Showing newest 3 of 10 posts from 12.09. Show older posts
Showing newest 3 of 10 posts from 12.09. Show older posts


day after hump day nuggets: holiday

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

We had an absolutely fabulous holiday. At the risk of sounding like a crazy, over-thinking mom, I have been on the fence about perpetuating the lie of santa. Not because I think it is silly or because I don't like the mucking up of the christian day but because I was devastated when I learned the truth. I couldn't believe my parents had been so dishonest with me. I was teary and speechless. And when going to bed that night after the day when I Learned, I quietly whispered through more tears, mom, what about the tooth fairy? I was devastated. It was just last year...har.

But Margot watched The Polar Express with her gram a few days before christmas and then proudly declared I Believe! whenever she saw santa or a bell. And it melted me and, so, santa came to our house on December 24 and we'll deal with the psychological fallout later.

Andy and I stayed up late setting up the kitchen. Or, rather, I sat on the floor surrounded by painted, red chunks of wood and told hilarious stories with his mom while he used his drill and manly problem-solving skills to make that flat box of goods into a functional toddler dreamboat. It was great fun.

CSN stores is a dig sponsor and sent me this KidKraft kitchen in trade for a product review and, I am relieved that I can give this kitchen an enthusiastic two thumbs up. It is well made and effing adorable AND my kid LOVES it. The assembly was surprisingly a snap. Even my carpenter husband was impressed by how well thought-out the construction was.

The details kill me like the phone and the how all the knobs and handles move and allow a two year-old imagination to take off. She plays with it all the time. Santa Claus brought a kitchen for Margot Bea, she declares. And the best part for us is that we like to look at it which is very important for kid's toys.

Margot especially likes to cook her baby buddah in the frying pan. Hi baby buddah she says quietly in a high high voice while cradling the pudgy pink dude in a miniature metal frying pan. I swear.

:: I didn't get any of the making of stuff done for gifts. Well, I got one item made. Just one. A doll for my bug. Margot's luke warm about her but she does have a spot on her bed next to elmo and ducky so I am hopeful. I think she's cute even if Andy thinks she looks like an old lady.

She likes to burp her.

:: I love the holiday season for the friendship, merry making, gift giving, love spreading and tradition. I get to make up some traditions all on my own like the girl's holiday book collection that will emerge for only one month every year and bacon butter brussels spouts salad. But then there are the perfect traditions of my family, that needn't be changed like monkey bread.

Christmas Morning Monkey Bread

4 tubes of biscuits (do not even attempt to make the biscuits from scratch. the tube is non-negotiable)
2 1/8 c sugar
2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks of butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I ask someone I know and trust to open the tubes. I find the unpredictability to be frightening.

Using kitchen scissors, cut the biscuits into quarters. Coat the quarters in 2/3 c sugar and 1 t cinnamon.

Place coated biscuit chunks in oven-safe dish.

Melt butter over low heat on stove. Add remaining sugar and cinnamon and pour creamy goodness over biscuit chunk pile. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

There are two reasons I don't have a photo of the finished monkey bread: #1 People ate it. #2 I put the pyrex dish on one gas burner and put the coffee on another and turned the coffee on high and at least five minutes later realized I had indeed burned the puhjesus out of the monkey bread.

:: Since we've been home from the hospital, I've had a hard time wanting to leave our cozy home. I enjoy company but the getting out isn't my inclination. I know my strong need to socialize will return but, for now, I am allowing myself to decline tempting invitations, hole up with my family and heal. The hospital stay was rough on Ruby and I have been worried that her insecurity and fear of being put down for a diaper change would stick but it is already dissolving and, as of this week, she enjoys being put down to kick, grunt and take the world in. We have some catching up to do because of the break we had in constant holding and nurturing. We're getting there and Ruby is teaching us.

Other holiday activities we participated in include:

:: making dough hearts

:: drawing cats, dogs and faces (Margot's favorites)

:: drying milk mustaches

:: throwing of heavy balls down slippery lanes and the eating of fried food with my old co-workers

:: dancing and singing

:: holding

:: opening and not picking up

:: loving

:: making food

:: cheers-ing, at the insistence of bug

:: adoring Ruby Jane and the simultaneous bounding Margot Bea

And so the next time I write it will be the New Year. Wishing you all so much love in 2010.


like riding a bike only jigglier

I ran on Saturday. The first time since March. And it felt fantastic.

It's weird how scary it is to do something you've never done before. Even when you know you can do it because others have done it and just deep down you know you can do it. Like childbirth. Like spending 12 days in the hospital with a new baby wondering how it's going to end. Like running four weeks after birthing a kid, after 10 months of not running.

Women decide we are going to do it and we do it. We get shit done.

