Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Baby Got Books

It was a rough life growing up the child of a children's librarian. JUST KIDDING. It was completely magical. I had 24-hour access to stacks and stacks and stacks of books, CDs and vinyls.

Until one day I grew out of books.

My mom did what any good mother does. She bribed me. If I wanted TV time, I could earn it through reading. My brother quickly threw in the towel and sacrificed his TV time. He was constantly not participating. What a punk.

I fell for it. I read standing up brushing my teeth, leaning against the counter pouring milk in my cereal, curled up behind my dresser strategically slanted against a corner. I disappeared within the story even when it wasn't good. I even had a book taped to a tree.

I grew in and out of books over the next three decades, but right now, I'm on a huge nerdy book bender. And I'm not ashamed.

Here are 5 books I couldn't put down this summer.

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
  • Eleanor & Park
  • Everything Everything
  • What Alice Forgot
  • The Nightingale-currently reading

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Night Before Kindergarten

Tomorrow you start school.

My brain is bouncing between feeling unprepared and feeling even more unprepared. The closest I can get to this feeling is when I was waiting to meet you. I had everything checked off the list, but there was this lingering "how am I going to do this" feeling.

I did it. We did it.

How are we going to do this?

I'm sure the morning will be calm (HA). You'll be cranky per usual morning routine. I will try to act excited and unemotional. You seem to thrive on not making it a big deal so I'll continue to say it's not a big deal. You've done all these things before. Thank God for daycare.

I'll turn in your paperwork. Inevitably, I'll forget something. I'll try to forgive myself.

I have this image of you walking into your classroom for the very first time alone. I picture your tiny tennis shoes and your confident shoulders strutting down the hallway and into that classroom with ease and a dash of shyness. You'll sit at your table. You'll do what your told. You'll respect the rules and boundaries. You'll be a good student. I know you will, but this feels like I'm letting a piece of us go. It's a good piece...a necessary piece.

You're going to own kindergarten and I'll be standing there on the curb as your biggest fan tied for first with your father.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Just An Average Tuesday Night

It's Tuesday evening.

Parents are sitting with their back against the wall half smiling and occasionally giving a thumbs up. They are still tired from the Monday hangover or 9+ hours at the office, but they are here at Ninjanastics trying to be good parents. A mom chases her toddler off the mat and out the door while the big brother stares in disbelief.

She's ruining his limelight AGAIN. A tired dad claps enthusiastically.

"You got it buddy, keep going."

Unlike soccer or basketball or baseball, Ninjanastics is for boys only which gives me a bit of a sucker punch to my gut. Why is anything still for boys only? I think of all the little girls Jack's age who would love this opportunity to climb an obstacle course, punch the air and stand on HER hands. I'm also secretly afraid Jack will break his arm and this $110 investment will multiple. 

There are all kinds of parents in this room:

The Disengaged-hard to classify because they are clearly committed to showing up to Ninjanastics on a Tuesday, but they have a mobile device glued and glance up a few times.

The Scatterbrained-aren't we all at this point in our lives?

The Overengaged- every move, every jump, every landing, the cheerleading squad awaits.

The Sensitive-Teachers should watch their step because this parent is ready to pounce.

The Perfect Child Parent-No description needed.

The Cool Parent-Trendy clothing, hipster glasses and a little too cool to have kids or be at Ninjanastics.

The Can't Relax Parent-Too much to do, never enough time.

And Me-Not sure where I fall on this random Tuesday. Probably half between Overengaged and scatterbrained.

"Final run," the teacher shouts. An extra burst of all boy energy shoots through the room.

THE FINAL RUN. The boys sweetly run to the teacher to slap a sticker on their hands. Jack runs over to us beaming and again I'm reminded the hustle home from work, the snacks shoved in his mouth, the frantic maybe dirty tshirt tossed on, it's all worth it to see his pure joy beaming from his pure face.

Another Ninjanastics in the books.

Monday, June 26, 2017

5 Things I Can't Live Without This Summer

1. 5 Ingredient "Ice Cream"-If I could I'd eat ice cream every day of the summer I would, but this recipe keeps me fitting in my pants.
  • Half a banana
  • Small handful of frozen organic strawberries
  • Small handful of frozen organic mangos
  • Honey
  • Liquid-a small splash of milk, orange juice or water. Don't overdue it here or you'll have a smoothie.
Blend until creamy. SO GOOD.

