Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eager Mom

Isabella started Kindergarten last week and it has taken me this long to put it on paper.  I took the entire day off of work.  I thought this was quite practical and the norm until Bobby asked me why I took the whole day off?  Hmm...why did I take the whole day off?  I guess I could have done the drop off and then go into the office.  But didn't he know that I needed to be there to pick her up too?  And what would I have done in the office but stare at the clock until I could pick her up again?

Ice Cream Social night to meet the teacher

I knew this process would be difficult--letting go another piece of her and sharing her with the rest of the world entrusting they would take care of her and give her right back to me at the end of the day. I knew it would be hard for me and I do realize I'm being overdramatic and I often would roll my eyes reading other account's of first time kinder moms.  But what I didn't know was how much it would really affect me.

The week prior to the big first day of Kindergarten was spent in preparation.  Buying the right kind of shoes, clothes, water bottle and of course school supplies.  I was hitting pinterest hard looking for different lunch box ideas, photoshoot scenes and the like.  I was setting up carpools and after school care and texting my poor sister in law (who has a child in the same school) too many times throughout a given day.  I was a bit eager.  Eager  I was preparing, I told myself.  It wasn't until I snapped at a co-worker that I realized I wasn't just preparing, I was nesting. 

The look on my co-worker's face brought me out of what I like to call my "first time mom mode" delirium.  You know what I'm talking about.  We first time moms have to have everything perfect before the baby comes and I mean EVERYTHING!  And of course no one else understands how we feel and we know they are just laughing at us because we spend hours on the most mundane issues.  Like, what kind of blanket is the BEST kind of blanket to take to the hospital for the baby?  The cute pink one with the polka dots or the cute pink one with the polka dots that are white instead of a darker shade of pink?  Stupid, I know (the answer to that question is don't take anything cute, it's going to be either bloody, spit up on or pooped/peed on. Save the cute stuff for when you get home).

This one loves all living things non-human
Anyway, I was embarrassed for snapping at my poor coworker.  It wasn't her fault my mind was elsewhere and her ridiculous, petty question meant nothing to me.  That's when I accepted that I was a certified batshit crazy mom.  Yep, I'm one of those.  I was nesting for another first.  Not my first baby but my first baby's first day of school.  All her laundry was done (thank you, Bobby! You're the best), the house was somewhat clean, her closet was cleaned out and even our eating habits had changed.  Fruits and vegetables plus lean protein is what will keep her healthy and ready to learn.  I had changed everything!  Extreme? Maybe.  But you know what?  That girl had everything she needed on August 11th @8:45am sharp (!) to start her first day of school. 

She was beaming the moment she woke up.  The first thing out of her mouth was, "Mom you know where I got this smile from? From my first day of school because today is my first day of Kindergarten!"  She's the best.  I love her and she did great.  We were out of the house just in time to make it to the first bell.  She said goodbye to her big cousin Josiah and Bobby and I walked her to her classroom.  She sat right down and started coloring the page her teacher had prepared for these itty bitty students.  She smiled for our pictures and when it was time for us to go, she confidently said, "Bye mom.  Bye dad." She smiled the whole time.  I was proud of her but still a little sad that she wasn't going to miss me at all.  But then she signaled me that she was going to miss us.  As we were walking out the door, she snapped up from her seat out of her daze of confidence and independence and searched the room for us.  We locked eyes and she said loudly, "Bye mama, bye dad.  I love you!"  She's the best.


Happy first day of school, baby girl! and happy first to all the moms and dads who had to take their babies to a stranger for seven hours a day entrusting them to keep your baby safe and happy.  It's hard.  And for those who haven't gone through this yet and are surely rolling your eyes at me, good luck not going batshit crazy when it's your time.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I've come back here over this past year time and time again.  I have about three unfinished drafts hiding out in my folder.  I hate when things are incomplete.  I hate seeing that pending word in my bank account.  I hate hearing from contractors that we are still waiting on plan approvals....but I'm learning to let go and be ok with unfinished projects or drafts. 

