The Ugly Underbelly

~A slice of sanity amidst the senselessness of parenting~

Fierce, Fabulous, and Born by Flashlight

IMG_6349My daughter turned 6 today. It was a rainy, dreary sort of day. She was disappointed, to say the least. You see, it rained on her birthday last year too. And for both occasions we had a big backyard birthday blow out planned for her, which got back burnered by the outdoor elements. Woman plans and Gd laughs. And so I am reminded of how my Gabby came into this world. Needless to say, it was not as I’d planned it.
She arrived like a lightening bolt in a storm of chaos, nearly entering this world on the front seat of a Nissan Sentra. She did, thankfully, wait just long enough to make it to the hospital, but not long enough for the doctor to arrive. No, there wasn’t a moment to let her poor mama take respite in that beloved epidural nor finalize a name (as was the plan for what was expected to be at least several final hours spent laboring in the hospital). And when the lights burned out above the delivery table and the nurses went running for maintenance workers, she could only wait as long as it could take for them to scrounge up some flashlights. Yes, my Gabby was born by battery operated flashlight. Most people don’t this about her birth. The lights mysteriously blew out right above the delivery table just moments before she crowned. As she pushed herself through and saw the (flash)light at the end of the tunnel, she burst her way into this world like a cannon stopping at nothing in under 10 seconds. Not at all as I’d planned. You see, like the rain having its own plan for my Gabby’s birthday, Gabby herself has always had her own agenda – her own special plan. Just as she introduced herself to this world, very much on her own terms, with a vengeance and some well played dramatics, she has from that day continued to do things on her terms. Born by battery operated handheld lights in barely enough time to even make it to the hospital, my Gabby’s agenda is always an adventure.  Always unpredictable. Always theatrical. Always adventurous. Always fun (ok, not always). Always present. Always full of zest. And always ever so alive! So, a very Happy 6th Birthday to my Gabby Girl – the one who came to us like a flash of light by flashlight and who’ll always light up our lives.

A Momentary Soak

I haven’t really written in a while and I can whole heartedly blame it on my kids. It’s true. It’s solely because my precious children have been in that sour sandwich session between school’s end and camp’s start and we’ve been struggling to make it through these unstructured days unscathed. At long last though, we made it through and for the first time in a far too long, I have a moment to think coherently. But just a moment. Because before too long they’ll be ready for the next pick up time, the next activity, the next snack, the next play date. The next grade. The next phase of life. Sigh.

You see, over these past few weeks, I’ve begun to come to terms with how fast this life is really moving. Time keeps passing and I’m powerless to make it pause. If only I could stop this merry-go-round and have a picnic for a spell while the rest of the world stops moving and growing and changing around us. I want to hold on to this moment! Bathe in it for a time. Until it turns cold and I’m ready to get out and move on. But for now, the water is always still warm and just right when the time comes to move on and I’m just so desperate to soak it all in just a little longer.

But we all must keep moving forward – circling round & round on this crazy carousel, watching the world we’ve created change uncontrollably around us and within us.  And we’ll soak it all up until the moment’s gone, leaving nothing but a warm memory of a moment passed.

Life moves oh so fast, so what’s the resolution? Damned if I know! So I’m just going to simmer in each moment this life serves up in hopes that the taste of it all turns out bold & sweet, adding flavor to rest of my days.IMG_0603 (1)


The Greasy Strangler

I kid you not-the following happened exactly as it is written:
I make a discovery today that my children have apparently been renting and buying On Demand movies and shows on the regular for the past 3 months. To the total of $207! Shocking, I know. But as if that weren’t appalling enough, brace yourself, for this story takes an interesting turn. You see, on this list of purchases is a movie called The Greasy Strangler. A brief description of this movie goes like this: “A man who kills people drenched in fat and oils falls for a woman who likes his son.” Confused by how my precious little angels could have possibly purchased this fetish film, I confront them in the kitchen. I walk in to find them all dipping spoons into the carton of coconut oil I’d left out on the counter. They’re apparently entrenched in some sort of pretend play and I am, needless to say, all together horrified at the irony of the situation. I decide to skip the lecture as they massacre my coconut oil and I quietly exit the room. Now, I’ve spent all afternoon perseverating on this and I’ve come to one conclusion. Gabby. I’m undoubtedly putting all my money on my 2nd born for this one. Her kind, gentle nature only masks some serious coconutty shit.
#middlechildmanson #kokonutkillerIMG_5724 (1).jpg

