…And I’m Feeling Good


I’ve been feeling really good lately.  Like, sincerely happy.  Thankful for each day.  Content.

I don’t know if this has to do with the transition back to school, the start of my favorite season with its magnificent colors and crispness to the air, or just arriving at the final portion of a year where I’ve been stretched and stressed and challenged a lot.

I feel like I can breathe more deeply and see all that’s in front of me with more clarity.  I’m a wiser and slower and more thoughtful person than I was a year ago.  I have better perspective.

This year was hard in many ways – round two with a newborn, plus a toddler was more of a mountain to climb than I ever anticipated.  Add marriage stress that comes with the crazed, exhausted parent territory, and turmoil in other relationships, plus an unexpectedly busy summer with preschool camp plans evaporated and both kids home full-time – 2016 has been a doozy.  When it rains, it pours.

But I’m kind of done talking about hard.  I’m just kind of over it.  My skin is thicker, my sleep requirements a little lower and my time management skills sharpened after the year that I’ve had.  I know more about myself and feel the need to explain myself less.  I’ve done a lot of explaining this year.  I’m kind of over that, too.

I was talking with my sister-in-law recently, who always seems happy. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever heard her complain, or nag, or see any given glass as “half-empty.”  She asked me at a birthday party recently how I was doing, and I said, “Really well.  I feel like I’m just in a really good place.”  She was happy for me (as she always is), and said things were good for her, too.  I asked if fall was her favorite season too, as it is mine.  She replied that not really, she’s happy with any season, and any day, even the dreary middle of winter, she honestly enjoys.

The way I’m describing my sister-in-law’s outlook may sound trite, or superficial.  But I assure you, it’s not.  She’s just one of those aware, determined-to-be-happy people.  I have seen her in situations that would be devastatingly low for most people, and she is doggedly determined to be grateful and press on.  Always.

So I’m someone who believes all feelings are valid.  We should never feel pressured to say we’re better or worse than we really are.  If you’re in a bad place – by all means, talk about it.  But if you’re in a good place, talk about that, too.  We all want to be there, and we want to know what’s working for others to bring balance, contentment and joy to their life.

For me, I’m remembering time is my most precious commodity.  Am I spending it on the people and things that matter?  When my head hits the pillow, what are my biggest “time drain” regrets?  What really mattered about my day, and made a positive difference?  What didn’t matter, or took me back a step from where I want to be?

A lot of the time it’s the routine, mundane days that make me feel best.  Days I spend relatively “unplugged” from the noise of TV, social media, shallow banter and clutter – tend to be some of my favorites.  Getting into my groove with how I take care of my home, keep up on my responsibilities, maintain a good rhythm and routine for my kids, check in with my husband throughout the day.  Those patterns, those little things done over and over – those make for good days.

Nothing revolutionary here perhaps, but it just feels really good to be in a good place in my own little corner of the world.  So much good can come into our lives if we simply commit to being aware.  Aware of how we spend our time.  Aware of how we speak of others.  Aware of our own feelings.  Aware of how we treat our spouses, friends, kids.


What has caught your attention lately?  What needs more of it?  I hope you feel more good than grief when your head hits the pillow tonight.  And if you don’t, think about how you can feel better at the end of tomorrow.

I have always appreciated these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and have maybe even shared them on this blog before.  I keep meaning to frame something like this and put it next to my bed…

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Back to School



I can do this.  I need to do this.  I am excited to do this.

It was advertised as an evening class, once a week for six weeks from mid-July to mid-August.  An essay-writing course offered through Hugo House, a nonprofit resource for writers offering beginning- to advanced-level writing classes, workshops and other events here in Seattle.  I first became familiar with Hugo House when I was an editorial intern at Seattle magazine, and this year, I finally decided to become a member and take my first class there.

I hadn’t stepped foot in a conventional classroom since my senior year at the University of Washington in 2005.  At that point in my life I was ready to be done with school — the heavy book bags, the homework always hanging over my head, the stressful nights and early mornings at various U-District Starbucks spent cramming for tests and pounding out essays left to the last minute.

