Friday, February 25, 2011

for my little boy friday.

only two days left of seven
for the little boy.


& while eight isn't big-boy territory quite yet,
for me, there's something extra-special
about the 5-6-7 years.

they lose their front teeth.
they learn to read.
they go potty on their own.
they don't know [or care] they have chocolate-milk moustaches.
they tell jokes that make no sense & aren't really funny
[except that they make no sense].
they giggle uncontrollably. like, every day.
they weep every day. but not uncontrollably.
they smell good, mostly.
all they want to do is play.
they like a smooching.
they love to snuggle.
they still need you.

oh, my darling little goofball of a guy,
much of what you are today
i hope never, ever changes.
& of course, some of it i hope does.
& naturally, some of it will, regardless of my vote.

i just love you so much, just the way you are.

happy, happy birthday, my sweet baboo.
i bet eight will be just great. just like you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

shame & hormones thursday.

shame & hormones . . . should not be your cocktail of choice.

trust me on this.

ok, so not to tmi you to death,
but i think i may be, at 43.5yo,

can i get a woohoo?
um, no.
more like an ew. boo.

the strongest evidence of this possibility
are the utterly random extreme-hormone days
i'm experiencing a few times monthly.

& by "extreme-hormone," i of course mean
fear. me.

picture a terriblehorriblenogoodverybad pms day
on steroids.

so, i had one last weekend.

on the inside, i felt inexplicably & uncontrollably
resentful, rageful & overwhelmed.

on the outside, i sobbed, sniped, snarled, slammed
& basically behaved as if my husband
was a walking, talking bullseye &
it was my day for target practice.

the next day, i felt ok again.
& i'm sure my husband was relieved
to be able to breathe again.

i felt awful about my behavior,
about being so horrid toward him,
about being so all-over-the-place crazy.

but i didn't apologize.
i didn't try to explain.
i didn't do anything.

except pretend it didn't happen.
on the outside, anyway.
on the inside, it was still with me.

so, a few days pass, & i'm reading
the amazing brené brown's book,
the gifts of imperfection.

& i come to the section titled
"cultivating self-compassion/
letting go of perfectionism."

& i read this:
where perfectionism exists, shame is always lurking.
shame is the birthplace of perfectionism.

now, i know i'm a perfectionist.
[why do you think i'm reading this book?]
but shame . . . such an ugly word.

shame, i haven't claimed.

& according to the brilliant dr. brown,
when we don't claim shame,
it claims us.

& suddenly, a little lightbulb goes
*bling!* right above my noggin.

& suddenly, i realize i'm not
talking about my "episode" with my husband,
not apologizing for it,
not even acknowledging it,
because i don't just feel guilty about it . . .

i am ashamed of myself for it.

i am ashamed not only of the way i behaved,
but also of the way i felt.

ashamed that i couldn't control myself.

ashamed that i couldn't control
my emotions, my hormones,
my involuntary physiological volatility.

& i say to myself, seriously, kristen?
seriously, you are carrying shame
because you can't control
the mysterious inner workings of
your hormone-producing organs?


this, ladies & gentlemen,
is perfectionism
at its insidious worst.

feeling shameful & inadequate
because you can't control
innately incontrollable things.

& then, i read this:
our imperfections are not inadequacies;
they are reminders that we're all in this
together. imperfectly, but together.

ok. i am imperfect. i am not inadequate.
& hormones sky-high or hormones rock-bottom,
we're all in this together.

my beautiful family & i
are all in this together.
imperfectly, but together.

& i feel like i get it.
for now. for today.
until another "reminder" rolls around.

& i feel a little better.

& i hope my husband reads my blog. :)

image source: david a. wright.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

tuesday thoughts.

today, i'm thinking about . . .

. . . running away from home - just temporarily, like a long weekend. lately, i've often been overcome with the overwhelming urge to get away on my own. deeply craving alone time & ocean, bigtime.

. . . why i chose to eat two servings of dark-chocolate-flavor almonds last night even though i had already passed my ww daily points limit.

. . . money, & how out-of-control mine is - not lacking it, just not knowing exactly where i am with mine.

. . . my birthmom, whose three-year death anniversary is a week from tomorrow.

. . . whether to try to fb-friend my birthmom's husband, with whom i've shared a rather contentious relationship.

. . . my dear friend irmtraud, whose one-year death anniversary is sunday.

. . . my little boy, who will turn eight sunday. he is so, so sweet & goofy & darling, i just wish i could bottle him up & keep him as is. i love his lisp & his utter hilarity. recent interaction:
lb: mom, look, i'm the spanx!
me: what?
lb: look, i'm the spanx!
me: you're the what?
lb: the spanx!
me: the spanx?
lb: yeah, the spanx - like in egypt!
me: ohhhh - you're the sphinx?
lb: yeah!

