you go girl

Really not much time to post these days if I want to ever get my new site up and my manuscript complete. Oh, and be a decent mom and wife.  And get my fix of American Idol. But I just feel compelled to share this video of Lexi dancing to Public Enemy “Bring the Noise.” She’s got my head, neck jiration thing down.

And yes, I think playing Public Enemy is being a good mom.

Also, I would like to point out her fancy St. Patty’s Day dress. Her Grandma Vangie brought it back from Ireland. Which I doubted for a minute when we saw this little girl at Borders this morning wearing the same dress.

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Turns out, this baby’s mom’s best friend sent it to her from Ireland. Small world!

I’ve ended with the Irish Blessing before, but as far as I’m concerned you can’t hear this blessing too many times.

An Irish Blessing:

May the Road Rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And the rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

humble pie in a blanket

Although in my previous post I claim to be close to comatose and unable to blog, I feel compelled to join in on another PROMPTuesday from San Diego Momma.

Write a story about when you last were humbled, felt humbled by the presence of something/someone in your life, or lay prostrate at the feet of the universe and said “I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I will now relinquish control and let you take over.”

Luckily I had this post saved in my drafts from months ago.  I just dusted it off and finessed it a little. Here goes…

My children teach me lessons in humility every day.  It’s what I love and hate the most about motherhood…the way I am forced to see myself for who I really am.  It makes me strive to be a better person and for that I am so thankful.

I can remember one instance in particular in which I felt humbled beyond recognition.  It was a quintessential A-Ha moment…My 2nd daughter, Lexi, was 6 weeks old. I was in the height of my sleep deprivation and at my wits’ end. And I mean WITS’ END.  Like, call the looney bin, end.  On this particular night, Lexi was inconsolable, as she had been for a few weeks straight, and I was rocking her to no avail, in my Dutalier rocker which I HIGHLY recommend, btw. As she wailed on like a banshee in my arms, my mind raced with all the things I had to do: fold the laundry, wash the dishes, workout, check emails, remove the chipped crusty polish from my nails, plan my toddlers b-day party, shower, brush my teeth, eat, sleep, and call the plumber. As the list raced through my mind I became more anxious, more upset, and more frustrated. Why is she crying?…Why won’t she stop?…I really have a lot to do…UGH! I just wanted it to stop.

Finally, in a rare moment of clarity, the following obvious yet profound thoughts ocurred to me:

  1. Babies cry.
  2. Babies are helpless.
  3. I am her mom.
  4. I am the only person (except her dad) that can help her.
  5. That is what moms do.

Ding Dong Mary, THIS IS MOTHERHOOD!  Moms hold, protect and love their babies. They stop everything else to do so.

They Surrender.

Obvious? Simple? Innate?

Maybe for some, but not to me. The reality of what being a mom means hit me like a flash of lightening in my weakest most raw state.  This little wonder, this miraculous gift from God, is my life, my blood, my everything. She is dependent on me for everything.  Nothing I need to do is more important.

The laundry and dishes, the plumber and nappy nails could wait.

At once, a sense of peace and clarity came over me. I could breath. I could see my baby, through and beyond the tears – hers and mine. She would not remember this moment, nor any of the moments to follow for many years to come, but this moment is what our relationship would be built on forever. In 5, 10, 15, 45 years from now, none of the things I had to get done will matter, but she will know that I am the person who loves her the most in this world. Not just because I conceived her, carried her and pushed her out my nether region. But because I raised and cared for her in sacrifice, surrender and pure love.

In that moment, I was humbled. I saw the higher plan for me and my role as mom. It was beautiful and moving, more than the words on this page can accurately describe.

Out of that moment came my 5 S’s of Parenting: Surrender, Survive, Sweat, Sacrife and Shhhhhhhut the f up. Any new or soon-to-be moms may want to check them out.

