Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Rewind: Evolved or Unresolved?

"Gotta go back in time" ~ Huey Lewis and the News

So last year around this time I resolved to evolve and aspired to be a better version of myself. Although oh so much has happened in 2011, it still feels like the fastest year yet. When I wrote that post, I had just found out I was pregnant but hadn't gone public yet. I was trying to embrace this unexpected gift more than anything. Of course we were happy, but surprises can be, well, surprising. And she turned out to be the best surprise I've yet to experience.

Q's year proved to be eventful as well. Aside from becoming a big brother, he started preschool, which had its ups and downs. Overall, it's been great for him as he's embracing a world beyond himself, making friends, and learning through lots of play. He also had a health scare (well, more for his pregnant mama than for anyone else) and lots of bumps and bruises throughout the year that were fortunately not too scarring. He's growing so fast and turning into a little boy, which is freaking me out and making me proud and freaking me out all over again.

T and I tried to go with the flow of this very pregnant year, but my hormones often got in the middle and stirred up some insanity. Fortunately we're stronger now for it. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

On the "take more and better photos" front, thank the app gods for Instagram.

All in all, I do think I have evolved a bit. I feel more like a grown-up than I ever did. I feel like my family is full and wonderful. But there is the unresolved bit as well. Like patience. I really need to work on that one A LOT more. And I need to be kinder to myself. I want to cherish more and complain less. But we shall see. Venting here can be so therapeutic. It's all about balance in the end.

And so I wish a very balanced, peaceful and happy new year to you all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mamasay Memories: Making Spirits Bright

"May the sunshine on you, may the sunshine on you, may the sunshine on Terri, may the sunshine on you" ~ my family

Today would be your 60th birthday, Mom. If you were still around, we might be throwing you a big party. But I know you'd prefer to keep it low-key. I wish we could go to the movies with Dad and Danielle. Maybe you'd want to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Or maybe we'd watch The Help at home because when I read that book I knew it would so be your cup of tea. I wish we could get you an ice cream cake and then lay around on the couch together after. With the hectic pace of the holiday season, you always wanted to relax on your birthday. And now that I'm a mom to two in the midst of the holiday season, I truly understand why.

As I sit her sipping some tea while not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse (I'm a mouse and I'm stirring!), in front of the Christmas tree typing this, I'm attempting to unwind just a little bit. Remember how you always recalled us telling you to "chill, Mom" when we thought you were getting overly anxious about something? Yeah, I'm the one who needs the chill pill now. If only we could laugh at this freakin' circle of life together. I miss your laugh. It's probably the most genuine laugh I've ever known.

Even though your birthday was a mere two days before Christmas, you never made a big stink about having to share your day. In fact, you loved the holiday season. You and Dad hosted Christmas Eve for your side of the family every year and did it so well. Everything about that night, year after year of my childhood, brings to mind warmth, comfort, and -- can't help myself -- joy. I'm hoping to carry on your tradition as I'm now hosting Christmas Eve for Toby's family, Dad and Danielle, and of course my two. I hope that Q and Z think about that special night at their own home every year with the same fondness. Without developing my obsession with chips and dip.

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom. Wherever you are, I know you're celebrating with Gram and other loved ones. I wish I could be with you. But I have a pretty good notion that you're here with me anyway. So, thanks for helping to make my spirit bright just when I need it most. Love ya 2 and a half.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Getting Cozy with Q and Z

"Every day will be like a holiday when my baby, when my baby comes home" ~ William Bell

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. Probably because my parents made it extra special for me and my sister growing up, and my dad adores all of the little things that go into making Christmas bright. (Literally. Dude loves to decorate. ) But it has changed in so many ways for me in these past couple of years. We no longer have my mom around, which is obviously tough to say the least. But I now have children of my own to create holiday traditions for. While sometimes it's hard to get into the spirit, especially when other life stuff (nanny hunting, job limbo, refinancing, speech therapy, etc.) collides with what is already a hectic time of year, Q and Z allow me to find the joy in the season once again.

