Not Broken Enough

On Monday night, I lost my best friend of 26 years.

I am not completely sure that this sentence even makes sense yet. No. I am sure. It doesn’t make sense at all.

If you knew us all those years ago, we were a force of nature. She was the perfect naughty compliment to my sweet, mostly innocent, 16 year old self. She dyed her short hair dark and wore black eyeshadow and I brushed my long, golden locks 100 times per day and applied my sparkly pink lip gloss more often than I took breaths. But somehow we were perfect. She taught me how to be a little naughty and I…well, I don’t know if I ever taught her anything. I hope I did.

Girl friendships, especially in the teenaged years, are complicated. They can be painful and petty and fake. But ours wasn’t. There were bumps in our road but not until we were older and other people infiltrated our bubble. She moved to another state, and then another one and we never lived in the same place again. But we did the damn thing. We called. We visited as much as we could. We both got married, had kids, did the whole thing. And we were still us. And we had Friendsgivings and Girls’ Weekends and late night phone conversations that left us bleary-eyed and satisfied the next day. Our kids became closer and our lives were somewhat parallel. And when one of us needed a shoulder or someone to just scream about shit to, we were that for each other.

So, we didn’t have each other every day. And sometimes that felt like a loss in and of itself. But we had each other when it mattered. And I loved her. And women friendships can be complicated and petty and fake too. But ours never was. My love for her was (IS) big and fierce but it was also a place of peace, of stability. Because so much changed over the years, but that love never did.

So less than 72 hours ago, my best friend left me. Really left me. For the first time in 26 years. And I might be in shock right now because I feel so, SO broken but somehow not broken ENOUGH. And people are asking, “How are you holding up” and I honestly don’t even know what to say. I hear her little sarcastic-ass voice in my ear that says, “Hey. It could be worse, bitch. Look where I am!” But is being where she is so much better than being here without her? I don’t know. I can’t wrap my head around a world without her in it. The colors just aren’t the same.

That is all for now. Thanks for reading. Hug your bestie.


Well, hello!

So, last night, I was lying in bed, thinking about all of these things that are happening and all of the things that have happened recently and I thought to myself, “Self, you have so many things to say. If only there was a place that you could document these things. Like a journal. Maybe even somewhere that you could share these things with other people. Like, online, even!” And then I remembered that, once upon a time, I used to write things in a place JUST like that! So, I decided, now that I have ventured outside of being a toddler mom and L and O are grown enough to (most of the time) allow me to pee alone, I might just have time to get back to this. And, to be honest, I have missed it. So, here I am, interweb. Back and better than ever! Or maybe, like, just a little fatter and more cynical than ever. Either way. I am here and you are WELCOME!

So, just to update you all, if you are still here, I am now a work-at-home-mom instead of a stay-at-home-mom. Which is basically exactly the same except now I get to worry about the kids streaking naked through my room while I am in a Zoom meeting with my boss. (Which may or may not have happened this afternoon. Why? Because they like my shower and can’t be bothered to wait until they get to the bathroom to undress. Because isn’t it much more fun this way?) I am not going to get into the specifics of my job right now because it really is unremarkable except to say that I have a paycheck and that feels really good after 8 years of being paid in vomit and goldfish crackers in my sports bra. So, there’s that.

The kids are 8 and 9 now, which seems wrong because I feel like I was just here telling you stories of naptime defiance and temper tantrums but here we are. Now I am going to tell you stories about LOL dolls and Minecraft. I’m kidding. I won’t do that. If I have to hear any more about either of those things, I am going straight to my eardrums with ice picks. And you might not know this, but a burst eardrum is possibly one of the worst things that has ever happened to me. It lasted 4 seconds and then the pain completely stopped but I was bleeding from my ear and the doctor at the ER (where I was forced to go by my husband and a friend because, apparently bleeding from your ear is not normal or acceptable) insisted that I must have been punched or something (because bleeding from your ear also doesn’t happen spontaneously, WHICH IT TOTALLY DID) and I thought I was going to end up in a battered women’s shelter. Okay, I forgot where this was going.

As you can probably tell, I have not lost my flair for tangents.

I hate LOL dolls and Minecraft.

Allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is Crystal and I am still neurotic, exhausted, and a ball of sarcasm. I am so glad to be back! I won’t be a stranger, I promise!

An Open Letter to My Daughter on Her 6th Birthday

Dearest L,

You turned SIX yesterday! What in the name of everything that is holy is happening to the TIME? How has this happened?

You are in your last few weeks of Kindergarten, which is sort of blowing my mind. You are so smart and so sweet and so hilarious. You love PURPLE. You love to help me cook dinner. Or really anything I will let you help with. You are your brother’s BEST FRIEND. Your grades are wonderful and you love literally everyone. Which both delights me and also scares the bejesus out of me. You’re learning that kids are mean. And I am sure you have overheard me telling your Daddy how much I want to slap other parents for letting their children behave the way that they do. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t say things like that, but by the time you read this, you will be well aware of my “take no shit” attitude and you will have expected it. The truth is, I just worry. I worry that your sensitivity will be more of a weakness than a strength. I, too, am a highly sensitive person, my precious girl. I have been screwed over by a lot of people over the course of my life because I feel so much for other people. And people are cruel and thoughtless and take advantage of that. I want you to guard yourself and know your worth. But I don’t want you to guard yourself to the point where you miss out on important things. Because there will be so many amazing things in your life. You don’t want to hide away from them. I want you to embrace the beauty in your empathy and your sensitivity. I want you to stand up for yourself and know that these things are the most beautiful things about you. They are your superpower. Rock that cape.

