Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Otherwise known as, the obligatory blogging about blogging post. This is inspired by Sarah's recent post reflecting on her nearly-decade old (!!!) blog, which just happened to come at a time when I've been similarly weighing the pros and cons of continuing to spend my time and energy here and contemplating new ways to keep it fresh and interesting.

When I took my recent unintended "break", it did occur to me that this could be permanent. I didn't have to muster up the motivation to generate new content. Its a hobby I'm doing solely for myself, not a commitment I've made to anyone. It wasn't that I didn't want to keep writing. I'm just a generally…lazy type of person. An object at rest and all that. The longer I go without doing something, even something I really enjoy, the more motivation and energy it takes for me to get back into the habit (see: exercise. also…sex). Sometimes I do have to push myself over the hump, and then I'm good to go.

Why do I enjoy blogging? Mainly its the sense of community. I like virtually discussing things with you guys, getting your thoughts on my little dilemmas, weighing in on yours. A comment on Sarah's post (by OMDG) brought up the question of whether having this virtual community takes away from the desire/motivation to find and nurture off-line friendships. To some extent, this may be true. But mostly I feel that the relationships I've developed here are more of a complement than a substitute to real-life social interactions. And, as I've mentioned before, there really are some topics that are off-limits in many of my IRL friendships. Its not that I'm talking about it here instead of with non-blog friends---I'm talking about it here instead of not talking about it at all. 

I also find it therapeutic to write things out, it helps me process and confront my issues. I'm extremely conflict-averse, and prone to avoid even thinking about upsetting topics, but having to write about what's going on in my life---and striving to be honest about it---pushes me to unearth things I would've left buried. I honestly don't think I'd have started actively working on my marriage (and we're already seeing rewards!) if I hadn't been blogging.

So, yes, I plan to continue blogging. And I'll probably spend the bulk of my time here on the same old topics of work, marriage, motherhood. Maybe I'll throw in some more diverse topics---I do think about other stuff, like politics, feminism, TV, fashion, etc… Given that I can and do often discuss those things with friends, acquaintances, my husband, they are less critical to delve into here---but I'm also interested to hear your take on those things.

Ha! You're stuck with me, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How 'bout me?

G & I joke that we need that title emblazoned across a T-shirt for L, because he says it upwards of 50 times a day. Anytime we do anything with B, hug him, tickle him, tell him a joke or a story, tell him to do something...sure enough "How bout me?" repeated until we do the same to L. Also heard upwards of 50 times per day in our house is "Aargh, isn't he the cutest?" Because he is. He is one of those kids that people stop to comment on...big eyes, bilateral dimples, long eyelashes, wicked smile, and a ready "HI!" to anyone in earshot.

L is our snugglebug...he'll happily cuddle on my chest. He's still into "BUTTIE" (belly button), and I have to watch out in public because he's prone to pull up my shirt and exposure my least favorite body part to the world. He sucks his thumb whenever he sleeps, is sleepy, is upset, or is wary of a new situation.

He'll greet strangers all the live long day, but gets shy when someone actually talks to him. He loves to make funny faces or do little dances to make us laugh.

L is also my naughty one. He'll take B's things and purposefully run away with them, throw them down the stairs, shut the door and proclaim "That's BETTer!" He says that like a cartoon villain with the catch-phrases...he KNOWS we think its funny. He is the one to throw things into the toilet, or dump out an entire GALLON of liquid soap on our bedroom floor after lugging it up TWO FLIGHTS of stairs. He'll push the step stool over to where ever he's not supposed to reach, get what he wants, and stealthily move it back (this is where we usually catch him).

He loves everything his brother loves, like Toy Story, scootering,  painting and Laurie Berkner. He still can't figure out how puzzles work but wants to do them and then "HELP me!" but "NO, MY turn" when we try to show him how it goes. He is very much my "Do it self" or more accurately "I try!!" kid. He has gotten really good with the paintbrush, and the scooter outside just by sheer obstinance.

And boy this kid could make a mule look like a pansy-ass pushover with his stubborness. There is no reasoning with him when he wants something. There isn't a punishment or argument in the world that would get him to change his mind. Either we give in, or he cries/screams/rages himself out---and then continues to bring it up for the next 3 days. I tried to take him up for a nap last Sunday, he used to be OK with napping with us in the bed, but as soon as we got up there he lashed out, clawed at my eyes and pulled my hair and screamed until I brought him downstairs and he snuggled on my chest and sucked his thumb.

