Friday, December 21, 2012

Bronchioles and such

Since Monday our baby has been ill.  Temperature swings, snot and a horrendous cough.  I don't know if you know this, but the regular store doesn't have cough meds for the "under 4" group.  Every last one of them is for kids 4 and up.  However, the natural foods store has about 5 different options.  So this time, and in the past, we hit up Sunrise Natural Foods and stocked up.  But this time, unlike the past, nothing helped.

So today, day five, I called the doctor and was immediately told to come in.  The gnarly cough that interrupted our consult was enough.  And that's how we ended up spending the morning in the doctor's office.  Three breathing treatments, two chest x-rays and one oral steroid later the doc ruled out pneumonia and settled on "bronchiolitis".

Now we are home with orders to stay home for two days.  We have our own breathing treatment machine (nebulizer) with meds and an additional prescription.  We're on the breather every four hours today and every six hours tomorrow.  Phew!

Our Ro, she's a trooper.  She took this morning in stride, wearing her breathing mask like a champ and standing extra still for x-rays.  What a champ!!

The difference in her demeanor right now compared to 24 hours ago is remarkable.  The meds are definitely helping.  Her chatter factor is back in force.  I didn't realize the reprieve my ears were getting!  We should be good to go for Christmas- hip, hip hooray!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Mania

Have I told you how much I love being a Mom?  Sometimes I wonder what the heck I ever did with my time before the wee-one.  I seemed so busy, always running.  Surely the pre-kid "me" didn't have such noble duties to accomplish daily.  Yet I am more on top of my game now than I ever was with so much more free-time on my hands.  How is that possible?

This Christmas has been one of the most festive since I moved out and had to start creating my own holiday magic.  With Ro old enough to be in the Santa conversation and the idea of giving gifts one that she can now wrap her head around, it's been awesome!  We've made ornaments, she single handedly decorated our tree and she has suggestions for what we should buy for others (Uncle Chuck almost got a 'decorate it yourself' stuffed animal kit).  My Christmas spirit is through the roof!  I've made a "Merry Christmas" banner for our window, a salt dough garland for over the t.v. and transformed the shallow shelving into a snow scene with lights, snow flakes and construction paper trees.  Also, I decided that at this year's OTP Christmas party, we'd ditch the ornament decorating of the last 2 years and make gingerbread houses.  Ethan and I constructed 11 graham cracker houses last night and tonight they are being adorned with all sorts of goodies at the party.
And what about shopping for your own kid?!  Last year we didn't buy her anything.  This year I can hardly contain myself.  I know that gifts don't equal happiness, and I can't freaking wait to see her open the things we've picked out.  She's gonna LOVE it.  I even got her one more thing (I had said I was finished, you see) at the Disney store yesterday.  I think I need to be quarantined to my house.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shmirthday


I get asked every year what I want to do for my birthday.  Truth is, I can no more pull that answer out of my brain than spin straw into gold.  Is it the near complete giving up of myself to show up fully for my kid that as shoved the possibility of 'doing for me' out the window?  For 364 days I check out of "Mel" and into "Mom" and that's a hard habit to break.  I don't even want to talk about the unjustifiable guilt, sheesh.  If I do come up with something it's extravagant.  As in, "keep dreaming sister".  In which case I don't bother to bring it up and wave around the fact that what I really want we can't afford.
Let's just say I want a day to myself.  Well, what now?  Do I sit on my keester and watch re-runs of Top Chef?  'Cause really, a day to myself sounds like heaven in that all the dishes would be done, laundry put away, floors scrubbed, base boards wiped, windows shined, E's work shirts ironed....happy birthday to me!
I'd rather my birthday just went by without any obligations, without any guilt that E spent money on something which is really our money so it's not like some free and clear gift.
So, yeah.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I don't love

If I accept people as they are, I am loving them even when I can't stand them.  Right?  So when someone I love (supposedly) can only communicate with me by airing their upsets, annoyances and endless ways they have been wronged...I just accept it, if I love them.  I wouldn't tell them to change.  I wouldn't put rules on the type of communication I would allow them to bring to me.  I would just see that this is a suffering person. This is a person who is stuck in a vicious cycle of victim-hood that was created long ago and has been nothing but reinforced everyday and in every thought.

I am not that loving person.  I hear the dissent and my skin pricks, the muscles tighten around my neck and my jaw clenches.  I am not listening anymore and am instead running through all the reasons I cannot stand to be in this conversation anymore.  I have become resentful.  I have created reason upon reason for why I am right about this person's griping being pathetic and selfish.  I am so removed from a position of loving that I can hardly touch this person without feeling awkward and distant.

The only person I really love is my child.  I don't know of another person who I love in every moment, regardless of her momentary mood or behavior.  I see her acting out and I wonder what the hurt is, what the need is that isn't being fulfilled.  I know this is true for every person.  The acting out fills a void.  We are mostly creatures that interact with the acting-out parts of each other, instead of loving through that moment and discovering what is really going on.

The person I most work on loving is my husband.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I am an amateur lover.  I have trained myself over time to love sparingly and with great caution.  I clearly see how this does myself and others a disservice.  I worry that I will inadvertently pass this sometimes painful trait on to my babies.  I have an extraordinary opportunity to practice loving over the next few days.  To say it out loud sounds like a silly, simple task.  Just to love someone.   Yet the thought of releasing all the stored up resentments, with whom I've become close and friendly, presents itself as scary.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Testing, testing

Always testing.  I get it.  She's growing up, finding her voice and self in the world.  This requires some pushing back, you know, to see where the boundaries really are.  But do we need to draw out that line EVERY DANGED DAY?

There is nothing I am more willing to do and also dread more than consequences.  One time I shocked myself by threatening to take away the chocolate pumpkin we had just bought at Sees.  We spent a good 5 minutes choosing the treat, it was now a prized possession.  So when the threat came out of my mouth, that the squawking in the mall had to stop or else....I was afraid of what I might actually have to do.  She did it no less than three more times, with a very, "I'm doing it anyways" sort of attitude.  Boom- chocolate pumpkin confiscated.  

The following scene wrecked me.  Crying.  Urges that, "Now I'm listening" and, "I'm behaving now" though red, puffy wet eyes.  I explained that I appreciated her behavior now, and that she still wasn't getting the chocolate.  She didn't like that so much.  Following through is the worst/best thing ever.  So completely awful for the instinct to rescue my beloved from her hurt that I created.  I crowded out those thoughts with reassuring ones that this moment and others like it will be why she doesn't behave like a wild dog whose parents have no say.

Tonight and last night's consequences were no books before bed.  Our routine calls for two books before lights out.  This is a big deal.  After making the decision to continue with the unacceptable behavior (tonight it was splashing tons of water out of the bath tub), I laid it out.  

Again, the drama.  Again the insistence that now she was behaving/listening.  Again I wanted to read the books anyways.  But I didn't.

Short term discomfort for long term awesomeness?  I hope so.

Parenting is hard!

