Don’t Tell My Husband

April 28, 2015

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  • I definitely don’t do half of the housework. And it’s not that I do more.
  • I think the Holderness family dad is hot. He can sing and does Crossfit. And is not cheesy at all.560474_10150695523622968_279247195_n
  • I never take off my wedding ring, but I seldom wear my engagement ring because I don’t have much of an emotional attachment to it. I’m not into diamonds. Plus, it’ll scratch a kid in passing.
  • I have liked/commented on posts while unknowingly logged into his Facebook account. I have realized it, and done nothing.
  • There have been many times this month that I actually did hear one of the kids crying at night.
  • Even though I say, “Oh wow” and “Uh-huh” pretty convincingly, I don’t understand half of what he tells me about his web development projects. I’m grateful he takes the time to explain though.
  • He is probably not the best dancer out on the floor. But he doesn’t care, and that’s way more fun.
  • I act like I don’t want them having that much screen time, but I think it’s awesome that he plays Mario and Zelda games with the girls. Sometimes I’m jealous of this special thing has with them.
  • Next time he goes to the eye doctor I’m going along for “guidance”, because nerd glasses are awesome and I’d like him to embrace them.


  • The only reason I haven’t gotten a (little) tattoo yet is because he says he doesn’t like them. But I am slowly working on him.
  • If he’s not happy, I’m not happy. Right now he is in the process of changing careers. He could do way crazier things with his life and buy way more expensive gadgets than he tries to buy, if that’s what he really wanted. Shhhhhh.
  • I am so darn proud of him, especially lately. I do tell him this.
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April 24, 2015

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This list is called: Reasons It Totally Doesn’t SUCK that I’m Stuck Wearing the #$&%! Defibrillator Vest for Another Two Months:

  1. Interesting tan lines, come June.
  2. I get to explain to more people that no, the fat chick wearing a heart monitor actually didn’t have a heart attack. So pass the (unsalted) fries.
  3. I’m lucky to have caught this issue in the first place, back in February. I could have been walking around with my heart working at about 30% power for God knows how long. That’s how people die of this. (Rarely, in my age bracket, relax!)
  4. 36 square inches of metal and plastic panel on my back in the warmer weather will totally help with sweatin’ off the pounds, baby.
  5. Top shape for an Ejection Fraction, the measurement of how much blood pumps out of your heart, is 70. I got an E. F. of 35 on my ‘big test’ last week. That’s like getting a 50% on an exam. Still an F, but hey, it’s a higher F this time, right?
  6. I could position annoying students close to my walking path through the classroom, and conveniently hit them on the head with the box.
  7. An E. F. above 35 would have meant I do not need a defibrillator. An E. F. below 35 would have gotten a tiny one implanted in me. (Not fun, but ultimately less intrusive in your life and more reliable than “ole vesty”, at saving lives.) What number did I get? Exactly 35. There was basically one possible number that could have kept me in this holding pattern, and that’s what my heart scored. I’ll be in Atlantic City playing roulette now…
  8. what_is_image_2
  9. I was supposed to wait two months, get tested to see if we were doing the implant or not, but either way I’d be done with this $%&# thing in mid-April. I was counting down to that. Now, who knows? In two months, I may still need the implant, I may need to wait some more (unlikely), or I may be significantly better – hey, who doesn’t love a little plot twist?
  10. Bump the Velcro flap of box’s case against something, it opens, heavy metal box falls out, hits toe, BOOM, you’re a physical comedy genius.
  11. When the sensors malfunction and the siren goes off, scaring students and/or strangers, and they freak out – that just reminds me that people care. Especially that one nice lady in the store who I had to talk out of calling 911! How sweet was that?
  12. Why don’t I just keep it till October and the pads will make a nice “Hunchback of Notre Dame” costume?!
  13. 4667451_G
    Omigod srsly, so hot. (This is not a picture of me and I really hope you didn’t think it was.)

Yes, this list is a sarcastic pile of self-pity. While I realize improvement of any kind is a blessing and absolutely not something to complain about… Really? Exactly 35? Two more months. And some extra tests. Two. More. Months. Right up through the end of the school year.

Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for a reason…

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Advice, Gosh Darn It

April 22, 2015

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Last week at an indoor water park, I lost the giant black mumu very stylish cover-up that I had just purchased. I put the cover-up down on a railing, went to do something with my younger kid, came back, and it was GONE. *horror*. My flip flops were still there. This was not acceptable. I was now essentially walking around naked, as far as the self-conscious chick in my head was concerned. I will find you, and I will kill you, mumu thief.  I can act like I’m all cool and comfortable, but no matter what witty banter (ha) is coming out of my mouth at a pool-related gathering, my brain is going “Don’t look at my thighs. Don’t look at my arms. AHHHHH stop looking at meeeeeee!” *die*

My husband tells me that I have the worst self-esteem he’s ever seen. And not just about body image. The funny part is that most people think I’m pretty confident. (No, friend. No. It’s all in how you fake it.) Wait that sounded wrong…

Crap. Do you still like me?



I would advise my girls to love and value themselves, no matter what.

Cheeeeeezzzzy. But really: If you’ve got that down, you’ve got a lot. And you wouldn’t have to go out the next day and replace a giant black mumu.

Kids are not born comparing their bodies to perfection and finding them ugly. While I would like my kids to pull up their pants because nobody wants to see their impression of a plumber, I don’t want them thinking their body shouldn’t be seen in the daylight. I want them to enjoy the pool.  I shouldn’t feel that way either. Girls, you’re all kinds of beautiful.

It goes beyond body image, too. If a kid that my daughter approaches at the playground walks away from her, I want her to know that it’s not because there’s something wrong with her; he just didn’t want to play right then. He probably just doesn’t want to play Mario-meets-My Little Pony-meets-Monster High. And neither do I. Girls, you are good to be around and people like you.

If somebody doesn’t text them back or return their call or pick up their Facetime chat (or God knows what technology is being used by the time I consent to buying them a phone) I want them to understand that it probably isn’t because they’re not important enough to that person. That person is probably busy right now, and wrapped up in their own stuff, unrelated to how much they like them. Girls, you’re enough, and you’re valued.

I want to advise them to take a defeat as a challenge to work harder and a rejection as a sign, not that they weren’t worthy, but that there is something better out there. It’s not that you’re ugly, fat, dumb, boring, unimportant, un-valued, or whatever else that negative biotch in your head tells you. Girls, if you wake up every day being able to tell yourself that the world is a better place because you’re in it, then you won’t need anybody’s attention or affirmation, and that is freedom. Girls, I’ll let you know when Mommy gets there. It’s something we’re all working on. 

There is a lot of “BAD” that can happen to a kid, as he or she grows. But a kid who has a healthy amount of self-worth will hopefully duck and weave when those poor choices come at them swinging. Personally I think I did ok, if I say so myself, and I was (am) a secret self-doubter, always.

So if I had to pick one piece of advice to give my children, that would be it.

Yes, this is basically Stuart Smalley. What? That was a very good era for SNL…



If you could give your kids one piece of advice, what would it be? No really, I’m curious, and I bet it’s pretty cool advice. Some smart people read this blog…

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Let Her Sleep

April 17, 2015

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b2ffa1ef83a08ee357ca4f21c5ad6ec3 No, really.

Ask my kids who they want taking care of whatever (insignificant little) problem they have at 2 AM. It’s not Mommy. Cause Mommy is a total biotch if you wake her up.

Hi, I’m Meg, and I am a complete harpee without sleep. A year ago I was fine, and now I’m happily returning to the club of people who don’t count sleep as one of their demons. Happily, my broken record phrase has become: “I feel so much better now.” But for a while there, it was definitely a ‘thing’ with me.

Since talking to a half dozen doctors regularly about the heart thing, I got pieces put together, regarding sleep. Or rather, lackthereof. Namely, that I hadn’t been getting much good quality shut-eye, in the last couple of months. And it was affecting me big-time, back then.

With the CHF, I gradually felt worse and didn’t realize it, and I just plain lacked the energy to do my life. In what was, unbeknownst to me, a related situation, I also started having trouble sleeping. I couldn’t tell you when it started exactly, but I would wake up after a few hours, wide awake, heart going like I’d be up doing something for a while (Duh). I could fall asleep fine but not stay there, waking up ten times a night (double duh.) At 4 AM I felt as wide awake as if it were 8 AM. I tried taking one Benadryl. I tried taking 2. I tried a hormone supplement called melatonin to get a better night’s rest, as it got worse. (Seriously, why didn’t I ask a doctor about this?)

