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!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Potent Thanks

I gave a very sincere and heartfelt thanks over at Tumble Dry. This thanks is no less sincere or heartfelt:

To my neighbors: You really are remarkable in your brazenness to continue to walk your dogs and not clean up after them— Thank you. You really rocked my Thanksgiving Day walk this morning.

*Since I don't want to end on that unapologetically ranty note, how about this? Looks like someone is going to have her two front teeth for Christmas.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Croatians and Bunnies

Ok, not really, but kind of— decorating days at our place. No tree yet, and still the decorating fires burn. I did what any self-respecting mom with unrelenting working-mom guilt would do, I created the inaugural Wink Family Christmas Stool. Bring on the Yuletide fecal matter google searches.

This toddler veg-out moment brought to you by the number 118.

As a way of cleansing the home-decorating palette, I created a little game we call, "What animal can you be with a lumpy throw pillow?"

Happy holidays!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hometown USA

Sometime back in the '50's someone said out little city was, "Hometown USA." We like to scoff, wordplay being a passion of ours but sometimes it really fits.

I had a date with Briar on Tuesday. We went, at her request, to the coffee shop for some, "lonely time." We had cocoa with whipped cream, which she declared was, "mmm, delicious sour cream!" We shared banana bread, "That sweet crumbly stuff with the nuts." And I had coffee, "for before relaxing." It was bliss.

And then came the first snowfall. Cue the music. Perfection.

I wish that I could have more hours spent simply enjoying the perfection that is a snowy day in a small town as seen with my first baby beside me. Perhaps it wouldn't be as sweet if it happened all the time. Luckily I have little snippets like this to help me remember the joy in being right here.



Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Night We Didn't Camp

I have often enjoyed sleeping in a bed other than my own (now don't go getting all gross on me) I mean the pull out sofa in the living room, on the deck out back or on the floor in front of the fireplace. As a matter of fact, when Sean and I lived in Watertown, we spent 5 nights out of seven during the winter months, sleeping on the pullout sofa by the fireplace. There is a sort of delicious, doing-something-special kind of sensation that is all too often left behind with childhood. Unfortunately at 35 it tends to result in a morning-after filled with regret (I said don't be gross!) it is a creaky, achey, what-made-me-think-that-was-a-good-idea remorse.

Briar has taken after me with a kind of zeal for "great ideas"and "uh-ventures" that is simply impossible to resist.

"Can we camp tonight, mama? C an we camp right here by the fireplace like we did yester-the-other day? It will be the most, best greatest camping trip night of ever!"

I looked at her, her eyes an icier, more captivating blue than ever before. I turned to Sean, his face filled with delight, knowing that I was looking through my daughter to my four year old self.

"But you won't sleep, I don't think," I said wanly.

"Please, mama?" She said straining toward me as if held by ties that only I could loosen.

"Yeah mommy. It will be the best candace ever!" Avery chirped.

Briar turned to correct her and then though better of it and with head cocked and eyes twinkling, "Yes, mom, the best candace ever! Can we?"

Again I turned to Sean, he responded with a snort and a halfhearted elbow to the face to mask his smirk, "I want to see how mom plays this."

"Ok," I said. "Let's camp." What followed would be best compared to a fusing of 101 Dalmations scampering mayhem and a Superbowl celebration– it was all leaking, spewing sippy cups and gathering of princess and Dora sleeping paraphernalia, complete with one very dramatic fall down the stairs by the child who has already sported one cast in her first two years.

We lit candles and started the fire, gathered stuffed animals and tucked everyone in. We said goodnight. Gave kisses and hugs. Had water and peed. Had more water and peed more. We told stories and cuddled, said goodnight in loving but stern voices. We left the room, we returned to the room, we rolled our eyes, we clenched our teeth.

It is in those moments when they are testing us, daring us to waste this fleeting time when they want and need us, that I struggle the most. I can handle a tantrum at the check stand, can't cope with a broken heirloom or perilous kitchen activity, but these things, they wear on me. Many times I hold my time, keep inside the heat-of-the-moment exclaims, but other times, well no one likes to talk about those, do they?

We made it. I nursed Fin to sleep while Sean played his guitar in the flickering light, filling the room with his warm voice. The girls yawned and cuddled, they talked to stay awake, circling his song with this bedtime-stalling dance of theirs and then eventually it was quiet. The only sound the occasional trill as Sean's fingers absentmindedly strummed the guitar.

And then they slept and as Sean confirmed they were finally down he lifted them in his arms and carried them gingerly to their beds. It seemed only moments later as I snuck my first cup of coffee that they stampeded down the stairs and asked with confusion, "Did we camp last night? Did we have the best candace of ever, right here in this bed?"

