Friday, April 30, 2010

I have no memory of this blade...

I was preparing to hide out in the basement (again) from the approaching storms, and digging through the kitchen drawers looking for spare batteries for the torch, and came across this.

It's got runes on it, and lives in a little belt sheath. It's heavily waxed, as perhaps a teen gamer would do do keep the blade clean when battling dragons and orcs and the like. I imagine it was Karl's, or somebody gave it to him, or lost it in a game of runic geek poker late one winter's eve...

Thing is, if you recognize it and could give me any insight, I'd love a little glimpse into Karl's geeky days, so that when my own little geek is old enough to bear arms he might have his father's blade - depending on the story behind it, his own level of geekyness, and my confidence that he will only use it on orcs and dragons.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Running away from home

We went out for a run around the neighborhood today - perhaps not such a good idea. The hill isn't so bad, but the sidewalks are terrible. Elliot did enjoy the ride in the jog stroller, but I didn't enjoy pushing it over 2 inch rises and muddy gaps.

Next time we'll try the park, tho it seems like as long as I'm driving, I might as well go to the Y where I can run solo while he plays well with other kids. Or not so well.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mmmmm. Mac and Cheese

So I went all healthy last night, and thought I deserved a little comfort food tonight. I've gotten pretty good at mac and cheese using soy milk as a base for the sauce, with real cheese for flavor. I think tonight's may have been the best yet.

I got a call around 6 from V, my sis in law, asking where I was. Seems I had said we'd come over today to hang out, but somehow that fell into the pit of my brain where it's all gooey and things just don't come back out. We'd never set a time, so I guess I just hadn't really committed, but we packed up ASAP and headed over for an evening of LOUD.

Elliot saw his first rainbow, which was awesome because I sing him a few rainbow songs, and I like that now he knows what they really are, not just illustrations in his Wiggles book. When it eventually faded, he said "Oh no. I can't see him. Where he go?" I said he had to go bye bye, but he'd be back again someday.

thumpity thump thump, look at rainbow go.

I can't believe how big he's getting. And just like me, he seems completely incapable of sitting correctly in a chair, even for a meal. I just love him in these little pjs.

I've been knitting up a storm the last few days (yep. all that rain and wind? my fault. so sorry) and almost have a sweater to show for it. I'm working the hood, then have a front edging, then done! It's a little snug, but I've started training for the 5K, and generally working out more, and have high hopes of dropping a little weight this summer.

But first, sleep. Elliot's slept 2 of the past 7 nights in his own bed, and I'm hoping for another one tonight. At some point, I can't just keep saying "by the time he's 12 he won't want to sleep with his mom" to justify the fact that I like having him there. The cat agrees with me, tho - sleeping next to Elliot is the bees knees.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Throw it in a Pot...

I got my homework for FIT club, and it started out with a little encouragement to think about what we are eating, specifically that were getting enough fruits and veggies. Having bought several vegetable like things lately, I decided to throw them in together, apply heat, and see what happened. It came out not bad at all:

saute 1 small onion
chop 1 sweet potato, add to pan, cover about 10 minutes on med-low
add 1 can black beans, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp thyme
stir. Cover. Simmer a while.


Vegetables - check.

Ten Months..

Thursdays. Yeah.

The thing about Thursdays is that I spend a lot of time on my own. After I drop Elliot off, I go out with the Knitters, then I come home, and my house is strangely empty. I shush the dog so he won't wake the baby, who, really, isn't a baby anymore, and even if he were, he isn't here.

Two weeks before Karl died, I asked mom for a favor. I asked her to watch Elliot on Thursdays so Karl and I could have a "Date Night." We were working somewhat opposite schedules, and when we did see each other, we often played pass the baby, that game new parents play where each is certain they are the more exhausted partner, and really it's not my turn.

So Thursdays were going to be our night, and now not a Thursday goes by that I'm not with him, in some way.

Tonight, during my alone time, I thought about how strange grief is. I'm so deeply sad, but not as much for Karl as for myself. I know he was happier than I'd known him those last few weeks. I know he was hopeful, and whatever he suffered, it was brief. I know that wherever he is now, he is not suffering.

