Tag Archives: Emily

Bikini Body?

Ordering a bathing suit online is a ridiculous idea.  But when the company that makes the running shorts that make me feel hot, not just athletic, had a sale – I took the bait.

It is the time of the year that I have the Great Bikini Debate.  Last summer I tried to embrace the stretch marks. I gave it a solid effort.  I even tried to tan those mofos.  If I am 100% honest – the red bikini took a backseat to the trusty one piece the great majority of the time. And now here I am again, another year older, another year closer to the Year I Should Really Stop Wearing A Two Piece.  (I am not sure when that is, exactly, but I am certain it exists.)

Standing in my bathroom in the new two piece I could acknowledge that this summer’s bikini body is slightly more toned than last year’s.  I have run my ass off this year and it is starting to show.  Deep breath in.  Deep breath out.  Bend over.  Sit down.  Eh.  It is what it is but it is unlikely that it is gonna get better than it is right now, right? The fit is ok.  But the color?

Brown. The brown bikini was the only sale suit in my size.  I just don’t know about brown.

I called to Emily.  “Come here.  What do you think?”

She just stood there with her hand on her tiny little hip.   “Hmmm.  That’s a tricky question. I’m trying to decide what you want me to say.” Damn kid.

“The truth,” I answer.

“Well, you have really big boobs and that top is really big like a lot of fabric but weirdly it makes your boobs look not as noticeable. And I think it’s ok that your stomach is like, well, you know like that because you had two babies and you’re a great mom and you look pretty.” She paused to take a breath.  “Do you like it?”

I love her. I do.  I should have been more clear, I suppose.  “Do you like this color brown?” Sigh.

Back tattoo teapot

If the bikini makes its presence known this summer than the excitement will be two-fold.  My stomach and the stretch marks there really get all the press.  But it is high time that the wreckage on my hips and lower back get a little face time.  The 2014 new ink highlights them nicely.  Last summer’s motto seemed to be “if you can’t tone it, tan it.” This summer it is looking like I am embracing the “if you can’t tone it, tattoo it” philosophy.  Someday perhaps I will get to that level of peace where I don’t even have this conversation with myself. Maybe next spring when I am trying on bathing suits for my 39th summer I will only ask myself the question that my sweet Emily June asked me –  “Do I like it?” Maybe.  Someday.

Just call me Norm.

I remember when I used to have a bar. My bar. I went there almost every night. If I missed a night or even two I felt like it had been ages since I had been there. If I missed three days, forget it. I started to convince myself that there would be new regulars by the time I got there, a new bartender, even worse – a new doorman.

You guys are “my bar.” And this is my way of apologizing. Here. It’s my ID. I will show it to the doorman in an effort to say “Hey, I don’t expect you to know who I am anymore, I know it seems like I haven’t been here in weeks, but it has only been six days.”

What have I been doing? Umm. Nothing extraordinary. I have fallen in to a good routine. I have been to the gym every day. Even days that I did not want to go. At all.


I have read board books until my eyes have crossed. I have passed these rhyming nonsensical books off to my seven year old and asked her to read them. We all read and read and read some more. I love that my sweet girls like books. I do. But so help me, a day without “Goodnight, Moon” would not be a day without sunshine.


I made the most incredibly perfect sunny side up eggs. The yolks were golden and they required not even a pinch of salt. It has been well over a year since I have purchased an egg in a store.


I get my eggs from a friend. This week I met that friend for lunch. I left with two dozen eggs from Heritage Acres Farm and some knowledge. After lunch we took a quick stroll around downtown and she clued me in to the fact that there is an unbelievable little vintage shop near the post office. Uniquitiques. I am a sucker for vintage aprons and linens. A rack of cute dresses that probably won’t fit a girl like me with a nursing rack. But there was a book case of vintage boots. Vintage. Cowgirl Boots. Oh, hello. A sweet lady said “Oh, you like the boots, follow me.” We followed her through her maze of a shop.

And then my eyes fell out of my head and I dropped to my knees.


Row upon row upon row of boots, y’all. Rooms full of boots.  ROOMS.  They’re not cheap. But they don’t have to be. For the gal that wants an unbelievable pair of boots and wants to shrug and say “these old things?” when someone says “Good gawd, those are Gorgeous!” this is the promised land.


I took Lucy in for her 12 month well visit. Two months late.  She is a-ok.  She is long and lean with a freakishly large noggin.

I took myself in to the doc for my annual reminder that I have allergies.  Some years my seasonal allergies rest in my sinus cavities and give me headaches that feel like dirty, dirty Mad Dog hangovers.  This year I am feeling lucky to have an ear infection. I skipped a swim workout and opted for extra cardio instead.  Lucy skipped a morning nap and we made up for late in the afternoon.  A couple of hours of shut eye and we are feeling pretty super.




I have Easter lights up in my kitchen.  The Easter Bunny will be stuffing plastic eggs with jelly beans and chucking them around the yard this weekend.  No chocolate in the eggs this year, the weather is too outrageous.  It was in the 30s this week but it could be 70 by Sunday.


