Thursday, July 31, 2008

He called me Mama

It was 10:30 at night. I padded across the floor of Fly's room to his dresser. Almost noiselessly, I opened the top drawer and felt around for his nail clippers. I once refused to trim his fingernails while he slept, too afraid to risk waking him up. But Fly's nails were almost as long as mine. I had let the nail trimming slide in the past few weeks, and it showed. Time to perform the delicate operation.

Behind my back, Fly stirred. I paused my search, then continued feeling around, sure he had to be asleep by now. He hadn't wanted to nurse to sleep. JP rocked him for a while, then put Fly to bed still fussing. He just had to be asleep.



Wait-- He called me Mama? Fly calls JP Dad, and he knows to say Elmo, but he has never, ever called me by name.

I turned around, and there was a sweet little face looking at me. Fly was standing. How long had he been watching me?

"Sweetie, why are you up? Did I wake you?" I said. But my guess was he hadn't fallen asleep yet.

Fly seemed so happy to see me. And I was so happy to finally be called Mama.

I talked to him soothingly, gave him a change, wrapped him in a blanket (not quite a swaddle -- it's a bedtime habit) and sat down with him in the chair. Fly snuggled close. He lay quietly in my lap. His eyes eventually closed. He drifted to sleep.

With his Mama.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Sandals

What I'd wear today if I could: these sandals from Tar-zhay. And you know what? I am wearing them! Yep, I'm sitting here at my computer, wearing them just because I can. That is, until Fly wakes up from his nap and the three-and-a-half-inch heels become a hindrance.

This past weekend, JP, Fly and I were out and about more than usual. For some reason, I kept noticing that there were some exceptionally dressed women. They weren't overdressed; they just looked stylishly casual. It made me feel frumpy. No, not frumpy -- shlumpy. Well, see, I was wearing some new shorts and a nice top, but I still felt I didn't have a look. Do you know what I mean? I kept seeing loose sundresses and metallic gladiator sandals like these:

and I was a little awestruck and felt a little less than fabulous.

Anyway, fast-forward to today, and I had to buy a new vacuum cleaner. (What a glamorous life!) I went to three places looking for one and ended up at Target. With the vacuum stuffed into my cart, I heard the shoe department calling my name. And that's when I found my peep-toe floral-print wedges. (Oh, and a cute little brown knit skirt clearanced for $7.48.) No, they're not metallic gladiator sandals. But they are exactly fabulous. Just ask my feet.


Q&A with moi

Scribbit interviewed me! She has such complimentary and kind things to say. This just makes my day! WIWW to come....

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Discovery in flight

Sometime a couple weeks ago at a park, Fly followed the loud roar of an airplane, looked up into the sky and noticed a jet flying overhead for the first time -- as little ones probably do. He's been frightened of whirring sounds in the past: lawn mowers, the hand mixer, a toy featuring colorful gears and, heck, even the bubble machine we got for his first birthday. So (maybe a little too brightly), I taught him the word airplane. Perhaps a bit too enthusiastically, I indicated an airplane was a good thing. Just like the big smile I put on when I vacuum and the oh-this-is-so-much-fun giddiness I display when I absolutely have to use the blender.

After that day, no airplane or helicopter has gone unnoticed by Fly.

He hears the airplane engine before I do and begins yelling, "Ay-pen! Ay-pen!"

I have never noticed so many airplanes before in my life.

Whatever we are doing, we stop and search the sky to see what is flying over. Sometimes, the airplane is gone by the time we hear it. Sometimes, clouds keep our aerial entertainment from view. But other times, we are lucky, and a small plane is flying low enough for us to see everything.

"Bye-bye!" Fly says, and waves.

If a boat zips by on the canal two blocks away, it is an airplane. A motorcycle revving down the street is an airplane. A neighbor using a chainsaw is an airplane.

But at least Fly isn't frightened.

Now, maybe I am fueling a fire that doesn't need to be tended. And Fly is likely too young to fully appreciate this anyway. But I suggested to JP we take Fly to see the real deal.

Can it be?

Is that ...?

Big airplanes?!

Coming and going

Even though Fly is too young to remember this day -- too small to grasp what an airplane really is -- I am glad to present him with new challenges, so to speak. He is little, but I am still going to draw out his interests, shepherd his wonder and help him discover this new world he is learning about more and more every day.

Rather than dismissing something as being lost on him, I want to be the one to help open his eyes. Instead of thinking he couldn't possibly understand something, I will give him a try. When Fly turns his attention to something, I want to be there to guide him and encourage his curiosity.

