January 31, 2012


When third grade ended and school let out for the summer, I met my one and only best friend on the way home. We were both carrying bags full of junk collected from the school year and we both ended up crossing the street at the same time. Jennifer Manson* was a grade higher than me and lived a couple blocks away from me. We walked home together that day- I walked her home and then ran home to dump my bag of stuff and change out of my school uniform (Catholic school) before running back over to her house to play. 
Lovie and her BFF

Jennifer Manson and I became fast friends. Best friends. We spent all summer together and were inseparable; I even went on vacation with her and her family.  It was the best summer of my life: We were 8 and 9 years old, it was summertime, we didn’t have school, we could hang out all day and play- life was wonderful!

When school started again in September and Jennifer went on to 5th grade while I started 4th, we still remained best friends and still remained inseparable outside of school. I was even at her house that Fall late afternoon when my mom called- something she had never done before.  It was the night my world changed, when I was told to say goodbye to my dad while we packed the car up with brown paper grocery store bags full of our personal belongings and drove out to my grandparents’ house for a couple weeks.

Despite being miles apart for a couple weeks, despite my parents making me change schools (from private to public), despite the complete meltdown of my family and home life, Jennifer and I still remained best friends. In fact, she and her family really helped make me feel normal and loved in a time when my whole world had been rocked to its core.

But then, less than a year after my parents split, Jennifer and her family moved away. And so did our friendship.
We’d like you to explore friendship. You can talk about a current friendship or one from your past, a friend you met over kindergarten snacks or happy hour at your first job. Examine your emotional interest in the friendship and the role it plays, or played, in your life.
The word limit for this prompt is 400 words. While that may not seem like many words to devote to a friend you’ve known for thirty years, try to provide us with a snapshot that encompasses your feelings about the friendship.

*fake name

January 28, 2012

wanna pork?

haha don't you just love this card? I'm quite tempted to order it for my husband. What for? 


It's right around the corner, in case you forgot.

But then I saw this one and I know he would get a good chuckle out of it. Ack, I dunno! Tiny Prints has
so many Valentine Cards to choose from! It's gonna be tough. And while we don't generally celebrate V-day, we do now that we have Lovie.

I thought that one would be cute for Lovie. But again, there are so many Valentines Day Greeting Cards to choose from!

I need to figure this out soon, that's for sure... only 17 days to go!

Check them out for yourself: 

And follow them along on the Twitter, Pinterest, and like them on Facebook!

January 27, 2012

pictures don't really match the words but whatever.

a pink princess dress. on my kid. it makes her happy so yeah, a pink princess dress on my kid. :)

A week after Lovie turned 2, she started flipping out during drop off at daycare in the morning. Just like that. Every morning for 8 straight school days, she flipped out when I dropped her off: arching back, screaming, crying with tears flooding her face, body flopped to the floor when not arched back.

When I would pick her up from school, she was fine. She was Lovie.

pink jeggings. on my kid. they're adorable and they were gifted so yeah. pink jeggings on my kid! :D

But the next morning, it was back to the screaming and crying and unhappy child.

The pediatrician had warned us that the Terrible Two's brought out a lot of independence but a lot of neediness, too... but this was crazy to me. I mean, all of a sudden, just like that things were going to be different?! And there was nothing I could but keep on trucking?

I started to dread school mornings. I didn't want to be the one to wake her. I contemplated changing hours at work to see if it was that she wasn't getting enough rest because I couldn't imagine putting her to bed any earlier (than 7- the bedtime she's had forever) and she wasn't acting out in this manner on the weekends when she could wake up on her own.

bathtime from the other night

Then last week happened. Monday we were both off for MLK day and everything was fine- though by the end of the day she had a fever. She stayed home Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday because she was still feverish (except for Thursday). Friday when I dropped her off, I was terrified.  But she was OK. She whined a minute and latched onto my leg but was OK: no freakout.

And all this week? FINE! This morning, in fact, she ran into her room and leaped into her teacher's arms.

from last night: she had to have her hand constantly on me at all times as we sat watching Nick Jr.

Dudes, it's so good to have my sweet girl back. I mean, of course she has her moments (she threw her hugest tantrums last Thursday and Friday both- I'm talking screaming and crying for an hour practically {or so it seemed}- so it's not like I'm trying to say she's perfect), but for the most part this kid is unbelievably awesome, and *I* get to be her Mama. 

