Tag Archives: mom

My First Mother’s Day

13 May

I celebrated my first Mother’s Day two Sundays after Nia was born. Andrew couldn’t be with us that day but he made sure to send his two girls a sweet surprise. While in Iraq, before computers and phones were available for soldiers, Andrew found a way to order me my favorite flowers (daisies) and Bean a dog stuffed animal. He had them delivered to our home right on time for Mother’s Day and it made me feel loved, appreciated and connected to him even though we were so far apart and he hadn’t even met our daughter yet.

I found a picture that shows his gifts to us. The dog watched over her on top of her bassinet and the flowers dressed up the table next to her, near the couch where I sat:

Baby Bean with Doggy on her Bassinet

Bean still keeps the doggy close. His nose is worn and he shows her years of hugs and travels. She takes him with her on trips, tucking him in her pillow case and feeling comforted as soon as she snuggles him. She knows that “soldier daddy” got him for her and she cherishes that so sweetly. I know there will be a time when he will be moved to a shelf and then a keepsake box, but right now, nine Mother’s Days later, her special doggy is resting at the top of her bed as she sleeps – watching over her like he did as a baby.

Snuggles Special Doggy

You Look Like a Mom

23 Feb

I remember when I first heard that. I was 28 years old. I was, in fact, a mother. Of two. I remember that I didn’t know how to take it. In that moment, it felt like an insult. Thinking, “What does that even mean?” I was at a bar, with my husband, thinking I look pretty nice in my black sweater and jeans. Now, I wish I could go back and react to it differently. How could that be an insult? I look like a mom. Without hesitation, I should have taken it as a compliment. It’s who I am.

I find it interesting how much I realize that even when I’m not with my kids. When I am by myself, I feel like I’m missing a piece of me. I don’t remember what the me in me was like before Nia and Nate. When they’re with me, I feel like I can do anything. I feel strong. Protective. Smart. Beautiful. When they are not with me, I feel insecure. Small. Even if it’s just going to the store by myself. I need my shopping buddy, Nia. Sure, I can function without her and not have a meltdown but – it’s just – I feel her absence and I notice the difference in me.

I’ve figured out that it helps if I remember that I “look like a mom” even when they aren’t with me. That proud and heartfelt feeling is invigorating. Best. Compliment. Ever.

You're so mom.

Related posts:

Mommy Mysteries

30 Sep

How did you do it, lady? How did you manage to stay so mom-like and proper around me as I grew up? I can’t help but wonder (and, heads up, some of these are TMI) how you managed to:

  • Watch what you wanted on tv even if it had adult tones to it? I remember the CBS Soaps and Hill Street Blues in the background. I’m lucky if I get to watch Top 20 Video Countdown on Saturday mornings.
  • Deal with how grown-up I played Barbies? Or is that why you never played Barbies with me? I understand. I don’t really love playing Barbies with Bean but I don’t know how to tell her no without making her feel bad. You never made me feel bad. I bet my storylines stressed you out. I know they would me if I heard Nia throwing Ken off a balcony because he cheated on her with her sister. (Maybe those Soaps sunk into my head?)
  • Hold your gas around me? Yes, I mean toots. I don’t ever remember you letting one rip when I was a little kid. I hope my kids can forget their mommy’s noisemakers. They usually cutely yell at me, “Mommy!” What?
  • (This one is TMI you can never unread.) Change your lady products without young me barging into the bathroom mid-change? Sure, locking the door seems so simple. Even if they don’t see the act in progress, they still see the product which prompts questions.”Why do you have a diaper, mommy?” Yes, I answered it without really answering it. “It’s not a diaper. It’s not for pee, it’s for something elsethatI’lltellyouaboutlater.”

I guess I have created at least one mystery. Just on another level.

She’s 60?!?!?!

