Tuesday, March 30, 2010

*sigh* and *gasp* and *sigh* again.

Today, even though its early still, has been such a ride of emotions. Started out good enough. I slept in with K and T came and took D to school. Once K and I got up we went to Target for some last minute Easter supplies and then to pick up his big brother. Argued with T over the phone about something or another. Was late to preschool. Again. Same as usual I suppose.

After I picked up D from his class we went down to visit my mom, who works just down the hall, and she was talking about how she was hungry and wanted to go get something to eat. I was game since I had not remembered to eat yet and we agreed to head over to the new Irish pub across the street. We got there and got seated and I noticed a woman sitting in a booth a few down from us and saw her little baby and smiled. She looked young to me but like she had the baby thing down. The baby, a little girl, was obviously a young baby, maybe a month old, but a total cutie. We went on about our lunch, which was less than adequate for the record, and my mom and me caught up on the last few days.

As I finished my lunch, I looked up and saw that the woman was now nursing her little one, something that always gives me that warm fuzzy feeling. Hooray for boobies! She looked up and caught my eye and I smiled at her. She quickly looked away and got red in the face. Not an unusual response. One I get pretty often. I got up in a few minutes to go to the bathroom and noticed she was alone. When I got to her booth I stopped and simply said "Good for you nursing your baby girl! She is so worth it, huh?". Thats when things took a turn.

The woman looked at me, smiled and then burst into tears. I'm talking crocodile tears rolling down this woman's face. I was flabbergasted. I had no idea what I had said to her to make her cry and I almost just walked away. Almost. Instead I told her I was sorry and asked what was wrong. She tried to gather herself and apologized profusely and pulled a "its nothing really" on me. I sat down across from her and asked if everything was going well with nursing and all that goes along with it. Explained about the CLC thing I am doing and asked if I could help with anything. She assured me that nursing was going well.

"Its just, when I saw you staring, I though you were going to be angry. I just knew you were going to tell me I shouldn't be nursing here."

"Why on earth would you think that??"

"My family and my husband think that what I am doing is disgusting and they refuse to be around when I nurse her. I guess all that negativity has made me paranoid." She shrugged.

Flabbergasted again. She went on to tell me about how her husband had left her at the hospital because she wouldn't cave and give the baby formula and how he had stopped insulting her about it but he still refused to sit with her in public. He told her that she was disgusting and that he didn't want the whole world to see him with her while she nursed. He had apparently been sitting with her when we sat down to eat but left before she nursed her little one to "save face". I had not even noticed the bastard. She said her mother was constantly bringing formula cans by "for when she gets real" and telling her she is being immature.

I was so hurt for this woman. How could anyone be so heartless to treat someone they love that way? To make them feel cheap and dirty for doing something so innocent? Not even considering the benefits of breastfeeding but just the emotional abuse this woman is going through. Maybe its linked to never being "enough" as a child, or maybe it really is the lactivist in me, but who is going to stand up here and say that it isn't okay for her to be discriminated against by her own family? The people that are supposed to be there for her no matter what. What is wrong with people??

Maybe I am spoiled. I am lucky enough to have a husband that supports me fully in nursing. He did his own research and agreed that it was the best thing for us as a family and he has been there for me every step of the way. He was my rock those long first nights when it would have been simpler just to give them formula. He stood up for me when our families told us I was selfish for nursing and vehemently disagreed when they pulled the "formula is just as good" card. He puts his babies first and supports me when I have to feed in the most public of places. He is my rock. How could a man that loved me not be? I count my lucky stars every day. Today it will be double.

I commended her again for having the guts to stand up to him about doing what is best for her baby. I told her stories about getting nasty looks and comments about nursing D (a toddler *gasp*) while I was obviously pregnant with K (double *gasp*). I shared the struggles I have had with my family and how we all had to compromise to make sure my babies got to breastfeed. I gave her my phone number and my email address and urged her to give me a call. I left feeling raw inside. Feeling angry. I gave her my support the best I could but something tells me that this poor woman will eventually cave. To the pressure or her husband or family or even to just the general vibe non nursing mothers put off. They say the breastfeeders are the judgmental ones but in reality they are the ones who cause the problems. They are here and they are for so many women. The judgement for doing something outside of their own comfort zone.

So, here I sit, still processing. Wondering what I should have said or done differently. How I could have helped her better. Did she even want to be helped? I do know that I would still have said something to her, just like I always do, so does it matter that I caught her in a moment of weakness? Maybe not but I can hope that maybe, just maybe, it meant something to her to know she isn't alone. That there are people out there that think she is awesome. At least for the little bit of time we spent talking.  I guess we will see.

*Notice~ Blogger comments aren't working tonight for some reason. Some kind of glitch. If your comments please try again later! I love reading them but blogger is freaking out!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Music Monday

 Music is a huge part of Tommy and I's relationship. Its something we bonded over in the beginning and still connect with now.  I will be posting the lyrics to a song and what it means to me every Monday (hopefully). At least until I run out of interesting things to say (Or I forget). Make sense? Feel free to do your own but please link back to me and add your site to the MckLinky below!


