**alert for people who want Unicorns and Rainbows post with pictures of cute children: this post is not it. Come back tomorrow.**

Back in August when we went to get fingerprinted for our USCIS 1600 A application, we had to fill out a short worksheet of identifying information.

Previous Names:
Birth date: Location of Birth:
Mother's Name: Father's Name:
SSN: Drivers License No.:

Hair Color:
Eye Color:

Now, in the race section it had the following options and you could check the box next to each category

Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native

For some reason this bothered me on a few levels.

Why did they group Asian people with Pacific Islanders? Why do they have the same box? Tongans are somehow more similar to Koreans than a European person?

Why does Alaskan Native get a mention when ALL WHITE PEOPLE and ALL BLACK PEOPLE are grouped together? It seems an awfully small group of people to represent. (I understand they are in an indiginous and special to North America. I am sure they are lovely people who have well deserved political clout somewhere along the line).

People from Haiti, Jamaica, Africa, Bahamas are different in culture and social heritage, but they happened to have various shades of brown skin so we group them all together.


What if someone is from India? Or from Russia but near Mongolia so he looks a little more Asian but considers himself European. What if my amazing hair guru Ahmed were filling this out? He's from Morocco. He isn't what I would consider "black" he looks more middle eastern and yet he's from Africa. What does he check? Not "Unknown," he knows who he is, they just don't have a box for it.

What if someone is biracial? If someone is 50% black and 50% white, do they betray their black heritage by checking the "white" box? Or do you have to ignore the white half because even a little bit of black makes you black?

I felt really annoyed at the words that in our society carry so much weight and determine so much about where we fit in, "White" and "Black" because they don't mean anything. THey are a social construct. I am not technically white. I have peachy/taupe/bespeckled skin. Some of my future children will have skin that is brown. Why oh why did words that describe colors become a way to group people?

And if we want to get identifying info on to that little piece of paper, how about saying "what color is your skin?" They already asked hair and eye color, I understand wanting to have in writing what we look like.

I don't like all that checking a box about race leaves out about a person. And all that it defines for others.

And just because I am a future adoptive mother to children of color doesn't give me any special insight.
Oh no. I know I am born into a priviledge in this society that I can't escape or ignore.

Going to Brandeis University did not make me Jewish, even though I feel connected to some of Jewish culture in a way I didn't before. Adopting black children does not mean I understand what it means to be a different race in this country or this world.

Adopting black children does mean I think about it a lot more than I did growing up.

In a pouty, not changing anything about the world way, I just wanted to say that maybe they should have an essay portion or a fill in the blank portion. I dunno. I just didn't like those boxes.



Hubs whisked me away for a week night on the town to the BSO and Joshua Bell.

For those of you know know him, this is your chance to swoon. Go ahead.

If you don't know of Joshua, you should. He and I are the same age and basically the only difference between us is that he is a world class violinist, while I am wanna-be violinist. He also plays a $1.5 million Stradavarius. And he has great hair. But besides those things, I just know we are soul mates.

When he (we) was 17 years old I went to his performance of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with the LA Philharmonic and I was toast. He was gorgeous and talented he has only gotten better with time.

Wanna hear him for a few minutes?

Thanks hubs for a date, for sharing my crush on this guy.



Two people who are really grateful for each other on Thanksgiving morning.




the table

the pie


from the photo shoot I did after the turkey went into the oven. 5th time is the charm, right M family?


the bird

Final preparations Forty minutes later than I had hoped. I am hideous and frazzled, but it all came together...

heard around the table before dinner:

"I am grateful for Grandma's dog who helped find me in the woods when I was lost as a baby and no one could find me."

"I am grateful that everyone in our family has been able to keep their jobs in this recession, and that we are so blessed to have each other."

"I am grateful for my family."

"I am grateful for Mommy."

"I am grateful for a job I love, and a husband and daughters who make me laugh."

"I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be alive. I have good health, I can breathe, I can move, I can live."

"I am grateful for my wife and the nudges she gives me to be better."

"I am grateful for my wife and all she does to keep our family grounded. She is our rock."

"I am grateful for clean water, for shoes, for access to medical care, that I never have to worry I don't have enough to feed and care for my children."

