Tuesday, June 28, 2011


It is soooo cute the way my daughter helps me clean the house.

After I sweep and mop the floor she helpfully takes her cheerios out of the bowl, one by one, and places them on the floor.

After I fold the clean clothes she very graciously moves them from the couch to the floor. Starting with the stuff on the bottom first.

After I put the dishes away she opens the tupperware cupboard and puts all the containers in her plastic kitchen cupboard.

When cooking she will clear out the bottom shelf for me. Today she pulled out the chicken breasts....wait...that was actually pretty helpful cause I was making chicken.

Finally, today when she watched me vacuum she made a dirty diaper for me. She is so helpful she decided to head on up the stairs to the changing table. By herself. At warp speed.

I love it when she learns new tricks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Where's the Party?

Last night I got to go out to a women's only party. No men, no babies, just some drinks, hot dogs, and a movie. I've done a few moms-night-out things since Emily has been born. Normally it's a quick hour of coffee at Starbucks while the husband patiently walks Emily up and down the sidewalk outside. For the past two weeks I've been able to get out for a little knitting at the mall. But yesterday was my first party. WooHoo! I even had a little wine. Let's get crazy!

But the hostess had two dogs. That's not a bad thing. I love dogs and these two dogs were totally cute and sweet and loving. They had soft ears and wet noses and at least one liked to sit in laps and get belly rubs. He was such a loving dog he liked to be craddled, and snuggled, and rocked. Like a baby. As I watched the movie my eye would wander to this puppy lounging on his "Mother" and giving off that super content face that comes from sleepy snuggles.

I wanted my baby. I wanted her right then. I wanted to snuggle her and hug her and rub her belly until she gave me that sweet face herself. Instead of soft ears I want her soft cheek against mine. I wanted to go home and give my daughter a hug.

Which is so strange. I've been waiting and waiting for this moment when I wouldn't have to be holding or cuddling my daughter non-stop. I've been waiting for a time when I could sit on a couch and watch a movie and not have her come up and tug on me constantly. All I wanted was a little peace! For my body to be my own for a little bit. Then I got it. I had the time to drink something without little hands trying to grab it, but it wasn't all that great. I just wanted to go home and have her spill my tea all over me and laugh when she gives me that surprised grin.

Cause that's where the real party is at.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ghost Writer

tIo w've been attempting rite a


b=l]og post



come out l
this though because
my daughter needs to help me.

That's all

Friday, June 24, 2011


Yesterday Emily and I went to Dole Plantation. For such a big tourist destination you'd think there would be lots to do there. There is - the stuff just isn't that fascinating. The "World's Largest Maze" is sorta boring and usually just hot and annoying. The garden isn't the most beautiful thing ever. The shop has stuff to buy, but it is just tourist stuff.

What is fun, though, is the train. The trip isn't great, usually you don't see any pineapple, the narration is terrible, but it's a train. A choo-choo train. I love, love, love trains. I remember seeing the coal-powered train come into the station at Cumberland, Maryland - I was 23 and I was jumping up and down and squealing in joy. Trains are just that cool.

Trains are the secret reason why I decided to have children. A 28 year old woman shouldn't be as excited about trains as I am. However, a 28 year old mother can get as excited as she wants if it's in the guise of entertaining a child. They can also do all the silly art and craft projects at fairs. They can ride the merry-go-round (well they can stand next to the kid riding the merry-go-round). They get to squeal and point at cute bunnies and fancy ponies. Mom's get to get excited because they are, we think, trying to get their little ones excited. You go ahead and think that, but honestly, I just love me some bunnies.

Thankfully, Emily is beginning to understand her poor mother and is now going along with the whole charade. She even went so far as to sing along with the horrible narration on the train yesterday. Which is either a very understanding child or a child who will someday be the overly excited 28 year old herself.

So, Emily comes with me on the train and allows me to jump up and down and yell "choo-choo" often and loudly.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I love green things. Trees, flowers, grass. I love looking at them. Last summer I spent my mornings watering our tiny yard and watching green things pop up. Lettuce, strawberries, green beans. The most exciting thing about my day was going outside to see what had popped up overnight. Then our daughter popped up overnight (or over four nights really) and I ignored the yard again.

