A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~Oscar Wilde

Monday, December 31, 2012

Forgiven for the New Year

Yesterday, Buster crawled up on my face at nap time. For the first time in two and a half years, he noticed that I also exist in the bed. For the first time in two and a half years, he did not purposefully walk around me as though I was some sort of plague laying in his way.

he looks a little leery still, but who can blame him after what I did?
You see, somewhere around two and a half years ago, he was stretched out on my belly, sleeping peacefully. And he got kicked. He pretty much has not paid me much attention since then, not even to fake spray my leg while I'm watching television. It didn't help that I brought home a screaming baby 23 months ago, and it helped even less when that baby noticed his glorious tail and decided she needed to GRAB IT NOW!

Needless to say, Buster has been miffed at me. Stuart and Sassy thought I brought them home a fun new toy, and Sassy has taken to the baby like her own. 

Zaxby pees more often on random items to let me know she's around. Since the baby calls her Rat now, I let it slide. 

But Buster, the gloriously dumb fur-bag, has just hated on me like the obvious scum that I am. I mean, really? Who would do that? Get pregnant and then have the audacity to not leave the screaming thing at the pound? Crazy.

But the point of all this, is that we will be starting the New Year off on a new foot, a forgiven foot. If Buster forgiving me is any sort of insight into what this New Year will bring for us, it's going to be a good one!

Happy New Year, Everyone! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

On Our Bookshelf

I majored in English in college. I've always been a reader. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of reading to my own child one day. the way my dad read to me, the way the librarians at school read to the class. I read to my dolls.

I began reading to my daughter before she was born. And as soon as she was born, and still now. We read every. single. day. Sometimes every book we own, other times the same book over and over and over again.

Reading is important to me. It's very simple.

My daughter is 23 months old and these are three of our favorite books we right now. 


This one is wonderful for going to sleep. I'm still not sure if we've finished it together...I know I have, but I think she's been asleep before the end every time. Hmmm. Wonder why we like it so much?

We need more of these books! So cute and such a great way to teach sharing at an age where everything is MINE MINE MINE.
The illustrations in this book are divine. Richly colored and full of details. We look for the bugs and cricket on every page. And the words flow, which is important when you read it repeatedly. Andplusalso it has a great moral about being an individual and not listening to what others say. There are several more books by this author, which we have and love. I recommend any you can get your hands on!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Fav Christmas Flicks

I felt this little blog just would not be complete without a list of my favorite Christmas movies. Some of these are old standbys and others are new favorites. I feel they are all appropriate for children to watch, and for me that is a key ingredient in a good Christmas movie. It needs to be family friendly. These are not in any order really, as I don't feel I can rank them that way. They all have a little sentimental value to them, and I like them all for different reasons. 

I hope, wherever we are, that one of these movies will be on in the background. Preferably a Christmas Story because it's just not Christmas without someone shooting their eye out. 

Happy Christmas Eve!

When the reality is Better Than the Fantasy

I looked around my house last night, cuddled in the rocking chair with my sweet girl. 

The fireplace, with Snowflake hanging from the mantle, along with a garland that "he" hung after I lamented my un-decorated mantle. A mantle filled with pictures and Christmas cards from friends and family. Stockings hung on the grate. A set of cozy chairs beside it. 

On the other side of me, in our foyer, my our enormous Christmas tree.  The memory warm in my mind of the day we went to get it, of bringing it in and stringing it with lights. So many lights. So many, that even though we have lost a couple of strands, no one would notice. A variety of ornaments: so many penguins, snowmen, santas, special ornaments from my childhood, of our early years as a couple, our daughter's first ornament, a collection of shoes (heels, boots, crocs, sneakers), and so many more. We have added ornaments almost daily to the tree (I've saved some to add, we've bought some, had an ornament swap, my husband brings them home from work, etc.). We just added candy canes. A huge bow on top. Presents stacked around the foyer, in a way to help them avoid the cats and their attempts to become one with the tree. 

The point is that I looked around. I realized that this life, this den, this Christmas, is better than the fantasies I've had. Better than what I imagined ten years ago, when I thought about Christmases to come with a child not yet with us. Better than last week, when I wasn't going to decorate the mantle at all. Better than when I was a little girl dreaming. 

The reality of it is better than I ever imagined. 

My heart brims over with love and happiness, unexpected but welcome, oh so welcome, joy. The gifts this life has bestowed upon me are better than I ever dreamed, more precious than gold and diamonds. Better than a Norman Rockwell painting. 

Merry Christmas!!

What We'll be Doing

It's and we're on the cusp of Christmas Eve. Some people don't start their celebrations until Christmas Eve and others, like us, will already be running around trying to see everyone. 

