Posts Tagged With: Thing 1

mighty fine shindig

I brought gifts to a party I attended Saturday.


Craft paper and twine are about as gender neutral as I could get. However, I did use pink hearts for the tags I wrote. Baby K got clothes (including Nats gear, gotta get her started early), socks, and blankies. Thing 1 and Husband N got a car seat and stroller frame for it to snap into.

Husband N’s darling cousin knew Thing 1 couldn’t be properly celebrated without that perfect flower crown. And y’all, my girl was all about it!

Y’all! She is So! Stinking! Cute!

There was concern about how successful the celebration would be as time seemed to get away from the party planners. But I’m overjoyed to say that Thing 1 was celebrated like a princess and had a lovely time at her party!
She hates to be the center of attention and dreaded the opening of gifts. And after a crib, car seat, and about a billion precious blankets, clothes and lovies later, she was relieved it was over, but did enjoy the process more than expected!

We tie dyed bibs and onesies for Baby K.
If I wasn’t the only one photographing the party, I would have never left this station. I absolutely love to tie dye!

Thing 1 did a little henna tattooing.

It was an exhausting day in the best possible way!
I was impressed to see how hard Husband N worked to celebrate his wife and their daughter.
I was overjoyed at the love coming at them.
My girl deserves to be pampered and celebrated like a princess. She’s doing the hard work of growing a human.
I see her.
She’s strong and healthy and beautiful in her pregnancy. She’s content and joyful in her life.
She’s ready.
I am overflowing with love and joy for her!

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Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

twenty five years of Thing 1

When each of my girls turned 13 I created a book. This book was filled with photographs from their first moments until as close as I could get to the deadline before their birthday that year.
For this day twelve years ago I made Thirteen Years of Thing 1.

I honestly don’t know what the significance of my daughters becoming teenagers was, but when Thing 1 was closing in on that title, it hit me in a way I didn’t expect. And going through the photographic evidence of her lifetime brought me great comfort when I was so anxious about that anniversary of her birth.

Today is the twenty fifth anniversary of Thing 1’s birthday.
My first daughter has been in our world for a quarter century. I am awestruck!

I was on the phone with her one day last week, we were talking about her birthday. I remarked “quarter century of Thing 1”, that gave her pause. She hadn’t considered it like that. And then she rallied and said, “Sounds like it should be a book year.”
D’oh!
I did not make her a book. Part of me wishes I had, especially since this is her last birthday before becoming a mom.

I’ve called her twice already this morning. Her phone is turned off. Part of me is pleased she’s getting to sleep late, the other part of me wants to hear her voice.

I’m feeling my joy in the back of my throat and bubbling up into my eyes this morning.

Sally commented on a birthday social media post, “If she only knew how special she was to all of us! She’ll always be 3 in hearts!”
It’s true!
She was the first kid in my friend group. The first kid so many people ever loved. And even though we always tease that Sally is really my first daughter, Thing 1 changed the world for all of us.

Twenty five years ago I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. Truth is, I still don’t know what I’m doing some of the time.
I don’t think I mommied her the best possible way. I think I mommied her based on the way I was mommied.
BIG MISTAKE!
But, I learned better over time.
I grew up with her. I learned to be a woman the same time I was learning to be a mom. She paid a bit of the price for that. But she also experienced the maddest kind of love! More fun than she can possibly remember. And somewhere down deep in her I believe she holds the nugget of truth that she is the human personification of every hope and dream I ever had.
I know I failed at being her mom sometimes, but I also know that I far exceeded any mom expectations.
She is who she is because I am her mom.
I am who I am because she is my daughter.
She made me a mom twenty five years ago. In May she’ll make me a grandmother.
Still awestruck!

This is one of my all time favorite Thing 1 photos.

Age ten, November 2004 on the dock in Charleston.

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

Baby K

Thing 1 called me late last week with some pretty spectacular news.
Her baby is a GIRL!
Y’all I will readily admit to squealing with joy!
And I mean squealing!


