Monday, May 14, 2012

A way with words

The message inside my Mother's Day card, as dictated by 2-year-old Mia:

Dear mommy,
Please come over to your party. Dear Mia. Mermaid. Dad. Grandma. Alex and Chickens. Pooh and Baby Mia. Dad. Barn. Happily ever after.

Paints quite a picture, doesn't she?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Like mother, like daughter

Ten things I do because my mom did them:

- Make a mean fried-egg sandwich.
- Wake my daughter to see something cool in the night sky.
- Experiment in the kitchen.
- Run from bees.
- Bring food to neighbors. Especially new ones and sick ones.
- Tell my kids every night to "dream about angels."
- Dig up a good joke to lighten a bad situation.
- Yearn to see new places.
- Worship my crock pot during winter.
- Teach my kids to wave at airplanes. (Which, if you look closely, totally wave back.)

Three generations at the bathroom mirror

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dancing queen

On Saturday night we took the kids to a gala at an art museum. Not the kind of event where you typically see a lot of babies, but the folks who invited us are awesome and happen to be quite open-minded about toddlers at cocktail parties. Mia has been going to these things since she was practically a newborn, and while it's harder now with two, we try to leap at those opportunities when we can.

This particular event was Hawaiian-themed, which made it even cooler for Mia, starting with the lei they placed around her neck when we arrived. During dinner the crowd was entertained by beautiful hula dancers, and Mia was entranced. After sitting there watching a few songs, she got up, walked up to them and began dancing, too.

My friend send me a picture with this sadly accurate comment: "Scary to think that eventually she will be self-conscious and that uninhibited part of her life will end." So tonight as I tucked Mia into bed, I asked if she would please just stay my little girl forever. She said yes!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Snap, snap

I know an excellent photo when I see it, but I have always wanted the ability to TAKE one, too. I feel like I have to snap 500 lame shots just to get a single great picture.

Turns out that's how it goes even for the pros, something I learned in an online photography class I'm taking from Superhero Photo. I haven't been able to participate in the class as much as I'd like, but what I have learned through the daily emails alone has been worth the (extremely reasonable) price. I had hoped this course would unlock the mysteries of my camera, all those intimidating little abbreviations and dials and buttons. But so far the two best lessons have been pretty simple: 1) Play with your camera. 2) Relax. This is fun.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bouncing baby boy

Last night I was talking to my mom on my drive home from work, and I was telling her what a good little boy Alex has been lately. "Soon I may even love him as much as I love Mia!" I said.

I was joking, mostly. Alex has not been the easiest of babies, which is a whole other blog post all by itself. Or maybe 10 posts. But my mom just laughed and said, "Oh, but you already do. If something were to happen to him, you'd realize that."

She was right. This morning I put Alex on my bed while I got dressed for work, and then I walked over to the closet to get some shoes. When I turned around, I saw Mia climbing up onto the bed and Alex reaching out to touch her face. And then, right before my eyes, he tumbled off. It happened in a flash, but I processed it in slo-mo, lunging toward him with a scream as I watched him land on the floor, on his head.

On his HEAD. Like, if I held him by his ankles and let go, that is how he fell. I was hysterical. I scooped him up without thinking, and he wailed in my arms as I held him and watched his body for movement. He fell at just such a grotesquely bad angle – his head bounced on the floor like the end of a pogo stick – that I was quite convinced his neck was broken and I was going to have a little Christopher Reeve baby for the rest of my life and it was all my fault.

Now, for the record, 10 minutes later he was giggling in his high chair and eating a waffle. So clearly the kid is fine. But how stupid I felt. It haunted me all day long – the vision of his little body crashing into the floor replayed in my head a thousand times. I should never have walked so far away. He is too fast and mobile right now, and I KNOW that. I was just distracted, rushed, exhausted ... three ever-present traits of a working mom. Terrible excuses, though. This was entirely my fault, and I felt horrible.

And all day long other moms comforted me with stories that were as bad (or worse) than mine. So this is obviously one of those parenthood moments where right now, today, it seems like The Worst Thing That Ever Happened, but at some point I will be one of those seasoned moms who hears another's story, nods wisely and goes "Oh, yes! That. We've done that." I remember fretting over the possibility of a C-section when Alex was breech at 8 months, and a friend told me, "Well ... then that's just another square you'll get on the Bingo card of life." Today I got my Bingo square where I turn my kid into an ACTUAL EXAMPLE of the punchline "Yo momma dropped you on yo head."

p.s. I really, really miss writing here. It's just that I am a terribly slow writer, and after I take forever to write something, I then edit the hell out of it for a few more hours. Not a process that's easy to fit in along with two kids, a husband, a job, a house, a crippled dog (yep, still crippled!) etc. But I have decided that crappy, unedited posts are better than no posts at all. So ... here's to (hopefully) freestyling it for now.