Wednesday, June 22, 2016


18 months ago, Will and I stood quivering in the basement of Macy’s Herald Square.  Frozen and bewildered, we assessed the scene:  rows of shiny appliances packed with hordes of enthusiastic sales people and overly caffeinated bridezillas. 

“We should have done some research” I gulped, wide-eyed and dizzy.

“We’ll be okay” Will assured me.

Would we?  With a limited supply of promotional canapes and mocktails, I feared we’d be lost in there – slowly starving to death - forever. 

We moved cautiously toward the cache of scan-guns, selected our weapons and proceeded into the fray. 

We laughed.

We cried.

We fought.

We made up.

Though it was the stuff of my consumer-intolerant nightmares, ultimately we lived.  Now as we unpack all those lovely selections and find places for them in our new home, it seems to have all been worth it.

Yet here I am again, panicked over how to fill this blasted baby registry. 

The human race began reproducing well before the invention of baby swings and swaddle blankets.  Only fifty years ago, my grandparents were getting by with a handful of cloth diapers and some bottles.  But times have changed.  Certainly the science behind car seats and sleep safety have saved thousands of infants from preventable death – for that we should all be thankful.  But some of this stuff is just fluff and most of us know it.

At least we think we do.  The truth is we won’t really know much until we’re parents ourselves and THAT is how they get ya!

With loads of help from family, friends and co-workers our registry is finally taking shape.  All of the kind, constructive advice has been invaluable.  For that, Will, Bobby and my completely neurotic self thank you!

Monday, June 20, 2016


They say white noise machines help babies sleep more soundly and consistently.  Something about a dull, repetitive hum helps infants adjust to the quiet world outside your uterus and access a sleep-friendly place.  This is why - I’m told - these machines are ESSENTIAL to every good baby registry.

But I often wonder if this isn’t a golden opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.  To-be parents are well-advised to stock up on slumber before their precious bundles come screaming into their lives; and a small, unimposing cylinder seems as good a place as any to toss the unsolicited criticism they receive throughout their pregnancies.

Here’s the incredibly dull, repetitive, BORING white noise putting me to sleep as we speak.  DISCLAIMER:  Do not operate heavy machinery while reading this post.

Sweet dreams!

1.  “You’re too big.  Are you sure you’re not having twins?”
Thanks for your concern.  I’ll be sure to run your educated medical opinion by my doctor.

2.  “The first child ALWAYS resembles their father.  This one will probably look nothing like you.”
Oh hey, Carnac!  While you’re at it, would you mind telling me this week’s winning lotto numbers?

3.  “I don’t like that name.”
Well good thing this isn’t your kid.

4.  “Aren’t you a little young to be starting a family?”
Aren’t you a little old to be this rude?

5.  “Should you be eating that?”

6.  “I don’t think you could deliver a baby that size.  You should have a C-section.”
  Amazing point.  You’ve completely convinced me…

7.  “Kiss your life goodbye!”
Just so helpful.

8.  “Don’t forget, you have to lose ALL THAT WEIGHT after the baby is born.”
You don’t say.

9.  “Wouldn’t you rather decorate the nursery like THIS?”
Let me think… no.

10.  “So, when’s the next one?”

Monday, June 13, 2016


As generations go, mine lost its innocence pretty early. 

At the already confusing age of 12, I was suddenly thrust into the Columbine era.  The weeks following that tragic day in 1999 were absolutely game-changing.  Metal detectors in schools?  Children being suspended for wielding gun-shaped chicken?  Bogus bomb threats called into districts around the country?  These issues that are sadly so commonplace today were new and terrifying back then; and I was forced to confront them before popping my first pimple.

‘The web’ was also a fairly new place.  We’re well acquainted with internet trolls and keyboard cowards now – but when a subculture of Trench Coat Mafia worshippers assembled online in the 90’s – I remember it sending shockwaves across the world.

Around that time, my science teacher assigned us an essay on chemical warfare.  We were instructed to select a means of combat, go online and research it for a paper.

My parents had a conniption.  They immediately scheduled a conference with my teacher to excuse me from this assignment and make a general stink about the timing of it all. 

