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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lesson 239.5

Sometimes suppressing the desire to scream at the 2nd hour of the bedtime gauntlet is the thing to do. Simply padding up the stairs, repositioning the blankets so the princesses are line up exactly where they need to be, administering the 5th drink of water, applying unrequested lotion to a little back with unhurried circles and then stroking the confused brow and saying, "mama loves you. Hope you can sleep now," actually makes you both feel better.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Were you saying something?



I'm sorry. I know there are posts to be written, press releases to be sent out and laundry to be put away, but come on, how can I focus with this right here?



Seriously, it's all consuming this distraction.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Today is not my birthday

I adore Jess. She is witty, brilliant and very often bawdy. Love it. The other day she innocently started a rumor that my birthday was coming. While I understand life goes fast, I turned 35 without melancholy or fear in late July, I am not yet ready to turn 36 thankyouverymuchjess.

Today is just a day, but as Jess so beautifully stated on her blog, it is the season of my motherhood.

Today I shall celebrate that, revel in it even.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Shhhhh. It. Is broken.

My hand. May hand is broken. My right hand, you know, the one I write, type, eat and remove biting breastfeeders with.

Sigh. Pout. Wince.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Four Real

I can remember the night I went into labor. We'd been to the doctor and after an enthusiastic exam (read- forceful) a bit of liquid trickled between my legs.

"Could you hand me a paper towel?" I asked Sean as I sat up.

"What?" he asked looking startled.

"A paper towel, I need a paper towel." I repeated with my hand out and my knees awkwardly clamped together.

"What do you mean you need a paper towel?" He said.

"Something came out, a little liquid." I whispered.

"What do you mean liquid? You mean like water? Like your water broke?" He was approaching full-blown panic mode.

"I have no idea. I just know that something came out. Something wet." I was a little embarrassed not to know what it was, or if it was in fact the breaking of my water. And, of course, I was not really digging on feeling like I'd just wet myself. He handed me a wad of tissues and then dashed out the door for a nurse.

The woman came in and I repeated my clumsy description of wetness as she pressed a little litmus strip type of thing on my skin.

"Hmm, not sure," she said. A blend of reassurance and concern set in. "Why don't you go home and see. If you begin to bleed, enough to soak a pad, call the doctor and he can meet you at the hospital. Otherwise let's plan on seeing you first thing tomorrow morning." She smiled and left.

Sean looked at me and, I don't think I am embellishing here, I'm pretty sure he gulped.

What followed was eight hours of: Is this really a contraction? Shouldn't I be screaming?

And then at 3 we drove to the hospital. She arrived less than five hours later. It isn't shocking at all to read that she was exquisite, perfect in every way, from her blue eyes and round head, to the tiny, wrinkly arms and legs that molded to my body as I nursed her. She brought me and my entire life into color.

It's been four years and in that short time she has grown into a sassy, doting, quirky, girlie, sensitive little person. My baby and my big girl.

I ache for her in the expectations that I place on her are higher than those I have for Avery. There are times when I treat Briar as an extension of myself, demanding levels of excellence, resilience and integrity that just don't exist in most people. I try to remind myself that she is just four, but still I ride her.

Last night I ignored the frustration I have with her sleep issues, from day one she has been hard in this area. I slipped into bed with her, pressed my cheek to hers and whispered I love you as she did. A little game that neither of us talks about, but both enjoy, our lips moving in synch.

I love you.

And then again, chins jutting out and eyes crinkled in delight, I love you.

When she asked for lotion and water, my eyes burned. I was so tired, still recovering from the trip.

"Sure, honey."

"Mom, you want me to give you a butterfly kiss?" She asked.

"A butterfly kiss? Of course!"

And so we fluttered. On cheeks and on noses. On arms and necks.

Hopefully, despite our crashing wills, she will remember these flutters and cuddles. She is, was and always will be my first baby.

I love you like no one else, Briar Davie.

Happy birthday!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Me & Me to keep me warm

AKA Two memes for a lonely night away from home. So, with no further dwelling on being homesick, meme #1 from the sweet Dany. It's what she called the "ten-stupidly-random-facts-that-still-turn-out-quirky-and-funny meme."

1. Most of my tears come from my right eye. Honestly, in the car, riding shotgun, I can cry without anyone knowing. A skill I picked up in a dark time of my life when I always rode in the passenger seat, literally and figuratively.

2. Yesterday I discovered that the "1" button on my cell phone is what can make the period and comma symbols for me when texting. Seriously, yesterday.

3. I am very modest. Like turn and cower or wait for a bathroom stall to change at the YMCA kind-of-modest.

4. Once I find a bug in my food, it's over. There is no amount of flicking, extracting, rinsing, or ignoring that can quell the gag reflex.

