Category Archives: Motherhood

Where’s My Happy Hour

It’s 7 AM Friday.

I was up five times last night with 2.0. He’s teething, runny nose and screaming included, and I collectively slept about four hours last night. CLP woke up with him around 7 this morning, and I woke up to the baby dropping my phone on my face, effectively giving me a fat lip. They left the bedroom so I could wake up in peace, and when I went to our bathroom, discovered that the cats had knocked over cans of food into the litter box, scattered litter across the floor, and somehow covered themselves in their own poop.

It’s 8 AM Friday.

Captain Laser Pants tells me he wanted to wake up earlier to work out, but felt groggy at 7. I remind him he went to sleep at 9. He changes the subject and asks me why I was looking at jobs on LinkedIn last night. I tell him I’m bored and tired of being boring. He reminds me we live too far out in the country to find childcare and that we can’t both commute. For once he doesn’t talk about the financial aspect of me going back to work.

He travels regularly now. This month has only had two trips, thankfully, but the past several months have had 2-4. The hotel he stayed in while in DC was gorgeous, from what I was told. And in September he has a week long trip to California complete with bikini- clad trade show babes and borderline exotic dancers on stage during presentations. Of course I’m unhappy about this trip, largely because I don’t want to be alone with our children and pets in our house for seven days. But as much as he says he hates to travel, and I believe him, it’s not as though he’s going to the armpit of Arkansas and staying in a Motel 6.

It’s 9 AM Friday.

Tonight he has a happy hour for his office at some hip bar close to their building. He doesn’t drink, but the social aspect is important, so he’s going. He looked nice in his blue polo when he said goodbye to me, freshly changed from a skimpy nursing tank and short shorts into lounge clothes. At least I had managed to brush my hair. Mini Gwinn loudly proclaimed he had to pee, 2.0 had just run into a corner, and the cats were on the table as he walked out the door.

And at this moment I asked myself: where is my happy hour? Where is the designated celebratory hour in which I can unwind, watch coworkers drink too much and get handsy with each other, and congratulate myself on a hard worked week?

I’m a stay at home mom. There is no celebration, no break, no promotion, no bonus. There is no glamorous trade show in a beautiful city, there is no male equivalent to a bikini model flirting with me, there is no end of the work day. And there’s no sympathy. One end of the spectrum thinks I’m lazy and stupid, and I’m in my place, and the other end of the spectrum believes I’m living the American dream. But I’m not lazy or stupid, and I don’t feel like I’m living my American dream. One person’s idea of the ideal doesn’t always translate to others.

It’s 10 AM Friday.

Mini Gwinn is taking pictures on his Kindle and turning them into coloring pages. I’ve just changed my 500th poop diaper while 2.0 is standing (yes, he stands for diaper changes. And tries to knock over pictures during the process). He’s going down for a nap now. The dogs are chasing the scent of the cats through the house. While I do my matronly duty and nurse the baby for his nap, I’m mulling over what it is I want to do, career- wise, life- wise. The petty part of me wants CLP to feel the same way I do when he goes on a trip. I want him to know how lonely and isolated I feel. Maybe some of the jealousy that stirs when someone of the opposite sex gets my conversation, my charm and intellect, and waking hours for a change will resonate with him, put him in my shoes. But the not petty part of me wants fulfillment and gratitude for my incessant, tireless efforts. And this poor dead horse is beaten again and again, because my needs still aren’t being met, despite my requests. How many times do I have to say “I don’t feel valued” before something changes?

And I can see the eye rolls through the screens and monitors. “Motherhood is fulfilling, there is gratitude in doing the most important job” blah blah blah. For the record, I believe that it is my most important job to raise my children properly, but I don’t believe it is the most important job worldwide. It’s not nuclear physics. Plenty of stupid people procreate; it’s not the “hardest job in the world”. It just has the longest hours and the worst pay imaginable. I love my boys endlessly. But I don’t believe I am cut out to continue down this path of housekeeper and short order cook for much longer. My brain is bored. And I am boring. And I’m done with both.


