Sunday, September 18, 2005


So it happened today. We went to the Queens Zoo and while we were there, Genny realized that she truly could walk on her own. Armed with that knowledge, she was off down the pathways pointing at furry animals here and there. Every so often she would plop down accidentally, I’d help her stand back up and then she’d let go of my hand and be off on her own.

Our little girl is growing up. Pretty amazing.

I’ve been working like a maniac on schoolwork. I really do enjoy being so busy with different things. It helps me to enjoy the time I do have with Genevieve that much more.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Genevieve is growing out of many of her 12-month clothes now, but oddly enough, she still fits into a few of her 6-9 month clothes. I guess that’s for the baby who wants to feel slender—clothes sized just like for mom!

It is no longer possible for Genny to go to the playground without a pair of long pants on. Her knees get filthy. Her ankles get black. Her hands have sticky dropped ice cream and tar pellets on them. It’s a scene.

I finished all of my homework for school tomorrow. Yeah. What a relief. I think I’ll actually take the next half-hour or so to totally chill. Maybe I’ll watch an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. That would be most relaxing.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Love Fest

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve blogged. I miss you, oh sweet, dear blog. I’m sorry I have not been faithful, but my other writings have demanded more from me. Blame it on them. Blame it on them, not me, oh dear, sweet blog.

I did make it through my second week of school. And I am proud of that. I am sinking into a rhythm, a schedule, a way of finding enough time to please all my selves and hopefully, all my loved ones as well.

Genny has reacted a bit roughly to the expanded babysitting hours by deciding she wants to nurse again. I understand. She’s clinging to Mommy. Now I need to figure out how to wean her off again.

She’s still almost walking. I’m sure one of these days out of the blue I’m going to be like, “Ack! She’s running everywhere! I can’t keep up with her.”

She’s taken a sudden disliking to the bath because she got water in her face last time and was traumatized. I think I’ll get her one of those little water visors. What a loved child.

And I do love school. And I do love writing. And I do love blogging. And I do love my husband. And I do love my baby.

It’s a love fest.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Nick, the baby and I didn’t do much this weekend at all. We were supposed to spend the holiday at my mom’s cottage, but my mom is still in the hospital and on top of that I was feeling sick.

We did make it to Connecticut today though, for a visit with mom and then to our friends’ place by the beach in Milford.

My mom seems better today. The infection they thought she had turned out to be a problem with fluid around her lungs, which she has had from chemo before. The doctors performed a procedure, which entails sticking a large needle into her chest to draw the fluid out. When that happens, the lung expands and it’s possible to get a nick on your lung, which of course happened to my mom. Her breathing was very labored yesterday. I was surprised at how well she looked. Hopefully, she’ll be out of there within a day or two.

Genny is being lovely and wacky from moment to moment. She tries to say everything we say now. Today her clearest words were: blue shirt, pineapple, and I love my mommy sooo much. Okay, maybe not that last one.

I have successfully completed three papers that I am handing in tomorrow. It was a challenge I must say. Writing for school muscles get cranky and stiff after not being used for a few years. Not to mention the old baby brain problem.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

It's Me

I realize that I won’t be able to blog every night anymore. I honestly don’t know how I am going to manage the workload at school along with my yoga clients and taking care of baby. I know people do these things and manage them well, but I know my own body and it’s tolerance level.

The major problem is just going to be finding enough writing time.

Let’s just leave it at that for now.

I was feeling under the weather all day today. And Genny was fussy to top it all off. She is about to walk off on her own. And she said her first sentence fragment the other day, “More cheese”. She really is quite the talker. She calls everything on her face an eye though.

That’s it for now. Sorry so short. Once I get into the flow of school I’m sure everything will settle down.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Let the scheduling begin

Well, it happened. The school semester began. I feel jubilant, exhausted and buzzing. The load of work from these classes is truly loading. There will be much writing of papers and writing and writing and gnashing of teeth. My literature class, Gendered Writing in the Renaissance, feels a bit scary and overwhelming. My memoir workshop and craft class are awesome. I’m overflowing with ideas and insights after our first night together.

My mom is still in the hospital. When I spoke to her earlier she was feeling lousy and her fever was going up again, but Nick spoke with her later and she seemed to be doing better.

Nick picked Genny up from the babysitter, which was totally unexpected for Genny (although I did mention it to her earlier). She was upset that I did not pick her up at our usually appointed time of 4:00. She was waiting at the door and I did not appear. When Nick got there she was not happy—Nick suggested that she might have been worried about me and my nonappearance.

I looked in at her when I got home. She’s splashed out on the pale yellow sheet. Her long body fast asleep.

I need to work out my working schedule for homework and writing. It is going ot be important to structure my time well. I foresee some frustrating moments when I will feel the need to be writing, but the baby will have other ideas.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bills and other crap

Monday night always makes my stomach a little weasy—it’s bill night.

Nick just said, “Crap!” as he looked at our spending and earning curve on the computer. It’s so frustrating because we are still spending so much more a month than we earn. And we are so frugal and conscientious. We track every last penny that we spend. Sometimes I feel like slapping my previous self for relying on my credit cards all those years, but when you live in the city, you tend to need some help if you aren’t a stockbroker or something else magnificent like that.

I need to shake it off now and finish preparing for my first day of classes tomorrow. We will all be introducing our projects in our first memoir workshop. It’s time to fully enter back into my stripping days. My life as a nude lady.

My stepfather just called to let us know my mom was admitted to the hospital. She has a 102.3 temperature—she has an infection. The doctors took cultures and now they wait to see where and what kind of infection it is. It’s most likely in her port a cath. Hopefully, she will only be in the hospital for a few nights and it will be cleared up.

I hope this doesn’t turn out to be another long hospital stay. I hate thinking of her lying there on the seventh floor in the cancer patient hall.

And on a final note, Genny took a few unaided steps in the library today although I do not think she was aware of her accomplishment.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Did you miss me last night, Mr. Blog? Nick, the baby and I were out in New Jersey with Grandpa Terzi celebrating his birthday. We dined out at a Japanese restaurant. Genny had her first bite of ice cream, but she seemed more interested in the fresh cantaloupe.

We had a first tonight. Genny was in the bath, splashing along. All of a sudden she stood up and we heard a wet, squishy unfolding sound and then a sploosh, kerplunk, plop. Genny pooped in the tub. Three turtles floating around, bobbing up and down.

I’m really sorry for the graphic nature of the last paragraph. For those of you reading this who don’t have children you’re probably thinking, “Man, that Sheila sure spends a lot of time thinking about and writing about poop.” If you have a baby, then you understand how important a thing poop is to one’s day.

At least we have passed the dreaded half-a-dozen poops a day phase of Gen’s life. One or two, or three at the most, poops a day is nothing. I remember when Gen was first born; I had never changed a diaper in my life. I felt so completely out of my element (or my smellement), but now, I can change a poop-filled diaper on a squirming, rolling, crying and generally unhappy toddler. Pretty impressive, I know.

Poop—it does a body good.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Oh, Blog

I start class on Tuesday. I am going to be so busy writing with my three classes, but do not worry. Do not fret. I will not neglect you, oh blog of mine.

This blog has really become one of the most committed writing assignments of my life so far. I feel a great need to report on the day’s happenings every evening. I have finally loosened up on myself about having to write something brilliant every time, hence my latest downward spiral into ending every entry with, I’m tired.

Today is Friday and that is very good. Nick will be with baby and me for the weekend making my life much easier. Although I have noticed this past week that I am beginning to enjoy my time with Genny more. I do love hearing her babble on all day. And as people point out day after day, she is such a happy baby. And, yes, cute, of course.

Her latest thing is walking around on her knees, which is adorable, but very rough on the pants. She actually had dirty knees when we came home tonight even though she had on pants all day. How does dirt get through pants?

She is so laughy and sweet and intense all at once. I do love her so.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Genevieve was talking nonstop all day. She’s got a running commentary going on. Perhaps she’s going to be a talk show host one day—The Genevieve Terzi Show.

I also learned an important lesson today—do not mention the word bath to Genevieve while she is still eating dinner. This is how the scene unfolded: Baby happily eating her macaroni and cheese. Mommy says, “Genny’s going to take a bath tonight.” Baby’s face turns up and brightens. Baby says, “Ba! Ba! Ba!”

I brought her to her bedroom to undress her and then she took off at full crunning speed right into the bathroom and hoisted herself up against the tub. She turned and looked at me over her shoulder as she tried lifting her left leg over the tub’s edge.

Tonight was only the second time that I dumped water over head to rinse the shampoo out. I used to have her in a reclining baby tub that made it very easy to pour water over only the back of her head, but those days are over. She has to get used to getting water in her face. Don’t ask me why—she just must. Anyway, she did not so badly tonight.

And I hate to bore you with the same old tired song and dance, but it is true. And so I must call it quits for the night.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Genevieve nods her head up and down. She says or tries to say just about anything you say to her. She walks holding on to only one hand. She is turning into quite a toddler.

I feel my head bobbing up and down from sleep deprivation. I say anything you say to me in some sort of dyslexic, twisted attempt at communication. I walk holding on to only one cup of latte. I am turning into quite a mommy.

I sit here in my rolly chair, my feet tucked up underneath me and my chin resting against my knees. I have hiccups and I feel hungry, but it seems too late to eat. I have much work I should be doing. I have only choppy sentences coming to mind.

I feel the need to be entertained. I feel the need to roll around in a king-sized bed naked. I feel the need to sleep for a week. I feel the need to not think about Cookie Monster or any ABC songs.

My arm itches. And now the back of my ear itches. And now my right calf.

This is what is happening now in my life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


The big news today was three poops. And I’m not talking three tiny turds, no, I’m talking three full diapers loaded down and up with poo, poo and poo.

The only way to get Genny to lie somewhat still during changing time is to give her a special toy only used for these instances. Somehow the toy that was selected is not even a toy, but some baby gift topper from my baby shower. It’s a small blue plastic baby carriage with plastic baby inside. All pieces are choking hazards. I do need to find a new diaper-changing toy.

Genny tried to climb a red chain link ladder at the playground, which is surely for bigger kids. She actually did very well, with my help, of course. She also was crawling back and forth over the wooden suspension bridge, which she has always been nervous about before.

