Monday, December 14, 2009


Things are piling up all around me: to do lists, wrapping, presentations, reports, research, shopping, cleaning, fa la la la la la la la la.

And all I want to do is find a corner in the woods and dream about HIM sparkling and beautiful and finding ME.

Oh, I got bit all right.


(Love you wholly and completely, Pete).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Babies....and Monsters?

The little fella next door is a big brother as of today.

While the girls napped, I baked some cookies to bring over. When Ava woke up all rosy cheeked and cuddly, I asked her if there was anything else she could think of that the big brother might need, or just something she'd like him to have.

She thought about it and then said, "Maybe something I don't need anymore."


"Actually, maybe a monster. From my bedroom."

I guess that means she won't be offering to shovel their sidewalks this winter, either. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dear Ava,

Recently we had quite a laugh. I was feeding Anna while you cut paper with your scissors. I looked down for a second--to make some slobbery sound at Anna or to just fall into her gigantically big blue eyes--before you started walking toward me with a look on your face that quizzically said, "the oddest thing just happened to me."

Then, you opened your mouth and out came this: "Mommy, it didn't even hurt when I cut my hair!?" Like the big deal was that cutting your hair "didn't hurt" (which is a big deal) and not at all that YOU CUT YOUR HAIR.

But if you really didn't know it was a big deal while you were doing it then you knew once you saw the look on my face, which was probably a cross between what I look like in the morning with about your age in hours of sleep and what I look like when I hear (before I see) that you cut your hair. So you started crying and I started...laughing. I started laughing and hugged you to pieces (no pun intended). I guess because, well, you were okay--no harm done--and you actually did a pretty darn good job of it. Here I'm paying {way too much} for you to get your hair cut professionally and all I need to do is give you a pair of rubber gripped, dull bladed scissors and send you to town little girl.

love love love


Thursday, October 8, 2009


If you could have seen her, you would have thought she'd struck it rich. Ava bounded out of bed this morning, a morning she'd waited for an excruciating two days to arrive. The anticipation was just too much for her to take, which is why I typically don't tell her about things-- exciting things (like ice cream) and upsetting things (like shots) until they are imminent. Both because the anticipation is almost more than she can bare and because heaven forbid if plans should change. Even slightly.

But announcing these particular events were out of my control. They were preschool events...and ever since she learned about them at preschool on Tuesday, she's been asking, on the hour, "When will it be Thursday?" Well, today it was. These were the big events, in order:

  1. School pictures
  2. The firefighters came for a visit (and were going to let the kids, "climb all over their firetruck, mommy!".
  3. Her day to "show and tell"
Many of you know how fascinated my daughter is with anything having to do with firefighters. Given her peculiar fear of smoke detectors, I wonder if she hasn't made a deal with them: I'll idolize firefighters and do whatever they tell me to do so long as you promise to never ever ever go off in my presence. We try to hold up their end of the bargain by a) changing the batteries twice per year; and b) cleaning our oven regularly so that when I do cook over 400 degrees, the drippings from the sweet potatoes don't smoke us out.

Usually when I ask her anything about preschool, what she did, what she learned, what she loved best, she replies, "I don't know." Then, later on, she'll usually give me dribs and drabs of details..."Ellie went home sick; the nurse told us to sing Happy Birthday while we wash our hands; I didn't get picked to be the line leader today..."

And today, even with so much to tell, her response wasn't any different. But here's what I did learn from her intermittently throughout the rest of the day:

She was a little nervous about the school pictures. "Why were you nervous?" I asked her.

"Because I didn't want the flash to go off in my eyes."

Ugh. I remember that flash. I mean, I had forgotten, but then I remembered. Then came the next detail:

"Did you have to sit in a chair?" I asked.
To which she replied, "Nope. I had to sit on a stool."

I completely forgot about THE stool. The school-picture-taking-stool! Whoa. What a flashback. Instantly, I was six years old with a home-job haircut, sitting on the stool that was so hard to sit on (and keep still!)

I also learned (through one of her imaginary play moments) that the firefighters must've told her that she had to wait for a second turn; that there were other children who hadn't had one yet. That kind of made me smile. She couldn't wait to get her little self all over that shiny red fire truck and she was going to try again and again and again to experience it. She's not going to let an opportunity go untapped; even if its thwarted, she's at least going to give it a try.

I was also pleased to hear that she asked where the lady firefighters were. I don't consider myself a feminist in the radical sense, but I must say, in this world, I'm psyched to have a daughter who only sees what she CAN do, not what only other people do. (Although I want her to be a firefighter about as much as I want to imagine the day she leaves home. In fact, her daddy has already made her, at three years old, SIGN an agreement that states: I will let my daddy come to college with me and sleep on my floor all the days I'm there.)

