Lana Rose

Words in the Midst


Posted by on Dec 4, 2012 in Mama Musings, words | 1 comment

This is not a blog post of answers. Only questions. Maybe not even questions. Maybe just rants. That lady walking down Newark Avenue with an uncontrollable dwarf-sized demon in a stroller this evening? Yeah, that was me. I’m a “first time” mom. A mom of one. One day I’d like to have a brood of crazy kids that I somehow reign in with just a stern look. But for today it’s just one. One fierce and strong-willed young lady who could give two shits about a stern look. I grew up in a time and in a family in which spanking was the norm. I clearly remember the paddle in the kitchen taken down when I misbehaved. The soap bar in the bathroom lathered up in my mouth when I lied. But I never remember being put in “time out” – people didn’t talk like that back then, and they certainly didn’t act like it. When I met my daughter, I changed my mind about spanking. This little human, this angel that God was allowing me to foster on this earth doesn’t need a paddle or a bar of soap to teach her right from wrong, I thought, she just needs to be taught the way. To be led by example. To be dealt with in the patience and love in which God deals with me. But tonight. Tonight after a beautiful walk down to the farmers market. When my daughter held our dog on her lap, as passersby “oohed and ahhed” at how good both of my girls are. I should have known it was all too good to be true. Tonight as we headed home her request was simple. “Walk?” “For sure!” I replied. What a wonderful way to end the evening. I’d already made my purchases in peace and after the great nap she had earlier in the day, a little walk home would be the perfect topping to make for a good night’s sleep. “What’s that you say? You want to hold the dog’s leash? Sure!” It’s great training of how to care for animals and she always does such a good job. “But wait, just one second, mama needs to shorten the leash.” The first crack. “No wait, calm down, let me just shorten it real quick so we’re not taking up the whole sidewalk here.” It’s crumbling faster. “But…” Gone. Full tantrum explosion...

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Mama Beat…nik

Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Mama Musings, Poetry, words, WordsInTheMidst | 0 comments

I write my poetry down now. Because I can’t remember it anymore. It gets lost somewhere… under the pile of toys on my bed up my daughters’ nose with the crayon she just shoved up there stuck on the table with the oatmeal from this morning.   I used to be one of those cool cats (at least I thought I was) that could stand at a mic and pro-nounce my po-et-ry reciting it from mem-o-ry like I was dreaming it up on the spot like God himself was coming down to speak the words out of my mouth and I was merely a bush burning with the truth.   But I write my poetry down now. Because it has a way of slipping out of my hands. In fact, it has a way of never slipping into my hands, after an 18-hour day with an 18-month-old child I can barely put together a coherent sentence Nevermind one that rhymes… if there’s a mama out there that’s maintained her memory can you please seek her out? can you find her for me? what are her tricks? her schemes? her notions? is there some magic ritual? is it some special… lotion? … see, I told you.   I write my poetry down now. Because that’s where it belongs. On paper with ink and letters curving their shape around my words bringing something real to the dreams in my head giving signs of life that might last beyond my last breath.   I write my poetry down now. Just like I always have....

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Back to School (I mean, Back to Blog)

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in Mama Musings, words | 1 comment

No matter how old I get or how long I’ve been out of school, I always want to go out and buy new notebooks at this time of year. I guess it’s just ingrained in my blood after so many years of schooling. It’s an idea we all want to hold on to – the end of summer means something if it means the beginning of something else. In a few years, I’ll actually be buying notebooks for a reason again as I prepare my daughter for school. But for right now, I’m content with filling my fresh (useless) notebooks with thoughts of apple picking and pumpkin carving as I try to use yet another change of season as the impetus for trying to be more productive. The urge to produce results runs rampant in mama’s just like it does in Fortune 500 CEO’s. But no matter how many “results” are produced (whether working or SAHM-ing or WAHM-ing or whatever other mother-ing), there always seems to be this nagging echo of “enough-ness” when it comes to mamahood. For example, here’s a random note I received from my friend a couple weeks ago as she prepared for her daughter’s entry into kindergarten: “The letter from my daughter’s school says, “it’s important that at least one parent attend the orientation meeting.” Amazing how one little sentence can induce a whole range of emotions. Most of the time I don’t think about being the only parent in my daughter’s life. It seems natural, it feels okay…most of the time. And I am constantly grateful for the support of family and friends, but I know, ultimately, the responsibility for the support and well-being of this miraculous little girl is all on me. This is not a complaint; this is a huge THANK YOU to the universe. Yes, I am constantly terrified of not being enough for her. But at the end of the day, I have her in my arms. I have her smiles, her laughs, her tears. Am I enough? I don’t know. But the love she’s brought into my life is more than enough…it’s everything.” Single parent, double parent, birth parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, what have you – I think we all wonder at some point, “Am I enough?” So am I about to give you some definite, life-affirming answer on whether or not we are, for all of our productivity, “enough?”...

