Thursday, May 30, 2013

You know, just like my normal Friday. Except, you know, the West Wing of the White House.

Yah, so I figure that tomorrow I'll probably do stuff like change India's diaper, make breakfast, help Jordan get dressed, and pretend to Jordan that I'm taking India to daycare because it would be a dagger to his heart if he knew that he was going to school and we were staying home to have an all-day long underwear dance party.

(Or should it be "all-day-long underwear," even though that seems like a lot of hyphens? Because right now it looks like a long-underwear dance party. And neither of us wear long underwear.)

I might make myself some more coffee while I clean up the breakfast detritus, by which time India will likely have pooped, so I'll change a poopy diaper.

And then India and I will do stuff like go on a walk and feed each other Cheerios and spend half an hour taking the top off a container and putting it back on and clapping our hands. Then we'll eat a bit of lunch and smear it in our hair and scream a little while that's being wiped off and then India will hopefully take a nap.

At which point I suppose I'll get cleaned up and put on a suit because I AM GOING TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND I WANT TO SAY IT AGAIN I AM GOING TO THE WHITE HOUSE!

This might just be pure normal for a number of people in Washington, but I myself have never been.

A couple years ago Jordan and I went on a White House garden tour which would've been lovely but for the fact that there's nothing remotely interesting to a toddler about a garden tour except sprinting off to places you are not allowed to go.


Because of your generosity, my fundraising efforts have been way more successful than I ever expected. And as such, I got invited to join a small group of Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk fundraisers and staff to go to the White House for a briefing on administration efforts regarding mental health and suicide prevention issues.

Going to a meeting at the White House apparently often means going to a meeting in the office buildings near the White House.


I got an email today saying, ahem, that "unless some crisis interferes we are now scheduled to have our briefing in the historic Roosevelt Room, in the West Wing of the White House, just steps from the Oval Office."


Can you tell I'm a little excited?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And after all the violence and double talk There's just a song in all the trouble and the strife You do the walk, you do the walk of life...

Would you like me to walk for someone you've lost? Or someone who struggles with depression?

I don't know if this sounds cheesy or not, but it is a heartfelt offer. This Saturday night I am walking in memory of my dad, and of my uncle. I am walking for friends and loved ones who have struggled, who continue to struggle.

I'm scared and excited about the walk. I've never been in a whole group of people who have survived the suicide of a loved one.

Or maybe I have. But nobody ever talks about it.

Anyway. If you'd like me to walk for someone, for multiple someones, you can leave a name in the comments, or send me an email at lemongloria at You can give me a whole name, a first name, initials, whatever might be comfortable for you.

I'm going to carry a piece of paper of names with me. If it will give you comfort, add a name to my list.

Hugs to all of you.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So if you see me with a dark brown, crumbly mustache, would you please call me out on it?

I was recently reacquainted with Oreos.

How had I entirely forgotten my deep and abiding love of these little round circles of delight?

(And on a side note, my dad used to absolutely love Hydrox cookies. I liked them but didn't have a preference. Do any of you remember Hydrox?)

A few months ago I'd bought those peanut butter Girl Scout cookies from my friend Marta's daughter, and Jordan gobbled them up. And ever after, in his mind, cookies have to have two sides.

I've since given him sham one-sided cookies (read: cookies) and he immediately calls them out as imposters.


So I was at the store and saw Oreos - two sided! Stuff in the middle! and bought them. And then I came home and ate most of them.

Honestly. I've been on this appalling Oreo kick. I've practically been mainlining them. Yikes. That's a terrible vision. I can't even watch when I have blood taken. I definitely woudn't be able to inject Oreos.

But anyway, I have been on this Oreo bender, and it has to stop. I bought them for Jordan and I think he had maybe 10 of them total.

(I initially typed "toadal" instead of "total" and then was all amused with myself. He had to eat them in his hated frog costume and croak in between each one. Toadally. And I do realize frogs and toads are different. Although I don't know how.)


I bought another package, because he kept asking for them and I kept telling him we were out, which was embarrassing but true.

So now Jordan and I share an adoration of Oreos (because who doesn't?), and last night, when he was getting a post-dinner treat, we decided to blow India's mind and introduce her to Oreos.

