Posts Tagged With: giggles

an unexpected gift

Sundance and I spent the afternoon together yesterday. We went to lunch, (Mexican, YUM!) went to get our hair done, (two cute new dos) and ran errands (to purchase ribbon at AC Moore).
We came back home and hung out while I made her some bows. YBW came home excited to see Sundance. (They were very close friends in elementary school.) There were hugs and kisses then he went into the other room. But the noises were not those of him emptying his pockets like he normally does. They were of metal banging and rustling plastic. Sundance and I looked at each other waiting for him to find the pressie I left on his chair.
He comes into the room with his hands behind his back. Then he presents us with the precious dollies we fell in love with when we went to say goodbye, Why Not?.

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Redhaired “Adele” for me and brunette “Jeanne” for Sundance.
(Yes, there was squealing!)

After Sundance left I took my dollie upstairs to our bedroom.
I thanked YBW again and told him it was kind of him to get both dollies. He told he almost gave me mine for Valentine’s day, but he’s glad he waited because the look on Sundance’s face made it all worth it.
What a sneaky bugger my husband is.
What a precious, kind man my husband is.

I was all smiles this morning when little Adele greeted me from my comfy chair.
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I picked her up and hugged her and started my day. Her face makes my heart so happy I can hardly stand it!
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Categories: love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

busy and lazy Christmas fun

Thing 2 and I met Sundance and Girlie Thing yesterday morning for a bit of last minute Christmas shopping. We didn’t know Girlie Thing was going to be with her mom. I saw her before Thing 2 did and when I said it out loud, Thing 2 took off running down the store’s main aisle into the outstretched arms of her cousin. My heart grew three sizes that moment.
Sundance announced her progress since her surgery and Girlie Thing announced she has a boyfriend! There was a great deal of squealing and giggling.

Thing 2’s boyfriend D decided at the last moment to come here for Christmas. Which is wonderful! But…there are not gifts for him under the tree. I sent his Christmas Eve jammies and book and a couple of other things down to him earlier in the month.
But now that he’s going to be here Christmas morning, we had some quick shopping to do. The mom in me and the dad in YBW couldn’t abide him being the only person with nothing under the tree. YBW tasked Thing 2 straight away with the job of going with me to choose things for him. It was cute, he was all: This is your job! You can’t do anything else until it’s finished!
We not only managed to finish in one day, but get everything wrapped too!

Then the lazy fun started! Holiday movie time!
We started with Love Actually while I wrapped his gifts. The whole time making fun of the articles I sent her before I wrote about the haters in I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes….
We took a break when YBW came home to eat a quick dinner and then organized ALL the pressies, moved the bulk downstairs.
We snuggled up on the sofa and went straight back to it. Thing 2 wishes the haters some ‘Love Actually’ peace.
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We had a mini-debate on whether to watch The Holiday or Miracle on 34th Street (the original). Thing 1 wants to see Miracle on 34th Street, but we figured we could watch it twice…
We did the age old “behind the back choosing” and realized we wanted The Holiday most.
I popped corn and we got sorted on the sofa ready to go. Thing 2 gives two thumbs up.
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Today’s movies: Miracle on 34th Street (to be watched again at some point after Thing 1 arrives tomorrow afternoon) and White Christmas. (I’ve watched it two and a half times already this season, but Thing 2 has never seen it and I think she’ll like it.)

What will we do this evening you ask?
Why, The Nutcracker, of course! So much squealing and clapping!

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I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…

So it turns out there are a metric ton of haters out there regarding Love Actually. I find this most amusing.
Personally, I like this movie. But I like it for the quotable one liners and the Christmas-y-ness of it, not for it’s eternal epic film quality.
No shame in my Love Actually enjoyment game.
Thing 2 and I watch it at random throughout the year, but always together at Christmastime.

This is her favorite part:
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I probably shouldn’t find it so amusing that my child loves the rampant cursing…but I do.

This is my favorite part:

Now, I’m not saying there are some things about this movie that are absolute crap.
For instance:
Karl and Laura Linney’s inability to sort out having a mentally ill sibling and getting it on. If they truly cared about each other, the could have sorted it.
Perhaps it’s because he’s prettier than anyone else in the movie?
This storyline feels superfluous to me.

That whore that works for Alan Rickman. She needs to go die in a hole. He’s married to a frumped-up version of Emma Thompson, who BTW, rocks out loud with a fiery vengeance, frumpy or not. Get it together, dude! P.S. What the flying hell kind of dolls do they have in England? “…the one that looks like a transvestite, or the one that looks like a dominatrix?” I’ll just keep my 1970s ‘Malibu Barbie’, thanks.

Talk about superfluous…the entire Colin character’s story line. “And he’s got a big knob” (you know you heard it in his voice) might be the stupidest thing in the history of film…that or I need to visit Wisconsin as a different me.

Keira Knightley does that jacked up thing with her mouth and needs to eat a thousand cheeseburgers.
AND Chiwetel Ejiofor, I just gotta say: Nobody is that oblivious. Your best effing friend has it on for your wife. Pay attention!

Hugh Grant, I think it might be sexist and pretty darn illegal to “fire” an employee because you’ve got the hots for her…but maybe that’s just in America?

I adore Colin Firth. I don’t have many bad things to say about him…and I actually adore the scene after the swim to save his book when they’re saying the same things and not understanding each other. But is he REALLY going to learn Portuguese to marry that girl? I do love when the children say, “I hate Uncle Jaime!” I say it often at random intervals…I have no uncles and don’t know anyone called Jaime…I just love the way it sounds.

The relationship between Liam Neeson and that kid who does the voice of Ferb might be my favorite. Doesn’t that kid have a biological dad? Doesn’t matter. They’re solving problems with love and fun. What parent says to a child: We need Kate and we need Leo and we need them now.? Then his encouragement of chasing down the little girl.

“Lets go get the shit kicked out of us by love.” just might be my favorite line of the entire film. (But Hugh Grant looking at the portrait of Margaret Thatcher and calling her ‘saucy minx’ is a close second.)

The most normal relationship is that of Martin Freeman and ‘Judy’. They might be naked, but they manage to develop a pretty successful friendship that becomes something more.

Sure, the movie is flawed.
But so are we and so is love.
Haters gonna hate.
But I’m going to watch it whenever it pleases me. And I’ll be watching it when Thing 2 get here.
If you haven’t seen it, I think you should. If you have and like it, I’m “air high-fiving” you. If you hate it…well, that’s your prerogative.

And finally, I must admit I love Bill Nighy’s “festering turd” of a record.

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oh happy day

Finally! After a twenty day countdown today is the day!
Thing 2 arrives at Dulles at 11:45 this morning!
I am quite possibly the happiest human being on the entire planet!
I can hardly wait to get my arms around my baby!

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My joy knows no bounds! I wish this level of happiness for absolutely everyone!

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

14 days!

I never underestimate the importance of a countdown.
I talked about countdowns at they apply to my birthday in counting down.
During the four years that YBW and I dated long distance, we always made a countdown when we knew we would see each other again.
I love counting down to pretty much anything! Right now I’m actually counting down two things simultaneously.
The first is easy: last two weeks at this preschool. The second one is my new favorite: 14 days until Thing 2 arrives!

She and I have been trading texts and emails the last few days:
Me: I’m so excited to see you! I’m going to kiss your face off!!
Thing 2: You know, I have really been needing a good Momma hug this week so all of that love will be hella reciprocated when I get there! I also wanna hug those boys!
Me: It’s gonna be SO great!! Snuggles. Baseball. Tom’s Diner. Snuggles. Lin’s. Hanging out. Snuggles. New do. Girlie stuff. Snuggles. (Y’all notice a pattern? Cause I sure do!)
Thing 2: All those made me really really really excited and smiley!

Me too, girl. Me too!
I’m near bursting with excitement to see my baby girl! We have yet to celebrate her birthday. I can hardly wait for her to open her pressies!
YBW and I scheduled a meeting with the event coordinator at the winery for when Thing 2 is here because we want to share it with her and have her input.

