Monday, October 17, 2011

"I will love him to the end of his life, and then I will let him go."

I am rarely sentimental. I'm not an overly emotional person. I don't cry often at movies and I don't cry when people die. I have a hard time expressing compassion for other people in horrible situations, like when my neighbor announced he had stomach cancer. I guess you can say I am socially awkward.

But this mom, this story...It took me three attempts to read it all the way through. My throat clogged up with tears and I knew I had to share it.

Lots of people talk about living in the moment with their children and that is what we do; we talk about it. It's easy to get caught up in "oh, I'll do it tomorrow because I really need to get this done for work today."

What if we only had limited tomorrows and knew it? What if we didn't have the luxury of time? Perhaps we can all live by her words today:
Parenting, I’ve come to understand, is about loving my child today. Now. In fact, for any parent, anywhere, that’s all there is.

Maybe we all need to be a bit more like a Dragon Mom. I know I want to be.
Notes from a Dragon Mom

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Are you a whale or a mermaid?

Anyone want to be a whale with me?

peaceful parenting: I Want to Be a Whale: This little story, in its many forms, has been making the internet rounds again. Whether there actually was a gym in Paris (as the origina...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dear Ian

This morning around 6:20 am you snuggled close to me and put both of your chubby, soft baby arms around my neck. Your skin is still so soft and chubby and baby-like and I know soon it won't be this way and I will miss it dearly. You snuggled close, warm and soft, and it was one of the best ways to wake up ever.

And you woke up giggly and laughing too. I don't want to trade those minutes for the world. I smile now, just thinking about the moment.

I have to work, you have to go to daycare -- or playschool as you like to call it -- and with my now longer drive to work I spend less time with you than I would like. Mornings are a rush of getting dressed and beating the traffic and evening are squeezing in dinner and baths and books. So I squeeze in the moments that I can, when I can and this is one that will keep me going when the rest of life gets hectic.

The day will come when you don't want to hug me or kiss me because you will be growing up. So because of that, I savor today. I savor the soft, quiet moments in the early hours of the morning when the regular day has not yet hit us, when we are half asleep and fuzzy with dreams, and we can simply enjoy a quiet ten minutes together before we both have to face the day in our separate directions.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Minimalist Mom Moment

So what happens when you have a blowout diaper in the middle of Lowes when it creeps out both legs of your shorts and up your shirt?

You have a bath in the sink!

And then you leave Lowes in nothing but your clean diaper and your shoes because mommy refuses to carry more than one purse/bag and she didn't have any extra clothes with her.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

It's Saturday, we are running errands, it is hot out and I had packed a sippy cup that leaks from time to time. As I am leaning into the backseat to get him out, I see that he has dropped his sippy cup down in the seat next to him and on top of my jacket. I pick it up and sure enough it had leaked a lot of milk.

Me: Oh..

Ian: Oh crap

Me: .......

Ian: Oh crap.
      Oh crap.

Me: Who says that Ian?

Ian: You do

Well, yes. I guess I do. Oh crap.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy

(yes, this post is late. is anyone really surprised?)

Ian, you turned 2. How is it that you have been in my life, out of my womb, for that long already?

You grow and change so much each day. You still love biscuits and beans and blueberries and now we can add bacon to that list. Your favorite songs are Baby Bumblebee and Baa-Baa Black Sheep.* You love to take baths but hate to have your hair washed. Just recently you have become such a fan of trucks and trains.

When you were first born you were a carbon copy of your father, and now you are starting to look a little bit like me. Some facial expressions that you make remind me of photos taken when I was about 3 years old.

You never fail to say unexpected things that make me laugh. For your birthday you received a Leap Frog compuer. This, along with the Elmo camera, are your two constant companions right now. The computer says "Hi, Ian" when you turn it on. For a few days you just said "hi" in response. The other day, just after your bath you turned it on. "Hi, Ian" it said to you. "Hi. Mommy just cleaned my booty" you told the computer.

You play more independently now and will often sing or read your books to yourself. Going to bed is easier some nights and you tell us when you are ready to "rock a baby." You want to climb into the car yourself and often flop in like a fish and wiggle until you get where you need to go. Climbing is a favorite activity and you have no fear. I almost forgot --you love slides. We go to the park and you can wear us out.

Though you can severely frustrate me with your terrible twos, I love that I have you. I love wrestling in the floor with you and catching you reading to yourself. I love tickling your belly and making you giggle. I love the earnest expressions you have and that you finally want to walk and hold my hand.

Right now I am still one of your favorite people. I know that as you grow up (so quickly) that will begin to change. I'm going to hold on to your tiny, warm baby self as long as I can.

You will always be my baby boy.

*As I re-read this prior to posting I realized the alliteration going on in your life. I wonder what that means.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Am A Dry Creekbed

I did not hit my son. I did not. But part of me wanted to.

Instead, I yelled. That deep down from the belly guttral emission that is meant to get everyone's attention. And it did. Even Daddy came running.

