motherhood amnesia

Friday, February 27, 2015

When Jack was about a year old, he stopped drinking from a bottle.  He went to sippy cups.  He didn't look back.

Durel and I facilitated this change with intent, care, and thought.  Jack's teacher had expressed a strong preference for one year olds to be bottle free, and with the earnestness of first-time parents, we obliged.

We were quite successful, as I recall.

Exhibit A:  Jack at 13 months or so, eating scrambled eggs with basil, biscuits, and drinking from his sippy cup.

What?  No Eggs Benedict?  What kind of a joint is this?

Exhibit B:  Jack at school around the same age, sitting with his classmates in a chair, at a table, eating rice krispies with a spoon (and his hands) and drinking from his sippy cup. 

I was told there would be pain au chocolat.
Take that, Rice Krispies.

(Also, please note the lack of hair.)

Exhibit C:  A very suspicious looking Jack at around the same time, eating toast and drinking from ... wait for it ... his sippy cup.

What?  The hair will come.
 Now leave me with my toast, woman.
And now, there's Sawyer.  Dear, sweet, Sawyer.  Drinking from his bottle without a clue in the world.  Turning one in like two weeks.

I swear to you.  I just realized, like last week, that I should be doing sippy cups with Sawyer.  I haven't bumped my head.  I haven't stopped being a hands-on mom (far from it!).  I just plain forgot.

Second kids do that to you.  You're more relaxed.  You're certainly busier.  You feel more confident.  You buy your one year old a sippy cup packed cutely for "ages 4 months +!!"

Whoops.

But, Exhibit D:  I copped to it on the Great App of All Truths, Instagram.  

In my own defense, it's not like I've totally lost my mind. (No comments, please.)  He is, as Jack was at this age, eating actual food.  In fact, he's quite fond of pot roast.



Hope you're quite fond of your dinner this evening.

Talk soon,
Heather

Mardi Gras, part three. The Property.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When I was in third grade, my parents took us to New York in November.  To see the windows, of course.  (Christmas window displays in Manhattan are hard to beat.)  We took a horse drawn carriage ride around Central Park.  We ate breakfast at some fancy place where I got a hot chocolate that was literally to die for. We rode in checker cabs.

Checker cabs could seat four passengers, because they had flip-down seats attached to the back of the driver and passenger seats.  Checker cabs are not safe and are extinct.  I thought they were amazing.  I thought pretty much everything was amazing.

I also gaped at the world from the top of the Empire State Building.  I couldn't believe all that city below me.  I couldn't believe all the cabs.  I started counting.  I got to thirty or so when the light changed and they all zoomed away.  

*     *     *     *

As a kid, Durel recalls his Uncle Larry's property as a huge place full of adventures.  There were pigs.  There were trees, maybe hundreds.  There were alligators in the creek (right, Durel?).  There were fishing trips.  There was always a boat.  And there was Uncle Larry and Aunt Sue.

I'm sure "the property," as it is still known to us, is smaller to Durel now that he's a legit grown-up, but we saw a glimpse of the mystique it had to him when we took Jack and Sawyer there on our recent trip to New Orleans.

Jack will never forget it.  He is already asking when we can go back.

Because:

Baby chickens!

Grown up chickens!

Eggs to gather! (And pants to pull up!) 
Crawfish to eat! (Once Mom peels them for you.)
His world was busier that day than my view from the top of the Empire State Building.  He had to feed the baby chicks (Green grass.  GREEN, Mom.)  He had to feed the grown-up chickens.  (Bread, Mom.)  He had to gather the eggs with Uncle Larry.  (So carefully, Mom.)  He had to play with the dogs.  He had to eat the crawfish.  He had to do it all again.


Watching him gave us all a rosy glow.

As for SawDog, he had a rosy glow, too, in the arms of his new favorite, Aunt Sue.


He's still deciding about Uncle Larry.


I think that means another trip is required.  (And this time, I want a drive-through daiquiri.)

Hope you remember the grand scale of things today.

Talk soon,
Heather

are those bad guys?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Jack knows the difference between good guys and bad guys.

I didn't realize there was so much treachery in Star Wars, but though his love of the trilogy, Jack has honed in on the  phenomenon of "started as a good guy, turned into a bad guy."

Oh, George Lucas, you bard of eternal themes.

*     *     *     *     *

We don't watch the news when the children are around.  Sawyer is too young to understand it, of course, but Jack certainly is not.  We made an exception and watched about five minutes of the news last night.  Jack was playing; he wasn't really paying attention.  

