Meet Luna, our dog. She looks overwhelmed this morning, doesn’t she? I think she is thinking about our short night of sleep sandwiched between a fine nighttime whine and an early morning whine. The whining in our house is overtaking me. Imagine me in a pile of virtual sound, covered up to my nose in noise. Underneath layers of scratchy screech and howl, whine and cry, loudness and complaining, my hands reaching for the sky. It’s loud here. Wanna come over and play?
I’m wondering when our dog will enter into the chorus and begin to howl. She’s a remarkably patient and mild mannered 7 year-old lab but you’d think this would inspire a little bark or something. Her calm alarms. She remains quiet and patient despite the racket, waiting on the sideline for the respite of nap time silence. Silence can feel very present and nearly tactile right now. The presence of something as opposed to the absence. Read full post »
One little thing that really gets under my skin if you must know is the title, “The Wife.” When I hear it, it rings through me, moving and shifting my electrons in just the wrong way.
I’m sure most of you wives or mothers out there on planet earth don’t really mind it. But I do.
Here is how I often hear it. Let me set the scene:
Exam room, child center stage, father stage left. Meaning no harm (or disrespect) the dad says, “Oh, and the wife wanted me to ask you about this rash.”
I remain calm, usually leaking no erratic response, remark, or expression. This is my issue, I’m sure. But the internal alarm goes off. Just something about that woman being distilled to “the wife.”
“My wife wanted me to ask you about this rash.” No alarm.
“His mother wanted me to ask you about this rash.” No alarm.
But,“The wife wanted me to ask you about this rash.” Alarm-tastic.
With permission, I’m going to refer to my partner and husband, father of my children, as The Husband. Just to even the field. For today and maybe tomorrow, too. He’s ok with it; I’ve cleared this.
Thank you, husband, The Husband.
Twenty Ten, Two Thousand Ten. However you say it, we have arrived. Welcome back to school days. The rigor of productivity. We had the tantrum of the century this AM at our house which we’ve decided to include in our new in-home, Swanson special list of “mega-tantrums.” In medicine, mega is inserted into terminology as if to clarify like in, “mega meatus.” Translation: a big meatus. Re-entry to real life is mega-tough stuff. In the hope that we can continue to live out our previous week’s break from the route schedule that is upon us, I’ll hit rewind and go back 3 days. Read full post »
A study in Pediatrics highlighting the importance of breastfeeding and the challenges for working moms was published earlier in 2009. Today, it circulated through a business journal and got some more attention.
I read the study today for the first time. Then I re-read it a number of times. I talk about breastfeeding with moms and parents in clinic on a daily basis. I certainly know the challenges of trying to breastfeed through a transition back to work. I also know how hard it is not to be able to do what you set out to do.
I had my go. With my first son, I saw about 9 lactation consultants in the first week. I am not exaggerating. Me with those women hovering over me trying to help while my little man screamed his head off. The beginnings of motherhood. I breast fed, finger fed, pumped breast milk, finger fed, breast fed, then pumped my way into a sleepless oblivion. Read full post »
Sometimes good health feels like magic. Lately more than ever. I’ve had a number of friends and family diagnosed with serious medical problems and medical set-backs in the last few weeks. Like patients that I have been fortunate enough to care for with serious illness, it scares me, makes me sad, sometimes wakes me up at night. These episodes in illness are disorienting to the order of things. These diagnoses, uncertainties and realities are especially weighty this month amidst bags of gifts, holiday music, lit trees, and piped-in joy. Fear amidst cheer. Ultimately, these diagnoses and fears feel really real and make the rest of life blur. I suppose I just feel more angular, vulnerable and then compassionate right now. Ever-aware of the good health that surrounds me, too. Perspective defined. Read full post »
Before O (my second baby boy) was born I couldn’t really fathom loving him like I did, F (my first born). I’m not alone in this, I know. One of my friends recently told me she was so bewildered by the idea of number two that when she, her husband, her first son and her brand new baby were on the way home from the hospital, she leaned over from the passenger seat and whispered, “I’ll always love you best,” to her first born. Whew.
It happened though. Just like everybody told me. I really love number 2. Read full post »
I’ve been quiet. Two reasons: we’ve been sick in our house and I didn’t like the posts I’d written.
It’s sunny in Seattle today. This changes everything for those of us who inhabit this part of the globe. It is goodness. I’m finally feeling more than just battery powered. So I’ll be speaking up again.
I also got some sleep last night. All parents know how good this is after days of not having it. It’s a zebra in the horse world when you live with and care for 2 boys who have colds. Read full post »
Today is being offered up as a day to set aside for listening. Just after a day of thankfulness. This is kind of a nice one-two punch. Especially when we’re often around extended family on this particular Friday on the calendar. I’d not heard of this until 10am today when NPR posted this on Facebook.
Thanksgiving Day then Listening Day. I like it. Read full post »
The holidays are here. Someone just plopped thanksgiving in my to-do list. I like it. Celebrating with family and friends is one yummy thing in life even in the face of family dynamics-drama. I know it doesn’t feel yummy for everyone. I’m not trying to sound Pollyanna-ey. I’ve had the dark years of holidays, too. When the being together made me feel lonelier than truly connected. But, that’s not where I find myself now, fortunately. The people in my life who are less than 3 feet tall also decorate these times together and make it better and better. Who knew you could get so excited about a little, “gobble, gobble.”
The smallest in our family also make holidays more complicated though. It’s the over the river and through the woods part that can be really tough. Read full post »
Evan is 4 ½. His mom is a pediatrician. So is his dad. His mom and I were sharing stories of feeling like inept parents in the face of trying to help families with behavioral problems. It’s hard to do what we say, and frankly, hard to master this whole parenting thing. Does anyone?
We were having coffee, trying to get some work done when we downshift to talk about pee. Read full post »