Thursday, June 28, 2012

A quiet corner

I've always wanted to keep a journal but could never quite get the swing. The idea sounds so lovely and the outcome is a winding recount of where your mind was over years and years. It must be fun to read back over entries from years past. But, like I said, I could never quite get the swing.

So I started blogging when I was pregnant. I felt like I had a lot of thoughts that I wanted to remember and knew that, as my mind filled with more and more thoughts of baby, that I might not be able to find all of these memories down the road. I'm very thankful to have written while I was pregnant. I like looking back at these entries from time to time and thinking of the baby I now know and how he was already showing his personality in utero. I also like to look back at how utterly in love I was with my belly. I have never been more in awe of my body and the work I was doing.

I have continued to write although the time to do so has become considerably more sparse. I will steal the occasional moment while Eddy naps but something more important, like laundry or vacuuming (so domestic!) usually takes precedent. And I refuse to blog while Ed is awake. How boring staring at a screen is compared to squeezing those cheeks.

I had a thought a few weeks ago to start taking one evening a week to go to a coffee shop by myself, Tim could get some rare one-on-one with Eddy, and I could write if I felt so inspired.

Tonight is my first big outing. Tim dropped me off at a coffee shop in the neighborhood and he and Eddy took off to run an errand and hang. I was positively giddy when I got out of the car and did something I haven't done in at least 6 months: I moseyed. I think the last time I can recall moseying is near the end of my pregnancy when Lucy and I would go for strolls. So I moseyed into the coffee shop, ordered a beer, and opened my laptop. I'm surrounded by people studying and reading. I love it.


I've been a handful of places by myself since Eddy was born. I've gotten my haircut, run to the grocery store, things like that, but this time right now feels very luxurious. This is just time for me to open my brain and let my fingers find words on the keyboard.

I must make something clear - I LOVE being with Eddy all day. Truly love it. Couldn't imagine a better way to spend my day. I think this one night a week will do my mind some good, though. Let this blog entry NOT serve as a horror story of the dwindling alone time that is motherhood.

Maybe instead let it serve as a personal testimony of how I have reclaimed a small corner of my brain. Let this corner not be filled with recipes, nap time, washing diapers, play dates, and appointments. Those thoughts can have the majority of my brain. I'm happy for them to. That means I'm a mom. Instead of actively working on all those thoughts I will just write about them :)

All I ask is for a corner. Just a cabinet, or a shelf, or really just a drawer is fine. One little spot to put my words makes me one happy mama.

***

Thanks, Papa T. Hope you're having fun!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy (belated) birthday, Knuckleheads

June 24 is a big day in my family. Two very important men celebrate their birthdays and the day is generally filled with food and fun from top to bottom. This year was no exception.

We started the day by chasing birthday boy Tim and Richie around Austin as they completed the Urban Assault, grabbed post-race hamburgers, slowed down for a nap, and then met friends at Deep Eddy pool to celebrate one chubby baby's half-birthday.








Afterward, the other birthday boy made it back in to town from Colorado and we all packed into one picnic table and indulged our bigger-than-stomach eyes with delicious Mexican food at Zocalo.

I read Love is Walking Hand in Hand with Eddy the next day and found many frame-worthy pages, but this one seemed particularly sweet.



To me, happiness is a full table. Though it would've been extra sweet if the whole whole family could have been there.

***

So, just a little about the birthday boys. One is my husband, one is my brother. Both are very loved. Both are funny. Both are stubborn. Both are good at basketball. Both love Eddy.

When I met Tim, one of the first things I learned was that he had the same birthday as my youngest brother. To know both of them it makes perfect sense. They are more alike than they are different, which leads to the occasional head-butt, but mostly it means that they can laugh, chat, shoot hoops, and make fun of me at just about the same clip.

June 24 is a good day for our family. I look forward to many more days filled from top to bottom. Next year will be an especially big one - Matt is turning 21!

