in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

this conversation is in the toilet

just a little read while on the pot ...
we've not really made a lot of progress on the potty training front. which is actually not a very accurate statement, because really, we haven't been trying very hard. i know in my heart that john won't go to kindergarten in diapers, so it's just not something we've been stressing about.

but i have definitely noticed that john is seeming less-than-happy about a poop-filled diaper lately. and he very often tells us he wants to go to the potty (although that very often corresponds with being out in public and him being bored and wanting something to do ... and has very little connection to any actual bathroom-related activity).

so last night, when john looked at me and said, "i go poo poo, mommy," i responded, "do you need a fresh diaper?" and he said, "no, i not go yet."

so i said, "would you like to go poo poo on the potty?"

and he said, "yes ma'am!"

so i stripped him down, got out the cars potty seat, and plunked him onto the toilet.

he look askance at me and said, "i have a book for on the potty?"

so ... he read five books while he sat there.

and ... he did nothing bathroom related.

but it's a start, no?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

more yahoo! stuff

in case you just can't get enough of me (she said knowing you want to put duct tape over her mouth) ...

Today I Want To Be a Stay at Home Mom
Three Things I Never Thought I'd Say (and Then I Had a Child)

mommy, you crazy

i have two suckers, one for each of you.
john is getting taller. how do i know?

last night we were having our usual cuddle session in his rocker in his room. he lays on my chest with his head nestled into my neck and we "nuggle" for a few minutes before he goes to bed. only last night, he kept pushing my chin and face and head away, saying, "mommy, get you head out the way!"

after a few minutes of struggling, i realized the problem - his body is getting longer, so he no longer fits in quite the same way that he has in the past. so i said, "it's ok baby - you're just getting big."

he interrupted and said, "i not big, i very little."

i patiently explained, "yes, but you're getting bigger. and we just have to figure out how to fit when we snuggle now that you're getting bigger."

he looked at me long and hard before he touched my cheek and said, "mommy? you crazy."

*   *   *

a little housekeeping - a couple of pics from boo at the zoo, and john this weekend tricycling like a maniac!

tigger checks out a big cat inflatable, a motorcycling skeleton, and then pedals
like there's no tomorrow.
and last but certainly not least, john's version of twinkle twinkle little star:

Monday, October 29, 2012

breaking the silence

first, i have finally culled a few of the awesome pics that nana and her friend l took while john was in town. there were tons to choose from, but here's the cream of the crop:

creative trike riding
package delivery route
watching where he's going
daddy's home-made blocks!
on the playground at mommy's office
awww, what a cute family
john's first time swinging alone!
a preview of my little tigger
the family that reads together ...
where's waldo?
so why, pray tell, have i been so quiet? i've been writing ... but i've been reworking old blog entries and putting together some new material for my gig over at yahoo! (their exclamation point, not mine - it's cool that i'm writing for them and all, but come on!)

some new stuff they've published of mine:

plus this weekend john and i braved boo at the zoo at the brec zoo - pics coming tomorrow - and our family went to the fall festival at our church. and john honed his singing prowess - i've got a video of that for tomorrow too. it's been quite a full slate, i tell you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

driving the car and my sleeping room

this is the face of glee.
don't worry, he's sitting in daddy's lap.
on our way home from school last night, john kept saying, "i want to drive!" and he wouldn't accept my answer of "give it 14 years or so, baby."

so last night when we got home, the whole family piled into the front seat of daddy's car so john could "drive" us around. he was in rare form, turning the steering wheel, flipping the windshield wipers on and off, and having daddy help him honk the horn.

i'm glad we did this now, because he won't be fooled long - we did turn the car on so he could see all the lights, but he obviously didn't go anywhere. and that was ok, except for one moment when he said, "no, i want to drive OUT THERE! go THAT way!" as he pointed over our shoulders and out the garage door.

to which i repeated ... "give it 14 years or so, baby."

*   *   *

the driving interlude was a very pleasant break in what's been a pretty trying time with john lately - he is obviously feeling very two-ish and wanting to establish his independence, push his boundaries, and tell mommy and daddy a whole lot of "no!" all normal stuff, i know, so we try to find the humor in his breakdowns rather than the frustration. and sometimes we even succeed.

the good news is that even a defiant john is often a very endearing little fellow, as my husband discovered this morning. when we heard john stirring in his room, daddy went to check on him and get him up.

he walked into john's bedroom without turning on the light, and john yelped from his crib, "i playing in my sleeping room! that way, daddy! close the door. night night!"

no adult has ever been kicked out of a child's room more cutely. and what a delightfully logical name for his room - if the living room is a LIVING room, then his bedroom is a SLEEPING room. and he played there happily for another 20 minutes or so. 

i guess two isn't all terrible.

