Saturday, January 26, 2008

Proof of impending apocolypse

New York Times article:
| January 24, 2008
Growing Online, BBC Is to Join With MySpace
The commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday is expected to announce that it will make some of its content available on MySpace.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Love Thursday

Jen Lemen posted about a new photo blog/website starting up. Some wonderful photographers are involved, and I was eager to check it out (besides the fact that I just might do anything that Jen Lemen recommends. I *heart* her). Today is Love Thursday on Shutter Sisters.

I took this picture of my nephew over the winter break. We were all down at grandma and grandpa's on the beach. He'd left this cape at their house over Columbus Day weekend, and was so thrilled to be reunited with it. He's an amazing little guy. He knew no English in March, when he was adopted by my sil and bil--you should hear him now. He's full of joy, and it has been a joy and a blessing to watch him grow and learn this year.

Some other things I loved today
  • seeing a Bald Eagle soaring overhead on my lakeside walk this morning
  • walking this morning :)
  • watching Cattle Egrets and Tree Swallow on a bug-eating feeding frenzy on the lake shore
  • my son hollering- come here mom, I need you- so that I'd hear a Maroon 5 song on the radio in his room
Thanks for your good thoughts in response to yesterday's post. I had a decent night's sleep, exercised, and have eaten well today. And now I see it is already midnight, so off to bed I go. If you are on the west coast or suffering from insomnia, do go check out the beautiful photos and posts on Shutter Sisters. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wild Ride

I'm exhausted. Yesterday we had a scout and his mom stop by our house sort of unexpectedly. Erik worked with Sam and two other scouts on their pinewood derby cars over the weekend. He mentioned perhaps swinging by during the week to sand and then spray paint them. Erik wasn't home yet when they knocked on the door. I wanted to run and hide. My sink was full of dishes and stinky food leftovers at the bottom, Maya was prancing around in a bikini and play high heels (she does not get this fashion sense from me!), we hadn't had dinner yet, and and and.

I called Erik; it turns out he was only a few minutes away, so I told them to stay. I started making a quick freezer meal while the kids played. I tried (and apparently succeeded) not to die of embarrassment as I unloaded the clean dishes and put the dirty ones in the dishwasher. I was overstimulated before they showed up, and could feel my nerves fraying as the minutes went by. I guess it didn't take that long, but finally Erik was home, and they headed out to the porch to work on the cars.

I was really working hard to keep it together, smiling at the mom, preparing dinner with the ease of the Beav's mom. Inside the tension in my cheekbones could have cut through concrete. As soon as they were gone I popped a xanax and informed Erik that the kids needed bathing and that I could not help with that or getting them to bed. I was very uncomfortable inside while our unexpected visitors were in the house; nevertheless, I was proud of pushing through the discomfort and not locking myself in the bathroom. Of course, saying, gosh, this is not a good time might have been a better idea. Oh well. I was already tired from several hours volunteering at the school. It was fun, but my tank was already pretty low.

I've not been treating myself very well the past few days. Well, weeks as far as eating goes. I feel bloated and icky from eating poorly. I've been going to bed far, far too late (even by my standards). And there's been no no no exercising. No wonder my body feels a tense mess. I only shot a few frames today; I haven't looked but I fear the pictures are utter crap. Ok, maybe all the photos are crap, but I have gotten a lot of joy out of them and out of the taking. Last but not least, my uncle has been hospitalized for mental problems for about the fourth time in two years, and I'm so sad. I want to write more about that; however I will show some restraint and go to bed NOW.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What is Amazon trying to tell me?
All Business Center
Let them choose from millions of items Gift Cards

Your Today's Deals See All Departments
All Business Center

TurboTax Business 2007

BlackBerry 8310 Curve Red Smartphone (AT&T)

Apollo Health GoLite M2 Blue Spectrum Light-Therapy Device

All Business Center

Dear Customer,

As someone who has shopped for business and office products at, you might like to take a look at special offers in our All Business Center.

With April 15 looming, manage your money with
TurboTax Business 2007, or save even more and get the download version right away. Manage everything when you're on the road with a BlackBerry cell phone. Or manage your mood by getting a terrific price on a light-therapy lamp for your desk.

All Business Center has everything you need to start, manage, and grow your business--all in one place. Find great products from industry leaders such as Microsoft, Intuit, and Logitech, or share your entrepreneurial insight in a customer discussion. We're open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Shop the All Business Center

I just love the title of this email: Manage Your Money, Mobility, and Mood at the All Business Center.

Monday, January 21, 2008

'No' is always a loss

I listened to a tele-seminar with Pam Leo today. She made such a simple, yet deeply profound, statement: 'No' is always a loss.

It nearly gave me shivers as I sat absorbing the sentiment. I've always been afraid of asking for things, afraid of that no. It prevented me not just from asking my parents for something ($3 for the Barbie townhouse at a school rummage sale or to go halvsies on a trip to Europe in high school- which my sister asked for and got! *) but also from asking a salesperson if they have an item in my size, where the bathrooms are, or asking the librarian where to find a certain book. Thankfully I've pushed past a lot of this, and forced myself to ask for books or where the bathroom is. But I'm still so afraid of 'no' that there are times I give in to the resistance that wells up in me, and walk away without that new pair of shorts.

