The Boy and I have been bouncing off each other like pinballs the past couple of days. I don’t know what’s going on. Other than we each have a fair amount of stress rattling around in our respective heads.

Kindergarten is almost over for him. And his reading was retested today. The good news is that he jumped a huge amount in the testing – he’s pretty much evened the score with the rest of his class. So that is great news for the prospect of first grade. The bad news is that his ability to deal with stress is limited. Mostly because he’s only 5 ½ and also because he is just about the most sensitive boy his age I’ve ever met. So the classroom rules have been tightened as of late to prepare the students for entry into first grade. The expectations have risen. He was in his first school play today (and it was so totally adorable!) and he had a hard time staying focused, so was constantly being redirected. And he’s playing soccer, which he loves but is just one more thing on his plate. And he’s still trying to figure out his own social life I think. We just discovered that one of his classmates lives directly across the street from us, so he’s been utterly obsessed with playing with this boy Every. Single. Day. Which is hard for everyone.

Add to that the inherent stress of everything that just happened with The Girl, my ongoing fears about our financial situation and the stress of trying to plan summer activities with an extremely limited budget and we start bouncing.

I have to remind myself that even though he’s smart and creative and funny and often times wise beyond his years that his plate is still in proportion with his age. His plate is only 5 ½ years old just like the rest of him. And his little arms can only balance and carry so much on that plate.

What I have yet to figure out however, is how to teach him to not let that stress define him. That’s a lesson we could both get a lot of mileage out of.


Baby Love

One of my girlfriends from college is having a baby shower this weekend. It’s her first baby and aside from it making my uterus hurt, she’s being so friggin’ cute I can hardly stand it. She lives in another state so she’s been sending out pictures of her burgeoning baby bump and ultra sound pictures from her burgeoning baby. It just thrills me that she is involving me and all our other girlfriends in this journey of hers.

I went to get her shower present the other day and I walked through Babies R Us with this sort of dazed half smile on my face the entire time. Thinking back to what my must-haves were when I was just bringing my babies home for the first time. And smiling even bigger when I thought about what I thought my must- haves were before the baby was born and what they were after. Looking at all the teeny tiny baby clothes and all the new schtuff they have for the wee ones these days. Not quite being able to remember what it felt like to not be a parent. And in the grand scheme of things, I’ve not been a mom for all that long. The Boy will only (!) be six in September.

I get so over the moon excited for my friends when they have babies. Whether it’s their first or their last, it’s just an event that makes me happy. I gush and I go overboard with presents and offer to help or lend advice or share birth stories. I stare at pictures for a wee bit longer than is probably natural. But the whole thing just makes me so dang happy!

And I think at the end of the day, maybe that’s what makes me such a good mom (most of the time). The fact that I just relish in this job. Even when it’s hard and both children are whining at me and I’m throwing threats at them like my sanity depended on it (which it often times does). I just love this and everything that goes with it. So forgive me R, if you’re reading this, I’ve only just begun…


Mur Mur

Wow I’m having a hard time writing lately. I’ve lost the rhythm I think. It’s just not there. So those of you who have kept reading, thank you! As I’m well aware that the writing has been shit and more than a little boring as of late. I think I’m just all blah. With everything with The Girl and crazy up and down weather and just some basic blah-ness overall, the writing mojo has left me momentarily.

So here’s some stream of consciousness based on the news I’m watching now. First? Glowing Beagles. Who the fuck thought that was a good idea? I mean seriously?!? These scientists actually got funded to spend time and money specifically breeding dogs that would glow red (yes red) in the dark. Not because the ability to glow red will mean that the dogs can talk or cure cancer or drive the scientists to work, but because they wanted to make them glow. Seriously. I’m tempted to take this opportunity to jump up on one of my favorite soap boxes, but I just don’t have the energy. They say the whole point was that if they were able to implant a specific gene into these animals then that would allow them to be successful implanting other genes. And I know that science works in baby steps. But seriously. Glowing red dogs. Funded. Maybe the first thing they’ll implant in further (funded) studies will be an anti-stupid gene. Now that would be a scientific breakthrough.

Also today, I finally got an interview. Yea!! Downside? They told me that the position only pays $30,000/year (for a full-time experienced and successful grant writer) and they were totally unwilling to work with me as far as scheduling goes. So the organization that I originally had thought was really progressive and very possibly on the cutting edge of community development turns out to be not quite as cool as I had hoped. So I turned down the interview. But at least I finally got one right? (Just nod and agree with me.)

So yeah. I think that’s about it for tonight. I’m tired and I go right back to the daily grind tomorrow. Good night!


Interview Questions

I have the tiniest nibble on a job. I applied for a Grant Writing position (which I’ve been doing for 9 years) with a very young, but also very cool and successful organization. They are doing a lot of the community development/empowerment work that is so near and dear to my heart but with a green/technological focus, which is also very cool. The only problem is that I’m really pretty much a newbie when it comes to the green marketplace. I mean it’s a priority in my life to be sure and I’m trying to learn more all the time, but I just haven’t had the time to really research the whole wind/solar/nuclear/biofuel debates or how those debates are affecting our economy as a nation. I’m much more on the ground level with all of this. Figuring out first what we can do as a family to leave less of a foot print than I am well-versed in it as a social action issue.

So there is part of me saying I’ve no business pursuing this job. Then the other part of me, that knows how good I am and how quickly I learn, tells me to leave that bullshit thought process at the curb and just be who I am.

