Make the Breastpump NOT Suck Hackathon

This coming weekend a group of AWESOME MIT folks are convening a "Make the Breastpump NOT Suck" Hackathon. How FREAKING cool is that!

I was one of the lucky ones whose milk came in and was able to nurse without any issues. It was easy. Little fox nursed like a champ for 18 months (until I cut him off, but didn't really cut him off so he still nurses on occasion, but that's a story for a different blog post), and I pumped milk at work every 2 hours for 9 months. Breastfeeding was a commitment, but it worked for our family.

But when I saw this hackathon was looking for ideas and feedback I JUMPED at the chance to share a few suggestions!

Again I was a lucky one who had a private office to pump in whenever I needed to, and a uber supportive boss who essentially made it part of my job to inquire about pumping rooms at every off-site location I visited (which happened at-least daily.) I was able to schedule meetings around my pump schedule and store my milk in the office fridge (which apparently is a problem for too many moms.)

This is one of those issues that I KNOW would be different if WOMEN were in positions of power to make things different. Most men will ever understand what its like to accidentally spill 3 ounces of milk that you spent 30 minutes extracting from your body with a noisy machine while visualizing being at home cuddling with a baby that you had to leave with a stranger. The size and noise of the pump was hideous and I drug that thing with me EVERYWHERE. The horror of being engorged at work and realizing that you forgot your flanges in the washer at home. There are so many things about pumping that SUCKED, in addition to the reality that a breastpump is nothing like a suckling baby.

What would you love to see in a breastpump? Submit your idea at
and join the discussion at


First Day of Pre-School

A few friday's back Mr Fox and I sent little fox off to his very first day of pre-school. The moment is as sweet as I could have ever pictured it.

I was searching pinterest the night before for first day of school picture ideas and every third pin was about 'first day of school separation anxiety'. NOT THIS KID! He literally ran away from us, wearing his monogramed backpack, screaming Bye!

For a difficult the first year of his life was for us all, little fox has grown into the sweetest, gentlest, confident little guy. He is generally happy and kind. He has so many friends, who he loves to see and asks to play with often. He gives kisses and randomly says "l love you mommy". He sleeps through the night! He says please and thank you, regularly impressing people we don't see often.  He's awesome - serious, I mean it!

I'd love to take credit for it all, but really think that it is just WHO HE IS.


no nonsense foxy

Its a Saturday afternoon. Little fox is napping, and Mr Fox is out for a ride. The laundry is running, the kitchen is tidied, and I am sitting her wondering what I should be doing. I've been wanting to blog, but don't have any clearly formed thoughts - nothing specific to post about. I just poured myself a mimosa, cheers - kiki baba, and logged in.

Late Summer in the Foxy home has been alright. Mr Fox has been a little more moody than normal, probably a bit depressed, and I've been working full time for the past two months, but generally speaking things have started to calm down. Working full time has actually been really nice, there is more consistency to my days, and honestly, I get so much more (guilt-free) time to myself, which I really do need.

I resigned from a non-profit board that I've been heavily involved with since its formation, and although it has been sad to watch things that I invested so much of myself into fail to grow into what I envisioned, it is a serious relief to not have that weight to carry any more. I passed the torch to a fully capable group of women and they proceed at their own rate along their own path.

I promptly joined two more Boards, because, you know, I suddenly had so much free time. ha. Really I couldn't help myself. I am super excited about both groups and the people who I get to work with.

One is a local charter school. The public school where I live really isn't a viable choice for little fox. and there are many private school options, but omg it would be hard to find (and justify) the money. The charter school is a great compromise of a public school mixed with the dedication of private school faculty and parental involvement. The school is currently renting substandard classrooms from the local district and embarking on a capital campaign to build a new campus. Super cool project.

The other board is a national consumer advocacy organization working to ensure that women can expect to receive evidence-based maternity care as the norm, and that their right to informed consent and refusal of care is respected. The other women involved are like rockstar amazing women, and I am inspired everytime we interact.

With both groups I am wanting to engage fully, but not exactly sure where I fit. I am reminded that we all have our strengths and weaknesses as I see the inter-personal dynamics play out among the existing teams. And I find myself being more assertive and decisive than I ever pictured myself. I just don't have the patience to sit in meetings or to deal with things that are not outcome focused. I also find myself knowing more than I expect, and with the confidence to assert my knowledge and experience. Maybe its because I am no longer the youngest person in the room, or because I've wasted all my patience at home with my boys, or idk, maybe I've just turned into a B. Whatever it is, I really feel like they can take me or leave me, and I don't have the time or patience to deal with nonsense.



