Open Letter to A Babyloss Mother: Part II, About Babies

Dear You,

When we finally left the hospital after Gabriel’s delivery, we went out to eat. “We” is my husband and I, my parents, and my in-laws. A family with a little baby in a car seat was at the restaurant. Everyone tensed up, and looked to me. I laughed. “It’s okay,” I said to assure them I wasn’t going to freak out. “The world is full of babies!”

This was shock talking.

The world is full of babies.

At first, you may feel the way I did. The shock of losing Gabriel carried me through months of dealing with other people’s babies. I have a nephew who was born a month before we lost Gabriel; we spent Father’s Day with that family, my nephew sprawled on my husband’s chest and belly, sleeping. Close friends had a baby about five weeks after Gabriel died. We went to the hospital; we became that boy’s godparents.

And then, in October, another nephew was born, to my SIL — Dan’s sister. If Gabriel had lived, he would’ve been the first grandson on that side of the family. When this nephew was born, I met my husband at the hospital.

“I don’t know if I can do this,” I told him. I was in a panic.

“Just try,” he begged.

I tried. I walked into that hospital room. I managed to congratulate my sister-in-law, and then I walked right back out, sobbing. She wanted to ask us to be godparents, and I begged my husband to please talk her out of it. At the very least, to not ask me. I hope she has forgiven me for my (very understandable) actions when her son was an infant. He was the one who shattered the cocoon my shock had wrapped me in.

These years, your 30s, are full of pregnancies and babies. You may be able to deal with them with grace; you may not be able to deal with them at all. Please know that eventually, it will be okay to celebrate your friends’ pregnancies and babies. You may be able to deal with some people’s babies with more grace than others.

For a little while, it’s okay to say, “No.” Don’t make excuses. Decline shower invites if you think it’s going to be too hard; absent yourself from baptisms and birthday parties for awhile; send cards and nice gifts and warm wishes.

Other people’s babies can be hard. You and I know that what should be a time of joy and celebration can end badly. Sure, you can pretend to participate — you may be even stronger than I, and truly feel the joy with none of the anxiety and jealousy. I know that in my mind, I was very happy for the birth of healthy babies and excited parents. My heart, muffled in cotton wool for a while there, was a different story.

At the risk of repeating myself, be gentle. Know what you can do, what you can face, and what you need to say no to. And, at the risk of sounding mean, screw the people who give you a hard time about it.

As a final note, I don’t really have any advice to give you about moving forward with the next pregnancy, if you and your partner decide to do that. I am not your doctor, your midwife, your partner, or your heart. Dan and I were told to wait *at least* three months to start trying; we waited six. Flora, our oldest daughter, was conceived nine months after Gabriel died. I was more ready than my husband.

We have three living children now. My pregnancies were fraught. But with trust and faith, we got through them. It’s not going to be the same as your pregnancy with your first son. But it can still be good. I wish you all the peace and luck on that front.

You are in my heart.

Sincerely,
red pen mama

Other People’s Children

What if I do look hungrily
at other people’s children?
Maybe I am raging with envy inside,
holding these living bodies,
running my hands over their supple skin.
Maybe I am crying inside.

It’s hard to be with these children,
particularly the sons and their laughing faces,
making them smile
drawing on a summer’s sidewalk with chalk
playing their favorite games
with their favorite toys.

And no one would blame me
if I didn’t
touch them see them talk to them
cradle their tiny heads
if I were envious
if I did shed tears over their lively bodies.

No one would blame me at all.

wintertime

source

Open Letter, Part I: Grief

Open Letter to A Babyloss Mother: Part I, Grief

Dear You,

I have so much I want to tell you. I hope I can give you some help, give you some hope. Please pick and choose what you need from what I can say. And also know: I am here to listen.

First of all, and I’ve told you this already, but I really want you to remember it: You are a mother; your partner is a father. You are parents. You will question this in the next weeks or months. You will have people tell you that you are not a mother. Really awful people will say it to your face. Innocently, earnestly.

