My Resignation…

I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year-old again.

I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four star restaurant.

I want to sail leaves across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with rocks.

I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.

I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my sister on a hot summer’s day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple, when all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes; but that didn’t bother you because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think the world is fair; that everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible.

I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.

I want to live simply again.

I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, kind words, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.

So, here’s my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements.

I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first, cause. . .

Tag! You’re it.”

Spring Break!

That means we will be ‘vacationing’ by taking to the road, visiting family in two states, finally pausing in our travels to stay at the farm in Kansas.  The girls loved it last time.  This time, Rosie is old enough to truly enjoy all the possibilities.  That, and she’s finally completely potty-trained!  I promise to bring back pictures of our ‘vacation’ adventure, and I will try to get them uploaded before my daughters are in high school.

My talented daughters:

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I love you truly, my sweet daughters, and I will forever be your number one fan!  I will scream until my voice is gone at one of your pep rallies (when you are the high school varsity cheerleading captain), or stomp my feet excitedly in the bleachers at your soccer game (you’ll be wearing a cute purple uniform with white letters bearing your name and number).  I’ll even convince your dad to walk you down the aisle (provided the groom is a young man that WE approve of).  I will support you in whatever career you choose for yourself (provided that you are 18 or older and no longer living under my roof).  I will never, however, stand for endless hours – days – waiting in line to get you registered to audition for American Idol, just so you can make a complete idiot of yourself in front of millions of viewers on national television.  I may now tell you kindly that you are talented, even entertaining when you sing, but as you get older, those compliments will be few and far between in regards to your singing talent.  Sure, it’s cute now, but in ten years, it may not be.  I’m just letting you know, now,  girls.  I love you too much to let you embarrass yourself and our family on a national level.

Public Playground Amnesia

It struck yet again.  Yesterday.  I told you that I’d forget all the blood and tears and maternal terror that happened the last time I took the girls to the local park.  Three weeks to the day.   I previously predicted that only a week would pass before I suffered Playground Amnesia.  I am proud of myself (and my daughters) for surviving for such a long stretch without visiting the park.

I am also proud of my daughters for maintaining their manners and staying within my line of  sight.  We were also able to make a relatively quick departure – no tears OR blood this time.  Although I DID have to count to three as I was walking toward the SUV with Catie and Rosie in tow,  in a successful maneuver that brought Halie running to the car…  The unspoken threat of being left behind has always been an effective motivator with my children.   What can I say?  I told my M-I-L today that I’m certainly ‘paying for my raising’.  She just smiled and agreed by nodding her head.

All Saints Day!

From this day forth, my family shall recognize this date as:

dscf0121.jpgBirthday Boy Aidan Patrick Christopher’s Birthday!

My incredible nephew is one year old today.  He’s already walking.  I have warned my sister that the progression from ‘walking’ to ‘running’  to ‘running-away-from-mommy-in-public-places-where-she-cannot-scream-at-me’ happens at light speed.  She has already earned the Medal of Motherhood in her first year of motherhood: my sister cared for her son, her husband and her sick self while they were all battling the gruesome stomach flu.  I won’t gross you out with the details.  Just suffice it to say that my sister has cleaned vomit out of her shoes that was not her own…

My daughters had a fun time Trick-or-Treating on their Grandma and Grandpa’s block for Halloween.  While I captured some good photos of Halie (Guinevere) and Rosie (Nurse), I did not get a good one of Catie (Princess Jasmine).

I don’t have three arms…

…Or three sets of eyes.  I really wish that I did, for occasions like a visit to the local park.  It is actually two parks in one, spread across a football field, with a preschooler-sized park at one end and a big-kid-sized park at the other.  I take my daughters in hopes of getting them all worn out (read: early bedtime) and yet somehow I am the one who’s exhausted after running from one park to the other…

A visit to the park begins innocently enough: we drive by daily on our way to and from school.  On a rare occasion, the stars align, and I have forgotten the LAST episode at the park that ended with at least two children in tears and at least one of the crying girls oozing blood.  Yesterday was that rare (forgetful) occasion.

As I was putting the car into Park, the girls were already scrambling out of the SUV and running towards the playgrounds.  Before I could get myself out of the car, the girls had scattered like roaches to the far reaches of the grounds.  I stood in a spot mid-way between the two playgrounds, scanning the park for my daughters smiling faces.  I saw Halie happily making her way across the monkey bars at the big-kid playground.  As I cheered Halie on, I heard Catie shout: “MOMMA!”  As I turned, I could see Catie standing at the top of the jungle-gym, eyes wide in panic.  What struck fear in my heart was the other part of that picture: Rosie was quickly scaling the structure as well.  Before I could get to Rosie, misstepped and dropped the six feet to the ground.  She landed on her face.