Now it's time to start again and my husband has spent weeks getting the garden ready. Which means every morning I get to walk around outside and for five to ten minutes I explore green things. We have tiny green things coming up that will soon be marigolds. My pumpkin plant is sprouting orange blossoms now. My citrus-tree-of-unknown-variety is now fruiting citrus-of-unknown-variety. There are mushrooms of different colors and our palm trees and ti plants are plumping out. Everyday my super-tinny-tiny yard has changed completely from the day before. And I get to witness it.

My bonus is after I spend a few quiet minutes watching green things grow I go inside and spend a lot of noisy minutes watching a pink thing grow. That's really not a bad way to spend the day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I had a dream, more like a nightmare, about my ex-husband. In it he had come to our home (the one I share with my husband and daughter) and started to insist that we "duke it out" over what had happened in our marriage and divorce. He refused to leave until it was all out and he ended up living with us while we did.

It wasn't pleasant. In the dream he didn't look like he does in life. He looked like the man I used to see when I looked through the filter of love. He was taller, because I knew he always worried about being short, so I never saw him as anything but tall. He was thinner and his features were more defined. He was very handsome. I felt the same things I felt when I first saw him, without the passion. He was just looking, finally, like the man I knew he was inside. The man I was in love with for so long. The man I spent so many years trying to please by being someone else. Which is why, I think, the whole dream was me apologizing for all the things I did and didn't do that destroyed our marriage. Once or twice I asked him about some of the things that he had done, but because this was my dream and my subconscious, there were no answers. Not that there would be any in life.

The next day, in waking life, I inadvertently learned that my ex-husband was married and they seem to be quite happy. And active. They seem to be quite active. As I found out all the things they do together, saw pictures, I could literally feel myself breaking apart.

I spent years attempting to get my husband out of the house. Every time we did I would spend the whole trip apologizing. Apologizing for a hassle driving, or parking, or spending money, or a long line at the bathroom. Apologizing if people were rude. I would spend all day thanking him for doing something for me, thank him for pulling himself away from his things so we could do something together. And he would be grouchy. Once, on a big band cruise, he spent the whole dancing portion standing on the side, drinking, and glowering. Even when I was standing there waiting for him to be my partner.

The was pretty much our life. When he showed up, he glowered. Now, when he shows up with his new wife he apparently dances. In costume no less. And he smiles!

All of this should make me happy. After all I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful home, a beautiful child. My life is great, why should my ex's life be wonderful too? Except it hurts. It hurts that all the work I did yielded nothing but pain and abandonment, but now he's willing. With someone else. I wonder what is so wrong with me, what is so terrible, that I am not worth the trouble. I'm not worth doing things with. I'm the kind of person that can't be loved. I'm unlovable. If he loved me wouldn't he have been able to have the marriage he has now with me?

This feels like a continuation of my horrible dream. I see what I wanted. What never existed, but what I had fooled myself into thinking it had and I blame myself. There is a lot to blame myself for, it's true, but not everything. My dream world is not the real world. The good stuff was never there. I was never married to the man I dreamed. Similarly, the fault is not all mine. I just wish my subconscious would get out of my real life and stop cracking me up.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I like to do things. I get bored easily and my cure for that is picking up a new hobby, skill, or project. In addition I'm a hard worker. Back when I went to work-work I got there early, stayed late, and got a lot done. Whether it was theater or school or office filing I worked hard. I enjoyed it because I like to do things.

However, I have a hard time feeling as though doing housework is doing things. Doing chores all day feels like, well, doing chores. It does not feel productive. I can work all day at dishes and laundry and floors and at the end of the day all I feel is exhausted and defeated. I don't go to bed feeling accomplished and pleased with myself because for all the things I do finish in a day I still know, and list in my mind, all the things I did not. Finished all the laundry? Great, but I still need to vacuum. Polished the living room floor? Fabulous, but the couch is still covered in cat hair.

Similarly, when I wake up in the morning it's not a wake up of hope and promise for all the things I'm going to sink my teeth into but rather a long look at a list of things I did yesterday and will do again. Then repeat the next day, or week, or month. When my husband comes home on Monday and asks "What did you do all day?" I will tell him I did the laundry and shopped for groceries and mopped the floor and played with the baby. When he asks again on Tuesday I will say the same thing. Again on Wednesday and Friday too. I know it as I'm saying it and talking, because I desperately need to talk, and he knows it as he's listening and eventually we'll just stop doing both.

