Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bedtime For My Baby

As a woman, I believe in freedom, spontaneity and flexibility. As
a mother, I believe in structure and routines. I've seen first hand
what it means to my daughter to have these routines. It gives her a
sense of security, as well as some control and independence,
knowing what is expected of her and what she can expect from

Now I'm not saying there aren't some variations through out the day,
there are. Even if I wanted everything to go a certain way every day,
it wouldn't. That's life. One of my favorite parts these days
actually...But when it comes to things like bedtime, I've been pretty
rigid about following a certain pattern and timeline. Of course that
pattern has evolved somewhat over the last three years as my
daughter has grown. No doubt it will continue to change as she
gets older.

At this point in time, we've got the routine down pat. It works well
for both of us and it can be adjusted as needed. Here's how it goes
- We do dinner around 6pm. Usually my daughter rushes through her
meal in anticipation of her favorite part of bedtime, which is bath
time! I like to give her plenty of time to splash around and play
before we get down to the business of actually washing. After her
bath, she gets into her PJ's, which she gets to pick out. Then it's
time for a bedtime snack while she watches a little TV ( these
days there are frequent requests for Beauty and the Beast or
Finding Nemo). Bedtime Snack is always fruit of some sort
and I like to give her a couple of choices to pick from. If I can't
do that, I like to work the "it's a surprise" angle which is
generally well received.

Once the snack is gone, it's time to brush those little teeth.
Usually she likes to put the toothpaste on the toothbrush herself,
and she likes to remind me of that by yelling it during her run
down the hall to the bathroom.

Finally we get settled into bed, where she works me over pretty
good in regard to the amount of books we read. A while back I
realized that she generally falls asleep during book number two,
so agreeing to read 4 books doesn't make me as big of a sucker
as I may sound...Before we read, we make two bedtime calls -
1st to grandma and grandpa and 2nd to Daddy. She chats for
a few minutes with everyone and then it's story time. Which as I
already mentioned, generally leads to the Z's. Sometimes for
both of us.

Anyway, it works out that way most nights. No matter what our
routine has been over the years, I have been surprisingly
comfortable and even grateful for this previously foreign thing to
me called "structure". It's good for her, and it's also good for me.
Sometimes there are days when you are exhausted and at the end
of your rope, on the verge of a nervous breakdown. On those days
especially it's nice to know exactly how many hours of 'mommy'
you have left before you get to sit on the couch and relax and get
comfortable with your own thoughts.

Every once in a while you do get a night, where inspite of the best
laid plans and the most solid routine...things still turn
out...unexpected. I remember this one night in particular about a
year and a half ago....

"Just checked in on my daughter and she is sleeping soundly. Tonight
Bedtime went down without a hitch, nice and easy. Bath time,
bedtime snack, brush teeth and we rock a little. Two songs into
rocking and she was out like a light, just how Momma likes it! Last
night on the other hand, not so much...same routine- different
outcome! I was half an hour into rocking and getting nowhere.
Every time I thought she was drifting off, her head would pop right up
just to let me know that I was wrong, so wrong. Finally she dozed
off enough for me to sit down ( while still holding her - have to
make sure she's really out before I put her down) and just as I feel
my body relaxing and my back aching a little less, her head pops up
yet again. And it's back to rocking. A little while later I try
sitting again only to have my husband come home from work
moments later which in turn wakes her up once more. At this point
I've been doing bedtime for well over an hour, and I am sooo
ready for bed myself, but instead, we rock some more. A little
while goes by and finally her head is resting on my chest and I am
sure that this is finally it, when out of nowhere her head pops up
once more, only this time with her hand to her ear and a quiet
"hello?". Yes, that's right...she got a phone call."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wisdom Of Experience

It occurs to me, that tonight may be a bad night to write, as I am
feeling rather defeated and small...invisible. My thirtieth Birthday
is right around the corner, and truth be told, I'm not where I thought
I would be at this stage in my life...but in spite of the various
obstacles in my path, I am looking forward to where I'm going.

As I put the past behind me and say good-bye to my twenties, I can't
help but acknowledge the many changes my heart and my head have
undergone. Ten years ago, I hoped for nothing more but to fall in
love and get, after having been married, I realize that
who I thought I was and what I thought I wanted, were all wrong. Who
I am and what I want, unfortunately have nothing to do with marriage
at all. In my twenties I wanted a husband, for my thirties I look
forward to my freedom with the option of a boy toy, preferably in his

I was convinced most of my young adult life, that motherhood was not
for me. Maternal feelings were foreign to me. Babies didn't make me
want to ooh and ah, they made me roll my eyes and panic if God
forbid, someone tried to make me hold one. Needless to say, when the
day came that I had to pee on that magical stick, it was a bit of a
shock to my system to see the word "pregnant" flash across that tiny
screen. It's a good thing pregnancy lasts nine months, because that's
about how long it took me to get used to the idea. Even after giving
birth, the only word I could think of to describe the whole
experience was surreal. The moment I actually held her in my arms,
everything changed. It was real. I may not have believed that I was
ever meant to be a mother, but I can say without a doubt, from the
bottom of my heart, the very core of my being - I was meant to be HER
mother. In the end, it's turned out to be the one thing I really know
for sure about myself.