So, that’s what you missed.  A whole lotta nothing.  I have fallen in to a good routine.  Just in time to hit the road for Spring Break and mess it all up, but that’s how it always works, right?  Get your kids and your house and your head in to a groove and then turn it on its head.

Speaking of heads.  There was a day this week, maybe even two, that I did not hate my hair.  I still long for my sock bun and I am sick and tired of sporting the “I am growing out my bangs, what’s YOUR problem?” face and accompanying barrettes. But just one day that I look in the mirror and think “Ok.  So, that kind of looks like it isn’t a wig or someone else’s head.” Yeah.  That’s not too bad.

How about you?  What’s shakin’? I haven’t seen you in forever.





Words Words Words

By 3 o’clock in the afternoon I have read every single board book we own at least 137 times.  Lucy loves books.  She carries them around the house. If I sit down on the floor for any reason she will seize the opportunity to plop down in my lap with a book.  It will be a cold day in hell when I tell a kid I don’t have time to read a book that is only nine pages long.

For that matter I am not even any good at turning down a chapter book that I can’t stand.  (Word of advice: Stay away from Junie B Jones.  They are horrible books.  Terrible grammar, asinine characters, rotten, rotten books.) But books are books in my house.  We are readers.

Readers tend to be a wordy bunch.  We talk about words at dinner.  We break them down and put them back together.  Em and I spent an entire trip to the store yesterday talking about “the silver lining.”  What does it mean? What is an example? I like to talk about language with her.  She has a funny point of view typically.  She is a smart kid with a rich sense of humor.  We lucked out.

So, last night when she started abruptly chuckling at dinner we paused.  “What? What’s so funny?”

We had been talking about Buddhists.

She made a face.  “Buddhist?  Boooood-ist?” She paused as if that was the punch line.  “Like Artist?  A professional butt person.  A Boood-ist?” and she pointed at her butt.  In case we didn’t get it.

This kid has been shaking her bootie since she as teeny tiny.  She might be a Professional Butt Person.

This kid has been shaking her bootie since she as teeny tiny. She might be a Professional Butt Person.

The Book of Truth?

Emily brings home a book every day.

On Tuesday afternoon I was fit to be tied midway through homework time. I was in a mood.  Stomping.  A little light swearing.  She handed me the book she had chosen from her “Book in a Bag” selection and I grimaced.  “Did you pick this book for me?  It is NOT funny.”20130117-162252.jpg


On Wednesday she selected another book.  We were in a hurry to get homework finished because I had an appointment.  To get my hair cut.



Last night we joked that we should look at the books she had selected for the rest of the week so we could take a look in to the future.

Now it is Thursday.  It has been raining since about 6 o’clock this morning.  She handed me her book as we sat down to read this afternoon.  To my credit I did not say “You have got to be kidding me?  Get away from me with your crazy voodoo future predicting book picking skills?!”

I hope it stops raining soon.  I really do.  While I was typing this just now Lucy dumped the dog’s bowl of water on the floor in the kitchen.  I hope that is flood enough to satisfy the “Book in a Bag” Gods.


New Wave Feminism

I am making peace with the fact that Betty Freidan would be disappointed  in me.  I read an insightful article recently about the growing trend for women to have a picture of their child as their Facebook profile.  What does this mean? Does it signify a “voluntary loss of self” as the article suggests.

I am a capital letter F Feminist.  I hear this battle cry loud and clear.  We are more than our children.  We are.  We are thinkers and dreamers and writers and  people.  I understand all of that.

But I don’t have a furry vest and some Minnetonka moccasins.  If I did my Facebook profile picture would be a picture of me.  And it would look just like this.  Well, maybe all but the model thin legs.


I think the quality of a person’s parenting is in direct proportion to the degree of hypocrisy they embrace. This is more true the more colorful a life you have lived.

I have had a colorful life. I’m a colorful gal. Literally. I have nine tattoos only two of which are smaller than a salad plate.

Today after school Em was plastering temporary tattoos all over herself.

“Emily! Seriously. That is enough. Stop before you look like a crazy person.”

They say imitation is the hugest form of flattery.

If this is true – hypocrites make great parents and imitation is high praise – than my daughter adores me. And I am an incredibly good mother.



Some days are easy. And Time stands still. And the hours last for days and you just roll around on the floor on the last day of summer vacation. You laugh and you laugh.

I am so proud of my big girl. But the days will stand still while she is gone. I am not the only one that will be missing her. Someone else will be waiting by the door, too,

I suspect.


Ups and Downs

It has been a long time since I sat in the driveway thinking “How in the fuck did I manage to do that?” Perhaps you remember the morning I put my car in the ditch.   Maybe you even remember that I couldn’t figure what to do while I waited for AAA because it was so cold outside.  My patient husband suggested I go INSIDE the house.

