Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Arlo is dog #1 in terms of:
  • 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

Yesterday I left my office with Willa on my hip, and her diaper bag and my purse on the other shoulder (later I was angry for myself for accidently leaving my breast pump in the office in my haste to get home). As I walked out of the building, I pictured what I looked like to someone else: a frazzled working mom, trying to keep it together.

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

In one weekend we joined the celebration of a couple making their wedding vows, and a smaller celebration of our friends welcoming their beautiful baby girl into the world a few hours prior.

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

i was crumpled on the couch, half listening to jim tell my mom that we all had a cold. when he was done, i asked to talk with her.
"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

while driving home from the pharmacy yesterday we were listening to a new cd with fun, silly songs that i grew up on. i started to tear up thinking about teaching our daughter "the cannon" of kids songs, and everything else that a child needs to learn before moving on to adolescence.

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

2 teeth and 4 shots in one week.
our daughter is a warrior.
...starting right smack in the middle of everything. I'm going to resist the ceremonial first post backround info, and will leave it at this: I have a husband and we have a 6 month old, 2 dogs, some fish, and too many houseplants. We have jobs and ideas and a pretty modest garden. We're on the west coast (yeah, I'm trying to get that to catch on) of Michigan.
So, here we go...