31 December 2011

not resolutions, intentions

I've been thinking a lot about human nature-- that is, the nature of each of us. Many folks in my life have folks in their lives they wish would change, right now. And I was thinking how very hard change is. Folks tend to change only when they want something badly enough, or very badly want something to stop, and are willing to trade the potential payoff for the potential consequences.

I remember long ago in therapy, I learned that if I changed what I was doing, I might indirectly change how a relationship or interaction was going too simply because I was no longer doing my part in the dance. I also remember how many months and years I sat with that knowledge without having the guts to put it to use, afraid of what would happen, afraid of consequences, afraid, in fact, of the very change I hoped for.

I am not sure why I am writing about this now, except for some current upheaval and events in the relationships of my beloveds (not me, thank god, all is solid here). But perhaps also because I feel compassion for all involved...because I feel my own reluctance to change, even when faced with opportunity.  I tend to choose what I know, even if  what I know does not work as well as I would like.

As I look to the new year, I will state this intention: I intend and hope that I will begin to make choices not only based on familiarity/old habits and patterns, the great regression, but to take a chance every once in a while and choose some new path, some new way, something that pulls instead of pushes, something that moves me in the direction of how I want to feel. Even thinking about it/writing about it makes me feel a little tired and a little scared. What if my choices are wrong? Or if things don't work out? What if I make a mistake? (one of my top ten pain-in-the-ass issues of this lifetime: fear of making mistakes)
The power in my intention is that I know I am scared, but I am also acutely aware that many of my choices/responses/reactions this year did not support my highest and best, at least, not the holistic way I'd like.  How can I best support myself emotionally and spiritually? How can I create more energy instead of less? How can I create the best environment for positive change and evolution? What small steps can I take that move me in the right direction(s), without triggering my "run away run away" fear response?

How about you? As you look to the new year, what are you thinking?  Not resolutions per se, but what mindful intention are you putting out there?

Funny thing about resolutions: They sound so nicely tied up, don't they? As if via resolutions something(s) get Resolved. Not so much.

Join me in some self-compassion, and some mindful intention(s): What small steps can you take to support your highest and best (in the context of your reality people, not some woo woo unicorns and rainbows universe)?

Wishing you all the happiest healthiest most personally prosperous all-good-dreams-come-true New Year.

29 December 2011

Pond 360

Please check out my sister's new blog.
She intends to post a photo of her pond every day. In the way that each observed life is never the same moment to moment, the pond changes with light and season and weather... sometimes complex, sometimes simple, always beautiful. She has created the intention and the opportunity to really experience her pond each day for the next year.
And, if you want to get a bigger glimpse into her awesomeness, read the About page. She's pretty amazing.


String theory and old food

A night of hard rain, and the snow is mostly gone for the moment. Only little clumps remain like crumpled up paper in the shadows.

Today feels peaceful, Momma is visiting which is pure bliss for me.  Groceries! Trip to the dumpster! Pumpkin bread! 

I thought I might work some, but time has whooshed by, and now we are waiting for tea to cool before she leaves at 2:00.

I'm having an interesting relationship to time right now, string theory, rubberbanding, stretching out, contracting, knotting, taking for  ev   er , then, in a moment, a week is gone.  Sleep is now filled with dreams informed by whatever I've watched on TV (last night, surfing! skid row! MRIs and music!, the other day planet earth! shark infested waters!)  and an almost schizoid cleaning out of the fridge dreams, a bit of everything, nothing, no narrative, no sense, just Stuff.  Stuff that perhaps has spent too much time in tupperware.

a day passed since I began this post.
time doing that rubber band thing
and me
choosing to post rather than waiting for epiphany.

21 December 2011


Today was cold and rainy, with the kind of air that pushes woodsmoke down like fog. This morning I watched the sky turn light through windows skimmed with condensation, and now, on this second shortest day, it is already dark enough at 4:30 that I can barely see the pines against the nearly black sky.

What I really want to say is thank you. Sincerely. Big-heartedly. Your comments helped knit me back together.

I'll just do what I do here.
And I'll start by posting an image of one of the paintings I did a few weeks back during the campfire weekend.  No need to comment on it. This kind of stuff is really personal, and no two people respond the same way. I want to share it because I like it. Here it is: abstracted November.

Tomorrow will be dark too. But then, the next day? LIGHTER.

18 December 2011


Here I am, in the midst of things, wondering what this space should be. Can it just be what it is?
I think I've lost most of my readers through my intermittency and my pregnancy success. And I totally get both of those. But I am not giving up this space, it means so much to me. And you, you who do read, thank you!

What do you think?
Can I just go on babbling about being in the vague in between land of post-interfertility(if there really is ever a post-infertility stage, which I doubt) IVF mom-lost-house-and-job-found-work-patchworking-together-contracts-art-life-parenting-with-liberal-doses-of-midlife-uncertainty?  Or should I create a more certain direction/identity for the blog?

For me, this is my real life (not the blog, but what I write about here)-- I realize I am not writing as often not because I have nothing to say but for time reasons mostly and occasionally because I am not certain what would be appropriate to write here.

I have a whole post written on envy that seems like annoying whining.
So in awareness of my incredible luck with having Della, something I know so many people are still fighting the good fight to achieve, could I give myself permission to write about envy from this decidedly enviable position? I thought not. And now, I wonder, should I post it anyway? It is my truth, after all.

So yeah. I want to write about things like envy, fear, where the hell is my period (no, not pregnant, just no period yet), co sleeping, nostalgia and food waste.

I want to write about the complete wonder I have when I see Della and know that she is real. I still cannot believe it, and still worry about Bad Things That Could Happen.  

I want to write that I spent the whole pregnancy worried about my cervix, about premature labor, about losing her.  I worried about losing her during delivery. And in those days and nights after. And for the whole first year I slept with my hand on her chest or back so I could feel her breathing.
I want to write that now out of the window for SIDS, I cannot quite allow myself to stand down. That I have never loved anyone or anything like I love her and cannot believe just how intense it is, how huge, how encompassing, how clear and unfettered.  

I want to write about things like the fact I am still breastfeeding Della. Not as much, not as often. yes at night still. I want to write that I love it and hate parts of it. Dread what my body will look like when I stop. Hate my vanity for even thinking about my breasts as anything other than miraculous. I hate how Della digs her nails into the opposite breast, over and over and over and tantrums if I try to intervene.  How did this habit develop? I don't even know.. why can I not be strong enough to endure the tantrum? I don't know, I just can't.

