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!

Friday, March 22, 2013


before and after haircut last saturday

you may have found yourself asking, "where have you been, john's mom?"

(if you really found yourself asking that, please please please find a hobby. we love you, but you need something to fill your time!)

but where have we been? we've been juggling.

last weekend john got a haircut - he was instantly transformed from rakish ragamuffin to dapper young lad, and altho he's cute as heck, i can't pretend i don't miss the mop a little bit. oh, well, it'll grow back quickly and he'll be a muss-headed tousled mess again.

sunday afternoon, i picked john up out of his crib after nap and could immediately tell he was running a fever. (i always wondered how moms could tell that, and then i became a mom. it's like a super power you inherit with parenthood.)

so ... monday i stayed home with john. he was mostly ok besides the fever, though i could see some red spots on his throat. he seemed a little cranky but pretty alright all things considered. and his fever responded well to ibuprofen, so he was doing ok. we tried to get in to see his doctor, but she wound up having an emergency root canal, so the appointment got moved to tuesday at 9am.

juggle. daddy stayed home with john on tuesday so i could go in to the office. we're going through a transition at work, so i knew i needed to put some face time in and answer some questions to ease the process. daddy took john to the doc, and the verdict was unspecified viral yuk -- nothing to be done but keep him hydrated, treat the fever, and wait for it to go away in 3-5 days. (3-5 days, i thought ... he's going to be out all week!)

but by tuesday night, john wasn't really running a fever anymore, so if he stayed clear on wednesday, he'd be able to go back to school on thursday!

so wednesday, i stayed home with the clearly-feeling-better little man while daddy worked. noontime we traded and i headed back to the office again. (and that was the longest halfday ever, actually).

but john's fever stayed gone, so finally on thursday we were back to our normal routine. it was refreshing to drop john at daycare and head to work, it felt normal and nice.

ahh, routine.

until my husband texted me in the afternoon to tell me HE was running a fever.

fortunately, he was a very good sport last night and is feeling better today, and saw his doc today to see what's going on (nothing serious for him, either, and could be the same viral thing john had). fever seems to be down this afternoon, so here's to hoping the weekend settles down a little bit!

thank god for weekends ...

Friday, March 15, 2013

just what i needed

looking at the bright side of his cracker.
a little background: the past couple mornings have not been john's most shining moments. he's been grumpy and cranky and fully of crying jags and yelling fits. he shapes up before we get to school, but most mornings this week have been a battle zone.

but not this morning. this morning, he was great. he was easy-going and sweet and gave hugs and told me he wanted to go to school instead of telling me he wanted to stay home. he was a dream. and that was just what i needed.

see, the other day we got some bizarre news about my pregnancy. basically, when you have a negative blood type mother (me) and a positive blood type father (my husband), there's a possibility that the mother can develop antibodies that will fight against future babies that have positive blood types. they have a shot that they give to prevent those antibodies from developing, and i got that shot during and after my pregnancy with john.

but somehow or other, i seem to have developed those antibodies anyway. so i will have to see a maternal fetal specialist for close monitoring and extra blood tests to make sure that the baby is healthy.

we'll know a lot more once we see the specialist in april. but for now, there's lots of good news. first, the baby will ultimately be just fine. it could be a bumpy pregnancy and even a bumpy early few days of this kiddo's life, but the outcome will be good. second, if the baby has a negative blood type like me, there will be no complications at all. third, there's no health risk to me.

still and all, this is a lot to digest. and i confess that i've done more google research than is healthy for any medical condition - i don't recommend it, as you'll just scare the crap out of yourself. the web will tell you that the common cold is the onset of the bubonic plague and you're going to die in an hour. 

so this morning at two a.m., buddy barked and woke me up, and i proceeded to lay in bed stewing and stewing over all of this. running scenarios and ideas that are really quite silly, because i don't even have info from the doc yet. it's all what-ifs, but it still kept me from sleeping a good part of the night.

i'd finally fallen back asleep just an hour or so before the alarm went of. needless to say, i didn't have a lot of emotional reserves this morning.

so we come back full circle to just what i needed. a sweet boy wanting to snuggle and play. a caring husband who assures me that all is well and BEGS me to stop researching on google. and a for-now healthy baby in my tummy that will, even if we have to walk a crazy few months together, be healthy in the end as well.