I'm so blessed. Even during those rough days (with more to come, I'm sure), I'm so immensely blessed.

January 26, 2012


So I did it.

I sent my BFF an email telling her I was choosing her to do something fabulous this year... the year we both turn... FORTY.

I'm thinking a weekend in NYC or Chicago or Vegas.

Just her and I.

No men, no kids.

A swanky, overpriced hotel with a ridiculously nice spa package.

Eating good food.

Drinking good booze.




Clinking our glasses to the past.

Raising them super high toward the future.

We're already fierce, but now we're gonna be...


Look out!

top 10 Life Stories

* As a little, I apparently hated playing with dolls and wearing dresses. I know this cuz my mama always marvels over how my Lovie adores her baby dolls and how sweet she is with them.

* I was a thumb sucker for a very long time.

* Play-doh was an absolute favorite of mine to play with- and eat.

* I puked any time I was in the back seat of a moving car for more than 20 minutes. Every single time. We took a lot of car rides when I was a kid and my siblings insisted they squish me into the back seat of the car despite the fact that each and every time, I would puke my guts out. Every time. My brother made a lot of blueberry pancakes when I was kid. Ask me how I remember this.

* I’ve told this story before but when I was 6 I slammed my hand thru a window to get my sister’s attention so that I could find out if we had to go to gymnastics or not.

* Puberty hit me very early on and when I was 10, I noticed hair. Down there. So I cut it. The next day I woke up and there was blood in my undies. I thought it was because I cut my hair too much or something and nearly had a heart attack. I was at my cousin’s house at the time so I called her into the bathroom to show her I was dying. She called in her step mom and it turns out I had gotten my period for the first time.

* I became a huge Prince fan when Purple Rain came out. I loved listening to the cassette over and over and over again. I especially loved the song Darling Nikki. One day when I was listening to the song on my Walkman, I asked my mom what “masturbating” meant. She refused to look at me and refused to answer me, urging me to “look it up.” I did look it up in the dictionary and still couldn’t figure out what it meant. I was like 11.

* I ran away from home when I was around 10. Really, it was my brother and I who ran away and we were running away from my grandparents’ house to our home.  We actually had help from some of my sister’s friends who lived near my grandparents, but we all made a pact to never tell anyone that they were involved (they let us hide out in their place and watch TV all day while we were “walking home” and then drove us to about a mile away from home that night). The police got called, my dad got called (this was right after my parents split so involving my dad was a bigger thing than involving the cops).  The next day, my mother drove us right back over to my grandparents’.

* I used to go to professional soccer games nearly every weekend they had Home games. I spent hours during the week making confetti from newspaper. I knew all the players names and positions. I even used one of those plastic horns that always sent darting eyeballs in my direction.

* After a Bryan Adams concert years and years ago, we waited in the rain for an autograph- and got one! I became completely star struck when I saw him and couldn’t say one word. Instead, after he signed our stuff, we all hopped into my 1969 VW Bug and chased him down the highway (he was being driven in a white van), into the city, and to the hotel he was staying at. And that’s where the story ends. Just like that.

3.) You know the stories that are retold a million times at family gatherings? I call them Life Stories that you just never live down. List your Top 10 Life Stories. Example here.

January 25, 2012

WW: Zip line fun

from her party on the 7th.
want more from her party (and/or bday)? click here, here, here, or hey why not here!

linking up with Parenting By Dummies

January 23, 2012

before 40

been quite ill the past several days and before that Lovie was sick. it's been a fun week and a half.

the past couple of days i've been doing a lot of laying around and it got me to thinking when i wasn't completely passed out.

i'm gonna be 40 this year- in less than 9 months. FORTY.

i never imagined seeing 21 let alone 40 so this is a BFD to me. and now that i have Lovie, things are different...  i have to care more about myself so that she has a Mama for as long as possible. and right now, i'm doing the opposite. everything has been all about her the past two years. all about her. and i'm not saying i'm regretful of that because i am absolutely not. it's just taken quite the toll on my health.

besides being obese (which i was prior to pregnancy so this is not because of her), i've been getting sick a lot. it's not right for someone to be as sick as me. sometimes it's just little colds, but more than not it ends up turning into something more debilitating. and it sucks. it takes so much out of me- and out of my time with and for Lovie.