We gave her one. She looked at it. She turned it over and around. She patted it. It took her a while to decide to pull it apart.

And here I'd like to ask how you eat your Oreos, if you do.

Because they both immediately scraped the white stuff out of the middle and ate that. In fact, India was not much interested in the cookies. We've held off on sweet stuff for her, so I think she sees cookies as kind of a novelty.

I don't remember scraping the white stuff out as a kid, although I think that's what kids do in the commercials. Do most kids do this?

Me, I have never been particularly interested in the white stuff, and the idea of Double Stuff cookies grosses me out.  Actually, mostly I scrape out the white stuff and get rid of it and just eat the cookie. I like to dip it in tea.

I am, however, going on an Oreo detox shortly. Because this is ridiculous.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Been caught stealing, once when I was 5. I enjoy stealing. It's just as simple as that...

Currently a member of the Curious Gang
My Jordan is a sweet boy. He's big and strong for his age, but he still sucks his thumb.

He likes his blankie and snuggling in your lap when you read to him and taking baths with his sister. He hugs his little friends. Whenever he gets near a sandbox or dirt, he immediately begins digging a foundation.

A foundation for what? Just a foundation. Duh.

He smiles a lot, gives kisses, and says things like, "Sleep tight!" to India before she goes to bed. He gets all bashful when we run into the day care woman that he still has a huge crush on.


He's been fighting at school.

The other day I arrived to pick him up and his teacher was putting ice on the start of a huge bruise on his cheek. One of the other boys - his frenemy - had pushed him and he'd fallen into something. And now he has a shiner.

But Jordan does his share of pushing. And hitting. He and this frenemy, who I'll call Duke, like to lay down on the floor and kick each other. They think it's funny. But they get into hitting and pushing and one of them gets hurt. Sometimes there is a third boy in the mix.

Yesterday, however, when I arrived to pick him up, they told me that he hit one of his after-care teachers.

When he does things he knows he shouldn't, and he gets called out on it, he laughs. I think he's embarrassed. But the laughter upset the teacher.

It turns out that she broke up a fight between Duke and him and then Jordan hit her. He's a few months from turning four. He's still a little boy. But he's a big little boy. And he's old enough to know not to hit.

Now, whenever he gets in trouble in school, he has to apologize. It's uncomfortable for him, and he realizes the magnitude of things when he has to look an adult in the eye and say he is sorry for whatever particular thing he has done.

I was originally thinking his little frenemy Duke is a thug, but I now recognize Jordan is just as culpable. He wouldn't behave so badly if he didn't have an instigator, but the fact is that he's still behaving badly, and now on a fairly regular basis.

Yesterday I came to the conclusion that he and Duke, who is a bright kid, get kind of bored, and then they start fighting.

But I also immediately had this vision of Jordan as a teenager stealing cars and setting cats on fire and spray painting gang signs on the sides of buildings.

What do I do to stop this bad behavior?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wife. Synonyms: helpmate, helpmeet, lady, little woman, madam, missus (or missis), Mrs., old lady, wifey, woman. According to Mirriam-Webster.

So, I've been thinking about polygamy lately. Which makes me feel totally guilty.

Not in the, wow, that would make up for the threesomes I never had in college! kind of way. Or because my wifely demands are such that I feel they should be shared.


It is mainly because I would like to have a wife to exploit. There. I said it. Isn't that awful? She'd be some very nice person who would marry us because she thought we were very nice people, or for whatever reason it is that you get married.

I mean, I know why I got married. And a big part of it was because he is, in fact, a very nice person. And he is a terrific husband and a wonderful father. But he is not a wife.

I want a wife.

Actually, exploit is strong. I want a wife to be home when I can't. I want a wife to make dinner because I hate to, although I don't mind cleaning up. I want a wife for company, and to move the car or to stay home with the kids while I run out to get some groceries or whatever.

I don't need a trophy wife. Particularly because trophy wives, by definition, aren't helpful, right? Just beautiful? No. Definitely not a trophy.

I would like someone cool to  hang out with. Who maybe had similar taste in fiction, so we could talk about.

And you know, I regularly wonder how, how HOW do Mormons manage all those children with no alcohol or caffeine?

