Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Lil' dude, you don't always have to be so brave.

Last night, you let out a big cry around midnight. You woke both Daddy and I up. He sat straight up in bed.

You see, you are so quiet at night; you're a sleepy little mouse. You never make a peep.

Twice more after midnight, you made noises, little whimpers, frustrated grunts. You cried.

You know, you don't always have to be so brave. You can let one of us know you need us. We would be there in a heartbeat.

Even if it's the middle of the night, even if it's dark, even if you're OK but just need to see someone.

We will always be there.

Monday, September 29, 2008

When She Went Home


I see you, lil' dude. Peek!

You were such a good girl at your auntie's wedding this weekend. You very first one! You looked so cute in your party dress, black Mary Jane's, barrette, and hoodie. You were very content during the ceremony playing with your boyf., T., and eating Goldfish. You loved all the attention as people complimented you on your beauty and behavior.

I am grateful to your grandparents for volunteering to bring you home (sleepy and cold) after dinner so Mama and Daddy could continue having fun. I am grateful you weren't there to see me "dance", remove my pantyhose, swig champagne from a bottle, kiss Daddy's face a hundred times, or steal those Doritos and Mountain Dew from the hotel convenience store. I'm so glad you weren't witness to any of that. And hey, while I'm at it, thanks for taking that nap yesterday afternoon so I could go find a cheeseburger and fries to save my life. Mama loves!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Lil' dude, four years ago today, Daddy asked Mama to marry him.

The day was gorgeous. Gorgeous! Sunny and crisp with blue skies and green grass. Mama was completely shocked. Never have I been so surprised in my whole life. I was wearing old gray sweatpants, and a summer basketball camp t-shirt that was 7 years old. I had a greasy ponytail and a headband in. I wore tennis shoes. Oh, and, I was on some pretty heavy painkillers after a long night in the ER ... where it was discovered I had an ovarian cyst, a pretty big one and it hurt. Daddy took Mama to the hospital in the middle of the dark night and held my hand the whole time. He wiped my tears and whispered to me. He told me everything was going to be OK and I was doing great and would be taken care of. And he was right.

So, 12 hours later when Daddy got on his knee and said those tiny, big words, I was surprised. And happy and excited and elated and emotional and so ready for the future. You, baby girl, were that future. You are our present. Daddy and Mama married each other because we knew we would be better off together than we would separate. We wanted to be part of an Us and that is what we found in each other. Four years ago was just the beginning; yet today is also just the beginning. You were always our purpose and our mission and our belief. You always will be.

Mama loves.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: You Should See the Other Guy

It's hard to see, but she took not one but TWO diggers in two days resulting in angry red marks on her forehead and a scabbed-up nose. Today, her finger bled all the way to daycare, and all over her leggings and pluggie. Tomorrow, Bubble Wrap.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008


This post is definitely not going to be about how the last two nights I've picked the lil' dude up from daycare she has resisted me. How she turned away with a big grin and burrowed herself into the daycare lady's neck. This post is not going to be about how she cried last night in the entryway as I stretched my arms out to greet her. How her little arms reached away from me. That is not what this post is going to be about.

Boobs . . . tomorrow, I am embarking on a mission to save boobs. I will be participating in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for breast cancer. I will walk 60 miles in three days- sleep in a tent, pray for sunshine and blisterless days. Because when the lil' dude is my age and older, I think it would be nice for her to not have to worry about breast cancer. A thing of the past it could be called, a disease they conquered like Polio or Smallpox. A complete eradication of the disease. Wouldn't that be something.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Things That Go PLAY In The Night

Last night as I was dead asleep, I heard music start to play. I smashed my alarm clock thinking it was time to get up already.
The music didn't stop.
I opened my eyes a little more. The clock said 11:55pm. It was not my alarm clock.
I listened for a few more seconds, recognizing the song.

"Hey, the Dad, Wake up. Can you hear that? The lil' dude's CD player just started playing."
Sure enough, the song playing was number one on her Green Day lullaby album, and I could hear it on the baby monitor.
The Dad is starting to wake up. "What the Hell?"

He bolts upright in bed, grabs his glasses off the night stand and goes into the hallway. He flips on the bathroom light and goes into her room. The music stops. I can still hear the lil' dude's sleep machine playing Waterfall through the monitor. I don't even hear the lil' dude's body make a rustle in her bedding. He turns out the lights, and I am already falling back asleep.

Moments later, he bolts upright again. My eyes fly wide open. "What?" I ask him.
"I cannot believe you are freaking sleeping," he says as he leaves the room again. "I heard her make a noise."
He goes back to check on the lil' dude, turning on lights as I prop myself up. I shouldn't be sleeping?

