The Wink is a labor of love, occasional source of ire and constantly influenced by the toddlywinks in my life- my daughters. There's also the HunkyWink. You'll read all about them as The Wink unfolds. Please feel free to wink back!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Confess

Today's post is part of the Blog Exchange.
Special thanks to Jessica for her confession.


I Confess

I think I am a very average mom. I do some things very well and others I don't do at all. I am usually fine with this, but every so often I feel the need to apologize, or at least confess.


· I confess that my toddler only gets a bath every other day, if that.
· I confess that I have, more than once, just cleaned her from head to toe with wipes because it was just too late for a "real" bath
· I confess that we don't have a night time routine, per-se.
· I confess that I have NO intention of taking my daughter's pacifier away from her when she turns two.
· I confess that we sometimes eat at McDonalds and that C gets her own Happy Meal. (With fries, not apples.)
· I confess that I don't mind sending C to daycare, and I fully plan on sending this next child as well, even if I don't work full time. (Or even part time. HA!)
· I confess that if I have an unexpected day off I still send C to daycare and take a personal day for myself.
· I confess that sometimes I get out of work early, but I still pick C up at the appointed time. I relish that time alone.
· I confess that I don't plan on sending C to preschool until she's three. I think she's getting everything she needs socially and educationally from her daycare.
· I confess that I sometimes lie to C about what I'm eating so that I won't have to share with her.
· I confess that some evenings C's bedtime is a little earlier than usual, because I just need it to be.
· I confess that I don't use those plastic table liners and just put C's food directly on restaurant tables.
· I confess that I never obsessed about giving C non bleached flour, or no processed sugar, or anything like that.
· I confess that a lot of what C eats for dinner comes out of the freezer.


I confess that I'm not the most obsessive, overbearing, over hovering mom. But I have to say when we sit at a restaurant and I watch my 22 month old daughter spoon feeding herself spaghetti, when she says "bless you" when someone sneezes, when she never forgets to say please and thank you, when she shows incredible compassion to people who are hurting or crying, basically when I see what a generally wonderful person she is becoming, well then I have to confess that I might be doing something right.

This was a guest post written by Rose at It's My Life... in honor of this month's blog exchange.

When I'm not busy working, cooking, or running after my toddler, C, I'm usually hiding in the bathroom thinking up my next blog post or trying to read a chapter or two of the book I'm currently reading. When I do come up with something witty to write about, you can read it here (though I have to apologize, the baby within seems to have swallowed most of the wit these day) where your usual blogger extraordinaire is blogging today.

Go on over and read her post and don't forget to check out all the other blog exchange posts this month!

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But what happens?

Sometimes I am not, as they say, the sharpest knife in the drawer.

The other day Sean and I were have a quick bite to eat at Davidson's.

He was telling me about one of the books he is reading by Jon Katz. He was trying to explain how a couple of sheep can pretty quickly get to be a lot of sheep.

"So they start with a couple of ewes and a ram."

"Uh-huh."

"And the ewes start having babies, maybe a set of twins."

"Ok."

"Then those ewes begin having babies."

"Which ewes?"

"The new ewes."

"From the ram?"

"Yes."

"You mean a new ram and the second ewes?"

"No, the old ram and the new ewes."

"That can't be, they'd have to get another ram."

"Why?"

"Sean, they can't make babies with their cousins."

And then, with the most exasperated I-cannot-believe-I-married-someone-so-dim look he said,

"Amanda. They're sheep."

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Q & A with Beck

Beck of Frog and Toad are Stilll Friends offered to fire out some interview questions. Many of us love reading her blog and were so enchanted by the idea of having a virtual tête à tête with her that we immediately raised our hands. Now, without further ado, the questions from Beck:

Okay, here are the interview questions for you!
1. Which actress - past or present - will play you in the movie of your life?

