Thursday, December 18, 2008

Life with two

So Nadira will be two weeks old tomorrow. This week I've had them both on my own. It's been a bit rough, but not too bad. Nadira is a lot more cranky than Anjali was. And Anjali, my amazing independent girl, is becoming clingy. Very strange. The highlight of the week was yesterday, when I was trying to tidy up the kitchen. Nadira was in one of those little vibrating chairs on the kitchen floor, and Anjali was next to her, singing. I glanced at them just in time to see Anjali pop a cheerio into Nadira's mouth. Yep. I did the mad dive across the kitchen to them, and then a quick finger-swip of the baby's mouth to get the cheerio. This, of course, scared/startled them both, and they both began to cry. Lots of fun.

Besides being tired, I really have no complaints. Faiyaz has been super dad. On Monday he took Anjali to the mall after work so I could rest, then he fed, bathed, and put her to bed, and did the dishes. Tuesday he cooked, took care of Anjali, and tidied up the kitchen. Yesterday he cooked again, and tidied up the house, and took care of Anjali. I couldn't do this without him, he's amazing.

I was going to add more pictures, but Fai hasn't put any more on the computer yet. Soon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ok, so these are the pictures Nadira will hate me for showing when she's older!
Nadira Anne Ghafoerkhan was born at 5:49 pm on Dec 5, 2008.
Despite how I look in these pictures, I was not medicated. I didn't plan on having a natural delivery, but by the time the doctor decided I could have an epidural (wasn't sure because of the rod on my spine) I was at ten centimeters, so there wasn't much point. One thing good I can say about it is that it went fast, much faster than with Anjali. We got to the hospital at 3:10, I'd been having contractions all day while talking on the phone to a few close friends and listening to Flogging Molly (very distracting). So we didn't have to wait long once we got there. She was out in two pushes.
I'd tell more, and post more pictures, but the little one must be fed (she's been camped out on the breast since birth)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The end is nigh!!!

So things are a little upside down here.

Last Wednesday when I went in for my Dr. apt. (with Anjali my sidekick of course) there was protien in my urine, which is a sign of toximia, but my blood preassure was fine. Never the less, they wanted to send me next door to the hospital to be monitored and have test done and all this craziness. Meanwhile, Faiyaz was at work, over an hour away, and Anjali hadn't had lunch or her nap. So there was a mad scramble to get her to a babysitter, get her lunch, get Faiyaz back (because if things went bad at the hospital they were talking about inducing me) etc. It was chaos.

Everything was fine, I'm fine, baby's fine, but they are still watching me. Yesterday my blood preassue was a little high but my urine was fine. I have to go back tomorrow, and if anything is abnormal, they want to schedule an induction. Pitocin! BLAH!

So after Thanksgiving, Faiyaz's mom offered to take Anjali back to New York with her until after the baby comes since everything is so uncertain here. We talked about it, and as much as I hated it, I had to admit after our mad rush on Wednesday it would probably be best. So she's been gone since Saturday. The house is way too quite without her. And Saturday night, she got sick. Just a cold, but she sounds so pitiful on the phone, I hate not being able to hold her and baby her like I usually do when she's sick. I know this is probably for the best too, the last thing I need right now is a cold with a new born, and if she was here I'd get it and Faiyaz would get it, then we'd all be sick with a brand new baby in the house.

So here's hoping for natural labor to start soon, to blood preassue staying normal, a healthy Anjali coming home, and a healthy baby who we've decided to name Nadira Anne.

And here's to the nice, long nap I'm about to take :)

Monday, November 24, 2008


Alright, this post is a cliche, I'm warning you now. But I was thinking about this today.

Today I wasted three hours, three hours I needed for laundry, nesting, and getting the house ready for my in-laws who are coming Wednesday night. Yesterday before church we noticed a nail in the tire of my car. We were running late, and the tire wasn't low, so we just drove on it. Fai said he'd figure out how to patch it since we're tight on cash right now, but today he called from work and asked me to take the car to the shop and have them do it. So I bundled myself and Anjali up and went to the shop, thinking this would take an hour or less. Unfortunately, everyone seems to be getting ready for holiday travel, so they told me it would be a half hour before they could look at it. Irritated, I gave them my key and my cell phone number, and walked over to the mall with Anjali to kill some time. It was 45 minutes later that I got a call asking me where the nail was exactly, and almost an hour after that that I got the call that they were done with my call. By that point, I had bought Anjali lunch from McDonald's because she was starving, even though I didn't want to feed her junk today or spend money on junk, and we were both tired and irritated. So we started walking back to the car. On the way out of the mall, we passed a Thanksgiving window display. In it were the typical window decorations that go with this holiday, turkeys and pilgrims and such. Pilgrims with chubby, rosy cheeks.

Being in a bad mood, I started thinking about what pilgrims would have looked like at that first feast. They would have been a pretty skinny, sorry looking lot, getting over near-starvation and disease. Most likely yellow and sickly looking. Still mourning dead husbands, wives, and children. Probably really homesick, and questioning their own sanity in leaving England in the first place. What were they so thankful for, really?

And then the cynical thoughts left me briefly. They were alive. They were together. For the moment, they had food, and in all honesty things could only get better.