There was a snippet about the current terror threat and response in Egypt.  Jack's head snapped to attention and turned to the TV.

"Are those bad guys?"

"Yes, they are, Jack."  [CHANGE CHANNEL]

*     *     *     *     *

I know that it is my responsibility as a mother to not only protect my children, but to teach them to be safe and wise and use common sense.  Jack has my cellphone number memorized (and has for some time!) and knows that he is to run away from strangers who try to offer him gifts or get him into their car.  He knows that if he can't find a parent, he is to turn to a police officer, firefighter, or teacher for help.  We are doing what we can.

However, one of the most profound things no one tells you about becoming a parent is this, the fear.  I'm sure my parents felt it -- they brought us into a world with a Cold War and nuclear weapons and the Cuban Missile Crisis.  They taught us with love and compassion.  They rock.

And now, we've brought children into a world with mutant viruses and too many terrorist groups to name.  And we will teach them with love and compassion.

*     *     *     *     *

For the present time, though, I am glad that Jack's concept of bad guys is as simple (and adorable) as this unscripted and unprompted display from this weekend.




Hope your day has some classic literary themes in it.

Talk soon,
Heather

Mardi Gras, part two. The parade.

Friday, February 20, 2015

I like to think that after ten years, I speak "conversational" New Orleans.  I'm not fluent.  I'm not a native.  But I can get by.

Mardi Gras involves a whole new set of vocabulary, though.  I knew what a king cake was.  I did *not* know that they make king cake flavored daiquiris.  (They are delicious.  I know you doubt me, but they are.)  I did not realize that you can (and should!) buy daiquiris by the gallon.  I'm sorry, by the *multiple* gallon.

I did not realize that going to a party at a house on a parade route is the Holy Grail of Mardi Gras experiences.  

Party = fun and people
House = bathroom
Parade route = beads
All of those things in the same place = victory

We were lucky enough to spend Saturday with friends (and friends of friends) at such a party.  The parade was Endymion.  (I also learned that which parade you are watching makes a difference.  This is advanced, folks.  There's a lot to learn.)  

Endymion is a big parade.  And it's not in the French Quarter.  Or, at least, we weren't in the French Quarter, so we weren't packed like sardines in a tin. (So slip off your shoes and put on your swim fins...nevermind.)

Despite our relative personal space for the Endymion experience, we still had to get to the party like four hours before the parade started.  So that we could park in the same ZIP code as the house where we were meeting our friends.  The whole city really does shut down, and you have to do your best to strategically locate yourself, despite the gridlock.

No, four hours of partying before the parade starts is not a hardship.  We had food and friends and (as previously mentioned) bathrooms.  However, when you are five years old and REALLY EXCITED for the parade, that can be a lot of time to kill.


Jack chilled out with a bubble gun he found, and his Moto GP headphones, which we brought just in case.

Sawyer gave us baby side-eye at the entire experience.

Seriously?  Plastic beads.  Seriously.
I passed the time with selfies.  As we do.


And when the parade started, we were prepared.


The headphones were quickly abandoned.


This whole "kids on a ladder" phenomenon is like, a done thing.  They build little "box seats" on top of the ladders so the kids can sit there and catch beads.  Seriously, I felt like an anthropologist.

As the sun set, the parade continued, but we took our tired selves and our kiddos home.  I can say with confidence that the party continued.


Hope your weekend is culturally enlightening.

Talk soon,
Heather

Mardi Gras, part one. The car.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

To get to New Orleans from Austin, you can fly Southwest, with a layover in Houston Hobby. They've redone that terminal and it's pretty nice now.  

They've got a walk-up restaurant window where you can get a beer or a Bloody Mary.  You can then walk around the terminal with it.  

I suppose that's either practice for New Orleans or transition from New Orleans back to the real world, where walking around with drinks is, shall we say, frowned upon.

I love Bloody Marys.

*     *     *     *     *

So, we decided to drive.  With two children under the age of five.  It's cheaper.

However, here's a little something I've realized:  The cheap option isn't always the best option if your sanity is on the line.

I can't tell you how long it took us to get there.  Durel says we were in the car for 13 hours.  At some point, I entered a fuzzy netherworld where I climbed into the back seat of a moving vehicle to feed my baby a bottle and a pouch of baby food.

Suffice it to say, next time, we are flying.  Did I mention that I love Bloody Marys?

