Spectacularly Normal

My Photo
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I have a tendency to unconsciously appropriate other peoples' affectations, leading me to say things like y'all.

Email me

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This is another one of those mornings*

When she first woke up this morning, Sophie was all warm and sleepy and I wanted to eat her alive slowly. The first thing she said was: I wish today wasn't a school day so that I could stay home and eat a cookie. I'm not sure why one is contingent upon or associated with the other, and really it doesn't matter because it was just so cute that I immediately offered her cookies for breakfast. She didn't take the cookies, but she did opt for a strawberry waf-ful, Eggo's crack filled breakfast treat. She also asked if she could watch Dora the Explorer (which had been outgrown and forgotten until she watched an episode during her haircut last week) and since I was about to take a shower, I agreed.

Now, it could have been my fault. I really should have known better.

For Sophie to finish (assuming she even begins) eating something, you have to stand over her with a whip and say: take another bite Sophie...I mean it, if you don't keep eating, I'm turning this off...Sophie, you're making me really frustrated now...okay, that's it! Well, I went to check on her progress after the shower and caught her scrambling to take a few quick bites out of her breakfast. For the next 15 minutes, she sang to the TV and shouted out words in Spanish and generally vocalized her frustration that Dora and Boots didn't see Swiper even though he was right there in plain view: He's right there...look...under that bush...RIGHT THERE...don't you see him?...you're not looking enough. When I came in to check on her again, she guiltily told me to turn it off.

That's when the morning went sour. There was a lot of whining and what we've come to call pissy pants pseudo-hysteria. At one point she started full on crying and wishing that her dad was there so that she could be at school already.

To make matters a bit worse, her dad was running 15 minutes late picking her up on a morning when I needed to drop off clothes to the dry cleaner. Not a big deal at all usually, but in the context of Sophie's aggressive crankiness, it wasn't great. Once out the door, Sophie started crying that she wanted mommy to drop her off at school. Yes, the self-same mommy from whom she was only too eager to escape moments before. As my arms were full of dirty shirts and coat, I couldn't change my plans and poor Josh was forced to follow along in order to mollify the puppet master. The morning took on a life of its own when we came out of the cleaners and Josh realized that he'd left his backpack at my apartment. Back to the beginning then.

During the walk to the train, Sophie decides that she wants to change her mind and have daddy take her to school after all. Are you itching to have children of your own yet?

On the train, she spins around the pole and sings the following song:

(To the tune of Mary had a little lamb)
Hannukah's a happy time, happy time, happy time,
Hannukah's a happy time,
the best of all of lice
You're probably thinking that this should have made up for everything else, because there is nothing more adorable than a child mis-hearing "festival of lights" that way and yelling at her dad on a crowded subway that he sings it wrong. Well, maybe that's true on a first or even fifth listening of this little ditty, but I've now heard it 9253 times and this morning my ears were bleeding just a little bit.

*My boss is back in the office. Bad.

**None of us can speak Spanish

Monday, February 27, 2006

While you were away

With regards to John's being in Washington, D.C. tonight, Sophie said:

It's sort of good that John won't be home, because now I don't have to say excuse me when I fart or if I want to have a conversation.

When it drizzles, it rains

Something I haven't written about at all yet is that I am a full-on, total cake geek. Maybe I should say baking geek instead, because certainly cakes are not all I bake, but as far as professional aspirations go (yes, I do have those), I want to be a cake designer. For me, a beautiful life would be one spent in the kitchen all day, every day, listening to my favorite music and assembling towers of fondant covered lusciousness. That's right, all day in the kitchen, on my feet, elbow deep in buttercream, singing too loudly out of vocal range to some Arcade Fire...heaven.

I mention this now because two really cool, unrelated and unexpected things happened this weekend...okay, I guess you could say three, but the third one sort of doesn't count. I'll tell you that one first: I went to a friend's birthday bash and made vanilla cupcakes with saffron infused cream cheese frosting. It was really fun to look through my herb pantry and come up with something that would work well with the vanilla cupcakes (yes, I do know that saffron is not an herb). I have to give credit to Chockylit for starting me on this experimental path, since it was her tarragon cream cheese frosting that gave me the idea (I've done that recipe before and they were soooo yummy). Okay, but the really cool things that happened were:

1) I was offered an opportunity to supply Housing Works bookstore with my cheese cakes! Housing Works is a really great store with some wonderful author events. If you live in New York and have never been...GO, now...don't even wait for the cheese cake, just go. If you're not in the area, then check out their website at least because they do really good things.

