Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Was Found Dancin' In the Rain...

I just got the happy chills thanks to my friend Tabitha, whose blog 'Only for a Season' makes me smile all the time! She keeps things real, but she also focuses on the positive, so it was extra special to me that she recognized me for being 'Found Dancing In the Rain'! Thanks, Tabi! And consider yourself caught right back!!!

What the hell am I talking about? I am so glad you asked! You can visit her blog to find out what she means, and then you can enjoy my own contribution to the rain-dance circle of love!

So Tabi has asked me to share 5 things about me that you don't already know (Which, HI!, you must be new here? Because I think I may just be the Queen of Oversharing.) so I'm going to try to list 5 things that are in the spirit of her tag. Here we go!:

1. I've made a mantra of the question, "If you're not doing it already, would you start today?". Life is short, and meant to be lived fully. If you're doing something you hate, try asking this of yourself. And if your answer is something like, "Why, no! If I wasn't aleady drinking 3 raw eggs for breakfast because I once heard that it's good for my hair, I certainly wouldn't start now, given my past experiences with both salmonella and raw egg burps." then by all means QUIT DOING IT! Why do something that makes you unhappy just because "It's what I do" or "It's how it's always been done" or (heaven forbid) "It's what people expect of me"???? What kind of life is that?!?!

2. I'm learning to try to live by the 'Walk Out, Walk On' motto I posted about before. Much like what I was saying above, why live an unhappy life? Why not follow your dreams instead? And even if you like where you are just fine, thankyouverymuch because the view out your window is nice and the people make you smile and the paycheck is good....why stop dreaming there? Why not let your heart wander and your mind follow, and find that thing (those things?) that light up your soul? I admittedly struggle with the 'Walk Out' part. I've cried every single time I've quit a job, even when I was miserable and hated the job. Graduation makes me cry. Friends move and I stalk them via email and Facebook. I am sentimental and I like to hold on, but I think that's ok too. As long as you keep walking toward the next great thing in your life, I think it's ok to hold on to the last!

3. I talk to myself quite a bit. I have pretend conversations wherein I tell that mean lady at the store How I Really Felt when she let her kid shove mine in his rush to grab a candy bar. I hash out conversations I wish I could have with people who are no longer able to have conversations with me, like my Dad and that friend from high school who spiraled down the wrong path and couldn't be saved by my friendship. And often, I work things out through this self-talk to the point where I honestly believe it's spared some of my relationships in life. I lay into Imaginary Husband about how That Was SO Insensitive! and I chastise Invisible Man Who Hurt My Friend for being a dick of the highest order, and then it's out in the universe and I can carry on!

4. I am obsessed with cleaning my ears (and behind them ) with Q-tips. What? They can't ALL be serious things. Maybe someday you'll be glad to know this about me, when you NEED a Q-Tip and don't know where to find one. Hint: in my purse.

5. I have a lot of awesome friends!!!

And, Tabi also asked me to tag someone (ok, she wanted me to tag 3 people, but I'm narrowing it down to 1 beacuse it's either going to be just 1 or like 14) who I have Found Dancing in the Rain! So here you are:

Kellie for this post about Looking Ahead and this post about marriage, for starters. But mostly just for being a bright, joyful, kind spirit!

Monday, March 29, 2010

20 in 20 Week...Uh....Week....Heh.

I've lost count on the 20 in 20 thing, but I DO know my Biggest Loser challenge with friends is nearly over, and I am NOT winning. I'm in last place, actually, but in my defense there were 8 people in the competition and two have not checked in for 2 weeks and thus been disqualified.

I know what is missing is exercise, but I'm failing to find the answer to the age old, "Where oh where will I fit that in?" question. As it is, I wake at 5:30 a.m., and from then on out I'm running around between kids and husband and work and commute. No...really...you would think my average early morning routine alone would be helping me shed the ol' Ell Bees. But it's not. And that morning routine is basically completed in reverse when I get home in the evening, ending around 9 p.m. when I collapse onto the floor for an hour of TV or on the couch for emails and blogs and Facebook and reading and bills and what-have-you.

