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Essay

Drowning in Mucus

Drowning in Mucus: A Love Story

You stand alone in the kitchen sipping coffee, enjoying a quiet morning sunrise when you hear a tiny sneeze. Normally this would be odd, but you’re holding a baby, so it’s just cute.

Especially when the baby smiles because she finds sneezing funny.

Coffee in one hand, baby in the other. Out of the corner of your eye you notice something other than the smile on the baby’s face. Actually, you notice two things: two long strands of thick, yellow mucus oozing out of her nostrils.

She doesn’t seem to notice them, as the hilarity of the sneeze occupies her mind enough to ignore the sensation of the fluid leaking out of her face. Then her fist twitches, and starts to move.

The flash of a possible future barrels through your mind… the tiny fist, smearing mucus over her face in a wide swath… caked and crusty eyebrows… eyelashes delicately holding droplets of snot,

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Moments

It’s Not You, It’s the Zipper!

photo by Arek Olek

I ordered a dress in a size smaller than I am for my daughter’s wedding, because:
A. I plan to lose weight before the wedding and
B. I didn’t want to have to hem it
So when it arrived I tried it on and asked my sweet little man, Tommy, to zip me up. As he struggled getting

This is What the Oregon Trail Prepared Me For

Photo: Lovelorm Poets

Day 07 of the fever sickness. It’s not the sickness but the isolation that will get you.

Nina has definitely had some flashes of being out of touch. I can only hope she will regain her social identity and leave this behind at some point. She has taken to pulling out hair (first from my head

These Are the Days

photo copyright of Freckled Cat Photography, http://www.freckledcatphoto.com/

My favorite days at home with my girls–ages 5 and 8-months–are the days when we go slowly. The days we lie on the floor of our kitchen and try to teach Annie to crawl by crawling around ourselves. The days I sit in the rocking chair in Annie’s sunlit room, with both girls on my

Text to Self

Text to Self

It was dark, too dark to be out on a walk with a toddler. We had been in search of a playground and it was just a day or two after the daylight savings time change.

I had misjudged both the time and the distance. It was past dinnertime and I was tired, my baby cranky.

I

Just Say Yes

Photo: Traci Shannon

With all the craziness of downsizing from 1600 sq. ft. home to a 320 sq. ft. trailer to see the lower 48 states in a year-long family road trip, I’ve had some control issues. This has caused the word “No” to come out of my mouth more often than I would like.

So when my daughter mentioned

When You Least Expect It

Photo Credit: el7bara

I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. When I opened the door to the hallway, there was my seven-year-old son waiting for his turn.

And seeing him, standing in his boy-sized underwear in the glow of the nightlight, my heart split right open and my throat caught.

There was something in

Don’t Judge Me, I’m a Mom

photo submitted by youbabyandi author

Moms are judged too frequently.

I had an incident with my daughter not too long ago at a lodge we visited for a weekend. It was 8 PM at night and we were at dinner shortly after we arrived. She normally sleeps at 8, so she was tired and grumpy.

At this point, I’m starving and so

The Moment My Children’s Fashion Sense Blindsided Me

photo by Jen Preiss

I believe I have a good fashion sense. I have clothed all my children without someone questioning my taste. Even my own clothing has earned occasional positive reviews.

So I wasn’t prepared for my children to rebel, making shopping a grueling nightmare. I’ve had more fun at my yearly OB/GYN visits.

My thirteen-year-old son refused to wear

No Return Policy

baby's bracelet tag

My three-year-old son stared in horror as I delicately cut my newborn twins’ hospital ID bracelets off with a manicuring scissors so I could scrapbook them.

As he burst into tears, I calmly reassured him that I hadn’t harmed his new siblings and, in fact, they slept through the whole thing. But that wasn’t the problem

Stepping Off the Parent Treadmill

Photo by: Leslie Gordon

Ever since having children, I’ve felt like I’m on a treadmill: getting through the days, trying to keep up with who needs what when (usually: everyone, all the time), all the while wondering what this is for, how it really works, and, of course, if I’m doing it right.

But

More Like the Sun Than the Sun That Day

More Liek the Sun Than the Sun That Day

It was a perfect day with a bright sun and a cool breeze. My one year old in the stroller was pointing and yelling “Ba!” at each bird, squirrel, dog, butterfly, and live creature he saw along the way.

My three and four year olds raced down the sidewalk smelling every flower they could find. “Smell

The Last Gift

Photo by Tot Schlor (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tatjanaschloer/7880375974/)

This text came from my seven-year-old granddaughter: “Nina died. We had to put her down. ”
Without knowing it, my youngest granddaughter had told me that my amazing daughter and son-in-law had prepared their daughters for the death of their beloved dog.

How did I gage this from an 8-word-text? The word ‘died’ said it all.

The Pre-teen Shopping Wars

Photo by: Tat Schloer

I have found six key phrases to keep my pre-teen girl from buying clothing that I don’t like:

1. Wow, that is really cute! I love it! So cute!
2. Doesn’t ______ have that shirt, too? (Fill in the blank with any friend’s name or Miley Cirus.)
3. Super, they have that in my size too!
4. That reminds

Future Lawyer

Future Lawyer

I threatened to charge the kids money every time they tattled on each other this summer. My son just found $5 on the ground and said excitedly, “Now I can tattle five times!”

 

Photo credit: Cecilie Sønsteby

Proof Positive

Radio

Listening to an NPR show discuss the Ferguson, MO, shooting in the car this morning, my daughter asked, “Why don’t they just call people by their name? Not black or white, they have a name. I just want to know their name and if they are good people.”

Too Much Stuff

Too Much Stuff

It occurred to me that if I charge the rates of a public storage facility, my adult children might come and remove their stuff. Brilliant!

Then I realized how hard it would be to get them to pay that bill. Darn it.

Empty house, full of stuff. Memories. Family. Love. A lifetime.

Photo credit: Hobvias Sudoneighm

Yes, I’m Not Ashamed to Admit It

doughnuts

I was standing at the kitchen counter with a glass of red wine in one hand and a Krispy Kreme doughnut with Key Lime filling in the other. My husband was laughing at me. I didn’t care.

I started a new job that was full-time in the office instead of part-time at home. I was working really

The Perfect Anniversary Gift

Sharing their lives with each other

What do you get the woman you love to celebrate 16 years of marriage? In my case, I knew the answer. There’s only one thing my wife wants more than anything else, and that’s a healthy future for our son.

Along with being a bright, energetic, playful kid with a quirky sense of humor, our son

The Worst Day of Her Life

The Worst Day of Her Life

“This is the worst day of my entire life,” my daughter sobs. Her eyes are red and tears are dripping down her cheeks.

Today someone adopted the last puppy we have been fostering for the animal shelter. Today the big beautiful tree that shaded our front yard was taken down. My daughter mourned the birds’ nests

Let’s Play Babies!

Let's Play Babies!

Ava: “Mommy, want to play babies? You and Jack are the babies and I’m the Mommy?”

Me: “Yes, please!”

Ava: “Okay babies, time to clean up the Barbies. Mommy didn’t make this mess!”

Photo credit: Some rights reserved by Mads Boedker