2) I received an email from the former manager of a restaurant in the city where friends of mine had their wedding reception last year. I made their wedding cake and this woman had asked for my business card. Since I hadn't heard from her at all, I certainly wasn't expecting to, but here we are. I sent her some photos of my work today (unfortunately they aren't quite portfolio quality, but they'll have to do), so we'll see.

Something even cooler and much more exciting happened this weekend. John and I officially entangled ourselves and opened a joint bank account. I think we're going steady now.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Short Cut

For the last week and a half Sophie's been telling us she wants a haircut. I can't express how psyched I was to hear it. Her hair has become this medusa tangle that gets in her mouth and in her eyes and catches on everything (zippers, hats, t-shirts, crowns...most often it's the crowns that are the problem). When she first started growing her hair long, we had an arrangement: I won't cut it, but you'll wear it in pig-tails every day. I know it isn't necessary to point out that neither of us kept up our end of this bargain? Worst still, at some point, against all natural law, it started growing at a rate of no less than half an inch per hour, so that before we knew it Sophie resembled something that belonged in a forest moreso than a child living in a (relatively) clean, human household.

The three parents didn't take long to deliberate before deciding that yes, the hair
had to go, so it was a wonderful coincidence that Sophie decided to make her debut as a copy-cat this week and insist we cut her hair just like Jasmine's (a friend at school). Concerned that this was a passing fancy, we didn't act immediately and made sure to explaine that because Jasmine, who is half Asian, has different hair it wouldn't be exactly the same, only similar. Sophie would not be diverted and continued to make valiant efforts to suppress her excitement and act like she was afraid of getting the cut.

We got to Lulu's in Park Slope within 15 minutes of their closing and they were nice enough to accomodate us even though they were clearly setting up for a birthday party. There was already boy in the chair who was clearly not enjoying his experience one bit. It sounded more like they were cutting him to ribbons, than giving him a simple trim. His mother kept trying to draw his attention to the movie they had playing on the little television set in front of him, but he would have none of it. Meanwhile, we followed Sophie around as she used her special radar to find every single elephant shaped object in the store and ooh-ed and ahh-ed and gawped over it in the hope that we would just relent and buy her everything.

When it was her turn, and the wailing boy finally had his mouth glued shut with a lollipop, Sophie climbed into the red sports car chair and stated emphatically that she wanted her short cut like Jazzy's, then proceeded to disappear into an episode of whatever was on the television. I think at some point she started drooling, because I saw the hairdresser give her a tissue to wipe it up.

At the end of the haircut, which included Sophie's first blow d
ry (during which Sophie's only reaction was to glare at the woman working on her and say I can't hear the movie), the hairdresser remarked that she really liked t.v., didn't she? John and I smiled at each other and I replied that yes, she watches a lot of t.v. and movies. Is that a good thing? Someone asked. I looked at Sophie, who was still engrossed in Sleeping Beauty, crinkling her brow against the itchy bits of hair still stuck there, then glanced covertly at the little boy who was now playing with a die cast car and said: "Actually, sometimes it's the very best thing."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

This is how we do (and why I need a new job)

The following email was just sent by our receptionist:

Talk about beating a dead horse!!

I am sick and tired of hearing complaints about the ladies room. I've had 2 this morning. The previous e-mails have been completely ingnored.

To be blunt.....Please clean up after yourselves! No one here is anyone's personal maid!!! You are adults and it is about time that you started acting like one. I'm sick of going into the stalls and having to either flush the toilet a couple of times and wipe down the seats because you are too damn lazy to do it yourselves. If this is how you live in your own homes FINE, but DO NOT TAKE YOUR FILTHY HABITS TO THIS OFFICE!!

We have guests that come to this office for meetings!

I'll just leave you with that.

Cucumber delta of the shikon jewel descending

During the commute home the other day, Sophie and I had the following conversation:

S: Ooh, I know what would be fun. We could watch Inuyasha when we get home.

M: Yes, that would be fun. We could do that.

S: You know which movie I wanna watch? I wanna see the one where the little cat gets picked up by the red haired guy.

At this point I try to figure out what on earth she's talking about, because there isn't any red haired guy that I can remember. Sophie, ever astute, senses my idiocy and continues:

S: I mean the one with that girl with the bow on her shirt.