I nodded and smiled at her. "Yes, honey. You camped." She looked at me, then at the bed. "But mom, mom? How did I not end up in this bed? How did I get to my own bed?"

The next smile was for me, imagining all the times ahead when Sean and I will do something without their knowing, some little act that keeps them safe* or rights a wrong. Our secret way of loving them, even when it's hard and anonymous.

*Thanks to the people who've kept us safe, even when we haven't known or have, but just haven't known enough to say thanks.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Making Faces

First, for those of you who've been as annoyed as I have by the obnoxious profile photo I've been using, which, when viewed in context didn't seem nearly so annoying, rest assured I've changed it. I commented on a lot of new blogs, I wonder if they all thought I wasn't worth a click.

What you used to see:

What you now see:

And what you can't see in what you now see:

I know, I cropped out the precious Fin and the kicky foot of Ave. The thing about having three kids is that there is incredible guilt in not including everyone, not keeping everything totally equal, which of course is impossible, but the person that I am has me trying. And failing. Which gets me the long way to today's post.

Yesterday was hard. Very, very hard. It began with fighting toddlers in the morning, followed by a weepy, clingy baby at drop off, followed by one resignation and one termination at work, followed by a disappointment, capped with one of those I-don't-know-what-to-make-for-dinner-and-frankly-I'm-not-hungry-and-don't-want-to-be-responsible-for-your-dinnner kind of nights. Yay.

It is very rare (thank you mind) that I dwell on the sort of life-fatigue associated with parenting. The relentless battle of bedtime, the unrelenting sense of futility at the dinner table and the selfish, but no less real, "Oh my god can I just catch a break and watch What Not to Wear in peace for one Friday night?" feeling, which I'll tell you, is a humiliating thing to give voice to when asked by a supportive husband, "Babe, what exactly is it that's bothering you?"

Then there is the guilt of the morning after having them all nap, their faces an exquisite study in calm and innocence. I love them beyond measure and yet yesterday was a day that for all the world I just could not make into a positive thing. And so it is that today I've put up a fresh profile shot and deliciously whiled away nap time with this post, this unbelievably stress reducing, joy inducing post.

Anyone else want a turn to vent? Go ahead, I'd love to hear it!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I wonder...

I wonder if there is a way to buy a slightly less razor-sharp razor, this mama just can't hang with the quintuple blade razors that leave me a bloody mess.

I wonder what it means that when I cracked the package on my nylons yesterday the coupon inside said it had expired in March of '07. I mean I know it says that I buy cheap-ass nylons, but what else?

I wonder what will happen to Jennifer Aniston when she stops being cute?

I wonder if Sienna Miller will ever...umm scratch that, I couldn't give two bleeps about Sienna.

You? Wondering anything?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pfft, maybe a post a month

I feel as though I have fallen off the wagon, sitting here feeling past and bloated and generally guilty. Which, as we all know does a whole boat load of nothing. The bloat and paste are really more atrophy, the effects of not having written anything that makes my heart soar. I've written plenty of captions, brainstormed on captions and drafted pitch letters, but I'll be darned if I've penned a single nursing by moonlight entry or chronicled the morning drop off, or newly created tradition of post-pick-up/pre-drop-off sandwich making with Briar.

I am puffy with waste, tender moments not shared here. I've not released the sensation of Avery whispering in my ear, "But mama, I miss fawder bear, I miss him so very much." Or of Briar trying to make sense of Mimi dying and why Grandma can't tuck her in. I have a lump in my throat from keeping inside of me the bliss that is Fin at 6.5 months still saying, "mama," after two babies who picked "dada" to say first.

I need to get back on track, need to write more. I need it for me and I need it for these girls, but like so many who find excuses not to get to the gym, despite knowing it is good for them and makes them feel great, I let myself fall victim to excuses.

I want to do better. I need to do better. I will do better.

Maybe I'll write about the time that I went upstairs post-bedtime for the 6th time to tend to a sobbing Fin, wondering if it might be ok just this once to take her back downstairs. I was about to tiptoe into her room when Briar called quietly, "Mama? mama, Fin wants you to take her downstairs."

I crept back downstairs as Fin nursed blissfully, I smiled and called out a soft thank you to Briar for her permission. And then I sat, a milk-drink baby dozing in my arms, as I slipped ever so softly back into my old blog.

Mmm, that was a good one.

Home again.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

The witch, the princess and the, umm, bunny?

It came. It passed.

The candy fallout was minimal.

Now the stockings are all hung in the stores without shame.
C'mon, can we slow it down just a smidge world?


Tomorrow waste no time, get to the polls and vote. It'll be your doing so that marks the difference between tricks or treats.