Category Archives: Musings

Observations after a half-decade of momming

    1. First baby has a poop-splosion at a new acquaintance’s house: “OH MY GOSH how are we going to clean this up ALL HANDS ON DECK there’s poop everywhere SOMEBODY HELP because she just got her foot in the poop and both my hands are occupied trying to keep this foot off the rest of God’s creation and this new acquaintance’s fancy house-stuff AND I FORGOT TO BRING HER A CHANGE OF CLOTHES!!!” Third baby has a poop-splosion at a new acquaintance’s house: *quickly cleans it up while humming the five-year-old’s new school song, “Gobble gobble gobble, munch munch munch, let’s have turkey for our lunch.”*
    2. Turns out you use words like ‘poopsplosion’ totally casually and non-ironically. You’re not even trying to sound funny. This word is 100% integrated into your normal vocabulary. Also, when you remember that a significant population of the world may not care to hear or read the word ‘poopsplosion,’ you shrug, say ‘well, huh’ and move on with your life.
    3. Poopsplosion.
    4. You realize that the bulk of your days with the kiddos is spent making food, setting the food out on the appropriate bevy of plastic dishware, cleaning up said food and dishware, and if you didn’t use the dustbuster/broom/vacuum about every ten seconds, your floor would be a network of crumbs and food fragments enough to sustain a mouse population of 536 that within days would incorporate their town and start a ferocious trade in graham cracker dust and dried raisins.
    5. At the office you’re having lunch with everyone. Suddenly you get the familiar tingly feeling and say, “oops, gotta go pump, my milk is letting down” before making a mad dash to the pumping location. This thoughtless blurting may have embarrassed you after-the-fact with baby #1. By baby #3, it’s like, well . . . At which point you stop even thinking about it because you’re humming this song you heard on the radio once that starts, ‘Let your milk down lassie, let your milk down nooow.”
    6. Yes, the song is about a cow, but it might as well be about you. In fact, you feel a strange kinship with the cow. You sincerely hope that those machines that milk cows aren’t uncomfortable for the poor cows.
    7. If you can’t hear the baby crying, the baby isn’t crying.
    8. You look at the toy basket, which is overrun with cardboard tubes from used paper-towel and toilet-paper rolls, empty Kleenex boxes, semi-ripped empty Amazon boxes, empty crumpled plastic water bottles and think, “aw, anything can be a toy, isn’t this great, the kids are being creative.” You happen to pass by the same toy basket an hour later after the laundry machine beeped at you and the oven is up to temp and the baby’s crying and think, “oh my gosh my house is BECOMING A TRASH PILE!” so you go to throw away something on the sly but your toddler spots it in the recycling bin, explains why she desperately needs that half-ripped Amazon box (because, Mom, it’s a ball-catcher and I use it every day to catch that ball!) and then the only thing to do is return the box to her, crank the radio up and have a family dance party because the mess isn’t as important as thriving kids and dangit, they are thriving and beautiful and when they dance it makes you cry.
    9. You start sneaking in to watch them sleep, because your oldest isn’t a baby anymore and you’re not sure when this happened, and those few moments in the quiet of night when you bend over the sweet little faces caught in the trust of sleep are suddenly precious beyond price.
    10. Any movies or shows that depict children getting hurt in any way are RIGHT OUT. CAN’T TAKE IT. CAN’T HANDLE IT. DON’T WANT TO. Also ones that depict adults getting hurt in any way. Why? Because one day your children will be adults, obvy. Suddenly you find that your only option is The Great British Baking Show.
    11. There’s a piece of popcorn under the piano. You can’t quite reach it. A month later you think, wow, I should really try to get that piece of popcorn outta there. But before you get a chance to wrangle up the right tool for the job, it’s time to a) nurse the newborn, or b) help the child who’s crying in an as-of-yet-unidentified part of the house, or c) nurse the newborn.

I can’t wait to see what the next half-decade brings. But since my youngest is only three months old, I can hazard a guess that the whole ‘poopsplosion’ thing will still be, well, a thing.

Do yourself a favor and say ‘poopsplosion’ three times fast.

Yeah. It’s harder than it seems.

Five instant mood-lifters

So I’m all for pursuing meaning in life, finding peace inside and all that good stuff. Very, very important.

