A new feature… hopefully.  If I can keep up with it.
A friend does interviews with her daughter and has the greatest questions.  I’m stealing them because she is smarter than me and we’ll see what happens.

What is the meaning of life?   No go on red lights.
What do you want to be when you grow up?   A driver.
What brings you the most happiness?   You.
When do you feel the most loved?   When you’re loving me.
What are you afraid of?    Bad shows
If you had one wish, what would you wish for?    A mother that cannot let me watch bad shows.
What is the funniest word?   Whiz.
What is the hardest thing to do?    A garden
What is the easiest thing to do?    Build one of the snakes.
What is the best thing in the world?    You.
What is the worst thing in the world?    pasta.
What makes you mad?    When Edison spills something.
What is the meaning of love?    You. Wait.  I don’t know what love means.
If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?    Put it in my bank so he (Edison) won’t eat it.

Molly likes to brush her fingers across the many stretch marks on my stomach.

Stretch marks are a weird thing.  We hate them.  We earn them doing one of the most life-changing and wonderful things in the world, but when it comes to moving past the changes in our bodies after having children, we balk.
Recently I’ve been starting to gain confidence in my body and self in a way I haven’t felt in years.  My boobs sag, my stomach bulges, my legs wiggle when I’m not walking and I’ve stretch marks all over my torso.
Motherhood changes you completely.
But lately I’ve been feeling confident in my body.  It’s a good body. Borne three children, weathering diabetes somewhat well, lets me walk where I want to go, if slower than I wished I could.   I like myself and while I wouldn’t say that i feel beautiful, I am more confident.

When Molly rubbed my stretch marks earlier today and told me how pretty they are – all pink and slightly shiny – and talked about how she hoped she had some just like mine when she got bigger; I melted.

She thinks I’m beautiful.  Sags and stretch marks and all. 
Admires me constantly.  Hugs me and holds me and just thinks I’m beautiful.

I want to hold this feeling forever.

It’s really hard to think about all the time that has passed since I last posted.
How does it get away from you?
I come here to write for myself, as though the blog were a friend, and yet I have no time for that friend.

Shit people never told you about having two young ones at home.
The eldest heads to college next year but these two lovelies will be making me laugh and driving me crazy for some time to come.

So when your ovaries start twinging while your 18 month old runs around like a crazy person, SMACK THEM.  RIGHT THEN AND THERE.
No.  It’s wonderful having two so close together.  I just miss sanity and sleep.

Still, they are beautiful, even if one year old Edison continually tries to kill himself in various boy-driven ways.  Climbs up anything, throws himself face first off everything.  Except, apparently,  Molly’s toy truck… he got stuck on.



I’m 7 1/2 years older than my sister.  I mostly tortured her through psychological means because I was an evil, EVIL little child.  These two have a blend of sweetness and terror that just makes me melt or freeze depending on the day.
A day that typically includes moments like the following:

Edison climbs on the slide; Molly worries about him falling.  She runs to the rescue.



He slipped!  So Molly rushed up behind him to use her body to keep him from sliding or falling again.  So sweet.  He begins his climbing anew.



Edison goes too slowly up the last half of the slide so Molly, discarding her previous fear for his safety, circumvents him.



SHE WINS!  At the top before Edison who didn’t realize it was a game and couldn’t give a shit.


Later in the afternoon she saves him again from the mean stairs on the porch.  Look how happy he is?  Totally unfazed that she is a half step from squeezing him to death.



And the finale of play time?  Let’s rip up Mama’s beautiful yard by pulling up grass and tons of dirt and throwing them at each other.  E was totally up for this game.



Boys are so different.  I can watch him actually NOT THINK about anything at all and yet still be throwing his body from one activity to the other – sometimes dangerously so.   Molly watches him some, but is mostly so caught up in this world of new house, new state, less mama time that she’s having some moments of  her own.  If I don’t do things right she is going to “make me pay”.  Where she hears this stuff?

I had underestimated how hard this would be.  On me, I guess.  I love it.  I love being home with them, but the time suck that I dealt with before has increased exponentially and not because E is a hard baby to get along with.  He’s a happy dream. But the diving in different directions amidst the chaos of moving cross country yet AGAIN means that I spend the entirety of my day just attempting to get out of the house and only making it there about half the time.  And yet they make me so happy.

