Little Fish

I find it a little ironic that my little Jameson is such a water baby. I mean, I was sure she was a boy when I was pregnant. and our boy name is Fisher… and now I’m calling her my “Little Fish” anyway. Funny how that works out, huh? ;)

I CANNOT keep this girl away from water. Any water at all.

Bathtub? Well, that’s a given… she’s climbed in fully clothed on multiple occasions, just because she’s too impatient to wait threefreakingseconds for me to undress her.

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Sink? She’s almost tall enough now to stand on the stool and turn on the faucet… almost. For now though, she just stands on the stool and screams “TEEEEEEEEETH” at me until I turn on the water and hand her a toothbrush.

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Pool? Duh. And she has no fear – always trying to climb out of her floaty, and jumping in without a life vest on like it’s no big deal at all.

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Water bottle? Don’t even try to drink one around her. Don’t. Even.

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Dog dish? The most frustrating obsession of all. The word “no” has absolutely no effect on this child when it comes to the dog dishes. She wants to SWIM in Tali’s water.

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I kid you not, people… she just walked up to me AS I WAS WRITING THIS, threw an empty cup into my lap and yelled, “WAWA!!”!

My Little Fish. My cup runneth over. <3

This time of year…

This is the time of year when I allow myself to go back to that night. I allow myself to remember everything about the moment my ears were assaulted with the news, and the moments immediately following. Adam and I, collapsing into a tangled heap on our hardwood floor; Tali jumping all over us while my mom tried to control her. My fingers trembling as I struggled to dial my mother-in-law’s phone number. Choking out the words and trying not to vomit.

“Dirk’s been shot.”

I have days every now and then where I’m driving in my car and tears just start falling, or I’m watching my kids tickle each other and tears just start falling, or I glance at a picture of him on my living room wall and tears just start falling. I can usually swipe them away quickly before anyone notices, but that becomes increasingly difficult come this time of year. The beautiful, crisp, yellow leaves that cover the ground right now? They remind me of that night, that time of year. Halloween, unfortunately, reminds me of that night, and that time of year. I still have the package of paint I purchased because Adam had begged me to let him draw an eyeball on my giant pregnant belly for Halloween that year. We obviously never got to that, and now the paint sits untouched, unopened, in the back of a cabinet where I keep random supplies. I came across it when I pulled out the pumpkin-carving tools last week, and… tears just started falling.

I’ve spent a lot of time being “okay” with everything, and thankful that Dirk is in a better place, and comforted knowing that we had a wonderful guardian angel, and blah, blah blah. Right now… this time of year… I just want him here. I MISS HIM. I want to tell him all of the ridiculous things Ellie says EVERY DAY, and I want him to melt just like Adam does whenever he sees Jameson, and I want him to tell me all about how I’m being too lenient with my little bratty toddler, and I want to show him the picture of Ellie’s first fish, and I wanted him to be there for Ellie’s first fish, dammit.

I want him here for me, and I want him here for my girls, but most of all I want my husband to have his dad. Here. Now. Alive.

I want him to hug me again, just like he did the last time I saw him - a great big giant bear-hug, where he picked me up off the ground even though I was 9 months pregnant.

I just… really, really miss him.

It’ll get easier, come January, I know. It always does. We’ll be going into our fourth year without him now… but come this time of year, it always seems like yesterday.

Go hug your families. Great big giant bear-hugs.

 

 

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Motherhood is a Cheeky Betch

That Motherhood… she is one cheeky bitch. The moment you even consider thinking about making a plan for something… her wheels start turning.

Like, if you think “Hmmm… after I put the kids to bed I’ll have a nice glass of wine and relax in a bubble bath”…. BAM. NO. Motherhood has decided that your baby will scream 2 minutes after you engulf yourself in bubbles.

Or, if you think “Hmmm… tomorrow morning I’ll put away the laundry and then start on cleaning the house so I can have everything presentable by noon”… BAM. NO. Motherhood has decided that your toddler will pee through her diaper, her nightgown, her blanket, her sheets and her bed and will wake you at 6:30am to deal with it. During the cleaning of this, this EXTRA chore you hadn’t planned on… your baby will wake and scream that it’s time to play RIGHT THIS SECOND OR ELSE.

And, if you think “Hmmm… maybe I will take a shower and enjoy coffee today”… BAM. NO. Motherhood thinks you should wear sweatpants until 2pm, clean up baby barf 17 times before 10am, mop up juice spills while your toddler cries and stomps her feet, and wonder what-in-the-living-hell-did-this-thing-eat while cloroxing the spot where the dog hacked up an unknown glob of digustingness.