Pam Leo's philosophy is that we (in the US anyhow) spend so much time telling children that their feelings are wrong. Acknowledging feelings doesn't mean that we need to give in to a child's every whim. Acknowledging feelings means that we can empathize with them over their grief at hearing 'No.' I know how much my parents love me, and I think I came from a very loving family. Yet, we did have some trouble with emotions. And I don't think mine were recognized, not even when it should have been apparent to my parents that something was wrong/not right (hello anxiety!). I know I was often told "Oh, stop it, it's not that bad" and other similar things. My feelings weren't heard. My little griefs weren't acknowledged. I am finding myself getting twisted up in my words-I'm not trying to lay blame at my parent's feet. I'm not trying to say "Oh, poor me." I'm not sure if I can reclaim that moment of clarity I felt when I heard her say "'No' is always a loss."

*I hold no resentment against my sister for asking to go to Italy with Mrs.Percoco. Heck, she asked, and she received. I never even mentioned it at home, I mean, the answer was going to be no, right? I remember so clearly, that day in the car with my mom, when she asked me why I never asked to go on a trip with Mrs.P and Latin class. I sucked my breath in, tried not to cry. I couldn't believe it would have been possible.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Sporting Tradition

When I close my eyes I can still see the yellow wallpaper in the kitchen of our Brooklyn apartment. The brown velour cover and bolsters on the daybed (although in those days I think we called it the high riser), and oh, what's this? Dad's watching tv, yelling, jumping up and down. I think I was in second grade, and I wanted to know what exactly my dad was so worked up about. It was football. He grabbed some paper, and explained that each team had four tries to go ten yards. There were x's and o's, but mostly there was being with dad and getting in on the excitement.

I love watching sports. Nearly any sport- pretty much everything except boxing. Living in Florida makes it hard to watch my favorite NY teams on tv (Mets, Giants, Islanders, Knicks) unless they are playing a Florida team or are on the game of the week. Having kids has also really reduced my game viewing time! Sometimes they'll watch a little with me, but mostly they want me to get up and c'mon! Come play! Help me! Feed me! And all that pesky laundry and other stuff. So I don't watch as often or as much as I'd like to.

But today, today, the Giants were playing in the playoffs. Just as last week, I was going to see this game dammit! We had Hebrew school this morning, then a birthday party to attend. Maya and I returned home just after the game began. I had a terrible headache, so half watched, half rested in my bed. We finished dinner just as the game was getting tense- Dallas had gone ahead by a field goal. The Giants came back with a touchdown, and suddenly there were only four minutes left in the game. There were some close calls, but the defense shut the Cowboys down on a drive. The Giants got the ball back, had a pathetically short series (dudes, you were supposed to be keeping the ball, running the clock down!). 31 seconds left. My stomach in knots. The kids come join us to watch the end. Damn, a big gain for Dallas. A penalty for them on the next first down. Yeah! And then, their qb launches the ball, it soars towards the end zone. Oh please oh please, don't let him catch it. No touchdown, no touchdown. YES!!! A Giant defender catches the ball in the endzone. interception! Six seconds left. Game over. Giants win! Oh my gosh- kids laughing- Mom has been jumping up and down since Big Blue's interception, shouting yes, yes, yes!

As you might have guessed, reading all of my never ending analysis of myself, I am not the most light-hearted or spontaneous person around. And yet, sports can bring me there. My kids didn't want me to stop jumping. I should have told them to cross their fingers that the Giants keep winning. That will keep me jumping.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Despite the sensitive gal sensory overload event below, today wasn't so bad. Really.

See? A smile.

I've been trying to practice resilience this week. Monday was great, awesome. Wonderful therapy session, blue skies, a walk around the lake with the breeze keeping me cool. The ability to look at small things and appreciate them. I had decided to focus on my husband, to notice him, to be his friend, and not just co-parents of the same children. And somehow this was misinterpreted. It is hard to change patterns. Either the new efforts aren't noticed, or misunderstood. Add to that some work stress for him, and some hurtful things were said. Honest to goodness sobbing followed, on my part anyway. I just couldn't understand how my good intentions could have been twisted into something so hurtful. Here I was, working so hard to make things different. And boom. Explosions.

Emotions have always lingered for me. Wait, scratch that--negative emotions have always lingered. How many hours did I spend in my room as a kid/preteen/teen feeling that burn? Stoking the fire of sadness, anger. I find it difficult to accept an apology and move on. Things just hurt too much, and I need time to recover. And so it went on Monday night. I was pissed that my great mood was so fleeting, and wondered how long it would be till I could recapture it. I wondered how long the feeling of wishing I weren't alive would last (note: to me this feeling is very different than feeling like I'm going to actually run out and commit suicide. It is simply feeling so blue, so awful, so misunderstood that I wish I didn't exist). And then I tried something different. I am not sure if this idea was born from my head fully grown like Athena, but somehow I told myself that I could feel crappy all night Monday, but that on Tuesday I had to keep doing what I'd done Monday morning to feel so good. To continue trying to change my patterns of communication with my husband, even if he didn't understand the new pattern at first.

