Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Motherhood: part 2

Here's the promised second half of a mom's take on the 12 Days of Christmas. Pretty much just for my own entertainment, but enjoy anyway. :)

Mom’s Twelve Dreams of Christmas
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
two loving brothers
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
four ‘yuv you mommy’s,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
five toothless grins...
four ‘yuv you mommy’s,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
six sweet-boy snuggles,
five toothless grins,
four ‘yuv you mommy’s,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
seven silent naptimes,
six sweet-boy snuggles,
five toothless grins,
four ‘yuv you mommy’s,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
eight splashy bathtimes,
seven silent naptimes,
six sweet-boy snuggles,
five toothless grins,
four ‘yuv you mommy’s,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
nine giggly evenings,
eight splashy bedtimes,
seven silent naptimes,
six sweet-boy snuggles,
five toothless grins,
four ‘yuv you mommy’s,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
ten imaginary games,
nine giggly evenings,
eight splashy bedtimes,
seven silent naptimes,
six sweet-boy snuggles,
five toothless grins,
four ‘yuv you mommy’s,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
eleven surprise hugs,
ten imaginary games,
nine giggly evenings,
eight splashy bedtimes,
seven silent naptimes,
six sweet-boy snuggles,
five toothless grins,
four ‘yuv you mommy’s,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
twelve sleep-in mornings,
eleven surprise hugs,
ten imaginary games,
nine giggly evenings,
eight splashy bedtimes,
seven silent naptimes,
six sweet-boy snuggles,
five toothless grins,
four ‘yuv you mommy’s,
three toddler giggles,
two loving brothers,
and a peacefully sleeping baby.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12 Days of Motherhood: part 1

Here's my attempt at a take on the 12 Days of Christmas, focusing on the not-so-nice parts of motherhood. I will come back with a more positive one soon, I promise!

The 12 Nightmares of Mom’s Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
an endlessly crying baby.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
two poop explosions
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
four grumpy evenings,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
five temper tantrums....
four grumpy evenings,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
six toddlers screaming,
five temper tantrums,
four grumpy evenings,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
seven sleepless naptimes,
six toddlers screaming,
five temper tantrums,
four grumpy evenings,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
eight leaky diapers,
seven sleepless naptimes,
six toddlers screaming,
five temper tantrums,
four grumpy evenings,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
nine whiny voices,
eight leaky diapers,
seven sleepless naptimes,
six toddlers screaming,
five temper tantrums,
four grumpy evenings,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
ten predawn wakings,
nine whiny voices,
eight leaky diapers,
seven sleepless naptimes,
six toddlers screaming,
five temper tantrums,
four grumpy evenings,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
eleven changes of clothing,
ten predawn wakings,
nine whiny voices,
eight leaky diapers,
seven sleepless naptimes,
six toddlers screaming,
five temper tantrums,
four grumpy evenings,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
twelve runny noses,
eleven changes of clothing,
ten predawn wakings,
nine whiny voices,
eight leaky diapers,
seven sleepless naptimes,
six toddlers screaming,
five temper tantrums,
four grumpy evenings,
three spit-up puddles,
two poop explosions,
and an endlessly crying baby.

Stuck in fast-forward.

I had really hoped to be back before now. I feel, as the title suggests, as if I am stuck in fast-forward. I hate that feeling on principle, but it's especially sad when it's in the middle of the holiday season. This is my favorite time of year, but I haven't gotten nearly anything done yet that I usually do by now. My Christmas cards were just addressed today and won't go out in the mail until Monday. I have one batch of cookie dough refrigerating, hopefully to be baked tonight but perhaps tomorrow. Our tree isn't up yet.

I guess I should cut myself a little slack, since we have a 4 1/2 month old dictating most of my schedule these days. He is a great baby, but it's still a bit unpredictable how much time I will have to get things done any given time he is asleep. I'm also trying to get back into shape; lately I've been averaging 3-4 days on the treadmill per week, and I added my long weekend run back in last week. With the weather as cold as it's been around here, I put a movie on and hop on the treadmill for 90 minutes. Before you gasp, I'll fully admit that I do a slow jog and take walk breaks every 5 minutes.

Anyway, I had an idea for a fun series of poems, taking off on the 12 Days of Christmas. If anyone wants to join me, that's great. If not, I guess I'll do it for my own entertainment. I'll post it in a separate entry, however. Hopefully tonight, depending on how it goes. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Poetry Challenge: Ripped from the headlines.

Hey folks,

Long time no see. I am running out of excuses not to blog, so here I am. I said I would write a poem related to this year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, as I will do below. I will expand my inspiration for my readers to be able to select any current event that strikes their fancy. I feel that feature-y news stories work better for this type of thing, but if you find something newsy that works, go for it. If the story is not really familiar, please include a link to the story which provided the inspiration.

Here's mine:


I provided shade for generations
in a peaceful New York suburb.
Only recently have I grown so large
that the family worried at the prospect
of a windstorm bringing me down on them.

The father of the family,
one of New York City’s Bravest,
could not fathom losing any more
people he loved in a senseless manner
if he could help it.

So I was chosen
to be packed on a truck,
carefully pruned and groomed,
fitted with millions of lights
and brighten Rockefeller Center.

When I got to Manhattan,
I had one more surprise:
a nesting bird in my branches.
The bird was carefully removed
and now lives in the Central Park Zoo.

When this season is over,
I will yield myself again
to provide shelter for those in need,
safely sheltering further generations
as I have my whole life.

The story outlining most of these facts can be viewed here.
The rest was reported on the Today Show over the past few weeks, and I think you can probably find it by searching their page. Now, go forth and write!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where DOES the time go?

I mean, really.

Last Wednesday I turned 32. I had to ask my husband several times leading up to it what age I was really going to be, I keep forgetting.

This Friday my baby boy will be four months old already. He smiles and holds his head up very well while on his stomach, and has the beginning of a cute laugh starting. He doesn't scream through his entire bath anymore, just when I'm washing his hair and face, and then he calms down again as I am drying him off. He likes to "talk" to me if I hold him in front of me. So cute!

My older son is now obsessed with the Ellen Degeneres Show. He particularly loves the beginning of the show; he tries to sing along with the theme song and copies the announcer saying "From the Warner Brothers Studios, here she is now, Ellen Degeneres!" as she walks out of the big doors on her stage. He will do this with two toy cars and a drinking straw or whatever he can find. Too funny.

My husband is doing NaNoWriMo this year, as I did last year. I realized as he began his writing that I had been avoiding the editing process with my novel from last year, and I have finally started editing it. I am 2/3 of the way through it, if only for the very basic edits. I am relieved that it isn't quite as bad as I feared it would be going back through it. I only hope that when I let other people read it they won't think it's worse than I do!

Before I forget, I am going to put here my next idea for a poetry challenge: write a poem based on some interesting news story. Mine will be about this year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. I shall also try to get back on here to write that poem within a week or so. :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Poetry Challenge: Web Inspiration

Hello again!

I lost count of how many challenges we've had, so I guess I'll stop numbering them. It doesn't really matter, right?

