Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflecting on 2015 and Depression

      2014 was a really exciting year for us - we had a brand new baby, I was in school, I left my career after 7 years, we moved to Walla Walla, we bought our first house. It was a year of change for the better but still change that left me reeling. This time last year I was depressed in a way that scared me. More than just a sad or empty feeling, anxiety was layered under and within and on top of the depression in ways that left me physically immobile for hours at a time, trapped inside my own head which was a highly unpleasant place to be. Depression told me lies like I’m inherently bad, incompetent and worthless, nothing matters, there’s no hope. Depression made my body heavy with hurt and fatigue, and my thoughts foggy. Anxiety gave me a constant feeling of dread and a nagging sense of guilt, but when I tried to sort out what I could possibly be afraid of or what I should feel guilty about I couldn’t navigate the fog to find a clear thought. My kids would ask me to play and I couldn’t stop weeping. They’d naturally become upset then I’d snap at them for it. Then I’d hate myself some more and wonder why I was so broken, why I couldn't appreciate the wonderful life going by in front of me. It’s not just society and the people who love us asking “why can’t you just snap out of it.” That accusatory useless question rang strongest inside my own head, in my own voice, playing into the vicious cycle of loathing myself for weakly succumbing to this intangible thing, the intangible thing which thrives and grows off of that self loathing.

     My depression, anxiety, our culture of busy-ness, and just life, even when I was functioning better, stopped me from being present in the moment. I was in a hurry to finish a task, or in a rush to get out the door, and it made me say “maybe later” when I was asked to play, or “in a minute” when my kids wanted to show me something. It made me snap and lash out and resent and get lost in frustration when I could have been patient and connecting and teaching and loving. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of good stuff with my kids even at my worst, and now (at my much better) there are still a lot of hard moments, but seeing my anxiety about useless things fill so much space that could have been occupied by good brought me a lot of shame and I knew I could do better. Standing on the precipice of 2015 the one and only thing I wanted was to be present for my kids. That resolution led me to yoga, and it also led me to working with my primary care physician to find a medication that would help me out of the dark fog.

     Everything everyone says about medicating depression stopped me from getting help sooner. They throw a pill at everything nowadays. Don’t numb your existence with a pill. A pill isn’t the answer, you need to change your behavior or the way you’re thinking. You have no reason to feel this way. Be strong. I had taken anti-depressants before and remember not being miserable anymore, but only because my range of emotion was narrowed to a sliver of apathy, which was better but not good. Another time I was on an anti-depressant that made me sleep 14 hours a night and wake up tired. I didn’t have much faith in anti-depressants, and I struggled with a sort of moral dilemma against medicating "feelings."  Now with my 20/20 hindsight I can see my doubt and hesitation never served me. 

After a couple of weeks on Lexapro the fog cleared. If I felt nagged by anxiety now I could think logically about what was causing it, and complete the task, or have the conversation, or fix the problem, or often realize it was unfounded to begin with. Instead of waking up immediately overwhelmed by a dark nameless cloud I woke up and lived. I still felt sad sometimes, I still felt nervous sometimes, but I also felt happiness and confidence and security in a way I’d forgotten existed. It was truly life changing. I made friends, developed a routine, cleaned my house, read books, cooked, exercised, played with my kids, took deep breaths when I got frustrated. It wasn’t a perfect year, we had ups and downs and got sick a lot and I got dry socket and notably was blind for almost an entire week after being stabbed in the eyeball by a toddler fingernail. But it was the best year yet because I wasn’t a prisoner of my mind. 