SO....finding the time, not to mention the energy, to work out on weekdays is an art form of which I know nothing, clearly. But I'm at the point in this journey where almost 10 pounds are gone (DAMN that took long enough!) and I am ready to start feeling less shlumpy and more healthy.

So my plan is this: we own a recumbent bike. I KNOW I KNOW! It's not as good or as thorough as a cardio blast class or boot camp or even a good old-fashioned jog. But it's convenient and it's free and it's something I can and will do. However, it's also currently living in my in-laws' basement. So I want to bring it home. Dust it off. Carry it upstairs to my room (the only place in this house which looked SO BIG to use before we grew into a family of 3, then 4) and set it up. Plug the TV in up there because as it stands now we have 1 TV and it's downstairs and I CANNOT sit on a recumbent bike with no TV to distract me. And then I want to get to work.

But for now, and until we can make that happen, I'm happily cruising along and making healthy food choices and taking my losses in small bits and pieces. This week I was down 1 more pound. I remain frustrated that I'm seeing results so slowly, but I also remain committed, consistent, and realistic. This is a long-term solution for me...a goal not just to drop a few and win some cash but to get stronger and healthier and fitter and happier. And I WILL do it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Thought I Had More Time.

Scene: In the car, driving to daycare.

Luca: "Hey mama?"
Me: "Yeah baby?"
"Did you know that Rohan has a penis?"
"Yes, I guess I did."
"That's a funny word. Penis."
"I guess it is kind of funny, Lu."
"Penis.....penispenispenis. Penis? Penis. PENIS!"
"Rohan has a penis. And Daddy has a penis. But I don't have a penis. And Mama doesn't have a penis."
"You're right, Luca." :::wonders how many time she can use that word in one 10 minute car ride:::
"We don't. Boys do."
"Well, then what do we have, Luca?"
"We have pee-pees."
:::considers leaving well enough alone, but decides if she knows one she may as well know the other:::
"Yes, but everyone has a pee-pee, Luca. Rohan has a penis, and you have a :::stumbles:::cringes::: vagina."
"Oh! Penis and bagina! Penis and bagina and penis!"
"Well, yes."
"And Mama?"
"Yes, Luca?" :::scared for what is next:::
"Everybody goes pee-pee on the potty and that's ok."
"Darn skippy, Kiddo."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Not All Sunshine and Roses.

It has not escaped me that most of the things I post on my blog are happy and lovey and full of dancing glitter fairies and little impish children flitting around the room upon clouds spun of gold and crinoline.

And then, there's the other side of being a Mom. And it goes a little something like this:

2:00 a.m. Wake to Luca in her room moaning loudly. Go to her room. Find her writhing around like something terrible is wrong. Ask what is wrong. "I need water." she answers. Point out to her that in her toddler bed and tucked between the headboard and the wall are no less than 7 bottles, each with water in them. "Oh. I lovvvvve you Mama." she says. Kiss her cheeks, cover her with her blankie, stumble back into bed.

5:35 a.m. Luca repeats my name from the other room, "Mamamamamamama. Katie Kahle! Mamamamamamamamammamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamaaaaaaaa."

Drag self out of bed, lift her from her bed (notice her legs are little popsicles because she refuses to sleep with her blanket on and make promise to self to put her in long pants tonight), bring her back in to my bed where I wrap her up with me in my blanket and we fall back asleep.

Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.

Rohan cries from his crib. Get out of bed to retrieve him as I hear the shower turn on in the bathroom and Darrick starts his morning ritual. Open Rohan's bedroom door to find him, pants half off, standing up holding onto his crib rail jumping up and down and smiling like a lunatic. Go to pick him up as he grabs wildly for me, grab his blanket, use toes to retrieve the Bop he's thrown across the room so I don't have to bend over. Return to my bed and lay him next to Luca.

Watch Luca and Rohan tackle each other, giggle, etc. for 10 more minutes while Darrick showers, shaves, dresses.

