Thursday, May 30, 2013

sophie's 1st time at the pool!

i am loving this new disney story app i downloaded on my iphone. it basically lets you put together a power point with the photos and videos in your phone. i only wish it included music, but beggars can't be choosers. enjoy! (note: the first frame is a video and kinda confusing to figure out. when you click on it, it automatically comes up paused for some reason. you have to hover over it and click the pause button in order for the play button to appear. when you're done watching the video, hover over it again and click the x to see the rest of the story.)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

parenting moments: the good, the bad, and the ugly

the bean is seven months old today - SEVEN! that has nothing to do with this post, but i thought i should mention it cuz it's kinda a big deal around here.

this post is about moments in parenting, none of which are particularly connected to the others. you will know this because of the "*   *   *"s clearly marking each complete change of subject.

*                         *                         *                         *                         *                         *                        

in my last post, i talked about the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of our lives and how most people rarely tend to show you the bad and the ugly because, well, they are bad and ugly. and who wants to see bad and ugly?

a lot of people, as it turns out. 

(this includes me. please send me your bad and ugly moments in a comment!)

so i committed to showing you all the bad and the ugly along with the good! which seems a bit unfair to me since "bad" and "ugly" are two undesirable things and "good" is only one desirable thing, so in this case, the undesirables are clearly winning, but hey. i don't make the rules.

the good.

here is a good, desirable moment from the other day; the kind i would have instagrammed if i hadn't forgotten. 

it was a gorgeous day outside, but the baby's sunscreen had not yet arrived in the mail (yes, i ordered it on amazon. but only because safeway was all out when i went to place my online grocery order. how lazy do you think i am?), so we went on the porch instead. 

doesn't that look nice and lovely and serene? it was.

but this is what you didn't see, and wouldn't see if i weren't so committed to showing you the bad and the ugly as well. 

like the rest of my porch:

gross and GROSS. 

let's count that as both the bad and the ugly. which is probably cheating. since i don't make the rules, i don't always feel compelled to follow them either. 

*                         *                         *                         *                         *                         *                        

ever notice how kids have this sixth spidey sense that directs them to the ONE thing in the room you do not want them touching? i think this must have something to do with adam and the fall of man. there is no other explanation.

for example.

yesterday, i was working in the kitchen. which is rare. baby does NOT like being away from me. as sweet that is, it is also a pain, particularly when i'm trying to get something done in another room. 

on such occasions, it is necessary for me to park her outside the kitchen and surround her with crap to play with. which i did. only she didn't. instead, she did this:

in case this doesn't clear things up...

look closely.

note the various toys strewn generously across the floor (there are more, but as you can see, this is not a landscape photo). 

note the naked hanger dangling from the changing table behind her.

note the tag in her mouth. and the garment in her tiny clutches. 

note also the motion blur. this was caused by her whipping her head around in alarm as she realized that i was documenting her in the act. 

*                         *                         *                         *                         *                         *                        

the other day, around 4 PM, i notice something is wrong. 

i notice that, at 4 PM, my daughter is frolicking around in an adorable vintage-y frock, like this...

... and i still look like a homeless, hung-over eight-year old.

like this:

when i say "still", i mean that yes, those are the clothes i slept in the night before.

yes, that is madeline on my shirt.

yes, that is a bucket of poopy clothes behind me.

i think, "i need to fix this."

so what do i do? the normal thing to do would be to change my underwear and, oh i dunno, run a brush through my hair?

do i do this?


i decide this is the perfect time for the baby to practice eating solid foods...

... and then patiently wait for her to puke on herself.

"there", i think. "now we both look like crap."

i am happy.

so there you have it. the good (see adorable, vintage-y frock), the bad (see theresee), and the ugly (see homeless, hung-over eight-year old).

*                         *                         *                         *                         *                         *

PS: that sunscreen DID end up coming in the mail! AND an adorable swimsuit to boot! AND tiny hand-me-down sunglasses from cousin tilly to re-boot!!

bring it on, summer!!

what are some of your not-so-pretty parenting moments?

