“Channeling Dina”

This is Dina.. 


Dina plays an important role in mine and my family’s life.. and she just found out about it this past year…

Here at the ole homestead, we use a little technique that we like to call ‘Channeling Dina..’ Let me explain…


My Aunt Dina is the youngest of 5 girls. 

1⃣.   2⃣.    3⃣.    4⃣.    5⃣

She is hilarious, smart, and fun. She has always been there for anyone, friend or stranger in need, and she doesn’t even mind when you call her at 2:00 am because baby Stella hadn’t pooped in 4 hours..(first baby syndrome.. if it’s not clockwork..make it clockwork..;) Dina provides a unique set of values that I have learned to live by that she wasn’t even aware she was teaching me.. She proves that the power of prayer, faith in the good, and a little bit of the Captain are all so very necessary in this whole thing called life. I should also mention she is 1 (of many) nurses in the family.. so she also unwillingly became my personal hotline for freaky phone calls…Dina, i think Hank swallowed an earring, Dina…the baby is coughing like a seal.. Dina..Hank ate birdpoop..Dina..Hank ate a whole pint of blueberries and is currently shitting water… Dina… where’s the rum? 


Dina, thank you for being so patient with me….aaaaand also for not judging… ANYWAYS.. Channeling Dina: How To: Aunt Dina is like the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met. Everything she does she is so excited about it, no matter if she’s being mostly sarcastic, or if she truly means what she’s saying..so with that attitude, I have formulated a mantra that I whip out every single time (mostly) Hank looks me in the eye as he’s chucking his chocolate milk across the room. I have figured him (and most 3 year olds to say the least) out. They thrive on figuring out ways to make our days harder.. I mean if it could go wrong , it will , purposely because of them.. Me..”Let’s go people, I’m already running late..” Hank.. I just pooped in my underwear..” Me..”I just made a whole batch of banana bread!..” Hank..” i give it to Darla..” Me..”Hank please sit down while your drinking your milk..” Hank..”I just pour it on the table to clean it..” …WHAT THE FUCK? How is a 2 year old making me seem as if I am either in an alternate universe where “don’t” means “do it”, or that i am being Punk’d. As far as that detail goes I am sure you already know that’s what they do at that age.. but did you know.. that if you act even remotely excited about it, they immediately look at you with disgust and stop what they are doing ever so quickly… [A-HA.. i AM in an alternate universe..] So the instant Hank dumps that milk on the brand new carpet, i immediately go to my place and “Channel Dina” and with her greatest enthusiasm, i jump up and start clapping…” WOO HOO–Spilled Milk!! I LOVE It!..(more clapping) Ya Hank! That was GREAT..(High-five that it smacked away with great displeasure by Hank)..i LOVE the smell of mildewy milk in the carpet! THANK YOU!” and with that folks.. not another drop has ever been spilled (purposely) 



Did you notice the numerous times I said Hank’s name? (reason #3 for the blog name) My sweet, endearing, adventurous, devious, curse-word inducing Hank…He is the current reason I use the ‘Channeling Dina’ tool as much as I do, and did i mention that he may or may not think his first name is Damnit… damnit hank. 


Moving on to the tool. This tool, might save time, sanity, heart-ache, (and potentially, lives…) So please, use it, daily.. hourly.. hell.. get it tattooed on your forehead so when you look into the mirror to say ” What the hell did I get myself into..” you see it and immediately turn the tables on that devious little bundle of mischief. I use that tool hand in hand with swearing the words Damnit Hank.. it just now automatically comes next, because without it, I fear i may have retreated to a 12 x 12 white padded room. 



But in all seriousness ( is that a word? it looks funny) have you been blessed with a colicky baby? Or maybe they were a great baby and turned into Jekyll and Hyde later on in life? I am with you.. I am with you and I want to share what I have discovered from going through such pain-staking, sleep depriving, hair pulling.. ok you get the picture.. My Sweet Hank ( i meant NO sarcasm in that one bc he seriously is a huge sweetheart with a beautiful soul), was born a big bouncing bundle of boy on March 26th 2012. on March 30th 2012, he grew into a big bawling bundle of tears. Seriously, ask Marina.. he cried for like 19 straight months.. and slept a total of 16 hours in those 19 months. It was so hard, on all of us. Chad worked out of town Mon-Fri and I was home with a 2 year old little love, and my poor colic baby 24/7. Plain and simple truth : it was fucking hard. It sucked and I admire every single person who can be a single parent or have to parent alone a majority of the time.. for both sides too because it was about as hard on Chad as it was on us, not being able to be there for us. More about those funny stories later… Anyway, from the time Hank came into my life and still to this very day, I know exactly why God blessed me with him and his excessive energy ( ya, energy, that’s what we will call it..) I have NEVER been the worlds most patient person. Usually when I want something i figure out a way to make it work right then and there.. I like to go at my own speed, and I like when things I’ve worked so hard at go smoothly.. Damnit Hank.. Hank came a long and BLEW that life to shit! And I thank him every day for it.. I was blessed to become Hank’s mom because every time I say Damnit Hank, I really mean Damnit Me.. God gave me him to slow down… God gave me him to remember to breathe, to remember to STOP putting so much pressure to be perfect, perfectly dressed, perfectly mannered, perfectly stable… Perfectly BORING. My Hank has brought new meaning to the word empathy for me. I have always said that is the one virtue I want to instill in my children so that they will know exactly how they make people feel.. I want them to know that so that they will treat people with kindness, dignity and respect.. but that was the one value I realized I was slacking in.. God gave me Hank to rebuild that part of me that “just wanted 20 more minutes of sleep,” or ‘ an hour of cry-free time’. I wanted things to just be perfect and go back to how easy they were when he was a happy baby.. and then it hit me.. I looked at his sweet red, tear-streaked face and I saw it.. I saw God telling me.. SLOW DOWN, LET GO and FEEL HIS PAIN… I knew that with colic there is really not much you can do to calm them, but what I DID know was that by ‘Channeling Dina’ s peaceful attitude, I could be the best mom I knew how to be for him, and give him every ounce of empathy I had so that I could figure out with him what we could do to make him feel better.. and I’ll be damned.. from that point on, I understood Hank’s language.. I understood the reason I was so blessed to have him.. He has shown me with every tear, kick, scream and time-out, that I am very capable of being the best mom I can be even if he makes me feel crazy.. He reminds me that if I slow down, and let go of all the unfair expectations that I for some reason held for a 2 year old, that I could sit down in that puddle with him and feel the freedom of life.. that I could frame the beautiful blue “mountain” he drew for me on the wall with maker and make it one of my most favorite decorations instead of scolding him for being creative.. he is 1/3 of the reason i live everyday with a funner (now, I KNOW THAT’S not a word 😉 attitude, a more peaceful mind.. and knowledge of a much better life.. for all of us….

XOXO peace and love. 




1 Comment

  1. Erika: This is so Exciting!! You are an Amazing writer!! And check this out…..you don’t even have to “channel” anyone to do it! It’s all YOU Boo and it is Awesome! Your style made me laugh and cry all in the same breath. Keep it coming. I am dying to see what’s on tap for tomorrow. I love you and I am so proud of you for taking a leap of Faith. You will be glad you did….This is going to be very fruitful for you. God gave you many talents, but obviously WRITE now he wants you to use this one! Now go see where Hank is……….haha


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