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421st Friday Blog Roundup

Y’all realize we’ve reached the final week to submit to the 2012 Creme de la CremeOn December 15th around 11 pm EST, I’ll close the list to submissions.  I put that in all red so you can’t miss it.  The entire list will go up on January 1st.  This is also your last chance to help spread word so no one feels left out of the list.


My heart goes out to Princess Kate who has been hospitalized for severe vomiting during pregnancy.  Actually, my heart goes out to all the non-famous women who are also experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum. (Was the Princess diagnosed with this?  It seems a bit early for that diagnosis.)  With the twins, I began vomiting around week 8, and I didn’t stop vomiting until the day I delivered them.  In between, we were able to get the vomiting down to a few times per day with the help of Zofran and Nexium, though I lost my voice for a bit. (I liked to think of it as my sexy bedroom voice instead of a raspy, raw-throated, vomit-induced voice.)  While it was hellish in the moment, I have to admit that in retrospect, I am very pleased with myself for my ability to vomit and drive at the same time.  Thank you, Starbucks, for making two venti cups the perfect size to hold a car ride’s worth of vomit, and Saturn for providing two drink holders to hold said cups of vomit in each of their vehicles.

So yeah, no good advice beyond avoid spaghetti for the time being (truly, nothing is worse coming up than pasta).  But my heart goes out to you.


Silas House had a brilliant piece in the New York Times called “The Art of Being Still.”  I read it to the ChickieNob, who immediately understood exactly what he meant.  It is literally one of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever read.  Not that you should be reading it.  Because you should be writing instead.


While getting to the Hobbit is my top film-going concern this winter, Les Miserable is a close second.  Having forgotten chunks of the story (such as Javert’s death), I suggested that we bring the kids to see it since we know that Tolkien will be too intense.  “Uh, I don’t know, Mel,” Josh said to me.  “The war?  Lovely Ladies?”  Pish-posh!  How bloody can the war be?  And the lovely ladies are just really friendly girls who want the boys to take them dancing.

So to prep them for the movie, I sat the kids down and gave a 15 minute, very emotional explanation of the entire plotline of Les Miserables.  Every character, descriptions of relationships, bits of song.  I freakin’ sang “One Day More” for them with tears in my eyes.  And at the end, in a moment of stunned silence, the ChickieNob asked a perfectly reasonable question:

“Why didn’t Jean Valjean go to his sister’s house when he got out of jail?”

Uh… because then he wouldn’t have stolen from the bishop and changed the course of his life!  For the love, child.  Because it’s been 19 years.  His sister has starved to death.

“Wow.  That’s really sad.  But her kid must still be alive if it’s only been 19 years.  You know how he stole the bread to feed his sister’s child.  Where is that kid?  Why don’t you see that kid in the play?”

Uh… dead too?

“Didn’t they have any neighbours?  I mean, that seems a little unlikely that he’d get out of jail and his parents would be gone and his sister would be gone and her kid would be gone and all the people he went to school with as a kid were gone.  This play doesn’t seem very realistic at all.”

Thanks for ruining the story, kid.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Sunny in Seattle has a post about healing from infertility and the role her son’s birth played in that healing.  She admits, “And I remember sitting across from DH at the dinner table, silently berating my body for failing to give my beloved husband the baby that he so desperately wanted too.  I won’t ever forget those moments, and I don’t really want to.  On days when life is particularly stressful, when the kids are testing my limits for the umpteenth time, I do recall how terrifying it felt to face the real possibility that I would never become a mother.”  It’s about what comes after you get the family you want.  Wonderfully honest post.

Unexplained Rantings wins for best last line of a post. (Actually, best last two paragraphs of a post.)  Yes, I am making you click over to read them.

Lastly, My Lady of the Lantern has a brief post that packs a punch, relaying a conversation between two children that gets to the heart of child loss.  It’s about how the gratitude for what she has doesn’t erase the pain she feels when she thinks about her first child.

The roundup to the Roundup: The 2012 Creme de la Creme list will close for submissions soon.  My heart goes out to Princess Kate.  Great essay in the NYT on writing.  The ChickieNob questions the realism of Les Mis.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between November 30th and December 7th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Chickenpig { 12.07.12 at 8:58 am }

Sadly, all of his neighbors had probably starved to death. It was a terribly shitty time to be alive in France. Without all the knowledge of the time that the movie takes place in, I think it would be confusing for a child…unless you expect to be explaining for the entire movie. Things like the 19th century penal system in France, or the factory system, the first Revolution in France, the Terror of 1793, the pain of unrequited love, child slavery…it goes on and on and on. bla bla bla blabbity blah. The fact that your child is so innocent that she thinks all things have a fix shows she may not be ready for this one. Les Mis the book shatters anyone’s idea that anything is ever fair in this world, for anybody. How can explain the cruelty of falling in love, getting knocked up, having to work…but having to leave your child behind or they won’t hire you…paying for someone else to take care of your child but they treat her like a slave..getting fired when the factory owner finds out you’re a “slut” (even though he is the hero of the book), you end up becoming a prostitute and dying of TB? GAH! This story is adult with a capital A, it is the anti Disney-Harry Potter story.

