American Idle

One would think that I would have my day figured out by now considering my child is five hundred years old. One would be wrong.

When she was a baby, I tried Baby Wise, which demanded that I have her on a strict sleep/wake/eat schedule. About nine seconds into this ass backwards method I dropped it (Question to author: "Now how exactly does one teach their breasts not to squirt milk all over the living room when the baby cries in hunger in an effort to "call the shots as the parent"? What's that? You're a MAN and you do not have breasts? Ah.").

Then she was a toddler and had no demands other than an endless stream of Teletubbies and that she be able to chew on my keys while shopping. I pretty much did what I wanted with my day and she was my buddy.

(Ooooh, except for that one time when my buddy decided to completely vanish at Target and a CODE BLUE was announced across the PA system and all the doors went into lockdown - did you know they do this? - and HUNDREDS of people were calling for her and HUNDREDS more were standing at the doors with their bags completely pissed off because they weren't allowed to leave because some stupid mom dared to let her toddler out of the cart and then look away to compare the V-neck to the scoop neck for a SECOND. Don't you love Target? They're almost a better parent than I am.)

Aside from that though, the first three years were gravy. Then four years old hit. And now as of last month, five. And suddenly I'm met with a sullen face and irritated arguments and The Whining (Oh God, the whining) and The Complaining. In all fairness, there's also the adorable conversations (Excerpt from yesterday: "I know why you married daddy. There was a line of boys and you picked him because he was the tallest." So. True. And also his hair.).

So, to maintain that fine balance that is a five year old's emotional stability I've tried several loose schedules:

- Get up early and work in the morning for two hours before she's up, breakfast, then walk the dog together, then crafts, lunch, errands, friends, dinner, bath, bed, lots of wine and Tivo.

This did not work for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that once I started working in the morning, um, I wouldn't stop... and then all of the sudden it was two in the afternoon and Savannah had shriveled into a throw pillow in front of the TV.

Not to mention there was no mention of cleaning or going to the gym and so I spent a lot of time sitting and eating. Incidentally, this was the Year of the Spinach Dip if you check your Chinese Calendar.

So, I tried this:

- Get up with Savannah, clean, breakfast, play with friends, dinner, bath, bed, wine and Tivo.

You see the problem. We would start to play with friends so early in the day that we would end up not doing anything else until dinnertime. Basically, I moved into the park and Starbucks.

So, I REALLY MUST KNOW. Do you have a schedule? And does it allow you to keep your house clean, your kids occupied, possibly work and not include party size sour cream dips?

If you cannot help I'll have to go with what I know and that won't be pretty.

- Stay in bed, skip right to the Tivo.

Little Geisha
"Sorry. Target was totally my bad."


Move Me

All I've really been doing for the last 12 hours is pore over and photoshop my furniture into the interior photos.

I hate saying I hate living here because it seems like such an insult to the people I love in my life: my husband and our friends. But, I don't know what other way to express it. I love my life. I love my friends and husband. I just would prefer to put them in my pocket and take them with me to another city.

When we moved here from the Bay Area, we moved with the game plan to buy a house, sell it, buy another house, sell it, move back to the Bay Area with our booty and Rule The World!

Instead, we moved here, bought a house, and triiiiiied to selllllll the house, but couldn't and so we staaaaayed.

At this point, I'd be happy if we just moved back to the Bay Area and Ruled A Carport.

One thing I have learned in this experience (one of, oh, about 100 things. The first being, don't buy a house in a town of which you ask "Are cactus natural to this area?") is that I am not a house snob after all. I am giddy, GIDDY, with unrestrained joy over the prospect of 1200 square feet of attached townhouse in Northern California.

Why the joy? Because it will be close to the beach, the city, museums, concerts, hiking trails, shopping, fantastic schools, and everyone I've ever known in my entire life. Also the scene of The Dating, The First Kiss, The First Kiss Plus Bonus Features, The First Job, The Marriage, The Baby. Every major event in my life has occurred in Northern California and I am willing to sacrifice square footage to have my environment back.