It was like they were preparing for court.  My mother collected evidence:  stacks and stacks of internet search returns on homemade bomb recipes for her argument.  My father even took a day off of work to attend this meeting.  In my world, that was pretty serious.

To say I was mortified is an understatement.  I was already a pretty weird kid; and at a time when I just wanted to blend in, my parents were forcibly tearing me from the pack.  Apart from that, I really liked my science teacher and knew she meant no harm.  But my parents would not be dissuaded.  I was NOT writing that paper and that’s all there was to it.

Countless shootings, numerous terrorist attacks and one fertilized egg later – the world once again looks very different to me.  While I always experience pain after tragedies like the recent Orlando massacre, this pregnancy has magnified my heartbreak tenfold.  Suddenly I’m asking questions like: how will I explain this new normal to my Bobby?  How does one balance the unadulterated joy of creating life with the terror of guiding that life through humanity’s pitfalls?         

This isn’t a partisan post.  Most of you are familiar with my political leanings but I’m not here to propose a solution.  The bodies aren’t even cold yet – I’m not participating in a rat race for the narrative.  But I do find myself examining tragedy through new eyes – a parent’s eyes.

Ultimately, I know I’d like Bobby to listen to his gut but still acknowledge the inherent goodness in people.  I want him to know who he is, love who he is and (most importantly) BE who he is without fear of violent retribution.  I want him to walk out the door every day and breathe deeply, learn fervently and love bravely.  I can’t control the world, I can only control how I interact with it; and I’m now powerfully aware of how my example will inform my son’s decisions.         

As for 7th grade science, I wrote a substitute paper on cancer and got a 95.  The event didn’t have much effect on my weirdness trajectory – in truth I remained somewhat bizarre until college.  And in the end my parents shielded me from a side of humanity only they could know I wasn’t ready to see yet.

If Will and I are even half as brave as our parents are I think we’ll do okay.

In the meantime, let’s do what we can to help:

How to help Orlando shooting victims

Friday, June 10, 2016


Pregnancy is an incredible gift.  Every day I discover a new, miraculous thing my body is capable of doing.  I mean, hello - I'm creating a human!  But I think we can all agree the rapid bodily changes brought on by maternity make for some hilarious moments.

There are some things the baby books won't tell you and these are just a few.  Here are five easy things that my pregnancy has made laughably hard.       

Chores:  Every Saturday morning, I used to wake up bright and early to clean my home.  I actually loved my routine, but pregnancy has changed everything.  I can no longer reach into my top-load washing machine; stairs are the enemy; and certain cleaning products are completely off limits.  I come from a long-line of perfection-seeking housewives, so I feel very guilty leaning on my husband for more than his fair share of housework.  Ultimately, I'll be even more useless if I hurt myself trying to be a hero so I've chalked this one up to 'it is what it is.'

Shopping:  My best friend is getting married the week I'm due.  I am thrilled to be her maid of honor, but ordering a dress proved to be quite the challenge.  "What's your current bust size?" asked the well-meaning salesgirl. steroid-injected watermelons a size? 

By October I could be producing milk so there's no way to predict my trajectory with any real accuracy.  I ended up ordering a 12 - with a tailor and some fairy dust I may make it out of this alive.

Getting dressed:  Remember the days of flinging on whatever and running out the door? 

I sure don't.

But people tell me it takes pressure off the laundry schedule and reconnects you with those forgotten gems in the back of your closet.  For me, getting dressed is now a daily exercise in shame and humiliation.  My wardrobe currently consists of six stretchy, loose and forgiving pieces I try my best to mix up every week.  If the laundry doesn't get done...Fabreze and forget it my friend!  Until my boss sanctions sweat pants - I'm going to have at least one panicked morning a week and I've pretty much made peace with that.

Grooming:  This weekend I discovered that shaving while pregnant is PURE COMEDY.  It's kind of like doing lawn work while blindfolded.  Except you're wet.  And naked.  And in positions even a yoga instructor would advise against.

Sex:  You can't breathe on your back and if you're sitting up, someone is BOUND to lose an eye.  You may be frisky all the time, but you're also gassy all the time - which is without a doubt the saddest/funniest combination of things ever concocted by God and man.  Luckily Will is patient, strong and creative so I'm hopeful we'll find a consistent repertoire before this pregnancy is out.  Ya know what they say - practice makes perfect!