Ball smashing

Every day my wee-one asks to do an art project.  Today, a rainy frigid sort of day, was the perfect time for a 'project' that took a bit more effort.  So, upon consulting one of my Pintrest boards, I found it.  We were gonna smash some balls.

Goods required: cotton balls, flour, water and food coloring.  Check, check, check and check.                    
       

 


Basically, you mix equal parts flour and water, add food coloring to your liking and douse a cotton ball in the mixture.  The you bake them at 300 degrees for 45 minutes until they are hard.  Then....you smash them.  Crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle.

It was fun for a minute.  They were kinda hard to smash and I was reminded that I did get this recipe/idea from a site that was promoting ways to keep your boy-child amused.  My girl-child isn't so interested in smashing stuff.

She is interested in other things....

We still smashed all those suckers.  Oh, the destruction, oh the humanity!



Monday, November 5, 2012

Woes of the world

How gross is election time?  Like really, really gross.  So many heavy handed opinions, such fervor and enough fiery passion to drive the masses apart.  I don't think I've heard so many threats to move abroad should one candidate or the other win.  I've heard  heartfelt opinions from both sides about how awful, terrible, horrendous our country will become should one or another win.

It annoys me to no end.  You can't all be right.  We're talking the equivalent to stating a fact one moment and the next person coming along to state that said fact is wrong.  So are there no facts?  No 'good' people? The local election is no exception.

I'm ready for it to be over.  The funny thing is, it's never really over.  The losers will be endlessly blaming the woes of the world on the fact that their guy didn't win.  As if it would have been so wonderfully different if their guy won, as if someone has what it takes to actually make a difference.

In my opinion, the guy who can clear out the crap is never gonna get the chance.  He won't have the resources because he won't be supporting powers that be to continue their charade.  I heard that there are over 100 people running for President.  Why is it that only two of those people are shoved in my face daily?  I know the answer, and that's why we'll stay stuck.

Your guy isn't going to make things "better".  Sorry.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Love and headaches

As my friend Ashley would say, let's bring it in for the real thing.  This era of parenting=the most challenging time of my life. 

I know it sounds dramatic.  And it's the truth.  We're talking about another person's life here.  My actions, reactions and basically any thing I do is a learning moment for my daughter.  This sucks.  Like, a lot.  I'm working on a 50/50 ratio here of  "Ro I can handle" and "Ro I wanna throw out the window".  This computes to: half the time I think I'm a pretty kick-ass mom, half the time my blood pressure is spiked, my head feels like it's going to explode and I'm wrestling with yelling awful things.  Rule #1: don't say things to a toddler that you don't wanna hear back.  Oh, yeah.

I'm also working with a pregnant body/brain.  Who knows if I could pull this off beautifully if not for hormons.  It's not even worth considering because that scenario doesn't exist.  However, now I'm freaked out that my unborn child is getting all kinds of stress hormones and will come out colicky and impossible.  It's a fact- stressed out pregos often pop out babies that are more prone to being stressed.  Time to take up meditation.  For reals.

What I really want...no, need is a day or two to myself.  Last year I went into the mountains, did yoga and ate delicious healthy meals 3x a day (that I didn't make!) for a few days.  It was a struggle for me then, it wouldn't be now. 

Oye. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Woes of two

Have I been pregnant forever?  No?  Only 16 weeks?  Are you certain?

I am 16 weeks pregnant.  I've lost 20 pounds and gained back 4.  I no longer feel wretched in every moment, hence the 4 pound gain.  Hooray!!  My eating habits are still highly suspicious.  My food aversions include almost everything.  At least it seems that way sometimes.  I've given up being vegan for now.  Everything I ate pre-prego gives me the heaves.  The new game plan: be as vegan as my appetite allows.  I've gotta say this is a huge relief.  I still won't be eating meat.  For the most part this has meant allowing for cheese.  Also some baked goodies which almost always means eggs and butter were used.  Have I noticed a difference?  You bet!  Adding dairy back in after 8 months clean has meant gas pains, feeling grossly full and phlegm.  Awesome, right?!

Then there's this other kid.  The "original" O'Hagan family addition.  Did you know that she's 2 years old?  The age of 2 is as glorious as it is stupefying and maddening.  She's undeniably brilliant.  She wants to sign everything, including letters.  She asks thoughtful questions, she's observant in ways that I hadn't considered and is on a quest, it seems, to conquer the world and make it her friend.  I mean really, try and not be this kid's friend.
She also ask questions.  Those questions lead to more questions.  Which opens up another line of questioning.  In my less proud mommy moments I have been heard saying, "OK!  Let's be done now!  I don't know!" while the cauldron of impatience is writhing and seething and verging on a really unbecoming breakdown.
She also has mind numbing mood swings.  We're talking: happily chatting away, traumatizing meltdown, resumes chatting...all within 60 seconds.  Ethan and I just look at each other, a mixture of, "Did that really just happen?" and, "I can't mentally deal with this sort of insanity" emanating from our eyes.
Then there's the testing.  We are no longer newbies at using the 'time-out'.  In some of her more insightful moments she actually chooses a time-out.  Almost like she gets that she can't handle life in that moment and needs to sit just quietly for a moment (did you get that "Ferdinand" reference?).

Parenting is a real treat.  So much joy and so much stress in each day.  The emotional output is intense!   It's no wonder I'm exhausted by 7pm everyday.

It's a trip, man.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Kell, you are not my friend

I'm 12 weeks pregnant.  Still mostly sick.  I had one good week, it was glorious!  Then the puking resumed. Super lame.

I don't cook, my gag reflex is too touchy.  My poor family eats out mostly.  The dishes we do make sit there and sit there and sit there.  My dish doing time is the evening and evenings are the worst.  I just lay there and mentally stave off the up-chuck....unsuccessfully.

Now that you have been updated on my ongoing yuckiness, I really wanted just to get our pregnancy woe out on the floor.  I'm no good at hiding stuff, especially if it is affecting my life.

Ever heard of the Kell antigen?  It's kind of a problem for our baby right now.  The explanation is steeped in genetics-speak, so I'll keep it as simple as I know.  Ethan has the Kell antigen in (well, on) his blood.  Only 9% of people do.  So when I was pregnant with Ro, my body was introduced to it because she has Kell, like her Daddy.  For the record, there is nothing good, bad or indifferent about having it....unless you don't and your baby does.

Since then my body produced antibodies against it, it's like a foreign invader.  So my baby is like a foreign invader.  Not ideal.    This only becomes a problem if my antibody response becomes high.  Right now it's low.

High response means our baby becomes anemic and they would do a blood transfusion in-utero.  There is no risk of losing the baby.  There is no long term effects on the baby either.

Low response means that nothing happens.  I just go on with pregnancy like normal, deliver, etc.

So every month I get a blood test to see where my response is at.  And that's it.  There's nothing else they can do.  No prevention, no shot, no nothing.  Just waiting.

Crazy, right?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Disneyland and some sweat

Oh, Disneyland.

