Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Three months

Nora turned THREE months old yesterday. It's ridonkulous how quickly she's growing, as I think I've mentioned before.

In the past month she has begun smiling and interacting much more, holding her head up very well, and sleeping for longer than 45 minutes at a time—in fact she slept through the night five times in the past week. I'm trying not to say that too loudly, because after I spent yesterday bragging about it, she decided to wake up at 2 a.m. last night and insist on nursing nonstop for the rest of the night. No complaints, though; she'll only be this tiny once, and when she's 13 I'll be longing for the days that she needed me so much.

Could you say no to that smile?

In motion

In the past month Nora has also had some run-ins with my less-than-stellar parenting. About a week and a half ago, she fell off the couch after I placed her precariously and walked away. It was awful, and I was sure I had given her her first concussion. But she was fine, despite lots of tears from both of us. Then on Friday, while we were out for a walk with some friends, I stopped her stroller and turned to talk to my friend. My friend looked up from buttoning her baby into the Bjorn, screamed, and ran after Nora's stroller as it was rolling into a busy street. I had done absolutely everything wrong: I didn't use the brake or the wrist-leash, and I stopped the stroller right at the top of a fire station driveway—wheel pointed streetward. On that same walk, I also forgot a blanket and a hat, so Nora got her first (minor) sunburn. And today she was hit in the face by Sidamo's football.

So yeah, this whole three-month mark is a little more of an achievement than it seems at first glance. Way to survive it, baby!

The other sister

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


First Rockies game

I'm prepping for solo travel: Today I took the two kids to a Rockies game—at naptime—without Greg. Another mom in my playgroup had free tickets, so a bunch of us met up for today's afternoon game. It was fun for the hour or so that we lasted, but poor little Sidamo melted down due to lack of nap. He was crying, and I said, "Sidamo, if you can tell me what you're crying about, I'll try to fix it." He cried harder, screaming, "I don't wanna fix it!" So we left, and the looks I got pulling a crying and screaming little boy through a baseball stadium on a leash were less than loving. Oh well, we all survived and actually had a good time.

I feel so lucky to have found this group of moms in my neighborhood. They're so much fun, and their kiddos are beautiful.

Monkey on his back

I thought if I wrapped it up like a present, he'd be more likely to welcome his new travel companion. He did quite like it and has been wearing it around the house for a few days, but I didn't break out the leash part until today. I put it on him to take him to a baseball game (that post is coming), and he immediately asked, "Like a dog?" and proceeded to bark all the way to the stadium. Yeah, we got some less-than-approving looks.

Nora's first hike

If you can call it that—we basically climbed a hill and looped around. Next time we'll aim for something a little more scenic.

Music maker

I'm behind on updating our adventures, so here's the first in a fast-and-furious blogging frenzy. This is from the neighborhood music festival last weekend. Sidamo had fun dancing on the B stage as they were doing sound check. Soon after, we got kicked out for having a toddler in the beer zone. What fun are toddlers and beer if you can't combine them?

Friday, September 12, 2008

September 12, 1933

I've been thinking about my mom a lot lately, and today, on what would have been her 75th birthday (and an aptly gray and rainy day here in Denver), it seems fitting to pay her tribute.

I was 19 when my mom died. It was a pretty bad point on our relationship timeline to insert an abrupt end: I was in one of my more obnoxious, know-it-all periods—a time when I had a lot to learn from this brilliant, hilarious, and seasoned woman, but when I was too sure of myself to receive it. I was a freshman in college. She was 62. I remember the fall before she died, as she packed up the car to send me off to school, she looked at me and said, "How I wish I were 18 again and heading off to college." She seemed so wistful for lost opportunity. I didn't know at the time that she was dying of melanoma, but I suspect she did.

My mom never went off to college, but I often think what a different world we could live in if she and the other women of her time had. In her generation, women who had careers were either teachers, nurses, or secretaries, none of which was quite up her alley. She did work at various companies over the years, but over and over she would see the men she trained get promoted and become her boss. She stopped working when she had kids, but the injustices she faced as a woman in the workforce eventually led her to become a fierce advocate for women's rights—and for her three daughters.

She was almost 38 when her first daughter, Meaghan, was born. Caity came when she was almost 41. I was her final surprise, arriving when she was pushing 44 and certainly ready to get on with her life. Still, she was the most patient and loving mother I could have asked for. I often look at myself these days—ragged, frustrated, incapacitated after a day alone with the two kids, and I wonder how on earth my mother managed three kids ages 5 and under when she was in her mid 40s. And more pointedly, how she managed with grace.

Now that I'm actually going through the process of parenting, I realize just how much I still miss my mother, even after 12 and a half years. There's so much I wish I could learn from her, ask her, whine to her about. And it's just so hard to know that she'll never be a part of this phase of my life—that she won't meet my kids, that she never even met Greg. Even harder is the fact that they haven't known her. So I'll share with them my memories.

