Archive for the ‘mothers’ Category

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow- January 5, 2015

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

My hair now has some golden streaks mixed in the dark brown. It’s pretty. It catches the light. It gives more dimension. I starting highlighting my hair in my early to mid-twenties. (Oh God, that’s more than 10 years, now. Yeesh.) Before then I had my mother’s voice in my head telling me “Don’t color your hair!” “You don’t need to!” “It’s dark brunette. Don’t mess with it until you have to cover gray.”

highlighted hair

Sorry Mom, but I’m so mad I listened to you all those years. I feel like I missed out on fun hair experimentation when I was young. I kept it plain and boring, never daring to jump on the chunky highlights trend of the late 90’s-early 2000’s. Makeup? That’s a different story. I always loved makeup and experimenting there, but hair? I kept it plain until I was on TV as a news reporter and changed it up.

My mom has always cared about my hair and my sister’s hair. Always. When we were dating my husband said, “Why does your mom ALWAYS comment on your hair?” I replied, “I dunno. She’s my mom.” Over the years she was all for braids, curling and perms. But color? No color according to Mom. When my daughter was a toddler I wrote about our budding mother/daughter hair relationship. Suddenly I find myself obsessing over my daughter’s hair.

You see, for awhile I was quite sure Charlotte was part mermaid. Take a look at these pictures:

curls collage

Here I was, worried Disney would give her unrealistic hair expectations, but oh my goodness! How is it possible for a human to have such magic, princess hair?! It’s glorious with all it’s natural ombre ringlets!

But, people kept telling me I needed to cut it. One friend laughed, “If she starts sitting on it I’m going to make fun of you, Amy.” I joked about her starting to look like a Duggar it was so long. It was getting to be a huge pain to brush and detangle. The ends, while curled, were dead and less bouncy than they were in these photos. When the warm humidity of summer gave way to fall, it didn’t look as lovely. She needed a haircut.

I told myself the curls would be there, just fresher. I lazily took her to Sports Clips with her brother. She’s five! I’m not spending a fortune on a 5-year-old’s haircut. I regret that now. We had been to some kids haircut places before. I figured I could still get away with not going to a real salon for awhile longer. The woman kindly put nearly 6 inches of ringlets in an envelope for me to save, but my heart HURT when she made a straight line with her shears and cut those curls off.

They are not back. Soft waves settle into the cheap, blunt haircut line. I scrunch and twist after her baths, trying to make those ringlets magically reappear, but they are gone. Maybe they’ll return with humid, warm weather? Maybe with a better haircut? I don’t know.

haircut charlotte

She is still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Her hair is a trivial part to the amazing person she is. Plus, I’m just grateful she is healthy and happy. Maybe my mom didn’t want me to color my hair because it would have been saying goodbye to the dark silky strands her baby was born with, just like I mourn the curls my baby had.

Charlotte, your hair is yours to experiment with…one day. For now, I’m going to be the one to obsess over it. When chunky highlights come back in style it’s yours for the obsessing.

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Mama’s Water- May 11, 2015

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Since becoming a mother and my children got big enough to be interested in eating and drinking things other than milk, my water is never mine. I try to drink a lot of water. I keep bottles and cups with me all the time. My children cry and beg for a sip of my water. Henry just screams, “Ice!” Charlotte sometimes asks for sips, or just takes it. They chew my straw. They put their grubby little hands in it. They back wash into it. It’s gross.

I got a cute water bottle from a friend for Mother’s Day. I announced that “This weekend, my water is mine! It’s my Mother’s Day present! Ya’ll are not drinking my water all weekend!” I just wanted a cup all my own. No preschool ickiness. No snotty baby germs. Please!

That lasted for about 12 hours. I caved. They climbed on my lap and begged to share sips from the pink straw. They took it from my hands, shook it around and splashed cold drops on their clothes. Charlotte took a drink, “Your water is the best, Mama!”

Sigh. I thought of all the times I took my mother’s food or drink and she let me have it. I stole fries off her plate at the seafood restaurant we took her to yesterday. She let me. She didn’t say anything. That’s the kind of selfless thing mothers do, even if they want to be selfish on “their day.”

I think these pictures perfectly sum up my life and Mother’s Day 2015.

Mothers Day 2015

 

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Confessions of a Car Hoarder- 04-17-15

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

I am sharing with you now a great weakness and constant source of shame in my life. This is my car on a Thursday. Oh, full disclosure, this is the clean car my husband left on Monday. Never mind my actual SUV, the one I destroy drive most weeks when he’s not away on business.

car hoarder

My husband calls me a “car hoarder.” At the end of a week, my SUV feels like a vehicular landfill. It’s like a dirty old purse on wheels. Crumbs, crumpled receipts, granola bar wrappers, Hot Wheels, jackets, muddy socks, nearly dried lip gloss tubes and empty wipes packages litter this rolling shrine to my perpetual mediocrity.

I will say, it is SLIGHTLY better now that I don’t have a breast pump in there all the time. Occasionally it’s become a point of contention in our marriage. My mom has even said she doesn’t like to ride with me. I see the looks on the faces of the preschool teachers when we go through carpool. They help my child out of her Goldfish encrusted car seat and watch her stumble over toys that have become buried on the floor for at least two weeks. That’s next to the half-filled water bottle graveyard. Sometimes I squeak out a meek “Excuse our mess!” I cringe whenever someone helps me load something in my car.

That’s when they see my shame. They see my nastiest, sloppy habit. Our house is nice. It’s not pristine by any means. A 4-year-old and 1-year-old live here, but it’s not terrible. But my car…it has always been a problem. In college I drove an old 1992 Toyota Camry. My sister always said I “smelled like my car.”