M: Kogome? (for those of you just indulging me and have no clue what I'm talking about, she's in every episode)

S: Yeah. (now she looks confused) Mommy, how come she's the only one who can see the secret [sacred] jewel shards?

M: Because she's a priestess, honey, and has special powers.

S: But why no one else has special powers?

M: Everyone has special powers on the show. They're just different powers.

I won't totally bore you with the itemized run-down of everyone's special powers, but suffice it to say that this went on for about 10 more minutes before I realized with a sinking feeling that John isn't the only dork in our family.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Don't worry everyone, I made sure to fully cook the bacon before I ate it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

This end is better anyway, and I'm happy to take responsibility for it

This is what happens on the days Sophie stays at her dad's and he's the one who dresses her

Round is just so much better

So I'll start with Whatever Day and work through the weekend. We started off on Saturday with some breakfast and cartoons...we've been obsessively working our way through this Japanamation series called Inuyasha and we've finally managed to get Sophie hooked too. The show is understandably difficult for her to watch (every 3 minutes there's a recap of action you just saw), but on Saturday morning she was sitting on the couch yelling things like: won't somebody just cut off his tentacles already? Who knew she could wield the word tentacles like such a pro? After we dropped Sophie off to her dad's we came home and exchanged presents. I got John the earbuds he'd mentioned wanting a week or so ago. He, on the other hand, got me this, which right now is even more exciting than an engagement ring would have been. I've been wanting one of these for quite some time and got to enjoy it as I spent the rest of the day baking in the kitchen for the tea party. By the time we went to dinner I was pretty pooped, but then I stepped out into the 13 degree night wearing sandals and an evening dress and was instantly awake; problem solved.

Public restaurant is wonderful. The food is yummy and interesting (I had wild boar!) and the atmosphere is really lovely. Very romantic and hip. John made me feel like the prettiest most important girl in the world. It was a fantastic Whatever Day and I won't go into the specifics of the rest of our night, except to say that our cabbie proceeded to tell John how lucky he was to have such a sexy woman. But in sort of a hungry, inappropriately, lascivious way. John was quite pleased.

I'd done most of the work for the tea party in advance. I made little sandwiches (egg-butter and asparagus/prociutto and mozerella on hazelnut pesto) and cookies (lemon thyme) and a cheese-spread (ricotta and sage) and vintage jam tarts. What possessed me to make them star shaped, you ask? When switching to rounds took one-third of the time? I can't really answer that. I can say with certainty that the next time I make these, they will be round and made from my own biscuit recipe (which is flakier and more buttery). The party was small and my friend Liz and I were the only two pounding cosmopolitans for 8 straight hours, but my friend Emily contributed an incredibly delicious quiche and a really fun time was had by all, especially by the hostess and her best friend:

Monday, February 20, 2006

Not how I thought it would turn out

This is going to be a sad entry. Last night John and I had a fight that really freaked me out. It wasn't the fight itself (we've had the odd argument before and it's always okay in the end), but how I felt when it was over. We're fine, the relationship is still strong and we're still crazy in love and I know I'm still going to spend my life with this man, but something did happen that I need to document for my own sake.

There was a moment at the end of the fighting when I felt really clearly like I shouldn't be alive. It's hard to write this. It's hard not to consider as I do how much these words might hurt my friends and family who read this blog; or Sophie years from now if she ever does. And I'm not trying to be mellowdramatic or hysterical. It's just that for the first time in my life I had this really strong regret that I hadn't ever actually killed myself the few times I've wanted to. It seems that even when I'm sane, I hurt the people I most love. I won't get into what the fight was about, but I will say that I wasn't the reason for it. Still, the most hurtful blow was dealt by me and it was enough to wish myself away.

I know that this post will be a hard one for friends and family and John himself (sorry), and I imagine that other people don't see me as I see myself. That to them I'm strong and confident and caring. A friend of mine called me a comet a few weeks ago. But it's so lonely to be those things. To love the people in my life so much and feel like I just can't really be good enough for them. That I'll never be sane enough or pretty enough or un-obsessed with my body enough. That I'm not smart enough or talented enough or ambitious enough. That even the things I'm best at: taking care of people, being a mother, loving, are things that I fuck up all the time.

