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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The last post.....

On this site. Forever. Want to know why? Because I moved. HERE!!!!! I am a big girl blogger now. I have a real um...I think it's called a domain? I is legal. Ha.

Please, come see my new crib. Update me in your readers and all that jazz. Email stays the same, so don't worry about that. Might take a few days, er weeks for me to understand how to use everything over there, but I won't be posting here anymore. It's been real blogger. I heart you for everything. But I'm moving to the big leagues.

Hugs, Issa

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The time has come, the walrus said...

to talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing wax; Of cabbages and kings. And why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings. --Lewis Carroll

I have become a somewhat of a piece of fruit to the gnats of the troll world. Each day it seems there is someone else wanting to tell me how horrible a person I am.

Just this week alone, I've had three rather unpleasant trolls invading my space here. The first two were on the post that I read at the keynote. I guess my "stats" about the homeless were lies in their eyes...although funny enough, I don't remember giving stats. Mostly, I was talking about my uncle. I was informed that since a homeless guy killed someone recently, I basically am a liar. Interestingly enough, a friend of mine was kind enough to tell me that a man killed his wife in their home in the past week. Shit happens. (Heck people, OJ Simpson killed his ex-wife and her husband in BRENTWOOD no less, surrounded by mansions and he got away with it.) People are not all good. Not all homeless people are mentally ill. But see, I never said they were, I said a lot of them are. Which is true. Sorry that it wasn't technical enough, nor informative enough in regards to the homeless, but this isn't a newspaper. I am not getting paid to write. These are my stories based on my life.

The third, a comment last night, was on my post from May, when I told you all about my miscarriage in April. I am not sure why people love to attack on that post, but they sure as hell do. I'll quote this one, because it's highly informative:

"This is such crap! Morning sickness DOES NOT start until you are two months or more pregnant. You are a crazy attention seeker. Get help before you start to affect innocent children. I feel sorry for those around you."

Somehow this one kind of makes me laugh. Really, no pregnant woman EVER gets sick before month two? I beg to differ. But what do I know? I've only been pregnant now, five times. Ladies? Care to share how early you felt sick? Yes there are people out there who don't, I've had a pregnancy like that. Yes there are people who are four months before they know they are pregnant. But me? I know my body pretty dam well. Sorry if that doesn't seem right to you.

I am an attention seeker? Really? Hmmm. As I look back, I see that I didn't post for nearly two months. Yes, there are posts on this site, from April and May, but the majority of them were written by my friends, not by me. I said something...and trust me, I almost didn't say a word...because this is my space for one, but also because I wanted to explain my absence from the blog/twitter world. Maybe having a blog that is open to the public means I am an attention seeker in some way. But that means all of us are in some way. Maybe though, it's human nature to find a community of like minded people who want to support each other. Ever think of that? That the people who comment here are my friends?

However, and this is my main point in writing this at all. This is my site. My blog. My space. See, my name is written on the top there?

I am tired. Tired of defending myself. Tired of getting emails sent to my phone at 11pm from trolls. Tired of trying to find a way to make it where I don't accept anonymous comments. Blogger just doesn't make it that easy. I know I should ignore. You all say that. I get it. Intellectually at least. But I'm not that type of a person. It sits with me, days after I've deleted it. Frankly it sucks. If it continues, I will go a different route with comments. I just don't know what that means yet.

This is now a troll free zone. You are not welcome here. You have been deleted and you will continue to be deleted. However every time someone is an asshat troll here, I am keeping the IP address. If this continues, I will start publishing them. Just for kicks. Because this is my site. My space. My sanctuary.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Today is just not my day

I've had a few good weeks. Weeks without depression, weeks without tears. Weeks where getting out of bed was easy. Weeks where I didn't have to try to feel okay, it came naturally. (Or as naturally as it will ever come, when I'm on medication.)

I've felt it creeping back, that fuckhead depression. Didn't miss it. It could have stayed gone for ever, as far as I was concerned. I hoped it would. But no, it doesn't seem to listen very well. It's very inconsiderate like that.

I could blame it on the letdown of being back at home after a fun filled week. I could blame it on my baby girl going to kindergarten soon. I could probably blame it on the two year anniversary of losing a piece my heart and a bit of my mind.

But it's not really any of that. Mostly it's just today.

Today is one of those days. A day where getting out of bed took too much effort. A day where I don't care if I speak to anyone at all. A day where I am glad that my kids are with a cousin, because I don't have it in me to deal with them. If they were here, I'd deal. No question about it. But they're not today, so I'm allowed to just deal with myself. I don't have to pretend.

I keep hoping one day that this will all go away. That I can go back to being the girl who I used to be. The girl with no real problems, who'd experienced heartache, but not at the level in which I have now.

I don't think she exists anymore though.

I've opened twitter about ten times, but I haven't said a thing. I have read what others have written, but not found anything to respond too. I try, because I think if I can start a conversation about nothing, maybe I will start to feel better. But I don't.

I want to tell you how funny my girls are. How big Harrison is getting. About my SIL's wedding next week. I'd rather be telling you how much I miss my conference peeps. How lonely it feels to go and get coffee alone every morning. But I just can't today.

Today sucks. Today I just want to hide. Today, I may just hide. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Follow Friday, #1 - The Norwidians

Any of you who use Twitter have seen all of the follow Friday tweets. They happen every week. People have tried being all original (Matthew from Childsplayx2 being the best at it.) in their reason for tweeting people, however, most of us (and I include me in this) tend to mention the same people over and over again. I've finally stopped doing it, because I always feel like I am leaving people out.

Just now, while over at My Life With Them, I saw that Ali had done a Follow Friday on her blog. The girl is a genius, so I am going to steal her idea. I miss blogs. I have been so involved in Twitter lately, that I've forgotten how much someones blog can connect you to them. My goal for this year is to go back to blogging.

I can't promise I'll do it every week. but I'm going to try to tell you all about someone whose blog I love, as often as I can remember. Maybe you'll find new people to read.

This week, my Follow Friday is Kirsten from The Norwidians. Have you visited her blog? If you haven't you are missing out. Besides being an amazing writer (truly, the woman puts me to shame some days), she has beautiful kids and she lives in a pink house right now. They are remodeling their house, so it's kinda like watching HGTV, but without the commercials. How can you beat that? Oh and she has a Porta Potty at her real house. Which I'm sorry, is as gross as it is cool.

Kirsten has three gorgeous children, twin seven year old girls and a four year old son. She doesn't like the word squee, but after a weekend with me, I think it'll grow on her. She doesn't like the ocean, which I can't understand but can learn to live with. And? She's crazy enough to think that I was gonna let her drink hotel coffee. Friends don't let friends drink crap coffee.

Here's the real reason you should all follow Kirsten though; she's an amazing friend. I had the joy of meeting her last week and I was not shocked to learn that she is as funny, sweet and caring in real life as she is on her blog. She was part of my personal security team and one of the people who made sure I had a a blast all weekend. I laughed more last weekend than I have in months. I really wished that I lived closer to her so we could hang out often...not just because she swears that she'd make me dinner.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

There is sits, mocking me

Yesterday in the mail, I received this little goodie in the mail:

For those of you who have never seen it...most of you I'd guess, it's a book of restaurants in West Los Angeles, whose food gets delivered by LAbite. Good restaurants: Cheesecake Factory, CPK, ChinChins....oh how I miss you ChinChins. LAbite is a service that you call into and order, they call the restaurant, pick it up and deliver it. To your house. In generally 45 minutes to an hour. To your house. Without you having to go out, or make dinner. Or take rowdy, grouchy, whiny toddlers out in public at night. Delivery. *sob*

Do you see the problem though? I haven't lived in LA for two years. I have lived in Denver for two years, where the best you can get is pizza delivery.

I miss LAbite. We used to order from them 3-4 nights a week. Yes, we had problems. That is a whole other post. It was one of the things I missed within the first week of living here. You mean I can't have food delivered? From good restaurants? Any day of the week? Did we move to Mongolia? You are telling me that I have to like buy food and cook and crap? Sheet.

Yesterday I got this in the mail. Is it a sign? Some freaking joke from the food snobs of the world? Two years and I am used to living here. Two years and I have finally stopped crying for LA. Two years and I no longer throw it in my husbands face that he made me move, each time we argue. But I'd kill for LAbite to come here. It's sitting her mocking me. Dam mail. This is why I never get the mail. Because it mocks me.

*This post is not paid for by LAbite. I am just a person who loved never having to cook. A person who still never cooks, but eats a ton more cereal now. The end.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My BlogHer09 experience

When I was a kid I was shy. Not shy like most people claim, the oh yeah I was kinda shy sometimes in groups of people, type of shy. No, I was the hide behind people so I'd not have to meet anyone, shy. The stand directly behind my aunt in my mom's wedding, so no one is looking at me, shy. The vomit on the substitute teacher in first grade, because I didn't think I could just get up and run off, type of shy. The not ask my dad and step-mom to buy me tampons on vacation out of embarrassment and instead spend four days with loads of TP in my underwear, type of shy. The only reason I had friends growing up was because I knew them my entire life. They insulated me in a way. I never needed to make friends, never needed to talk to new people, because I always had five built in best friends. I was outgoing with them, but they were like my siblings almost, for as well as I know them.

