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Ok Ladies, I know I am not alone in this phenomenon. But I don’t understand it! I am not afraid of the dark, things going bump in the night, people breaking in, kids not breathing, or becoming random murder victims. Ok, now that I think of it…. maybe I am. I suppose all of those years living so close to Gary, the murder capital of the universe, eventually had to take its toll on my poor psyche! But I’m not there anymore, nowhere near. I am in suburbia heaven! Lush green grass, lots of family neighbors, cul de sacs, SUVs, playdates, etc. I am in the land of La La! Maybe I just need to be perpetually cuddled? I don’t know but what I do know is I need some freaking sleep! Immediately! This is what happens, my husband goes away on business and I can’t sleep. Absolutely can not sleep. I’m talking full-on insomnia in rampant proportions. What makes it worse is that this is NOT a temporary situation, this is the situation. Daddy’s gone and mommy’s got insomnia.

Last week, I was up every night until at least 2 am. The only reason I went to sleep was that I forced myself to shut down all mental functioning in the name of sanity, and for my children’s safety. I am not a morning person when I’ve had less than 6 hours of sleep. 6 hours is the minimum sane functioning level for me, anything less for more than a day and I am full-blown, out-of-my-mind crazy. I do not jest! What do you ladies do to curb this insanity?

I’ve spoken to several friends and it seems the only cure for what ails me is my husband, and that is not a possibility at this point. He’s there working, I’m here…NOT SLEEPING! Sleep medication is not an option because I have to be somewhat lucid in case the girls need me in the middle of the night.

So, here I am, Sleepless in South Bend. I really wish I was a sleep camel, storing it all up on the weekend to get me through the week. Think that’s an option? It is a nifty concept. Of course, when would I fit my husband’s cuddles and conjugal visits in if I were practicing my sleep camel antics on the weekends?

If you have any suggestions for helping me to catch up on my rest, please share. I know a lot of us could use the advice! If not, I say Who’s up for midnight chats? LOL Stay tuned, as the week goes on and my sleep supply dwindles, God only knows what may end up in these posts. Toodles! I need a nap before Big Daddy leaves the building.

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5 ways to relax at night, chill out, get ready for bed

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Do you have trouble winding down at night? An endless list of things show up in your brain right at the exact moment you’re supposed to be drifting off to LaLa land? If so, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, millions of people have difficulty relaxing and getting ready for bed. I’ve been an insomniac since college so I know a little bit about this topic. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help yourself calm down, relax and prepare for sleep. This blog post will discuss 6 ways to relax at night, chill out and get ready for bed. 

Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions and gynecological misadventures are all my own.

Listen to calm music

There is something about music that can soothe us and make us feel more relaxed. So if you’re struggling to wind down at night, try listening to some calm music. This can help you relax both your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep.

Some suitable genres of music to listen to for relaxation purposes include classical, jazz, and nature sounds. Many apps and websites offer calming music specifically designed to help you sleep. 

Do some gentle stretching 

Gentle stretching is another great way to relax your body and mind before bed. It can help relieve tension and reduce stress. You can do several different stretches, so find ones that work best for you. Start by doing some simple neck and shoulder rolls. Then, move on to other body areas such as your back, legs, and arms. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds before moving on to the next one.

Doing some light stretching before bed can also help improve your sleep quality and reduce the risk of pain waking you up during the night.  But don’t do a full cardio workout unless you want that rush of endorphins at bedtime. Be warned it won’t bode well for your insomnia.

Sit outside for a while  

If you have trouble relaxing indoors, try spending some time outside. Sitting or lying down in a park or other green space can help reduce stress and anxiety. I keep a comfy sectional on my deck for just this reason. The fresh air and natural light can also do wonders for your sleep quality. If it’s not possible to sit outside, simply open a window to let some fresh air into your room. You can also try smoking marijuana outside if it helps you to relax. But you might want to invest in this spray to get rid of weed smell and keep the neighbors out of your business. Or just go the edible route, no nasal evidence left behind.