Monday, October 22, 2012

two sides of a coin

same kid, different outfit ...

we had a very full weekend with the visit of nana and L - more on that tomorrow, with pics pics pics because they are awesomely prolific photographers.

for today, let's just meditate on the very different facets of my little bugs personality, as pictorially represented in the above photos.

it's clear that john is negotiating some of the same urgent societal issues his mom tries to tackle: rugged bear backpack or sassy pink pumps?

and no, i didn't let him wear the pink shoes in public.

Friday, October 19, 2012

making stuff

john told me he was making dinner for me.
hope i like goldfish!
well, our guests made it safely in late last night - so nice to see mom-in-law and L! they're troopers - it's a 650 mile trip that they drove straight through.

this morning, john was hanging out with nana while i got ready for work, and he decided he wanted to "make stuff." a few bowls, pots, and stirring devices later, he said, "mommy, i making you dinner!" so i guess i'm in for a goldfish flavored treat ...

nana, L, daddy, and john came to meet me for lunch today, and i tell you what - that was a bolt of sunshine in a long friday. the day's almost over, and i'm happy to see the weekend come.

happy weekend, all! enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

mom's tractor repair and detail shop

the latest edition to the fleet

john found a tractor buried in the sand at the playground the other day. it was the night we were there late, and we were the only ones left at the park. it was also somewhat broken, so we made the judgement call and brought it home with us.

it was in rough shape. sand was in every little crack and crevice - it poured out every time you moved the thing. it was a mess.

so i set it aside to clean later. and then i forgot about it. but john saw it yesterday before bed, and he was beside himself because he wanted to play with it. but it hadn't been cleaned, so i promised him i would take care of it for today.

so in the midst of cleaning house last night (my mother in law arrives today - had to make sure the house looked something close to ok!) i took time to detail the tractor. small brush, running water, a good scrub, and soon it looked good as new.

i'm thinking i missed my calling as a tractor detailer.

*   *   *

i'm apparently in a link-sharing mood lately, because i found another parenting story that cracked me up. this parenting test should clearly not be taken too seriously ... but there were at least a handful of items that had me laughing til i had tears in my eyes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a walk to the park (and home in the dark)

don't bother telling john he's a little kiddo on a big playground - he's got this beast tamed.

in an effort to shed some of the ice-cream-induced padding i've put on since we found out about the miscarriage (and, frankly, the everything-else-induced padding that was there before), i've decided it's time for john's mom to get active again. right now i'm still somewhat limited on the intensity of activity i'm supposed to do, so we're starting out small: the past two days, john and i have gone for walks in our neighborhood when we get home from work/school.

monday night we walked for about 40 minutes and covered nearly 2.5 miles - not bad pushing a stroller and talking about every truck, tree, and squirrel we encountered along the way! last night's walk was shorter, but punctuated by some time at the playground at the end of our neighborhood. there were some big kids having soccer practice but john had the playground mostly to himself, and let me tell you - the kid grows more fearless every day.

big ladder whose rungs are so far apart john can barely reach? not a problem. moving bridge that's a little slippery from sand on it? conquered. big tall twisty slide where you can't even see the bottom from the platform at the top? done.

i let him play too long, actually, and by the time we were heading home there was barely a shred of daylight left. as we trucked the half-mile back to our house, we discussed the slide ("so big, mommy!"), the fading light ("not dark, mommy, it's clouds.") and his nearly empty chocolate milk cup ("more delicious milk at the house, mommy!").

and all i can do is marvel at this strong, brave, awesome little man. well, marvel and dump the sand out of his shoes. but mostly marvel and love.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

a two year old's stories and songs

when we got to school this morning,
john wanted to go on a slide -
very specifically, THAT slide.
as a part of our night-night routine, i often tell john a story, and frequently sing songs as well. so it comes as no surprise that he's recently started to tell stories to me, too, and to sing songs.

i thought i'd share the lyrics to john's version of 'twinkle twinkle little star,' per last night's performance.