Contrary to my classes of dozens if not hundreds of people at UW, this class at Hugo House was an intimate size of 10 students plus one very encouraging, laid-back instructor all huddled around one large makeshift table, the combined total of four smaller tables pushed together .  Each Monday evening (minus one on vacation) for six weeks I battled west-east traffic to First Hill, took my seat in this small, spare, non-air conditioned room, and was immersed into wonderful, stimulating conversations with a truly great group of people whose life experiences almost couldn’t be more diverse.

That diversity of lifestyles and experiences is what I found most refreshing about this classroom environment.  People wrote and shared about animals in Africa, battling illness, the art and science of ballet, sexuality, relationships, being single, and learning to embrace their ever-changing identify.  It was eye-opening to realize how narrowly immersed I’ve become in the world of parents-of-young-kids in recent years.  So much of my life, social circle, volunteer outlets, the language I speak, activities I attend, vacations I’m drawn to, articles I read,  etc… revolve around babies and young kids.  Understandable, but narrow nonetheless.  Neurons were firing like fireworks as my brain was immersed in these stories of things so unlike anything  I come across in my everyday life.

Throughout the course each of us – male and female, ranging from our 20s to our 50s, world travelers and native Seattleites – wrote about our own life experiences and read about each others’.  Several of  us, myself included, wrote about very private, intimate topics that we felt more comfortable sharing among a group of encouraging strangers, than within our own inner circles of folks who know us all too well.  It was liberating to put things on the page that are seldom said out loud, and I know others had a similar experience.

I also was once again reminded how much I need accountability to keep up with my writing, lest it get buried forever under piles of laundry, dishes and Hot Wheels.  Not only did my classmates read my writing, but they put it under a microscope and dissected every part for what worked, and what needs work.  It was an honor to receive such thoughtful feedback on such a personal part of my life, and to delve into such profound stories from theirs.

I can’t wait to sign up for another quarter of classes.  It felt good to be back in school.

Things I Wish I Wanted To Do

Things I Wish I Wanted To Do

“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”

– Paulo Coelho

My book club recently read and dissected The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  Over water and lime wedges (turns out that while I’m no longer pregnant, everyone else is), it became clear this writer’s year-long experiment culminated in a “love it or hate it” book for our little critics’ circle and beyond – as all pop culture hits seem to do to some degree.  What do they say – there’s no such thing as bad press?

While this book was a slow, underwhelming start for me, suddenly around April (the book and the topics and resolutions it entails are divided into months), it was as if a switch flipped and I was ravenously hooked on this Manhattan lawyer/writer/mom/wife’s musing on hundreds of minor tweaks we can make to our daily routines (no Eat, Pray, Love pilgrimage required) to partake in a more fully-examined existence, boost our quality of life, and thus that of those around us.  Things like buying the nice $4.00 pen instead of the crappy 25-cent pen that just feels cheap and always runs out of ink.  Changing the lightbulb yourself instead of nagging your husband to do it.  Listening contentedly to others and resisting the urge to jump in with a competing story of your own.  Accepting a limitation (or more positively, my God-given uniqueness) such as the fact that a certain hairstyle – try as I might – Will. Never. Look. Good. On. Me.

I could go on and on about the author’s simple yet pointed insights on things from learning to laugh at yourself and lighten up with your kids, to the liberation that comes from “tackling a nagging task,” be it a cluttered hall closet or a toxic relationship.  I was obviously in the “love it” camp.

But the section of the book that provided the biggest “aha moment” for me was about how to distinguish between things I truly want to do, and things I wish I wanted to do.

The phrase “I wish I wanted to do that” resonated with me so clearly.  How often do we trick not just others – but ourselves – into believing this forcefully painted picture of our supposed hobbies, inclinations, status, interests and overall identity?  Maybe you love the idea of buying everything organic but you hate the sticker shock you experience in the check-out line.  Or perhaps you think you want to take a big family vacation every summer, but spending a week with your in-laws/great-aunt/cousins/stepchildren actually induces widespread panic attacks.  You wish you wanted to do these things, but when it comes down to it, you just don’t.

True introverts may feel like they wish they wanted to get dolled up and mingle over cocktails and loud music on a Friday night, but what they really want to do is stay home with a book and pajamas, power off their phone and read until their quiet little heart’s content.  Can I get an Amen from all the introverts?