There was a little boy, Adam, aged two-and-a-half, who kept following Genny everywhere she went. Genny would crawl a bit and then give a quick glance over her shoulder and yup, there he would be. At one point another boy was following her and a few little girls just stopped and stared at Genny—I guess to see what kind of magical powers she held.

Only fifteen-months old and she’s already got the boys chasing her.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Home Again

It was an uneventful trip in terms of E.R. visits. In fact, except for Nick having a one-day bout of stomach upset, we were all extremely healthy our entire trip.

We stayed at my mom and step dad’s cottage on Lake Williams in Lebanon, CT. Our drive up was excruciatingly hot, like 99 degrees, but after a day of heat, the weather cooled enough that we were cuddled under blankets at night.

Genevieve, Nick and I lazed about the cottage most of the time, which has a beautiful view of the lake and a cove, which was named after my mom, Mary’s Cove. We went out in the rowboat and the paddleboat—cutting through the lily pads and splashing through the little waves.

In the evenings after Genny went to bed, Nick and I got to work. All together, we wrote about six children’s books. Nick is great at coming up with rhymes. We had a lot of fun writing.

I was even lucky enough to find a Starbucks in Colchester, only a few towns away. We visited a few libraries and even found a huge pile of kids’ books in a dumpster behind the library (no, we weren’t specifically dumpster diving, just illegally dumping our trash).

I definitely came back relaxed. I only had a few days of feeling depressed, but not monumentally. I wish I had more time to sit by the water and veg out. I’m not fully discharged of stress yet.

But school starts next week and I’m still busy trying to get myself prepared. I am going to be very busy. Stop thinking of the future, Sheila, try to stay in the moment for at least a moment.

Oh, yes, Genny’s new words are boat, bowl and up. All very clear and lovely. And her walking is coming along very well. And she happily humped the cat this morning as Lula tried to lick her in the face. Yup, we’re home alright.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

We're Back

We are back from vacation. I’m relaxed and exhausted at the same time. I will blog more tomorrow, but I am wiped out right now.

Friday, August 12, 2005


The time has finally arrived. Vacation is here. I will officially be unblogging until my return on Sunday, August 21st. I hope to return somewhat relaxed and less stressed, ready to begin the school year with much gusto.

A fond adieu until I return.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I think Genny must have had leftover doctor bad vibes today because she was a little crank-meister. She may in fact have been feeling a bit yucho from the shots and she appears to be getting her two eyeteeth in. She was fine for my friend who babysat while I went to work, but once I got home, she wouldn’t nap and was screaming and crying nonstop for many moons, or so it felt.

I seem to have pulled a muscle or twisted something in my upper back/right shoulder type of area. I can barely turn my head to the right. It happened last month, too, but then healed quickly. I don’t even recall tweaking it at all.

That’s it. I don’t know. I just feel kind of flat emotionally tonight. Neither here nor there. I need to stretch out again and see if I can work out some of this pain. It’s amazing how pain can stop our entire ability to function at times and then at other times, we can snow plow through physical, emotional and spiritual pain. Maybe mine is a whole combo situation right now—stress from different areas nudging the others over the edge.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

21 Pounds, Give or Take

Off the high of yesterday’s good mood—today I splatted like a bug against the windshield of a semi-truck. I watched in horror as it happened, the truck’s window nearing my face and I powerless to stop it.

It all began when Genny wouldn’t take a morning nap and for some reason I found myself in the middle of a coma like need for sleep. Genny pooped all over her own foot thanks to a misaligned diaper. Then her afternoon nap, which should have been miraculously long turned out to last only forty minutes.

Then Genny and I needed to travel into the city for her doctor’s appointment (yes, her year-old one, and yes, she’s well into her fourteenth month). We were lucky enough to encounter not one, but two un-air-conditioned trains. We waited at the bank for twenty minutes to take care of some business and finally gave up and left when Genny’s cries were drowning out the muzak. Not to mention that while we waited, a gussied-up blonde sat next to us looking all lovely, wearing heels and a mini and I felt like one of those, dare I say it, moms, slumping in her old shorts, tee and unwashed hair. Yes, I cursed her quietly. I felt like screaming to the world, “I look that good, too! Just give me a couple of hours in a salon and spa, buy me a new wardrobe and hire me a nanny and I’ll outshine you anytime!”

Then a doctor’s visit for Genny where three needles were popped into her tasty little thighs. She’s wonderfully healthy, 21 pounds and either 2 or 12 ounces, unsure of which (bad mom syndrome again).

So, that’s the day. And now day is done.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Nick made a good suggestion on how to handle my days with Genevieve, which seemed to work pretty well today. I imagined taking care of Gen as my “job” and she as my boss whom I was responsible to. My main focus when I was with her was taking care of her, playing and learning. I looked at any few moments I could spare toward my own endeavors as a bonus. And she wasn’t such a tough boss today.

I discovered my tolerance level for caffeine. My new theory was that I would begin to allow myself a little bit each day to help fight off the fatigue I’ve been feeling. Well, a Dunkin’ Donuts Turtle Nut Latte, a homemade coffee concoction and a Starbucks decaf mint mocha chip Frappucino is too much. Lesson learned—I developed an ocular migraine with a throbbing in my left eye socket like someone was drilling.

I somehow managed to wash my system out with lots of water and was able to make it to my now weekly new yoga client. I still have more work to do tonight, so I better make this closing quick and snappy, like—may all the babies all over the world sleep well tonight.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Taking Out the Trash

I think Genny must have been sensing how stressed I’ve been because she actually took two good naps today. I took a half an hour nap in the morning and then got the laundry and some writing done in the afternoon.

I was still pretty edgy with Gen when she threw all her food on the floor, but I just ended the meals as soon as the food started flying. By dinnertime she must have been pretty hungry because she ate a full jar of chicken dices, and four big crackers dunked in pear yogurt.

The rest of the day was pretty much a taking out the trash type of day. We went to the Jackson Heights Parent’s Group in the morning where Genny crawled all over the dirty church floor with four other toddlers. We did the grocery shopping and went to the playground.

I didn’t find any good trash though. I’ve been getting lucky of late: I found a Chinese screen, an almost brand new baby walker, and a two-wheel bike for Genny. I am the queen of garbage picking, of course, I don’t know if I should really be bragging on about that.

My mood seems to be equalizing a bit. Hopefully, next week’s vacation will ease my soul. That’s it for tonight.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Me in Mommy

What is it with babies and mornings? What is it with babies and wanting to cling to mommies all the time? What is it with sharp little finger and toenails that can slice like those magic knives they used to advertise as cutting through tin cans?

It is a day for questions. Answers are not so readily available. I feel as though I am floating through reality and time—neither here and now nor there and later. I am like a guppy being tossed through a turbulent river that twists and winds and has no foreseeable end, at least not for eighteen years.

I am a mommy. That is who I am. There seems to be no way to deny it or step around it. There is no dance that will alleviate the fact. I am a mommy. And as my therapist pointed out, there’s no “me” in “mommy” (although there is a “me” sound, so maybe that should count for something). Maybe somehow someone (whoever decides on how all these mommy things work) should work in some non-mommy time for mommy.

Baby could wave “bye-bye” as she evaporates into thin air to be babysat by whomever that someone is who could do such a thing as to create a creature that never wants to give mom a break. That mom would laugh and wave bye, too. She would not worry, knowing her little darling rested easily and gently under the most watchful eyes.

And what would mom do? After the shock of having one free moment for her own brain and soul wore off, she would rip off all her clothes and luxuriate in a warm bubble bath. She would skip off to Starbucks with her pen and paper in hand and find the big comfy chair by the window reserved for her. Free-flowing Frappucinos would be pumped into her veins. A most contented buzz would well up in the pit of her throat as she felt her face relax for the first time since baby had been born.

Later that day, baby would be returned with a clean diaper and jammies on. She would be resting peacefully in her crib. She would sleep until seven in the morning the next day. And the “me” would be back in mommy.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Game of Life?

Today was most definitely a mom on the edge day. I’m thinking my whole system is out of whack after running out of my antidepressants. I’m hoping that this glimpse back into my moody dark side is not my true self, but only a momentary squelch in my mental chemistry.

Genevieve was determined (okay, she wasn’t determined, she’s a baby) to make me swear and scream and generally freak out all day. We went to Grandpa Nick’s in New Jersey and she wouldn’t take an afternoon nap and was just screaming and crying and complaining. It got to the point where I found myself crouched and huddled against the wall while she just carried on.

I felt as though I could not take it for another moment. I distinctly did not like her. I absolutely didn’t like myself for feeling so full of rage and annoyance at her. I began thinking all kinds of silly thoughts—from understanding why it would be easier (and a great way to kill my soul completely) to just be a stay at home mom with no job and no school. It’s when I set my sights to larger goals of writing and being creative that I can then get so knocked down when I have no time or energy or sanity left to do those things.

It is days like today when I feel like curling up into a ball under the covers and giving up. I feel as though I will never be able to achieve while I am dredged down in this state of mind. I need a lift. I need a shift in perception. I need to have some small part of myself back again.

I feel trapped in this mom game and my last battleship has just been hit and I’m afraid I’m about to hear myself say, “You sunk my battleship.”

Friday, August 05, 2005


“That makes Mommy sad when you throw food on the floor.”

I keep seeing Genny strapped into her highchair, her chin falling down toward her chest as she repeatedly says, “blah, blah, blah”. Smushed orange carrots and sweet potatoes stain the white wall. Blueberry mush and biscuit crumbs slobbered up with some milk all tangle together on her tray as she slides and sloshes her fingers through the mess. Almost as an afterthought, she reaches her hand up to her hair and gives it a twirl, eyeing me to see my reaction.

“That makes Mommy mad. I don’t like that.”

Yet I offer her more foods in different varieties because she’s not been eating a lot lately. I feel myself losing it, food bit by food bit. My anger is slipping out at her. I am getting frustrated with a fourteen-month old.

Thank goodness that when Nick comes home he comes baring my antidepressant prescription from Caremark. It’s been two days since I ran out. My mind must have been going through some cold turkey type withdrawal.