Get out of bed and pick up Rohan to carry downstairs. "I wanna up-you-go too, mama!"Luca begs. Balance Rohan on left hip, ask Luca to stand up on the bed, lift her onto right hip. Have her grab Rohan's blanket off the bed. Walk into hall. Have Luca hold on tight so I can move my hand and grab the door handle to shut it (doors have to be shut in our house to keep the dogs out of trouble). Turn to see both her door and his open, both fans on. Turn off his fan, close door by pulling handle with tips of fingers. Turn off her fan. Close her door in same manner, almost losing grip on her and dropping Rohan's blanket in process. Use toes to pick up his blanket without bending over.

Turn to go downstairs and see guest bathroom door open. Have spark of genius and stand next to it and say to Luca, "Would you please grab the handle so we can shut that?" She does. MUCH easier. Wish I was smart enough to think to have HER pull the handles of the first 3 doors.

Carry both kids downstairs. Set Luca on couch, where she immediately grabs the throw, pulls it over her, and lies down. She must be related to me if she just woke from a full night's sleep and is already eager to lie on the couch.

Set Rohan on the floor, where he screeches because clearly I have Highly Offended him by daring to set him down. He grabs my pajama pants so that I cannot walk away. I pick him back up. With 1 hand I grab a diaper and clean clothes for Rohan, then set him on the floor to change him. Get the dirty diaper and pants off, and he does an alligator roll away from me and attempts to escape. Grab an ankle and roll him back over. He hollers at me for being so annoying, I laugh at the holler. He wrestles away from me and crawls, half-naked, across the room. I hop up, grab him, lay him back down, and he hollers again. Luca brings a play phone over for Rohan (singsongy voice: "Here you go, Romo. Here! A phone! Look! Awww!")and he bats it away. Finally get the diaper on Twisty Baby and sit him up to change his shirt. Make a game of Peek-A-Boo out of it to keep him from being mad over the shirt changing.

Make coffee while balancing a nearly 26 pound 1 year old on one hip. While still balancing him, get a bowl of cereal for Luca, pour him a sippie of milk, get coffee mugs out and ready.

From the other room as I am doing this, Luca chimes in:
"What are you doing Mama?"
"Making you a bowl of cereal."
"Because it's time for breakfast."
"Because you need to eat before you go to Laura's (daycare)."

Put Rohan in high chair and spread Cheerios on tray. Sit Luca at her table with bowl of cereal.

"I need apple juicy."
"Apple juice?"
"Yeah. Apple juicy."
"You may have some apple juice once you finish your cereal."
"You have to eat before you can have juice, Luca."
Suddenly understand with complete clarity why I heard the phrase 'Because I said so.
so many times as a child.
"Why not?"

Attempt to pour the coffee as Rohan screeches. Apparently he is not amused with dry Cheerios for breakfast, but we are out of bananas, which is what he usually eats. Start to unload clean dishes from dishwasher. Darrick comes downstairs and looks over at Luca.

"Luca, get your feet OFF the table and eat your cereal please."

Darrick puts a bagel in the toaster while Rohan's screeching hits a fever pitch. I look at Darrick. He looks at me. My look wins; he goes to retrieve Rohan from the highchair.

"Luca, get your feet OFF the table. You need to eat your cereal."
"Do it. Now."

I finish unloading the dishwasher and making the coffee. Darrick butters his bagel while balancing Rohan on one hip, then goes to sit down with him and feed him some bagel. Luca tells us she's done with her Cheerios, and brings me the bowl, sloshing milk onto the tile. I hand her a wet paper towel and ask her to clean it.

"We need to clean it up so no one slips in it."
"Oh. Can you carry me?"
"Um. No. Mommy is working right now."

I load the dishwasher as Darrick entertains the kids. My work is interrupted no less than 3 times by Luca, with requests of "Up-you-go?" or "Carry me?". Run out to grab Luca some clean clothes from the dryer (What? You remove your clean clothes immediately from the dryer and hang them? Congratulations on your child-free lifestyle choices.), come back in and toss them to her and ask her to get dressed. Stand in front of our downstairs mirror to apply my make-up. Luca climbs up onto the table below the mirror and plays with the bottles and tubes.

