ate things

I have really enjoyed becoming part of the gluten-free blog community with my sister-in-law Melanie. It's been so fun to get emails from people newly (and not so newly) diagnosed celiac, answer their questions, and generally hand-feed them recipes we have found to be tasty for The Celiac People.

I have also loved becoming part of a community of niche bloggers that are joining the same cause of sharing their findings for the sake of just sharing. We have found friendly commenters and sidebar linkers generous in their blog-friendships. I am so glad I take a little time out of my personal life to snap a shot of some food and post it on a regular basis. I am most glad for Melanie's contributions because she actually knows how to cook and does it well. Thanks to her, we don't have to have tacos for dinner every night.

That said, this post is for Gluten Free Gobsmacked who tagged us to write about eight things you might not know. Here is my list:

1) As a kid I refused jelly on my PB&J, loved to drink the pickle juice from the jar, and put ketchup on my mashed potatoes.

2) I crack my knuckles when I am nervous. And tuck my hair behind my ear when I blush.

3) I am more comfortable entering a room/group full of men than I am a room/group full of women.

4) I was a lot more fun to be around before I became a mother.

5) I have never been drunk.

6) I always wished I had brown eyes (mine are blue) and knew my whole life I would marry a man who had them.

7) I love the scent of rubber cement, a perm, gasoline, fresh box of crayons, film development chemicals.

8) Someday I am going to have the time available in my life to dedicate myself to a band and we are going to record something awesome. I will be the drummer. I hope my husband will be the bass player.


we get to live our lives now

I was not even an occasional reader of Erma Bombeck, but there was a list that crossed my desk at work once via email I have never forgotten. It was a piece she wrote after she found out she had cancer. She essentially beat that, but later died due to complications with a kidney transplant.

Her words below remind me to not worry about the little things and enjoy life more.

Her list is why I was able to invite a friend over for brownies this week even though my sink was filled with dirty dishes and my kitchen floor still needed to be mopped.

My day was much better spent visiting with a friend instead of cleaning the way I do (almost) every day.

If I Had My Life To Live Over
by Erma Bombeck

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room, and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment, and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s.”. More “I'm sorry’s”.

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute ... look at it and really see it ... live it ... and never give it back.


i really need to write about something else already

You know when you are in line for a roller coaster ride, a huge one, and you wonder why you got in line for it. The people you are with are all playing it cool and chatting it up while your stomach is twisted in knots and you want to puke. You hear the people screaming as the cars whiz past you at lightening speed, but you still stand in line talking your lunch into staying down and trying to relax and pretend it's going to be fun. Even though you are still trying to figure out how the hell you got in this line to begin with.

It's finally time to pick a car, you choose blue and pull the safety bar down. Now that you committed to riding this damn thing, you actually find yourself excited. You can't sit still from jittery nerves, you tap your toes and can't stop smiling as you hold tightly to the bar over your lap.

Then it starts to move and you think of going down that big drop, how you will scream and smile and throw your hands up in the air with sheer exhilaration while having the piss scared out of you.

You hear the click, click, click as you are going up. Seems a lot higher than you imagined, but you're totally stoked. At this point the excitement has far outweighed the fear.

Then the ride stops before you get to look down and see the drop. The car starts creeping backwards, slowly, to the starting line. You have to get out of the car and get back in line while other people take your place who were waiting in line behind you.

Like the sweet Indian family who rode the elevator up with me to the labor and delivery floor last night. She got to be induced yesterday and I got to go back home to wait in line. Again.


I just know when I finally get admitted and settled for the long haul it will be 1966 again, a love as big as Wembley. I will have my fists in the air shouting GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!


tick. tick. tick.

Me and the milk share the same due date today.

So...I know many of you reading have either been through the transition to two + kids or have watched other people (friends/ relatives) make the transition. I would love your advice- it's completely solicited today. But only today.

The best I have heard so far (thanks Peyta) is that your first is always your first. It's the only role they have known, so take care of their needs first, where possible, and then tend to the next one. I hear it also cuts down on that two kids crying at the same time bit.