Mostly, I just want to go home. I underestimated my attachment to my hometown and I overestimated my sense of adventure. To demonstrate:

Me/Ability To Start New(Immaturity) = Move Back Already and Shut Up2

Chris figured out this equation before I did (I was hung up on the Immaturity constant which involved a lot of unproductive whining) and he said these sweet sweet words as we drove through the hills of Gilroy over the weekend for Thanksgiving:


To which I responded "SHUT. UP. REALLY???!" and then in a fit of joy tried to stand up through the sunroof and yell (which I don't recommend while wearing lipgloss - that was a lot of insect leg).

The bad news is that sheer enthusiasm alone will not sell our house here or pay for one there. Only we can do that. We've painted everything that would stand still, bought new appliances, and completely landscaped. What more do we have to do to make this house marketable?

I can already hear what our realtor will say this time, "You guys sure have done a lot of work on the place, that's for sure. The painted cabinets are nice. But, what today's buyer is really looking for is an oil well in the back yard."

I know that we're in for a long stressful series of unknowns as we embark upon this journey of selling, buying, and moving. But, at least we're facing in the right direction.


Now, excuse me while I shrink my couch down and cut and paste it into someone else's unsuspecting living room.

Not trying to hear that

"Stop peeing on the lawn? I'm not trying to hear that."

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"Because The Curtains My Mom Made Never Looked Like These" Blog Review

Welcome to the Second Weekly Stalker Blog Review! Please hold your applause until the end of the post so you don't distract yourself.

So, this is this week's Most Favoritest Blog That I Have Enjoyed Stalking So Far. If by "stalking", I mean "weeping over".

Seriously. How am I going to be able to read anything else?

Warning: Do not read if you're feeling even the TEENSIEST bit incompetent as a mother. Or photographer. Or writer. Or non-button-sewer. Or, um, person.

I click on this link and then all of the sudden it's two hours later, I've purchased a book, tearfully examined my parenting skills, developed an affection for felt, taken a long hard look at my domesticity weaknesses, and am strongly considering moving to a lighthouse in Maine.

The only downside to this blog is that it makes my life look like crap. I don't even OWN a needle and thread. I actually TAPED my pants hem the other day. True story. And MY curtains? Look like highwater pants.

Do you think SouleMama would be friends with me? Yeah, I'm leaning towards no as well. Although the shot of her ice cream and pie accompanied by wine suggests we're actually long lost sisters. If she'd just start responding to my emails. And phone calls. *scowls*

Thanks Melissa for the link.

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Not Posting Is the New Black

Can you imagine if I did a post about, like, MAKEUP and then just left it up for like five days? Yeah, that would be weird.


Anyway. It's Tuesday, but it feels like Thursday because tomorrow is sort of like Friday when Chris will be peeling himself away from the computer while the sun is still up and he is still speaking in complete sentences and we will be embarking upon The Drive That Never Ends and Also Makes Me Eat Carls Jr.

Also known as The Drive To See the Family and All the Pretty Houses We Can't Afford Now But Could Have When We Moved Away But We Didn't Know That Yet and So We Moved To the Desert and Now We're Stuck Here Because The Market Sucks and Now So Do We.

Some people prefer to call it "The Bay Area", but to me it's always the first one.

I am however going to be making the most kick ass side dish recipes EVAH. Feel free to steal them because your life will never be the same after you have your vegetables presented in such a delectable way. In other words, I like my vegetables to taste either like cheese or candy. As likely do your small children, so bonus!

Lena's Totally Easy Green Beans (Which will FINALLY make up for the undercooked chicken you served your mother-in-law the first time she came to your apartment, which she picked at for a half hour before abandoning the bleeding pink center in an act of self-preservation. You know you did it too.)

Green Beans

Olive Oil

Bleu Cheese

Toasted Walnuts

Cracked Pepper/ Salt

Saute fresh green beans in olive oil, salt, and cracked pepper and then sprinkle bleu cheese over the top and finish with a toss of walnuts.

Sweet Potatoes That Make Me Offer To Clean The Kitchen So I Can Lick The Bowl

Sweet Potatoes

1 Tbl Butter or Olive Oil

Orange Juice


Chopped Pecans

Brown Sugar

Microwave or bake sweet potatoes until tender. Peel and chop. Coat in olive oil or butter in pan on Medium heat. Add a little orange juice, nutmeg, brown sugar and a generous sprinkling of pecans. Saute for 20-30 minutes until soft. You can throw in a few raisins as well.

