Days of Plenty

Lately my children have been on sweetness overdrive. Seriously, the stuff that comes out of their mouths the last few weeks make me stop in my tracks, get all doe-eyed, and let out an audible “Oohhh!”  Here are a few examples:

-While reading a comic book, David asked me what lovesick means. I explained that sometimes when you love someone your stomach gets fluttery and your heart races and it makes you feel sick in a good way. His reply, “like how I feel about Sydney at her birthday party.” Awww….

-A few nights later, David tells me, “Mom, I’m lovesick for you.” Double Awww…

-I go to the Y to workout and leave Ben at the daycare for about an hour. When I came to pick him up yesterday, the girl a the counter was holding him. When he saw me, he got a huge smile, clapped his hands and yelled, “Mommy’s here!” I don’t know if anyone has ever been more happy to see me than my kids are, even if I have only been gone from the room long enough to go pee.

-A recent conversation between David and Ben:

David: Hi Ben, did you have a good sleep, sweet pea?

Ben: Yes!

David: Can I snuggle with you?

Ben: Yes!

David (crawling under the covers): See outside? It’s foggy today.

Ben: It’s foggy!

David (kissing Ben on the forehead): I love you.

Ben: I love you too!

-Ben’s favorite game right now is when I pretend to be a shark and he’s a fish. I do the Jaws theme (na-na, na-na, na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, NA-Na-NA!) and then eat him up. My kid is pretty rad.

-David calls me sweetie, honey, and “my best mom” on a daily basis. Must remember this in the future when those names will be replaced with annoying, nag, and “pain in my ass.”

Life is about the tiny moments of joy that too often pass by unrecognized. I wanted to save these, write them down, give them a place of permanence for a time when I need to be reminded that everything is amazing. Because everything is.

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Jamie’s Jargon: The Resurrection

Well here I am at the close of another year, hair greasy from the lack of a shower, house smelling faintly of onion and burnt tire after the dog was assaulted by a skunk last night, and a pile of dirty dishes waiting in the sink. So, obviously nothing has really changed for me in the last year, which should make the lack of blog posts easier to come to terms with. I know, you have all been wondering what I have been up to the last twelve months. While staring into your slightly mushy bowl of cornflakes you may have found yourself thinking “I wonder how big  the pile of laundry on Jamie’s couch is?” or “I wonder if Benny and David are sleeping in there own beds yet?” or “I wonder how many times Jamie had to clean up vomit from the crevasses of the car seat?” The answers to your questions are huge, no, and too many to count. Side note: I have discovered that the best way to rid your car of the smell of curdled milk after your two-year-old rage barfs all over the backseat is diluted white vinegar. You’re welcome. And now we are all caught up!

Seriously though, everything I just wrote is completely true and a pretty good summary of the year. Life as a housewife is redundant and, if you are lucky, the household crises  don’t rise above the level of expelled bodily fluids or waking up at 5:30am because your son has decided the become partially nocturnal and wants to rise before the sun. We made it through another year happy, healthy, and (mostly) sane. And for that I am endlessly grateful.

Image

Look, we all held still long enough to get a picture without a blurred head (David and Ben) or a half-closed eye and open mouth (Me). It’s a Christmas miracle!

I am going to write a more extensive post in the next few days about what I am working towards in the New Year. Not resolutions so much as prioritizing those things that are important to me but that get pushed aside for the daily grind of parenthood. One thing I can share now–I am writing with intention and part of that will include regular updates to this blog. So I am hoping you are looking forward to hearing a lot more from me. See, it’s like I just gave you all a virtual Christmas present!

The Pregnancy That Wouldn’t End

I must admit, this is a problem I never anticipated having.  With all the worries and concerns that come alone with being pregnant, not going into labor six days after my due date and facing inducement was not one of them.  I had prepared for the possibility of early labor, with finals for spring semester scheduled for a week before my due date, my biggest fear was that I would go into labor early and have to take incompletes in my classes.  So I worked ahead, negotiated with my professors, and finished my semester ahead of time. Unnecessarily, I now discover.  I guess in the grand scheme of things, being pregnant an extra week isn’t the worst thing to ever happen, but the longer this goes on, the more I feel like I am failing in some essential way.

The aches and pains of pregnancy are wearing, though they have become something I am used to.  The constant push in my right side just below my ribs from my unborn son’s knees is now just a part of who I am.  What is harder is the constant look of concern on everyone’s face, the excited light I see in my husband’s eyes when I gasp in pain, his hopes of labor soon dashed when I explain the baby just kicked me in the bladder again.  My mother has traveled 800 miles to help with a baby who just doesn’t want to come out. She missed Christmas with my dad, brothers and nieces to be here to help me and I’m not having a baby. She hasn’t complained once, but I still can’t help but feel guilty that I pulled her away from her life to be here weeks before grandson.  For some reason I Googled inducement last night and discovered that, according to most women, it is much more painful than going into labor naturally, and natural labor kicked my ass last time around. Google is that tactless friend who will tell you exactly what you wanted to know but doesn’t consider your feelings while doing it.

I should know by now that life can’t be planned and the unexpected has a way of arriving more often than not, but I still feel unsettled. All these feelings of fear, anticipation, and disappointment along with physical exhaustion have left me with unpredictable emotions that flare up more and more often. I cry for no reason, snap when people ask how I’m feeling, and avoid contact with pretty much everyone for fear that I will say something that I don’t mean. This has been a hard ending to a very hard year but I know the joy to come will make it all worth it. If the joy would just hurry up and get here.

Oh Christmas Tree

This is the first year I have ever had my very own Christmas tree. When I was single and living in a one bedroom upstairs apartment it made no sense to get a tree. I mean, who was going to lug the thing up the stairs, and how would I have gotten it home in the first place, tie it to a sled and have Biscuit mush it home? And honestly, who was going to look at it besides me and the dog? Instead of having a tree at my place, I just went to my parents house and enjoyed theirs. That’s the luxury of having a mom who continues to indulge all of your childhood wishes. She still decorates a tree and puts out our stockings even though me and my brothers are grown and gone. That’s what a good mom does though, she lets you feel like a kid when you’re home. But I digress…

Last year Casey decided that instead of getting a normal Christmas tree, we would get one of those small potted trees they sell in the garden section of Target. He said that instead of buying a dead tree year after year, he would grow a tree for me. Each year the tree would represent how far we have come as a family. Sounds lovely right? Well, the tree was dead before January. I don’t know what that represents.

This year Casey went out on his own and brought me back a truly beautiful tree. It is just what I had imagined. My in-laws brought over decorations, taking into account David’s proclivity towards breaking things that he touches. There was an assortment of little wood men, women and animals that were sure to stand up to David’s, let’s just call it enthusiasm. My tree fully decorated was beautiful.

In the beginning

That lasted for about a day and a half. Then I started finding random body parts of wooden people around the house. A leg here, a ski pole there, and suddenly it was if a bomb went off at the North Pole. I had dismembered Christmas figures strewn about the house. At first I tried to repair the damage and put them back on the tree, but at some point I realized it was pointless. I did gather the wreckage with the hopes that some super-glue will salvage them for next year.

The carnage.

And so our tree is being left unadorned from David’s arm length down. It may look silly, but I have a feeling that one day I will look back on this and laugh. Ah, ha ha, remember that time David ripped the legs off the mouse ornament? Oh, and he really taught that sledding pig a lesson! Well, maybe some day.

How our tree looks now.