And while going for a jog isn't that big of a deal, it sure took a lot of internal dialog, with several days of talking myself out if it, to amp myself up for it. I have never not run for this long of a time. It was 17 degrees outside and I drank a cup of coffee, nursed Ruby, harnessed my floppy boobs in two very supportive bras. I dug out my running shoes from under my cowboy boots that I only wear about two times per year...yes, my running shoes were under them. I grabbed a leash, a very very excited dog and I put one foot in front of the other for 30 minutes. The feet weren't moving quickly but they were moving and I remembered and regained confidence.

I am so glad to have that first run under my belt. Today I have that satisfactory soreness in my quads and beer tastes especially great. The museum staff and board bought me my Dream Stroller and I just can't wait to run with my two girls in tow. Well, three girls in tow because Alice will surely be there too. I have always been a runner but it's different now. It's all different.

Running is a lot like life.

To get a great, endorphin-charged experience you don't need much more than some interest, intention and breath. And then it's just moving forward. Sometimes it feels perfect, like you could go forever without a hitch and sometimes it feels just awful and all wrong, like your body might break. Most of the time you feel better just for having tried. So much of the journey is psychological, I think I can. There are tree root-swollen sidewalks, unfairly placed icy patches, assholes who don't stop to let you cross Russell Street and a dog that wants to smell everything. And there are moments of clarity not found in any other circumstance, a constant view of Mount Sentinel as the morning sun hugs the frosty trees and reminds you how incredibly lucky you are to live here, the camaraderie shared between all other people on the trail and a dog who wants to stop and smell everything.


hump day nuggets: moving on

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

We have been enjoying uneventful, nothing-much around here. It feels great to wake up in my bed next to my man with two hilarious girls sandwiching us in like the perfect mayo and cheese to our pickle and tomato. Even if my arm is asleep because I don't want to move and risk disturbing Ruby's perfect slumber and Andy has an arm and a leg dangling off his side of the bed to accommodate Margot's starfish just feels good to be home.

Honestly, it's hard for me to reflect on anything other than our experience with our newborn daughter nearly dying. Because it is trauma and trauma takes its sweet time working itself out. We've still got some processing to do and with Ruby's open, absorbent eyes and gaining 10 ounces in three days, she makes it easy to let that processing come as it comes; she justifies our hyper-awareness in the now and she allows us to, thankfully, forget some of the horror. Because, on December 4, my entire purpose was mercilessly ripped to the bone and left with all nerves exposed and scrambling for cover for 12 days. And, well, it takes time to grow that muscle and skin back. My protective cover. It'll return. And I think the growing-back may be as painful as the tearing-down. Or, if not as painful, as undesirable.

Bug gave three books to Alice while she ate her noodles today.

And, still, no map of how to recover so we are just honest. Even when it's ugly and unfair, honesty with our feelings will get us there.

The amazing thing is that we can't help but focus on how it all ended perfectly: we left the hospital with a healthy baby and profound, life-changing understanding of how supportive, loving and genuine our community is. I want to have a wedding-size party celebrating each other. Maybe next summer. It'll probably be a potluck as I think we will be paying medical bills for the next century...But, really, I am forever grateful for and changed by the outpouring of love from family, friends, dig readers and people who know someone who kinda knows us. We haven't made dinner since November 22.

Really, people are so good and life is so great.

So, this holiday season, we are simply living.

:: Noticing.

'MAMA! Big pickle and painting!'

:: Letting go.

Life is a bit messier these days.

:: Creating.

There are always little opportunities to create together. I have never bought gift wrap in my life. I use newspaper, grocery bags etc. This year bug helped me piece together her old drawings to make gift wrap and then she intently filled in the blanks.

:: Catching up.

:: Enjoying.

My parents. Their help and love are immeasurable. Cheers to the best mom and dad a girl could ask for.

:: Taking time.

:: Celebrating.

She's TWO.

:: Smiling.

Bug started her day with her favorite muffins and a special cupcake from her papa.

And then made a red velvet cake with her grammy followed by a party with more cake.

We changed up Margot's birthday party at the last minute, moving it away from our house to our dear friend's taekwondo gym. Really, all toddlers need is an open room, balloons, pizza and a crown-making table. It was completely unorganized and evolved as our friends arrived. The party was super mellow and the perfect introduction back into our social scene. Margot had the most fun with her bffs, crashing hard for a late nap with the taste of icing on her lips.

:: Staring.

:: Laughing.

:: Realizing our whole joy.

We had grand plans to make all of our gifts this year and, well, it didn't happen. So, we did a bit of shopping from local artists and friends and made some funny stuff as a family, late night in the studio.

:: Acknowledging our fear and sadness.

:: Just spinning on this planet. Loving each other.

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