A lot of you know I freaked out about going to this conference. I've been blogging off and on since 2005. I didn't go to the 2005, nor 2006 conference because I didn't think I had it in me to be confident in front of people. I read later about how all of my friends had a blast. Honestly, I wasn't even jealous. I was almost relieved. I wasn't online for 2007 and started this blog the week before the 2008 conference.

This year (and this blog), has been different. I am different then I was back then. I wanted to meet all of the people I've become friends with in the past year. I wanted to hug them and tell them how much I adore them, how much I love them for being so supportive, so I signed up. I wondered from that second on if I could do it. I wondered if I would hang out in my room. Hide behind plants, like I said on Twitter. I wondered if I could make myself talk to people I didn't know. I wondered if I could really get up there and read at that keynote.

A week ago today, I decided to email all of the people I knew were going, people who I talk to often and give them my cell number and ask for theirs. It was kind of my way of protecting myself. Of making sure, I'd have people I knew around me.

On Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, I flipped out. You can see that post below if you so choose. I thought in that moment of panic that I couldn't do it. That I'd not get on the plane, that if I did, I'd stay hidden the entire time.

On Thursday when I got to the hotel, I was feeling overwhelmed. I wanted to hide. Instead I did something I never do. I took a deep breath and then I walked up to a group of eight women, who I was assuming were there for the conference (easy to tell by the squee's, sorry Kirsten) and I said, hi, I'm Issa, do I know any of you? Not surprisingly they all said no. I exchanged a few cards, hung out for a few seconds and then moved on.

I did this all weekend. I talked to more people that I could even tell you. I have 48 cards for people, whose sites I have never been too. I have just as many for people who I did know. I went up to people who I've read for years and said, I'd just like to say hi and tell you how much I love your writing.

I texted people and tried my hardest to make sure everyone I did know, was invited to each meal that I left the hotel for. Can't say I succeeded at that, as my phone service was shotty at best. But I tried. I tracked down as many people as I could.

I invited people standing in the lobby, for coffee, as I walked to Starbucks each morning, to come with. I invited people to dinner, who I saw in the lobby as well. I tried my damnedest to attend every party, even if just for a little while.

I spent four days living confence life to the fullest. Enjoying as much as my BlogHer experience as I could. I had a blast. I will never speak for anyone else, but my experience was awesome.

I won't discuss the drama on here, there was some, as there always is and others are more qualified to discuss it. Was there some? Of course. Weirdness? Of course. Hurt feelings? Yes, I know there was. Were their things I saw and heard that bothered me? Yes. But it doesn't matter anymore. I had fun, I enjoyed myself and that, for me, is what mattered.

The BlogHer conference is what you make of it. Me? I made my experience fantastic. I had a blast with my friends, I enjoyed the panels I went to. I am honored to have been a part of the keynote, which you can see each reading HERE. Truly, watch them all when you have time. Some of the most amazing posts ever. I can't even begin to tell you what an amazing experience that was, nor how it felt to have strangers talk to me about it for days. It was awesome.

Now? I must relax, because tomorrow my kids come back from camping and my relaxing will end the second they show up.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Hai Internet. I loves you, I misses you. I'm having an absolute blast, but I'm having serious getting on the Internet issues. Like, it's either slower that watching paint dry, or it just won't even connect at all. On the laptop as well as my phone.

Anyway, I have a million things to say, stories to share....all that Jazz. However I wanted to share something with you all.

This HERE is my keynote presentation from Friday afternoon at BlogHer. It's not the one that BlogHer will show/put up at some point, but it is my post. Me, in the flesh, so to speak. The awesome Greis from Amazing Greis posted it on You Tube. Either because she hates me....or cause she loves me. Not sure which. Kidding. She is teh awesome.

That's all the battery power I've got (brain power too) in the moment.

Just wanted you all who know me and wanted to see it, to be able too. Talk to you all later.

Oy before I more thing. The people who I was on the keynote with were the most AMAZING people in the world. When you get the chance, please watch all of their speeches. They were brilliant and I"m thrilled to have been included on that keynote.

Also mad props and love to Stacey from Anymommy for sending in my post. I can not even begin to thank her enough.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm scared

On Thursday morning, I will kiss my husband and babies good-by and get on a plane to Chicago by myself. To go to BlogHer. Something that seemed like a great idea...back in December of last year. On Thursday, I will meet tons of new people that I feel like I know, even though I don't really yet. I will hug as many people as will allow me too. I will drink wine with some of you and try to remember everyone's names.

I will talk more than I ever do. I will be braver than I ever am. I will shower each day. I will wear clothes without baby snot on them. I will do my damnedest to have a blast.

I have not, since having children, been on a plane without someone in my family. Sometimes without kids, sometimes without husband, yes. But alone? No.

I'll spend four days not changing diapers. Not breaking up arguments. Not yelling at the dog to stop barking at the same dang squirrel. I don't have to coax a baby to eat, nor ask my daughters to pick up their clothes off the floor. I won't argue with my husband about the remote control, not push his 6'4" limbs off of me in the middle of the night.

Sounds like a vacation, right?

Thing is, this is my reality. This is my world that I know. Without it, I'm not sure what I know.

I am not brave. I am scared. I am going so far out of my comfort zone. I know I am not alone in this. I know many of you are scared.

But right now? The anxiety has set in and I am terrified.

I'm scared no one will talk to me, or care to know who I am. I'm scared I'll be too tired to go to all the parties. I'm scared that I'll stutter and speed through my keynote reading and no one will understand a word I say. I'm scared that I'll cry, which I hate doing in front of people. Scared that I will freak out at some point and hide in a closet and call my BFF or my mommy. Scared that at some point, I will wish I'd stayed home.

I won't be able to call my husband, because he's going to be camping with my kids and his family in the boondocks. I won't be able to talk to my girls, hug my baby. For four days, I will be alone. Surrounded by people but alone.

I'm scared.

Monday, July 20, 2009

And now for a little Monday random

DUDE! This weekend was insane. Pure insanity. I am so dang tired. I am not sure I planned this out very well. Going non-stop the weekend before that thing we aren't supposed to talk about that happens in Chicago this week, was possibly not smart. Oh well, I've never done things the smart way, why in the world should I start now? Don't answer that.

Lets just go with a little bit of random today, how's that?

-Camping sucks. I don't like it. I did it on Friday night and we all nearly froze to death. I don't like the wild. No sir.

-Driving in the car for three hours each way, with four kids between the ages of 4 and 8 is not all that enjoyable. They try and out talk each other. They have no sense of inside voices. And they have to pee often. In fact my BFF's son is now known as, Pees-a-Lot.

-Tubing rocks. Seriously. There were about 18 of us and we went tubing down the Yampa on Saturday. I'm sore, bruised and sunburned, but I had a blast. The kids loved it. The adults loved it. It's definitely on the list for next year. We loved it so much that we went twice in one day. We didn't end up getting off the river until nearly 6pm.

-We bought tubes, which was dumb, but it was way cheaper. However we had to drive most people to where we were getting into the river and then go back and pick up the tubes. Most of them didn't fit, so we were the crazy people, driving through the town of Steamboat Springs, holding tubes out the window as we drove. Yes, even the drivers. Funny enough we got stopped by a cop on a bicycle but he didn't seem too phased. Just wanted to know how far we were going with them.

-McDonald's people in Steamboat Springs are INSANE. They won't give you your cups until they give you your food. Really? You want all 18 of us standing here in the way? Oh I guess so. Okay fine. Also, they only give you one sauce for chicken nuggets, even if you have a ten piece. My husband being ornery, said well I need more, how much are they? The woman told him 25 cents and he said, okay then, I'll take three dollars worth. She says, um sir, that is an excessive amount of sauce, why do you need that many. He says, that is my own business. Then he makes her count out all of them and he makes a big show of re-counting them. He uses two of them and then hands them out to random strangers in her line before we left. Fun times my friends, fun times.

-Five dollar foot longs at Subway, doesn't exist in a small mountain towns.

-My baby girl is five and it's sad. However, five so far isn't any different than four. Which is surprisingly nice. She had an amazing birthday.

-I dropped my Crackberry at McDonald's on Saturday. It bounced, the ball thingy popped out and then it fell into a spilled coke of the ground. Yeah, the thing is dead. Very, very dead. Just what I wanted to do the week of that one thing in Chicago; replace a year old phone. I went back and forth of the Crackberry/iPhone debate and in the end decided that I'd get a new Crackberry Curve. Mostly because I super heart BB messenger. However in all the dying of the phone and such, I realized I lost most of my numbers, because who in the world bothers to save them on the SIM card? Okay maybe a lot of people do, but not me. Lesson learned. If I had your phone number/BB PIN number, I don't now. Please email it to me. Purty please?

