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Mama Had a Toddler and Her Head Popped Off

I’m chewing my lip again. I’ve returned to that place I escaped so long ago. Toddler-hood. And it’s all the Hell I remember it to be and more. The place that makes the strong feel like failures. And there’s nothing more than live in survival mode to get you through.

This morning, all I wanted to just make the breakfast. Wanted to and had to are synonymous. Maybe I also wanted to take a bathroom break, meditate, write, drink more coffee in an empty house with all day alone to look forward to. But I’m smoking crack if I think I’m getting a soul satisfying amount of alone time in the next 16 years. Presently, at 48, I fear that when Fiona gets dropped off at college, I’ll be dropped off at the retirement village door. Lot’s of alone time there.

Fiona and the goose statue (3)

I had to peel her screaming conflicted self off me and lock her out of the kitchen to finish making breakfast. Seems everyone, family and strangers alike, want to guess why the baby is fussy. Is it/it must be a) She needs to poop, or b) she’s cutting teeth, or c) she didn’t get enough sleep, or d) she’s hungry. This past two weeks, it was each one at the same time AND she’s trying to figure out if she needs me or not and if that’s a bad thing or a good thing. And if she stops needing me, will I disappear or abandon her?

Later, I discovered that silence, although bliss, needs to be questioned and investigated and there’s no such thing as Toddler proof. She’d taken a blue ball point pen and scribbled a 3 inch by 3 inch glob of blue ink on the arm of my chair cover. I pulled her out of the chair and peeled off the cover and promptly sprayed it with Resolve, Shouted it, and added clothes detergent and then scrubbed at it with a scrub brush. It worked but gift horse silences need to be heeded from now on. She’s a member of the loud family. There will always be a price to pay for her silence. 

Fiona and the goose statue (3)

We’ve begun to put her in the time out chair aka the thinking chair, or what my first-born called the Fixing chair. That has done a wonderful job of allowing her some separation from her out of control impulses. She actually seems to be grateful for the time and boundary.

I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to the rest of the toddler years with anything but dread. It’s Clash of the willful Titans and she may be cute to you but she also has no issues with you. It’s my soul she needs to devour before she can move on to toy with yours. She is our little Fuego Rojo. Wished I took naps. Maybe the unconsciousness would distract me from the twitch that’s starting up again under my left eye. Hello irksome old friend.

The Art of Making Do with the Doo Doo

It was a Tuesday, last Tuesday, and I went to drop off Fiona at my mother-in-law’s Mary’s. Fiona had the tail end of a cold so I go to dig for a wipe to dig at her green booger crusted face. And I discover…there are no wipes. In fact, there are no diapers either.

I remember this happening once before with the first child. No diapers in the diaper bag. They must have all been removed at daycare for back-up. Mary says, “No problem, we’ll make due” or “figure out something”. She’s from the old school of hard knocks p[parenting. You made do with what you had and the kids survived. Grammy and Fiona from Making Do on

I stood there in the realization that I had two appointments in my imminent future and I needed to get hustling to round-up diapers. Then I left to buy the diapers and wipes. Because that little girl was due up for a poopie. No way was I OK with thinking I’d be at my doctor’s appointments and I would be worrying about her nappy necessities. And what my Mother-in-law could possibly be “makiing do” with.

Grammy and Fiona from Making Do on

These older mothers, they know trenches. Making do was what they know and they were masters of the art of not needing. We’re the ones creating high maintenance kids with out hovering and our over-doing. My husband was told to clean his plate because there was no more. Sure he and I share abundance issues but my point is, they won’t die if we don’t snack them every half hour and then wonder why they never eat. And they won’t remember if their Grandmother uses a dishtowel as a nappy. But that will only happen if I am blissfully ignorant of the lack of nappies. I have my limits. And my mother-in-law has hers. They’re just somewhere I’m unwilling to go.

Saigon Noodle Salad

When I lived in Baltimore, I primarily was employed in the restaurant business. I did clean houses as well but there was a lot of restaurants positions on my resume. When I left my employment at the Cafe Hon, I went up the street to a small new cafe called the Golden West Cafe. And Thomas gave me a shot as his first employee and manager of future employees. The place was very hip and Thomas had brought a love of the food he’d experienced in Albuquerque, New Mexico attending college.

The menu included all things green chile. Frito pie and breakfast burritos were bathed in his silky tart green chile sauce. He roasted pork shoulders with red chiles for Carne Adovada and came up with this Vietnamese style rice noodle salad with shrimp that I have continued to make from memory long after I left the café and Baltimore.