I’ve calmed down a bit, but of course, the baby is sleeping. I get annoyed with myself for not handling my emotions better. I get envious of all the other patient moms I see on the sidewalks with two or even three kids in tow who seem relaxed and fine. Meanwhile, my one little girly girl of a child pushes me to using profanities just because she refuses to eat.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Heat

I’m thinking I need to have a larger goal with my blog writing. Should I be more focused? Should I only write about my life as a mother? Or as a former stripper? Or as a writer? And already I think I should just continue on as I have been.

The heat today was the kind of hot where you walk and you feel the sweat smack you in the face from the air around you. I found myself being quite cranky right along with Genny. We drove to our local Target, Starbucks and T.J. Maxx, and yes, I’ll admit, Starbucks. A very consumer driven day.

Later on we walked to the deserted Travers Park where the sprinklers were turned off, I think because of the threat of rain. How sad to see the large red metal hook-like devices standing dry while my clothes stuck uncomfortably against my drenched skin.

I have begun reading Paul Auster’s “Invention of Solitude” for my memoir craft class for fall. I am already sinking into his writing. I also worked on some poems tonight and worked on just accepting them for what they are.

I am wondering what it is going to be like to submerge myself again into writing about my stripper experiences once school begins. What will come out that hasn’t before? How will my being a mom now color my memories and attitudes toward who I was?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Repeat After Me

Genevieve had language explosion today. Almost-words were sliding out of her mouth like soy peach yogurt. She most definitely said diaper and cheese, not that I was using both these words in one sentence. If I say a word a few times, she wants to repeat them back. I see her studying my mouth, lips and tongue movements.

When Gen and I were browsing used books in front of the grocery store today, a nosy old man on the street said, “Oh, what a cute baby. It’s a boy, right?”

“No, she’s a girl.”

“Oh, well then you shouldn’t dress her like a boy.”

I just furrowed my brow at him and he shuffled along. I’ll dress my baby any way I want to dress her, and besides, she was not even looking boyish in the least. Just because her frilly romper is blue she’s supposed to be a boy?

I bit the inside of my cheek to refrain myself from expressing my true emotions. It would not be prudent for me to freely express my rants in front of Genny. I do not want her to be like the “Meet the Fockers” baby whose first word was asshole.

Not that I ever would have called the old man a nasty name. I long ago eradicated most expletives from my speech. Except when I get really frustrated then some things just plop out, but I’m trying to change my worst insult into “jack rabbit” or “fudge” as in, “Fudge you, you gosh darn old jack rabbit, she’s a girl!”

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I had a very tightly scheduled day today and I did really well with that. I even somehow squeezed in time to work on my poetry. I am finding that the key to my successes lies in being regimented when it comes to things I want and need to get done.

Genevieve began to have another tantrum upon leaving Travers Park. I was clear and told her we had to leave and that was that. I got her strapped into the stroller and just started pushing and she accepted it quicker than she did last time. A small success, but rather satisfying.

Therapy and then a venti decaf mint mocha chip Frappucino to round out my afternoon. A visit with a friend after picking Genny up from the sitter and then back home to feed her, bathe her and plop her into bed. I cooked dinner and then headed out to work with a new yoga client, which went very well.

I am gearing up now for the upcoming hectic pace of school life. There is preparation to be done and I have committed myself to getting the pre-work done on my manuscript, so that I am ready to tackle it come September, or August 31st to be more exact.

I close my eyes for a moment and remember my own instructions: shoulders back and relaxed, chest open, deep and easy breaths, top of head floating toward ceiling. And relax.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Tantrum Monster

There were no themed playgrounds when I was a kid. There were metal slides with sharp edges and hard rubber swings with squeaky chains. Genevieve is growing up in an era of fun lands around every corner.

Julie and I took the wee ones to a Kew Gardens playground off of the F train today. I’m always amazed when I enter a new area of New York City that looks so much like a suburb. You step off a dirty subway train into lawns, sidewalks and large stone houses.

I stripped Genny down to her diaper and let her crawl off into the froggy fountains. She’d touch the large cement frog’s head and then point at one of the other ones. She wanted to be spritzed, but then once she was, she didn’t like it, but then she’d reach out again.

When it was time to head home I tried to get her dressed. The tantrum monster roared out in screams and back arches turning Gen’s little chest red and blotchy. I settled for just getting her strapped into the stroller with her shirt on. How a sweet angel child can turn into such a raving lunatic is hard to figure out—hard to comprehend, but I have seen it with my own eyes and let me tell you, it is terrifying.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Foggy Funk

Unexplainable blue foggy funk creeping through my brain and belly. I wonder if waking up to the alarm clock of a baby’s cries for fourteen months now has anything to do with my mood. Whatever happened to lovely weekend mornings spent racked out in bed with the covers pulled up to my chin?

I could barely get my legs moving today. Nick let me sleep in for an hour and then we switched duties. Gen and I strolled to The Met grocery store on 37th Avenue to get her some milk and we lost her purple binky along the sidewalk or a grocery aisle.

I ate an extremely unhealthy strawberry frosted donut with sprinkles on top from Dunkin’ Donuts, which used to be my favorite breed of donut when I worked at a D’D back in Connecticut. With my sugar buzz and decaf iced latte with soymilk and, you guessed it, sugar, I headed home with Genny.

She did take a morning nap, but no afternoon one because we were too busy having fun. We went with friends and their baby, Vedaant, to a downtown nautical themed playground along the Hudson River. Genny dug around in the sand pit, splashed in the cement river and slashed with her hand at the sprinkler spouts.

After the playground, Vedaant and Gen shared a cool bath and some rubber duckies. We sat around drinking homemade Indian spice tea and getting sleepy. Gen is now in bed and Nick just ran out to the grocery store to pick up some things. I find myself alone, somewhat, for a few minutes. I sigh and breathe deeply. I listen to the rattle of the air conditioner. I close my eyes.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Date Night

Nick and I had ourselves a little date tonight thanks to cousin Alison. We saw War of the Worlds. Overall, the movie was disappointing, but it was a lot of fun to get out of the house on a Saturday night.

Earlier today we drove out to cousin Bob’s house to get our tire fixed. I took Genny to a nearby park that had an enormous playground, but she slept the entire time and didn’t get to play at all.

I do want to give Genevieve a big kiss after seeing this movie, but I will certainly not risk waking her up to have that beautiful moment. I will kiss her plenty enough tomorrow.

Friday, July 29, 2005


A mother’s dream—I brought Genny into her room for bedtime, placed her on the floor while I plugged in the monitor and nightlight, turned around and saw her butting her head against her crib. She was saying with her head, “Mommy, I want to lie down. I’m tired.”

I quickly changed her diaper and pulled a pink onesie over her outstretched arms and placed her down on the crumply yellow sheet. Her fingers in the mouth and body limp; I crept out of the room shutting the door behind me.

I washed dishes and read a magazine, checked e-mails and decided on my classes for fall and now I am blogging myself asleep.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Genevieve’s latest trick when she does not wish to comply with my expectations is arching her back, stiffening her entire body and screaming bloody murder. And so, apparently, the lifelong tensing and tightening of all our muscles into knots and bolts begins.

She still prefers kneel walking to regular upright on her feet walking. She’s now drinking regular old moo-cow milk. And she knows that a cow says moo. She likes to watch her DVDs and lets me know it all the time by taking them out of the cupboard, cling-hugging them and pointing repeatedly and gruntily at the television.

I still prefer napping to chasing a half-naked baby around the house trying to Velcro on a diaper to a wiggling butt. I am still not drinking cow milk because of a lactose type situation, but I went all out tonight and ate real ice-cream (mint chocolate chip). And I know that a cow says moo. I like Genny to watch her DVDs because I get a moment’s rest, but I have been pretty good at limiting her video intake to under an hour a day.

Quack, quack, waddle, waddle all day long. Quack, quack, waddle, waddle sing a duck song.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

School Registration

Genevieve is talking in little bursts of word strings. Sometimes it really does sound like she’s actually making sense. Today we went to my dad’s house and she stood in the kitchen with her hands pressed against the sliding glass doors, stared out at the pool and kept saying, “poo, poo, poo”. And she wasn’t pooing. There was an almost “l” sound at the end of the word, but just not quite yet.

Genny was resistant to the pool once we finally got out there, but she warmed up to it the more I bounced up and down with her safe and snug in my huggy hold. She then let me put her in the pack and play in the shade while I jumped in and out of the pool. She laughed when she would see my head pop back up.

I successfully completed my registration for school. At first I was shut out of the Literature class I was supposed to take, but my persistence paid off and a seat opened up. So, August 29th is the first day of class. It’s hard to believe. Now that we know my schedule we can start trying to figure out how we’re going to work the whole childcare situation.

My life will be opening up very soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Around We Go

Genevieve is drinking regular milk now. I hear myself saying this in my mind. It seems beyond ridiculous that this is the most important thing going on in my life today worth mentioning. When did my life go away so that my daughter could exist? Fourteen months ago.

Now, I hear in my head the voice telling me to quickly affirm that, of course, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Celebrity moms are always sure to make this point when they detail their post-partum depressions in tell-all interviews.

“Having my baby was the worst thing in the world. I hate it. It’s awful. But, of course, I love it. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

And I understand that need to correct oneself as a mom because, of course, it sounds horrible to say you wish your child didn’t exist. But I’ve got to tell you, there are times when I fantasize what it would be like to have my own life back again.

There’s the voice again—pushing me to emphasize how cute Genny is when I ask her what a cow says and she says something that sounds like, “moo”, or the duck goes, “duck, duck”, or the feathered friend outside our window is a “burrd”.

Yes, it’s true. I love her. I want her to exist. But even when I have those feelings like I wish she didn’t, I feel the need to censor myself because of my love for her. I love her so much. I just don’t love the job of mom so much.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Once again Genevieve was awake at about 5 am. This is entirely too early for one’s brain to function properly. If I don’t catch up on some sleep soon, I may be heading toward a nervous breakdown.

I know the only way I’m going to get ahead in this world is by working super hard, but when I’m exhausted, I can’t get my creativity to flow. There’s seems to be no choice other than sacrificing creativity for sleep, but then I’m depressed because I’m not producing anything creative. It’s thoroughly frustrating.