-I just read this over at The Spohrs are Multplying and I am thrilled for Heather and Mike. Also sad for them, because I know this is possibly too soon and more that likely very bitter sweet. But still YAY!!!! I adore you both and I'll be thinking good thoughts your way for baby Binky.

Friday, July 17, 2009

To bug on her fifth birthday


Five years ago today, I sat in a room filled with boy clothes, all of which had cars, dinosaurs and said boy on them in some way. There were classic airplanes painted on the wall and your bedding had them as well. I was sitting on the floor (not smart, just as an FYI, is hard to get back up) folding little tiny blue clothes when I had this funny thought. I'd bet this baby is a girl. It was Saturday the 17th of July and you were due on Monday the 26th. I laughed at the thought of this, because two ultrasounds had said boy. You were going to be our Ian. Ian Nathaniel most likely, although the middle name was still a bit up in the air. The doctor had said, I am so sure, that if I were a betting man, I'd go to Vegas right now. I am 100% sure. Okay, good to know doc. Boy it is.

Never the less, that second of a thought, that you might be a girl, gave me pause for a few minutes. Then I brushed it away and continued folding little blue clothes.

On Sunday, your dad and sister and I went to an all day BBQ party at your Granny's house. We swam in the pool, we ate way too much and in general we had a great day. I think it was about 8:30pm when we finally went home. At 9:22pm, my water broke. I hadn't until that second had a single contraction and was in a bit of shock for a minute. Until the first contraction hit. And then the next one. Then another. One right on top of the other. Your dad picked up your sister, who he had just gotten into bed and basically threw her into the car. He literally told her to buckle her car seat herself as he helped me get into the car. He called our doctor and your granny in two minutes time, telling them both this is happening WAY to fast. We are on our way to the hospital now. Get there, now. Your daddy has a way with words.

The rest is a blur really. It's not something you want to hear about anyway. Lets just say, you were determined to be a Cancer, not a Leo. Had you been born the following day, you'd have been a Leo. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. Also, because I will tell you this when you are my age and having children, you were the one kid that I had, without the joy that is the epidural. Trust me my lovely girl, this is not the way I wanted things to go. But it was too late. By the time we got upstairs and into a room, I was ready to push. This is the other thing I will tell you one were the baby I had to push the longest with. Your sister was a good 16 minutes of pushing, your baby brother a good 30ish minutes of pushing. You? Over an hour. Way over an hour.

You were born at 11:47pm, July 18th, 2004. You were, as you know, a girl. The doctor goes, oh...oh hmmm, after you were born and I started to freak and then he goes, well it's a girl. A perfect little girl. I laughed and laughed that night. I found it to be the most amazing surprise. Also, as you know and love to tell everyone, you were flipping off the ultrasound tech those days. You don't know what it means yet, but you love telling people that.

Tomorrow my beautiful girl, you will be five years old. I am not sure how it happened really. I feel like it was just yesterday that you were this teeny newborn with no name. This tiny girl with a bedroom full of clothes that had to be taken back.

Now you are big. You tie your own shoes. You brush your own hair. You are even close to being able to wash it yourself. In the past two weeks you have learned to ride a bike without training wheels. You write your name on everything. While we are discussing this, stop it. We all know your name. I am tired of it being written on EVERY surface. Thank you.

You are brave, opinionated, stubborn and about the sweetest child I've ever met in my life. A lot of people tell me that you are my mini-me. In some ways, this is true. It's likely the stubborn, opinionated part of you though. Also, the knack for inserting humor into a conversation in the exact moment it is needed. You have a great sense of humor and an even better sense of timing. In a lot of ways though, you are nothing like me. See, you are brave. You try new things. You don't get scared very easily and you have almost none of the anxiety that I have. I hope you are always like this. I don't need you to be my mini-me. You can just be you, that is my greatest wish for you.

You adore your daddy, your siblings and pretty much everyone you meet. But, I am and always have been your favorite. You have a special love for me and me alone. I don't know that I could explain it to you if I tried. I hope it never goes away and then I'll never need to try and explain it to you. You love nothing more that to hold my hand, intertwining our fingers. You love to play with my hair, sit in my lap and generally be all up in my personal space. If you are outside playing, you will come back in every so often and tell me you love me and give me a hug, before going back outside. If I am laying on the couch, you will lay on top of me and say, mama there is a bug on you. Because we have always called you bug. If you are somewhere else for the day, when I come to get you, you always say to me, mama I missed you so much this day. When I lean down to pick you up, you always put your hands on either side of my face and ask, how was your day mama. That's the other thing. Except when you are pissed off at me, you ALWAYS call me mama. When you are mad, you call me mother. Which is very funny. Your sister started calling me mom at two years old. Mama was too babyish in her mind, but not yours. You are a mama's girl all the way.

Four has been an interesting year for you and I. Filled with attitude, tantrums and a bit more attitude. Did I mention the attitude? We've definitely had our moments where I wasn't sure you'd survive to see five years old. You have tested every limit and then tested them again, to make sure the limit hadn't been changed. But here we sit. Tomorrow you will be five.

Five means big things according to you. Kindergarten, which you are both thrilled for and scared of equally. The new found privilege of riding your bike up and down the street with your sister, instead of just four houses down and back. (Which really has more to do with the no training wheels thing, but I won't tell you that yet.) The ability to hold up your whole hand when people ask you how old you are. And the knowledge that you will learn to read very soon. Very important things dear heart.

Just remember that being little isn't so bad. Try to make five last for me, okay? I am not ready for you to be so big yet. I know there's not a darn thing I can do about it, except accept it. But? I am still hoping that you'll stay my little girl for a bit longer.

I adore you my girl. Happy fifth birthday.

Love Mama

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Today is my one year blogiversary! Party time!!! Or well it would be if I wasn't sick. Rain check? Today none of you would want to party with me, trust me on this. My only consolation is that I'm sick this week and not next. Because, sick at BlogHer is not on my list of things to do. Also, my kids are currently residing at an Aunties house, most likely being force fed cupcakes for breakfast, until I am feeling better.

Technically my first post went up on two days after I started this blog, so it doesn't look like today would be my blogiversary. But it is. I know because I wrote it down. Mostly this is because it took me two days after starting this site to decide if I was crazy for doing this again. Or crazy enough to do it again. One of those. Maybe both.

I am excited I made it an entire year honestly. This has been a rough year and there have been many times when I've questioned why I do this. Why I put myself out there to be judged? Because trust me, I have been. Many times in fact. Both publicly and privately.

In the past week, I have again wondered why I do this. Considered taking it all down after the conference. Maybe it's just part of my personality, maybe it's the depression talking, who knows? Then I read my comments and I remember why I do this. I do this, because you all are the most amazing people, no make that the most amazing friends a chick could ever hope for. When I'm having a crappy day, or am depressed, I read old comments. They never fail to make me feel better. You all have held my hand, listened to me cry and cheered me on when I didn't think I could make it. You have helped me make it through one of the hardest years of my life.

I write for me, but I blog for all of you. Next week I get to go meet a ton of you. I'm thrilled about this. I wish all of you could be there. But either way, I adore each of you who comment here. You have no idea what you've done for me this year. I luvs you all.

So yeah, happy blogiversary to me. Here's to many more.

1 year of blogging, 1 new baby, 224 posts written, countless amazing friends made - Priceless

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'll take a little random with my random, please

If I don't start writing, I may just stop altogether. I've tried to come up with something to say for nearly a week now. I have nothing.

But this blog and I are good at this. The being inseparable when I have much to say, the separation and nothing-ness when I have nothing. It comes and goes.

I think the best I can do is try for a little bit of randomness. See where that goes.

-The sixth Harry Potter movie is coming out next weekend. In this house we are huge, no make that HUGE Harry Potter fans. We own all of the movies and are currently reading book three to the girls at night. We will be watching a movie a night this week and then I think we will see the new movie at some point on Sunday. We were going to go Friday night, but instead I think we are going to camp with family Friday night and go tubing on Saturday.

-Bailey is going to be five *sob* on Saturday and she really wants to do this tubing thing. She heard some cousins talking about it and she thinks it sounds like a blast. I am just happy I don't have to deal with Chuck E' Cheese (Parental Hell), which was her first idea. Tubing on Saturday, Harry Potter 6 and Cold Stone Ice Cream cake Sunday. Sounds like a good birthday to me.

-I managed to get all of the girls school supplies purchased yesterday. Seems awfully early to be doing it, but school starts the 14th of August (squeeeee) and Morgan is very particular about what she gets. Clothes will wait until the last week prior, because I am incapable of not letting them wear them. If I wait and buy them, the week before or a few days before, they won't ask everyday to wear them. I've learned.

-I am emotional, very emotional in fact about Bailey turning five this week. Five seems so old. Kindergarten in a month seems so insane. Where did my tiny baby bruiser go?

-I am sick to death of my husband working 14 hour days all of the time. I am sick of him reminding me that when the girls were little, I did the same thing, while he took care of them. I think it sucks being a single parent, when you are MARRIED.

