Monday, June 29, 2009

the airing of the grievances


It is said that in each marriage there is a seven year itch. There is also a lesser known six week ache with each new baby. I experienced it with Thomas. One morning I woke up with my shirt wet and stained with breast milk and I just started crying. Ben took that day off work. I went shopping.

I'm not experiencing it as intensely as I did the first time around but I find that this week the little things, the little nit picky, irritating things must stop.

So.

Rosa, please stop putting the kitchen shears in every drawer other than the one in which they belong.

Mom, quit complaining that you wish you could see the kids and just get on a plane already.

Ben, Honey, I love ya. Quit leaving your snacks out. The cheese is crusty and the chips are stale. Seriously.

Tommy B., if Mommy steps on one more Lego in the middle of the night you might wake up to no more toys.

And Birdie, sweet little munchkin, enough with the spiting up. I can't get the smell of soy formula to leave my nostrils and the laundry is making me insane.

Finn, pee one more time when visitors come and you will lose more down there than you've already lost.

Having said all that, I feel a little better.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

atención you photo people!

Okay folks, I'm getting some seriously great summer photos emailed to me for the ye ol' contest. I decided the winner must have something muy especial. Sooooooo. . .

The winner will receive a custom set of Secondsister rings with personalized names or words (up to four rings). I'm going to enlist some of my uber talented photo friends to vote for the winner. I will try to have a panel of about four professional photographers. I will give everyone another week to get their entry to me and announce the winner next Monday.

On an unrelated note, sometimes I look at Amelie and she looks just like Boss Hogg on the Dukes of Hazard, but cuter.

Happy Monday! We're off to the beach!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

regret


Dear Bead Shop Girl-

I am writing here because I am the gutless wonder. I am writing because I cannot sleep. I wish I could rewind the day.

You may not recognize me by my name. Come to think of it, I don't know your name either. But we do know each other. We love to talk shop when I come in. You give me the inside scoop on what's new and beautiful in gems and findings. I fill you in on what fun things I've found in my travels. We speak the same language. We get each other.

I was excited to come by today and bring Amelie. I knew that our babies would be about the same age. I remember when you told me you were having a girl. You beamed.

Please forgive me. Please forgive my stupid, callous remarks.

"You lost the baby? Weren't you kind of far along? Wow that's hard. When can you start trying again?"

Who says these things? Who is that insensitive? There I stood with my pink, bright eyed, cooing, healthy baby. There you stood with empty arms.

If I could have put my own discomfort to the side, I would have taken your hand in mine and looked you straight in the eye and just said, "I am sorry."

Because I am. I know the pain of empty arms and there are no words that can make that go away, but I want you to know that I'm here and I can't sleep because I'm wishing ever so badly that I could rewind the day.

What I'd give to rewind the day.

Sincerely,
April

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the answer is yes

There are a several certain things in life, those things so common to the human condition, that few, if any, will escape them. We will all feel hungry, be it for food or something else. We will all experience death in some form and most definitely our own. We will all laugh and love and wonder.


And we will all be poked and prodded and urged along in life by our family and friends. And those of us that are void of family and friends can always count on the old ladies at church to take up the mantle and do the poking.


When Ben and I were dating people asked when we were getting married. We got married. Before we had been married but a few months everyone wanted to know when we were going to have kids. That took a while. Many people asked the same question over and over. Thomas was born. People said, "Praise the Lordwhenareyougoingtohaveanotherbaby?"


People are asking about our Chinese adoption. The answer is yes. We are still waiting for Mei Mei.




Just thought you might be wondering.

photo credit JAnne Peters

Monday, June 22, 2009

challenge


Here's a little idea I've been carrying around in my brain for a few days.
Let's have a Summer photo challenge. Here's how you play: take a photo of something that to you says Summer. It can be anything. You don't have to be a great photographer to play. Just snap away. Email your photo to me. In a week or so, I'll post all the photos and everyone can vote on which photo they like the best. I may even throw in some jewelry to go to the winning photographer.
The photo above is from last summer so I will be taking a new one. Come on girls. Let's get snapping!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

momma nirvana

Thom takes his job as older brother very seriously. Every morning, after the kids are feed and bathed, you can find us here, in the rocking chair for Amelie's morning lessons. Thomas hasn't let us miss a day.