9 May

Does that woman look 60 to you?  She’s awesome!  And not just on the outside! She is so wonderful and fun and I hope she doesn’t want to kick my butt for telling you her age!  I just couldn’t help it because I wanted to celebrate her birthday and, to me, age really is just a number.I mean, there are no guidelines/rules to tell you how you are supposed to act when you reach a certain age.  Oh, you’re 30, that means you can’t jump on a moonwalk anymore.  (Although it did have a sign that said “No adults allowed.”)  My mom laughs at the same jokes as I do (even the really stupid/obscene ones).  She enjoys the same movies and tv shows.  Heck, she even digs the same music and sometimes her taste is more hip than mine is!

She’s my mommy and always will be no matter what our ages are. I can always turn to her and tell her anything and she’ll be there to help.  She makes me feel better just by seeing her phone number on the caller ID.  She knows immediately if there’s something wrong with me and knows how to get it out me.  Laughter is never scarce when she’s around (especially if my sister and I are together with her – then the laughs are in stereo because they’re identical).

My mom shows me what it’s like to be young at heart.  No number will ever change that.

A Sample of the Insanity

1 Nov

Here are just a few examples of the listening pleasures I get to be treated to each day – courtesy of the kids.

Nia:  “Nate, look at me. Nate, look at me.  Nate, look at me.  Nate, look at me. Nate, look at me. Nate, look at me.  Naaatttee, looook at meeeee. Nate, look at me Nate.  NAAATTTEEE, look at me!”
Nate: “NO!”
Me: “NIA!  That’s enough!  Obviously, he does not want to look at you right now!”
Nia: “Why?”

Nia: “Momma, if you have green and yellow and green and yellow and green and yellow and green and yellow and green and yellow and blue and green and yellow and green and yellow and green and yellow and green and yellow and green and yellow – does that make a pattern?”
Me: Too exhausted and confused to give a clear answer. (I was trying to cook dinner at the same time.) It came out something like “Huh? Uh-huh.”  I mean, I would really have to see that one written down on paper to know for sure if it made a pattern.  There was no way I was counting up how many green and yellows she said before and after the blue! 

Nate: “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!”
Me: My reply to this is either – “Whatever dude.”  “I don’t want to hear it.” or “mumble, mumble, mumble, tell me no, mumble, mumble, mumble.”

Nia: “Momma, I’m going to tell you a story.  There was a frog and a balloon and a bug and the bug wanted to eat the balloon and the frog was going to the store and the balloon was at the store and the bug wanted to eat it and the frog got it and then a lion came in and said ‘roar’ and the balloon cried because it was scared and the bug felt bad for the balloon and didn’t want to eat it anymore but the lion did so he said “roar, I’m going to eat you up” and he did.”
Me: I would give a few “oh yeahs?” and “wows” throughout the story a “why did he do that” on occasion.  One time she told a story during the ENTIRE time we were at the grocery store.  That was like a 30 minute story or something.  It was so hard to try to listen to her and make sure I got everything on the list!  (By the way, the above story is not word for word what Nia said – it’s more of an idea of the kinds of stories she will tell me during the day. It may seem awful but I don’t really remember the stories she actually does tell me because that would be nearly IMPOSSIBLE. I mean, she tells me like two or three a day and it’s usually while I’m trying to think about something else.)

Keeping Up with the Milestones

19 Oct

Sure, I see the good in Nate accomplishing something new.  I rejoice in it for a few seconds as I watch him tackle something he’s never done before – but then those seconds quickly pass and the smile of delight turns to a smile of fear as I think about what this new “thing” is going to mean for me.

How selfish right?  Well, I can’t help it.  When you’re already continually telling the little man to stop standing on the tall chairs, stop turning on the bathtub faucet while I’m trying to dry my hair, stop diving off the couch without any pillows on the floor, stop standing on the gate that’s keeping you from falling down the stairs…  I just had all of those constants kind of under control (I mean, as far as keeping my sanity while having to worry about the usual dangerous stuff he’s up to).  Now though, I have to add him climbing into the crib and flipping over the top of it and him opening doors to the list.

