Monday, November 26, 2007

Ear drops, a gingerbread man, and finding value

Olivia is sick. Sick with excruciating ear pain. Sick with the kind of pain that makes her writhe, scream ouright, and simply sob. And she is one tough kid.

Poor Liv has always battled earaches. We finally had ear tubes put in when she was 4. She thought surgery was brilliant. Really. Here she is going in...

And here she is coming out. A bit groggy but enjoying a cherry popsicle in the recovery room. Trooper is an understatement.

But, when she is sick...she is sick. And when she is sick she needs me. And when she needs me I am there. And it makes me feel so good.

Here she is at age 2 at our family reunion in Hilton Head Island. This trip was complete with 3 trips to the walk-in clinic and an ER visit. Nothing worked to make that babe healthy.

Here she is at age 4 the day we were to fly to Disneyworld. Couldn't stop vomiting. We postponed the trip.

Here she is at the at age 5 on Hallloween. Beautiful, sick snow angel.

I'll spare you the image of her so very ill last Christmas at age 6. Couldn't open a gift, poor dear.

Here she is tonite. Finally asleep with a heated gingerbread man wrapped in a towel resting on her ear.

After using the blow dryer pointed at her ear (in hopes to open up the blocked canal) and dropping in some holistic ear drops she sleeps. Just as I was leaving her side she said, "one more minute, mama."

"Of course," I replied and nestled back in under her quilt.

I gave her 20 more in fact --enough time to know she was fast asleep. I hope she knows I'd give her forever if she needed it.

p.s. I left Liv's room and climbed under the covers with Audrey and she beamed at me and wrapped her arms around my neck.
She held Olivia's hand this afternoon when Liv took some Children's Motrin Cold. She rubbed Olivia's back as we waited at the pharmacy. She asked her if she could sing her a song in the car. So we said our prayers and then I told her that she was a "sweet, sweet sister." And she said, "And you're a good, good mom." I think we will all sleep well tonite.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks...

Where to begin?

Here's a good start--

Eric saw this pic I took of Audrey at her Thanksgiving feast today and said, "Is she the perfect child or what?" At this moment, yes. Five minutes ago when she was crying in her sleep with a terrible sore throat and I woke her to give her Tylenol and she sleepily kissed me five times. Yes. Yesterday when she had two tantrums, told me off, tried to jump out of the car, and hit me. Well, no. But, regardless of it all. I love her madly and I am thankful for her. All of her. I told her so last night and she said, "even when I am naughty?" Yes, Audrey, even then.

I am thankful for Liv. For her heart. For her passion. For her emotions. All of them. Crazy. Silly. Confused. I am thankful for how she reacted to my girlfriend's note suggesting she should write a book with advice for parents. Below is what Liv posted on her blog and the blurb my girlfriend was commenting on...
"I'm just saying to my mom now that I should be nicer to her because she is nice to me a lot!!! So I love you mom if you can hear me!! Sorry if I don't listen to you which I know happens a LOT!!!!!! I'm glad your my mom. You are the best! I know I should listen more at church so I'll try to listen better next time. You should know kids aren't perfect like parents aren't perfect. I love you soooooooooo much I can't even tell you!"

Here is Liv's reaction to Jaime's suggestion that she write a book. She was over the moon!

I am thankful that Olivia had the courage to tell her teacher she was scared to ride a bus to the Montessori school today for a field trip (she does not ride the bus as she is out of district so we drop her off and pick her up--therefore, the bus ride today was foreign to her). I am thankful she has a teacher who cares so deeply that she and Liv drafted an email to me together.

"Hey, Olivia wanted to let you know she will be on the blue bus. She is concerned because she says that bad words are said on that bus. I've told her I will walk her out to the bus and make sure our bus staff knows of this problem, but I've also assured her she will be fine. We will see if she can sit in the front, so she is not in the back with all the kids.
She's a little upset, but I know she will be just fine. =) She has read exactly what I just wrote, so this is no surprise to her."

What a wonderful teacher she has...

I am thankful that Olivia went to bed tonite and told us we made her the happiest person alive. And you do the same for us, sweet Livvie B.

I am thankful for so very much--- for my friends, my health, my family, my job, my clients, Alice the dog, and even Frib (since he is so nice to my sweet little Alice).

Most of all I am thankful to God for it all.

Eric brought me a yummy seasonal ale tonite and gave me an even yummier kiss while the girls and I watched the tape of Hannah Montana and a segment about American Girl on Oprah. He told me he was so happy and so thankful for me.