Anyway, I thought this time we could look around for something on the internet to inspire us. If you are stumped for an idea, may I suggest PostSecret.com. I am constantly amazed by the things people choose to anonymously share with Frank on his weekly blog, although I can understand how freeing that sharing could be. One secret in particular struck me this week:

This postcard brings up so many questions. I wonder what Sara must think when reading it. Does she know it's for her? Does she know what her friend means by it? I like to think she does. Here's what I came up with:

Postcard for Sara

It's your turn to decide.
I can't make your choice for you
this time.
Examine your path options carefully
and steer your feet wherever the mood
strikes you.
You can make up your mind to pursue
that dream you always thought was
too extravagant.
You can go for that crazy whim
you've been putting off, fearing
you'll fail.
Whatever you choose,
I'll be right behind you.
You can be the queen
of anything.

So, what have you got for me? I'm waiting!! Oh, and please share the URL of whatever inspires your work.

Welcome to the madhouse!

But it's such a great place to be, I swear.

Life with two boys is definitely more than twice the work, particularly since my older son, who was formerly practically angelic, has now resorted to acting up more often, I assume because he gets attention away from his brother that way. I feel bad that I have to make him wait for things more often now, but really, he has handled the adjustment with a lot of grace for a two-and-a-half year old. He still tries to give his brother kisses on his hands and helps me burp him. He has never once complained about him at all.

The thing I have found the most challenging is traveling with both children. We were invited to a family reunion for my husband's family a few weeks ago, and we agreed to come although I was dreading the 2 1/2 hour flight to get there. I made sure to select a flight that did not make any stops, at least. Unfortunately Murphy's Law was in full effect for the flight out, however. First, the flight was delayed for at least a half hour before we were even called to board, making it about 10:30PM. Then, after getting on the plane (no small feat with a large toddler car seat, toddler, and infant) and leaving the gate, the pilot came on the PA and announced that we had a malfunctioning computer so we were going back to the gate to switch to a different plane. Terrific. After all was said and done, we didn't get in to the reunion city until 3:30AM (the hotel was an hour from our airport). The cherry on top was that the key reader to let us into the hotel was not working properly, and we could not get the night clerk to answer the buzzer to let us in. Finally some woman who was staying at the hotel had to go out to her car and we got in that way, but my father in law gave that clerk a piece of his mind when he finally got him to come out from their break room or wherever he was. The rest of the trip was mercifully uneventful, and it was great to introduce our newest addition to his great-grandfather, but I am glad we don't have to truck both children on a plane again until Christmas, when my mom has supplied us with accommodations to stay in Orlando for the week.

A typical day now consists of at least one period in which both children are shrieking and/or crying, a long walk, sometimes punctuated by a trip to the park to tire out the toddler, and a nap for everyone in the house. Ideally these naps line up so Mom can get one too. Once the baby sleeps for a long stretch at night (we got 7.5 hours last night, hooray!!) on a regular basis, Mom will replace her nap in the day with when she will run on her treadmill to hopefully get back to her fighting weight a little faster than she did with her older son. I had actually hoped to run a 5k in a few weeks, but I am not sure if that is such a good idea anymore...we shall see if I can get a few trial runs in first. It isn't very far so if I can get a few in, I will still do it. My big goal is to train for the 2011 Chicago Marathon and run it with my brother, who is running it for at least the third time next weekend.

Well, that about sums it up for now. I will post the Poetry Challenge as a separate post shortly.

watch this space...

I will return (hopefully tonight) to post a brand new poetry challenge as well as another synopsis of the crazy life I have been leading the past month. Watch this space for my triumphant return...or my return, at any rate. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What Patriotism Means to Me.

I can’t believe it’s been nine years since the attacks on the World Trade Center. I’m sure most of you can still remember where you were when you heard the news. I was listening to NPR on the way to buy a futon for my first apartment; we had gotten married just three months before and were moving into the apartment that day. We didn’t have our real bed yet but planned on using the futon as a couch once the bed arrived. I am very lucky nothing out of the ordinary happened on the road as I listened to the tragedy unfold; I was slowly losing awareness of what was happening in front of me as I tried to wrap my mind around the situation. My husband and I took separate cars to the store as I was planning to go to work afterward, so when we stepped out of our cars in the parking lot, he looked at me and said, “is this the end of the world?” It really seemed like it could be at that moment. I don’t recall being that scared in my entire life.

Time and life has dampened down the fear since then, although it is still a real undercurrent in daily life. For me, however, I am able to differentiate between terrorists and others who have only one similarity to those who would hurt us: a claim to the Muslim faith.

This is why I am so sad about the developments surrounding the proposed Muslim community center near Ground Zero. Just because there is an area reserved for prayer, the majority of the American people are up in arms about a “mosque” being built near “sacred ground.” Well, no one stopped the strip joints from moving in. I am more offended by that than a simple area for prayer. It’s not a terrorist training center. It’s not even officially a church of any kind. I am generally in favor of spaces in urban areas that provide a place for youth to go and participate in more productive activities than loitering and getting into trouble. I have no problem with that center being opened by a religion other than my own.

I am sure you have heard about the pastor who threatened to burn copies of the Koran on this ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This is the exact opposite of what I wish would happen on this anniversary. Why do people seem to think that showing prejudice and violence will stop or discourage people who seek to exact violence upon us? Have these people forgotten the phrase, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”? People who hate Americans will only hate us more if we insult their religion. It is amazingly ignorant and simplistic to target all members of a religion as “terrorists” when the core values of that religion are actually very similar to Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. A very few clerics advocate violence, while the majority urge peace. It is no different in any religion, or even in any given group of people; there are some radicals while a much greater number adhere to the core teachings of their religion which reject intolerance and violence, promoting peace and understanding.

In my ideal world, the anniversary of such horrific attacks would be full of examples of love and understanding among the people of the world. It would fly in the face of those few individuals who seek to destroy peace. Perhaps Pastor Terry Jones would benefit from reviewing Jesus’ actions toward those who sought to do violence against him and his followers instead of resorting to the same sort of blind hatred against which he is railing. I am glad that it appears that Pastor Jones has had a change of heart, but it still makes me ill that he would have even considered such a ridiculous show of ignorance. It gives me a glimmer of hope for the future of American-Muslim relations that it seems that most people were against his idea, however. Perhaps sometime in the near future people will gain a greater understanding of other religions and realize that just as Christians cannot all be painted with the same brush (I am not of the same cloth as Pat Robertson, for example), neither can Muslims.

Today and every day, let us strive for more understanding and love among all people. That is the best way to honor the lives that were taken too soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Controlled chaos.

That's about the best description I can manage for how the last few weeks have been. It's more dealing with my toddler's adjustment period to having his little brother interrupting his routine 24 hours a day than it is dealing with the infant. My baby is really treating us well, sleeping for long stretches and only really crying when he's hungry. He can also sleep through his brother on a whining streak or jumping up and down next to his pack and play. Thank goodness for that!

I am continually surprised with how many "testing" things my formerly angelic toddler has come up with since his little brother arrived. The other day he managed to climb out of his crib, landing with a bone-chilling THUD and crying, although none the worse for wear. He also discovered that he can annoy me to no end by holding a bite of food in his mouth for over an hour, only surrendering it when one of us sticks a finger in his mouth and digs it out. I hope that one is short lived, it's pretty gross. Today he finally nearly hit his brother when in the middle of a tantrum, but I hope my reaction helped him realize it was a bad idea. Ughh.

I am trying to focus on the positive times, like when my big boy will go over to his brother when he is crying and say "It's okay" and pat him gently. He really seems to enjoy him, he's just trying to figure out what the new normal is, I think. I hope things will settle down a bit soon; until then I will probably only post sporadically.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Little one...

