Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Need a Post Vacation Vacation

The vacation verdict is in.

Travel with a four year is not a vacation in the true sense of the word.

We returned this week from a 10 day stay upstate. While it was good to get away, I can't say that I've come home rejuvenated.

Seth completely rejected the notion of trying the kiddie camp, so downtime for Marc (my husband) and I did not exist as I had hoped.

It was nice to spend time as a family without the distractions of home and my typical To Do list, but I'm sure you can guess who dictated, for the most past, our choice of activity at Mohonk Mountain House, the resort where we stayed.

We went boating, attempted fishing (though I'm not keen on the whole worm thing....or the idea of spearing a living creature), explored the grounds, took a stab at hitting golf balls....etc. But, most of our time, on a daily basis, was spent either at the indoor pool or man made beach lake area.

I did manage to squeeze in a massage, which I adored, and had fleeting pockets of time to read and take an art class. What I really wanted most was the opportunity to do some hiking and sitting in one of the many thatched huts surrounding the spectacular lake and mountains. It is there that in the past I've been alone with my thoughts and could clear my mind....something I don't do well at home.

I guess this is the way vacations sometimes go when your child (especially a busy boy) is no longer an infant you can contain in a stroller.

To his credit, Seth showed a huge sense of autonomy, easily navigating the resort and playing on his own at times. That was great to see.

We are considering a winter vacation, when Seth is on break from Pre-K, and I imagine we'll be looking at places like Disney, etc. There, I will not have the expectation of chilling, and I guess that's the key. To let go of vacations as we've known them....go with the flow....make the most of family time.....and know that our kids grow up fast, so relish even the less than relaxing times.

I would, however, welcome another moms retreat with gal pals, or a weekend to myself.

How have your vacations gone since you've become a mom?

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Monday, August 20, 2007

What does full-term mean?

According to my "Pregnancy Journal," 77 more days to go until due date. I do understand that "77" means "anywhere between 63 and 91 days", of course, with the doctor's permission. It is interesting that although many books say a normal full-term is between 38 and 42 weeks, I have yet to hear about a doctor who is "cool" about waiting 2 weeks, whereas I hear more about doctors who are ready to induce if one is but a day overdue. I wonder if it has to do with the AMA (advanced maternal age), or a simple sampling error (after all, I'm not talking about hundreds of such cases), or selective memory on my part. All in all, I should probably ask my doctor at some point: do you believe that a full-term pregnancy is between 38 and 42 weeks?

Our group met and had lunch last week to wish V who is due this week good luck. She did look like she was ready for her baby. I try to imagine her showing up to our meeting in a few weeks, with her baby outside her. I am very excited. I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

40 Something Birthday Quandry

My birthday is Saturday, and I don't know how to celebrate. We leave on vacation on Sunday, so there is much to do to prepare, but I don't want to lose sight of my special day.

Growing up, I was always super sensitive about my birthdays. I recall one year my parents gave me presents in advance of my official day, and I got all upset because they came early.

This year for some reason, while I want to celebrate, I don't feel so hung up on having to do something super special. I originally thought I might go into Manhattan, shop around, and meet up with my husband and Seth for dinner. But, now I'm thinking, that maybe I'll just chill with them at our community pool and eat out some place local that I either love or have been wanting to try.

I was chatting with a mom friend about it today who said her husband has a 50th birthday approaching, and she wondered what to do. I'm not as yet at that milestone, but it got me thinking about how I'd want to celebrate when my time comes. Would I want to host a splashy affair, or celebrate in a more low key fashion? Or perhaps go on a fabulous trip, with Seth and Marc, if Seth is mature enough. He will be 7 then.

Lots to think about, and I certainly don't want to rush the years away. Part of me can't believe that one day I'll actually be 50. I don't know where the time goes. But, I do want to enjoy my time and to especially treasure Seth's younger years.

So....maybe for my birthday this year I don't need to really focus on myself. Perhaps I can enjoy the afternoon with Seth and Marc, just spending quality family long as I get to pick the restaurant. I refuse to eat in Seth's favorite dinner spot, our local diner. I draw the birthday line there. And, if I do choose to indulge in dessert, I want my birthday ice cream sundae with the fudge, cherry, etc. I can burn off some calories playing around with Seth in the pool. And, no doubt I'll get more cardio on vacation, chasing him.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Hypochondriac and pregnant

It's been about a month or so, I have had strange soreness in my groin area, on and off, nothing serious. I attributed it to the extra weight I have been schlepping along: no big deal. Until last Friday. The pain was sudden and breathtaking, I could barely walk, and with a limp at that. I got scared.

I had to take Human Gross Anatomy as a part of my graduate training. It's amazing how much information is retained after all these years. I visualized the cadaver we had to dissect, focusing on the groin area, and pinpointed the part that was most painful: inguinal ligament. Gasp! OMG, am I having an inguinal hernia? An image of an inguinal hernia (the man looked like he had three sets of genitals), branded in my brain simply because it looked so awfully painful, flashed in front of my eyes. I took a closer look at myself in front of a mirror. My thighs indeed looked weird, like overstuffed sausages. The pain felt like it was spreading through my thighs. Maybe the nerves are damaged.... What if I cannot walk anymore? What if......??!!

While I was madly writing my own medical drama, my husband did a rather sensible thing. He looked up the books and the internet for pregnancy-related pains, and suggested that perhaps it was a round ligament pain. No, it can't be that simple! I know what a round ligament is, and it has nothing to do with thighs!

Strangely, however, as I started to reexamine myself, the pain in my thighs disappeared. And as I read more about the round ligament pain, I realized my symptoms fit the descriptions better. What have I got to lose? I tried the recommendations: rest, change positions, see if the pain subsides. And it did. I felt sheepish. But now I know walking too fast for too long triggers it.

I shall "listen to my body" (and shall not roll my eyes at this cliché).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hold that Vacation Thought....

Seth's last day of summer camp is today. Where does time go? June and July totally flew, and before you know it, he'll be in pre-K in September.

We leave in a week for what has become our annual family trip upstate NY. We vacation with my dad, my sister, her husband and her two kids. It's a special bonding time for Seth and his cousins who he seldom gets to see since they are on the competitive tennis circuit.

Our vacation spot offers a fun kiddie camp. In past years, it's been up for grabs whether Seth would go into the camp or not. If he elects not to, it changes the whole dynamic of the trip for Marc (my husband) and I. I like to use, at least some of the time away, as an opportunity to stir up my creative juices. It's such a beautiful place, and I try to hide in one of the many secluded thatched huts perched high on a cliff around the lake, and disappear into my own thoughts. Something I seldom get to do at home, with all the clutter of every day busy life. I bring books I've been longing to peruse, and several journals, and let the words and thoughts flow. Amazing how effortless it is when outside your home environment, far from your TO DO list and distraction.

I wish I could bottle the feeling I have while on vacation. One year I bought one of those snow globes and put it on my desk at home. I'd shake it up and watch the flakes circulate, and think positive thoughts about my time away. For the moment, it brought back a special feeling of calm, but it was all too fleeting.

Breaks are so very important. As busy as we all are, it's so easy to get into a rut.

Is it possible to take home your vacation mindset and somehow conjure it up in your everyday life? I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

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