Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Tomorrow is the last day of February Photo A Day on Instagram, and though this is the first time I've participated in the monthly challenge, it has absolutely turned me into an Instagram addict. Why am I glued to my phone? Am I checking email? texting? facebooking? tweeting? No, I'm on Instagram, salivating over photos of exotic cityscapes, amazing sunsets from all over the world, and, um, babies. So. Many. Cute. Babies.

Um, anyway. I had a great time participating, and although I only post photos there that I've taken on my iPhone 4, (and I'm a very very amateur photographer) I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you here. I used the challenge list posted by fat mum slim, and if you aren't on Instagram you can follow my feed here at Followgram. Hey! See how that works?

day 1 - your view today

day 3 - hands

day 4 - a stranger

day 5 - 10am

day 6 - dinner

day 8 - sun

day 13 - blue

day 14 - heart

day 18 - drink

day 26 - night

Well, what do you think? Should I do the March Photo A Day?

Monday, February 27, 2012

cabin fever

I don't know how well you think you know me, but if you know me at all you should know that I like pretty things. I like pretty things, I like a neat house, and as much as I don't mind sharing my personal thoughts and feelings with the world, I'm about as self-conscious as they come in regard to being seen in public, or having my picture taken.

But this last week has been the icing on the ridiculous, sour cake that the past two months have been regarding our health around here, and it isn't pretty. Last Wednesday, the day after we said goodbye to Grammie and began to settle back into our routine, the girls both began to exhibit mild cold symptoms. A bummer, but no big deal. I felt it a little bit, too, but I popped a Zyrtec and some Advil and did okay. The girls, I thought, would be better by Thursday.

On Thursday, they woke up with fevers. Nothing major. 99'-100' range. Double bummer. They stayed home from preschool. Surely they'd be better by the end of the day.

By the end of the day their fevers were at 101' and over.

On Friday they were both coughing terribly, and their fevers jumped up to 103'+ several times during the day. No preschool. They lazed around the house looking pale, tired, with those sad glassy eyes, obviously feeling miserable. Books, coloring, stickers, and television were only mildly entertaining. We had to cancel Lena's callback audition for a pretty major national commercial. The girls felt so bad that they couldn't sleep well, and they would cry in frustration. Bummer bummer bummer.

I kept thinking they HAD to be better soon, and they just weren't. Those fevers wouldn't go away, and stuck around for Saturday, too. They just had colds, but it was a stupid variety of cold that would. not. go. away. And we couldn't do anything to help. Both girls have been so healthy their whole lives that I'm really not used to watching them suffer for so long, and I couldn't sleep well while they were sick and their fevers kept spiking. So I spent most of this time trying to tend to them and also trying not to let them see that I was so ridiculously upset over how sick they were that I kept having to retreat into the kitchen to cry helplessly.

Yes, they only had colds. I KNOW.

(In other news, my husband is amazing. I've said it before, but it bears repeating.)

Anyway. I'm turning this into an 80's miniseries. The point is, they are only just feeling better as of yesterday, although they're still pretty tired from it all, and still coughing, but they're fairly healthy today at last. And today it's cold and rainy outside. Of course.

So we've been more or less cooped up in our 710 square foot home since last Wednesday. That's six days in which the girls in particular have barely left the house. They've watched, read, colored, stickered, and trashed everything in sight. Six times over. Minimum.

We're losing our minds, here.

So, this is what my life looks like today:

Like I said - not pretty.

Lena is mad at me in these photos because I had just previously made her lie down in bed for ten minutes. Because she needs a nap SO BADLY. Because she is so fragile that she was in tears over her lunch (princess chicken noodle soup) (PRINCESS) (which she requested) because I wouldn't count every time she took a bite. Why wouldn't I? Why am I so mean to my baby? Because she WOULDN'T TAKE A BITE. Explaining the logic - that Mama can't count how many bites you've had if you won't actually take a bite - just made her cry harder. And when I finally got her to eat a whole eight noodles (only the noodles are edible, obviously), she cried because....because I don't know why. She just cried and cried, she was so mad. So I put her in our bed and cuddled with her and tried to rub her back, and she cried - she was SO mad at me. "Just ten minutes, honey." "Buh-uh-uht I oh-oh-oh-nly wahnt fo-ho-ho-ur minuhuhuhutes!" "Alright, four minutes." "BUHT I WAH-AHNT FOUR MINUHUHUTES!!"

Which woke up the baby.

This is my life, in all its glory. Three p.m., we're all still in our jammas, worn out, bored, and wildly emotional.

Just a minute ago, Evie bit Lena because she wanted Lena's shoes. Yes, I just admitted that my baby bit someone. No, this isn't her normal behaviour.

