Home again home again….

ah. we are home after a glorious weekend in Ohio to see our beautiful cousin Chelsea get married! I always hoped when I got married I would love my husband’s family and they would love me and this trip solidified the belief that we do love each other. It’s lovely to be with them and this was one exciting and tiring weekend!
Full  Venue b&w (1 of 1)
Chelsea, who clearly has infinite faith in me, asked me to be the official wedding photographer along with my father in law, Bob-Bob. I was so proud of myself I shot on manual the whole time. I studied hard so I wouldn’t disappoint her and I got some great shots! Some crap ones too…but let’s not discuss that, as those will never see the light of day. I’m learning more every day and the shots I take today are better than the ones from yesterday, this both thrills and annoys me as I see how I could have done things better.
gregnchelsea1 (1 of 1)
corset (1 of 1)
The day after the wedding we all dragged on over to cousin Jeff’s house for a pool party, it was the perfect way to come down from the wedding high. Boss got further swimming at this party than he did in 12 weeks of swim class! He had so much fun!
surfer boy (1 of 1)
and Huckleberry? Well, after a dip in the pool he did something unheard of for a little Boo…he took an impromptu nap on his Aunt Robin. So sweet.
sleepy huck (1 of 1)
(she will hate that picture but I adore it. So sweet!)
We spent the next day with my Mother in Law’s family and the kids had SO much fun and patiently allowed me to take pictures of them while they played.
LaurenLove (1 of 1)
We even attempted a picture of all of them at once.
All the grandkids (1 of 1)
They had a glorious time playing together! Although poor Huck spent a lot of time like this:
theyleftme (1 of 1)
Soon enough buddy, soon enough.

Everyone needs about ten million naps and even more loads of laundry done, but we are glad to be home. And very soon we will be ready to go back!

Advertisements

Four.

Max (1 of 1)
Four is such a big kid. I remember things from when I was four. Four is making friends you may know your whole life. Four is having full conversations with those friends. Four is knowing what you like and what you don’t like. Four is definitely not a baby. My baby is four today.

Max,

In four short years you have taught me more about life and love than I ever thought possible. You love fiercely and those you love you protect with all your might. Sometimes at night you snuggle up next to me and as you nuzzle your face into my neck you whisper “don’t worry mommy, I’ll protect you.” I believe it too. Huck is now into all your stuff and yet you rarely get annoyed. Today as you two were splashing and giggling in the bath Huckie got water in his eyes. You quickly asked me for a washcloth and then gently wiped his eyes dry.

You hold the door on the elevator for me every time so I don’t get “squished”. You are constantly figuring things out and I am frequently told  “Actually mommy, that’s a kids baseball game!” or- and this is one of my favorites  ” Medieval Times… Oh! Of course! Mike the Knight is like Medieval Times for kids!” Your love for Green Day still runs strong. We may have to have a chat about which intro/outros are appropriate for pre-school concerts. I confess I thrill to hear you cry ” ALL RIGHT ENGLAND!” as you launch into a song. You alternate rock and roll with baseball all day and Huck patiently plays whatever instrument you give him or cheers for you from the stands.  I adore it! Even if I am not allowed to sing along.

You celebrate every victory with pure joy. Not only your own victories but everyone around you. “Look mommy! Boo is standing like a big boy! YAY BOO!” Your power of observation is keen and we can slip nothing past you. You hear everything. “Is this Downton Abby?” You asked this morning as PBS came on the TV. You are wickedly funny and your giggle now mingled with Huck’s is my favorite sound on the earth. The two of you already share secrets and gang up on me. You will always be my baby and Huckie may just be YOUR baby. I adore you, all of you. Smart, silly, witty,stubborn, ferocious, willful, precocious, sweet, kind-hearted playful you.

You are mine, or rather I am yours. Daddy is not allowed near me and if he dares to get close or kiss me you cry out “THIS IS NOT A WEDDING!” if we are very good and stay away from one another you lovingly pat my hand and say “mommy you did a good thing, you didn’t kiss daddy.”

And lest I get carried away with how close we are and how much we love one another you find the perfect way to remind me that you are your own person.

Me: Maxie do you want to go with me or grandma?

Max: I just want to stay here. With the Fritos.

Happy Birthday to my own Kitty Boy. I love you to the moon and back, I love all that you will be and everything you are, I love you my wonderful child. I love you and love you and love you and love you.

Let it Be for Noah.