As this book goes on to point out, “…relinquishing my fantasies of what I wished I found fun allowed me more room to do the things that I did find fun.”

Being so struck by this notion of real vs. illusory desires, I couldn’t help but make my own list.  Without much thought and totally off the cuff, this is what I came up with:

Things I Wish I Wanted to Do:

*Work out more

*Not eat cookies for breakfast

*Play complex family board games (my in-laws are way into games and it’s freeing to admit I could spend the rest of my life mastering Scrabble)

*Chaotic playdates combining two or more of the following: toddlers, junk food, bouncy house, water parks or long car rides

*Camp (as in, outdoors, devoid of proper toilets, with the possibility of bear attacks)

*Go to a grad school (I must face the fact that a few proud extra letters after my name does not a happy homework-haver make)

*Have a third baby (our second is six months old and we’ve hired an overnight nanny and professional sleep coach in recent weeks – this talk is tabled for now.).

*Spend time on my hair (all roads lead to dry shampoo)

*Seek out cool indie music (Top 40 ‘til I die)

*Read classic literature (see grad school reference above)

*Embrace early mornings (maybe this will be The Happiness Project: Age 60)

As I immediately scribbled into my journal upon completion of this hasty (yet pretty darn honest) list:

Wow – there’s such a freedom to just admitting – if only to myself – “I don’t actually want to do any of these things!”

What would you not do, if you knew you could not fail?

Maybe it’s worth cancelling some unwanted plans and sticking around to find out.  Gretchen Rubin would definitely give you a gold star for that.


(*featured image by Anne Taintor*)

Welcome, Jude!

Heleyna Holmes Photography-00062

I’m really, really tired as I write this.

Alas, after many attempts at cobbling this together in countless small shifts at the keyboard over many caffeinated weeks – I’ve actually completed a writing assignment! (self-imposed, but nonetheless…). I now present you with a sleep-deprived, sugar-buzzed account of our first weeks with Baby Jude, beginning with his entrance into the world…


I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant… 3 days shy of our due date. I was SO ready to meet our second baby boy and for Aaron and me to start our journey as parents of two. I had been pregnant the entire calendar year, up until late September. It had felt like a loooonnng, loooonnng pregnancy – more challenging than my first with the added responsibility of chasing after a toddler while I waddled through my days, heavy, sore and slow. The last few weeks were tough and I was really, really ready to go into labor! I had been induced with Anderson so had never experienced going into labor spontaneously. There were days I thought it was never going to happen… that this baby was never going to come out on his own!


Enter: Old Wives Tales.

I had heard stories of people who swear (among many other things, like jalapeno lemonade, and jumping on trampolines) that a good brisk walk launched them into labor. I’m always skeptical of these “It worked for me!” claims, but feeling exceptionally motivated that pre-due date Saturday morning, I thought to myself, “it couldn’t hurt!” and Aaron and I set out to tackle the hilly sidewalks of our neighborhood. About a half hour into our walk, it was clear something was happening – I was pretty sure I was actually having true labor contractions! By the time I got home I was on my couch timing them at 5 minutes apart, and the rest is history…

Aaron and I checked into hospital triage like we were moving in – with overnight bags, slippers and pillows in hand. Though contractions were still getting stronger, my body still wasn’t far enough along to be admitted. I was so disappointed and couldn’t imagine having to return home and wait it out… The doctor told us to try walking the hospital halls for two hours to trigger stronger contractions and more labor progression. Boy did that do the trick! Two hours later after enduring staggering, much stronger contractions everywhere imaginable (the elevator, the bathroom, the cafeteria, the street corner…) to what I’m sure were either concerned or confused audiences, we were given the green light for admission to our birthing suite – sweet indeed!! I burst into tears of relief at this news and exclaimed, “Praise the Lord!” I would have joined a gospel choir at that moment had a sign-up sheet presented itself. I was THAT happy. This baby was officially on his way.

A few short hours later and after a lightning quick delivery (thankful what they say about second children being quicker was very true in my case!) Jude Emerson Morris emerged at 9:50 p.m. a big and healthy boy, weighing in at a hunky 10 pounds, 2 ounces!


