Sunday, November 24, 2013

Well, what the hell.

That basically sums up my past few months.  I don't delve into too many deeply personal issues on here and maybe that will change, but for now I'm putting a lot of stuff to pen and paper and leaving the internet be.  But I just had a long talk with an old friend and this person was in a situation very similar to the one I just got out of, so I figured I'd put this out there and hope that at least one person felt a little less alone because of it.

This blog started as a fun way to get me writing again, to let relatives/friends know about my status and about how my baby boy was doing, and to vent a little bit about the things going on in my life.  As with most things, I didn't follow through like I should have, I didn't post as much as I could have, but when I did get posts up people seemed to enjoy them and relate to them, and that made me happy.

But a lot of what I was writing was...well, not outright lies, but more veils over the reality of what was going on in my life.  A few months ago, my seven year marriage ended.  I could go on and on about the reasons and the blame and the fights and the hurt feelings, but the fact is, that would only be my side of the story, and I would probably try to make myself look good.

Come on.  I'm human.

But right now I think what I'll write about isn't the struggle the last few months have been (and trust me, they have been a struggle.  I never realized how cushioned  my life was until now) but I'd rather write about where I am right now, almost four months after leaving my home, the adorable yellow cottage I fell in love with the minute I laid eyes on it.

I've moved, twice.  I've found a new apartment and set it up for myself and my son, and I've tried to create a new normal for us.  I've reached out to family and friends and I've rarely been disappointed.  I've tried to figure out how to ask for help, even knowing that it's there, and I just can't get the words out because I don't know exactly what it is I need.  I've played games and had talks and hugged my son a lot.  I've gotten hit on and felt invisible all at the same time.  I've wondered if I did the right thing, and tried to trace back to the exact moment when things went wrong, and wondered if I could have stopped this disastrous chain of events.

At the end of the day and after all the talks and all the introspection and all the wondering, I'm left with the same answer:  I don't know.  But I do know I couldn't continue the life I was living, and be true to myself, or be the kind of mom I want to be.  I have an amazing son, and he has a good father.  We all deserve happiness in life, and we were headed down the wrong path.

I don't know what the point of writing this was.  Maybe I wanted to feel better about my life.  It's very hard to look at your surroundings and know this wasn't what you had in mind, and know you have to re-imagine your future.  My days are filled with moments of self doubt, loathing, being completely overwhelmed, and fighting back tears.

But they're also filled with smiles, and unexpected kind words, and laughter, and freedom.  They're filled with the reassurance that no matter how alone I feel, people who love me are only a phone call away, and that there is a new life out there for me.  My family is incredible, funny, and supportive, but they're not soft.  They're not going to let me sit and feel sorry for myself, or whimper about what might have been.  During a recent text conversation with my sister, she asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  I said I wanted my life to be back to normal.  Her response?  "Get a grip.  The only way your life is going to get better is if YOU make it better."

Rough?  Yeah.  True?  Very.  What I needed to hear?  Absolutely.  So here I go.  I'm throwing a metaphorical bandanna tied to a stick over my shoulder, taking my child's hand, and forging ahead into our new life.  I'm scared, excited, angry, doubtful, hopeful, and looking forward.

To quote Hot Water Music, no regrets.  No looking back to sinking ships.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

12 Miler

Finally getting around to writing about my long run from last week-a 12-miler, my longest....maybe ever.  I got up at 4am on Saturday and ate a peanut butter sandwich, and then went back to bed til 6.  Then I got up, got myself outfitted, and hit the road.  It was not too bad!  I timed my water and gels right-gels at 4 and 8 miles, and I stopped at about 10 at a gas station to pick up a Gatorade.  The cashier seemed thrilled to come into contact with an ultra-sweaty customer.

The only issue I had was running too far-I had it mapped out to end up about a quarter mile from home, and walk the rest.  To do that, I had to make a turn at 7.5 miles, but my app is set up to notify me at mile breaks.  After 7 miles I tried to keep an eye on it, but I got distracted by the marathon and half marathon training groups.

Richmond has a big marathon in November, and they do training groups for it, which I think is great if you need that social outlet and support.  Personally, running is my alone time. I put on a podcast (or not) and I set out on my own for a few hours.  But I don't judge what works for you, and generally runners are pretty courteous to each other.  I get lots of smiles and waves and hellos.  The worst thing I usually run into is runners taking up the whole sidewalk, and talking to each other so they're not paying attention to the person (me) coming towards them, thus forcing me into the grass or road.  Even that minor thing I can deal with.

