I sit and stare at her in amazement at least once a day. Usually it's more. This girl is fancy. This girl is funny. She is silly and smart. And beautiful. I know I'm not supposed to emphasize beauty but I can't help it. She is a beautiful girl and I can't believe that she is mine. Well, sometimes I can. Like when she puts on her clown wig and rainbow pants. I totally believe it then. Because, duh.
I have been putting off writing this post. It's mostly because I have no idea what to say. My feelings are all over the place. She's two now. She's two. Two whole years old. And I am all at once in love with little ball of awesome energy she has become and wistful about the little tiny baby who lay skin to skin on my chest this very night two years ago.
She has changed and grown. She has learned to talk. She sings and dances. She dresses up and has mad fashion sense. She loves Dora the Explorer (Dora Bora!) and putting on a pwee-tee dwess (pretty dress). Her favorite foods are avocado and turkey wraps. Her favorite drink is still mama's milk. Her second favorite drink is apple juice. She has learned how to bring the best and the worst out of her brother and she is an expert in knowing when to play her cards with him. She knows her alphabet and the sounds the letters make. She is smart smart smart.
She is always excited to see you. She is always chatting with someone or something. She cares deeply for her babies and tells them how loved they are. She will rock and nurse her baby dolls to sleep and then let us all know that we need to "Shhhhh, a baby sweepy". She runs to most of the places she goes. Her amazing chub-a-lub jiggling, even though I notice when a roll disappears and is replaced by a longer body. And yes, that makes me sad. She was my squishiest baby. Maybe the squishiest baby of all time. I'm not ready to see those rolls go just yet. But she's running and jumping and climbing. Determined to grow them out. She has a twinkle in her eye and lilt in her sweet voice. She is gentle and kind and funny and loves her family.
But tonight as I sit here typing, all I can focus on is that she is my little itty-bitty baby. I can still feel her curled up like a kidney bean on my chest. Wrapped in a Moby wrap. Breathing her soft breath in my ear as we slept. Sometimes sleeping with her head stuck in my armpit. I remember the little barracuda baby who knew exactly what to do to get the milk from me. I am remembering the smell and lighting of the bedroom where we spent a lot of time during our first weeks together. How the bedside table lamp tossed a soft light on her face and how I would just stare at her. How when I sang to her, she would smile and coo along. I'm remembering the little baby who eventually won her brothers heart. She knew he'd come around. Because you can't help but love her. You just can't.
She made our family whole. That is how I am thinking of her tonight. Our last baby. Our Plum.
But she's is not a little baby anymore.
I knew she was the last and I made sure that I was soaking up the scents and soft snuggles of her babyhood. But I still want to go back for a few minutes and nuzzle my nose onto her soft fuzzy newborn head and take in her sweet baby scent. Just for a minute. I swear I'd come right back and be ready to move forward on this new chapter. But it seems there is no return but for dreaming. And time will march forward like it always does. What with the flying by...
So I will hold my heart in my hands and say out loud that I am so very sad at times when I think of how fast she has grown. My heart is squeezed and my breath is shallow as I fight tears, wishing I could hold my new babies just one more time. But then I am pulled back into this place. This time. And I hear her call out to me, frightened. Maybe from a dream or just not wanting to be alone. "Mama? Mama?!" and I jump up from my keyboard and slide into bed next to my sweet Plum and say "Mama's right here baby girl. Mama's right here. It's ok." She is immediately calmed. She makes the most beautiful sounds as she nurses back to sleep. And I am reminded that while she is not a baby anymore, she is still my baby. She will always be my baby.
Happy Birthday to you, my precious and loved baby girl. You light up my life every single day with your joy. You are a gift to this world. It is an honor to have been the first to love you. Love you always, Mama
Newborn Baby Plum
Welcome to February’s Secret Subject Swap. This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. My subject was submitted by Macdonald's Playland and it is "The best thing in life..."
When I first saw my subject my face twitched a bit. Oh shit...the best thing in life? How is there any one thing? I ended up thinking about it for days and days and days. I could pin nothing down. I had forty-three ideas and none of them were right. None of them were the best thing in life. They were good things but they weren't The.Best.Thing.In.Life.
