The Wink is a labor of love, occasional source of ire and constantly influenced by the toddlywinks in my life- my daughters. There's also the HunkyWink. You'll read all about them as The Wink unfolds. Please feel free to wink back!

Monday, March 31, 2008

I said, "Highlights" and she bleached my head.

I visited a lovely local salon on Saturday for a cut and color, highlights to be exact. Now I realize that as someone who manages to get in for a hair appointment on average once every eight months I am not the authority of trends or terminology. I did feel fairly comfortable in saying, "Cut it like you did last time," and "Highlights framing my face." Didn't seem open to wild interpretation.

WRONG.

I should have articulated the niggling doubt I had when she didn't ask about color. There was no, "Are you thinking a honey or a caramel, or maybe something a little cinnamony?" Nope, she confirmed 'highlights' and then went off to mix.

"Do you want them spaced throughout to make root grow out less obvious?" We smiled at each other, both of us knowing that when you go as long as I do between appointments the best bet for dealing with roots is going to be a cap, no amount of spacing can fix it.

"Sure."

Exactly ninety minutes from the moment I sat down, she spun me around to show me what I knew would be a head of hair who's styling I could never again recreate. I did not expect it to be a Paris Hilton/Pamela Anderson shade of fake.

"What do you think? Better?" She asked, proud of her handywork.

"Oh. Wow. Yeah, it is so much...better." Silent repetitions of , "Oh fuck," danced in jerky twitches through my head.

This is totally shallow and not anything I am proud of, but all I could think was, "Oh, god, ten years from now when I look at the delivery room photos I am going to look like a tired bar maid...Why did your hair look like that, mama?" I made a quick exit, careful not to let on to her that I was horrified at the color in that sick , "Mustn't hurt her feelings" way I have and headed for home. At each stop sign I'd steal a peek in the rear view mirror and start from the sheer blondeness of it.

These are not highlights, these are, "I wish I were blonde" whole-head-lights.

Today everyone I saw complimented me, everyone. It began to feel a bit like a campaign - help her not feel like a complete ass with her freakishly altered locks. I thanked each and everyone and then mewed a pitiful, "Hmm, I don't know, she went way blonder than I expected." It was awkward for everyone.

You think it'd be weird if I wore a baseball cap through the delivery?

PS Because I don't like leaving this as a totally shallow post, I have a friend who is asking for help with the old "How do you juggle work health and cleanliness question?" What do you say to hopping over to her place and giving her some pearls, or at least the reassurances that we all have closets filled floor to ceiling with crap and herds of dust bunnies beneath our beds?

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Forbidden Emotions

I had a moment this morning when I felt a twinge of something that shocked me. I think it's ok, think it's normal, but its sudden ferocity and piercing intensity stunned me. Briar and Avery had been playing together all morning. There was no of the usual scrapping over toys or boxing out of the preferred seat. It was just two sisters playing, taking turns leading and following and each doing so with a twinkle and a smile.

It was a few moments into the disruption caused by the announcement of nap time. Avery had been railing up in her room, incensed that the fun had to end. Briar was downstairs with me, pacing, torn between helping her sister and escaping a nap herself. She was looking at me when Avery's voice echoed down the stairs, "Briii-ar!"

We looked at each other. "Briii-ar. Want Briii-ar."

It reminded me of the moment in The Last Unicorn when, despite her affection for the people she has met, the unicorn must go. I said to Briar, "You can go up and calm her down , but you'll have to take a nap, or you can stay here."

"Brii-ar," traveled down the stairs, followed by mournful sobs, Briar's body leaned into the call and then she turned to me, "I have to go." Sean called, "C'mon up, Briar," and then there was silence. Avery knew Briar was coming and that was enough. I watched Briar's feet disappear up the stairs, heard them as they picked up speed as she got closer to her room and her sister. I could swear the light shifted, brightened, as Briar went to her.