I rarely take to my blog to ask for help. I mostly stick to silly missives about Tom and Katie’s marriage, the Bachelorette or what a dork I am at parenthood. I try to be honest and real on my bad days, to be open about my postpartum anxiety and how having an eating disorder perhaps contributed to that. I have good days and bad days, as we all do. Today is different.

Last night was a good night. Boss came to me post bath all warm and smelling of Burt’s Bees and commanded me to “look at how clean and sparkly my booty is Mommy!” And I did look, and it was clean and sparkly. I maybe pinched it a little. He’s four ( in a few days!) so the years of appropriate nibbling and pinching are dwindling at a rapid rate.

Yes, last night was good…until I lay in bed, cuddled next to a sleeping Boss, foot in my face (why do they want to sleep sideways???) and couldn’t stop thinking of my friend Mike and his very own boy, Noah.

Mike was a good friend to sister Dub and I in high school, despite his penchant for Obsession for Men. He thought it was awesome. We disagreed. Whatever, cologne not withstanding, he looked out for us. He was older and wiser but never talked down to us, and frequently saved our butts from older boys. I always suspected he had a little thing for sister Dub, but then most guys who ever met her fell instantly in love. Mike grew up, went to BYU, got married, and had a family. Just like we did…minus the BYU bit because, obviously. His first son is just about Max and Zu’s age. His baby Noah, is Huckleberry’s age, just two weeks younger.

Right before Noah’s first birthday he got sick, he couldn’t keep anything down. Like any good parent they took him to the hospital worrying about dehydration. The doctor ordered a CT scan along with other tests and it was discovered Noah had a malignant brain tumor.

Can you imagine? You go in thinking your one year old has the flu and come out knowing he has brain cancer?

Mike is a musician, a good one, and he took to youtube to sing a song for Noah, if you like it you can download it at itunes and all proceeds go to Noah’s care.

please take a second to watch the video and if you can spare $1.29 down load the song. Or donate whatever you can. I look at Huckleberry and think there but for the grace of God go I.

**MSNBC & HUFFPO picked up Noah’s story!

Please share if you feel moved too. On Facebook, on twitter…whatever.

The direct youtube link is: http://youtu.be/-YAu-sGIpwQ and we are using the hashtag #LetitBeforNoah

I have always thought Let it Be was a sacred song…and it is.

The one where there were fire breathing dragons.

There once was a little boy, let’s call him Boss shall we? Anyway this little boy was fairly well obsessed with knight and dragons. This little boy turns every thing into a sword, which is easy to do since this little boy when not a knight is being Billie Joe Armstrong or Trey Cool from Green Day with a healthy dose of baseball player in there so there are a lot of drumsticks and mike stands & bats which can easily be transformed to swords. He’s pretty rad this sword fighting-“punk” rocker-baseball player and when he saw the commercials for How To Train Your Dragon live he stopped in his tracks and said “ooooooooooh” really quietly. When an almost 4 year old boy says something very quietly you listen.

Then we got invited to check it out. We took the Metro. There is NOTHING cooler than taking a train to see a dragon, people! I mean…when you are almost 4.
mentheguy

I wanted to see it from a theatrical standpoint, the sheer technical precision needed to pull off a show like this is guano.  And let’s be honest? I want my very own Toothless the dragon. The movie was almost too much for my little heart to bear, and honestly the show was louder but much less intense emotionally, if that makes sense. Boss wasn’t scared at all! My hyper verbal boy who pronounces considerably and spaghetti properly calls the Vikings Vi-Kanz. It slays me and I want him to say it over and over and over and over again.

For reals it is worth the price of admission to see the dragons. We weren’t allowed to bring our cameras, which made me grumpy especially at the end when we were invited to a tech talk to learn how they built the amazing dragons.  For what its worth I used the very last of my iphone’s battery to take this picture of the mini-dragons with mini people on them.  You’re welcome.
dragon
“close up”
bigdragon

 

Then Daddy told Boss Fred Willard got busted and Boss was like whaaaaaa? Doesn’t he have the internet?
photo 2
I’m kidding, he was just super geeked out about the little people on the dragons.

There was one technical problem during the show which left the parents in my area giggling, but the kids didn’t notice. Well one did and commented on it very loudly which only made the adults giggle harder. All in all I give the show a solid A. We had a blast and also there were nachos. I am a SUCKER for sports venue nachos.

You should totally take your small (or not so small people) to check it out when it comes to your town. And hooray~ howzabout 25% off? Just enter MOM in the discount code box (on some city sites there is a dedicated mom blogger discount code box but it works in either.)

