Monday, November 25, 2013


Would you like to know a surefire way to have your ego slap the sh*t out of your enlightenment?  Just state out loud how you've got it figured out, that you've discovered a thick vein that will keep you tapped in and guess what?  Your ego will have a hay day.  EDIT: my ego will have a hay day.

Today I was THAT mom.  I put my baby down on the floor of the pet store to find the right 'jacket' for our wisp of a dog and let her chew on the hangers.  A few feet away my 3 year old didn't stop talking while finding furry balls to perch on top of her shoe a la Tinkerbell.  I actually said, too loudly, "Rosanna, stop talking" so that a complete thought could skitter through my brain.

I showed up to purchase a table from a fellow civilian a half an hour late, and when I opened the rear portal to my van (I'm in my thirties after all) our dog was trying to clamber over the seats, my baby was sobbing and my 3 year old was.....talking.  Yay.

Now it's 7pm.  Bedtime.  No one has eaten.  Eating out is the only option.  We arrive and I whip out a boob for the baby only to discover that half of my chest has been unsupported (see: nursing bra, unclipped) since the last time I fed her- 3 hours ago.  And guess what else?  The 3 year old has to go potty.  Again.  She JUST we walked in the door and straight to the bathroom.  So of course, now that the boob is out, she would have to go again.  Fast forward to actually having food on the table.  This lasted approximately 5 minutes before I decided that to-go boxes were the only way to deal with Fast Hands McGrabberson if I wanted to leave with the same number of children I showed up with.

Bonus: the dog didn't poop or pee in the car!

And now......they sleep.  It is oh, so blissfully quiet.  So freaking, awesomely, divinely serene.

Don't tell anyone, but I miss them just a smidge.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

TLC Hoarders: brain edition

Coming home today I felt like I needed to exhale.  A dramatic, cleansing release of breath that is paired perfectly with sweatpants and a flop upon the couch.  These last two days have been a bit crazy, a bit nutty.  Just look at the lack of naps two days in a row.  Driving us home today from a sweet little holiday shindig, I was lost in a future scenario...the one where I counted the minutes until bedtime and would then have the house to myse- wait.  We have a dog.  GAH!  The cat is pissed about the dog.  The latest addition to my resume is: let the animals work it out, but don't let the dog get too beat up.  Oye.  I've only had this job for 24 hours and I'm already over it.

Anyhow, this line of thinking meandered around for a bit until I came upon this little tidbit: why the exasperation?  Why go around acting like my current state is taxing and nigh on unmanageable?  My acknowledgement, or my statement out loud (verbal, physical, see: eye rolling, sighing, etc.) that my life today is more than I'd like to be handling is making it true for me.  The thing is, it's not true.

If I want to have a spotless house and take care of my other obligations today, then I could be stressed out.  If I want to get the grocery shopping done today and take care of my other obligations, then I could be fed up.  If I want to be crafty and make all of my Christmas decorations and have some time to be still, then I might be short tempered.  So the question is, why?

"Tension is who you think you should be.
Relaxation is who you are."
Chinese Proverb

"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than how you think it should be." Wayne W. Dyer

The path to freedom and happiness is letting go, it's being good with what the day brought and being thankful for it.  I tend to do the opposite.  I dwell on the things I didn't get done and the way my house doesn't look like a magazine cover.  The funny thing is, nothing actually changes between those scenarios besides who I am then capable of being.

Mind: blown.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Blow it up

My friend Wendy is wise.  She said to me one day that all kids are perfect and learning how to be in the world.

I do my best to let my kid be herself.  Loud, overbearing, exuberant.  These are all words that I own, that give me anxiety.  These qualities say to me, "Be embarrassed, care about what others might think about your parenting, get that girl to stop drawing attention to herself".  They aren't what my kid is.  She is perfect.

How freaking cool is it that she can scream with excitement in a small coffee shop and care not about others' opinions.  How freaking cool is it that she will insert herself into a stranger's family to seek out their similarly sized child and then steal that child away to frolic about, as if she'd known them her whole life.  How freaking cool is my kid?

So why would I want to bring down the numbness, the separateness of my adulthood onto her?  What a lame thing to do.  By all accounts I am the one whose life is dull and lackluster, while her's is wild with vibrant colors and freedom to just "be".  Why would an unbiased observer say to me, "Yes, Mrs. O'Hagan, your child is clearly in need of a dose of your life.  The one where she dies a little.  Yes, that's my opinion."  Well, that just wouldn't happen.  Quite the opposite would be true.  That person would beg me, implore to my humanity that I see her for who she is: the most incredible person walking the earth.  And they would ask me, why- why am I so willing to snuff out that inspiring beam of unfiltered light, when I could learn so much from it?