I want to show him the world -- and at the same time, I want to see the world through his eyes.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Soft colors

...because a true artist really invests herself in her work.


Friday, July 25, 2008

In appreciation

I don't want to sound like a big sap, but lately I have been feeling so grateful for what life has brought me. It's a good feeling -- a warm feeling -- and makes me feel a little bit surprised (as in, "Hey! Look what I have!"). And it always, always makes me feel rich.

I'm thankful, of course, for my family and home.

And my extended family.

I feel lucky to live in a place so beautiful.

I appreciate days when clouds move across the sky like a painting in motion

but also when those clouds remind us what they're made of.

I am thankful for music.

I am grateful for times when I feel small

and times when I feel humbled

but also when I feel I'm a part of something larger than myself.

On trying days -- or when weeks go by and I feel the universe is after me, it's hard to remember what I have to be grateful for.

But my memory lapse doesn't last long.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer on the boardwalk


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: From the style file

What I'd wear today if I could: this floaty top from ABS by Allen Schwartz, circa 2004. (I'd have to undo that bow, though.)

It's almost embarrassing to admit, but before Fly came along, I must have had a lot of free time on my hands because I actually set up a folder on my hard drive with nothing but pictures of clothes and accessories I liked. I guess it was the precursor to WIWW. This top is from that file -- still on my computer -- and believe me, there are plenty more where that came from.

Tiered camisoles seem to be back this summer (although longer now, and usually with more tiers), and when I came across my old folder of style pictures, I sighed over what will never be. An ABS top from four years ago? Good luck. Even if there were some really great consignment shops where I live, and even if I had the time to go looking, and even if I had money for a cast-off designer top, I would never find this exact thing. I could try to sew something like it, sure, but there is that pesky free time issue.

We'll just call this The One That Got Away.

What item got away from you that you still think about?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My trophy

On the couch we hardly use. In the living room. I think only a handful of guests have sat on it. But I was sitting on it then. The room was dark, except for lines of light shining through the slats of the window blinds. I wanted to be somewhere dark, to hide. I put my feet up on the good table because I didn't care.

That was it -- I just didn't care.

No -- I did care. I just wondered why I even bothered.

Because you love him, I answered myself immediately. If you didn't love Fly, it wouldn't bother you. The opposite of love isn't hate; it's indifference.

Yadda, yadda, yadda, I told myself back.

If I can't even get along with myself, how can I expect anyone else to? Especially someone who's not even two years old?

I crossed my arms and tried to put myself back together while going over the day and what I could have done differently to make it better. When Fly threw everything off the table at the restaurant, turning a drink into a puddle on the floor and causing the manager to quip, "Want a refund on this piece of bread?" When he almost pulled the earring out of my ear, slapped my face, pinched me and pulled my hair from its clip, all while screaming. When Fly repeatedly climbed onto the glass table JP made -- but not quite well enough to stand up to stomping feet -- and I had to put him in timeout. Twice. When he defiantly grabbed a book I was reading to him out of my hands and threw it across the room. When I finally put him, thrashing and wailing, into his crib for the night. What could I have done differently to make it better? There must be something I'm not doing right, or just don't know that I should be doing -- some key ingredient to parenting that got left out of our family recipe.

The couch was getting softer, the room darker, and my thoughts couldn't walk a straight line. I was thinking about how nice it would be to not be thinking and instead just go to sleep.

Then JP found me and sat down next to me on the couch. He got me talking about things other than tantrums and timeouts and the spectrum of discipline theories. He told me he's glad we think the same way about raising Fly.

And JP told me he thinks I'm doing a good job. Inwardly, I brushed it off, certain I am not.

But because the only awards passed out for mothering toddlers come from fathers' encouraging words, that's the trophy I'm placing on top of my mental shelf, and the hope I'm hanging onto today.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Live true

-30- is how you end a news story -- or rather, how reporters used to.


Friday, July 18, 2008

More non-BlogHer fun

Come on over and chat any time this weekend at the Second Annual Growing A Life I'm Not Going to BlogHer Chat. Hope to see you non-BlogHer-attending folks! With any luck, you'll find others in the chat room at the same time when you click on over.

I had a great chat earlier today with Guinevere, Gremlin Wrangler, Awesome Mom, Much More Than a Mom and Heather from Cool Zebras. (I hope I didn't forget anyone!) Maybe I'll catch more of you tomorrow or Sunday.

