Case in point that music is a fairly innate joy.
Yet one more reason why I adore these guys – just look at Sunny respond!
Case in point that music is a fairly innate joy.
Yet one more reason why I adore these guys – just look at Sunny respond!
Auntie Kimmy came out to Willytown to celebrate her 25th birthday. There were museum visits, and hikes, and Brew Ha Ha, and mochas, and steak, and dark n’stormies, and brunch with dear friends, and most importantly a photo shoot with Auntie and Niece.
Addison doesn’t even realize how lucky she is to have this lady in her life – a fellow tutu wearer, a lover of tea and parties (best combination E-V-E-R), a confidant, a best friend, a dancing fiend, and, most importantly, someone to talk to when MOM IS BEING SUCH A ….
Love you, lil siser.
Welp, today was fairly standard.
Addison took her evening bath.
And pooped the tub.
Actually, that was a first.
Fortunately, we bathe her in a smaller tub, contained within our larger tub, so James was able to dump the floating terds into the toilet. No scoopage required.
You gotta appreciate the little things.
While James was on poop patrol, I was charged with getting Sunny into her PJs. However, James and I didn’t realize her cloth diaper supply was low, so we had no clean diapers on hand. I figured that since she had just shit in the bath, there was little concern of a comparable incident on the oriental rugs my mother had bequeathed to her granddaughter’s nursery. Because poo on an oriental? The issue is not so much that it is antique (the rug that is), but that it BLENDS.
Camoflauge poo. A dangerous sort.
I let Addison crawl around nekkid while I dug through my 18,000 diapers bags (my mother’s doing), in desperate search for a spare diaper.
While I was searching, BUT OF COURSE!, Addison peed (despite my optimistic thinking to the contrary) and Hanna enthusiastically lapped it up off the hardwood floor.
I should be grateful that she hit the hardwood instead of the rug.
Again, the little things.
My favorite moment was when James entered the nursery and is all, Haven’t you already written this post?
Dude, welcome to our LIFE.
Needless to say, right now Sunny is in a pair of woolies (i.e. wool sweater shorts) with a bunch of cloth wipes shoved inside in the hopes that that’ll get her through the night, because the diapers won’t be done with their 8 bazillion wash and dry cycles for another century.
In this case, a century implies two hours. Obviously.
In the meantime, why don’t y’all head on over to Monster Bites and nab a free download of that song I referred to the other day in my angsty, covered-in-lies, I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS moment. You’ll be grateful you did.
Good thing her daddy loves her so or she’d be shit in the tub.
This, this is what a family looks like.
I still can’t believe it’s mine.
I cannot wait for Auntie Kimmy to be in the midst of that family snuggle this weekend when we celebrate a quarter century of life. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, lil sis! We love you so much and wouldn’t be complete without you.
Addison just blew raspberries in your honor. You’re welcome.
She’s still uneasy and stumbly and I promise we don’t slip drops of gin into her bottle, contrary to what this video may reveal.
Here’s our munchkin, GUAC!
I literally could not be the parent I am today without these two men. One made me who I am, the other makes me try to be even more than I ever thought possible.
Last year on father’s day, my dad was with us helping manage life with a new born infant, and we are fortunate that he is with us again this year to celebrate. Not that we have any grand plans – but who needs grand plans when you have this much energy and love bubbling around you.
I used to believe my father about everything but then I had children myself & now I see how much stuff you make up just to keep yourself from going crazy.
James and Dad, I could not do this without you. 143.
Oh five celebrated five years of post-graduate life a week ago today.
This included but was not limited to the following:
1. Unmatched hilarity thanks to the presence of two of the most hysterical people I know and love more than anything on planet earth. I was just tempted to list off a slew of inside jokes, but god those are lame in a public forum.
THREE THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN RIGHT NOW! I’m having a great time at your reunion! President Falk, we ask but TWO things. TRY TO STEAL MY ICE! Christmas card worthy. Gently. Gently.
COULD. NOT. RESIST.