You are the light in my life, L. You are the most beautiful thing I ever made. (And I should give your dad a little credit here, but this is MY LETTER.) I know that there will be times that you, like all kids, think that I want to make your life harder rather than easier, and I know that we will have arguments and we will most definitely disagree (probably A LOT) because mother/daughter relationships are complicated. But they are the most special relationships that women can have, I believe. Just remember that, despite our differences of opinion, our arguments, our little spats (and maybe not so little spats) that we will have in the future, you are the world to me. You are special and perfect and so so so loved. A life without you, my love, would not be worth living. It might not always seem like it, but I am your biggest supporter, my dear. I promise to do my best to show you that every day. But I will mess up. All of us parents do. And I hope you will forgive me.

I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us. More loose teeth. More field trips. More of your glorious laughter. More tears. More of me learning to be better for you and your brother and your Daddy. I love you. I love you so much that it hurts me. You are EVERYTHING. You remember that.

To the moon and back,


Time Flies

Oh, dearest Blog of mine,

Where has the time gone? I remember a time when my only worry in the world was how I would ever get all of the Cheerios out from between the couch cushions before MB got home! Remember? L and O were just little tiny loaves of precious baby and I was all aflutter about the joy and chaos of parenthood. Until, well…Until I was close to a breakdown because of that whole chaos part.

I am here to report to you, my dear friend, that the chaos has far from slowed. L has just turned 4 and O will be three in exactly one week. There are still Cheerios everywhere. But now there is also couch diving and wall coloring and kicking and hitting and blood. Yes, sometimes there is blood. Because adorable, clumsy little O is ALL boy and falls on his face a lot. (Which only partially surprises me because his body has just now started to catch up with the size of gargantuan cranium. Some choice family members used to call him “Frankenhead”.)

I have to say, I have genuinely missed blogging. I have. I would have thought that, once these little monsters were a little older, I would have MORE time to myself. I would have thought that they would be more independent and able to entertain each other and I would be able to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and…you could really just insert anything here because at this point, sitting down and having a cup of coffee would really be enough. The rest is just a pipe dream anyway.

MB is, at least, now working at a job that affords us time together. And he actually even has time off, (Gasp!) and can take some of the responsibilities away from me so I can shower without imagining I am hearing blood curdling screams from the living room every time I lather up my (insanely long and unmanicured) hair. The truth is, this parenting thing KICKS MY ASS pretty regularly. It is not without its charms. But, true to form, I still want to stick my effing head in the oven at least once per day. One day, I will enlighten you. That day can’t be today. Because it is 3pm and there is half a sandwich, torn into about 300,000 pieces sitting on the floor in front of me and I fear that if I don’t get off of my ass soon and clean it up, the kids will wake up from their naps and be STARVING (because they are ALWAYS starving, unless it is a meal time) and eat it. Sometimes, I think that if I stopped giving them meals and just tossed food at them while they run back and forth from room to room, we wouldn’t waste so much. But, again, this is all for another day. (But if you have ever tried to feed a toddler anything, then I probably don’t have to explain. Also, I think they might enjoy it if I tossed food at them like this. They would think it was a game. Or they would pretend to be ducks. Oh man, I can’t imagine the noise. Jesus. I am stressed out just thinking about it.)

This is all very much just a drop in to let the universe and the blogosphere know that I am still alive and capable of making sentences. And I do plan to come back with something that is not complete nonsense. I do. And soon. Because I think that maybe this is where I left all of my sanity.

Until then, if you get bored, I am missing the matches to about 37 pairs of socks. So…keep your eyes peeled.

Sometimes Nothing is on Fire

I really going to post something soon. I swear to the blog gods, I am. But in the meantime, I thought I would share this photo with you. My kids were having a particularly monstrous sort of day and then they were quiet. This usually means, which you know if you have ever met a toddler, that something is being silently destroyed or that the kids have escaped through one of the windows. Anyway, I went to check to make sure nothing was on fire and I found this scene. And the. I melted into a puddle of mommy mush. Don’t worry, though, just seconds later they had a screaming/fighting match over a plastic frying pan. 

Little Shrieking Monsters

Ta-da! I have returned from the trenches of parenting two toddlers (if only momentarily) to update you on said parenting of two toddlers.

I really don’t know where to begin. I mean, they are 2.5 and 19 months now. So, there’s THAT little tidbit. And if you know toddlers, then you know that that means that the “Terrible Twos” are in full swing around here. Nothing is safe. Walls are riddled with multicolored crayon art, DVDs are used as skates to slide around on the hardwood floors with, tables are being climbed, cribs are being escaped from, molars are coming, tantrums are being thrown (not just by the kids, mind you, I am pretty good at them, myself), there is hitting, there is pushing, there is fighting over things like empty paper towel rolls or a lone sock.