Right now things look pretty rough all over. Last night Fai and I were talking about how the prices in stores would be dropping soon since people are only buying essentials, and how this drop in prices would eventually lead to the end of jobs. We talked about the fall in gas prices, speculating how long it would last, if it would last as long as this economic depression. We talked about our cars, the problems both of them are having, wondering how much longer we could make them last.

So this afternoon, as I walked through the cold parking lot outside the mall towards the auto shop to get my car, I thought about those things again, about this past year and the hard spot we're going through now. I thought about last Christmas, when I was pregnant and Fai found out that he got the job, and 2008 looked bright and sparkling and full of promise. He was graduating, we were moving, he had a good job, and in August we'd have a new baby. I remember writing in my journal about it, I remember all the optimism I felt. It would be a great year.

Then I had the miscarriage, the house in Tallahassee still hasn't sold, and here we are. And yes, I am about to have a beautiful new baby, yet I still wonder about that one. You know. Emotionally, physically, financially, it's been a really rough year.

And so, with the pilgrims, I found myself thinking, we're alive, we're together, we have food, and in all honesty things will/can only get better. And then I started thinking of all the other things I'm grateful for. Here's a list:

A strong, independent, smart daughter who is filled with energy, life, and self-confidence.

A healthy baby about to be born.

A husband who works hard and enjoys his family. The confidence I have in him and his role as a father.

A comfortable home with good neighbors.

The daily chaos that comes with animals and a toddler. All of that messy, wonderful chaos that keeps me busy but entertained.

Good friends. Even though far distanced, it's amazing what an e-mail or a phone call can do on a busy hectic day.

A bright future. We are where we are. Our economy fluctuates, there are highs and lows. This too shall pass.

There are a lot of other things too, but those are the highlights that came to mind as I walked with Anjali back to the shop. When I got there, it turned out that after they got the nail out and checked the tire for an air leak, there wasn't one, so they didn't charge me. I still wasted three precious hours, but I'll just have to play catch-up tomorrow.

What are you guys thankful for this year?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Accomplishment is...

when you've successfully wrestled your insane dog to the ground, trimmed all his nails, AND got his flea preventative on him.

This is the same 50 lbs dog that three professional groomers at Petsmart and two big men at Petco couldn't trim the nails on, the one I was told would have to go to the vet's and be sedated to have his nails trim. That dog. The dog who starts foaming at the mouth and hyperventilating at the sight of the nail trimmers. My crazy dog.

Langston's nails had gotten truly horrible, and I just don't have the money for the vet right now, so with the help of the muzzle and a lot of stubborn perseverance, I did it. Granted, he did go hide in the basement for half an hour in the middle, but by the time we made it to the last paw, he'd given up the fight.

Of course, there is now black dog hair all over the living room that I just vacuumed yesterday, and I'm covered in dog hair and dog slobber and my feet and arms are scratched up, but my dog's nails are no longer over grown. Plus I won the lesser battle of the flea preventative. For some reason every month the sight of that little tube sends him into hiding. It's been a busy day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Frustration is....

Okay, those of you with babies will feel me on this one. I've had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions with this one, a lot more than with Anjali, and they are uncomfortable.

So yesterday I started timing them. And spent the whole day walking around thinking I was in early labor, frantically nesting. I had Fai on red alert, ready to speed home on a moment's notice. And honestly, it really felt like the very beginning of the real thing.

And then they slowed to a halt last night. Yep. Still pregnant.

It's so hard this late in the game to feel those contractions and NOT get your hopes up that that light at the end of the tunnel you've been looking forward to is finally there. I'm glad that with Anjali I went around in blissful ignorance during early labor.

Any of you done that one before?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Humility is...

When you've sent out 70 query letters (yep, I said 70) and find out that in the letter you've been sending you've put the word "revels" instead of "reveals". That's right, in my book Flora "revels" to Charlotte that she has a sister.

And in the next paragraph, I tell them that I have a BA in English. Uh-huh.

As I was hyperventilating on the verge of tears, Faiyaz casually observed, "Maybe that's why you keep getting rejections."

At least I've given a lot of literary agents something to laugh at.

My current rejection count is 22.

This is why you ALWAYS get someone else to proofread for you!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

not so long, not so controversal...

Yesterday Fai was off for Veteran's day. We all woke up pretty early, and while Anjali sat on our bed watching Blue's Clues, Fai dyed my hair in the bathroom. As he massaged the color in, I felt truely grateful for him. Out of all the people out there, I found him, and I can't imagine anyone else for me.

I mean, how many Democratic Mormons are there? :)

No, but seriously, to have someone with the same opinions and views, who supports my goals, and balances out my sometimes too-intense personality, and makes me laugh at some of the most intense moments of my life, what are the odds?

So that's all, just feeling grateful today.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Socialism in America

Okay, so this is an educational post. First off, let me say that there is socialism in our great country. It's been here for decades, and it's affected every one's lives. Everyday, you come face to face with it, you hold it's hand, you walk with it down the street...

Are you scared?

If you are, it's because of something called the Red Scare, and a guy name McCarthy, and the black list, things that happened before my life time. The connotation (the way people feel) of the words Communism and Socialism will never be the same after that.

So many people are afraid of socialism, not recognizing the benefits they enjoy from it everyday. If you hate socialism, then please read "Marx for Beginners" by Rius. It's a graphic novel, and gives a break down of who Marx was and what his philosophy is all about. And, of course, there's the "Communist Manifesto". But let me give a basic breakdown of what Socialism is.