The newest member of our family joined us just before 11AM on Monday, July 19. He ended up nearly a pound smaller than his big brother at birth, but still a hefty 8 1/2 pounds. The labor and delivery could not have gone much better. The bane of my labors seems to be getting my IV; last time they tried three times before they were successful, but this time it was four times, plus I got two shots of local anesthetic for my epidural since the anesthesiologist decided to try another space on my back after trying one and not liking it.

The beauty of labor, however, is no matter what may be painful, unpleasant, or in any way negative about it, the end result is a beautiful new baby and everything else just fades away. Little boy is gorgeous, in his mother's wholly unbiased opinion. Here are some highlights:

He eats amazingly well. My older son had trouble latching on but this guy has had very few problems, and even when he seems to have a hard time finding what he's looking for he doesn't get too upset to keep trying until he gets it. At his first doctor's appointment he had already regained his birth weight!

He has tons of dark hair. His brother had dark hair but not nearly as much at birth. It also has a double cowlick in the back, making it stick out at crazy angles. I call it "monkey hair." Super cute, especially with the downy fuzz that's on his back and shoulders.

His eyes are still a mystery. I had convinced myself that this little guy would have brown eyes since his brother has blue even though his dad's are brown (my whole family has blue). When he first opened his eyes I thought he had brown eyes but they have settled into the steely dark blue that his brother's were when he was brand new. Big brother's have lightened to a bright blue now, but I know newborns can have blue eyes at birth and end up with brown within a year; we'll see if they stay blue or not.

His hands and feet seem tiny compared to his brother's, but his fingers and toes are long. He also has the most interesting oval shaped fingernails.

I think he has his Pop Pop's nose, while I think his brother's nose is more like my father's.

When he isn't all wrapped up, he likes to sleep with one hand up by his face.

I am feeling very lucky. For the most part he doesn't cry unless he is hungry or being changed, and has been sleeping pretty well for a newborn. I hope he takes after his brother and continues sleeping well. *knocks on wood*

Isn't it amazing how the older sibling suddenly looks huge in comparison to his younger sibling? I have had my big boy on my rediscovered lap a few times in the last week and he just seems enormous. I know he's still a little boy but having this tiny one around all the time really shows me how much he has grown. Big boy will be two and a half next week; it's hard to believe it's been that long.

Big brother is finally starting to acknowledge his little brother more. At first he would just ask us what he was doing, where he was, or "what's that noise?" when he was crying. Now if his brother cries, he'll say, "Baby brother crying. It's okay." Or sometimes, "Baby brother stop crying now." Awww. He will give him a kiss most of the time if we ask, very sweetly and gently. Today he actually wanted to touch him with one finger on the head and leg and was asking about the pattern on his outfit, so I think he is starting to realize he may be sticking around. I can't wait till he really is able to bond with him, although I know it may take awhile.

While I am loving bonding with the little one, I feel somewhat torn. My mom and my husband have valiantly taken over toddler duty while I can't pick him up, but I miss my big boy sometimes. I hope he doesn't think I have replaced him. At least he isn't ignoring me anymore like he did the first few days home from the hospital. Soon enough I will have to learn how to juggle caring for both of them for the bulk of the day by myself, which seems terrifying right now; I hope I am ready by the time that rolls around in another ten days or so.

Well, I'm rambling at this point; I will try to post again when there are new developments.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flying time.

Now that I know the end date is in sight (I have an induction appointment at 3:30 AM on Monday), I am feeling like a post is in order. I have decided to document things I will and won't miss about this pregnancy.

Things I Won't Miss:
  • Avoiding caffeine, particularly lattes and frappuccinos.
  • Getting up 3-4 times a night to go to the bathroom.
  • Feeling slow and heavy.
  • The end-of-pregnancy baby movements where most stretches and rolls are just uncomfortable.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions.
  • Taking at least 3 separate movements to turn over in bed.
  • Constant fatigue.
  • My PUPPS rash, which has taken up residence in the new stretch marks on my belly.
  • Being uncomfortable in nearly any position if in that position too long.
  • Not being able to walk for very long without wanting to stop and sit or lay down.
  • That thing little guy did last night where it felt like he was drilling into my cervix. OW.

Things I Will Miss:
  • The feeling of sharing secret times with the little one, when he makes tiny movements only I know about.
  • Hiccups.
  • The gentler, Tai Chi type movements of earlier pregnancy.
  • Watching my shape change to accommodate this new life.
  • Indulging the occasional craving.
  • Daydreaming about what this little one will look and be like.
  • Having my older son come up and give my belly kisses and tell his baby brother he loves him.
Okay, so the list of what I will miss is shorter that what I won't, but that doesn't mean I don't really love being pregnant. It's just the end and it's harder to remember the sweet parts. I'm so ready to meet my little boy that I've been dreaming about for so long. Fear not, faithful readers, I will update as soon as I can after this little guy makes his grand entrance.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at NursingFreedom.org. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public ("NIP"). See the bottom of this post for more information.


I consider myself a moderate person in most senses of the word. I would not normally consider myself an activist. But when it comes to nursing, particularly in public, I have found myself with an increasingly strong desire to defend any and all mothers who choose to feed their child in a public place. Sometimes it is just necessary for an exclusively-breast fed child to eat while the child and his or her mother are out of the house. There are many reasons why this child could not be fed by a bottle: some breast fed babies reject bottles, particularly from their mothers (mine was one of them; he nearly never accepted a bottle from me and was reluctant with others). Other times, it is simply a chance outing that happened when the mother did not have time to pump a bottle before they left the house. Particularly when the mother stays at home with the baby, unless there is a special circumstance there is little reason to pump.

As for “covering up”, I believe that mothers have the right to breast feed in public however they and their children feel most comfortable, whether that means they use a cover or blanket or not. I have yet to see a mother who left an entire breast exposed the whole time she fed her child, as I have read on various articles’ comment sections. Most moms show at most a glimpse of nipple or anything else “risqué” before the baby is latched on, and then whatever part of the breast is visible is no more than many women show in everyday shirts. It is certainly less breast than I see at the beach or even on TV.

While I have been fortunate not to have been harassed at all for nursing in public, I have a personal memory that explains why covers should not be expected, but rather a personal choice. The summer after my son was born, I was enjoying an outdoor table at a restaurant with some friends of ours. My son was about six months old and I planned to nurse him at the table while we were having dinner. It was fairly hot that day (at least in the 80s), and there was full sun on our table, so my son protested when I went to cover him up with my nursing cover. It was not a blanket, but the cover I have is made of canvas, so it is not terribly breathable and he was starting to sweat. He actually started getting upset enough that he would not calm down to eat. I am sad to say that the best I could do at the time (still being shy about nursing uncovered in public) was to sit in the lounge area of the women’s restroom to try to feed him. I was crying in frustration myself by this time, wondering what I was doing wrong. Of course, it was just that he was hot and didn’t want to be covered up, but it’s hard not to take it personally when something that is usually second nature isn’t working the way it should. While no one was saying anything to me, I let what I perceived to be the prevailing public opinion sway my actions (i.e., women nursing in public must cover themselves up).

