Tuesday, August 30, 2011


When I was pregnant with N (and aware she was a girl), I spent a lot of time thinking obsessing over the ghastly amounts of pink things that were going to start descending upon my home. I worried that frills and pink and dolls and princesses were going to be shoved down her throat everywhere we turned. I was worried that from Day 1 she was going to believe that Prince Charming was real (the HORROR!) and that he was going to ride in on a white horse and save her from her terrible parents who wish her to be well-rounded and independent. I glared at my poor mother anytime she appeared on the doorstep with yet another bag of clothes, assuming that everything in it would say "Cute as a Button", or "Princess in Training" (they didn't, by the way, none of them did, my mother has impeccable taste, I was just a psycho pregnant lady).

I told anyone who would listen that I was a tomboy, that I only had male friends until I was 7 (true), and that I had NO IDEA how to stomach any of those things, and to fend off anyone who dare try and make her watch Sleeping Beauty. It was exhausting thinking of the million scenarios where I would have to tell her that she doesn't need to wear pink/be a princess/let a man take care of her/kiss frogs/or play with Barbie.

What is my point? It's this:

We met Cinderella. And it was fun. N walked right up to her, her eyes so big, and gave her a huge hug. Then stood there, staring. She was amazed. We also rode in a horse drawn carriage, and visited her castle. Then we danced down the hill to continue our amusement park day. Meeting Cinderella was, by far, the highlight of her very long and exciting day. And I didn't have a stroke. I didn't tell her she's not real. And I didn't tell her that the pumpkin was plastic, and that her Fairy Godmother's sparkly wand looked like it was bought at the Dollar Store. I danced with her, and took pictures like someones depraved Stage Mom, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Just like when I picked her up from daycare the other day and she was beside herself with excitement because she climbed the (very small) rock wall ALL BY HERSELF. And then showed me. Again and again. Just like when she stood in line for the log flume and laughed at her father for being nervous. Just like when she announced in the car the other day that she NEEDS a red truck for her birthday, and not one you ride on, one she can push around herself and make truck noises for. Just like when we sat on the floor and taught her how to play her very first card came, and she got it. Just like when she talks circles around her little friends. Just like when she insisted on the blue Cars pull-ups and not the Princess ones. And just like every single day when she shows me a little bit more of who she is and who she is going to be.

She is going to be well-rounded, and independent. And if she meets Prince Charming and he sweeps her off her feet, I will keep my gagging noises to a minimum, as long as she gets through med school first.

And for the record, I was not all tomboy (I might exaggerate sometimes, and then add pregnancy hormones to that...good luck!). Yes, I had more male friends than female, I wore my brother's clothes, and I wanted to play hockey and be a goalie (guess who did that?), but I was also a ballerina for 12 years. I was a cheerleader in high school. I have vast amounts of embarrassing diary entries to look through and remind myself that I really did care what those silly 13 year old boys thought of me. But, I always wore my Doc Martens with my dresses, I loved it when people thought my hair looked like Eddie Veddar's, Rainbow Brite and Punky Brewster were always cooler than Barbie in my book, and my brother is still my hero.

So there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I did not run the Beach to Beacon.

I didn't train. At all.

What I did do was: camp, weekended away with friends, vacationed with my family, went to and hosted BBQ's, watched Super Husband sing and play in multiple fantastic shows, hit the beach, watched my girl grow more confident in the water moment by moment, ate dinner and drank wine outside with amazing friends, went to amusement parks, celebrated a dear friend who is having her first baby, attended a wake and a funeral, worked, got N through yet another ear infection (WITH TUBES, ARGH!), stressed that Summer is passing me by at the speed of light and we still haven't gone on a picnic, challenged myself to cook/use ALL the swoon-worthy vegetables we get from our CSA, saw a movie, planned sleepovers with my oldest niece, and tried so very hard to soak up every ray of Summer sun.

And Summer isn't even over yet. Not that you can tell by the dreary sky outside and 55 degree nights and mornings of late. I have confidence we will see a little more of it before September hits.

So no, I didn't run the B2B. But did I fail? No, not really. Sure, I am mildly disappointed that I didn't achieve this particular goal THIS year, but what I did do was pretty outstanding. I made choices. I didn't work out as much as I would have liked, but sometimes (okay, pretty much all the time) rushing to happy hour for an hour to celebrate your BFF's birthday is more important, and more gratifying, than a 3mile run.

Life is a series of choices each day. From what shoes I put on to walk in the rain to work, to what my attitude is going to be about the rain. I chose to sign up for the race, and then chose to spend late Spring, and most of Summer, playing with my family and friends, and supporting the ones who needed it. I'd call that a success.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


One of my favorite blogs is Enjoying the Small Things. Kelle takes the most gorgeous photos and writes posts that speak directly to me as a mother, woman, wife, and friend. And it doesn't hurt that she has two of the most beautiful little girls I have ever seen. Her latest post (you can read it here) reminds me of an ongoing monologue I am having with myself (and any friends/husband who will listen).

