land line

i linked to this article in my last post, but it really stuck with me, this idea that if something happened to technology and all you could do is call your high school self, what would you say? i had put two up on twitter, but decided to elaborate today, because, why not? it’s fun!

dear HS self: you’ve reached your maximum height. stop dreaming. start living that pint sized life. or learn to love heels.

dear HS self: you know how you play sports 6x a week? you can enjoy that cake and have ice cream too. and chips. and soda. and seconds on everything.

dear HS self: don’t ever stop reading. or writing.

dear HS self: get a math tutor. it’ll quiet down those arguments with your (too smart) father.

dear HS self: those home cooked meals? appreciate them. your cooking doesn’t taste like that.

dear HS self: all that time you spent on the phone? it’s good practice for later in life when your friends are scattered all over the globe.

dear HS self: WEAR SUNSCREEN. or sit under an umbrella. it works. pale skin is better than red skin, especially since it’s pain free. promise.

dear HS self: tell E you like him WHEN you like him. don’t wait for him to make the first move. he’s just as shy as you are.

dear HS self: don’t have a girls’ night out at a club near the jersey shore. it doesn’t end well.

dear HS self: the blushing doesn’t ever go away. you should still speak up regardless.

what would YOU say to your HS self given the opportunity?


other(s) words

i’ve been reading a lot of wonderful words by others lately, so i figured i should share their words with you instead of imposing my own amateurish words on your brains.

a post on what being a mother means, including all body, mind, and soul morphing aspects.

a post on the definition of an author. this definition spins in my favor. sweet diggity!

a post on being funny in the face of danger. i’d love to think this is how i’d act, though i’d probably either (a) remain mute or (b) run away and hide. i guess i’ll have to start taking more risks to see what personality my courage has.

a post on what being humble, arrogant, and/or having a lack of confidence REALLY means.

a post on twitter because i love me some twitter. and i love me so funny. and she says it better than i ever could, would, should, hood…oops, got carried away.

continuous posts on gratitude because it is so important to feel. and express. and she makes even the most mundane thing seem miraculous. and i’m grateful for that.

a blog that i read daily. because i need help in this area.

a post on writerly advice from sue grafton. because she’s been in the trenches. she knows how to battle with words. how to wrestle with chapters. how to beat down self-doubt. how to knock out an ending. and how to keep writing when you’re covered with bruises.

a post on a brand new way to use Microsoft Excel. this is so creative and right up my alley. i am planning to adopt this for sure.

a post about what you’d say to your high school self given the opportunity. HILARIOUS.

this post. ah, this post will make you feel a little bit better about your life. i hope.

and this post. it’s a pretty picture and i want to end on a high note.

click, read, enjoy, enrich your mind.

you’re welcome.


a sneak peek

of chapter 5 of my WIP, via wordle. which is to say, i copy and pasted chapter 5 into and this is the resulting image of how frequently i use what words:

chapter 5

it’s a beautiful and fun way to show you your word usage. the smaller the font type, the less frequently you use the word. the larger the font, the more you use it. the names of my main character are pretty obvious. and that’s all you’re going to get for now.



running diary of an aunt’s eye view

forget a bird’s eye view, the AUNT’S eye view is where it’s at. and this is what i saw from my vantage point today:

6:00 am: J&T to hospital.

mom texts, 6:55am: still waiting for the pitocin to be given. nothing since. will share any news. there’s going to be a baby today!

mom texts, 8:08am: still waiting. IV in though.

J texts, 8:17am: pitocin is in. :)

mom texts, 8:17am: pitocin is in. :)

me thinking: what’s up with the duplicate texts? the messages were exactly the same and received at exactly the same time. mom is not at hospital with J, right? this must be bending some sort of generational, space, time, ESP continuums.

J texts, 8:33 am: doctor checked. 2.5cm dilated and 90 percent effaced. she broke my water and upped the pitocin. hopefully will make some progress soon. :)

editor’s note: in order to PUSH, you have to be 10cm dilated and 100 percent effaced. but editor does NOT know how a doctor goes about breaking a woman’s water. *imagines long pointy object* *whimpers*

me thinking: ah! this is so exciting! and hopefully not too painful for J. must tell her that i’m thinking of her basically every minute.