2. Rain storms. And mud. And dancing our faces off despite said conditions.
3. There were bros icing bros. And hos icing hos. And hos icing bros. And bros icing hos. And oh my god if you don’t know what I am talking about google that shit and then weep at the stupidity and the brilliance of the Smirnoff Ice marketing department.
I don’t think I’ve consumed a malted beverage since I was sixteen.
And yet grown ass men were down on one knee chugging that shit all weekend.
4. The realization that not much has changed.
5. Except maybe how quickly we “bounce back.” I have not been so exhausted since childbirth, CHILDBIRTH, y’all. My body ached. My head ached. I functioned in a delusional haze for most of the weekend – and despite an absence of alcohol in my system, I experienced a post-reunion hang over like you wouldn’t believe. College is hard five years later.
6. Also, I learned that apparently smart people go to Law School when they have no idea what the hell else to do. I mean, Juris Doctor does have a nice ring to it. Doctor of the Law. Catchy. I now understand why everyone and there mother was either in, had just completed, or was headed to Law School.
7. There were ghosts of boyfriends-past, and old roomies, and reunion crashers, and wow, the cliques-really-do-hold-fast, and the people who were THAT guy in college and were THAT guy at the reunion, and interracial snuggles, and dear dear friends, and life-crushes, and so on and so on.
8. There were demands to see the baby, by intoxicated individuals, at eleven o’clock at night, under rain soaked tents blasting Get Low. Because obviously I keep my child strapped to my person at all hours of the day, especially when it involves lots of drunk people and noise and discussions of bodily fluids dripping down genitalia.
BTDubs – chances that that song will be played at our 50th reunion – sweat dropping down our 72-year old balls? Anyone?
All exhausting things must come to an end (THANK THE SWEET BABY CHEEZ-ITS), and James and I were met with Addison urinating all over her bed at midnight on Sunday, as Ursa vomited a sea of chicken all over our bed room floor.
That’s why we don’t feed the dogs table scraps, JAMES.
And that’s why we will probably be the only people with babies at our ten year.
We’re the best form of birth control.
To My Toddler,
Because literally, in just a brief 30 days, you have gone from baby to toddler. You stagger around the room, still unsure of your own feet, but man, do you aim for the ambulatory two-legged life. If fact, GO WALK! (which sounds comparable to “GUAC” a la Guacamole) is one of your four phrases. You demand to GUAC!, constantly. You stand and determinedly point in our direction while chanting GUAC GUAC GUAC! (I’m waiting for a hail of avocados to rain down upon us) until we offer you our two fingers so that you may guide us around the room. Your Doda has come to refer to it as the Bataan Death March as you stomp up and back and up and back and UP AND BACK (rinse, repeat) on our patio. My late 20-something body can barely keep up!
Just this past week you have begun stepping out on your own and walking for more than five steps at a time sans pointer finger support from parental beings. My favorite part of this development is that you uneasily stumble to me or you daddy, mouth wide open with joy, and as soon as you reach our arms, you collapse inside and nestle into our chest. It truly melts my heart. Then you peel your face from our shoulders, and beam with such pride while vehemently clapping your hands at your own success.
At this rate, no doubt next month I’ll be writing about your 1st marathon.
The other three phrases you have come to master include ALL DONE! which is said at the end of any meal while tearing off your bib. You are quite adamant in these statements. And oh boy, if we don’t abide. The tears. The waterworks. The wails of discontent and melodrama. You are going to make an epic angsty teen.
My most favorite ALL DONE!, however, comes at bedtime. We sit and stare at the stars emanating from your Lady Bug night light, your cow print blankie twisting between your fingers, while you enjoy your bottle of milk and your daddy and I hum lullabies or whisper stories about the moon. When the bottle is drained, you sigh deeply and say, ever so slowly and quietly, Aaaaall Doooone, as though resigning yourself to the end of another day. It brings such peace to the entire household.
You also love to throw things on the ground and then look around innocently while claiming, UH OH!
We think that your understanding of this phrase could use a little work.
Scrambled eggs tossed off the high chair. UH OH!
