Tag Archives: Bad Mood


You can pick your friends. And you can pick your nose.  But you can’t pick your friend’s nose.  

You know that saying, right? It’s a handy parenting tool.  It teaches your kids that they have control over their friendships, over their own bodies.  And that they should keep their hands to themselves.  All good stuff, no?

No.  It took me 42 years to realize that you actually can’t pick your nose.  Not as often as you might like to anyway.

On Monday I turned 42. Forty-two trips around the sun.  More than a handful of close friends.  And if I am painfully (and I do mean painfully) honest I have picked my own nose about forty-five thousand times.  (It likely took me a couple of years to really have the dexterity but once I got the hang of it – I just really like the way my nose feels when it is squeaky clean! So forty-two years, three hundred and sixty-five days a year times three or four picks a day.) Forty-five thousand nose picks.  And it’s fine, right?   You can pick your friends. And you can pick your nose.  But you can’t pick your friend’s nose.

Sometime last summer I had what I thought was a zit on the end of my nose.  I did what I do.  Home surgery and some peroxide and I should be good to go.  It scabbed.  I picked it.  Wash and repeat.

I knew that it had been around a while. But when my birthday rolled around I remembered thinking last summer that the pool would probably clear up my zit.  And here it is nearly Memorial Day again.  My birthday.  Same scab on the end of my nose.

So, I googled.  Obviously, Dr. Google informed me that my death is imminent. But when I looked beyond that diagnosis of certain death it was pretty obvious what was going on.  I had a cyst, not a zit.  And you know what causes a cyst on the end of your nose?  Picking it.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  I don’t commit to year-long lifestyle choices.  But now and then I just quit something.  I quit smoking a lifetime ago. It took more than a few tries.  But I did it. I quit for good.

So, I am 42 years old and I am going to quit picking my nose.  You heard it here first.

But it didn’t take me four days to wrap my mind around picking my nose.

I think it is time to stop picking the scabs.  All of them.  I’ve spent the better part of the last decade healing, healing and making peace. Healing from a broken heart, healing from childbirth, healing from a really outrageous view of my body and the damaging self-talk that I indulged in as a young woman.  Making peace with the end of a marriage, making peace with the stability and comfort of being with MQD.  Making peace with being a strong, fit, capable woman. Making peace with exactly who I am right now.

You can’t make peace when you pick the scabs.  The healing that is happening in that scab is not just halted, it is set back when you pick open the wound.  For just a moment there is no scab, there is just new pink skin and you can imagine what it felt like before there was any damage, it’s just smooth and like new.  And then the skin gets red and maybe there is even blood.  And so you begin again.  New scab.  Wash and repeat.

I am sure you’ve heard that old joke about mental health professionals being the craziest in the bunch?  Maybe people are drawn towards helping others in the arenas in which they themselves need the most help.  As a group fitness instructor and as a personal trainer I talk a lot about what holds us back.  We identify the road blocks.  We find solutions.

And I think I figured out what is holding me back.  I pick.  I pick and pick.  I heal and then I pick.

But I am going to try to quit.  I am certain that I won’t quit cold turkey.  After all I have done it at least forty-five thousand times.  But I have identified what’s holding me back and it’s not that I don’t know how to heal.  I just can’t seem to stop picking.

So it turns out that you can pick your friends.  And maybe that’s all you need to do.  Thank you, thank you, friends that I have made in my 42 trips around the sun.



On the up and up…

The upside of being down is… well, it’s the upside.  You start coming back up one step at a time and before you know it you are back on top.  I beat back the blues (again) simply by putting one foot in front of the other, over and over again as fast as I can.

I did not get to use my favorite treadmill today. And I brought the water bottle that leaks.  I turned on my music and I didn’t hit the playlist I had intended.  Instead, quite accidentally,  I started a single song.  On repeat.  Somewhere around the third time the song played I realized that I had it on repeat.  Somewhere on number five or six I had run just far enough to realize that I would definitely hit my goal for the year – one thousand miles.

This morning listening to the Cowboy Junkies’ cover of Vic Chesnutt’s  “Flirted with You All My Life” I ran.  I ran and ran and I cried (yep, on the treadmill like a lunatic) and I realized that I am not ready to quit.  (It’s not the first time that Vic Chesnutt made me realize that I am not ready to give up.) Chesnutt’s tune is about death and suicide but to me it has always been an allegory about letting go and moving on. Death is the absence of change, the absence of moving on and transforming.    And I am not ready to give up on Change.