J texts, 9:15 am: thanks :) just starting to feel contractions. Yikes!

my stomach wiggles painfully in sympathy. and empathy. and relief because i’m SO glad all i have to do is CHEER from the sidelines and not PUSH out a baby.

mom texts, 9:16 am: jen says she’s updating u.

me thinking: guess that explains the duplicate texts. mom didn’t know i was in touch with the horse’s mouth, the source, the mama to be, my sister. and why didn’t she know that? isn’t she at the hospital? must find out.

mom texts, 9:19 am: no…playing bridge.

me thinking: way to keep your eye on the prize, gram. also, you should stop texting me and focus on your cards. and self, focus on work.

me tweeting, 9:32am: @mumfusa sister J is at hospital, pitocin has been administered, and contractions are revving up. come on, baby mac! #BabyMacWhereAreYou

adriana tweeting, 9:38 am: @TheRereader @mumfusa ooo, exciting! keep us posted! i hope all goes well! #BabyMacWhereAreYou

me tweeting, 9:43 am: @mumfusa @TheRereader i know. i can barely concentrate i’m so excited!!!! #BabyMacWhereAreYou

J texts, 10:13am: at the hospital waiting for the pitocin to be started :) hopefully she won’t be too long in arriving! love to all -j&t.

me thinking: ok, mass text has been sent. i don’t need to inform anyone. but wait, what? i thought the pitocin was already in or given or administered or HUH? demands clarification from sister, as if that’s the most important thing she has to do today.

J texts, 10:19 am: pitocin is in an IV so it is a continuous dose that they up every fifteen or so mins. i am geeting (sic) about five times the original dose now to move the progress along to dilate the cervix. the contractions will get stronger and more painful the longer we go.

me thinking: i talked about being induced last night with a friend whose wife was induced. she was given the drugs at 7am and by 5pm, baby was born. asks J if this is the same time table she is expecting.

J texts, 10:21 am: yep :).

me thinking: she’s smiling now, but i don’t know if that smile will hold on as the contractions get stronger. i suppose it’s my duty as an aunt to keep the smile bright. IT’S ON.

mom texts, 10:39am: keep upping the dose. five times the original amount. contractions still every two to three mins.

me thinking: i am nervous. and excited. i don’t know if i’ve ever been this involved in a birth. and frankly, i’m still not very involved. i am a fan of an aunt’s eye view. less mess. less clean up.

me thinking: haven’t heard much lately. must bug J to see what’s happening.

J texts, 11:41am: regular contractions. haven’t been checked for dilation since the first time so don’t know progress. playing cards to pass the time. :)

me thinking: WOAH. mom’s playing cards. J’s playing cards. this kid is going to come out holding a royal flush.

me tweeting, 12:04pm: @mumfusa regular contractions happening. no other progress. mama to be and papa to be are playing cards to pass the time. #BabyMacWhereAreYou

me thinking: does J have to do the crazy breathing stuff when a contractions hits? what does a contraction feel like? what game is she playing? is she winning?

J texts, 12:12pm: no. they don’t do that anymore :) just slow controlled breathing. feels like a vise around my middle. playing up and down but not keeping score.

me tweeting, 12:35pm: @mumfusa it’s really really really really difficult to concentrate. #really #BabyMacWhereAreYou

me thinking: can J eat? does she even get hungry? must confirm.

J texts, 1:59pm: sorry for the dealy (sic) in news. contractions got rough and it was hard to text. at 3cm dilated and 100 percent effaced. got an epidural about 15 mins ago and feeling good now. :)

judging from the fact that i got that text message (which spanned 2 texts, thank you ATT to VZW) twice, i’d say she is feeling GOOD. and oh, another message!

J texts, 2:01pm: no…and i am hungry! i can eat ice chipe (sic) and lollipops only :(

me thinking: uh oh. her spelling’s getting worse AND the first frowny face. *makes sure SMILE is BIG and BRIGHT in case J can SEE all the way up the east coast.*

mom texts J’s two texts from 1:59pm. geez people. i’ve now gotten this message 3 times (read: 6 messages). *crosses fingers doesn’t go over texting allowance.*

gina tweeting, 2:00pm: @pebbleinmyshoe @mumfusa Hello, #BabyMacWhereAreYou?!

mom texts, 3:21pm: going well. jen’s napping a bit now. epidurals helping a lot. no new progression on dilation when they checked an hour ago but she’s been having really good contractions since then so hopefully we’ll see some progress.

me thinking: someone needs to define a good contraction. they all seem BAD and PAINFUL to me. especially if progression is the end result. i’m thinking good = BAD. in other news, this waiting is so not cool. every time my phone buzzes, i think THIS IS IT. but it’s not. what an emotional roller coaster. maybe i should take a nap too?