See? I just gave you an excuse to stay in the kitchen and sip directly from the Bailey's bottle. You're welcome.

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When An Eight-Step Process To Applying Makeup Seems Totally Acceptable

Here's the thing. You don't realize you're aging. You keep thinking these subtle changes are temporary.

The way the skin gathers above your knees, the way the sleep marks stay on your face until after lunch, the way you chant under your breath "cardmecardmecardme" while the teenage grocery clerk rings up your alcohol. (Him: "Did you say something?" Me: "No. Why, did you want to ask me something?").

It's a slippery slope. One year you're looking at your face and wondering "Where on my face would I get wrinkles? Everything seems so tight." And the very next you're saying "So, the serum actually INFUSES collagen and then MINIMIZES the pores? For $150? Yes, I'll take two. No, THREE.".

And I'll fill you in on a horribly sad and depressing secret (if you can call it a secret, since I DID just find it through Google). Up to the age of 25 your cells regenerate at the same rate they die. After age 25, your cells regenerate SLOWER than they die. Let's lay it out like this.

< 25 =" LIVING

> 25 = DYING

Let's party!

Once I realized this fact, it all made sense. At age 26 exactly I suddenly started noticing crinkly lines around my eyes and wavy grooves in my forehead. And? Droopy pores. The joys. If me not panicking represents me aging gracefully than I am SO NOT AGING GRACEFULLY.

So, I did what any self-respecting woman with nine months and 22 days left of her 20's would do. I unfroze that credit card and I headed to Sephora.

Where I bought The Present by Philosophy. It's a primer. Which is supposed to fill in lines and provide a smooth surface for my foundation. The inference of course being that I need to CAULK my face before putting on makeup since it's as uneven as an acoustic ceiling. Oh, my natural beauty. It abounds.


Has anyone used a primer? Is one better than another? Will it clog my pores? (Can I now use a paint roller to apply my foundation?)

What product(s) are in your arsenal that you would rush into a burning building to retrieve? Any cleansers, toners, moisturizers that rock? (Lena's Mom: Olive oil! Me: Not listening!)

If you have any additional anti-aging complexion advice it's only fair that you share. I will pay you in pie.

**I also purchased Hope And A Prayer. I've never used a retinol product before, so I eagerly await the Face Dandruff.

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Because My Heart Just Completely Stopped

You know when people say their 'blood ran cold'? That really happens.

Today was the first day with my secret agent babysitter. I sat down at my desk with my latte in hand and began writing a post referring to what a lovely feeling it was to know my daughter was happily playing while I was freely working without interruption.


It happened like this.

Savannah came into my office alone and asked if she and Lindsey could play in the front yard. I wasn't thrilled with the idea and asked what they were planning on doing. She said play with bubbles.

AND THEN I SAID THIS. (Listen closely, because she did not.)"If. You. Go. To. Anyone. Else's. House. Let. Me. Know. First. Okay?". She agreed.

About twenty minutes later I noticed it was starting to get dark outside. Then I wondered why I had not heard a single playful peep from the open windows right behind my head since they overlook the front yard.

So, I decided to go downstairs and see if they had changed their minds about going outside.

You can see where this is going, no?

They weren't downstairs. I went out to the front yard. I looked up and down the street. Nothing.

I went back in the house and looked around downstairs some more. They weren't in the living room. Or the family room. Or the kitchen. Or the bathroom. They weren't in the backyard.

I went back out front and over to my other neighbor's house (we know exactly two neighbors -these people and Lindsey's family).

"Did Savannah and Lindsey come over here by any chance?" "No."

I now walk over to Lindsey's house, completely 100% sure now that they are there. I'm even a little irritated that they left without telling me. Until Lindsey's dad says "No, they're not here. Aren't they at your house?".

He runs upstairs calling Lindsey's name to double check. I go back outside and look up and down the street, which is empty except for two boys playing basketball half a block away.

Believe it or not, I am still not panicking at this point. Which if you know me outside of this blog you'll know is a huge deal. (I once had a complete panic attack because my shoelace was untied on an escalator.)

I run back over to my house and run upstairs, thinking SURELY they were up there the whole time. Not in Savannah's room. Not in my room. Not in the bathrooms or playroom or laundry room or office. I am now full-on running. And screaming their names.