Having destroyed a few ceramic-faced dolls in my youth,  I expected to find a smashed-in face on my little miracle baby.  What I found was a toddler who had the wind knocked out of her.  There was a tense moment when she made absolutely NO sound, followed by an extended wail.  As I picked her up and turned her over to assess the damage, this is the face I saw:

 web-rosie.jpg What you may not see are the two distinct marks under her bottom lip where her teeth tore through the flesh, and the split chin on the underside.  I guess I had forgotten how much an injury to a small child’s head or face can bleed! 

The good news is that Rosie is her usual happy self and required no stitches to repair her injuries. 

The bad news is that I give it a week before I develop ‘public park amnesia’ and go back for another visit.

Happy Birthday Baby!

catiecake6th.jpgdadcatie6th.jpgCatie is six years old as of 8:26PM today.  This morning, she got a special privelege: cake for breakfast.  She paused only to pose with her Daddy, then with her birthday cake before gobbling down one tiny slice before school.

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Traditionally on their respective birthdays, I relate the story of my labor with them.  Catie happens to be the only child that I actually ‘labored’ with, back in October 2000.  Since my first pregnancy ended in an emergency c-section before I even began to labor, my doctor (the very same OB, as a matter of fact) agreed to let me try to labor with my second daughter.  Apparently, moms who have had one c-section choose to schedule the next birth or subsequent births for another cesarean.  In my seventh month, we relocated more than 90 miles away.  In spite of that fact, I chose not to schedule another c-section, but allow my body to initiate labor naturally.  Catie was officially due the third week of September.  When the date passed with no indication of labor imminent, my doctor agreed to let me continue, as long as Catie was tolerating her extra ‘baking time’.  On October 2, I woke to a headache, so I checked my blood pressure – it was up a few points, so I called the doctor.  She asked my husband to drive me in (bags packed) so she could have a look at my daughter.  At the doctor’s office, I was hooked up to a contraction monitor, which soon made it obvious that I was already having regular contractions.  This was news to me! 

The doctor sent me and my husband over to the hospital, where the nurses *again* told me that my contractions were regular.  Please ladies, don’t hate me, but at eight minutes apart, I could hardly feel them.  The nurse added a Pitocin drip to accelerate contractions (it worked, thankyouverymuch), and 24 hours later, my contractions were 60 seconds apart – reading off the chart, but still barely any dilation.   At that point, I was exhausted and asked for an epidural.  Fast forward another six hours: contractions still 60 seconds apart, still no change, and Catie’s heartbeat starts to drop.  Since I had seen this before with my first daughter, I knew what had to be done: Another Cesarean. 

Turns out that my OB and the pediatrician’s sons played pee-wee football together, and they had a game that very evening.  Both doctors were paged, and came in excitedly talking about the game they had just watched their sons play in. 

Catherine Dian was born at 8:26PM, with an e- l-o-n-g-a-t-e-d skull (from being pressed into my pelvis for, like, 24 hours).  The entire operation room staff immediately erupted in song: “Happy Birthday to you…”

Within hours, my newborn daughter’s head was more normal (thanks to some strategic massage), and the next day, we made to 90+ mile drive back to our home.  The doctor wanted me to stay another day.  When she said that, I responded by saying, ” Are you kidding me? I’ve got wash to do!”

Guess you just can’t argue with that!

So, as my middle child, Catie gets overlooked a bit.  She doesn’t seem to mind.  When she needs my attention, she politely requests it.  Catie loves one-on-one time with mommy OR daddy, and expresses her gratitude whole-heartedly.

For my now Six-Year-Old Catie:

You are my favorite Catie in the WHOLE WORLD!

**UPDATE** 5:22PM

Catie’s paternal grandfather, ‘Grandpa’,  surprised her class at school this afternoon when he showed up to help her celebrate her birthday.  He not only brought a birthday cake (made up of individual cupcakes), but also juice, goodies bags and specially-decorated pencils for the entire class!  Entirely HIS idea, too.  Grandpa asked me to snap a few pictures, and I did.  I captured the surprise on my six year old’s face, and the excitement on her classmates’ faces as each surprise was presented by Grandpa.  My in-laws never cease to amaze me!  Thank you, Dad.

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