We Don’t Do Resolutions Around Here

I saw a meme on Facebook this morning that mocked the idea of resolutions, and I loved it… It went something like,

“It’s almost time for that ‘new year, new me’ bullshit.”

Bullshit is a great word for it.  The idea of becoming a “new me” seems rather pointless and vapid, if you ask me.  I like the “me” that I am, the me that I’ve been, and the me that I’ve presented since 32 years ago.

It may as well be 1983 up in this bitch because I plan on bringing all the same goodness, kindness, and generosity to the world that I’ve brought since way back when.  Since I learned as a child that it is important to be your best self always, not just at the start of a new year.

Change is good.  I get it.

Change your hair, change your job, change your style…Fine.

Sure I’d love to be in better shape, keep a more organized home, clear my debt and repaint the playroom. And if all of these things really mattered so much to me, I would have done them already.

This is exactly why I could never quite understand the idea of “resolutions”.

What happened to now? To carpe diem? To seizing the fucking day and then some?

WHY WAIT FOR THE FIRST OF A NEW YEAR TO BE BETTER?

In my house, we’re not doing resolutions.  My daughter will be taught that if you want to be better – start now.

If you want to be happier – start now.

If you want to make a change in any part of your life – do not wait.  Time is not guaranteed.

If you want something, need something, or think you can make something happen – do it today.  Not tomorrow.

And if you want to look a different way – you’re wasting your time, because I think you’re perfect as you are – but shit, go for it, and don’t wait – make yourself happy.

Happiness CANNOT wait. Be happy now, now, NOW!

Starting now, you will have to be your best at being kind.  At being loyal, honest, generous and happy.  These things cannot wait for tomorrow, for another day, or worse, a new year.

We have today, and today only – because who knows what tomorrow brings.  So instead of bringing your best to 2016 – bring it to today.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

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Could it even get better than this, anyway?

 

 

Dave The Donut Dude

On the morning of my husband’s birthday, I made an early morning run to his favorite local gourmet donut shop to surprise him with a few of his favorite artery-clogging delights.
With my baby on my hip, I ordered 4 of their most famous creations, including the 420-stoner donut and the super-Miami guava and cheese. 
“Now I see why Daddy loves these,” I whispered to Bella, as I got closer to the register.
When it was my turn to pay, the sweet register gal held up a $20 bill, waved it around with delight and said, “It’s on Dave today!”
“Who the hell is Dave?,” I asked.
“He comes in every Saturday morning and leaves $20 for the first baby that comes in to the store.”
I was floored. Flabbergasted. Verklempt.
 I hadn’t experienced such a random act of kindness since, well – NEVER.
You see, it’s not that we couldn’t afford the $11 worth of my donuts for husbands birthday.- It was the fact that there is still extreme kindness left in this world. 
It was the fact that this Dave-Guy’s generosity put such a huge smile on face (all before 8am on a Saturday morning- nearly an impossible feat).
It was the fact that my favorite personality trait, the one that gives me so much pleasure and satisfaction, is still alive and well out there, existing and living within other humans who still believe in the power of kindness.
So, no, this is not a tale of motherhood. Or marriage. Or anything other than what I believe in wholeheartedly…
..Kindness.
It’s what I’ll raise my daughter on. It’s what I’ll raise my daughter to exude. It’s what keeps this planet spinning.
It’s what will, one day, heal the world.
Thank you Dave- for the free donuts, but most of all, for proving me to that kindness IS real. It does exist, and it lives within all of us. 
 

Negative Nancys Need Not Apply

I keep hearing all this crap about people who post pictures of their spouses/significant others/kids/friends on social media.

Basically, the underlying idea is – if you post pictures of any of the above people in your life, you are CLEARLY miserable.  You definitely cry yourself to sleep at night and you wake up each morning hoping for the worst – all while using pictures to cover up the truth of your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad life.

Well SORRY, this just isn’t true.

As a serial poster with a strong desire to share my life with my friends and family on Facebook, I can tell you that the exact opposite happens to be true.

I am the opposite of miserable.

In fact, I have never been happier, thankyouverymuch, hence my desire to be so open with my life.

Here’s the deal – I wear my heart on my sleeve – always have, always will.

This goes for being mushy in person AND on social media.

I look at the photos in my camera roll constantly, smile to myself while doing so, and think, “DAMN, this is too good to keep to myself.”

Yea, yea, I know deep down that you all could care less what my husband, daughter and I did for my birthday.

I know you roll your eyes at yet another post of my delicious daughter getting one month older.

I know my husband gets shit from his friends about being equally as mushy as his mushball wife.

And I KNOW, the gossipers, the haters, and the actual miserable people I am still “friends” with on Facebook use my annoying posts as reason to talk.

But guess what – it’s all good.

I hereby stand against the Negative Nancy’s who are claiming that other peoples display of happiness is a cover-up for something more.

It’s not. It’s as simple as that.

No hidden agenda.  No big scam.