Take a relaxing bath 

There is nothing quite like a warm bath to help you relax at night. Add some soothing aromatherapy, add a few drops of lavender oil to your bathtub or light a delicious smelling candle to help further promote relaxation. One of my favorites is GYV MesoAmerican Beauty Mango pineapple candle. The heat from the water can also help reduce muscle pain and tension. Soak in your tub for 20-30 minutes to give yourself enough time to relax fully. Moisturize yourself from head to toe. I love the Mango lotion from GYV. For luxuriously attractive and beautiful glowing skin I’m obsessed with Dignity Coconuts lip balms and raw coconut oil.

After your bath, avoid any activities that will stimulate your mind or body. This means no working, watching TV, or using your phone or computer. You want your body and mind to be relaxed, so give yourself time to wind down before bed. 

Pop a gummy

IYKYK if you don’t, I’m definitely talking about a CBD gummy. Just 1 Inflamade Yummy Watermelon Vegan Sleep Solution gummy and you will sleep all night long. Deep Sleep CBD + CBN Vegan Gummies combine the power of CBD + CBN – and works to put your mind at ease and sleep throughout the night. With 20mg CBD + 5mg CBN, and 3mg Melatonin per watermelon gummy, products are lab tested to ensure 0% THC and 100% Drug Test Safe.

The compounds CBD and CBN have different impacts on the body, but when combined, they aid in alleviating restless nights and insomnia.

If you are looking for something with THC to relax your mind before bed and get a great night’s sleep, I highly recommend Berry Burst Indica Gummies by Encore Edibles at your local dispensary. It’s one of my personal favorites for overwhelmed and exhausted moms who just can’t relax. It does the job 100% of the time.

Practice some deep breathing exercises: 

Deep breathing is a simple but effective way to relax your body and mind. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality. To do a deep breathing exercise, simply sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough to expand your stomach, not just your chest. 

All this to say, there are many things you can do to relax at night. By listening to calm music, doing some gentle stretching, spending time outside, taking a relaxing bath, and practicing deep breathing exercises, you can wind down and get ready for a good night’s sleep. 

These are 5 ways to relax at night, chill out and get ready for bed. What is your top tip for relaxing at night?

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I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food. It’s always been the one thing I’ve loved and I’ve hated. I love the taste of food. It comforted me when things were tough. It would console me. Then I would use it to punish myself; to find myself unworthy. I would withhold it from myself, like love from a misogynist. Yet, I never thought sugar is a drug and I never considered myself an addict. This is how I lived in this vicious cycle pursuing perfection that doesn’t exist. It was a controlling relationship wherein I was the victim and the abuser.

But then I had a revelation, food’s an addiction. Sugar is a drug and I was an addict.

Yes, food is a drug and I am an addict and it’s almost killed me twice. Anorexia in the ’90s and diabetes in 2019. I used to proudly proclaim, “I’d rather work out for 3 hours straight than give up my French fries!” I was also the same person who secretly high-fived myself when people started to tell me that I was getting “too skinny” and looked sickly. In my mind, I was winning. I was cheating the system and beating food. Really, I was killing myself.

READ ALSO: Bulimarexia the Consequence of Impossible Standards

Here we are, 20 years in recovery from starvation and purging. Nasty little fact, being an anorexic is like being an alcoholic, every day is choosing to not indulge in the bad behavior no matter how much you want to. I won’t lie, there have been slip-ups. I’ve had a big meal and thrown it up. I’ve skipped meals. I’ve worked out excessively. I’ve tried to cheat the system and lied to myself that it was, “Ok, just this once” knowing how slippery the road really was. But for the most part, for the past 20 years, I had to let go of the control.

The problem with me is that there is no in between. There is micromanage everything that goes in my mouth and purge, there is restrict and starve and there is eat all the things with wild abandoned and no worry of consequences.

READ ALSO: How a Simple Doctors Visit Might Save My Life

Let me create a picture, so you all don’t think I was shoving whole sleeves of cookies down my throat. When I say wild abandon, I mean I ate food in moderate amounts but without worrying, caring or writing down anything. I had to do this because the alternative behaviors sent me right back into obsessive, controlling behavior that caused my anorexia in the first place.  Basically, I was out of control for two decades to avoid being dead. Or at least, that is what I made myself believe.