Here I should note that I do realize that the polygamous Mormons are in the minority. Even though Big Love made it seem like they were everywhere. Selmer! Selmer! I miss Big Love. I do.


I have, you see, been a single parent for a couple days. Which is not very long in the parenting scheme of life. But India, dollop of delight that she is, feels compelled to scream like her fingernails are being ripped out somewhere between 1:00 and 3:00 am. Every. Goddamn. Night.

And Jordan, my Jordan, who used to sleep until 8 am, now wakes up at 5:45. Because there is so much fun to be had! We need to start having it as early as possible!

The good thing is that Nick sleeps on the side near the door, and also, he's the more fun parent. And so when Mr. Lookin'-fer-Fun arrives and sticks his face one inch from that of one of the sleeping parents, it is not mine.

Nick describes it as a rather disconcerting way to wake up. Eyeball to eyeball.

Jordan woke me up this morning, however, with cars in hand and a plaintive, "Mommy! Where is Daddy? I can't find Daddy anywhere!"


And on top of all of this, Betty gallivanted off to France last week with a childhood friend, one of her North Dakota ladies. They signed up for a week-long tour of Provence, and then booked another week to just hang out.

How delightful does that sound? I want to gallivant off to there!

What I've realized is that while Nick gets home after the kids are in bed, I'm so used to not being alone. My mom and I typically get the kids fed and I get them bathed and then we divide them up for bed.

Even when we don't...I'm not alone. I like not being the only adult at home.

Now, of course I was and am all excited for her to have two weeks in France. Excited and oh, yay, hope she is having so much fun and she should totally relax and come back next week at her leisure and also all, PLEASE COME BACK ASAP I MISS YOU THESE CHILDREN ARE KILLING ME I NEED MY MAMA.

I haven't said that to her, of course. Mainly because we've had no contact. I figure she is having so much fun she does not have time to check in.

And also, she firmly believes that her email lives on her home computer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Um, no.


"Yes, sweetheart?"

"Where is Daddy?"

"I think he had to poop."

"Oh. Is he outside?"



"Yes, honey?"

"We need some more stuff. Could you get my parking lot from downstairs?"



"Yes, love?"

"When I sit down my pee-pee squeezes out of my diaper onto my bottom."

"Ewww. Let's take off your night diaper."

"I want to keep wearing it. Can I wear it to school?"

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hello, hello, baby, you called? I can't hear a thing...

Dear India,

You are now 13 months old, and you are hilarious, relentless, exhausting, and delightful.

Seriously, you have an agenda, all the time. You totter quickly through the kitchen on your way to the background to destroy Jordan's train tracks. You confidently tippie-toe your way into the bathroom to stick your hand in the toilet.

You know what you want, even if you don't know how to say it. You point imperiously at things, and then shriek if we don't get them to you fast enough.

You can now say Mama, Daddy, Nana, buh-bye, ball (bah! BAH!) and Aiyya, which I'm pretty sure is Jordan. 

You absolutely love to go out on walks, and you'll march over, pick up your hat, and bring it over, trying to put it in. Hat! Walk! NOW! If we don't respond fast enough you're all, "HAT! IMBECILES! THIS IS MY HAT! CHOP CHOP!"

As soon as you learn to talk and snap your fingers, I'm sure you're going to be all, "Blueberries, stat!" Snap, snap!

Jordan has taken to putting his toys up on the counters, ostensibly so you won't choke on them. We all know that you're not about to choke on a garbage truck. But we also know that your forays into everything that is his drive him up the wall.

Last week, for the first time, you grabbed a toy from him and then very stubbornly would not let go. To his credit, he didn't clock you. He got upset and said, "Mommy! India isn't sharing!" And boy-howdy, you WEREN'T.

For the most part, though, the two of you have a great time together.  Jordan loves it when we pick you up from day care, and he delights in pushing your stroller. This does mean that you very narrowly avoid crashing into trees and cars and your stroller gets stuck against walls and the curb. But you're both closely supervised enough that nothing huge happens.

Yesterday we all went on a traditionally Daddy-Jordan adventure to the marina. It was sprinkling and you didn't care. You sat down on a wet dock, and you didn't care. Your butt and your feet were soggy, and life was grand.

