Pink Tutus

I never thought I’d be a mother to a girl.

I like to be pampered just as much as the next woman, I get my nails done every three weeks or so and enjoy looking pretty and getting made up, but my style is simple and classic (some would say boring) and there is very little pink, frills or lace in my closet. There are five steps to my make-up routine and I have never owned, worn or coveted a tutu. I never took ballet as a child, which probably is why I am such a klutz in my cardio barre class, which is heavily ballet based.

I also had (for lack of a better word) a complete crap relationship with my own mother so relating to women in many ways has been challenging for me. The thought of having a daughter of my own, raising a daughter terrifies me.

I have been pleasantly surprised by my daughter, Lola. Granted we’re only 13 months in but she’s amazing and so very very different than her brother. I don’t know that that is a boy/girl thing or just the simple fact that they are different people.

Obviously she’s not showing feminine or masculine tendencies at this point because I dress her and she has very little hair, wears a lot of her older brother’s hand-me-downs and plays with his now neglected Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Thomas the Tank trains and Matchbox cars. I’m fully expecting this all to change and in a big way but hopefully I’ll have a say in her attire for a little while longer.

When Lola was born, my friend Wendi gave us a size 12 month Hello Kitty tutu and a stern warning to, “get ready, this is what you have to look forward to”. Having a daughter of her own she presumably knows what I am up against.

She could be right.

When I was going through Lola’s closet recently I found the tutu and slipped it around her middle.

My heart almost exploded, first at the hilarity of it and then at how utterly adorable she looked. She started swinging her hips as if she was born to wear it. How on earth would she know to do that? The joy on her face was pure. She loved it and knew she looked cute. Perhaps all babies are delicious in tutus but this is one piece of clothing I never thought under any circumstances would I ever buy for my daughter.

As I watched Lola twirl around my bathroom, all of a sudden I saw a very bright hot pink hue of a future flash before my eyes and I know without a doubt there will be many more tutus.



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Dear Lola On Your 1st Birthday

Dear Lola,

My world became immensely sunnier the day you were born.

When I first laid my eyes upon you, I was filled with a sense of relief and peace I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

Today we celebrate a year of you.

We celebrate the fact that we thrived and loved every moment of your first year.

Our family was full before and complete, but once you arrived you oozed into all the tiny cracks and crevasses and made us whole. You fit in so nicely and as if you were always meant to be.

I would not be the mother I am without you, and while I am teaching you and your brother life lessons, you are transforming the very core of me.

You are everything I imagined you would be and so, so much more. Thank you for being such an easy baby, for sleeping through the night since you were four months old, for making us laugh and for each and every smile. Thank you for the quiet moments when I hold you close and you stare deep into my eyes with an all knowing sense. Thank you for your patience with me when I’m overwhelmed and for letting me take you for daily walks.

Thank you for being my light in the dark.

I love you, Muffet and I can’t wait for year two!



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13 More Things I Know For Sure

Call it Murphy’s Law, women’s intuition, or just knowing myself and those around me really well, there are certain things that as a 42 and a half year old woman I have come to learn and know to be without a doubt true.

Here are 13 more things I know for sure:

1. As soon as I warn my five-year-old that his elbow is dangerously close to a cup of milk, he will knock it over.

2. Just as I am are ready to leave the house, my toddler will have a gigantic poop! This will not only be frustrating, but make me later to wherever it was I was suppose to be five minutes ago.

3. It’s always better to call than e-mail or text.

4. I will always leave my son’s classroom after volunteering my time with a smile on my face and a renewed sense of wonder and imagination.

5. I have to exercise daily for my sanity and those around me.

6. The day before I have a manicure scheduled I will break three fingernails.

7. If I plan to take my toddler to said manicure during her scheduled nap time, she will not sleep.

8. The game or toy or book or article of clothing or concert or fill in the blank that I am most looking forward to will be back ordered, out of stock or sold out, but if karma is on my side, I’ll find it at Target.

9. Being a mother is the hardest job on earth. Hands down.

10. The minute I think, “Gee, I haven’t been sick in a while,” I will feel a tickle in my throat and be sore from head to toe.