*A quick note about his name:  As you know, we struggle/borderline obsess with deciding on names.  I wish I had some story about the magical moment we decided on this name, or some amazing significance it has played in our life, but I don’t.  I think Aaron suggested it, possibly over breakfast, sometime in the last month of pregnancy.  I honestly don’t remember. We liked that is was rare, yet rooted in some history (Bible book, Beatles song), and short to Anderson’s long.  Emerson is a main street in the part of Seattle where we live, and the street Aaron lived on in college, when he first moved to Seattle.  We actually went to the hospital with two names:  Emmett Blaine and Jude Emerson.  We had been leaning toward Jude, and our British nurse helped push it over the edge.

Proud papa.



He was placed on my chest right away – so soft and warm, his skin was like butter and radiated heat. We spent another day and night in the hospital, and then we were sent home, to start real life as a family of four…



^^This was our first outing as a family of four, to our niece Margot’s birthday dinner.  This felt like a huge accomplishment at the time!

Heleyna Holmes Photography-00205

^^This was one of the two times I’ve worn my hair in something other than an unwashed bun.


And now we’re home! And the highs and the lows and the lessons and the learning curves and God’s mercy….they are all new every morning. EVERY morning…

I try to keep a sense of humor about it all. When Jude pukes down my shirt during a particularly silent portion of a church service (yep, this happened), I may think to myself, “Maybe he wishes we were Catholic?” When he cries incessantly through extra innings of the final game of the World Series, I’ll say, “Must be a Mets fan?”

Anderson has found his sense of humor with Jude as well, while learning babies can double as human canvases:


But humor aside, there are parts of raising a newborn that are just undeniably HARD. Oh the sleep deprivation…it’s so real. No matter how many books you read or preparation you try to do or kids you have, I don’t think it will ever feel natural to be yanked awake countless times throughout the night, sometimes for hours at a time. But you just do what you have to do and make it through, one day and one night at a time… As I write this Jude is eight weeks old, and I don’t think there have been more than five nights since he’s been born that I’ve scrapped together much more than six total hours of sleep. On a particularly torturous night when Aaron and I were up for hours and hours through endless cycles of feeding, crying, burping…feeding, crying, burping… I described the experience like this:

“Waking up almost every hour most of the night to a screaming baby is kind of like…..taking a long confusing cab ride through deep headache-inducing potholes with death metal blaring on the speakers, only to be thrown out of the car while it’s still moving. And the driver is surprisingly commanding though he speaks no English and is only 20″ tall…”

It’s hard you guys. The nights are soooo crazy sometimes. But you get up, you get coffee and you get through it. One of the silver linings as I learn to juggle caring for two kids, is I’m truly so much BUSIER, that the days fill up and fly by and I simply don’t have the time to sit around dwelling on how tired I am or should be. So, in a way, the busy-ness has been a blessing. Its sink or swim and you just have to keep on swimming.

So there’s that.

It’s interesting – in some ways having a second child, so far, is all I expected it to be – overwhelming and exhausting, but rewarding, super chaotic at times, but so sweet seeing siblings interact (the boys’ initial meeting was indescribably precious…).



^^Anderson fawning over his brother the day they met.  He still does this daily.


It is all those things people told me it would be, but at the same time, nothing could truly prepare me for my own unique experience I’m having. And sometimes I feel like no one else could totally understand it – but maybe everyone feels that way about their own particular lot in life?


^^Jude has THE funniest pouty little fish lips.  We love them.

I see Anderson differently now as he’s growing so much, both independently and within the new dynamics of our household. So much newness with him alone – he is suddenly enormous! (at least compared to Jude…), he is defiant and opinionated and can make me want to pull my hair out when he simply Will. Not. Listen. (hello, age 2½!). But he still has his sweet moments and it’s all so confusing – is he still my sweet baby, or 2 going on 12?? So he’s different, and the way I see babies is different. I’m more confident in my parenting abilities this time around, which is a plus, but also don’t have the luxury to just sit around and bask in that confidence, because I’m so BUSY! The bonding and connecting with Jude comes more in bits and pieces throughout the day when I’m not trying to entertain a toddler or make dinner or take the world’s fastest shower (I think I’ve properly dried and styled my hair twice in the last two months…).


