Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day? Sure...

In a perfect world, children sleep in on Mother's Day. In reality, they sometimes wake up early. They throw tantrums, they refuse to sit in church meetings, they spit up on their mothers. They don't take good naps. Today was a 4:45 a.m. type of day, leading all the way to a cold 7:00pm dinner. It was the sort of day when I victoriously pump my fists in the air once both children are sleeping, the sort of day I'm glad is over and am grateful not to need to do again.

A few of the mothers I knew left their husbands with the kids and went on vacation this weekend. That's an idea I was pining for at a few points today. But, now that they're sleeping (fairly) peacefully [pauses to swaddle Thomas again and sing Virginia one last lullaby], I'm looking at their pictures and counting my blessings.

I'm glad we had no potty accidents today (and even one success!). I'm thankful for my babies. They are wonderful and their smiles improve every day for me. I love to cuddle them, sing to them, read with them and share laughs with them. And I'm grateful for a husband who tried so hard to make it a wonderful, relaxing day of pampering, with whom I get to share the parenting adventure. I am so glad that we're all well and get to be together so much, on the tougher days as well as the easier ones. I'm happy to have a day to reflect on how blessed I am to be a mom, even if that day doesn't always go quite as planned.

Birthday Fun

Somewhere between Christmas and Easter, Scout started to understand special occasions. She started to understand what presents are. And she finally gets what a birthday means. She has been extremely excited about her own forthcoming birthday for weeks now. Since we recently introduced movies into her life and Dumbo is the only one that doesn't scare her, she decided that she wanted a Dumbo cake, a pink Dumbo cake to be specific. No big deal, I thought, I'll spend a couple bucks on a little plastic figurine, use pink frosting, and we'll call it good. Not so. There are no Dumbo figurines to be found. E-Bay only has vintage, collectible figurines. Once you add in shipping, they're pretty expensive. Disney itself sells just one, for $178. I could even buy a Swarovski Crystal Dumbo for over $750. No thanks. I finally realized that I could pay someone else to make a Dumbo cake for less than I would spend on the figurine. And I was right. While I was sad not to get to make the cake, we loved the result. And I loved not having to worry about getting it made and getting it right.

Well done, Carl's Cakes! Absolutely worth the drive.

In terms of Birthday Party, all she really cared about was the cake. And, of course, the song. She started singing to herself almost as soon as she was awake (at 6:30 a.m.--Is it my birthday, mom? I'm three! I turned three while I was sleeping. It's my birthday!) So we invited some friends to the park, to be sure we wouldn't get stuck eating the entire cake and to help us with the singing. They played for about an hour, especially in the ladybug, everyone ate cake and we went home.
To add to the festivities, there was a Birthday t-shirt (thanks Monga!), birthday cards, a few gifts and a special red Birthday plate. She even got more frozen blueberries than usual.
All in all, it was a fun day. We were all pretty exhausted by the time it was over. And I can't believe she's three already. On to the next challenge (big girls don't wear diapers!).

Friday, May 4, 2012

What's in a Name?

Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches....furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father's lonely life. I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year....When I asked Atticus about it he said there were enough sunbeams in the family and to go on about my business.

To Kill a Mockingbird, p. 81

Secret Stash

Long ago, when we were a family of three and the smallest of us was much smaller, we all got home one night from some sort of outing. James was tired and I needed to make dinner. So, while I busied myself in the kitchen, James gave Virginia his keys for entertainment and fell asleep on the couch. When he woke up, the keys were gone. We searched in vain.

More than a month later, I was washing dishes one morning while Virginia played behind me. Suddenly, she whipped out James's keys and said "Dada." We were so excited we woke him up to give him the news. Where were his keys for all that time? We had absolutely no idea. Now, at last, we have an idea.

Early last fall, I was really pregnant and my finger swelled to the point that I couldn't wear my wedding ring much. My wedding band is pretty wide and separate from my engagement ring. It was strange, one day they fit fine and the next day I could barely get them on and felt I should immediately take them off to be sure I wasn't stuck. Unfortunately, I then set them down in a place Virginia could reach. She loves my jewelry, but she usually looks at it and puts it right back. This day, however, she picked up my wedding ring and did not put it back. I knew she'd been over there, so I checked for it pretty soon, but the band was gone. I looked around on the floor, in the drawers, everywhere. I have cleaned that section of my room so many times, certain it would turn up eventually. Nothing.

Fast forward seven months. We've been shopping online for a replacement band and discussing James ordering another from the store where we got it when he's back in Lexington next month. I hate spending the money when I know it has to be somewhere in the apartment and will probably turn up when we move. But I also hate not having my wedding ring.

Then, today, we decided to go to our garden. James pulled out his "garden shoes," which he hasn't worn in months. As he put them on, he felt something in the shoe. He turned it over and out fell my ring. I'm glad I didn't make him throw those shoes away last fall.

So, at last my hand is happy again, as is my bank account. And next time Scout hides something, we'll check our shoes.

Growing Up

Sweet little Thomas has had a big week. In addition to a new sleep schedule, he has had a few new experiences this week. He got to try semi-solid food for the first time and was extremely excited about it. He knew just what to do, opening wide at the first spoonful.

Unfortunately, the spoonful of sweet potatoes was followed immediately by a look of utter betrayal.
We started him on sweet potatoes, because apparently that's the latest thing. "They" say you don't have to start with cereal and that a fruit or vegetable is better. Then, of course, another "they" says that if you start with a fruit your child may never like vegetables. So, we picked sweet potatoes. (This may or may not have had anything to do with how easy it is to make a sweet potato into baby food and the fact that we already had a sweet potato sitting on the counter waiting to be eaten by someone.) At any rate, I would like to announce that "they" are wrong. I say start with cereal, because it doesn't have much flavor. And mostly, babies want food that tastes like what they've been eating. We gave him oatmeal a few days later, and it went much much better.
This may be because I ate oatmeal for breakfast every day that I nursed Thomas (yay galactagogues!) so it's a familiar flavor. Or it may be because oatmeal doesn't have much flavor so something that's half formula and half oatmeal mostly just tastes like formula. But he likes it and there were none of the previously abundant looks at us wondering what on earth we found so appealing in this stuff.

He does still want some of the rest of our food. I had a banana today while holding him. He lunged right toward it with his mouth wide open. These semi-solids aren't going to last long.

Today, Thomas got another first. He got to ride in a swing. That was popular from moment one. He laughed and though it was great.

To add to his excitement, his favorite person in the entire world decided to exit her swing and push him. They had a blast and I had fun taking pictures.

I'm so glad they're starting to interact and play together, even just a little bit.

Scout loves talking to Thomas, though she also loves bossing him around. Earlier this week we were all in the car and she reported to me that "Thomas isn't being obedient to me." I briefly explained that Thomas doesn't need to be obedient to her because she's not his mommy. "Yes, I am his mommy," came her reply. This relationship is going to be really fun to watch. I'm actually kind of hoping his will will be as strong as hers, just so he doesn't get pushed around. I do find some reassurance in the fact that it is unlikely any child of mine will turn out to be a shrinking violet.