Let the happy people be happy – let the serial posters post.

And when I stop overdoing it with the uploads, THAT’S when you’ll have to worry.

Namastay-happy, people.FullSizeRender(1)

Something AWFUL Happened Yesterday

There are no words to describe how helpful it has been to have my Mom and Stepdad’s help with my baby since she’s come into the world.  Frankly, I can say with the utmost of certainty that I don’t know how I could have gotten through the first few weeks of motherhood without them.

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But something scary happened yesterday.

My parents (sorry, it’s really annoying to keep saying “stepdad”) literally find reasons to watch her.

Like, “Oh, it may rain in your neighborhood tomorrow afternoon, we’ll take the baby.”

“There may be a Tsunami on the other side of the world but you’re 3 miles closer to that side of the world – we’ll take the baby.”

“Michelle, your husband mentioned you sneezed a few hours ago, we’re taking the baby!”

Do you see where I am going with all of this?

Don’t get me wrong- I love, LOVE the help.  This willingness to take over has provided my baby daddy and I with many needed date nights, mornings to sleep in, and reason to not pay a babysitter.

But something upsetting happened yesterday.

This help is critical for the fact that I am a full time working mom, and when my daughter became too sick to go to school, my mom stepped in to help a few days a week with her care.

My mom takes pride in teaching her Spanish, showing her how to clean her kitchen, singing ridiculous songs about rice and milk and hands from god (in Spanish) that would sound crazy if translated to English, walking around her Miami neighborhood with my baby in tow and hearing “Oh, there’s no way you’re a Grandma, you look so YOUNG!”

I swear on all things holy that I am not exaggerating, not even in the least.

I am at peace knowing that when my child cannot be by my side, she will likely be with the only other people in the word that I know I can trust.

But then, yesterday, something happened.

Something awful.

Something that made my heart stop.

Something that made my ears burn with the kind of heat that can only come from sheer jealousy.

I went to pick up my gorgeous nugget baby after work and when I got to my moms, the baby was still napping.

I waited patiently for her to open her eyes, squeal with delight at the sight of my face and begin burying her little head in my neck, anxious for kisses.

Well, when she opened her eyes…

She glanced quickly at me, then darted her eyes back to my mother.

She looked back at me for one quick second, and just like that –

She smiled at my Mom and reached out for HER.

I was speechless. In shock.  At a (rare) loss for words.

It got worse when my mom helped us out to the car, closed the door, and my child began CRYING for her Nonna.

I was like, “Um… hi, child… I gave you life, remember me?!”

But in that moment, my cell phone rang, and it was my own Grandma.

The only person on the planet I answer the phone for on the first ring.

The woman who is my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and the reason why I schlep my baby up to Boca a few times a week.

And I realized, I sometimes preferred my Grandma to my own Mom (sorry, Mom)…

Because there is something so special, so unique, and so intimate about the relationship between a Grandmother and her Granddaughter…

…and my babe and I are both SO blessed to live our lives bathed in the love of our Nonna and our Nanny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why The HELL Did I Want a Baby?!

I know I’m all rainbows and butterflies when it comes to discussing motherhood.  I know you all probably get pretty sick of it (no, I don’t care).  I know I post entirely too many pictures of my little babe  (no, I don’t care about that either.)

Yes, motherhood is amazing (now).

But it hasn’t always been.

For the first six weeks, motherhood, for me, was the exact opposite.

It was terrifying. Treacherous.  Too damn much.

I spent my 6,000 months of pregnancy fantasizing about the baby inside of me. I would have daydreams of my baby and I cuddling and laughing and frolicking endlessly through the park.

Then she showed up.

The wait was over – the months of planning, preparing, and plotzing through Buy Buy Baby like the innocent, unknowing, first-time mother-to-be that I was, had all come crashing to a halt.

The curtains closed on the big show, and now I was all alone backstage… Lights off, my audience and adoring fans gone and onto the next big show, and I found myself wishing I could transport myself back to rehearsals.  Back to when it was safe again, when I was only practicing, and I wasn’t so exposed.

This is exactly what life felt like the morning after we arrived home with our beautifully perfect and healthy 6-lb miracle.

I will never, ever, forget the nagging voice inside of me that kept shouting, “now what!?!??”

“You’re doing it wrong!”

“You suck at this!”

“No, don’t swaddle with that blanket, use THIS blanket!”

“Do I really have to do this again tomorrow?!”

“Why do my nipples feel like that?”

“Why does my baby have a breathing pattern that makes me think she needs a doctor 562 times per night (on average)?”

“WHY THE HELL DID I WANT A BABY?!?!”

It was exactly what all those nurses and lactation consultants and know-it-all’s meant when they teased, “babies aren’t born with a manual!”

No, they sure as hell aren’t.  But here’s the deal, and what I learned the hard way, and what I constantly reflect on now that I’m loving this whole motherhood thing.

The first 6 weeks (or so) of motherhood will be the hardest and darkest days of your life.