Straight, full-blown socialism would be the elimination of private property in the production, and manufacturing of goods and services. Basically, Bill Gates wouldn't be soooo rich, Microsoft would belong to the government, and Gates would get paid for the work he did. He'd probably still have a good 10 or more million to his name. But everyone else who worked for that company would have more, and the cost of a computer in the store would be less. Now picture the same thing for every company in the US, for every industry. That's full-blown socialism. The point behind it is to give the working class, those who don't own the means of production, the chance to succeed and get ahead.

Now here's the socialism that we have in the US:

Labor Unions
Federal Holidays
The 40 hour work week
Social Security
Public Library
Public Schools
Roads and Highways
Police Dept.
Fire Dept.
National Parks
City Parks
Anything the state or city pays for (city festivals, parades, etc.)

As Americans, we LOVE our Capitalism. But how would we live without Socialism? Let's look at what life in a purely Capitalized America would be like...

You wake up. It's time to drive to work, it's about 20 minutes from your home. You crank up your car, and get on the road, making sure you have the $9 you'll need for tolls. Why? Because roads are private property, and you have to pay to drive on them. You get to work, just your typical 12 hour day. 12 hours? Well, that's what people use to work before the government regulated the work week thanks to labor unions. You've heard a rumor that they might be lowering your hourly pay, so you really want to make a good impression on your boss today, so you're planning on skipping your 15 minute lunch break. Lowering your pay? That's right, no unions, no government interference, you have no rights at your job. If it's 12 hours a day, 6 hours a week, too bad. If your boss harasses you, you can always quit, but it'll be the same somewhere else. If he fires you unfairly, there's nothing you can do. So you're working, and you're thinking about your son. Hopefully when you get home tonight you won't be too tired to tutor him, since you can't afford the private school nearby. You know his only chance of a life better than this is if he gets some kind of education...if only books weren't so expensive....When you get home, there's smoke coming from the kitchen. Quickly, you run in, and turn on the water at the sink, desperately trying to dose the can't call the fire department, their fees are just too high, so you try to handle it yourself...finally, you get the fire out, but the whole kitchen is ruined, and your lungs are damaged from the smoke. Insurance companies are not regulated at all, so there's no way you can afford the copay at the emergency room, so you decide to just have a glass of water and go to bed. Maybe you'll feel better in the morning. On your one day off, your son want to go to the playground, but they recently raised their entry fee (there's no public land, so this is a private playground someone opened and is charging for) and with the recent damage to the kitchen, there's no way. Plus you're too tired, and it hurts to even breath. So you stay home, coughing in your dark living room, your son begging to go out and play...

Minus the roads (because poor people wouldn't have had cars or horses) this is pretty close to what life in America would have been like 100 years or so ago for the working class. A good book to read to get a better picture of this would be "The Jungle". Yes, there's gross stuff about the meat packing industry, but it also shows the struggle the working class faced before labor unions and before our government started to socialize. I'm not saying straight socialism is a good thing, but neither is straight capitalism.

I've ranted enough on Jen's blog about why I feel that regulating (not socializing) the insurance companies to make health care affordable and accessible is a good thing. Socialism is not a government handout, it's insuring that the workers in a society get their needs met, that everyone has the same privileges, like getting to go to school and the use of public parks. These are things that benefit all Americans.

At the end of this election, the Republican party started throwing around the word 'Socialism' a lot to scare voters. If you listened to Obama speak at the debates, you would know he's not a socialist. I didn't hear him say a single thing about eliminating private business property, did you? I did hear him talk about regulating insurance companies, so we don't have to pay so much for insurance, and so we get better coverage. This makes sense, just like it makes sense for the government to regulate businesses and employers so that employees get worker's rights, like the 40 work week, sick leave, holidays, and minimum wage. We don't think twice about these things in the work place, we expect them. If we expect worker's rights, public education, and public roads, why not affordable health care? During the debates, I heard McCain say that health insurance is a privilege. Now THAT scares me! So if you're too poor to afford it, then you don't deserve good health? Preventative care is sooooo much cheaper than treating an illness, and it's better for society as a whole. If you go to the doctor when you start feeling sick and get early treatment, you're less likely to get other people sick. If you get the flu shot, and then don't get the flu, you won't give the flu to your coworkers and your kids, and your kids won't give it to other kids who could give it to their parents, who could give it to their get the idea.

And this isn't even socialized medicine we're talking about here! (which, by the way, I'd like) This is a baby step by comparison, this is just making sure that every American can afford medical treatment. I've seen so much pain and suffering caused by the cost of health care, I've let myself get way sicker than I should, I've gotten severe tooth infection and felt the agony of that for months, I've had to have teeth pulled because I couldn't afford a doctor or a dentist. I've watched a family struggle under mounting medical debt. We've spent months paying off credit card debt caused by medical and dental bills. This is a serious problem in our country.

We've embraced Socialism in so many other areas of our life, can't we embrace insurance regulations? And is a little socialism blended with our capitalism such a bad thing? Would you really want to live in a country with straight capitalism?

