Have you ever thought you might just hate your baby for making you so miserable during pregnancy, only to have her placed upon your chest in a rush of adrenaline and slimy goo in just such a way that your eyes meet her squished up, pissed off little face and the hate just drains out of you in an instant, and your head and heart and body fill up with so much love that you’re certain you’ll combust?

Yeah. Me neither.

Ok. All kidding aside, that was me. Several folks have inquired about my “birth story” and I promise I will write a post detailing the grueling 48 hours we spent in the hospital (with me starving as my husband had three square hospital meals a day) awaiting her arrival, followed by two more days of the mandatory postpartum stay. I want to get it down before I forget, after all. But not today.

Today is an ode to Sundays. Because I love them. Small moments twinkle on Sundays.

On lactation cookies:

Boy: Can I have a bite?

Me: Oh, buddy, these are special cookies for Mommy to make milk.

Boy: Can I just try one bite?

Me: [gives bite]

Boy: Mmmm, your booby cookies are GOOD!

On birds and bees:

[Out of the blue, in the car]

Boy: Mommy, how did Daddy put the baby in your tummy?

Me: Uhhhhh…well, when mommies and daddies love each other very much sometimes they have a baby.

Boy: Yeah, but how did Daddy put the baby in your tummy?


On losing belly buttons:

Little Squirt’s umbilical cord stump fell off on Sunday. When W’s fell off, I gushed and promptly got a baggie to put it in. I probably cried. I don’t remember. When Squirt’s belly button stump fell off, I grabbed it and tossed it onto the coffee table and went back to changing her diaper. I made a mental note that it looked similar to a dried piece of food and hoped that no one would pick it up and try to eat it.

On flying planes:

Months ago, W went to a nearby market with Hubs. He saw a toy airplane – the dime store kind you shoot with a rubber band. Hubs told him no. When they got home, I told W he’d have to buy it himself (at a whopping $1.50 or so). We figured he’d forget. A few weeks later, Hubs was leaving for the same market.

“Is it the place with the airplane toy?” W asked.

We were shocked he remembered.

A few minutes later we were counting out quarters and dimes from W’s piggy bank. He was  so proud. But his pride quickly became frustration when he came home and couldn’t shoot it properly with the rubber band. The plane has been collecting dust on the buffet cabinet in the dining room ever since.

But on Sunday… on Sunday, it flew. He flew it. All by himself.

“Look Mommy! Look! I did it all by myself!”

PicMonkey Image

Other noteworthy quotes:

Boy: Mommy, is that your tummy where the baby ripped through?

[His words. Not mine.]


We listen to Wilco. We start the day slowly and enjoy what life offers when there’s no cable television. ♥


A Dad Walks into a Charter School Convention

If you care about K-12 education at all, this is worth your time to read. Our family lives in a rural district, where our public school is our only option. What happens to schools like ours when the rhetorical framework becomes militant? Education shouldn’t mean war. It should mean open communication, collaboration, and the willingness to admit that one side isn’t right. One side isn’t perfect. One side doesn’t have all of the answers. But there is one side that certainly favors privatization, money, greed, and perpetuation of misinformation. I’m not against choice. I’m not against charters, or private schools, or homeschooling, or sending your kids to Mars, or whatever you decide. I’m for kids. Kids live in communities. All sorts of different communities – rural, urban, suburban. Why is it necessary for one “type” of school to “win”? By default, when an entity wins, another loses. If charter organizations frame education in terms of war, what happens to the losers?

Parents, kids, and teachers are not the only ones with something at stake. Everyone has a stake. Remember, even if your kids are grown, or you have no children, or you think this issue has no bearing on your life, it does. We all pay the price of a miseducated generation. We all pay the price if bickering and squandering take precedent over developing and nurturing the minds of our nation’s future generations.

Simply know the facts, in context, and then decide. And by “decide” I don’t mean take sides. I mean be informed and open-minded.

Great post by Dad Gone Wild.

Dad Gone Wild

image1Two weeks ago as I was settling down to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones, I got a call: “Did you know that the National Convention of Charter Schools was going to be held Monday, right here in Nashville, Tennessee?” I did not. “Yes, indeed, representatives from charter schools and related businesses would be here for three days to celebrate all things charter.” Wow, was all I could say. “You should go down there and then write about it” it was suggested. Of course, I thought that was a great idea.