2. Books- hold em, hug em, snuggle outside watch the fireflies and love em books.

Currently reading: Eleanor & Park. Can't. Put. It Down. It's a book about two misfits falling in love on the school bus.

Close summer second: What Alice Forgot. Painful story about a woman with Alzheimer's.

Also, When Breath Becomes Air  (a quick read about a doctor with cancer), The Secret Life of Henrietta Lacks (Another fascinating cancer read. More technical) and The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto (Same guy who wrote Tuesdays with Morrie. Enough said).

3. Yoga Mat-Sanity.

4. Burley Bee Bike Trailer- Our favorite Saturdays start at the Farmers Market and then a 7 mile ride to the coolest lazy river water park ever. Earning relaxation feels more relaxing. This trailer is $299, but I had 2 45 pound kids in it yesterday and it handled like a champ.

5. Paddle Board- I've had a lot of kayak versus board debates lately and I'm always pro board mainly because it's easy to strap it to the top of a car with two ratchet straps and I like having all options: stand, sit, lay, meditate, exercise, float, yogi. Plus, after college I dreamed of living on the ocean and surfing and then I became afraid of sharks...so I suppose I'm living the dream without the sharks and waves.    

Saturday, June 3, 2017

You Are My Only

This feels significant.

All of your firsts are lasts.

All of your lasts are lasts.

All of the moments they speak of are the most rawest truest purest form of significant. There is no one else tugging at my pants, stealing my attention, begging for more of me. I am all in with you. And I like that.

It's you. Your dad. And me. Every good moment and bad. It's us. As you hopped around the backyard tonight stealing lightning bugs from the sky and teaching us facts about them, it hit me in that space below the heart but above the stomach where feelings are felt in the most spiritual sense. The space where truth lies. It hit me there.

You are my only.

You define motherhood singularly. That tilted head look from a stranger today with the..."You'd better hurry up and have another" or the "don't you want another one?" Those questions are insignificant compared to the overwhelming feeling of joy, vulnerability, happiness and laughter you have provided me.

You are my only and I promise to give you everything intangible within me. It won't always be perfect for everyone, but it sure will be perfect for us.

You are my only.

And I love it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Outdoor Renovation Evolution

I vividly remember driving over a hill, coming down past a church and seeing a for sale sign poking out from a yard ahead. I married a realtor. The likelihood of us haphazardly driving by a for sale sign and finding our next home: slim. Something clicked when we pulled closer to the tutor gingerbread fairy princess house. Something clicked twice when we saw her price. I stood in the front yard staring at the small house full of potential. I knew it would be ours.


"I don't even need to see the upstairs," I said. "This is not it."

"Come on," he said. "Let's at least take a look."

And we did. After doing his realtor research, he brought me back again and showed me the backyard.

"Backyards this big don't exist in this neighborhood," he said. "There's so much potential here."

And then I went to an open house, heard a couple chatting about seeing the same potential and of course, this house had to be ours.

Tonight as I was turning pages in a book in our finished backyard, I couldn't help but appreciate Kyle's talent at a real estate agent with his most difficult client to date. :)

And that hill we drove over...still haunts my every run.

Here's the patio for the summer:

Here are some before/after pictures:
And here are the during/afters...

Sunday, January 8, 2017

I Gave Away Your Crib

I gave away your crib and your swing and your mattress among rattles and tiny shoes and tinier socks and other tiny tiny things.

But your crib.

It hit me like an unpredictable ocean wave in the dead of summer when everything is calm and then it's not. I ran my hands over the tiny teeth marks you left when I came in to find you awake from your nap and bouncing with joy to see me, to see your mom. Those tiny teeth marks are with some other family now. And the only thing keeping me from completely falling apart is picturing that nervous mother sitting in her perfectly themed nursery anxiously awaiting her first baby just like I awaited you. That thought brings me joy battling the emotion of letting go, of moving on from your first tiny island, the first place you slept.

I gave away your crib and now I'm weeding thru 4Ts which are too tight on your growing body and I'm letting those go too. I'm letting go of the baby in you and I'm welcoming the child...the boisterous always moving, always a ninja all hours of the day BOY. I'm welcoming YOU.

Your crib may be gone, but I'm gonna hold on to those jammies for a while, you know the ones with the bear wearing glasses. The ones I put on you we both lit up with giggles.

I'm gonna hold onto those just for a little longer.