Posts Filed Under weeks of mayhem

22 weeks…what?

by Janelle Hanchett
  1. I would just like to make one thing clear: I have never, ever in my life taken pregnancy selfies updating the world on my uterine happenings. And yet, I’m doing it for you. But also for me. Mostly for me. And here’s why: I realized I didn’t do it because I was embarrassed by my body. Like in other words, I’m fat. Also I thought it was fucking stupid. But mostly it’s the fat thing.
  2. So in a violent protest against the voices in my head screaming “You’re too gross to take selfies whilst pregnant,” I GIVE YOU THIS, a photo in which I am not only displaying my pregnant belly, but also making a face so ridiculous I almost can’t look at myself. I call it “22 weeks and double chins, bitch.” Or: “What the hell is happening with my mouth?”photo (12)
  3. honestly I cannot take them seriously. I draw the line at serious pregnant selfies. In other news, I’ve been sick with a cold that tried to kill me. Not to get all “man cold” on you, but for real this was no normal cold. This was a cold that wanted me naked and shivering at the base of a tall mountain. Body aches, ridiculous exhaustion, insane headaches/sinus pain. During a particularly winning moment I found myself drinking a caramel machiatto and eating a scone in bed while watching “Forks Over Knives.” For those of you who don’t know, “Forks Over Knives” is a documentary about the healing properties of a plant-based, whole-foods diet and the way processed sugars, fat and simple carbs are killing us. So…right. Enough bitching.
  4. No. Not enough yet. We moved into our new house on Saturday. I LOVE OUR NEW HOUSE. I got sick on Sunday. So in one glorious nutshell, I’m pregnant and moving and sick and in my 2nd week of teaching new classes. Feeling pretty solid, I assure you.
  5. The only thing that’s made the past week manageable is the fact that I pee on myself at least once a day when I sneeze. There’s always a bright side, people. Ya just gotta look for it.
  6. SHOULDA DONE THOSE FUCKING KEGELS. (Btw, do kegels even work? The one woman I know who’s actually done them regularly says they’re bullshit. But since the entire pool of Women I Know Who’ve Done Kegels consists of a single human, I fear I may have inadequate perspective.)
  7. Since I’m supposed to be documenting my pregnancy, let’s talk about current favorite features. Honestly, it’s a toss-up between super randomly itchy skin and peeing 49 times a day, each time somehow a real pee. Not a trickle. How does that even work? I’m too old for this shit. I’m never doing this again.
  8. Nevermind. The best part has got to be the emotional/mental stuff. I don’t want to say I hate all people, but I pretty much hate all people (particularly if I’m related to them). I don’t mean to. It just sort of happens. Like they’re talking and I’m looking at them and I really want to not hate them, but then the way they breathe or stand or smell does something inside my head that makes me want to kick things, or run, or possibly weep. Speaking of weeping, why am I crying, people? Do I weep for mankind? Do I cry for the sins for the world?  Have I become the conduit for all sensitivity on the planet?
  9. Oh that’s right. It’s nothing. I cry for nothing. Ignore the woman crying for nothing. (But do so away from my face, mmmmkay? cause you’re irritating me.)
  10. Do I sound pleasant yet? Big ball of joyful reproduction? Good. Because I AM. Alright. FINE. I’ll give you the beauty: I feel the little one kicking around now every day and I like that. Of course, the feel-the-baby-move every day also launches the OMG I DON’T THINK I’VE FELT THE BABY MOVE syndrome/panic/terror – motherhood is such a trip. With every gorgeous moment comes a terrifying one.
  11. But in all seriousness, I’m happy as hell. We moved into a fabulous little home that already feels like home even though it’s just bare wood floors and boxes. And I’m healthy and excited and over halfway done with this pregnancy (what?).  Sometimes, though, no matter how good it all is in the big picture, the day-to-day details are just hard. There’s nothing easy about being pregnant, sick, moving and starting a new job (all at the same time). There just isn’t.

I’m not gonna sugar-coat it. It is what it is. Some weeks are to be endured, lived through, survived, just so you can hit the other side.

And if you’re lucky, you’ll get a moment like I did yesterday, when my dyslexic son came bounding out of school “Mama! I got a 100% on my spelling test!” It was the first he’s ever taken. The words were like “map” and “cat” and “lap.” He’s in 2nd grade and those are kindergarten words. But when your son has been unable to read any words at all and suddenly he’s able to recite some, you feel like your heart may explode as the tears pour from your eyes, though you think to yourself Damn I’m a dumbass. All pregnant and emotional and shit.

Although, come to think of it, you might cry no matter what when given news like that.

