Ok. I'm going to keep this brief.
There is an neat amount of happy coming into my life. All because I am inviting more people in. And now people are bringing their husbands. It's crazy this thing I've started.
With some people though, there is sadness. Some have issues even. But, that is human nature. We all have different sides, different ways of speaking and saying who we are. I can blend my level of involvement. I don't have to be wild about everyone.
Mostly though, I am finding that people enjoy my company. For whatever reason. And fighting to be myself and calm with strangers is less of a fight lately.
And the weirdest side effect off all is this new and familiar feeling. I feel myself going off the rails. I am laughing everyday. Smiling more. Slightly funny jokes are now hilarious. I laugh so easy lately.
Who knew that making a few friends could make happy explode in my heart?
Pretty awesome I must say.
Take care everyone. Have a good weekend. Make small talk with strangers. And above all, get out there and cause some trouble!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Falling asleep is easy for Mr. Hall. Especially after. It's practically involuntary anyway. But especially after. Sometimes though . . . I'm not done . . . talking.
Or not done . . . being with him.
He can sense this and I watch as he struggles to stay awake. I watch as he tries to concentrate on what I am saying. Then I see him pass out cold. Which he can do very easily like I said. Mr. Hall can fall asleep standing against a wall.
Except, like I said, I'm not done. And he's snoring. And now I'm all awake because I've wanted to talk to him all day and bedtime is the first time we've had to talk to each other all day. Without work, without, ehem, the needs getting in the way, without kids and now he's snoring!
So I lay next to him and start snoring along. I get really, really loud. Then I start twitching. Then I start flopping around like a fish out of her fish bowl. FLIP FLOP!!!
And he rouses just enough to register the silly seizure. And he tries to wake up all the way because he knows I'm needy for him. But sleep has too tight of a grip. But he smiles and is never crabby. He just reaches over and snuggles. And my heart is all happy cause even though he's all sleepsville, I do love him so. ;)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Stolen from a lovely redhead's blog. A blog that I can't figure out to how to comment on. (little help here)
"I'm Burning Bridges & Sinking Ships"
Yet another repost. Because I have much to say, but the real life of Mrs. Hall, it is getting in the way. So you get this. Which is fantastic btw.
Sometimes I hear a beauty so loud, it's deafening.
And so, let's take a look. Feast the eyes on one Miss Marisa Tomei.
I am a harsh critic of film. I usually prefer foreign or independant. Even though I have seen hundreds, there is only three on my top ten list. The number one film is The Perez Family.
Again, twenty years pass. While in prison, the dreams of Carmela keep him alive. Then, he is freed unexpectedly. He is shepherded towards a group of refugees bound for Miami in a boat. He will go and find Carmela, she will be waiting for him, he says. On the boat is Dorita Perez (Dori for short), played by Marisa Tomei. She is free and sensual. Vibrating with fantastical plans for her America. When they arrive at the shore of Miami she jumps off the boat and plunges herself into the water. She sops up the water with her red dress.
He follows her with this plan. He is shell shocked, dirty and barely coherent. She is a passionate beacon. However, he still aches for his wife and when he dreams, he dreams of only her. Here, take a look at the red dress and the video of her snatching his attention.
Meanwhile, The faux Perez Family, which includes Dori, Juan and a crazy old guy, finally reach the top of the list. Two monks become their sponsor. The family lives at the church. To earn their room and board, they sell flowers on the highway. There is much swishing of her hips and tight clothing displaying her lovely bosoms. Dori and Juan live as man and wife. Emotions begin to form.
OK-back to the movie.
Somewhere in the film, they acquire a Perez child. A pre-teen really. Dori absorbs herself into this role of Mom. She exudes pure love for this kid. He is a bad seed and takes her money. He is killed by bad, gang type people. She is broken into a thousand pieces. And this is where the movie becomes almost unbearable. Not because of the pre-teens death, but because of Juan and Dori.
At this point, what they feel for each other is undeniable. They are flirting with the roles of man and wife. Juan begins to come around. Starts talking in sentences, starts to bathe and become awake. Her sensuality is healing him. She thrives in this and lays down real emotions. They are now beloved.
How do I describe the scene where they first make love? How do I say that Dori was crying because she lost her faux son. She was crying because she had such faith in the goodness of the kid, but he was really a snake. All her big plans of this big, fantastical life in American is crashing down all around her. Juan gently kisses her belly. He blows flower petals off her body. And she quietly sobs and let's his love heal her. It almost destroys me, this scene.
Then comes the plot twist everyone saw coming. Carmela and Juan are reunited. It is sort of awkward but true to what it is. A love held in the heart but not in the hand.
