A Budding Bromance

My Pumpkin only has eyes for one person. Peanut.

Big brother gets the most smiles, the best laughs, the most attention. In Pumpkin’s eyes, this kid does no wrong. Pumpkin wants to know what his big brother is doing at ALL times. Whether he’s nursing, playing or screaming his head off, he will pause whatever he’s doing to turn his head in the direction of Peanut’s voice.
Peanut, however, is starting to recognize his power. He will purposefully come and sing in Pumpkin’s ear while I’m nursing, causing him to pop off and seek out his big brother’s face. Not the most fun for mama. He is already taunting him now that Pumpkin will reach out for his face. I’m waiting for Pumpkin to grab a big fistful of hair and pull. Let’s just say, Peanut will have it coming!
When I’m feeling guilty for the lack of dedicated mama play time Pumpkin gets in comparison to Peanut’s infancy, I just have to see Peanut dancing in front of the bouncey seat to Pumpkin’s squeals of delight, singing to him in the back seat of the car when Pumpkin’s fussy or watch Peanut join Pumpkin for a little tummy time and I can let it go. Peanut may have those hours of individualized mama attention tucked away in his subconscious. But Pumpkin will always have something Peanut won’t: a big brother.
I can only hope and pray it’s a lifetime love affair.

Onto Serious Matters – Like What to Wear…

This weekend is the big fundraising auction for peanut’s school. This is no small-scale production. We’re talking major items on the auction block and an invitation boasting cocktail attire.
What? Cocktail attire? Don’t they normally see me in car pool in my sweats? Ugh.
The hubby and I are totally using this as a nice night out – hey, there’s going to be a band. We won’t get into the issue of how once you have kids, activities related to your kids become date night fodder. That being said, it’s a few days away and I’m already stressing about what to wear.
Want to help me, oh faithful readers? Here are the choices (and no, I haven’t tried these on my post-baby frame because I’m post-workout today and desperately need a shower, but these are the ones that have the highest likelihood of fitting).
Here we go:
#1: The sassy one and most recent addition to the wardrobe. Sparkly, fun, love it. Is it too much for “cocktail attire?” Seriously. It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the “real” event circuit.

#2: A basic black number. Slightly concerned about the nursing gals fitting in there…

#3: Another basic black number with flowers to add a nice touch of spring. This dress was on my wedding rotation for awhile…is it too wedding?
Okay…weigh in and let me know your thoughts. I’m at your mercy. Well, yours and the mercy of my hips which seem to have amnesia about where they belong.

Mom Status

Blank space. Missing pieces to a puzzle. Black holes. Dead air. Awkward silences.

The growing gap in my resume.

Somehow, the birth of my second child has shown a spotlight on the empty space that is only increasing in length on my professional timeline. It’s a creeping little thought that pops up every so often in the rare quiet spaces – how will I overcome this when it’s time to on-ramp?
It’s not a question I’m honestly prepared to answer right now, nor do I think I need to. It’s more a seed to be planted in my brain, nurtured and hopefully one day it will bloom into some brilliant idea of what’s next and how to make it happen.
And I’m okay with that.
BUT — why is there always a but? — I’ve also noticed how far away from that professional gal I have traveled. And not just because I haven’t worn a pair of heels in months. I had to get a tutorial from my father this weekend on the health care bill, I reach for the grocery flier and coupons out of the Sunday paper instead of the Arts & Books sections, and my go-to conversation topics are peanut’s latest knock-knock jokes.
I was recently friended on Facebook by a former boss. A former boss I respect for his wit, his insight and his writing above all else. After accepting his request, I took a look at my profile page with new eyes and it screamed one word: Mom. Yes, I am a mom. Yes, I am proud of it. Yes, I choose to stay home and devote this time in my life to being a mother. No, I don’t regret it. No, I wouldn’t change it.
No, that isn’t all of me.
Right now, though, it is. Right now, I need to enjoy the tickles and snuggles and midnight gazes before they are lost to the chaos of their childhood. One day I’ll catch up on the career track, one day I’ll have something interesting to say about something other than pumpkin’s sleep patterns, and one day I’ll stop worrying if former bosses think my status messages include too much momspeak.
After all, peanut’s knock-knock jokes are pretty darn funny.