I want to write about how sad I feel, how bone deep nearly desperate sad, when I think of breast feeding ending, or ending co-sleeping, knowing that this will never happen for me again.

I want to write that I want to do this all again, no, not with another baby, but this one, this little one. I miss her infancy with an intense ache, it went by so fast!  I can see how this is the age at which so many folks try for a second. I get it.  I really do. But we can't and won't and don't really want to-- Della is our miracle.  But I want to write about how I envy folks who are pregnant again. Even though I don't really want to be.

I want to write about the complexity of feeling Other in a world of younger moms. I want to write about how it feels to meet moms at daycare and realize I am old enough to be their mom.  I want to write about how I feel as if I am making it up every day, figuring things out as I go, feeling triumphant at a walk down town with Della in the stroller, but even then, how the favorite blanket untucks, goes under the wheels and rips.

I want to write about how when we go to Target and Della sits in the cart the whole time, it feels like a blessing from the box store gods. and when she wants to be carried instead, I have learned to push the cart one-handed, while her weight sits on my left hip and I wonder how I got to be so strong in some ways and such a wuss in others.

I want to confess we bathe her with sponge baths still-- that real baths and showers make her cry so hard I cannot think.  We try, like today, and hope that sometime it changes into something tolerable.

I want to say how lonely I feel, but also how I have created a life so full and busy that I have no time to connect in real life. Logistics paralyze me.  I have work to do. I always have work to do.

I want to say that while somehow, so many things are miraculously great, I am scared everyday about money, about the inherent intermittency of contract work, of the uncertainty. And how, car repair becomes a christmas present,  depletes my account, creates worry where for a moment there was actually a tiny cushion. And how am I ever going to repay my immense debts to my family that helped make Della?

I wonder what to say about all of this
so instead sometimes it is easier not to write
or to let the moment pass
and just say, hey everyone. I miss you.

11 December 2011


A creative weekend, intense, productive, good. The thing about creating, is that it makes me miss creating. Sort of like happy begets happy. Creativity begets creativity. And there is such power in that.

Speaking of begetting: The most recent Duggar news having me feel like a big old asshole for being so reflexively and irrationally angry at her 20th pregnancy (why the hell do I do that? it made me feel defeated and here I am on the far side of IF hell with a dreamy baby. WTF.), and then feeling the stomach punch as the whole universe learns of her miscarriage via yahoo or other internet news. I ache for her. For them. Gah.

And a tough conversation this weekend with a beloved friend who is going through hell made me realize, no matter what happiness comes, old pain, the kind that sticks in our bones after a big loss, well, it sort of lurks there. Undermined self confidence sticks around. Grief hovers, waiting. It is not that they are stalking, I don't think they are that active. But they are pretty impressively opportunistic.  Pain often brings up old pain. Grief brings up old grief.  Powerlessness brings up old powerlessness.

So, in this moment, I want to forgive myself my old pain, the one that made me angry at a woman I do not even know, simply for getting pregnant.

And I want to wish on all of us a little self-compassion.  Sometimes, in an immediate emotional moment, it does not matter what we have.  Sometimes what matters most to our poor battered hearts isn't what we have, it's what we've lost.

10 December 2011


Campfire creativity gathering in full swing. Stop by if you'd like! No obligation at all. Don't forget to check out Susan's amazing photos of us from last weekend up in Maine.  Happy to be creating part of today, happy to be able to just enjoy this piece of my puzzle. The sky is showing the last light of the day. It went by so fast.

07 December 2011

nose, grindstone, chocolate, attachment, photos

Yes, well, right then. Where were we? Oh yes.
So here's the thing: I created a scenario where I now have 4 jobs, 4 bosses, and have found myself to be a wee bit flat out crazy. I get on here (computer that is), work in a frenzied sort of way, go get the little one, have our short but intense evenings, then do it again, until fridays where I am not on here much, the weekend too, then begin again.  I feel very unsettled, unconnected, disconnected, and fragmented. And I am not UNHAPPY but I am not feeling I am doing all that well either.  So incredibly happy/grateful to be employed (let's just see how gratitude can be a mixed blessing shall we?)

But grateful means it is hard to say no- because what if no one ever asks me to do work again?  WHAT THEN?  This is very much old katestuff, the stuff of who would want to date me? You? OK THEN! (not a great dating strategy)

So, I am sitting here in a self imposed time-out.
I've eaten about 300 chocolate chips to ward of dementors, and am trying to just figure out what to do. I figured out what to do in this moment:  write.  And then, when I am done, I am switching projects for the day, moving onto something else, and will return to what I am feeling thwarted by tomorrow.  I stopped, called my sister, talked, chocolated, pumped, thought some more, and then Felt My Way toward this interim solution.

I know, you probably are here to hear about Della.  She is wonderful- magnificent. Moody, funny, silly, smart as hell, delightful, and a miracle I keep discovering and I cannot believe my luck.
We are, however, not sleeping well. I am emotionally all tied up in knots about making any changes since I feel so attached to what we are doing/ trying to do, because this closeness matters to me so much. But like so many things, when I hang on to something with desperation, it usually blocks any possibility of anything else happening, even good things, or maybe, especially good things. So. Yeah. I witness. I imagine either I or the universe will know when it is time to make a change. Until then, shit sleep and witness.

We saw our amazing friend Susan Mullen this weekend on a night away to Maine. She took photos of us in the diner, and then outside in the near dark of twilight, and somehow found light inside of each of us.  Check out the amazing photos she posted on her blog.  Here's one:

Seriously, she is insanely talented.

Hey, if you're around this weekend, stop in over at www. thatplacewego.blogspot.com-- I am going to be doing a creative intention weekend, (holding the intention to do Something(s) creative) and would love companions on the journey.  Stop by, comment, have some tea.   This life is a bit like running back and forth along a teetertotter trying to balance.  Perpetual motion rather than stillness. I will be doing something heartwork-wise this weekend, I will.

23 November 2011

Mid December Campfire Invitation! December 9-11, 2011

You are invited to the Mid-December Campfire!

Please join me in adding some light to this dark season with our second
virtual creativity workshop!

When: December 9-11, 2011

Where: www.thatplacewego.blogspot.com

What: A totally free, open hearted on-line gathering of like-minded people!

