Motherhood

22 things I learned in my first ten years of parenthood

Doll face-down in urine on the couch, 2010

As I was sitting here thinking of all the awesomeness that this wonderful, new, non-2013 year will hold, it occurred to me that my oldest child will turn ten this fall. Ten! I have officially been a parent for a decade now, and I’ve had six kids during that time. When I took a step back and considered that I’ve been living in Baby Central for the better part of my adult life, it occurred to me that I must have accumulated some knowledge during that time. I mean, surely I’ve learned at least one or two things about this whole “keeping... Read More

Why I’m going to keep letting Santa and the Tooth Fairy ruin my life

A rough trip down from the attic leaves us with a statue of Mary, Jesus, and St. John the Baptist.

My daughter told me that she has a loose tooth this morning, and her words struck dread into my heart. Right now, I just barely have some holiday cheer going on up in here. We’re actually having a nice Advent instead of having the weeks leading up to Christmas be the stress-fest that they usually are — but we’re hanging on by a thread. I’m like a woman trying to walk a tightrope while juggling a lit Advent wreath with Christmas tree ornaments and a baby. It’s all going fine now, but the slightest breeze could send this... Read More

On planning babies: Jen from seven years ago talks with Simcha Fisher

simcha-fisher

Seven years ago, I found myself in a place of great upheaval. I was in the middle of a profound religious conversion and found myself in a no-man’s land, adrift from my old belief system, yet not fully integrated into my new one. Around that time that I came across a small blog by this woman named Simcha. She was a brilliant, hilarious writer on par with the famous names of the secular world…yet she was religious, describing herself as a Hebrew Catholic since she comes from a family of Jewish coverts to Catholicism. Reading her blog... Read More

Ten images that tell you everything you need to know about this blog

scorpions-vs-scorpions

I was cleaning up my media files in WordPress today. As I scrolled past all the images, I realized that you could let someone who’s never visited my site look through them, and he or she would have a very accurate impression of what I’ve been writing about lately. That got me wondering: If I were to choose 10 images that I’ve used in previous posts that I think tell you everything you need to know about this blog, what would they be? Joe got in on the challenge, and we were laughing out loud as we pointed out the pictures that... Read More

Are you suffering from Tired-Think? A quiz.

The reason I've had so much experience with Tired-Think lately.

For a friend who has been tired lately. Based on much personal experience. 1. List the five objects nearest to you in five seconds. How many did you refer to as “the thing”? A. None! I named each item quickly and accurately. B. 1 – 2 C. 3 – 4 D. I stared at the wall and drooled on myself instead of undertaking this challenge. 2. When you look at your to-do list, how does it make you feel? A. I think of how great it will be to accomplish all these wonderful things! B. A little overwhelming, but I’m up for it. C. It... Read More

The days are long (and loud, and sometimes involve messes in resort lobbies)

fulwilerpatton-lobby2

Grace┬áventured out here to the Wild West a few weeks ago, and we finally got to meet in person. I was going to drive down to her hotel and show up at her room whether or not we had anything arranged, so the fact that she actually invited me avoided a potential run-in with security guards. Grace has three kids under age four; I have six kids under age ten. I brought four of mine to our meetup (though the crazy toddler was in the group, and she counts as five normal children), so let’s just say that we had our hands full herding our minions... Read More

We interrupt this blog to bring you the ultimate Pinterest carpet-cleaning challenge

pinterest-carpet-before

Let me begin by saying that I know that nobody comes to this blog for cleaning advice. Like, not one single person in the history of the internet has ever had the thought, I need to get my house sparkling clean. Let’s see when Jen Fulwiler has to say about that! But I made a huge cleaning discovery this week, and it’s so cool that I would have my blogging license revoked if I didn’t tell you about it. I’ve mentioned before that our carpet is a disaster. The previous owner of our house installed gleaming, ivory-white carpet... Read More

A few thoughts on following your dreams while putting your family first

writing

Dear Friend Who Sent Me this Text Yesterday: Hi. Great to hear from you. And sorry about my short reply. I intended for that to be a wry lead-in to a longer response, but it ended up being the kind of afternoon where things devolved in such a rapid and startling way that I really did end up wishing for cages and juice boxes. Anyway, it’s funny that you should ask this, since I’ve been talking about it with a lot of other friends lately as well. Not all of them are writers, but they’re all asking questions about how to pursue their... Read More

Birth story haikus!

Baby #6, ready for football season.

I still haven’t found the hundreds of hours I’d need to chronicle the entire saga of the pregnancy, birth, and NICU stay of baby #6, and I have no idea when I will, so that means it’s time to do some more birth story haikus! It’s been over two years since the last round, so I’m sure there will be plenty of new stories to share. I’ll go ahead and make my post a theme of “pregnancies gone horribly awry,” and include my second pregnancy, when I got a deep vein thrombosis. (A quick recap for new readers:... Read More

The mental neat freak

neatfreak1

A few weeks ago I went to the salon to get my hair cut. One of the little lifehack-y things I do is to think carefully about what luxuries I’d most enjoy, so that when Joe or my parents ask what I want for Christmas or my birthday, I can give them a list of things that I actually love and would use. The result is that I have a nice collection of gift certificates to my favorite salon, and I’m able to get my hair cut by a talented stylist. It’s a nice place: music that was somehow both hip and soothing pulsed in the background while... Read More

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