Thursday, September 15, 2011

Random Stream of Consciousness

My life.  
Before Kids.
After Kids.

I was walking through town with Darian today, thinking about how much my life has changed in the last six months.  Then that led to how it has changed since we had the kids, then to since I married David, met David, moved to thoughts kept backtracking into the past and I was reliving moments that I had long since forgotten.  To people I have forgotten.  To parts of my life that seem like scenes in a movie rather than something that I actually experienced myself.

I did a writing activity with my students once.  I called it a stream of consciousness and wanted them to just write and write and write.  Anything.  One word leading to the next.  No worries about punctuation or run on sentences.  It was to simply get lots of ideas on paper.  For example:  If they wrote about a trip to the mall and in it used the word yellow and that made them think about the sun which in turn made them think about a sunburn that they got when visiting their grandparents in Phoenix and thinking about their grandma made them think about the cookies she used to make which brought them to the cookie cutter shaped like a teddy bear that made them remember the Winnie the Pooh bear they carried around when they were a baby and then that made them think about how they knew a girl in their old school who just had a baby...well.  You see how it works.  Random stream of consciousness.  The more subject changes the better I always said.  I normally leave out most of the middle pieces, and David will say to me, "But how did you GET there?"  Then I have to go back and explain the entire stream.  You are all getting a piece of how my brain works right now, because this entire post is a random stream of consciousness.  Good luck keeping up!

I saw a group of kids on a fieldtrip, walking down the street in their cute little uniforms.  (Side note:  I can't wait for Darian and Maxwell to be in schools where they wear uniforms and I plan to find somewhere in CA once we get home, too!  Those kids look so cute and so proper!  Love it!!)   Anyway, these kids in uniform made me think of the only time I ever wore a uniform, which was when I was in Girl Scouts.  I used to love the day I wore that to school!  So proud of all my patches!!  And think of how much work we did to sell those cookies!! Yes, my dad took the form to the police station and my mom took it to her school for me.  But beyond that Shelly and I were out there on the pavement.  Door to door!  Peddling those cookies for all our neighbors.  We didn't have a table set up outside of the grocery store; we had to find our customers on our own.

It's funny how the brain works, because then I saw a threesome of university girls in short skirts pop out of a store right in front of my path.  They were wearing short short skirts and shoes that can't possibly be good for walking around town.  At ten in the morning on a Thursday.  I never really went through a short skirt phase.  Maybe a little bit senior year of high school, but I wasn't really all that girly.  I do remember one day in particular where I wore a short little jumper type dress with white tights.  And I don't think I ever did again, because I had forgotten that it was bowling day in gym and we didn't dress.  It was not fun "trying" to bowl in that skimpy little thing.  Especially for someone who isn't much of a girly girl!!

Continuing on with the university girls...they were in front of us for a little while and I got a few snip-its of their conversation. Why is it that even a drunken tale about dancing on a bar and getting sick in the alley sounds better when the person telling it has an English accent???   Anyway, it feels like a million years since I lived that kind of life.  Really, it was only ten or eleven.  I have lots of fond NIU and Eduardo's memories that I can't really mention here (not when my Mom reads this blog!)  Just kidding.  Especially since the only time I ever got sick in an alley was the night of my 21st birthday, and my wonderful mother was there the next day for the hangover of the century and even had to pull the car over for me when we went out that afternoon.  That phrase "hangover of the century" just made me laugh and feel a bit old, because my train of thought led me to whisper to myself, "I turned 21 in the 1900s."  Okay, it was really the 1990s, but as you can tell from this blog, my train of thought is clearly random.

Darian and I then made our way to a Costa Coffee where we sat for a tea and scone with clotted cream and jam.  I really don't get the fascination with clotted cream.  It's really just butter, isn't it?  Anyway, Darian ordered a babyccino (yes, it actually says that on the menu!!), where they asked if she wanted chocolate sprinkles on it.  This is what she got!

I sat in that coffee shop, watching my little girl swing her legs and eat her scone with a big smile on her face.  She is growing up so fast.  Today she picked out a new pair of earrings all on her own.  They are butterflies.  :o)  The first few days before and after Maxwell started school I was sad because he was growing up and I missed him so much while he was gone.  Yet this week was really great, because Darian and I spent so much quality time together.  On Monday we went to Monkey Music, Tuesday to playgroup, Wednesday to Tumble Tots, and today to tea and shopping!  We have had so much fun, and I love that I am getting to know a different side of her.  She is different when Maxwell isn't around.  Or is it me that's different when I can dedicate all my attention to her?