And as for my sanity...I'm okay. I've been doing fine since my last moment of depression. This feeling that I had last night didn't come from chemical imbalance and that's what shakes me up the most. It's so obvious to me that I am more of a problem than anything.

I'll write about the rest of the weekend soon, which was actually amazing, and maybe that will help me remember that life isn't always the mess I wind up making of it.

Friday, February 17, 2006


When I started this post it was going to be somewhat of diatribe about eBay and how I seem to get fucked every time I try to buy something. Mind you, I say try to because I have infact bought things off eBay, but they're only good if they aren't clothes. I bought a really gorgeous Betsey Johnson dress last week and it arrived today and was in terrible shape. I assumed that the seller was not going to take it back (hence my initial anti-eBay rant), but she was actually extremely nice about it and will fully refund me for it. Let's hope I'm not just being naive. I tend to over-believe the good in people.

Feeling victorious on that front, I celebrated by having the following for lunch:
-2 kiwi fruit
-1/4 of a (small) papaya
-4 strawberries
-2 slices of watermelon
-1 slice of pineapple
-1/4 lb. of smoked turkey

John said this morning that he thought between the two of us my appetite would shy at his. Two pounds of fruit is not much of an example of how wrong he is, but he is totally wrong. What he doesn't realize is:
a) I feel like I could still eat most of a pizza, a couple of chocolate bars and a salad wrap from Chopt, maybe a bag of doritos too (after that I'd need to reevaluate my hunger v. belly pain situation); and
b) when I stop eating first it's purely to keep up the appearance that I'm a lady, even though I can outsweat almost any man.
I think an eat-off is definitely in our future.

This weekend promises to be a very good one. Tomorrow is Whatever Day, our version of valentines day (which I insist is totally stupid, sorry) and John is taking me here for dinner. I've had a BITCH of a time finding an appropriate gift for the occasion, but I think that my ultimate choice should be a good one. Why do I have such a ridiculously difficult time buying this man a present? It was much much easier for my ex because he had no taste and I made all of the decisions (just kidding Josh, heh heh). Seriously, I go into this major panic when I have to get John a gift. I bought him a suit a week ago without thinking twice, so where does the pressure come from? It's weird.

On Sunday Sophie is throwing her first ever tea party. It's ladies only and will be femtastic, I'm certain. There will be jam tarts and fancy little sandwiches and vodka. It's going to be awesome.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Why you're amazing

Because you call me from Boston (between meetings) to respond to my email about wanting to quit 20 minutes after I've walked into the office and my boss has managed to berate and degrade me with little provocation and you say: do it, I support you.

It's oh so quiet

It's 6:30 in the morning. John has left to catch a shuttle to Boston for the day and Sophie spent the night at her dad's house, so the apartment is totally still and totally mine. How strange and delicious. In half an hour I'll need to shower and get ready for work (it's the boss' last day before vacation and he's in, shall we say, prime form), but for right now I'm just sitting in the kitchen listening to the hum of the refrigerator and the occasional whir of the computer fan. This must sound so mundane, and it is, and that's fine because I haven't had a morning like this since before John moved in. Most mornings are a frantic sprint to pack lunch and navigate 3 bodies around a smallish apartment, while getting Sophie ready for school and getting ourselves ready for work. So I'm relishing this very very boring moment before I leave to feed myself to the lion.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's a new dawn, it's a new day

For what it's worth, in the present term, I have resolved myself to the fact that feeling cranky about my body and letting that affect my life and the people I love is not going to change the actual physical characteristics of my body. In other words, I am going to stop fucking whining (in my own head, thank you very much) about it and just buck up. I'm also going to stop thinking that every time I'm horribly constipated and need to take a laxative that I'm reverting to old ways and old disorders. I can't think that it's like an alcoholic with one drink...which is exactly how I was thinking about it...it's just life. I have bowel issues. Whatever.

Much more importantly I am proud to report that in an incredible moment of being fed-up with my own laziness and lack of ambition, I actually managed to UPDATE my resumé and now only need to do some tweaking to make it viewable to employers. By 2009 I might actually get fed-up enough again to take that step. Relatedly (sort of), my office manager has organized this weird "Sandwich Lady" service whereby a woman with a basket of food (I shit you not, it is actually in a huge ornate basket) comes by with lunch for sale. It's creepy enough this sudden feeling that we're being unofficially discouraged from leaving the building during working hours, but at 11:30 or so an email goes out from the receptionist that reads: FOOD'S HERE!!!!!, which also makes me think of piggies running to a trough. The whole thing is just odd and unsettling.

