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I am notoriously indecisive, and true to form, I could not decide which blog platform I liked better: WordPress or Blogspot, so I used both. I’ve been cross-posting to both blogs trying to decide which one I prefer. Well, I prefer WordPress, but I have a better following on Blogspot (and I bought my own URL that directs to that blog). So bookmark and continue following my musings and rants about motherhood over yonder.

And let me know what you think — is this blog platform better and should I make those pesky Blogspot followers join me over here instead? See, there I go again being ridiculously indecisive!


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Writer’s Block

I have writer’s block. It’s been a week since I blogged and I have a million things going through my head, but when I turn the computer on, I’m blank. One of my college professors told me to write something every day, even if it’s crap. Just write every day. But I’m having trouble even coming up with crap to write. You know it’s bad when you can’t even muster up some decent crap.

So forgive these lapses in blog posts. And forgive the overuse of the word “crap.” That’s about all I have in me these days.

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My Sunshine

My dad had special songs for each of us girls growing up. My eldest sister, Rachel, had “Love Me Tender,” which fits her quiet, thoughtful personality. The more rambunctious Rebecca had “Side by Side” (“ain’t got a barrel of money, maybe we’re ragged and funny, but we’re traveling along, singing our song, side by side…”). And I had “You Are My Sunshine.”

These are very special songs to each of us, as I’m sure we each have special memories associated with them. Dad loved to sing our songs to us and dance with his little girls balancing on the tops of his feet while he swayed around the living room. I have very few regrets in life, but one big one is that I procrastinated finding a good version of “You Are My Sunshine” to play at my wedding, so my poor dad and I had to dance to a horrible version from the soundtrack of “Brother, Where Art Thou?” I should have put more time into it and found the Ricky Nelson version that my dad and I both love so much.

Fast forward to this week, as I’m putting Emma to bed and dreading the idea of reading “Ernie Goes to the Potty” for the 80th time. The book was supposed to help Emma understand the concept of potty-training, but I’m still changing poopy diapers so it obviously didn’t work. I just couldn’t stand the idea of reading that book or any other from her collection. So I asked her if she’d like to sing a few songs before bed instead.

Well, hey! She loved that idea! Actually, she loved it so much that I ran out of songs to sing. One can only sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” so many times, and I forgot the words to “Lullabye.” So I borrowed my dad’s tunes and sang “Love Me Tender.” Ooh, she loved that one! She curled up in my arms and snuggled while I sang. Then I tried Rebecca’s special song, “Side by Side.” That one wasn’t as big a hit, probably because I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

Then we tried MY song. Maybe I put a little more “oomf” into it since it’s MY song. Maybe I sang with a little more feeling, maybe she just knew I wanted to get out of there and back to my glass of wine, but she started begging for “Sunshine” over and over again. The following night we made it through half a book before she asked to sing “Sunshine.” She flung herself onto my lap and rocked back and forth while I sang it to her. Each time I got to “… you make me happy when skies are gray…” she squealed HAP-PY! and rocked and bounced in my lap until I finished the song, then demanded that I sing it again.

How did she know? How did she know what a special song that is? Why did she connect with THAT song, of all songs? I’m going to go find the Ricky Nelson version of it so in 20 years she can dance to it with her Grandpa at her wedding, and I have a feeling she’ll know that she really is his sunshine, and my sunshine too.

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Mish-Mash of Anecdotes

Emma has been cracking us up lately. Here’s a snapshot of what she’s been up to:
One day I stood at the back door and yelled to Sean, who was outside. I yelled “Babe!” and Emma picked up on it. She now calls her dad “babe,” but only when she’s in her bossy mode, which makes me wonder if she uses me as a model for being bossy, therefore saying I’m bossy. Hmmmm? Anyway, she’ll yell, “Babe! Babe!” when she’s walking around the house looking for Sean.
Oh boy!
Ok, who taught Emma “oh boy!”? Saturday I told her we were going to Grandma’s house and she said, “Oh boy!” Ever since then, I’ve noticed her saying it whenever we’re doing something fun, so she obviously knows the context in which to say it. It’s very cute! I’ll try to get it on video.
When we were visiting Sean’s parents Saturday, his mom tried to get the dog, Patches, back in the house. Emma copied her word for word, even mimicking the inflection of her voice. When Sean’s mom put her hand on her hip, Emma looked over, studied the pose and then copied it, planting her little hand on her little hip and saying, “Come, Patches! Here, Patches!” Grandma took a small step forward, so Emma quickly adjusted her stance and put her foot forward, making sure she looked just like her grandma.
No more crying, Abbi!
Abbi was not happy on the drive to daycare this morning. I kept telling her it’s ok, we’re almost there, no more crying, Abbi. Emma copied me and kept telling her sister, “No more crying, Abbi!” When Abbi would stop crying and then start up again, Emma would look over at her, very nonchalant, and tell her, “no more crying, Abbi!”
She also likes to inform me when Abbi is crying. I love that she’s a helper, but it does NOT help to be in an enclosed car with a screaming baby and a toddler yelling: “Mommy, Abbi’s crying. MOMMY!!! Abbi’s crying!!!” Thank you, Emma, I was quite aware of that.