. . . launching a mother-daughter journal with my big girl, & wondering whether she'll go for it.

. . . how to tactfully broach some of the little [rather gross] things my husband does that are making me utterly insane lately. why is it i've been fine putting up with some such habits for almost twenty years, but now all of a sudden i can't stand them?

. . . whether i'm just slave to my wacky hormones lately, or i've got something else happening [midlife malaise, mild depression, other?].

. . . why i find it so damn challenging to make time for what really fills my cup [creating, reading, journaling & yes, blogging].

. . . whether my blog is really being what i want it to be, doing what i want it to do, & also, what exactly those things are.

. . . my two dear friends who are both undergoing minor surgery today, & wishing them well.

. . . how happy i am none of our fam has gotten the flu [no jinx!].

. . . what to do in our master bedroom to freshen it up a little - new linens? curtains? artwork change?

. . . springtime & sunshine, & hoping both show up sooner rather than later.

so, what are you thinking about today?
& if you've got thoughts about what' i'm thinking about,
then please feel free to share!

image source: real simple.

Monday, February 21, 2011

monday morning.

monday morning.
a perfect opportunity to remind yourself
of why it's going to be a fabulous week,
a la dr. maya angelou:

. . .
i say,
it's in the reach of my arms,
the span of my hips,
the stride of my step,
the curl of my lips.
. . .
i say,
it's in the fire in my eyes,
and the flash of my teeth,
the swing in my waist,
and the joy in my feet.
. . .
i say,
it's in the arch of my back,
the sun of my smile,
the ride of my breasts,
the grace of my style.
. . .
now you understand
just why my head's not bowed.
i don't shout or jump about
or have to talk real loud.
when you see me passing
it ought to make you proud.
i say,
it's in the click of my heels,
the bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
the need of my care,
'cause i'm a woman
phenomenal woman,
that's me.

that's you, dear reader.
phenomenal you.

wishing you the phenomenal week you deserve.

image source: the my hero project.

Friday, February 18, 2011

a sad celebration.

mentions of american journalist lara logan's
"brutal & sustained sexual assault & beating"
during last week's egyptian celebration
of the resignation of president hosni mubarak
have been haunting me all week.

to my embarrassment, my primary reaction
is to hide from such harrowing news,
somehow secretly hoping if i don't see it,
then it can't see me.

but like a toddler's inept game of
eye-covering hide-n-seek, i eventually realize
just because i'm not following the story
or reading about it or talking about it
[or, yes, blogging about it]
doesn't mean it's not there.

oh, it's there. it happened.
& in egypt, & hundreds of places like it,
it happens every day.

maybe not to a well-known, high-profile,
60 minutes correspondent.

but to women who, just like her, are
daughters, sisters, wives, mothers.

human beings.

sexual assault, sexual harassment,
even killing of women by male relatives
for perceived violations of
their culture's harsh moral code,
are all common happenings in egypt.

interestingly, during the revolt
against mubarak & his government,
women reported cairo's tahrir square
became a sort of safe zone
free from such patriarchal atrocities.

sadly, once the uprising was over,
the bad behavior resumed.
a new day was dawning for the country,
with the same old cruelties still intact.

the revolution to change egypt's government
lasted 17 days.
the movement to change egypt's culture with respect to women
will last much, much longer.

so, here's the glimmer of hope:
lara logan was rescued from her attackers
by a group of women & about 20 soldiers.

blessings to ms. logan as she continues to heal.
& even bigger blessings to those brave women,
as they continue to rescue & protect each other,
struggling & striving toward treatment
appropriate to mothers, wives, sisters, daugters.
human beings.

image source:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

happiness is a tackling puppy.

or 43 of them.

or a squad of cheerleading chickens.

or an itty-bitty blimp commandeered by hamsters.

or a disco kitten half-time show.

what? you've never seen the puppy bowl?

well, sadly, you missed this year's opportunity
just ten days ago . . .

maybe you were distracted by christina aguilera's
flubbed anthem lyrics
or the black-eyed peas' preview of
'tron, the musical,'
or the hilarious commercials
or the lame commercials
or the cheeseheads losing their minds.

regardless, if you missed
animal planet's puppy bowl vii,
then you missed a good [dog] game.

we watch it live & record it
for future viewings at our house.

my favorite feature is the water-bowl-cam.
cracks me up. every. single. time.

it's amazing how absolutely entertaining
it can be to watch a faux field full of puppies
just be puppies.

