Septembers past

Over the weekend, as we gathered around my parents’ table for dinner, my kids, Kenny, mom, and dad decided to play a new mealtime game:

Let’s make fun of Becca!!!!!

(is the working title, I believe).

I have anxiety, and anxiety + pandemic + virtual school + the impending election + 2020 = MAJOR ANXIETY

My kids have taken to teasing me about my hypochondria; my hyperbolic reactions.

So, over dinner, one by one, they told stories. They did imitations.

“Zeydie,” Beau said, with a twinkle in his eyes. “Is Beau’s head the same on this side as it is on the other side? I think it’s different. And he sneezed! Does he have COVID?”

Trust me: my kids were not making fun of the virus. They were making fun of my reaction to the virus. How, despite our continued isolation from the world I manage to worry, often audibly, with every achoo and ache.

I am working on this.

As we sat around the table at the end of another exhausting week, my dad decided to regale the kids with the “syringe” story. How there was a time when Belle was younger and very sick and I was so concerned with her fluid intake that I was giving her Gatorade from a syringe. 5ml of sustenance at a time. He could not remember the details. Neither could I. But the syringe story is an inside joke, another way that my family makes light of what has been, at times, crippling anxiety. It is hard for us to watch each other suffer. We look for the light.

This morning, I had the idea that I should share some old posts, perhaps from Septembers past, as so much has changed since I started this blog 10.5 years ago. We have all grown; so has my audience. And so, for anyone knew to this Land of Mom, I figured I could provide some old, silly, relatable material. From back when I was a new mom. From different times. Scary in their own ways, albeit simpler.

I found a silly post from this date in 2010, but, to be honest, it was not worth sharing. Baby Belle had grown out of her tights, Kenny was comparing her to Melchior from “Spring Awakening” and I think you had to be there.


I did stumble upon a post from this week during September of 2011 and…



So, as our first trip down memory lane, allow me to welcome you to to a sick day from a time when Belle was 18 months, I was 26, and things felt very hard. And, as a bonus, I’ll throw in a few other post from other Septembers past at the bottom. In case you’re thirsty for some nostalgia. But not too thirsty.

Just, like, 5ml.

“When I peed on that stick (What I didn’t know then)”

When I peed on that stick, and, miracle of all miracles, got two lines to appear, I knew that I wanted to be a mother.

I knew that my life was only beginning

and that in living my dream, I would find joy and love like I’d never before imagined.


I knew all of that.

But then, there were also things that I didn’t know.

So. Many. Things.

Basically, all the things that I have done in the past 6 hours, since I first woke up this morning.

Today, I saw my child sick.

And when the emergency care nurses on the phone line told me that she could be seen by her Pediatrician, but only if I could make it there in 15 minutes, I ran…

….to get ready. Ran to throw on clothes over my pajamas. Ran to my sick daughter.

Today, as I raced to get out the door, I had to ignore the fact that my daughter had gotten sick all over my bed.

All over her beloved stuffed animal.

All over my shirt.

Today, I put a fresh shirt over my disgustingly dirty shirt, to get to the Pediatrician on time.

Today, I didn’t make it on time.

Today, I managed to make it to the other doctor’s office just in time to wait an hour for her to be seen.

Today, I fought back tears.

Today, I told a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner that I did not agree with her plan. I told her that I thought she was wrong.

(Today, I was right.)

Today, I got my dehydrated daughter to drink one small cup of diluted Gatorade by squirting it in her mouth with a tiny syringe, one milliliter at a time.

Today, I did the laundry. And I didn’t mess it up.

Today, I couldn’t fight back the tears any longer.

No, when I peed on that stick and saw one line become two, I never imagined that I’d be sitting in a doctor’s office, with tears in my eyes, and knots in my hair, and poop on my clothing. I never imagined that motherhood, in all of its amazing, love-filled, beautiful glory could also, sometimes, feel

(and please excuse me for this/pun inteded)

pretty darn shitty.

