Thursday, September 27, 2007

The last week of recovery (well full-time recovery)

Over the last 6 weeks of recovery, I have been bouncing in and out of a BLAHness. I had talked to my therapist and my surgeon about the possibility of this since I do have a tendency for the blah and they both told me depression is very often a part of recovery. Well this week I had one major blah day where I couldn't sleep so I went downstairs around 4am and at midnight I went back upstairs to bed. I sat there on the couch, working on this little project for my mom's piano teaching classes. I got up to use the bathroom, water and a ton of junk food I found in the kitchen which I rarely eat. It kinda sucked as days go.

Happily I woke up the next morning feeling great! I had some plans for that day and I was all optimistic about it. I had another post-op appointment with my surgeon who poked around and said that I am clear for getting back up to speed on my life. YAY! I can finally get back out there and do stuff without the fear of riping something open! I'm bummed that I still have some tender/sore spots and my incision has turned into a keloid scar and hurts, but I got a cool photo from during the surgery! (I'd post it but it's kinda gross.) She said that I'll still get exhausted easily and that as I increase my activities, I'll find I'll get stronger and have more energy. Thank goodness, because all of the effects of working out before the wedding has gone all squishy! I know I still need to take things slow but its good to know that the healing is going well enough to get back out there.

So far the rest of this week has been ok. I was exhausted after my day of plans, so I've been sleeping a lot which tends to lead me to blah days, but so far things aren't too bad (at least not as bad as that couch day). I've been able to do more and more work and the house cleaners came today, so that seems to have given me a bit of a boost. This weekend we're going to hang out with some friends we haven't seen since the wedding, and since they asked, I'm going to finally get back into the kitchen to do some baking. Cupcakes and cheesecake anyone?

Next week, I'm back to my true daily grind. I'll be back to my way too long commute and a full day at work, instead of working a few hours from home everyday. I am looking forward to a more focused routine and the camaraderie of my co-workers, but I am not looking forward to the 4 hours spent commuting and having to get up early. I like being able to sleep in if I need to and to take naps, or go on walks when my back is tired of sitting at the desk. And mostly I'm not looking forward to having to put on real clothes, although I do realize that staying in yoga pants and tank tops all day isn't very good for my mood either. Ohhh... and I suppose a full paycheck is a nice little benefit too!

The last 6 weeks have been very interesting and somewhat restful but I miss living. As I said to Eric last night as we ate dinner at a lively Mexican joint where I felt very out of place, I feel like I've been watching other people live their lives, whether on TV, through blogs or out the window and I miss actively living my own. My usual extroverted self has turned very introverted and I sort of have to re-learn how to interact with people again. I'll probably have some major TV withdrawals and will feel like I need to go lay down a few times through the day, but I'm hoping it doesn't take very long to get back into the swing of things again.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

First Day of Fall

As good ol' Al Roker told me on the TODAY show, today is the first day of Autumn!

Do you know what I love most about the turn of the season from warm to chilly?

SWEATSHIRTS and FUZZY BLANKETS!

May not be what Eric is thinking of as exciting bedroom attire, but me loves them long time!

Oooo, and putting my chilly feetsies on my HOT running honey in bed. He actually likes this at this time of year because he's still too warm for blankets, so he says it cools him off for a moment or so. Soon, it will be cool enough he won't even need to sleep with the window open and I can put the down comforter back on the bed. How I love that comforter AND fuzzy blankets!

And what is best of all... the kitties are finally starting to cuddle with me again! In the warm months, the kitties rarely even want to sit near us on the couch. I knew I had been cold in bed for the last week or so (but too lazy to pull out the fuzzy blankets) but last night, Cosmo (the skittish of the two kitties - AKA "Skitty") spent much of the night snuggling up to me. He'd cuddle up, and get too warm and stretch out, and cuddle up, and stretch out. I don't think either of us got much sleep last night, but I was just so thrilled to have my baby kitty be all lovey with me, that I didn't mind at all (plus I had nothing planned, so the fact that I got up at 11am wasn't a big deal).