I sat, an ache catching in my throat and an emptiness chilling me, as someone else offered the Avery the comfort she needed. It was Briar she wanted, her sister, and the sudden awareness of not being something to Avery rocked me. I envied Briar her place in life, Avery's haven, her light and her constant through a lifetime of joys and sorrows. They are sisters, and though they tangle and clash, they have an inimitable connection. It is something I do not have, but after the shock, there is the peace of knowing that it is something I gave them.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Procrastinating No Longer

Today was a day of little triumphs interspersed with little tantrums. I am proud and ashamed to claim I was involved in both. We've been trying to get the "nursery" ready. I use nursery loosely as it is not a tricked out baby room with a cohesive theme and all the little must-haves. Though it isn't a traditional looking nursery, it is lovely. The walls are deep yet mellow green, echoing the color of the leaves that flutter outside the window from May to October. One wall is set at an angle and meets up with a gabled wall, the effect, to me, is the sensation of being in a magical tree house. There has been a full size bed in the room that was purchased several years ago for a visit from my sister. To say that the mattress was uncomfortable would be a gross understatement, it was also loud, failing in its role as a place to crash with sleepless little ones. Every movement was punctuated with a squeaky groan and, many times, a posturpedic punch to the rib from a moody coil.

We were talking about getting a dumpster to get rid of things like the mattress and kitchen sink, but I am loathe to pay upwards of $400 to get rid of our junk. Last night I posted on Craigslist that we had a full size mattress and box spring as well as a queen size mattress without a box spring. It was more effective than I could have imagined as I received an email within minutes, MINUTES! of posting, asking about the full set. This morning, after Sean and I, with the help of a very earnest Avery, moved the bed, a teenage girl and her parents came to take it away. Tomorrow we are set to give the queen mattress, a bed frame, a box of pots and pans and a few other items to a family who have lost their farm. I am delighted to have lightened our load all the while making things a little bit easier for others (I'd be lying if I didn't say I was also happy to avoid having a garage sale. There is something so unseemly to me about having people paw through your stuff, unwanted though it may be, and having them nickel and dime you.)

We have things from the baby shower sitting in the back of the car which we'll now be able to move into the baby's room. Sean will set up the crib while the girls and I hang pictures and arrange little things throughout the room. I hadn't realized how important it was to me to have that room set, which led me to my next oh-my-god-I-must-cross-this-off-my-list item (I hadn't known I had a list going), clothes for the hospital. When I was pregnant with Avery I went and picked out stretchy, soft pajama bottoms and yoga pants to wear in the hospital. I have since gotten rid of them and have been worrying on and off about how I have nothing packed for the hospital.

Sean took the girls for a run while I trotted (hobbled) to Old Navy and picked up fresh new lounging bottoms and tank tops and long sleeve shirts. Thanks to a coupon and a few returns my dazzling post-delivery hospital wardrobe rang in at a delicious $28. Yay!

We had a kinda-homemade dinner of rotisserie chicken and salad at the table. The girls were adorable, grinning over their many servings of hard boiled eggs and comically inhaling the butter of of their sweet wheat artisan bread. Briar sat with wide eyes as we struggled through the nightly power-play with Avery, a volatile game of chicken that often ends with a trip to time out. She teetered between tattling and protecting, but with the exception of one moment of true older sister glee, she demonstrated a preference to have her kid sister with us, behaving and enjoying.

As we headed up to bed, a chirping herd, I felt the oddest contentment. It hadn't been a perfect day, as I had guilt about leaving twice and doing it with such delight. There were tense words as we struggled to get the bed downstairs and wrestled with the energy of two kids desperate to get outside in weather that is till too cold and wet to allow for much fun. Money is tight, time is short and energy is limited, but somehow, at the end of the day, everything felt right.

We read stories, laughed and cuddled. The four of us seemed to understand, forgive and appreciate the hurdles before us collectively and individually. We are figuring it out, each of us stretching and extending, pushing to find what we need and how we can help. It is a graceful kind of awkwardness, this searching, and days like today make me so proud of how hard we are each trying. I think it is the perfect embrace in which to welcome this little somersaulting wonder in my belly.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bow-legged Bump

Well, there is no denying it. I've entered the unmistakable last lap of the race. My form is out the window, my pace irregular and a steam of anger seems to rise as each stride has me cursing having ever entered the damn race. This is not to say that I am not rapturously in love with this amazing little spitfire growing in my belly or that I would turn the hands of time back and say, "Know what? Two is fine." I am just sick of being pregnant.