I’m over here like Kay Thompson, singing, ‘Think pink when you shop for summer clothes!’
But, I’m respectful of my daughter’s choice to not inundate her child with gender specific colors. Honestly, I don’t give a damn what color she decides to love.
However, I’ll see to it she has some baby-size pink Chucks for sure!

Interestingly enough, we had a conversation earlier that week in which she shared the girl name they settled upon.
I’m already working on her monogram.

Off the cuff, YBW referred to her as Baby K and I knew it would be her name here in my nest.

Baby K is at her halfway point as of Christmas Eve.
She’s expected the second week of May. Just in time for my birthday.
Now, I’m sure if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am all about my birthday. But perhaps I could share that day with my first grandbaby…
My birthday is Mother’s Day this year. What a treat it would be for me to share a birthday with my first granddaughter, and for Thing 1 to become a mommy on Mother’s Day!
Stay tuned, y’all!

Thing 1 sent sono-pics of Baby K.
I think she looks a bit like baby Groot in this one.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Shrimpy


Baby’s first photo!

That little bebe is super healthy and is scheduled to make her/his debut September 30. (Thing 1 is keen to push it till October. I’m feeling her on that even without explanation. Her due date was February 27 and I was hankering a March baby. I got what I wanted, I’m hopeful she will too.)

When I showed the photo to YBW I remarked the bebe looked a bit like a shrimp. Then I giggled and said, “Aww, little Shrimpy.” Thing 1 called me just a moment afterwards and I shared that nugget of conversation. She repeated it to Husband N and Thing 2. I heard Thing 2’s voice, “We have to call it Shrimpy!”

Thing 1 sent that photo this morning, so I guess we’re going with Shrimpy. I’ll miss saying ‘the bebe’, but it’ll be nice not to say ‘it’ all the time.

Thing 2 also said the bebe would be a Libra.
I’d already deduced that.
In our world, Libra is better than Virgo. We know some really crap Virgos.
What’s interesting about Shrimpy being a Libra is that Thing 1 is a Pisces and Husband N is a Gemini. Pisces and Gemini have a particular duality to them. Could be considered light and dark, or yin and yang. I most often refer to that duality as sweet Thing 1 and evil Thing 1 (or Husband N).
So with these double sided signs it might be handy for a third party to be one inclined to balance the scales. As long as that is tempered with the ability to manage that inclination. That’ll grow in time. Or, Thing 2 will knock Thing 1 and Husband N’s heads together so that bebe isn’t always walking a tightrope.

Thing 1 shared with me that she really liked the nurses at the ob practice, that one of them noted that Husband N and Thing 2 showed an abundance of excitement. Thing 1 is generally reserved when it comes to demonstrating her excitement. Thing 2 and Husband N are not remotely reserved about sharing their excitement!
I have this vision in my head of what it was like.

Thing 1 kind of like, ‘Yeah, but I love them.’

I asked her if seeing the bebe and watching it’s little heart beat made it more real to her. She replied she never doubted that it was real, mostly because there was no reason for her to be vomiting so much if she wasn’t pregnant.
I suspect I asked her because I was asking myself the same question.
Does seeing that little bebe in a grainy black and white ultrasound photo make him or her more real to me?
Interestingly, the answer is no.
My baby is going to have a baby of her own. However next level that is, it’s always been real to me.
As of today, she is 7 weeks 5 days along in her pregnancy. Only 32 weeks and 2 days to go! (Did I math that right?)
Between now and then, we’ll hopefully discover if Shrimpy is a boy or a girl. Thing 1 and Husband N will settle on a name. Thing 2 and I will plan and execute a kick ass baby shower. And a whole load of other not quite as cool and even some cooler stuff.

I’m planning to head to Georgia for part of spring break. Want to hug my girl. Want to hug her husband. Want to rub her little belly and let Shrimpy know we’re all about her or his arrival.

Y’all, we might (occasionally) be idiots, but we have great big love!

