Project Sibling


The Universe has conspired to make me sit down and write.  It is O’s nap time.  The hinges I bought off of Amazon for the bathroom cabinets don’t fit properly….so there will be no replacing them instead of writing.  I was going to start to paint the walls of the master bath, but I now have to clean and paint the baseboard heating covers and don’t have the right high heat paint to tackle the task.  I can’t  just leave my sleeping angel in the house while I run to Lowes….so I’ll have to go later. Perfect window of time to write.  The fact is that I am faced with a blog that is due tomorrow, but I’d rather eat potato chips.  Or bacon cheese flavored popcorn.  Any yummy tasty savory item from the Trader Joes snack aisle will do.  I want to mindlessly crunch away like a teenager.  I find it a satisfying way to avoid the task at hand.  Maybe one more handful before I decide whether to spill or zip it.

Alas, I am writing the piece.  After two bowls of crunchy goodness (boy, that’s an oxymoron), I am hitting the keys.  I am tentative about sharing this week’s tidbit.  Part of me feels like if I share it that I am somehow accountable if things don’t work out.  But a bigger part of me knows that there are women just like me who are contemplating  the same thing.  Ok, ok, enough with the lead in…I’m talking about having another baby.  Everyone has there own opinion on the subject.  A lot of women my age are done after having one.  Why push it, right? I see their point.

It takes me back to when I was 39 weeks pregnant with O and I had an exam with an older male doctor I had never been seen by before.  This practice in Florida was odd.  You could request a specific Doctor for appointments, but when you actually went into labor, you got whoever was on call.  So they urged you to familiarize yourself with as many physicians in the practice as possible.  And there were a lot.  Oye! I digress.  Anyway, on this particular day I opted to see Dr. Collins a.k.a. Crabby Pants.  I remember him telling me while discussing the labor,”Well, at your age, you don’t want to mess this up….I mean, it’s one and done for you.”  I remember feeling like I was slapped in the face.  I told another physician what he had said and she just shook her head.  Tossed it up to him being ready to retire.  But it does make you think.  At least he made me think.

Well, after a bit of a touch and go medical issue, my doctor up here in New England told me there is no reason we shouldn’t try.  I’m fit and I’ve got the blood pressure of a teenager, hence the teenager snack attacks.  By all snack accounts I should be over weight, but as my luck would have it, I’m as slim as I was when I was a vegetarian and really watched everything I ate.  (Completely unfair, I know).  So according to my lovely Dr., we have the all clear to jump to it.  I would prefer to say like rabbits…but apparently it’s more of an every other day thing.  You don’t want to exhaust the sperm.  Who knew? I assumed the more sex the better.  There will be no hormones or fertility drugs involved.  It’s Au Naturale for us.

So, here’s to trying.  Really trying.  And if it doesn’t happen, then Frieda, my friend and psychic, was right.  It won’t be meant to be.  And in the mean time, me and my young husband can have a lot of fun.  Either way it will all turn out the way it is supposed to.  I have been so blessed already, it seems greedy of me to want another.  If you asked me a year ago if I would want another, my answer would not have been  the same.  I have evolved into a really good mom. I’m so happy to be right where I am.  So happy to share raising or child with my husband.  It’s more happiness than I ever knew was possible.   So I am making a promise to myself right here and now, in front of all of you.  I will not be upset if we don’t get pregnant.  I won’t let it shade the abundant sunshine we live in.  I truly believe in things happening the way they are supposed to.  My entire life is a testament to just that.  So we will give it a go.  Here’s to Project Sibling! Lol!

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight.  I know what I’ll be doing.  And remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is messing it up.  Xo


Hands In The Dirt Head In The Clouds


What is it about putting your hands in the soil that is so therapeutic? The smell of the soil.  The tugging of the weeds.  It is mesmerizing to me, much to my surprise.  I find myself out in the gardens of our new home, several times a day.  It seems the weeding is never done.  There is always mulch to spread and new perennials popping up. I’ve even started composting!  The grounds are like a big mystery to me.  An exciting gratifying mystery.

When we bought this house, I fell in love with the gardens.  But I was also terrified of them.  Up till now, I pretty much killed everything I ever tried to grow.  I have hope for these gardens, though,  because they were planted by someone else.  Someone who had more than a clue about what they were doing.  We had glorious mature perennials popping up through out the spring and summer….and I’m already seeing things coming up for autumn.  It’s wonderful.  My hope is that I don’t wreck it all.  I am committed to at least trying to keep it beautiful.

