When Life Hands the World Lemons, Get Out Your Glue Gun

I can’t form a coherent response to world events, so I have been Christmas crafting instead.

My husband said this is exactly the sort of thing you’d find in Fallout 4, which, luckily, was exactly what I was going for.

Paper tree ornaments.

And, it’s been wreath-a-palooza around here. So. Many. Wreaths. I have caught the deco mesh bug, and so it’s gifting time.

The baby has learned to sit. She crawls. She steals tacos.

Basically, she’s decided that baby food is for fools, and she will be eating grown up meals, please and thank you.

She’s a huge fan of Triscuits.

She’s at that stage where light beams are magical and fun to play with, and where they offer you their soggy crackers out of the goodness of their dear, slobbery little hearts. Babies are awesome.

In Our Town of Halloween

After a castle-riffic birthday, my son wanted to be a king. A lego king!



The Lion Knight King (he picked his own shirt.)

The Lion Knight King (he picked his own shirt.)

I wanted to really overdo the porch this year.

It’s the first year that he’s been really into spooky, but not so skittish that any little scare is too much.


He immediately tried to steal all these tiny skeletons and use them in his Lego games as the skeleton army from Jason and the Argonauts.


I am so happy with these little costumed skeletons. I picked them up at a couple of different places.


Spiders and skeltons, oh my!


My husband is stuck with Jack-o-lantern duty. I am afraid I will lose a finger. The raven and skull are all my fault, though.

So, everything was sufficiently spooky. The boy was happy.

The girl?

Well, the last time I had a baby to dress up, I was still in recovery. I could barely walk to the mailbox.

This year?




Oh, yeah.


Aren't they beautiful?

Aren’t they beautiful?

All Hallows Eve Eve

We are soooooo ready.


We went to the parade. We even wore our sugar skull scarf!

My little town is still allowed to have Halloween.

Unlike the town I grew up in, which banned it for being Satanic back in 1996.

I wish I were joking.

I am so not joking.

They tried to ban pumpkins because they were the Devil’s Gourd. Seriously.

Evil Squash.

That’s Southern Baptists for you.


Someone was a shower, just like in the Karate Kid.


There is our little king.


Small town parade!

And we got our candy and glowsticks.


He intuitively understands that if you have glowsticks, you must bust a move. #gifted


Everything is better with glowsticks.

Let’s Talk About Postpartum Depression!

When I was pregnant with my first, we were worried about post-partum depression. I had a history of depressive episodes. The PPD variety seemed like it was just inevitable.

He's 8. Birthday boy.

He’s 8. Birthday boy.

It never manifested.


We’re 4 weeks out.

Because I have a history for depression, my husband and I are on the lookout for postpartum mental problems. I almost expected to have immediate, severe PPD.

So far, so good, though.

Actually, aside from the sleep situation, which I’m getting sort of used to, I feel like I’m actually well above normal.

I dig this whole mommy thing. We lucked out. He’s a “good” baby—when he’s upset, it’s usually for a discernible reason, and I cross my fingers that I won’t jinx it. When we wake up for the day, I feed him, smother him in kisses and play jazz music for him. He makes me giggle. Eventually, I figure, he’ll giggle back.

He’s a sweet-natured little thing.

I just feel ridiculously lucky. You know those Hallmark-inspired, “We’re so blessed” moments that Faith Hill and the like cough up in interviews? I hate those. They seem so fake and wankery and wrong. But, I get it, now.

My kid is the bee’s knees. The snake’s hips. The cat’s pajamas.

He’s awesome.

And, my husband is awesome—he’s helpful, and patient, and not at all being an immature idiot like some dudes do after their first is born.

Did I mention I’m lucky? ‘Cause I’m lucky.

I was at Faith Hill levels of happy.

I was surprised to find out that Faith Hill levels of happy were even possible for mere mortals.


I can’t believe that I’m enjoying motherhood the way that I am.

He’s so freaking cute. I love his bright-eyed look in the morning. I love that he’s learning to smile and how to unravel those little fists. And, I’m sad for every day that passes because he’s one day closer to not being a baby.

Who knew I was such a fan of babies?

I love to put him in his little fox hat and show him off. And, I love how good he is at eating. And, I love seeing him in his little onesies and sleepers and sacks.

Everything you see about motherhood these days is “dark” or “brutally honest.” I was expecting hell. Hell that was somehow worth it, but hell all the same. But, really, it’s not. I don’t want to lock myself in the bathroom and sob. I don’t think I’m in over my head. I just… love him. Like, he’s what I’ve been waiting for. Even at three in the morning, when he’s hungry and I’m tired, I look down at his sweet face and snuggle him closer and think, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?” Then, I think, “Oh, yeah. We tried.”

Maybe the two years and two miscarriages are why I’m not feeling the awful newborn shock I was told to expect. Or, maybe I was just really, really ready for this. I feel like I’ll jinx it. Like I’m too pleased and the universe will knock me down a notch.