The idea of the campfire began while Squam Art Workshops was taking place
close by and impossibly far, and I realized just how deeply I felt a longing
to be connected to other creative people, in a space that supported creative
exploration with beautiful scenery, amazing food, and opportunity to try new
things.  I realized that even if I could not sign up to attend a real-life
workshop, that did not mean I could not gather with like minded folks,
joining energies to create our own space and intention to take some time to
explore, move projects ahead, try new things, make messes, meet new people,
take risks, or just fold into the welcoming arms of a beloved project.  We
had a great time, and I hope you'll consider stopping by!

Come join me for a weekend of mindful creativity, of music,  of mugs of
chocolate or tea or chai or yerba mate or coffee, of sky gazing, of navel
gazing, of painting or writing or thinking or sewing or imagining or trying
out that new software, that strange setting on your camera, that
needlepoint, that pair of purple tights with those red shoes, that walk in
the woods....

Creativity take so many forms, and there is no one right way-- just come and
join us, knowing folks around the globe are taking time, moments, hours,
whatever time possible in the context of real life to take part in creative
endeavors. If we wait until everything is perfect we'll never do it. So,
please join us! The energy of shared experience is magical, I promise.

Opening campfire, Friday evening, December 9th (or whenever you arrive!)

Please pass this invitation along to folks who you think might want to join
us. I look forward to seeing you there!

10 November 2011

ONE, a brief retrospective

That's our girl. She is all about two-fisted cake eating.
We had a very very happy birthday celebration, including the emergence of her second top tooth.

Better to eat cake with, my dear.

08 November 2011


A year ago I was in the thick of it I cannot believe a year has passed, remembering it feels like dreaming. Tonight I have a date. TammyLove will come and sit with Della (Della will think it is the best birthday present EVER), and Doug and I will go have dinner. Just the two of us. Time change and tiredness will win out, but not before an hour or two of dinner with my darlin'. Off to get Della, birthday Eve. amazing.

03 November 2011


Keys were found by my darlin'. Apparently someone (cough*della*cough) thought it would be GREAT FUN to hide them deep in the labyrinth of bottles in a 24 pack of bottled water, complete with 4 side shrink wrap. So my mind? not as lost as I thought, and keys are found. Happy me. It is the season of due dates and memory, and I've been spending a lot of contemplative time remembering last year as if it were some sort of dream. In fact, some of my dreams feel more real than my reality. I am sure that means something bad. But anyway, last year this time I was past my due date, enormous, anxious, worried about All That Could Happen especially BAD UNMENTIONABLE THINGS. Here I was a year ago:
Hard to believe the little bundle of energy named Della was ever contained in any way within that great big belly.

20 October 2011

Weather report

Cloudy, misty rain with a bit of funky offness, skin too tight-ness, heart too tender-ness.
So, I have made myself ginger peach tea, and a bowl of oatmeal with pumpkin pie spice (CLOVES) and brown sugar, and I made sure I am warm enough and am now trying to recalibrate my mood.

Outside it is looking a lttle novembery but it feels more like spring.

I realize, once again, that I have put myself in a position where I don't feel I can do my best for everyone I have said yes to. So I am strategizing. Trying to figure out how I can salvage the situation to make myself feel better, more under control, more capable, less conflicted.

It starts with time. Do I have enough? How do I make more available? What is the tradeoff? Is it worth it?
And it also starts with a simple question that makes me uncomfortable:

Is this bringing me more joy and satisfaction or less?

Hmmm. Think I will go drink my tea and distract myself a bit.

**if you want to watch me babble about this, head over to heartwork for a video. **

14 October 2011

11 months

Della, you are 11 months and 5 days old.
And today? Today you WALKED.

You love peas more than anything, except, of course, your dad. And nursing. You get frustrated more and more quickly when you are trying to communicate and we do not understand what you are saying fast enough. You are a total delight, allow me to snuggle you, kiss me with a big open mouth, shake your head no all the time no matter if you mean yes... the you that has been there all along is just getting bigger, and it is so amazing to witness.

And today, you walked.

04 October 2011

5 leaf clover

It is raining.
I am watching the drops gather and fall from the eave right above my window.

A beloved friend's mom died today and I feel as if I've been taken out at the knees. Sending love is all I can do. I cannot change a disease or the way the day dawned or take away the sadness.

Instead, I find myself having to bring myself back to right now, this moment, this mug of tea, this clacking keyboard, this breath.

I went to vermont on friday. I walked through Manchester with Della on my not-so-hippish hip, and got shoes and some pants for della and felt very much away but no where near at home.

I went to vermont on sunday, to putney this time, home for me in the early 80s and I walked around the school and felt peaceful and open and full of possibility. I looked up in the faculty lounge and was treated to ART hanging from the ceiling-- an angel, wireframe, a pen and ink sketch that felt weightless and magnificent and oh how I love being surprised like that.

I found a 5 leaf clover as I walked through knee high pasture
carried Della on my not so hippish hip and for once she felt weightless.

and you know what? for a while, so did I.

30 September 2011

Today? Vermont!

While Doug sprays our fleabag (literally) apartment with cedar oil flea spray that we could eat but smells like funky old rotting buildings,  I will be heading to the fine state of Vermont to spend my gas money and snack money somewhere where it counts, and be somewhere I love, and pray to the carseat gods that Della does not cry the whole way there and back.

Sunshine, fast moving clouds... me? partially cloudy with chance of ephiphany.

26 September 2011

intermittent awareness

The equinox came, and where was I? Suddenly it is the beginning of Della's first full autumn on the outside, and I missed the moment. I know, I know, moment schmoment, there are many, many days in autumn, but for me, someone who is so used to being so in tune with nature, I suddenly feel like I missed a step.
We have stumbled into earlier sunsets, and later sunrises, this I know.
I know Orion is tracking a different path across the sky.
I know the sun is rising down the pine row from when I moved in.

But me? I feel a bit lost-in-space. I am doing, moving, being, feeling, but I am somehow disconnected.

So, tomorrow, I drive up north, I will soak up the beauty in my new drive.
I realize I am exactly the right sort of person to drive the same drive every day since I love watching how things change, and let my eyes touch that river, those hills, that paddock filled with horses.  But I am also the right person to take a new road, when a turn brings a surprise barn on a stone foundation, or a picket fence faced with mounds of lavendar or sage.

