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, January 31, 2014

my little rocker

i scored front row seats to this particular show.

the other day it was pandora, playing my husband's "lightning crashes" station. (we met at a concert of the band 'live' a million years ago, in case you didn't know.)recently, one of john's very favorite activities is to have dance parties in our living room. sometimes we put on disney music, sometimes it's a cd, sometimes just the radio.

a few good ol' rock songs from the late 90s played, all with some serious guitar licks, and john insisted that he wanted to find "his" guitar. he actually has two - an elmo one that lights up and plays sesame street songs, and an old "guitar hero" one that doesn't connect to anything but still rocks out - at least in john's head.

so he gave the guitar hero one to daddy, and he grabbed the elmo one as his own, and charlie and i were treated to some fine guitar solos in the living room.

until john kicked daddy off his stage, said, "find your own stage, daddy!" and proceeded to rock out solo.

he's a rock star diva already ... what am i going to do with this kid.

charlie found it all very exciting, and gave us some full on giggles as he watched big brother perform.

when you think of quality family time, this isn't quite the cleaver family ... but it's my family and i wouldn't trade a moment of it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

oh, my charlie

my beautiful bitty.

this was going to be a post about my wonderful day on martin luther king day, and how charlie and i spent our day as a "nursing holiday" and had such a great time.

instead, i would like to tell you the story of the scariest night in my life as a mom.

most importantly, everyone is ok, uninjured, and totally fine. know that right up front.

yesterday a little after 5:30pm, i was walking through the living room carrying charlie when i tripped. and i dropped charlie.

he hit the ground with the most horrible thud i have ever heard in my life. and he instantly started screaming, which i know is actually a good sign.

so i scooped him him up to comfort him and calm him. he was breathing VERY fast, so i tried to nurse him, thinking that would help calm him down. he wanted none of it ... and then he just went limp and stopped. no crying. no wiggling. completely nonresponsive.

i immediately called 911. they dispatched an ambulance and while i waited, i called my husband out of an important meeting and told him he had to come home. i promised to call him and tell him where the ambulance was going to take us.

and then i held my unresponding 3.5 month old, checking to be sure he was breathing ... afraid to move him much in case he was really injured ... truly fearing he was going to die in my arms. i pray that no mother i know ever has to feel that feeling. even knowing now that it was a dramatic response and he's fine, it makes me want to puke to remember it.

in the four minutes it took for the firemen to get there, john was my hero. he put on his own shoes without fuss. he went and got mommy's "fast shoes" so i could put them on and be ready to go. when the ambulance arrived, he put buddy in his kennel so he wouldn't be in the way.

i handed my poor love to the firemen, who quickly checked him out. he started to respond to their stimuli, and stirred in their arms. he cracked his eyes open and fussed, then went silent. they checked him head to toe and confirmed that there were no traumatic injuries to his head or body.

they handed him back to me, assuring me that he seemed to be ok. they explained that oftentimes when an infant has a traumatic experience, they sort of hyperventilate and make themselves pass out. that jives with what happened. they were kind and compassionate and answered a million questions about what to be on the lookout for, how to tell if he was ok, what to be afraid of and what was normal recovery. they said they would transport him to the hospital if i wanted, but that they didn't think it was necessary. i asked what they would do if it was their child, and each said that they would just watch at home -- and that if they were really worried, they would be pushing me to let them transport him.

so i said no, we would watch him. and they left. as the ambulance left, my poor frazzled husband arrived, having made the drive home in record time. i explained, charlie continued to stir more, and finally within 15-20 minutes charlie seemed to be really awake.

i sat down to nurse him and totally lost it. i have never sobbed so hard. i feel so much guilt for dropping him. for not protecting him. for letting him fall. i will never unheard the sound of impact, or unsee his little body laying on the carpet.

by bedtime charlie was pretty much his normal self, if a little angstier than usual. this morning he was totally back to normal -- giggling, smiling, nursing happily. he is fine. we are all fine.

and i know i will be fine emotionally, too. i know it will take some time but that it will be ok. i KNOW that.

but please say some prayers for us, that i might forgive myself, that i might be able to let go of my fear and sorrow and guilt. 

and please say prayers for mamas everywhere who have to experience those moments of thinking their child is lost -- and most especially for those who are right. i saw just a corner of that last night, just a tiny speck of the darkness. and it is horrible.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

off balance

the letter "h"!
sleepy buddha
last night, john proved to me again what an awesome kid he is. he wanted to have a dance party in the living room and asked daddy to put on the radio.

daddy did, to a pop/top 40 type station. i can't remember what song it was, but john said, "no, daddy, a rock and ROLL dance."

so daddy changed. next station was a country song. "no, daddy. rock and ROLL!"

finally, daddy landed on an alt rock station. "that's it daddy! rock and roll, rock and roll ..." (insert cute hip/butt wiggle here).

what song had my kiddo rockin' and rollin'? 