And Dori fades away. Back to selling flowers on the highway. Until one day she has a vision of Juan, across the highway. She squints to block the sun from her eyes. She raises her arm to cover her face.
Is it true? He has come for Dori? Has returned to stay?
Ya'll have to watch the movie tonight to find out. I know I will.
Pretty amazing, but I haven't watched this movie in over a year. And I still can feel what it makes me feel, and remember all this detail.
Thanks for reading such a post.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Please note: I tried breaking this post up into two parts. But, they protested and demanded to stay partners. Thus, it is a long post. But worth the read.
With great patience, I have started to come around to my husband's way of parenting. By nature I am worrier, an obsesser, a catastrophe thinker. All fabulous traits in a Mom by the way. Mr. Hall, as a Dad and Husband, is none of those things. When we married and became Mom and Dad, my mission was to change my nature. To be more like him. That way, Pancake and Mac can be more like us. Happy and calm.
When the kids became large enough, the rough play started. This involves my husband, their Daddy, chasing them around. Hoisting them in the air and scaring them till they scream and sometimes pee. They love this. They crave this. It is a ritual now. The stand at the top of the stairs chanting, "Daddy, Daddy, you can't catch us!" They wave their arms and wiggle their hips as they chant. He is around the corner, out of eye sight. But not out of ear shot. He will clear his throat and they get all crazy. He waits for their chants to build to a fever pitch. Then he rushes them, loudly and with great Daddy force. The screams of delight can be heard three states away.
He let's them feel upset when they are upset. No rushing to fix it. Unless of course, it is an emergency. Even then there needs to be blood or a missing limb. This is the hardest part of parenting for me, as a Mom. When they are upset, for whatever reason, I feel it inside. I feel it in my chest and lungs. My breathing becomes short, my chest pounds and my head simply screams, "FIX IT FOR THEM RIGHT NOW!!!" There is little distinction between emergency and non-emergency for me. They don't call it the mother bear instinct for nothing :)
Yesterday, the wee Pancake went to wake Mac after the nap. I heard her holler, "Mommy come look!!" I found Mac smiling, on the floor with his blanket and pillow. NEXT TO HIS CRIB.
Mr. Hall was still sleeping. Pancake is too small to lift him out of the crib. Therefore, there was only one way he got there. Out of his crib that is. I felt sucker punched. We had bought a cute, second hand Thomas the Train toddler bed a few months ago. The kids love to jump on it. He wasn't ready to use it yet. Oh, wait, maybe that's just me. How and when to transition him to the big boy bed was a decision that was made. Not by me, but for me.
Again, I felt sucker punched. An so, we put him to bed last night. Then we, Mommy and Daddy, turned off the fan. We quietly listened for sounds of him staying in the bed. Listening for sounds of him playing, talking, pulling off the sheets. There was none. He stayed put and snuggled. In his big boy bed. And I sobbed for a good twenty minutes. Mr. Hall held me and does what he does best. Be my husband.
He'll take apart the crib today. I will take the kids to the park. I just can't bear to watch.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
This is a short and choppy discussion of my faith. I want it to be more poetic and pretty but I'm short on time so this is what I offer.
Now . . . let's bow our heads and pray . . .
I dare anyone to find a more beautiful church than a Catholic Church. There are miles of red velvet, large stain glass windows and sculptures that can stop your breath. What other place of worship can offer this? In Kansas no less??!!
And don't get me started on the robes. Red, purples, golds . . . and black and white too.
I miss it. I'm not sure if any of you were raised Catholic or if it meant anything to you but I did and it does. I was even confirmed. Which means I chose that church.
Then I morphed into a creative and unique individual. Artsy as all get out. I started rejecting the church on moral grounds. The Catholic church says gays are bad and so is birth control. Also, women not need apply for priesthood. All of this was intolerable for me as a teenager.
I left God fall by the way side for about ten years. Biting and fighting any mention of God or Jesus. Angry and punk about all of it.
At age 20 or so I went to Amsterdam. It was a cheap flight. I was still a nursing student. I had never been to Europe and was smacked dumb by the cathedrals. At that point, I was already questioning my non faith. I was finding myself a little more needy at that point. Needy for a religion.
I wanted to find a priest and go to confessional. I wanted to cry and say, "Look, I'm feeling all this beauty in my life. I'm becoming a nurse and seeing all this life and death and blood and guts stuff, and it's breaking my heart. And I can't fight this anymore, my need to know God, in whatever form I can reach him or her. Help me please."