This makes me suspect that you are your father's daughter and I am not going to wind up with a shopping buddy after all. Unless Jordan discovers a fondness for it, which seems unlikely.

Anyway, the marina. The river. The airport. You were astounded, pointing and squealing. Water! Boats! Ducks! Planes! Whoa! What is all this? Awesome! We walked to the end of a dock, watching the boats, and you did your very best to wriggle out of you father's arms and leap into the water.

You're a menace. I'm not kidding.

I realized what city kids we are raising when we first saw the ducks yesterday, and Daddy said, "Ducks!"

And Jordan said, "And garbage cans!"

Love you love you love you,


Friday, May 17, 2013

Touch to believe, 80's delight, and my Midwestern roots

  1. I came across this bra at Target. I didn't quite know how to think about it. I'm going to assume that the invitation "touch to believe"is aimed at the potential purchaser.  Like, reach over, touch this on the hanger, and then try it on and be all thrilled that it's that comfortable and strapless or whatever.

    Because I'm fairly cavalier about my breasts, such as they are, and even so I wouldn't walk around with that kind of open invitation.
  2. A friend of mine gave me this fabulous spiky bracelet, which the teenager inside of me jumped up and down and screamed over. Do you know how hard I would've loved that in the 80s? With my Cyndi Lauper shaved hair and my neon green Relax shirt and my Billy Idol sneer (which I can still do, in case you're wondering)?

    Do you know how much my son loves it? So much. Sometimes he wears it, and sometimes he just kind of caries it around like his Precioussssss.

    And sometimes he adds it a tower of his today-favorite things:
  3. In the favorite things category, I got new sneaks for the Out of Darkness walk, which at this point is two weeks(!) away.
    I'm working my way through thank-you notes. I'm still overwhelmed and so very touched by the incredibly generous and kind response I've gotten. I mean, I upped my goal to $6,000, and I've almost hit it, which I find incredible.

    I've also received notes from people who are not in a position to give money, and have written to offer emotional support. It makes my heart happy. People are beautiful and amazing.

    A friend asked me the other day about how I'm training for it, and I was all, "Training? Huh." It never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to walk 18 miles, overnight or no.

    Basically, I'm operating on the assumption that my general fitness level and my extreme Midwestern-Scandinavian stubbornness will carry me through.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I'm so sorry to have left you with that last post for too long. I know it was icky.

So. It got worse around our house before it got better.

It's been a long time since I've asked you a hypothetical, and in fact, the stellar paisley jacket one is the only one I can remember, so let me put one to you now.

Say you'd seen your wife suffer terribly with the aforementioned stomach affliction for nigh on four days. And so, on Friday morning, after having been up all night yourself, when you were complaining of the same affliction, and she handed you yogurt and expressed sympathy, and then suggested that you limit yourself to stuff that would be easy on your stomach that day, like maybe toast, would you:
  1. Heed her advice, because she's been through it?
  2. Heed her advice, because you know about the BRAT - bananas, rice, applesauce, toast - diet for diarrhea and upset stomach?
  3. Heed her advice, because why the fuck not?
  4. Go to the nearest deli for lunch, because after all, all you had for breakfast was yogurt, and get a giant pastrami, cheese and sauerkraut sandwich? And then be up all night Friday, and complain about it Saturday but insist that food had nothing to do with anything?

Just wondering.

Friday, May 10, 2013

All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand – which I've been washing a lot lately. Along with the other one. I wash them both. I promise.

After posting I realized that I actually ought to preface this tale with the following: It's really gross. You might not want to read it.

If you have a child, and if that child has ever been out in the world with other human children, or if you don't have a child but have ever seen one in its natural habitat, you know that children are filthmongers.

They feed each other rat-walked-on wood chips in the park. They take their stuffed animals swimming in the toilet when you're not looking. They taste everything you don't want them to, like railings, car keys, signposts.

And then they call broccoli yucky. The hell?

I know for a fact that if they find chewed gum on the sidewalk they will pick it up and chew it, because I myself did this. Actually, my friend Natasha found it, started chewing it, and then gave me half. We both remarked on how sandy it was. Probably because we were living in Egypt at the time. There was sand everywhere.