We went to a friend’s first birthday party today. Genny was brave enough to be crawling in between all of these strangers’ feet. Then we were home and the whole family took a nap. After an early supper, we strolled to the playground where we ran into more friends and played in the sprinkler, on the swings and slides.

Gen went to bed easily since she’s probably as exhausted as we are. I’m planning on going to bed very early tonight and seeing if I might feel better. My energy and mood are very low at the moment. My sentences are not flowing—a reflection of my mind.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Delayed Reactions

One of the worst things to see is a car accident on the highway. I don’t mean passing by one that’s already happened and been processed, but one that’s unfolding before your eyes. I’d already seen a horrible one on I-95 many years ago when I was returning from a stripper shift.

A car was driving like a lunatic and then up ahead I saw it sliding sideways back and forth across the three lanes. We all slammed on our brakes. As I slowed down and held the center lane I saw the sports car flipping and rolling along the median and then I saw a man fall or drop or jump from the passenger window. I remember it all happened in such slow motion.

Tonight, driving home from Connecticut on the Merritt Parkway there was a red mid-size car tailing people with only like inches to spare. The next thing I know, he’s passing a Volvo station wagon on the right and then deliberately steering into the car, hitting it and causing it to swerve out of control and hit the median.

I stopped the car and ran out to the Volvo; the red car took off. The young woman stepped out of her car totally fine and already calling people on her cell phone. We waited with her until the cops came and I told them what I saw. Unfortunately, no one got the license plate number.

It was a scary scene—the whole front end of her car smushed in. She was so lucky to be uninjured. I was just talking to her and making sure she stayed calm. When we were leaving she was finally starting to cry.

I can’t imagine what would have happened if it had been our minivan that this crazy person decided to tail and smash. Genny was secured in her car seat, but still, you never know.

So, Genny went to bed late tonight. And I’ve got a bag of ice on my swollen toe—I think running over to the accident exacerbated it.

I feel very hazy and spacey, like I’ve just seen a dream and I’m trying to remember it so I can analyze it or share it with friends. It’s all cloudy in my mind and I see the screeching tires and the flying smoke, but I don’t hear any sounds at all. It’s very quiet and still, like being underwater.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Minivan Day

I set an official record for length of trip from Bridgeport, CT to Jackson Heights, NY today. Unfortunately, the astonishing feat was on the long side not the short. It took me three hours and twenty minutes to make a drive that usually lasts one hour and ten minutes. Now that’s a lot of traffic.

Genevieve handled the constant stop and go very well though. We’d had a busy day: drive to CT in the morning, swimming in Grandpa’s pool and then a trip to the Beardsley Zoo in the afternoon. Genny saw monkeys, tamarinds (which are orangey, like tangerines), two bears, a momma tiger and three cubs, foxes, and lots of birds. I think Gen’s faves were the ducks and, oh yeah, the ducks. When I asked her what a duck says, she said something like, “duk, duk”.

We went to the zoo with my stepmom, Pat, her daughter, Lisa, and her boys. Genny’s three little cousins, Christopher, Jimmy and John, are so enamored of her and take such good care of her—patting her on the head, rubbing her back and checking in on her in her stroller. It was really a fun day, at least until the drive home.

I even found myself jotting down ideas for poems this morning on the drive there. Of course, it’s not a good idea to write and drive, but sometimes you’ve just got to write whenever the feeling hits. And I don’t know why I’m all poemed up all of a sudden. I’m just feeling like working on my stripper poems for some reason.

It’s not my job to ask why; it’s just my job to write down what comes to me. And to not crash the minivan while I’m busy being creative.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Need to Sleep

Genevieve wasn’t much into her supper of green beans, corn and peas. There was lots of eye and nose rubbing, which is her sign language for sleepy time.

Then something you don’t see very often in baby world—Genny was actually trying to get into her pack-and-play to go to sleep. We’re hoping she’s zonked out enough to sleep in a little tomorrow, you know, like until 5:30.

My brain feels flat tonight. I can’t seem to get my thoughts moving out onto the page. Maybe I’m tired. I suppose that is a distinct possibility. I think I need to honor how I feel and not push myself to write anything else tonight. That’s a new concept for me. I usually get down on myself about not writing, but tonight it just feels right to say, that’s enough, I need to sleep.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Windmill Shaggy

We started the morning rather early—Genny awoke at 4:30 and wouldn’t go back to sleep. Then we had a medical guy come to the apartment at 7:45 am to take blood and urine from us for our new life insurance policy.

It was wretchedly hot out, but the air conditioning feels icy and smooth right now like a Starbucks Mint Mocha-Chip Frappucino.

I’m feeling less depressed. I feel kind of flat though, like a Color Forms person. Someone could just peel me off the page of this apartment and re-stick me down somewhere else. I think I’d be powerless to stop the move.

I see myself as an orange Color Form in the shape of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. I’m hoping this is only because my sister and I had a Scooby-Doo Color Forms set as kids and I’m really only remembering that, not that I actually see myself as Shaggy. Wasn’t he the one who was always drugged out? Or was that all the characters? It’s been a while since I saw the cartoon and I never saw the movie remakes.

So, here I am as an orange Shaggy Color Form and I’m being peeled from my gray swivel chair and pancaked down in a windmill in the middle of a cornfield. There are crows circling overhead. I’m leaning out of a window smack dab in the center of the spinning arms. If there were anyone looking at me from the field, they would see a shiny orange face like the center of a sunflower with flying flower petals swooshing around me.

I feel at peace as Windmill Shaggy. And now I have been joined by a purple Scooby-Doo who is frozen in a running position with little black swirls around his feet representing movement. We are a fine pair of Color Forms. We flutter in the breeze from the window created from our windmill home’s wooden arms.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Day After

I am burnt out tonight. I did not get enough sleep last night and Genevieve didn’t want to take her morning nap, so I decided to go to Connecticut with her to escape the killer heat of the city.

We stopped and saw my mom and grandparents. I drank a soda in the backyard that had just been mowed. Genny pointed at some birds. Then we drove to my dad’s house and played in the den with assorted plastic cars. Genny ate blueberries and freeze-dried apple pieces, and then we went for a float in the pool.

I didn’t feel much like pretending to be happy, but I didn’t want to come across as rude either. I find it hard to explain my depression to family. Their first question about my low feeling is always, “Why are you depressed?” I only wish it was so simple as to say I feel depressed because my dog ran away, but unfortunately, it is rarely the case.

The drive home was hot and I kept dozing off. My eyes were so heavy and my brain was trying to trick me into thinking it was okay to shut my eyes just for a moment. I finally pulled over at a roadside gas station and closed my eyes for two minutes until Genny woke up and started squawking.

So, we’re home and she’s asleep and I have a feeling I will be soon, too.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Banish the Word

Today was a rough day, but I’m feeling better now. Nick and I had one of those deep, late-night conversations where we both realized we’re not motivated. We’re both stuck in a rut.

When Genevieve refused to nap this morning I had a little mini-breakdown. I felt myself losing it, spiraling into a vomiting depression. All I wanted to do was lie down, cover my head with a blanket and sleep, but because Genny wouldn’t let me rest, I was unable to use my sleep-cure.

My brain sort of short-circuited at this point. I spun down into my self-loathing spiral. I looked at myself in the mirror and screamed, “I hate you, Sheila.” I tried screaming into my pillow hoping it would release my steam valve, but it just forced me down deeper. The next thing I knew my mind was contemplating ways to kill myself so it would look like an accident so Nick could collect the insurance money. You know, crazy thoughts that you don’t intend on following through with, but that pummel through your brain anyway.

Next was the search through the apartment for something sharp to drag along the flesh of my arm. Something to relieve the mental pain by feeling real pain. I wanted to feel anything but what I was experiencing. The small scissors in the bathroom opened, ran against my wrist, but barely left a scratch.

I was out of control, almost. I think I was in the kitchen with the big scissors with the black handles, again dragged across my skin in little skips. Not enough to cut. I am not a cutter. Just a tease of, I could hurt myself, I feel that depressed and unable to cope.

I lifted Genny from her pack and play and held her while I cried. She stared at me open-mouthed for a minute before crawling off to play with her magnetic letters, laughing, but looking back to me for reassurance.

I knew that I was losing it, but holding on at the same time. That far away voice in the back of my head was whispering that I was okay and that if I wasn’t, I knew I would get myself to the hospital.

On about the fourth try, Genny fell asleep. I climbed into bed and pulled the sheets across my head and squished my eyes closed. I slept for about a half hour and awoke to Genny’s cries. I got her up, fed her, changed her and took her to the babysitter. It was just luck that I had therapy today.

My therapist reassured me that I wasn’t going to kill myself and that I was going to be okay. A combination of a lot of stressors in my life pushed me over the edge, that’s all. Echoes from the past.

So, here I am and Nick is home and we’ve talked and I’m feeling better.

Depression is a wicked thing. Or is it? In fact, I don’t know what depression is. I hate the word. I wish I could banish it from my existence. And then what would be left?

What would these moods I experience be if there were no word for them?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

No Writing

As the weekend of rest winds down I find myself having done no writing at all. I am very disappointed in myself, but even more so, I am wondering what my problem with motivation is.

I have so little free time away from the baby, you would think that I would fill every one of those seconds with writing. I have so much to say, so much to write, but I find myself paralyzed into a numb fog of non-writing.

I’ve tried setting up a minimum amount of time or pages a day, certain times of day or having a certain amount of queries in action. None of these requirements have kept me working. I flop out. I have excuses.

Once school starts I will be forced into a writing regimen, which will be very beneficial for me, but what do I do until then? What is my problem? Why must I procrastinate all the time?

Potter Pandemonium

Today was unusual for us—a summer Saturday with no plans. We all needed a break from our hectic paced, fun-filled season.

Nick’s Harry Potter book arrived by UPS bright and early and so his day was mapped out. I indulged in two naps and a lot of magazine reading. Neither one of us got anything productive done, except lounging about and relaxing. Genevieve didn’t seem to mind our low-key day either. She kept pointing at the television as if to say, “Hey, it’s my weekend, too. Let’s put on the tellie!”

