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The Journal of Leah Laiben

Before I Was a Mother
12/02/2007 05:52 p.m.
Before I was a mother I had a mother of my own. She never read me stories, she never stood her ground, she never even picked me up when I was feeling down. She worked at a factory in the middle of our small town, at home she smoked and slept and cleaned and played solitare til dawn. I never understood her, why she was the way she was, but I know that she was tired and alone in taking care of all of us.

Before I was a mother, I thought, "How hard can all this be?" I never really got it, but now it's happening to me. I'm different kind of mother, though--as I'd promised myself I'd be. I play and sing and stand my ground, and I also sit and read. I'm surrounded by small hands and feet and fingerprints on walls. I cook and clean and even kiss their boo-boos when they fall. Milk spills and things break. These will be forgotten. What matters more is the care I take in the blessings I have gotten. And as I type my children play, not with their me or each other, but with the woman I knew as 'Mom' before I was a mother.

**In my defense, I didn't mean for this to ryhme...it just fell out of my head onto the screen this way and FYI...SHE's two and HE just turned one.***
I am currently Lucky
I am listening to A 2yr old talk to Grammy about the Mistmas tree

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Life Outside the Cocoon
05/20/2004 03:08 a.m.
Well, here I am again in New York, babysitting my days away. My sister went away for the week to the Cayman Islands with her husband and her little belly-bean (I desparately hope its a boy this time!!!), so I'm left here with my beautiful (almost 2 year old) niece. I miss her since I moved back to Missouri, and I'm grateful for the time I get to spend with her, but I remember now why I couldn't live here anymore. It's lonely. Its dreary. It's boring. Not New York specifcally--hey, I love NY as much as the next guy--but I get lonely, I get dreary, and I get bored. It's hard to leave the place and the people you've known for 20+ years of your life to start brand-spanking new halfway across the country. But I did it for over a year. Now that I'm back 'visiting' and have so much time to mull over things, I thought I'd relive the last year of my life right here in my Journal.
Over the last12-18 months or so, I've done a complete 180. My life is going the opposite direction now, and I'm more comfortable and proud with/of that. I look better, my personality is different, and my outlook on life has brightened and broadened. There are a million other things that I'm sure I'll forget to write about and countless stories that maybe I'll remember to tell on another rainy day, but for now, these 3 things seem to be the most important.
My appearance has very rarely changed since I was young. I had the same hair (except the year my 'friend' chased me around, held me down and cut off all of my hair, my hair being my finest asset....to be continued.

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"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"
12/06/2003 05:01 a.m.
I'm writing a 5 page documented essay this weekend for my Eng 102 class and its killing me. If anyone's ever read it [Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"] you know why its killing me.
I've concluded that this 'Connie' has ahem, 'loose morals' and kisses and tells alot. Arnold Friend is not the devil as many people choose to believe. He is simply a subjectively induced personification of what Connie thinks she wants. She falls asleep in her back yard and essentially has a nightmare about a boy she saw at Napoleon's the day before. Sort of a 'Wizard of Oz"ish kinda thing, she needs to be taught a lesson, so who bette to teach it than herself? Enough about that, that's the last thing I want to think about.
It snowed here today..several inches and its still falling out there. I love the first snow of the year. I refreshes me and makes me feel alive are pure again. Snow covered ground is just soo...sooo...serene..soft...quiet...placid. I love it.
I'm exhausted and rambling. Maybe its time for bed. Yeah, I'm thinking it is.
I am currently Alienated
I am listening to The sound of falling snow (nothingness)

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Vincent Van Gogh
12/04/2003 05:09 a.m.
I saw my college adviser yesterday at school. He was an older squat man with a receding hairline and a full mustache that made a smile creep at the corners of my thin-lipped mouth. He must have been an aquarius, we're usually overweight and have zany senses of humor. I asked him, "So how do we do this?" because I had never been advised in any of my college career. He spat back, with a lisp that nearly went undetected, "Well first I'm going to do a handstand, and then your gonna pull one of these..." and he held his arms up in the air as if he were spotting a gymnast. I felt right at home. I sat down and removed my coat, laying it in the chair beside me and began digging for my papers. I laid them on his cluttered desk and noticed his mousepad. The design was facing me, which i found to be most unusual. I pushed aside the mouse and a few scattered papers and commented on his taste. It was Van Gogh's 'Starry Night'. I assumed he must be cultured. I told him of my travels as he searched for my records clumsily. In particular, I told him of my trip to Amsterdam and my visit to the Van Gogh museum. He stopped fumbling around his desk and stared blankly at me. For a moment, I thought he'd lost his mind. Maybe he forgot where he was, forgot who i was, forgot what he was doing and why he was there. I paused. He continued staring, so I resumed my story. I told him that in Holland, they pronounce his name Van Goff and that I saw many of his beautiful paintings that day at the museum, my twin brother for company. He stared a bit longer, and as if to 'top' me, he said, "Yeah, I have twins." And I could tell he thought he'd somehow won this game i was unaware of. "Really? That's so interesting, what are their names?" He thought long and hard...a confused, defeated look growing on his Danny DeVito-esque face. "John and Martha." Ha, he'd won again. "John and Martha," I thought, "John and Martha." What a strange man to make up something so innane. If I were him, I'd have lied and said I'd been to Amsterdam twice, or that I, myself had and IDENTICAL twin, or that I was taller, but he was weird and short and I liked him.
I am currently Nostalgic
I am listening to a baby monitor with a baby that doesnt belong to me on it

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Just a Random Thought
10/31/2003 04:57 a.m.
I think I get a little more homesick this time of year. It could be because this is the time of year I moved so far from home, or because I'm going back for a visit in 6 weeks (6 weeks that have been dragging by). Also, it could have something to do with the fact that all my real friends are there, and I am here. Sure I've met people and have friends here, but I actually KNOW people there and that makes all the difference in the world.
Anyway, I thought I was going to write something beautiful and worthwhile, but this is all that will come out of my tired grey matter. Besides, these words are starting to blur together, like dim lights at the corner bar after a few too many buds, so I think maybe I'll write something beautiful and worthwhile at a later time.
Sorry for the bore, but this is MY journal, and these are the thoughts I wanted to put in it. :)
I am currently Devoted
I am listening to A Chinese man snore

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