Today, dressed in a nice pair of slacks, a flirty purple XL non-maternity t-shirt with fluttery cap sleeves and black pumps, I felt cute. The hair worked, falling just so and my eyeliner went on without mishap. I even managed to grab a coat that was absent any of those indistinguishable, parent-of-toddler smears. Despite all of the aforementioned, I could not help myself from walking in a limp mule gait that seemed to be accompanied by a flashing sign overhead reading, "Sore cooter."

I cannot believe I just typed the word "cooter."

See? It's another sign of this stage of pregnancy, at least for me. I stop all self-censoring. Walking past Sean's desk today, which coincidentally is by his partner's desk and two of his employees, I said, "Doesn't seem fair that at the most miraculous and sacred of times in a woman's life she suddenly takes on significant traits normally associated with working girls who've been ridden hard and put away wet a few too many times." I heard the groans behind me, but all I could think as I held a hand on the lowest section of my belly was, "Is it possible she has lodged an important organ ahead of her to sort of clear the way for her exit?"

I am a burping, wincing, irritated lump...bump. Ugh. Now, I suppose that refraining from wearing heels might help things a bit. Slowing down my work schedule wouldn't be the worst thing. Pampering myself with a hair cut and highlights on Saturday would likely be a huge help. So, I'll do all of those thing, but I have a sneaking suspicion that even with flippy hair, kicky shoes and a clear plate, I am still going to be walking like an overzealous dude ranch initiate.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hey, that's mine!

When Sean and I were coming up with names back in the summer of '04, I knew I wanted something unique. We had never talked about names so it was a bit of a slap in the face to realize that the whole naming thing was kind of a big deal.

"What do you mean you like that name? Girls with *that* name are always bitches."

"That's a fat name."

"Uh, no child of mine, thank you very much!"

It got kind of ugly, then, sitting in lawn chairs in the backyard, me with an uncarbonated beverage of some sort, Sean with a light beer (grrrr), we stumbled upon Briar. It was perfect, both of us loving it almost instantly.

Fast forward some 15 months and we arrived at Avery. We were getting better at this naming thing, both of us happy to have unique names that kept a healthy distance from trendy or just plain strange.

Imagine my surprise when a woman commented on my other blog, that she too had daughters named Avery and Briar. And she lived in New York State. And she had a blog. I am ashamed to say I was somewhat dismayed. I wanted that, wanted the distinction of having the only Briar and Avery. Childish? Maybe, but again, I had never considered how personal and significant naming one's children would be.

Then the other day as I pounded out a Target Baby Registry in the interest of getting a free $20 gift card I stumbled upon another odd coincidence. There is a woman named Amanda living in Texas. We share the same last name and her husband is also a Sean, though he spells his name Shaun. Weird, right? How about this, I am due April 26th, she is due April 23rd. Ewwww.

I have to admit today I checked her registry and I am pleased to announce she is expecting a boy, but still, isn't that just the slightest bit creepy?

Anything like this ever happened to you?

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Confession born from compliments

A writer friend of mine has long contended that blogs are a mechanism for receiving instant gratification, "It's navel gazing. You can't improve because it's done with a bunch of people poised to fawn over each word that you type." Not exactly the kind of thing that makes you feel lifted, and while I don't entirely disagree with elements of his opinion, I think it undersells us as a community. Yes, there are lesser writers and yes, they often soar to the top for reasons seeming to stem from something other than the quality of their writing. I'll also concede that there are plenty of sweet comments posted, but I think there is great encouragement, challenging and collaboration.

I have watched friendships and alliances grow from shared experiences communicated though conversations in posts and comments, I have seen causes and the people living them achieve staggering attention and participation. I've found friends, confidantes, and people that make me smile.

This July I'll head to Blogher '08 and meet people like her and her. Hopefully I'll have this up and running by then!

Back to the title: Confession born from compliments.

I posted some belly shots the other day. I think it would be safe to say that every single person that commented did so with a generous heart, raving about my glow. It was wonderful, but left me thinking, "Hmm, maybe I should post the shots that make me feel like my head, and specifically my cheeks, have exploded achieving Mr. Potato Head like proportions?" Or write something about how irrational I can be when the I'm-so-tired-and-ready-to-be-done-being-pregnant moments hit. But then I thought of something else, something more along the lines of what makes the blogging community a place where you can find refuge, solace and understanding.

