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new beginnings

Posted by lynn on 01 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: family, friends, melina, work, writing

Cute

Two Tall Chairs (w/ Lily)

The first half of 2009 has been absolutely ridiculous for our family. It started with Joey’s job loss on his first day back in January, and ended with my pregnancy loss just last week. In between we had an insanely expensive pipe break under our house (it was made in 1914 of terra cotta – tree roots finally broke through); a jumbled re-fi (lucky for us, it ended up working to our advantage); Joey’s four-month stint working for a narcissistic madman and his ensuing second job hunt in the worst economy in two generations; uncertainty about my own job; intermittent violence in our neighborhood (at least it’s brought us closer to our neighbors); and lots of little everyday craziness to fill in the gaps.

Corn (w/ Lily)

Nomad Cafe

I’m still dealing with emotions surrounding the miscarriage, and those are either for another post or another medium altogether. But I can guarantee this: The feelings would be infinitely harder to deal with if Joey and I hadn’t both found job stability (and dare I say happiness) in the last month. I realized this over-arching need for security – of both finances and routine – when talking to a friend right around the time our pipe broke and the dishwasher failed. Things break, especially when you own a home. It’s an inconvenience on many levels, but you deal and move on. When you don’t have day-to-day job security (or are miserable in the one you have, or at worst don’t have one at all) everything feels exponentially worse.

Buckets

Two Sibs in a Bed

Overall, things have started to go right for us again. It’s a trend I hope to continue. New (good) jobs, a trip to Alaska in just one week, happiness at preschool, and a more solid conviction that we do want to expand our family (and as a result, likely our house too). To a certain extent, all this is to the future to decide. As long as we’ve found our grounding again, we’ll be fine. And we have. The timing couldn’t be more perfect: The second half of 2009 begins today. Because I’m a firm believer in new beginnings and am slightly superstitious with marks on a calendar, I hereby declare this a special day.

Happy new half-year, to all of us who need to start anew.

Party Hat

Joy's Flower Girl Dress

The photos have little to do directly with this post, other than our children, bio and step, are always new beginnings. One relates a little more directly to special starts. Melina recently received a late birthday present from Linnea and Joy: the dresses they wore as flower girls at our wedding. Melina felt that instead of pink cowboy boots or sparkle shoes (which Joy and Linnea used to accessorize on the big day) she needed Mama’s new hiking hat. Just look at my lovely little girl.

mamahood essay published!

Posted by lynn on 10 May 2009 | Tagged as: kai, writing

This Mother’s Day I had a special essay published in the online magazine Literary Mama.

I invite you to read my piece, called “Stepping Into Mamahood.” If the title isn’t hint enough, it’s about Kai and me. And it will give you an insight into one mama’s perspective on stepparenthood.

Happy Mother’s Day to mamas and mama figures everywhere!

hear me read TONIGHT in sf + where’s the posts?

Posted by lynn on 15 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: writing

Please join me at tonight’s Left Coast Writers event, Labors of Love, Work, and Play, where I’ll be reading from my personal essay, “Stepping into Mamahood.”

The event will run from 5:30-7pm @ Book Passage in the Ferry Building, SF.

For now, attending this event is the only way to “read” this latest essay, as I’m still shopping it around and will not be posting it to my blog anytime soon.

On a semi-related note, I recently lamented to my writing friend and fellow mom how hard it is to find time to write. She mentioned she had just checked out this blog, and asked how much time I spent on it each week. I could only respond “Too much – but it’s my hobby!” to which she replied, “Cut down on the blog posts unless they’ll lead to stories. There’s your writing time.” I’m going to try to take her advice to heart, so my posts may (should) be less frequent, at least for a while.

hop on pop

Posted by lynn on 14 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: kai, melina, writing

One side benefit of having kids is getting to revisit all my favorite childhood books. For the last five or six months, our house has been full of the wonderful, wacky world of Dr. Suess. We read classic favorites (Green Eggs and Ham, Mr. Brown Can Moo, The Cat in the Hat) but have expanded our repertoire – so far for Kai – to include the moral lessons of Yertle the Turtle and politically potent stories like The Lorax. (I can’t help but think of An Inconvenient Truth each time we read it.) I don’t remember reading these as a kid, and am continually amazed at how brilliantly these simple rhymes convey some complex life lessons.