"Do you want this, Mama?" (holding out mascara tube)
"Nope. Not yet sweetie."
"Why not?"
"I'm not ready for that."
"Why not?"
"Because I need to put this stuff (waves hand in direction of make-up) on first."

"What about this? Do you want this, Mama?" (holding out eyeliner)
"Not yet, sweetie."
"Why not?"
"Because I'm not ready for it."
"Oh..............are you ready for it now?"
"Not yet sweetie."

It goes on like this until I finish my make-up (which takes less than 4 minutes, a fact that amuses me when I consider how long I used to spend in the leisurely beautifying routine). Then I run upstairs to get changed and Rohan and Luca follow me. I close the toilet lid to keep his hands out, change my clothes as he grabs at my legs and turn to head downstairs. He whines to be picked up, and so does she.

"Carry me, Mama?"
"You can walk sweetie."
"No I'm a baby. I need you to carry me."

Mentally calculate which is worse: giving in to her whims or being late. Choose 'being late' as worse.

Hoist Rohan up on my left hip and Luca on my right, remember to have her pull the door handles shut, and carry them both downstairs again.

"Luca, I need you to put on your shoes please."
"I'm going to wear my sandals."
"Sweetie, you need to wear real shoes. You may bring your sandals in the bag, but it's too cold out this morning for sandals."
"I'm gonna put my sandals in my PINK purse in Rohan's bag."
"Ok. Do you need help?"
"No. I can do it myself. I'm a big girl."

Pack the diaper bag for 0.25 seconds until I hear whining from Luca.

"Luca, what's wrong?"
"Luca, you need to use your words. Can you ask nicely, and not whine, please?"
"I need help getting my sandals in my PINK purse."
"Ok. I am happy to help you."
"Thank you Mama."

Finish packing diaper bag. Grab comb and barrette and ask Luca to come over so I can do her hair.

"I don't need my hair combed. I'm good. Thank you anyways."
"(stifling laughter) Yes, we need to make your hair look pretty for Laura's house."
"I want apple juicy."
"You may have apple juice after I comb your hair."
"Why not?"

Comb her hair and only have to grab her to keep her from running away twice during the process. Go to get her juice. Remind her that she STILL needs to put her shoes on.


Hand her a pair of shoes. Find car keys. Turn around to see her putting on a different pair of shoes than the ones I handed her (handed her tennies, she's putting on her red dress shoes from Christmas). Decide to pick my battles and that really red dress shoes look fabulous with pink pants and a neon colored shirt anyhow. Pick up Rohan and balance him on left hip. Sling diaper bag over right shoulder. Grab keys and coffee in right hand. Ask Luca to grab her apple juice and follow me.

"It's time to go to Laura's house."

Go into garage. Set down diaper bag next to my door. Open Luca's door, take cup out of her hand and put it on top of car so she doesn't spill it while trying to climb in. Go to other side of car and open door to put Rohan in his seat. Luca has crawled over her seat and is trying to get into his.

"Luca, you need to get in YOUR seat."
"Rohan sits in this one."
"Because it's his seat. Please get in your seat."

She steps on a toy on the car floor, which makes noise. She picks it up. I give her The Look.

"I love you, Mama."
Regain composure.
"I love you too, sweetie."

Buckle Rohan in. Give him his blanket. Close his door. Go back around to buckle Luca in, working around her toy. Hand her the juice cup. Get in the car.

It's now 6:56 a.m.

Monday, March 22, 2010

At 12 Months

At 12 months, our Rohan is as big as he is loving.

25 lb, 3 oz (80th %)
32 inches (97th % +)


This weekend he 'helped' with his first tie dye project. Or...more accurately...he was rounded up by my husband as Luca, some of her buddies, and some of my friends helped us tie dye some clothes and color my backyard grass. It was a day full of sunshine, cuddles, cupcakes and fruit, and lots of fun and friends!

And the tie dye? OH how lovely!!

