Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sweet sleep

I woke last night with a soft weight on my chest. Thinking one of the cats had settled there for a snooze, I removed my hand from under the covers to stroke whichever feline was there. I was surprised to feel Loaf's wiry curls and the hard curve of her skull instead of a soft coat of fur.

I moved my hand along her body. She slept with her head on my chest and her body curled between me and Mark. She was on top of the covers. I shifted slightly and pulled the blanket over her body. She sighed deeply and coiled more tightly to me.

To the best of my knowledge, she's never slept like this before - head on my chest, squeezed against me like a big cat.

I lay there in the dark, arm around her, thinking how small and light she is. Running my hand along her back, I mentally measured her stem to stern, nose to toes. I listened to her breathing - deep and rhythmic. We have such a bond, she and I. She seeks me out day and night, rushing to press herself into me as much as possible.

I lay awake in the dark, my mind wandering around the details of my life, for a long time before sleep finally found me again.

Hours later, I woke to see Loaf's head on the pillow. At some point, she separated from me and once again we slept parallel - side by side. Then I felt her tiny hand resting on my forearm, still seeking the comfort of touch. I threw an arm over her and closed my eyes and this time fell instantly back into a deep sleep, equally comforted. Equally content.

* * * * *

Oh, and in case you were wondering where my annual Academy Awards fashion review is, I'm taking the year off.

To be honest, I just wasn't feeling it this year. It seemed every gown was just sort of "meh." Not great. Not awful. Not worth blogging about (because who wants to read review after review of, "It was fine, not great, not awful. Just fine.") And it didn't help that a slew of stars skipped the red carpet and slipped in the back door. (Seriously, what the hell? Hardly anyone cares about the awards - we want to see the fashion!) Hopefully next year we'll have more WOWS! and even more OMG, WHAT WAS SHE THINKINGS so that we can resume our usual snark.

What did you think? Anyone stand out (either good or bad) in your opinion?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Evidence of growth

Two years ago, I opened an envelope full my daughter's school pictures and was moved to tears.

Last week, I picked up two more envelopes - one for each daughter, and while the tears didn't flow this time around (I think I'm just more prepared for it now), the shock was still the same, especially when it comes to Peanut. She is transforming bit by bit into a bonafide Little Girl, slowly migrating away from her previous labels of "Baby," "Toddler," and "Preschooler."

And then there's Loaf. She is so petite, practically slight, and I can't help still think of her as my baby, but she's obviously growing, changing and maturing all the time. I know someday soon, before I can believe it, I'll open an envelope and there will be a tween looking back at me, followed soon thereafter by a teenager.

I dread it, and not simply because those years are virtually guaranteed to bring about eye-rolling, sighing and backtalking of epic proportions. I main reason I dread it is because I know the midday snuggles on the couch, the bedtime stories, the gigantic bear hugs around my neck, will be gone - found only in memory boxes and the dusty corners of my own brain. And, of course, envelopes of old pictures kept safely tucked away.

Peanut 3s:


Peanut 4s:

School picture 2008: 4s class

Peanut Pre-K:

School picture 2009: Transitional K

Loaf 2s:

School picture 2008: 2s class

Loaf 3s:

School picture 2009: 3s class

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Credit where it's due

My husband hates Valentine's Day.

This is not to say that he cannot be sweet or romantic - he can, and he is - he just doesn't like being told that he HAS to be sweet and/or romantic within the confines of one mass-market, commercial, Hallmark-created, 24-hour period in February or risk the wrath of a pissed-off spouse. He would rather do so on his own terms.

And I GET that. I do. And I don't totally disagree with it. But that said, I still appreciate a small token of affection within the confines of a certain 24-hour period in February nonetheless. Last year, he didn't even wish me a Happy Valentine's Day and by about 5 p.m. I was practically homicidal. I'm still surprised he lived to tell the tale of how his wife went crazy one Valentine's evening.

I told him on that day, just over a year ago, that I did not need some big lavish production. I did not need a store-bought card or a dozen roses, or chocolates or jewelry or any of it. A nice note and a sincere smooch would do it.

Well, apparently, he was listening, because look what I found on my desk yesterday morning:

Homemade Valentine from my sweetie

And here's the inside:

Inside of homemade card

I'm so lucky!

::cue the "awwwwws"::

(And yes, he signed his last name. He always does. It is part of the magic that is him).


Saturday, February 14, 2009

And away she goes

"Mommy! Hang on to me! Don't let me go!"

Her voice shook and she grasped at me frantically, her little feet slipping in every direction on the rented ice skates I laced up just moments before. She looked like a cartoon character about to take off running.

I grasped her right hand tightly with my left. On the other side, I held firmly onto Loaf, who was struggling even harder to stay upright on the slick ice.