so there's one thing i'm absolutely sure that's going to happen before i turn 40: i will haul my ass into a doctor and do whatever i have to find out what the hell is wrong with me. i will get a physical and keep hounding them until they can tell me WTF is up with my immune system (or the lack of it).

i'm pretty terrified to do this because what if there's something seriously wrong? i'm scared there is; i mean, why else am i sick like every other couple of weeks?!? but i have to do this. i absolutely have to. for me, for Lovie, for my husband.

some other goals to accomplish by my Fortieth:

* finish Lovie's 1 year book (up to 9 months now) and 2 year book
* go down two pant sizes
* get new wedding/anniversary bands for our 5 year wedding anniversary in June (we'll have been together 12 years)
* start being more active again- walking when i can, taking the stairs
* do something ALONE at least once a month- even if it's running out to Target
* get out to a dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse with the hubs alone (it's our favorite and we haven't been since days before Lovie's birth)
* take a weekend trip to NYC to visit my BFF/cousin - alone - to celebrate our 40th birthdays (she's 6 months older than me)
* start knitting again- and reading more
* start writing more again
* and, again, the number one thing to do before turning 40 is get myself healthier

January 19, 2012

Tis the Season

this week has been rough for a certain little one.

she's been home all weeks sans for a visit with grandpa on Monday. but by lunchtime Monday, i knew something was wrong when she didn't want a hot dog OR fries! blasphemy!

so all week i've been coming to work before the sun rises and only staying a couple hours before returning home to be with my Lovie and letting the hubs go off to work. he makes the big bucks after all.

and the girl is glued to me, sitting on me at all times unless she's sleeping.

poor thing. thank goodness for boogie wipes, team umizoomi, and modern technology allowing me to save my sanity from Nick Jr.

i'm pretty sure the fever broke in the middle of the night but we're keeping her home today to be safe (though that's what i thought yesterday only for her to be at 101 all day). hopefully tomorrow we go back to "normal."

January 18, 2012


just click on the photo and fill out the info on the right (email address and zip code) and TAKE ACTION! if you blog, you WILL want to do this. so just DO IT!

Dear Bryan Adams,

I can't even believe that I'm about to write what I'm about to write: I skipped out on the show last night.

: (

Big whoop, right? I mean, what do you care? You don't know me so no love lost; I'm sure you still went on and rocked the Chicago Theatre and all your fans in attendance just fine. I just so happened not to be one of them.

And for me, that sucks. Hard.

I love you, man. I love seeing you live because I love seeing your passion come to life right in front of my eyes. It's infectious- the love you have for your music. Hell, even my black husband (not that black folk can't enjoy your music; we just always joke around that you spot him at the shows because he's easy to spot in a sea of white folk, heh) likes you and respects you after I've dragged him to several concerts. The last one we went to was back in May 2009 and it was by far, the most amazing show I've seen from you because it was just you, your voice, your guitar, and a piano player.  It was the way music was meant to be heard live, I feel. Not to be too corny here, but it was like being in Heaven for me seeing you live, raw, and so intimate.  Yup, that show was back when I was a couple months pregnant with the love of my life who, by the way, is part of the reason I missed the show last night.

She's been a little feverish and super clingy. And that means Mama (that's me) has to rock her to sleep. I mean, of course I don't have to rock her to sleep but she seems to love it (when she's sick) as do I, so I gotta take advantage of the cuddles while I can. Cuz she's 2 and you'll see when your little Mirabella Bunny is 2 how 2 year olds roll. They're these little firecrackers. Hehe, so friggin much fun to be around, but they can be tiring, too. And look out if they don't get their way. So when you can grab snuggles from them, you do. And that's what I've been doing the past couple days.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your time in Chicago and I hope the fans treated you right so that you come back again soon... and hopefully you left last night cuz it's damn cold this morning.


