Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Place You'll (We Could) Go

There’s been a lot of stress, family drama, sickness, and lack of sleep around here.  So, I like to escape to my happy place when I drift off at night and think about the places I want to travel to, the plans I have for once we get there, and realistically, what our next vacation is likely to be. 

This vacation will take place next year, and can be with or without Lis.  I think it is lioekly that it would be either late spring, or fall time frame. 

Without further ado, ten places in no particular order (and believe me, places 11-20 are very close behind 1-10):

1.       The Florida Keys.  Key West would be the obvious choice.  I’ve heard great things about Siesta Key, and Duck Key.  I’m kind of at a loss past these.  Maybe Key Largo? Islamorada? That has the coral reef.  Little Torch Key?  The Keys would be super easy to get to, and Vor and I love the idea of flying into the mainland Florida, renting a convertible, and driving to a key.  I would want the following out of a key: clear water, pretty beaches, warm weather, good resteraunts with strong drinks, and easy access to cool snorkeling.

2.       A national parks tour, preferably the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone,  Rocky Mountain, Grand Tetons variety.  I did this as a kid, and I loved it.   I've been back, and loved it even more. Educational, beautiful, outdoorsy, secluded, as many or as few activities as you want—hiking, campfires, white water rafting, etc. I love mountains. I love water. I love trees.   I love no cell phone service.  Vor loves these things too.

3.       Hawaii.  I’ve been, twice.  I can’t get enough.  Vor would love to go to Pearl Harbor, and do lots of the historical/military things on the main island.  I’ve done these, but it’s been a while, so I would really like to do them again. I want to spend more time on Maui and Kauai.  This is where we originally planned our honeymoon for, so I have tons of books and plans—kayaking on a plantation, zip lining through the forest, hiking, the best beaches, snorkeling, sunset cruises, etc.  I have places to stay picked out, volcanoes to check out, and sushi to enjoy.  The plans are all there, just waiting for the execute button to be pushed.  In the meantime, I slather on my pineapple face scrub in the mornign and sigh deeply.  OH! Did you know that when you come back from Hawaii, you can get a crate of pineapples to bring back with you?  I had pineapple sores on my mouth for a month after I got back the second time. 

4.       Colorado / Arizona / Nevada.  Colorado ended up being our honeymoon place, and we have a B&B that we love to go to.  We’ve been back to the same place, and they’ve kind of adopted us.  Last time we were there, it was just us and the owners, and we all drank far too much wine, sitting on their back porch, overlooking the Rocky Mountains and the sunset.  LOVE.  We have family and friends in Arizona and Nevada that we really want to see, plus! The Grand Canyon! Lake Mead! Sabido Canyon! Horseback rides at sunset through Tucson! Las Vegas! (I hate Las Vegas, but that’s where my best friend lives. Plenty of other thigns to do there!).

5.       A cruise, any cruise.  I’ve never been.  No idea what I would want out of it—a glacier cruise through Alaska? White sand beaches with crystal clear water? Through the Panama Canal?  The problem is, Vor and I tend to be more of go-on-our-own people, and a cruise seems very confining.  So, it's on the list, becaus eI think it would be fun to do with one couple that we are really close friends with. 

6.       England. I’ve been, but not for more than a few days.  There was so much to do that I just couldn’t get to. Vor would love the history, the museums, and so on.  Me too, since I missed many of those.  Tea.  Tea.  Tea.  We’re tea snobs over here, people.  There’s so much, I could have an entire post on it, and I have several guidebooks, so I’m just going to stop. 