I’m so full of gratitude for the way my world became saturated with vibrant life and color and vivid experience in 2015. And so encouraged that I resolved to do something last year and actually did it! It’s not easy to talk about depression, that darkness feels intensely personal and I want to keep it shut away behind closed doors. But when I reflect about how I made my way to the other side of those doors I know I would have wanted to read that there is a way out. It may be a different way for you than it was for me but I promise you the hopelessness is a lie. Whatever you’re leaving behind you at midnight, may hope be ahead of you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Toddler Gift Giving Guide

I always swore I'd never have a kid with a Christmas birthday (because we have so much control over these things), so naturally my little girl has a December 19th birthday. The year she was born was the best Christmas ever, but her 1st birthday honestly sort of overwhelmed me. I put everything off until the last minute and felt pretty beaten down by my expectations versus the quickly approaching less fantastical reality and the general holiday pressure (which can happen whether you're dealing with a December birthday or not). Don't let it happen to you again! I've vowed to finish 80% of my holiday shopping by the end of November, and with all these Black Friday sales I'm feeling on track. My friend Claire from and I put together a gift guide in case you need some inspiration. We focused mostly on small businesses because I know when I have to spend money it feels a little less painful putting it back into my own community, or into the pocket of mama-owned shops. Claire put together the first 2 and some of my favorite gifts follow. 
These gifts give my little lady that that girly-ness she craves, without making me want to barf. It’s all about compromise with toddlers, right?

Madeline Books:
My toddler LOVES the Madeline book series, and they were some of my favorites growing up too, so they are something we can enjoy together. Also, anything that will distract her from making me read "Cat and the Hat" 300 times a day, is a win for me. These books are available almost anywhere.

Nico Nico Long Johns:
This is one of my favorite cozy outfits of the season. A great gender neutral piece that is actually made for day, but I won't judge you if your child wears it to bed. This romper is made of super thick, sweater like organic cotton, and is perfect paired with fuzzy slippers and hot cocoa. 
Yumbox Lunch Box:
As a first time mom I learned quickly, you basically should have an entire meal in your handbag at ALL TIMES. These adorable and modern lunch boxes can hold just about anything without leaking or making a mess, even yogurt!!! My daughter loves hers so much, that she sometimes requests to eat her meals at home out of it. The insert (the part that's holding the food) even pops out, so you don't have to wash the entire thing after each use. I can't say enough about how much we love our Yumbox.
Fly Tots Cushion:
This gift is a personal favorite. I bought one for each of my kiddos and we just love them. My daughter likes to throw herself on to anything soft and this fulfills that need in a stylish way. They're the perfect size to make a comfortable seat but are easily carried around the house by the handy handle on the side. They move from our reading nook to our train table to the center of the living room floor and look good wherever they end up! 
Hanna Anderson Slippers:
These are the cutest slippers I've found this year. We definitely have a footwear power struggle in our house, and I know my girl is going to be so excited to wear these because they look like adorable animals, and i'll also love them for aesthetic reasons, as well as for practical reasons like knowing they will stay on her feet because they are boots. 
Mini Rodini Leggings:
I LOVE leggings on all toddlers. Why should boys have to wear uncomfy jeans and cargo pants. Blah! This print is great for both genders, and seriously, who doesn't like tiger stripes? These super soft pants are made of 100% organic cotton.
Quin Twizzle Lollipops:
Quin candy is handmade in Portland Oregon by some pretty special gals that I happen to know personally. These Lollipops are a reimagined version of an old classic using real ingredients like actual strawberries, blackberries and chocolate. They make such a good stocking stuffer for all family members, as long as you can keep from eating them all yourself.
Tattly Temporary Tattoos:
Tattly makes the most beautiful and artistic temporary tattoos around, that are appealing to both children and adults. I love the idea of a subscription, because your child can look forward to receiving new tats in the mail every month. 
Disney Vans:
I'm not usually a fan of character shoes, but for some reason all the new disney themed vans seem to be tugging at my heartstrings. With options like the jungle book (shown here), alice in wonderland and Winnie the Pooh, you seriously cant go wrong. 
Bright Light Labs:
These colorful lights are not just for the holidays. With options to mix and match colors, you can coordinate with any child's room and taste. I see these as a great alternative to a night light, and a fun way to help a child who is scared of the dark.
Puppet Theatre:
I’m really trying to focus this year on toys that encourage imaginative play (versus pressing a button over and over or whatever), and I LOVE that this pirate-themed puppet theatre can be hung in a doorway or outside! I find my toys get the most longevity when I can put them out of site when we’re not playing with them. Fold this up and easily store it to maintain its wow factor, then hang it up in seconds for hours of fun! 
Maps, by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinska 
Maps is loaded with intricate artwork and fun facts. This is fun to read to your kids, but also a blast for your little one to pour over at quiet time, looking at which animals and people are found where. Look for it at your favorite local bookstore!
Boy + Girl outfit, Nico Nico vest and Hansel from Basel socks 
I love to shop and gift in outfits, and this is soft and warm and easy for your little adventurer to throw on for exploring and playing.
Forest Friends Nesting Dolls: 
It’s always a pleasure to find a toy that makes your space more beautiful, whether it’s neatly put away on a shelf or strewn across the floor. These are just cool to look at. I’m overflowing with nostalgia remembering playing with the nesting dolls I had as a girl and love that this toy is in vogue right now.
Black Cat, White Cat by Sylvia Borando:
This book has so much visual interest! It’s a relatively short, sweet story about what happens when a black cat from the day time meets a white cat from the night time. It’s a great way to explore what is different about day and night and satisfy my little girl’s love for all things kitty. Available at all major online book retailers, and likely your local book store too!
Anthem of the Ants Dress, Ultra Violet Kids turban and Hansel From Basel leggings: :
It is so fun to play with color when dressing kids but in my own wardrobe I’m very partial to neutral dressing and think it looks just as sharp on kids (let’s be real, they usually look way sharper than I do). Obviously this dress is everything, and with a turban (this season’s must-have kid accessory) and footless tights it’s easy to make it play-ready. I can’t say enough good things about these footless tights, they go with everything, it takes way longer to grow out of a footless tight, they’re soft and thick, and we’re saved from the slips and falls that come with footed tights. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Blinded by the Light and Toddler Fingers