5. I pet the skin above my lip with my index finger when I am worried, deep in thought or need to soothe myself. Sometimes I get wild and use my ring finger.

6. I can drink an entire bottle of Essential Vitamin Water without taking a breath (the big or the little bottle).

7. I have grown to love my feet (they were a size ten by 8th grade, happily, 3 pregnancies later, they are still a ten.)

8. I am beginning to think that a little bit of vanity is healthy.

9. I have officially entered the, "I don't get the allure" age, where I look at magazines and shake my head. The tsk tsk can't be far off.

10. I think working out with my husband is sexy.

And now for the second meme because, you know, even though the ten things I just listed gave you way more than enough information about me, I'm still bored in my hotel room. Thanks to the supah-dupah hawt Hotfessional I give you the "5 current addictions" meme.

1. Coffee. Hot. Iced. Homemade. Coffee shop. Morning. Afternoon. Weekeday. Weekend.

2. Boy shorts. Screw thongs and bikinis. I love, love, love how I feel and look in boy shorts.

3. Shaving. Whether it's Sean or Ave, having someone rub your leg appreciatively? Awesome.

4. Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother and Redken Extreme Iron Repair - pre-styling wonders that don't make my hair sticky!

5. Day four away from my family I am seriously addicted to thinking about them and replaying the mundane - doing the girls hair in the morning, matching socks at night, thrusting my feet at Sean and saying, "Well, would you look at that? Guess if they're sitting right there you might as well rub them."

****

How about that? I feel all warm and better. Thanks Dany, thanks Ree.

No tags, but man, I'd sure love some comments sharing your addictions or quirky things. Help a lonely gal out, mm-kay?

5.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I could *so* do it

If I lived alone, in a hotel room, and all I wore was underwear and the odd tank top, I could totally live without a washer or dryer.


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Monday, September 8, 2008

Vegas so far

Chapped lips - Me
Teething - Fin
Achy feet - Me
Drooly chin - Fin

Intense flirtations - Fin
Awkward small talk - Me
Wild, late nights - Fin
Sleepy fussiness - Me

I don't travel well. I am trying to have fun, but tonight I miss my family, my bed and my tennis shoes.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fin City

Fin and I are in Vegas. We flew out at noon today, she was fine, I was a blubbering mess. The last few weeks have been intense, with things hopping at Trampoline, prepping for pre-school, and the perpetual bid to find balance. Last night I lived up to my never-sleep-before-a-travel-day anxiety, puttering long into the night.

We made it, despite turbulence that had me nodding with sweaty palms and prickly underarms and thinking, "I was right. I am not going to survive." Finley was an absolute champ, doing a little bit of nursing and a whole lot of vamping and flirting. She knows the audience on a flight is hers for the taking, dazzling them with wide, sparkling eyes and a gooey, shiny gurgley tale instead of the grating screaming they anticipate.

During one of her catnaps I even managed to thumb through the Glamour magazine I bought. Rachel Bilson, Ali Larter and Diane Lane were on the cover for a feature on being gorgeous at any age. For the trip I suspended my disbelief and let the whole rich, famous, metabolism of an amped up hummingbird and daughter of a Playmate stuff slide. I found the little interviews to be surprisingly enjoyable and I closed the magazine smiling.

New haircut.
Business trip to Vegas.
Impeccably behaved infant.
Flawlessly shaved and moisturized legs.
Perfect-for-me husband home with two sweet daughters.

Life was pretty good. I walked through the Vegas airport with a spring in my step and a bounce on my chest (Sly laugh, baby and breasts). I was cruising along when I heard a chorus of "Awwwws!" and I slowed, traveling with a baby comes with a responsibility--must share. So I turned to the group of women gathered childless and worry-free outside a bar and let them feast on Fin. I was giggling at their delight as one of them walked over quickly to coo directly to Fin, it was none other than Rachel Bilson.

Only in Vegas.


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Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Cry in the Night

Last night, with my face buried in the pillow, I wept tears I hadn't expected. I've spent the last week buying the necessary supplies and planting little seeds preparing Briar for starting pre-K. There have been beautiful essays around the net, tales of sending kids off on the bus or walking them into class rooms. Some have made me misty, others have made me laugh, but I haven't been crippled by the prospect of this milestone.

Until last night.

I realized that yesterday afternoon was the last of its kind. I could go on and on about the things I realized I would lose, but it was something else that pierced me, the slipping of these particular grains of sand through the hourglass. The day was over and the memory of it could never be changed. Would I be ok with that?

