Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I've been dancing. It aint pretty. Sometimes I fear a neighbor may catch me (due to our lack of window treatments).

Since I started I've lost 4 pounds and I realized there may be something to this dancing, but more importantly...I like it because Jack and I can dance together. He can play/dance and I can dance and we are still bonding while exercising.

When he needs me (like tonight for an obvious diaper change), I stop dancing. It's pretty simple really.

Time...the continued quest to balance the seesaw of work/mom/wife.

Priorities...a constant reminder of what matters in life.

Dancing...a solution to lack of time and balance of priorities.

Dance on.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

One Year

One year ago right about this time I was listening to the Pandora station "Calm." I knew life was going to change in the biggest largest mountain of a way, but I wasn't quite prepared for the change that was coming inside of me.

We were in the hospital and you had decided it was time to meet us (two days before your due date). I worked up until the minute my water broke (conveniantly at 5:30 pm in the parking lot of Mama Carollas).

A strong sense of calm fell over me in the most uncalm moment. You were coming. This is what I waited my whole life for. I was going to be a mom in a few short hours. Just like any trained athlete, I wasn't afraid of your delivery. I was confident and cool and collected. Then something went wrong. You were face up and unable to get through the birth canal.

Suddenly every moment that had led up to this moment felt wrong. Why was this happening? It wasn't supposed to be like this. I broke out in a fever (which is a red flag for any doctor). I needed oxygen. My body grew cold and I could feel myself fading, but I wasn't willing to let go. I had an internal pep talk with myself.

"Stay calm. The baby needs you to be relaxed so he or she knows everything is okay in there."

This was a pep talk I had many times during my pregnancy. The world could be going up in flames, but I had to stay calm for the baby. I was his or her protector. I needed to tell you everything would be fine.

And it was. You arrived. We had an incredible 60 seconds although for some reason my maternal instinct was to say "shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," as you cried.

I didn't really want you to shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I wanted you to let it out. Tell the world you were here. I think it's because I recently watched "Happiest Baby on the Block." It felt right in that moment. I laugh now every time I watch the video.

And here we are today. You are now my ONE YEAR OLD BABY BOY. And although I may be choking back tears for the remainder of the day I want you to know I am so glad God chose me to be your Mom. You and your Dad are my greatest blessings in life. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dance Like Everyone is Watching

We have started a very very strict routine.

Every morning I walk into your room. And I turn on the music (Now 41-Greatest Hits). You open one eye at a time and stare at me through your crib. And then you stand up. And you dance. You dance and you laugh as I attempt to dance.

I turn up the music louder and put you on the floor and we both dance. The music pours through our souls. We laugh together and we dance.

It's quite possibly the best start to my day. It beats coffee and Starbucks reduced fat turkey bacon sandwiches on Friday mornings..the two of us laughing and dancing together...all the silly insignificant worries melting away as we shake our bodies around the room.

It has quickly become my favorite part of the day...and I've never been a morning person. For a person 5 days shy of 1-year-old, I must admit, you are a truly talented dancer. Must come from the Peckinpaugh side of the family.

 “Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” 

Monday, March 18, 2013

We're Going to Celebrate

The house is quiet. I have started decorating for your first birthday party. You are with your Dad visiting your Grandpa and cousins. I miss you, but it's nice to have a little time to think.

Today I stumbled across a Riley Hospital for Children blog about a mom who was celebrating the fact that her baby girl was cancer free.

Suddenly it hit me.

Here I am with a slightly shattered corner of a heart afraid to let your first year go when there are babies fighting cancer.

So on Sunday, your first birthday, we are going to celebrate...

One year free of major health scares (minus your short lived time with a deflated lung).

We are going to celebrate...

Two people who didn't know the first thing about parenthood becoming parents (Good parents).

We are going to celebrate...

The fact you can now say hi, up, mom, dad, uh-oh and ouch.

We are going to celebrate...

Your caregivers during the week who will never quite understand the value they bring me and my deep gratitude to them.

We are going to celebrate...

Your family. The people coming on Sunday are your family and two of your tiny friends.

We are going to celebrate...

You, Jack. My cup overflows with love for you. It is constant like a stream leading to the ocean. It is so deep it gives me a knot in my throat.

And we're going to keep on celebrating.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seize the Moment.

I recently asked a client who she viewed as her biggest competition. She looked me square in the eye and replied:

"Time. Time is our biggest competitor."

It struck home. Her target demographic is moms. I paused for a minute which I believe is crucial in any meeting to let it breathe...give it time.

Time. We never really quite have enough of it, do we? As new moms we are constantly told to:

"Enjoy every moment. They grow so fast. It gets better and better, but before you know it...they will be GONE. And you will be ALONE. And it will be SAD SAD SAD."

