Wednesday, February 5, 2014

He's six

Dear Conor, It's cold tonight, 27 degrees with a windchill that feels like 7 degrees. I just put you to bed and we had our usual snuggle and talk about your day. As it's the day before your birthday, I can't help but think of where I was this night six years ago. Time has dulled the memory a bit but I'm pretty sure it wasn't THIS cold. I remember going to bed the night before you were born and thinking to myself, wow, tonight is the night! I'm going to become a mom. And I did. But more importantly, so much more importantly, I became YOUR mom. And what a miracle that is. Out of all the moms in all the world, I was the one chosen to be yours. It seems somehow unfair to the other moms, you know? Luck, blessing, fate, whatever you call it, I feel really damn fortunate to have you as my boy. What what a BOY you have become. You're all tall (only 13 inches shorter than me!) with knobby knees, and long gangly arms and legs that you just can't seem to control. As often as not it seems like your wacky little boy limbs are moving as it not controlled by you. You certainly haven't grown into them yet and it seems like it's got to be years before your coordination will catch up with your incredible, unstoppable growth. Damn, child! You just keep growing! You're a bit of a phyisical marvel in that you're head and shoulders above most of your friends. Nearly everyone who sees you assumes you're about 8 and not about 6. And to be fair, that's a bit of a struggle. You look like an 8 year old but definitely behave like a 6 year old. Life for us lately is all about sports - football, baseball, soccer, tackling, running, jumping (falling, too). You NEVER stop moving. Just now, as I was putting you to bed, your body was flying out of control, all lanky limbs lashing out and you said to me, "Mom! I've got to get my wiggles out"! You seem to possess a neverending capacity for wiggling. There was a day not too long ago when I put my FitBit on your wrist. You love to watch Oregon Football and run around like a little tornado - a constant whirling dirvish of energy and momemtum. The FitBit was meant to record your steps, a quantifiable measure of just how much you move during your beloved football games. 4.75 miles. In one day. In a 10 by 10 area of carpet. In the space of one football game. Damn, child. It's no wonder you're skin and bones. Except for your little bubble butt. God, how I lvoe that little bubble butt! There are so many things I love about you, little man. So many. I love that you're smart - you're reading already and think the most fun thing is when I quiz you with "math stuff". I love that you're athletic. Your restless little body always in motion. Your lack of coordination brought on, I hope, by limbs growing faster than your bosy can keep up with. It could be that your lack of coordination is brought on by your blood relationship with me and your Nana who have a sort of innate ability to fall over. For your sake, I hope it's the former. But what do I love most about you, my sweet little stinker? Your compassion. Your natual ability to know when someone needs you to give a hug, a kiss, a "how was your day, mommy?". The way you sought out Elliott, the new boy at school who didn't know anyone. You're not afraid to hug and kiss or call me Mommy in front of your friends. Oh you're getting there, I can feel it, but you're not there yet and I am grateful every day for that small miracle. Because, for me, there is almost nothing better than the feeling of your long, bony arms wrapping around my neck and the way you say, "Mommy, I MISSED you today." God, how did I get so lucky? Conor, there have been days when I've felt like being a mom is just too much. Too hard, too much respomsibility, too much pressure, too high a chance of complete and utter failure. It's a big responsibility, this being a charge of a whole other human being. But every night, when I sneak into your room to kiss you goodnight and whisper I love you in your ear, I'm reminded how I wouldn't choose anything else. Of all the things I've done in my life, of all the things I have left to do, there is nothing, NOTHING, more wonderful, more profoundly satisfying than being your mama. You are my life, my little love, my happiness and my frustration. You are the best thing I've ever done. And so tonight, nearly six years after you were born it's time I say thank you. Thank you for making me a mom, thank you for making me your mom. Thank you. For being you. My perfect, giant, tiny, annoying, compassionate, perfect little man. I love you to the moon and around the stars and under the ocean and right back to your bed.

Monday, December 31, 2012


I say it every year but I love New Year's Eve.  Like, really, really love it.  I spend most of the year looking forward, accomplishing this task so I can move on to the next task and I rarely look back.  Frankly, who has the time?  But I get all nostalgic at year's end and I start reminiscing.

