Friday, November 16, 2012

How To Make Dinner in 33 Easy-ish Steps

  1. Put children #s 2 and 3 down for nap. Set child #1 up in front of laptop open to page full of math games.
  2. Listen to child #2 calling from her crib: No nap! Up now! No nap! Up now!
  3. Remove child #2 from her crib, with promises to play quietly without waking child #3 while Mommy cooks.
  4. Wonder why you are attempting to extract promises from a one year old when you already know for certain she has no intention of keeping them.
  5. Drink afternoon coffee (without which no cooking of dinner shall occur).
  6. Go into kitchen. Dig through fridge. No meat.
  7. Realize meat has not been thawed.
  8. Retrieve from freezer; defrost meat in microwave.
  9. Child #2 will be running in circles -yelling loudly and with great zeal- by this point, while child #3 sleeps next door. Shush her. She won't shush, but it's always worth a shot. (Optimism is important both in life and in the cooking of dinner.)
  10. Continue digging in fridge. Realize there is no spinach.
  11. Scavenge kitchen. Find partially rotting zucchini squash, halfway decent yellow squash, green and yellow peppers only slightly beginning to wrinkle and shrivel.
  12. Good enough. Chop 'em. (Toss rotting parts.)
  13. Heat meat in pan. 
  14. Add veggies, 3 teaspoons of husband-made taco seasoning, half-cup of water.
  15. Dig through cupboards. Realize you are out of black beans.
  16. Continue digging through cupboards until you find a can of refried beans.
  17. Good enough. Add 'em. 
  18. Child #2 will by now have stripped down to a saggy, baggy diaper, and will still be running in circles, yelling: NAYKEE!
  19. Wrestle child into bedroom. Change diaper. Re-clothe.
  20. Attempt to impress upon child the need for quiet.
  21. Futile. Child will grin winningly and yell at maximum volume in response.
  22. Return to kitchen to find mexi-slop burning and sticking to bottom of pan.
  23. Mutter a curse word under your breath. Scrape mexi-slop from bottom of pan (but not too much--best to leave bottom layer of burned mexi-slop as a further-burn-barrier; this has been learned from experience). 
  24. Reduce heat, and cover.
  25. Child #2 will -of course- hear the muttered curse word, and begin yelling it loudly while running in circles.
  26. Child #3 will wake up.
  27. Go get child #3 from crib; change diaper.
  28. Child #1 -attracted to the sounds of chaos- will close laptop and race to join children #s 2 and 3.
  29. They will run in circles, yelling loudly (at least the muttered curse has been forgotten)(recall the importance of optimism), until child #3 is retrieved by his mother, arriving to pick him up after work.
  30. Husband will arrive home from work. He has 2 important steps to complete.
  31. Make homemade guacamole to transform this dinner from mexi-slop to mexi-slop with delicious guacamole on top.
  32. The final step is of utmost importance to the success of both the dinner, and the evening.
  33. Send husband to store for beer.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Want to Tell the Truth When I Grow Up

Studying early childhood education as an undergrad, I attended a conference where the following question was posed.
What do you say to parents or administrators who ask what you're doing to "prepare young children for school"?
 When I heard the answer the speaker gave, I gasped, and knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I like to say: If you knew that, in a year or so from now, there would be a famine across the entire earth, and there wouldn't be enough to eat ...
... would you start starving yourself now?
I want to be someone who can say things like this out loud, in a professional setting. Getting paid for it will just be the icing on the cake.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Clubhouse

Way back in high school, I had a friend named Luke. We graduated; years passed; we lost touch. And then facebook came along, and we reconnected there. I began blogging in November of 2009 (hey, happy 3 years to me!), and -to my surprise- got a comment on the second post I wrote. It was from Luke's wife, Michelle.

I followed her comment back to her website, and found out she was some sort of ... career coach? I wasn't sure exactly what that was, but it looked like fun. In any case, my career was humming along happily at that time, but I still visited her blog occasionally, and enjoyed reading about entrepreneurship and all the possibilities people discovered in a world wide open and full of opportunities.

Fast forward to early March of 2011. I found out, while home on maternity leave, that when I returned to work I would only have 5 months of employment left before our federal funding ran out. The program I worked for had been eliminated, nationally, for the 2011-2012 school year by a newly conservative Congress following the 2010 midterm elections. I wrote about it and Michelle popped up in the comments again, offering support.