Some people that have known me over the last decade, may argue that 
I am a bit of a commitment phobe. Reviewing my choices to move
every six months, my attraction to men who prefer to stay
unattached and my track record with jobs, I suppose there may be 
some truth to that. Although it's probably less of a fear of commitment
and more a fear of disappointment. It takes about six months to get to
know people. After that, you have to start to look below the surface,
see beyond the superficial and the sad truth is, that often I don't like
what I moving always seemed like a good way to avoid that.
Leave on a high note where everyone is still wonderful and fun. The
thing with men is no less of a self-preservation thing. I always want
the unattainable because it's safest. No chance of actual feelings and
actual heartbreak. The job thing isn't so deep. They're jobs. That's
all. I bartend, I wait pays the bills, but it does
nothing for my soul. There's the third thing I learned about myself,
I'm a writer. Not in theory, but an actual writer. Published. The
real deal. I repeat it not for your sake, but to remind myself.
Sometimes we need to do that, bring the dream into reality. Say it
out loud to make it real. I don't know why it's so hard for us to
believe that the things we want most in life are actually possible.
Maybe I'll figure that one out by the time I'm forty.

In the mean time I guess it's enough to know what I know. So as I
look toward the next stage of my life and leave that last chapter
behind me, I also look forward to my new outlook as the 'grown-up' me.

In my twenties I thought I knew everything, now I know that I knew

I believed that love could conquer all and was always enough. That's
true for your children, not for your partner.

My judgement in men sucks. I cannot be trusted. From now on, I'm
letting others pick for me...

Marriage is all about compromise. I hate to compromise.

I am both bitter and naive. It's an odd combination. I believe the
worst about people, but I'm still stunned when I find out I'm right.

What I lack in my romantic relationships, I make up for in the
relationships with my fellow female people. The women who were
closest to me ten years ago, are still here today. In my corner, in
my life and always in my heart.

I trust too easily. It's a real problem. I'll probably keep that one

I spent the first half of my twenties building my life, and the
second half ripping it to shreds. Now it's time to rebuild. Stronger.
Better. In my twenties I believed in possibilities I wasn't ready to
pursue. I'm ready now.

So when I blow out those candles, I won't be making a wish this year.
I'll be making a promise. To myself, my mother and my daughter. To be
the woman my daughter needs me to be and my mother always
believed I already was.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Since the beginning of time, men have been trying to undermine women.  I mean, look at who they blamed in the whole apple debacle...not the snake. Most women grow up trying to find every possible way to become pleasing to men. We want to look good, smell good and act in a way that is appealing to the opposite sex. We go to all sorts of lengths to make this happen, including hours at the salon, wearing clothes that are neither comfortable nor practical, and sometimes we really lose our minds and undergo body altering surgeries.  No matter what, the approval we seek remains elusive. In the end, our emotions always land us on the cons side of the pros and cons list.  We cry and they call us weak.  We are tough and they call us butch.  We really can't win.  Why should we want to?

Women are amazing creatures. We nurture. We love unconditionally (even when it's not deserved).  We fight for those who are weak. We see the beauty in strength and the strength in vulnerability. We sacrifice, and we do it without being asked and without giving up. We are selfless when it comes to the ones we love, especially our children. We eat last and usually our dinner is cold, but we don't care because we didn't cook for ourselves, we cooked for others. We sleep when there's time and when there's not, we just don't.

How often do we send around emails reminding us to celebrate just how remarkable we truly are? We are each others constant support system, trying to overcome and undue the damage we let men do to our psyche and emotional well being. Well, I for one am done. So this is to all the men out there who have crossed my path or may sometime in the future - If you find me so controlling, bitchy, stupid, emotional, needy, crazy and annoying then F**K OFF! Quite frankly, I'm not that impressed by you either.

I'm outta here...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cookies Cookies Cookies

Now I know I'm usually an advocate for eating healthy...but I'm no
saint and I have a sweet tooth that can be matched by few and
satisfied by nothing less than sugar perfection. And if chocolate is
involved, well that just makes it so much better!

Over the last few years I took my obsession with sugar to a whole new
level. Instead of just settling for store bought goodies, I started
making up my own cookie recipes. My mother started me on delicious
chocolate mint and chocolate caramels and I loved much so,
that I wanted more! I explored every flavor from cornbread to red
velvet and I found that there was a perfect concoction to match every
one of my cravings. And I am willing to bet, there's a perfect cookie
in our collection for every sweet tooth out there!

If you want melt in your mouth 'cinnamon dreams', crunchy and creamy
'peanut clusters' or delectable 'Smores' you can have them! All of
the recipes are as easy on the wallet as they are to make. In less
than 15 minutes you could have 'hot out of the oven- goes perfect
with a tall glass of milk' cookies!

Now, for a while, my mother and I went around baking up a storm,
sharing the cookies with friends, family and yes, even
strangers...but we can't reach everyone, and so we thought that this
would be easier. After all, these cookies are just too good not to
share :)