I could only answer with the sad realization that I have crossed over.  I am that boring adult who I didn't understand as a kid.  I am fully in the embrace of rules, politeness, manners and all other form of tippy-toeing.  And it sucks.  Those qualities have added nothing to the quality of my life.  They may have inspired others to think kind thoughts about me, or perhaps to not have thought about me at all as I made no impression of myself.  At this rate, I'll go to my grave with people saying how nice I was and that may be it.  I won't have stood for anything.  I won't have lived 'out loud' as they say.  And for whom am I muting myself?

The moral of the story is that my kid is PERFECT.  I hope she never learns to fit into this social structure and instead blows it up with her amazing self.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some perspective

Being a mom is not the same as not.  (Duh, right?)

It was weird, in the beginning, hearing my own voice loud and purposeful, waxing about how Ferdinand is content to sit just quietly and how Max's misbehavior sends him on an egoistic journey.  Now, it's odd for me to hear others' voices reading aloud to my daughter.  I get anxious for my turn, as creating a scene with inflection and drama have become something I look forward to.

Gross things have happened.  Why, only hours ago, burbling and rumbling from my infant's bottom resulted in a costume change for the both of us.  My pre-mom days never had me consider how sticky infant poop is.  And, well...never mind.

My body is free reign.  A baby on a boob, a toddler in an armpit and a chunk of my butt in my husband's palm.  I don't take the time to hide myself at home, because it's just too much work.  And besides, why create body issues in my daughters so soon?  I do clothe myself, I'm not that "free".

Our bed is truly full of love.  By 6 a.m. there are no less than 5 bodies, breathing peacefully, resting side-by-side.  I never thought this would be something I loved.  It sounds quite annoying to 20 year old me.  However, being squished by two people who grew in my belly and who I couldn't love more if I tried, well that's pretty freaking awesome.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Unraveling my clenched up fists

There is a lot of relief that come with letting go.  I suppose that's why every self-help/inspirational-quote book isn't complete without a shout out to the 'letting go' factor.  I find, however, that it is indeed one of those things that cannot be understood on faith or because it was once explained to you.  No, sir.  If you're interested in all that 'letting go' has to offer, then you must do just that.

Today I noticed a cinching in my chest paired with a tensing in my shoulder blades.  The day's activities would include certain family members who are known for their critical eye.  Perhaps they have been overbearing with their opinions in the past and it's possible that I've found myself fumbling for justification of my parenting style.  Or did it just seem that way?

Today I experimented with confidence.  I chose to hear critiques as merely conversation.  I chose to answer questions as they were, not as I heard them.  I let go of my need to defend our choices.  Of course, I am not so good at this quite yet.  I bumbled around with it and lost sight of it completely at times.  Overall however, it was wonderful.  Freeing.

I've also become quite good at letting go of how I assume others see my child's behavior and how that reflects on me.  It's good fun if you can do it.  I've grasped that not only do I not particularly care what others are thinking (who are you anyways?), it really doesn't matter.  It's an invisible transaction that leaves me feeling less about myself, and who needs that?  Not I.

It's all about letting go people.

She's a professional on the topic:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Extreme Effort

I was looking at a new baby's photo on facebook.  I was noticing all the comments, the well wishes and blessings.  One small, chubby, new face that everyone had waited and longed to finally see.

I remember finally seeing Luci's face, knowing that everyone would, in minutes, see her online too.  I felt a bit lost in those moments.  There are photos of me holding her for the first time, cord still attached and my face is emotionless.  Truth be told, it was also how I felt.  The effort of the previous hours had taken all of my everything.  Going through labor, this time, was more intense and gargantuan than I can begin to explain.  I was loud.  I said, "get her out of me".  I heard myself, in a strange removed sort of way, and thought, "What a drama queen".  And there was no other way for it to be.  The pain and effort had to release somehow, and my method of choice was vocal.  My husband would later tell me that he felt like he was in a war zone and I was dying and there was nothing he could do about it.  Yeah, that's pretty much how I felt too.  I was glad for the precious baby in my arms and I was depleted in way that left no effort to smile or to even feel joy.

So now, when I see those fresh, new baby pictures I see an exhausted new mom too.  Someone who might have felt like she was never going to get through it, until that glorious moment when she did.  