The truth is, I wasn't ready for any support yet, at least in the career arena. I had a new baby, and I immediately knew I would do in-home childcare. It was the quickest, easiest shift I could make, and had the added bonus of allowing me to be with my young children.

As my first year at home passed, I realized I was still -in my heart of hearts- a teacher. My work is important to me, integral to who I am. I missed many things about my old job, even as I got better at new parts of the work I do. And as that first year came to an end, I realized I was ready for a new plan. But doing it alone, in the confines of my own head, was really hard. Now I was ready for some support. I e-mailed Michelle and she responded with some options. I thought it over, and decided to join her Clubhouse.

I have never regretted that decision.

Every time I have a question, a concern, a late-night fear freakout, a desire for some you go girl energy, or just a place to brag: I go to the Clubhouse. It's full of other smart, interesting, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-to-be. Between the whole group, it seems like all the knowledge in the world is available there! From legal, to financial, to web-savviness, to artistic, to managing self-care in an entrepreneurial world gone mad!

The truth is, in my day-to-day, tangible, career-building world, I am still alone. I don't have colleagues or staff to help me. I'm only beginning to build clientele, and that takes time and care. I never thought I'd be an entrepreneur. It's terrifying a lot of the time.

But I no longer feel alone. I have a place to go when I want to talk shop, get kudos, complain, or learn more. I've been able to support other people doing things in areas far outside my expertise, because they wonder about things I know, or need exactly the type of support I feel comfortable and happy to give.

It's a good place to be, this Clubhouse.

There will be some more openings there, starting in January of the new year. Check it out if it sounds like it might be your cup of tea.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


After the pain: the legs pushing harder, breath sharp and ragged, muscles that beg me to quit, after the pain that seems interminable ends, there is something else.

There is flight.

My legs rotate like pedals attached to a wheel racing down a steep hill; they circle faster and faster without effort. I pass over the ground like a helicopter, legs whirring like a blade as I finish that final lap.

My arms pump by my sides, backandforthbackandforthbackandforth, my hands open up, loose fists leftover from a slower pace releasing, fingers reaching toward the future, my whole body stretching forward into space.

I tuck my head down and my breath comes quickly now hoowhoohoowhoohoowhoo. I'm not cold anymore.

I am effortless.

There is pain. But then there is flight.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Running Faster

My feel hit the gravel shushshushshushshush. My breath comes hard and rough through a layer of fleece wrapped around my face and neck. When I inhale, the air is cold and sharp, slapping the back of my throat on it's way to my lungs.

Studying health & phys ed as an undergrad, I learned the definitional difference between walking and running: the flight phase. I think about this as I push my legs further through strides, try to catch more air in the moments between sneaker smacking earth.

My legs hurt: the muscles in my thighs ache, sharp pain moves up each shin when that foot hits the ground. My lungs hate the cold air rushing down into my chest. Somewhere in the vicinity of my right shoulder blade, a knot begins to form.

Still running, I pull my iphone from the pocket of my husband's down vest, and sneak a peek at the time. Shit. I speed up.

Everything hurts.

I keep going.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Snapshots of Learning

The year before the wedding, my future-husband and I lived in Prescott, Arizona. We attended a few yoga classes together. The year after the wedding, we lived in Niagara Falls, NY. We attended a few more yoga classes together.

Talking about a pose one night, he said: Well, you'll always do *this* with your back, and demonstrated drawing his shoulder blades together and down.

How do you know that? I asked. We only attended a few classes! You remember that pose?

No, but I remember the basic principles. How they felt in my body. You don't?

No, I replied, I remember a bunch of chanting in Sanskrit.

* * *

He came home from the grocery store tonight, began unpacking the bags while I packed my yoga mat and CDs to leave for work. Both of us running around our respective rooms while the kids sat at the dining room table eating greek yogurt, he says: I bought some C-H-E-E-S-E C-R-A-C-K-E-R-S at the grocery store tonight, for you to give the kids tomorrow.

I'm still visualizing the letters in my head when the four year old pipes up, with great excitement: Daddy, did you get CHEESY CRACKERS for us!?

* * *

When I began studying yoga, I read all the books I could find. I wanted to know everything there was to know. I learned to stand from this website. I read it, and read it, and read it. 

