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A change in perspective

I used to spend so much time here, putting my thoughts to “paper” and publishing for anyone to see. My kids are only 6 and 3, and there are so many stories to capture about them.

Maybe things like Facebook have ruined that for me, where I can dash off a thought whenever, instead of composing something more … interesting … than I do now?

But I don’t even know where to (re)start. My oldest is in kindergarten and I don’t know for sure what’s okay and what’s not anymore. Will he enjoy my stories about him? Be mad that I put them online, opening both of us to criticism? (I got a lot of flack from attachment parents for that one.)

I used to feel compelled to write. Like something wasn’t quite right in my life unless I was putting pen to paper. Now, after I’ve hit 40, I’m just not sure I need to chronicle everything. Who will care in the end? My grandkids? My great-grandkids? (I would have *loved* to discover an old journal from a relative – but who knows if there will be anyone in the family like that down the road?)

It has to be for me, or not at all. So I’ll write when I feel like it, try to put down some fun thoughts that I think my boys will enjoy later, and try not to pressure myself too much. I have enough of that in other areas of my life.

A blank screen and some free time

I keep wanting to write. I have occasional thoughts of “Oh, I should write about that!” only to get busy, or forget about it, or waste the thought on FB instead. My writing has fallen very low on the priority list. I remember when I just HAD to write or I would go crazy. And now? Time flees my grasp, my kids are growing, and I’m not capturing life as I would like to.

It all goes by so fast and my memory is so horrible that if I don’t write it down, I eventually won’t remember it. And I so want to remember this time in my kids’ lives. In our lives. Even as it’s hard and crazy and messy and loud, it’s ours. And I have such a tenuous grasp on it all anyway. It floats through my fingers only to dissipate with barely a sound, a soft whisper of “You’re going to miss this when it’s gone,” before it really IS gone.

I’ve always been an observer. A recorder. Whether it was on paper or via camera, I had a compulsion to document things. If I don’t, then I’m afraid it didn’t happen. Why am I so desperate to leave a record, an “I was here!” for future generations to see? I guess maybe I always wished that I had found an old diary of a distant relative from years past where I could have a glimpse into what her life was like. Her hopes, dreams, loves.

I guess I want my kids to know that there was so much more to their mom than changing diapers, driving them to school, kissing scraped knees, or being their jungle gym. Don’t get me wrong – I love being that to them. But I am SO much more than that. I’m not quite sure what that is, because it’s tough to define yourself as more when you’re down in the trenches of mothering.

It starts by doing a better job of taking time for myself. I’ve been working a lot of hours recently and I haven’t taken enough time to care for myself, my relationship with my husband, or my friendships. I’m working on changing that. And it actually starts this weekend, by going out with a girlfriend yesterday and spending some time writing today.

I still have a lot of work to catch up on. That hasn’t changed. But I just have to know my limits. Wearing myself out isn’t going to help me work better, nor is it going to help the quality of my work. And with recent health developments, it has become even more important that I take care of myself. So it starts now. Wish me luck.

Those dog days are over

I danced around in the kitchen to Florence & the Machine this morning as I fixed breakfast for me and the boys. For some reason, her music reminds me of my younger, carefree days. The boys just kindof looked at me for a bit, but grinned as I grabbed each of them in turn & danced around.

Those are the types of memories I want them to have. Dancing in the kitchen with mom on a random Monday.

Category: babbling  Tags: , ,  Comments off

Resolutions

Funny enough, I got a call from the hospital today asking how things went while we were there. So I told the lady how great the nurses in the NICU were. How kind and caring. How they did their best to make sure I could see my boy as often as possible. They always had a rocking chair ready to go so I could hold and nurse my boy.

It was getting my son released from the NICU that was the problem. It took about eight hours longer than it should have. Hours in my new son’s life that I’ll not get back. His first 48+ hours in which I should have been with him constantly. And I wasn’t. He needed medical care and I’m so grateful that he got it. But those extra hours of waiting were unnecessary. And yes, I’m still a little bit angry about it.

There’s more to it, and I will get around to telling the story. But right now I need to find a way to move on. It’s over. Done. I can’t change it. I need to focus on spending time with both of my sons, not getting angry about something I can’t change.