I see moms with their immaculate minivans and sparkling SUV’s. How do they do it? I do clean it out, sometimes. At least every other week I have to overhaul and take everything out. I have reflected on this flaw and have figured out why my car becomes an auto wasteland every week.

  • We are always in the car- We are out the door every morning. I like to consider myself an “In The Car Mom” instead of a “Stay At Home Mom.” Oh! Look out Twitter! I’m gonna start #ITCM. Oh, that’s already been taken by a seemingly fine international educational institution. Never mind.
  • We eat in the car- I only let the 1-year-old eat the applesauce pouches in the car for fear of choking, but the 4-year-old can down an Egg McMuffin or some Chick-Fil-A Icedream in the good ol’ Peg Perego Convertible seat any time. I half-heartedly scold her for tossing the spoon on the floorboard when she’s done. What can I say to her? I know it lands on car mat where empty Starbucks cups go to die. She knows it too.
  • I let my kids take toys in the car- I try to hurry them out the door and I hear, “Wait! I gotta get my My Little Pony-Sofia The First-book-ball-figurines-or-whatever! Please! I just want to play with them in the car!”
  • I don’t take everything out everyday- When we pull in the garage in the afternoon after preschool, a workout, errands, lunch, pickup and a play date, my kids are wiped. I drag them in, often hungry and tired. I grab my keys, my phone, the baby and the kid. I leave the rest. We tumble into the house only to find a dog ready to be let out before they run to the pantry for a snack. Unless there are groceries in the car, I rarely go back out there.

I guess I’m writing this to hold myself accountable. This is my confession that will hopefully spur me to clean up my automobile act. I’m getting my stuff out of the car each night. Starting tomorrow.

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Pajamas: Why Kids Need More P.J.’s- January 7, 2015

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

I was with a group of moms recently when someone asked for “practical advice” for a first-time mother. This woman was compiling ideas for an “advice book” or something for a baby shower to give to the mom-to-be. Practical advice. Okay. Advice on diapers and milk supply went around the group. I suddenly blurted out, “Pajamas! Buy more pajamas than you think you need.”

Everyone paused and looked at me. One said, “Oh yeah. Totally.”

Right now I am literally going to air my dirty laundry. Take a look, this is the inside of my washing machine this week before I ran it.

pajamas in the washing machine

These are just the pajamas that are visible. Every load of laundry I do has at least one set of pajamas in it. Think about it. What is your kid often wearing when they do the following?

  • Leak through their diaper
  • Wet the bed
  • Puke
  • Get a bloody nose
  • Eat pancakes with syrup
  • Eat popcorn and chocolate milk while watching a movie
  • Smear chocolate candy from their Easter basket or Christmas stocking on them

That’s right! Their pajamas! My mom asked me what I should get the kids for Christmas. “They both need pajamas,” I replied. My daughter got some Hello Kitty pajamas and (shocker) some “Frozen” pajamas. That’s another thing. Are you a mom who hates tacky character shirts for kids? Well, let them get their Lightning McQueen-Dora-Ninja Turtles-Doc McStuffins-Sponge Bob fix with pajamas! You’ll get the satisfaction knowing your kid will likely barf and pee on the tackiness. The satisfaction will wane when you realize it’s just more laundry. Here’s to more sleep!

Charlotte and Henry in pajamas

Side Note: I used to be a mom that didn’t like tacky character t-shirts. That ship sailed when the S.S. Princess Everything docked at our house awhile back.

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The End Of Breastfeeding My Babies- December 12, 2014

Friday, December 12th, 2014

breastfeeding

He’s 13 months old. He nurses less and less. He would drink more if I let him, but today he just nursed before bed. I stopped pumping right after his first birthday. He kept breastfeeding each day before naps and bed, but we’re doing it less. His big sister stopped at 13 months. I remember being a little sad, but I was okay. Time marched on. I would have another baby. No biggie. It was actually nice to have my body be my own again.

This time I’m sad.

This might be my last baby. All the infant milestones have been a little more bittersweet with the second baby, but this one hurts.

What if this is the last time I ever nurse one of my babies? This might be it. It may be over. I may never be pregnant again. I may never snuggle my sleepy newborn or snuggle my round little infant as they suckle.

If I stop nursing him, will he still want to snuggle with me? Maybe. Maybe not. Everyday I steal kisses and snuggles in “catch and release” style as he wobbles toward toddlerhood.

Part of me is ready to be done breastfeeding. He has a mouth full of teeth and vigorous kicking legs. But, the other part of me looks into his eyes that are turning a darker shade of blue into the green of my own and I want to hold him tighter. I cradle a baby that is (kind of) calm when he nurses. He smiles with coos and grunts that make us both giggle. Those times are ours alone, and they are numbered.

I don’t know when the last time I nurse him will be. I don’t remember the exact last time with my daughter. I just know it’s coming soon.

Instead of mourning the time gone, I’m trying to be thankful for being able to successfully breastfeed two healthy babies. I know not all mothers get that. I’m thankful that breastfeeding was a mostly positive experience for me.

This just marks the end of infancy. I am excited for what is to come. I am. I’m just bracing my heart for more milestones that may be a little bittersweet.

Alright. I’m bucking up. I’m looking into their little faces and being excited and thankful. I can do this. It’s almost time for the last time, and that’s okay. Writing this makes me feel better. Time marches on. Ah, motherhood! It is bittersweet.

my 4-year-old and 1-year-old

 

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