I hadn't been in a LONG time.  Twenty years.  Ugh.  I'm old enough to say that I did something "twenty years ago".  Insert whimper here.

We only had one day and, after taking in advice from those who came before, I had decided that we would take it easy...no matter how much I wanted to see, do, experience.  Turns out this was a great idea.  The whole thing was completely overwhelming for Rosie's two year old mind.  I was verging on overwhelmed myself.  For example, upon entering the park and having Mickey march by us leading a band, I nearly broke down in tears.  I felt pretty silly and did my best to keep some composure.  This happened at least two more times while we were there.  Another time was the start of the parade: the drummers and the joy and the fact that we were in freaking Disneyland.  Well, I'm pregnant too.  I wanted so desperately for Rosanna to feel it.  To be overjoyed and in awe.  Nope.
That there is a look of concern.  It showed up many times during our Disney day.  

"You wanna go meet Mickey?!".  Concern.

"Time to get in the ship to ride Peter Pan!"  Concern.

Headed into the Small World tunnel.  Concern.

Small World was a hit, by the way.  Peter Pan....not so much.  Winnie the Pooh?  Winner!  Dumbo?  Winner!  So much to see, do, eat.  We probably saw a third of the park.  Maybe.  I was super impressed with the staff.  They were unabashedly committed to our experience.  Every one of them referred to Rosanna as "Princess".  Nice touch.  Every one of them kept up the joy for the entire day.  It was pretty unreal.  

I'd love to recount every glorious step we took and every moment where I felt like a giddy little kid, but that would only be interesting to me....let's round it up by saying we stayed until 11:30pm then crashed in a fulfilled heap for many many hours.
The whole purpose of our trip was to run a half marathon.  The Disneyland Half Marathon, specifically.  Half marathons are 13.1 miles.  A challenging distance, to be sure, but not as crazy as a full marathon.  

So my mom and I woke up in the four o'clock hour to make it to Downtown Disney for a 5:45am start time. Ugh.  So dark.  SO MANY people.  17,000.  Can you believe it?  Insanity.  The first few miles of the race went through California Adventure and then Disneyland.  There were characters, ready to embrace our sweaty bodies for a photo op.  It was massively cool.  Captain Hook, Princesses, Army Men (Toy Story), Darth Vader, so many!  
We took a few photos, but some of the lines for a photo op were a bit too long.  The rest of the run was through ugly Anaheim, it's only redeeming moment was running through Angels Stadium.  
Being a pregnant lady, I hadn't trained in awhile.  Not eating+puking+zero energy=no training.  I lowered my expectations, told myself I wasn't going to push it.  I'd do what I could, I wasn't running for time.  It turns out I'm pretty rad.  I finished!  Honestly, without my Mom it wouldn't have happened.  I ran with her the whole time, we stopped only for the bathroom, character photos and water stations.  How completely awesome are we?  Had I been solo, I'm certain my negative mind-chatter would've won out and I'd have caught a ride to finish line.  
Crossing a finish line after an intense run is one of the cooler things I've done.  It's so rewarding to have completed an awesome feat, to know you beat out all the aches and negative thoughts and just made it happen.  

I highly recommend it!



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lament

This part of the process is the worst.

"We did do this on purpose" I tell myself.  Repeatedly.  I think it would be less awful if I didn't have to entertain a two year old.  I feel guilty that I want all of our play time to be couch-centric, that way I can be either sitting or lying down.  I'm pretty good at coloring from the couch, block building and ball rolling are good ones too.  A two year old wants to frolic, however, and that is most definitely not a possibility.  I hear myself saying, "I can't", or "Go ahead and do it on your own" and I get a little sick inside.  How can I possibly explain it to her?  The blessed thing hasn't even complained that I'm dud lately.  She even asks if I feel sick.

Then there's the cat who can't get enough of me.  Walking across my tender chest in an effort to breathe in my same air, because curling at my hip just isn't close enough.  For a girl who's in a scent-sensitive state, cat breath ain't always what I want coating my nostrils.  I toss my beloved fur ball from my space over and over and over again.  She's the epitome of cool, calm persistence.  Unfazed.  Still purring like I've invited her to become a part of me forever and she couldn't be happier.

Rosanna's elbows are becoming an issue too.  Why are they so pokey?  Why are they always in my uterus?  In a boob?  The kid has no sense of her impact on other's bodies with her own.

Lastly, all my hair is falling out.  It's extraordinary, really.  Gobs of hair each time I shower or brush it.  I remember reading that exactly the opposite is supposed to be happening right now.  Not cool, body.  I also used to be able to wash my hair every-other day and not look like a hobo, now I'm sporting vagrant quality greasiness within hours.  Ugh.  My body odor is changing too.  Time to increase the power level on my deodorant.

That might be the end of my list of complaints.  Oh, wait.  I forgot the dishes that stay in the sink for days and the bathroom that desperately needs to be cleaned.  I'm over having my face in the toilet and ready to re-establish my old habits as a buns-only zone.

Phew.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"A whisper"

I was paying for my items.  One container of Annie's organic bunny shaped gummies and one container of ginger chews (I'll try anything to soothe the nausea).  I get my receipt, gather the items and Ro is asking me to come down, she needs something.
I'm feeling a bit flustered, I'd refused a bag because I didn't need one, I'm trying to get myself out of the way and now my kid needs me to get on the floor to tell me something.  I think with raised hormone levels comes a lessened ability to deal with regular life stuff.  So I ask her what she wants.
"Come down so I can tell you a whisper."
Ah.  Interesting.  I'm game.  So I kneel down and she aligns her face right up next to mine and whispers, "Guess what?  I love you!"
Oh, dang.  Now if that isn't a heart stopper.  She pulls back and looks at me, beaming and waiting.  I often play that game with her: Guess what?  I love you!  This is the first time she's taken the lead.
I pull her to me and smooch on her soft, squishy cheek.  I tell her I love her too.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

I want

When I start to tell my man what sort of birth I want, he gets a bit eye rolly.  I see him shut down a bit and start to dismiss the conversation I haven't even begun to have.  I think he thinks I am swayed by the recent popularity of home births among our friends.  He's right.

I never wanted a home birth.  In fact, I am not sure that I do even now.  I would like to feel less alone, however.  While laboring with Rosanna, I moaned and winced through the wee morning hours.  Nurses would come in occasionally to gawk at the monitor, "So you're the one with the wild baby".  I guess they had been watching my monitor in their area outside of my room, sharing with each other how active my kid was.  Ethan slept (attempted to sleep?).  I felt resentment.  I was doing an extraordinary amount of work, sleeping through wrenching contractions was hardly an option.  It's not as if there was anything he could do.  We could both be exhausted, or one of us could sleep.

And so a big part of my memories from that night are lonely.  And painful.  I really want someone there who has a greater understanding of how to support me.  My husband was likely mortified at my pain, at the prospect of the job ahead.  A mid-wife or doula is what I want.  A woman who can work with my body and guide me through the intensity.  The nurses were useless in this aspect.  To them I was going through the normal process of laboring (which I was), and when it was time to push- that's when it got important.  Until then, I was left to writhe around on my own.