YBW came home today and I said: Want to know something SO exciting?
He said: Sure!
Me: (with a giggle) 14 days!
He giggled and hugged me.
Me: Do you know till what?
YBW: Thing 2 comes!
More giggling.
Me: I’m so excited.
YBW: Me too!
Then I said: I have a little Momma jealousy, I think she’s just as excited to see you as she is to see me.
YBW: REALLY!?!
Me: Yep.
YBW had a GREAT BIG GRIN!

I love a good countdown. It’s a playful way to mark the passing of time between me and something I feel happy about.
I thought, today, of the countdown clock on the wall in Matt Albie’s office on the show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
It’s an old show that only lasted one season. It was a tad left-leaning for me but I loved the characters and the way they related to each other. I adore Matthew Perry, and the natural on screen chemistry between him and Bradley Whitford was a joy to watch! Aaron Sorkin’s rat-a-tat-tat dialogue suited these actors.
One of my favorite scenes happens during the second episode: The Cold Open.
Danny Tripp, played by Bradley Whitford turns on the clock.

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Matthew Perry’s character, Matt Albie reacts:
Matt: How did it know?
Danny: How did it know what?
Matt: Exactly how much time was left in the week?
Danny: Yeah, it’s a miracle of technology that we’ve invented, an electronic device that can count backwards from seven.
Matt: But it was off.
Danny: It has a battery.
Matt: [in horror] So it always knows?
Danny: Don’t endow the thing with special powers, Matt – it’s a clock.

I disagree, Danny. I’m all about endowing the clock with special powers! But only if you’re counting down to something good.
Matt is counting down until the next show…and he has to write it.
Isn’t that every writer’s nightmare? The deadline.
My deadline is picking up my child at the airport on time. I’ll countdown to that ANY day, thanks!

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sassy birthday love

I write a great deal about my love for my daughter, Thing 2. Partly that’s because I’ve honestly never loved another human being the way I love her, and partly because she (frustrating as she is) has become one of my favorite people. She’s become a bit of an acquired taste, but if you can get through her thick hide of protective armor she’s rather spectacular!

The kind parts of her personality are truly something to behold. The unkind parts are somewhat amusing, she can sarcasm and sass like nobody’s business, but sometimes it can cross that line between amusing and cruelty. I don’t believe that’s her intent. She just calls it like she sees it.
She’s quite like me in so many ways. Perhaps years of life have helped my sass remain more so on the amusing side of the line with occasional jaunts over to cruelty. I’d like to think so anyway. My sass intentions are never cruel and, surely that counts for something.
Thing 2 is still in that ‘figuring it out’ phase. That wretched place in life we all have to wade through to get to the place where our actions more and more reflect our intentions.
We do think very similarly about things and have those moments when we call each other and report some event of the day when she had a “Momma moment” or I had a “Thing 2” moment. We laugh about them and I tell her I’m so glad she’s a good sport about being so like me.

There is trouble in her heart. A wound that she simply hasn’t figured out how to let heal. I’m hopeful that with time and hard work she’ll realize that it doesn’t have to define her. But I have great concern she may not ever know how to come to that place. I’ve offered every kind of help I can think of. She’s becoming more open to help…perhaps that’s a good sign.

She celebrated the eighteenth anniversary of her birth last week. Eighteen years of Thing 2. With all honesty, I can hardly believe it! It seems only a moment. Only a moment since she was a teeny little think in the NICU. Since she was fitted for her first pair of glasses (at sixteen months). Since she put on her first black leotard and pink shoes. Since she got on the school bus the very first day of kindergarten holding her big sisters hand and smiling from ear to ear. Since she stood on the stage for the first time as a young princess in disguise.
Since the terrible moment she told me she didn’t want me to be her mom anymore. And the beautiful moment we found our way back to each other.

Eighteen years of love and laughter and sadness and tears. Eighteen years of silliness and snuggles and sassiness to spare.
One of the best gifts I’ve ever received! And so many more to come!

I wasn’t with her on her birthday, that was hard for me. But I’ve come to terms with it. She was with her friends and her big sister even came to town to celebrate with her. She and I decided to celebrate later on, when she’s here for a while. I didn’t even send her gifts (some she even knows about). Because I found what I hope will be the coolest gift and I selfishly want to be with her when she opens it. I can’t yet share the secret because she sometimes reads these words. I can say the item is celebrating it’s centennial this year, that it was involved in an important historical situation, and that it is meaningful to our family.