If you still feel uneasy at the word "socialism" I urge you to read and consider those three books. I know that socialism has been linked with athiesm because some of the political philosophers who thought it up didn't believe in God. I feel it's compatible with the gospel, besides, so many things in the scriptures, especially in the teachings of Christ, have a socialist ring to them. I have my own theories in this area which I won't go into now. But may I just say that we can have and maintain our own standards and morals, we can even promote and share them without forcing them on other or on our nation as a whole. I know for several people abortion was a big issue this election. If you feel strongly against abortion, there are clinics across our country that offer counciling to women considering abortion. You could volunteer there, you could actually help someone in that difficult situation. You can adopt. You can voluteer with adoption agencies. Don't protest an abortion clinic, that won't make a difference (let's be honest here) but look at all the ways you can reach out with compassion and love to help others, if this is the issue that you feel so strongly about. I've shared my views a multitude of times, I think it would be unconstitional to make it illegal, and that it would do more harm than good. And I think that for women with a medical need for an abortion or who are the victims of rape it would make it more difficult to obtain one, dragging out an already painful and emotional process. My point: Find proactive, constructive (not destructive) ways to help this problem if you feel strongly about it.

And socialism isn't evil.

Thank you, comrades.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Day Before Elections Rant

You know, before we moved I thought I was pretty political. I kept up with things, I had opinions. I could hold my own in a debate (okay, usually I could win the debate). And then we moved here.

Has the rest of the country gone insane, or is it just being here, so close to DC? Let me share with you some of the insanity I've put up with in the past few days, and let me know if it's hitting you too.

-Talking politics during fast and testimony meeting yesterday. No names were said, but they were alluded to from the pulpit. In my opinion, a BIG no-no. Also, this themed carried on into Relief Society. GRRR....

-Last night we got no fewer than ten (and possibly a lot more, we finally just stopped answering the phone) calls about McCain and Obama and who we should vote for and why. Some of these were recordings, but several were real people. Once we just let Anjali answer the phone, and told her to say "Barack Obama" and hang up. She did, and seemed to get a kick out of it. Today (and it's only 11.) I've already gotten five calls about the election, including one from the Hispanic Minority something or other. Why they called me? No idea.

-Over the past two months, we've had seven incidents of people knocking on our door to discuss the election, and why we should vote for their canidate. Those are the ones I've been home for. We've also had lots of flyers left on our door.

-Each day, we get at least one mailer, sometimes as many as seven. One day I opened the mail box to find nothing but political mailers. Seriously. How many trees have died?

And does any of this work? Will a phone call, a flyer, or an annoying person at your door change who you are voting for? I'd like to believe that the debates and personal research would be the things most people use to decide. Before this onslaught, I was voting for Obama, and now I'm still voting for Obama. I don't understand why either party had to waste so much time, energy, and money, not to mention volunteer hours, on me, much less the rest of America. Virginia is a circus, at least this close to DC. What's it like where you live?

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Trick or Treating was everything cliche that we have come to expect. Although the neighborhood we went to didn't go "all out" like the neighborhood we go to in Tallahassee, and the number of children on the street last night was rather small, it was a fun night. Anjali was Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty (yes, I know, but there are worse things in the world than the Disney princesses) and at her request daddy was Prince Phillip. I wore a tight orange maternity shirt that I'd painted a jack-o-lantern face over the belly of. Nice. Strangely, we were the only parents out that were dressed up. Huh.

So everything was going fine, Anjali had it down, clank-clank-clank (because she had to wear the unstable dress up shoes that came with her costum) up to the house, knock-knock, trick-or-treat, thank you, clank-clank-clank. A few times she paused to chat, and to tell the person about the different kinds of candy she'd collected. And a few times (okay, many times) we stopped so she could put those shoes back on. Then we came to this one house.

This one house had closed in their porch with black fabric and filled it with black lights. Strob lights went off in the second floor windows. Scary music played. To get to the door, you had to walk past a mummy, a witch, and a zombie guy, all life-sized and the kind that move when you get too close. There were spiderwebs and a smoke machine. Very intimidating. And my usually fearless two year old? The one who laughed at those same decorations in the store? The combination of darkness and tiredness over powered her, and she was scared!

After a couple of comforting hugs, and daddy's hand in hers, and the reassurence that he would protect her (with his foam sword, of course) she bravely walked up to the door, and delivered her lines. And then made a hasty retreat. Back at the street, she told us again, "That house is scary!" "Yes, but they gave you candy! Wasn't that nice?" "Yes." "Okay, so that house isn't scary, it's silly. They just made it all silly for Halloween." "Silly?" "Yes, silly." "Oh." and then we moved on. I wish all the frightening things in her life would be that easy to explain away, and that it would be that easy to comfort her always.

And so we continued on our way. A few houses later, knock-knock, "You have candy? Trick or treat. Thank you." Clank-clank-clank. And then those big brown eyes looked up, and she said "I'm done." "Do you want to go home?" "Yes, home. It's too cold."

We had pizza and watched a movie. Halfway through, after pizza and a brownie, and all mommy's peperoni, Anjali asked to go to bed. Granted, it was after 11, and much later than we normally let her stay up, but after we had her all tucked in, I thought "what a simple, beautiful life she has! So full!" and I also thought how wonderful it was that when we let her have a little freedom, she is wise enough to limit herself, to say she wants to go home, to say she want to sleep. Granted, I doubt she'd show restraint if we turned her loose with the candy bucket, but I hope she'll always know when it's time to go home, to call it a night.

Later today I'm going to try to get some pics up. Unfortunately, I played camera man, so they aren't the best.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

out of the mouth of babes....