11. What works in your house may not work in mine and vice versa and that’s okay.

12. I know that change is inevitable and I’m much better off adjusting than struggling to keep things the way they are.

13. I know that life is a roller coaster and all I can do some days is hold on and enjoy the ride and or scream my head off!

For my previous 13 Things I Know For Sure, click here. And if you’re keeping track, that 26 now. Go me!

What do you know for sure?

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My Daughter’s Hands

We are outside sending Daddy and Lucas off to school. Lola waves with her whole hand and whispers “bye-bye” over and over and my heart almost explodes from the cuteness.

My favorite part of my daughter, next to her joy filled smile, sparkling eyes and mostly cheerful disposition are her hands.

Tiny and soft they are in constant movement.

I love to watch each finger.

Always curious and busy feeling fabrics, pressing buttons, turning pages of board books and pointing to the pictures inside, searching for tags and picking up minuscule pieces of lint as she crawls up the stairs.

Unless we catch her, she puts everything in her mouth.

Lola shows her love and appreciation by doling out “pat-pats”. It’s the sweetest gesture.

Someday these hands will hold mine as we cross the street. Her small fingers will fit neatly inside mine.

Someday her hands will reach for her brother in a time of need.

Lola’s hands will grow and change and they have so much life ahead of them.


With her hands, she’ll pick flowers from our neighbor’s garden,

Grasp a crayon to color in and outside of the lines,

Tie the laces on her sneakers,

Hold the handlebars of her bicycle and pretend she’s flying.

Carefully she’ll use her hands to wrap boxes to put under the Christmas tree,

Braid her best friend’s hair,

Create melancholy music on a cello or piano,

Support her weight in a handstand,

Furiously type an email or best-seller,

With her hands, she will apply lipstick, sunscreen, shave her legs and pick at scabs she knows are better off left alone.

She will whisk eggs for a cake and lick icing off her finger,

Grip the steering wheel of her first car in anticipation of getting on the freeway,

Wipe away tears and hold her face in her palms.

I hope she has a good strong handshake and keeps her nails well manicured.

On her left hand I hope she’ll wear a wedding ring.

And more than anything, I hope her hands one day carry a child of her own.

I'm Published by Mamalode!

A longer version of this post appeared on Mamalode, May 1, 2015.

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Another Mother

My mother died seven years ago but I have always missed her.

I think about my mother a lot during the holidays. She adored Christmas with a childlike glee, made the best chocolate chip and sugar cookies and could wrap a present like nobody’s business.

I wanted another mother.

I discovered at the tender age of 14 while getting ready for my first boy/girl party that the mother I had was never going to be the mother I needed. After helping me put together an outfit and apply the slightest bit of makeup, she said flatly I “looked fine” and shooed me out of her bedroom.

I was confused and hurt.

My mother was aloof and far way, indifferent and quiet. I tried like hell to get inside her head but she had no interest in self revelation or sharing herself with me. Or anyone, but perhaps my father and sister.

We struggled.

We struggled to communicate with one another, we struggled to relate to one another, we struggled to look each other in the eye. There was always a gaping distance between us. It wasn’t tension as the result of a big blow out, we simply had nothing to talk about. I remember a four-hour car ride we took together in which maybe ten words were shared.

Even after years of knowing what I would encounter each and every time, I still kept hoping that she would change. That she would let me in.

I needed a mother who was present and engaging, hands on and expressive. I wanted the kind of mother my friends had. One who was interested and interesting. I knew so little about the woman who raised me.

For years I thought if I could just find the right way to talk to her, she’d open up. Every question I asked lead to a dead end so eventually I gave up.

Things weren’t as quiet when my father was around and especially if my sister was present. Both served as buffers and provided topics of conversation.

As an adult, before both of my weddings and once on a very long family road trip I wanted to confront her but I chickened out because I was afraid of her response. My ego couldn’t handle more mommy disappointment. What could she say to me? “I’m sorry, I did the best I could.”? I didn’t want to hear that. Of course, I don’t know what I wanted to hear.

While I once thought my mother and I were as different as night and day, now I’m not so sure. Now that I’m a mother myself I feel like I know her in a whole new way. Is that crazy?

This was a stream of consciousness post written in 15 minutes with very little editing. My relationship with my mother is a topic that I could go on and on about as I try to dissect it, what I wish it was and how I find peace with it now that she is gone. 