Try to avoid really awful people.

You carried and nurtured your son. He grew and thrived under your heart. It is a great unfairness — how inadequate is that word? — that he is not here, in your arms. It is the most devastating thing you will endure.

Second, grief has no timeline. Grief is a different animal when you are living inside of it. It doesn’t have steps; it doesn’t end. Other people are already moving on, and it’s because they are *just* sad. Not to minimize their sadness, but sadness is not grief. You and your partner are in a different boat. A very lonely boat.

Cry as much and whenever you need to. Someday, you will go through a day without crying, but that day may be months away. The first time I realized I had gone through most of the day without crying, I started crying. It felt like a betrayal of my son. It’s not — it wasn’t. It was a sign that I was actually healing. I didn’t want to heal. But it does happen.

When we lost Gabriel, we had a memorial service. My uncle, my father’s brother, lost a son to a car accident when the son was 22, 30-some years ago now. My uncle walked up to me, put his arms around me, and said, “You will never get over this.” And it was such a relief for me to hear that! It took away all the expectations, all the worries I had about actually, you know, getting over the death of my son.

It is survivable, as you said in an email to me. You will get through. Be gentle on yourself. Physically, too. You delivered a baby. That is hard on a body. Couple that with the emotional trauma you are experiencing, and know that you are not going to bounce back quickly, either physically or emotionally.

Two more notes about grief:

Your partner will grieve in his own way. You may not recognize it as grief. It may be hard; you may feel he is moving away from you in these early, grief-filled days. You will both do things that the other doesn’t understand. I encourage you both to try to stay connected however you can. But try not to judge each other’s grief. It’s not a contest.

And back to those really awful people. In general, people are well-meaning. I am willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. But, you will hear a lot of stupid things for awhile. If you can, try to be understanding and gentle with people who say stupid things to you. They don’t know what to say — there really are no words for what you are enduring right now. If you can’t be understanding, you have my permission to walk away, to put down the phone, to delete the emails, to unfriend them on Facebook.

Someone will ask you if you are over it yet. You will not be over it; you will never be over it. And I’ll tell you: that’s perfectly okay.

You are in my heart.

Sincerely,
red pen mama

Trees in Winter

Twitter-ish: #Saturday

I’m having one of those Saturday’s that you hit the ground running. I haven’t sat down for a meal yet.

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As a matter of fact, except for cereal this morning, my food and drink have all been in disposable containers. Coffee and muffin at the farmers market; a protein shake after my workout.

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I love the way my muscles feel after a good workout. Makes me feel that I’m doing it right.

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To-do list:
Farmers Market
Brow wax
Birthday party drop-off
Workout
Birthday party pick-up
Clean bathrooms
Shower
Cut basil and parsley
Write this post
Cook dinner
Clean kitchen
Put on dress and makeup
Go to Fiona’s bon voyage party
Collapse

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Tel me about part of your weekend in 140 characters.

Because It Feels Good

Inspired by this article by Alice Dreger, which I also shared to Facebook and Twitter. See my FB post for the funniest response ever, mostly because it’s from Dan.

About once or twice a week, Dan and I slip away on a weekend afternoon. We lock the bedroom door and get busy.

And, yes, that’s a euphemism. We’re not cleaning our room or changing the sheets. We’re “changing the sheets.”

Sometimes we time it just right, and the children are otherwise distracted enough to not knock at the door for the duration. More often though, we will hear little feet coming up the stairs — it’s usually Michael at this point — a jiggle of the door handle, then a knock. “Is Mommy in dere?”

We usually claim that we are talking or getting dressed. We ask for about five minutes. (It takes longer than five minutes.) The need on our child’s part is usually not urgent enough to warrant a cessation of activity on our part.

Dan comments sometimes, afterwards, that we are only going to be able to “get away” with this for so long. Flora is already 9. At some point, she and her sister are going to figure out what we are actually doing in there.