And so, my confession: I was a smoker.

I used to smoke. I smoked a lot. I was 17 when I started, 18 when I was truly hooked and about 27 when I quit. I'll be 35 this July. Even at my heaviest smoking, well over half a pack a day, people didn't believe I was a smoker, something about how it just "doesn't seem like you, Amanda." Well, I did. And lately, I have read posts about quitting and trying to quit. Often I don't think about how I used to smoke, too busy with the business of the day, whether it's work, the girls or just trying to make sure the laundry, dishes and dog hair don't overpower us. Then there are the times when I am walking down the street and I catch a whiff of cigarette smoke, both the smoker and the cigarette are long since gone, but seductive wisps of the forbidden linger. I have ambled nonchalantly out of my way to get one little sniff.

I am not immune to it. I know with every fiber of my being that the more than seven years it's been since my last smoke are a blessing. I know that one day I will wish that I could have back the time I stole from myself, the moments I will not have with my girls and Sean for the choice I made all those years ago. Yet it is still recent enough that I remember that no threat of mortality, no derisive commentary on smell or expense could convince me to change. I still look at people smoking and have two reactions, "You poor son of a bitch," and "You lucky fuck."

It is an incredibly powerful addiction, all the while you loathe yourself for walking into the convenient store, your last five spot burning a hole in your pocket, you want nothing to come between you and that first drag. I'd sooner have let a call go to voice mail than delay the sensation of the smoke filling my lungs. I don't ever want to go back to smoking and have reminded myself many times of how when you return to smoking it takes a while, you have to overcome the guilt, the revolt and the trepidation and then it happens, you are hooked again and the hopelessness towers over you, clouding everything but the inevitability of your next smoke.

I may not look like a smoker or a reformed smoker, but I am, and if you ever need an encouraging word or a shoulder or anything, I am here. I admire every person out there who is trying to quit and I feel for those who haven't. And for as hard as it is, I can also say that it can be done.

Good luck and thanks.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stunt Belly

You ever look at a picture of yourself and think, "Do I really look like that?" Sean was taking happy, rumpled Easter morning pics and as I scanned them I thought, "Damn, that looks like a stunt belly."


Is that a belly button in your shirt, or are you just happy to see me?


It's a study in strained stretch cotton.



After I got over the shock of just how how my belly looks in profile, I caught a glimpse of this next shot wherein I perform an impromptu Easter version of The Supremes "Stop in the Name of Love" complete with ridiculous gesturing.



Then, ever questing to entertain and delight the girls, I tried my hand at playing Vanna White.



Eventually the mixture of horror and confusion on their faces got me to calm down.



Happy Easter!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Honey, if you are reading this - STOP!

Seriously, Sean, this is the kind of post that shatters the illusion of grace and wonder that I have so laboriously cultivated with my never-ending quest to look perfect...ok, we're both laughing now, but seriously, this is probably more entertaining for pregnant women, and maybe fat guys, but maybe not.

I tend to do several things at once -
watch tv and blog
do the dishes and cook dinner
manage painting projects and telecommute


Nothing too earth shattering, right?

I also scrub the grout while bathing and Clorox wipe the bathroom after getting out of the shower, I heard once that by doing these little things you stay on top of cleaning etc without realizing it. Well, something I've done for quite some time is brush my teeth while peeing. As any pregnant woman knows, you have you have to pee a lot and, frankly, it gets tedious. Ok, this part gets a little, umm, personal. Our bathroom is little, like really almost too small to accommodate a toilet sink and shower, but amazingly, despite its coziness, I cannot spit in the sink while sitting on the toilet. This means, ahem, maybe once or twice I have spit a foamy toothpaste mouthful into the toilet as I sat peeing. Fast forward to last night.

There I was, brush, brush, brushing and push, push, pushing. No I wasn't 'earning chocolate' as Briar would say, I was trying to relieve the relentless need to pee, which was really some sort of physiological illusion compliments of the long-limbed joker in my belly who has taken to fucking with my bladder at all hours of the day while also making freaky footprints on the skin just beneath my rib cage. Anyway, there I was, wincing and pushing with a mouthful of spit. I went to do my usual thing in the toilet when it hit me, literally. My belly is too large and the minty foam splashed against my belly, clinging to it in what can only be described as an obscene smear.