I am so desperately afraid of that which is Unknown.  But sometimes to accomplish anything at all you have to change.  I am even more afraid of Hope.  But I am certain that in order to Change you have to Dream, you have to Hope.

When I decided that my bizarrely cathartic weeping and sprinting act really needed to stop I hit next on my phone.

And I had to smile.  The Universe was having a time at my expense today.  Jeff Buckley’s version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah serenaded me as I crossed my thousand mile marker.


I updated my Facebook status from the gym today (like you do) – “I try not to be a runner that is all “holy shit, y’all, RUN. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.” But if you don’t do something every day that makes you feel like every song you hear is the best. song. ever. and that you are at peace with everything and you totally understand your life – well then, find it. Because it will save you some heartache. Really.”

I can’t seem to find better words than those above. I don’t care what you do.  Yoga.  Meditate.  Paint.  Organize your linen closet. Skateboard. Do it. And love it.  And listen to music and figure out your whole entire life.  I promise you that the Truths that you realize in that hour a day will vanish.  It is similar to the way that dreams tend to evaporate in the time it takes you to roll over and say “damn, I just had the most fucked up dream.”  But for that hour everything makes sense and music sounds so good and your Life feels like no matter what it will all be okay….

I wanted to tell you what I figured out this afternoon.  I wanted to wow you with my simple understanding of Life and Death and Fear and Change and Hope.  But it’s gone.  Up in smoke.  Rather it is up in the grocery store and laundry and math homework and nap time.  But I will find it again tomorrow.

I want that for you. I didn’t run one thousand miles today.  I ran them over the last 343 days.  I have twenty two days to figure out what I will do with the next 365.

If you’re not sure what you are doing with the next year of your life go hide in the bathroom and listen to these two tunes back to back.  You still probably won’t know but they are damn good tunes.

Thank you for reading.  Thank you to all of you that have reached out over the last few days to say “Hey, I am sorry that you’re blue.”  It’s imperative that I write it down when I am hurting.  I need to.  It makes it start to go away.  But sometimes I forget to make the time to write it down when things are on the up and up.  I am back on an even keel, guys.  xxoo

The Smartest Dumbest Thing I Have Ever Done, Recently

“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” ~Judith Viorst

Only I didn’t trip on my skateboard.

In order to get out of my bed I have to pull my legs out from underneath 75 pounds of dog, slide out from under the kiddo and climb over a bed rail.  Tripping over a skateboard sounds like a dream come true.  Every morning I perform this acrobatic feat in order to get to my bathroom and every morning I know whether I am looking down the tunnel at a a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day within the first ten seconds.

The answer lies in the response to the question – how much does it hurt to walk today? Just a little?  Enough that I need ice and the TENS unit or just ice? Maybe it only hurts in a creaky, stiff “I can totally go to yoga but not swimming ” kind of way.  Or maybe it hurts in the “Holy shit, I want to climb back in to bed right after I make a pitstop in the kitchen and eat my face off because that is what I do when I feel defeated” kind of way.   Very occasionally I have the kind of morning where my feet hit the floor and I take two steps and I feel like me.  Those are the mornings that I want back.

Feeling like “me” in the morning is not always a picnic.  I have chronic lower back pain.  I have a penchant for mexican food and water retention and feet that like to remind me of this.  I am frequently sore because I am stubborn and foolish and of the opinion that if three sets of 8 with a 20 pound weight are a good idea than three sets of 12 with 25 is even better.

But it never hurt just to walk.

photo (4)

My lower extremity functional scale and my new pink shoes that have seen fewer miles in the last two months than I care to admit.

So, I sucked it up and I went to the doctor.  And she told me to go to the physical therapist and in a rare moment of doing what I am told I went.  And I did the exercises and I stopped running and I went to yoga and I stretched and I iced and I took the anti-inflammatory.  And the tendonitis that had wreaked havoc on  my range of motion seemed to be at bay.  I am stretchy, again.  Nights spent stretching my hamstrings in my doorframe have paid off.  But it still hurts.  Fucking bursitis.

So, I did that thing that is so impossibly hard.  I went back to the doctor.  And I said “It still hurts.”

I am the Queen of “Fine!  Everything is Fine!” I don’t like to yammer on too much about what ails me and in the presence of a doctor I somehow I feel this desire to downplay everything.  But I went in to my doctor’s appointment armed with two pieces of information.  If you follow Excitement on the Side on Facebook than you might already be familiar with them.

