Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Paradigm Shift

Now I know I'm an "old" mom. Having children at the age of 40 means I am farther from their age than other moms I know.

And I know times have been changing quickly, more quickly than in the span of time when I was the age of my kidlets.

All this leads me to a recent experience with Jake that proves to me that the world is changing quicker than I expect. We were at the local natural history museum, at an exhibit about bats. The museum people brought out a display with live bats. Jake was right in the front, fascinated with the critters. He was one of about 50 kids, plus a double row of parents behind them. As the display wrapped up, Jake ran back to me. "Mommy! Give me the phone!" I had it in my pocket, but I was confused. "Why do you need the phone? Who do you want to call?"

Now here it comes... the paradigm shift....

"Mommy, I don't want to call anyone. I need the phone to take pictures of the bats!"

OK, so while I KNOW my phone has a camera, I think of it primarily as a communication device. This generation I have borne sees phones and communication in a whole new way.

This is the same child who navigates the computer as well as I do, and if I tell him to "right-click" knows exactly what I mean.

But hey, keeping me young, right?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Little Boys and Little Girls

I never thought that children would crack me up so much. I mean holding-my-sides, rip-roaring, tears-flowing LAUGHTER.

Case in point: Jake, Phoebe and I went to visit Jake's friend Exene. They got married a few months ago at school, so we let them see each other on the weekend. We went with the purpose of decorating gingerbread cookies. When we got there, the two of them were so excited to see each other. Jake ripped off his coat and got into the chair. Exene had a little apron on. Jake decorated a cookie for her, and she squealed with excitement. Man, I am in SUCH trouble when he turns 14...

Anyway, they moved on to other games. Exene got a doctor's kit for her birthday, so they decided to play doctor. Jennifer (her mom) and I kept a very watchful eye on the activity, but it was harmless. Then they took Exene's baby doll and "operated" on it. Took out it's heart, injected it with poison... Jennifer and I were horrified, but both kids ASSURED us "it's just pretend." Then Jake told us he was Dr. Evil and Exene was Dr. Evil Girl. First Jake chase Exene, who screamed and flung her hands around, then Exene chased Jake... who screamed and flung his hands around.

That tired them out so they crawled under a blanket onto a futon to go to bed. Much giggling ensued. We only hope we aren't scarring them by allowing this :) Exene told Jake she loved him and Jake asked me about it--he said you only love your family, right? I told him it's OK to love friends too.

As I watched them play together, laugh together, even learn together I was struck by how fast time is moving and how quickly he is maturing. Without prompting, he said thank you when Jennifer gave him some milk. He offered to let Exene play with his Speed Racer car. They agreed to play together at one game, even though they really wanted another game. He made tons of silly faces to make all of us laugh.

My child, my heart--I am continually amazed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tired, tired, tired

I am just so tired of being TIRED! You know how you never like to hear people complain about things you can't solve? Well that's my tired. Heck, even I'm tired of complaining about it!

When people say "How are you?" I struggle to come up with a word other than "tired". "Good!" I say brightly, because really, I am good. I have 2 lovely children, a great husband, a good job, my own health... I have many, many blessings.

But dammit. I'm still tired.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I hate socks.

The kidlets household currently has 4 sizes of socks--ittle-bittle baby socks, small preschooler socks, medium mommy socks and oversized daddy socks. We apparently wear at least 2 pairs each, per day. I don't recall changing my socks that much, but apparently everyone else does.

Each load of laundry contains TOO MANY socks. They're stuck to each other, they disappear inside other clothes, they just vanish without a trace, leaving me with poor lonely single socks. I have to match them and put them away.

And let's not forget that stinky socks are the FAVORITE toy of our puppy. He pulls them off Jake's feet, just to have the chance to eat them. He tosses them in the air and they land in odd places. They get pushed under the sofa, behind the chair, on the stereo speaker. Where I put them into the laundry basket and start the whole dreary process all over again.

I hate socks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Why is doing nothing so hard?

I'm on vacation. Staying at home this year, for a number of reasons, but I'm totally fine with it. I had great plans--getting the Christmas cards out before the 24th... catching up on my reading... emptying the laundry baskets once and for all... housetraining the dog... losing 10 pounds... working out nice dinners for the family... just reveling in the fact that I don't HAVE to be anywhere.

And then... there's reality. The laundry basket is never empty. Ever. The books sit there, taunting me with their words. I have gotten to the gym, but the pizza and beer appear to be offsetting any progress I have made. And the puppy is poopy.

I still have 3 more days. Maybe I can FORCE myself to relax!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Puppies and Preschoolers

It wasn't until a few days ago that I realized how much alike they are. First off, both are cute beyond belief. The happy smiley face, the hair that goes every which way, the speed of movement that occasionally ends with falling, rolling, laughing.

How about the desire to please? Yep, puppies want to make you happy, even as they pee on the carpet for the 14th time. The preschooler honestly wants to make you happy, despite the crayon on the wall and the bath water all over the floor.

The toys are similar too. They have to be durable to stand up to pulling, tossing, running and jumping. It also helps if they are strong enough to remain whole even after Mommy or Daddy steps on them.