A Conversation from the Car...

Faiyaz: "Okay, Anjali, that's your last piece of candy for a while. You've had too much sugar."

Anjali: "It's sugar, it's good. I love it."

Olivia: "I know it tastes good, sweety, but it's not good for your body."

Anjali: "It's my body."

Olivia: "Yes, and you have to take care of it, it has to last you your whole life."

Anjali: "It's my life."

At this point, of course, Faiyaz and I just cracked up laughing. Yes, Anjali really said all that, she's two and a half. No idea where she got that from, we monitor her TV viewing really closely too. We're in serious trouble when she gets to be a teenager...

Friday, October 3, 2008

You get the idea, I'm sure. The fun part was the baby loved the rubbing, she kicked the whole time!

I'm trying to glory in my pregnant belly. When I just look down, it doesn't look so pretty, and when I'm walking/waddling, I feel very large. But seeing pictures of it helps me realize how beautiful this belly really is.

And what belly wouldn't be beautiful with Anjali's art on it?

Thursday, October 2, 2008


This morning the air outside is decidedly chill here in Virginia. Inside I'm feeling restless. There is change coming. Today I'm pacing around the house, doing little things, playing with Anjali. I don't really feel like going anywhere, but inside is getting dull. Maybe after nap time we'll go to a park or something. Ironically, I don't feel lonely here until it's me and Anjali on a playground with no one else around, so I've been avoiding it. But change is coming, and the part of me that spent almost every waking hour of childhood out of doors is finding it hard to sit at home while things are going on in the world. I think tomorrow I will try to convince Fai for us to go to a near by state park and go down the walking trails, and watch the world get ready for winter. Maybe we'll take Langston too, and he can scare the squirrels as they forage. It's October. For Halloween, I'm going to wear black tights and an orange shirt with a jack-o-lantern face on it. I want to find something cute for Anjali, she will most likely want to be a princess. We've got to find out where to go trick-or-treating here. I think there's something very poetic about being pregnant in the fall. As all the world gets ready to celebrate the harvest, I'm about to experience a very different harvest. I love the descriptive words that go along with pregnancy, words like fertility and ripe. I think of large, round things, things like pumpkins, gourds and squash. Of statues of round, fat women, fertility goddesses. In a way, I am glad that a woman's worth is no longer dependent on her ability to have children, but at the same time I think we've lost some of our reverence for the process of growing a child. The more science has explained it away, the less mystical it seems. I feel like a fat fertility goddess. I'm tired of pregnant women talking about weight gain and how much dieting they're going to have to do to fit into their old clothes. I'm also tired of women complimenting me on not gaining a lot of weight (most of them don't know I've lost weight) I WANT to gain weight, I want to fill out nicely, not just my belly. My belly is too small, I want it round and full like a giant pumpkin. Skinny is over rated. No one buys the skinny pumpkin in the store. I want to dress in reds, oranges, and browns. I want to fill my house with leaves and pine cones. I want pumpkin-scented candles, and pumpkin pie, and a large pumpkin to carve. I'm going to look up my recipe for gingerbread, and if I have everything for it, I'm going to make a million ginger bread pumpkins. Remember last year, Marquesas, when we tried to make gingerbread houses at girl's night, and they wouldn't stand up, so we ate gingerbread cover in cream cheese frosting and sprinkles? And all the Halloween candy? I wish I could fill up on candy corn, but I know it will only make me sick. There is change in the air today, summer is over and fall is coming. I don't often think of fall as a season, usually it's just there as a brief interlude before winter, but this year I am a fertility goddess preparing to celebrate the season of the harvest.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the strangest things...

Okay, okay, I told myself I wouldn't bore you kind people with blogs on this any more, but here we go again...

Lately I've just been aggravated with the whole situation, and again went through the standard home remedies. If someone told me that eating pickles upside down would help, I'd probably try it. Anyway, so I'd just given up, and made myself a sour cream bunt cake with lots of cinnamon and brown sugar and a thick home-made glaze (glaze is nothing but butter and sugar with a tiny bit of milk) so yeah, not healthy. I spent all day yesterday nibbling that while I made dinner. A fatty roast beef in the crockpot, peas, instant mashed potatoes with home-made grave (skimmings from crockpot plus flour) And, since the roast smelled so good, I decided to try some, even though I thought it would surely hurt my throat.

Then it was bathtime, storytime, prayer, and bed. I've started reading "Little House on the Prairie" to Anjali. Yes, I know she's too young to really understand it, but she lays still next to me (or as still as a two year old can lay) and listens. When we come to the pictures, she points to them and I stop and we talk about them. Remarkable for two. We're reading it more for me than for her, but she likes it and as my dad says, it's laying a good foundation.

Shortly thereafter, we went to bed too. This is normally when my nightly torture begins. I always try to sleep first, but the threatening nasuea keeps me up till the wee hours, when at last I stagger/run to the toilet. Somehow, last night, I fell asleep, and made it through the night. Yesterday was the first day in weeks that I made it all day without being sick. No herbs, no bland food, I did nothing special. I've run it over in my head so many times, and truelly can't see a reason but sheer luck. I'm not getting my hopes up for a repeat.

Today I have noticed that I have to use the bathroom at least twice as much as Anjali. :) I also noticed that when I'm standing straight up I can no longer see my toes. I need to get some family pictures with the belly. I've got some great ones from when I was pregnant with Anjali. Of course, I don't know anyone here to get to take them...gotta figure that out.