We inched along the edge of the rink, Peanut clinging to me and the wall for support, me serving as the anchor, the girls twisting and flopping and occasionally falling on either side of me. Every now and then I'd catch a glimpse of one of their faces - eyes wide, cheeks and noses pink from the cold, an expression mixed with wonder, fear and thrill.

I have no idea how long it took us to complete one loop around the rink - but it was a long time. Faster, more experienced skaters whizzed by us multiple times - boys in hockey skates, girls in skating skirts and almost every other child on the rink wearing a helmet (it never even occurred to me to bring their helmets; I haven't been in an ice rink for over 20 years and no one wore helmets then. Anyway . . . just one more reason why I won't get Mother of the Year again this year).

We moved slowly, me giving as much coaching as possible, trying to watch their feet, hold them up and not get pulled down myself. We finally reached the door from which we entered the ice and unanimously agreed to take a break. We sat on the bench and watched the other skaters circle for several minutes.

"See how they push with their skates?" I offered. "See how they go?"

Soon, they were both eager to give it another go. We stepped out onto the ice, me gripping them on either side.

"Let go, Mom," said Peanut. "I want to try it myself."

I hesitated.

"Are you sure?" I asked.

"Yes, let go, Mom."

Slowly - carefully - I loosened my grip. She wobbled - both arms sticking out searching for balance, helicoptering wildly. She nearly fell, but held herself upright. And then, she pushed. Just a small push - a step, really, but enough to propel her forward a few inches.

Loaf was still struggling horribly, so I held tightly to her, all the while keeping an eye on Peanut. I kept my left hand at the ready to catch her if she went down and every so often she did. But she recovered quickly - regaining her balance and restarting the slow shuffle that moved her along the rink's edge.

Then, something happened with Loaf. She turned suddenly and I lost my grip on her. She slid onto her side and lay there, unhurt, but looking up at me helplessly. Somewhat stunned, I pulled her back to her feet and brushed her off. By the time I looked up, Peanut was several feet ahead of us. Gliding forward a bit unsteadily, but nonetheless completely on her own. I watched the back of her pink coat moving farther away from me - her legs shaking like those of a newborn foal learning to stand for the first time - shaking and quivering with uncertainty, not yet knowing those legs were born to trot and pull and gallop.

It took my breath away, watching her like that. She turned just then and smiled at me, so very, very proud of herself, and something in my chest popped - a combination of delight and loss so sudden and strong it felt like an electric shock.

I grasped Loaf under her arms and held her in front of me, skating quickly to catch up with Peanut.

To catch up with her. The girl who couldn't even stand on this ice an hour ago.

We circled one more time - still slow, but a bit faster than our inaugural lap. Peanut on her own and Loaf and I following in tandem. Mother supporting the younger child, while the older gingerly, but assuredly, finds her own footing in this world.

And so it goes.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Neener-neener-neener

Funny face

Click here to see more great Wordless Wednesday posts!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Future UN negotiator

Me: Loaf, whose bed are you going to sleep in tonight?

Loaf: YOURS!

Me: Why don't you sleep in your own bed?

Loaf: I don't like it! It's cold.

Me: OK, then I'll cover you up with an extra comforter. You'll be toasty warm.

Loaf: It's also scary.

Me: The light is on, the door is open, we're right here in the next room. There's nothing to be scared of.

Loaf: I get lonely.

Me: I'll put Molly in there with you.

Loaf: I just like your bed better.

Me: It's awfully crowded though. How about if you sleep there and I sleep in your bed?

Loaf: No! I like your bed better because you're in it.

Me: ::sigh:: You put up a pretty good argument, kid.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Catching snowflakes

Snowflakes on the tongue

Winter smile

Click here for more great Wordless Wednesday posts.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 02, 2009

Snippets, part II

(After telling Peanut that her grayish-green eyes are very pretty and somewhat unusual).
Peanut: So that must mean Loaf’s eyes are ugly and ordinary.

- -

(Mark looks at the new underwear I bought for the girls).
Mark: You bought them Granny underwear.
Me: Would you rather I got them a pack of lacy thongs?

- -

(Driving by a farm, we spy a horse standing by a fence, so we stop to look at it).
Peanut: Is it a boy or a girl?
Me: I’m not sure.
Loaf: It’s a boy.
Peanut: How do you know?
Loaf: Because it has a pair in the back.
Me: Wait. What? It has a . . . WHAT?!?
Loaf: A pear. Like the fruit. There in the back. A BIG one!
Me: :::bangs head on steering wheel:::

- -

(Later in the same car ride, one of the girls passes very stinky gas).
Me: Did one of you just have gas?
Both: No!
Me: Are you sure? Because it smells like gas in here.
Loaf: It was Daddy!
Me: He’s not even in the car. We're miles from home. If that was him, we’re in serious trouble.
Loaf: It was him and HE is in serious trouble.
Me: It was you, wasn’t it?
Loaf: ::shakes head vigorously with huge of-course-it-was-me smile on face::

To read previous Snippets click here.

Labels: ,