Thom starts out "reading" her ABC and color books to her, but we eventually end up with the books he likes me to read to him.

As you can see, much to Thom's dismay, Amelie doesn't take her morning lessons seriously at all.

Thom has been asking and asking for a chalk board to use for teaching such things as the solar system and how plants grow. I think I'll drive down to IKEA and see if they have one for him. He's also asked for a large bag of Skittles to teach her math. That one's a little suspect.

This is how I get my chores done.

I know, I know. But people, I didn't get to carry this pumpkin for nine months of her life. I'm making up for lost time.

And yes, I do wear flowers in my hair to do house work.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

i don't need to see your nipples to know you are pretty

So I quit buying Vogue because there was just way too much gratuitous nipplage. I'm a mother. I don't want to look at all the deathly skinny models perky tweeny boobs. I want to be inspired, not depressed because I have nursed a child and he sucked all the perk right out of me.

I plan on bringing that up one of these days when he says "You never let me do anything!" I'll say, "Oh yes I do. I let you turn my tight body into a blob of warm dough with stretch marks. That's how much I love you." I'm thinking fifteen might be the right age to use that bullet. In front of his friends for effect.

Where was I? Oh, boobs.

Anyway, I'm sick of them and I decided to do something about it. I subscribed to Eliza. Here's the little blurb the Editor gives about the magazine:

ELIZA Magazine is created for women who want to be stylish, sexy, and engaged in the world while retaining high standards in dress, entertainment, and lifestyle. In a media culture that frequently objectifies and commercializes women and their bodies, ELIZA strives to provide an alternative to the current mainstream media that emphasizes sex and skin in order to push products or sell magazines.

So, basically it's for moms like me that have a whole lot of somethin', somethin' to cover up.

Here's a peek at some of my favorite fashions from Eliza.


Have absolutely no where to wear this cape to but I soooo wish I did. Now the hat, I could find somewhere to wear that for sure.


Wishing I could rock coral lipstick. Not happening.


Must acquire this headband today, or tomorrow at the latest.



This dress I love sooo much I contacted the vintage clothing store that was credited in the magazine to see if it was still available. No go.

However, if I ever have an occasion to wear such a dress, I know several wonderful seamstresses who I can call on to recreate it for me.

It's in my style books (more on those later).
I think I'd skip the hat and opt for this veil. Would it be weird if I wore something like this to the grocery store? I lourvvvve it that much.

Okay, enough day dreaming. Time to break out the Oxy Clean and try to salvage what's left of Amelie's cute outfit after this morning's blow out.

I'm so glamorous.

Monday, June 15, 2009

much ado about amelie (and me)


Things around my house have been a little, well, messy. It's hard to stay on top of housework when you have a new baby. I mean, I put it down as a great day if I have time to shower. If personal hygiene is on the back burner you know I'm not sweeping no floors or dumping the trash. Uh uh.

This girl has her priorities.

And so do my friends. I run with a group of pretty swanky chicks. They bathe almost everyday.

They told me it was time for a shower.

In doing so they gave me motivation to bathe myself and get gussied.

The favors were little bags of fancy chocolates.



Of course it was a bird theme.

I couldn't believe how many people came and how many gifts Amelie received. (If I call them Amelie's gifts it helps me feel just a little less embarrassed at the obscene amount of presents I was given.)

I absolutely HATE to be in the lime light at a party, but I loved seeing all my friends. I felt like a rock star. My kelly green wedgies and big hoop earrings helped with that.

During my infertile years (who am I kidding? I'm still infertile) I hated baby showers. Let me illiterate that. Hated. Baby. Showers. To this day, if I know that games are going to be played at a shower I have to nod out and contribute to the group gift. I just can't smell the poop stain and guess what baby food it is. Can't do it.

But this wasn't really a shower that my friends threw me. It was a celebration of life and birth and adoption and family and most of all friendship. Because that's what it is really all about. Friendship between women and the bond we have through motherhood. I'd say misery loves company, but that kind of misses the mark. More like, the more the merrier.


I went to bed Saturday night thinking of all the people that came to share in my happiness. I recreated the room in my head. I went around each table and thought of each person. The last thought I can remember was that I am the luckiest girl around.

Then I woke up forty minutes later to feed Amelie.