So these are a few of the funniest situations I've encountered so far.  NOTE:  I haven't peed myself yet, though ---as you know---I got DANGEROUSLY close this week!  In the meantime, I'd love to hear some of your funny pregnancy stories.  Feel free to drop me a line if you're in the mood to share!

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Pop culture would have us believe that pregnancy is a ‘get out of jail free card.’ 


According to this list of “7 Things Every Pregnant WomanShould Do” getting out of traffic tickets is just a natural perk of fertility.  So when I saw the unmarked car light up behind me yesterday morning, I was hopeful I'd be promptly on my way.

Calmly I got into position:  Engine off.  Windows down.  Hands at 10 and 2 – on my bump.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” asked the officer.
“I don’t.” I said, slowly stroking my belly.
“Well – when you merge onto a road, you’re supposed to signal.”
“Yes.”  I nodded.
“and… you didn’t.”
“Oh.  Well, I apologize officer – that’s really not like me at all.”  Bobby sensed my nerves and started to kick.   
“Also, your driver’s side brake light is out.  Did you know that?”
“I really didn’t but thank you for telling me” I replied, rubbing my belly a bit faster.
“I’m gonna run your license.  Is it clean?”
“Of course” I smiled.
“No suspensions?” he shot back, curtly.
“No.” I chuckled, shaking my head.

Back he went to his car as I sat shaking and bewildered.  Never had an officer run my license.  Who’d believe at five months pregnant my road-luck would suddenly dry up?    

When the officer finally returned with two tickets I knew it was time to up the ante.  

While he explained my charges, I tapped into the ever-present hormonal turbulence inside me, hoping to shed some tears.  After all, during this pregnancy I’d sobbed over plumbing fixtures; dogs; mundane text messages; random radio commercials; nachos...  surely in this desperate moment I could summon a few frightened drops.  


Okay –no big deal.  One quick trip to the mechanic would take care of the fix-it ticket and the other I’d just fight in court. 


Though my walk back to the local mechanic was rainy, my car was done.  I was one step closer to putting this all behind me!  I had to have the repair verified by a police officer – any police officer - and the ticket would be thrown out.

The first police department I tried had zero parking.  I circled several times and couldn’t find a single spot intended for public use.  Since they’d have to look at my car it didn’t seem practical to street park blocks away.  

No big deal - I decided I’d head home and Google our town’s police department.

When Siri led me to a Chase Bank instead, I had no cell service and my phone would not connect to the internet.  

No big deal – I went old-fashioned, rolled down my window and asked a nice woman for directions. 

“Oh that’s on Route 100” she told me.  She forgot to mention her directions would lead me two towns away.

NO BIG DEAL!  I’d been driving thirty minutes, had to pee but could juuuust see a state police department in the distance.  It would all be over soon. 

Suddenly the traffic came to a drastic, violent stop.  It was an accident – an ugly one.  Two cars lay dismembered in the road – one with its front ripped off – the other wrapped around a telephone pole.  The doors were closed, airbags deployed; the people may still have been trapped inside.  

With my bladder swelling and the state police department inches away, I said a silent prayer for the the collided and hunkered down in my car.

Twenty minutes later, I pulled in and parked in a spot.  I waddled to the door and realized rather quickly that it was locked.  

“If door is locked, ring doorbell” read a sign.  

I did as instructed.


“If there is still no answer, use the yellow box to your right” read another sign.

I depressed the button on the big yellow box and heard a dial tone.

“911 – What’s your emergency?”
 “Oh gosh, I’m sorry – this isn’t an emergency – I just – the sign told me to push this button.  I’m here to verify a car repair for a fix-it ticket.”

There was a long pause.

“Someone will be with you shortly.”  *click*

Another twenty minutes went by.  At this point my child was doing jumping jacks on my bladder.  Pacing back and forth, I contemplated how many tickets I’d receive for pulling down my pants and squatting on the unmanned, state police department’s lawn.