I read it aloud to myself, while standing.

I copied and pasted it into a word document. I bolded print. I cut excess verbiage, and added bullet points. I read it again, just the bullet points, while standing. I read it aloud during one of my classes, while students stood in tadasana, eyes closed.

My most difficult student interrupted me, to say scornfully: This is a bunch of shit.

I replied, zenlike: just try your best, and if the instructions are too much, tune them out and focus on your breath.

* * *

I remember our boy trying to learn to jump. He tried, and tried, and tried. He just could not clear the ground. The desire was there, but the flesh (or maybe it was the muscle) wasn't willing. It took months.

Our daughter was doing somersaults around 18 months.

How old are you supposed to be to do somersaults? the husband asked me, and I replied: Oh, I can't remember! It's one of those details I'll have to look up.

The first website that came up on google listed it as a 3-5 year old skill.

And then, last month, when she was 21 months old, my friend said: she puts on her own socks, boots and coat? I'll have to teach my 2 year old to do that!

I didn't teach her, I said, somewhat puzzled. I'm actually not sure when she started doing that.

* * *

We were talking one night, late, and quite possibly full of wine. I think we must have been grad students, both of us majoring in education. We'd been married a couple years at this point.

I like to know ALL the details, he said, hands drawing wavy lines through the air as they spread apart, as if to symbolize the potential exponential growth of detail.

My eyes got big. A lightbulb went on in my head. I HATE details! I told him enthusiastically, I want to know the BIG picture! Without it, the details make NO sense whatsoever! And even once I UNDERSTAND it, I prefer bullet points!

He stared back at me with eyes like saucers. I HATE bullet points! And if you give me the idea, without the details, it means, like, NOTHING! Give me the DETAILS! And I'll give YOU the big picture!

We stared at each other, like strangers who had only just met.

Everything about all of our conversations suddenly made so much more sense.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Week In And It's a List

  1. It's been a week, and I'm already like: Seriously? Blog? Again? For goodness sakes!
  2. I work 9-10 hours a day.
  3. That's my day job.
  4. It's one of those unusual jobs that comes sans lunch or other breaks. I eat standing up (sometimes walking) and I listen through the bathroom door for sounds of potential mayhem while I pee.
  5. When the day job ends, I have an hour to shower and change.
  6. Next is my night job. More of an evening job, really
  7. That one might be an hour; it might be 2.
  8. There's another half hour, or 90 minute commute, depending on the day.
  9. Then, depending on the night, or the hour, I help get the kids ready and down to bed.
  10. And then, along with my equally exhausted husband, I collapse.
  11. Today was my biggest playgroup so far, for the day job.
  12. I had 7 kids here, all under 5, for 3 hours this morning. (Only need 8 for the nursery school, so this is good news!)
  13. I had 4 kids for the rest of the 9-10 hour day.
  14. The night job was 2 hours tonight.
  15. The commute was 90 minutes.
  16. The dinner was reheated leftovers.
  17. The couch was (is) comfortable.
  18. The blanket was (is) warm.
  19. Can our exhausted protagonist make it to 20?
  20. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night

I voted for Obama in 2008. I'd always kind of liked John McCain and his whole maverick schtick,  but the modern-day Republican party seemed (and still does) to be walking one-way down a narrow path to crazy town with increasing speed, and McCain appeared to be reluctantly following along.

I remember watching the inauguration in January, though, and all I could think was, he's bound to let us down. When Republicans made fun of Democrats, calling Obama "the Messiah," I thought they had a point. He was just a man, projected up onto the same big screen where we project all our hopes, dreams and ideals. He never had a chance to live up to that.

Of course, we were fresh off the George W. Bush years at the time, so a relatively friendly homeless guy hanging out outside the local grocery store would have looked like a good bet at that point, in comparison. (But then again, there was John Kerry in '04.)

I haven't been able to get into this election. Obama hasn't disappointed me, necessarily. I loved his talk about transparency, but didn't particularly believe it at the time. His continuation of Bush's foreign policy is also saddening, but I knew when Bush assumed so much power in the executive branch that it would be awfully hard to take it back, regardless of party.