So, today while I sat in the driveway wondering how in the hell I managed to lock myself and two kids out of the house I kept thinking fuck it, we can just go inside and wait.   Yeah.  No, I can’t.

We cleaned out the car.  We organized my purse, suspiciously devoid of keys.  We took funny pictures.  And we waited for Dad.

Eventually the funny picture taking began to wear thin and I started to sweat.  I do not care so much for sweating unless that is an activity I have planned on.  I love to get sweaty.  Exercise and get sweaty.  Go to the beach and get sweaty.  Get it on and get sweaty.  Sweaty is an integral part of many activities I love.  Sit in the driveway and get sweaty.  It wasn’t doing it for me.

I started to get annoyed.  “Emily, today might be a shitty day.  I might swear a lot today.  A lot, like more than normal.  I need you to just hang tough.”

Eventually we got our keys.  We headed to the museum for the afternoon.  We ate ice cream BEFORE our lunch.  I was trying to rally.  Really, I was.  But I had showered.  I had on cute shoes.  And now I was fucking sweaty.

We ran our errands.  We checked the teacher lists at school.  Em got a haircut and the teacher she wanted. Things were looking up.  But it’s not easy for me to turn a day around.

So when the nice woman with the baby said “How old is she?” I could  feel myself start to sigh inside.  I can be aloof.  I know it is hard to imagine but I can.  “Just shy of seven months.” I thought I was making the “Don’t talk to me, I was fucking sweating today, god dammit!!” face.  But I must have misfired.

“He is, too.  And she is six months and she is eight.”  I have no idea how it happened.  Have you ever walked in to a bar with a royal hangover  in your flannel pants just to get your credit card that you left there the night before and forty minutes later you are smashed and getting hit on and it is the middle of the day?  No?  That was just me?

All of a sudden I was sitting on the floor with one, two, three other mothers and FOUR babies and it was … fun.  And one of them took my phone number!! And we were Facebook friends within twenty minutes of her leaving.  These people had ruined my bad mood.

And I don’t think I ever said anything about “my job.”  The job I don’t really have anymore.   I just said “Yeah, I will have tons of time when Em starts school next week.”  And I didn’t apologize.  Or explain that I am terribly busy Mod Podging my shoes (I am still so in love with my freakin’ shoes!!!!) and making homemade granola bars and becoming Queen of the PTA.  I just said “Yeah, here’s my number.”

And it felt good.

So, today kind of Sucked.  But then it turned Awesome.

Falling on my head like a memory

I think I must be  pre-menstrual. I am a do-er, a mover and a shaker. And I am still in my pajamas. So is Lucy. Emily is only on her fourth outfit. MQD is out of town and I am trying to RELAX. I am not particularly good at relaxing.

We had chocolate milkshakes for breakfast. There will be no exercise in this house today, I don’t think. It is pouring down rain. I am itching to paint our bedroom but I am relaxing, dammit.

A movie. We will watch a movie. A movie will keep the constant “Mom, do you know why…” questions at bay, right? And Lucy will eventually nap if I sit in the rocking chair with my boobs out long enough. And then I will definitely start relaxing…

A League of Their Own. Great movie, great message, not starring a single Disney star…. a perfect afternoon. “Mom, why do they have to wear a dress? Those girls are playing baseball but they don’t have to wear a dress, do they, Mom?”

“No, honey, they don’t have to now. But remember this movie is about the first women’s baseball team, and a long time ago, remember everything wasn’t very fair.”

“Ohhh, so Martin Luther King Jr said girls can wear shorts when they play baseball?”

Not exactly. Every injustice in the world that has been righted was due to MLK in her mind. “Em, if it is still raining after this movie is over maybe we can watch a documentary about Martin Luther King, Jr? There is one on Netflix,” I said.

She smiles and hugs her sister. I start to get a little misty and think about how I am maybe too hard on myself. We are raising these girls up just right.

“Or we can paint my nails?”

Yeah. I almost forgot we were relaxing today. The nice thing about a history lesson is you can always do it tomorrow.  I mean, it’s history.  It will still be there.


My Big Girl

She was in tears. Standing on the steps looking down at me. Lucy was asleep on my lap. Nothing hurts my heart more than when Em needs me and Lucy is asleep in my lap.

“Baby, what’s wrong??”

Big fat years rolled down her face. “I know I said I wanted my room to be pink and green but… But….” She chokes on her tears. “I just don’t think that pink is my personality. I’m just….” A pregnant pause. She is my kid and the pregnant pause can add so much drama… “Not a total girlie girl.”

She sits down next to me and tries to pull it together. “I like blue. It is my favorite color because blue is the color of my eyes and the ocean and I was born at the beach…” and off she went. I let her think she had to really work hard to convince me that we were not going to be painting her room hot pink.

“I think I am a tomboy. And maybe also a girlie girl. I can be both, you know.”

In the end she was thrilled with her room. She spent a long time getting things organized. This morning when I saw this in her jewelry box it made me smile. If you can be a tomboy and a girlie girl surely you can be a hippie chick and a ballerina, right?