To which I say, “So what?”

I was probably 12 when I figured out that *gasp* my parents still had sex with each other! And not to have babies! I felt a little weird about it, sure. It’s weird to think about your parents having sex divorced from procreation. I’m sure Flora, Kate, and Michael are going to feel weird about it, too.

And while while my sex life is none of my children’s business, I think it’s important to communicate that sexual intimacy is important in long-term, loving relationships. And that sex is supposed to feel good, physically, emotionally, even spiritually. The best sex I’ve ever had has been with Dan, and not just the old in-and-out part (although that feels damn good, too). One of the reasons we take the time to go to our bedroom and lock the door is not just so we can make each other feel good. It’s to renew our emotional bonds as well, to acknowledge that we are partners in more than child-rearing and bill paying.

I am fine with my children learning the basics from sex ed and health ed classes. I am not shy about answering their questions about their bodies in age-appropriate ways. I will be sure to communicate to them about why the Catholic church urges its adherents to save sex for marriage.

Sex is a big deal. But it’s not such a big deal that we should scare our children about it, or make it into something embarrassing or dirty. It’s a big deal, and we should make sure our children understand that it’s a big responsibility. That feeling good is okay — it’s great! — it’s something to strive for within our relationships. Feeling good and making your partner feel good is a big deal. It’s not something to take lightly, and it’s not something to be terrified of.

And while it is private, it’s not something to hide. I am glad that Dan and I are still attracted to one another, that we still value each other’s needs and bodies enough to be intimate. We made each other promises on the day we married:

“With this ring, I thee wed; with my body, I thee worship; with all my worldly goods, I thee endow.”

And we will keep those promises until death do us part.

Why do we hesitate to tell our children about the good parts of sex?

A Day in the Life

This is what I did Friday, May 16. It’s a fair representation of “the daily”. Only the minor details change.

6:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I set it to go off later than usual because last night we had an unexpected (but welcome!) guest, and my stylist came over at 9 p.m. to do my hair, and I didn’t get to bed until 11:30 p.m. I blew off exercise, but I will workout Saturday instead.

6:45 – 7:30 a.m. — I give the girls a shake and put their clothes on their beds; I open M’s door and kiss his cheeks. The girls groan and stretch, M doesn’t even stir. I shower, then go downstairs to make sure the girls are eating or have eaten. M is still in bed at 7:30. So is Dan. Our unexpected guest is sitting with the girls at the kitchen table. He and his wife do not have children, and he looks a little amused by the amount of chatter and activity. Flora already has her hoodie on, but Kate is still working on homework. (She’s a little loaded up right now; her teacher is trying to keep her ahead of the assignments that will be done in class next week).

7:45 – 8 a.m. — Out the door and drive girls to school. We discover Flora has forgotten her duffel bag for soccer. Oh well. That’s going to make us run late later.

8:30 a.m. — Pull into parking lot at work.

8:30 – 10 a.m. — E-mails, phone calls, coffee and a granola bar. I get copy for an email finished. I send my mom and dad a list of stuff they will need to do next Tuesday with Flora while Dan and I are at the hospital with Kate and Michael. Wish a coworker happy 30th birthday. Work on Big Work Project.

10 a.m. — Buy Black Keys tickets.

10:15 a.m. — Back to work! The Big Work Project that I am working on (with my designer partner) is going to final today. I have a number of pages to finalize. But it’s happening. WE DID IT! We deserve bourbon.

I also have other smaller projects to wrap up today and Monday, plus the odd meeting here and there.

Today’s soundtrack: The Fray, Chvrches, Afghan Whigs, Lorde, the Pixies, and The Black Keys (duh).

12 p.m. — For the first time this week, I actually leave my desk to eat lunch. My friend Roy and I walk up the hill for baked mac and cheese and stewed tomatoes — it’s actually better than the usual Friday pizza and nachos lunch.