Kids are revoltingly disgusting. (Is that redundant? I don't care.)

Listen. If they have the opportunity to stick their hands in their own poop, they will, and then be all, "Hey! Look what I found!"

They basically careen around in the world like wee human lint sticks except instead of lint they attract germs.

And then they come home and rub those germs all over you and stick them in your mouth in the guise of doing something cute and charming like saying, "Hi!" and pointing with their index finger and then you kiss their adorable little finger and BAM! Germs! Transferred!

And then they go sit in the corner and cackle maniacally.

I'm kidding about that last part. Because what they actually do is get down on the floor and find a hard, shriveled noodle from three days ago and promptly shove it in their mouth.

And what this all leads up to is this: India had about a week of diarrhea. Which I mistakenly attributed to milk.

Because we had the throwing up with the milk, so I put her back on formula while figuring out what to do. And then her tummy got better, and then we started slowly introducing milk - not a lot, but enough to see.

And then she started having diarrhea.

Since she's a baby, and since she will, given the opportunity, handle in her own feces, I know it won't currently embarrass her if I share details. (SCATOLOGY ALERT! Maybe a little too late, now that I think about it.)

Also, I'm sharing her details so I don't have to share mine.

Sometimes it was normal diarrhea, whatever that may be. And sometimes it was the kind of diarrhea that seems like pee, except that you know that it is not because it's brown and smells like mushroom soup would if you covered it and then left it in a warm place for like two weeks.

So there was that. We changed a lot lot lot of diapers. She was up a lot at night. We were up a lot at night. She got a hideous diaper rash. We staggered around like zombies.

And then it was over. But not really.

Because then I got it. And I realized that it sucked more than I knew. I've had approximately six pieces of toast and some noodles since Monday. Oh, and a little cereal.

I'm still afraid to eat, right now, as I type.

But poor little India. I just had no idea how terrible she felt.

Because Monday night, my whole body hurt. My skin hurt. My head hurt. My stomach was upset. I was exhausted. I had chills. I had fever dreams. I thought I was getting the flu.

Tuesday my mom took care of India, while I alternated between bed and bathroom. If I didn't eat or drink, then it was less of an issue. But you know, I'd get hungry or thirsty, as you do, and then...

Wednesday was even more about both places.

Nick called to see how I was feeling and I said, "Pretty crappy!" Which made me laugh which made me almost shit the bed.


I told Nick he's lucky I have cat-like reflexes and excellent sphincter control.

Yesterday, I forced myself to go to the office, because I felt marginally better, and I had a shit-ton (hahahaha...ha...ha) to do.

I wore a maxi-pad so that in the event of a crisis, I'd be able to make it to the bathroom.

Because I'm a smarty-pants. HAHaha...

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

I can still hear the baby grand in the background.

On June 1, I will be walking 18 miles overnight in the 2013 Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk.

When I first heard about it, which was only about a week ago, it struck such a chord. Suicide, as any of you who have been with me for some time know, is all too personal an issue for my family. This month - either May 15 or 16 - marks the four-year anniversary of my dad's death.

You have to agree to raise at least $1,000. As a person who doesn't like to ask others for favors, let alone money, I was nervous when setting up my page. How am I going to get people to give me $1,000?

Nick said, "It's not like you're asking people to give money for you to enjoy yourself in Paris. This is suicide we're talking about. Saving people's lives. Put $2,500 as your fundraising goal."

So I did.

I put a message on Facebook, and quickly raised almost that amount. So I upped my goal. And I upped it again. Because every dollar matters.

If you are able and inclined to donate to the walk, here's my fundraising page. If you are unable to contribute, I so appreciate your kindness and support.

I'm also putting a badge on my sidebar. I hope this doesn't bug people. As Nick said, it's not for Paris.

Initially, I thought I was walking for my dad. And then I realized I'm also walking for my uncle, who I've never talked about here. I'm walking for friends, dear friends, who have attempted suicide and thank God are still with us. I'm walking for the myriad friends I've had over the years who have struggled with depression.

And that's just the people I know.

I'm walking for people who have written to me at LG to thank me for writing about suicide, who have shared their own stories of attempts, of depression. I don't know them in person, but I'm walking for them.

