The many names of my life

When I was born, my Mom and Dad were together. My Mom was never married to my Dad, but apparently she liked him enough to have 2 children with him (now I am sure you are going to wonder, as do I, how she could like my father enough to have 2 children with him, and not marry him given her propensity to marry). Since my parents were together when I was born, I took my fathers last name on my birth certificate. Well, my parents didn’t work things out I guess, because when I was 2 years old…he left. Never to be heard from again (details about this are being released in a future posting).

A few years later, my Mom, who was married twice before I was born, fell in love with an older man and married him. We then took his last name for a while. Well, that marriage didn’t last long and needless to say…it didn’t work out.

She really feel in love with her next husband. This time it was true love; I mean the kind that last forever. So, we again took our new “dad’s” last name. The marriage however, did not last. Now, all things considered-this last name was the name I kept the longest (while the marriage wasn’t too terribly long), and it was certainly the most pleasing of the 3 names to read and write. I kept this last name from the time I was in 6th grade until I was married 2 years ago.

When I got married, I changed my last name. And why not…I had no ties to the previous 3 last names I carried. I would say I am a feminist, however since my last name held no family bearing or emotional influence, I easily swapped it out for yet another last name (hopefully my last!). My Mom, married yet again and changed her last name yet another time (you might be wondering how the marriage is doing, given her serial marriage history…well, she is divorced).

My married last name means the most to me since it connotes a real sense of belonging, and allows me access to this exclusive group of wonderful folks (my husband and my in-laws). It also allows me to feel like I am part of something greater than myself. I am one of them, I am an accepted member of the family. It feels good, and permanent!

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Love you too

Today, during a goodbye hug my mother-in-law said, “love you” into my ear. I was moved and a little shocked, I didn’t immediately reply with a “love you too”, but I did manage to say it. I felt uncomfortable saying it back though–which left me feeling bad. It is not that I don’t feel it but more because I think I have an inability to let people in and therefore have difficulty expressing vulnerability and reciprocating love. The fact is I do love Jeff’s parents. They are loving, respectful of our independence, and supportive. They don’t preach or offer unsolicited advice and are morally sound people. I enjoy spending time with them, talking with them, and going places with them. They are good parents and awesome Grandparents.

It has more to do with me. I don’t want to let too many people into my inner circle. I have trust issues when it comes to parents. Likely the result of my relationship with my mother (which is inconsistent at best) and the lack of relationship with any father. My mother certainly hasn’t set many examples of healthy and loving relationships (in any of her 6 or so marriages…not for lack of trying though).

I am trying to work on my ability (often times inability) to express love and affection. Jeff and I talk often about my emotional distance from people and the low level of affection I show. I am going to try and take some step towards opening up, attempting to be more affectionate and letting parental units in.

How to talk to kids

I read about 15-20 blogs on a regular basis. Included in this list of reading is one of my good friends (private) blog. I am here to tell you that her most recent post was awesome. At first, when I noticed that it was a pasted article I was like…sheesh you could have just posted the link, then I realized that not very often do people click on links that get forwarded, and by the time they do often times the link is a dead end or the article is gone (new york times articles for example). And being one of those people who typically wont click on links…I re-considered my snap and hasty judgement and read the article.

Wow, what a great article! The article in summary talks about ‘The Inverse Power of Praise’. This researcher and her team did a study of 5th graders (among other ages) that looked at 2 groups of kids. One group was praised for their intelligence and the other was praised based on their efforts. They determined that the group praised on efforts– tried harder, took risks more often (even when failure was an option), and as a result succeeded more often than the group who was praised for their intelligence. Their summary was this– “Emphasizing effort gives a child a variable that they can control. They come to see themselves as in control of their success. Emphasizing natural intelligence takes it out of the child’s control, and it provides no good recipe for responding to a failure.” Moreover, they go on to say that even more effective is specific praise based on efforts. This specific praise regarding efforts helps the child come up with creative problem solving scenarios of their own, and are more successful in their attempts as a result.

