March 14th, 2012

I finally got a new lens for my Nikon (a 55/200 mm in case you care) and I’ve been taking pictures of my family like they’re the Beckhams.

I'm sure the reasons I married him are glaringly obvious to you.


Hello. Would you care for a hug?


My handsome boys.


Pretending to be a lost bunny in the backyard.


She's cute, but she's silly.




Janx and his ear floofs.


Things I want to remember forever

March 12th, 2012

* When frightened (which is embarrassingly frequently), Sam will run to me shouting “HUG! HUG!” and then lay his head on my shoulder and say “It’s ah-kay. It’s ah-kay.”

* When handed something, instead of saying “thank you,” he says “you’re welcome!” (This is because when he used to say “thank you,” I always replied with “you’re welcome.” I think he thought I was correcting him.)

* He calls blankets “mimits.” “Fahfee” is coffee, and dinosaurs are “ah-sores!” Always with an exclamation point.

* When he walks into a room after not seeing me for all of 30 seconds, he shouts “HI!” like I’ve been gone for days.

* He dances like nobody’s watching.

* He would happily live on grilled cheese sandwiches if I let him.


* Maddie is currently wearing purple polka dot underpants, purple plastic dress-up mules, three bracelets, and a ring. She’s Perry the Princess Platypus.

* When meeting someone at Gerald’s workplace last week, Maddie asked “May I come into your office?” After entering, she said “This is very nice office. It’s very organized.”

* On the same visit, she was given a spiral-bound notebook with the workplace’s logo on it. She asked “Is this a science notebook? Because I’d like to use it for science.”

* At the park, she went over to a girl about her age and said, “My name is Maddie. Would you like to be my friend?” As I stood and eavesdropped and basked in the smugness of having a well-mannered child, I heard the rest of the conversation. The girl replied that she would, indeed, like to be friends and Maddie replied, “Good. Because a friend would share that scooter with me.”

* Her imagination doesn’t rest. Ever. She plays pretend from the minute her feet hit the ground until long after she goes to bed.

* She has her first crush on the co-director of her Mother’s Day Out program, Miss Stephanie. When we get to school Maddie immediately seeks her out to get a hug. Miss Stephanie is currently pregnant with her 5th child, after having the Essure procedure 8 months ago, and she missed a few days of school due to pregnancy misery. When she finally came back, Maddie was jubilant to see her and to get her hug. As we left the office and walked to her classroom, Maddie sighed and said “Miss Stephanie is the prettiest girl in the world. I love her.”

My children try my patience more times a day than I can keep track of, but I hold these memories close in my heart and treasure them. I know that many years from now, these will be the things I remember. Not the sass or the tantrums.

Uncharted Territories – Here Be Dragons

March 1st, 2012

My mellow, laid-back baby has suddenly turned into a raging hell beast. The closer we get to his second birthday, the more… completely off his freaking rocker he gets. Tonight, for example, he had a screaming temper tantrum for 15 minutes over carrying his cup into dinner. (I cook dinner and I set the table, everyone else’s job is to find their own cup and bring it in with them. I’ll even get the ice and water refills; just bring me your cup.) Sam acted like his cup was made of acid and cried so hard that he sounded like a leopard mating. The windows were open and I was truly afraid our neighbors might call the police. I was gobsmacked. I have never in my life seen a child lose their damn mind over something so ridiculous without any discernible rhyme or reason.

This is uncharted territory for me and Gerald as parents. I hesitate to use the word “never,” but I can honestly say that I do not remember Maddie having tantrums. I know this is unusual. I remember saying many times how lucky we were that she didn’t have them. My theory is that because she’s an exceptionally verbal kid, she was always able to communicate her wants/needs to us without having to get too frustrated and have a red-level meltdown. Sam isn’t a verbal as Maddie was and there are still quite a few things I struggle to understand. He’s usually a pretty good sport while I try and figure it out. His past meltdowns have been level yellow, at worst. This one was OFF THE FREAKING CHARTS, you guys.

Now, I’m not so naive as to think the whole thing was about his cup. This was a plain old Battle of Wills: Mama vs. Sam. I kept my cool and didn’t back down and we made it through relatively unscathed. But jesus h. christ, I cannot deal with this shit on the reg. And the thought of it happening in public is enough to send me into a panic spiral.

I’m gonna have to get a book on this.


February 17th, 2012

Last night at dinner I was trying to get some info out of Gerald and he was coyly avoiding answering me and then lying outright in a pathetically transparent and adorable way.

“You know something ironic? On my eHarmony post, so many commenters have said that the most important trait for their mate to have is honesty.”

“Really? That is interesting.”

“Well, you’re honestish. That’s something at least. We’re honestish together. No wonder we’re soul mates.”

How I met my husband and a bonus contest!