* * *

and now, i will work on letting go. i hear that the 12 steppers talk about "giving it over." and that's just what i need to do. there is no further knowledge to be garnered until i see the specialist. there's nothing i can do to make this better or worse. so i will work on not worrying. i will work on taking a breath and taking as much care of myself as possible so the environment for this baby and for my already-here family is as healthy and peaceful as possible.

and i will work on letting go.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

in the name of full disclosure

my husband forwarded me this link today, with a note about how badly he needed this today: to parents of small children, let me be the one to say this aloud.

and it got me to thinking, so often this blog is so celebratory of the amazingness of raising a little person -- and well it should be, it's an amazing process -- but i do tend to glaze over the less beautiful spots.

like last night, when my too-tired husband and my too-tired self bickered at each other because john was being very difficult and not listening and not wanting any of the things we knew, as parents, he had to do -- things like dinner, and pottying, and going to bed.

or like monday morning, when john started crying when he woke up and didn't stop for an hour. yeah, i probably mentioned that. but i didn't talk about how i was at my wit's end, trying to put on my makeup while he screamed (literally screamed) in the bathroom next to me. how i had tried spanking, time out, sweet talk, strong talk, shutting him in his room, depriving him of privileges, everything i could think of to rein him in ... to no avail. how i felt like a failure when he shrieked and walked into the other room to throw himself on the floor and shriek some more.

or like every single night of my life, when i look around me at the utterly disastrous state of my house and think, if i were a better woman, a better wife, a better mother, my house would be in better shape. and like how my husband is saying the same things about himself. (ok, not exactly the same - he thinks "a better man, a better husband, a better dad!")

or like every evening around 7:30pm, i think ... just a half an hour and the house will be quiet. just a half an hour to bedtime.

i'm not being all woe-is-me here, i promise. i'm just thinking that some days, i should set my super-mom ego aside and acknowledge aloud that i'm not super-mom at all. that i fail at some part of my life every single day. that it's NOT all sunshine and roses.

and you know what? that's ok. sunshine and roses or rainstorms and thorns, i'm so grateful for my life -- for my family, for my job, for our home, for the food we eat -- because it's beautiful.

bruised, battered, tired, sore, sometimes angry, sometimes sad ...

but beautiful.

one dumbfounded mommy

john only wanted to read his "apple book" this morning.
last night as john and i snuggled before he went to bed, he suddenly stopped wiggling long enough to look at me and say, "what's my address, mommy?"

i laughed, actually. "what, baby?"

"what's my address?" he repeated. and then he rattled off his address, perfectly. (with a sweet little southern drawl on the five and the word drive in our address, no less.)

somewhat amazed, i asked him to repeat it. he did.

so i called daddy in so john could tell him -- which he did, perfectly again.

and even more than being proud of my little bug for learning his address, here is what i feel: so VERY grateful for john's teacher at the daycare. she told me this morning that john and one of his little friends in class are just sponges who absorb everything, so she cooks up new things to teach them. she teaches them things (like their addresses) that will help them in growing up, and that some of the kids several years older than them haven't had to master yet.

basically, john's daycare, which could justifiably have been little more than glorified babysitting, is staffed by amazing women who teach -- novel idea, no? -- actually teach the kids, even when they're only two.

i'm so proud of my little peanut, and so glad he has a teacher who is proud of him too.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

i want to hold the sun

the video of john trying to lock himself in buddy's crate is totally unrelated to today's post, but it was just too cute for me to leave off. i love the part where he says, "it's stuck!"

but what i really want to talk about today is this: yesterday after i picked john up from daycare, i told him we had to go grocery shopping, but if he was really good and it was still light outside when we were done, we would stop by the park for a few minutes.

he was ecstatic. so we drove along for a little while, looking out the window at a tractor or a truck or two and just hanging out.

then, john said to me, "mommy, i want to hold the sun that i can fly."

a little puzzled, i asked, "you want to fly, baby?"

he said, "no, momma, i can't fly. so i can't hold the sun." (i realized i had misunderstood him the first time - he had said "but i can't fly" not "that i can fly.")

"you want to hold the sun?" i inquired.

"yes, ma'am. i want to hold him. but i can't reach him. he's too far away. i want i can hold the sun."

"do you want to give him a hug, john?" i asked?

john was quiet for a few moments. then he said, "we should bring a ladder so i can get out of the car and climb up and hold the sun."

i asked him why he wanted to hold the sun, and he never really responded. but i can just picture how it would look in his head ... we would set up a huuuuuuge ladder, and he would climb and climb and climb to the top, and when he got there, he would wrap his arms around the sun to hold him in the sky so it would stay light and we could go to the park.

