Thursday, April 28, 2005

What's your GPA?

My brother is a classic example of an over-achiever. He should be the poster person for this trait and attend a 12 step program.

I didn't really know him that well before he was in high school because I was little (he's 7 years older than me) and at that point the world revolved around me and me it doesn't now, right?

Anyway, in high school he was very popular, he had a beautiful and popular, smart, cheerleader girlfriend, he was the captain of the varsity soccer team, he was the valedictorian, and he was accepted as an early admission to a prestigious university. I guess you could call him a stud.

He went on to earn a Ph.D. in physics from yet another prestigious university, married the beautiful girl he had dated since junior high (who is a studette in her own right), and is now a professor of physics at one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

So, what else could he over-achieve? Babies. Although it did not come easy, Corey and Jennifer are pregnant. What? you ask, is so outstanding about that? People get pregnant everyday. Not these two...they had to outdo a regular pregnancy.

They are having TWINS.

Couldn't have just one, could you? Ha ha.

I love you Corey and Jennifer and I am so over-excited and anxious with anticipation to meet these two blessings and get to know you both as parents.

Leaving on a jet plane

Did I mention that we are leaving to go on vacation on Friday afternoon? We are going to paradise and my dad promised me that he would watch the girls so I can take a nap. There will be no cell phones and no laptops, but water that is clear and this beautiful shade of color that is not done justice in pictures. I am so ready for this. I want to drink up the sun and toast my skin and love on my family.

There is an aquarium where we are staying and a sea lion that walks around with a trainer like a dog. We will snorkel (because I am too chicken to scuba) and swim in our "baving soups."

I promise to take lots of pictures and let all my stress melt away. It's funny because I feel this enormous pressure to make the vacation "perfect" and I am stressing about crazy, right?

Well, both of the girls are napping and so I should pack.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Soups on

Piper made dinner tonight for our dog Zoe and I thought I'd share her recipe:

Expensive dog food
Water bowl
blue playdough

Fill water bowl with water. Add dog food. Garnish with blue playdough to desired color. Go ahead and mix it up with your hands. Use mop to smear all over the kitchen floor.


Monday, April 25, 2005


Do you ever feel inadequate? I have been fighting this lately...this feeling of failure. It's hard to understand because there are no real "results" when it comes to being a stay at home mom (cringe)...there definitely needs to be a better label for what it is I am. When I was working as a teacher, I would teach a lesson and then there would be some sort of "test" to validate what was presented. There was a pretty clear picture of if the child understands the concept and is incorporating it into their learning.

That isn't so with my new profession. Sure, there are stacks of dishes to be done and piles of laundry to sort or wash or fold. And there are dust bunnies gathering in the corner of the room that doesn't get used because it is the "adult" part of the house and hasn't seen any sort of action. There are smudges on mirrors and rings around toilet bowls and handprints on sliding glass doors. These are the results of a job in which I feel I am drowning under. I am a big fat failure when it comes to this inadequate. Sure, on the outside I appear somewhat put together...but I live in a constant state of panic that someone will just "stop in" to visit and my house is an absolute mess. This is the fear that consumes me and yet I am so overwhelmed that I don't even know where to start and so I just don't start and it is the cycle much like when I have to re-wash something because I just didn't get to putting it in the dryer and now it stinks.

I know these are universal anxieties most every mom has, but it feels so individual and so isolating. I try to figure out how so many women before me have gotten it all done without losing their minds in the process. I've been thinking about all those vintage pictures you see with moms with aprons and clean homes and happy children and then I look at my reality of screaming baby, two year old jumping on the edge of the couch about to fall right on her head while wiping her boogers on my shirt, burning something in the oven, dog crying to be let out before she explodes, and dishes crusty with last week's baby cereal. *Deep breath*

People say "oh, don't worry about the house...the laundry will still be there tomorrow and your kids will grow up so fast. You need to enjoy them while you can." But, nobody likes to have no clean underwear.

It will get easier, I know, but I don't want to be so caught up in all this everyday junk that I miss the important parts...even if it's just Piper counting 10 or shouting "I did it!"

So if you get nothing else from this post...remember...always call at least 30 minutes before you show up knocking at my door, you've got to give me a head start.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

He's Baackk

So Jason returned home from his trip to California on Thursday night and on Friday morning Piper came downstairs eating a Snickers Bar for breakfast. 'Nough said.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Favorite Things

My friend Kellie did this on her blog so I stole it from her.

My current favorite things:

1. My double stroller. I resisted buying one for a while and now I don't know how I lived without it. It ways about the same as my single stroller and it folds up really easy and it fits through doorways. I use it just about everyday and I have taken it everywhere including through the mulch at the playground.

2. My Mommytags necklace. Mine has Piper Jolie's and Finley Claire's names and their birthdays.

3. My new IPod Mini that my dear hubby got for me for no real reason. It's pink and now I don't have to go out and buy a CD for just one song. My playlist is very random and has everything from Queen to Laurie Berkner (one of Piper's favs!).

4. My oh so cool wheels, my Jetta stationwagon. I think I got 36 mpg the other day, how cool it that?

5. This headboard from pottery will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

Now these are all material things and here are my other current favorites:

1. The way God is blessing my brother and sister-in-law.

2. Reading my brother's articles in the newspaper.

3. Saturday morning breakfast with my family.

4. Living in paradise...going to the beach...a sunburn...sand in between my toes...the smell of sunscreen on my babies.

5. Bathtime and bedtime...the quiet time I spend snuggling with each girl..."Snuggle me mama" Piper says to me.

Maybe I'll start doing this once a month or something. Thanks Kellie for the idea.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Comic Relief

There are these everyday sweet moments that make being a mom the best occupation...Piper has been running a fever since Saturday night, no other symptoms, but a fever that is persistent. Earlier today I gave her some "Gatorade." Later this afternoon she says to me:

"Mama, I want a drink."

"What would you like, honey?"

"Alligator, please."

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Pink Toes

As is their custom, Jason was painting Piper's toes this afternoon because he is going out of town for the week and they had an interesting conversation:

Jason: Hey Piper, what are you eating?

Piper: UUHHHMMMMM...a booger? My booger daddy, my booger.


Unfortunately, Piper has developed a mysterious fever and no other symptoms as of yet...we'll see what the future holds. Should be an interesting week without Jason! He'll be having just an awful time in San Jose, California going out to dinner (with no babies), going to baseball games (with no babies), and all that other horrendous stuff. I feel so sorry for him, especially since he is going to miss the throwing up and diarrhea stages of what is sure to be an action packed week of sickness!

Honestly though, he is speaking at a conference for the Kelsey group and will be blogging about it all week so you should definitely check it out...I know he will miss us and we will miss him too.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Princess

I am one of four children, but I am the only girl. I have two older brothers and one younger brother. Sean is 9 years older, Corey is 7 years older and Matt is 2 years younger.

I am the Princess. When we were younger my relationship with my brothers consisted of the usual torture and pain that older siblings can inflict complete with name-calling.

We are a weird bunch, however, and that is no more evident than in the names that my brothers used to call me: the capitals of African countries. Can you say "over-achievers"? They would call me these names so often and I would scream so frequently that I developed nodules on my throat and a chronic rhaspy voice.

I love my brothers and our relationship has developed into the kind of friendship where you can say anything, even if it is hurtful and you know you will be forgiven in the long run because you are family and you have to love each isn't an option. We are older now and starting our own families, each micro-family contributing to the family as a whole. Each family is like a different ingredient in the recipe and when it's done baking the sweet aroma fills our lives and we are still and content in our joy for each other.

I can't wait for our children to grow up together and be close with their cousins because I never had that. We vacation together every summer and these summers have become the memories that we will think back on and cover us like the warm summer sun shining down on our faces. We swim in the ocean, dig our toes in the sand, dive into a lake, ski behind a boat...and we do it together. We talk about future plans and reminisce about time gone by and we grow individually and together.

I want my girls to know the mischievous boys I grew up with and bossed around, and I can only hope that each one of my brothers has a girl to be their that will do a "show" for them.

Friday, April 08, 2005

My how you've grown

Piper attends a Mother's Day Out program on Thursday mornings for 3 hours. Just 3 hours and I miss her somethin fierce. I can't wait to pick her up and hug her and kiss her and be with her. Can you say "over-bonded"? When I drop her off a little piece of my heart stays there with her and I am sad...sad not because I am leaving her but sad because she is growing up.

It's funny because I now have 2 children at two very different stages. Finn has started eating solids so I feed her and honestly I can't wait until she is Piper's age and can feed herself. But then there is Piper who is in between independence and reliance on is a moment to moment struggle that I can actually physically see her going through...she takes off and then checks back in then takes off again. She needs constant reassurance and I'm actually a bit relieved because that means she still needs me. How silly am I? I always thought that I wouldn't be one of "those mothers" that is so overly-attatched and hangs on their child's every milestone, and yet here I am guilty as charged. I want all the sweetness of the baby time without any of the chores of the care-taking.

We went to the beach yesterday. I took the girls BY MYSELF. yeah, fun. It actually wasn't that bad...except for the lugging of our entire house in a beach cart through the dunes while Finn is in her sling and Piper is yelling at me to take her shoes off because heaven forbid she get sand in her BEACH SANDALS. The best part about it was all the people that passed me on their way down to the beach while noticing my struggle and desperately trying to avoid eye-contact. We were there for a little over 3 hours, I can hardly believe.

All day today after I picked Piper up from MDO she kept saying..."mommy's gone, mama's gone..." *sniff*

I'm right here!

Monday, April 04, 2005

The grass is always greener

It's 7:30pm and both of my girls are tucked into their beds and sleeping and dreaming...So, I started thinking about a conversation that I had with my mom last night and I knew that I wanted to post about it but I am not sure what I want to say.