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never say never – part 2

It occurred to me the other day that my out-of-shape a$$ will be running a half marathon in a few months, up the HILLS OF SAN FRANCISCO…really???  So, this week I dusted off my running shoes, put air in the jogging stroller tires and hit the trails, running.  No, it was jogging.  No, who am I kidding, it was walking swiftly with a few slow sprints mixed in.  I need to start training for my training, that became painfully clear.

While on my first day out, about 5 minutes into the run, only traces of the bribery lollipop were left in the form of a bright blue stain on Lil’s lips which were uttering, Mom I want to go home.

Ugh!

By the time I repeated Just a little bit longer, Lil for the umpteenth time, my desire to work it on out had completely dissipated, so I headed home, after only 15 minutes.

At some point that evening, between the “Oh, I hate this show!” and the “Turn it up!” I exclaimed to my hubbie every 10 minutes of the Bachelor: After the Rose (It really was the most dramatic one ever), I had a flashback to running with Lily in the jogging stroller one night when she was just a baby, before baby #2 was even a consideration. We ran past a dad whose toddler was watching a DVD player in the stroller.

I remember thinking, Oh you’re kidding me! You can’t mix nature and exercise with TV. How dare he? That is the lowest of the low. I will NEVER do that.


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Yesterday my run/walk was 45 minutes. Booya!

We do what we gotta do, right parents? Can I get a what what?

my two girls and the five senses

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in San Diego Momma’s PROMTuesday, so since I am once again, in bed, in the dark, lying next to my sick baby girl, I will take a few minutes (not more than 10…that is the rule) to write about today’s topic:

Write a character sketch of someone you love (child, partner, pet, mentor, etc.). Detail this person, let us see him or her through your description. Maybe you want to “show” your loved one through action and movement, or perhaps you are viewing him or her in repose. Either way, get down to brass tacks and give us the one you love through your writing.

Lily & Lexi — my dears, my dolls, my doves, my delights , my dy-no-mites —

The color of sunshine

Music to my ears

Soft to the touch, exquisite, finer than china

The smell of rain: pure, clean, fresh, beautiful, joyful

Edible

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sunrise sunset

I’m officially freaking out.  How is it December 1st tomorrow?  Not only does that mean that the Holiday Madness Spirit will soon kick into high gear and henceforth kick my *ss, but more importantly, it means that my baby girl is 6 months old.  How did that happen?  Where did the time go?  Makes me think of the song “Sunrise Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof.  That song has always made me well up, even before I had kids. But now…forget about it.  Play me the first note and I’m a gonner.

And it has only now occurred to me that the line “Is the little girl I carried?” is a double entendre.  Carried as in babe in arms, but also carried as in in utero.  As in I carried you in my tummy for nine months…that is just crazy.  It’s the source of the magical, unconditional love that moms have for their babies.

On one hand, I am really excited that Lex has reached this cute age where she can interact and play, but on the other, I don’t want her to grow up so fast.  To quote ONJ in Xanadu…”Keep me suspended in time with you, don’t let this moment die.”  I want to push pause on my time machine to keep her in this yummy, no talking back, no temper tantrum phase.   And since she is 99.99% most certainly our last baby, it makes her growing up even more poignant.

So today, I am thankful for three things:

1.  Being able to share the Holidays with Lily now that she is old enough to understand it (and so I can threaten her with Santa Claus’ omniscient knowledge of whether she’s naughty or nice).

2. Lexi entering the playful, adorable, yummy phase of babyhood.

3. The end of November, hence the end of NaBloPoMo (National Blogging Post Month) which means I don’t have to blog EVERY DAY.  Phew!   So to my faithful readers, I may not be posting everyday this month but hopefully you’ll stay with me. Between shopping, wrapping, making Xmas cookies, drinking egg nog, reading my book project submissions, and yuletiding with my family, I might not be feeling too inspired to blog.

But who knows…I’ve got a fever and the only remedy might be more blogging!

Happy Holidays to You and Yours.  And remember…stay thankful!