I'm walking for everyone who has ever been touched (and by touched of course I mean brutally shoved and shattered) by the suicide of a loved one. This is a lot of people, with a death by suicide every 14 minutes.

I'm walking to help break the stigma of depression and suicide. When I first started talking about it, when my dad was in the hospital in 2007, nearly 30 years after his first attempt (and that many years of silence on our parts), my dad was livid. It wasn't my life. It was his.

He was ashamed, and he was angry. How dare I talk about it?

I was angry, too. It was my life. And I wasn't ashamed. And I was starting to work to repair the damage wrought by almost 30 years of the possibility of losing my dad at any moment and of maintaining the silence.

I'm so sorry that he never found peace with it, and I hope in death he finally did. One of my goals is to help change the culture around mental illness, so that people do not hide in shame and silence, and so that we do not lose more people to suicide.

So I signed up for the walk, and I posted on Facebook. And I waited nervously.

And then, then donations and messages started pouring in. One close friend, who I hadn't seen for 20 years until a brief afternoon with him and his family last fall, donated and said,"I can still hear the baby grand in the background."

You touch people, and they touch you back, if that makes sense. Or, as one of my textile instructors likes to say about the variability of dyeing (not dying), "Everything affects everything."

These messages have made me cry like I haven't in so long. The fact that so many people - some of whom I have never met in person, and others I haven't seen for 25 years - have donated and said that their hearts are with me - this overwhelms me with gratitude, with solidarity.

When I first signed up - without any thought, which is how I tend to do things, I was energized. And then I got all twitchy. Can I actually walk 18 miles overnight? I know I can walk 18 miles...but overnight? You know, after being up for a day?

So then I sat myself down and said, "Lisa. You spent six months getting up every couple hours and feeding a baby with your boobs. You can certainly put one damn foot in front of the other for 18 miles."

And that, my friends, is how I got started with the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk. And truthfully, the more walkers' stories I read, the more I cannot wait.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Which might formerly have been called, oh, Tuesday. If remarked upon at all.

Typically our weekend nights are much like our weeknights, and we're in bed by 10 or 10:30 because dear God, sleep is precious. And the wee savages are relentless.

But every once in a while, you just have to throw caution to the wind and go ahead and carpe the diem  - or noctem (I looked it up) - as the case may be.

Last Friday, we had a glass of wine after dinner (uh, not so much on the 15-day experiment...but there were extenuating circumstances like children and the Kentucky Derby and the deliciousness of mint juleps, which we may have Cinco de Mayo'd with as well. I do, however plan to try it of these sometime soons.) We sat outside, as it was lovely and clear - Nick in shorts and a t-shirt (Oh! The delightful briskness!) and me in jeans and a down jacket (Brr! It's fucking May motherweatherfuckers!) and then alas, it was  somewhere past 10 pm, which, as I said, is pumpkin time.

Except! Nick made the bold and unexpected proposal of television! He suggested it somewhat furtively, as if proposing we skulk off to do something dirty.

Incautiously, I said, yes, oh, yes! Television. I miss you so.

So we went upstairs and turned on the TV and there on the Netflix screen was the Hunger Games! Do you know how long I've been waiting to see it and haven't because my TV-watching companion AKA husband is never interested? But Nick was amenable!

(And I know this is now such old news, but Peeta was so much cuter when I read the books.)

So suddenly and inexplicably it was midnight(!) and I suggested we finish the movie another time and Nick said, "Let's keep watching. I'll get up with the kids."

The odds were ever in my favor!

It was the parently crazy late hour of 12:30 by the time we were crawling in bed...and then, then although this is not that kind of blog, there was some S-E-X, which I only mention because this was how wild and crazy our night was.

And then it was insanely late and I was all, now that we've been this insanely careless with our sleep, I feel like we should totally inject heroine into our eyeballs.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Fifteen there's still time for you

Did I tell you about my 15-day no-wine experiement?

So, here's the story. I was complaining to my trainer about my previously-flat, post-baby-squishy stomach. And here let me say: It's not large. I know I'm not fat. I'm not trying to annoy anyone or even being all woe is me.

It's more that I used to have a great stomach and not have to work so terribly hard on it, and now I have to do a lot of ab work and it still likes to peek over my pants when I sit down. It would happily just sit in my lap if I let it.