January 17, 2012

oh hey.

things have been busy.

friday we were late getting started due to the snow from thursday night- and that sorta put things in a funk for me around here.

saturday we went to gymnastics, came home to nap, then headed over to my cousin's house to play for a bit. they forgot about Lovie's birthday party on the 7th (thought it was the 8th), so they felt super bad and begged us to come over. and Lovie got a couple more presents to open. so she's been opening gifts every single weekend since Christmas. it was no surprise that when we visited my dad yesterday (was off for MLK day), she asked to open presents. heh.

sunday we stayed home. Lovie played a bit, watched some TV, took a 3.5 hour nap; we did laundry, cooked, more laundry.

yesterday Lovie and i went to visit my dad for a bit. he's on our cell phone package and needed a new one so we headed over to the store after throwing some snow balls around. then we stopped for hot dogs and Lovie and i headed home as she did nothing but run around the AT&T store the entire time we were there (probably close to an hour) and was, therefore, ass tired. she woke after the 20 minute drive home and even though i laid her down in her crib and she stayed in there for another hour or so, she never napped- just talked and played with her dolls. as a result, i ended up putting her to bed an hour early and she didn't fuss. instead, she laid on me as i rocked her to sleep as i softly sung to her. it was so magical- rocking my girl to sleep, watching her eyes slowly close. peace filled the room and my heart. tears streamed out of my eyes. i'm immensely blessed.

today Lovie's still at home. she was warm last night and super clingy. after sleeping for nearly 12 hours, she was still a little warm and i didn't want to risk her going to school and her temp spiking to the point they call me and i lose today and tomorrow at work.

tonight i get to see Bryan Adams. assuming the snow doesn't hit too hard and my girl is ok.

in between it all, any free time i've had the past several days, have been spent glued to the computer trying to create Lovie's baby book. as of late last night, i'm done from birth to month three and at about 40 pages! sheesh this is gonna take forever.


January 13, 2012

How To: Art Masterpiece

Note: this masterpiece shown in this poster was one that took weeks to accomplish. results may vary.

January 12, 2012

stop the bitchen

It’s snowing now and only 27 degrees.
Yesterday it was 55 and we wouldn’t freeze.

But you wanted an orange and Cheerios.
Demanded as I drove, keeping me on my toes.

“Orange!” you shouted from the back seat.
“Cheerios!!” you chanted to your own beat.

So onward we drove home from work and school.
And into the house we went as my hand you pulled.

“Hi Little Cat,” you said to the whiney one.
“Hi Zoe,” you said to the fat cat weighing a ton.

I smiled as I tussled your curls.
"Orange?! CHEERIOS!!” you shrieked as you twirled.

 “Yes ma’am,” I answered, heading toward the kitchen.
Anything to stop all this maddening bitchen.

January 11, 2012


10 in 10 on 10

yesterday was the 10th so starting at 930 in the morning, i started taking pictures every hour for 10 hours. wanna see?

from left to right top row:

930- part of my desk at work
1030- leaving the bathroom
1130- the opposite corner (from 930's photo) of my desk at work
1230- wait, is that actual work?!? could be, might be, it is!!!
130- water (glass #2 for the day)

from left to right bottom row:

230- garbage after throwing out some work from two years ago
330- my girl's daycare is right across this intersection!
430- on the swings! weeeee! (it's never 50 degrees in January in Chicago)
530- time to color
630- Blues Clues

i bet you're dying to live a day in my life, huh??

January 10, 2012

in one week

i will finally be seeing this man live in concert again.

be still my beating heart, i cannot wait! : )


* Last night whilst the three of us were eating dinner and Lovie chatted away between demanding more ketchup for her french fries (quit judging: she eats vegetables by the bowl full, too!), I decided to count the words in her sentences and it dawned on me: this little chica speaks in full sentences! Not all the time, nothing consistent, but wow. "Look, there's Little Cat under the chair." "Come on Little Cat, let's go watch TV."

* At her 2 year doctor visit, the pediatrician told us that the Terrible Two's would be full of fun times, but also some trying times, too. He mentioned that she may get more needy. And, of course, he also told us how fortunate we were that Lovie loves vegetables but that we shouldn't be surprised in the least if that changes soon. That visit was last Tuesday. Every day since that last visit, Lovie's been fighting me during school drop-offs- something she's never really done before. She's not wanting to take off her coat and hat, she's screaming for me not to leave and tries breaking free from the teachers hold. Lovie started going to this center at 9 weeks old. She knows and loves the teachers and her friends there. We've changed nothing in our routine. Nothing. I brought this up to some other mama's and several of them commented that their 2 year olds behaved in the same manner right around the time they turned 2. GO FIGURE! I guess my Pedi knows what he's talking about after all, huh? Although I'm really hoping Lovie continues to be the oddball with her love of vegetables. I'll continue to show her some extra lovin' when we get home at night (I'm loving the snuggles on the couch as we watch Kai Lan) and hope this drop-off hate passes soon.