February 14th, 2012

In May of this year, Gerald and I will have been married for eight years. EIGHT. In some ways it feels like it’s been forever already, and at the same time, it feels like it’s been about five minutes.

I’ve talked about this before, so many of you already know this, but Gerald and I met on eHarmony back in October of 2003.

The first night we talked on the phone, we talked from 9:00pm until it was time for me to get ready for work the next morning at 6:00am. Our first date was a whole weekend long, and we were engaged three weeks later.

I remember seeing the commercial for eHarmony and deciding to do the free questionnaire and profile. I was determined to see if this site could do what it claimed, so I diligently answered all of the questions. It took me two frickin’ hours, but I did it. When I read the results, I was STUNNED. It was like this software knew me better than anyone in the world. I hadn’t set out to find “The One,” but after reading the personality profile, I thought, “Hey, if it knows me so well and can match me to people I’d get along with, why not?” I signed up for a three-month membership right there and then.

I got matches pretty quickly, if I remember correctly. The first date I went on was supposed to be a lunch date, and we ended up spending the entire day and evening together. There weren’t any romantic sparks, but we got along SO! WELL! If it wouldn’t have been weird, I know we’d have stayed friends and would still be friends to this day. The second guy I went out with was great, too. There were romantic sparks with him, so that was a nice bonus. Nothing earth-shattering, but I would have happily dated him for a while.

HOWEVER, I got matched with Gerald a week later, and that was all she wrote. From the very first phone call, I knew he was The One. I was head over heels in love with him before I’d ever laid eyes on him. When we went on our first date, it was like we’d been together forever. He told me it was so hard for him to not lean over and just casually kiss me randomly like it was no big deal, because he felt like we’d been together for a long time. (Don’t worry, it didn’t take him long to kiss me after all.)

I can’t say the last eight years have been smooth sailing, but I can say there is no one I’d rather spend my time with. No one with whom I’d rather raise my children. No one with whom I’d rather grow old. Gerald is my One, and if it weren’t for eHarmony, I’d have never known it.

We lived 50 miles apart, but it might as well have been an ocean. We had no social or work circles that crossed and would have never met had it not been for eHarmony. The best part was that through the program, we already knew that we agreed on so many of the Big Things you have to discuss when you decide to share your life with someone. We had the same morals, the same ethics, the same thoughts on marriage, kids, money, where to live, etc.

We never, ever fight over the typical couple things because we’re 99% simpatico on them. It was awesome to be able to begin a relationship already knowing those things about each other. I felt so secure in the very beginning, which is completely unheard of for me.

After my mother died and my dad was ready to start dating again, he told me he didn’t want to date for the sake of dating. He wanted to get married again. He was lonely as a bachelor and longed to be a husband again. Gerald and I recommended eHarmony for him, too. I don’t know how many other women he dated before he met Shari, but I do know they were engaged rather quickly, too. Shari tells me all the time that my dad is the love of her life.

When Shari’s daughter, Natalie, was ready to settle down, we all suggested eHarmony for her, too. She met Alan, and they’ve been married for two years and have a gorgeous daughter named Lilly. I may be biased, but I’m pretty sure she’s the prettiest, smartest, sweetest niece EVER.

I guess you could say eHarmony helped to build my family. Well, mostly it’s love that built my family, but eHarmony provided the means, that’s for sure.

The good folks at eHarmony and BlogHer are sponsoring a $100 Visa gift card giveaway to my readers. To be entered for a chance to win, leave me a comment answering the following question: What is the most important character trait your partner must have and why?

Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 2/14/2012 – 3/15/2012.

Visit the eHarmony page to check out more blogger success stories and for more chances to win!

So, have you heard of this new thing called “moderation?”

February 10th, 2012

Apparently, there’s this new concept of limiting the amount of time and energy one puts into different activities called “moderation.” So help me god, my very first instinct is always EXTREME. I never even considered just decreasing the amount of time I spend online. Seriously. I immediately jumped to “must quit now, boo hoo.” I’m such a fucking basket case.

Anyhow, I’ve decreased. Removed apps from my phone. Turned off alerts. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And I’m feeling good about it. I just got caught up. It happens. And if it happens again, then I’ll overreact and go mental  back off a little.

What I’m trying to say is thanks. For being sweet, sending me emails to call me out on my bullshit, and generally putting up with my crazy ass.


February 7th, 2012

I’m considering quitting the internet. Specifically, blogging and twitter. This isn’t a rash, emotional decision, I promise. I’ve really been THINKING about it for a while now. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

* I don’t have many friends locally. I spend too much time online cultivating friendships with women who live across the country to be able to make friends in my own town.
* I am far too emotionally invested in online shenanigans. I get my feelings hurt over stupid shit all the time.
* I base too much of my self-worth on twitter replies and returned emails.
* I sometimes honestly believe my mental health would be better without being constantly connected.