Unrelatedly, Sophie made me a v-day present at school. I'll have to take a photo and post it because it's too great to miss. The card read (in her own little tentative print): I LOVE MOM DEAR SOPHIE, which is too cute already, but the present (wrapped up in white paper on which Sophie had painted pink "hearts") was a purse made out of two paper plates. It's utterly fabulous and will have to be converted into an actual fabric purse because how could I not sport something so totally divine...as you will soon see...as a purse that looks like two paper plates sewn together. In Sophie's words: I can put treasure in it when I find some. So, you know, there's that to look forward to.

Monday, February 13, 2006


I was doing so so well. I had 22 days of stable marked in my mood journal (which is an incredible first), but now, I've hit a wall. I'm not depressed exactly, but I'm irritable and I feel enormously, uncomfortably fat. I feel gross. I feel ungainly. I feel hungry and not hungry. If I eat more than some baby carrots, some celery and a small tub of cottage cheese on any given day, I feel like I've failed myself. And like I've gained 20 lbs in one sitting. I've been avoiding pants that I know will make me feel *big* for three or four days now and wishing I could just stay in my pj's all day in general. (Under the blanket would do quite nicely.) I'm being bitchy to Sophie again, turning what should be a really cool time signing valentines into some form of nazi imprisonment...John is sort of keeping to himself at this point because, really, what can he do? He has a cold. I should be taking care of him. Besides, he's seen this inexplicable turn of events before and knows his role in all of this is limited. It seems like he's just sick of me. Like I'm disappointing him because I can not keep my shit together. (I suppose that's just the way I feel.) Shouldn't I have better balance by now? Maybe I'm not getting enough sleep? I feel really lonely. And that, in turn, also makes me sad. I want to be better. I want to be for real, like long term, better. Why is that so impossible?

Of course, I'm not glancing over the fact that I go all kooky when I sense a disturbance in my weight. I don't know where that came from for me. I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't really really aware of what I was eating or what the result of the eating might be. When I was a child, my dad would go crazy because I hated to eat onions (for example) and so there was always penalty associated with eating. Food was also most commonly the way my father rated our success in the world and showed his love . It's no wonder at all that I have an extremely complicated relationship with the stuff (which is not to say that everything is my father's fault). I love it and I hate it. I'm never happier than when I'm in the kitchen making dinner for someone (or 20 someone's) and I'm never more miserable than when I've eaten the fruits of that labor.

I'm 5'5'', I weight 130 lbs. My measurements are: 34(D), 28, 36. I wear a size 4. Shouldn't it be okay for me to feel thin?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Laying low

Things have been fairly quiet here the last few days. Ever since John's giving me the scare of my life last Friday, we've (I've) been in a sort of recovery mode. We shored things up pretty quickly and there weren't hard feelings, but nonetheless I had to sort of process the event. Someone was kind enough to ask for further information, which I've already posted as a comment reply, but I was laying here, waiting for the Lunesta to kick in and I started thinking: wait, maybe people are actually reading this blog afterall? Maybe they want to know what happened too?

So here's what happened: after I posted my disconcerting little message on here, I sat around for about half an hour trying to plan out a course of action. I settled on calling hospitals in the city for an hour, not a one of which listed John as an emergency intake (relief), then I thought about the possibility that he was very druckenly shacked up with some office chicky (fucking awful and unlikely, but I AM a girl, people). By six (after more calling his cell with no answer) I resolved to take a shower and be ready incase I had to run out of the house. I figured by 8:30 or so I could call his office and find out whether he'd fallen asleep there or something.

At approximately 7:10 John calls. He sounds upset and groggy (which freaks me out more and sends me into tears) and assures me that he's fine, he's on the train and he'll be home in 20 min. Then, before I can rip him a new one, the phones disconnect.

When he got home, Sophie was awake and glad to see him, but aware that I was not so glad to see him. I wouldn't even look at him. It felt so wrong, but I just didn't have anything to say. I'd been battling him and a dozen demons in my head for hours, trying to make sense of what could have happened. And here's what happened, in John's own words:

"I got on the F train uptown at around 1:30 and I closed my eyes for a minute. Then I woke up at 23rd street, walked down to transfer to the D train at West 4th and while I was over the bridge I took out my phone to call you and it was 7 o'clock."