me tweeting, 3:25pm: @mumfusa it’s been about 7 hours and counting. #BabyMacWhereAreYou

me tweeting, 3:33pm: @mumfusa don’t you know i want to MEET you? and by MEET you, i mean receive a txt msg with a picture labeled with your NAME. #BabyMacWhereAreYou

me thinking: i’m so glad it’s a slow at work today because, clearly, a running blog of jen’s day of labor is a vital thing to be doing. you know, it’s just me doing my aunt duties. you’re welcome. it’s also helping with this waiting because other than THINKING and TWEETING, i don’t have any outlets. it’s just me waiting and waiting and waiting. and waiting and waiting and waiting some more. oh, did i mention that yesterday i got a postcard from MMM (in WA)? yeah, she sets the bar really high as far as nieces go. baby mac, you paying attention?

emma tweeting, 3:35pm: @ebeckman @mumfusa are you going down this weekend to meet the new niece? so exciting! can’t wait for more details!

me tweeting, 3:37pm: @mumfusa @ebeckman no. sigh. i don’t get to meet her until april 28. but then, i’ll have 3 whole days with her!!!! #BabyMacWhereAreYou

me thinking: i need to do something while i wait. i’ll tweet.

me tweeting, 4:30pm: @mumfusa @TheRereader you could go to the gym w/me. i’ll wear 1 ear bud, you wear the other. or you could watch my phone for updates #BabyMacWhereAreYou

adriana tweeting, 4:34pm: @TheRereader @mumfusa hehe :) thanks for the offer, but husband is meeting me at Hemenway. you be sure to text when there’s news! #BabyMacWhereAreYou

me thinking: it’s been awhile since the last update. but don’t want to wake a certain person up from a certain nap she’s taking. WAIT A SECOND. is baby mac sleeping now? do babies sleep during birth or, you know, the part leading up to the point where you’re squished out of the birth canal? anyways, call mom for updates. nothing. wait until 4:47pm and send text to mama and papa to be. HOW GOES IT? you know, us in the peanut gallery need to be in the know. and currently, we’re not.

mom texts, 4:48pm: slow progress. just checked her. still about 3-4cm dilated but considerable improvement in effacement.

me thinking: gah! this labor thing takes forever. and i’m not mincing any words. i’m at approximately 1405 words. in other news, dilated is hard to spell. every single time i’ve gone to type it today, i’ve tried to spell it dialated. it makes more sense, don’t you think? ho hum. i wait on.

me tweeting, 4:58pm: @mumfusa @pebbleinmyshoe still waiting. #BabyMacWhereAreYou

me tweeting, 5:00pm: @mumfusa i am still waiting & waiting & waiting. don’t worry, TWITTER. i’ll keep you posted on all the gory details (of waiting). #BabyMacWhereAreYou

me thinking: I KNOW. you’re tired of the me thinking, me tweeting posts. I KNOW. i want some bolded, texted updates too. you and me both, BLOG. you and me both.

T texts, 5:49pm: just checked again. the doctor doesn’t think she’s progressing all that fast so looking more likely that we may be going to a c-section. she’ll check again in about an hour. we’d appreciate everyone’s prayers right now. thanks.

*elliptical screeches to a halt* *gulp* *pushes back tears of worry* *continues workout, watching phone carefully. no vibrating updates.*

me thinking: yikes. this sounds serious. must call brother for another opinion. he’s been through this birthing process 3x already. brother does his duty. i hang up feeling better.

T texts, 6:50pm: so looks like we’re heading into c-section in the next hour. little miss is deciding to take the express exit. we’ll keep you updated. as always please keep the prayers coming. we love you all!

*sending thoughts of the perfect c-section down the east coast.*

mom texts, 7:24pm: heading to hospital now. jen’s having a c-section momentarily.

me thinking, dialing: hello, is everything alright?

mom/dad/sister E ALL on speaker phone reassure me everything is fine. the fetal heart monitor is fine. J is fine. it’s just that you’re only supposed to be on pitocin for 12 hours, J’s been on it (at a max dosage) all day. and her water’s been broken, baby HAS to come soon. everything will be fine. *wipes tears of worry away*

mom texts, 8:14pm: she’s here. 9lbs. 2oz. still waiting for name.

me thinking: YAY! how’s J?

mom texts, 8:19pm: J’s in recovery. we’re looking in the nursery with T.

