Friday, April 27, 2012

Funky Fridays

"Look out, weekend, 'cause here I come" ~ Debbie Deb

Fridays once held the promise of a relaxing break. Just the beginning of an escape from the workweek. A party or two. A drink or five.  Brunch at noon the next day. Lazy strolls through shops. A power nap. Some spontaneity, perhaps. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Fallen from the tree of youth.

Even though my weekends are now the oranges to yesterday's apples, I look forward to them with the same enthusiasm. I get two full days with my loves. My T. My Q. My Z. I get to cuddle and carry and fill my nose with their scents. I may not get much rest, but I get a whole lot of excitement. Life with two little ones is filled with possibilities. With new journeys. Always with something to ooh and ahh over.

And T and I are going on a long overdue date tomorrow night. To a show no less! So there's that little hint of yesterday's fun. I keep thinking we're going to pass out in the corner of the venue before DJ Shadow even comes on. No, not from one too many drinks. Just from sheer exhaustion. But I'm excited for a rare night alone together, listening to good music. And then waking up without a hangover and getting outside with my brood. 

When I think about my weekends now, I don't get too nostalgic for the "good ol' days". Of course I think about them and miss them at moments, but I mostly think about more moments like these. Soaking up the sun while I soak up time with my incredible family. Or, fun pict-nic! As Q would say.

One of the first decent family photos we've taken since Z. Even with Q's eyes closed and Z looking a bit awkward, I love it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Write On Project: You Can't Be Contained

"Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky" ~ Malvina Reynolds

I'm happy to be over at The Write On Project for the second time as I was quite inspired by this month's theme-- boxes. Boxes are everywhere you look, everywhere you want and don't want to be. I'm stepping out of my little box on the blogosphere today and it feels a bit uncomfortable, but I hope you'll join me. Come visit, comment, and perhaps find some inspiration to write your own post.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bumpy Babes in Guidoland: Zoe's 7 Month Day

"And what we wish shall be, like a breathe of fresh air, safe and secret powers that no love can spare"~ Bonobo feat. Bajka

I'm a few days late for the celebration, but you understand, ZoZo. You weren't quite in the mood to ring in your 7th month on Wednesday when you awoke at 4am writhing in pain. And when I went to change you and found your legs covered in a bumpy, miserable rash, I knew you were not loving life. I immediately traveled back in time to waking up moaning in discomfort from particularly nasty outbreaks of eczema and my mom doing what she could do to comfort me. So I felt your anguish and finally understood what my mom must have gone through. I wondered if I had passed down my cursed skin problems or if I fed you something your body could not tolerate.

So we spent the morning of your 7 month day at the doctor's office discovering that you had some extra-nasty version of the coxsackie virus. And apparently the rash was more blistery and painful than itchy. My poor ladybug. Well, at least we could treat you for pain. And I coated your blisters in Aquaphor with the hopes that you'd experience some relief. The doc said this could last about a week, so I took a deep breath and told myself you'd be okay. Of course you are, my little trooper. The first couple of days were rough, but then you either felt better or adapted because you slept through the night on Friday and woke up with a smile.

But there was a lot more going on in your 7th month of life than illness. You had your first Easter, which gave me the opportunity to gift you some pretty spring/summer outfits instead of chocolate and junky toys. You of course adored all of the colored eggs, paper grass, and watching your big bro get amped on the sweets."Waaaaah," you called after him with glee, sounding surprisingly similar to Wario from Mario Cart.

You're still quite the talker, with an increased variety of sounds escaping your cute mouth every day. Your toes have become a new favorite toy, and you want to grab at pretty much everything else. There's no wearing glasses for mama lately. I'm constantly trying to reel you back in from stretching to reach something. You know, Q's toys, my food, knives. Q never needed to explore so much with his hands at this age.

While a consistent nap schedule has yet to be settled, you're a wonderful night sleeper, Miss Zoe. And I'd much rather you be a better night sleeper than day sleeper, but I feel for our amazing nanny who never knows if or when you'll nap. At least you two have a blast together.

Regardless of all of the snot-filled days and blistery nights, you are still my happy bird. My lovely ladybug. My vocal daughter who everyone says will be a big talker. I love our chats now and I look forward to every instance of girly fun in our future.

Wishing you many months of health and fun discoveries. Love you to the moon and back. Happy 7 month day, Zoe!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

What About Your Friends?

"Keep smiling, keep shining . . ." ~ Dionne Warwick

I'm barely a month into my new full-time gig and I'm already seeing what tends to go off kilter when attempting the balancing act of working outside of the home. Of course I was most concerned with Q and Z adjusting to me being away more often. But there were adjustments I didn't anticipate in the mad rush to find childcare and prep myself for a new work world. Ones that proved to be more difficult than I could have imagined.