And today I recieved two more rejectiong e-mails. Total of three. Need to send out more letters, but opting for a nap today instead.

Pretty boring, mundane stuff. Played with Langston, gave him a flee bath. He's loving the cooler weather. Hoping to take him on a nice long walk this weekend. Did laundry, clean kitchen, bemourned the fact that I have no papertowels and no motivation to leave the house today to buy paper towels. Colored with Anjali on the dry erase board, did puzzles. Our basement is finally in one piece again, and back to its function of being Anjali's play room. I'm so lame, I organized her toys and things into centers, it looks like a day care down there. She seems happy with it, and she's putting her own things up, so it must be working.

Currently, she only wants to eat cereal, yogart, peanutbutter sandwiches (that's right, no jelly) and mac and cheese. Very odd. Also some fruit, like grapes and bananas, peas are okay too. I tried to give her some canned pears with her lunch today, that didn't work. Very odd. I'm convinced it's just a phase, just a very annoying one.

I think when things settle down (meaning we're in the rythem of having two kids instead of one) I want to get an AS in drafting. Fai's suggested I start another degree, and there's no master programs in writing near here, nor BA programs in journalism. I'm such a nerd, I miss school. We've been talking about building our next house, and although I'd love an old rambling fixer-upper, the idea of designing the house myself has it's appeal. My mother did drafting, and while I was in elementary school I'd draw out little house plans in my notebooks. Gotta look into what programs are around here and all that.

Rambling over. Think I'm going to get some cake and take a nap now...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

sick and tired

So you're all probably sick of hearing me whine, which is why I haven't blogged in so long. Being pregnant is becoming all-consuming unfortunately.

I'm 8 lbs lighter than before I got pregnant, I think I might have lost another pound as well. My wedding ring is almost falling off. 10 and a half weeks to go.

Thought I'd share my current diet with ya'll. I tried eating super healthy for a while, but that seemed to be harder on my throat. So I've given it up, and have reverted to a comfort diet, namely anything that won't damage my poor throat any more (it's really really raw now, and hurts all the time) Ice cream and sushi. yum. It doesn't stay down, but it doesn't hurt coming up.

I've become a master of making California rolls, they've become the main staple in my diet. With just a tiny tiny bit of soy sauce, it's lunch and dinner. Anjali will not try them, and Fai is sick of them, but whatever doesn't make the throat worse, right?

Bryer's Sara Lee Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. Sigh! That, and the toffe heath bar. So good on the throat going down, and no damage coming up.

So who wouldn't like to lose weight on a diet like this?

All joking aside, i'm really worried. I know the baby's okay, but I feel like I'm wasting away. What's going to be left of me when this is over?

I doubt it will be long after the baby's born before I gain all the weight back. I've been wanting a big juicy burger for weeks now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Right now I am struggling with this pregnancy. I've lost the pound that I gained, so once again I weigh 7 pounds less than before I got pregnant. I'm 27 weeks, 13 more to go. I don't know how I'm going to handle another three months of this. I'm tired, light headed, and constantly sick. I feel unable to care for my home or my daughter, and I'm worried about this baby. At my last dr. apt, the doctor (a man, and we all know how I don't like male doctors) wasn't worried at all. I'm going back on Friday, and I'm hoping when they see the scale they'll be a little concerned. The expensive medicine I'm taking doesn't seem to help at all. Three more months? Seriously?

I've be looking at my life a lot, all the things I'm trying to juggle while throwing up, all the things I want to do, and I'm remembering something I started telling myself in high school, and that's to just be happy in the season you're in. Sometimes we get so caught up with all the things we want out of life we're always focused on the future and not the present. While being sick is not fun, this is the last three months Anjali will be an only child. Hopefully it's the end of the potty training. It's the end of summer, soon it's going to start getting cold. I don't like the cold. It's the end of a novel, my editing will be done soon. It's that quit time before the rejection letters start coming in. It's my last few months before the newborn period, when you're drowning in exhaustion. It won't be long before Anjali goes to preschool. This is my season. Our lives may not seem long, but we all go through so many periods of change in them, it's hard to remember that each moment is transient. Being in high school, being single, being a parent of young children, we all try to rush through these times, especially when they seem hard or tedious, but each hold precious moments that once they pass we can never reclaim. There's a certain charm to being a broke student, and looking back things seemed simpler. A few night ago I was remember when Fai and I just got married, and it was just us in that little apartment. So strange, I can barely remember life without Anjali and the animals, I can't remember what we use to do with our time together. I remember movies and the mall, going to dinner, etc, but it seems foreign. I think I prefer the playground, the walks in the park, pizza night with "princess movie" But this too shall pass, Anjali and this new one will be going to school, making friends, growing up. It all seems too short, but I guess it's what keeps life interesting.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From "The Death of Flora May"

This is a scene from Chapter Four in "The Death of Flora May" that I'd like feed back on. Charlotte is trying to build a relationship with her estranged mother Flora as she (Flora) is dying of lung cancer. At the same time, Charlotte and her husband Kevin have been trying to conceive for over a year. This is an argument they have after breakfast. Faiyaz gave me some good pointers for this scene, but one of them I didn't agree with, so I want to see if anyone else has the same thoughts he did. Here we go.