That’s how I found myself last Monday morning, picking up my pass for the 2016 National Charter School Conference at the Nashville Convention Center. Perusing the program, I was impressed with the speakers. Dr. Howard Fuller, Secretary of Education John King, former tennis great Andre Agassi – they would all be addressing the throngs. Throughout the day would be sessions

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5 HIIT Workouts for Pregnancy

At 37 weeks, I can post this amazing list of 5 HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts that will not fail to bring your heart rate right on up to super speed. Hubs has been getting into these faddy HIIT workouts lately, and I often pout when he leaves to go outside for 10 minutes to do them. Why?  Because that means he’s not inside with me, in the air conditioning, feeding me and rubbing my giant marshmankles. Because I’m a little jealous. He can run without feeling like his uterus is going to fall out from under him. He can jump without fearing a double hip replacement. He can do a pushup without a monstrous growth and two inflated boobs hitting the ground first. He can bend over without feeling every organ inside his body be crushed by a miniature version of himself that’s sucking his life force from within. You get the picture. My day will come. Soon. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, I have my own HIIT exercises to keep me at peak performance. Cheers.


Keeping house: a working mom’s secret

It’s August. And that means the kid is a 3 year old.

This summer has been a routine in balance. Balance between getting dishes done and hoeing weeds. Balance between walking the dog and trimming the bushes. Balance between finding out what that smell is once and for all and fixing the leaky pipe in the basement. Balance between repairing the leg on the washing machine and folding that one load of laundry that’s been in the dryer for three days.

There is no time for it all, and so some days the weeds peek over the brick edging, making sure I’m nowhere nearby with my trusty hoe. My absence confirmed, they call on all the strength of Mother Earth to sustain their roots and they propel themselves high into the air overnight, until suddenly we are “those people.” You know. The ones who let mutant weeds tower over the flower beds – who let their yard go just a smidge past acceptable before finally thwacking it off right when the neighbors surely begin to wonder about us.

The pipe has leaked all summer. We have the means to fix it. It’s a simple fix, so I’m told. But it gets lost, plunking droplets of water into the large bucket beneath, waiting for us. We dumped the bucket the other day, and I can’t imagine how many drops were in there, marking the minutes, hours, and days of deferred maintenance. But it’s all good. The bucket is big, and it’s been emptied, so we’ve bought ourselves some time.

Time. You know, the thing we don’t have.

Well, we do. And we don’t. It will get done. Just like everything eventually gets done. But the stretch in between getting things done and keeping them that way is often wide, so that all of the weeds I toiled over on Monday and Tuesday evening have returned (along with their babies) by the following Monday. Because on Wednesday and Thursday, we had to do dishes and laundry. Friday, there’s that other thing we had to do. Is that chicken spoiling in the fridge? Better order a pizza.

I could get it all done. I could. If I arrived home, and we had a daily plan, we could get it all done and I could have one of those houses that looks like…well…one of those houses. Sidewalks festooned with vibrant blossoms doused in Miracle Grow. Window boxes spilling with lush vines. Bushes trimmed and groomed respectably. Don’t get me wrong. We don’t have a pile of spare tires in the front yard or aluminum foil in the windows or anything. We keep it tidy…ish. But the folks who live in those houses likely don’t have to smell the food in the fridge to determine its toxicity. We sniff. We sniff often. And sometimes we end up with an inadvertent science experiment like that one time with the pork that grew that weird white fur and– nevermind.

The point is that we just have no time. Actually we have plenty of time. But for some reason it slips away every night after we’ve filled it with dinner, followed by our evening walk together. A few minutes more trickle away in the time I watch kiddo ride his bike in the driveway. Who knew it took a whole half an hour to get that pesky little pretend spider out of a toddler’s armpit? Then we obviously have to smell his stinky toes at the end of each day and pretend to pass out – ten minutes there. Getting jammies on and brushing teeth? Let’s just mark 45 minutes and not think about how long it really takes to garner compliance from a 3-foot tall whirlwind who laughs hysterically at the frustration of others. Bedtime stories take at least half an hour.

And then it’s 9:30 p.m. And he’s still not asleep. And where did the time go? The dishes sat in the sink again. By 10 p.m. the whirlwind is still, and laundry is finally being folded downstairs.

I’ve learned a few things this summer. For one, weeds are obnoxious assholes. Secondly, toddlers like to ask questions. A lot of questions. The same damn questions over and over and over and over again…

One of these things will last forever. The other will not.

The weeds will come. They find a way to emerge and vine, through cracks and up buildings, and from beneath obstructions. And they will always be. Toddlers grow too. They grow into kids who’s toes no longer need smelling – who no longer ask “Mommy, where’s the guy? Mommy where’s that guy? Where’s his truck? Where is he? Where’s his doggy? Where’d he go?” As if the answer to his quandary is simply the key to understanding the purpose of life in the universe.

So it makes sense to tend the toddler with the toes and the questions. And leave the weeds to grow. At least for now. And that’s my secret to not keeping house.