 "Stolen"- By Dashboard Confessional

We watch the season pull up its own stakes
And catch the last weekend of the last week
Before the gold and the glimmer have been replaced,
Another sun soaked season fades away

You have stolen my heart

Invitation only, grand farewells
Crash the best one, of the best ones
Clear liquor and cloudy eyed, too early to say goodnight

You have stolen my heart

And from the ballroom floor we are in celebration
One good stretch before our hibernation
Our dreams assured and we all, will sleep well

You have stolen
You have stolen my heart

This is what we consider "D's song" even though it really applies to both boys but K has his "own". It may seem like a strange song, I know. Born in the middle of September, the very end of summer, that tiny little ball of squalling baby stole. my. heart. It was immediate, unrelenting love from the very first second he was born. I think any parent can attest to that moment. Its life changing and powerful. One filled with emotions and hormones and overwhelming feelings that could rip you in half if they let you. The things in life that you thought mattered and you thought you needed and to a certain extent the things you loved, they are all insignificant in comparison. No one can ever prepare you for that. No words can express. So thats it. D, my first born, stole my heart from the world and we danced and celebrated (not in high heels though).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Operation Egg Drop

Yesterday morning I woke up, bumbled around and got breakfast ready, and then sat down at the computer to check up on all the social networking things I have gotten my self into. When I went to check in on Facebook, I saw my sister in law's post about this event and remembered that she had called me about it a few weeks back. Basically a helicopter drops eggs on a field and the kids get to collect them for candy. I had promptly forgotten about it at the time but her post made me remember that it was something that I had wanted to do with the kids. So, I called T and asked when he would be done with work and called my mother to see if she wanted to go with us. T planned to meet us there and mom headed our way. I packed all of us a picnic and drinks and spare clothes for both kids and we all piled in the van.

We got to the park and D was so freaking excited to see the helicopter. Like, more excited about the helicopter than the playground even and if you know him, thats a big deal. We had some time to kill before the drop got started for his age group so we let him play in some of the inflatable jump houses they had there and then ate our picnic while D watched the helicopter land and take off as it gave people rides between bites.

After lunch we went and got in line for the egg drop for D's age group. They told us that only one parent was allowed on the field with each participating child which, if you have ever tried to encourage a toddler to do anything and take pictures at the same time was kind of chaos, but ok. We decided that I would be the one to go since T had K sleeping in the Ergo on his chest and my mom.. Well, that would not have been good. He loves his Nana but he doesn't listen to her at all.

So, D and me stood in line waiting and he was all gung ho about doing it until the helicopter came and actually dropped the eggs. That kind of freaked him out a little and all of a sudden he got his serious face on. They let us all onto the field but we had to wait for everyone to get through the fence before we could actually start the "hunting" which led to lots of tantrums all around us but D did awesome with waiting. He kept saying "mama, it is turn yet?". Silly boogy.

Finally they said it was time to go and D took off running towards the eggs with his basket. Once he got there though he wasn't quite sure what to do. He picked up two eggs and looked at me with a priceless look like "What now?". I showed him to put them in his basket and he was having none of it. Every time I would put an egg in his basket, he would take it out. Finally he realized all the other kids were putting eggs in their baskets and he followed suit. So, we ran around the field collecting the eggs until they were all gathered up. D was being a little OCD about the eggs that had snapped open and kept stopping to put them back together. I ended up doing that for him a time or two just so he could continue having fun and stop obsessing like his 28 year old mother. Once his basket was to his satisfaction he started "helping" the other kids fill their basket. It was so freaking cute. My little mother hen.

When all he eggs had been picked up we headed off the field where the kids turned in their eggs for candy. D willingly dumped his basket in the bag for empty eggs but he gave the guy holding it one nasty look when he realized that he wasn't going to get them back. Everything was all better once the replaced the eggs with a big handful of candy though. He thought that was pretty awesome.

 When we got done there, I needed to nurse K so we walked over to the pond in the middle of the park so that D, T, and mom could feed the giant catfish while I fed K. D thought that was pretty awesome too and didn't want to leave when it was time. The boys were both totally exhausted though so it was definitely time to go. It was so much fun though, I am glad we were able to make it up there. I wouldn't have known what I had missed but now I know that its something we need to try to do every year. Next year we will have two little egg hunters!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The blahs

Today, I have the blahs. D woke up screaming at the top of his lungs this morning and hour earlier than he usually gets up. I think he must have had a bad dream because he is his happy, perky, crazy self. I, on the other hand, am exhausted and dizzy. Sounds fun right? Nothing like getting woken up from a dead sleep by the sound of your child screeching like a banshee. Fun times! Especially after all the fun and excitement yesterday with my father and T (story for another day).

