Friday, August 29, 2008

PhotoStory Friday: Simplify, simplify, simplify

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

The buzzing of technology is ubiquitous. Computer screens flicker to life, cell phones trill endlessly, televisions blare well into the wee hours of the night, iPods hang from nearly every passerby.

The last time we were without power was a auspicious mixture of heaven and hell. The phones, the computer, the lights . . . all of it. Gone.

What did we do? We talked. We listened. We went outside and let the moon light our path. Later we lit candles while I read poetry. OK, the whole poetry thing didn't happen. But the conversation, the moon, the candles . . . all true.

It is just so easy to get caught up. To get lost. To be overcome. The frenetic pace of every day can just zap the life right out of you.

Before J was born we took a trip to Boston. Being the geeky English teacher, I just had to visit Walden Pond, the ethereal place where Thoreau built his simple one-room cabin, forgoing the trappings of modern life.

This is the cabin . . .

The pond is now a recreational area. There were so many people there that it was hard to imagine the tranquility that Thoreau experienced.

A simple path.

Self-explanatory . . .

* * *

Simplify, simplify, simplify. Thoreau's words. And a philosophy by which I try to lead my life.

So, do I? Nah. Not always. But I try.

And you know who inspires me?

The boy who finds joy in rolling a can of Spaghettios around on the floor, forgoing his expensive toys that lay abandoned in his play room. The boy who can truly appreciate nature, from the leaves on a tree to the rippling waves in the river. The boy who can look into your eyes and make you thankful you're alive.

The boy who can bend over, look between his legs, laugh, get you to pick him up because he is so darned cute, only to discover that he has a little (smelly) present for you.

Simplicity at its best.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: I apologize . . .

Dear J, I'm so sorry that you are the newest victim of your mama's lack of fashion sense and her total geekdom.
I didn't think there was any problem with this one until someone called him "Baby Trump."

I had no real swimming trunks. I'm not even sure this get up was for a boy. I just grabbed it and ran. Nice sandals. I know.

Forgive me . . .
*For more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here.

Hey, stay tuned. I have a sizzlin' guest post coming soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

You Can't Beat Me

Sweat dripping down my back. My hair, wet and matted to my forehead. Grabbing for each and every breath. My muscles straining with each footfall. The heat of the sun burning the back of my neck. My hands wet under the grip of the handle.

I tell myself I'll run to the next bush. The gaggle of geese. The light pole. The group of elderly men who laugh and joke as they make their way around the track. I am desperate to stop. But, I can't quit . . .

Then I see her. She has the jogging stroller I saw in an issue of hip and cool baby gear must haves. Her shorts are snug against her near-perfect body, her sunglasses no doubt are designer, her shoes probably custom fit.

Me. Old high school t-shirt (from the school where I formerly taught), baggy ten-year-old shorts, $1.99 sunglasses, and a jogging stroller that boasts affordability over style.

I will not stop running until she does.

And I don't.

The sweat drips.

The muscles scream in agony.

The sun sears my body.

The smell . . .

Uh oh.


Crap (literally). Now I HAVE to stop running. I mean, J needs me to change his dirty diaper. If his diaper weren't begging for a change I would have run at least five more miles. Undoubtedly.

I make a show of smelling him. Shaking my head as I reach for the diaper bag.

I hope she's watching. I hope she knows I would have never, ever stopped unless my child needed me.

As I head for the restrooms I mumble under my breath . . .

"Thank you, J. Mommy adores a poopy diaper." Especially when Olympic wannabe mommy is hot, sweaty, sore, burned, exhausted and in desperate need to save face.

Until tomorrow, sweet jogging stroller . . . until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: You May Live

I have been able to keep the following alive this month. I am very proud of myself . . .

No clue what this is. But it's pretty.

Can you see the bee???

Apparently, you can't kill these. I should know. I've tried.

The previous owners left these. I'm continually amazed that they come back year after year. Must be risk takers . . .

Apparently I tried to stone these flowers.

And finally . . . He has a few bumps and he's eaten food I've cooked, but he's livin', walkin', talkin' and learning to throw food (um, like I said, I "cook"). And the fun begins . . .

