Art on Mondays

What do you want to be when you grow up?

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An artist.

And I will live with you and do art on Mondays.

Forever.

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Eddie is now one step closer to that dream of doing art on Mondays.

His piece was chosen for his school district’s spring art show.

It was on display with other pieces from students in grades K-12.

He is very proud.

And so are we.

Although that part about living with us forever is still up for discussion.

Think About It

My earliest memory of math is the homemade flashcards my mom made out of index cards to help me get faster with my addition and subtraction skills, and later my multiplication skills. Remember those sheets you would get in school that you had to try to get done in like five seconds or something dumb? I was slow and my mom wanted to help me get faster.

I hated those damn flashcards.

A few years later came fractions. If I thought I hated those flashcards, then fractions were straight up devil’s work.

Looking back, I blame the way math was taught, but that’s a whole different post. The fact was that math was hard for me, but I didn’t want to fail.  And my parents didn’t want me to either.

Fast-forward to nightly math homework starting in middle school with all the equations and fractions. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my head in my hands. Whoever had those textbooks in the years after me will probably find small wrinkled spots throughout the pages where my frustrated tears landed.

My mom, while naturally a numbers person (she’s an accountant), is more of a number organizer than a math person. My dad, on the other hand, has worked with fractions his whole life. He worked for Herman Miller–an office furniture giant–as a model maker. He and his team made the first prototypes (and following models) of what the designers dreamed up. Fractions were pretty much second-nature to him.

But he didn’t attempt to re-teach me fractions. Instead, he re-read the math problem with me. Thought about it and then said to me, “Think about it, Kate. Think about it.”

He wasn’t trying to get out of helping me, but he wanted me to really try before I gave up. He knew that I read the problem, got overwhelmed, and shut down. He wanted me to try to get it before declaring it impossible. Ninety-five percent of the time, that phrase was all it took for me to at least understand what the question was asking me. Often I still needed his help for how to set up the equation (especially if it involved fractions), but that simple phrase, “think about it,” was really telling me, “you can do this. I know you can, Kate.”

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This past fall, while discussing the accomplishments of my brothers and I in high school, college, and career, my dad said, “You weren’t the most naturally gifted of the three of you, but you were the hardest working.”

I smiled and nodded. All three of us did quite well for ourselves academically. Their stories are not mine to tell, but I can say we all graduated high school with decent to excellent grades and GPAs, and we all got into the universities of our choice.

What we did to get there, stay there (some of us), and beyond wasn’t so much a reflection on who was the smartest, my dad pointed out. And success wasn’t determined by anything other than what you wanted to do with your life and whether you worked to achieve it.

You weren’t the most naturally gifted of the three of you, but you were the hardest working.

I spent a few days pondering these words.

It’s not really fun to be called “not the most naturally talented” even if you know that what the speaker was saying wasn’t meant to be a put-down.

I knew my dad was trying to compliment me, but I kept turning the words over in my head for another week until the night of my dad’s retirement celebration and dinner.

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I’m going to confess something here. Even though my dad was retiring after 40+ years of working for the same company, I never thought about how this event was a big deal. The thing is, my dad is probably one of the most humble people to walk this earth. He just says “thanks” or shrugs it off if you tell him he did something amazing. So because he didn’t make a big deal about the event, I guess I forgot to too.

Then people he worked with started getting up and talking about how hardworking he is. They said phrases like, “Tom would say ‘yes’ to anything and then figure out how to make it work,” “Tom taught me that with hard work, you can do anything,” and “Tom is probably the hardest working person I have ever worked with.”

It’s one thing to know your dad believes in hard work, it’s another to listen to people talk about it and gush about how much they have learned from working with him.

That night I realized that my dad taught me about hard work too, and when he told me I was the hardest working of all three of his kids, it was one of the biggest compliments he could give. I didn’t just rely on my natural abilities (of which I had few), I decided I wanted to do well, and I did it.

“Think about it, Kate,” became my motto to myself through college when my dad wasn’t there to stand over my shoulder while I did homework or had to make a choice about going to class or sleeping in.

It became ingrained in my problem-solving and trouble-shooting when lesson planning, figuring out behavior plans, writing grad school papers, and even deciding what is the next best step for my career.

My dad’s words made a much bigger impact than just figuring out fractions, which if we are being honest here, I still have problems with, those words became how I navigate life.

