Sunday, October 03, 2010


There's a new blog in town! I clearly haven't updated this blog in over a year, but I've started a new one and it's going to be my (mostly full-time) job! Please go to and read at your leisure!

Also, follow me on twitter

Flawless Mom is about EVERYTHING having ANYTHING to do with being a wife, mom, woman, stress-case.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 26, 2009

It's been over six months since I've blogged. There's not just one reason for that... There are many. Start with the fact that I can't seem to focus long enough to sit down and do anything that takes great thought, add the fact that I'm tired all the time and mix in a dash of being paralyzed from the overwhelming amount of things I want to say.

I promised myself I'd get in bed by 11:00 tonight, so I'm not going to write a lot. I just wanted to write SOMETHING to get the ball rolling again.

Garrett is blowing our minds on a regular basis. I actually hope I have some time in the next couple of days to read my blog and see how he blew our minds in the past, but I couldn't have known all that was coming. He's not even two-years-old, and yet he's this total person. He has such a big personality, he's very particular (which I hear is a typical Virgo trait), he's warm and funny and amazingly smart. I know every mom thinks this about their kids, but I'd like to think I'm being objective. He can be a real jerk when he's tired. (See? Objectivity!)

I genuinely don't know how to get everything out; all the things I want to convey about how being Garrett's mom has changed every aspect of my life. I'll try to think about it and write again in the next day or two. I don't want to take six months off again, so I'm going to give this another go. Baby steps. That's one of things Garrett has taught me. He's also taught me how to be silly, how to find wonder in a leaf, how to do great sound effects, and how to love even deeper than I thought was possible.

Now if he could only write this blog for me. He'll probably be able to in a few months. Okay, okay... A year! (See? Objectivity!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 13, 2009

Every week my mom spends a few hours at the Alzheimer's ward at the old-age home where my aunt lives. She entertains the people there and plays trivia games with them. She makes them laugh and she makes them feel important. Then she feeds my aunt in the dining room because my aunt can't feed herself... Unless it's chocolate pudding.

Today I spent time there, too. It was the first time I've seen my aunt in a year, I'm ashamed to say. But it's been very busy and whenever my mom has gone, I've been unable to. That's no excuse. But my aunt doesn't know me at all anymore, so I was mostly going for my mom. And my mom was okay with me going whenever our schedules meshed. Today was the day.

My mom had told me about it there; shared stories about the people and who they had once been. She told me she played games with them and that most of them were sleeping when she was there. I was ill prepared. First, I was actually surprised at how clean and bright and beautiful the place was. I was selfishly grateful for not being immediately depressed at the sight of a dark, sad place. My mom took me upstairs to where she was in the middle of her session and introduced me to the people who were awake. I think she even introduced me to those who were asleep. Even though she knew everyone's name, she made them tell me their names so they could use their minds, and their voices. Most of them seemed proud to know their name, and to meet Joan's daughter.

Then my mom informed them all that I was on television. This seemed mildly exciting. I explained the shows I work on and then I had a seat and watched as my mom asked them questions about who invented the telephone and what it means to be "red in the face". "Embarrassed!", shouted on of the women, jovially. "Angry!", shouted another. My mom let both answers win.

Then my mom had those whose eyes were open tell me what they had done for a living before coming there. Well, before than even. One was a clerk, one a model, one made clothes for movie stars. One woman has a daughter who is a judge and one man was a producer on TV shows in the 50's. He didn't tell me that. My mom did.

At this point I was too enthralled with my mom and all of her kindness and strength and beauty to be saddened by what was around me. That was my first lesson of the day. My mom rules. I've always known that. People love my mom and they always have. But it was so great to see her in a light I hadn't seen her in. She's amazing and I have a renewed admiration for her.

Then we all went into the dining room (after many protestations from those who wanted my mom to stay there and talk to them a few more hours!) THAT is where it all hit me. These people. These PEOPLE! They were all something once. And now here they are not even knowing who they are. Nurses are feeding them. Some of them aren't even eating. One woman desperately wants to go home and is trying to find someone to take her. Most can't walk on their own. Most don't recognize their closest relatives.

Outside everyone's room is a shadow box with photos from their younger days, a doll they love, a special trinket, a memory. Those who visit can see what they used to look like, how they used to smile, maybe even who they loved. But here they are now and they are like empty shadow boxes. You can see in their eyes that they were vibrant once but now the lives they led are missing.

