A few weeks ago, we were at the grocery store.  The checker looked at my round belly and said, “When’s your baby due?” I cut her off before she could even get the words out and replied with a dead-inside voice, “I’m not pregnant.”

“You’re not?  REALLY?!”

“Nope.  Not even a little.”

“Wow!  Well, I guess it’s harder for us older moms to lose the baby weight.”

Yep.  Old and fat.  That’s me!

Thanks, lady.

I silently took my groceries and my two-year old son and not-pregnant-but-certainly-looks-it belly and left the store without another word.  I didn’t trust myself to speak to her calmly or kindly.  All of the terrible insults I could hurl back at her were bubbling up and filling my mouth with their unsaid-ness.  Except that’s not entirely true.  My mouth filled up with the unmistakable taste of tears, and a Napoleon Dynamite-esque internal monologue of lame comebacks.

Then I got angry at myself for wanting to cry because crying means I care.  And I really don’t want to care.

This isn’t the first time my squishy belly has been mistaken for a baby belly.  Being frisked at the airport by the TSA agent a few months ago: “You have such a cute bump!” I waited a moment to respond before saying, “Thanks!  Due in September! Super excited” because it was easier than going through all of the embarrassment of denying and the apologies from the offending party, or even worse, the justification.

When I tell you that I have dozens of these not-pregnant-but-people-still-ask-anyway moments, I’m not exaggerating.  I’ve been asked while sipping beer during happy hour on a gorgeous day.  At a baby shower for my BFF from a licensed therapist as I arranged a tray of carrot sticks. Flagged down by a curious neighbor as I walked in from the garden, full of sunshine and good vibes, expecting a hello or request for zucchini and instead getting a “Girl, I had no idea you were pregnant! When are you due?”

I know I’m not alone, Women of the Interwebs.  I know you’ve experienced this, too.  The not-a-baby baby belly mistake also happened before I had my son, so I can’t blame pregnancy.  It’s just my body.  It’s where I carry any extra weight.  I know the babywatching world gets a faux oxytocin high at the mere thought of squishy baby flesh, the newborn head smell and frail Chewbacca cries from miniature, undeveloped lungs.  It’s almost too much for anyone to resist.

But seriously, Babywatchers.  STOP IT.  It’s none of your business.  Commenting on a woman’s body in general without any solicitation from the woman is not only unwanted, it’s inappropriate.  As humans, we’re nosy by nature.  We want to know all the things. I totally understand. However, some things are just none of our business.

So, I put together a little infographic. Here’s how to know when it’s appropriate to ask if a woman is pregnant.  Even if you’re like, 99.9999% certain there’s a baby in that belly, here’s a quick flow chart to help you.


Share this broadly, my friends.

Are you still unclear? No worries!  I went ahead and ate a big Indian food lunch, wore some leggings, a formfitting tank tank top, and skipped showering and make-up to create this little video with my iPhone.  It doesn’t get any more real than this. YOU ARE WELCOME.

Happy to be baby-free,

I’m A Shi**y Friend. {A Letter From An Overwhelmed Mama}

Dear You,

I am a shitty friend.

For 33 years, I showed up. I checked in when we missed connecting for too long. I saved  hard earned pennies to go to music festivals, embark on international adventures, and attend weddings, funerals, and graduations. Sometimes, I  hopped in my car and drove all night just to hang out with you because I missed you and I could. We cracked jokes. We talked deep for hours. We threw parties and planned adventures and surprises. We walked every step of our treacherous, joyful, fearful, conflicted, soul-seeking journey together. We shared sacred space in our hearts. Even when distance and difficulties stretched out between us, we always made our way back to each other


We became family.

I wasn’t always consistent. In fact, I can be a total jerkfaceasshole. And I really hate the phone, so that was never my strong suit. But you knew when your phone rang and I was on the other end, I would be 100% yours the whole time.

I wasn’t perfect. But I was all in.

When I got pregnant a few years ago, dynamics shifted dramatically. I puked my guts up for six months, and it took every ounce of energy to keep my part-time job and be a nominally decent human. I birthed an amazing baby who suffered a stroke, survived, and was given a life-altering medical diagnosis that made the most normal things ridiculously difficult. We were all thrust into chronic survival mode, became overnight experts on the medical system and waged a wild war to keep our baby alive and thriving. I was attached to a breast pump for almost two years. In truth, I have almost zero recollection of most of my mom-life. My brain and short-term memory have taken a blissful hiatus in order to continue the essential act of living. But of the sparse, dream-like moments I manage to recapture, I am painfully aware that I have been a shitty friend to you.

I’m sorry.