Magnets strewn about the kitchen floor. UH OH!
Tidbits of macaroni and cheese offered to Ursa. UH OH!
Hanna turned into a powdered donut thanks to items thrown from the changing table. UH OH!
Your agency in these events is unmistakable, despite your utterance of innocence and accident.
And finally, you have come to refer to yourself and the dogs as GOOD GIRL! A signal perhaps of how comparably your father and I treat all three of you, but adorable nonetheless.
I have done a poor poor job of documenting the events of the past month. Between Momar and Doda selling the house, a wedding and vacation in Nashville, my big event at work, which included your daddy and my college 5 year reunion, I’ve been absent from writing and photographing and videoing your daily developments. But that of course has not stopped you from growing leaps and bounds on a minute to minute basis. Slow down, you.
Since I never wrote a follow up post to your 1st birthday festivities, here is a slideshow of that happy day where the people who love you most in this world gathered to celebrate you and your first year of life. It is put to the song that your mommy and daddy walked down the aisle to on our wedding day. Our dear friend Dave (of the ever-talented Darlingside) wrote the music and performed the song during the ceremony. For the song, I asked that he adapt Kahlil Gibran’s passage “On Children” from The Prophet. What he created fulfilled every wish I had for that moment when our parents stood by our sides and we joined hands and formed our own family.
Now that I am a parent those lyrics have new resonance, and I feel for you all those things my mommy and daddy felt for me that day, woven into that song.
“On Children” by David Senft
Adapted from the poem by Kahlil Gibran
Through you unto the world they come,
yet you undivided they are not from.
With you a while until they’ve grown,
your sons and daughters are life’s own.
To them your thoughts you cannot give,
so love unaffected the paths they live.
Be, as they flower, their trusted stem,
and you may strive to be like them.
The archer draws and bids them soar.
(He bids them swiftly fly)
He bends us back and sends them over the sky,
and with His bow He watches by.
Our love will be unwritten word,
proudly intended and softly heard,
held in our hearts by heavenly hand,
lifting us up that we may stand.
I wrote this post back when we first rescued Hanna, and I’m not sure why I never posted it. But I’ve been re-inspired to let it go live thanks to my friend’s observations of our urine-clean up skills this past weekend during reunion festivities. She stated the following:
I have to say that I’m particularly impressed with the urine-related aspects of your caregiving. I now feel totally confident that if I get too excited to see you and pee on your couch next time, that it will be handled with preternatural calmness and grace.
You see, when a couple friends came over to visit, Hanna peed on the couch because OH MY GOD, PEOPLE! NEW PEOPLE! NEW EXCITING DELICIOUS PEOPLE! I JUST CAN’T CONTROL… and then the pee… In response, James and I methodically went about our pee-pee clean up duties. No screams. No fuss. Because, HELLO!, welcome to our life! See below.
James and I are not what one would define as “morning” people. In fact, we are the polar opposite – as in, we are creatures of the night. Nocturnal beasts. Kindred spirits to the owl. Brethren to the bat.
You get my drift.
I would give anything to be someone who is all peppy and full of life and spunk and productivity at the crack ass of dawn. However, I get my burst of energy and creativity starting at around 11pm. TOTALLY conducive to a normal schedule of sleep.
Nope. Not in the least.
I envy folks I see all bushy-tailed and bedecked in athletic apparel before the stroke of noon.
And by envy, I sometimes will them to collapse from exhaustion just so they can, ya know, see how it feels to be one of *us*.
Prior to motherhood, my ideal schedule found me awake until 2-3am, and sleeping til 10am. 7-8 hours of sleep. Sadly, not a time frame that most employers deem acceptable.
Addison has shaken things up a bit. But I’ve mostly had to adjust my schedule because of this whole regularly-scheduled-employment-shtick I’ve undertaken.
You’re thinking, Um, Ashley, isn’t that like THE mark of parenthood, to be awoken in the wee hours of the morning by a little one?!
You see, I just don’t get those parents who are all, GOD, my kid has me up at 5am! And I’m all, Well, what time do you put them to bed? And they’re all, SIX O’CLOCK IN THE EVENING.