He comes back to bed. I ask him what's wrong.
"Well, don't you think it's a little weird, the CD playing and all?"
I answer him, "Of course, but what can we do about it? She must have turned the machine on when she was playing before her bath." The Dad rolls over to face the wall. He says, "So, 4 hours ago and it just starts playing randomly now? I just think it's weird."

If there are monsters or ghosts or spirits or intruders in the house, and all they want to do is play some music for the sleeping baby, they can go right ahead.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Before you were born, lil' dude, there was one particular person who was so excited for you to arrive he helped Mama count down the days. That person is your Papa W., Mama's very own daddy.
When you are older, I will tell you the story of he and I and how we become father and daughter. Next to the Dad, he's my favorite guy ever . . . and I am sure he'll rank right up there with you, too.

Your Papa W. is passionate about things. His most favorite is the log cabin he built by hand, nestled on 80 acres of quiet, deep woods. It's was his lifelong goal, and he's not even 50 yet. His hard work and vision and desire are some of his greatest attributes, and they are very present in his everyday work. He's a simple man, though, who loves his family, does good, and takes joy in the small things like a sweet dog on the porch, a cup of fresh-perked coffee, a new song found on iTunes. There is no one else like him.

He wanted grandkids by the time I left for college. He's always loved kids, all the cousins and second-cousins and co-workers' grandkids. When the Dad and I told him he was going to be a grandpa, he cried and said his trademark, "neat." He sent me about 4 emails a week through the rest of my pregnancy, just to check in, just to be a part of it all. I knew he was secretly making plans, and secretly, hoping for a baby girl. He told me often you were a she.

You were born three days before his birthday . . . the coat rack and puzzle we gave him for his birthday could not to compare to him holding you for the first time asking quietly, "Can I unwrap her to look?" as he rubbed your cheek. He called everyday when you and I were home under Grandma's care. If I went a day without an emailed picture, he called to see if our camera was broke. You've had him wrapped around your itty bitty finger all this time- and even before.

So this weekend, we loaded you up and put the Beagle beside you and we headed for the cabin. Wienie Roast, the email said, at the Cabin. He couldn't wait to see you and show you everything. We dressed you in the most fitting gear we could find, and we went exploring. The rain and the mud and the cold kept us from doing much outside, but sat around the wood stove, warm as can be. The look on your Papa's face as he watched you happily peruse every square inch was priceless. He could not have been happier, seeing you in his most favorite place. He loved when you crawled to the table of big men, with muddy boots, and loud voices and pulled yourself up on his leg. Up, Papa. Make me bounce like you always do.

Friday, September 12, 2008


She said it.
Over and over again in a strong, clear voice.
She looked at me as she started . . . MamaMamaMamaMamaMamaMamaMama.

"She's just blabbering," The Dad says.
No, she's not. Not this time.
MamaMamaMamaMamaMama . . .

He's shaking his head. She's saying Mama. I wrote it on the calendar. She did it two separate times yesterday. Honestly, I thought it a fluke in the morning as I was dressing her. There was no mistaking it at dinner time.

"Lil' dude, say Mama," I whispered.
MamaMamaMamaMamaMama . . .
Oh, my heart.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Bathtub Diaries, Installment . . . 5?

Alphabet soup. Chewy new bath time fun.

I introduced these new toys in attempt to sway the lil' dude from her new favorite thing, trying to slurp up all the water from the tub. She must have just realized the water her tiny butt soaks in is much like the water she chugga-chugs from her sippy cup. Somehow, I can still hear, "MAMA, don't drink the water your dirty butt soaks in! Stop that! Give me that cup back. Now. That's gross!" from my childhood. The appeal is generational, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Need a Sign

Very recently the lil' dude has been experiencing some frustrations with communication. It seems the darling chica has some things to say to the Dad or I. Her eyes plead with us to understand. She then has a meltdown and turns bright red. It's sorta traumatic. For me mostly.

She got 4 new teeth in about 10 days, the latest was Sunday. She would be happily playing on the floor with a book or Tupperware lid when she would abruptly sit on her tiny bum with a look of pure sadness on her face. She would then burst into tears. She would cram her fingers into her mouth and look at me like, "fix it, Mama. It hurts and I'm broken and you can fix me." But I can't- I don't know what she needs at times like that because she can't tell me.

So, Internetz friends, send Mama some good suggestions on ASL, or American Sign Language. It intrigues me that these littles can begin communicating before their little mouths can form or say words. Where should I begin?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Letter from Mama, v9

Happy 9 months old, Miss Lil' Dude!

