Margot feeds Alice every day. Most of the time she just does it, sometimes it takes a gentle reminder. Other times, she just flat out refuses. Like when Andy was making pancakes and I was changing Ruby's diaper and she said, as Alice hovered three inches from her face, pleading for breakfast, "No, I just can't right now because I am holding my baby."

Margot learned to wink

Andy replied, "Come on, help out, homeslice."

Andy's terms of endearment make me smile. He calls our daughters honey, baby, pal and homeslice. Eventually, she begrudgingly set her baby down, fed Alice and then let her outside.

A few minutes later, Alice barked to come in and Margot, who stood by the door, yelled to Andy, "Alice wants in! Help out, homeslice!"


Andy, as he flipped pancakes, brewed coffee yelled back, "Why don't you let her in homegirl?"

Margot paused. Homegirl is new. Then she laughed and said, "Because, homedaddy. It's your turn."


Margot is feisty and funny, Ruby is growing into her own feist and fun. Lately, the passage of time feels like a tumbleweed across central Montana. It's fast and agile, impossible to catch. Always moving toward the horizon.

This tumbling tumbleweed makes me self reflect. Also I think spring just pushes me into a contemplative space. The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot on life, death, fragility, now. And my thoughts reminded me of something I wrote a while back about death, specifically if my kid died before me. Read more in this week's mama digs: to be.

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com


mama marchand said...

Homedaddy? I LOVE IT. :)

Marti said...

Got your hands full with that one!

6512 and growing said...

Homedaddy! Love that girl!

Dulcibella said...

I'm not sure I can handle all the cuteness of Margot's wink! And she is definitely a sharp little homegirl.

Melina said...

Dude, a little sass in a girl? LOVE IT!


Katie said...

Ha! Love that homegirl. :)

Chadah said...

oh wow! Margot is starting to look a whole lot like her mommy!

Jo @ Jo in the Kitchen said...

We have all kinds of terms of endearments at our house too. My favorite though is when my son calls his dad "Daddy Michael." They both have Michael as a middle name, and we commonly use both first and middle or first, middle and last.

Joan said...

This is quite funny. Reminds me of our Christmas game. Bobby Browns a homeslice. Still makes me laugh as does All Americans is huge. Andy is really very funny. Ya gotta agree homemamma.

Alie said...

Amazing story! I read it aloud to my husband, and he laughed, too. Thanks for sharing:).

TRB Holt said...

Not sure what made me smile more...the wink...the outfit...or her conversation with Andy! The girls got spunk....I LOVE IT!


Megan said...

LOL! Homedaddy!! She's hilarious! :-)

Kelle said...

I've always loved this piece of yours. It made me think. I remember reading it the first time...and thinking holy shit, that's brave, I don't know that I could say that. But reading that YOU said it made me feel like you did it for me. I've been feeling these things too lately, but then I think about them all the time, really. Loving so deeply comes with a lot of vulnerability, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
And oh Margot. She's a piece of work. And I mean that in the most endearing way...I love that little homeslice.

Joan said...

As I look at this again, I wonder if possibly the yellow polka dot number is tight under her pits.

Peeper said...

So moving...

Many months ago Tim and I had a talk about how vulnerable we feel because of Ada. It's an unexpected aspect of parenting. I pretty much never think about mortality with any other person but the very thought of my daughter dying before me makes me suck in my breath. Every time I think of it I come to the same conclusion: I feel certain that I would cease to exist as I am now - figuratively and maybe even literally. I just can't think of how I would take that next breath. And then the next one. It's inconceivable.

You are more evolved than me ;-) Hopefully, I will find that peaceful conclusion that you have found. Meanwhile, I can't let my mind wander "there" too often. It's just too scary.

Peeper said...

Forgot to ask...on a totally different note, we're planning to try some natural egg dye this year. I seem to recall you doing this with the girls in the past. Tips or links to share?

Freestone Fermentation said...

