Friday, January 31, 2014

27 - A Year to Love

{written on January 30, but posted a day late. You know, 'cause I got sleepy.}

{it's what we do on sick days -- teach the toddler all-important selfies. he now knows "cheese."}
{and then sleep and snuggle. With Sesame Street on for the littlest.}
Here I sit in the closing hours of my 27th birthday with a cat wearing a cone by my side and some hot vegetable soup in my belly. Today was not exactly the most celebratory of birthdays as our household has been hit by a stomach bug, one which started late Monday night and I thought I had narrowly escaped. But alas no; last night it got me. So today was a day of rest, tv, and a doctor's appointment to make sure all was well with baby (it is!).

I wasn't going to post anything until I remembered my resolution to just write. Today may not have been picture perfect or held anything worth Instagraming, but that didn't make it trash. In fact, when I really sat down to think about it, I got to spend it just the way I desired: with my two boys. I got extra cuddles from both, since none of us are feeling stellar, and was even taken care of by the eldest. I had numerous notes from friends sending warm wishes, and each and every one meant something to my heart. It was relaxing and full of love and completely unpretentious. It was a good day.

And that's what I'd like to focus on in my 28th year- attention to those who matter to me. Sending surprise notes in the mail, calling when I would otherwise text, picking face-to-face interactions over social media, and just generally taking the time to be there. It always amazes me how those little things truly mean the most. So this year I'm going to try my best to be that friend and give one of the sweetest and costliest gifts I have- my love.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

You Say Clementine, I Say Owange.

I'm baaa-aaack.

Finally. I know.

Mom's been on a whole "limited screen-time" kick that dad and I try to ward off, but dang she runs a tough ship, especially with this little dude. Somehow daddio gets away with all sorts of things that are no such luck to me. There's no hiding of controllers from him or taking of his phone or shutting his computer. And no matter how many times I try to say "que pasa?!" the woman just rebuffs me over and over, handing me fake phones and toy trains. Doesn't she know I have followers waiting on my every tweet? No? Well, she oughta.

Anyway, today I'd like to come at you with a secret ritual I've been made privy to: the proper way to eat a clementine.  You see, this whole big world is starting to make sense just a little bit more to me and I'm seeing that things go in a certain order. I mean, babies know the usual- tub follows dinner, teeth follow tub, and then stories, sound machine, music box, and crib. BAM. That's what I call a smoothly run machine. But apparently there is way more out there than I ever would have guessed, rituals that run deep.

Mom showed me this one day all nonchalantly, saying she was tired and didn't want to go to the table, but clearly she was actually just letting me in on the sacred ceremony of maximum enjoyment. So listen closely friends. When you want to eat said clementine, grab one, sit at the coffee table, and make your announcement - "OWANGE." Just like that. Your servant will arrive to peel this delectable treat for you, if you, like me, tend to get it stuck on your finger in a rather unflattering way when you attempt. When he or she is done peeling, place said pieces on the closest book. This will be your plate from here on out. As in, for every clementine meal this season. Make it clear that that book is not to go anywhere lest they want you to starve. Mine happens to be a lovely work on raising chickens in your backyard, AKA the chicken book. I like to think of the chicken on the cover (sweet Henrietta) as my dining companion. She's a fine date indeed. With Henrietta by my side, clementines have never tasted sweeter. From here devour the fruit and hope for a napkin nearby to wipe your face. If none such exists, screw it and run around wildly. They'll catch up with you at some point.

But friends, be warned- there will be times and people that don't respect the sanctity. Dads are a number one culprit. Mine failed me just the other day. I sat down, presented the owange, and he had me come to him. The nerve. I anxiously awaited the peeling to commence knowing that if Hennie saw me eating alone the betrayal would never pass. (Not that I've ever seen it, but I've heard that chicks can hold grudges. It's a place I hope to never go.) The seconds rolled like syrup (which, by the way... where has that BEEN all my life?!) and finally he handed me a piece. While I typically would have shoved it down to free up precious hand space for more, he had to be shown how things work around here. So I used all the will power I could muster and took that piece over to my girl, placed it down on her sweet mug, looked at dad to make sure he got just how serious this was, and picked it up and ate it.