"twinkle twinkle twinkle star
how i how what you mommy
h i j k ellmenohpeee
up above sky so high
twinkle twinkle twinkle star!"

but the piece de resistance last night was john's story that he told me. typically i tell him very short stories about toys that like to play with john and his best friend buddy. they encounter some kind of trouble, john and/or buddy and/or daddy saves the day, and they go back to playing alllllll dayy looong.

so john informed me that *he* was going to tell *me* a story. and it went like this:

"once a time, there orange truck. play with john and buddy! oh, no! orange truck wheel broken! oh, no! daddy fix it. yay daddy! play alllll dayyyy long. the end."

i'm telling you, this kid has a career in storytelling. but that may just be a mommy speaking.

Monday, October 15, 2012

when socks attack

it took about 40 takes to get three usable pictures of john with his sock

on saturday at auntie's house, we had a conversation about the bane of spoiled milk in a car. in college i left a whole gallon in my car once, and it stank for weeks. nowadays that particular stench typically derives from a neglected sippy cup stashed under a car seat.

and my cousin's girlfriend, raven, shared that she'd done something similar with some shrimp once, and we had a lovely conversation about the many horrible smells that might be found in a vehicle.

and then today, raven sent me this link: Casey Anthony and I have one thing in common. Just one.

it was so good, i had to read it to my husband.

and while i was reading it aloud, john came careening into the kitchen with a well-padded (clean) hiking sock on his hand. he proceeded to bop me with it, laughing hysterically, while my husband and i laughed hysterically at the content of that blog. we all had tears in our eyes. and the ludicrousness of being attacked with a sock ... well, it just added to the humor.

then daddy got the sock and gave john a taste of his own medicine:

i promise he's laughing, not screaming.

'taking it easy'

the lighting in ihop leaves a little to be desired ...
but my company at breakfast was perfect.
i told myself i would take it easy this weekend. after all, i had surgery - albeit very minor - on friday morning, so i would need all the rest and laying around i could get, right? 

but saturday morning, i woke up feeling REALLY good. pretty much normal, actually. and when i saw a commercial on tv for ihop and their pumpkin pancakes, i couldn't resist ... so we headed off for delicious pancake breakfast. and, despite having to wait about 20 minutes, we actually had a great family breakfast.

john got his very own plate of silver-dollar pancakes, eggs, and bacon, so goodness knows he was happy.
and after breakfast, it was off for a haircut for my shaggy-haired little monster. he didn't like it much - did a lot of wiggling - but at least he didn't cry the whole time like he did last time. and that was a MIGHTY full morning for a wee peanut, so he crashed hard on the drive home:

i know i post john-sleeping-in-his-seat
pics all the time. but they're just so darn cute.

i did take a nap while john napped saturday afternoon. but then we did laundry and dishes and decided to go to auntie's house to watch the lsu tigers football game. i thought surely i could take it easy there, just sit on the couch and watch football.

i didn't take into account that john did not want to just sit on the couch and watch football. so even though my husband and i were both there, we both managed to exhaust ourselves keeping track of the little bug. it was a blast, as always, but not exactly restful.

sunday, i thought. sunday will be a restful day.

so we slept in late on sunday. (by late, i mean 8:45. but that's late for us.) and in the morning, i just did some low-key laundry folding - not too high stress, right? just sit on the couch and fold. and fold. and fold. how does one little family wear so very much clothing? and then on to the dishes. and then straightening john's room. and oh wait, we have to go grocery shopping! let's take the whole family grocery shopping. and ... lo and behold it's 5:30 and i am spent.

on an up note, john's bravery in the bath continues to grow. he laid down on his back and wouldn't get up - even after the water drained away, he just kept saying, "i lay back, mommy! get my head wet!"

and then he ran around the house yelling "naked savage!" so it was all ok.

*   *   *

i did have an odd highlight of the too-busy weekend. i couldn't fall asleep last night for some reason, so i was in the living room reading my book in a quiet house. all of a sudden, i heard john wailing in his room. i waited a moment for him to fall back asleep, and when he didn't, i figured i best go check on him.

i tiptoed into his room and rubbed his back. he cried a little more, and sat up and said, "i want to go night night in mommy's bed."

i'd promised myself not to make a habit of bringing him into our bed, so i said, "no, baby, but mommy will hold you in your chair for a while if you like." he said yes, and i wrapped him in his blanket and snuggled him in our rocker. and we rocked and rocked, his bare skin against my chest, and i listened to him breathing and breathed in the smell of him, clean and fresh and sweet. and occasionally i whispered, "are you ok baby?" and he whispered back, "no, mommy."

until finally one time he didn't whisper back at all, so i picked him up to put him into bed, sad that our quiet time was over. and he woke up and kissed my cheek and said, "i want to go night night, mommy." so i laid him in his bed with a kiss and said, "i love you, baby. are you ok?"