7.       France.  I’ve been, and I used to be fluent.  I’m still pretty good reading and listening, through there is definitely a translation lag.  Speaking is pretty shaky.  I’d like to brush up, since there’s nothing the French love to hate more than an American who can’t or won’t make an attempt to speak French.  I actually have week long rental apartments picked out in various arrondissments in Paris, all with some sort of attraction—close to a metro entrance, great view of Eiffel Tower, right behind the Louvre, on Monmontre, etc.  I have day trips planned out—Versailles, Loire Valley, Giverny, Fontainebleau, and so on.  I have longer trips that would be better as overnights planned out as well: Normandy, Bayeaux, Mont-St-Michel, Aix-en-Provenance, Provenance.  I know which train goes where, and I am dying to get Vor on the TGV.  He loves trains.  I have family in Luxemburg, so I want to do that as well, and see them.  I know which museum pass to get, and which ones tops my list of things to see.  Sigh.  Clearly, I really want this one. 

8.       Italy.  Never been.  Want to go.  No real plans or desires yet, just please? Olives? Pasta? Rome?

9.       Japan.  Never been, would be fun.  Even more vague ideas about this one, though Vor has a more concrete set of things he wants to do and see there.  He leans towards an “imperial China” tour as well, but I really hesitate with China now that we are parents.  The what if’s just keep circling.  I’ve been to South Korea, so I lean towards going back there, because it was wonderful.  We’ve settled on agreeing on Japan. 

10.   A return to Ireland. Oh, the plans I have for this.  Some things we would repeat and maybe do a   little differently or more in depth (Galway, Aran Islands, Kilarney/Kenmare). Some things we would skip (Cashel). We still would have to go to Limerick to see my family, but I’m not terribly keen on spending a ton of time there, because its nickname is Stab City.  I lived in Limerick for a summer, and I’ve done it to death.  Nothing to really see there, though the university was great and pretty.  There’s places to go that we didn’t get to do: Connemara, Dingle, Waterford, etc.  I would like to take a leisurely few day stroll around the Beara Peninsula.  If we are going at low tourist time (which we would definitely do again), I would consider the (in)famous Ring of Kerry, but taking a couple days to do it.  I think I would like to spend more time on the Aran Islands, and maybe spend a night there.  We really enjoyed our time there.  We loved Galway, and we would happily move there and live there for a few years.  Vor would want to go back to Blarney, and I think we would enjoy spending the night there instead of rushing through it.  Neither of us have given too much through to Northern Ireland, but we might.


Close calls: Montreal, Budapest, Prague, Germany, Amsterdam (that's never going to work out because hey! yo! I am allergic to marijuana and marijuana smoke), Spain, Lisbon, Australia, New Zealand, a safari, Switzerland, a "southern comfort" tour (ie, Charleston to Savannah), and so on.

I dream big, people.

Also, what the heck happened to my formatting?

I'm Declaring My House Off Limits For Several Reasons

You know why it's Thursday and I haven't posted in a week?  See the following:

1. Lis is sick and I have changed more explosive blow out disgusting diapers than I ever care to admit to count or remember or experience again.  Several outfits, hers, his, and mine have been discarded as hopeless; our bedspread is missing; the carpet needs to be professionally cleaned.  Here, and at Mama Vor's house.

2. Starting two weeks before surgery, we have had house guests every weekend.  That's about two months of not having the house to ourselves.  So, when some friends wanted to come this coming weekend, and my parents scheduled a trip for the following weekend, I crawled under the bed and cried until Vor called them all and said no way.  I am still recovering from the nervous breakdown.

3. Work.  Hearings every day, charity events on weekends.

4. Did I mention the poop?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

And Myself


I remember working out in January, February, March of 2011.  I remember thinking about how I needed to, in order to be able to hoof it all over Ireland.  I was being extra vigilant about my no sugar no processed foods diet, because I knew I was going to behave badly when I was in Ireland (Ireland without scones YEAH RIGHT). 

We got quite a bit of exercise in Ireland, walking and biking almost everywhere.  We ate well, and for the first time in a long time, I ignored my rules.  We came back to the states.  My mother in law had surgery for breast cancer within three weeks of getting back.  I tried to return to my normal way of eating, but I felt constantly off, nauseous.  Then, of course, the day before my mother in law’s surgery, I took that lovely little test, and that delightful pee stick later became Hershey who became Lis. 