Lucy has started galloping. And I went to a hula hooping class.

Now those two things might not seem like a red flag. But when I said to Emily “Check it out!  Lucy is galloping!!” she replied with all of the eye rolling an almost 8-year-old can muster “I think she is fake limping, Mom.  She is mocking you.”

And hula hooping?  I like to hula hoop as much as the next gal but asa fitness endeavor?  I am one step out of the loony bin. I have had yoga and swimming up to my ears and I am so desperate for low-impact sweat that I am getting my Hoopnotica on, y’all.

I have given you so many words over the years.  Now you can really have a look INSIDE me!

I have given you so many words over the years. Now you can really have a look INSIDE me!

So, tomorrow I will head in to see a sports med doc at the UNC Spine Center that will hopefully give me some answers.  And I will tell him the truth. Yes, I have been doing my PT.  Yes, I have been stretching and icing and taking it easy.

And yes, I am going to do a sprint triathlon on Sunday morning even if I have to carry my own back half in a wheelbarrow.

Six months ago I signed up for the first one and I trained for 10 weeks.  Since then I have completed one other and pulled out of three more.  I was hurting.  And why exacerbate things?  But it is the last race of the season.  And I raised a lot of money for Best for Babes (thank you thank you for generous donations!!) So, dammit, I am going to finish.  This will be interesting since my focus of late has not been so much on swim/bike/run.  It has been more wine/yoga/ice cream.

I’ve been quiet.  And uninspired.  Tell me something good.  Leave me a link in the comments. Just don’t lecture me about running on my bum hips.  I got the thumbs up from the doc and the confirmation that I am not doing any “permanent damage.”  Set my “recovery back a few more weeks?” Probably.  But at this rate – what difference does it make?

So, that’s what’s new with me.  Lots of trips to the doctor, smart.  And a decision to go ahead and run a sprint triathlon even if I am hobbling, probably dumb.


Dear Universe, You can suck it. Love, Kelly

I don’t remember getting an email notification that the Universe started following my blog.  But that is the only possible explanation.  Because it happens without fail.  I say it out loud, that everything is peachy, and then Blamm-o I get knocked on my ass.  I wrote last night that all was well.  The girls were sick but on the mend. I had felt crummy briefly but I was on the up and up.  And then I went to bed.

I was in tears about fifteen minutes after I woke up.  Nothing and everything was bothering me.  The long and short of it – I have been slacking on the exercise this month and it makes me mental.  I need it.  On top of that Lucy is nearly a year old and I might be ready for a night out.  And by ready I mean I will likely cry and come home early and worry and obsess and call home a hundred times but if I don’t go soon it could get even uglier.  Oh, and I am so tired, so very tired.  Now you are all caught up.

The Universe saw me send up the “Life is Super, thanks for asking!” flare and so it kicked me in the stomach as soon as I woke up.  In my bed with swollen eyes I said “No, I don’t want coffee, I just need ten minutes to myself.” I flopped back in my bed for a bit and then I hopped in the shower to shake it off.

Shower.  Clean clothes.  Polka dot knee socks and boots.  Eyeliner and lipgloss that  tastes like peppermint bark.  I was calm and cool.  I was approaching collected.  But only approaching.  We would take two cars to church.  I wasn’t ready to go exactly and the pressure of everyone waiting on me was too much. “Just go, I will meet you there.” I might have yelled.  I don’t remember.  I know I was angsty by the time I got in the car.

20121230-174957.jpgAnd, well, by the time I was calling AAA to get my car out of the ditch (the ditch I have not backed my car in to since January 4th, 2012, thankyouverymuch) I was beyond angsty and full blown crying again.

Fuck it, Universe.  You win.

I gave up.  I took a pillow from the bed and made a spot on the couch.  Lucy and I were going down for the count.  I needed a nap.  Not an in the chair cat nap and not a full blown fake sick and stay in the bedroom nap, but a bed pillow on the couch nap.


I am afraid to say that my nap fixed everything.  But things have started to turn around.

MQD made a pile of things for the thrift store. It was in the corner of our bedroom.  (Since this girl’s husband was very tolerant of her big, fat whiney freakout this morning I will not make any comment about how long it might have stayed there had I not put it in a bag.)  When the chips are down I clean. I put the duvet cover in the washing machine and stripped the sheets.  When you sleep with a dog and a baby a totally clean bed deserves a totally clean bedroom so you can slip between your cold sheets and feel like you are in a hotel once a week.  So, the sheets were nearly done, I had to get rid of the pile of stuff.