** You know it! Disclosure: I got tickets in exchange for a review. All opinions are totally and completely my own.

in my little town

This weekend my father in law issued me a photo challenge. You know me, challenge ACCEPTED! The Venue: Eastern Market. I love Eastern Market, if you come to visit I’ll take you there. Great cheese, flowers, artisan jewelry…just about everything you could ever want. Including fresh handmade pop tarts.

I’m sorry, did you get that? FRESH HANDMADE POP TARTS.  The end.

Eastern Market was a great place to work on getting to know my new 60D, and pine for new 55mm lens. Photography ain’t cheap and I always have the ‘I wants” for something!Now I shall subject you to my pictures:

texting seller (1 of 1)

earrings (1 of 1)

guy (1 of 1)

bob swing (1 of 1)

Girls (1 of 1)

girl with parasol (1 of 1)  These were so delicious..
tomatoes (1 of 1)

puppy (1 of 1)
huck foot (1 of 1)

So you see, if you come to DC I can promise you a good time. And if Eastern Market isn’t your thing I can at least hook you up with some snugs from this dude:
sweet huck (1 of 1)
Those snuggles are worth the trip alone, I promise.

And then WWJD had a birthday but I remain un-aged.

 

At one point BFF Jen left her stupid ex and came to visit. He had always admonished her “You can’t carry off a tattoo.” so, obviously, we headed to a tattoo parlor. Jen, Janice, and I had shopped the day away in Los Angeles and had ended up on Venice Beach, after a run in with a young and extremely demanding Lindsay Lohan we quickly decided what we needed were tattoos. The lot of us.

And so it was that one of my favorite pictures of all times was taken. It was as I was getting the requisite tramp stamp of the 90’s that Janice turned to Jen and with the most gleeful expression to counteract my this-kinda-hurts face the moment was captured. It’s perfect in it’s disposable Kodak blurred edges. That picture is packed somewhere in the garage with all the rest of our worldly goods, but it’s burned in my brain. And so I present my second favorite picture:

Janice and I met first in college, we spoke the shared language of dead fathers and depression- which was excellent for art school. She taught me Marlboro Ultra lights and Pepsi. She taught me how to grocery shop. She took me in and when the time was right she kicked me out, so I could grow the hell up and come back an adult. She’s a bad ass.

Once upon a time I split with my ex and stayed with Janice and her then boyfriend, now husband. During this time the ex and I agreed to clean out the four closets in our home that were filled with his clothes and perhaps clear just one for me and my things. Wouldn’t you know it, he insisted I buy the trash bags. I bought kitchen bags. He wanted heavy duty garden bags. You’d have thought I boiled his bunny. I spent hours on the phone begging his forgiveness as Janice’s eyebrows lifted higher and higher with each apology until they lept off her face and shot into orbit. After I hung up the phone she simply looked at her man and said “Yeah.” He responded to me “I would fear for my life if I said those things to Janice.”

For a long time I joked that I needed a bracelet: WWJD. What Would Janice Do. Number one: Janice didn’t and doesn’t take crap from boys (now men).  She taught me how to let the losers go and sometimes let them think it was their idea. Ha! Suckas! She taught me how to have nice things, and keep them nice. She taught me how to stand up for myself…to the extreme and then taught me how to straddle that line nicely.

She taught me it doesn’t matter what they call you, it only matters what you answer too.

I miss her so much…she is in LA and I am here in DC. She once said to me “I just assumed you’d go back to doing commercials and I’d just have Max during the day.” Because she IS that friend. The one who when you throw a party shows up not only with the pasta salad she said she’d bring, but an extra table, some chairs and some flowers. She is the friend who shows up early to help you set up and at the end of the evening as you’re saying goodbye to your guests she’s got the whole place cleaned before you can close the door on the last guest. She’s a machine. She is also the friend who will make you laugh till you snort wine out your nose. Janice can’t tell a story without acting it out, she’s good with a visual.

4 weeks after she met me at 6 am to check in to St. Joseph’s for my c-section surgery to have Max, I met her at 6 am to check into St. Joseph’s for her cancer surgery. She kicked cancer’s ass btw. I am still battling the guilt that we moved away while she was in chemo. Shortly after Huckleberry was born she called me and told me to stop having kids because every time I spit out a boy she gets sick. This time it’s Lupus and RA, but if you think that’s slowing her down you are wrong. I told her I need one more baby, a girl, and that girl will heal her!