But I didn't do that because I knew that the Catholic Church is not my church. I can't have it be my place of worship if they don't let everyone come. If they are in charge. Because I've never felt God is higher or above me. I've felt faith and the ties that bind us all. I just want to get closer to that spirit.
Sigh. I didn't do anything on that trip.
After I got home, I did date Mr. Hall though. I trusted him enough to begin talking to me about religion. He never shared without me asking first. He was very kind and loving with me. Still is.
Then we went to Mr. Hall's church. It was in the bottom level of a house. It was run by South Korean missionaries. South Korean missionaries who came to the United States no less. And there I was, sitting on a metal folding chair, trying to understand the sermon. Because even though the pastor had been in the US for ten years, he still had a thick accent. It was like listening to Jackie Chan preach the gospel.
Then there was the retreat. That'll be a separate post. But, this was when my heart started opening up to God. Then I went to bible study. I found myself becoming a better wife, a better mom and a better nurse.
Now we are settled in our new house. My longing for my old church, here in my hometown, was very strong. "Can we please try St. Mary's?", I say to Mr. Hall. "I mean, I know all the prayers, when to sit, when to kneel. I know it all there. I don't have to guess what I am doing. It's my church."
Then I talk further and my argument gets weaker. Then I start to really talk about it.
The problem is, is that the Catholic Church is top heavy. For too long it's placed the priests on the same level as God. It creates an idea that God is separate, like a father figure watching over us. As such, those further up the food chain, the priests and the bishops, they have a lot of power over the organization. And like most top heavy conglomerations, the workers receive a less of the largess. But instead of less pay, we get less God.
I can say that I need faith. I need to be actively seeking out the love and spirit.
So, no matter how much I miss the rituals and sacraments, I am still a seeker.
And missing the Catholic Church is not going to stop me.
And at this point, I've been to a local church twice now. Seems very nice, all sorts of warm and open. And this place, this is where I begin.
Thank you for reading this. NOW-
GO FORTH AND SIN NO MORE!! :)
Sunday, January 17, 2010
So many post ideas. . . so little time. But this-- this post cannot be denied.
Pancake has been losing about a tooth every other week at this point. It was fun at first, helping her wiggle the tooth. Marveling at the blood and such. But now it's becoming a part time job for me. Last Wednesday, so lost a big honking tooth. One of the two front teeth even.
Under the pillow it went.
I woke up coughing at 5.30 in the morning. Then I felt a block of ice growing in my gut. Panic. "DANGIT!!!", I thought, "I forgot the flipping tooth!!! And it was 5.30 am, a bit light in the house. BAAH!!"
Normally the tooth fairy is ninja like, making her rounds at eleven pm. Well into the deep REM stage of little girl sleep. Five thirty is the twitchy witchy wakey stage. And all the ninja stealth of the tooth fairy? Meehh, notsomuch. It's me slapping on a robe, then I can't figure out how to tie it, rubbing eyes . . . holding my breath cause I can't stop coughing . . .
I bumble into her room. Now, normally the tooth is placed inside two dixie cups. That way, they are housed in something solid, yet soft and easily recognized by touch. For some reason I put the tooth in a plastic sandwich bag that night.
CRINKLE, CRINKLE GERRSSHH REASSSH . . . Goes the bag as I grip it and pull it from under her head.
CLINK, CLANK, CLINKKKKKKKK goes the money next to her ears. She turns towards me.
Blink blink.... Her eyes open.
blink blink ... We make eye contact.
She looks at me standing there, next to her bed. I exhale very loudly and start coughing.
"Mommy?" she asks, all little girl lilting, "are you the tooth fairy?".
BAAH!!! THIS IS NOT HOW I WANT HER TO FIND OUT!!!!
"No sweetie, I'm just making sure the tooth fairy came. Look! There's the money!"
"But what's that in your hand?", she says, hearing the crinkle of the bag I'm still gripping in my right hand.
"OH!! It's just my cough drops!", Says I. Then I pull out five cough drops from the left pocket of my robe.
Blink blink. . . . She turns away from me, snuggling the kitty.
She says, "Ok, [big yawn] I'm going back to sleep now, I'm still tired."
Then I kiss her on the forehead. "Ok sweetcheeks, love you."
"Love you Mom."
Friday, January 15, 2010
I must say, finding attractive men in art, without surfing gay porn sites, was a challenge. Part of the problem is, is that everyone knows what makes a woman attractive, but men are different. Thus, original and attractive art renderings of men are sparse.
Plus, photographing men is difficult. Men feel the need to pose all tough, and seldom display venerability. It's the incessant need to flex the guns I guess.