I wish I had the energy, time, and resources to start a positive news website. I hate checking CNN every day because it reminds me this world is burning to oblivion and the end is near. Which isn't necessarily the case, awesome things and miracles happen all the time. I want to hear about those, too. The uplifting things that make you smile, not the tragic stuff of people burning in hot air balloons. While that sucks for the dead and their loved ones, and while it's a random twist of events that doesn't happen so often, it doesn't need all the coverage it's getting.

There have to be other stories more amazing to report on. I am sure there was a little baby somewhere who survived a major surgery and recovered in ways that can only be explained as a miracle.

Perhaps there is a Hollywood couple madly in love and celebrating lots of years of marriage with no suspicion of infidelity.

A new family moving into a home built by Habitat for Humanity.

A major medical discovery that will bring hope to a disease that needs a cure.

A child adopted into a loving family.

Teenagers making right decisions and participating in the community.

We really do live in a place where lots of things are going alright and not falling apart. While I am aware it is important to have an awareness of the world around me, especially some of the bad, the negative doesn't need to dominate the headlines every single day.

I know, I need to shut it and just watch Oprah.



If I was a boy I would totally have the biggest crush on Sarah Silverman and pretty much stalk her until she agreed to marry me. Or at least agreed to be my best friend. Good thing I am not a boy or Mike would be so screwed taking care of the 2 kids while I took on a new identity as a stalker. And boy would he have one hell of a time trying to nurse the new one.

She's just hilariously inapprorpiate.

Note to my mother and mother-in-law, you will probably not find he movie clips available at this website very funny. Fair warning.

New season starting October 3rd at Comedy Central.



So....I have been thinking a lot about this whole breastfeeding situation. How reluctant I was to the idea of me doing it initially. No, sicked out is the more accurate description.

I will never forget leaving the parking garage from the hospital with Mike after we attended their breastfeeding class during my final trimester with my first pregnancy. I burst into tears of guilt for feeling so awkward about the idea of using that certain area of my sacred body to feed another person. An area that truthfully lured my husband's interested eyes into dating me (I swear he is not a perv, he liked a lot of other things about me too!). It's just that it's a section of the female frame that, whether we like it or not, is a sexual part of our lives as women.

And while I understood the best thing for my baby to drink would be breast milk and the class did a great job of emphasizing this, it still felt like we were a bunch of strangers sitting in a room watching soft-core porn. DOZENS of boobs openly exposed on the t.v. left me feeling rather uncomfortable. Because when else in your life do you sit in a room full of men and women you have never met and watch boobs? Um, never. So all of a sudden it's alright and normal, natural? I didn't think so.

It wasn't until my final weeks of pregnancy that I began to feel maternal and imagined my chest as just a couple of straws. I would have to trick my brain if I really wanted to give nursing a shot. This was what helped my mind prepare myself to becoming a feeding machine, nothing short of a human with udders, I mean, straws.

It went smoothly, not too painful and not as awkward as I thought. I even became that mother who nursed in public without a second thought. As for the videos, I was immediately reminded of each technique demonstrated when I was trying to figure it out with my baby. I admit that it was helpful to have seen the women in that video latch and unlatch. The advice from that class was probably the most beneficial of all received for my transition to Mommy.

When I have been around others who are nursing their newborns I have come to realize it still feels strange to the me who isn't actually at a nursing stage of my life. The idea of someone's exposed chest just makes me want to escape. It's just so bizarre to the non-nursing person that boobs are okay to be pulled out when a kid is involved, right in the middle of conversation. Now I guess I know how non-nursing people feel when they were/ will be around me during a feeding. Hey, what was I saying cos your boob is out and I really don't want to see it and now someone is eating from it and this is strange.

And I am about to become that lady in the conversation busting out a straw for my kid and thinking not much about it. And that's strange to me in my mind. Even though I know it will feel all natural and normal and necessary in the moment. I guess the best way to describe the transition is like all of a sudden they are just like our elbows. Or temporary prosthetic attachments (i.e. the straw idea works well this way). Completely unsexual in nature and thoroughly available for nonstop baby feeding. Which leads to excited visits to the pediatrician letting you know your baby is thriving. Then you feel like a rock star cos no one else can make that baby thrive the way mama's milk can.


potassium salt of tartaric acid

Still here, even after a little false alarm that provided an opportunity for us to do a full-on dress rehearsal that landed us back at home. With that, I will share a little memory that made me laugh to/at myself this week.