Here's a look at our itinerary.

Christmas Eve-Eve
My grandmother's (dad's mom) for lunch at one. 30 minute drive there and back.
Nap time. Because I will be damned if we're missing that.
Dinner with my husband's dad's family. At a restaurant and then back to his grandmother's for a white elephant exchange.

Christmas Eve
My husband has to work until around 2 p.m.
My daughter and I will use this "alone" time to go spend a while with my parents.
Then we'll have nap time.
Dinner with my husband's mom's family at six and another white elephant exchange.
After that, our daughter's godparents will come over to exchange gifts. This is mostly relaxing, other than the toddler won't go to sleep so Santa can get to work until they leave. 
My husband and I will be lucky to get a few hours sleep. We have a kitchen to build, a chair to assemble and a giraffe rocker to put together. Mainly, that kitchen....

Christmas Day
We will wake up whenever the little one does and promptly get to the toy business.
And as soon as humanly possible, I will begin imbibing gallons of coffee
We'll play for a while, my parents will come over.
Then we'll go to my parent's for lunch. Exchange gifts with my brothers and nieces.
We'll have nap time.
When we wake up from that, we'll head to my husband's parent's to open gifts with them. 
We'll get home who knows when.

The Clean Up
My husband and I have the day off. Our plan is to play with toys all day long. Period. And take a nap. 

So that's pretty much it. That's not too much, right? 
Happy Christmas Eve Eve!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

On rembering...

Baby loss awareness day may fall in October for the rest of the world, but for me, it always will fall on December 22nd. 


On this day, two years ago, our dear friends met their little boy.

One hour later, they said goodbye to him. 

Three days before Christmas, they saw for a brief moment their greatest gift and watched helplessly as the life slide from his body, forever.

I've never lost a pregnancy or a child. I don't know their pain. But every December 22nd, my heart aches for the little boy that should have been my daughter's playmate and pal; for the little boy who should have been the light of my friends' lives. 

I'll never forget the frantic call of my friend, as he raced to the hospital. I'll never forget the call one hour later, where he told me the baby had died. My huge pregnant belly rolled out of bed and trembling hands, heart and lips handed my husband the phone. Even though we never met, I'll never forget this little boy, who for a brief moment lived in our world and thereby touched our lives and hearts with his tiny presence. 

Every year, I light a candle for him and say a prayer for them. 

While Anderson may have never been able to play with my daughter, I know he's an angel looking down on us all.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Last Working Day!

Today will be my last work day before Christmas. My heart is eager to embrace the morning of that day, little eyes thrilled to see all of the fun prezzies the man in the red suit brought her. There will be lots of prezzies for the little girl: a kitchen, dishes, a rocking giraffe, a little Nod Chair, lots of art supplies and other goodies, books. We went a bit overboard, for sure. But light of everything, I feel warmth and peace about it. I'm glad that I have my girl here with me, that I can shower her with gifts and kisses and see her face on that special day. 

Nothing in this world would sound more appealing to me. Other than the gift of five straight days off to spend with her! We'll see family and be running everywhere to fit it all in. But we'll be together. The stress that has built in our lives over the past weeks will magically melt away; it always does. 

The house, already filled with the smell of Christmas needles, will smell sweeter these days. There will be limitless magic made in our little house. A little girl will be filled with eager anticipation of presents, by the over eager heart of her own mother. We will make memories, sweeter than any aroma. We have been adding sticky glitter foam letters to packages to spruce up the boring store-bought paper. We have pretty little birds for our labels, and her little eyes shine when she sees them. She knows which package belongs to which beloved relative and goes and points to them. She takes ornaments from the tree and brings them to me to rehang. There will be days of this and each of them will be cherished forever in my mama heart. 

The good thing about my mama heart is that its capacity to hold memories and give love is limitless. And just in case, I have lots of cameras laying around to snap more solid memories. 

I just want to, need to, cling to every moment and hold it tight. This Christmas will be the best one yet and I don't want to forget one singe thing that happens, not one hug, one kiss, or even one tantrum. 

I'm going to be soaking up the holidays. My plan is to schedule some posts to go up during the next few days, but there might be a gap. I'll be back on Thursday, but for now...I'm off to enjoy, breath, live, consume every moment of this lovely holiday.

Happy Christmas!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Elf on the Shelf Antics

Our elf on the shelf has been a very fun part of this holiday season.

Letting the kid look for Snowflake is my favorite part of the day.

My second favorite part of the day is hiding Snowflake...or even better when I have to find where my husband hid him!

