Empty the Pews

I don’t want to talk about this. But for too long, the silence has been deafening. The elephant is not only in the room, but friends, it has shat the bed. I’ve always been a clean-as-you-go kind of person, but … Continue reading

The Year Of Broken Plates

She is everywhere.

Your Instagrams, your Pinterests, your blogs, your billboards, your Wal-Marts, your coffee shops, your gyms, your parks, your schools, your TVs, your dreams.

The Mother.

Her hair is done, her house and clothes are clean, her body is healthy, her coffee is hot, her kids are happy, and like, she’s busy but she is HANDLING IT.

This time last year, I was suffering from a common condition known as “summer pregnancy.” I knew this part was hard, but then the baby would be here, and I would become THE MOTHER and everything would be great.

And then, suddenly, I remembered that I’m terrible at juggling.

Good china plates are lying in shards around me; my brain is dizzy and my feet are bleeding. The baby is screaming, the dishes are crusted with 3-day-old food and flies, the house carries a faint but distinct odor of wet towels and shit, the floor is sticky, and TBH I’m probably gonna throw a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner…again.

I have one baby. ONE.

The Mother did not come to me; the Mother betrayed me. The Mother didn’t tell me that she had to give up everything else she loved, like music or writing or friends, in order to be considered a good mom.

By her standards, I have failed spectacularly.

“It takes 9 months to put on the weight, so give yourself at least 9 months to lose it and then #HustleYourButt!” but instead I gained it all back and heyyyy it brought some friends!

I was given TWO Baby Bullets, and I rejoiced because I wanted to make fresh food for my baby every day.

I have used exactly ONE of them ONE time. And I remember to brush those 2 preciously sharp little chiclets in his maw about once a week, so he’s definitely going to need dentures by the time he’s 5.

Does it sound bad if I say that my 11-month old son already has favorite showS? #YesThatWasAnEmphasizedPlural #ILoveYouMoana #AndDinoTrux #BasicallyJustAllOfNetflix

If I get all the laundry done, it’s a good day.

If I get all the laundry done, folded AND put away, I’m pretty awesome.

If I get all the laundry done, folded AND put away AND take a shower, I deserve sexual favors and Chinese take-out, full stop.

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This little helper gently rolled into the sink head first about 2 seconds after this picture was taken. #MotherOfTheYear

I’m honestly a little sad. The first year is already almost up, and the only thing I feel confident in showing for it is that Harrison, Steven and I are still alive.

Maybe in Year 2, I’ll figure out how to keep the house clean as well as get in shape, and return to music/writing/friendships on a regular basis. Maybe I’ll just drink my coffee while it’s still hot.

But one thing (lol, probably a FEW things) I do pledge: to be okay with being JUST okay, and to be okay with NOT being okay.

To delegate those chores. To not do IT ALL. To get together with a friend, like, once a week, even if the dishes aren’t done. To kiss my hard-working husband at the start and end of every day. To unfollow the perfect Instagram moms.

And lastly, to donate the good china plates and settle for some good ole indestructable Corelle and Tupperware. I’m a mom now, after all.

 

We Don’t Need Superheroes

I did not grow up with comic books or graphic novels – any pop culture, really. Those frivolities are of little notice when you’re sure the world is going to end by the time you’re 13. So, in the last … Continue reading

Baby Button Needs You To Stop Praying For Him Now

8 weeks ago, I wrote a story about the journey our baby was taking us on, and how we were praying that my body would survive being pregnant just 7 more weeks to give him the best chance. So many of you responded in love and prayers and genuine care.

I truly believe it worked because my body proceeded to need a total of 3 amniotic fluid drains, plus a dramatic 3 night stay in the hospital because I was having very real contractions every 5 minutes…and then suddenly everything stopped. I went home. Life has resumed at an almost-usual routine for the last 4 weeks. Baby Button has grown big and strong, we have a safety-approved place for him to sleep and travel, and my mom made it here without complication.

So now? I need y’all to stop praying. I turned the corner on 38 weeks yesterday, and I am done.

I know every third-trimester mother says that, but I don’t think you understand.

I am “answering questionnaires for concerned psychiatrists/sense of humor completely gone/collapsing into tears for no reason at least once a day” done.

I have survived the Apocalypse. I have lived in fear of the government and deportation. I have moved houses at least as many times as I’ve had birthdays. I’ve seen a childhood friend die right in front of me. I have endured losing a relationship with my father 2 months after it began. I have gotten lost in Europe, lost a baby, lost jobs, and been one paycheck ahead of financial disaster for years.

But 9 months of pregnancy, one of life’s greatest mysteries that I was looking forward to the most, is the straw that broke this camel’s back.

I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel needy. I feel weak.