It all comes back to one word, though--love. If you sit on the floor, both the puppy and the preschooler will climb all over you, bestow wet kisses on your face then maybe... maybe... if you are lucky... both will curl up, exhausted with the day's play... and fall asleep. Dreaming, most likely, of another day's play to come.

And you will sit there and wonder how you ever got so lucky.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

On A Snowy Morning

It started snowing last night, quietly. I almost didn't notice the blanket that slowly sprinkled, like powdered sugar, on our house. But by morning, an inch had fallen. An inch of new snow, an inch of possibilities.

Jake woke and glanced out the window. "Mommy! Snow!" That's right baby, snow. The first order of business was to get dressed and get right out in it. But he had to wait. For Mommy to dress Phoebe, for Daddy to get dressed, for Regen the dog to get hooked to a leash. But finally! Ready to go outside!

Daddy went to the shed to grab the sleds. With only an inch, not much room for sledding, but if you are just 40 pounds--it works. Daddy pulled and released him down the hill--again and again. Regen following, tumbling, blond hair and blond dog rolling in the sunshine and snow. Phoebe watching, laughing with delight.

Then we head for the woods. 11 acres of trails and fun. Daddy pulling the sled, puppy running, tangling, falling. Phoebe insisting on facing forward--forget Mommy's face, she wants to see what's going on!

Laughter, yelling, running, falling. Could a snowy day be any more fun? Back to the house, to get warm, to talk about the fun we had, to laugh... to love.

How could I ever be so lucky?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Day at a Time

It's becoming my mantra. Take it a day at a time...ommm...
Last night the de-worming that our puppy had ended with a spectacular result--the exit of the worms. So he feels much better and I have an image branded in my head that I really didn't want.

Jake is deciding this is a good time to push every button and test every rule that exists. In between being utterly charming and loving.

Phoebe alternates between jamming both hands in her mouth and drooling, screaming and arching her back, and demanding to nurse. Even though she is, technically, weaned. But who cares about technicalities when you're teething?

Oh yeah, and that other big guy in the house, the one I married, I think he looms around in the background wanting some sort of attention too.

A day at a time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baby Critters

Baby creatures amaze me. Humans and canines alike.
How can they be so cute, so precious, so loving... and yet so FULL of POOP? Where does it come from?

Their tummies appear to be fairly small. They don't eat whole lot, really. I guess it's the frequency of the eating that requires the frequency of elimination. All over the place.

So how is it that they are so stinkin' (literally) cute that you just can't get or stay mad?

Fortunately, puppy and baby kisses are worth more than gold, more than diamonds. They're even worth more than sleep, and that's saying something!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A New Puppy!

Excitement races through the kidlets household--a new puppy is in residence! Daddy and Jake drove to Georgia (yep, on Thanksgiving weekend, no less) to pick out the new addition. Of course traffic was horrendous and they didn't return until very early Monday morning.
With the cutest puppy you ever want to see!

He doesn't have a name yet. Well, jake wants him to be "Kissy" but I think that is NOT the name that is in Steve's plans! He's thinking Stuck (like Hans Stuck, the Porsche driver). Or Reagan.

Jake is thrilled beyond belief and has already engaged in "run around the house yelling with puppy close behind." Puppy also loves Phoebe, who is not a fan of being knocked over and licked, so we'll see how that shakes out.

One more critter to love!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

How NOT To Start Your Day

It isn't bad enough I have to get up at 2 a.m. to go to work on the weekends.

This morning, I awoke to a soaking wet, slightly warm back. As in someone didn't put on a Pullup and then got into bed with Mommy. And then the baby was screaming in her crib and after I finally calmed her down, it was too late to shower. Plus I had an hour drive ahead of me.

At least my coffee was tasty.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks kidlets

Thank you, kidlets, for just being you. Thank you for playing cars under my feet as I tried to make stuffing. Thank you for screaming "mamamamamama" every time I left your line of sight.
Thank you for eating everything under the sun EXCEPT the turkey dinner. Thank you for fighting naptime and opting to stay awake and be unreasonable.

And thank you most of all for making me something I never in a million years thought I would be.

A happy mommy of 2.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Elusiveness of Sleep

What I wouldn't give for a full complete night of uninterrupted sleep. The chance to lie in bed, with only my husband, and sleep until I woke up.

No drinks of water.

No lost binkies.

No pee in the bed, wet diapers, lost blankets, lost stuffed animals.

Just me. Asleep.

That ain't gonna happen, so I'll live with the sleep deprivation and the wiggly people cuddled up next to me while it lasts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is Snot Fun?

Apparently so.

This morning as we were driving to daycare, I head a loud, wet sneeze emanate from the vicinity of the baby seat. Followed by "Holy moley Mommy! That's a LOT of snot in Phoebe's nose."

I was just about to say something when I was interrupted. "Wow! She's blowing a bubble with the snot! HOW COOL!"

I guess I should be happy that they can amuse each other...

Monday, November 24, 2008

That time of year

I used to just LOVE the holiday season. The anticipation, the smells of good food in my mother's kitchen, even the cold weather-- I loved it all.