But, I did it.

And after my shirt was changed

and hair was combed

and proper Pediatrician was called

and correct medicine was given

I held a sleepy, sick baby in my arms and read her a favorite book.

And sang to her.

You are my sunshine

I sang.

And, my little girl looked up at me,

her tired eyes half closed

and said “Sunshine”.

A new word.

And then I was OK again.

So what I didn’t know then,

way back when when we were just two people with two lines,

was that the little person that was beginning her journey with me

would be my sunshine;

and always, always make me happy when skies are gray.


Some other posts from some other Septembers:

“T.G.I.S” (September, 2010)

“Congrats, Daddy!” (September, 2010)

“It was bound to happen” (September 2011)

“All the feelings” (September, 2016) ** A goodie, IMHO

When life hands you lemons…

Today, after I had picked up my daughter early from school, she told me, excitedly, that she loved her new lunchtime drink; A lemonade juice box.

It’s funny; I think very often about the moments that make me really feel like a mom. And it is not the ones that I would expect.

Like packing lunch, for example. It’s such a mom thing. I put each item in it’s own separate little container and make sure everything is neat, and she often gets notes or drawings. But this doesn’t make me feel like a mom.

What does make me feel like a mom is when she comes home from school on a Friday, with her lunchbox destined to be sitting, vacant for the weekend, and I wipe down the inside with a disinfectant and making sure it is free from any crumbs.

These little tiny moments seem to always catch me by surprise. I feel like such a mom.

In the spirit of the honesty that I have pledged to you when stating mission of my blog, I will say that yesterday I had a little thing. I am fine, it’s just a thing, but I realized (and was told) that if I continue to write about every trip that I take to the Emergency Room I am going to seem like either:

A really hyperbolic hypochondriac


An oversharer


An attention seeker


A liar,

because seriously, who could make this stuff up?

Anyway, my “thing” left me with mixed emotions; I was drained of energy, but filled with love for my friends and family.

I was a bit nervous about today, being home alone with the baby all day long with no support, but I mustered up my confidence as best I could. I woke up slowly, having a hard time keeping my eyes open. At some point J texted me to check in. Here is our convo:


I was, what you could say, a tad run down. BUT, I took my medicine fastidiously, put the kids in cute clothing and even changed out of my pajamas.

Except, when I was changing out of my pajamas, I thought I looked funny in the mirror. My face looked fuller, which it really shouldn’t have, as I hadn’t eaten for most of the day prior. My eyes, especially, looked swollen. Kind of like when my son had his reaction to penicillin. I attributed it to IV fluids and moved on, taking note of the fact that my rings were tighter as I made a bottle for my son.

By some miracle, our babysitter bestie had to stop by today to pick something up, and she just so happens to be a nurse; and when she arrived, I just so happened to start getting itchy eyes and an itchy throat.

As it turns out (after speaking with my Doctor’s office) it was an allergic reaction to the medicine I had been told to take.

Of course.

Because why wouldn’t I have an allergic reaction to the medicine? It should be listed right there on that punch card that I am working on getting.

Now here is where it gets really funny.

My regular antihistamine (the medicine I was advised to take for my allergic reaction) was expired, so I had to use the kids’ liquid version. I saw that one pill contains 25mg of regular medicine, and according to the bottle, 5ML (the typical size for an infant’s medicine dropper) would contain 2.5mg of medicine.

We were incredulous, laughing, not knowing what to do.

We stood in my son’s room, trying to do math, multiplying & dividing, and then, because she is an angel, my friend realized that it did not, in fact, contain 2.5mg of medicine in 5ML but 12.5mg; She looked at the directions in Spanish, and the “12.5” was visible, whereas the “1” on the front of the bottle had worn off.

Thank goodness, because I was exceedingly close to taking 10 droppers full of benadryl (125mg, which would be a lot).

So I used an infant dropper and choked down the syrup and my symptoms subsided.