I am about to give birth to my second son, and if this same scenario were to present itself today, I would just remove the cover and continue trying to feed my son without it. I am now more experienced and more confident in my right as a nursing mother to feed my baby wherever, whenever and however I see fit. I believe every nursing mother (especially those just starting out and lacking the confidence of the veterans) has the same right. I am not going to flash anyone; I simply want my baby to be nourished the way he would be if we were at home. I do not believe that such a simple and natural desire is too much to ask.

Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit NursingFreedom.org any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts - new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 - Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I will probably never stop being surprised by my child, soon to be children. The other day as I prepared his bath, my son pulled an eyelash curler out of a drawer and tucked it under his chin pointing vertically. I asked him what he was doing, and he replied, "I'm a doctor!" The only thing I can think of is that an episode of Elmo's World focused on doctors and their stethoscopes, and he thought doing that looked like he was wearing a stethoscope. I was not in a great mood that evening but I can tell you I laughed for a good while over that one. He repeated his performance this evening with his toothbrush. He also knows how to cover his eyes, count to ten and say "ready or not, here I come!" although the rest of the game of hide and seek is lost on him so far.

I only hope he treats his baby brother with the love he shows for his teddy bears. He hugs and kisses them, brushes their fur with a hairbrush, and sits them down going "There you go, buddy."

In other news, I submitted a blog post on breastfeeding for a carnival designed to support nursing in public, and was accepted. I will be posting it on Friday, so stay tuned for my very first activist (or lactivist) post!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If you leave me now...

This morning I woke up with that Chicago song in my head. You know, the one that goes "If you leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me..." I had to chuckle since if I had my baby, he would basically be taking away the biggest part of me right now (i.e. my belly). I crack myself up sometimes.

While the beginning of this pregnancy really dragged for me (anxiety will do that, I suppose), the end has really been flying. I have a huge list of things I still need to do that I compiled while I was supposed to be napping the other day, and only a few of them have been accomplished. My work is cut out for me since I am still tired, itchy (bug bites, ugh!!) and increasingly cranky. At least the weather the past few days has been mercifully in the 70s. No such luck for the upcoming weekend, but then the in-laws will be in town to assist with the toddler, who is slowing down for no one. It should be a nice visit--their last until the little brother arrives. Hard to believe that d-day is no more than 23 days away! We may take an induction date on the 19th if I am showing enough signs of readiness; we shall see as that date approaches.

Monday, June 21, 2010


By request, I will post today so my mom can see my baby ticker. :) I passed the 35 week mark on Friday, which also happens to be when I had 35 days left. I always thought that particular milestone is kind of fun. The next one I have to look forward to is July 2, when I will be 37 weeks, or full term. It's pretty amazing to me how quickly this last few weeks (even a few months?) have gone. I am now to the stage where little one's movements are increasingly becoming uncomfortable, yet I still relish feeling them since I know I will miss it when he is born. I am looking forward to seeing how similar or different he will look from my big boy, though for quite awhile now I've had a feeling he will look different. I guess we'll see in a few weeks if I was right.

I hope someone else might jump in and write a Gaga-inspired poem; I enjoyed writing mine and Cicely's was a hoot as well. Check them out on my last post if you missed it!

I woke up from my nap this afternoon with a few small ideas for that novel I wrote way back in November, and I am thinking it's a sign that I should try to actually do some edits on it before the baby comes. I hope I keep that motivation for when I actually have the time (after I put the boy to bed). I'll let you know if it worked. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

I did it!!

I finally wrote the Gaga poem I was hoping to write. I won't make this an official Poetry Challenge because it was so difficult for me to do, but you can certainly join in if you like.

I settled on Lady Gaga's "Telephone," mostly because I decided it's the only one of her songs I don't completely despise. Also, I think this cover of it is one of the cooler things I have seen recently on YouTube.

If you liked that, check out Pomplamoose's other videos on YouTube, I haven't seen a bad one yet.

So, on with the poem. A tiny bit of background: the other reason I chose that song to poem-ize is that while I thought the sentiment expressed (wishing to free herself from unrealistic expectations of a boyfriend) was admirable, I don't think she expressed it nearly strongly enough. So here's my poetic version of the song.

Leave Me the Hell Alone
(inspired by Lady Gaga’s “Telephone”)

Before you can say anything,
just listen to me speak.
I saw the million messages,
the texts you sent, you freak.

You could have made your plans with me,
but you just blew me off,
so now you can go kick some rocks,
I’m sick or something. *cough*

Just because you changed your mind
won’t make me change mine too,
I made some plans with my girlfriends,
I’m not stuck to you like glue.

Your pathetic badgering
only drives me away,
so why don’t you go get a life?
I have my own, OK?

I dare you to pick another song (or even the same one!) and take a crack at poemifying it! Go on, who's it gonna hurt?

Completely off that topic, but I wanted to add this: if you are looking for a cause to support for a Pepsi grant, please check out Give Kids the World. They sponsor trips for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to Florida to enjoy the various theme parks. Here is the link to vote for them; the top two will win $250,000. http://www.refresheverything.com/givekidstheworld I can't think of a better cause.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

So, that happened.

As in, I had an idea for something to write and now I can't seem to wrap my brain around it. This is unfortunately not the next blog post I had in mind to write, but it will have to do for now. Perhaps I will be able to get that Gaga poem going soon, but we will be out of town this weekend so I'm not sure when I will be able to work on it. Sigh.

In other news, our boy is coming up with new and amazing things to say every day lately. My mom came to visit us yesterday after spending a week in London with my nephew, and brought him back a toy double-decker bus. He calls it the "London bus" and loves it (which surprises no one). He can jump up and down while holding onto something (i.e., crib rail, couch arm, Mommy). It's pretty funny to watch him try to jump without holding on to things, though. He just kind of bounces on his toes and flaps his arms around. He can also point out where Baby Brother is and say "I luff you" and kiss my tummy. Awwww.

Baby boy is still going strong. He is slowly trading his hard kicks for more subtle rolls and stretches, but he will quite often find a position that will cause at least mild discomfort. However, I will take any pain he wants to dish out, it will all be more than worth it in the end.

Finally, in browsing around blogs I follow, this article caught my eye. I love when poetry can help in changing someone's life, and this is one of those times.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The before-promised blog...

After all, it IS still the same week as when I had promised this here blog post. I suppose my repeated apologies are falling on deafer and deafer ears so maybe I should just stop making them.

I am not sure how many of my dear readers are watching Glee, but I have to say that like many writers, I have a love-hate relationship with the show. It has moments of brilliance (take, from the "theatricality" episode, the "I Dreamed a Dream" duet between Idina Menzel and Lea Michele), but even in the same EPISODE, moments of...well...WTF-itude (case in point: the duet between the same actresses, performing a bizarre rendition of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face.") I watched transfixed by the sheer messed-upness of singing to your long-lost mother about your...muffin????? I cannot imagine how they got through the scene without breaking into laughter, it just seemed so bizarre.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how much I loathe Lady Gaga. I do not understand her fame one bit. She is not attractive in any way, her outfits are ridiculous, and her songs are vapid, repetitive and uninteresting (unless you want something to dance to at a club at 500 decibels, I suppose). I am one of those people who listen to lyrics, and while she can make a good rhyme, those lyrics are NOT good poetry.

So, as I was thinking about what a bad poet Lady Gaga is (and how somehow she is still paid a ridiculous amount of money for both her own songs and to write songs for OTHER people that are just as bad), I had another thought. Maybe I could take one of her songs and try to turn it into a passable poem. I think, sure, what do I have to lose? Why not?