Monday, May 13, 2013

what if...

i should not be blogging right now. i should be sleeping. but as it inevitably turns out, while i was ex-hau-sted all day when i needed to be doing stuff, i'm completely awake now that the baby has gone down a whole half hour earlier than usual (part of our painfully slow and not-so-steady journey towards an 8 pm bedtime like normal children have).

so here i am.


i just remembered i never showered. i was gonna do that as soon as she went to bed...

which, weirdly enough, brings me to what i was going to write about anyway.

ok, i'm gonna make this quick so i can shower. cuz i need to. like, i really need to.

so i read a lot of blogs. "mommy blogs"(although i hate calling them that, because i think it makes it sound like i sit around all day trolling for new knitting patterns and recipes that call for 2 cups of breastmilk). my personal favorites are and (that's "momastery" as in "monastery" but not. not to be confused with "mom mastery", as i first thought).

just to give you an idea.

i've noticed that several of these women have blogged about the same topic, which i'll call the digital dilemma. in a nutshell, the idea is that many people (specifically, women, specifically, mothers) feel bad about themselves when they compare their lives to the seemingly perfect ones of their friends as portrayed on social media (facebook, instagram, pinterest, etc.). i guess these mom-bloggers get a lot of emails and whatnot from readers who say things like, "i wish i had your life, you make it all look so easy! i look at all the pictures you post of your kids in these sparkly adorable outfits, skipping around in the sunset; the spotless Easter brunch you prepared and color-coordinated to match your dining room napkins; the pinwheel cupcakes you sculpted from scratch and topped with honey you extracted by hand from the honeysuckles in your backyard... i look at these things and i feel so inadequate!!"

of course, the author always responds, you aren't getting the whole story. she is quick to point out the things you don't see, like the total meltdown child #2 had just before that particularly perfect photo was taken, or the fact that her dog ate all of the pinwheel cookies and she spend the next 2 days in bed crying about it. stuff like that.

don't worry, the bloggers reassure their freaking-out fans, for every perfect moment that gets captured on film and posted, there are 6,345,692 imperfect ones that don't.

this makes perfect sense.

i mean, how many people do you know who are running to snap photos of the worst moments of their day in order to preserve those memories for a lifetime? not me, that's for sure. and probably not you. not any of those bloggers.

but what if they did?

here's my thought about all of this. the point that the mommy-bloggers are making in response to their readers telling them how inadequate their photos and stories make them feel is to say, "don't feel bad about yourself - just because we only post the good and pretty stuff doesn't mean there isn't also bad and ugly stuff in our lives. you just don't see it because we don't show it."

my thing is, what if they did show it, and we did see it?

what if, instead of only posting photos of myself on days when i've showered, i also posted one of myself sitting here right now, in the same clothes and underwear i woke up in:

what if, instead of only posting photos of my pinterestly perfect meals (ok, let's face it, i don't actually generate those kinds of meals in reality), i showed you the mealworm in my artichoke:

what if, while i have yet to take any un-adorable photos of soph, i told you that at 6 months, she still is not sleep-trained, goes to bed around 9:30, and wakes up 4-5 times a night, and we are too big of pushovers to let her cry it out? what if i told you that, as i've been writing this, after having successfully gotten her into bed at 9, she woke up at 9:20 and has been screaming so loud i'm afraid she'll wake the dead (not to be confused with the deceased -- that's just what we call our next door neighbors who come by and complain if we flush the toilet too loudly)?

what if, unlike any other mother-blog i've yet to come across (although i'm sure they exist; i'm not THAT original), i gave you the bad and the ugly along with the good?

i think i'm going to start.

because, while i ADORE my blogs (i seriously think i would cease to function without, i think i would like to see one that takes things a step beyond "trust me, my life isn't perfect, even if i only show you the perfect stuff".

