Sunday, July 27, 2008
Turner is a nice park, and our seats were pretty good considering this was last-minute. We were behind home plate on the first mezzanine. It was a nice evening - about 80 degrees still when the sun set.
The girls were hella-tired. I'd forgotten Lindsay's blanket in the hotel room, which meant she couldn't nap in her stroller (she might not have anyway, but we would've had a better shot with blanket). I took Dad's approach of snack every 2 innings, and I have no idea if he was using it as a diversion technique, but it is an awesome one. Hot dogs in the 2nd inning, cotton candy in the 4th, and ice cream after the seventh-inning-stretch got us all the way to the fireworks...
...which were a lot more spectacular than I managed to capture. It really was an awesome 20 minute display and neither of my kids minded the big booms. What I didn't know about Atlanta was that the traffic is terrible. We spent an hour driving back to our hotel, which was only 4 miles away. We did the Walk-of-Shame you may have read about on Worst Mama.
We got up and had breakfast with Alec before he had to go to his conference, which was what he was there to do. We were there to spend time with our friends. I took the massive SUV we rented (alright, it was a Toyota Rav 4, which is a bit bigger than my Mazda 5) and drove out to Decatur to meet Jeremiah, Sarah, and Kate at the gazebo.
Sarah and Lindsay eyed each other. If they were dogs, this is where the sniffing would've started. Sarah said, "Hi, Baby" through her pacifier at Lindsay. Lindsay responded with a little wave. Kate and Lauren were instantly thick as thieves. They discussed relationships: "Where's your dad?" "He's at work." "What's his name?" "Alec." "My dad's name is Jeremiah." As well as their mutual admiration for Disney princesses. "So your favorite princess is Aurora? Mine is Snow White."
We went back to their house and met Lisa, with her brand new hair. The children played. We caught up. There were pork sandwiches with fried lemon (OMG! so good). Lisa and I tucked Sarah and Lindsay for naps and walked with the big girls to the Oakhurst Community Garden. Lisa blogged about the garden here, if you haven't seen it already - I didn't take pictures there for some reason. When the little girls woke up, we all went to the McKoy Park Pool.
Jeremiah playing with Lindsay. I think she's feeding him a toy. She thought he was hilarious, and just couldn't get his name right, so she just kept calling him "SarahDad". She called Lisa "Weesa".
Lauren has some serious skills now she's taken some swimming lessons. She shows Lisa how long she can hold her breath underwater in this picture. Considering she wouldn't go IN the water at the beginning of the summer, this is a huge accomplishment.
Lisa whipped up some smoothies for the girls for dinner, and Jeremiah got to work on some beef tenderloin.
"My kids need to go to sleep, "Lisa said. "Maybe we can put them all to bed and enjoy our dinner?"
And so, we did. Dinner was some serious meat candy. We enjoyed some wine and dark chocolate with rock salt for dessert. Lisa and Jeremiah helped get sleeping girls in the car and I headed back to the hotel.
On Sunday, we went to see the aquarium, and Alec finally was done with his conference. We met there around 9 AM, sharing sleepy expressions - Sarah had kept Lisa and Jeremiah up most of the night, and we just didn't sleep very well on the lumpy mattress at the hotel. The best thing was this giant tank:
My pictures from the aquarium were the worst of all. That's Kate and Lindsay looking into the giant tank. We saw the performingest octopus ever - usually you get to see a tentacle or two, but this guy was hanging out and actually swam across the tank. After the aquarium, we headed back to Lisa and Jeremiah's for lunch, and then had to make our way to the airport.
Atlanta - awesome. I chat with Lisa most days, so it was really cool to see her in person, and even better that our kids got along.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
There is no anonymity on the Internets. If you really have something to say to me, pony up the ovaries to say it in my phone, text or IM. You know how to reach me, if you actually want to reach me.
The letter is about how I feel about an ad for a television program. If you're tuned in here, you get is all about me. This is my personal blog. There's nothing I can do about why she has an eating disorder. I don't know why. It isn't up to me to fix it, it's up to her to fix it.