Lack of sleep has a way of magnifying negative feelings and experiences in some of us sleep addicts. More and more often, I was short with my kids, impatient with my students, and I am embarrassed to say that once when the line at Taco Bell moved too slowly, I told the clerk at the window about it as if it were solely hear fault. I would get to the point of hearing the crazy lady yelling at her children about socks on the floor and my inner sane person would know that those floor socks didn’t warrant this level of anger… But I held a grudge about the errant footwear, or anything else that has the misfortune to tick me off. Other fun side effects included looking older, at least to myself. I consulted my sister in-law and the nice ladies at Sephora about how to cover my giant, pathetic under-eye circles. I started taking Tylenol PM sometimes and felt like an extra from “The Walking Dead” in the mornings. I drank more coffee. All unrelated, I thought, to the heart thing. I didn’t even know about the heart thing, at that point. Ah, hindsight… But seriously, I was not cool at times.

For instance: Just last week had a pretty nice conversation with someone who had ticked me off, professionally, last spring. We were talking about the performance in which I was ticked as Hell at him for messing with my music teacher game. I apologized for the level of my tickage. He said, “Yeah, I could see why you were mad, but man, you were, like, REALLY mad!” Yes. I was. Poor guy. And also, I was tired. Not a good enough excuse. *covering face in shame*

I had a cool conversation with a doctor that alleviated some of that shame though.  Pulmonologists have a lot of heart training too, it seems. Systems are related to each other a lot. Among his questions this week: Had I had any have trouble sleeping that was not a life-long thing, before the heart problem was identified? (Yes.) Did I spend enough hours in bed but not feel rested (Yes.) Did I experience any psychological issues like mood changes/sadness/not feeling like me? (Um…crap.) Pulmonologist guy ordered a sleep study to check for “non-obstructive sleep apnea”. This is not the kind where you snore –  this is where you just slowly stop breathing several times a night, seemingly for no reason, and over 50% of patients with my type of cardiomyopathy have it. Gee, that’s not terrifying at ALL. The good news is that it tends to clear up as the heart has an easier time doing its thing, because of improvement or medication. This would be why I feel like a million bucks, comparatively. Because now, I actually sleep.

It would make perfect sense, Pulmonolgist guys said. I couldn’t sleep because my heart didn’t work. I felt like sad, angry, tired crap because my heart didn’t work, and I couldn’t sleep. I can’t tell you the relief this theory brought me – I had wondered if I was slowly becoming unhinged, or had early M-word hormone issues, or something.

He’s right. It would explain why I literally feel like I woke up from something, this spring. And boy, is it a beautiful morning.

The heart affects everything, I am learning.

So that sleep study is coming, too. Yay, more tests. But tests help you put the pieces together and see the big picture.

This was my “before”, by the way:

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Now Hear This: Sia’s “Big Girls Cry” – With No Shame

April 4, 2015

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Sia sings – belts, rather – with impressive range and unapologetic emotion. 12 year old dancer Maddie Zeigler commits so fully and physically to the lyrics’ narrative that, watching, you quickly forget her age and 3 + minutes later realize you’ve been mesmerized by a middle schooler. I came across the new video for Sia’s “Big Girls Cry” on, of all things,  If you haven’t seen this artist’s previous two videos with Zeigler dancing, they’re very much worth watching right now. “Chandelier” consists of Zeigler moving expertly and shockingly all over a barren house, and “Elastic Heart” features Zeigler and Shia LeBeouf in a beautiful, unsettling, choreographed cage fight. They’re not exactly SFW, or for kids who ask questions. Enjoy their talent and the visual metaphors here:


Elastic Heart

Although the video is harder to watch, “Big Girls Cry” is my favorite of these releases yet. Evocative and simple, this single-take show exhibits the both singer and the dancer perfectly. It’s mostly facial and hand gestures.  (Oh yeah, and a little strangling a kid, sort of.  I know.  Sorry.) Sia unabashedly sings:

I may cry ruining my make up/ Wash away all the things you’ve taken/ And I don’t care if I don’t look pretty/ Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking. 

This singer/dancer/choreography/lyric combo is a beautiful match. The refrain wouldn’t stir anything inside you, were it sung by a half-voiced sopranino. (Ellie Goulding, back away.)  If Zeigler didn’t commit so fully, this would be a weird kid making faces in the bathroom mirror. (Not that that isn’t fun, too.) This video is instead many things, including – according to YouTube comments:  “sad”, “creepy as hell” and “perfect”.

Being very much over the ethereal voices of breathy female singers, I’m all about this artist’s voice. Zeigler, comfortable in her skin and gifted well past her 12 years, doesn’t seem to care if she looks pretty, either.

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