Monday, December 30, 2013

The Pink Elephant: The Little Things

The Pink Elephant: The Little Things: Every morning I am greeted in the living room by our two dogs Nina and Jaco. They grunt and snort, rub their heads against my unsteady morni...

The Little Things

Every morning I am greeted in the living room by our two dogs Nina and Jaco. They grunt and snort, rub their heads against my unsteady morning legs as I travel to the kitchen to start the tea water. Though he tries to contain himself, Jaco will usually jump up and pat my belly one paw at a time until I push him down and tell him in my most unconvincing voice, "No jumping."

I will always let them out the front door, even though Aaron and I spent gobs of money building a large fenced in yard for them in the back. Their morning ritual, much like my own, is predictable. They run west about 200 feet to a cluster of sagebrush that I have surmised must house rabbits. They sniff each brush and Jaco pees on a few, which, if it is a rabbit's home, is a very rude thing to do. They then run south, to the neighbor's driveway where they chase away at least 20 birds. When Nina was young she cleared out the entire neighborhood of birds. She would deliver them to the doorstep or sometimes into the house if she had managed to soft mouth the bird successfully. She has either lost ability or interest as the birds are left alive.

They then run southeast, where they stand on the collection of hay bales that holds Aaron's archery target. They overlook the valley and decide everything is in order and head east, down the hill, through a thicket of sage, and across the field to their favorite place of all. Grandma's house. 

They will usually stop at an old, rusted pipe that lies alongside the driveway. Nina will take one end and Jaco the other. Together they will sniff and snort and utterly terrify the creature that lives inside.

When they arrive at grandma's house, Nina will lift her paw and hit the screen door with force. The screen door will hit the front door and will notify grandma's dachshund, Hanz, that company has arrived. Hanz will bark obnoxiously and grandma will come to the front door, two biscuits in hand and give one to Nina and one to Jaco. Jaco will invariably try to eat Nina's biscuit as well but grandma will remind him to share.

In the summer months, grandma will leave the door open so the dogs can visit while they eat their biscuits. Today though, they were given their biscuits and told to return home, which they do after they've finished their treat on the front porch.

Before they head up the hill, they stop at the rusty pipe and remind the critter that their day is drawing near. The dogs then disappear in the sage brush momentarily and then one by one, I spot their tails and then their bouncing ears, and eventually their entire selves. Next, I hear a knock on the front door.

They are always panting and excited when they come back in. They look pleased with themselves and like they know something I don't. I play dumb, fill up their water bowl and take a sip of my tea.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Over Ellis' door hangs a sign that reads:

Here's to good women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.
It was given to me when I was six months pregnant by my mother-in-law. She's a good woman and she raised two good women as well. This is comforting to remember right now as I am faced with yet another woman who, bless her heart, does not seem to be a friend to other women.
This may be an unpopular post. I may look conceited after this and perhaps I may expose some of the stories I tell myself about why other women don't like me. This will be embarrassing and terribly exposing and yet, I feel compelled to write about it because I know I'm not the only woman who has dealt with this.
So here goes. I am pretty convinced that there are two types of women. The kind that help other women and the kind that do not.
I have been lucky to know a few of the former. I have also had the opportunity more times that I care to, to learn how to interact with women who do not have my best interest at heart, who do not want to see me succeed and who will actually hurt me to help make themselves feel better. Even though this happens on a personal level as well, I am speaking mostly about my professional experiences. Particularly with women who could be mentors. They are older, they are "wiser", they are more experienced, they could teach me, make me better, their legacy could live on in the good work that I do because of them. This is sadly, so rarely what happens. I can count on one hand, the women who have helped lift me up professionally. The women who have knocked me down, diminished me, fired me, made me doubt my abilities are too numerous to count.
I can not, for the life of me, understand why we do this to each other. Don't we see that competing with each other is the big lie. We are so fierce, so powerful, so brilliant in all ways, we will never reach the heights we seek if we kill each other off. What are we fighting over? Money? Power? Oh God, men? Really?
I am dealing with a woman at work who is angry about my age and my achievement. She is jealous and sabotaging wherever she can. I feel powerless to address it because it seems so insane to me. I can't help but feel sorry for her because it must feel so lonely to look at other women as the enemy.
I have been spoiled by my current boss. She has lifted me so incredibly high. She has inspired me in so many ways. Before her came Laurie and Susan. Before them, my professors. Before them, my mom who is such a fierce champion of women, their behavior has driven her far into her cave for solace.
I suppose all I can do is continue to love women and raise Ellis to do the same.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Learning to breast feed was, as my dear friend Laurie said, "The first dragon you and Ellis will slay together." Man, was she right. I don't know what was more difficult: my pregnancy, my longer than  The Brother's Karamosov birth, or discovering, that despite my naïve assertions that all things related to motherhood would be easy for me, I didn't have the faintest idea how to feed my baby.