Interestingly enough, it was YBW who came up with the idea that sparked my search for this perfect item. I love that he gets us, even though he sometimes doesn’t understand us.

I have this item for her and wanted a special way to present it to her and nothing felt quite right. So I made a trip to the craft store and found the thing that sparked my idea for the way to present Thing 2’s special gift. A janky little balsa wood suitcase that with a bit of stain, antique travel and map stickers, and some mod podge became the perfect box for her gift!
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Thing 2 loves antique suitcases and bags, I hope she loves this one too!

The inside had to be as perfect as the outside.
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How precious is this little case?
I’m so excited to celebrate my baby’s birthday!

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

our love (of Joss Whedon) is ever-changing AND constant

Just had a great conversation with Thing 2. She called as I was leaving school this afternoon and we just hung up the phone. Her voice is one of my true joys. We’ve been playing phone tag for almost a week now and I am so happy I got to talk with her!
She was sounding a bit sad when we first started talking. I asked and she explained there was a bit of drama. Girl drama. I laughed and said: I didn’t think you hung out with girls any more. She laughed too then said there was some ickiness with her best (girl)friend. I asked her if she wanted to talk about it. She explained that she’s hurt that her best friend has gotten really close with another girl (a common friend) but Thing 2 is kind of feeling put out. She said: Like I’m suddenly less cool than (girl’s name)? (I can assure you that Thing 2 is INFINITELY “cooler” than this other girl, and I’m not saying that just because I’m her Momma.)
We talked about how all her friends are in school and she’s not. How her life is completely different than their lives. Then she said something that gave me pause (and great pride).
She said: Maybe it’s me. Maybe I need to change my expectations.
Damn, that kid has insight. How many seventeen year olds have that much self awareness? (I did something right.)
So we talked about her perspective, she was thrilled to have my feedback. I feel hopeful that it will help her when she begins to feel this way again.

We talked about our adoration, nay, worship of Joss Whedon, Thing 2’s girl crush on Eliza Dushku, and how freaking talented Alan Tudyk is.
This portion of the program started with her sharing that she finally started watching the second season of Dollhouse.
(Then it went a bit like this: OMG Thing 2! I was just thinking about Dollhouse earlier this week! OMG Momma! We’re totally connected!)
This was a hilariously animated discussion which moved into Buffy and what a total whiny crybaby we both think Angel is. (We love Spike.)

We discussed a visit. She told me she promised to visit her sister first and then come here. But she wanted to come here sooner rather than later but didn’t want to hurt her sister’s feelings. Hmm…this got me thinking…and I said: It isn’t lost on me that we are talking about a twenty-one year old grown ass woman and the concern that if you spend time with me instead of her it will somehow hurt her feelings.
Thing 2 said: Wow! Way to put it into perspective! I’m coming to see you! (We don’t yet know when, but she’s a-comin.)

We talked about our emotional connection now that we don’t really have our physical connection. I told her I missed the days when (as a teenager) she would come into my room with her pillow under her arm and I’d say, “Whatcha doin?” and she wouldn’t speak, but walk to my bed, move the other pillow, place her pillow and get into bed, look at me and grin.
She giggled and said she missed that too. She said: Now you have a boy in your bed. We laughed. But I said: You know, there are other beds in this house, but you were all, No! I wanna be right in the middle of this big bed with your tiny self. (the same bed that was mine into which she would plant herself) She laughed again and said: Well damn, if I’d know that, I wouldn’t have left. (Interestingly, hearing that didn’t sting.)

We agreed we were both missing our connection. We agreed to be more aware and mindful of it and to amp up our communications.
That kid.
That kid has been my very favorite human being since she first grabbed my finger through the tiny hole in the incubator bed in the NICU.
Our life is different now. We’ve hurt each other immensely, but we’ve healed each other, too.
The love we share is different from any other love in our lives. It is true and it is deeply rooted, but it is also adaptable. And that is what will keep us together even though we’ve been through some gut wrenching pain. Even though we’re five hundred miles apart. Even though she’s almost grown.
Our love is unconditional. Our love is ever-changing AND constant.
But I could cut off her Netflix at any moment…
(If you’re a Whedonite, you know what I did there…undercut a “sappy” moment with “sharp” humor. Thing 2 would be chuckling…as long as she believed I was kidding.)