The cliches seem to fall out of mouths like library books falling of shelves during an earthquake. And it's okay. Everyone has an opinion, but it puts such a pressure on a new parent to seize the moment and if we aren't seizing, we are failing.


Just tonight a woman stopped at our table and said, "Enjoy this stage. Pretty soon he will be 12 and you won't be able to just sit here like this."

I enjoyed this moment connecting with a mother who I knew loved her kids just like I love my kid, but when he's 12 I sure hope he isn't sitting in a stroller. I appreciated her advice, but I kind of want to just enjoy the moment without all this pressure to constantly be enjoying the moment.

Jack will get older. He already has. He will grow up. He will evolve. He will maybe get married. He may even have kids of his own. And I'll enjoy those moments too. But for right now I just want to enjoy the moment in my own way. And when he's 2 and 4 and 12 and 42, I want to enjoy those moments too in my own way.

So next time I see a brand new mother and I feel the urge deep inside to pounce her like a hyena, I may refrain and admire the way she is enjoying a moment with her new baby. Sometimes silence is the most beautiful thing.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Your First Year. Tears.

It's 3 am. I am up not because Jack has awaken me, but because Myles, my oldest boy has decided to bark uncontrollably at 3 am which means I have to walk from the upstairs to the basement to let him know I can let him outside since these days he has become hard of hearing. I'm a solid sleeper, but this journey between floors tricks my body into believing the day has begun.

Truth is I'm angry that my dog has interrupted a precious full night of parent  of a child < the age of 1 sleep, but I'm also sad because it's unlike him to A. Bark. B. Need let out at 3 am C. Not be able to hear me. I know what these things mean.

I suddenly remember being a parent of a child < the age of 1 will end soon. Now I'm sitting in a quiet corner reflecting on the past year. 43% of me wants to walk up to Jack's room, crawl into his crib, curl up next to him and beg him to stay little. To hold his little hand and tell him to stay small like this, that if we can just freeze time I would relive this year over and over and over again and not change a thing.

The remaining 57% feels accomplished in a warrior sense. We made it...the 3 of us. We made it an entire year without a manual (I never did read those things) without anyone watching over us to guide us. We made it.

The beginning was frightening. You were pulled from my arms and taken away. I didn't know what was happening. I couldn't protect you because I had to heal. Your first five days were the most uncertain days of my 29 years. And those days came to an end because of the little fighter you were from birth.

We took you home and put you on the coffee table and stared at you...What do we do next? What now? How are we ever going to make it without the nurses? My mom sat with me in your nursery in the wee hours of night and coached me how to hold you. To stay calm. To be confident in myself as a mother. She told me I couldn't break you, that you were resilient. That's the night I became a mother...when my mother taught me how.
Your first three months were full of walks, of talks, of tummy time and long naps and all the things I read you are supposed to do with babies. I did them. We learned together. I turned a year older. You developed and grew just like they said you should. Those first three months were some of the happiest days of our first year journey together.
The second three months were packed with emotion and adjustment and accepting the fact that being a working mother did not mean I was leaving my baby, but giving him new life experience. I watched you learn from older kids and by your sixth month I watched your little face light up anytime I had to drop you off.

The third three months you reached so many milestones...eating real food, crawling, babbling all day long. We fell into a great routine and you thrived on that routine.

The fourth three months, we pulled you from that routine. We moved. You instantly loved your new house. We turned over a new leaf in these three months when I took you on vacation and realized how adaptable and curious you much you loved going new places, seeing new faces. You saw the ocean for the first time and loved us.

And here we are...just 14 days from your first birthday. You're laying in your crib winding down for a nap repeating sounds of your little baby laptop which leads me to believe you are, of course, a baby genius. And I'm split. 47% of me is so sad to leave this first year with you. And 53% feels so accomplished.

I think I'm going to take that 53% and run with it.

Thank you for today.
Thank you for good health.
Thank you for family.
Thank you.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Very Lucky Kid

Your Dad is reading to you. I can barely make out the muffled words over the electronic sounds of ocean waves. While we were on vacation we constantly joked about how we couldn't believe we were witnessing real, authentic ocean waves. We are so accustomed to your sound machine running all hours of the day.

Your Dad is a really good man. You are extremely lucky to have him as a father. He will teach you about history while showing you how to rewire an electrical outlet. He will challenge you mentally and show up if you want to kick a soccer ball around the backyard. He will be at all your games or plays or academic bowls. He'll be there. He has shown up since the day you were born and he isn't going anywhere.

I am a very lucky wife. And mother to have married a man who shows up at 5 am and 5 pm and midnight and 3 am. He shows up no matter how long his work day has been or how worn down his body is from building us our dream house. He will show up for you, Jack. And you may not appreciate it until you are older and have a kid of your own, but you are a very lucky little person...

to have a Dad who shows up every single day.