Saturday, May 30, 2009

Three Kisses

I don't think I'll ever forget last night.

I had a fairly rough day at work yesterday. When 5 pm hit, I was out the door in a flash. Traffic coming home sucked and I'm pretty sure if there was a red light on my route anywhere I found it.

To top it off when I got home and unlocked the back door, our alarm system went off. Husband had set it and forgotten to turn it off. The siren on this freaking thing is L-O-U-D. Anytime it goes off, so does Ava. Wet, snotty, sob-filled crying. So instead of a happy little punkin, I got scared-out-of-her-mind baby. After spending five minutes trying to soothe her I finally had to resort to singing to calm her down.

After that the evening seemed to turn around. I fed her dinner, which for once she ate with out incident. By that I mean, no trying to slap the spoon from my hand, no blowing raspberries with a mouthful of food, no acting like a food volcano, letting food spew forth like molten lava. No, it went swimmingly. Ava even grabbed her water cup and was able to give her self a drink when she needed it. Awesome indeed.

But that's not why last night was so special. My baby girl is a sweet girl, almost always a happy girl. However, she's not a cuddly baby. Never has been. She only will allow cuddles when she's really, really sleepy. My mother in law says it's because we didn't rock her to sleep when she was a newborn. I find it hard to believe that has anything to do with it. But who knows. At any rate, she's not what you'd call super affectionate.

What makes last night so special is after her dinner, I was sitting on the living room floor with her while she was playing. All of a sudden she stopped what she was doing, crawled over to me and pulled her self up so that she was standing in front of me. Then she very carefully, very slowly and VERY deliberately gave me a kiss. And then another. And then another. Three kisses.

Bad day? Gone. Just like that. All because of three sweet kisses.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mommy Guilt

I have mommy guilt.

Guilt because I want time to myself, time off from being a mommy, but I look at that precious face and I can't walk away.

I leave her too much as it is. I work full time, and Monday to Thursday she stays with Grandma. Fridays my husband works from home and keeps her there.

Every morning I kiss that sweet face and walk away. Actually, I do it twice a day, once in the morning and again at lunchtime, which I spend with her. She's a happy girl, she loves being with Grandma. I know she's safe, well looked after and loved. But she's not with me. I feel like I leave a piece of me behind each time I walk out that door and go back to work. I crunch numbers and dream of a day that I can leave my job to take care of her. But I know the reality is that it takes both of us working to make it. So, I work.

That brings me back to my weekends. Two days off from my job. Two days I get to spend with my family. I should look forward to it, right? I should be excited about spending time with Ava. I am excited, but I also long for an afternoon, or morning to myself. No bottles or dishes to wash, no laundry to fold, toys to pick up, no meals to be made. An afternoon to go shopping, or have lunch, or go for a walk. Time alone without worrying that I've left Daddy alone too long with the baby, or that Grandpa & Nana have been with her for oh, 3 hours now and they're tearing their hair out.

I know I COULD have this time. My husband will be the first to point this out to me. But I can't make myself do it. I feel guilty. She sees me so little as it is, and I certainly don't see her enough.

In a couple of weeks she will spend the night with Grandma. My husband and I can go to a nice dinner, see a movie and have a night off from baby duty. We might even get to go out for breakfast the next morning. And I will enjoy it. BUT. It will be tinged with guilt.

I mean look at this face:

How could I not?

Do you suffer the same guilt? Tell me how you handle it? Daddies too!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I watched the premiere of Jon & Kate + 8 last night. I don't know what I expected to see, but whatever it was, it wasn't what I saw.

I've been a sporadic viewer of the show, never a faithful watcher, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that I've never cared for Kate very much. I thought she was self centered, controlling, mean spirited, and yes, a bitch. I used to think, poor Jon, how does he put up with her?

What I saw last night was a Kate that is human and vulnerable. A wife, a mom, who is watching her family crumble around her and has no clue how to put it back together. What I saw was Jon, who was there only in the physical sense. Emotionally he's "checked out".

What I saw, and realized for the first time, was myself. Why I dislike Kate so much, is because she reminds me all too much of myself. I don't have eight kids. I only have one, and at times, just caring for Ava is overwhelming and exhausting. I find myself snapping at my husband because I need his help and I don't know how to ask because I'm in over my head. Being a control freak makes it hard to let go and let someone else take the reins, even though a part of you is screaming to do that very thing.

For twenty years, I've had to be the responsible one, the one in charge. That happened the day my dad died and I was 16. My mom just couldn't handle things anymore and at that moment, I became the adult. My husband tells me all the time "lighten up". But it's hard when you feel like if you do, if for one second, you are not standing there with your guard up, watching for the next thing you will have to fix, the world will crumble around you.

Maybe that's how Kate feels. Maybe that's why she comes off the way she does. I don't know. The rest of us don't either. All we see are carefully selected bits of footage designed to create drama so we'll keep coming back to watch. The only two people who know how they got to where they are now are Jon and Kate. I hope for their sake, and the sake of those beautiful, sweet children they find a way to put it back together.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In The Beginning

I've toyed with the idea of blogging for a long time. I even created a food blog a couple years ago, but after about 3 posts, life intervened and it was pretty much abandoned.

But twenty-one months ago I found out I was going to be a mom. It was a Monday. It was September. I was alone, in my mother-in-law's house, taking a pregnancy test. The digital one, you know, the one that reads, in clear, easy to understand even for an idiot "PREGNANT". I stood there, waiting, not sure what I really wanted the answer to be. But sure enough, it flashed that life changing word at me. In that moment, as cliched as it sounds, my life changed. Turned completely upside down.

I'm a life long, self admitted control freak. Being pregnant meant I was going to have to let go of a lot of things. Pretty much everything, actually. I see you moms nodding your heads. Even our bodies are out of our control. It can be scary. I had no idea how much so, or how absolutely wonderful being a mom would be to my little girl, my little Ava, my precious Avacakes.

I also have a frightfully bad memory. So after kicking the idea around for so long, here I am. Blogging. Hoping to put some permanence on my journey into parenting. Something I can look back on in the future, and laugh, or cry, or roll my eyes.

So here we go, my journey in to being mommy to Avacakes. Hope you come along, and if you do, I hope you enjoy the ride.