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Mama Shout Out: Nia M. Reid-Allen

Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Mama Musings, words | 0 comments

Though right across from all the goodies that New York City has to offer, the Jersey City/Hoboken area is surprisingly unfulfilling when it comes to stores catering to the eco-mama experience. A PATH train and quick subway ride can take you to Metro Minis on the upper East side or to Caribou Baby in Brooklyn. But on the days that a Jersey Mama just wants to take a walk in her own neighborhood to check out some new eco-friendly toys or indulge in a beautiful new wrap carrier, she’s pretty much out of luck…. so imagine my surprise as I was strolling through ArtsFest at Grove Street Plaza with KangaRuby last Friday and came across this fabulous woman: Offering everything from carriers and cool maternity clothes (i.e. maternity clothes for women who want to look like themselves, not a float in the Macy’s parade while they’re pregnant) to all natural baby cream that smells even better than baby powder and – get this – sexy nursing bras, Myrtle & Flossie is homegrown in Jersey City! It was as if the light from Mama heaven shone down on Grove Street Plaza that day. Although they don’t have a brick and mortar storefront yet, Myrtle & Flossie “pop-up” stores are being hosted all around town. And, you can buy directly from the website. So those of you who may not be lucky enough to live in the best city on the eastern seaboard (yeah, I said it – lol) can also join in on the fun. Now, here’s where the “Mama Shout Out” part of all this comes in. The owner of Myrtle & Flossie, Nia M Reid-Allen, is doing all of this as the brand new mama of a 3-month-old! (Her and beautiful babe are featured on the homepage of the retail website… incredible). Inspired by her own experiences with boring maternity clothes, Nia decided to do something about it – enter Myrtle & Flossie. I don’t remember exactly what I was doing when KangaRuby was only 3 months old, but I can guarantee you it was nothing as rock-star-ish as starting my own retail store. But, inspired by Nia’s mama gumption, I think I’ll get to work on finally finishing my book this weekend. Or, maybe, I’ll just track down her latest pop-up store and go shopping. Is there a local mama haven in your hometown that you love or a rock star mama that needs some shoutin’ out? Let me...

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Between a rock and a mama hard place

Posted by on Jun 12, 2012 in Mama Musings, words | 0 comments

When times get crazy, we get by with a little (and sometimes a whole lotta) help from our friends. It’s one of the cool things about womanhood. But yesterday I was reminded that the help doesn’t have to stop with those we know – helping out a stranger can be a blessed experience, too. Example: Yesterday while blissfully clacking away on my laptop in the quiet backyard of my favorite little café, a Mama walked in with her Girl (probably about 3 or 4 years old). Mama looked like me – glowin’ and a little frazzled, trying damn hard to look cool placing her order while her child tugged at her arm. *I feel you girl* I wanted to whisper in her ear, but chose to stay seated in an effort to not come across as a total whacko. (Obviously, I am). Cut to about 10 minutes later. Mama and Girl have joined me and some other patrons in the backyard. Mama sits tepidly on the edge of her seat, watching every move the child is making, trying to get her to keep her voice down as to not bother the other patrons. *Girlfriend, that’s nothing – if you only knew how much louder it was at my house* I wanted to say, but refrained as to not appear nosy. (Again, obviously, I am). 10 more minutes later and it’s time for Mama and Girl to gather their things and go. However, their departure is delayed by the fact that Girl has corralled a lovely collection of the rocks from the backyard garden display. And she is pretty intent on not giving them up for a damn thing. “Alright we’re gonna go, now put the rocks back,” instructs Mama. Girl holds rocks tight. “These are the café rocks. We can go somewhere else where we can get rocks you can keep,” promises Mama. Girl doesn’t budge. “Come on now, we’ve gotta go. Put the rocks down.” Cue crying. In a backyard with a group of business-y looking males, the Mama Fluster is palpable. I can tell she’s feeling pressured to keep the rock cryin’ train a-moving. I can’t restrain myself anymore. I turn around and wave at Girl with a smile, then begin to regale her with stories of the park just down the block which has awesome rocks, perfect for collecting. Even more beautiful and colorful than the plain white rocks of the café backyard. Girl is intrigued, but maintains her stance....

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Hello there, again

Posted by on Jun 5, 2012 in Mama Musings, words | 0 comments

I’ve been a bad, bad mama blogger. No, I haven’t been locked in a room reading 50 Shades of Grey (although according to the media apparently every other mama out there is doing so and loving it). But I have been just as naughty. Over two weeks have passed since my last blog post. Not that I haven’t had anything to talk about (I actually have various topics scattered on pieces of paper everywhere, much like the rest of the mess all over my house). But instead of retreating to one of those posts, I thought it would be better to first address this little cyber lull because I feel like it’s symptomatic of something that happens to all of us during motherhood – even if you’re not blogging for all to see. Here’s how it goes: You wake up one morning with the best intentions to do something and by the time you’re shoving some semblance of a lunchtime meal down your throat at 3:30 that “something” is long forgotten. But later that evening as you’re running down your mental to-do list (the lullaby which lulls you to sleep every night), there that something is again. “Oh crap, I forgot to…” Wake up the next morning, rinse, and repeat. Before you know it, weeks have passed and that “something” has snowballed into an Abominable Mama Hatin’ Snowman of “How the Hell Am I Ever Gonna Get Back on Track?” I’ll admit, I wasn’t really all that organized and on top of things pre-kid, but with only “me” to worry about in those days it was a whole lot easier to clean up my messes whenever I was ready. But when you add a) kids b) husbands, wives, life partners, etc. and/or c) years of experiences and choices to ponder, picking up where you left off isn’t always so easy. Subtract the friends in your life who you used to count on for a drink and a debrief everyday (because they are now lost in their own piles too), and it’s damn near impossible. Every day brings with it a fresh load of everyone else’s issues along with your own and if you’re not careful about taking out the trash, it can pile up quicker than you can imagine. I’ve been in that pile for the past three weeks. And apparently it is so deep that I couldn’t find...

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