I was over-thinking it. Which should come as a surprise to no one. Least of all me. It's how I roll. So this is the new plan. I'm just gonna type and we will just see where it takes us. A little experiment to see what my conclusion is on this topic. You in? Here we go...
1. The answer is absolutely LOVE. There is nothing more important. Nothing more fulfilling. Nothing more integral to my happiness than love. It's love that makes the world go around, you guys. It's love that makes me a better person and love that connects us to each other. Love love love.
2. The answer is definitely LAUGHTER. There is nothing more important or fulfilling than a good belly laugh. We need to laugh. We have to laugh otherwise we'd cry, right?
I just ate this.
3. The answer is definitely this CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE I'm eating right now. I mean I could run away and marry this thing.
4. The answer is definitely BOOZE. Who gets through their whole life without needing a beer? Beer is the friend that hangs out in your fridge just waiting for the right time to love on you. No pressure. No expectations. That's a good friend.
5. The answer is COMMUNITY. We don't walk around in a bubble. We aren't floating about on our own islands. We need each other. We need community and connection. And when you have found that you are lucky lucky lucky. Because community can be hard to find. And community can save you.
6. This is going absolutely nowhere. I could list like this for days on end. Shit.
7. The answer is definitely TIME. Because we all know that it will run out. But we have it right now. Why do we waste it? We can't make more time, yet we go about life like we can. Ok, this is it. The best thing in life is TIME. Time to love. Time to laugh. Time to eat the heavenly cupcakes. Time to throw back a beer. Time to be a part of community. It all comes down to time.
The best thing in life is the time we actually have to live this life. The trick is to find ways to honor that time. And to be inside your own life. To be present and actually living. Yep, it sounds cliché. But I have never seen time plow through my life faster than it has since I became a mama. So, time. We can't slow it down and we can't change how much of it there is. But we can use it and be in it. And take solace in the truth that right now this second we still have it. So we can be living and loving and laughing.
Time. Yep, the best thing in life is just time. The trick is to not waste it.
How do you stay inside of your life? How do you honor the time you have?
“Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else.” ~ Fred Rogers
That's what I read this morning when I was tooling around on the interwebs. My intention was to redesign our blog button and spruce up this joint. But then I stumbled onto that quote up there and started to get the hot eyes that you get when you are trying not to cry. Again. You know, because, um, I cry all the time. It's a problem.
If I'm not crying in my car
on my way to grab Chinese take-out, I'm crying happy tears at the end of a movie. Or I'm laughing myself into
tears because I can. not. stop
. watching the Bad Lip Reading
videos on YouTube (you are so welcome for that link). And then this morning Mr. Rogers makes me cry the Always-Threatening-to-Spill Bittersweet-Baby-Stuff tears.
So instead of designing a blog button or tweaking the site or cleaning my house or making myself breakfast, I made this and posted it to our Facebook
page while crying and blowing my nose...
Plum and Pants see the future
He is rounding the bases toward four. He understands how the world works more and more every minute. He is curious. He asks questions even when he knows the answer. I think he just wants to chat and show off his skills. He is sensitive. So so sensitive. He is loving. And he is loud. He wants to show her the way. He wants to show her how. He is getting so tall. He is getting too tall. He is goofy and he knows it. When he wants to figure things out there is no stopping him until he's got it. He is our Lil dude. And he is getting bigger by the hour.
She is turning two in March. It's only six weeks away. She is nowhere near the tiny baby I brought home from the hospital 680 days ago. She is talking to me in sentences. She is tapping into her individuality. She knows her alphabet, numbers and shapes. She has always had opinions, but now she acts on them. She tells you about them. She is thrilled to be understood. She expresses herself all over the place. And her stink-eye is brutal. Brutal. She's a dancer and a singer. She's a dare-devil like her brother. There is no mistaking her love. It is unconditional and covers you. She is our Plum. And she is only one for 1,128 more hours...
Time is always going to be flying. That's nothing new. I'm finding that being awake and inside of these days is the best way to fly along with it. Because it's just never going to slow down. And that is life.