The door thing is pretty manageable because we have those baby proof door knob covers and locks on the doors – it’s just Nia can’t open them and one of the doors that has to be secured is for her bathroom.  Now, every time she has to make a quick run for the potty she needs to scream for me and I have to drop whatever it is I’m doing to get the little key and unlock the door.

What’s so sweet about the whole door opening thing is that he is still so tiny.  He has to stand on his tiptoes and kind of turn the knob back and forth until he finally turns it just enough so it opens.  The first time he did it Nia and I were in her room and all of a sudden – there’s Nate busting in!  He was laughing and we were screaming and scrambling to pick up all her little toys – it was a really fun moment but like I said – soon after it passed I began to think of a way to keep this new thing from being more stress for me.  We’ll see – if it’s not that it will be something else!  I mean, wait until he can open the gate to the stairs!  Then, I’ll really be running around!

One Lady, So Many Roles

13 May

She’s a Mother – so confident and in charge – able to raise her children through the hardest of times and able to discipline them just by shooting them a look – she’s proud to say her kids are well-mannered, well-behaved and well-kept (well, most of the time anyway) – she’s the one you don’t want to disappoint – endures much grief as her children go through the “you’re not being fair” or “I hate you” stage and still manages to love them with her whole heart

She’s a Momma – stops what she’s doing to respond to her child’s smallest request (“momma, could you put this dress on my Barbie?”) – acts goofy to get a giggle out of them and to hear them say “oh momma – you’re so silly” – lets you spit the food you just chewed and didn’t like into her bare hand – wipes your runny nose with anything she can find and sits up next to you on the couch after you threw up in your bed (that of course, after cleaning up the mess)

She’s a Mom – sacrificing her sleep on the nights you have friends stay over and sometimes joins in on the laughing and movie watching – she cooks up the tastiest food and making sure to whip up enough to feed anyone who shows up at the dinner table – she’s her kid’s biggest cheerleader, always talking about their accomplishments and never judging them for their failures or mistakes – she thinks you’re beautiful even with that perm and pimples

She’s a Mommy – always there to kiss a boo-boo and make it better – always there to cry with you when your heart is broken, suffering with you – shows you unconditional love and what it means to love someone more than you love yourself  (ready to give her life to keep yours safe) – the first one you want to talk to when you are feeling sad – she soothes her children with her embrace or just by humming them a song – makes you remember you will always be her baby

Lovin' Honey

In Case You Ever Ask…

11 Feb

Notes to Nia about what she was like as a 3 and a half year old:

You are a wonderful big sister.  When Nate cries you try to do things to make him stop (either by giving him toys or his bottle or by yelling “NATE! BE QUIET!”  (The yelling usually works best!)  You also try to soothe him.  When he got his shots the other day you gently touched his head and told him it was going to be OK.  On the flip-side though – you are definitely making him tougher.  You are constantly chasing him around the house and that usually ends with him falling on the floor and you falling on him.  Amazingly, he hasn’t been hurt yet.  He actually seems to think it’s fun – in fact, that’s what you tell me when I tell you to stop…”But he likes it.”

You have a GREAT sense of humor and love to make others laugh.  You make me laugh a lot – sometimes you make funny faces and sounds to be silly and other times you say something you think is silly and then you ask me with a smile, “That was silly huh Momma?”

You love books and are super perceptive – always pointing out the little things in the pictures and which picture matches the one on the cover.  I still am amazed at how you do that and how you can read the books by memorization and looking at the pictures.

You are extremely particular.  Whether you are playing or getting ready to go to sleep, you like things a certain way and you will not let it slide.  For example, for night-night time I have to read you books in bed and then you have to drop a purple crayon on the floor like “Harold” does.  You wait to hear the sound of it hitting the floor and if the sound is different than it hitting carpet you want to know what it hit. (It seems like you really like it when it hits something.)  I then have to wind up three music boxes and you will sometimes tell me one is playing just to keep me in the room longer.

You love laying on the arm of the couch as you watch your nightly fix of “Harold.” You are so tiny that you fit perfectly on it – you lay on your belly and let your arms hang down on either side of the arm.  You make it look so comfy.

