Friday, August 27, 2010


I found this op-ed piece I wrote in 1999 on my computer and was surprised how true it still sounds. While I think I've progressed some in understanding the peaks to be more illusion than reality, I feel that I have let down some imaginary potential by fostering a devotion to teaching reentry and community college students. That's OK. I often feel that the little hill is actually a lot better than the big hill might turn out to be. I especially like the way I idolize my sisters in this piece. :-) Kudos to them!

Lost in the Chasms

Surely the category I fill in our intellectually stratified, social sub-megalopolis falls somewhere in the Caucasian, white-collar, upper middle class, which dominates the majority of well paying positions in the South Bay and most of the country. Contemplating this truth at home and in the academy, I am somehow discomforted by the fact that my job search will be easier than others’--that my personal experiences of loss and anguish, of struggle and achievement somehow squish into a category which allows for success based on statistics rather than case. I learn that it has been easier for me than others. And yet all this fails to console me.
Grappling with the questions of identity, with striving to forge some life fulfilling career while meeting the expectations of family and community hardly seems simple in my late twenties, pre-mid-life crisis. It leads me to look around and wonder if anyone really feels that they fill the paragon they portray.
I consider my sisters, both perfect Redondo Union products, to fill the type of model roles of which I speak. Cathy is a Mother, with a capital M. Her devotion and strength form a pillar that literally holds up the intricate workings of her beautiful household. Laura Shlessinger and Martha Stewart have nothing on her. And Elizabeth is a successful businesswoman. She sells insurance and can accomplish any goal she sets, and has. If any of us ever needs anything negotiated, she can get it done. I’ve known, ever since I found inspirational, success oriented placards on her apartment walls when she was 21, that she would go as far as she chose. And yet I know she has trouble deciding how far that should be. And that Cathy agonizes over her own commitments. It all makes me wonder.
In a world where goals can be so clearly defined and achieved, am I the only one feeling lost in the chasms between the peaks on which rest these well defined goals? In the way poetry commands beautiful descriptions yet continually falls short of capturing the majesty of nature, I feel my life is like a poem. With a little bit of playful alliteration, shocking vocabulary and daring ingenuity thrown into a conservative meter and regular but scant rhyme scheme, I plod along—not really capturing any heights, but running up a hill or two.
I believe now that those categorical peaks on which political and philosophical debate dance are mirages of the endless groups of hills that make up the individual realities we all experience. And yet I feel lost between them, something un-grand, unnamed in the statistical analysis of market demographics, and unrepresented in the partisan politics which rule our nation. I am making it a personal goal to get to know this little hill I walk on, to cultivate it, and to find that hour of sunlight that darts between those mysterious mountain tops and warms the turf which, without comparison, seems to satisfy me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Catie's First Birthday!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Refrigerator Attack

Every time I open the Refrigerator, she comes running! The old birdcage...this is the site of not one, but two bloody bites from the Chester...whom she still loves enough to have chosen his name for her first word! And since she can eat solid food now, she sometimes shares with him!

So Much, So Big!

I'm not sure there is much to say. My smiling child is the joy of my life. Here she is, already 10 months old and 21 pounds! Her hair is stright in front and curly in the back. Keeping her and my husband smiling is the meaning of my life now. I've finished my PhD comprehensive exams with the help of my husband and mother. She came out and watched Catie for three weeks while I studied. I never would have passed without her.

Life has seemed a blur since then. We took a fabulous trip to the Dominican Republic with my friends Laura and Phil and several of their friends for their 10th wedding anniversary. I can hardly believe it has been 10 years since their wedding convinced me I needed to move to Maryland.

Here is our Easter 2009 Photo. What a Cutie!

Here are our girls, Maddie, Samantha and Catie...Lizzie's Angels and mine.

I can't believe this was Christmas! It was only three months ago and Catie has grown so much! Post Partum Depression was rough throughout the summer. But, 40 lbs and 2 passed exams later I am ready to start working on getting back in shape, physically and psychologically.
So, there you go! A whirlwind catch-up.

Monday, July 28, 2008

more video

Catie wears a hat

Gaining Weight!