This discovery basically slaps my current way of thinking in the face. It reminds me also that children need honestly and positive feedback the same way adults do. They are thinking beings, that are developing coping strategies and devising problem solving tactics at an early age.

All things about science and psychology aside, the article made me think about the kind of parent and person I want to be, and the words I currently use to talk to people, and that I really need to think about a words intended meaning AND how those words are being received (not only how I mean for them to be received).

It also reminded me that kids are not oblivious to the idea of intent, manipulation and coercion in our language, and of its use by adults to get what they want. It also makes me wonder how our parents raised us, and what types of language they used.

It made me think a lot, which I am very pleased about! Thank you anonymous blog posting friend! You can also find the link below–for as long as it lasts… http://www.nymag.com/news/features/27840/index.html

A (not so) light warning

I went to my 20 week doctors appointment yesterday, and low (no pun) and behold…i gained 10 pounds in a month! I probably should have been shocked at this unfortunate, but true fact…But, it was not too surprising to me since I have been hungry every second of every day for the last month. Additionally, I had just returned for a wonderful 4 day feeding frenzy in SF (home of the most delicious and satisfying food on this coast) coupled with the fact that I haven’t gone #2 for 2 weeks with any regularity. My doctor didn’t seem too shocked at the 10 pounds and let me off with a light warning–advising me that one month of large weight gain is normal…multiple months of large weight gain…is very bad for your health and the health of my son. My husband on the other hand took her light warning with a little more seriousness.

Now, while I admit that I was slightly disheartened at having gained so many lbs in one months time; I was elated to hear that all other things were progressing wonderfully (and that overrode any disappointment or embarrassment i might otherwise have felt). My AFP test came back perfect, and my Ultrasound was great too. I don’t know what all the tests mean-your placenta is here, your amniotic fluid is there, all structures are intact (well this one seems obvious), etc. etc. But I was happy that all results were ‘normal’, and she didn’t deliver any other critical news. I have been slightly worried about ‘something’ being wrong since I got pregnant and was relieved to have this first level of testing over with, and the results tallied.

I felt like a baby making machine when I left the office. I was glowing with pride about being pregnant. More that anything I continuously feel lucky that my pregnancy is going so well, with very low risks, and so far with no complications or problems. I cant imagine (but think about you often, and am here if you want to talk about it) how difficult it is for some of my friends who are trying to get pregnant. I think regularly about the monthly hope and disappointment roller coaster they must be on. Hoping that this month it worked only to get your period, and be disappointed that you have to wait yet another month to try again (and if it were me going through that month after month-i would chalk feeling like a failure up there at the top of the feeling list). I am thankful for having been so lucky and saddened on their behalf. I do not take my luck or fate for granted.

Now, as for the 10 pounds…I am back on my healthy eating program of fruits, veggies, dairy, high fiber wheat free grains and low fat protein…BORING.

Emotions

I need to be better about articulating my feelings-sad, happy and mad aren’t cutting it any longer. So I have included a list of common emotions (thanks to Wikipedia) that I plan on referring to often. Should you like to suggest one that is not listed here, please feel free.

Acceptance, Agitation, Alarm, Amusement, Anger, Angst, Annoyance, Anticipation, Apprehension, Apathy, Awe
Bitterness, Boredom
Calmness, Comfort, Contentment, Confidence, Courage
Depression, Disappointment, Discontentment, Disgust, Desire, Delight.
Elation or Euphoria, Embarrassment, Ennui, Envy, Ecstasy
Fear, Friendship, Frustration,
Glee, Gladness, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt
Hate, Happiness, Homesickness, Honor, Hope, Horror, Humility
Impatience, Irritability
Joy, Jealousy,
Kindness
Loneliness, Love, Lust, Limerence
Modesty
Nervousness, Negativity, Nostalgia
Pain, Patience, Peace, Phobia, Pity, Pride
Rage, Regret, Remorse, Resentment
Sadness, Schadenfreude, Self-pity, Shame, Shyness, Sorrow, Shock, Suffering, Surprise, Suspense
Terror
Unhappiness
Vulnerability
Worry

Blog Blunder

I broke a cardinal rule of trust. I shared something on my blog that my husband didn’t know about me, something personal. A word to the not-so-wise (because if you were wise, you wouldn’t have done this)…before you post something for every stranger on the web to read-share it with your husband first. That way when your husband finally decides to read your blog (for the first time, the first post ever), that this bit of new information isn’t the shock of all shocks. And you don’t hurt his feelings.