In the pile was a pair of Levi’s.  I don’t know why I dropped my pajama pants to the floor.  But I did.  And on they went.  “Good butt or bad butt,” I asked.  MQD deferred to Emily.  Em said she liked them.  So did MQD.  “They are yours,” I said.

“Mine? They are too small.  We used to be the same size,” he said.


Well, not really.  I used to pour myself in to his pants.  It was a squeeze.  My 25-year-old boyfriend was a lot smaller than me but I tried not to let it  bother me. How could it?  I was 33 and I had a 25-year-old boyfriend.

Just when I though that the Universe hated me it threw me a bone.  A bone in the form of a pair of Levi’s.

Universe, you tried to fuck with me today but it seems like you changed your mind.  The good news is that my ass might have been bigger than my 25-year-old boyfriend’s but it is smaller than my 29-year-old husband’s.  So, take that, Universe.


I just parked my ass in my chair with a big, fat glass of pinot noir.  I snapped a quick picture but it didn’t really show my feeling of ahhh.  So, I took another one. Universe, I am going to drink a glass of wine and go to bed. And when I wake up in my clean sheets there will still be vacuum marks on my rug.  And as long as I can still button my husband’s jeans I will not be in tears before breakfast.  Nope.  I sure won’t.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2012. I was awake more this calendar year than any other.  2012, I put my car in the ditch four days in.  And I put my car in the ditch again just two days before you were over.  But all in all, when I wasn’t in the ditch, it was unfuckingbelievable.

We are four.

“A table for four?” the hostess asks me.

More than a decade in the restaurant business and I can not resist the urge to smile and say “Three and a half!” while gesturing to the baby.  It’s not particularly funny.  It wasn’t the first time I said it and it won’t be the next hundred times.  We get a high chair and we head to our table.  A table for four.

There are four stockings hanging.

When I fold laundry I make a square in my mind, sorting things in to the invisible quadrants: Mom, Dad, Emily & Lucy.

I set the table and in the past few weeks I have begun to pull out four plates (even if the fourth remains far away from the smallest dining companion in an effort to keep her from pitching it to the floor.)

There are four spots in a booth.  Four spaces in an average vehicle.  Three spots on the couch plus the chair in the living room make four spots to sit.

Four means a family to me.  I was raised in a family of four.  Four means parenting is never zone defense by design.  Man-to-man is my preferred style and two adults and two kids lends itself nicely to this.

Friday afternoon Lucy fell asleep in the car.  I pulled in the driveway with forty minutes or so to spare before Emily was to get off of the bus.  I thought I would read, goof off on my phone and let her sleep.  I rolled the windows down in my car and grabbed a blanket and my laptop from inside. With Lucy tucked in to the backseat and a cool breeze on my face I started to write about how we have four people in our family and that fact brings me a great sense of calm, a feeling of being complete.

Lucy started to wake and I quickly turned my car on, hoping the vibration of the engine would put her back to sleep. In twenty minutes Emily would be getting off of the bus.  The radio was on and the news of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary filled my car.

I was waiting for my child to get off the bus.  There were twenty families whose children would not come home from school.  I had twenty minutes to wait until I could hold my oldest in my arms.  School had let out already, I couldn’t go pick her up.  So, I waited.  With fat tears rolling down my face I waited.

My heart skips a beat when I see her face every day after school.  There is nothing so care-free as a child as they toss their backpack to the ground and run up the driveway.  I dropped to my knees and buried my face in her neck, breathing in her scent of sweaty kid and cold winter day and cherry chapstick.  “Mom, are you ok?”

“Yep.  I am. I am ok.”

“You can keep hugging me, but can I just grab a snack?”

We are four.  Four is our little family.  To the families that woke up a four on Friday and became three, woke up three and became two, whatever your number is now know that Americans will keep setting a place at their table for your children.  We will hang a stocking or make a space on our couch.  Your children will not be forgotten.


GTFO, Sad!

Sometimes I feel inside out.  Like the parts that are supposed to be on the inside are on the outside.  When I was 18 I got the cartilage in my ear pierced and it didn’t hurt when the needle went through.  It didn’t hurt when he put the earring in.  But when I went outside it stung.  Maybe it was the chill in the Boston air.  But the way I explained it to myself is that a little bit of my insides were exposed to the air.  And it stung.

