I’m Back. I Know You’re Thrilled.

I told Derick today that I missed blogging. I really like putting my shit (shhhh, Norah picks up those words now) out there.  It’s cathartic, even if it’s self- involved and selfish.

Where the fuck (eff) do I start? I’ve been missing in action (because blogging is totally just like battle) for a loooooooooooooooong time now.  I’d bet actual money that no one is reading.  If you’re reading, comment.  I’ll give you $.50.

What? Did you expect more? THESE ARE HARD TIMES PEOPLE.


Norah is two years and two months old now. I could write an entire book on that child, how beautiful and funny and delightful she is. When I ask her questions she likes me to answer and then says “good job” Like she knew the answer and I’m just the dummy trying to keep up.

I’ll be honest; I’m really struggling.  I feel very, very alone. I don’t have any friends here with children, and while I adore sharing my amazing kid with others, I don’t want to be the person constantly talking about my baby. I hate pushing my life onto others. But I’ve found now that because I don’t talk about anything people have just stopped asking.

WOE IS TRICIA, amirite? There are international tragedies everywhere and I’m lamenting because I’m a (somewhat) happy, healthy, white, privileged woman in a (sort of) civilized country. LAMENT WITH ME.

I don’t even know what the point of this post was- ha! I guess to introduce myself back into blogging? BECAUSE YOU ALL WERE ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEATS WAITING.






You Cant Say I’m Not Dramatic

My Norah,
I know this letter will be a really odd thing for you ever to read, and I know that, but I need to write this for myself. You turned 10 months old yesterday, and it’s come time for our nursing journey to end.

I never in a million years thought I’d feel this heartbroken about not feeding you this way ever again. To be perfectly honest my thought about nursing was always that it was free! Why not try it? I didn’t anticipate loving it this much, or being this torn about giving it up.

You see, you are one dentally advanced little kid- at 10 months we can count 8 teeth on you, and MAN do you know how to use them baby girl! You can take bites of things on your own and I’m so proud of you for that. Unfortunately one of the things you take bites of is, well, your mother. I’m sore, and bleeding, and have scars that weren’t there before. I can’t get you to stop biting, and it’s becoming a little hard to handle. None of that is your fault though! I was the one who kept trying to just grin and bear it, all the while knowing you aren’t really all that interested in it anymore anyway.

There are too many other things going on in the world, you see?! You’re distracted- and rightly so! You see and hear and smell everything these days, so much stronger than you’ve ever done. You’re too busy now to sit quietly with me and eat, and that’s just the way it should be. I’m ok with that now.

I’m writing this down so I won’t ever forget what it felt like the first time you latched, or the first time I heard you actually getting milk. Or when you’d stop midway through eating and look up at me, pull away and smile. The anticipation you’d get when you were hungry or the contented sigh you gave when you were finished. Those quiet middle-of-the-night feedings, just you and me. Or perhaps most importantly, the knowledge that whenever you left me that eventually you’d have to come back.

I’ve had a few good cries about it, and I promise I’m like a kid (you, soon!) on Christmas thinking about the new adventures and bonding we will have going forward. This is but the beginning of a million other journeys we will have together, my love. I can’t wait.


A Check-in, Of Sorts

Where the hell did I leave off? Probably somewhere between making sense and talking incessantly about my extremely privileged life.  My therapist DOES always tell me I should be more neutral.

I think I left off explaining my maternity leave and touching maybe on how insanely backward the United States is in it’s policies (or lack thereof).  NEWSFLASH: The US government contacted me after having read my account and has now granted every postpartum mother 365 days of paid maternity leave.  Oh and every father gets 6 weeks paid paternity leave.

You’re welcome.

So I had maternity leave and went back to work and got laid off and blah and blah and blah you all know the sob story.  I got to play Stay at Home Mom for 5 months and I loved it.  I got this inane amount of satisfaction running our house.  I loved doing the laundry, putting it away, doing the dishes after cooking and planning our meals and paying the bills and taking care of Norah’s needs.  Seriously, I did.  I do!

Then unemployment ran out, and through some insane stroke of fate I found a job.  I started last Monday- working full time for a bit until part time will work.  And I was so nervous and so sure I’d make some mistake that I collapsed into a bundle of nerves.

And then ended up kinda, well, loving it.  I felt (feel) ready to leave my baby.  I felt (feel) proud that I can help provide for her and confident that she is okay without my constant presence.  More than that I feel like she is confident. She’s crawling up a storm, she’s babbling, she can tell us when she’s happy.  She so clearly can communicate that she’s okay.

