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My daughter, Lyla, turns 2 in about a week. Today, getting an early start, she decided to showcase her terrible 2s in Target. She had clearly been practicing!

In case you missed it, she was the one who wiggled out of her restraints, climbed out of the cart, tore off her diaper, then ran up and down the aisles screaming and giggling devilishly as she removed random items from the shelves and tossed them into our cart faster than a contestant on the retro game show Supermarket Sweep.

My husband was at home recovering from nightshift so I was flying solo. It was toddler verse Mommy. Sadly, I couldn’t compete. I could hardly even keep up.

By the time we made it to checkout, I was sweating, dizzy, unsure of what I was buying or where I was and desperately in need of both a bottled water and a nap! Lyla was ready for Round 2. When we finally made it home (thankfully the little demon slept in the car), I put her down in her crib, carried in every last bag of groceries by myself, then when my husband woke up I told him all about the traumatic ordeal. His response was, “You can’t let her get away with that.”

Hmm… that didn’t help. It didn’t help me and it most certainly didn’t help him.

Before I go on, let me reiterate the fact that I love my husband and our daughter very, very much. My husband is a wonderful father and partner. He happily works his ass off for our family. Our daughter is the perfect combination of me and him. She gets the good and the not-so-good from us both (pretty much) equally. Now that we’re clear on that, let me also state for the record that they are both Leos. I’m not sure this fact has any true bearing on my situation or any other for that matter, but I sometimes blame astrology when I don’t want to flat out blame a person. It’s a defense mechanism.

As a Scorpio, while I am astrologically compatible in many ways with Leos, I have read that there will be times when they will, without even trying, drive me to the brink of insanity. Well, I was there and back today.

Now back to my rant…

What would my husband have done differently? When I asked him that question, he gave me no answer. I would have loved to see how he would have handled our “little situation” at Target. For that matter, I’d love to see him do all of the things I do on a regular basis. In addition to writing, I am a stay at home mom. I change at least 90% of the diapers, clean up at least 90% of the messes and kiss at least 90% of the boo-boos. Everything I do and everywhere I go, there is a toddler at my hip. I write while my husband works and while my daughter sleeps, both during her naps and through the night. I get an awful lot done in minimal time. I take zero breaks and I get very little sleep.

Like most moms out there, I do what I do with little assistance or acknowledgment. When my family or friends are struggling, I stop what I’m doing to listen and to love. When I’m struggling, I push myself harder. Most times, I don’t have time to complain and besides it usually doesn’t help.

While I try not to criticize those whom I love (I said try not to), I seldom get the same courtesy in return. I try to extract positive feedback and constructive criticism, both professionally and personally because those things, while sometimes painful, help us to learn and grow. I try my best not to take too much of it personally and ignore the negativity. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work. Like now, for example.

It is challenging enough to take a toddler shopping by myself. And that, by the way, is something I get to do all the time. I wave and smile to the other moms (or stay at home dads – of which there are many!) as I pass them in the supermarket, as our children pretend to drive the big plastic car attached to our shopping cart while we do the pushing and steering. We are kindred spirits.

I often help other parents when their sons or daughters drop their sippy cups for the 100th time, lunge from their arms in the frozen food section, scream for a cookie or a lollipop or a Dora snack or when they have a complete and total meltdown during checkout (or anyplace else for that matter). I like to think that they would help me too and sometimes they do.

My daughter turns 2 next week.

If you were considering criticizing my parenting skills, voicing your opinion on potty training, reading, haircuts, juice consumption, bedtime etiquette or any other similar topic, this is probably not the right time.

If you see me or another parent struggling, please don’t hesitate to help us. For the record, pointing, whispering and staring do not help. Being critical or judgmental isn’t a bit helpful either. And those snide comments… well, I’ll be happy to suggest a place where you can put those.

The terrible 2s are upon us, my friends. What happened today in Target was just the beginning. I’ve heard horror stories from other parents about what to expect next and I’m not going to lie, I’m more than just a little scared!

If you really want to help me, offer to babysit.

Seeing the Good in Some Not-So-Good News

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I received some not-so-good news the other day regarding the current status of my kidneys. It wasn’t the worst news in the world, but it caught me off-guard and hit me pretty hard. For a moment there, I was down and out about it.

Thanks to some soul searching and a few punches in the arm from some very good friends, I’m feeling much better now.

Basically, my latest labs came back and there was a higher-than-usual amount of blood found in my kidneys. This is most likely a sign that some of my cysts ruptured. It sounds scary, and in a way it is, but it is also pretty standard stuff when it comes to Polycystic Kidney Disease.

I was told that I needed to make additional life changes in order to slow down the rate of my kidney digression. If my kidneys continue getting worse in the next 6 months, my doctor may want to put me on long-term, potentially permanent medication. Something you should know… I don’t like taking any medicine (cold medicine, Tylenol, anything) or putting any chemicals (aside from alcohol but that doesn’t count) into my body. And I hate the thought of being on medication permanently. It’s just not me.

None of this should have or would have upset me. Under normal circumstances, I would have waved my “Philly” finger (that’s the middle one for those not in the know) in the air and said “you’re not the boss of me!” then, I would have simply gone to one extreme or another to prove my doctor wrong. Because that’s what I do. But there was more to it.