Me too, Eric. For every moment. And for guiding us and leading us through our days.

I am thankful that you chose to share and celebrate this life with me.

Happy Thanksgiving to all...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Butterfly Kisses

Butterfly kisses have been in my world since I was a little girl.

My mom always gave them to me--along with Eskimo kisses!

On my wedding day my dad and I danced to the song, "Butterfly Kisses" since they were such a part of my childhood. I also wonder if he had the song written just for us as it described our father/daughter relationship to a tee!

Sweet Audrey E. and I now have our own ritual. She created it just for us just last week. She firsts pecks me on the lips and then gives me a butterly kiss on each eyelash. She does it at least 20 times a day. And I love it.

How thrilled I am that butterfly kisses will remain a family tradition...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cable Guy

I am not as vain as I thought! This is how I greeted the cable guy the other day.

Not only did he fix my computer but he also installed cable in a couple of rooms for free and never once commented on the heat rollers sticking out of my head. I love Comcast.

Diva & Princess

The girls are tucked in and Eric has just popped in a DVD and I was allegedly going to join him minutes ago and watch, "Sicko." Then I remembered I had yet to send Tgiving notes and pics to the grandparents. Here is the pic that was snapped of them earlier today. "Hollywood" who is too hip for just dresses so sported the jeans as well and my "prima ballerina" who is all things pink and frilly. They are magical just as they are.

Exchanging Glances

The girls and I spotted gorgeous, decadent looking caramel apples dipped in rich chocolate and smothered in nuts at the market the other day. No question we just had to have them. Liv and I thought about them all afternoon. We even explained all the ingredients to Eric over dinner. Apples. Caramel. Chocolate. Roasted Nuts. yummmm.

Clearly, females bond over food and if chocolate is involved...even better. And in my case if nuts are added then you've won me forever. Eric knows if he is getting cookies or ice cream or any kind of special treats for us then he must be sure to get something with nuts! Any kind at all. The more the better.

So as Eric was upstairs brushing Audrey's teeth and Liv had just moments left of her computer time before heading up to prepare for bed, I decided it was time for her and me to "bond".

I took the apples out of the container, opened the drawer and grabbed the knife, got the cutting board from the cupboard, and started slicing. As I walked through each step, Olivia would glance over occassionally but not say a word.

I then took out two small dessert plates and laid the caramel, chocolate, nut coated apples on each plate. I placed one of the dishes in front of Liv. She looked up at me and still without uttering a word gave me a look and smile that said so much.

It probably simply said, "For me, Mom? YUM!"

But to me that sweet albeit toothy grin said much, much more.
It said:

You make me so happy, Mom.

You do know what you're doing, Mom.

I know how hard you try and how it doesn't come easy for you, Mom.

I love you regardless, Mom.

One day I hope my girls share such an exchange with their children. My wish is that they will feel how powerful it can be to connect with them.

I'd take moments like that again over anything, any day...even nuts.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Perfect Ending

My wonderful neighbor and most of all-dear friend- left me a gift on the porch this evening! (Eric just brought it in after taking Alice out for her nightly poo!)

Thank you, Carrie, for the autographed book "Boobs, a guide to your girls"(how appropriate) the bottle of syrah (how decadent) and the giant pink bag filled with my favorite candy -- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers (how fabulous). oxox to you~ k

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

I am blessed. I am eternally grateful for the many wonderful people in my world. I am glad I was born!

My day started with my dear Eric and my little loves calling me down to the kitchen fresh out of the shower and presenting me with my fav dessert---coconut cream pie (for breakfast~yum!).

This is not any pie--this is from Dahlia Bakery and was created by Tom Douglas (local big name chef who has gained a great deal of national exposure the past couple of years). The pie is heavenly and loaded with cream, coconut, and goodness!

My sweet little family also gave me handwritten notes and a fabulous "day at the spa" certificate which I have chosen to save for a Friday when I can play hooky and ease into a nice long weekend...

I vowed to take the time today to treat myself to all my calls and revel in my many emails.
Thank you to so many of you who wrote, phoned, and sang to me today!

I am so grateful to all my friends who celebrated my big day with me a few weeks ago when we went to see a Neil Diamond cover band! Thanks for partying like rock stars. Even if the rock star is Neil Diamond who is 66 yrs. old. Here we are!

OK, those aren't my friends. They were just some young, hip guys dressed in 70's attire and Eric told me to pose with them...