I am determined to make the best of it though. I really do have a lot to get accomplished today. I have got to get the laundry caught up and get this house in order. I can't stand the clutter anymore. Then I have got to get the curtains hung in both boys' rooms. Well, technically I have to hang the curtains in D's room and rehang one of the curtains in K's.In order to do that though I have to go to the STSNBN and exchange the wall anchors I bought earlier this week for a smaller size. I need to find a plate hanger too somewhere. I also need to make a run by Payless shoes to try to find some sandals for D to wear now that the weather is getting closer to shorts season. I'm just not a fan of shorts and tennis shoes.

Oh, and I have to get gas in the van. Which, is certainly not my favorite thing in the world. I do, however, have to say, that after my experience with driving a hybrid this week that I am a little more okay with it. I try to be "green", I do, but that thing was such a pain to drive that I can faithfully say I won't be switching until they improve that technology. I have never had that many close calls and anxiety attacks driving a car. Ever.

So, anyway, this turned into a ramble but that is what I am up to today. Heres hoping that I can at least get the laundry sorted and clean. I just realized that I also need to make a list of things we need and need to pack for vacation. Five weeks! If only we were going somewhere more gun than Myrtle Beach. Oh, well. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Family dinner

Every parenting book or magazine you will ever read talks about the concept of the "family dinner". About the importance of sitting down with your whole family a few times a week to eat and catch up and so on. The benefits are endless they say. Its something I had never really put much thought into. When D first started getting mobile we put our dinning room table into storage and made the dining room our "playroom". We lived in a two bedroom apartment so it was open to our living room and we could see everything he did in there. It just made sense. We almost never ate together as a family at home anyway. We ate out a lot or we would eat dinner in the living room with the TV on.

When we found out about being pregnant with K we made arrangements to move into a bigger apartment and we had a time and a half deciding what to do with the playroom/ dinning room situation. We were lucky enough to be able to sort of do both. D's big boy toys are in his room, some of the smaller toys and such are in the common area and the dining table is in its place where it belongs. Problem was, T was working crazy hours at OG and then he took on his second job and was working even crazier hours so it was the drill for me to get the boys fed and in bed and when he came home, he would bring dinner with him or we would eat really late. Family dinners just weren't exactly in the mix for us.

Then, he finally got to leave OG and his crazy, hectic schedule turned into a pretty reliable swing. Still late nights but not as late. So we started eating together. As a family. At first, it was weird. We would all sit and mostly eat and stare at each other. Scarf down our food and go on about our evening. D had never eaten very well during dinner time. It had not taken him long to figure out that dinner time led into bath time which led to bedtime and bedtime is not his favorite.

Then, one night out of the blue, something clicked. We were all excited about it. D saw me cooking and exclaimed "Dinner time, mama!" and ran and got up in his booster chair. T set the table and we all sat down together. It was nice. We talked and joked with D and he relished the attention. K sat in the highchair and alternately batted at the toy that is attached to it and flirted with whoever was looking. It was a complete turn around. D ate everything on his plate and asked for more and we all had grapes for "dessert".

They were right! Family dinner time is awesome!  Since we started eating together I can tell a difference in D's attitude towards food and T. We are all eating better and I have even lost a little bit of weight in the process. Its not something that we can do every night or really might even would want to but I can definitely say, that if you haven't tried it, DO. It made a world of difference in our family and I am loving every second of it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Our Saturday

Been a busy busy one. For us at least. especially considering we usually just sit around all day and do nothing. Today though, the boys and I woke up (late like usual) and got moving around the house. We had a lazy breakfast of sorts while we waited on T to get home from his morning work appointments and watched some TV. Blah. When T got home we got dressed and got all piled in the van. Well, ok, T got the boys dressed and I slacked around until the very last second where I threw on some clothes and my Crocs. Then we piled in the van.

We ended up going down to the "Touch a Truck" event here close to us. It was pretty neat. They had all kinds of trucks and buses and things there that the kids could climb all over and honk the horns. Made for a pretty loud event but what else would you expect really? We didn't get to stay long because they were wrapping up but D got to touch the firetruck all over and that was what he really wanted to do. The let him try on some of their gear too and we got some cute pictures. He made the firefighters giggle when he insisted on wearing their gloves too and then was trying to keep everything from falling off. Didn't go so well. When it was finally his turn to get up in the truck we got total stone face. He didn't like being up so high off the ground. He played around in there for a minute and poked all the buttons he could reach and still keep a hand on me but he didn't fuss when it was time to get out either.

He also got to sit in a mail truck and for some reason he thought that was really cool. I'm not sure that he has ever actually seen our mail truck though so maybe that added to the allure. Plus, this one he could actually reach all the buttons in and of course he pushed them all. Poor mail carrier probably got a surprise when he turn the ignition with everything flashing and blowing and beeping. Oh well, not my problem. What does a mail truck need all those buttons for anyway?

