Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Did she say bum-biting alligators??

October 27, 2010

Well, we’ve decided to give this another go (having a baby that is). And come April 7 (or thereabouts), Baby Blue #2 will join our crazy little household. Hooray!

I’ve set some goals for myself before the newbie’s arrival, and high on that list is having Baby Blue #1 sitting on the “potty chair” while not fully clothed. Yes, the potty chair is of interest to one curly-headed toddler who resides in our household, but I use the term “interest” lightly. Who knew a potty chair could double as a ladder and a paddling pool? Apparently she did.

Conscious of not wanting her to see the potty chair as the enemy, I haven’t forced her to sit on it. But I was excited and amused to find her in the bathroom on the potty chair fully clothed the other evening. At least she isn’t afraid alligators are going to bite her bum from inside the potty before swallowing her whole (I may or may not have harbored such a worry as a young child).

Wish me luck as I endeavor to coach Miss Meghan how to live diaper free. Oh, and wish me luck on raising this little guy or gal (my hunch) debuting this spring. The roller coaster ride continues!

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*#!% happens

July 21, 2010

The other day my husband turned to me and said, “Did you ever in your life think you’d be surrounded by so much poop?” Between our two big dogs (a full grown lab and golden retriever) and a young toddler, we see more than our fair share of the “big P” on a daily basis. It’s so much a part of our daily routine that I am not even phased by it anymore. As Forrest Gump and the bumper sticker so adequately communicate “shit happens.”

Hard to believe my relaxed attitude given that I literally threw up on my parents’ lawn when, around age seven or so, I took on the task of scooping up the dog messes in the yard at my parents’ request.

Today, I barely bat an eye as I change a third dirty diaper or scoop up 12 messes in the backyard as I do on just about any given weekend. While I would hardly call these tasks pleasant, they are part of the package, and I willingly take them for the hours of fun my canine pals provide and the sheer joy our little girl brings to our lives.

Would that all the world’s occupants experience the joy of so much sh%# in their life. Might make this world an even more wonderful place to be!

Parenting pearls from the Silver Screen

March 11, 2010

With the Academy Awards airing just a few nights ago, I thought it apropos to draft this post, which has been circulating in my head for some time. Its inspiration was this great post on a classic film, The Princess Bride. Films and their motherly heroines provide much fodder to guide the novice mom like me, so I pull from some of their sagest advice and thus present “Parenting Pearls from the Silver Screen.”

“If you cannot think of anything appropriate to say you will please restrict your remarks to the weather.” Mrs. Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility

Mrs. Dashwood’s advice to her youngest daughter holds much merit. I’ve gotten better at small talk over the years, but I still look with admiration to those who can carry on a conversation comfortably with strangers and acclimate into new surroundings with ease. For folks like me, the weather is a trusty conversation starter, and if you live in the Mitten state like I do, the weather  provides plenty to discuss.

“Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.-Jackie Harrison, Stepmom

Two nights ago, I had the honor of serving as my niece’s Confirmation sponsor. As we sat in church listening to the archbishop discuss the significance of the Holy Spirit, I leaned over to my niece and whispered, “Did you know that your mom’s Confirmation sponsor was Grandma Roe?” My grandmother (my niece’s great grandmother) would have been 95 years old that night. She was the very best example I could ever have of living selflessly and loving unconditionally. She would have very much enjoyed seeing her great granddaughter experience this sacramental rite of passage. But I know that just because she wasn’t sitting in her usual pew to the right of the altar that she wasn’t right there with us.

I can’t have a baby because I have a 12:30 lunch meeting.” Diane Keaton, Baby Boom

For all you working moms out there, this one’s for you. My daughter’s music/story time class falls on Fridays at 11 a.m. right about the time I get ready to join a standing client call from the office. So I don’t get to take her. But she still gets to go (thanks mom)! It’s not an ideal setup, but it works for now as I figure out how to make this juggling act called working parenthood fly.

“I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life... M’lynn, Steel Magnolias

Amen. Despite the Magnesium Sulfate (damn you), giving birth to Baby Blue was the most awesome experience of my life, and I’d take the pain, discomfort, 1.5 hours of pushing and post-baby body changes (we’ll leave it at that) any day of the week to have had the experience we women are so fortunate to have in child birth. There really is nothing to compare it to.

“Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it” Marmee, Little Women

As college graduation neared, my mom made numerous references to my moving away. This time farther than 45 minutes from home. This time all the way to another state. This time to a big city. I wasn’t sure I wanted to follow in my sisters’ footsteps and live in Chicago. But my mom didn’t wait for me to talk myself into staying. She knew better than I did that I needed to experience life and to live on my own, supporting myself  in a city where the job and cultural offerings abounded. And so I did, albeit uncertainly. And oh what wonderful things did come of it!

“You have to do the best with what God gave you.” Mrs. Gump, Forrest Gump

As my mom often says, there’s always going to be someone smarter, faster, more clever, better looking, more outgoing, etc. We’ve all got one life to live, so we must make the best of it. Now the hard part: remembering to put this into practice each day.

“The only thing I have ever said to you, ever, is that I want you to be happy.” M’lynn, Steel Magnolias

Steel Magnolias is rich with great one liners. It was tough to narrow it down to just two for this post. (I’m seriously considering writing a post solely focused on the wisdom imparted in the lines of this  tearjerker.) But this particular line–delivered by M’lynn to her daughter Shelby in reaction to the news that her daughter is expecting a child despite doctor’s warnings–is the hope of every mom, or should be anyway. My daughter has two dimples that appear only when she smiles. I see those dimples throughout the day every day, and it’s my prayer that I continue to see them with as much, if not more, frequency as she grows into adulthood.

“From your head to your toes, you’re not much, goodness knows. But you’re so precious to me, cute as can be, baby of mine.” Mrs. Jumbo, Dumbo

I don’t really have any wise words to share related to this line. I just wanted an excuse to post a cute picture of Baby Blue.

Cheers!

Time to get out

June 30, 2009

travel-michigan-lake-of-the-cloudsBetween work and the baby, I find myself spending less time outdoors than I’d like. But last night I spent a few minutes on my deck soaking in the smell of summer while sitting on one of our too infrequently used adirondack chairs. Funnily enough, it was my dog who got me out there–she refused to come inside.

It was overcast and a bit cooler than usual, but I consciously took in a few deep breaths of Michigan air. There’s nothing quite like a summer in Michigan, and every time I hear the Tim Allen narrated Pure Michigan ads I’m reminded why I left the big city to move back to a state that thousands are fleeing en masse.

There are lakes everywhere here–big ones, small ones and even one in my backyard (Ok, it’s really more like a ditch filled with standing water, but a girl can dream, can’t she?). There are towns that take the word quaint to a new level. There are people who say “Up North,” and though that can encompass hundreds of cities north of the 45th Parallel, Michiganders and Michigan enthusiasts alike simply nod in understanding.

So many of my childhood summer vacations involved packing up the station wagon and pointing it north or enjoying a “staycation” and turning to the local waters where a sturdy stick, some twine and a solitary hook were all that was required to catch dozens of sunfish.

With these precious days of summer now upon us, let’s all make a conscious effort to follow my dog’s lead and refuse to come inside.

Plugs for my peeps

February 26, 2009

So in addition to blogging about life and impending motherhood here, I have been contributing to a blog for working moms known as Work It. I was asked by the editor of this site if I would be interested in reviewing a product appropriate for someone expecting a newborn. I said sure. A little free swag and a chance to write about something relevant to me as a soon-to-be mom? Why not.

So I did my first official review. I enjoyed this a lot and hope that I helped the company and the blog’s readers by providing an honest assessment of the product. I should mention that in my professional life we do some outreach to mommy bloggers on behalf of our clients. So often I am on the other end of these exchanges trying to track down interested moms and send them relevant product for reviews.

As I’ve visited many of these mommy blogs, I’ve noticed most of these women have a policy on whether they’ll accept product samples, whether they want to be compensated for their review, etc. I have no such formal policy as of yet since I don’t know if anyone cares what I have to say about anything! I’ve never been a mom before. Everything I see at Babies ‘R’ Us seems like something I need (someone please help me before I deplete my savings on pacifiers and baby blankets), and I only recently learned what Dreft was—to think I almost washed baby’s clothes in regular detergent!

