Saturday, June 30, 2007

1 year 5 months since we said goodbye*

That is what the ticker at the bottom of my blog reads.

I just checked it because the tickers on several of the blogs I read are blank today. But William's ticker isn't blank and reading it caused me to think that maybe my overwhelmingly emotional state is not just because of the conversation Mr. C and I had Thursday night. I talked on the phone with Mothership (this is what we call Mr. C's mom) a little while ago and somethng she said perhaps moved my thinking in this direction as well.

She asked how I was doing and she could hear in my voice that I am not well. I told her that I am tired and crampy and whatnot and her response was something to the effect that it must be hard to have a physical reminder that I don't have the baby that I want so badly. Huh. She said other things as well...somehow hearing someone else speak of William and use his name is always at once comforting as well as painful.

I am hurting with every part of me and tears are flowing so frequently and heavily. Yesterday I tried to hide them from Mr. C but it ended up being impossible. I just wish there was some way to flip a switch or something and feel differently. I am so tired of feeling sad and helpless.

I miss my baby boy. I also miss the feeling I once had that I was never alone, that the Lord was always there for me and I could find comfort in difficult times through prayer. I know I've covered this ground before and that I really should actively work towards sorting things out for myself.

When I was in labor there was a time when I was certain that William had passed. I remember it in a foggy sort of way (I was under the influence of a mixture of shock and morphine) and I know that I told Mr. C and Mothership that he was in the arms of the Lord. I felt that so strongly. And that is the sort of thing that was common throughout my life--from the time I was a child. I'm not saying that I would have visions or anything...but very strong feelings of a divine presence. It seems to me that that is the last that I have felt either the presence of the divine/the Lord or the presence of William/his spirit. And now it is just me. Alone.

*William was born on February 1st, 2006

Friday, June 29, 2007


Here I go again. I told myself that I shouldn’t write about all of this, but I feel like I really need to. I need to get it out and I need to perhaps get some perspective on things.

After seven weeks of medication experiments that almost went terribly wrong, the despondency and distance are virtually gone (although my memory of them and the sense of despair they instilled in me are still very much with me). There has been a return to kisses hello or good-bye, or even just because I passed him in the hall. There has been a return to laughter and silliness and even to the ruthless tickle-attacks that I missed so much. But over the last several days I have been aware that there is something else. In the evenings he is restless. And last night he finally opened up with me about it. He said he feels like an old man, just coming home each night and doing nothing…that he needs some excitement and danger in his life. To a small degree I feel like I can understand how he is feeling. But I can’t help but be frightened by it as well…like I’m not enough to make him feel satisfied. My logical brain is thinking that while the depression is improving, there is still clearly an issue with anxiety. Since I have experienced anxiety myself I do understand the feeling of discontent and restlessness and the sense that there must be something missing or something *outside* that will make things feel better. I’ve encouraged him to talk to the doctor about it when he sees him next. It may be that there is yet another medication that is warranted, or perhaps some tinkering around with the one he is on.

I wish that I could just wake up and that we would be on the other side of all of this. I told him last night after we had talked that I was feeling upset and helpless about it all. He told me that it is a good thing that we can talk about it, that if we couldn’t then that would be something to worry about. Ugh. Tell that to my stomach, which is an acid mess right now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

no more teachers' dirty looks

Mr. C came home from work singing that song to me yesterday.

Technically, school was out last Friday. But I had to teach a professional development class to secondary teachers in my district yesterday. And there was only one teacher who gave me a dirty look, so that's not too bad. Teachers tend to be either your best or your worst students. This woman was just bent out of shape because she didn't/doesn't want to do the work that she needs to do. The class was on how to create course syllabi that meet the new district standards that will go into effect in the fall. I was on the committee that figured out what these should be, so when you add that to my experience facilitating professional development, apparently it is a forgone conclusion that I should teach the class. I was grumbling about "having" to do it, but it really wasn't that bad. And the woman who tried to give me a hard time ended up apologizing profusely by the end of the class and thanking me for giving her so many resources.