* I'm doing a 10 on 10 today: 10 photos every hour for 10 hours on the 10th day of the month. I started at 9:30am and while I've only taken two photos (will post tomorrow), some things have become crystal clear: work is sloooooow. Ugh. I know I'll get slammed soon so I'm trying to just enjoy the slow pace right now but ... yikes, it's kinda scary how slow things are for me lately.

January 9, 2012

Party recap

Lovie's 2nd birthday party was Saturday and it was a blast. Better than anticipated, really. Absolutely no regrets for doing this. Sure she's still very young and won't remember this party, but she'll have pictures and some video to help remind her. And she had the time of her young life (and we had very little set up and clean up to do!).

Look at that smile!

When we first arrived, she didn't really think much of it. We were just at Gymnastics (as she calls it). But then her first little friend from school came and she started getting super excited as she wanted to show her friend around.

notice her shirt? it's a big 2 with Team Umizoomi characters on it- matching her invite
They jumped on the trampoline. They dove into the ball pit. The ran around squealing and giggling.

After a bunch more people started to arrive, the teachers gathered everyone around a large circle and sang Happy Birthday to my Lovie who sat with a big grin on her face. Then they brought out a huge parachute and laid it down for everyone to grab a hold of and start to shake. And sing Happy Birthday. Then Lovie laid down on top of the parachute and everybody shook her back and forth. Then others joined in.

They played with puppets. One of the teachers hid a bunch of small toys around the place so they had to run around and collect them and bring them back. They brought out a buttload of pom poms for the kids to play with.

They hooked up a huge swing that all the kids were able to sit on and ride. (This was funny to watch because all the parents grabbed their cameras to take photos.)

They built a fort and played hide and seek (Lovie hid by covering her eyes with her hands- *cutest thing ever*) for a couple of minutes before hiding Lovie in the back room for everyone to find.  After a minute, they directed everyone to the front of the gym to wait as they brought Lovie out in a car.

And it was the cutest 30 seconds of her life. I swear to god. She was smiling from ear to ear as one of the teachers wheeled her out in circles while everyone clapped and the Beatles Birthday song played in the background.

Then the teacher got her out of the car and brought her to the cake (Team Umizoomified with little toppers I DIY'd), lit the candles, we all sang and she blew out her candles.

The kids ate pizza and cake and went back out to play for another 10-15 minutes.

The party ended with another sock puppet show followed by bubbles. Lots of bubbles (they brought out a fan and huge thing of bubbles they placed in front of the fan causing all these little kids to try to pop all the bubbles).

After the last bubble was popped, the teachers announced that all the kids needed to get their socks and shoes on so they could get a goodie bag. The party was over but hopefully not forgotten for a while.

Nearly two hours of smiles, giggles, laughter erupting from all corners of the room. It was pure fun, fun, fun.

I'm pretty darn sure we'll be doing this again in another year, too. Yahoo for winter birthdays keeping us indoors!

January 6, 2012

Bounce this.

Because it's clear that you've been on the edge of your seat waiting for this post, without further ado, I present to you, dear reader, the top 3 viewed posts from 2011 (according to the Stats tab):

  1. With the most page views (no friggin clue why), here's #1.
  2. Coming in second place (not really too shocking given the title), here's #2.
  3. And bringing up the rear (also not too surprising since I linked it in the comments of a larger viewed blog), here's #3.

None have a thing to do with Lovie. Meh, your loss not mine.

And for more fun, let's take a look at the top three Search Keywords that made you click over:
  1.  bouncing boobs
  2. i don't have pms
  3. monchichi

everybody craaaazy shake!

Tomorrow. Her party is finally tomorrow! : )

I designed the invites myself. Not too shabby, eh? Well I don't think they are (I mean did you see I got a photo of Lovie inside of Bot's belly-screen?!??). I think they're damn cute, tyvm!

Because I blurred it all out, the party is going to be (for little kids) at a little kid gym place...The place Lovie's been going to since October for her "Gymnastics." She loves this place. Loves it. So it was really fitting to have the party here. And the price really couldn't be beat- especially considering we don't have to worry about doing any kind of set up, clean up, entertaining, etc. Nope. We just show up with a cake. Play. Pizza will be delivered at 3:30 (party starts at 3). We'll eat pizza and have cake- after singing Happy Birthday to my girl, of course. Then it's back to play play play!

