Thursday, February 23, 2012

Now and Then


I can't believe Oliver was this little.  I can't believe how long ago this seems.
It's only been 2 years!  Oh my poor heart!

And Now...

My little Owen following in his brother's shoes. 
Literally.  Following in his shoes, his pants, his onesies... it's amazing. 
To see how similar and yet individual my two little loves are is just so wonderful. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"All I Can do is Read a Book to Stay Awake..."

"...and it rips my life away but it's a great escape. Escape. Esca-a-aaape." -Blind Melon

Last year I challenged myself to read 50 books on, and then I gave birth in October and finished the year at 42.  Ugh. I am so bummed I failed!  Well what can you do?  I have two kids.

So this year I set my 2012 challenge to 25... and I am already 2 books (10%) behind on my goal.  Blerg. (yeah I've been watching a lot of 30 Rock while the boys nap lately and I'm quoting Lemon...I should probably be reading).

So I need to get serious...set a game plan.  Here we go.  In 2012 I plan to read:

  1. Don Quixote - Cervantes
  2. Before I Go To Sleep - SJ Watson
  3. The Flight of Gemma Hardy - Magot Livesey
  4. The Rebel Wife - Taylor Polites
  5. The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey
  6. A Grown-up Kind of Pretty - Joshilyn Jackson
  7. Gypsy Boy - Mikey Walsh
  8. The Flame Alphabet - Ben Marcus
  9. Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris
  10. Inkspell - Cornelia Funke
  11. The Child Thief - Brom
  12. Peter Pan - JM Barrie
  13. Wuthering Heigths - Emily Bronte
This list is a work in progress, but I think this is a good place to start.

Two Reasons I Love My Life

I was in the kitchen buttering some bread for Oliver's grilled cheese when I heard the sound of innocent joy.  It's a beautiful sound.  Magical.  So pure and happy. 

This is what I found going on in the living room.
(and yes...I cried a little watching them)

I love them. 
And I love my life because they are in it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I'll never let go, Jack....I'll never let go

There's an article all over my FB news feed lately called Don't Carpe Diem.  Seriously.  Everyone and their mom is sharing this thing.  Like it's the best thing ever written.  Like every mother should read this and love it.

Well I couldn't even read it in its entirety until just now.  I clicked on the link a few weeks ago when it was posted for the first of about a thousand times.  I hated it. 

Here's a little back story:

Every now and then I start thinking.  My mind gets away from me and starts contemplating things I don't want to contemplate.  Aging. Dying. Mortality.

It's happened before.  Lying in bed with Nate asleep next to me I listen to the rhythm of his breath, and with my ear to his chest I hear the love song that is his heart beat, and I think:  what a miracle it is to be alive.  How amazing that something as fragile as a heart can be so vital to sustaining our very existence.  How incredible that we rely on the pumping of this delicate organ to keep us here.  And I get scared.  My body goes numb and I have to hum some mindless tune, watch some brainless comedy, read something distracting.  And then I fixate on those thoughts-  which is worse, to outlive Nate or leave him alone?  How could either of us survive without the other.  Eventually these thoughts come less and less often and I can forget about the inevitability of it all. 

On Christmas Nate was talking about a 92 year old woman he met while working and the amazing condition she is in.  Works out every day...wouldn't even guess how old she is.  I thought, wow...that certainly won't be me.  I don't live healthy at all.  How horrible is that?  And eventually her body will give out on her even though she treated it so well...yes it will be at a very old age, and most likely without too much hardship, but it will happen.  And with these thoughts I had to take myself out of the room to call my mother panicking.  I sat on the floor in my bedroom and cried on the phone with my mom. 

I'm going to die.  I'm going to get old and I'm going to die. 

And now that I'm a mother these thoughts revolve around my children.  Leaving them.  Them grieving.  Them growing old and dying.  I think:  I didn't ask for this, I didn't agree to this.  No one asked me if I would like to exist, if I wouldn't mind being created and born... to eventually die.  And I look at my babies and I am almost sorry to do that to them too.  At the height of my panicking (it's been weeks now) I felt overwhelming guilt.  As if I was killing them.  As if by bringing them into the world to begin with, their death is my fault. Even now, the sight of their beautiful smiles catches me off guard and for a second I'm choked by this guilt.

Is that not awful?  It's disgusting right?  And it was around the time that I was feeling the worst of this that I first read the above mentioned article.  I couldn't even read the whole thing because it just made me sad.  Yes it's true every mother (and father) has those moments that are just impossible.  You just CAN'T enjoy every moment.  But, my God, do I want to!

So I decided to disagree with this article.  I WILL carpe diem.  I will carpe and I will carpe tight!  I will hold on to the diem with all I have in me.  And honestly, I feel like I have been happier since.  I feel like things have been going more smoothly. 

Whether it's because I am keeping busier in order to escape my own thoughts (which in turn keeps Oliver active and entertained and thus better behaved), or because I am consciously soaking in every moment (each caress, sight, smell, and sound) that I spend with my boys, or maybe because I am now accepting how little things matter in the long run (so what if Oliver does this, or doesn't do that)... I just feel like life has been a little better around here lately.  I perceive Oliver to be behaving better (Nate would disagree lately).  I am just adoring my baby Owen.  I'm so at peace lately (when I'm not thinking too much, that is).  So I will carpe diem.  And I'll never let go.

I read the article in its entirety tonight.  I now have less of a problem with it because it does wrap up quite nicely (and because I have bombarded myself with considering mortality so much that I'm moving into the acceptance phase of my thought cycle).  There are those moments in each day that take the cake.  The "aha" moment that makes everyday enjoyable.  I agree with that.  But still, I choose to carpe.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Just keep Pinning Pinning Pinning.

Owen is 4 months old already and I probably nursed Oliver efficiently about that long.  I'm a little paranoid after starving Oliver when he was around this age.  Every once in a while I have the feeling Owen is satisfied with my milk supply and get worried.

My mom and grandma taught me to make oatmeal water.  It's just boiling some oats with cinnamon sticks and sugar.  My mom puts apple chunks in to boil with it and it's amazing.  Then you strain it and drink the water.

 I hated this when Oliver was a baby, and overcooked it every time, making a sticky mess in the pots and on the stove.  But they swear it helps produce milk.  So when Owen was born I let them make it for me.  And I enjoyed it.  And I made it myself with much more success, although not nearly as yummy.

Whether or not it did increase my milk supply like they said it would, it kept me hydrated since I fould myself drinking glass after glass of this and would usually not drink water.  And then I started hearing and reading testimonials all over the place that oatmeal is for unknown reasons an excellent milk producer. 

So recently I started having those nagging feelings that I was failing as a nursing mother and made myself a giant batch of oatmeal water.  This time I saved the oatmeal I strained and had some for breakfast.  I actually liked that too! Such a shocker.  I usually have to force down oatmeal.

So now I'm on an oatmeal kick... and thank God for Pinterest, I've found some oatmeal recipes I want to try.  I figure they ought to be delish and if Owen gets to enjoy some also its a double win!

Click on the pics to find the links on my Pinterest board.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pirate Party Planning- Pinterest Pstyle.

It's officially February and, as Baby Daddy Natey Poo reminded me, in twelve days we will have a two year old.  It's normal that I'm sad about that right?

I miss the little baby that exists now only in my memory and millions of pictures.  But I am so in love with the little boy who is a whiz at puzzles, loves trains, climbs like a monkey, and has a magical laugh.

Two of his favorite things right now are pirates and trains.  Soooooo.... we are going to give him a Pirate-Train Party! Naturally.  And of course, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration.

Here are some goodies I've found.