"I am grateful for compassion. When I feel it towards humans or animals. When others have compassion on me. And when I see it given from some person to another, even when I am not apart of the equation. Because I still feel like a recipient of that compassion because we are all connected."

the family relaxing afterwards (watching UP)

18 hours later my hands smell like shallots, the house still has a warm oven-on-all-day feel, and i am content.



In between rolling out pie crusts and casserole assemblage, today I read Katie's post over at Amazima blog. She's 20 years old. She moved to Uganda to care for orphans.
She has adopted 14 and daily cares for hundreds more.
She doesn't know what she's doing half the time.
She's performed medical procedures (that she learned how to do by googling it) without anesthetic on brave children because there was no one else.

She tells people who contribute to her cause of feeding, clothing and healing these children in Uganda that she will send an email thank you because the 44 cents for a stamp will feed a child 3 meals.

Her father visited her last year and saw the horrible conditions she's living in with her kids and said "that's it, we are getting you guys a toilet seat." She broke down in tears and said "no, we need that money for medical supplies and food for all the kids."

Today as I prepare a feast of what would be epic proportions for most of the people on this planet, I am a bit sickened, hugely humbled and unspeakably grateful. I wish I could send all of the food I am making to Katie to disperse among the hungry right now.

I can't ship the contents of my fridge, but I can and just did send a little -- and I mean little-- money to her and her people. To buy more food. 100% of it goes to caring for the poorest of the poor. Please, read this blog, and if you feel moved to show thanks with some giving... well, it certainly helped me feel just a tiny bit better today.
More importantly, it helped some others a lot more.



Does anyone else go to the pediatrician with more make-up on and in better clothes than anywhere else just to preempt the staff from judging you?

This is how I feel as a youngish mother of two young children expecting two more. I can't show tired eyes, dirty clothes, unwashed hair, unfashionable shoes and God forbid a toothpaste crusty on my kids' lips. I now understand why my mother wouldn't let us out of the house with bed head or unmatched socks. The eyes of the world were upon that 21 year old woman with 3 kids 3 and under.

Our doctor is great and I actually highly recommend her, but today I still felt judging eyes on me and I walked out of there embarrassed.

Apparently at his 12 month well baby appointment Cookie did not receive his immunizations due to an weird rash and illness at the time. I was supposed to return a few weeks later and never did. This all sounds familiar but honestly, it slipped my mind.

I also apparently did not bring him in for is 15 month well baby check up. I did not know he needed one. I didn't get what I consider an obligatory reminder card telling when they want to see my kid. For me, the the doctor falls somewhere near "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." So, it's just not on my radar.

So we start off with me totally neglecting his health.

Then Samantha- my angel muffin easy kid- starts being a completely obnoxious, whiney, meany to Cookie and is throwing her shoes and toys across the room. I am trying to talk her through good behavior under the eyes of the doc. No easy task.

Then we talk about how animal sounds do not count as words. So Cookie's vocab is weak. I know this. It makes me nervous. Mama, ball, a messed up version of choo choo, no no, more is about it. I am all about getting him evaluated for early intervention. If they can help me get him to talk instead of yell I will let them live in my house and fan them with palm fronds.
But somehow his refusal to talk felt like a failure.

Then it came time to talk about the flu vaccine. I don't want it. There are so many bad reactions out there to it, some of which are that people still get it, or other kinds of flus. To me it's like, if you get flu, you drink pedialite and watch Sesame Street 900 times.

It's just how I feel. Measles, polio, bring it on. Flu, not so much. Me and Doc had a face off about it and I said I'd think about it but I was lying. (Also, remember during the face off the kids are fighting and causing a ruckus) I felt the only way to get her to stop talking about it was to say I will take the literature she has and get back to her.

Then it comes out Cookie is still nursing and to be honest, I felt like I was being looked at like I used to look at some friends who's husbands attended Chiropractic school in Dallas. Suddenly I was the crazy natural hippe girl who doesn't believe in modern medicine and buys my kids organic fruit snacks as if they are somehow healthier than non-organic fruit snacks.

I do believe in medicine. I would be dead a few times over without it. I love hospitals and doctors and appreciate their experiences and training. I feel very safe with them. But I am not a push over. I am not uneducated in my own right. And dangit, the ill-behaved breastfed children were making me look really bad at the moment.