Now, here I am. Last month, I told you all about my come to Jesus meeting with my doctor. It was eye-opening, if not traumatic. She told me some hard facts. I feel like, for years, my doctors have been coddling me. I went from 103 pounds and inched up over the years and through the pregnancies to a whopping ( gulp..I’m about to say it out loud) 259.9 pounds at my heaviest. On the day my doctor gave me the bad news, I was 249.9 pounds. I’m 5’7”. I am morbidly obese. You know morbid means deadly, right?

I went home that day, cried my eyes out, stayed in bed for a couple of days, quite frankly, terrified of food. After all, it was literally killing me. But really, it wasn’t the food at all. It was me. I needed to take ownership of that. It was always me from anorexia through to diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

READ ALSO: A Day in the Life of a Girl with Eating Disorders

I took my 3 days to cry it out and feel sorry for myself and then I did what I always do, I put on my big girl panties and I figured it out. Not as easy as it sounds. I am still figuring it out.

Here’s where I began to break my food addiction.

I changed my thinking. I stopped thinking of it as a death sentence and began to think of it as a blessing. I was still alive. All I needed to do was change my behavior and learn how to eat.

I began to measure my food. You cannot imagine how off my portions were. Try it, you will be floored.

I began to count carbs. My doctor gave me grams per day; 45 per meal 3x a day, and 15 per snack 3x per day. The thing about counting carbs is first, carbs were not taken away. There is nothing that makes me want something more than making it forbidden.

I eliminated all pop and juice because they are nothing but sugar. Instead, I opted for fresh fruit and if I need a drink other than water or milk, I drink Bubly. Actually, I am obsessed with the cherry flavor.

I am learning to say no to things. I am learning that sometimes it is ok to say yes to a bite or a ½ of something you really want but always in moderation and always aware of the portion size and carb count. Through this process of cutting my carbs and portion control, I’m learning that I really don’t love some of the food that I thought I loved as much as I do.

Case in point, pizza. I can have one piece with a salad if I feel the need. However, wasting 27 carbs on one slice feels ridiculous and it just doesn’t taste the same to me anymore. Pizza, the food that I thought I couldn’t live without. I don’t even really like anymore. It tastes weird to me.

I’m eating real food. I’ve been focusing on lean meats, fresh vegetables, fruits and logging every single thing I put into my mouth. I’m not living on chicken broth or cabbage. This isn’t a diet. I also weigh myself every morning and check my blood pressure and my blood glucose every day. It feels a little bit like restricting and that terrifies me because I can’t slip back into those old behaviors but I can’t eat with wild abandon either because my life is at stake. For now, this is what is working for me.

So far, I’ve lost 20.5 pounds in 6 weeks. I’ve lost 17.5 inches since May 29th ( that was the first time I measured but by then I had already lost about 10 lbs. so I’m sure I’ve lost more than that). My blood pressure is completely normal. No more headaches. My blood glucose is completely in the normal range. No more insomnia. I’ve had insomnia my entire life. Now, I shut my eyes and go to bed on most nights by 10 p.m. I feel better than I’ve felt in years.

Maybe food’s an addiction. Maybe sugar is a drug and I was an addict but I’m changing all that and you can too. Do you think you’re a carb or sugar addict? Does your health say otherwise?


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turning 40. surviving 40

When I was turning 40, I had been warned ad naseum about how my body was going to give me a great big “FUCK YOU” and I took it with a grain of salt because, let’s face it, I am a stubborn broad and you can’t tell me anything and for the love of Pete, please don’t tell me that I CAN’T do something because chances are that I will do it…JUST TO PROVE YOU WRONG. Seriously, it is a disease with me.

Anyways, bossy, stubborn bitch aside that I can be, I really didn’t believe there was a magical age at which your body just shuts down and it’s all down hill. Plus, I refuse to believe that my middle age is 40. Fuck that noise, I am living to 105. So middle age can kiss my ass until I am around 53.

Sometimes, life sneak attacks you, ninja style and that is kind of what has been happening. There was no giant weight gain. Come on, I’ve been gaining weight steadily since the great exodus of eating disorders in 1997 and the introduction of mood stabilizers in 2000. It was a combo for body disaster. Then I got pregnant and started raising babies and my life, in its entirety, became a steady, uncontrollable run away train. It’s just how I was function.