They sent me a first interview via an email questionnaire they’d like for me to fill out this morning. So that’s what I’ve been working on. And I’m taking a break because I’m stuck. Stuck on the first question – Please, tell us a bit about yourself. I hate that fucking question. I mean seriously, how am I supposed to answer it?! Do I tell them about myself on a personal level? Professional level only? A bit of both? How I came to be where I am today? My goals and aspirations? At least in a face to face interview I can clarify with them what they’re looking for before I open my big mouth, but with this I just have to take a swing for the fences and hope that they aren’t going to roll their eyes when they read it.

I think I’ll start with the last question and work my way up.


Just a Flirty Girl

I have always been a bit of a flirt. For better or for worse, it’s always just been a piece of my personality. Much like that 7 year old on the playground I suppose. If I’m flirting, it’s because I’m interested in you in one way or another, and jibing with word-play and body language is usually my way of conveying that.

Whether it’s me playing the tough girl and issuing challenges for who can out drink the other or win some sort of metaphorical arm wrestling match. Or me playing the smart girl engaging in a duel of words. Or me trying to invite you to take a look at the world through my eyes by asking for advice or shyly being curious about your everyday interests, “So what kind of music is in your car right now?”

I know, it all sounds a wee bit childish doesn’t it? I could plead only child syndrome. It explains just about everything. My lack of experience connecting with people in day to day situations. My awkwardness in social situations. My lack of finesse in navigating interpersonal relationships. Although I know other only children who don’t suffer from the same ineptitude. But ultimately I think it’s just how I figured out how to share myself with people.

It’s also a way for me to let go a bit. To free that playful side of me that I usually keep tethered. When I let myself off the leash though, I wake up the next morning and dissect everything that I said and did. Inevitably I find something that was just a bit too daring and end up burying my head in my pillow willing my remembrance to be wrong. I didn’t really make that big an ass of myself. Did I?

Whether I did or not isn’t up to me of course. It’s all about perception. And regardless of how much work I do or how much confidence I gain, my perspective will always be off when it comes to evaluating my own actions. My biggest hope is that there will come a day when I can just shrug it off and flirt my way through another day.



“Coyotes way freak me out.” – The Girl

She said this tonight while we were watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for a bit. She said this in reference to the assassin wolves that are set out to find Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy. And I totally get that. That they’d freak her out. They freak me out. Mostly because they’re talking. And we switched the channel after that declaration.

The things that come out of that girl’s mouth will never cease to amaze me. And the attitude with which she says those things serve to amaze me further. I kind of always thought those moms of 3 to 6 or 7 year olds were sort of exaggerating when they said things like “Oh yes, she’s 5 going on 12” with a roll of the eyes and exhausted smile. But now I get it. I really, really get it.

The Girl is a full on diva in the making. She loves to have her nails painted. She has very specific treasures that she knows exactly where they are at all times. She almost always has a purse with her full of select treasures. She adorns herself with thrift store necklaces and bracelets at all times. We usually have to bribe her in some way to get them off of her when she goes to bed as I have lovely visions of her strangling herself to death by Mardi Gras beads in the middle of the night.

And the strangest thing about all of this diva-tude is that it came out of nowhere. This time last year she was running around dirty and with skinned knees. She did everything in her power to keep up with her brother and to play all of his games at his pace.

I am so NOT a day-to-day diva that I’ve little to no idea what to do with her at this point. Do I get her a princess dress for her birthday or summer soccer camp (she seems to be innately talented with soccer)? I don’t know. And maybe I never will. I just hope her girl power comes from a place of strength as well as beauty.



I am a foodie at heart. I just flat love really good food. I love to cook for the people I love. I love to eat it. I love to research it. I love to look at recipes. I love to read restaurant reviews. I love to watch the food channel. I love to take copious mental notes of all the places I want to eat at in all the different cities I want to go.

I was supposed to be in Las Vegas tonight, most likely eating at Michael Mina’s SeaBlue restaurant. They do everything a Mediterranean twist. They have an entire section of the menu devoted to tajine cooking. They mostly use a grill to cook the seafood. And in my research I found that it was just gorgeous inside – like eating in the ocean. I was looking forward to that dinner.

And then tomorrow I was going to go have sushi (solo while my mom was in her conference) at Masaharu Morimoto’s Sushi Roku. I have been watching Morimoto on Iron Chef for years. Ever since The Food Network first debuted the original Japanese version of the show, I’ve wanted to eat this man’s food. He’s just so gloriously creative within the bounds of traditional Japanese cuisine. I was really looking forward to that lunch.

Sunday morning we were going to go the Sunday champagne brunch at The Bellagio. I’ve seen this brunch buffet featured on The Food Channel, in Gourmet Magazine and referred to all over the place. The spread they lay out at this sucker probably would have rendered me not only speechless but unable to eat anything else the rest of the day. But we would have made room to have dinner at Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood Restaurant. Rick Moonen is not only a brilliant chef but also completely committed to only working with sustainable, impeccably fresh and in season ingredients.

All of this food is what I was most looking forward to about this trip. But it will all still be there for the next time I can swing a Vegas getaway. And probably by then I’ll have a few more must eats to add to the list.



Here’s the strange thing about trauma. The after effects of it sneak up on you and jump on your back in the strangest of ways and when you least expect it.

One of the strangest things about this whole thing with The Girl is for the first time as a mother when something horrible happened to one of my children I actually don’t blame myself. Which in and of itself is strange. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t allow her to hurt herself. It wasn’t that I wasn’t paying close enough attention or not watching her closely enough. This thing came out of nowhere. There was no way to prevent or foretell a febrile seizure. I followed my instincts and called 911 the minute I thought something was wrong. I stayed with her the entire time at the hospital (except for about 2 hours when I went home to get clean clothes). I asked so many questions of the doctors and nurses I thought they might gag me. I did everything right. And I have complete confidence in that, so there is no guilt.