And then, there's show and tell. Ironically, she had planned three weeks ago to bring in her fire hat and her firey red dancin' shoes for the occasion. I guess the stars were aligned with the firefighters coming for a visit and all.

Now, as I write, she's upstairs getting a story and a song (or two, or three). Probably asking her daddy questions like, "What dangerous things did you do as a little boy?" and, "Why were the firefighter's hats yellow today?"

And when I go to bed, I'll remember how excited Ava was when she woke up in the morning. How in love with the day she was before she even knew what it would bring. She did strike it rich. She strikes it rich every single day.

I think she's onto somethin'.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a morning in the life

Monday morning began the way it usually does:
  • I get up at 4 am, feed Anna
  • Sitting in a corner at Starbucks, working and drinking decaf by 5 am
  • Walk back home at 7:50 am
  • Kiss husband goodbye as he leaves for work, brace for three year old's full-on jump/dive into me
  • Three year old asks, "What do you want to do now, Mommy?"
  • I tell her she needs to eat breakfast, go potty, then we'll play til Anna wakes up
  • There's a bit of protest, but that's what we do, in that order
  • Anna wakes at 9 am. I feed her
  • We go to the park. I run 6 miles with the girls (figure that's about 60 pounds to push); I'm a glutton for punishment, that's all there is to it, really
  • Then we head over to the playground
On this particular morning, the playground is wet, which means Ava's shorts (and a little bit of her underwear) are wet, too. I take off her shorts before we get into the car to head home.

We're heading home when I remember that we need diapers. And sunscreen for vacation. Pete needs V8 juice. Fifty dollars, gone like that, in the amount of time it takes a traffic light to turn from green to yellow--about three seconds.

I decide I better get gas before I get anything else (there goes $3o more). With a full tank, we head to Target.

I get the girls out of the car. The parking lot, surprisingly, doesn't feel like the county fair on derby day. It's actually...calm. The sun is hot and bright and everything shiny is sucking it up and spitting it back out. We're squinting from all sides.

Ava's hand is in my hand, other hand is occupied with Anna's increasingly heavy carrier, and we three make our way across the pavement. We get to the automatic doors at Target when this little voice at my side says, "Mommy. It's okay that I'm in my underwear." Just like that--a statement, an affirmation, nothing remotely like a question.

"Well, look at you. You are in your underwear, aren't you?" Elmo and rainbows were everywhere.

We don't know what else to do except laugh, so that's exactly what we do. We laugh and laugh and laugh all the way back to the car, into her wet shorts, and back into Target. Again.

I should've just let the kid stay in her underpants for crying out loud. But this is what happens: I go into scare-tactic mode and imagine that every grown person in Target is some twisted pedophile who will find out where we live all on account that Sesame Street is currently advertised across my daughter's hiney.

So, I scold myself the entire time we're in Target for being so ridiculous. I forget the V8 juice but pick up body soap (which, it turns out, we don't need), tell Ava that, no, she cannot have another fishing pole, I don't care if it's Spiderman, that goes for chocolate milk, too, and don't you dare rip off the straw so that I have to buy it, and anyway, that does not mean you'll be able to drink it. I quickly reclaim my gentleness and gently remind her that we're going on vacation in a couple of weeks and if we always bought what we wanted, we probably wouldn't be able to afford a vacation and a whole lot of other things, like squishy bars or ice cream. This satisfies her and we check out.

Skip Skip Skip to my Lou, Skip Skip Skip to my Lou, Skip Skip Skip to my Lou all on a Monday mornin'.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

a memory

When Pete and I were planning our wedding, we contemplated a videographer. Well, I did. Prompted by a recent viewing of an old friends' wedding (one that I wasn't able to make) on DVD.

We had a photographer lined up, but didn't we need a videographer, too? Afterall, our children would want to watch it someday, wouldn't they? I came up with other reasons, too. Won't video catch things that I'll be sure to miss on such a busy day? And it'll capture other things that I don't ever want to forget! And then there's the thinking that you need something just because it's available, or because other people decided they needed it so you must need it to.

We were driving somewhere, Pete and I, as I agonized over the cost, the benefit, the logistics. He tolerated it for a while, but then very calmly and simply turned to me and said, "We don't need a videographer. Some things should be remembered exactly as you remember them when they happened. Some things are just better stored in our memory than on a disc."

In a second, I knew he was right. He was absolutely right. I did not want to remember that day through the lens of anything or anyone other than my own memory. And as for our children and what they'll miss because of it? Well, we have some fantastic photos--and every now and then, little love will crawl up onto my lap and ask me to tell her about the day we got married. So we look through the photos and I tell her my stories and then she tells me some of her own. I wonder what we both would have lost if I left it up to technology to tell the story of our wedding.