Somehow we all survived and we became so good at breastfeeding, as we turned the corner on two years and my friends stopped eating out with me for fear I might whip out my now numb to the world breasts, I started to think, "Oh shit. How am I going to slay this dragon?!" I don't pray very often, mostly because I'm too concrete of a thinker in a lot of ways so it's hard for me to pray to something that I haven't quite figured out but I did pray when Aaron got hurt and I prayed when my mom's heart was under duress and I prayed that I would win when I found those skinny, black corduroy True Religion jeans on eBay, and to be totally honest, I prayed that Ellis wouldn't cry when I decided it was time to wean her. Listening to her cry is my least favorite activity. It literally hurts my heart.

So imagine my surprise when she suddenly stops latching on and she starts taking "sips." A term she coined by the way. So I took notice and starting quantifying her sips. Day one, she got 5 sips per breast. Day two, four. Day three, three and so on until the milk was, "all gone." She seemed to enjoy the process and I think she cried maybe once and it was nothing to write home about. I couldn't BELIEVE my luck. Was this possible?! Could something this scary really be so easy? Oh I'm goooood!

Then yesterday she started to pout, cross her arms and tell me that she wants to be left alone and she's mad at me. My response, though difficult because I want to cry now, is, "OK honey, I love you so much. I'm here when you're ready to cuddle." "NO!" is usually her retort and then she comes around after about 10 to 15 minutes. So my concern is that a) I have traumatized beyond repair, b) she now has attachment disorder, and c) she is going to hate me for the rest of her life.

Any thoughts on this would be helpful. Please don't collude my distorted thinking though by agreeing that I have ruined my child. Really, I'm just interested in words of encouragement and praise.
Many thanks.

And no, I didn't win the corduroy pants. I refuse to pay the same amount as a new pair of pants for a pair that someone else's vagina has already touched.

Friday, October 25, 2013


There are many tests in life, like when Aaron asks me what I think about him traveling to the Congo. Or when you get pulled over and the officer asks you, "Ma'am, do you know why I pulled over?" This by the way, is perhaps my least favorite rhetorical question. Well officer, I'm assuming I was breaking the law and since I suffer from a variety of maladies, I can only guess I was either speeding, swerving or flipping off the asshole in front of me. Since I'm not drunk and I'm up on my anger management, I was most likely speeding. 

Anyway, I digress. The other kind of test in life is the kind you have to take to get letters after your name. I am currently studying for my LISW exam (I know, ironic, considering the latter paragraph). I took a practice exam and I didn't pass. Then I took another and I didn't finish because I could tell I wasn't passing. The first one I took at 10 pm. 170 questions. The second I took after 2 beers. This is my qualification for failing both.

Needless to say, my confidence and unwarranted bravado has since left me. Here I am, staring at my tall stack of study materials realizing that I will actually have to put effort into this.

As Ellis would say, "I don't yike it."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Parenting Woes

This is how self-absorbed I am: I didn't even think to worry that Aaron and I would have trouble coming to an agreement on how we want to parent Ellis. Didn't even cross my mind. Upon looking deeper at this, I realize its because I totally and completely believed that he would just follow my lead. I am, after all, a licensed social worker. People pay for my clinical opinion. I'm also a trained Love and Logic parent. And besides all that, I'm lovable, convincible me. Well, as you've no doubt guessed, that's not what's happening.

He is much more of a disciplinarian and I pretty much let Ellis be Ellis as long as she is not in danger of serious injury, burning the house down, etc. He's concerned I have no boundaries and I'm concerned that he doesn't know how to pick his battles. For instance, Ellis and him got into it last night over a napkin. Dad wasn't sharing. I had to leave the table.