"under the bridge," by red hot chili peppers. that, friends, THAT, is my child.

meantime charlie was sitting in his seat just smiling and laughing at big brother's antics.

*  *  *

and i needed that. i needed to be reminded how amazing my children are, because it was a rough afternoon before that. it started with a tough meeting with an employee at work, followed by trips to not one but two grocery stores on the way home. and in the car, i made the "mistake" of chatting on the phone with two friends who needed me rather than interacting with john, so he was on terrible behavior most of the way. and it carried over into the grocery stores where he whined and fussed and didn't listen and charlie got wound up and i was that mom walking thru walmart biting back tears as i pushed a cart of crying wiggling boys. (how can two small boys seem to be SO MUCH boy?)

and i know, we all have those days. and i know a lot of it is probably still a learning curve for me as a mom of two instead of one, as a working mom again, as a mom of a nearly four year old instead of a two year old, etc. i know, we're all still (and always will be) figuring out what to do.

but i struggle so much, because i want my kids to always know they are the center of my heart -- but they cannot at every moment be the center of my attention. and i want to make the most of my time with those amazing boys of mine (husband included), but sometimes i want to talk to a girlfriend who is having a tough time with her own family, or another who is in early labor with her first son. 

yesterday, i felt very much like i failed at the balance.

i didn't so much balance as teeter, wobble, fall, stumble, yell, cry, and make little ones cry.

and i know, today is a new day, blah de blah de blah. i know, we all have off days and all that garbage. i KNOW that. 

sooooo ... what's my strategy? i need a strategy.
  1. focus on rock and roll and giggles instead of yelling and carseat kicking
  2. take a deep breath. stretch. close my eyes. remember the peace i found just a week ago when i took the martin luther king holiday to stay in bed and play with charlie all day. (i should write a post about that. maybe tomorrow.)
  3. put into place my plan to take a day off once a month or so to spend time with one of the boys one-on-one -- again, including my husband.
mamas, how do you do it? how do you balance your life -- even if you don't work out of the home, how do you keep it together when you're losing it a little? and how do you recover after you lose it?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

return to "normal"

from now on, this is how we do ALL
our gingerbread houses.
i have been guilting myself for not blogging for weeks now. how was christmas? (charlie's first!) how was new years? how was thanksgiving, for that matter, and the visit with the family? how have i not managed to document all of these precious moments in our family's life?

well, here's how: the mama in this house works. and if this blog is and always has been about the balancing act - the utter tightrope walk! - of being both a marketing professional and the best mom i can be, then my silence reflects the focus the past several weeks have required. but now ... knock on wood? ... it appears that we might be sliding into a routine. and now, maybe now, i can begin again to write down the struggles and joys we face.

and when i am in doubt, i just look at this little face:

don't worry, mother, i am wise in ways
you cannot comprehend.

and then i realize, it's all ok. a few months of blogging silence do not a disaster make.

*   *   *
so how were our holidays? overall very nice. lowkey christmas at home (or as lowkey as it gets with a busy three-and-a-half-year-old who doesn't understand why we can't play with every present we open and have to keep on opening more). (why DO we have to keep on opening more? thoughts for next year ...)

we made a quick trip (too quick) to baton rouge to see friends and family the weekend after christmas. that was wonderful too. except that john came down with the flu while we were there. so when we got back, the week of new years was even weirder than it would have been because my husband and i had to take turns staying home with john until he was better. new years was of necessity the quietest i've ever spent ... we watched a movie, paused at midnight to say happy new year, and went to bed not long after.

but here it is 2014. we're settling in in texas -- i love my new job, the boys are thriving in their new school, we're figuring out what a "normal" day looks like ... and in the midst of so much change, these kiddos are an anchor. here's to a beautiful new year. (one week late.)

*   *   *
and my final thought for today: in the car this morning on the way to school, john said to me accusingly and appropos of nothing, as he often does lately, "mommy, you a bad guy."

my response was not to tell him not to call mommy a bad guy.

i hit the IMPORTANT stuff: "john, please use proper english, my love."

"ok, mommy. you ARE a bad guy."