Linking up with Greta and Julie for #iPPP
I am a patient mother
. I really am. I don't get riled up when things aren't going my way. Ya know, like when my little angels take a day by the balls and tear the place apart? I can handle that. Usually. Or when I take extra time to make an elaborate (well, by my standards) meal and both kids end up with cereal after gagging at the taste of the slop I so lovingly prepared? Oh well. Or when the frustration of a particular event builds up inside them and they lash out and hit me? I return a calm voice to them "We don't hit in this house" Because they are very young and still learning how to self-regulate. Sometimes they don't know what to do with their feelings when those feelings get bigger than they are. Hell, sometimes I don't know what to do my feelings when they get bigger than me. But when you are three and almost two you don't yet have all the tools you need to work through and process the intensity that comes with being human. And it's that intensity that sometimes grabs a hold of all three of us at the same time and creates the powder keg. All three of us sitting on it. Waiting for it to blow the entire day straight to hell.I am a patient mother
. But I am also human. I am a gentle mother
. But that is tested sometimes. I have my hot buttons. One of which, when pushed, is my greatest test. I am an imperfect mother
. It doesn't get pushed very often but when it does, my anger comes fast and furious. My gentle parenting strategies become foggy. I see red. So it is my job then to have a plan for that button getting pushed. As the adult here, that's my job. The button is different for everyone. For me? It's biting.
We were in the shit. From dawn to dusk. I started considering an afternoon beer around 9 am. It was as though all three of us woke with an impossible itch to scratch. I had plans. They had plans. These plans were in direct defiance of the other. I was doing ok
managing the chaos. Pulling out my bag of tricks and trying to change up the routine to make our day exciting enough to calm the raging waters. They have cabin fever, I know it. My fear of Plum contracting the Flu has been playing into the plans we make. So I employed just about every tried and true technique I had to make them happy. But nothing was working. Pants was on fire and spraying it everywhere. Plum was out of sorts because Pants was out of sorts and he is her spirit guide. Mama (That's me!) started completely falling apart sometime around 3 pm after hours of constant conflict, destruction, hitting, crying and drama. I reached back into my patience reserves for any little bit of something, anything, to propel me through this day to bedtime. But they were empty. I am a patient mother.
And then it happened.
I felt myself flinch. I was at a breaking point. My button wasn't just pushed, my Achilles heel was slashed. He bit her. AGAIN. For the third time. Her tears immediate and plentiful. Her face, destroyed. Pain. He laughed at her tears. And I flinched. My hand rising up without a thought. My brain hadn't a clue what my hand was about to do. But it wasn't going to be good. My arm was angry and wanted to exact revenge on behalf of my crying Plum. I wanted to spank his bare butt. But in a moment of clarity, I looked through my eyes and saw his face. A sadness washed over me. This is not you. You are not this
. Don't make THIS one of his memories
. Put your hands in your pocket.
My arm came down to my side as tears came to my eyes. That was close. And I employed the plan. Walk away (I took Plum with me). Breathe. Re-think. Start again. Mama needed a time-out. We all did. Once I brought myself back to a good place, I employed step two.
Step two is designed to keep us from returning to that ugly and volatile place. Basically, step two is a resolve. A surrender to the needs of the whole family. Leaving my plan for another time and forming a new plan. On Wednesday, for me, it looked like this...You wanted to get the dishes done but today they need to just sit there and wait. You wanted to get the laundry folded, but its ok that it won't happen. You didn't get a shower. Oh well, you stink. You wanted to write a blog post because you had ideas swirling in your head that you have long forgotten inside of this crazy day. Don't worry about that. So because you didn't get the dishes done and now can't fathom trying to make dinner around the mess, order a pizza, heat up some broccoli, dump some applesauce into some bowls and call it a day. Now is the time to give 100% of you to being present with the kids. Everything else will wait. They will not. Be with them. Go all in. Not just because they need you. But because you need them, too. Erase it. Start again. Let go.
And that's what we did. One minute at a time until things began looking up.
So we went about repairing our bad, bad, awful and straight-up miserable day. And what better way to do that than with one-on-one attention, snuggles, eye-contact, sitting on the floor and playing for real, junk food, pizza and a dance party?