About the delicious meals she used to cook—her standbys: roast chicken with stuffing and gravy, her killer spaghetti sauce, her eggplant parmesan; seafood Newberg, rack of lamb, crown roasts on special occasions; and the best grilled cheese and chocolate milk for summer lunch.

About the time she called in to a political talk show to offer her opinion on the British occupation of Northern Ireland—a topic she could rant (intelligently) about for hours on end—only to completely freeze up and go silent when she got on the air.

About the time she sent a telegraph, instead of a letter, to the president (probably to complain about American complicity in the British occupation of Northern Ireland) so she could be sure he read it.

About the time I found in her drawer a letter she had written and sent to the principal of my school, insisting to know why her daughter hadn't been invited to join the National Honors Society and outlining all my unique skills, personality traits, and qualifications. I was livid—beyond livid—that she did this behind my back, largely because I hadn't told her the real reason I wasn't chosen: I had been caught cheating earlier in the year. Looking back, though, I'm flattered by the fact that she was so sure it was a flagrant injustice and sad that I took out my embarrassment on her.

About the time, when Caity and I were teenagers and we were making fun of her for something or other at the dinner table, that she poured a full (and cold) St. Paulie Girl over my head—with a self-satisfied smile on her face that made me think I'd probably had it coming for years.

About how, after I had been crowned high school homecoming queen (I know, big shocker), I was being interviewed by the school's news crew and she walked over, grabbed the microphone away from the newsguy, and told my entire high school that she had stuffed the ballot box. Who knows, maybe she did.

About how, when she was dying, she and I would sit together for hours praying the rosary—years after she had lost her religion but while I still had mine.

Of course the memories can't paint the whole picture of the person, but they're something I can pass down from this wonderful woman I was lucky enough to spend 19 years with.

The sun just came out in Denver, and Nora woke up flashing me the most brilliant smile. I'm going to go spend the rest of the afternoon cuddling with my kids and aspiring to love them half as well as my mother loved me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just the facts

Please, please, please, whatever side you're on, spend some time on and get past the hype (it's equally critical of both sides, FYI). Really, people, can an entire country be talking about lipstick when, around the world, people's lives depend on decisions made by our government? We all, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, need to make the choice to move past all this garbage and focus on the issues, since the media clearly isn't going to do it for us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Puff the &*^%$*$ Dragon

Are all preschoolers this obsessive? Someone gave us a book of Puff the Magic Dragon that came with a CD of Peter (of P, P & M) singing the old stoner tune with his daughter. Sidamo wants to read the book and listen to the CD all. the. time. Very often I'm reading him the book as the CD is playing (on repeat) in the background. At first I actually got choked up when I got to the part where Jackie Paper came no more, but now I can see how the poor kid got fed up with that rascal Puff and headed for the hills. He's a nice dragon and all, but at some point, enough is enough.

The CD actually has four songs on it, but one of them is an instrumental version of the song and another is Jimmy Crack Corn. Really? Are people still recording that one? It didn't really register with me that it's not something I want my 2-year-old listening to until I heard his sweet little voice singing about the master going away. Nix that. Since then we've only been listening to the vocal version of Puff. On repeat. Ad nauseum.

Can someone tell me precisely where Jackie Paper went? I think I'd like to follow him.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back to reality

It was a fluke. She slept well last night, but not all the way through. Oh well, it was a nice treat, even if it wasn't the beginning of a new phase.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pinch me!

Nora slept through the night! I put her down around 11, and she slept until 6:15. Please, please, please let this be the beginning of a trend!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sew Yummy

Check out Sarah's new Etsy shop, Sew Yummy—beautiful fabrics, creative designs, and a super-cool proprietress with two of the cutest kids ever.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

In honor of the RNC

Nora's first pantsuit. Some pearls, a handbag, and a pair of sensible shoes and she's ready for St. Paul.

Monday, September 1, 2008

It just may be a lunatic you're looking for

I may be crazy …

I just booked tickets—one adult, one infant, one toddler—to fly to Ohio and visit my dad in October. I already have the shakes thinking about how terrible the travel is going to be. Greg can't come with me, so I'm on my own with the non-stop nursling and the non-stop runner. Oh boy. I'm not too concerned about Nora, who will be strapped to me in a sling or something similar, but I'm a little terrified about Sidamo. To understate it, he's not exactly in his best listening phase right now. He doesn't stand still. And he doesn't take a break from talking/screaming/singing. Ever. I never thought I'd contemplate it, but I'm one click away from leashing my kid:

Any other tips/tricks for traveling alone with two kids? Other than Valium all around?