But naked and vunerable are very sexy.
SO . . . this is what I've come up with so far. All attractive, all art.
NOW- guess which one is Mr. Hall, the hottest man of all :)
Now, get out there and find some art!
Friday, January 8, 2010
Did you know that sperm travel about 10 miles an hour after they've left the holding area?
Or did you know that sperm travel in packs of 250 million (give or take)?
Or did you know they have to swim through the vaginal canal, the womb AND the Fallopian tubes to get to the egg?
But only one can make it. One sperm in 250 million. Pfft! That's one badass sperm!
My son is three and what they call . . . all boy. My daughter is bigger and she is in karate at the YMCA. We are flying solo this weekend while Mr. Hall attends to his military duties.
Idle time and snow drifts outside are ripe conditions for ninja style fighting.
GAAAHD#$#@#%$@ !!!!!WOULD YOU TWO KNOCK IT OFF ALREADY!!!! SOMEONE IS GOING TO GET HURT!!!!!!!!!
So... after breaking up the third fight, I took stock. Really, both of them are laughing and more wrestling than fighting. And Pancake enjoys teaching Mac her kicks and whatnot. And really, the upstairs living room has couches and not much else, nothing sharp or pointy. It's carpeted. So . . . I sent them upstairs so they could holler and squeal and wrestle to their hearts content.
Cause brothers and sisters have been beating on each other since the dawn of time.The least I can do is provide a soft room. wait...
waiiittt fooorrr iitt . . .
waiittt . . . .
little bit more . . . . . . .
Kids cuddle ninja style!!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
So . . . I've been building a social life lately. One that includes real live friends. I mean, all you bloggy blog friends are quite nice. But lately I have been craving more.
My social life, so far, includes going to out to dinner with different women I meet. These women I know through my daughter's school. Our kids play together. If we get along, I have invited them out to dinner.
Much talking occurs during these dinners. My conversational style is rusty but getting better. Nothing deep. Well sometimes depth happens. I keep things light and positive. I remember not to read off the script in my head, to listen to what they say and ask follow up questions. I remember to be myself. I remember to smile because in all honesty, these dinners are nice. Fun even.
I am not sure what I am looking for though. I mean, woman are crazy and complicated. Also, I am introspective and a deep thinker. This attracts the same sort of woman. The problem is, deep often means dour. And easily offended. And all crazy sauce too.
Because introspection and higher education breeds poor social skills. Too much living in the head. I realized this a few years ago. So, I took it upon myself to change who I was.
And what I have done, in the last few years, is make myself simpler. I stopped my endless deep thoughts and over analysing everything. I am funnier and lighter. I laugh more and everything is much more awesome.
It's a balance though. A balance between flaming passion and a healthy love of the Muppets.
My last dinner mate did not have this passion. She is unhealthy and talked more than me. I had Hennessy. THAT my good people is an excellent drink to get stoned drunk while on you are not trying to listen to your dinner companion. I got really drunk by the way.
My dinner companion knew the waitress. They were old friends. The waitress was very pretty. Healthy. She talked in positive tones. She smiled. She talked with her hands and her hand gestures were much like mine. She was very cool. Had a cool belt with a faded skull on it. And I got in on some of that.
At one point I winked at her.
It's like a switch was flipped inside me. I was actively flirting with her. Getting all smooth and in control. This is no good. I am a grown up, I don't need to resort to that. I dialed it back a bit and seemed to genuinely connect with her. I hope so anyway. Cause she is healthy and much more my style. I think I want to be her friend.
SO. My quest for a sustainable social life continues in earnest this month. Despite the dinner companion's unhealthy jibber jabber, she is holding a Bunco night. She is pursing fun. Bunco is a dice game I believe. People go and laugh and talk about shows like Desperate Housewives and Jersey Shore. So I better bone up on those topics. I want to be able to contribute to the merriment after all.
Plus, the waitress will be there.
Wish me luck ;)
Monday, January 4, 2010
This is long post and I do apologize. But, I am privileged to witness many things at my job. This was, by far, one of the most amazing.
Cesar* was one of my first patients as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Born and raised in southern Texas, he was deeply steeped in his Hispanic culture. Recently, he had been enjoying the retired life. This was interrupted by an inpatient psychiatric stay after he experienced a manic episode.
Manic episodes, or mania, is exactly what it sounds like. It is a burst of uncontrollable energy within a patient. They stop sleeping, often for months. It is described as the highest high. Unfortunately, this kind of energy often derails a person from reality.