My baby boy went and turned one on me.  He's walking quite independently.  He climbs independently too.  Scaring me to scattered bits.  I was his one true love from birth to about last month.  He doesn't need his mama right now.  He doesn't need my incessant kisses or my hugs of reassurance.  He wants his dad to hold him and rock him to sleep.  He doesn't need me to sing, "You are my Sunshine, my only SONshine" to him when he is upset.  He's changing too. 

I think given the choice of describing me as a traditionalist or changeable, my family would most definitely choose traditionalist.  I'm not big on change for the most part.  Sure, it's needed in most things.  It's inevitable, I get that.  But I feel like I have to mourn the past in stead of celebrate the past when things start to change.  Even if it is for the best, or, inevitable.

My oldest is four now.  Isabella loves to draw and color and use her paints.  She loves dancing and Elsa from Frozen (what four year old girl doesn't right now?) and she likes making her parents happy.  She is my people pleaser.  She is such a great listener and she loves to help around the house.  She is the ultimate big sister always looking after Julianna and Robert.  She runs to me every time Robert puts something in his mouth.  "Mom!!! Robert put ______ in his mouth" 

The other day it was my tampon.  It wasn't used so don't freak out too much.  But it sure was funny.  It was Mother's Day morning and I was trying, in vain, to sleep in.  The kids were playing, running in and out of our room.  Back and forth from my room to the loft.  Then I hear it,

I: "Mom! Robert has your coupons!"
ME: "What coupons?"
I: "You know, the ones you put in your vagina."
ME: "My vagina? What!?! Those aren't coupons, those are tampons!!! Robert!! Get those out of your mouth!"

She's my oldest in every possible way.  She is the one I urge to help me clean up the little ones' messes.  She's the one I tell, "Look after your brother, I'll be watching from inside" and she's the one who gets the many thank yous for helping me all day long.  I love that kid so much.  She has a big heart and whimsy spirit. 

My baby girl, Julianna is now three.  I think turning three has helped with the "terrible twos" attitude.  She is ornery.  I say that with the most love, sincerely.  She is hard headed and she screams at everyone.  She uses the word no a lot.  But...she has the sweetest touch.  She loves animals a whole lot, especial dogs.  She does better with dogs than she does with people.  She must sense the sincerity in dogs and the flakiness in people.  So go ahead baby girl.  Love those dogs.  She loves her brother even though it may look like she is trying to tackle him or beat him up, she is really just trying to give him a hug.  When she is being nice, its a real nice.  Not just a being friendly nice.

She will be my battle.  We're going to bump heads and disagree a whole lot.  She is me all over again.  She challenges people to be better and honest and true.  That part is all her.  She's genuine wether she's being bratty or sweet.  She's making herself heard and seen.  A tough feat being the middle child.  She's doing a great job.

I'm changing.  I'm no longer a mama to babies.  Well I still have one baby, my boy.  But now I'm evolving into a mama of a school age kid.  Kindergarten is upon us, folks.  I have a little three year old who's not the youngest and not the oldest.  I'm mothering her through that dilemma.  We're changing.  Bobby and I as parents and the kids as, well kids.  It's hard to think that Juju will never fit snug in my arms again.  I remember rocking her all through the night when she was a baby.  We told secrets and I sang to her.  I might never get that tingling feeling of hearing an infant cry.  The tingling coming from dread that the baby woke up and the happiness that I'm needed to rescue a hungry baby.  Our family is changing.  A better word, we're growing.  There "growing" isn't too scary.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The last day of "First"

Today my baby boy turned one.  One whole year old he turned today.  It was a year of firsts; First breath, first laugh, first Christmas, first steps and a monumental first birthday.  We’ll celebrate with our extended family on Saturday, but last night was just a celebration with our little family. 

Sure I wanted to do more. Like actually make a homemade dinner like I did for his two sisters.  A special dinner just for him.  But truthfully, mama was tired and had a searing headache and Bobby wasn’t feeling too well either.  So I fed him some crunchies (his favorite right now) and some of his baby food.  The rest of us got Mexican takeout and he shared my mini chimis with me. 