Just as I stood to clean it my ability to pee came back. I'm telling you folks, this pregnancy thing, it ain't for the faint of heart.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Did you hear her?

We've been working on our kitchen for some time, and by "we," I mean "Sean." The inevitable reality of a 5-7 month project that is started when one person is 3 months pregnant is that what should be handled by many is handled by one.

I have tried to be patient, but often end up being frustrated that he is in the garage toiling and even more frustrated that I am stuck, sore, exhausted and useless. So last Sunday when he sent me to



to get some




to touch up the



I jumped. A purpose, yes! The girls were napping, so I dashed out promising to be back before they woke up. Of course, and you probably saw this coming, there was the inevitable imbecile blocking my way. Hand to god this woman moved back and forth blocking the entire selection of spray paint. I tried sighing, clearing my throat and even an excuse me. She moved at one point, but of course she moved the wrong way and I was rendered mute from my nauseating state of fury and defeat. I stood a few steps away gaping as time ticked away.

I actually toyed with the idea of buying paint meant for plastic just so I wouldn't show up empty handed. I played the scenario out in my head and thought the odds were I'd end up back here with both girls or alone and kind of in the dog house, but not really because someone in my condition can really only be expected to be slow, both mentally and as they try to accomplish even the simplest task. So, I stayed, acknowledging with a deep, ragged breath that I'd probably end up behind this woman in line or on the road.

Grabbing a can of black spray paint, checking three times that it was:

1) satin
2) for metal
3) not busted

I dashed lumbered to the check out. There were four self-check out aisle, but I was wise to that, knowing that something would go wrong, so I turned to the others. All losers, not the people, but my options. I knew I was running out of time.



the nap was going to be over long before I returned. Blessedly I made it through the check out in about ten minutes and was attempting to get to the car without running. Outside the doors I came face to face with



And I found myself feeling torn. I wanted to help, but I was in a hurry and had no cash. So, I squeaked a quick, "I don't have any cash, so sorry. I'll come back." It was a lie and I knew it, but I figured I'd make up for it another time. I headed out the door as the moms sang, "Ok, that's ok. Thanks." It was what came next, "Oooh, mom, did you hear her? She said she'd be back! She's going to buy some cookies," followed by squealing, that made me feel like this



My face flamed as I walked to the car. I didn't have a checkbook, I'd been gone an hour and I don't eat cookies.



I opened my wallet and checked the various pockets. Nothin'. Checked my pockets. More nothin'. Then I checked the change compartment of my wallet. A fiver. Score. I drove the car around, double parked next to the display of BBQ's and snowblowers and darted inside, breathless and smug. "I told you I'd be back!"

"See, mom, she came back just like she said she would." The mom gave me a look that said, "Bless you," it was hard to tell if she meant for not letting her kids down or for going home so late. "Which kind?"

I hadn't even considered it. I looked at the table and realized I didn't really recognize any of them. All I knew was I shouldn't get chocolate, any chance of redemption lay in returning with cookies that Sean and the girls would devour.


The Lemon Chalet Cremes are a decadent treat combining the distinct flavors of a rich, buttery cookies, the sweet tartness of lemon and a hint of ginger. A recent Consumer Research Report states that Americans want Girl Scout Cookie® as an “indulgent treat” and that the lemon flavor is among their favorites.

Good enough for me. After handing over the fiver and telling them to keep the change for the campaign I headed home to these treasures



bearing a box of these puppies



I spent Sunday night basking in the glory of Butter Cream and Blue Willow kitchen walls with my girls and my guy and a sense of having done the right thing.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ze Grand Portrait of Truthiness

Or blotchy, snarly, exhaustion.

There's been a smattering of posts around revealing photos of much beloved bloggers before they've gone through grueling battles with flat irons, mascara wands and spackle trowels (Not to say that any of the ladies linked to below use these devices, or in fact need them, but knowing we've all at least dabbled, I figure it's safe to say.)