But Saturday I had another issue.  I was about to cross a road, and there was a group running perpendicular to me, a bit ahead, so they were crossing my path.  I didn't look directly at them, but I could see where they were and I had plenty of room to cross.  Their group leader was also a very loud, very small woman, so they were hard to miss because she was yelling.   So I cross in front of them, with a good six feet between their leader and me.  There was never any danger of collision.

But still, leader lady gives me a cross "BE CAREFUL."  It was totally unnecessary.  As I kept running, I kept thinking about it, and it kept pissing me off more and more.  Basically because I could tell what kind of woman she was.  If you were in her class at school, she was the group leader who emailed you twenty times a day and wanted to meet at 10am on a Tuesday.  She's the friend who feels like she has to pick apart the waiter at dinner.  And she's the running coach who feels like she needs a bullhorn to show she's boss.  Bitch, this is a public sidewalk and I'll run where I please. Oh, and by the way, she was five foot nothing, maybe 100lbs.  Go ahead, sugar, run into me and see which one of us falls down.

Anyway, I got distracted thinking about punching her, and before I knew it, I was at 8 miles, and ended up a mile from home when I was done with my 12.  Luckily the boys came to pick me up, because I was beat to hell.  Henry's comment was "Mom, you're all sweaty!"  Indeed I was.  And this weekend's 14 miler promises to be even more fun.

Three weeks to go til my first half marathon.  Pulling this off is going to be a pretty big morale boost at this point in my life, and I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Branching out

I've been spending some time lately seeing how hard it is to pick up freelance writing work to amass a bit more money to have some financial security.  I'm pretty lost in this department, but I really want a new bed and have some other expenses coming up, so I'm exploring.  I'm not convinced that there's a legitimate way to make money on the internet that doesn't involve me pretending to be a Nigerian prince or taking off my clothes, and neither of those will work because I'm a pretty honest person and also I think people would pay me to put my clothes back on.

But back to the training-had a few decent runs this week, including one with Henry in the stroller.  He got a little pissed towards the end but we got to check out some fireflies, and I bribed him with Dinosaur Train.  Yes, I am that mom who said my son would NEVER watch TV, and now I have amended that to "My son will NEVER watch TV except when I'm getting ready in the morning, when he needs to chill out before bed, when I need five seconds to get something done, and pretty much any other time I let him watch TV."  It's just a lifesaver sometimes.  Especially because he's at the point where he wants to play with me, but he requires all my attention, so the days of folding the laundry while playing are OVER.  And as much fun as dinosaurs are, I can only make them talk to each other for so long.

I love seeing his little imagination going, though, and listening to him make his toys talk to each other.  It's so fun to see a kid with a mind that isn't hampered by any sort of self consciousness or restraint or hell, reality.  If he says he's a tiger, then dammit, he's a tiger.  And I'd better get on board as the tiger mom.

So I'm off to internet it up, and turn in early because tomorrow is.....the 12-miler.  Considering during mile 10 of last week's long run I was calling my map my run app a cunt, this could get interesting.  I'm going early to avoid the ungodly heat, and also to save people's ears from my inevitable profanity.  If you see a really slow girl trucking along tomorrow morning, wave!  Just kidding, I won't notice you.  I'll be concentrating on not falling down.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day Three

So yeah, I skipped Sunday.  Mainly because it's my recovery day running-wise, so I didn't have too much fun to write about, except being so sore I thought my quads might just fall off.  I wrote my biomedical engineering brother to ask him why Percocet wasn't over the counter, and he advised me to take tylenol or ibuprofen.  I assured him that tylenol and ibuprofen are for pussies.  Seriously, I ran ten miles, not bumped my knee on an end table.

Yesterday I also ended up at our Urgent Care to get something for my stomach-I have a history of ulcers, and my current situation being a bit stressful led to them acting up a bit.  On the plus side, that led to me losing 8 pounds in one week, which, while I"m advised is not healthy, does get me closer to my goal weight.  So, you know, silver lining.

