Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Originally uploaded by mollieholliday
Hindsight. You know what they say.

Recently I've been encountering something huge inside that has been welling up for years. I'm growing into a new me by reconnecting with the old me. The original Ms. Nelson is attempting to make a comeback... like, maybe, Ms. Nelson: The Revised Edition.

When I took this shot of Penny she had just celebrated her 1st birthday. It blows my mind to reflect on her physical skills - to know that Ruby and Eloise were taking their first wobbly steps at 12 months, and it would be several months after that when they would even dare to throw a leg over a rocking horse. I believe Eloise finally decided to tackle a playground ladder at 2.5 years - and Penny climbs to the top bunk at 13 months. We all talk about how little Pickle has a lot to look up to, big girls to learn from and model after, but what strikes me as odd is the degree to which I forget how I used to be about Ru and El's "developmental milestones". And to know now how meaningless many of those things can be! I love to look back on what I have learned during this mom gig and laugh. My concerns and paranoia and my "will it ever end?"s...

Hopefully I can be supportive and helpful when my sister gives birth to her first child this September, but I have decided to remind her that in parenting, the advice and wisdom from other sources only makes sense once you have endured the worst: those sleepless nights, the lonely days, the first fevers, the family-wide illnesses, the horrific car rides and the aborted vacations. How about the day I decided to throw away my parenting books? Relief.

And if my mom had told me to stop reading online parenting advice, I would have proclaimed how "it's just what my generation does." In the end, she was right though. For me, the best solution to my mommy-woes was finding friends and shooting the shit.


That's where I'm at these days. The air in the house starts getting colder at around 4:45 pm, and by 7 pm I've closed the windows up for the night. Right about the time when one season ends and another is about to begin I get full of self-reflection and I start completing tasks and getting creative again. I do the big check-in and try to make a step forward... or a step somewhere.

But in reality the end of August hints at fall way too early in these parts. If I could only bottle this kind of productivity and energy and take a shot of it when the Vermonters start to hibernate. Or when my Procrastination Demon comes for an extended visit and Penny has mastered ice skating at 18 months.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


I just have to put this out there: having a bunch of great conversations about my last post with moms and non-moms alike, I realized how difficult it is to get here to post words about my sorry-ass Webster life. I am pretty hard on myself I guess, and for no good reason. I read too many mommy blogs (and no, if you are a friend of mine, I don't compare myself to you... it's those random links to moms that I don't know) and they drive me AWAY from this medium. When I'm feeling dark and pessimistic other mothers articulations of my exact feelings bring me down down down... into a terrible, stupid, teenager kind of place. When I'm feeling decent and empowered, other random momblogs make me feel connected to this lovely (almost underground) society that we have created as modern day computer crazy mothers.

But I"m thinking about this: real connectedness. I mean, connectedness shouldn't even be a word it sounds so horrible... but I like to think back to times when mothers took care of one another in a different way. When we didn't have technology and instant internet gratification, what did our moms do? That's the good stuff - (and occasionally the BAD BAD stuff because there were those moms that were in the dark and isolated, I know) and what I'm talking about are those badass mothers that did fucking everything because that's all they had to do. That's all they could do. They were technically sad and oppressed as far as feminism might be concerned... but for someone like my mom, or Myles' grandmother, they had serious survival skills. These ladies had husbands who expected dinner on the table every night. They didn't get to sleep in on weekends and give the kids over to dad so they could go to yoga class. They did all the shopping, cleaning, cooking and they didn't get their husbands to partake in "babywearing". Kids were their profession in a way. Homemakers. Remember?

Well, what did they do to deal with their identity crises, failing marriages, infidelities, ppd, anxiety, and recreation an/or loss of self?

What I'm getting at is this: they took care of one another face to face. Or they listened to one another's voices over the telephone...

Make a spinach and sweet potato-laced brownie out of these thoughts now, m'kay?

Friday, August 01, 2008


Ew! I've become that blogger who abandons their readers for too long... and then I get enveloped in this battle of how to re-emerge into your lives, how to update you on our hectic scene. Clearly I'm at a loss. My camera has been found, but now I'm battling technology with a 5 year old computer and a hatred for "backing up" files on disc and deleting them. If I upload 200 photos to this thing it might explode... but I'm dying for the freedom to inundate this fucking blog with my new pics.

The girls have grown again - all three of them. I continually ask myself who these creatures are that I've created... and how did I bring them into the world? Each one so different. They surprise me daily with their observations - particularly the twins with their commentary on gender:

"I don't think Boppy (a.k.a. grandpa) likes unicorns very much. Does he? Maybe we could draw him a boy unicorn with a beard."

Wait, do I have two four year old daughters who can already draw unicorns and rainbows? How the hell did this happen? And Penny! Holy shit what a fucking handful of squishy insanity! She's constantly on the move and into mischief... making car and truck sounds, falling down, climbing stairs, opening and closing EVERYTHING, insisting on using her own utensils at meals, saying, "yeah" when you ask her a question. And eating more blueberries than necessary... which brings me to the title of this blog.

To those of you who have kids and who have fed them blueberries (or anything round that has a "skin" on it) you know what I mean. The poopy diaper is not filled with just plain poop. It's BLOOP. And it leaves their cute little butt crack in a baboon-like situation. Same thing for feeding them strawberries and oranges... if you aren't careful you can give your child's ass a citric acid burn. And those raisins you fed your kid... re-hydrated on the other end they are grapes. Oh and corn... CORN! A corn filled diaper is a disaster. The bulk is completely overwhelming and you wonder if there's really any nutritional value to corn in the first place. (I know, actually, corn has no nutritional value. Corn is corrupt. But nowhere is it more evident than in your child's diaper. Or on your muffin top.)

So we have been blueberry picking, we have been pond swimming, we repeatedly go to farmers' market, we hop on our neighbors trampoline. I do a lot of cleaning up, feeding, shuttling, yelling, scolding, apologizing, tickling. When I have a second to myself I can be found emailing, checking my facebook page or watching So You Think You Can Dance and the new Project Runway.

Facebook has actually made me feel like a sad old housewife - looking at some sweet shots of my hectic youth posted by high school friends hurts in ways I never imagined possible. (Which leads me to think, how do you feel when you are 65?) But I could sit and obsess about how svelte I used to be, how stoned, how carefree, how clueless or I could take a deep breath and realize how much I've learned in the last 15 years... the greatest enlightenment arriving with motherhood. (ugh. I said motherhood. Isn't that the name of a maternity clothing store? Makes me think of unflattering nursing bras and cheesy floral print acrylic "blouses" ...) So I've had almost 5 years with my new persona... and please fellow mommies, agree with me here that YOU become a new person when you bring a child into the world... and I finally feel comfortable both mourning the old Ms. Nelson and cultivating the new one.

For the moment my girls are asleep, I've fed and bathed all 3 of them, I've settled into my couch corner, and I am alone in this house in the woods, listening cautiously to the noises outside (and no, I don't like that branch-breaking sound I just heard) and feeling fortunate to have a husband who spends a couple nights a week at the hospital. (In the immortal words of Brian Fellow on Safari Planet: "Get him away from me!")

Don't get me wrong - this quasi-single mom gig is tough - but it reminds me that I'm capable of anything. And in what seems like 2 minutes, my kids are older and more independent, and my glory days have yet to come.