And THAT… that is all in less than 24 hours of Motherhood’s glory.

She is SUCH a bitch.

 

(Buuuuuuuut, then there’s this…)

 

On Becoming a Supermom – For Amanda

After visiting my sister-in-law Amanda in the hospital just moments after she gave birth to my gorgeous new nephew, Carson, I mentioned to Adam that I was jealous of her. He of course thought I was referring to the fact that she no longer has to deal with the aches and pains of pregnancy that I complain about 24/7 – in a way, yes sure, I’m wishing I could move this whole process along, but I was really thinking of this particular time in Amanda’s life that has me wading through the waters of jealous remembrance.

She is now on Day 3 of motherhood, and I can’t help but tear up when I think of how overwhelmed with emotion I was when I was a 3-day-old mommy. Sure, my “new-mommyness” was a bit tainted with the pain of losing my father-in-law less than a week before… but nothing can get in the way of the pure magic only a newborn can provide. (I would even say that Ellie SAVED me from my grief – a powerful feat from such a little human.)

Amanda is in this time-suspended period where all she has to do is stare at her new baby, breathe in the delicious scent of her new baby, and dream up all the things she hopes to accomplish for her new baby. When I had Ellie, it didn’t even matter who or how many people were in the room (we had a LOT of visitors) – I was completely submerged in her essence. Her smell, her tiny noises, her little squirmy movements… the way she blinked, breathed, yawned and especially the way she would just stare into my eyes.

I’m jealous because while I will definitely get to experience the new-baby fun in just a few weeks… I won’t ever get to be a “new mom” again. New moms have no expectations, no pre-conceived notions – they’re a clean slate, no matter what advice they’ve been given. Every single little tiny experience is created from a fresh, innocent place.

So… because I can’t help it (what mother can?), I offer this advice to my beautiful sister – and any other beautiful new mommies:

  • Smell your new baby, as much as possible. I always wondered when that “new” smell would dissipate… it takes a while, but enjoy every second of it.
  • Get lost in your baby’s eyes. They may change color over time, but you’ll be enamored with that part of your child forever. A child’s eyes carry so much emotion and wonder, you’ll feel like they make time stand still.
  • Relax when your baby cries (but don’t feel guilty if you cry a little too). It’s true that they feel your tension… and they also feel your calmness.
  • Learn to never stand still. I still do a little side-to-side sway sometimes, even when I’m not holding my daughter… it becomes an ingrained action.
  • Laugh. At everything. Laugh at the funny faces your baby makes, and laugh at how ridiculous you look (and feel) while using a breast pump. Laugh when you spill coffee all over yourself, and laugh when your baby has four “blowouts” in one day. Do NOT forget to laugh.
  • Listen to (and ask for) advice – from your mom, your dad, your friends, your sister (hint hint), and everyone else who may have something to offer. Do not feel obligated to use any of it. Motherhood is individual to each of us… my experience is different from your mom’s, and yours will be too. YOU get to make the calls now, and no one can decide anything for your baby but you.
  • Try not to get jealous when other people hold your baby – but don’t feel guilty asking for him back. It’s normal to feel naked without your baby attached to you, and during those first few weeks at home it’s really, really hard to willingly place him/her in someone else’s arms (until you really, really need a shower – then it’s a little easier).
  • Accept meals (whether homemade or fast-food) from anyone and everyone who offers. You just concentrate on getting to know your new baby – your family and friends will make sure you get fed. :)
  • Don’t forget about Dad. He’s experiencing all of this for the very first time too… and he’s loving it just as much as you are. Share in that together… and be thankful – every single stressful amazing second – for your new family.  

I’ll reign in the rest of my motherly knowledge until I’m asked. Or hell, maybe I’ll spill it all out every time I visit, who knows? Just know that no matter what anyone tells you, your only job right now is to revel in the beauty of your baby and your new family.

I love you, Amanda. Now share your baby with me. I’ll be over in a few hours.

 

Security Blankie

My beautiful daughter has a white hand-crocheted blanket that she is in love with – it’s her “security” blankie. It was made with love by her great-aunt Jana, and Ellie is absolutely enamored with it.

On mornings when she hasn’t quite woken up enough, or when she’s having a “mommy” day, or just when she’s feeling particularly vulnerable, I let her bring her blankie with her to daycare – she always feels better when she knows I’m going to let her take it in the car, and I can tell she feels somehow “safer” away from me when I drop her off .

Tomorrow marks Day One of my father-in-law’s murderer’s court trial…

Do you think Ellie will let me have her blankie for the day?