9 months . . . that's how long I was pregnant with you! I remember thinking it was the most important job I had ever done. I worried a lot about you, and how you were growing. I knew once I saw you and held you and made sure you were alright, I could relax. I knew there would be people on the other side there to help like your Daddy, the Grandmas, your "aunties", your Fairy Godmother, your great-aunts, your daycare lady . . . so many people would be there to love you and help you grow. That thought alone could calm me down when I was anxious. Just 9 months by myself, with you, then you would be shared. You would have your village and I would share you. It's just the way it works I guess. There is no staking claim to you, no hogging you. But I'll always have those 9 months.

This month your personality has emerged. You're showing Daddy and I what you like and don't like. You're becoming familiar with routine. You know to put your hands up as your highchair tray slides on. You know when you can start pulling your bib off. You know when you start crawling towards the TV or plant or screen door you are going to be told NO, loudly. Yet, you do it anyway. Sometimes, your impatience gets the best of you and you have complete meltdowns. That's right! You're not as perfect as we make you out to be. Just remember everything we do is for you and you'll obviously get what you need, even if it isn't right now.

Your fearlessness hasn't gone away yet, it makes my heart stop a little each time you take a big fall or get stuck somewhere. You're always fine after the hot, mad tears instantly come. You'll do it again, whatever it was you were doing. Like just today you were trying to climb into your baby swing in the dining room. You couldn't get the swing to stop, well, swinging, for you to get your little legs over the edge of the chair and into it. So, you sat and looked around for a minute, spotting the push-car toy you've been cruising around with and wheeled that over in front of your swing. I knew the combination of the moving swing and wheels on the car would be bad, but I just watched you. You climbed onto the car slowly, carefully reached for the swing . . . and, promptly fell on your head. Que the hot, mad tears. But, I was so proud of you, lil' dude. You're already figuring things out on your own. Never be afraid to try anything even if you think you'll get hurt. There's a reward in there somewhere.

Mama loves.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mommy Email=Mommy Blog

Below is a real-live email from my Mama friend E. She did two things: Had a baby almost 4 months ago, and went to HH for the first time as a Mama this week. Her email made my insta-blog.

To: Friends
From: E
Date: 9/4/08
Subject: RE: Morning

Ok, I took a nap and I am feeling a bit better.

Next on my agenda is tater tots, chicken nuggets, cheese sticks and Texas Toast. All of them sounded good so I am making them all. That's not weird is it??

Since this is my first hangover since AJ I thought of the following comparison-

Hangovers are like labor:
It is fun to drink beer and have sex, but you don't quite think of the consequences while doing it.
And both of them suck so bad, but you forget and want to do it again.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

So Big!

It's not only a game we are working on at our house, but it's the truth.

This morning the lil' dude had her 9mo. appointment. How come pregnancy crawled. at. a. snail's. pace.? but these 9 months have gone OMGSHE'SHOWOLDWITHHOWMANYTEETHCLAPPINGHERHANDSANDEATINGSAUTEEDCHICKEN? She literally took forever to get here. And she's literally taking seconds to go.

Her Ped. is what you'd expect in a baby's doctor. He talks sing-songy and calls her "boooo-teee-full" so often the Dad counts in his head. "Only 8 times this appointment," he will tell me in the car. He tells us her growth is text-book perfect. He tells us it's OK to get her on the Next Step formula and to give her Motrin. He gently reminds me she is measured in inches tall now, instead of inches long. But the lil' dude isn't 29.5" inches tall . . . she's too little to be tall. He commends us for not seeing her since her 6mo. well baby check up in June- no visits to the ER? no breathing treatments at home? He was the same sweet doctor who gave me Kleenex for my tears when my tiny baby contracted RSV when she was 2 months old. He's sweet, gentle, asks enough about the Dad's and my lives non-related to the baby. Sports, vacations, weather. But everything is about her, really.

So we left the Ped's. office clutching a new book (love the community grants for free books through the clinic) and her stats envelope proclaiming 85% for weight and 97% for height and 94% for melon circumference. The Dad asks me if I am going to schedule her 12mo. appointment since we are there.
I ask the nurse at reception. No, she says, the December calendar isn't out yet.
Thank God.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Farewell to Summer

And here we are in September already.
I'll forever remember this summer as the summer I Became a Mama.
I devoted my long evenings, lazy mornings, busy weekends, and summer sun to the lil' dude. For I want her to have the memories of summer I have- the best of times in my life.
We spent yesterday doing what encompasses a summer's day:
We slept in- until 8!
We made smoothies for breakfast and watched cartoons.
We picked garden veggies for lunch.
We swam and played on the deck in hot sun.
We took the dog on his favorite walk route.
We drank cold ice water in the shade.
We played in the cool downstairs as a movie played.
We took naps right before dinnertime.
We took a final summer trip to get ice cream. We shared vanilla soft-serve.

Today, it's fall. Summer is over, and it was perfect.

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…” Ralph Waldo Emerson