So anyway, now I am essentially done. I am driving in to work to tie up some loose ends and hopefully by the time I leave there today I will feel like I can walk out of my classroom and the school and not return until August. There is a slight chance that I will feel like I need to go back in tomorrow, but I SWEAR that I am taking ALL of July off. No work!

Monday, June 25, 2007


I realize that I tend to get way too focused on things*, so I am asking for forgiveness in advance.

It's about the rating system again. Last night Mr. C and I went to see the new John Cusack film "1408," which is rated PG 13. In the film Sam L. Jackson gets the honor of having the one line with the F-word in it. Apparently a film can maintain the PG 13 rating if they only use the F-word once.

*I'm not sure if this is proof of where I really fall on Niobe's boring vs. annoying theory. After a brief conversation earlier with Mr. C about dwarfs/little people, he seems to think that because I take some things so far (too many trivial facts and details) that I start out being uninteresting, then move into boring territory, and finally become annoying. Yikes. He said it with love, though:)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

aw, what the hell!

I decided to figure out what I need, so I did the google thing. This was done with my real name, because Basilbean came up with nothing and just Basil was super boring.

Basilbean Needs Your Help
Basilbean needs a family that will be patient, consistent, kind, loving...
Basilbean needs every advantage possible to attain this goal.
it's Basilbean who clearly needs to shut the fuck up. ... Basilbean needs to exercise her right to shut the fuck up. ...
Basilbean needs to move on with someone else since Tony’s no longer around.
Basilbean needs to find out that it is her baby and take her home.
Basilbean needs to just shut up.
Basilbean needs help translating, so let’s all pull together here.
maybe Basilbean needs the viking hat protection?
Seriously, Basilbean needs to get her mouth washed out with soap :-O ...


OK, so the blog rating system has really peaked my curiosity. This blog is rated by the system as PG due to my use of the word "shit" once and the word "hell" twice. On other blogs the words: murder, pain, torture, blood, suicide, death, dead, and profanity like the word "fuck" have led to ratings of R or even worse. I'm really not sure how the rating system is working, but these words all were apparently ignored on my blog (not this one). What did lead to a rating of NC 17 (wow!) was my use of the words: shoot (which I used eight times), sex, and ass. I really do think it is the sex-related words that led to the higher rating. I wonder if there is a XXX rating? I'm too embarrassed to test out a bunch of sexually-explicit words (but it may just be that using the word "sex" regardless of the context will do it.)

Let's see...

Online Dating

This rating is due to the use of the following words:
Hell (3X)
Sex (2X)
XXX (1X)

So I suppose if I were to check the rating it would indicate an increased use of those words (yet it continues to ignore the other words...maybe since these words are so "bad" it makes them null?). Ok, this has been enough of a distraction for now; I will try to move on to do more productive things with my day.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

lack of substance

I just glanced over at the titles of my posts for June and while I was already aware that I haven't been good for much of anything lately it occurs to me how pathetic this blog is.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

funny, funny stuff fo shizzle

Mr. C just showed me one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time.

Go to

When you get there, type in the URL for your blog.

After that you may want to look at other things online, if this ends up being the sort of thing that gives you a laugh. It sure did make me laugh:)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

when one door closes...

All of the cliches have been flying around my part of the world lately.

I have been so busy helping the 40-or-so students that I am responsible for get ready to graduate that there has been little time to do or think about anything else for the past three weeks.

I am exhausted.

Yet the vast majority of these students have completed their requirements* and on Monday they will graduate. I will be there with them. At the school where I teach it is the tradition that the teachers wear gowns and regalia and accompany the graduates in their ceremony. This will be my seventh graduation with this school, and I believe this one will be the most difficult for me to get through without crying**. My attachment to these students is so strong and I am not feeling ready to say good-bye to them. I have grown to admire them and can honestly say that they inspire me.