I suspect this question was posed because of an old post of mine and the update soon after. Back in the day I used to wish I were famous, now I really enjoy the freedom of say, spending an entire Saturday in public places, brilliantly unshowered, shamefully unshaved, and generally indifferent to the reality of my appearance. Please note that I mean I enjoy knowing I have the option to do this. I do not however, enjoy being unshowered, unshaved or indifferent. I currently feel as if I can smell my own scalp, and that my friends, is not a pleasant thing.
Back to the casting...could I do it like the flick coming out with Cate Blanchett playing Bob Dylan? Could I cast Jason Bateman? Kidding. I can't do it based on looks because no one looks like me, or I don't look like anyone. I used to get Kirstie Alley comparisons, back in her Cheers days, but I never saw it. A teacher once called me a Candace Bergen doppleganger, but I didn't see that either. I am honestly drawing a blank, I might have picked Jessica Biehl before her ass was deemed the eigth wonder of the world, because while nice, I don't think mine would make the cut in Maxim. She was fierce in one of the blade movies and I think, given a little more sleep, I could be fierce again. Another contender might be Emma Thompson for her incorrigibility in any number of Merchant Ivory productions. I identify with her intelligent, but kind of bumbling way. But she's not quite right either. Maybe I'll let Sean's casting of Jennifer Garner stand, because let's be honest, who can really cast themself?

2. Steve from Blue's Clues - kind of sexy?

Honestly I can't get past the striped shirts and I am not sure if Steve is the guy with the gnarly eyebrows or the lad with the modified bowl cut. I must say that as I watch I can't help myself wondering if these guys ever get laid. Seems to me that if you aren't a mom, you wouldn't give them a second look, and if you are a mom, and you do give them a second look...ew, jest eww!

3. If you could have one free service in your home every day, what would you choose?

Oh, that is easy, I totally know the answer, in fact you could make me give up tv, internet and phone service (well maybe not the internet, but I would give up garbage service) if only I could get a person/machine/service that would go all Ethan Hawke in Gattaca on my house and remove every last trace of hair. Yup, I'd take a life without dog and cat hair any day!

4. What is the nicest compliment anyone has ever given you?

Boy, this question did a number on me. I could share how Briar told me the other day, "You make me happy, mama," or when Sean has said, "You are the best thing that has ever happened to me." But I hold the things that my family says to me in a different place than compliments. Perhaps I am overly sentimental, but I kind of think of the things we say to each other as promises, even though I suppose I am technically misusing the word. I think the nicest compliment I was ever given was in the fourth grade. It was the Christmas pageant, back before everything was "holiday" this or that. I had a music teacher, Mrs. Vandenberg, or Vanden-something. Because we were in Eugene the teachers often had student teachers from the University of Oregon (on a totally different thing, in sixth grade I learned what a boner was from a group of girls that were fantasizing about a strapping male student teacher working with our track coach, but typing this I realize you are probably getting the wrong idea, because it wasn't like that. He did, however, say to all those Keds wearing snooty girls that tried to flirt with him, that he thought I was going to be something special). The student teacher for my music teacher was a tall attractive guy. As I took my place on the risers I was self-conscious about the dress I was wearing, being a tomboy, dresses were a punishment of sorts. Just as I was passing him he said, "Amanda, you look beautiful." I think they could have turned off the lights in the gym and the heat from the surge of adrenaline and the blush on my cheeks would have been more than enough to illuminate the entire space. I have often wondered if he had any idea just how much of an impact those four simple words had on me.

5. What is your favorite memory of your grandfather?

Indulge me a made up word, and let me say that I am sharing what takes me back to him at his most twinklescent, because twinkle he surely did. He was a swimmer. I would watch him swim lap after lap, his rhythm never changing. Long arms would slice through the water and then those beautiful hands would come up in a gentle cup and windmill forward. The part of this ritual that brings everything from the scent of chlorine to the sound of his feet gently slapping against the patio is the image of him as he rinsed his snow white hair under a spigot. His body crouched in an athletic squat, his whole face would wrinkle up as he braced under a cascade of cold water. After, he would towel his hair off, stand and look around. I would wrap my arms around my knees and wait, when he'd meet my gaze he'd say, "How 'bout some graham crackers?" Oh, to be back at the pool with him once more.