^^A typical “work day” for me.  At least my bosses allow for a pretty lax dress code…

I don’t think I could have quite imagined how vastly different my entire life feels from the life I had two months ago. It has taken me MANY attempts to sit down and finish this blog entry. Free time is so precious and hard to come by with a toddler that will get into anything and everything, and a baby who just wants to be held, held and held some more (dirty dishes, be damned).

So that’s where I’m at. I’m tired and tested, but I’m also really proud of myself. I’m doing a hard thing every day and it’s given me perspective and grace for myself, and for every parent who does this work of raising children. And if it wasn’t hard at least some of the time, it wouldn’t be rewarding, right?

I could write an entire book called “I don’t know how single parents do it.” Earlier this month I was sick with a nasty head cold for exactly as many days as Aaron was out of town, waking up almost every two hours at night to a baby making his needs LOUDLY known. Thankful I’ve had support to pitch in and help me – I think I’d barely be standing if I had to do this completely alone. So true how they say it takes a village… I’m so thankful for mine!

And the journey continues…one cab ride at a time.



**photo credit for some photos: heleyna holmes photography









While You’re Still My Baby…


I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Tuesday afternoon when I was admitted to the hospital to begin the last leg of the long journey to your birth. Giddy with anticipation, in near disbelief I was finally going to meet YOU – I didn’t sleep a wink all night. The next morning, the long and winding road of pregnancy was over. YOU were in my arms.  AMAZING!

I would never be the same again.


Anderson, you’ve been my baby for the last two and a half years. The only baby I’ve ever raised, and the one who will always get full credit for making me a mom – the proudest title I’ll ever wear. You’re the one I’ll compare any future babies with. How could I not? Your sleep patterns, how soon you rolled and crawled and walked, your laugh, your cry, your way with words…it’s the only ‘normal’ I’ve ever known.



If you were the only child I ever had, surely I have already been blessed far beyond what I deserve. That I get to experience the magic of brand new life again, all those “firsts” through a brand new set of eyes, and give you the gift of a brother to grow up with, is an extravagant gift.

Your little brother will be here in our home and in our arms, in just a matter of days. I am SO excited for us all to meet him and smother him in love. But before we do, I just wanted to pause and pay tribute to YOU.

YOU are still the baby of this family, for however many more hours or days that may be. YOU are an amazing boy, with a heart of gold, a razor sharp mind, a joyful sense of humor, and an infectious zeal for life.

first christmas

300You remind me to greet each day with excitement, and end it with gratitude. To see the possibilities in a box of blocks, the joy of running with nowhere to be, the peace that comes with going with the flow and trusting your instincts.

We’ve taught each other so much.

I’ve spent the last weeks putting together your baby book, tearfully re-watching video of your first cries and first bath, washing and folding tiny clothing that used to be yours. The fact that I even have time to write all this right now is due only to you being at PRESCHOOL, for exactly 52 more minutes.  I still can’t believe it, and am so proud of how you’ve grown.


Thank you for making me a mom, for making your dad a dad, and for teaching us more than we could teach you. I can’t wait to see the incredible big brother you are going to be. Even though you won’t be the littlest around here for much longer…you’ll always be my baby. When I go to pick you up soon, and you run out to greet me with that big smile, your art project of the day proudly flapping in the breeze, I’ll remember that.

I love you Anderson, and I will always treasure these years of you and me.


TAKEN: Why Choosing a Name is Scarier than a Liam Neeson Movie


At my baby shower last month, each guest submitted a “name suggestion” in this cute little keepsake jar, hoping to spur me along on the journey toward solidifying this first permanent piece of my new son’s identity. Great names abounded, and for almost every one my obsessive, skeptical mind immediately came up with a reason why that name couldn’t possible work. It’s too common! It’s too rare! It’s the name of my neighbor’s dog! It’s DIAMOND! (Incredibly, that person and I are still friends.) ; )

As my due date looms closely overhead, a mere 15 days away (which could really mean one day away, or almost 30, but who’s counting…), it is inescapably sinking in that we still don’t have a name for our child. And sometimes it feels like we’re actually drifting further away from a decision than getting closer. We have about a zillion options of course – many, many fine, acceptable, lovely options. The world is our oyster, right? We can choose ANY name we want!

