Posts Tagged With: Thing 1

bubbly and blocks and old photos – a visit from Thing 2

Thing 2 arrived on a morning flight Thursday last.
She let me know she landed safely and was waiting for her gate checked bag.
Then I got this message:

This is a perfect example of how I communicate with my daughters. I knew what and why she was actually asking. I answered the underlying question. It’s a silly thing, but I love that about my relationship with my grown girls.

After we brunched at First Watch we hung out at here at home drinking bubbly.

Friday Thing 1 and Baby K came over to play.
YBW came home from work just after they arrived.
Of course he and Baby K brought out the blocks.
Aunt Gaga built too!

Saturday we went out to Naked Mountain to pick up YBW’s wine and hang out in the barrel room.
Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K met us there.
Baby K shared her snack with Aunt Gaga before falling asleep in my lap.

Thing 2 and I went through two boxes of photos from the great and arduous process. She asked questions, I told stories. We saw her grandparents and mine when they were children. We saw our own faces reflected in these photos. We sent quick snaps to Thing 1 asking if she saw Baby K’s face in certain photos of their Grandmommy.
Thing 2 told her own stories, shared her memories, and expressed her genuine joy and gratitude hold these photos in her hands. She created a pile of photos we wrapped up carefully, tucked into her journal, and packed in her suitcase.

We binge watched Our Flag Means Death holding hands and snuggling up on the sofa. Thing 2 was all about that “boy love”. I was all about the beautiful humanity of it.

We also went to see The Haunting of Night Vale. This was the reason for her visit. Tickets she received as a gift Christmas of 2019 for a show April 2020. (we all know how that turned out)
But, two years later there we were in the theater holding hands and being as SQUEE as only we can.

She flew home Monday afternoon.
I miss her.
But I’m not sad. There’s no room in my heart for sadness right now.
My heart is overflowing with love.
Overflowing with gratitude.
I’m grateful to have this time with my girls together. Grateful for this time with YBW and Thing 2. Grateful for time with my second daughter.
I’m grateful we went to see Night Vale together, something she’s absolutely adored for ten solid years. Something she introduced to me and I also now love. Aren’t we lucky we got to experience this together?
I’m grateful we went through two boxes of photos. I got to see my parents through my daughter’s eyes. She never her her great grandfather, but she knows she’s named for him. She knows he was my first true love. She sees his image and feels the strength of that connection.
I’m grateful for our silliness. Our seriousness.
I’m grateful to have a strong and healthy relationship with my adult daughters.
I love that girl more than the moon and the stars and I know how fortunate I am.

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

Beyond the Eats for Thing 1’s birthday

Thing 1 is twenty eight today!
Please join me in wishing my very first girl the happiest birthday!

To celebrate the anniversary of her birth we went Sunday evening to see a guy she’s been watching for over twenty years.

We had VIP tickets which admitted us to a small group Q and A before the live show.

Thing 1 asked what was his favorite episode of Good Eats to make.
He told her, “The House That Dripped Chocolate.”
She said, “Oh my God! That gave me nightmares!”
He got all smiley and said, “Really?”
She confirmed and told him it was so creepy.
Then with the most sincere joy, Alton Brown thanked my daughter.
Y’all, she’s gonna hold that forever!

Alton began his Beyond the Eats show by sharing his ‘culinary regrets’. Telling the true story of his five year old self making s’mores for his family with ex lax chocolate he’d found in his visiting aunt’s belongings.

Audience members were invited onstage to play a food quiz game called Eat This.

Today, Thing 1, Baby K, and I will go to lunch and visit our favorite bookshop before they return home to celebrate with Husband N when he gets home from work.

My girl was born on a dark and stormy night this day twenty eight years ago.
She made me a Momma and for that I’m eternally grateful.

Happy Birthday, Bear!
I love you more than the whole wide world!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

love and joy and cookies

Thing 1 and I baked cookies all day yesterday.

Baby K said, “I help you!” many times.
Of course toddler help looks often looks like her taking cookies off the pan and cramming them in her gob as quickly as we can cut them. (I’m over here like, dude, that’s what scraps are for!)
Or taking a handful of flour and throwing it on the floor while saying, “It’s SNOW!”
Then when her mother unceremoniously removes her from the stool upon which she stands, laying in the flour on the floor and…”I making snow angel!”
(Yeah, we laughed. It was freaking adorable!)
We had a reprieve when her Papa came home from lunch and they sat at the island being all cute while they ate their lunches together.
And again while she napped.

Baking is not my strong suit.
But yesterday, baking with my girl. I was absolutely content.
I enjoyed her company.
I enjoyed working in the kitchen with her.
I enjoyed watching her be her daughter’s mom.