he said, "yes, mommy. i love you." in his best sleepy sleepy whisper.

and i went off to bed and fell right asleep myself.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

recovery: a postscript

a pretty face to go with a yukky story.

it's 11 after minute and i'm awake. not for any bad reason you might suspect: i'm actually still feeling great. still haven't needed and pain meds. i think i just slept so much all day (and then had too much oh-so-delicious iced tea ... with caffeine) that i'm just now starting to fade to black for the night.

and if you have a weak stomach (nothing gory about my surgery - just a lovely child vomit story) you can stop reading right now, know we're all ok, and have a fabulous night.

anyone still here?

ok. so john is on a lot of medicine right now for his hand. well, not a LOT, but he does have to take two daily doses of antibiotics plus several doses a day of benadryl. and he's actually a great medicine taker, typically, even of the yukky ones. he just sips them down out of the little syringe, sometimes with a grimace, but no major problems.

but. tonight, we made a strategic error. he took a cool bath tonight, to substitute for a cool compress on his hand (have you ever tried to put a cool compress on an active two-year-old's hand? good luck with that). after the bath, we brushed teeth and went to the bedroom. just before daddy left the room, i realized john hadn't taken his medicines yet. so daddy went and got the antibiotic first, and although john doesn't like that one much he took it like a champ. then the benadryl, which he usually likes more - he told me it was "delicious" the first time he took it. and he said it was yukky. he didn't want it it. he fought it. and finally i squirted it in his mouth ... too fast. and he gagged. and got mad at me. but then he took a sip of milk and sat down, and daddy said goodnight and turned off the lights and went to the living room while john curled up on my lap for our night night routine. all was forgiven.

then john looked at me, gagged, and puked all over me.

historically, i am a self-described pukophobe. but what are you going to do? it's your child. in the dark, i knew i couldn't get up or try to clean up because 1) i'm not really supposed to be picking john up a bunch right now anyway and 2) i couldn't assess the damage and make sure i wasn't going to make it worse. so i yelled for daddy, who came, turned the lights on, and took the very messy child wrapped in a towel that just happened to be on hand to go back for bath round two. (and kudos to daddy, because although motherhood and dog parenthood has about beaten the pukophobia out of me, daddy's still pretty sensitive to it. but he did what had to be done.)

cleaning up mommy was ... a little harder of a task. fortunately, i'd shielded the furniture and contained the mess primarily to my person. so i stripped down, actually jumped in the bath with john to clean us both up a bit, dried off, started a load of wash, put john in a fresh diaper (after some sips of water and some time to assess that he was just fine now, thank you). and we returned to the bedroom to start night night over again. 

john kept apologizing to me. he said, "your shirt messy, mommy? i burp. i sick on mommy's shirt. i sorry mommy." i guess the good news is that the largest trauma of the situation, to john at least, was that he felt bad about getting mommy's clothes messy. i assured him that it was not his fault, that everything was ok, and that we love him very much and are very proud of what an awesome boy he was today.

for mommy, now, the trauma was a little longer lasting. it took a long hot shower with some very nice smelling soaps and shampoos to rinse the smell off of me and out of my nose ... and i guess there's still SOME pukophobe left in me, 'cause it took a few more saltines to re-settle my own stomach. but i've crossed a parental milestone of sorts, that i was terrified i wouldn't fare so well. i've been puked on. and i survived.

so really, john's mom and john's dad weathered this parental "emergency" pretty darn well. and considering i'm still technically recovering from surgery less than 24 hours ago ... i'm pretty damn proud of us.

::fade to black::

Friday, October 12, 2012


dr. john's prescription for mommy's recovery.
last night we dropped john off at P & R's house to play with their awesome kiddos, L & S. the kiddos are a little older than john, but their youngest (a boy) and john wound up being fast friends. they've played together before, but last night apparently john had crossed some developmental threshold that allowed them to truly play together, not just side by side. they would play in one room, discuss their plans, run into another room to "see how fast airplanes go in the kitchen!" then bounce back to the first room to do more planning. plus, we got serenaded by L's burgeoning piano skills and got to spend some awesome time with P & R who are wonderful friends to us. it definitely put me at ease leaving john in such caring hands, and knowing he'd have fun overnight and the next day.

we came home and ate the delicious dinner that other friend L had dropped off earlier in the day (if she ever makes barbecue sandwiches for you your in for a treat). and then my husband and i just sort of hung out for a while before going to bed to get up early.

