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Happy Father’s Day

Y’all. I know posts of late have been on the sappy side. You can blame the sleep deprivation, hormones or the vicious news cycle, whatever the reason, I need an outlet for some heartwarming, mushyness. I think we all do.

Last summer, after we found out baby # 2 was a boy, I spent a great deal of time pondering what that meant, how that challenged me as a mother and parent. I have always wanted a daughter. I feel confident about raising a girl. I know the sphere of femininity, for all its blessings and challenges well, because (duh) I’ve lived it.

But manhood? Masculinity? That sounds much harder. And very unfamiliar turf. How on earth do I instill kindness and integrity when modern-day manhood is so often toxic and violent? These are broad strokes of course, but the challenge is real.

 

I still carry these worries, but not without reassurance. Because of this guy.  He is loving, caring and attentive. Patient (mostly;), FUN and tender. He enjoys being with us and we all know it. For these things, and many more, I am grateful. And reassured knowing that both our children have such a wonderful example, not just of fatherhood, but of manhood too.

 

Raising babies ain’t easy, Somanna. But it sure looks good on you. ❤

sajan and daddy

amaya and daddy walking may 2017

 

 

 

 

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Unexpected reminders

Recently, my beloved gifted me with Tracy Chapman’s greatest hits CD. Yes. A compact disc. I realize that shows my age and lack of technical prowess, but hey so does this blog and the artist selection.

As the youngsters say, whatevs.

I had been hankering for the album and he oh so thoughtfully ordered it for me so I could enjoy it on a recent road trip. I first heard Tracy Chapman in seventh grade. My older brother had her album and he would play it, along with other great music, on our morning drives to school.

In college, my roommate played this song for our brokenhearted suite mate (young love can be so sweet, and so sharp). Halfway into the song, our wounded friend burst into tears and said “How the hell is this song supposed to be helping?!”  An anthem for those swimming in fresh heartbreak, “The Promise” is not. I still chuckle whenever I hear the song.

I give you that background simply to show you my age that her music has been around my life for some time. And last Saturday, her music spoke to my most current life stage: motherhood.

It had been a rocky morning. Our five month old son refused to nap, our almost three-year old daughter didn’t feel well = cling to mommy like algae on a rock. And I was cranky. That wasn’t really anyone’s fault, but it happens.

So when hubs discovered we were out of a few essentials, I gladly volunteered to run to the store. I freely admit that any trip to a store sans little ones gets me giddy. Parents of small children everywhere understand this excitement and we’re not ashamed.

At the stoplight, a new-to-me song caught my attention and before the next stoplight, I was a blubbering mess.

Sweet and high at the break of dawn
Simple tune that you can hum along too
I remember there was a time
When I used to sing for you

The past tense of that last refrain….it caught my mama heart off guard. When I used to sing for you.  I love to sing to my babies. My mom sang to me and I sing to them.  To get them to sleep, to comfort their cries, to entertain them in the car and on long walks. I have songs specific to each child. Songs I played while pregnant that they recognized after birth. I sing those songs and others. I sing in the car and around the house.  It’s about my children knowing, intimately, the joy of music and singing; the individual offering and the communal affirmation.

It’s not about having a great voice. It’s about them knowing my voice. To remember me. To hear a lullaby or a song and feel a familiar warmth, a sense of peace, belonging, love. Isn’t that what lullabies are all about?

One day, they won’t need me to sing their songs at bedtime. One day they’ll ask me to stop or maybe tell me I’m doing it wrong. But right now? Right now, it’s delicious and wonderful.

Soft and low
When the evening comes
Holding you sleeping in my arms
I remember
There was a time
When I used to sing for you

I am grateful for this time and the music that fills up our life.  And for unexpected reminders.

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Hello? Is this thing on?

Lately, I’ve felt like writing. And by lately, I mean the last 2.5 years. But life tends to get in the way. Though not nearly as much as my insecurities. However, one of my goals for 2017 – or life really – is to take more risks. Focus more on the TA DA list and not the to do list. I’m tired of going to bed feeling like I spent the day chasing the mundane and not making room for the meaningful.

So here I am, giving this another whirl. I’ll probably talk a lot about babies and motherhood because that’s my world these days. (And I love it, despite the relentless ass kicking that is parenthood 😉 I’m sure some other things will get tossed in as we go. I don’t know. There’s not really a plan.  I just know it feels good to be in this space, so I’ll start there. You are welcome to join me. I hope we inspire each other.

quote

 

 

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Well, hello. It’s been awhile.

Lot’s happened in the past 2 years.

Birthday Babe Daddy's girl.

Peaches and Curry have a sweet lil’ side dish.

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by | May 19, 2016 · 8:35 pm

How are we here already?

I’m not quite sure how we got here, but here we are at 32 weeks.

Friends, that is 5 weeks from full term. Baby could come anywhere from 5 to 9 weeks away.

Like whoa.

I don’t even know where to begin really. So many thoughts swirling in my head. So many items left unchecked on our to do list.