It didn't take me long to recover from my disconnect.  About an hour I think.  I have a tendency to look beyond the new baby lately, and am compelled to reach out to the Mom.  So much focus is on the new baby, the new baby will be fine, the new Mom might need some extra love though.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's gone

My cousin was married a few weeks ago.  This meant that I got to spend time with my favorite people: the Joris clan.  I adore them.
Of course this trip was a bit crazy, weddings don't generally allow for a lot of extra down time with the bride and her family.  It was magically infused with the kind of love that you have no doubts about, it was perfection and beauty and I am so, so thrilled for and proud of my cousin.
One of the realities of 'coming home' to my family is that my grandpa isn't there.  I saw him last Thanksgiving.  He was in a bed, set up in the living room, pale and mostly in a daze or sleeping.  There were a few times when he woke up that I got to talk to him.  He remembered that I was pregnant, he asked about the baby.  One time he was out on the back porch in his wheel chair, getting some air and sun.  Rosanna was running about, eating mandarins and sharing them with Grandpa.  He was smiling.  In that moment, it was like he never left.
My Dad was the one who called to tell us that Grandpa had passed.  What a strange conversation to be in.  I wasn't shocked.  I wasn't caught of guard, I suspected that was why he was calling.  Still, I was hit with a huge and heavy sadness.
My Grandma just sold their house.  That's hard for me to believe too.  I was bathed in her kitchen sink as a baby and I bathed my baby there too.  I ran around the back porch with bare feet slapping the cool gray cement.  I helped collect chicken eggs.  I slunk around the perimeter of the house in the dark with my Grandma and a thick stick, shining a flashlight into corners and squashing black widows to death when we found them.  No doubt squealing a bit each time.  I avoided the crazy white cat who was my friend one moment and wanted me for dinner then next.  I searched through strawberry vines and picked out bright red treasures.  I snuggled and hung on the neck of a big golden dog who was as tall as I was.  All of this happened, of course, over years and years.
It's all a part of a bigger unit.  The house, the yard, my Grandparents.  One cozy, familiar package.  It's almost confusing when I consider what no longer exists for me to refuge to.  I feel pain in my throat and a snake squeezing my heart.
Growing up is lame.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

"Good night, Mom"

"I love you, good night baby."

"I love you too, good night Mom."

That "Mom" is me.  Is it weird that I am still caught off guard by "Mom" used in reference to myself?  It's been 3 years, 2 of those with verbal affirmation from the child herself that yes, I am "Mom".
As a kiddo I saw my Mom as having it all figured out.  I didn't doubt her motives and I assumed that it was all just second nature to her.  It may have been.  I certainly don't feel that way.  I feel like every day is another parenting challenge met and then, after she's in bed, I sit and question all the Ro-related choices I made and criticize myself into vowing that tomorrow I'll do better.

I know I'm not alone.  I imagine it's the nature of motherhood.  There's that word again, "mother".  It carries so much weight.  Heavy, hefty, loaded and smothering weight.  Aren't I just a child myself?  No?  I sure don't see myself as a 'grown up'.  But aren't grown-ups the only sort of people who can raise kids (I just snorted a little)?

I might need to take a philosophy class to sort it all out, this is getting intense.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

One a Day in May

Another  blogger made a list of thing to blog about.  Specifically one for each day in May.  If you wanna play too, here's her site:


Yeah, so that's my second born.  You could say we bought her, she cost upward of $700 dollars.  I suppose what we actually bought was an experience and peace of mind.  I got tests, appointments and all the staff I could possibly need to birth and then hang out at a fairly comfortable hospital.  All things considered, she was as screaming deal.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Minimalist Baby?

Our Luciana was born April first.

The short story is: I labored for almost 48 hours (pre-labor stuff, really), labored hard for a few hours and the last part was quick and dirty.  I had a some meds in the beginning in an attempt to let me rest a bit (pre-labor=48 hours on nearly no sleep) and then I wanted meds desperately in the minutes before she emerged.  They don't do that though.

I learned a lot with Rosanna as an infant.  Well, let's be honest, the learning hasn't stopped just because she's no longer a human blob of neediness.  That learning came in handy this time 'round in the form of: I don't need all the things I was sure I needed.  There is a stigma that having an infant=having tons of extra stuff.  Not only that, but you need to carry this stuff with you all the time.  There's a long list of items I believed I needed as a new mom with Ro, and for the most part I got them.  So very much of it turned out to be unnecessary.  That's why I nearly snorted in disbelief as I sat next to a pregnant mom at the Babies'R'Us registry counter and listened to the clerk advise that her registry have a minimum of 200 items on it.