So, the exercise routine was off, because I felt terrible and was exhausted and had no time after work.  And since I threw up everything, even water, my diet was wacked.  Even once I was (heavily) medicated to prevent malnutrition and dehydration, the only things I could keep down were spinach, boiled chicken, bread, and strawberries.  Even then, the spinach and chicken weren’t okay until well into the third trimester.

What I’m saying is, pregnancy sucked and threw off my exercise and diet.  End of story. 

You know what? It is freaking hard to be a new mom and get back in the exercise swing of things.  It’s even harder once you’re back at work.  It’s hard being off the bandwagon for a year or more and then dragging yourself back on.  Toss in things like, oh, I don’t know, BRAIN SURGERY and you have a recipe for disaster for me—I have not taken care of myself in ages.  Vor basically has to drag me into the bedroom like he is a caveman, hit me over the head with a club, and leave me in the bed to sleep, because I always feel like I should be doing something for Lis, for him, for the house, for work.  And when I do relax and vegetate, I read or watch an episode of some sci-fi show.  I don’t sleep, or work out, or do any of the things I should.

My family was here last weekend.  After what was otherwise a delightful trip, some of them had some choice comments about my weight (keep in mind, my family is all freaking tall and size 0-4.  Except me. So excuse me for getting the short end of the stick genetically to begin with.  I have to work four times as hard as they have ever had to do in the life in dealing with weight).  Let’s ignore the whole hurtful and unhelpful part of that.  The essence—that I was not taking care of myself—is true.  The idea of exercise has been a  joke.  I have not gotten any manicures or pedicures in a year (these are usually a 2-3 times a year treat for me).  I have not had my hair cut in MORE THAN A YEAR PEOPLE.  For someone with curly, thick, wavy hair, that is nasty.  It was a nightmare.  I have no clothes that fit me. 

So, enter hurtful comments.  Enter sad Grace, enter raging Vor.  It resulted in me reactivating a gym membership on Tuesday, and setting up a schedule with Vor to make it possible for me to go twice during the week and once on the weekend.  On Wednesday, when my mother in law said she wanted to pick up Lis from daycare, I jumped, said yes, and called in a last minute haircut.  It was glorious, and my hair looks delightful.  I promptly turned around and booked another haircut for November, because I am not letting that happen again. 

I made to the gym this morning, and into the office on time.  I’m exhausted from another night of a wakeful Lis, but at least I am not harboring that awful feeling of resentment—not against Lis or Vor, more of a resentment against my past self, who had time to do these things.  Now that I am doing them, I don’t resent my past self anymore.  And it’s only been a week. 

Over the next two weeks, I fully intend on getting my hands and feet tended to (this is usually a once in a while treat for me anyways), and I am buying some clothes that fit.  Yeah, the point of the gym is get into my normal clothes, but you know what? Nothing fits right now.  And the more I punish myself right now, the less inclined I am to do anything to fix it.  So, just a few tops, and a few pairs of pants.

Care and love and attention given to all, including me.  I have to remember that part.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Weak, To Whom Sleep Belongs



Around 3 and a half months old, Lis started essentially sleeping through the night.  She might need us to come in and give her her ditty (pacifier) back, or she might want her diaper changed, or once in awhile, she would want food.  Mostly, she was tired and wanted to sleep.  Woe to anyone who woke her when she did not want to be woken.  It was not pretty.

So from 3.5 months to 6.5 months, we had an awesome sleeper.  Sure, some nights were worse than others, and some were downright blissful.  That’s three glorious months of sleep.

Then, Lis had her surgery, and everything has gone to hell in a hand basket. 

At 1:20 p.m. at work the other day, I put my face down on my glass desk, vaguely seeing how it would fog up as I breathed.  I didn’t care.  I was so tired that I dozed off for two minutes, until my chair rolled out from underneath me and I almost would up on my office floor. 