Motherhood has been magical and transformative. It has changed me in a million wonderful ways. It has also been an indescribable nightmare. PTSD, PPD, and PPA in addition to the normal physical/emotional/psychological challenges of new motherhood almost wrecked me. You listen with compassion and want to understand what’s happening. You want to be with me every bit as much I want to not be so alone in this. But there are no words for the challenges my family is facing. There is no way to bring you all the way to the core of this experience.  I can barely handle the pressure of it myself. I’ve had to hang on with all my might to keep even an ounce of that free-spirited, bright-spark, I-will-do-anything-for-you friend that you love. I know you miss her.


I miss her, too.

My grace, my energy, my bright spark – it all goes to my son and partner right now. I don’t think it’s going to change any time soon.

And here is my present day reality: If there is something left after all of the doctor’s appointments, therapies, fighting insurance companies and working during naptimes and early mornings and late nights to alleviate the unbearable financial burden this stupid syndrome has placed on our little family, I unapologetically take it for myself. Because I can’t do life if I’m an empty husk inside.


I miss you. I miss my freedom. I miss being someone you can count on. I miss showing up on your doorstep at 1AM to hug you when your heart is breaking and laughing until we’ve completely forgotten how we started to begin with. Those days will come again. In the meantime, that grace you posses…the ability to navigate life and stay connected and keep things moving so well with your own set of challenges? Yeah, that. Your super power. I could really use a little bit of it now. I know it’s not fair to you because I am not an equal partner in our friendship during this season.  But I need you anyway.


I’m on my way back to myself. I’m on my way back to you, too. I promise. It’s slow progress, but it’s happening one tiny step at a time. I still love you and you still matter to me, maybe now more than ever before.

And I’m still (always) all in.

Thank you for staying.


Your Shitty Friend



Cauliflower Fried Rice {Grain Free}

CauliflowerRiceCornerI’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables.

You guys.  IT IS HARD.

While I don’t hate grains, (in fact, I adore them), I know my body doesn’t do well with a carbohydrate-heavy diet and I tend to feel uncomfortably full and bloated after eating them.  I also truly believe in a veggie-based diet, especially because I struggle with PCOS and endometriosis.  I have to keep my babymaker in good shape, and the best and first line of health for me is nutrition.  It’s part of an overall commitment to health and hormone balance.

When I can replace grains with veggies, I do. When I can replace grains and not miss them even a little bit, I absolutely do.

I’ve perused Pinterest and have seen the fried rice recipes with cauliflower.  I usually dismissed them because it’s typically so much prep work to get cauliflower to taste like something awesome. But with the fried cauliflower “rice”, it was a total breeze.

Are you ready for my secret weapon?


Yep, a cheese grater.

I’ve tried a food processor, blender, knife tricks, and dicing or mashing after steaming.  The cheese grater, though, was so easy to use (albeit messy).  I just plunked the grater in a deep bowl,  trimmed and quartered the head of cauliflower, then grated away.


The final result? A flavorful, slightly spicy dish that is wonderful as a standalone and completely filling and satisfying.  I didn’t miss the rice even a little.



  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and grated
  • 1 12 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies (I prefer the California Blend)
  • 1 12 oz bag of frozen cut green beans
  • 12 oz of cooked protein of your choice (optional, but leftover meat works great!)
  • 1 head of garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • Bragg’s Amino Acids, Tamrari, or organic soy sauce (I prefer Bragg’s)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Avocado oil, ghee, or another high smoking point oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. In a large skillet, add frozen veggies and a tablespoon (or more) of Bragg’s.  If you want some extra spice, add red pepper flakes. Cook on medium high, stirring every five minutes until they are steaming hot.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, sauté onion in a large skillet or wok in 2 tablespoons of oil until translucent.  Add garlic and ginger and cook until soft and slightly golden.
  3. Add grated cauliflower to the garlic, onion, and ginger.  Add remaining oil, two tablespoons of Bragg’s, and mix thoroughly. Allow cauliflower to cook until tender.
  4. Once cauliflower is tender, push it to the sides, creating a hole in the middle of the pan.  A three inch circle of the pan should be exposed.  Crack eggs into the exposed circle, scrambling with a fork or spatula continuously.  The egg will cook into the cauliflower, and that’s okay.
  5. Once your eggs are scrambled, add protein and veggies (minus any liquid), to the cauliflower and mix thoroughly.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

I’m eating this today for lunch as leftovers.  It tastes so good without heating, but reheats like a dream in a skillet on the stove top.

This veggie thing.  It’s not THAT hard.


Creamy Avocado Zoodles {Paleo Vegan Raw}

My friend, Feather, is hilarious.  She’s also kind of a genius.

