The Zen of Parenting

Parenting is so repetitive. I guess that seems obvious, but it isn’t just changing diapers ten times a day. Or how many times you shove a noodle arm into a long sleeve onesie and think “That’s it. I snapped it this time… oh whew! All fingers intact. Excellent.” It’s the sounds that really strike me as oppressively repetative.

The sound of the breast pump is the worst for me. You know how you can see patterns in clouds? Hearing something in a repetitive noise is like that. With my first daughter the sound of my breast pump sounded exactly like “Throw the ball.” It’s weird, but once I heard that, every time I pumped was “Throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball….” It was like hanging out with a Lab. It drove me crazy until I just accepted it and got real zen about it. Yes, yes… we should ALL throw the ball, how metaphorically on point.

I used that same breast pump with my second, so it was like meeting an old annoying friend again when I pumped for her. “How ya been old buddy! Yes, yes, throw the ball. I remember!”

Now, with my whatdoyoumeanIhavetodothisagain third, I am using the same brand and style of pump… but not the exact same one. I tried really hard not to hear anything in the noise of this new pump… but I finally did the other day. And of course now I can’t unhear it. What did I hear? “Titty pump.” Isn’t that AWFUL and ridiculously on the nose?! I know it’s my own mind that’s putting this together but Jesus Christ give me “Throw the ball” over that, any day! So my days are spent listening to “Titty pump, titty pump, titty pump, titty pump…” GAH. I gotta find the zen in that one at some point.

So, to return to my Zen place after the annoying sound of my breast pump I repeat my calming mantra from The Great Text. It works every time.

In the great green room there was a telephone and a red ballon

and a picture of

the cow jumping over the moon.

And two little bears, sitting on chairs

And two little kittens and a pair of mittens and a little toy house and a young mouse

And a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush and a quiet old lady, whispering hush.”


Indeed. Whispering hush indeed.

Thus sayeth the Great Text.





The Occasional Recipe Post: Jalapeño Ranch Dressing

There will be no refunds on the future cookbook, folks. I mention this now because the first ingredient here is “store bought ranch dressing.”

This recipe is adapted from one at the country club where my husband was a bartender back in the day and ran the Martini Bar. I used to go and sit at the bar after a full nine hours working at a garden center and wait for him to get off work. I was always filthy, smelly, and sweaty and it gave me the utmost pleasure to see all the country club ladies look at me, then look at my husband, then back to me and get the most confused look on their stiff faces. What does he see in that filthy urchin and who let her in here? You’ll never know, ladies, you’ll never know. Except for the last part- I snuck in the side door. I guess I could have brought a change of clothes and some wet wipes, actually, but what’s the fun in that? Is talking about B.O .and filthy nails a good technique in a cookbook? I might have to rethink…well, everything.

I have a salad dressing jar with a lid that I make this in, but you can make it in a large canning jar as well.


1.5 cups of store bought ranch dressing

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup pickled jalapeno juice. The cans of pickled jalapenos from the ethnic section of any grocery store? Yup- that’s the stuff. Pour the juice right off the top.


Combine all ingredients. Shake to combine. Firmly close lid. Shake to combine.