Well don't you know? That's the Pants Family recipe for turning that frown upside-down. Oh and Daddy coming home early from work. That helps too. How do you turn a bad day around?
I didn't have a chance to write a post about our year. We were in the thick of germ warfare in this house as the ball dropped in Times Square. But I can't not recap. This blog is nothing if not a chronicle of our life together. Had I not been washing puke towels and bleaching my house, my year end post would have gone something like this...
My Dearest Husband, Pants and Plum,
2012. Oh, it was a year. It was all at once brutal, beautiful, hard and amazing. It taught us that we can weather anything. But we already knew that, didn't we? As I went through the pictures of what 2012 brought us, I sat and stared and cried. In awe of us. Remembering. Photographs can do that. They take us right back to a feeling. A thought. A memory.
We've made so many memories.
Relaxing on Thanksgiving morning. Bellies so very full. Or the day that the two of you brought your mama comfort because I was so so sad. Sad that my friend had died.
There was the day that we played in the mud and the day that Plum turned One. The day that broke our hearts when Pants had his tonsils out and the day that we rode on a real train for the first time.
So many days. So many moments. But if I had to choose just one, it would be that this was the year you two became inseparable. This was the year you found each other.
I remember every single moment in each of these pictures. The second it occurred to me, Mr. Pants, that you would be ok because you spoke a sentence to me for the first time in your life.
Plum, you started walking and talking this year, baby girl. And you were such a champ when we went camping. I can't believe that you know all of your alphabet and shapes and numbers. You are so crazy (and almost scary) smart.
Pants, you started pre-school and you are r.u.l.i.n.g. it. And Mama cried when I gave you your first short haircut. You loved it but I hope you will choose to grow it out again. You always tell me, "I got you, Mama" as you hug me tight. It melts me.
Daddy, remember when we sat in the driveway and watched our babies play? Do you remember that moment we realized that we were becoming parents to bigger kids?
We've played in the hay, sandboxes and on swing-sets. We snuggled so close every single night. We played dress-up, got fat lips, shared all of our viruses and jumped on beds. We turned 36, 37, 3 and 1.
Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Life moved forward. Life happened. Life was so beautiful.
And it still is, my loves. I cannot wait to spend 2013 (and all the years to come) loving you. You have made my life full. You bring me a joy that I had no idea existed. You are my heart. All three of you.
You mean everything.
Here's what The Family Pants was up to last year...
And close your fingertips and fly where I can't hold you. Let the sun-rain fall and let the dewy clouds enfold you. And maybe you can sing to me the words I just told you. If all the things you feel ain't what they seem. Then don't mind me 'cos I ain't nothin' but a dream.
Every time I try to sing this song to them, I have to stop. I can't get more than a few lines in before the lump forms in my throat, I feel the salt water hot in my eyes and my voice begins to shake.
I cannot look into their eyes or I don't even get that far. I've come a long way from singing about the paint colors in the house when Mr. Pants was new. But I still can't sing this one.
Sometimes we cannot speak or write words that actually mean what we want them to. Sometimes music can take those words and string them raw and real into the world. Sometimes a song gets inside of you. It's those songs that I cannot sing to my babies just yet. Because those songs lay bare my soul and it would seem I am not yet strong enough for that.
That's usually when I close my eyes and listen. I pull them in. I let the music play. Sometimes I hum and I get the courage to try a few lines. I stop when the tears come and listen. I watch them and dance with them. Hoping that they know how magnificently they are loved.
Music can bring me to my knees. It can make me feel everything at once. It can bring my heart to the outside of my body and move my emotions like waves. It brings me to such an important place when I let it. This place of pure love. A place of freedom. A place of stillness. A place of knowing how fast these days are leaving us. How fleeting these years are while they are young.
And I hold them tighter when I am in this place. I hold them longer. I soak them in. I feel the love I have for them in my bones. And I never want to let them go. It's knowing that I will have to un-knot my fingers from around them someday that brings the swell of my heart and my tears.
I'm sure there will come a day when they think that's weird. But there will also come a day when they understand. When they know this place I am taken to. Because they will be taken there too. And they will know in their bones how fiercely they are loved.
If I had the chance to write a song for my children it would sound an awful lot like this one...