I was reminded of this whole experience yesterday when I took her to her first day of 3 year old preschool. I walked into the doors and there were all the moms, clicking away as their baby moved from center to center to touch and feel and smell everything that was new and
right-sized, and primary colored. Some were crying (screaming), some were laughing, some were quietly taking it all in. And there I was, mom in her blue jeans, infant in her arm, and her 3 year old by her side. No camera.

For a second I felt that grip of failure. It's my daughter's first day of preschool and I didn't bring a camera to capture it? What was I thinking? How did I not prepare for this?

Then, I remembered what Pete said to me, now six years ago. I caught my breath, I turned to my little one and I took in everything about her. How she smelled, where she stood, what she wore; how her eyes glanced from station to station but how she stood, so still, at my side. Five little fingers gripped tightly around mine. A bit of worry, a bit of excitement reflected in her big blue eyes.

I kissed the top of her head and she asked me not to go. I told her I'd be back, that I'd always be back and got her started on a puzzle. I watched her at that little table for a second and I'll never forget, ever, those moments. And if I'd had a camera, I might've captured the setting and the colors but I'd have missed every one of the details that mattered.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

a scent

There is this line in a U2 song, "Miracle Drug"...
Freedom has a scent
like the top of a newborn baby's head...

I won't analyze it. I'll just say that it's true. It's really really true.


I've sat down to write about a dozen posts in the past four months.
Kept coming up empty.
Partly the pressure to find the perfect words to describe a perfect being; partly the pressure to find the perfect words to convey a perfect feeling; partly the pressure to find the perfect words to share an imperfect perspective. So, I've decided that I'm done with pressure. I love writing too much. And it seems these years, I have plenty to write about.


It feels good to be back. I can't make any promises about how often. That assumes, of course, that anyone is still reading. But I am back. So stay tuned. There's lots to share.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm planning to be back...hopefully in August. Life for everyone is busy, I know. But here, I'm just taking a little extra time to enjoy this time that will go way too fast.

Hope you're having a great summer!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Almost Time

Well, there have been a lot of developments around these parts. Next month at this time, we'll be reporting some really big news--little love turns three and itty bitty love will be on its way (if not here already!)

This last trimester hasn't been without it's trials, though. Namely, the ruptured achilles tendon on my husband's left foot. He ruptured it on Valentine's Day playing basketball--moments before I said OUT LOUD to a friend, who is also pregnant, "It just occurred to me...our husband's could get really hurt playing this game!"

Fortunately, my mom had made a surprise visit that weekend, so she was able to look after the little one while Pete and I whittled our time away in the ER. He had surgery on February 23 and just got his cast off Monday. He won't be walking for another couple of months, though we're hoping for a "slow limp" in about one and a half.

Needless to say, I've neglected plenty, like this blog, for instance. And sparkling clean floors, which really bugs me since the nesting urge is in full effect. Oh, and all the letter writing and phone calling that I'd planned to do before the baby came.

A good friend suggested we take out an insurance policy with the next pregnancy, since I broke several bones in my hand and wrist with number one and now Pete and his injury with number two. Hmmm...

At any rate, I hope you all are well. I'll try to post some pictures soon of our current state--crutches, pregnant, runny noses and all.

Spring is coming!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hiney's & Rainbows

The other morning little one told me she had a dream about rainbows.

I asked her if she slid down it (a la..say say oh playmate, come out and play with me, and bring your dolly's three, climb up my apple tree. Slide down my rainbow...)

She informed me that she, in fact, had. With all of her friends.

That is, those who sleep in bed with her: Elmo, Big Bird, Curious George, Bob, JoJo, baby, and Otto.

She made it a point to tell me that Shamu did NOT slide down the rainbow.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because he doesn't have a hiney," she said.

I guess the we only slide on our hiney's rule has taken effect.

Splurge: Big Girl Bed

It's on its way. The big girl bed is on its way. Is she ready for it? Without question. Is her mommy? Not a chance.

I guess that's the conundrum of parenthood: praying for them (and teaching them how) to grow and live into responsible, independent, and loving people...while at the same time wanting them to stay little for just a little longer.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

tid bits

We're up to our ears in infection around here...I thought 14 months of breast feeding was supposed to get us off the hook for those.

Still, sleepless nights (and days) and unprovoked fears haven't stopped this little one from exercising her imagination.

Scene: On the phone with her daddy, who is at work

Little One: Daddy, you forgot your belt today.

Daddy: Shoot. How am I going to keep my pants from falling down?

(Mommy's thinking to herself about what Little One might say: tape measure, tape, something obvious in a not-so-obvious way)

Little One: I think you need to find someone else to put in there with you. That will keep them up.


Hope 2009 is off to a great, sleep-filled start.