Monday, July 23, 2018


Sitting on Courtney's front porch enjoying a cool morning breeze in my pajamas.  Listening to the cars go by. Feeling relaxed.

I flew in almost a week ago to attend an ILCA Conference.  It has been amazing to be with so many like minded people.  Not like a La Leche League Conference because this is for lactation "professionals: and La Leche League Leaders are the "non professional" experts.

I met with long time LLL friends and met with lactation professionals who knew very little about LLL at all.   I kept busy, Attended lots of workshops.  Learned new things.  Slept through some stuff because I think my brain just couldn't take it all in.  And some of the speakers had such mellow voices that I was tranquilized.

I felt sad, angry and lonely some (much) of the time because I was attending alone, and couldn't figure out how to connect for meals and get togethers.  There might have been a virtual bulletin board, but I didn't know where or if it existed.   So I ate my breakfasts and dinners alone.   It's okay.  Really.  Just frustrating.

I also felt at times that my brain has just not totally recovered from brain surgery.  I tire so easily.

On the brighter side, the steroid shots I got in my knees before heading west really helped.

Before I got these shots I couldn't walk from one end of the house to
the other without great effort.  Now, I am not ready for a marathon (but I never have been), I can walk and enjoy myself

I stayed in a Hilton Hotel with a beautiful view of the city by day and night.

In the past when I have come to Portland I have felt this terrific emotional draw.  This is the city where I was born.  I felt that this was my real home, my roots.     I imagined my parents here and wondered what they would think of it now.  especially my mom.  She hasn't been here since the 60s.   Now, my parents are both gone.  Not even buried here.  My daughter has her own house.    I don't have that same tugging.  I don't know if there is any logic to why I felt that way before, or how I feel now.  Or even how I will feel on another day.

Maybe in part it's because Nick and I have a new house that will be our home for as long as we can take care of it.  And the new home we have doesn't have any ghosts.  It is brand new.  We are the first and only people to have lived in it.  Us and our dog Buddy.    I have never been pregnant or nursed a baby in the new house.  Nick and I are in a really good place in our lives.  We really like each other and love each other and share laughs and sorrows.  We are two very individual, independent interdependent people.

My one really kind of surreal conference experience was the realization that the Thai doctor attending the conference was the same doctor who, 40 years ago, in the hospital nursery in Bangkok, cheered support when I was pumping colostrum for my sick newborn, Courtney.   I didn't say anything to the doctor.  I didn't want to break the spell.  But, she cannot imagine how she impacted my life, and in turn the many many moms and babies I have helped.  Karma is real.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sleeping in Aldie

Tonight, Nick and Buddy and I are spending the night in our new house in Aldie, Virginia.  Kind of cool since I had never even seen it after dark before.

It is a very large house with a very small amount of furniture   There is one bed- a king size one- in the downstairs guest room.

We sat on the deck this evening and enjoyed the dark night and all the stars we can see.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

First world problems, but they stress me nonetheless

Here's a recap. We put money down on our new house in February. Since the house was being used as a model home and office for the builders, we knew we wouldn't be able to move in until late June.

Meanwhile, we hired a realtor to help us "stage" our current house in Reston so we could put it on the market.

We have put about half of our furniture into storage with a storage and moving company.  Nick rented a storage locker to put the rest of our "stuff" in to.  We have tossed around three truck loads of stuff- old broken deck chairs, thousands of books and who knows what else.

So much to go through.   What should we keep.  What should we donate?  What should we toss.   And of course, no help but each other.  I should say Nick actually since he has done most of the physical work.  There was a time when I would have helped, but I just cannot now. I am in almost constant pain from the arthritis in my knees.   We couldn't hire anyone to help because all of this is our stuff.  Personal decisions need to be made.

There are boxes with five children's worth of report cards, school work, drawings, stories.   School pictures.   What should I save, what should I discard.     There was also a completely full, large Rubbermaid bin full of my college notes.  Why on earth did I save that stuff.  (I guess I was so pleased with myself that I actually finished college that I wanted to save proof of how hard I worked).   I tossed all of that.

Nick carried everything upstairs and either took it to our storage locker or threw it out.  Well, most of it.  At one point it was so overwhelming that we had the Got Junk people haul the trash up from the basement and out of the garage as well.

This next picture was taken after Nick has started to move things out of the storage locker, put them into a rental truck, and drive to the new house 30 minutes away.

  The weather was really hot with a heat index of over 100 degrees.  I was really worried about Nick.  In fact, at one point Nick called me to pick him up because he needed a break, a nap, shower, food and water.  Then he went back to work.

We might have been able to hire some day workers, but I'm not sure that would have worked.  What do you do with them when you need a break.   How do you tell them what to put where when it's all personal, family stuff.

So, Nick put everything into the garage in the new house.  By himself.  Everything still needs to be moved into the house.  The boxes are clearly marked "basement bedroom", "Master bedroom'  Kitchen"   At least now the new house is ours, so we can take our time.  Not that we enjoy having a garage full of stuff.

We weren't able to spend the night at the new house because the air conditioning in the main floor master (guest room) wasn't working.  When we bought the house, even though it was a model home, it didn't come with furniture.  I arranged to but some of the furniture.  But not much.  All of the other rooms in the house are empty and will be until we sell the old house- then we can move our stuff to the new house.