sister E texts, 8:22pm: two very cell phoney pics arrive. (read: difficult to see). one of baby mac. and one of papa T and baby mac.

me thinking: i could really use a close up of that baby. *requests*

sister E texts, 8:24pm: can’t yet. tina (sic) good, haven’t seen J yet and i can’t see her (baby mac’s) face yet :( but T is already poking fun at her cone head.

me thinking: tina? who’s tina? baby mac is tina? nurse tina? tim with a typo? needs confirmation.

sister E texts, 8:26pm: tina is tim. typo.

me thinking: what’s the delay in introducing the name?

sister E texts, 8:27pm: surprise?

sister E texts 8:29pm: another pic of papa T and baby mac.

me thinking, squealing: AWWWW. i wish i was there. soooooooo bad.

sister E texts 8:30pm: she’s adorable :)

(side note. don’t you love when the 18 year old gets involved, the texted answers come fast and furious? where has she been all day?)

me thinking: name, name, name?

sister E texts, 8:45pm: none, none, none. :( still in the dark.

me thinking: how come no one can hold the baby? maybe it’s because J has to be the first one to hold her?

sister E texts, 8:46pm: yeah. J’s not out yet, so we can’t hold the baby. [hence the delayed introduction.]

sister E texts, 9:13pm: kaelyn rose mccarthy

mom texts, 9:24 pm: KAELYN ROSE MCCARTHY. 9lbs, 4oz. 21-1/4″. mom and baby doing well. jen had a c-section.

welcome to earth, miss kaelyn!

*round of applause for J, T, and KRM*



boston wears spring well. i don’t.

things i learned on a very spring-like sunday afternoon.

i like to make lists. of things i need to do. of drills to run before the game. of the lineup. of things the team needs to work on. of who needs a new uniform.

the learning curve is very steep and we’re at the bottom. this is a very new program, our first year for the U13s and we’ve only had 3 practices. we are playing against a team that has been in existence for 10 years. they are going to be better. it’s a complex game, but we are going to keep practicing and keep educating ourselves. watch your backs because here we come.

some kids do remember me. even one who wasn’t on my team. yes, my first game of the 2010 season and i’m playing against the program where i coached for the past 5 years. yes, it was a bit nerve-wracking.  but the kids remembered me. it feels good to know that maybe i am making a difference. maybe they are listening to me.

your car can get towed on a sunday. even though it’s sunday. and i’ve parked there before. and other cars were parked there. and we checked with a police officer who said they weren’t ticketing or towing. and people will comment “oh yes, i saw your car getting towed 10 minutes ago.” and it doesn’t matter that you just spent 3 hours volunteering your time and 20 more minutes cleaning up the field. no good deed goes unpunished. and the guys at the towing company will not be friendly or contain a smidge of nice in between their beards and gravely voices. and you will have to pay a fee for daily storage even though your car has been there for less than an hour. and you will have to pay for the gas the tow truck guzzled as it toted your car from parking lot to impound lot. and you have to pay in cash. even if your purse is in the truck of the car that’s been towed away.

it’s not the score that counts. sure, we’d all like to win but we got one goal in there. it wasn’t a complete shutout. the ref complimented the girls on a clean, well played game. the parents were cheering. the girls had fun. plain and simple. i couldn’t ask for more.

i need about forty pairs of hands. to fix goggles. and sticks. and hair. and uniforms. and about forty eyeballs. to watch the game. the girls on the sideline. the refs. the goalie. and a voice that’s forty times louder. to be heard over the ref’s whistle. over the length of the field. over the roar of the game on the next field. over the parents yelling instructions to their children.

it’s about more than just lacrosse. it’s about the water fight at the end of the game. and the players testing me to see if they can throw water at me. it’s about them recognizing i am serious when i say no. it’s about them giggling anyways. it’s about trying out attack and defense to see which they like better. it’s about the smallest girl on the team asking to play goalie. it’s about high fives. it’s about the quietest girl being the most competitive and shocking me silly. it’s about them asking for help and me doing my best to provide it. it’s about the parents asking me questions to further their understanding the game. it’s about getting outside on a gorgeous afternoon. it’s about making the best use of my free time. it’s about sharing my love of lacrosse with people who feel the same way. it’s about stepping out of my comfort zone so i can keep growing, keep improving. it’s about these girls who say the craziest things and make fun of me and have so much energy. it’s infectious. it refreshes my own supply.

and, pray tell, how was YOUR weekend?