-I am tired. Tired of arguing with my daughters about which toys can't be left on the floor. I am in a throw it away mood and I'm likely to start tossing anything the baby gets a hold of, if they keep it up. Tired of coming up with meal ideas. Tired of grocery shopping. Tired of laundry. But mostly, I am just tired.

And that's all she wrote.

Oh wait, one more thing. If you are going to BlogHer, will you let me know in the comments here. Just wave or something. I am trying to make a mental list of people I want to meet and anyone who visits here is on the top of that list.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This is where I start to get uncomfortable

I'm at the park with the kids yesterday afternoon and while the girls are taking turns pushing the baby in the swing, I decide to check in on Twitter. Yes, I am that person. The woman with her Crackberry permanently attached to her hand. Anyway, I'm reading tweets and something someone had said cracked me up and I laughed out loud.

Twitter or Facebook, this woman near me asks. I turn and notice this woman, who I hadn't even realized had sat down. Twitter I said, without thinking. But I use Facebook too.

Oh what's your Twitter name? I can follow you.

Uh, it's protected I said. We're from California and I use it to keep in touch with friends out there. Oh, okay was her answer. Then Harrison called out to me and I got up and walked away.

I lied. To a random stranger. She looked nice. She had kids. She was at the park in my neighborhood. I still lied to her.


Well that is a hard one. I am going to be dead honest here. I don't ever intend on telling my family or friends about this blog. (Yes my husband knows, but he wishes he didn't. He probably wishes what I said to her were true, that you all were old friends from California.) I don't use Facebook for realz. I mean, yes I have one. But not one that my family could find. Twitter? well the same thing there, although a few people know that I use it, but none of them seem interested in it at all. People like my mother for example could care less what Twitter is, although I have explained it to her.

I can't make friends with people in my area through blogging or Twitter and think I can keep it quiet. Or separate. My children have the biggest mouths in the world. I don't fault her at all, but Morgan is the one who mentioned my previous blog to my aunt, which caused HUGE family drama, because I was too open, too honest and she still won't speak to me.

My blog life, my online life, is separate from my life in many, many ways. I tried it the other way and it blew up in my face. People, my own step-mother won't speak to me because of it. Unless I am standing in front of her, I don't exist. My own father won't talk to me more than once a month because of it. (Well that and they are both asses.) Iit's been a few years. I don't have much family on that side and almost none of them really speak to me anymore because of the secrets they believe I shared with the world. They aren't wrong, I did. I said things I shouldn't have, because I believed I was safe. But hi, when you use your children's real names and they are not very common names, you are easy to find.

This is me. This space is my place to be me. I don't lie here. I've told you all straight out that my family and blog life are separate. This is where I can be brutally honest. More honest and open than I am in real life, I'll tell you that right now. This is where I say, I am struggling right now to maintain. I am struggling with my depression right now. I am unhappy right now. I am sad. My heart hurts.

I can say this all here and much more, because this is my space. My space to be me, without repercussions from my friends and family. Logan does not read this blog. He has asked that I not discuss his personal life too much, but I could and he wouldn't even know it. He has left this as my deal.

But now I'm going to a conference. A conference with what like 1000 other bloggers? I am starting to wonder why I am doing this. Why I want to meet you all as much as I do, when I will come home and pretend I was elsewhere. Until the Keynote thing, I thought it would be okay. I can remain anonymous if I am 1 of a 1000. It's harder to remain anonymous when you are on a keynote with 15 other bloggers. I don't have the answers. I am going to go to the conference, read my post and have a blast. But I don't know what happens when I get back and it scares me.

Is that okay? Does it bother you guys? Are you okay with me, the me you know here, if you know I will most likely never introduce you to my husband, children or friends? Is it okay that this is my thing? My one place in my life, where it's just about me? Will you still be my friends despite the fact that I'd lie to a random stranger about being on Twitter, because it keeps the peace in my life?

The lines are blurry. I've let them get blurry, because I consider you guys my friends. True, real, friends. No question about that. But the blurriness scares me.

What I wouldn't give for a full nights sleep

I have never been a um well...sleeper. Good isn't even a word I'd use in the same sentence as sleep. Not as it pertains to me at least. These days, I am getting very little sleep. I would love to blame it all on Harrison, since he isn't sleeping that much either, especially this week as he's been sick, but it's not just him.

Besides I've been there with the teething baby thing twice before. One day, they all learn to sleep. One day they stop waking up at night wanting to be cuddled by mama only. That day comes sooner than most people think and in the moment, I don't mind the quiet moments in the middle of the night with him. He is a ball of movement in the day time, trying to get anything in the house he shouldn't have, trying to chase down his sisters or the dog. At night, he is that tiny boy baby again. The one who wants nothing more than to cuddle up to me, lay with his face in my neck, breathing warm baby breath on me.

Oh heck, where was I? Ah, yes, so Harrison is not the source of my not sleeping, or at least not all of it. I have trouble falling asleep, i always have. Can't tell you why, I've never known, I've just always had trouble falling asleep. It's genetic, this I know. My mom has and my grandpa had this same problem.

So i lay there at night and eventually manage to turn my brain off and fall asleep. Sometimes it takes an hour, sometimes three, depends on the night. Then the boy wakes up, sometimes once, lately like three times a night. Since Logan has to get up and go to work early in the morning, the late night stuff is left to me.

To be fair, Harrison is in a total mama phase right now. The times when Logan has gone in at night, Harrison just screams bloody murder and tries to beat his daddy up, till I eventually go in and rescue him from the horribleness that is someone besides me .

for some reason, when i go back to bed after Harrison does, I am very able to go back to bed. Till the nightmares start. I try to not watch anything scary right before I go to bed. I'm not even talking scary movies, because I never watch those. More like the CSI, Saving Grace, anything good type of TV shows. We record Whose Line Is IT Anyway, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory and before I go to bed, I always try and watch one of those.

It works some night and not others. Of course it does nothing for the BlogHer nightmares.

I'm not sure why I have nightmares. I have periodically throughout my life. Mostly though it had to do with something I watched on TV. When I was eight, I saw the Bad Seed on TV somehow by accident and I didn't sleep for a week. At twelve, I saw a made for TV movie about a family with three hemophiliac boys, one of whom died of AID's. Even though I knew an amazing man (my brother's godfather) who died of AID's before that time, the thought of a little boy dying gave me nightmares.

Right now, it's every night. It's gotten old actually. I need some sleep. I'd kill for a good night's sleep right now. I've even gone so far as to consider getting a hotel room for a night this weekend, just for me and Logan and seeing if his Aunt would keep all the kids, just so I could sleep for a night.

Can I buy sleep? Anyone know? Does Amazon carry that?

ps. Yes, I've tried every, single homeopathic type of thing known to man. No need to ask, because the answer will be, yes I have and no it doesn't do a dam thing. Yes, I do have sleeping pills which I take most nights. Still, I am in a non-sleeping phase. There will at some point come a sleeping better phase, as there always does. Here's hoping it comes soon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hi, I'm Issa. Wanna know how weird I am?

Undomestic Diva, Marinka and Anymommy have all posted in the last few weeks different versions of things we should know about them before BlogHer. Basically what I learned from their lists is, they are all way cooler than me. However, it has made me start to think about the things you should all possibly know about me.

Seeing as how I've already started having nightmares about BlogHer, I might as well get it all out in the open. Then at least you will all be pre-warned.

First of all, hi, I'm Issa. *waves* I know you all know that, but what people always ask is, how do I pronounce Issa. Well see my name is actually Melissa. Which I will totally answer too. So Issa is a nick name for Melissa, because my best friend James, couldn't say Melissa when we were toddlers. Issa is Melissa without the Mel. (Try and call me Mel and you die. Am not kidding. I don't find it funny and I DESPISE it. Try it more than once and I will most likely not speak to you any more.) There is no E sound in Issa. Basically think of it this way, it's Lissa without the L. Got it? Please, don't worry about screwing it up. Because honestly, I am probably going to look at you and go, and your Twitter/Blog Name is what again? Just ask, I promise I don't bite and I'll say Issa for you.

Now that we got that out of the way.....

1. I won't know any of you, unless you walk around with a picture of your Twitter avatar and your Twitter name attached to your head. Please help me out with your name, okay? I promise I want to meet everyone, so if you see me, hear my name, whatever, please come and say hi.

2. I am not a friendly person in the AM, until I've had coffee. I will make sure I find a Starbucks, this isn't a concern of mine. I can smell any Starbucks in a three mile radius. But you have been warned.

3. I do not drink much at all. I am a big talker when it comes to drinking. A glass of wine is more than enough for me. When I say I've had a lot to drink on twitter, it means I've had two glasses. However, once I've had a drink, I am much more calm in social situations. Like, hai, I can talk to you now. Cause I iz drunk.

4. My hair is not awesome, I may or may not re-color it before the conference, so you may see some grays. I don't have brand new clothes and my purse is four years old. But? I smell nice and my toes will be pretty. I'm just not that girly enough to worry about the rest of it. So rest assured, the rest of you who will be wearing tank tops and capri's, you will fit in with me.

