Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Shout Out to my Daughter's Dad..

Grant rarely gets all the praise he deserves- I have actually joked that he started out being fantastic WAY too early in our marriage and now I just expect him to continue the trend.

Here is his Top Five list of awesomeness JUST from this week.

1. Found Pursy's missing shoe (twice)-  the one that she likes to sneaky take off and run around without.
2. Changed her crib sheets at 8AM because I can't bend over anymore to change them after a night sleep with a fierce dirty diaper.
3. Braved the mall to buy me my favorite bamboo candle AND bring it to me at work- after I had crabbed at him for 10 minutes prior to leaving for work about how hot and miserable I am.
4. Has yet to say one word about what running the AC constantly will do to our electric bill, even though I KNOW he has thought about it more then once.
5. At least 3 nights in the past week has made a popsicle run while I laid supine on the couch watching the Pirates.

I got a good one. Don't think I don't know it. Love you Grant.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Anyone Know the Wikidef of "Precocious"?... spelled PURSLANE

Yesterday when picking up Pursy from the church nursery, one of the workers mentioned to me that "your daughter is quite precocious". I smiled and thanked her... and then wondered if she thought that was a good thing. We tend to think her adventurous, determined, happy nature is a beautiful thing- but I suppose when you are trapped in one room with 15 toddlers those traits might be less admirable then say, the docile child who just wants to sit and watch. I don't know if other 15 month olds have figured out how to talk their friends into doing things, but when I walked into the nursery Pursy was sitting in the Fisher Price car while her friend Miles was pushing her around. He was either being the southern gentleman his mother is raising him to be, or Pursy flashed her baby blues and he got suckered.

Here are some more examples of my precocious daughter and the antics this week that we have found particularly endearing.

Talking to baby Knox
 Channeling Saturday Night Fever in the baby pool
 Her Thriller moves while getting ready for church
 Making sure baby Knox has his own goldfish
 Baby Costello
 One of her favorite tricks- the old foot in the box...
 Reverse helping Mama put laundry away
 Amazing how many plastic bags fit in that little box..
 Pursy doing bath salts...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Being an 80's Mom

Grant and I have been talking recently about being an "80's parent"- the kind our parents were before public opinion, research and the internet made all parents so paranoid about the worse case scenario. I don't remember owning a bike helmet, definitely was not in a car seat until the age of 8, and took many a ride on the back of my neighbor's 3 wheeler around the corn fields. My mom made all our food (had my first Twinkie in High School) but it wasn't organic and we drank warm, raw milk as children without a worry of listeria.

I'm not saying that the new safety rules aren't a good thing- particularly when I watch some parents do super stupid things with their kids.We all remember Britney Spears with her infant in her lap driving away from the paparazzi... but somewhere between that extreme and the other where happy meals are illegal in San Francisco should be good old common sense parenting.

I'm glad that somewhere, someone is doing research to keep my babes more safe. I'm glad to know about the risks of babes being put to sleep on their stomachs and that rear-facing carseats are protecting infants. But will we be saying in 30 years the same things our parents are saying now? "When you were little, this is how they told us to keep you safe"-and cite something that seems ludicrous to our kids?.

So maybe I won't let Pursy ride on the back of a 3-wheeler anytime soon, but I hope that I let her live a little. We have always said about her eating habits that 95% of the time she will be eating fresh, local food that we create in our kitchen. The other 5% will be the friend's birthday party where she eats tons of blue icing and gummi bears. The random Tuesday nights when Grant decides to take the kids to McDonalds. And the Saturday mornings where we go pick up donuts and watch cartoons on the floor with our babes. I don't want her to think that eating organic is the only way to go- but neither is Captain Crunch for dinner every night.

So I think I like that philosophy for the rest of life as well- 95% of the time follow the rules and the other 5% is parental discretion. Grant and I are smart people and should be able to weight the risks and benefits of raising children in 2011 where more information doesn't always equal better parenting. At some point you have to return to the fact that your children are in God's hands and He protects them. I think about this every time I watch Grant throw Pursy around- her head inches away from the ground, the wall, the ceiling fan- and she is laughing her head off. He has a better sense of being an 80's parent then I do. I don't want to stupidly put her in danger, but maybe I can take off the water wings while she splashes in the baby pool...


Monday, July 18, 2011

Pregnancy Pros and Cons

My first blog was called "Two Souls, One Body" and was devoted almost exclusively to blogging about my pregnancy with Purslane. I talked about cravings, morning sickness, crazy pregnancy dreams and other sundry topics that were amazing and wondrous experiences with a first pregnancy.

I feel like with pregnancy #2 the magic has worn off and I just feel like an enormous crabby bag of sand. I find it extremely difficult to find anything I like about being with child this time around, and REALLY can't believe I still have 2 3/4 months to go. (side note- I love being a mother and can't wait to meet this little man. Just to clarify that I do not plan on being this miserable once babe is OUTSIDE my body) (side note #2- I also recognize that many women have real complaints about  being pregnant such as bells palsies, varicose veins, systemic rashes and 40 week nausea- to these amazing women who persevere I send out my adoration and tell you to stop reading my bog before you want to punch me in the face).