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He Hates Babies

My husband hates babies.

He informed me Saturday that he loves our children, but it’s just unfortunate that they have to start out as babies because he hates babies. They cry. They poop. They can’t be reasoned with (although I argue that sometimes 31-year-old men can’t be reasoned with either, ahem…). They can’t tell you what they want. They puke. There is no gratification for taking good care of them other than an occasional smile, which is usually followed by puke. They’re too easily hurt so you have to be careful with them. They’re no fun until they can talk and be tossed around a little.

You’ll hate babies soon too, he warned me last night. Once Abbi can roll over and crawl and is no longer easily confined to a bouncy seat, then I’ll hate babies too, he predicted.

I laughed and told him that Abbi will be rolling over soon and once that happens, she won’t be a baby much longer. She’ll be well on her way to crawling, then walking and becoming a toddler. He said I’m crazy and she’s not rolling over anytime soon, so I have plenty of time to realize that I hate babies too.

Ten minutes later as she lay in her crib watching the ceiling fan and sucking her thumb, she rolled over. I still love babies. My husband still hates babies. But she won’t be a baby much longer.

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Best Friends

This morning my 2-year-old daughter told me I’m her best friend. I know she has no clue what “best friend” means, and I probably wouldn’t make the cut if she did. But it still warmed my heart to hear her say it. But it also made me a little sad because I know that as her mother, my role is not to be her best friend. It’s a position in her life I can never hold. I certainly hope we’ll be very close mother and daugther, and very good friends, but I can’t be her best friend.

Best friends don’t impose curfews or have to say “no” or punish her when she has done something wrong. I won’t be the one by her side when she cuts class or (god forbid!) sips her first beer at a party. As her mom, I probably won’t let her go to parties so she’ll have to sneak out to sip that first beer.

I hope she’ll cry on my shoulder when her heart is broken, and that she’ll tell me all about the cute guy in her gym class that she thinks will ask her to prom. I hope she’ll come to me when she has a problem or when she needs help, no matter what it is. I hope she wants to spend time with me as much as I want to spend with her. I hope we’re as close as mother and daughter can get. But I can’t be her best friend.

So for now I’ll revel in that title that she unwittingly bestowed upon me until she knows what it means and takes it back.

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Un-Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a glorious day to honor mom and truly appreciate all she contributes to the family and to thank her for her hard word and undying love… yeah, right! In my house, it’s an excuse to NOT be a mom for a day.

On MY day, I don’t want to wake up at 6 a.m. to change a dirty diaper or turn on cartoons and make breakfast. Go ask your Dad for juice, because this mom isn’t moving from the pillow for at least two more hours.

What’s that? You’re hungry? Mom isn’t the only one who knows where the kitchen is. Daddy makes a killer PB&J, he can feed you. And tell him I’m ready for my breakfast in bed.

If Mother’s Day is about making Mom happy, then go play outside so I can enjoy the peace and quiet of an empty house for a few hours. No, I don’t want to play too. I play every day. This is my day off. And on my day off, I’m not washing dishes or doing laundry. You can appreciate just how hard I work by seeing what a disaster our house becomes when I stop working.

You need a bath? Good, Daddy is pretty grimy too, so you can both soak in grape-scented Sesame Street bubbles because I just lathered myself with vanilla body butter and I’m not about to waste it by immersing myself in a lukewarm bath that will soon be pee water (God, aren’t you potty-trained yet????).

Is it naptime already? I don’t care where you sleep, how long you sleep or if you sleep at all. On Mother’s Day, I’m not about to ruin my day arguing with a not-sleepy toddler who would rather be outside running around in the sunshine. I’m not prepared to do battle today, so naptime gets a day off too.

Don’t even get me started on poopy diapers! That’s Daddy’s job today. This is Mother’s Day and I get to pretend I don’t have responsibilities for a day. I don’t have to wipe noses or butts. I don’t have to clean the kitchen, mop the floor or yell at the dog. I don’t have to care how much TV you watch. I don’t have to do anything except be loved and appreciated… so appreciate this: I’m taking the day off!

Yeah, yeah, payback’s a bitch and Father’s Day is right around the corner, but I’ll worry about that later. For now I’m going to replenish my mimosa, sit in the shade and stuff earplugs in my ears because this is Mother’s Day and I’m pretending I’m not a mom for a day!

(editor’s note: I’m full of crap. I cleaned the house, washed mountains of laundry, changed diapers, gave Emma a bath, yelled at the dog, went grocery shopping and planned the next week’s worth of meals. And I loved it! Sure, I played the Mother’s Day trump card to get out of enforcing bedtime, but overall I spent the day being a mom, because that’s what I am.)

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