So, I don't know what to do except keep negotiating and having even tempered discussions. We were both blessed with parents who love us so we can't screw this up too bad right?

I think if we can both give in a little. If he can learn to pick his battles and let her be herself more often than not and if I can hold her accountable when she is being a stinkerpotimous, then maybe we can strike a deal. I feel like Congress right now! No shutdown possible though. Gotta' keep this ship afloat.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

If only I were Swedish

Is it unreasonable for me to expect that my house be spotless? I have a toddler and I'm not the cleanest person on the planet and either is Aaron, so I guess it is unreasonable. Still, I crave a Pottery Barn/Restoration Hardware/Some Amazing Minimalist House in Sweden sort of décor in my home and no matter how badly I try, I just can not actualize it. Can you tell I'm having a bout of OCD tonight?

Speaking of OCD, Portland is way too dirty for me to live in. It's dirty on purpose, I realize, but all the same, I would have to be put on large amounts of Zoloft to make that work. And I can't rock the trendy glasses and I can't bring myself to call everyone "friend." It's a nice thought, and I tried it when I ordered some eggs but it just didn't come out right. Like when I try to roll my R's, that never comes out right either. Since my soul mate Jehan is there I will visit and drink copious amounts of wine and beer and wear my new Hunter boots all the while keeping my wannabe Swedish opinions to myself.

Did you know the key to a clutter free home is clear counter space. It does actually work but where, pray tell, do I put all my shit if I can't put it on one of my counter tops? Maybe I need to embrace the chaos in my life. Glory in the mess. Pretend I'm Diane Keaton and I get cuter the more disorganized my life becomes.

That's all I have to say tonight. I'm going to take a sleeping pill, which is actually just fancy Benedryl I found out (nice one Doc) and go to sleep now. Cheers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thoughts on the road

It's no secret that we want out of New Mexico. I will always love Taos and I will always visit Taos, my family lives there, and I'm a Taosena no matter where you put me. The behavioral health takeover was the final straw. I am insulted, disgusted, and terrified by the state of NM and I am frankly not able, in good faith, to practice behavioral health in NM as it stands now. I don't think I can subject Ellis to NM's educational system either. The rub is, I love my job and I love my family. It seems a little crazy to give up what I have at this point. Despite this predicament, Aaron, Ellis and I set out on a journey to see if we like Boise or Portland enough to relocate in the next couple years.
So here are my thoughts: I loved Boise. I love the fact that you can buy a lot of house for $200k. I love that the schools are great and public. I love that there are 24 soccer fields that are booked day in and day out with happy, active kids. I love that the city offers what you need but isn't sprawling or overwhelming. I
love that you are surrounded by rivers and lakes, mountains and bike trails that are as well defined as regular roads. I love our friends who live there. I also unabashedly love Fred Meyer stores. Who the hell knew?! 
Now, Portland: I love that the cells of every plant are buzzing with life from the unrelenting moisture. I love that moss grows in the cracks of sidewalks. I love that everything smells slightly of mildew and cedar. I love that I don't have to pump my own gas. I love how friendly people are. I love that we have friends here. I love that we are an hour from the ocean! I do struggle a bit though with wondering if the rain will depress me. I worry that the fish are radioactive from the Fukushima meltdown. Mostly though, I sort of worry that I might not be weird enough to live here. Or maybe that's the beauty of Portland? Come as you are and we will love you. 
For now what I know to be certain is that my heart hurts thinking of leaving my family, my friends, my boss and my job. Until such time as a future path is laid out, I'm going to relish in everything I adore about New Mexico. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Everything is going to be OK.

Tomorrow afternoon I am leaving for my first vacation in three years. That is pathetic, but nonetheless very exciting. The purpose is two-fold: Check out potential places to live since New Mexico is officially the most ass backwards state in the Union, and say hello to some very good people in some very awesome locations. I'm pretty excited.

