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Showing posts from September, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me?

Someone (I don't remember who) said when adults make a big deal about their own birthdays, it's
because they are afraid no one else will.  I think the person meant to insult me, but I cop to it. It's true, no one will ever get a chance to forget my birthday. (September 30, FYI.)

My little ego can not even imagine the crushing pain of sitting through September 30th (did you already forget?), hoping all the right people remember. 
Because life is fun and complicated, I am terrible at remembering to wish other people Happy Birthday. It's time for me to get better at that. Let's call it a 40th birthday resolution. Trust me, I'm writing "birthday calendar" on my to do list right now.

Now that it's only two days until my birthday, my 40th, the one I've been making such a big deal about, I think I am legitimately psyching myself out.  I feel like I need a sleeping bag to hide in or a new life philosophy or intensive detoxing and physical therapy. I …

A girl at 2

Mamie's favorite things at 2:Coloring/stickeringBuilding with blocks and sorting thingsReadingPlaying outsideCarrying her animal friends around by the arm/neck/flipper My favorite things about Mamie at 2: She's becoming more person-ishThe way she throws her arms up and says "Yeah!" when she's excited or "Tada!" when she's proudHer appreciation for music and dancingHer independenceHow easily she smilesShe's fearless The frustrations of mothering this 2-year-oldShe's fearlessKeeping her hair tamedKeeping shoes on her feetMeals that end with food on the floor (97%) The joys of mothering this 2-year-oldHugs and kisses on demandA stack of books to be repaired because she reads them so hard and carries them with her everywhereI always get at least a day to think I've figured it all out before she changes againShe represents infinite potential, and I will take credit for all of it

What I'm reading: A short list for me

Today I'm am only reading two books! Last week, however, I read 11 death-themed books in three days (for an upcoming article). That was definitely daunting. Nick and I had also been watching 2-3 episodes of The Wire every night. That kind of immersion really sets your mood.

But anyway, what am I reading today?

1. So You've Been Publicly Shamed Hang on a minute, I have to go read everything Jon Ronson has written.















2. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Book Proposals & Query Letters I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a fan of this series. I start out an idiot on most subjects before I become the genius you know and love. I've read a whole pile of books about book proposals in the last few weeks, planning to be an expert soon.

7 things I wish I could ask editors without seeming needy and desperate

Did you get my email? Because I thought you'd be all over this idea.Did you really enjoy reading my work, even though "it's not a good fit at this time"?Do you know anyone who knows anyone who would like to read my book proposal?Can we be friends?When is it ok for me to ask you for more money?Can you tell me when this is going to run so I can stop checking every 15 minutes and work on something else?What websites, books, magazines should I read to do a better job for you?

How to finish your kid's baby book

(Hint: You just decide it's finished.) Is it safe to say baby books are meant to be unfinished? Don't we all agree that one day we will look at the unfinished baby book and chuckle about how we couldn't breathe during the first two years of Junior's life, much less compose a perfect keepsake?

Before Mamie was born, I bought two baby books, because I was so cavalier about expressing my creativity in motherhood. One traditional book had all the fill-in-the-blanks, and the other was more artistic, for doodles and long form essays on what makes baby laugh.

Working on these baby books has been on my official To Do List for two years, and this is the day I declare them DONE. In six days, Mamie will not be a baby anymore. I have written endlessly about her these last two years, posted 1,000 pictures on Facebook, and I feel her babyhood is officially commemorated. Her "baby books" are about 50 percent complete.

OMG it just occurred to me that two half-finished baby b…

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood: 7 awesome things very near my house

September 14 Friends who visited recently were surprised San Antonio is so “cool.” I don’t know what preconceptions people around the country have about our town (or if they have ever thought of it at all), but you might be surprised to know San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the country. Yeah, kids, we’re a real city.

Here are some of the crazy awesome things to do in my neighborhood, like within walking distance, or a 5-minute drive.

Moshe's Golden Falafel -- Nick, Mamie and I have eaten here at least once a week since it opened! It's magic.Landa Libary and Playground -- In my opinion, this is the most beautiful and kid-friendly branch in San Antonio, and it's three blocks from my house. It played a major role in our decision to move to this neighborhood. Not even kidding.Barbaro -- Fancy pizza, brunch and drinks walking distance from home. My biggest complaint is that they only make lasagna for their late night menu.  Barbaro, I can't go out at 11 p.m. pleas…

This is 40: Kind of like getting your hand stamped at the club

September 10 As I mentioned, I'm traveling all this week through rolling biscuit hills split by streams of sausage gravy. I mean the deep south. But this month, I am tasked with lowering my blood sugar and triglycerides! I need to avoid sweets and fried food. Is it possible to eat healthy food while on the road? Technically, yes, it is. It is technically possible to get fruit or nuts at gas stations, to get salads at fast food places.

While it is possible to purchase better options, is it possible to make your brain tell your hands to pick those things rather than french fries or doughnuts? I've been testing myself, not always winning.