And then, after doing a little research and looking at several sets of lyrics, I decided it's too late to do it tonight...but I do want to. If anyone wants to join in with their own stab at it, we can make it a poetry challenge! I have to say, on initial examination, we would certainly have our work cut out for us. Or, you can tell me in the comments which of her songs you want me to try to poem-ify. I think I may just have to take the "gist" of a song and write a poem on that. We shall see what I can come up with...LATER!

But because I have left you hanging once again, let me leave you with this.

Annnnd this.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

2 months left.

Today was the first really warm day we'll likely have here this spring/summer, and I have a feeling I'm really in for it. Heat zaps my energy even when I am not pregnant, but being heavily pregnant I am certain will amplify the sedative effect.

Before we realized how warm it would turn out to be, we agreed to meet some friends and their toddler at a conservatory to check out the flora. It was beautiful, to be sure, but it was definitely HOT in there. Luckily the second part of our outing was to a terrific soul-food restaurant, where I finally got to try chicken and waffles. I heartily approve, particularly if they are washed down by a tall glass of sweet tea.

The boy enjoyed the trip, particularly his meal. He downed half a Belgian waffle and an entire cup of grapes and honeydew melon. Immediately upon returning home, he ate half a mini bagel, half a graham cracker, and the remains of his breakfast waffle and turkey sausage. Methinks we might be in a growth spurt!!

Again, I apologize for my lameness in not posting very often. Even when the temperatures haven't skyrocketed, I am feeling a severe lack of motivation to do much of anything apart from basic living activities. I hope the energy comes back sometime, I'm getting tired of being such a slug...but I'm not sure how to help myself out of it. Sigh...at least I physically feel pretty good still. Baby boy is starting to stretch out rather uncomfortably from time to time and my bathroom trips in the middle of the night have increased (he is super low most of the time), but otherwise I am counting myself lucky! The last ultrasound with growth measurements will be this Thursday; I am curious to see if this little one has as big a head as his brother did at that point. The 3d ultrasound I had at the beginning of the month showed that he bears at least a bit of a resemblance to his brother; we'll have to wait to see if the coloring sets him apart or not.

Anyway...hopefully I'll be back later in the week with another post. I'd love anyone to pitch in a late attempt at the Mother poems, since no one has taken a crack at it yet...

Friday, May 14, 2010

10 weeks left...

As slowly as the beginning of this pregnancy had gone, the last few months seem to have flown by. Perhaps it's the juxtaposition of how heavy and slow I feel like I am getting and how much I need to be aware of my constantly-active toddler (mostly damage control when he's in destructo-mode, trying to swim in the dog's water, open the china cabinet, etc.). Maybe that's why I need to nap so often in this pregnancy and I didn't really in my first one.

I am feeling pretty peaceful about this little one's impending arrival. I guess it's because I've gotten to the point where it is reasonable to expect a good outcome even if he chooses to come early. Otherwise I have to think it's because I have now been through all of this before, so there is not so much fear of the unknown. I'm sure he will have some surprises in store for me, but I'm trying to remain zen about all of it. No use worrying right now whether he will sleep well or be colicky, etc.

Anyway, I wanted to check in since I hadn't posted at all this week. I'll try to be better next week.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Poetry Challenge #27: Mother Poem

I realize it has been awhile since I have posted a challenge, but I could not let this opportunity pass by to pay tribute to my wonderful mother, given that Mother's Day is this Sunday. If anyone would like to join me, you are more than welcome. I'll leave the formatting up to you, and if you would rather write it about a mother-figure who did not give you life physically, feel free to substitute that person. OR, if you would prefer to write about yourself being a mom, that's also great. If you are writing in tribute of someone, however, please share your poem with her; things like that mean a lot!

Here is mine.

Mother’s Day

I remember climbing on my Mama’s lap,
snuggling in close would solve any mishap.
Her humming was gentle as summer’s soft wind,
and as I grew older, I found her a friend.

We weathered some storms as I went through my teens,
although they were mild by most people’s means.
Struck with the loss of my dad, we held on
to each other, and through the hurt we grew strong.

A mother myself now, I have no more doubt
of how all my Mama’s strong love was poured out.
No matter how far from her arms I may roam,
The sound of her voice can provide me a home.

The Joy of Toddlers.

Boy arranges two bites of sausage, one touching the other to resemble a figure. “The number eight!” he crows. He then stuffs them in his mouth. “Mmmm, eight.”

After a visit from the grandparents, Boy wakes up the next morning asking “Where Gamma? Where Pop Pop?” I tell him they went back to St. Paul. He considers this, then repeatedly tells me, “Pop Pop in St. Paw.”

Driving around town, Boy enjoys pointing out the various vehicles. “Look, Mommy, here comes a bus!” Two seconds later: “Bye bus!” He will do the same for trains and garbage trucks.

Wheeling around the grocery store, Boy enjoys shaking boxes of cereal and pointing out interesting packaging: “Look, Mommy, shiny! Look, Mommy, pretty colors!”

I love living with a two-year-old.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A rant, snapshots and a confession.

A few last ranty haiku:

Great job, truck driver,
stopping across the crosswalk,
for no good reason.

I really enjoyed
walking through your exhaust cloud
with my two-year-old.

I hope it was worth
endangering families
to gain two seconds.

All right, for now it may be out of my system.

I am endlessly entertained by my ever-more-verbal toddler. The other morning two of his favorite shows mentioned the word "camouflage". Since then, he has been hiding things and saying, "alaflage". I think he has a rudimentary grasp of the concept.

The other thing he is working on, bless his little heart, is "yuv you Mommy." I think I have only heard it three times, but I would probably crawl on my belly through fire to hear it again.

Confession: I am a napaholic. For the last few months, after figuring out I was not getting back my energy in the second trimester, I have resigned myself (without much prodding, admittedly) to taking a nap when my toddler does. Now, however, when he starts stirring again it is difficult to actually get out of bed again. I have found myself with my brain fully alert but not physically able to move. Sigh. Maybe I should be going to bed earlier. I guess it would be helpful if the boy would stop waking in the night...I think he is working on those blasted two year molars. YAWN...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


This blog post is hereby declared ranty-haiku post. Observe:

Dearest chirping bird,
it is four in the morning.
Shush, if you love life.

Kid screaming in street:
you really should know better.
Let the nappers nap.

If you do not want
to share your food with toddlers,
don't let them see it.

Why, no, everyone,
I had not noticed that I
am extremely huge.

When you point it out,
I am grateful; I worried
no one could yet tell.

A word to the wise:
despite your experience,
don't guess. You'll be wrong.

By the way, it's not
"any day now" that I'm due,
I have till July.

And yes, I have checked
several times with my doctor,
and no, it's not twins.

So let's let it rest
and you can think your deep thoughts
and leave me alone!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

100 days.

It's hard to believe that there are only 100 days at most until our next little boy arrives. My doctor has already assured me that because of my first son's hefty 9 pound-plus birth weight, she likely won't let me exceed the due date. He is so strong, even though he barely weighs over a pound at this point. I don't remember my older son kicking quite so often or so hard. I hope that doesn't mean he'll be a handful, but even if he is, I will love him more than life.