Beck, thanks so much for taking me on this trip, I never thought I'd use the word "boner" in a story about a compliment. Anyone out there want to give this a whirl? If so let me know.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cross Country Travel

With the completion of travel with a toddler and an infant comes wisdom:

Do not experiment with what is a safe amount of blueberries to allow your child to eat in one shitting sitting.

You know you are going to have to take off your belt and remove your shoes meaning that at some point you are going to have to bend over to tie your shoes and you'll probably do it before you refasten your belt. Do not wear a thong. Your thong will show, you'll try to cover, it won't be pretty.

Do not trust the breasts that have not spontaneously leaked milk in months to behave while you nurse your daughter. Or even while you walk laden with children and luggage. It won't be pretty.

Do not look at yourself in the bathroom mirror on the plane. You will absolutely find new lines, unplucked pluckables and so much more that makes the sludge on the floor seem more attractive than you are.

Pack food. Oh sweet jesus pack food. Unless of course you are counting points in which case I think you can safely cancel out the points of any of the little bags of snacks they give you as you'll burn that and more off in craning your neck to see if the slow walking snack giver outer is any closer and then of course the sweaty, slick fingered struggle to open the damn things is sure to incinerate the calories ingested in the ancient Coffee Mate you dumped in your coffee oh so many hours before.

Carry ribbons. Ribbons are an in-flight delight. They decorate, they secure, they adorn and they soothe, they work far better than you could ever imagine.

Don't study the flight attendants, no two are alike and just when you think you have a kind one on your hands
Poof
They growl, they mutate, they hiss at your young.
You must flee!


Don't tell them not to kick, they just kick harder. The children, not the flight crew, though I'm sure they're tempted.

Don't use a 1 gallon Ziploc bag for more than one poopie diaper. There is some sort of speed to stench anomaly that precipitously hastens the time during which a normal poopie diaper achieves the steaming scent of an unidentifiable wad sitting in an inch of gelatinous wetness on the bottom of a closed dumpster behind a taqueria on a hot day south of the border.

Do not decline the offer from strange people in the pre-boarding nook to carry the booster seat for your toddler that you are holding while your husband runs a very long way to baggage claim with your infant to retrieve the backpack that was "gate checked." No one else is going to help you. They will watch you, scowl, titter and literally point while you hoss the damn thing over your head, crumbs and other odd, dry bits showering into your travel nasty hair, and try to keep it together and gently coax your toddler to walk into the sea of dour faces. They will in fact readjust themselves so that their porcine selves ooze into the aisles and then harumph as your bag gently brushes past. And then, oh and then those jovial Southwest folks will turn their cuteness schtick on you and your predicament: Oh, you have another child? Hmm, mm, mm, somebody baby daddy in trouble. Ooo-eee.

But the most important thing, the thing that I give to you as a veteran of this hell on earth called traveling with children: Know the power of the mighty Mac.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Real Moms

Ok, so I have seen blogger after blogger do it, and now, here I am. Doing it.

In hushed tones of reverence and shameless delight I am exceedingly tickled to share that Ginga Joy, she of the ravishing profile shot, has drawn her mighty blogger arrow and pointed it at me. Sipping my fourth coffee of the morning and trying not to introduce more profanity to my toddler's vocabulary, I proudly take the challenge she shot my way:


Part of the Real Mothers meme spawned by the evil Kristen at The Mom Trap--see the rules here and then break them, like me.
(Put up a post "Real Moms [insert what you do here]", followed by an explanation (feel free to use more sentences than just one run-on one like me), a picture, and a "Real Moms. Making ....". Then tag five people.



And break the rules I shall, not because I am a rule breaker, because I'm not. Actually I am, but it's rules like arriving to work on time or no drinking from the milk jug, these are rules I break. Double parking my lazy ass in front of the grocery store or blocking intersections because I don't want to sit through another red light, these are rules I don't break and wish the hell that others would follow suit.

