Tuesday, November 28, 2006
No Kisses
Today. I held it for only a moment, ran my thumb over the smooth ivory skin, marveled at his growth - but only for a moment, a breath - before he pulled away and filled his small palm with a fistful of blanket.

After church on Sunday, I went to pick him up from the nursery and he barely cast me a glance acknowledging my arrival. If anything, the look in his eyes was panic - that I was going to take him away from his friends.

Yesterday, leaning in to buckle him into his carseat we played a game with our eyes. Blinking. Smiling. Winking, then laughing. But when I leaned close enough to brush my lips on the apple of his cheeks, he turned away and threw his hands against my face.

No kisses.

And so we have the first physical signs of what I've known all along - I'm losing him.

I know it sounds melodramatic: My toddler is getting ready to leave me, but on some levels, it's true. And natural, of course. We all discover our own personhood and embark on our own journey's. Who am I to wish something different for my own children? I'm not exactly living at home with my mother now am I? (Ok, I plead to have the last year of my life stricken from the records...)

Even before he was even born, I knew that he wasn't mine to keep. I just didn't think he'd remind me so quickly that he is his own person. A person who might not want his hand held whenever I have the urge to hold it. A person who can decline his mother's kiss in a public parking lot if he so chooses.

I know that it's the start of a phase, of something new. Or perhaps it's only a manifestation of his feelings toward me since I brought home his wriggly, crying little sister. Either way, it hurts more than I'd thought it would. More than I'd prepared myself for.

And I know it's only going to get both better and worse, both sweet and bitter - this lifelong journey of letting go.

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Friday, November 24, 2006
Holiday in a Nutshell
Turkey. Stuffing. Gravy. Heaps of vegetables. Football. Toddlers whizzing around the house. Grandparents whizzing after them. Wiping scraps from plates. Doing dishes. Trifle. Pie. Cake. Ice cream. Reminiscing. Waking sleeping children for the long drive home in the rain.

And then this...

The perfect way to end a day of thanks.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006
One Word: AKA - Procrastination
Yet another Meme stolen from Zhoen...

You can only answer one word. No explanations.

1. Yourself
- Content

2. Your Spouse
- Wonderful

3. Your Hair
- Dirty

4. Your Mother
- Amazing

5. Your Father
- Challenging

6. Your Favorite Item
- Missing

7 . Your Dream Last Night
- Vivid

8. Your Favorite Drink
- Coffee

9. Your Dream Car
- None

10. The Room You're In
- Warm

11. Your Ex
- Kind

12. Your Fear
- Separation

13. What You Want to Be in 10 Years?
- Happy

14. Who You Hung Out With Last Night
- Hubby

15. What You're Not
- Clean

16. Muffins
- Yes

17. One of Your Wish-List Items
- Time

18. Time
- Nap

19. The Last Thing You Did
- Homework

20. What You Are Wearing
- Sweats

21. Your Favorite Weather
- Autumn

22. Your Favorite Book
- Many

23. The Last Thing You Ate
- Pita

24. Your Life
- Hectic

25. Your Mood
- Happy

26. Your Best Friend
- Husband

27. What You're Thinking About Right Now
- Treadmill

28. Your Car
- Eh

29. What You Are Doing at the Moment
- Procrastinating

30. Your Summer
- Fast

31. Your Relationship Status
- Bliss

32. What is On Your TV
- Black

33. What is the Weather Like
- Beautiful

34. When is the Last Time You Laughed
- Today


Uh Oh - Up Close
We downloaded this from my computer-inept-inlaw's digital camera this past weekend - it's a much better shot of the "Uh Oh" heard 'round our world.

The little guy's been doing ok now that we've settled into (somewhat) of a routine here at home. We had to bust out the big-boy diapers again to combat the return of the bedwetting that happened when he first moved into the toddler bed (probably as a result of his entire world shaking up like a snowglobe these past few weeks), but other than that, the transition has been pretty smooth.

Ok. One or two bumps. Maybe.

Like, returning from a one minute trip to the bathroom to find Lila screaming and beet-red...with Cheerio's stuck on her eyes.