Also, I just found out Robin at Pensieve is hosting not just a chat, but a whole non-BlogHer party called BlogHop '08. Robin suggests writing a post to include your favorite party recipes, the best posts you've written or even a party favor (giveaway). Because I found out about this party only 2.8 seconds ago, I'm completely unprepared. A party?! Here?! But I didn't even clean house!

Nonetheless, here are five of my favorite posts, at least as I thought in January, when I posted a meme featuring such:

1. A baby's parting gift. Babyhood, toddlerhood, mamahood.

2. Weekend camping trip, Or, Lovebug orgy fest. This is what happens when you go camping with friends during lovebug season.

3. Where are you, Jamie Lynn Drury? Making friends, or not.

4. The greatest of these is love. Just love.

5. My dad can beat up your dad. For all those competitive fathers.

We may not all be at BlogHer (sniff sniff), but we can still hang out and have fun!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Please come to the I'm Not Going to BlogHer Chat

Tomorrow is the first day of BlogHer, and I will have the Second Annual Growing A Life I'm Not Going to BlogHer Chat (Sagaling-TBC, it turns out). I will leave the chat room open all day, so when you get a chance, please pop in and see who else is there and not going to BlogHer! I will try to be in the chat room whenever I can. We may not be in San Francisco this weekend, but we can still talk about blogging, or babies, or just have a little virtual party.

Just go here: Sagaling-TBC. That's our chat room. Feel free to tell your bloggy friends. The more, the -- you know....

Also, for more I'm-not-there fun, tonight at 8 pm Pacific time, the BlogHer People's Party is having a real-time chat and video here.

And there's a whole day of events tomorrow at BlogHer in Second Life, for those who are so inclined.

Hope to chat with you tomorrow!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Brave soles

What I'd wear today if I could: I'm not sure.

(But it sure ain't my old shorts. In case you were wondering, even though I don't wear them, for some strange reason I can't throw them out or give them away. It might have something to do with how I think they're lucky because I found a $5 bill in one of the pockets when I picked them up at the consignment store, oh, let's see, 17 years ago.

OK, that's it. They're going.


I found these shoes in a roundabout way and can't tell if I love them or think they are the best footwear joke I have ever seen.

They're made by a UK company called Irregular Choice. I think they would be great fun if I were going to a party where nobody knew me and had a cute little simple dress to wear with them. Outside of that situation, though, I think I would be laughed, pointed and whispered at.

Irregular Choice makes lots of "fun" shoes, like these:

But I am in no way advocating the use of large pink polka dots by anyone over the age of 11.

So, I guess I'm after a fun shoe, but am just not brave enough to wear the likes of these.

Do you have a pair of outrageous shoes? Is there anything you're not brave enough to wear?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Think about such things

...whatever is true, whatever is noble,

whatever is right, whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable --

if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things

--The Bible, Philippians 4:8

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Monday, July 14, 2008

The essential you

Don't you think?


Friday, July 11, 2008

Another BlogHer-nia

How come so many cool bloggers are named Amanda, Stephanie, Jodi, Melissa and Heather? How come so many cool bloggers live in Kansas, Georgia, New York, DC and Chicagoland? Maybe I should move and change my name.

And how come I can't find any of my favorite pregnant/newly-given-birth bloggers' baby registries online? Ahem.

Anyway, next Friday is DUM DUM DUM! The first day of the big BlogHer conference that half the bloggers I know are going to. I am not going. Last year, I didn't go either and made this button you can snag if you want to:

Growing A Life is just for fun, so the only reason for me to go would be to meet you amazing people with your cool names and cool hometowns. San Francisco is too far away for a party, however, even for a fun-loving person like me.


Just like last year, I'm bringing back the I'm Not Going to BlogHer chat!

That's right, I can now say it's the Second Annual Growing A Life I'm Not Going to BlogHer Chat (or Sagaling-TBC for short)!

If you're not going to BlogHer next Friday (a week from today), please feel free to come to the chat room that I will set up and have a link to. If I can't meet you at BlogHer, at least I can chat with you. Feel free to spread the word.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

You might be a reformed white-trash mom if...

I've heard you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl. Once a country girl, always a country girl?

Is that true for white trash too?

What I mean is, maybe I'm white trash and don't know it. Or maybe I'm still white trash -- just a little bit reformed.

Tell me what you think:

You dress your child in camo,

but the pajamas are from Baby Gap.

You own a pair of faded, frayed shorts like this,

but you never wear them.

You often look like you're still in the 80s,

but only because you just woke up and haven't done your hair yet.