The fact that Monday was 85 degrees and today it’s 50 is making me a little cranky.

12:45 p.m. — Back to work, again! About 30 pages to go!

2:30 p.m. — Done! Next work project.

3:30 p.m. — Have conversation with the children’s surgery center to get all their information up to date.

3:35 p.m. — Back to work. Landing pages.

4:30 p.m. — Out the door for the weekend. One more work day to go before Kate’s and Michael’s surgeries.

5:10 p.m. — Pick up girls. Since Flora was unable to change for soccer, and Dan had the duffel bag in his car (he had meant to drop it off for her at the school), and I don’t feel like running around like a crazy person, I make the executive decision that Flora is going to miss practice. Sorry, Coach.

5:30 p.m. — Pick up Michael. We stop to pick something up, then head home.

5:45 – 6:20 p.m. — I put rice and beans in the rice cooker and get it cooking. I feed M and Flora left over chili with tortilla chips and cheese. Kate has a sleepover, so we pack her pajamas, a sleeping bag, her lovies, a change of clothes, and her toothbrush in a bag. I run her down to her friend’s house, and leave her with lots of hugs and kisses, and instructions to be good.

6:30 p.m. — Once I’m home, I sit down for a bit to organize my head. I need to gather all the dirty laundry, clean the kitchen, make a salad to go with the rice and beans, etc. etc. I send Flora upstairs to clean her room for 30 minutes.

7 p.m. — Rice and beans are done. I should wait for Dan, but I’m starving, so I eat. I am reading The Help, and it is excellent. I read and eat, then start evening clean up.

7:30 p.m. — Put on Despicable Me 2 for Flora and M. I continue to fuss around the house for a bit.

8 p.m. — Dan’s home, and I feed him. We watch the movie; I read after I finish straightening a couple more things up.

9 p.m. — Dan puts M to bed. Flora has decided she is going to stay up late since it is Friday. She changes into pajamas.

9:30 p.m. — I fix Dan and I a cocktail. We find a ridiculous show called “Too Cute” on the Science Channel, and watch it, all of us cuddled up on the couch.

10:30 p.m. — Flora puts on “Tanked”. I read. Dan falls asleep on the couch.

11:30 p.m. — Bedtime! Flora tucks herself in; I check on M. Then I hit the hay.

Do you let your kids stay up late on the weekends?

The Art of Repression

So the plan to distract myself from the upcoming (perfectly routine) surgery — still 10 days away! — is not working.

It consumes me. I think about it all the time. I am worried more about Kate than about M, and then I worry that if I don’t worry more about M something bad will happen, because of course worry and anxiety are prophylactic in nature, right? (No. No, not at all.) I am picking up little gifts for Kate: a duct tape art kit, a Bink & Gollie book. I bought M a water table for the summer. Because (perfectly routine) surgery.

The school is conspiring against me. Not in that they are going to give me a hard time for Kate being absent. As a matter of fact, Kate’s teacher is already making plans to help Kate plan her work around her absence. But there’s a fundraiser for which the stuff needs to be picked up and delivered that day; and Flora has a singing concert that night — and I keep looking at the date, and thinking, “Oh. I can’t do that.”

Now fortunately, I have lots and lots of support, and I suppose it’s as good a time as any to thank a bunch of people in advance. Of course, Dan is going to be at the hospital with us the day of the surgery, and stay overnight at least one night with us there. He promised Kate. My in-laws, as always. My parents are coming to stay with us, and make sure Flora’s routine stays as normal as possible. They are going to be the ones that make sure the fundraising orders get picked up and delivered, and the ones who will see Flora sing.

Aside: Flora kinda, sorta wanted to join a singing group at her school. I signed her up, and then she kinda sorta didn’t want to do it. I encouraged her, though. I thought it would be something she would enjoy and be good at. And now I have a 9-year-old who sings to herself all the time. I don’t even think she realizes it. She sings songs from Frozen, from Sound of Music, and a couple of religious pop songs. And love hearing her. And I’m a little heartbroken that after having been so encouraging about it, I am going to miss her concert.

