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Things to Pack

We are hopping a train to New Orleans on Friday. A grown up trip. Lily is staying with her Grandmommy. It took me almost 3 years to learn that we need to make time to do these types of things. If we aren’t happy, there’s no way Lily’s gonna be happy. And if we want to be happy, we need to make time for trips like this every once in awhile. My work traveling at the beginning of Lily’s life made that a difficult lesson to learn.

Anyway, I need to make a list. So far I’ve got the following. I hope I’m not forgetting anything.

Cooler with Wild Turkey American Woman Honey Something, sausage, cheese, crackers, grapes and peanut butter and banana sandwiches
Book (I’m on habit 3 – put first things first)

We asked Lily what she wanted us to bring her from our trip and she replied without hesitation, “a t-shirt.” How does she know that’s what you buy on trips? She also said she’d like a voodoo doll. Though I don’t think she knows what that is.


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A New Morning

We took Lily to her first gymnastics class this morning. I absolutely loved watching her slowly get the hang of it, catching on and then following instructions. She paid such close attention and really seemed to enjoy her new found abilities to tumble and flip over the bars. We can’t wait to take her again next Saturday. Not to mention just being in an environment where young people are taking charge of their own practice in the gym. It was very inspiring to see such little people running laps to warm up their little bodies. I so want Lily to develop physical skills to match the mental ones we know send already has. I don’t care if she’s an athlete or anything, I just want her to have a sense of her physical strength as a healthy human being and not take it for granted like I have.

All this in light of our recent devotion to salad and fresh veggies piled on top. I must get back in shape so I’m ready for my second baby someday.

However, I couldn’t help but wonder how the morning would have gone if I had an infant in tow. Would I have brought Olivia along or left her home with Dave so he couldn’t have gotten to come along. Or would we simply not have gone because it was too cold to take a baby out or too much trouble? I would hope we weren’t such lazy parents but I fear we would’ve been. Just another reason to believe this was not the best time in our lives for a second child. We probably would not have lived up to our own parenting standards and then increasingly would have felt like shit for doing them both such a disservice. I know that’s not a certainty but it is a feeling I have in my gut.

I haven’t been giving myself much time to think about Olivia the past week or so. Sometimes I don’t think I could cry about her if I tried and then I’m a combination of surprised and relieved when I do. I don’t feel that terrible hole in my metaphorical heart lately. I guess I should be relieved but I still have a little bit of guilt about it. Why doesn’t it hurt more? I feel like it should hurt more.


Oh god, something I’ve read other Babylost parents go through is stupid things people say. I had my first experience with this the other day. On our trip to Eureka Springs this week, we went on this Cosmic Cavern cave tour with Lily and our friends.

About 5 minutes into the tour, we realized it wasn’t really meant for kids. Lily was not fascinated and it was actually pretty dangerous looking. There were tons of places along the make-shift walkway where a little person could get stuck or fall. This one area in particular looked like if they fell, you’d likely never see them again. I said something to that affect when everyone kept suggesting we let Lily climb up to get her picture taken on top of some dangerous looking platform way up high. Now, to be fair, I’m not positive I heard my friend right, but I can’t think of what else she could’ve said. I said, “If Lily fell down that crack, she’d be gone forever.” And my friend replied, “At least you HAD Lily.”

Like, what? If I lost her at 3, it was still better than what happened with Olivia? Wow.

Thankfully, Lily didn’t fall through any cracks and I can just be grateful for that.

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I read this and wonder why I even bother.  I’m not terribly witty on paper…not all too witty in life either.  I tend to be very dense and insanely literal, if you insist.  So I’m not sure what I’m doing here, in this virtual world full of interesting, funny, witty people.  


“Oh, don’t be so hard on yourself,” you say.  “You’re comparing yourself to someone who’s been doing this a long time,” you say.  “A writer,” you add.  

“Yes,” I say.  “A real live writer,” I mutter.