In case of eye injury:
Step 1 - create a makeshift eye patch out of pajama pants
Step 2 - take a selfie and send it to everyone so people
will feel sorry for you
Step 3 - seek medical attention
     There’s nothing anyone can tell you to prepare you for being a parent. Still, a heads up about the frequency and severity of eye pokes from little fingers or toys would have been good. I’ve been brought to fetal position by a baby fingernail to the eye enough that it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to adopt protective eyewear as an everyday accessory. Usually the poke hurts like hell for an hour, there’s some sensitivity for 24 hours and life goes on. This time was different. Tuesday night after Jake had left for some sort of outdoor woodsy hiking fishing manventure, the kids and I were cuddled on the couch watching a movie, when Edie suddenly began wildly flailing her arms about some toddler crisis and my open eyeball was violently swiped with a freshly cut fingernail. I screamed, terrifying the dog and children as I fell to the floor clutching my eye as if my eyeball would rocket out of my skull if I moved my hands. As I continued to feel the searing pain balled on the floor I calmed down enough to let out an unconvincing “it’s okay honey, mama’s fine.” I waited for my words to become true but man, it hurt. After 30 minutes I got up from the floor but it still hurt. It hurt all night but became seriously worse after I drove Holden to school the next exceptionally bright and sunny morning.