Like I mentioned yesterday I wonder about this. Did I not learn to handle my emotions well as a child? Is it a product of being anxious for as long as I can remember--did stewing feel better than worrying about everything, wondering if I was good enough, doing enough, doing things correctly and perfectly? Is falling down the rabbit hole of depression and gloom a product of having a mental disorder, or is it a habit I fell into somehow? What do "regular" people go through when they have a bad day? Do they just naturally bounce back, or do those days have the potential to multiply like dirty dishes piling up next to the sink?

I definitely believe that I need my medication. There is a place for new skills and coping mechanisms too. I know that I've been working so hard on myself for so long. When did life get so much harder for me? Was it having kids that made everything so much more complicated? Marriage?

Huh. I guess part of me wonders if I'm faking it. Have I just latched on to the word disorder as declared by my psychiatrist and therapist? Rationally I don't believe that, but the thoughts are down in there somewhere I suppose. I know my husband has a hard time with it. A broken arm, or diabetes, or a cold-those are things he can wrap his mind around. Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Not so much. Yet those three words have helped me understand my life so much better, and I really have been better able to translate myself and my behaviors for my husband.

So I think I'll go to bed with hope filling up my heart. I did turn the week around from the direction it was headed on Monday night. Whether it was my medication, an amazing meditation yesterday morning, self-talk and determination, or this nifty gadget for my Google home page giving me a smile every time I see it doesn't really matter. I just need to keep on practicing.

Dear G_d

When you were handing out anxiety disorders mightn't it have been prudent not to also give the same person some really high intensity, and um, LOUD children? Cause, really, I like to eat dinner with my children, but today? My body was hurting so much from the loud noises that I had to lie down while they ate and then ate my own dinner alone.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A wee bit of crafting

I bought this book a while ago. After being delighted by it for many months, I finally sat down and started embroidering on a few onsies I picked up on clearance. There are so many cute ideas for using felt and thread, it is so much fun to look through the book.

I also made a sweet little bunny onsie, but she's wrapped up for a special little girl already.

I made a sweet apron for my sil's birthday from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing. Alas, no photos of that either. The fabric was a really awesome Swedish kitchen print from Superbuzzy. My sister sent me her Rowenta iron since she wouldn't be able to use it in Slovakia; lemme tell ya, grandma is right. A good iron makes all the difference in sewing. It was a pleasure to sew the apron because of the crisp ironing. My iron stinks! I might try to give that one to my sister when they come back to the states! j/k!

I've started sketching in my pad again, and have some ideas for a few little projects. It's nice to have short bits of time, as well as the mental space, in which to create again.

I've been thinking about resilience the past few days. I'm trying to get my thoughts together enough to post something. I'm trying to figure out what is disorder, what is pattern/habit/skill, what's the so-called norm for bouncing back.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


One of the things I'm trying to do doing in order to reinforce hope and hopefulness is to make changes in my environment. This December I was lucky enough to check out Lauren Alane's etsy store when she had some felted ornaments for sale. I snagged one for myself; I adore her birdies.

Yesterday I hung it from the car rear-view mirror.

Wowie Wow Wow!

We might be visiting my sister, nephew, and brother-in-law in Bratislava for spring break! I'm so excited- we have got to work this out!

Fortunately I'm feeling less worried about one of the most confusing parts, getting the kids passports. We can actually take them to apply in the two towns closest to us; I thought we might have to coordinate going to a bigger city (both parents need to be present, yada yada etc.). Woohoo!

From what my sister has shared, it is truly a beautiful city.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


There's so much I want to say right now. I wish I had hours to sit here and write all of the posts that currently reside in my head.

For now I'll just say, this is the year of Hope. I was inpsired by Ali Edwards to choose one little word for my year. Christine Kane also influenced my thoughts as the end of 2007 came. I want to be and do, I don't want to 'should' on myself. Every day is a new day. My hopes and dreams are Within Reach.

I am hopeful that I will learn more about living with anxiety.
I am hopeful that baby steps will help us to declutter our home.
I am hopeful that I can enjoy each new day, even the rough ones.
I am hopeful that I can be joyful.

I decided on hope a day or so before NYE. I found the idea of practicing being hopeful so useful and helpful in actual practice- I have been catching myself going into the negative self-talk that normally spirals into anxiety and depression, and reframing the situation through the lens of Hope. It's only January 5, but I've experienced more joy so far, been more able to appreciate the small moments that make up a life. I've taken risks that have paid off, and leave me eager to jump again.

It's pretty much January 6th now; I need to get to bed. I'll just share one more thing: a new blog.

Friday, January 04, 2008


I have just figured out that the way to keep our house clean is to continually invite people over. All this time I've had a cluttered, messy house, and I've been avoiding ever having anyone over.
Yes, yes, I know that FlyLady figured this out a long time ago, and yes, we've lived in CHAOS. Thanks to Maya's birthday party on the 2nd and inviting some neighbors for dinner tonight our house is in pretty good shape. I'm this close to inviting some friends over on Sunday to watch the Giants game.