EDITED: So, last night I was apparently falling asleep while posting. I had no idea I actually hit PUBLISH! Such a strange post. But, I've since fixed it up a bit! Happy Wednesday!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm SO Dumping YOU!

I am. It is over. You and I, we are no longer friends. We will not have long heartfelt chats at night. We will not share a quart of the leftover Edy's ice cream (from the BLOCK PARTY). We will no longer go through boxes of tissues. We will not stare longingly every single night at the little guy as his chest rises and falls and the little itty bit of drool makes its way . . . STOP! We will not be doing that any more (at least not EVERY night).

You and me. We are over.

There will be no more crying at lame commercials about babies and moms and dads and if he's the father or not (wait. that's a show I used to laugh at. now, tears as big as dump trucks fall from my eyes. pathetic.).

We are no longer stopping at the sight of every single solitary (or not) baby and asking the adult unit that is with child a litany of questions while cooing endlessly at the clueless babe with the crooked smile and chubby digits as they reach for my face and caress my cheek . . . STOP! We will not be doing that any more (at least not EVERY single time).

We will not be gorging on comfort foods. Yes, that means you cheesy bits of pasta goodness. And, ix nay on the ugar shay. Enough is enough. A Butterfinger followed by shots of M&Ms is absolutely ludicrous. Oh, and don't even get me started on the Swedish Fish appetizers.

Oh, and WE will no longer be reading those "heartfelt" "touching" "gut-wrenching" "life-changing" stories filling up the parenting magazines and the occasional Reader's Digest. The tear-stained pages are getting rather cumbersome to turn.

And finally, we will not longer be calling everyone DEAR or SWEETIE. What the heck is with that? Random boy at checkout, "Thanks sweetie." Cue cute mommy smile. The 40-something dude at the gas station, "Excuse me, dear." What? HOLD UP. What am I? An 80-year-old grandma with rolled stockings, cookies in the oven and a quilt waiting to be knitted? Heck no. (except for the cookies, but that's gotta stop!).

I'm sorry it had to end this way, Ms. Sappy Pants. But you and me, we're no good for each other. You've turned my heart to two-day old cinnamon and sugar flavored oatmeal, my mind into a neverending movie from the Hallmark channel, and my "back parts" into a scare tactic for a lingerie model.

I'm staking my claim on my old self. I'll invite you over once in awhile. And, you can even stay a whole week when J turns two.

Until then.

Hasta la vista, Sappy.


Hey, head over to Five Minutes for Mom and cast your vote for Jamie's (Choosing My Own) fabulous summer photo (#13)!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Photo Story Friday: In the Blink of an Eye

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek,

The guests have long since departed. The presents have been opened. The balloons are starting to make their way to the ground. It has been five days since you turned one. In the peaceful quiet of a Thursday evening I've finally found the words . . .


I didn't know if I'd ever have you. You were a mystery to me and I had long since accepted that it might stay that way.

I'm watching you push you little car across the floor. You pick up a little plastic turtle (rescuing him from certain road kill status) and examine him in your tiny fingers, turning him around, placing him in your other hand. Every time you look at him it is as if you discover something new. I relish moments like this--the awe of new discoveries. You toss him aside. You are done with him. I love that, too. You clearly know what you want . . . and what you don't.

Hip baby fashion courtesy of The Rocking Pony!

You reach for the chair, stretching out your chubby little arms as you pull yourself up. Standing, you look over at me. "Are you watching me, mom?" you seem to say. I smile and wait to see if you will try it. You do. One step. Two step. Three step. Then you drop to the floor and crawl. To me.

After Cake

You put your hand on my knee and push yourself up as you grab my arms and then my shoulders. You push your face into my shoulder as you climb into my lap. "Mom, you're my woobie," you seem to say.

All clean! For now . . .


I'm your mom. Amazing. Especially since I never thought I'd have you.

But here you are. A year later. My baby. My little man.

They told me this would happen. You would grow up. I knew it. I accepted it. But, I don't think I could ever prepare for it. Every week I see more evidence to support that you are indeed--growing up. The crawling, the walking, the talking, the intense curiosity, the looks (oh, how the lopsided grin, the crooked teeth peeking out and your dancing blue eyes amaze me).