So far, my pregnancy has been relatively smooth and for that I am very, very thankful. I have especially enjoyed it since finding out what we’re having and feeling baby move. Love the movements! Sure, there are some not so glamorous parts and I know I’m headed into the home stretch where even the most glowing goddesses have declared themselves officially DONE with sharing their womb. But despite my very slow warm up to bodily cohabitation, I have come to really love it. It’s quite fascinating.

While physically things have been going well, the emotional front remains a bit more challenging. A large part of that centers on the ole to-do list, learning to make room for baby in our already busy lives and constantly reminding myself to be patient. Patient with ourselves. With slow answers. With this unorganized mess of a house and yard, which I hope will one day be transformed into a home.

There’s so much to sort out and so many decisions to make, from the mundane (cloth or disposable wipes? what shade of white to paint the nursery trim?) to the super important (navigating health insurance, childcare and car seats) And of course in our hyped up age of social media, It’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed and inadequate.

But luckily I’ve got Somanna to keep my head straight. The other night, fueled by pregnancy hormones and a lack of sleep, I declared rather dramatically that we didn’t know what we were doing. Without missing a beat, he looked at me and said with every ounce of confidence, “And who the eff does?! Any parent that tells you they know what they’re doing is full of it.” And then he snorted in a pusshhaww kind of way, as if I had said that our cats could bark and pigs could fly, and went back to what he was doing. 

His response both cracked me up and snapped me back to reality all at once. Yes, we have lots to learn. No, we don’t know what we’re doing and perhaps most disappointing to me, no we won’t get everything done on my dream to do list. But you keep trying. And you keep practicing patience. And always, you keep laughing.  Here’s hoping that formula applies to parenthood.

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Finding Out – Part I

Forgive me while I indulge in all things baby over the next several blog posts. But I want to write (type?) this stuff down so that we have something to look back on when our memories fail us down the road. If that’s not your cup o’chai I understand. But these memories have already begun to fade and that makes me a little sad. So let’s start from the beginning …..finding out your uterus is inhabited.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day weekend. A glorious three-day stretch to commemorate the end of summer and beginnings of fall. Leaving work Friday night, I swung by K-Mart ( yes, those still exist) to pick up a pregnancy test with little expectations that the results on this one would be any different. After all, we weren’t um, the best students when it came to baby making. We definitely opted for the lazy a more organic approach.

Fast forward roughly 45 minutes and there is an unmistakable double line. This is met with a momentary sense of elation followed quickly (so, so quickly) by a resounding

“WHAT THE EFF HAVE WE DONE?!!!

All inside my head.

All alone in the bathroom.

And all 10 minutes before Baby Brother would be joining us for dinner.

So naturally, I did what any rational, modern woman who has suffered through a college statistics course does. I immediately dismissed this finding as statistically irrelevant and decided that the next course of action would be to conduct a full investigation, complete with extensive, scientific validation.

I would take another test in the morning.

Yes, yes. My scientist brother-in-law and sister-in-law would approve. What legitimate scientist blindly accepts initial test results? Psshhhawww.

In the meantime, we had dinner plans. Baby Brother had arrived. I hid the evidence. (No need to alarm the husband unnecessarily.) While waiting for Somanna to finish cat litter box duties, I invited Baby Brother to take a quick walk with me. I asked Baby Brother lots of questions, ignored his answers entirely and focused on making sure my head did not spin right off my neck.

And then we went to dinner.

I ordered shrimp.

Uh, Oops.

Saturday, August 31st, very early in the morning…:

Shit! This can’t be right. OMG do not tell me this actually freakin worked?!

A-HA!

Yes, of course….Second test, but SAME BRAND. Rookie mistake.

Must purchase variety of brands to eliminate testing bias. Will have to figure out how to squeeze in a Target trip when our Saturday is already jam-packed with bed shopping, Somanna’s company picnic and meeting up with Raleigh friends in the evening.

When can I start drawing a bell curve?

Saturday night, very late, after drinking copious amounts of water:

Hmm…different brand, but negative result. Is that disappointment? Must consult directions.

“Drinking excessive amounts of water can dilute test results.”

Rookie mistake # 2: failure to execute experiment properly.

Sunday, September 1st, in the early, early morning hours:

Still on brand # 2, test #4 …….annddd the double lines strike again! But I can never remember…is it one or two lines? WTF pee stick manufacturers? Can’t you make it more obvious? How about a flashing neon sign that says “Pregnant Bitch!” or “Congrats! You’re knocked up!” Oh wait…there is a brand that displays words …must purchase asap.

But how? I have a bridal shower to attend today, which will be tricky given the whole drinking thing.

And oh yea….gotta figure out how to tell Somanna about this little scientific hypothesis. It will require some creativity though. After all, he did specify some requirements way back when.

To be continued…..

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(No) Word Wednesday*

* Okay maybe a few words. September 11th is coming up, and this photo is my “tribute” for that day. This is a sculpture by Michael Richards, who is a Jamaican American artist. It is cast from the artist’s body and it’s actually a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen. The planes are representing arrows that were shot at St. Sebastian, an early Christian martyr. So how does this connect to 9/11? Richards died in his studio, which was in 92nd floor of Tower One on September 11th, 2001.

Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, 1999.

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