She had been in North Carolina this past weekend attending a wedding of a family friend, a wedding that I would have really liked to have gone to but the thought of driving 12 hours with both of the girls was a little too overwhelming. My friend Lorraine got married and she wore my veil *sniff*. At the wedding my mom ran into another friend of mine form way back in elementary school all the way until now. Natalie and I carpooled from 1st to 5th grade and our families are also friends. She attended Davidson and she is now graduating from Duke Law School. She is taking a job with a prestigious firm in Manhattan where she will be paid in excess of $200k. Good for her, she deserves it...she worked very hard and she is very bright and there is no doubt in my mind that she will be an excellent intellectual property attorney. My mom said that she looked beautiful and happy and just at the start of something, you know? That moment right before you jump in with two feet and you feel all terrified and exhilarated and alive?

Well, I miss that and I am jealous.

I will probably never have that kind of professional success. I will never live in a big city and wear designer clothes and eat at fancy trendy restaurants. I will never be able to just take a month "off" and travel to some exotic locale that I would never get to go to any other way. I will never need to have a mani/pedi every week to look put together...will I ever look put together again? I will never have a "power-lunch" or a "business-dinner." I will never live in a "loft." I will never have only myself to take care of and feed and clothe and keep clean.

My question is, would I really want all that? It's like one of those stupid movies where the main character wants what she doesn't have and she makes a wish by throwing a penny into a fountain or seeing a psychic or playing an arcade game, whatever, she makes this wish and when she wakes up the next morning her wish has come true and she lives that life only to find out that she really wants what she already had and now what can she do to get it back?

As I listened to my mom talk about all these exciting things in Natalie's life, I did envy all the new beginnings and anticipation she must feel. I am jealous of the feelings I think more than the actual life. And I started thinking about all the things that I no longer had a chance of a lawyer, a doctor, a rockstar (although I do believe that this is still a possibility), and my mom said that if I really wanted it I could make it happen but I realized that it would not be without a lot of sacrificing...and I mean a lot. I think part of the problem is that I am a stay at home mom that is supported by her domestic, right? I feel the need to contribute and I feel like everything we have is not actually ours but his because he is the one who made the money to provide for all of this, right? I feel like a waste. I know, I is a noble thing to be a mother, but why does it have to be one way or another? It just is not possible, in my opinion, to "have it all." You will always be sacrificing something whether it is your work, your relationship with your husband, or your relationship with your kids, or your family as a whole.

It's all about sacrifice. At this point in my life I am sacrificing my desire to accomplish something in a professional aspect. My world is my children and my family. I just have this urge, this need, like I am standing on the edge of it and I'm not sure where the bottom is or where I will land if I jump.

As I write this, I think about my girls sleeping upstairs. The little noises they make when they sleep, how they stir their little bodies under the covers, the sweet stillness and quietness of their souls. There is no way I would give up any of this...none of it...not even the hard parts, when I am up for the fourth or fifth time in one night with Finn and I know Piper will be up in an hour and I am exhausted. I would not give up their sweet smiles and the light in their faces and their chubby cheeks and the smell of the tops of their heads. I would not give up the times when Piper is caressing my face and my hair as her eyes grow heavy right before she goes to sleep. I would not give up seeing the way each girl, in their own way, bursts with excitement when they see their daddy come home from work. I would not give up the little songs that Piper sings to herself or when she reads a book while sitting in my lap. I would not give up the way Finn gazes up at me when she is nursing and the smile that cracks open her lips and her big, wide expectant eyes.

I read somewhere that it is not the day we remember but the moment. I would not give up these moments, these days. In my eyes, my life is full up to the top and overflowing with joy. I have made the choices that have placed me where I am today and I would not take back those choices. So, I may be jealous or envious of her life, but that's all it is and it's just core is solid. My heart is full.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Off to see the wizard

Just got my tickets to see Jack Johnson today. It's in September and i can't's been a very very very long time since I have done anything remotely adult...(get your mind out of the gutter!).

We went to a spring training baseball game today with my brother Matt who is the newest sports reporter for The Hometown News. He actually writes real articles like a real journalist...I mean he is a real journalist, it's just that he's my "little" brother and it's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that he has a real job that's like a career.

Every time I told Piper what we were doing today it went like this:

Me: Hey Piper? Did you know that we are going to a baseball game today?

Piper: Basketball game?

Me: No, honey, baseball game

Piper: Basketball game! basketball game! we're going! basketball game!

Me: Right.

Also, I tried to conduct a conference call today while both girls were awake and in the same room with me. You can guess how that worked out. Yeah, I won't be doing that again.

Finely has started playing this oh so fun (read the sarcasm) game called, "I only want to sleep for one hour at a time at night because it is so fun to have you come to my every call." And so, I think that I have gotten maybe 4 hours of sleep in the last 2 nights. No sleep = Grumpy Mama.