Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good morning darkness.

I got up at 5:22 A.M. to feed the little piggy and as he gulped down his early breakfast, I kept thinking about my warm bed with flannel sheets waiting for me as soon as little the oinker was done. But then I remembered Joey is having surgery right now, and I have to drop Ethan off at Grandmas and then pick Joey up at the hospital by eight A.M. So I had to stay up.
I hopped in the shower to wake up, and I couldn't help but think about the Schneider Days, when I would get up at 4:20 A.M. and usually doze on and off, standing there with the hot water running all over me. Crazily, I had feelings of longing for those days again.
What I miss about Schneider is the recognition, the pats on the back. That job was all about competition, and if you did well, you felt like you won, everyday.
Those days are long gone, for better or for worse, and I would be better off if I let that era of my life go, and focus on right now: being the best mom I can be, the best preschool teacher, the best wife. There's a lot of good stuff going on there, like Ethan's cow costume we bought for the Harvest Festival.
It's too small, gives him the most painful looking permanent wedgie, has stuffing in the hips and butt that make him look like forty something obese woman, and he loves it. Wants to sleep in it. Wear it to church. To Costco. Everywhere. It's been a wonderful disciplinary tool, as in "Ethan, you must put your socks on or the cow is gone--" I've never seen someone put their socks on so fast.
I'll post pictures soon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Six week mental check up.

Noah is six weeks old. I am trying to get into some routine that includes working out, but I also have to give myself a break. I read in a magazine at the doctors office that after you have a baby you have to let go of unrealistic expectations, like looking like Heidi Klum--who I have no idea who she is but I am sure she is the beautiful, Sports Illustrated type--in six months. Six months?? And here I am at six weeks banging my own head against the wall because my regular jeans are super duper hoochie tight and uncomfortable.
Is there a pill for this?
I remember with Ethan my clothes fitting differently, my hips being wider specifically. I remember not minding, liking my new, more round and soft motherly look. In fact, I think I wore my pregnancy pants for a few months after the baby was born.
This time? I think I packed up every last piece of maternity clothing I had and either gave it away or put it in the garage, far far far away from my closet, sometime that first week. I was determined the baby was going to do as little disrupting as possible in our life: our schedule, our time, our money and yes, my pants.
The pregnancy was so hard for so many reasons, I was bracing for the worst when Noah arrived, so in my mind I got everything in order: back to work at four weeks, a chore list with every chore possibly imaginable including dusting floorboards and the fans--weekly, and an exercise routine five days a week.
With a newborn. And a three year old.
I am surprised at how well my "expectations" have actually realized, despite them being terribly unrealistic. Borderline psycho really.
The only one that has fallen off the band wagon is the exercise, and that's partly because I have also been sick. And, well, I have ignored some of the stupid chores I originally thought were imperative to life going well. Like dusting the floorboards.
Noah has been such a trooper through all this madness, swinging in his chair, sucking his pacifier just like Maggie Simpson. It's good when I stop to remember to hold him just because, to feel his baby weight in my arms, run my fingers over his fat, baby man thighs. Those moments, I know somewhere inside of me, are more important than getting up at five a.m. to exercise.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What do you want?

This is a fun writing exercise--just start writing whatever pops in your head.
I want to paint pumpkins. I want to make pretty blankets with soft, pretty yarn, the kind you buy at a yarn store, not Wal-mart. I want to be a ballerina, or it least be as strong and flexible as one. I want a new car, and a new wedding ring. I want to take the time to cook yummy dishes. I want to run, three days a week. I want to run a 13K. I want to teach kickboxing again. I want to become a yoga instructor and teach somewhere. I want to love my dogs better. I want to be more patient with Ethan. I want to love Joey in total freedom--his and mine. I want a tattoo. I want to dance again. I want to sing again. I want to take voice lessons. I want to take a painting class. I want to take a dance class. I want to be a better teacher: more creative with my crafts, more responsible with my planning. I want to be more confident, especially when talking with parents, or anyone I think is cooler than I am. I want to care about people when I am talking to them. I want to believe that God created me for good works, and that my mind and my thoughts have value. I want to redecorate my master bedroom, I want it to be romantic and pretty and comfortable. I want to travel with Joey--Italy, Costa Rica. I want to stay connected to Brazil. I want to always remember Portuguese. I want to play my guitar and get good at it, more than the chords. I want to host parties, with good friends and wine and dessert. I want to give meaningful gifts, and wrap them so pretty. I want to not be afraid of getting old. I want to look into the future with more hope than fear. I want to be excited about what is to come.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

You can't ever really get away from being mommy.