This was about 2 months after he was born.

So, yeah.

The anticipated Mommy Crash never happened in 2007/2008.

So, I didn’t really suspect I’d hit it this time.

Then things went sideways.


That last little bit of summer light.

I always thought that PPD worked like some sort of Lifetime movie about Andrea Yates.

But it isn’t actually like that.

Or at least, I didn’t have the sort of PPD that goes like that.

I didn’t have the intrusive thoughts.

I didn’t think that I would hurt my baby.

I didn’t think that I would hurt myself.

I didn’t want to run away.

Hell, I loved my baby. I have had a major, major spiritual overhaul because of this baby (and I will write about that soonish.) I have never, ever used the worst “spiritual” to refer to myself before.

I am not sad.

But… things were not okay.

I couldn’t, as the kids say, adult.

Serenity now.

Serenity now.

I just… couldn’t. I couldn’t pick up the phone to make an appointment. I couldn’t pay a bill. I couldn’t think about the future at all.

Everything becomes, in my head, the Venusifiation of the Earth.

My anxiety levels. They were catastrophic. And I was so, so, so tired. I mean, you expect to be tired with a baby.

But I was soul tired.

I didn’t really get sad.

I got worried. About things that were within my control (calling to make appointments) and things that were decidedly outside of my control (the continuing habitat for humans on planet Earth.)

I was way, way out there in worried.

I was in the outer darkness of anxiety.

Way out there where I can’t think.

Where I repeat myself, and flap my hands, and grind my teeth, and cannot come up with reasonable words for things like cup and spill.

I was in a bad way.

And that is enough.


These ducks don’t have the luxury of knowing about their impending, inevitable demise.

So… things were not okay.

But not the sort of not okay I think of as “being depressed.”

It was more like pre-depression. Often, I make it to the Anxious Place first. Then the anxiety gets so bad that I just shut down all the feelings. The feels go mute.

I spend a few weeks in the relief of feeling absolutely nothing.  Then, generally, everything is so dulled and muted and over, that I realize I cannot recognize the person in the mirror.

At that point, I am in Full-On Depression. When I scare at a reflection, then I realize, Oh… that’s me.

This… well… I wasn’t at Andrea Yates.

But I know that I don’t want to go there.

I didn’t want to subject anyone to it.

I cannot do that.

Especially not with a little baby.

He loves the redwoods.

He loves the redwoods.

No one should do that.

So. If you think, “I am not really sad.” Or, “I’m not really depressed.”

Don’t wait until you are actually really sad and really depressed. There’s no need. Go to your doctor.

It turns out?

That the horrible tired feeling?

Is just my thyroid.


If you are thinking that things have gone sideways and a bit out of whack? Go. Go to your doctor. Tell them all the feels. If it’s not sad, that is okay. Just tell them what the problem actually is. That you are tired beyond the normal tired. That you are anxious. That you cannot put your finger on it, but things are very much not-right.

Get some help.

Because I can take my kids to the park again.

And you should, too.



10 Super Annoying Words

People are trying to ruin the English language for me.

10 Super Annoying Words that are starting to cause involuntary eye-rolling

  1. Authentic. “I’m only going to use natural filters.”
  2. Simplicity. “Get ready for a list of simple crap I think you should buy, while I receive a kickback. An authentic kickback.”
  3. Problematic. “I am not quite sure why I have a gut feeling that something is offensive, but I am pretty sure I can find someone, somewhere, who thinks it is. And they would be very disappointed in you.”
  4. Artisanal. “It’s not actually hand-crafted, but it sure looks that way!”
  5. Capsule Wardrobe. This is not an actual thing. See: “simplicity.”
  6. Books. Look, if you’re constantly talking about how much you love reading, but you mysteriously fail to mention what you actually read, I am going to assume it’s all vampire porn.
  7. Tea. Drinking tea doesn’t make you unique and introverted. It won’t give you an amazing accent.  It doesn’t provide you with a fashionable drizzle, for your cozy authentic, artisanal sweater wearing and top knotting. It’s just tea. That’s all. I grew up drinking Twinnings. The sky did not part and shine the light of airy heaven upon me. Whoop de do.
  8. Warrior. This one always shows up in a meme with a beautiful 18 year old woman in a lot of eyeliner, who has lost all her clothes in a tragic accident at Burning Man. I am not sure what she is supposed to be fighting, really, except maybe a chill.
  9. Fandom. If I never, ever have to hear about Firefly, Tony Stark, or Loki ever again, it will be too soon.
  10. Mainstream Media. I always wonder if the super right wing people who use this know that the super left wing people use it in exactly the same way?

I get grumpier as I age.

Really, we could also add: intentional, lifestyle, values, vaccine injury, natural, ‘bye felicia,’ and anything pertaining to vision, manifesting, or anything involving grace that includes a lot of pictures that belong in a J. Crew catalog.