I live with my insides on the outside.  Lucy called me Mama this week and I wept.  Emily realized that I want every single extra minute she will give me and I held her hand tight and tried not to cry.  The littlest moments make my heart sing.  These moments don’t have to wind their way down deep in to my heart and soul to touch me because my heart and soul is right underneath my skin.  Sometimes it is even on the outside of my skin holding itself together with nothing but sheer will.

When there is this much good, this much joy, this much Christmas spirit and this much love in your day to day it is harder to reconcile when the Sad rolls through.  Usually I exercise the Sad away.  Bicep curls make me feel like a bad bitch.  Even if I do those bicep curls in my living room while I watch Rikki Lake and listen to Katy Perry somehow I still walk away feeling strong.  Because I made the time.  For me.  Because I am important.

I have been busy.  I have run errands.  I have made Christmas ornaments and cooked holiday meals and wrapped gifts. I have not exercised much at all in ten days.  And I have cried.  Holy shit, I have cried.  And I have lied by omission.  “How was your day?” he asks me when he gets home from work.

“It was great! I hung the stockings!”

But it was not great.  It is hard to throw yourself a Pity Party when you are married to a realist.  This morning I gave up the act.  I tried to tell him this morning about my bad case of the Sad and without forethought I blurted out “I don’t feel special.” Before I could stop myself I pointed out that he will surely tell me that no one is special and we will all be eaten by the worms some day.

Sometimes when you lean on the people you love they give you what you need.  The last time I felt paralyzed with fear MQD gave me just what I needed.  He gave me strength.  I was trying to mentally wrap my mind around having a baby last January.  I was in labor and I was scared.  “You’re a bad ass, Kelly. You just can’t be too much of a pussy today to be a bad ass.” 

This morning I was wallowing.  “But the worms will never have had a meal JUST LIKE YOU,” he said.

He’s right.  Pink toes

Hey, Sad! Yeah, you with the swollen eyes and the runny nose and the bad mood, I’m talking to you, Sad.  I have seasonally inappropriate toenails now and I am taking back the reins.  You can kiss my ass, Sad, my sweaty ass while I do a million jump squats in my living room and evict you.

Even if it is sixty-some degrees outside it is Christmastime, Sad.  I have a sweet, sweet husband and a big girl that makes me laugh.  My baby girl has started saying mama and she kisses with tongue. Things around here actually pretty great.  You gotta roll out, Sad.

Don’t give me that look.

Actually just don’t look at me at all.  I am cranky.

I want to eat all of the food. I want to drink all of the wine. I want to watch all of the TV. I do not particularly want to feed or entertain all of the children. And I want to stop having all of the fucking periods.

I can get a little moody. My colors are red hot rage and white hot fury. There is no blush and bashful.

I wish I had a white noise machine that played Phylicia Rashad’s voice. It soothes me. Evidently so does Alfre Woodard and Queen Latifah. I recognize that claiming the remake of Steel Magnolias with an all African-American cast as white noise is funny. I’m just not in the mood to be amused.

Here’s hoping that a peanut butter sandwich and a cup of coffee will fill me up, that my kids will amuse each other for an hour and that the Lifetime remake of Steel Magnolias and what is bound to be a good cry can get me over the period hump. Because that’s the only hump I am likely to see any time soon and something has got to me cheer me up.


Just Do It

Part of the struggle of motherhood is the lack of control. So much of what I do is reactive not proactive.  When you are reactive you are always behind the gun. Never caught up.   Time and again realizing you have missed a step, requiring you to double back and repeat a step.

 A proactive approach to anything makes me feel like I am on top of things. The trouble with being proactive is that it is hard. But I have recently established that I can do impossibly hard things. 

Yesterday I did three proactive things. For me. For my health. Not for my children, although they certainly benefit from my good health.  And today, one day later, I am already feeling better than I did yesterday as a result.

I slept. I got up and said goodbye to Em and MQD and back to bed I went. For just a minute, I thought. I’ll snuggle with Lucy,  get her back  to sleep. Those few minutes became
two hours of blissful sleep. Sleeping harder than I have in months.  Recently my lack of sleep has begun to …. show in my attitude.  Enough so that when I asked MQD what I can get done for him the other day he said he’d make me a list.  That’s it pictured on the left.  Message received, dear.  And accomplished.