Yesterday afternoon played out like many before, the girls alternately playing and squabbling. They asked for a show, I complied. A snack? Strawberries and cheese. Costumes? Silky nightgowns and jewelry. They asked for Play Doh and I pulled out the large bag of brightly colored tubs. Once all the gear was set out I arranged my laptop at the table to work alongside Briar. A minute passed and Briar asked me to roll out her Play Doh. Normally this grates on my nerves, Play Doh and painting being two activities that tend to generate more work than fun, the clean up lasting far longer than the actual play time. I had no aspirations of perfect momdum yet I did it.

"Sure. How wide do you want me to roll it?" I asked. And she beamed back at me as she said, "As biggest as you can roll it, k?"

After Play Doh there was water play, coloring and then more coloring. After a time I went back to working on the computer.

"Mom?" they were both standing at the edge of the table.

"Girls, mom has to work. You have to find an activity." I said just short of snapping.

"Mom, can we go outside? Do you think that would be a good idea to play on the swings and slide?" Briar asked with her head tilted to one side.

"Yeah, dat would be funny and a gweat idea," chirped a grinning Ave.

A frustrated response passed through my mind, but was gone before I could give it a voice.

"Sure, that's a great idea." I said.

We went outside and played. Finley slept in her swing and the girls ran around the yard, alighting on one thing and then another. We romped until the bugs chased us inside. As we walked through the house Briar asked me to read several labels and book spines.

"But what's it say?"

"What's that?"

"What does that one mean?"

"Does the "o" do the same thing in that word as in "mom"?

She went on and on, and I never once tuned out or uh-huhed her. I shuddered with exasperation, giggled in my sleeve and made snarky asides in my head about how it would soon be Sean's turn, but I never cracked.

As the afternoon replayed in my head I wept with relief, not that Briar would be somewhere else the next day, but that in my last day with her I was there, really there. The tears came hot and fast, my body began to shake as I muffled my sobs in the pillow. I haven't done that bad after all. Then I cried harder, Will I ever get to help her again? Is she still going to need me?

The house was summer still with crickets chirping and gauzy curtains fluttering in front of gently whirring fans. I stared at the ceiling and took a deep breath, resolving to be ok with this new place. Sean padded into the room and looked at me gently. Tears welled as I looked at his bare shoulders, remembering Briar's face against his skin before her first bath. Taking a ragged breath I braced for the next round of tears, but stopped.

"Mom. MOM!" I was up and down the hall before she called out a third time. I slipped into bed beside her and pressed my lips to her ear. "Mama's here. I love you, baby." She sighed, hooked her arm around my neck and fell back to sleep.

I think I can do this.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Whatever floats your bike



Have you ever heard of a pontoon bike? I never loved bikes enough or lived near enough to water to feel the need to create or obtain a bike that could travel on water, a pontoon or amphibious bike, as they are called.

And while I still do not feel a need to have one or even experience one, for the rest of my days I will pedal through the memory of happening upon bike pontooners thank to the the pictures I took of this woman, who I imagine as having a very theatrical intimate life, and her son, who I imagine was the product of a torrid affair she had with a portly, balding Samba instructor with a lisp which kept him from ever truly gaining Sambic acclaim, on their rental pontoon bikes.


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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Devil's Candy

Umm, have you fed your kids ice cream lately? I don't do it very often.



I wonder why.*



*The real shame here is that at home in iPhoto the second photo demonstrates some serious red eye in Briar. Here, not so much. Please click it to see it in all its eerie glory.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Calling it a win

Sean: "Say it with me- screw it."

Me: "Screw it?"

Sean: "C'mon, say it like you mean it."

Me: "Sss-crew it!"

It was a pact we made several weeks ago. Life had been incredibly grueling, the rehearsal that is the first few months of being home with a new baby was seeming to point in the direction of a serious flop. More juggling than balance, more snapping than snuggling. We'd been lolling about in a stony silence and literally collided in the kitchen. After talking through the stresses of work and home we created the screw it pact.

No more yeses to doing favor upon favor, less pro-bono work, less worrying about making things perfect. We would spend more time making ourselves happy. We did a grand job this weekend, even fitting in a few renegade favors and work related items (baby steps, right? Call it a demi-pact.)

Tomorrow I'll start a short week with memories of our first family of five run, a boat ride with dear friends, a family trip to the beach, making salsa with cilantro from my garden, vacuuming up monsters to protect princesses and playing bocce ball with friends as the girls cheered us on and so many more sweet snippets of unhurried summer.

The laundry is clean, but not folded. The beds have fresh linens, but are unmade. I did not get to buying Briar a backpack for school or finishing the shopping I need to do for my trip to Vegas. I may not feel this way tomorrow night when I get home to a messy house and prepare frantically for the guests we'll be having, but tonight I'm calling it a win.

'Cause, screw it, we had fun.

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