I'm looking for someone to mother me through the experience.  To talk sweetly to me and encourage me while also guiding me forward.  I want this person to know the birthing process as a perfect and awesome experience, not one to be dulled, feared and managed.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family and a fetus

I really love family reunion time.  It's become even more special since Rosanna is our daughter.  I love sharing our wee-one, showing her off and watching her light up other people's lives like she does ours.  I may as well have birthed a beam of light (although it felt like more).

Family reunion time means seeing people I haven't seen in two years and being with them as if no time had passed.  This year it also meant setting my Rosie free into the wilds of cousin-land to tumble and romp through the grass, throw water balloons, crash legos and play hide-and-seek under a dark sky in the front yard.  This moment of 'letting go' could have been more traumatic for me, but the awesomeness of my family prevailed.  The other kiddos are much older than her, old enough that making space for a two year old during rough play (lots of boys) might have been annoying.  But they were amazing.  They slowed to show her the art of filling water balloons, they stood close enough to let her hit them with one, they were fabulous examples of kindness and love.  I was so touched.

It was perfect and tough to see my grandpa.  He is getting frailer each time I see him and it becomes more difficult to be in a conversation as he slows.  I do my best to avoid thinking of what the end game is.  I overhear my grandma talking about how she can't imagine what that will be like, how utterly incomprehensible it is.  I am so thankful each time I get to hug on him.

After our family beach day, when we were all home, showered and admiring each other's sunburns, I made a discovery that's been a month in the making (we work fast): I'm pregnant.  We told my aunt, uncle and cousin first since that's how it went down last time.  Silly tradition, and it was neat to be with them the day we found out again.  Then we, of course, told everyone else.

This was a momentary stall, however.  We are a bit spooked in the department of getting excited, last time was such a let down.  However, if something goes awry and we didn't tell anyone, then we'd be suffering alone.  I'm not good at hiding.  People can get a pretty good read on me just to look at my face.  And who wants to suffer alone?  So now you know.  We're not expecting the worst, and we're quiet in our happiness.

On a related note- I couldn't be more thankful that the last pregnancy didn't work out.  I'd have an infant right now, and I think that would be a bit too overwhelming.  Rosanna still is needy enough to deserve all of me.  When she's three (when this baby is due) I imagine she'll have pushed away even more and the spacing will be perfect.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Giving - it's addictive

Last night, after swim lessons, after the "Best of the Best" soiree (Old Town Pizza, we're #1!), after we all showed up at home a wee bit pooped from the heat, we decided to go out again.

It started with an urge to help.  The fire that is raging not far from us has transformed our town into a fire-truck town.  They are everywhere.  The fairgrounds is a staging area and looks like a small town itself.  Giant tents set up, emergency folk everywhere, generators, semis.  It's pretty incredible.

So here we are, contemplating our move.  My thought: go get some bread, peanut butter and jelly and hand out sandwiches to evacuees (which we would learn later would have never worked since the Red Cross won't accept it if we made it in our home).  Ethan, brilliant man that he is, suggested pizza.  And so it was.

We brought 15 pizzas to the firetruck staging area and gave them to a man who was a lot grateful and a bit overwhelmed.  They had just received a bunch of watermelons, he told us.  Apparently there is no shortage of generosity, well done community!

Next we made the trek out to Foresthill.  We found the Red Cross evacuee station and were met with smiles and plenty of thanks.  One woman was in awe that we had driven that far (it's about 30 minutes).  Others just looked in shock.  This location was a more sobering experience, watching people's faces all twisted in worry.  An older couple walked past us with blankets in hand to set up their cots in the sleeping room.  It all became very real.

Our drive back, past countless firetrucks, was an introspective one. There was a time when we had so much stuff that a request to get out with what we could fit into a car would have created a panic.  What would we save?  Ethan and I both agreed that our life is no longer so overrun with "stuff" and our list of must-haves is a short one.  I suppose talking about it and actually doing it are two very, very different things.
(don't ask me why this next section is in white..I don't know)
Arrive at today!  Rosanna and I brought cookie and bread plates to two fire stations.  First we went to Ophir.  What an amazingly friendly and grateful group of men!  They were working on their new truck when we arrived and they couldn't believe what we were up to.  I thanked them for taking on the job of 'fireman' and we were ushered in, out of the sun.  They urged us to sit in their new truck (they were quite proud), they took pictures of us and sent us off with a pencil, ruler, coloring book, erasure, sharpener and sticker badge.  They thanked us over and over, apologized for their sweatiness and made us feel like we made their day.  It was awesome.  We also brought a plate to the fire station up the street from the restaurant.  It was a fulfilling day.
My wee-one, driving the big new truck

 She REALLY didn't want to stand with the strange sweaty man, but I made her

 Momma's gotta see the inside too

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Swim lessons....solo

OMG you guys.  OMG.

A few weeks ago we signed up for "Parent/Tot" swim lessons.  We receive a gift of two sessions of swim lessons for Ro at christmas, and this was the applicable class.

The first session has come and gone.  It was ok.  Lots of singing, coddling, splashing and playing with toys.  It was perfect, for what it was.
I was left wanting, however.  So when we started this session in the parent/tot class again, I took action.  The next level is for 3-5 year olds (not 2 year olds), so my inquiry into moving her up a class was met with apprehension.  We agreed that if she went to the teacher for class (i.e. didn't throw a fit and  freak out because Mommy and Daddy weren't there) then that was it: she would be allowed to stay.  Otherwise, it was back down into baby-land for us.

People.  If you know my Ro, you know she had no problem heading off into the water without us.  She didn't even look for us until the half-hour lesson was minutes from being over.  After I handed over my beloved into the hands of people who I've never spoken to in my life, we made ourselves scarce behind a fence- close enough to watch, far enough to be out of sight.

Let me tell you- when I sat down upon the cement step and turned to see how my baby was doing in her first moments of un-parented swim lessons, she was perfect.  It was as if she'd been doing it all along.  No problem.  My Mommy heart got tight, my eyes burned and clear fluid pooled in my eyelids.  Oh, man.

She did AMAZING.  She jumped in with no quibbling (she quibbles with me, one reason I thought to move her up), she practiced floating on her back and front.  They kicked and scooped.  She and another little boy had to be separated because they were more interested in shenanigans than paying attention.  This made E and I giggle.

It was amazing.  I am SO stink'in proud.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

The List


I've been seeing these awesome lists in the blogging world.  Sort of like a bucket list, I see them as "get off your butt and do something" lists.  They make a person get up and get themselves out of their comfort zone, and that can only be a useful thing.  

Inspired, I stole from a bunch of lists and made my own collection.  It's a mish-mash of being in service and fulfilling some festering crafty-type needs.  I'm pretty proud of it.  For a few of the items I'm going to be reaching out and requesting your support, but I'll let you in on that later.  