I'll cop to first making a pot of coffee and taking a first sip ferociously slurping a half cup before snapping the pictures you'll be seeing. I would have been scared of revealing this, but the truth is, lately the efforts of the morning find themselves in gooey, messy half moons beneath my eyes, either from crying or the third-trimester-hot-flashes-and-oh-my-god-I-am-melting episodes. And the hair? Eesh, the products that a month ago tamed frizzies and eased the absence of a style, well now they seem to transform into a substance akin to epoxy within an hour of going in. Running my fingers through my hair they come away gummy or become stuck and bring tears to my eyes as I try to pull them out of my nest. So, the morning shot, despite a kind of dazed look, I'm ok with it.

Staring down the birth of our third child and advent of my 35th birthday, I actually am feeling pretty damn lucky to look and feel the way I do when I wake up...(After a cup of Peet's coffee and my morning blog surfing.) So, without firther adieu, me, the way I looked as I typed this post.



This felt a little weak, kind of hiding behind the incredible coffee, letting the incredible Denby mug block my post-dawn visage...so here's this.




Gallery of morning beauty and all around genius:
Mamalogues
Motherbumper
Mrs. Flinger
Izzy mom
Oh, the joys
Her Bad Mother
Sweetney
Breed'em and Weep

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Al-most...there.

I think this pregnancy will forever be measured by the kitchen. To Sean's credit, we were only without running water for 18 hours. Not exactly riveting reading material, but this has been my life since November. Tomorrow we'll paint the walls and install the switch plates. Next up- plywood counter tops being replaced with concrete and exposed wires being traded for lighting fixtures. After that is done we'll be installing a stone back splash. Then the plan is to take a break...or, if I have my way, fence the side yard, bust through the east side of the house and create a private oasis away from the prying eyes of our shrewish neighbor.
















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Monday, March 10, 2008

Eliot, you broke my heart.

I have been complimented for being a dreamer, been confided to that my ability to believe and have hope are enviable. I pride myself on approaching the way I parent my girls and treat my marriage as passionately as I would the pursuit of a dream, because that's what they both are to me. Politically I have cooled, I used to be much more vocal and ardent, whether it was about freedom of choice or funding of the arts and things like Headstart.

These days I beat my chest only when talking about organic foods and flexible schedules. I am more inclined to be less bold with my opinions, partly because I am a liberal living in a conservative region, a registered democrat in a seriously red region of New York State, but more so because I haven't felt the breathless need to illuminate a cause or laud a human being. The spark has not been so quick to ignite, except in isolated instances, as I have encountered the odd person with integrity and that ineffable quality that makes you believe that they emerged unscathed by the all-too-common foibles of people in power.

I remember the lightness of being as I discovered just such a person. Suddenly I was outspoken on the street, less hesitant in conversation.

"He's the real deal."

"Ha! They'll see!"

"Change can happen."

"They aren't all conniving bastards."

And when I met his wife, I was awestruck. She was the whole package. Incredibly articulate, passionate, questing and, not that it matters, a knock-out. They have three daughters and I'd be lying if I didn't imagine Sean and I being like them, perhaps not on a Governor of the state level, but certainly on a crusading for what was important within the circles we could influence.

Today, I sit with a broken heart. The illusion of a man of conviction, integrity and hope gone and in its place another blur in the grand collage of fallen heroes and corrupt leaders. A man who gave in to the tawdry allure of the forbidden.

Oh, Eliot, you cad.

Does the heady scent of power carry with it such a dense cloud of invincibility and daring that you would throw away an entire life for cheap sex?

I cannot fathom wagering everything I had on a young, taut stud. Would it be that gratifying? Are the forty five seconds of pulsing ecstasy worth risking it all?

Forget your wife, forget your daughters, forget the entire state to whom you pledged to do your best--

"Day 1 everything changes."

New York State Governor, Eliot Spitzer


What about your life? Your own soul? What about each tomorrow?

Was it the tricking us that you got off on Eliot?

I cannot help but shake my head, a fierce lump in my throat as bilious pockets of anger threaten to spew forth.

Why did you have to kill my hope, Eliot? I believed in you. We all did.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Love is sticky

Unveiling my belly is always vastly more slapstick than soft lens.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Can we do a project?

Today, I slipped on the supermom suit. For one moment I felt like the kind of mom who sends thank you notes, bakes cookies and delivers them in seasonally appropriate bags and vessels to all the neighbors.



