Lessons Learned

  1. I used to babysit regularly for a family that lived in a haunted house. The TV used to flick on and off, it always felt like you were being watched, and I had a kid run behind me laughing while I was doing dishes once… turned around- nothing. Went to check on the kids I was babysitting… all three in bed and sound asleep. And I mean SOUND asleep- they weren’t pulling one over on the babysitter.
    • Lesson: atheism doesn’t negate a belief in ghosts.
  2. One time in high school I started my period and knew, I mean KNEW, that I didn’t have any supplies… but I frantically rummaged through my backpack anyway. AND OH MY GOD I FOUND A TAMPON I WAS SAVED! I then immediately dropped it in the toilet.
    • Lesson: Sometimes having something and losing it is exactly like never having it at all.
  3. I was running into the grocery store one time in the rain and didn’t realize how deep a puddle was and SWOOOSH, kicked up a huge plume of water (one leg on the backswing) and sunk halfway up my calf in the puddle. A guy running the other direction DIED laughing to see it. (I mean died- stopped, doubled over, grabbing his stomach, the whole bit.) He called out an apology as I ran past him, but I yelled back that if it had to happen I was glad that someone saw it at least.
    • Lesson: With the right mindset the phrase “As long as somebody laughed” will get you through a hell of a lot in this world.
  4. Lice. (Shudder)
    • Lesson: Even if you think you’re so busy you don’t have any time to breath- somehow you’ll find 2 hours a night for weeks on end if you’re motivated.
  5. Steamed King Crab Legs (see here) is the hands down easiest dinner anyone could ever cook. Lentil Soup is the least expensive meal that will feed you for the week for just a few bucks.
    • Lesson: you can have fast… or you can have cheap… but you ain’t getting both.
  6. So this one time… I got pregnant? When I had my tubes tied? (see here) And we proceeded to freak the fuck out for months and months and months and now we all love that child like it’s going out of style.
    • Lesson: Aethism doesn’t negate an in depth understanding of the phrase “Man proposes, God disposes.”
  7. I got up to speak as a sophomore in high school to defend Block Scheduling because I believed in it SO much- I KNEW it was preparing me for the college experience and letting me learn much more in depth. (Longer classes, only 4 a day instead of 7 for the first half of the year with another set of 4 classes for the 2nd half of the year.) I loved that schedule… until the way my math classes synced up and I’d had an entire year between Algebra I and Algebra II.
    • Lesson: Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true.

On The Past Self

I remember a few years ago there was an impromptu reunion from my graduating class at Wurstfest (roll with me here- it’s a sausage festival in my hometown. It’s kinda a big deal round these parts). Now, I was there that evening because my husband and I had worked at my family’s booth at the festival. And we happened to walk through the area where this reunion was to be held for various reasons, none of which was that I wanted to be there.

At one point I heard my maiden name called really loudly. Excitedly. I might have even recognized the voice. Did I turn around and greet an old friend or classmate? Hell no I didn’t. My instinct was to drop my head into my shoulders and pick up the pace out of there.

I’ve thought about this over the years- why that’s my default reaction to that time and people. I’m proud of who I am now. Of my husband. Of my life. But the thought of looking someone in the face and having them see me with eyes that only recognize who I was back then… I find the whole concept unbearable. I used to laugh and say I hated everyone I went to high school with. That I hated the school and this town. But that’s the easy answer. The glib answer. The incorrect one. The truth is it wasn’t all of them I hated. (Some? Yes. Most? Yes. All? Probably not, I guess)

Because I was me, this me, this 37 year old me trapped inside back then. It was like I was an egg, and the shell (breaking out of your shell- never heard that analogy before, woman! Uninventive but apt- bear with me here)– the shell was this confidence lacking awkward person who hadn’t learned to laugh at herself or life yet. For it to be such an integral part of my life now it is weird that I didn’t have humor on the radar even until I was most of the way through my senior year. But… I was this me inside. And let me tell you it’s a very odd feeling to not know how to be you. I got there eventually, but it was a mostly uncomfortable time for me.


And so, I want nothing to do with the people who remember the egg. For fear they won’t see the feathers I’ve grown in the years since? For fear there aren’t as many feathers as I think? Maybe.

