7 Second Meditation


A few years ago I installed some random free meditation app on my phone. It was a stressful time, and I scheduled it to send me a push notification me at the witching hour: 7am. 15 minutes before I was supposed to have everyone fed, dressed, packed, and in the car to make it to school drop off/work on time.  A reminder to breathe instead of explode.

It didn’t really work, but I never took it off my phone. So I still get the notifications at 7am.

This morning, as I was in the process of trying to figure out why my foot kept sticking to the bottom of my pant leg (mysterious, still unidentified brown goo, source unknown), while simultaneously yelling instructions across the house at my four year old who was letting me know that “EDDIE IS CUTTING THE BABY AND DADDY’S PHONE WITH HIS (plastic) KNIFE!!!!!!”, my phone dinged on the dresser next to me.

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No shit. Thanks for the reminder.



3 y/o: Alexa, volume down.

Alexa: Here’s one: How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  Two.  One to hold the giraffe, the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored power tools.

Sometimes I get anxious about having a microphone sitting in our living room, listening to everything, handing over all sorts of valuable information to corporations that will do who knows what with it.  Then something like this happens.  And I wonder how much I should really worry.


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I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately for a number of reasons: migraines, ligament pain, the occasional sick child, or–in the case of two nights ago–laying in bed listening to Paul snore for almost an hour before he woke up to tell me, “Uuuuugh…I can’t sleep.  I’ve been wide awake for the past two hours.  I haven’t slept at all.”


I have never had trouble sleeping.  Ever.  In high school a girl drew a caricature of our Spanish class, and in it my head was on the desk, asleep.  Airplanes?  Please.  That constant white noise puts me out before we take off.  And if I can fully recline or lay down, I don’t even need to really feel tired.

Then I had a traumatic brain injury and the doctor told me that I needed MORE sleep.  I was like, SURE! In grad school I was known for taking hour+ naps on a disgusting couch in the student lounge–middle of the afternoon, bright lights, people yapping away right next to my head.  Out.

Sleep is my thing.

But apparently not now.  I guess insomnia is common during pregnancy, though I don’t remember having it this bad before.  And it sucks.

Anyway, this has resulted in me a.) being cranky, b.) investing in a new pregnancy pillow, and c.) spending a lot of time on the couch drinking tea, reading books, and writing blog posts at 3am.  Like right now.

The good news is that about a mile from our house is a Goodwill that is dedicated almost exclusively books.

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It’s a total crapshoot, as most used bookstores are, but all of the paperbacks are $1.99 with an occasional 99 cent-er thrown in.

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They also have two “leather” chairs that have been on sale for over a year, so I take the kids there and let them pick out new kids books and then sit them in the chairs to read them while I peruse the stacks.  Because then it doesn’t matter when Mora takes a pen to “help write” the book and Eddie rips out all the pages, it’s not going to cost me more than $3 total.  Hours of fun.

It is basically my favorite place.

Because there is no rhyme or reason as to what will be on the shelves, it’s kind of forced me out of my comfort zone.  I’ve started choosing books based on the author, a review on the back by someone I respect, or Pulitzer Prize/Booker Award/whatever winner little sticker on the front.

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Paul thinks it’s absurd that I am getting more books.  He constantly asks me what we are going to do with “all these books” when we move.  He does not understand.

He does not understand how bookstores provide me with a sense of calm.  He does not understand how rare it is to find a public space that provides both entertainment for me and two toddlers simultaneously.  Most importantly, he does not understand the important role these books are playing in our lives at this moment.  $8 is a low price to pay for snoring in peace.

Eddie Spilled Water

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Conversation in the living room between my 3 yo and our Amazon Echo as I sat on the toilet one morning:

(Kids playing)

3 yo:  (GASP!!)  EDDIE!  NO!  Alexa, Eddie just spilled bubble water on the couch.

Sorry, I’m not sure about that.

Alexa!  Eddie spilled all the bubble water!

Sorry, I don’t know that one.


I can’t find ‘Water on the Couch’ by Spilled.


Water is spelled W-A-T-E-R.


Here is Water by Ugly God on Spotify:
(I drip on your bitch like water
I splash on your bitch with the water


Sorry, I can’t find the song ‘Eddie’s Meerwalk’.

UGH EDDIE!!  NO SPILLING WATER ON THE COUCH!  If you spill water on the couch again, you are not invited to my party.

(End scene.)

Holiday Card

I kept observing him, thinking to what a degree this life of ours is truly so extraordinary and mysterious, how people join and separate like autumn leaves chased by a windy downpour, how we labor in vain to enable our glance to cling to the face, body, and gestures of the people we love, whereas in a few years we fail to remember any longer even whether their eyes were blue or black.
~Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

It’s that time of year again!  The below was my original choice for our annual holiday card.


It got vetoed because you can’t see the dog, Paul appears to have lost muscle function in part of his face, our first child looks like she needs to be exorcised, and our second child is not looking at the camera.  Bummer.

I love sending out holiday cards.  I love getting them.

Every year as I make the list of who to send them to, by stage of life: Childhood.  College.  Grad school.  This city.  That job.

I’ve always been a little bit sentimental about how transient relationships can be.  It’s bittersweet that someone who seems so crucial in your life can fade to a hazy memory.

Social media has changed this, in ways both good and bad.  Those people no longer disappear into a vortex.  You know where they live, what they’re doing, how they look.  You no longer have to remember their eye color, just go check their most recent selfie.

But social media platforms can also alter the context of your relationship.  I don’t need in-depth knowledge of my ex-roommate’s beliefs on circumcision or whether an old teammate thinks I should change my skin care routine.  Because I haven’t seen either of them in years, and sometimes all that matters is that I still smile remembering the time they made me laugh so hard I threw up.  Regardless of their feelings on Harambe.

So I like the cards.  A quick snapshot of the present without additional, unsolicited commentary.  I like to make the list, think of all those people without being prompted by my Facebook feed.  It is nice to see how much has changed and not changed over the years, to look up at my actual wall, see all the people I love, and be reminded of just how fortunate I have been.


(For the record, that is only a portion of the cards we have waiting to be hung.  We are more popular than that.  I swear.)

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


The past few weeks have been wonderful and ugly.  In my little bubble things have been pretty smooth and happy, while so much of the rest of the world has not.  Cue a lot of emotional confusion.  Gratitude and guilt.  Joy and horror.  Hope and helplessness. The dissonance is awkward and uncomfortable.

Things felt weird.  I wasn’t sure how to start up a dumb blog again.

And then last night our close friend invited us to dinner at a a beautiful country club where carolers dressed in A Christmas Carol garb wandered around from table to table singing.

c313c63f2e92cd1af7d8689534cb360cgeorge c. scott’s a christmas carol

It was such a treat.  The food was amazing, the kids were dazzled.  We basked in the holiday cheer.  Both kids fell asleep in the car on the way home and we tucked them into bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.

Then 4am HH woke up yelling that her tummy hurt.  On the way to the toilet she threw up all over the bathroom floor.

This wasn’t my first rodeo.  I sprinted out of the bathroom to find a hair elastic.  On the way back in I saw her basically submerge her head — long, luscious hair first — into the toilet bowl as she was retching.  And in that moment of panic I didn’t watch where I was going, stepped in the puddle of puke on the floor, slipped, and pulled a groin muscle.

So why don’t we start there.