SuperCrafts: Date Night Wedding Gift

I love giving gifts… LOVE. When my sister-in-law got married last summer, I brainstormed for a really long time to come up with THE perfect gift for her and her husband.

Adam and I decided to go with a Date Night theme: we provided them with a pre-planned date for each month of the year. I’ve seen this idea on “romantic ideas” blogs before, but I’ve never seen a presentation that I fell in love with… so I came up with my own. :)

First, I used these envelope templates and liner templates from PaperSource to make 12 different adorable envelopes using craft/scrapbook papers I already had in my closet. Then, Adam and I came up with a list of fun things for Amanda and Brad to do together throughout the year (and I ran all around town picking up giftcards and scheduling things). Since Amanda is pregnant (due in August!), we had to be conscious of including alcohol themes. Now, we gave Amanda & Brad this gift in January, so they still have a half a year’s worth of envelopes to open – therefore, I can’t share ALL of the ideas we came up with just yet. Here are a few of the dates they’ve already opened:

  • Aces Hockey Tickets
  • Neon Mini Golf
  • Frozen Yogurt GiftCard (to Yogurt Lounge)
  • Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge GiftCard
  • Bowling
  • Fishing trip (with famous river guides Adam & Jenny Fast)
  • Dinner & Movie @ Bear’s Tooth (a local theater/pizzeria/pub)

 

After writing out a little decription of each date on a piece of construction paper, I placed everything in the envelopes and packaged it up all nice and pretty. We gave it to the Halls with the instruction that they were to ONLY open ONE envelope per month… I’m seriously impressed that they (Amanda in particular) seem to have complied so far. :)

I really wish I could share the rest of the months right now, but for Amanda and Brad… just know there are some REALLY good ones coming up.

This was definitely one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever given… it was so much fun brainstorming, creating, and presenting. I definitely recommend!

 

Super-versary: 4 Years!

Adam and I were laughing the other day at the fact that we’ve only been married 4 years, yet we sit in separate recliners in the living room, sleep with a pillow barricade between us in our king-sized bed, and spend 2-3 nights per week away from eachother. I think a lot of people would look at us and say “well that’s a loveless way to live!”…

They would be so, so wrong.

I frequently think about how much I love my life: my job, my family, my dog, my house, my baby, my husband… and my MARRIAGE. Sure, Adam doesn’t clean as much as I’d like him to, and he generates more laundry than an army, and he often forgets what I’ve just said as it’s coming out of my mouth, but we have a wonderful, wonderful life. He is thoughtful, and funny, and incredibly sincere, and protective in all the right ways, and ohhhhh my gosh does he love me.

Sure, we argue. About money, housework, jobs, parenting, the dog, family, whether or not some B-list celebrity was in some movie from the 80’s… but we have grown so much in our 7+ years together that we now know the most important thing about arguments – how to end them (and every year, we get closer to figuring out how not to begin them).

Adam and I learn from each and every relationship in our lives – our parents, our grandparents, our friends, our siblings, our aunts and uncles and cousins – they have all taught us something valuable to incorporate into our own relationship. I know that there are really only two people who make up a marriage, but I also believe that support plays a valuable role in the success of a marriage. We have the mose incredible support system – and I thank you ALL for that.

Our marriage is successful because we LOVE. We respect. We think. We forgive. We don’t walk away. We hug and kiss. We compromise. We compliment. We trust. We apologize. We consult. We accept. We laugh. We laugh even more. We wrestle and tickle. We support. We surprise. We pray. And we LOVE.

I just spent the last 45 minutes going through pictures of our life together, and I was brought to tears more than once. Adam has enriched my life more than he will ever know, and I am so, so thankful that God gave him to me.

Now… a little wedding anecdote for you, and then I’ll send you on with your day.

On the very same day I became a Superwife… I was also dubbed a “Superfreak.” I had chosen the song “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire for Adam and I to walk back up the aisle to once we were pronounced husband and wife. It was an inside joke, and I couldn’t wait to see his face when he heard the song.

When the moment came for us to actually turn around, face all of our family and friends, and walk back up that wedding aisle… my DJ accidentally blasted “Super Freak” by Rick James.  So instead of getting a kick out of my little inside joke, I saw confused (and definitely amused) expressions on everyone’s faces as I paraded back up that aisle to the words “SHE’S A VERY KINKY GIIRRRRRRLLLL”!

And to this day, that is absolutely one of the funniest memories from our wedding. Unplanned, but hilarious! :)

So, to my Superhubby, happy 4th anniversary! Love love love you.