Last night, I found myself off balance and worried and critical or myself. I thought, “I need to be grounded! How do I do that again?”
So…I listened to some of  recordings for grounding  and heard Jessica  say, “For the duration of this session, be present.”
How was I being present and grounded? I had headphones on as I was doing dishes. DISHES! I didn’t want to be doing dishes. But I thought, well, be present. I took the phones off and tried to be mindful…as I did the dishes and cleaned the bathroom.
I came up with this mantra…”Every day in every way my life is about me.”
I had been going around in the holidays thinking I needed to be considerate of everyone else and listen to everyone else…and it had put me off balance and made me CRITICAL of other people AND myself.

as I was putting away dishes and cleaning the counters, I thought…I can trust myself to be considerate of other people. The people who love me WANT me to have what I want. And I want good things for them.
I won’t be mean, but if i don’t put things where I want them and do the things I like and choose the things that give me pleasure, no one will know (including myself!) what I want.
Every day in every way my life is about me.

Self-centered is just an acceptance of what is. Of COURSE my life is all about me. That’s why it’s my life.


Christmas 2013

She asked me to read her Stone Soup as her first story before bed. She gets three stories, two we read on the floor and one in bed. But before we start the stories, she crosses off the day. Daddy bought her a whiteboard calendar, and she takes the marker to cross off today and puts the magnet on tomorrow.

“What’s tomorrow?” she usually asks. Yesterday we told her, “Tomorrow is Christmas!” She jumped up and down waving her tight fists for joy. This is her frequent happy flappy dance. She had done this her whole life. It is always charming.

Today the magnet marker is on the triangular drawing of a christmas tree. She must take the marker off and put an X on this long-anticipated day.

She woke after I did, but before her daddy. He’d said he wanted to videotape her seeing her new bicycle. He had done a lot of work to secure one for her. I had to block her from going into the living room while he made himself decent and secured the video camera.

Mornings are not his thing. I thought Christmas might be different. Maybe it is and he would have been way slower any other morning.

“Mommy!I want to see what Santa brought! I want to see my presents!”

“Tell daddy to hurry.”

“Daddy hurry! Stop blocking me mommy!”

“I am trying to get ready!!”

at last he appears and we can see what santa has brought.

She is thrilled and climbs on, It is nearly too big for her, but it fits, and she loves it.

And look, Veronica! Remember the cookie you left for Santa? It’s gone! He ate it!

Her mouth drops open in surprise. Oh, yes he was here!

The presents are very exciting. She wants more and more presents. We do not take turns. She loves everything she gets, and is confused and disappointed when the flow of presents it diverted to Daddy and me. She over comes it, though, and helps us open ours with good will.

Then we open the stockings, we are also exciting. Lucy Dog has a stocking too!

While we sort it out, I bake our specially chosen Christmas breakfast: Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. It’s just as well that we chose something so easy, I am still sick and tired with a cold.

One of the gifts for Veronica is a set of three clearance sale halloween constumes. She has Spiderman Dress, Captain America dress, and snowhite dress. Spider man is tried on first. Then Captain America.

CAPTAIN AMERICA! She looks incredible. She has stars and a cape and is empowered to SAVE THE DAY.

Daddy is a fantastic bad guy. I am princess mommy, and she is going to protect me. This allows me full immunity to hide under the covers with a Kindle.

Eventually we take the new bike to the park to practice riding. She does great and daddy is very protective. The dog wishes she could be more involved but technically she is breaking the rules by being in the park at all. Everyone brings their dogs, just this is the first time we have broken the rules. It’s christmas though.

She is not allowed to run alongside the bicycle as the new cyclist is getting the hang of everything.

I sit and wilt with virus on the sidelines, also the keeper of the camera.

The day progresses through lunch and nap. Then it is time for the second round of presents at grandma’s house. She dons her captain america costume again and we get ready to do it again.

She takes turns this time. We all get to open presents in turns. Of course she has the most of everyone. As it should be, since she’s the least expensive to buy for. We are all thankful and pleased with our many gifts.

Now Judy turns to finishing her dinner preparation.

Uncle Bryan is now the one to be jailed and arrested as bad guy. He is an even better supervillain than daddy, because he has less experience in defending and deflecting. He is totally in her power! She likes that a lot. She jails him in the shower stall.

Dinner is ready, and for the first holiday dinner in her life she stays for the whole meal.  We have a break to run around (Uncle Bryan is once again arrested for being a back guy) and then pie.

Since Grandmother passed away a few years ago, and even before when her eyesight got really bad, we had stopped the after-dinner tradition of playing games. Grandmother was a champion at card shuffling and complacently enjoyed the games with everyone. Back when Chris and I were dating, I made a coup by presenting her with a new game that was adopted into the canon: triominoes. He later objected because the game lacked strategy. I liked it for that very reason. Judy seemed to like it because it required arithmetic.

This year Veronica got Hungry Hungry hippos as a present. She was able to play this game with enthusiasm, and we revived the game tradition with everyone taking part.

