Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 is almost over!

Seriously, how is it that each year passes by quicker than the last?

This time of the year always finds me reflecting on where I am and where I want to be. I can't complain about 2007. Things are marching in the right direction finally. It's weird because usually at New Year's I have a long list of things I want to do differently in the coming year. But for the first time I feel quite at peace this New Year's Eve. I'm at a pretty good place.

Yet since old habits die hard I have to include my areas of improvement for next year:
1.) The only area of my life that I feel needs a lot of improvement is my health. I am trying hard not to gain too much weight with the pregnancy since I was already a good 30-40 lbs over my ideal weight. I really need to devote some time & energy into being in shape, ideally before the baby but it might not really happen until afterwards. I'll keep taking it one day at a time and just try to make better choices every day.
2.) Music!! It's been an up and down year on my oboe, but the last few days I have felt more motivated again. I was fearing that I had permanently lost my will to play but realized that this down phase is definitely temporary when I found myself daydreaming about playing in an orchestra. It might take longer, but it will happen someday.
3.) The only other thing I want to change is to get more organized. I am confident this will be taken care of as part of the nesting thing. I have plans to reorganize things in our house because I know that if I don't do that before the baby comes, it will never be done. I can't afford to still be disorganize once school starts because it will add a lot of unnecessary stress to my life.

So basically my goals are to keep working on the things I am working on, just in a more consistent fashion.

I wish everyone the very best for 2008. May it a wonderful year for you too!

And I will leave you with a little survey:

IN 2008

1. Will you be looking for a new job?
Sort of. If going back to school full-time for something completely new counts.

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship?
Definitely not.

3. New house?
Nah, we're comfy here for now.

4. What will you do different in 2008?
I will try to be more organized. Otherwise things might get ugly. Also, less procrastination would be nice.

5. New Years resolution?
To get back into shape.

6. What will you not be doing in 2008?
Working!!! After March or so anyway . . .

7. Any trips planned?
Not for 2008.

8. Wedding plans?
Been there, done that.

9. What's on your calendar?
An April 22nd due date . . .

10. What can't you wait for?
See number 9 . . .

11. What would you like to see happen different?
Less family drama would be nice.

12. What about yourself will you be changing?
God willing, I'll become a mommy. I'll also become a medical student.

13. What happened in '07 that you didn't think would ever happen?
I took the MCAT, applied to medical schools, and got accepted into two so far.

14. Will you be nicer to the people you care about?
I will need to be LOL!

15. Will you dress differently this year than you did in 07?
Yes, I am hoping to look a bit more polished.

16. Will you start or quit drinking?
I hope restart drinking. Now that I can't have any I randomly crave wine, beer, piƱa coladas, mai tais, or drambuie.

17. Will you have better relationship with your family?
I am praying for it.

18. Will you do charity work?
Probably some free clinic volunteering.

19. Will you go to bars?
Perhaps, though unlikely. Maybe as part of those socializing events at school. Never been into bars.

20. Will you be nice to people you don't know?
I always try to be.

21. Do you expect 2008 to be a good year for you?
2008 is going to be HUGE year for me. Many old dreams will be coming true.

22. How much did you change from this time last year till now?
I *finally* got my shit together.

23. Do you plan on having a child?
Why now that you ask, yes.

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now?
Yes and will probably make a handful of new friends at school.

25. Major lifestyle changes?
Hmm, let me see . . . a newborn and medical school. Oh yeah. Major lifestyle changes . . .

26. Will you be moving?
Didn't we go over this already. No. But I will be going into the City every weekday again, so it might feel like we're moving back to my parents'.

27. What will you make sure doesn't happen in 2008 that happened in '07?
Getting stepped on by pushy people.

28. What are your New Years Eve plans?
Hang out with the family and then perhaps with some friends.

29. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight?
My JC!

30. Wish for 2008:
Health and happiness for everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The best week in a while

This week has been quite good.

It started off with a nice lesson where I played the Schumann Romance until my mouth hurt. It was one of our most productive lessons yet in terms of the playing. I even made a half decent reed after a reed hiatus.

A day later I *finally* started feeling the baby move in a consistent manner. I was starting to worry since I'm already 22 weeks. I started calling her "the lazy baby". My husband didn't like that and insisted that it's just that she is a good baby. Anyway, I felt her for the first time while driving my Mom to the mall. We were stuck in traffic and I really had to go and there she was . . . doing shiatsu on my bladder apparently. It was the first time I felt something definite in there and it's been a relief and a source of entertainment too. Apparently she has little parties in there after my meals. She's going to enjoy food just like her Mama. Oh dear . . .

Then today I get this email:

Greetings and Welcome to Weill Cornell Medical College!

On behalf of our Committee on Admissions, it is my pleasure to let you know that you have been selected for an early offer of admission to our 2008 entering class.