With the exception of one glorious night, where Lis slept until 7:30 in the morning, she has woken up at least twice.  That’s not so bad, but they are not just wake ups with a  quick return.  They’re the “walk me around the house” kind of wake ups.  Worse than that has been her pattern the last few nights—she wakes up at least once every hour, sometimes more.  Last night went something like this: Wake up at 11:15, 12:30, 1:05, 1:55 (diaper change), 2:55, 3:15, 4:30 (feeding), etc, etc, etc.  I was almost relived to go to work, even though I was so tired. 

There have been several nights of this now.

I don’t think either of us can keep this us.  Vor and I trade nights of and on, but she’s LOUD.  So, even though one of us is not getting up, we are both awake, wondering what we could do to help, if there is anything we could do, etc.  Lis can’t keep this up, because she’s seven months and she needs to sleep. 

I know this is a product of surgery.  First, her sleep schedule got al messed up by being out all day, and then further messed up by the pain medications.  Then, there was the problem of sleeping and being woken up by nurses at all hours.  Then, the eyes were swollen shut, and once she opened them again, she was terrified to close them.  She would get sleepy and start to drift off and wake up screaming, scared.

(here’s where I insert a mini rant regarding people who have told us to let her cry it out—it makes me want to wring necks.  "You need to let her learn how to self soothe! She doesn't know how to sleep on her own!"  GEE YOU THINK? That probably has nothing to do with the MAJOR TRAUMA she just experienced, RIGHT?  No way in hell am I letting my recently operated on baby cry it out, or if I can help, cry at all right now)

Anyways, there was pain she was still in, and that caused sleep problems.  Also, she lost her appetite from surgery and from the medicine, so she would eat less, but more often, which meant lots of nighttime feedings.

We may have had a breakthrough last night--not in terms of sleeping more, but in terms of food and then hopefully, that leads to sleeping more.  She finally ate some cereal, gnawed on a banana, and ate half of a freaking avocado.  Win.  Except for sleep last night.  That was still a fail.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Skipping a Beat, Singing a Dream*


I plop (quite literally, plop) Lis down on the recliner chair and wedge her in.  I hand her books and a rubber duck to play with, and I park myself on the floor in front of the chair, so that if she falls off, she will tumble into my arms.  Her aunt, my husband’s twin sister, is sitting across from me. 

AC: You’re so tall, squeaker.  You’re going to have all the height your daddy stole from me.  [She believes, not without foundation, that all of Vor’s height should have gone to her.  She would have made better use of it, athletically speaking). 

Me: Yeah, Lis.  Think of all the sports you can play.  You will be a champion volleyball player. [AC, a volleyball player and coach, grins.]  Or maybe a rower? [My favorite sport, closely followed by volleyball.]  I wouldn’t be opposed to a swimmer either, Lis.  Just not basketball, please.  Or hockey, the equipment is too expensive. 

AC: Oh, we can take up a collection from my friends who are hockey coaches.  No problem.  Maybe handball?

Me: Lacrosse?

AC: Ohh, yes!  Or water polo!  Or football!

Me: Football? [My head is quirked to the side]  I’m all for the girl power and football, but her knees! Her head! [My brain is thinking, OMG  her head her head her head].

AC: Okay, water polo.  Track.  Soccer!  Baseball!  Tennis!  I see college scholarships for all of these in your future!

We may be getting ahead of ourselves, here.  After all, this is the kid who is still sucking her fingers and toes.


   
On second thought, maybe she’ll be a super flexible gymnast.  Or ballet.  Or yoga master supreme.  Or anything, anything at all, anything she wants to be.


*Ragtime

Monday, August 13, 2012

Slow Decline, Post Trauma


I was holding Lis last night for her last feeding (HA that was a joke, she woke up a gazillion times last night) of the night.  She was so tired that she was falling asleep eating, and it got to the point where she was “sucking” but just moving her lips, but not actually doing anything else.  So, I took the bottle away and snuggled her.

Lis was out.  Her little rosebud mouth was hanging open, her checks were all puffed up, she had one hand flung up over eyes, as if we had named her Scarlett instead.  Her other hand was wrapped around my index finger.  When she falls asleep, she’s like her dad—she twitches.  So, there was the occasional leg twitch, but mostly, the twitches resulted her in gently, repeatedly, at fast but random intervals, squeezing my finger. 