So I think I'll give myself two months to obliterate this bad boy (possibly with the exception of the art-show and book).  I'll blog about each one as it gets crossed off "The List".  GAME ON!

  1. Publish a magazine
  2. Sell my art at a street fair-style event
  3. Begin my volunteer journey (The Animal Place and Wild Things)
  4. Sew my daughter a dress 
  5. Throw a themed party
  6. Run a half marathon in 3 hours or less (Disneyland, in September!)
  7. Leave a note for a stranger
  8. Submit a piece of writing for publication
  9. Bake a tray of goodies for the local fire department
  10. Make cards for a local nursing home
  11. Purge T.V. for a week
  12. Write thank-you notes to people who serve me: postman, garbage guy, etc.
  13. Give all our old shoes to "Reuse-a-Shoe"
  14. Visit the NICU with treats for the doctors and tired/anxious parents
  15. Write/collect 100 letters for military service people and send them off: http://www.amillionthanks.org/
  16. Smile at everyone all day- write about it
  17. Make a no-sew fleece blanket
  18. Leave presents anonymously on 10 doorsteps (flowers, notes, artwork, etc.)
  19. Put up 10 "Take What You Need" signs
  20. Write a toddler friendly vegan kids book (there seem to only be older-kid books with too much sadness in them)
And here's a little sweetness to round it out:




Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day of Awe

Today left me in awe.

Let's start out at the farmer's market.  Saturday mornings always do.
I could hyperventilate- there's so much good stuff.  Cherries are overflowing from baskets, there's deep red and light yellow with a kiss of red.  There are peaches and nectarines in piles on table tops, Ro is anxiously touching them all because she recently discovered how good they are.  I bought golden beets and red beets, carrots and thai basil.  I loaded up on brilliant red strawberries and got a bag full of mushrooms as well.  That's not all: broccoli, garlic naan and some indian eggplant spread, squash and a few flowers made it back into my house as well.
Oh man, that's a happy fridge!

Then my wee-one and I headed out to a wedding.  Upon arriving we were overwhelmed with crowds, it turns out the wedding was taking place in the midst of the Western States 100 Mile Run.  At that point the runners had already been running for eighty miles.  EIGHTY MILES!!!  Holy crap.  These people were cruising along at a faster pace than if I were running my standard 3.3 mile loop, show offs.  I mean really, this is an incredible feat!  I can't even wrap my brain around it.  Just amazing.

Fast forward to the wedding: my daughter is running around with the other little ones, waiting for the ceremony to begin.  She approaches a girl who is smaller than her, bends to be face-to-face, puts each of her hands on the girls shoulders gently, barely, and says in a most loving soft voice, "What's your name?".  I could have cried.  Who is this kind, gentle child?  How she come to be under my care?  What did I do to deserve this toddler who is so amazing?  She completely blows me away every day.  I was stunned to see her stop running like a wild banshee and take a soft moment to include this other little girl.  I was SO very proud.  I wanted to get everyone's attention and point it out, to show them this little beam of bright, awesome light.  Gosh, dang it I just couldn't be more in love with her.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Sweet summer sunshine

Life is so exciting in the summer!  Outdoor activities are available around the clock and that means less possibility for screen time- yay!

We're stocking up on vitamin D lately by getting our swim lessons on,

taking weekly hikes with friends, 

losing the poundage by running (sorry, no picture of my sweaty awesomeness), attending festivals, 

playing with cousins, 

and other general liveliness. 

I know summer's only just begun, but I'm really digging it.  We've finished one round of swim lessons, the outdoor family movie nights have started back up (so far: Lion King and Cars), I'm actively training for a half marathon at Disneyland (in September) and my friend Alice and I get together weekly with our girls (they are 3 months apart in age) to hike and wander the wilderness.  Not to mention the weekly farmer's market on Saturday mornings where we get a Grandma Debi fix and where the past few weeks have been gearing up for an outrageously delicious fruit season.  I cannot wait to see what's available tomorrow morning!  

On another note, who replaced my kiddo with a 5 year old?  She's been saying the craziest things lately.  Some cute and some disturbing.  Like today when she told me to "shut up", like it was no big deal.  I can assure you that this language is not used in our house, and yet here it is, smacking me in the face as it flies out of her precious little mouth.  

Last week she told me matter-of-factly that she is pregnant.  

Yesterday, in the tub, she asked, "What's this?".  I told her, "It's where you go pee-pee from".  She asked Ethan, "Daddy do you have one like this?".  And then she asked me.  Oh, man- that came out of left field.  Who knew body-parts talk came at age two?  Not me.  Although, I don't really know when I expected it.

Lately, when E and I are using a "tone" with each other she is a firm request that we, "be nice to each other" and then follows it up with a, "Mommy, talk to Daddy".  Well played kid, well played.

She's nearly got the "Hakuna Mata" song down, it's really the only part of The Lion King that stuck in her brain (thankfully; you ever notice how dark that movie is?) and it's available to watch on youtube so....that's what we do.  I bet you can imagine how stinkin' cute it is to hear a toddler voice say, "It's a problem free, philosophy".  Yeah, it's cute.

She's obsessed with helping in the (tiniest) kitchen and I love it.  Most of the time.  

Yay summer!




Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Artist?

I got to hang with an old friend (an oldie, but a goodie) for a bit yesterday.  He came by to purchase a piece of my art and it just so happened to be lunch time, so he stayed and chatted.

It was through chatting that I got a bit closer to the heart of why I'm so uncomfortable putting a price tag on my work.  Or even calling the paintings I do, "my work" for that matter.

We all identify with certain labels in our life.  I, for example, call myself a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, cook, vegan, runner, hiker, writer, reader...I think you get the idea.  I feel like I can own those labels, rock them, if you will.

I see a person who sells their art and has their art on display as an artist.  Up until a week ago I did neither of those things.  So clearly, I wasn't an artist.  I kept my creations in the high shelf of my closet, not entirely sure why I was amassing them but sure that I wanted to continue making yet another.  A few weeks ago I was pretty proud of a painting I had done, I posted it on facebook (eek!) and the compliments came rolling in.  Not only that, but talk of selling the dang thing were swirling and I was a bit in shock.

Imaginary conversations like, "Oh, no-no-no-no-no.  You don't understand, I not an artist" where the person would reply, "Oh, I see.  Thank you for telling me!  I'll be on my way" would happen and I'd be relieved that I hadn't perpetrated a fraud on some poor confused soul.

As a result of my conversation yesterday, I realized that it's not up to me what art is to someone else.  Nothing special has to happen to a person for them to be an artist.  The space I put up between myself and "artists" is just that- an empty, meaningless (except I gave it meaning) space.

Consider that space gone.

Artists don't get dressed up to go to work....do they?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kerblooey

Ever feel like your head is gonna explode because your kid has asked you the same question seven times in one minute even though you've answered her each time in a different way (just in case there was something about the previous way that she didn't get), and she is still asking with a sweet, innocent, honest little face?

