Saturday, December 23, 2006
Last night we were out to eat. It was a break from all of the running around, and was relaxing and nice to chat with my husband. Jim was feeding Willa her green beans and playing. I was singing the bill slip and felt really really happy. I added his last name onto my existing name and the 3 names take a long time, but last night I felt like... I was signing into this wonderful, goofy, figuring it out family.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
It was a good meeting at the museum. She sat on his lap without any problems, but this is a better photo.
Again, I'm concerned about our daughter's future political leanings, she was more interested in a stone bust of former president Gerald Ford's head than Santa. Then again, Santa didn't let her pick his nose...
Friday, December 08, 2006
Tonight Willa goes to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time. Cousin Matt's 4th birthday!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Willa is eight months old. I feel that eight months ago someone hit some switch that sped up life. Everything moves faster now - I do, Jim does, the dogs zip away when they've had enough of Willa trying to pull herself to a standing position using their fur, their backs their ears... fast. She's growing up sooo fast.
That's okay, because since her birth everything has been intensified, for good and bad. Cold feels colder when worrying about little hands outside. Hard is harder when you hear a baby's head hit the floor after another failed attempt to climb whatever is not the floor. Poop (okay, a little grossness here), teeth, and laughter are all more important and exciting. When Willa turns and smiles at me, I feel like the sun shines for me, and choirs and orchestras play the Hallelujah Chorus for me, for us. A baby is good for the ego - when baby is content. Worry is more, and happy is more, peace is more, and gratitude and tired is way, way, way more. Christmas is more. Appreciation for my own parents and family are more. Partnership and team are more (Jim and husband and dad are more, more). Stress is more. Most importantly, joy. Joy is coming out of me like lava out of a volcano. Not the streaming lazy way - but the explosive, straight up in the air with power and substance and roar kind of joy.
We're all working on something. I think I need to let the bad mores fade behind the joy lava rush and good mores.
I wrote the above on the 5th, and am getting back to post it today, the 6th. Jim and I went to a fundraiser for the childrens' hospital in town last night. It was moving, and sad and joyful, and reminded me over and over that we are very fortunate to have a child who is healthy and happy. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself for sleepless nights. We hope to never visit the hospital. Leaving the event, I couldn't wait to pick Willa up at her grandma and grandpa's and hug her tight and smell her hair.
I think that I am more because of her. Thank you, Willa bird.
Anemone bulbs are toxic to dogs.
Hydrogen Peroxide forced down their throats makes dogs throw up.
A lot. Everything. Maybe even parts of their eyeballs.
Jim and I are a good team in a crisis.
Dogs are okay.
Willa watched the whole thing while laughing and dancing in her doorway jumpy seat and turning a solid teething cookie into plasma.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
The first day this winter when the weather was threatening enough that the news had 2 forecasters on at once, and all schools are closed.
The morning that Jim is out of town, and so I'm running the circus solo.
I was standing over Greta and the dead rabbit, no coat, shoes slipped on blinking the frozen rain out of my eyes. Willa was in the house in the playpen for a minute.
Tonight I'll have to dig the rabbit out of the snow and give it a proper burial. Because it deserves it, and because the dog will continue to visit.
Not a great morning.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Her top 2 teeth have broken through, and I'm sure it's a strange feeling that she's exploring, but she's grinding the bottom teeth against the newcomers up top. ACK! Just typing that makes me close my eyes and shake my head violently. yuck yuck yuck. Hope this ends soon.
These teeth look big, and there are delicate parts of me that come in contact with her mouth frequently. Those parts are nervous.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
We bought a book to help figure this out in a kind and effective way. I'm too exhausted to read it.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
This photo pretty much sums up our Thanksgivingpalooza.
Wonderful visits with a whole lot of family and friends. Good meals. Quick moments of nice connections with Jim (mostly in the car). But too too much. We were all exhausted yesterday. I was ready to crawl into a cave to avoid large groups of people.
After 4 days of being held by grandparents and aunts, uncles, and adoring cousins, Willa's probably having a rough time sharing adults at day care today.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
She has a pink elephant (hoping this doesn't sway her political leanings later in life) that she's started nuzzling at night. Last night when I checked on her she had one hand behind her head and the other on the trunk of her elephant. She startled a bit when I came in, but sighed, smiled, and continued sleeping. A human body can't possibly hold the the size heart that mine felt at that moment. Maybe that's God.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Willa and I left Jim at home for his black tie fundraiser, and went to my parents’ house this weekend for a family wedding (super duper fun family wedding). When we walked through the door, you’d think that her car carrier was magically levitating- that I wasn’t holding it. All eyes and grins were affixed on Willa. And I didn’t mind. She’s the best do-it-yourself (ourselves, this is a team effort) project ever and I’m pretty proud of our work of art.