But I know we are. And it's not so much that Karl will miss seeing Elliot's birthdays, or celebrating our anniversaries, or being with family at Christmas, as that we will always miss him. It's so devastating, knowing who he was, and how much he loved us, that he's not here with us, and we feel his absence fiercely, acutely, daily.

So maybe we are a little selfish to be sad for ourselves, because it's not what he would want. He would want us to live whole lives, he would want us to embrace each other, and laugh, and share, and love.

When Karl died, Elliot was 10 months old. Sometimes I forget that he was, then, really just a baby. Tonight I had to look at pictures, to remember where we were at, who Elliot was... This was one of the last photos of them together:
We don't get over it, this loss, but that doesn't mean we can't keep moving. I try to make my decisions now not based on what Karl would want if he were here, but on what he would want because he isn't. I believe he would want two things above all:those being for Elliot to thrive and grow, and for all of us to smile.

As we move into my own little season of remembrance, I embrace the idea that I can encourage both, and will make every effort to do so.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Knitted Sisters Badge Options

I've been working on some designs for my Thursday Knitting group - we just voted on a name, and on our knitting community website, there's an option for groups to have their own banner and logo, so I was asked to make some designs. Here's what I came up with (so far):

(above) Simple Text w/stockinette: This was the first, just trying to get a feel for how the name worked in space, and looking to get some knitting clipart going with it...

(above) Patchwork Project: Not all that "designy" but personalized. I sampled images from all members who had project images posted online, then patched them together the best I could.

(above) Shipwreck: I'm just a sucker for nautical stuff, not that it has anything to do with knitting or our group. I incorporated the N and W into a compass theme.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Letter to a son...

I just watched (most of) A Letter to a Son about his Father, which has reminded me, again, that I really need to know what I'm watching before I watch it.

I got hooked, naturally, by the description - a close friend of a murdered man goes on a journey to document the life and impact of one great man on the world, in hopes of preserving his memory for his son, who will never meet him. He travels overseas and across the US, filming stories and archiving photos, getting to know his friend more than he did in life. Finally, he meets the baby, who is temporarily in the custody of his grandparents.

They tell you from the start that it's the child's mother who murdered the father. They tell you about the delays and failures of the legal system and extradition. They tell you about the hopes of not only the grandparents, but friends and family everywhere... and how they would do anything for him, as he grows, and can't wait to tell him about his father.

What they don't tell you, until you've seen just how much love there was for this man, and is for his child, is that just a few months later, the baby is murdered too. The mother ties him to her chest and jumps into the ocean, committing suicide while out on bail. In one scene, you're told about the approaching hearing date where she'll be extradited and the grandparents will finally get custody. The next scene, she and the baby are missing, and two bodies, one a baby, wash up on the beach.

I was shocked; brought from a hopeful place and teary nostalgia, thinking of all the stories I know we want to share with Elliot, unexpectedly, straight to terror. Shaking and desperately afraid, I had to go check on Elliot, who was sleeping in his bed.

I shut off the TV, as if not watching could somehow mean these people who I'd so closely related to didn't really have to suffer this, that baby Zachary hadn't died. That the young doctor's son would know his father, and his parents would find peace in raising their grandson... How could they even survive this? I couldn't watch.

I went down the hall, and into his bedroom, and as I sat on his bed, he jumped a little in his sleep, startled by the sudden movement. I lied down next to him, putting my hand on his chest and feeling it rise and fall. My own heart was pounding, but it settled down as I felt him breathe.

I went back in and fast forwarded to the last few scenes. The letter that opened the movie was rewritten - where it had been addressed to the child, now it was a letter of gratitude to the grandparents, and an expression of the love and support their communities poured out to them. It tried to lift us back up, but for me, I couldn't come out of the dark.

Then they started in with the "If Only" bit. That, I couldn't watch. The grandparents wishing they'd tried to abduct him, wishing they'd murdered the mother... if they'd had a different judge, if only...