BUT! I’ve made so many wonderful friends online! How can I give that up? And how can I sit here, know that you’re all getting together and I’m not? Or knowing how your kids are doing? Or how that new job is coming along?

And then I think if I channeled that much energy into finding local friends, I wouldn’t need to be so invested in my online life.

I don’t know. I can’t figure any of this out.

*This isn’t a “please tell me how much you love me!” post. I know it sounds like it and I’d probably think that’s what it was if I read it on someone else’s blog. Really, I’m just thinking “out loud.” Please do not feel pressured into telling me how awesome I am. Although, you know I love to hear it. I’m not gonna lie.*

Still Alive. Barely.

January 10th, 2012

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m in a “meh, I’ll blog some other time” phase right now. Twitter updates are more my speed these days.

1. Operation: No More Babies. I had the Essure procedure done on 12/22. The procedure itself was a cake walk. Two hours before, I had to take a Zofran and a Valium. At the appointment, I had to take off my pants and lay down. The end. Seriously, there was nothing to it. I had IV sedation and the procedure was done in a room at my doctor’s office. I woke up 45 minutes later and went home 10 minutes after that. No side effects, no problems whatsoever. In three months I’ll go back for an HSG test to confirm whether or not the ol’ tubes are blocked and then that’s it. Done and done. If you’re thinking about permanent measures of birth control, I can recommend Essure at this point. I’ll report again in three months, of course.

(An aside: I shared this on twitter, but here it is for you, in case you don’t follow me. You really should, you know. Anyhow, the co-director of Maddie’s preschool is the one who told me about Essure when she had it done seven months ago. When the kids went back to school after Christmas break, several teachers asked me if I’d talked to Stephanie yet. I hadn’t, and got Nervous Tummy about it. What in the world could she have to talk to me about that warranted this? Was I in trouble? OMG, I was getting sent to the preschool principal’s office! What she had to tell me was that she was pregnant. Apparently, her insurance company didn’t cover the HSG test after the Essure procedure, so she didn’t have it done. Her doctor said it was no problem, because she’d never heard of it not working. HA HA. She is now pregnant with their SIXTH child. Apparently, one of her fallopian tubes didn’t close all the way and her determined little egg made it’s way through to the Promised Land. After confirming that it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy, all was declared well and she’s nine weeks along. So, her stupid insurance company that wouldn’t cover the HSG test is now going to have to pay for another pregnancy, birth and subsequent hysterectomy. She has a family history of ovarian cancer, so they’ve decided to just clean out her lady parts altogether. BUT!!! Don’t let this put you off the Essure business. It really is like one in a million that this happened.)

2. I had to go on birth control pills for these three months while the Essure does its magic and I had quite the adverse reaction to them. So, I took them for a week, freaked out, stopped them and got my period a week later. That’s a lot of hormones over the course of two weeks. I have not been the most pleasant person to be around.

3. It’s almost Madie’s fifth birthday and I have made no plans whatsoever.

4. Sam got bronchitis over Christmas and ended up on nebulizer treatments again. This time, he was on Albuterol and Pulmicort and holy moly, was it awful. The combination made him act demon-possessed. He had wild mood swings, manic behavior and threw honest-to-god temper tantrums that lasted FOREVER. He was completely inconsolable and I was completely out of patience. I talked to the doctor yesterday and he’s off the treatments, so hopefully his behavior will even back out over the next couple of days.

5. I’ve been spending some time out of The Boot. My ribs are fine. The hole in the garage ceiling is fixed. The shame from falling through the ceiling lingers.


December 18th, 2011

Tomorrow I have a pre-op appointment with my OB/Gyn, Dr. G. And on Thursday, I’ll be undergoing a simple procedure to shut down the baby-making factory for good.

I’m having a rather strange reaction to the end of my fertile days. I don’t feel bad about it, but I feel bad about not feeling bad. Does that make sense? I sort of feel like I ought to be mourning the loss of babies we’ll never have. Little people whose faces would have lit up at the sight of me. A new person to get to know and love. But I’m not thinking about those things except to realize that I’m not thinking about those things.

At first, I thought maybe there was something wrong with me. That I was cold and unfeeling toward one of the biggest decisions of my life. But the more I think about it, I realize that I’m not indifferent, I’m content. I am so secure in the completeness of my family that I don’t mourn the loss of hypothetical babies. I do not feel any urges to be pregnant again or to have another a baby to snuggle. It’s almost like a switch has been clicked off.

In three months, I will no longer be able to get pregnant. Ever again. And I’m ok with that.

Christmas Card Exchange?

December 8th, 2011

Would you like to exchange Christmas cards this year? Really? Me, too!

So, leave me a comment and I’ll email you the pertinent info. And even if we’ve done this before, still let me know. I can’t be expected to remember these things. Sheesh.


    Syle Lush

    BlogHer Book Club Reviewer

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