I'll be honest; Motherhood was not an easy transition for me. I know mothers who eased into it with poise and never looked back. I am not one of those mothers.

My most recent full time office job was the peak to my career I had been hoping to find for some time. It was what made the history of bad jobs, hellish bosses, ridiculous commutes, and years of arduous education all worth it. I had finally found the right company and people that came together in perfect alignment. The trust I was handed and ability to thrive in experience seemed to triple each quarter. I never counted the hours, waiting for the day to end. While there were moments of exhaustion after big projects or difficult employee issues to be resolved, I can say I almost always felt a sense of accomplishment and appreciation. I temporarily overcame my anxiety of flying through frequent travel to new places without getting lost or missing a single flight. Perhaps these are the reasons I heard this response when I told people I was pregnant: Was it planned?

Yes, it was planned. The timing in which we had our son was planned. The job description for Mother was something I had not planned.

I reflect often on the hardest classes I had in college and wonder how I passed when my test results were often the letters in the alphabet further away from the first. Then I recall the bell curve grading method. On difficult days of motherhood I remember that bell curve my math teachers would draw on the board and how comforting that would make me feel- almost like a big blanket at the beginning of a semester.

Fortunately, motherhood has a similar learning curve. I am allowed to do some things wrong once in a while, I am allowed to learn from them. My son probably didn’t understand (or remember) those words I might have mumbled (or perhaps shouted) in those initial days and weeks of frustration and fatigue while figuring out this new job.

Similar to my former career, right when I feel like I have things under control, it all changes. That learning curve continues to travels into the front of my mind just as I feel so hopeless, like I wasn't cut out for motherhood. While there are times I consider launching a job search on Monster.com (or Give-Away-My-Monster.com), I take a deep breath and think about the new challenges I am unfamiliar with. What resources I have available to help me get closer to acing this test. Okay, sometimes I cheat and say a little prayer for help. It's usually followed by a moment bigger than words can describe. There have been several, but one of my favorites happened in April.

We went to the botanical gardens and it was probably the only place in all of New York that still had green grass. It seemed to take the usual hour to prepare to leave the house. I imagine I was late meeting friends there and forgot to pack a lunch. It didn't occur to me Zane had never touched grass until I put him on the ground for a picture without his shoes. His little toes wiggled and he dug his fingers into the thick, green blades. He had the most curious look on his face. As I took pictures I choked back tears. This is what it's all about, I thought. Things just seemed so clear and peaceful and pure that moment. I realized how incredibly amazing it was to watch this little body that grew inside of me explore a little part of nature and I got to see it all unfold before my eyes. I think my heart consumed the entire inside of me until it was bursting through my skin at the miracle of this gift. A child I get to nurture and teach and love all day long. Somehow a simple little moment opened my mind to the joys that outweigh the challenges of difficult days. Whatever that feeling was called, it was so far beyond the appreciation and accomplishment of my former life that I vowed to take on a new definition of success. The rest of the day took on a new angle. Zane spitting up all over me each hour didn't aggravate me as much. Stopping frequently throughout the day to nurse didn't seem so disruptive. The dirty dishes in the sink didn't glare at me so strongly. And the dry cleaning, well, Mike likes to work from home in a T-shirt once in a while anyway.

I was able to replace the bell curve with that memory; I keep the picture up in my room so maybe my eyes will catch it on the next bad day.


Thankful List, by Zane

1) I am so thankful my busted lip is healing properly.

2) I am so thankful my mommy cut my hair. It works well with the purple stroller look I am going for.
3) I am so grateful for my abilty to stealthily take dolls away from girls. Hang loose?!

4) I am most grateful for food and drink. And ((grunt)) food exit.


whatever smile i smile the most

I realize few of the pictures I share of Zane involve a smile. He does smile. He does loves us. He does have fun. This week enjoy smiles from some of the best 16 months of my life.

everything nice

nacho bell grande
blueberry and cherry flavored Icee- blue on bottom
cinnamon bears
mint chocolate chip ice cream
beef jerky
junior mints
Mr. Salty Pretzels
Mrs. Grass Soup
strawberry soda, or grape
otter pops- specifically Little Orphan Orange
Fanny May mint meltaways
fun dip
big league chewing gum
grape or watermelon bubble gum
disco fries
hot tamales (the candy, not actual tamales)
7 layered bean dip
spinach artichoke dip, warm
thin mint girl scout cookies, made from real girl scouts
andes candies, but not candies shoes those are so 80's
orange soda
astro pops
mary janes
chocolate fondue with peaches
peach pie, warm
baked potato with the works
egg drop soup
thick chocolate shake
milk duds
almond kisses
peanut m&m's
colgate toothpaste


You'll Dance To Anything by Public Image Ltd.

Celebrity look-a-likes always liven up the day. Today I sat behind one at church. It was like a 2005 version of Johnny Rotton (Lydon). While primary children were singing in sweet harmony I kept expecting this guy to stand up and chant 'ANGER IS AN ENERGY'.



Talking Dirty

Last week I met up with some friends at the NY Botanical Gardens. Once we spotted the rose gardens we parked the strollers and let the kids roam freely. Zane wandered between pink and red rows of blooming, fragrant roses. He also ran through fresh cut grass and down pebbled paths; stumbling over his new shoes here and there. I winced at the fact that I put him in light colored khaki pants, but only for a moment.

I was in labor with Zane the summer of 2004 for 31 hours. During that time I contracted a fever and the decision was made prior to him entering this world that Zane would need to be monitored in the NICU immediately after birth and for days thereafter. With IV pumping into the littlest arm I have ever seen, routine blood work drawn from his heels and arm, I insisted an additional test be taken. This poor little 5-hour-old baby had to have more blood drawn to determine whether or not he was a carrier of the potentially terminal disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Fortunately, within two weeks we learned he did not have SMA. Unfortunately, someone special in our family does.

Cure for grass stains: equal parts liquid dishwashing detergent,
water, and vinegar

Cure for SMA: none

There are no words to describe the gratitude that came with his first grass stains on his trousers.