I do apologize for not writing sooner. I've been through some shit and I'm just starting to recover. Here's the skinny: my job ended because of some very shady goings on with the State and so I've been a little traumatized and pissed and really having to dig deep to know that everything will be OK. You know, speaking of everything being OK, you want to know how the Universe always reminds me that everything will work out in the end? It's fairly simple. No matter what I'm looking for, like take for instance a perfect fitting and adorable chambray shirt, it always and without fail (and not too much delay either) shows up on the racks at my favorite second hand store. LIKE ALWAYS. If that isn't proof that the Universe is on your side, I don't what is.

In other news: I am thinking about thinking about weaning my milk addicted toddler. I really love her and I think nursing babies is where it's at but I pretty much can't stand it about 85% of the time, particularly when we are at happy hour (yes, I take Ellis to happy hour and I don't care what you think). She also calls it, "Muk" which totally pisses me off since it's commonly known as "liquid gold" and people pay big bucks for this stuff. I haven't the foggiest idea how I'm going to cut her off but since we've already established that everything will be OK, I'm not worried.

Also, Aaron is home. Which invariably means that my insistence that things be done a certain way has increased. I don't know why this happens, other than the fact that there is another adult in the house now to squabble with and maybe also because I believe that I do things better than anyone else but at the end of the day I'm just going to assume, wait for it, that everything will be OK!

In Summation:
1. NM is on my shit list.
2. God loves me and I know this because I always find the clothes I want at discounted prices.
3. "Hi, my name is Ellis and I'm addicted to muk."
4. I can't delegate.
5. Packing is the pits.

Friday, July 5, 2013


This week was so stressful I feel like half of a person. I am still in denial (thank Jesus) that in the last two weeks we have lost 40% of our funding, suspended substantial parts of our business and furloughed 100+ employees. My only solace in all this is fantasizing about the inevitable downfall of the woman behind all this. Enlightened, no, but it's a step above hiring a hit man (yes, this also crossed my mind.) Considering I've been on the planet for 24 years, oh I'm sorry, 34 years, one would think I would be used to blatant injustice but it gets me every damn time. I will probably end up marching on the Capitol. This country is so adept at balancing its budget on the backs of the poorest among us and when it happens in my close proximity, well, it knocks the wind out of me. Still gasping for air.

In other news, I'm having a rather serious bout of OCD that is manifesting itself in hours spent on I'm not purchasing anything, what with the professional cluster fuck. I'm simply adding copious amounts of furniture to my shopping lists. I have come to loath all of our furniture, except our dresser, but everything else must go. Poor Aaron. I wonder if he sometimes fantasizes about his escape. Maybe that's why he's making a shed (apartment?) in the backyard.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

T for toddler and total f***ing tantrum

About 15 minutes after I said that I love the toddler stage Ellis started exhibiting very obnoxious and embarrassing behaviors, which by the by, only occur in public. For example: went to our local health food store, which by the way, is chalk full of baby haters. I get more dirty looks in that place then I did in junior high. Yes, little hippies, eat your GMO free food and gluten free crackers with raw goat cheese, but it won't save you at the gates after making audible disapproving clicking sounds with your tongue at my daughter. ANYWAY, Ellis likes things to go just so whilst shopping, as do I but our agendas rarely line up and we usually end up leaving in tears (usually  hers but sometimes mine). She's little, you know, relatively speaking but she does this limp noodle/donkey kick/slap you in your effing face mom maneuver that's really unpleasant and people look at me and I swear they're thinking, "Aren't you a children's therapist?!" Most likely they're thinking, "Oh, I'm glad my kids are grown" or "maybe it's a good thing after all that I never had children," or "that lady really shouldn't leave the house."  The worst is when you run into other moms, not the cool moms who say, "That's nothing. My kid stabbed me with a fork last night." No, it's the worst when you run into the moms who like to pretend they're perfect and their spawn is therefore also perfect.They never cry or hit or donkey kick. Those moms suck and should be banished from the land. 

This is all to say that I need some toddler tactics. My problem is that I own about 700 parenting books but if the author says one thing I don't like I throw the book away. I'm really hoping I can relax my standards, lest we starve to death. 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bad blogger, bad!