Here’s to good news, and peeing on ourselves, and not being sick anymore.


P.S. I usually write these “week in review” posts on Sundays. I realize it’s Wednesday. OOOOOPS. I try.

42 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | January 30, 2014

May I have your attention, please? I have an announcement.

by Janelle Hanchett

So I’m not exactly sure how to tell you this, but, um, I’m pregnant.

Yep. You heard that correctly, and no, I’m not joking. And yes, we’re broke and living with my mother and between jobs and unsure where we’ll be in a few months.


Yeah, I know.

If any of you are thinking “But you can hardly handle the three you’ve got.”


But logic has no place in the uterine equation, and when there’s a dude who’s SUPER INEXPLICABLY interested in another baby (at one point he was even like “But you promised me four kids the night we met!” and I was like “BUT I WAS ON ECSTASY MOTHERFUCKER!”) and your friends keep reproducing and there’s baby thighs and chin fat and you’ll be 35 in March and you’re like “but maybe just ONE MORE?” but then all hell breaks loose in your life and you’re all “never mind let’s wait” but then the IUD is already out so you get this app on your iPhone to determine when you’re ovulating and shit but oops, yeah. Baby.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

FYI, iPhone apps are horrible birth control. Tell your teens.

But this should explain my lack of writing and extreme exhaustion. I totally wanted to tell you all sooner, but you’re supposed to wait and shit. And I did wait. I’m 10 weeks now and I’ve known since 5 weeks.

I wanted to announce this to you all in some super cute, Pinterest-y way, but, actually no. I didn’t.

But that got me thinking about pregnancy announcements, which apparently exist, and then I was all “What would mine say if they told the truth?”

So obviously I made a few.

As always, please enjoy the clip art.

And let me just say: There will be bitching about this pregnancy. There will be sentimental slop. There will be a baby by mid-June of 2014 (or my heart hopes).

I’m glad we’re doing this together. It should be fucking interesting.

I’m already crafting a post: “Top 5 stupidest things I’ve read on my Babycenter due date forum.” (Yes, since I didn’t have you people, I ventured over to hell to see what was up and WOW. Now I just go over there for material.)

Please feel free to pin any of these for future ideas.


with so much love,


P.S. So I’m planning another homebirth but since the midwives don’t give you a “confirmation ultrasound” I totally made an appointment with the local women’s health people and lied to the OB/GYN to avoid The Homebirth Lecture to get my ultrasound. I just couldn’t believe it was real. I just wasn’t feeling “connected.”  I wanted to SEE something.

And when I saw the tiny rushing furiously powerful little heart I thought “Oh, yeah, there you are. I knew I loved you.”

And I got excited, and that’s the truth.

Also all of the above. That’s true too. Some things never change, I guess.

P.S.2 REALLY should have made sure I wasn’t going to have another baby BEFORE writing those baby sprinkle/gender reveal party posts because OHMYGOD my friends. Are losing it.

I’m 95% sure I may have both. But they will be ironic. As god as my witness, THEY WILL BE IRONIC.

And you’re all invited.

This week…we moved, and I’m barely hanging on!