His sisters played with balloons that I am prepping for his party and tried and tried to steal and successfully play with one before I took them away.  I was afraid one would pop in his face and take out an eye or something.  Like that would really happen, right?  Why not just let the little guy play with something that makes him so extremely happy?  Well he did manage to sneak to the other room and pop a balloon in his face.  He didn’t cry but Bobby still ran over to retrieve the rubber parts before he ingested them.  Ok, so there is danger.

After dinner we all gathered around an iced cookie with a single candle in the middle and sang to him.  He got to eat the cookie and he devoured it.  He shared a little with Julianna.  Bella wasn’t a fan of that kind of cookie so she passed.  Then we settled in to watch some brainless TV and snuggle.  I fed him a bottle, that thankfully he let me hold for him, and I sang him Happy Birthday quietly and then You Are My Sunshine.  Just like I had on the night he was born.  And just like on the night he was born he closed his eyes and settled into my arms and I could feel him at peace.  Then the doorbell rang!

We had a surprise visit from the grandparents who came to wish him a Happy Birthday and to show me some incredible pictures of Bobby on his 1st birthday. Let me tell you. I would not know the difference between the two.  Little Robert looks so much like his dad.  It warms my heart. 

He got his first hair cut today.  Bobby took him to his long time barber and introduced Robert to Barber Shop!  Bobby said he sat there biting on his lollipop and just let the woman cut his hair.  Such a good boy.  And like all first baby boy haircuts, he instantly turned into a little boy.  He sent me a 
text of the after and I started tearing up.  My little baby now a little boy. 

I write this day down in detail because I don’t want to forget our last day of a “first” birthday.  Robert is my baby and he’s also my last baby.  He is my only boy and the only one of my babies who still preferred mama to dada after six months.  He loves when I sing to him.  Especially “You are my Sunshine.”  It quiets his cries almost every time.  He loves to bury his face into my shoulder or neck.  I can feel him take in my scent and it makes me hug him tighter.  He loves to follow his sisters around when they play.  When they are sent to bed, he crawls into their room and tries to play with them by their bedsides.  He is starting to say “mama” or something that sounds like “mama”.  He only says it when he is crying for something, but I’ll take it!  He is walking almost entirely now.  Very rarely will he crawl.  Yet, he hates walking in shoes.  He prefers to go barefoot I guess like most babies learning to walk.  He loves food.  He eats almost everything we eat.  When he is sleepy he likes to cuddle up with his blanket, just like his sisters.  He is a one year old.

A few nights ago he did not want to lie in his crib and this is unusual for him.  He actually likes his crib so I knew this was a special circumstance.  So I took him back to bed with me and we laid there looking at each other and he giggled.  Then he reached out gently and put his hand on my cheek and smiled.  He melts me.  We had a quiet moment right before he turned one and I’ll cherish that. 

 These three kids challenge me every day and I am often frustrated. Then in one instant, completely in love again.  Motherhood is changing for me now.  I have a four, two and one year old and I have to learn to be a mom all over again.  Baby motherhood seems easier now.  You bathe them, feed them, change them and play and love on them.  Now there are many questions asked all day long that I have to answer carefully.  There are extreme tantrums that sometimes come in two different directions and I don’t know how to attend to both simultaneously.  Now, there is a lot of guilt on my end.  But I’m learning to change and grow into this toddler stage of motherhood.  I want to be a mom they can look back on and say, “How did she make things so fun all the time and manage to keep us clean and fed?”  I’m not quite there yet.  I fall short on many things.  But I’m learning.  I’m learning and changing. 

Thank you to my babies who make my life challenging with unexpected days.  Thank you for your hugs and laughs and your “I love you” moments.  Last night was a last of the first birthdays for our little family. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


This week our little family sent our oldest out into the world.  Tuesday was the first day she has ever left her family members, her safety net and her comfort zone.  I often hear coaches say you'll know what you're made of when you leave your comfort zone.  My little Isabella is a brave, intelligent and friendly soul.  She was a little hesitant when we were getting ready to leave.  I made her a sign, "1st day of Preschool" and she didn't want to hold it up and smile.  But when her little partner in crime, Julianna, joined her she was smiling and making funny faces and holding up that little sign, careful not to mess up the chalk.  I love her and I love that she is her sister and brother's example of courage.  She is showing her two siblings how to go out into the world. 