I race back outside and yell to Lindsey's dad that I can't find them. He immediately calls his wife. This freaks me out even more.

I am now standing on my front sidewalk.

I have been looking for my barely-five-year-old daughter for almost TWENTY MINUTES.

My heart is in my throat. I look around. I search cars passing by with wide-eyed panic. My head is on a swivel.

"This is how it happens" my head says.

"Shut up. Stay calm." I say to myself. But, I'm out of options.

"A day like any other day."

I am shaking from head to toe as I race down the street. Headed where, I don't know. I am screaming their names. I don't even recognize my own voice, it is so shrill.

"And your life is forever changed."


I start to cry. I'm still running. What am I going to do next? Call the police? Call Chris?

And then I see two little silhouettes walking toward me on the sidewalk from about 20 houses down. From a friend of Lindsey's. A distance 20 times further than my daughter has ever traveled on our street in her life.

I run to them. I hug them. I yell at them. I cry and cry.

Three hours later and I'm still shaking.

I think the babysitting is off to a great start, don't you?

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Red Whine

I know it appears that I'm neglecting you. But, remember things are not always as they appear. (Like all those times growing up when I convinced my mom the hickeys on my neck were "from the curling iron". Clumsy me! Eventually, my mom suggested that perhaps I be more careful lest the curling iron think I was easy. ....Oh.)

But, I digress.

We actually hosted a little costume party for the girls over the weekend and I've been going through all the pictures. And realized 1) we drank alot and 2) we drank alot IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN.

While I DO NOT agree that there is a fine line between socially drinking and "problem drinking", questions on the subject have been buzzing around my head like a fly I keep trying to swat away.

Am I setting the right example for my daughter by allowing her to see me drink? What does she think when she hears us say that we "NEED a drink"?

Having had a father who was an alcoholic (rarely drunk, but regularly drinking) I remember being disgusted when he would be affectionate and kind when he had a few beers.

I would cringe when my parents and their friends would laugh a little too loud late at night. Or seem a little too free with their demeanors. When their stories would become too enthusiastic and their personalities less recognizable. I remember the feeling of unease well.

Yet, I wonder. Did it make it wrong? Should they have done nothing on a Friday night but sit with me and discuss Ramona's latest adventure? They spent plenty of time taking care of the their families and houses and jobs and responsibilities during the week. Why shouldn't they be free to relax and have a good time?

I still question whether the unease I felt was necessarily a bad thing or just a life lesson. Parents are people too.

What message would it have conveyed if they sent me away to a friend's house while they "did their drinking"? Would I have assumed alcohol was something to hide? Part of a great adult secret that I would then be anxiously awaiting being let in on?

True, I didn't like it when my parents would drink, but my daughter doesn't like it when Chris and I even SPEAK TO EACH OTHER. Kids rarely like anything that they're not a part of.

I think everyone is reacting to this subject through the filter of their own childhood experiences. I drink maybe three or four times a month and only in social settings. I never drink alone. And? (Insert Emotional Childhood Baggage Alert.) I never touch my daughter when I'm drinking.

She's often playing with her friends when we are drinking with ours, so its rarely an issue. But, for me personally, I don't EVER want her to be disgusted by a hug or a kiss on the head because she thinks it is the alcohol's affection and not mine. I doubt you understand this, but it is a protective response.

So I understand the bloggers/commenters/journalists who have their strong opinions in one direction or another. Everyone seems very specific. "I never drink in front of my kids" "I always drink in front of my kids" "I only drink after six" "I only drink six" "I teach my kids to mix my drinks" "I won't like you if you don't drink" "I won't like you if you do".

For me the bottom line is HOW MUCH and HOW OFTEN. Not whether it is in front of the kids or not. Kids naturally gravitate toward what they don't understand. I'd rather set a good example than no example.

Do you drink in front of your kids? Do you feel bad about it the next day?


In other news, I took (some of) your advice and I asked my neighbor like this:

"I was wondering if Lindsey would like to make some extra money by coming over once a week after school to play with and keep an eye on Savannah so that I can work? Maybe Wednesdays from 4-6? And let's keep the fact that she's being paid between us so delicate feelings aren't hurt".