He spent most of Sunday toddling around the house, on sea legs that grew sturdier and surer as the day went on. Victims of his newfound bravery included 2 soda cans, a (thankfully cold from sitting out all morning)cup of coffee, and an empty beer bottle (and an empty box that used to hold beers). He nearly bounced down the stairs as well and had I not been rightthere he may have found a new appreciation for gravity. But it hasn't deterred him and once this boy decides he's going to do something, it is going to get done. In one day he transformed from a baby who braved the ocassional spattering of drunken steps from object to object into a Big Boy Who Likes To Walk And Is Frighteningly Close To Running.

Hold me.


We make a point when Rohan is taking his morning nap to do something with Luca that we have a hard time doing while he is awake. It could be a trip to the store while one parent stays home. Playing Play-Doh. Or, her favorite, arts and crafts.

This is where I confess that I LOVE arts and crafts most of all. I sometimes push it a little over the other options. There's something therapeutic about sitting on the floor next to a littl kid, playing with markers and pipe cleaners and stickers and paint and glue. I love watching her try new things, and seeing her imagination unfold before my eyes. She loves to watch me make things and try to make them herself, and she is so full of pride when she completes a project. Our fridge, countertops, table, pantry door, and windows greet most Monday mornings adorned with new artwork, and it makes my heart swell up with pride to see her mind and her eyes and her hands working in concert to create and make things beautiful.

My favorite so far is a painting she did yesterday...purple paint on red construction paper. It didn't look like much of anything as I laid it on the counter to dry yesterday. But this morning I was getting ready to head out the door to take Luca and Rohan to my mom's, and she asked if she could bring a picture to Grandma. I said yes, and she grabbed the red one. Holding it up, she said to me, "See that mama? It's a little baby elephant. It doesn't have a long nose, though."

Puzzled, I asked her why the baby elephant didn't have a long nose.

"Because we're all sick, Mama. And the teeny baby elephant is sick too, and if he has a long nose, he's a lot of sick. So I made his nose little so he can just be a little sick."


Watching the body of a baby uncurl from infant to toddler...from defenseless and needy to effervescent and independent.

Watching a toddler make connections and rationalize. Seeing her go from object to subjective.

Being priviliged to bear witness to these moments of greatness that peer out from behind a veil of ordinary, everyday family life typifies the parenthood experience. We are honored to meet them at their very first breath, to learn the meaning behind each cry and feel the bliss of earning their smiles. We feel small hands on our face as we feed them, on the tender backs of our arms as we carry them close, and someday grasping onto us and then rushing to let go.

We know the beauty of an unhinged laugh and the way our heart bounds into our throat when they make us proud. We breathe them and hold them and dream them and love them with a quiet ferocity. And sometimes, when we are very lucky, we see them make a connection for the first time and nudge one step closer to independence. And we hold on fervently to the moment, promising ourselves we will remember the way her hair is honey spun gold that swoops over her face and catches in her fairytale eyelashes. Or this way his smile bursts into a thousand points of light and radiates from within his little Buddha body.

I try not to look back too much. Not to spend too much time sorting through the memories of her first laugh (in the tub when she spotted rubber ducky) or his first steps (from Daddy to me and back again). You spend too much time looking over your shoulder, you're bound to walk into another room and not realize how and when you got there. So I focus on the moment or the day or the season and stare the future square in the face. Hands in the air, barrel-rolling and laughing the whole way.


Every day, I make the decision to recommit.

I wake up and remind myself, "Today is another day and another chance to make the right choices."

From the moment I wake each day, I am planning what the day will look like and how it will help me (or not) to reach my goal. What kind of breakfast will start the day off right, with a full belly to sustain me all morning? What will I eat for lunch? Do we have enough healthy options for me to pack my lunch and take it (which I do usually at least 4 of 5 work days)? Or will I be going out for lunch today? What about snacks? Water? What goes in my coffee? What are we going to eat for dinner tonight?

And then I get to work, and I recommit again when faced with the Ziploc of Skittles on the breakroom table or the donuts and bagels at the morning meeting. Instead of partaking, I drop off my own illicit goodies on the table for the lovely, beautiful women I work with to indulge on in my place. Leftover brownie bites from a weekend playdate? On the table. Cookies I baked late last night when I couldn't sleep and needed to wind down (because baking is therapy for my mind and my hands)? On the table. Shoot...even those Skittles in the Ziploc baggie were mine prior to finding their new home on the table.