No, the reason I'll break the rules is twofold, first, because the magnificent Ginga Joy told me to. I know, I'm laying it on a bit thick, but go over and read her stuff. She's better than good and she makes me laugh and think. You don't get that too often these days. Second, I am on the west coast away from my obscenely large trove of pictures. The current state of my skin and the absence of a hair dryer in my life makes the no picture bit a treat for you all, so, you're welcome, hold the thank you cards because this real mom rues the day that little number was added to the book of ettiquette. And while we're on it, WTF with a book of ettiquette? Can we agree that if you need a book for it maybe it's not essential to life?

Real Moms make do.


We add a dollup of cream cheese to chips for dairy in a toddler's diet.

We take ribbon, an empty box and a pillow case to make a fairy charriot.

We nibble little necks to keep blazing tantrums at bay for another moment.

We turn "Oh fuck" into "Oh the flock, did you see the flock?"

We go on dates with our husbands and wear flirty frocks. We realize that our white bras are glaring from beneath a black bodice and our wildly distracted by it despite our husband's promises that it isn't noticable. W scan and then ferret black tulle from a flower arrangement and steal away to the ladies' rooms to wrap the hateful itchy fabric around the underwire to mask it. And it works, but how it itches. My flocking god how it itches.

We real moms, we're a creative bunch.

Rereading this I guess the other thing we do is we find a way to talk about itchy boobs.

I'll tag five moms as per the directions, but know that chances are these real moms may have been tagged before. I am excited to share these great blogs with you, so I gleefully tag:

SusieJ who may just have to most beautiful masthead I've ever seen!

MommaK at Petroville who convinced me to bare my belly to boost the spirits of a pregnant mom.

Emily, maker of magnificent woolen things and walker of beautiful beaches, over at Five Flowers.

Kristi, if she has ever found that moment to go to the bathroom can consider herself tagged.

Beck at the poignant and genuine Frog and Toad are Still Friends.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Soul Food

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The Butterfly

Tomorrow we fly to California for a memorial service.

Dreading this trip and being sick have kept me from writing. What is there to say but that I feel as if my heart will never again be whole? How many ways can I say that he was special? Am I the first person to lose someone? Indulge me in just sharing a few words frommy grandfather, they demonstrate his wisdom, candor and impishness.

An excerpt:

RESURRECTION NOW
Easter Sermon preached in Smith College Chapel
19 April 1981
by
Davie Napier

I have a granddadughter in second grade named Amanda who recently wrote an essay entitled, THE BUTTERFLY. It runs all of a hundred words, and I think you will agree that it is an achievement -- in the way of second grade achievement -- in brevity, in clarity, in simplicity. Had she written more than the hundred words, she might well have engaged in the dubious art known to all of us in academia by the two letters also used to abbreviate the degree of Bachelor of Science. But that art is not really cultivated, assiduosly and with sophistication, until we come to college. THE BUTTERFLY. I am thinking of attaching copies of Amanda's essay to long papers and exams in themselves worthy of the B.S. degree.


He was a preacher, a professor and an activist.

Professor

Preacher

Activist

Yet none of these means as much as he was my grandfather and I love(d) him.

I think I'll heed his advice and stick to the second grade version for now -

I am going to say goodbye.
There is an ache.
I have no words.
I'll be back when I do.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

No Filter

Sometimes when I am with my daughter her spirit unlocks a part of me that makes anything possible. The other day we were painting and the sun came out from behind a cloud and shone through the window overhead.

A little sparkly purse. A bit of sunlight.

In that moment I heard the sounds of live theatre.
Smelled the kiss of freshly laundered clothes.
I felt the flutters of a first date.
The heady power of triumph.
I wanted for nothing and believed anything possible.




When the sun passed I turned to see if Briar had seen the same thing. There in her face was all the light of the sun, the promise of those sparkles, and the message that anything is possible.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wet Dream

Ah life, it's fucking grand. Yesterday was a day for the record books. Sean was sick, Briar was a marauding tank full of piss and vinegar and Avery was relentlessly getting all up in the grill of the aforementioned tank, which any mom of two under three can tell you spells :