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

two birds and a squirrel

The girls and I have been talking about mother-daughter tattoos.

Thing 1 has two tattoos. Words on her wrist to remind her that she’s perfect just as she is, and an ankh on her back.
Thing 2 has several tattoos. Wings at her elbows, two that represent he love of folk punk music, and the symbol for chaos on the inside of her wrist.

I have one tattoo. I got it in the spring of 1998. It’s a ring of flowers around my left ankle.
I made a promise to myself that I’d only ever have one tattoo.
A promise I’ve kept even though I came up with the idea and have designed the most perfect tattoo. Know where I want it and why.
Inside my right wrist. Maybe three by three inches. A little Earth and a crescent moon and some stars.

When Thing 1 was a tiny girl, I told her I love her more than the whole wide world. But when Thing 2 was coming to join our family, I realized I would have to say something different to her, otherwise negate the first three years of Thing 1’s life. So I have always told Thing 2 that I love her more than the moon and the stars.
I’ve sat on this idea for several years. I even created this stained glass panel to placate myself.

(The solar system is a big deal to me, because when I began to love YBW, it was ‘all the way to Pluto and back’.)

We’ve talked previously of getting tattoos that represent each other, but recently we’ve begun talking about a specific matching mother-daughters tattoo.
Now, we’re probably still going to get our representative tattoos, mine of course will be the Earth, moon and stars.
Thing 2 has always said she wanted to get a little succulent plant to represent her sister. And she wants to have Kanga and Roo’s mailboxes to represent me.

When she was a little girl, she would climb into my lap and get all tiny and say, “You’re Kanga and I’m Roo in your pouch!”

Thing 1 and I haven’t had that specific of a conversation regarding tattoos that represent each other.

But then…I got an idea!

In a group text, I put to the girls and idea for our matching mother-daughter tattoos.
I suggested a robin bird, a magpie, and then another (yet to be determined) bird.
Thing 2 shot down the magpie idea straight away. (Turns out she’s the only one that doesn’t remember her Grandmommy calling her that.)
And we talked about other options.
Thing 1 suggested a squirrel and we all loved that idea!
Then Thing 2 suggested a hummingbird for her sister.
We were on a roll, y’all!

Thing 1 did a quick doodle and sent this pic.

(That squirrel though!)

Of course there will need to be discussion of colors and sizing and where on our bodies this ink will go. But we have some time for that. The next time we’ll all be together for sure is in June when Thing G graduates from high school. Though there is talk of being together in March for Thing 1’s birthday.
I know I’ll want mine to be small…and off the top of my head, I’m thinking maybe on my left forearm near my elbow. But who knows? Knowing how different we three girls are, it won’t be three identical tattoos in three identical spots. Only, I do hope the art itself is identical, otherwise it’s not worth having ‘matching tattoos’…
At the moment, we’re just in the planning stages.
Momma got an idea. Girls improved upon it. Art is being created.
More conversations will happen.

It’s curious to me that after nearly twenty years of keeping that one tattoo promise I’m blowing it out of the water with not one but two new tattoos in the works.
It’s time.
I’m ready to fulfill a new promise to myself, ink that represents the two loves of my life that will never change. And ink that we can share as mother and daughters.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Husband N

I’ve mentioned before my daughter Thing 1 is married to Husband N. Now, Husband N is a patient human being, God love him, he has to be to be married to my daughter. He’s rather adept at accepting her for who she is without ever really “letting her off the hook”. I like that about him. They’re giving each other a run for their money, that’s for sure. But they’re doing it with so much love!

I received this text from him this morning.

