14. Not all the things

I didn’t get a chance to exercise today. I guess I thought I’d do it in the evening, but I’m going to bed earlier now, which doesn’t leave room between dinner and bed. I’ve got to get better at the logistics of a fully scheduled life. I need to lose 60-80 pounds, so I can’t afford to have more days where I haven’t found the time/energy.

Veterans Day just passed. I want to tell parents “thank you for your service.” I’ve had barely 15.5 months of parenthood, and I’m worn out. Some days aren’t like this. Some days feel good and not so draining. It’s more the mix of obligations that gets me down, I think. I’m not sure.

11. Shifting Perspective

I’ve missed a few days of blogging in this month that I’ve committed to posting daily, but I’ve already had more posts this month than each of the years since 2019, so this is actually a big win.

Sometimes winning doesn’t look like textbook winning.

I always knew I wanted a family of my own, but I never could imagine it in detail. And perhaps it’s best I didn’t. My life was too chaotic for me to conjure up a realistic image of my future. The “what do you want in 5 years” question always stung for me. Most of my life, I wasn’t even in one geographical location for 5 years, much less doing the same thing or even a successional thing.

Most of my life, I wasn’t partnered in such a way that I could easily see a family life.

So now I’m finally doing the thing I vaguely wanted, and it looks nothing like the family life I’ve known in the past, so it’s unsettling. I guess the familiar part is starting a family where we do not have other blood relatives. Not having a ton of cousins her age to play with on holidays is unfamiliar. Also unfamiliar is having invited my mother-in-law to move in for the first year of N’s life. Also unfamiliar is being a working mother (my mother never worked). Also unfamiliar is having a part time nanny. Pumping my milk rather than breastfeeding. Having a nice home in a nice neighborhood. Some of these unfamiliar things are great!

It’s enough unknown to feel brave, hard, and adventurous, which I suppose is the ultimate an Aries can ask for in a life.

8. Why things don’t get done

My last post was on Day 5 this month, but it’s still stuck in my phone.

“Post failed to upload,” my WordPress app. Namecheap thought they fixed it – the fight between my app and my website. And now I don’t have time/energy to tell them it’s broken again.

I have to stop using that app

Or I’ll never blog again. It breaks all the time.

There’s been another reason blog posts don’t get done since my baby appeared: I like to write on my phone while in bed, but I can’t take my phone to bed anymore because I’ve had to wake up every 3-4 hours to make milk, and if I keep my phone with me I’ll shut off the alarm in my sleep. So the phone goes on a high cabinet on the other side of the room each night, so I have to get out of bed to stop my alarm. And while I’m out of bed, I can stay awake long enough to go pump milk.

This post is about the small things that get in your way: The buggy app, the phone on the other side of the room, a change in your necessary routines.

My husband’s birthday was today. That means I made extra efforts today, and in a life so full, extra efforts push other efforts out. Decorations instead of sleep. Shopping for cake ingredients and gifts instead of work. Baking cake and going out to dinner celebrating instead of working out. But I can blog while I pump milk, and sometimes I can work. Although I should be doing something more relaxing instead. Better for the milk to flow.


4. The local mailmen (an observation!)

Yesterday, I saw the mailman for the neighborhood next to ours while I was out strolling with the baby and exploring. He looked just like our mailman, in that he had a slight build, long hair AND a long beard, and avoided eye contact. I reasoned there must be two types of individuals that choose a career in delivering mail: (1) the stereotypical social, like to see the neighborhood and chat with the neighbors every day (you know, like the joke about the kid’s father actually being the mailman), and (2) the anti-social person who enjoys working in quiet and isolation.

I bought a cute little sticker from a Facebook Marketplace vendor that you can put inside your mailbox to thank your mailperson. I thought it might show our appreciation, even if we have little interaction. It has hearts and a mail truck and the words “Thank you!” One day, I was outside when our mailman approached and I gave a friendly wave just to show that my sticker was genuine. As half-expected, I got a painfully polite half wave that indicated my social connection was unnecessary. Type 2!