I was cruising the site last night and found a pretty good rendition of the salad called the Saigon Noodle Salad. The twist that I enjoyed in the Golden West Cafe’s was the addition of sautéed onion slivers. And I throw the shrimp in at the last to cook. You could use sliced chicken or any other meat for that matter. I like shrimp please.  And I’d just go ahead and use romaine lettuce if I didn’t have Napa cabbage. I also used rice wine vinegar because I forgot the lime at the store. Don’t skimp on any other of the ingredients. The herbs pop in your mouth and the peanuts feel good for you. It’s a Summer feast but it was a little warm out and I was in the mood. Appetite is what you dream about making.

1/4 cup water, or more to taste
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar, or more to
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce
1 (8 ounce) package (linguine-width) rice
2 cups thinly sliced Napa (Chinese)
1 1/2 cups matchstick-cut carrots
8 ounces grilled shrimp
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise
and cut into thin slices
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 2/3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 2/3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 2/3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts


1. Whisk water, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and Sriracha together in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil; remove from heat and soak rice noodles in the hot water for 1 minute. Stir to separate the noodles and continue soaking until the noodles are tender, about 3 minutes more. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water until cooled. Shake noodles in colander to drain as much water as possible.
3. Mix noodles, cabbage, carrots, shrimp, bean sprouts, cucumber slices, green onions, mint, cilantro, and basil together in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Top with chopped peanuts.


If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Lost and Found : A High School Reunion

High School reunions are notorious. The thought of being in the same room as the people who you well know were your judge and jurors at a time in your life when you were your prettiest and still didn’t cut you any slack. You see/live in your 30 years and 30 extra pounds and surely, there’s no forgiveness for these crimes. You aren’t going to any reunion. Ever. The end.

And then there’s the real story. This is mine. 30th High school reunion with Amanda, Cathering, and Brigid on

I went for four primary years to an all girls school, 7th through 10th grades. This was a smart girl school. During my 10th grade year, my father informed me he would no longer be paying for this education. It was intimated that I wasn’t working hard enough to make it worth the expenditure. I was very distracted by boys at the time and maybe he was right. But then again, I didn’t have parents who were together and I got to act out any way I could. It is also very hard on adolescents when you move them from their primary environment and force them out into the street. The message I heard was that I wasn’t worth “it”.

I suffered in-completion nightmares for years even though I knew I’d graduated from college already. I was happily back graduating with them in the tight-knit community that would be their 12th grade experience. 

I made do with a year at a public high school and requested a transfer to college a year early only needing two credits to graduate high school. I was on a college campus at 16.

30th High School reunion on

Eventually I graduated from college and moved on and up and out of the city. But I never lost that feeling of being lost from that place in my life. Displaced. I would never feel what it was like to walk across the stage and be handed a diploma. Or be asked to a reunion. No completion.

And as I have worked hard to find my truest self these days, I heard about a 30th year reunion for this same high school. And then, I happened upon the yearbook online for that year. There was even a page dedicated to those of us who were lost along the way. Lost at Sea as there was a nautical motif  going that year. And this made me think about the story I’d been telling myself all these years about no one really caring that I’d disappeared. And now, maybe I needed to edit it.

30th High School reunion on

It wasn’t that everyone didn’t care that I had left. Kids just accept that stuff happens when parents make decisions about their kids and families and life. No one really knew where I went. But I needed to find myself to be found. And to be proud of who I have become. Which I really am. All the hard work and writing has made me such a better clearer stronger person. Someone who could walk in to a room full of strangers and become friends again. And that’s just what I did.

Last Saturday night, I drove an hour and a half to show up to the fabulous house of a woman I used to go to high school with. Her girls were the same age as my boy and I could not have felt more welcomed. Over and over, each and every woman who I saw that night was sweet and kind and we all agreed that it was as if time hadn’t passed. We all were healthy and exuberant and young. Even for thirty years later. And I remarked, thirty years more and we’d all be excited to still be standing.

Marion, Me, and Debbie at the 30th High School reunion on

My new story is that I got lost along the way and I found myself in the lost and found box. And I was returned to my rightful place with these gals all on their parallel journeys to see where life and motherhood will take us. It was really just that easy.


If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Pretend with Pinterest

In an attempt to keep moving forward, I follow and read lots of different blogs. One I read is written by a reputable business coach who suggested beginning a Pinterest page to conceive of your ideal day. It’s called vision boarding. If you visualize it, it is more likely to happen. As much as I wanted to say “Heck Yeah”, simultaneously I was all like Bill Cosby with my, “Riiiiggghhht”. Ideal days are a fantasy when your reality is a poopy diaper and the bad attitude that proceeds it.