So.  We left the coffee shop and headed to the Farmer's Market where I bought books, meat pies and doughnuts.  Random, I know.  I LOVE THE MARKETS HERE!!!  But shopping and walking through town with Darian in her stroller and no Maxwell talking to me non-stop, I had a lot of time to think.  It really is crazy how your life can change in the blink of an eye.

What the heck am I doing in England?
Where did these kids come from?
Who is this man sleeping next to me every night?

I had lunch with my friend Candace last weekend and she mentioned how it feels strange to be getting so close to thirty, because she doesn't feel any different than she did in college.  I feel the same way.  I wonder what it is like for my 80+ year old grandparents to look at themselves in the mirror.  Because when I am walking down the street, I don't feel any different than those three girls I was walking behind today.  Close my eyes and I am dancing on the coffee table at the apartment on Lucinda Avenue.  Then I realize that I am pushing a stroller with not one but TWO toddlers, heading to the market to buy ingredients to make my husband a wonderful dinner, while wearing sensible walking shoes and mom jeans.

Before I was married with kids I would...
     ...go to bars and whatever I wanted and know I would dance it off...drink diet coke as my caffeine hit every laundry when my closet was empty...have date nights with my David on a Tuesday just because we to Vegas to pick up  David's World Series winnings because why get them in the mail when you could go to Vegas???...have happy hours with my co-teachers because we had to get together and bash those little punks after the way they treated us all week (ha ha...we should have done it on Mondays)...coddle Griffin and spoil him and cuddle him like he was my baby...celebrate the anniversaries of the day we met, our first date, the day we moved in together...

Then we had kids and I would....
     ...only go to a bar when the wait at the restaurant was more than ten minutes...think about how everything I ate stayed put (on the belly, the tooshie, the chins)...drink coffee and diet coke and tea all throughout the day just to keep my eyes a load of laundry everyday just to keep up (how do those itty bitty socks, onsies, and bibs add up so quickly??)...have day dates for an hour and a half on a Saturday afternoon because Nana came to visit...go on vacations to IL and PA because everyone wants to see the about how I used to be a teacher, even though now more time has passed that I haven't been in the classroom than I was actually IN the classroom...sometimes forget that Griffin and Tucker hadn't been out yet...celebrate  the babys' milestones:  one week old, one month old, one year old...

And then we moved to England!
*We don't go to bars/restaurants, we go to pubs!  WITH the kids!!
**I eat more meat and potatoes than I ever have before (even growing up in Illinois!) but I have lost weight because I walk so much!
***I start my day and revisit in the afternoon with a nice cup of cream tea.
****I do a load of laundry everyday, because I have to hang it outside, and if it isn't nice enough, it needs to be inside for days to dry.
*****Dates?  Not yet. (except when Gaga and Papa were here...that was nice)  Hopefully we'll find a good babysitter.  :o)
******We have traveled to Bath, and leave soon for Spain, and have plans before the end of the year to hit Belgium and France!
*******I rarely mention that I ever taught.  I AM A STAY AT HOME MOM.  (And proud of it!!)
********I think about my puppas everyday.  Oh, how I miss those cuddly warm puppa tooshies to hug and cuddle.  They are my babies once again, and I so wish they could be here with us.
*********Think about the anniversaries of our time here:  "we've been here three days, one week, one month" of last week, we actually hit FOUR months in England.

Six months ago I lived in California.  Nine months ago I never imagined I wouldn't.  Ten months ago I became an Aunt.  And got a new sister (because of our Misters!)  Twenty-two months ago I had a baby girl.  Forty-two months ago I became a MOM.  Sixty-nine months ago I married my best friend.  One hundred and nine months ago I met the man of my dreams and started the journey towards all of the rest.  One hundred and twenty four months ago I made the move to CA that changed the course of my life.  One hundred and thirty six months ago I graduated from college....

And four hundred months ago I was born.  When you put it that way, I sure have done a lot of livin'.  Here's to the next four hundred months and beyond.

Random. Stream. Of. Consciousness.  It all started when I saw a group of primary school children walk down the street in their cute little English uniforms today.  Funny how the mind works, isn't it?

Note to my loyal readers:  Yes, that is more math than I have done in years.  And yes, I had to use a calculator.  :o)


alissa said...

This is really the first time I've ready a blog...but your title on FB was interesting so I clicked. I loved this - made me want to write a journal (not ready for a blog!). Is Candance the same one I know that lives in England? I was wondering the other day if you two ever connected. I'm jealous of your adventure :o) Enjoy it!!

The Ramos Family said...

Jen, I love this. I should do a stream too. I wonder what I would end up with? Haha! You're such a great writer. Thanks so much for creating this blog. I love reading about your adventures! =)

The Clark Family said...

Wow, I could hardly keep up!! Good thoughts friend, I might have to try this exercise!