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!

Monday, December 17, 2012

have you seen myron?

john was excited to wear his fireman rain jacket this morning. but (surprise!) he
would never hold still long enough for me to get a good picture!

this weekend when my husband and i were in the kitchen, john came tearing into the room from his bedroom. he stopped right in front of me, and said, "mommy, have you seen myron?"

i said, "who's myron, baby?"

he said, "myron!" and turned to his daddy. "daddy, where's myron?"

daddy said, "who's myron, john?"

and john ran back into the other room. we went back to doing dishes or cooking or whatever we were up to before the strange myron interlude, not thinking much of it -- after all, our little dude is both creative and very impressionable, so who knows whether he invented myron or saw him on tv or what.

a few minutes later, a little blur came tearing into the kitchen again. 

"mommy ..." he said.

"yes, my love?" i said.

"who's myron?" he asked, seeming slightly puzzled.

"i don't know, john." was my reply.

"yes you DO! mommy, who's myron?" he asked again.

"we don't know who myron is," interjected daddy.

and john was off again. just another day in the somewhat surreal life, i suppose!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

happy birthday to hanukkah

happy hanukkah!
my mom's side of the family is jewish, which technically makes me jewish. and although i have never identified religiously as jewish, it is a huge and important part of my culture and heritage. growing up, we celebrated both hanukkah and christmas, and in fact my brother and i attended a year's worth of hebrew school at one point.

i've always loved the tradition of the hanukkah menorah, so we've always done one in our house, since long before john was even born. but it's really fun this year, since he's so aware of what's going on around him and is learning things so fast. 

saturday night was the first night of hanukkah this year, so we lit the candles, i said the blessing, we said amen, and then john said, "now we sing happy birthday!"

i said, "oh, love, i know it's candles, but it's not birthday candles, it's hanukkah candles!"

and he said, "no! sing happy birthday!"

so i asked him, "who are we singing to, john?"

and he responded, "happy birthday to hanukkah!"

so every night for the past five nights, we've rounded out our hanukkah celebration with a rousing rendition of the birthday song, with hanukkah as the recipient. 

as silly as it is, i sort of like it. we may have forged our own little tradition!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

uhoh, we disappeared again

john's mom apparently has an unknown superpower - the ability to disappear off the internet at a moment's notice. here's a little of what that little rapscallion has been doing since last we spoke.

mmm, lettuce.
when i was a kid, i had a very uneasy relationship with lettuce. i didn't mind vegetables in general, but me and lettuce were not friends. i'd pick the good stuff out of a salad and leave the leaves aside. i specifically remember sitting at the dinner table, having been told i had to finish my salad, and telling my mom that the lettuce was "sticking it's tongue out" at me and i couldn't bear to eat it. i did eventually outgrow my distaste for lettuce, though i'm still relatively picky about it and tend toward romaine and spinach and away from iceberg.

not my child.

the other day, i was snacking on a leftover lebanese salad - very basic. lettuce, some feta cheese, some tasty garlic dressing. i stepped into my bedroom for a moment to put on slippers, and came out to find john eating my salad. as in, sticking the fork in the bowl, taking huge hunks of lettuce, and devouring them with relish. i asked him if he liked it, and he said, "it's delicious!"

so. guess he likes lettuce.

*   *   *
i've been fighting to find holiday cheer this year - i'm not a scrooge, per se, since i'm not in a BAD mood or anti-christmas or anything. but since i work in a retail environment, i've been feeling over-christmas-ified since early november, and that's made it hard to feel christmasy at home. fortunately, this past weekend, we went and got a christmas tree and set it up, and that whole tradition with my little family made me feel so much better about the holiday. it's officially christmas time at john's house!

when we had set the tree up but not yet lit or decorated it, john kept insisting that we needed a star. we've never had a star on top of our tree before, so i thought we'd have to go hunt for one. apparently, though, john's daddy has precognition because he bought one on sale after christmas last year and we didn't have to go buy one after all! so now john has his "chris-a-mis" tree with it's "chris-a-mis" star so that santa claus can come to his house.

left: the finished product all lit up and sparkly.
middle: a closeup of our "family" tree
right: lights on so you can see the ornaments

my husband and i figured out that this was the ninth year we've decorated a tree together, which was kind of crazy to stop and think about. it was extra fun with john to help, this year, and he did great hanging ornaments up. our tree is very much a "family" tree - no theme, no designer decor, just a hodgepodge of ornaments we've collected over the years. most every one has a story. there's a disproportionate number of canoes. it really reflects our family, and it's so nice to reminisce as we hang the ornaments -- even more so with a child to share some extra joy.

*   *   *

this morning, john had a tea party. in our house, we don't see that as a threat to his masculinity. i think it's freaking adorable. and frankly, if a boy's gonna have a tea party, he might as well have some turn-of-the-century antique silver to play with, right?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

do it by self

"i take my pants off!"
like so many two year olds, john is going through an "i do it" phase. from getting in and out of the car to removing his clothes before a bath to washing his hands to pretty much anything, he wants to do it. he doesn't usually pitch a fit if you try to help him, he just says emphatically, "i do it by self!"

and sometimes i just have to remind myself: you wanted this! when he was too little to help get in and out of his own clothes, you were anxious for him to learn. you were excited when he first held that bottle to feed himself. you wanted him to grow.

and i do, i do. i do want him to grow. but the more he can do "by self" the less he needs me. the more independent he becomes, the less likely he is to want to hold and hug and kiss and snuggle, and i love the hold and hug and kiss and snuggle parts of being a mama so much.

i'm in luck, though. in between fits of "by self," john loves the snuggling too. and sometimes out of nowhere, he'll just lean against me and say, "mama" in sort of a plaintive pitiful way that just makes me want to hold him forever. "mama, hold," he'll say, and look at me with big blue eyes.

or, "mommy, sit with us!" as he snuggles onto the couch to watch a movie.

or best yet, still in that plaintive little voice, "i love you, mama."

and then i remember - i DO want him to grow. and he will always need his mama for something.

"come sit with us!"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

seeng dognivah

my boys watching football.
it's one of john's best stall tactics when
he doesn't want to go to bed ...
"watch football with daddy!"

this evening on our way home from grabbing some dinner, we decided to drive through the neighborhood a little bit and check out a few houses that have their christmas decor up. our neighborhood has a couple of truly classy beautifully decorated houses, a couple of deliciously tacky out-there decorated houses, and some basic strings of lights. john is starting to really love "chrisamiss" lights, so it was fun to cruise around with him and talk about the characters we saw and the houses all lit up.

we turned on the local christmas music radio station for some background music as we were cruising around the neighborhood. it was on fairly quiet, because we were discussing everything we saw.

suddenly, john said, "seeng dognivah! i love this!"

i asked, "what do you love, john? the christmas lights?"

"no! seeng dognivah!" he insisted. 

confused, i turned around in my seat to look at him and see if i could figure out what on earth he was talking about. he was bopping and dancing in his seat.

we turned up the music so daddy and i could hear what was playing. and john went crazy.

"seeng dognivah! i LOVE this song!"

what song was playing?

"feliz navidad." which translates adorably in johnese to "seeng dognivah." so we parked in the driveway and bopped along to the end of the song, daddy and i singing the lyrics at the top of our lungs, all of us dancing and grooving and laughing hysterically.

it might sound crazy, but that was one of my all-time favorite moments in parenthood so far.

so, to all i wish a "seeng dognivah" as we start the holiday season in earnest.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

one cool (messy) cat

little dude with his shades. because
"the sun is BRIGHT, mommy."

a full box of kleenex emptied on the floor.
because "i'm building a CASTLE, mommy!"