Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The List of One

People look at sweet little Lucy and are smitten by her cuteness. Then they see the dimple and they are slayed. Me too.

It’s interesting, though, that everyone always asks the same 2 questions: “Are you so happy?” or “Isn’t being a mom so fun?”

Those 2 questions always seem to throw me for a loop. "Happy" and "Fun" aren't exactly the first two adjectives that come rushing to my mind. Either I didn’t get the memo or all these people just forgot how long the sleep-deprived hangover phase lasted. I definitely think the “joy and rejoicing” part comes a little later when brushing my teeth is something I can actually do every day. Right?

I sometimes feel like the worst mom ever when I have to admit this motherhood thing is definitely kicking my butt. Or the thoughts at 2am and 3am and 4am and again at 5am where I envision a “Free Baby” sign on my lawn. It’s so much harder than I thought, but then again, that’s part of my problem. I thought I could just drop a baby into my already busy life and be fine. Man, am I getting schooled.

I was reaching out to an old friend of mine, Morgen, who just had baby #3. I asked her if it somehow got easier because I just can’t imagine putting myself through this again on purpose!

She laughed at me and told me I needed to change my expectations. She even said, “If you expect life to be like pre-baby with just a little one dropped in you are bound to be frustrated and exhausted and feel totally unproductive in life. But, if we embrace this chapter for what it is and accept the new pace and level of productivity that means a successful to-do list is one that only has keeping baby alive on it, then it all goes along pretty well. Time is going to pass, so might as well enjoy the ride with the little ones.”

What perfect advice for a novice like me. Thanks Morgen. So, you guessed it. I am re-evaluating my expectations and now I only have one thing on my to-do list, which is keeping the sweet little Lucy bean alive. And, you should know, I’m doing a really great job! :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lucy’s First Race

Lucy’s first 5k run was great! She passed all the other babies that were merely strolling down State Street like it was a cake walk. It was so easy for her, she slept most of the way—I was amazed. And by far, she was for sure the cutest runner of them all.

The funniest part of this race was that I signed up for it back in November when I was as big as a house. I thought to myself, “Sure, 4 months after I have a baby…oh yeah, I can totally run a half marathon.” Yes, I thought that for real. I even signed up for it and paid the money.

When I tried to start training for the run, I learned 2 things. One is that I am an idiot and had absolutely no earthly idea what I was getting myself into. Two is that it takes a minute post-baby where running doesn’t feel like something you would only do if you were being chased by a wild animal who thought you looked a lot like breakfast.

I was too embarrassed to go pick up my packet and admit how foolish I was, so I sent my cousin Brie to do it for me. Happily she signed me up for the 5k instead of the half marathon and no one thought twice about it. Except me. It was a harsh dose of reality, but I’m getting a lot of those these days. All in all, I will have to say it was the best 5k Lucy and I have ever run. And since it was the only one, it can only get better from here...right? Please say yes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Power to the Pink

I have a great job where I get to work with amazing people. One of them, Bernie, is a creative genius. He helped to put us on the map by making us look so good on our billboards, among thousands of other things. He’s even the man behind the mustache on the Milk campaign, so I don’t have to tell you how great he is. You’ve seen his work all over the place.

So when Bernie sent me the cutest, frilliest, most precious pink dress for little Lucy, my jaw hit the floor. It was by far the prettiest dress I had ever seen—I even hung it on her crib for 3 months until it fit! Everyone that came over would “ooh” and “aah” over the dress, saying things like “where on earth did you find such a fantastic dress?” Who knew it came from a really important and really talented art director in New York?! Bernie confessed that he has daughters so he knows girls, but he also has great taste, so I give him all the credit.

I have 3 brothers so I grew up more with GI Joe men and Underoos than I did with Barbies and lacey stuff. Being around all those boys, I learned that pink was for sissies and I was way tougher than that. I didn’t even buy my first pink shirt until after I had graduated from college, and I made sure never to wear it around my brothers! Over the years, I have learned to embrace the pink within and I feel like I’m playing dress up every day I get to put Lucy in her sweet little girly clothes and matching headbands. Secretly, I love it.