Gen’s surprise phrase of the day, which both Nick and I heard, was something meant to be “Your welcome”, right at the appropriate time. We had been playing the pass back and forth game with a diaper and I said, “Thank you”, and she clearly said, “Your welc—“.

Nick and I both looked at each other like, “Did you hear that, too?” Of course, she wouldn’t say it again and then we both began questioning what we had actually heard.

I babysat tonight for friends, which was not difficult at all since the wee one never made a peep. And now I am munching on chips and salsa and trying to unwind so I can crash out before our little one wakes up bright and early.

Tomorrow should be quiet. We may just take a run to the baby store to get our baby-proofing materials. I think I should probably go pry the book out of Nick’s hands so he can get some rest, too.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Genevieve is all about the walking. Once she gets started, tromping one little foot in front of the other, she focuses all of her awareness on the task. She seems to be watching her boxy feet as they splat their way forward.

Interesting the parallels we find between our weird little lives. I am all about the walking, too. Heel-walking my left foot forward then squarely placing my right foot ahead of it. Glancing down and watching other people’s feet to make sure they are not about to enter my injured toe space.

Genny and I both concentrated on our walking for this brief moment in time. Within days or weeks, I will have forgotten all about the extra care and attention I needed to walk safely. Within weeks or months, Genny will have forgotten about all the extra effort required to walk securely.

I wonder what other skills I will be awarded the opportunity to remaster with Genevieve. Hopefully, nothing having to do with potty training.

Genny has in the past week decided she doesn’t like having her diaper changed. The moment we enter her room and head for the changing table she starts crying and twisting her body. I place her down on her back and she immediately rolls over and stands up. Strapping her down with the belt does no good—she rolls over halfway and gets all twisted up.

My solution for the moment is pull-up diapers. So, now I encourage her to stand up and place her hands on my shoulders while I whip down the old one, do a quick wipe and slip up the new one. Great for pee-diapers, but not so efficient for the poopie ones. She always manages to sit down on her feet and get poop in the crevices of her toes.

Ah, the joys of motherhood that no one can ever take away from you.

Poopie toes and broken toe—I will remember you.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Humping the Kitty

It’s quite a relief to have our Internet connection back up—when we came home from vacation that was just one more thing that was broken. It was strange how disconnected from the world I felt.

To top off the old broken toe, I’ve come down with a bit of a cold or virus, which I got from Nick, who got it from Genny.

I worked today, which went better than I was afraid it might since I was unable to demonstrate poses. I even hobbled to the pharmacy and grocery store this afternoon. My toe was hurting a lot less all day, but I think I might have overdone it a bit today because now my toe is screaming hurtful profanities in my direction.

Genevieve has a new hobby, which I like to refer to as humping the kitty because she is, in fact, humping the kitty. She climbs onto Lula and thrusts her hips and pelvis in a humping motion against her warm silky fur. I have to admit I’m surprised to see this thrusting and rubbing so early on. That’s all I have to say about that, except that I feel bad for Lula who is now being humped not just by her feline brother, Luke, but also a baby.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


If bad luck comes in threes, then we had a string of bad luck on our vacation. It all started out with Nick having an intuition that we shouldn’t go this weekend, but it wasn’t strong enough to prevent us from carrying on with our plans.

We carried out our multitude of bags, toys, sheets, towels, food and other assorted stuff to the hallway to find out the elevator was broken, which meant carrying the aforementioned pile down four flights of stairs. Plus, a baby in a stroller and a pack and play crib.

Friday, it rained the entire trip up to the Adirondacks, but it was still lovely to spend time with our friends. Saturday, it rained all day in the Adirondacks, so we decided to drive to Lake George and find some kind of a fun indoor play space for Genny. What we did find were many arcades, ice cream shops and a haunted house, so we chose an arcade that had kiddie rides up front by the window onto the street.

Genny’s first choice was a mini-carousel of horses. I sat her down on a horse and Nick plopped a quarter inside. I was rather surprised at how speedy the ride went. Genny was galloping away into the distance, well, beyond my arm’s reach. Nick and I chased her horse around in a circle a few times and then we just kind of watched as she slid off the horse right onto the cement floor.

She immediately cried and was inconsolable. She wouldn’t look us in the eye. She started shutting her eyes and acting like she was going to pass out. Neither Nick nor I could tell if she had actually hit her head, but it was about a three-foot fall.

We decided the hospital was our best bet. Driving the seemingly endless miles through green, green trees, Genny threw up. “Drive quickly,” I said as calmly as I could to Nick.

After waiting for a few hours, Genny got seen. Our pediatrician had wanted a CAT scan, but the ER doctor thought she was okay, so we departed finally with a cranky, hungry and exhausted family.

The next day was warm and we enjoyed ourselves at Crystal Lake. Genny seemed fine and splashed along the lake’s edge and dug sand with a yellow shovel. Nick and I were dealing with our own feelings of parenting inadequacies the entire day. Especially after Genny had already fallen off the bed when she learned to crawl—we thought we had learned our lesson.

Nick had been feeling like he might be coming down with something and so, of course, he got sick. I drove to the next town to get him some medicine, which, of course, would end up making him unable to sleep that night. Lucky for him, I couldn’t sleep either, what with the pounding pain erupting from my toe.

At dinner that evening, Genevieve had reached out for a hot plate that had just been set on the table. I suppose my unconscious was eager to prove it was a good parent, so it sent an emergency message to my arms to reach out and stop her from hurting herself, which set my dinner plate to flying off the table and attacking my second toe on the left foot.

I had never broken any bones in my life, but at this point, I knew my track record itself, had been broken. The pain surged through my toe and foot, but Genny was safe. Genny had not burned her little tootsie-fingers. My toe swelled up; I iced it down; I swallowed Tylenol; Nick buddy-taped my toe. And nobody slept that night.

We returned to Genny’s Emergency Room on our way home, but this time for Mommy. We joked with the hospital staff about our return and our seemingly jinxed vacation. It didn’t take long to get my toe x-rayed and to find out that it indeed was broken. The nurse buddy-taped my toe with some gauze in between my toes and gave me some strong Motrin, instructions on how to heel-walk (referred to as “heal walk” on my take-home instruction sheet) and a bag of ice inside of a surgical hat.

Just what a yoga teacher and a mom needs—a broken toe. It really makes my jobs a lot easier.

My lessons learned? That I have to be more careful even when I don’t think I need to be and even still—accidents may happen. As for my fractured toe, I suppose I can look at it as a message from some higher power that I need to slow down. Take gingerly steps through life. And wear metal-toed shoes.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Call for Strength

It is time for a vacation. Nick, Genny and I are going up to the Adirondacks for a long weekend holiday. We’re staying with our friends Wendy and Danny. We’ll be shut off from computer access, so this will be my last posting until Monday evening.

I’m worried about my mother. I need her to feel better. It is so painful to see her sick. I feel powerless and helpless and out of words. My sadness surges through me. Why can’t I do more to help her? Why can’t I be wealthy and provide her with the comforts she needs right now?

Asking why—is all I feel I can do right now, but I know it does no good.

I can pray. Ask for guidance and strength, for myself, my mom and my family.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


This morning when I heard the old depressed tape loop playing, “I want to kill myself”, I stood apart from the voice, as if I was a silent witness to the insane words. I give the thought no credibility or seriousness because it is just a thought that passes through my brain, but that I have no actual intention of carrying out.

I hear the silent sentence as it slips through my head and I wonder—why are you bugging me again? Why does this thought wash up into my mind at all? I don’t want to kill myself, but my mind must use these words as some form of self-nagging. A reminder that I feel depressed. Like I need a reminder?

I saw Lloyd this afternoon and talked about my inexplicable sadness that just shows up out of nowhere. As he pointed out, things are going well for me, but there were a few triggers in the last few days.

I feel so helpless when I see my mother not feeling well. She only weighs 86 pounds right now, thanks to the effects of chemotherapy. She is twig like and fragile looking and I want to nourish her. Plump her up. Feed her chocolate shakes and homemade brownies. Take her back to the days of my childhood and relive them without me going through my bitchy phase.

And Miss Genevieve not feeling well is cranky and demanding, which is understandable, but exhausting. She throws food on my back when I lean over to pick up cold mushed green beans. It is funny, but I refuse to laugh. I give her my stern Mommy look, but that just makes her laugh harder.

Genny is plump plump plump. She can eat all she wants or skip a meal or two and there is nothing to worry about. I have filled out thanks to the Starbucks Mint Mocha Chip Frappucino. But Mom needs to eat. She needs to add on some of the weight that her friends who had the stomach stapling surgery have lost. Why can’t weight be transferable? We can donate a kidney but not a pound or two?

At least my mental tape is quiet now. The loop is broken for now.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Seal Pup

Today was one of those rough all-day-with-the-baby days. I wasn’t able to go to work because Genny was too sick. Her excessive crankiness was just the beginning of my unlucky day. I dropped and broke my cell phone; I lost a bottle of milk in the grocery store; I smashed three baby videos onto my bare foot; I forgot to buy waffles for Genny at the store; Genny poked me in the eye. I don’t think the last item reflects my not having bought waffles, but I can’t be sure.

To top off my lovely day, our upstairs neighbor hassled me. Every week or two her grandson comes to stay. Whenever I run into her in the elevator she always says, “If he’s ever too noisy, please just come and tell me.”

Well, this past Saturday he must have been playing Batman or something, jumping off Grandma’s bed and thumping his body all along our ceiling. He woke Genny up twice. So, Nick went up and politely told them the situation. She proceeded to tell Nick that he can’t be complaining all the time (this was our first time), that the grandson only visits once every three months (ha!) and that basically, screw you, they weren’t going to quiet down.

So, lucky me gets to ride with Grandma in the elevator today, who proceeds to inform me that Nick had no right coming up and ringing her bell on Saturday. I was just like, Okay, smile, smile, and then I quickly got off the elevator and felt like, what happened to the nice lady who always tells me to tell her if her grandson is being too noisy?

The big problems of living in a cheaply made Queens apartment. I suppose it could be worse. Right now I’m just hoping that Genny manages to sleep through the night.