But instead of throwing up my hands and saying, “Why me?” I looked at this as an opportunity for me to laugh, to share a really funny experience with a person who is dear to me, and to make a hilarious memory for years to come.

I mean really, picture it, the two of us, running around, trying to do math, frantically, with a baby eye medicine dropper, my face and hands all swollen, the baby confused…it was quite a scene.

So this would be, I believe, an example of making lemonade out of lemons…

just like the lemonade that I packed in my daughter’s spotless, disinfected lunch box for the first time, today.

I’ve been beanboozled.

If you are a parent or someone who is around kids, you know that about 1/3-1/2 of the things that they say are actually true. There are kernels of truth in most things, but there are also great exaggerations (the kind folk refer to these as “imaginations”).

So my daughter tells me things every day like:

“There was just a HUGE ghost in my room but I’m Daphne and I captured him with Shaggy!”

“It wasn’t me who dumped all of the straws out of the drawer, it was my baby, and I told him to stop, but he kept doing it, so I started to do it too.”


“I can really do the flip like the girl in the Sia video, mom. No, like really.”

So if you remember, last weekend I had some very special time with my friends, particularly in that we had an overnight guest who went from being one of my besties to being one of my daughter’s.

And the whole time that she was here my daughter kept saying something about, what I thought, was a “bamboozle challenge”. And she would take two things (not edible things, mind you) and say “Is this buttercream or diaper cream?” and we would “guess” (because she would be holding up a plastic ice cream cone and a piece of play dough) and she would tell us if we were right. It was kind of weird but cute and we all assumed that this was something that she had made up.

Imagine my surprise when at the pharmacy today (because my kids are still sick and now both need antibiotics) she found these:

photo 1(2)

A box of Beanboozled collection Jelly Belly jellybeans, which, evidently, are how you do the BEANboozle challenge. I could not believe that this actually existed.

So, here is how I think it works: You and friends or family members gather together and you are given a choice of two identical looking jelly beans. I will use as my example the first two flavors pictured on my box above, as that was my first challenge. So, you have to try to guess which one is the real Jelly Belly flavor and which one is the gross alternative. I find some of the flavors to be absolutely repulsive in thought, as I have not (yet) tasted them, including “Canned Dog Food”. “Barf” and “Booger”.

So, as I mentioned, I did the first challenge. My daughter had the whole thing down. Now let me just say that I still have no idea from where she learned about this challenge (is this what kids on the playground are talking about these days?!) but she instructed us. I was to take the two identical looking, speckled beans and she had my son holding a cup for me in case I chose wrong and got “Stinky Socks” instead of “Tutti Fruity”. (That part was admittedly super cute. He just sat there, holding a cup, having no idea what was going on with his crazy mom and sister.)

photo 3

Well, wouldn’t you know that I got “Stinky socks” which tasted to me like rotten cheese. And I could not get the taste out of my mouth. So when I did eat the “Tutti Fruiti” flavored bean, it still tasted gross.

photo 2(2)She was next. She chose the white jellybeans, which meant she would either get “Coconut” or “Baby Wipes”. She also chose wrong and, in solidarity, I tried the “Baby Wipes” flavor with her, because, you know, #yolo.

She was luckier on her second try, as she got “Berry Blue” instead of “Toothpaste”, and then we decided to call it a day. But don’t think that here won’t be more bamboozling going on around here tomorrow.

I should make it clear, I am in no way affiliated with the Jelly Belly brand. They are not my partners and they have no idea that I am writing this post. I am simply giving you, parents, caregivers, intoxicated college students, ideas for a fun activity to do when you’re a bit stir crazy in this cold (with these colds).

The funniest thing is that when I told my friend about the Beanboozle challenge she was also in disbelief that it actually exists. Well, perhaps I should start getting a care package together…

And for the record, I have never eaten a booger in my entire life. And I would prefer to keep that record going as long as possible. But who knows? I could get Beanboozled and then I lose one of my most powerful weapons in the game of “Never Have I Ever”.