Audrey regifted a couple things for me~ a glass paper weight with a unicorn inside that she got from a magical fairy at her 4th bday party and a $100 bill from my mother-in-law that she has been holding on to for the needies. I thanked her profusely and tucked them back in her special drawer explaining that they were gifts for her. I just found them on my bureau.

The tail end of the day was spent dancing to Hannah Montana's "Girls Night" with my pop star and martyr.

Then Audrey and I set off for a soak in the tub with our respective drinks--beer and warm milk. She challenged me to a drinking contest. No joke. I won. Appears 38 is the new 21....

Monday, November 12, 2007

What About Papa?

After reading some excerpts from my postings about the girls to little Audrey she inquired, "What about Papa?"

"He might be sad that you didn't write about all the reasons you love him." She continued. So I told her.

I told her how he was not like any one I've ever met. I told her how how he looked the day he told me he loved days after we started dating!

I told her how he makes life fun.

And fulfilling.

I told her he makes me want to bound out of bed each morning. And how wonderful he is for happily rushing home to us each day...

And that because of him we sleep soundly each night.

I told her how he is the most loyal person I know. How no one else makes me laugh as hard. How he makes sure there is a dry towel hanging outside the shower for when I get out. How he buys me my own stash of Reese's peanut butter cups on Halloween (knowing that I would otherwise swipe the girls candy). How he makes me tea (in the cups he had her and Olivia paint) when I am working late into the night.

I told her how he sent the Michigan State marching band the music to "our song" Fly Me to the Moon and had them play it for me and then he proposed (he was allegedly in Belize working on a story and showed up and surprised me).

I told her how he booked the Old North Church in Boston (the church I'd dreamed to be married in since I was a little girl) for our wedding (and he did it an entire year before he even proposed)!

I told her how he buys me mead on our anniversaries because it's the drink of the honeymooners and we first drank it in a castle on our honeymoon in Ireland. I told her that he even serves it to me in the pottery mugs that he "obtained" from the castle.

I told her how he has surprised me on so many birthdays and anniversaries with trips (New Orleans, Disney, Boston, San Francisco, etc.)

And how he has treated me to dozens and dozens of surprise plays and concerts (Death Cab for Cutie, Counting Crows, Steely Dan, Five for Fighting, and on & on).

I told her how he planned my 35th as a bowling & karaoke party with all my friends (and how for years he'd vowed to never wear rented bowling shoes ---but he did. Just for me).

I told her he how even "obtained" a pin for me to bring home.

I told her how he once used Fribble the dog as a messenger to deliver a ring I'd longed for.

And how even though it was just our 10th wedding anniversary in Oct. he insists the 6 years of dating count as well so he bought me a tin tea kettle from Ireland where we'd honeymooned(aluminum is apparently the gift of year 16).

I told her how when we went on an Alaskan cruise we blended wines and named mine "k Syrah" since syrahs are my favorite. And then this year on our anniversary he gave me a bottle of actual K Syrah wine he'd found.

I told her how he packed me a picnic filled with my favorite foods (cheetos, snickers, baguette and extra sharp cheddar) and we ate it next to the seals (my fav animal) at the New England Aquarium. I told her what it was like the first time I saw him on TV in 1991 reporting from some hippiefest in Amherst, Mass. How he was tan and young wearing a tye dye t-shirt. I told her how I used to set my alarm clock to 7 a.m. and listen to the stories he'd file on WFCR (NPR). I told her how he cries at movies and commericals (Disney and Hallmark even ;). And when our dear friends and neighbors move away...oh, the puffy eyes...

I told her how he loves teaching them new things.

And how he can seem so strict but he's doing it to make them stronger. And smarter.

And more responsible.

And to eventually help them soar.

I told her how he swore letting them sleep in a treehouse 50 feet off the ground was a truly awesome idea.

And how when he plays his guitar I fall in love with him all over again. I told her how much I love that he teaches them all about music.

And about the time he wrote a song just for me. And a story for me, too. And how he did it after they were born and money was tight and how they were the best presents he's ever surprised me with. I told her that I love that he uses a conch shell to call the girls home. And to celebrate major Red Sox and Michigan State wins.I told her that I loved that he created the "potty bell" and let them ring it when they mastered going potty. I told her how good he is to his mother. And mine.

I told her how madly he loves all his girls.

Her. And Liv.

And me.

So, there is but a glimspe of what Papa is, I said to Audrey. He is a prince. The kind that is made especially for someone. The kind that comes around once in a lifetime. The kind you dream will pick you.

And then I told her that one day I hope she can live such a fairy tale.