Here are some of the antics: 

this was a particularly fun day, hence all the photos. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Radio Silence

You know the noise that comes after the zombie Apocalypse, the sound of everyone's radios and televisions cutting off and switching to white noise? Yeah, that. That's what I'm hearing in my head today.

There's a numbness in my heart, blessedly, to take the place of the anxiety I felt all day yesterday. My mom called and told me my dad was back at the hospital with chest pains. He suffered a mild heart attack in July, while on vacation, 400 miles away. And yesterday, all that fear came down on me again in a rush, a chest tightening, soul crushing fear.  A text from my mom saying that she's scared. That woman is never scared. I prayed fervently last night as I fell asleep, and cried and prayed on my way to work this morning. 

And I guess my prayers were answered.

After some tests today though, he's in the clear. No heart attack, just bad stress and anxiety I guess, which is understandable in his line of work.

But then little things bring me back to myself.

 Watching a line of other cars pull over to let a funeral procession pass, it's nice to not be the only one. Sometimes, I have been rudely passed by people refusing to stop.

A sweet and simple message from a friend when I got to work this morning.

Christmas cards in my mailbox from sweet friends and family.

Good news after a day and morning filled with fear.

At the end of the day, I have a lot of things for which to be thankful. My father is HERE, however fragile his health may be. I have a beautiful daughter, a loving husband. The best network of friends to keep me sane and grounded. Good family. A refrigerator full of yummy beers.   A hair appointment tomorrow, which will leave me feeling pretty and let me have time to spend with my friends (my friends do my hair, how awesome is that?). I have a beautiful home filled with presents and Christmas cheer. Sometimes things are tough, but this life has never promised it would be a smooth ride, just worth it.

And little things remind me of that worth. And wouldn't you know, I've gone and worked that radio silence right out of my head. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Weekend Thoughts and a Craft Project

I'm going to start this post with a quote from myself, from my private blog:
 This time next week, we'll be unwrapping presents and playing with massive amounts of new toys. It's so exciting. And yet...I know this Christmas will be shadowed by the tragedy that occurred last Friday in CT. The thing about this is that it will shadow our Christmas this year; but for those families, that Christmas shadow is part of their reality forever and ever. It's not that we won't think of it in years to come, since I'm not sure I'll ever be able to forget watching those families bury their babies, but it won't have the same overwhelming since to it for us in the years to come. 

My hope is that we don't forget these children and families; that this isn't just a media induced fad for us, that we'll take this tragedy and move forward. We'll become better as a nation, we'll face these issues and look for real solutions to them. As a mother, I can't face it any other way. I felt myself, this weekend, trying to embrace more, love more, be more present with my family. I hope that I move those feelings forward into the future, and make myself a better mother and human being.  Only time will tell.

We took the day to shop as a family yesterday. Although the day was far from the best, it was filled with fun memories to take forward with us. There were tantrums all over the mall, refusals to enter certain stores and eating establishments. There was  a pouty faced little girl getting her picture made with Santa.  There were fun memories made and fun had by all, despite the setbacks. 

Weekends around our house are always filled with crafts, and this weekend was no exception. We did two simple crafts, although one is not yet finished or photographed. The finished one used sticky foam and glitter sticky foam to make Christmas trees and a snowman. I love how my little one decorated the little trees, focusing on the bottoms of the trees, just like she does on real trees. And she insisted that she get stars for all three tress, and while I was certain she would stick them somewhere random, she stuck them right on top. Constant surprises from this girl, constant. 

We also did hand prints in salt dough. I plan on making these into Santa faces and giving them to the grandmothers. I just need to pick up white paint. I never see the point of white paint, and therefore never have it, but how else do you paint a beard or white fur trim? Duh. White paints is a must! Hopefully, we'll finish those tonight and I can post pictures of the finished project tomorrow. 

I love these days. I love them so much. And while I didn't need a tragedy to remind me to focus on my family, the tragedy has only made me focus harder, more intently.  

Friday, December 14, 2012


I had a really light hearted post planned for today. But then something terrible happened to little kids in a school and well, now my heart is heavy. 

So. Heavy.

Who does something so evil to even ONE little human being, much less so many?

My heart hurts, my soul aches and my cheeks glisten from the moisture of many tears.

Twenty children were dropped off at school this morning, by loving parents. Loving parents who anticipated holiday festivities this weekend, shopping and parties, sleeping in and pancake breakfasts, a life time of cartoons and kisses and Christmases.

And then all of that was shattered. No pieces left to pick up, just gone. Gone in a blink. Children murdered, their last moments spent in fear. Children looking forward to the holidays minutes before, focused on letters or numbers or play time. Little children, lost. Dreams and visions ruined. 

