Here's to:

doing more and spending less
moving my body and my mind
quiet snuggles on the couch
crafty Sunday afternoons
journaling and recording
deep breaths and deeper stretches
climbing the ladder and not looking down
appreciation and gratitude
calm and peace

Happy New Year, everyone.


When I wrote the last post, the first reports of Newtown were just starting to trickle in. I spent the remainder of the day like so many, staring blankly at my screen, the need to squeeze my daughter growing stronger and stronger. On the way home, all the energy used to keep it together during the day vanished, and I sobbed the entire drive. I was wracked with relief over being able to go home to my baby and overcome with guilt that I was able to and so many parents were not. I avoided the TV all weekend, and when an email from the principal at Emma's school asked parents to please talk with their children about what had happened, I shut down. Nope, not going to do it.

But we did. On Sunday night we sat her down and told her, in the most general terms we could manage, what had happened. We assured her she was safe, which felt like a hollow promise. How can guarantee anything? But we promised. And we told her we would talk to her about anything she wanted, and answer any questions she may have. She was solemn and asked only if they caught the person who did these terrible things. Yes, we said. He won't hurt anyone else anymore. As I walked her to room at bedtime, she told me she would have rather not known about what happened, confirming my feeling about not wanting to tell her. And that night she asked to sleep with me.

I don't want to think about it anymore, but I do. I'm angry that I have the luxury of not HAVING to think about it. Guilty. So instead I hug my kid a little harder.




Honestly, someone should have started a pool on how long it would be until I posted again. One of you would be... not rich. But maybe have a couple of extra dollars in your pocket.

So I'm sitting here in the midst of what I like to call existential crisis mode, where I can't focus on anything and I fleetingly think about all the things I should be doing, and then, like a boulder dropped onto my chest, I am missing my kid something awful. It's fierce and piercing and it physically hurts. I'm not sure if it's because of the child who was just carried out of the library, crying. Or seeing the headlines about the Connecticut school shooting. Or just because sometimes, despite the frustration and the backtalking and the seemingly constant sass, I miss my kid.

I've taken no pictures. I've written no blog posts. I've made no phone calls and I've addressed no Christmas cards.

Instead, I wait.


one. kind of.

I wrote this Saturday. With all the best intentions. Let's try again.

I've done this before, not always successfully. But I'm once again feeling the urge to attempt something AND complete it. That urge is a dangerous one and usually results in tears and/or drinking. But fresh starts and all that. 

So we begin. A post a day for the month of December. I also want to do the monthly photo-a-day challenge, so I'll try to include that picture with the post. 

Day 1: My view today: Emma at swimming lessons.

Do you want to join me with a challenge of your own? Share it in the comments and we'll be each other's motivation. 

My plan is to catch up by this weekend. I have the photos. I have the posts. I just have to put them together.


gut punched: epilogue

On November 14, I woke up early. I was hungry, thirsty, and empty. The previous day had me ridding my insides of every last drop of fluid available. I showered, dressed, and Fred drove me to the hospital. I was anxious and distracted. He kept the chatter light, telling me about students in his classes and articles he had read.

We arrived right on time, and I forced my feet to move forward into the building. The hospital employs the same philosophy as Disneyland: keep them moving and they have no idea how long they've actually spent waiting. After checking in we went up to the second floor to a little room. Less than 10 minutes in there and they came and took me to a pre-op room. I changed into a gown, took out my nose ring, and had an IV put it. Then Fred came in and we watched a bit of some crime re-enactment show. I kept asking if it was too late to back out. Fred kept saying yes. A new nurse came in and laughed when she said I was in for a "double whammy." Sigh. Yup, that's me. She promised happy juice would be delivered soon, and wheeled me out of the room, telling Fred I'd be back in an hour. I waved good-bye. I was 47% sure that was the last time I'd ever see him.

The procedure room was ice cold, and there was music playing. R&B. I don't remember which song but I knew it. A nasal cannula went in with oxygen, heart and pulse ox monitors were applied. The drugs were pushed through the IV. Another nurse put a mouth guard in, which protected my teeth and held my lips apart. I was lying on my left side, staring at something that looked like a stereo, and that was that. No counting, no promises of sleep. Just... nothing.