4:30am came too early, and we were up and on our way to the hospital. i was extremely nervous, bordering on scared. but my amazing husband was an awesome support, kept my spirits high and made me laugh several times in the prep for the surgery. after the first shot in the hip ("this will make you sleepy ...") i don't remember a lot. which is probably good. i do recall being wheeled into the o.r., briefly seeing my doctor, adding something to my iv that made my arm hot and then ... the recovery room. they asked how i felt, i said i was sleepy, they rolled me into the day surgery room where my husband was waiting for me, they fed me some crackers and a coke, and then we packed up and headed home.

i've got to take a medicine that's supposedly going to make the pain a lot worse, but so far it hasn't been bad at all. i think i am blessed with a strong "female" system that handles this stuff well - even after i had john, the nurses kept offering me painkillers that i declined because i didn't need them. if i *do* need it, i have a heavy painkiller prescription to get me through. i'm basically just taking it easy with my awesome family today and i'll rest as much as i need this weekend.

on an emotional front, i actually feel really good. i think that i did a lot of the mourning early on in this process, and i've had three long weeks to work on making peace with the loss of this baby. i am certain there will be some other sad times ahead, but i don't feel waylayed by emotional pain like i was afraid i would. yes, there is some sadness, but i am also just really ready to work on healing - emotionally and physically - and letting our family move past the crazy limbo we've been in.

thank you SO much for loving us so very much. we are one CRAZY lucky, CRAZY blessed, CRAZY loved family. it's amazing to me the support system we have had (and continue to have) through this and all of our lives. we are forever appreciative and graced by the community around us - whether next door or geographically distant.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

oh what a day

the star is from daycare yesterday - i just couldn't
scrub it off because of his tender swollen skin.
the plan for today, originally, was for my husband to go to work and spend his day wrapping things up so he could be off tomorrow, me to go to work to do the same, so i could leave at 2pm for my pre-op appointment (more on that in a sec) and then for us to convene at home for one dear friend to bring us a much-appreciated dinner before we brought john to another dear friend's house to stay the night so he wouldn't have to come to the hospital with us at 5am.

oh, the best laid plans.

instead, we woke up to john's hand all swollen up and angry red. i hoped we could get him in early to see his doctor, then i'd take him to daycare and i'd head to work and we'd continue the plan from there. and we did get a 9am appointment ... and it is just an angry angry bug bite of some kind, that john's little system reacted to. but the doc said john needed to stay home from school so that he could have benadryl, antibiotics, and cold compresses throughout the day.

so ... john came to work with me for a few hours. and my coworkers and my boss were awesomely indulgent of the two-year-old monkey running around our office. (benadryl doesn't slow him down at all. it doesn't hype him up, but there's no sedative effect.) he was really a good boy, but boy was that a stressful couple of hours while i fit basically two days worth of work into two hours.

then we came home for a little while (and john for his nap) so that daddy could come home from work so that i could go to my pre-op. it was scheduled for 2:45pm and i got there a little early, so i thought all was well. but then i didn't get to see the doc until 3:30, and by the time they drew blood etc., it was 4pm before i left. and i still had an errand to run (to yet ANOTHER wonderful friend, who is taking over teaching our sunday school class this week since i don't think i'll be up to teaching). back home (missed the dinner delivery ... i'm  so sorry i wasn't here, L!) where i realized that i'd overlooked a project at work that i needed to take care of. and my husband realized he needed to go back to HIS office for a little while too.

so i designed my ad, my husband went to work, and john has been playing like crazy. as soon as daddy gets home we'll leave again to go straight to P's house where john will get to hang out with her kids and spend the night. and then we'll come home and eat dinner and try to get some sleep.

ohjnmhhhhhhhhlk'; <--------------- this is what john typed when he hijacked my computer while i packed a change of clothes for him to take with him.

oh yeah, and then tomorrow morning i will go have a d&c procedure at the hospital, because my body just never got around to miscarrying this baby. i've had a second ultrasound that confirmed there's nothing doing. and this procedure is really not a big deal at all, and should have an easy recovery. but i'm not going to lie: i'm very freaked out. they're going to put me under, which i haven't had done since i was 16 and had my wisdom teeth out. and no matter how routine it is, it's still a surgical procedure, which is a scary thing.

and after that, i'm going to try to take it easy for a little while this weekend. i would need that after today even WITHOUT the surgery tomorrow.

so if you can spare some love, some prayers, some good vibes, whatever, it would mean the world to me tomorrow. i'm remembering john's advice: i got this, but i need some help.

