Friday, March 17, 2017


Raise Good Humans Shirt from Weestructed

Usually, I post these on my birthday or as close to it as possible. Within a week, at most.

Of course, last year I didn't post one at all.

31 was a pretty quiet birthday. I took the day off work and spent a couple of hours reading and enjoying a drink at Barnes & Noble, then Jason and I went to lunch downtown and wandered around being adults that were not trying to manage, herd, feed, or quiet small children.

It was a pretty sweet few hours.

It's a busy month, in every conceivable fashion - at work, at home, on the road trying to figure out just why it is that every single other car seems to be duty-bound to make my drive to work as slow as possible.

My free time, in the evenings after the girls go to sleep, involves a lot of staring at nothing for about fifteen minutes and trying to remember how to focus on a book long enough to finish one.

Ellie has finally accepted the concept of a bedtime and sleeps in her own room, although she's still wide awake at 2 AM just about every night, unwilling to settle herself, content to squawk and make pterodactyl noises until we finally drag ourselves out of bed just to keep her increasing volume from waking up Audra.

Audra also has a disturbing tendency to wake up in the middle of the night still, although that's primarily because she has discovered the ability to remove her own clothing. She'll wake up at 1:30 and rather than, you know, going back to sleep, she'll take off all her clothes instead.

Then she'll get cold, and start calling for someone to come help her put her pajamas back on.

While she has mastered the art of removing clothing, she'll still a bit stymied as to how to get all of them back on.

So, as far as 31 is concerned, there is this:

I have become more focused than ever, in light of the world as it stands these days, in raising my daughters to be outspoken, strident, and demanding of every right they deserve.

I am just as focused on raising them to be compassionate, caring, considerate, and ready and willing to fight for the rights of humankind and the innate dignity and worth of every human being.

Also, I am so so so so tired.

I started using an age-reducing daily moisturizer which does not seem to reduce my age, but it does smell really nice, so I'm calling it a win.

I am so so so so busy.

I did not fall asleep in the bathtub two days ago but I was in there so long that my husband became concerned that perhaps I had.

I am so so so so overcaffeinated.

The Starbucks spring cups have a yellow option with a smiling sun face and that sun seems just irredeemably smug to me. He is mocking my exhaustion, I'm sure of it.

Stupid smiley sun face.

Sometimes, my baby kisses me. Sort of.

It's more like she kind of wipes her mouth on my face?

But, you know, it's a start.

Frankly, Audra's kisses also mostly consist of her using me as some kind of dishtowel, so I'm not really in a position to judge Ellie's.

Oh and I watched a whole movie the other day, so that's somewhat notable.

Audra has been singing the same song over and over for like two and a half weeks now, and it is like a slow Chinese water torture, but damn if she isn't the most adorable water torture on Earth when she's singing.

Welcome to 31.

motherhood stress and stars

Previous posts about my birthday can be found here.

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Hair is Trying to Escape My Life

No, it really is.

Happens every time, of course — I decide it sounds like a good idea to have a baby, I get this head full of hair that I can barely get a comb through, I have said baby, and then four months later all my hair falls out all over everything in my house.

I find it on the dog and the baby, on Audra and sometimes I discover hair on toys or inside the pages of a book. I sweep the floor and discover hair. I don't even look in the bathtub after I shower anymore.

Sometimes I rake a hand back through my hair, intending just to get it out of my eyes, and discover twenty-two individuals hairs just floated away with my fingers.

Yes, it was twenty-two.

I counted.

Just when I start to wonder if I'm really still losing postpartum hair or if I'm actually going totally bald from stress and the aftermath of explaining to Audra for the eighth time why she can't eat the dog's food, no not even "just one bit", the rate of loss begins to slow.

After a while — a month or so — things seem finally to settle.

Oh, sure, huge chunks of that luxurious fast-growing pregnancy hair are gone for good, but what's left...


About that.

What remains on my head sticks out all over the place. It seems to have somehow learned how to work together to spite my comb. It defies me.

It curls up at the ends in weird places but is stick-straight in others. It seems... coarser. It rejects shampoo. It's mean to me. Like all the naive and innocent hair was lost and all that's left is the cynical hair that's seen some things and lived to tell the tale. 

It's like all the good hair got to the seventy-fifth time we watched the same episode of Bubble Guppies and it just. couldn't. do it. again and peaced out and left me with the grizzled old hair that just grits its teeth and mumbles something about how you couldn't possibly get milk from a cow that's also a fish and settles in for the long haul.

What's left is the survivor at the end of a zombie film — damaged by the senseless horde that has overtaken the world but refusing to give up and admit defeat.

My hair stands strong.

It does not give up.

It does not surrender.

It badly needs a haircut and a drink.

At this rate, I've become a bit concerned that my hair will be stronger than the stylist's scissors.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

I Live in a Haunted House

Everywhere I go, I am haunted.

Every room has its own little ghosts, its own very special spirit I can't escape. 

Oh, they're not the spirits of the departed... our house was built in 1992, there hasn't been all that much time for the departed to gather. Plus, I find most haunted houses sort of look haunted on the outside, as though they've been preparing to host ghosts since the day they were built. 

My childhood house had that sort of look — it looked like the kind of home that might maintain a ghost or two.

No, our house in its cheerfully jaunty little yellowness is not a house prone to actual ghosts.

Instead, I am haunted in my own home by tiny socks.

Oh, never two of the same pair - that'd be too easy. Then I could simply fit them back together or toss them into the wash and trust them to stick together, which you'd think they would want to do.

Instead I find one tiny itty bitty Ellie-sock stuck in a corner underneath one of Audra's books. I might not see the other half of the pair for two weeks, then come across it sitting out in plain sight in the middle of the living room floor, as if to taunt me.

I see one of Audra's striped socks on the floor of our bedroom, pick it up to put it in the "loose sock box", and move on with my day, only to forget about it entirely until I find the other one a few days later. Heading back to the loose sock box to put the pair back together, I find the original sock inexplicably missing. So I put the sock in the box and then forget about it.

Rinse and repeat.

We're not great at keeping up with our own socks, and they're four to six times the size of the girls'. I tend to find Jason's socks and my own in literally every room of the house at any given time. It's not because we necessarily leave them there, either — Audra has a tendency to make her own choices as to where certain things belong, and her logic rarely matches up with ours. I've been known to ask her about a pair of socks I've been searching for for two months, only to have her happily go grab them from inside a cabinet in the kitchen, handing them to me with the smug assurance of any child who legitimately just outsmarted a grown adult.

Sometimes we simply run out of clean matched socks, just flat run out of them, for Audra. I send her to school in mismatched ones and sort of hope no one notices, then come home from work and find six or seven pairs simply... lying underneath her bed.

Let me point out that those socks weren't there four days ago, when I cleaned under there.

So I continue to stumble across the little things, continue to scramble to find a pair for Ellie to wear in the morning even as I know very well Ellie should have enough socks to go a full two weeks before we'd run out, continue to just shrug and let Audra wear whatever mismatched notion she takes into her own mind.

I continue to be followed throughout my own home by a trail of itty bitty little socks.

Honestly, there are days I'd prefer an actual ghost.