Three more reasons to smile – and one reason to frown

Don’t worry – the reason to frown will also make you laugh. Stick with me.

three (more) reasons to smile:

1. the Canadians are back! the Canadians are back! Our Canadians (that’s what we call them) who live down the street have returned from Montreal. They have a huge, sweet brown dog named Buddy. They are polite and their country’s leader is Justin Trudeau. I want them to adopt me. 

2.  My daughter’s preschool had a thanksgiving lunch today (aww!) and the kids sang us songs. It was super cute. One staff member made a huge rice krispy treat dessert shaped like a turkey. It sounds weird, but It. Was. Awesome. 

3. My painted buntings are now friends with my mourning dove. IS THIS REAL LIFE?!


…and one reason to laugh/cry:

1. I discovered gray hairs in my eyebrows today. MY EYEBROWS. As the kids say, “what the actual f@”!?”

Thankfully I see my hairstylist Monday. She may or may not tint my brows which is technically not allowed in Florida (we regulate eyebrows more than gun purchases), but she takes care of me. Actually this is a reason to smile.

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Who Killed JR? His toddler who refused to sleep!

Flashback to 1983. My parents are watching Dallas in the basement with their friends. I’m at the top of the stairs, trying not to squeak the steps, hunched in a nightgown with my knees pulled tight. Of course my mom sees me and yep, she is upset. Despite her frustration she lets me sit on the floor  and join them in watching the number one show of 1983.600x600bb-85

My mom had to do this a lot–put up with a kid who was awake until all hours of the night. Usually it was just the two of us. She’d let me watch Love Boat on the tiny black and white TV in our kitchen while she made popcorn. Initially she would be exasperated (Of COURSE she was, adult Sarah gets it now!) but she always softened and lovingly let me join her in her late night routine.

Let me write it out right here in case my prayers haven’t reached my mother: MOM I AM SO SORRY FOR WHAT I PUT YOU THROUGH. MOM HOW DID YOU DO IT. MOM YOU POOR WOMAN YOU NEVER. GOT. A. BREAK!

Why the mea culpas? Because now I’m in her shoes. My almost-four-year-old is having what I jokingly refer to as the “four-year sleep regression.” She is awake approximately 99.98% of our waking hours. No break from the kid. No down time. And let me tell you, as an introvert this is so hard.

How am I responding to it all? I’m trying to model my mom’s love. (She still teaches me. When people say love never dies, that it extends forever, this is what they mean.) Lately I’m following her lead as much as I can. Like her, I’m surrendering to the fact that my kiddo won’t sleep and there isn’t much I can do about that fact. I might as well make some popcorn for her while she sits on the floor to join in watching Jane the Virgin.

I have a feeling she may someday look back fondly on these moments. I have a hunch I just might, too.


Did you interrupt your parents’ Dallas parties? Share here or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

My Kicking, Crying Child Was All of Us Today

 

My daughter had an epic tantrum at Target today, and I’m pretty sure she did it on behalf of all of us. I mean after this week, who doesn’t want to flail on the floor kicking and screaming while flinging Target Optical business cards in all directions?

We were at Target to buy a bike helmet. We found one that had cat ears and rainbows on it and that filled us both with joy. Then we wandered the Christmas section and delighted over the plush birdy ornaments and santa clauses and snow globes.It was the magical snowflake of Target trips. Until the FINAL FIVE MINUTES.

All I know is that I was in line frantically using my cartwheel app trying to scan the most expensive items for coupons, and my daughter took off. She ran to the drinking fountains. I yelled her full name get back here this minute and she came back with a little smirk. Oh yeah. This wasn’t looking good.

We finally checked out and I thought we were through the worst of it, but no. Something just snapped in my child. She wailed and screamed and at one point was lying on her back on the ground, her skirt flipped up, her face beet red, wailing. MOMMMMMY NOOOOOOO!!!!!

I tried to carry her out of the store, a colossal failure and one that I could have predicted but I tried anyway because what else could I do while pushing that ridiculous cart with the huge added on seats for children to have leg room and harnesses and whatever nonsense. God I love those carts though.

