Welcome to the world, Selma Baines Rose

On September 2nd at 10:39 PM, after 39 hours of labor that concluded in a c-section delivery, our daughter Selma Baines Rose was born. (*Authors note: if you're wondering why it's taken me almost two weeks to publish this birth announcement, know that Selma pooped about 4 times during its production and I typed most of it with one hand.) Nothing could have prepared my husband and I for our daughter's lengthy entry into this world, but as many might recall from their own experience or birth story, none of it mattered when we saw her sweet punim come over the barrier between my head and my insides strewn out on the table and heard the doctors yell "we have a cry!" 

A granola bar almost killed me when I was 4. Now 27, I have a mouthful for Big Pharma.

By the time I made my way down the hall, my face had swollen exponentially. Everyone including the nurse gasped when I walked in her door. She sat me down immediately to ask me questions and I told her about the granola bars and that no, this had never happened to me before. She made a bunch of phone calls and my very dear family friend picked me up to take me to the doctor. I don't have a memory of what happened right after that, but the next day I was taken in for extensive allergy tests and found out I was suddenly allergic to pretty much everything. I was prescribed with a very strict diet and given what I was told would save my life in the event I accidentally ate one of the 100+ things I was now suddenly allergic to: an EpiPen.

Today is my due date!

I was scare-free until yesterday when I was getting a pedicure with my friend and thought my water might have broken. "It's that, or I just peed in my pants again," I told her. One trip to the 11th floor later and it was confirmed that my second guess was right: water is still in tact, I just need to strongly consider switching to Depends for however much longer this child takes to join us.

What the Olympics gave us was greater than any medal

I've always had a keen ability to look at the world through lenses of hopefulness. While TV news and newspapers might tell me to feel differently, I've carefully guarded my perspective in spite of the barrage of negativity that's thrown most of our faces. That was until recently, when certain subliminal fears of mine all came bubbling up to the surface at once on our babymoon in Colorado.

I found some spare time on the floor

People like to greet me with all sorts of terrifying predictions for my future these days (this is coupled with a lot of other wonderful parenting guidance and sentiments, so please don't worry that I'm over here drowning in a sea of anxiety.) For some though, I think seeing someone with a big baby belly prompts them to put their hands on both of your shoulders and tell you everything they wish they knew before having a baby so that you might not go into it as bright-eyed, bushy tailed and geared for disappointment like they think they did ... but that's just my assumption.

Why I love Bernie and #Imwithher

I can't imagine this post won't be met with some negativity, but I found it worth writing nonetheless.

A little over a year ago, Ben and I were watching Real Time with Bill Maherwhen a senator from Vermont with a thick New York accent started weighing in on the panel. "Oh my gosh, who is that?!" I asked Ben. "I love him! He needs to be our next president!"

A mother's day in between.

I woke up this morning trying to figure out if it was Sunday or Monday. Could I just roll over, or was I already running late for something? Was I allowed to keep sleeping, or did I need to race over to my computer? I finally recalled that yesterday was Saturday, so today must be Sunday. But a different Sunday. Today is Mother's Day.

"Am I enjoying my pregnancy enough?" and other bizarre questions I've been asking myself lately

It dawned on me a few days ago that I'm now only 15 weeks away from my due date. 15 weeks. Seriously, WHAT IS THAT?! 15 more weekends, 15 more Mondays that I think are manic but won't really know the concept of manic until I have a manic baby, 15 more weeks of showering regularly (so I'm told), 15 more weeks of raw, unadulterated emotion with no wine to stem the tide.

In God I Still Trust: my 90s-Kid perspective on current affairs.

I've always had a pretty interesting relationship with God, especially for someone like me. Like most people, and most Americans especially, I have the insatiable desire to "figure everything out." Like a talking head on your favorite news program, I have attempted to avoid pain by ferociously investigating all of the possible painful outcomes that could occur in any given situation so as to be "prepared" if catastrophe should strike. I seek to understand all of my ways, desires and actions comprehensively so as to avoid any trauma that may result of an undetected part of my personality. 

Adele drops the first song of "25". Where were you at "21"?

Adele dropped her newest single "Hello" yesterday, and if you don't know it by heart already, you probably weren't one of the millions of individuals that have been waiting impatiently for this moment for 4 years with "21" playing on repeat. I vividly remember going for the $12.99 iTunes store purchase and downloading what would become the soundtrack for my next several years of life. I was in London traveling solo during the Summer of 2011; it was a very different time for me, but Adele's music kept playing throughout my changing years. 

Re-Claiming The Assets You Thought Were Weaknesses

I've been doing a lot of writing lately on the veil of social media and what it can lead us to believe about ourselves, whether it's that we're not good enough, don't have enough, or have too many tough or sad moments while others seemingly have none to speak of. I've chronicled my tale of socially-acceptable cyberstalking and what happens when internet "inspiration" gets dangerous, but of course it's all come from the same place that all of my writing comes from: a need to better understand myself and serve others by articulating what I'm experiencing to other people. A few months ago, it came as a total shock when one of the women I regularly view from behind a screen as being virtually flawless sent me a Facebook message. I couldn't believe what she said: "You seem to have everything SO figured out." she messaged me.

Beware Behind the Screen: You are what you see.

I knew someone in college who was more than a bit obsessive about her weight. She wasn't overweight or heavy in the slightest; her natural figure mirrored mine, but she didn't see it that way at all. Every once in a while, one of her posts would come up on my Facebook newsfeed and I'd click on her profile to see what she was up to. As I would scroll down her page, I found status update after status update about how "fat" she thought she was and how she was attacking her new weight loss plan in full force. The "inspirational" memes she would share weren't like the other ones that came up in my newsfeed.

Food and Friendship: an afternoon at Del Frisco's Grille

A couple of weeks ago, in the middle of your average work day, seven friends and I headed out for a full-on lunchtime feast at Houston's local Del Frisco's Grille. The West Ave version of the larger and widely recognized Del Frisco's is a hip twist on traditional American cuisine with other cultural traditions mixed in. Everything from the banh mi sandwich to the sweetest sweet potato fries and the best guac any of us and EVER had to the grand finale desserts (most notably of which was the "adult milk shake") had all of us ooh-ing and ah-ing the entire meal. Not that we needed them or anything, but the afternoon cocktails didn't hurt either. 

"Just Chew it": Lessons from my dog on a life fully lived

Yesterday I had the honor of sitting down for lunch with 7 friends at the impeccably delicious Del Frisco's Grille to give a "talk" on one of my favorite topics: "Turning a new leaf." I love new beginnings, and with the Jewish New Year just a day or so behind us, my season of renewal is upon me. What I've come to understand about the passage of time is that we need definitive breaks on a scheduled basis to help us divide our lives into chapters. Without these marked beginnings and endings, there would be no room for recalibration, clean slates and acknowledgement of progress. 

What are you looking at? The consequences of socially-acceptable cyberstalking in the digital age.

Our psyches are like sponges, and not too long ago, choosing what we did or did not expose ourselves to was much easier. We had fewer choices, and we had much less access to the private (and suddenly very public) life of the person who bullied us in 5th grade or the guy/girl who broke our hearts about 7 times before we finally stopped barking up his or her tree. We could learn our lessons and humbly move on with little to no interaction left to be had with the people who taught us the hard stuff. As we evolved and changed, the cast of characters in our lives and the people we "knew things" about changed too. That was until we were all graced with the socially acceptable form of legal stalking that we politely refer to as "social media."