Gorillas: Just Like Us

After February, aka: the month spent indoors incubating more germs than you can shake an antibacterial wipe at, we’ve been jonesing for some out of the house activity. With warm temperatures FINALLY making an appearance in Atlanta, I decided it was a perfect time to dust off that Zoo membership and let my wild thing breathe in some fresh air. Add in a friend to come with and it meant more energy burned for peanut and adult conversation for mama.

One of my favorite animals at the zoo is the gorillas. I’m simply fascinated by them. It doesn’t hurt that there are three preschool gorillas (four year old twins and a three year old) in residence who typically don’t disappoint. This particular day, we watched a game of chase through an old tree trunk rigged out with vine ropes and hammocks. Peanut thought it was hilarious.
While watching these antics, and after peanut and his pal tired of watching and started chasing each other around the deck area in front of the habitat, the zoo volunteer told my friend and I that the zookeepers were also glad to welcome back the spring temperatures. They keep the gorillas inside when the temperature dips below 45 degrees. All the cold days we’ve been having meant that the gorillas were trapped inside as long as we had been with our three year olds.
She laughed and said when it finally warmed up, she wasn’t sure who was happier that they could get out and run around, those little gorilla children or their keepers.
As my friend and I watched our sons’ game of chase turn into a game of tackle in the warm sunlight of a promised spring, I knew how they felt. I also knew in my heart that between the children and the keepers, I can guarantee you it was the gorilla parents who were the happiest to see wide open spaces again. Maybe now that mama gorilla can eat her lettuce in peace.

In the Blink of a Cliche

Today is Pumpkin’s four month birthday. And yes, the time has flown by. Actually, the first two months felt good and steady. No time a-flyin’ there. Then I blinked and two more months passed and I feel those cliched words escaping my lips: where did the time go?

Despite the quickening clock, these last four months have been quite a revelation. I’ve had to adjust to the idea that not everyone’s needs are going to be met 100 percent – or even 60, 50 and sometimes 30 percent – of the time. I have learned to accept help. I have witnessed my three year old go from excited about the baby to not so sure of this whole thing to a helpful big brother who relishes in the attention Pumpkin gives him. And I quickly learned about priorities, taking time each day to revel in the love and the giggles.

And then there is this little chunky-monkey who has stolen my heart and claimed his rightful place in our family. He’s a total talker, squealing and chattering away. His newest trick is blowing raspberries and boy, oh boy, does he do a lot of that. It’s even cute at three in the morning, if not the most appropriate time for bubble blowing. He’s abandoned the pacifier, found his fingers and we recently moved him out of the bassinet in our room and into the crib in his and Peanut’s room. He would rather be sitting up or standing than cradled. If you move his arms, you will get some serious smiles and giggles. And ticklish? Incredibly so.

I’m amazed, yet again, at how quickly these little blobs of baby goodness turn into people with personalities. Luckily, this kid fits right in.

Brotherly love

Good Riddance

Thankfully, February is a short month.

Peanut came home with “the bug” on January 31st. I only know this because it was the Monday before his and the hubby’s shuttle attempt three trip. It started as the sniffles. Then the cough. Then Thursday, he had his first full-blown double ear infection. I’ve never seen this kid look so sad. Broke my heart.

Friday, I started with the sniffles. By Monday, full-blown sinus infection. Tuesday, antibiotic #1. Then antibiotic #2. I spent two weeks sick, sick, sick. Really, really sick. Wanting to spend two weeks with the covers over my head sick. Three boxes of tissues in five days sick.

Not my proudest parenting month. And I think it nearly broke me. Now that I’m physically strong again, finally, I’m working on that mental recovery.

It’s difficult when you are your toughest critic. I tend to point the finger at my self first and often. Even though I was sick, I still felt guilty for popping in yet another video for Peanut just to catch a 10 minute cat nap on the sofa while Pumpkin nursed. And now, Pumpkin’s going through a period of lots of night waking. The little baby that spent his first two months sleeping through the night, is now suddenly up three or more times a night and not always for obvious reasons. Do I assume it’s a growth spurt? Teeth? A phase? Nope. I assume that I must be doing something wrong. Must be my fault. The truth of the matter, I know, is somewhere in the middle.

After this month, though, it’s hard to see that.

So, as we trudge into March, I say so long February. So long to the germs, so long to the “not now” parenting that filled our days as I just tried to get to bedtime, so long to the chaos that resulted.

And although it will be harder to say so long to the critical thinking and finger pointing (you know old dogs, new tricks and all that), I’ll try. My boys deserve at least that much. And frankly, so do I.