5. I don't talk about politics or religion. It's not that I don't have opinions, because believe me I do. But I like to keep the peace, so I tend to steer very far away from these subjects.

6. I am not a huge talker until I feel comfortable around you and then I never shut up.

7. I truly am scared shit less about this Keynote thing. Even more so, since I realized they RECORD it. Like with a camera, so the whole world can see it later. I know some of you don't want to hear about it anymore. I got picked, you didn't. And for that, I'm sorry. But I is skerred. Unless Matthew really wears a G-String in the audience like he promised me on Saturday night, I may be nervous until the dam thing is over. Excited and honored, but nervous.

8. I don't like Peas. Or mushrooms. Or eggplant. Or curry.

9. I play confident on the Internet. I appear to be much more confident in real life than I really am. Much saner, much more easy going. This is a good thing in some ways and in other ways it is an albatross. Because when I come home and say, I was a complete spaz, I was scared of everything and I'm pretty sure I offended twelve people, you will all think I am insane. Issa appears saner in person than she really is. Maybe that should be my new tagline. If you don't believe me, ask Maura and Insta-mom. They've met me.

10. I say dude as often in real life as I type it. I say seriously more often than I type it. I possibly need to learn some new words.

11. I will yawn the whole time I am there. It's not you and let me apologize in advance for yawning mid-sentence. I don't sleep well in general and I won't sleep well there, because I won't be at home. It's just how it is.

12. I have a ton of people I want to meet. Some who I've "known" for years. I have no pre-conceived notions that I will get to do more than say hi to most of them. But I really hope I can say hi. I have tons of you who I want to hang out with. I hope to god I can remember who all of you are and that I don't hide in a closet for too long and we get to hang out. One thing I've seen from previous years is, BlogHer is what you make of it. I? Plan to have a blast.

To those of you not going, I know this gets tiring, hearing about BlogHer all the time. Trust me, I've been you. For years in fact, since the 2006 conference where everyone I knew went. Just remember in a few weeks it will all be over. Also, I will still adore you all after the conference. I promise. Also, I'll miss you all. Swearz.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Not complaining

Last night I wrote a post where I basically complained about everything. It felt kind of nice to write it down. Get it out, if that makes any sense. Although this morning, I'm glad I didn't post it. Not because you guys can't handle it, not because I didn't need to complain about petty nonsense last night, but mostly because this blog has become so depressing that I'm just thinking that it would have made it worse.

I'm trying. Trying to get it together. Trying to not be so pessimistic all the time. Trying to not be depressed. Trying to not be this complainy (yes, is word), whiney, pain in the ass that I have become lately.

It's not really working for me so well. But at least I'm working on it.

Instead of whining about things that really don't matter outside of my head, I thought I'd give positivity a try. See how it works for me today. No guarantees on tomorrow, but it's worth a shot today.

I love the 4th of July weekend. My husband won't be working for three whole days. (Truly, I am forgetting what the man looks like, he works so much these days.) We have BBQ's to go too, swimming to do and tons of great food to eat. I adore fireworks, now that Bailey has stopped being terrified of them.

I found the business cards I am going to get for BlogHer. They are cute and I loves them.

My excitement of BlogHer is starting to out way my fear of it.

Harrison is cute and fun and the best baby I could ever hope to have. Nine months, really is a fun, if not a bit exhausting age. Although his idea of morning being 5am, needs a bit of work.

Bailey is almost five and while it makes me sad, I see the big girl she is becoming and it's awesome. She's awesome. The funniest, most honest baby girl I could ever hope to have.

Morgan has decided that she likes clean clothes enough to help me with laundry. Have I told you she's my favorite today? She is. At least in this moment, when she's being so dam helpful. Seven is an awesome age.

I love the Internet. Well I love you guys. Yes there are haters, trolls and asshats. But real life has them too. But you guys keep me entertained on a daily basis and I adore each of you for it.

Oh one more thing, my friend, the lovely Anymommy, had a beautiful baby boy on Sunday. Nathaniel. He's big and squishy and absolutely adorable. He has red hair!!! Squee. Please go and congratulate her.

So, how'd I do? LOL. Don't need to answer that. Is okay.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The good enough mother

I have read about this whole good mother/bad mother/SAHM/WAHM/WOHM thing for weeks now on the Internet. Some of you have discussed it and beautifully, I might add. It all fascinates me, this thought of what a good mother is supposed to be. I've pretty much ignored it, because honestly, I know I am a good mom. I also know I am a bad mom. In my world you can be both.

Today, after reading Mom 101's post about type B mom's, I can't seem to get this subject out of my head. I said this in Liz's comments and it is completely true: On my best day, I am only a B- mother.

But who says that is a bad thing? What makes a mom a perfect mom? Whose opinion matters about that, except your children's? We all think we are being judged and sometimes we are. I know I've been judged, many a time. However, I'm sure I think I am being judged way more than I probably am. Maybe a B- mom isn't such a horrible thing.

We all share on the Internet what we want too. This was something that Mom 101 was saying in her post. We tell each other what we choose to tell each other. Some are more honest than others. We are given a glimpse at each others lives, because we choose to share about it in this public space. It's only part of the story really. A small part for most of us.

Let me try this honesty thing for a second.

I, for the record, have never breastfed my children. Not because I see anything wrong with it (in fact, I find it to be beautiful), but because it wasn't something I felt I could do. I was a young mother, maybe that has something to do with it, maybe not. It just wasn't something I choose to do.

I sent my daughters to daycare at seven weeks old. I worked fourteen hour days sometimes in the early years of their lives. I know what it's like to work full time and wish I was at home with my kids. I also now know what it's like to be at home all the bloody time and wish I was elsewhere. I'm not sure that I'm good at either of it honestly.

My kids watch too much TV; they eat too much junk food; I consider french toast a dinner**; my son hangs out playing with spoons and Tupperware lids on my bed, while I play on the Internet; and some days I go and buy everyone new underwear, just because I don't want to do laundry.

My kids have ridden their bikes without a helmet a time or two because I got tired of the argument. They have gotten sunburned a few times because I was dumb enough to not put sunscreen on them. We do not have a safety net around our trampoline. I have yelled at them for having meltdowns and then realized I don't remember the last time they ate. My kids are not friendly when hungry, much less logical.

Somedays I yell at them, because of nothing. I regret those days. Other times they need to be yelled at and I let it go, to try and make up for the days where I yell too much.

My seven year old has way too much knowledge of the Internet and how to use it. My almost five year old can take the parental restriction off of the cable, without even trying. They both have iPods. They know what the menus at most restaurants have on them without needing to look anymore.

My girls are the most unscheduled kids in the neighborhood. In fact the only thing they've been scheduled for this summer is swimming and last week, they told me they just wanted to be able to just swim, not learn anything. So? I took them off of the list for the next set of lessons. There is no ballet, no gymnastics and no t-ball this summer. I should do those things, I am sure, but I just can't seem to make myself sign them up, because truly, then I'd have to get out of the house and take them.

I worry about all of this and much, much more. I wonder what my kids will remember from this time period of their lives. If they will remember that I took them to Disney and the beach this summer; that we slept in, stayed up late and went to the park every few evenings to swing in the dark. Will they remember me reading Harry Potter to them each night? Will they remember Sunday mornings spent in Jammies, having wii bowling and golf tournaments? Or will they remember that this was another summer where I was short with them too often, where I cried too much, where I sent them outside to play too often.

I wonder if they spend too much time at my BFF Kate's house. I wonder if they will one day prefer her, because she is that mom. The mom who does art projects. The mom who bakes things. The mom with all the patience of a saint. I am not that mom, although I adore that she is. I am thankful for her every single day. Is it okay that my kids spend so much time with my best friend? It has to be, because that's the way it is right now.

There is no rule book. They didn't come with an instruction manual. Trust me, I looked. And who says a B- mom is not enough? Who gets to make that judgement call? Who says a C mom isn't good enough? Because lots of days, I am only a C mom. A solid C even, no plus sign attached.

Some days I think my kids are the amazing people they are despite me. Some days I think it might be in spite of me. On occasion I think, dam I am doing something right.

My girls are kind to friends, strangers, animals and especially their family. They think highly of themselves and each other. Self esteem: they both have it. Self doubt? Yes, they have that too, but a lot less then I did at their ages. They are honest, strong, brave and inquisitive. They are everything I could of hoped for in daughters and everything I hope their brother gets too.

We all have days where we think we are horrible at this parenting gig, right? Those who say other wise are lying threw their over whitened teeth.

I? Am a good mother and also a bad mother. Maybe, I am the good enough mother. But that has to be okay too.

** Okay, here is another thing. We say things on the Internet, then realize that even in a post where we are being brutally honest, we choose to fib a bit. The truth is, my dinner default idea is currently cereal. I stole the french toast thing from my lovely friend Liz (also know as @elizzieh), because it sounded better than saying my family currently lives on cereal. French toast is actually her default dinner, not mine. Liz, who I have to thank for um everything, was kind enough to read this and not yell at me about stealing her idea. In fact had I not brought it up, she is so awesome, that she may never have said a word. See? This honesty thing is hard.