But there is definitely fear. And some sort of post traumatic stress or something. Because the first time I walked back into our family room I panicked. I started sobbing when I looked at the place on the floor where I laid her when she was seizing. Every time I don’t have my eyes on her I have to fight the urge to find her immediately and make sure she’s ok. Even when she is in my direct eye line I have these waves of panic come over me out of nowhere.

Going back to the hospital today to get her follow up chest x-ray to check up on the pneumonia was a bit on the terrifying side for me. Having the x-ray tech ask me what had been happening and having me rattle off like a practiced pro “She had a Simple Tonic Clonic Febrile Seizure most likely caused by severe pneumonia,” was just surreal.

But as the doctor and I agreed today, as soon as I can get over the trauma, we can get everything back to normal.


The Wall

I hit a wall of sorts yesterday. Through most of this ordeal with The Girl, I’ve been relatively focused, calm and undramatic. But yesterday it all just sort of sunk in. And the hysteria I worked so hard to keep at bay and bury started to rear its ugly head. I started to have this overwhelming sense of panic come at me from all directions and with no notice. Panic at the thought of leaving her, even just to leave the room. Panic at the thought of waking up one morning and finding her blue and lifeless in her bed after having another seizure in the middle of night where no one could hear her.

And I know that I always am exactly where I am supposed to be. Even when, especially when, it’s hard to be there. But this kind of fear is unlike anything I’ve ever tackled before. The quality of this fear makes it hard to breathe and function. It makes me want to put The Girl and me in a bubble and just stay there. It makes me not trust anyone else to take care of her but me. It makes me not trust her little body to sustain her.

I cannot get her fever to break. She’s had this fever, to varying degrees since Saturday around lunch and I cannot get it to break. And that in and of itself is nerve wracking and terrifying.

I was starting to carve a new path for myself. Working on starting a new foundation, working on going back to work so that I can help sustain my family and my sanity, working on being more true to who I am.

And now I feel paralyzed again. By fear and uncertainty and by the fact that anytime I try to do anything that would even remotely take me away from my children, the universe pulls the rug out from underneath me and puts me right back into full on mommy mode. And I cannot even begin to describe the guilt that comes even having these thoughts. My daughter just had a seizure and I’m whining about not being able to get a job?! Seriously…

4/20/09 - The Hospital

I did not sleep at all last night. I alternated rolling around in this folded flat sorry excuse for a recliner and pacing the halls of the pediatric floor. I read for a bit. Nurses kept walking past me asking me if there was anything they could get me. A dear friend took a few minutes away from his party all night indulgence to text back and forth with me and get my mind off my surroundings. But I did not sleep. And the nurses woke up The Girl very, very early to take her vitals and mess with her IV.

We spent most of yesterday in the ER doing tests and then waiting for the corresponding results. Almost none of which were helpful. Which is always a double edged sword. I mean I would never want anything to be wrong with my daughter, but I’d love to know what the hell happened in her little body to bring on the trauma of yesterday. Then we were admitted for observation and more tests.

The Girl, for her part, has been so sweet, patient and wonderful that she has made all the nurses and doctors fall completely in love with her.

She had a chest x-ray this morning and the x-ray tech gave her this sweet little gardening apron as her reward for being so good. She hasn’t taken it off yet and it looks just adorable on top of her little hospital gown.

Here’s what we know thus far: she had what’s called a Simple Tonic Clonic Febrile Seizure and has a pretty bad case of pneumonia. It’s termed a “simple” seizure purely because it was her first seizure and it lasted for less than 15 minutes. And it was caused by a sharp and fast rise in her body temperature. She should outgrow these kinds of seizures by the time she’s 6-7 and it does not necessarily predispose her to full-blown epilepsy. For all we know, she may never have another seizure again.

But the next 3 or so years will hold an extra level of fever vigilance for us. And me trying to relearn how to trust her body to sustain her life.

4/19/09 - Scariest Day of my Life

“She’s gone. Oh my god, my baby is gone. How is this happening?!? Why is this happening? Stuff like this just doesn’t happen to me, why is this happening?”

These were the predominant thoughts in my head this afternoon as I watched The Girl wake up from a totally normal nap a screaming banshee with a temp of 103.6. Then as I watched her start acting like she was drunk. And then as I watched her try to talk to me but failing. As I watched her head jerk all the way to the right and her eyes slowly move as far right as possible. As her entire little body went rigid in my arms. As I watched my daughter simply disappear. As I frantically tried to get her to look at me or talk to me while I was trying to tell the 911 dispatcher what was wrong. As I watched her stiff body suddenly collapse with her no longer being able to hold up her head and then as she started to convulse. As the 911 dispatcher told me to lay her on the floor on her side so that she didn’t choke and/or hurt herself while she was seizing.

For about 12 minutes I laid on the floor next to her, stroking her sweaty head, my voice wracked with sobs that I could not stop. Waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Waiting for my baby girl to find her way back to me. Part of me surrendering to the fear and succumbing to hysterics, begging for help. The other part of surrendering to peace and wanting her to know that if she needed to go that it was ok and she was loved.

She finally stopped convulsing and then just slipped into unconsciousness. The paramedics were able to rouse her a bit with oxygen and she threw up all over both of us as I was carrying her to the ambulance. Then she was out again. She came back after we’d been at the hospital for almost an hour. She called me mama again as I crawled into the hospital bed next to her and waited for someone to tell me what happened.