I am eager to find out whether this little guy shares my eldest's fair skin, hair and eyes or if he takes more after daddy's dark handsomeness. I'll get a bit of a hint in a few weeks when we have a 3-D ultrasound, but until then I'll just have my daydreams.

I am so proud of my two-year-old. He is coming out with new words daily, and I can tell he wants to say even more. I have no doubt he will be talking in paragraphs before I know it. The other day he was pretending to eat a sticker and saying "Mmm, yelicious." He learned the words "awesome" and "cool" this week, ensuring his hipster status. Listening to him trying to sing all the words of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" is pretty entertaining, as he still doesn't know all the words, so he replaces some of them with rhyming syllables. Ahh.

Haiku News

Stocks rallied today,
good news for my 529
for my sons' college.

Seems it is unclear
whether 8-year-old knows just
what he gave at school.

Man's old Atari
video game cartridge fetched
over $30k!?

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I just learned a few hours ago of the horrendous, deadly plane crash claiming the lives of Poland's president and first lady as well as many top leaders of their government and military. While as an American I knew none of these people, any event involving such a large loss of life seems to ask for acknowledgment.

My favorite professor of poetry, Adam Zagajewski, is Polish as well, and this event called him back to the front of my mind. I contacted him last summer in the hope of creating a reading list of poets to fill up my reservoir of poetic inspiration, and one poet he says he is always reading is Wlslawa Szymborska. She is a Polish poet of amazing depth and economy of language. I am finding it fitting to include one of her poems here, translated by Mikołaj Sekrecki.


I prefer the cinema.
I prefer cats.
I prefer oak-trees by the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking humans
to myself loving humanity.
I prefer having a thread with a needle close at hand.
I prefer green.
I prefer not claiming that
the intellect should be blamed for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer leaving before.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer old marked illustrations.
I prefer being laughable because of writing poems
to being laughable because of not writing them.
I prefer odd anniversaries in love life,
to be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who do not promise me anything.
I prefer calculated goodness to goodness that is too gullible.
I prefer the earth in civvy street.
I prefer conquered countries to the conquering ones.
I prefer having my objections.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimm tales to the first pages of newspapers.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with their tails unclipped.
I prefer fair eyes since mine are dark.
I prefer drawers.
I prefer many things I have not listed above
to many others unlisted here.
I prefer noughts that are loose
to those queueing for a digit.
I prefer insect time to stellar time.
I prefer touching wood.
I prefer not asking how much longer and when.
I prefer considering even such a possibility
that existence has its reasons.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poetry Challenge #26: Spring Poem

Well, chickadees, whether the weather in your backyard is indicative of it or not, the calendar claims it is spring, so with that comes my challenge to write a poem in reflection of that fact. Because I am in one of the unfortunate areas that suffers from some season-identity crisis every time the seasons change, my poem will echo that, but yours can be as joyous or not as you desire. As always, this theme-based challenge only has that single requirement, so feel free to use any sort of form or rhyme scheme that tickles your fancy.

Here's my effort:

Walking 'round in my winter coat
one time more than I hoped I would,
it occurred to me that seasons should
change like channels on TV,
not like stations on the radio,
cold static bleeding over into the sweet
melodies of warmer times.

Yet signs of victory abound,
despite defiant wintry gasps:
trees show signs of verdant green
and some bold ones even sport blooms;
the grass is showing signs of life
and flowers have unearthed themselves.

As I gaze on the fledgling leaves
presenting trees in the manner
of Monet, with delicate flecks of emerald
seeming to dance before my eyes,
I glimpse the blue beyond the grey
of clouds threatening rain over my head,
and dream of days not long from now
when warmth will win, the winter dead.

10 things I love about my little boy.

1. The way his nose wrinkles when he is really happy, and he can't help stomping his feet with joy.
2. The way he says "peez" and "tek you".
3. The way he sleeps on his tummy with his hands underneath his body.
4. He has started parroting things from me and off TV, leading to fun things like our "You OK Mommy?" exchange at least 10 times a day.
5. The way he says "Hewwo" to strangers when we're out on a walk.
6. The way his hair always has a little piece sticking up at a funny angle.
7. The way he snuggles into me when he's feeling sleepy.
8. Watching him explore his world with such wonder.
9. Now that he can say the word, discovering what a two-year-old considers beautiful. Like fire trucks.
10. The way he tries to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," even though he can't say all the words yet.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Minerva, pity party of one.


My son has gotten over the cold we both had last week, and seemed back to his sunny self today.

Other than that, today was, shall we say, challenging.

I was getting the boy ready for our afternoon walk when a sadly-familiar odor of urine wafted under my nose. Sure enough, our dog had taken a huge pee on my living room rug. Again. This time at least I can't blame myself because she had gone out on her regular schedule today. After we returned from the walk and I let her out again, I steam-cleaned the rug. It hadn't even had time to dry before I smelled something rather worse than pee. Yep, she decided to poop the biggest poop I've ever seen my 12 pound dog produce on the exact same spot. Anyone want a dog? Cheap? Free???

To top it off, I let myself blow off some steam on Facebook the other day by posting a status update related to my neighbor's daughter's trike being left on our common porch. My son sees it daily and has lately been carrying on or whining because he can't ride it. He doesn't have one yet but he will shortly. Anyway, I had made mention of the situation on Facebook, even throwing in the choice phrase of "stupid trike", and my neighbor saw it. Lovely. I don't think she liked me much to start with, but that certainly didn't help the situation. Of course I wrote her a message apologizing profusely and saying it wasn't her fault that my son was upset at all, there probably isn't anywhere else she can put it anyway, but I don't know if that will help things much. Sigh.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Haiku News

A breath of fresh air:
Coburn defends Pelosi,
then rips on Fox News.

Bad medicine here:
doctors perform c-section,
woman not pregnant.

Airline adds new charge
for passengers' carry-ons;
what's next? Charge for air?

Monday, March 29, 2010


My sincere apologies for another prolonged absence. I contracted a nasty cold last Sunday and am only just getting over a stubborn cruddy cough, which I can tell you is at least 30 times more annoying when pregnant. Particularly because your choice of medications available is severely curtailed.

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This morning I woke up after a relatively unbroken night's sleep, the first in a week. I was nearly floored (even though I was still lying down) by a huge wave of love and contentment. I realized how lucky I was to have such a wonderful husband and two (almost) beautiful little boys, and how much I loved them. I wished my husband hadn't already left for work so I could give him a huge hug. Adding to my increasing sense of glee is a prediction for several days of 70-degree weather in the next few days. The boy's new spring/summer wardrobe is in the wash in preparation for warmer days ahead. Birds have been helping me wake up the past few days.

I am confident that once I finally kick this illness, I will finally have energy to do some things I have been putting off. Namely, writing more poetry and hopefully biting the bullet and starting to edit that novel I wrote in November. Part of my motivation for writing more poetry is that April is National Poetry Month. Any ideas for topics/ other poetry-related things you'd like to see here are quite welcome, consider the comments section my suggestion box. A heads-up for this week's Poetry Challenge: I think it's high time we did Spring poems.

Haiku News

If you are surprised
Ricky Martin has come out,
you have no gay-dar.

High up on my list
of things I would never watch:

Scary things afoot:
Michigan-based militia
planned to kill police.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A few small conversations.

"Yes, honey?"
"You OK, Mommy?"
"Yes, I'm fine. Are you OK?"
"I fine."