The part that upset me was when my doctor said that if my kidneys get worse or if I go on the medication, then I wouldn’t be able to have more children.

To quote my husband, “Well, ain’t that the drizzling shits?!”

Now I could take the easy route and simply “say no to drugs” and hope for the best, but if my kidneys get worse I probably won’t be able to have more children anyway. My kidneys might not be able to handle it. This feels like one of those damned if I do, damned if I don’t situations. I hate those.

Now, the thing is, I have no idea whether or not I even want more children. I know that I love the one I have more than anything in the world. I know I wouldn’t trade her for all the tea in China (or chocolate in Switzerland, or anything else anywhere else for that matter). She is the second greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

But do I want more children? Now? Later? Someday?

Oh, I don’t know. But I do know that I don’t want to be told that I can’t.

So I’ve done some extreme soul searching. Well, first I had a bowl of ice cream to soothe my aching heart but when I quickly realized that wasn’t helping then I jumped right into the soul searching.

I cried… I ranted and raved… I meditated… I got over it.

I am not ready to make any huge life decisions. I’m not quite ready for a new kidney or another child. I’m not sure if or when I will be ready for either. If something changes or if one or the other happens to happen while I’m still trying to get ready, well then I’ll hurry up and get ready.

And, you’d better believe, I will embrace every change that comes my way and love my life and everything and everyone in it no matter what.

Of course, it probably goes without saying that, I’m not ready to give up. That’s not how I roll. So, instead, I’ll try harder because that’s what we do when we know that quality (and quantity) of life is the most important thing.

For the sake of my life and for the sake of those I love and who love me, I will make additional changes.

It’s not going to be easy. But it’s the least I can do, really.


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A good friend of mine recently posted as her Facebook status the question, “What is your favorite word?” What a great question. But in the moment I panicked. I thought, how can I pick just one favorite word when there are so many wonderful words to choose from?

Let’s face it. I love words. Yep, I’m a word nerd.

Not wanting to commit to a single, solitary word at the time, I offered up a few of my least favorite words instead. I couldn’t commit so I deflected. I needed time to think. It felt like I’d been asked to select a favorite child or film or song from the 80s. I mean, there are too many really good ones.

Also, much like sexual positions, doesn’t it kind of depend on my mood?

If I’m feeling happy, I might lean towards words like love or yellow or sunshine. On the other hand, if I’m angry I might drop an F-bomb or 2 or maybe even a C-U-Next-Tuesday. I’m not afraid to use either.

I thought long and hard about my favorites and least favorites. Unfortunately I still couldn’t commit to just one in either category so, rather than force it, I decided to compile a Top 10 list for each.

Here you go…


  1. Fuck – It’s the best word to get my point across in any given situation. Fuck you. Fuck me. Fuck the world. Fuckin’ A (old school). Fuck yeah! Fuckedy-fuck-fuck.
  2. Awesome – Because it’s awesome. That’s why.
  3. Mommy – This one melts me on a regular basis. Any sentence that either begins or ends with mommy is a good one. Fact.
  4. Thank you – While technically 2 words, it deserves a spot in my top 10. I use the phrase frequently and honestly believe everyone should. There are infinite reasons to be thankful. We should make it a point to say so more often.
  5. Laughter – Perhaps my favorite activity also.
  6. Love – Who doesn’t love love?
  7. Monosyllabic – I love that a word that means 1 syllable is, in fact, comprised of 5 syllables.
  8. Mulch – Come on, it’s so much fun to say. Say it! MULCH!!
  9. Yay! – Because you can’t say it without the exclamation! It kind of makes you want to clap too, doesn’t it?
  10. Uranus – Did you know that Uranus is currently retrograde? Better eat more fiber!

Least Faves:

  1. ┬áLover – Ick.
  2. Bestie – Unless we’re 16 and splitting a BFF charm, do we really have to be besties? Can’t we just be really good friends?
  3. Ants – I don’t like ants. The word makes me itch.
  4. Rape – This is one of those words I feel gets thrown around too lightly. It’s a serious word for a serious matter. And, in my opinion, any alternate use is reducing the severity of the offense. For example: While you might not enjoy paying your taxes, the government is not raping you so get over it.
  5. Moist – Unless you’re describing cake, it’s probably best to leave this one alone too (OK, even if you’re describing cake!)
  6. Finger – Even when used innocently, this word strikes a vulgar chord.
  7. Phlegm – Ew. Even the word sounds phlegmy. Doesn’t it?
  8. No – I like yes much better.
  9. Pecker – Can we please resolve to leave this word in the 70s or 80s or wherever, whenever it was born? Every single time I think it has died, I lower my pecker guard and then someone manages to bring it back to life and smack me in the face with it (so to speak). In a nutshell, if I never-ever-ever again hear some idiot refer to his own penis as his pecker, it will be too soon. Ugh.
  10. Flan – Thanks to the warm, oozy, day-old flan I was forced to consume back in high school Spanish class on the same dreadful day I coincidentally came down with a rather volatile case of stomach flu, the look, the smell, the thought and, yes, even the word flan still gives me the cold sweats.

Thank you to Jennifer Sexton Riviezzo for the inspiration to blog about this!