thanks to all our wonderful friends and family who love us so much.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

candy on you face

look at my messy makeup ... i promise i will pay this off in a minute.
john has been playing a very mysterious (to me) game lately. he will reach down with his fingers as though he were picking up something small and skinny, touch my face, and say, "you want candy on you face mommy?"

nearly every day, he would play this game. and i just couldn't figure it out. why would i want candy on my face? and when i tried to "eat" the "candy," he said, "eeeww yukky, mama! don't eat that candy!"

until finally, two nights ago when we were getting ready for bed, he added something new. after putting candy on my face for several minutes, he said, "you look pretty, mommy! you beautiful!"

and the next morning, he came into the bathroom while i was doing my makeup, and he said with glee, "you put candy on you face, mommy!"

so. i guess to the two-year-old eye, all those colors DO look like candy. i was getting my very own imaginary makeover all this time, and i had no idea! i guess i am just lucky he realizes that this "candy" isn't good to eat ...

Monday, October 8, 2012

losing my mind

boy's best friend

so, a confession first: i am losing my mind. it seems that my poor little brain has reached its capacity or something, because the degree to which i am successfully navigating this "balancing act" is rapidly decreasing lately.

this afternoon right about the time i finished posting my earlier blog, i suddenly stopped in my tracks, virtually paralyzed. the overwhelming thought that filled my mind was: you didn't let buddy back into the house this morning. i wracked my brain - could i come up with one little glimmer of a memory of latching him safely into his kennel? or even letting him in the back door? but try as i might, there was no such glimmer. i quickly became convinced that buddy was in the backyard alone all day.

for some dogs, that wouldn't be a problem. plenty of dogs spend most of their time outside. but buddy is first NOT an outside dog. he likes to go outside to play, but not to stay. he belongs inside. and second, he's so afraid of noises, of strangers, of weather, that it wouldn't take much for buddy to get so afraid that he could find the superhuman (superdoggy?) strength and leap over the fence and be gone.

so i left work in a frenzy, speeding as fast as i could legally/safely manage down a traffic-laden airline highway. and about halfway along, an even more horrible thought struck me: buddy's ID and vaccination tags were sitting on my dresser, where they had pulled loose and never been reattached. so if poor scared buddy got out, no one could even identify him to get him back to us.

on the edge of tears, i parked in the garage and raced into the house. from across the kitchen i could see the back door was unlocked, but there was no buddy by the back door. the unlocked door meant surely i'd left it, intending to let him in, but never did. i bolted out the door to the backyard ... empty. i ran around the yard yelling buddy's name like an idiot - as if he'd hear me and come running back, leaping over the fence to return home. 

i didn't know what to do. i was terrified. how would i find him? what would i do? one step below panic, i kicked my shoes off on the porch and sprinted inside. i guess i should call my husband and then start canvassing the neighborhood.

but wait. one last thought - i should check buddy's kennel. just in case. just in case, on a vague hope that he was there. so i raced, sobbing, to the laundry room, and flipped on the light ...

... just in time to hear a whine and the rattle of his feet on the floor of his crate. and there were those big brown eyes, looking at me and saying something i would translate roughly as "what the hell is wrong with you, crazy woman?"

i let him out of his cage and hugged him and cried. and he wouldn't let me out of his sight for the rest of the afternoon.

so thank goodness, all is well. but i have got to -GOT TO - find some ways to get myself together a little better. i have got to figure out how to get out of the house without forgetting to lock doors, turn off lights, let the dog in. i'm hoping tomorrow's doctor's appointment will be one step toward clearing some space in my brain. because right now ... well, right now, i'm dropping the ball.

sorry, buddy.

the quest for love, muffins, and personal space

typically speaking, john's favorite place on the couch is the far left side (as you look at it). that's where he snuggles up to watch his movies, eat a snack, or snuggle under the blanket.

except, of course, when mommy sits at the far end. then john stops one micro-inch away from sitting on me, as close as he can possibly get to me. and leaves the whoooooole rest of the couch unused. a boy can't get close enough to his mommy, apparently! (and i love it. although, i DO look forward to a time when i get to go to the bathroom by myself. that doesn't happen often these days!)


i have never been a whiz in the kitchen. i don't really even like to cook, though of course i have learned and can get by well enough to feed my family. (though thank goodness my husband is a better and more adept cook than i, and he does far more than his fair share of the cooking chez john.)