"Yes, honey?"
"Where going?"
"I'm going to be here with you, sweetie."


"Sweetie, after your snack we'll get your shoes on and go on a walk to the park!"
"Shoes on, walk, park! Whee!"

Haiku News

Way to go, Ms. James,
but your timing could have been
better--March Madness?

New Jersey Wal-Mart
has a mystery to solve:
who's the PA jerk?

This piece makes me sad,
between ignorant adults
and lazy parents.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Could it be?

The snow has melted. The sun seems to be out more than the clouds of late. The past two days I have been able to take the boy for a walk without needing a jacket of any kind. In fact, yesterday was the first day I could take the boy to the park and put him on a swing in months. The look on his face was priceless. Could it be...spring? I am hoping against hope that this is indeed the case. I am tired of my nose running and my fingers hurting anytime I venture outside for longer than a few minutes.

The boy is really turning into a mimic these days. Yesterday he sneezed and I said "bless you," which he promptly repeated. He is also working on "I love you". His pronunciation of "dinosaur" reminds me of a New Yorker even though he has never heard that accent before. I am finding that more and more he will repeat something I said moments before. While I do not generally use any sort of bad language, I will definitely need to be on high alert from now on that I don't say anything I don't want a tiny voice repeating.

As for the littlest one, last Friday we found out our boy is getting a little brother. He is already a bit of a wily one; I have had several days where I could feel him kick high enough to put my hand on my belly and feel it from the outside, but it seems that every time I am around other people he stays conveniently head up so that all his kicks are too low to put a hand on. Stinker.

Haiku News

I'm sorry, but why
should I care that George Clooney
frowned at the Oscars?

I will never know
what drives teachers to have sex
with teenage students.

This one makes me ill:
since when is love "dangerous"
to a high school prom?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It is so hard to wait for things sometimes. Now that little munchkin has started regularly making his/her presence known, it's getting more "real" and I am really excited about the "big" ultrasound on Friday. Last time we kept it a surprise, which was awesome, but this time I just have to know if our little boy is getting a little brother or a little sister. So hopefully if the baby cooperates we'll know in just under 48 hours. Now that it's so close it is really hard to wait. I am trying to keep busy, but I'm sure you are familiar with the feeling: the more you are looking forward to something, the slower time seems to go until you get there. Sigh...at least tomorrow I will have my mom here to help me pass the time.

Speaking of big brother, he is just so funny lately. He seems to be able to recognize the numbers 1, 3, 4 and 5, and often if you start counting he will join you. If he starts it himself though, it is likely to sound like "Four, five, four, five!" He also likes to say "green," although I don't think he quite knows what that is yet. He is just learning Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Minnie frequently comes out "money," as in the other day when he pointed at her picture and said "Yaaaaay Money!" What a silly guy. We live close enough to our church to be able to walk, and the last few weeks we have taken our little boy by the hand and had him walk to church with us rather than riding in the stroller. I am proud to say he will frequently make both trips with no problems.

Haiku News

"Take your child to work"
taken to a new level:
kid directs airplanes.

Lesson for the wise:
if a girl asks for your kid,

Another good tip:
when departing on cruise ships,
bring sanitizer.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Time is relative.

Right? I mean, the first trimester of this pregnancy seemed to crawl along, more like 13 months than 13 weeks.

Now that I have passed the first trimester it seems like every week goes by faster than the last. Three weeks ago when I made my appointment for our "big" anatomy ultrasound, I felt like March 5 was forever away. Now it's a week from today. One of the things that keeps slipping through my fingers is remembering to make an entry here every so often. I will come back with a shiny new poetry challenge next week. I have found that if I do one on the weekend everyone is too busy to do it, anyway.

Meanwhile, my son told me as I got him out of his crib today and our dog was having a conniption fit downstairs, "Puppy barking!" Yes, and I had no idea he knew how to say that. Cute guy. He also discovered the word "broken" to describe the crackers he likes to destroy during snacks, only he pronounces it more like "bacon." "Cracker bacon!" he says, pointing out the two halves sitting on his tray.

Something that tends to dependably provide giggles the last few days has been if my son points to my belly, we'll play peek-a-boo. I will lift my shirt up and say "Belly!" and he laughs. If I put it down, he wants me to do it again. We'll see how long it is a novelty, I guess.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poetry Challenge #25: "Wordle" poem

Once again, a huge thanks to ReadWritePoem.org for this lovely prompt. Please click on their link to see the original "wordle," or collection of random words, from which to draw your inspiration. You may use as many or as few of the words in the wordle as you would like. Any form is fine. Enjoy!

Here is my effort, using all of the words provided.

Evening Commute

Briskly striding forth, bracing
against cold wind as fading
light glints off frosted sidewalks,
she sees him, collar turned up,
smoke curling from corner of mouth
around his head. Staring.

A lubricious fellow, she thinks,
quickening her pace, feeling as if
she now walks on eggshells.
Her ear sharpens, waiting
to hear footsteps behind.
As day decays, her mind runs wild.

She tries to force the images
out of her panic-prone mind:
a patter of hacksaw, crown of nails,
red blood flowing as in a botched
dissection of a frog...
Arriving at her gate, a glance behind
confirms her mind’s fiction.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Miss me?

I do.

Seriously, sometimes I miss my brain lately. I think the process of growing a new baby eats it to a certain extent. "Pregnancy brain" is in full effect from early on, and I'm lucky to remember to take my son upstairs with me when I go to change his diaper. I mispronounce words or get sentences in the wrong order. Once I plop down on the couch for the night it's usually over for me to get anything else done. Oh, and lately babe rewards my laziness with a few barrel rolls or gentle shadow-boxing. Ahh.

My little boy is the cutest thing ever lately. He loves making all kinds of animal noises (my personal favorites: the peacock: "ah-aaah" and the frog: "bi-hit") and lately has been pretty obsessed with letters. I swear, I do not sit him down with flash cards, he just has been pointing at them and I will tell him what they are, and he remembers. He has an alphabet puzzle that he will go through and name most of the letters right off the bat with no prompting. He just turned two on the 4th. We may be in trouble here. :)

To top it off, I am somewhat of an Olympic nerd so I am continuously distracted by watching the various Olympic events, particularly the figure skating (even though the new scoring system leaves me completely baffled). I guess I am a sucker for the looks on Olympians' faces (not JUST Americans, really anyone) that realize that all of their hard work and dedication has paid off in winning a medal. Or sometimes (such as in the case of the American pairs skaters) they are just happy with getting a personal best score. I love that. Having competed on a much lower level in horseback riding, I remember having personal goals that felt just as good as winning when I reached them.

So, this is my way of saying, my apologies for being so absent lately. I guess it is shortchanging my son if I don't come on and keep track of what he's doing despite my mental lameness. I am going to try to be better now (I know, I've said that before too...I mean it this time!). I will be back tomorrow with a new poetry challenge.

Haiku News

Girl sues principal
over Facebook page against
teacher; cites free speech.

Kevin Eubanks quits
"Tonight Show with Jay Leno;"
some know when to leave.

Problems keep coming
for Toyota; now U.S.
probing Corollas.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Poetry Challenge #24: Three-Legged Chair Poem

Before we get started this week, please do check out last week's tributes to the tragedy and heroic efforts we've witnessed in Haiti. You can read them here.