Laughing out loud and work again... when my colleague turns to me I just say, "Blame Nici!"

Amie said...

Ha ha! Love her outfit, as well!

dig this chick said...

Joan, ha. Agreed. Why don't you pop on over and try to convince her to take off her yellow bug tutu? I dare you.

Happiness is... said...

Your child is a roar! When you wrote your piece a few years ago, she was less than a year. Think to the gravity now, the additional space in your heart. Margot is so unique that I don't think you could ever replace that space.

A friend of a friend lost her young child last May and I've been following her blog as she ventures to heal through the experience. It's been amazingly raw and honest and frightening to read. Her words put the fear and the frustration front and center.

I think to myself, "can you ever heal from the loss of a child?" In all honesty, I'm not sure. Yes, I think that you are better to have known and lost then to have never loved your child at all. I try not to think about losing Alex or Ben. I just want to live with my eyes open and facing the sun every day - "Life is about the journey, not the destination." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Happy Easter to your homies.

-Jennifer from Annapolis

KWQR said...

There must be something in the air, or maybe it's a Mama thing, because lately thoughts of death have been swirling in my head more than usual. I had the most intense dream this weekend... one in which I had died and had the chance to say good-bye to those I loved. I could see everyone through a thin curtain & one-by-one I got to enter their thoughts & thank them for loving me. With each person I remember the physical sensation of feeling lighter & filled with such peace. Until I got to my boys. The lightness rushed from my ghost-body & was replaces with a knotted stomach and the most overwhelming desire to hold my babies just one-more-time. I woke up with wet hair on my pillow & tears in my ears... actual dream crying. I wrote about it all when I woke up, but in its current state, it is much too personal & raw to actually put out in the world. Someday.

What I am choosing to take from this dream is to take EVERY opportunity to hold my boys... to hug, laugh, play. I don't want to ever wonder if they knew how much they are loved in this life.

Whew! Heavy stuff. But I think it is so important to acknowledge these thoughts... to take the power away from fear... to remember to embrace each moment we have.

And your home-girl, with her quick wit & mad winking skills, started my day with the best laugh.

Keepin' it real!
Peace out,

rebecca said...

,,,hippie-chick meets prima ballerina,,,i laughed at the extra "meat" spilling over the black polka-dot tutu,,,and margot's response: "because, homedaddy it's your turn.",,,it just doesn't get better than margot bea, i keep thinking she is the daughter that i never had,,,lucky you nici "dig this chick" holt-cline that you get to live with margot everyday, and there's no sarcasm in this comment,,,i would love a day with margot!,,,thank you for sharing her with those of us who didn't but think if they did they would want one just like her,,,

Sophie said...

I liked your post... I've thought about my babies dying too, and I like your revelation on it. It's amazing how similar our feelings can sometimes be as Mummas. Thanks for sharing, v brave xxx

trbholt said...

via mamalode.com:

I so remember you writing this piece…tears then & now. In my heart I feel that there is no greater love than I have for my children…Yes life is moving me a bit older each year….still no greater love than the love I feel for you and Trav BUT now I have the added love for Margot & Ruby…just keeps getting better!


Jen said...

via mamalode.com:

Such a heartfelt piece, digs, and one so many of us mamas feel to the core of our being.

So touching is the love of a mother and parent. And you are right…no matter what life brings, the beautiful children we birth make our lives better, no matter how long they are around. We have to enjoy each moment to the fullest. Good and poignant reminder, mama!

Angela said...

via mamalode.com:

I suppose all mothers have those thoughts sometimes…I feel like maybe I am overly distracted by such worries. I feel so blessed all the time and I’m just waiting for “the other shoe to drop” or whatever that phrase is. Surely I won’t be this blessed forever(?). It’s pretty heavy stuff, this deep and crazy mama love.
I adore your writings, so glad you do it!