Anyway, I digress.  I was saying it was therapeutic.  At least for me it is. I am fully aware it is a form of escape for me.  More like a form of meditation.  I take all my stress and leave it for later.   I don’t know if I would go as far to say it absolves my stress…but I certainly don’t feel stressed when I’m in the garden.  That’s probably why I go out to work in it so often! I engulf myself in performing a specific simple task. And I feel totally calm.  Very Buddha, if you will.  🙂

Let me be clear.  I don’t have stress because I’m a Mother.  I have stress because I’m a person.  O does not give me stress.  Taking care of him everyday does not give me stress.  It’s exactly where I want to be.  It brings me intense joy.  My stress is about life stuff.  I have a darling mother who’s dark dark depression and inability to “live” her life brings sadness to me everyday.  I have two wonderful parents who’s  marriage is so broken but neither have a clue how to fix it.  It weighs on me. Senseless gun violence, hate crimes, bigotry, health issues…they can stress you out.  And Donald Trump.  He’s a huge source of my stress these days.  Will I have to move to a different country if he is (God Forbid) elected president?  But I have to tell you, when I am in the garden…I don’t think about any of that.

I take O out with me most days for a bit of sunshine and exploration.  He loves it! He is intrigued by the flowers and plants.  And rocks! What is it with little boys and rocks? I let him wander within my eye’s peripheral.  He is learning to separate and find distance from me with the safety net of seeing me across the yard.  When he starts to get a little too far, I call him back and he toddles closer.  It’s pretty awesome.  It is exactly as I had imagined it in my mind’s eye….only better.  It is our little Nirvana.

Maybe it isn’t for everyone.  I would have never imagined it was for me.  I sooo didn’t see this coming.  My idea of escape used to be a trip to TJ Maxx for a little bargain retail therapy.    Maybe I got into this because it absolutely HAS to be done and calling a gardener isn’t on the table right now…?? I don’t know.  All I know is that I am loving it.  Getting dirty and all.

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight and remember, behind every great kid is mom who is pretty sure she is messing it up.  Xo


Bumpy Times Ahead


I watch O on the baby video monitor.  It’s past 7:30am, but on cloudy rainy days he sleeps a little longer.  He is stirring, but taking his time to wake up.  I’m enjoying my coffee. In peace.  Listening to a bird chirp outside the front window.  I am contemplating the day.  What do I introduce to him today? Will he nap long? Will it be a difficult day like yesterday? He is getting his back molars in, so the teething and drool situation is out of control and kind of throwing me.  He is all out of sorts.  Or is it just him getting older? Becoming coming more of a true toddler?  Yikes.  I’m not ready for that.

He is willful.  I’ve known this about him since before his birth. I could tell in my tummy.  And how true it turned out to be.  And it seems that so far, he is wicked smart.  What a combination.  I am glad he is willful. It will be a good trait later on.  I want him to be a strong individual.  It’s just that now….it’s going to pose some challenges for us.  Add Mommy’s flair for the dramatic and Daddy’s hot temper…..and I foresee bumpy times ahead!  But then, there is always wine to soothe the day’s events, right? Is there enough wine? (Is there EVER enough wine?).

Yesterday O was playing with this grabber thing we have in the kitchen.  He loves it. I call him King Triton when he carries it around.  He was getting frustrated because he was trying to move it in a space that was too small to move it freely in.  He started to whine and fuss.  Then growl and grunt.  I interjected with a “Calm down, O.”  He looked at me, threw the grabber down and screamed a scream I had not ever heard from him.  A primal scream followed by tears of frustration and more screaming.  He had gone from 0-60 in a matter of seconds.  He was officially melting down.  Toddler style.  I was a bit stunned, however foolish that sounds.  He hasn’t been like this.  He’s been pretty easy (for a baby.). Needless to say, nap time followed.  Yes, his being tired and teething was a factor in this outburst, but this was a force within him I had yet to experience.

He is young for this, isn’t he? Don’t they say “Terrible TWOS?” He is just 14 months old! Is this yet another stage he will hit early? Oye.  So what do we do? React? Not react? I can’t see how yelling at him would help. But coddling him after undesirable behavior doesn’t seem good either.  Up till now, we have tried to redirect his attention when he starts going into behavior we aren’t crazy about.  It used to work like a charm.  Now, not so much.

I truly thank God that I am an older Mom as I begin to navigate this part of raising our child.  I have WAY more patience than I ever would have had in my younger days.  I understand that I don’t have all the answers.  However, many of the answers are somewhere etched in my mind after watching the do’s and don’ts of the child rearing of my nieces and nephews.  I have watched my sister-in-law, Sarah, raise three children with the consistency and patience of a saint.  I often refer to my memories of watching her parent when I look for answers.  When she said “If you don’t stop that behavior, we are leaving.” She meant it.  If the behavior persisted, they were gone.  I get it.  You can’t say anything thing you aren’t prepared to make good on.  I recall, “Please and Thank You are the magic words.”  The tune she used to sing it to is stuck in my head, all ready to use on O.  I remember her making her children look her in the eye when she was reprimanding them.  It sticks more.  I found myself doing it yesterday when O kept trying to take an outlet cover off after dinner.  Well, today my sister-in-law has remarkable teenagers who are smart, funny, respectful and kind.  She is my role model for parenting.  There are more, for sure. But  I am grateful I have had a lot of time to watch others, especially her.