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Happy 65th birthday, Dad. I love you and I hope I can teach Eddie, Charlie, and Alice all to “think about it.”

She Laughs…or Rather Cries…at My Routine

My day starts sometime after 7am. Light is just starting to find it’s way through our larger, south-facing front window into our living room which is generally littered with small cars, stuffed animals leftover from before-school morning cuddles, and the occasional chocolate milk sippy that wasn’t put away before leaving.

Sometimes there are Legos that get stepped on. Those mornings are sweary.

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I don’t ease quietly and serenely into my day. No, I wake up to a hungry and angry baby girl shout-crying into my face via the monitor on my night stand. As I blink away the sleep, she gets crabbier.

I mutter something like, “I’m coming, Alice,” as if she can hear me…or would care if she could. You know what? It’s hard to pee when you’re trying to convince your brain you are indeed awake and not still dreaming all while trying to hurry because the boss has not gone from crying to some sort of shrill wail that makes it sound like feral cats are about to attack her.

Once I get my bathrobe on, the coffee going, the Today show on, and the bottle in the baby’s mouth, I can say the day has begun.

This has been our only consistent routine since the little lady joined our household seven weeks ago. Every other attempt I have made to find some sort of schedule or regularity in our days is thwarted by Little Miss Alice.

During week six, I thought we finally had it. Every day she was taking a lengthy snooze in her rock n play in the morning while I cleaned or baked or wrote or read or also snoozed. The afternoons were lazy. Since I was so accomplished in the morning, we usually cuddled together on the couch for some Netflix or History channel or Tiger ball game or just silence. Sometimes I read my book while she was curled up in my arm, sometimes I slept.

On the days Eddie doesn’t go to the after school program, we would go pick him up then come home to start dinner while Eddie entertained Alice.

Things were breezy, man. Totally breezy. I even made a laundry schedule and a “chore” list for each day (example: Mondays = groceries, and doing Alice’s laundry along with a load of our laundry…the darks, yo).

Then week seven happened.

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And I remembered that babies are on their own schedules, and sometimes that means lengthy fussy times because OMG LEARNING ALL THE THINGS AND GROWING IS SO VERY HARD AND EXHAUSTING AND I JUST NEED TO CRY ABOUT IT, MOMMA.

I showered less last week. I slept less (exhibit A = the giant bags under my eyes in that picture up there). I got WAY less done. I said, “Oh, Baby Girl!” a LOT. But by Thursday we were finding our way again.

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She was still a mad head and didn’t want me to put her down, but dude. Life needs to continue. So the Moby wrap was taken out of the car (I use it for shopping with her), and I threw her in it while I made dinner. She still fussed a bit, but it worked well enough until her daddy came home and could properly hold her and whisper in her ear that she was pretty.  Which she likes, of course.

The week wasn’t all bad, after all. She cried a LOT, but she also laughed for the first time. I was singing “Three is the Magic Number” and “I Love Rock n Roll”.  I am telling myself that she laughed out of pleasure and not because my singing was so bad.

Alice has begun to coo constantly at me and Cortney and her brothers. She definitely recognizes me and Cortney when other people are around, and seeing her brothers after they’ve been gone all day is sure to elicit smiles.

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I also read that she can now appreciate colors and textures, so I busted out the activity mat…or the gym, as we call it. She found herself in the mirror and smiled immediately, which is funny because neither of the boys ever cared one speck for that mirror. Of course my baby girl would find it and love it.*

All the new stuff made her tired and cranky though, as I said. So the week had highs and lows. I spent a lot of the time holding the baby.

With Eddie this would have sent me into a rage-filled spiral. With Charlie I learned that the bathroom filth will be there tomorrow. With Alice I am practicing what I learned. I didn’t even worry about the bathroom or the dusting. It never crossed my mind to worry about it not getting done.

I just scooped her up and patted her butt until she fell asleep in my arms.  Then I dozed off too. Or read a book. Or watched some TV. Because I knew she would wake up sad if I put her down.

So I just didn’t put her down.

I don’t know what week eight will bring this week, but I am sure not going to count on anything other than a baby who will eat, sleep, poop, and cry…but not in that order. At least not in that order every time.

 

 

*Fun fact: to get me to stop crying as a baby/toddler, my parents would plop me in front of a mirror. I would sit and smile at myself forever.