The other day Meli started asking for her favorite storybook by name: “Hop hop!” (Or maybe it’s “Hop pop” – that’s the beauty of the tongue twister.) She first said it while holding Hop on Pop but the next morning called a different book “Hop hop” as well. And as soon as she opened a page continued with the first lines of the Suess story: “Up pup…” It’s so fun to see her making connections between words and things – even if sometimes they aren’t yet fully formed, so to speak. Needless to say, I’m thrilled that she’s such a fan of Suess.

growing pains

Posted by lynn on 13 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: melina, writing

Rough Day

Snack @ Stinson

With our trip and Meli’s first birthday in the past, I’m trying to re-focus and re-energize around my writing. It’s tough, especially when I have a blog to distract me. But today I re-started a story that’s been brewing for five years. Here’s to making that story grow.

For her part, so far being one has been rough for the Jelly Bean. Last week was all turmoil. Luckily she’s been on the upswing the past few days. But look at all the changes in her little life:

  • New room at daycare. The Waddlers were fun to visit but now that she’s there full time, Meli sometimes cries for her infant-care teachers when she sees them.

  • Daytime weaning. Now that she’s one, I refuse to pump. She literally threw her sippy cup of whole milk at her teacher last week.
  • Shots. Oh those nasty shots. I swear she was a different, constantly cranky person for the first five days after she got the MMR vaccine.
  • Headcold. Ick. I have it too. So does Kai.
  • Teething. Those two top teeth are certainly taking their time, but little by little we see white emerging.

We’ve still been having fun. On Monday we headed to Stinson Beach with Sapna and Suli. Amazingly, as a 30+ year resident of the Bay Area I’d never been to one of its most famous north county beaches. We soaked up the sun (I got a little too much), and Meli dipped her toes in the cold waves and enjoyed eating fistfuls of sand – until I batted the sand away.

wedding story

Posted by lynn on 14 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: writing

Happy second anniversary to Joey and me! Much like our wedding day, this morning started out a little grey but blue sky and sunshine are peeking through the haze. Unlike our wedding day, we’ve had amazing, summer-like weather all week with skirts and sandals galore.

In honor of the occasion, I’m posting a piece I wrote called Bridal Showers. It’s about our wedding day and – go figure – the weather. I wrote this essay not long after we married and have tried to shop it around to a few places, finding some interest but ultimately no success. I may try again, but for now I’m happy simply to share it here. Enjoy!

“hot flashes” cold + a carousel ride

Posted by lynn on 12 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina, writing

kai_meli_carousel07.jpg

family_carousel071.jpg

The title of this post makes little sense but I like the way the words flow. And it does hold meaning.

I topped off our first of two whirlwind weekends with a reading at the Ferry Building (SF) for my story in the anthology “Hot Flashes: Sexy Little Stories and Poems.” The reading went fine and I was able to have dinner with a fellow writer who has twin 10-month-old boys. Needless to say we had plenty to discuss. Unfortunately, with my lingering cold and the cool, dry weather, I woke up Tuesday morning with no voice. Almost two days later I can still only manage a loud whisper.

meli_carousel071.jpg

kai_carousel07.jpg

It’s not slowing me – or us – down. Last night we picked up both kids from daycare and headed to the Winter Wonderland in Tilden Park. Melina fell asleep on the winding ride, but was all smiles after being woken by the lights in the North Pole display and the music and laughter coming from the huge carousel. She took her first ride on an actual animal (as opposed to a bench) while Kai and Joey watched from the sidelines. Kai still has carousel phobia, so his ticket went unused.

identity upheaval

Posted by lynn on 14 Nov 2007 | Tagged as: friends, melina, writing

Big Smile, Sweet Adeline Bakeshop

I return to work in less than one week. To put things into perspective, I’m going back just three days/week, and my office is less than one mile from our house. Meli’s daycare is a little over a mile away in the opposite direction, making the distance just a short drive – or long walk in the event of an emergency.

