Monday, June 30, 2008

Saying Goodbye

I just wrote a very dark, dramatic post called "how do you know it's the last time?" The last time you'd speak to a friend, kiss an elderly relative or have sex with an ex-boyfriend?

Then I deleted it because, well, it scared me.

So, I changed the title and theme of this post and I'd like to talk about saying goodbye with dignity and grace.

My husband's beloved grandmother is dying. She's been sick for a few months and over the weekend she made the very brave decision to stop all medical treatment and to die. Yesterday, my husband had the opportunity to say goodbye to her. She told him how at peace she was with the decision, how proud she was of him and his family and how much she loved all of us. He got to tell her that he loves her.

Her comments to the twenty something grandchildren were even lighter. She simply said "Adios. See you in the next life." (Adios is light and even funny when used by your eighty something year old Jewish grandmother).

At a time when we all want to comfort her, she continues to comfort us, to love us
and to teach us. She is teaching us to accept what we can't change and to find peace in it. She is teaching us to say what we mean and to love each other. She is teaching us how to end something bravely and gracefully.

And while she never knew what a "blog" was and most certainly will never read this, she did know that we love her. Very much.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Why is it that I keep going to the doctor with healthy children and coming out with sick ones?

Over the winter, I took the Mote (4 year old)for a regularly scheduled appointment. Everyone was feeling fine. Two throat cultures later both my kids had strep throat.

Then, last month we go for the Who's (almost 10 month old!)regularly scheduled appointment. She's a happy baby and we go through the whole appointment with the doctor remarking on her good nature and (thank G-d!) good health. Then, the very last thing the doctor did was check the Who's ears. She had a double ear infection.

Yesterday, I took the Who for her ear recheck. Her ears look good but her throat is very red and she looks like she is at the beginning of "something". Then I talked to the doctor about the Mote's recent resurgence of potty accidents after a few great months. She wants her to pee in a cup again and test for a UTI. To the Mote there is no fate more horrible than peeing in a cup. The kid doesn't have a UTI. She has a "school's over and I'll make you pay for that" disease.

So, once again I went in with two healthy kids and left with two possibly sick kids. Oh, how I dread our August and September appointments.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dinner with the Boss

Last night my husband's new boss came for dinner. He is moving here from out of state and his wife and kids are still in New Jersey. They have questions about the area and he's living in a hotel all week so we thought he could use a homecooked meal and some conversation.

Seems we forgot we have children. Next time I tell you we're having company...please tell me to entertain at lunch, not dinner. The afternoon went well. The Mote (4 year old) and I made a pie. The steak was marinating. The salad, asparagus and couscous were ready to go.

Then 5 pm happened. I was putting the asparagus in the oven to roast and feeding the baby when I splattered carrots all over myself. Ok, costume change for mommy was not part of the plan but I can roll with the punches. No problem. I go do that. I come back and realize that I had left the baby's bowl of babyfood on her highchair tray. She decided to make me a masterpiece. She painted her face, her hair, her entire high chair and was starting a splatter paint piece on the floor when I came back in.

Her older sister appeared at that very minute and slipped on the splatter paint baby food artwork. Now, she needed to be changed. I helped her clean herself up and asked her to go change her clothes while I started cleaning up the baby food mess. It was then that I smelled somthing burning...damn. Forgot the asparagus.

As I was swearing at the asparagus (because that would make it better), the Mote comes back in the kitchen. She has chosen an orange and pink wool sweater and blue shorts to wear. I pleaded, I begged, I bribed her to go change again. Into something that was a)appropriate for summer and b)appropriate to meet Daddy's boss for the first time. I lost.

I went into supermom mode and got us all relatively clean and rescued what was left of the asparagus. Things were relatively calm when our company arrived. He got a nice chuckle out of the Mote's outfit.

The Mote was convinced that he was there just to visit her so my husband and I had trouble having a conversation. She had to show him her room, have a race, play Chutes and Ladders and dominate the conversation. He was patient but clearly wanted to take about where he should live, what doctors they should use and what kinds of activities his kids might enjoy in town.

Meanwhile, the baby wanted to be held and only by her Daddy.

And, so ended a crazy night. Oh, and I am not cooking again for a long time. Burgers tonight, I think.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Birth of a Who

Birth Days

Sorry things have gone dark here for a few days. It's been one of those beautiful summer weeks were a million posts have started in my head and never made it to the computer. School is out and we are starting to fall into a summer pattern around here. I'm finding the work from home part of that pattern darn near impossible but other than that life is good.

Since I can't seem to get my thoughts down on paper and because Alex Elliot has a great idea, I have decided to participate in her Happy Birthdays Carnival. The idea is that each woman gets to tell her birth story uninterrupted.

I could tell the story of my older daughter's birth but we were both pretty sick and my feverish middle of the night delivery after three hours of pushing is a blur. A delightful blur, but a blur.

My younger daughter's birth started pretty much the same. I had gestational diabetes and was ready to have a baby and a milkshake. Because of the gestational diabetes, my doctors agreed to induce me the day before my due date instead of a week after my due date like they did with my older daughter. We went to the hospital at 8 a.m. on August 30. I was on pitocin by 9. I was feeling pretty good and decided that I didn't want pain medication.

At 11 am, my doctor came in and said, how about we deliver you at 3? I laughed and said great!

The doctor broke my water around 1. I remember the pain after that really well. The nurse kept asking if I wanted to be checked and if I felt like I had to push. I kept saying "I have no idea, how bad does this get?" I sat in the rocking chair this whole time and found the rocking motion very comforting.