Journaling is Not Dead

For Christmas tjournalhis year, I was gifted a book about writing by a dear friend. The number one takeaway was one I tell my students and anyone else wondering how to be better at writing: write more, write always.

The funny thing is, I had not been taking my own advice. I vowed to write more. Not necessarily to publish more blog posts, but to physically write more. I realized that if I wanted to write with freedom of not thinking about an audience, and therefore not censoring or editing myself, I needed to write by hand more. I needed a journal.

I didn’t have the time or money to go buy a pretty one, so I just grabbed a composition book from my classroom and started jotting and writing. While very little of that translated into anything here, it felt good to be writing every day again.

Then I was offered the opportunity to use (and review) a “gratitude journal.” I wasn’t exactly sure what this meant, but I did know that I just had a tiny new human in my life and I was super grateful, so it seemed a good fit.  The Grace of Gratitude Journal  is a perfect journal for a beginner or a veteran writer looking for a way to get ideas and thoughts down quickly. Author Deborah Perdue beautifully weaves examples of gratitude throughout the pages and Tara Thelen provides gorgeous illustrations to inspire the writer.

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What sold me on this journal was that it has lined pages and a spiral binding. It fits just right in my diaper bag or purse so I can take it with me so that I can jot thoughts of gratitude wherever I am.

As you can see, the lines are wide-spaced and somewhat short. I would not use this journal for free-writing; it’s much better for listing. I currently use it to list ten things I am grateful for each day. I already love looking back at what I’ve written for previous days–especially those days that felt like they totally sucked because each day I have no problem coming up with ten things to say a silent “thank you” for to the man upstairs.

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The Grace of Gratitude Journal is reasonably priced at $14.99 on Amazon. It’s a hardcover journal, so no bending of the cover or wrinkling of pages, which is awesome because if your purse/bag looks anything like mine, it’s a miracle if anything comes out in tact.

Journaling every day has not just reignited my writing habit, but it puts me into an immediate better mood because I am thinking only positive thoughts. Because I am at risk for a postpartum depression/anxiety flair up, anything that puts me into a sunny place mentally is good. I feel like this has been another branch of my self-care along with therapy and meds. It helps me focus on the good at the end of each day rather than what I would otherwise obsessively worry about.

Plus it’s been an idea-generator for blog posts! Win!

Really the only drawback to this journal that I can think of is that it’s for only forty days. I would love a thicker one that covers six months or a year. A year of gratitude would be awesome to have and look back on when you need a reminder of how blessed you are.

Do you write by hand, or is everything you do on a computer or device?

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I was sent a copy of The Grace of Gratitude Journal for review. No further compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

What Sluiter Nation is Watching

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Spring was here for three seconds, and then it got cold again. Plus we have had a lot of rain. And also Alice and I are home a lot in the afternoons because of maternity leave.  Needless to say, lots of Netflix watching is going on around here.

Today you get the lowdown on what each of us is currently obsessed with watching.

Eddie: Eddie has quite a few favorites. He is probably our most avid Netflix user. He has even learned that if he types “Disney” into the search feature, he can find all movies he likes. His top pick lately is Phineas and Ferb, but he also comes back to Woody Woodpecker (much to my chagrin).

This past week he found Pokemon, though, and I thought my head would explode. Despite my initial groaning about the dorkiness, two good things have come from it. One, it actually has some pretty positive messages which I am Ok with, and two, Eddie has started going downstairs to watch his shows down there before bedtime. In doing so, he has started doing “art” while he watches. All by himself.  This is sort of a big deal because up until now, Eddie has had a horribly hard time playing alone. The alone time away from his younger siblings has been good for him and his attitude.

He also discovered The Gruffalo which is totally cute and sort of funny. I approve this most of all because I don’t mind watching it with him.

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Charlie: This guy has a bit of hard time branching out. He is very much still in a relationship with Curious George, but lately he has found room in his heart for Chuggington and Peep and the Big Wide World. Eddie also got Charlie to be Ok with watching Veggie Tales, which I find to be super cute and funny too.