The omelets were a little runny. Charlotte chewed, the warm cheese mixing with the liquid. He must have forgotten to drain the frozen spinach, she thought.
“Next weekend I thought we could do something to celebrate me surviving this week. That’s if I survive, of course.”
“I was actually wondering if you’d go with me to Tallahassee on Saturday.”
“So you can meet my mom,” she said, making it sound the most natural thing to do.
“Why would I want to meet her?” His eyes shone dangerously.
“Please, Kevin.”
“That woman is horrible. I don’t even understand why you are going all the way out there to see her.”
“Because she’s my mom, Kevin, no matter how horrible she is. I have to go.”
“You don’t have to do anything, you’re choosing to go.”
“If I don’t go, she’s going to die alone. No one else is visiting,” she said.
“Then let her die alone!”
“She deserves it!”
“No one deserves that. And if she dies all alone, with no visitors, then I’ll feel guilty for the rest of my life, knowing I could have been there for her.”
“She pushed you away, she pushed everyone away, so let her die alone,” he said, anger beginning to show in his voice.
“She’s different now, Kevin, I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like this cancer has beaten something in her. She’s already given up. She’s not like she used to be.” Charlotte thought back to their last visit, how talking with her mother had almost felt normal.
“I can tell you why she’s different, she’s using you. She’s just going to suck you in until nothing’s left, that’s what she’s doing.”
“You don’t understand; she’s dying!” Charlotte could feel her face reddening in frustration.
“She wouldn’t even come to her only daughter’s wedding! That’s not natural, Charlotte.”
“She’s only got a few months left!”
“I can still remember you crying on our wedding day, because your mother wouldn’t come, and your father was dead.”
“I have to do this!”
“There were no family members on the bride’s side, just your old college roommates and a few friends!” he said, beginning to shout.
“Why can’t you understand?”
“Your only living relative, and she wasn’t there!”
“Please come meet her, you’ll see.”
“Charlotte, I don’t want you driving around like this when you’re pregnant. You could be pregnant now. What if you were in a car wreck? You could miscarry.”
Charlotte’s face clouded with tears.
“I’m not pregnant, Kevin. My period came last night. I’m never going to be pregnant.”
She turned, and went into the bathroom, tears blurring her vision as she went into the bathroom closet and pulled out a large bucket of cleaning supplies. When she came back into the living room, Kevin was still standing in the kitchen, holding a coffee cup and looking as if something heavy had just hit him. The kitchen had lost some of its brilliance; clouds were starting to cover the sun outside.
“Just, just go, Kevin, go somewhere.”
“In the bedroom, to your office, anywhere. I want to be alone.”
“Can I do anything?” he asked, not looking at her as he spoke.
“No, please, I just don’t want to be around you right now.”
Kevin went into the bedroom for a few moments. He came out with his laptop and briefcase. Charlotte felt almost certain he was heading to his favorite coffee house.
“I’ll be home this afternoon, alright?”
“Alright, that’s fine. I’m sorry,” she said.
“It’s okay, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought up, I just didn’t know.”
“I know.”
Kevin opened the front door onto a dark grey sky threatening rain. After it closed, Charlotte looked out the back kitchen windows. Over the ocean the sky remained a brilliant blue, sun light reflecting on the white sand. For a few moments she thought about walking on the beach before the rain, but she knew the storm was coming up too fast. She could feel it now that she was paying attention, the tension in the air that comes before lightning. Even as she watched, the view out the back began to change. Clouds covered the house, their shadows spreading out over the sand, onto the beach, and then out over the water. Charlotte looked out at a patch of ocean by the horizon, shining and reflecting the morning sun, and then it too was covered by the dark heavy cloud.

This scene is followed by Charlotte doing a stress-clean of her home, and then of course Kevin coming home and them making up.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So for many weeks now I've been having trouble sleeping. Some of the normal pregnant type, getting up to pee, getting kicked by baby, and my feet cramping up, but also more than just that. And feeling sick keeps me up some too. Whatever the reason, I'm waking up many many times each night. For a time I had vivid terrifying nightmares, but those have been replaced by some dreams that are just plan weird, starring many of you, my dear friends. In fact, odds are if I know you, I'm dreaming about you. Here's a few gems from the past few nights:

Lindsey Miller (gotta love that girl!) trying to feed me pickles. Yes, in the dream she was convinced that pickles would help me stop throwing up, so she was following me around with a giant jar of pickles trying to get me to eat them. Right now I don't like pickles.

Potty training Anjali. This isn't so weird as it is sad that I'm so obsessed with potty training that I'm dreaming about it.

My dad moved in with us, and was trying to set up the bassinet. Not pleasant, I think he broke it, lots of yelling involved...

Darling D'Arcy and her sister April (who I've only met once, not sure if I even remember what she looks like) came by when I was in the middle of folding laundry and the house was a mess. They proceeded to clean my house as I tried to stop them.

Is there a connection in these? The only one I could find is me having little control in them. Very odd. And they are all those really vivid kind that make you wonder for a few minutes if it's real.