We can't change the past, and so to dwell on it, and blame yourself for not knowing what would come to pass, not preventing a tragedy - it's just piling pain onto pain. It's something I don't let myself do, ever. If I'd been home, if I'd called mom and David, if I'd made him keep Elliot... those aren't the things that happened, and so who knows if it would have been better or worse? I simply refuse to follow the train of thought.

I mentioned that I hadn't been sleeping well - I imagine tonight will not be better.

Funny how when I put Elliot down for bed, in his own room, I'd decided tonight we would start over with the whole Big Boy Bed, and get him used to sleeping alone... but I don't think I'm ready for that after having my heart ripped out like that. It's all I can do to write this down - all my instincts are telling me to get back to Elliot, NOW and protect him from some invisible threat, because dear god, look what can happen.

But to end on an up note, if that can be done, it does look like the tragedy has inspired lawmakers in Canada to rewrite bail laws when parents may be a threat to their children. It seems insane to me that any Judge could decide to give custody of an infant to a parent who was accused, with very substantial evidence, of murdering the other parent.

As for me watching movies? I'm only going to watch things somebody has pre-screened and warned me about the emotional gut punches. Because seriously, I'm not doing well picking them myself.

Yeah. I'm going to go startle my son again, and feel him breathe, and hope I can stop the tingling in my fingers and maybe get some sleep.


Even waking up with too much product caked in it, and out of control, I still love my hair :)

Not another person

I don't know how to say what's in my head. There's this awful glob up there, it's made up of a lof of fears... Usually I'm all right at combating it, or at least containing it, but tonight it's got me all worked up.

And the thing that sucks is it's not something I can work through myself, but not something I can find words to talk about, either. I mean, not in a way that would make a midnight call to a friend make any sense at all.

So I sit here staring at the screen, which is decidedly not another person, certainly doesn't "get it," and has no answers. And I feel compelled to reassure you that I'm fine, because I don't want you to worry - not you, the computer, but you, the reader. I don't want to burden you, but I don't have the energy tonight to find inspiration on the fringes of the chaos.

Tonight I'm just seeing the chaos. It's wordless and whirling, and what if it's always like this? What if it's always me and a computer screen, and not another person? I know I'm strong, but still I'm scared.

It's not supposed to be easier, yet. That's what everybody said. And of course, they've been there, and described the way. The second year is harder, they said. The second year is real.

I was looking at maps today, wondering how long I could just drive, stopping here or there to connect with old friends, but it's no way for a toddler to live. Crashing on this couch or in that spare room, a day or two, then in the car for 9 hours... no, not a real possibility.

But I'm restless, here. I feel, at the same time, inspired and trapped. It's part of the chaos - I can't really explain it.

The past few days there's been a line from a movie stuck in my head. Don't ask me the line - I don't know it. Or what it's from. It's just the pitch of the voice, and the cadence of the lines, and I can't match it up to anything real. I'm sure it's in one of the kid movies I've half watched a million times with El - something that I never really paid attention to the dialogue, but now it's stuck circling in there, along with all the ifs and fears and cravings to run...

I'm not sleeping enough. I know it's true, but I can't make myself go to bed. I wake up feeling like crap, I have little appetite, I'm a bit aimless. But at the same time, I've been productive, working at the studio and in the yard. I don't want to call it depression, because I care deeply about all the things I should care about, and I'm not shutting down, but I'm not thriving, either...


It's just a mess, my head. A big spinning mess.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This and That

Kelly and Jeff at the pub Friday night... thought it fitting they have a photo where they met - behind the bar at Nolans

The ladies on the Airboat

The veil actually stayed on the whole ride. Amazing!

Maybe it was a little redneck, but it was a lot of fun...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Explaining this trip to Elliot...

Tonight I tried to tell Elliot about going to Florida. I'll be gone a week. Don't get any ideas, you crafty internet thieves - I have a house sitter.

I didn't know how to talk to him about the trip at all. Then he saw me packing the suitcase, and (clever boy) said "Go bye bye on airplane?" He's been on enough trips to recognize the baggage.