Or maybe they really do all suck and I’m overthinking this. That could be it too.

But here’s my point- for my children I want nothing more than to make life easier for them. AND YET, it’s the difficult parts of my own life that made me who I am today. How do I weigh what is good for them against what is better for them? All the while knowing not everyone makes it out of difficult situations the same way I did?

All the baby books talk about breast milk vs. formula, or cosleeping vs. cribs… someone needs to write about the vastly more tricky parental decision of weighing character building vs. mental anguish protection for our children. I’d read it.

Nature vs nurture has nothing on establishing backbone vs. hardships unknown lemme tell ya.


Proving sleeping and parenting don’t ALWAYS have to be mutually exclusive…


Welp. Ain’t that the truth.

No real earth shaking revelation this time or anything, just a little resonance. Plus… it’s so sweet when they feed themselves on a Saturday morning and you get to sleep in. (Teaching! That’s all about the teaching and better human being thing! SWEAR.) We have… 10 more weeks to enjoy the extra sleep and easy Saturday mornings before we kiss that goodbye for the next 5 years. Le sigh.

The Occasional Pregnancy Week by Week Comparison Calendar

I have issues with the common comparisons to food you run across on the “Your Baby This Week” calendars. I subscribe to three of those calendars because… shut up. That’s why. Those countdown calendars always compare the baby’s size to food and my issue with that is… it’s inconsistency. So last week the baby was a mango, but this week a carrot? One, there are literally no carrot shaped babies. And two, mangos seem bigger than carrots, right? And the week before they were a mango le infante was a bell pepper? I’ve seen some pretty big bell peppers… and unless I’m growing them myself I THINK they’re usually bigger than mangos. So forget the food comparisons. The bigger issue here is that food is inanimate… and babies are big time animate. So below is my pregnancy comparison calendar… to animals.

Continue reading “The Occasional Pregnancy Week by Week Comparison Calendar”

The Occasional Pregnancy Post

So, I’m a day shy of 25 weeks pregnant which I’m sure is of MUCH greater interest to my husband and me than to any of you out there. But- since it’s been weighing on my mind (and sciatica! Hi-yo, pregnancy humor!) I figured I’d give a quick shout out to what I consider to be one of the positive and more unexpected of pregnancy side effects.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Is it boobs? Its boobs. I bet its boobs.” To which I reply a resounding NAY! Screw these damn things! As far as I’m concerned these things are not supposed to meet in the middle and I can’t wait to go back to the day when they’re as distant from each other as pissed off neighbors. No, that is not the beneficial side effect of which I speak! I speak of the blessing of…

THE NESTING INSTINCT! Hell yeah does that jacking of hormonal levels rock! Order out of chaos! The joy of a job well done! Clean-y, clean-y, clean-y!


Pillows not perfectly aligned? Rumpled comforter? Corners not in a hospital tuck?! What the hell is this shit?

I tried to explain to my husband a bit about this a while back, before I exactly realized what it was. He’s recently gone back to work after a hiatus to raise our girls and get his Master’s degree, and so I’ve picked up a lot of the chores around the house he used to do in an effort to make things easier for him. And after a week or so of this I told him if I’d known I could be so happy just taking care of the girls and keeping a clean house that maybe I should have been a housewife YEARS ago! To which I got a guarded side-eye and almost imperceptible backing away slowly while he said he THOUGHT it was probably just the nesting instinct kicking in. Damn. He’s right.

Don’t get me wrong, I like order and a clean house in normal times and have been known to make a bed before I crawl in it for the night. I also live by the mantra that an orderly house equates to an orderly mind.  And the fact that clutter and being surrounded by stuff makes me crazy- the more you own, the more that owns you, you dig? But lately that tendency… well let’s just say ours goes to 11, as Nigel put it.

And it isn’t like I should have been surprised by this. With my first daughter I was up on a ladder washing the outside of the windows on our rental house on my due date. And that was months after I got up at 2am to clean the fridge that one time…

Whatever. I’ll take the perks where I can get them and ride these crazy hormones as far as I can- because waking up at 2am to pee is for the birds, let me tell ya.