There was more but that was the part that I kept reading over and over and over again. I received the email at work and at first I thought it was a prank. But no, it really did come from the Admissions people. They normally don't notify until March but they do let a select few in in December. I had a pretty good feeling that I was getting in, but I was not expecting to be in the early pack. This is really a high! I struggled with the decision for so long and it feels sooooooooo good to be at this end and to finally feel like I did the right thing. I am really honored that they chose me as part of this group. Perhaps they're seeing something in me that I haven't quite seen yet. This is definitely a nice ego boost. :-)

Too bad I can't drink because I would really love a toast right now!

Oboe Anniversary!

Oh my gosh, I've been so busy these days that I neglected to note my oboe anniversary.
December 9th of this year marked my having played for 3 years. Time sure does fly when you're having fun.

Last year I had many lofty goals and it didn't end up quite working out that way, though I do know that I did progress. This time I just hope for continual improvement and motivation to practice.

My poor sweet oboe. It's been neglected lately. But rest assured, that it is still one of the top 5 things in my life.

Here's to a lifetime of playing!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Romance No. 1 (I love you, Schumann)

Because I am out of shape on my oboe the Mozart has been relegated a "reach" piece again and we're taking a little break from it. As my teacher said, it will always be there to work on since it's such a famous piece. In the interim we started working on the first Schumann Romance and I am loving it so far! First and foremost, it has remotivated me to practice. I had NOT been feeling the desire to practice for months now and I am not sure it was entirely due to my pregnancy-induced exhaustion. I think I still was subconsiously frustrated about not really having others to play with because even though I am unofficially part of an orchestra it doesn't really feel as good as it should because I miss most of the rehearsals. But anyway, whatever the reason was I do feel the need to practice every day again (though afore-mentioned exhaustion does get in the way a lot of times). Even if it's not quite happening as much as I'd like I am just happy to have that feeling again.

I think that the Schumann was the perfect piece to help me ease back into playing "real music". After being out of practice so long my embouchure had shifted again, affecting my sound and intonation. Before I could really start working on that piece I *HAD* to work on getting a better sound again. It's such a beautiful, deceptively simple piece that the sound is a huge part of what makes it. So there was no way I could really start practicing it with what was coming out of my oboe at first. Thankfully it didn't take as long as I thought to regain some of the sound improvements I had made earlier this year. I am still not back to where I was, but the sound is much better than a month ago. Also, intonation improvement came along with the sound improvement (since it was my biting the reed that was mucking up my sound AND tuning). At my previous lesson we talked about opening things up in the jaw and throat and getting the corners of my mouth back to where they should be. All that advice helped a lot.

Another way that the piece helps with sound and intonation is through the wide intervals in it. Though it doesn't sound technically challenging, it's quite difficult to in terms of dynamics, breath control, and phrasing. These are all things that I am enjoying working on because at least the pace of this piece is not as fast and furious as in the Mozart.

We went through the entire piece at my lesson this past Monday and it went better than expected. I hope it continues to improve for next week. :-)

Yay, I am playing again!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's a girl!!

Yay! My nascent maternal instinct was right: my baby is indeed a girl. We both feel very happy and blessed that everything is in its place and she is as healthy as she can be. Mommy, on the other hand, may need to be put back on the beta blockers because my pressure and heart rate have crept up semi-alarmingly. I will see my regular OB and my cardiologist next week to see if they agree with the perinatologist.

Here are some 3D pics of her:

She looks like she's singing here instead of yawning:

Monday, December 03, 2007

Big day tomorrow

Tomorrow is our "big ultrasound". That's the one where they check the anatomy, including the private parts. I have to admit I was very impatient about finding out the gender at first. My slight preference differed from my husband's. But as the weeks have dragged on by (it's been 8 weeks since we've peeked at the little one) I am becoming more anxious about the health of the baby and no longer care about the gender. I mean, sure, I want to find out but whatever slight preference I had is mostly gone. Partly, I am worried because I am 20 weeks and haven't felt any consistent baby motion. So I am just praying that when we look tomorrow that everything is in place and that my baby is just peaceful (not "lazy" as Mom put it hahaha).

Of course, it wouldn't be my life if there were not at least some drama. My husband took tomorrow off early on but found out just a couple of weeks ago that his departments HUGE annual meeting is, of course, tomorrow. Since he's their network and audio/visual person he ideally should be there, but won't because he will be with me at Greenwich Hospital. What they offered to do was house him in a hotel room in the City tonight so that he can set up the stuff tonight and early tomorrow morning, go up with me, and then go back in in the afternoon. Being a native New Yorker who never could afford to live in the posh areas I could not pass up the opportunity to sleep over with him so I am taking the train down and meeting him in a few hours. We'll have a nice dinner, play some final baby name games, watch heroes, and then sleep.

See you all tomorrow when I'll hopefully have some good news!