Yesterday, I was talking to my parents about all the Stuff They Had To Do if they Didn’t Mind Too Much the day of Kate’s and Michael’s surgeries. I think I managed to keep the panic from my voice, and they were very kind and told me not to worry about this Other Stuff, they were on it, they’d take care of it, and I got of the phone and cried in my car for awhile.

So, trying to keep anxiety at bay is not really going so well.

I have bad tendencies. I have the tendency to be anxious. And although I fight it, I have the urge to want to be in control. If having children has taught me anything, it’s that there is no room for trying to control every — or even most — outcomes.

The prospect of this surgery is the perfect storm for my two worst tendencies to come together and drive me to distraction. It is completely out of my control, and even though I know and accept that, it’s still difficult. So I make long shopping lists (Gatorade, Italian ices, applesauce, pureed fruit pouches); I obsessively avoid thinking about the mechanics of the surgery; I haven’t yet prepared myself for what comes before; and I’ve no real idea what “after” will be like. Bad, I think. Not good. I buy little presents to appease the suffering children.

It’s exhausting.

These two!
These two!

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Last Friday, I was diagnosed with “swimmer’s ear” before we headed to the woods, and I’ve been using antibiotic ear drops since then. This, of course, was after I had been laid low with my very own middle ear infection and pinkeye.

I went to MedExpress for all these diagnoses. When my other ear started hurting last night, I turned to Dr. Twitter, wondering if I should waste another hour or so at MedExpress or just go ahead and start using the drops in that ear too. I went with using drops in both ears.

I realize, as a nominal adult, that I should have an actual Primary Care Physician (PCP) to phone up for these types of things, but here I am at 43 with no regular doctor. For that matter, I don’t have a regular dentist (I did, for a brief time there, have a dentist. He redid my front tooth. Two years ago. I think I went back once after that… maybe twice. But he’s out of the way, so I stopped going), and, er, I should find a lady-parts doctor sometime in the very near future too.

I don’t get regular physicals. In my 30s, I went to the Midwife Center for my gynecological care, and my annual exams with the midwives stood in for annual physicals. As I am not having babies any more, I figure I can switch to another midwife practice or a traditional gynecologist closer to hand. But I haven’t yet.

I haven’t had a pap smear since after M was born. I have yet to have a mammogram. And, as I mentioned, I haven’t seen a dentist in well over a year. The only health care provider I see on the regular is my chiropractor.

I am better about regularly getting my bikini line waxed than getting my teeth cleaned. My priorities may be askew.

While going to the doctor is never fun, I don’t dislike it. Except for the dentist. I do hate going to the dentist. I would accept a prescription for Xanax just to get me through regular dental visits. The poking, the scraping, the bleeding. The pain. No, thank you.

And yet, again, as a nominal adult, I realize I should be caring for myself better than this. It’s pure laziness on my part. Laziness and resentment. I don’t want to take the time out of my schedule to find a doctor/dentist, call a doctor/dentist to make an appointment, and keep said appointment with a doctor/dentist. It would have to be during the weekday. I’d have to take personal (paid) time! Bah.

My chiropractor, aside from being absolutely fab, is about 10 minutes away from my office. I can go on my lunch half-hour. And I never, ever feel the desire to pop a Xanax before an appointment with her. She’s like a combination massage therapist and psychologist.

Oh, the other health care provider I see regularly is my eye doctor. I go annually, as required. The office I go to has evening and Saturday hours… and is at a mall. So. I’m not all terrible.

However, I am aware that this reluctance and resentment to see other types of health care providers borders on the irresponsible. I have no problem taking time for my children’s doctors and dentist appointments. I don’t even mind the prospect of unpaid time off for post-surgery recovery for Kate and Michael.

