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I was recently in for a rude awakening when I was flipping through a toy catalogue. Toys? They’re expensive! Since when did a Leggo set cost upwards of $50? Am I already a stingy old fart at 27 years old?

I was most surprised when I got to the toy kitchen section. Remember those? Mine was all wooden and I loved it, but I remember a lot of ones similar to this:

Simple, right? A couple of plastic burners, an oven door, a fake pie on the front. Throw in some plastic fruit and you are good to go. But now…NOW. Do you know what they have now?

Well, will you look at that. Stainless appliances. Decorative tile detail. High-end molding. This toy kitchen it chic to the max. And how politically correct! Boys AND girls in the kitchen — how novel!

But wait, we’re not done yet. A kitchen isn’t a kitchen without solid surface counter tops. And cordless phones. And DOUBLE OVENS.

 

And what’s this? A matching grill? (Wait, now wait just a minute. I thought we were being PC here. Why can’t one of the girls be grilling, hmm? Who says little Bobby can char a piece of steak better than Lizzie or Jenny? Equal opportunity, people!)

But the best kitchen, the one that boasts granite-style countertops, an ice maker, dishwasher and realistic outdoor views, according to the ad — is nicer than my own kitchen and costs more than I spent on Owen’s crib. Those appliances better be Energy Star rated for that price.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we are in for some serious trouble. Think Owen will be interested in one of those old school toy vacuums with the popping balls?

Or bubble wrap. I mean, it’s practically free, after all.

Two years ago today, I was up early excited to be getting married.

Today, I was up early feeding my baby and watching Sesame Street.

An amazing two years…Happy Anniversary, Michael!

Motherhood.

It has flipped my world upside down, sideways and every way in between. It is wonderful, exciting, heartbreaking, stressful, monumental, tiring, amazing and a slew of other adjectives.

It is giving your heart and soul entirely to a tiny human being, who screams in your face, pulls your hair and poops on your sheets…then smiles at you and laughs when you walk into a room. It is the heart-swelling feeling when he watches you wherever you go and is happiest in his mommy’s arms.

It is days — weeks – without sleep, followed by improvement little by little; until one night he sleeps for seven hours straight. And then, you inevitably wake him up from that peaceful slumber by sticking your face in his face, because how can that be? Seven hours? He must have stopped breathing. (And that thought? Is terrifying.)

It is a constant guessing game. When you figure things out (what he loves, what he hates, how he likes to go to sleep), you feel like a rock star. And then, just when you’ve got it all down, he goes and changes things up again.

It is the little things becoming your favorite things: bath time, putting lotion on chunky thighs. The first smile of the morning. A little knit cap covering downy fuzzy duckling hair.

It is taking pride in small milestones, like grabbing a toy, or rolling over. It is looking forward to the next milestone, then missing the previous ones because they’re just growing up so fast. It’s wondering how your tiny, wrinkly infant suddenly seems so big.

It is a million firsts — a first bath, a first smile, a first pumpkin.

It is missing the small, quiet moments with your husband that fall to the wayside during the early weeks in favor of tending to the cries of a little someone. It is falling asleep on the couch, rather than with your arms wrapped around each other. It is sleeping on opposite sides of the bed when that little someone takes over the middle at 4 a.m.

And then, it’s the reconnecting. The bewilderment you share over creating that little someone and the mutual love and admiration you feel for them. It is making time for each other again as parenthood becomes more of a routine and rediscovering the crook of each other’s arm, the curve on their back when you become the big spoon. It is the realization that you’re in this together and together, you can do anything. Even raise a child.

Motherhood is chaos. It is magic. It is insanity.

It is love.