It's no secret I am not so talented in the kitchen. He knew this going into the courting experience as I attempted several botched meals he choked down with a smile or even helped me salvage to an edible state. We are okay with my lack of cooking skills, it has given us much opportunity in our marriage to laugh.

Early in our marriage I once was attempting to try a new recipe from a cookbook, something I had not tried to do before. It called for several ingredients I did not have, some I had never used before. I wrote these ingredients on my grocery list in addition to the rest of our regular needs. I felt excited for the planning and prep I normally didn't spend time doing before shopping, I felt like a successfully organized wife!

Upon my return Mike perused the bags and commented eagerly on this snack and that, little suprises he would be excited to eat throughout the week. As I put things away he got REALLY excited about me getting shrimp. With our food budget at the time, that would have certainly been a big luxury. Confused, I asked what he was talking about. I had not put shrimp in the cart, nor did I bag it or place it into the car. I saw he was holding up the jar of Tartar Sauce I did buy and assumed I got shrimp for it.

I replied, "No, it's this new recipe I am trying out this week. It calls for Cream of Tartar but the closest thing I could find was tartar sauce. Same thing, right?"



I need some warm fuzzies today, so I thought I would spend a moment highlighting some recent happy moments.

1) For my birthday present this year I told my husband I want 24 hours to myself outside of the house where I would not be in charge of making or cleaning food for anyone else. I wanted to have 24 hours of no responsibility. Nothingness. I didn't care if it was a 24 hour round-trip train ride or solitude confinement. I just wanted a calm before my pending storm of changing life. We worked together on a plan and landed with my sister and I in an awesome hotel in Union Sqaure in San Francisco. I would recommend such a break for everyone.
My sister flew out to take my mommy break with me in July. We slept in, shopped, ate food prepared by the hands of other people, and tended to ZERO children. Not only was it an awesome break, but we got to have uninterrupted sister time to laugh and talk in ways we have not had the opportunity to do in years.
2) My friends. They rock. They took me out for a yummy Thai dinner and delicious diner dessert to celebrate my unborn baby. We laughed the night away and shared stories about everything. I got a special arrangement of bright flowers and a generous gift certificate to H&M. None was expected or necessary, so it all made me feel so loved and supported. I love that I don't believe any of them shop at H&M, but they knew me well enough to know that's where I like to get my baby clothes and even suggested that I splurge on myself after I have the baby. It feels good to have friends to laugh with, that know me, and are thinking about me. I hope I am just as good of a friend to each of them; and to my far away friends as well.

3) Two friends I rarely talk to called me to check in. My friend Debra in FL and my older neighbor across the street (who was a bit nuts about my lemons earlier this year, but I forgive). It just felt so good to be thought of randomly when I least expected a call. On both conversations we shared stories and laughed and just checked in with each others' lives. I need to initiate those kinds of calls myself more often.

I don't know why, but waiting to give birth has been such a lonely feeling lately. I guess because no one else can do it for me or really tell me exactly how it's going to go. It's nice to remind myself lots of people do this, hey we all got here by being birthed! It's no big deal, right? Then why am I so scared.


waiting for guffman

Here are various photos I have collected from different months this year. It's a sad wardrobe collection for the most part.

Early December: Not aware yet that we are expecting. I can't wait to get back into those jeans.
January: The only photo of me the whole month is my nap with Zane.
February: This was my favorite regular shirt, we miss each other terribly
March: Loved H&M shopping in larger size. Hated them for not having maternity in CA.
April: What would become my fav maternity shirt, even after it got a hole in it.

May: My favorite skirt ever- cjane will know the love.
June: Comfort officially takes precedence over appearance. My shirt is like 3x too big.
July: Oh, how I wore this shirt thin.
August: Stick a fork in me, this kid is done cooking.


But trust me on the sunscreen...

Today as I stood in line w a y longer than I wanted to at Ace Hardware store, I thought of how impatient I have become waiting in lines. It's not so much the actual time that goes by while legitimate transactions need to happen, it's the NONSENSE conversations happening around me. Does that cashier REALLY care about your father's birthday party and why you only feed your dog this brand of dogfood? No. And neither do I, so let's get going.