Like Weeds

On Wednesday, 2.0 will be five months old. He’s been wearing 9 months clothing for a couple weeks now.
Mini Gwinn has gone from a size 7 shoe to a size 9 over the course of the summer. He started the season in 2T, and now 4T shirts are fitting beautifully.

My kids are growing like weeds.

Earlier this week we were at Home Depot, Mini Gwinn’s favorite store (he loves all the door knobs and the race car carts), and I saw a gorgeous plank of Poplar on which I imagined a rustic growth chart for the boys. I envisioned the plank, colored with age, marked with different heights and dates over years. In an instant I could see the marks over my own head, and my heart sighed. One day, my children will be too tall for me to sweep into my arms. One day, they will be too embarrassed by the flurry of kisses all over their faces. One day I will be nostalgic for this day.

It was a silly, errant thought to have in the middle of the lumber department of the store. As we were perusing the types of wood we would like to use for our privacy fence, my mind was wandering through the future of the home where we will raise our boys. The pitter patter of their bare foot steps will be replaced by stomps weighted with size and age.  In this time of our lives, when we are looking at our (hopefully!) new home and planning for the immediate future, my mom brain was focused on something far down the line. I was pulled back into the present as Mini Gwinn’s voice echoed through the warehouse, and I watched his long, lean legs carry him down the aisle as my husband chased him.

image


Nothing Important

Love ’em or leave ’em, the guys on Duck Dynasty have some funny things to say. Captain Laser Pants and I have many belly laughs while watching the show. One quote I heard from Phil, the patriarch, though, stuck with me. I can’t find it verbatim (if you search his name and ‘quote’, you mostly get results from the GQ hit piece written up on him. Don’t think it’s a hit piece? Did you read it? I digress.), but it was something to the extent of: women leave their families, change their name to yours, have your children, raise your children, keep your house […] go easy on them.

If I had heard that five years ago, I would have wondered if women had any say in their marriages at all.

Now? I get it.

I love my husband. I love my precious, sometimes wild, son. I love the little nugget growing inside my body, despite how crappy I feel. while growing him. I love that my husband’s career affords us the luxury for me to stay home to raise our boys.

But.

Of course there’s a ‘but’. I miss having financial independence. I miss silence. I miss the distinct satisfaction of having an entirely spotless home. I miss feeling like I had some contributing value to society, whether it be through my efforts in my career, volunteer work, or just having something thoughtful to say in an adult conversation.

I miss adult conversation. I miss being heard. A two year old boy and the three dogs that usually surround him do not hear me, let alone listen to me. I miss having something clever to say that wasn’t about someone eating crayons or ingesting Vick’s vapor rub or how many surfaces can be covered in poop in less than thirty seconds. I miss my husband hearing me as an intelligent resource for witty repartee or insightful wisdom and not just a source for where more wipes are located. I miss being heard.

When I was studying in college, I thought I would have my master’s in Library Science by now. I thought I’d be flourishing in my specialty of children’s literature. I thought I’d be certified to be an American Sign Language interpreter and working with deaf children. I thought I’d be pursuing my passions and utilizing my set of talents. I thought I’d see the faces of children that were learning and my thanks for my work would be on those little cheeks.

Marriage was hardly on the radar, children weren’t even on the screen.

Although I understood the existential insignificance of my life (what I do or want to do won’t ever impact the way the world turns or thinks), I never thought I’d live day to day with it blaring in my face.

I cook and I clean and I sweep and I mop and I do dishes and I clean crap off the soles of shoes and I cut hair and I feed dogs and I pick up endless toys while my body aches and I’m so tired and no one says “thank you”.