Which for whatever reason leads me to the fact that I haven’t been writing. I’ve been uncreative and feeling like a beached seal pup about to be clubbed by a big bearded hunter. I don’t want my brain and blood to ooze out on the white white ice and snow.

So, there you have it.

Monday, July 04, 2005


I practiced being in the moment on the drive home today. I tried to keep my mind only on my driving and the scenery of the Meritt Parkway. Every once in awhile I would glance in my rearview mirror and see Genny and Nick napping.

Genny was excessively cranky at my dad’s, had gobs of drool flinging about and her nose was running. She felt warm to the touch, too. We thought it was probably another tooth coming in, but I took her temperature when we got home and it’s 102.3. No wonder she was cranky. She’s sleeping now and I hope her fever burns itself out tonight.

I was just thinking how whenever I drive past Stamford on the highway I remember my first stripping experience, which happened at a place called The Hideaway. I sometimes think about stopping in and seeing if any of the old gang is still around and then I stop and think, what the Hell am I thinking? It’s a strip club.

But this having been my first club, it has memories. Just how you remember any of your big firsts, taking your clothes off in public for the first time is pretty momentous. And this club was different in the sense that it always felt like family. It reminded me of Cheers on television. Everyone knew my name, Kyrea, even though many of them mispronounced it.

I wonder if it’s still the same owner. Or if the same bartender still tells his junkie monkey story from Vietnam. Or if there’s still a cooler at the back of the bar with saran-wrapped ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.

Or if anyone would still remember my name if I walked in the door with my duffel bag slung casually across my shoulder.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Holiday Weekend

Genny woke up very early this morning. It wasn’t even six o’clock, but she was wide-awake and ready to go. I wasn’t exactly bushy-tailed. We ate some waffles and played with toys with wheels in the living room.

We went out to New Jersey in the afternoon for a picnic at Nick’s cousin’s home. Lots of rolling farms of corn, hay and alfalfa. It was a good day. Genny bobbled in their swimming pool in a dog tube.

I did some yoga in the backyard and two little girls came over and asked what I was doing. So before I knew it, I had two little munchkins practicing with me.

Back at home and here I sit. I just had a half glass of Newman’s grape juice and I’m thinking I might go to bed soon. These days of Genny’s rising early are stacking up and I’ve got an over tired body and mind. Tomorrow we’re off to my Dad’s house for another lazy summer day.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Genevieve is cruising along now. She waddled across the entire living room with her walker a bunch of times. Her toes are curling under less; she’s learning to trust her feet’s ability to support her.

I worked at trusting my legs’ strength to support me at a yoga class this afternoon. My muscles were quivering, sweat was dripping down my chest and I briefly doubted whether I’d make it through without passing out. The final relaxation was such a relief at the end—with the cool breeze from the ceiling fans wafting over my tired body.

Genevieve is learning to find her balance and so am I. We learn when we’re young and then we need to keep relearning, or perhaps “discovering” is a better word. She’s discovering the world for the first time. I’m discovering the world and myself for the umpteenth time.

That’s the beauty of yoga. It gives me the opportunity to begin again at anytime.

Friday, July 01, 2005


Genevieve and I played in F.A.O. Schwartz for over two hours. The first stuffed animal she hugged to her chest was a brown shaggy thing called an Ugly Doll. It had two removable Velcro kidneys. Next was a Peek-a-Boo baby doll wearing a duck suit, then a moment later, a Peek-a-Boo baby doll, Pistachio, wearing a hippo suit.

She hugged at least half a dozen bunnies, two tigers, a handful of teddy bears and a small ottoman. She rode a fuzzy rocking airplane and duck, crawled along a $250,000 life-size piano, which she drooled upon, and wiped up a few hallways of the store with her roughed-up pink knees.

We then met up with Nick, rode the subway home together and rented some videos. We watched “Sideways” tonight. This is the kind of film I like—character driven, realistic and very funny in that uncomfortable, you feel for the person way.

Genevieve is really progressing with her eating and speaking talents. She seems to be clearly saying, “More”, when she wants, well, more. And she ate corn niblets off of an adult fork, all on her own. I wish I could get that excited when I speak single-syllable words and correctly aim an eating utensil into my mouth.

I guess I could. I mean, there’s nothing stopping me. Except my own, what should I call it? My own adult and reasonable self. Why must I be so reasonable?

Why can’t I just cut loose and find joy in the word “more”?

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Muggy, muggy, muggy. Damp skin and wet clothes. Ah, I love the summer.

Genevieve said her first true word today as Nick was leaving, “Bye-bye”. She waved and said it again to Rebecca when we were leaving her place. Then later on she waved to the toilet before I flushed and I got another “bye” from her.

She’s also almost saying poop, as in, “Bye-bye, poo-poo”. I show her how we dump her poop in the toilet, flush it and then it magically disappears. I remember reading somewhere that sometimes toddlers get upset when their poopies go bye-bye, so I’m glad to see at the moment she has no attachment to them.

She’s also feeding herself all of a sudden. She can dip her spoon into the baby food jar, scoop and get most of the food into her mouth. True, on some swipes toward the mouth the spoon turns upside down and it’s anybody’s guess which direction the food will fly. And she thinks it’s hysterical when I’m picking her food off the floor to rub her sticky-icky fingers in my hair. I must admit, I find it rather humorous, too.

We’re heading into a holiday weekend, which makes me very happy. I’m looking forward to spending family and friends time.

On the whole mood thing today, I am feeling pretty okay, which for me, is pretty okay. I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but I’m rolling with it. Rolling with my feelings. Rolling with not getting everything done. Yup, tonight, I’m just rolling.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Giddy Up

Genny and I got quite a bit done today. We returned some things, went to Starbucks, dropped off the van for inspection and all the other usual suspects. I was able to keep plugging along all day even when I was feeling on the verge of getting depressed with Genny. I think I was doing in spite of my feelings. I chugged through my depression.

Gen even took two decent naps today. I snuck one in myself this morning. We had a decent dinner and the dishes have already been washed. It’s only 8:30 and Nick and I have already spent some quality time together. He’s just run out to rent us a video. I can’t remember the last time we did that.

As I’m writing about all these good things, there’s a voice in the back of my skull beckoning me, whispering to me, twitching it’s little finger at me. This voice is creepy and scraggly and it wants me to remember all the things I have to be anxious about. It’s trying to remind me that I am not adequate. It’s seeping, oozing the message that I’ll be collapsing into its comfortable teeth any moment now.

I feel like if I keep writing about it in this manner that it won’t be able to get me. I feel as if I’ve actually separated myself from it for the first time in a long while. I want to feel giddy. In fact, I’m on the verge of it, but there’s a corner of myself saying don’t give in to the bliss because if I do, then I’ll be sucked up by the raspy creature. To give in to the bliss is the equivalent to opening myself to the monsters that lie beneath the bliss.

But I feel like that’s just another trick of the depression monster to keep me from dropping into bliss. Damn it, I will be happy now. I will allow myself to enjoy this feeling of being enough. I am not a fraud. I am authentic. I am real. I am a good person.

I am riding this camel out of the desert. I’m riding this baby to the Promised Land I see in the distance. That’s it. I’m riding there now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Another long nap for Genny this morning. Once again I had to wake her up in time to get ready to go on our missions for the day. Genny was off to the babysitter and I had a job interview and a therapy appointment.

Well, no one was at the office for my job interview—it was a part time writing gig. Then I hustled uptown to Lloyd’s and got to “go to the chair” for the first time. The chair is simply a comfy chair where the hypnotism happens. He led me through a hypnotism about allowing change to happen and then invited my unconscious to show me anything it had for me.

I had a vision of myself riding on a double-humped camel through the desert. I was laughing and resting my head against his front bump; I was sunk down in between the two humps. Then my mind snapped as if to say that most camels only have one hump, so suddenly I was riding atop a single humped camel and I could see a sparkling city ahead that I was riding toward. Pretty cool. I left his office feeling pretty sparkly from head to toe.

Gen and I then got chores done—grocery store, pharmacy, laundry, making dinner. Nick and I even worked on my website tonight. Now, of course, I am utterly wiped out. What else is new?

I don’t think I’m going to get much more done tonight and that’s okay. Enough for one day. Enough.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Genevieve took a massive nap this morning. In fact, I had to wake her up after two hours and twenty minutes so that we could get ready to leave—her for the babysitter and me for work.

I shushed my way into her room and sat and watched her nap for a few minutes before I woke her up. She sleeps in a soft-sided pack and play and she was sleeping on her belly with her butt up in the hair and her head pushing into the mesh siding. Her two favorite fingers were gently being sucked in her mouth and her dirty blonde hair was sweated sideways to her forehead.

I think this is the sweetest I ever see her, when she’s sleeping. And not just because she’s asleep and not harassing me, but because she looks so perfect and peaceful. Unfortunately for her babysitter, she didn’t look this peaceful at all this afternoon. I guess that one big nap was enough to carry her through today.

I’m totally not liking my haircut today. It looks nothing like it did when Danny the hairdresser styled it. I think it’s hopeless. Heavy sigh. I guess that’s what you get when you spend twenty-five bucks on a haircut. And my cheap manicure is chipping already, too. Have I learned my lesson? Absolutely not.

Tonight is bill night and I have a lot of other doodads to try and get done, so I must say adieu.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


There’s nothing like a day of physical labor to get your muscles aching—especially when the day before you took an intense yoga class. We moved, cleaned and organized our new hand me down furniture today. Genny was content to crawl around from room to room with us. Everywhere she went she found a new piece of low-lying furniture to pull herself up to standing with.

We also made a Costco, or is it Cosco, run and stocked our pantry well. Then we were back home doing more work.

Our apartment is finally beginning to look like adults live here. Funny, now that our place clearly has a baby living in it (lots of toys in every room), it feels more adult.

I wonder if it’s another sign of adulthood, I’m feeling very tired and it’s not even 10:30 yet. I think it’s just the result of a nonstop weekend. It’s time for me to shut down so that I will be able to start back up again tomorrow.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

It's All About Me

I realized something very interesting today. Even when I don’t spend the day with Genevieve I still can get exhausted.