I am defiantly nesting. I started unpacking baby clothes today. Anjali thought it was fun to help at first, but soon tired of it. "Mommy done yet? Mommy done?" and "Mommy, look at me, you done yet?" I don't know if she understands what's going on, I've been talking to her about it a lot. She's so adaptable that I'm confident she'll adjust well. I want to make her a quilt, I have the fabric for it, but I'm intimidated. Plus I'm still trying to edit the novel, and am hesitant to start anything that will cut into writing time. I think though that a home-made quilt would be a nice gift for her transition into a big girl bed. Still trying to find a twin bed for her, but I think she's ready for it now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Some news, some thoughts, some rants.

Today we had our ultrasound done, the baby looks great, right size, growing good, going to be another tall one from the looks of it, and it's a girl! Unlike Anjali, she wasn't shy at all to sure off her stuff, lol. We're excited. So far we're thinking about two different names, Mariska and Cosette. One is (possibly) dutch and the other is french. We're going to end up with international children. Already I'm itching to starting tearing through those boxes of old baby clothes, I think the nesting is starting to kick in.

Last week Anjali was in New York. The house was strangely quiet. I cleaned on Monday, and the house actually stayed clean. Very strange. I did get a lot of editing done, a third of the novel in fact. So close! I'm hoping I can finish soon and start looking for an agent/publisher. I want to get the ball rolling on that before the new baby comes. Still outlining the next novel.

Once I took the train into Alexandria with Faiyaz in the morning. I love cities in the early morning, when they're just waking up and all the stores are still closed. Some say that New York never sleeps, but catch her around seven on a Saturday morning, and you'll see her groggily waking. Deliveries being made, all the stores closed, people just starting to stir. Alexandria wakes up slowly. Once you move away from the big buildings where people work and into the Old Town area, you'll see the joggers and the people walking their dogs, shop owners getting ready to open their stores. The stores in Old Town are very enjoyable for window shopping, but very much out of my price range. One store I checked out was call "An American in Paris," and was owned and run by a crazy French woman. She keeps the door locked, you have to knock to get it, and then she instructs you not to pull on the clothes, if you want to look at something, lift the hanger. Her clothes are designer, and are in the triple digits, so I didn't linger long. She's a hoverer, so I used my pregnant belly as an excuse for not buying something, and wouldn't you know it? She's a belly grabber. I had my first stranger-touching-my-belly moment for this pregnancy. I also took Langston to a dog park about twenty minutes away from here. He had a great time, as always, and finally got to burn off all his energy. I really need to take him daily, but with Anjali so young that's impossible. Not to mention the gas to get there. Fai and I got lots of quality time together, we went to the county fair and out to eat. Thrusday night we went to the temple. I love the Washington DC temple, it was only our third time going to that one, but it looks so impressive as you approach it on the Beltway. I love how calm I feel after going to the temple, the only thing that comes close to that for me is a day at the beach.

Now for a rant. Anjali is still not potty trained. I'm starting a propaganda campaign to expedite the process as much as possible. Today I checked out a bunch of kids' books on going potty, and I'm in the process of making up some potty songs. I bought her more underwear. No more trips till this is over. The biggest hurtle I think is overcoming her fear of public restrooms. She just won't use them. GRRR!!!!! I've done this before, with other people's kids, it really shouldn't take this long. I think my daughter is especially stubborn. (understandable when you think about who her parents are) Oh well. We will get there. I am NOT buying any more diapers, so we're going to have to get there, and soon!

My love of animals is waning. My cat, Toby, is on my last nerve. Last weekend when we dropped Anjali off in New York, and came home, he'd pooped and peed in the kitchen. I discovered that darling Fai had been slacking off on little box duty, so I excused the cat because his box was really really nasty. This weekend, however, he had a nice, clean fresh box, so there is not excuse. When we got home last night, he'd pooped in three different spots, peed on the floor, and knocked down the trash can and peed inside it. Yep. This is a new one for us. Toby doesn't like change, his normal reaction is to pee in a sink, which is easy to clean, but this is outrageous. Either he's mad at us for leaving, or he knows I'm pregnant and he's mad about that. Today I was out running errands, and I came home briefly and he'd peed in the kitchen again. I had to mop it up with bleach water. Then I had to go out again, and when I got back, he'd pooped. As all of you who have kids know, one of the biggest no-nos during pregnancy is changing a litter box, or cleaning up cat mess, and here I am mopping up mess all day. I tried not to get it on my hands, and I washed really good when I was done, but this has got to stop. He knows better, he's doing this on purpose. I'm a cat/dog person, I love my crazy animals, and I'm willing to put up with a lot to have them, but Toby is about to make me snap!

So there's my news, my thoughts, and a healthy dose of ranting.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Here we go...just for all of you who have been wanting pictures. Here are pictures of us hanging out in DC. I don't have any pics of our house yet, unless you want to see pictures of the mold in the basement. There's also a lovely picture of Faiyaz in his birthday crown. All the good pictures of Anjali were taken by Faiyaz, of course. He's got some serious skills with the camera for sure. The Anjali rain dance pictures were taken at the National Zoo. They have these mist machine mounted along the sidewalk to keep you cool in the summer and Anjali just couldn't get enough of them. So far we're really enjoying the DC area. Woodbridge is pretty much just a commuter town, with nothing to do but shop (and shop, and shop, and shop!) and while you've got some great prices and good deals, there's not much in the way of parks and communal space. We've got to check out the state parks that are near our house, but haven't yet. We also need to explore the mountains and the beaches, which are both about 2 to 3 hours away. And of course Fai loves being just 4 hours from New York and his family. Now if only gas was cheap again...