Sunday, January 31, 2010

I continue

to labor irregularly on Grandma's lap blanket. Hopefully I'll have it done. . . soon. I have something like 10-12 rows left, I think.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Live Blogging The State of the Union

7:00: Children decide to stay up.

7:04: Children shushed by their parents.
7:06: Who are those dudes standing in front of the President? Lilly throws brief fit about gaming website we won't let her visit. ABC anchors cannot overcome noise of children.
7:09: Liveblogging begins. Carter says "Can we look at pumpkins?"
7:11: Prez: OMGZ guys. Gonna tell you what's going on. (Has he aged 27 years in 1? I think so.) Quitcherbitchin' because America rocks. Please don't hate me because I inherited boo from that last dude.
7:13: Economy: suck. (Geithner looks older too.)
7:14: (Biden reconsidering run for the border) Tim invokes last year, screaming "You lie." Lilly wonders why someone was so rude. Conversation ensues. Senators Palpatine & Amadala mentioned.
7:17: We do not quit. ("If you were running for President Daddy, I would vote for you." Says Lilly) We all hated the bank bailout, huh? (I am now being attacked by a sock monkey. "Sock monkey clapded for the President mommy. He wants to give us kisses!" says Carter).
7:19: Tim attempts to point out lack of bipartisan viewership to Lilly. Lilly doesn't notice anything. Lilly wonders: If you were there, would you be clapping more or booing? I'd clap. Carter wonders: Can I get back on your lap?
7:20: President cracks joke about applause. Repubs laugh. Or look crabby. Pelosi stands. Sock monkey shoots Carter with imaginary toast gun.
7:23: ABC camera scan of audience. Is that Montgomery Burns?
7:24: Is that Ben Nelson, Statlor or Waldorf?
Wait. Did someone say jobs?
7:26: Children sent to brush teeth. On their own.
7:28: Reading to children. Sorry, please give me approximately 7 minutes to read the Barack Obama book to the children. That's right, if you're going to brainwash them, you might as well go all out.
7:30: I lied. Lilly's flossing THEN brushing. It'll be awhile. Last decade. . . LOST decade. Well embedded plug for your #1 show, ABC.
7:45: Back. Longest book ever. Just in time for. . . DOH. Healthcare. Sigh.
7:46: Tim informs me I missed the President pushing for Community Colleges. Nice product placement NBC. Also, YAY. Keep it up, Prez. I loves me some Community College.
7:49: Did they just activate the shocking machines in the seats? I just saw EVERYBODY stand and clap to "Let's get it done." Or was that a "Get 'er done."
7:50: President just Bart Simpson, "I didn't do it"ed. Noise ensues. (Biden contemplates zeroes in "Trillion" and briefly considers "Brazillion") More noise. Lots of standing. Pelosi - is she twitching? She doesn't like it when her boys in Congress misbehave.
7:53: The President is going Bi. Senate said no to bipartisan commission? Following in the footsteps my my predecessor, I'll just take care of that in Executive Order format.
(Look, I don't mean to start anything, but I think Nancy and Joe are holding hands behind the President.)
7:55: That's how budgeting works. Oh snap! Snicker that, Stage Left. That's what we did for 8 years. Stage Left getting angry. Funny that the Right is on Stage Left. (Yes, I just Wiki'd Stage Left to be sure. No, I wasn't ever an actor.)
7:58: Stop shaking your head, Alito. You DID reverse 100 years of standing law. And I have to say, now my age old question "Where does the Supreme Court sit during the SOTU."
7:59: Earmarks online!! Say it ain't so!!
8:01: Neighbor calls. CSA is here. BRB, loyal fans.
8:04: Napolitano looks a bit fearful. Also, I'm not sure about this purple thing. Red is cool. Blue is cool. Purple is the color of a 12 year old's bedroom.
8:05: Al Franken is sitting with a bunch of military dudes. Is that Congressional hazing or a Time-Out? Or did Coleman sneak into the desk again?
8:09: Oh. Crap. Sorry. I was distracted by Facebook. Wonder how many pols are tweeting tonight? Saw a few just flipping through their crackberries. Lots of bipartisan standing, I must say. Clearly the low-grade shock wired into the seats is finally a reality. Lots of yellow in the audience tonight. What's that about? Angry about the purple or just making a non-Partisan fashion statement? SPEAKING of fashion: The Prez is cutting into Launch My Line's finale.
8:20: We don't quit. Diane comments: there he is, for an hour and ten moments. Moments. Huh.
(Poopmergency in the Fuglei household. Not sure I can sit through the postmortem on this one. . . )

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So, here I go:

I'm resurrecting the Physics poetry project.