I suppose it’s a mystery of the human race that we keep having children when having children means parental dementia and never sleeping again.

I found myself today repeating my toddler’s words back to her.
“I don’t want that.”
She says it forty gazillion times a day, her version of the oft-maligned “NO!” that most toddlers spew.  I figured this was fair game, as I am stuck regurgitating responses to her 12+ hours a day – and I frankly don’t have a good enough vocabulary to keep that up for weeks.
She took this all with her game face, told me “okay, you have this” and gave me a piece of chalk; my best guess is that this was for me to be able to chronicle my general frustrations of the day, as with many things relating to a two year old, this did NOT come with a more detailed explanation.

And she is a delightful child.
She’s intelligent and insightful. 
She’s also timid in large crowds and can be a bully in small ones.
But what she is, most definitely, is a child with opinions.

This shirt?  
Too small for big mama.  Granted, it’s her shirt, so the insult is small… but you get the idea.

Today’s large battle was holding hands with Mama in the parking lot or on roadways.
When walking across a particularly busy street, in a crosswalk that demands drivers stop traffic for pedestrians, she threw herself down face-first declaring, “I don’t want that.”  She didn’t scream; she wasn’t angry.  She was simply declaring the truth:  That until this particular second she had been involved in an activity that she no longer chooses to be involved in.  And a dead weight she became, leading me to drag her one-armed across the busy road and onto the sidewalk to safety, silently mouthing words of apology to the folks around us in the way that only parents are familiar with.  

When we were finally loaded in the car I rested my forehead against the steering wheel, thankful for several things.  This incredibly engaging child that entertains me and challenges me so much… and the fact that our arrival home would herald in that time of day that has become all too precious:  nap time.Image

Maybe a little homesick.

February 22, 2013

There’s something cleansing about a new snowfall.
Everything ugly is hidden or made beautiful simply by covering it up.
It’s a theory that we humans tend to use in a variety of ways; makeup for our faces, paint for our walls, titles for ourselves.
As though one simple layer could erase what is truly there.

But mostly snowfall is beautiful.
Living in a place that has four seasons for the past few years has been enlightening.
I’ve learned that maybe I’m just allergic to the Mississippi delta or the massive dry season that exists for 10 months a year.
I’ve learned that I do like snow and the cold; in phases, as Minneapolis could make “cold” seem like a meager adjective.

Tonight, as I move my paper blinds out of the way – as no snowfall can help me pick out curtains that I like in this new house – I’m enjoying the quiet that snow and winter… yes, and midnight, as well… bring to a place.
You can’t tell that I’m just a hop from a city of millions upon millions.
Tonight it’s almost as quiet as home and if it were logical or reasonable I’d curl up with a blanket on the front porch and pull that feeling a little closer.

I wish I were a planner.

December 11, 2012

Life is about adapting.  
I mean, sure, there are emotions mixed in there – happiness and sadness.  Anger and anxiety.  
But mostly, for me, life is about reacting, not planning.
So when I found out, quite recently, that my gestational diabetes from Mols has turned into Actual Real Sugar Diabetes, well, all I could really do was react.
Perspective tells me that it’s not cancer and I will survive this, but continuing happenings tell me that this is the largest challenge I have faced physically thus far.  

A friend told me this week that I’m food obsessed – she didn’t mean it in an ugly way and I didn’t take it as such, but I’ve been thinking about it.  Such a freedom it is to be able to do whatever we wish with our bodies.  Freedom and a sort of disrespect to ourselves.  To choose to sit on the couch, as I am doing right now, can be both relaxing or horrific – depending upon how long you choose to do so.  
Food intake is fairly similar.  Needing to choose different foods because I’m gaining weight or becoming more unhealthy in general is one thing.  Needing to choose different foods because a bad meal can put me into a coma is another thing entirely. 
It’s hard NOT to become food obsessed.  To want something so much and be weighing The Great Endgame against it.  
Sometimes it REALLY sucks to do the right thing.
And in this instance, that’s really all I can do overall.

But I’m learning.
Apart from a hiccup or two right now, I’m learning.