I didn’t feel any of that when I returned to work after 8 weeks of leave.

I didn’t intend for this to be another diatribe on the merits/downfalls of the American system on maternity leave, but somehow I just kept talking and it did.


In short (ha!), I’m very happy.  I love the work and I love anticipating seeing Norah’s precious face every afternoon.  I love chewing on those delicious cheeks and asking her about her day.  I am loving this season of life.

Letters to Norah: Volume One

Dear Norah,

It’s the most cliche thing ever as a parent to say that I don’t know where the time went.  Like, I used to make fun of people for saying such things. I hope one day you’ll know what this feels like, because it’s as terrifying as it is amazing.

You started crying a few minutes ago, while I was writing this, and because we’re trying to get you to sleep longer without nursing your dad went to help.  I turned the mute button on the TV so I could hear him reading to you because it’s my favorite thing ever.  The voices he uses, the way he holds you, the way you turn and look up at him: I was foolish to think that before you came I could love him any more than I already did.

We had the best summer together, baby girl.  We have a routine now: I hear you stirring on the monitor and I announce my presence before I enter your room.  When I open the door and turn on the light you have the most beautiful smile ready for me.  Like you’ve been saving it.  I take you back to my bed and you eat and we snuggle and I ask you what your dreams were like.  I hope you dream of me.

Then we go downstairs and play and eat and play and eat and then we play and then we eat and then we sleep.  It’s a cycle that I have come to love. Now that you eat solids we switch things up- corn! green beans! strawberries! Bananas are your absolute favorite- you gobble those up.  I’ll be honest- you’re still all about the mighty Boob.  I don’t mind! It means you come back to me every once in a while, which is funny because you NEVER.STOP. MOVING.  You are a force to be reckoned with, my love.  You move so fast and so stealthily that I’m terrified I’ll forget to baby-proof (more like YOU-proof) something and you’ll electrocute yourself.  You do seem to have a death wish.   I adore your spirit.

Norah, I live every day with you, every minute, every hour and still I miss you when you sleep.  I long to have you near me, to smell you and see your smile and ask you questions you don’t comprehend.  I am torn between two worlds: one where you talk to me and tell me what you’re thinking, and one where you still need me to rock you to sleep.

You’re so fiercely independent already, which I love.  But the other day someone grabbed you from me, and you (like always) were so chill.  Until you turned around and realized I was somewhere else.  And you looked around, found me, and reached your chubby little arms out toward me.  My heart stopped.  I will always reach back.

I love you,


The Leave After Birthing a Child

I couldn’t think of another way to say maternity leave and I didn’t want to say Maternity Leave Part 2.

Where were we? Oh yeah, having a baby is expensive and said baby doesn’t come out with a manual telling you how to change the batteries or even how to cash in the warranty.  I mean I found a receipt in Norah’s first diaper but it said that I needed to bring the original card from purchase to exchange and in the haze of the epidural I somehow misplaced it.

Just kidding.  You’d have had to pry her from my cold, dead, stitched-up hands.

I love the term leave.  Leave implies taking a break.  I don’t know about you, but taking a break from my job would have included far fewer stitches and many more margaritas.  Leave implies a rest of some sort. Let’s reflect upon a few things that are not restful.

  1. Sleep deprivation.  I didn’t sleep for three days before I went into labor with Norah.  And then I was in labor for 40 hours.  And then I was so hyped up from it that I didn’t sleep for another couple of days.  And then remember that baby? She seemed to think she was entitled to FOOD every two hours.
  2. Percocet.  I won’t delve into the nitty gritty, but I needed some stitches.
  3. Visitors- I loved them, I promise! But it’s not easy to rest when you feel like you should be sharing the baby.  And I had this problem where I had to be present for every introduction because I wanted to see everyone’s reaction to her beautiful face.
  4. The internet.  It’s very easy to say “don’t listen to them”, until you’re sleep deprived and on Percocet and tired from visitors.  And then you’re telling yourself (because of what you see online) that every other mother has makeup on post-baby, and they are up at night cleaning the house, and they have all lost the baby weight, and that they haven’t ever watched Law & Order: Special Victims Unit sobbing while trying to figure out how to hold the pump just right and lamenting the fact that it’s just not the same without Stabler.