This new drive is both familiar and unfamiliar. I somehow need to get grounded.
I guess I start by knowing that.

23 September 2011

ground fog

Heavy gray sloggy

I am still sick and feeling bluegray and sort of leaden. I am not so deep in blue that I cannot see my way out, this is more like a ground fog, the kind that makes things mysterious.

Yesterday, on my way to work, my long rainy drive took me up through mountains and past some bogs that were wearing full fall color, reds and oranges, all still fully leafed and glorious. I could only see right by the sides of the road, so I could not be distracted by long views. Everything visible was immediate.

I am trying to make my way through this day that way, looking at what is in front of me, and trying not to be distracted by my mood or the long views that cause my heart to race.

Anxiety has been vibrating in my body, and I want to hear what it is telling me.
That's a lie. I want to be able to listen without having to DO anything about the information it is providing. So we are at an impasse. I am looking away, legs and arms crossed, foot dangling. I am humming.

18 September 2011

notes from the trenches

Doug and Della are asleep after a very restless sleepless night.

Last night was Della's second very disrupted night this week, so we are restarting the Zantac, and praying to whatever gods might be listening.

Last night, sitting on the sofa, I realized my throat was sore, and I was achy. When I get sick, sometimes it is like that. One minute I am ok, maybe just a bit blue, the next I am sick.

I had PLANS for today, people. Painting plans. Beading plans. And all I am is tired, achy, snotty and low.

So, I will wash my brushes, and just try to be ok with just being today. Being tired. being snotty.

On a fun note, Della learned to feed herself cheerios this week. It is the cutest thing ever. It begins with a perfect pincher grip, a single cheerio, and ends up with whole hand in mouth...

It's been a week of bright moons and wild night skies here.
And two days of cold with morning frost.
Seasons are shifting so fast I feel unsteady. I just want to say wait wait wait! Give me a minute! I need to catch up!

17 September 2011

Morning light

Feeling VERY happy this morning to be deliberately creating space for my creative self to flail about.

If you're inclined, you can join us! http://thatplacewego.blogspot.com

You do NOT have to be an artist or someone "creative" to join in the joy of shared experience. Maybe the project you've been putting off is vacuuming. I just know that time goes by so fast, and so much of life is consuming, that it is good to take a moment every now and again and see where I actually am and focus on the good parts.

My paint brushes are on the bathroom floor as distractions for Della while I am otherwise engaged.
Romantic painterly vision, no?

Sunshine on my face
ginger peach tea in my mug
possibility stretches out...

15 September 2011

Invitation: September 16-18, 2011

Hey there internets. Creative? Unsure? Creative-curious? Please come check out my impulsive I-am-crazy-to-do-this-with-a-baby-idea for this weekend.

12 September 2011


Della's third bottom tooth erupted yesterday, along with two big developmental steps--Della spent the day rather suddenly pulling up one handed and then shocked us by walking with daddy while he held only one of her hands.

We went to the fair, met pigs, chickens, ducks, bunnies, cows, horses and a seriously cute mini burro. Della also met fried dough. YUM.

Before I forget, there are so many things I want to say-- things that have helped, things that didn't...
Aveeno unscented diaper cream. Thick, unscented totally.... works. UNSCENTED> Hurrah!
Pampers sensitive swaddlers.... no disney characters, and they work *fine*. I get mine via Amazon Mom and have a subscription. I wanted to choose differently for the earth, but this is what is working for us right now and we can't (I can't) afford trial and error.
For me-- all breast pads suck. I finally got pull over sleep bras from Medela, 20 bucks each, and wear them with bamboo or cotton breast pads that look like I've stuffed pancakes in my bra. For work I wear a more structured bra that does not show the pads, and I simply remove the whole thing to pump using a pumping bra (fembot).
At night, I leak like mad, sometimes sleep bra-free just to have less to deal with but nearly always regret the sopping dripping wetness of it all.
Baby stuff we bought and wasted money on: mechanical swing, she just did not take to it. Maybe the crib? we'll see. it was cheap and maybe it will get use. I hope so.
Soft toys. MOMMA like soft toys. DELLA likes things that rattle, crinkle, make music, noise....
Clothes: she is now in shirts and pants, all cotton jersey or soy (sales on diaper.com!).... no onesies. She is robust not lanky so this is working best for us right now. Barefeet rule. Her first real shoes arrived today via Zappos amazing overnight delivery. Soft soled and I will let daycare decide when they want them on her. For now, i want her barefoot as often as possible for kinesthetic feedback, balance and walking.

Kate stuff: the in between body has been a very interesting journey and no doubt will continue to be pretty amazingly weird. I am trying not to buy things for this in between place but have needed bras (got cheap ones from hanes at walmart that work fine), needed pants for work (kohl's dockers), and am simply going to go with t shirts/tanks and cardigans for the foreseeable future. Things that fit and are comfortable are really important to me. My goal is to be unconscious of what I am wearing-- somehow achieve comfort+ appropriateness.
I was wearing maternity T shirts to cover/disguise The Belly but they are now way too big and just look bad. Shirts are still a problem for me.
I hoarded one pair of maternity pants, white jeans I love, but now the waist band feels thick and weird (which it should). But I cannot quite part with them yet.
I moved a button on a pair of jeans. This felt like progress. My weight is pre-preg but my shape is something very foreign.
Motherhood has given me everchanging breasts, but still no butt. Alas.

I wash my hair every two or three days, have it up in a barette most of the time. Floss every few days. I try to shower each day, even if it just is a rinse, and try to shave since apparently that is what sets me apart from the animals. That and cover-up.
I totally see how easy it would be to give in, give up. Stretchy pants, slept in shirts.. I walked today in my sleep outfit. But when I got home I made myself change. I think FOR ME it is important to feel as if I am "ready", which, when possible means clean teeth, deoderant, and fresh undies. When possible, it also means clothes I don't mind being seen in.

Now that I am in an apartment, folks just come to the door. Odd to be sprawled post nursing with a sleeping baby and have someone just suddenly be there. Not my favorite thing.

Pumping: I bought a medela pump on super sale but god damn it was expensive...and I still use it. I am glad I spent the money on it even though it and I are not friends. I bought a hand pump as a backup and had to use it once and I hated it completely. I have decided for sanity to pump only once a day--feed before and immediately upon returning home. I read or do work on a mini laptop while pumping. I pump in a bathroom (I did in my last job too) and it just rots. Reading/working helps a lot. Also Lynda.com is amazing for on-line learning for 25$/month unlimited access to training videos for SW and a lot of great documentaries that I hope to watch someday.