That time was sacred to me and I’m grateful for it.
It wasn’t about the cookies, though most of them turned out beautifully.
It was about the process.
It was about the fellowship.
I know how fortunate I am to live close to my daughter, especially after not for so long.
But more than that, I know how fortunate I am to be close to my daughter.
Love, joy, and gratitude are spilling over in me and out into the world.
I hope y’all can feel it too!

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

all that compounded smartness

I felt anxious Monday.
Literal low-level thrumming in my body.
This list is enormous!
Three weeks sounds like a long time, but it’s not.
How will I get this done?
How will I be ready for the movers?

My logical brain knew all that was straight up bullshit.
My logical brain knew I’d planned everything out to the nth degree.
My logical brain knew I was prepared.

But my feels were actively attempting to run the show.
That physical vibration was convincing as hell.

To thwart the feels, I over-functioned my ass off.
So much so that I crossed off everything for the week of July 11-17 on my moving list that very day.
But that wasn’t good enough.
I had to do stuff scheduled for the following week too.
I had to get more done.
On Monday.
Of the second week.

This is where I was when I went to bed Monday night.
Monday July 12.

What you don’t see crossed off are two things I actually started working on.
pack bathroom and linen closet
pack clothes

I was chatting with Thing 1 about how I was feeling. She was loving and encouraging. But I simply couldn’t shake the feels.
She was quite clear that I shouldn’t overwhelm myself right before the finish line.
(it’s like she knows me)
I assured her I knew it wasn’t real. That logically I was even more on target than my prep work suggested I be. But I sure as hell felt a way about it.

We talked later in the day when I finally stopped and sat down.
In this conversation I was finally able to verbalize what I was feeling anxious about. I wasn’t sure how to pack all the random things so the movers would take them. I didn’t want to waste boxes I might need for dishes on laundry room things, etc.
It was then I began to realize my panic wasn’t only about being ready on time, it was also about being properly packed so the movers could be successful.
Thing 1 was like, “Uh…Momma. You can put stuff in your car and take it over there.”
(but actually kinder than that sounds)

Her words created an instantaneous shift in me.
My body was still even though my brain was thrumming – with realization!
I didn’t have to pack up anything awkward. I could simply put it in the car.
Y’all! My girl saved the day!
I often tease her that she’s smarter than me. She doesn’t see it that way. She calls it ‘compounded smartness’. That she’s as smart as she is because I’m as smart as I am and she simply built upon it.
(something like that, I think she explains it better)
Either way, she saved the day.

The container we packed in March is being delivered Wednesday of that last week and being unloaded first thing Thursday morning.
Thing 1 offered to meet me at this house after they’re finished at the new house. We’ll each load up a vehicle and take it to the new house.
Then anything that doesn’t really go into a proper box, or anything we’ll need straight away will be there ready for us.
YBW is staying at the new house because the smart home guys will be there working their magic. So he’ll pack up his car the night before instead of coming back home with me.
Those three loads will carry all the awkward things, and the movers can do the rest.

I’m still properly planned.
I’m ahead of schedule.
I’m perfectly still inside.
Like some sort of organizational ninja, this move won’t even see me coming.

This is an excellent example of why we must talk about feeling a way. Just because our logical and emotional selves are at odds, doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution.
In my case, the solution was someone looking at it from a different perspective.
Someone who knows and loves me, and had the patience to listen even though she knew I wasn’t making any kind of sense.
Grown children know what’s up.
It’s all that compounded smartness.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

fridge thoughts

When we were at Thing 1’s on Sunday we discovered something new on her refrigerator.

That’s right, y’all. Magnetic poetry tiles. And we spent an unusually long amount of time creating (what we considered) perfect phrases.
(author’s note: “death fart!” began as “cruel death fart!” but I stole cruel to use elsewhere
also: I did not write the phrase “death fart”)


I’m not sure why this phrase has a question mark at the end. I think YBW wrote this one, I’ll ask him.
Though I must say, “obscure wonder culture” is an excellent phrase.

I began pairing words I thought sounded interesting together.

Thing 1 got in on this and we began to seek each other’s approval before we committed to the phrase. YBW came into the kitchen to join in the creativity.

I created “anxious fluff” and Thing 1 said, “Hashtag Thing 2”.
I shared this pic in our group chat and Thing 2 wrote: I now identify as “anxious fluff”.
We laughed and told her that’s what her sister said.
And while I freaking LOVE “vibrant deception” I think my absolute favorite is “luscious indifference”.

I need all possible magnet word collections to have in the new house.
Maybe if I am or have a “righteous spirit” Santa will put a fuck-ton of them in my stocking this Christmas…?

