August 2009

Posted by AVM

Well, here I am.  The eve of the big event.  Too many emotions to put into words.  And I hope none of you readers were expecting anything profound.  I can only say that I hope and pray that life as a family of four is as wonderful as it was as a family of three.  Tonight, when I put my Lovey to bed, I squeezed her extra-tight and a huge tear rolled down my face.  Lovey said, “Mommy?  Are you sad?  Don’t be sad.  I love you.”  She’s right, nothing to be sad about.  I’m the luckiest girl in the world.  As of Monday around noon, I will have two little ones who love me.  And, I can barely wait.

See you on the flip side.


Posted by Duff

For a number of the usual reasons that afflict infants his age, Atticus is sleeping fitfully. I’m not complaining. I can sleep another year. And other years will come. Too quickly.

It’s 3:30 am, and I am filling baby bottles. My neighborhood is dark. There is nothing worth watching on television. And I’m transported back to the pre-dawn of 15 weeks ago, when I was timing contractions. Oddly, I am nostalgic for that pain if it means I get to re-live the day I met him. Even if it means I have to re-live the typical eight weeks of baby boot camp.

Because I’m crazy like that. Because he’s my last baby.

He’s really waking up now, and I’m glad, because I want to see him. At 3:33 am. Because it’s our time together, and soon enough he’ll be a smelly ‘tween who has no idea how much his mommy loves him, and he certainly won’t want anyone else to know.

But this morning, before even the birds, his puffy eyes are happy to see me. He leans into my shoulder and yawns. Says hello by placing a strand of lazy g’s and e’s around my neck.

He has no plans of going back to sleep anytime soon. He has scheduled a month of sunrises for us to see together and each comes and goes in a dream-like blink.

It’s gone.

The world wakes up and he smiles directly into my soul before I get up to prepare us for a day apart.

Posted by Fitzy

Traveling for work is strange when you’re leaving behind a little Bean who typically wants to be wrapped around your leg all day.  Aside from the considerable logistical considerations involved, a little struggle exists in the mind of the mom who has been jettisoned from her domestic environment into one where she is…alone.  Herself.  Overnight.

On one hand, I’ll be honest with you and say that I luxuriate in the room service, zillion thread count sheets, and peace and quiet that exist in the little rooms that I can call my own for one, maybe two, nights.  It feels like my work out of town is in technicolor – I’m more vibrant, more passionate, more excited about the people I’m working with.  I’m in a new (or at least different) town with a pulse all of its own, and the people on the street see me as a career woman – they don’t know that I have a Bean at home  These trips almost morph me into a different person, and the independence is liberating.

It’s also fleeting.  Because, you see, my Bean is always in the forefront of my mind.  When I’m away, my eye is drawn towards pregnant women, strollers, toddlers, and harried-looking mommies.  While I’m being my vibrant self at work, I collapse into a gray exhaustion in the hotel, invariably counting the hours till I get home again.  I can’t wait to get home again, regardless of the “glamour” that the travel affords. 

My glamour, these days, consists of The Bean rubbing her little hands all over my head, putting an elastic at the tip top of my crown and saying. “Mommy, so pity!”  It consists of me coming home from a long day in a suit and heels, to hear my Bean yell, “COMFY PANTS!” as soon as I’m through the door.  It consists of knowing, no matter where I am or where I’ve been, that my home is with her and she is my home.   There’s no place like home, is there?

Posted by AVM

The Mayan calendar says that on December 12, 2012, civilization as we know it will come to an end.  However, I have reason to believe that life as I know it is coming to a head on August 31, 2009.  Sure, it’s not as sexy a number as 12/12/12, but it’s my perfect storm, just the same, and it’s making my anxiety level go through the roof.  I think my problem is that I’m a control freak and, in this instance, I just can’t control any of it.  Here’s what’s going on on 8/31/09:

1. My not-yet-3-year-old daughter starts her first day of preschool with new teachers, some new classmates, and she has to be potty trained – that means no diapers, no pull-ups, off to school in panties, devil may care.  Thus far unsuccessful, I am saying a silent prayer that the peer pressure of potty training will get the better of her, and by some miracle, it’ll just happen.

2.  I will not be around for this potty training aftermath this first week, as I will be dropping Lovey off at school and then driving straight to the hospital to give birth to her sibling.  Four nights in the hospital, not there for my Lovey, not hearing about her first days of school, not making sure her lunches are packed the way she prefers, not tucking her in at night, oh, and getting ready to bring home a new baby to turn her world upside down.

3. Work enters full-tilt-boogie.  Everyone is back on campus.  Events begin.  Opening meetings.  The busy time starts on the 31st.  My first day of maternity leave.  Cue stomach knots.

4. Oh, yeah.  I’m having a baby.  8/31/09.  Seven days away.  I can’t wait to meet my new baby.  Who will this baby be?  What will the baby look like?  I cannot wait to have these questions answered and to experience the overwhelming moment of birth.  This will be the last time I do this, and I want to make sure I’m PRESENT.  I’m hoping the magnitude of this will help calm the anxiety of the previous three items on this list.

Ok, I got it out.  EXHALE.  It’s all going to be ok.   Right?