Feeding: We are still using the small medela bottles and slow flow nipples. I have med flow to try this week maybe. I will be mixing breast milk with formula, thank you What IF for the affirming suggestion! Della does not drink more than 4 oz per feeding since she is really about solids too--so we've never needed bigger bottles. I keep seeing babies drinking from them and worried (over and over) that maybe I am doing something wrong. A 22lb baby says things are fine.

New in-between car seat comes this week. I'll let you know if I like it at all once it is here. I interviewed many in real life at babys r us and gosh darn, do they HAVE to be so hard?
I am pretty sure this will not solve Della's hatred of being in the car. But it will solve the "she is too big for her baby bucket" problem if it works out.

I still have multifaceted envy but will write more about this in a different post. I met someone's newborn yesterday and felt that twinge, you know the one... and I thought goddamn it! Really? Still?
Apparently, yes. Still. Damn it.

09 September 2011

10 months

Della, you are 10 months old and you are amazing. Kinetic does not begin to describe you, busy, active, moving, thinking, doing, babbling, grasping, trying, studying, contemplating, eating!
You love eating, and will try anything. Hate bland food or food that is too smooth. Last week a fever and rash scared me, and your tongue kept pushing food out when delivered via spoon, but fingers? Fine fine, so we ate that way all week.
This week, 22lbs, 27 1/4 inches, healthy, crazy beautiful.

Daycare starts next week, and I am feeling shaky about it. I want one on one attention for you, even though I know it is not possible in every moment. I hope you will learn to share, and learn not to pinch and bite. The place is peaceful, I was worried too peaceful. But the second visit this week included stomping boys who bang things together so that is good news for me. I did not want you to get used to too much quiet.

Your favorite book is goodnight gorilla and you turn to the goodnight goodnight goodnight page over and over and grin while I read it over and over and over.

You play peekaboo by hiding behind the chair, and giggle in anticipation before you pop out. It is adorable and you really laugh.

You do not laugh easily so when you laugh it is extra special delightful. You smile often, are totally charming and engaging. You cry to let me know you are not happy with a choice, a moment, or a sensation.

You have abandoned your foray into early language except for a noise you repeat often, sort of an aoup noise. Sometimes appp. But when mom visited us yesterday you said many things right after her, which you never do with me. I am amazed at how different you are with each one of us.

Your dad is coming home (praise god/goddess/all-that-is) tonight for 4 whole days... the weekend home, monday and tuesday working with normal commute, then back to maine, but I am hopeful that normalcy can be created for us all very soon. You are not difficult, but this has been very hard.

You love music. You turn on music and dance, arms flopping, a big grin on your face.

You love being outdoors, love our walks, love pulling grass, love swinging.

You do not like being put down while I am up. I have become adept at face washing one handed, but still need two for dishes and for buttoning my pants.

Breast feeding is still working well for us, but you are suddenly not that interested in breast milk from a bottle. Formula? Fine fine. Breastmilk? Not so much. This is causing me angst. Nursing works fine, but working means pumping and pumping means bottles.

So, my little one, happy birthday. You are the most amazing thing that has happened to me. I can hardly remember "before". I do remember sleep though, and look forward to it sometime in the future.

10 months. Wow. What a wild and wonderful mindblowing ride this has been so far.

01 September 2011

Free egg donor cycle opportunity

Our friends at Shady Grove are giving away a free donor egg cycle to one of the participants in their upcoming donor egg seminar in Philidelphia a week from Saturday (Sept 10). If you know of anyone who is considering a DE cycle, this seems like a great opportunity. Their success rates are great.

26 August 2011


The house is sold.
The new owner sent me the most lovely of lovely heartfelt notes, a true blessing, love, glitter, cavorting wild ponies. I felt more than moved, I felt shifted. Like a wonderful gift had been passed on to the next person who needed it. A talisman of sorts. The house saved me after Jeff's death. It was my declaration that life was worth living, creating, and gardens were worth planting. I am not sure the timing for the new owner, but I feel as if maybe, for them, it is just the right time too. And maybe, maybe, this is just the right thing for me in this moment, a gathering in, contemplation, hope set out like river stones, unread runes.

I am exhaling.
Feeling my knots loosen just a little. At least that knot. Those knots.
Beloved objects passed along to be beloved. Nothing is lost that way really.

I have a weird relationship to love. I tend to love with intensity, sometimes grudgingly, but then, with impressive tenacity.

Daycare begins maybe next week for my gregarious Della.
I am ready to have a more consistent schedule so I can work and create with a more steady foundation of knowing what days are for what... I do better that way, scaffolding I guess. The wire net under plaster.

So-- today, working. TammyLove is here after her vacation, and Della is so happy (as am I).

This morning, up before 4 to watch Orion rise over the trees, his belt vertical.
Me, I'm tired, my heart is sore, I have a LOT of work to do that I am avoiding but will plunge back into once I hit post.
I am ready for simplicity I think. Calm. A while of not frantically seeking work/packing/unpacking/freaking out...
I am ready to be for a while.

So, yes, exhalation.

22 August 2011


ba= ball
kehkeh= kitty cat
nigh nigh= night night
adam = ADAM! No kidding! A beloved cousin-- spoken clearly over the weekend
and, today, with Doug at the door, Da Da.

Still not walking unassisted (praise the gods)
Still eating almost anything from a spoon, fork, or from my fingers but not self feeding
Still amazingly wonderfully fabulously great
Still hates the car and car seat more than anything (yesterday's drive back was complete hell)

Looking for advice on car seats for tiny cars (Scion XA)-- she is almost too big for her infant bucket and is in need of the next size up- suggestions are welcome!

17 August 2011


There are so many moments when I forget all that I know--
a crying baby, what do I do?
it's as if, for a moment, I am wiped clean of all prior knowledge and experience, and start again guessing, trying to find solutions. Sometimes it is all about incorrect assumptions-- Della hates the car seat, so it is easy to forget that the crying (oh how she cries!) might just mean that she's hungry.