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Katie and Alice: We are a packaged deal because A) Alice doesn’t have her own profile on Netflix yet and B) if I’m watching TV, so is she. Usually. Unless she is sleeping. I am still working through Friends although I am on season 9, so I am almost done. I talked about what is on my To Watch List before, but I think I am adding Bloodline to that list as well. I like a good dark drama. In fact, it sounds a lot like the plot lines of some of my favorite novels: messed up family with messed up secrets tries to keep the secrets secret.

Bloodline

Cortney: It’s baseball season. This guy does not have Netflix on his radar. And even if he did, other people are always using it, so he is out of luck. Sorry, honey.

I’ve had a lot of people make suggestions for Cortney and me, but what about kid shows/movies. I feel like my kids get stuck in a rut. Especially Charlie. Did I mention he likes what he likes and is pretty stubborn about it?

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam. Netflix provides their service and a device to stream it on. My opinions are my own and those of my family.

First In, First Out

Back in September Eddie had his biannual dental cleaning, and the hygienist surprised both of us by telling us that his bottom two front teeth were loose. Eddie looked shocked, but proud. If I wasn’t trying to keep Charlie from touching all the dental tools, I would have had more of a reaction. But I just smiled and said, “cool, right Ed?” He nodded.

Later at home when Charlie was down for nap, Eddie and I got out the mirror and scrutinized those two teeth. We took turns trying to wiggle them. They were definitely loose, but barely.

He was pumped to start work on wiggling those suckers right out of his mouth.

My heart skipped a beat.

Those two teeth were his very first teeth.

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I remember those teeth popping through. Suddenly my little baby wasn’t so little. My guy had teeth! Throughout the process of those buggers cutting through I was sad that Eddie’s little gummy smile was about to be gone, but once those little toothers popped though, man, his smile got even cuter.

I also remember the first time I stuck my finger in there to feel them and he bit me. Ouch.

That little chicklet teeth smile has always been one of my favorite things. Tiny little teeth all in a row.

I thought we had at least another year before loose teeth. First graders lose teeth, not Kindergarteners.

But there they were. Two loose teeth.

The first one feel out at bedtime just under a month ago. Cortney came upstairs with a teeny, tiny little tooth in the palm of his hand to place in the little pillow with a pocket the dentist gave Eddie two-years ago when he first started his cleanings.

I couldn’t get over how small it was.

Eddie gently placed it on the nightstand next to his bed (so the tooth fairy wouldn’t wake him up looking for it. He had school the next day, you know).  Before we went to bed the “tooth fairy” visited, grabbed the tooth and left a gold Sacajawea dollar behind.

I had full plans to dump the tooth. Not too long ago we found a tiny box of baby teeth at my parents’ house and were totally skeeved out by it.

But that tiny tooth in the palm of my hand was one of the first ones in my Eddie’s mouth.

I had a dilemma: did I follow my gag-reflex and dump the tooth, or did I give in to my mother emotions and stow the tooth?

Yes, the tooth is in a baggie in my jewelry box. What?

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About a week later, that tooth’s neighbor jumped ship while Eddie and I were headed out to run some errands. Again the tooth fairy stopped by leaving Eddie another Sacajawea.

And yes, now I have two teeth in my jewelry box. I even gross myself out with this. Really.

But Eddie is so proud. It is the first thing he shows people, and if someone notices his chest puffs up and he tells the stories of how those teeth came out.

We have even spotted an adult tooth coming through. OMG it’s HUGE. My baby is going to have monster-sized teeth. Cortney assures me that is “normal” because they are “adult” teeth. What business do anything “adult” have being part of my son?

Cortney also took one look at that tooth coming in at a weird angle and said, “That is also what ‘braces in our future’ looks like.”

BRACES?

Excuse me while I faint from how fast time is taking my little boy away. First it’s a lost tooth, next thing you know he is getting marrying and leaving me.

Who knew a dang tooth could send me into emotional turmoil?  This does not bode well for all the future milestones does it?

Gone Girl

21480930I picked up Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn completely due to peer pressure. That and I like a good mystery/suspense novel.

My mom got me hooked on mysteries when I was in middle school. By the time I was in seventh grade, I had read all that was available to me by way of Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High and all the other series that were aimed at my age group. I needed something more challenging.  That was when my mom introduced me to Agatha Christie. It didn’t take me long to read through ALL of Christie’s novels. More than once.

By high school, I needed something else. My cousin introduced me to Mary Higgins Clark and from there I also found John Grisham. I haven’t picked up too many mystery/suspense books since then, although when a good one comes along, I try to get to it.