And now I read her Stone Soup. Why does she like this book? I don’t know why I picked it up in the goodwill. She likes it though. The Soldiers put one over on the french villagers, and I read the long paragraphs out loud, quietly as I can to spare my rasping throat. As usual, she has her Panda, Doggie and now Dragon on her lap, and blanky covers the all.

She takes the binding of blanky-quilt in both her hands, passing the edges along from left to right. She has done this with this same blanky since she was barely born. It’s been an exciting day and she is quite tired; this is why she is doing this again. She doesn’t do it every night.

I wonder if she will do this her whole life. If she does, I will be one of the few–the only?–who recognize this hand habit for what it is.

This is her last Christmas before she goes to school. Does everything change next year? Or only a few things as we are all basically the same? We are basically happy, and it’s been a good day.

Christmas gifts

Merry Christmas dear readers! I hope you got the gifts you were hoping for, and the ones you found for your favorite people surprised and delighted them.


This is also a time of year for singing. Last Sunday I got to hear an amazing rendition of Bach’s Magnificat. A live orchestra sat in the front and a choir was behind. The program listed the soloists, and as I read ahead I noticed three people with the same last name. How sweet! A musical family, each singing a different part in this performance.


I have never been part of an official choir. I have a good voice, but I wouldn’t know what part I sang. Once I found myself at a public event and we were supposed to act like a choir.  The director asked people to group themselves according to their voice.


On the break I went up to ask him what my category was. He had me sing along to a few notes and declared me a second soprano.


I was offended. Why couldn’t I be first soprano? Why should I be second best?


A few years later I had a chance to get a little more in depth with a voice teacher. She took the time to really let me sing, and said I had a good range. I asked her if I could work on making my voice lower, because by then I thought deep was sexy.


She said there were things one could do, but it would probably mean losing my ability on the high notes.


The mother of the musical family sang her solo first, a clear resonant second soprano. A bit later, the daughter took her place and sang the Latin in a luminous first soprano.


I remembered my absurd struggle to find my place in the structure of a choir. These people obviously had developed what they were given, but they were all working with what they had. It is way past time for me to wish I were other than exactly what I am.


They were singing the song of Mary. She was a young teenage girl, didn’t have much to offer. She wasn’t powerful or experienced. But when the Angel Gabriel said she would get pregnant, she said “Let it be with me as God wills.” She had a fertile body, if nothing else. And she let that be used. Jesus was born and the world was changed.


We’ve all got to use what we’ve got. I don’t know the depth and breadth of my own vocal range but I can open my mouth and sing Joy to the World. I can be surprised over and over again at who I can be and what I can do. I am as God made me, and that is the best gift I will ever receive.


This is how I plan to change the world.

Christmas bells are ringing

Last night someone rang the doorbell. I had just gotten the wet child into bed and AS ALWAYS the dog barked her brains out. I had my bathrobe on because I was cold.

My home is my castle. The doorbell ringing is an attack.

But this is Christmas, and probably it’s a package. I peep out and see an older man. What is this? Do I have to sign for something?

I open the door enough to let my head out and keep the bar kingly insane dog from escaping.

It was a neighbor couple. A two days ago maybe weeks they had admired our Christmas lights and how we got them so straight. No the woman had made us Christmas cookies and want to share and thank us for our advice!

Santa lives here!

Veronica went looking at Christmas lights with us last night. There are a set of houses that get featured on TV and stuff. One of them had musically coordinated flashing lights. She was delighted.

Then another one  is nearly as complicated, but it had a lot of toys on thr front yard.In their 2nd story window, they have  TV, and they play a video of santa looking out and being busy up there.

Veronica was convinced. “This is Santa’s house!” Then, she wondered. She asked me, “Is this Santa’s house?”

“Ask your father”

Chris said, “No Santa lives in the North Pole. That’s a TV, see.”

She looked a bit crestfallen. Then she said “Yknowhat? We need to drive to the NOrth Pole tomorrow and tell santa I want an ice cream maker.”

the dental chair verdict

I have a dentist appointment on Friday. I’ve had a very up and down relationship with my dentist office.


The first time I went there was a few years ago.  The dentist looked in my mouth and shook her head. “There are a lot of problems here.”


She had no idea. At that time, I had hit the wall. I was leaving a slimy smear sliding down the wall in a blubbering mess with no strength to push away.


I couldn’t do anything right. I frantically needed a win. I was losing at so much of everything. In my desperation I thought a dentist appointment would give me an easy affirmation. There is no way to fail at going to the dentist, right? Easy win.


I hadn’t been in a while. In my mind, this was a victory and I deserved to be given a fatted calf and welcomed into the arms of dental care of the like a long-lost beloved.


It began with the hygienist. “You need to brush your teeth.”


WHAT?! I do brush my teeth!


“There is a lot of decay here. You also need to floss. It looks like you got a bad draw from the genetic lottery. It happens. You are going to have a tough time.”


