I have 2000 loads of laundry to do. My older daughter is completely out of pajamas. She wore a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to bed last night.

My dishwasher is still broken — rather: we haven’t gathered our resources to purchase a new dishwasher yet, and thus there are always dirty dishes in my sink.

And I don’t know if it’s pregnancy-nose or if something actually climbed down my garbage disposal and died.

I have cooked fresh food from scratch about three times in the past six weeks.

Once I hit that couch after work, it’s hard to not immediately lay down and fall asleep. As a matter of fact, last night I did just that (after feeding my children), and as a result, Flora ate three Simply Fruit rollups, and Kate demolished the living room.

If I don’t fall asleep after dinner, I am not long for the conscious world after the children are in their bedroom. Note: I usually fall asleep (on the couch) before the children. If and when they figure this out, we are in big trouble. Gotta start hiding the remotes. And the rollups, apparently.

When I do go up to bed, I sleep in the guest room. Our bedroom is a repository for clothing, both clean and dirty, and that’s about it. Clothes and dust.

It’s a good thing I pay most of my bills online, because I never — and I mean never — go through my mail. It just piles up and up and up until I start throwing it out (junk) and/or shred it (paid bills and credit card offers).

Last week, I forgot to pack a lunch for Kate.

I haven’t gone grocery shopping in three weeks. I did however make a list. And emailed it to Dan.

I lost the stamps.

My children and I have not gotten much in the way of fresh air lately in the evenings. Thank goodness they usually have outside time at daycare, and Flora has soccer. Of course, I would like to order up some nice weekend weather for a change instead of having to haul a fleece blanket for Kate and me to huddle under on Saturday at Flora’s games.

I will be in my second trimester in two to four weeks. It’ll get better then.


To My Mom, On Mom’s Day

My mom doesn’t read my blog.

I don’t know why, really, if she even has a reason. I suspect it’s more about the fact that computers to her are for work, are for getting things done. She turns elsewhere for entertainment, books or television, golf. She would find it silly to sit and read her computer.

And it doesn’t bother me that she doesn’t read my blog. I’m often surprised, still, that my dad reads it (hi, Dad!).

So I don’t really have to spend time here wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day. I sent her flowers yesterday, and she and Dad are coming down for brunch today. So I’ll have the opportunity to say it in person — a fact for which I am infinitely grateful. I know lots of women and moms who aren’t lucky enough to be able to tell their moms, face-to-face, to have a great day, to eat a meal with them. My own mother is faced with a unique situation on this Mother’s Day, a mother who probably doesn’t remember that she is a mother.

I don’t have to tell you, who actually read my blog, anything that is great about my mom. Why I love her. Why she is such a treasure. She’s not going to read this.

But you know what? I think I’m going to anyway.

I’ll try to keep it short.

My mom is always there for me. And she’s there in a totally non-intrusive way. When I was planning our wedding, I said to her, “Do you mind if I have it in Pittsburgh?” I had been living in Pittsburgh for 10 years when I got engaged; most of my extended family lives here, as well as my husband’s family.

She didn’t mind at all. She gave me the names and addresses of a few people from Erie she wanted me to invite, but she was totally flexible.

When we were shopping for wedding dresses, she sat quietly while I tried on any number of gowns. Finally, I said to her, “Hey, what would you think if I had my dress made?” She responded, “You know, all these dresses you’ve tried on are very pretty, but they’re not really you.” So we traipsed off to a dress maker I knew and I got the dress I wanted.

When I was talking about Mother’s Day today, one of my co-workers mentioned that she didn’t want to tell her mother where they were taking her for brunch. “She’ll just change her mind,” she said, clearly exasperated. I am lucky enough to have a mom that’s not like that. She decided she wanted to come down today for brunch, but she pretty much left the planning up to me. I appreciate that.

I know there are things about my life that drive her bonkers, and that worry her. But for the most part: My mom has faith in me. She trusts me. She NEVER, and I mean NEVER, played the “this is what you should do” card with me regarding my kids. She NEVER told me I was doing it (feeding, changing, schooling, anything) wrong.