Today I had big plans to get up early, knock out a four miler, and then hit they gym for some upper body toning.  I like being strong, and I also like my upper arms not looking like honey baked hams.  Unfortunately the doctor who gave me my stomach meds took one look at me and realized I hadn't slept in a month, so he prescribed me something for that.  I slept clean through my alarm, which is weird because normally I'm the lightest sleeper ever- an ant farts and I'm up for the night.  I'm lucky I woke up at 6, in time to get ready for work and get the kiddo to school.  Off to work, and then to my acupuncturist.

Go ahead and laugh, plenty of people do, but that lady does wonders for me.  And she didn't even stick needles in me this time!   She's like a shrink who can help me biologically-although she did say one of the supplements I react well to is earthworm.  She said it wasn't the grossest thing they use in Chinese medicine, so naturally I asked what the grossest thing was.  A

Apparently some Chinese doctors use flying squirrel poop.  I see so many things wrong with this . How do you know the poop you find is from flying squirrels?   How do you get it in the first place?  What, exactly, is medicinal about it?

But I just took earthworm, so maybe I won't talk.

After I got home I had a relaxing half hour run with Henry in the stroller, as he shrieked "FASTER" and I calmly explained to him 47 times that Mommy was going to have to train a lot harder to get faster.  At this point I rank somewhere between tree sloth and dead tree sloth, speed wise.

Hey, I"m getting out there, and that's important.  Tomorrow, the alarm volume goes up and I get this mess over with in the morning so I can spend my evenings drinking and looking at porn.

Just seeing if you're still paying attention.  OR AM I?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Half Marathon-One Month To Go.

Yeah, I know, it's been a while.  But now I have a pressing need to write, and a pressing reason to.  I'll be running a half marathon in a month, and I figured updating this thing daily will help keep me accountable to my training and to my writing, which I've vowed to do more often.  There's lots of reasons for both of these, mainly because I'm going through a pretty difficult personal time (which no, I will not be elaborating on here, or most places for that matter) and now that I'm too old and have too much to do to deal with hangovers, drinking it away isn't an option.

So I'm going to take another path I've used in the past-exercise myself to exhaustion.  I'll be updating this daily (I hope) but not posting the links, so check back every so often.

I signed up for this race months ago, because I need something to train for to keep me on track.  I've run on and off my whole life, it seems like.  My mom used to kick us out of the house in our Keds to "go run a few laps" which, I think, was less about her concerns about our health and more about the fact that she had four kids and wanted us out of the house before she fucking killed one of us.  I've never been that fast, and in the past few years I've packed on a bit of weight, so I sign up for races.  My diet and training have been hit or miss, but I decided with one month to go, I could do a lot of cleaning up in both areas.

That brings me to the first piece of advice I'd have-don't radically change your diet one day before you're scheduled for your first 10 mile run in....probably 8 years.  Or else you too will utter the phrase "Keep your phone near you, because I haven't ruled out shitting my pants."  Sure, more vegetables are great, but any diet change has the potential to wreak havoc on your digestive system, as it did mine.

After those issues were resolved I threw on my running clothes and shoes, strapped on the iPhone, loaded up the Map My Run app, and started a podcast.  Those things are a lifesaver-Aisha Tyler's Girl on Guy is about the perfect length.  And is not sexual, though it sounds it.  (I guess this could be a plus or a minus, depending on your taste.)

The run itself went pretty well, though towards the end I got pretty anxious to hear my app say "Distance, X miles"  to tell me I was actually progressing and not running backwards.  Like I said, I'm not fast.  And I may have shrieked "SAY TEN MILES, YOU CUNT!"  towards the end to the automated voice.  But I  only said it in my head.  I think.

Now I'm on the couch with sore feet and Richard Pryor's Live on Sunset Strip playing, and I'm planning on being asleep before the credits roll.  More tomorrow, when I will, no doubt, be too sore to sit on the toilet.

Hey, I keep it sexy.

Monday, April 15, 2013

I'm a runner.

Just some random thoughts going through my head right now.  This should have been such a happy day for so many people who worked so hard.  And here we are.  And here's what I think right now.

I am a runner.

Not a good one.  Not a fast one, but I have been one all my life, since my mom started us out at age 4 or so, demanding that we run a mile for every half hour of TV we wanted to watch, or video games we wanted to play.  Running holds a huge part of my memory and identity.  It's a bond I have with my family.  It's where I met my first real friends, many of whom I still talk to today.  My first boyfriend was on my cross country team.  When I was lost and felt invisible in high school, I was a runner.  I had that.  I've had that when I haven't had much else.

There have been times when I've trained harder than others, been more consistent, more in shape.  But the thought is never far from me, "You really need to go running."  It's my meditation.  It's rooted to my soul.

I was just at a race, the Monument Avenue 10k.  There were tons of people and lots of inconveniences, but nobody was mad or complaining.  Everyone was happy.  The crowds were filled with laughter and cheering, and even though I was running by myself, I didn't feel alone.

I know those runners felt the same way.  And I am so sorry that their day came down to this-some sick, sad individual trying to make a point, some group lashing out-no one knows right now.  I'm sure it will come to light soon.  A moment that should have been filled with so much joy and relief, detonated and destroyed.

But bad news for the person or people who did this, or people who think about doing it in the future.

We're going to keep running.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Well, You're Just Screwed.

Sitting at home with a sick kid, stressed about work and knowing I'm about two hours away from getting sick myself.  I've been reading a lot about women in the workplace and trying to balance family and work lately.  The Atlantic had a great article about it a few months back-it was refreshingly honest. It basically said you CAN'T have it all-not the career you want with being the kind of parent you want to be-that the demands are just too much.  It was kind of a relief to know that more people are struggling with this.

I always put my kid first, but I didn't anticipate having a kid with asthma, or the total germ bath that day care would be, or trying to schedule Ben and my schedules so someone could be home.  We don't have any backup here-no family that can take a day off, and even if they could, what do you say: "Hey, do you mind coming and hanging out with my contagious sick kid so I can go to work?"?  That's not really fair.  Plus he needs breathing treatments every four hours, I need to monitor his's a handful.  And in interest of full disclosure, I'm not entirely comfortable handing it off to someone else, I  still have a heaping dose of "no one can do it right but me" -itis.

And there's the basic fact that when he's sick, Henry tends to want me.  I get it, when I'm sick, I still sort of want my mom around, and I'm 33 years old.  I'd feel terrible all day if I was at work.  So Ben and I juggle and I try to telework in the afternoon/evening, knowing full well that missing so much time leads to me not being taken seriously at my job.  So you can pretty much feel like you suck at your job, or suck at motherhood, or both, because your kid is trying to snuggle with you while you answer emails and track down footnotes so work doesn't get held up because of you.  Luckily I don't have the "maybe I should stay home" guilt because it's overcome by the "if I don't work we'll be homeless and I'll default on all my student loans" concern.

It's enough to make you want to sit down and cry while you play play-doh with your coughing kid.  Maybe the right thing to do is accept that I'll never get as far career-wise as I'd hoped because I chose to have a kid, and I choose being present in his life over 80 hour work weeks or other job demands.  I'm lucky I found a job that's flexible at all, and hope they keep me around.  Studies have also shown that working moms who have to miss work more than make up for the missed time by busting their asses when they get back, and I have no problem putting hours in-even when I can't clock them and get paid for them.  I take pride in my work and I want it done on time.

We're left with the basic fact that our cultural structure is still not set up for households where both parents work, even though two incomes are a necessity these days.  We're left feeling like we have no options and that no matter what we do, we're shortchanging someone.  This isn't exclusive to moms, but to all parents.  What about a dad who works long hours so one parent can stay home?  Ben did it for the three months I was on maternity leave and I can tell you it was no picnic for either one of us.  He missed bonding time with his son, and I felt like an overworked, unappreciated dairy cow.  (Sorry, when kids are young, that's your main function).

Sorry, the humor is lacking from this one, but I don't think I'm alone here.  On a brighter note, we're progressing with the potty training, and Henry is picking up on language, resulting in him using his potty, then turning to look at his product and saying "Hey, Mom, that's a great big shit!"

He gets it from his father, I swear.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I'm Just Walking to the Bathroom, Give me 20 Minutes.

Just an update now that I'm feeling up to sitting up straight long enough to type out a blog-this surgery was a doozy.  I knew it would be rough, but I had no idea how rough.

It started out with the bowel prep-I won't get too detailed about that but I lost eight pounds in five hours, and I do NOT recommend it as a course of weight loss, unless you like feeling like a giant toothpaste tube that's being rolled up to get that very last little bit out.  My brother Casey showed up at 5am to take care of Henry, and to drop him off at day care, since they didn't open until seven and we had to be at the hospital at 5:45am.  I was pretty apprehensive through my prepping, Ben made me laugh by showing me the honey badger video (seriously, how had I missed that?)

I got rolled back to the OR, and before I knew it, it was all over.  And I was in the worst pain I've ever been in.  I mean, worse than C-section.  I woke up digging rivets into the metal hand rails on the bad.  The nurses were nice enough to stuff me with enough morphine to "knock out a small horse", as one of them put it, and I stayed overnight so they could monitor me.  This was a hospital in the Bon Secours system, so lots of crucifixes and such around.  Even though I'm a lapsed Catholic I find that comforting.  The hospital chaplain came up to visit me, and she pointed out that I had a very good looking man holding my hand. I managed a smile and said "And he can cook!"  She said, "All RIGHT, girl!"

After he watched me drop in and out of consciousness, I made Ben leave, and spent the rest of the evening getting drugged and watching standup comedy on the iPad.  Once I was sufficiently sober, my doctor told me that they'd removed several adhesions, three cysts, some scarring on my bladder, and an accessory fallopian tube.  Yes, apparently that is a thing, and can be really bad if a fertilized egg gets in there and causes an ectopic pregnancy which can, you know, kill you.  One of my fallopian tubes was completely blocked, so they fixed that, too.

So basically it's a very good thing that I got all of this taken care of when I did.  They will run biopsies on the things they removed, and we should find the results out tomorrow or thereabouts.  The next day I was released, and I've never been so happy to see my two beautiful guys walk into my room to take me home.  It was a little bit of a rough trip-my inner mantra was "Don't throw up in the car.  Don't throw up in the car."

I told Ben this today and he said "Hey, that was MY inner mantra, too!"  I know he loves me, but he has a really nice car.....

I'll be recuperating at home for the next two weeks.  Didn't really think I'd need that long, but given the level of pain (I haven't been able to walk upright yet, more like an elderly gorilla) I think I'll be glad I have the time.  The nurses at the hospital talked nonstop about how great my doctor is, how thorough she is, and how she gets patients from all over the U.S.  who have had problems with fertility and endometriosis.  She's thorough, and I feel confident she's gotten me far along on the road to feeling better.

Thank you for all your well wishes and thoughts for myself and my family.  And I was right it my previous blog-I did indeed shit my pants.  Now Henry and i can bond on a whole new level....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ah, The Joys of Womanhood

WARNING:  This post is basically all about periods and the things that can go wrong with girl parts and the things you have to do to fix them, so if you are a guy, you probably won't want to read it.  Also, I may talk about shitting myself.  I don't know if that's a deterrent or a draw, I don't know what you're in to.  Not here to judge.

Anyway.  I am a lucky lady with a condition called endometriosis, which is fairly common and occurs when the cells from the lining of your uterus grow other places and cause all kinds of problems.  I'd go into details but I don't want to and besides, I've come to the conclusion that the medical profession doesn't know how to deal with it anyway.  I've had years of treatments, two surgeries, hormone replacement therapy that turned me into a meaner, weepier version of Satan, and periods that leave me exhausted, puking, and in horrible pain for weeks.

I suppose I'm lucky-a lot of women who have it have a difficult time conceiving, if they can at all.  When I told my gynecologist Ben and I were going to start trying, she referred me to a fertility specialist right away, and started throwing around words like Clomid, IVF, etc.  I asked her what our chances were if we just gave it the ol' college try, and she said, I quote, "I guess I've seen stranger things happen."

Exactly a week later I was holding a positive pregnancy test.  I don't think she understood the kind of fertile Irish stock I come from.

In reality it wasn't that easy-Ben and I hadn't been trying for six years, but we hadn't been "not" trying either, so Henry was just a stroke of luck.  Pregnancy sometimes cures endometriosis, but not for me.  If anything, it's gotten worse.  So we were at the point where we were looking at another kid (if I could even have one) or a hysterectomy, when I started reading about a new surgery, one that didn't just burn off scar tissue that could be seen, but cut down to healthy tissue so new scarring doesn't grow back.  Turns out a specialist in Richmond actually does the surgery, and I was able to get in with her.

So I'm scheduled for a surgery Friday, and I'm a little freaked out.  I'm really hoping it helps but part of me is scared that it won't, and I'll be out of options.  Part of me is scared that I'll wake up and they'll tell me that while they were in there they found something horrible, like cancer, or my twin that I partially digested in the womb.  And part of me is scared that I'll die, even though the chances of that are very slim.  As a mom, my worst fear is something happening to my kid, but second is something happening to ME, and not being able to be there for him when he needs me to be.  I think about how much time I've put into raising him already, but if something happened to me now, he wouldn't even remember me.  That freaks me out.  I also think about Ben, and what he'd do without me, and how quickly he'd be scoring sympathy strange.

On to lighter topics.  I know I'll be ok, and hopefully this will end the sixteen years of steadily worsening pain I've had, and I can get my life back on track.  I'm tired of being tired and hurting.  Tomorrow I'm going to get up and go for a run, then go to yoga, and then start my surgery prep.  Since there's a good chance the endo has grown through my intestines or bowels, I get to do a bowel prep, which is a really nice way of saying "you get to drink salt water and shit so much you'll be passing food you haven't eaten yet."  So if you're looking for me tomorrow, I'll be holed up in the bathroom, catching up on my 30 Rock episodes, and being really glad I don't have to go through this at work.

Seriously, I can barely pee in my work bathroom.  I can't imagine having to deal with the constant explosion my pharmacist pretty much confirmed would happen.  When she was recommending one of the solutions, she said "Don't get anything that's a flavor you like, because after this, you won't ever want it again."

Hey, at least this might put me ahead in my weight loss challenges.....

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fuck yeah, Porno PTA Mom!

I'm up too late on a Friday night, fighting a week-long stretch of insomnia.  I thought I'd use this time to catch up on my 30 Rocks, because we no longer have cable and I'd like to be smug and hipster about that, but it's just because we're cheap.

So I'm up at one in the morning watching the new season on Hulu, and the following advertisement happens.  Try to picture it, I just may not be able to put it into words.

White background. Model, in all white clothes, ridiculously high heels, struts down a hallway, holding a whisk.  She walks past podiums holding Betty Crocker cake mix boxes.  These boxes explode in vibrant red and blue.  The model crushes two eggs in her bare hands, with no regard to where the shells land.  All throughout the ad, sultry music plays and she clearly is in control of this domestic situation.  The last line of the ad:  "DOMINATE THAT PTA BAKE SALE".   And then in whispered tones "theeverydaycollectionbytarget".

It's not good enough that you're in shape.

It's not good enough that you're stylish.

It's not good enough that you're dressed and made up like someone who goes out to clubs at 11pm and IS EXCITED ABOUT IT.

Now you have to be the best mom at the PTA by using a Betty Crocker cake mix.

As if that would even compete in this age of organic, hand milled everything where no matter what you do, some mom has done it better, has milled her own wheat, or some sort of freak non-wheat because gluten is evil, and has used the self-generated energy from her house to concoct level 5 vegan cupcakes (the kind that doesn't cast a shadow, if you're not a Simpsons fan this may not make sense, but trust me, it's a hilarious pop culture reference).

My distress about this ad, which repeated every time there was a break in my show, is not about my inability to cook, or my lack of time to mill my own non-gluten grain, or whatever.  The root of my distress is that I have extensive education in marketing and business.  And that lets me know that if this ad exists, it's because market research was done and an opportunity was identified and seized.

That opportunity was based on the inadequacy that all moms feel.  We're not good enough because we haven't lost the weight, because we aren't made up and dressed up every day, because we don't have baked goods every day, because, as usual, women compete against each other for no good reason at all.  When we really should be leaning on one another, even if we don't agree on everything.  I don't care if you breastfeed til your kid is five and try to feed them organic everything and use cloth diapers and I happened to just catch my kid eating a goldfish cracker he found in my own bedsheets from a snack he had at least two days ago (hint-he still ate it).

I'm done trying to top other moms and I'm done supporting organizations that capitalize on my own feelings of inadequacy as a parent and as a mom.  So as hard as it is to say, fuck you, Target.  We're all doing our best, even if we do it in yoga pants, old sneakers, no makeup, and the reassurance that our kids really don't give a shit what baked goods we bring to the bake sale as long as we love them.  I'm better than you and I'm better than fitting into a cookie-cutter image of a parent that was identified by....who again?

Oh yeah, and I can make cupcakes from scratch, when I feel like it.  Which is mostly never.