Lucy wore Bernie’s dress on Easter Sunday and she was by far the cutest baby on the block. Seeing her in that little dress made me realize how lucky I am…not only for great friends and colleagues, but for this chance to be a mom to such a precious baby girl who looks great in pink!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Finding the Thumb

People are mixed on their reviews of the thumb. Pediatricians say it’s good, Dentists say it’s bad. I think the only experts that really count are moms. After little Lucy got out of the tub (there’s something about her dreamy skin right out of the bath that is pretty much irresistible), I laid her on the floor so I could get her dressed. Then, right before my eyes she just started sucking her thumb! I giggled out loud, started clapping like I was in junior high, and grabbed a nearby camera to document this momentous occasion. Personally, I think it’s cute. I also think it’s great for her to find something to suck on that doesn’t have to be a plastic “please don’t fall on the ground so we have to boil it” binky or me. I’m thrilled… and you know what, I’ll just start saving now to pay for braces.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Some days I wish someone would strap me to their chest and carry me around all day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I heard a boy band sing a song once about how people change like the seasons. I liked the band so much I married one of them. :)

I have had some experiences as of late that remind me how much people can change. Namely, how I am one of those people.

There are a lot of things that come with the territory of mommy-hood that aren’t in the manual anywhere. Things like not showering regularly, forgetting where the gym is since it’s been so long, how hard it is to break old patterns of dysfunction, sacrificing pretty much everything, putting baby first, learning to be selfless and nurturing—and doing all this with less sleep than a tortured CIA prisoner.

I realized it had been 5 months of not leaving the house, trying to hold down a full-time job, plan a trip for everyone ELSE to go to Africa, and taking care of my new full-time bundle of screaming joy, that I was starting to feel like one of those prisoners. I needed a breath of fresh air—a new perspective. After all, it was finally spring and we somehow made it through the toughest winter of my life.

So, of course, I chose the booming metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska for my get-away. I went to visit Ronda, one of those friends that makes your life have meaning. We originally met back in Uruguay—riding bikes in dresses, where our biggest struggles included “snakes,” warm carbonated water on hot days, washing clothes in a cement bucket by hand and doing our best to avoid the ever-present head of lice. Ah, those were the good old days. It was also the place we made a pact that we would continue to dream and not let life get in the way.

Every once in a while, it’s good to re-connect with those kinds of friends. You never have make excuses or talk about boring stuff like the weather. Plus, Ronda has 4 kids and I needed to see that babies do grow up and learn to dress themselves. They also don’t have to be carried constantly in the Bjorn until they are 9. That was a relief!

Ronda and I are definitely in different seasons right now. She came home from Uruguay and quickly embarked on a life of marriage and family. It took me over a decade to get on the same wagon, so now I’m eating her dust and realizing why it’s probably smart to start having babies when you are 25, not 35. At least the staying up all night part.

It’s interesting to note the change in seasons. I’m no longer the single world traveler, saving planet earth from illiteracy and dependency on hand outs. I’m the frazzled mommy who can’t even find her pre-pregnancy clothes because they are somewhere in bags in the garage and probably don’t fit anyway. I don’t use soap with chemicals or perfumes on my precious baby’s skin. I’m the crazy vegetarian lady who eats foods like Quinoa and Kamut—and I didn’t even have my baby in a hospital. Yeah, I guess seasons do change.

Lucy got her first 2 bottom teeth while we were in Nebraska. Watching her struggle and suffer with something so challenging and painful kind of brought everything full circle for me. We are always changing…from the time we are teething babies to the time we are adults who think we have life figured out. The seasons remind us that the only thing constant in our lives is change.

I loved watching Ronda be a mom. Cooking whole foods that her family devoured, spending time jumping on the tramp and sharing popcorn treats that made the neighbor kids wish they had a mom like that. We talked of life, seasons, and how those will always be evolving. All we really need to focus on is getting through each day, realizing that a shower is indeed a luxury and not a necessity, and the best thing we can do for our kids is to empower them to be all they can. Valiant spirits need valiant moms. I’m grateful for this season to be learning how.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


There’s something about the look on Grandpa’s face when he sees his little granddaughter. Maybe it’s that he can hand her back to her mom when she barfs, cries or needs a diaper change. Maybe it’s feeling like a proud parent—that he raised his baby well enough to now enjoy a new generation of posterity. Maybe it’s just something between dads and little girls. Any way you look at it, I thought this picture said it all. Happy Father's Day to 2 wonderful dads who now get to be the best grandpas ever.