For me, this year has been consumed by two things, running and relationships.  In big ways, running has strengthened relationships with my two fellow runners, Niki and Billy.  We signed up for the Eugene Marathon next year and have spent the last few months of Sunday's trudging along the miles as we work towards twenty six point two.  There have been moments when I felt like an Olympian (who says there's no such thing as a runner's high?  I am clearly no Olympian!) and others when I felt quite certain I should quit, sit on the couch and get fat.  They come in equal measure so it always feels like a double accomplishment when I log in a good long run and don't die, puke, or faint.

I've felt conflicted this year about relationships that have taken a back seat and about others that have grown.  There's only so much time in life so where one relationship grows, another has to shrink.  Time, distance, changing interests, life just gets in the way.  I miss my friends but I am so blessed to have deepened relationships with others.

I still struggle with the same things I did last year, namely having enough time to do it all, and being ok with ME when I can't..  This may just be my issue, something I deal with on a daily basis.

As this year ends, in light of school shootings, mall shootings,  movie theater shootings, unimaginable gang rape, I can only wrap my arms around my babies, kiss their innocent little heads pray that they are spared exposure to the type of violence and evil that leaves me completely at a loss for words.  Because, really how DO you explain that to children?

But there's also been beauty this year.  A baby for my best friend, another on the way for another friend.  Watching my kids grow, play, fight, love.  Singing, dancing, running, writing (HA!  not much), lots of love.  2012, you've been a good year.  But I think 2013 is going to kick your ass.

Happy New Year, Friends.  Kiss your littles and each other!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Things that make me happy

1) hot weather. even without air conditioning, i love hot weather

2) the way finley says "tattoo". it is seriously the cutest thing you've ever heard. and you probably will hear it becuase she wants everyone to admire her tattoo. her brother picked out a skull and crossbones which may not be the MOST appropriate thing but whatever, she likes it.

3) the other day i happened to look at conor and thought the color of his eyes was changing. I grabbed his chin and looked into his eyes. in the most exasperated tone of voice he said "I know mommy, i'm cute".

4) this email that I got from a friend a couple months ago: "If I haven't already told you a million times I love hanging out with Conor. He was the sweetest boy yesterday. As soon as I got in the car he told me he liked my sweat shirt (jacket) and I looked really pretty. Not the only reason I love him but it scored points. Then we had a conversation about Mommy and her friends and Mommy's new car. Then, "I love my Mommy!" You just want to kiss him all over. He was really a good boy yesterday. Went potty at the 5 minute mark (1 minute) like Tara asked and was totally ok. I told him It was snack time and he said he didn't need a snack. Till he found out it meant cupcakes. " i keep it on my bulletin board at work and read it when my kids are exasperating me.

5) my new yellow shoes that i got for $15

6) my new orange shoes that i got for $15

7) my friend billy who is awesome and an inspiring mom

8) my job which is challenging and rewarding and makes me feel like i accomplishing something worthwhile daily. it's also paying for a new fence and hardwood floors which isn't so bad either.

9) a freshly made bed. i make mine every day and love getting into cool, crisp sheets

10) friends who text me funny things and make me laugh during the day.  you know who you are.

11) lists.  makes me feel productive

12) getting my hair cut.  its like im a whole new person.

13) the color turquoise

14) the smell of rain on pavement in the summertime

15) morgan


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Dear Finley,

 At just about this time, two years ago the nurses were tending to me and you were snuggled up against Daddy's chest in just your diaper. You were both so quiet, just looking at each other with these looks like "oh! it's you! I've been waiting to meet you." Two years later, I'll still find you snuggled on Daddy's chest as though those first few hours gave you a taste for the snuggle that you've never been able to let go of.

 You have blossomed from that little snuggle bunny into a fearless daredevil, and it's not uncommon for us to find you in the most precarious of positions. In fact, not too long ago, Daddy went looking for you after realizing you had been quiet for just a little too long. He found you on top of your dresser! Looking around he realized that you had pulled your kitchen over to your dresser, opened the doors, climbed the shelves and there you were, proudly conquering your own mountain.