Not that watching and helping a baby grow isn't the most fabulous, exciting, and interesting thing I've ever done. It is. However, I'm in the middle of doing it so somehow the wonder of getting both laundry and dishes done while I'm changing diapers and convincing her to take a bite of avocado doesn't seem that productive. I mean say it to yourself: I got the baby to try avocado. Feel accomplished?

Part of this feeling probably stems from the fact that these are jobs that never end. You never complete housework, or raising a child, or dinner for that matter. You cook the dinner, you serve the dinner, you eat the dinner, you put the dinner away, you do the dishes, you put the dishes away - then you begin planning the dinner for the next night. It never ends and it spawns it's own set of things to do that don't stop. It's a cycle of some big ups and downs. Similarly, housework never stays in the up position for long. I can polish the floor sure, but as soon as I do the husband comes home with the combat boots and the baby dumps a bowl of carrots over. It's not a big deal, but it means the thing you spent your energy doing today now needs to be done again tomorrow.

It is strange these things bother me. I love routine as much as excitement. I like schedules and lists. I enjoy knowing some of the things I will do during the day will not change just as I enjoy knowing somethings will really change. But I am finding it hard to get the perspective to find all this fulfilling as I did before. I am finding it hard to think that for all the effort I put in, and all the exhaustion I feel, I have done anything at all.

I'm busy but am I productive? And is it really important? Am I?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I'm shy. I'm really, really shy. This is probably weird because I'm an actress (or I used to be) and I don't think twice about getting up on stage and doing silly things - like singing and dancing and that one time when I wore a sack made of spandex and ran around making funny noises.

But when it is outside the theater I'm a mime without the makeup (which I've done too).

It's been hard moving here, there, and everywhere as a military wife because every time I move I need to create a whole new network. Now that my job is staying home and playing with the baby it's even harder. I don't have "work" to make friends with and I don't have instant conversation starters. You'd think the baby would be a good topic, but really she's just a good distraction and/or annoyance. Conversations stop when you keep getting interrupted by thrown carrots.

Today I went to lunch with a bunch of moms and it seemed like we were going to get along. Except the conversation was so stilted. The topics fell flat: Where are you from? What do you like? What funny things do your children do? Each little thing would go for three or four minutes then it was crickets.

I think it was me. I felt uncomfortable and shy and increasingly sad. Thank goodness there was barbeque.

Being depressed doesn't help this - nor does this shyness help the depression. In order to get over the depression you're supposed to get out and meet people. In order to get out and meet people you need to really be over your depression. Otherwise you find yourself talking about baby sign language and then just stopping. No reason, you just stop talking, or stop hearing, or stop eating. And you don't notice till it's too late to re-engage. Then instead of restarting and trying again you find yourself wondering why can't you make friends. What's wrong with you. Why are you so unlovable.

And there it is again: Depression. Shyness and depression.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Today at church our minister read from Yeats:

When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blessed.
He emphasized that everything - everything - is blessed. Even Dick Cheney. And that was funny.

But what struck me more was the line above: We are blest by everything. More than the fact that everything around us is blessed all the time is the fact that we are being blessed all around. All the time. The hugs and kisses I share with my family are so much more than just affection - they are blessings. The food I cook, the house I clean - all blessings.

Which is a nice thought to a woman who isn't sure what her job is or if what she does everyday is important. It may be little, but even little blessings are nice.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I have an electric tea kettle. In the morning I fill it with water, turn it on, and wait. While I wait I put the dishes away, or fold the laundry. Usually by the time these little chores are done the water is boiling and ready to make tea. Also, usually by this time, Emily is done helping with chores and wants to play. With Mommy. Only.

The first time the water boils I usually miss it and 2o minutes later I go and turn the water back on. Then I miss it again. And again. It take a few tries to finally get hot water into a cup and brewing tea.

Once the tea is brewing I usually am distracted or forget until the tea is dark, bitter, and cold. That's how I start my day.

Recently, my life has felt a lot like my tea. Every time I get boiling towards something I get derailed. Every time I start to get happy and enthusiastic the postpartum depression rears its head. The project stops, or I spend a few days just getting through the desperate want to curl into bed and sleep for a week straight. Then I pick up and get going again. Only to get stopped just as I'm ready to start making something.

And when I do finally make something, do something, get somewhere the depression tends to make it taste dark, bitter, and cold. The fog settles over everything and I can see that I would enjoy it if only I didn't feel so rotten.

It's a frustrating thing to drink cold tea all the time.