Then we had a weird conversation of when to transition him to a toddler bed. This is where I think it is none of her business, though I am glad she cares about how her families think about all aspects of their childrens' development.

She asked if I am going to take him out of his crib in the next few weeks. I thought she was kidding at first. I wanted to say "h-e-l-l no" but I was able to contain myself and just said "no." As far as I am concerned, he can stay in there until he's 18 if he doesn't climb out and sleeps through the night. Why on earth would I disrupt my sanity and his precious sleep before he's potty training or even attempting climbing?

I wouldn't. But somehow she seemed to think I was in the wrong, or somehow holding him back developmentally by not introducing new sleeping arrangements.

THEN comes the fun part, if anyone is still reading. Then the adoption comes up. I have two squirming, bickering little ones, I have forgotten their medical appointments, look like I am avoiding health care, refusing immunizations, not hitting developmental markers, and I am trying to bring in two more infants.

My carefully planned shower and mascara couldn't save me. I looked and felt like an idiot and a failure.

On the upside, Samantha calmed down to earn some suckers and stickers, and Cookie was a rock star during his MMR vaccination and Hep B, and I luckily don't really care what she thought about us today. My kids are smart as whips, healthy, loving, secure, and thrive in chaos. They are always happiest with lots of kids and friends around. The two more coming are going to have all the fun and love they can handle.

No, I don't know exactly what it will be like to have that many little people in the house needing me. I think I am in for a good whoopin'. But if they go 2, 3 or 6 months without the proper vaccine, the odds are they will live. I will get there. We will all get there.



No, not this lazy sunday, but we had our own suh-weet version.

I was faced with one of my faults as a mother today. It was cold. we didn't have anywhere to go.
Samantha asked me if she could paint.


Mean Mommy Confession: I hate letting them paint. It's messy.

I hate that I care about that. I don't love that I don't let my kids get messy very often.

I agreed that we should definitely paint and I did a calm-blue-ocean-thingy on myself and said that no matter what happened, what was spilled, what ended up with paint on it be it walls, hair, table, clothes, etc, it doesn't matter and i wouldn't say a word to the kids.








And just before we started to clean up, and I though I'd gotten off scott free this happened:


And I didn't freak out. I just admired, encouraged, smiled and wiped up.

Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?



"mom, if you give me a kiss, i will kiss you back and that will mean we love each other."





MC Mr Napkins, aka, comedy rapper, aka, good friend from college brought the band back together so to speak, for a little ditty on his ongoing album project.

That's right, it's no secret I was in a college a Capella group. Kinda like Andy from the office. It's embarrassing, but it was deliciously fun.

A few of us got together for a little birthday, a little hard work recording some stuff, and then around 10pm things started getting silly.











And considering we hadn't sung as a group since 2001, we weren't terrible. Thanks guys, what a fabulous time! Does anyone else think I look like a small child in this last shot?


tears in the morning

This caught me by surprise and I wanted to share this morning.

I promise, I will write again about the kids. Soon. But remember, I have a goal of doing a post a day in Novemeber so here's a little treat



I am out of my mind excited to host Thanksgiving this year. My first one as a Real Life Grown Up!

As I mentioned to a bloggy friend, I have felt a spiritual connection to Martha lately in my mental preparations. Before you gag yourself with a flat whisk and a pair of craft scissors let me explain.

I come from a line of "what-on-earth?" in the kitchen. I didn't know until I was on my own and experimenting in the kitchen that before you make cookies one should let the eggs and butter come to room temperature, AND instead of dumping two sticks of hardened butter into a mixer, or heaven forbid, stirring the batter by hand, one can dice the butter into little cubes for better and faster incorporation. (GASP!)

I didn't know these things, because my mother didn't know these things. I am officially going to say to my female progenitors going back a few generations (just to fairly spread the blame) what the heck?!

I've had a lot of ground to cover. I started way back amid the frozen burritos, powder mashed potatoes, fish sticks, tots and pop tarts.

When it came time to feed another human in my life, I didn't start off just trying things out. No no, I knew I needed serious help. And if any of ye lack wisdom in the kitchen, watch food network with a pen and pad of paper. I've come to consider cooking shows secondary education.

When I was first married I started watching Rachel Ray. Then I moved onto Ina Garten, Nigella Lawson, and I only needed a nudge from my dearest friend Kathleen towards "Marty" and my love affair just seemed all part of the natural progression.