That's me.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Up, up and away

Today I sent off two pieces of art work, and I'm receiving money for them!  This is a super exciting prospect for me, what if I could do this on the regular?

One of the pieces came together at a friend's kitchen table during one of our weekly crafty-time get togethers.  I never considered I would be offered cash for it.  I'm pretty honored and, well, flabbergasted really.

I have a complex where I see how much awesomer everyone else's art is and therefore that makes mine worthless.  It's obviously not true, and that's a really neat possibility for me.  Here are the pieces I sold, it was sorta weird to send them away from me, knowing I'd never see them again.  But I'm resolved that most of the money I can make selling art will go into Rosie's college fund and our retirement, so the sting is lessened.




Monday, May 28, 2012

E's turn for the grill....

Here's the man.  And his answers.
  1. What was your first impression of me?  I’m not counting the 17yr old you, when we met Mason’s crazy cousin with the light-up wheels and shitty driving.  NYE party: whoa, cute chick and she brought me cookies! Score. Then I got demolished and hit on someone else.  3rd impression: cute mellow chick is still talking to me after last week’s party! Wonder why?
  2. How accurate was your impression?  Cute and mellow and still makes me cookies, and still wonder why she’s into me… pretty spot on.
  3. What is your idea of a truly romantic evening?  Your Hawaii beach scene totally works.  So do candles and wine and flowers.
  4. If I promise not to get upset, can you tell me something you'd like to change in me but don't have the nerve to say?  Wish you came from lots of money.  I’d love if you could teach me to be mellow and grounded.  As far as changing you, I look forward to seeing you drop 20lbs again.  The recent FB pic of us is so hot.
  5. If you weren't in the profession you are, what's your dream profession and why?  Always wanted to be an architect.  Last week’s Leadership Auburn intensive at the art gallery had me remember drafting and how fun it was.  Seeing something I designed built, going from my head to really existing, and people in it, would have been amazing.
  6. Name three qualities that attracted you to me when you were getting to know me.   Grounded – not addicted to makeup, or labels, or expensive shit.  Adorable giggle and smile and sporatic snorts. Liked to make out in cars.
  7. Where is your dream destination and why?  Maui.  It’s like Monterey except more awesome, cleaner, better weather, never hella hot like here.  I’ve always missed living by the ocean.
  8. What's your favorite movie of all time and favorite scene in it?  Joe Dirt, when the dog freezes his nuts to the porch.  Only because it’s the scene I remember quoting the most, word for word, until you told me to shut up. 
  9. Which fruit/vegetable do you think I resemble and why?  Kiwi.  Soft and kind of furry, not flashy on the outside, awesomely sweet inside.
  10. Can you remember your earliest childhood memory of happiness/fear? Happy: reading my birthday cards on my 4th and wowing everyone. Fear: sleeping in the back bedroom in SLO after hearing the news report of whatever famous burglar was running amok in CA in the 80s.
  11. Your favorite uncle/aunt/cousin and why:  Jeremy’s always been mellow and grounded and never tried to impress or be tougher or bigger or better than me. Felt closest to him since I can remember.  Proud of him for buying his first house, cried with him when he lost it, love getting his random mellow texts about kidraising and look forward to seeing him hopefully move back up here.
  12. What qualities draw you to people to base friendship on?  Being transparent vs a bullshitter.  Integrity, sarcasm, jokes and laughter.  Liking beer!
  13. Can you give me a mock session of how you'd discuss sex-ed with a child?  Shit. I think I’ll have you handle it, as I just got anxiety thinking about it for 5 seconds.  I’m so freaked about Ro discovering stupid boys.
  14. Your first crush: what drew you to her?  Christina Pinzon.  Liked her cute face and brown hair and her toothy smile, and she talked to me using normal words and not like I had cooties (3rd grade?)
  15. Your first date, where'd you go and how long did it last?  Kim took me out, she drove a beater … bmw I think. We did dinner and made out by the beach.  I am so old I have no idea how that relationship started.
  16. How did you cope with break-ups in the past?  Not well?  Still have the H I carved in my hand when Hannah and I fell apart.  Noticed eventually I was a serial monogamist and could NOT be by myself for any length of time.  Longest stretch I did since turning 15 was the year before we met.  Not that I’d be ok if dumped again.
  17. What's the best decision you ever made?  Taking the money I’d gotten from getting rear-ended on Hwy 65 and buying a plane ticket to Italy to see you.  Don’t think I would’ve kept it together for 3mos after dating 3weeks otherwise.
  18. What decision do you regret the most?  Have to pass on this one. 
  19. Proudest moment?  Introducing our new Rosanna to Adam/Mason/Russ/Glenn & Gwen.
  20. You've won the lottery: name 3 things you'd do, 5 things you'd buy, go!  Trip around the world, pay Reese & Tammy back for our wedding, take Mel back to Italy.  Buy: OTP’s building and parking lot to make it awesome, Audi R8s for everyone I know, the house from the movie Hostage, a house on property in Italy, 1224 Buena Vista in Pacific Grove where I grew up.
  21. House is on fire and you can only grab 5 things:  Mel, Ro, Jazz, my phone, our wedding album.
  22. Who would you like to be born again as?  Rosanna’s great-grandson, to see how 2150 is.
  23. An argument your parents had, that you'd like to avoid with your partner is: ??
  24. The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you was: Hit in the head with a rock on the field, 6th grade.  Or blew that bottle of red wine all in my face and eyes and on my white shirt, sometime last year at OTP.
  25. Who are you closer to, Mom or Dad?  Growing up, mom.  Now that I feel all old and achy and tired and grumpy and realizing how similar we are, dad.
  26. Favorite song/lyrics: Nelly – Country Grammar.  Takes me back to summertime about age 19, not a care in the world.  Late night cruises to hit on chicks with Erik, cheap gas, no responsibilities.
  27. Quick, a magic genie is giving you three wishes:  make me always present, bring me comfort in silence, allow me to die before my kids.
  28. What most upsets you in a relationship?  Staleness, separation, sleeping clothed.
  29. What makes you the most happy?  Coming home from work, waking up from nap, having my girls around me.
  30. What is your perception of how people see you? Unreadable, mellow, grey hairs, loving boss, great hubby.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Interview me, baby

I completely stole this from another blogger because I completely love her blog and this is a cool idea.  A little back story: Ethan and I 'found each other' almost 10 years ago and were married over 5 years ago.  We had a child two years ago....