The day we went in for our 20 week ultrasound (which also happened to be our 5 year wedding anniversary) was one of the scariest, happiest, most overwhelming days of my life. I always saw myself with a boy. Raising a son. I don't know why. Maybe because I was (am?) a Tomboy. Or maybe because my only friends were male until I was in elementary school. Or maybe it was because I remembered what I was like as a teenager. It doesn't matter, the point is that I thought for sure that ultrasound tech was going to tell me there was a little boy in there. She didn't.

EVERYTHING CHANGED. I wish I could say I was exaggerating. But it's true. Just like the day I said "yes" to my future husband as he knelt in front of me with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, and the day we stood in front of the most important people in our lives and promised forever, and the (wine-soaked) night we decided we were ready to start a family....and then the day I did what I had been putting off for a week...taking the pregnancy test.

There is a 50/50 chance here. You get a boy or a girl. Everyone knows this going in (I think) and yet, when that woman said "Do you want to know the sex?" and we dumbly nodded our heads back at her, I really didn't expect to hear "IT'S A GIRL". I had flashes of (way too much) pink, dresses, pigtails, my Grandmother's eyes, attitude, drama, Mean Girls, and boys.

I am a girl. I know all these things to be true. I also know that I, somehow, by the grace of SOMETHING, even amongst the drama, boys, and raging hormones, had a solid head on my shoulders, weighed (most of) my decisions carefully, worried what my mother would think, and was a really good friend (I mean, maybe that's tooting my own horn, I guess my actual friends would have to weigh in, but I have had most of them from 5-25 years, so stats are on my side).

I did bad things. I said terrible, awful things during fights with my mother that I always regretted. I dated. I broke rules. I was grounded for the majority of my junior year in high school. I was so far from perfect.

What I never did was worry that boys didn't like me because I wasn't the right size, or that I didn't have the right hair, or that I didn't hang out with the right people. I liked myself. I felt confident in who I was. I was loud, I wore green cowboy boots for way too long, my legs were so skinny that someone asked me once if they had to have my tights specially made, I quit field hockey after 6 years to become a cheerleader (which was not that cool at the time), I didn't wear make-up, I liked reading everything that was assigned, I rarely did my homework, I worried about how other people felt about themselves, I sat with basketball players on the bus after a game because we liked to have thumb wars (and nothing else), and I wore my heart on my sleeve.

I am 32 years old, my mother is my best friend, and I seriously have NO IDEA how she did this for me. I hate to say "she" too because my father was a large part of my life until I was 16. They shaped me. They taught me. They loved me.

I have asked my mother HOW this was possible, what she set out to do, how she made sure I wouldn't have sex at 14, or side with the kids who were pointing and laughing because they could. I am seriously disappointed to say that she claims she also had no idea what she was doing. WTH are our parents for if they can't tell me EXACTLY how to tell my sweet, smart, caring, sassy, bossy toddler that all of that...everything she is...is exactly who she is supposed to be, and that she is more than good enough? 

My kid is bigger than life. How do I send her out into the world and make sure she knows that nobody should be able to tell her otherwise, and that she should also stand up and say so when someone else is being torn down? I'm not even saying that I always did that, but I am saying that I know by the end of the dreaded teenage years, that I had done my best with the hand (and hormones and developing brain) I was (and all teenagers are) dealt, and came out on the other side loud, wearing inappropriate shoes, still claiming to be a cheerleader, and backing those I love 100%.

I tell people I was lucky, but I know that's not true. I know it's because I have good parents, amazing friends, and an unwavering support system. I wake up everyday and wait for my instincts to kick in, wait for my big A-HA! moment, and then trudge forward, having blind faith that somewhere in here I have what it takes to give all of this to N. Having faith that someday, after battling her way through Junior High, High School, and beyond, that she will be able to say she did it with her self-esteem in tact, and a whole mess of crazy, fun, loving people behind her cheering her on.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What's Real: Vacation Edition

I took a class my senior year in high school called Human Nature. It focused on various esoteric topics, usually based on one question posed to us by our teacher, and then opening it up for discussion amongst all the 17 and 18 year olds in the room. Those are some brave teachers who want to listen to teenagers with one foot out the door into the "real world" discuss how we know what is real and what is not! I adored my teacher and most of my classmates in that particular class, and sitting and being able to open up my big mouth and gab about what it means to be a human being, and what it means to understand one another....well, it was right up my alley!

I have been thinking about Mr. D and that class for the last few days as my week long vacation with Super Husband and N was coming to an end. It was really a fantastic week. We made sure to wring every drop of vacation out of each day. We visited my extended family 300 miles away, stayed on their enormous and beautiful potato farm, ate too much, told stories about my Grammie (N carries her name proudly in the middle), watched a lone beaver swim back and forth across the pond (building his dream house, no doubt, while my Uncle shakes his fist), played bocce, drank wine, laughed, and sat in silence under a sky that is 12 times bigger than ours at home. We also came home to a heat wave that chased us out of the house and to a friends camp almost 2 hours away for our remaining days before we resumed our regular schedule. We watched N grow braver each time she got in the lake with her friends, sitting down, laying down, kicking those legs, and eventually dunking her head. We played cribbage, grilled, made breakfast, Super Husband even got to sail.