My header at the top of the blog? That's from the last time we were at Gymnastics. They have a ball pit which Lovie adores. Ack, she's going to have SO much fun. She always does but once she realizes that everyone is there for HER... eek! :) I can't wait to see her reaction.

I'm a bit nervous because every single person RSVP'd that the were coming except for a small handful of people so we're going to be at the max the place allows! And then there's the chance that some additional child(ren) will show up as my husband's family kind of does their own thing.

I can't worry about any of that, though; we'll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

My main focus is Lovie having a blast... and somehow, someway getting some pictures of it all to help us remember. We can only do what we can do and the H and I have already discussed that we would swap taking pictures and playing whenever we could.  So fingers crossed we get some decent photos (I'd love to have a group shot of *all* kids but not sure how/if that could work with 20 kids.)

Eek, this is gonna be so much fun!!
  • After work today, I pick up the cake (just a generic one from Costco... I made Millie, Geo, and Bot characters to stick into the cake. Was hoping to keep the cake in the car overnight but our temps are supposed to be in the 50s today!).
  • Bottled water and juice boxes are in the hallway at home.
  • Little goody bags assembled and ready to go (with a Team Umizoomi sticker- that I made- on them)!
  • Pizza to be delivered at 3:30.
  • Paper plates, napkins, plastic forks, candles all in a bag ready to go, too.
  • Team Umizoomi "2" shirt ready to be worn by the birthday girl.
This is gonna be soooo much fun.

And then on Sunday, we get to go to a 1 year old's pizza party! So it's definitely going to be a busy weekend. How about you?

January 5, 2012

the great escape

(to lighten things up)

she tried, at least.
never got free though.
not yet.
and NO, we're not looking into a Big Girl bed, tyvm!

This is one of those things that I do NOT want to know.

My heart aches right now.

In the cubicle across from me sits a woman, around 62. She's a wife, a mother, a grandmother. And she's a survivor of suicide.

Her youngest son killed himself on this date, 22 years ago.

How do you get past something like that? Why does something like that even happen in this world? But it does. All the time.

When I was 15, suicidal thoughts entered my mind a lot. I sincerely hated life and just didn't understand what the point was to continue on. But every time I put more thought into it, I always thought of my nephew (only had one at the time) and my parents. As much as my parents pissed me off, how would they feel if I killed myself? And my nephew, then 2, how would he feel? Would he someday wonder if it was his fault that I killed myself?

So I never went through with it.



Plenty of people do, though. Plenty of people don't think there's any hope left. Plenty of people are so submerged in the dark that they can't see any more glimmer of light to hang on.

So they end the pain and suffering.

And they leave their survivors to wonder so many things, to feel so many horrendous things.

My coworker, she has another son who is my age. I imagine she had to go on for him??

Ack, my heart just aches right now for her. I just don't understand how this kind of pain, this kind of heartache can even exist. It's just cruel.

January 4, 2012

Come Play with Me: 5

It's my Monday today, but it's really Wednesday. Super cool. Something else that's cool is that I have another edition of Come Play with Me Guest Post series and today's piece is written by one of my favorite bloggers and friend, Monica from Peeper Summarized. I swear to you, every time I click into her blog, I end up in tears in one way or the other because her writing is that touching, that moving, that emotional, that beautiful. And her love of motherhood is sooo inspiring.
Anyhow, let's get on with Monica's take on 2012...

When Christina asked who might like to write a little somethin' about what they learned this year or what they were looking forward to for next year I shot her an email right away. Duh! Of course! I could knock this out in a heartbeat. New Years is my thing.

It's not the Auld Lange Syne, party horns and champagne aspect of the new year that I love so much. It's the fresh start. Who doesn't love the opportunity to turn over a new leaf? Granted, this is a completely made-up time point and on January 1 none of us wakes up fundamentally any different than we were when we fell asleep on December 31. But possibility towers over every failed attempt and discouragement in our past. We get reacquainted with the idea of our own potential and that is what I love.

So imagine how stymied I was to sit down day after day and find that I wasn't inspired to write ANYTHING. There's been plenty going on so that wasn't the problem. Or maybe it was the problem: too busy to reflect about the past and future. For the past few years a theme or mantra, if you will, for the coming year just finds me. This isn't something that I have to consciously think about - something rich just filters out of all the reflection that seems to occur so naturally around this time of year. Usually, the theme/mantra/battle cry is something absolutely revolutionary to me. It drives the coming year in a way that New Years resolutions just can't do.

