Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is there an E-brake on this thing?

I once saw a bumper sticker on a pickup truck, I may have written about it before, that said,
"Get in, sit down, shut up and hang on."

That is exactly how life feels right now. 

This is not a complaint, but rather an explanation of sorts, as to why I cannot tell you where I have been or what I have been doing. I am, however, feeling compelled to write a list in hopes it may speak for me. Think of it as a very unpoetic poem:

A car has been purchased and it's not what I would have imagined in a million years. Suffice it to say, I remain an East Coast stereotype.

A birthday has been celebrated, someone turned six and someone has a new mermaid Barbie who wears so much eye makeup I'm wondering how she keeps her mascara from running underwater.

My sister was here over the weekend and I somehow tricked her into baking Isla's birthday cake, a sinful French chocolate cake, and cleaning the top of my kitchen cabinets, which were covered with a layer of grease and two years worth of dust. 

Ian learned a new song on his guitar and we spent a half hour on Saturday morning, with the phone on "speaker," listening to him serenade us from across the sea with deftly strummed chords.

When we put Ian on speaker phone, Isla has a habit of stealing him and hiding behind the couch in order to keep him to herself. This inevitably starts fights.

Esther wants to be with Ian on her 10th birthday, coming up on the 12th of December so we are shooting for being in England by that date.

I might be going to Guatemala as a guest blogger with the Save the Children organization: Fingers crossed, breath held, scream of excitement waiting agitatedly in the wings of my throat.

We've been enjoying/lamenting yet another Indian summer: the kind of weather that makes any honest New Englander highly suspicious of things to come. Sinfully warm and delicious, but doing nothing to reduce the tick population or promote the upcoming ski season.

I took all the pictures off my computer yet still I get a startup disk full message almost every time I turn on my computer. Help.  Could it be iTunes?

Isla told me I was a magnificent butterfly one night, then she said I was elegant and pretty the next. What is she buttering me up for? 

This morning she rushed back to the door of her classroom to kiss me on my left cheek, forehead, right cheek, nose, chin and mouth.

After months of badgering from Isla about making our house look more like a home, I got our rug out of the attic, and my big comfy chair from my parents' house, picked another chair with a "free" sign on it off of someone's front yard, and did my best to make our living room look more like a living room and less like a ballroom. I'm liking it. So are the kids.

I've been contemplating going off my antidepressants because I don't like the numb way I feel upon waking up each morning. It's as if they might also be anti joy, anti hope, anti-sorrow, anti-feeling, anti-life. I used to be a morning person. Now, it seems, I am a morning ogre.

I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird to Esther, which has started an interesting conversation regarding the meaning of the word "rape." I realized my first attempt at explaining missed the mark when she said, "But why would anyone do that if they were married?" Help.

I've been getting special assignments to write BabyCenter articles for Yahoo's Shine blog. Like this one, and this one. I'm supposed to be writing an article right now and this little diversion has been a perfect way to procrastinate. 

I'll be back.  Leaving you with some photos:


adrianne-p said...

I can *so* relate to the numbness leftover from anti-depressants! I stopped them when I was taking them, years and years ago, for that reason. (It was "unsafe" ... without feeling it is very easy to think of killing yourself, since you feel nothing.) I wouldn't suggest stopping them, however, as much as I would suggest talking with someone and trying a different brand.

Isla looks *so* much like you : ) Both of your girls are really growing up -- you should be so proud : )


tinsenpup said...

I'm not a fan of anti-depressants at all. They often do more harm than good. If you do decide to stop taking them, remember to wean yourself off slowly!

Rowena said...

iTunes shouldn't be doing that to your computer. It sounds like you need to wipe and re-set-up your hard drive. Make sure you have everything backed up before you do it, but it should alleviate the problem.

I loathe to say this, for fear of sounding like a computer jerk, but this is a typical windows problem - particularly if you've been running it for a while. Apple doesn't seem to have the same problem (I know their computers are quite a bit more expensive, but in the long run they last much, much longer than a windows machine, so it might be worth it to look into it...)

I hope you find the right way to explain rape to Esther. It's not an easy subject, and I don't look forward to covering that with my children.

Also - I just thought I'd mention - your new camera is taking such BEAUTIFUL pictures! I love them!!

Anonymous said...

that last photo of Esther is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Absolutely no words for it. Nancy K.

Liz said...

Regarding the anti-depressants... read about 5-htp. I started taking it 2 weeks ago and it's been life changing for me already.

Betsy said...

NancyK: I agree. It is quite mesmerizing. Thanks for saying so.

Betsy said...

Rowena: Actually, I have a MacBook. I have had very little problems with it until I started taking and exporting lots of photos. I think there must be some backup copies hidden somewhere taking up too much space. I'm working on it. Not the most tech savvy person. I'm too impatient.

Betsy said...

Liz: Never heard of that. Interesting...

Rowena said...

