Posts Tagged ‘Oprah’

What I know for sure…round 2

March 8, 2011

I’m about four weeks shy of my due date with my second child, and we’ve slowly but surely been pulling the nursery together for his arrival. Last night I went into his room to see what final details needed to be put in order before his debut. My heart grew a little heavy when I opened his closet door to see a solitary item of clothing hanging—a hand-me-down bathrobe from his sister. When I think back to this time before my daughter was born, I can recall this very closet overflowing with clothes—new clothes in all sizes and for all occasions.

Don’t get me wrong—I have stocked up on some boy onesies that are neatly folded away in his dresser drawers. But comparatively, my son is starting out with way less in the clothing department than my daughter did. I guess that’s just how it goes.

I’m hoping though that what I lack in attire for my baby boy I more than make up for in motherly experience having done this child birth thing once already. For any of you who’ve read my blog from its early days, you may recall a post I wrote on “what I know for sure,” which is also the title of Oprah’s column on the last page of each issue of her magazine. At that time in 2009, I was writing what I knew for sure about pregnancy up to that point. Today, I write what I know for sure about parenting now two years in.

What I know for sure…

  • The sleep deprivation of having a newborn is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, but it too will pass.
  • No matter what advice veteran working moms send your way, it’s extraordinarily difficult to go back to work leaving your (in my case) 12-week-old baby in the care of another.
  • No matter what advice veteran stay-at-home moms send your way, going back to work (however it is that you choose to do so) is beneficial to you, your spouse and your child in myriad ways (and not solely financial).
  • There’s nothing like having your own mom there to help during your first days home from the hospital (thank you MK)!
  • The famous quote by Elizabeth Stone couldn’t be more dead on: “Having a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
  • The words “I love you” have never held more meaning than when said out of the blue by a curly-headed toddler giving your leg a giant bear hug.
  • Breastfeeding is hard.  Breastfeeding is rewarding. A lot of people have very strong opinions on the topic. Listen to their opinions and those of others you respect. But ultimately, make the decision that is best for you and your child.
  • The best is yet to come!

A naptime discovery

July 1, 2010

During my daughter’s record three-and-a-half hour nap on Sunday, I organized four kitchen drawers and two kitchen cabinets. I packaged up old bottles and pacifiers in a bin for storage in the basement. I staked our eight tomato plants. I pulled weeds from between the cracks of the bricks in our garden. I folded two loads of laundry. I called my mom. I sent an e-mail. I cleaned the kitchen. I straightened up the upstairs bath and bedrooms.

And after all that, I still had time to look through old journals that I had stumbled upon in our guest room. I love the little treat of reading a journal entry logged when I was in the fourth grade and then turning to another journal and reading an entry from when I was in my early 20s, single and living in the city. Frighteningly, my handwriting had not changed much.

While thumbing through a journal from the latter period of my life, out fell about 20 pieces of loose paper covered with my chicken scratch and lots of dates. I knew at once what the words on these pages were meant to communicate — the five things I was grateful for on each of the dates listed. As I thought back, I recalled what — or rather who — got me started with this ritual — Oprah. During an episode of her show back in the day, she had explained that each night, she recorded five things that she was grateful for that day into a journal at her bedside. Even on her not so good days, she’d make a point to jot down even five seemingly minor or mundane things that made her happy or made her day that much better. She said this ritual had changed her life.

So I tried it. And I even stuck with it for close to a year. The sheets of paper I now held were entertaining, and at times moving, to review these nine years later.

On the entertaining front, I smiled as I came across these entries: on April 3, 2001, I was grateful for a scone my co-worker Leslie gave me. On December 4th, I was grateful to be recognized by name by the manager at Cosi. On November 17th, I was grateful for beers with Jamie and Filip. On April 15th, I was thankful for the nice lady at Radio Shack. And on March 28th, I was thankful for some guy smiling at me at the gym.

On the more moving front, on November 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th, 2001, I was grateful for hope. On March 15th, I was grateful for a chat with my grandma. On February 20th, I was grateful for the support of my friends. On January 10th, I was grateful for a healthy newborn nephew. And on the list pretty much every day that I recorded my “five things,” I was thankful for my mom and dad and some gesture they made on my behalf.

In reviewing these entries on Sunday, and again later as I drafted this post, I was overwhelmed by the support of friends, family and kind strangers played out in these pages. What a great little ritual. I wonder why I ever stopped. So, I bet you can guess what I’ve been doing since Sunday in a half full journal I found in my desk.

I don’t know if this daily ritual will change my life as it did Oprah’s, but what if it does?

What I know for sure….so far

January 8, 2009

On the last page of every issue of Oprah’s magazine is her regular column, “What I know for sure.” Since I don’t subscribe, I usually catch the column in airport gift shops as I’m trying to kill time before my flight departs. The one-page commentary on what Oprah knows to be true usually proves to be much more entertaining than hanging out at the gate watching the status board as your flight gets delayed for the umpteenth time.

Since discovering I was pregnant late last summer, I’ve come to know a few things for sure about pregnancy, and since I’m such a fan of Oprah’s column by this name, I thought I’d write one of my own.

What I know for sure about pregnancy (so far)…

  • Morning sickness may never strike in the morning (6:30 p.m. on the dot for me).
  • You may experience an insatiable thirst that only Minute Made® pink lemonade or Crystal Light® raspberry lemonade can quench.
  • You may feel the need to head for the ladies room only seconds after you’ve returned from that very place.
  • You will be told that you’re “getting big,” “huge,” or “showing a lot.” The bearer of such tidings either is either male, childless or your “adorable” four-year-old niece.
  • You will make a minor error at home or on the job that normally wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but now will be attributed by others as “pregnancy brain.”
  • You will hear how others don’t like the name you’ve picked for your unborn child because they know someone by that name who’s either a) a stripper b) dead or c) their middle school nemesis.  (Note to self: next time around, keep proposed names quiet until after delivery. People won’t comment nearly as much on a name already printed on the birth certificate.)
  • There will come a point in your pregnancy when you laugh or cough and–yep–a little bit of pee comes out.

Moms and moms-to-be of the world, what do you know for sure?


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