When you want to make me happy or show me you love me you give me what we call an “extra special” hug where you hug me so tight that I can let go and you don’t budge.  We call it “extra special” because I tell you all of your hugs are special but that one is my very favorite.

Feelings I Feel

7 Feb
Every day the kids make me experience so many different feelings – it’s amazing how I can go from insanely happy to insanely angry with the toss of a toy.

What Makes Me Happy: (here’s where I sound sappy)

  • Making them laugh
  • Teaching them something new
  • Cooking for them
  • When they eat what I cook for them
  • When they actually like what I cook for them and they say “mmmm”
  • If I can get through a day without the boy hitting his head on something hard (although his skull is like steal)
  • If I can get through a day without Nia having a meltdown (her latest one involved not getting to watch her nightly dose of Harold and the Purple Crayon before bedtime)
  • Nia being a loving big sister by giving Nate hugs and kisses and getting toys for him that he can’t reach
  • Being able to make them comfortable/safe/cared for – just the simplest of things like putting clean sheets on Nia’s bed – knowing she loved the way they smelled – something about that made me so happy to be a mom

What Makes Me Angry: (here’s where I sound psycho and mean)

  • Having to repeat myself over and over and over again – example – Nate’s taking a nap and I finally have some time to get stuff done – I choose to use the opportunity to take a shower – I tell Nia, “Momma’s going to take a shower” –  she replies, “And then you play with me?”  (please know I’ve already played with her and read quite a few books to her by this point) – I say “Of course” – well I’m not even out of the shower yet and she peaks her head in the bathroom and says, “Now you gonna play with me?”  This continues as I get dressed and dry my hair.  I know it doesn’t seem that bad but after repeating the obvious over and over again everyday – it just wears on me.
  • “Come Momma!”  I hear this ALL DAY LONG.  She’s constantly telling me to come and see something.  I feel awful for getting upset about it – I mean she just wants Momma to see all the stuff she’s doing (her latest is dressing Prince Eric up in Ariel’s clothing).  It’s just – I have to stop whatever it is I’m doing to “Come Momma!”  At least I’m burning calories I guess.
  • Trying to teach Nate not to do something – I mean how many times do I have to pick him up, take him away from the dangerous/yucky activity and try to distract him?  He thinks it’s funny – I think it’s making me lose my mind.  The latest thing he did was tip over the garbage can – now every time he’s in the kitchen I have to keep the can from crashing down on the floor.

There are so many feelings I feel – it’s hard to write about them all.  I’m glad to say I experience more happy ones than mad – but then again, these examples were just from one day!

Mommy’s Here

3 Jan

I just feel so special to get to say those two words. Tonight, I realized how much they mean to say and to hear.

Around midnight, Nate woke up screaming and crying.  Even though I was clear downstairs and had the television on – I heard him and went running to check on him. He was fine – he just had a stuffy nose which probably made him angry.  I was so thankful he didn’t have a fever or didn’t get sick in the crib – I was so thankful that all he needed was for me to wrap my arms around him and tell him “Mommy’s here.”  He laid his little head on my shoulder and his body was relaxed as I swayed with him and rubbed his back.

It’s amazing how you’re able to hear them over everything when they need you. At first with Nia, I was always worried that I wouldn’t hear her if she cried while I was sleeping – I mean the alarm blares right next to my ear and I don’t hear it – how was I going to hear her in the next room?  The fact that I can is so unbelievable and beautiful to me.  What’s even more precious to me is how you don’t ever lose that ability.

My mom just came down for a visit and during her time here she comforted me in that “Mommy’s here” kind of way – not by humming me a lullaby like I did for Nate – but just by being here to stay up late and laugh with me, by giving me a hug before bedtime, by cooking us delicious food, by making me feel better about the job I’m doing as a mom – I’m going to be 29 in a week and yes, I still need my mommy in many ways.  I only hope my kids will like me enough to want me around when they’re older!

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