     Following the drive I pretty much went blind, but was fortunate to be in the best possible place for it to happen (besides an eye clinic which would have been ideal). I could write a book about how much I love my son’s preschool but on this day I became more thankful than ever for the environment of support fostered by our co-operative preschool (at the co-op there’s one teacher and parents take turns volunteering so we all work together and are invested together in the program and in one another’s kids, it rocks). Mamas immediately surrounded me asking what was wrong and how they could help. The drive messed up my already messed up eye enough that it became too painful to open either eye. You may not have noticed, but your eyes move together, so any movement in my good eye caused my right eye to move, resulting in horrific stabbing pain. I remember saying in all seriousness that I'd rather be in labor. I was too stunned to really know what I needed but before I could figure it out sweet mama friends had ushered Holden into class, adopted Edie into the toddler class for the day, volunteered to drive the kids back from school, babysit in the afternoon, made a plan to bring me dinner that night, and then I was being walked to someone’s car to drive me to the doctor. Without hesitation those mamas took me from overwhelmed and vulnerable to wrapped up in a big community hug of unconditional support. 
Here they are, threateningly wielding their weapons. No one is safe.
      Jake didn’t have any cell service and was hours away anyway so I had to rely on a lot of people and while it was an uncomfortable feeling it also made me feel hardcore #blessed to have so many caring people in my life who I didn’t have to feel bad about leaning on. Feeling completely helpless with 2 kids was terrifying, plus there was the significant pain, anxiety about permanent damage, a head cold piled into the mix, and the fact that I was supposed to be getting on a plane for a long-anticipated girl’s weekend away (still bitter about canceling that). Sometimes you need a lot of shitty stuff to amplify your appreciation for the overflowing cornucopia of goodnesses all around you. Without detailing minutiae, Jake got home that night and spent the next few days shuttling me around to opthalmology appointments and doing everything for me and our semi freaked out kids. Turns out Edie punctured and ripped off nearly the entire top layer of my cornea. It took 3 nerve-racking, trying days to see any improvement, and today, 5 days later, is the first time I can see out of both eyes with minimal pain. I’m elated! Vision is the best! 

The perfect opportunity to
experiment with new looks.
     Life without sight did give me insight into a few things (in-sight lol). Vulnerability and gratitude dominated the experience. It was intensely distressing for me to ask for help but people are so strong and kind and generous, and accepting help is just another way to accept love that people are truly happy to give, even to me! Even to you! When I started to let go of the guilt in accepting help I was able to feel all the love around me and was filled with an eagerness to get better just to pay it forward. The other cool side effect was a sort of calm that filled me during what was essentially sensory deprivation. I never realized how distracting vision is from our other badass senses. After the initial shock and anxiety of not having sight as a tool you can embrace the other stuff and the lack of distraction was actually really peaceful. When my husband finally came home I was able to really hear the butter and gravel in his voice and experiencing the familiar sound in a new way made my heart so happy. I felt my daughter’s cool squishy cheek pressed against mine and my son’s sturdy little arms wrapped around me in a way I wasn’t able to when I was looking past their hugs at whatever else was going on in the room. Even eating was more pleasurable...until I wasn’t hungry any more, which happened much sooner without eyes than it does when I’m staring at my phone, mindlessly shoveling food into my mouth until I feel physical pain. At its best, temporary blindness was like an extended meditation session for me, forcing me to really be in my body and experience that being-ness. Also, I was able to test out the theory that if you do something enough times you can do it blind. I can load the dishwasher blind, I can change a diaper blind, I can feed the dog blind, I can almost make coffee blind but forgot the lid and flooded the counter with coffee grounds and water.

     If I had to choose one takeaway it’s to open your eyes and look at all the color and compassion and love around you, then take the time to close your eyes and feel it too.

 Oh, and wear safety goggles while interacting with children of age 2 months - 3 years.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Am I working writer now?

Lovers and friends - In an effort to share my talent for spending money on children's clothing some of my words are being featured on (a favorite online kid's boutique). Check out those words or some precious tiny people pieces here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Guide to Kids' Styling

     I feel like deep inside me there might be the soul of a creative person, unfortunately I’m in the body of someone who draws like a kindergartner, sings like an injured walrus and can’t seem to make anything out of Playdoh that isn’t at least slightly phallic. The closest thing I’ve found to “my artistic medium” is putting outfits together. For awhile I was fortunate enough to be paid to do that, but life changes, and here I am, unemployed, surrounded by yogurt-flinging snot-nosed small people, likely wearing sweatpants if I’ve mustered the zeal to wear any pants at all.