Every day I drink you in. I watch you while you sleep. I examine your hands. I kiss your toes, savoring each and every giggle. I cherish your laugh. I hold your warm body next to mine.

You've been my son for one year.

I've been your mama for a lifetime.

I promise your mama won't be caught up in the mush fest forever. The reality of poopy diapers, all-nighters, the fact that you will one day be a teenager . . . it'll all come back to me.

But until then. I just want to tickle your toes. Pepper you with kisses. Hold you in my arms.

And never let my little man go . . . at least for now.

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy J. Mama loves you.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cake is Good

One pic for now (thank you Auntie Carrie) . . . more pics and more words later. Major love props to all of you for your supportive and encouraging comments. You are all just too awesome for words . . .

Happy Birthday to my little man.

"Yup, me love me some butter cream . . . bring on the cake, mama!"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Three days . . .

Until the little guy turns 1.

I know. I've been MIA.

Why? I've been . . . drumroll please . . . reflecting.

I hate when I do that.

I've been a bit . . . emotional. No, not all weepy and stuff. Well, not much anyway.

Is it because J is turning 1? I think that is part of it. But, I also think my recent foray into the psychological abyss that is my mind is more about life in general.

I've been thinking about everything from our loved ones who are no longer with us to the fact that my butt just doesn't look the same in my favorite jeans anymore.

I have about a half dozen unfinished posts. I start one, get all excited, read it over. DELETE.

Like . . .

The post about the two elderly ladies at the park who talked incessantly about their love lives (in detail). I may need therapy . . . DELETE.


My two-hour drive home with two screaming infants in the back seat of my car. I had one of those crazy "I can't do anything about it but laugh until I pass out" laughs going on. You know, the freaky kind that make you think you are going crazy. I'm pretty sure my friend will NEVER call me for a play date again. DELETE


A story from high school that involved an eggs, doggy biscuits, toilet paper and a Chinese restaurant place mat. DELETE. Wait . . . that I might save 'til later.


The letter to single guys who think they poop gold, pee Dom Perignon, are as intelligent as Einstein, as charming as Clooney, as hot as Pitt, and that any chick fortunate enough to be in his presence should thank her lucky stars. Well, you don't. You ain't. And the WOMEN today are much smarter than that (even if it takes a date or two to realize it). That post came with a free quart of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia and a copy of Sleepless in Seattle. DELETE. Well, maybe not quite yet . . . I mean, ice cream???

Yeah, so I've been busy NOT writing. Not posting. Not commenting (much, if at all). I feel as if I'm constantly wiping away the cobwebs from the lap top. That will change . . . soon.

BUT, I have been soaking up each and every second of J's life leading up to THE BIG DAY. Playing, tickling, chasing, bouncing, jumping, laughing, chatting, reading, singing . . . swelling . . . as in my big fat heart.

* * *
I can't leave you with yet ANOTHER sappy ending . . . so, let me leave you with this forgive me.

I've been trying to figure out how to get rid of my favorite fashion accessory. (BTW, Firecracker Mom, can this count as my sexy pic? 'Cause this is as close as anyone's gonna get. And I am showin' a little leg . . . ).

Wish me luck. I'm going for a run now (Well, not RIGHT now. After I finish spooning my tub of leftover chocolate frosting and sniffling over America's Got Talent --AKA Sap Fest.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Seven days . . .

A few months ago J went from rolling around, to sitting up, to scooting, and finally to crawling. It seemed like it was overnight. He was so quick with his toe-knee-hand maneuver I was amazed. We cheered for him as he would crawl to me, then to daddy, and then back to me. He would shyly peer over his shoulder as a toothless grin would appear on his intense little face.

I remember a few weeks ago when he stood straight up without any help. His three-toothed grin widened as I clapped for him. We celebrated as if my little Olympian had just secured the gold.

I've been counting down the weeks. Slowly.

J will turn one in just seven days. Seven days.

Yesterday we had family over. They were gathered in the kitchen preparing to leave. J was snuggled in my arms, his head resting on my shoulder. I put him down. He stood.

He took a step.

Then another.

And another.

Our family cheered.

J flashed them his four-toothed grin.

I smiled. I cheered.

But I cried. Just a little.

On the inside . . .

My baby boy will be one in seven days.

Seven days . . .

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