Observing my family’s adoration for her gave me joy. It’s the best present I could ever give my parents and siblings. MaKenna enjoyed her cousin too; she zealously shared her fruit puffs and hugs. She was not pleased when Willa started to gnaw on her purse.
Dad and I danced to “What a Wonderful World” at my wedding, and again this weekend. Dad was what my brothers like to call a little “over-served,” but his intent was true when he said, “thanks for giving us such a beautiful grandchild.” I could only grin, blink back a few tears, and say “you’re welcome.”
“I hear babies cry, I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more, than I’ll never know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”
Friday, November 17, 2006
From the health desk:
Germboree '06 is nearly at it's end - we hope. Willa and I are almost 100% all better. Jim is now on the same blue antibiotics I took. Hope our family was a little ahead of the winter cold/cough curve and that we're not in for another several months of this.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Another 5th Beatle...
Jim and Willa had a sing-along last night at the highchair during a meal of mixed vegetables (orange variety). Willa's great on the "na na na's" in Hey Jude. I have a message on my cell phone to prove it.
She's started to bop to music now. When it's quiet and she's active, she looks at us and rocks as if to say, "hey, let's hear some tunes."
Monday, November 13, 2006
There's also the whole splitting holiday time with both families evenly issue. And to complicate things, we now have a baby and two families 2.5 hours apart who both want to see her. The pressure of appeasing both sets of parents and siblings (and on my side a cast of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents) made me forget that it might be nice to wake up on Christmas morning in our house - just the 3 of us and our dog pals.
I am determined this year to not let the pressure of the Rockwellesque holiday image in my head ruin our daughter's first Christmas. It's going to be hectic and messy and far from perfect, the cookies might get made, gifts might all be bought and wrapped on time - and they might not, but it's going to be wonderful. I can't wait to see Willa check out our Christmas tree for the first time. Here's to the hope it stays upright all season!
Friday, November 10, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
She was trying to stand up one day and got one leg up. And then she moved her knee forward and squealed with delight. "Hey mom, I'm self-propelled now! Look, I'm lightening fast!" The newspaper, our shoes, the dogs tails... are not safe. This weekend will be spent baby proofing.
In other news, antibiotic #2 seems to be gaining ground on the germs having parties in our lungs and sinuses (anyone remember that Cosby episode?). We should be operational in a few days. I'm scared to see how fast zippy can move when she's not sick!
Friday, November 03, 2006
We're waving the white flag (more like exhaustedly flopping it back and forth), but the germs persist.
All three of us are still sick (Jim, I heard the coughing this morning). And it's not even officially winter yet.
I'm looking forward to when our immune systems have overcome enough challenges to make us superhuman.
And then those germs had just better watch out!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
- seniority - adopted from the Baltimore SPCA, he's best thing about my tenure there
- tricks - he's got the low and high 5 down, prairie dog, roll over, sit, stay, lay down, blanket...
- neurosis - we can walk him in the neighborhood w/out a leash. not because he's particularly well trained (though he is) but because he's codependent.
- looks - "no, the cute one is the boy, the tough looking one is the girl"
And now we can get him to howl/sing on command!
We're pretty sure he could win us a million dollars on America's Funniest Home videos, but don't want to insult his dignity. Just as we don't insult his dignity by having him as the king of the world a la Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic...
Arlo and MaKenna up north
Friday, October 27, 2006
At some point my boyfriend became my best friend, and then he became my fiance. A year ago my fiance became my husband. One year wedding anniversary on October 29. I think it's going well if I'm still considering him my best friend. And my life long boyfriend.
I've not written much about Jim and feelings. I'm a sucker for accuracy, and it's difficult for me to blend that flaw with something so marrow-deep important and emotional. I've typed and deleted 4 different things here trying to sum up the year and feelings. And I'm good with words and feelings...
When I was sick, Jim came home from the store with 12 different vegetarian soups, and then made it for me. Gestures like this tell me I need to be more generous with the backrubs. We're doing this sickness and health, richer and poorer (day care costs keep us closer to the poorer), good times (have been plenty) and bad (have been few) thing pretty well. We hold each other, and hold each other up, and have great tickle fights. And if we're still doing that in 30 years, then go team.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
It was not bring your daughter to work day. It was, for us, pick your daughter up from daycare because she has a 101.5 fever - but you can't take any more time off of work right now - day. So, I got her and brought her to sit on my office floor while I finished up the day. Yes, I was concerned about the fever and gave her some Tylenol which did the trick (maybe I should sell ad space to them). And it was only 30 minutes until we were out the door, anyhow.