Let the river rock you like a cradle. Climb to the treetops, child, if you're able. Let your hands tie a knot across the table. Come and touch the things you cannot feel. And close your fingertips and fly where I can't hold you. Let the sun-rain fall and let the dewy clouds enfold you. And maybe you can sing to me the words I just told you, If all the things you feel ain't what they seem. And don't mind me 'cos I ain't nothin' but a dream.
Is there a song that speaks to your heart? Is there a place that the music takes you?
I don't do New Year's resolutions. Because I never keep them. So why set myself up for failure, right? But it seems I already made two and it's not even 10 am yet. I'm not in trouble though. I'm not wishing for the moon. I just whispered a few small promises into the air this morning. No life altering stuff. Just life stuff.
New Year's Eve didn't start out well. In fact it started out downright sucky sucktastic. Double ear infection was the word on the street and Mr. Pants wasn't feeling a celebration. On the way to the doctor he asked me, "Mama? I go a doctor? I go asleep? I scared, Mama" My heart broke into a million pieces as he began to cry a very throat punching cry. You know the one. Silent. Wide eyes. Fearful. "Mama, I scared." he said again. All my wishing for him to forget his surgery
didn't seem to do the trick. He remembers. And the memory is scary. So as I drove my boy to the doctor on New Year's Eve, I began to quietly cry for him. "No one is going to hurt you today, bud. You don't have to go to sleep at the doctor today, baby. Mama will stay with you and it won't hurt. I promise." "Ok, mama. I go to sleep?" "No bud, no sleep at the doctor today. She is gonna look at your ouchies in your ears so we can get medicine to make them feel better. Just like we looked in Buzz's ears at home, remember?" "Ok, Mama. I scared" as his lip and chin began to quiver again.
Being a mom is just heart ripping sometimes, isn't it?
It didn't go well at the doctor. Mr. Pants began to panic almost immediately. It was brutal and I won't describe it because he and I don't need a play by play. Instead I have made my first New Year's Resolution in years and years. Resolution number one is for you, Mr. Pants. I promise that starting right now, I will work with you in safe and stress-free ways to help you become less afraid of the doctor. I promise. You and me, buddy. Let's do this.
Chocolate milk helps at the end of a stressful doctor visit
So by the time we got home, Mr. Pants was whooped
. I tried to coax some dinner of frozen pizzas and chips into him. I mean it's New Year's Eve! Junk food is the rule for sickies on a holiday, right? But he wasn't into it and was in bed for the night at five. FIVE. You know a 3 year old is sick when he puts himself to bed at five
That left Plum and I to celebrate alone since Daddy was at work making fancy food for the masses. Here at home we had our own fancy feast. Side note: when your allergies
are milk, eggs and peanuts, good desserts can be hard to come by. But I was prepared. There isn't a lot of junk food that passes the "safe for Plum" test but there is one we can always count on. The classic Oreo. Throw in some So Delicious chocolate ice cream and we had a straight up party. Just the two of us.
We played dress-up and danced to our favorite tunes. We ate our junk food and sang some songs. Basically we partied pretty hard by toddler standards. So hard that we needed to make some costume changes half way through. By the time seven-thirty rolled around, Plum was plum tuckered. She told me it was time to go to bed and have some nucks (milks). She was out cold by 7:40 pm on New Year's Eve.Resolution number two is for you, Plum. I promise to play dress-up with you more often than not. We are gonna get super crazy fancy up in this house this year, baby girl. Oh, yes. Yes we are.
The house was quiet. Too quiet for New Year's Eve. I mean there was a day when this night brought all kinds of mayhem and tomfoolery. Even hijinks. Lots and lots of shenanigans and, well, you get the point. Drunk and stumble-y, I kissed many many strangers and not strangers at midnight, you guys. I wore sparkling sequins and danced for hours in shoes that tortured my feet at parties where the liquor flowed like water. Sparklers and fireworks. Sweaty glittery skin. Foil covered walls. Velvet pants. Wigs and tiaras. People passed out in the yard. All very glamorous, really. And I had so much fun. Too much fun, maybe. But SO much fun. For years.