     I’m a problem solver, so to correct or at least overshadow my sad state of style I focus all of my energy on outfitting my kids. Sure, they still have unruly, sweaty hair and faces covered in food from 3 days ago, but somewhere in my eternally expanding laundry pile lay the remnants of a handful of pretty adorable outfits. You may look at me (or my carefully concocted online persona) and wonder, how does she do it? Well I’m here today to share some Kid Wardrobing Tips with you.

     Okay, first rule of shopping - SHOP IN OUTFITS. This applies to you too. Don’t buy a flowing boho top that catches your eye, or a fierce pair of neon ikat print patent sandals because they’re a steal, unless you have 2-3 things already in your closet that you’ll wear with them. Or, if restraint isn’t a priority on this particular outing, buy 2-3 things to wear with aforementioned expenditure at the time of purchase. This makes it easier to appear stylish versus looking like you fell into a clearance rack. It also makes it less likely that you'll spend your morning staring at your closet wondering what to wear.

     Kids are fun/expensive because every time the weather changes it’s time for a new wardrobe. As soon as I think we have enough clothes and I can’t possibly shop anymore, we have the first 70 degree day of spring and I'm faced with a closet full of corduroy overalls and cable knit sweaters, with maybe one pair of board shorts that now fit like hot pants shoved in a far corner of a forgotten drawer. Silver lining: Needing a whole wardrobe at once gives you the opportunity to practice creating a functional wardrobe. 

     Here’s my MO - I surf kids sites and snap screen shots of clothing I like. Next I use the app PicCollage to see how the pieces I like work together. Often I realize that something I really love doesn’t match any of the pants or shoes I think would work. To get more bang for your buck you'll want your outfits to be interchangeable, which is a lot easier to see in a wardrobe storyboard than it is in multiple online shopping carts. Furthermore, the storyboard visualization is IMO largely preferable to attempting to create a coherent look in a messy store in the mall by digging through a mountain of wrong sizes, trying to corral two wild animal children running opposite directions after being chased by kiosk hand lotion guys while aloof salespeople avoid eye contact. F that noise. 

     I enjoy this, or I wouldn't do it, but a bonus is that putting a little bit of time into planning makes it easier for me to find good deals. If you don't have or are unwilling to spend the cash on whatever the mannequins are wearing, it can be really hard to piece together outfits from the sale rack. By the time items are marked down the coordinating pieces and sizes are often long gone. But if you can source from the whole internet's worth of retailers you can get well thought out looks at bargain prices! Boom. 

My son is 4 so I can still buy him metrosexual floral print t-shirts and Birkenstocks if  I want to.  These pieces are from (old habits die hard) and are made by Peek! and Tea Collection, respectively.
As much as I love shoes, I've found that buying one good pair a season that match everything is the best bet. While my heart flutters from those Birks above, in my experience you can't beat Keens for a practical summertime every day kid shoe.
The obnoxiously loud lobster shirt is something my sea-creature obsessed son would do flips over, lest you start to believe I only have my own interests in mind here.

So this is the example of a board that showed me something that wouldn't work. After I'd made a couple outfit pages I was left with these pieces that I really like individually, but just don't have the versatility of the other stuff. We wear our pants 1-3 times a week and doubling up on star sweats would make Holden "the kid with those flashy star sweats." So these pieces sadly but smartly get the ax.

There are SO MANY darling girl's outfits in the world. I've found that when dressing Eden I don't always get the same versatility out of her clothes as I do with Holden's. A lot of her outfits aren't as easily interchangeable, and I think it's largely because I love the girly outfits so much that I can't accept less being more...