See that guilt? Yup, I've got some of it.
I want to thank the generations of women who came before me and made themselves welcome and valuable in the work force. I have always admired their gumption. I want to thank my parents for subsidizing my education and encouraging me to follow my path. I have always admired their bravery and valued their trust (and financial backing).
It's been more than 6 months now that I've been a mom. Like many others in my generation, I feel pulled in many directions. Though I need to work and contribute to family finances, I feel the most challenged and rewarded when I am being a mom. I feel like I'm the person I'm supposed to be ("calling" wise) when I'm on the floor playing with, reading to, and just observing our daughter.
I do not think that daycare is hurting her (well, short term she's getting sick more than she would at home). She already has a favorite pal that she has a different smile for, and the women who work there respect the kids and have a great deal of affection for them.
I know it's been whined about, and legitimately discussed and researched by many many many people, but I'd like to be a stay at home mom. At least until she's in school. We all do what's best for our kids, and at this time, Jim and I are doing just that. She is happy and healthy(ish) and learning new things every day. We're paying the bills, and enjoying each other and her.
I wish my peers and I had the choice to work or not. In this modern economy, it doesn't seem to be an option for most.
It occurs to me that this all comes with the territory of growing up and parenthood and blending needs and wants, deams and realities.
In the meantime, I look forward to evenings and weekends and mornings. I wasn't much of a morning person. Now I have 2 different wonderful smiles to wake up to. Though, Jim doesn't smile as much as grunt until he's really awake...
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Family folklore goes that when I was born, Maureen the hospital nurse would rock me and listen to the Detroit Tigers on the radio. Ernie Harwell and the sounds of wooden bats slamming leather balls, the crowd cheers and whistles, and the occasional call of "hot dogs!" would calm me.
I remember my head resting against the window of our family's full size metallic orange Ford van, watching the moon follow us home (I might be five or nine or twelve - this happened a lot). Feeling drowsy from the days adventures and the long ride, but excited as Ernie called yet another double play by Tram and Sweet Lou.
I was nine during the magical '84 season. When they won, dad drove us in the van downtown and when we got there opened the sliding door to exchange the exhilarated energy with others cruising in a celebration parade.
Willa was born in early April this year. They were undefeated when she was born, and continued to have a terrific season. She went to a game in September, and I'm glad she won't remember how hot she was or that they lost. She'll see photos of that day with her grandparents celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary with their whole family (except cousin MaKenna - hard to keep a 2 year old occupied at a baseball game - though there's talk of Photoshopping MaKenna into the day).
Tonight Jim, and I will watch game 3 of the World Series while Willa plays on the floor, sometimes paying attention when the announcer raises his voice or the crowd gets into it.
It's another magical season. The city has rallied together around this team, this hope, this unlikely possibility of greatness out of some very grey years of baseball. I love this game, I love the Tigers, I love these Tigers.
Monday, October 23, 2006
The bride was Jim's friend's sister, and even though I don't know the couple well, I was touched by the ceremony. Jim and I held hands tightly as the minister guided them through vows similar to the ones we made nearly a year ago.
I am so happy for our friends. The new mom was worn out and looking proud - another mom warrior. New dad was glowing. As our little family left the hospital last night, I was remembering the joy and exhaustion that Jim and I experienced hours after our daughter, Willa was born. Willa's friend is here!
Willa's mouth has figured out how to make the sound DA. So, now we live in a world with a DADADADADADADA soundtrack.
Breath taking how lives change so drastically every day.
Friday, October 20, 2006
"mom, it is not just a cold. i have a sinus infection. and bronchitis. and pink eye. i feel yucky."
for some reason, being sick doesn't 100% count until mom knows what's up, and gives the "plenty of fluids and lots of rest" speech.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
she and i were both home instead of at daycare and work, thanks to conjunctivitis. is giving eyedrops to a 6 month old fun? nope. but that necessity paired with spending the day with her on the floor playing and really watching her explore and laugh and reach out to be picked up was great. when jim got home from his all day meeting, i told him "i really felt like a mom today. it was a good day.
polly wally doodle.
Friday, October 13, 2006
So, here we go...