With my first pregnancy, I could be as narcissistic as I wanted. I laid on the couch and on a good day just talked to my in utero child, and on a bad day waited for Grant to meet whatever need I had at the moment. If I wanted a nap the only barrier was the set of stairs I had to climb to the bedroom. I counted grams of protein, religiously did pregnancy yoga, checked the ingredients in my face cleanser and ate organic superfoods like acai berries and Kefir. It was winter and spring during my 3rd Trimester so I enjoyed the extra warmth of carrying a baby and I kept myself active. The day before I went into labor, Grant and I walked 4 miles. I was a model pregnant woman.

This time around it is Summer and I am hot. I am also running around after a 15 month old who thinks the world is fantastic and wants to drink it all in at once. My breakfast this morning was the remains of her oatmeal and half a peach smoothie. I think I remembered to take my prenatal vitamin and the thought went through my head that if I didn't, I'm pretty sure the bowl of cereal I will eat before bed tonite is fortified with lots of vitamins. I haven't touched my yoga DVD- although Pursy and I do get out almost every day for a long walk. Naps are a pipe dream and to be honest, if my face cleanser right now had arsenic in it, I don't think I would notice. The best gauge of my mood this pregnancy would be Grant, who every time I open my mouth jumps in with "whatever I did, I'm sorry"- before I even speak. He just assumes he is about to be hassled about something. Poor guy. He is the definition of longsuffering.

I know the end will come before I can blink, and I won't  be able to remember life without my two precious babes. I will have much bigger things to worry about then not being able to reach my toes or how many mgs of caffeine my coffee has in it. Being a Mom is one of the most important things I will do with my life, and even though I think we will probably stop with two biological babes, going through pregnancy is a small price to pay for the privilege of having children. But since I am human and pregnant in the summer, please don't give me a hard time for complaining about being tired or hot. Just bring me milkshakes and at least pretend to listen when I crab about whatever has me going at the moment. That's what Grant does.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Do As I Say... Not So Much As I...Say

Purslane-
 Today you heard me say "bitch" in front of you. You may or may not have noticed that this was not the first time you have heard this fun-sounding word, nor have I been the only person from which you have heard it. Your Dad and I try to remind each other often that you are learning new words at an amazing rate, and are a little mockingbird of imitation. The reason I am thinking more about it today was due to the fact that out of your sweet little mouth came a very clear echo of "bitch".

You have no idea what you are saying and no one would have been offended. I understand that the hard consonants and one syllable makes it a very easy word to learn, and as a side note, I am very proud of your speedy language acquisition.

And here is what I will never tell you. I really don't care that much if you learn "swears"(as we like to call them). There are some situations that really are best described with a well placed shit or damn and your parents sprinkle these words liberally in conversation. Ask your Dada or Uncle Jonathan about the night at Bible Study where your mother actually ministered to someone by using the f-word.

We do promise to be more guarded in our use of swears while you are younger, because the reality is that there is something sloppy and low-brow about not using more refined and proper language in your speech. Figuring out how to express yourself without offensive language is the skill not only of a lady, but a human being who can function in a proper society. And Jesus has also commanded us to use our words to build up and not cause others to stumble. You will very quickly learn that some people just don't like swears, and so your Dad and I will teach you not to use them because we want you to be able to talk to anyone and not be hindered by your family's personal freedom.

But the reality is that I will be much more upset with you if I see you treating your friends unkindly then I would ever be if I heard you curse. I will feel like a failure as a mother if I don't see compassion and grace in your everyday life, much more then if I find out that you had a beer underage. And when you make other mistakes in your life but are able to ask forgiveness from others and learn from your bad decisions, I will be more proud of you then I would ever be if you were every teacher's "dream student".

Don't get me wrong- you will be in BIG trouble with both of us when you break rules or test limits. We will be disappointed in you when you go behind our backs and do what you know you aren't allowed to. We will take away your Saturday afternoon at the park, ground you, take away your Ipod- or whatever discipline we have learned works best with you. We will teach you how to be a Christian woman and a kind and decent human being. But what really matters to us is that you "love whoever is around you to be loved" (K.Vonnegut) and understand the grace of God. Even if the occasional "bitch" comes out.

Love,
Your Mama

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Evolution's Way of Continuing the Human Race

Mother praying mantis' eat their young. And you couldn't really blame them. Have you seen a baby praying mantis? Not so cute. But baby humans? Charles Darwin said "Babies are the evolutionary goal of procreation realized". So we look at our babies and give ourselves a big mental high five. We did it- we created a human and thus, in the words of Celine Dion "my heart will go on". (not perfectly applicable, but thought it would be funny to quote Darwin and Dion in the same paragraph.)

Today, Purslane is testing my evolutionary goal of perpetuating the species. It is only 1:30 in the afternoon and she has pulled out all the envelopes from two new boxes (60 envelopes total), created two diapers so disgusting in scope and scent that I had to open a window, deleted at least 3 contacts from my cell phone, refused to eat any of her pears or cucumbers thus reducing her lunch to cheese and half a piece of bread, ripped the space bar off the computer (which has made typing this a labor of love), full fist grabbed my left nipple while trying to pull herself up into my lap, and decided to only nap for an hour-half of which she spent whimpering in such a way as to make my heart hurt.

So I sat her down with her favorite peekaboo book with firm instructions to "give Mama 5 minutes to check email". She was quiet for about 45 seconds and then I heard her rummaging around in the bottom desk drawer. The next thing I knew, she had crawled up on the chair behind me, put both arms around my neck and said "Hi!", Dada's headphone around her neck. Evolution wins again.