Thursday, September 29, 2011

Big Scary Pumpkins.

You know before you're a mom you say things like,

"I'll never have the kids with boogers coming out of their nose," 
"I will never let my child scream in the middle of a restaurant....and for sure not a library next to an old lady who is giving me a dirty look because I won't leave until I've found the book I'm looking for.....,"
"I think cry-it-out sounds inhumane," (I never thought this....FYI)
"I would never let my kid have cotton candy for breakfast," (I wish I would have thought this)
"My child will only watch one hour of television a week,"

And the list goes on.............

Georgia regularly has boogers in her nose.  I know--it's gross......but I can't fight the snot battle every time I want to.  I just can't.  

I was that mom that doled out empty threats in the library yesterday while looking for a book I wanted.  We'd spent forty five minutes playing with the Dora dollhouse, finding more Charlie and Lola books, and rolling around the Berber carpeting in the kids section; I was getting MY BOOK.  "If you shriek again you're going to get a spanking, you won't get any jelly-beans, you can't get a drink of water from the drinking fountain, and the terrifying 'that's enough--I mean it,"-- All things I said, all things I had no intention of doing.  We slurped that water from the dirty drinking fountain on the way out, ate jelly beans in the car, and kissed each others cheeks when we got home--no spankings.

Our neighbors gave Georgia some cotton candy a few weeks ago.  She loved it.  She had huge puffs of it at breakfast three mornings in a row.  Whatever.  Some kids eat Pop Tarts for breakfast.  What's the difference?  I submit to you---nothing.  

Cry-it-out.......that's a conversation for another time.  Don't feel like defending myself today.  

Yeah.  We said a lot of nice things and grand ideas before we became moms right?

But here's the thing right now that I'm thinking I'm going to have to let go of and I'm just not ready.  

The Halloween costume.  

Sorry if you were expecting something really deep there.  This isn't a deep post.  

I take some pride in stuff like Halloween costumes.  The creative side of me just can't let go.  When Georgia was six months old she was Curious Georgia.  My mom's neighbor girl actually came up with that.  I loved it.  I ran with it.  

Last year she was a zebra.  She loved zebra's at the time.  Loved that.  She called them 'ebras."  She was so cute and cuddly in her little costume.  

This year.....Georgia loves Madeline.  She's been listening to a Madeline book on tape every time she goes to bed for about 8 months now.  She has the whole beginning of every Madeline story memorized, "In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines."  It's so great when she says it.  So of course when I found this picture on line......................

I knew this is what she had to be for Halloween.  How could she not love this idea.  I could make this.  So easy.  I told Georgia about three weeks ago when she started asking about costumes she'd see in stores that she was going to be Madeline.  I was expecting her usual, "That's a good idea!"


"No......I want to be a big scary pumpkin."


"I want to be a big scary pumpkin."  I just stared at her.  What in the.......?  How did you........?  Where would get an idea like...........?  And she repeated it numerous times.  Whatever. I let it go.  A few days later......."Georgia, aren't you excited about being Madeline when we go trick or treating with Owen?"  "No.  I'm going to be a big scary pumpkin."  Let it go Maggie.  Last week, "Georgia, let's read your Madeline book to get some more ideas for Halloween." "I already told you.  I'm going to be a big scary pumpkin."

This insane idea is not going away.  I have no idea where it came from, why it's not dying, or what I'm going to do about it.  I mean......what's a big scary pumpkin anyway?  Here's some pumpkin stuff..........

I guess I could add a streak of blood to the costume to make it scary; rub dirt all over it, tear it up, have smoke coming from it......I don't know.  This clip she could probably wear--it's a scary pumpkin.  

But seriously?  Do I have to give on this.  Push my creative mom pride to the back and invest in a big scary pumpkin.  We're going trick or treating at this amazing historical village this year that we had to purchase tickets to.  We'll be posing for pictures next to Noah Webster's home, Henry Ford's assembly lines, plantation houses, and 18th century shops.  Everyone will look cute in their creatively constructed costumes, the village will be decorated in turn of the century Halloween decorations, and it will be this former history teachers dream Halloween.  And I'll be traipsing around with my big scary pumpkin.  

And what do you bet the minute I go to get her dressed in this monstrosity of a Halloween costume she'll say, "But I want to be Madeline."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Being Present.

