Friday, July 30, 2010

Enjoying the Friday Things

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Blue skies and breezy palms that hang outside the windshield like a perfect snowglobe wonderland. Her arched back that stretches up from her toys in search of my voice. Fabulous heels with jeans...on a Friday...just because. A pool full of boys that scream and holler and laugh and push each other off the big tube that floats like an island from shallow to deep, deep to shallow. And the little tube just for me because my feet begged me to take them for a dip, and I obliged. A killer $5 clearance tee from Marshalls that's soft and hugs in all the right places. Afternoon baths with citrus ginger bubbles and my little companion who swaddles into soft terrycloth post suds like perfection. Hot orange peel tea, steeped for two and a half minutes, sipped slowly in the sun. The soft milky skin of pudgy feet. The deep stare of chameleon eyes that beg me to know more about her. Clearing the heap of clothes mess off the dresser to reveal rich wood and pretty treasures beneath...like winter's snow finally melting to unveil lush grass below. Witnessing a rare bottle feeding, sister style--rough and gentle at the same time. The magic of the little sprite sleeping. Maryjanes. And behold...the first time in a year...a hair cut. A real one--not the kindergarten Fiskars job I give myself every couple months. A babysitter and a quiet drive. A head massage and the half-asleep trance I fall into to the accompaniment of *snip*snip*snip*. And the best? Sleek glossy ends that fall softly against my shoulder. Ends that don't look like a cat chewed on them. Bliss, Baby.

(Ask for Nidia at Naples' L'Image. She's never let me down.)

And Lainey spent much of the day with Grandma Colleen today, so the bunny and I quietly sank into Lover's Land where time melts like cotton candy...time that is spent nursing and cooing and photographing her trillion expressions so that I don't forget a one. I watch her like a movie, drinking her in sip by sip. She is delicious.

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Peek-a-boo little almond eye.

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These funny faces send Lainey into fits of belly-shaking toddler laughter. "Baby 'ella so funny," she says.

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Dessert, I tell you. Spooning-the-last-drips-of-goodness-from-the-bottom-of-the-bowl delightful.

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Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wild and Precious Life

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Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver

I sit here rubbing my tired eyes, moving aside the half-filled coffee cups on my desk to make room for my elbows. Sophie's curled up and snoring beneath my chair and I can hear Captain Sig in the background whooping over a crab-stuffed pot (445 to be exact) from the Deadliest Catch rerun Brett is watching. And I'm attempting to arrange some sort of orderly thought structure on what it is I want to drop into the void here tonight, but there's so much.

I could write about how Lainey found a dusty pacifier hidden in a pile of junk under the bed tonight before bed, and how after she cried and begged, I came this freaking close to giving it to her. I could write about how Nella had a blood draw yesterday and that, after an hour of three different nurses probing needles into her searching for a vein and my poor bunny's gasps and cries, I was this freaking close to scooping her up and running like hell.

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But I faithfully come back to this wild and precious life thing.

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Because I am in the habit of asking myself what it is I want to do with this wild and precious life now every day. And sometimes the answer is as simple as making brownies and finishing a load of laundry. Or perhaps a very unpoetic go to Costco and peel the dried gum out of the car seat. But then again, the unpoetic answers are always balanced with the more beautiful ones.

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

I plan to have elaborate tea parties with my girl.

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With real sugar. And real cups. The good ones. Tipped back with a proper pinky-out, of course.

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I plan to drag pails and soap and hoses out to the yard so my girl can wash a little dog in the afternoon sun.

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And when the little dog jumps ship, runs and feriously shakes sprays of sudsy water, I will laugh with my girl...because this is very, very funny indeed.

I plan to meet up with friends at the pool and take turns zooming through water slide tunnels, screaming and laughing all the while.

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I plan to stop fretting about sunscreen reapplications and how hot it is and who's missing a nap and instead sit back and enjoy the moment...

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I plan to laugh at the sight of my girl walking with her friend and her friend's sweet cheeks.

I plan to head to the beach after the afternoon storm to watch my girls sink their pink toes into the white sands of our little heaven.

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I've spent many a days in church over my life. I know and respect many faiths. I've listened to people declare their beliefs, defend their beliefs, question their beliefs. And I've declared my own beliefs, defended my own beliefs, questioned my own beliefs. And over the years, my faith has ripened to something bigger. And my blog is not the place for its logistics. Except to say that if I had to sum up what I believe about God and faith and all of it, it might be in those very words...what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Because these moments?

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These moments make me feel closer to God than any church ever could. These moments make me feel like, for all the times I've tried to figure it out...for all the years I wanted to know what it was really all about and what's right and what's not, I got it now.

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We are all different. And we all have different beliefs and ways of life, but I feel the more I open myself up to learn from others, to drink in moments like this, to love my kids, to watch a sunset, to be grateful for all of it, to do something with my one wild and precious life...the more I know God.