We met when our babies were still safe little blueberries, growing fast in our bellies.  I offered Feather my drink tickets at my husband’s office Christmas party.  She declined, telling me she was pregnant.  Then I got (too) excited and exclaimed “Me, too!” and thus a friendship was born. And then our babies were born shortly after.

Our kids, E and Rosebud, were born exactly one week apart and Feather and I have been able to support and love each other on every part of this parenting journey.  We are often grateful that our babies conspired to bring us together, because everyone knows babies are magic and can totally do that.  E and Rosebud knew we would need each other.  They were right.  Because Magic.

One day, when our babies were about 6 months old, Feather texted me about a new product she had purchased called the “Vegetti”.  We giggled and turned into 14 year-olds immediately, and then spent an afternoon volleying inappropriate jokes back and forth between diaper changes and bottle feedings.  Because new moms need lots of distraction and laughter, even if it involves bathroom humor.  Maybe especially if it does.

Of course, I had to buy a Vegetti immediately. The Vegetti is a vegetable spiralizer and uses fresh vegetables, like carrots and zucchini, to make noodles.  I experimented and played with it, and came up with a really yummy dish (and several more jokes) that satisfied me for several hours. It also provided a big boost of healthy fat and nutrient dense veggies, which I desperately needed.  It was a fast, healthy lunch, and with a handful of cashews or some uncured ham, it was a complete meal for me.


*If you don’t have a spiralizer or don’t want to invest in one, you can use a carrot peeler and make wider noodles. It will work just as well, and create a slightly different texture.  You can also add some shredded parmesan to add depth and a hint of buttery flavor.

  • 1 large zucchini, spiralized, shredded or peeled
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 8-10 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3-4 leaves of fresh basil, chopped or ribboned
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper


  1. Put noodles and basil in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Mash avocado, adding salt and pepper and lemon juice.
  3. Add mashed avocado to the zucchini, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add tomatoes and stir until they are coated in avocado and well incorporated.
  5. Serve immediately with fresh cracked pepper and a little extra basil on top.

Feather and I are still making jokes, supporting each other in the middle of our crazy times, and raising our babies together.  We even had a mommy getaway last year and Cannon Beach gave us this amazing moment because it somehow knew we needed it. Or maybe our babies knew we needed it and arranged it with their Baby Magic. Who knows?  But we definitely loved our wine and beach sunset. Kind of like you will love the zoodles.


Vegging and Vegetti-ing,


How I Scarred An Entire Kenyan Village: A Period Story

This post is made possible by the generous sponsorship of GladRags.  And had I known about the Moon Cup back then, I would never have experienced this.  Sorry, Kenya.  Thank you, GladRags.

I went to school for paramedic medicine, with the intention of working in underdeveloped countries. It was a lofty, heartfelt dream. Like Indiana Jones meets Mother Teresa meets Jim Gaffagan.  I wanted Meaningful Adventures, and I set out to make them happen.

One of these Meaningful Adventures took place in the remote West Pokot region on the Kenyan-Ugandan border.  I flew in a Swiss helicopter operated by a German pilot, and worked with a male Kenyan nurse who grew up in the tribe where we offered a day of medical assistance.

At 5:30 a.m. I eagerly anticipating the next 12 hours of helping people and adventuring.  I boarded the helicopter for the 3 hour flight, became immediate friends with the pilot, and watched the breathtaking landscape of rural Kenya unfold before me.  Herds of wild antelope raced beneath us, fluffy white clouds billowed and shifted, and the ever-brightening mountainous horizon beckoned us closer.


About 90 minutes into the flight, we touched down at a medical dispensary to pick up the Kenyan nurse and our supplies. I took a quick bathroom break and panicked.  My period, which wasn’t scheduled to come until much later in the trip, had made a sudden guest appearance and it was…fierce. Vengeful, even.  I hunted through my bag and found two super absorbent tampons and one maxi pad, and prayed it would be enough to get through the day.  You know.  Kind of like the miracle loaves and fishes.  Except with tampons and a maxi pad.

The Great Rift Valley, photo taken from the helicopter.

We landed about two hours later in a small clearing, high up in the mountains.  The pilot deposited us and our supplies, then flew off to run more African sky errands.  The tribespeople emerged from bushes and trees, and watched us with cautious, inquisitive eyes.  I gave the traditional greeting the Kenyan nurse had suggested, and the caution turned to warm welcome.


The day rushed by in a terrific blur of work, smiles, hand gestures, and laughter.  The tribe was open, generous, stunningly beautiful and incredibly curious.  Every step I took, I had a little entourage of fascinated  tribespeople following closely behind.  This made eating a public event, and I didn’t even attempt to sneak away to go to the bathroom.  While I had no problem squatting behind a bush, I was fairly certain I would not have the privacy I needed to conduct tampon business.