Like I said, there were lots of other random things for them to climb on (and honk). Some of which were totally lost on him, some he really enjoyed. He climbed all over a bulldozer too. I'm sure there is a specific name for it but for the life of me I don't know what that is. It didn't have a horn though so he was not so interested in sitting in the actual drivers seat for long.

After we left there, we went to lunch at a local hole in the wall BBQ place and if you know anything whatsoever about BBQ, you know that the hole in the wall places are the best ones out there. After that it was home for naps. Much needed naps after having climbed all over everything and stuffed ourselves chock full of anything the waitress would bring us.

When we got up it was almost dinner time. Oops. We woke up the boys and packed into the car to head to my mother's house for a cookout. It was so nice out. T and I sat out at the grill for a few minutes while the burgers cooked and played with the camera settings came up with <--- that. Which I think is pretty and cooked some damned good burgers while we were at it.

After dinner we spent some time visiting with my mom and playing with the boys until it was time to come home and get the boys to bed. D was quite ready for bed, which is unusual for him. He almost never asks to go to bed, so when he does, we know its been a good day. Hopefully we will have lots of days like this soon. Tomorrow, however, it is back to cloudy, rainy and cold. At least the first day of Spring sprang with pleasant weather. Maybe that is an omen to the rest of our year.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Loving it

Spring has sprung here in sunny Georgia. At least of sorts. It won't be long and I will be overwhelming you all with pictures of extreme cuteness. Or something. For now though you are stuck with me. Just me and all my overwhelming mediocrity. I've been really feeling it this week for some reason. Same ol' stuff. Everyday. Day after day. Not that I can really complain. There are people that would love to have complacency.

Not that all of being me is boring. I spent the most part of the week hanging out with D and K. They have a way of keeping things.. interesting. We went for a walk at the park on Tuesday with T's mother. It was nice to catch up and have a little bonding time. I think that is part of our problem at least. Not enough bonding time. Anyway, went for a walk, then to the playground and then she wanted to take a walk with D before I had to leave to get to the grocery store. Which apparently turned into him drawing pictures in the dirt and then smearing himself with Georgia red clay. So, when they met me and K at the van I got to strip him naked and take him to the grocery store in his underwear and socks. Moral of the story: Keep spare clothes in your car for both of your kids because its not always the little one that makes a mess of himself. Or maybe its don't trust your mother in law with your two year old. Tomato, ToMAHto.

This week we had both of the boys' half birthdays too. D's two and a half, K's half. So not ready for K to be this big. We tried out some "solid food" with him last weekend and he was not impressed. He refused to shut his mouth on the avocados so we tried sweet potatoes. Still not impressed. So we are waiting awhile to try again. He is doing great on just nursing so I'm not really worried about it. Funny though, I have never seen a baby refuse to eat like that before. Little boobie monster.

Thats the week so far. Today it is supposed to be sunny and 70 so we are going to spend most of the day at the park. I already have our picnic all packed up and ready to go even. So, off we go! When we get back maybe I'll have some fun pictures!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Confession time

Ok readers, I have been holding back on you. Not blogging much, not talking about life around here. Why? Because I tend to think I am pretty boring. Apparently though some people think I'm not. SO, I am pledging to you now, I will try to be better. If not, smit me. Ok? Ok.

In return, all you people who are reading through google have to actually follow me so I don't get paranoid. I see you there! You! Yeah you! See that little follow button over there? Just click it. Just DO it!

K, thanks, bye.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Intro to Mama

 I asked my sister, Amanda, to write this one for me. She has, after all, known me my entire life and lets face it, its hard to write about yourself. You can find her general ramblings and musings at Things Everyone Already Knows. Go check out her bloggy sometime, its almost as great as mine.


Introduction to Amy
By Amanda

What's your earliest memory?

Mine: when I was small, my parents lived deep in Alabama. Well, we were about a half hour from Chattanooga, but I didn't know that then. Who needs anything at nearly two but grandparents across the street and a Great Aunt and Uncle next door? But I digress: To one side of our property, someone owned horses. My nearly two year old brain was convinced by a huge round belly in a blue dress full of what was to be my sister that we needed to take them a carrot.

That was it for a while, I lost my time line and perspective being a toddler and with a baby sister or no, lifelong chronology was a non-issue. Consequently: I don't remember anything about her arrival. But like they say: my life was changed.

PART ONE: Growing Up Gemini
My childhood memories stabilize about the time she started walking. I remember her following a nearly four me and calling me Sissy. Even though I was called Mandy, it was a mouthful of a name for her so it was sissy when she was littlest. There was surely a great deal of playtime shared, I know there was a playroom but I'm sure there were toys all over the house. We spent days with our nearby families and playing on swing sets and in sprinklers.

In my old age, now, I forget how very young Amy was when we left. I had been six, I had gone to kindergarten there and between schools and church and cousins, I got away with memories of playdates and classes, but she probably left those there on Sand Mountain and I dragged them with us as the moving got started.