*     *     *     *     *

It wasn't all bad, though.  Far from it.  Check this out!

video

Hope your day is full of yeah yeahs.

Talk soon,
Heather

pure joy

Thursday, February 12, 2015

When Jack's teachers post a sign-up sheet on the classroom door, I sign up.
Party?  I will bring food.

Movie?  He can watch it.

Read a book to the class?  I'm on it.

This was actually my first time reading a book to the class, though.  The strictures of a working mom's schedule (with a nasty commute, I might add) tend to prevent me from mid-day mommy duties.  

"You have to do this."

That's what my brain said about story time.  So, I signed up, and I showed up, and I delivered.

I read The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak.  If you do not have this book yet, I will wait while you click on the link to Amazon and GET YOURSELF A COPY IMMEDIATELY.

The book is genius.

BLORK.

When I finished the book, the kids clapped.  It was obvious that they had been instructed to clap when a parent finished a book, an instruction which I (and Proper Paige) appreciate.

They then bum-rushed me to hug me in a flailing pile of five year old mirth.

You guys.  It was pure joy.  FOR ME.


I mean -- that's it.  It was so stinking awesome.  Motherhood is trippy.

Hope your heart is amazingly light today.

Talk soon,
Heather

tubes

Monday, February 9, 2015

When I was a kid, having tubes in your ears was a pain in the ass.  

I didn't have them, but I remember people who did.  It made them high maintenance about going swimming -- a direct result, I'm sure, of their mothers warning them with the Most Serious Voice about getting their ears wet.  (I know that voice.  I have it now.  You get it when you become a mom.)

No one understood why those kids couldn't really get crazy at the pool parties.  They kept telling us they had tubes in their ears, and we couldn't see any tubes, and that sounded crazy, but they wouldn't budge on it, so we just left them alone.  (Marco Polo, anyone?)

Luckily, that's not how it works anymore. With the tubes.  I should know.  I have two children and we are on our third set of tubes.  And no, we didn't sponsor tubes for anyone not in our family.  And yes, our ENT loves us.  

So anyway, Sawyer has them now.  (Jack had two sets, if you're counting.)  And as with Jack, they have transformed him from a sleepless snot-ball to a happy, cooing, pancake gobbler.

Even the seventeen teeth he's sprouting can't slow down this cuteness.




Hope someone makes you a pancake today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, February 27, 2015

motherhood amnesia

When Jack was about a year old, he stopped drinking from a bottle.  He went to sippy cups.  He didn't look back.

Durel and I facilitated this change with intent, care, and thought.  Jack's teacher had expressed a strong preference for one year olds to be bottle free, and with the earnestness of first-time parents, we obliged.

We were quite successful, as I recall.

Exhibit A:  Jack at 13 months or so, eating scrambled eggs with basil, biscuits, and drinking from his sippy cup.

What?  No Eggs Benedict?  What kind of a joint is this?

Exhibit B:  Jack at school around the same age, sitting with his classmates in a chair, at a table, eating rice krispies with a spoon (and his hands) and drinking from his sippy cup. 

I was told there would be pain au chocolat.
Take that, Rice Krispies.

(Also, please note the lack of hair.)

Exhibit C:  A very suspicious looking Jack at around the same time, eating toast and drinking from ... wait for it ... his sippy cup.

What?  The hair will come.
 Now leave me with my toast, woman.
And now, there's Sawyer.  Dear, sweet, Sawyer.  Drinking from his bottle without a clue in the world.  Turning one in like two weeks.

I swear to you.  I just realized, like last week, that I should be doing sippy cups with Sawyer.  I haven't bumped my head.  I haven't stopped being a hands-on mom (far from it!).  I just plain forgot.

Second kids do that to you.  You're more relaxed.  You're certainly busier.  You feel more confident.  You buy your one year old a sippy cup packed cutely for "ages 4 months +!!"

Whoops.

But, Exhibit D:  I copped to it on the Great App of All Truths, Instagram.  

In my own defense, it's not like I've totally lost my mind. (No comments, please.)  He is, as Jack was at this age, eating actual food.  In fact, he's quite fond of pot roast.



Hope you're quite fond of your dinner this evening.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mardi Gras, part three. The Property.

When I was in third grade, my parents took us to New York in November.  To see the windows, of course.  (Christmas window displays in Manhattan are hard to beat.)  We took a horse drawn carriage ride around Central Park.  We ate breakfast at some fancy place where I got a hot chocolate that was literally to die for. We rode in checker cabs.

