Sunday, February 26, 2012

Like Mother Like Daughter

Big day.
Huge day.
Peanut Butter day.

I sat at the ready, benedryl in hand and phone close by just in case.
In case she suddenly broke out in rash. In case her throat started swelling up.
Oh God, I was a wreck.

I eat peanut butter. A lot.
That may be an understatement. I eat peanut butter once a day. At least. I eat it with waffles, I eat it with jelly, on apples, on ice cream and with honey. I eat it with a spoon and sometimes with a fork.
And I didn't change my habits any when I was pregnant.
Did I think about it? Truth be told I did - but not much.
If you've ever ventured online to scan what you should or shouldn't do during pregnancy you'll walk away believing you can drink only water that's been run through 18 different filters and eat only apples grown in your own back yard, in soil you've brought back from unsoiled (pun intended) land. There's studies to disprove studies of studies. In a word, it's ridiculous. So while I did watch what I ate and stayed away from the usual suspects I didn't change my peanut butter habit/obsession. Maybe I just go lucky. I don't know.

But as my daughter licked the peanut butter off of the bread and tried to separate the peanut butter from the jelly (not joking) we checked yet another box off of the parenting list. I feels good to be that much less worried.

Charlotte, you are definitely your mother's daughter.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Instructions for Life - from Grandma Susan

Before Troy's mom passed away I forced (asked nicely a few dozen times) her to make a list for me. Knowing that she wouldn't be around to pass along any of the advice herself I asked that she put pen to paper in an effort to keep her thoughts alive. I wanted to be able to tell Charlotte first hand what her Grandma would say to her if she was still with us. Below is the list. It seems those things you are taught very early in life really are the cornerstones of happiness.

The rest of this is written as she wrote it to me:

To my granddaughters
You are the loves of my life

1.) Always be kind to other people
2.) Don't say mean things to other people
3.) Don't tell other people they're different because they wear glasses or have braces or whatever
4.) Don't fight with other kids because they said something mean to you
5.) Always tell Mom and Dad how much you love them
6.) If you see somebody that has a problem with something try to help them
7.) Tell people when they look nice
8.) Don't lie; try to always tell the truth
9.) Don't go to bed mad

You are all very kind please stay that way.

Grandma Susan

On the same day that Susan put these together our three nieces were also there. They wanted to pass along some advice to Charlotte as well:

Aliah - advice from an 8 year old:

1.) Be good and help other people whenever you can
2.) Do good in school
3.) Try to play nicely with your brothers and sisters so you don't get bites

Annabelle - advice from a 6 year old:

1.) Be prepared because you get lots of shots. Don't worry they may sound scary but they don't really hurt
2.) Make sure to help your mommy and daddy a lot
3.) Plant a garden. They are a lot of fun

Violet - advice from a 4 year old

1.) Don't climb stairs or you.... (and that's all she said. She's four - what do you expect?)

Monday, February 20, 2012


We're home.
After a long week away I'm not sure I've ever been more happy to be home. This week was a rough one.
It feels good to know that normal is close by.
And tonight as we read our daughter a bedtime story and curl up next to one another we'll take a moment to be thankful for all that we have.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sad Day

Today my heart is aching. The kind of ache that takes your breath away and leaves your mind spinning in a thousand different directions that all lead to varying degrees of sadness, relief, anger. All of these crashing down in a heavy blanket of emotions.
Today two brothers, three sisters, three sons, two daughters, and nine grandchildren said good bye to the woman who brought us all together. And for this I will always be thankful.
This isn't fair. Life isn't fair.
And although our hearts are a little heavier today our shoulders are a bit lighter. This has been a trying year for our family. Filled with struggles that I don't wish upon anyone. But today I feel us breathing a collective sigh of relief. Relief that a woman we love is no longer fighting, no longer suffering. Relief from living a life of wondering "when".
Relief that she is in a better place.

To Susan,

Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving your granddaughter with every single part of you. Thank you for accepting me into your family so graciously and calling me your daughter. Thank you for trusting me with the most precious thing in your life. Thank you for raising the most caring, compassionate, loving man I have ever known. I am so grateful to call him my husband.
You were loved. And I hope you left this world knowing how deep that love ran.

To Charlotte,

I am so very sorry you will not know your grandmother the way that I did. The way that your father did. She was a kind person who always wanted to please others. Maybe more than she should have as she had a habit of putting herself last. She loved you more than you will ever know. I hope that your Dad and I can help you to know her through our memories.
And God help me if you ever pick up a cigarette. I will find out.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Girls Weekend

C and I had a rare weekend alone. We missed the Mister a ton, but we made the best of it.
We played in snow and cooked gourmet dinners.
Played with the dogs and played on the bed.
We played.

Good. Weekend.

We'll see you soon Mr. H.

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Night

Every so often our daycare puts on a "Parent's Night" where you can pay a little extra (if anyone is aware of how much we pay to begin with you would find this comical) and your child(ren) can stay until 10pm.

But the best part of the night. The part that made it complete was having a very sleepy little girl barely open her eyes and then collapse all her weight back into me when I picked her up at daycare. A heavy haed resting on my shoulder and the sounds of faint little breaths. One in a million.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Cut Sunday

Super bowl Sunday + first haircut.

For weeks now we've been unable to tell if we're looking at the front or back of Charlotte's head when her hair isn't pulled back. She doesn't seem to mind seeing the world through strands of hair (often snot clumped. Ick.)but we do. Frankly it's out of control.
A pony tail doesn't work because all the hair in the back is 1.) to short and 2.) blond. Leaving a Steven Seagal circa 1990 look except two toned. So we do the top pony except now it's getting too long for even that. Looking more like a fountain than a pebbles style. Barrettes? No way. They have a total life expectancy of 3 seconds - including the time it takes to put them in.

Now, we could have taken her somewhere, but what's the fun in that? Instead Troy wanted to try. And for some reason I was completely fine with it. Really, I was. No lie. It's hair. It grows back. End of story. And it will be fun to see the look on her face when she's 20 and scanning back through pictures and realizes we let her Dad cut her hair. Ha!

It turned out great. Just a trim. But enough to save back in a small envelope marked "First Hair Cut - February 5th 2012".

And then we watched football. And ate smoked meat. And drank beer. You know all that manly stuff to balance out the hair cutting. Not that hair cutting isn't manly.

The black stuff? Oreos. Bribery done well.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

And a Chapter Comes to an End

It's funny, you know. You go into parenthood with so many expectations. So much determination to get things "right".
But not too many. Because too many expectations are bound to lead to dissapointment. In yourself, in your partner, in your child. No, you see it's a very delicate balance between expectations and the unknown. Or maybe expectations of the unknown.
I'm feeling a bit sentimental tonight. And I don't expect everyone to understand. But I know that some of you reading this blog will. Last night was my last time nursing Charlotte. And tonight, as I sit here in front of the computer, I'm feeling a bit "off" with the change in routine. A bit sad if I'm being completely honest.
But also happy, and stong, and proud....and maybe a bit uncomfortable. 1 day. That was my initial goal. That C and I could work together and get off to a good start. And then it was 3 months. And then 6. Lastly it was one year. And only when I passed the six month mark did I realize that one year was my goal all along. My hope. But not my expectation. I don't take for granted how easy it came for us. I"m thankful.
It has afforded us a closeness that I never imagined possible. Could we have acheived the same thing if it hadn't worked for us? Sure. But maybe not with the same ease.
A chapter comes to an end. But my this is shaping up to be a good book.