I met Martha Stewart once, at a book signing in Boston. She is every bit as confident, gracious, and graceful with a slice of sternness in person as she is on television. I tried not to drool all over myself as she smiled at me and signed her book. She even held Samantha's hand and told me she was cute. It doesn't matter that that is just what people say, it made my week.

I am slowly working my way into culinary competence with her

Tips, tricks, and recipe after recipe, and I can't wait to take on the most formal dinner of the year: The Thanksgiving Feast.

Recently my food processor (R.I.P.) passed away and today I replaced her with a bigger, faster, stronger, pricier version. I just opened the box and do you know what was on top?

A 45 minute DVD. Um, how many appliances do you have that come with an instructional movie?

What's really sick is that I called Samantha in and said "you're gonna wanna watch this with me" and she did. My 3-year-old and I sat side by side mesmerized by the capabilities of our new toy.

Have you ever felt an intense emotional need to slice, grate or chop?
No? Then you clearly don't have the right food processor. I didn't until this afternoon. This thing is cray-zee.

And just in case anyone is still reading this utterly ridiculous post, here are just some things on the menu for our big day.

These Brussel Sprouts
This Turkey (I will let you know how the brining process goes)
These Sweet Potatoes
Maybe this Stuffing
This Pie

I am getting hungry just thinking about this.
And would you believe it, as I sit here typing the unmistakable aroma of burnt cookies is wafting up from the kitchen. I no longer know how long they've been baking.

I clearly am not channeling Martha today. But enough about me, what are you having for Thanksgiving?



(It's a darn good thing many of my hopes and dreams include making dinner. Because, seriously, right?)



The first time I met Hubs was at church, in a Sunday school class. I was late and when I stuck my head in the door, all the seats but one were taken. There he was, next to that open seat. Of course, I knew who he was. It was almost embarrassing that we were being thrown together like this.

Rewind two years. I was attending a church congregation in Weston, MA as a college student. I met loads of wonderful youngish families just starting business school, careers and families. I wanted to be them, all beautiful and happy. I did the next best thing by babysitting for them and learning from them.

One of the few families in the congregation that wasn't between the ages of 25 and 30 was my Hub's family. Marianne (mother of five and not-yet-grandmother) and I were thrown together for some musical numbers as she was a pianist and I was a singer and violinist. We had great fun together and I enjoyed our friendship. She mentioned a few times her son, and she might as well have been talking to a brick wall. Everyone has a son, right?

Little did I know that two times during the first few years I knew her she was struck with the thought "she's going to marry Hubs, who is not yet Hubs." I still find this hard to believe, but she swears it is the gospel truth.

We didn't cross paths, as he was attending college out of state and then went to do missionary work in Siberia for two years.

His first holiday back home from Russia was Thanksgiving of 2001, and before church started Marianne grabbed my arm and said out of breath without any formal hello-how-are-you, "You don't have a boyfriend do you?" I told her no, I didn't, and she smiled and said "My son is here today."

My heart started pounding. His parents had been talking him up for a few years now. They even had even pressured suggested I write him while on his mission a few times. 

The funny thing was, the best sell I'd ever had on Future Hubs didn't come from his parents, it was from another kid at church who'd known him growing up. He spoke about him with such respect and admiration, (as much for his mad skillz in basketball, football and baseball as his harder to measure personality traits, but still). I was intrigued.

So now I am at church, Marianne has told me he is somewhere in the congregation and lo-and-behold I am singing today. I knew he was going to see me and the butterflies were flapping away! Could this get any more like a bad movie?  Yes it can. After the main meeting, I wandered into Sunday School a few moments after they started and see the single beckoning empty chair next to this legend himself. I couldn't help but smile. I don't remember our first eye contact or first words, if I said hi or not as I slid into the chair next to him. I've forgotten the moment to some extent.

Luckily, Brady and Kristen were the young-adult group teachers and had brought bribery and ice breakers in the form of candy. As it became apparent there was not enough to go around Future Hubs, who clearly knew who I was as well due to some prep work from my future mother in law, turned to me and asked if I wanted to share the last Kit Kat. I was happy to do so, and then, he did the weirdest thing I've ever seen: He broke it the wrong way.