All this to say, it is not due to my delusional belief that I am all that interesting, funny or witty, that I am here with you this day (and the others).

Just so you know.  Just so we’re clear.

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My Cup of Tea

Yesterday’s post on one of my favorite blogs is called, Chaloner’s Snapping Fingers.  I’m officially inspired to let go of my inhibitions and join (gasp!) Facebook.  If I were on Facebook already, I would have an idea of where my friend has gone for the holidays.  If I were on Facebook, I would have virtual friends who might turn into real ones if I’m lucky.  If I were on Facebook, I’d have another medium to check to make me feel connected.  

I’m still not totally sure it’s a good idea, but I’m going to do it.  I’m going to hold my breath and take the chance that it won’t turn any virtual friends into real ones and will instead just make me feel worse that I can’t even keep virtual friends, much less real ones.

To me, that’s what a good blog does: it inspires us to get out of ourselves just a little bit.  We all deserve to leave our comfort zones every once in awhile in search of something more interesting than an ordinary day.  Don’t we?

It’s hard to tell much about her (the author of A Cup of Tea) but that only serves as a distraction for a minute.  I wander around her site every so often in search of pictures or some concrete information because I’m so entranced by her thoughts but it only ends up adding to the mystery and keeps me interested.

Hers is a portal to a thoughtful, deceptively intriguing, comforting string of words set to a backdrop of rich musical undertones.  I find myself taking long breaks from reading (she doesn’t update every day) only to be pleasantly surprised by what I’ve missed and end up spending an hour or more every time I check back.

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Addicted to Dooce

I’ve been reading Heather Armstrong’s blog since I discovered her while living away from home with my new husband for the first time (well, not exactly, but basically…I’ll tell that story another day).  She’s from my home town and I was home SICK.  I was out west and hating every second of it.  People were not like me; people did not understand the importance of a good bbq sandwich and some stereotypically hypocritical southern hospitality.

Case in point: people in the grocery store out west use the little dividers on the check out belt, like, religiously.  Compulsively, even.  I was almost knocked over once by a woman reaching for the divider that I blatantly neglected to place behind my belongings.  What was I thinking?  

We don’t do that in the south.  We simply tell  the cashier where our loot ends and the next person’s begins.  We just say something clever, like, “umm…that apple’s not mine,” or, “that jar of pigs feet belongs to her.”  No problem.  Well, not in Phoenix.  Do. Not. Speak. To/Near/About. the woman behind you in the grocery store.  I learned that lesson straight away.

But when I discovered Dooce, I felt like I could relate.  Her life was just a couple of steps ahead of mine.  I could read about what she was doing and daydream that I, too, might be doing that some day.  I, too, might be remodeling my kitchen with my handy, grizzly husband (even our husbands are both super earthy, techy, smarty, sexy, hairy men).  In fact, we are planning to remodel our kitchen this summer…about 5 years after the original discovery.

I would come home from work at the call center and get lost in Heather’s life.  She was pregnant (my daughter is 2 years younger than hers), she hated her corporate job (I still hate mine), she liked to shock people with her language of a sailor (it’s funny), I needed the similarities at that time and find that occasionally, I still do.

So I read Dooce with a certain need for familiarity regarding surface distinguishing qualities like that; not necessarily because of the skill or ability she has with words.  I mean, she’s funny, but she’s not that terribly deep.  I should say – she’s not trying to make her blog that deep.  It seems to be a conscious decision and it’s such a very well operated blog, that she actually is probably terribly “deep” but that’s not her point.  I’m entertained by her like I’m entertained by Jennifer Aniston.  It’s a little self-conscious, but a little liberating at the same time.  I’m a woman, dammit, and I like girly things.  But I also have a brain and I like tongue-in-cheek.  Wait.  Jennifer Aniston is pretty obvious…hopefully you get the point.

What is the point?

I guess I’m saying that knowing what you’re reading and why will help you not get lost in the entertainment aspect of blogging.  It’s that on purpose.  If you want depth, look elsewhere.

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