Rather than make this about YOU - why don't any of you do anything about WHY she has an eating disorder??? It seems to me there is more going on han any of you admit! Get over yourselves! 2:56 PM
Why wouldn't this situation have a family running towards each other to help? Does anyone have any responsibility for her eating disorder? Frequently the problems lie deep within the family, have you looked closely at yours? If not, don't you think it's time you did? Anonymous
This has been going on a long time. There have been periods of running, just as there have been periods of standing still. It seems you're trying to intimate that I have responsibility and am to blame. I do the best I can. Some days that's pretty ok, and other days it's not. I would say she is an adult and responsible for herself and her recovery.
I would like to think love lies deep within my family. Though sometimes it shows itself without a lot of grace. Sometimes it is nagging and annoying. Sometimes it isn't what we want to hear.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
To: AskFox@fox.comThe letter hasn't gotten a response. I'm not sure it will, but sometimes you have to say things loudly to be heard.
Sent: Tue, 15 Jul 2008
Subject: Comment about "Do Not Disturb"
To Whom It May Concern,
I enjoy Fox programming and follow many of your shows.
I recently saw an ad for a new fall show called "Do Not Disturb". The ad featured actress Molly Stanton in the role of Nicole. The Fox fan site refers to her as "slightly starving".
My sister will be 23 years old next week. She has spent the last 5 years of her life in and out of hospitals for the treatment of her eating disorder. I assure you, there is nothing funny about watching a beautiful young woman starve herself. It is heart breaking. The eating disorder has separated my sister from her family, her friends, and her dreams - everything that mattered to her. It has torn my family apart.
It's appalling to me that Fox Networks would perpetuate the myth that there is something glamorous about eating disorders and that the people who suffer from it are stupid and frivolous. They are hurting in ways none of us can possibly understand.
There is too much misunderstanding already about this disease that kills one in ten people who suffer from it. Please don't further this misunderstanding.
-Heather Fisher Stoll
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Our MacLaren Volo has been on its last legs for a while. We purchased it shortly after Lauren turned 1 and we no longer needed the heavy monstrosity that accommodated her infant seat. I don't know how long you're supposed to get out of a stroller, but 2 kids and almost 5 years later, it complains as its bald tires turn slowly down the sidewalk. It's best feature is that it's light, which it still is. Its frame has gotten too bent to fold and unfold easily with one hand. As we walked along, I realized our walking time will only increase as school starts - there's no school bus this year and the school is a mile away. As I walked, the stroller slowed my walking pace, giving me a nagging pain in my lower back as it caught the edges of uneven sidewalk. This isn't a good way to save $100, I thought.
I thought about waiting to make the purchase, but the idea of walking around a city I've never seen before and am looking forward to exploring with falling apart stroller just didn't make sense. I went to Target, and bought this year's MacLaren Volo, which is a sporty black and silver. Also, when we bought it, the umbrella was separate. Now it comes with the stroller. A deal even!
I gave the stroller a push around the house. Ooh. Those Brits sure know how to make a fine buggy.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I sort children's clothes at our church's thrift shop on Tuesdays. It always seems like a daunting amount of work, and then it is so satisfying 2 hours later when the racks are all nicely organized. Today, I perked up when I heard Kathy say, "Oh what a nice size 1x jacket from Ashley Stewart!" "May I see it?" "Oh my gosh, you're not a 1x!" "Yes, I am. Ohhh. It is nice. I'm taking that today!" It was new, though without tags...and Lois charged me a dollar! I also bought a pair of never worn Dora boots in black "suede" for Lindsay for 50 cents.
Lauren has a Princess diary she's been writing in this summer. I figured it was a good way for her to practice writing without it seeming like an assignment. Of course, since Lindsay has to do everything Lauren does, she is "writing" in a book also.
Karen, Lindsay's handedness would appear not to support your theory. She always colors with her right hand, and yet she only sucks her left thumb. Alec is left handed, and I am right handed. Lauren is right handed.
Monday, July 14, 2008
It was three years ago today I found myself in the emergency room with a ruptured left fallopian tube. Although my parents and my husband were there when I came out of surgery, I was with Nanny during the intake, tests, meeting the surgeon and all the things leading up to it. I was in the moment of all of my worst fears, and yet I was calm. At one point, she said, "Everyone is moving very slowly here." And I said, "I know. It means I am not dying. If I weren't OK, everyone would be moving very fast..."
As I was being wheeled into the operating room, I looked up to see the anesthesiologist. The surgeon was joking with the nursing staff about just needing a few tools, listing them, and then he said, "I'm pretty easy" which was met with some giggles. "Is it good to have an easy surgeon?" I asked studying his face.
"He's the best." replied the anesthesiologist.
Right before I was put under, I touched the sleeve of the surgeon.
He was saying something silly, but I don't recall what it was.
I said, "I know you're trying to put me at ease by joking, but I really need you to say, 'Everything is going to be okay, Heather'."
His eyebrows broadened as he smiled under his mask. "Everything is going to be okay, Heather."
And it was okay. It wasn't good. But I walked away from that with a different appreciation about what I wanted from life, and although that's on the short lists of worst days of my life, it was...okay.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I've got some things to iron out with them. One of the requirements is that I transfer from University College (which technically doesn't exist any more) to the School of Arts and Sciences. According to the inter-school transfer page, this closed for fall semester in June, so I would have to wait until October to apply for transfer for spring. There's an honors section of the Art History course which is "available by arrangement with professor", and although it's listed as closed, I would think since I know the professor she would allow me into it as long as it's not full. If I remember right, it was a couple of additional assignments that made it "honors", but y'know me. I don't want to have to wait for my real life to begin...
Friday, July 11, 2008
No, I have no idea why Lindsay is making a Gene Simmons face. I am pretty sure she doesn't know who he is. To further complete your morning:
"Hey, Lindsay, I have something to show you."
"I coming. I coming." Lindsay climbs down the stairs. "Wassamatta?"
"Nothing, I wanted to show you something."
"Oh! Hewwo, Lawwen."
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Last night, after I finished my dinner of grilled salmon, squash with pesto, and couscous, I piled my plate high with the locally grown organic red leaf lettuce. I had some Annie's Sesame Dressing on it. Mmm mmm. Lauren eyed my plate.
"Do you want some?"
"Maybe just to try?"
I put two leaves and a good amount of dressing on her plate for dipping."
"Hey, that's pretty good."
Yeah it is!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I am impatient today. I threw a tirade at Lauren when I discovered she wasn't wearing her seatbelt, and had to apologize because I get ridiculously angry when I'm scared. My reaction was so disproportionate to the actuality of discovering she wasn't wearing the seatbelt that I was actually ashamed of myself.
I went to the gym rather late today, and saw a bit of The View while I worked out. They were discussing Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook* and Whoopi pointed out that they should follow Chris Rock's advice, which is "Crackhead go with crackhead." My mother-in-law has a more eloquent way to put this which is "The rocks in him fit the holes in her". I almost laughed my way off of the recumbent bike today thinking about this. Despite the very public divorce proceedings, I'm not paying enough attention to add commentary. Should they work this out because clearly, they are equally crazy? Oh, I have no idea. Definitely in my own marriage, I see elements of this, not that we are the same crazy but we both have some fantastic, bizarre, annoying and intolerable attributes. For example, I'm very easy to get into an argument with. I am entirely reactive to anything that sounds sort of like a criticism and even if it has absolutely nothing to do with me like "It would be nice if there were tomatoes at the farmer's market" I can turn that around into you are telling me the lack of produce is my fault. I should've deduced if you wanted a salad, you wanted tomatoes on it and yes, there were none at the farmer's market, but couldn't I have looked at Wegman's? I think I am the only person who can turn a comment like "We're running out of milk" into some sort of personal attack.
Most of the time, Alec laughs and says, "Are you kidding?" Because surely on his reasonable planet making a comment like "We're out of milk" means "We should remember that the next time we are at the store".