Friday, June 26, 2009

For Meghan

The lovely and amazing Meghan at AMomTwoBoys has this amazing ability to be there for the for the entire Internet. If you see that something was planned in the blogging world for someone in need, she generally has her hand in it. She runs like seventeen (am possibly counting wrong) websites. She is the shit. In a good way. The best way in fact. She is sweet and funny and the kind of friend, we should all be lucky enough to have. I adore her. So today I thought I'd see if I could maybe help her in some small way.

That beautiful boy up there is Meghan's son Zach (isn't he freaking adorable? I want to eat him up), who is having surgery on both of his eyes on Monday. It is a routine surgery, I mean if you are an eye surgeon. But it is scary. Meghan is scared, as all of us would be. The thought of having someone put your 22 month old baby under to do anything to them is scary, every parent knows that. But after what happened to Maddie, Meghan (and all of us) know that nothing in life is certain. Now it's even scarier than it would have been.

I can't tell Meghan not to be scared. If I thought it would help, I'd tell her a million times, but I know it wouldn't work and it just make her want to kick me at BlogHer. I can't tell her I wouldn't be scared, because I would be. I can tell her that Zach will be fine, great even, but I can't promise her. And unfortunately because I've never actually met the woman and I live oh about 1,200 miles away, it's not like I can give her a hug and some wine and tell her it's gonna be okay.

I thought I'd do the next best thing, I'd write a whole post for her.

And maybe, just maybe, this will help in some small way. Because here's the deal: I've had this surgery. The exact same surgery that Zach is having on Monday. On both eyes.

I was three months the first time my parents took me to an eye specialist. They knew that by then, I shouldn't be looking at my nose all the dang time. That doctor, told my parents I'd never see and that I couldn't be helped. My dad was livid and called a friend of his whose dad was a surgeon, who directed them to an eye surgeon at UCLA. This guy told my parents he could help. By nine months old, I was wearing an eye patch. Little baby pirate Issa. Basically the muscles in my eyes didn't really work, or as I like to say, they were lazy and bored. The eye patch was supposed to help strengthen one eye, make it work, because it wasn't doing a darn thing, except staring at my nose all the time. The other eye was better, but not great. I wore the patch for months, but it didn't really help anything.

Then they tried glasses. The cutest little glasses anyone has ever had. I had glasses from fourteen months old, on. They thought I wouldn't keep them on, that I'd always want them off. But you know? When you can one day see after most likely not being able too, I guess you decide you kinda like that, even as a toddler.

The glasses helped, but it wasn't a long term solution. They had to do surgery. Back then, which was in 1983, they waited until you were three to do this surgery. The theory was, maybe your eye muscles would suddenly learn to work in that time frame. Which sounds funny to me now, but whatever. So I was about three years old and a week when I had the surgery.

I remember it. Not the surgery obviously, but the before and after. I remember walking into the hospital with my parents. I remember putting on a little gown; drinking some grape tasting syrup and watching some Wiley E. Coyote on TV. Then I remember being pissed off at my mom because she wouldn't give me any juice. That was after. That's it, that's all I remember. Well that and getting to pick out a stuffed animal in the gift shop on the way out. Oh and needing to wear sunglasses any time I was outside for a few weeks afterwards.

To me it was simple and no big deal. That's not however what my mom would say. She was scared, as any mother would be. But you know, I was three.

Without the surgery as a child, I am sure I would not be able to see very well. I have been told this by every single eye specialist I have seen as an adult. I would not be able to drive, see the words on this computer screen or be able to tell you each line, freckle and dimple on my children's faces. That surgery changed my life. One guy called it a miracle that I could see at all.

Meghan, I know this doesn't really help you. It doesn't take away the fear. But I can't do that. You know I would if I could. The only thing that will do that, is it being over and you taking him home. This I know.

Also for you, I am putting up pictures. Pictures of me as a child. The before and after shots. Just so you can see the difference. A few show how bad my right eye was. A couple of my rad glasses, when I was fifteen months old and one from a few years after so you can see how straight my eyes were/are. Ignore the large 80's glasses in the last one. My mother swears I picked them out myself. After the surgery I didn't have to wear glasses until I was seven years old. But my vision is bad as well as the muscles being bad and I've worn glasses every since. I don't really know any different, so it's not a big deal to me. Most of the time, you can't see any difference in my eyes, except that my right eyelid is a tiny bit lower than the left. Also, when I am extremly tired, my right eye still gets a bit lazy and looks at my nose.

But just know my friend, that my heart and prayers will be with you until it's done and you are taking Zach home on Monday after the surgery. In fact, this post will stay up here until that time as well. For you and for Zach.

FYI - All photos of me were scanned out of a scrapbook my mom made. Quality is iffy. The worse eye one is the second pic. Click on it for a close up. Truly it was bad.

The photos of Zach were stolen, with permission, from Meghan.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nine Months


This morning your sister Morgan came and woke me up at 7:36am. I was shocked that you had been so kind as to sleep in that long. No such luck buddy. Although your sister was kind enough to let me sleep, as she'd gone in and gotten you and given you a bottle and basically followed you around for an hour. Today she is my hero and I paid her accordingly.

Of course, I ignored the fact that she came to get me, because she was tired of you, but whatever. She's seven, so I'm just glad she was willing to play with you for an hour. She super-dup loves you. You and she were both alive and you hadn't managed to completely destroy the house, so that was a plus.

Darling boy of mine, you are very destructive. Your sisters were too, but in way different ways. Given 22 seconds, you will completely destroy a plant. You overturn the dogs food and water bowl if given any unsupervised second in the kitchen. You can take every book off of a shelf in less than a minute and I've yet to find a way to keep you out of the DVD's. Don't think you don't have toys, because you have dozens. You just seem to find them all extremely boring, save for two matchbox cars of Aidan's, that you crash into each other all the time. Oooommmm you say, as you crash them into each other. I assume this is boom crash, which is what Aidan says all the time. You also think Tupperware and plastic spoons are the best thing ever invented. And remotes, which I swear to god you must be baby Houdini, because no matter where we put them, you can find them and take the batteries out before I even know what you've got.

You are all boy. We have, in the last few weeks given you an official, Baby Transformer Name, which is Destructor. It fits. Perfectly.

You stand against the couch, pulling yourself up by your fat baby fingers, but haven't tried to walk at all. Thank freaking god, because I am not used to the crawling thing, which you've been doing for months, so walking is out of the question. Don't do it.

You have like a gazillion teeth, or nine, but who's counting? They all seem to have come in at once and sleeping has been an issue the past month. You will eat just about anything. Baby food is becoming lame, you prefer real food. But you aren't that picky, you just want it now. In fact, you wanted it three minutes ago. You also eat pretty much anything you find on the floor and I'd like to tell you this makes me sweep more, but it just doesn't. Son, you are the third kid. Enjoy the carpet fuzz. Sorry about that, but mama doesn't think it's a big deal anymore.

In the past month, you have found your voice. Meaning you screech all the time. Then you laugh at yourself, because you? Are the funniest guy you know. Then you look around to see where your cheering squad is, because you are used to having someone clap for you. I fear for your preschool teachers one day.

You have also started talking. We had this conversation this morning:

Me: Bubs what does a duck say? You: kak kak

Me: What does a doggie say: You: OOOFFFFFF (You screech this, most likely because our dog is extremely loud.)

Me: You're right. Yay you. But shhhhh baby, inside voice. You: chhhhhhhhhhh

Me: Exactly. Now, what does a moo cow say. You: ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh

Me: Bubby can you say milk? You: ik

Me: Close enough. How about ball, can you say ball? You: ball. (This was your first word by the way, after dada.)

Me: Can you say more? You: *gives me the sign for more.*

Me: How about daddy, can you say daddy? You: dadadadadadadada *does a little happy dance*

Me: Yay. Where is daddy? You: bye bye. *waves at yourself*

Me: Silly baby. How about mama, can you say mama? You: dadadadada

And this, my son, is what we do every single day. I always throw in new words, just to see how you try to say it. You can say mama. You say it when you are hurt, sick, extremely tired and at 3am when you don't want dada. But when asked, you will never say mama to me. This is what I'd like you to work on for the next month. It's your tiny baby goal, okay?

Baby boy, you are an absolute joy. Know this forever, that no matter how bad my life may be for me in the moment, or how sad I might be, you light up my world. Every second of every day, I adore you.

Love, mama

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The story of the door slammer

What seems like a zillion years ago, although it was actually around this time five years ago, is where our story begins.

A certain little girl, known here as Morgan used to throw the most magnificent tantrums. If there was an Academy Award for tantrums, this child would have a house full of them. At some point, she, upon being put on her bed, stared slamming the door over and over again. This bugged her mother and father endlessly. One day, the mother made the mistake of asking her teeny tiny crazy ball of joy why she slammed the door so much. You do it, was the childs answer.

