"So throw away those Lamentations,
We both know them all too well.
If there's a Book of Jubilations,
We'll have to write it for ourselves.."

-Josh Ritter

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And she's off...

A dear friend of mine once described to me the first time she looked at her son. This was before I had children and she was (and still is) the wise Mama in my eyes. She took one look at him and thought, "Oh. Now my heart is walking around outside my body."

I've thought of that many times throughout the last five years. When you watch this little person figuring out how to interact with the world and you can't shield her from the slings and arrows, it's hard not to feel each little hurt and fear and frustration. Of course, that also comes with a heaping portion of unadulterated joy. 

Joy and puppy feet.

Today, I can say that I've felt both. My heart, my darling, my daughter Nora Lee went to kindergarten. 
This is the moment my heart left me. I hope it didn't sit in gum. 
I can say that she was ready. She has been lucky to have lots of great teachers and friends who have been priming her for this for the last year. She knew all about the bus and the backpack and lunch and recess. She skipped through the day with ease, even with a couple of bumps in the road. I, on the other hand, cried all the way to Target. 

At least I still have my baby, right? My snuggly little bundle of good-smelling love?

This little stinker
Whoa. Wait a second. That....looks remarkably like a toddler. 24 pounds, 28 inches tall, a year old. She talks and signs and walks if you hold her hand. She has opinions and the vocal cords to prove it. She has eight teeth and more on the way. She likes to smash crackers into her soup (cancel the paternity test). She took a purple corduroy pony and a book to bed tonight. She chose today to quit nursing.

You know what? It's too much. If anyone needs me, I'll be in the basement working on my patent for growth stunting potion.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Cold Day in...

Hey, look who's gorgeous. That's right. Beautiful baby up in here. 
Now that I've got your attention, I'd like to say something serious. 

Orthopedic surgeons? They rock. Like totally make my whole day. And this is coming from the wife of someone who is perpetually bitter about the fact that everyone who takes one look at him thinks that he's an orthopod. You know, because all large, athletic doctors go into orthopedics. 

Those of you who have known me a while may remember that three years ago, I was in a wheelchair. Pelvis surgically broken in three places and all that jazz. After years of problems, I finally, definitively got my hip fixed. And that was good, but the recovery was so slow that I often questioned whether I would ever not feel like an old lady. 

Well, this was me yesterday. 
Not my most flattering photo

That's a 5K! Me! And while the weather made it appear that hell had frozen over, I made some calls and apparently, it was only Duluth. My goal was to run the whole way without stopping or walking. And I did. That felt pretty good. *

How did this happen? You might well ask, hypothetical reader. The true story is that it was slow and pain-staking and completely accidental. 

It all began when I destroyed our elliptical, which the surgeons had told me I wasn't even supposed to be using. I was trying really hard to work out post-beautiful-baby and was still somewhat...ahem...emotional and completely lost my tenuous grip on perspective when a chunk of exercise equipment went ricocheting off during my workout. Since my husband, like many men, fears his wife's eyes might gain super-horrible-powers if allowed to leak, resulted in Eric buying a treadmill for us. 

I was happily walking on the treadmill pretty much every day when a particularly excellent song came on (Josh Ritter "To The Dogs or Whoever") and it inspired me to run. For a solid three minutes. I laughed about it and went back to walking. 

Then, the next day, I ran three minutes. Twice. After a winter on the treadmill in the basement, I hit the road. 

Sure. I might grind down that hip faster this way. I might end up back in that wheelchair sooner than I anticipated. But in the meantime, I'm running. Every day, I'm stronger and faster and less painful.

And I think that rocks.

I cheered Mommy on! And got hot cocoa! Not necessarily in that order!

* For anyone who wants to know the gory details, my time was 31:37 (10:11 minutes/mile). I'm not blowing anyone's doors off, but I figured I'd save that for next time.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We're here!

Jeez. I've been derelict. I swear that it's not for lack of love for these little munchkins. It's more the desire to spend my time with them when I have it. And otherwise, spending it on illnesses, dead chickens, work stress and taxes.
I'll be back, someday. I swear I will.
In the meantime, allow me to document the current state of my children.
Nora, age 5, in Key West (looking older every day):
Ellie, age 7 months, in her laundry basket (looking sillier every day):

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy birthday, Nora

Nora has had a big week. Her 5 year old well child check was on Wednesday, with all the pre-kindergarten shots. She took them like a champ and tipped the scales with a fighting weight of 42 pounds at 43 inches. One clean bill of health later and she was on her way with three bandaids, two suckers and a handful of stickers.

Friday, her actual birthday, was celebrated with a date with Daddy to the hibachi restaurant in town (her choice) where she sampled swordfish for the first time (also her choice). By all accounts, a good time was had by all. I wouldn't know. Not wanting to be a third wheel, I stayed home and had leftovers and snuggled the heck out of a baby. This guy ain't complaining.

Here are the buddies right before they left.
And here is my little girl, looking more grown up than I'm really comfortable with.

She also opened presents from us and relatives near and far. Doll house furniture, books, games and art supplies have kept her occupied all weekend. She was overwhelmed with the awesomeness of it all!
On Sunday, her friends joined her at the Duluth Children's Museum for a super hero themed party. They made masks, ate pizza, cake and ice cream and chased each other around and around and around...Every one of them looked like they were going to need to be poured into bed that night. Glad to do my part.

This picture serves to reassure me that she still is my little girl....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Super Ellie

And is you've been wondering what the baby looks like these days....

Super Nora

Just hypothetically, if your child were still wearing her Halloween costume in January, would you gently encourage her to move on to another interest? Or would you take a bunch of pictures?

Hypothetically, of course.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Holiday Haze

Once again, the holidays have come and gone in a blur. It goes faster every year- and these years with little ones especially. I find myself too exhausted from the early Santa mornings and the late baby nights to write too much these days. Add in the fact that I'm back to work full time and the candle-space between the flames is getting ever shorter. Therefore, in lieu of smart words, I give you sweet photos.