Thursday, January 29, 2009


Dear Jadyn and Liana:

Don't ever accept less. Don't ever give up. You're worth full price. Always. Even after 180 days or a 180 years. Even if it isn't convenient for employers. Even if it will make a few overpaid thinkers whine. The world sides with you today.



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Sunday, January 25, 2009

The anti-parenting world we live in

I've been lucky that my job is very flexible toward the fact that I am a mother first and foremost in this life right now.

That does not mean that I haven't had to make some very tough decisions, mainly regarding how to leave a meeting late and still get to the girls somewhat on time. (You see, I start to stress that they are sitting in the dark center alone, getting scared and worried that I'm not coming for them. Yes, I have issues.)

Truthfully, I do worry about running late. I worry about how to get to the car out of the garage and not get stuck in the rush hour traffic, then hurry to pick them up and rush home to also make dinner as they starve and cling and cry at my legs. In fact, that last hour before dinner is often my most frantic and stressful. Even when I'm not late and mostly prepared.

Some days are worse than others and leave me wondering about who sets the agenda:

  • 7:30 a.m. meetings.
  • Working sessions at 3:30 p.m. that last two hours, and include dinner.
  • Non-child friendly venues like ballrooms instead of ball parks.
  • Evening invitations. Period.
  • An inauguration that outlawed strollers.
  • Bathrooms without diaper changing areas.
  • Restaurants without kids menus.
  • Diapers and milk buried at the BACK of the stores.
  • New Year's Eve celebrations that don't include families with children.
  • Happy Hours.
The other day at the dinner meeting in the middle of the afternoon, an old acquaintance who saw I was not eating asked me if I cook dinner every night.

"Um, yes," I wanted to say. "Isn't that what all mothers do or should do or try to do?"

"Yes, I try," I said to her.

She shook her head in disbelief.

Perhaps the bar, even for myself, is to high, I thought as I was stuck in traffic afterward, stressing about how I'm already late to get them and don't have anything really easy planned for dinner.

I experienced a slight epiphany as the setting sun burned into my eyes.

I need to relax.

So, I'm declaring this week as Mama's Week Off From Cooking. The dinners are so easy they can practically make themselves. The agenda is to have fun and be healthy -- without eating out, without spending a fortune and without a bunch of fuss.

And, of course, still be Mama -- because I can't be anything else right now.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There are no words

Thank you. Thank you for this day. It's a new day. A new path. A new light.

It's your turn.

It's our turn.

Onward with peace, prosperity and fairness for ALL.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


One of the most peculiar aspects of returning to work after just two years is the fact that I see people I haven't seen in years at meetings.

And we look at each other. I know them because they haven't changed, for the most part.

Me? I've changed like a dozen times -- all because I'm a mother now. I don't see things the same. I'm in a different crowd. Instead of bars and fancy restaurants, we can be found at Target, Lowe's and the local grocery store on a Saturday evening.

So, it's been interesting watching people's reaction as they realize that first I was gone from the scene for a while and now I'm back.

But it's nice having a voice again. It's nice being heard. Listening. Solving problems more complex -- but twice as easy as -- than helping two preschoolers share a new birthday toy or convincing a 3-year-old not to get out of bed and yell for us five times in one night.

It's still true that there is no harder job than being a mother -- a parent. At least, not in my experience.

That makes working again kind of difficult. It's hard for me to take anything too seriously. It's hard to watch people with minor problems freak out. It's hard to see single people call themselves busy. It's hard to see why the childless can't get stuff done.

Still, my inability to take command of my parenting skillz is nothing compared to the problems we deal with in this state government job. It's really easy by 4:30 to drop everything and rush to pick up my girls, knowing that at the end of the day, that's the highlight, the prize, the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow.

OK, not a pot of gold ... a couple cranky 3-year-olds who make me chase them around the school before I have to pin them down and force them into their winter coats, gloves and hats, and then shove them out teh door to the car, where they cry all the way home and cling to my leg until I get their dinner on the table and then they just shove it away and cry some more and I start to want to pull my hair out and start feeling despair and frustration and vowing to never, ever, ever, ever make another meal again.

It's right about then that I start thinking, "Oh, good, I work tomorrow."

It's not perfect, but it's my life.