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

adapting here and adapting there

Thing 1, Husband N, Baby K, and their two dogs officially began living in their new house April first. (no foolin’)
YBW took the day off work. We loaded up four vehicles with the last of their things, and off we went.

Baby K has a big girl bed with the most amazing (to her) Moana duvet cover! She’s so tiny in that full size bed, but it’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
In the few days they’ve been there, Thing 1 and Husband N are getting settled in their room, and setting up work space for Husband N who only goes into the office two days a week.
Thing 1 built a kitchen table and chairs and a small storage island too.

After being at the house, YBW and I went out Easter Sunday for a visit.
Baby K came out of her house squealing and shouting, PAPA! BEEEE! (for Birdie) and running to hug us. That did YBW’s heart good, he’s missed his little granddaughter.

That girl had such fun hunting for eggs for the first time out in her brand new yard.

Her mommy found eggs big enough to hold Bluey characters, Moana and Frozen stickers, and even toddler-safe nail polish

color: Berry Sweet

It was so beautiful outside, we just had to sit on the porch and check out her loot! She’s holding her Bluey and singing to her.

After her egg hunt, she sat snuggled in her Papa’s lap before letting him take her to bed for her nap.
They’re coming to our house Wednesday afternoon and staying for dinner. If y’all could have seen the grin on my husband’s face!

My Momma heart is chock full of joy for my girl setting up her home.
I honestly think unpacking and getting settled is harder and more stressful than actually moving all your things. They’re making it work. Husband N goes through a space and cleans it well before Thing 1 begins to unpack. They’re working together to create their home in that precious little house.
My Birdie heart is chock full of joy that my grandbaby is so excited to see me that she runs into my arms when I arrive at her new house.

I thought I would feel so sad when they moved. I don’t really.
I mean, I miss seeing them every day, but I know they’re just a forty-five minute drive away. And when I see them in their new space, creating a home that works for them, I feel pride and joy.
When I’m home and I don’t hear a little voice saying, “Papa!” as she runs down the hall, I’m not sad like I expected, I’m grateful we had that time. Of course, when I’ve got a drink on the table and she doesn’t come over and snag it and chug it down as fast as she can then run away, I’m super happy she’s at her house.

We’re adapting here.
They’re adapting there.
It is as it is.
It is as is should be.
And I am content in my grateful life.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

meant to be

How precious is this house?

This adorable house is the reason we couldn’t go to our home site Sunday morning.
This adorable house will soon be home to Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K!

YBW, Baby K, and I met Thing 1 and Husband N there Sunday morning while the inspector was there.
In the car, Baby K sang to us the whole time. She also kept saying, “Mama” (pronounced Meh-MEH) at random intervals. We told her Mommy and Daddy were at the new house and we were on our way to see them.

That girl was so excited to be in the new house!
She didn’t even really understand that it’s going to be hers.
Of course she was excited to see her parents, but mostly she was excited to explore.
We successfully stayed out of the inspector’s way while still investigating every nook and cranny. And believe me y’all, that attic space has its share of nooks and crannies!

When we said goodbye and left the house, we drove through the neighborhood a bit. It’s just as precious as the house they’re buying.
There’s an elementary school around the corner with the best damn sledding hill you’ve ever seen!

Thing 1 loved this house the moment she saw it. She spoke of it’s character. She spoke of it’s feeling of comfort. She spoke of it’s potential.
She knew this was meant to be her home.
She knew it welcomed her with open arms.

My momma (and Birdie) heart was anxious until I saw it. Until I walked through it.
It has such charm and character.
It has a warm and gentle welcoming feel about it.
It was truly meant to be the home of my daughter and her family.

I hugged my girl and told her, “You can live here.”
She hugged me tighter.
She and I both know she can damn well live wherever she likes. She and I both know she’s an adult and makes her own decisions. She and I both know I do my best to respect her life choices.
But she and I both know that it matters a great deal that we had that moment. That we both know we’re comfortable in that house that will become her home. That as joyful as she is, she has my full support to contribute to that joy.
I’m not sure I’m explaining it right, but we understand what it means and that’s all we really need.

They’re scheduled to go to closing the end of March.
I’m so excited for them!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

the worst truth

Thing 1 and I were in the car Wednesday morning. I’m not exactly sure how it started, but we were talking about how to manage anxiety and it turned into how Mommas always prioritize your best interests even if (or especially when) it’s hard to understand.
Thing 1 said something to the effect of: Even years fourteen through eighteen when I thought I hated you, I always knew you’d do whatever it took to help me, to take care of me and keep me safe.
Then she said, “That’s why I came to you when I was cutting myself and wanted to die.”

I had an immediate rush of relief. I always worried that when she came to me for help and ended up in the hospital for two weeks she felt like I betrayed her instead of helped her.
She told me while being in the psyc hospital was in itself traumatizing, she never equated the two. Her asking for my help was one thing. Being in the hospital was another thing entirely. They’re separate in her thinking.

