Thursday, January 29, 2009


Today is Beebz's a-ha day. She woke up and we nursed and snuggled. As she does, she started pointing to parts of my face. She pointed to my nose and of course I said, "Nose! Can you find your nose?" She did. She then found all the parts of her face and even started saying them. Sort-of. You know, like babies do. (ei-ei for eye, eah for ear... I got the message.)

Later today I asked her to go in another room and get me the sock she had taken off. I never dreamed she would actually DO it. But she did. (By the way, you know how Robeez are so great because kids can't take them off? Ha. My girl can do it in a flash.)

Just now she asked to help me do laundry. She actually got upset when she caught me transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer without her. So I handed her pieces and she giggled as she put each one in. She was thrilled to put things IN rather than just taking them OUT.

It is just so amazing to watch all the pieces come together in their heads as they figure out new things. I love love LOVE this part of parenting. Watching them evolve, right before my eyes is the most wonderous thing. I am so grateful this is my life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Treasuring the First Time

Tonight it happened. The first of many, many nights. One of the parental lines of my childhood was used, by my partner, toward Pablo. And I was almost giddy with excitement. This wasn't one of those "oh gods, did that just come out my mouth?!" moments. It was honest to goodness wonderful. The line?

"Pablo, please don't read at the dinner table."

Yes, he has had many a book at the table before, but tonight it was fiction! Not an atlas, not an encyclopedia, but real, live kids' stuff. Calvin and Hobbes, to be exact. He was into the story line and couldn't imagine why we would preempt his reading with something so mundane as food and family.

I remember that battle from the other side so well. The children regularly wanted to read at the table and the adults regularly didn't let us. Those pesky grownups. Didn't they understand how important it was to find out what happened next?! The ink and paper were palpably more important than those people who were around all the time anyway. My brother and I even used to fight of over the cereal box so we would have SOMETHING to read at the breakfast table. And now, the torch is officially passed. I am thrilled. Pablo is officially pleasure reading. (OK, maybe all the nonfiction he reads is pleasure reading too, and I just don't share the passion...I try. I really do. But FICTION! That's official by anyone's measurement!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Typing fast...

I have started no less than 4 posts only to be interrupted to the point of insanity. I am spending very little time at the computer these days, mostly due to the fact that my sweet little baby is now in training to be a super hero. She climbs EVERYTHING. Step stools? Hah. No problem. Dining room chairs? Couldn't be easier. Strangely enough, she seems to have a sidekick in Lucy the Dog, who is willing to lay there on the floor and be Beebz's own personal step stool. Beebz couldn't climb onto the couch without Lucy there to provide a willing boost. Once she has climbed to the highest point, she stands up, holds onto something (back of the chair, bathroom counter, etc) and rocks as hard as she can. It looks a lot like she is trying to tip herself over. Maybe this is a necessary step toward learning to fly. I wouldn't know, since I haven't let it happen.

My boyo is 5, my "baby" is now 1 and walking (and climbing).... where did the time go? Uh, oh. Where did the baby go? I guess I didn't type fast enough.

It's Happening!!!

Yes, we made it! With only a few wars geared to make the selfish and rich even more rich (and selfish), an economy in shambles, a nation more polarized than ever (well, generally republicans DO suck...), and a planet on the brink of annihilation due to the myriad of ways the rich and selfish abuse it. Yep, we "made" it.

But now is a time to look forward, and not back. Except to prosecute the hell out of the jerks who screwed up our country in 8 stolen (by the way, let's bring back paper ballots so the evil ones can't steal any more elections) years.

Happy Inauguration Day, everyone... finally people with intelligence,compassion, and balance are back in power.

P.S. As you may have noticed, I find myself more angry about the past than excited about the future. I think it is because I know that fixing everything will be much more complicated and take more time than the American public has patience for. I fear that this administration has too much pressure on it. Everyone wants an instant fix. It can't happen that easily. Today is the day we switch from hope to expectation. There is so much to fix. And it worries me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Memory, Schmemory

This week has a lot of extras in it (dentist for the baby, vet for the dogs, my partner starting her volunteer night, etc), and I have been hard pressed to keep track. So last night I was talking to my partner, trying to iron out today. It went like this:

Me: Ok, so we are having lunch as soon as the nanny comes. I will pick you up around 11. (Check it out! A date!)

Her: Yes. And the real estate appraiser is coming at 10. (She is refinancing the house.)

Me: Ok, cool.

Her: Do you want to meet in town for dinner before my volunteering?

Me: No, Pablo has that doc appt and I think we will want to stay in and chill.

Her: And because of eating lunch out. That's ok. I will take the leftover quiche for dinner.

Me: Lunch? Who are you having lunch with?

Her, looking at me expectantly: ...

Impressive, no? I can't remember a better memory lapse. Oh. Maybe that isn't very meaningful. Since it's me and all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Every night at dinner, we have what is often the first chance for the whole family to sit down and decompress together. We have a tradition of bringing our hands together, looking each other (one at a time) in the eye, and saying namaste to each person. Pablo seems to find it annoying since it cuts into his time begging to play a "talking game" (like 20 questions etc, ie something that doesn't require tools). Beebz always seems charmed and spends the next few minutes putting her hands together and flirting with people. Her habit is always cute, but tonight it got off the charts cuter. She put her hands together and started chanting, "Day?! Day?! Day?!" while trying to look at everyone at once. Oh yeah... this is why I do it....