When Mo died, I was choked by my own grief. I was in mommy mode about my girls and their grief. I was grateful that Husband N was there with Thing 1, but I never stopped to consider his grief. That man welcomed into their home, with open arms, the dogs of his wife’s childhood (well, teen age anyway). He was working with Mo to develop a healthy relationship, switching over from the Things father being Mo’s “father” to Husband N being Mo’s “father”.
He cared for Mo. He moved his lifeless body to the grave he and my daughter created. He did this out of love for their dog.
Their dog.
Even though Mo started out being all of ours, in the last five or six months he truly became theirs. Husband N loves Thing 1. He loves Thing 2. He loves me. But he also loves Mo. His grief was just as real as ours.
He was strong and brave for us.
I don’t have the words to express how strongly I felt the love for him this morning when that text came. I just hope he can feel it.

Now, it took me longer than it should have to decide to like, and then love Husband N. That had almost nothing to do with him and mostly everything to do with me (and Thing 1).
Thing 1 met Husband N when she went away to school. They met in a math class, bonding over their sarcastic senses of humor.
Now this is a meet-cute I can get behind.
What I struggled to get behind was her dropping out of school and shacking up with this guy.
That was not my plan for her! That wasn’t the life she was meant to have.
All I could see what that he’s older than she is, by more than a decade. That she left school because of him. That we didn’t know him from Adam.
I was frightened she was making all the same mistakes I made… a guy so much older than she is…no education…no way to support herself. I wanted more for her than the life I’d lived. I wanted her to be healthy and content and able to take care of herself. I didn’t want her to suffer and struggle.

Of course, what the hell did I know?
A whole lotta nothing, I’ll tell you that.

Turns out, Husband N is a kind and loving man. An intelligent man. A helpful and sincere man. A man who loves my daughter and would do (and has done) whatever it takes to make sure she’s safe and sound.

Y’all know that when YBW and I got married, his Things and my Things were our best men and maids of honor. The girls even “gave me away” that day. Thing 1 remarked to my friend and mentor, Jessica, that she had no idea how (emotionally) hard it would be to give her mom away.
Well, (not yet) Husband N and Thing 2’s then boyfriend were here too. And even though it was busy and a bit chaotic, I got to spend some good time with Husband N. And when YBW were driving to the airport to go to Barbados for our honeymoon, I turned to him, and said, “I like Husband N!” YBW was so relieved! He was waiting for me to decide to like Husband N because he very much liked him.

Then they came back for Christmas that year. And I got to spend even more time with him. I love his childlike enthusiasm! I listened to him and my daughter talk about what kind of life they wanted. And I realized it wasn’t the life Husband N wanted that Thing 1 just accepted, neither was it the life Thing 1 wanted that Husband N accepted. They had really thought about this. They had talked about it. They were planning this life that they wanted together!

They are truly each other’s best friend. They are both great big nerds about books and movies and comics and D & D and video games. They’re learning from each other how to appreciate these things the other brings to the table. They are so loving. They are also quick to get after each other. Each one feisty in their own way. They fight. They laugh. They play. They love. They do these things with the entirety of themselves. They give everything to each other and their relationship.
How could I possibly want more for my daughter? Or her sweet husband?

When they married, I was joyous for them! It wasn’t a big white wedding, but it was them. There was love and laughter and genuine joy surrounding them. This man is the husband of my very first girl. That was hard yet simple all in the same moment. I knew they could marry and build a life together and I wouldn’t have to worry about their ability to work together. I wouldn’t have to worry about their ability to love each other and embrace each other’s families.

Husband N just might love Thing 2 as much as her big sister does.
I know Thing 2 adores him.
They have such a special friendship.
I believe he’s been instrumental in helping my girls rebuild their relationship.
One more thing to love about him.

When his grandmother died and there was talk of them moving to her farm. Thing 1 was all for it. Husband N was a bit more hesitant. He called me and we talked for a long time. He shared his concerns. He asked my opinion. We talked about how he didn’t want to disappoint Thing 1, but felt so strongly that he didn’t want to raise (future) children where he grew up. He wanted more and better for them. (I can SO relate to that.)
I made some suggestions. I offered to speak with his wife. I promised to have their backs no matter what choices they made for their future.
I was touched he wanted to have that conversation with me. I was honored that he valued my opinion. I was pleased to be his (mostly) impartial sounding board for that important process.