Vegas?


I love ya, Tim and Matt. Eddy loves ya. Lucy loves ya. We are so lucky to have you in our lives. To many more!




Friday, June 22, 2012

It's June 22. Eddy is 6 months old!

Holy moly. A half of a year. 6 months since that giant head made it's way out. 183 days since we saw his beautiful face. I would be sad to say that my baby is growing up except that growing up has been awesome to witness.

As I type this, Eddy jumps in his bounce seat in the doorway of the kitchen, squealing and laughing when Lucy passes him by. He is an expert at moving things, anything, to his mouth, including rattles, blocks, fingers, hands, my watch, cups of water, and his toes. He can roll in all directions and scoots with fervent determination towards his toys, jutting his jaw out and pouting his lips. When we enter the room, he makes a happy noise that sounds an awful lot like, "Hiii!" to which we cheerfully respond, "Hiii!" He has started taking frequent dips in this hot Austin summer and especially loves going to swim where his best friend, Lucy, can join him.

And my sweet, sweet boy even hung out with his Cookie last weekend while we went on a date to see a movie. When we returned, he was happily playing on the floor and beamed up at us like no big deal.

We spent a few days in Galveston this week (I will post more pictures later) so our 6 month picture was snapped on the beach this morning.


6 months. I really can't believe it. In the same amount of time that is behind us we will be celebrating his first birthday.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father of the Year, 2012

This month's Esquire has a section dedicated to Fatherhood. I read (Tim's issue of) Esquire every month and have particularly loved this one. Placed intermittently throughout the spread are small boxes with short stories about the men they have selected as 9 'Fathers of the Year'. These are some incredible blurbs, with dads that have saved their children from mountain lions, fought off armed robbers, pushed their wheelchair-bound son through over 25 races a year, and a 94-year-old first time father. Absolutely noteworthy and astounding.

So, what about dads that are never faced with extreme circumstances? I am certain that if Eddy was stuck on a rooftop and needed help that Tim would muster his Spider-Man powers and come to his rescue. I am also positive that if Eddy swam farther than he realized and couldn't swim back that Tim would be his lifesaver. I sincerely hope that Tim and Eddy never find themselves in such pickles.

Blatant heroics aside, I think Tim could stand toe to toe with these 'Fathers of the Year'. I've written a few blurbs that, for their lack of action movie dramatics, may not have made the cut in Esquire.



Tim Wilson's wife has always loved food but this love grew to cosmic proportions while she was pregnant with their first child. When she had urgent requests for specific items, he happily obliged. On October 28, 2011, he took his dedication to a new level by responding to a late night craving for a Butterfinger Blizzard from Dairy Queen. Upon his return, his wife, Kacie, realized how truly selfless her husband was when he came through the door with only one Blizzard. He didn't even want one for himself.


In 2006, Tim and his then girlfriend, Kacie, brought home their precious baby boxer named Lucy. A few weeks later, while out on her first walk with a leash, they ventured a bit too far from home and Lucy's tiny little legs couldn't keep pace anymore. Being about a mile from their house, Tim knew he had to help his girl. Scooping her up by her belly, he cradled her in his arms and carried her all the way back home, where she collapsed into a pile of bones on the couch.



Since he was born, Eddy Wilson's mom has put him down for nearly every nap and responded to his mid-sleep whimpers by quietly nursing him back to sleep but on May, 14, 2012, Tim Wilson answered his son's cries. Before his wife had entered the room, Tim had used the magic of his big, warm hands to gently rock his son back to sleep. That day, he realized that he, too, had the power to calm.


In June of 2012, Tim Wilson read his son a bedtime story as he does every night. He had chosen Papa, please get the moon for me by Eric Carle, in which a little girl requests that her father get the moon for her to play with. On this particular night, Tim discovered that he could change the name in the story from "Monica" to his son's name, Eddy, thereby changing the course of bedtime stories for the Wilson family forever. He has since adopted a voice for "The Moon" that is so amazing that it makes his wife laugh so hard that she can't breathe.


