Drinking games

So I had to schedule a meeting early yesterday in the case it ran late because I had a meeting with Luna’s teacher. Not a bad meeting, but the regular Parent Teacher conference.

I have been dreading this. Luna is a complex child. Only recently, have I figured out that if we let her play a small video game before bed (10 min?) she goes to bed well. It has to do with showing herself that she can win at something. She won’t often share things from school. When asked how her day was, she says "I don’t want to tell you" Sigh…(head hanging down and shaking). When we ask her to read at night, she refuses.

My meeting went well in the sense that her teacher and I described that same child. She does great academically. She is at grade level or above for all academic stuff except her letters (she writes backwards sometimes, not the letters, but the entire sentence goes Right to Left…is this a problem? Or is she f*ing around with everybody?) However, her behaviors are a problem. She still demands one on one attention. She will over react to bumps and pushes from friends. She won’t sit still or shut up during circle time. She distracts her friends. I did ask if when "not attentive" was marked low if this meant a) she ignores the teacher, b) she won’t sit still, but can parrot back the commands, or c) she just gets involved in something else. I explained that b) is the MO in our house, but then again, she may act differently in school.

I did start the conference with "So, has my child lead to drink?" Her teacher laughed. And then said that it was not an inappropriate question. Sigh. At the end of the meeting, she wished me luck when Luna is 14… Great!

20 lbs?

You know that movie "7 pounds"? Ok, ok, I am not going to kill myself for 7 pounds of organ and tissue donation. But, I do have 20 extra pounds hanging around from the past 2 years. Seriously? 20 lbs in 2 years? Yes…

My thyroid is still out of whack and it has been for a while. I have an ongoing problem with Dr. Jay where I have been trying to get him for a certain doctor appointment (nothing terrible, but he’s a MAN and they don’t do doctors). So we had a deal. If I call my endocrinologist, he would set up the other appointment.

Fine. Monday I called and I got an immediate appointment on Tuesday. Wow! So I went in yesterday. We talked. I have good days/bad days. I have nights I can’t sleep because I took the slightly larger dose of meds and nights I pass out early because I took the lower dose. We switched my medicines yesterday.

I am now on a T3 medication (cytomel) plus my T4 medication (levoxyl) at a lower dose (Thyroid primer…T4 metabolizes into T3 which gives the pituitary the right level of Thyroid stimulating hormone(TSH) to put out…get TSH right, you should be ok).

My hopes are that this gets my TSH levels good (I am good now!Finally at 1.96!!!, but I can’t handle the daily shifts of energy) and with luck, I can start losing these extra 20 lbs. Because I am healthier than this. I don’t need the extra weight. I would not say I am fat, but I have more excess than I need. My clothes feel it, I feel it and I want to be healthier…

SO wish me luck as we see if the new medicine works or not… And if I can lose these 20 lbs…

Oh- and a side effect is that it may make my antidepressants work better! Bonus!

Square Peg- Round Hole

As children we are encouraged to march to our own drummer. Be different! Don’t follow the herd! Be unique! Don’t be like everybody else.
As parents, we encourage our children to think outside of the box. In the case of Soleil, the box is in and entirely different room, but still, we encourage individuality in our children.

But…are people okay with being individuals?
Okay, Nance (you are saying in your head). What the hell are you talking about?

I am very unique. I am not the average person.
I am a woman who loves sports.
I don’t wear high heels and skirts much
I am not a good girly girl
I work in astronomy, but I don’t have a PhD or just a Bachelor’s degree, I have a Master’s Degree which has long been considered a failure of a PhD. (Those who fail to pass the qualifying exam get a Master’s Degree and are sent on their way.)
I am married to a Jewish man and raising Jewish children, but I am not Jewish. Hell, I think I am more atheist than anything else.
I like home decorating and home remodeling.
I like to paint my nails and get them dirty.
I am a girl Scout leader who is teaching to girls to respect the world and themselves, but to not be afraid to question and not be a sheep.

Most of the time, I enjoy being the odd ball. I work mostly with men. I was at a meeting yesterday with only one other woman about of 12 people. My team has never had another female on it and in most meetings, I am the only female.
I don’t mind lewd jokes and the only time I feel harassed is when I see blatant discrimination against women (one person at work is extremely harsh on female parents).

But yesterday, I was slammed with not fitting in. And I was terribly hurt. And it isn’t anyone’s fault, but just a rejection of me for not fitting in.

I was offered a position on the Board of Trustees at our Temple. I was very honored. I was told several people offered my name for nomination. And I thought "This is an opportunity to step up and give the interfaith families a voice!" I could express our concerns and the recent push by the Union of Reform Judaism’s push for conversion of interfaith spouses.

When this was offered, I did express concern that I am not Jewish. I have never felt that I should convert. It would be lying to convert. I am concerned about the Jewish community. I am concerned about Jewish history. My children are Jewish. They have Jewish blood in their veins, they are proud to be Jewish and they love what they are learning about their heritage.

I was told yesterday, that the offer to serve on the Board of Trustees was retracted. Only Jews may serve on that Board. I understand it. Really I do! It would be like an Italian serving a leadership role in the French-American society. I can’t pretend to be what I am not.

