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3
Oct 13

New day

It’s the end of the day, a long day. A day that started at 5 am (it’s now almost 11 pm). I can’t let it go.

Telling myself this truth: tomorrow is a new day. Plenty of new opportunities. Tomorrow will not be exactly like today (world record loooong afternoon, if not in actual minutes and hours, then just in the feeling). Didn’t eat enough, got grumpy, ate too much, got grumpier (and felt bad about myself to boot).

Tomorrow is a new day.


1
Jun 13

This weekend

Sorry, didn’t mean to drop that whole “I’m so way exhausted I got bloodwork” topic on here and then just walk away. I am still waiting to hear back (long story but I went to a new lab and apparently they are the slowest place ever so just….waiting). In my head….I’m fine. I’m so fine. I am actually embarrassed, at the moment, that I even wrote about my fears. Yes, I did have a couple of days where I was freaking out but currently I am totally expecting the labs to come back totally normal and to learn, “oh, duh, I just need more sleep! I still have a baby and I am very busy!” Seriously, that is where I am at on this one.

We have been busy gearing up for summer. Lots of pool time, lots of delicious summer foods and friends over and barbecues and cold beer. It’s lovely. We are considering having A/C installed in the house which would be so fantastic come July and August. We shall see.

Off to help with this afternoon’s barbecue!


28
Mar 13

8 months (+ 1 day)

Yesterday marked little Lily’s 8 months here with us. Unfortunately, she and I are in the midst of a horrid cold. 🙁 Poor thing–this is the third illness she has had so far. Anna didn’t get her first cold until she was over a year old. I guess that that is the way it goes with the second-born, though: they get exposed to all those germs that big siblings bring home (and are more likely to be carted around to all manners of places, too). I confess, as sweet as it is when Anna’s kindergarten friends crowd around Lily before and after school, wanting to say hi and play with her, I cringe when they breathe in her face, or reach out and touch her. Unless they have an obvious cough, though (in which case I do step in and ask them to keep some distance), I generally let them do it. It brings such pleasure to these kids and to Lily, too. She is definitely a social baby, all easy smiles. I would love her anyways, even if she weren’t this way, but it is such an appealing and loveable quality of hers that it just makes her even more dear to me. Who couldn’t feel their heart melt with a sweet round baby grinning at you?

Lily is still not quite crawling, though she does a mean commando crawl that gets her places faster than I always think possible. In fact, she commando crawled her way into a big fall into our master bathtub (sunken)–ouch!–a couple of days ago when I left her, just for a second(I know, famous last words), several feet away from not only the tub, but the bathroom. I still feel just sick thinking about it. Wince. Never again. Well, I know that she will of course her herself again but I’d rather avoid her doing it due to my own negligence! I have to be on my toes with this one!

She is enamored by the dog. She has taken to flinging food at him from her high chair (she holds the food just outside of our reach and then, I swear to you throws it at him….and laughs). She laughs and smiles and kicks her legs when he approaches her. It’s lucky for Porkchop that she loves him so much because there have been several days in the last few weeks where I have felt like marching his ass right back to the dog adoption people (so much barking! So much toy thievery!).

Lily’s other loves are her sister, her daddy and I, and her little lovey that Adam has named Marco. She squeals when she sees this little blankie animal. So sweet.

She is eating all kinds of food. She doesn’t care for banana (will throw it off of her tray), but loves all other fruit. Berries are her favorite. If she sees strawberries, she will grunt and strain towards them, in a most obvious “give me THAT!” kind of a way.

No teeth yet!

She was sleeping through the night (oh blissful 11-12 hours! And she did it all on her own!) until this dreaded cold. Now I am a zombie again but of course I take care of my poor snotty sweetie.

She is growing out of her 6-12 month clothes and is in a combo of those (which are getting too short and tight) and 12-18 month size. I think she is around 17 pounds, though I need to re-weigh her as it has been a while. My arms feel like I’ve had a workout when I carry her for any length of time now! Thank goodness for the Ergo.

Her hair is coming in more and is decidedly a darker blonde. Her eyes remain a gorgeous blue. Her arms couldn’t be more chubbity and munch able–I get comments all the time on them. I am loving cuddling her and feeling her soft babyness–I know how soon she will turn into a toddler and sometimes I don’t feel ready for that!

Sweet Lily. We are lucky to have her in our family and to continue to get to know her.

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1
Mar 13

On the couch

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19
Feb 13

It’s all Perfect until it’s not

I’ve been having these thoughts lately, these deep thoughts, thoughts about what I am presenting to the world and why and whether that is ok and good. Do I like how I present myself, here and on Facebook and on Instagram (I am a pathetic tweeter so not sure I should even count Twitter). It is so easy to only present the very best, shiny and wonderful moments of my life. The Pinterest-worthy (and/or derived) projects, the delicious-looking cookies, the children in adorable coordinating outfits. Me, on a good hair day, angled just so to minimize the size of my thighs or the wrinkles that have started showing up around my eyes. These things are a part of my life: I do have shiny, happy moments of life, where I feel like an absolute rockstar domestic diva.

And then there is the rest of the time. When the dog hair tumbleweeds threaten to take over the living room. When I don’t brush my daughter’s (horribly tangled) hair all weekend. When I feel exhausted and even (yes, this is true) resentful of always taking care of the needs of others, at the expense of my own needs and desires. When I lose my shit and become so angry that my curses don’t even come out right. When I yell or throw something or slam a door.

Of course, we don’t share those things with anyone outside of our own immediate family, right? I’m pretty sure that there are some model parents out there who only rarely lose it but for every one of those, I’m guessing that there are two or three (or more?) like me.