First, I forgot to prepare T for the hour or two every evening that he would have the kiddos alone. You know, what we like to call the "unhappy hour" that hits right around dinnertime. And of course I started the job the same week that daylight savings time kicked in, so it was extra fun for him. Poor guy. Bad wife! But he is adjusting well now and figuring out what works and what doesn't when juggling the two littles before mama walks in the door. And he's been an awesome partner and source of support for me during this transition. I'm sure I need to do more to hold up my end of the partnership, though.

Some of the besties helping me celebrate my bday last month.

Second -- and what's really been on my mind lately -- is feeling too guilty to spend my Saturdays and Sundays away from the kids. Or my weekday evenings. And honestly, it's more than guilt. I miss my babies and want to soak up all the time I can with them when I'm not working. I hope beyond hope that Z will hit a milestone on the weekend so that I can be there to share it with her and that Q will be down for extra cuddle time. But somehow this spring has sprung full of events. And not the kind with bouncy houses. What I took for granted when I worked from home and had more time with my kids is that I was better able to balance time with friends. Well, let's be real here. It wasn't ideal, but it was manageable. Now I find myself declining invites to spa days and wine tastings. By the way, where were these invites before I started this job? Everything comes down all at once, it seems.

My friends have always been such a central part of my life. I'm incredibly lucky and grateful to have the group of friends that I do. My mom used to regularly remark on how special my group of friends was. We love each other like family, and that's why it's so difficult to find the weeks flying by without much QT with my BFFs.

So, friends in real life, if you're reading, let me take a moment to apologize. Please know I haven't forgotten about you. I think of you often. I even make plans in my head to call you after the kids go to bed. But then there's the laundry to fold and the dishes to do and the TV goes on and my head hits the pillow. It's not an excuse. It's just my current reality. And it won't be forever. I'll get more settled in my routine and hopefully not be so freakin' exhausted. Before we know it, we'll be complaining about how the kids don't want to be around us at all. How embarrassing we are. (Muahaha, I can't wait to embarrass them.) But I do plan to see you before then. That is a promise.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Guest Post: A Lesson in Worth for New Bloggers

"You got to know what your love is worth" ~ Del the Funky Homosapien

I'm so happy to welcome Jessica from Mommyhood Next Right to my blog today. We have been bloggy friends for over a year now, and it seems we have had parallel experiences as moms. Q is about a year older than her Nya, and we were pregnant with our second at the same time. Zoe was born a month before Annah. We may live across the country from each other, but it feels like we are next door neighbors many ways. When I read her blog, she always inspires me to write more often. And I think this post will only continue in that vein. Plus, I believe her tips can be applied to many passions in life -- not just blogging. Be sure to visit her blog for some precious photos of her little ones and for some very genuine insights on motherhood, writing, and more.

I wrote a post in February on my blog called Facebook Friends. It’s a post about one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a blogger. No, I take that back, as the lesson I learned has less to do with blogging and more to do with me, or the “me” that existed long before my days of blogging.

That lesson begins with something of my past, something of a Valentine’s Day “surprise” of roses and dozens of balloons. That lesson continues with hundreds of Facebook friends that weren’t really my friends at all and ends with something of my present: It (or the lesson from the post) is the one I’d like to share with all new bloggers. Oh, wait, not just new bloggers, but maybe I’d share this lesson with all women, men, and children who have ever convinced themselves that popularity can be a ticket to self-satisfaction, to happiness, to security.

So what’s the lesson? I know. You’ve waited long enough. The lesson that I’ve learned is that in order to be the kind of (fill in the blank) that you admire, you must know your worth and live from that place. What can the “fill in the blank” be? Well, anything from blogger to dancer to human being to parent.

As it pertains to blogging specifically, in knowing your worth, you must know and believe that you can be a fabulous blogger. You must know and believe that you have something to say and that others want to hear what you have to say. You must know and believe that you don’t need to cajole others with promises of something in return in order for them to want to hear what you have to say.

You must know and believe that you are worth more than a Facebook friend that you don’t really like, a coupon or free product that you hate or can’t use, a Facebook "like," a follower who offers you nothing more than a follow back. You are worth more because you are. Just because you are.

To be a better blogger, to become a better blogger, you must understand your worth first. You must recognize your worth and decide to blog from that place. You must choose to:
1.     Write what you’re passionate about, because writing about crap that you hate really sucks.
2.     Write when you can. If that’s only once a week, then so be it! Really.
3.     Write because you want to write.
4.     Like, follow, tweet the people you are truly interested in liking, following, or tweeting. Make the kinds of connections that matter to you.
5.     Value your work and your integrity because really, in this blogosphere, it’s all you have.
6.      Proofread your work. Promote it. Love it because it's yours.

Yes, it’s that simple. Know your worth, new bloggers. Know your worth. That’s all.