Little Wonder Women

Raising these Wonder Women to be strong and most definitely NOT smile just because someone says you have to “smile pretty for the camera”….. Happy 4th of July!! 🇺🇸
#justsmiledamnit #smileresistanceIMG_5486

Washed Up & Worn Out


I kept my youngest home from preschool today just because. We rushed through our usual morning grind, dropped her sisters off at their classrooms and then b-lined past her own classroom, heading straight for the front door. Just because. Lately, I’ve been getting this feeling that I won’t have this chance much longer. With a swift return to work coming upon me this fall, after a long several year hiatus, it’s becoming all too clear that these moments are passing fast and time is stealing away my babies. Now, admittedly, by 9:30am I had already been reminded why I had come to so quickly enjoy my kid-free hours. It really took no time at all to slip back into that baseline of angst and whispered profanities. By 3:45pm, I was feeling that washed up, worn out feeling that I had honestly come to forget. But I have to say, tonight, I actually enjoyed that all encompassing, inescapable exhaustion. As it set in, I quickly re-acquainted myself with it and it actually felt good. Like I’d earned it. Now, I’m not going to say that I want to tip toe back into the trying world of day long tantrums and tattle-taling, but for just today, when all is said and done, I liked it. I missed it. I may just do it again. Next month. Maybe…..

Aim high, little one. Aim high.

She pranced her way through pavement trucks and people movers, but nothing was more pleasurable and heart-pounding than being put in the back of the paddy wagon by this pensive pooch in the Paddington-style trench coat. Preschool Vehicle Adventure Day: Teaching our young to always aim high.IMG_2139

Perfectly Pretty, Dents and All.

Own your life’s imperfections. They are the treasures from your life’s travels and tell the world that you too have lived and lost, but most importantly, have learned to love yourself along the way.

The Ugly Underbelly


It always seems as though we mothers tend to keep our sisters in arms at arm’s length.  It seems as though we waste so much of our precious energy trying to make our lives look perfectly pretty ALL OF THE TIME.  But what if we didn’t? Gasp!  What if we let each other in? Open the gates from time to time to set our truths free. If we have driven down our different roads of life, then of course we have our dents and scratches. We are all a bit broken inside, yet we are all more beautiful because of it. Why do we see these dings & dents as flaws and weaknesses? It is these very marks that have strengthened our spirits and moved us forward in our journeys. Own your life’s imperfections. They are the treasures from your life’s travels and tell the world that you too have…

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Living The Dream….

As Mother’s Day is upon us, it seems only appropriate that a seemingly perfect photo is posted to illustrate all of the love and beauty that this motherhood gig entails. Some days these princesses are just so precious, it’s as if I’m living some magical dream where I want scream from the mountaintops and tell the world how they make each day better than the one before. And then I wake up. Thank goodness Mother Nature makes it impossible not to love them.IMG_5156

Just a Mom. Enough Said.


I’m just a mom. I cringe a little every time I utter these words. Both my head and my heart say that being a mom is monumental. Bringing life into this world. Nurturing small humans in hopes they’ll grow up to be respectable citizens who give back. Seems pretty important, but still. But still! Something buried deep inside of me slaps myself in the heart every time it hears me say “I’m just a mom” because there is nothing just about it.  No one looks down on a working mom.  And nor should they! Balancing all the madness of mothering, while at the same time, showing up at the office, clean and clear-headed for the 9am conference call – Kudos!  But, it does seem like the world looks down on “just moms” – sees us as lacking ambition & drive. Unintelligent. Uneducated about world matters, politics, important stuff. Focused only on the silly little things, like ladies’ lunches and laundry detergent. Yes, it’s hard to see past the food stains on our shirts from tiny dirty hands that hug, or the bags under our eyes from bawling babies who break our spirits in the loneliest hours of morning. But please, see past that. See the unbreakable spirit that’s been buried beneath breastfeeding and booster seats. Look deeply at the hands that hold tomorrow’s hopes. Yes, we are just moms. Finding the energy to bear through another day, another moment of thankless, mindless mothering to get to the other side where maybe, just maybe, the world will see us – REALLY see us – as the makers of people. The molders of minds. The artists that paint the canvas turning blank space into divine beauty. And the creators of spirit. That’s all. Just moms.

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