& this guy has the best job ever.

well, except for the "foul on the field"
doodie-pickup duty.

but otherwise, he gets to make calls like
excessive cuteness on the field
illegal napping on the field &
unpuppylike conduct
[though i'm never quite sure what
that really entails], &
of course, touchdown!!

puppy bowl vii's mvp, c.b.
[cute boy? canine ballplayer?
charlie brown? citizen band?]
seems wistful with his win,

& frankly, we're feeling wistful, too,
with the realization we've got
a whole year to wait until
puppy bowl rolls around again.

happily, one can procure
dvd versions of
puppy bowls ii, iii, v, vi & vii

[why not i & iv, i don't know]
to help you hold on until the
puppies bowl us over again next year.

image source: animal planet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

celebrate the everyday - february.

good golly.

here we are, mid-month,
& i've yet to properly welcome february,
the longest shortest month of the year.

ah, february, when . . .

. . . the city of st. louis was established [1764]. meet me there, louie!

. . . levi strauss was born [1829]. with good genes.

. . . the battle of the alamo began [1836]. remember?

. . . the first adhesive postage stamps were introduced [1842]. glue, be gone!

. . . george washington gale ferris, jr., inventor of the ferris wheel,
was born [1859]. wheeeee!

. . . outdoorsman l.l. bean was born [1873]. for real!

. . . zeppo marx was born [1901]. with the name herbert.

. . . aviator charles lindbergh was born [1902]. lucky!

. . . the u.s. supreme court upheld the 19th amendment, which guarantees
the right of women to vote [1922]. um, yeah.

. . . the tomb of egyptian king tutankhamen was unsealed [1923].
spooky cool.

. . . lisa marie presley was born [1968]. unh-hunh-hunh.

. . . the beatles' album hey, jude was released [1970]. yay!

image source: irene suchocki/isphotography @

Thursday, February 10, 2011

these small candles.

love this
inscription from a tombstone in britain.

what an epitaph.

"in moments of discouragement,
defeat or even despair,
there are always certain things to cling to.
little things usually:
remembered laughter,
the face of a sleeping child,
a tree in the wind . . .
in fact, any reminder of something
deeply felt or dearly loved.
no man is so poor as not to have
many of these small candles.
when they are lighted,
darkness goes away . . .
& a touch of wonder remains."

so, what were your small candles today?

mine: sewing creation. new work.
writing hero. love-day prep. good eats.

share yours, will you?

image source: cepolina photo.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

no numbing allowed.

ok, so the irony here is
i'm writing this while watching
a dvr'd episode of glee.

nevertheless, thanks to a online course i'm in,
i'm thinking about
activities that numb.

things we do that distract us
from the real stuff of life.

things like
update status.
check email.
real housewives.
desperate housewives.
drive through.
tap apps.

you get the idea.
& i bet you know the drill.
i know i do.

so i've begun to un-numb
one extremely important
slice of my life.


full disclosure:
i tend to eat too much of
the wrong sort of food
for the wrong reasons.

i heart sweet stuff.
en masse.

i eat from boredom.
i eat for comfort.
i eat to settle myself down.
i eat to wake myself up.

wow - sounding a little like a pill-popper there.

just plain hungry & just plain full -
not starving, not stuffed -
are feelings i have trouble identifying.

so. i've begun to un-numb around food.

i'm journaling everything i eat.
i'm drinking more water.
i'm eating less [normal portions].
i'm eating slower [savoring speed].

i'm doing none of the above perfectly.
i'm not sure i will ever do any of the above perfectly.
but i'm trying. & i'll keep on trying.

& i'm feeling better - lighter - already.
& lighter is good. & better is good.
& feeling is really, really good.

so, how are you wanting/willing/ready
to un-numb your life today?? do share.

image source: a smart mouth.

Monday, February 7, 2011

hibernating through rodent week.

so i've been hibernating
for the past week.

not literally -
though i readily confess, burrowing
under the covers & napping through
the frigid weather we've been experiencing
is mightily tempting.

but i have been staying home,
resting, nesting & keeping
the home fires burning
[& faucets dripping]
while the wind has been whipping,
the clouds have been glowering
& the blackouts have been rolling
across the state.

i pitied the poor groundhogs
around the country who were forced
from their cozy holes just to
tell us what we wanted to hear.

an early spring?
i'll believe it when i see it.

& i celebrated the chinese new year
by wearing red polar fleece
[also good for loving valentines
& promoting women's heart health].

it's the year of the rabbit,
purported to be a peaceful respite of a year,
sandwiched between tiger & dragon,
presumably years of change & unrest.

i, for one, am looking forward to
a happy, hoppy 2011.

& what better way to begin it
than by honoring nature's call
[or order, as the weather might dictate]
to go within, nurture your core
& prepare for a sprout-ful springtime?

soldier on out in the elements,
if that's your cup of tea.

mine is a steamy chai latte with soy,
which i'll be lingering over with
the bunny & the groundhog
here in our warm, humble digs
for just a little while longer.

image source: movie mobsters.