Monday, September 26, 2011

let your tears come

This day has nearly brought me to tears, but not quite.

First, I have been presented with a great opportunity to distinguish myself at work, which is difficult in a company with 4,000 plus employees. If all goes well, it would allow me to attend a conference and perhaps be involved in lots of other projects in the future. Unfortunately, the work isn't billable and will require extra hours at night, after Baby J is tucked away in her crib, and perhaps on the weekends. But when someone takes an interest in helping you develop your career, it's difficult to say no.

Second, I had to pick Baby J up about a half hour later than usual from daycare today because I had a couple errands to run. She hasn't been sleeping enough at daycare, which leaves one crabby Baby J by 5:30 p.m. Tonight she cried all the way home, all the way through dinner, and all the way through her bath. At around 6:00 p.m., I gave her a bottle and rocked her to sleep. Since I didn't get much quality Baby J time tonight, I would have held her for longer just to get some snuggles in - but I had work to do ... see above. Not getting any playtime in with my little munchkin left me feeling so disappointed and guilty about being a working mom.

Finally, over the past week, Carl has developed some serious sibling rivalry. I guess nearly 12 months of near neglect has finally sent him over the edge. Today I came home to one chewed up pair of baby shoes (thank goodness they weren't her new ones) and several chewed up baby toys. Yesterday, it was her stuffed snowman and a clothes hanger.

Today the fact that I can't give either Baby J or Carl all the attention they need and deserve was overwhelming today. I want to be everything for everyone, but it simply is.not.possible. I need to reevaluate and just accept that all I can do is all I can do. I know Baby J loves me ... Carl perhaps not so much. He also headbutted me this morning and I still have a sore spot on my forehead.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

where were you

In September 2000, I had just moved to New York City into a high rise in the Financial District, just 5 blocks south of the World Trade Center. I had just graduated from Carleton and was beginning a graduate program at New York University. I returned to Minnesota three times while I was living in New York.  That fall my dad was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic and had emergency surgery. I was home for Christmas and then in the spring of 2001, my mom, who had been battling cancer, became very ill. That summer I decided to move home to be closer to my family because my mom was dying.

I transferred to the University of Minnesota and on September 11, 2001 I was standing in line at the financial aid office trying to straighten out my loans. I watched the plane hit while I was standing in that office. I don't even recall if it was the first or second plane. Watching it televised, I couldn't really grasp the gravity of the situation because I felt so far removed. I called my mom and told her to turn on the TV. David, my brother, was with my mom - trying to get in as much mom time before she was gone.

Later that fall (October 9, 2001), my mom passed away. As my mom, she always watched out for me. Whether she knew it or not, she saved me from being 5 blocks from the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

11 months

Dear Baby J,
Not counting the in utero months, I have now been your mom for 11 months. Sometimes I don't feel like I have any business being your mom. I don't know much about babies or toddlers or kids, in general, and there are times I have no idea what I am doing. But all it takes is for you to look over and smile at me and I know that whatever it is I am doing, I must be doing something right. You are the most lovable little girl with the brightest smile and being your mom continues to be my greatest joy and my greatest challenge.

You've completed two sessions of swimming lessons. You can use the steps to crawl out of the pool and know how to hold your breath. You clap when we say "good job" and hand over even your favorite toy when  asked. You continue to eat everything we give you from Thai curry to portabella mushrooms and polenta. You're not so good at sharing and you are a little bit greedy. If there is something you like, you will try to grab all of them even if it means holding some of it in your mouth. For example ...
And I've saved the best for last ... you have been standing up on your own for nearly a month now and your Dad and I have been just waiting for you to take your first steps. A few days ago, I saw you take one step forward. Then today at your baby play class, you were standing around like you usually do, holding a toy in each hand, and all of a sudden you just started going - five steps and even managed to get from the floor onto a yoga mat without falling! Your first steps (of many) in this lifetime. Baby J, you are on you're way to great things and Mommy and Daddy can't wait to see what you will do next!

Until next month, 

"You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting ... so get on your way!" - Dr. Suess

Sunday, September 4, 2011

once upon a time

There was a little girl who found a watermelon.
She tried to pick it up, but it was too heavy
She tried to eat it, but the rind was too thick.
All that work made her very sleepy and she was ready for a nap.