Checker cabs could seat four passengers, because they had flip-down seats attached to the back of the driver and passenger seats.  Checker cabs are not safe and are extinct.  I thought they were amazing.  I thought pretty much everything was amazing.

I also gaped at the world from the top of the Empire State Building.  I couldn't believe all that city below me.  I couldn't believe all the cabs.  I started counting.  I got to thirty or so when the light changed and they all zoomed away.  

*     *     *     *

As a kid, Durel recalls his Uncle Larry's property as a huge place full of adventures.  There were pigs.  There were trees, maybe hundreds.  There were alligators in the creek (right, Durel?).  There were fishing trips.  There was always a boat.  And there was Uncle Larry and Aunt Sue.

I'm sure "the property," as it is still known to us, is smaller to Durel now that he's a legit grown-up, but we saw a glimpse of the mystique it had to him when we took Jack and Sawyer there on our recent trip to New Orleans.

Jack will never forget it.  He is already asking when we can go back.

Because:

Baby chickens!

Grown up chickens!

Eggs to gather! (And pants to pull up!) 
Crawfish to eat! (Once Mom peels them for you.)
His world was busier that day than my view from the top of the Empire State Building.  He had to feed the baby chicks (Green grass.  GREEN, Mom.)  He had to feed the grown-up chickens.  (Bread, Mom.)  He had to gather the eggs with Uncle Larry.  (So carefully, Mom.)  He had to play with the dogs.  He had to eat the crawfish.  He had to do it all again.


Watching him gave us all a rosy glow.

As for SawDog, he had a rosy glow, too, in the arms of his new favorite, Aunt Sue.


He's still deciding about Uncle Larry.


I think that means another trip is required.  (And this time, I want a drive-through daiquiri.)

Hope you remember the grand scale of things today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, February 23, 2015

are those bad guys?

Jack knows the difference between good guys and bad guys.

I didn't realize there was so much treachery in Star Wars, but though his love of the trilogy, Jack has honed in on the  phenomenon of "started as a good guy, turned into a bad guy."

Oh, George Lucas, you bard of eternal themes.

*     *     *     *     *

We don't watch the news when the children are around.  Sawyer is too young to understand it, of course, but Jack certainly is not.  We made an exception and watched about five minutes of the news last night.  Jack was playing; he wasn't really paying attention.  

There was a snippet about the current terror threat and response in Egypt.  Jack's head snapped to attention and turned to the TV.

"Are those bad guys?"

"Yes, they are, Jack."  [CHANGE CHANNEL]

*     *     *     *     *

I know that it is my responsibility as a mother to not only protect my children, but to teach them to be safe and wise and use common sense.  Jack has my cellphone number memorized (and has for some time!) and knows that he is to run away from strangers who try to offer him gifts or get him into their car.  He knows that if he can't find a parent, he is to turn to a police officer, firefighter, or teacher for help.  We are doing what we can.

However, one of the most profound things no one tells you about becoming a parent is this, the fear.  I'm sure my parents felt it -- they brought us into a world with a Cold War and nuclear weapons and the Cuban Missile Crisis.  They taught us with love and compassion.  They rock.

And now, we've brought children into a world with mutant viruses and too many terrorist groups to name.  And we will teach them with love and compassion.

*     *     *     *     *

For the present time, though, I am glad that Jack's concept of bad guys is as simple (and adorable) as this unscripted and unprompted display from this weekend.




Hope your day has some classic literary themes in it.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mardi Gras, part two. The parade.

I like to think that after ten years, I speak "conversational" New Orleans.  I'm not fluent.  I'm not a native.  But I can get by.

Mardi Gras involves a whole new set of vocabulary, though.  I knew what a king cake was.  I did *not* know that they make king cake flavored daiquiris.  (They are delicious.  I know you doubt me, but they are.)  I did not realize that you can (and should!) buy daiquiris by the gallon.  I'm sorry, by the *multiple* gallon.

I did not realize that going to a party at a house on a parade route is the Holy Grail of Mardi Gras experiences.  

Party = fun and people
House = bathroom
Parade route = beads
All of those things in the same place = victory

We were lucky enough to spend Saturday with friends (and friends of friends) at such a party.  The parade was Endymion.  (I also learned that which parade you are watching makes a difference.  This is advanced, folks.  There's a lot to learn.)  