Posted by Duff

I need to knock it off.

My kids are my kids, yes, but they are their own people and deserve better than to be pigeon-holed by my impressions of them.

It has always made me cringe when someone tells me The Dervish is just like someone else, because she’s not. Just because she wakes up cranky or holds her fork a certain way doesn’t mean she will resent authority or play the piano. She told me just the other day she wants a french horn. 

But who is this hypocrite to get annoyed? I know her better than anyone and have already declared her to be just like me. A spitfire. Full of vinegar.

Worse yet, I declare her the opposite of her brother. Which is okay if we’re only talking plumbing. But having grown up creative to my brother’s athletic and dramatic to my brother’s low-key, you’d think I’d be a little more careful when characterizing my own children, one of whom is only just beginning to show personality.

So The Dervish’s pout resembles mine and  her mother’s eyes greet her in the mirror. Anyone who meets Atticus says he’s a clone of his father. These things cannot be changed without surgery. But they don’t carve outcomes in stone. Thank God.

If I don’t zip it, The Dervish could start thinking of herself as the kind of person who climbs out her bedroom window at twelve just because that’s the way she’s always been. Or Atticus could start getting himself beaten up at elementary school recess because he never says ‘boo.’

And, the knife-twister: Each of them could think I love the other one more. Which is like comparing dark chocolate to red wine.  A total waste of time. Just give me both, and I’ll be happy. 

Yes, they are different. Different from each other, but more importantly, different from everyone else on the planet, like any one of us.

Let’s just leave it at that.

Posted by Fitz

On behalf of the gloroius, New England heat wave we’re experiencing this week, here are some things that your friends are thinking as they mop sweat from their brow:

1.  At the pool with you:  “Hmm, someone didn’t spend enough time in the gym this….” Stop right there.  Your friend isn’t thinking this, just you are.  She has her own issues to deal with, and she’s not thinking about your thighs.  Seriously.

2.  At the beach: “When did I last put sunscreen on the kid?  Was it one hour ago?  Two?  Is his face flushed from the heat or because he has a third degree burn? Am I going to be arrested for this?”

3.  At home: “Only X days till school starts – yippee!”  Followed by disappointment about the fact that her baby doesn’t actually go to school…yet.

4.  On date night: “So, honey?  What are we supposed to talk about if we’re not talking about the kids?  When was the last time we even went out alone?”

5.  To herself: “If I have to take these kids to one more freaking library on one more freaking raining day….”

6.  To herself: “Is this Secret Clinical really working?”

7.  To herself: “God, please don’t let me ever be pregnant in this heat!”

8.  To herself: “A vacation with kids is not really a vacation…it’s a family trip.”

9.  To her husband: “I need a day alone.  Seriously.  Now.  Goodbye!  Hey, wait – take the kids!”

10.  With your other friends: “I can’t believe how well (insert your name here) pulls everything together.  She’s like superwoman, with the best sense of humor!”

Posted by AVM

My amazing parents took our Lovey to the beach house for the weekend and, in turn, gave my husband and me a weekend to ourselves.  They wanted to spend some alone time with Lovey and give us a break before the new baby comes (2 weeks from tomorrow, but who’s counting?).  We were thrilled with the idea, and could hardly remember the last time we had three uninterrupted days to ourselves.

Our weekend consisted of dinners out, holding hands, a movie (in the THEATER!), naps, even a girls’ spa day for me, a boys’ day of golfing for him, and one full day of nesting (I’m happy to report that nursery-wise, we are READY for the new baby).  It was a great few days, and most importantly, Lovey had a wonderful time with her grandparents.  However, by Saturday around 10AM, we both really, really missed her.  I was walking into her room just to make sure she wasn’t in there.  Here I sit, as I write this, waiting for my parents to bring her back, and I can think of nothing else but squeezing her tight and kissing her cheeks until she complains about it.

This weekend has me realizing a couple of things.  First, it was great to reconnect with my husband, but we both realize that we’re better as a family than we are on our own.  We had such fun spending time as a couple, but without Lovey, life isn’t in technicolor.  She makes everything better, and while there are times she – like any child – is unbelievably challenging, we’ll take it. . .every day and twice on Sunday.  I am also coming to terms with how different life is going to be in a couple of weeks.  If I missed Lovey for just two nights, how’s it going to be when I’m in the hospital for four nights and coming home with a new baby?  Where as in the beginning, I was worried that the new baby wasn’t getting any attention, now I worry that my sweet Lovey is going to feel left out.  Everyone told me it was going to happen, that I would feel this way, and they were right.  While I can’t wait to be a family of four, I am scared to think of what it’s going to do to the fantastic current dynamic we have right now.  Dethronement is imminent, and I know Lovey is going to feel the shift full force. I don’t want her spirit to change, or for her to feel for a moment as though we don’t love her more and more each day.  I’m comforted by the fact that families the world over deal with this daily and survive, thrive, even.  And we will too.  I know this.  We’ll just do our best and hope that it’s good enough.

For now, I must get back to the front window to look for my parents’ car pulling into our driveway and the arrival of my Lovey.  Where is she!??!

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