But I must admit, that since it was raining a tad this last week that I started thinking about Christmas already, and along with Christmas thoughts comes EGG NOG LATTE thoughts. Oh how I loves me the Egg Nog Latte! Hell, hold the Latte and just gives me some steamed Egg Nog cut with a little Non-Fat Milk, you know... so it's "healthy".

Sigh! Time to put away the flip flops and darn the turtlenecks. But don't think I'm gonna stop with the pedicures! These piggies still need to be cute even if they are in tennis shoes and boots for the next 6 months! Crap! I need to go shopping!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kitten Envy

For the last year or so, I have brought up the idea of adding a new kitten to our little family. I don't know if I was transforming my maternal urges into kitten urges or what, as it has definitely been more of a craving then an actual thought out idea.

Well today, we went into a pet supply store for some Cat Gut Lube, as Eric calls the hairball remedy we give to our big boys, and I eyed that the schedule for cat adoptions was not set for today. THANK GOODNESS! Because I may not be able to resist. But then as I walked in, there was the cat lady setting up her little display of kittens all ready for adoption.

Immediately I was drawn to them, and she started her sales pitch. Really she was just very excited to talk to someone about her little babies. She could tell I was a cat person, and she began telling me all sorts of stories about each one. I was totally drawn to the only grey cat in her orange cat herd. He was a grey tabby with big ears and white paws, and oh so talkative and the only one in the bunch that was walking around and wanting to play. The rest were all scared and huddled in the corners of their pens.

I held the little grey one and the grey one's sister and just sat there for about 15 minutes with this little orange kitten as it snuggled into my chest. Eric was hooked. I was sure that if I said I wanted one, he would cave. He really liked the grey tabby.
But then a little boy and his parents showed up. They didn't really take much of an interest, but the man said to the cat lady... we'll take that one, as he pointed to the grey tabby! The cat lady was hesitant I'm assuming because they didn't even seem to want to interact with any of the cats, let alone the one they said they wanted to take home. She turned to me and asked if I was interested in that kitten, I guess since I was there first and had been playing with him. I said we really can't take a kitten home today. So she had them fill out the paper work, and I just stood there. I was shocked that she was going to let them take this kitten home. Suddenly I wanted to take the kitten. I didn't REALLY want to disrupt our little happy home with a kitten, but I didn't want this family to take him either.

I suppose the cat lady can't be too picky when she has so many that she is fostering. I hope that family knows what they are getting into and that they were just sort of shy in the store. I hope the cat lady has the policy that if one of her adopters ever need to get rid of a cat, that they have to take it back to her. I'd really hate to see such a sweet little ball of energy end up in the pound because it was "too much trouble".

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Shuffling in the Dark

Living in a tightly packed townhouse complex, we end up living with a lot of neighbors. Their late nights, become out late nights, their home improvement projects become our pounding headaches. Well tonight, at this late hour of 10:30pm, I came up to our office to check my email since I didn't feel well today and stayed horizontal and away from the computer. It's a tad warm up here so our window is open, and I can hear the occasional shuffling of feet outside.

Just behind our unit is a circle of grass which is surrounded by other units and parking lots. The lighting out there isn't too good, so I can't really see what is going on, but every few minutes or so I can hear shuffling, and after a few more minutes that shuffling is accompanied by panting. I say to Eric that I think I hear someone out there running laps. He says that the other night he saw a young girl out there doing laps and that she didn't look like she was doing very well, and that she was a little .... (as he makes the gesture that she was probably a little rounder). By that time, her panting had turned into sobs. I can barely make her out by the few lights in the area, but I can see her stop, hunched over, and then push herself to keep going. Soon someone has come out to get her, telling her to stop and to go to bed, and despite her protests the sobs and shuffling went silent.

So I wonder. Is she sneaking out to run? Is she feeling the pressure to be more fit or is it to be thin?
I couldn't help but feel sad for her. I wanted to go out and hug her, but somewhere in me I also wanted to get out there and run with her. Of course I have no idea what this girl's actual story is, but I immediately started projecting my own and many other girls (and guys) story onto her.

