Oh, you guys. This year has been a ride so far. In the good ways, in the bad ways . . . mostly right now I’m hung up on the bad ways. I’ve been a pretty terrible blogger these past few months, so please accept my apologies. And if you’ve missed me and are putting up your feet to read this right now, also accept this warning: This is going to be the shittiest blog post ever written. So, consider yourselves warned. And allow me to fill you in . . .
January was rough. It was a revolving door of family illness, including two memorable rounds of croup. The dry erase marker on my giant “New Year Intentions” whiteboard, organized by category in a handy chart, had barely dried when I ceased to become productive in any and all ways. Trips to the gym were eclipsed by trips to the pediatrician. New articles to write and publish were swiftly kicked in the ass by constant sleep-deprivation due to coughing that just. wouldn’t. stop. I wrote nothing. I accomplished little. It sucked.
The new year is supposed to represent the inception of all you hope to achieve in the months to come, and for me the symbolism was rather dismal. After a fall of having my work published in a variety of new and supercool places, having literally nothing published all month was a bit depressing. Not to mention the sheer exhaustion and lack of exercise. (Sad trombone and quivering Debbie Downer lip.)
February was a bit of an upswing, and I got three things published in one week– woot! Hey, if you could humor me and read some of that stuff later, I’d be super grateful. Here’s what I wrote, with some tiny excerpts but just click the title to read the whole thing:
My Kid’s Homework Is Driving Us Both Insane (you know I love writing about this topic, right? It fires me up like nothing else.)
Published in Redbook
A few days ago my 4th grader and I sat together at the piano going over her lessons for the week. She was playing poorly, and I couldn’t understand why. My diligent daughter was stumbling over songs she had mastered weeks earlier. I asked her what was going on, and she exclaimed, “I’m overwhelmed! I’m stressed out! We just did homework for an hour!”
A stressed-out nine-year-old.
It was true: ever since she arrived home from school that afternoon, it had been more work without any time to relax. The clock was ticking—with dinnertime, shower, and a little time to read before bedtime. And that was a day without any extracurricular activities! This type of after-school pressure just isn’t right, in my opinion.
What Happened When I Hired a Doula To Help Me Deliver Naturally
Published in Good Housekeeping
We loved our instructor and walked away with plenty of helpful techniques for coping with childbirth naturally. When we found out our teacher was also a doula, we decided to take the plunge and hire her. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect: I imagined a doula to be sort of like a childbirth Mary Poppins with a big bag of tricks and a lot of magic.
The First Disappointment (Do you guys remember that epic story about the disaster of an 8th birthday sleepover party we had? This is a slightly more thoughtful twist on that rollicking tale.)
Published in Brain, Child Magazine.
After months of begging, I finally caved. Eight years old seemed like a fine age to host our first birthday sleepover party; it seemed almost cozy, a pleasant contrast to larger birthday party adventures of years past. Maybe I was eager to re-live my own popcorn-eating, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”-watching, truth-or-dare-playing slumber party days.
My daughter was elated. Being the ultra-organized, hyper-planning apple from my Type-A tree, her sleepover party would not be a “go with the flow” type of event. Hours before the girls came over, she had fashioned sleeping stations in her bedroom, carefully mapped out with colorful blankets spread around her floor. On each station was a BFF necklace and an itinerary listing the sleepover’s events. Yes, an itinerary.
So February was mostly OK. And, oh! I also recorded my second children’s CD, Minivan Jams, somewhere in there! Cool, huh? There are some super fun songs on there, plus you can hear harmonies and guitar from my best friend, wicked percussion from my brother, and some adorable vocal assistance from my two kids. If you’re local, you can pick one up from me directly, and if you live far away I’ll totally ship one to you if you’d like one! It’s perfect for parents who are getting tired of listening to the same songs in the car over and over. (Until this CD becomes “those songs” you’re tired of, but let’s not go there yet, hmm?) Check it out and order one here.
Then I had surgery (minor, outpatient, no biggie) but had to be unexpectedly intubated during it which really messed up my throat and made me barf a lot for a few days. Good times. Meanwhile, my kick-ass production team for Listen to Your Mother Boulder began having auditions. We heard almost 40 incredible auditions in a 5-day period, and while it was exhilarating and an incredible adrenaline rush, it may have killed the last pathetic remnants of my immune system. Because then I got the flu. Yes, the actual f*cking flu. And it’s been hell.
The good news was, I got on Tamiflu in time for it to help, but the bad news is it’s been a pretty rough recovery. I’m tiiiired, y’all. Oh, but there’s been more good news: Mothering Through the Darkness: Women Open Up About the Postpartum Experience, the book I published with my HerStories Project partner Jessica Smock, was named a Finalist in Foreword Reviews’ IndieFab Book of the Year Contest! (Yes, that’s the same award My Other Ex won an Honorable Mention in last year! So that was cool.
And then, somehow, despite being semi-comatose and weeping over 1980s songs, I managed to make the coolest announcement of all: Our Listen to Your Mother Boulder 2016 cast. And I am ridiculously proud of this cast already, like it’s some sort of unborn prodigy. Coloradans, you have GOT to get to this show. I mean it; you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you may even clutch your heart and gasp like a little old lady like I did during auditions. So buy your tickets here, OK?
Then here I am, less than fresh-faced and a few days into the flu, wading through audition paperwork before finalizing our cast. The glow has worn off a bit. Let’s make this one smaller, shall we?
Thanks for humoring me during this super-unoriginal recap post to end all recap posts. I appreciate you. And I’ll leave you with a funny from my Mommy, for Real FB page to make you remember why you stick around. And I promise you, I’ll write a non-crappy blog post soon when I’m done kicking this flu’s ass, m’kay? Thanks, guys. xoxo
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