let's start showing that imperfect stuff! after all, that's reality. and i think a lot of us would feel a whole lot better if we SAW that other people's reality was just as messy as our own.

i know i would.

and on that note, my kid has finally stopped screaming...! i made it!!! i think i'll reward myself with a shower before (hopefully) getting a decent night's sleep.

scratch that. she literally started screaming again as i typed that last sentence. in the spirit of being brutally honest.

and continuing in that spirit... i'm totally about to go console her.

i know. i'm a miserable failure. just like the rest of you.

just kidding ;-)


Friday, May 3, 2013

six months

our bean turned six months old exactly one week ago.


there is so much i could say about that, but what's struck me most of all recently is the power of "the small picture".

we talk about "the big picture" all the time. and i, for one, think about it all the time. in a mother's world, it goes by the name "mommy guilt"; that constant, nagging conviction that, whatever you happen to be doing at the time, that thing is never the right thing. if i opt to spend time helping my girl practice sitting/standing/crawling, or some other physical activity, i feel guilty for not having spent that time reading to her, playing classical music, or otherwise tending to her developing brain. or even worse, having chosen one of the previous two courses of action, i end up kicking myself for not doing some valuable bonding instead - "skin-to-skin", snuggling, talking... seriously, the opportunities for guilt are endless.

it's taken me about six months, but i think i've finally got it. sortta. part of it, at least. i've finally sortta got part of this thing called motherhood, and it's called the small picture.

that small picture looks like a small person, and that small person looks something like this.

while i'm scrambling to find the most cerebrally-stimulating baby book, hoping that someday, she'll be a straight-A student; struggling to steady her into a semi-standing position, unfailingly optimistic that inevitably, she will skip the crawling stage and glide straight into her first steps; clasping her dripping skin to mine after her bath, telling myself that now she'll feel a super tight bond with me, right?... all the while, as i'm focusing on the big picture and her big future, my little girl is staring up at me with those big eyes, telling me that i am her big picture

at that moment. in this moment. in these moments of her childhood. 

if i can slow down and take a break from trying to cram in all these activities that are meant to cultivate her "big picture" - if i can pause my "how am i affecting her future" mechanism long enough to ask myself, "how am i affecting her present?"... then i think i've sortta finally got it. 

sure, i want my girl to have a bright future. but i want her to have a bright present too.

it's not fair how much i love her. 

it's not fair that i drop her off at my mom's, go to work, and get sad that i won't see her until i come back at lunch to nurse her a whopping four hours later. 

it's not fair that i put her to bed, crawl into mine, and start to miss her.






but not really.

let me take off my philosopher's cap long enough to tell you a little bit about the last six months. or, to be more precise, a little bit about our girl. 

i'll do this in the best way i know how: bullet-style.

- you can't keep sophie down. literally. the girl announced herself in true sophie-style as early as her eight week sonogram. the doc couldn't even make out her legs, she was already kicking them so fast. her heart rate was high, and as early as 13 weeks, i could feel her barreling around inside me. i've got the videos to prove it, and she hasn't stopped since!

- this girl is E-MO-TION-AL! neither bry nor i wants to take credit, but i think we're secretly both to blame. whether you've looked at her the wrong way or sucker punched her in the face, it matters not. you're getting the banshee treatment. 

- in the words of the labor and delivery nurse, "she has LUNGS!" (see previous bullet)

- she isn't always graceful...

- she has one dimple on each cheek.

- her favorite songs are "you are my sunshine" and "little talks" by of monsters and men. oh, and the NCIS theme song.

- she has 2 teeth on the bottom, which she got at just 3 months.

- cutest. biggest. smile. ever.

- she desperately wants to talk and, no matter how sleepy she is, insists on being "where the people are"

- despite having so much energy, she is still our little philo-sopher (get it?). she is very attentive and will bore a hole into your soul with those eyes, trying to figure out what you're saying.

- she's a night owl.

- she has some great facial expressions.

- she's just learning to sit up.

she is just my favorite thing.

happy six months, baby girl...