Thursday, May 31, 2012


"I want to thank you for letting me be myself, again" ~ Sly and the Family Stone 

Tomorrow is T's birthday. I never feel like I do enough for this man of mine on special occasions. And of course this year I've been particularly preoccupied. But I have been thinking about his birthday a lot and hemming and hawing over his gift. I ended up telling him that I was indecisive about it and that I'd let him make the decision on his birthday. So . . . surprise? Ugh, I suck at this. I think it's because I want to get him something kind of extravagant and unnecessary, but then I know there are more practical things he actually wants for the house. We just decided to hire someone to do some work on our side yard (lingering French drain issues, to make a long story short), and I was like, "Happy Birthday!" I was kidding. Anyway, he gets to choose his gift tomorrow. 

In the meantime, I'd like to thank him for growing old older with me. For bearing with my moods. For making me laugh. For sharing in the goofiness. For supporting me as I figure out this career path. For being so generous with his love. For blessing me with these little beauties.

First thing in the morning. Don't they look sniffable?

And for staying by my side. I can't really ask for much more in life. 

Lub, oil and filter forever, Tobdad. Happy Freakin' Birthday!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To Do's and To Don'ts

"Let's chill, let's settle down"~ Guy

Lately overwhelmed is the key word for my life. I work like a mad [wo]man for 8 hours straight, barely taking the time to wolf down some lunch, and then I come home, feed my family, inhale some dinner, play with my babies, put them to bed, and do some more work. I might fold some laundry or do a few dishes before bed. Downtime is hard to come by. Blogging time, even harder. But I miss it. I miss the life musings and the venting and the laughing at myself and the time to reflect. I miss reading other blogs and connecting with other mamas. I miss the release.

I've also begun to experience the inevitable guilt that seeps under your skin as you spend more time away from your family. For some reason, it was unexpected this time. That prickly sensation just beneath the surface slowly trickling into my heart. Creating teeny hairline fractures chipping away gradually. I thought I was meant to be a working mom. I am meant to be a working mom. But the transition to working at home half the time to working outside of the home most of the time has proven tougher than I could have anticipated. Working part time is ideal, I think, especially when you have really little ones. At the same time, I feel deep down, past all of that liquid-y guilt, that this is what I'm meant to do. To be outside of the home so that I can be a better mom when I'm inside of the home. To foster a career that I'm passionate about. To be that example to my kids that we should pursue our passions in life. I'm doing something creative and it feels wonderful to reignite that part of my brain.

But some days I feel like margarine spread ever so thinly over a piece of a lukewarm toast. Today was one of those days. A day of not good enough. I beat myself up more than I should have, cried a little, and then poured myself a glass of wine. I asked myself if I was doing the right thing for my family, the right thing for me. And I knew that I was. It's not easy, though. Why is it that when we have so many blessings right in front of us it feels like they're just out of reach?

That's why I'm very grateful for the long weekend ahead. It came just in time. Maybe I'll actually potty train Q this weekend. Maybe I'll figure out how he's getting home from summer school every day. Maybe I'll plan some ways to incorporate more of his speech therapy at home. Maybe I'll teach Z to clap. Maybe I'll teach her to sign. Maybe I'll pack up some of the clothes she's outgrown and donate them.

Or maybe I'll just find some time to enjoy my family without all of the pressure. Perhaps this is one of those times that knowing what not to do is better than trying to cross another item off of the To Do list. Perhaps doing it all is not all it's cracked up to be.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eight is Enough: Zoe's 8 Month Day

"Slow down, baby..."~ Mary J. Blige

Eight is a great number. Let's just hang out at 8 months for a while, Zoe. You're growing way too fast and time is seemingly racing by my window in a blurry haze. It's going by so fast that I can't seem to post on your actual month day anymore. Can we just freeze time already a la Evie in Out of this World? I'll touch my fingertips together and freeze this month.

This month of throaty babbles like having my own mini monster. This month of starting to wave bye-bye and excitement at the very prospect of communicating with us. This month of reaching out to grab a toy and falling forward and beaming with pride at getting the toy regardless. And my very favorite-- this month of swaying back and forth in your highchair to music. You're dancing, my ZoZo! You're a maniac, maniac in the highchair.

As you've become more interested in every sound and sight, you're less interested in nursing. Don't get me wrong-- you enjoy a good meal. But you want to take a minute or five to check things out and expect the boob to be at your disposal, which isn't always feasible. So your weight gain has slowed, but your doc says that's normal especially once babies get more active. And you're digging the solids, no doubt about it. But I'm a little sad as it seems that working full time has contributed to a decline in my supply as well. I guess I shouldn't make predictions at this point. I should just cherish this moment. This beautiful month.

Zoe, it (was) your month day. Happy month day, Zoe!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Bye Bye, Baby (aka I lost my youth in 2012)

"Get it together, see what's happening" ~ Beastie Boys

It's been a tough week. Aside from the whole fam being sick (as if that's something new and different), I've learned via Facebook (because that is sadly my news source of late) that we've lost two great men that remind me of very different times in my days of yore.

MCA of the Beastie Boys passed away on Friday and, upon hearing the news, my heart dropped to my stomach. He was one of those guys who seemed like he'd always be around, probably still dropping records at 72, still making the rest of us look lame in comparison. I remember the first time I watched a Beastie Boys video on MTV, sitting on my parents' bed in awe of their antics. I was about 9 or 10 and they were more than memorable. I immediately believed in their coolness. And they made appearances at key moments in my life from then on. Like when my best friend and I used to listen to Ill Communication on repeat in her car in high school. Like when I was in Puerto Vallarta for our graduation trip and the clubs had "Girls" and "Brass Monkey" on constant rotation even though the songs were several years old. Or when T and I went to see the Beastie Boys at the Oracle Arena when Mixmaster Mike opened for them. When I heard about MCA dying from cancer-related causes, of course I thought about my mom and the ugliness of that disease taking too many of the good ones from us too soon. 

Then, today I heard about Maurice Sendak, which of course takes me further into my youth. But he's also very much in my present. Just last night Q and I read Where the Wild Things Are and we named all of the wild things. There was Stuart and Gretchen and Hank. Oh, and Birdie. Maybe they really do have names, but we had our own fun. One of my favorite Christmas memories is discovering his version of The Nutcracker. I don't remember who gave it to me or to my family, but it was just there one day among the Christmas books. I devoured that thick picture book, relishing in the elaborate illustrations and detailed backstory. And T and I started our own Christmas tradition of sitting his Max doll atop our tree every year because he shines so much brighter than your average star. While Maurice Sendak lived until 83, it's still very sad to say goodbye to such a brilliant light. Someone who celebrate childhood with such a, well . . . wild rumpus. 

Rest in peace, MCA.

Rest in peace, Maurice Sendak.

Thank you for all of your artistry and for creating such beautiful memories.