I talk with my girls frequently. A phone call at least once a week, but there are texts and snapchats, emails and social media posts mixed in there too.
Husband N and I also text, snap and share things with each other’s social media. We sometimes even talk on the phone. It’s fun. He makes me laugh. He shares information he thinks I’ll be interested in. He expresses his concern for my health.
He expresses his love for my daughters and acknowledges how hard I worked to help them become the women they are.


Dude loves my girls.
Respects my hard work to help them become those ‘epic legends’.

I’m so grateful.
My girl chose well.
For herself.
For her sister.
For her Momma.
Husband N has his hands full with we three girls, but he takes it in stride.
Y’all we are so damn blessed!

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

squirrel study

Outside the window in our back living room there is a tree. This tree is an extremely popular hang out for squirrels.
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Now I know most people don’t like squirrels. Honestly, that makes me kind of sad because I just love squirrels. They’re kind of adorable and they do the funniest things!

I love to watch them in this tree, sometimes there is more than one. They chase and play and race up and down and over the branches. On this particular day there was only one, and mostly he (she?) was having a bath.
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Once he was clean, he began to consider how he might explore his environment.
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I love how his little hand is holding onto that teeny branch.

Then it got interesting when he did a series of somersault-like things around the branch.
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He did it a couple of times in a row before he went back to bathing.
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What a funny little guy!

When Thing 1 and Thing 2 were little girls, we had a squirrel that loved to hang out on our back porch out by the pool. They realized their father put treats out for the squirrel so they named him “Little Buddy” because he was Daddy’s little squirrel buddy. Soon, Little Buddy began to bring around a friend. They named him “Fatso” because he was a really big squirrel. When we moved to SC, Thing 2 was rather serious about bringing Little Buddy and Fatso with us. She was concerned the new people who were going to live in our house might not take good care of them and they would be sad and miss us. She also pronounced the word squirtle instead of squirrel. I still say squirtle when I see or talk about squirrels.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Santa bring my baby back to me.

I don’t think about it any more than I have to.
I’ve only written about it once.
I heard a song today that made it all come crashing back.

I realize I have only flashes. Only moments. I have no full memories of that time.
I remember Thing 1 begging for help.
I remember being in the ER at Richland.
I remember going to Palmetto Baptist and being separated from her.
I remember saying goodbye and leaving her there. I held her close and told her how brave she was.
I remember falling to my knees in tears on Taylor Street before I could even make it to my car.
I remember explaining to Thing 2 where her sister was.
I remember leaving work early every day to be home in time for Thing 2 to get off the bus so she wouldn’t come home to an empty house.
I remember how painful it was to visit the hospital or talk with Thing 1 on the phone.
I remember singing ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ with Thing 2. So hopeful she’d be well enough to come home to us for Christmas.
I remember ‘Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me’ having an entirely new meaning that Christmas.

The pain of that time was excruciating. The healing process even more so.
I don’t intentionally ignore the fact of it. I just don’t choose to get up to my ass in it. Sometimes it sneaks up on me and I don’t have a choice but to feel it. Today was one of those days.
Leaving my suicidal first born in the mental health hospital was one of the absolute worst experiences for my family.
All I wanted for Christmas was my child to come home. And she did. And it was awful.
We lived through it.
We came out the other side irrevocably changed.

When I heard the My Chemical Romance version of All I Want for Christmas is You this afternoon, I was up to my ass in what it felt like that Christmas six years ago.

As I write this, I am filled with love. The love of a mother who nearly lost not just one, but both of her babies. That love is precious. That love is sacred. Those girls are my heart. And that means I have all I want for Christmas.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

teeny little significant things

It’s the little things. The teeny little seemingly insignificant things.
These little things make the biggest impact.
I got a teeny little thing with huge impact this morning in the form of a text message from YBW.
I’m not going to tell you what it said, because, well…I don’t want to. And that’s not really what’s important. What’s important is the act of writing and sending the text.