Can’t wait to eat some “Skunk Spray” in the morrow.

Goodnight and sweet dreams (that is if you choose the right bean).

All aboard.

Today is a sick day. I am home with two sick kiddos and not feeling so hot myself

(except, if you mean temperature hot, which I do, a little).

Throughout the past four and a half years I have written about so many sick days; the time that my baby had her first fever and my husband was traveling across the country; the time when my husband had such severe strep that he was shivering in bed for days; recently, when my kids and I napped together and they woke up holding hands; and the general theme is that sick days are pretty crappy.

First and foremost, sick days are bad because it means that a kid or two is sick. And a sick kid is sad! Two sick kids are even sadder. I never want my kids to feel discomfort or pain, so I feel terrible when they are ill.

And some days sick days are tough, because it means juggling schedules and rescheduling appointments and finding childcare coverage. Today I had to cancel with the jaw chiropracter, just as we are starting to make real progress. So, not ideal.

And then there is the whole “What in the world am I going to do with two kids for twelve hours while they are cooped up indoors, sneezing, coughing and/or vomiting?”

But, the thing is, my kids now figure that part out for themselves. They worked as a team, their team.

As I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes, they built a train.

photo 1-5

My daughter was the conductor (of course) and she told me that we were going to visit my sister in “Meyork City”.

I hopped on board.

photo 2-4

And for a few minutes it didn’t really matter that her nose was running, and it didn’t really matter that there were some dishes in the sink or crumbs on the table,

I just felt so proud of my kids.

I feel honored when they let me join their team–when I can wear their pinny–and play along.

So we still have 8 hours until bedtime, but so far this sick day isn’t so bad. Not really at all.

Lindsay Docherty Photography

I’ve written and raved before about the magic and beauty and romance
that is Lindsay Docherty Photography. Here is the final installment of my journey with Lindsay.
Let me be clear in saying this: This is not a sponsored post. These photos are not c/o her business. I am writing about the phenomenal Lindsay Docherty because she is that and more.
Lindsay is beautiful. Her sprite-like presence lends perfectly to her work, as she can flit around, snapping photos, fitting into small corners as to not interrupt natural life, and capture all that is true.
Lindsay is talented. She dances. She flexes her creative muscles. She is incredible with children.
Lindsay is smart. She is clever. She is a gift and a joy.
My husband and I both went to High School with Lindsay (she was in his class) and though I did not know her well then (we were both a little involved in the theatre group), our interactions are as familiar and easy as if we have been lifelong friends. She is supportive, she is energetic and she is kind. So so kind.
Last night, when the kids had gone down and we were preparing to eat dinner, my husband and I were shuttling back and forth from the trunk of his car to our garage with armloads of firewood; someone had offered their surplus, so we were happy to take it off their hands. Out of nowhere, Lindsday appeared, with a big package in her hands; the final piece of art that we had ordered from her: a canvas print of our favorite photograph.
And because we had so much firewood, we asked Lindsay if she wanted some. She was excited to take a load off of our hands, and I told her to back into the driveway so that we could put it into her trunk. And somehow between her turning off her car and her coming out to lift, she locked her keys in her car. Because despite all of the incredible, almost unbelievable things that Lindsay is, she is also human. Which lends so well to her being the photographer that she is. She is warm and approachable. Her smile is incredible. And so, while we waited for her house mate to come with an extra set of keys, we shared glasses of wine and caught up a bit. I was sad when she had to leave. She has become a real friend. I feel so lucky.
This is what Lindsay brought last night:
photo 2We hung this piece in our entrance hallway, so that it is featured most prominently.
photo 1It is so perfect.
Lindsay captured many photos–moments– of our family, we wished we could have ordered them all, but here is a little glimpse of what she was able to create:
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography
Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography http://www.lindsaydocherty.comShe captured life. She captured happiness at a time when we needed it most. To Lindsay we will be eternally grateful.
Lindsay is fun. She is funny. She is radiant.
You would be lucky to get some Lindsay into your life.
We sure are.