He'd been riding the subway for a good 6 hours between Coney Island and the Bronx. And he was pretty freaked out about the whole thing himself. That morning was the first morning I'd ever yelled at him and it was more out of grief than anger. Thank god nothing happened to him during that time he was asleep. He was lucky. He came home with his wallet in order, his phone...nothing had been disturbed. Most importantly no one had given a beat down to the nicely dressed white man sleeping one off all night.

What I'm hearing

I don't enjoy wiping crap out of your butt, I do it as a favor because I love you....Now see, when you put your panties back on before someone does clean-up, you get poop all over them.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Consultant

John had a company wide dinner last night that started at around 7:30 in the evening. After that it was apparently customary for the company to rent out some portion of some club for the younger bees to continue boozing and dancing in. It is now 4:30 on Friday morning. First I felt confused (the bed was empty and there was no familiar sound of drunken keyboard clicking coming the other end of the apartment). Then I felt worried (I expected him home hours ago...he's supposed to be going in to work today...I have no way of finding him). Then sick. Literarly a pain like an ulcer burning in my stomach (a pain that cancelled our one and only house-hunting trip because we were afraid I'd need to go to the emergency room) and it won't go away. It's only get worse, actually. Now I am just so angry at the selfishness that could lead to recklessness and lord knows what and just the not calling to say it's going to be later than I thought. In our time together I have never once felt angry towards John. Never. And this feeling is so foul (so emtpy and unfeeling) that I almost wish I would never see him again because I don't know what to do with it. I don't know how I'll look him in the eye whenever I see him next and be able to make him understand what these next few hours (or day) will feel like for me.

And what do I tell Sophie in the morning when she asks where John is?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Why, when I pass two people in conversation and hear them laughing, do I always assume they're laughing at me?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Let's all just take a moment to honor that blessed part of the day that is 5:20 in the evening. Ten minutes before I get to go pick up Sophie and head home.

Reasons that computers* are just pure evil

They break.

The lunch-time crowd at Tekserve is really fucking scary. Does Steve Jobs know these people are buying his machines?

It's expensive to repair them. Twice.

They always think they know what they want to do, but never realize they'd be doing nothing without you.

They don't connect to your wireless internet account and force you to maniacally research the problem on your boyfriend's desktop until he comes home and informs you that unplugging the router and plugging it back in always solves the problem for him.

They get you all excited that tonight's the night you'll be able to (finally, after months) upload your music onto itunes so that you can finally get the newest Hot Hot Heat album onto your ipod then the above happens rendering you senseless, exhausted and writing blog posts about why computers* are pure evil.

They're not as pretty as they should be. Even the pretty ones.

They're heavy. Even the lighter ones.

They're all about code this and code that...just speak ENGLISH already.

00 1 00

They force you to stay up too late and you wake up all crabby and then when you go to your shitty job the next day and hate your boss, all you can do is pine over customizing your laptop and uploading your music collection.

*my computer

Monday, February 06, 2006

There really should be an advisory sticker on it

How is it that I always forget that if bananas constipate me and bananas are in banana bread, then eating too much* banana bread (even if I made it myself and it's in the shape of a bundt cake) will also constipate me?


Blogger Envy

This morning (like any other) I got to my desk at work and started reading blogs. (No, my employers don't know that they are basically paying me to do on-line reading all day.) My favorite blog ever is Dooce, but I force myself to go in alphabetical order, delaying the inevitable brush with the amazing that is Heather B. Armstrong. Heather and her blog are the reason that I started my blog. I realized that I needed a place to put some of the things in my head that I didn't necessarily understand the value of in the short term, but that I hoped one day would explain something about the little inner battles that have led to the person I am and will be. I also needed to see *on paper* that life is good even in the dark times and so far it's been working out that way.

