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Dear Dumpling,

To the Dumpling on March 7th, 2018:
You are growing, growing, growing and I continue to bust with joy and heartache. It is wonderful to see you blossom and grow into this incredible human. In the snap of a finger you went from my little baby who I held in my lap and fed with a bottle every night and sang to before placing you in your crib to a growing kid who says she can do everything herself. You can go to the bathroom yourself, brush your teeth yourself, clear your plate at the table yourself, throw things away yourself, put on your shoes yourself, open the car door, get in your car seat and partially snap the buckles yourself. You don’t always want to do these things yourself.

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External Flash, Internal Fog

I even made a special stop at CVS on my way to the event to buy extra memory cards for my camera. My bag was stuffed with all the photographic essentials. In just six months I learned how to shoot in manual, the basics of photoshop, and how to take the lens cap off before the first test shot.

Me, six months ago: “Why is the picture so dark?”

Random person: “Uhhh, your lens cap is still on.”

Me now: “Let me remove my lens cap first.” (take picture) “Not too bad for a first test shot.”

Random person: “Please don’t take my picture.”

Me now: “Sure, no problem. Now, where the hell did I put my lens cap?”

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A New Direction

In an effort to keep the momentum going with my writer’s block and chair re-upholstery procrastination, I’m taking up photography. I’ve always loved photography ever since I took it in high school. Back then I had a film camera and developed photos in the school darkroom. I loved it, but, I didn’t know what I was doing with my camera. I was intimidated whenever anyone spoke of apertures and shutter speeds. I just moved around the settings, manually focused and shot away. It’s amazing anything turned out. Continue reading

Going on…

I had big plans to potty train the Dumpling last summer after she turned two. But, a lot of things got in the way. My parents had just moved back from Austin, Texas and I wanted the Dumpling to spend time with them without worrying about accidents. My dad was doing great last summer. My mom was on cloud nine, beyond thrilled to be back in the D.C. area. They were both really happy. Although, I don’t think my mom cared where she was as long as she was with the Dumpling.

One July day when I had a cold, my parents came over, picked up the Dumpling and took her out to lunch so I could rest. I remember watching all of their backs as they made their way to the car, her little body trotting along through our yard, arms reached up as she held my dad’s hand on the right and my mom’s on the left. It was one of those sights that forces feelings of warmth and goodness in even the most cynical heart. Last summer was a joyful, carefree time.

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My Dad

Dad (Robert D. Auerbach) and Dumpling

My dad passed away in January.

They say everyone has some good in them. Well, my dad was that special kind of person who was all good. What you saw was what you got – someone who was kind, sweet, gentle, giving, loving, strong and delightfully funny.

Published on on June 14, 2017.


The Dumpling is Two!

The Dumpling is TwoThe Dumpling is two! As in, years. As in, no more counting months. Even her clothes say 2. About a year ago, at the Barnes and Noble train table, after listening to a set of parents discuss their daughter’s recent clothing upgrade to 3T, I remarked that I was glad we didn’t have to buy our clothes based on age as adults. The mom shot me a confused glare. The dad’s hard expression did not flinch as he very stoically informed me that obviously if that were the case the ages would “taper off.” I quickly remembered there is no time for mindless levity at the Barnes and Noble train table. Locomotion education is no joking matter. Continue reading

Slow Decline to Humorless-ness and Flaunting of Organic Homemade Kale Chips

Flaunting KaleMissing: Silliness, Absurdity, Ridiculousness and a pair of Tortoiseshell Sunglasses. Last seen eight months ago at a library Storytime in which several infants were getting a jump start on the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Literacy. If found please return (in that order) to the Dumpling’s mom.

The Dumpling is almost eighteen months and doing great…so great that I’ve lost my ability to marvel at the absurdity of it all. Instead, I just marvel at her. I am slipping into that person I promised I’d never become, the one who has to describe every detail of every room to my little one, from the colors to the fabrics, in English, French, Mandarin, and Spanish, the one who posts their own playground rankings on Facebook, and uploads their own video tutorials on how to make organic, homemade kale chips and applesauce. Continue reading

Staying Motivated

This piece posted by Blue Nectar Yoga Studio helps fill in some of the gaps since my last post:

5 Steps to Motivation

I finished my very own 21 day yoga challenge in April. Then I spent about 21 days trying to figure out what motivated me to do it and what kept me practicing after the challenge. I was never good at sticking to goals but over the past year I was thrust into a crash course. There are 5 lessons that helped turn my ideas into actions, but in order to understand them, there are a few key things you need to know about how I got here.