I didn’t know this at the time, but three or four months prior to her coming to me, she talked with her dad. When she shared with him how she was feeling and that she was hurting herself, he “looked away from me, stood up, walked out of my room and shut the door behind him.”
He left her sitting there after she told him she wanted to die. (Everything I think and feel about this is a different topic for a different day, but let me assure you, ain’t none of it good.)

In the car that morning, she talked about how it only made it worse for her. She felt like if her own dad didn’t love her enough to help her it only reinforced all her negative feelings about herself. She began cutting herself more and actively planning how to end her own life.
Then she said something that literally took my breath away.
She wondered aloud if her father would have let her die in order to hold it over my head for the rest of our lives. She imagined him saying to me, “She killed herself because she hated you and it’s all your fault.”

I opened my mouth to deny her wondering.
I opened and closed my mouth five times before I finally said, “I want to believe he loves you more than that, that he’d rather you be alive than hold it over me forever.”
But I knew in my heart of hearts that she was right. And sadly, she knew it too.

Then she said, “Would he really want me dead to punish you? Don’t you think he loves me more than that?”
To which I replied that I do think your father loves you in the way he can love. However, his grief would fade. The pain of losing you would ease. But he could get pleasure from blaming me that you were so unhappy and hated me so much that you took your own life. All the pleasure, absolutely none of the effort.

Here’s the worst truth.
I didn’t know she talked to him before she came to me.
He never told me she came to him. Not when I told him I was taking her to the ER. Not the two weeks she was in hospital. Not when we had family sessions with the therapist when they released her from the hospital.
I only found that out because she told me in the last couple of years.

Had she taken her life I would never know that he could have done something to prevent that. I would have lived the rest of my life thinking that when we struggled the most I couldn’t keep my baby safe.

In Conscious Discipline there is a ‘safe keeper’ ritual in which the adult in the home or classroom (or wherever) tells the kids, “My job is to keep you safe.” to which the kids reply, “Our job is to help you keep us safe.”
My daughters knew I was their safe keeper.
They still know this.
But this ritual is different now.
They are their own safe keepers and I am the one helping them.

I want so desperately to reassure her that her life is worth more than her father’s desire to “win” against me. I all honestly can’t do that. As soon as she spoke I knew she was right.
She called this ‘a startling revelation’ then told me, “As soon as I said the words I wanted to suck them back in because I knew they were true.”

I’m not really sure why I’m writing this for y’all to read.
Partly because it was simply too big for me to keep inside. Partly because I thought writing it would help me understand it better.
I feel confident in saying I don’t understand it any better.

I hate that my girl experienced this time in her life.
I hate that I experienced it.
But I am awed and humbled by the healing we’ve experienced in the years since.
I am awed and humbled by the words we share.
By the love we share.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

the snowy day

Wednesday last was Baby K’s first snow day!

I bought snow clothes with the intention of giving them to her for Christmas. Fortunately, I had them in a gift bag just in case it snowed before Christmas. She pulled out the tissue and got excited about her pom hat and little pink boots. (thanks, Lidl)
Thing 1 and I got her all bundled up and went walking in a winter wonderland.

Y’all! How cute is her little bouncy walk?
This girl absolutely LOVED being out in the snow!
My Birdie heart was bursting with snow day joy!

We walked up the street and found Meredith and Beau sledding down their driveway. Beau immediately put Baby K on his sled and pulled her all around their back yard! Meredith tried to teach her how to make snow balls. We’re so lucky to have such wonderful neighbors!

Though she loved the snow, she wore out pretty quickly.
We brought her home, snuggled up with a blanket and a bottle and it wasn’t too long before she went down for her ‘long winter’s nap’.

Later in the day snow turned to rain. After the sun went down rain turned to ice.
The next morning the sunshine made all the icy trees sparkle.

It’s a marshmallow world in the winter, y’all!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Friday feels

Today is the first day I’ve stopped and taken a big breath this week.
I needed it!
Of course, stopping and breathing gave me the opportunity to be all in my feels.

gratitude
Even though it took two full weeks, Thing 2’s covid test came back negative
I got to hug Meredith and her Mommy when their family returned from a forty-five day cross-country trip
My gloriously supportive friends who encourage me to think outside the box

than central air

joy
YBW and I put down the deposit for our house yesterday, and will sign the contract Wednesday

excitement
Road trip with YBW (we leave for GA in the morning and return with Thing 1’s family on Monday)
Baby K will be here all the time
I’m going to tutor select students this virtual school year (kind of like being an ‘at home’ substitute teacher)

It was an exceptionally great week to be me!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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