Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Catch Up

Like Carrie, I have been a bit busy lately, so now I will try to catch up.

First of all, the dreams/anxieties have stopped. I think I finally worked through them - came up with what was probably a pretty good guess as to what they meant - and since then haven't had another one. In fact, go ahead and shoot me, because I've been about as happy as it's possible for me to be lately. I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

The orchestra concert went of superbly. I cannot quite believe we pulled off Ein Heldenleben, but by all accounts, we did. Thanks to many last-minute hours of practicing, I probably only had 6 or so measures that I didn't have nailed (but faked quite well, thank you)! I'll take it - that thing is so beastly hard. Other than some horrendous rushing by my dear section in the second movement of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, even my nit-picky self can't really complain about the performance.

Of course, we also had a really fun trip up to see Carrie & Steve and meet their darling Dahlia!! She is soooo adorable - I just wanted to squish her! Of course, she's still too much of a peanut for too much squishing, but she has the bluest eyes and the cutest little button nose you ever did see. It was so fun to hold a wee one again! It was also neat to see Kate worry about her when she'd whimper and bring toys over to her, etc. A fun preview for our lives in a few months. It was great to catch up with Carrie, and it's always nice to have more chances to get to know Steve. All in all, a very fun day!

And I noticed that Carrie outed me today - yes, it's true. I am now a knitter. I took a class in September hoping to have the blanket done by her shower in November. Sadly, I got about half done and then morning sickness struck and since that's gotten better I have issues with my hands swelling and going numb, so the blanket is not yet done. I can't wait to not be pregnant anymore so I can get back at it. I love to knit. It's wonderful to have something to do while watching TV or a movie that is actually productive (instead of my usual cryptogram/sudoku/karkuro habit). It's also tremendously relaxing. So if you feel like talking knitting, I'm in!!

Lots of other stuff has happened, but I think this post is long enough for now. Off to do something productive while Kate naps. (After MONTHS of not napping at all, she has been taking 2+ hour naps nearly every day the last couple of weeks. Not convinced it will last, but I'm loving every minute of it.)

Have a happy, sunny day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Guilty little pleasure

I have a confession. Whenever I'm needing a bit of a pick-me-up, I go out and watch the Paul Potts Britian's Got Talent audition on YouTube. I could watch it over and over just to well up and get that tight I-can't-quite-breathe feeling in my chest. Somehow that makes other things seem better.

Another freak out night last night. I'm so tired of having these irrational fears creep up on me at night. I'm sick of having horrible nightmares. I think I've had a dream where Kate is drowning in one fashion or another probably every other night for the last few weeks. I sort of feel like I'm losing my mind. Pete seems to recall me having these kinds of anxiety dreams when I was pregnant with Kate, too, but they were about things happening to him. I just want them to stop.

In the meantime, I guess I'll keep YouTube on my favorites list.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Snow & Sweatpants Day

Since my cold is hanging on, we had to skip playgroup this morning. It's snowing outside, we have food enough, and I was so busy this weekend that I sort of miss Kate, so I've declared today Sweatpants Day and we're just going to hole in and be together.

I've already spent more one-on-one time actually playing with her today than I have in over a week. I'm going to get the laundry done and make some calls and in general enjoy not doing my hair or putting on makeup and just spend some time with my girl.

Another one of those moments that makes me so incredibly grateful to stay home.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Strauss the Sadist

Or at least Strauss the cellist-hater.

Holy cow, is Ein Heldenleben hard. I will admit that it's coming along for me personally better than I thought it would when I first read the part, but it's still unbelievably demanding. I mean, what was he thinking having cellists shift all over the nosebleed section to double the firsts in unison??? Intervals that are a small extension for a violin are an 8-inch shift for us, and we have to do it in a nanosecond. Ugh.

My biggest saving grace is that Strauss is still Strauss. Having played Death and Transfiguration both in college and again in BSO a few years ago, a lot of this is a bit easier to figure out. In fact, the main themes from D&T come back at the end of EH - so at least I knew that part!

The biggest challenge is just the shear physical athleticism required to get through it. There are so few breaks in playing, and the playing is so aggressive, that it's exhausting. Especially when I'm still trying to adjust to my growing belly. I actually have a "cello workout schedule" just to prepare for having to play the whole thing front to back.

I really hope my section is preparing that much, too. It was pretty clear in our sectional last week that there's still a long way to go, plus most of them still didn't have the bowings in their parts (ARGH). But I can't make them practice.

With all my griping, though, I must admit it's really fun to play. It's great to be this challenged in a community orchestra. While I think this is a bit too much of a stretch for us, it's certainly better than doing things that we can read cold.

On a funny cello note - I had a dream this week that I was auditioning for the Minnesota Orchestra. That I had forgotten all about the audition and was there and desperately trying to figure out which concerto I had in the best shape for the audition. That wasn't fun - I haven't had a dream like that in a long time. I guess I'm STILL not practicing enough!!!


I was lucky with Kate - I was pregnant March-December 1st. Since I avoided the heart of the cold & flu season I never got sick when I was pregnant with her. Not so this time.

I have a horrible cold and can't take anything for it. I'm a total wimp with colds and dose myself regularly with anything and everything to help prevent a sinus infection (to which I am prone). I'm going crazy doing this "drug free"! Pete is sick, too. The first time in the 10 years we've been together that we have a cold at the same time. Definitely a sign that we've been running ourselves a bit ragged lately. The only good news is that Kate so far shows no signs of it.

The biggest bummer is that this weekend I was going to go meet Carrie's Miss Dahlia, which will now need to be postponed. :-( I'm dying to see them both and to hold a little baby again!!

Hope you are all healthy and well!!