Friday, October 29, 2010

Obsessive behavior...

Since having Scarlett I realized that I am crazy obsessive over "stuff". I have to know where things are at all times otherwise my mind is consumed by the thought of every place that it could be hiding. I have always been this way but it came out in full force when a child with even more "stuff" to obsess over was introduced.

Before marriage and babies I would go to bed at night scanning the invisible checklist in my mind, my Granny's old Bible, in the drawer next to my bed, my baby blanket (yes, I still had this until the day I got married), in my arms or under my pillow; my mothers wedding ring, safely tucked away in my jewelry box. All these things had a reason, history, or emotion attached that gave them meaning. Now I worry about pacifiers, bottles, stuffed animals and tiny shoes. I am constantly counting pacifiers, wondering how I could have lost four in ten months. My bag is always packed the same every morning and comes back to me in disarray every night. I take an inventory and a mental note of who might have left what at which house.

I know I am totally crazy, what kind of mom thinks she can keep track of every little thing in her house?  Well, honestly, this one.  But, after realizing that I am secretly driving myself insane,  I decided to make a change. Only sweat the big stuff.  I'll hang onto those things that evoke emotion, the dresses that I can give to Scarlett for her future family,  the pictures reflecting memories that will fade with time, the jewelry that might loose its sparkle but always keep its story.  I will surrender to just enough obsessive behavior to remember what is important and let the rest of my craziness slowly chip away one pacifier at a time.  Here's to new beginnings...

The kid in us...

I finally consider myself an adult.  After surviving the stress and worry of high school, enjoying the freedom of college, creating a life with a spouse, buying a house and adding one more to our family number, I finally feel i have hit the adult mark.

I love being an adult and a parent, I wouldn't make any changes.  Yet, in those moments that Chris and I get to step away from the invisible pressures of making our own decisions, cooking our own dinner and working full time to pay the mortgage we take full advantage of leaving the adult in us at home and act like kids.
Thanks Mike and Cassia for a duty free evening of friends, fun, and a lot of red heads!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I love going to a pumpkin patch. I love seeing all the kids laughing while trying to pick out the biggest, most perfect pumpkin to host their carving creations. My mind runs wild with all of the possible ways to use the overlooked pumpkins to my personal craving's advantage. A twisted stem can become a hooked nose, bumpy skin becomes a witches wart or over sized freckles, a dent in the flesh becomes a deep rooted scar from a sword fight once lost.

I can't wait to teach Scarlett to see outside the perfect pumpkin box and create something genius, but for now I will settle with taking a hundred (literally) pictures of her sticking pumpkins in her mouth and saying "dada".

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Starting to Feel Like a Dad

I remember the first time I felt like I was married. It wasn't at the alter or the reception or even the honey moon. It was a month after we said our vows when I introduced myself and Andrea to some guy I didn't know at a party. "Hi, I'm Chris. And this is MY WIFE, Andrea." It was the closest thing I've had to an out of body experience, like some one was using my voice. The words had never fit before, but for some strange reason that night, they did.

Fatherhood has been much the same. I teared up the first time Scarlett's voice graced this world and I wept as soon as we stepped through the front door with our child in arm. But, in spite of the overwhelming emotion, I didn't feel like a father. I felt more like a 6 year old wearing his dad's trousers. It's only been the past few months that this whole father thing has really sunken in.

The big milestones have been weird and oddly self absorbed. Like the first night I spent away from home when she was 3 months old. I missed her so much I could hardly sleep. Or the first time I was alone with Scarlett over night this summer when Andy went to Pittsburgh. If I didn't feed her, change her, rock her, make her laugh, no one would. And most recently, when we went on a camping trip this past weekend and I feared for her safety for the first time.

Some good friends of ours from the ole supper club (Tom, Katie and Scarlett's little friend Edith) invited us to camp at a place just north of Idyllwild called Boulder Basin. We knew it'd be cold, but didn't realize just how cold. The overnight temperature was below freezing and we were at 7,300 feet. Needless to say, the air was thin and noses were red. That night I could hardly sleep. Yeah, I was freezing. But, the whole night I was terrified that Scarlett was too cold or couldn't breath or for some unspeakable reason, wouldn't make it through the night. It was the first time I was incapacitated by the thought of my daughter's potential harm. So, I tossed and turned and freaked out in the freezing cold the way only a father would.

It's strange how life pushes you through on to new stages long before you're dressed for the part. There's no exam to pass before you become a voting citizen, no course to become a faithful husband, and no handbook to memorize to become the endearing father; you just become. That's how I feel: I'm becoming. It's been a long, slow process, but I think I'm becoming a father, and I love it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All stairs beware...

Scarlett is on a mission.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A letter to Scarlett...

It's October, your first taste of are ten months old, only two month before you are officially a toddler.  I know this is getting repetitive and I have said it every month but your dad and I love you more than we ever thought we could.  Our hearts burst at the sight of your tiny head peeking over the crib in the morning, your arms reaching while your hands are silently screaming "milk", my stomach turns thinking about all of the ways that you can hurt yourself and knowing that there is nothing I can do to shield you from most of them, my eyes water from laughing at your growing sense of humor.  You learn quickly (sign language, kisses, lizard, bunny and fishey "sounds", showing us our nose) and move into the next new thing just as fast, completely forgetting everything you learned in the past.  You are already prepareing your self for the toddler tantrums by throwing your head back and making it nearly impossible to control your wiggly body, just to show that you mean business.  You are weary of all things new, reaching out a hand you look back at me to make sure that it is okay to touch and when I say "yes" you go for it, and when I say "no", you still go for it.

No matter where you go in life and no matter what crazy decisions you make, we will always be there for you.  You have a family that will do anything for you.  Not just your dad and me, but your Aunts and Uncles, your God Parents, your Grandparents, your extended "stand-in" Aunts and Uncles.  You are a lucky girl and we are very lucky parents to have support and love through our families inevitable growing pains.  All of these people will always be there for you to care for you through the terrible twos, the "I just want to grow up already" tweens, and the "I know it all" teens.  We are all ready for the roller coaster, strapped in, hands up, screaming the whole way.

And some ten month video updates...

Thoughts on Halloween

I dislike Halloween. I love the pumpkins, pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie, the fall colors and crisp night air, but I could do without Halloween. When I was a little girl my mom got so excited to dress me up for my first trick or treat experience, I was ready to go, bag in hand, when I changed my mind and begged to stay home. Another year I was a nurse and someone in my family had the brilliant idea that I should collect all of my candy in a bedpan, not knowing what a bedpan was I conceded until a little girl at one of the houses opend the door and said "look mommy, a toilet". Although these stories hang heavy in my mind, it isn't these memories that caused the sour tast in my mouth. It is the parties and the overwhlming expectation to be "creative". Don't get me wrong, I love to dress up, give me a themed party and I am there with my Egyption, decade, pirate or golfer garb on and ready to p.a.r.t.y., but leave the spectrum of costume glory wide open and my creative juices freeze immediately.
So here goes nothing...another Halloween, another costume crisis in which Chris and I will pull something together at the last minute and call it good. Show up at the party, out costumed by creative overachievers who I secretly admire for genius use of props, glitter, feathers, masks and more.
Happy Halloween everyone! (We are totally open to creative suggestions!)

P.S. Scarlett is going to be a skunk...and I must say I really enjoy dressing her up (she has worn it twice already for no reason)...I have a feeling all future Halloween joy will come from letting my creative juices fall purely on my kids.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Surprise love note of the week...

Reading is fun...