Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Perfect Post

It's that time again. This month I was so taken by a post at Left Handed Trees and Other Lies that I chose it for the June's Perfect Post Award at Suburban Turmoil.

The photograph that accompanied the post could have alone won it for me. But there's much more to it that that. I wrote a little something about it over at my ClubMom blog Picture This.

So go read C. Delia's heartbreakingly beautiful words at Left Handed Trees and then click over to Picture This to read about why it touched me so.

Thanks for participating in the gush-fest.

Are You MomReady?

Check out MomReady today. They've featured my books under their Hot Product category. God, it feels good to be "Hot".

And if you haven't signed up for their daily newletter, just do it. It's cool.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This post is for Mom-101. She said she tagged me for the 'stuff you hate meme' because I'm "so upbeat all the time". Is that supposed to be a complement?

So now, in true David Letterman fashion, I give you my top 10 list of the things I hate. And I don't even need an alter-ego to list them because even us upbeat people can hate stuff.

10. I hate it when my feet feel dirty.

9. I hate going to the dentist.

8. I hate it when I can't find matching socks.

7. I hate chewed gum-it's a phobia thing.

6. I hate having chapped lips.

5. I hate weak coffee.

4. I hate when I can't find my slippers, because I hate having cold feet.

3. I hate being late. Especially when it's for something important.

2. I H.A.T.E. when women are catty.

and the #1 thing that I hate is...drumroll please...

when I feel totally out of control of my 3-year-old. (symbol crash!)

Sorry you asked?
Now it's my turn.
I tag Kirsten, Nancy, and Janeen.

Friday, June 23, 2006


So far this summer, Iris has mastered riding her tricycle. And yes, she's wearing snowflake pants in June. I know.

Luckily her super-skill has coincided with Julia's enthusiasm about her new beach cruiser. Yes, I know I shot directly into the sun. I know.

Besides getting some well-needed exercise, this can only mean one thing; walks around and around the neighborhood. A few times a day even, if you can imagine. I'm a big fan of the great outdoors. I just don't get out as often as I should. Until now. With the bikes, comes the need for adult supervision. I guess that means me.

Indeed, it does. And resistance is futile because I'm not good with whining and if I try to put the over-zealous little Lance Armstongs off, well, there's lots of it. I must succumb to the call of the wild. And if you're reading a little reluctance here, you're reading right. Which is really so ridiculous because it never fails that when we've come home after a summer saunter (that's what I do, I saunter, while the girls put their 'pedals' to the metal) I always feel refreshed, revived and ready to run back to my computer and blog about it.

I'm hopeless. I know.

**mama says om

Thursday, June 15, 2006

How Do You Spell Schwag?

If you're asking me, I'd say M-I-N-T-I. But if you're asking my 8-year-old she'd spell it like this,
"schwag, S-C-H-W-A-G, schwag"
because she's the Third Grade Spelling B Champ!

Yes, folks, the accolades just keep coming. Last week, student of the month, this week, first place in the Spelling B. Pretty incredible!

And me?? Well, I'm just basking in the glow of her amazingness and sporting my new Minti Schwag. Insleeves even. Where's my lighter?

Yes, this is me and not a Cafe Press model although
I'm pretty sure this pose was inspired by one.

This is beginning to resemble a coat tails story. I'm riding my daughter's, as I am known around town now as Julia's Mom and doing the same with Minti a little bit too I guess. See, I've signed on as a Minti Ambassador (what tha?). A pretty cool title I guess, only second to a Bad-Ass-ador. I mean, I can capitalize it if I want, right?. There's something. Here's the sitch- I get to be involved with the super cool parenting community at Minti and offer advice (do I ever shut up?) and get awards for it...yes awards! Go check it out. I'm telling you it's the funnest thing. You become a member (takes like one second) and then you get to write advice, answer pleas for help,post goodies at your very own Minti blog, and they award you these really awesome virtual awards (medals and patches) kinda like a Girl (or Boy) Scout thing. It's pretty fun and as pathetic as it may sound, an ego boost. I obviously am still scarred from never being a Scout so this helps me fill the void of growing up patchless. Anyway, I'm all crazy-addicted and won't be satisfied until I collect ALL OF THE PATCHES. Yikes. Now, I'm scaring myself and my children and you. Anyway, I'm just going to help them spread the good Minti word, that's all. Because, I really don't have enough on my plate these days so I figured, 'what the hey'?

So, as far as formalities, you can call me Mrs. Ambassador (Ambassador for short) or Julia's Mom. I'll answer to any of them.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's Belly Time

Well, looky here. In keeping in step with my labor and delivery reflections, Stacy at Frankly Pregnant posted "Tracey's Belly Shot". A whole post dedicated to little (I mean BIG) ol' me. Well, Iris was in there too so I can't take all the credit. Three years and a few days ago, I looked like THIS. Talk about other worldly.

While you're there, browse around. She's got some great stuff on her site like, let's say, my books , on her list of top pregnancy picks (thanks Stacy!) and her book which you should buy immediately.