Food is a major area where the obstinance kicks in. The kid exits almost completely on fruits and the syrup he sucks out of the waffle in the morning. He used to eat oatmeal every day but lately has asked for other things that he completely ignores. The one food he eats is tacos. His favorite book is "Dragons love tacos". Coincidence?

Tantrums and all, L is a delight. He keeps all 4 of us laughing every day. I can't wait to see him grow up, I'm sure it will be entertaining if nothing else.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


B loves to listen to music. His current favorite CD is Madonna's Immaculate Collection (I wonder who prompted that one…) and his favorite track is #14 (he memorizes the NUMBER of the songs so he can find it on the laptop and put it on…his work-around for not being able to read). You know the one "So tired of broken hearts and losing at this game..Before I start this dance, I take a chance, in telling you I want more than just romance…" (totally appropriate 4-year old boy song, but at least better than the one he used to like "Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me, I think they're OK…") We like to put it on and have a little dance party. B, L, and I can really break it down!

B at 4 is constantly fascinating and infuriating me. I love his curiosity, his humor, his love of words and puns and stories. We share little inside jokes, he tells me about his dreams, he asks some really great questions that force us both to learn about new topics (most recently, sewage treatment plants because "but what happens to the poop mommy?"). I love his enthusiasm for music, painting, mixing and seasoning in the kitchen, running and climbing. In many ways he's a typical kid, in others, he is decidedly unique. He once spent 30 minutes re-arranging our pile of shoes near the front door, trying and re-trying with single-minded determination to make them all fit on the boot tray like it was a game of Tetris. He tells me he wants to be a girl so he can have long hair and wear barrettes, but the next day he wants a haircut because he can't see when hair is in his face.

I can't stand the whining, the feigned helplessness, the constant "I can't do it" and "I NEVER get to do xyz" (with xyz=something he was literally just doing, but had to stop for health/safety/time reasons).
He's smart, but he doesn't like to try, which worries me for his future. I am trying to instill a growth mindset, but he is pretty stubborn in his insistence that he "can't do anything"(swimming, soccer, putting his clothes on) because its not easy. He is just as stubborn in his insistence that he actually does "know everything"(how to keep himself safe, choose healthy foods) when he doesn't like what we are trying to teach him. He likes to make excuses for his bad behavior, or shunt the blame to someone/something else; I assume this is normal behavior for 4 year olds and 20 years and 40 year olds alike.

My time with B is full of contradictions. I both look forward to and dread the morning and bedtime routines. I can't wait for the weekend, and can't wait for it to be over some times. I am cherishing the joyful moments, and slogging through the monotony of constant reprimanding/scolding/reminding. As G said it so succinctly this weekend "This parenting thing is HARD". But awesome. Really awesome.

But also hard.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Jumping right back in

I didn't really mean to disappear. Nothing changed or happened, I was just spending my time doing other things---reading books, becoming addicted to a stupid i-phone game, taking the kids to the park after work,  reading more books, on-line shopping, and trying to get through Season 7 of the West Wing. So...pretty much status quo.

I'm so relieved that its finally spring. Even though its been in the 30s the past few mornings, requiring winter coats, at least its light out. There are finally some cherry blossoms in bloom, and weeds are poking through in our planters. Its time to schedule the dreaded garden store run (either we all go, and its chaos, or G goes and I watch the kids for 4 hours straight).

I had a pretty easy weekend of call. Both days I was out of here by 11AM...which was a mixed blessing. I got all the stress of early morning rounds PLUS all the child-care and chores of a normal weekend. And no chance to go for a run (or have a glass of wine) to relieve the stress of it all.

I'm still working on my resolutions for the year. I think I'll be working on them for months, if not years, if not the rest of my life. The things we struggle with, I think they are always struggles in some ways. Hopefully the tiny changes I'm making now will help things be a bit smoother down the road, though.

I've noticed that its about the choices I make. Not the big sweeping ones, like who to marry or where to live...but the tiny ones, like how to react to B hitting L in the face, or G leaving the dishes for me to wash when I also put the kids to bed. How to handle being 20 minutes late in the morning and the kids are still dawdling, or exhausted at night and they want "one more story mommy!". How to respond to the annoying email, or answer the same question the 5th time from a concerned patient. Lots and lots of little choices throughout the course of a day. I hope to choose right more often.

Every day I wake up and make the conscious decision to try to do the right thing. And then when I fail (I always do, in big or small ways), I decide to try again.