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Precious Firsts & Lasts

I’m not ready.

Even before Halloween I saw Christmas decorations and tchotchkes for sale. I think Christmas starts too early every year, but this year in particular.

My melancholy started with the purchase of my daughter’s first stocking. It matches the rest of the family’s; red velvet with a green cuff, and ivory letters in traditional Garamond spell out: Lola. I ordered it a month ago but was completely dismayed when it arrived.

Baby’s first Christmas.

It will be the last of Lola’s precious firsts for the year.

Christmas is a huge milestone for any child. Lucas was barely 6 months old his first Christmas and not quite crawling. I have darling photos of him laying in piles of wrapping paper underneath my in-laws tree, sitting on Santa’s lap looking bewildered and he was the star of our holiday card that year.

I don’t recall being weepy about Lucas turning one. Instead I was gleeful and proud. Happy for all that he had accomplished in his first year and proud of my husband and I for not only surviving but thoroughly enjoying our first year of parenthood.

I remember searching through a year full of photos to create a collage to display at his birthday party, a very small family gathering in our backyard, something I’m sure I’ll do for his little sister.

But with Lola it is different.

I’m very weepy.

Her birthday is at the beginning of the new year so as the old one draws to a close, I think about what a magical year it has been and I’m sad it went by so fast.

Lola is most likely our last child and the one we fought the hardest for. She’s amazing and our family feels more complete because of her. I know her second year will be full of more firsts… first steps and more words, new experiences, adventure and magic.

But, I’m not ready.


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I’m Not Cut Out For This Shit

One of the goals I set for myself this year was to submit my writing to different Web sites to gain some greater exposure and I finally, not only found the time to write a post that I felt was worthy of one of those sites, but actually submitted one.


Lo and behold, it was accepted.

I am very honored to be featured on Scary Mommy today with a post I wrote called, I’m Not Cut Out For This Shit about a day when motherhood was seriously kicking my ass. It’s real and raw and I would be ever so grateful if you would read it.

I love and respect Jill Smokler (Scary Mommy) and the community of anything but perfect parents she has brought together through her Web site and books and I am beyond thrilled to see my words on her site.

There is nothing more powerful than the “me too” factor, so if you’re a mom I hope you’ll be able to identify with my post. 

Scary Mommy

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What I’ll Miss

As I sit down on the couch to fold a load of my children’s clothes, still fresh and warm from the dryer I start to think of all the things I am going to miss.

Lola’s owl pajamas trimmed in sea foam green, the long-sleeve onesie that says “I love Daddy” across the front, Lucas’s Star Wars and superhero T-shirts, socks embedded with sand, and a pair of camouflage pants with a stain on the knee that no matter how hard I try, can’t seem to remove.

These little clothes.

They are outgrowing them faster than I’d like.

Faster than I imagined.

There’s other things too; morning “Mommy snuggles”, as Lucas calls them, him telling me I’m beautiful, coming up behind me and hugging my legs, asking for one more book or to “play with me”, his sneaky screen time shenanigans/negotiations, willingly wearing whatever I lay out for him each day and the questions. So many questions! Someday he’ll know more than me and have way more credible sources.

Lola is on her way to walking and with that will come a freedom she’s never known. It’s an exciting and witnessing a baby experience things for the first time is pure magic. Right now it is a daily occurrence and so hard to believe we are nine months into a year of her firsts.

It goes by fast. I’ve heard it from day one of becoming a mother and it’s true. Cliché, but the truest statement about parenthood.

One day you’re rocking your newborn to sleep in a freshly painted nursery with new sheets on a crib surrounded by stuffed animals and diapers and other baby paraphernalia you never even knew existed trying to remember the words to “Hush, Little Baby” and the next, you’re sending them off to kindergarten with a backpack twice their size, reviewing sight words, hosting sleepovers, building with Legos and worried that soon you won’t be able to pick them up any longer.

I love being a mother. I especially love being a mother to Lucas and Lola. Each day is eerily similar but also very different from the last.

I adore these children, these little humans full of life and love and growing and changing right before my eyes. There are more things than I cannot count about these precious days and these precious people I will miss.

what i'll miss

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