Not once.

When I lost my son, she grieved almost as hard as Dan and me. And her grief was two-fold: for her grandson, whom she would never meet; and because she couldn’t help me. She couldn’t protect me; she couldn’t kiss it and make it better. That was hard for her. I think she struggled with that almost more than the loss. (I think my dad, the ultimate “fixer upper” in my life, struggled just as much, too.) On the third anniversary of his death, she and my sister gave me an angel bracelet. She has never forgotten him, and she never shies away from mentioning him. I appreciate this about her too. I know she is an exception in the babyloss community.

She’s fun. My mom is the most fun Nonna in the world. She’s goofy, she’s silly, and she’s infinitely patient with her grandchildren. She doesn’t blink when it comes to changing diapers or feeding them, and when she’s done, she’s sweeping them off to her activity for them (children’s museum, zoo, Presque Isle) where she won’t just keep up with them — she’ll lead the way.

Becoming a mom has made me appreciate my mom all the more. When I talk about my frustrations with my girls, she often laughs. “You were perfect children,” she tells me, about us three peas — me, Dr. Bro, Dr. Sis. I don’t she says that because she doesn’t want to give me advice or because she actually thinks we were perfect. I think she tells me that to say: “I believe in you. You’ll figure it out.” Because she wants to see me do it. She knows I can.

That faith, that belief — I think that’s the greatest gift my mom has ever given me.

So thanks, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day. I know you won’t read this (unless Dad tells you to), but I hope you know how you feel. I hope the flowers and the cards and the smooches of your grand-daughters let you know: Your quiet belief in me has been the best thing you’ve ever done for me. I don’t know that I could repay that, unless I can pass it on to my own kids. But at least I can say: Thanks. I love you.

An Overdue Love Letter

Dear Flora and Kate,

I just wanted to take this opportunity, on the day before Mother’s Day, to thank you.

I have been your mom for more than five and three years respectively, and I know that I don’t make it look easy.

There is a lot that is hard about being a mother. There is a lot right now that makes my mothering a little challenging. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

But there is even more that makes all the hard stuff — the sleeplessness, the potty-training, the battle of wills — all worth it, every single second, every single “no” that comes out of your little mouths, every single knee in my back at 3 a.m. That “more” pretty much boils down to love, nay — LOVE. The huge amount that you clearly have for me, and the infinite amount that I have discovered I have for you, both of you (and your little brother or sister on the way). I never knew that love was infinite. Thanks for teaching me that.

The best part of being your mom is watching you girls grow. I am fascinated by the little people you are becoming. I am fascinated that your daddy and I made you, somehow, especially every time I see your little bodies walking away from me, on their way to their own adventure. Or even to just eat some cereal in the morning.

Flora, you ask questions about every thing (which sometimes gets us in trouble). You are an independent agent, often getting your own snacks and drinks, dressing yourself, brushing your own hair and teeth, and otherwise telling me, confidently, “I can do it.” (Could you learn to wash your own hair, soon? Because my back is already killing me.)

Kate, you are my pistol, my feisty girl, my always-in-motion child. If you’re not moving, you’re not happy. which sometimes gets us in trouble. You want to do everything your big sister does, except when you emphatically don’t. You are less about asking questions (at least to this point) than you are about poking stuff.

You both have taught me more about myself than I realized there was to know! I’m actually more patient than I suspected (although mileage may vary). I like talking to you guys — or, more to the point — listening. You’ve reintroduced wonder into my life (although it’s sometimes the simple wonder that I can be so very exhausted at the end of the day. Although maybe that’s Bud’s fault). I like rediscovering the simplicity of being a vegetarian, or being a Catholic, or, you know, digging in the dirt (worms!).

And I love being loved and being needed by you. Kate, even though your middle-of-the-night trips to my bed are sometimes because you’ve wet yourself, cuddling up with you after we get you changed is… renewing somehow. Flora, you keep me thinking, and I’m so glad I’m here to answer (or Google) your questions!