T-R-O-U-B-L-E


I really did my best to keep it all together. Briar has a drawer in the kitchen, meant to keep her out of trouble. As many of you dearly coveted readers and commenters know, she has taken an interest in a spelunking of sorts, using a teaspoon to plumb the depths of our poor dog's anal cave. Now, that in itself isn't all that awful (ok, actually it is, but it's not the hill I am ready to die on) the awful part is something that dawned on me as I frantically tried to cook macaroni and cheese while keeping Avery from crawling into the drawer of the oven that no matter what I do amasses little hateful bits of mouse shit that make me feel like a low-rent prosititute serving up rat tails and crack pipes for my kids' entertainment. Batted away once again by what Briar has told me is a big foot (welcome back childhood ache, yes, they said I'd grow into 'em but fuck if it doesn't still hurt to have my feet called 'big') she crawled away and lifted herself to standing with the help of a drawer. Briar's drawer. A drawer filled with stainless steel delights o'plenty. I focused on cooking the noodles.

Stir. Stir. Blow. Blow. Ouch that steam is hot.

I could hear Briar, or rather I could hear the Pixar movie she was parked in front of. Yes, I know, the computer and tv are poor substitutes for a hands on mom. Well what's a telecommuting, diaper changing mom of a "spirited" toddler and mobile infant to do? I put foam pads under her chair. She's happy, she's got an incredible vocabulary (and I am not talking about the poker table expletives she's picked up from god knows where snort). I give, if you want to slam me for it, fine, but I bet when you shit it stinks.

Avery, what'cha doing sweetie? You're so quiet.


I could feel her radiant smile as I looked down, damp wooden spoon in my hand and a halo of pasta steam induced frizz around my horribly broken out face.

Her dark eyes twinkled as she gleefully exclaimed, "Uh-yaw!" Which is Avery for:

Damn, but this teaspoon tastes good in my mouth.

I looked at the spoon, looked at the drawer, back at the spoon and then-

Shit.

Literally. Shit. The spoon. The dog. My god.

No, no, no honey. That's yuck. That's so yuck, yuck, yuckety.

I snagged the spoon and tossed it, not in the sink, but in the trash. Erase all evidence. Deny, deny, deny. She took the one spoon that hadn't been a canine anal probe, right? Or Briar had actually put the "used" spoons in the sink, right? My heart absolutely plummeted as I shut the burner off while thick, pasta water ran over the stovetop. The phone rang, but I couldn't find it to answer it. The dog was howling outside and the goddamned cat was doing a cha cha under my feet with every step I took.

Suddenly the piercing siren of toddler vexation bleeted from the general vicinity of the computer.

I scooped Avery in my arms and ran to Briar, hoping against hope that she wasn't hurt.

What is it baby? What happened?

Mama!

I knelt at her side and scanned her body for signs of injury. Avery giggled in my arms as she arched her back, trying to wrench herself from my arms. The momentum of her body knocked me back and onto my saggy jeaned ass. I set her down with a sigh and turned back to Briar.

Please let her be ok. Please let me not have blown this too.

Mama.

What is it?

Mama, want it.

Want what?

Mama, Briar want it!

Ok, tell me and I'll do it.

Wet dream, mama. Wet dreams for Briar.

What?

Wet dream.

Briar, what are you saying?

WET DREAM!


Ah hell no. I am not going down (ha ha ha) for this one. I did not teach her wet dream. I can't abide:
"horny"
"moist"
"boner"

I assure you, "wet dream" did not come from me. But of course that makes no never mind to the judgers in the store or the folks who I shall not name who know so much about how to do things the right way.

Honey, why are you saying that? What do you mean?

Mama's a wet dream.

No, honey. Not really. I mean maybe. Kind of flattering. Stop. What do you mean?

Wet dream, mama.

What is wet dream?

She smiled at me, a beatific look on the face of an angel.

Wet dream!
She exclaimed with joy and feeling. Avery patted my leg. My shoulders slumped as the phone rang again. I have failed. No dinner, no phone, and a big loud wet dream. I looked up at the computer table for the phone.

Red's Dream read the screen.

Red's Dream, a Pixar Film.

Pixar, you wet dream you!

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Soundtrack for a telecommuting mama

Sean makes me iTunes playlists.

Briar gives me quasi-carnival surround sound.

Go ahead, be jealous!

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Nap.