That's a really touchy feely title for me.  But I'm feeling a little touchy feely tonight.  Gasp. I shouldn't even be surprised anymore by these unsolicited feelings----even though I've never carried a baby being a mom just throws your hormones all out of whack--that's a scientific fact that I'm sure someone can back up. 

Here's the thing.  Every single night since Georgia was brought home from the hospital....and I mean every single night (except for the handful of times she's been somewhere else over night or we went away for a few days), I go into her room before I go to sleep and hold her hand.  And I hold it for a little while--not just a few seconds, and I stare at her, and I touch her cheeks, and I cover her back up, and I think about how lucky I am that I get to be her mom.  Sometimes Chris tells me to get out of her room.....I'm going to wake her up.  Sometimes she does wake up and she'll mumble, "I love you mommy," in this semi state of wakefulness and roll over.  And I LOVE THAT.  And Chris is right, it's probably rude that I do that, because it's true, I wouldn't want someone to wake me up three hours after I've fallen asleep--but I just can't help myself.

Ahhhh....I loved this....she used to pop her little fist through the slats of her crib while she slept.
You bet I took a picture of this--probably about two months old here.
I think about a lot of stuff when I'm holding that smooth little hand......I remember holding that little hand the night before I knew her birth parents were going to go to court to relinquish their parental rights to us and I started sobbing because I couldn't imagine not holding that hand if they changed their minds.  I really had nothing to worry about--but the human brain is attracted to doubt and anxiety.  I remember holding that little hand the first night that she fell asleep wearing her helmet and I was so in awe of how happy she was and how she just laid down and fell asleep so peacefully even though she was wearing that terrible thing.  I hold that little hand every time Chris goes out of town and I feel like her and I are the best little team ever to hold down the fort while daddy's away.  I hold that little hand after really hard days when she's been very naughty and has had a lot of time outs and tears and that mom guilt is trying to creep in and make me feel bad.

Look at those little nails.  I loved them.  She bites them now and I dream about a day when they might look like this again.
 I can't imagine a day that I'll stop going in to her room and holding her hand at night......I mean I guess when she goes to college her room-mate will think it's weird or when she gets married her husband won't think it's that cool so I'll have to consider laying off.......but it's honestly one of my most favorite moments of the day and I have no plans to stop any time soon. 

The other night during one of our hand-holding sessions I started thinking about how it's really time to start get serious about transitioning Georgia out of her crib.  But I don't want to.  I don't care if she sleeps in a crib for two more years because it will mean she's still my baby.  And yes...she'll always be my baby...but you know what I mean.  I almost started crying.  I had to definitely leave her room so I didn't wake her up. 

These are her pink the whole story about these here.
And that's one of the hardest things about being a mom--that sand slipping through your fingers feeling that in the moment you might not mind because it's been a really long day, you can't figure out why your two old hits you, you don't want to play vet one more time, it's really too hot to go to the park but a toddler doesn't get that so you spend a miserably sweaty hour there, and it would be really nice if even for twenty minutes your daughter would be okay to play by herself.  And then those days are gone and you wonder where they went because maybe you weren't totally as present as you could have been when they were happening. 

Georgia loved these little blocks.  She has a little bit of dirt in between her fingers and I even love's her dirt.....her hands.
I cleaned out Georgia's summer clothes yesterday and put her new fall stuff into her dresser.  I spent days finding the perfect summer stuff for her.  I thought about how cute she'd look in all of it.  I loved it.  And then.....poof......she's worn it all; some of it's ruined with Popsicle stains and sidewalk paint and spaghetti sauce......but she's ready for new clothes because she's growing SO FAST.

And today I asked her if I could play "pink car" with her.  She said no.  She was going to play, "Just Georgia and the people."  Ugh.  My first "you're my mom rejection." She wanted to play by herself. 

I wasn't allowed to play so I took a whole bunch of pictures.  Oh....and yes....that's fake poop on the table.  Chris thought that was a funny toy for Georgia to play with.  We're real classy over here.  Real classy.
You know that feeling that you got at the start of every school year; you had new notebooks and folders and pens and you vowed that this semester you were going to keep it all nice, take perfect notes, not miss an assignment,  and not scribble a whole bunch of stuff out so your notebooks looked messy (that might have just been me)?  And then.....October rolled around (or mid-September) and you felt lazy and you didn't like this class and you needed to play MASH in your math notebook to pass the time and you lost sight of that goal. 
It's like that with everything.  And it's okay I think--it's just how it is with us humans.  But they're still good goals to set.  I want to be more present in Georgia's everyday so that when I'm holding that little hand at the end of the day I don't think about the "I wishes......"