When I woke it was nearly 9:30.  Thus began the second impossibly hard thing. I excel at creating exercise plans for myself, I do not always succeed with the follow through, much like many of us.  There is almost always a good reason.  Lately I have had a nasty cold and the windy and intermittently cold weather was not helping matters.  So I decided to take it a little easier than I had planned.  But when I looked at my phone and it read 9:30 I knew I had to leave at 9:35 to make the 10:00 exercise class I had planned to attend.

With the extra oomph my nap provided I peeled myself out of bed and jumped in to some exercise duds and was out the door.  Lucy had been tanking up at the drive through breakfast bar all morning so she was nice and sleepy.  I think we were 45 minutes in to getting our sweat on before she knew what hit her.  Second impossibly hard thing, done.  I had the good old “never wake a sleeping baby” rule on my side had I decided to stay in the sack with my kiddo.  And the list of things to do provided by my husband.  And, still, up and out the door I went.
Thing number three is not so fun.  At my initial prenatal visit to the midwife  I got some less than pleasant news.
More than 50% of sexually active adults in America carry the human papilloma  virus (HPV) at some point in their lives.  1 out of 4 women with HPV have one of the strains that can lead to cervical cancer.  But now that more and more women are educated and getting an annual pap smear only 1 out of 1000 of those cases will develop in to cervical cancer.

Mid June of last year I had been married for less than two months.  I had been pregnant for  nearly the same amount of time.  I was anxious to have my first prenatal visit, hear a heartbeat, so I could relax.  As I have said so many times before I get nervous when everything goes my way, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  And in my 35 years I had never felt so on top of the world, so it would be a long fall from there.  The call from the midwive’s office was not a suprise.  Something had to give. “Your pap smear came back abnormal, ASCUS.  We won’t do anything now, but the positive HPV test means we will want to get a closer look after your pregnancy.”

Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought my appointment yesterday afternoon would be the day that the bottom fell out.  (There is an awful joke in there somewhere, I mean if the nine pound plus baby didn’t make the bottom fall out a high powered microscope, a speculum and a light sure wasn’t gonna do it.) I have been dreading this appointment.

Standard procedure following an abnormal pap smear with high risk HPV is a colposcopy.  Essentially a doctor takes a good look with a microscope and a light at your cervix and determines whether or not a biopsy is required.  Vinegar is applied to the cervix, causing the “color to come out” in any abnormal cervical cells.  This amuses me, as vinegar is also used to get brighter Easter eggs.  This procedure is subjective to some degree.  And this was worrying me.  Even after a doctor said “I don’t see anything to worry about” I’d be left wondering, but what did you see?  Exactly.
And yesterday afternoon, because UNC is a teaching hospital, I had the pleasure of seeing something most women never do.  There, on a television screen so the doctors could discuss what they were seeing was my cervix.  “Look, Lucy, does that look familiar, there’s your home, baby girl!  Your door in to the world, where you made your big debut!” It was like taking Julie Andrews to the London Hippodrome and saying “This.  Here. You first felt the spotlight here, this is where it all began.”

Not everyone gets to bring a pal to a gynecological exam.

Everything both doctors could see, I could see, too.  And there was nothing to see, nothing abnormal.  I will spare you the description, but it was truly amazing to see how quickly the human body puts itself all back together again.  I’d certainly not have guessed my big baby had peeked out that hole only weeks before.
I was nervous.  And now I am not.  “I don’t think we will need to do a biopsy at all.  Seems your pap smear may have just detected an abnormality triggered by your pregnancy.  So, make sure you get a pap smear in a year and take care of that baby.  You can put your pants on and let yourself out.”
In a different context  that last sentence could break a woman’s heart but it was music to my ears.

Three things.  Sleep.  Exercise.  And medical follow up.  Just do it.  You’ll be glad you did.

Sweet Pickles

A lot of my readers appear to be just about my age.  So, at least one of you read my title and thought “Oh, wow!  I loved those books!!!”

Sweet Pickles books were distributed starting in 1977 and there was one for every letter of the alphabet.  Throughout my life I have been both a slob and a neatnik.  But one thing remained the same.  I keep my Sweet Pickles books in alphabetical order.

Okay, two things remained the same.  I am also a moody so and so.  One moment I am elated, the very next in the pit of despair.

