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Friday, May 20, 2022

Sweary Mommy: My Own Private Idaho

I'm Editing My Own Publication on Medium.

It's called Sweary Mommy.

My budget for designing
an avatar is nonexistent,

So far it only has two followers--me and a lady named Sally.  (Shoutout to Sally N. Miller!  I love you, girrrrrl)

Here's a blurb.

This all happened because I've tried to write some stuff for the original gangster of millennial mom pop-parenting blogs, Scary Mommy, and they're not even taking submissions anymore.

Scary Mommy in 2022 be like.

I am super stoked to still be writing stuff for Nameberry, Pregnant Chicken, this bloggity blog right here, and Frazzled Parents.

There's also a piece I've been working on for kind of a long while--"Time Out of Mind: The Lonely Struggle to Reconnect With My Six Kids and Husband After a Manic Episode." 

Here's an excerpt--

"There's a triage now, a strict chronology.  There's a literal to-do list for helping others after all forms of empathy are spent.  This means that before I am able to tend to my kids' souls I must first be the source of my own comfort. Breathe...Take stock of my reactivity and whatever scene the disaster has wrought. 

I can level up to the feelings-of-others phase only after having felt my own. 

Then I turn my gaze my family members' faces.  Do they look scared?  (Spoilers: probably.)  Do they appear to be stressed and sad?  (Almost certainly.)  Do they seem nervous about which version of me will respond to them--regular Mom or rage Mom?  (Absolutely.) 

Disarming rage Mom requires a circular system of sorts.  Bipolar disorder is a dismal injury for which I am trying to be my own first-responder.  My "best caregiver self" has also come to know to prioritize loving the family over leading it, but in order to do that I must pause and sip the stockpile's soup before ladling it out to others.  The caregiver and the first-responder are often at odds, yet without one, the other cannot effectively function in a healthy system.  And the caregiver, first-responder, and children often need the exact same things from me at the very same moment."

But nobody has wanted that one, yet, and it's long as hell for a personal essay (1500+ words).  Plus, it's trying too godd@mn hard at whatever stupid metaphor I am mangling there.  Whatever.  Back to the key-ing board.

My long-term goal is to write a memoir.  Working title: The Bridges of Santa Cruz County.  It'll be a story with harrowing poop stories, dark humor, forgiveness, and redemption.  And skidmarks.


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Every Living Thing in this House

Everyone Wants a Piece of My Goddamn Pottery Barn Couch--Even the Cat.



My ONE nice bit of furniture.


Other than this assault, it’s actually only been Sharpied once.  Still pretty pristine compared to the rest of our stuff.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

An Addiction Story: McDonald's Fountain Coke

 The Forbidden Fizz I Can't Quite Shake 

I wish I knew how to quit you,

McDonald's fountain Coke has its spicy spell on me.  Like Santana's Black Magic Woman, I just can't leave it alone.

I've tried at least three times to stop suckling at its long, plastic, cylindrical teat.  And as hard as it is to quit stuff, it's not as if it's totally unheard of for me to stop doing stupid crap habitually--one time I actually quit Facecrack for five and-a-half years before letting myself get sucked back into its sweet, throaty embrace.

If lovin' you is wrong, I don't ever wanna be right. 

But I'm still lovin' it.

It's not just the soda, or the caramel coloring of it (which, incidentally, is probably slowly killing everyone it touches with its cancer-causing properties, but have you ever tried Crystal Pepsi?  Ewww-uh).

It's the whole sensory triumph.  The cool splash of your first sip.  The perfect level of carbonation.  The grand, compulsive crunch of the ice afterward.  And the subsequent insulin bomb, a pancreatic assault; it all just hurts so good!

This is not a sponsored post, but if you're reading this, #McDonalds #CocaColaBottlingCompany #McLovin et al., please feel free to reward me with a lifetime supply of your ambrosial brown bubbly. 

"I'll tell you when I've had enough, Kids!"

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Peanut M&m's Are a Good Source of Protein (and Other Lies You Tell Yourself When You're Pregnant)

Realistic Substitutions For Your Unhealthiest Pregnancy Cravings

I have six kids. 

And I’ll be real—my eating standards have gotten lower with each successive pregnancy.  While pregnant with my first child I quit caffeinated drinks, avoided deli meats and soft cheeses, and didn’t even indulge in much Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. With my sixth and final child I was sicker and a lot less sanctimonious. Baby #6 was bathed in a steady stream of McDonald’s fountain Coke and his bones were knitted with hash browns—if I didn’t get through the drive-thru before 10am I would heave in the median of the parking lot.  

Clearly, my last baby was telling me what he needed and who was I to deny him?  But Heidi Murkoff’s classic pregnancy manual, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, goes so far as to bagel-shame the unwitting prego.  Sometimes a pregnant person has no choice but to listen to their body for at least some of their nutritional needs.  Although I’ve been known to mow down half a drum of Red Vines, that’s almost never ideal and you'll up your risk for complications like GDM and pre-eclampsia.  It’s not just about calories, it’s about making sure you get things like fiber, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and healthy gut flora, too. So here are twelve real-world food replacement ideas, for those less-than-optimal choices we’ve all made while there’s a cinnamon bun in the oven.   

Peanut M&m’s—> Banana slices with peanut butter; dehydrated banana slices from the bulk foods bin; strawberries dipped in chocolate. 

Fries—> Sweet potato fries w/ olive oil and sea salt; if that’s too involved for your current energy levels, try baby carrots, sliced bell peppers, or cukes dipped in hummus. 

A metric ton of cheddar cheese—> Some feta on a Greek salad with grilled chicken and kalamata olives. Yes, I know feta is risky; if you’d rather play it safe with your listeriosis odds, try the plant-based shredded cheese from Costco. 

Half a box of Krispy Kremes—-> Half a small loaf of banana or zucchini bread.

Raw Funfetti batter—-> Chilled banana pudding in a Graham cracker crust.

Large Coke ( < 50 mg of caffeine)—-> First, downsize to a large Coke with extra ice, then a medium Coke—having a moderate amount of caffeine (less than 200 mg per day) is fine. Or get a smoothie instead.  If you’re really ready to kick yourself into high gear with your wellness, switch over to green tea. 

Spicy Chicken sandwich at Wendy’s—> Baked potato with pepper at Wendy’s. 

Footlong Italian BMT from Subway—> 6” Hot tuna melt w/ cheddar and tomatoes on wheat.

PB&J—-> Sliced apples with peanut butter.

Candy bar—-> popcorn with a few Skittles tossed in.

Linguine with garlic bread —-> Chickpea pasta with pesto.

Cookies & cream ice cream—-> chocolate or raspberry sorbet.