And hey, look who else is singing her praises!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Three Years Ago Today
I remember a new house, unpacked boxes, a newly painted nursery, and a hand me down crib.
I remember feeling overwhelmed.
I remember feeling big and uncomfortable.
I remember fear, loneliness, and isolation.
I remember having support and love, unconditional love.
I remember taking pictures and timing contractions at Julia's end-of-the-year Kindergarten party.
I remember resting on the couch, quite and calm, alone in my house while my family celebrated at a graduation party.
I remember knowing it was almost time.
I remember shuffling Julia off to her grandparents house knowing that the next time we would see her it would be to introduce her to her baby sister.
I remember it felt very surreal.
I remember feeling much older than I did five years prior when I had Julia.
I remember waiting in the hallway of the labor wing for over an hour before being checked in.
I remember it being strangely still and desolate in the hospital.
I remember the room where I labored and not feeling at home there.
I remember pain.
I remember using the bed rail to grab onto as I labored on my side.
I remember being angry and short-tempered.
I remember refusing an epidural.
I remember more pain.
I remember knowing when it was time to push.
I remember using my anger to my advantage in pushing.
I remember my determination was unlike any I had ever known.
I remember fear, anxiety, and exhaustion.
I remember being in so much pain after Iris was born that I couldn't even see her.
I remember the doctor cutting the cord without asking my husband, to his heartbreaking disappointment.
I remember seeing him with Iris as they weighed her and wrapped her.
I remember him holding her, talking to her, adoring her.
I remember whimpering and crying because of the intense and continual pain.
I remember my mother coming in and demanding someone to attend to me.
I remember me not understanding why I was still in pain.
I remember hearing the doctor comment I was full of blood clots and being scared.

I remember finally holding my tiny daughter with a knowing; a calmness and quiet, recognizing her somehow.
I remember being wheeled down the hall to my room, cradling her, not feeling like she was new to me, but as if I had held her before.
I remember sleeping in the hospital bed and waking to her stirring, confident in knowing what she needed from me and how to give it to her.
I remember nurses and pediatricians and lactation consultants.
I remember the congestion in her tiny nostrils that made her snort and snore.
I remember being a tireless mother despite my exhaustion.
I remember feeling drained, fatigued, weary, old, relieved, blessed, calm, and deeply in love with my daughter and although she was merely hours old, I remember feeling as if I had always known her.

Happy Third Birthday Iris.
I love you more than I can say.

Monday, June 05, 2006

In Honor of a Perfect Daughter

I picked Julia up after school today, as usual. I always park along the back side of the school and stand outside my car and wait. She comes out the double doors, disheveled pig-tails, sweater loosely tied around her thin waist, and is always sure to spot me before making the long walk across the blacktop and through the grass field. When we see one another from opposite ends of the playground, we wave big arm waves.

Trotting clumsily, sweaty and tired, she approaches me and passes off her heavy backpack almost before I can even reach it. I gladly take it from her and toss it in the front seat while she climbs into the back of our van. Today she kept the bag herself and commented, "I want to hold it today. I have something to show you." And after we're buckled in and I start the car, she hands me a large, fancy folder trimmed with gold guilding from the back seat. "Look," she said. I open it and read, "Third Grade Student of the Year" and in calligraphy, "Julia Clark". My heart leapt, and I gasped, "Julia Clark! Oh my gosh! WOW! I can't believe it. What an honor." She beamed, wearing her big, toothy 8-year-old grin, skin flushed pink with excitement and humbled confidence, "I know. Isn't it great?"

Great doesn't begin to describe it. And although I blurted out I couldn't believe it, the truth is I can. I most certainly can believe that my child was chosen to be celebrated. She is an incredibly bright, kind, thoughtful, creative, talented, hard-working, generous, determined, responsible, sincere, smart, gifted, amazing, and beautiful young girl. I am beyond proud of everything she is and all that she is becoming. I know that all of this is true because I am her mother. What delights me more is that today she was recognized by the world. Her world. I am overjoyed that she was given a moment to hear her name be read out loud in front of all of her friends and had an opportunity to feel so incredibly special without me. I am overwhelmed and so grateful. As a mother, nothing could be better.

Julia Clark is my daughter and today and always, I honor her.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

In Honor of a Perfect Post

A while back I gushed about a post at La Vie En Rose. Well, the gushing isn't over yet. I haven't been able to get it out of my head. It's worthy of an award. Ah ha! How about Suburban Turmoil's Perfect Post Award? Done.

The experience of Motherhood has been so complex, so intense that for me, it's been beyond words. Sure, I talk about it, I write about it, but I've yet to feel like what I've expressed has truly communicated what it is I face and feel everyday as a woman, a mother, as, well, me. Michelle however, in this one perfectly penned letter says it all. More in fact. Every single word resonates crystal clear as a perfect account of motherhood as I have lived it everyday since my daughters were born. Beauty, Heartbreak, Joy, Ache.


If you haven't read this post yet, I hope you will. And even if you have, I encourage you to read it again. And again.

Thank you sweet Michelle for sharing your letter to Britton.

And thanks to Lucinda and MommaK for offering us the forum of The Perfect Post Awards. It's fantastic.