It has been way too long. Thus far, I make a very bad blogger. Alas, I have been busy with my sweet, sweet lovins' and her wonderful daddy, who I have begun calling Malibu Ken as he is very tan and blonde right now. I also have a rather large job, running a counseling agency in Taos. It's not a good time to be in behavioral health. The world is effed, the money is drying up and the combination of the two makes for a lot of grumpy politicians who unfortunately run the show. I have been fantasizing again about being a stay-at-home author but I haven't written anything worth much in a very long time so I'm feeling like I have no business fantasizing about this at all. Still, I love the feeling that rushes over me when I imagine myself doing exactly what I love and being able to see Ellis more often. I love my current job very much but the politics of helping people stay well is enough to drive a person crazy. I can only handle so much irony.

There is so much on my mind right now it's hard to unwrap it all. Professionally, I am facing a lot of big questions. It's scary and I'm worried but it's good practice in trusting that the universe is a friendly place and all will be great once it shakes out. I used to be so good at going with the flow but once you throw in some student loans, a 401k, a car payment and a mortgage, the flow suddenly feels pretty clogged up. Still, my mind should be only on the startlingly impressive present moment. 

I am deep into wedding planning, which is a terribly good time. Aaron and I are totally on the same page, mostly because he only cares that the music and booze are good. This man has his priorities straight. 

I keep hearing that toddlers are a nightmare, but personally, I couldn't be happier with our sweet girl. She is so much fun. Talking tons, running, feeding the dogs, hiding the dog food from the dogs, swimming (caul baby, I shouldn't be surprised), snuggling, kissing mommy on the knee as I cook. I could go on and on. I love being with her. I even love learning how to navigate her tantrums. Learning how to emotionally coach her so she feels free to express herself and at the same time doesn't fear emotions so she can have them and then let them wash over her and be gone. It's an amazing, healing process for me to watch. It's like starting all over. Learning to love yourself through your child. It's unbelievable.

There's my update. It's a bit of a verbal masturbation really. I do apologize. I will be brilliant next time. Stay tuned. Love.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Things not to say to a working mother (this is a working list and will grow for the rest of my life)

1. "Oh, it must be so hard to leave her [Ellis] with someone else."
2. "When you spend time with her isn't it so hard to take her back to daycare on Monday?"
3. "How do you do it all?"
4. "I can't imagine being a working mom."

To which I say, "Fuck you."

Uh, thought of a few more that have come my way:

5. "She must miss you so much."
6. "Aren't you afraid you're going to miss something?"
7. "Is Aaron ok with you working?"

To which I say, "Really? Are you really that stupid?"

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Today I was called, in a very gentle way, "callous." It's not the first time I've heard this. The funny thing is, and I so deeply hate to admit this, but if you know me well then you know that I am actually the opposite of callous. I can become so easily enveloped in the grief of others I try to avoid situations that may result in high emotion. I stopped practicing psychotherapy for this reason and have moved back into business, a place I am so very comfortable. My best and most reliable defense mechanism has always been my "callousness." It may not work for other people and I've seen the looks  when I make a decision that others perceive as cold and uncaring, but it helps preserve me. I don't know how else to explain it.

This all came up because I am off to a funeral next week. I don't do funerals. If there is any place where you are guaranteed to experience high emotion, it's in a room full of folks who are mourning  someone they love. So today I was processing this with my friend and colleague and somehow it came up that I haven't been to a funeral since my tennis coach's young children were killed in a car accident. I was seventeen at the time. I had a lot of capacity to understand what was happening but not enough. Who has enough capacity to understand something like that. That was 16 years ago. I have missed every funeral since, always with good reason (I tell myself), but not really, not when it comes to relationships and honoring the good people who have passed on. It's not that I don't mourn. I do. I just prefer to do it privately.

I have a family now. My partner has requested that I attend his grandmother's funeral and of course I will go and I'm so happy to get to see his family. The anxiety about the funeral is rather formidable though so it's an interesting thing to work through. I can't help but wonder if attending the funeral of a 94-year-old woman who has brought us all together to celebrate her full and long life will help shift the idea of grief and mourning for me. It's good practice. This is not for or about me. I am there to watch and support and love and dance and drink beer (and chase Ellis since her ear surgery fixed her balance so perfectly).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I didn't use spell check so don't judge me but this blog is called The anti diet