That being said, I wasn’t going to read Gone Girl because I don’t tend to like books with a lot of hype. But everyone hated the ending and everyone was so mad when they finished, so of course I figured, “well now I have to read it because I will probably like the ending…or at least be able to defend it,” because I am snobby and full of myself that way.

Ok so I started it and I was bored to tears. It took me forever to get through the first third of the book. I didn’t particularly like any of the characters–not enough to care about them or root for them or anything. The story is an old one: wife goes missing; husband is a suspect; reader tries to figure out if he’s guilty before the book tells you. The challenge is to keep it interesting, which it was NOT for the first part of the novel. I liked that every other chapter bounced between first person accounts from the husband and the wife–his present-day thoughts and her past-tense thoughts from her diary, but it wasn’t enough. I quit the book.

I told all this to a friend of mine who then asked, “Well what part are you up to?” When I told her she replied, “Oh stuff is about to BLOW UP. Start reading again!”

She was right. I read another chapter and then BOOM! Plot twists and turns and bombs dropped. Just when you think you know what’s going on? Nope.  So I started binge reading.

Then I got all bored again once I knew what happened to the wife.

By the time I got within a few chapters of the end of the book, I totally knew how it was going to end, but I couldn’t put it down because this book had just enough surprises that even though I thought I knew, I wasn’t sure I knew. Ya know? I ended up being mostly right about the end, but I wasn’t angry like everyone else was.

I didn’t think the ending was “fair”, but it didn’t surprise me.

In fact, I likened Gone Girl to The Great Gatsby in the following ways: it’s sort of a boring basic plot, none of the characters are likable–or trustworthy, for that matter, and the ending pretty much makes you mad because that is NOT how it’s supposed to go.

The difference is that The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite novels of all time particularly because I know so much about Fitzgerald’s process and his writing style/word choice make my literature nerd heart happy. Gone Girl, on the other hand has Ok writing, but it’s not enough to make me want to re-read and love to hate the characters the way I do with Tom, Nick, and Daisy.

I’m not mad that I gave in and read Gone Girl, and despite this review, I would actually recommend that if you haven’t read it, maybe you should. I do want to see the movie too.

Talk to me: have you read it? Have you seen the movie?  Thoughts?

Rocking Through Spring Break

I was not looking forward to spring break. Not even a little bit. In fact, I watched the days tick down on the calendar with a sense of doom.

Alice was only a month old and we hadn’t yet found our “groove”. Spring break meant throwing both boys into the mix. I wasn’t too worried about Eddie, but Charlie is sort of a live wire.  He likes to do what he wants to do how he wants to do it when he wants to do it…usually when my hands are full of baby.

Therefore I planned to have Charlie in daycare three of the six week days.

I know, I’m a wimp.

The other days I quickly realized he (and Eddie, really) needs direction with what to do and since the weather was cold and rainy all week, “what to do” had to be indoor activities.

We played with play dough and did water paints and coloring books. We cleaned up the playroom and ate lots of cheese sandwiches (Charlie’s favorite lunch). And we did it to music!

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This is where I admit that despite my music snobbery, our family is crazy for Kidz Bop. We have Kidz Bop 24, 25, 27, and now 28. Seriously, my  younger self would be shocked to learn that when I hit my mid-30’s, I would be Ok with (fine, I would even LIKE) to sing Shake it Off at the top of my lungs with the Kidz Bop group.

Here is the thing: I’m really not a giant fan of pop music, but Kidz Bop tends to choose the few songs I do like..or at least the songs that are serious ear worms. For instance, we found ourselves jamming to lyrically appropriate (if not hilarious to those of us who know the real lyrics) versions of Fancy, Shake it Off, and All About that Base on Kidz Bop 27.  My boys’ favorite song on KB 28 is Uptown Funk which they call Hot Pants. If you know the song, you can probably figure out where they got that from.

We mostly listen to our Kidz Bop CDs in the car. Over spring break, Eddie and I went to see a movie together, and we had about a 30-minute drive to get to the theater. You better believe we were jamming out to some Steal My Girl  and Lips are Movin’.

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And while I would ALWAYS rather be listening to the Pearl Jam channel on satellite radio, I would much rather have the kids request a Kidz Bop album than something with Wheels on the Bus on it.