MinnesotaGal said...

via mamalode.com:

I think part of the reason my worries about my son’s mortality intensify as he grows older is because I can see more clearly his potential and the wonderful human being he is growing into. I want to experience all that he will be – and even if I can’t be present I want him to be able to experience the excitement of fulfilled living. I definitely have not yet found the peace that you have. I am better for having known him but I want desperately to know him as long as humanly possible and the thought that it could be any second less leaves me with cold sweats. Thank goodness those thoughts don’t come often or last long.

dig this chick said...

via mamalode.com:

While I do feel at peace with it in general, I don’t always. I have fearful moments, dark visualizations that freak me out. The ebb and flow of feelings surrounding death are difficult for me…I had a hard time wrapping this piece up and decided I didn’t need to because I have a hard time wrapping up my feelings about it all. As much as I don’t like the phrase ‘it is what it is’, it is kind of fitting for this subject. You know? We just keep keepin’ on. Some of us talk about it, some of us write about it.

MinnesotaGal said...

Oh my gosh – I can’t believe you just wrote “it is what it is”! (in a good way) That is my husband’s and my love/hate phrase of choice. We use it all the time now after a very aggravating travel experience where we were confronted with that response to some very unsatisfactory service – ie:locked out of our hotel for 2 hours while the clerk went to a concert. We were livid – more about the flippant “it is what it is” response than anything. Ironically it’s now become our mantra because no matter how you cut it that is what most things in life boil down to – not some neat and tidy resolution but a messy “it is what it is”. I can SO relate to your sentiments. I didn’t mean to imply that you were ok with your kids dying but I am impressed that you’ve found a kind of peace with it. It gives me a way to try to re-frame some of my fears but – shit – they’re scary! And I don’t think that our feelings ever wrap up on this subject – the only time I’ve seen my 93 year old (tough as nails farm girl, mother of 8, widowed) grandmother cry was at my father’s funeral. They’re forever and always our “babies”.

Tina said...

via mamalode.com:

This is ironic to me because I was going to blog this week about how my oldest daughter Brooklyn has been asking about death a lot lately. It forces me to think about the scenario where either of my daughters is faced with an illness or a freak accident or being taken away from us. It’s unimaginable to me; my children define me. Than on the flip side, I picture myself passing away and how that would affect my daugthers.. how they would feel, if they would understand, if they would remember me… to me it is terrifying. Death is my biggest fear…. for myself or anybody I care about. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that death is part of living, and life is pretty damn awesome.

Brooklyn asks many questions about death, when she will die, when we will die, what happens to us when we die… I often feel at a loss for answers. I don’t want to lie to her, but than again I don’t know the truth sometimes. She wants to know when I will die, if I will die before she will… I can’t tell her yes or no. There is no way for me to know that. I simply assure her that her family will all hopefully be alive for a very long time, and that we all love each other very much and that is what is important.

Zoe said...

via mamalode.com:

@ Angela…
I sooooo know that whole ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ feeling.

Nici, I know! I find myself thinking about the mortality thing a lot. I’ve gotten through quite a bit of it… daughter is 21, and honestly, there were many many many days (and loooooooong nights) that I really wondered if she’d make it this far. But she has, and it seems that she’s going to keep on keepin’ on. But oh! The thought of losing a kid… it was somewhat paralyzing when they were little. I really didn’t think I deserved to be so fortunate as to have these amazing people! And the older they got (get?) the more stuff they were capable of doing that could result in catastrophe.
But they’ve made it this far, and my darling little grandson is currently in a puddle over a Rock N Roll ‘tattoo’ adventure going poorly. Need to go find another flaming skull tattoo…


Courtney said...

via mamalode.com:

We don’t have kids, yet. Hopefully sometime in the next 2-3 years. I’m beginning to look forward to meeting my child(ren), while at the same time watching my grandparents deteriorate. Though I have three left, I’m certain two of them will be gone within a year. And it makes me sad that my son or daughter won’t meet my grandma and grandpa. Its hard, I think, being between two generations whom you love.

Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen said...

via mamalode.com:

This is so beautiful. I know I feel this way, and I got all choked up reading it. Thanks for being so honest about something that is so hard to think about

Tonya Richard said...

via mamalode.com:

I feel so blessed to have the healthy beautiful children that I have, like another poster said, sometimes I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have been so blessed in my life and sometimes fear that my “luck” will run out and I will lose one of my children. I have had 3 m/c and those were hard enough, I can’t imagine losing I child I know. And having teenagers that drive makes it even more scary. I pray that my children live long and healthy lives way past my own demise, but I know there are no guarantees, so I just try to enjoy what I have today. I just finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy and it has me thinking about life and death and war more than usual today…..

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

via mamalode.com:

I cannot tell you how often I think weirdo things like this. And then I quick try to unthink them, because I am apt to believe that if I really hear myself think things like this, it means that God is preparing me for something or it makes it somehow more real, or like a sign or something.

Follow that?

But I get this. Like, really get it.

abbey bernardi said...

via mamalode.com:

that was beautiful
it was honest and heartfelt and it just felt like the words flew out of you unedited. i think about my own mortality and leaving my child behind motherless, it haunts me several times a week. i started journaling about it and crying. definatley something deeper is beneath it, i’m just trying to explore that. i think spring is all about birth and leaving the old behind, which can be scary and hard. i love your writing so much, it makes me feel more confident.

Ellie said...

via mamalode.com:

Interesting…I find myself worrying a good deal lately about the exact opposite–about my children outliving me, but as in now…this week, this month, this year. What would happen to them if I were to die before they have become adults? How in the world would they grow up without the unconditional love that only a mother (and father) can provide? My husband and I went on a date the other night, and I freaked him out by talking about this. I actually told him that if I die, I hope someone would tell them about my blog, so that some day, they would be able to see how I saw them, while I was around, and what I thought about life around them.
Pretty freaky. Disturbing. But as you say, it is what it is. I think it is better to acknowledge these feelings than to pretend that they are not there.

Jennifer said...

via mamalode.com:

We are saved by God’s grace and he gave his son to wash away our sins so that we may have eternal life when we leave this world.

Always remember religion is man made. It was not God’s intention for denominations to segregate amongst themselves and focus on one verse of the bible and center a church around that one thought. Christianity was never meant to be a religion, but a way of life. A life of modeling what Christ’s life was.

I just threw that in there as I didn’t want to sound preachy, but kinda help bring peace to you and others if they need it. I am comfortable with dying. Of course I would never want my child to die before me. I know that pain would be awful. I watched my brother lose his 5 year old son in a fire and yes, it was what it was. Cannot change it.

I am a Christian and having God in my life to pray to, talk to, thank him for what we have be it food or people, and just love one another.

Just remember live life one day at a time, use your china, burn the fancy candles, use that table cloth you are afraid of staining, make more fig bars, rainbow cakes, keep on LOVING where you live. Give when you see need and accept gracefully if you are given to as that is kindness that keeps the world sweet and is contagious and it can keep being repeated.

I don’t know you, only from your blog and what you share. You seem genuinely kind, you and Andy have great love for one another and your two precious girls are sweet. Keep it up and keep on living. Don’t worry about today or tomorrow. Happiness awaits and more memories will be made on this journey called life.



Heather said...

Oh girl, if you only knew how many times I have called your sentiments in that old post into my memory. These babies, they grow inside of us and in some crazy way they stay there forever. Birthing them, raising them - the word cleave comes to my mind with great persistence. To both separate and hold together all of a piece. How glad I am that we are lucky enough to have ourselves healthy squishes.



kyndale_pease said...

I am a family of two girls and I think at one point we both cut our hair! Then we moved on to our barbie's hair until we realized that it wasn't going to grow back! I think we might have been 5 or 6 at the time. :)

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