I always kind of thought that should one of my children ever have some major health issue that required constant monitoring and/or vigilance, that I would be one of the breezy, cool moms who was able to maintain the required level of vigilance without restraining their free will. But after watching The Girl have a 12-minute long Tonic Clonic seizure on Saturday, I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever be able to be breezy about her and fevers again.

It was a febrile seizure, which apparently are caused by an incredibly fast rise in body temperature. She went down for a nap totally normal then she woke up 90 minutes later with a relatively high fever and within 20 minutes of waking up was seizing and I was calling 911.

I’ve been writing quite a bit in my head over the last few days, in the ambulance, in the hospital pacing the pediatric floor at 2am, watching the nurses and doctors fuss over and poke at The Girl much to her dismay. So I’ll fill in the last few days throughout today and tomorrow most likely as I’m able to sift through all of that writing and try to pull out the coherent thoughts and separate it from the absolute hysteria and terror.

The last couple of weeks have just totally fucked my track record with this blog. Between all the travelling, bumpy re-entry from that travelling and now trauma with The Girl, April has not been a good month for following through with this project. But hopefully I’ll be able to get back into a routine of sorts and get back to writing and posting every day.

Because of everything going on with The Girl, I will obviously not be going to Vegas with my mom this weekend (sadness!!! No Masaharu Morimoto sushi for me…). So that will at least remove one speed bump to keeping up with this project. Vegas will still be there when she is better and we aren’t staring down the impending barrel of gigantic medical bills. Maybe I’ll just go to my favorite local sushi place. It won’t be the same, but hopefully I’ll be able to muster a breezy attitude.


Sugar High

Sugar is evil. Easter was last weekend so we, of course, are totally overrun with candy. And we made the mistake of leaving the Easter Baskets out where the children could find them when they woke up at o’dark thirty. I think we just honestly didn’t think that they would sneak downstairs and quietly gorge themselves on chocolate and jelly beans before the sun was up. Oh what naïve parents we are! Because that is exactly what they did. For about four days before we caught on.

I have spent all week wondering that hell is wrong with my children. I mean I knew that The Girl was almost three and since three is just about the worst thing I’ve experienced thus far, I wasn’t too shocked when all she did all week was whine and cry and throw temper tantrums and be bossy and obstinate. But The Boy? I’ve been totally bowled over by his behavior the last week or so. Outright not listening, making really bad choices and just in general being a pain in my ass. I’ve just been at a complete and total loss with his behavior. But now that I know about the pre-dawn candy raids, it all makes sense.

They have both totally been sugar high all week. Of course they couldn’t concentrate or listen or make rational choices. I mean aside from the face that they are almost 3 and 5 ½, they are usually really very good at thinking before they act. They are sweet and considerate and smart, so much so in fact that I often forget that they are really still just babies. But even putting down my heightened expectations, this week was just above and beyond the bounds of my tolerance.

But now that we’ve caught on, hopefully the overdose of sugar will get purged from their system and things will go back to normal (if that’s possible) in no time. Because I really love and enjoy my kiddos. So it’s not such a fun thing to spend an entire week contemplating how to box them up and sneak them onto a FedEx truck without getting caught and/or reported for child abuse and/or neglect.

4/17/09 - Vegas Baby

***I actually wrote this yesterday and then plum forgot to post it, sorry!!!***

My life of leisure is continuing. My mom has a conference in Las Vegas next weekend and she’s demanded that I join her. I said, twist my arm, hell yes I’m going. So I spent all day doing research. We’re going to stay an extra night after the conference, so I had find a hotel room in a fun place but for a reasonable amount of money since the only thing hotel rooms are used for in Vegas is sleeping (especially when you’re there with your mother). We ended up choosing the MGM Grand because the last time I was there I remembered thinking that I wanted to stay there the next time I came. And because it’s right smack dab in the middle of the strip. The room rates were reasonable and if for some reason we decided we didn’t want to leave the hotel there would be so much to do there we wouldn’t really miss the light of day.

And I spent some time researching shows, seeing what was going on and who was playing while we were going to be there. I immediately checked The House of Blues as we totally scored the last time and got to see Tommy Lee. And this time, Reverend Horton Heat will be playing which I would totally be into, but my mom not so much. Bon Jovi is playing the Hard Rock Hotel while we’re there as well, and as much as my inner tween would love to see him, I’m just not ready to spent money on those concert tickets.

So in the end we decided to allot the majority of our fun money to food. Making reservations at Masaharu Morimoto’s Sushi Roku, Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood Restaurant, Michael Mina’s SeaBlue and Hubert Keller’s Fleur de Lys. My mouth is watering just typing all of that. I spent much of the afternoon pouring over lists of restaurants and restaurant reviews to find the ones that I absolutely could not leave without trying. The only one really missing from the list is Joel Robuchon, but that is entirely outside of my budget.

It’s a good thing there will be a treadmill close at hand.


Status Update

Sorry to be posting so late in the day, but this has been an up and down, crazy kind of week. Full of visits from my mom (whom I didn’t want to leave), migraines that ate up two days, trying to work while bouncing off of my goofy kids, trying to brainstorm and name this foundation, feeling utterly and completely daunted at the thought of starting this foundation by myself, reconnecting with old friends who know and love me still after all these years and trying to squeeze in some soul searching and growth into the cracks.

The Girl is almost three. Man do I hate three. Three gets under my skin like nothing else. It’s all whiny and amorphous. Full of temper tantrums and a sudden swinging from loving superheroes and trucks to all things princess and pink. What am I supposed to do with pink?!? I’ve no idea what to do with a girly girl. So this little girl that has been like my heart walking around outside my body for the past almost three years is now a bit of a stranger and that is hard to take. It happened to me with The Boy too, but it’s still taken me a wee bit off guard. And I know it won’t be the last time for either of them. Namely when puberty hits, I know they’ll be body snatched. Hopefully I’ll be more prepared by then. Have a contingency plan or an emergency kit or something in place. Or maybe just a really stiff martini.