but on sunday afternoon, i needed to bake some muffins for us to eat for breakfasts throughout the week, so i plopped john up on the counter so he could watch. and you know what? it was great. we had a blast! he counted the eggs as i broke them, laughed while i made "yukky milk" (impromptu buttermilk from whole milk and vinegar), and even took turns stirring. "i make, mommy! i make muffins!" he said, happily whisking the ingredients together. if cooking were always that fun, i'd do a lot more of it.


when i was growing up, birthdays were a big deal. not in a spectacle sort of way - just, that was YOUR day. whatever you wanted for dinner, dad would cook up. mom baked some sort of awesome birthday cake in the shape of some whimsical thing or another (cat, tropical fish, violin, you name it). just sort of fun and exciting.

i've always wanted birthdays to be like that at our house - not just for the kiddos, but for my husband too. and sunday was his 35th birthday, so that would have been an awesome opportunity, no? except no. i really fell down on the job for this birthday. we did have some cupcakes (from a local bakery, not creatively home-made) and john did go visit with his mal-mal and uncle brother ben (see mal's awesome pic of john coming down the slide above) so that daddy and i could go out for a nice dinner together. and it WAS nice. but - are you listening, hunny? - next year i will do better. he's a great dude and deserves to feel really special on his day.


and then it's monday again. and with monday comes all the frazzledness of completely forgetting how to get ready to leave the house. (don't worry, i'll get it down by friday ...)

so as i was putting on my makeup in my bathroom (three minutes after we should have left the house), i heard from the laundry room, "i up there, mommy! i up there!"

heart thumping, picturing john hanging from the light fixture after climbing on the washing machine and leaping, i raced to the laundry room.

where instead, i found him sitting gleefully on top of buddy's fort knox kennel. pleased as punch.

and when i asked how he got there, he said, "i use hands on ladder, mommy!"

so determined ...

Friday, October 5, 2012

pea soup

there's usually a school right there.
this morning john and i drove to school/work enshrouded in a thick fog, like most of baton rouge today. when we walked out to the car, as the garage door was opening, john exclaimed, "mommy, snow!" i explained that it wasn't snow but fog, and he happily conceded, "that's right, it's snow fog!" and then the whole way on our drive he kept asking me to make the snow fog go bye bye.

oh if only a mommy had that sort of meteorological power!!

and while i'm at it, perhaps i can also dispel the fog that i seem to be in. (let's pause a moment and marvel at that terribly clunky transition.)

it is hitting home to me that, since i haven't miscarried yet and tuesday is my three-week follow up appointment, it is growing increasingly likely that i will have to go in for the d&c. and i'm not going to lie, i'm a little freaked out about it even though i know it's a totally routine procedure and, in the grand scheme of things, totally not a big deal. i think, though, that it is primarily serving as a focal point for the overall anxiety of the situation, so i know i will be fine either way.

the good news? it's my husband's birthday this weekend, so we're planning to have some good ol' fashioned family time (and maybe a date night in there, how about that?) i'm definitely looking forward to a nice weekend with my boys.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

balancing out

my boys in profile
as awesome as yesterday morning was - as proud as john was of his good mommy and good daddy - last night was terrible. i'm not sure what was in john's craw, but he had a fit that would make any two year old proud.

it started with seeing the neighbor kids in the driveway playing. john wanted to play, so we went to say hi. and john turned shy, which is crazy, because he loves those kids. and then he wouldn't share, which isn't like him either. and then he started to sob, so we made our way home pretty quick.

but it was too late. by the time we made it inside, the situation had devolved to the point where everything was no, he was crying almost hysterically, and even in brief moments of calm he was still lip quivery and on the edge. he wanted to watch incredibles - but as soon as daddy started to put it on, he shouted, "not incredibles!" and feel into sobs again.

this fit lasted about an hour and a half.

finally, a little mac & cheese and some time to breathe brought it all to an end, and i did manage to snap the admittedly quite sweet pic of john and his daddy as we watched "lympics" (which has become john's catchall word for any unidentifiable sport-like activity, in this case a challenge on 'survivor.')

and thank goodness, bedtime was easy - i don't think i could have stood any more tears at that point. mama and daddy were nearly as strung out as john by then.

then morning brought this goofball who only needs a hat to be one of the super mario bros. for halloween:

so i guess, it all balances out.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

starting the day off right

before (l) - john in one of my tshirts
after (r) - cleaned up nice and looking like a big man

we have a custom in our house that when john goes to bed every night, i tell him something about his day that made me proud of him. it can run the gamut from being proud that he used his words to tell us something to being proud that he behaved so well in a store or played so nicely with a friend. but no matter how rough the day might have been, i pick something out and tell him i'm proud of him.

and i truly thought i was doing this for him - to reinforce that he's doing good things and working hard. to remind him that mommy and daddy are always proud of the good things he does.

so imagine my surprise this morning, when i walked into his room because i heard him fussing a little. i had just gotten out of the shower, and still had a towel on my head and another wrapped around me.