At night, most of all, I make the choice to recommit. I choose the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich over 14 Oreos dunked in milk. I opt for water instead of chocolate milk before bed. I brush my teeth early so I'm not tempted to mindlessly nibble on goodies. I read a book or clean instead of snacking. And sometimes I even go to bed way before my normal bedtime because if I'm sleeping I'm not eating.

I used to think of it as a bad thing. Wake up in the morning and "Goddamnit I'm STILL doing this thing?!?!". But something happened to me recently, and I experienced an attitude shift. I'm not sure how this happened (magic fairies in the middle of the night?) but I woke the other day and thought to myself, "Today I'm making the choice to recommit. And tomorrow too. And the next day."

Because I feel better when I eat better.

Because I have a slow-moving scale, but a fast-paced life, and there's no time to feel sorry for myself.

Because I have a daughter who is beautiful and wise and funny as hell and she looks up to me and thinks I am beautiful how I am. And I want to make her proud of me, but I also want to be the kind of woman I hope she'll grow up to be. And that means a woman who is healthy and is willing to commit to herself.

Because I have a son, who I want to grow up to view a woman's worth as more than her beauty. And whom I also want to grow up seeing him mom committing to herself and being healthy.

Because I have a closet full of clothes and not much I can wear.

Because it feels good to be in control.


I am down two pounds this week, and I'd like to think it's because every day last week, I made the decision to recommit. So here's to many more days of Recommit.

I have been getting a lot of 'spambot' comments lately, so for the time being I am using the stupid 'word verification' tool for comments. I hate it but I also hate the blow to the ego when I think I have 3 comments and they are all spam.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Birthday Boy.

Yesterday both Rohan and I were sick. I was the kind of sick where my eyes did not want to stay open, my body did not want to move from a prone position, and my mind and mouth could not seem to work in unison. It was not how I wanted to spend Rohan's first birthday, and it was capped off with an evening fever and night sweats.

Rohan seemed to feel much the same, wanting only to sleep and cuddle and sleep some more. So our birthday shenanigans didn't go as planned (big breakfast, park, shopping), and instead we went out to eat and napped around the house. But don't go thinking for one hot second that I failed to photograph his first birthday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Rohan Morrison!

One year ago right this minute (2:13 p.m.) I was in the depths of a labor that came on fast and intense. I had spent the morning with my mom (your grandma) shopping and killing time and trying to ignore the radiating barb of tension across my lower back. I would stop every once in awhile to sway my hips side to side, holding the shopping cart where your big sister sat, grandma looking on in a knowing way. By this time of day, I was home, body leaning over a yoga ball one minute, and lying on my side tapping my foot rapidly the next. I had admitted that I was in need of our midwives, calling them and passing the phone to grandma when giving directions got too rough. I knew you would be here, but I thought perhaps you were hours away from your earthly debut.

You were not. Like everything with you, Rohan, you made your entrance into the world a great big keep-mama-on-her-toes surprise. Before I knew it, you were letting my body know it was time to push, and push I did....but you were not going to make this too easy on me. Instead of a smooth-as-butter birth to follow the fast and consuming ride of labor, you took your time and really made your Mama work. But like everything else in your life, that test of my fortitude and strength was just a primer for me; a little something to make the reward of meeting your sweet face all the more special.

And OH! what a moment. I remember that contractions were difficult to manage sometimes, but the memory of them has dulled around the edges over time. I recall telling my Midwives that pushing did not, indeed, 'feel better' like everyone promised it might, but that sensation is a funny story, not a physical memory now. But I won't ever, never, so long as I live, forget the way it felt to have your body slip from mine and feel your skin pressed to me. I won't ever forget knowing you were a boy before I even looked for proof, just as I knew YOU without needing an introduction. And my soul will forever have impressed upon it the sweet perfect scent of your skin.