Each of us gets caught up in our own “stuff”. Makes it tricky to remain aware of what’s going outside our own heads. I had a long talk with my friend and mentor the other day. It was lovely. But it took so much of my energy. I’ve been trying to have an important conversation with Thing 1 for well over a week now. I honestly haven’t had the emotional energy. Haven’t seen Sundance or even talked to her for a while. Haven’t even been doing simple hashtag communications with my sister in law.
I’ve been to much in my head. I’m working on slowly shifting my focus outward. It’s hard and I feel lazy…but I’m working at it.
That sweet message from my husband this morning furthered my effort and helped me see he’s working at the same thing.

Tomorrow is September 1. The start of ‘meteorological fall’.
Now, most people see fall as the dying time. I see it as a time of starting new. Perhaps that’s residual from all those years of new children in the classroom in the fall? I don’t know…
But I’m looking at fall as a time to start everything new. New attitude with old projects. New projects with excitement.
Perhaps the wretched hot and humid weather will decide to become new and bring cool crisp air for me to breath. And temperatures that don’t cause you to break out in a sweat the moment you walk outdoors.
But I’m not expecting that until October…Indian Summer is the way of early fall in the Metro area. I know this. I’m just feeling hopeful!
Hope springs new for this little red haired girl in the Autumn.
I’m ready to do the hard work.
This used to be my “catchphrase”…it’s been a long time since I felt like using it…but to life in general, I say a great big, “BRING IT!”
(Until I wake up tomorrow in a foul mood…then I’ll be back to my grouchy self and have to start all over again.)
oscar
Sometimes, Oscar is my spirit muppet.

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Wait a minute! I’m a grown up?

I believe I’ve remarked before about how I sometimes don’t feel like a real adult…it could be that I haven’t written about it, but I know I’ve talked about it in day to day life.
Sure, I did do grown up things. Sure I had adult responsibilities, but I never really felt like a grown up. Not exactly “fake it till you make it”, more like “feelings follow actions”. So I acted like a grown up to the best of my ability.

The first time I officially felt like an adult was when Thing 2 was moved to the NICU. Sure I was already a mom, but I was a young mom and I was still growing up while I was being Thing 1’s mom.
The second time I felt like a proper adult was when I took my suicidal first born to the hospital. Leaving her there in on the adolescent mental health floor of the hospital was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

So far, both times I’ve considered myself a real adult involved leaving my babies in a hospital and going home without them.
Other things happen in life that make you feel like a real adult. Finding your first “real” full time job. Divorce comes to mind.
When my mother died, I didn’t have that feeling of being an adult. I think it was because I was experiencing shock and disbelief. I’ve since wondered if it’s because I was never treated like a grown up in my relationship with her.
The day my father died, I never felt more like a child but I’d never behaved more like an adult. Isn’t it curious how that works?

You know you’re an adult when people you know, respect, and love need important things from you. Help with children, support after a death in the family. A strong sounding board for the tough questions.
I was an adult when I stood in church surrounded by all the people I love most and pledged my life to YBW.
I was a grown up for my friend and mentor when her beloved died. And that realization just hit me.
Today, I did a real adult kind of thing when I had to write a recommendation letter for my friend in Arizona’s application to graduate school.

So it’s occurring to me the more I write this post that I really must be an adult.
It feels normal and natural, like the most comfortable article of clothing I own.
But I don’t always want to wear that, you know? Sometimes I want to wear impractical clothing…oftentimes in the form of shoes.
It feels like I’m still figuring out how to be a proper adult. It also feels like I’m still figuring out how to be me as an adult.
But the jokes on me, right?
I’m an adult.
And I don’t suck at it.
I guess I never realized that.
Perhaps I didn’t want to?
I’m not sure how I feel about this. And I guess that’s OK too. I can wear my grown up clothes, but put on my impractical non-adult shoes every now and then when I need to.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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