I've been on a diet since I was about 10. I once asked my mom to send me to a fat camp. She snorted, then laughed and then the concern set in. I'm happy to report that after living in my body for 33 years, and doing every possible extreme eating plan ever created, I have reached a beautiful understanding with myself. It's truly life changing and I can't help but apologize to myself for all the torture and ridicule I put myself through all these years. I don't know if it's because of Ellis; if it's because I donated my body to my beautiful daughter for nine months, nine months plus if you count all this breast feeding we've been doing. I don't know, I think maybe it is because of her and because of her I was able to see my body as something other than flesh for vanity's sake. This body grew a human! I beautiful, brilliant, shining star human and it has fed her for almost two years and I'm sorry, but that is just plain ol' magic. It's magic and so whatever bullshit I was doing to my body at any given time, that's all gone for now. My body and I have an understanding and I truly have not felt this serene with myself ever in my life.

So let me tell you about the moment this all culminated for me. I was at home, catching up on Scandal, because I have a BFF who lives for that show and basically she said we can't be friends if I don't watch it, so I watch it and while I was watching I got to thinking, "You know Dorothy, for all the diets you've been on, you've never done weight watchers and that's (according to Jennifer Hudson) the most successful diet plan out there, because (according to Jennifer Hudson) it isn't a diet." And so I hopped on my lap top and I looked up and I thought, "Hmm, $2.99 a month....I don't know..." It's true. I will spend $2.99 on a lot of things but not weight watchers. So then I thought, "If I can figure out how to install a play kitchen I can figure out the science behind weight watchers. I'll just do my own weight watchers!" So I started researching and I read a lot of articles and a lot of studies and I figured it all out, I did. I figured it out and my body said, "Oh thank FUCKING God! It only took you 30+ years!" So here it is, if you're interested:

Metabolic set point. This is where the magic happens and this is what weight watchers talks about but doesn't talk about because the average person just wants to be skinny and needs to be told how and doesn't care about why. So in order to lose weight without feeling horrible and depressed, you have to reset your metabolic set point which takes about three to six months. You can't diet for three to six months as anyone who has been on a diet will tell you. It's too long, it requires too much deprevation and we are hard wired to want to eat so when you start monkeying with hard wiring (food, sex) bad things happen. So if you can't diet then what can you do? You learn what a damn portion size looks like (you can google this. They have pictures) and you eat that 5-6 times a day. You make good, healthy choices 80-85% of the time and you get off your ass and move. That's it. That's all you do. It takes time and it requires that you change your habits but it does not require that you feel clinically depressed because you can never, ever again have another piece of pizza and cold beer. After three - six months, your body wants less, aka, your metabolic set point has been changed and you will not gain the weight back. If you have more weight to lose, you make some more little adjustments for another three to six months. The trick is to never change anything drastically enough that your mind becomes tempted to sabotage. Baby steps people. It's beautiful for anyone who lives to eat and refuses to be a lab rat any longer.

I should qualify this by saying that I'm not trying to airbrush my sweet ass and win a women's fitness competition but I do want to look good naked and zip up my skinny jeans without a whole lot of upper body strength needed.

So that's what I've been doing for the last three weeks and I feel normal and happy and I've lost 4 pounds. Boom. This is awesome.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Pink Elephant: Psychoimmunology

The Pink Elephant: Psychoimmunology: I wonder if anyone will read this blog with a boring, seemingly made up title like, "psychoimmunology." Alas, for the three of you...


I wonder if anyone will read this blog with a boring, seemingly made up title like, "psychoimmunology." Alas, for the three of you that do, it's a real thing. It's pretty awesome and something we've probably known about on an intuitive level for forever but the field didn't get going until the mid 80's and now it's an actual branch of science. So, what is it? In a nutshell, it's how psychological states influence the function of the immune system. Anyway, I'm not going to get all nitty-gritty about the subject because it's almost ten, my child could wake any moment and honestly, I try to avoid talking about human biology as much as possible.