Also, it seems like we've known Obama will win all along in 2012 (if Romney wins tonight, color me surprised!). Even the Republicans don't particularly seem to like Romney. I look at politics, and it's hard to see anything but theater.

I enjoy the theater, but don't tell me it's real life.

I almost didn't vote today. It's not because I'm disillusioned; that happened a long time ago. I was born into a post-Watergate political America. I don't know that I was ever illusioned in the first place.

I worked all day. Took kids to the library. Packed a picnic lunch. Visited an indoor playground. Passed out peanut butter sandwiches and, later, carried little girls to beds and cribs. Later, I woke them, changed diapers, played chase and served snacks. My husband walked in the door at the same time I should have been starting my yoga class, all apologies for being late (meeting with a mortgage re-financier, in case I needed a reminder that The Big Decisions do Trickle Down one way or another), and I raced out to teach my class, and then attend a physical therapy session for the tendonitis in my shoulder.

I had thought we were all going to go vote together: the husband and I, with the kids. But then he texted and told me he went while I was teaching. I got out of class, and I knew: if I go home, I'm not going back out. I also knew that New York's electoral college votes would go to Obama, regardless of what I did this evening. It was a long day, and I was tired.

And yet, I found myself pulling into one of my polling station's parking spaces a few minutes later. It's housing for the elderly; they sit in the lobby in their wheelchairs, pointing us voters in the right direction when we walk in the building. One woman had put together little baskets of used goods to sell at her fold-out card table. And the election officials were just as daft, disorganized, and delightfully human as they have been every other time we've shown up to vote.

All of us, there at the polling place, we were too fat, or had too much makeup on. We were born ugly, or wore the same sweatpants all the time. We were in wheelchairs; our mustaches were unfortunate in every way; we couldn't rip a serrated sheet of paper off a ballot pad. All of us are imperfect. We're just doing the best we can.

I voted for Obama in 2012. I'm not an idealist when it comes to politics.

But nonetheless, I'm glad I went.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jogging, Math and Music

When I was in elementary school, I was somehow chosen to be part of a special, city-wide math group. I say "somehow" because I attended Catholic school, so I have no idea how they even knew I existed, let alone invited me to be part of the group. We had to report to one of the public elementary schools early on Saturday mornings. Special workbooks full of shapes and symbols were passed out; I recall circles and half-circles, ovals and squiggly lines. We spent an hour or so each week practicing some sort of advanced mathematics.

I remember perusing the workbook, closely studying the shapes and symbols. They never meant a thing to me. But somehow, I always intuitively knew the right answers to the problems. I couldn't show my work; I had absolutely no idea what work to do! But I chose the right answer almost every time.

Eventually, I complained enough about having to get up early on Saturdays to do more math than was already required as a result of attending school, and my mom gave in and let me quit. (Seriously, whose idea was this anyway!? Saturday mornings? Extra workbooks? It's like punishing kids for being good at math!)

As an adult (and an educator) I've come to realize that I probably understood the work on some level, but was stymied by the language of visual symbols. I'm not a visual learner, and when I think back on that experience, what stands out in my memory is the feeling of complete befuddlement while looking down at a page full of circles, ovals, and squiggles, followed by a strong, intuitive feeling that the answer would be X, even though I didn't understand the question.

* * *

My mom made me take piano lessons for a couple years as a kid. One Monday, she didn't mention getting ready for my lesson. Being wise to the ways in which things work in a big family, I stayed the heck out of her way and laid low, assuming she forgot. Relief rushed hot through my body. I played happily in a quiet corner where she would be unlikely to stumble upon me and suddenly remember.

Later that week, she told me I didn't have to go anymore. After years of supervising my practices, she realized I literally could not hear my mistakes on the keyboard. If I couldn't hear them, how could I correct them? Which explains why I never got any better, despite regular practice.

I grew up with the idea that I lack musical intelligence. For the most part, I think this assumption is correct. It's been borne out by most of my life experiences (never made a mixed-tape, nor a playlist; can't tell an electric guitar from acoustic, unless I see the cord plugged in). With one notable exception.

Home from college one summer, I worked for my hometown's Parks and Recreation Department, driving between the various city parks with art supplies for the children to do weekly projects. One morning I arrived at my scheduled park to find another activity already in progress. There was a troupe of African drummers in a huge circle, with hand drums for anyone who wanted them. I dropped my supplies off to the side and joined the circle, full of kids, staff, and neighborhood families. The lead drummer taught us how to beat the drum, how to hold and angle our hands to make different sounds, how to count out loud and then match the movements of our hands to the sound of our voices.