I just honestly don't think these conversations have any purpose. Friendly? I can smile with the best of them, but it's really not necessary for you to ask me when I am due, what the gender is, and if it's my first. I will probably never see you again as long as I live. Maybe it makes your day go by faster, to make small talk with the people that come through your line. Maybe you are genuinely curious and your mouth opens before you realize it and the things you wonder pop out into conversation. Hey, that happens to me all the time, just with people I might see again. People with whom it makes sense to establish the entry conversation for a potential friendship or meaningful acquaintance.

The truth is, when shopping anywhere I don't feel like talking; or listening to other people who don't know each other talking. I want to get out of the store as fast as I can. Okay, so maybe standing in one spot for a while with an extra 20 (cough) plus pounds for my lower back to support might make the whole experience a little much for my patience sometimes. Do I have this fabulously exciting life waiting for me outside of the grocery store? Not at all. I have a rather dull and routine life, but you better believe I would rather be sitting on the pot or sweeping the freaking floor again instead of hearing another 4 pointless conversations as I wait in line to get back to my mundane existence, which happily excludes florescent lighting. I try to not grit my teeth and to not be so obvious while I imagine my eyes burning holes in the back of your head like I am The Firestarter. I really work hard to prevent myself from getting to the boiling point where I just want to stomp my feet and shout NO ONE CAAAAAAAARES! JUST MOVE ALOOOOOOOOOONG ALREADY!


Remember that song Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) that we all thought came from a great MIT graduation speech? It didn't. It was an essay written by Mary Schmich published in a column of the Chicago Tribune in 1997. She basically indulged in the idea of what her commencement speech would be if she was invited to deliver one. I am often reminding myself of this section of the essay:

"Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft."

I am pretty sure I lived in New York too long.
So, how long before Northern California can begin to undo the damage?


a tale of cheap meat

As long as I can remember, I have always taken my food very seriously. Seriously as in nothing should come between my fork and my mouth at any time until my plate is empty and I have declared seconds are not to be. Interruptions of any sort are not welcome. I don't like to have conversation while eating because the food will get cold. I eat way too fast and indulge in grand portions if it's something delightful. I love food.

This love affair with food is especially wonderful during most parts of pregnancy for me. The enhanced sense of smell turns it into magical moments when few things are more desirable. Sometimes there will be aversions, sometimes fixations that exits for a period of time. Last time around Salisbury steak was one of those fixations.
It was all I could think about. Unless going out to a diner, it was hard to come by. But that wouldn't stop me. I became a frequent flyer by the frozen food section and kept my freezer well stocked with any and every frozen food variety of Salisbury steak. Any would do, but if I had to rank a first place winner, it would be the Hungry-Man version. Unlike its competitors, it usually left me most satisfied without the need for a second dinner.
It's a good thing I have a husband who can stand by and accept this part of who I am, knowing some sick fixations like this one would eventually fade with time. Even though I am convinced if it were not for one fateful evening, I might still be seen scarfing the rubbery hunk of heavenly meat dripping with brown sauce and small mushrooms parts. oh you know you want some.

As for that fateful evening.....(queue mystery music)

We were going out to dinner with a friend. We were all dressed and ready to go when I thought I could heat up a quick appetizer of the lovely Salisbury steak (Ss) before we left while someone went to use the restroom. I didn't plan on eating all of it, just a few bites. I would take any amount I could cram into my mouth before they were ready to walk out the door. Oh, just in case the food at the restaurant didn't have anything I wanted, at least I knew I could walk in partially satisfied. I didn't want to wait too long for the Ss fix I had been dreaming about all day.
I got caught. Mike saw what I was trying to do and gave a little grumble. He didn't want to wait for the 7 minutes for it to cook and then for me to eat it. After all, we were GOING OUT to eat! Surely there would be food I could find edible to order from the menu. He had a good point, I pulled the little plastic tray out of the microwave with a pout and sadly wrapped it up. But I gave it a secret smile, for I planned to devour its deliciousness as soon as we returned home.

My meal there was not stellar and my quench for the Ss had not been fulfilled, so I was in the fridge before the guys even walked through the door frame. They went to play video games while I had my eating date I had longer for all evening. I reheated it and took a big, gravy-filled bite. Somehow in all the commotion and interruption from my initial heating of the Salisbury steak dinner I got the times for cooking it all wrong. My bite was half frozen.