I think that in all the time I have known my husband this may be the first time he has ever been mad at me first. Now, he wasn’t mad for long because his personality doesn’t allow it, he is too good natured and just overall a wonderful human being to stay mad for long. I was thinking about what a great person I think he is today and how lucky our son is to have a dad like him-talented beyond belief (piano, guitar, singer-song writer, ukulele, producer, movie maker), smart, funny, easy to get along with, handsome, a great role model, and a hard working…I got choked up.

How could I have made such a silly mistake. I wasn’t thinking, and I am inherently selfish. I am sorry.

Its a Boy!

Its a baby boy! Wow…what an amazing experience our ultrasound appointment was. I was nervous about the possibility of something being wrong. But, from what the tech could tell all parts and pieces were as they should be. The appointment was a mix of excitement and relief. I didn’t think it was going to be possible to love something so much, so soon.

We were able to view 3D and 4D pictures. They made a video for us to take home and printed out a roll of pictures. Baby E. likes to sleep with his hands over his head, and he was active while the camera was rolling. He also got the hiccups while we watched. I was able to also confirm that the movement I was feeling in the upper right side of my abdomen was his feet.

Daddy was a little taken back by the experience as well. I think for both of us it was pretty overwhelming. As real as a pregnancy is for me, seeing your baby and listening to his heartbeat, watching him move like a little person on the screen…there is nothing like it.

After the appointment is when the emotional gates opened up. I think the relief of everything being ok, seeing him on the screen and realizing how real this all is, and then leaving the office just hubby and I…that was all it took for me to start bawling.

What a great day…one that I will not soon forget.

If you didnt watch Greys Anatomy last night, dont read this post.

I watch Grey’s Anatomy weekly, I always DVR it, but I always stay home to watch it because I don’t want to miss a beat.
Well until last nights episode…that is the exception so far. I watched it and wish I hadn’t; what a disappointing ending. The end of the show was Meredith getting accidentally pushed over the edge of the pier/harbor and falling into the water. We don’t see a splash or know what happened to her but that is the assumption. This isn’t what made me mad though. I like suspense and I like cliff hangers, although it is frustration to have to wait until next week to see what happened. I understand the need to create suspense.
All during this episode a little girl (7 years old) is by Meredith’s side and won’t leave. She is lost and cant find her family and has clung to Meredith. At one point Meredith says to the little girl, who hasn’t said a word the entire time “you don’t have to talk, I don’t talk when I am scared or angry or upset (or whatever), but I need your help”, and the girl of course helps. How kindred spirit-like.
The part that made me mad was that at the end of the episode, the little girl looks over the edge where Meredith had fallen and doesn’t see Meredith, and then just walks away! Of course, we don’t know if she is walking about for good, or walking away to get help. Its ambiguous at this point, and of course, that is intentional. But, if they are trying to mark some sort of parallel between the little girl and Meredith I think they are way off base. And as a devoted fan of the show, I think it is irresponsible to infer such behaviour from Meredith.
She isn’t the abandonment type, in fact she has fears of being abandoned. She also doesn’t seem the type to walk away from her problems. She ignores them until she is done processing them and then deals with them.
Maybe the reason I am so upset by all of this…is that there is a remarkable similarity to me and Meredith in the way we process hardship and emotion. I wouldn’t want someone leaving a conversation or situation with me and thinking I was the walk away type. But, maybe that is how we are perceived to others. Maybe while we are processing and dealing with issues internally, it looks like we are indifferent. Hmm, maybe I like this episode after all.