I started my day with the GRE test, which I lightly prepared for over the last few weeks since the score I receive doesn’t matter. I don’t know my writing scores yet, but for quantitative I received a 450 and for the verbal I received a 570. These scores are from a possible 200-800. I feel darn good about the math score (I haven’t taken a math course in more than 15 years), but my verbal is a tanking if you ask me. For some reason I just seemed to be reading very slowly this morning.

After the exam, I was lucky enough to have the entire day to myself. This is the first time that this has occurred since Genny was born. Nick was out in Jersey with Genny doing work and family stuff. I took a yoga class at Be Yoga. I window-shopped in Manhattan. I got a haircut and a manicure and pedicure. Yes, we are talking about a morning of yucky exam, but an afternoon of enjoyment.

Now I am absolutely wiped out from all the fun and alone time. I felt giddy at points during the day. Positively giddy. And you know what? I don’t really even care that my GRE scores weren’t better. They are what they are and they are fine.

Ah. I need to talk to Nick about me having days like this more often. Even one Saturday a month to myself would make a huge difference I think. It was just so refreshing to not have any responsibilities to any little person today. I just had to watch out for and take care of me.

That felt good. I am an excellent exhausted right now.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Another day done. Nick and I went out for dinner at La Flor in Woodside; a wonderful wedding gift from our friends Rebecca and David, which included babysitting. It was so luxurious to order anything we wanted without worrying about the price. That hasn’t happened in a long while.

Genevieve is sleeping and will hopefully remain so for the rest of the night. I have my GRE test tomorrow, early. I’m not stressing about it at all since it doesn’t matter what score I get—it’s just a formality for Graduate school. I was worried I would over study, but I’ve actually been pretty chill about it.

I feel like I’m actually learning to do something Lloyd and I discussed a week or so ago. I’m forging through my feelings and acting in spite of them. Also, an article I read from this month’s Yoga Journal was pretty inspiring. It’s all about acting as if you are enlightened. I connect these two ideas in my mind. I am doing what I know needs to be done and what is best for me. Well, this is what I am aspiring to do.

Tomorrow is going to be hot. And, yes, for some reason I feel that it’s important to discuss that. I hope the GRE testing facility is a comfortable temperature. The exam is actually taken on computer, which should be an interesting experience.

I’m looking at the photograph from the wedding Joanna sent. Nick, the baby and I sitting together. Genny is reaching out and touching my flowers. Her white bow lopsided in her silky hair.

We’re a family. This picture says to me—family.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dirty Diapers

My neck and shoulders are massively tight from all the organizing Nick and I did tonight. We are both savers and have thus found ourselves engulfed in our apartment by stacks, files, boxes and crates of stuff. We got two huge office filing cabinets from Nick’s cousin Alison; her office is relocating and ridding themselves of lots of stuff. Ah! Stuff! Just what we love.

It really feels liberating to get started on the job of sorting and organizing all the collected crap from our many years. I hope Genevieve hasn’t inherited the collecting gene from her parents—if she has, we will need a bigger home. It’s amazing how much stuff she already has for a being who has only been on this earth for thirteen months.

I had therapy today and a Starbucks Frappucino. A good combination.

Everything surrounding my frustrations and depression with Genevieve comes back round to my mom right now. Her continuing battle with both cancer and chemo. I wish there were more I could do for her. I love her so much and it hurts to see her in pain and worn out. I would love to do something amazingly wonderful for her, but I’m not sure what that would be.

I think that’s all I have to say right now. Not very inspiring or enlightening. As Lloyd and I discussed today, right now my life is all about taking out the garbage. And the dirty diapers.

Time to take out the dirty diapers.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I am so completely mentally exhausted. Genevieve’s crying jags today bore holes through my eggshell brain. I feel like she crawled all over my soul.

What is a mom to do when she feels like she is losing her mind? There are friends and family, but they cannot take away my mental anguish. There are medications and healing techniques, but they do not always work.

This is what I describe as my depression. I can look at what I’m feeling and writing and say, “Gosh, Sheila. Sounds to me like you’re depressed. Why not do something to make yourself feel better?”

Unfortunately, when I’m in the depression’s clutches it is hard to make myself participate in any possibly beneficial activities.

Perhaps I need to wallow in my frustration? And why am I so bothered by being home with Genevieve? I even had a slight break today when I went to work. Why am I not handling being a mother better? For someone such as myself who has a perfection streak running through her veins, it’s hard to understand why I am not feeling like one of those mothers who love every minute of their motherhood experience.

I know some women must lie about it being so great, but I’m sure there are some who are totally serious; they love motherhood. And even though I know there is nothing wrong with me for feeling the way I do, I still find myself asking—what is wrong with me?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I Am The Winner

Genny is thirteen months old today. That is so young in comparison to most of my stuff. But she is definitely looking like a little girl now rather than a baby.

We took a ride to Connecticut today, so that I wouldn’t have to spend an entire day alone with her and so that I would be guaranteed two naps from her, even if it meant I didn’t get to nap at all, since I’d be driving when she was sleeping. So, she did z-out in the van both there and back.

We had a life insurance salesman over tonight. Nick had to decide on insurance now that he’s not at the old job anymore. Every time Mr. Insurance Man was about to say something about what would happen if Nick died, he would preface it with, “Heaven forbid something should happen to you, but…”

I have so many projects looming. I know I mentioned this before, but it warrants being visited again. I need to figure out for sure about the Mommy and Me class and I need to prepare for my new yoga clients tomorrow, and I need to study for Saturday’s GRE and I need to work on my essay and I need—a bunch of other stuff, too.

I had a run-in with a limo driver this morning getting onto the Whitestone Bridge. There was a twenty-minute backup to cross the bridge because of construction. I waited patiently like most normal, law-abiding individuals, but there have to be those morons who think they’re so much more important than everybody else that they don’t have to wait in line.

So, I’m almost to the point where the roads completely fork and where people try to zip up the wrong lane and sneak in at the last minute, so butthead limo-man and his bigger butt-headed businessman passenger try to edge in front of me and I honk and lock up the space so they can’t get in. Very unyogic of me. They’re both laughing and I’m fuming, but as I passed them by, my heart racing like an alarm clock about to buzz, I felt like I had won. And then I felt awful and sad and angry and all those things, but at least I had prevailed. Sure, the calm guy behind me let them cut in, but whatever.

Who am I kidding? There was a tiny part of me thinking maybe they felt bad afterward for mocking me (they waved to me hysterically as I inched them out of the lane), but I know they weren’t sensitive to their own idiothood. They are not sitting at home right now feeling guilty and amending their ways, saying, “Next time, I’ll wait in line like everyone else.”

Nope, they’re both probably chuckling about that bitchy woman in the gray minivan who had to be a bull-dyke and not let the burly he-men jut into her space. Well, whatever. I won.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Zzz Dream

My thirst cannot be quenched tonight. My stress cannot be squelched. My temples cannot be eased.

Genevieve seems to be teething; either that, or she is going through menopause or puberty or becoming a werewolf. She’s been crying and squawking all day. Goo has been running from nose, mouth and eyes. Onesies have been soaked through and Mommy’s patience has been worn through.

She has entered a new non-sleeping anywhere phase. Strangers still think she is cute though. Somehow, people even smile in an “Aw, shucks” kind of way when they see poor me pushing around this red-faced, bawling bundle of baby. The urge to invite them to spend a day with her and see if they are still standing at the end is very strong.

But I push on and she screams on.

And I feel myself being on the brink of falling down a long chute into a pile of dirty diapers the size of a Great Lake. Any great lake. A big one. A big pile of dirty diapers. You get the idea.

I’m the one who needs a yoga lesson today. I need a great yogi to appear to me and stretch out my body in all the right ways and whisper words of wisdom in my ear.

Then I’d like a great babysitter to appear and quietly say, “Worry no more. I will watch the baby when she is more than you can handle. I will ease your temples.”

Easy and breezy. A cool peppermint-scented wind blows by my nose and lullabies me into a peaceful, uninterrupted 8-hour stretch of zzz’s. Oh, dare I dream?

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Last night was my first night that I wasn’t able to blog. We stayed in New Jersey at Nick’s Dad’s house. The majority of our time was spent watching digital television on a large screen TV. That’s what we do when we go to New Jersey.

I was dealing with some major mood swings all weekend. I snapped at one point when Genny refused to nap for the umpteenth hour. I carried her out of the bedroom, said something like, “I hate this child,” and bawled and trembled.

Genny has entered this new non-sleeping at other people’s homes phase. Last night was horrible. After she slept for a few hours, she awoke with such gusto and springiness that Nick and I had to wrestle with her for hours.

We did get out of the house this afternoon and go to a playground at a place called something like Scooby’s Mountain. An obnoxious little blonde boy, about five or six or seven, picked up my camera and took a picture of the ground and then knocked over my bottle of water.

“That isn’t very nice,” I said.

The boy was unphased. He reminded me of all the snot-nosed little pranksters I had to deal with as a little girl. And I felt just as powerless in communicating with him today as I did way back when.

Argh. I have a crazy week. New yoga clients. Planning a Mommy and Me yoga class. Taking the GRE’s on Saturday. And trying to remain calm and centered and in one piece.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Here I am at my computer again. I have showed up every night now for quite awhile. Does working on my blog prevent me from doing more creative writing work? I don’t think that that’s a fair assumption since I had not been doing any writing since Genny was born. Not that I’m blaming my lack of creativity on her or anything.

Obviously I’ll be writing a lot when school starts in the fall, but I was hoping to get into a productive phase before then. What is my problem with doing writing work that’s not for a particular assignment?

Everything feels so unwieldy lately.

I finally made it to my friend Wendy Wisner’s poetry reading tonight. I’ve been trying to make it for the last year, but you know the story, not that I’m blaming Genny or anything. Wendy did a beautiful reading—her voice was very mesmerizing. If you like poetry, check out her book, Epicenter.

I’m just feeling a bit lowdown tonight regarding my writing. I sometimes think I should finish working on my book of stripper poetry that I started, but at other times I feel like it’s not worth it. Sometimes I think I should work on my comic book idea and then other times I want to work on my website and still other times I think I should be working on my memoir. That’s a lot of thinking about writing without a whole lot of writing going on.