Please speak up if there's an aspect of Physics you'd like to see in poetry. My current poem is on Black Holes.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Spring Semester Kickoff

Well here we are, the first Saturday after the start of the Spring Semester and rather than working while my children stare blankly at "My Friends Tigger and Pooh", drool forming on their chin, I am dinking around online wasting copious amounts of time while I wait for the coffee to hit my brain and get things up and running.

Week one of the Spring semester was interesting. First off, because of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, our semester starts on a Tuesday rather than a Monday. Add to that my last-minute-afternoon-pickup class and I was all akimbo. Then there were the beginning-of-the-semester meetings, hallway conversations, etc.. One cannot sneak ninja-like into and out of the school without at least half a dozen catch up conversations with colleagues. It's simply impossible.

So in the meantime, while I was playing Adjunct Professor in one life, my other life was backing up, getting dusty, and generally suffering from a lack of home-cooked food and my short fuse. This morning I shall attempt to play both Instructor AND Mom and do such things as tackle laundry mountain whilst brainstorming ways to teach college-level reading techniques. It'll be great.

And some day I might just try to write again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I just realized

that I will pass my year anniversary of my first due date without another child. My nephews, who I looked forward to being just a few months older than my 2nd lost baby, will be a year old. My yet unborn niece or nephew (jury's still out, I guess, as nobody's given me any updates!) will be 4-5 months old then. And who knows where Tim and I will be in this journey.

Sigh. I really *AM* still knitting

It's taken a serious backseat lately, but I am still knitting. Right now I'm working on Grandma Albers's lap blanket. :) I feel as though it'll take forever, though I only have about 24 rows left to go. With prepping for the spring semester and using a new online system, I've been busy, busy, busy!

Pictures soon, hopefully.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My mental health

I appreciate that everyone is looking out for my mental health, even strangers, so I thought I'd take a moment to tell you where I am mentally:

Today I am tearful for a stranger I do not know who was killed in Haiti, a seminary student and friend of a friend. While listening to NPR I openly wept at the stories of Haiti. I am moved by the beauty of my daughter, by the laughter from the bird-man hair of my son, by the hugs and nods and love from all of those people around me who model each day the kind of open-hearted compassion for which I strive. I am joyful at the presence of my husband in my life. This morning I was angry at D2L, our new system for online education. I was irritated with my children's constant bickering and the coffee mill's slow pace.

In addition to all of those things, I spent some time grieving today -- for the woman I used to be and the woman I am, for the babies and ideas of babies I have had to say goodbye to, for my stepfather who I miss terribly as I stumble through this journey.

And while our culture is absolutely shitty at realizing this, I will tell you this so many times eventually you have to be able to understand it: When you ask how I am and I answer that I am fine, I AM FINE. I can at the same time hold in one hand all of that loss and all of that grief and in the other hand all of the joy and pleasure in this world. They are not mutually exclusive feelings, all of this darkness and loss and all of this joy.

If anything one deepens our understanding of the other, saturating our lives in ways we do not expect.

So I guess I am not fine. I am saturated. But saturated is okay too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Even now, exactly what I needed

Sometimes, when faced with a large stack of essays to grade, I panic. I feel suddenly overwhelmed, incapable of making it through them, and ultimately unqualified to give these students grades. Always, in that moment, I just need to take a deep breath and plow on and my inadequacies, fictional and real, melt away as I do what I truly believe I was made to do: teach people to write.