It was all so....REAL. Yes, I know, so are my dishes, laundry, daycare costs, and paycheck. Those are all part of our life, but they aren't life. I think that we do a good job as a family trying to stay ahead of those feelings, and that slippery slope of being consumed by our daily tasks and our obligations, but being reminded in such an all-consuming way was incredibly refreshing, and so relaxing. So needed. So welcome.

I ended my vacation having dinner with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We sat outside on a patio, drinking white wine, eating sushi, and catching up. One of my favorite things about my time with B is that we catch up pretty quickly (kids, husbands, classes, jobs, vacations, siblings, etc) and our conversations inevitably end up wandering towards the big LIFE topics. The real ones. The ones that don't have answers, and that might not make any sense to anyone else. We also talk about wishing we could get together more, and always promise to make it happen (sometimes we do, sometimes we don't....the ebbs and flows) and also blather on about how much we love and appreciate one another and how we wish we said it more. And the scattered emails, text messages, and voicemails trying to find a time that works for both of us do not go unnoticed, they are enough for me until we hit the jackpot and are able to sit outside drinking wine, eating sushi, and talking about what it all means. That's real.

I think I should also mention that the lovely B was also in this Human Nature class with me our senior year. Mr. D would love to know the conversations continue.

I think my point here is that I learn more each day how to shape my own reality. I want to remember to soak it all up, to keep my vacation mentality (but not the vacation diet, I need to start running off the extra glasses of wine and the trips to Burger Boy), and keep showing N what's real, and what's important. 

I will be back soon to update on The List progress....or is it lack thereof? We will see! 

Friday, July 8, 2011


I am trying to find it. My footing. I have really big feet (a 10...the flip flops I have on are an 11...and I will never admit that again) so losing my ground, slipping around and fumbling to get these legs under me, is noticeable, and not at all pretty.

I have a hard time pointing these things out, finding the exact words, explaining where the scowling, frazzled-looks, snapping, quick tears, and so un-silly (and I'd like to think unlike me) moments/hours/days come from. I said not more than an hour ago that it had to do with feeling like I was losing some control, the balancing act is off balance, and that's partially true....but a bigger part of these creeper feelings comes from lusting after some spontaneity. It comes from not going after those little thoughts (that admittedly turn into big obsessive thoughts sometimes) that wander into my head during a work day that is making me want to wander out the door of my building.

Example: Wouldn't it be SO nice to pick up N from day care, meet Super Dad at home,pretend we are tourists, drive to one of many amazing lighthouses, order hot dogs and fries, and eat them wearing sweatshirts and watching the waves crash over the rocks?

SO nice. It wreaks of Summer. Summer on the east coast. Memories of my tourist grandparents, my sometimes spontaneous parents, my big brother, and my Big Wave dreams.

Reality: Pick up N from daycare, she is dirtier than any child has been EVER, she hasn't napped (and it should be noted that she also battled her 412th ear infection this week), Super Dad has battled a crazy week at work, has a surprise party to get to, and I have a stomach ache from eating a burrito bigger than my head earlier in the day. We try to go out and grab a bite to eat, the kid falls asleep the second the car starts, and then the parents snap at each other out of disappointment and frustration. 

Sitcom script?  

I am over-the-top blessed/lucky in my life. Man. It makes me tear up just thinking about how crazy-good I have everything. And we work hard at making all we want to happen, happen. We succeed more often than not (maybe more often than most?). But sometimes...all that scheduling, all that hard work, all that BALANCE....is a gigantic pain in my a s s. I think about it all. the. time. And then I think about riding off into the sunset with my disgustingly adorable family and WHAP. I remember my kid never naps, my lovely husband works 50+ hours a week, and I don't know how to say no to a burrito. Or a play date. Or a birthday party. Or an invite to a BBQ. Or, or, or.

I am a planner. I like to find balance (and control, yes). But I also like pretending I'm a tourist, throwing my big ideas at people, going out in my pajamas, and so many other silly, life-affirming, spontaneous things. Those are the things clawing at my lumpy throat, bogging down my over-worked mind, and causing me to shoot lasers out of my eyes when things don't go my dreamy way.


I have a 2 and a half (plus a month or two) year old, a husband, a house, a dog, a cat, loads of friends who I adore, want to support, and cherish everyday, and the coolest family on the planet....and really big (sometimes size 11) feet. It's in there. My control of letting go of control? Maybe. But I'm in here, finding my way to the surface of schedules, and am ready to start telling the sched exactly where it can go. 

To the coast, on the rocks, with hot dogs and fries, and really big East Coast waves. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Love

New Life.

Rainy Day Entertainment.

Dancing with Daddy.

CSA bounty.


Rainbow hunting.

Beach Bums.

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.  ~Celia Thaxter

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where to Start

I have spent so much time wondering how to get my fingers typing and energy flowing back into this space that I haven't actually TRIED to get my fingers typing and energy flowing back into this space.

It's already easier than I expected.

I have been up to nothing and so much, and in the same thread have felt I have nothing and too much that I want to write about. I started to feel uninspired (or at least was telling myself I was feeling uninspired, but maybe I was just lazy) but all the while was creating posts in my head.

This is a start. I will be back. SOON.