At one point I woke up and opened my eyes to sound of moaning. It was me. Something hurt, cramping. The nurse rubbed my back and told me it was almost over. I closed my eyes and went back under.

The next time I opened my eyes I was in recovery, and women were hovering over me, chattering pleasantly and smiling. I asked for Fred. I asked for water. I went back under.

I woke up when they wheeled me into my room. Someone handed me apple juice and it was glorious. I signed some paperwork and the doctor came in. He told me everything looked good but he had biopsied pretty much all along the way. That explained the cramping. He also said I had diverticulosis and needed to eat more fiber. Was pretty convinced that IBS was my problem, and he'd had to give me medicine because my colon was spasming pretty good during the procedure. Told me to eat something mild and take it easy all day. One of the nurses said something about letting Fred take care of the laundry and I almost said, "He does anyway."

Fred helped me dress and asked what I wanted to eat. "Burger," I mumbled. "Fries." I barely remember eating it. At home, I climbed into bed, woken a few hours later by more cramping.

The next day I was fine, though still a little blurry around the edges. Biopsy results were negative. I'm still dairy-free, and have a follow-up with the doc after Christmas to discuss further possible dietary adjustments. In the meantime, I can definitely say that I'm feeling better, though facing the holidays without cheese just seems cruel.


I've been dairy-free for two weeks. It sucks. I love cheese. All cheese. Any cheese. I also love whipped cream and ice cream and butter. Oh, do I love butter.

I'm not an optimist. I am not saying, "Oh, but I can still eat eggs! And wheat!" I don't care. I want cheese.

It actually hasn't been as bad as I thought. But as someone who never had to worry about what she ate, having to read every label obsessively gets a bit tiring.

"Why must you torture yourself thusly?" you may be asking.

Remember the whole gall bladder issue/non-issue? So, I never really got better. And in fact, at points, got a lot worse. As I wait for various tests and procedures to tell me what may or may not be wrong with me, my gastro doc has recommended I cut out dairy and see how I feel.

So far? I feel crappy without it, but feel even CRAPPIER with it. Yay?

(Actually, yesterday and today have shown a marked improvement. I even skipped my stomach meds today.)

On Wednesday I will have a camera shoved down my throat to check my upper GI for problems. Then a (one hopes) totally separate camera will enter from the opposite end to check the lower GI section. I'm looking forward to coming home afterwards and catching up on Grimm episodes and drinking ginger ale. Or clutching my midsection and groaning piteously. You know, whichever.


not just for kids

Last night, I was in bed, coloring (WHAT. It's relaxing.), when I saw movement in the doorway of the bedroom. I assumed it was the cat, off to claim a snack. I stretched my legs and my feet bumped into the squishiness of said cat, fast asleep at the bottom of the bed.
Well, then.

I continued to color, wondering what malevolent spirit was prancing around my bedroom, when I saw the movement again. Not to be fooled twice, I looked up and realized it was not some headless child come to take her revenge but what appeared to be a mosquito. 

Now, instead of fearing would be attacked by a murderous poltergeist I was sure I would be dying in the night from West Nile. My coloring took on a feverish pace and I may have nudged the cat a bit harder in an attempt to get him to WAKE UP AND GET THE MOSQUITO! He was not having it.

I continued to color, now looking out for the plague-carrying insect, when a flutter of wings hit my mouth (!!!) and I swatted helplessly at my face. And then I watched. I would be diligent. I would not sleep while that mosquito still lived. 

And then I saw it. It was... not a mosquito. It was a tiny moth, attracted (I guess?) to the gleaming whiteness of my face. 

I returned to my paper and exhaled. No unexplained deaths in the night were in store, it seemed, and I could relax. 

I hate Sunday nights.

(OK, yes. I really was coloring. Blame Anne. She posted some grown-up coloring sheets to Pinterest and I grabbed some colored markers and went to town, letting my mind wander where it would. It was actually really relaxing and I highly recommend it. I think next time I may listen to a podcast, though. To ward off the ghostly mosquitoes.)