So what to do? I find myself taking deep breathes.  I try to understand the child.  I try not to let his frustration become mine.  I know we need to teach him what calm is despite his genetics….no easy task.  But essential.  I recall O’s pediatrician telling me, “He is your whole world.  You just don’t want him know that.”  How true, how true.  Imagine adding narcissist to the list? Not on my watch!  So yes, bumpy times ahead.  But good times, as well, I have no doubt.

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight (I know I will) and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is sure she is messing it up.  Thanks for reading! Xo


Motherhood and Mortality


Not all that long ago, I used to tell my husband, I thought I would die on the young side of old.  The notion never ever bothered me.  I can actually say I was really ok with it.  I have always been a big believer of things happening for a reason.  I guess it was just a silly gut feeling I had and I was at peace with it.  Then something happened….I had my son.

To say I feel differently now is an understatement.  And the reasons are layered and complex.  I am sometimes hit with the fear of “Oh my God! What if something happens to me and O is left alone?” Well, it’s already ridiculous, because he would not be alone. He would have my husband.  His father.  The person on this earth who loves him as fiercely as I do.   But every child needs his Mother, right? Or is it the other way around? Now that I have him…now that I have tasted this kind of love…I don’t think I could live without it.  I need him as completely as he needs me.  Maybe more so.

The completely irrational and borderline crazy mourning of my own inevitable passing I experience at times,  is about MY missing out.  I don’t want to miss a single second of this brilliant journey.  Being an older Mom just emphasizes the fear.  I don’t need to be sidled with an untimely death.  Just dying in the normal course of life will leave me missing a chunk of O’s journey.   If he waits to have children like I did, I’ll be 84  if I am lucky enough to meet my newborn grandchildren.  Certainly too old to watch them grow up.  It’s depressing really.  Geez.  Right now my husband is rolling his eyes.  He wasn’t thrilled with this week’s topic of choice.  He likes it when  I write about rainbows and unicorns.  Lol.

The other night, I started to get worked up over it all. I completely freaked my husband out.  I had just read an article that stated 1 out of 2 women and 1 out  of 3 men  will get cancer.  Most survive, but no one lives forever.  I started to feel consumed by a loss that didn’t even happen yet? A loss that,  most likely, would not happen for a very long time.  And when that time does come, and my number is up, so to speak, I won’t experience the loss, cause I’m the one who will be gone.  But I guess that really depends on your beliefs on the afterlife.  I’m completely certifiable.  See how your thoughts can snowball?  It’s complex, right?

After researching some other articles, I realize that I’m not alone in these thoughts.  In fact, I’m on the sane side of “cray cray.”   I read a post by a women who was encouraging parents to document their lives (video, photos, etc.) for their children to have when they are gone…”before it is too late”….(Geez).   It is called intentional memory making.  There is even an app for it!  I mean, I get it.   When my husband’s father passed away, he had heaps of recordings of his father singing.  It helped him grieve.  And even now, almost four years later, it helps him feel closer to his dad.  But his father was a professional singer/songwriter.  These memories were made by his father simply living his life doing what he loved.  It’s a bit different than intentionally documenting everything.  I take my fair share of photos, I do.  And it is fun to go back and reminisce, but I don’t know.  I don’t want to judge what others want to do.  So..what do I do?

Well, I can’t change the fact that I am, indeed, an older mom.  I can try to keep myself healthy, but even that is no guarantee.  In fact, that’s exactly it…..we have no guarantees of the time we have here.  No telling when our time is up.  So acceptance seems paramount.  Acceptance and gratitude.  Gratitude for all we are experiencing in the NOW.  I can try not to waste days, but I’m sure there will be a few days, at least,  lost to complaining, or stress, or both.  I’m only human.  But I don’t want to spend moments constantly behind a camera lens…hovering on the outside of our experiences for the sake of documenting them.  Nor do I want to feel every moment has the cloud of mourning hanging over it…even if it is hanging somewhere in the back of our mind, it’s still there, stealing from our NOW.  Our perfect NOW.

As with everything, balance is key.  So I’ll mix my neurosis with some healthy belly laughing and get on with this awesome second act of my life.  (Did I mention my life is a play in Three Acts?) I guess when it’s all said and done, I can say I have tasted pure true love.  I have experienced real joy.  I feel like I know what heaven truly is.  And maybe I’ll find an old shoe box and occasionally put some photos in it and write some love letters to the sweetest boy I’ll ever know, my little O.

Until next time, keep on keeping on…and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is certain she is screwing it up!