I didn’t feel like a normal human being until Norah was four weeks old.  And even then I wasn’t what mainstream America considers normal.  I’d say I was doing a great job of existing.  Not really the state of mind you would choose to be in before taking a ‘leave’.

So I have only started feeling like a normal, albeit emotionally unhinged human being at the halfway point of my already too-long maternity leave.

The other half of it was spent really getting to know this perfect little alien.  And that’s not something that you just wake up having perfected.  It’s hard.

I was incredibly lucky to have family close by and to have friends who came and brought us food and took Norah so we could sleep. Not everyone has that, and not everyone even has the eight weeks I had.  I say that because I seriously have nothing to complain about.

I’m actually the exception to the rule, and there is something terribly wrong with that fact.


My Maternity Leave

I’ll be honest, this is probably about as interesting as watching paint dry for the vast majority of people, but whatever.

I worked full time before I had Norah, and there was no such thing as maternity leave at my job.  I got short-term disability, but only after being cleared by a doctor, and only at 2/3rds pay rate.  I got 6 weeks for a vaginal birth and 8 weeks for a c-section.  I was “unlucky” enough to have a vaginal birth.  I’m sorry you’ve now had to read the word vaginal two (three) times.

So I had 6 weeks, and then I tacked on another 2 that the company was ‘generous enough’ to give me completely paid.  So in all I had 8 weeks.  Eight weeks.  EIGHT.

At the onset of the leave six/eight weeks sounds like a good chunk of time.  I mean when was the last time you had six/eight weeks off from work? That’s plenty of time to bond with your baby, establish a schedule and a feeding routine and be ready to rejoin society!!

Are you effing kidding me?

I didn’t insanely bond with Norah right away- it took a few days.  I of course loved her more than life itself instantly, but I didn’t really ‘get it’ until we took her home.  I think it was the sheer exhaustion in the hospital.  And when I did? Ooooh boy.  I remember my mom handed me my dinner, and Derick sat down to eat next to me and I started bawling into my salad.  I had fallen in love, and HARD.

And it scared the shit out of me- hell, it still does.  Some days I still can’t fathom how it feels to look at her and be staring right into my own heart. And at that moment then all I could think about was that I was going to have to leave her soon.  Time had already flown so fast that I knew it’d keep going full throttle.  Eight weeks would be gone in no time and I couldn’t imagine leaving her, this tiny dictator.

This is where I get into some business, namely: the finances.

  • We could not have sustained living the way we were accustomed with 2/3rds of my salary.  So even if I’d been given more than the allotted 6 weeks, we’d have been struggling.
  • No one actually ever mentions that on top of not getting fully paid for that time you also incur a hell of a lot of medical bills! You know what’s not inexpensive? Having a baby.
  • We were (are) insanely lucky that breastfeeding worked, and that cloth diapers were in the cards for us.  We have still hardly spent any money on our child, and that is not the case for many people.  What I’m getting at is that for the majority, the upkeep of a baby is very expensive.  Pair that with the bills and the decrease in salary and it equals a lot of stress, and a bit of debt.

This is where I get into some other business, namely: the baby.

  • Six or even eight weeks is nothing.  Nada.  No go.  Zero.
  • Breastfeeding takes for.ev.er. to get right.  And that’s if you get it at all!!
  • Oh, you’re going back to work? Oh you don’t want to be a stay-at-home-mom? You know SAHM’s are proven to have happier children.  I mean if you’re going back to work you should at least keep breastfeeding exclusively.  You’ll need at least 2 weeks of milk stored in the freezer when you go back to work so you should start pumping immediately even though you can barely get enough for your baby to be satisfied and even then you’re so exhausted when they are you can’t think of pumping.  You should probably make sure she’s ok with other people, too.  Make sure she gets enough face time with others, but also make sure she’s not getting exposed to people too quickly.  Has she been vaccinated? Have the people you’ve been exposing her to been vaccinated? Wait, can she take a bottle if she’s breastfed? You better make sure she likes the bottle.  Make sure also to sterilize all bottle parts after every use.  But make sure she doesn’t like the bottle too much because she might stop breastfeeding and you may as well just feed her pureed McDonald’s if that’s the case. She hasn’t established a good napping routine yet? Have you tried crying it out? If you do you’re a monster.  What about a pacifier, does that help? Just make sure she doesn’t like the pacifier too much because that’s a hard habit to break.  Wait, if you’re going back to work who’s taking care of the baby?? You better not take it to daycare, they might abuse the kid.  The kid will grow up thinking the daycare provider is it’s mom! Oh you’re getting a nanny? You must be rich.  You might as well just cut back and stay home.  Oh you’re staying home?? Your daughter will never learn the value of working if her own mother stays home and lets a MAN provide for her!
  • I have no strength left for another bullet point.