I teach at a large comprehensive high school that is similar to most high schools in the United States. I will refrain from blathering on and on about the flaws of the factory-model high school and the existence of the achievement gap that this model has played a part in creating and perpetuating. At some other time I may write about how I came to be a teacher, and more specifically the role that I have been playing in the reformation of the high school system in our country. It is a topic that I find fascinating and am passionate about. The school where I teach is similar to other comprehensive high schools, but it is unique in that six years ago we began the process of creating small learning communities within the school. Each year into the process another grade-level was added until all teachers and all students in the school became part of one of the Small Schools within the school. The students who are graduating on Monday will walk together as members of one large high school that consists of four Small Schools.

As a result of being part of a small school I have known most of *my* students for four years. I have watched them grow over these years. It really is amazing to see the changes that occur from age 14 to 18. But the changes a child goes through during these years are observable to most people: they grow taller, start to look like women and men; they become less awkward and more comfortable in their own skin. Because of how closely we work with our students I have had the opportunity to also see their personality and character development and have been aware of many of the personal challenges that have played a part in shaping who they are becoming.
*My role in all of this preparation to graduate is overseeing the completion of the Senior Culminating Project and the Graduation Portfolio. All of the seniors in my Small School take a class, that I teach, where these components are part of the curriculum. Unfortunately, each year there are a few students who are holding on by a thread when it comes to meeting their graduation requirements (a problem that has diminished due to the Small School model, but has not completely disappeared). This year there was one student who told me yesterday that she will not be walking across the stage on Monday because she failed her math final. This is the same student who I took shopping a couple of weeks ago so she could have something nice to wear for her senior project presentation (in which she had the audience riveted with her story of overcoming the challenges of being born with a cleft palate and the severe hearing loss that resulted and her plans to be a nurse because of these experiences). But she held in her hands the paperwork for the on-line course she will complete this summer in order to receive her diploma.
**This isn't completely true. While this will be the most emotionally charged graduation in terms of my attachment to my students, last year was difficult in a much different way. Last year graduation was on June 7th. June 7th was William's due date. Since he was born four months early, this date was looming for a long time. I had initially planned to take the day for myself, perhaps to go to the cemetery. But I didn't. Mr. C didn't understand why the day was so important to me. For him it was just another day--not even necessarily the day that William "would have been" born. But each day after he died the calendar continued to move forward and in my mind I kept counting forward. For me the milestones were still real, only with the added layer of "should be," such as "he should be 28 weeks now, and if he had been born now he would have such a good chance of being just fine." This continued through the months and I was very aware as his due date got closer. Maybe it would have been better if I had taken the day off of work and skipped graduation. As it was, I went numb inside in order to cope. I didn't mention the significance of the day to anyone, not even Travis who was my strongest support at work. I couldn't talk about it at all, because I knew that I wouldn't be able to maintain control if I did. In fact, I don't think I even looked anyone in the eye that day. Usually when I have to force myself to keep it together for something I will allow myself to break down once I am alone. Since I commute an hour south to go to work I did a good deal of crying in the car when my grief was fresh. But that day I didn't. The numbness lasted for days afterward, perhaps even longer than that. And even though William was born in February my mind kept going over new ground. After the due date passed things, for a while anyway, were measured in where they "should be" with a newborn in the house.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I (inadvertently) did a bad, bad thing

The other day I bought some decaffeinated coffee beans. Coffee is such a big part of my life lately. I will spare you the saga of my pathetic latte addiction but I really could go on and on about it. On the weekends I brew coffee, though. Despite my latte habit I still have to be very careful when drinking actual coffee. It is more powerful than espresso in part, I am sure, to the lack of the milk to dilute it.

I drink it in cute little coffee cups. I have a collection of these cute little cups--a couple of which are pictured a few posts back. Both of the examples posted were gifts.