And I’m finding myself in a general dearth of day dreaming. My best writing seems to come from those moments when everything just turns off and I find myself somewhere else, writing furiously fast in my head. And there has been none of that this past week. I think I’ve let the pendulum swing too far the other way. Going from being totally immersed in some fairytale to trying to just be present, I’ve gone all the way to stripping the fun, texture and glee from the moments. So once again, I am struggling for balance. To be present and authentic in every moment. Wish me luck.


Keeping it in the Family

Some of my earliest memories about my grandfather are of him pacing up and down the sidewalk in front of the house I grew up in. It was ritual for him whenever he had a migraine. Which was often enough to make those pacing moments integral in my childhood memory of him. He would just pace the migraines out. Engaged in an all out battle of wills against his migraines; resolutely pacing until they gave up and ran for cover.

Apparently, migraines are genetic. Some of my earliest childhood memories involve me fighting with a migraine. Telling my mom I had a “headick” and her not believing me because “kids don’t get headaches.” So I spent much of my childhood thinking there was something wrong with me because my head hurt all the time, but I didn’t know why. There were several tried and true triggers for my headaches and migraines. The biggest one of all was heat. If I spent even one moment too long in the sun or got just the tiniest bit too hot, I was down for the count with a blinding migraine, throwing my guts up and essentially praying for death. The other big one was stress, which more than picked up the slack when heat was not an issue. I’ve had migraines for as long as I can remember.

And about this time last year, The Boy was diagnosed with migraines as well. We did all sorts of tests to rule out the scary stuff and eventually just came back to the idea that they were just migraines. He was four and a half when he was diagnosed. And his were definitely triggered by stress.

Now I am wondering if The Girl has decided to pick up the familial migraine baton as well. Over the past several weeks, I’ve noticed her starting to tell me her head hurts and her behavior changes radically when this happens. She’s not yet three years old.

I would rather have had my children inherit something else from me than stress induced migraines. They got my blue eyes, button nose and ability to internalize stress to the point where they can’t see straight. Perfect.


Flailing in Place

I’m trying to come up with a name for this project I’m working on. That seems a fair place to start when taking on a task like starting a foundation from scratch at the same time as staying home with both children, figuring out each moment as it comes hurtling at me and doing several pro bono projects for people I love and want to see succeed.

I’m feeling rather overwhelmed right now. Overwhelmed because I can’t quite seem to get things to line up the way I’d like so that I can start making substantial plans. So that I can start making strides forward instead of feeling like my feet are staked to the ground while the rest of me is flailing about trying to keep some semblance of balance. Where’s the stake remover when you need one?

At the same time however, I’m feeling really very exhilarated at the chance to be helping out these people that I adore and have such deep respect for the work they take on so selflessly. I feel really honored that they would trust me with helping them in this transitional and vulnerable stage with their work. And I feel blessed that I have the knowledge I have so that I can truly be of assistance to them. And this foundation idea is really going in my head, blooming and taking on a life of its own to some extent.

I think one of my problems right now is that I really am a behind the scenes kind of girl. I have a hard time being in the spotlight. I have a hard time commanding attention. I have a problem with being timid when I should be thoroughly empowered and asking for what I want and need. And I’m not altogether sure how to make that timidity fade into the background so that I can step through it and be who I am in a way that gets things done with the big power broker muckety mucks that are often the gate keepers.

I’m just going to cross my fingers that simply being who I am in every moment will get me where I want to be.


Sorry and Nana Love

Oh dear readers. I’m sorry. It finally happened. I didn’t write, nor did I post yesterday. As I was finally fading into sleep last night at almost midnight, the thought intruded upon the in between space of nearly asleep but still conscious and I almost sat bolt upright in bed, went downstairs and wrote. But instead I stayed in bed and allowed myself to succumb to the sleep that was rolling towards me. But I am sorry. And I do feel guilty. Seriously.

So here I am trying to decide if I should write just for today or yesterday too. And I’m watching my mom play catch in our family room with The Girl. And they are both just giggling and so completely enjoying the activity of learning from each other. I am almost having a hard time writing as I keep getting sucked into just watching them.

And now The Girl is jumping and jumping and jumping. She’s a jumping fiend. And she desperately wants her Nana to jump with her and my mom is trying to explain to an almost 3 year old how jumping isn’t really an option for her anymore, what with missing a leg and all. It’s a double-edged sword for my kids to have their Nana be an amputee. They’ve grown up with her and thus have zero fear of wheelchairs and the disabled in general, which is wonderful for their world view. They know their Nana is different, but don’t see her as lacking in any way. Her wheelchair has always been a toy and source of great fun for them both. But they also get truly disappointed when she can’t do things like jump up and down with them, because they just do not understand that only having one full leg holds her back from activities like that.

My mom is so wonderful with them. And they just flat adore her. She is such a grounding and playful force in their lives. She has to leave tomorrow, to go home, back to her busy, busy life. And that is so hard, for all of us. She doesn’t want to leave and we wish she could stay forever.


Belligerence and Table Manners

Picks up the bag and looks at it, “No. Peanut. But-ter.”
“Fuck you.”

Apparently I’m not the only one who is rife with belligerence as of late. The above exchange just took place between my husband and my mom. They are sitting on the floor filling Easter eggs for The Boy and The Girl for tomorrow morning’s ass crack of dawn egg hunt. They, like most children, intuitively know when it’s a holiday and so thus get up at least an extra hour earlier. It’s really very lovely. And so much appreciated.