There were a lot of follow-ups. I longed to prove their estimation of me false.


“I have been flossing,” I told the hygienist with pride on my next visit. She shook her head and looked grave.


What could I do to make them happy?! How could I make this right?


I was diligent. I needed to do something right, couldn’t they see what I was doing? I had started new habits, I was showing up and was working so hard. Wasn’t it enough?


Fillings and cleanings, I searched the faces of these professional experts for a sign of approval.


The dentist herself was colder, not as warmly concerned as the hygienist. “You have a lot of cavities here. We will have to get this taken care of. Make sure to check with the receptionist for your next appointment.”


They crowned my teeth but not my heart.


In a last effort to win the prize of affirmation, I had all four wisdom teeth pulled. The oral surgeon and his handsome and so sympathetic son (also a doctor!) were caring and congratulatory. A week of painkillers and I had perfect teeth.


My mouth was a clean battleground of victory!


At last I attended my next appointment, knowing that this time I would win the approval I so richly deserved. I had earned it.


The hygienist poked into my mouth. “Does that hurt?”




“Your gums are too sensitive. Are you using the right toothpaste? This is a problem.”


My gums are too sensitive? TOO SENSITIVE?!


My mouth is jammed open, but my MIND is full of choice words. My gums and teeth are as they are. Too bad you are disappointed in my existence.


I have done every every thing you told me to do, and you wouldn’t even believe me when I told you I developed new habits.


Is my mouth wrong? Did I come too late to the party? Mine are the gums that have always been sensitive, even since I was a kid. That’s why I didn’t develop the flossing habit. Because it hurt! and now that I have been so brave and overcome THE PAIN and I DO floss, you still disapprove.


I’ll never get the gold star.


What a horrible choice, to place my happiness in the approval of a dentist chair.  Guilt and Novocain are the tools of their trade.


I know better now. I never would have been so desperate in the first place to get their approval if I’d been listening to myself.


I’d been putting it off, when I went the first time. However, one flaw does not mean they hold the wheel for the rest of time. I should not place myself at their mercy.


Guilt is a high priced hobby. .


I’m here now, as I am. And I win.  Every day, every morning, I can give myself a gold star. That wall is far away and I’m not hitting it.  You can’t make me.


I woke up at 5 this morning because my neck was killing me. I think I need a new pillow configuration.

It’s gonna be a great day!

I have church christmas pageant rehearsal today. This is the beginning of my life as stage mom. I will be sitting in on Veronica’s rehearsal’s for wizard of oz for several months to come. I am looking forward to bringing my laptop and getting some work done.

WAY better than a starbucks frankly. #1 it’s free #2 it’s cuter and I know I am being a supportive mom.

Ok. I also have a bunch of christmas shopping to do. Chris told me HE had bought things for my stocking, and I might want to do the same. He’s such a good dictator.

WHERE is the dog’s stocking? Veronica was quite worried about it. It is with our deceased cat’s stocking (which is actually a mitten, because thats cuter). It is still lost.


The question is, do I wash my hair? Showering is going to happen…but wet hair in this chilly weather is no fun.


I’m going with no.

Which reminds me, I want to see if I can find another tiara. Wearing one to work on thursday was AWESOME.


tweets from veronica’s preschool christmas show


In the virtual green room (at home) waiting for the preschool christmas show. SO excited.

Veronica sobbed her way through jingle bells last year. THIS year she will own the stage, I am sure.

After all, she’s four now


The crowd at the preschool Christmas show is very ready to be pleased

The 18 month old knocking off his antlers inspired a moan of joy very similar to the crescendo at the end of a fireworks display

“Aw wwww!”

Forget crashing weddings. This vibe is unparalleled


  • Live tweeting the preschool Christmas show? Maybe. You’re saying twitter wasn’t invented for such things?


    • There is much peering through the curtains as the try to figure how to make the music play at a consistent volume


      • Oh now the two years olds are holding hands and dancing. Good show!



        • Seems to be a lot of bearded fathers in the place. Is this a trend? Hmmm


        • The best choreography is the dosido of the parents with cameras stepping back for the NEXT set of children and parents. There is an art
Chris is critiquing the flow “they need ed Sullivan”
  • The suspense!! Will the rainbow kids do justice to “it’s a small world holiday”?


    • The crescendo!!! Is it the wrong song? NO! They are knocking it out of the park!!! The props! The medley!!


      • Ok *i* stood and clapped but a solo ovation lacks power


        • Let’s see how the froggies render jingle bells. Last year v courageously sang through sobs in the froggie lineup. Now she’s a busy bee


          • The crowd is thinning. I would like to judge them for not supporting the older classes. But I can’t cast the first stone


            • She waved to me from the wings! No tears this year. Gravity got much weaker


              • The froggies had excellent hat handling. Bravo


                • It’s now! It’s time!


                  • She was in the back row , nonetheless it is a steep decline from the heights of stardom to bedtime. It must be approached gradually.

                    ———She is asleep! That cup of tea will at last be mine !!!!