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. I’ve never been so tired in my entire life. I’m in one of those places where you just HOLD ON and tell yourself it can’t last forever. Because it can’t. And that’s why it’s manageable.
  2. We moved in with my mom (go team!), to a town about 25 minutes away from our old town, which means it takes 30 minutes to get my kids to school in the morning. Let me tell you how much I enjoy that. Mmmkay? Oddly, we’ve been more on time this past week than when we lived 2 minutes from the school.
  3. I don’t understand life.
  4. Speaking of not understanding things, that youngest kid running around my house is the cutest little bundle bandit in the world. That’s what we call her: “Bundle bandit.” It fits. My friends call her “the bull.” That also fits. She likes to refer to herself in third person, particularly when she’s charging into the room holding some large object, like a stool: “HERE COMES THE GEORGIE!” (yes. She says “The Georgie.”)
  5. In the past week she’s done so much cute shit I want to eat her. She discovered the word “similar” but has no idea how to actually use it, so she’s like “That’s a similar color” and the rest of us are like “What’s a similar color?” and Georgia looks at us like we’re about the stupidest excuses for humans she’s ever seen until she repeats, and enunciates: “That’s a SIMILAR color.” Then Rocket asks her the same question like seventy-nine more times until I squeal. Because as you  may have noticed, kids have a way of rapidly becoming uncute.
  6. Georgie is going to be a dinosaur for Halloween (obviously). Ava is a 1950s girl. Rocket is dressing up as “Big Papa,” his paternal great-grandfather, who fought in World War II. Yeah. That’s what he is. His great grandfather as a soldier in WWII. Not sure where he comes up with this stuff, but it’s pretty rad.
  7. After wearing her dino costume for a couple hours, Georgie joyously announced that next year she wants to be a “princess,” which surprised the crap out of me considering she calls herself a boy, insists she has a penis and prefers monster trucks and tools over all the other things. But I was like “Cool!” And she says “Yeah! I’ll be a big boy princess in a green dress!”
  8. I really, really hope she doesn’t forget that next year.
  9. You know what sucks? During difficult times, when you’re supposed to cling more tightly to your spouse and really help each other through the mire, my husband and I get so damn stressed out we pretty much can’t stand each other. Then we fight in really ridiculous ways. Sometimes we lie there in bed and tell each other really helpful things like “You’ve ruined my life” or “We’re never going anywhere ever ever ever.” Sometimes we discuss who’s the worse partner. But mostly we just focus on how much we hate our lives. Then in the morning we’re all “yeah sorry about that, homie.” We don’t actually say homie. Also, I MAY be more the one saying the ridiculous horrible things. Winning at marriage, people. That’s what that is.
  10. So now we’re figuring out how to cram 5 people into two rooms and fix up our house to sell, and I’m still looking for work to bring in some more income, though there are lots of interesting things happening on that front (much of which is delayed, of course, by the aforementioned fun). All fun. Lots of fun. Yay fun!
  11.  Yeah, I’m whining. Hell yeah I’m whining. Sometimes life fucking bites because it’s just hard and complicated and exhausting. Yeah I know we don’t have real problems and yeah I know we have lots and lots and lots of “blessings,” but I insist on my right to bitch about moving 5 people into 2 rooms in your mom’s house (even if she is amazeballs) because basically you can’t afford your life and need to get the fuck out.

Let’s look at some pictures. I love you guys. I’ll be back writing regularly in no time. STAY WITH ME PEOPLE.

Don’t fail me now.


me moved the entire house himself, except for our CalKing bed. Because, well fuck. Why not>

he moved the entire house himself, except for our Cal King bed. Because, well fuck. Why not?

these two are damn cute

these two are damn cute

at the school harvest festival, she ate chocolate.

at the school harvest festival, she ate chocolate. The end.


it's that dimple I tell ya.

it’s that dimple I tell ya.

i die

i die

Have a great Halloween, and I can’t wait to get a couple pictures up of Rocket as “Big Papa.” He did the whole costume himself and it’s pretty damn cute.



22 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | October 27, 2013

This week…at least we have a plan.

by Janelle Hanchett

So I actually wrote this on Sunday night, making the “this week” title logical, but then my computer died and the charger was in the car and I was like “Oh hell no,” so now I’m publishing it on Monday, making it “last week,” but I’m not changing it because I don’t want to. I’m the boss of my own self, as my BFF says. SO THERE.

  1. First of all, please add “Tween Years” to the list of Shit I’m Not Equipped to Handle but Must Because I’m a Mother. Okay thanks.
  2. No for real, what the fuck? She hates me. Then she loves me. Then she hates me again but loves me and then she’s 8 and then she’s 16 and she wants my approval but doesn’t but does and I’m both wonderful and horrid and she wants me around while wishing me dead.
  3. Clear? Good. Oh, people. Tweens make the toddler years seem simple like, um, I don’t know. Something simple. I’m not in the mood for metaphors. This is HARD, people. A new type of hard.  A new level of hard. Fuck.
  4. On the plus side, this week sucked less than last week. Of course the bar was rather low, but whatever. Also, we have a plan. We’ve decided to sell our house. We’ll fix it up a bit and sell it. Then we’re going to move. Where?
  5. YEAH I DON’T KNOW STOP RUSHING ME One thing at a time.
  6. But the other thing we’re doing is purging the shit out of everything we own. Something about having my most valuable possessions stolen made me realize I don’t give a crap about anything else. They already took the best, the stuff that matters, so somehow I can just let go of the rest without a thought.
  7. Clothes, games, books, tchotchkes I thought I’d die without. To Goodwill, bitches. Shoes, kitchen stuff, kids’ toys, sentimental whatever the fuck. Get outta my house! Nobody wants you!
  8. Sorry. I’m a little off my rocker. But seriously, when the items that really mean something to you are gone, the lack of meaning of all other items stands in stark contrast and it’s like way easy to let it go. We’ve taken at least 2 truckloads to the Goodwill. I feel no pain. I feel joy. I feel freer by the box. You should totally try it. Just go through every single thing – pick it up, look at it – and if there’s a question of whether or not you need it, the answer is YOU DO NOT NEED IT. For real. Try it. You’ll fill up boxes by the hour. Or maybe we’re just hoarders.
  9. We may or may not end up living at my mom’s house for a while. I may or may not feel like a TOTAL WINNER being 34 years old and moving back in with my mom. Score! If that happens, we’ll be all five of us in two bedrooms. Weeeeeeeee!
  10. Actually, I’m just glad to have my mom, and a place to stay, and a life to live with people I love. And I’m happy to have a plan.