You have not always been an easy baby, it's true. From not knowing why you were fussy to your Mastocytosis diagnosis (and, for a few weeks thereafter the silent wish I never said aloud that we could take back that diagnosis and just make you a 'fussy baby') you kept me bouncing on a yoga ball and patting your back and shushing you. And I worried sometimes that you would be THAT kid who no one wanted to hold or kiss or babysit because you could not smile and you could not be calm.

Oh, if I had known the sweet reward you had in store for our patience and love and bouncing and patting and late nights! I would not have believed how amazingly happy and funny and loving you were beneath it all. And now I know that while you've got that fire I love to see in my children, underneath it you are a baby who is all hands and kisses and cuddles and smiles. And that smile? THAT is a smile that can stop people in their tracks and make them bend to talk to you and rub their hand across your apple cheeks. You blessed our lives with that smile, and with the sweet person behind it.

We are so, so lucky we have you, Rohan. You never know as a Mom how your heart will open again and let another baby in once you're already had one child. I worried about the what-ifs and the how-will-Is and then what-were-we-thinkings. But it's like you were always a part of our family...and yet it's also like you just found us. Love makes our days blur by in a whirlwind of bathtime and kissed toes, pears and bananas and belly laughs, tears and comfort and hands on my face and rocking and shushing and sweet, blissed out tears. I know now how quickly it all flies by, and I promise you I will always be there for you (even in the middle of the night) and I will always love you and remember the gift you are to this family.

Happy Birthday, Rohan Morrison! I love you more than the moon in the sky!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Why 'Everything in Moderation' Does Not Work for Me

We have all heard it before: Everything in moderation! Moderation is key! You can have that donut, but just that 1! And then it's salads and cous cous for you!

Well, friends...you know who tells you these things and means them? REALLY means them? Skinny people and health nuts. And, hi my skinny and health-nutty friends! Because I know you're out there and I really do mean this will ALL due respect. But you should know that genetically blessed and overly athletic friends who say 'everything in moderation' are the fat chick's nightmare come true.

And admittedly, that's 90% to do with my (lack of) self control. I accept that fact. I own that fact. And accordingly, here's why everything in moderation does not work for me:

1. No, actually, I can NOT have that 1 donut. Because that 1 donut leads to 3 or 4 donuts. Not to salads and cous cous. Not to moderation.

2. Because 'everything in moderation' leads me to justify a grande dark cherry chocolate mocha from Starbucks* since:
a) it's seasonal!
b) I ordered it with no whip and skim milk!

3. Because I invited about 25 people to my son's birthday party, and his cake was actually 5 cakes shlepped together with 3 1/2 tubs of frosting. Moder-what?

4. Because there are leftover Skittles. And with everything in moderation, 1 or 2 Skittles have, like, NO calories, right? And I avoided those leftover Skittles for 2 days and then packed them up to bring into work and hand off to my (skinnier, eat things in moderation) co-workers. And there they sit...in my top desk drawer...taunting...taunting...

5. Because that home made cookie I can supposedly eat in moderation? It's 4 points. But the 100 calorie pack of cookies which leaves no room for discretion about how 'moderate' the serving size is? 2 points.

Moderation is not key for me. Control is key. And it's something I need to re-gain.

Because, somwhere inside the fat girl grabbing a fistful of Skittles is the girl my husband married. I want her back.

* I have Starbucks and their seasonl drink tomfoolery to thank for this post. Oh, yes, I am admitting it here and now: I thought this post out in my head as I waited in the drive thru yesterday for my Grande Non-Fat No Whip Dark Chocolate Mocha. Iced, please. And I felt just a tiny bit more virtuous when I was offered a free sample of the new pumpkin loaf and had the self-control to say, "No Thanks." So put that in your 'everything in moderation' pipe and smoke it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rohan's 1st Birthday Party

His birthday is not until Tuesday, but we had his party yesterday (on my Mom's birthday!). It was a lot of fun having our family and friends over to play in the Arizona sunshine, eat corned beef and cabbage, swing on the swingset, and enjoy waaaay too much cake!

I managed to get through the party planning without getting too sentimental about my baby turning 1, mostly by focusing on streamers! and balloons! and cake! and tablecloths! Distraction is the King of Denial.