More, later.



Who Am I Kidding, Really?

A few disclaimers:

  1. I started this and then abandoned it.
  2. Somehow I knew that would happen.
  3. I really do like writing on a blog.
  4. I don’t like Flip or Flop now that those fools are divorced.
  5. I don’t know if I ever really liked it that much before anyhow.

I think when I started this I planned on writing just a little about my kid and making it more about….I don’t know.  World events? Ha!

It’s become clear I’ll use this space to write about my relationship with my child, and that’s ok.  In fact, I’m relieved.  It means I don’t have to pretend I really give a shit about anything else.

An update on Norah: she’s 5 months and 8 days old.  She crawls backward and flops forward.  She smiles at my dumb jokes and her daddy’s funny noises.  My favorite part of the day is the exhausted sigh she takes at bedtime before she puts her her head on my shoulder and falls asleep.  Not because she’s asleep but because she’s content just to be….with me.  It’s second only to going into her room after she wakes up, when I can hear her stirring on the monitor and I open the door to smiles.  She’s already making it known that she’s strong, and I love that.

I have 2.5 months left of unemployment before I have to figure out what I’m doing with my life and I’m nervous.  I am trying to find something that will allow me to be with her.  Believe me, I never thought I’d want to do that.

Shit happens, I guess.

So in short (long?)- this is an update of sorts.  Other updates:

  1. Have you watched The Handmaids Tale? WATCH IT.
  2. I haven’t seen a movie since January.  If you know me, you know that’s….disturbing.
  3. I will always think Donald Sutherland is sexier than Keifer.




The Best Thing That Ever Happened

This will probably be a heavy cheesy post, so I’m sorry in advance.  Hell, I’m not sorry.  I decided to be real with this blog and this is real.  So, get over it?

I used to haaaate when blogs would turn into mommy blogs when the blogger had a kid.  This is happening with me. In my defense I started this after I had a baby so, get over it? I’m sensing a theme here.

I’m a middle child, could you tell that by everything I’ve ever written? The theme of my life? Woe is Tricia.  I remember someone mentioning Middle Child Syndrome to me and I latched onto it like a diagnosis.  Finally, something to blame my dramatic personality on!

Mother, avert your eyes: I don’t have Middle Child Syndrome; I never did.  I’m just dramatic.  Which is, ironically, MCS in it’s entirety.

I tried many different sports and hobbies growing up:

  1. Soccer: I didn’t like running, and I hated having to speak to the other members of the team every game.
  2. Softball: I was an outfielder.  Who made daisy chains and sang to myself through every play.  Even in HIGH SCHOOL.
  3. Karate: I refused to bow to the teacher.  
  4. Equestrian: Oddly I was pretty good at this.  I think it’s because I only had to communicate with an animal.
  5. Reading: Uh, rocked this one.

I never really liked any of these hobbies.  My dramatic personality made itself known in middle/high school when I decided to blame my ineptitude on the order of my birth.  Logical, yes?

In college I noticed I’m mildly successful with people.  I am an introvert, and find social activities endlessly draining, but I’m pretty good at it.  I can work a room pretty well, but it’ll render me worthless for days afterward.  That’s all right! At least I was good at something?

I felt at some point during my late 20’s that I was missing something.  I hadn’t found my THING.  I have friends who are awesome at horseback riding, their jobs, being social butterflies, crafting, home improvement, etc.  And then there was me.  I was ok at talking to people? Cool.  I’ll go ahead and charge people by the hour for my attention.


And then I had a baby.  You guys, I wanted SO BADLY not to want to be with this kid all the time.  I wanted to WANT to be a working mother, and to be someone who comes home late and makes great money and who is really really good at an outside job.  But that didn’t happen.

What happened? I went back to work, and I got laid off, and I started staying home, and I realized THIS is what I’m good at.  I couldn’t bow to my karate teacher but I can make my kid happy.

I’m finally good at something.

This scares me for a number of reasons, which I may or may not touch on later.  But for now I’ll leave it here.  Maybe I’m a good mom, and maybe that’s where this was all leading.

5 Things I Thought You Fools Were Lying About

Maybe at some point I’ll write more frequently, or about something other than motherhood.  No promises, people.  I have a LOT on my to-do list these days.