Oh, I'm sorry to have jumped to that conclusion, Betsy! I don't know why your computer is doing that! How long have you had it? (Even Apples have an expiration date - my hubby's is nearing his now!) He knows a lot more about our MacBooks than I do, actually. I just know some of the basics. But I do know that what your describing is worth maybe even calling the Apple people about - they might have this issue figured out (it may even be a well-known problem with your MacBook generation) so that you can easily fix it. One can hope, anyway. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Ditto on what Nancy K. said. That last photo of Esther is heartbreakingly beautiful. The look in her eyes...


Anonymous said...

Betsy- I love your posts. My kids are 5 and 9, and your posts about Esther often make me laugh, because usually they are the exact same things my daughter has just said! Fourth grade is a strange age- still little yet big - they want to sit on your lap and at the same time argue about why they can't have a cell phone.

I understand about the antidepressants - maybe it's not such a good idea to come off until Ian gets back? Also, maybe you could have your dosage adjusted if you are feeling strange?

Jane said...

Oh my God, those photos are gorgeous! Esp the ones of Esther curled up on the lounge chair and the last one of her. Just beautiful. Both your girls are beautiful and from what I read have beautiful souls as well.

Sheri said...

Oh my! I feel overwhelmed most of the time. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Although I love my crazy, busy life, sometimes I want to get off the ride and be still for a bit. I absolutely adore your photos. Beautiful!!

Irishmama7 said...

Beautiful photos! I can't believe Isla's 6! DH is willing to email conference 'check out' your lappy if you wish, just email me. (jug sie 2 1 8 at yahoo no spaces)
It is good to know your body and when you feel off. Talk to your Dr. see if they have any ideas. Gorgeous girls!

Katriina said...

Your girls are gorgeous. I hope you had a go on that swing yourself :-)

Betsy said...

Katriina: I totally did.It's an amazing swing. 20-foot long rope. Esther prodded me to jump off the tree- house launch pad on it. Scared the crap out of myself. Exhilarating. No pics though. Too bad.

Robin said...

I agree on the swing--I want one. I've always been a big swing fan.

As for the rape question, here's what I've been noticing: most kids don't understand the positive role of sex, so explaining a violent sexual situation like rape makes even less sense than it does to adults. For some reason, I've been hearing a lot of funny stories lately about older kids, sex ed, and their very clinical understanding of the process but no sense of its other elements. So the idea that it could be used as a weapon is so confusing. Maybe just explain that it's a kind of violence that includes sexual behavior (but obviously in more kid-appropriate terms than what I'm using), depending on how much Esther knows about the mechanics of sex. Although that seems to just lead back to her original question. Hmm, I'm stumped.

And I want to know what kind of car you got, you tease! Is it a hybrid, you lefty East Coaster?

Virginia said...

1. I covet your swing. 2. I looked at your pictures before I read your post and I was feeling jealous of how clean and uncluttered and spare your house looked. I was actually composing a post in my head asking how you manage it, then I read what your secret was.

One of my favorite things about living in rural New England is the custom of putting usable items by the curb for the taking. My husband, who's from PA, was horrified when we moved here and first experienced my patented "good stuff swerve". You'd have thought I was asking him to kidnap a child the way he looked at me as I was throwing open the tailgate and trying to fit a bookcase into the car. He kept asking, "Are you sure? How do you know?" I tried to reassure him that it was ok, but to this day, he still has trouble discerning the subtle nuance of a messy front yard versus a roadside bargain.

Enjoy this warm November! Mother Nature's gift to those of us still cleaning up from the early snow. I vow to start our three bonfire piles in January this year instead of waiting until spring. It's just so hard to devote a weekend to burning instead of skiing!


Mommy Has Tattoos said...

I read a blog of yours off of babycenter.com...it was interesting to me, so i got nosey :) the reasoning behind my "nosiness" is... from what I have read, and under my understanding...your husband is from England...and now you guys are having troubles getting him back into the country for reasons i didt really understand....this frightened me bc my fiance iS from England, we have 1 child together, and i am currently pregnant with our second. He currently has his 10 year card...and is planning on visiting his family for a week (in whom he has not seen in 4 years) sometime the beginning of next year....will he have to notify someone before he leaves this country????? or can he just go and promptly return withour notification?? sorry..i know i am a stranger, but your posts really frightened me....btw way, HI, my name is Krysten :)

holly said...

I always love the honesty in your posts and of course the beautiful photos!

Betsy said...

MommyhasTattoos: Don't worry. The part that your missing is we lived in France for two years. Before that , Ian left the country for short trips, many times. You should be fine. There is a time limit for green card holders being out of the country, I'm not sure exactly what, but certainly not 1 week. More like three or six months, but you would have to look it up. I'm starting to think citizenship is a smart idea, but that is up to Ian.

SaraJo said...

Oh, man! I wonder how I've missed the face that Esther and I share a birthday? I've been reading you forever and just never picked up on that little tidbit. I hope she gets her birthday wish this year. :)