These pieces (besides the awesome and highly recommended Freshly Picked moccasins) are all from my friend Claire's web boutique She's done a masterful job curating pieces that are often gender neutral, and have a childlike whimsy without looking like a cartoonish stork vomited baby pink all over her shop.
This is my one girl storyboard where it's easy to mix and match. I think if you have core pieces that easily coordinate it's always okay to have an outfit or two that stands alone. For Edie's looks I sourced from,, and
     If you've made it to the end of this post I'm guessing you're either thinking "you're a vacuous freak with too much time on your hands" or hopefully some variant of "what a cute idea, I can't wait to make my own!" in which case, I'd love to see what you come up with. I'm available and enthusiastic about talking kid style, your style, or really any topic at all with you any time!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Co-Sleeping

I co-sleep. It’s okay if you don’t. My kids are welcome in my bed but I totally get why families would make different choices. Nonethelesss, I will share my biased and at times sarcastic pros and cons of bed-sharing with you now:

My husband and I can’t have sex in our bed. 

My husband and I don’t have boring “well we’re both in bed, might as well do it” sex. We both possess the ingenuity to overcome the “obstacle” of an occupied bed with gusto. The bed is great for missionary, the rest of the house is awesome for other stuff. 

Children create a spousal cuddling barrier. Occasionally I’d like to fall asleep in the cozy nook of my husband’s arm.

No pressure to cuddle. You’d think more bodies = less space = more cuddling, but your kids just want to be near you, they don’t need to embrace you. I’m a stomach sleeper, which is not at all conducive to cuddling. Pre-kids, rolling away from my husband to happily sleep on my stomach made me an asshole, now it's just part of being a loving parent.

TOENAILS. About 5 days post-trim my children sprout dagger talons fit for pterodactyls. If you forget to trim those nails there will be a 2:00a.m. reenactment of Psycho under your sheets.

BABY SKIN. If silk and cashmere and heated blankets and every pure and good memory you’ve ever had culminated in some sort of lovechild, that being would be almost as magical as the skin of a sleeping child. If you could cuddle up to a doll-sized flower petal that emanated warmth and angelic goodness, wouldn’t you seize the opportunity?

Unsafe co-sleeping: If you have a ton of blankets, a ton of pillows, a super soft cushy bed, and/or you are a smoker, intoxicated, sedated, or sleep heavily to the point you are totally unaware of the precious bundle of joy lying next to you, it’s not safe to co-sleep. If you’re sharing the bed with someone who is any of those things it may not be safe to co-sleep. The younger your infant is, the truer this is. 

In my experience as a mother, my awareness is so ferociously tuned in to the well-being of my children it makes me feel like I have a f!#%ing superpower. I thought I was a heavy sleeper, but I leap out of bed, ready for action, at the softest murmur. After years of sleeping with 2 kids, the concern that I could roll over on to my own baby seems totally ridiculous. Research shows breastfeeding mothers naturally co-sleep on their side, creating a safe pocket for their babies to nestle into. Sleeping near your baby syncs your breath and actually decreases the risk of SIDS when done safely. 

Breastfeeding at night. Some people tell me their baby started sleeping through the night (without eating) as early as (insert whatever number here) months. My one year old still nurses a couple times a night. This interferes with my stomach sleeping which occasionally bums me out.

Dream feeding. Dream feeding is hippy speak for breastfeeding at night time. It doesn’t require sitting up, or picking up a baby, or even staying awake. At our house, the baby fusses, I’m roused immediately, pull out a boob, the baby attaches, we both fall back asleep. When I worked 50 hours a week dream feeding was a way to bond and keep my milk supply strong. Plus, it turns out, the milk mothers produce in the nighttime often contains elevated levels of tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes us sleepy), which helps regulate sleep, establishing healthy circadian rhythms, and essentially teaching night-nursers that nighttime is sleeptime.

My kids rely on me to sleep. They rely on me to comfort their fears and provide them with security. They do not realize they are utterly alone in a sometimes cold and horrible world. 