But at least I was able to tell my story to someone at the hospital. And hopefully it’ll change for the next mom whose baby graduates from the NICU during a very busy time.

Out and about

We managed to get out of the house with both of the boys. We didn’t go far – just to the mall. But it was someplace where we could walk around and let the oldest expend some energy.

The ladies at Williams-Sonoma ooohed and aaahed over the baby. And when they found out he is 5 days old, they didn’t know whether I was brave or crazy.

Funny, neither do I.

I just *have* to get out of the house. Even if I’m tired, there’s only so much you can do inside these walls. And I’m certainly not bedridden. Being forced to get out of bed the day after surgery will do that to you. I had no choice – I had to go and see my son. There was nothing – not an IV, a catheter, a sore abdomen… nothing – that was going to keep me away from him. As it was, it took at least 8 hours longer than it should have to get him back with us. And it probably would have been longer if I’d not suffered a meltdown right in the middle of the NICU.

Let’s just say it was an emotional time, I was exhausted, and I didn’t handle the multiple delays very well. It sucks when the kids who are ready to leave the NICU are kept there simply because the doctor hasn’t made it through rounds yet and the ones that are out of danger are the last ones to be seen. Let me say it again. It SUCKS. I’m still not happy with how that was handled. But the nurses and staff were so kind. And amazingly patient. And awesome.

It could have been so much worse. We were pretty fortunate. We ARE pretty fortunate. I can’t stress that enough.

It’s going to be an adjustment to having two instead of one. But so far? It’s awesome. Both of my sons are amazing. What more can I ask for?

Today you’re three

me and my son

Dear Son,

Today you are three years old. It’s hard for me to believe it has already been three whole years since you joined us. You have brought so much joy and light into our lives. You’re funny. You’ll do just about anything for a laugh. You’re charming. That grin where you wrinkle your nose and squint your eyes is so very cute (but I’m on to you). You’re silly. You love to stand on your head and look at things, or use the wrong end of the binoculars to view your world. You’re sweet. There’s nothing better than hugs and kisses from you.

You are my little buddy. We’re together day after day, just the two of us until daddy gets home from work. You’re my constant companion. You keep me company. You want me to play cars all the time. You stand in my chair and run cars on my head while I type away at the computer. You give the best nose rubs and hugs. I hope you always have a special place in your heart for mommy.

You love to help. I hope you’ll love helping with your little brother. I don’t quite think you understand yet what it means. And I hope that it only brings you joy when we arrive home with him just days after your birthday. You and your brother will be exactly 3 years, 1 day apart. But I hope that you’ll always be good buddies.

I love you so much, little buddy. That will never change, even as we move into a new dynamic with our family. Happy 3rd birthday, little man. I cherish these years with you. I hope you do, too.

Always,

Mama

My son, the comedian

Our boy is trying to assert his independence. He’ll turn 3 in about 10 days, so it’s no surprise. He loves to have choices, so we offer him one thing or the other and let him decide. But sometimes he’s pretty insistent that he wants something even when we say no.

Especially when it comes to Go-Gurt. I don’t know if I should be happy we introduced this into our household or not. The kid really loves it. So I let him have one or two each day. But he’s constantly asking for more. And since he can open the fridge, he goes and gets one and presents it to me for approval. In fact, a few days ago he came to me, smiled the sweetest little smile, rubbed noses with me, and then produced a Go-Gurt from behind his back.

He’s a smart one, already learning how to work mama over.

Yesterday was a battle of wills. Every five minutes he was asking for a yogurt, then crying when we said no. It had been that way all day – the whining and battling. We were all getting exhausted from it. Daddy sternly told him enough was enough, and the boy came over to me, whining and putting his head in my lap. Daddy then told him he’d better turn that frown upside down and put a smile on his face. Again, sternly. The instant the word “smile” came out of hubby’s mouth, my son put on the biggest, cheesiest grin you’ve ever seen. It was immediate. I looked at him, then looked at my husband, trying hard to stifle a laugh.