Our holiday card photo

How can I not feel blessed when I look at these two beauties? Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Farewell, Fourth Trimester: Zoe's 3 Month Day

"Sometimes we find if we think with our hearts, we can read between the lines" ~ Bonobo feat. Bajka

Hey baby, it's been a beautiful first 3 months with you. Not without its challenges, but beautiful nonetheless. It's with mixed emotions that I bid adios to your newborn days. I've read that the first 3 months of a baby's life are essentially the 4th trimester, and I truly felt that with you, Z. You were most content when held close -- a place where you could hear heartbeats and soak in our warmth. But as you grow more aware of your surroundings, you're happy to observe. You can sit and stare at newfound friends, like your hands, or watch us from afar. You adore sitting on a lap and looking out at the world, but you still are most calmed by being walked chest-to-chest.

Your smiles now evolve into hiccup-like giggles, and your entire face beams and you turn coyly into your shoulder. Such a flirt already. With you and your girlfriend-loving big bro, we're in big trouble.

You love the bath and hate the cold afterwards. You are not shy about letting us know that you're uncomfortable. Tummy time is not your favorite, although you have started pushing your head and shoulders up like the strong girl I know you are.

You slept 9 straight hours the other night and I woke up wanting to do the dance of joy a la Balki Bartakamous. Thank you, my little love!  Now if you could just keep it up, mama will have a much better chance of staying sane. Speaking of losing my mind, I'm doing my best to teach your big bro to be gentle with you, but despite a couple of scratches, you're smitten with him just the same. You are thrilled to see him every time he crosses your line of vision.

I'm in love with watching your personality blossom more every day. But as you're starting to outgrow your sling, I already miss you peeking out from your swaddlings. It'll be great to have a little more freedom of movement, but I'll always cherish these precious days of snuggling.

Happy 3 Months, Z!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Fed Up with "Failing"

"Oh my god, I'm stuck in the same position" ~ Cults

Why must I continue to give myself a mental smackdown every time something goes wrong with my children? Is this the curse of mothers -- to constantly feel like it's my fault, like I could have done something to prevent this? Like I'm not cut out for this parenting stuff? Or perhaps it's just the curse of this blog. It is named Flyrish Foibles after all.

The latest issue arose at Q's preschool parent-teacher conference. His teachers believe he is lagging behind in his speech development. And it totally makes sense that they'd notice this. I think I got used to him falling behind in all of his milestones since he was a tiny thing (not crawling until 13 months, not walking until 17 months), so the fact that he wasn't using full sentences didn't concern me too much. But then I noticed how his 19-month-old friend seemed so close to his verbal level, and while she is somewhat advanced for her age, it still made me take note of Q's speech. And now that his teachers are recommending a visit with a speech therapist for an evaluation, I know it's more than just a hunch. So of course my first thought was where did I go wrong? Have I not been speaking clearly to him? Have I been letting him watch too much Yo Gabba Gabba? Did I pass something on genetically that has disrupted that part of his brain development?

Ugh, the self-blame and feelings of guilt are exhausting. And you know what? I'm sick of beating myself up. My kids are clearly my priority. Isn't that what matters when it comes down to it? If they weren't at the forefront of my brain 98% of the time, then there would be at least a couple more fashion and music posts on this blog, yes? I am so done with feeling like a failure of a mom.

I want to do everything I can to give Q the tools to succeed in life. I will take him to a speech therapist if that's what he needs. We will do all we can at home to foster his verbal skills. I'll stop with the "kind nums" and call them fruit snacks. I'll study up on bettering our communicative skills. Hell, I'll learn to freestyle if that helps. I'm not going to be one of those parents who thinks her kid will just grow out of it because I'm in denial that there's a potential problem.

Enough with the wallowing in the muck, little piggy. It's time to accept myself as an imperfect mother who loves her kids above all else. The flaws, the mistakes, the foibles only make me stronger in the end. I'd rather focus on how to move forward.