Oh. Yeah. Sheet.

Of course the mother had to explain to the father what the kid said. There was then a three slam rule made up on the spot. It went for everyone in the family, because the dad claimed that more than three slams of a door gave him migraines.

The rule was as follows: in a fit of um anger or whatever, said door may be slammed three and only three times. If said door is slammed more than that, the door will be removed from the frame, by the father, for as many days, as their was extra slams.

I'd like to tell you this ends well. That no one ever forgot this rule. But I'd be lying through my teeth. My door has gone missing more than one in the last five years. When he takes mine off, I have no idea where he takes it too. I've never been able to find the dam thing.

Somehow the big child and I have the same problem, although through the years we have gotten better about it. (I prefer to throw coffee mugs. Kidding. Sorta.)

Yesterday the middle child took up the reigns. I think she feels that since she is in the last month of being four, she must take full advantage of the four-ness, before it is gone. Also, it pains her that the boy is no longer a lump. Now he is everywhere and yeah, she has brother issues. The tantruming in public, being forced to nap, slamming door reigns. She did manage to only slam it three times in the afternoon.

However last night, at some point, she got pissed off at her father and got sent to bed. Then the door slamming started. Twelve times that door was slammed. Her father is a patient man, more patient than me. He waited until she calmed down and then he went upstairs and removed the door. On the wall next to it, he placed a sign, no door until this day. Which, in case you were wondering is nine days from today.

The big child was PISSED off, since the two girl children share a bedroom. I looked at her and laughed. Come on now, pot, kettle? Ringing any bells? Somehow, I do believe the middle child won't take five years to figure out this rule.

So that's my story of the day. Beware of the three door slamming rule.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yesterday was not the day

Father's Day is not the day to discuss my father. Yesterday was a day to celebrate dad's. As you can all see below, I choose to celebrate an amazing dad, Mike Spohr in my post below. I could have talked about my husband, because he, like Mike, is an amazing dad. However he really doesn't like being talked about in this space and that is a request, I can honor. Just so you all know though, my husband is an amazing father. In my wildest dreams, I could never have asked for a better father for my children. He's a keeper. But yesterday was for Mike. Because he deserved it. He deserves much more than that, but it was the least I could do to celebrate him in my space.

Also? I can't discuss my dad on Father's Day.

Not that I don't have one, because I do. But he's never really been much of a dad to me. Not since I was six years old and he met my step-mom. From that day forward, I was an inconvenience, not his only daughter. I am his only daughter, but because his wife has a daughter as well, he took her on as his and sort of left me behind.

It's complicated.

It hurts to write this stuff. Also, I have to be careful how much I say, in case they ever do find this blog. Don't know why I care as much as I do, but I just do. Let's just say, I am writing a post about them, for a guest post somewhere else, but it's taken me three weeks and I'm not even close to finishing it.

Yesterday I called my dad and he didn't pick up the phone. I called the house and I called his cell phone, but he didn't pick up. He won't talk to me if she is around. I talk to him once a month, occasionally twice, but he always calls me from work. Like I said, I don't exist to her. When we talk it is always forced. Maybe the right word is fake? The kids, the weather, the who is doing what in the extended family. Nothing personal, nothing real, no emotion. It's been like this for as long as I can remember.

Maybe once every three or four years we have a chance to have a real conversation in person. I hold onto those conversations like Bailey does her blankie at night, because they mean so much to me. I always wonder, what if this was the last one. I have to remember every word, ever joke, every smile, in case this was the last time I talk to him like this. We had a two hour conversation when I was out there visiting in April. We sat on his back porch and talked. Like really talked. The girls were shopping with my step-mom, the baby was sleeping, it was a perfect moment. Then it was over and we went back to fake.

But yesterday I didn't exist again. Yesterday, I didn't even get a phone call back. You can say, oh he was busy; this is what Logan said last night. But no, I know it's not true. (Logan know's it's not true too.) If I called my brother, he'd tell me that he was there all day at dad's house. Most likely at a BBQ of some form, because this is what they always do. He'd tell me that dad probably looked at the phone, saw it was me and said, out loud, oh I'll call her later. I know this to be true, because it has happened way too often. I don't call my brother and ask, because he doesn't like to have to tell me and I don't like to have to hear it.

I know that one day this week, I will get a phone call from him. He will call me at work, when he has exactly three minutes to talk to me. He will mention that everyone was out the house on Sunday and he missed me. He may even mention my messages to him.

But he doesn't miss me enough to pick up the phone when I call. I don't rate high enough on the list, to even get to say to him on Father's Day, Happy Father's Day, dad. It sucks. It hurts. But I can't do a thing about it. I just get to live with it. At nearly 30 years old, I should be used to it and most days I am, but on day's like yesterday, it creeps up on me what I'm missing. I watch Logan be adored by our girls, I watch him adore them and I envy them. I envy my own children. how freaking sick is that?

They have this amazing relationship and it makes me thrilled. It also makes me sad.

I tried for years to make my realtionship with my dad better. Tried and tried and tried. But I failed.

I have friends who have no father. Friends, some of you included who lost your dads way before you should have. My heart breaks for all of you. I can't even imagine. I know my issues with my dad don't compare. Mine is still around. He lives in California. He's an awesome man. He's entertaining, a kind hearted person, he is a good friend, a good boss and a good husband. He's even a good dad to my brothers and my step-siblings. He just isn't to me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

For Mike

Today's post is for Mike Spohr. Happy Father's Day. Mike my heart is with you and Heather everyday, but especially today. Hugs, Issa

Sometimes, the best we can do is share a person’s experience and let them know we have their back. That while we may not how they feel, we recognize that there are days that are just going to suck beyond the telling of it.

So today we celebrate firsts. Just a very few of Maddie’s firsts from the Spohr family flickr photostream:

First time being held by daddy

First time being held by mommy

Chillin’ after the first bath

First Christmas

First Sunshine, First Car Ride

First nap when a totally embarrassing picture of Mike was taken

First Baseball Game

(Which was probably after Mad’s first trip to a BAR.)

We celebrate all the joyous firsts with you and stand guard over you for all the firsts to come.

The Women of Room 704.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BlogHer freakout #1

There's this thing that I'm going to in a few weeks. BlogHer. Maybe you've heard of it? Might ring a bell? (For those of you not going, I am sorry but this post is all about it. I've been there, I've wanted to go twice previously. I get how it can be to listen to it all the time. Please forgive me though, because I need to talk about this.)

So um, yeah, I am going to be part of the Community Keynote at the conference. A post that I wrote was submitted by the lovely and talented Stacey. I told her she could submit it when she asked, because I honestly didn't think it would get chosen. I know that sounds bad, but it's true. I have no pre-conceived notions about my writing. I know it's not the best. It's just me, raw and un-cut.

However my post did get chosen. I am absolutely honored by this. I can not even explain how honored and thrilled I am. To be a part of something like this is just beyond me. But I am going to be part of this. I am going to get up there and read my post to the two five gulp hundreds of people who could possibly be in the room.

Can you feel my fear over the screen?

I am terrified. I have no doubts that I can do it. That's not the problem. I may talk to fast and sweat a bit, but I am positive I can get through it. But I'm still scared shitless. That's a lot of freaking people, yo. Serious. Some of the blogging greats will be reading during this keynote. People who I adore, people who are extremely great writers. (I did hire a professional hand holder, a drink giver and possibly a body guard. Won't they be sad when they realize, I pay in Jelly Beans.) I don't know that I measure up.

This came up after I realized that I was already nervous about the conference in general. Nervous being a mild word. Nightmares. I'm having BlogHer nightmares. Going to this conference is so far out of my comfort zone, I can not even begin to tell you.

I've been doing this blogging gig, off and on since 2005. But I've never gone to a conference. I've literally only met four blogger. I don't tell people that I blog. I won't tell people when I get back. My family and friends think I am going on a girls weekend. That is just the way it is.

So I'm scared. I don't know what to expect. I've heard all the stories, the rumors and seen all the posts for years. But reality is different.

I'm hoping that some of you who have gone before can help me out on a few small questions I have. Might put my mind at ease a bit. Anyone of you who is new to this too, maybe we can be buddies? Having buddies is always better than wandering around by yourself. Right?

Ok, here goes nothing.

1. Does it matter if I wear jeans and flip-flops the entire time? I keep hearing people discuss dresses and such, but that's just not something I'm into. But I don't want to be the only one looking like her wardrobe sucks.

2. Business cards? Is this like a must? Are you doing it?

3. How many of you really think you'll go to the Community Keynote?

4. Am I the only one scared shitless?

5. If I hide in a closet, will one of you bring me drinks?

I'll leave it at this for now. I'm working on another post, one that I stole from Undomestic Diva, on what you should know about me before we meet in person. Maybe you should know that I am a totally idea thief. Nah, you all knew that already.

Okay, halp, please.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The scent of a memory

Even over the smell of the food, I smelled him as he walked in the door. You don't think you will ever forget the smell of a man once they are gone forever, but sadly one day you do. Until it walks into a restaurant and gets in line behind you. I breathed deeply twice. I bit my lip to stop the tears, as I turned around to see who it was that smelled like that.

