Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today was my due date, one year ago.
I am thankful my pregnancy was normal, happy, and healthy.
I am thankful my delivery was normal, happy, and healthy; enough so I am willing and able to go through it again.

I am thankful for flexible jobs allowing us to stay home with a sick kid.
I am thankful for wonderful daycare.
I am thankful for insurance.
I am thankful for the lil' dude's grandparents who are all healthy and a huge part of her life.
I am thankful we live in a safe neighborhood where we sleep sound.
I am thankful for the money that affords her the diapers I wish, warm winter clothes, and books to read at bedtime.
I am thankful for her village- the people like her "aunties", Fairy Godmother, her uncles, grandma-greats, and neighbors who can and will help.

I am thankful to be a Mother, for this, I am forever thankful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

American Dream

There is a page in my baby book describing the events of my 3rd Christmas, written in my Mom's handwriting.
You asked for a Cabbage Patch Doll- but they are too spendy at $30! So Grandma S. made you one.
I remember that doll. He was bald, and I named him John. Those homemade Cabbage Patch Kids had weird noses. You could go to the craft store and pick their head out. They came in boxes with clear plastic over their faces. Weird. Creepy. And it just wasn't what I wanted. Nice try, Mom.

A few weeks ago, the American Girl catalogue arrived at our house. Two arrived; one in my name and one in the Dad's. How did they know we have a daughter? A daughter who will undoubtedly want an American Girl doll someday.
Christmas 2011; you asked for an American Girl doll- but they are too spendy at $90! So Grandma G. made you one.

I had the American Girl "Kirsten" books when I was little. I still have them. But, I never had the doll. My neighbor and BFF had the Samantha doll. Oh, the lust. I love the concept- getting girls to love reading by introducing to them vibrant characters spanning decades of history. The different eras taught girls how cool history is, how girls are just as important as boys. So, the American Girl company capitalizes on girls' imaginations by creating the dolls ... the $90 dolls. You want to buy Kirsten's holiday St. Lucia outfit? $22. She should have the holiday wreath that the Swedish women balanced atop their braids, $16. Your Kirsten doll has a doll too ... Sari, and she's $16. And it goes on.

It makes me sad knowing little girls all over have an American Girl doll on their Christmas lists. They whisper to Santa: I want Julie. Addy. Kaya ... Kit, Josephina, Molly. Samantha ... Santa, this is Samantha's last year. They are taking her away for good. I want her ...
And on Christmas, there won't be an American Girl doll, because there is food to buy, sisters and brothers who have Christmas lists too, bills to pay. I'm sorry honey. I know how much you wanted her. Because I did too.

Friday, November 21, 2008


The Dad: "Good morning wifey."
Me: "Hello. Are you done?"
TD: "Yep, we were in and out in 15 seconds."
M: "Did she cry?"
TD: "Nope. She didn't even know it was happening."
M: "She's so tough!"
TD: "It took longer to get her coat and hat off. Just pulled down her tights and put the needle in her thigh."
M: "Dropped her drawers and got down to business, nice."
TD: "The nurse said to her, awwww, lil' dude, you are always dressed so cute when you're here,"
M: "That's because she just saw her Monday. Sorta popular."
TD: "Now we're going to the post office. Goodbye to you."

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Maybe it's the time of year- Thanksgiving being a week away.
Maybe it's Mama hormones.
Maybe it's the very realization things can change in an instance.
Everything good can turn bad.
Be taken away.
That nothing precious, normal, perfect, loved can be taken for granted.
I don't know what, but I know this.

As I sit in the lil' dude's ancient, creaky rocking chair, smoothing her hair and calming her down while we give her Nebulizer treatments, I realize how lucky we are and how good it is.
As I look at her small, pink mouth, form an O as the mask is put on her, and the tube runs the length of her body, I know this is a simple, normal procedure. As her wet, sad eyes search mine to understand this, I can only imagine what it is like for Mamas and families and babies where something like this is their normal.

I think of her and her story.
And hers.
Hers too.

And I think what it would be like to celebrate my daughter's life in days survived. 99. 100! 101 ...
To update pictures after the masks come off and the eyes open.
After surviving another surgery.
After becoming a miracle.

I don't know what it is that makes me go here. But I know this.
I am so very, very lucky, indebted, grateful, and blessed for my daughter and her normal.
So very blessed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Because sometimes, it only takes a bath.