Little to no sleep, everyone’s needs put before my own, eating terribly, exercising seldomly and losing all sense of fashion and self. I essentially got to the place of overloaded, overwhelmed and barely functioning but I thought it was okay because, in the end, I was functioning. I made concessions here and there and lowered my standards. Life essentially beat the crap out of me and left me for dead…in fucking yoga pants, a ponytail and about 75 pounds overweight.

Sure, I tried to bring back the feisty broad that I once was…several times. Clear! I was putting the paddle to the sad little broad’s life but nothing. Sure, there’d be a revelation here and there and I’d start working out or watching what I ate, coloring my hair and actually treating myself like a human and then something would break, funds would get tight and there I went to the wayside again. It’s embarrassing to let yourself go, especially when you used to be proud of who you were; what you were; what you looked like and your tenacity. You begin to feel like you had it all and you let it slip through your fingers and then you feel guilty because look at what you have instead…your children. Sure, you look like a homeless fatty but damn it, you are a good mother. But are you? Really?

How great of a mom can I be if I look defeated at 41? What kind of example am I? Then on top of all of that, I noticed my hair falling out by the handfuls every time I showered (Stress is a cruel bitch), crows feet just waiting to delve even deeper, my skin is a desolate dessert, my hair is not only starting it’s own gray hair club the rest of my hair is taking on a texture that can only be described as witchy; it looks like the curls and the straight parts got into a fight and no one won. Plus, my eyelids and my boobs are a little lower and my skin looks decidedly less smooth. Plus, there is the overweight issue. The issue being that I yo-yo between starving, dieting and eating whatever the hell I want. ALL these are bad for me, especially since apparently, metabolism has taken an early retirement.

So I am doing research. I will not go gently into that good night of middle age. I want to look like I grew old gracefully but there is nothing graceful about the knock-down, drag out fight that mother nature and I are about to have.

Here are some tips that make turning 40 awesome:

Vaseline is a miracle cure for dry feet. I am not joking. Take a shower, wash your feet, get out, pat those feet well and slather them with Petroleum Jelly an then put on plain white cotton socks. Within 2 days I turned my pterodactyl talons into smooth baby feet. But you have to keep it up or the crypt keeper feet will come back.

Wen is a awesome. Yep, I saw all the infomercials but didn’t believe it. I wasn’t sure that I would feel clean without lather but let me tell you my crazy hair is getting prettier and prettier every day and more importantly I am only losing 5-10 hairs per shower versus the handfuls I was losing. Now, Wen won’t do shit for your grays so you’ll have to get a good stylist and colorist. Go on, do it. You are worth it. Make time and take care of those grays.

Moisturize like your face depends on it because it does. Sure, you need to keep your entire body moisturized because if not you’ll eventually get all ashy and itchy and that’s not cute but if you don’t moisturize your face, you will get wrinkles and look like the damn crypt keeper by the time you are 60. If that doesn’t scare you straight, I don’t know what will. Crow’s feet and laugh lines may be natural and some even tolerable but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of botox.

Get up and move. I don’t care what you do as long as you are moving. I sit on my ass all day working and my ass looks like it. It’s not being 40 that made metabolism take early retirement; it’s sitting on my ass doing nothing physical. My metabolism gave up on me. The good news is that going from sitting on your ass to any movement at all is going to be an improvement.

Get your sleep. You know people say, “I can sleep when I am dead. YOLO!” Well, as a grown woman who has terrible insomnia and a predilection for mania, I can tell you that sleep is way more valuable to your happiness than your YOLO attitude. Not saying not to live outloud but you can be a lot more lively and vivacious if you get at least 7 hours of sleep, plus you will feel better and people will like to be around you. YOLO is for 21 year olds who haven’t lived life yet. They are too stupid to know what they are saying is complete bullshit. Now, go take a fucking nap.

Wiggle it just a little bit…or a lot. Have sex with your husband, as much as you like. Look, I hear that menopause brings with it some vaginal dryness so girl, you better go get your groove on before you have to buy stock in KY lubricants just to do the deed. Besides, I don’t know about you but if I go more than a week without sex, I get grouchy. Seriously, like I want to punch people in the face grouchy. Have fun. It’s not so serious. This man loves you. Sex and giggling go together perfectly, as long as you’re not doing it anywhere near his penis. That’s grounds for divorce.

All things in moderation. Eat healthy and be happy. Look, I have been slowly but surely eating myself into not just obesity but unhealthiness. I have fallen into the terrible habit of eating processed shit and sugar and not near enough fruits and veggies. That’s all changing. I feel miserable and look terrible by my own standards. So, I am stepping out of my comfort zone and I am going to try to supplement my daily food intake with some juicing. Thanks Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead for scaring the shit out of me.  Anyways, I’ll keep you posted on how all this goes. Just remember, turning 40 is not turning dead. You’ve got this. You are fucking awesome. Now, go show those damn 30 year olds what a real woman looks like:) Never you mind her pregnancy glow.

Shit, is this my midlife crisis? When do I get my sports car and start flirting with 25 year olds? Who am I kidding? A 25-year-old has nothing on the Big Guy.

What’s your best advice to anyone turning 40?

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My beloved, Keurig. You complete me. Staying up late with my insomnia is great for catching up on emails and writing my posts, but it definitely has its price. You know… exhaustion, exacerbation of Mommy Brain, matching black luggage stored beneath my eyes. But there is a friend, nay a savior, that comes to my rescue at every beck and call and this is a small tribute to that beloved friend; my Keurig Coffee Maker.

READ ALSO: Mommy Brain


Ode to my Keurig

Oh sweet beauty, with your black and stainless sleekness sparkling it the morning sun,
You call to me with your siren voice,
Beckoning me from my slumber.
You faithfully greet my tired, weary smile every morning
Without fail, you are always there.
You pick me up when I am down,
You give me strength when I have none.
Your aroma wafts through the air and demands my attention.
You produce a sweet resuscitant to combat the death of my exhaustion

Keurig my Salvation

Some say you are but an object,
To me, you are a crucial part of my existence.
I need you, I want you, I love you~
You light up my life, you give me hope.
Thank you for the long conversations with great friends,
the Saturday mornings with my husband, for the salvation of my Motherhood.
You are my Keurig, forever and always.
May no man tear apart what Bed, Bath & Beyond has joined together.

All My love and Gratitude,
Truthful Mommy
**This was not paid for by Keurig, nor did they give me a free anything. They never even contacted me. But I do love my Keurig coffee maker and more importantly, I love my coffee that it makes.

Keurig you are my new Mom salvation

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Good Morning, fine folks of the blogiverse.  It’s Friday and I have decided that I would like to start something that I will call “Fabulous Five Friday ” or something to that effect. Basically, what it will be is every Friday I will list 5 blogs of consequence. Blogs that I think you should be following or at the very least check out. Some of my favorite reads. I will be honest, it will most likely be a mix of some that you are already aware of, some that everybody already knows of and a lot that maybe you aren’t familiar with. My purpose for this is that I have discovered some absolutely fabulous reads out there and I think you would probably enjoy, as well. My plan is to help you all find one another and make the world a better place:)

MommyNaniBooBooI am Jenni Chiu- most of the time, I give you my heart and soul, tied up in a pretty bow, dipped in poop, and then run through the washer on cold.” Her blog is honest, raw and real. It’s is the perfect blend of brains and beauty. Jenni is witty, wise and snarkilicious and definitely worthy of daily read status. Her blog tag line says it all “Not perfect, just right” isn’t that where we all fall on the spectrum if we are brave enough to admit it. Oh yeah and did I mention? She is HILARIOUS wrapped up in deep dipped in chocolate. She is one of the most genuine people out there on the interwebs. I want to give her proper heart hugs on the regular and so will you.You can also find her on Twitter. Go find her now!

A(n)(Un)Common FamilyAnd while being a mom is a huge part of who I am – the part that changed me in ways nothing else could, that made me get in touch with an inner soft side (one that could actually cry!), the part that suddenly realized what true, unconditional love actually feels like – it’s not all that I am.There’s more to me, even if it’s far less adorable than my kids.” Laura’s blog is about motherhood, marriage and how she has evolved over the years while maintaining the woman she was before the kids. It started with adoption and she touches on just about every single issue a mother or woman can face. She shares her soul and knowledge all with a twist of wicked sense of humor. I love her and so will you. You can also find Laura on Twitter.

Parenting Ad Absurdum “An irreverent, humorous and honest look at what it is truly like to parent small children, the highs and lows, the thrilling parts and the not-so-thrilling-at-all parts.” This blog is written by the lovely Peryl, an awesome Mommy to two spirited young boys. On any day you can read about a variety of topics ranging from little vampires ordering blood off the Starbucks menu to the correct protocol on how to name a Canadian baby. No matter the topic, Peryl will deliver it to you with grace and poise. She’s the lady who has the magic touch and can make any pill easier to swallow.Do yourself a favor, check her out. Peryl can also be found on Twitter

Kludgy Mom(clue-gee mom) is a mom who uses clumsy or inelegant, yet effective, solutions to problems, typically using  items that are cobbled together. In other words, a mom who makes things up as they go. A kludgy mom practices the art of embracing a life lived haphazardly. I’m a kludgy mom.” Gigi is much more than just a Mommy blogger, she is a Mommy who is a blogger. But she also blogs about a lot more. She blogs about food, she blogs about parenting, and she blogs about blogging and social media.  She is my go to girl for blogging information because aside from a ridiculously off the map sense of humor, she has a heart of gold and is living proof of one of my biggest dreams. There can, in fact, be sisterhood through motherhood. Sisterhood through blog writing. She rocks my world in loads of ways and she will rock yours too. She can also be found on Twitter.

Madame Paradox “Heidi David is a writer and freelance producer.  She is the author of an as yet unpublished work of dark commercial fiction, THE FLYING JEWEL; a tale of a traveling circus where the price of admission is one’s free will. Brought up in a pleasant yet dysfunctional suburb of New York, Heidi’s excessive exposure to musical theater at a young age as well as a lifetime of insomnia have contributed to her peculiar world view. Ms. David has been known to take an occasional tango class as well as repel down cliffs, thus defying the centuries old tradition of nice Jewish girls finding excuses to get out of gym class.  When she’s not writing or producing, Heidi lives a gluten-free existence in her Manhattan apartment while pining for the bagels of her youth.” Heidi is a writer’s blogger, meaning if you have a reverence for the written word you absolutely MUST give her blog a look. You won’t be sorry. Her words will take you to the four corners of the world, traveling space and time, she will make you laugh and cry. Heidi will take you to the brink of insanity and then rescue you from yourself. Her posts remind me of why I write. She expands my imagination and stimulates my brain, she can do the same for you. Heidi can also be found on Twitter.

These are my inaugural five blogs. They are all amazing. I think you will love them as much as I do. There are no crazy rules or requirements, I only want to share these great blogs with you. Of course, if you want to add me to your blog roll or put a button on your blog (it can be found under the “buttons” tab) that would certainly be awesome.

If you were looking for me this week, I was all over the internet. In case you missed it; I was techy here and then again over here. It’s a new writing opportunity working with one of the ladies I respect most in the blog world, Jessica Gottlieb. I am super excited and hope that you will stop by and check us out. I was spreading the crazy truth about having a second child and sharing my funny over here. Then I was featured as one of the top 500 over here. Not to mention, giving you the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth with a side of Throat Punch on Thursday here! Happy Friday,my Friends!

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heidi david, madame paradox
Today,I have the absolute pleasure of having one of my all time favorite writers, Heidi David of Madame Paradox , guest post at The TRUTH about Motherhood. She is an amazing writer and person, with a big heart and the intellect to match.
“Heidi David is a writer and freelance producer.  She is the author of an as yet unpublished work of dark commercial fiction, THE FLYING JEWEL; a tale of a traveling circus where the price of admission is one’s free will. Brought up in a pleasant yet dysfunctional suburb of New York, Heidi’s excessive exposure to musical theater at a young age as well as a lifetime of insomnia have contributed to her peculiar world view. Ms. David has been known to take an occasional tango class as well as repel down cliffs, thus defying the centuries old tradition of nice Jewish girls finding excuses to get out of gym class.  When she’s not writing or producing, Heidi lives a gluten-free existence in her Manhattan apartment while pining for the bagels of her youth.”

Heidi is a writer’s blogger, meaning if you have a reverence for the written word you absolutely MUST give her blog a look. You won’t be sorry. Her words will take you to the four corners of the world, traveling space and time, she will make you laugh and cry. Heidi will take you to the brink of insanity and then rescue you from yourself. Her posts remind me of why I write. She expands my imagination and stimulates my brain, she can do the same for you. Heidi can also be found on Twitter.
Thank you so much Debi for inviting me to guest post. I must admit when I first sat down to write something I struggled with what topic to choose because I’m not a mother. But then I realized I know a lot about mothers. Funny enough, I happen to have one.
The kitchen of my youth was painted oh-so-cheery yellow with two walls of ridiculous wallpaper. To be more specific, imagine if the 1970’s went on a drunken bender and threw up all over the breakfast nook, this might come close to describing it. No doubt my mother would explain how fashionable that wallpaper was at the time. To which I would probably say something sarcastic like, “And if everyone told you to jump off a bridge wearing that wallpaper, would you?” For me, as a teenager, that yellow kitchen represented the color of conformity.
Mom was a remarkably creative child who studied concert piano in high school, as well as theater and opera in college. Do you remember those Judy Garland movies where she’d walk into a room with sheet music tucked under her arm, and suddenly, as if by magic, a piano player and a chorus of singing friends would appear? I imagine my mother’s youth was a little like that. I saw a picture of her once, right after she and my father married. She had on these big dangling earrings and was smoking a cigarette. I’ve seen many photos of her from the past, but none like that one. She looked kind of…ballsy. But in the fifties when you were the second-generation child of people who’d spent their lives trying to better themselves, you didn’t become an actress. You got married and had kids.
I am my mother’s youngest. By the time I entered the scene I saw her as a woman who wore makeup and panty hose to the grocery store, who smiled and said hello to strangers on the street, and who knew how to make a dandy Swedish meatball with grape jelly and Heinz chili sauce. Every now and then she’d try to sit down at the piano, growing teary eyed that she could no longer play or sing the way she once had.
My mother liked to have us spend weekends touring famous historical landmarks. We went to art exhibits, museums and lots of theater. She also read to me at night, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, and The House at Pooh Corner to name a few. Her renditions left an indelible mark on my brain.
Now I could tell you for every beige blouse she owned, I wore a black one; that while she said hello to everyone, I stared at my feet and avoided eye contact; that she was the social butterfly meanwhile I kept my nose buried in a book. And those descriptions would be true, but not entirely. I was involved in theater and dance from elementary school through adulthood. At thirteen I even picked up a hammer and chisel and started carving in stone. And if you get me in the right social situation, I’m the friendliest shy person you’ve ever met. Also, I too am one hell of a hostess, Swedish meatballs not withstanding.
Recently I spent a month in Florida with my mother. I’m not going to sugar coat it by saying this was an easy experience. Everyone in my family has rather “vivid” personalities, and to make matters worse they were living with me, cranky writer accustomed to her solitude. So you can imagine the hijinks that ensued. Be that as it may, there were these moments with mom and me in the kitchen. I’d be chopping up my kale while she was whipping up one of her classic meals, and because we had to cook around each other in this small space it was almost a choreographed ballet of sorts (something else she exposed us to in my youth). Of course, she is still a neat freak with an unnatural attachment to Mr. Clean, and I am still a pack rat, who hates it when she takes my glass before I’m finished drinking. But I wouldn’t trade those moments in the kitchen with her for anything.
My blog has been a fascinating way for us to get to know each other again, possibly for the first time. For one thing, I think my mother believed I’d forgotten my childhood, for another, she didn’t know I could write, not really anyway. Often, I use stories from my childhood as analogies for the writing process. This has occasionally led to humor in my posts at my mother’s expense. I worry sometimes that she doesn’t know what I know, that all those cultural activities she brought into my life expanded my world in ways that inform every word I write, and every idea I have.
Several years ago I took up painting. Didn’t have a clue what I was doing, really. I just bought as many tubes of acrylics as I could afford and began putting paint on the canvas. And wouldn’t you know it, my favorite color of the bunch, the perfect foil for all the bolder more unusual shades? Naples yellow. Or as I might describe it, mom’s-kitchen-yellow.

I have come to realize my mother and I are nothing alike, yet completely similar. Perhaps that’s the way it is with all mothers and daughters? So on behalf of willful children every where let me say, we may not look like you, or sound like you, but trust me, we know the echo of your passions colors our world everyday, and we love you for it.
heidi david, madame paradox
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dream, dog, loss, back-to-school

Last night’s dream has me perplexed. This morning has thrown me for a loop. I am a bit out of sorts. It’s only  my second day completely alone since the girls started school. This is weird for me. I’m not so sure that I like it. This is it. I will never have my sweet little girls home with me on the weekdays again. Is it wrong that I am actually looking forward to days off?

dream, dog, back-to-school, Saff, loss

Sunday night, I stayed up until 1 am. I blame HBO and insomnia. Anyways, when 6 am on Monday morning rolled around, I was pretty much feeling like death warmed over. Not just tired but sick to my stomach. My body was mutinying saying “BITCH, why don’t you give us more sleep and better food?” I splashed some cold water on my face, brushed my teeth and got everyone ready for school. I came home and cleaned like a crazy woman, trying to avoid looking in any direction because all I kept seeing was where my dog is supposed to be. The tired mind plays tricks on you. Needless to say, I spent most of the morning folding laundry through tear filled eyes; partly because I miss my dog and probably in part because I miss my Gabs being home with me during the day. It’s lonely when you’ve been used to a little side kick for the past 7 years. I’ve not been lonely because I am never alone until now. Yes, I stood around my house crying like a big baby all by myself. So last night, I did what any really tired, completely sane person would do. I went to bed when I put the girls to bed, at 7 pm.

Bad dream #1

Guess what happened? I woke up three times and I had a shitload of weird freaking dreams. The first dream was this; I was with my girls at what looked like a school of some sort. We were there to see some sort of pet show. Obviously, in this dream, Gabi, my 5-year-old, immediately runs toward the animals. This kid loves animals. I see veterinary medicine in her future. Quite honestly, I’m pretty convinced this kid prefers animals to people most days of the week.  The entire time that she ran ahead, I had her in my sight because I am terrified of stranger danger and I’m pretty sure that I would die if something really bad ever happened to the girls. Suddenly, the dogs became roving exhibit and those bitches were being moved to another location. Gabi was not stopping. She ran after them, out of my line of sight. I am running down the longest corridors I’ve ever had the misfortune of running with her sister in tow. We run down the retractable bleachers and at the bottom they were not pulled all the way out. I jump about 6 feet to the ground. I am not stopping. I. MUST. CATCH.GABI. My 7-year-old refuses to jump.

I beg and plead with her. Gabi is disappearing into the venue and I can’t even hear the stampede of children anymore. This is my nightmare. Bella looks at me and shakes her head with that “not gonna happen” smirk that infuriates every mother. We’ve all seen it. And then she turns and runs in the opposite direction. I am simultaneously terrified and pissed off. Who do I follow? Who do I save? What if something bad happens to them? Then. I . Wake. Up in a cold sweat.

Commence Bad dream #2

I lay awake for 2 hours in the middle of night trying to figure out this riddle of a nightmare. Here’s what I came up with; it obviously has something to do with the fact that we just lost the dog and Gabi is having such a bad time of it. It also speaks volumes to the fact that Gabi always runs off without thinking (not listening to me) and Bella has recently started defying me, to test boundaries.

Then I tried to go back to bed and had another nightmare. What? Forget this. I’ll just be tired and stay an insomniac. Sleep is brutal, not for the weak.

When I went back to sleep, I dreamed that I was at a hotel with the Big Guy when we spotted an elderly woman who could not walk and had been stranded in the lobby by her people. She gave us some story about feeling really dizzy and needing to get up to her room. The Big Guy, being the nice guy he is, picks the elderly woman up and carries her up to her room. We were waiting for the valet to bring our car so her told me to wait while he took her up. Then he never came back. I spent what felt like forever searching the hotel for my husband. He had been kidnapped. It was a scam to get him upstairs. Eventually, after much freaking out, questioning hotel patrons and workers alike and crying on my part, we found him locked in a dog cage, which is totally bizarre because the Big Guy is 6’5″ and would never actually fit in one of those cages. Even more bizarre was that when we arrived at the room and found him locked in the dog cage, our deceased dog was walking around the outside of the cage.

So what the fuck does all this mean? I’m serious anybody have any good theories? Obviously, it has something to do with losing the dog and fearing losing the people I love but it was one of the weirdest dreams that I have ever had. I may be off sleep completely after last night’s dream.

dream, dog, loss, back-to-school

What do you think this dream means?

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