Thanks. Keep up the good work. I’m pretty sure you’re not the only two who are growing in this relationship.


The Whole Tooth

Flora lost her first tooth on Tuesday. I did actually record the event in pictures. Excuse the delay.

Note that Kate could not be left out of the picture-taking. She also threw these poses at me.

She’s a devil.

Anyhoo, the going rate in our house is $5 for the first tooth. The Tooth Fairy came through — Daddy even talked to her!

My little girl is growing up!

Lost: The Candidate


I cried like a baby from the point that Sayid ran to the other end of the sub with the bomb until Not-Locke headed back to the jungle all like, “I gotta finish what I started.” Sobbed. My husband was a little alarmed.

But, hey, I did NOT fall asleep in the middle. That’s important.

I’m glad for the Sideways world now. When I saw Jin walking down the hall with that huge bouquet of flowers for Sun, while I leaked more tears, I also was comforted by the thought that at least in the Sideways timeline Jin and Sun could be together and be a family.

Otherwise, that Sideways timeline seemed awfully thin, didn’t it? The interactions between Locke and Jack seemed like trigger points for a sudden flash to what was really going on.

1. IMHO, Sayid’s sacrifice = redemption. I will forever miss his black tank top. I hope he comes back to chat with Hurley. And SMILES, for goodness sake. I didn’t like zombie Sayid. But boy, he got knocked off awfully fast for a main character. That’s why I think we’re going to see more of him, either talking with Hurley on the Island or in the Sideways world.

2. Kate: Not a candidate. Got shot (finally) last night. Look, I make no bones about not liking Kate. I’ve found her nearly unbelievably annoying since, like, Season 3. But if she’s still around, there’s got to be a reason. Ditto crazy Claire. I think Claire is headed for some kind of redemption, too, some betrayal of Not-Locke on the Island. Just a thought.

3. RIP Frank Lapidus, or as Dan will always refer to you, Frank the Penis. I liked you a lot (except for that stupid line they gave you in “The Last Recruit”), and I will miss you, your grizzled face and your faintly puzzled baby blues. I know we don’t know conclusively that you’re dead in the Island timeline, although it’s hard to believe you got knocked out by that door and somehow managed to float out of the submarine. Now, I will be curious as to how you will show up in the Sideways timeline. Were you flying Oceanic Flight 815 this time around?

4. Hurley breaking down on the beach really put me over the edge. For as much as his character is played for laughs, he is the heart of LOST, and seeing him break like that was heart-breaking. And I know that’s all terribly redundant, but I’m pregnant and sleep-deprived, and that’s what I got.

5. I posited yesterday on Twitter that Locke — sideways Locke — could somehow be The Candidate. I mean, it looks very much like Jack — Island Jack — is, but I’m just trying to think of last-minute twists that the writers are going to throw at us. I liked that they threw that word, candidate, at us in the opening scene. “You’re a candidate,” Jack says to Locke as he comes out of anesthesia. Locke scoffs. “No thanks,” he basically replies. I haven’t completely abandoned this theory. How would Sideways Locke accepting his destiny as a candidate in the Sideways world screw with Not Locke? That’s what I wonder.

Things are moving fast, which after six seasons, I really appreciate. I think they are doing a lot more showing than telling, and every thing’s going to mean something over the next five and a half hours.

Stayed tuned. (Like I have to tell you that.)

Updated to add: I think Jack was right, and that the bomb would not have gone off if Sawyer hadn’t screwed with it. MiB/Not Locke cannot kill the candidates. He was counting on one of them to play the hero (or, in the case of Sawyer, try to save his own hide).


Here are the Top 10 Things I will try not to Twitter about during this pregnancy. Actually, after this post, I will try not to blog about them either. But I make no promises on that later point.

10. The unrelenting nausea. I don’t know who coined the phrase “morning sickness”, but they were either very stupid or very optimistic. I am sick all day long, and nothing much really helps.