Monday, March 11, 2013

sartorial genius

the best part of this outfit is that it developed
in stages. first, the big-boy undies and shirt.
second, the tutu.
third, the slippers.
finally, the glasses.

that's our child, for sure: the one in the oddly mis-matched outfit including a swamp monster t-shirt, a pink tutu, monster big-boy undies, elmo slippers, and groucho marx nose glasses.

on saturday while we were working around the house, my husband put the radio on so we could have some jams while we cleaned and organized. a great song came on, so daddy and mommy stopped working to dance in the living room. we invited john to dance with us and he yelled, "noooooo! stop dancing!"

at first i was a little bummed - i wanted a family dance party! but then john elaborated. "i need my tutu!"

so it was the return of the pink tutu. and as soon as he put it on, we danced and sang and laughed in the living room for a few songs. buddy didn't quite know what to make of his crazy family, but he's crazy too so i suppose he fits right in.

it was a wonderful way to break up the monotony of a day of work.

(and if you were wondering, the glasses came later. after dancing was done, and mommy and daddy went back to laundry/dishes/boxes/straightening/whatever else, john came tearing into the living room with his glasses on. provided some much-needed additional comic relief! he's pretty good at that, that little man of ours.)

here's a little more video evidence of the family dance party. and no, in the second video i have NO idea what john is saying. but it's cute, yes?

Friday, March 8, 2013

two year old logic

dismantled pickup truck?  check.
football? check.
we're all packed!
i have found there is a certain poetry in the logic of the two year old brain.

it's not a logic that us grownups can really comprehend, i don't think, but there are so many things that john does that are so clearly intentional, so clearly purpose-driven ... there is no doubt there is a plan in place.

i can't identify the plan, but it's there.

so this morning, when i looked at the suitcase at the foot of my bed (we're not going anywhere - i am just a lazy butt who hasn't put it away since our last travels), i was somehow tickled by the tableau i found.

it's like a visual haiku, or something.

busted truck.
ready to go!

(yes, nerds, i realize that's not a haiku, but you take my point ...)

anyway, i just wonder what was going on in john's brain when he created this still-life-with-toys. the football is so gently tucked in between the axles of the truck -- not just thrown in the big empty part of the suitcase, but nestled intentionally between the tires.

and what was he going to put in the rest of the suitcase, i wonder?

maybe this is just a tired pregnant lady waxing philosophical on a loooooong friday afternoon, but i marvel at the workings of the brain in that little bug's head.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

barefoot and dancing

that, friends, is a little tiny dancing bean.
i woke up this morning feeling very heavy. i was so nervous i was nearly sick to my stomach. thank goodness for my level-headed, funny husband, who kept me ok on the drive to the doctor, and in the waiting room, and on the table as i waited to see evidence of life on that hard-to-read ultrasound screen.

at first, i saw nothing. just a black void. and i worried some more, since that's sort of what it looked like last time.

but then ... then ... the ultrasound tech (a different girl, but just as sweet and helpful) said, "look, right there is your baby!"

and sho' nuff, right there was a little bean. a tiny little bean.

and you want to know something? that bean was already dancing.

my husband squeezed my hand and said, "that's your child for sure. even now it can't sit still."

us prices are known for not being able to sit still. we're also known for not being able to keep our shoes on. so i am very pleased to say that john's little sibling bean is in my belly, barefoot and dancing.

bean's mama is barefoot and dancing too. we're just that sort of family.

(p.s. for those of you that are into the technical details, the baby measured precisely where it should be for 7 weeks 2 days, so my estimated due date is october 22. the baby is a smidge over one centimeter long right now, and all the various and sundry anatomy of a fetus and it's support system look exactly as they should. even given my miscarriage last year, we have very few risk factors for this pregnancy and are optimistic that all will go as planned. and my wonderful awesome amazing doctor told me that if i have any worries or concerns at all, i should call the office and they'll slip me in for a little under-the-table ultrasound just so we all feel better. and she said if the front office doesn't fix me up right away, just insist to talk to her or her nurse. have i mentioned that my doctor is an awesome supportive amazing woman? any br gals looking for an obgyn hit me up because i can't possibly recommend her higher.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

i need a really big yoga mat.

i need a really large yoga mat. like roomsize. big. huge even.


because, as i learned last night, when mom does yoga at our house, it's a family affair.

my hope was that john might join in a little -- i am actually looking for a good "yoga with the kids" dvd that we can try so maybe we can do some for real family yoga. but in the case of last night, i just intended to do a little prenatal yoga and if john took part, bonus.