No one ever tells you what a hard job motherhood truly is. Society tells us over and over again that women who stay home to raise children are lazy or stupid and selfish for not contributing to the financial gain of the house. But they’re so, so wrong. It’s not bio-engineering, but my job is hard. And there aren’t seasonal reviews or cost of living raises at the end of each year. And there aren’t “thank yous”.

I love my family. But I would also love to be thanked once in a while.

To those outside these four walls, and even to those inside them, what I do looks like nothing important. If the laundry isn’t done, America doesn’t go to war. But I’ve put aside my old hopes and dreams to pursue the career of taking care of a family. My family.

And I wonder how that stacks up against those great, influential men and women who gave up everything to pursue their dreams.

Is theirs a bigger sacrifice? I suppose it’s all relative.


Dear Psycho Mom, or “Why Your Husband and Child Hate You”

Today, despite my loathing of the August heat in Georgia, we went to the park to see some very missed friends. Mini Gwinn and the other little ones were getting their sweat on while we moms were chatting away, catching up on the past few weeks. While we were there, another group of mom friends arrived, all with similarly aged children. When a high strung mom in neon arrived and immediately began shouting her daughter’s name (let’s call her “Stella Cate”, because she insisted on calling her child her full name), I considered leaving the park altogether, but missed my gal pals enough to stay, and just relocate to a different part of the playground for a while. Once “Stella Cate’s” mom’s friends arrived, though, the situation escalated quickly.

This poor little girl, who I later discovered was just a month younger than mini Gwinn, was (literally) being yelled at for every turn that her mother didn’t find approving. At one point, she touched a little boy’s face, at which point her mother screamed her name three or four times before making it to her daughter to whisk her away and reprimand her sharply for gently exploring. “Stella Cate, DON’T TOUCH THAT”, “STELLA CATE DON’T TOUCH THAT LITTLE BOY,” “STELLA CATE DON’T BREATHE!” It didn’t help that this mom had an unfortunately grating voice. If she was my mom, I would run away too, Stella Cate.

I digress.

So from behind my sunglasses I watched Stella Cate, and the other little ones (all around ~2 years old, give or take a couple months),  play the way normal toddlers play. There was no pushing, no shouting, just the normal toddling towards interesting things and around other toddlers, with minimal interpersonal interaction between them. She was a pretty quiet little thing, and was just doing what toddlers do: explore.

Let me pseudo- tangent for a minute, ya’ll. While pregnant, many moms do lots of research and reading about the upcoming delivery of a human, some delve into the first few months with a baby, and the bold read about the first year of a child’s life before they actually have one in their arms. I won’t lie, I read several (over 10) books about all of the above mentioned, but when it came to life after  the first six months or so, I wasn’t really worried. Instinct kicks in, and I’ve been around children in both a “learning” environment (teaching) and a natural environment (home life). No one parents identically, and I’m no expert on other children, but I’ve got my grasp on my parenting style, and I try not to judge others. My axiom with moms now is, “Unless she’s feeding her kids glass, she has her own way of doing things.” But, interwebs, this woman obviously knows precious little about toddlers, and if I ever see her again, we are promptly leaving.

Why so harsh, mombie? Lemme tell you. As long as psycho mom didn’t interfere with mini Gwinn and myself, she wasn’t feeding her kid glass (well, not physically. She’s just screwing her daughter up for the future, whatevs.), “not my monkeys, not my circus,” right? Until her daughter gently touched my son’s face, which mini Gwinn was totally cool with. I was totally cool with it too, until the neon whale came swooping down like a vulture onto dying prey. She screamed at her daughter, who by this time in her life is obviously used to the screaming, but she screamed in the same direction, very close to, my nearly angelic child’s face, which made him BAWL. For the record, my kid doesn’t really cry about anything. So I said to her, as she’s freaking out, “Your reaction and yelling scared him, he was fine with Stella Cate touching his face. Really.” So she began to defend her totally psycho reaction by saying, “I have to nip this in the bud now.” I wanted to say, “DEAR GOD DON’T LET HER EXPLORE!! CORRECT HER IMMEDIATELY!” But I instead asked how old she was then calmly explained that toddlers explore through sensory play, including touching one another. If you’d like to further your own education, interwebs, look it up on your own. You’ll find documents from universities, educational websites, early childhood development professional websites, ETC. My point: kids explore through touch. And I looked at that poor little girl, who had an expression of confusion on her face, and I felt bad for her. And I wanted to punch the mom.