I completely lost it.  The tears were just rolling down my face.  This sweet baby has a huge incision that is starting to scar from ear to ear across the top of her head.  I did that to her.  Yes, it needed to be done, but still.  I made that happen.  I don’t seem to be able to get past it. 

I’m having nightmares about this whole thing, even though we’re post-surgery.  They’ve been slowly increasing in frequency and intensity.  Sometimes, it’s just reliving it; sometimes, it’s like seeing all ways it could have gone horribly wrong, and living out those nightmares in my sleep.

We don’t have cable—we stream TV from our Apple TV and from Netflix.  So, our “screen saver” on our TV is all of our collective photos.  Yes, we were all sitting around, I was holding Lis, when pictures from the surgery popped up.  Vor, Vor’s mom, Vor’s sister were all looking at the pictures as they flashed by, talking about how scary it was, and how much better she is now.  Thankfully, they were absorbed in that, because if they had looked at me, they would have seen me making a fool of myself, crying silently, holding Lis, remembering, watching, reliving, blaming, what-if-ing. 

Everyone else seems to be getting past it., including Lis.  It’s just me.  Her incision is becoming a scar, and the parts that have already scarred are fading.  Mine… isn’t.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Apparently It Needed To Be Said

Dear Parents of the World,

Might I offer up a really helpful parenting tip?  Just a minor suggestion.  A little thing to implement.  No big deal, really.

Don't put out your cigarettes on your kid's skin.  Okay?  Thanks!  Bye!

XOXOXO [HATEHATEHATE]

Grace

Professional Baby Wrangling, Done By Professionals


It turns out that working a full time job while having a kid whose daycare is closed for the week for their summer vacation is really freaking hard to manage. 

Monday: I work from home with Lis.  She’s mostly okay, slightly needy.  Mama Vor (who has her own professional career) stops over for two hours in the middle of the day so I can take a five minute shower and work for the rest of the time, uninterrupted.  Glory be a willing grandma.  Vor doesn’t get home until 8:30 at night.  I am ready to pull my hair out at this point, except Lis has already ripped all the hair from scalp and is delighted with herself and her new trick of making me scream. 

Tuesday: I hand Lis over to Mama Vor for the day, who arrived 45 minutes later than we planned.  Can’t complain though—she is really helping me out this week.  I work nonstop, not eating, during the day.  At 4 pm, my head hits the glass desk, and I watch the glass fog up with my breath, not really caring about the smudge marks I am leaving.  Why? Because Lis decided it would be AWESOME to wake up last night as follows: 11:30 pm, 12:15 am, 1:45 am, 2:55 am, 3:30 am, 4:00 am, 4:30 am.  I go home at 4 pm, and nap for an hour.  Good thing, too, because Lis is ready to party all night long. 

Wednesday: Vor takes Lis for the day and works from home.  He comes to visit me at the office in the middle of the day so I can take her and he can make some phone calls.  When I get home, he looks exhausted and frazzled.  I suspect he billed negative hours today.  Lis once again refuses to sleep. 

Thursday: I have a hearing in the morning, so Mama Vor comes to take Lis for a  few hours in the morning.  She comes 30 minutes later than planned, and I rush to my hearing.  I rush back, eating in my car (which I never do).  I spring Mama Vor so she can return to her day.  Lis decides that today, her slave (me) shall hold her.  All day.  I type one handed.  I put the phone on mute when talking to other attorneys so that they can’t hear me breathe weirdly as I bounce up and down to occupy Lis. Lis has developed a new trick of spinning in your arms, causing you to constantly nearly drop her.  She also (cutely, loudly) says in your ear: MAMAMAMAMAMA BABABABABABA DADADADADADADA.  Lis practically collapses from exhaustion, but is woken up by thunderstorms that shake the house.  She sleeps part of the night in bed, then part of the night on Vor on the recliner chair.  Vor and I practically weep with exhaustion. 