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It's going to the beach, the woods, the park, the mountains, the store, the classroom, the office, a friend's house, your parents' house, your child's house, your own house...searching for the marrow of life, and sucking the bejesus out of it. It's the moment you held your arms out to welcome these flailing, crying tiny little creatures that fit deep into your grasp but even deeper into your heart. It's loving your kids with every fiber of your being.

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It's in accepting that we are unfinished projects and in loving the finishing challenges that lie ahead. It's in happiness.

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And that's it.

And while I didn't intend this post to go the inspirational route, let me close by saying I didn't really come this-freaking-close to giving Lainey that dusty pacifier. I let her have it. The fairies will do another swipe-through tomorrow.

...and thanks to Dig for introducing me to that Mary Oliver poem so long ago. xoxo

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

Bonnie was a total dud. And by Bonnie, I mean Tropical Storm Bonnie.

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She was nice, delivering only enough showers to keep me huddled up during naptime, scouring the Internet for the cool hypothetical luggage I will be taking on my cool, hypothetical vacation which, let me add, would be a two week stay at a lodge in the middle of the mountains in Colorado where every last member of my family would be present. And it would be snowing, and there would be stone fireplaces. And we'd skip skiing just to huddle together in some big common room where we would wear fuzzy slippers and be served hot chocolate. And babies would be passed and kids would be laughing and we'd drink buttered rum and stay up 'til God-awful hours of the night, trading stories, crying, laughing, rigging up some make-shift family version of karaoke where my sister and I would deliver interpretive dance moves to I Will Survive and my brother would chime in on the chorus, stealing our hairbrush mikes and finishing the chorus to applause and encores. And, mark my words, this will happen in the next five years and when it does, I will nearly hyperventilate with joy that cannot be contained. I'm just sayin'. In the meantime, I have a product review coming up for something I've always wanted. It has nothing to do with cabins in the woods but has everything to do with things that are fabulous and red and can be worn out dancing. So...yes, to come.

Back to Bonnie. While Brett yearns for some weather drama (he thinks power outages, lighting candles, huddling under blankets in the closet and battening down the hatches is fun), Bonnie gave us nothing but some uneventful rains.

Not that we didn't make an event out of it. A couple pairs of rainboots, some cool umbrellas and a few welcoming puddles and we were set.

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And, when all else fails, you whip your boots off and let the cold splash of dirty rain pools cool your bare feet. And you dance and you kick and you teach your kid Singin' in the Rain. Because that's what you're supposed to do when it rains.

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It's been awhile since I've bought something for our house. And I enjoy feathering my nest--even if it's something as simple as new dish towels or scented tea lights. Which is why I was very happy indeed to switch out some store-bought art above my tub for real art...a picture of my girls all sudsy and smiling. I love it. So now, when I tip my head back all cock-eyed to rinse my shampoo, I'll have something far better than painted palm trees to look up at.

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Huge news in the house this week: the goo-goos are gone. Pacifiers, that is. And yeah, they should have been out of here a long time ago, but we're just not those parents. The ones that do everything when they're supposed to. We talked about it a lot--when we would do it, how we would it it, and how exactly our girl would respond because they've been a part of her for so long. She loves them.

So, this week we colored and stickered and painted up a package for the Goo-goo Fairies. We collected every last pacifier we could find in the house and packed them up. Walked them down to the mailbox and closed the door. "The fairies will take your goo-goos to all the babies who need them tonight...and in their place, they will leave you with presents," we told her. "Lots of little presents for you to keep because you're a very big girl now."

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And it was a long night, that first one. She had tears the size of raisins that fell hot and hard on her cheeks as she fell asleep. And the worst part? She buried her head into her pillow at one point and lost it. "Please tell the fair-wies to save just one." At that point, I had tears too. And I realized I was probably more broken-hearted than she was. And, while it's been five days now with no goo-goos and she is moving on, Brett and I have realized it's we that are having a harder time. It was her last bit of babyhood. A silly little thing, yes, but monumental at the same time. She's big now. And there's a few shreds of glitter from the fairy dust pile those pixies left to prove it.

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Nella's obsessed with this twirly toy. She spins it like the Price is Right wheel and does this little cough-giggle every time it lands on the bird and goes Caw! Caw!

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And she loves Cash & Rocco and they love her. I like the way Cash is holding her leg like, "Don't worry...I gotcha, Babe."

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They like to lie on the big blanket in the playroom and have a stare down. Rocco's always out first because he can't not smile.

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And Lainey is the best little feeder in town. She's gentle and patient and scrapes green pea residue off Nella's chin like a pro.

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And finally...today. Sweet today. I've been going a lot it seems lately and I've been craving settling down a bit. My girls needed some good one-on-one time. And I needed one-on-them time. So, to the bookstore we went. Lying across the carpet with a sprawl of books in front of us and we lie there, thumbing through Fox in Socks and Three Little Pigs.

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Lainey makes up words to her own stories now, and I love it.

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And there's more...but the dress-up trunk has just been opened. And I'm being beckoned.

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Tutus and click-click shoes await.



Happy Week.