First it was Kansas: where, yes, we were different. If nothing else, we talked funny. I was starting elementary school and Amy was blending in with the other glue eaters at a preschool, surely. Without the old crowd: play dates were a little harder to come by. Eventually, we both made friends our age through scouting or school. But this place began our adventure as best friends.

Our playroom now had a TV and a game system. And I'm pretty sure it was a little bigger than before. For the most part we were close enough to share most of our toys. When I say share, I mean our parents had to buy us each a Rainbow Bright and an equal number of My Little Ponies and ..the Barbies, my goodness the Barbies. Plus, we had the whole basement where we could roller skate to our hearts content. And we did.
Moreover we had the same kinds of imagination: our Barbies had huge melodramatic wars and plot lines. Our stuffed animals had silly face competitions and even the couch cushions were subjected to climbing shenanigans. I just remember the quantities of sheer hilarity we could invent from even such a young age. And things were pretty good between the two of us.

Every year there were road trips from Kansas to Tennessee to visit families and a Christmas reunion where we would show off our silly Midwestern accents to our cousins and stay up late and drink Coca Cola and giggles about Santa. There were Trapper Keepers and Fazz and Multiples. Um. Assorted other trend things we’ve all forgotten.

We were there for 5 years before things got screwy. Dad lost his job for some reason or another. It looked like there was more moving lined up. We didn't know where, or how, or really even when (It took us nearly 18 months to sell that house...) and for a long time, there were drives to Kentucky and Texas and Chattanooga and oh, everywhere in between. We lived in cars and hotel rooms and grandparents houses for one whole summer and almost two, calling a house which was being shown to potential buyers home. (If you don't know: it's not really like home.)

I was 13 when we finally settled in Tennessee where we were DEFINITELY different. We'd been road warriors, after all, and do I even have to say how different the American midwest is? We were worldly, well-educated, well-read and creative. We were nutty, sincere and intelligent. In some ways that alienated our families who never traveled, and a large part of the people who attended the more money strapped schools we were now zoned into who didn’t even seem to realize that different was possible.

Aside from that chaos: we were turning tween-aged. We went to different schools and I'm sure that in some ways, in my 13 year old brain I was too cool for a little sister. But no: we rode the same school bus. Maybe sometimes we were too cool for each other, but sometimes we also sat together. Making up names for the other 'tards on the bus. We gave people back-stories, unflattering ones normally. These were our new dolls.
Keep this in mind: she and I are both Geminis. (Sign of the twin, many different facets to our personalities, etc.) Now here's two teenage girls exploring all of those personalities while trying to share a bathroom. I am PRETTY sure there were some good screaming matches. My awesomeness began to evolve as I tried to edge myself with cool as only a culturally displaced teenage girl could. She seemed, to me at least, to be on the fast track to loserdom. We went to the same school eventually, the same groups at church even but we must have kept our friendship to a few moments a day at home. Maybe.

And slowly, we began to grow out of that and any angst we actually had (about all the moving or the alienation or our parents, which I won’t get into…) we shared. All of our many Gemini traits seemed to play together into a steady stream of sometimes hilarious, sometimes brilliant creativity. We were changing but we were bonding. We UNDERSTOOD in ways that no one around us really could. So the bonding began.
I'm not entirely sure how old we were, but we went on a road trip with our maternal Grandmother to visit Aunt Judy at her place in Alabama. Before that sounds terrifically square, know that it was a veritable den of awesome, considering at least two things:

  • Those two might have been the only sisters who equaled us in the awesome department. They’re terrifically stylish, witty, and strong in their somewhat demure southern ways.The fact that Aunt Judy’s house has always been about the coolest place on earth. It’s ginormous, with the pool and the garden and yes, even the game room which we would have slept in if they’d let us.

  •  What matters more than the year was that it was around the time that Radiohead's Pablo Honey had been around long enough for me to know all of the songs and after Sarah McLaughlin's "Possession" had made its way in to my collection of music (via CASSETTE SINGLE, if that’s not dating us too much) and we must have listened to both about eight million times in that game room, on the pool table making up new games or swimming until we couldn’t stand anymore. The visit was a truce of sorts. We must have both been past that horrible pre-teen angst that all people have, Gemini or not. It didn’t really matter that we were sisters, we talked and bonded over music and movies and everything that WASN’T what a dork the other one was and ESPECIALLY no Barbies, because we were “grown ups” now. We started a new chapter here and it was just as well, because things were soon enough back in an uproar.