I had to distract myself.  My cell service had returned so I decided to call my husband.  I figured I'd try and put a funny spin on my horrific day and began relaying the hilarity to him step by step.

"Will - seriously - do you think I'd get arrested if I just peed on this grass?"
"Excuse me, ma'am?" said a voice from behind me.
I whipped around and saw a state trooper standing in the door of the tiny hub.
"Umm, Will?  I've got to go." I said, hanging up.  "Hiii... I um... would you look at my car?  I got a brake light repaired for a fix-it ticket and I just need someone to fill out the paperwork."
"Sure," the trooper said smiling "let's take a look."

I climbed into my car gingerly, trying desperately not to pee my pants.  I started the car and pushed the brake pedal.

"Hmm..." the trooper said.  "I don't know if it's the sun glare but I can't see it."


"Press down on the brake again."  he suggested.

I did.

"You're pushing it, right?"


The trooper just stood there laughing.

After asking another officer to block the sun glare with some paper, he was able to get a good enough look.

"It's fine." he said.  "Where's the paperwork?"


Moments later I relieved myself ( a toilet) and my mind was free to reflect on the ridiculous events of the day.  Ultimately I concluded that pregnancy is most certainly NOT a 'get out of jail free card...'  

...BUT it definitely adds a funny layer to the life of this small, awkward, married girl!

Monday, June 6, 2016


They say freshman year at Marriage U is the hardest; and the truth is our course-load was more ambitious than most.   

In addition to the prerequisite mergers of family, friends and finance, Will and I took on an insane number of electives. 

“Introduction to Real-Estate;” “Mortgage:  A Crash Course;” and “Renovation for Dummies” each demanded patience and follow-through.  Meanwhile, "So You Wanna Make a Baby?" had the absolute BEST homework!  Though I hear the continuing ed is a challenge...

Together, passing these classes made us smarter, stronger and more confident.  But as always, the real lessons were too nuanced for the report card. 

“Forsaking all others” sounds great at orientation, but go ahead and ask two people-pleasers to divide their holidays.  “For richer or poorer” is simple in theory, but doesn’t quite capture the leaps of financial faith necessitated by home ownership and parenthood.  “In sickness and health” rolls right off the tongue until you’re up all night, hydrating your sick wife against the threat of premature labor.  

But would I change even one millisecond of our first year as man and wife?


Will, today more than ever you are my best friend.  You are my partner in crime.  You are the only one I trust with my heart, my hopes and my dreams.  Making you smile is my mission.  Making you proud is my delight.  Making your baby is my honor.  And making the decision to flirt with you at that party will continue to be the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

I’m not naive enough to believe this will be our toughest year – there will be tougher.  But if our freshman efforts have taught me anything it’s that nothing can shake the bond we've built and the love we share.

One down, forever to go. 

Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


It’s important to remember that while pregnant, you are your child’s entire world.  It somewhat eases the pain of becoming a small planet.

As a new celestial body, I naturally possess a powerful gravitational pull.  Crumbs are especially vulnerable; being dragged deeply into the black hole that is my ever-expanding cleavage. 

I tell you, I cannot get through a meal without doing something disgusting.  Yesterday a small cube of cooked chicken wound up so deep in my outfit it was publicly irretrievable.  The day before I missed my mouth not once but twice, spilling ginger beer all over myself.  And don’t get me started on the mucus production.  Every time I laugh, some food-laden spittle comes flying out of my mouth like a small asteroid. 

You simply can’t take me anywhere.

Hiding out at home is not without its perils either.  With an altered depth perception, my house has become a veritable obstacle course.  I’ve taken to examining my legs nightly, trying fruitlessly to recall the origins of each fresh black and blue. 

After that, I grease my rings to remove them from my sausage fingers and carefully lower myself into the docking station that is my full-body pillow. 

But through it all, there is one undeniable truth:  stained clothes, bloated limbs and bruised legs get old; but the joy of feeling your baby move about the world you’ve made him is forever.

“Say good morning Bobby” I greet my husband each day. 

“Good morning, baby boy!” he says with the sweetest belly kiss.

And with that I’m off to tackle another rotation – grossing twenty-somethings out of reproducing one lunch break at a time.