I've only been in LA for a week and three days, and Catie has gained 1.75 lbs! She now weighs 12.1 lbs. Wow! I'll post some more videos for everyone to see :-) We are having such a great time with all the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Almost a Smile!

She almost smiled for the camera.

More Video of Catie

Good morning Catie!

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Video of Catie

Here is a little video of Catie going through a range of expressions!

Short Video of Catie

This is a little video of Catie I took today. I wanted you all to see what I watch all the time!

Catherine Elizabeth Seagrave

I thought I had a lot to report last time I wrote. This time, I've had a baby!

I never could have known how much I would love this little bundle, or how much time could be taken up just staring at her little face. When I look at her everything else seems to fade away.

It was 6:30 am Friday morning when I assumed I was in intestinal distress due to too much sushi Thursday night. Funny though, the pains seemed to be very regular, about 2.5 minutes apart! I went back to bed hoping it would just go away. But it only seemed to get worse, and more regular. Hmmm.

I called my parents who were staying close by. My mom encouraged me to get to the hospital. I thought it might be better to wait a few hours. Thelabor and delivery nurse seemed to agree that I should wait at least an hour before calling back. By then, the phone had rung at least four times--both sisters calling!

At 10am, fater packing and calling the hospital, Mom, Dad, Patrick and I climbed in the car and went to St. Mark's, me having contractions every 2-3 minutes the whole way.

Patrick was so supportive, holding me through the contractions and helping me feel comfortable.

Our tirp was cut short when the nurse told me I was only 1 cm dilated, and that my contractions were not strong enough to be real labor. It would seem that I was not really in labor yet, and she suggested I either take a bath and try to relax it away, or walk around and do squats to try to bring labor on. (incidentally, this advice cost my insurance company $500). It turned out I didn't need to do either. We went to breakfast at Mimi's instead, and I continued to have even stronger contractions 2-3 minutes apart until I just couldn't sit there anymore and Patrick took me home. There the contractions continued to get stronger until finally we went back to the hostpital at about 5:30 PM. We didn't take pictures this time. After 11 hours of labor, I was now shaking pretty hard through them and was in no mood for ceremony. This time we parked at the door and were led to a room on entry.

My first words to the nurse were: "I don't want to do natural childbirth anymore." I'd had enough nature. Unfortunately the anesthesiologist had just gone into a c-section and we waited until 7:45 pm for the epicdural By that time the monitor showed my contractions, still 2 minutes apart, were at the top of the scale and I was dilated 6 cm, so I don't mind thinking I have a pretty good idea of what childbirth feels like. The epidural was great. Patrick and I called a few peope, I took a nap, Patrick had dinner, and we watched Ella Enchanted while I labored peacefully.

At 1:00 am it was time to push. I was doing pretty well, but Catie wasn't budging and her heartrate seemed irradic. The doctor scared me by talking baout c-sections and foreceps. Maybe his plan was to scare me into pushing harder, because after that everything seemed to move much more smoothly...until we noticed about 2:00 that the epidural bag was empty!

So we continued on, hoping she'd come out before the drugs wore off. At 3 am it appeared that the drugs were pretty well worn off and the anestheiologist was busy. Everyone says I pushed really well. Patrick was a great Coach and Alicia (my nurse) was very encouraging, and Dianat he midwife did a great job keeping me pushing throught he end of each contraction. Only a small episiotomy was necessary. The epidural was finally refilled at 3:15, just minutes before Catie squeezed into the world all pink and beautiful. Patrick quickly cut the cord as the NICU team whisked her away to sucktion her lungs and I waited the longest 10 minutes of my life, being stiched up as I watched my baby on the other side of the room.

Finally patrick carried her back to me and I got to hold her for the first time. It was love at first sight.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Catching Up

Whew! Well, I got married, helped my husband move in, got the thank you notes out, met my deadline for my two Fall articles, got pregnant, had morning sickness for three months, and failed to acheive the advanced proficientcy on the French translation exam for the second time...all since I wrote last!

Things have been pretty crazy around here, to say the least. My biggest acheivement this semester has been fixing 150 wedding photos in photoshop and getting them inot books for my relatives. I have posted some below. Enjoy!