9. The overwhelming fatigue. I can’t remember the last time (not counting Lost nights) that I stayed up past 9-9:30. I usually pass out on the couch. My house is slowly crumbling around me because I cannot stay up to get shite done. Thank goodness for weekends, when I can a) sleep in, b) take a nap (also on the couch) and c) get caught up on the laundry.

8. The puking. Now, I puked once in each of my first trimesters. This time around, I have already outpaced that record — I’ve puked once for each of my pregnancies, and then some. I cannot express how much I am looking forward to week 12 (or week 14, like it was with Kate). I have my fingers crossed that this unrelenting nausea and attendant heaving/puking come to a stop.

7. I will say this one time: This baby was conceived directly on top of my bladder. Here I am, at 8 weeks along, unable to go very long without a restroom visit. And already waking up twice a night to pee. Joy.

6. Any and all sundry other oozy physical manifestations of pregnancy. No one (else) needs to know about all that. Read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” for the terrifying details. Pregnancy isn’t all that pretty sometimes.

5. The fact that none of my clothes fit, already, and I’m not really sure what I have in terms of maternity wear. I need to get back on and find some clothes. Because I’m not buying a whole new wardrobe for 30-some weeks. (Donations welcome.)

4. I will also only say this once: Potty-training a toddler and first trimester nausea do not mix. Especially when a Port-o-Potty is sometimes involved. But, hey, we are diaper-free until late November! Whoo-hoo!

3. This means I’m going to have a 3-year-old again someday. And he/she will need to be potty-trained. Hold me.

2. My frustration with people telling me that the unrelenting nausea is a good sign. According to “What to Expect” [dot] com, “…women who do experience some nausea are significantly less likely to miscarry than women who don’t experience any…”. That just doesn’t make me feel better — I mean, about the nausea. The only thing that makes me feel better is sleep. Of which I am not getting enough.

1. Lastly, I will strive to not tweet about the various aches/pains/discomforts that this pregnancy is sure to bring. I am in the worst shape of my adult life, plus I’m pushing a certain round age that starts with 4 and ends in not-9. I’m already having some alarming twinges that will only increase in frequency as this baby gets bigger. I should probably go find a pregnancy chiropractor now. And develop a recovery/exercise plan for after the baby is born. I will need to get my muscle tone back, and fast.

I cannot thank you all enough for the kind words and congratulations on yesterday’s post (and at Twitter). All I ask now is that you pray for us and a successful outcome to this pregnancy. I know that’s all Dan and I want.

Also, I will try not to blog obsessively about being pregnant, but I don’t know how that’s going to go. Pregnancy is all-consuming — trust me. And I have a lot of issues vis-a-vis pregnancy, many of them, frankly, not so cheery. But there will be high points, too, and in the meantime, Flora and Kate will continue to grow and change and do goofy stuff and say goofy things that I can report. I’ll post more about music and books and Lost. So don’t give up on me.

I’m Pregnant

Whew. It’s good to get that off my chest. I’ve been sitting on it (so to speak) for about a month now. I’m about 8 weeks along.

I took the pee test the week after Easter, and sure enough, got a big pink + sign. Twice.

I’ve been struggling with posting lately (and covering with videos and pictures) because this fact has been blinking on and off in my head like a giant neon sign. I mean, nothing else (well, except Kate turning the corner on the whole potty-training thing) has been quite so central as of late. (Kate and the potty thing are a distant second, although pretty vital to the state of my oh-so-delicate stomach.)

For those of you keeping score: Wilco was Bud’s first show (oh, that’s what we’re calling the baby for now, Bud). And Dan drank most of that beer.

The girls are excited — a little too excited. They ask every single day when the baby is coming. For the record, we’re looking at an early December due date. Given my end-of-term issues, in my head I’ve moved that up to the week of Thanksgiving or so. I’ve told the girls “after Flora’s birthday, but before Christmas.”

They cannot wait that long. Just the other morning, Kate woke up, came into our room and asked, “Is the baby downstairs?”

It’s gonna be a long 30 weeks.