(But oh, the teen years are going to be SO MUCH FUN!)

The house is trashed. The TV is on. Don't even ask me about the kitchen.

Just seventeen more hours until they go back to preschool.

(And just eighteen hours until I'll miss them.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The worst part about taking an unexpected three week break from blogging, I believe, is knowing how to begin again. I think I've said it before, here, that when I'm not writing in this little space I am thinking about writing here. And after three weeks of thinking about writing, a hundred different thoughts wanting to work themselves out when I've been so busy I haven't had time to process anything above managing our family's schedule, now that I have the time to decompress I hardly know where to start.

We've been busy, yes. And the day after I wrote about tackling February head-on, I woke up, stepped out of bed, and threw my back out for the first time. And there were doctor's appointments, freelance assignments, kindergarten informational meetings, birthday parties, auditions, and a day on set with Miss Lena. Jimmy's mom came to visit for a week, and we surprised the girls with a day at Disneyland. We've been running all month. Or sick. Or both.

This afternoon is the first time I've felt I could sit. Breathe. Decompress. Be still.

And here is what I am feeling today, here in the dimming afternoon light of a blue skied day, windows shut against the chilled breeze, cats curled up in circles on the bedspread, house quiet....I am so lucky. I've been frustrated with illness and stressed about finances; completely lost in the face of too many big decisions that need to be made; impatient with the kids; agitated by my poor time management; increasingly upset by my uncanny ability to neglect my own health. I thought that it would be one of those things that I'd want to write about today. But now, in this moment, all I can think about are the chubby cheeks and long lashes I kissed goodbye at the preschool this morning. Or about the increasingly precocious little girl with wavy "princess hair" from sleeping in braids last night whom I registered for kindergarten this morning. Or my handsome husband who trooped through twelve hours at Disneyland with two toddlers during a holiday weekend, exhibiting more patience and stamina than I ever had, never once even hinting at a complaint, but focusing all energy on making sure his girls had the best time possible, and making it so.

I finally have a moment to myself, and I miss my family.

I guess I'm not used to this - to being able to push aside the anxiety and the frustration, without even thinking about it. But here it is. I'm the luckiest girl in the world. The most blessed. The happiest. Everything else will work out. It has to.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

february follows

We snuck out for an unexpected dinner-for-two at our favorite local place last night, and felt like kids playing hooky, having drinks on a Tuesday night, eating an uninterrupted meal, someone else tucking our babies into bed.  We were able to look at each other and have a conversation, or just, you know, look at each other.  (Seven years in, and I have to say, I still really like that guy across the table.)  I know I needed it, and terribly so.

January, man.  She knocked me off my feet - twice.   And the last two or three days of coming up for air after the last cold or flu symptoms finally began to disappear, well, they just weren't what I wanted.   I found myself sitting in an empty room, yesterday, feeling much better.   House cleaned.  Toys put away.  Laundry washed, folded, ironed, put away.  Groceries bought and put away.  Neat and tidy and quiet.  And I sat there and felt a creeping terror that none of it mattered.  That I was inescapably about to be right back where I was last fall, unable to be happy about anything.

I'd almost forgotten what it felt like, that horrifying, empty echo of nothing in your being; the feeling that if you were stuck through with a pin, the pin would pass through skin, then nothing - nothing nothing nothing nothing - then skin again. 

I don't think that's so much the case this morning.  Probably, really, the memory was the worst part, and the memory was really what was happening, more than actually being that way again.  After several weeks of illness interspersed with being a little too busy, by the time I came out of it I guess I was just trying to remember what I was supposed to be doing.  Now where was I?  And that small feeling of being lost reminded me of that other feeling of being really lost.

But I guess it's good to know it's possible.  To know that good medication is a miracle, but I might never be cured, and this is something requiring eternal vigilance.  Never drop your guard.

So, February. Another month, another day, and we're starting this again.   Last night I had the chance to confess to my best friend about how frightened I'd been earlier in the day, and he took my hand and looked me in the eye and made me remember that we really have come SO far, and so fast, and life is already so much better, and feelings like this may come, but we are learning how to beat them back.  And I know that we are doing this together.

A Wednesday morning seems so arbitrary, and I know it really is no different, really, than a Sunday, or a Monday, or even a Saturday.  But we call this Wednesday the first of the month, and I'm a sucker for new starts, as you are now very well aware.   January wasn't bad.  She just knocked me off my feet - twice.   Maybe three times, if I'm honest.   So today begins February, and I am beginning it by getting up, just a little earlier today, while the light is still gray and blue.  I am enjoying this gift from my husband, too - the chance to hide in my room for a few minutes, headphones on, writing to you.  It's a good start.  Let's do this, February.