Or, the morning I went to get socks from her drawer in the dresser that she and The Boss are now sharing - only to find that her entire drawer was empty. Quite a curious situation. I asked my son if he had any idea where her clothing was, and he shrugged innocently and proceeded to walk around the house helping me look for it like we were playing a game of hide and seek. I knew that he had done something with the clothing, but for all of my hunting, I could not find it. I was beginning to think I'd birthed a magician.

Until, later that night my husband found all of her clothing - chucked behind the dresser.

He may be trying to tell us something.

For the most part though, really, he's been great. Sweet and helpful. Cheerio's and clothes-chucking aside.

Thursday, November 16, 2006
Pinch Me
They emailed to clarify - I am the Grand Prize Winner.


Today is a good day. Things are going my way.

The scale is still steadily heading down-down-down from delivering two weeks ago. Pre-pregnancy clothes are fitting.

The Boss played quietly in his room until quarter of ten this morning - which meant that his sister and I slept in. Two kids under the age of two, and I got to sleep until nearly ten in the morning - how much more miraculous can you get?

Then, while sipping my first cup of real, wonderful, spicy and sweet German Coffee Cake flavored coffee, I checked my email and came across a message in my junkmail bin from Family Circle Magazine - the subject line: Fiction Writing Contest.

I entered the contest months ago, and knew that the deadline for announcing the winners was approaching. Since this email landed in my junkmail bin, I assumed it was a mass mailer that was sent to inform everyone who entered the contest to say "Thanks, try again next year and here is our list of winners."

Still, curiosity led me to open the message and lo - it began with the beautiful one word sentence: Congratulations!

My story, The Simplest of Acts is a first place winner! Not entirely sure what it means yet - they're sending papers for me to sign and I had to submit an additional word document version of my story for them to approve. At the worst, I'm one of the two runner's-up, which means I may be published online and receive $250 - and at the best, I'll be published in the magazine and receive $750.

In any event - I'll take it. It's sweet-sweet validation that I do not suck. Something that all writers, all artists, (all mothers even) need at the end of the day - validation that their work is appreciated. That it's good.

With my children, the validation comes in hugs and outstretched arms and heads on shoulders. With my writing, it often comes in the form of smiles and "Hey, that's pretty good" from friends and family and, well, you all - my online web of strangers who have become a most treasured audience and source of encouragement.

But, I've got to admit - no matter what the prize winds up being - reading the words Congratulations, you're a first place winner - that's pretty much the best way to start your day. (Well, ok, maybe it's a toss-up between that and sleeping until ten...)


Tuesday, November 14, 2006
From the Fog
At first it comes in spurts, fire flies popping in and out spreading through the dark, sending you running with a mason jar, darting from flicker to flicker - hoping to catch lightening in a bottle.

And then finally, something breaks and the real movement begins. And it's like emerging from a fog, feeling your mind slowly pushing itself through the remnants of pregnancy haze. Clarity, after months of unfocused clutter and pregnancy-induced ADD. This is wonderful - my first glimpse of white-sunlight after the rain. Thoughts strung neatly together, moving smoothly from one to the next, losing little in between. It's brilliant.

Now, if only I had the physical energy to sit here at the computer and utilize my new found mental powers for good. To complete past-due homework assignments and set to writing new stories for my rapidly approaching thesis deadline.

If only I didn't spend my (limited) energy chasing after soiled diapers and washing crib sheets and toddlers bottoms and battling for naptime.

Of course, if I didn't spend my energy doing any of those things, where would my inspiration come from? Sitting in an office-pen for eight hours, clicking my life away online on the company dime? I think not.

So, it's a catch-22. I'm inspired, yet exhausted. But tomorrow is another day...and there is always coffee.


Saturday, November 04, 2006
And Then There Were Two...
After months of lifting his shirt and slapping his own tummy when asked "Where's the baby?" my little Boss Man finally met her face to face.

Surrounded by swirls of relatives and doctors and nurses, he carefully approached her in the rolling hospital-bassinette. All eyes watched as he pointed to his new sister's tiny face behind the plastic - her eyes pinched shut, her skin still waxy and pink. He sat on my husbands lap carefully studying her for a long moment, his finger lingering on the bassinette. Finally, into the hushed room, he spoke his first words to his new sister - a very dire, Uh-Oh.


Thursday, November 02, 2006
Happy and Healthy, all.
More to come...

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