Maybe that’s my problem. I can’t just work on one thing and be happy. I’m always thinking about what else I could be working on. I’m always wondering what I do best and what I enjoy the most, so that I could just zero in on that one passion for a while. Well, I’ll be doing that come the fall, but what about the summer? What writing project will I focus on?

Right after that thought, I start thinking about all the other things I need to focus on—Genny, yoga, relaxation, making money, spending time with family. There’s always another thought behind the one before it. Except when I stop and just be. I need to make more time for me to stop and be, but then when does the writing get done?

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Genevieve set a new world record for total nappage time—five hours! She awoke from both of her ultra-long sleeps in a joyful mood to boot. I crammed my own nap in there, did the laundry, washed the dishes and sorted wedding photos.

My mood has been a bit erratic today although I enjoyed Genevieve quite a bit today. I’m sure I owe a large part of that enjoyment to the fact that I had those lovely breaks throughout the day. The negative feelings seem to be centered on my inability to get anything creative done today. I didn’t find any of those precious nap minutes filled with me writing. Very annoying.

Genny mastered saying, “Mom”, today. As I folded laundry she clung to my leg, bounced and let go with a long string of the aforementioned word. She also crawled headlong into the stack of pillows on her bedroom floor, rolled from side-to-side and laughed like a hyena.

Speaking of laughing, she tried raspberries at supper and found them hysterical. At first, she nibbled daintily and made a slightly scrunchy quizzical face, and then she began chomping in and absolutely busting her gut with laughs. Blueberries she loves to pop in too, but they do not cause any fits of emotion.

I wish raspberries could make me so happy. She is so in the moment when she does anything. When she eats—she eats. When she poops—she poops. There’s none of this embarrassment or self-consciousness of the plague of adulthood. Gen just does what she does and wallows in it.

When do we lose that pure love of life? When do we lose touch with the simple joys of eating a raspberry?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Step

From too hot to too cold. Genny and I went on an outing today with three other mom friends and their babies. The thermometer read 61 degrees when we pulled into the Jones Beach parking lot. We huddled on the sand with towels and blankets as our warming gear. The babies didn’t seem to mind the weather at all and other than Grace eating fistfuls of sand, there were no major crises to report.

Geneveive has reached a few new, not milestones, but more like, breakthroughs. She can climb up a step on her own, as demonstrated earlier when she hitched up her knees on to the boardwalk. Also, Gen’s babbling has taken on new dimensions when it comes to inflections. When she’s asking a question there’s a certain lilting rise at the end of her query. When she’s offering food crumbs as gifts there’s a certain forceful heaving grunt that makes you aware of the offering even if your head is averted for a brief moment.

She’s just full up of cute imitations lately. Last night, upon seeing her daddy blowing on his green beans, Genevieve also blew on the beans before they passed her eager open lips. After seeing Dad kissing my back, she lunged upon me and gave me kiss like sounds in the air around my shoulder region. And because Nick and I are always so sure to place our drinking glasses upright on the table, Genny is also very persnickety about getting her sippies and bottles to stand up on the table after a slurp.

Okay, so yes, there, I said it. Genevieve is uber-adorable and I love her to Mars and back again, but I’m still going bonkers during the day. I’m still wishing her crying jags were nonexistent. I’m still feeling like I am teetering on the edge of sanity. I just seem to be clinging to the ledge pretty well tonight. I may even be able to heft my knee on up and imitate Genny—and get myself safely up that first step.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Heat is On

Genny did a lovely downward dog on the bed this evening. She should have been sleeping, but this new use of her legs seemed more interesting I suppose. Also included in her non-sleeping state were throwing herself onto the pillows, rolling from side to side and plucking Mommy’s bottom lip like a finger harp.

And she’s still not sleeping. Her daddy is in there right now and I just heard the sad little wails starting again. It’s almost two hours past her bedtime.

We did have an adventurous day. A morning trip to UPS to stand in line for half-an-hour to pick up a package. Then we drove to Grandma and Grandpa Koechig’s house for a visit and then finally on to G & G Hageman’s house where Genny went for a swim.

I’m really worried about my mom. The side effects from her latest chemo are knocking her out. She’s lost so much weight and has zero energy. She could barely walk today. I know she’s feeling bad when even Genny is unable to lift her spirits. I hate that I can’t make her better.

It sounds like Genevieve has finally quieted down. I hope this sleep sticks.

If you’re out there reading this and you believe in prayer or visualization or any other helpful remedy, please think of my mom tonight. Please send her strength and renewed energy. Thank you, and here’s hoping we all sleep well in this heat tonight.

Monday, June 13, 2005

But What Do You Feel?

Act in spite of my feelings. That is the kernel of knowledge I came away with today after seeing my therapist. It is really good and simple advice. Yes, I feel fraudulent when it comes to most areas of my life—I’m not a good enough teacher, I’m not a good enough writer, I’m not a good enough mother. The key is that I can’t let those feelings stop me from living my life.

Too often I have bowed down to my almighty feelings, allowing them to determine how my life would be lived. No more. I know I will have negative feelings, depressing loops of conversations inside my head, but I am not going to let them rule me. I am not going to accept those thoughts and feelings as real anymore. They are just thoughts passing by. Wisps of feeling hazes that aren’t necessarily true.

Genevieve has a new book called Tad’s First Feelings, when you turn the pages you hear little rhymes about feeling happy, sad and sleepy. All passing sensations. All temporary. All feel very real when you are experiencing them, but then you move onto another feeling.

I want Genevieve to learn to trust her feelings, to express them, but to also understand that that is all they are—passing sensations soon to be replaced by new ones. What is the state we return to? What is that feeling where we most often reside?

Perhaps this is the answer to the meaning of life—to live in the moment unfettered by passing sensations, thoughts and feelings. I always strive to be in the moment, to experience without judgment whatever is occurring within and around me.

I will act in my best interest. I will be the best person I can be. I will do the best I can at anything I attempt and allow that to be enough.

And hopefully, Genny will grow up to love herself and feel good enough about herself to develop her own healthy philosophy of life. More than anything for Gen, I wish her happiness and contentment within herself. I wish her peace with life and a good heart.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Let's Talk About Sex

Lots of revelations about my lifelong sadness. Nick and I had a conversation last night that started about sex and porno and ended with an in-depth look at my issues about being a woman in our modern society. I think I’m on the edge of discovering the roots of some of my issues about my sexuality and why I became a stripper and all that jazz.

The key factor in understanding my coming-of-age has always seemed to focus on finding the porno magazine trunk in my basement when I was about thirteen years old. I was at an impressionable age when I was just learning about what it means to be a woman. The naked photos seemed to show me what it meant to be a desirable woman.

Thus began my conflicting attempt to become both a desirable woman and at the same time to stop myself from ever growing up at all. One part of me urged on my self-discovery of my sexual self: dancing half-nude in front of the living room mirror every day after school, learning how to undulate my body to make it look good from every angle and practicing my new discoveries with boyfriends. While it seems that I was attempting to become a “desirable” woman like those I saw in the magazines, I also began my attempt to halt the process altogether: starving myself all day long, seeing how tiny (and unwomanly) I could become and sinking into an attention-desiring depression.

I was like most hormone-driven teenage girls—making out with my boyfriends and savoring every passionate-filled moment grabbed in the backseat of cars. I was always dating older guys and feeling super-sexy and just enjoying my discovery of how much fun my body could supply me.

Once I actually physically became a woman and realized the process was unstoppable, I slowly began regaining weight and coming back from the edge of scary skinniness. The crack in my, what I consider normal sexual self, happened when I became a stripper. My sexy self became exaggerated and a performance. That’s who “Kyrea” was. Sheila, on the other hand, became the good girl, who wasn’t terribly interested in sex because that other me was getting all the “sex” she needed at work.

Soon, the split deepened, and I found myself becoming a promiscuous and cheating female. That was when I felt sexy. I began to associate sexiness with being bad. Not a great development for my own sexual self in real-life relationships.

Fast forward to today. I’ve gone through a long trip to Hell and back. I’ve landed in a place where I want to reunite my split selves. I go through phases where I think I’ve already done that successfully, but I realize I still have a lot of issues to work through.

Sheila can be sexy without having to be overtly “sexy”, like I was as a stripper. That real sexy part of me is allowed to exist. Time to let go of all those messages driven in by well-meaning boyfriends that I could leave “Kyrea” behind and just be Sheila. Kyrea is a part of me. It’s time to make her feel welcome rather than hanging her out to dry in the name of being more adult.

I am a sexual person and I’m allowed to express my sexiness. Take that world.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Summer Saturday

A warm and wonderful day at Walnut Beach in Milford, CT with Adam and Gayle. Genevieve discovered sand and I received a belly and bikini-bottom full. The day zoomed by. We're all wiped out here. I want to close my eyes and zzz away.

Hugs and Squeezes

Well, I did it. I saw my first movie in over a year. Cinderella Man. It’s one of those stories that you know is going to work out in the end, but during it, you’re simply biting your nails off, as cousin Alison said she did.

Now I’m home and Genny is still sleeping. I just wolfed down four large chocolate chip cookies, which always makes me feel nauseous afterward. So, why do I do things that make me feel like puking? Ah, perhaps a good question for all of us. Some people have alcohol and some have chocolate.

I just looked at the headlines and was reading about the young woman missing in Aruba. How often do these situations turn out well? It makes me grateful for having survived as long as I have. When I think back to the risky lifestyle of my younger days, to the days when I traveled by myself and somehow always managed to hook up with someone. There are always men waiting for young lonely women on vacation—waiting to be their vacation Sweetie.

I remember when I was on vacation I was always ready to be swept off my feet by a local guy or two, and they usually obliged. These travel romances made me feel sexy and desired. I loved the power I felt I was exerting. The thrill of the warm, breezy air. Freshly sunned skin. Unfamiliar places were begging for me to drop my normal self and allow the Kyrea (my stripper persona) in me to come out.

Someday Genny will be a young woman discovering relationships and all the fun stuff that goes along with the territory. I can only hope that she makes wiser choices than I did. How do we protect our little girls—our babies? We have to let them go at some point, to face that huge open floating bubble of an endless world.

I’m going to hug her and squeeze her tomorrow. I’m not ready to even think about letting go yet.