So here's my list of can't-do-withouts and items I'd 'pass' on.  My suggestion is to register for the things you are really certain you need and ask for gift cards.  That way all of the other stuff you can get when you discover you could really use it, instead of assuming.  Because having a baby is like no other experience you can even imagine, so why do we think we'll know what we need to deal with it?

PASS: (these are biggies don't get freaked out)

Diaper Genie - Seems like a good idea.  We used ours, but in reality the regular trash works just as well.

Crib - For our family it was used maybe 5 times.  We're co-sleepers through and through.

Bottles - Our kid never took to them and my boobs were much less work.


Nipple Shield - Saved my breast feeding experience.  It's hard at first and it hurts like a motha (well, it did both times for me).  I would've given up if not for them.

Swaddlers - My babies went into a coma when swaddled.  Hooray! And no, it's not because I swaddled them too tight.

Boppy Pillow - I'm sure other breastfeeding pillows are good too, but I've only had a Boppy.  Saves my arms & my back when nursing or even just holding her while she sleeps.  Love it.

Pacifier - I didn't want to go there, I really really didn't.  I saw using one as a cop-out, a weakness in my parenting abilities.  Then I had a kid and got over it.  I know not all kiddos will take one, but both mine have and it's kept me sane a time or two.

Ring - I switch it back and forth to remind me which side I nursed on last.

So, for reals, I keep a nipple shield, swaddler, boppy and pacifier with me at all times.  I don't actually take the Boppy out of the house, but it moves from room to room with me.  Aside from the obvious diapers and clothes, there is nothing else we've dug out and used for Luci.  It's pretty awesome.

Do you have anything you'd add to these lists?

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Talking about her name insights more real excitement than most other conversations that I can have about this life brewing inside me.  It's a piece of her that can exist outside of myself.  I can say it out loud and it will be that same name when she is born.  It's as if I can have a piece of her now that can be shown and shared, like maybe I am already getting to know her a bit.
Naming her also makes her inevitable presence in our life more real.  She's not just a phantom idea or a big 'ol belly.  It allows her to take up space.  It allows us to get used to her a bit before her scrunched up face becomes all we want to look at for awhile.

Rosanna's first moments

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tantrum, at long last

So we had our first 'real' tantrum today.  It was gonna happen, as today started out sketchy and just kept on that way until the end.

Pre-tantrum we had a morning of furrowed brows, snappy comments and the whine-factor was high.  I braced myself because I knew this would be a no-nap day and we already seemed to need one.  Both of our social events went well, shockingly; it was the in-between times that got our patience muscles some good practice.

We were in Target.  I told her that she could choose one thing from the dollar bins.  She waffled, she asked for two things, she finally chose a purple plastic cup.  As we wandered on through aisles of crap we really wanted and didn't need, she re-employed the snotty voice and stinky attitude.
Warning number one: lose the 'tude or lose the cup.
Response: I want my cup!
Rebuttle: Great, I want you to have your cup too.  Please change the way you are speaking or we will put it back.
Fast forward 60 seconds.  Snotty McSnotterson is at it again.  My worst nightmare happens: follow through.  OK, I say, let's put the cup back then.
Oh, man.  It's on.  Tears, big fat heavy tears.  Screaming about how she wants her cup.  Me: holding the cup in one hand and wrangling the writhing child as she tries to escape my intentions to scoop her up and replace the cherished cup.  I was THAT person.  All eyes on me.  My kid screaming about a dumb purple cup, me trying not to drop her, my bulging belly not helping one iota.  I chose not to look around, not to make direct eye contact and I could see them watching me.  Reinvented screeches as the cup actually makes it back to it's home, piled with other purple, blue and green cups.  Pleading and promises of her new found attitude blocking out all other sounds.
Wow, I think, this is shitty.

Again at bed time, we had a similar incident.  Warning, continued pushing of the envelope, consequence.  Melt down.

Now she's asleep.  I wish I felt relief, and I do a little, but I feel more like I want to hug and kiss and cuddle her.  To have her tell me that the crappiness that happened today was perfectly handled and any other response wouldn't have helped her along the path of being the best person she can be.  I feel in my gut that this is true, or our house wouldn't operate this way.  It doesn't make my heart feel less heavy though.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Musings from behind the belly

I seem to have more value to the general public when I am pregnant.

I'm sure you (others who have come before me) have had this same experience, it never fails to amuse me.  In large part, I gladly accept the extra fawning and added care taken to accommodate my blossoming self.  Other times I just think it's silly and weird.

Early the other morning, as I walked up the street to meet a friend to go for a walk, a gentleman (who knows me) asked what I was doing out "in my condition".  I smiled and told him I had to, "keep this body movin'!" and as I continued on my way thought, well what the heck am I supposed to do?  Stay indoors?