Young Hunters
Young Pokot hunters, back from a very successful gazelle hunt. They ate it immediately, no need for cooking!

The gorgeous sunlight soon hid behind dark, looming clouds.  The Kenyan nurse kept looking nervously at the darkening sky and then shooting me shaky smiles, trying to tell me in very broken English that a storm was coming.

I didn’t panic immediately.  I had no idea what time it was, but we would be swooped up by the giant steel bird at any moment, right?  Right. Because I was very poorly prepared to spend the night in the mountains where I could barely communicate with anyone about my bleeding uterus.  I could hold my pee for another 12 hours. Skipping a few meals was not even a little bit of a problem.  I had enough clean water for 24 hours if I rationed well. But I couldn’t figure out a way around The Tampon Problem.

The sky started spitting on us and we heard the helicopter whirring in the distance.  The nurse and I packed up quickly, made the short hike back to the clearing just in time to meet the helicopter.  The pilot got out, threw our bags in the luggage compartment, dumped out all of our drinking water, and we were zipping through the air two minutes later trying to outrun the imminent storm.

The pilot told me that he needed to pick up supplies, and drop off my Kenyan nurse buddy, (who was still looking nervously at the dark clouds and had pulled out a well-used rosary by this point). In order to do this, the pilot needed to drop me off on the way at a third location for about 20 minutes. By myself.  But not to worry because he would come back for me in EXACTLY 20 MINUTES.  And I believed him because he was German and Germans are always prompt.

We flew for about 45 minutes, and the storm clouds abated.  We touched down on a basketball court in the middle of nowhere. A large crowd gathered, shielding their faces from the swirling dirt.  I hopped out with my backpack, and the helicopter was gone as soon as I closed the door.

So, there we were.  About 100 smiling Kenyans and me, trying not to bleed everywhere. I smiled back and waved.  I knew I should feel at least a little apprehensive about being dropped off alone, somewhere in Only-The-German-Pilot-Knows-Where Africa.  But I had one urgent mission to complete in 20 minutes:


Surely, if this village had a concrete slab and basketball hoop, they would have some kind of bathroom, right?

I tried Kiswahili first.

“Jambo! Uhhh…Bafu?” (Literally translated to “Hello! Uh, bathroom?”)

Kind, confused smiles.

“Hi! Where is your bathroom?” I asked, certain they knew exactly zero English, but desperation was setting in.

Blank, smiling stares.

“Uh, restroom?”


“Water closet?”





And so it went for 10 MINUTES.  I thought about pantomiming a squat, but I didn’t want to offend anyone. Also, I was absolutely certain I would no longer be able to contain any of my bodily fluids.

Finally, I smile-shouted “Lavatory?” as a desperate last resort and everyone laughed knowingly.  Then they ALL led me to their community squatty potty.  Jubilant, I walked inside.  I pulled out my second tampon and looked up.  I was in a three-sided outhouse with the whole front wall missing.  The tribe gathered and watched me silently, still smiling, waiting to see what would happen next.

The squatty potty footholds were slanted, so I couldn’t turn my back to the crowd. Believe me, I tried. I toppled backwards and then overcorrected and nearly launched myself  head-first into the hole. Then I heard the tell-tale sounds of the helicopter blades and pattering raindrops on the corrugated steel roof. My time was up.  I had already peed myself a little.  I knew I would not make the rest of the journey without a major disaster.

So, with an entire village of enthusiastic onlookers, I hiked up my skirt, squatted as low as I could go without falling into the terrifyingly wide squatty hole and changed my tampon. 

I tried not to make eye contact with anyone afterwards.  But I did.  The smiles had vanished. Profound confusion had taken their place. I jogged back to the basketball court, along with 100 of my now-bewildered Kenyan friends, certain all of us were now indelibly scarred for life. The pilot was anxiously waiting, oblivious to my tampon triumph and simultaneous humiliation. This was certainly not the epic Meaningful Adventure I had been hoping for.

That night, the German pilot and I almost died.  We were caught in a terrifying thunderstorm. In a helicopter, in the dark, above a remote and dangerous stretch of African wilderness. The rain was so heavy we could barely see right in front of us and the wind threatened to knock us straight out of the sky. I know the pilot made calculated decisions about what was more dangerous: forging ahead into the storm or sheltering in the open with deadly gangs of roaming cattle bandits and violent thieves with no passable roads for help to reach us on the ground.

The pilot made a series of life and death decisions and kept us alive that night.

I changed a tampon and scarred a Kenyan tribe forever.

We’re all a bunch of little miracles, aren’t we?

Changing The World One Feminine Product At A Time,

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