What I will say is that psychoimmunology studies have found something out, something that has changed my outlook on pretty much everything so I figured I better share this little tid bit. Before I do though, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that stress is bad for your body right? No, we've known that for awhile now and anyone who has been texting while driving and then looks up right before they're about to hit the car in front of them knows that stress creates an avalanche of chemical reactions in your body. Heart rate goes up, breath shortens, the stress hormone cortisol is released, etc. Now if we experience stress on a chronic basis it's even more obvious that it's taking a toll on our bodies. Right? We know this so what is our knee-jerk reaction? Cut out the stress. Which, hello? Is STRESSFUL. We live in 2013, we have jobs and kids and relationships and friends and family and bills and bad hair days and 15 pounds of pregnancy weight to lose still and dogs who don't come when you call them and people who still bug you after all these years and cars that break down and nails that break when you don't have access to a nail file for like 7 more hours. So, we tell ourselves that stress is bad and we should have less of it which in turns increases our stress but guess what I learned the other day...ready: When it comes to our bodies and how we experience stress, i.e., whether it takes a toll on us or not, STRESS IS NOT THE PROBLEM. Nope. OUR PERCEPTION OF THE STRESS IS THE PROBLEM.

I don't know about you but I find this very exciting and liberating because I was doing a piss poor job of eliminating stress from my life. I can however shift my thoughts about my stress. For example: Ellis has to get tubes in her ears. Perception 1: FUUUUUUUCK! This is the worst thing EVER. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Or Perception 2: What a fantastic opportunity for my sweet girl to not feel like her inner ears are being drawn and quartered. Thank God we live in 2013 where this procedure is safe and possible. Thank God her doctor didn't walk in stinking of Gin (I don't know, it could happen.). Thank God we found this out now, she's going to rock this!

Um, yea, this is totally working for me. I hope it totally works for you. Remember, perception is everything. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Can you say, "ga-ross!"

Being sick sucks but do you know how god dang anxiety provoking it is to get sick when you have a child? Let me tell you, this is the stuff panic is made of. What if she wakes up from her nap? What if she has a restless night? How will I sooth her and get to the bathroom in time? What if, god forbid, she wants me to play with her?! Shit. What did I used to whine about when I was without child? Oh poor me, back to back Grey's Anatomy (not a good show to watch when you're sick by the way...oh god, it's colon cancer, etc.), uninterrupted, friends and suitors doting on me until I was well again. Able to take copious amounts of NyQuil without worrying that I'm poisoning my child. Seriously?! Now I tip toe to the bathroom as fast as I can and if I hear that initial cry I pray not that I will be cured, I pray she will roll over and go back to sleep. If that doesn't happen, dread, fear, powerlessness. It is not fun people and those are not immune boosting emotions let me tell you. So here I am, sick again. Don't get me started on why, that's another post. For now, can we all collectively pray she stays asleep and avoids getting what I have? Thanks friends. Cheers (clink goes my saltine).

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Pink Elephant: It's all going to be just fine

The Pink Elephant: It's all going to be just fine: We found out yesterday that Ellis is going to need to get tubes put in her ears. I know this may sound routine or not at all like a big deal...

It's all going to be just fine

We found out yesterday that Ellis is going to need to get tubes put in her ears. I know this may sound routine or not at all like a big deal but let me tell you, the idea of putting my 18 month old under general anesthesia is terrifying. To tell you the truth, the thing that scares me even more is that she can't eat or drink for 8 hours before the surgery. She's still breastfeeding. How the hell am I going to pull that off? And then my next thought is, Jesus Christ, this poor girl has so much fluid in her ears she hasn't experienced equilibrium for about a year, which explains so much of her struggles with walking. I'm excited we have some answers but I just want to fast forward to the part where the tubes fall out and everything is healthy and good.

Being a parent is difficult.

A friend of mine is on day 6 of being a new mom. We've been texting late at night, while I stare at Ellis and pray that she'll be okay and while she stares at her new little one and prays that she keeps breathing, you know, like we all did when we were new moms. It's so helpful to hear her angst, that doesn't sound nice, but what I mean is that its helpful to know that all moms struggle with the same fears and that it isn't just me or that I'm not sensing some horrible future event. We all worry. My friend Jolene said, "Nothing is routine when it comes to our beloveds." She couldn't be more correct. When Ellis was first born I thought, "What will I do when she gets a cold? How will I survive seeing her uncomfortable?" A cold. Fears of a cold used to keep me up at night and so what a wonderful thing to see the evolution of my own mothering. Soon Ellis will be put under to have a surgical procedure done on her little, tiny ears. Had I known this was coming down the pike when she was 4 weeks old, I may have had a mental breakdown. So we grow up and we get stronger and so do our babies.