Hubby’s face was turning red as he tried not to laugh. It took only seconds before we cracked up. Things went from super-serious, you-need-to-stop-whining-child to full-on tears running down our cheeks. I have never seen that child change his demeanor so quickly. It really was hilarious. By the time we finished laughing, everyone was in a better mood. And our sides were hurting. A lot.

Do you know how painful it is to make a 9-months-pregnant woman belly laugh?

Totally worth it.

The neverending week

STILL not caught up. Treading water. There are dishes in BOTH sides of the sink. The baby seat is still lost in the jungles of our garage. I still haven’t managed to complete some web copy and I desperately need to get it done. Also? Knee deep in resumes.

The work stuff is a good thing. Really. Trying to get as much done as I can before I take time off. But I swear my days are getting shorter and I just can’t quite find the time to finish everything. Especially with a clingy, demanding 2 year old attached to my hip.

Son’s hearing test was fine, so that’s a positive. They didn’t get to test each ear individually, thanks to his aversion to ANYTHING on his head. But it appears to be within normal range so they’re ruling that out as a reason for his speech delay. He’s never had ear infections or injuries, so we were pretty sure that was the case anyway.

Next steps, more evaluations.

And to add to the misery? Next week they’re paving our lot. Which means I’m either stuck in the house all day or stuck OUT of the house all day. No in between. Joy. Whose idea was it to pave just days before Thanksgiving? I really despise our management company. So much I might even name them one of these days.

Went to Java Mama today so the kid could have some fun while I worked. It was great, except for the other boy who kept pushing everyone and giving them headlocks. I mean, hugs. And even with repeated requests for her to WATCH HER DAMN SON, the mother was too busy chatting with about 10 friends and watching her baby in a stroller. That she could have taken IN the play area so she could watch her son more closely. Which she needed to do.

I never know how to speak up in those situations without getting so angry I make no sense. I fume and bite my tongue, unsure of the appropriate thing that will let her know her son’s behavior is NOT acceptable when it causes MY SON to hit his head. I am new to these waters, since it’s usually just me & my son hanging out at home. How do you handle misbehaving kids when their own parent seems content to ignore their bad deeds?

Feels like today

I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to just take a day off to enjoy things and be with the boy.

This morning we went to Fisherman’s Landing to check out Tackle Days. Hubs was working, so we stopped by to say hello. My son loves the tackle shop and spent several minutes dragging me around and pointing out all of the cool stuff. Rods. Reels. Lures. He especially likes the swimbaits.

Fisherman's Landing Tuna FountainOn our way back to the car, we stopped at this really cool fountain. It’s a recent addition to the landing area, next to Pizza Nova. The boy loves it. He stood there looking for quite a while. And splashing. He even got me a few times, which was — of course — hysterical to him. We didn’t have anywhere to be, so we just sat there for a while and played. Usually I’m rushing him off to whatever else is going on. But not today. It was Mommy & Boobah day.

I did eventually tear him away because I had to get something to eat. But after eating, we went to Target and wondered around. His favorite part? The dollar aisle. They had some wooden trains and he would have stayed there the rest of the afternoon. We did have to make our way for a nap, finally.

These are the days I want to file away for when I’m old and gray. Here’s to making more memories… soon with BOTH sons.

Category: parenting, spawn  Tags: , , ,  Comments off

More gratitude, less whining

Gratitude

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while and I think it’s time. As we approach Thanksgiving, it never hurts to contemplate your blessings.

Tonight my son and I walked to the store. He helped get himself dressed, even halfway putting on one shoe. As we walked, he pointed to the stars and babbled. I’m pretty sure he was pointing out the various constellations to me. Or maybe just thinking “Ooooh, pretty!”

He helped me push the cart around the store. And even picked out the kind of string cheese and graham crackers he wanted. My favorite part? While we were in line at the cashier, he was dancing to INXS. And doing a darn fine job according to the guy in front of me, the bagger and the checker. I’m smiling just thinking about it.

We crunched leaves on our way back. Every time he stepped on a downed, dried leaf I said “CRUNCH!” and he giggled. Then we passed through the gate and the star-gazing began again.

I am amazed at how big he is. How quickly (almost) three years have gone. How independent he is. How much of a little personality he has.

And I fall more in love each time. And I am so very grateful.