what i did not count on:
  • nervous buddy dog, very curious about what we were doing, who decided that a yoga mat is the perfect place to lay down. in fact, the only appropriate place in a living room full of places. i can't count the times i said, "buddy, get!" in the whopping 10 minutes that i managed to stick with my plan.
  • very adorable john sitting next to me in an easy sitting position with his hands folded in perfect namaste.
  • very adorable john doing downward facing dogs next to me on the mat.
  • very jealous mommy looking at john's downward facing dog and realizing just how much wee ones "get it" by the very nature of their bodies
  • silly john crawling under my body as i do downward facing dog.
  • even sillier john returning to downward facing dog, saying, "mommy, go under me!" (god bless you for thinking i could, kiddo.)
  • now-bored buddy dog, putting us to shame with his actual downward facing dog.
  • john climbing on my back as soon as i get to plank.
  • buddy licking my feet as john and i collapse in a fit of giggles since there is just no way i can sustain a plank with an extra 26.1 lb weight on my back.
that was the end of our yoga practice for the evening. oh well ... 

and, completely unrelated to anything, here is our child sitting in a suitcase, using a towel as a blanket, watching his iguy. please don't call cps.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

random bits of life

where have you been, john's mom?

that's what you were thinking, right?

and the answer is ... i have no idea.

the time has just gotten away from me.

however, i have some fine photographic proof that we've been having some good times.

so ... here you go!

gotta wear the hood and the shades ...
you just never know where the paparazzi
are lying in wait. a big boy does need
his personal space, after all.

what self-respecting kid DOESN'T
wear his undies on his head?
nacho libre called ...
he wants his mask back.

i'm just a normal kid, from a normal
family, who happens to love to
elmo style, natch.

Friday, March 1, 2013

can you tell me how to get ...

so last night was kind of a big deal at our house.

i picked john up from school a little early, and he immediately started telling me how he was going to go see "ernie and bert and elmo and big bird and all of our friends, mommy!"

so we made our way to sesame street live, and to the "meet and greet" session beforehand, so not only did john get to watch sesame street on stage, he actually got to play with some of the characters!

at first, admittedly, he didn't quite know what to make of elmo and cookie monster. they were, after all, somewhat larger than they appear on even the biggest of tvs. in fact, when i asked him if he wanted to go see elmo and cookie, he said, "no, mommy!" in a nervous little voice.

if elmo talked, i think he would have said, "i won't eat
you, i swear! but watch out for the blue guy."
of course i didn't listen to his no, but forced the issue. isn't that what any self-respecting mom would do in the name of a photo op? (and if it's not clear that i'm rolling my eyes at myself, i'll just tell you outright that i am!)

john wasn't having any part of sitting with the furry guys, but i did manage to coax him into a smile as we stood next to them.

"easy, mommy -- if they attack, i'm relying on you to be my buffer."
the coolest thing, though, was that even though they said they sell 80 tickets for the meet and greet, there were only about eight kids there. so after the initial photo ops, cookie and elmo just sort of ... ran around and played with the kids. they danced a little, and did high fives, and played peekaboo. so pretty quickly, john warmed up to what might have been his favorite playmate ever:

"i just like oscar, mama!" says john.
"only cuter," says elmo.
"look, mommy, john and elmo are BOTH just like oscar!
we in the trash!"
by the time we were halfway through the meet and greet, john and elmo were best friends.

can you see the grin on his face? and john looks happy too!
and lest you worry that cookie monster felt left out, the three of them palled around for a little bit too. this last one may be my favorite pic of the bunch. something about cookie monster's hand on his cheek, john's hands on the platform in front of him ... i just think it's darling.

and that was all just the pre- pre-show! after we played with cookie and elmo for a while, they left to "go get ready for the show," and then other sesame street characters showed up to sing and dance to entertain the kids. by now the play area was open to the public, so the crowd grew quite a bit, but we were still front and center to dance and give five to bert, ernie, murray, and cookie monster (who reappeared for a bit).

then we made our way to our seats ... which were on the floor in the second row! (i should note that i am the luckiest mom ever -- my rep for one of the local tv stations who has become a friend in the time i've worked with her hooked us up with these tickets, so i didn't know how awesome they would be until we got there!)

the show was amazing. there were enough gags to make the grownups laugh, but most importantly, john was utterly transfixed for the entire show. the characters came out and danced in the crowd, only feet from where we were sitting, and the perma-grin on john's face made it one of the coolest experiences we've had in a while. 

he didn't fuss that we wouldn't buy any of the merchandise - he asked a few times but accepted that we weren't buying it. he wasn't frightened by the bright lights or the loud noises. he was just riding high on the adventure of being in sesame street.

and when i think what that must be like for a two and a half year old -- how he must REALLY think he's at sesame street, as i can't imagine he understands the concept that that was a show -- no WONDER he couldn't stop grinning. and giving his "friends" high fives. and generally having a fine time.

it was a fabulous night.