I was 16 when it was suddenly time to go to back to Texas. (Perfect age for shifting, right? There went MY prom date.) Amy was 14, this was to be the second of her three high schools, though she didn’t know that at the time. By now, she was a master at assimilation, though, and we while we both threw ourselves into the schools (very demanding and extremely talent ridden) theatre program and the social schedule it entailed. We were essentially there every day for twelve hours or so and sharing a small pool of friends. Somehow our family found a church that was the best fit we’d ever had and there was another group of friends that we had constantly around us. Even at home, it was us in our new Aunt Judy-esque house swimming when it was cold everywhere but Texas or making up fabulous new games to play on our pool table which usually ended when someone got hit with an airborne cue ball. Sure we argued (Napoleon Dynamite style) when she’d use the phone line so I couldn’t check my email, but for the most part we shared a very busy social calendar. We moved again after I graduated. Amy was freshly 16. And there went HER prom date. We grieved that one together: we’d all been close.

Our lives changed after that. We actually were growing up, and the differences we’d bickered about in adolescence were not only irrelevant but forgotten. Even the shared circle of friends had changed once she began the process of completing high school and I began college. I started working at some point along here and between work and college and my imminent assimilation into adulthood there were still shared friends and experiences but Amy was doing much better at keeping her momentum going then than I still am. We still lived together but our home life was beginning to complicate as our parents began what would be their divorce by the time she turned 18. It wasn’t instantaneous, it took two very odd years for it to happen, but not one step of it went well for Amy and I. It’s hard to say how it changed us, but through time it was easy to see whose side these sisters had chosen: our own.

PART TWO: Adulthood and Now

I’m one of two people on the planet who knew all of her boyfriends. There was, in order, a weirdo, a total freak, the acted way beyond his years guy , and the Lego freak. For the most part, they were all sweethearts that I approved of, but needless to say, there wasn’t really one who was her destiny. So when the breakups and the introductions and the timing lined up for her to start dating Tommy it was clear to me that she’d finally met someone who worked. Not that he didn’t have his neuroses, and not that she doesn’t: but they needed each other for the best reasons. He’s sweet and respectful, competent (but not TOO), and what she needs: patient. (JUST SAYIN’) So it has always seemed that their marriage is the most natural thing in the world. Sometimes it seems the whole universe exists just to introduce two people.

When she told me she was pregnant with D, I was 27. Part of me was thinking I wasn’t old enough for my baby sister to be having a baby. But most of me was thinking how awesome it would be to be an Aunt. A lot of energy went to deciding what the baby should call me. Amanda is a lot of word for a little one. The answer was obvious once my unborn BeeGee (before we knew it was a boy (Bee) or girl (Gee), that was the baby’s “name”) started sending me “text messages”. Now, I’m just Aunti, (as decided by my nefu) and it’s the title I am most proud of. He was instantly the light of my life. And I do what I can to step into my non parental role of filling his head with nonsense. When K came it was double the trouble. Where D is light and easy (like I reportedly was), K is opinionated, stubborn (like his mommy). They even resemble us, respectively. I wonder how she managed to have my baby with D, and I think K serves her right. I hope he bites or kicks D, not TOO hard, but just so it makes her regret how ornery she was at whatever age is when he does it.

Part End: Who you’re really dealing with here.

I’m leaving a lot out, but it’s most important to understand who she’s always been to know who she is now. She might have said it all differently but I assume there’s a reason why she asked me to write this for her. (And then waited, in various degrees of patiently.)

The point in all of that was to point out what she comes from and to an extent, how it made her what she is. She’s versatile, flexible and fearless. I think sometimes it’s because she’s had to be, but really I think it’s her nature that made her youth easier for her. And I’m sorry to harp on about it but she has all of the duality you’ll read about in any textbook definition of Gemini. She can also be the most cantankerous person I have ever met. But she’s always up for a good time and a laugh wherever it comes from. People have made the mistake sometimes of thinking she’s stuck up, but really she’s just waiting for the right moment, the right joke. She’s also just really protective of her inner weirdo, who, believe me, is there even if she seems like a perfectly rational together type. To some extent she’s a little bit shy, but I would warn anybody DO NOT go up against her principles. What she believes she knows to be fact and has her reasons for. For example: Breastfeeding IS BEST. I haven’t done the research, I don’t have kids, but I know better than to go up against her on this. What she doesn’t know she wants to, and will research anything. She’s levelheaded enough during a crisis but has a shorter fuse than I do when it comes down to it. I haven’t been on the end of that wrath for a while, which is maybe also why I’m writing this instead of her husband.

Regrettably, I moved away for a job which has turned into more of an adventure than I bargained for, but every step of the way, my sister has supported and cheered for me and listened to my grieving in the many, many conversations we’ve had on the phone or online.

When my heart is breaking for any old or new reason, she’s the only person that understands every bit of why and somehow knows what to say. When there’s success in my life, she celebrates it as her own. The same goes for all of her friends. She was always the one who sends holiday cards, and on time. She does things that I’m too busy (disorganized) for. She takes baths. She has kids and a successful marriage. (Just don’t ask her what the key is. Keys are a sensitive subject in their household.)

I live hundreds of miles away and of all of the life I built where she lives, her little family is the only thing I miss. My snuggly, silly nephews are turning into very cool people. They’re the same age apart as my sister and I. My biggest hope for them? That once all the wrestling over toys and fighting about things they won’t ever remember: they’ll turn out to have the kind of relationship that she and I have.