Things are interesting.

L is at the point where she can hold an entire conversation with you and she will tell you all about how it isn’t nice to hit people and that if you eat all of your chicken, mommy will be so proud of you and maybe then you get to go to the park. She will then promptly decide that she doesn’t like chicken and then start hurling it at O. So…needless to say, we don’t go to the park.

O is at a really fun age now. Although it is fun in that he is hilarious and singing and dancing and running around trying to imitate his sister, the tantrums he is starting to throw are not so much fun. He is much louder and persistent than L was. L was definitely a hurl-yourself-onto-the-damn-floor type of fit-thrower, but she generally got bored with the tantrum and moved on to something else fairly quickly. If I had know that those were MILD tantrums…if only I had known. O’s are a little more intense. They usually stem from him not getting to hold something. Like my coffee (this actually IS familiar) and basically start out with these blood-curdling shrieks of SHEER HORRIBLENESS. And just when you think that it can’t get much worse because you are quite certain that your eardrums have likely already exploded, it gets louder. More shrill. MORE HORRIBLE. And it lasts forever. No amount of time seems to make these things end. He is an angel one minute, and the next he is a HORRIBLE, SHRIEKING MONSTER. And don’t you even try and console him. DON’T YOU DARE. That will make it worse and your eardrums surely will explode now. SURELY.

But he is a cuddly little dude and his smile is possibly the best thing EVAR.

L has also gotten glasses. It BROKE MY MUSHY MOMMY HEART when they told me she might need them (I don’t know why, it isn’t like glasses are the worst thing to ever happen to a kid, right?) but I sucked it up. I have to say, they seem to give her even MORE personality, if that is even possible! She looks like a tiny Tina Fey sometimes and I just want to put a little business suit on her and sit her at a news desk and let her tell me some jokes about politics. But it might be a little too soon for that. I will keep you all posted.

So, there you have it, folks. Life is super loud and super messy around here. And sometimes I want to jab ice picks into my temples. And sometimes, I would gladly sell any part of my anatomy for a good night of delicious SLEEP. But sometimes it really is totally worth it. Even if I am only partially conscious to witness it. This shit is EXHAUSTING, ya’ll!






Im(Press)ive! Your Year in Review

Hooray for Emily!!! News

Millions of new sites created and posts published later, 2014 is in the books. We could regale you with big numbers, like these…

Total New Blogs
That’s 49,997 new blogs per day!

Total Posts
Or more than 1.5 million per day — not too shabby. 47 million were published from mobile devices, because you’re on the go.

Bytes of Data per Hour
24.5 Trillion
(Thanks for keeping us so busy!)

… but the most important part of Automattic is what you make with the tools we offer. This year, we thought we’d look back at some of your successes, and how we were able to support the incredible things you created and shared.

To Publish a Mockingbird

With beautifully detailed portraits finished with bodies out of a toddler’s dream, the drawings illustrator Mica creates with her four-year-old daughter are captivating — the post of images she published on Busy Mockingbird has been viewed…

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Milestones are Stupid Bastards

I just re-read this post that I wrote 11 days before L’s first birthday. I realized that, not only is L still a total jerk in the sleep department, but this whole thing is about to happen all over again with Baby O. M. GEE. You guys. What the hell am I going to DO?!

Broken Condoms

Since Baby L has discovered that, not only does she not hate her walker, but that she can move freely about the house without anyone chasing her and removing her from dangerous spots, she has become a fiend.  But not just for the walker. For standing and cruising and being mobile every way that she possibly can. Like, all the time. Even while sleeping.

I’ve read that it is normal for babies, while going through developmental changes, to have sleep disturbances. And that sometimes, with all the new stuff they are learning, it is difficult for their little minds and bodies to slow down enough to sleep like they had been used to doing. And man, internet, are we learning this or WHAT.

Baby L is a giant asshole when it comes to sleeping troubled sleeper.  She always has been. She wants to be on me. Or near me…

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I’ve Got 99 Problems, and Gwyneth Paltrow Doesn’t Understand One

I read an article about this Gwyneth ridiculousness earlier this week. And, I had just started to think maybe she wasn’t as awful as I had previously thought. And then she proved that she is. Every bit as awful. “Glee” cannot redeem you in my eyes, now, Gwynnie.


It’s so easy to mock Gwyneth Paltrow, but it seems wrong to kick her while she’s down. Sure, she’s impossibly pretentious — and yes, she’s seemingly oblivious to the expansive privilege that has allowed her to maintain the world’s most excruciatingly twee lifestyle. But she’s still got some genuine human feelings, and I assume it’s incredibly painful to separate from your husband and the father of your two children.

BUT GWYNETH. Why do you make it so hard for me to empathize with you? Here’s the notorious G.O.O.P. discussing her decision to take (even more of?) a sabbatical from acting, via E! Online:

“I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to…

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