But in all honesty, I think it’s great that companies are reaching out to real consumers as long as it’s entirely transparent on both sides. It’s fabulous to see women looking to other women in similar situations for advice even though they’re complete strangers. I actually got a baby shower gift idea, the book Humpty Who?, from perusing a mommy blog and accompanying video promoted on mommysavers.com. So this word-of-mouth stuff shared via mommy blogs really does work.

And since I’m full of endorsements and recommendations today, I thought I’d plug one more thing. My brother-in-law started a blog where people can write in to share where they saw God today. I’ve added it to my blogroll, and I encourage you to check it out for a few minutes of feel-good reading to help you get through your day. Heck, we could all use a reminder every now and the of just what makes it all worthwhile.

Fat face photos not for me

February 17, 2009

I completely agree that pregnancy is beautiful. But I’m not so sure it’s beautiful on me. My friends, many of whom live in other states, keep asking me to send them photos of my pregnant self. I have been reluctant to do so thus far. I am not exactly a pretty pregger. Meaning, I have gained weight in areas other than simply my gut, namely my face. But also my ankles. Yes, folks I am retaining water as they say!

And while I know my symptoms will go away after delivery, I don’ t exactly want to be the star of any photos during this time. Sure, I posed for pictures at my baby shower and other family events, but I am by no means seeking out the camera.

And lately, I’ve started to wonder if I am being completely selfish. Several people I know have had professional pregnancy pictures taken showcasing their pregnant bellies, and the radiant time that is pregnancy. It’s kind of cool. But me, I don’t want anything to do with a photo shoot. It even took me a few days to build up the courage to open the Snapfish photos my sister sent me from my baby shower. (I have issues. I know this.)

But I’d be curious to hear what the blogosphere has to say about this. Am I alone? Am I selfish for not capturing this time forever in film for my children to look back on when flipping through their baby books, or are others excited about the birth of their babies but in no way eager to document their growing bodies on film?

Baby bump or goodwill ambassador?

January 28, 2009

Is it me, or is it the year of the baby? It seems every fourth person I know  either recently had or soon will have a baby–myself included. I never expected that when I would one day get pregnant that I’d be the only person going through this experience, but it seems an inordinate number of family members, co-workers, friends, old classmates, and acquaintances are on the baby track as I type.

And it’s amusing to me how much those of us experiencing mommyhood can talk about it! Two strangers who have never met before, and who would never otherwise strike up a conversation, see each other’s baby bump, and the floodgates of conversation open. Two classmates who haven’t talked since high school, and even then were only mild acquaintances, discover via Facebook that they’re both expecting and begin conversing regularly.

And this phenomenon is by no means limited to expectant moms only. I was at the gym two nights ago and had two friendly ladies approach me to inquire about my pregnancy. When was I due? What was I having? Was I uncomfortable?  Then I learned about their respective pregnancies and the accompanying  ups and downs. It’s as if this baby bump is a goodwill ambassador of sorts. People who don’t even know me want to discuss personal issues like constipation and labor pain, and strangely, I want to discuss them too.

It’s the community of mommies, or maybe just the community of humanity. My random conversations with strangers are by no means limited to members of the female gender. Many men see the bump and smile or nod their approval (the exception being some young men who see the bump and tend to recoil in fear)!

What is it about carrying a new member of the human race in your uterus that provokes kindness and a willingness to befriend a stranger or old friend? Why do two mommies-to-be find they can talk for hours about things they already know from all the books on what to expect? Why has someone (me) who is normally quiet and reserved become such a chatterbox when asked about my unborn daughter?

Perhaps it all goes back to the circle of life. Today’s newborns are tomorrow’s senior center volunteers. Today’s toddlers are tomorrow’s President Obama. Today’s kids are tomorrow’s innovators. Perhaps. And perhaps that is why we can’t help but express our excitement while they’re still in the womb. We have so much anticipation for what wonderful gifts–both big and small–these little humans will bring to our lives even if they’re not our own children.

That makes me hopeful for the future and optimistic about the world in which my daughter will live.