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if you take it return it

My friend Benjie and I treated ourselves to manis & pedis this morning to get ready for the art show tonight.  She has some pieces up and some of Steve’s short films are showing, so we need to be snazzed up.  Somewhere between the cuticle clippings and “what coloh?” I noticed a little sticky note above the nail polish rack.  It said “If you borrow anything from this station please put it back.”

Made me think, isn’t that obvious?  Of course things should be put back…why do you need to reiterate it?  Isn’t that what we’re taught as kids, to put things back where we find them?  I’m starting to teach this lesson to Lily and it’s actually a hard one.  Put the pen caps back on the pens and put the Play Doh back in it’s container or else they will dry up.  Put the tupperware back in the tupperware drawer so we know where it is next time we need it.  Put your dirty clothes in the hamper or in the laundry shoot (aka the stair landing) so we can wash it.

But then I remembered my Dad’s den.  I guess I had a habit of taking things from his Den, like scissors or pencils, and not returning them.  He labeled ALL of his belongings “Dad” and also left little notes in various places to remind me to return whatever I touched.  It pretty much NEVER worked and invariably I would hear the wrath when he couldn’t find what he was looking for.

I think I’ve gotten better over the years at returning things but still falter once in awhile.  One incident that still haunts me to this day occurred when I borrowed a few of a friend’s collectible dolls for props in a film.  Steve and I were making our first short film on a $00.00 budget so we borrowed props, costumes, etc from anyone and everyone we knew.  My friend Melinda had a bunch of Barbie Dolls, still in their boxes, in mint condition… they were perfect for our toy store location.  What I didn’t realize when I borrowed them was that they were collectors items and worth A LOT of money.  After the shoot, the boxes sat in my trunk for weeks.  I had every good intention of getting them back to her, but I was in my mid 20’s and had many more “priorities” like going to Lamplighter Karaoke Night.  When I finally got around to returning them, the boxes were badly bent and scratched, no longer in mint collector condition.  I quickly realized how important they were to her and how irresponsible I had been.  Yikes!  I cringe to think of that.  I was young and careless (sorry Melinda)!  Looking back I think, my parents did not raise me to do things like that.  I’d like to think of myself as considerate and respectful…apparently not all the time though.  Something to work on in myself, especially now that I am raising little kids and expect the same out of them.

I still have one of the mugs from my Dad’s den where he used to keep all his prize pens, pencils and scissors.  I love it for two reasons:

1) It reminds me of my quest to be better at returning things

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2) It reminds me of my Dad

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never say never

Until I became a parent, there were certain things I told myself I would never do…

1) I thought I would never sink to bribing my children…This photo cost me one Wiggles episode and some Yogos.  Why do you think she’s so happy?

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Parental bribery comes in many forms…If you eat your peas, you can have some dessert…If you stop whining, we can go play outside…If you pick up your toys, you can have a longer bath.  The ethics of it all may be questionable but I call it doin’ what you gotta do.  Don’t feel shame, embrace the bribe!

2) I also thought I would never base my life around my kids’ naps or bedtime…This photo was taken just after I said it was time to leave the park cause it was time for nap…She’s half bummed and half happy cause nap time means binky time.

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Yes, in a previous post I turned my nose up at routines, however that was primarily meant for real little ones.  After 6 months or so, a child will develop natural nap/sleep habits.  Some moms stick to them and some don’t.  My personal experience is that if I don’t stick to Lil’s nap schedule, I will be paying for it in temper tantrums and whines later.  No amount of fun at the park or anywhere for that matter, is worth it to me.  So…I base my life around Lil’s nap and nighttime schedule.  Yes, I am that person.

3) Last but not least…I NEVER thought I would dress my kid in Crocs

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What is with these things?  Kids just L-O-V-E them!  And I actually love them now too…they’re easy to put on, fun to dress up with the little Jibitz, and great for the beach, park or pool.

Until you’ve walked in someone’s shoes, it’s best not to pass judgement. I don’t think I took that adage seriously until becoming a parent. Yes, I’ll take some ketchup with my words, that would be great, thanks!