And with that, it was all over. My 30 day love affair with Salisbury steak had ended. But it will always hold special memories in my heart.


you can't have too many lines

Listening to music really gets my mind spinning and inspires my desire to write. If I listened to music more often my fingers wouldn't be able to keep up with the words I would want to type. Good thing I have a life, a family, and other things to do- ay?

I dusted off an old cd, The Beautiful South, recently and forgot how much I love it. How each songs takes me to a different place, soaring through various paths in my mind. Taking me by the hand and allowing me to wander aimlessly. The song that always gets a few extra notches to the right of the volume dial is Prettiest Eyes.

It's the kind of song I think anyone can relate to. He sings about remembering specific moments with someone over years of a relationship. Some memories more profound (and then we cried), while others are like little nuggets of detail the other person might not even remember (I could hear the faintest beat of your heart).

Today it got me thinking about what my own Prettiest Eyes song would be like. We all have them, former romances that were building blocks for our hearts to eventually land us with our lover for life. The one that is the best fit for us and won the grand prize: The Hand in Marriage. The past people totally needed to exist in my journey so I could realize how valuable this (ultimately eternal) mate is and to hold on tight and win him over! And although the others couldn't hold a candle to my Valentine for Life, there are still memories of my younger years that are glitter on the pages of my internal scrapbook. And I think it's okay to keep the book on the shelf in a closet, it just doesn't belong on the coffee table.

The past people, be them friends or X's, were an important part of my life at one time and are not thought of so often. But they are still part of the memory that's enjoyable to visit once in a while. The way a stray, crusty old leaf tumbles across your path. It makes you smile for a split-second and remember the season is changing. But it doesn't trip you up or even break your stride. Makes you take a look around and appreciate the leaves yet to fall. The memories in the making and still to come in your present life.

I think of the silly things I remember about people or experiences and wonder if that same moment left an imprint with the other person, too. Or if I am altogether long forgotten.

And then the song is over and I am bringing my Target bags into the house and it doesn't matter. And that makes me smile even bigger for a lot longer than a split-second.


A Regular Thursday

I spent time with a newer friend of mine today at the park. Her son is similar in curiosity and busyness as mine, but he is younger. It got me thinking back to the times before the 2 year mark when I was still decoding what kind of kid I had.

Although they tell you not to compare your child to others, you do. There is not really a measuring stick to gauge if he is on track or not, you have to do some digging of generalities for age and gender. But that information still did not stop me from wondering why mine had such a hard time sitting in a circle with the other children for 15 minutes to sing songs. I wondered what I was doing wrong, if I didn't have enough routine in his life. I would leave feeling frustrated at how uncooperative he was and feeling like a failure as a mother for having The Distracting One. I had these experiences/ feelings often, beyond the singing time event.
A good conversation with a friend who has a background in child development helped me understand my son a lot better. She helped me realize that perhaps going to the park, for example, might just be a better outlet for him. He just simply might not be ready (and clearly was not interested) in a singing time/ group circle time. She said to give it time. I let go of the list of character traits I had mentally collected and expected of him.
I realized he has all this potential in areas that are already strengths and natural to him (physical) and with time and patience I found ways to incorporate little routines and reading times that required a little more attention and sitting still. With age, he did naturally grow more interested in those moments. Our relationship as son and mother grew leaps and bounds. Not because he could sit still for a few moments, but because I gave him the space to be ready for it and let him be him. Because I found him to be wonderfully different in energy and stopped trying to force a circle into a square.
Today it was nice to reflect back on that learning process as a mother and feel good about the past year. It was the terrific two's with some typical terribles, but all in all my favorite year as a mother so far. I actually have days where I feel guilty that my husband has to work while I get to play and talk to our son and teach him about squirrels, reflections, taking turns, and playing nice. The old me had frequently leaned towards envy that Mike got to hang with adults, make corporate decisions, get annual reviews with raises, and eat lunch all alone if he wanted to.
Today I got to hang out with my son and I smiled a lot more than usual remembering how I let myself learn about him instead of trying to shape him into someone else. He's a fabulously busy little boy whose curiosity is leading him into a life of knowledge. It's completely awesome to be next to him, holding his hand, in this process together.


my boy

I have been to children's hospitals before. It's like everyone is walking around with poker faces on. I try to hand out smiles to every child I pass. You know every parent is at heightened levels of pain or grief and I always wish there was something I could do for each of them to make it better. Yesterday I walked into the doors holding my son's hand for his very own appointment. It was a much different feeling.