He was probably about 70 years old. Little bit shrunken, like older people get. Nice looking guy, glasses, old guy cap on his head. But that smell, he smelled just like my grandpa. I just smiled at him and turned back around. The baby cooed at him once, possibly waved, as it is his favorite thing to do. I am pretty sure he said something to Harrison, but I couldn't tell you what.

I wish I could have asked him what cologne he used. Wouldn't have mattered though, as I know it was a combination of things. His Cologne, Zest soap, Listerine, Certs breath mints. Grandpa; he smelled like grandpa.


Where are we going this week, he'd ask me. Where do you think silly, I'd say. Let me guess? How about Paulie's, you know Paul would love to see you? No grandpa, no Mexican food, Hamburger Hamlet. Oh how could I have not known that, he'd say, sighing.

Every other Tuesday night for two years, that was my dinner choice. Every time, we had the same conversation. Their hamburgers and fries were to die for, their shakes couldn't be beat; but best yet, they let you draw on the table. At five years old, there is nothing better than drawing on the table while on a date with your grandpa.

You know, Melissa Annie, he'd say; one day you are going to want to go to a real restaurant and then I will be the one wanting to draw on the table and we always have to come here.

Grandpa, even when I am eighty-ninety-two years old, I will always want to come here.


I was six, maybe seven the first time I got fresh with him. You better watch it girl, or I will snatch you bald headed. He growled a bit as he said it. I apologized instantly and he was fine after that.

What that exactly meant, I never knew. But he said it too all of the grandchildren when they got smart mouthed or said or did something rude. What I did know was I didn't want to know what it meant.

I heard someone else say that their grandfather used to say that. Not sure where I was, nor who said it, but it didn't bother me. I bet their grandfather didn't growl when he said it.


At ten, he taught me how to shift the gears in his car when he was driving. As I got better at it, he'd say every time I got into his car, you shifting or am I? Well that was a silly question to ask a ten year old. I always shifted. He'd tell me when and I got to where I could do it without even looking.

At twelve, he took me into a school parking lot on a Sunday and let me have my first attempt at driving. You tell your dad about this and I'll snatch you bald headed, he'd say.

Grandpa if I told dad about this, he'd make you stop. I want to drive, this is between you and me.

Not many twelve year old children can say they know how to drive a stick shift.


In the summer, when I was fourteen, I ran away from home. I tried to go to Mexico with some friends. We had parental issues, or so we thought in the moment. Everything would be better in Mexico. At the border, they made us call someone to come and get us and I called grandpa. He drove the two and a half hours to get us. Let us have it too, how dumb we were, how badly it could have ended, how disappointed he was in me. That last one hurt the most.

He told us all that you can't run away from small problems and you shouldn't run away from the big ones. Told us our secret was safe with him this time, but next time he'd not be so nice. I never forgot his disappointment that day.


At sixteen, I made an off handed comment about the AC not working great in my bedroom. I came home the next day from school and he was installing a ceiling fan in my bedroom. My mom just shook her head at me and said, I wish I had someone who would drop everything for me like this.


From him, I get my love of good red wine, fresh seafood and great salsa; the joy of storytelling, reading a good book, the love of movies and the ability to cut a person down with my words. That last one, he could have kept.


He told me stories about flying in the Korean war. He told me about growing up with his brother Paul, how Paul never matured past the age of three, even though he lived to be twenty-seven. He told me about the mistakes he made in parenting when my dad and his siblings were kids. He told me about working as a radio guy back in the early sixties. Told me about his granddad, who took them (his daughter and grandchildren: my grandpa and his baby brother Paul who were six and one at the time) and escaped Poland right before it was invaded by the Germans. He told me how much I reminded him of his mom; my great-grandma Annie.


The best compliment I ever got in my life was from him. I can't share it, it's too sentimental, but I never forgot it and I never will.


He was a grouchy old guy, but he always had time for me. When email was new, he and I both had an email account. I used to get emails that had "Yippee, Squeee, Happy" as the subject. That was how much he loved email. It was a joyous event for him each time.


He's a grouchy, pain in the ass curmudgeon and I'm never speaking to him again, I said to my dad on the phone. I was 18 years old and had just had the worst lunch date in my life with Grandpa. I'd told him that Logan and I were getting married and he spent the next half hour telling me how I shouldn't do that, I'd forever regret it; before I finally got up and left the restaurant.

I called him an old fool as I left and told him he was not welcome at my wedding. And Daddy, I mean it, he's not welcome. I was seething as I said this to my dad.

Oh you don't mean that, honey. You are angry, you have every right to be angry, but you have to see his side of view.

No, I can't. He's wrong about me and he's wrong about Logan. I am not mom, Logan is not you. We won't wake up and regret this one day. If I'm wrong and we do, then whatever.

I know that and you know that, but grandpa doesn't. Time will change things. Don't worry about it Melissa, he'll come around.

I am not rushing into this. I love this man, he is my soul mate.

I know. I support you in this and one day your grandfather will too. Just remember you are his first grandchild and the only granddaughter. (At the time this was true, although two years later, my Aunt and Uncle gave him is sixth grandchild, the second granddaughter.) To him, you are like his child. One that he did right by. One that he didn't make the mistakes with that he made with us.

Dad, you are my father, not him.

Dad just sighed and tried to calm me down. He swore it'd go away, that in a few days I'd forget it.

I never did though. The things he said and the things I said changed our relationship from that day forward. He didn't know me like I thought he did, if he'd say those things to me. I always loved him, but our relationship was never the same. I never really let him know me again.


Then came the call. July 2003. Grandpa's been in an accident, my brother said. In those words my heart stopped for an instant. He was coming home from Aunt K's and he got hit by a semi-truck. He's in the middle of nowhere Oregon. Dad is on his way up there now.

The semi didn't kill him. He got so lucky that day. A few broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and some bruising from the seat belt. But the scans they did of his abdomen looked off. They thought they saw something in his liver. The doc told him to go home and have his primary care physician do an MRI.

He put it off, going in. He never liked doctors. Didn't like enclosed spaces, since he'd been hidden in a trunk off and on for days as a child, when they escaped from Poland. Eventually my dad made him go see the doc. Mid-August maybe.

Stage four. Colon cancer. By the time they find colon cancer, it has generally spread to all of your organs. It was in his liver, his pancreas, his lungs. Nothing they could do except send him home with a script for pain meds and the number for hospice. Three to six months if you are lucky.


October 20th was the last time I talked to him. He was doing okay, better than expected. He still got up and left the house every day. Still went to my uncles shop and gave everyone hell. Still went to his favorite restaurants and flirted with the waitresses.

We all had plans for Sunday brunch. We'd started doing it again every week, just like when I was a small kid, since his diagnosis.

Out of the blue, my phone rings. For a second I didn't realize it was him. The cancer had gotten into his stomach, so he had stomach acid that was damaging his vocal cords and his esophagus. His voice was changed, a strangers voice.

I am so proud of you, of the woman you've become, he said. I want you to always know that. To remember this forever, that I've always loved you. That I've been proud of you since the second you were born. I need you to know that I'm sorry for doubting your and Logan's love.

I know grandpa, I told him. it's okay. You don't have to do this now. I will see you in three days. We can talk then.

I was busy with Morgan in that moment. Trying to get her to stop climbing the walls, to take a nap, something. The day to day stuff with a 22 moth old child.

No Melissa he said, you never know how much time is left. I may be unable to talk by Sunday. I want you to know this now, just in case. I need you to know that I love you and I love Logan and I adore that spitfire of a girl you gave me as a great-grandchild.

Okay then. Well I love you too grandpa I said. I've been proud to be your granddaughter my entire life. And Grandpa, I'm sorry too. I was a young fool. Not about marrying Logan, but in thinking that your opinion didn't matter. In not listening and explaining and instead going all defensive.

I love you baby girl, was the last thing he said.


The next day my uncle found him on the floor of his apartment, unconscious. He never again gained consciousness. The last nine days of his life were spent on a vent in the ICU at UCLA Medical Center. He passed away October 30, 2003.


I remember all of this and a million other things while eating my dinner. Who knew one smell could bring it all back? The sadness has passed in some ways. Five and a half years does that too you. You are supposed to lose your grandparents, it is the natural progression of life. Doesn't make it easy when it happens, but you know it is going to happen. He was my first. I've lost the other three since then. The sadness of the two I lost last year is too fresh. When I think of them, I only remember the end.

But with him, I remember the laughs. The dates. The movie marathons. The trip to Vegas in his RV, with my dad and brothers when I was five. Week trips to the Grand Canyon. Days spent looking at boats in the Marina, looking at animals at the zoo, exploring Grifith Park. The letters I have from my weeks spent at summer camp; letters full of jokes and stories about home. The man who taught me to tie a cherry string with my tongue at four years old. The curmudgeon who I respected and loved more than most people.

One smell and it all comes back. The smell of a memory.