So Spring Break was still a challenge since I’m not used to three kids just yet, but we at least had fun and danced our way through it.

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Kidz Bop sends me CDs and the boys and I listen to them. All opinions are our own.

Until it Sleeps

There is a beast that lives inside my brain.

It tells me untruths about my worthlessness and my capabilities. It threatens my children and my husband’s lives. It shows me pictures that are false so that I will believe that I am harmful.

The beast wants me to believe that I am the monster, and that it–the beast–holds the logical answer to keeping my family safe. It wants me gone.

It tears me down and beats me into submission until I agree that I am dirt and I claw my way to bed and stay there.

The beast is tricky. One minute it allows me fun with a friend, but later distorts the images when it replays it in my mind. It causes me to second guess every comment and reaction. The beast delights in my paranoia. It finds joy in creating awkward distance between me and others.

When the beast sleeps, all is well. I can laugh and imagine and create. I can be the me I know. The me my husband fell in love with.

But when it awakes, it physically hurts. First my head and back begin to ache. Then long, dark fingers wrap around the back of my eyes and everything gets tinted black. And once it starts, I can’t get away until the beast decides to retreat and go back to sleep.

The beast grows bigger the less sleep I get, the less I take care of myself, the less I ask for and accept help. Yet at the same time, the beast hisses in my ear that I do not deserve any of these things.

And I believe him.

Where do I take this pain of mine?
I run, but it stays right by my side
So tear me open, pour me out
There’s things inside that scream and shout
And the pain still hates me

So hold me until it sleeps.*

I live with depression and anxiety every day. Even when it seems to not be there, it’s there. It’s been five years since I was officially diagnosed with postpartum mood disorders–disorders that have grown and morphed with each pregnancy.

It’s been five years since Cortney gently suggested I get help and I agreed.

Five years since the work of healing and learning to battle the beast began.

And I am not alone.

There are so many women out there who suffer in silence and do not get the help they need or deserve. This is why I am so honored to be a contributor in an anthology dedicated to those moms titled Mothering Through the Darkness available November 2015.

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The essay that I contributed is one of my most raw and honest yet describing my very first experience with postpartum depression after Eddie was born. In it, I finally come completely clean about the rage and hate and paranoia that filled my head. But I also talk about getting help.

Depression is a beast, but it’s not unmanageable. It is possible to be stronger than the beast.

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*lyrics from “Until It Sleeps” by Metallica 

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

91hvgvo-tlI love to read books that are super good, but are not the ones that are being talked about all over Facebook and the Today show. The ones that someone recommends to you because they loved it, but whenever you ask anyone else if they’ve read it, they say no.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin came to me in church. A friend came up to me with it and said, “Hey Katie, our book club just finished this book and I just think you will really like it. I always think of you and your classroom when I read a really good book and want to pass it along.”

I was busy reading The Giver and Animal Farm and getting ready to plan out those units before I went on maternity leave, so I put it on my To Read pile. Just before Alice was born, I picked it up and totally got hooked.

The title character, A.J. Fikry, reminds me a lot of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, only literary instead of sciencey. He is the ornery, particular, owner of the only bookstore on Alice Island, Massachusetts.  As a middle-aged widow (his beautiful, care-free wife died in a car accident), he talks to few and is rude to many.  Then a series of strange things happen–an almost priceless Edgar Allen Poe piece is stolen, a “package” shows up in his store–that change his life.

The book is separated into chapters with titles the same as short stories–which Fikry claims to prefer over novels–and a brief synopsis of what the short story is about.  Literature nerds like myself will appreciate all the literary references and allusions not just from the chapter title pages, but throughout the entire novel. And as cliche as it sounds, I really can’t give away more of the plot because it would ruin the magic of it unfolding for you.

It’s a quick read–especially if you do lean more toward the literary–but it’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking, if that is possible. There are times when you totally see what’s coming, but it’s not a bad thing. And then there are times when you are blindsided and you want it to be all cliche and happy.

I found The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry  to be the perfect read for helping me relax in the evenings as my csection date with Alice approached, and then for the evenings in the hospital before I went to sleep. It wasn’t too heavy, but it wasn’t just fluff either.

Because this book straddled my time between pregnant with Alice and her first week home, I’ll always remember it fondly.

Have you read this one? What are you reading right now?

 

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