I had the poker face on I knew I would carry, only my insides felt like an open wound. Every corner I turned and face I saw made me bleed on the inside a little more. I hoped we would be walking out with no need to schedule another appointment. I ached for those around me who were there for routine visits, causes I would never know.

With a 5 minute visit the surgeon determines my 3 year young boy needs a one-time surgery to remove a hydrocele. He slides his finger across my baby's milky white skin to show me where the incision will be as if he is talking about a steak. It will be an outpatient surgery, home the same day. Zane lays there still and happy and unaware. I keep my stone face as panic! fear! blank! flashes in my head.

The doctor escorts us out, handing my little boy some stickers as if that makes it all better. The conversation had gone from surgery to stickers within minutes and we are on our way. I walk out of the office and back into the land of happily painted walls and butterflies hanging from the ceiling trying to mask the fact that a lot of pain and hurt happens here. Well beyond anything I may ever experience with my own children. I am completely aware there is a cancer wing I may, hopefully, never see my children in during my lifetime. It doesn't remove the feeling of helplessness I still feel for my little guy and the sutures that will protrude from his perfect skin.

I guess it's this big dream we have when they are born, that we can protect them from anything and everything no matter what it takes. Pain, imperfection, hurt feelings, poor health, bleeding, all of it. We want to be the magical make-it-all-go-away person we think we get to be. But it's not so. We are the cheering squad for them, the nurturing giver when things are not right, when there is blood and when there are sutures.

Although it's a minor surgery in the grand scheme of things, I would still do anything I could to fix it myself without him needing any procedure. If it meant collecting all the stars in the sky I would find a way to do it. If I could gather all the clouds to even compensate for the suckiness of it, I would have them ready in a bag when he wakes up to recover so I could say, "Look, I know this sucks and you hurt, but here are all the clouds in the world I gathered for you while you slept and go ahead and roll around in them, they are all yours!"

I know he will be fine and my passionate emotions get the best of me and probably make many roll their eyes thinking 'here she goes again overly agonizing over something simple'. But my baby's skin getting cut open for any reason feels like my insides are being clawed out. And I would never wish this feeling on my worst enemy.


with placenta

The runners are all told to take their lanes. I carefully place my feet against the starting blocks. My right knee presses into the asphalt, some rocks need to be swept away and leave dents in my skin. I take deep breaths and run through the list of thoughts I need to get me the confidence to make it through to the end. I have a coach standing in the grass, maybe even cheering me on, but there isn't much he can do or say. It's all in me to put my best foot forward the way I know how, the way I prepared.

As other runners get situated and there is some confusion over who is in which lane, I have extra time to relax myself. I remember my long endurance runs, those times I ran better than the varsity girls. I think of the sprint work-outs when I kept up with some of the boys. I think of the carbs I ate the night before and all the water I drank throughout the day. I have the best shoes needed for my feet, tied with a double knot. I ran a smart warm-up and couldn't be more ready.
Just me, my mind, and these blocks waiting for the sound of the gun to fire.
That feeling,
that moment
is what the last month of pregnancy
is like
while I wait
to give birth.
I eagerly and nervously anticipate the start signal, but I have no control of when that will be. I know I will make it to the end, I just don't know what exactly will happen between the start and finish lines. Even with perfect preparation, the only control I have in the process is in my mind. The ability to relax myself (and of course sprint the last 200 meters, or rather, PUSH LIKE HELL at the very end).

Just me, my baby, and my suitcase waiting for the labor to begin.



When we arrived in New York 3 months after our wedding , we landed in a little beach town called Long Beach in Long Island. I wasn't ready for urban life so this was where we lived for a handful of months, my first time living outside of Arizona.

I will never forget that first grocery store shopping experience. As I strolled down the aisles with my cart, I saw that few labels were familiar. I must have stood staring at the milk for 30 minutes. Who knew Shamrock wasn't a national milk brand? And how would I decide which of these new brands was good, safe, best? It was then I realized how much I relied on a lifetime of my mother's choices and how scary it was to not have them available. Or to know how she knew which milk was best, or how to grocery shop at all.

