P. Sunshine

P. Sunshine
My Flickr Fotos

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Christmas Marathon

Patti Sunshine is currently reading The Red Tent

I promise I will get some pictures on here soon. It's just been a bit nuts at our house lately.

This year I partook in what could be coined The Christmas Marathon!!! This is what happens when one has a super-extended family such as I do. Although I love to see people and have family gatherings, shoving five separate such occasions into one week turns out to be quite exhausting for a nine-months pregnant lady. Right now, I am left feeling like an old pillow with half the cotton pulled out. I'm so exhausted that I actually wore my glasses to work. (ew!) ok, I also didn't take a shower either, I'll admit, and it just so happens that I ate at an Indian restaurant last night so I have that lingering onion/curry odor about me (sorry to the doctor that will be checking me today). I tried to cover the scent up with perfume and Todd's super-duper strongman deodorant, but I merely managed to make myself smell like cinnamon-flowery curry instead. Ah, well. I have an excuse, right?

I'm quite jealous that three of the ladies I know who were due to have babies in January have already given birth. And here I am, left out in the cold, still not hatching and growing bigger and more uncomfortable by the minute. I'm listening with a jealous ear to the plans of my coworkers for New Year's Eve, and hoping that MY plans will include an early visit to the birthing room.

My other plans are to finish organizing tha baby's drawers ( I received loads of baby clothes this holiday, thanks to all for the help!) get the carpet installed in The Boy's "new" room (can you believe, Todd and I found a remnant that was EXACTLY the size of the room for 88 dollahs? SCORE!) put the dang crib together and donate a huuuuuge box of Son's toys to Goodwill. He was quite spoiled this year, seeing as we had FIVE different family gatherings. Did I mention that before? Just trying to make the point clear.

I'm glad that I was able to have Monday off so The Boy could relax and play with his toys. He is so happy when he doesn't have to take on adult responsibilities, as he does on the days when I work. Having those days off makes me feel all the more guilty that I have to work outside the home. We had a perfect day together, filled with laughs, games, singing, dancing, and stories. Not once did he ask to watch TV, either. What a joy!

So now, here I sit at my desk, the calmness that happens after the holiday rush is setting into my bones, and I am now looking forward to the next big adventure...having the baby. It's nice to have something to focus on after all the Christmas ruckus. I know that some people get severely depressed after the holiday letdown, so I am thanking my stars that I have this special goal in my sights. 2005 is going to be an adventurous year, indeed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The holiday season is a time to rejoice, reunite with loved ones, spend time with family and friends. A time for celebration and cheer. The expected happiness this time of year is what makes a death seem all the more tragic.

The saying goes that death comes in threes. I have been notified of three deaths of people I knew within this past week. (ok, one is a cat, but I'm counting it because I don't want to think about losing any more friends!). The odd thing about learning of someone's death for me is that when someone I know has died, it has always been a person that I haven't seen in a while. A situation like this tends to numb the feelings of grief, the reality of the actual death doesn't ever sink in. I feel guilty for not breaking down and crying, but the bubble of protection that distance provides leaves me feeling shocked and surprised rather than sad.

About a year ago, my mother wanted me to attend her colleague's mother's funeral, she says because she wanted me to get some "funeral experience". I told her I was willing to bet that I had been to three times as many funerals in my life at that point than she. It seems in my lifetime, I have seen more deaths of young people than I have of the elderly. I've almost come to expect that someone I know will pass away each year, it's just a matter of who, when and how - this is perhaps another factor that numbs the pain of a death.

I like to believe that when we die, we are reunited with those that we loved and lost in life. I imagine my friends from college hanging out in some heavenly mountainous area, enjoying the essence of nature. I see my Grandmother swimming, riding her bike, the beauty of her days as a model restored in her face. My mind is at ease if I focus on the fact that those whom we have lost are now free of the burdens of living life on Earth, in our clunky bodies, with our trite day-to-day problems. We don't know what happens when we die, but as a coping method, I try to focus on what the dead may be experiencing rather than those left behind on Earth. This is why I don't cry at funerals. I've actually been to a few services where the family of the deceased released balloons, had uplifting music playing, and the general mood was a celebration of a life lived, not a life lost.

Yes, it is painful when we lose someone we love, especially around Christmas time, and I can't imagine what my friend's family and my (half) sister are going through right now. All I can do is lend my support, be a listening ear, and thank God for letting me briefly know these beautiful people.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

car conversation #4?

3 1/2 year old son: " Mama, can I see your tummy just for a minute?"
Me: "sure"
Son: "Yep, you're like Fat Albert. I'll call you 'Mama Fat Albert' because your tummy is big and fat!"
Me: "That's not a nice thing to say to someone"
Son: "Sorry, but you are like Fat Albert in your tummy"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

social hour

Last night, the gals from bookclub got together for a Christmas party/baby shower/social gathering at San Chez. At first, I was feeling tired and anti-social, but with this group, it's impossible to stay that way for long.

What I enjoy most about our group is the overall diversity and dynamics of the women. The Books & Cooks contain a devout Christian, A devout Non-Christian, and a couple of Catholics. Some are single women, some are married with children and some are married, no children. We are tall, short, dark-haired, light haired and come from different backgrounds. One thing that all the women have in common is that they are intelligent, educated people. The conversations at our meetings can involve anything from politics to hair color, and I love them for that.