And, in other news, I'd like to thank Kisatrtle for honoring me with a One Lovely Blog Award. That just rocks ... it's been a while since I got a blog award.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Six Surprising Things

After missing all of last week due to Jadyn having a very bad sinus infection that wasn't diagnosed for treatment to start until New Year's Day, I had high hopes for Monday. The Highest.

Here's what I didn't expect:

  1. That I'd wake Monday morning with a half-closed left eye and two swollen, red eyes.
  2. That I'd end up at the doctor's office, for myself, not once, but twice this week.
  3. That I'd master putting eye drops in my eyes, and still dread each one.
  4. That I'd use this opportunity to stop and write, even when I could barely see the computer screen.
  5. That my daughter would, after many near-misses, actually leave her bear blanket at school accidentally. Oh, the heartache.
  6. That nearly all of our 20 invitations for the third birthday party have been accepted!
And, what I did expect was this: To order cupcakes for the party. And, then I haven't gotten to do that yet.

So, this puts me right around ... oh, shoot mode.

Still, not caring because my girls are turning 3 and some fantastic friends of theirs -- and mine -- are planning to attend. And, since my vision is clearing up, I just might see them.


And, here's Six Surprising Things that comes along with two 3-year-old girls.

  1. Jadyn leaning on the wall, quietly, talking to a pretend person about her day. Visions of teenager-hood snapped me awake.
  2. Here Mommy (as Liana proceeds to hand me everything I don't need and do need even when I don't need it and yet half the time she's right and I'm wrong).
  3. Pushing (up the stairs, at the counter, to get to me, etc.) and fighting (still!)
  4. "I'm not talking to you, Mommy." (OK, whatever!)
  5. "I'm talking to you, Mommy"
  6. Fights over still wanting to wear Pampers diapers -- with Elmo on the front, not just the back.
Ah, the drama. I love it!

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Letting the chapters flow

If I wish it enough. If I long for it enough. If I will it to come my way by whispers and desires. If I dream it. If I survive it. If I wake up day after day with the same nightmare -- that I didn't achieve it.

If I weren't so tired. If I didn't have dishes to wash or lists to make.

After I work out. After I make the bed. After I drink my coffee. After I gather our things.

Once I start, I'll begin. Once I start, I'll know. Once I start, it will come.

Just sit down.

Just sit down and type.

Just sit down and type what comes and eventually the words, the dreams, the ideas, the creativity will fill me up like a balloon.

I can't live without blogging.
I can't not write for me, for you, for us.
I can't live a life without words drifting effortlessly, endlessly, ungrammatically, on these pages.

This is about finding soul and passion again. This is about reaching inside and turning a life of routine and office cubicles and constant emails on its side and starting again.

Again. Again. Again. So many agains.

Happy Writing, my friends!

Photo credit: Katarina2353

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Transitions and drama

Later this week, Jadyn and Liana will turn three.

They've been three for a while already with their demands and wants and emotional dramatics. At least that's what I've been telling myself, hoping that this phase will end.

While I've been busy being their Mama, I couldn't help finally take some time to reflect on last year and what it meant to me. On one hand, it was crazy dealing with two little girls. On the other, I did manage to meet some goals and accomplish something other than a diaper change.

(Potty training was NOT one of those accomplishments, unfortunately).

In fact, if you look at my list of goals for 2008, I think I did OK. The truth is that once I was published in a national glossy magazine -- and then two more -- I felt I had reached a true milestone. I also doubled by freelance income for the third year in a row.

And then I took a job I knew little about and the story has changed dramatically.

I've been thinking about that decision I made and wondering if it was the best for me.

I'm not sure. There's parts of the job that fit me well; there are others that leave me unsettled. For one, I am not the star and never would be. That's hard for me to admit, but it is true. It's hard to aspire to be your best when often you're just an afterthought.

Still, I like it enough and the boss is cool. I think I'll be able to rebound this week with a yet another evolved MamaWriter, someone who knows that writing is her truest path. That is what I have to do and even when I have other things to do.

I didn't write 2,000 words a month let alone a week last year. I didn't produce an ezine. I didn't send out one query for my novel. I didn't even finish my novel. Though, I did get an agent interested in reading it. Shame on me for not staying up late at night to finish it.

When I'm ready, I'll do it. When it's in me, I'll exhale it out.

For now, I'm still Mama to two very sweet, very demanding little girls who couldn't care less if their Mommy writes a book or not.

So long as I read them a book, it's all good.

And, really, that's enough for me.

Most of the time.

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