Things are lookin’ up, friends. It’s good to know what the next move is.

Have a great week.

Here are a few shots from the past week…you’ll note they’re just shots of us AT HOME. yeah, that’s because when you’re broke, you stay home. And when you’re moving, you PACK (at home). So we’ve been home, a lot.

Also, Georgie started preschool. Gah! Love!

She walked in and said “Hi, I’m Georgia and this is my big boy flame shirt and this is my teddy, Georgia.”

photo (5)

photo (1)

I thought Georgie was eating dog food, turns out it was a small vitamin. Also Rocket needs a haircut.

photo (2)

Here’s the face she makes when you say something she finds idiotic. For example, “Did you go to the park today?” And she didn’t. DUH.

photo (4)

Here’s the face she makes when her favorite songs come on…


photo (3)

Ava and me. We’ll be okay. We’ve got no other choice.

19 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | September 16, 2013

This week…we were burglarized, twice!

by Janelle Hanchett

So I’m sitting here at 10:30pm on the Sunday of one of the longest, strangest weeks of my life. On Monday we came home to find the door to our garage kicked in and all my jewelry stolen, along with the laptop that housed a lot of writing (some unpublished) and a year’s worth of family photos.

I remember the feeling of looking at that open, emptied jewelry box, where my necklaces and rings and earrings used to be. I threw my hand to my mouth and sucked in air as if somebody had punched me in the gut.

They took almost every piece of jewelry I’ve ever received from Mac: thirteen years’ worth of anniversaries, birthdays, Christmases and Valentine’s.

Once, when we had only been together about 3 months (he was 19 and I was 21), we were driving along this country road on the way into town, and I started bitching and moaning about how he never bought me flowers. Yes, I know. Impressive. I kept on and on and he was silent, probably wondering how he got hooked up with such a nutjob. He let me really get pissed, elaborating for him all the ways he sucked as a boyfriend (well at this point we had been living with each other for 2 months and 29 days so I felt like we were an old married couple), until all the sudden he pulled the car over in the middle of the country. He was angry. He said “Really? I don’t buy you flowers? I never buy you flowers?!”

He got out of the car, went to the trunk and came back with a flat rectangular box, wrapped in flowered paper.

Inside was a beautiful pearl and white gold chain necklace.

We both cried when we recalled that story.

The bastards don’t know that story, but they have the necklace he handed me that day, when I felt my heart explode and realized I should never, ever accuse this man of lack of romance and generosity, lest I have my ass handed to me again.

And you know I’ll tell you the feeling of violation, to know these rat bastard fuckers stepped on my boy’s bed and pillow on our floor where he sleeps. To know they walked beside our kids’ rooms. And to realize after a bit of time passed that clearly the person knew our house…that it was not done by a stranger, and we have ideas but no way to prove it…and the fuckers wore gloves and we used to have an alarm system but never used it (so it was disconnected)…and I used to keep my jewelry in places other than the box but I didn’t that time…and I knew we lived in a shit neighborhood and should leave…God the regret and rage and hatred and terrifying sense of violation. We’re already broke. I’m already feeling lost and tired with little clue where to go with my life.

And then this? Damn I got wrapped around the axle, folks.

I got so desperate I texted a friend of mine who has an uncanny ability to tell me the most painful truth imaginable. His words pierce, because they’re true, and they hurt like you wouldn’t believe, but they never fail to help me see things in a new light, and be set free.

He said “Yeah, that’s happened to me a couple times. I figured they needed the stuff more than I did.”

Fuck you and your compassion, dude.

And then the killer: “Things happen as they happen, Janelle, the pain is from us fighting what is.”

And I knew then the way to freedom: Get in the moment. Fully accept what’s happening. Let go of the story, the story I’ve attached. Events have no inherent meaning. They are just EVENTS. They are just life happening. I place the value on them. I decide if they’re “good” or “bad.”

The next day I read this post by the glorious Meg Worden and I almost puked it was so right on.

What’s the truth? They took stuff. They TOOK STUFF. In other words, nothing. They took nothing. That stuff has no meaning. I give it meaning. Someday I’m going to be dust in the earth. What the hell does jewelry matter?