It seems that time is going by at warp speed. My baby had his half birthday. Things are flying.
And so I decided to take a look back.
On this date in April 2010 I had just become a mother six days prior. It was my third day home from the hospital. I was learning to nurse in the side lying position. My daughter was sleeping in her carseat, buckled up and with straps tightened, next to us in our bedroom (we had no idea what we were doing). I still looked pregnant, I was not yet adjusted to the change and yet I had found tremendous love in that little pink thing they called my daughter.
This is April 2011
This is April 2012
April 2013 was a rough time for me. I was suffering from debilitating morning sickness. I was on prescription medicine so that I would only get sick 10 times a day. I announced my pregnancy, as I was already showing. I swear, I started to show from the moment that the stick turned pink. Everyone told me I was having a boy. Every. Single. Person. Ever. Perhaps it was because I looked like, as someone said, a bowling ball with sticks coming out.
I was starting to deal with some anxiety and depression, but was very focused on teaching my class and loving on my daughter.
I remember a few specific things about April 2013. I remember having coconut cake for dessert  on my birthday (we invited our next door neighbors in to join us, who, at the time, were new friends, and have since become dear, close friends). I remember that my husband had the County declare the day in my name as a tribute. I remember sitting outside on the picnic benches with my class, eating mini cupcakes. I remember that one kid stole 3 of them. I remember that we had a small mosaics party for my daughter. I remember seeing Pippin on Broadway and finding it to be life changing. I also found myself completely out of control of my emotions during the opening song, “Magic to Do” and was laugh-crying as the actors on stage engaged me. It was out of body.
April 2014 has been a ride. My first baby turned four. And she has become such a person. My babysitter just texted me with all of the funny and irreverent things that my daughter said today while I was out. Among them was that she told her brother he as being boring like an old grandpa.
April has tightened my circle. It has given me special times with my dearest friends. Home cooked Shabbat dinners, crazy photobooth pictures, pitchers of sangria and dance parties.
April has brought great emotional changes. It has brought my husband and I closer. Closer than ever.
April has given me some insight, some perspective and some maturity.
April has given me some healing.
I look forward to what the next month brings (I bought a white dress to wear on our May anniversary),
but for now, I’m enjoying this month,
my favorite month,
and I am now realizing how far I’ve come;
not just from April 2010, but from the past few months. As I said, it’s still hard. But April has been brighter.
Thank you, April. Thank you with all of my heart.

Far from being over.

This week, I had the privilege of witnessing a magical event;
The day was beautiful,
crisp and sunny,
and my class, as well as many others, enjoyed the weather outside on the playground.
As I supervised my children, scanning my eyes back and forth across the tot lot, another teacher called for my attention. She told me to look over to the area by the sandbox.
There, I saw my daughter
having her back rubbed by a 4 year old boy.
He then rubbed her head, sweetly.
She smiled and beamed.
He then began teaching her how to play catch with him.
He would throw the ball to her, she would miss, he would rub her back and tell her it was OK and then give her some instruction, with a smile.
She would throw the ball to him to, and each time she did, she would giggle and he would praise her.
This went on for fifteen minutes.
Fifteen minutes,
which in Toddler is 7 and a half years.
It was incredible.
They played and played, not because I was there watching, but because they were enjoying each other.
And then, he hugged her,
and after he did he came running over to me.
I was prepared to thank him,
to compliment him on his kindness,
but he interrupted my thoughts
as he leaned in to me and said, “I have a feeling she may have a poop.”
It was the best thing ever.
And so, I learned many things while watching my daughter and her new friend in those fifteen minutes,
not the least of which being that my fears about my daughter and older boys are far from being over.
In fact, I have a hunch that they have only just begun.