And you know what he did? You'll be as shocked as I was...

He laughed.

I was blown away, and mildly insulted to say the least. But then the truth came like a morning dawn, a sad dawn where the wool has been cleared and your eyes are seeing light for the first time-- clearly mom just doesn't love him enough to show him the good stuff.

That poor, poor man.

I guess I'd rather take my lot sans phones and remotes than his any day. Maybe my mama ain't so bad after all...


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Just Write.

{no fear, just joy. i could learn so much from those little hands. go for it. you'll learn.}
Basically I've been in a rut. A big blogging rut. I have words inside me that just jumble together and each time I sit down to try to sort them out I get caught up in other people's posts or can't find the way to start or basically just itch to do something else. Which then gets me thinking about why exactly I blog.

There are some bloggers out there who say they do it only for themselves and don't care if anyone reads. And sure, for a few of us that might juuust possibly not be a big pile of stink. But clearly, for the majority who write in this public forum and make our work available for others to see, it matters. So I'm not going to lie- it really does mean something to me. When I post and get comments it's like a hit to my blogging druggie system- I want more. This in turn makes me want to post good content that others will appreciate and want to discuss with me. But that right there is the problem- I freeze.

Instead of just writing what's on my mind I feel the need to be perfect. And we all know there is no perfect out there. There will always be something more I could have said or a better way to put it or prettier pictures to post. Just like there will always be bloggers I admire or a post that I know I should have thought of first. And of course there's that nasty sense of competition, whether willful or not, abundant in the blogging world and the mom world and the whatever-else-you-do world. All of these things- always. It's simply on me to fight those feelings.

Luckily in a few of these recent frozen moments I decided to to seek out my own archives for a peek at what I've given in the past years. And it's been good. So good. I am proud of what I did in May. I am proud of the posts that I didn't want to write but gritted through and just followed the thought that getting something down is what's important, perfect or not. I am proud of taking the time out of my life to document important periods, moments where Declan's age is captured in snapshot or a morning run is not forgotten. Instead of regretting the ones I missed, I need to celebrate the times I captured and look to how to capture more in the future. And that comes by throwing aside perfection.

Perfect or not, I always appreciate looking back at what I wrote. This blog is my memory keeper, my scrapbook, my diary. I never regret a post I follow through with. When I clear the cobwebs and push aside the hesitations. Do I hope you'll read and comment? Of course. It still means far more to me than I wish it would. But in the end, when my brain freezes and my fingers won't move, I just need to remember that this is the time. The best time to capture this moment.


Friday, January 10, 2014

This Time 'Round.

27 weeks - Baltimore, MD.
An unexpected pink line one slow Sunday morning.

The utter shock that led to a no-frills announcement to P- said lines to face as he grabbed syrup from the fridge.

Sickness that lasted and lasted, a marathon intensity instead of a sprint.

The coming back to earth, to regaining myself, only to try and realize that myself now holds two.

A belly that seemed like it would never grow because it just wasn't possible that this was happening without a grand plan.

Then the belly that (of coursedid because it was happening, no plans needed.

A hiccuping thump, thump, thump from within, and the second-time-mama lowdown of exactly what that was.

The much anticipated flutters, kicks, jabs; her feet under fingers poking up to say hello.

An unfeasible tumble of time as weeks flew by faster than ever was possible with our first.

The fact that in roughly two months, ready or not, I will be a mother of two, my boy and my girl.

The distinct urge to savor each moment, to sit with hands on belly for every kick and to download each sweet memory to the nooks and crannies of my soul, not sure if this pregnancy will be my last.

But sadly being all too aware this time 'round of the bittersweet truth that holding on and fighting to savor will really get me nowhere; this too will pass too soon.