Parents gathered together to find out if their child was one of those lost. A child that they loved and cherished taken from them in someone else's anger. 

Rooms filled with fear. Children who know not the full extent of death, facing it. Parents who understand death, and would willingly face it in place of their children, facing those children's deaths. Death everywhere and fear.

I wish I could reach out my arms and wrap them around every singe one. The children and the parents. But alas, my arms don't reach that far. 

They do, however, reach far enough for me to hug my own precious little girl and my own husband. My voice reaching out with words of love to them, and words of love to my own parents. 

Love everyone in your life. Never take one single second for-granted because you're not promised the next. Give too many hugs, shower little faces with too many kisses, hold hands with your spouse for no reason, love openly and freely, and in so doing, honor the lives of those little tiny souls. This world needs more love, it can never have to much, and love and love alone will help heal this wounded world. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Gift of Grandmothers

My little family is SO lucky. You see, my husband and I both work full-time and he works full-time plus. But here's the thing, we don't have to put our daughter in daycare. How do we do this? We have two wonderful mothers, and they do so very much for us.

My mom watches our daughter twice a week and my MIL watches her twice a week. Ideally, my husband (who works Saturdays) takes a day during the week to keep her, but since that doesn't always happen, one of our mothers fills his shoes. They never complain or tell us they just don't feel like keeping her. Never.She wears them out (she's almost two, so you know she does). Some days, when I pick her up I can see in my MIL's eyes how tired she is, I can see that she didn't have time to  fix her hair. But when I ask how my daughter was that day, she always tells me "Mimi's girl was so good today." 

The gift our mother's gift us is priceless. Daycare is expensive and it probably wouldn't be beneficial for us both to work. But since they keep her, we can both work, and thereby provide more for our little girl. I don't want to down day care here, because I know for a lot of people it is the only option. Personally, though, I don't think I could stand knowing she was being kept by strangers.  I would never be able to relax at work and get into my job. This way, we know she is being loved and kissed by people who love her as much as we do. 

Andplusalso as a nice bonus, my mom keeps her at our house. That means I don't have to spend time in the morning taking her and again later picking her up. And it also means that I have some seriously needed assistance taking care of my house. She helps me keep my laundry up and she mops and does a lot of other miscellaneous cleaning.  It saves me SO much time and energy.

I'm so thankful for the both. I'm thankful we have them both available, nearby, and healthy enough to help us out. It is such a blessing. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So What Wednesday

The past few weeks have been stressful so it seemed like a perfect Wednesday to link up with Life After I Dew  for So What Wednesday.


So what if:

I sat in one room and cried while my daughter went on with her 2 hour tantrum in another room. 

I had to sleep with an orange because of the toddler.

The only person I want to buy presents for is this raging tantrum throwing toddler.

Seriously, no one else may get anything. i'm okay with that. 

This cold will not go away.

It's the coldest day of the year so far and I forgot my coat.

People suck.

No matter how many cups of coffee I have today, I cannot wake up.

I constantly forget to mail stuff I needed to mail like last week.

The last time I wore make up was, um...I can't remember.

One day last week, I cried over EVERYTHING. 

The next day, I decided it was all a joke.

My toddler has to sleep with her ipad, a football and an ink pen, in our bed. 

People get things they don't deserve. I have all I need. 

Sometimes, I fail to remember that last part: I have all I need. 

My husband thinks our elf on the shelf is lame; he still moves Snowflake every night before I get a chance to do it. 

Our Christmas wreaths aren't up yet, and I still haven't decorated our mantle. There is no bow on our giant tree, either. Oh well. Less to take down, right?

Our Christmas decorations aren't up, but my husband has decorated like everyone else's homes in town (he's a florist, did you know florists decorated houses for Christmas?)

My husband and I barely get to see each other because work is so busy for him and all of his employees were out sick last week. Like, all of them. 

So, so what?? 

Life After I Dew

Monday, December 10, 2012

Making Christmas Magic

Our Elf on the Shelf has given me a new perspective on Christmas as a mama. Everyone always says what a magical time of year Christmas is, but how and why is it so magical?

The answer lies within you. 

Last night, a friend was asking me about our elf. And my daughter was sitting in my lap; her daughter was laying in her belly. She asked how long we'd had Snowflake, and I told her we had gotten him this week. And she was asking if he moved around the house, and I was telling her about the places he'd been. My husband was like, hey, the little girl's listening. Yes, indeed she was. Our words were guarded to preserve the magic but she was still listening intently. 