I don't make a habit of yelling or even grunting at my child. But he is currently making a habit of hitting me. And often. Out of frustration, out of anger, out of confusion, out of the terrible twos. That night I was tired. So tired and I just wanted him to go to bed. To lay down and go to sleep so that I could have a little bit of time to unwind and then go to bed myself. He had other ideas.

Poor baby jumped in my arms as I emitted this strange and primitive sound and then he cried harder. I realize I did myself no favors. I know better. Usually I can remain calm, take a deep breath, walk away even. That night I didn't hit just the wall, I barreled into it full steam, throttle wide open.

I have no excuse.

Would it have really hurt me to go back out to the couch and read with him for 10 minutes? No. Would it have hurt him to go to bed 10 or 15 minutes later? Nope. Worse was that his cry changed. It wasn't the I-don't-want-to-go-to-sleep cry, it became different. I knew it and yet I still hesitated to go into the room because I was angry at him. Daddy went in and found out his foot was stuck between the mattress and the railing. And didn't that make me feel like the bestest bitchy mom of the year?

So many things are a battle right now: getting dressed, having a bath, brushing teeth, getting in the car seat, getting out of the carseat, changing his diaper, sitting in the high chair at a restaurant, not having the exact food he wants, going to bed. I know he is growing and exploring and I try to let him make his own decisions and have a say in what he is doing (as much as an almost 2 year old can) and some days it just wears me out.

Sometimes I don't want to wait for him to be ready to get dressed; I need to get to work.
I want to eat a meal in a resaurant without him on my lap.
I don't want to read the Elmo book 12 times in a row.
I want to cook dinner without worrying I will spill something hot on him because he is under my feet.

Parenting is hard. I know that. I thought that yell would have deflated the balloon that was my frustrating rage. It didn't. My boiling well of ire continued into the next morning and flared when he would not get dressed. This time I walked away. But I'm still sitting here dreading the upcoming battle(s).

One of the best parts of my day is picking him up from daycare and having him come running at me full-tilt, arms open for a hug. I love that part of my day.

Today I am tired. Today I feel like I don't have anything else to give. My river of patience and understanding and committment to alternative parenting is dry. I feel like a dry creekbed, rocks gray and bare to the beating sun. And I have no idea what to do to get the water flowing again.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Let Them Drink Milk

I breastfed for 13 months and would have gone longer had my son not weaned himself. I went back to work when my son was 8 weeks old and I pumped for the first year of his life so that at daycare he could still have breastmilk.

I had a supportive workplace. At the time the office head was a woman and had breastfed two children. 3 women in another department had pumped before I ever thought of getting pregnant. I was lucky.

Research supports breastfeeding and I hope the corporate world will pay attention. If nothing else, maybe the laws will: New Breastfeeding Laws.

Women have enough hurdles in the workforce. Doing what is best for our children should not be a hurdle that we have to fight.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gearing Up To Be Me

Everyday me likes jeans and t-shirts. And goes without makeup.
Everyday me likes flat shoes and tall socks.
Everyday me has a dry sense of humor, tends to be solitary and would prefer the company of a few to the company of many.

Everyday me has to go to a large company gathering in less than 2 months. Everyday me will have to put on a suit, make-up, heels and network amongst the company masses. In Las Vegas.

The company I work for is in a professional industry and appearances do still count. Lucikly, in our local office, my immediate boss allows us to be flexible in our dress code so I get to dress down more than I have to dress up.

Everyday me is annoyed that I have to go along with appearances and wear the right clothes and make sure to greet the right people. Everyday me wants to kick and scream and protest. Shouldn't I be appreciated for my brain more than my beauty? It's the same brain doing the same job, whether I wear jeans or a power suit.

I know studies show that people who dress more professionally often work more professionally and are more productive, but I seem to react the opposite way. I'm uncomfortable in my fancy work clothes. I don't feel like myself.

Everyday me will have to go into hiding a little bit while I pull out Professional me. I used to pull out Professional me a lot more than I do now. I think I must be out of practice. Everyday me is also practical and realizes that it is Professional me that allows my family to live the way we do and have the choices in our lives that we have.

I also know that Professional me is a lot like Everyday me, just a bit more spit-shine polished. Now, if I can just convince Everyday me that being Professional me is no more difficult than playing dress up, we might have a winner.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What if everything had to fit into 3 suitcases?

This post is probably going to seem a little odd. But then again, I've already mentioned that I am odd.

Over at BlogHer I stumbled upon a great post. It's not easy to read and yet we all know someone that is there or is almost at that point, especially given the economy.

It very much solidified my deep inner choices for wanting to go minimalist with my life and possessions. The fewer things that I have, the fewer things then that I will need, the less money I will spend and the happier I will be in general. I want the things around me in my house to matter. So item number 2 really hit me as important. And the animals. That too struck me as something very important that often gets overlooked.

I had a friend that was out of work for more than 18 months. Luckily, he had family to rely on; not everyone does. So today, also be thankful for your family and your friends that you can rely on in tough times.

How To Prepare For Homelessness

And just remember: this kind of situation is happening to people just like you and me everyday. It makes me thankful for the job I have, the roof over my head, and also makes me feel a little shameful for all of the things that I waste my money on when I really know that I can do without them.