For one afternoon I watched my girls through blurry eyes as tears of relief, satisfaction and delight streamed from the corners of my eyes.*


*And, the icing on the cake which I didn't realize until now, those shoes are impeccably lined up as opposed to the haphazard dogpile they usually resemble.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Why did you make that sound, mom?*

*F-bomb coming...for the record I fucking hate that term, but whatever, thought I should warn you.


I am coping with something I don't know how to do, struggling to disprove what is fast becoming reality, and all I can say is, "This really fucking blows." I am 32 weeks pregnant and for almost the first time in my life I feel unable to do things. I cannot bend over, can't shave my legs or fasten the ankle straps of my fierce patent leather pumps.

I am unable to participate in the painting of the kitchen, powerless to do anything with the heavy unwieldy boxes blocking parts of the kitchen. I am worthless at bath time, unable to reach the girls in the tub and too uncomfortable to sit on the floor for very long.

I can't traverse the expanse beyond any of our doors on account of the ice. I have to wait for Sean to pull the car out of the garage so I can teeter down the stairs and stand awkwardly while I wait for him to pull the car back in, hop out and help me into the car.

This morning I was doing the one thing I can still do really wall. I had snuggled myself in next to Avery in her wee toddler bed, she was rubbing her nose against mine and patting my back. I smiled and kissed her nose as her eyelids began to move slower, each blink lasting longer in the closed position than the open.

"I love you, sweetie," I whispered as I started to get up. Then all hell broke loose. The spot on my back, just southwest of my tail bone exploded. This wasn't the twinge of pain that accompanies me throughout my days. No, this was a big, motherfucking sledgehammer knocking me down and making me lurch explosively into a classic movie star, back arching death flop.

"Bwwaahhhh-god!" I screamed, the guttural sound slamming against the pale blue walls of the girls room and leaving both girls white faced and wide eyed.

"S'ok," I muttered to myself as I reclined and attempted to start again from a different position. As I tried to move my body using the momentum of one shoulder and leg the pain came back. The lasers of pain shot from the same spot, pulling me back while the agony raced beyond my back and seemed to be clutching me, gnarly, grizzled hands piercing my ears and a chain pulling the base of my skull back toward my tailbone.

"What the f-aaaw...kkk, damnit!"

"Mama! Mom, why are you making that sound in your body?" Briar called from across the room.

Avery was looking at me, unsure whether to shrink away from me in an act of self-preservation or grab me in a half nelson to yank me back in bed. I shook my head, trying to move again. "I'm ok girls, just hurting. In. My. Back."

I continued my pathetic Fosse-esque crawl and lurch, misguided jazz hand type movements punctuated my sobs as I tried to shake away my caving to the pain. My knee caps raged as I pounded across the hardwood, a controlled fall designed solely to protect my face from meeting oak. By the time I made it to the chair, I was sure that the leverage of the taller furniture would allow me to achieve an upright position.

I placed my hands on the chair and took deep breaths while Avery murmured, "Mama, hu-ht, mama, hu-ht, n'crying" and Briar hushed me with, "Mama, you're ok." I lifted one knee and bent my elbows and as the white hot flames of agony reignited in y back my face smashed into the chair.

"Aaaaah! I can't. SEAN!" His response was immediate, "What? Man, babe, are you ok?" followed by the sound of his feet on the stairs.

"Yeah."

"What is it?" He asked as he hit the top of the stairs.

"I can't. I can't get up."

He rushed to me, a look of horror on his face. "Then why don't you not. Get up. Just stay there." He knelt down massaging the spot his fingers know so well. The massages until now had been to feel better, not to function. I was scared and pissed. Really pissed. He settled the girls back in their beds and took me downstairs to the couch and heating pad.

"Just be still. Rest."

I tried, the pain faded, but a hum seemed to be running from my hips to my knees. Each time I tried to get up I got a big, "Oh no you don't," from Sean and my body. My friend Deb came over and played with the girls, Sean painted and I tried not to spend the day in a full blown pout. I don't think I did a very good job.

I know I shouldn't be so obnoxious, but "I can't," just isn't me. And I know, for myself and for this little person, I need to say, "I can't," and "I shouldn't." I will slow down, but damnit, I am in a piss-poor mood thinking about 8 weeks of slowing down. And cue kick from within my belly to really make me feel like a heel.

Please excuse me, I have a couch to dent.

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