I don’t care what anyone tells you.  If they disagree with this statement, they are lying and trying to shield you from the reality of life.

But guess what? It’s supposed to be hard.  We’re supposed to make mistakes and feel like giant fuck-ups and sweat and cry and wish we never got ourselves into this mess…

…Because that’s where growth happens.  Where strength prevails.  And where you quickly find out that the reality is, as clueless and helpless and milk-less as you feel, NO ONE can do a better job than you at parenting your child.

That no matter how much you doubt yourself, your baby needs YOU and you alone and already thinks you’re a superhero.

That you ARE a bad-ass bitch with more bad-assery in one little finger now than you’ve ever had in your entire body prior to giving birth.

That you accomplished and persevered through life’s single GREATEST miracle, which automatically makes you a candidate for Nobel fucking peace prize.

That when the darkness and confusion and self-doubt fade, and you finally find yourself falling so in love with your new job as a mother and receive those first smiles from your little creation –

That you, too, have been born.

Reborn – as the woman you were always meant to be –

A pretty damn-good mother.

(and soon, you’ll find the rainbows and butterflies, too.)IMG_0508

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You May Say I’m a Dreamer…

  
I stopped at 7-11 Saturday morning on my way to Pilates, for a cold bottle of water – the morning after the Paris destruction.
As I paid and made my way out the door, the kind, frail, elderly store clerk said – “be safe out there, our world keeps getting scarier”.
He was right. He IS right. Our world, the world where hundreds of people, thousands even, are slaughtered at one time, for no reason at all – is the world we can’t escape.
As the news broke Friday night, my husband and I laid in bed silently watching cnn, each update and body count giving us chills. As a survivor gave his live account of what exactly occurred inside the Bataclan, the horrifying details of people being shot at random, the hairs of the back of my neck stood up. My husband must have felt the same way, because he held me closer and squeezed my arm – and almost instantly, tears rolled down my cheeks.
I knew what he was thinking in that moment. It’s because it was the same thing I was thinking…
…”holy shit, how did we bring a kid into this cold, angry world?”
If you’ve read any of my previous work, you’ll know I’m a big liberal mush- a huge fan of kindness, and a believer that everyone – EVERYONE in this world should be treated with respect. 
How am I supposed to raise my daughter to always “do the right thing” when everything seems so wrong?
How am I supposed to teach her that being a kind and compassionate human will get her the same treatment in return?
How am I supposed to prepare her to be a strong, independent out there in the world, when the world always seems ready to take you down? 
How, HOW am I supposed to explain why these horrible, traumatic and devastating events occur day after day, in countries all over the world, where only the innocent seem to suffer?
Well. The bad news is, this will be a very difficulty task.
The good news? I was taught to have hope. To be positive in the face of all negativity. To hold on to the good even if seems to be slipping away.
And I will teach her that all the world needs, is more good people.
(And a lot more love).

You Say Chanel, I Say Tar-jay

The Mommy Divide…

It only took a few weeks… I went back to work full-time, had to plop my princess in day care, and faster than you can say “let’s meet at Bal Harbour for lunch,” I found myself on the other side.

The other side of life as I knew it.

The other side of the life I loved.

I spent almost 7 blissful months at home doing what I loved best – mommying.

I spent the moments in between with other mommies, and came home at the end of each day happy, fulfilled and ready to wife my ass off.

I am not that person anymore, as much as it kills me – but everyone else in my life and everyone I hold so true to my heart stayed behind in that world.  The uncomplicated, stress-free world where babies aren’t constantly sick from day care and lunches happen on your own time with the people you enjoy, rather than on a very tight schedule with cold leftovers in a Tupperware.

So what’s a girl to do?  Well, bitch about it, constantly – for one thing.

Just kidding….

…kinda.

I’m human – albeit a sensitive human, but never mind that.  It feels awful to no longer be able to join the group for play dates, tote my baby along to mommy and me classes, lunch with other mommy friends or just take a stroll in the mall.  I feel a giant surge of jealousy coarse through my veins like a $10 Whole Foods smoothie from days past each time I respond to an invitation with, “I can’t, I have to work.”  I sometimes find myself avoiding social media on my really stressful days just to avoid the stinging realness of my reality.

But my reality is now all-consuming.

It’s work hard and maybe if you’re lucky, you can play a little when you’re done.

It’s 2 hours of quality time with my child in place of long, fun-filled days of carefree living.

It’s rushing to Target on borrowed time for necessities instead of browsing Bloomingdale’s with friends.

It’s seeing friends once-in-a-blue-moon and only if my baby won’t infect theirs – which basically means never.

It is … what it is.

But I’ve realized a few things since leaving my happy little world behind.  I know it’s cliche and it’s been said a million times – but it’s so true.  The people who are your true friends, the ones in good times and in bad, will merely see this divide as an extra stop-over on the way to everlasting friendship.

…and they won’t mind when on your only day off from work, you ask them to hang out at Target.FullSizeRender(12)