And I know I still will.  But sometimes it's really good to just think about what you want to do better and work on it for a few days and then work on it some more a few days later and then again a few more days later. 

That's what I've been thinking about lately. 

Off to hold some hands. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Love Not Camping {Except on Labor Day Weekend}

I have this little sign hanging on the bulletin board when you walk into the back door of my house. 

And it's true.  I'm not a camper.  I'm a shower loving, lots of mascara wearing, clean nail sporting, ironed clothes wanting, like to avoid fighting with my husband, no dirt kind of girl.  Except for one weekend a year.  One.  And for that ONE weekend I embrace camping.  I embrace mud and smelling like smoke and being damp and gnats and taking a shower in a cinder block room and taking part in a great tradition that my family and friends have been doing since I was about four years old.  That's right.....about 4 years old.  I've been heading to Camp Barakel on Labor Day weekend since I was that little.  We missed one or two years while growing up but other than that....that's where you can find me on Labor Day weekend.  And I'm honestly very glad to be there.

Georgia loves it.  She loves running down the dirt roads, riding in Onen's (Owen's) car over and over all over the campground (a pink jeep is absolutely in her future when birthday number three rolls around), sleeping in the little house (Grandma Cathy and Grandpa Mark's trailer), sitting around the fire, going to the park, sliding down the huge tube slide, going on hayrides, eat junk food, collecting bugs, playing in mud puddles, and just being a little pig.   And we love to see her doing it too.  Not once the entire weekend did she ever ask to "watch a show." And that is refreshing.  You'd think all we did was watch TV at our house based on how much she talks about getting to watch a show.  One hour--that's all she gets a day..........but that hour is precious to her........sheesh. 

On the way up....Georgia's reading up on some good crafts. 

Playing on the big checker-board....more like using it as a stage to show everyone who walks by her new shiny shoes.

Here's my girl.  Wearing these shoes to play in the sand and dig with daddy.  A mascara wand is definitely in the near future........and a frog if she has her way...........

She doesn't even ask anymore if she can go out with Owen.  He pulls up to our camp-site, she drops her sippy cup, yells a good-bye, and asks Onen to help her with her belt-seat......they leave for about 1/2 hour....who knows where they go.

We took a trip to arts and crafts and G and Owen both painted a dinosaur.  Really Georgia picked this because Owen did.  After about 20 coats of pain this master-piece was finished and it's now proudly being displayed on daddy's desk at work.

These crazy guys were everywhere at camp.  Good thing we had our nocbilurs to check them out.

Getting ready for the hay-ride and thunder express.   Hay-rides....they used to be a lot more fun.....I think.  Thunder of the most in genius ideas I've seen in a long drainage tube, a sled, and screaming. 

These next shots are some of my favorite from the weekend.....looking for butterflies with GaGa with her new butterfly net.  All we're missing in these photos is a smattering of fairies dropping moon beams on the two of them and a unicorn frolicking in the distance. 

Another Labor Day camping tradition is foil dinners in the fire.  Georgia "helped" put them together this year and weirdo that she is snuck a lick of salt.  Oh yes.....she regularly asks me if she can have some salt on a spoon for a snack.  Really?  Am I raising a two year old or a deer? 

They're almost done.  And below.....a true American tin foil dinner.  With enough food in it for a small country. 

Last night........campfires and good friends. 

Tradition.  That's what I love about our Labor Day camping trips.  Even though I'm not in love with camping I'm in love with camping on Labor Day because it's a tradition and traditions make us feel like we're part of something great and meaningful and memorable.  It was Georgia's third year camping on Labor Day--she was four months old the first time we took her and we slept in a tent--that didn't do a whole lot for my love of camping--but it was tradition so we did it and it was another memory to add to the tradition and I'm glad we did it.  So until next year when he head up north again we'll continue to keep repeating all of the other traditions that have become part of the fabric of who we are and who we'll keep on being.  

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