Friday: Mama Vor takes Lis again.  She comes 45 minutes later than we planned.  I book it to work, draft motions, send emails, make phone calls, make the file run downtown.  I am home now, and I have 30 whole minutes before Lis comes back.  I plan on dropping dead of exhaustion.

Daycare resumes nest week.  Remember how I wept and agonized over sending Lis to daycare? Peace out, kid.  Have fun!  [Truly, this daycare is awesome and I love them and they love her and she loves them.  Two babies to one caregiver who has their degree in child-whatever? Sold!]

Friday, August 3, 2012

Women of the World, No Matter Your Politics

Hi, Ladies.  Are you liberal? Conservative? Somewhere in between? Far beyond either of those? Apolitical?

Come, gather round, and prepare to be outraged.

Vor handed me his iPad last night with a slight wince, with an article pulled up for me to read.  After handing over the article, he fled.  This is a bad sign, folks.

Here be the horror: New York City is at it again.  I know some people are opposed to Andrew Sullivan, but you should read this as well (he does a nice round up of the responses.

Outraged? Peeved? Pissed? Disbelief?  You have got to be fucking kidding me, right?

Throwing out the formula swag, whatever.  I don't care.  I don't need a pen that says Similac on it.  But documenting a medical reason for every bit of formula that goes into a baby's mouth?

What exactly is a medical reason?  Is it because you're on a drug that would pass into the breast milk, or maybe you had cancer and had to have your breasts removed.  Well, that seems medical, right?  What about tongue-tie? A serve under bite, so that my baby's lower lip at birth was literally inside her mouth? A latch and suck so powerful that layers of my skin are ripped off, and I bleed everywhere? A breast milk allergy? What if my milk doesn't come in for two whole weeks?  You want me to keep trying, and listen to my poor baby scream in hunger? What if I never ever experience a let down when my milk finally does come in?  What if I never make enough milk?  What if I'm going back to work right away? What if my baby refuses to latch, and just sits there and screams?  What about us sexual assault survivors, who barely made it through birth with our sanity in tact?  What if breastfeed is a trigger for memories for that past assault?

Why is the government, without finding me unfit, trying to parent my child for me, and dictate my choices for her?  "With every bottle a mother requests and receives, she'll get a talking to."  Yes, world, and you patronizing liberal leaning (MALE) politicians who pushed for this.  I know breast is best.  It is.  I think people understand that.  Am I unfit because, because Lis gets formula? No.  Has there been any finding that I am unfit?  No.  I've never been investigated by CPS (given my job, wouldn't that be a laugh a minute?  "Hey, Caseworker X, how the heck are you?!?").  I've never hit my child, I've never neglected her, I've never even had a moment's thought about anything that would bring her harm (lucky me, no PPD).  I seek all necessary medical attention for her, I love her to pieces, I barely let her cry.  Yet... somehow, you think I'm unfit to make a decision as to what to feed her? Wrong.  I don't need a talking to.  I know what I'm doing.  I'm parenting my child the way I want to, in a way that is perfectly safe and healthy for her.

This is why every woman, every person, of every political persuasion or political aversion should never NEVER EVER NEVER trust the government.  When I say that, I specifically mean, electing your party, the party you think is int he right, and then handing them a blank check of power to legislate morals, decision, lives, finances.  Because, you know what? Neither major political party can be trusted.  If you're conservative, you KNOW the government can't be trusted to keep spending in check, keep marriage between a man and a woman, or keep unborn babies alive.  If you're liberal, you now KNOW that the government can't be trusted to... well, to trust you.  To do what liberals think is most important in their social, private lives: stay the hell out.  Tolerate me, and my decisions.

Confused as to my politics?  Good.  It doesn't matter.  This is just something everyone, especially every woman, ESPECIALLY every woman who has ever had a child, and either formula fed, breast fed, or did some combination of both, should be absolutely incensed about.