And then I told Savannah like this:

"Good news! Even though Lindsey is busy most of the week doing big girl stuff, her mommy said she can come over and play with you every Wednesday after school."

Me: 1

Savannah: 1

Lindsey: 1

You guys: Rock

When and IF Savannah ever finds out I'm paying Lindsey, I'm thinking something like this:

"Well, when big girls play with little girls it's the responsibility of the big girl to keep the little girl safe because she's older. So, sometimes the little girl's mommy will pay the big girl to thank her for doing such a good job."

What do you think?

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The First of Several Decisions on Which I'm About To Consult a Magic Eight Ball

I have no idea whether this is completely normal or if I'm about to scar my child for life.

I'm considering paying a child to play with my daughter.

Let me give you some backstory:

See, Savannah's love for the neighbor rivals the most extreme of obsessions. At least five times a day Chris and I field questions pertaining to or involving the 11-year-old little girl who lives next door.

"When is Lindsey going to be home?" "Who called? Was it Lindsey?" "Can I call Lindsey?" "Did you say Lindsey?".

One night she even cried out for Lindsey IN HER SLEEP.

When Lindsey does occasionally grace us with her presence (about once a month), Savannah is so overwhelmed with the sheer joy of Lindsey's smell and presence and voice that she spends the majority of the time staring at the side of Lindsey's head, unable to think of a single sensical thing to say.

(I know exactly where she picked this up because I have about ten ex-boyfriends, two ex-bosses, and that cute barista at Starbucks that can vouch for a similar experience with me.)

I should add in Savannah's defense, that she is very popular in her preschool class. All the little girls love her. But, the attention from this 'big girl' is what she's after. It's intoxicating. She's hooked.

The thing is, Lindsey is getting older. And it is becoming increasingly obvious that she is coming over to play at the urging of her parents. (Something I imagine to sound like this: "Go play with that girl already so the damn phone stops ringing! ...And tell her mother she might want to use this time to address the four foot weed in the front yard.")

Savannah is six years younger than Lindsey and I know any interest Lindsey has in playing over is quickly waning. Sooooo, what I was thinking is that I would maybe perhaps offer Lindsey MONEY to BABYSIT in SECRET.

Savannah would think Lindsey was coming over to play, Lindsey would have motivation to come, and I could see my little girl happy. Everybody wins, right?

Do you see anything wrong with this? Have you ever paid someone to babysit your child without their knowledge?

*shakes Internet* *waits for purple triangle to appear in window*

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Blawwg Review

t's the first Weekly Stalker Blog Review*! Hosted by me, your resident stalker.

I received SO MANY (a bajillion and nine at last count) blog shout outs. You guys dee-liver. And my weekend was dee-lightful (except for the whole Crying Uterus Thing) because there's nothing I love more than stalking new victims and poking around in their archives and celebrating their discovery with cheese and crackers.

Then adding them to Bloglines and emailing them "I added you to Bloglines! Did you feel anything?" and then I laugh because I can see them making that weird face I do when I open creepy emails from people I don't know.

(Like did I ever tell you guys about the one where this guy asked me if I "use rubber pants"? And I have NO IDEA if he meant on myself or my child. AND. His profile picture is of him sitting alone on a couch with his legs open. Thank god for low-res cameras because...I think he may have been wearing rubber pants.)

But, I digress. So, the new blogs! With fantastic writing! And squooshy babeees! Am. Loving. It. Although: *uterus cries*.

So, this is this week's Most Favoritest Blog That I Have Enjoyed Stalking So Far. (That award title is totally trademarked, so step off.)


She makes me want to press delete and start ALL OVER again.

Post Totally Worth Reading Every Word: this one.

And most of all, thanks Moose for the pimpout!

*There's still time to Show Me Yours as I'll continue to do this every week. Leave your recommendations in the comments here.

**Also? On a totally unrelated note? You girls loooove to shave. I'm thinking a beauty question every week from now on because I can learn a thing or two. Up next, "What the hell is wrong with my face?" Stay tuned.

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Who Asked You Anyway?

*My friends and family looked at me somberly yesterday after reading my last post. "Giving up the blogging are you?" they inquired solemnly. "It was a real post! I had a real question! About shaving!" I exclaimed. "It's nothing to be ashamed of Lena. Every blog comes to its end. There's so many other things you can do with your life" was their grave reply. "But, I just had a QUESTION! WAAAH!"