Well, the three-year-old kicked and screamed and in the process knocked over my iced coffee. I did not realize it but we were leaving a huge iced coffee trail behind us.

Insert the f. word.

It was the longest mile. I mean, seriously. How was I going to get out of this store?

Well, that’s when Jeanine came over. She was a fifty-something Target associate who was braver than the other three associates who were staring at the whole scene in disbelief. Dear sweet Jeanine put her arm on mine. She asked if there was anything she could do to help.

“There is nothing you can do” I said as I began to cry. Right there. Near checkout 10. Families silently rolled past me, their children staring.

What I wanted to say? 

“Jeanine we are all DOOMED! What the hell happened to our country! I’m so angry and frustrated and I feel so helpless. And yes I get why people want to give a middle finger to the establishment but really, electing he-who-shall-not-be-named??? It’s all too much. And why won’t my kid just sit. in. the. damn. cart?”

Of course, I didn’t say any of that. But Jeanine JUST KNEW I NEED HER TODAY. She quickly went work, fetching a a brown paper bag with little handles that she offered to my daughter.

“Would you like this special bag? Can you put your things in here and carry it all by yourself?” Then Jeanine pulled out her roll of stickers, commenting on each one as she placed them over each Target bullseye.

As if this wasn’t enough to earn her angel wings, Jeanine saw my empty coffee cup and she offered to get me a new coffee. SHE OFFERED TO GET ME A COFFEE. I told her it was ok, I hadn’t purchased at the in-store Starbucks–but I am pretty sure had I asked she would have gone and gotten a new one for me anyway.

I think we are going to need a lot of Jeanines moving forward. Neighbors, colleagues, mothers with stinker-butt children, if you are struggling, I promise to be there for you. (Assuming my child isn’t it booking down the street.)

Let us not forget, we belong to each other. Thanks for the reminder, Jeanine. 

 

 

 

And the universe laughed!

So about all those posts this weekabout the kid. The coffee. The coffee again. And again.

I’ve Just had a reminder from the universe to not to take everything so seriously. Or to rush to judgement. Not that I ever do any of that!

We’ll start with my daughter. She has been acting out like crazy and not sleeping and it was basically melt-down city (me, not her). I wrote a post about it. I questioned my parenting skills. There was wringing of hands, inner turmoil, the whole nine yards. I tried regrouping and facing it with love. Mostly compassion for myself because I really needed to cut myself a break.

Well. It turns out she was having a reaction to an inhaler medicine she was taking for her cough. She is really, really sensitive to any amount of steroid, even the small doses. Side effects: hyperactivity, extreme thirst. (So that explains her constant whines for water and then potty breaks. Nope, not entirely stall tactics this time.)

Hahahaha. Good thing I didn’t overthink all that and make sweeping conclusions about my parenting skills and my child’s sanity!

And about that lemon with water. The other day I literally wrote a love story about coffee. I mocked the idea that anyone in their right mind would never leap from bed for water with lemon!

Funny thing about this detox cleanse thing…I am discovering I kinda need to hydrate more. Especially first thing in the morning. You know, before I drink my coffee.

Ahem. Ladies and gentlemen, I am sitting here writing with hot water and lemon. Pre-coffee. I am not sure if there was leaping from bed, but still. Slightly funny.

OH, and my child is not a (1000%) hell-raising three-year-old.

(But seriously, the decaf coffee IS brewing. I haven’t totally lost my marbles. I mean have you noticed how much I love coffee??)

Pour me some hot water and get me a lemon! Change is in the air.

Today I’m savoring my cup of coffee today more than ever.

First of all I have a cross breeze flowing through my house. It is glorious. I opened the back doors to the lanai and the fresh air is tickling my toes! Oh it is a sight to behold. It is officially the time of year in Florida where you can sit with doors open without being drenched in sweat. Glory be!

And did I mention that I have my cuban coffee? We need to talk a little bit more about that.

Today I will have one cup. One kind of weak cup of cuban coffee. (Ugh.)

And in T minus two days I will have no cup of coffee.

Voluntarily.