So the nap thing...

Still working out the kinks. I know that if the Super Nanny or any of her ilk saw this they'd say I wasn't being firm enough. Trust me, firm didn't work.

Neither did pleading, bribing, coercing, threatening or cuddling.

Calming lavender.
Gentle back rubs.
Lullabyes and music.
Hushed tones and drawn curtains.

Bah, I mock you.

This leaves me with a wry sense of humor and a camera. Feast on this.



Avery does nothing to help the situation with her full body head shake "NO!"

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Smudge. Proof.

We have two gym routines, one for when we are together, and one for when we go in shifts. I was alone tonight, while Sean stayed home with the girls. I followed my solo routine: dropping my sweatshirt and pants off in a coat room near the workout area, going to the bathroom and then filling my water bottle. In the bathroom there was, as always, a gaggle of little girls taking a break from gymnastics. They fascinate me. I struggle not to gawk.

There is a kind of electricity they give off, fluttering in circles to chatter almost without pause. Their ponytails bright and silky, some with flushed pink faces, others pale and freckled. Their black leotards create a sameness, despite a rainbow of heights and builds. I tower over them and find myself grinning as they exclaim over this and that. These nights when Sean isn't with me I linger, away from my girls I imagine the day when I'll have my own swarm of girls jabbering and giggling. In my mind I'll still be cool, still be in their circle of wonder. The girls begin to notice me, sometimes they smile, other times it's as if they send a silent alert:

Mom. Mom. We have a mom in the room, act accordingly.


The air crackles and then it's over, a spell is broken, a reverie stalled. I smile and go as swiftly as I can, the door whooshing to a gentle stop close behind me. I pause outside, my hands hovering just above the smooth surface of the bright blue door, and listen as the sounds coming from beneath the thick door bubble up in a frothy mixture of rose colored laughter and play.

I walk to the workout area to make the most of my time. I'll need to get back to Sean before long, back to the girls. I take my spot at a treadmill and start the belt. 3.5 miles an hour. Step, step, step. 4 degree incline. I carry an iPod and listen to music as I watch the news. A troupe of girls pass in front of me, three tye died shirts, three ponytails, three bright faces with wispy bangs fluttering on dark eyelashes. Their legs are long, at once graceful and awkward. I watch their eyes, watch them watching each other. They are a blend of confidence and insecurity, engrossed in conversation yet keenly aware of everything happening around them. As boys run by they preen and titter, like flowers twisting and reaching for the sun. I smile and remember 16.

6 miles an hour. 3 degree incline. The news comes on and I read the subtitles. Tornado. 16 year old dead after trying to save others. 15 year old teaches 5 and 2 year old to smoke pot. Story after story meant, presumably, to report the news seems focused on squashing hope, shining a glaring light on death and despair. I fight a lump and the hot burning tears nipping at my eyes. 7 miles an hour and 1.5 degree incline. I run. Stride after stride I push to escape the news. I pump my arms and chase a better place, I am in pursuit of a place that doesn't allow kids to die too soon or have their childhoods stolen. I look to the monitor and wonder if there is something more I am meant to do. A blur of pink, lime and purple breaks the tractor beam of misery.

7 miles an hour. 1.5 degree incline. No more. Just run. I dig into the belt beneath my feet until I can feel a rhythm. As my feet hit I breathe, my chin is set and I will not look to the screen, I will not do anything but run. My lungs burn, the tears still threatening. I treat each thump of my feet as extra time with the girls. I am filling up the account for later, earning more time. I'll be there for them. A new song begins to play in my ears. It makes me smile. I raise my head and see a set of eyes watching me. They are 16 and they are not afraid. She is looking at me as before I looked at her. She says nothing and it is only for a moment, but in that moment she imagined being me. She was old, but she was still hanging. She looked ok (for an old person).

Begin cool down.