The problem is, in this visually-oriented, over-sharing-obsessed culture of ours, maybe I am becoming too wrapped up in the shiny/pretty. Maybe I am so aimed towards taking that perfect picture that I am missing the moments or maybe I have such a clever and pithy Facebook status written in my head that I fail to mention the reality: that I am hurting or needy or sad or angry or resentful or just having a really, really hard time.

It’s not all bad here. Six months into this mothering of two gig and I am finally starting to have some moments, here and there, where I feel like life is slightly under control. And then the dog will eat another one of our shoes and I’m back in crazy town mode.

Which is the reality–the day to day nitty gritty, the scrubbing poop and wiping sticky hands, or the perfect life we present online, the cute after school craft, the organized closet, the picture of us with our beloved little ones, cheeks pressed close? They are all real moments, all of them. How do I share the hard stuff without sounding whiny and complaining? I love my kids, I chose this life. But, damn, if motherhood isn’t the hardest job I’ve ever had. It’s relentless and exhausting and also exhilarating and beautiful.

All this to stay, I want to stay real here and elsewhere. It’s part of who I am: the good and the bad. I love my kids and I love my husband and I love my life. But sometimes I just want to take a really, really long nap.


17
Jan 13

Goodbye

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Today we said goodbye to our most faithful companion and friend. Lucky dog lived a good, long life. She was a lover of bacon. She was just the right size and heft for a big snuggly dog hug when I was feeling sad. She made me feel safe, even on late night walks on the Westside. She was a part of this family, our first baby. She slept by my side of the bed–but only when I was pregnant or when Adam was gone overnight (otherwise, she was totally Adam’s girl). She made us laugh, especially when she was a puppy. She was 8 weeks old and 17 pounds the day she came to live with us. Today, we cry as we say goodbye. Rest in peace, sweet old girl. You will be missed.
Lucky Gray
April 15, 1999 – January 17, 2013


9
Jan 13

Emulating

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After her swim lesson this evening, Anna brushed her own hair (big girl!) and then whipped out some lip gloss, like it was no big thing. Applied it like a pro. What the ???? My big girl is paying attention, me thinks. My big girl wants to be like Mama. I’m not ready for that.


8
Jan 13

Two littles

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I want to write interesting things here on a regular basis, I really really do, but I find myself in some sort of time warp, day after day, taking care of these two little monkeys who I adore. And if I can, for a moment, pat myself on the back, I would like to credit myself with TWO (count ’em, TWO!) days running of no yelling, no threats, no tantrums or tears between Anna and I (or the baby, though I sincerely hope that this goes without saying). The transition back to school after winter break has been seamless, I tell you. And now that I have just jinxed myself, I do believe I will go hide my head under the covers and pray for things to keep going well. Sleep is good.


15
Dec 12

Getaways and Candy

And now for something a little more lighthearted….

Today I had one of those mornings where, all of a sudden, I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Same ol’, same ol’, day after day. Didn’t matter a bit that it was Saturday morning, I was still doing the same grind, up in the middle of the night, up early in the morning, nursing the baby, changing diapers, folding laundry, cleaning up after the tornado that is the 6 year old, getting breakfast and making shopping lists and soothing crying and readying things for napping and then…I just needed to get out a bit. Adam saw this in my eyes. “Go,” he told me, “Just go. I’ve got this.” Sigh of relief.

I headed downtown, crazy me, to browse Sur La Table and eat a sandwich at a deli, and window shop and people watch. It wasn’t as crazy as one might assume it would be on a Saturday less then two weeks before Christmas. And I realized, mid-pastrami sandwich, that this was exactly what I needed. That I hadn’t felt this relaxed in days and days and days. I was still tired, but refreshed, somehow. Not as good as a nap, but good in a different way. In a back-to-me kind of a way.

Later on today, Adam and Anna worked on her gingerbread house and I marveled at the evolution of her gingerbread house decorating skills. I recall vividly the first year we did it with her (what was she, three or so?) and how I had to really hold myself back from doing it for her. I remember how much it made me crazy that she did things all topsy turvy with no PLAN! No grand decorating scheme! No PATTERN! (Anal much, or what, am I????). This year: daughter after my own heart, she laid it all out in stripes and patterns. This made me smile and made Adam laugh.

I was glad to get away and I was glad to come back and squeeze them all, my lovely little family.


14
Dec 12

Stuff like this

I first read about it on Facebook. That’s my go-to information source for breaking news these days, sad to say.

And I bawled. I bawled like a baby. I thought about those children and I thought about those children’s parents. I wondered what the hell one would do, this close to Christmas, to even live through the horror of it all, if one’s child was killed. I imagined looking at the pile of presents purchased for my child, presents that they would never open, never play with. I imagined what it would be like to walk my child to school and then never, ever see her alive again.

It is too horrific. It is too terrible.

I picked up Anna from school this afternoon and, despite my best efforts, she wasn’t in a huggy kind of a mood. She was in a dance and twirl and sprint and sing kind of a mood. I let go of my need to never let her go and watched her, instead. I watched her and I enjoyed her sheer aliveness. I marveled at her existence. I kissed Lily’s head and I smiled at Anna’s antics and I thought, again, about the rare and precious gift that is life.

I imagined what it would have been like for Anna, if she was a surviving student at a school where a masked man had gone on a shooting rampage. What it would be like for her if she had seen students bloodied, heard shots fired, heard screaming, was herded into a closet to hide, was told to close her eyes as she walked through campus with her police escort. I know that it would take her years–if ever–to sleep through the night again without the fear. I know that school would no longer be the pleasure that it is for her. I thought about all those students who lived and how they live with this, the thing that they don’t need, the burden of the loss of innocence at too young an age.

I feel physically ill. My heart feels heavy in my chest. I mourn.