And I’m all, ARE YOU A FUCKING MORON!?
Um, DUH! Of course your child wakes up at the break of dawn when s/he goes to bed so freaking early.
No no no no no no NO! Addison goes to bed between 8-9pm, and sleeps until 8-9am the following day. So. Damn. Civilized. And a decent compromise for night crawlers like ourselves.
A puppy however, DIFFERENT STORY!
We cannot control a puppy in quite the same capacity, so we braced ourselves for the 5am wake up demands, and forced ourselves into bed at 10pm the other night.
5:30 am rolled around and Hanna began whining, which stirred Ursa who began pacing and smacking her lips for breakfast, because HEY! If the pup is awake, why not me? Which consequently woke Addison.
James and I threw ourselves out of bed to brace the day – I headed to the nursery while he herded the frantic black beasts. Addison was HOWLING because she was by no means ready to be awake. Her death scream was epic thanks to her cold, damp, bare-baby-bummies-in-the-breeze. While I fumbled in the dark to the sounds of a tortured, angry babe, Hanna flew into the nursery with James chasing behind. She was REFUSING to go out the door because James had bathed her in the back, and she felt about the hose the way Addison feels about sleeves.
They are the devil. Period.
So while James is scooping her up to carry her furry puppy bum outside, she pees. All. Over.
James is wailing, OH MY GOD, it’s in my face! MY MOUTH! UGHHHHHH! as he scampers out of the room, which causes me to loose hold of Addison who flips onto her belly and creates a flood all over the changing table so that we are now both saturated in urine.
As James and I each deal with our pee-pee prone little ones, Ursa sits regally by all, Idiots. I told you that you should have stopped at one.
One being HER.
That bitch may be on to something.
However, James and I love this shit more than anyone could possibly put to words. Urine and all.
Someone looks a bit crispy in the early morning like her parents.
I am proud of them beyond words.
I, of course, downloaded the EP the moment it became available and spent my evening listening to its melodies.
While I had heard each of the songs in various forms, I kept returning again and again to one particular track, “The Cat Bird Seat.”
I couldn’t understand why I so adamantly and desperately wanted to hear that song again and again.
Then I remembered.
The first time that Auyon and Dave played that tune for me was in the wake of Addison’s baby shower. The party had ended. James had flown home to Los Angeles. And there I sat, on my childhood porch, the firey, warm light of sunset on the harbor, cradling my seven-week old baby, while they played the strings of the violin and guitar.
They shared that particular song. A simple acoustic version accompanied by Dave’s voice. I danced across the porch, a new mother with her precious child, filled with so much joy I thought I might float off and over the ripples of the sea.
The peace and still of my family, seated in a circle on that porch, listening to that song, in our home.
I’ve been waiting for the grief to strike. For that moment when the flood of memory, and loss, and history, and good-bye would catch up to me and stop me in my tracks.
Tonight, the lightness I felt on that day was swapped with a weight that I cannot describe. A heaviness that has me frozen in front of this computer screen desperate for words to help share the burden.
I will never sit on that porch at sunset again.
I will never lie in my bedroom looking out at the ocean on a stormy day.
I will never run my hands down that dark wood banister.
I will never soak in that claw foot tub surrounded by bubbles and a good book.
I will never perch atop that hill on a summer’s day.
I will never nestle in front of that fire place with tea and festive company on a cold Christmas eve.
I will never feel those floors creek beneath my feet.
I could let this loss consume me.
But then I hear Addison giggling in the other room, and Hanna and Ursa tear into the bedroom and wrestle each other to the floor, and I am reminded of everything. Not of loss, but of substance. Of all the memories that have yet to be made. Of all the moments that have yet to be had. Of the people that defined that home that are here. And are the stuff of happiness. I am reminded that it is my family that make a home.
And now that song fills me with the weightlessness I need to move through the sadness.
Sunny understands that feeling of flying better than any with her new swing. We could all use a swing to help get us through right now.