This is from the perspective as Ethan being the interviewer (stay tuned for flip side of that coin).
  1. What was your first impression of me?  Popular guy, way out of my league and so, so dreamy.
  2. How accurate was your impression?  You're still outta my league in some ways (I think that makes us a good team though) and I was right about the "so, so dreamy" part.
  3. What is your idea of a truly romantic evening?  We'd go to a restaurant where we could order anything off the menu, then we'd take a walk down the beach ('cause we're in Hawai'i) and sit and talk about our lives at the edge of the dark ocean, wiggling our toes deeper into the sand.  Then we'd make out.
  4. If I promise not to get upset, can you tell me something you'd like to change in me but don't have the nerve to say?  Hmm. I'm not sure there is something that I haven't told you...maybe...nope, you already know.
  5. If you weren't in the profession you are, what's your dream profession and why?  I think I'd either be an artist or a caregiver for wild animals who can't be released into the wild.  I love to create and having a blank canvas is so exciting!  I also loved working for Wild Things when I did, it was fulfilling and challenging and I was always learning.  I was pretty cool too.
  6. Name three qualities that attracted you to me when you were getting to know me.   Your smile was (is) outrageous, you cared deeply about other people, we did spontaneous things and felt like grown ups for it.
  7. Where is your dream destination and why?  Not to be generic, but Hawai'i speaks to me.  I love the smell of the air and sound of rustling palm trees.  I love how sunsets don't seem like the end of the day, just another part of it.  I love how accessible and diverse the ocean is, then the beaches, then the foothills and then the mountain tops.  I love the mystery and presence of the stories.  I love the smell of the plumeria, intense and pervasive. I wanna go now, please?
  8. What's your favorite movie of all time and favorite scene in it?  Juno - when she is getting an ultrasound with her step-mom and friend, and the ultra sound tech gets a little mouthy and the step-mom gives her and earful.  
  9. Which fruit/vegetable do you think I resemble and why?  A mango.  It's hard to tell when they are ripe with out squeezing them a bit, like you- you wear a muted face and I have to probe to get your weather forecast.  Also, they are hard to get a lot of fruit off of because they are complicated and interesting inside.  You're forever surprising me and keeping me on my toes.
  10. Can you remember your earliest childhood memory of happiness/fear?  Fear: my dad wanting to drive me around the block on his motorcycle.  Happiness: getting Finny as a kitten.
  11. Your favorite uncle/aunt/cousin and why:  This one is designed to get me in trouble...probably my Uncle Kent.  He always went out of his way to interact with me as a kid: terrorizing me with Fred (my teddy), T.P.ing houses, scaring us at night with scary movies on (turning off the breaker to freak us out) and also taking quiet time to chat with me about my life.  
  12. What qualities draw you to people to base friendship on?  I think if a person can drop their act and be real with me, that's a big deal.  Like: have fun and be wild without worrying what I'll think, and also be willing to share honestly and not just the glamorous stuff.
  13. Can you give me a mock session of how you'd discuss sex-ed with a child?  I'm gonna take my Aunt Cindy's advice and be completely honest from the get go, and I'm gonna add to every sentence, "When you get married....".  Let's not forget the golden part of her rule: only answer the question they ask.
  14. Your first crush: why drew you to him?  His name was Adam.  He was older and popular.  He had blonde hair and played basketball.  He was taller than me (gasp!).  A few girls found out I liked him and confronted me about it and I practically hyperventilated while denying the whole thing.  My mom invented a code name for Adam at home so we could talk about him in front of my little brother without the squirt possibly embarrassing me.  "Sergio".
  15. Your first date, where'd you go and how long did it last?  My first date was when I was a Sophomore (so, 16 years old) and he was a Senior (oh-la-la) at another school.  My friend insisted on setting us up on a blind date.  So she, her boyfriend, this guy (Andrew) and I had a double (and blind) date at Sizzler.  The relationship lasted for a year.
  16. How did you cope with break-ups in the past?  I didn't.  I was the break-upper and was not into the relationship enough to care, so the break-ups never affected me much...other than to make me feel freer.
  17. What's the best decision you ever made?  The best (and hardest) decision I ever made was pre-screening my boyfriends to see if they were going to let me be a stay-at-home mom.  The hardest was with you, because I really liked you and I knew if you said, "no" then it was over.
  18. What decision do you regret the most?  Hmm, this is hard for me because I feel like even the crappy decisions have resulted in me being here, in this life I have now (which I LOVE).  How about....not taking school more seriously.  
  19. Proudest moment?  Creating life.
  20. You've won the lottery: name 3 things you'd do, 5 things you'd buy, go!  I'd create a giant family reunion and fly everyone to a tropical location, the whole thing'd be on me.  I'd get my teeth fixed.  I'd throw money at savings and college for my kiddo.  I'd buy: the pink slip for the van, the pink slip for the BMW, a house, health insurance and a kitchen table.
  21. House is on fire and you can only grab 5 things:  Rosanna, Ethan, Jazzy Belle, wedding ring and my glasses.
  22. Who would you like to be born again as?  A well loved cat.
  23. An argument your parents had, that you'd like to avoid with your partner is: the one that can't be resolved.
  24. The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you was: I honestly don't know.  I think I've let all that crap go.
  25. Who are you closer to, Mom or Dad?  My mom, she's been my primary parent forever.  If my Dad had chosen to be closer, then it might be both of them because my Dad relates to me in ways my Mom doesn't (and vice-versa).
  26. Favorite song/lyrics: Probably "Lie In Our Graves" by Dave Matthews Band.  It is wildly fulfilling to my soul.  It's magical.  The instrumental in the middle makes me happy. 
  27. Quick, a magic genie is giving you three wishes: to always be content in the moment I find myself in, be a compassionate wife/mother, to love healthy choices.
  28. What most upsets you in a relationship?  When things don't go the way I think they should.  I'm a controller.
  29. What makes you the most happy?  When we both agree on a path or a choice for our lives and we are both excited about it.
  30. What is your perception of how people see you?  Quiet, opinionated, unapproachable. 
Up next....Ethan's answers!  If he'll let me :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My kid, the coolest

I have trouble bragging about myself.  I am told when someone compliments me, that my correct response should be, "Thank you", instead of ramblings to discount the validity of their gesture.  It's a habit I work on daily: accepting acknowledgement.  This is one of the reasons I decided to post my art on facebook, it puts me "out there" in a small way and people say they like it...and I say, "Thank you".

My kid, however, is a shameless beam of pride, bursting and radiating from my heart like a beacon beckoning people to come and bath in her awesomeness.  MY KID IS FREAKING AWESOME.

Take, for example, the instance of a fellow toddler shoving my beloved out of said toddler's space and screaming at her.  My mama-bear ferociousness level skyrocketed and before I could do something I'd certainly be jailed for, my Ro stood up and walked briskly to me with a look of disbelief and hurt on her sweet baby face.
We had a quick chat about how people aren't always nice, I confirmed that she was ok, and off she went- no worse for the experience.

What about the time an older boy tackled her in the library (he was playing?), sending her careening into a giant stuffed horse?  She promptly stood up, turned to him and said, "Don't do that again" and walked away.  I backed her up with a triumphant, "Yeah!  What she said!" and followed her lead.  Well, not really.  But people!!  My kid didn't come bawling to me, sobbing out a story of being wronged!  No!  She handled it and moved on!  PROUD MOMMA MOMENT!

It's impossible for me to convey to you through this mediocre medium how fully awed and in love I am.