For twelve days and twelve nights I will abstain from coffee and other caffeinated substances. I will be resisting the Cheddar Jack Cheeze-its’ siren call. I will give side-eye to the chocolate covered raisins. I might even (gasp) give up cheese.

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Seriously this is what my hubs looked like in college.

No, I haven’t gone full blown hippy. Please. I love the hippies but they are not my people.

So what is up?

WELL, I may not be full blown hippy but I am a little bit hippy…cuz guess what, I am doing a CLEANSE!

Let me pause to give you time to roll your eyes.

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Ready to move on?

I get it. I am not really sure any actual “science” backs up all the claims people make about cleanses. Pff. Who needs “evidence” or “research”.  I am doing it because I did one years ago as part of a yoga class. And, it felt freaking fantastic. Like, I was stunned by how great I felt afterwards. Kind of floored by it actually.

And frankly, I blame Jen Pastiloff. I signed up for her online class and as part of the experience we are doing a ton of self-care, yoga, journaling, all that jazz. And while the cleanse is optional I figured, why not? We are not doing the Beyoncé only-drink-liquids-containing-cayenne cleanse. Hell no. This is all about eating actual food. Just the really boring stuff. Vegetables!! BROWN RICE. NUTS. And if you feel crazy, maybe some kelp and wheat grass juice!!

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But no cuban coffees. Let me repeat: NO CUBAN COFFEES.  It will just be me and my computer at 6:30 am with some hot water with lemon! Oh that will be fun.

Yes, change is in the air. The lanai doors are now open. The fall breezes are blowing. And sarah will soon be decaffeinated. 


Have you done a cleanse? Have you mocked people who have? Share your story.

 

 

 

Swingin’ from a palm tree as a married lady y’all!

Yesterday I found myself swinging from the palm frond of a 30-foot palm tree.

(I was trying to remove a dead palm frond. This is a thing you do in Florida. Totally normal. Hey ho, just pulling off a twenty-foot palm frond as part of routine lawn maintenance. STILL WEIRD TO ME.)

Well, it was glorious! My neighbor (my nickname for him is grumpy) stared at me like I’d lost my marbles. What, he’s never seen a middle-aged woman swing from a palm frond before??

And then, to top off this week of awesome, I found out that my husband and I are in fact officially married! The state of Maryland notified me to let me know a copy of our official certificate has shipped.

Things are lining up for old Liz Lemon!


How is your week going? Have you swung from a palm frond recently? Are you also officially married?

 

 

It was a SARAH kind of day

Where to begin! I have so many stories to tell and I haven’t posted in a few days, so there is a log jam. Must get words on paper!

First, I want to share that it is October 1st, and I have been called to write about BREAST CANCER PREVENTION. I am going to brew up some creative projects related to this topic, so STAY TUNED!

Secondly, I am possibly in the works to collaborate on a project for a pregnancy loss awareness event. Because guess what folks….October is also pregnancy loss and infant loss awareness month! So much to be aware of, am I right? Ha! Just poking fun at myself. I think awareness is a good thing, but I think speaking our truth is even more important because it is what ultimately connects us to others. I hope to speak my truth on this as well and more to come on what I have up my sleeve.

Thirdly, I had a really funny day yesterday. Epic.

It was a SARAH DAY.

What is a Sarah day? Well, I am Sarah. And there are things that only I am capable of. I have a knack for finding myself in absurd situations and it might have to do with the fact that I am known for being a bit, what is the word….flaky? Head in the clouds?  I have learned to laugh about this part of my personality. I AM OWNING UP TO IT.

 

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Let me set the scene.

Act 1. Sarah registers with Southwest Airlines with her full name – maiden and married name both. Her Rodham Clinton name, if you will. Sarah racks up points with her favorite airline.

Act 2. Sarah moves to Florida and goes to get a new driver’s license. They say, oh we cannot take your OLD license with your Rodham Clinton name nonsense as proof that you are who you say you are! Show us your social security card with your FULL NAME. Sarah says, well you see I technically never changed my name with the federal government (as if) and they say, well tough cookies. You are going to be listed as your MAIDEN NAME because bureaucracy.