But I will stop myself from digressing too far from the intended point of this post. Despite my self-awareness of my sensitivity and my strategy of drinking out of small (cute) cups, I almost always end up drinking too much coffee and end up being a jittery, anxious mess. This is not good, especially considering my tendency toward being anxious anyway. And lately I have needed all of the help I can get to remain calm and feeling relatively stable.

So I bought some decaf coffee beans. My idea was that I would brew a pot of regular coffee first thing in the morning, then switch to decaf or a mix of regular and decaf. That way I could continue my liquid diet into the day and not become a freakin' tweaker.

This worked great last weekend when I piloted my new plan.

Yesterday, though, I left in the morning and didn't make coffee because Mr. C was still in bed. (I went into work for the day...this is another topic for another time).

This morning when we got up I went into the kitchen for our ritual and noticed that the decaf coffee beans were on the counter. I asked Mr. C if he had used those beans for his coffee yesterday and his answer was yes (duh, why use the "old" item when there is a "new" one available?). Oops...

So I told him what had happened and I am glad that I did because it sure did clear up for him why he was so tired yesterday and had such a raging headache. The poor guy. He is already having a bit of a time adjusting to his new medication, which does have potential side-effects of sleepiness and headache. It actually made him feel better to know that it was the coffee that was to blame.

surprise, surprise, surprise

I keep a word document open on my desktop and every once in a while I will copy and paste something that I find while flitting about on the internet.

I also use it to type in words that I am afraid I will spell wrong. I have spelling anxiety. In grade eight I had a traumatic experience when we received our standardized test scores. I scored in the 90-something-th percentile in every subject but one. My score in spelling was somewhere in the 30th percentile range. I'm sure that if my spelling were tested today that I would score much higher. In fact, when I type words into the document I keep open I have it right almost all of the time. But spell-checker is my friend, it helps me feel reassured. As you can see, there are a few words that I have a mental block with.

It occurred to me that when the words are all placed together they make a sort of surrealist poetry. Perhaps at some point I may play around with them and try to develop them further. For now I will share with you what is currently collected:

impetus flippant macabre tendency
embarrassed progesterone jinxed grief idiocy
surprise explanation surprise
cardiovascular caffeine
impromptu Memorabilia frivolous substantive peek peak turmoil
reeling grieving incompetent congruent entire
reluctant signature chartreuse arc ark
hallucinations scary anesthetic
Excavating definitely sunk tumultuous
nebulous penguins plumbing grief
heroine indeed freeze arcade

Sunday, June 3, 2007

signals are working

Well it appears that the pain in my middle 12 days ago (along with other tell-tale signs) did, indeed, indicate that my body is working properly. This is a relief to me. My poor psyche will lock on to any little shred of a sign that things might not be OK.

Friday, June 1, 2007

totally frivolous things

Quite a while back (really I am not sure how long ago, so it was long enough for me to forget, which must indicate a significant amount of time) I got lost in blog things. Such a mind-numbing activity, but sometimes I revel in such things. It can be nice to have a numb mind.

More substantive posts will follow, at some point, but for now I reveal to you a peek into "the real me" according to blog things.

If they told you I'm mad, then they lied.
I'm odd, but it isn't compulsive.
I'm the triolet, bursting with pride;
If they told you I'm mad, then they lied.
No, it isn't obsessive. Now hide
All the spoons or I might get convulsive.
If they told you I'm mad then they lied.
I'm odd, but it isn't compulsive.
What Poetry Form Are You?

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.

You're always willing to lend a helping hand.

In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.

"15 seconds to showtime!"

You Are 44% Nerdy

You may be a bit surprised with this score, but your more of a closet nerd than an actual nerd.

Stop denying your inner nerd! You're truly dorkier than you think.

Ah, but the truth is that finding out that I am only 44% nerd was a surprise. I really was expecting a higher score. Maybe that adds some points? Shouldn't actually thinking you are a nerd account for something? And what about the Muppet personality test result? I mean, clearly Scooter is the biggest nerd of all of the Muppets.