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

how I spend my days

My kids decided we needed a hair and nail salon in our classroom. So after about two weeks of hard work creating shampoo chairs, hanging hairdryers, a pedicure station, and asking for donations we’re ready!
Yesterday was the Grand Opening of Sound Stage Salon (The kids chose the name.)

before the ribbon cutting ceremony

before the ribbon cutting ceremony

Some friends decided to take a shave.
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They actually got quite good at this.

One little friend decided it was time for me to stop taking photos and have my hair done.
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He worked really hard to make me ‘fancy’.
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This transformation of our dramatic play area was completely their idea. We designed and built and play in it together and will continue to do so until we’re no longer interested.
The kids enthusiasm and excitement are contagious! Our administrators and other teachers have requested to come have their hair and nails done to the extent that we had to create an appointment book. Mommies and Daddies are beginning to ask for appointments too.
I love teaching and learning with three and four year olds!

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how exercising patience made it better

Thing 2 is coming home to roost in MY nest.
The joy this brings me in indescribable! Though, quite possibly not for the reasons you might think. Of course I want to be nearer my baby. BUT I believe she’ll be better off where there is more stability, a solid foundation of extended family to help support her. As well as two “brothers” who adore her and want her to actively be a part of their life, a YBW who has opened his arms and home to her and wants to do everything in his power to make her transition as smooth as possible. Mostly she’ll have her Mommy. And for that girl and this Mommy, that is paramount. She and I have a connect that transcends time and space and I believe we both miss it.
Thing 2 needs to feel safe.

Sundance told me she thinks Thing 2 is afraid she has to ask me to be her Mommy again and isn’t sure how to deal with that. My response was I never stopped being her Mommy. Perhaps she’ll realize that.

Thing 2 texted me about wanting to talk to me if I had time. When we talked she said: May I come live with you? I’m ready to be there with you. My child asked permission to be in my home…perhaps Sundance has a point.
Yes, yes! A thousand times yes!

YBW is a bit nervous about having a teenage girl in our home…he’s never really been around one. But he’s open and excited.

I talked with Thing 2 just yesterday and she’s so excited, she’s packed up most of her things and planning how to pack the rest and excited for the Mommy – Thing 2 road trip. She’s planning her room and what she wants to study when she goes back to school. She told me she had the worst year, that she completely effed it up. But she’s ready to get her life back. She texted me: Aspirations! Ah!!
The fire in her belly that was just sad little embers for the last eighteen months or so has once again become an inferno. She is ready to take her life back.

I couldn’t be more supportive of this if I’d invented it. I’m ready for Thing 2 to be the real Thing 2 because that’s what’s best for her. And she deserves to be the best Thing 2 she can be.

My friend and mentor has been very invested in every moment of this process. We talked last night on the phone and she asked about Thing 2, we talked about the goings on…how I’d been patient and respectful of where Thing 2 was. Then she said something that rang so true in me.
She said: You have been present with her though all her craziness.

Isn’t that what Mommies do?

Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘normal’ again

Today was the first day I felt ‘normal’ since the day my dad died. It was interesting to me, because YBW and I were sitting on the sofa and being goofy, kind of tickling and giggling and snuggling in front of the TV and in that moment I felt it. I felt ‘normal’…like myself. I was lying half across YBW I looked up and, a bit choked up, I said: I feel normal today, thank you.

I was asked how I was doing Wednesday by a friend who was over for dinner. I said: I’m so damn tired. I’ve been tired since the beginning of May. I don’t know if it is grief or depression or I’m just tired, but I’m sick half to death of it.
He understood. (He’s the dad of my little student who’s mother died in March.)

Today, I don’t feel tired. I feel like myself again.
I’m savvy enough to realize I’ll feel that particular kind of tired again, but I trust the ‘normal’ is here to stay.

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