  • play with Norah
  • change Norah
  • put Norah down for a nap
  • feed Norah
  • Repeat
  • Write a blog post

During my middle-of-the-night Facebook scrollings I’ve noticed something: there are like 9,000 articles consisting of lists of parenting tips. How to Beat the 4-Month Sleep Regression, How to Get Your Child to Sleep, What is Sleep, How to Stop Your Infant From Crying, How to Stop Crying Yourself, How to Ensure Your Child Won’t Become a Murderer, things like that. Buzzfeed seems to have an entire department dedicated to such lists.

Sidenote: Buzzfeed seems like a sweet place to work, and since their execs are most likely reading MY list right now I’d like to give them a special shout-out- hey Buzzfeed, what’s up.

I’ll read these lists and make comments in my head, but I don’t much see the point in actually commenting on the lists themselves. I guess that’s the point of social media, but I don’t care much for social media.  Says the woman up at 2am scrolling through social media. Says the woman who uses social media as her window to the outside world.

I remember back when I was childless, back when I thought years and years of babysitting was the same thing as being a parent, I figured there were a lot of things that parents had to be lying about, or surely exaggerating.  I mean, sleepless nights? COME ON.  Fighting naps? GIVE ME A DAMN BREAK.  There are five main lies I will name:


  1. How Hard Labor Is– I met this young girl the other day who asked me if I had a natural labor, because she knew it was what was best, and how hard could it be?  What a sweet, beautiful little naive child.  I was that child.  I have a high pain threshold, what else would it take? A lot.  It takes a lot.  More power to those who make it through without help.  You’re lucky enough to be what this young woman called “what nature intended.”


  • How Difficult It Is To Hear Your Child Cry– Babies cry, amirite? GET OVER IT.  In actuality, it’s really really hard when, at just hours old, those sadists masquerading as RN’s insert that needle into your precious infant’s tiny, innocent heel and you have to wait for the pause before the shriek of horrible pain they won’t remember in the least.


  • How Much You’ll Sell Them to Others– Not everyone wants kids, that’s a fact- a completely reasonable fact, so why would I be like those obnoxious parents who slam their kids’ pictures in your face? Because the problem must be that they don’t understand how precious your child actually is.  They’re not avoiding parenthood because of the commitment, or the financial implications, or because they don’t need a reason not to want a child.  Nope- they simply can’t fathom how good that baby smell actually is.


  • How Unpredictable Your Kid Is– I mean, a routine and a schedule sets everything into motion, correct? Since children thrive on routine they know never to veer from said routine.  Ha. Suddenly you’re with your baby in the middle of Chick-fil-A, a baby that’s been fed, changed, napped and set up for 100% success, and that child starts shrieking for no good reason.  And there’s nothing you can do about it because you’ve already opened your Chick-fil-A sauce packet.


  • How Much You Love Them– I really misread this one.  All you hear parents say is how much they love their kids.  I mean I love loving people, but let’s be reasonable.  Yeah, that’s impossible with your child.  I completely underestimated what you fools were talking about- it smacked me right in my unassuming, arrogant ass. And it’s awesome.

Who Am I and Why Does Anyone Care?

So I used to have another blog, spokeit.com, which I believe is still up and running but I stopped writing there and stopped paying for the domain because I…well I don’t actually remember.  Most likely something dramatic having to do with my feelings that I thought was really pertinent at the time, who knows.

You can go there if you want, but let me know if you do because I’d love to make fun of myself WITH someone.

I bring this up because wordpress keeps asking me to describe myself and I don’t know how to do that.  Uh, I’m really fast at typing in emails and passwords on my remote? Sometimes I get so lazy I take a Sit-Down Shower (exactly what it sounds like)? Or maybe that I’m 30 years old and I still sleep with my childhood blanket?

What does that say about me except that I’m a lazy, immature woman with really fast fingers?  I mean, all very true, but not that interesting.

SIDENOTE: to write on a blog is to actively assume that you are, in fact, interesting.

So anyway, who am I? Here’s a 5-question survey to tell you everything you need to know.  After this you won’t just know me, you’ll KNOW me.

What’s your favorite food?  Easy.  Sandwiches.

What’s your favorite color? Easy.  Pink.

Dogs or cats? Easy.  Dogs.

What kind of car do you drive? Easy.  Honda.

Movies or TV? Easy.  Movies.