A group with dynamics such as ours is hard to ignore, and last night we managed to quickly become the entertainment for the mezzanine section of the restaurant. It's a bookclub tradition to have some sort of minor catastrophe occur at a meeting. Whether it be dog/mineral spirit incidents, major dog flatulation or wine spilling on new furniture, we manage to produce a (later) laughable situation. This time the incident to speak of evolved when a certain napkin placed in a bread basket made friends with a nearby candle. For some reason, none of us reacted, we just noticed that the lights were brighter and there was a nice warmth emanating from the table. I think I casually pointed out the fire, and Stacey screamed while a waiter non-chalantly walked by and dumped a pitcher of water on said basket - as if he were working on an assembly line - it was so automatic. The waitress then explained that this was the third time they had performed such a fire-fighting duty that night.

Between the fire, the gift exchanges, and our general livelihood, we managed to draw the attention and even applause of the other patrons in the restuarant. In a good way. I swear.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

We need more Calgon!

I feel a storm a-brewin' and I'm not talking about the weather. Every once in a while, perhaps once a year or sometimes every two years, I tend to have what I call a mental breakdown. I can tell when one is coming because the muscles in my neck become tight and twitchy. The fact that it is winter and I'm boiling hot without a jacket is another indication of the inevitable eruption.

Lately, I've been losing sleep thinking about work, the new arrival and all the logistics and financial changes that will come hand in hand with it. I've been flipping around in my bed, formulating plan after plan, and nothing is putting my mind at ease. I end up running to the bathroom and bawling my eyes out so as not to disturb those in the house who can get shut-eye. Then, in the morning, after I manage to somehow fall asleep for maybe 2 hours, my 3 1/2 year-old son decides to be slow, stubborn and argumentative before we get in the car to go to school and work. This makes my blood boil and a strange monster mom growl develops in my throat. I can feel my heart squeezing, and I end up doing lamaze breathing just to keep it from exploding.

I would normally get a reprieve once I get to work, but because I am in the process of training my substitute, I enter a whole new world of stress. At the end of the workday, I leave to pick my son up from school and the pressure of entertaining my son, getting dinner on and cleaning the house and/or running errands takes over the stress I left at work. I know that I should be doing yoga and meditating, but I never get a significant chunk of time to be alone, with nothing to do. If my husband takes my son out for a few hours, I end up doing laundry, dishes, or cleaning. I know that with a baby, it's only going to get worse, and here comes that tightness in my neck. grrrrrrrrrrrr.

I know that being a stay-at-home mom is a stressful and difficult job, but just to be able to not have to deal with the morning defiance, to be able to say "yes, honey. you can go back to bed, you can leave your jammies on", to not have to dry my hair or wear wrinkle-free clothes right now sounds like life's equivalent to Calgon. If I stayed home, I could have time to hang out with or merely call my friends, right? right? Join one of those "play groups"? My stay-at home mom friends always seem so relaxed, but then again, they're always complaing about wanting to go out with adult friends and not having time or money for that. Every situation has its gold and its coal.

Tomorrow, I will be spending the day shopping for gifts that will be given at our Christmas party. Perhaps I could sneak in some car yoga or stow away in the mall bathroom for some quick meditation, Maybe what I need to do is find 5 minute spurts when I can perform relaxation techniques rather than doing hour-long sessions. I could start a new trend among busy women. Call it "power-meditation" (since the word "power-anything" is so trendy now). I can write a book about it, make a DVD, market it on that cable shopping channel. Yes, yes, I see it now, a whole Patti Sunshine mega-enterprize for the harried supermom set. It could happen. That is, if I had the time.....

Monday, December 06, 2004

Thursday, December 02, 2004

birthdays, birthdays and more birthdays

For me, this season is not only about holidays, but also it is the time for the big birthday rush. It seems that everyone I know has a birthday in these current 2 weeks. Todd's birthday falls right after Thanksgiving, so while everyone else is rushing to get the holiday shopping and baking done, I am focusing on his birthday. Last year, as he most likely will never forget, we also had just moved into our new house, so the little stress monster in me kinda sorta made a big fat appearance on his birthday and kinda sorta ruined his special day.

This year, I invited some old friends over to help celebrate, made him the cake he wanted (german chocolate with peanut butter frosting - I was afraid of this at first but it actually tasted great!), bought him gifts that he wanted, and made his favorite dinner .....ok, he actually made the dinner.

It was his special famous spaghetti that is quickly gaining popularity with our dinner guests. I don't know how he does it, but he cuts up a bunch of Roma tomatoes, other veggies, tofu and who knows what else, cooks it down and then we pile it on our noodles. The flavor of the sauce is so amazing that you could eat it solo as a meal. I soaked up the juices with loads of garlic bread - in your face, Atkins!

Now that Todd's big birthday celebration has passed, I can focus on the bazillion other engagements that I have marked on my calendar. This month I will.....
Get my hair dyed to its natural color (hopefully)
Christmas shopping (yikes!)
Get a real Christmas tree
Finish and mail the Holiday letter
Help with Gypsy Auditions at the theatre
Gather with the book club at San Chez (a Tapas Bistro)
Attend my son's Christmas concert
Try to remember to sell some things on ebay
See my former yoga instructor who moved to Hawaii
Go to Todd's mom's for Christmas
Have my birth mother and "special friend", Todd's dad and wife over for Christmas Eve's Eve
(the 23rd)
Go to my mom's for Christmas Day
Go to the Flaggert's annual party (we will meet their newest grandson, Jack)
Try to relax and get ready for a birth!
What are YOU doing?