On December 22, 2011, Tim Wilson responded to the midwife's command, "Go scrub up, Dad!" These words were said at the end of 13 hours of natural labor and served as the signal to his wife that her hard work was nearly over. When Tim returned from "scrubbing up", he caught his first born, placed the baby on his wife's stomach, and proceeded to kiss her, conveying his feelings of gratitude and awe. He then responded to the question, "You ready to make the call, Papa?" by answering triumphantly, "It's a boy!" At that moment, the world erupted.


Like I said, I hope Tim and Eddy are never in dire straits. But nevertheless, he is our Father of the Year.

And I have a feeling that he will just keep getting better.



Happy First Father's Day, Tim. I love you more today than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Tech-free 24: Apple is listening to us!

It's tech-free 24 again! A few people have asked us for specifics.

Here it is:

No phone.
No computers or internet.
No television.

Radios and music are okay. We are staying away from technology that impedes personal communication and distracts attention away from people that are with you.

BUT if you want to ease in or something else better fits your needs -- go for it!

And, this week Apple announced their new iPhone features. In addition to 3D maps, they are introducing a 'Do Not Disturb' setting that seems to be right in line with our tech-free days.

Sweet!

see ya!



Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Dad Brain

As much as I like to believe that motherhood comes completely naturally to me, I had a substantial head start. I was a big sister at the age of 7, babysat through high school and college, and went on to teaching. I've spent the better part of my life around tiny humans. And while nothing can prepare you for pushing out your baby and then caring for your baby, I had already changed thousands of diapers and sat with my mom as she breastfed my brothers. I'd been warming up in the minors and was totally ready when I got called up.

Tim, on the other hand, was a rookie. Never really held many babies, attended a cloth diapering class but had never changed one himself. He would watch kids on the playground from a distance but would lose interest quickly. But as my belly grew, he did lock in more, started noticing family dynamics, and even engaged with a few kids in public. He was making an effort, loosening up.

So, imagine this: one of the few times Tim had ever held a newborn was when he caught his son. Incredible.

While I was busy taking what I knew to another level, Tim was running laps around me. 6 months ago he'd never changed a diaper. Now he can pretty much do it with his eyes closed. 6 months ago he'd never soothed a crying baby. Now he doesn't even waiver. 6 months ago he didn't know what 'tummy time' was. Now he is fluent in parent-speak.

I've read about what the 'mom brain' does, how it rearranges knowledge in order to make room for a new set of priorities. But what about the dad brain? I'd be willing to bet that Tim's synapses have been firing far faster than mine.


I stood in Target yesterday looking through Father's Day cards. Between Papa, Grandpas, and Great-Grandpas, I bought 8 - yes, 8 - cards. Finding that many cards that aren't sickeningly sweet or lovey dovey or gross is exhausting. I managed to get just about all I needed but when I started picking up the cards for 'husbands', I started crying out of nowhere. I don't particularly care for mushy cards with lots of words, but I stood there, with Eddy in a sling, reading them all, and trying to keep the tears from spilling over. Every one referenced watching your husband be a dad. Gah. I am a sucker.

Father's Day is days away. I can't wait. I've got a few tricks in my diaper bag.

Until then, I'll be preparing mentally so that I can keep my emotions in check. That's a tall order.





Cross one off: Blues on the Green

"Look at that water, man. It's beautiful! This city about been f**king blessed!"

Barkin Springs
Those were not my words, of course. I could have said it cleaner but I don't think I could've said it better. Watching as Lucy and Tim dipped their toes, a guy carrying his bike on his shoulder watched his dog do the same and exclaimed his love for the scene. I smiled and nodded 'yes'. Yes, this city has been blessed.