My kids know they can rely on me. I’m their mom all day long, then, at night time, when they have physical needs like warmth or hunger, or emotional needs, like a finger to hold, or a soothing touch, I’m still on duty. My hope is they can rely on me as long as they need to in order to secure a worldview where they’re loved, they’re safe, and their feelings at all hours of the day are important and valid.

Who knows how long this madness will go on. If I had a nickel for everyone who’s warned me “If you don’t get them out of your bed by ____ months, you never will!” I’d probably have the money to convert my entire bedroom into one big bed (so we wouldn’t have to squeeze the 4 of us into a mere king size).

This too shall pass. Even the most avid co-sleeper usually chooses to sleep on his or her own by the onset of puberty (13ish). I know it’s hard to fathom that one day they’ll recoil from our touch, that jumping into our arms will be replaced with stiff side-hugs, the endless stream of consciousness speech will morph into shrugs and grunts, and we’ll remember the way their bare sticky skin felt pressed against ours in the middle of a summer night with a longing so intense we’d trade 20 years of sleeping soundly for one more night to rock them to sleep. But that day is coming. So tonight, my bed is a family bed. 

I know I’m missing a lot of pros, and a lot of cons! Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mommy Metamorphis

     Last spring my life changed drastically enough that if I wasn’t on social media (and a horrible liar) I could have told a believable story about entering a witness protection program. I went from being a city loving, Designer label obsessed, full time working career woman, to moving to a town 3 hours away from the nearest Trader Joe’s and staying home nearly 24/7 to sing nursery rhymes and read 5-paged board books. Turns out you can shed your caterpillar skin for butterfly wings more than once in your life. I view this big life change as Part Deux of what we’ll call my Mom Metamorphosis. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Can Kids Be A-Holes Too?

     I follow a parenting blog that annoys the hell out of me. I completely agree with the philosophy, and find much of the information presented helpful, so I’ve always wondered what it is that rubs me the wrong way. I figured it out one day. An article was posted along the lines of “Your baby isn’t the asshole, you are,” and it targeted the evil parents who use words like asshole to describe their children for behaving like children. I read the humorless, angry article and my initial thought was “maybe you’re the asshole, lady.” Was I feeling defensive or ashamed because I have admittedly used the term when writing or talking about my children? I spent a few minutes contemplating how much of an asshole I am. I could fill a large bucket with ways I do indeed qualify as an asshole, but tweeting that “I can’t tell if my baby is teething or just an asshole” isn’t really one of them. What bothered me wasn't just the need to defend the use of profanity in reference to my children, it was that this lady was attacking my right to take parenting lightly.
You're not an asshole, but your behavior is reminiscent of the way an asshole might behave in this situation.

     Do I think my baby is an asshole? Do I think any baby or child is even capable of being an asshole?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Squashed Hopes

     I made squash for the first time today. It didn’t go as I’d hoped. Now I will pause while you compose yourself from the eruption of laughter that ensued upon connecting the title of this post with the content. 

     The kitchen is not my natural habitat. My natural habitat is a trendy downtown loft apartment, lounging on a blue velvet sofa drinking sparkling wine bought off an eye level shelf in the grocery store. If I’d remained childless my diet would probably still consist of the two major food groups: thai take out and styrofoam cupped pasta with powdered food-alternative flavoring. I was totally cool with not being very domestic, it was an important piece in my arsenal of adorable idiosyncrasies, along with watching boring old Audrey Hepburn movies and talking about how repulsive I found any activity where heels weren’t appropriate. You know, cool, modern, downtown girl stuff. Very Carrie Bradshaw. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Autonomy for Moms in 30 Minutes or Less

Being a full-time mommy at home puts you into a strange time vortex. I still remember what it felt like to work full time with a baby, and I frequently find myself marveling at how busy I feel as a stay-at-homer. The vortex feels especially pronounced and indescribable when people ask what you've been up to lately, and time stops while you have a conversation with yourself in your head,