But it doesn't hold a candle to coconut milk ice cream and old dance costumes. It doesn't touch the awesomeness of digging into a bag of Oreos and watching YouTube videos of Yo Gabba Gabba tunes and miscelleneous other bits of awesome (What what, Whitney Houston! I knew you would blow Plum's mind. OOOOH! I wanna dance with some-bod-ay!!) while your baby dances and sings along. It doesn't compare to getting the medicine your sick kid needs to get better finally and knowing that he is sleeping peacefully in the next room.
Because my dream all along was to have a family. And sometimes that means sick kids and husbands working on a holiday. I'll take it anyway. So this year I rang in the New Year with this. It happens to be Pants and Plum's favorite song right now. And I think it's pretty rad.
And then I rang it in proper with this. Like I always do. And a grin sat knowingly on my face in my quiet quiet house of sleeping kids and I remembered (or had foggy ideas of blurry possabilities of) my younger days. Because they were great, too. They were really freaking great. And I danced by myself. And I laughed. I just cracked up. Remembering. Damn, we had some fun.
Mommy's alright. Daddy's alright. They just seem a little weird.... Surrender...Surrender...
Happy New Year ! Here's to a fan-freaking-tastic year loving your families be they biological or chosen.
Spread the love around and Surrender to 2013!
It's gonna be great.
Every night before bed, I lay with my baby boy and tuck him in. We say a simple blessing that I wrote for us. It's a modified version of the prayer that my mom said with us as children before bed. And just a few weeks ago, Mr. Pants began saying it with me.
"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the world will soon know peace. If my dreams should bring me fright, take me safe to morning light."
We ask for blessings for the people that we love and wish goodnight to the ones we can no longer hold or see. He tells me he loves me and I kiss his forehead. It's all very precious until he starts his list again. Goodnight cookies! Goodnight Hulk! I love you, apple juice! So on Friday evening as I tucked him in, I spent a whole lot longer than normal just staring at him and telling him that I love him. He eventually looked up at me and said, "Its ok, mama. You go out. I go night-night now"
He kicked me out. He didn't know that the day was a horrible day. To him it was any other night and I was lingering. I was breaking the routine. He goes to bed by himself now. So I left knowing that I'd return once he was asleep to kiss him again and watch him breathe. His adorable belly rising and falling. I knew I'd come back to soak up my living breathing loving baby boy as he slept. Just like countless parents across the world did that night.
When I returned to his room, I was overwhelmed with my love for him. My tears were hot on my cheeks as I tried not to wake him but was not ready to stop seeing him just yet. I silently said the blessing in my head. "I pray the world will soon know peace" and I added blessings and love to those suffering the unimaginable horror of losing their babies be they 6 years old or 56.
I prayed hard. For peace. Mostly for peace to come to hearts of those whose lives are now irrevocably changed but also for peace for all of us. Peace in our hearts to send our kids to school this week. Peace to calm our fears.
I prayed for answers. Please help them come before he is old enough to understand that gunmen sometime step into schools and carry out nightmares and bring despair. He has no understanding of such heart tearing things. He is unscarred. Beautifully unaware.
I want to freeze time and never allow that to change. Never allow the darkness to touch them. I want to change the world. I want to fix all of this. And I want to cry. Because my babies are becoming more aware of the world around them with each passing day. There is so much to do. So so much to do that it feels impossible.
But I can do things. I can use my life to help. To try. And the only way I know how to do that is to simply start. To begin. To build community and to love other people. To be that for my kids so that they learn it from me. To go beyond my yard and help. There was a quote circulating on Friday as news broke of the sheer horror inside Sandy Hook School. It was from Mr. Rogers on talking to children about tragedy.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." ~ Fred Rogers
He is so right.
If we look around the helpers are everywhere. I found one recently in the website HopeMob
. I will write more about them this week and I hope to bring their message to this blog regularly. I am joining up. Not just for now but for the long haul. HopeMob gives every single penny
that you donate to exact person or persons you donate them to. They raise money to feed the hungry or to pay people's medical bills. They raise money to help families grieve without worrying about funeral costs. Right now they are raising money for the first responders
to Sandy Hook Elementary school. They are providing meals to them as they navigate this painful time processing the things they've witnessed. They are helpers. They are changing the world. Check them out. And if you are able to help, please consider sending a few dollars to one of their campaigns if it speaks to you. They take no overhead and they are verified and audited. They are the real deal.