I forget what works for me too-- go outside.
Brew and drink (or just sniff) tea.
Stop everything I am trying to do, or wishing I could do, or whatever, just stop, breathe, be.
Whenever I try to move beyond what is possible in the moment, and come up against the reality-- too tired, too busy, cannot right now... I just frustrate myself. I am trying to learn to notice sooner, and ease into being in the moment as it truly is.

Della is just about walking, and is just amazing in her mobility, intensity, gummy grins, claps, and focus. She is the most wonderful companion.

This morning I tried something new-- we've been waking very early (5 somethingorother), and I lie there feeling like what I need to be doing more than anything in the whole wide world is sleeping when sleep is just not possible, we are AWAKE... it is a sucky way to start the day... so today! I got up! I unpacked boxes, raised dust, showered, got laundry ready to go in (not before 9! see what I learned?), went for a long long walk with Della in the Bjorn on a new path, a bike path, woodsy, great smelling, sounds of traffic and morning birds... a new place, a new normal, a new walk... we walked for an hour and came back, nursed, and went to pick up Linda Jane who has helped me since morning. We stopped at the grocery, came home, and, since it was just after 9 I put in laundry!

I have unpacked many boxes, made the bathroom bathroomable, made the bedroom much more organized, unpacked 2,3,4 boxes in the kitchen, made insanely delicious pumpkin bread, did laundry and folded it and put it away!
sneezed 80zillion times, blew my nose twice that number, but really, truly, today I made progress in a lot of ways.

Sunday I felt a knot loosening in my gut, the house knot... the closing is monday at 11:00 and I do not have to attend (power of attorney, praise the real estate gods)...
and a complexity knot.

I like my part time job, and I have learned some important things: I like working there. not here. not here in the room next to Della. My attention always feels fractured and I love being able to focus, on her, or on work. I like being around smart people, I like learning new things. I am not sure if I will be able to stay there or not, as it does not cover gas (it is far away) and child care, but it is a great diversion and I am enjoying that.

Ok, Della asleep on LJ, and me, snotty but feeling a wee bit more Kate.

12 August 2011

9 months

Della at 9 months is pure delight interspersed with moments of instantaneous unhappiness, back arched, wailing, enormous tears. Then, delight returns.
She has learned to sit and spin, sits and scissors her legs so she spins only counterclockwise I think, fast.
She crawls fast, thinks the toilet is fascinating, is babbling mamamamama and da da da da da which is wonderful. She has two talking voices, the deep babbly voice we've always known, and a new higher voice she uses sometimes that is so funny-- like she is "talking baby talk" to someone.

Della's eyebrows are in constant motion, like Grommet-- so many facial expressions per second.

Ok, unhappiness returns in this moment so I need to go, but so much more to say.

10 August 2011

slices of sky

yesterday I coped by spending the day out doing errands.
today, rainy, errands planned that will take me until after lunch, but reality is planned too. I am here, and I need to figure out how to move in even incrementally. With my wonderfully busy and social baby, I need to work in small bits.

last night a rogue cat came visiting out on the porch thingy that leads to our door. Finn (see below in photo from old house with old-school elmo and MyMommaSally-made mustard jar toy):


well, Finn (who is still bigger than Della) went crazy with howling and yelping, and galloping window to window. I am *so aware* of not wanting to make extra noise for those whose ceiling is my floor, whose walls are my walls... good grief what a racket.

Good news: the sky here is big so dawn comes with wild abandon. I can imagine it would be great star watching if not for the light pollution of living with outdoor lights and so many lighted windows... there are woods out front, past the porch thingy, so I look out from my sofa into green. The porch thingy itself is actually quite wonderful in spite of the astroturf. No really I mean it. A place to sit with morning shade and fresh air, one story up above the parking lot so it is not the only thing I see. This does not suck, except it does.

We'll all get used to the noise, I know. the cars the traffic the doors opening the footsteps. now we all wake and listen, over and over. So much time in the woods, alone, and I am used to quiet and dark. I've gone a little daffy maybe. Good to shake things up, keep from getting too weird and eccentric.

I'll exhale soon, once i figure out the next few weeks of child care and work and creativity schedule

and move in a little more so I have space to roam

Della is helping type so I'll stop here

08 August 2011


So there is some solace in having "moved"-- I no longer need to dread it, it already happened. I no longer need to imagine packing. I packed. I no longer need to worry about the cat. He's here and doing ok. I no longer need to worry how I'll feel or if I'll cry or how each of my "last times" will play out.

I am here in my new place. It is smelly which I find very discouraging. Old smoke maybe, musty, inside of drawer smell... it was hot and steamy today which does nothing to help with smelliness.

We're up to our necks in boxes in one room (this one where I set up my desk and a pathway, and I sit facing a window), up to our knees in boxes and piles everywhere else. With help from friends (TammyLove) and my mom, two mover guys and my love, today went very smoothly. My funky stuff looks funky here too, and things are starting to take shape through the mess.

Doug is home for the night, and leaves first thing in the morning, so I won't linger here. But I can say that in this moment, I am relieved that I am no longer anticipating the move. I may not be moved in, but I sure am moved.

07 August 2011

hear me roar

I am an olympic caliber avoider.
I avoid like other people breathe.
I hate to confront uncomfortable anythings, and will spend months of time and oodles of energy uncomfortably trying to avoid the uncomfortable.
Then, there is a moment that comes, where "it" (the dreaded whatever) is imminent. Suddenly, I turn into something fierce and focused, I run at it, arms waving, roaring...

Today is a roar day.
A tired roar, granted. A lump in throat roar. A roar that sounds a little whimpery at the edges. But hey...

Here we are, the day before.
Home stretch (with a big ole emphasis on the stretch).

05 August 2011

Checking in

Moving on monday (!)
feeling stressed and sad, and knee-deep (heart deep) in slogging emotional transition stuff. And August stuff. Not my highest and best. Right now it is cloudy, and suddenly soft. The flowers are all aglow in the garden. I am procrastinating here by the keyboard. Boxes to be filled stand open and ready. But I'm not. Not yet.
Here is a lovely photo of sleeping Della from yesterday. She was sound asleep on mom. And I totally get that. Right now I would like to crawl into a warm safe lap, curl up, held and safe, and sleep for a while.

26 July 2011

20 days

Transitions are not my strong point.

It's been 20 days since my last post.
I cannot tell you how lonely I feel for this blog, and this community. I just somehow cannot quite give myself permission to log on and write with so many other things that need to be done. Even though this feeds my soul, grounds me, reminds me of me. I need to remember to choose to do it anyway.