I went to the mall yesterday and had my face done at the Bobbi Brown counter. I felt like I needed a make-over of some sort, something to make me feel young and pretty.
It kinda worked.
The lady who worked on me was older (mind 50's) and her eyeliner was thick and black, taking up her whole eyelid. She was new and insecure, but sweet and kind too. She also gave me a nice thick line of eyeliner on each eyelid, which by the end of the day felt so heavy it was making my eyes close. In fact by the end of the day, my whole face felt like it was drooping there was so much make-up on it. And that was just the "day wear"--don't get me near the "going out" look.
Jen and Lily came too. Lily was good for almost the whole time. At the end, when she was screaming her head off and Jen's old make-up lady was rolling her eyes impatiently every time Jen reached down to give her the pacifier, I was reminded again how hard it can be to be a mom, especially a new one. Thinking about being a mom made my milk come in (or maybe it was Lily's cry) and as I sat there getting my mascara applied for me, I wondered if big wet spots were forming on my shirt. I put my arms up and put pressure on my boobs, something I have to do at the end of everyday at work when my milk decides it's time and lets down. (Unfortunately, this is also the time the parents are picking up their kids and I am walking around holding my breasts in the most inconspicuous way possible, if one exists, which I don't think it does.)
It is what it is.
I did like the lip base and liner and lipstick, so I am putting them on my Christmas list.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blessings and miracles in the morning.

My first day back at work was refreshing. The schedule, having to get dressed, having to be nice and smile at people even if on the inside I feel less than Miss Perky--are all good things, grace to my own heart. God is good and directs our paths, that is for sure. I would never have chosen this job; there are still moments when I miss my old job terribly, but I know those feelings aren't good for me or my family. This new job works. The schedule, the stress level, the people I am with all day--it's a safe, good place for my soul. The old job was good for my pride and checking account.
The kids were all so good, I even thought some of them were cute at times.
I am praising God this morning, blessed to see His work and care in my life.
And Noah smiled for the first time today. Well, actually he did it yesterday, but I wasn't really sure if it was a fake farty one or not. But today there was no doubt--his eyes were involved, bright and steady as they looked back at me. The world stopped, and I sat in awe for a second, overwhelmed and feeling quite unworthy, like I just witnessed a miracle.
Which, I suppose, is exactly what it was.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Finding his place.

It's seven thirty five in the morning and Ethan isn't up yet. This is a miracle, as if I woke up with long, beautiful hair.
I took Ethan to preschool yesterday. He walks through the door so ready; ready to play and paint and sit at circle time and leave me at the door. This isn't a bad thing, just a little unexpected since he's done this from day one. As a mommy, you expect a little hesitation, a little clingyness to your pant leg, a little glance at least.
Through the door, without a goodbye, unless I say, loudly, "Ethan! Tell your mama goodbye!"
And then without really looking at me he says, "Bye Mom," and that is that.
I always feel somewhat jilted as I walk back through the hallway by myself, carrying Noah in his big ole' carseat that I hate to lug around even though it is good for my biceps. But, by the time I get to the parking lot I am feeling great, free as a bird, thinking about all the wonderful things I can do with four hours, three-year old free, such as sleep! and read. And that's what I do until it's time to go pick him up again.
This heavenly situation is finished as of yesterday since I start work on Monday, but boy was it good while it lasted.
Pick up time is exciting. A reunion. I am anxious to see Ethan again, and usually, he wants to see me too. He doesn't always want to leave--OK, he never wants to leave--but at least I see his eyes brighten when he firsts sees me. Then they usually darken and his lips set downward and his eyebrows slant. "I don't wanna go home!"
Then we go through that whole routine (if you have ever had a three year old, or watched a parent trying to get their three year old to leave anywhere fun, like the park, or Nawnie's house, or even the doctor's office, you know what I mean).
His artwork--out of the-lines painting, hand-print leaves, whole pictures colored completely with one crayon--are like chocolate for my eyes. They always paint a picture of a part of him--he's diligent, thorough, a mini perfectionist--I know this because he actually wants to finish his art; do you know how hard it is to get some three, four and five year olds to color something with more than just one line, one stroke, of color?
We walk back to the car together, carrying his two blankies and his art and Noah and my purse and other miscellaneous papers, all the while talking about what he learned that day, or how he shared with someone, or didn't share with someone, how he rolled around at nap time but didn't get sent to the office (His teacher is kinder than I am).
I love it when he talks about "Miss Fawn" or when he teaches me a new song he learned. Makes him seem so grown up, so a part of this big world we all share. It's neat to see him begin to take his place, to see where he fits, what he brings to share.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