And that's when it dawned on me. I am the magic maker. The magic she will know during this season will be created by yours truly. Each magical activity we do, the elf, Santa, right down to decorating, all of that is created by us. An illusion that magic exists, perhaps, but what is magic other than our own perception? The magician masterfully creates an illusion which we perceive to be  what the magician desires for us to perceive. And that is that. 

Her memories, her beliefs, they will all come straight from my own hands. I will create the illusions of Snowflake the elf and of Santa Claus, and I will do it so well that she believes that I believe, and the magic will come from within me. And in so doing all of this, I, too, will believe in the magic that I myself create. 

And I will have more fun in life than others. And so will she. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Glorious Tail

On the way in to work this morning, I nearly ran over a squirrel. And that got me thinking about the difference a glorious tail can make. 

Seriously, a squirrel is just a glorified rat. And I say glorified because it has that wonderful plume attached to it's butt instead of a naked wormy tail.  Otherwise, I am quite certain I wouldn't even feel bad about running over one. I mean, I don't think I would cry if I hit a rat, since I certainly don't cry when I see one in a trap. I feel a little sad for it for having been born a rat, but other than that, whatever. The world is just fine without the nasty  varmint.   So it comes down to the glorious plume of a tail.

Our cat, Buster, has a glorious tail. My daughter likes to pull the other cats' tails but not nearly as much as she wants to pull his. I totally understand her desire, as  I want to pull it too. Thick fur is just good for loving,  I guess, even if it's on a rodent. 

you can't see his tail, but i'm sure you can imagine how glorious it is.
Sometimes, I wonder where the hell I come up with the thoughts. The absurdity of it all, squirrels and rats and cats. I attribute it to the fact that I'm thrilled for it to finally be Friday and that has made me delirious. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Feeling Better

It's amazing what a little bit of love can do for the soul.

a little love, a little beauty
After my shitty day yesterday, a friend emailed me to check on me. Which made today better. The friend who texted me that she missed us brought dinner and we broke out our scrabble board for the first time in ages. Little things have a surprising effect.  Little things can make or break a day, truly.

There's something truly beautiful about spending the day feeling sad, only to end it and begin the next day feeling so much love around you. This road of life we're driving on can be so bumpy at times, it's easy to forget about the things that make it worth riding those bumps out. I'm thankful to have friends and loved ones to remind me of those things.  

I purchased our Elf on the Shelf today as well, and he is sitting in the window at home eagerly awaiting the arrival of my daughter. Since we plan on seeing Santa tonight, I think the timing is perfect. Now, I'm just hoping that Santa goes better than last year. She hated him last year and only through trickery were we able to get a decent picture. Fingers crossed.

Cheers to a day that's been better than the one before, and a tomorrow that is brighter than today. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Emotional Day

Today has been one of those teary eyed, thank god I didn't wear make up kind of days. 

Everything has brought tears to my eyes.

A text from a friend asking if we could do dinner because she missed us.

Random readings throughout the day. Like this and this.

Stupid things like my dress from Anthropologie being cancelled. 

Another text from another friend just checking on my sick ass.

Who knows what will be next. Just be prepared for the water works because, well, they are coming and I can't tell you when. Or even why. I think I'm just over-tired and over-drugged and therefore over-emotional. 

And I have to drive to my mom's to get my daughter. It's a twenty minute drive and I can just go ahead and tell you I plan on crying the whole way, for no reason. And it's probably gonna get ugly. 


'Tis the season, it seems everyone is sick. I'm sick. All of my husband's employees are sick. All of my co-workers are sick, wait, that's where I got sick. It's the gift that keeps on giving. All of this sickness makes for one tired human being over here. Since my husband has to do the work of three other people, I get zero assistance at home. I'm coming to work just to catch a break. I can't chase the toddler for another minute and if we're left together I'm not capable of prying her from the light fixtures anyways. 

Some how our Christmas tree managed to get put up and mostly decorated over the weekend. My husband and I aren't sure how we even managed to go get it, much less get anywhere with it. Nonetheless, it is sitting pretty in our foyer, which gives me hope that things will get better.

I'm emotionally and physically drained. Trying to get everyone together for the holidays turned into a disaster at some point this week to top everything off. I'm so over it, I've considered giving up on Christmas entirely. Since all of the tot's gifts are purchased, I may just throw them in the middle of the den on Christmas Eve, when she goes to sleep at midnight, and call it a day. Anyone else who gets a present can consider themselves lucky. Speaking of presents, I finally purchased something for myself only to discover two weeks later that the item won't be coming. Does it seriously take two weeks to discover that you can't count? 

It just has not been a good week. I keep trying to see the glass as half full and then someone knocks it over. I need a do-over. On the bright side, I'm so high on all this medication for my bronchial infection I don't give a shit. Rock on, I guess.