But take an hour at the beginning of the day to see a physical for an annual check up? Go get my teeth polished? I’d just rather not bother.

I’m sure this will be problematic at some point.

Am I alone? How do I make myself engage in some self care that’s not of the spa variety? Oh, if only my aesthetician could check my vitals while she gave me a pedicure!

The To-Do List in My Head versus Leisure Time

I read a line the other day that hit me where I live: “My son has my cortex.”

This is how I feel, not just about M, but about the whole division of my labor. I don’t know if it’s a working-outside-the-home thing, or a mom/parent thing, or just a forbidden-word “busy” person thing.

I am at my desk about 40 hours a week. I usually even eat lunch at my desk. While I am sitting at my desk, I have a constant list of stuff in my head: the bills that need to be paid this week; the menu plan and shopping list for the week; blog posts I want to write; the stuff I have to do to get out of town this weekend. (Pack and clean, pack and clean. Oh, and make more soup.)

So while I am physically at my desk for up to 40 hours a week, and commuting about an hour a day (30 minutes to and from), my head is not 100% given over to the work I do. Or not 100% of the time.

My head is full of background noise. I don’t know how to make it stop. How do I make it stop?

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Which brings me to the idea of leisure time.

First off, I will cop to the fact that I’m not doing too badly in this area. On a daily basis, I take about 20 to 30 minutes to read. That’s my daily leisure time. My commute to and from work would be counted by time-use researchers (yes, such a job exists) as leisure time. After all, after I drop the children off at school (taking the children to school would be counted as “child care” by time-use researchers), I have about 30 minutes of, say, listening to NPR or Chvrches.

So, yeah, I have about an hour, hour-and-a-half of leisure time daily. That’s not too shabby. For reference, according to a 2012 survey, the average amount of daily leisure time is 5.1 hours.

According to Pew, fathers get more daily leisure time than mothers. Now, here I will certainly defend my husband, who works between 10 and 12 hours a day during the week (and often 5 to 7 hours on Saturday). If you count gym as leisure time (the survey referenced above would, I believe, as it falls under “sport”), three days a week he gets about an hour, hour and a half of that. Plus, Dan is the guy who comes home and turns on the television. At 9 p.m.

He doesn’t play golf. He doesn’t have a poker game weekly, let alone monthly. If he gets anything over and above what I get, I suppose it would be his “steak night” with his buddy about once a month. And seeing as I average a GNO about that often — Dan and I are pretty even on leisure time. He may get two or three hours more a day, but that’s just because he will watch television until midnight, whereas I go to bed at 10 p.m.

Anywho, I am also interested in reading Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte, which parses her experience of busyness. When she kept a time-use journal and took it to a time-use researcher, he found 27 hours of leisure time in her week. She was rather surprised until she looked at what he counted as leisure time, for example, 10 minutes of laying in bed listening to the radio before she got up and the time she spent waiting for a tow truck when her car broke down. I seldom recommend Terry Gross, but her interview with Schulte is a peek into the way modern work, school, and parenthood have changed the parameters of what we consider leisure time. And how, mostly, that’s not a good thing.

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And all of this leads up to me telling you: I’m off to the woods tomorrow with the family and many good friends. I am going to cram in all the leisure I can. I will be off the grid. Have a great weekend!

What do you think? Should leisure time be longer than 10 minutes? And take place outside of your car (if you’re commuting to work)?

27

Inspired by tweeting with @katrinaravioli, whose 27 is strikingly different from my 27.

I spent the first six months of the year I was 27 extricating myself from a relationship. It was a long, messy process even though it was the right thing to do.

We both knew the relationship wasn’t working. We didn’t know (at the time) why it wasn’t working. We were sad, and we were scared about being single. Well, I was. I don’t really know if he was scared. I don’t think he wanted to break up necessarily — since I did the actual breaking up part — but I also think our relationship was coasting on inertia.