And to be perfectly honest? I was really hurt by this. I didn’t realize how much being myself and having a separate rhythm leaves me excluded. I can’t help bring forth my ideas, because I don’t fit in. I sometimes feel odd at "girls night out" event because I am not very girl. (There is high irony in that statement as I am writing this on a plane on the way to a women’s weekend away!) I have been called Dr. Spacemom by some people and when i correct them, they are surprised that I don’t fit what they think I am and who I am.

I will get over the hurt. I am not sure if I should fight for the right for a non-voting member of the Board of Trustees to be added for interfaith families.

So is it good to be the square peg in a world of round holes? Should we push our children to be individuals? What about the pain? Do we ever consider that?

Miscellaneous bullets

  • Going away for the weekendto Chicago. Yes, leaving a 70 degree day to go to 40s. But to be with friends with tequila.
  • Neighbor who had 3 feet of water in the house had an appointment today with a local french drain company to upgrade her sump pump today:irony or bad luck? discuss
  • Just bought a bike for Soleil from a friend. She got too big for her bike that lasted three seasons!
  • I had bought 2 sets of tickets for Buffalo Sabre hockey tickets, I just had to sell them also. Sigh… I will be away for both
  • I just bought a plane ticket and a car rental for April. Dad needs surgery so I am going down for mom
  • Life is very busy
  • sigh

A Photo Essay of Hawai’i (warning- lots of photos)

Warning: This is mostly a post of photos, it may take a while to load.

View from the hotel

We learned about the Ancient Hawaiians


We walked on the lava coast at the place of Refuge (ignore my thighs..)


We got sand in our shoes


We saw dolphins in captivity


and Humpback whales in the wild


We hiked down to a beautiful black sand beach at Waipio Valley




And we swam at the black beach





We even hiked back up again


We enjoyed a resort luau and made Dr. Jay dance with the hula guys



We drove across the Island to see a volcano in action



And to walk where the volcanoes had thrown their lava


And where it ran over a town


We saw the sea and the lava meet



All in all, I would say we had fun




Oh, and the meeting was A-okay!(note- Name tag…see it really was a meeting!)


Back again

Travel never ceases to amaze me. I can climb aboard a tiny metal airship, sleep (if my kids are not around), and awake in a completely different time zone and geography.

We went to Hawaii for a meeting last week. It was a great trip. The girls went to the camp at the resort during 2 of the days (there was a snafu and they weren’t open the other 2 days). The meeting itself went from 8:30am to 9pm, constant talks. Dr. Jay’s poster presentation was up 2 days, my poster presentation was up the other 2 days. We spent much of the time in talks or discussing things with other scientists. I got a chance to meet some of the observers I support through their observations in person, and I got to hear about their science.

The girls had a blast. We did some sightseeing and we discovered that Soleil is terrified of little bluish-black crabs that crawl on lava rock. Personally, I think it is because it looks like the rock is alive, but she was pretty freaked. We also discovered that if Luna wants something badly enough, she can do it. She wanted to swim on a black sand beach. So we went here: (photo by Jesse at http://www.bestpicturegallery.com/)

This is Waipio Valley. The beach is totally black sand. We WALKED from the top that is in this photo to the beach you see in the photo. You see where the river meets the sea? Yeah, Luna HIKED down there and back with no whining! This topographic map shows that it is about a 1200ft drop

We walked the black road from the overlook to the floor of the Valley and then doubled back on the trail to the beach.

When I get the photos, I will post them! Jay is hiding them on his computer!

Amazing the things kids can do…

Another day in Paradise

It is now Wednesday, and we have been at our top secret meeting location since Saturday. It has been a wild ride, a VERY busy meeting (sessions from 8:30am to 9pm, obviously not everybody is going to every session), and the girls are with us.

The biggest snafu that has hit us was the daycamp. This resort meeting place has a daycamp for kids. We have been emailing, etc for the weeks leading to the trip to help set up the camp. Turns out, they don’t check email or voice mail (WTF?) and they were only open MWF this week. Crud. They went all day Monday and today. Yesterday, we planned our sessions carefully and one or the other of us was with them. It worked out well, but we had a funny food day including cereal for dinner last night!

The other fun, is that our tropic paradise location in the Pacific was in the path of the tsunami that was released Saturday. We decided to fly to San Francisco anyway and see what the situation was at that point. Fortunately, the highest waves went south of here and only minor damage occurred, but the hotel we are in was evacuated for most of the day Saturday. It was a little stressful to see how things were going to go, but on the other hand, we would at least have gotten a day in San Fran if we couldn’t make it the meeting!

I have been thinking too much on the ride here and while watching the ocean. It turns out that my current depressive funk is not just the lack of solar radiation in Boston, but a real depressive episode. This pleases me not, but as long as a recognize the demon for what it is, I am on the winning side.

The place here is awesome, but I surprised at how busy I am with the meeting. Friday is a day "off" so we plan on visiting a volcano nearby. I think the kids will like that!

If I get a chance, I will backdate some posts, but don’t count on too much internet time from me. Too busy with work (yea, I am serious!)