Here to vent, so that hopefully I can get it off my chest and then fall asleep.

I get so angry at Mr Fox when I am the one who has to be responsible for everything. Its not that he doesn't help, he does, but somehow I am always the default, always the one who has to make sure that our child is fed, bathed, dressed for bed, ready for bed, and put to bed. Its not that i don't love doing these things with my little fox, but it pisses me off that Mr Fox can spend an entire evening with his ass on the couch, not getting up once.

And yet when I bring it up, to say, hey, I wish you could help more in the evenings. I get the defensive, are you saying I don't do anything around here? No that is NOT what I am saying. I'm trying to communicate, I am trying to for your help, rather than stewing over the fact that you didn't help tonight. Its a lose lose deal.

And so here I am, angry. Hiding in the bedroom. Its not solving anything, and only making me more angry that he doesn't even notice that I am gone.  Grrr...

I hate this feeling, of anger and resentment, I hate it. It is a shitty way to feel, and really confusing because I can't remember ever feeling this way before we had little fox. and I hate the implication that it is because of little fox that these emotions surface.

Damn I hate this feeling of being alone.

And to make my emotions even more complicated, I feel like I *should* be getting *more* because its been two months of AA. I tried so hard to leave lots of space for the process, to set aside any expectations, but i tell you, its hard to not want it all, and want it all now. I still feel so disconnected, and now I really don't know how to approach it.

Not resolving anything here as I write, just making myself more upset. Maybe its time to try and talk again. I just want to know that this is a rough patch and that things will resolve.


this and that

Happy 4th of July!

Mr Fox just hopped on his bike to ride downtown. I'll pack little fox up when he wakes from his nap and meet him downtown for the festivities. So I find myself with a few minutes of peace, just for me.

My anxiety is running out of control this week. That feeling where my insides are vibrating and my thoughts could cease to be my own at any moment, it sucks, and I don't like it.

To my credit, there IS a lot going on right now. But I did get a little lax about taking my medications daily too. So I have some faith that if I can just ride it out that things will feel better soon.

I really think too, that I was trying SO hard to hold it together during this past month, not knowing what was going to happen, that I finally am starting to relax again and all of the fear and anxiety that I was holding inside is emerging.

Mr Fox has been going to his AA meetings everyday. and last night I finally hired a babysitter so that I could go to an alanon meeting. I cried the whole hour, but it was tears of relief really, that I was there knowing that Mr Fox was at his own meeting.

My co-worker had her baby this week, so I'll be working more hours to cover for her while she is on leave. The reality of our job-share is that we each get paid 20 hours /week to work something much closer to 30. I'll be officially working 30 hours/week while she is on maternity leave, but can't realistically do much more than that. So I am looking at a task list that requires 60 hours/week and only have 30 hours/week to get things done... Being at work, where I usually feel like I am getting a 'break' felt extra stressful this week. I actually, for the first time ever, wondered if I would prefer to not work outside the home.

But then there is Mr Fox, who confirmed this morning, as I suspected, only has one active project right now. On the one hand its good that he has this time to focus on self-care, meetings, exercise, rest, etc... but on the other hand, he really needs to be working because, you know, we have bills to pay.

I suggested that maybe he could take on an extra day of watching little fox, since he wasn't actually working 4 days /week. (My mom watches him 3 days a week and we each watch him 1 day /. week) He started to balk, implying that it wouldn't be fair or something, but I immediately called him out on it. My days are scheduled to the T, with NO free time for me - Yet he gets all the free time he wants because he is not working as much right now? That crap makes me angry.

Closing on a positive note - can you believe how freakin adorable my little fox is? Seriously.



I've started reading the Scary Mommy blog and loved the recent post about how "Orange is the New Black Prepared me for Motherhood".

The section that had me laughing out loud was:
"#2 Say Goodbye to Privacy. The bathroom stalls at Litchfield Correctional don’t have doors. And Piper found out the hard way that there are no private bedrooms, unless you get sent to the SHU. Motherhood is just the same, minus the luxury of an isolation unit."

I think that my single biggest surprise about parenting is that I would desperately long for time by myself. Never could I have expected that I would crave being along in a bed ALL NIGHT LONG, or want to take a vacation all by myself. It is rather ironic, right?

I've been stashing away little bits of money for a while now, with the intention of using it to go away for two nights all by myself to a beautiful retreat center that is a few hours from home. Maybe for my birthday later this Fall. Just to have some quiet time by myself, to sit, and think. and Sleep.