When I picked her up that first day, she was smiling and couldn't even wait for me to get her into the car before wanting to show me what she did that day with her two classmates and her teacher, Mrs. Katelyn.  Isabella told me that she read a book about a little raccoon that left it's mama for the first time but the mama kissed its hand before leaving and a little heart remained.  She showed me her craft that went along with that book and then said, "Just like the freckle you gave me, mama!" 

When Isabella was about 18 months i noticed a little freckle on the back of her arm.  Being that she has very minimal freckles (in fact, i don't think she has any other than the one i'm talking about) I told her that I gave her one of my many freckles and put it on her.  That way she can look at it and know that i am always with her.  She'll always know just how much i love her when she looks down at that freckle.  I often point it out to her if we know we are going to be a part for a long time.  I say, "Where's your freckle? It's still there!! See I'm always with you."
My heart was beating fast when she pointed out the correlation of the raccoon's heart shaped kiss his mama gave him and her little freckle that her mama gave her to my attention.  I love that smart little girl so much.  I hate myself when I find myself being selfish or impatient with her.  She surprises me and Bobby everyday. 

I hope she remembers this week anytime she is scared to try new things in life.  I hope she remembers how brave she was and how fun it all turned out in the end. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Life's a beach

So here is that overdue post i told myself i would write down and never forget.

We took the kids to the beach this summer during our California vacation.  Truth be told, as a kid we always opted for the beach when given the option to tour Disneyland or Sea World.  We loved those places of course, but my family loved playing in the sand and coming dangerously close to dying in the waves of the ocean.  I remember walking into the ocean so far that when i looked back at the beach I was about 75 yards out from our beach blankets and 40 yards to the right.  While walking out I never paid too much attention that the waves were not only pulling me further out from the beach but sending me up the beach as well.  Those waves are crazy.  I loved it.

Its so quiet being out that far.  People look tiny and your world looks miles away.  Then the fear of what else is out here with me? that always had me scurrying back.  But I lived for that feeling.  I want my kids to have the same daring memories that I have.

So it was to my delight that when we arrived at the beach this time, Isabella did not cry and say that the sand was disgusting and demand to be picked up and carried the whole time (an example of our first trip to the beach).  This time, Isabella AND Julianna cried out how disgusting and "eewww" the sand felt in between their toes.  But it was cries of laughter.  Julianna spent the first couple of steps examining each grain going through her toes.  This was her first experience walking in the sand. 

My two city girls were loving it!  They were running and screaming like they do and I was a happy mama.  Smiling girls.  Now to get them to the water.

After we threw our blankets down and situated baby boy with Nana Sarah, we headed straight to water.  Juju was a bit skeptical at first.  I think anyone would be looking out into endless water.  It was cold and Julie shied away.  But when she saw her big sister laughing and running in the foamy water she couldn't resist any longer.  She shot into the water so fast I had to run to catch up to her.  With my camera in hand, I was desperately lunging to grab her hand so she wouldn't fall from the force of the waves.  All while holding my camera above my head trying to keep it dry.

The girls were happy and playing with their cousin Josiah.  Running and screaming from the waves.  I decided to go grab Robert and put his teeny toes in the water.  

Teeny toes in the water is cute. He kept squishing the sand between his toes.  His eyes were big at this new sensory touch.  Graining sand is pretty amazing to a baby boy.

This was his first time sitting up on his own.  I guess he rose to the occasion.  He was more than willing to put in the extra work it takes to hold himself up if it meant he could play with this awesome sand stuff. 

No beach trip is complete without burring someone in the sand.  Josiah was the lucky candidate.  He's such a good sport. 

There was one last thing to do and that was to put our mark on that stretch of beach.  We wrote our names in the sand: Nana, Tata, Nina Tori, Bobby, Nettie, Josiah, Isabella, Julianna and little Robert.  It was a successful day!