Now, I’m not into hero worship…but I’m so damn lucky to have met her and I count that day we sat outside the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf smoking and being thunderstruck at how much we had in common one of the luckiest days of my life. We started out messed up kids and ended up well adjusted (quit laughing), happy adults.

And in between being messed up kids and happy well adjusted adults we were hot…but didn’t know it.

She taught me how to be strong, I like to think I taught her how to forgive… or something. I hope I taught her something.

Happy Birthday Janice!

Do you have a Janice in your life? You should.

 

I think I’m broken

You guys? I think I might be broken. I mean,  everyone with the same chromosomal make up as yours truly is all ahem, worked up over two things. 1. 50 Shades of Grey and 2. Magic Mike.

I’ve no interest in either. In fact when I saw the preview for Magic Mike it was all I could do to not scream out “that furniture is UGLY!” Also Matthew McConaughey makes me need  Silkwood Shower and a shot of penicillin the moment my eyes set upon him. Plus he was all on the Today Show saying how weird it was to be nekkie and dance like that. Uh-huh.  Me thinks the guy who was arrested naked playing the bongos and hardly ever wears a shirt protests too much.

Mike, I will never want this wagon wheel coffee table. 🙂

As for Christian Grey and Anna Steele…maybe I am just a 12 year old boy at heart but I think I would just giggle the whole time. Maybe it’s awesome and I am really missing out, but I get the giggles just thinking about reading it. Also apparently there is a lot of spanking. The word spanking makes me giggle. Spank. Ing. I am so mature.

Or maybe it’s just that I hear Ellen DeGeneres reading it in my head and that gives me the giggles.

Are we women SO uptight and high strung in real life that we need these seemingly teenage escapes to unleash up? (mind you…I’m not judging; whatever floats your boat!) I mean, a movie about male strippers and a national craze over a book whose craftmanship has been referred to as stilted and relies on tropes that anyone who’s ever sat through 15 minutes of a high school writing workshop would know to avoid.   (cough, Twilight, cough)

Maybe I am broken and wrong and Magic Mike’s random furniture creations are in fact incredible and I should be rethinking my whole decor style. Maybe you’ll riot and demand that I turn in my woman membership card. All I know is neither of these  make “My inner goddess [is] do[ing] the merengue with some salsa moves.

Her inner goddess is dance confused. Poor inner goddess.

 

 

The Dark Side.

The air has been hot and heavy. You don’t so much walk around in it as you struggle to push your way through it, thick as cream soup, calves burning from the heat radiating upwards from the cement. It’s miserable. It’s claustrophobic.
Sometimes I feel as if the house is collapsing around me. The walls get smaller and closer to me and the ceiling lowers with every breath I take until I am hunched over trying not to be suffocated. Usually that’s when I plan an escape. We pack a stroller and walk around the lake to feed some ducks and hit a playground. Or we head to the mall, the children’s play area both a haven and the 7th circle of hell simultaneously.
This week there was no escaping. We were home bound and at the mercy of the air conditioning repair men who turned up sweaty and scraggly, tattooed with lovely manners.

They smiled at the boys and called me ma’am.

Ouch.

Sometimes staying at home is a rough gig. Sometimes I’m lonely. Sometimes the only adult I speak with all day is a stranger-made-friend on twitter.
140 characters can sometimes save my sanity.

The boys were hot and cranky. Huckleberry is now mobile and into everything. Specifically everything Boss is into. A small brother on your imaginary baseball field can put a real damper on your game.
“watch out for Baboo!” I say for the 20 millionth time that day as the baseball bat swings quickly over his small head.
“see Mommy, it goes OVER him.”

We are Melting. Mentally, emotionally, physically. All of us, and there seems to be no escape. Sleep is impossible, fingers and toes feeling swollen, full of hot water, hard to bend. Cranky, wanting to find comfort in snuggles but burning up with each touch
Then this morning: rain.

The heatwave breaks and the air conditioner softly hums cooling our skin. The walls recede, the ceiling lifts and we can snuggle together once more. We can all breathe again.
max sleeps (1 of 1)
Finally we rest.

This guy.

Am I right?
This guy

After a crazy week of storms and power outages and such I finally have a moment to pick a winner for the Pishposh Mommy giveaway! Well fine, random.org picked it but you understand.

The winner is #20 Teri! Teri, email me so I can get this out to you!

Dang it’s hard to get back into the swing of blogging when you’ve been without power.