But that changed somehow, somewhere. Maybe when I started working for a living and suddenly I didn't have time to enjoy the anticipation? Maybe when I realized kitchens don't just automatically produce good smells--there has to be a competent cook present? Maybe when I had to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas and it just wasn't the same?
I think I lost the spirit along the way.

But this year.... this year. I don't know how it happened, but I'm feeling excited again. Is it the 4-year-old who is begging me for snow? Who gets wide-eyed when I talk about Santa? And the pretty red and white snowflake dress I just bought for a certain small girl? Listening to the never ending Christmas wish list?

Thanks kidlets, thanks for giving me back the wonder and magic of this time of year.

Stages and Changes

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My darling daughter is 6 months old. And like a signal that rang through my body, the milk has stopped. I was tired of pumping, true, but somehow the end of nursing is bittersweet, My body, which provided her with life and sustenance for 9 months of gestation and 6 months of life, is moving on.
I'll still provide the love, the comfort and the caring she needs to grow into a beautiful human being. But I won't provide the food. The substance that made her grow and develop, that gave her such a pretty smile and a cheerful personality.
She doesn't know it yet, though. She still thinks I can provide this service. And I will still hold her to me as the last of the milk slowly stops flowing. She'll try to eat, but will learn that her bottle is now that source of food.
I say good bye to the pump that served me so well, through 2 children and a year (combined) of providing my children with the best food possible. I won't miss it, but I will miss what it gave me. That physical connection to my babies, that knowledge that even though I was not with them, they still had part of me inside them.
Now, there are new challenges ahead. My beautiful baby can sit by herself now! She doesn't need the stuff of my being to feed her. The milk may be gone, but the piece of my soul that she possesses is with her always.

Happy Birthday Jake!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008
My firstborn, my son, the light of my life is 4 years old. The small bundle I first saw in the morning hours of October 1, 2004. The little boy who came out crying but paused for just a second when I held him to my chest. Our miracle, born 5 weeks early but rarin' to go!
This morning Steve and I sang happy birthday to him when he was 4 years (and 10 minutes) old. He opened one eye and said "I'm sleepy".... smiled at us...then said "Mommy, hold me!" I picked up my 40 pound, 43 inch long baby and marveled at him. His wit, his intelligence, his maturity...but still, just a small bit of the baby he once was.
He was done with my arms all too soon. Ready to jump headfirst into his fourth year. Anxious to open his first present, a Bumblebee Transformer. Anxious to make it work. Anxious to move, move, move!
I want him to grow, to be strong and independent. To form his own opinions, make his own decisions. Eventually fly away from me and the shelter of my arms.
I want that.
Don't I?

Random Jake-isms

Sunday, September 14, 2008
Jake has so many cute things he says and does, I figured I'd better write them all down. Or at least as many as I can remember...
The one I absolutely have to remember is when he says "I'll always love my baby sister, no matter what." It's so darn sweet when he says it! And he kisses Phoebe... I hope this feeling continues.
The other morning Jake was dawdling and I was trying to get out the door. I had made him pancakes and he was taking his time, savoring each bite. As I was sitting there tapping my foot he looked at me and said "Sweetie, these are GREAT pancakes. Thank you my love!" So how could I be annoyed after that?
Then there's one of his favorite songs, "You're a Trash Girl". Better known as Eurotrash Girl by Cracker. He's also fond of Gone Daddy Gone by Gnarls Barkley, Rock Lobster by the B-52s and Drive My Car by The Beatles. Fortunately for us, he has good musical taste! He loves to sing too, and hearing him bellowing Rock Lobster-DOWN! from the backseat is an experience no one should miss.
I remain amazed daily at how his curiosity and intelligence manifest in conversation. He CAN reason now although sometimes I think he just doesn't want to. I encourage him to figure things out for himself and to work independantly. But he still amazes me with his comprehension and how he gets so much.
And not to ignore Phoebe too--she has started eating carrots! And last night she had a small taste of mango water ice. She loves food! She's also so bright and adorable.
I did not realize I had the capacity to love two people like I love my children. They both make me so happy and proud!

The End of Summer

Sunday, August 31, 2008
Huh? What? Where did it go? Summer, I mean. The lazy days where I was going to read books and watch my beautiful blond child run around in the sun. Where my baby would sleep peacefully beside me as I sat in a chair and drank iced tea. And read books.
Apparently, those days disappeared under mountains of laundry, a doctoral dissertation gnawing at my brain, and endless grocery shopping and cleaning. Oh, plus 2 children who didn't seem to want to play their appointed roles in my little summer plans. The beautiful blond child is tanned and blond from 3 months in the pool--but I watched him the whole time. And the peaceful baby? Well, she has opinions and needs, and they don't include Mommy reading.
But still... this was one of the best summers of my life. Watching Jake go from early June and barely putting his face in the water to late August and seeing him swim the whole way across the pool with his snorkeling gear on. Seeing Phoebe grow and develop a personality that is so like me and yet so uniquely her own. Seeing the two of them develop a bond, a sibling relationship that is growing stronger with each laugh, each hug, each kiss, each hair pull. Watching in wonderment at these two beings I actually conceived and birthed.
Yes, the best summer of my life. Except for the laundry.