Or can we? And if we can, why do I feel more restricted than a size 2 bride-to-be at an all-you-can-eat buffet?

In today’s parenting world, there seems to be this intense, mounting pressure to come up with not only The Perfect Name, but The Perfect Name that no one in your family, friends circle, school district, zip code, book club, PEPS group or social media stratosphere has already – brace yourself – laid claim to.

It’s exhausting. And bordering on impossible. And there’s no rulebook! I thought deciding on Anderson’s name was hard, but this is double duty, semi anxiety-inducing business. I am not in school, speak toddler for a living, am 8.7 months pregnant barely waddling around, and should not have to think this hard.

In addition to the normal criteria one must dissect when choosing a name (Are the initials embarrassing? Will people latch on to obnoxious nicknames? Will this naming trend be So. Over. by the time this kid hits kindergarten? Will he really be taken seriously when he’s 40 years old if I name him Rudy?), the second kid naming process brings with it its own unique naming dilemmas, as outlined by my own personal obsessive criteria:

1) Can’t start with M. All of Anderson’s Morris cousins have ‘M’ names. They got there first, and they chose great ‘M’ names that work beautifully for their families, but I feel it is our family’s turn to branch out a bit and diversify beyond the M.M. I began this branching out with Anderson and feel compelled to continue.

2) Can’t start with A. I just don’t like the idea of three of the four names in our family starting with A. Plus, let’s face it – there is an undeniable convenience factor to being able to text your husband mid-day and quickly write, “Need help with A tonight, J is sick” instead of having to spell out, “Need help with Anderson tonight, Augustus is sick.”   Yes, this is what my level of technical laziness/time efficiency has come to.

3) Can’t rhyme with/be too similar to Anderson. We like the name Emerson, but “Anderson and Emerson” is just too much “erson” for any one family.

4) Can’t be too dissimilar to Anderson. I think of Anderson as this clean cut, familiar all-American name. To each their own, but that’s how I personally think of it. To go with a name for a second child that is too exotic, Old Testament, oddly spelled, or edgy, just doesn’t jive. I need the names to feel like a cohesive set. Like we pre-purchased them as a bundle from a cute little everything-is-name-embroidered Pottery Barn catalog and just had to wait 2.5 years to unveil the second one.

So. These are JUST SOME of the factors that go through my mind with every single name we deign to consider for our second child.

And I haven’t even gotten to the biggest, most tedious and exhausting hurdle we face with (almost) Every. Single. Name.


So friends, please help aid me in maintaining my sanity by joining me in a discussion over what “taken” does or should mean. OK? OK.

Obviously, a name is “taken” if it is being used by one of Anderson’s cousins, or closest friends, or one of our closest friends’ kids. These are all people who are a regular part of our life and parenting journey. These kiddos’ names are safe. I’m not some brazen name thief.

Now here’s where it gets tricky. Say we were considering the name Henry. I have multiple Facebook friends who I haven’t seen in person in years, who named a child Henry. Will they feel like I’m stepping on their toes if I dare to give my son the same name? Will it upset our civil, if rare, Facebook chatter? What about the parents of the two older Henrys in Anderson’s preschool? Will they be like, “Don’t they know this preschool has enough Henrys? What are they thinking?”

Now, Henry isn’t actually on our short list, but it represents many, many, many names that are, have been, or could be – but are clouded by this self-imposed, oversensitive, ultra-accommodating conviction that thou shalt not consider any name that anyone you have ever brushed shoulders with has bestowed upon their child.

This sounds so ridiculous when I actually say it out loud. But it’s a true feeling, and I’m guessing I’m not the first second-time parent of our generation to experience it. When you’ve been immersed in the parenting community for a couple of years, you have so much more exposure to kids’ names than you did before you became a parent. You learn the other kids’ names at church, in your neighborhood, at the playground. The names of your husband’s employee’s kids, your son’s new classmates in preschool and – let’s not forget – the names chosen by your dozens or hundreds of internet-based acquaintances, nevermind you only see 5% of them in person on any sort of a regular basis.