You see, psycho mom, this is why your husband and child hate you. Too harsh, interwebs? If I had to be married to her, I’d leave her .And her daughter is going to (at the very least) go wild when she goes to college because her every move won’t be controlled by someone who yells as her “go to” method of parenting. I realize that this post is horrendously judgmental, but when someone makes my child cry because of simply screaming, they’re lucky I don’t go full Sarah Connor on them, particularly this woman. And when I see a toddler, with no reasonable amount of logic or self control, do what she is supposed to do naturally to grow mentally, I am reaffirmed that some people shouldn’t have kids.

This woman probably adopted a small dog nine years ago and abandoned it because she refused to learn anything about dogs, put it in her purse, and then threw it across a room when it peed in her Coach bag.

My point? Learn about that incredible human being you are raising before you verbally destroy her. Also, stop being a crappy human being. AND don’t shove yourself into workout clothes if you have no intention of actually working out.

I’m gonna go eat a sandwich. Maybe do some deep breathing exercises. Clearly I haven’t calmed down.

Happy (or aggressive) Friday!


New Hairs

image

Ok I have been off the interwebs for a month, no comments or posts in forevs. Forgive me, bloggers. Mini Gwinn had two double ear infections in four weeks, and I have been wrapped up in him. More to come soon, but here are my new hairs.
Miss all ya’ll! Especially bff, Anka, and Jane. And Dr. Mom. And so many more!


Shopping Cart Thief

Once upon a time, my grocery list used to be written out by aisle, marked with symbols indicating whether the item had store coupons, manufacturer coupons, or both, estimated cost with or without coupons, and an estimated total of the grocery bill.

Now, I walk away from my grocery cart, distracted by something I’ve forgotten to write on my list, and steal someone else’s cart that may or may not have similar items my cart held.

I’m a shopping cart thief. I confess.

Sometimes I don’t notice I’ve thieved a different cart until I’ve gotten home and I’m unloading the groceries. “Honeycrisp apples?” I say out loud. “We don’t buy those. They’re expensive.” Empty more bags. “Where are the bananas?”

Crap. I’ve done it again.

When I messaged Captain Laser Pants that I cart swapped (again), he asked me if I had come home with the right baby. The good news is that mini Gwinn wasn’t with me (he was at MMO), so I hadn’t made off with the wrong child. What happened to me? Where has my brain gone? He commented that I didn’t even have our child to distract me this time.  I told husband that the bliss of grocery shopping sans- grabby toddler must have put me in a fog as I wandered through the aisles of Target, perusing the clearance clothing with a cup of Starbucks in hand. He laughed.