Your husband keeps a pair of rusting motorcycles in the yard,

but, well, I have no defense here.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Hair accessories

What I'd wear today if I could: anything to get this mop off the back of my neck! I have freakishly thick hair that I get thinned once or twice a year, and even so, it's almost unbearable in the summer.

If I were brave, I'd just cut it all off. Until I gain courage, though, I'll keep my hair up in ponytails and twists with the likes of these:

This barrette from With a flower like this in my hair, I'd feel like I was on vacation in Hawaii, or possibly attending a Hollywood movie premiere. (Hey, a mama can dream!)

I found this hair stick on Etsy. It's just gorgeous! I know it's too dressy for every day, but how could you pass up on something so beautiful?

A hair stick/hair slide/bun wrap/barrette like this one from Forever 21. This kind of hair harness has been called all kinds of names. Whatever you call it, this is my favorite way to put up my hair. It's especially effective if I leave my hair curly and let some curls poke out the top.

What do you do with your hair in the summer?

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Just phoning it in?

For the past week, I've gone without my usual hijinks partner, Guinevere, while she spends time with her family. Fly and I have had to try to have some fun without her and Lance, Fly's best little buddy. It's been hard, though.

Friends don't let friends near husbands with cameras

O how I miss my friend

While friendless, a funny thing has happened: Fly and I have found three new fun things to do that we might not have discovered if we hadn't been swimming in their pool while they're gone had to rely on our peeps' good will to hang out with us. And I can't wait to surprise them with these fun new places.

This only serves to make me ask whether I'm trying too hard to entertain Fly, or not trying hard enough when it comes to my friends!

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Rock 'n' roll

Feeling sooo original today....

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Weaning myself

My baby is slipping away.

Oh, I know in my head Fly isn't a baby anymore. He hasn't been a baby for months, really. Babies don't run, jump, dance. Babies don't climb up and go down the playground slide all by themselves. Babies don't spontaneously give hugs, and they don't try to sing the ABC song. I know that.

But in my heart, Fly has still been a baby to me.

I still call him a baby.

And I still nurse him like a baby.

Or, I did. I feel him pulling away from me, though. Since November, Fly has nursed just to go to sleep. But lately, he doesn't nurse as long as he used to. Sometimes, he doesn't nurse at all. And most of the time, he doesn't fall asleep nursing, so I put him in his crib when he's done so he can fall asleep on his own.

I know in my head it's for the best. But my heart hasn't caught up yet.

I have been keeping a secret. I believe my milk has been gone for a while now, so I have nursed him just for comfort -- a habit that helped him drift off peacefully to sleep. Fly seems to be outgrowing that, though.

Fly is weaning himself.

And I have to wean myself from this last little thing that is keeping him a baby in my heart.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Not that I'm calling anyone a cat....

Hey, I have a guest post at Jodifur today! When the cat's on vacation, the mice will, uh, staycation. Click on over for a little fun!

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What I'd Wear Wednesday: Colorful

What I'd wear today if I could: this paisley sundress by BCBG. It's got all kinds of fun going on. I love the simple shape, and the length is just about perfect. The bodice is pleated just enough, too.

Because it's such a simple dress, it can get away with the colorful swirls of paisley in the fabric's print. So many colors! They're vibrant without being loud or garish. Just think of all the shoe and jewelry possibilities, oh my great accessory-lovin' sisters. I bet you already have shoes and a bag to match.

(Huh -- as if I have the time to match my shoes and bag to my outfit! If I had this dress, though, I would make a point to spiffy up.)


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

How do you judge Wonder Woman?

Guess what?! Michelle at Scribbit has announced her July Write-Away Contest, and asked me to be the judge this month! Whoa! I've never been the judge of anything before. This is going to be so much fun! And probably very hard to pick a winner.

All you have to do is write a post on this month's topic, Wonder Woman, and send Scribbit the link by July 16. The winner gets a Zune MP3 player from Best Buy! Even if you don't win, you might get an honorable mention as I once did in Scribbit's Write-Away contest and be able to place the cool Write-Away badge of honor on your blog.

You're all Wonder Women, so you should have no problem writing a great post for the contest. Get those fingers typing.


Kids can get blamed for anything!

I thought I lost my cell phone this weekend.

And I got excited because I thought this would be my ticket to convincing JP I should have the new iPhone like some cool people I know, especially now that the price has come down.

But then I found my phone the next morning in the car.

Now I'm wondering how long it would take if I just gave the phone to Fly....

Hey, I'm just joking!

Sort of.

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