Real people helping real people.
Well it's late and I need to go slip into bed next to my baby girl and whisper our blessing to her. I'm sure that I will spend more time than usual staring at the beauty of her breathing and the twitch of her pinky finger as she dreams. I will say a prayer for her and for everyone that the world will soon know peace. I will say a prayer for all of us.
Goodnight, my friends.
I never respond to chain mail. Mostly because I'm lazy. And I never share those Facebook posts that tell you that you suck if you don't share them. You know the ones that say that only one percent of people will share them because they are the only decent human beings in existance? Well except for this one. I totally did share this one...
"PLEASE put this on your status if you know someone or are related to someone who has been eaten by dragons. Dragons are nearly unstoppable, and in case you didn’t know, they can breathe fire. 93% of people won’t copy and paste this, because they have already been eaten by dragons. 6% of people are sitting in the shower, armed with fire extinguishers. The remaining 1% are awesome, and will re-post this.
Anyhoo, it would seem I have been caught.
See, Lillian over at It's A Dome Life
tagged me in a chain blog. Dun dun duuuun.
I love her. She's an amazing painter and a mama and an all-around awesome person. We've become bloggy friends. So when she tagged me in her recent post listing her five wishes for Christmas, I knew I'd do it. It's kind of right up my alley. My sappy, dreamy spread-the-love alley. I cannot help who I am, friends. It is what it is. So I'm "it" and Lillian wants to know what my five wishes are for this holiday season.
Truth be told I have more than five but for the sake of time I will pare it down.
But instead of tagging five other blogs, if you are so moved to do a five wishes blog of your own, consider yourself tagged. I would love to know what your wishes are too. I really would. Because I believe that when you speak your heart aloud, you create the possability.
So with that, here are my wishes...
[Image Source: My Messy House. Pants. Com]
I wish for a maid. Just a maid, you guys. Someone who will come once a week and clean the ever loving hell out of my house. What good are wishes if you can't shoot for the moon, right? And speaking of shooting for the moon...
I wish for health. I want Daddy and I to live long long lives. I want to be with my family for as long as I can see straight and think coherently. I never want to leave these these crazy people but when I do, I wish for it to be when we are all old old old and peeing ourselves and ready to clock out. Until then, I wish for our health. All of us.
[Image Source: http://www.ecouterre.com/]
I wish for slippers, underwear and bras. Because if my feet are cold, and my parts are all willy-nilly freestyle, the day is a loss before it begins. Also I just need undergarments with a badness and Daddy Pants reads this blog (Hi baby!) and might need ideas for me for Christmas. So there's that.
[Image Source: wallpapers.com]
I wish for snow. A white Christmas. Because I am a romantic and it is supposed to snow for Christmas Day. Lights are supposed to reflect off the snow and the night moon is supposed to make the ground sparkle like a million diamonds. And I am supposed to stay warmly inside making my new vegan hot chocolate recipe (safe for Plum) while watching Daddy play with our babies in the powder. Then, when they all come in, we will wrap ourselves in blankets and I will kiss their chilled cheeks and wipe their drippy pink noses as they sip the their hot chocolate and we watch a Christmas movie.
Ok, maybe I have planned this out a bit too much...
And finally, I wish for healing. Not for me but for you. So many of those that I love are hurting right now. And if only one of my wishes could come true, it would be this one. I wish that all the pain in the hearts of those I love would disappear and be replaced by calm, strength, laughter and joy. I wish for you to find solace. I wish for peace for you. I wish for your heart to be healed of its wounds. I wish above all else that you are ok. That you will find rest. That life will treat you kindly and that love will shine up through you and keep you well.
Those are mine. What about you? What are your wishes?