Recently, I have begun teaching Faith Formation classes at Holy Trinity. Suddenly I am faced with doing something I have only a tenuous grasp on: understand God, tell the stories of the Bible, and answer the tough questions that children think of before they feel incapable of asking tough questions about God. And each time I teach Godly Play, we open with prayer, we pray before our meal together, and we pray at the close of our session. And right now, I am utterly incapable of standing before them. I don't hold a Master's Degree in Theology in my back pocket and there's no band-aid of belief getting me through right now. After watching my daughter's fervent prayers for a new sibling for ten months now, after receiving prayers from our friends and family, near and far, after quietly saying to myself over and over and over for the past several months for this child I prayed. . . for this child I prayed . . . for this child I prayed. . . Having stood last Monday afternoon, hands balled into fists, and wept I don't understand I don't understand I don't understand, I am incapable of believing that my prayers, my daughters prayers, my friends prayers on my behalf have fallen on listening ears.

Before you worry that I've given up on God, please understand, I've only given up on prayer. And I know it's not permanent. So don't worry. This is like the time Kirsti knocked my tooth out and I vowed never to speak to her again: inspired by pain and ultimately temporary.

There's a point to this, you should know, one made with gratitude and misty-eyed sadness. A friend who has also had a loss asked me this week if I knew anything of religious services held to honor miscarriages. I did - several years ago, David sent me a printout of a service he held for Erika and Darin and packrat that I am, I'd folded it and saved it in my journal, so I pulled it out and in doing so, read exactly what I needed to hear:

Loving God, you hear our intercessions even when we are unable to make them.

I don't have to pray right now. And for that I am grateful. I need to breathe, to feed my family (though my friends, for whom I am utterly grateful, have ensured that this is an easy task), and to heal. And while I do that, I don't need to tackle the issue of prayer. It'll be waiting for me later.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I wish I knew. . .

not why we've had the year we've had or how it happens to happen to someone over and over and over with no real explanation. I'm not even asking to know why and how so many prayers went unanswered or why God made me to listen to my daughter pray every night for the past week for "Mom to have a good pregnancy journey and for junior to be happy and healthy." I'm not asking for answers to those questions. Not even wishing for them.

No. What I wish I knew today is the exact moment of the last beat of that baby's heart. Was it just after the ultrasound when my body, coursing with anxiety and stress, suddenly realized "this is it." Was it at 3 am on Wednesday morning when I awoke with the feeling that everything would, in fact, be okay. Was it this morning as we drove to the doctor's office?

I'm sure a lot of people wonder why it matters. I guess in a way I do too. But I remember standing around David in his last hour, watching his breathing slow, carrying in my heart the dual feelings of "Please stop" and "Not yet." I remember the way my legs left me after Pastor Al blessed him, the full bodied sobs I couldn't suppress, and the way the light caught fingerprints on the Pulse/Ox monitor nurses had turned off and cast to the side. I remember that moment as the moment - a time to acknowledge a life lost. The real and deep feeling that he was gone.

Seeing a quiet figure on an ultrasound screen - a small speck of black and white dots - too small with no movement - it's not the same. It is as if the moment has been stolen. No, it is not as if, it is just that: The moment has been stolen. If there's been no life to acknowledge there is no point at its end to acknowledge as well. There is no chance to know the exact moment that that life ended because nobody has come to agree on when it began or what importance it carries.

And miscarriage itself is such a strange place - that place between life and non-life. These small miracles that go unacknowledged by many for not being quite miraculous enough. It is a strange place to live - or, rather, not live. One of the hardest parts of being in this place is not knowing how long your womb has been a tomb or knowing the precise moment when your future child became a parenthetical in your life.

Honestly, I love you all. If you are reading this and did not know, please know that I haven't told you because I cannot bear it. I cannot bear to deliver this news time and time again. I just can't.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 is in the rear view mirror

In 2006, we just knew 2007 would be better. In 2007 we said 2008 would be better. In 2008 we figured 2009 couldn't be worse.

Now it's a new decade. I must admit relief when flipping the calendar, that's for sure. But I'm not holding my breath for a better, can't be worse than last year, gotta be great year. I'm holding on for the ride in wait and see mode. I'm hopeful that 2010 is good.

But I'm unwilling to, as one of my favorite crooners says: "I spent the best years of my life waiting for the best years of my life."

So here we go 2010. Hand in hand. Let's see what we can turn up together.
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