Mom gets sick occasionally…

On Friday, Peanut had a snotty nose.  It doesn’t happen often, but it happened last year about this time, so, allergies.  Fine, I’ll wipe a snot nose and give her Claritin, and life will go on, right?  Wrong.  Peanut got a snotty nose, but I ended up with a head cold that made me feel like I’d been hit by a mack truck – runny nose, sinus headache, sneezing, the works. By Sunday I was laid out on the couch with my kleenex, gladly fulfilling my sweet toddler’s request for “Potter,”  making endless cups of hot tea, and guzzling Emergen-C.  We even missed church, which is not something that we do, basically, ever.  And I stooped to feeding her goldfish crackers and apples for most of the day.  (We did have chicken and broccoli for dinner, though.)

I guess I should have learned some kind of life lesson about how sometimes you can’t be a perfect mom, how sometimes vast amounts of screen time and goldfish crackers are how to keep your sanity, how getting sick is God’s way of telling me to slow down and enjoy my kid.

Mostly, I’m just thankful that I’m the one who got sick, because Peanut’s snot nose alone is so incredibly heartbreaking.  Her nose gets red and her eyes water, so she looks pitiful, even though she’s still bouncing off the walls.  Maybe I’m most thankful that on this day, it took too much energy to be even a little cross, being even a tiny bit unkind was impossible, and even when I was at my worst, maybe I was a better mom than usual.  Also, those goldfish crackers never tasted better!

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Why not Green Eggs and Ham?

I do not like you, Sam I Am

One of the things I DREADED about becoming a mother was this book.  Some people in my family think this is the best book for kids, EVER.  My beef with this book is not the end – it’s a great lesson for kids with enough attention span to get there.  But in the years before then, they get pages and pages of a whiny guy who WON’T EAT SOMETHING.  Before then, they sure do hear “I do not like them,” and “I will not eat them,” enough times to make those words stick in a kid’s brain. Peanut, by the way, eats almost anything I put in front of her, and I plan on keeping it that way!

Our kids hear everything that we say, they do take it in, they absorb it all, and they will regurgitate it at the most inopportune moments, in this case, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  So, Sam-I-Am, take it somewhere else.  Your friend who will not eat Green Eggs and Ham until page 40 is NOT welcome at our house.

What I love about Easter Season

These might be the universally “best” weeks in the Church calendar.  Easter season designates the weeks from Easter through Pentacost when we get to be totally grateful, these are the weeks when our hearts burst with Alleluias.  We’re not waiting for something “better,” like Christmas or Easter, and it’s not Lent, which, much to my chagrin, is not well-loved by “churchy people.”  These are the weeks of the brightly dressed church ladies, the return of altar flowers, dresses and sandals for little girls (and their moms on a good Sunday).  These are the days that have me figuratively being dragged kicking and screaming into summer come May.  These are post-Resurrection days, easy days, thankful days, when the Church takes a deep breath and, having been filled with grace, we can let it out and bless the world.

I gave up my to-do list??

It was just one day…today, actually.  But it was glorious!  That doesn’t mean I got nothing done.  I did manage to feed my child, finish (most of) the laundry, take a walk with Peanut and give her a bath.  I got stuff done.  I also read.

Long, long ago, before I was pregnant, I inhaled books and I ran a lot, and I worked and spent time with Peanut’s dad, and that was my whole life.  I did laundry once a week or less, used very few dishes and washed them when I finished.  I NEVER had a sink FULL of dirty dishes.  That concept didn’t even exist in my pre-mom world.  And then I had a baby.  And suddenly, I had massive amounts of clothes and dishes to wash almost every single day and a kid to wash on a regular basis and Bumpos and high chairs and toys to keep clean.  Babies are gross!  So, in the midst of all this yuck and my scouring of the internet and parenting books to feed my need to be the world’s best mother, I stopped reading the stuff I really loved.   I still do read occasionally.  I did finish The Hunger Games (first book only).  And then yesterday, I picked up a book by Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong at the church where I work, and I was enthralled, I was engrossed, and most of all, I fell in love with Jesus, again, which is not something I take lightly.

I’m not terribly religious, in the sense that while going to church and raising Peanut in the church and being Episcopalian are all important to me, having all the answers doesn’t really appeal to me – I like the questions better.  I have some opinions about the Bible that I don’t really share, but I find the practice and community of liturgy centers me, so I stand and kneel and I repeat the creeds and make space for the Holy to find me. Usually, when I encounter the Holy these days, I hear it in my sweet daughter’s laughter or the way she touches my cheek when I hold her, or her adorable “Ah-men” when we pray.  She makes ordinary days completely extraordinary.

So, reading Spong for two days was not on my to-do list, and often, making space for Holy isn’t either, but sometimes, when it finds you, you can just save the ordinary for another day.  So, grocery list-making, vacuuming, Goodwill run, picture hanging, and random things to fix, I will see you tomorrow, instead.

Peanut is 18 months old!

Sometimes, my awesome kid grows so fast, does so many cute and amazing things, and loves me so much that I am completely blown away.  Today she is 18 months old, and much like everyday, all I want to do is keep her small and safe. Like every three months, we have a doctor’s appointment – this time with a new doctor.  I know Peanut will be 20-something pounds and 20-something inches tall, that she’ll be slightly on the chunky side, because she always has a little belly when she’s about to hit a growth spurt, that the doctor will ask me all about her teeth and words and things she does, which is apparently NOT an invitation for me to brag.  (Why did it take me this long to realize that??)  She will get at least 3 shots and hate me for five whole minutes, and during that time, I will agonize that she will hate me forever. 

And then we will go to the bookstore nearby pick out a book (one for each of us!) and then split a small milkshake.  It really is the small rituals that I hope she loves so much, because I think making them up is one of the best things about being her mom.

This is Peanut at the doctor’s office – 21 lbs, 28 3/4″ tall

Sometimes, the mom is crafty…

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Diapers are a fact of life here. We buy 2-3 large boxes of diapers every month. So, it’s hard just to let those boxes go. I covered the one on the left with a long piece of the cute plaid plastic tablecloth from the Peanut’s first birthday party and threw all her wooden blocks in it. Yes, I will print up a label. Three of these will fit under the coffee table. I love pretty AND functional things and these are not terrible to look at! And yes, I did get an idea for this on Pinterest  HERE.

People are messy!

Kids are obviously messy – I know my sweet Peanut is always sticky, no matter how often I wipe her little hands with a baby wipe or washcloth.  It’s a fact of my life that I am going to be covered in baby, sticky and gross, and completely in love. 

What I am not completely in love with is adult messiness.  We are quirky and mean and narcissistic and not at all loveable, although I hope the sweet girl I’m raising takes some or all of that out of me.  Adults have drama, adults have issues, adults have pet peeves, love haphazardly, believe everything or nothing, hold others at bay. 

I often wonder – did we leave the best part of ourselves in Kindergarten?  How do we capture all the spectacular uniqueness that we had at 5 years old, or one year old?  How can we wake up everyday, not care about bed-head, and say, “Bring it on, world!” like our kids do? 

All right, I”m gonna say it:  “Bring it on, world!” bedhead and all!