Saturday, February 14, 2009

Seven Years

Tonight Chance and I went out together (ALONE) on a date for Valentine's Day. It has been seven years since our last Valentine's "date". Over the last several years there has always been a reason to simply do something with the family:

1. We didn't have a babysitter
2. We couldn't afford a babysitter
3. February 14th fell on a weird day of the week to get a babysitter
4. We had a tiny infant and weren't comfortable with a teenage babysitter

Yes, for six years we have laboured through our Feburary 14ths and now on the 7th - we rest. This year, our children are older, we have a babysitter and February 14th fell on a Saturday. We had dinner and saw a movie. (Somewhere in the middle Chance coerced me into Best Buy for a bit, but that's OK.) We still technically can't "afford" to do much, but we don't really need much.

I will always think of Tyler on Valentine's Day. Seven years ago yesterday, Chance brought Tyler home forever. Ty was very sick - double ear infections and a scorching fever - and he wouldn't let us put him down for three days. My mom and Stuart came to meet their new grandson and help calm us down from our freaked out "instant parents" state of mind. I don't remember much about how we spent that Valentine's Day except that we ordered Chinese take-out from Snappy Dragon and held Tyler. I wish I had a picture from that night. It's possible Stuart took some. I just remember we were poor, we were terrified and we were filled with joy.

[This is Tyler about 5 months later.]

PS - I miss Snappy Dragon. A LOT.

"At the end of every seven years, thou shalt make a release."
~ Deuteronomy 15:1

“It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;-- it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.”
~Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heard Around The House


Tyler: "Why do I always have to take out the garbage? I HATE taking out the garbage!"
Mom: "I'm sorry, but you chose to make bad choices and this is what happens."
Tyler: "I hate it! When I grow up I am NEVER taking out the trash. NEVER!"
Mom: "Well, your house is going to have a lot of garbage then. Who is going to take out your trash, do you think?"
Tyler: (looks at Mom like she's an idiot) "MY kids!"

"Mom, you must be really special because you know how to iron."

Chance had a discussion with Ty about the microwave and explained that placing metal inside can cause fires. To which Tyler replied: "Wow, Dad. That's a really good thing to learn."


Noah: "I like riding in Atali's car. It smells good."
Mom: "What does it smell like?"
Noah: "It smells like Poptarts."

After a morning frost covered the front lawn, Noah asked: "Mom, is the grass getting old?"


Singing (tune of ABCs): "A B C D E F G ... X O B S E ... we are a happy family."

Noah closed the bedroom door on Emma and would not let her in. Then she threatened him with: I'll huff and I'll puff!"

I asked Emma what an airplane says (meaning, what sound does it make). She responded "Airplanes speak Spanish," which I guess means 'I don't know, Mom.'

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Chosen

A Novel by Chaim Potok

"Reuven, listen to me. The Talmud says that a person should do two things for himself. One is to acquire a teacher. Do you remember the other?"
"Choose a friend," I said.
"Yes. You know what a friend is, Reuven? A Greek philosopher said that two people who are true friends are like two bodies with one soul."

I finished this book last night and then dreamt about it over and over again. It is a beautiful story - a classic that I had never read and one I may not have read without the help of my book club. On the surface, this book explores the varied facets of the Jewish faith in America during WWII and the complex spiritual and intellectual discord between two Jewish boys and their fathers. But this story is really about perception, faith, relationships, dedication and love. Had I known the author focused so extensively on studying the Talmud and Hasidism vs. Zionism, I seriously doubt my interest would have been piqued. Thankfully, I didn't know and I couldn't put the book down. I enjoyed every morsel. After a book full of heartache and confusion, the final chapters left me with such a feeling of peace and understanding I can hardly tell.