Hangin' Near Jewel LakeMy feelings about this imminent transition are all over the map.

- It will be nice to have some uninterrupted time to just be ME, even if it’s in front of a computer in an office cubicle.
- Meli’s so interactive and FUN these days. I don’t want to miss anything and I know I will.
- She’s also super social. I’m sure she’ll enjoy being around the other babies.
Meli's New Friend, Little Farm- I’ve scheduled in time to write. Meli is signed up for daycare four days/week. I only go into work three. The trick will be my own discipline.
- It feels like a huge chapter of our lives together is coming to a close. Who am I kidding? This isn’t just a feeling. It’s a very real transition and it’s going to be tough – if only in terms of nostalgia – no matter how many positive things result.
Jewel Lake Walk- The daycare center is fantastic.
- I’m going to miss her like crazy.

Most importantly, I’m starting to realize that while I have the new mom thing down, I have no idea how to balance my new role with my old life. I can’t even find a regular day to go to “big people” yoga these days (though I somehow manage to take both kids to their classes a few times/month).

Swinging High

There’s something very comforting about having such focus to your days. When I left the hospital on June 3 the nurse said “You have three jobs. Feed the baby, feed yourself, and get some rest.” It’s funny to think back on how hard that was at the time. It wasn’t long before we added “play” to our routine, but Jelly Bean has been the absolute center of my days for nearly six months now.

Yummy Thumb

I do find comfort in knowing that going forward I’ll get to accomplish so much more with my days, and re-discover parts of myself I started to miss by the time she was around six weeks old. Plus, we have loads of new friends now to add to our lively mix. Again, the big trick will be balance, balance, balance…

you’re invited: “hot flashes” launch party

Posted by lynn on 23 Sep 2007 | Tagged as: writing

Come one come all – the official “Hot Flashes” launch party is this Friday at Book Passage in Corte Madera. I’ll be reading a short excerpt from “Salt Melts Like Snow,” and my whole family (Joey, both kids, my folks) will be their to “cheer” me on.

To learn more visit the new “Hot Flashes” website.

Event info:
Friday, September 28, 7pm
Book Passage: 51 Tamal Vista Way, Corte Madera

“hot flashes” debut & my literary little girl

Posted by lynn on 27 Aug 2007 | Tagged as: melina, writing

Cover of First 'Hot Flashes' Anthology Next month I have a short story, “Salt Melts Like Snow,” coming out in an anthology called Hot Flashes 2: More Sexy Little Stories & Poems. Linda and Laurie, the fantastic duo of editors, held a celebratory reading at Book Passage in Marin on Saturday evening. We had my folks lined up to babysit both Melina and Kai so that Joey and I could schmooze in peace with the other writers and enjoy some sexy little readings over a yummy array of wine, cheese, and fruit. A date night and personal literary landmark in one – fabulous!

Jelly Bean had a different idea. Two days earlier, about a week shy of her three-month birthday, she went on a bottle strike. Overnight our rockstar bottle feeder from three weeks old realized that silicone and flesh feel different, and that she most certainly prefers mommy’s nipple or no nipple at all. So instead of leaving her to scream at my parents once feeding time came, we put her in a nice summer dress and took her to her first literary event.

It was still fabulous, perhaps moreso. Everyone doted on Melina, I re-met a writer acquaintance who recently had twin boys (we discussed forming our own “writing mamas” group), and deep down I was proud to share my work with my 12-week-old daughter regardless of her not understanding a word.

For her part, Melina did just fine. Of course she pooped twiced but discreetly, and decided a quiet room full of people listening to a reading was a great time to practice her loud “aaaaaa” and “gaaaaa” sounds – but Daddy just took her for a walk or three. They both got to hear me read, and since then I’ve spent more and more time reading age-appropriate stories to little Meli. She’s enraptured by Dr. Suess (“Mr. Brown Can Moo” and “Hop On Pop”) and the classic “Good Night Moon,” among others.

Feel free to read my story here, but please also consider purchasing the anthology. Just contact me and I’ll set you up with a copy next month!

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