Although my sarcasm got the better of me, I figured we could all have a little fun today. So here’s my ideal day portrayed in Pinterest pictures. It’s pretend with Pinterest.

Let’s say it’s 20 years from now in the year 2034. (Yeah well 2000 seemed unreal when we were 15 but it eventually came if you were lucky enough to live to see it.)

It’s a beautiful fall morning in 2034 and I’m getting my hair professionally dyed and styled at some ridiculously hip expensive salon.

Pretend with Pinterest from

Professional dye Job and styling

And they’re also apparently doing some botox and secret anti-aging voodoo there too. And they’re serving nice wine.But it’s too early for that. No really. So it’s a nice cappuccino instead OK?

I’m also getting my nails done. Something funky and cutting edge for the future. This will be retro then.

nails on pretend with Pinterst on

When my nails are dry,  it’s time to go see my personal trainer. It could be either a hot guy…

Marc Fitt on my fantasy pinterest day in

or a very inspirational gal.

personal trainer woman form my fantasy Pinterst day on


(While trolling Pinterest for these pictures, I read a caption which said, “Celebrity Secrets to lose baby weight fast. Ha! -meal service -nanny -house cleaner -personal trainer -photoshop for starters-” Keeping it real. But back to fantasy reality).

I grab a shower and my devoted hubby picks me up in whatever car is his fantasy and takes me on a gourmet picnic. Because maybe it’s our anniversary and we’re making up for the lost celebration time from 20 years earlier.

gourmet rare roast beef sandwiches

Rare roast beef sandwiches, YUM. And whatever the heck this raspberry wonderment is.

yummy desert from my ideal Pinterest Day on

Back at home, with a little buzz from what’s in the mason jar with the out-of-season raspberries, cute plumber boy shows a little butt crack while installing our new multi-headed shower in our master suite bathroom renovation.

buttcrack plumber on my fantasy Pinterest day on

Because I need more reasons to ogle handsome young men’s bodies in this post. And the husband’s getting lucky tonight.

Late in the afternoon, I drive to DC to meet with my Book Agent and planning team about the upcoming book tour I’ll be embarking on.

book agent type on my ideal Pinterest day on

Happy to help literary team  on my ideal Pinterest day on

As I’m about to go into the meeting, my oldest calls to tell us he’s officially made his first million on his video game creations.

He’s got stock and stuff.

video games millionaire on my ideal pinterest day on

And he’s also giving a piano concert at Radio City Music Hall next month.

concert piano on my ideal pinterst day on

Then it’s dinner at a new hip fine dining restaurant in DC and attendance to the opening for my artwork at

the National Museum of Women’s Arts museum.  

National Museum of Women's Arts on my ideal Pinterest day on

While waiting for our table at the bar, the other kid call to tell me she’s gotten her Master’s Degree paid for

by the Foundation she’s been doing

groundbreaking research for in genetics and cancer.

National Museum of Women's Arts on my ideal Pinterest day on

As if my perfect day couldn’t get any better, then Oprah texts me that we’re on for dinner at either her house in Hawaii

or the one in the South somewhere, to chat about the top secret project we’re working on. Hush. hush.

 Oprah-Winfreys-House- on my Pinterest perfect day on
oprah's hawaii home on my pinterest perfect day on
oprah and her vision board friend
(For real, this gal on the right actually vision board manifested this meeting with Oprah. Her board post can be found on  from 3 weeks ago. Weird but true.)
 Oprah also informs me that her buddy Peter Walsh is going to be coming with his fabulous organizing team
to take care of my house chaos next week.
And I’m all in Virgo heaven imagining how much De-cluttering this genius gentleman and his people will help me with.
Peter Walsh and team on my ideal pinterst day on
As if it couldn’t get any better, Tina Fey emails me to ask if I have any edits on that script she sent and when am I flying out to go junk shopping and flea marketing.
(Don’t know if Tina Fey likes to junk shop but I can’t imagine she doesn’t.)
tina fey on my ideal pinterst day on

See, our kids went to the same colleges and we happened to meet on a parent weekend. And now we’re like that.

And she’s the kind of gal who gives you grounding crazy spirited advice. So yeah, we’re tight.

Tina fey on my ideal Pinterest day on

And I check into a swanky 4 star hotel in DC (can you say hotel sex is as good as make-up sex?) thinking how lucky I am to be living my dream. Thank goodness for vision boards or I would have never manifested this incredible life I’m living. After our romp, my husband passes out and I swill my champagne, pinch myself, zap on the cable for a couple minutes, and pass out with complimentary pistachio chunks in my teeth. Perfect end to a perfect day.


If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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