Kit Kats have a nice little line right? And he broke it the opposite way. In my head I thought "What kind of sociopath breaks a Kit Kat against the grain?"

I still don't have a straight story on why he did that. What I do know is that that night Marianne kept her strategy on course, invited me over for dinner, Future Hubs and I stayed up all night talking, went out again the next night. On our first date we held hands (I am so embarrassed even thinking about this) and the only first-date-kiss of my life happened.

As I was recalling all of this last night I asked Hubs
"Did we really hold hands on our first date?"
"I am so sorry. Was it your fault or mine?"
"I think it was mine."
"Did you think I was some kind of hussy for letting you?"
"I hoped you were."

The rest is history. Looking back, we were smitten pretty quickly. I have a sick feeling that if he'd asked me to marry him the week we met I might have done something crazy and said "yes." I am glad he didn't so our story is far less obnoxious. 

I am also glad his parents pushed us together.

And now this is our life. On his worst day and mine there isn't another human I'd want to be with.




You've been there, Moms of the Internet.

It's 11pm.

You've done your post-kids-going-to-bed zone-out watching something empty and entertaining say, oh, like Grey's Anatomy or Glee or my new favorite indulgence Lie to Me.

Party's over though. The dishes aren't going to do themselves and now that you've decompressed you have to get some work done.

So, you putter around enjoying the silence and suppressing yelps of pain when you step on a razor sharp Duplo block.

Then, with your bed beckoning, on your final task of putting some clothes away in the baby's room, it happens. The closet door makes a squeaky sound that causes Baby to sit up in the crib and whimper.

BAM! You drop the clothes and silently hit the floor like an experienced Navy SEAL.

You feel a bit childish, scarcely breathing, hoping the Baby didn't see you or hear you. If he is alerted to your presence, it could ruin everything.

Please, Baby, don't pull yourself up to a standing position in that crib and look down upon your mother lying here on the floor. Please, Baby.

It is dark. It is quiet.

The fan hums. 
Can you get up? Is it safe? Has he gone back to sleep?
When you're sure, you pick the scattered onesies and jammies, put them in the drawer.

Peek over the edge of the crib and sigh.


Would it have been so bad if he'd woken up and needed to rock for a few minutes?



Our Netflix list has been an interesting one this year, and looking back we haven't had one we wouldn't recommend so I thought I'd share what's been coming in the little red envelopes to this house.

These aren't so much entertaining, as much as they are enlightening and nail biting, tear wiping, humbling watching. Please, go to your library or your Netflix queue now.

The Devil Came on Horseback - a haunting documentary about the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region in Sudan.

A Walk to Beautiful - the story of doctors in Ethiopia who built a hospital to cure women of fistula
God Grew Tired of Us - documentary about some of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

The Power of One - not a documentary, but about the beginnings of Apartheid in South Africa

Cry Freedom - another non-documentary about trying to end Apartheid in South Africa.

Emmanuel's Gift - documentary about a disabled orphan in Ghana who inspires his nation and caught the attention of Oprah

Martian Child - domestic adoption + John Cusak = wonderful film

Awakenings - based on a true story, Dr. Malcolm Sayer attempts to treat a group of patients who've laid comatose in a Bronx hospital for 30 years.

My Left Foot - based on true memoir of man born with Cerebral Palsy who learns to communicate. Brilliant movie. Lots of tears. (For you Mormons out there who look closely at movie ratings, yeah, it's rated R. If you can stomach 2 naughty f words it is otherwise squeaky clean and inspring and wonderful)

Traitor - this movie is NOT what you think it's about.

Still in our queue:

Live and Become - Sudanese boy living in Ethiopia becomes adopted into a Jewish family.

The Last Days - documentary about 5 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust.

War Dance - documentary set in Norther Uganda, where children are kidnapped into armies to be soliders, 3 kids find hope through music

Pray the Devil Back to Hell - documentary about thousands of Liberian women who help end the bloody civil war in 2003 that killed over 200,000 people

The Story of the Weeping Camel - documentary follows a Mongolian camel that's rejected her newborn white colt. Two young shepherd boys travel across the Gobi desert to find a healing musician

What's in your queue?



I am having a fight with Photobucket. It claims I have exceeded my bandwidth and refuses to show any of the pictures I have hosted there. I just went and deleted a ton but no dice. It's holding firm in the hopes that I suck it up and start paying for a "pro account." It is $24 a year, and that bugs me. I think they just arbitrarily find users that upload a lot and make things inconvenient enough to force their hand.