- This week I became an aunt and am about the become a cousin (second cousin?) in a matter of hours. I am so excited about all the babies surrounding us. My cousin is in labor as we speak! I ask that you send your thoughts and prayers, though, to my sister-in-law and new twin nieces – born very early and at just over two and three pounds respectively. They are breathing on their own (yay!!) but have a long road ahead of them before they can come home. The whole ordeal makes me even more thankful for my healthy, chunky boy. (Currently 18 pounds at almost four months. Oh…my arms…)

- Speaking of 18 pounds: EIGHTEEN POUNDS, guys. This kid is all cheeks and thighs. And he loves to be held, so if I’m not diesel in the very near future, I’m requesting a refund. He makes a great free-weight, though, so I’ve been using him for exercise ;)

- Next weekend is our two-year wedding anniversary. I cannot believe how quickly time is flying by. Exactly a year ago tomorrow we found out there was going to be an Owen, and two years ago I was running around like a crazy woman trying to get last-minute wedding things together. I wonder where we’ll be next year…

We’re continuing the tradition of returning to where we honeymooned — this year, baby in tow! I’m really excited to take him out around the small town, through the cute shops and around the lake. This year, we’ll probably be either taking in the early bird special, or ordering room service, because Mr. O is asleep by 7.

- About that sleep: remember when little ol’ naive me — mother of an 11-week old —  was panicking about him sleeping in the swing? Thank you all for telling me to relax, nutbag. At almost 16-weeks, he is now exclusively sleeping in the crib at night, and doing really well. We haven’t yet mastered naps, but hey, I’ll take sleeping at night over great naps any day. (Well, most days.)

- I want new shoes. I WANT NEW SHOES.

- Also, new shoes.

- Mostly, a pair of flat-soled ,soft leather boots in a beautiful shade of brown.

- Gimme. Me want.

- Speaking of that nap…Owen is demanding I stop neglecting him, take him out of the Bumbo seat and put him to sleep. I suppose I must oblige.

xo

Thank you all for participating in that last post. I tried to respond to all of you! I am fascinated by how diverse my readership is — you come from all over! And what beautiful descriptions of your home.

No drawn out post today…I’m getting right to my question! In the movie of your life, which song would play in the opening scene?

Mine is hijacked right out of the movies, but I couldn’t have it any other way.

For me, no question, it would be Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. Is there anything better than those first beats? How can you not  strut? Of course, my strut would be in high heels carrying a diaper bag rather than paint cans, but still. I could be strapped into restraints and I’d still find a way to shake something if that song came on.

It was the first song to get everyone on the dance floor at my wedding. (It worked!)

 

So, what would your opening song be? It’s hard, isn’t it?!

In an effort to reconnect to this little world I’ve neglected during the first few months of motherhood, my next few posts will end with some questions for you guys. I hope you will answer them in the comments and create a discussion, so I can get to know you as well as you know me! I plan on responding to many comments as well…a perk of O’s nap time. (You are my favorite part of this whole blogging thing, you know.)

Home. You get asked about it all the time. Where are you from? Where is home?

For the longest time, I would answer New York. My family, my childhood; it all existed in the middle of the state in a small town where there wasn’t much to do, but it was a nice place to grow up. It was never a question that my roots were planted firmly in the Empire state soil.

I left New York nine years ago for college in Rhode Island. I had no intentions of staying after I graduated, but I welcomed the change in venue after 18 years in one place. Still, New York remained home. The place I came to be surrounded by my family, to celebrate the holidays, or come home with bags of dirty laundry on breaks from school.

You know how the story goes — freshman year I met a boy — and before long, my zip code had permanently changed. Rhode Island was where I lived, and yet, I still didn’t call it home.

It’s taken years, but I realized the other day that this place? This is my home now. It hit me while pushing my son in the stroller down our town’s bike path. There was a warm breeze and the sun was filtering through the trees and suddenly it hit me: I’m really happy here. I love my town: the cute shops, the proximity to the ocean, the small town-, but not too small town-ness of it. I love how the local bagel shop owner knows us by name and followed my pregnancy with happiness and excitement. I love how the cashier at the grocery store smiles at my baby and how the barista at Starbucks knows our drink order by heart.

Our house — with the sunny guest room and the big back yard, the house with the light green nursery and cozy living room — it’s no longer just a house to me. This is the place where my little family began. Where I came back to after my honeymoon with my husband, where I first placed my baby in his bassinet.

My parents, my sister; they will always mean home to me. Wherever they are will always be a haven I can return to.

But my roots are planted elsewhere now. Buried deep in the sand in a little town by the sea.

What does home mean to you? Is it your childhood house? Your first apartment? A big comfy chair by the fire? Please share with me!

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