You guys didn't think it was a weird inquiry, did you? I didn't think so. They don't understand the magic we have between us, you and I.

So, here's why I asked about your leg hair.

When I was about 12 years old, this young married couple stayed with us for awhile while they got on their feet financially. He looked very much like Tom Cruise and she looked like, ummmmm, actually she looked alot like Kelly McGillis. And yes, this is true and no, this isn't an episode of Lena's Barbies.

(Although. Those would be great stories. Because: Lena's Barbies = whores. Barbie ALWAYS ended up under the Kleenex comforter with Ken and his endless quest to satisfy her. But, alas, his arms could not bend.)


The wife was in her late 20's and she was miserable and beautiful and sat on the couch all day and dismissed me and my friends, especially while her husband swam in the backyard and we all giggled at the kitchen windows. Because, Top Gun had just come out and it was KINDA a big deal that Tom Cruise was swimming in our pool.

Again, Anyway.

The only time Little Miss Depressed Ice Princess (who was obviously regretting marrying with her eyes and not her WALLET) spoke to me and my little gaggle of girlfriends was when she was imparting little pieces of beauty wisdom.

She would go days without saying one word to us and then all of the sudden, "Putting avocado and egg on your hair once a week will keep it shiny." We'd all stop talking and look over at her and there she would be, sitting at the kitchen table painting her nails sagely doling out beauty advice in bits.

The next time maybe it would be, "A spoon on your eyes for a minute will get rid of puffiness." Or, "Nothing beats Vaseline for hand cream". And this, which totally works,"Always line your bottom lashline with white liner to make your eyes look bigger."

Then once, "I shave every day just to my knee. Then I do the thighs once a week. It's important to always stay smooth to the knee so you can wear whatever you want and not worry."

I immediately took her advice. Although it appears a little worry about what I was wearing would have been in order.

Even though this advice was 17 years ago, I've pretty much followed it ever since. Until yesterday. When I thought "I'm a big girl now. I'm just going to shave the whole leg all at once" and pulled the razor up and over my knee.

And my entire kneecap tore off and dangled from the blade like a hubcap. And I screamed and fainted and the room filled with blood and the moon went black. Well, it felt like it anyway.

The moral of the story obviously is: Tom Cruise was REALLY REALLY cute in Top Gun. And so was Val Kilmer.

*Check out the comments from yesterday's post for some surprises. One, a whole lot of you go WEEKS without shaving - I would be two eyes poking out from behind a wall of fur if I did this. Two, a whole lot of you have heaving breasts that get in your way - you sexy mamas. And three, I'm SO TOTALLY buying the Veet Razera TODAY (thanks Amy H.).

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In the Name of Research

Please to tell me. Do you shave your legs every day? And when you shave, do you shave the whole leg at once, from ankle to thigh? Or do you shave ankle to knee first?

Tomorrow's post will be written by The Gaping Hole In My Knee to explain why I ask.

UPDATED: What is this "waxing" you speak of? If you don't shave, do you wax at home? What product do you use? How long until the hair grows back? Will it hurt like the everlovin Brazilian I got for Hawaii? Because, ohmygoddon'teventouchmegetawayIhavebumps.

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Because I'm Not Funny At Alllll ...and I'm Not Even Kidding

I'd like to write about something else. Really I would.

I've written and deleted about six posts just this morning because I cannot seem to adequately think about anything else until I get this out of my system. I was hoping it would pass because I'm just so tired of THINKING ABOUT THIS and TALKING ABOUT IT. Maybe if I write about it, my brain will let me move on. To write again about the real estate market and my cats and Doritos.

Something is bearing down on me and I am hurtling towards it.

Time's Up.

Time is not your friend when you're infertile/barren/broke/almost 30. Every year is another year passed without the desired result (HINT: It rhymes with "paby").

In case you've forgotten why I can't have a "paby", I've added a highly scientific and incredibly accurate depiction of my predicament.




A few things worth mentioning:

1. My daughter is a blessing and I am eternally grateful for her creation and the healthy outcome.

2. It is no one's responsibility or obligation to fulfill me or make my life complete.

3. I could live the rest of my life without having another child and be okay with that IF THIS WERE ABOUT ME. Which it is not.