My body has changed in many, many ways since having children. This is the way that annoys me most. Well, this and the boob flaps.

I know I am not alone in this. It's just post-baby body. Although I do know that not everyone's boobs go away.


One evening I texted a friend of mine - my co-yuppie neighbor - and said, "I don't know about you, but I particularly enjoy how my baby-acquired layer of tummy likes to ooze over the top of my pants when I sit."

To which she responded, "Almost as great as the distended nipples. Hard to pick, really."

Which, yah. Good point there. But as my nipples pretty much stay tucked in place, I don't dwell on them so much as the malleable stomach.

So there I was complaining, and he reached over, squoze the squish that I was whining about, and said, "Stop drinking alcohol. And don't eat carbs at night. No wine. No carbs."

And I was all, "I am old I have two children one of them wakes up and screams at night I am tired life is hard and then we drink."

"Fifteen days," was his response. "Just give me 15 days."

How can you say no when someone asks for two weeks of rather modest effort?

Fifteen days. How hard is that?

Nick said he'd do it with me. He thought it was a great idea. But it was Friday. He suggested we wait until after the weekend. I agreed.

Day One was Sunday. Sunday went very well. Off to a rousing start. One day down! Fourteen to go!

On Monday I told Kay about it. She was all, "With two kids. Good for you. Let me know how that works out."

Aaaand on Monday night I texted her:
So Day Two was not a success. Nor was Day Three. She checked in on me last night; Day Four had been terrific, and I was headed to bed.

What I'm trying to decide is this: Should I just start over?

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Don't make me send them to starving eunuchs in Bangladesh, is what I'm saying.

Sometimes I can find the charm in "Maaaaaamaaaa my bath! MY BATH! IS TOO WET! DRY MY HANDS!"

Other times these tragedies arrive on the heels of the dinner struggle (Everything is yucky! Or spicy!) and the no-sharing of toys and some variation of a hysterically shrieked, "India wants to take my socks she's touching my socks pick she up she's going to take my socks!" and my head just melts.

We had gotten to a point where we were doing a lot of fighting and everything - every. thing. - was such a fucking struggle. Breakfast. Shoes. Going to school. Dinner. Bath. Pajamas. Bed. Everything.

At the suggestion of my friend Kay, however, I've been reading Aha! Parenting, and genuinely making an effort to connect and be compassionate and turn situations around so that they are cooperative rather than adversarial. And I have to say, things in our household have definitely improved because of it.

When Jordan does something to be proud of, instead of saying, "Good for you!" automatically, I ask him how he feels.

"Wow, you did that all by yourself! How do you feel?"


Instead of commending Jordan for sharing, I now point out how happy he has made India (or another kid).

"How do you feel?"


The goal, as I understand it, is to make your kid feel safe and loved and make them want to collaborate with you. Instead of doing things you tell them to because they're afraid of punishment or because you've yelled them into it or whatever. And you want them to recognize the feelings of others.

This goes along nicely with our goal of making our kids recognize how lucky they are to have all that they have. They have more than others. We give to others who have less. We share.

Sometimes I am kind of manipulative about it, like when Jordan's cars and trucks are all strewn about and he is refusing to pick up, even when I suggest doing it together, or as a race. And so I must admit that sometimes I posit that maybe he has too many cars and trucks? And maybe we should give some to a kid who doesn't  have a car or a truck? Because there are little kids who don't have cars and trucks, and he has so many that he doesn't want to pick up.

I'm probably setting him up for therapy in some way with this. But it gets the background picked up.

So the positive parenting: No time-outs, no yelling, no threats. You calm yourself down, you let the kid cry if they need to so they can get all their big feelings out, and you work to make things positive.

When I successfully navigate a stressful kid situation, how do I feel? I feel good!

But it is a learning process. Sometimes I manage it nicely.

And sometimes, like the other day when Jordan had snatched several balls from India ("Taking away her toys makes her sad. Look how sad she is.") - balls that he knows we do not throw in the house ("We roll them inside, remember?") and was not only taunting her with them, but also throwing them past her, then running to grab them, after several attempts at calm, positive parenting, I may have lost my mind.