I gratefully ease back. I am soaked. I finish the cool down and clean the machine. As is my Seanless routine I head to the bathroom for my mom of two requisite pee. I cross the workout area and emerge into an area just outside the gymnastics room. There must be a competition as the windows are covered by heavy drapery. I make my way back to the bright blue door. The hall is quiet and the sight of the door stops me in my tracks. There, at just above knee level is a band of white. It is actually a line of chalky hand prints. I step closer and see the different hands. It was not one child who made this pattern. Long fingers, chubby fingers. Sleek fingers and crooked fingers cuddle and bend in an impish wave along the smooth expanse of blue. Erratic chalky dots of palm print punctuate the blue landscape.

Standing there I am moved by the impact of these marks on the door. Throughout the facility there are people in red shirts charged with keeping things clean. Spray down the machines, wipe off the weights, sweep the mats. The mirrors sparkle, the lockers are pristine, even the parking lot is well groomed. But this door, this tall blue rectangle is marked. These smudges shout:

Ok. Done. There. Let's go. Let's do the next thing. C'mon!

These ethereal claps are an irrefutable symbol of good, of childhood. I imagine the energetic charge for the door, the slap of bare feet on tile, swinging pony tails and escalating peals of delight. These prints reach inside me and pat my soul, they tell that there are girls being girls, that there is still good, still fun to be had. I smile as I think of the hands in my own house. The streaks of pink and green on the table lingering from a coloring session, a desk's edge crusted white, artful streaks of hardened cream cheese. Each mess really a mark, a symbol of the very spirit of my girls. Of youth and of light.

I move forward and press my right hand against the upper portion of the door to open it. I let my left hand move lower, my fingers touch just above the prints, careful not to smudge them. I want to preserve these traces for a bit longer. I ache to touch them, to entwine my fingers in those of their authors, but I know I must not. For now I am just glad that they are.

Those smudges, my proof.

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Sunday, March 4, 2007

Open, close, open, close


Open.



Close.



Open.


Close.




Seriously, Mama?
Have you seen this?
This door just opens and closes.




It is a-may-sing!

Work, work, work makes this mama a desperate blogger. Sorry I failed to post and left you with the profile shot of horror for these few days. Enjoy Briar for now, and here's an Avery for good measure. She's flirting with the eastern european gent who served us coffee on the veranda...and yes, it was every bit as divine as that just sounded.

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Friday, March 2, 2007

Hit me with your worst shot

So there's this lady, see.
She's widely read.
Hugely popular.
Enormously funny.
Bigger than life
Largely revered.
A colossal success.
Monumentally witty.
A giant of the blogosphere.

She's practically bursting with...

BABY!


Luckily she has an incredible friend, MommaK, who has enlisted the help of said lady's massive readership.

"Send me your most wildly uncomfortable pregnancy shots," she charged.

Ever fascinated and delighted by pregnancy, I was all too eager to help. I searched high and low (which was easy thanks to the flexibility and ease of mobility regained after pregnancy). Finding the kind of shot she wanted, not so easy, for two reasons:

Smart husband
It took but one unfortunate, "Bring those birthing hips over here" taunt on the basketball court for him to learn he simply had no business saying anything other than,

"My how you glow, you ravishing goddess, you."

Kate Hudson -
God help me I remember watching that little slip of a girl go from serious waif to, well let's not be mean. I just didn't want that kind of body of evidence, as it were.

I am left with a shot taken about a week before our second daughter was born. Falling into the textbook second time parents routine we had taken zero photos.

Oh shit. Quick take 16 pictures and we'll pretened like we were tracking this pregnancy as closely as the first.

The shot below is what happened when I caught myself in profile and realized that while not as heavy as I had been with my first, my belly was seriously in another zip code. Sean had to steady his hands.

My god, do you see this Sean?

Yep.

No, seriously, are you seeing this?

Yes. (Through clenched teeth.)

Sean, my god it's-

Amanda, it's huge. It's scary. Be quiet and let me take the picture so we can stop looking at it. It creeps me out.


So, at MommaK's request, this belly's for Lindsay. Good luck sweetie, we'll be pulling for you!



Just remember, you've got a 5-10 pound angel on the other side of the bump.



I'll keep my fingers crossed for lucky number 7...

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You need this

Put down your pen.
Stop typing.
Turn off the radio.

Just shut everything out and lose yourself in this brilliance: