Sorry about the password change

First, the technical:

Since the Wynona, JulieV thing, I’ve run the sitemeter on this site.

Tonight I checked the weekly email and found that (From Newton, Mass) was on my website. Every day since Nov 23, this person has checked in. Now, if anyone here has a Mac and comes in from Massachusetts on the network, pop me an email. The last time she came in was 7:40pm, tonight….

I am 99% positive this is Julie. But just to be sure, I figure to put the info out here. If you are reading this message, then you have gotten the new password.

Now, the emotional part of my feels really icky. I mean, since the day before Thanksgiving, this person has been checking my blog once a day? Why? Why does she go away? What is it that she is following ME? I would rather sit back, enjoy my kids, my messy house, my work, my relax with the blog, but now I am slightly put off.

Sigh.  I was asked if I could ban her IP. Apparently I can only ban comments which I set up as soon as I set this website up.  So, if she still gets in, then I know it is from her.

Ok- I will not let her get to me!

Between the Sheets

A discussion between Soleil and I last night after Daddy put her to bed.
"Mommy? Why are dinosaurs mean?"
"Why do you think they are mean?"
"Because they eat other dinosaurs"
"That doesn’t mean they are MEAN, that just means they eat animals. Do you remember what Simba wanted to eat?"
"A zebra"
"Right, does that mean Simba is mean to the zebras?"
"No, mommy,he’s just hungry"
"Right, same with the dinosaurs"
"yes Babe"
"Why did dinosaurs eat people?"
"Dinosaurs didn’t eat people. They died, became extinct, long before people were around"
"oh. Why did people come later?"
"That’s hard to explain. Can you trust me on that one?"
"yes, Sol"
"Why were there no parking lots when there were dinosaurs?"
"They didn’t have cars"
"But they might have had cars"
"They didn’t Soleil. Don’t most dinosaurs have 4 legs and no arms?"
"But Mommy, they could STAND on the back legs and drive with their front legs"
"They could have, but they didn’t"
"Why didn’t dinosaurs have cars?"
"They weren’t that smart, Sol."
"yes babe?"
"Why were the dinosaurs not smart?"
"Because they had tiny little heads with tiny little brains and they didn’t sleep when their mommies told them to. Goodnight baby! Sleep tight"

Have I mentioned she’s 3 and a half?

Little known facts about Nance

As my files are converting to JPEG format for tomorrow’s presentation, here’s a few little know facts about me.

  1. I really do have a master’s degree in astronomy. I almost did a Ph.D. I was accepted at Ohio State and I turned them down to stay with Dr. Jay. We knew that our relationship would not last the distance, so I chose him over astronomy.
  2. I am the tallest person in my immediate family. I am 5’3". Dad and I are the same height.(by contrast, Dr. Jay is 6’1")
  3. I love country music. Something in the pure soul of it gets to me. But really, honky-tonk does it for me. Fortunately for Dr. Jay, I don’t listen to it in the house.
  4. I love to paint, but I haven’t had much time since the girls were born. I am working on a painting for my brother in law.
  5. Mystery novels and murders are my favorites. I know many ways to murder, and have good ideas of how to get away with it… Of course, I would never try it, but it is interesting when I run across a real case in the news

Oy my aching head!

Wow, I wonder constantly where life goes and how it goes so fast?

First things first, T-shaped girl is a MOM! Did ya hear that? A MOM! I am so psyched! She looks so happy with her little girl! I am sure she will post photos when she gets back in the US.

My girls are keeping me busy. Last night I wasted my time reading a dumb novel called "The confessions of Super Mom" If you are interested in it, let me tell you, Don’t waste your time! A friend told me it was bad, but then lent it to me anyway. I needed some brain candy as the Cowboys were on TV (ugh, have I mentioned I am from Buffalo? Anyone remember the Bills and the Cowboys in the early 90s? Anyone?, Enough said!)
The girls had worn me down during the day. Monday is my day home with them. Luna still thinks she is Soleil’s age and size. It kills me. Soleil thinks she can run outside without a parent. I had to pull out the "I am so disappointed" mommy voice. She was upset for over a half of an hour… I didn’t yell, just used THE VOICE.

I am working on a project at work where I am taking someone’s photon model and converting it to a C library.* Can’t use C++, that would be too easy. Did the person give us the Makefile? No, that would be too easy. Any record of what libraries he uses? No! Again, that would make this EASY for me.
So here I am, trying to run a piece of code that has NO makefile, just the source and the executable. UGH! and double UGH… I need some caffeine (coffee just finished brewing) and some relaxation!

I keep thinking about something Amber wrote. It really resonates with me. Dr. Jay is Jewish. I am agnostic at best. However, he and I talked about kids and religion early on and he wanted the kids to be Jewish. That is fine with me. We have a Jewish household, we do the Jewish holidays, but somewhere, I miss something. Things are not natural for me. I need to constantly work with Dr. Jay to figure out what sort of stuff I need to know for my kids. It took me a long time to be OK with going to visit my family during the Christmas season. We tell our kids that we are helping my family celebrate Christmas. It is what people do. They help others celebrate holidays even if they don’t believe… But somehow, I wonder what they are missing by me not being Jewish….

*If you don’t understand this, don’t worry. It’s a programming thing. My former job was software engineer and part of the justification of getting a promotion this year was to do this programming job. It would help if the guy from MIT would actually respond to my emails… but NO, no no again, that would be too easy

Andrea Yates in the news again

Have you heard? Andrea Yates is in the news again. Her conviction was thrown out (again). I wonder if this will get tried again.

I follow this out of interest. I have PPD. This is more than just "baby blues". It is not something that you "snap out of". And, no Tom, vitamins will not help. This is a disease. A chemical imbalance. Pregnancy does a number on your body. I sometimes envy men in that they have basically the same hormone levels every day of the month, they don’t bleed and they don’t turn into a basket ball carrying basket case during pregnancy. (Although they have to actually remember all of these insane baseball stats and they risk "jock itch", so maybe it is a good trade off.)

In my case, I have a history of depression. I never really sought help, a little during college, but the counselors were so overwhelmed that when I called after a breakup, I was told I could see someone in 2 weeks. I had already been seeing someone and if I couldn’t get in then, I figured I should suck up and deal myself. I spent several nights on the 7th floor of the chemistry building, staring out the window with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. I may have gained 6 lbs, but I did get through the crisis alone.

How does one describe PPD? It’s hard. Dark is the word I would use most. Very dark. Your thoughts, how you see the world, how you think the world sees you. I would have some very happy days followed by a huge drop. It is scary. I can’t really come up with the words. You can see your thoughts and you think, "hmm, that’s not quite me, is it?" but the thoughts keep coming. Nothing seems (GOAL! Sabres score!*) right. A small story, when I was 13 weeks pregnant with Luna, the depression really kicked in. It started around 7 weeks and I made sure my docs knew, but I was off of the anti-depressants. One night I was doing something  to my hand with a knife. I still don’t really remember what. But Dr. Jay stopped me and I called my doc for meds the next day.. It is very scary to not really know what you are doing..or why…

So I follow the Andrea Yates things. It brings an incredible struggle up in me. I can’t understand killing your own children. However, I do know she has PPP (psychosis). This is much worse than I can imagine. How do we balance mental illness and a person’s actions? Can I be sane, yet do something when the PPD takes over than I would never do normally? I truly believe that she is mentally ill. She needs help, but should she be punished the same way that someone who kills in cold blood? I can’t reconcile these two things…

*I am watching the Buffalo Sabres play. I am an avid hockey fan and the Sabres are my team… gotta cheer when they score since they are in a losing streak!

Shower curtains, jobs,houses, and death

Today I had a Physical Therapy appointment for my left foot. I’ve had pain for about a year now. I had to stop running in April and hoped that it would get better. A friend who is a PT told me it was plantar fascitis.
I finally went to my doctor and she assigned me to PT. Fast forward to today.

Wen-Chi, the PT, remembered me from a previous injury. After a 5 minute exam, we were able to sort out the whole thing. In April, 2003, I tore my calf muscle, a second degree tear. Apparently, this has scarred badly and I haven’t stretched as I should have and, well, the flexibility in my calf is down to nothing. My Achilles doesn’t flex. Lovely. So I got some ultrasound and steroid therapy on my foot and strict orders to start stretching, 3-5 times a day.

2003 was a crazy year. Soleil was born in the summer of 2002. We quickly realized when Dr. Jay’s parents came to visit, that our house was too small. We decided to start to look. At the same time, I was unhappy miserable at work. My boss had decided to quit during my maternity leave and the new boss was completely unsupportive of my part time schedule. In fact she demoted my evaluation because I was no longer going "above and beyond" the call of duty. I had just been diagnosed with post partum depression and had start antidepressants. And lastly, my friend Crazy H was pregnant. I was thrilled for her!

We found a house in November. I got scared and we backed out of sending the offer. The next week, I had regained my senses and we offered. We structured the deal in such a way that we would have extra time to sell our house and we told our buyer’s agent that this was our only offer. If they said no, we would walk away. Much to our surprise, they took it!

We were able to sell our house in February. It took 6 weeks and I was very stressed. My job sucked. My boss sucked. I was at the AAS (American Astronomical Society) meeting in January when I discovered that the Science Ops team was looking for a new person. I talked to Paul, the guy who was hiring. He and I talked a bit and then in early Feb, he offered a full day interview. I took a personal day and we held the interview at the Operations Control Center, where my boss at the time would never go.

Things were looking up! February was going well! We had an offer on our house, we had set the dates for the closing to allow for 4 days in between. Paul and Dan(Paul’s boss) had decided that they wanted to hire me and it was all an HR nightmare to deal with and to deal with the transition with my current bitch boss. We got an invitation for Crazy H’s shower. I sent an email to ask what was up with the registry. She replied the shower was off. Uh oh, that is not good. Her son had been measuring behind. A level II ultrasound showed the signs of Trisomy 18, three copies of the 18th Chromosome. An amnio had been performed to confirm.

The results came back, Matthew had Trisomy 18. He would most likely not live long after birth. At this point, it was illegal to terminate the pregnancy in our state and I am not sure that they wanted to make such a decision. I gave Soleil extra hugs that night.

In early March*, Crazy H, Soleil and I went for a walk. H pointed out that Matthew had not moved for a while. I stressed that she had better go call her doctor. She and I knew that he had died, but she wasn’t ready to deal with that. She called a day later and set up the induction of labor for March 12. I took the day off of work to be the baby photographer. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done. Dr. Jay tipped me off to a filter called a "warming filter". I was able to get one and this brought Matthew’s skin tones a bit more to the red side. I didn’t go in until they were ready and Matthew had been born. I shot two rolls and some digitals for them.

H and her husband set the memorial on our moving day. I don’t think they thought about that (why would they) so we scrambled to find someone to cover the move so we could go to the service. MIL was in town to help Soleil with the move. The last weekend of March was packing, unpacking, moving, a memorial service and stress.

The first week of April was also crazy. It was a Sunday night, my birthday. I decided that we might actually be ready to use the master shower. I had purchased a shower curtain earlier that day (big birthday present, eh?) and was in the process of hanging it when I heard this hideous ripping sound. That was my calf muscle ripping. I fell in pain and tried to make it to the hallway. I called Dr. Jay and said "Call H, see if she can come and watch Soleil. I just did something REALLY bad to my leg"

I ended up at the ER for about 4 hours. Once they confirmed it was NOT the Achilles, and just the calf, I was given crutches, some great pain killers and sent home. What a way to end your birthday!

I believe all of that stress contributed to my rip. Which has lead to my current foot issues.
Interesting how it all ties together. Life goes around and around. You never know when something as simple as a shower curtain is going to throw you off.

*We also had a meeting in a ski resort near Montreal in March. Just to toss in some more fun. Soleil and I went for a long weekend up there and drove back home…

What happened to my Brain?

I wish I had some really deep things to write about. Unfortunately, I don’t think my brain goes that deep anymore. Today was a snapshot of the insanity that is life right now.

  • Wake up at 7am to Luna who is throwing toys at herself in the crib
  • Let her watch some Noggin and Sesame Street while we caught more sleep
  • Soleil comes in at 8:30  (amazing!)
  • We rested while Daddy goes to decide to get up
  • Soleil and Daddy make pancakes (always a laugh, she eats the flour-RAW)
  • Luna meltsdown during breakfast. Only giving her bowls of applesauce calm her
  • Kick Dr. Jay to the shower, do dishes, convince the girls that instead of hitting each other, they should "count" on the microwave’s touch pad. Whoops! Someone hit the popcorn button and they had a magnet in the microwave. Quickly stop it and remove magnet.
  • Change Luna, dress both girls, Leave them with Dr. Jay
  • Immediately hear screaming as I start the shower. I used up all of their calm time. Oh well, Dr. Jay can deal
  • Decide we HAVE to get out of the house. We decide to go to the Franklin Park Zoo. They have lions there. Soleil is obsessed with the Lion King. Bing bing bing! We have a winner!
  • Forget that it is impossible to get to the Franklin Park Zoo (we usually go to the Stone Zoo). Take over an hour to get there.
  • Enjoy the zoo for 2-3hours.
  • Drive home, Luna passes out in 2 minutes. Discovered we could take 93 home, took 25 minutes to drive back.
  • Let the girls play while I put a top coat on the doors*
  • Stopped doing the doors so Dr. Jay could have a break.
  • Helped play with the girls while dinner was prepared.
  • Dinner, aka disaster. Luna decided that rubbing the couscous down her shirt was far more fun than actually eating it, until I offered chicken, at which point, she devored about 2/3 of my chicken breast. Soleil decided she couldn’t eat. She was too busy deciding which halloween candy she would eat.
  • Bath time! let’s get rid of that couscous. I read a magazine. Suddenly, Soleil jumps out. I notice some extra stuff in the tub. Oh crap, Luna’s pooped in the tub again. Pull out Luna. Start to clean up, realize this is about a week’s worth of Luna poop. Ask Soleil. yup, Soleil didn’t want to stop playing so she pooped in the tub. (slap head several time here) Clean up while Dr. Jay cleans girls.
  • Watch our nighttime tv (Sagwa tonight) and then Luna gets mad that Soleil is eating a KitKat. Sigh… Honey, you are too little for a KitKat, here, have some Joe O’s (bowl is threatened with harm)
  • Get Luna to bed. Try to get Soleil to bed. finally loose my cool, Dr. Jay takes over. Submit an abstract for an upcoming meeting…Soleil comes down for more milk…Sigh

Oy, And now it is 9:23, and I am exhausted. I wonder what the heck did I get done today. And then I get annoyed that I can’t come up with creative and thought provoking stuff.

I need more chocolate. And better football on TV

*a little known fact, I love DIY projects. Right now, we are replacing our hollow core pine interior doors with 6 panel solid pine doors. We have done 3, I am finishing the staining and sealing of the last 4. We should install them next week. I love real wood. One day, I want to learn enough wood working to do furniture

I shouldn’t but….

I know, I know, when your kid does something stupid, you should not laugh… But this morning when Luna decided to run away from Dr. Jay, she forgot that she needs to look for the wall. You guessed it. the girl took one step RIGHT INTO THE WALL. She bounced off like nothing happened and then continued to run away as I turned away laughing. And not just laughing. It was that rip roaring laughing that it hurts. You can’t breathe.

I can see it now. Her therapist is going to have to deal with this one in the future. "I was only 16 months old and my mom laughed at me for walking into a wall"

Please note, no children were actually hurt during the scenes depicted in this post!