I hate you so much, Insomnia.

February 22, 2012

I can’t recall a time when I didn’t have insomnia.
There are flashbulb memories of it for sure.
I remember bits and pieces of Mom yelling at me for sleeping the days away as a teen.  Just not much else.

Insomnia does that.
It robs you of your ability to think and to remember.
It takes those most precious memories that you have and smears them, twists them, sometimes even erases them completely.

I’m sitting here awake in the middle of the night because my brain will not stop.
Medicine doesn’t help.
Sleep therapists won’t include me in sleep studies because I have OCD and mild depression that is currently treated with Zoloft.  I’m breastfeeding still so melatonin is out and the medicines aren’t a good idea until Molly is completely weaned.
I drink approximately one caffeinated beverage a week and am completely convinced that I will never have a normal night’s rest again.

I have chronic onset insomnia.
Whether my depression is active at the time, whether my OCD is managed.
Happy, sad.  Fat, skinny.  With a book, without one.  With meds, without meds.  Diet changes or junk food.  Behavior changes or laughing in the face of all of the “tips” designed to help.
I can comfortably stay awake for about 30 hours before crashing, with meds I fall asleep about 4:00 every morning.  I’d sleep until 2 or 3 without interruption if I could and would wake up exhausted 98% of the time.

It is what it is.
But I’m tired of what it is.
I’m a great mom.
But think about how fantastic I could be with a rested brain.
I’m a great wife.
But think.

My life as a run-on.

February 7, 2012

I’m buying a house.
I’m buying a house and Molly is one and the custody situation hasn’t changed and I love to cook and am taking so many classes and marriage is hard but rewarding and I can’t get rid of the insomnia, but that’s okay because I have so much to research anyway for this house I’m buying… and how can I think of buying a house when I can’t have my daughter with me yet/ever?
Molly cuddles her head into my chest and says ‘Awww, sweet baby’ the way that I do every day and I melt.  She screams and yells for the phone – fits that she throws that her father finds funny and I hold my own against.
They’re slowing down some, but this child will always be a force of nature.  I hope.
Abs surprises me with these bouts of maturity and these moments of childishness that are so bittersweet for me.   She’s on the cusp of so many wonderful things and I want her to have the knowledge and desire to reach for them.

And now I’m buying a house in this Illinois city, so far away from home.  Two things I never would have seen for myself.  Molly will have a yard – tiny – but a yard to play in.  And neighbors.  She’ll have things I couldn’t provide on my own for Abs.
It’s hard not to feel as though this seems to her as though I’m replacing her.
And I tell her that every day.  Even if it’s just in my head sometimes.

My life, right now, is a run-on.  Every event or thought or action runs into another because time is moving so fast.
I want it to slow down.  I want it to stop.
Not in the bad way, in the way where I can just stop the moment, breathe it in and permanently place it in my memory so that I’ll be able to drag it out, years later, and devour it.

Ah, Stevo.

October 13, 2011

I’m really sick of tragic.
I’m sick of things happening that are because of some short slip of judgment, because of some moment of fate, because of just some tiny infinitesimal THING that changes the world.
I’m angry with people that change lives on some bad day of theirs.  That do something that they can’t ever take back.  That hurts so many.

Today was a memorial service for a 22 year old kid.  A good, fun kid that was about to marry his girlfriend of many years, a kid that was finally working a Real Job and making his way in the world.  He was growing up and becoming and because he was stupid when drunk, he’s gone and no one will ever get over it.  Certainly not his girlfriend, who had an upfront and personal view of his violent passing.  Certainly not my parents, who held her screaming in the middle of the street while the police and coroner worked in the house.  Certainly not his parents, woken up in the middle of the night with the worst news any parent can ever receive.

And I’m angry with him.
He was too good for this.
Too fucking good for this.
And I feel this overwhelming weight and sadness at this – this price of living.  Running into tragedy and unfairness even as you run into happiness and miracles.
The mixture is nauseating and overwhelming at times.
And I’m just so mad.

But mostly sad.

I gave birth to an octopus.
I’ve never seen such a baby.
She’s like a ninja.
A cord-eating ninja superhero with the ability to move faster than the speed of light.


At least she’s cute.