Favorite Quotes:

"You are no longer a child, Reuven, . . .It is almost possible to see the way your mind is growing. And your heart, too. . . .So listen to what I am going to tell you. . . .Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye? . . .I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives the span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life. It is hard work to fill one's life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here. Do you understand what I am saying?" ~ Reuven's Father, David Malter

"He was born trapped. I don't ever want to be trapped the way he's trapped. I want to be able to breathe, to think what I want to think, to say the things I want to say. I'm trapped now, too. Do you know what it feels like to be trapped? ... How could you possible know? Its the most hellish, choking, constricting feeling in the world. I scream with every bone in my body to get out of it. My mind cries to get out of it. But I can't. Not now. One day I will, though. I'll want you around on that day, friend. I'll need you around on that day." ~Danny Saunders

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Abducted by Aliens or A Visit to the Dentist

There is nothing worse than a toothache. Awesome pain and the inevitable visit to the dentist. (By the way, the second worse thing in life is an earache, but at least you don't have to see a dentist.) I am a dental phobic. Just thinking about going to the dentist gives me a panic attack. Last week I got a terrible toothache and a sinking feeling developed deep in my stomach. After a quick exam our family dentist announced I needed a root canal. The worst news! I would rather go through labor and have another baby than have a root canal. (A truth adopted from my friend, Wendy). My consultation with the endodontist occurred the following morning.

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of meeting the endodontist, I'll outline my experience here. After checking in, I was taken for x-rays. Getting dental x-rays is about as fun as getting sand in your eye. If there is one area that is seriously in the dark ages, its the dental world. They still use the same system for x-rays that was used when I was a child. Thirty years later and medical science hasn't come up with something new? Giant machine; enormous plastic film thing in your mouth that somehow you're supposed to bite down on. This is about 212 times more fun to do when you have a terrible toothache by the way. Last week, I had to do this twice because the first time I didn't bite down all the way. (Um...of course I didn't. I have a toothache!) After the x-rays I met the endodontist, who was a lovely young woman in blue scrubs named Dr. R. Dr. R took my history, looked at the x-rays and then poked around in my mouth for a few minutes. She confirmed that I did need a RC and then proceeded to pleasantly do the "cold test." The cold test is a torture technique they save for special patients. The dentist takes a cotton Q-tip, sprays it heavily with liquid nitrogen and touches your tooth to see if you pass out in pain. (Note: if your tooth needs a root canal, this will hurt worse than kidney stones). So, Dr. R takes her nasty Q-tip and begins the torture. "Do you feel it here? How about here? Tell me when you feel it here?" I'm breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about it.

At this point, Dr. R and I have a discussion about dental treatment history and options and she recommends dental anxiety sedation. This means that my dental phobia is confirmed. Actually Dr. R tells me that a lot of patients use this treatment option and that she herself would use it if she had to have a root canal. The medication is relaxing and helps you keep your mouth open for the 2.5 hour procedure. I agree to the treatment for a few reasons:

1. Holding my mouth open for long periods of time makes me feel panicky.
2. I feel like I'm suffocating if I have to wear a rubber dam over my mouth.
3. I'm a dental phobic.

The night before the procedure, I am a mess. I tell Chance that I can't do it 100 times. I keep thinking that having this procedure feels like voluntarily giving myself to aliens to perform tests. No sane person would do that and it just felt crazy to me to voluntarily lie down, open my mouth and allow someone to stick needles, drills and other tools of torment into my mouth. And then pay them for it. Its like being abducted by aliens - on purpose! And some of my favorite people in the world are dentists. Really. Sorry guys.

I arrived for my appointment Monday morning about 1 hour early for the anti-anxiety medication. Basically, I swallow some pills and play with my iPhone for 40 minutes. When the dental assistant led me back to the treatment room, I didn't feel very altered at all. I do think my anxiety level was fairly low. I didn't freak out and start hyperventilating when they placed the prop to keep my mouth open or put the rubber dam over my face. Dr. R gave me the injections (which was very unpleasant) and then I fell asleep. I woke up a few times because I'm fairly certain I was snoring and woke myself up. In no time, the root canal was finished and Chance picked me up. He tells me that I looked like a dementia patient when I walked out. Everyone helped me stagger to the car and I came home and slept for five hours. I woke up in time to eat dinner, have a phone-text conversation with my sister that I have no memory of, said goodnight to the kids and went back to bed a while later.

I think the drugs were totally worth it for me. I am happy to have little memory of the entire experience. We'll see how I feel if my snoring body winds up on YouTube.

"Some tortures are physical
And some are mental,
But the one that is both
Is dental."
~Ogden Nash, American Poet