At 2:50 pm, the doctor checked me and said I was 10 centimeters and I could push. I did and I seriously decided that I could not do it. I told her that I was either going to stay pregnant forever or they needed to get me drugs. She said no - to both requests. Thankfully, my younger daughter has an incredibly agreeable nature and was born in just two pushes - at 3 pm just as the doctor had predicted.

30 minutes later I was off the pitocin and fluids IV and I felt great. Unlike with my first (also vaginal) delivery, I could move around easily and really felt better than I had in months.

My hospital stay was just horrible (unlike my other delivery at a different hospital which was wonderful) but I didn't care. 36 hours after her birth, I was home with my husband and both my girls and, of course, our trusty pup.

While the births of my daughters were different, I really believe they were both as they were meant to be. My older daughter despite her 9 lbs 2 oz size and difficult delivery was born safely. We didn't know if she was a boy or a girl before she was born and when the doctor said "girl" that is one of the most memorable moments of my life - even though I don't remember much else from that night.

In the end, I don't care how they got here. I'm blessed to have them and so thankful for the chance to be their mom.

Monday, June 16, 2008

2008 Summer Knitting Goals Contest

So, Ali got me thinking about my summer knitting goals and I thought I would enter the contest.

Here are my knitting goals:

1. The Big Brown Sweater for my husband.

2. Finish the Tilted Duster for myself. All I have left to do is add a sleeve and block the thing. First sleeve went well. Second one doesn't fit. I'm in denial.

3. Finish the lace rectangular shawl. Loving this right now. I've completed 4 1/3 of the 5 repeats and then it needs to be blocked. Hoping to finish this before the end of the month.

1. A lace scarf. I have lots of beautiful lace and I find it a great summer knit. I haven't decided yet which pattern or lace to use.

2. Mittens for me. I bought the yarn a year ago.

3. Hats for my girls. I bought the yarn last Thanksgiving and can't wait to use it.

And, no, the list does not include the second sock but could possibly include a whole different pair.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Relay for Life

On Saturday, the 4 of us participated in Relay for Life. By "participated", I mean that my husband chased our four year old around and around while she visited with friends and got her face painted, the baby slept in her stroller and I had some time to walk and reflect.
This year Relay was very personal for our family. I lost a friend last spring to cancer just two weeks after she was diagnosed. She left her husband and four children - the baby wasn't five months old when his mom died. I also have a friend who beat the odds this year and is in remission for the third time. She is watching her son grow up. It was for both of them that I walked.
Our team raised over $13,000.
Next year, we hope to raise more money and we hope to not have anyone new to walk for.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Proud to be a WAHM

Dana brings up a good point and one that I've been meaning to blog about. I've talked a lot about my kids (and random other things) on this blog but I haven't mentioned that work at home thing I do that is supposed to be part of this blog.

I do, currently, work at home. In my post-law school life, I've had a few different careers. First, as an attorney. Then, as an education specialist for the MA Department of Education. After that, I was an education surrogate parent. Now, I am a freelance writer. There were parts of all of my jobs that I really enjoyed and I don't regret any of them. However, there are some things I really enjoy about being a work at home mom in general and a freelance writer specifically:

* I make my own schedule. I am available for all school events, birthday parties, playground trips and doctor's appointments. It means that I work well into the night and on weekends but, for me, it is worth it.
* I get to hear all the funny things my kids say and watch them play all day long. I really enjoy being with them and I'm all too aware that they are only young for a short time. I feel like I need to soak up every minute of that.
* I feel like I'm still in school (which was my goal all along). I work for several different clients and write on a variety of topics. The work is interesting and rewarding.
*Ok, since I'm always honest with you my loyal blog readers, let's not forget my pajamas. I love them and now I can wear them whenever I want :)

Thanks to Dana and to Kelly for making me focus on why I love to work from home. The lifestyle isn't for everyone and, trust me, now that we're talking about work, you are sure to hear about some of the difficulties in the near future.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I hate stuffed animals. There, I've said it and now you know. I can't stand them. I don't mind my daughters' dolls so much but the countless bunnies, dogs, ducks, monkeys, cats, unicorns and other stuffies irritate me. And my kids have a lot A LOT of them.

So, one night last week as I was straightening up my daughter's room (stop laughing, I didn't say cleaning, I said straightening) I asked my daughter if we should give some of the dozens of animals to kids who have no stuffed animals. She looked at me and said no.

The next morning she asked for the one turquoise bunny I managed to smuggle out of her room and into the trash. Of course. She had never played with it before but now it was critical to her very being. Being the good mom that I am, I lied and told her that I would look for it.

No more was said about stuffed animals or giving them away. Until this morning.

On the way to school this morning, my daughter said, "Mommy? You know all those shoes in your closet? Do you know how many shoes you have? More than you could ever use! So, I've been thinking we should give some of your shoes to people who have no shoes. Ok? It would a really nice thing to do...."

And once again, I am outsmarted by a preschooler.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My House Circa 1:30 pm

Scene - Me on my hands and knees cleaning the kitchen floor with a Clorox wipe (I clean everything with Clorox wipes).

The Mote - Mommy, what do you think you're doing?
Me - Cleaning the floor.
The Mote (preschooler)- But why?
Me - Because we can't live in dirt.
The Mote - Why? We ALWAYS live in dirt, Mommy.
The Goose (dog)- Good point. Going back to my busy day of napping now.
The Who (baby) - Ha Ha Ha

I give up. Going to the playground now.