For the first time in my life, I was there, with the music as it was happening. He taught increasingly complicated sequences of beats, and I could follow and reproduce them almost immediately. I got it. I didn't understand why I got it, but I got it.

Years later, a handsome stranger handed me a leaflet about drumming. It claimed that the human heartbeat was the very first rhythm, reproduced as a drumbeat. Maybe that's what I need to learn music. Start at the very beginning. Begin with the beat of my own heart.

That handsome stranger is my husband, now.

* * *

I think it was sixth grade when my best friend decided we should get up before school every morning and jog. It sounded like the worst idea ever, but she was one of those bossy and convincing friends who always gets her way.

I was the sort who pretended my shoelaces were untied repeatedly, far more often than they were ever likely to be untied. Every city block I stopped and knelt down, retying a perfectly tied shoelace. Thinking about how much I hated jogging.

Over the years I tried it again and again, never liking it any better, never sticking with it. And then last January, for no particular reason I can remember, I decided to give it another go. Surprising myself as much as anyone else, I'm still at it! I run around a reservoir near my house. I think of it as a circle, but it's really more of a squiggly oval.

There's something about the rhythm of my feet hitting the gravel path that brings to mind both math and music. I count while I run: laps around the reservoir, total mileage covered, circles and ovals and squiggly lines taking on meaning in my mind as I jog. I sneak peeks at my phone each loop around, when I reach the starting gate, and calculate speed: dividing time by distance, or maybe it's distance by time, until I discover a per minute mile, round and whole, a number that feels as intuitive as the answers in a long ago Saturday morning math class.

I count the crunchcrunchcrunchcrunch of my sneakers crushing gravel, beating time as I move through space, finding a rhythm that echoes a drumbeat, chasing and matching and pushing my heartbeat faster and faster, as the sky turns from daylight to night. Circles and ovals and squiggly lines left written in the earth where my feet beat a rhythm in the autumn mud.

I run rhythmic, count and calculate shapes, create drumbeats of feet on dirt.

I do everything I've ever been bad at, and I feel so free.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


My next-youngest sister, let's call her Carlotta, is the type of person I imagine might someday be described as a pillar of her community. She's not currently in the role; she's a first time mother of a one year old, living in a new city, and just starting back to work at a new job, after a year at home with her baby.

But she got this new job because she did things like attend an annual Wetland Forum for New York State, and then when she was invited to present, she said yes.

I work alone, out of my home, and I rarely-to-never speak to anyone in my field. I read quite a bit, though.

Some of this is happenstance, and some of it is probably not the slightest bit surprising to our mother.

* * *

I've started a Wednesday morning playgroup, as a sort of prelude to my eventual nursery school. This week I had 5 kids. As we get a routine established, I hope to add more kids to the group (I can take a total of 8), and perhaps expand it to another day in the week.

Instead of advertising on Craigslist (which is where I started with childcare, and was quite successful), I joined a couple of yahoo groups. One is a bigger group for my whole city, and the other is a smaller one specifically for my neighborhood. I also discovered that my neighborhood has it's own Facebook page, so I joined up there too. It turns out I'm primarily attracting neighborhood kids, and getting to know people who live nearby. Nice for the nursery school -the professional piece- but also nice on a personal level.

* * *

My husband and I started dating in February of his senior year in college. He was an art major, in a tiny, Midwestern college town. I was a transfer student from New York State (which might as well have been New York City, for all the difference it made in Kansas). By the time May rolled around, we were engaged, and he was displaying work in pretty much all of the local shows. I accompanied him on his rounds.

He stopped to make small talk with the husband/wife team-teachers, who split both a full-time job and an old elementary school that they had reclaimed and renovated into a home and studio space.

When he dropped in at the local gallery to drop off a series of paintings, he spent some time chatting with the local artist who rented space in the back.

Our small-town watering hole was always a reliable place to find Ernie, if he wasn't standing on the sidewalk outside his house, painting. One way or another, my husband found him when he needed to, and they talked.