During the purgatory known as “pregnancy,” I heard a report on the radio about a pregnant woman’s brain actually shrinking. I don’t remember if the research said anything about a woman’s brain returning to normal size postpartum (I was pregnant, I don’t remember what was said, my brain was small), but it made me question one’s ability to parent on all cylinders. There are some moms that are hopelessly put together. I see them every Friday morning when I drop off mini Gwinn at MMO. Matching sweater set, perfectly pressed khaki shorts, pearls, lady- like sandals, hair and makeup finished and applied beautifully- all before 9 AM. Their daughters, because they always have daughters, are wearing white linen ruffled dresses with pink hair bows and not a spec of dirt on them. Then I walk in wearing clothes only suited for the gym, glasses on and hair up in a messy bun, tucked under a hat. Mini Gwinn probably has a smear of raspberry on his cheek, a milk spot on his shirt, and he’s shaking his head “no” at me as I tell him to hold my hand. Then he shoves my hand off his and runs, his own little fingers grabbing his recently poorly chopped hair. Maybe their brains were super sized to begin with, maybe they’re just really better at organization and appearance than I am, but I can’t help but feeling second rate when I see these moms with their perfect children.  Don’t get me wrong- mini Gwinn is spirited, and active, but he’s in no way behaviorally challenged. He’s mostly a delight (mostly). Yesterday, as he was kicking and crying in the car from exhaustion, I was trying to soothe him just three blocks from our house. Instead of stopping my car for a full three seconds at a stop sign in a residential area, I only stopped for one or two. I was immediately pulled over by a policeman who could plainly see I was having a bad day. MG had calmed down in the backseat momentarily, but his cheeks were tear stained and red. I was let off with a warning (he told me I didn’t stop long enough, which made me laugh), and as we pulled away into our neighborhood, mini Gwinn lost it and started sobbing again. I’m willing to bet these sweater set- pearl wearing moms in their Infiniti SUVs have never been pulled over in a residential area for not stopping long enough at a stop sign because they were so distracted by their child’s crying in the back seat.

But I guess we all have our own paths, and we are given what we can handle. As a light at the end of the day, my little guy showed me where his nose, ears, eyes and tummy are. He said “I just want to go over there” as we took our afternoon walk. He let me hold his hand. And, even though I may absentmindedly steal other people’s carts at Target, and I wear gym clothes while others are in Ralph Lauren sweater sets, and I get pulled over for driving under the influence of tears, I don’t believe any of these things make me a bad mom. We have a lot of laughter, a lot of love, and when we look back on this time in our lives, it won’t be these little things we remember, it will be the giggles and the tickles and the love.

check out his awesomely bad haircut.

check out his awesomely bad haircut.


My Mom’s Gonna Hate This One (Or: Moderately Revealing Post- Baby Weight Loss Progress)

Ok gang. I’ve been off the grid (again) due to a really busy month, a cold, and a certain little person growing five teeth (including two molars) at once.

I’ve been semi- obsessed with weight lifting lately. Until I really started digging around, it felt like my options for a weight lifting routine were really lame (like Prevention Fitness magazine “lift these two 3 lb. weights for sculpted arms in a week!”) or steroid- using dudes looking to max their pump. Either one extreme or the other can work for some, but not for me. So I talked to some trainers, looked around the intwebs, and decided what I was doing was working, I just needed to do more. So, here’s what I’ve been doing at the gym lately and here are some progress pictures.

Warm Up: 1 minute walking on incline on treadmill, 4-5 minutes running an 8.22 minute mile OR walking on the stair mill for 4-5 minutes at ~80-100 stairs a minute
Pull Ups (4 sets of 4)
Farmer’s Carries (45- 50 lbs. each hand)
Standing Weighted Penguin Taps (45-50 lbs each hand, 2 sets of 20)
Leaning Lateral Raises ( 15-20 lbs, 4 sets of 6)
Bench Press (so far I’m up to 20 lbs. plus the additional 40 of the bar [I’m new to bench press!], 3 sets of 8)
Running on treadmill for 1.5 minutes at 10.00 minute mile
Balance Squats on Bosu Ball (3 sets of 10 with 15 lb. free weight)
Crunch Machine (45 kg, 3 sets of 10)
Suspended High Knees (holding yourself up on dips bars and bringing your knees to your chest alternately, 4 sets of 20)
Running on treadmill for 1.5 minutes at 8.22 minute mile
Leg Lifts (leaning on giant workout ball, each side, 2 sets of 20)
Some Move with the Stability Ball Between Your Ankles/ Leg Raises (lay flat on your back, raise the ball up and down 10 times, rest, do it again. It’s really, really hard)
Basket Twists with 25. lb free weight (2 sets 20)
Push Ups/ Modified Push Ups/ Army Style Push Ups (24 total, varying positions) – no girly push ups!
Cool down: Walking 3 minutes on treadmill, stretching

I have to admit that my thighs are still my problem area, mostly due to a really unpleasant pinched nerve issue from pregnancy that keeps me from running races and doing much inner thigh work. If you have advice on this, bring it! I need help in that area big time.