WINS

At the airport, I chose a turkey wrap over Raising Cane's chicken fingers (a.k.a. Guthrie's chicken pre-tenders).Ate an exceedingly healthy and wholesome meal at True Food Kitchen.Ate a salad for lunch yesterday.Abandoned a McDonald's drive thru, thanks to calories posted on the menu.LOSSES I have eaten a year's ration of Chip…

This is 40: Top 3 reasons I want to live in Atlanta

September 9 No we are not planning to move, but spending a few days in Atlanta reminded me of why it is at the No. 1 spot on my list of cities to live in.
1. Friends and family This one could be at least 10 of the top reasons I want to live in Atlanta. We have exactly zero family in San Antonio. It turns out, not many people raise their kids without a single extended family member nearby. But if we were in Atlanta, we would be a short drive from 30+ close friends and family. And the friends and family who aren't in the southeast territory? That's where my second top reason comes in... 2. Non-stop flights to practically anywhere I know this is a very privileged problem to have, but San Antonio is pitifully lacking in non-stop destinations. If we were in Atlanta, it wouldn't take an entire day of baby shlepping to get anywhere. Hop on Marta, hop on a plane, get where you're going, have fun! 3. Weather I can comprehend There are trees and shade. At sundown the temperatur…

Sweet Home Alabama

This is 40: I might never sleep again

September 7 I just woke up from a nightmare in which Mamie ate peanuts and was anaphylactic.
It was a stress dream, not a premonition. It was a stress dream, not a premonition. It was a stress dream, not a premonition.

This is 40: The weird feeling that people are watching me

September 5 No, I'm not paranoid, except that I might be. I'm adjusting to a strange shift in my new writing career wherein thousands of people are looking at what I write. Specifically, I am referring to an essay I wrote for Cosmo about Mamie's name this week: I Love My Kid's Unusual Name. As I write this, less than 48 hours after it went live, the article has had 94,000 views. That's not viral, but it's getting more attention than anything else I've ever written. 
I have my theories about why: people want to know the name so they click; people love to talk about their own names. That's totally rational, and it does not make me break out into a sweat right now.  However, when I saw the views surging into the tens of thousands overnight, I did break out into a sweat, fear for the safety of my family, and question my selfish ambition!
Still, I hope success gives me many many more opportunities to freak out in the middle of the night.

This is 40: An epic tour of the southeast

September 4 Months ago I decided I wanted to celebrate my 40th by seeing as many friends and family as I could. Tonight we start the first leg of this adventure in Atlanta! I will be in Atlanta until Monday (along with thousands of Dragon Conners... Connists... Connoisseurs?) Then Mamie and I will spend Monday night in Birmingham, and go to Atmore for the rest of the week before we drive -- the two of us, Anna and Mamie, alone in a car for two days -- back to San Antonio.
We will collect post cards and lottery tickets from four different states! We will take selfies with everyone! I will harp on and on about how I'm turning 40, and I don't know how to accept it!

This is 40: A trip down Memory Street to the corner of Infertility Avenue

September 3 Over 2.5 years ago, I kept this super secret diary of my fertility treatments:
Anna's Egg Drop
It's short, but so funny to go back to where my head was back then before we knew Mamie was coming. I daydreamed about what it would be like to take her to the beach! Guess what?  I had NO FREAKING IDEA how wonderful and nerve-wracking absolutely everything would be.
And I can read those medical updates now knowing that they worked, but back then? It was a monster few months of fear and uncertainty. In fact, Nick might reread all this and point out that I was the monster.
Can you believe we're going to try this again? Remember how old I'm going to be this month? I would love to hear about all the women you know who had babies after 40! But only the ones who felt great afterward and didn't fall over dead from exhaustion.

This is 40: A morning routine that works if you work it

September 2 My alarm is set for sunrise. Once a week, I update the alarm to coincide with the creeping sunrise, because I believe in nature's awakenings. I also believe waking up before the sun is an abomination. Fortunately, Mamie agrees with me most days. Maybe the alarm goes off, maybe it doesn't. Maybe there was no alarm because my phone died when I fell asleep listening to podcasts last night. Maybe I slept through the alarm but had one of those cool dreams about ripping a haunted alarm clock apart because it won’t stop beeping. Maybe I wake up 30 minutes before the alarm when Nick comes in from his run listening to Judge John Hodgman without headphones.  At some point I awaken. Is Mamie awake? If she is awake, how long can I pretend she is not awake before I have to go get her? If I wait past the critical point on her boredom meter, I will find her sans pajamas. Any further than that, sans diaper. She will hear my footsteps, and pretend to be asleep. She will point at t…

This is 40: How turning 40 is like turning 2

September 1 We started the day with a great playdate. Let's not forget that while I spend this month making a big deal about my 40th birthday, Little Miss Mamie will also be celebrating her 2nd! This is prime time for her to enjoy playing with other kids and start learning how to negotiate different personalities. 
Mamie's personality? What is the opposite of timid? 
What I've noticed is she doesn't quite know what to do with kids who are timid. She will go straight up to any kid anywhere, and she's all, "Let's do this." I've seen a few kids shrink away. I want to teach her to be sensitive to other personality types, recognize when someone needs space, adjust how strong she comes on. Essentially, I want her to develop charisma and interpersonal sensitivity that most adults lack. I want her to be intuitive about the needs of people around her.
Oh wait, were we talking about Mamie or Mommy? I wonder just how much turning 40 and turning 2 have in co…