Needless to say, it was a long shopping trip of taking chances on most items. Except the items that left me no choice. How can there only be two salsas to choose from? I also realized I was living in a new demographic. Mexican food items were scarce while Italian and Kosher foods were overly stocked. As silly as it sounds, that grocery trip was the beginning of a long lesson of change and adjustment for me in a lot of ways. It was the first true indication to me things were really going to be a lot different in this new place.

I got to the check-out and noticed patrons bagging their own groceries. My palms got sweaty. Why was this happening? Were they being rude for not waiting for the cashier or bag boy to assist? What do I do when it's my turn? I don't know how to bag groceries! The cashier began to scan items for the person in front of me while the previous shopper frantically bagged his items. I was so confused.

I leaned in and casually asked the woman getting her wallet from her purse if we are supposed to bag our own groceries. She barely made eye contact and asked "What? Are you from Flahrida?"

I explained Arizona and she proceeded to say they normally don't have people available to bag groceries and no one wants to wait around for the cashier to help so they just start doing it themselves. It moves the line along faster. Basically, this was the norm.

Not only did they not have normal milk, I had to figure out how to put all this stuff into bags without crushing my bread and keeping the cold food together before the next person's food began to fly into my pile of goods. Sounds like common sense, which it is, but figuring it out on the spot when you aren't expecting it was like being on Candid Camera. I was frustrated and angry. I decided it was all wrong, hated it, wanted to go back to my real home and have a tall glass of milk from that Shamrock Farm. But the next time I went, I knew what to expect and I was more prepared.

So now when I go to the store and each check-out line is backed with smiling teenagers ready and waiting to bag my groceries AND ask if I need help out to my car, I have a strange sense of uneasiness. It's the same feeling when I get a pedicure, I really am able to do it on my own! I don't need such a service, it's not necessary and makes me feel a little embarrassed. What used to feel like a right I should demand now appears to be so frivolous.


things I wish I could make

cos no one else does it the way it should be without over-pricing:

children's bedding- all I want are simple patterns or stripes with some colors that are not obnoxious. navy blue pinstripe sheets with a blue blanket that has an orange (or brown), thick ribbon stripe across the top. Really, it's time I learn how to sew. I could easily pull the room together with this color scheme.

boy's T-shirts- basic colors. how about solids with zero logo. ? why is this so hard? even the little babygap stitched bear is starting to get on my nerves for toddler size clothing.

boy's dressy shoes- brown leather or suede, whatever. just something with decent quality materials that don't look like he is going camping. no, I don't want loafers. I am not hip on the golfer look and we are not part of a yacht club. I can draw exactly what I am looking for, where's my cobbler?

boy's tote bag- this is my first act on frustration due to not finding what I want at a reasonable price. I bought a little beige, cotton tote from Michael's with camo iron-on letters. The letters basically suck and didn't show up (think Cracker Jack Box Tattoo prize). I want to have a re-do on this one and find a cool retro vinyl design to iron on or big nature stamp with brown paint.

boy's socks- can someone tell me where to get the kind of socks the boys we grew up with wore? the socks with the awesome boy stripes that hit mid-calf. I know they are kind of 70's, but I always wished I had a pair growing up.

boy's hair cut- this one gets me every time- can we please have a website or magazine dedicated to different style options for toddler boys that have thin hair? hair club for tots? i have not the slightest clue how to get the boy's hair cut.

I am truly feeling the desire to sit with a designer and create what I want on paper with him or her and then work together to make these things. I just wish I had the talent to execute my specific taste into material items on my own and sell them at prices that make sense for the typical family.


Fiber One

Honestly, SERIOUSLY? 40% fiber? What does that feel like to a pregnant woman after 16 meals refuse to leave the system? It's like snaking the monster clog in the 70's Cher bathtub. They really need to hand out boxes of this stuff at your first Doctor's appointment after that little pink plus shows up in the EPT window.
Job well done, General Mills. It really does taste yummy, too.
Wow, I never thought at 30 years young I would be excited to tell my friends about a fiber cereal. It doesn't get any better than this, my dears.