I know. I couldn't believe this cake either. It's insanely cute AND it was soooo good. My friend Shelley made this for me. Shelley and I go way back. I almost cried on it when I saw it, but I thought it might gross out some of those swanky friends I was telling you about.
What a day I had. What. A. Day. Thanks to everyone who helped Jenny give me the best party ever.

I think, at this very moment, I just might be the happiest person I know.

That's really something.

Friday, June 12, 2009

good morning sunshine


I painfully opened just one eye this morning.

The room was strewn with bottles. Piles of soiled clothing dotted the floor. The sun singed my retina so I quickly shut my eye. I took stock of my limbs. One leg was totally void of any feeling. The sheets were twisted tightly above the knee forming a very effective tourniquet. My arms had evidently gained fifty pounds each while I slept. There was no moving.

Hazy images rolled through my brain of the night before. The drinking, the singing, the slow dancing in the dark. The poopy diapers and formula powder.

Then I remembered the baby. My eyes flew open in a panic and found her nestled in the sheets as happy and pink as a puppy's tongue. Oh good. She was asleep. Finally asleep. I closed my eyes again. What a wild night we'd had.

Crunch crunch crunch. What's that sound? What's that smell?

"Mooooommmmm. Mommmmyyyy."

He was two inches from my face. He had a bag of cheddar Sun Chips.

"You were asleep so I got my own breakfast. Are you going to get up now? Get up Mom. Wakey wakey eggs and bakey!"

Who taught him that saying? Why is it so bright in here? Oh the inhumanity!

"What time is it?"

"Let me see. . .six, dot, dot, three, two, A."

I released my leg of the tourniquet and tried to lay motionless while the blood returned.

"Hey Thomas, be a dear and fetch your old mom a Red Bull will ya?"

"Uh. Okay. Can I get a cherry soda for me too?"

"Thom, it's six thirty in the morning."

"Well you're having a Red Bull."

Touché.

"Oh alright."

And so starts our day.

I'm expecting the Mom of the Year award any day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

the pecked hen

Sugar Daddy has flown the coop.

He took off to Cabo San Lucas for five days to spear fish and generally act like a caveman. In a moment of pure insanity, I encouraged him to go. I must be some kind of stupid.

So I'm going it alone.

And it's not so fun. I'm not complaining per se. I'm just informing the public so that everyone will feel sorry for me.

When my husband is home, I have a tendency to feel like I must be a director so that things get done. And I have been known to "micromanage" such chores as diaper changes and tooth brushing. But one must always wipe from front to back when changing little girls and take extra time on the molars of a sugar crazed boy. These are widely known facts.

"I feel like a pecked hen. You correct everything I do." Ben said one day.

"I believe the phrase is hen pecked my dear." I said.

"Case in point." he mumbled and went back to making up the bed so that it looked like a child had made it.

But now I'm missing my pecked hen.

I'm missing how good he is at entertaining the boy in the evening. I'm missing how he takes the trash out with ease and makes sure my Red Bull is chilled and waiting for me before I even know I want one. I'm missing how he perfectly fills out the right side of the bed and lays his hand in the small of my back as we drift off to sleep.

I vow to spend less time pecking and more time noticing the delightful minutiae of my life with Sugar Daddy.

Along with the pecked hen, we have the chagrined hound.

Finnigan has taken the arrival of the new baby pretty hard. Knowing that his chances of being my baby ever again are slim to none, he has taken to harassing everyone else non-stop for attention.

Just look at that face. You know he's saying "Just love me Mom." I guess I need to spend some one on one time with him. I'll get right on that after I feed and change the baby, unload the dishwasher, cycle the laundry, find some staples for Thom's art project, fill out some thank you cards and call to make a well baby appointment with the doctor. Ey yi yi.

There really is no rest for the wicked.

P.S. The good news is I love my flower shoes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the sneak



My parents were the type of people who had dinner parties. Not often. Maybe twice a year or so. But boy did my mother know how to host.

The entire day would be spent cooking and cleaning. Then she'd pour herself into some skinny jeans and ask our advice on which shoes to wear. We were girls. We had opinions on this type of thing.


We children were sequestered to the upstairs rooms. We were given strict rules on behavior and a sampling of the nights delicacies arranged just like the larger platters on the dinning room table.