3. Lucky

I had a beautiful fall walk with my baby today.

I reminded myself of how lucky we are. How lucky I am, to have found a loving partner, and to have made this beautiful child. These have always felt like monumental aspirations to me, and I remember the relief of that positive pregnancy test, after a long year and a half of COVID and two years of trying.

I learned today that Earth is the only planet with a continually active mantle in our solar system, circulating liquid rock and thus creating a protective electromagnetic field. How lucky is that? I wonder if any other planets were more hospitable than Earth at different times in the past.

I sang row, row, row your boat tonight. Gently down the stream. Life is but a dream. I’m grateful for the constants in my life. The laundry. The dishes. The meals. The transitions from night to day. The little landmarks that allow this strange dream of a life to seem more real, more ordinary. I wonder if other people ponder the mystery and wonder of existence as much as I do. I don’t think people do, and I don’t think it’s very healthy either. The scale of our small existence relative to the known and unknown universe boggles the mind, and threatens the ordinary.

I attended some college courses with a genius 8 year old. She was dissuaded from studying astrophysics and was literally told (quite sexist-ly) by a department head, that it was bad for women’s health. Suicide rates do tend to be high in such fields, gender aside.

But rowing my boat gently and merrily tomorrow feels like a beautiful intention for a day. And when days feel intentional, the mystery is easier to live with.


2. #NaNoPoblano

I’m a descendant of preachers, missionaries, rock climbers, bar owners, and mail ladies/men. I’m a descendant of soldiers, pioneers, lawyers, realtors, boarding-house runners, sheriffs, engineers, and birthers. There’s some intensity in our blood. I say that to say I see that energy manifest in my family in interesting ways. I don’t have time to elaborate tonight.

A lot of people are playing the lottery this week. I’m told the jackpot is over $1.6billion. One person may win that. I also saw a LinkedIn post today reminding us that if we have a roof over our head etc we are richer than 75% of humans. It’s easy to get myopic in America.

1. First post – #NaNoPoblano

Mood: After 10 years of weight gain, Halloween is every time I see a photo of myself.

I wondered this week at the grocery store, if I had married someone who enjoyed diversity in food, would I be cooking a Thai pumpkin curry this week instead of something more ordinary? Would my menus and body and life be completely different? No doubt. But I needed someone who could ground my chaos.

I peel the flanges off my breasts, 7 and half months of pumping milk for my baby in the middle of the night. I have mini nightmares right before my night alarms (my alarms go off every 4 hours). My body goes into semi-wakefulness and my mind overanalyzes the last segment of my last dream, on repeat. Sometimes I know this means I am about to be woken up.

I get such joy from re-reading my old blog posts. So my goal is to post every day this month to get back into the habit. I’ve experienced so much this year, and I’d like to remember some of it.


With the quick snapping back of a wobbly neck

My foundation cracks, tears flow

I can’t keep you safe in their arms

And has your spine curved your neck too much today anyway?

Did I not do enough to stop it?

You didn’t eat much this morning

And we meet with the feeding team on Wednesday

They don’t see what we see

A happy healthy baby

They say you’re not on the right curve

So many curves you have thrown us already

Young Tiger

My legs are exhausted from all the tension

Grounding myself firmly so that you have a steady nap

Or so I can rock away your uneasiness


I never quite anticipated the exhaustion

Even though I have an amazing support system…

I have to lean against the stairwell wall to descend safely, each six times per day that I go down to prepare bottles from my pumped milk

My thighs unsteady, my Achilles aching.

“You just had major surgery,” I can still hear the nurse chastising, when I refused pain meds on Day 3.

The majorness now sinks deep into my low back, which sears hot whenever I tilt my pelvis the wrong way

The majorness keeps me from returning to an exercise regimen, my mildly split abdomen struggling to hold me tight

My breathing, once full, is now shallow and full of worry, causing my digestion to slow and body to tense and vent

Tender pink lines crawl all across my pouching lower belly, a forever story of our expansion

Isn’t it great that the body forgets all of this? Someone said to me recently. I won’t forget.