Making a Committment

One of the reasons I signed up for the Soul Coaching program is because I want to be very intentional about the volunteer commitments that I am making. There are so many things that interest me, and that I want to be a part of. Figuring out which ones are going to feed my soul, which ones are working with people who will inspire and encourage me, which ones I can have the greatest impact on, these are the questions that I need some time and space to ponder.

Today I am supposed to make a commitment to myself - something that I am committing to for the next 28 days.

I think that the most significant thing I can do for me, right now, it to commit to not making any commitments in the next 28 days. I am committing to give myself this space, this time, this process, so that I can think clearly about the opportunities and choices I have, and make intentional decisions about where and how I want to invest my time and energy.

At this moment, I think that the choices before me include:

- re-engaging in the early childhood development parent education non-profit I started many years ago. We just got notification that our big funder has renewed funding for the coming year. and no one on the current board is willing to step into a leadership position. What are the conditions that would need to be in place for me to decide to step back into the organization, and am I willing to take on a leadership role if I do?

- the local charter school, one that we would seriously consider sending little fox to is in the beginning process of building a new campus. I met with the Board President and walked away feeling so excited and energized. In a previous career I worked for a private school as we designed and funded a new campus. It was such incredibly rewarding work. And if I joined the board we would have priority, basically a guarantee lottery selection for little fox, in a few years when he is ready to start school. AND they want to include facility space and build programing for early childhood development classes - and are looking for a lead on the board to champion this work. (me?)

- Birth advocacy. I've been working with a very cool national organization that advocates for evidence-based maternity care and informed-consent for pregnant women. It is a fledging organization, with incredible success already under its belt, and the potential to grow in some meaningful ways. The energy of the Board is awesome. I love the entrepreneurial start-up mentality of everyone involved, and feel like I have so much to offer. The work I've done already has been really satisfying and significant in moving the group towards their goals.

- nothing. its definitely on the table. Maybe what I really need to do right now is ... nothing... nothing extra. Focus on my family. Be present for my little fox. Find ways to reconnect with Mr Fox. Visit my Tutu for lunch more often. plan my sisters baby shower (HURRAY!). be a friend to bestie. Maybe I need to take a time-out, disengage from volunteer work for a period of time, and just be.

- something else? I am open and listening.


Soul Coaching - Life Assessment

One of the questions that I was asked in my application was "what is your life purpose?"

I skipped it as I answered the other questions. because I didn't have an answer.

I mean, the only life purpose I've ever had was to become a mom.
Well duhh, I realized in that moment how far I've come in the past few years. Five years ago that question would have left me sobbing, and yet here I am today skipping the question because my life needs are met.

The next question asked me if I was living my life purpose? Without hesitation I answered absolutely! Which seemed strange since I wasn't able say what that purpose was. It didn't matter. I am confident that I am exactly where I need to be in my life right now.

What do I intend for the next 28 days? I think that maybe I just intend to make some space in my life for me, some space that will allow me to make intentional choices about where to give my time and energy. I intend to be open to the thoughts and ideas that come as a result.

What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. I will create space for change. My soul loves the truth.


taking care of me

I signed up for a 28 day Soul Coaching program. It seemed a little bit 'out there' but a few women who I really like and respect spoke highly of it, so I figured, why not. A big flowered box arrived in the mail last night containing a silk fabric, a binder with daily readings and assignments, a journal, and a few other goodies. This afternoon I'll join our first weekly conference call group meeting.

I'm overwhelmed at the thought of adding anything additional to my list right now, but excited that this is something that is really only just for me. It is for me to give to me. and I think that might be the right thing for me right now.

There are a handful of other things that I am flirting with engaging in... but am wanting to be really intentional about where I commit my energy. and I can't do it all. So it is really coming down to finding the right places with the right people to do work that is productive and meaningful.

My job share partner is expecting her second baby any day now and I'll be increasing my hours at work, so I need to be extra careful about my commitments given that I'll have even less time.

I've been exhausted the past week, like SO tired. But I think that it is going to take more than just sleep to restore me. It is the kind of emotional exhaustion that weighs on me so heavily. It is manageable so long as I am doing the right kind of work surrounded by the right kind of people. So that is my focus.

Mr Fox is 6 days sober with six meetings under his belt. It is good, but I am finding myself holding my breath that he is going to follow through with it.

We celebrated my grandma's 90th birthday last night. I love that woman so much. and I love seeing Little Fox talk with her. For anyone that remembers, years ago after her stroke, we ended up moving her into an elder care home. The whole family took over the back living room area and I hired a professional photographer to document the occasion. It was a really sweet evening. And I am grateful that she is still with us.