It was one man in particular who really got to me. I had seen his shadow box because my mom pointed it out to me. He had been so handsome. He had a beautiful family and was very successful. In the dining room my mom said, "That's the handsome man I showed you". I only saw his back. He was wearing slacks and a beautiful dress shirt, which is probably how he always dressed. He was slumped over in a wheel chair being fed by his caretaker and his daughter came in with a photo album. He paid no attention to her and seemed angry that he had to eat. I felt such sorrow for all the happy days he had lived and all the sad ones that he now lived.

In that moment I thought, "What's it all worth? Why push so hard and love so much if that's how it could all end up?" In the next moment I thought differently, "If that's how it could all end up... I better live every day to the fullest." FUCK sweating the small stuff. I want to be happy every day of this life. Every moment that I have with my family, I want to be a beautiful moment. I want my son to look back on his days with me and think he had an amazing childhood, an amazing family. I want to do silly things and fantastic things and I want to be as happy as I can possibly be at every moment of every day.

I am really going to try to do that. I wish there was a way to harness the determination I felt sitting in that room looking at these people. I hope with all of my soul that the lives they used to live were filled with beauty. Because if not, I truly don't understand the way the world works.

I'm going to try to go there with my mom at least once a month now. I want to remind myself of the lesson I learned (or re-learned) today. And I want to be there for her as well. I'd like to be there to cushion the blow because she has made so many of my days happy and while we're all alive and aware... We should do what we can to bring each other beauty, too.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

January 4th, 2009

I'm a mess. For those of you who thought my only emotion was, "grateful", I thought I should let you know that I can also be an anxious, scared, stressed, crazed mess.

I'm still thankful and happy, don't worry your pretty little head about that! But I've got some shit going on that I feel like I need to get to the bottom of pretty fast. I know some of what's causing it:

The thought of going back to work,
The feeling that I'll never be as organized as I want to be,
The idea of possibly having a second child (and when?)(and all the stuff that goes with that!),
Wanting to be better at all the stuff I try to do,
Etc. Etc. Etc.

I'm on edge lately and I don't like it. I hate wasting precious time being fearful or nervous or... Terrified. I want to fix whatever this is as soon as possible so I can just get back to being MOSTLY grateful and happy. I'll keep you updated on my progress. I'm sure you're riveted.

In the meantime, Garrett got his first real boo-boo. He cut his lip and nose on a wood platform in the garage. His first manly, bloody ouchy. I saw it happen and, according to my brother, I announced it like a sports caster, "AND he's BLEEDING! He's bleeding!"

I HATE blood and I REALLY HATE seeing Garrett bleed! It sucks! Now his perfect little face has two big, red cuts. Today he bonked his head approximately thirty times and cried at about three of them. Bogie even knocked him over once. I think this is the beginning of a lot of boyish bruises, and hopefully very few scars. Man, I better learn how to deal with this crap. Apparently once they start walking, running, bicycling, skateboarding, and general mayhem follows. I always wanted a boy. And here he is!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31st, 2008

The symbolism of 2008 was not lost on me as I removed Alanis Morisette's "Jagged Little Pill" from my car's cd player and replaced it with songs about the A B Cs.

2008 was my first full year as a mom, and a year filled with huge adjustments, changes, and awakenings. (No, Jeff. Not the movie with Robert Deniro and Robin Williams.)

In 2008 I lost and mourned a 21-year friendship, but I was able to rekindle some friendships from my past that I hadn't realized how very much I missed. I also made some new friends who are already very dear. The saying about closing a door was never truer.

In 2008 I worked a pretty good amount, and it is only now that I am realizing how grateful I should be (and am). The truth is, it's hard to be at work and think of anything other than getting home to my boys. But I'm thankful I was able to contribute, and that I could do so with relatively little time spent out of the house. It's just that every hour away from here seems like an eternity. But there are so many moms who have to work full time and don't have the luxury of working as little as I do. So I am truly humbled and thankful.

In 2008, my father recovered beautifully from his stem-cell transplant and nearly-fatal infection. Last night we broke bread with the man who donated his stem cells to save my father's life. It was surreal, to say the least. He is an incredible person with an amazing family and it was an honor to meet him. Even writing that sentence I can't believe it. My dad looks incredible these days, and seems to feel pretty darn good too. My mom is radiant and, aside from a few ailments that she tries not to complain about, she is in great health. I'm telling you, the ways 2007 ended... I never could have predicted 2008 would end this way. And with the way I feel about my folks, I couldn't feel luckier to get to be with them still, and in good health.