I am holding out and going to try and fix this. They say my allowance "resets" on the 15th, so until then, there are not many pictures on my blog. Sorry.

To salvage this post from being completely lame I just had a great conversation with Samantha while she was in the bathroom this morning.

S: (with quiver in her voice) Why did Dad have to get in the shower??
Me: Well, he wants to be clean for work.
S: I didn't mind his spikies. But now he's gonna shave them!
Me: Oh, I see. I don't mind his spikey face either. I like it when he doesn't shave too.
S: Yeah, he puts his spikeys on my cheek and it doesn't feel too bad.
Me: Yeah, it feels pretty nice.
S: I know, instead of work today we could all go to a Red Sox game! We could have fun, shout 'Let's Go RedSox!' (clap clap clapclapclap) and maybe we will even see Willy the Green Monster.
Me: It's Wally the Green Monster. That sure would be great. But baseball season is over. We can't go until spring. But we had fun at the Celtics game last night, right?
J: Yeah, I really loved those dancers.

Stop here. We had ridiculous tickets to the Celtics the other night, like, five rows back from the floor. They routed the Jazz and our kids LOVED it. We agreed that they are spoiled senseless and think that it's completely normal to always go to sports games and have very close seats (since whenever we go it's with tickets we get from work).

When we contemplated bringing them to the game it wasn't so much that they were going to have their schedule completely decimated that gave me pause about bringing them. No, no.

It was the possibility of Samantha seeing the Celtics Girls, aka, borderline exotic dancers in sneakers.

And yep, they were sexy, she was TOTALLY into it, and apparently they were the highlight of her game experience.


And on another note, it's good to know another girl in this house wishes Hubs would walk around scruffy, unshaven, and rugged and hot. (Though that's probably not how Samantha thinks about it.)

Ooh mama, I love me some facial hair.



Have I mentioned I am uphip?

Let's just be honest peeps: It's late 2009, and last week I made my virgin voyage into the land of "sending a text."

The lucky recipient of this first text message?

I have NO idea.

I sent it to the wrong number.

But dangit, I was desperate to attempt this means of communication with a babysitter and I thought she might check that sooner than a voicemail.

I started the process of finding out how on my phone to send a text message. I was sweating as I tried to navigate the menu.

I wasn't sure what punctuation you can leave out and still make sense. I know one is not supposed to really punctuate these things, right?

I didn't know how long it was supposed to be.

I needed it to be long enough to express

"I need you to babysit Jane and Mark, my children ages 3 and 18 mos this afternoon for about 3 hours, maybe less, I can pick you up. Do you remember who I am? We used to be neighbors? Please call me, as I have no idea how to do this stuff and I sure as crap ain't gonna open a text message from you, since I have no idea how much this costs to send or receive these little nuggets of information. I could be blowing your babysitting money on this text right now. Please call me."

But not so long that it showed my incompetence in texting.

I can just see our babysitter (and the dude who got my text instead of her) rolling their youthful, cool eyes and saying "Oh my gosh, this foggey has no idea what ROLDFYR means. And she tried putting a comma in her text. Amateur."

I don't know the little acronyms. I don't know what they mean. Only a few months ago I found out what ROFL means. At least, I think I know what it means. (help me.)

Anyway, despite my limited exposure to technology and all that is normal in the world, I DO know what LOL means.

And there are a few things that made me laugh outloud recently. Thought I'd pass the you on to people who actually know about this writing thing.

Please, enjoy.





**If you are my brother or my father, or father-in-law or any male or any female for that matter who doesn't want to read about female things like bras and stretch marks, now would be a good time to stop reading. **

Ha! The word "bra" will probably make it so my parents can't read it anyway because they have a really powerful content filter on their internet. I should use this chance to start swearing.

Today I'd had it. I have been wearing some stretched out, too big, sports-bra like nursing bras for a year and a half. (Which are great when you first have a baby. I highly recommend Bravado nursing bras.)

But with the wear and tear they are so bad and I am so (search, S, search for delicate, polite word) ooh, how about deflated? Yes, I am a tad deflated in the chestal area and the bras were so gross and loose that it's not working for me.