5 weeks post- delivery

5 weeks post- delivery

5 months post- delivery

5 months post- delivery

10 months post- delivery

10 months post- delivery

16 months post- delivery

16 months post- delivery

In other news, what the heck, Spring? What happened to 72 degrees and sunny?

Also, this guy:

He models for Janie and Jack. Not really.

He models for Janie and Jack. Not really.

My sister’s mother in law is an awesome photographer, and she captured a rare moment of mini Gwinn being still and pensive.

So, also in other news, six of my girlfriends are currently pregnant. Dare I say I’m feeling a twinge (TINY) of jealousy while still being excited for them?

Do you have workouts you love? Are you as bummed about Spring being bi-polar as I am?


Little Things

Mini Gwinn has been 16 months old for a few days now. I marvel at how quickly he has grown and changed and how much he understands now. I’m going to update you on some new things, whether you like it or not, so sit tight. For instance, he:

-knows where his tongue and his nose are. This is quite cute when you ask him.
-knows what “water” is in his bathtub. He will happily demonstrate this knowledge by splashing ecstatically.
-runs. Falls. Looks at me. Smiles. Repeat.
-knows the dogs’ names. Says “beans” in reference to Jovee, who is known as “Jovee Beans”.
-leans in for kisses, especially for dogs, CLP and myself. Talk about heart melting, people.
-said “no way!” and shook his head vigorously as I offered him bread. That’s right, my kid is Paeleo, people. He won’t eat noodles or bread. I’ve tried quinoa noodles with no success, bread with some honey and butter, sandwiches- nada.
-goes down the slide solo. Like climbs to the top of the jungle gym at the park, and sends himself backwards down the slide.
-goes up AND down our terrifying staircase. He’s been going up for months, but he has now mastered the art of the descent.
-says “need help” when he wants assistance. This isn’t consistent yet, but he does say it.
-throws the ball for Jovee. Plays tug of war with her. Thank God she’s so gentle with him.
-really, really enjoys repeating “l” sounds, especially “bl” together, which from what I’ve observed, are usually pretty difficult for many children until the age 3-4 (that’s not the case for all, of course, but more of a blanket statement after spending time with many children)

He does this a lot.

He does this a lot.

Can he identify colors? Does he know where his tummy, eyes, toes and fingers are? Nope. But he does say some funny stuff and he amazes me every day with all the little things he’s learning. He doesn’t let me cuddle with him, but he is so much fun. He’s getting more into cars now, which is awesome for his parents (we really like cars). He has a sense of humor. He is quiet for long stretches of time, steeped into his own world of thought and discovery, then he pops his head up, says something of deep, profound meaning, “GAH BAH DWEEEB BLEETHEL! Bleethel bleethel bleethel.” and then he falls back into silence (I still don’t know what “bleethel” means but he loves to say it). In my whole life I never thought I would find such joy in watching someone so small discover life.

All smiles on the swings!

All smiles on the swings!

These past few months have been particularly difficult with crests and falls that would make lesser couples crumble. There have been times, even today, when I feel like I am at my weakest, and those exquisite, striking blue eyes look up at me and I feel like I can keep going for a little longer. Coffee helps too. But my son, in all the struggle of life (even with him, sometimes), reminds me that there are better days ahead.

He had to stop driving to tell me something important.

He had to stop driving to tell me something important.


BEST WEEK EVARRRRRR

GUYS. This week is freaking awesome, and it’s Tuesday. I would let you guess, but I’m fresh from a work out and amped up on a protein shake (and a mini kit kat), so I’m just going to tell you.