Maybe it’s the full moon. Maybe it’s all the wind. Maybe it’s the up and down temperatures happening here with the weather. I don’t know, but I’m sort of glad to see that I’m not the only one oozing belligerence around here. Gives me the freedom to really let it rip when the mood strikes. And allows me to not feel quite so guilty when I tell my husband (or total strangers in my head) to fuck off. It’s amazing what hearing your mom say it for you will do for a girl.

The Boy has been utterly belligerent today in the way that only a going on 6 years old kid can be. We splurged and went out to dinner tonight and he sat on the dinner table. In the restaurant. During dinner. I was aghast. That is something you just don’t do in my world. I’m sort of a stickler for table manners. One of my biggest rewards as a kid was to get to go out to dinner with my parents. So I figured out early on that the only way to keep getting to go out to eat was to be really, really good during dinner. So when The Boy uses his crayons as missiles, I tend to get a wee bit tense.

My mom is filling plastic eggs with jelly beans; alternating eating them and then putting some in the eggs. When she found a particular flavor she really liked, she immediately turned to her son-in-law, opened her mouth and asked what color it was. At least now I know where The Boy gets his table manners.


A Healthy Dose of Belligerence

FUCK!!! Fucketty, fuck, fuck, fuck!!!

I’ve got some pent up belligerence boiling I think. Because every time I try to retreat to the peace of my own inner thoughts, all I’m finding is me screaming FUCK at the top of my lungs. Ever since the silent retreat, I’ve been doing everything I can to be a picture of peace, joy, patience and awareness. And for the most part I’ve been successful. I can catch myself when I’m manufacturing drama. I can catch myself when I’m getting entrenched in fear. I can catch myself when I’m projecting or hiding behind some silly mind story or feeding an unhealthy coping mechanism. I’ve been doing pretty damn well actually.

But today? Today I woke up crabby, belligerent and not wanting to do much of anything. I want to smoke and cuss, eat junk food and drink cocktails, ignore my children and my responsibilities. I want to tell the Buddha and Joseph Goldstein to take a big ol’ hike on the highway to go fuck yourself. I want to get in my car, drive away and not look back. I want to dye my hair purple and hot pink even though I might get an interview any day. I want to write awful emails to all of the places that I’ve applied to for a job that I am more than qualified for and point out how much my resume fucking rocks and they must be absolute idiots for missing that fact. I want to encase myself in a Plexiglas box so that my children CANNOT be in constant contact with me. I want to tell my husband to get off his fucking high horse and try walking a mile in my shoes for a couple of days. I want to strangle the office manager at The Girl’s preschool for the complete lack of accounting competence. I want to throw my scale out the window and embrace a feminist fuck it attitude when it comes to what I look like. I want to beat the shit out of the creator of Dora.

And I want to do it all while gorging on barbeque potato chips thank you very much.



I’m feeling utterly raw today. As if all of my coping mechanisms have been stripped from me and I’m just here, all guts and glory spread out across the town square on exhibition. The silent retreat forced me to shed all the bullshit I had woven around me like some great, colorful sari draped and wound carefully around the most sensitive areas. And being with girlfriends who were so willing to take me where I am peeled more and more layers back.

But now, here I am, back in the “real” world and I am just raw. Which immediately sends my mind into hyper-protective mode. Sending up whole new layers of bullshit decorated with things like sadness and frustration and defeat. And I can see them building themselves up. Growing around me like vines, slithering their ways into the cracks and gaps.

So I have to make a conscious choice to pull out the weed killer and the gardening shears to cut back those stupid interloping thoughts and mind tricks. And that is a hard choice to make. Because it would be easier to hide. It’s always easier to create some façade to hide behind than it is to just put yourself out there and be honest about who you are.

And mostly what makes it hard is that that honesty changes every day. Yesterday I was confident, honest, present, beautiful and powerful. Today I am just raw. Which means tears at some stupid commercial and lack of patience with my children and second guessing myself left and right. Of course all of that crap is just fear. I am every day who I was yesterday. And today there is fear. Fear that I’m too much for people to deal with. Fear that I’m on the wrong path. Fear that I’ll never fit.

It’s just fear. And as I’ve said before, fear only exists in the future. So today my mind is busy projecting itself into the future while the rest of me, the rawness of the real me, is scraping and clawing to hang on to today. To right now. To this moment. There is beauty right now and that is my chosen present.


Angry Broad

Anger is a strange thing for me. Usually when I’m just mad I can typically get to the point where I am off-handedly dismissing it with a small to moderate amount of snark. But when I get angry, really angry, I usually wind up in tears. Throwing things and yelling and writing drafts full of awful things in my head is usually the precursor to tears, but I always know they are there. Waiting to be unleashed in a humiliating display of my most base vulnerability. Because try as I might to deny it? I’m a crier. I always have been. I’m fairly sure I get it from my grandmother, who could always be counted upon to wind up sobbing no matter the event or circumstance.

For me, always lurking, right under the seemingly steel hard surface of anger is hurt. Pierce me to my core hurt. It can be camouflaged as guilt or sadness or indignation, but really it’s just hurt. Hurt that someone has hurt me, or hurt that I’ve hurt someone. Whatever. Anger and hurt go hand in hand for me. And most of the time I have a hard time distinguishing between the two.

And because of this blurred line, I never manage to communicate effectively what it is that I’m truly trying to say. Whether that is I’m sorry being screwed up with a liberal dose of self-righteousness or you hurt me being tainted with I told you so. Whatever the case may be, it usually takes me at least a couple of tries to get it right. And that sucks to be me and it sucks to be other person in the equation.

One would think this would be a perfect reason for why being a person who wears their heart on their sleeve would actually be a very, very good thing. But as most rational beings do when they are vulnerable and potentially in danger, I immediately cover it up. Hide it, bury it, whatever, just don’t let the other person see it. See me. And like most other things for me, I’d probably do so much better if I just laid all my cards on the table.


Commerical Motherhood

I found myself watching a stupid Glad trash bag commercial today, looking at the kid in the commercial being so wonderfully helpful taking out the trash and I caught myself thinking, “What could I have done differently to make The Boy helpful like that?” How ridiculous is that? That I would compare my flesh and blood, wonderfully smart and creative Boy to some caricature “son” on a commercial? Seriously?!?

This, I’ve found, is what the need to judge my aptitude as a mother does to me. My own innate over-achiever spills over into every other space in my life; the tide rising until all joy is choked out of it. My perfectionist nature takes over everything from sweeping the floors to raising my children.

So that when one of them knocks something off a shelf in the grocery store I immediately look around to see if anyone is watching. Or, more to the point, if there were any other mothers watching. And knowing that it is futile and just plain mean to throw the brunt of my disappointment at my children, I immediately turn it on myself. If I was watching more closely, if I had instilled better manners or listening skills into them, if I kept them on a tighter leash, perhaps then they would be the perfect, rosy cheeked angels they have the potential for. And perhaps I would be up for mother of the year, and always have perfect hair, minty breath and non-Cheetos smeared clothes.

The whole thing is simply crazy. In the most classic, off the walls, I’ve got serious African bats in my belfry kind of way. And I know it. But I still find myself watching harmless commercials while my hand stealthily reaches for something with which to beat myself about the head and shoulders. Over what? Over some self appointed need to be perfect at everything I do? Over the need to always appear like I know exactly what I’m doing?

I was prepared for motherhood to be messy and hard. All the books, my friends and everyone else prepared me for that fact. But none of them prepared me for what I would do to myself.

4/6/09 - Dreaming

I go to sleep at night not knowing what awaits me. I don’t know whether or not I’ll be able to sleep. I don’t know whether or not I’ll be able to stay asleep. I don’t know what sort of dreams I will or won’t have.

I used to take refuge in sleep. And now it’s just a great unknown.

I’m back from my lovely girls’ weekend, where I spent three and a half days relishing in not having to be anything other than me. I was with three women who simply by being with me agreed without words to take me as I am. And I spent all weekend not wanting to run or hide.

And now I am back and one of the first thoughts I had was that I wanted a cigarette. And I wanted to hide and disappear. And scream. I missed my babies. But I did not miss participating in this life as it is.

I had a dream last night where an old love came to find me. And he told me how long he had been looking for me. He told me how everything was forgiven. That he still loved me. And that he wanted me to be with him; he wanted to take me away from this life. And it was a lovely dream. To feel adored and taken care of. To be able to relax into being loved. And then I woke up of course. And I was so angry to have had this dream. Like my mind is intentionally trying to make me sad and restless in this life I am currently living. Like my mind is intentionally trying to make me crazy by injecting these dreams full of fairytales and romance into my oh so non-romantic life.

I am so full of resentment towards this dream and towards my mind for doing this. I want to be able to stay present and live this life, walk this path that I am on. Do the work in front of me. I want to be content with the present. I want to want this life. I want to breathe in and out the luxury of being.

4/5/09 - Day Two Getaway Weekend

And yet another lovely day. I went for a long walk with my dear friend J – which wound up being up a very steep, very long hill and which kicked my ass. I’ll tell you what, when your 25 weeks pregnant girlfriend is walking easily up the same hill that has you wheezing, you know something is wrong. I guess I could blame it on the chest cold that I got while at the silent retreat, but mostly I think I’m out of shape. Must call trainer this week!!! But regardless of the wounded ego, it was really nice to be able to just hang out with her and catch up.

There is such a soul sister quality to the women who joined me for this getaway. I mean I have always felt connected to J on a deeper level and I keep having to remind myself that we’ve not really talked in 15 years or so. I have to keep reminding myself that we don’t know the majority of each other’s journey. It’s strange that it doesn’t seem to matter all that much. Pretty much as always, we are just taking each other where we are when we find each other. Pretty cool.

I didn’t even really know G that well before we came and now I just love her. Truly another kindred spirit. What a lucky find!

And the lovely L. She is such a soul sister to me. Such a grounded foundation that keeps me centered on what is important. She is such an extraordinary woman and I am so honored to have her in my life. And she cusses like a sailor, can’t get enough Mojitos and wine and laughs at all the inappropriate stuff right next to me. Such a blessing to find a girlfriend who is so willing to help me find the joy in going through such a rocky patch of road.

I do not want to go home. I know there is so much more work to do but I am afraid of the toxicity. I am afraid to go home and find myself, once again, standing still. I am afraid to go home and be alone.

4/4/09 - Day One Getaway Weekend

The house we rented is crazy cool and eclectic. It is two octagons joined in the middle by a dining room. It is so much bigger inside that I ever would have thought it was. Underneath the house is the hot spring pool. It’s huge. And the whole property is right on the creek. It’s just beautiful and we’ve gotten to watch huge herds of deer cross the creek several times a day. It’s really very lovely.

All of it is just lovely. We went to Salida today to walk around and check out the town since it had been so long since any of us had been up here and it’s really a very artsy little mountain town. So we spent the morning walking from gallery to gallery until it was time to make our way back to the Treehouse for lunch.