We argued sometimes, but mostly we were just sad. Sad and dissatisfied.

So I moved out. That was the first step.

I moved in with my brother and his soon-to-be-wife. We broke up the night of their wedding.

That was the second step.

The third step was staying away from him. I didn’t want a friendship with him. I felt sad around him; I felt angry and resentful; I wondered what was wrong with me. That’s no basis for any kind of friendship. Family and friends collected the rest of my belongings from his apartment.

The next steps were: moving in with friends of mine, a couple who owned a house on the South Side. I bought a bed. After a couple of months, I sought therapy. It was helpful.

I had a good group of friends. I had a job, and, more importantly to me, I was a freelance writer. The job paid the bills. The freelance writing fed the ego. I also had some success as a poet. In short, I had a life, a life I had always had aside from my relationship. It was a good life. I liked it.

I spent the next six months of 27 (and some time beyond) single. I liked single. I dated; I didn’t like dating. I realized that just because a guy calls you doesn’t mean you have to call him back. I realized a couple of dates didn’t obligate me to keep seeing someone I didn’t enjoy dating. I realized that being alone and being lonely are two distinct things. I was lonely, sometimes, but I really liked to be alone.

Twenty-seven was the year I probably grew up the most. I definitely learned more about myself in that year than I ever had. I renewed my relationship with my faith. I realized I very much had a life I liked (aside from the nightmares about being consumed — hence, therapy.) Through breaking up and through dating, I was figuring out what I wanted in a partner. Through living my life and therapy, I was learning that nothing was wrong with me. I was actually a pretty neat person. I was stunningly human, which is why I had ALL THE FEELINGS.

I was learning it was okay to want to be loved. I was learning that I deserved to be loved. That surprised the shit out of me. I came to accept it.

I was about 18 months away from letting a man I knew from Duquesne University buy me a Maker’s Mark (on the rocks) in the Lava Lounge, and three years from marrying the same man. In some ways at 27, I was far away from the woman who would be loved as I am by this man, and by our children. But I was getting there.

Twenty-seven was messy, sometimes fun and sometimes devastating and sometimes lonely. Twenty-seven was powerful, and I’m glad I lived it the way I did.

What was 27 for you?

Random Thoughts: The I Miss My Blog Edition

1. I asked for a raise! So that’s one thing already crossed off my uber-list for 2014. I want to tell you ALL about it. And I will, just not today.

2. I have two projects in the works that involve writing not for my job or for my blog, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them too. Later, though.

3. One of my friends is an absolute genius, GENIUS I tell you, and I can’t wait to tell you all about her idea for me and Kate and how to regulate Kate’s behavior — well, to help Kate learn to regulate her own behavior.

3b. All of my friends are pretty damn smart, I just want to add that here. Probably most of them are even geniuses in their own right. I just need to tell you about this one woman. Some day soon.

4. In two days, I took two children (M and Kate) to the doctor, and ended up with four prescriptions and two referrals to the ENT for them. M for ear issues again; Kate for evaluation of her tonsils and adenoids to see if those need to go. I’m sure there’s a whole story there, too.

5. The other child of mine ended up with a low-grade fever and has been home from school since about noon yesterday.

6. I won’t bitch about the winter weather. I grew up in Erie; it’s cold; it snows. I’m not fond of the extreme temps, but who is? What I do not like about this time of the year is how all this cold and snow coops up kids and germs, and everyone gets sick, and everyone gets stir crazy. That’s what’s hard about this time of year. The days are getting longer, and now when we get home, I let my kids tromp around outside in the cold for a little bit. I figure it’ll do them some good to get even just 5-10 minutes of fresh air.

7. My in-laws are in Florida again, and I am relearning how much time laundry takes. Do not like.

8. So many things, so much to do, many things I want to tell you. I need to start carving time out for this space again.

Writing should be like love: Infinite. Although I use so many words daily in my career, there are always more words.

Time is a little trickier.

What do you need more of right now?