Act 3. Sarah books flight with Southwest. They force her to use her Rodham Clinton name. Which now no longer matches her license. Sarah is pulled aside by TSA and interregated. Where are you going? Why would you CHOOSE to fly to Ohio? You have been married nine years and never changed your name? FULL PAT DOWN LADY. FULL. PAT. DOWN.

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Act 4. Nine years after marriage, Sarah supposes it is time to officially change her name with Social Security to her Rodham Clinton last name. The social security admin office is oddly efficient. The customer service guy teaches her daughter how to give the “OK” sign underwater while scuba-diving. This is her new favorite thing. He laughs at the stained marriage certificate with its envelope falling apart. Nine years huh? You laugh. Everybody laughs. THE CARD IS CHANGED. VICTORY IS SARAH’S.

Act 4. Sarah goes to DMV. Final step within reach…a card that matches her valued Southwest Airlines account. Because for real that is what created this cascade of events that should have been prevented nine years ago. I digress. Sarah has her picture taken but is sad she didn’t do her eyebrows because you see she was on her way to get them waxed and tinted after the DMV appointment. Man her photo looks bad without her eyebrows done. She considers how people are barely staying alive in Syria and she is worrying about her eyebrows.

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Act 5. Almost there. SO. CLOSE. Sarah gets out her wallet to pay. The woman is scanning the documents into the computer–and stops. Where is the seal on your marriage certificate. What seal? Further inspection shows that Sarah has been using (successfully, mind you! With DMV offices in other states! With the Social Goddamn Security Administration) the certificate from the DAY of her marriage, the one that lasts 24 hours, the one the officiant signed, and was supposedly filed by said officiant with the appropriate agency.

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The woman at the DMV says she has never seen this in her entire life of working at the DMV. You say, what, there are not other Sarahs in the world??

She says no honey, get your shit together.

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Sarah says I AM TRYING!! I AM REALLY TRYING.

Sarah leaves empty handed. She calls her husband and tells him, oh by the way maybe we are not officially married? HAHAHAHAHA. He laughs. She laughs. First ten years just a test run! We will “renew our vows” but actually really get married this time! HAHAHAHAHAHA.

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Act 6. Sarah pays exorbitant amount of money to have final marriage certificate sent via certified fast mail. Sarah is unable to speak to a human to verify that it ACTUALLY EXISTS.

Act 7. Sarah’s sister leaves her a message and deadpans, Sarah, this wouldn’t happen to anybody but you. Really. 

 

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LISTEN YOU ALL. THE INTERWEBS TELL ME THIS:

After your wedding, it is the responsibility of the person who performed your wedding ceremony to make sure the license is recorded with the county where you were married. Generally, a few weeks after your wedding, you will receive your marriage certificate in the mail. (EDITOR’S NOTE: I NEVER DID I SWEAR! OR I LOST IT. THAT IS POSSIBLE TOO.) That said, even if the officiant fails to file the marriage certificate, the two are usually still considered married.

Still legit y’all. Not living in sin! Not the parents of a child born out of wedlock!

CARRY ON. NOTHING TO SEE HERE.JUST ANOTHER SARAH DAY.

(P.S. My husband just chimed in, “I’d still marry you again!” Me too, hon. Me too.)

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I would ask if you could relate but I am pretty sure no, you can’t. Nope. Nobody can relate to this nonsense. Y’all got your names changed and put your paperwork in a safe like a month after you got married. I know you did. That is ok. We can still be friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve officially tired of writing about grief. P.s. Caillou has FAILED me.

I was going to write about grief but even I am tired of writing about grief. I know, you probably didn’t think it was possible. I gotta say you all are pretty awesome for hanging with me. I often astound myself by how much I can write about it. (I mean hello it is why I started this blog so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but yet, I am surprised sometimes. I really am). Occasionally I think, what is wrong with me, and then I visit my “Dead Parent’s Club” facebook group (yes that’s the real name, and they are as awesome as they sound) and everyone else is struggling with an anniversary or milestone just like me and I go, okay. This is normal.