My very favorite Sweet Pickle book is about Moody Moose.  Moody Moose is happy one moment, sad the next ,and it troubles the other folks in her town. So much so that Zebra throws Moose a party and gives her a set of buttons.  One for sweet and one for sour, so that everyone can tell from a distance what kind of a mood Moose is in depending upon which button she is wearing.

Lucy takes after her mama.  And Moose.  But I don’t think she needs buttons.  It is fairly apparent.


What a difference a few minutes can make...

I hate the “P” word. But sometimes it is exactly the right word.

Just because I am full of Hope and new Habits and dreams and crock pot recipes doesn’t mean I have turned my back on my  demons.

But last night I laid one to rest.

Perhaps other  people’s husbands say just the right thing and it is poetic and full of “sweethearts” and “I love yous” broken up only by tender moments.

But when I need support. True support. I don’t  need coddling. I just need someone to shoot it straight.

“I will not even entertain this conversation” he said.

Always mannerly, even in an argument. He managed to tell me to shut the fuck up in such a way that he eased my fears. I hate that he can do that.  Even while I am simultaneously loving it  – it pisses me off.

When you write about your insides and you don’t seem to edit much out there is an assumption that you put it all out there. Maybe some people do but I don’t. Not out of a desire for privacy or an intent to be misleading. I just can’t write until I’ve figured it out. And then it is an after the fact admission instead of a real time confession. But the writing it all down. It helps me to keep the same fears from cropping up time and again. Once  the demons that I wrestle with in my head  have names they don’t scare me anymore.

Last night in the middle of an argument (the details of which are both private and irrelevant as I have a knack for deviating from the original discussion) I realized I wasn’t making sense. I was pushing MQD away out of fear. So I summoned the courage to be brave for just one minute.

Deep breath and spill it. If something happened to me and Mike, to our marriage, I’d lose everything. He would get Lucy half the time. And Emily, too, if I did right by her. And I’d be lost. Without a home, a job or my children.

As always once I said it out loud it lost a lot of its power. But it was what he said that assuaged it altogether.

He could have asked me what my problem was or been hurt that I’d be suggesting now of all times that our marriage would fail. Instead he just said he refused to entertain this conversation.

“Ok.” And I could feel the weight lift. “I guess it is just as much a waste of time as making a plan for if aliens land in the backyard.”  I smiled.

And even though I’d been yelling at him and being all kinds of hysterical for the last half an hour he smiled too. “No, that would actually be more worthwhile.”

What reason do I have for being afraid? Are there problems in my new marriage I haven’t addressed? No. None.

It’s just me. And February. My divorce from Emily’s dad was final in a February. I saw the date pass in the calendar  recently and I thought about the nail in our coffin. And for a moment I forgot the truth and I began to think that it was all me. And my love for Emily. That I couldn’t be a wife and a mother and our divide began when Em was born. That it was all me that had failed. And the Insecurity Dragon (the only demon with a name that I fear I will never slay) reared its head and went to work on my heart.

Several days later and I am in my kitchen crying. Preparing my heart for the day when my marriage crumbles again because I pour my heart in to being a mother and I don’t know how to be a wife at all.

Only this time I do know how. I stopped yelling. And I stopped crying. And I said “I am afraid”  and I asked for help. That is four impossibly hard things if you’re keeping track.

He stood and took the baby from my arms and jiggled her on one shoulder. With his other arm wrapped around me, there was stereo crying in his ears.
It’s funny. The things I repeat in my head. The moments in my marriage that become touchstones for when I require strength or faith. I’m adding “I will not entertain this conversation” to the pile with what MQD said the day I went in to labor.

Early in the day not long after he came home from work I was pacing in the kitchen when it hit me. Today would be the day I’d realize a dream.  My unmedicated birth.   And then I started to question if I’d have the strength, no the courage, to follow through. He must have seen the fear start to take root and he stopped  me. “You’re a bad ass Kelly. You just can’t be too much of a pussy today to be a bad ass. “

I love that he said “today.”  Because  you can’t be expected to be a bad ass everyday. And sometimes all it takes to be a bad ass is to just not act like such a pussy.

I’m working on it.  Being brave is not so impossibly hard.

In December of 2008 I thought MQD was a kid and I was all Grown Up. I couldn't have been more wrong.

For MQD – Because one day I will be Grown Up.  And it will knock your socks off.  Thank you for being so patient.  I love you.  More today than I have in all our days.  At least until the aliens land.  xo