Obviously, I am.  Nanny state, indeed.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Thing I've Never Done


That would be being nominated for one of these jobbies (Blogging Sisterhood), by Attorney at Large.  Seven things about me, then seven people?  Excellent.  My brain is toast after only 3 hours of sleep, and I need to be led around by the nose today, so pointing me in the direction of what I should be doing sounds good.  With no further ado:

1.       I am going to start this by confessing that I shall break the rules.  While I obviously do read more than seven blogs, I’m pretty sure that seven or more people don’t read mine.  Tagging a blog person who doesn’t read me seems… desperate? Presumptuous?  Pointless?  I blame this on myself, because while I have been reading all these blogs since 2006 or 2007, I just never commented until recently.  So, you’re not going to get seven people.  Mea culpa. 

2.       I may have mentioned that I love science fiction.  I have a draft book (like half the world, I suspect), huge chunks of it written, details outlined, back story planned, maps, charts, technology all detailed.  Of course, it’s science fiction.  And it was started with the help of my husband.  Now it’s languishing, for lack of time, because for some reason, my seven month old is not terribly interested in letting me work on it in peace.

3.       I almost dropped out of law school.  I don’t mean that I was thinking about it, I mean that I had the paper work in to take a sabbatical, and I was not planning on coming back.  My sense of responsibility dictated that I must fulfill my commitment to my summer job… and I loved it.  It’s where I work now.  Same company, same position, (mostly) same people.

4.       As much as I love my job, I think that if I could quit, or go to a very low part time position, and still keep Lis in daycare, I would.  Why? Because, I would have (my freaking cute and generally hilarious) Lis more often, even though she would still spend some QT in daycare, and because then, the book would not languish.  Maybe I would brush up on my French and convince Vor that we should go to France (without bringing home a souvenir this time, [AHEM, Lis]).  I would go to the gym.

5.       Speaking of being in shape, I was a nationally ranked athlete in high school, and earned a national championship.  I got a full ride to a Division 1 school, planned on the Olympics, and began training for them.  People in my sport actually knew me on sight in law school, which was deeply bizarre for me (“famous?” I think I laughed my ass off).  I went to the Olympic training camp for my sport. I was practicing up to three times a day, and because I wasn’t crazy enough, I thought I would take up rowing as well, making it four practices of some kind per day in college.  Thus, everything unraveled, in part because of rowing—with rowing I discovered how much fun I could have doing a sport again, instead of it being a job.  I didn’t know how burned out I was until I found something I loved.  Then I hated my sport.  I left it all behind—the years, the dreams, all of it. I’ve never regretted it. Peace out, yo.

6.       What sport was this?  Synchronized swimming.                          Yes, I can hear the crickets chirping.  If you think it’s easy or stupid, then you’re easy and stupid.  I challenge you to a duel.  I will win.  I will drown you and keep you company while I do it.  Do you think you can do gymnastics?  Do you think that’s easy?  No?  Then why do you think doing what they do in the water, with no land to push off and no air top breathe of is any easier?

7.       I’ve been to South Korea.  It was amazing, and I’d love to go back.  While I was in South Korea, I got to go into the DMZ and into North Korea.  It was amazing.  I don’t ever want to go back.

Seven (HAHAHAHA see number 1) people:

Alyssa, whose son had the surgery Lis did, and only a month or two before Lis.  She was a huge help to me!
LM, who was the first person ever to leave me my own very shinny comment.  I don't know, LM, are you still up for blogging?  I miss your writing!
Butterflyfish and Attorney Work Product, both of whom I've been reading since law school.
RG, who I've been reading for about a year.  
And YOU, random lady people who read but I have no idea who you are, because you don't comment.  I'm talking about YOU (if you exist).

(I told you people I've been blog stalking you for a long time.) 

In Other Words, We're Doing Okay Here

Two weeks after surgery:


Before (see how her head indents at the sides?  Brain pushing forehead out because it had nowhere else to go):


After (no more indents! Plenty of room for a baby brain to grow!):