Only maybe with fewer Barbies...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Intro to K

My baby K is the youngest in our family. He is also the most opinionated in the bunch. Born September 14th, 2009 at 1:38pm weighing in at 8lbs, 9oz and 21.5 inches. My peanut. He struggled with hypoglycemia due to a little birth trauma and spend the first three days of his life in the NICU. Scariest three days of my life. Thats a story for another day though. Long story short, I am an even bigger advocate for kangaroo care now than I used to be and he is doing just fine. Healthy as can be. He started sleeping six or seven hours at night at nine days old and was totally sleeping through the night at two weeks. Don't hate and don't ask how "we did it" because he did it on his own. His brother did it too. I chalk it up to milk oversupply and a lazy mama.

K has always been a very vocal baby. At first he squeaked when he ate. It was pretty humorous to listen to. Suck, swallow, SQUEAK, repeat. I'm not talking soft baby squeak here people. I'm talking sounded like someone stepped on a dog toy. There was no hiding what he was doing in public and around other people and often lead to people staring but hey, baby has to eat. He has also never been afraid to let you know what exactly he thinks about being hungry. It sucks. A lot. It will not be tolerated TYVM. He also fusses when he is sleepy but its very definitely two different fusses. Now that he has gotten a little older, he is much more patient about the hungry/ tired thing but once he is done, he is done and nothing but a nap or boob will do. He loves to "talk" too. Constantly. And its freaking adorable. He had the funniest inflection I have ever heard in a baby. Up and down, babble and coo. Repeat. Working his little baby eyebrows all the while. Adorable.

He has always been my little snuggler too. He hasn't been as ahead as his brother was with the physical stuff so far and I chalk it up to him being so freaking snuggly. You pick him up and he just melts into you chest like butta. His most favorite place to sleep in the world is on mommy's chest all curled up in a ball. Which is  getting interesting now that he is getting bigger. Arms and legs hang off everywhere but he seems to enjoy it just the same. He just likes to be close. He does like to play in his jumperoo quiet a bit too. It mean hey, it bounces, it lights up, its colorful AND it plays music. Sounds like fun to me too.

He is still a strong little cuss considering his remarkable lazy, loungy side. If he had better balance, he would be standing on his own by now. He already can for a few seconds at a time. Perhaps he will be the obnoxious kid that walks before he crawls. Hopefully not but I would love him either way. He sits up when he wants to but he really would rather just lay down and roll around so he does that most of the time. He has figured out the roll, and scoot to get to what he wants which makes life pretty interesting. So much for leaving him in a room to go pee real quick. I never know where he will be when I get back.

Thats pretty much K. He is a lovey, talky, snuggly, spirited, booby obsessed, little monster that has all of us dancing to his tune. Even his big brother (who is completely smitten btw). What can I say, he takes after his mama in more than just looks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Intro to D

D-man is our first born. He was born September 18th, 2007 at 10:58pm. He was 9lbs and 1oz, 21 inches long. My big boy. He came into this world the wrong way up and has spent the majority of his life causing the same kind of trouble. Ok, maybe not. Sometimes it seems that way though. He was a very healthy baby and still is a very healthy little boy.

He had always been a really easy kid. He started sleeping through the night at 5 weeks old and never looked back. He hardly ever cries and is happy hanging out with who ever is around. Even his tantrums are pretty temporary and caused by specific things. The worst ones are when he is hungry. Skip a snack and he grows horns. No kidding. Not to say he never pushed buttons though. He is two after all.

D has always been a pretty slick kid. He always hits the milestones early. The physical milestones were the most pronounced. Maybe it was because he was big. Maybe he just did. He sat early, he crawled early, he walked early. He has always been baby on the go, go, go. He loves to climb. In fact, he could climb before he could walk. When I say climb, I don't mean up on the couch, I mean up on dressers at ten months and over baby gates by twelve months. Now, there is not a single place in our house that he can't get into. I wonder sometimes if maybe he really is part monkey or something. Only he has no tail. The only place he never really seemed interested in climbing was out of his crib. Kid loves sleep though so it kind of makes sense. He is the kid that other kids follow around the playground and park because he knows how to get on top of things and turn things on and just generally knows how to have a good time. Good now, trouble coming in the teens.

He has also always been a little entertainer. He loves for people to look at him and talk to him. Most of all laugh at him. Little guy has an awesome sense of humor. He is not a shy kid at ALL either. He knows no strangers which is good and kind of scary at the same time. He is funny now that he is talking better too. He has figured out how to get attention that way when his cute act doesn't work. My little prince charming.

So, thats my D. I'll spare you any more bragging for now but that is him in a nutshell.