If I brought my kids to see this DAJ wouldn’t sleep again for the rest of his childhood. I am still working on the “All living things die eventually” thing with him. He cried when Darth Vader died, for crying out loud! At least the Hobbit is basically a fairy tale and most of the good guys make it in the end. I’m still working up to get them to see Brave 🙂

2 a { 12.07.12 at 9:24 am }

OK, I was going to have an entirely different comment until I read Chickenpig’s. Now, I am just chuckling at your enthusiasm for life that makes you want to share things with your children that they might not yet be ready for just because you love those things. I have a friend who does the same thing, and so we’re taking our 5-6 year old daughters to see Wicked in a couple weeks. Of course, I’m sort of guilty too, because my friend convinced me that my daughter’s fear of the witch in The Wizard of Oz will be totally allayed by seeing Wicked.

You stole all my entries for the week again. 🙁 So, I’ll add this one to the list too…


3 knottedfingers { 12.07.12 at 9:25 am }

Your post about your invisible travel companion has been on my mind all week. I have a little ghost baby who follows me and will my entire life. It inspired me to write a poem and since it started in my mind with your post I wanted to share it.


My Invisible Child

4 Gail { 12.07.12 at 9:37 am }

I like the NY Times article and will pass it on to a few friends. Incidentally, I’m pretty sure that I met the author while I was living in KY. Berea College is a great school and was just 30 minutes down the road from where we lived, so it was always nice to attend their public concerts and lectures whenever we could.

5 loribeth { 12.07.12 at 10:03 am }

I can remember seeing a Les Miserables (non-musical) movie when I was in Grade 5 or 6 — I think that (years before) they had taught a sanitized shortened version of the novel in Grade 7 or 8, and there were still copies floating around in the school library, so many of us were familiar with the barebones of the story. I think it was a French version made in the 1950s with Jean Gabon as Jean Valjean (dubbed into English). It was long movie & I remember my friends & I bawling our eyes out when he died at the end. Of course that was in the 1970s when people didn’t think as much about “protecting” their children — and of course we were young enough that the references to prostitutes, etc., went over our heads. ; ) Dh & I saw the Toronto production with Michael Burgess & Louise Pitre (who later starred in the original production of Mamma Mia on Broadway) on our 5th wedding anniversary in 1992, & I bawled through that one too. ; ) In fact, I just need to hear a few bars of “Do You Hear the People Sing” (in my head or live) & the tears come welling up. I am packing a lot of Kleenex when I head to the theatre to see this one. ; )

Use your judgment, but yes, it might be a little harsh for them, particularly since I hear the director went in for a lot of realism. Maybe it’s one of those things you need to check out in advance before taking them along.

But LOL at their questions and comments!! ; )

6 Blanche { 12.07.12 at 10:22 am }

Re Kate: I had to go back & check the blog archives, but it was around 6 weeks when my morning-sickness (hah, I still wonder why it’s called that when it can last all day!) kicked in, so it can start early. Interesting, yet again, how our experiences shape our views.

7 Ellen K. { 12.07.12 at 11:58 am }

The movie is something you are really looking forward to; why not go first by yourself or with Josh so that you can immerse yourself in the film while also screening its suitability for the kids? My parents did this with several movies, especially E.T. Les Miserables is a dark story; I know your kids can handle Harry Potter, but that truly was written for kids and good does ultimately triumph over evil (although some good people do die). We all enjoyed singing the Les Mis songs in junior high choir, but it was the late 80s; big showy numbers were the thing and adolescents are into questions of ambiguity and justice. I read the unabridged book that same year, and nearly all of it went over my head, although the sentimental essay on marriage consummation has always stayed with me for some reason. ; ) Do get the soundtrack for the kids, though.

8 Kate { 12.07.12 at 1:41 pm }

I’ve been thinking about your ghost child too.. but you’re on the list! And this one from Mo should be too: http://www.lifeandloveinthepetridish.blogspot.com/2012/12/long-term-prognosis.html It is about the stunned wonder when what feels like false hope turns, miraculously, into a baby.

9 serenity { 12.07.12 at 1:51 pm }

I LOVED the article. Thanks for sharing.

And I’m laughing out loud at ChickieNob’s thinking myself. Sometimes she reminds me of me when I was a kid. 🙂


10 KeAnne { 12.07.12 at 3:03 pm }

This post from ANDMom is really good and very honest http://andmom.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/the-other-mother/

11 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.07.12 at 6:16 pm }

When The View announced the royal pregnancy, none of the ladies knew what “hyperemesis gravidarum” was; they had to get the answer from a nurse in the audience. Despite my yelling the answer at the TV.

What a brilliant piece on writing. Though I wouldn’t limit the writing to waking moments.

12 Erin { 12.07.12 at 7:47 pm }

Your ghost baby post and Moving Forward, Looking Backward have stuck with me all week and I’m glad others have added them here. I really found Broken by The Yellow Blanket to be moving as well. Its about loss, broken dreams and acceptance http://theyellowblanket.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/broken/

And thanks to you and missohkay for including me on the second helpings!

13 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.07.12 at 10:15 pm }
14 yo-yo-mama { 12.08.12 at 4:42 pm }

My internal struggle continues as I weigh my options: IVF again or quit. At this very moment I still don’t know what’s next.


15 St. Elsewhere { 12.11.12 at 3:06 am }
16 Gail { 12.11.12 at 10:28 am }

Something to share for the next week: http://www.singleinfertilefemale.com/2012/12/pank/

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