I hope that in that home she went to tonight, the people there are being supportive of her, and not berating her for her battles and challenges. I wonder if we will hear those shuffling footsteps again tomorrow night.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Man-Tan

I don't know if anyone else will find this amusing... but I do, so I thought I should chronicle this morning's little event.

My husband, my usually very un-vain and "Berkeley" husband (as we like to describe him), has spent the morning exfoliating and using a sunless tanning lotion to even himself out so he doesn't look like a "farmer".
Of course I too tried this before the wedding to even out my tan lines so they wouldn't show so much with my strapeless dress, and my husband tried as well so he wouldn't look so "farmer-esque" in Hawaii. He was slightly disappointed with the results before, so he bought a more powerful lotion this time and he's giving it another go.
You see, my husband is a landscaper by trade so he's in the sun ALL of the time. No matter how much sunscreen he applies and re-applies, he tans. His beautiful olive skin just simply likes to be tan. VERY TAN. If you were to see him shirtless, you'd note that he wears t-shirts often, as there are very distinct lines of demarcation. I don't mind the lines in the slightest, I just beg that he applies more sunscreen as I'd prefer him not to have to battle skin cancer, as so many in his profession do.

Plus, I'd rather have the lines then the smell of that tanner. Ohh wee!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why do I care?

I admit it, I'm a girl who is perfect. Perfectly set in her ways that is (which are very well thought out and pretty darn close to perfect!). Oh sure, I can change if you give me good reason too, but I have to be the one to decide on the changing and the when and the how. But when it comes to certain matters, I have a pretty good track record of being right. Eric agrees, it's not just me thinking I'm the bomb. (I really don't!.... REALLY! stop rolling your eyes! I can see you!)

So I want to know, why the hell do I care when I see someone do something a little differently then myself. Just because it's not the way I would have done something, as long as the end product is the same/equivalent/acceptable, that's what matters right? RIGHT?

I really wish I could just be more laid back, and not care about how something is done, as long as it gets done. Or really, does that thing HAVE to be done right now like I'd do it, or really can it wait? This is something I'd like to improve in myself. Perhaps this is a little bit about letting go of my control freak ways... just maybe. Maybe it means I am looking to be a better partner and friend, because why on earth would I want to be upset with someone I like or love?

Since before the wedding, I have been learning how to ask for help. This isn't something that came easily to me, seriously! So lately, during my recovery period, when I really couldn't take care of the things I'd normally take care of, I have been having to ask for even more help and have had to let other people take care of things. Sometimes not everything is done exactly how I'd do it or to my silly standards, and I'd feel myself get irritated. It just didn't seem right that I'd be feeling this way towards someone doing something to help me, and I am honestly getting sick of myself. I'm finding the fact that I get irritated, is more irritating then the initial irritation trigger, and I want it to stop. (did you all follow that?) The way I see it (and I'm sure there are plenty of other great ways to see it, because really I know I'm not perfect) the only way to make it stop is to either continue my control freak ways and and re-take over everything or learn to not care so much about the little stuff.

I started working on this a while ago and tonight I didn't even sigh when Eric stopped at MULTIPLE stop signs but well past the limit line. See? I'm getting better! Now to get rid of the impulse to sigh... that's the next step. I admit that I did point out his speed about 4 times though.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My appologies

Back here, when I was talking about my little book reading spree, I mentioned the book that I just finished, Peony in Love, was a sequel to Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. My bad, because it was not a sequel. It just so happened that the main character in the new book, Peony, had the same name as a baby that was born at the end of the author's previous book.

You could see how that mistake could be made, huh?

So that makes 4 books read in a few weeks. Maybe it's time for a few magazines again, I'm tired.

Monday, September 10, 2007

What's the deal?

Kids everywhere have birthdays right? Kids of all social economic situations grow up, just like the kid around the corner or in the penthouse.