Baby snuggles could heal the world

Little boy that is. I just spent the last 3 hours snuggling with my boys while they slept. It started outwith just me and D after I picked him up from school. He wanted to nap in our room so I gave in but told him he had to go to sleep or it was back to his room.

"Otay mommy. I go sweep."

Was his response. I giggled and then he giggled. We lay there talking for a few minutes about what he had done at preschool this morning. Apparently one of his little friends got in trouble for shoving him. Sigh. So, I told him was time to be quiet and go to sleep and he did get quiet. What he didn't do was get still. Wiggle wiggle wiggle monster. Finally he sat up and said "Mama, you wanna snuggle me?". The answer to which was of course a resounding "Sure baby, come here.". Sure enough, he curled up into my chest like a tiny baby would and a few minutes later he was out and so was I.

I woke up when he started to wiggle and heard K start to squeak from his bassinet. I slid my way carefully away from D,  got the little monkey and brought him back to bed with us. After he nursed he went back to sleep.

I needed this today. I NEEDED it. Its like they know sometimes when I am having a bad day. Today I found out about two people passing within a few minutes. One was baby Layla Grace. If you haven't read her story, you should. The other was one of my sister's friends. Plus just the general funk I have been in lately. I guess it has all come crashing in lately. I had a lot of stress built up from when T was working two jobs that is feeling a little misplaced as of late. Its so weird to have him home more. Not bad weird, just weird. Plus I have this impending sense of doom. No clue where that comes from except for having to replace both of our cars already this year along with all the other unfortunate weirdness. You would think I would be used to that by now though. lol

Today though, for those few hours I snuggled my boys, my troubles melted away. I felt relaxed and normal again. They healed me. Even if that sounds totally corny its true. Those boys mean the world to me and I am beginning to think they feel the same about me. They like me! They really like me!

Monday, March 8, 2010


It was time. I know. Now everything is getting all prettified. Many thanks to Lisa at Life as a SAHM for getting it all set up and pretty! Going to be working on getting the nav buttons back up soon too. Had to get another friend to work on that. What can I say, I have some great friends.

Anyway, let me know if you see any bugs or anything and I will work it out. Otherwise, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Religion is a weird subject for me. I was born into a small Church of God in Alabama. By small, I mean about 100 members including all of the staff and unborn children. It was the type of church where everyone knew each other or was related and no one ever missed an event for fear of being shunned. I'm talking almost cultish here people. I don't really remember much about going there as a child, we moved away when I was three,  but we have been back to visit yearly because its where my mother's family holds its reunion. Its a creepy, dark kind of place. The kind of place that has always made me feel dirty and cheap. You feel the pretense in the air thick like the grease in the elders hair. Complete with big stained glass windows and pipe organ. The graveyard out side keeps the graves of Native Americans from when they owned the land and that always creeped me out too. This was the church both my sister and me were born into though so I suppose I can't really say much.

When we moved away, we attended mostly Methodist churches. They all had their particular brand of crazy. It always amazed me how much one church would vary from one to the next. Granted they were all in different states so I guess that might have had something to do with it.  I always felt so confused how if they were all worshiping the same God and reading the same bible with the same rules, how they all had different guidelines. Even when I attended a Baptist church for a year or two, it seemed they spent all of their time contradicting themselves. Its not like they were all picking different passages or different aspects even. They all had their views on seemingly the same handful of issues.

Now, I'm not knocking it. I understand that their are different views and different interpretations and all that jazz. I'm just saying that for me it made things very difficult. I am very much the kind of person that needs a definite answer on things like religion and the like. I've mentioned before that I like research and statistic type things. I like to know. I like for their to be a definite answer. So, you can imagine the idea of religion is kind of hard for me to grasp. I do believe in God. I believe in a spirit that guides us if we let it. I believe in karma and miracles. I have seen them in action. I believe that there are some things in the bible that have a good moral message. I don't however feel like it is always relevant and complete for a manual to modern life. We deal with issues that just weren't an issue when it was written. I also have a hard time with the concept of prayer. Maybe that makes me a heathen or a bad person. I don't know. It doesn't bother me I guess. That is not to say, either, that if I tell someone I will pray for them that I don't, I just don't say it often.

I think most of it for me is spiritual. Its about finding your place and doing the best you can. I think most people are born with an intuitive sense of whats wrong and right. I also feel like its part of my responsibility as a parent to help shape my kids into the kind of people they need to be. They may eventually want to go to a church and that is absolutely okay with me. I want them to be able to find their peace with God because that is so very vital. I think some people need to be told what to do or validated. Churches are perfect for those types of people. We occasionally do go to a local church. Its a nondenominational type thing and we go there mostly because we like the music. I do have to say that it feels more real to me than the churches we attended as children.They focus more on today's issues and loving each other and God than pushing the bible and expecting us to live by rules that are centuries old. Its a teaching tool to them which is more how I can relate to it than a set of do or die rules for life.

Maybe it changes as you age. Maybe we aren't supposed to know.  Maybe there is no ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything.


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