Friday, May 18, 2012

The Boonville Invasion of 2012

Years ago I went to my first beerfest.  A few hours of unlimited tasting from 50+ breweries (Bud and Coors need not apply) was perfect for me, a girl with discerning taste buds.  I wasn't going to slug down just any hoppy brew, I was what you might call, "picky".  Aka- not a beer drinker.  I loved it because I could taste a plethora of bubbly creations with out committing my  $8 to a six pack.

Things haven't changed much.

Boonville's Beerfest has become the event of the year for me.  Granted, other things happen that are exciting through out a year, but none that I can count on with unwavering certainty to provide me with a soulful, stumbling, hippie-esque experience.

It combines three things I love: camping, friends and dirty feet (included in camping?).  I adore camping among hundreds of other Beerfesters, all gathered in a valley with looming, heavy trees sprinkled about.  I get a kick out of the wanderers who, out of the darkness, sidle up next to our fire to drop a few friendly, slurred lines.

This year's highlight for me was post-fest, sweaty and exhausted (beer+sun for 5 hours, go figure), when we made our way down to the creek.  In it's own micro-climate, a few feet below the level of camp, enshrouded in a protective tunnel of trees, the creek flows.  Voices echoed from inside the tunnel, where it was shady, cool and oh-so lovely.  I waded for a bit, with my long, cotton skirt tied in a knot above my knees.  Then I gave in.  I had no phone, no wallet, nothing on me to complicate my decision.  PLOP!  I sat down.  It was the most divine decision I made all weekend.  

Sitting there, watching the people around me: perched on the shoreline with feet dangling, laid back into the creek bed with only faces peeking above the surface, giggling and chattering, I felt perfect.  I felt like I belonged.  I could chat with everyone of them and we would skip the "you're a stranger, so I need to be awkward with you" stage and go head first into "old friends" territory.  It was a bit surreal, almost like a Shakespeare play with fairies and nymphs gathered in a safe place to be free and playful.  It's the way we want to always be, but aren't willing to let go.

One night we danced and sang with the marching band who played Cee-Lo Green and Adele.  Everyone with beer in hand, decked out in their pajamas and letting loose under the glow of strung up Christmas lights and electric lanterns.  My friend and I even made an imaginary band with two other campers- one of us playing a blade of grass, the armpit, the rim of a glass and...I don't remember the forth thing.  

Good times people, good times.

Monday, May 7, 2012

They call me Bunny. Easter Bunny.

I promised a post about the Easter bunny...I forgot.  Here 'tis:
I was the Easter bunny.  Me.  There I am.
That's my kid, not afraid of me at all because she was there when I tried on the outfit.  She thought it was pretty cool.  My job as the E.B. was to wander around Old Town and hand out suckers to kids and take pictures.  Lemme just tell you, it was pretty fun!  Despite the drop of sweat that hung from the tip of my nose for an hour, despite that I could only see the top third of adult's bodies and, therefore, not the kids at all, it was fun.  Parents were eager to have their children stand near me, a freakishly gigantic rabbit, to take a photo.  Weird thing: as a person with a bunny head on, smiling is not required in photos (although this is a very tough habit to break). Here's my kid running up to me saying loudly, "Are you in there Momma?!"
Now she thinks I am in every large animal costume.  We saw a photo of the guys with the Coca Cola bear and she said, "Is that you Momma?".  Hm.  At least my greatest fear (having my kid be terrified of me) was a non-issue.  And who knows, maybe I'll step up and volunteer next year too?

Friday, April 20, 2012

It Happened!!!!!!!!!

Just after bath time, after hair brushing and teeth polishing......

......she says to me, "Momma, I wanna go potty".  I'm thinking, sure you do, this potty thing has become a novelty instead of a waste receptacle.  But I put her on it anyways and give her the "Once Upon a Potty" book to peruse for inspiration.

"Momma I peepeed."

Doesn't necessarily mean anything.

"Ok."

Then I look over at her, she's peering down into the potty...at a small yellow puddle.

"AH!  Omigosh!  You peepeed in the toilet!  That's so awesome!  Do you see it?  You did it!!!"  And so on for about 5 minutes.  She didn't forget the promise of a chocolate chip upon completing such a task.  So of course she got one, post teeth brushing and all.

I haven't been so excited or thrilled about something in a long, long time.  My heart is beating faster, I wanted to (and did) dance around and throw her a party.  It was awesome!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Don't be mad Mommy"

Ohmigawd.  I'm having a conflicted parenting moment.

After laying down for a good twenty minutes, my kid is heard lurking in the doorway.  I say, "Are you ok Rosanna?", to which she replies, "Don't be mad at me Mommy".

WHAT?!

Pros: The kid is forming complete and logical sentences and is willing to be a request for what she wants.
Cons: She assumes I'm going to be mad at her.

For the record, it is only upon her second, third and fourth attempts to free herself from bedtime when I become stern.  Not an ounce of mad, mind you- but stern and unyielding.  Her response to my increasing sternness is melt-down.  It's a voice and attitude that I rarely take with her and I think it shocks her a bit.

It makes me sad that she wants to avoid me being mad at her....then again, she is two and her interpretation of the word "mad" and mine are vastly different.  As you can see I have attached negative connotations to it, which is something I'd like for her to avoid and instead accept that she and I can be "mad" and it's ok, it's not something to actively avoid.  It's just normal.

Ergh.

Run ragged!

My baby is napping.  As she should be, we ran her ragged this morning.


It started with visiting a house.  A two bedroom house (!).  Could this be the one we have been waiting for?  Nope.  The landlady was absurdly difficult to be in a conversation with (she wanted to share about all her ailments, trials, etc....I just wanted to make an appointment), the house smelled like a smoker, the street parking was lacking and the landlady's dog (she lives next door to this house) barked the entire time.  That's a big, fat thumbs down.  Too bad, really.  The house itself was, in my opinion, perfect for us.

Next, my mom and I took a lovely hike.  Ro cruised in the stroller until we went off road, then that lil' sucker held pace nearly the entire time (we walked for a good two hours!).  We wandered down paths whose end we weren't sure of, and decided to come back before we got too far.  What an adventure we had!  Butterflies were everywhere, my mom even caught one to give to Ro, but she liked them better on the flowers.  The shallow, flowing run-off was speckled and wriggling with wee little tadpoles- so cool!  We caught some and put them in Ro's hands, but she liked them better in the water.  We threw rocks in a miniature waterfall that was pooling up all gorgeous-like, making us wonder if it was worth scaling down the rocks to get our feet wet.  And while we were on the home stretch, with Ro tightrope-walking the narrow edge of the canal, I quickly pulled her up to me as the tip of her sneaker met the nose of a baby rattlesnake who was sunning in the path.  A few minutes later, I snagged her to me again.  Two baby snakes, how exciting!  'Tis the season?  Oh, and add "first poopy diaper changed in the wild" to the baby book.  BOOM.

So now she is napping.  I always feel like a "good mom" (whatever that means) when I sufficiently wear my kid out so that the nap is well deserved.  Otherwise, I feel like I am enforcing a rest on a rested child.

Now you know.