For example, in 2010 I was overwhelmed with gratitude. All I could think about as the new year rang in was how grateful I was that me, my daughter and my husband were alive and healthy.

In 2011 there was a lot of work to be done: history was waiting to be written. I had a necklace made with this exact phrase printed on it. I wore that necklace every time I anticipated a difficult day or any time I needed to be reminded that with every passing moment I was in control of which part of me would show up  - and I wanted it to be good.

This year we did all that work and the reward for it is that in the coming year nearly everything we know is going to change. For a control freak like me, this is disquieting at best and paralyzing at worst. Even good changes are still changes ... but that makes for one crappy mantra.

Tonight after Ada was in bed I lay covered up on the couch thinking about all the stuff I should be doing. Early pregnancy fatigue has settled in heavily and I'm dragging myself around to get the bare minimum basics taken care of - it's a miracle if I stay up much past 9:30. Laziness has it's silver lining though. In the middle of all that stillness a little voice in my head said something and it all clicked. Angels sang, clouds parted and I knew what 2012 would be all about for me. The little voice that represents the steadier side of me whispered confidently:

"You are exactly where you are meant to be."

Some people have known this their whole lives but this was a freaking revelation for me! From Buddhist reading I know, like, in-my-head-know-it, that this is what a good buddha should strive to know. But knowing it in your thoughts and really knowing it in your soul are such completely different things. This isn't the kind of thing that you can try to know either - your life experience just has to bring it to you. Once you realize it though... Click! you really know it. And my God, that is one incredibly freeing thing to realize. The guilt and angst of always feeling the need to be somewhere else doing something else has vanished. What an amazing gift.

It's OK to have been wherever you were - it was the right thing then.
It's OK to be headed somewhere intentionally - that's how we create our lives.
But it's also OK to be right where you are right now.
This is exactly where you are meant to be.

Turns out that there is a sweet prayer attributed to St. Therese of Lisieux that sums it all up so nicely:

May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.

Happy New Year to all and may you find your battle cry for 2012!


See what I mean? Does she not have a way with words?! 
Please go on over to Peeper Summarized and check out more about Monica and her family and become as infatuated with her place (blog) as I am! I dare you NOT to.
Thanks for playing, Monica! : )

January 3, 2012

Changing perfection

Two years ago I had a 5 DAY old baby.

I had cried so many times- happy tears and HOLYOMGWHATTHEHELLISHAPPENINGHEREANDWHYWON'TSHESTOPCRYING tears- I lost count.

Two years ago today, my baby doll looked like this:

Perfection. Absolute perfection.

But I was starving her and that's why she was so unhappy. I remember commenting to my husband how everyone said and everything I read said that babies sleep so much the first couple weeks. Not my baby. My baby wasn't happy those first several days home. At all. She never slept more than a couple hours at a time that first week. She was up crying way more than she was sleeping.

Then we went to her first pediatrician appointment and the doctor talked to us at length about my nursing. We returned for a second visit two days after the first visit. My baby was losing weight instead of gaining weight.

My baby was starving.

And it was my fault.

Again the doctor talked to us at length. He even asked that I nurse in front of him. I was mortified in my head over this fact but I didn't let that stop me from making sure my baby was fed properly. So I whipped out my gigantic boob and started feeding my girl who latched on wonderfully (always did from the get go).

He suggested we keep nursing and start supplementing because he had a feeling either I wasn't producing enough milk or my girl was just a hungry one.

So we returned two days later for our third appointment in one week.

Finally she gained weight. Finally she was sleeping more. Finally she stopped crying so dang much. Finally she wasn't starving anymore.

I continued to nurse and supplement. I pumped after every feeding and never got more than one ounces (after ONE FULL HOUR of pumping).

Finally, a week before returning to work when Lovie was 8 weeks old, I stopped nursing and pumping and just gave her formula. It was a decision made with a heavy heart as breastfeeding was the only plan I ever had. But a decision I was almost immediately grateful for having made as soon as I did because I was finally able to spend some time with my girl one on one. And not one on one plus a breast pump.

Anyway... two years later and I have a 26.5 pound, 35 inches tall little girl.

My how things change.

But she's still perfection. Absolute perfection.