It follows as we become more aware of this, when someone else is there to say, "Uh, honey, whaaa?" to start to examine the behavior and hopefully change it in a way that's less...bizarre.
*Yeah, Lisa, I should've fact checked that. David Cook was the guy who won American Idol.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Friday was an overcast day here. We made some salads to go along with dinner, and I made a fruit crisp (this one was peach and blueberry, and very good) but mostly Alec played X-Box and Lauren supervised. Since one of our dinner guests is 3, our party broke up before 9, and we decided since we were heading up to Dad's the next day where we'd probably see fireworks that we'd forgo the local ones and get the kids to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour.
Saturday, we had a great time at Dad's, although I expected it would just be the four of us, Dad, Ben and Maria, my grandparents were both there along with Aunt Diane and her girlfriend Bevvy. Except for a minor poisoning incident, we all had a great time and even managed to see the fireworks in Hartford.
Yesterday, we visited some friends in Westport on our way home. The drive wasn't too terrible once we abandoned I-95 for the Merritt Parkway, except for the stretch of the Hutch in Harrison that's always bad.
I have quite a lot of laundry to do, though our house isn't too bad since we mostly were just home on Friday. Lauren has declared it a "jammies all day day", so it would seem I'm not the only one feeling a bit tired after the weekend.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Two things are buggin' me these days...
I don't know if this is unique to Jersey, but gas stations have recently started charging more if you use your credit card. Most places charge 10 cents more per gallon around here if you pay with plastic. In Jersey, stations set their prices, so they can vary between stations as much as 20 cents per gallon. So, I tend to be aware of which stations typically charge less and buy my gas there. Now I also have to make sure I have cash.
It irks me that most cashiers won't bag my purchases because I bring my own bags. Especially since my usual check out experience is heinous. I always have at least one kid melting down, rearranging my groceries on the conveyor, adding additional purchases (candy and magazines), or breaking the credit card machine. I shouldn't get treated differently as a customer because I brought my own bags...especially when they are bags I've purchased from the store.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Some high points:
1. Lauren passed her swimming test today! She moves on to the next session in a couple of weeks. She's definitely more comfortable in the water now than she was just a couple of weeks ago.
2. I am feeling pretty good about my daily gym time. Even on Tuesdays, which is a rush around day for me because I help sort at the church thrift shop, I've been getting 15-20 minutes in. I get rewards for gym time - if I go 4 days a week, I get 2 iTunes songs for my iShuffle. If I go 5 days, I get 3 or some article of gym related clothing.
3. Tomorrow is the last swimming class for 2 weeks, and I am looking forward to not having to rush out the door to be at the gym at exactly 8:55 AM.
4. Alec has a 4 day weekend!
Some low points:
Harriet Brown writes a blog I follow called Feed Me! Harriet's older daughter is in recovery from anorexia. She wrote recently about seeing a girl in the mall that she had to say something to her mother. I have been at the gym for the last 2 weeks at the same time and notice these 2 girls that are always there. You're allowed to use the equipment in our gym if you're 9 with a parent, or over 12 without. These girls are probably around 14. I've began to notice that they are there for a very long time. I spend about 15 minutes changing Lauren and checking her into babysitting, they are still working out. I've seen them for about 90 minutes and they are still working out when I leave. There's no rule in my gym about it, beyond that you're not supposed to spend more than 30 consecutive minutes on any one piece of equipment when it's busy. I was next to them today, and I realized they were comparing how many calories they'd consumed, and I would say they are competing to be below 500 calories. When I overheard this, I really wanted to get in their faces about it. Do you have ANY IDEA where this path goes? I didn't, and I thought, wow, I have to get in a less raw place about this. I was so angry, because whose job IS it to watch these girls - these perfectly average, otherwise strong and smart teen-aged girls? It bugged me, and while I tried to assure myself that statistically speaking, most girls don't have eating disorders, they have disordered eating...just like they'll probably smoke a few packs of cigarettes before they realize that it makes them feel bad and oh yeah, it isn't healthy.
I can't save anyone. And I don't know why admitting that feels like a failure, it just is.