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.