This week's challenge is once again borrowed from a terrific website, ReadWritePoem. They have offered up the picture to the right of this paragraph and encouraged their readers to devise a poem trying to explain or describe what is happening here. Why is the figure wearing a hood? How did the chair get there? Why is it broken? Why is the figure contemplating the chair? What is holding the chair up? You can answer any, all, or none of these questions, just use the picture as your inspiration this week.

Here is my poem:

Standing Still

Sometimes silence is the loudest sound.
This land has given up every trace
of life, save what I am clinging to
deep within myself.

My hood drawn up against
the whipping wind,
I cannot bear to break my gaze.
This chair appears useless,
yet in all its brokenness
it defies gravity and common sense
merely by remaining upright.

The same could be said
for certain human spirits.
Grief, disability, mental struggle
may be their “missing leg,”
yet they remain standing
in spite of all that would see them fall.

Merely looking at this oddity
gives me hope, regardless
of my own local tragedies.
It is almost as if someone placed it here
just for me to stumble upon,
a small sign
that all will be right with the world
if I can hang on.

So, take a look, have a think, and please share what you come up with here!
Photo credit: "December 21, 2007: #25" by Sepulture {Mood Disorder}.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So, a couple at our church who have been absent for awhile came back to baptize their two children, the younger of which is 7 months old. When the wife saw me, she asked if I was 6 or 7 months pregnant. Uh, no, lady, try 3 1/2. Sheesh, it's really nice to make another woman feel like a cow when she's nowhere near as big as she will get at the end! If my last pregnancy is any indication, I will be pretty large even at 7 months... but I guess that's what happens when you are short-waisted. There's nowhere for baby to go but out. :)

Haiku News

Toyota suspends
sales: a pesky problem with

Missing Tech student
believed found on remote farm;
sad news for family.

"Pants on the Ground" guy:
I seem to be alone in
being over you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

poetry Challenge #23: Haiti poem.

I'm sure many of you have been affected by the stories and images coming out of Haiti over the past few days. I think it appropriate to lend our talents in honor and tribute to the noble spirit of the aid workers and the fallen in the disaster-stricken country.

Here is my best effort for now; I may come back and fix this up at some point.

What remains when everything
is subtracted from a place
with nothing left to give?

A deceptive paradise;
pristine beaches embracing
shantytowns and starving people
praying for a ray of light.

Now all the poor have left
is hope; blind, yet determined;
groping, but tenacious;
stumbling, but stoic.

Pain-filled eyes lift up to the sky,
waiting for what horror might happen next.
Parched mouths open, gladly taking water
as they wait for medicine, bandages, food.

Slowly, a beleaguered people
find their way out of the rubble
of their past lives, seeking
for a new and better way.

After all, it cannot possibly
get any worse,
can it?

Milkshake day.

I've been looking forward to today for quite some time. Today marks the day I decided it would be safe to announce to the world that we are expecting again. I was a bit more cautious this time, since we've so recently been burned, but this one seems to be sticking around. I guess now you all know why I've been so flaky and tired lately.

I suppose I should explain the title of this post. It's Milkshake Day because I decided if I made it to 13 weeks this time I would celebrate with a milkshake from our local ice cream place, which are enormous but not super healthy, so I only indulge once in a blue moon. I don't think a milkshake has ever tasted quite so sweet. Now I feel like I can actually start looking forward to July with some degree of certainty and breathe at least a little sigh of relief.

Haiku News

a wrench in Haiti relief;
hope that straightens out.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ohhh man...

So time got away from me again today. After 10PM lately my brain has been mush. I promise to put up a new poetry challenge tomorrow night; I just don't have the energy to do it tonight.

I am amazed at the beauty of this week's submissions for the poetry challenge. In addition, faithful reader and poster Paige has encouraged several of her children to submit rondeaus (rondeaux?) for one of my previous challenges. For now, please enjoy the snow poems here and the rondeaus here.

Finally, please, if you pray, pray for the people of Haiti. It was already among the most impoverished countries on Earth, and now it has suffered probably the largest natural disaster in my lifetime. If it is possible, please donate to the Red Cross's International Relief Fund, as my family has.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Poetry Challenge #22: Snow Poem

As I am running out of material from which to cull ideas for poetic forms, I am going to wing this one. I will let participants choose their preferred form of poem; I am just dictating the subject: snow.

Here goes:

Snow Day
At first glance it looks
like fog, but deeper
through the haze, reveals
the tiny flakes slipping
through the atmosphere.

The earth slowly draws up
its light, crisp blanket,
fluffy but giving no warmth,
blowing like down but
stinging the eyes like tiny needles.

With eyes closed, it sounds as if
the world has been paused,
snow muffling every ordinary
event to the point of nearly
deafening silence.

Biting wind takes its toll,
eyes and nose streaming,
begging to be returned
to climate controlled conditions.
Fingers reluctantly cede sensation.

What little can be smelled
is sharp, clean, and very cold.
If one could smell a smooth
piece of sharp metal,
this would be it.

Air nearly tastes of mint,
drawing a deep breath
produces the inevitable cough,
lungs protesting the arctic invasion
of their tropical environs.

Returning from the frozen
tundra, body confused
by the sudden intrusion of warmth
in the once-huddled mass,
the strip-down to human begins.

Snow Day.

Well, the storm our weathermen had been predicting hit as expected. I ended up counting my shoveling the front walk and sweeping snow off our porch and stairs as my exercise for the day. I love snow but I wish it knew how to keep itself off of the sidewalk and stairs all by itself. Sigh.

The boy was charming as always. He finally started singing again today--he'd taken a few weeks' hiatus--returning to his old favorite, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." He doesn't really know most of the words, so he makes them up as he goes along, but it is still the cutest thing ever, if I do say so myself.

Haiku News

Burned body in trash
identified as former
Playboy model--yikes.

Newark TSA
agent left post, allowing
security breach.

Do we really need
our cars to read Twitter feeds
aloud as we drive?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

200th Post.

This here is my 200th post. In it I will have to offer yet another apology: I just don't have enough mental energy to get the poetry challenge up tonight. In all honesty, I didn't get any entries in the Christmas week one anyway (even my own!), so maybe you all can weigh in on whether to extend that one or create a new one tomorrow. I would love to hear your suggestions.

The boy is really being cute lately. He likes to pile his Little People animals into his little train-cars and say "bye bye!". If you ask him where something is, he'll say "Where go?" and if he finds it, he will say "There is!" with a really cute little lisp. Sigh. I think he is enjoying being home and back in his own comfy bed because he has indulged me with good naps and night-sleeps since we've been back from vacation. I hope that continues.

Haiku News

Thanksgiving gunman
who killed four, including tot,
nabbed on TV tip.

Hubble Telescope
looks back thirteen billion years:
baby galaxies.

Nexus Smartphone claims
it's not an "iPhone killer;"
I guess time will tell.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I was notified earlier today of the significance of today's date: 01/02/2010: a palindrome. I adore palindromes, whether words or numbers. I just love anything that is the same backward or forward. Probably my favorite two word-palindromes are the name Hannah and the sentence: A man, a plan, a canal: Panama.

I resolve to regain my old posting stamina shortly; the regular features of this blog will make their triumphant return hopefully this week. Thank you for your patience. In the meantime, if you haven't seen my blogs on my least and most-favorite Christmas carols, please enjoy those!