Friday, January 9, 2009


Today we had an awesome play date with a friend and her two kiddos. If it were up to the kids, I think it would still be going on... there was even talk to moving in together at one point. Of course, there was also the part where the boys fought over a doll. And then we talked and talked and talked through the angst of it, with the boys issuing various threats ("You aren't invited to my birthday party" and "I am going to turn you into a dog" were my personal favorites). Finally we were able to create a solution that worked for everyone, and apologies were rendered.

It was a lot of work to deal with the drama, but overall the playdate was so, so good. To see my kiddo be so social and so excited to be with another child was fantastic. Not to mention getting to hang out with my mama friend, who is such a gentle, loving soul that I feel like a better person just from standing near her (Hey M, if you are reading this, it is totally true. Your energy is SO peacful.). I am hoping we will do it again soon.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Working out, in

I have worked out AT THE GYM, no less, 3 times this year. Impressive, no? I am pretty much over the moon about it. I set a goal to work out 20 times this month. I did it when it was warm and I thought I could take the kids hiking. Now it is raining and 40 degrees and I don't even plan to get out of my jammies. But I am still hoping to work out today. Maybe some yoga, maybe dancing around the house... something. I am starting the year with an I CAN DO IT attitude. I am finding the YES and focusing on that. Go me. Now I am going to clean the kitchen. And maybe set up a play date.

And by the way, I haven't had a chance to agree with my partner that I am a big jerk... we haven't had any disagreements lately. Maybe later I will try being a big jerk so that when she calls me on it I can agree with her.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I am generally against starting a post with, "So I just was reading in Oprah about..." but here I am, doing it.

I just read in Oprah that Dr. David Burns has written a new book on relationships called Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work. His "groundbreaking theory" is what I have been telling my clients for years. Own your own stuff and work to improve it. Don't waste time trying to fix your partner. Talk to each other, yes, but don't just sit around expecting them to change while you eat bonbons. It is a guarantee that for every issue you have with your partner, they have one to match. While I don't think it is particularly groundbreaking, it is a solid and mindful theory, so I plan to read the book.

The one thing I hadn't heard before is his advice to couples in the moment. He says to respond to criticism from your partner by owning it, no matter what it is. They say, "You are such a controlling jerk" and you say, "Yes, I can be that way sometimes, and I know it is really irritating. I am so sorry. Can we talk about ways I could communicate without the control factor?"

That hadn't occurred to me before... the whole owning it in the moment as you are being called a jerk thing. My thoughts had run to the more global, preventative spectrum. Things like talking about issues when there isn't conflict at hand. I like this, even though it would be killer to try to do. But why not? Toss defensiveness out the window, treat my partner as my teacher, and listen, with neither anger nor self-recrimination when she points out irritating things I do.

I haven't actually talked to my partner about this, so surprise, my love! Have fun with this honey, it should be a blast!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Starting over

The new year is a natural time to make changes, to see things anew, to replace stagnation with energy and verve. And I want to. I feel somewhat like this is not an option for me, like there is no space to change, but hey, I am willing to give it a go, just for the sake of laughs. We went to a New Year's party today and a dear friend did a Tarot reading for me. She pegged me on several uncomfortable issues (dammit) all I could do was sit there squirming.

Basically she said that I have been in a rut for a long time and I live in my own head too much and that I have so many choices before me that I can't seem to pick one. Hell, I can't even SEE them anymore! But I must. Pick (at least) one and take action. Doing is, of course, the remedy for thinking too much. It was really amazing. I couldn't even think of possible actions. So then my dear friend gave me homework. At a party. I am supposed to list all the areas I am willing to change and what that change could look like. eep. Can't I just do her laundry for her instead? AND SHE WILL BE CALLING ME to talk more about it. In 2 days. Did I say eep? I meant EEP!!

So here is my attempt. eep.

1. Physical well being: I can eat healthier and exercise more. This includes not only going to the gym, but taking walks in my neighborhood and going on hikes, etc. Getting out there. Any step is a step in the right direction.

2. I can take some action (not sure what) in looking for a job. I have been searching off and on, but mostly feeling hopeless about it. I could decide that I WILL BE MAKING X AMOUNT OF MONEY A MONTH BY FEBRUARY. There. Still not sure how, but that part could take care of itself, right? Right?

3. I can choose to let go of emotional baggage. Actively. From the apparently ex-friend (her choice, not mine) who thinks my son and I are horrid people to judgments I have about myself, the universe, and my place in it... I can let it all go. Actively. Forgiveness meditations. Journaling. Trusting that things don't have to be the way they are. Actively being positive. With determination. gulp.

4. I can work to deepen my relationship. I can expect more of myself and my partner, work to see her anew (despite the doldrums that come from having small children), and fight the strong inclination to fall into bed at the end of the day for the express purpose of sleeping. hmmm.

5. I can set at least one daily goal. Whether it is playing with the kids or cleaning house, feeling like I am ACCOMPLISHING something I set out to do will make a huge difference in my attitude. ooh, I like that one!

I will keep thinking. In action steps. This whole doing rather than thinking thing feels very foreign to me at this stage of life, where so much seems like it is out of my control. But I can work, in small ways, to make changes.

Happy New Year. What are you changing?