So why is there a feeling of pressure for the families to have the perfect party? Have cute meaningful favors, fun activities, bounce houses, food, and more and more guests? Some even have multiple parties. And then there are the gifts. The parent's gift has got to be a big one right? or does it? I mean, the kid IS getting a party after all! Do they really need that gift they think they HAVE to have, even though the reviews you've read about it mostly all say it really sucks?

Have little kid parties always been this big production? I admit, I remember one extravagant party in my growing up years. Namely where I got to take my friends to an amusement park and my parents made the mistake of always allowing me as many friends as the age I was turning, so this 10 year old party was PRICEY! But mostly, the parties I went to and the ones my parents threw me were about the cake, most likely some pizza, maybe some games, and a bunch of giggling girls. I certainly only remember the amusement park one, (who wouldn't?, my mom was insane!) and I think my 9th, where the biggest fun of the day was putting balloons on the canopy of my bed, blind folding each girl as she arrived and then dumping the balloons on her. Lucky for my mom, after my 10th, I was done with the parties. (well, until my 21st, but I paid for that one).

But I don't remember as a kid, that it was about who had this, and who did that. Was that pressure there, and I didn't realize it? Did the pressure come from the other parents or the kids? Where does it come from now? Or have the kids just come to expect it?

As you all know, I don't personally have kids, but I have a lot of kids through my friends and family, and I hear about these parties and listen to the stressed out mom's putting them on.

Please tell me, parents out there,... what's the deal?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Someone come beat me over the head, but not with a book please?

As I mentioned right down there, I have been hit with some sort of Reading Rock and can't seem to stop. Of course this is a wonderful turn of events as I usually struggle with reading as it takes me so darn long as I have to say every single word in my head in order for me to absorb it, but that is getting faster with practice. The issue is that I LOVE to read in bed. That is where I can prop myself up with tons of pillows so all of my tender spots don't hurt so much, and I don't get a crick in my neck like I do when I sit on the couch.

So this causes a not so great side effect... I'm not going to sleep until sometime in the AM!

Last night, Eric pulled an all nighter as he had to prepare for a client meeting bright and early this morning, and I HATE to go to sleep when he's not there so I picked up a new book and started in on it. The next thing I knew I was half way through the book and Eric was no where about ready to come to bed, and I soon found myself dosing off. It was likely about 3am when I removed my glasses, but for some reason didn't turn off the light.

But then the worst thing about reading and filling it with stories before going to sleep... I had very active and stressful dreams. At some point, Eric found that I had fallen asleep with the light on and turned it off. I suddenly awoke in a panic and started frantically yelling for him. I know I had been dreaming, but I don't know what it was about and I found myself sweating and I had tears in my eyes. Thankfully Eric took the time to lay with me and calm me down so I could go back to sleep.

A few hours later, Eric came in to kiss my forehead as he had to leave for an early morning drive into San Francisco to present his work to a client. I was exhausted and still felt this all over frantic feeling, but I was awake and couldn't go back to sleep.

So now I sit here, REALLY wanting to pick up my book to finish it, but I just can't shake this icky feeling. Perhaps a short walk outside (which I still haven't done alone since my surgery and should probably get over that hurdle), and then maybe lay down for a nap with my lovey when he returns from his meeting, as I'm sure he is going to be exhausted. Man! My shoulders are practically at my ears. Relax girl! Relax!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Reading Rocks!

First off, I must say that I'm NOT a reader. I loved it when I first started in Kindergarten and then in 1st and 2nd grade, it was still great and I did really well, but then I got behind in 3rd grade because I was in the hospital for a few weeks, and I never quite caught up since then. From then on, the schools always struggled where to place me, because I excelled in Math but struggled in Reading, so I was always bored when they put me in with the "slower" kids, but fell behind when they moved me with the "advanced" kids. I understand, but still hate that they lumped both skills together for placement.

So now as an adult, I tend to go in phases where I love to read, and then where it can't hold my attention and I'd much rather stare at a glowing box and have it tell me the story, or look at pictures in magazines, or read recipes in cookbooks. I swear I didn't pick up a book to read cover to cover for about 2 years until the last Harry Potter book came out, which I then proceeded to read as fast as I could, which for many took 1 day, but it took me at least a week.