I had to tell him that Mommy was going bye bye on the airplane, and baby was staying with Grandma. This was not met with the usual, "No, Thank You." but instead with, "No, Mommy." He kept telling me "Baby go bye bye on airplane." I don't think it's really sunk in, and tomorrow could be a little ugly. I'm glad we talked about it tho, and that he understood, even if he didn't like it.

Of course, my heart is breaking because I want him with me, and he wants to come with me, but I know the best thing for both of us is for him to stay here. We'll be doing planning and running around, and he would not enjoy that much time on good behavior. There will likely be late nights and big crowds, and if I have to constantly worry about what he's getting in to I'll never be able to relax. More fun for both of us if he's with Grandma, and I think it's good for both of us to know we can survive a little time apart.

As I was telling him that he could call me, and we could talk on the computer, he said "Movie?" like mommy would be in a movie he could watch. This made me suddenly terrified - what if something happened? That was how I spent so much of the first few months after Karl died - watching and rewatching home movies of him, the only way I could see and hear him. How horrible would it be if I didn't come back, and that was all he had of me? Especially since I still watch more videos than I shoot.

I know it's an irrational fear I'm facing, and that the chances of anything happening to me on the trip are most likely less that me driving on Hwy 40 any day of the week. But still, I have to take a minute to record, in writing if not in voice, how desperately I love my son, and how much I hope he always knows it. If I don't come back (which I WILL, by the way) you all better tell him every day that he meant, and means, the world.

And I will try not to cry at the airport, at least not while he is watching.

Self Sufficient?

I ran down to do laundry, and I'd left the applesauce out...

Elliot helped himself to a rather ample serving...

Which he enjoyed, thoroughly.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Time Loss...

When I said I'd tell you about all that stuff tomorrow, you knew I meant sometime in the next week, right? Because that's how we roll at Circle K... I blame the Alien Abductions.

So I only clearly remember one story - and of course it's the one about public urination. Who could forget that, right?

Elliot and I went to the part with some of the kids from our Y class on Thursday. After about 20 minutes, he was dancing the special potty dance, and I tried to take him to the bathroom. Unfortunately, the building was locked, so I looked around, and nobody was watching, and I took him back behind the building and pointed to a leaf. "That leaf is the potty," I said, "You can go there."

Well, he looked at me like I was insane and dragged me over to the bathroom door and said "Go In There."

I jiggled the handle, and explained it was locked, and let him back to the leaf. He looked at it with suspicion, and said "No, Thank You."

We went back to the park and played for another 10 minutes, at which point he was about to explode. I asked if he needed to potty, and he admitted he did. I explained our options again, and he reluctantly agreed to try the leaf.

I do wonder if Karl had been here and been able to model the behavior for him if it would not have been so strange. But I did the best I could to explain, and ultimately he had a little more pressure built up than I had realized, so instead of hitting the leaf near the wall, he blasted the wall itself... which I have to admit made him grin a little, even through the strangeness of it.

So there you have it - another adventure in single mothering.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Testing onetwothree Testing...

I want to tell you about my day. I want to tell you about teaching, and about learning. I want to tell you about friendship and expectation, about dreams and fears. I want to make you laugh, or make you think, or just make you stop by the site and add another tick to my counter…

Unfortunately, I can’t.

Why? Well, the short answer is this:


What do I mean by that? Well, I’m not sure, but it’s the error code I’m supposed to send to Blogger to let them know that I can’t log in to my blog.

But if I weren’t bX-xhwc4ked up right now, I’d tell you about teaching Elliot to pee on a wall. I’d write about the importance of blue flip flops, and the common threads that bind all mothers together.

Instead, at the moment I can only type to my computer, sharing with only myself.

And all I can really say is bX-xhwc4k.

1:04 AM

Trying to post, but it won't allow pesky HTML tags like meta or link

Um, yeah. Crazy, mazy.

*ETA I had to remove all tags from the header of this post to make it publish... very strange, but at least it kinda worked. I'll still save the stories for tomorrow.