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And then I was going to write about meditation and how yesterday after just sitting with my emotions for ten minutes (using the Insight Timer which I highly recommend!), I was there, just sitting and giving presence to what is (why is that so hard? and yet we resist don’t we), and no joke, about ten minutes after meditating I suddenly just…cried. A release. It was good and needed. Sunday will be three years since my mom died. Oh, and was supposed to be the due-date of the pregnancy that I lost. I KNOW, YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS UP. Well I’d sensed my body had been holding in. (Ha! Imagine that.) And then, meditation and release. Huh. Amazing. Works so much better than endless scrolling on Facebook or eating my daughter’s extra-cheesy goldfish crackers. Which are delicious but should not be used for emotion-eating.  

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This is my “Seriously what gives?” face. Seriously you can’t watch Caillou for ten minutes? Actually yeah I get it. (Also this is #nobullshitmotherhood right here. Yeah that’s a makeup-free-haven’t-showered-yet selfie y’all. Boom. Keeping it real.

But I am not writing about that. am too tired. My child keeps waking up at 5am (FIVE FREAKING A.M.) and last night I went to bed too late which means I am running on way too little sleep. So here I am with my Cuban coffee (one perk of living in south Florida is the abudance of amazing cuban coffees….a perk…did you catch that–ha!) and my kid wants to PLAY instead of watch Calliou (as if!) (of course I don’t blame her, I can’t stand that little dude). And I’m a huge fan of play except when I’m not, which is right now because momma wants to write!  

So instead I won’t write. I will pickup the myriad of messes that my child created in less than ten minutes. The “caterpillar” which is twenty plates laid out in a line on the floor…the watercolors which I will say are a lovely mix of purples, blues and greens (she has an eye for color). And alllll the other messes. But don’t worry, I don’t plan to dust.

Life is good. Grief is okay. Meditating helps. Caillou however does not help.

Sending love to you all. 


Anyone else out there sometimes just think, really more grief? Really? REALLY? Just me? 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Alternate Realities

Today, my dishwasher that has been on the fritz was repaired quickly and painlessly and–get this--it was covered under warranty. And the repair person replaced the motherboard “just in case” and again, let me repeat, this was all fixed free of charge.

And then later in the day I called about a medical bill that I’ve been trying to get resolved and the woman told me that not only did they just receive payment from the insurance company (finally) but it turns out they owe me a credit. Yes that’s right, the medical establishment is cutting me a check. 

This is some twilight-zone alternate-reality stuff right here all right. 

My How You’ve Grown!

The other day Facebook popped up a photo for me to share from three years ago. The photo was taken two months before my mom died.

Look at this baby! I thought. Oh, and my toddler has grown a lot in the meantime too.

I look at this younger, much more innocent version of myself and think, honey, hold on. You have a wild ride ahead of you.

A wild-ride indeed. I’ve grown up. While the hard-fought life lessons may have come from circumstances I would never have asked for, I am grateful for where I have arrived. Grief cracked open my heart. (And gave me gray hairs, but that is beside the point.)

I feel like I’m coming into my own and damn does it feel good. I’m almost forty and I couldn’t be happier. It is like when I approached thirty–I was ready to say good riddance to my twenties. Well, same now.

I feel like I am in my prime. 

Oh, how my twenty-two year old self would have laughed at that!

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Twenty-year-old-self to Forty-Year-old-self.

Not surprisingly, standing in these nearly-over-the-hill shoes brings new perspective. I realized the other day that I am only five years younger than my mom was when she was diagnosed with the big C.

Womp, womp. Way to burst the happy bubble right?

Realizing this  has given me even more gratitude AND made me appreciate my mom in new ways. I remember her at that age and she seemed so…WISE. Grounded. She knew who she was.

And damn, she had a fantastic wardrobe. I know that sounds funny but the woman set the bar HIGH. It is seriously time to up my game.

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I would write more but my three-year-old is plucking leaves off a succulent plant. My husband is trying to convince her to ride her tricycle but now she has decided to roll the giant watermelon we bought yesterday. That would be my clue to wrap things up.

Life is good. But I also have a feeling when I’m staring down fifty, I will laugh and think, oh my little Sarah, how you have GROWN!

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