With some good-old-fashioned bubbles.

To give a girl something to smile about.

Making everything OK.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Broken Record

It's deja vu in the world of lil' dude today ...
Double-ear infection.
10 days of antibiotics.
Neb treatment x2/day.
Love, hugs, and boogers galore.

We just did this 12 days ago.

Oh, no. There is more. Something new and exciting.
As a side effect of this round of meds, the lil' dude's poop will be pink or red.
I am really hoping pink. I love pink and it's my favorite color.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You + Me

Three years ago, I knew we'd be great.
And we really, really are.
Thank you for making difficult days bearable.
For believing in me.
Making me laugh.
I love you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Grandpa ... to the man who loved his family, hard work, and a good piece of pie.
Thank you for being the greatest influence I've known.
I love you.
Be good.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Letter from Mama, v11

Happy 11 months old, lil' dude!
This month we celebrate your last month of babyhood. If you want to get specific, you've been out of that stage for awhile now, but it's just the technicality associated with numbers. In 30 days, we will celebrate you turning 1.

You're such an independent little girl now. To see you walk around in slow, purposeful circles, lightly trailing your fingertips along the wall ... amazes me. I see you crouch down low. You peer out the sliding glass door at the raindrops. You put your finger out to stab at a crumb. You hold it in front of your eyes as you examine it. Having you as a daughter has shifted my perspective to that of yours. I feel like I see the world through your eyes now, everything is much bigger, clearer, intentional. As I sit beside you to look at those raindrops, I quietly appreciate them for what they are to you. You love everything and take your time soaking it all in. You make me breathe more, see longer, smile quicker.

November, how much I love November. When Daddy and I first learned of you, we had 250 days to wait. I circled November 27 on our calendar at home, and in my day planner at work. Slowly slowly, those days began to go away, as you grew bigger and bigger. November came, I cried happy tears. Your month. Our month. November went, I cried frustrated tears. Mama could not fathom waiting anymore days for you to come. 250 had been enough, but you weren't ready. So we waited until you were.

Now, November means family and the beginning of the Holidays. I cannot wait for you to experience all the traditions Daddy and I love so much. Again, as I anticipate our memories together this month, I can't help but see things through your eyes. How much you will love homemade pumpkin pie with real whipped cream!, playing Bingo on Thanksgiving with all your cousins. Cheering Daddy on as he cuts down our beautiful Christmas tree. You will put your tiny hands out in front of you, and shrug your shoulders as if to say, what is all this? Do you know I love it? and you will point and grab for our hands to lead us that direction. And we will see it all again, for the first time and it will be better than ever.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

In the Night

Oh, my poor lil' dude. The return of the peach gummy worm.

You have a double ear infection and huge barking cough. Last night I rescued you from your crib as you tossed and turned restlessly at 2am. We went into the dark, you and I a tangle of blankets and pj's and girl bodies. You nestled under my neck, your fine baby hairs tickling my nose. We sat that way for three hours; you just wanted to be held and comforted. We never really slept, yet we weren't really awake. It was dark and quiet and just right for a couple of gals to rock silently in the night waiting to feel better, normal, right.

Feel better, baby girl.
Mama loves.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day for Voting!

That is what the adorable, ancient little election judges said this morning- tiny little ladies in turtlenecks and gold jewelry.
Lil' dude- you made your voting debut! You were content the whole 36 minutes it took Daddy and I to vote. You watched all the commotion at the tiny fire station that is our precinct. You smiled when you were told you were the tiniest voter ever! You even got a red sticker like Mama and Daddy did.
Today is a big, big, day. We're making history today in so many ways. You know Daddy and I will always support you, and encourage you to make the choices you want to make. Because it matters. You're lucky you will have a say in your future and your government and your life. Please know voting and participating is both a privilege and a right. I was encouraged the same way growing up, in fact, your grandma-great, Mama's grandma, is still the head election judge in her tiny town. Today, she is that lady in a turtleneck and gold jewelry.
So remember, you are a tiny person but you have a big say!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sweet November

November is one of my favorite months.
Lil' dude, it's the beginning of your story.
The Dad and I moved into our house, our first home together, on November 1.
We were married on November 12.
And when we learned about YOU, your due date was November 27.
So I can't help but love it like crazy. All the feelings and emotions and excitement and promise. It's our month, lil' dude, and it belongs to us. It's also your last first month ... another reason to heart Sweet November.