Endymion is a big parade.  And it's not in the French Quarter.  Or, at least, we weren't in the French Quarter, so we weren't packed like sardines in a tin. (So slip off your shoes and put on your swim fins...nevermind.)

Despite our relative personal space for the Endymion experience, we still had to get to the party like four hours before the parade started.  So that we could park in the same ZIP code as the house where we were meeting our friends.  The whole city really does shut down, and you have to do your best to strategically locate yourself, despite the gridlock.

No, four hours of partying before the parade starts is not a hardship.  We had food and friends and (as previously mentioned) bathrooms.  However, when you are five years old and REALLY EXCITED for the parade, that can be a lot of time to kill.


Jack chilled out with a bubble gun he found, and his Moto GP headphones, which we brought just in case.

Sawyer gave us baby side-eye at the entire experience.

Seriously?  Plastic beads.  Seriously.
I passed the time with selfies.  As we do.


And when the parade started, we were prepared.


The headphones were quickly abandoned.


This whole "kids on a ladder" phenomenon is like, a done thing.  They build little "box seats" on top of the ladders so the kids can sit there and catch beads.  Seriously, I felt like an anthropologist.

As the sun set, the parade continued, but we took our tired selves and our kiddos home.  I can say with confidence that the party continued.


Hope your weekend is culturally enlightening.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mardi Gras, part one. The car.

To get to New Orleans from Austin, you can fly Southwest, with a layover in Houston Hobby. They've redone that terminal and it's pretty nice now.  

They've got a walk-up restaurant window where you can get a beer or a Bloody Mary.  You can then walk around the terminal with it.  

I suppose that's either practice for New Orleans or transition from New Orleans back to the real world, where walking around with drinks is, shall we say, frowned upon.

I love Bloody Marys.

*     *     *     *     *

So, we decided to drive.  With two children under the age of five.  It's cheaper.

However, here's a little something I've realized:  The cheap option isn't always the best option if your sanity is on the line.

I can't tell you how long it took us to get there.  Durel says we were in the car for 13 hours.  At some point, I entered a fuzzy netherworld where I climbed into the back seat of a moving vehicle to feed my baby a bottle and a pouch of baby food.

Suffice it to say, next time, we are flying.  Did I mention that I love Bloody Marys?

*     *     *     *     *

It wasn't all bad, though.  Far from it.  Check this out!

video

Hope your day is full of yeah yeahs.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, February 12, 2015

pure joy

When Jack's teachers post a sign-up sheet on the classroom door, I sign up.
Party?  I will bring food.

Movie?  He can watch it.

Read a book to the class?  I'm on it.

This was actually my first time reading a book to the class, though.  The strictures of a working mom's schedule (with a nasty commute, I might add) tend to prevent me from mid-day mommy duties.  

"You have to do this."

That's what my brain said about story time.  So, I signed up, and I showed up, and I delivered.

I read The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak.  If you do not have this book yet, I will wait while you click on the link to Amazon and GET YOURSELF A COPY IMMEDIATELY.

The book is genius.

BLORK.

When I finished the book, the kids clapped.  It was obvious that they had been instructed to clap when a parent finished a book, an instruction which I (and Proper Paige) appreciate.

They then bum-rushed me to hug me in a flailing pile of five year old mirth.

You guys.  It was pure joy.  FOR ME.


I mean -- that's it.  It was so stinking awesome.  Motherhood is trippy.

Hope your heart is amazingly light today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, February 9, 2015

tubes

When I was a kid, having tubes in your ears was a pain in the ass.  

I didn't have them, but I remember people who did.  It made them high maintenance about going swimming -- a direct result, I'm sure, of their mothers warning them with the Most Serious Voice about getting their ears wet.  (I know that voice.  I have it now.  You get it when you become a mom.)

No one understood why those kids couldn't really get crazy at the pool parties.  They kept telling us they had tubes in their ears, and we couldn't see any tubes, and that sounded crazy, but they wouldn't budge on it, so we just left them alone.  (Marco Polo, anyone?)

Luckily, that's not how it works anymore. With the tubes.  I should know.  I have two children and we are on our third set of tubes.  And no, we didn't sponsor tubes for anyone not in our family.  And yes, our ENT loves us.  

So anyway, Sawyer has them now.  (Jack had two sets, if you're counting.)  And as with Jack, they have transformed him from a sleepless snot-ball to a happy, cooing, pancake gobbler.

Even the seventeen teeth he's sprouting can't slow down this cuteness.




Hope someone makes you a pancake today.

Talk soon,
Heather
 
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