That's what's going on in my world. Nothing routine at all. I need lots of love if you have any to spare.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not a kid anymore

Don't get me wrong, I have always wanted children. I think there may have been a 48 hour period some years ago when I thought, "God, this world is effed in the A. Maybe having kids is not such a great idea." That period passed however and as each year came and went I found myself thinking more and more about children. I did nothing to pursue this however, as it was something I figured would someday happen, little effort needed. Good thing too because there were quite a few undesirables I dated who would have made horrible fathers. And to be fair, I would have probably been a really craptastic mom had children come earlier in my life.

At any rate, a child was born and what a fantastic child she is. This blog isn't about how great my daughter is though, we'll save that blog for later and we'll call it, "Perfect, Perfect Princess, Mommy Loves You," so that all of you will know to skip that blog if you don't feel like hearing about how cool my kid is.

AS I WAS SAYING, this blog is about how motherhood has created quite the cognitive and emotional challenge for me. Let me be specific: How is it possible to love someone so much that you would willingly and gladly jump in front of a bus if it meant they got to have more time on this planet while at the same time long to throw on your pretty girl costume, dash out of the house and meet your girlfriends for copious amounts of wine. How is it possible to love someone so much you willingly and gladly wipe their boogers on your favorite pair of jeans (and leave said bogey there all day, hard and crusty for the world to see) and at the same time long to crawl into bed and take an uninterrupted three hour nap with the bed all to yourself.

Most people on the planet are parents or will become parents so perhaps we don't talk about it because "everyone [literally] is doing it" so what's the big deal, but becoming a parent is a big ass deal! I don't want to sound like the loser who at 34 still talks about catching the football in the big high school game but can we all just pop open a bottle of red and reminisce about how ridiculously easy our lives were before we had kids? Recognizing who we were and how much we miss that person does not mean we are bad parents, oh no, it actually means that we have a fighting chance in hell to be really cool parents, the ones who leave the radio volume so high that when you start the car your kids are like, "Whoa Mom, gettin' a little crazy during your afternoon commute?"

I love being a mom and I love how being a mom makes me feel. Whatever doubts I had about my capacity to love someone fully and without pride have vanished and I am left with the warmest feeling, the most human of all feelings and I am forever changed and forever humbled and grateful. AND AT THE SAME TIME, I love being a sassy, smart, sexy woman! The challenge herein is to marry these two selves. How? I know not but what fantastic homework!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Been a long time

I went to a baby shower this weekend and the soon-to-be mom, a good friend of mine from grad school, reminded me that I have a blog. So sorry, I've been uncomfortably busy. So much so that I actually went through one bona fide emotional breakdown and two existential crises. We also bought a house and moved and I went through my annual audit at work and Ellis is officially a toddler in a month so yeah, [panting] I've been busy.

Hustle and bustle aside, I had a revelation last night. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with what feels like total and utter clarity? My most brilliant insights definitely take place between the hours of midnight and 3 am. Anyway, so last night I woke up around 1:30 am and I was like, "Oh my God, what am I doing?!" But not in a judgemental way, more in like a strike of lightening to my psyche sort of way, "Yes, you have a baby. Yes, Aaron got hit by a car. Yes, you have a really stressful job. Yes, you still have 15 pounds to lose. These are not reasons to stop living! Use it or lose it baby." It was my favorite kind of revelation. The kind where I wake up, take in the divine information and then promptly go back to sleep. I woke up feeling much more awesome than when I went to bed.

I'm really hoping my revelation was not some hormonal spike that will soon wane because I am feeling suddenly very hopeful about the fact that as much complaining as I manage to do, I have everything I have ever wanted (sans a hybrid Lexus, working on that). At any rate, I digress again, I feel like my revelation was mostly about playing the victim, which is just so easy to do. Sometimes life does feel like it's happening to us. We feel unengaged and bombarded with the will of something/someone else. It feels horrible and it's so hard to think and be positive, to be creative and to feel light and as if you are a very important part of this universe. It's a feeling of powerlessness and that just ain't how I roll. So, I am working on dropping the victim cloak and I will keep you posted on life post-revelation. So far, life is starting to feel like a miracle again.