I got to see Russ FINALLY work on something he loves and is passionate about in 2008. He and my brother sold an on-line talk show to Sony and it seems like Russ is almost living his dream: Writing, directing, producing, editing... Basically everything he's brilliant at. Best of all, he makes his own schedule and is able to make Garrett's doctor's appointments and even sneak away to the zoo! It's about time. Today, the internet. Tomorrow... Cable? I am still in awe of the man I married, even though we're a tad older, a lot busier, and dorky parents now. He's my dream man. Truly.

In 2008 Garrett learned a few words, learned to walk, got 12 teeth, had lengthy, imaginary phone conversations, enjoyed his gym class, laughed more than I knew was legal, made me laugh more than I knew I could, learned to chew and to drink from a straw, discovered Robek's juice, discovered his hands, and hair, and eyes, and ears and penis, loved taking baths, loved taking walks, stole my heart, filled my soul, and made me more unbelievably grateful and happy than I can even begin to explain.

In 2008 I tried to learn to ease up, let go, and let stuff happen. I still have to practice all of that. I discovered I have more issues than I was aware of, and I let go of things and people that made those issues worse. I learned more about my close friends, I learned to lean on people, I even learned to say, "No". 2008 made me realize how much more growing I have to do, and want to do.

All in all, 2008 was an eventful year. It was also a beautiful year. I pray that 2009 has even more joy and love, laughter and hope, more time with friends, more time with family, more awe, more... More. There is so much more I want to say, and I wish I could say it all more eloquently. But here's to a great 2009.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 30th, 2008

It occurred to me tonight that it's a miracle that any of us are okay. I mean, it's a testament to the strength of the human spirit that we don't just shoot ourselves before we're fifteen.

There was a baby on the plane today. Oh, I'm in New York, but that's neither here nor there. Well, it's there. But that's another story. So, there was a baby on the plane. A beautiful six-month-old baby. And everyone, including myself, was cooing over this baby. My questions were rapid: "What's her name?" "Has she flown before?" "Is she sleeping through the night?" Then, "I have a 14-month-old. His name is Garrett. This is the first time I've ever left him. Blah blah blah blah blah." But that's not the point.

The point is, I was just one of many people who stopped to look at this baby and tell her she was beautiful and coo and ooh and aah. That's what happens to babies.

Later, at baggage claim, I saw another beautiful little girl. She was about four and she was very cute. But the urge to ask all about her was not there. No one was really looking at her except for people who were a tad annoyed or afraid she was going to run into their legs or touch their luggage.

That's when it hit me. After you're a baby, you're totally on your own. You've gotta do amazing or interesting things to get people's attention because "just being a person" isn't enough. Doesn't that suck? I mean isn't that just a bitch?

At the beginning, all you have to do to get love and attention is just... Be. Any time after that you have to be... Something.

So how do we get through that? It's like we're born famous, and then we start all over again as nobody. I guess it doesn't kill us because we don't remember being babies. If we did, we'd feel like total losers by the time we were seven. God works in mysterious ways.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 15th, 2008

I officially finished breast feeding two days ago and I feel a profound sadness that I can't really explain. But I guess I'll try.

I'm sad because I know I'll never hold Garrett that way again for the sole reason of nourishing him. I'm sad because I know there is another phase that has ended and he's even one step closer to growing up. There are so many rewards to this whole parenting thing but I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that there are so many hurts... And I know I have barely scratched the surface.

I still look at him every day in wonder. I can't believe he's my son. And the changes that are taking place daily are truly breathtaking and they're happening so quickly, I feel like I can't keep up.

Last night he said, "Night, Night" when I put him to bed. Today he said "Nana" whenever he wanted a piece of banana at lunch. He's walking faster and exploring more. He's so beautiful that my heart tears at the seams a little every day.

I'm sitting here crying as I write this and I can't really even tell you why. I just have never felt these things before. It's like the beautiful pain you feel when you're a teenager and you feel like you have so much inside that you want to get out but you don't know how. You know that kind of pain that makes you realize you're alive? As you get older you don't need that pain to know you're alive because you have a lot of other indicators: Love, Marriage, Vacations, Wrinkles, Aches, Bills, Obligations...

But having a kid is a kind of rebirth of that sort of beautiful pain. I don't know how else to put it.

The morning feeding has been replaced with our gorgeous walks outside. And I am so grateful to have something like that to look forward to every day. But I'd be a liar if I didn't tell you that I do feel sad. That's all. I know I won't feel this way for too long. I Just needed to get that out.