"good morning, my love!" i chirped cheerfully.

"good job taking a shower, mommy!" said john with equal happiness. "i proud of you!"

so i hugged him gleefully and got him a dry diaper and we headed into the bedroom to check on daddy.

as john climbed onto the bed to hug daddy, i said, "are you proud of daddy, john?"

and he said, "i proud of you, daddy."

and i said, "is daddy a good daddy?"

and john said, "no. daddy a good man. mommy a good lady. i proud of you!"

so, whoever is feeding this kid his lines, thank you. great job! i'm proud of you. that was just what a mommy and daddy needed to start the day.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

life is perfect in its imperfection

pig pile on mommy

i propose a survey. what is the funniest part of this picture:
1) that even lying down for a pig pile, john can't sit still for an instant
2) that buddy thought the pie-slice between my feet was the perfect place to rest
3) that little lizard. why am i holding a little lizard? this was just a day ago, and i can't remember.

whichever is your favorite part, my favorite part is this: what a picture of perfection that is. i'm not perfect. john's not perfect. buddy's not perfect. (the lizard may be perfect - the jury is still out.) my husband can't be in the pic because he's taking it, so that's not perfect. but the sum of those imperfect parts is pretty amazing. and damn close to perfect.

p.s. i am psyched to say that i just had a couple of articles published on yahoo! i'm not a big fan of shameless self-promotion, but if you enjoy the blog you may enjoy these as well. this one is just a little thought on some music that played a big role in one summer of my life, and this one is a rework of a blog entry you may have read here. if either speaks to you, feel free to share. (and in the spirit of full disclosure, i do stand to make money from these articles.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

from now on i buy dinosaurs

the renowned artist, mr. chuck e. cheese, was
kind enough to sketch john and myself.

john was invited to not one but two birthday parties this past weekend. talk about being in demand! he's apparently quite a hit in the two to three year old set.

once john had accepted the invitations (without hesitation - these are his FRIENDS, after all!), the next step was procuring presents. it is remarkably challenging to pick out a birthday present for a toddler you don't know well. i received all kinds of advice. "you know what john likes, buy something he would want!" or, "you can't go wrong with elmo." or "pick something low-key, like puzzles." the only certainty: nothing that makes electronic noise of any kind.

so our family field-tripped to toys 'r' us friday night. we wandered the aisles for what seemed like days. thomas the really useful engine, you say? good luck finding ANYTHING under $20. how about sesame street? there ARE some less expensive toys, but let's just say they seem VERY less expensive. branded anything seems to be out, plus i just know in my heart that these two boys will receive elmo everything with a side of choo choo trains and i just want to find something a little ... different.

and then. and THEN. we found the dinosaurs. and i flashbacked to my own childhood, running around the house roaring with my dinosaurs in hand. and these were BIG dinosaurs, and they weren't too expensive, but they seemed reasonably sturdy and well-made. then i noticed they were on sale. and i said, "bingo." (i really did say that out loud. i never claimed to be cool.)

so, this is my vow: i will only buy dinosaurs as birthday presents from now on. so if your child is one who john is lucky enough to call his friend, be looking for a t-rex, stegosaurus, or other prehistoric monster next birthday party.

*  *  *

the parties themselves were really pretty awesome. the one on saturday was at a jumphouse place that contained three huge jumphouses, including two that had slides on them. at first, the kiddos were a little hesitant, but eventually they dove right in. and i am SO proud of my little monkey, who was one of the smallest kids there but quickly shed his fear and scaled the tall tall ladders to yell "wheeeee" as he slid down the slides. (and every time he got to the bottom, he'd find me and say, "i like that!")

here's a little video evidence:

and on sunday, we ventured out to chuck e. cheese. i won't pretend that mom is a big fan of that place - in fact, i was pretty pleased when i described it to a friend of mine as a seizure wrapped in a migraine served with a side of claustrophobia. but i will say this: the kids love it. and john had a blast. he was ecstatic to see chuck e. cheese, anxious to ride on every animatronic truck or train, exuberant to push buttons on video games (whether they were working or not), and thrilled to see that he could have more "happy birthday cake."

he was asleep before we left the parking lot.

thanks to the parents of "g" and "a" for a rollicking good time!