Another time I was working (a job that essentially requires me to sit and wait for people to make a purchase) and asI went to stand and add up a lady's treasures, she was horrified that her actions were making me have to move.  Note to world: pregnant does not equal crippled.  I can, and appreciate, and opportunity to move about and get my blood moving around.  If I didn't, it certainly isn't *insert customer here*'s fault that I am choosing to work and therefore must stand up and punch numbers on a calculator.

I've noticed too that pregnant ladies are nearly on the level with saints as a virtue of being pregnant.  I get smiles and high quality courtesy that doesn't exist as a woman with a baby in the breathing world.  I can do no wrong and all of my woes are of extreme importance to passersby.  If only this love extended beyond the belly and into the (in my opinion) more challenging realm of hauling that sucker around manually.

'Tis a funny world :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Emotional vomit

It's either pregnancy or I'm just a bummer.

I feel on the verge of crying half the time and I have to talk myself into being patient with Rosanna like it's a chore.  I don't want to have the same "I don't want to close my eyes" conversation every freaking night.  Especially when I've never, not once, told her she has to.

Watching her tonight dance around to the music on the credits of a movie I thought to myself, "this won't last forever.  Soon enough she'll be too self-conscious to be silly".  That made me sad.  She was so joyful.  She jumped and flitted and fell and laughed herself into hiccups.

Right now I'm questioning my place in this house.  How much of my responsibility should I expect to shift as a result of my "condition"?  So far it would seem that zero of it will.  Be prepared for this place to become the sty of a pig upon the arrival of #2, I don't really see any way around it.

And on a final random note, how is it so danged warm outside?  I don't own warm-weather maternity clothes and I am certainly not going to go buy any just for a few weeks of my life.  This was an unexpected turn of events and I'd really love it if I could get four more weeks of chill.  Fingers crossed....

Monday, February 25, 2013

My baby, she's three

Children running rampant, in that awesome, chaotic, wonderful kind of way.  Adults sharing, 'catching up', and passing around the babies.  A lovely chorus of 40 voices bestowing wishes of a happy day unto the most beautiful part of my life: Rosanna.  

In short, her birthday party was perfect.  

playing under the OTP tables with cousins and friends

ready to open presents at home

who needs cake when there's frosting?

fun time at Incredible John's

mission: birthday exhaustion, complete!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hey body...

Hey body-

Let's just feel normal tomorrow.  I have dishes to do, ironing, laundry and a bathroom that is, well...yuck.  Oh, and that clutter that's building up needs a new home.  So, whaddya say?  Truce?  I wouldn't mind getting a solid night sleep too, if that's not asking too much.  It'd make my trek out the door for a Monday morning walk a lot less difficult.

That is all.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Three wonderful things

Here are three wonderful things that happened today:

At the Zoo, Rosanna's friend fell and was pretty upset for a bit.  Rosanna knew she liked the leaves that had fallen and so picked one up and gave it to her so that she, "could feel better".  I love that my daughter has a heart that thinks and acts in such a loving manner.  I couldn't be a prouder Momma.

I took my second prenatal yoga class.  It's tough.  It's relaxing.  It's an hour and a half!

My kiddo was a hoot at dinner.  She told all the severs at Thai Garden about the crocodile she saw today and cracked herself up each time.  She told elaborate stories and kept up with the conversation at the table.  She ate all of her curry and asked for more.  She said "please" and "thank you" without being prompted.  She's amaze-sauce.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Funny thing

I'm pregnant, so you're gonna get a pregnant blog.  Yet, I'm not really in the 'pregnant body' mind set.  My body's not messing around though.  The belly is big, the veins are gnarly, the sciatic is mean.  I make grunting noises when I get up and walking up a slight incline induces labored breathing.  I know I'm pregnant, I know what sort of allowances pregnant bodies should get and yet I don't put myself in that category.  It's time to start.
I'm dead tired at the end of the day.  I sit there and think, "What did I do today to warrant such tiredness?".  Well, duh.  My body is simply doing the impossible: growing another life.  No biggie though, carry on as usual.
Except don't!  I'm ready to accept the realities of my situation: I need a break.  I will sit down more; I will not chastise myself for the few things I accomplished in a day.  I will say to myself, "Good job!  You carried life today!".  Granted, there are a few commitments in my future that are going to require me to step it up and give it all (not like, half-marathon style).  I'll just have to muscle through those few days.  And there won't be any more added to the plate.
You hear that, self?!  No more!  Just chill, K?