Cesar had such an episode. He had not sleep for over a month and felt just grand. Unfortunately, he had also bought seven cars and was burning through his savings. He also believed he could fly towards the end. But, before everything was lost, he was hospitalized.
The goal of an inpatient stay is to stop the manic episode. Again, mania is an uncontrollable burst of energy within a patient. Stopping this takes powerful medications. Heavy sedation medications. Once they are able to sleep and be reasonably calm, they are discharged. Then they need follow up care. I am the follow up care.
When he saw me, he was with his wife of thirty years. Her name is Esperanza. English was clearly their second language. He was still hypomanic, or less than full blown manic. He could barely sit still, be very obtuse and talk over both Esperanza and me. This presented a problem with our communication. But, using my mad nurse skills, I learned his language and his code words for what was wrong. I learned to calm him in the office so I could hear him.
He didn't like all the sleeper pills, he said. I sleep 20 hours a day, he said. Which makes sense as he was still on the heavy dosages from the hospital. So, with much care, I reduced his medications with the goal of stabilizing versus tranquilizing.
The effect was good. He slept through the night and not during the day. He continued to calm down, not jumping from topic to topic when we spoke. He started listening more. Once a month, month after month, I would see him with his wife. She felt things were going much better. Six months later he was very stable. He was volunteering and watching his granddaughter a few days a week. Everyone was pleased.
Then came the time for me to talk about the big, fat elephant in the room.
All along and even after he was stabilized, he was very harsh towards his wife. Cesar would cut her off, call her a nagging witch or worse. This was an ugly marriage in front of me.
Then I asked him, "Cesar, why are you so angry? Why do you hush your wife?" He said he was angry because she was not being his wife. "What do yo mean?", I said. She is not fulfilling her obligations, he said. Obligations, he said. I had no idea what he meant. And I had no idea what was coming.
I dug further, deciphering his language, interpreting the code. He meant she was refusing to have sex with him. It never occurred to him that she had the right to do so. It never occurred to him to ask her why. So I did.
She said she's been angry with Cesar for quite some time. Why should I love you when you treat me like this?, she said. I broke it open further, encouraging her voice. Basically, she said Cesar was mean and verbally abusive. Which was true, yet news to Cesar.
Cesar took the news well. He did not talk over her or shut her down. He said, Esperanza, you've never said this before. It confused him. He asked me what he should do.
I approached this very carefully. I normalized what we were talking about. I said we all learn how to talk to our spouses certain ways. They way he talks to Esperanza, this hurts her. But, he can change the way he is with her. This can change if wants to learn how. I offered to set them up with a counselor to help him learn better ways. He snapped to attention in the most delicate way. Then he said this-
I didn't trust you when I first came here, he said. He didn't trust me because I was a woman. He didn’t understand how I was to help him after he got out of the hospital. You are a woman, he said. It didn't make sense to him. Because I am a woman and women don't help men this way. This is what he said, out loud, to me, in the office. And I could see it was hard for him. He was stuttering.
Then, he said, I trust you now, you helped me with my pills. So now, Cesar said, tell me what to do about Esperanza. He got quiet and looked painful.
I was absolutely floored. Shocked. Because there is a list of things that patients question about me. Patients question my credentials, my age, my lack of experience, or the fact that I'm not a doctor. It never, ever occurred to me that 'woman' was on that list.
Yet there it was. And so was Cesar. Except I had somehow crossed over to his side. The side where women are not separate human beings with their own ideas. But I am exactly that. And I had the power to make things happen in his life, like adjusting his pills, signing the slip so he could volunteer. It must have been quite a shock for Cesar to experience this. And here I was, observing it all.
Then Cesar said, please, please, give me a month. Let me be nicer to Esperanza before you send me to a counselor. I want to try on my own.
So, we all agreed to revisit the issue next month. During our monthly visit.
I am privileged to witness many things at my job. This was, by far, one of the most amazing. I am so thankful I am a nurse.
*Names and details have been changed of course.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Let's imagine we're on a beach. Laying on beach chairs, feeling the nylon swim suits hugging our bodies as we melt in the sun. The surfer boys and girls deftly flip and pluck their boards, making themselves one with the waves . .
Inspired, you try your hand at the art of surfing. You perform beautifully. . .
Spent and satisfied, you settle back into your chair . . the sun goes high then descends, the moon rises. . . a bon fire breaks out. . . drinks come out . . . things get wild . . . Then wilder still as the surfer you've been watching all day strides toward you . . .
his plump lips in a soft smirk . . . a charge pulses between both of you . . he grabs you by the waist and . . .
Now . . get out there and cause some trouble! ;)