1. Today my brother and his beautiful wife are welcoming their second baby girl into the world. If you don’t like kids, please stop reading my blog. Kids are awesome, and I’m pretty excited that we’re adding grandchild #12 to the ranks.
2. Valentine’s Day is this week. I could care less about the commercialized holiday itself, but I am fond of pretty flowers and fancy chocolates and telling the world how much I love my husband. It’s also a fun day to give little homemade Valentines and gifts to friends and loved ones.
3.Mini Gwinn is full on walking, talking, and growing more adorable every day. Proof:

Driving daddy's Jeep

Driving daddy’s Jeep

No joke, he LIKES wearing his sunglasses. And driving Captain Laser Pants’ Wrangler. And he doesn’t have any problem shifting the gears (well, he can’t reach the clutch, but don’t tell HIM that). Even when he’s making this face (because I make him climb on the couch without my assistance and he yells at me):

"Help me up, vile woman!"

“Help me up, vile woman!”

He’s still adorable. And sometimes he’s placid and content, like when we’re driving around in my awesome car:

IMG_20130211_152950

Ignoring the fact that “American Tail” is on for his viewing pleasure.

Wait, what?!
4. Captain Laser Pants FIXED MY FREAKING JEEP! That’s right, interwebs, MY HUSBAND THE IT SOFTWARE DEVELOPER REPLACED A REDONK COMPLICATED ENGINE IN MY CAR. He, with muscle and brawn and steel and brains, replaced my engine and a hundred other parts (like the water pump, the intake manifold, the sensors) and brought my beautiful Grand Cherokee back to liiiiiiiiiiiife. Who has six thumbs and is super stoked about this? Team freaking Gwinn, that’s who.

We are planning a baby Valentine’s Party. Because there isn’t anything cuter than that. What are you doing for Hallmark Day, interwebs?


Never Again

Last night, in the middle of our bed time ritual, mini Gwinn’s face nuzzled against my neck just seconds before I put him in his crib for the night. The monumental realization hit me: he will never be this small again (not that 27 lbs. is small for a 14 month old). We will never have this night again.

I think all parents, particularly moms, have this epiphany at some point. It may spur the “let’s try for 2.0!” thought in some, maybe bittersweet thankfulness for going through the last round in others.

This past Sunday I shattered my phone (so for those that haven’t gotten text message responses or called with no answer, you now know why), and without the assistance of Facebook, have almost effectively been cut off from society completely. This has given me even more opportunity to immerse myself in the every moment of my little Fox. If anything, from last night’s realization, I took away the message to invest in his moments. The big stuff, like walking on his own, is obviously grabbing my attention. But his precious peals of laughter? The crazy phrases he says when I’m only half- listening (two days ago he said, “Ok guys!” what the heck, kid?!)? I don’t want to miss any of him. This is the last day he will be this age, this small, and at this point of development. And, I have to tell you, interwebs, he is such a cool toddler. He wears his sunglasses, willingly, at the park. He says funny things, like, “Ta da!”. And while I realize that I can’t eagerly await his every movement or sound, I can be present for him, no phone in hand, no TV in the background, more often.

That’s a concept I’m taking into my marriage, too. Captain Laser Pants is a rare man (for more reasons than his imbibing of orange soda and bizarre dance moves) in that he talks to me, like REALLY talks to me. There are times, for instance, when he is fresh from the gym after work (somewhere between 8-9 PM), and I am exhausted, but he wants to tell me about something he heard on the radio, or something from his work day, and I struggle to listen to him. Again, not that I can be 100% absorbed in my husband every second of the day, but when he wants to talk, I want to be present for him. He’s amazing and deserving, even if he is monumentally forgetful, and he is mine. My boys deserve the best of me, even when I’m tired or distracted, because never again will we be at this point in our lives as a family.