But sometimes, stuff can help.

The right food, the right smell, a long hot shower, that perfectly soft afghan that you pretty much want to attach to yourself for the rest of the day. The mug that fits the curve of your hand exactly, the candle that makes everything smell like you’re living inside a pine tree.


Yes Madonna, I am.

So here are five things that really help pick my spirits up. (And the links will take you to amazon, in case you’re wanting to embark on a buying frenzy).

1. doTERRA’s Slim and Sassy Metabolic Blend. Basically, it’s this tiny capsule of essential oils. You add a drop or two to your water (and I always add plenty of ice) and drink. It’s pepperminty and fresh and it instantly takes me back to Hawaii where my sister Heidi first introduced me to it, we drank tall glasses of the stuff, killed flies by the dozens and ate Asiago bagels every day for breakfast.

I have no idea if it does anything for my metabolism. But it makes me feel fresh and happy and like the warm Hawaii breezes are about to float through the window instead of the gusty cold-spring Chicago breezes I’m getting get instead.

Nothing against you, Chicago, it’s just that, well, Hawaii.

2. Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. Take cozy mysteries and up the level of literary while keeping the coziness and the descriptions of good food. Add a few smatterings of French (it takes place in Quebec), lots of snow, a detective with the comforting self-assurance and experience of Agatha Christie’s Poirot (but less cocky), and there you have the Gamache series.

Disclaimer: you will want to eat runny Brie and baguettes while reading, after reading, and will then develop a Pavlovian effect by which you start salivating before reading too.

Also, the first book is good–but they get better. Exponentially. Oh, do they get better (and excuse me while I have some mid-series angst–INSPECTOR BEAUVOIR WHAT ARE YOU DOING???)

My current favorite way to relax at night: PJ’s, body pillow, Gamache and . . .

3. Lavender essential oil. I practically drench my wrists in it and fall asleep with this smell in my nostrils. Relaxation heaven. And I don’t care if it is placebo. Placebo isn’t less real just because the effects happen via psychological whatsammadunnits.

I think I bought mine at Target and I have no idea what brand it is, but something like this would probably do:

It doesn’t have to be expensive either–I think that one up there is around $6.

I look forward to smelling this every single night. I recently started putting it on in the mornings too. There’s no telling how this will end. Probably with me drenched head-to-toe and so incredibly relaxed that I’m playing the border between Zen and catatonic.

4. A hot rice bag. My amazing friend Sarah (actually two different Sarah’s!) have made me rice bags. I use them both. Basically, it’s a fabric sleeve of whatever size you choose full of rice and sewn shut (you can sprinkle in some of that lavender essential oil if you feel like it for a double-whammy). You heat it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, then drape it around whatever part of yourself is feeling achy, cramped, or in need of coziness.

Here’s one:

But really, you don’t have to spend money on this endeavor–you can just make your own. With an old tube sock, if you want (and tie the top closed if you’re not into sewing). Or you can call up someone named Sarah and demand that they fulfill their rice bag duty to you.

5. Peppermint oil. Okay, so I’m obviously on an essential oils kick here. But seriously. While the effects of the full-spectrum light I recently purchased have yet to be confirmed, the effects of these oils, to me, are immediately felt on an emotional level.

My sister Erica bought me a miniature capsule of Peppermint oil back when I was pregnant with Ben, to help combat nausea. I only used it maybe … twice? But with this pregnancy, I’m using it morning and night. Basically, I shake a drop or two on my back of my tongue and there’s a burn of freshness that spreads into my mouth and makes me feel like I’m younger, prettier, awake, and invigorated. Like I brushed my teeth about ten times in a row and am that much more ready to take on the world.

It’s supposed to calm the stomach too, if your digestion if iffy.

The above bottle is (currently) under $10. My mini-bottle has no brand on it, but when it runs out, I’ll probably order this one–or one of the million other options. (Does it blow anyone else’s mind just how many product choices there are out there? Yowza. I feel like it leads me to the extremes of being 1) paralyzed by indecision or 2) recklessly clicking and purchasing because there is TOO MUCH TO CONSIDER and I really just want to be done.)

Anyway, those are five things I’m using on a regular basis right now. And I love them all.

Anything I should add to my list?