This is good. Writing makes me feel better, calmer. Thanks for listening.


It Gets Messy

This past Tuesday ranks as one of the worst days of my life. Probably right after the Monday that we got the Azoospermia news. I can't even recreate it all in my head anymore, with enough detail to write a recap of everything that took place leading up to that day, but it all happened. And we are here now.

Mr Fox is at his third meeting. This is his third day sober.

And at the same time that I feel scared shitless, I am strangely confident that everything will work out just fine.

It was so much simpler a few months back, when I cornered him in the shower and told him that I felt like he was choosing alcohol over me and that I wanted him to stop drinking. He said okay, and ended the conversation. I thought it was done, and over, and that we could move beyond it.

But the days passed and I *knew* that something wasn't right. Was it pills? Was he taking my anxiety meds? Should I hide them, count them? Something wasn't right. I even mentioned it to a friend, it was a relief to say it out loud, but felt like a betrayal of my beloved. He promised to stop drinking and I had no reason to ask him why something felt off - but it was, and I just thought that I must be crazy.

I wasn't crazy. He was lying. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it. He thought, in his diseased mind, that as long as I didn't actually see him drinking that it was okay, and had started drinking again. I wasn't crazy.

When I discovered his stash in the garage, he was right there, and my first reaction was relief. Thank God it wasn't pills. I hugged him and told him I loved him, and that I was relieved it wasn't pills. But then over the next hours, I realized that it was betrayal. He had been lying to me, and didn't even realize how serious that was. I slept on the couch. I just needed some space to figure out what I was thinking. We talked the next night, but he really didn't get it. and I slept on the couch again. Nothing, in 14 years, has ever happened that led us not choosing to sleep next to each other. But I felt so alone emotionally, and needed to be alone physically.

We made love on Monday night, and I sobbed. We didn't talk about it, just loved each other.

But on Tuesday, it all fell apart on Tuesday. I said something that I still can't wrap my head around. I ended up telling him that I was taking our son and going to stay at my moms house until he had a plan he could share with me. I want to say that he made me give him an ultimatum, but somehow that doesn't feel fair to him. But once those words were spoke, everything changed. He finally 'got it'. He knew I was serious. He felt the weight of his choices. And yet, I wish I could take it back. I wish I could take those words back.

He negotiated two days to 'get his head ready to go to a meeting', and I agreed. So on Thursday night, he told me that he'd had his last drink, and on Friday at noon he went to a meeting.

The thing is, Mr Fox is an amazing husband and father. I love him with every cell in my heart. I knew that I was marrying an alcoholic and that someday we'd cross this bridge. I choose to make this man the father of my child, knowing that the day would come when I would have to hold him accountable for managing this disease. And I wouldn't change a thing.

The thing is, that if his 'plan' had been to continue drinking, despite my requests otherwise, I wasn't going anywhere. I was instead going to figure out how to get the support I needed to find peace with my decision to stay. The ultimatum was simply that I needed to know what his plan was, not that he had to stop drinking.

It's messy, and I'm guess that it might be messy for a while. So I'm back, if you want to ride this rollercoaster with me.


Privacy Please

Dearest Mom, Sissy, Bestie, and any of who know me in real life - I need to ask you a favor. I need this space back as an anonymous place to write. I am lovingly asking you to delete the link to this blog, and not to read any future posts. I love you and will talk to you when I need you. Right now I just need this as a safe place to process my messy thoughts. xoxo - Foxy


Missing You!

Oh how I miss this space, this time to write, and YOU!

There is much to share, but the thing that is on my mind at the moment is this:

HBear is Pregnant.

Her mom has been talking to my mom. She doesn't know who the father is. It is really sad.

If there is one thing I regret from when HBear lived with us it is that I didn't champion the birth control implant enough. I wanted her to make her own choices, and own those decisions, so I let the process move at a speed that was too slow, and it didn't happen before she went home.

She was doing so well too. Got her act together to prove everyone wrong and graduate from high school. Got herself a job at a local grocer, one that includes benefits and pays a low but livable wage. Repaired the relationship with her mom and was even paying rent to live at home. Bought herself a car. She was on a really good path. 

So now I am looking for a some advice about how to reach out to her. And how to bring up the topic of adoption with her. I want to show the appropriate level of excitement about the announcement, but also am very aware that her circumstances are less than ideal. I want to be sure that she knows what her options are, and still express confidence in her ability to succeed in whatever choice she makes. Any insight, thoughts, suggestions would be SO appreciated.

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