And so I feel lost. My identity is shifting. I’m the girl who writes about all the crazy shit that happens to her, and still manages to make people smile. I’m the Chandler Bing, I’m the Spartan who keeps on trucking, I’m the one who has heard time and again, “Wow. Looking at you, listening to you, I would never have guessed that you survived all THAT. You’re amazing, and you should probably write a book.”

My shit has always been a little messy, but it was my mess, and it made me stronger.

Now? After being pregnant and sick and worried and unprepared for 267 days in a row (including being displaced from home for 60+ days in a cramped house with 4 animals and 4 in-laws out of that)?

All I want is to go to sleep, and wake up in my own bed with a fresh mani/pedi, a killer haircut, a multi-ethnic buffet, and an impossibly adorable baby who never cries longer than 5 minutes or makes me question whether I am mentally and emotionally capable of becoming a mother in the first place.

I feel gross for even admitting it. Because I can see all you ladies who have been moms for years, who are laughing at my innocence and thinking, “Just you wait, honey, it gets worse.” I can see all you ladies who have been thinking they’d like to get pregnant, and now I’ve just ruined it for you. I can see all you ladies who had magical unicorn pregnancies with babies made from Jesus’ eyelashes, and are secretly judging me for being so dramatic and non-sacrificial.

And honestly, I’m going to play the Pregnant Bitch card and say up front: I don’t need to hear from you right now.

The only thing that keeps me typing so vulnerably is the off-chance that maybe some lady will read this and think, Thank GOD I’m not alone. Maybe I’ll wait one more day before checking myself in to the closest institution. Hi, Carly. I’m your new messy mama friend. Let’s keep talking.

13 days or less…

 

A Sky Full of Stars

At this time last year, I wrote a letter to 2015. I asked the future if it could bring a little more understanding.

I had flowery hopes and dreams about achieving peace and love in our increasingly ignorant and violent planet – when, most of the time, I don’t even know how to keep peace in my own heart.

So, I learned to find beauty in the small victories.

For me, peace in 2015 was the day my husband’s 8-week chicken pox came to an end.

The day we both got full time jobs, after months of unemployment.

Peace in 2015 looked like America and Cuba bringing their 50-year standoff to an end.

And China changing their One-Child policy.

And Prime Minister Trudeau personally greeting Syrian refugees in the airport of their new homeland.

My best friend organizing and raising hundreds of dollars in less than 24 hours to help feed medical staff after a local mass shooting – that was peace and love.

In February, when our baby should have come, when I got a tattoo instead. Love all over the smoke filled parlor. Peace found in the familiar buzzing warmth of ink upon skin, letting me wear my scars on the outside.

Serving hot chocolate to elderly people whose cheeks are rosy after a city tour of the Christmas lights.

The last scene of the series finale of True Detective.

Skating together for the first time, on the lake where we got married.

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Our music, our saving grace.

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And yesterday, when I spent 3 hours with Tova. I helped her mum deliver her a year and a half ago, just before I realized I was having a miscarriage at the same time. I never wrote about Tova like I did for Eva, my first doula baby, because the memories were too painful.

But now, I can. Because she deserves some recognition.

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This is our journey: the day she was born, one month later, and yesterday – when she discovered snow for the first time, and then promptly plopped herself down in my lap with Dr. Seuss.

She is a ray of light – full of smiles and hugs with no warning that steal my breath away. When the Russian alphabet song comes on, she immediately stops what she’s doing because she must wiggle and squeal and dance her butt off until it’s over.

When we bonked heads by accident, she said “sorry!” and rubbed my head multiple instances; kindness abounds.

I might not have been as ready to face 2016 if I’d not faced yesterday. I’d like to think Tova and my babe would have been friends too.

So, instead of making a list of all the high and lofty goals I expect for 2016, I’m just gonna let it be. Do its thing. And whatever happens, I will keep looking for the small victories. Because a bunch of tiny stars against the black sky will eventually take over the night.

I can wait for that.

Shared from WordPress

Friends,

Please read this extremely important letter. My best friend wrote it so eloquently, and more and more people are catching her fire.

I don’t know about you, but I am not okay with hearing about another mass shooting in the US, or anywhere. These are preventable. Laurie’s letter comes from a simple blog, but even one voice can make a difference. The President can only do so much – it’s Congress and the voters who can make new gun laws a reality.

Rest in peace, Stephanie, Rachel, and countless others. We will fight for you.

Dear Congress – Sincerely, A Mass Shooting Survivor – http://wp.me/p2ftlr-UG

Carly the Barista & the Starbucks Customer Review

Starbucks. That one word. I have no bloody clue what it means, but it is a powerful word, full of meaning, different to everyone. Coffee. Money. Life-blood. Global domination. For the small town I live in, it’s one of the … Continue reading