There were fresh cut vegetables with clam dip, warm rolls, Chinese chicken wings and shrimp cocktail. Almost always there were cinnamon rolls dripping with heavy almond icing. It was toothsome delight and almost enough to keep me upstairs the entire night.
But not quite.

It was the laughter that always got me. My mother's laughter. My father chuckled often at his children's antics, but my mother, well to make her laugh was a profound feat of kidhood. I guess things just aren't as funny when you are on clean up duty.


From the top of the stairs, peeking through the rails, I could see half the dining room table. I could see the back of my father's salt and pepper head. I could see my mother seated closest to the kitchen for serving ease. I could see one, maybe two dinner guests. And so I perched, with my night gown drawn down over my knees, and watched my mother laugh, and shooed away my older, more obedient sister, when she came to chastise me.


Today I crawled quietly, ever so quietly, into Amelie's room. I got up close to the crib and peeked through the rails. I watched her eyes move rapidly under her lids, her fingers opened and closed. I watched her rosy little pout curl up into a smile and then a laugh. I was eight all over again, wanting so desperately to be the source of amusement to the most important girl in my life.

I'll give her one more month to give me a bonafide laugh and then I'm breaking out the clown nose and kazoo. Who's in charge here anyway?

As for my mother, well, she is pretty quick to laugh these days. She thinks it's hilarious to watch me clean up a blow out or scrape the dog poop from between Thom's toes.

Monday, June 08, 2009

variety is the spice of life

This is what it is like to be Amelie's mother.

This is what it is like to be Thom's mom.


I am finding much wonderment in the difference.
It is a delightful thing to experience.

Friday, June 05, 2009

baby style

I know this wicked woman. She reads my blog. I have a lot of wicked readers.

You know, birds of a feather. . .

Anyway, she sent me a link to a little item she said looked like something I would like.

Boy was she right. I held out for exactly forty-six hours and then I couldn't stand it any longer.



I can't wait to get my new sling and I'd like to personally thank Hollywood for making motherhood fashionable. It's about damn time.

In other news, we switched Birdie to a soy based formula and I'm thinking of calling Homeland Security to notify them of the toxic matter being produced in our house. Every time I change a diaper I worry about having my eyebrows singed off.

meet the meekers


In the beginning there was just the two of us.

Me and Sugar Daddy.

For almost ten years we lived and loved as two. We were compadres, best friends and lovers.

We grew lonely for children, for that is what infertility is at it's core. Collective loneliness.

And then the boy arrived, unannounced. A huge surprise. Oh happy day! We were three. We bought the family meal at Oscar's. We signed our Christmas cards Love, the Meekers.

But still, in our heart of hearts, we felt like two plus one.

Today I awoke to the soft heavy breaths of my lover. Today I have a son, a daughter, a dog and a fence around my yard. I have tomato plants and dirty dishes in my sink. I have play dough crumbs on my table. Today I have spit up on my pajamas and bikes in my drive way.

Today I realized that my biggest childhood wish had come true.

Don't be surprised if I also become a mermaid and have a house made out of candy. Magic is in the air.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

your daily dose




Here's your daily dose of Amelie. Can't keep this cute little pumpkin all to myself.

And here she is modeling my homemade cap.


Me thinks the pilots cap is much cuter on a baby than on a potpourri ball.

Also for show and tell, I have this stamp that I made for the boy. He loves to sit and watch me do my art and so I thought it would be fun for him to have his own stamp to make cards for his friends.



Jo is coming for lunch and bringing me, per my request, her delectable bread pudding topped with dark chocolate that her mother sends her from France. Seriously folks, the stuff is orgasmic. I feel a little embarrassed eating it in front of other people.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

while she sleeps

I am delighted to discover that because my daughter is such a mellow happy baby, I have plenty of time to continue crafting! I know that in a month or so she will be more alert and probably require more attention, but for now, she gives me time to create.

I carved a stamp with her initials to make some thank you cards. The gifts are rolling in and I want to stay on top of getting the cards out.

Because she is my little birdie, I carved a little bird in flight for the inside of the card. Then, of course, I busted out the glitter. That's all part of the fun of having a little girl. Glitter!

Today I need to get out to my work bench and make her a bracelet. Can you believe I didn't already have one made? I can't. Anyway, I need to get some jewelry on my girl asap.