We went into one really amazing gallery called Culture Clash and I found a new artist to love. He moved here after Hurricane Katrina and now lives in Salida, but does shows in Denver as well. He does this amazing industrial art. He makes these rockets out of so many different things, some with old 50’s thermoses for the body of the rocket. And he also made these “Robot Hearts,” that were hearts pieced together and glued onto metal trays made from an assortment of industrial pieces with little pops of color thrown in from bottle caps or old advertisements. Just really beautiful, creative and new. All of his pieces really clicked with me. I’m going to have to look up his next show in Denver.

There were naps and reading and quiet and lots of food throughout the day. We watched “Mamma Mia” tonight before heading to bed. And it’s just such a sweet movie; so rooted in the heart. It totally speaks to the ridiculously hopeless romantic in me. Makes me all weepy and wishy for romance to sail into my life once again. Such silliness. But it was really fun to watch it with girlfriends and sing along to all the wonderful ABBA songs!

Such a killer start to a getaway weekend. Such an opportunity to just be. Again.



I am apparently working on living a life of leisure. I’m leaving today for a girl’s getaway weekend that I’ve been planning with a group of some of my favorite ladies for the last couple of months. The group of people and the place has morphed several times, even as late as just a couple of weeks ago. But we’re all set now. We’ve all agreed on what food we’re each bringing, what movies we want to see and what cocktails we’re set to sip by the fire.

We found this amazing house not too far from here that has its own private hot spring in the back yard. The owners named the house “The Treehouse.” It’s got to be one of the coolest mountain getaways that I’ve ever seen outside of the glitz and glam of HGTV. We’ve all been looking forward to this for weeks now.

I’m most looking forward to just letting myself retract a bit after the gigantic sized expansion of the silent retreat last week. Just being, relating to some lovely friends, laughing over tasty beverages and seriously good food and existing in this new skin that has been forming. Shifting it around a bit, filling out the edges, settling into seeing a new shadow by my side.

And I just can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to some good old fashioned girl time. It’s been too long since I’ve hung with my people.

Anyway, the cabin may or may not have Wi-Fi. So I’m bringing my laptop with me in the hopes that I’ll get to post every day, but there are no promises. I’m still going to be writing every day, but I can’t promise that I’ll be able to post every day. This time I’ll only be gone until Monday, so the three of you who read my blog over the weekend will be able to catch up on Monday or Tuesday on all of my treehouse exploits. Or lack thereof, get your minds out of the gutter people.

Hang in there; I’ll be back with all sorts of creative and fun stuff to write about in the coming weeks. My creative juices are percolating.


Faking It

“It was an act of complete faith, so simple yet so grand that it took my breath away.” Bonnie Wach

Another saying that I grew up with was “fake it till you make it.” The first time my mom said this to me I wanted to scream at her. Because faking it was not an acceptable way to make it through the days. It felt like lying. That I could just waltz through my days faking confidence, faith or self-esteem. But the deeper I plunge into the piled up luggage fort in my past the more I’m starting to see the wisdom in those words.

It’s not a dishonest act. It’s a simple way of trying to re-train yourself. It took a long time for me to believe that I wasn’t pretty or that I was worthless or stupid. It took a long time to form the conviction that I wasn’t worth being loved. Logic dictates that it will take just as long to unlearn those unfortunate traits. So faking the opposite of those is one way to re-learn how to look at myself in a more honest way. The thought being that if I fake it long enough, there will eventually come a time when I actually stop believing those things to be true and will at long last be able to objectively look at myself as the intelligent, beautiful, confident woman that I am.

But every day becomes a walk of faith. Faith that that day is indeed coming. Faith that my faking it will be good enough. Faith that I can make it through the day with borrowed beliefs that I can one day adopt as my own.

The simple act of facing each day with head held high, shoulders back and anticipation instead of dread is actually so grand that it should take my breath away. And it does. When I let myself see my own courage. When I let myself see my own wisdom. When I let myself see my own spirited gait floating across the landscape of this life. Those days are coming closer and closer together. It is a lot of work teaching an old dog new tricks.



Over the past couple of weeks I’ve talked to at least a dozen or so people (well except for the five days I wasn’t talking of course) about the overwhelming need in the nonprofit realm for administrative infrastructure consulting. And the absolute lack of funding available both within and without nonprofits to obtain that consulting. Organizations need everything from fundraising and grant writing help to accounting, marketing, graphic design, statisticians, board development, policies and procedures and strategic planning just to name a few.

So as I was talking to yet another friend in need yesterday the thought dawned on me that I should start a nonprofit foundation that would take applications from startup and/or small nonprofits who cannot afford these sort of services, but need them in order to grow and/or increase their capacity. I don’t know of any nonprofit who couldn’t benefit from access to these services, but I can’t really think of one that can afford them either. Especially not the small and startup organizations.

Here’s what I have so far: I’d pull together a consultancy corps full of people willing to donate their time to these nonprofits that apply and are then approved to receive pro bono services. Organizations would be able to apply for either general/start up support or special event support. The special event support would be one-time, event specific support, i.e. a specific fundraising event or planning a board retreat. The general/start up recipients would have to detail in their proposal what specific assistance they need and then we would work with them to create a strategic plan for sustainability to keep the work going in an efficient and effective way that allows for future growth and expansion.

The consultants would be able to use the donated time as a tax write-off and the nonprofits can use the time and expertise available to streamline administrative costs which will enable them to obtain more funding in the future.

It’s really a win/win situation for all involved. The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is how to pay myself. Isn’t that always the rub? It would be nice to support myself doing something I really believe in for a change.