The man who handed me that necklace is by my side. The family we built together is by my side. We’re all here, alive, to whine about shit that doesn’t matter.

The last time I checked, the brain that created that writing is still attached to my neck.

And then I told you people about it and an outpouring of love came my way. People offered me money and to send me laptops. My friends called and rallied and invented Mission Impossible style investigation crews.

And we realized we’ve been sitting on our asses not making changes we’ve needed to make for a LONG TIME. We hate this house. We hate this neighborhood. We need to get the hell out. This was the kick in the ass we needed.

I got to watch myself get ALL BENT OUTTA SHAPE about stuff, expensive stuff, and I saw the insanity of my attachment to those items. Who cares? No really. WHO CARES?

This is life. I am a living breathing being with a gorgeous healthy life. Take it all, motherfuckers! Take every last shred of what you want. You must need it more than I do.

We woke up Saturday morning and realized they had broken into my husband’s work truck. They stole his tools and a generator that was chained to the bed of the truck. Bolt cutters.

So we were burglarized twice in 7 days.

Take it all.

Take every last bit.

(Of course now you’ll have to get around a sick-ass alarm system my brother bought me, and sent my way, because I’ve got people that love me in a way that takes my breath away. And you’ll have to FIND something of value since literally I have $100 worth of jewelry left other than the rings on my fingers, and we have no television or electronics. We have no material items of value in this house. It’s actually rather freeing.)

But here’s the craziest shit you’ve ever heard: A few months (um, two?) after we met, Mac proposed to me with a very simple white gold band with 5 or 6 small diamonds spaced around the circle. I thought it was the most gorgeous thing I’d ever seen. On our one-year anniversary, Mac sat across from me at a restaurant and presented me with a big ass diamond ring (well, big to me). He had saved his money all year long to buy me that ring. When he gave it to me he said “I know you always say you don’t care about big rings, but I thought you might like a shiny diamond on your hand.”

I almost fell over.

For a long time I wore them together, but at some point I removed the small band and I never found it again. I haven’t seen that ring in at least 7 years. So often I’ve thought about that simple band and felt sadness that it was gone. I mean talk about sentimental. That’s as meaningful as jewelry gets. But I dismissed it as another casualty of my drinking. One more thing I lost. Or gave away, depending on how you look at it.

Well, last Monday as I walked up to the empty jewelry box, my heart pounding in fear and sadness, I saw something shiny in the space where the stolen drawer had been. Grabbing it, I knew immediately what it was. I gazed in awe at the simple diamond band my husband gave me thirteen years ago, the companion to the ring still on my finger. It must have been jammed in the jewelry box somewhere, and when the burglars yanked the drawer out it was dislodged, and it laid there untouched, waiting for me.

So they gave me back the most precious piece of jewelry I owned, and they lit a fire under my ass, and they showed me how much love I’ve got pouring my way from friends and family and people I’ve never met, and they reminded me of the insanity of attachment to things, of the idea that stuff matters at all.

I’ve got a life to live.

I’ve got everything I need.

And those bitch douchebag degenerate fuckers reminded me of that.

Maybe I should be thanking them. Or maybe, I should do as Meg says, and just stay neutral. Let life happen as it does.

No, I hope they burn in hell. Not really. But sort of.

Whatever. On Saturday, after we found out they stole from us again, we called Mac’s work and the police, and hit the fucking road. We were headed to Santa Cruz to celebrate Rocket’s 8th birthday, which is tomorrow.

I ain’t got time for that shit. You want it? You can have it. I’m neutral enough to realize that.

I’ll be busy living a real life.

You know one of the best parts about being a failure in a former life is a profound awareness of how infinitely good this life is, now, with all the shit that may come. Because I went to the beach to celebrate the boy who was out of my life for two years. AND NOW HE’S BACK and SO AM I.

Alcoholism stole from me more than some weak-ass burglar ever could.

And that will never be lost on me.

And it will never be stolen.

So bring it, bitches.

I’ve got nothin’ but love for ya.


Happy birthday, little buddy.

Happy birthday, little buddy.


On an eerily related note (sometimes timing is uncanny), I’ll be talking about my story of alcoholism on Tuesday night at 6pm PST in a live-streaming event (Google+ hangout) sponsored by LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER and The Partnership at This blog tour is a part of The Partnership’s work to  #EndMedicineAbuse, Please join me on Google+ (you can RSVP here if you want) or view live on this YouTube channel. Hear new/original work by me and 11 other bloggers on the topic of personal connections to addiction, substance use, and/or what we want children to know about the medicine abuse epidemic. I really hope you check it out, and maybe invite your teenagers to listen. I’m speaking directly to them.




28 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | September 8, 2013