I waited by his side, in the same general manner that I waited by my sister's side, over many years. Except that with my sister, I was mostly bored, and wondering: what in the devil are they still talking about!? I was so enamored with my husband and our brand new, bright, shiny love that everything he did was wonderful. I saw this type of small talk in a new light, all of a sudden. This is his PLACE, I thought. He BELONGS here. This seemed marvelous to me, for the first time ever.

* * *

I have a great, big, wonderful family. Probably bigger, and louder, and more enmeshed than a girl who lives mostly in her imagination and between the pages of books, really requires. So I never needed community. I don't have a tribe. Never found my people. Never sought.

My parents live a few hours away. All five of my sisters live less than an hour from them. Two of them have kids the same age as my kids; a third has a baby on the way. They get together for dinner on a random Tuesday. Meet for a cup of coffee or a beer. Jog around the park together. Take advantage of free babysitting.

I had no idea how much it would break my heart to miss out on all of this, by just a few hours.

But my husband has a great job; a job he loves. And tenure. We own a house, and we really, really love our house.

So I'm going to try something I've never had to do before. I'm going to be intentional about building community. After all, this is our PLACE now. I've never belonged anywhere before. But maybe, just maybe, I could.

Friday, November 2, 2012

NaNoPoMo Yo!

What the hell, I guess I'll do this post-a-day for a month thing. But I'm warning you now: I totally cheat! :)

Can't say I didn't warn ya!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Third Maybe (or With Money Already Done, I Might as Well Talk About Sex)

I was on the birth control pill that went with breastfeeding. And then I mentioned to my OB-GYN that my period had come 4 times in 8 weeks. She looked concerned. She prescribed something else. I was on the something else for a month or so, and then I weaned.

And then.

Oh. Good. Lord. The something else!

I am not an emotionally volatile gal. My moods are typically quite stable. I don't suffer from PMS (except for sugar. I do want to eat ALL THE SUGAR one week out of every month). My husband is the moody one of the two of us. Over the past decade plus of marriage, we've both become accustomed to to this reality. And then.

Suddenly. The something else pill!

I hear that I threatened divorce over the whereabouts of a pair of shoes.

We don't even say divorce.

Nor do we put our shoes away, reliably.

I don't actually remember how things went down. My sister, months later, between giggles, called it a rage blackout. It's really only funny after the fact.

I did wake up the morning after, cramps rushing violently through my body like a tidal wave. Flow so heavy it required multiple backup systems.

I looked at -felt- what was happening to my body. I reflected on what had happened to my mood, just yesterday. The similarities. I said, to my husband: This might sound crazy, but ... do you think yesterday might have been PMS?

He held both hands up, surrender-style, before he even answered: I wasn't going to say it. I THOUGHT it. But I wasn't going to SAY it!

I called my doctor. Told her I was done nursing and would like a new pill. She said the pill I already had was perfect for both nursing and non-nursing. She hung up the phone before I formulated a reply that might convey the crazy.

In hindsight, I suppose shouting I'M CRAZIER'N A SHITHOUSE RAT ON THIS PILL might have done the job. But I'm not that quick a thinker, all the time. Sometimes I am. But not all the time. And not this time. We hung up the phone, and I threw my pills in the garbage.

And so. That's the story of how I ended up a 36 year-old-mother-of-two-with-no-form-of-birth-control.

And a six-pack of Jamaican Red Stripe combined with poor calendar math skills is how I ended up, late one night, reading my husband's mind when he telepathically asked me: your period just ended, right? and I telepathically answered: yah, seems that way, doesn't it? (Math is neither of our strong suits.)

But then, the next morning, minus the Jamaican Red Stripe, upon counting days using both my fingers and the calendar, it seems we were both a bit off with the numbers. And so it was a two week waiting game.

I don't know what surprised me more. My first reaction, where I was thrilled to be potentially-pregnant. I felt unbelievably powerful. All my current problems had solutions. I was prepared to march right into my planned future without missing a beat. Quite frankly, I miss that potentially-pregnant woman. She was 'bout to get shit done. Or the week-later-panic that hit. How badly I wanted to hide under the covers. How much scarier my financial future suddenly became. The desperate desire for sugar that suddenly took over.

Oh, no, sorry. That was just PMS rearing it's ugly head once again.

No third baby. Not now.

Just a third maybe.

And a big old question mark in the middle of my heart.