Rohan was a little under the weather for his party, so he spent a good chunk of the time hugging up to his Grandmas and Grandpa. He was overwhelmed with the gift opening to the point where he crawled away and tried to sneak out the back door. But the cake? Oh the CAKE he loved.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Makin' His Way In The World Today...

Rohan is officially a walker. He's now taking up to 8 steps at a time, looking like a happy drunken Irishman with a brilliant grin and a crooked gait. Mostly he walks from me to Darrick, or Darrick to me, or Luca to one of us. But what inspires him more than anything else to walk? Bananas.

Yes. Tell my kid you have a 'Nana' and he's up and doing the straight-legged-drunken-Mc-walk faster than you could imagine possible.

He's not particularly light on his feet (or...really...he's not particularly light on anything) but he does well for himself.

In addition to walking, he recently acquired the skills necessary to back down the steps instead of trying to faceplant his way down. Lovely, since it now means we don't have to block the staircase with a too-small baby gate, an umbrella stroller upside down, and a giant bean bag. And...yes...I am serious. That is what passed for babyproofing at Casa Muffin Cake for the past 7 months or so.

So it's a whole new (vertical, almost 3 foot tall) world for my boy. And in a week, he'll be 1. And the week after? College.

At least, that is what it feels like from where I sit.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Growing Up

Parenthood makes your heart bloom 1,000 sizes larger, which is a good thing because your kids will learn to talk and quickly set pace to break your heart into a million pieces. The sweet words, spun in sugar and designed to warm you from the core. The mean words, full of spite (and sometimes without any meaning behind them since the kid doesn't get what they are saying, like the time Luca told me I looked like Santa) that burn the backs of your eyes. The funny words that make your heart burst into confetti, threatening to tear your ribcage open as it overflows with love and pride. And, the bittersweet kind that cause you to force a smile to pass that lump in your throat because they are both sweet and sad all at once.


"Mama, can you tell Rohan to stop whining?" she asks from the backseat, the back of her head pressed to her car seat's armrest as she gives an annoyed, sideways glare to her whining brother.

"Oh sweetie, I can tell him, but he's a baby. He doesn't understand. Sometimes, babies just whine because they can't talk like big kids can." I answer as I meet her eyes in my car's review mirror.

"Ro-o-ohan! Stop!" she hollers at him.

"Yeah Rohan," I mock-reprimand, "stop being such a baby!"

(giggles from the baby's big sister)

"I don't whine, Mama. Cuz I'm not a baby. I'm a big girl!"

"No WAY! You're MY baby!"

"NO, I'm gonna get bigger mama."

"Nope. Not allowed," I tease, "you have to stay itty and bitty and pocket-sized forever and ever. No getting big allowed!"

"Oh. I'm sorry Mama, but I have to get big." she replies, eyebrows tipped in at the temples, a look of sympathy and compassion in her big, sweet eyes.


Monday, March 1, 2010

I Petitioned to Skip March.

I cannot believe it's March already, and my baby is turning 1 this month. If I could skip the whole month of March I'd be inclined to because then my baby would stay a baby forever. That is how it works, right?

In addition to Rohan's first birthday, March brings several other b-days, a trip to DC (me), a trip to CA (hubby), a tie dye party, and lots of other things.

So far, March also includes another pound lost. Which means 5 total...which is SO not as fabulous as I'd hoped for but better than nothing. Right? Right? In all candor, however, it's my own damn fault it's not melting away more quickly. I have a real Friday/Saturday problem I need to get under control. I can stay within my points all week, and then Friday comes along and is all, "Hi, look at me and my deliciousness!" and I hog out. SO couterproductive, and I know better. I really do. But I also have a weakness for Mexican food and donuts (hello Friday night and Saturday morning...). And I think it's ok to indulge those weaknesses, but perhaps I need to indulge on Wednesday so that by Sunday morning evidence of said indulgence has had time to go bye-bye.

So, 5 weeks in....5 pounds lost. I didn't meet any of my goals I posted last week, but I'm moving on. One of those goals was to lose 3 pounds from where I was at WI last week, and I lost 2, so I'm calling that a success.


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