You are are equal parts sugar and spice and piss and vinegar and everyone who meet you says, "Wow. That Finley. She's always up to something." And you are. And we love you for it. You have an attitude that widens our eyes and makes us shake our heads and Daddy and I point at each other and say, "she got THAT from you!"

 When your brother was your age I could number the words in his vocabulary, list out the letter sounds he could make, catalog the shapes he knew. With you, I just don't do that. You are a remarkable child and it's not measured in letters or numbers but in giggles and grins and sly looks when you're doing something you know you shouldn't be. We catalog your expressions which range from sheer joyous excitement to your thundercloud stare where your eyebrows lower and knit together and your nose scrunches up. Inevitably, two second later, you're back to smiling again. 

You're just so amazing to me! Such a handful and such a joy. Your blue eyes just light up when you see me and you come running to me on your chubby legs. "Mommy's here, Mommy's here," you yell and I crouch down and you jump into my arms, your soft little arms clutching around my neck. And its THE BEST part of my day. Every day.

 I love your independence and your "my DOO eet" attitude which makes everything take three times as long as it would if I just did it myself. Ok, it frustrates the heck out of me too, especially when we're running late in the morning (we're always running late in the morning) and I have to remind myself time and time again, that I want to nurture and foster your independent spirit, because with a will and a spirit like yours, you might one day rule the world. You'll certainly rule your own world. And I have NO IDEA where you might get that trait.

(Photo by Bethany Raelene Studio)
 You and Conor have recently started to really play together and while you tend toward more destructive types of play and Conor prefers more structured play it brings me such immense pleasure watching the two of you. You also fight like brother and sister and you frequently can be heard screaming, "no HEET me CAW-nuh!" Even if he hasn't actually hit you. There just aren't enough words to fully describe who you are and ALL you are.
You single handedly completed our family. You color on the walls with markers and kiss and pet the cat so gently. You smack Conor across the face for some imagined or real infraction and, in the blink of an eye say your catchphrase, "Ah La Loo (I love you)" with those baby blues sparkling like the stars might actually twinkle within them.

 I am so glad for you, for all you are, for all you're going to be. I am SO happy to be your mama and I hope you never, ever, EVER forget how much I love my sweet little piglet.

 Always your mama, always my baby girl.

 I love you.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Clover fields

We went on a drive this morning and made a photo stop along the way. Thank goodness for long weekends.

Monday, May 21, 2012


After being sick and home from daycare for a week, the kids were finally healthy again.  For a week.  And then Fin threw up.  In the car.  On the way to daycare.  This morning.  And I feel terrible not only because she was sick and now the car smells like throw up, but because I KNEW she was sick.  I knew I should be keeping her home but since I was home from work with the kids so much the last time they were sick, well, I simply prioritized work over Fin.  And I feel like an asshole.

But now that I'm home with her, I feel like an asshole for not being at work.  The common theme here being me feeling like an asshole and no matter what I do, I'm letting someone, somewhere down.  I know that no one thinks I'm an asshole but part of being a working mom is this desire to do it all.  To somehow be able to wrap my arms around everything and keep everything managed and controlled and wow.  I just.  Can't.  Do it.

So the kids are parked in front of the tv (Finley, of course, feels much better now that she's thrown up and is back to her usual mischievous self) and I'm scrambling trying to keep up with email.

And it's raining!  So today, frankly you can kiss my ass.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A good weekend

My 33rd birthday was on Friday and it was the best birthday in a long time. I felt so loved! My friends and family are truly amazing and made me feel so special!

Morgan and the kids and I spent the weekend at Aunt Nancy's cabin and had a wonderful time. The cabin has a special blend if relaxation and fun and it was the perfect way to decompress from a rather challenging month at work.

I got a birthday card from a friend at work and, while I don't need to go into the details, it reminded me of just how good I have it. Honestly, I could complain, but why would I? My life is awesome and beautiful and any challenges I have just highlight all the perfect things.

Seriously! Best birthday! 33 is going to be SO great!