People Who Give Shout Outs, Get Shout Outs

So, two different bloggers have mentioned me in the last month and I'm so honored!  Honestly, I make so little effort online to keep up my blog, I'm always shocked when someone finds and follows me and I build an online relationship with them.

First is Trying To Be Normal Since Last Tuesday.  She told people I give good book recommendations.  If she had flat out told me she loved me, she could not have been kinder.  (The day I suspected I would be good friends with Helen is the day we were discussing book and based on her interests I told her to read Tam Lin by Pamela Dean and she told me that she had an autographed version already.  A person who has your same reading history and interests is a good person to cultivate as a friend.)  To be fair, I first started following her blog because I realized we were some how making the same sewing projects.  But to then also discover that she shares my love of good books and my hate of germs and dirt?  Fantastic.

Second is First Time Mom.  I found her at her previous blog.  How?  I googled "tired of being pregnant" and there it was.  I had found my soul mate -- someone who hated pregnancy as much as I did.  Ugh, I still hate pregnancy no matter how much I adore my babies.  She is now blogging about being a mom with devotion and energy, but she's not telling me about her kale smoothies, her love of doing yoga with her baby, or how she spent five hours creating a whole black/white/red environment to best accommodate her babies sense of sight.  Because that's normally who I read and they send me into shame spirals.  When I read April's blog, I come away thinking, "Hee, yeah, I do that."

So, thanks for the shout out, ladies.


An Open Letter To My Firstborn

I wrote this letter a tiny bit prior to having N2.  I assure you all that I love N2 as I love N, and I would say as much, but that would indicate that I love them in the same way.  My love for them is most likely equal but it is different.

Dear N,

You are very clingy nowadays, but, to tell the truth, I don't mind so much since I'm sort of clinging to you too. We both can sense change coming and it is scaring the bejeezus out of us. When I first started this pregnancy and started my daily habit of napping with you for hours each day, it seemed like I had all the time in the world to spend solely with you. Often, as soon as you fell into your nap, I'd turn over to get comfortable so your knees would only hit me in the back instead of stomach.

Now, when we nap, I let you fall asleep and I stroke your cheek or face for twenty minutes or so before I also fall asleep. At the doctor today, when my blood pressure was elevating due to my fear of surgery, she asked me to think of something calming, and I pictured your face as you slept next to me. I think you might be the thing to get me through this surgery as I remind myself that you were the prize at the end of my first C-section. If N2 can be half as cute or loving as you, I will have it made.

Sometimes, sweetie, I'm afraid that I won't love N2 as much as I love you. It's funny. My mother-in-law mentioned this fear, and I dismissed it at first, but now I wonder. How can I love anyone like I love you? When I was growing up, my mom used to tell me that if anyone ever hurt me, she'd kill them. Full stop. I wondered why. Then, I had you and the second you were born, I understood what she was saying. My love for you felt like a force of nature. Can I possibly love my daughter this much?

I'm half worried I resent her, honestly. Will she take away from our time together? Will you love me less because I have her? I know the reality is that I'll most likely love her just as much as I love you, but it's scary, isn't it? This is why you hold me and tell me you miss me and love me nowadays and I hug you back and tell you that you are my angel.

I just want you to know that I love so much and even when I'm holding N2 at the hospital after the surgery, I'll be counting the moments until you can join me at the hospital too. When you were born, I couldn't wait to take pictures of you. Now that she is being born, I can't wait to take pictures of BOTH of you together. I wish I could tell you this all now so you understand, but I have to be satisfied with this letter.

Love, your mommy.

Gonna Be Doing Some Long Drives Over the Next Couple Months

So...  If you could, please tell me about podcasts or songs or albums you enjoy.  I'll need something to distract me from my overwhelming need to use the bathroom as I'm on hour six of a trip with two sleeping children in the backseat who are preventing me from ever leaving the car again.  I like podcasts about knitting, sewing, crafts, Dungeons and Dragons, superheroes, video games, young adult novels, fantasy novels, and television shows I like.  Some of my favorite artists are Lily Allen, Kate Nash, OK Go, Kimya Dawson, Postal Service, Jonathan Coulton, Cake, Presidents of the United States of America, Ben Folds Five, The Shins, Eels, Weezer, Stars, Owl City, and Stephen Malkmus.  Recommend away.


Who Is The Funniest, Most Wonderful Person You Know?

I like for my daughter to laugh with and at me, obviously.  Like all besotted parents, I attempt to make her laugh every day for quite a bit of time.  When N was this age, I was the only one who could consistently make him laugh.  He'd bat his eyes at me and smile at me and giggle and coo with me.  N2 views me as a food delivery system that likes to hang with her brother.
I sat there watching them and trying to make her laugh.  Failure, failure.  A few small smiles that indicated that she was trying to please me, perhaps.  N looked at her, screamed, "ICE CREAM" for no apparent reason other than he wished to discuss one of his favorite foods, and he laughed.  She, in turn, snorted at him with laughter. 