But then with my recovery period of being stuck at home, I have gotten VERY bored with television and DVDs so I have happily turned to books. Grated yes, I am now back doing a few hours of work from home everyday so that is helping with some brain exercises, but when I'm not working I don't reach for the remote, I reach for a book. In fact, yesterday Eric kept coming downstairs for a break from his landscape design work in our home office, to find me working in the living room with the laptop perched on my lap (go figure), and he'd click on the TV. I'd usually keep working and glance up every few minutes, but when he'd go back upstairs, I kept having to ask him to please turn off the TV. To say the least, he was shocked, as I'm a total television junky.

Since I have been home, I have read 3 books. This may seem like a week's reading to many of you, but for me this would normally take me a few months. And last night, I picked up a new book, (Something Blue) and put it down, finished in one sitting. I've NEVER done that! Granted it was a sequel to the book I had finished the day before (Something Borrowed) so there was little character development needed, but I just plowed right through it, with a few breaks near the end to blow my nose and wipe away the tears. (I'm such a sap - the main character gave birth and got married)

Today after I work for a few, I'm picking up the sequel to the first book I read, which was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. My sister-in-law recommended the first book, and when I mentioned I heard there was a new book by the author, she shipped one out to me for my birthday. So I will start, Peony In Love today.

Read on folks! Read on!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

So Sad!

At a local Six Flags, Discovery Kingdom (previously Marine World), a 2 year old giraffe died last night! There was a fire in the giraffe barn and one of the giraffes didn't have access to the outside pen and was trapped. They say he was overcome by smoke.

This brings up something in me that I have struggled with much of my life. I used to LOVE animal parks and zoos. I had the dream to be a whale/dolphin trainer. I researched the career, I figured out what school I wanted to go to, and where I wanted to intern at, and also wanted to get my Marine Biology degree to increase my knowledge. I started volunteering 2 nights a week at the Marine Mammal Center mainly working with Elephant Seals, CA Sea Lions, and Harbor Seals. That was when I was seriously considering becoming an Animal Health Technician (Vet Assistant) with a specialty in large animals. At the center I worked with the Vet from Marine World and was given the opportunity to intern there, so get more large animal experience. And this was about when I was stricken by my distaste for keeping animals captive for the main purpose of entertaining people.

Oh sure, there is always the point of education, and studying the animals, and I truly do believe that some of these parks are half-heartedly living up to that, but I am sure not all of them are. I don't know, maybe I was too effected by Free Willy, but every time I do go to one of these animal parks, I inevitably will cry at some point during my visit. Partly for the animals and partly for me not following my dreams.

So yes, I still go to these parks, but in the last few years I have only gone when my radio station is hosting a special listeners day, so I don't actually pay to get in. I do pay for food though, and I realize I am totally being hypocritical, so this is why I'm torn. I enjoy these parks, but I don't know if they are really a good thing.

The local park we have here is especially bad though. Originally, Marine World Africa USA (as it was named before it moved), was a rather large animal park with mainly only animals. There were some small kiddie rides, and games but that was it. It really did seem to be more about the animals. But then the park lost their lease on the land and moved to a smaller location, they lost the Africa USA part of the name, but still had some of the non-marine animals. The new park wasn't nearly as grand, and within a few years it started struggling. And then Six Flags came in to save the day. They expanded the park into the parking lot to add huge roller coasters, and started adding in rides in any little area they could find. The animals started showing stress, and getting sick, and the energy of the park completely changed. The giraffe area always particularly upset me, because it was really small and pretty bare.

I still really struggle with how I feel about zoos and animal parks. Perhaps I need to go back to volunteering to ease some of my guilt.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hint Hint

Today I received a forwarded email from my mother-in-law. She originally sent this email to her sister, and then apparently decided to forward the same email to her two kids and her kids-in-law.

... Still have not heard from either of my kids. I am going to do like Leona Helmsley and leave my fortune to my dog. When you see the end coming for me, please go out and buy me one. Have a great day!

I think someone should give this woman a call.