We took home eleven fat pumpkins yesterday. Most are babies, my favorite kind. Their stems are long and funny looking, giving them each a unique personality. Ethan is surprisingly coming out of his pants excited about Halloween. I say surprisingly because we have never celebrated it before with him-he's never had a costume, never participated in trick or treat or even a harvest festival. And he can't stop talking about it--When's Halloween? When are we going to make my costume? When can we carve my pumpkin? When? When? When? He's getting it from this book, Froggy's Halloween. He reads it over at Nawnie's every time we visit.
He wants to be a jumbo jet or a duck. I'm hoping in the end the duck wins out; I can manage some large yellow duck feet and a bill over trying to figure out how the heck to make him look like a jumbo jet.
Then yesterday he asked me what I wanted to be for Halloween, like it was the most normal--and obvious--question.
I haven't thought about that, since, like, fifteen hundred years ago.
Maybe we'll all be ducks.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's a good day over here.

Uncles are the best, right up there with airplanes or ice cream.

Nawnies are special too, especially when they wear matching outfits.

Kisses from auntie. (The mohawk is unintentional.)

Our attempt at a family picture. Pretty much captures our life exactly.
This morning I woke up to Noah screaming his red face off, and Ethan telling me, "I WANT MY BREAKFAST FIRST!" (Usually Noah gets preference; he's the loudest.) So I said OK, you can have it first.
I sorta melted out of my bed and somehow made it to the bathroom to pee--at this point in the morning Ethan always asks me, "Are you going poop, or just pee?" to which I always reply, "Just pee." but this morning decided if I don't want to answer this question every morning for the rest of my life I better explain--"I don't usually poop in the morning, honey. It's always just pee."
We'll see if he asks tomorrow.
Anyway, by the time this was all done, and I got Ethan his Cinnamon Toast Crunch and some milk, Noah was sleeping, and I felt like the worst mama ever to let him cry himself to sleep. Don't children who get neglected have serious issues when they are older?
Logically I know this is probably good for him, and for me. But emotionally I feel he is ruined.
Today we are going to the pumpkin patch with Deana and Andrew. I am so excited! I want to put pumpkins everywhere. They have to be one of the cutest things ever invented by God.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Liana, Bad Dog, Friends.

Daelynn and Chuy are here with their lovely, bouncy little girl Liana. She is beautiful, a doll baby. Daelynn is so beautiful as a mama too. My grandparents are so happy when these babies are around.

I got up this morning and let the dogs out to do their thing, and Feibi ran out on the golf course because the wind blew our fence over, leaving a wide hole. She did this yesterday too, two times. This morning I was over it, over her. I went up there with treats and Riley to try and get her back, and she looked at me and then darted off. I left, OK in my heart that she probably would be coyote breakfast meat.
I made coffee and blueberry muffins that filled my house with a sweet, pastry smell. Ethan helped on his stool, licked the bowl.
And then I heard Joey say, " Well look who came back." and that naughty, selfish dog was scratching on my sliding glass door. I almost didn't let her back in, except she looks at you so completely trustingly with those ugly, dark eyes.
Lately we've had lots of visitors, and I must say one of the best things about having a baby is having friends and family come meet them. This is Heather, my best friend growing up. I love seeing her hold my babies.