If I sound bitter, I assure you I'm not.  I'm actually trying to build a closeness between them. I encourage N to believe that she finds him the swellest thing that ever existed.  In turn, he then spends more time trying to make her laugh or play.  In the beginning, this was a failure because she'd stare at both of us like we had two heads (times two).  He'd lose interest and go play with his toys.  Now?  She laughs, he laughs, she laughs, he laughs.  Eventually one of them gets tired and starts to cry.

In other news, one little girl managed to sit for the first time without support for a second or two.  She has also rolled over (back to front pretty consistently, then she just cries).  She's finally, finally, starting to view the food I'm eating with some vague interest.  I let her lick a peach I was eating and she gave me "Why are you giving me battery acid?" face.  I gave her a tiny bit (literally a piece about a third of a centimeter in diameter) of breading and she tried spitting it out.  I know I'm not doing the standard "start with purees and only go through them in this manner" but I'm not good at following food rules. 

Also, in other news, N is starting to understand things we say a lot more, but he's also hilariously incompetent at grasping concepts I'm introducing at times like hypothetical situations.  I was trying to describe someone who cuts in line and why and how they are unfair.  I used an analogy that described N eating candy he should not have eaten.  N thought about this for half a minute before piping up to say, "I'm sorry, mommy."  I looked at him, confused, "For what?"  He looked at me sadly, "For eating the candy.  I didn't mean to."  Then I apologized to him and explained how he hadn't eaten any candy.  But I think P and I laughed pretty hard about the whole thing.  The problem is I often talk to N like I'm talking to a friend instead of a child.  I forget that he doesn't understand concepts or words I use until he asks about them.  He has finally gotten a slight grasp of basic sarcasm and will ask me if I'm teasing when I'm sarcastic.  I nod yes and he tells me to stop teasing, and we move along.

I wonder if N2 is going to grasp everything more quickly because N is there to walk her through it, or more slowly, because N is there to protect her from needing to do things.


Happiness Is...

As I've stated, I'm trying to get my feelings in order.  Some terrible things, some happy things, some big changes, they've all been coming my way, but I've not blogged about them for various reasons.  One is that I have more people than I expected reading my blog, including people close to me.  Those people don't deserve to find out big change news via my blog.  However, since the big change news hadn't been finalized until this week, that means I haven't been able to share it with everyone.  (For those of you worried for my future happiness, I'm not pregnant.  Please be aware that if I was, my blog would first go silent and then become bitter and hilarious, while people left both congratulations and "Are you dumb?" comments.  The "Are you dumb" comments would all be left by my own husband.)

Anyway, the terrible news is that another person close to my family was diagnosed with cancer.  This gentleman was a neighbor and a surrogate grandfather figure to N.  They often mowed the lawn together.  They'd hang and watch Sesame Street and eat M&Ms and Kit-Kat bars. 

The saddest part about this is that they are not treating it because they cannot.  He most likely will not live beyond a few more months.  I'm tearing up thinking of this.  I'm sad for his wife.  I'm sad for his family.  I'm sad for my son.  I'm sad for him.  I will most likely need to explain to my son where this man is going and what will happen to him.  All N knows so far is that he is "very very sick and he can't come home yet from the hospital".  This is the first time he'll face death that he'll most likely remember it.  While N has been to one funeral already, he was quite young at that one and the overwhelming sadness at that one led P to quickly take him to the children's room so that N could play away from people suffering from grief.  I feel guilty because I expect P will have to take this conversation.  I cry too easily and I think that would further upset our son.

I will miss this man and I already miss his daily presence.  It used to be on a slow day, we'd hop over to their house and him and N would hang for an hour while his wife and I chatted about food and books and children, or we'd all hang out on the front porch while N drove his Power Wheels around.  He was abrupt and brunt and generous and fond of N.  I hope the rest of his life is awesome.  I also hope for a miracle and that he punches cancer in the face.  I kind of hope for the latter more, to tell you the truth.

Mowing With Our Neighbor

Sad, but kind of funny thought for the day:  For the previous two years, a family of ducks has come and lived in our neighbor's bushes.  I'm now totally peeved at this duck that it didn't come and live in their yard this year.  You couldn't have given the family that much, duck?!


Hey, Is This Blog On?

The answer is yes.  Yes, the blog is still being considered and written to.  I have five draft posts that I'm currently unsure if I should post.  They are all sentimental or thoughtful and I don't think that is what I do best, but I still kind of want to put out there.  For example, I have a letter I wrote to my son prior to my daughter being born and a piece on how I feel about being a "mommy".  I'm not sure if they are meant for this blog, or to be written out and put in notes to my children for them to discover one day.

Additionally, a change might be coming to our lives and though that change would be temporary, it's still leaving me afloat in a sea of confusion and planning. 

So, I guess my question is, should I also blog the non-funny and non-crafty?  Do you want to hear about my legitimate (non-crazy) worries and thoughts?

(Crazy thought of the day -- spent ten minutes planning my attack on the game show Supermarket Sweep which no longer exists.  Everyone on that show was always crazy to pick up turkeys for some weird reason.  Why didn't people just go to the make-up aisle?  That stuff is both expensive AND small!)