Daddy and I practice attachment parenting; Breastfeeding (well that's all me), co-sleeping, babywearing and we don't use the cry-it-out method or sleep training. Why we do these things is simple. It's not because it's the right way to parent. It's because it's how we would have parented anyway. It makes sense to us. It works. For us. Those pictures up there are the physical extensions of the style. The rest of it revolves around building trust with your child. Like believing that when a baby cries they are communicating with you and should be responded to no matter the time of day or night and that biology and instinct should not be ignored. But here's the thing, those things aren't exclusive to AP. It's just when you put all of those things together it is called Attachment Parenting. Because someone named it that. To me, it is just parenting.
AP is an approach, rather than a strict set of rules. It's actually the style that many parents use instinctively. Parenting is too individual and baby too complex for there to be only one way. The important point is to get connected to your baby, and the baby B's of attachment parenting help. Once connected, stick with what is working and modify what is not. You will ultimately develop your own parenting style that helps parent and baby find a way to fit – the little word that so economically describes the relationship between parent and baby.
Quoted from the site http://askdrsears.com/topics/attachment-parenting. You can also find all the "baby B's" there.
I am not a rule follower. Actually I often say things like, "the rules are there ain't no rules" or "I know I'm not supposed to cuss around the children but I won't be tamed!" Ok, the latter one was more of a confession so just never mind that and let's keep going.
I never actively looked for a parenting style. I didn't comb through a bunch of books as my belly grew to gargantuan sizes hoping to find rules for bringing up our kids. I never took a breastfeeding class (totally should have). I never even considered
co-sleeping let alone bed sharing. We had a nursery set up and back-up formula in the cupboard just in case my boobs didn't make the milky-milks. My friend had given me a Moby
and I thought it was a smidgey bizarre (so, wait I'm supposed to wrap the tiny human to my body? Weird.) I thought I would probably do some sleep training too. My thought was that at around four months old, we would move the babies out of the room with us and into their own cribs in their own rooms. I figured that the transition would be a bit tough on everybody but that it would be important.
But then slowly things began to unfold differently than I thought they would. Mr. Pants didn't latch for the first eleven days of his life but my milk was enough to feed not just him but also all of the neighbor children. At four months old we had learned some things about him and sleep. Moving him into another room would have resulted in no one
sleeping. Wearing him helped his gas and sensory processing. Etcetera etcetera etcetera.....we evolved, we adapted and we experimented. And then one day it occurred to me that we were following the AP style. Not because we made a conscious choice to, but because it's what came naturally to us once crossed into parenthood and met our kid.
But I didn't answer my own question, right? What I asked you
was, "When I hear the term Attachment Parenting, I think .
So having said all that up there, here is my answer.
When I hear the term Attachment Parenting I think , "Ughhhhhhhh" (complete with dramatic facial expressions and over blown sigh). Sometimes
when I hear the term it makes me roll my eyes so hard. It's true. Not because I don't jive with the style (obvs), but because the term itself suuuuuucks. It's a craptastic name. Because it stops people from even knowing what it is before judging it to be ridiculous. It makes people think things like, "cut the cord, already!" or smothering parenting or creates defensiveness because well, the opposite of attached is detatched. There's no getting around that. And add in a few sancti-mommies making people feel less than enough by condemning other parenting styles and you've got the makings of an "I'm better than you" powder keg. Result? Mommy wars.
Like so very many things, Attachment Parenting has an image problem. And it's because the internet is a silly little place where misinformation spreads like herpes and people get wild hairs and rant (GUILTY!).
The loudest people are always the fanatical ones, right? That's true for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Ya know, the squeaky wheels and how they get the grease? That. Attachment Parenting has some really squeaky wheels, dudes. And squeaky wheels are experts at condescension and superior thinking. And they get noticed and put on TV in shows like Wife Swap and Extreme Parenting! They get interviewed on news shows and talk shows making us look like a bunch of douchecanoes. But I know
that "The Situation" Sorrentino does not represent the entire male population of New Jersey and I am POSITIVE that the vast majority of Christian parents are not like the self-proclaimed God Warrior
. So, my hope with this post is that most people will be able to see that the squeaky wheels do not represent all parents that use attachment parenting in their tool box. You know, people like me. Because I promise you that I'm not crazy and I don't think that you are either. The floor is now open for questions and comments. Just be nice or I will wrap you in a Moby and breastfeed you. ;)