not having these kids? Not being with BZ?

When I was single, I dreamed of meeting someone, I dreamed of having kids. I also dreamed of saving the world. And now, I sometimes fantasize of the glory that is being single, the freedom mainly to do whatever I wanted to do....I suppose that's life, really. We cannot have it all. Or, we need to redefine "all." I still dream of saving the world but it might have to wait a bit.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Happy Mother's Day.

This morning, we drove down to Los Gatos for a 5K Fun Run, organized by The Mother's Milk Bank of San Jose. I know I've run (and walked) other 5Ks but this one was different and far more meaningful to me.

When Aiden was born, I had to return to work much quicker than expected (or originally agreed to). I was unprepared. I was without childcare and without backup milk. It was around Christmas that I was told that I had to return the 1st week of the new year. In addition to the stress of trying to hire someone to help out during a major holiday, I had to begin pumping like a mad woman. Stick with me, I swear this is related to the 5K....

OK, so now back to work but, since I was nursing, and, since I was the only source of food for my baby Aiden (he was around 2 months old at the time), I was freaked about producing enough for him to live on when I was on the road. And, as it turned out, the stress reduced what I could pump while away from home. I couldn't keep up. In addition, I had business trips. Aiden came along. Still, not enough milk.

Sorry, I forgot to mention that Aiden was allergic to any supplement, any formula, anything other than milk from nursing. I am not trying to be super Earth Mom here but I am telling you, anything other than water and mother's milk made the Exorcist look tame. I couldn't really afford to quit my job nor did I want to feed him water as a meal, but it seemed like the only choice. Until.....I was told about The Mother's Milk Bank of San Jose. They are one of just a few milk banks across the country, and as of this year, they have been around for 36 yrs. They provide mother's milk, donated by over-producing (and very generous) lactating women. They test, pasteurize, bottle and freeze milk in 3oz bottles. The milk is only available with a prescription from a doctor.

I commuted down to San Jose every few weeks to pick up my tray of bottles at $3/oz. I spent a lot on milk. Finally, at 16 months, we discovered that Aiden could tolerate goat's milk and my spending spree came to an end.

So the 5K. When I saw this race listed, I knew I had to run. So this morning, I ran. And ran, beyond the 5K distance since the route was so ill-marked. It was worth it. I got to meet the executive director and of course, burst into tears.

I introduced her to Aiden and I cried some more, again, in gratitude. I returned home with two balloons, a runner's medal and sore muscles. I also returned home feeling really good and mom-ish.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lego Death Star Part 2

The Lego Death Star kit arrived on April 19th. Max finished building on May 1st. A great project, and impressive all around.

Lots of pieces, over 3800...

While building, its really fun to play on since it comes with loads of guys...

This is the final deal, boys posing, apparently as Jedi...