Every month, Heather writes a letter to her daughter (yes, I totally copied that idea from her) just sort of summarizing the achievements and landmarks since the last letter. They are amazing letters. They're funny and honest and always get me all misty-eyed. The thing that always catches me off guard though is how much better a mom she seems than me and how envious I feel afterward. Now I know that's sort of ridiculous. I know that when Sophie was 2 years old I probably thought the same way about my time with her that Heather does about time with her own daughter (who turned 2 just this last weekend), but still I feel so craptastic when I realize (again) that Sophie is getting older and I'm not enjoying every moment as much as I should. This morning I was reminded that before I know it Sophie will be a teenager and our relationship will be so different and instead of indulging her current (moments of) fixation with me, I point out to her that we're different people and that she's suffocating me. Is that terrible? I don't know. She's happy and astute and super smart. She seems undaunted by my periodic insanity. For a child with 3 parents she is totally adjusted and has never had a single setback in her emotional/intellectual development. I have no reason to feel like I'm not doing good enough by her. And yet, on the occasional night when she's been difficult to commute with and she wants me to read her a book, and I'm anxious for her to get to sleep, I'll say no and then feel like a shit for the next hour.

I really worry that when she's a young woman she'll see me in much the same light that I saw my own mother. Unreliable, self-centered, weak. I'm 30 and only now taking the time to get to know the woman my mother actually is. So far she's turning out to be a pretty cool person and I'm understanding that I've spent so many years wound up in suffering and confusion that I never once gave her a chance to stand out as herself or sound like herself and to a degree that's been my fault. That's not to say there aren't unhealed places in the past, but it's taken too long to stop picking at the scabs.

I don't want that for my daughter, but I can't predict that in 16 years she'll see me like she does today. Strong, loving, selfless, amazing. I want her to be proud that I'm her mom and that's not for my ego, but because I wish that she'll feel about me then like I do about her now. She rocks. She totally fucking rocks. If there is anyone I'd rather be, it's definitely Sophie.

Friday, February 03, 2006

All the things she said

M: (turning to S) We're both pretty zoned out right now aren't we?

S: What does zoned out mean?

M: We're both tired and out of it and not really paying attention to each other.

S: (turning to M) I didn't hear what you just said because I wasn't really paying attention.

A little sanity, a lot of obsession

My visit with the shrink yesterday had unexpected results: down goes the dosage, earlier goes the bedtime (mommy, I'ma be five soon!) and, theoretically, in come the human emotions...most notably happiness, which I've had a hard time feeling. I mean, I know that I'm happy, but it would be nice to get all excited again. You know, in a normal way.

I think the thing that I'm most (continually) amazed by since being diagnosed bipolar is the meds and the turn around of my condition based on their tweaking. A month ago I was bat-shit crazy. I was rapid cycling and irritable and miserable. I was nearly suicidal. I felt that leaving Sophie in the hands of her dad and her step-dad and disappearing would just make everyone's life better. I did. I really believed that everyone would be better without me. And I hated myself because I just couldn't get this sanity thing right and I felt too fat and I wasn't a loving enough partner and I couldn't successfully hide what I was going through from Sophie anymore. Then I gave up the Topamax and in four days I was living a different life. Seriously. FOUR days. What the fuck? There's no predicting exactly how a patient is going to react to her medication, I know that, but I'm still shocked that with the right medication (or, more accurately, without the wrong additional medication) I'm stable enough to start experiencing some life again. It's awesome...as in: inspiring a mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread and wonder.

Now, I know it's been less than a day, so I'm not expecting that the decrease in depakote is responsible for the upsurge in emotions I'm experiencing this morning (although I would guess the 8 hours of sleep...1.5 more than usual...could have something to do with it), but after I dropped Sophie off at school I listened to Cat Power's King Rides In on repeat for 15 minutes. Just the one song. I never do that, but come on...during that second surge of the chorus I could feel my heart rise up into my throat and I just wanted to throw my arms around someone and cry out: the world CAN be a better place, we CAN all love each other.

But then I looked around and saw that there were at least four people on bench in front of me who were trying to surreptitiously pick their noses.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


From an email John sent this morning after taking Sophie to school:

Soph was good the whole trip, which was very crowded. She did eenie-meenie-miny-mo a dozen times between me and a strange biker guy to see who could live with her, ending up on me every time except the last, after which she said, "But he can't live with me because I don't even know him. You won the most so only you can."

Other recent Sophie-isms include:
- "I'm just not happy with you right now"
- "We're not going to talk about it anymore"
- "Pooping gets the germs out"
- "Stop kissing me, I don't like it"
- "Even if it's expensive and it's the one I want, that's okay you can buy it for me"
- "Why do you only like sandwiches all the time?"
- "I'm still prettier than you, right?"

It's true when they tell you there's a lot that you learn from your children.