The house short sale is moving ahead: closing in 27 days.
The new apartment is a smelly blank slate, and my heart is aching as I face leaving this funky place that is so very effortlessly me. I did not have to create it, it just was. Making the apartment feel like home will take time, effort, and an open heart. I know it will be "fine", but the contrast with this place of light and air and woods and wildflowers is almost too much. I need to think of it all differently. The most important bottom line is this: I am trading this place for freedom.

There is so much to do. And trying to "do" in the swampyard of such heavy emotions? Well...

Della is doing wonderfully except for her first barfing last night. I sat there, baby on lap, surprisingly hot barf cupped in my hands and made the choice to dump it on the floor rather than the rug. All elements of this new life.

Did I tell you I fell with Della a few weeks ago? I fell hard and fast against the wall and doorway while she slept in my arms. She stayed sleeping, and in that moment, I felt like maybe I was not a poser.
Motherhood after infertility is rife with the weirdest acute feelings of otherness, of somehow being an outsider in the world of mothers. I do not feel part of that group at all. I feel different. A weird cocktail of shame or embarrassment... Is it because I am so much older? Or because somehow it came so hard? I don't know. I do know this-- I've been too scared to even try to find a local tribe. This weekend my sister came (praise the god-goddess-all-that-is) and brought me reminders of the important things that are not things at all. We went to the lake, wallowed and breathed in fresh cooler air after a week of roasting. I ran into a beautiful woman who was in my birthing class who was there with her partner and their baby girl, born three weeks before Della. Her baby's name rhymes with Della's and we laughed. We're the only two from the class who had girls.
I looked into this woman's eyes, and felt a wave of longing and loneliness I had been ignoring: This want, so badly, to be part of a community in the real world.

In this time of so many transitions, I have really tucked in tightly, and it is hard to imagine opening up-- this vulnerability comes up with such a rush of sadness/otherness. I swear.

Anyway, in spite of me, after she got home she wrote and reached out. I hope to have the guts to meet.

I've always had fantasies about waking up and being able to:
play piano
understand linear equations

I want to know but always balk at the effort and process it takes to learn, knowing I need to be willing to be really bad at the thing I want to become good at.
I want to have community. I don't want to have to build it. I don't want to be bad at it. I don't want to fail and try again. I just want to be able to lean back into it like a big comfortable chair.

So, anyway, wow. Guess I hit on a nerve there.

Anyway, I must get back to work. Sunlight is making the garden look insanely beautiful- coneflower, brown eyed susan's, purple spikey things, hosta blooms that are visited by hummingbirds...daisies as tall as I am. Lush, lovely....

Ok, really, back to work. Signing off with a lovely photo of Della a few weeks back at 8 months.

06 July 2011

state of kate

It is wednesday. Doug is home for a few hours and is asleep with Della-- so I wanted to write a quick update on the state-of-kate.

First, a few shout outs-- beloved Kristin asked me to write a letter to my body a few weeks ago which she lovingly posted on her blog, trust tending. If you have not yet visited her blog, please do so-- she is a truly amazing person, writes beautifully and honestly, draws the way I wish I could. She is a soul sister, so please, go there and take a read.

Next--B of No News is not necessarily good news is Pregnant with #2 after her recent and first IVF for this baby! She has a new blog to document this new journey, and she is 43. 43. HEAR ME LADIES, 43. So, if you're looking for some good news, this is most definitely it.

Ok-- now both beloveds are awake, Della is clapping and talking. She has not pooped since sunday (not unheard of but holy wow there is a LOT of oatmeal in there)...
Not sure how all of those pieces of information fit together but,

So-- the house sale hit a huge impasse when bank#1 rejected the offer (remember this is a short sale), appraised the house themselves and requested a much higher selling price. Huh. much higher. 30k higher.

days pass
it is now saturday afternoon.
so the miracle of the moment is that the house sale is back on as of this moment. Praying to the house gods...

I am in Maine and one of the many Sarahs up here has my baby for the next hour- so I've been like a crazed lunatic updating linkedin, quickly posting on my other blog (heartwork, remember that? so do I!) and now, finally here for a few moments before diving back in to work work.

I quit my day job wednesday, June 29th after 13 and a half years. I already had one contract lined up, and, since then, have secured another one, and a nice creative thinking project. I am not sure what will come next, but so far, things are BUSY and I am feeling a little overwhelmed with Things To Do. I'll be in NH monday-thursday each week (I realized I could not be here full time if I was going to do any work), and then in Maine each weekend until the end of camp when I'll be back in NH full time.

I cannot say what I am feeling since apparently I am the physical embodiment of mercurial. One moment I feel relatively calm, the next I feel panicked, one hopeful, one jazzed with anxiety... I do not feel rested or peaceful. And I don't (yet) feel jubilant. I think things were just too stressful for too long, and I feel very conflicted. I am having a very hard time letting go of my pragmatism in the spirit of a more holistic and happy life. This will take some time, I am willing to wait myself out, but need to keep making space for creativity. WonderfulDella is the most amazing teacher in living in the moment, focusing on whatever is right there, right now, needed or wanted.... immediacy, delight, wonder.

I am hoping for a half day a week to pour out what I am collecting and create space for creativity. It is very easy to just work through all available hours feeling as if that is what I should be doing above all else. So I need to watch myself, you know?

So-- Della is 8 months today, and I will write a post about that very soon. I miss you all, I miss this space, this type of sharing, this community. I am lonely for you all, I really am. My dropping out has to do with time, not interest. Single mothering of this particular little person is very intense and completely interactive. So, as of this week? Half a day to create. Let's see what happens.

If any of you have worked with a particularly good career coach or are good with titles, I need some help with what to call myself and my field of expertise. Please comment or shoot me an email icantwhistle at yahoo dot com.

21 June 2011

go team Witt

A quick note about a cool happening:

Kristin contacted me, and I think this is so generous and kindhearted, and perhaps YOU could be the next beneficiary?

More soon, but please check out the about page and then head home to see what is being auctioned or if you want to donate in some way.

Feel free to pass along the information too-- I am always amazed at the power of small acts of kindness.