When I try to accommodate all these distant connections in my life, my list of viable names dwindles from about 95 to 3.

Something’s got to give.

So I’m giving myself a break. I am no longer promising that if I have been acquainted with you in some way in the last decade of my life, our children won’t possibly share a name. If I’ve passed you three times in the hallway at church, our kids might share a name. If we had a class together in college, our kids might share a name. If you worked with me seven years ago and we haven’t seen each other since, our kids might share a name. If I see you less than once a year, I might consider your name fair game.

If this happens to you, please take it as a most sincere compliment on your naming abilities. And if our kids ever end up in the same classroom, I’ll let you have the first crack at your choice of nickname.

Bottom line – I recognize that if choosing a name is our biggest problem right now, we’re in good shape. And I do know somewhere deep down that we will settle into “that perfect one.” I just need to know that I’m not alone on the neurotic journey to get to that settled place. So when you see that confident, joyful announcement of our son’s arrival and his name sometime in the (hopefully very near) future, please tell us it’s the most brilliant name you’ve ever heard, and pat yourself on the back for being just as brilliant…if you happened to have arrived at it first. : )

I hope you feel as good reading this as I do writing it. I will now return to aggressively dog-earring baby name books and picking apart every moniker in existence… Wish me luck, and please, submit your criteria-approved name suggestions here.  🙂

Slodge Podge

The last week or so I’ve more or less been running on fumes. Anything I’ve posted online definitely has not included my face, house, laundry pile, or choice of clothing in which I’ve been lounging around the house. Not sleeping well due to a combo of pregnancy aches and pains and a high-maintenance dog, begging my husband to take the morning toddler shift so I can scrap together a few extra zzzz’s, and living in his t-shirts (husband’s, not toddler’s – do I look like Bethenny Frankel?) – have been the common threads of this last week. I’m not looking for sympathy, as I know we all have days/weeks/seasons where we feel like we are “slodging through life.” Like our feet our constantly stuck in the mud and we just can’t find that light and easy pace we had the week before. Just keeping it real, and writing….which has happened like twice this year I think, but that could be overestimating.

Early today my sweet neighbor emailed and asked if Anderson and I would like to come over for a visit this morning or this afternoon. I thought to myself: “There is not a remote possibility I will be showered, out of my husband’s XL graphic tee and even remotely presentable to anyone outside my home until at least the mid-afternoon hours.” I said: “Later this afternoon is probably best for us.” No need to scare the woman.

On his way out the door this morning when Aaron asked me and my son, who was at the time very evenly alternating between bursting into PMS-like tears and exclaiming, “All done crying!” with a tear-streaked, semi-creepy smile on his face, what we were doing today, I said, “Surviving.” He patted me on the head like a lost puppy and told me to enjoy surviving, or good luck, or something like that. I can’t remember and/or didn’t really hear him at the time because I hadn’t had coffee yet.

On days like this, perspective is our friend. I may have almost thrown up from record-disgusting diapers, and I’m starting to stick to my clothing (OK, my husband’s clothing), I need to shower so bad – BUT –would you believe I still polished our stainless steel appliances, taught Anderson to ride a balance bike (he kept exclaiming, “I’m riding a bike! I’m riding a bike!” It was so cute I almost felt human again.), AND served both of us warm food today? I know. Please excuse me while I go find that gold star….the first place I’m looking is the shower.

PS – In addition, have I mentioned we’ve reverted to blow-outs this week? If you don’t know what this is, bless you. If you do, sorry for the TMI. But seriously, it’s like Anderson’s 6 months old again and I’ve actually lost count of how many pairs of shorts, blankets, sheets and sleep sacks I’ve had to shower with shout this week like I’ve been fighting wildfires. I guess he’s just doing his part to grease my wheels for baby #2.

PPS – Here’s a cute pic of Anderson on his bike AFTER I cleaned up approximately 700 toys…. total failure on my part.  This blog post obviously merits a “before” pic.  I would say use your imagination, but I know most of you have been there, and don’t have to.  🙂