So, the thing about Austin is that it's beautiful and vibrant and alive and there's always live music - as was the case tonight in Zilker Park - but it's hot. Really hot. Molasses on a frying pan HOT. But we have amazing places to cool off. Barkin Springs (aka the free side of Barton Springs) stays below 70 degrees all year which is take-your-breath-away cold and the perfect spot to cool you to the core after working up a sweat.

Barkin Springs is part of our Blues on the Green formula. We park, hike to the river, dunk, and then we are set for the rest of the night.


The river is spittin' distance from Zilker Park and with wet paws and wet legs, we trek across the bridge and are greeted by free live music, people throwing Frisbees, and fat-tongued dogs.


We met our friends, the Graces, in a shady spot with blankets spread and kids running barefoot. I packed the fixings for our new favorite sandwich - sourdough, turkey, cheddar, and - wait for it - apple butter. Trust me.




Zeb and Ed
Blues on the Green happens every other Wednesday through August 8 and we will definitely be back. We've got it down pat. Let us know if you'd like to meet us. I'll pack you a sandwich.

Big Head Ed
We are chipping away at our summer list. Tonight we laughed with friends and were reminded of why we love this fantastic city. I have lived here for almost 12 years and couldn't imagine a better place to raise a family.

Oh yes, we have been blessed.




Monday, June 11, 2012

Waiting is the hardest part, or is it?

I can't wait to get my drivers' license. 

I can't wait for summer vacation.

I can't wait for the storm to pass.

Sometimes waiting can't pass quickly enough. The in-between part pales in comparison to the end. The month before your sixteenth birthday? The pits. ¡√Āndale! Sluggish weeks at the end of the school year? Please. Bring it, summer. Thunder and lightning during a road trip? No fun, all stress.

I've noticed that I say the words, "I can't wait until..." all the time. In the instances above, those words make perfect sense. But other times, those words seem to imply that the waiting is the hardest part when in fact the waiting is part of what makes life. 

I can't wait until he's strong enough to hold up his head.

I can't wait for the first real smile.

I can't wait until he finally rolls over.

Brand new humans are precious but holding their tiny, fragile bodies can be a little stressful. If only they had a little more head control... But then, just like that, they do get stronger and the moment of stress has passed. And with it, their tiny fragile bodies start to grow.



And, oh that first smile.

Be still, my heart. It is so cliche but there is nothing like it. The purest form of joy. But waiting for that first smile means staring and cooing and coaxing.


Rolling means mobility. Rolling leads to scooting which leads to crawling which of course leads to standing and then to walking. And apparently it happens just that fast. The time spent waiting for the roll or the scoot or the crawl means hours spent playing on the floor, watching my guy grow.


I can't wait until we can go throw the football around in the yard.

I can't wait until we can go to Disneyland.

I can't wait until he's old enough to ride a bike.

I've learned to eliminate these words from my vocabulary when it comes to Eddy unless I'm wishing away a fever. Otherwise, I don't have to wait. Because it'll happen tomorrow. Or the next day.

And then we'll be wistfully saying, "Oh, remember when..."

Waiting - what a way to spend a day.

"Life is what happens to you
while you're busy making other plans."
John Lennon                                          

Savoring the moment. I'm noticing a trend here on this little blog.





Monday, June 4, 2012

Happy birthday, Aunt Hanna!

I remember the first time I met this gal.


Our dad walked up my sidewalk in Houston carrying her with one arm, her tiny head cradled in his hand. He had a red bandana that he was using as a burp cloth. Hanna Bandana. I had a little sister.

She is still my little sister but she is no longer a little girl. She is a poised, beautiful, smart, funny, kind, gracious woman with a heart of gold. And she has a killer fashion sense.

I am proud to be her big sister and thankful for our relationship that grows with every passing year. I know that her friends are thankful for her, too. She is loyal, honest, and supportive.

Eddy loves her. Duh. And so do I.

Happy birthday, Aunt Hanna! Soak up some California sun for us.