At this rate, I will be lucky if Savannah is seven years old by the time we have another child. And I want this desperately for her. All for her. Every day of my life is filled with endless questions about what kids she's going to be able to see, who can she play with, who's home from school. EVERY DAY. ALL DAY. This bears repeating so that you UNDERSTAND: EVERY DAY. ALL DAY.

How often, you ask? EVERY DAY. ALL DAY.

The child needs a playmate. She needs a little person to be her constant companion. I don't care if they fight all day long, at least they'll be BUSY. My heart BREAKS when she cries that she's bored, when she comes streaking down the stairs at the sound of children's laughter outside. When we finish a game together and she's immediately crying for a friend to play with. A friend that isn't me. "A little friend" like her. I want to give her this more than anything in the whole world.

I used to think that an unhappy only child was only a state of mind and that I could occupy her brain and keep her entertained. I thought that only children could experience days full of joy if they had the right parents. I thought that love would make up for what she was lacking in a brother or sister.

I was wrong.

My child needs a sibling. More than any other child I've ever seen. She needs a lifelong friend. She is CRYING for a lifelong friend. And I cannot give it to her. (Take knife. Insert into HEART.)

When Savannah was younger I was constantly being asked if I'd like to have another. ("Oh, no thanks! I'm already drunk enough!" HA!). I knew we would figure it all out when the time came. As I've mentioned before, the "time came" when Savannah was two years old and we starting "figuring it out".

Here, in chronological order, is how it went down:

1. Start looking into Domestic Adoption. Have total mental breakdown in front of the computer upon realization that we cannot compete with the other prospective adoptive parents and their perfect lives (Multiple homes? Check. Two SUV's? Check. Rolling green lawn? Check. Pictures of Aspen ski vacations? Check. Rambling, worshipful, vacant birth mother letter? Check. Bottomless bank account? Check. Desperate eyes? Check, check, check.).

2. Consider chucking it all to the wind, having Chris's Clip N' Snip reversed, getting pregnant the old fashioned way and seeing where the old Wheel O'Tragedy takes us: Will it be Premature Baby with Lifelong Developmental Problems? Premature Baby with Limited Problems? Premature Baby with No Problems (Already have one of those! Matching Set! Awesome!)? Dead Baby? Unhealthy Baby Who Dies Later? Healthy Baby, Disabled Mom? Healthy Baby, Dead Mom? Dead Baby, Dead Mom, Motherless Daughter, Widowed Husband? Oh, the fun we had deciding!

Decide risks are too much for me to get pregnant again. More crying.

3. Research International Adoption. Focus on Russia. Begin preliminary paperwork with Russian Adoption Agency. Read Every Single Book on Russian Adoption. Feel slightly disconcerted with talk of "shakedowns" and "payoffs" and "holding hostage" and "geo-political hostilities". Which, I should add, doesn't seem to be describing her experience, thankfully.

4. Run out of money. Put off adoption process.

5. Research Ethiopia Adoption. Still without money to actually do anything about it. More crying.

6. Receive offer from family member to Surrogate. Disbelief. Because: Offering Your Womb. My God. Something I would never be willing to do myself. Also? Because I know she's reading... I completely understand if she decides it is all a bit much for her.

7. No money for that either right now. Wait. Gnash teeth. Avoid babies. Finally cancel subscription to American Baby. Briefly ponder whether anyone has ever subscribed to a parenting magazine while pregnant and then miscarried. Can she bring herself to cancel the subscription? Does she cry like I do?

7a. Start drinking heavily and only child blurs into two. Problem solved!

I just don't see any way out of this. I can't foresee having a baby in my arms for a very, very long time. I CAN foresee NEVER having a baby in my arms again.

I feel like our family has been cut short.

I feel like I've been packed and ready for a trip around the world for the last three years and am still waiting at the airport. And everybody's saying "Why don't you just go home, Lena? There is no trip. It's all in your head. Why don't you just move on?".

And I'm saying "Because I don't believe that. Because the next plane may be mine. And I don't want to miss it.". And I keep waiting. And everyone else boards their flights and leaves.

And I'm still sitting here with my luggage around me. Looking out the windows at the sky. Waiting. And I'm afraid I may die here.

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