Let's face is sisters: 19 months of nursing takes it's sad, sad toll. A please-don't-go-braless kind of toll.

I needed help.

I gingerly entered the Nordstrom lingerie section and gulped. I didn't want to pay $50 for a bra. But I would if I had to, dangit. The nice girl measured me and brought in samples. And here I was. Standing in the too-well-lit dressing room faced with the reality of a post pregnant and still nursing body.

Pro: I can see my collar bones and my biceps aren't so bad from lifting a toddler everywhere all the time.

Con: I think I have about fifty more moles (I hate that word) than I did three years ago. Where do these suckers come from? Why can't they find another body to posses?

Pro: I don't think the Halloween candy has affected the size of my butt this year.

Con: Post-nursing chest is not cute. In fact, small is great. It makes it easier to exercise and fit into small dresses. I don't need "big." But, well....

Pro: There is nothing stuck in my teeth from the granola bar I ate on the way to the mall.

Con: I have so much extra skin I should name it.

Pro: Underneath the extra skin I have a 4-pack of tummy muscles trying to show through and knit themselves back together.

Con: It's hard to notice the 4-pack through the haze of stretch marks.

I stood, there trying on bras, contemplating my scars and skin and irritated that no matter how hard I work, how much I take care of myself, the havoc babies wrecked on my body is irreversible except with major surgery (which I won't get into right now.)

Some woman are proud of their baby-battered-bodies. I once heard someone talk about her stretch marks like a rite of passage, a battle wound she proudly wore for her children. What a great perspective huh? I totally don't have it.

I thought about someone else with scars earned for another human. I know it seems completely bizarre to start thinking about Jesus inside a dressing room trying on bras. But there is something so humbling about looking at one's naked body, that it made me pause.

Just like I used my body to do something for two persons who could not do it for themselves (namely, get to earth) He sacrificed his perfect body to do something for me that I could not do for myself. I can't become who I need to be without his sacrifice. And his was much more painful than mine. And he is not ashamed of his scars.

I don't want to resent the body I have. It did something truly miraculous.

All motherhood is miraculous, and I find power in the sacrifices we go through. At different times we may give up sleep, food, showers, intimacy, our space, our brain cells, money, privacy, opportunities for career growth, conveniences.

I wouldn't have it any other way. But sometimes I want to have my cake and eat it too.

Fast forward 25 minutes and too much money later. I have two bras that lift, contain and above all FIT, and a resolve to stop giving a crap about the things I can't change.

I won't say I am proud of my scars and excess skin, who will hereafter be called "Vanessa," but on the other hand, I wouldn't change a thing.


This onesie cracks me up. Buy it here



Going strong with NaBloPoMo. Today's post is a bit of a PSA.

So,go now, watch this, it made my day. CBS Evening News with Katie Couric

Go, I'll wait.

You're back?

Now, go here.

Thanks MK for introducing me to TOMS, which a) are the most comfortable shoes I own and b) help people all over the world.



Way back in October we had a "warm up" for trick-or-treating at Daddy's work the day before Halloween. Walking through the Pru with the kids in costume was like Moses parting the Red Sea. People oohed and aahed at the extreme cuteness the kids exuded.

This is where I will unveil Cookie's costume (and my one "crafy venture" of 2009): a knight in shining armor. We sewed that shimmering mesh stuff onto a black turtleneck. The tunic was easy to cut out and hem, I cut out a few fleur de lis from felt and used fabric paint to give them a nice finish. Black pj pants and a golden rope makes for a perfect homemade knight costume! Scroll down to see it from the back. If you are one of those people who likes costume ideas.

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every princess needs a prince

The next day the Halloween Gods smiled upon Boston and it was unseasonably warm, and there just enough wind to lend a spookiness as leaves swirled around the little princess and her knight as they embarked on the quest to obtain CANDY!



her first house

wait, maybe I'm too nervous

oh, you mean he's going to put candy in this bucket, right here? Ok...

We hit the jack pot, trick-or-treating with not one, but TWO Grandmas...

Cookie Monster only hit up one house. All he wanted was to eat his lollis in peace. Photobucket

I saw this bench on the way to Grandma's house. Don't mind if we do.


Photobucket the wicked witch loves sticky, drooling boys

Happy Halloween! I am already formulating next year's costumes!