12 June 2011

7 months+ so big

Dear Della,
These were taken at my mom's when you were just 7 months old.
This month has been a month of reaching for us, arms out, big smile, it has been a month that has included CRAWLING very fast, scary fast, one knee, one foot, faster than I can believe. You also started creeping? What is it called when you pull yourself up,stand up and move around the room holding onto things, cruising-- not creeping-- you pull up and stand and move. You are so strong and so amazing. You want to let go, and you do, and then you sit down hard and stand up again. Oh I have so much to learn from you! It has been a month that has included lots of solid food-- bananas and oatmeal are both favorites, as is guacomole. You play carefully (mostly) with the cat, wiggle with happiness, love the bjorn. You love walking with me anywhere. You love shopping, so much to see! People to smile at! You bite which sucks ass and I hope you stop. You bite and laugh you little sadist with razory teeth. There is no sleeping through the night, but we sleep differently than we did. We are still nursing in spite of the biting, and we both love it when you are sleepy. When you are awake it is a lesson in persistence for both of us-- you nurse and look around, nurse and look around, nurse and look around, but you are also very efficient so the nursing you do do is enough. We roared at each other a few nights back, you squawked your pterodactyl sound and I replied and made you laugh and we did it over and over because nothing is as addictive as your laugh and oh my voice is still sore. We click back and forth, do How Big, and peek-a-boo. You clap, and you clap my hands Hard. Ok, you're pulling at the stool my laptop is perched on, looking at me with big beautiful brown eyes fringed with EPIC lashes, I have never seen anything as beautiful as you are and I have seen some beautiful things indeed.

I love you beyond measure, and am so honored to be with you every moment that we share.

08 June 2011


Baby is happy in this moment, so today, a two-fer.

I am flooding the house with cool air before buckling up against the heat. It is supposed to be beastly hot today, and humid too-- so right now goose bumps are a treat and treasure.

House is under contract, no kidding. Package has been submitted to the banks for consideration. I My realtor group has a lawyer and negotiators on board to do the heavy lifting, while I get collections calls every week from very nice bank of america people wondering why I am not paying. My last call to them ended with this: I do not qualify for any of their modification programs (my date of origination was after jan 2009, a magical date for making home affordable), so I needed to be 60 days late to qualify for their next tier of intervention. And so, just like that, everything I believe went to hell. Now they call and I feel like shit and they tell me the person lied, and I tell them to send that to me in writing with the name of the person I can call who will tell me what I qualify for while I pursue the short sale.... and nothing ever comes in the mail like that. It all sucks and is sucking my life force. Happily, the house is no longer being shown so at least I can leave my pump parts around, bottles on the rack, toothbrush on the sink.

The garden is magnificent, all iris are blooming. Hostas are huge and everything looks like it is thriving. I soak it in when I can.

This past week I had my first writing job in the days between workwork and going to maine to see Doug. It sucked, almost totally, but was very instructive in ways I will benefit from in the future. I don't want to dwell, but I was not proud of my resilience to the stress of it, and finally had to put on my Jen Lee shirt and my big girl pants and get a grip. Grip gotten, work submitted then a long drive north to Maine.

Maine will be for the summer only-- for me, just July and August. The cabin is cabin-y and I let myself off one hook by allowing myself to NOT try to make it home.

This weekend maybe I will look at apartments, trying to decrease costs as much as possible and knowing that for a time I can live almost anywhere. BUT having the baby changes things. (REALLY? NO SHIT KATE)

I feel fragmented and ragged, frayed and wrinkled, and tired in an achy sort of way.

A big life changing health issue in a beloved's beloved has rocked our worlds these past few weeks-- a diagnosis of MS and all of the fear and uncertainty and unfairness that that brings.

The diagnosis came yesterday, and the month really has been full of fear and uncertainty, scared of what it might be, fearing bad things, fearing worse things--
so while I sit surrounded by my own stress and bullshit, others are handling something so much more profound, so immense, that I felt I should be able to put my sadness and conflictedness and stress aside to hold room purely for an outpouring of very needed support kindness love.. but I can't. I am holding both.
I feel so selfish holding my own stressors too when they pale by comparison.

Like an etch-a-sketch, this other stuff should have toppled me over, given me a shake, cleared the screen, given me focus.

If you are reading this, beloved, I know you are thinking you are sorry. STOP THAT. I am sorry I am not managing better.

Ok, Della is done tormenting the cat, I must go. I just wanted you to know where I've been.
Unpoetically, deeply tangled, and wanting more than anything to gather myself together and just sit very still for a while or walk very far.



Photo by TammyLove, not quite showing the bottom teeth.

Yes, I am consumed. I miss you. I will be back soon, promise.

xo Kate

30 May 2011

gaga, enoughness, and being a rock star

Kymberli from I'm a smart one (she's worth reading no matter what!)- had a recent entry that my newly up and working internet allowed me to stumble across just now. With her permission, I wanted to include some of it here-- yes, it is about Lady Gaga, and it is TOTALLY WORTH READING.

Last weekend I sat down to watch HBO's premiere of Gaga's Monster Ball Tour,intending to only watch the first ten or so minutes, just long enough to self-righteously slap myself on the back for proving, once again, that I am sooo not a follower. But within the first five minutes, I found myself transfixed by the sight of her crying, her emotions just as bare as her naked, pre-Maybellined face. She was backstage preparing for the show -- the sold-out crowd at Madison Square Gardens already beginning to scream for her -- and she unexpectedly erupted into tears when someone asked how she felt about that night's upcoming performance. I expected some Miss-America-just-got-crowned type of crap, but what came out was anything but. She explained that sometimes she still feels like the loser, off-beat girl in high school, the one who no one understood and whose personality was so oddly shaped that it didn't fit into any typical niche, thereby making her the brunt of relentless teasing. Now that she's who she is, she fears that she'll be a disappointment, that she'll let everyone down for not being good enough. In blistering vulnerability, she explained about how she still feels like she's fighting against years of trying to prove that she's bigger than people's misunderstanding.

So there I found myself, feeling like an ass for being one of Them, and I watched the entire concert. I latched onto every lyric, was dazzled by the dance and the screaming and the story, and reflected the entire time on how if she, whose greatness and relevance is validated every day by record-breaking and fans and awards, can still somehow find moments of feeling less and unworthy of who she is, then I cannot feel wrong for sometimes feeling judged and unworthy and unproven. We all have our moments, whether short or long in duration, where we feel lost, broken, destroyed, or sometimes all three at once. "...I have to pick my shit up and tell myself I'm a rock star...," she said.