I know I wasn’t invited. But sometimes parties are more fun when you crash them.

I found out today that @jterzieff and @sparrowbug somehow spun a conversation about Metallica into a WIP  Cage Match. That’s Writer-Speak for Work-in-Progress for you Non-Writer folks out there). The rules are to post around 500 words of our respective WIP and see who walks away the victor.

Well, that was a challenge that was just covered in enough cool frijoles for me to chuck my own rule about posting twice in one day to the wind (Okay, okay, so I’m like 2 minutes past the deadline. But that’s only because I like to do things on Mexican-time.) So here I am.

Check out @sparrowbug’s entry here. @jterzieff’s can be found here.

Unless your brand new here, you already know I’m writing a don’t-call-it-a-memoir entitled Baby F(Ph)at: Adventures in Motherhood, Weight Loss, & Trying to Say Sane. I’ve posted a few excerpts already which can be found here and here. And now that we are all up to date, here’s my Muse Cage Match entry.

***

I’m holed up in my mother’s room while The Husband sleeps the day away and my mother keeps Buttercup busy downstairs. I’m spread across her bed on my belly with my pretty new netbook set in front of me for my online appointment with Monika Woolsey, a.k.a @incyst, to discuss my current state of mind and the fact that I had to pull my fat pants back out after our weekend trip to the Renaissance Festival. My mother, Buttercup, The Husband, and I had a totally happy family trip that cost us way more than anticipated—what with a toddler running around and pointing to things she totally knows Mommy and Daddy are going to spring for…like a camel ride…and a set of butterfly wings…and a “rare cork-nosed piggy (read: bank)…but neither The Husband or I are complaining about the smiles and the giggles and the chance to see what we take for granted through the eyes of our child. Like the woman in a blue formal with fairy wings trying on a corset while Daddy tried on a leather fedora? Ask Buttercup and she’ll tell you she met the Tooth Fairy. Even took a picture with her.

There were princesses and wood nymphs and walking trees and elephants and smiles. And, of course, the bloat (for mama) that comes with the seemingly necessary fast-food diet that comes with road trips.

I tried to be good. I did! I had, after all, just given up on phase 1 of South Beach just a few days before we left, so my intentions of starting phase 2 (also known as “eating the way I was in chapter 21 that helped me lose 13 pounds before I got stupid and screwed the pooch) after we got back. Because really, there was no point in fooling myself into thinking I was going to stick to anything realistic on a four day trip where I had minimal control on what I was going to be consuming.

Trips to Wendy’s included grilled chicken sandwiches, diet cokes, and yogurt parfaits. Breakfasts at Cracker Barrel were selected from the “low-carb” portion and consisted of scrambled eggs, sausage, and whole wheat toast. Renaissance fare consisted of steak and chicken on a stick with corn on the cob. My one treat at the festival was a fruit smoothie, which I shared with Buttercup and The Husband.

But by day three I was feeling fat again and on the fuck-it train again. So what was a frosty dessert with a double heap of Oreo cookies going to do to add to my pain? Or a chocolate bar purchased at a gas station on the way home. That I ate when The Husband wasn’t looking.

And now here I am in my yoga pants (because my jeans aren’t happy with me right now) and  depressed enough to wonder if going under the knife is my only viable option for losing any real weight in order to make for a happy The End.

 

IMG00706-20100329-1807“Flowers, Daddy. I want pink flowers. Pleeeease!

We’re at the grocery store. You know, the one with the organic and natural stuff that automatically means more money but is kind of necessary when attempting to eat real and healthier foods. The Husband is tired because he’s still working midnights and didn’t sleep before we went out to dinner and stopped at the store for a few things.

We’re not even five feet in when Buttercup sees the flowers. She points. I stop walking because I know he will, too.

And he does.

“Pink flowers? Which ones do you like?”

The flowers are only identified by color in the eyes of our little girl. Pink! Purple! Red! No, Daddy! The Yellow ones! The Yellow ones!

And the man who bought me flowers once in an attempt to impress my parents selects yellow tulips for his princess because she asked. And the man who has staunchly refused to ever hold my purse in public because Man Points would be deducted takes his daughter’s Ni Hao, Kai Lan purse out of her hands so she can breathe in the scent of her daddy’s love.

 

juliette-and-haris1-300x225No one wants to think of the “What ifs.”

From the moment that pink line appears on that little stick you oh-so-nervously pee on telling you that motherhood is about to be added to your resume, the wait begins for those ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. You do everything right but then everything goes so horribly wrong. There are hushed conversations and the NICU becomes your new home away from home as you await the day that your baby is healthy enough to see that nursery you prepared just for him.

You are relieved. You are scared. You are hopeful that this is the start of the rest of your life as a mother as your child sleeps safely in your arms.There are still challenges to be faced and surgeries to be performed, but for now you have him where he was supposed to be all along.

But what if this isn’t the end of the story? What if just after 18 months of fighting, your child is taken from you? What if your only solace is reaching out to other parents who are and who will be trying to keep their heads above water when “what if” comes to be?

This is not my story. It’s my friend’s. And I’ve decided to bite the bullet, put my strong  personal belief against waking up before 9 a.m. aside, and walk in the March for Babies on behalf of Juliette Terzieff. Team Haris is a tribute to the memory of her angel. And even though we may be walking in different states and in different time zones, I want her to know that I am there for her.

No snark. No gimmicks.

Today, this is just me asking you to please support me in my efforts to support my friend and make a difference in the lives of millions.

Join Team Haris or donate here. International donations are accepted and it’s as easy as a few clicks of the mouse.

Please, thank you, and God Bless.

 

“How do you pronounce that?”

The question was thrown at me by a guy cute enough to make me feel dirty for thinking he was cute, considering I’ve probably got ten years on him. He was pointing to one of those caramel-filled Cadbury eggs, and his model-gorgeous girlfriend was giggling. It was obvious, as they both turned to see what I was going to say (and how I was going to say it) that this was a serious point of contention.

Car-mel.” I blurted out.

The guy turned to his girlfriend. “See?” He said triumphantly. “I was right. It’s car-mel.”

This is when the cashier stepped in to even out the numbers. “It’s spelled “car-a-mel” and that’s how I’ve always pronounced it.” She enunciated every syllable and the girlfriend jutted her chin out at her boyfriend. Score one for proper pronunciation.

The couple had already completed their transaction, but with no one else in line and the promise of more fuel for the We’re So Cute Together We Need to Make Up Reasons to Fight conversation, they lingered. Amused beyond words, I jumped back in.

“Yes, I said as the cashier rang me up, “but think of words like ‘Phoenix.’ Is that pronounced ‘Pu-ho-en-ix‘ or ‘Fee-nix?”" I smiled conspiratorially at the boyfriend, who in turn added another point to the tally he was most likely keeping in his head for future antagonization (I just made it up, so shut up, spell check) of his girlfriend, who’s only crime was that she was happy to put up with his I Am Always Right Or At Least Think I Am attitude.

“Ha! Pu-ho-en-ix? That’s awesome. I totally win. Right there. Right?” It was the boyfriend who was talking, but my eyes were on the light dancing in the girlfriend’s eyes. She was having just as much as fun as he was, even if she wasn’t as vocal about it.

Toe-may-toe…Toe-mah-toe, anyone?

I could imagine the debate, fueled with plenty of playful jabs and stolen kisses and surprised strangers brought into the conversation to see who would win the next round. And as I fell asleep that night, wishing The Husband was curled up next to me instead of working the midnight shift, I imagined her wedding dress…and the smile on his face the moment he saw her walking down the aisle.

 

at the library

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