Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Guarded Heart

The Guarded Heart
Hides behind a shield to muffle it's lonely cry;
if you take the time to listen and learn the reason why,
it will open wide for you, if only you will try.

The blessing of two children was bestowed upon to me
An unexpected boy and a long awaited she.
The boy with velvet eyes and a smile most disarming
So playful and so tender and always, always charming.

She came to me with loveliness as a veil that she wore;
My love for her was instant and from deep inside my core.
This child had a soul that had seen the world's trials;
the innocence of babydom had been gone for many miles.

Old soul what can I give to you that you don't already know?
Love without condition and to touch the heart you're scared to show.
But something new is rising from behind your beauty veil;
a sweetness and a trusting through this real life fairy tale.

Your eyes shine with renewed hope and a light that has a twinkle
You hold me with your gaze and in your laughter I hear a tinkle.
When I offer gentle kisses and wrap my arms around you tight;
I get back what I have given; you no longer fuss or fight.

Oh how long I have waited to walk this path with you
to watch you grow and fulfill your dreams most true.
My special little princess, my perfect Asian pearl.
Always and forever my darling chosen girl.

Love, Mother

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stop Thief

I'd like to file a report on some missing items.  Items I've long held in my possession, items that have called the same locations in the house "home" for near 7 years running.  These items are not of particular value to anyone else but me; still they are useful and serve their intended purpose well. 

Blue Hairbrush: 
This brush is nearly 2 decades old and is "thee" brush for me. I've purchased dozens but  none come close to taming my locks nor feeling so comfortable in my hands as this little brush. 

Porcelin teapot shaped tea bag holder.
When I first received this item near 5 years ago, I admit my first ungracious thought was "What the hell am I supposed to do with this? I don't drink hot tea." but I repurposed it and it has become a twice daily used part of my routine.  It has become my very fancy pill holder and safely guards the dozens of vitamins and Rx I use everyday.

Green eyeshadow cartridge and 4 Bonnie Bell fruit flavored lip gloss sticks.

Don't ask abaout the green eyeshadow it was a 90's thing, but the cartridge holds 4 units and the other three sit homeless while the housing and green cartridge are gone.  I put this with the lip gloss because they disappeard at the same time from the same drawer.

4 pens and 2 sets of wooden drumsticks:  The pens  are noticed everytime I try to write a check out at my desk and the recipients of said checks would appreciate a check that is actually signed.  A drum without drumsticks is just a sad instrument without purpose.

1/2 a banana taken from atop the dining room table.
I don't want to re-claim it to eat it, just curious where it may be.


Aubriana AKA "Rambling Rose" Notice the lack of eye contact.

Lil Dude AKA "Sticky Fingers Stan" Note the shifty smile and the tenative touching of the fingers.

Maggie Moo AKA "The Magster" Note the bored yawn of one who knows but will not speak.

If you've seen any of these suspects approach with caution, they are known to carry loaded diapers and the dog may or may not ride your leg in an inappropriate manner. 

Reward for all items returned in their original condition, except the banana, please dipose of properly.

Thank you for your assistance.

Vindictive Valerie

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Introducing: Miss Keira Joy

The miracle of adoption has revealed itself again.  My dear friends Christie and Anton saw the face of their daughter for the first time today, after almost 4 years of waiting!

In natural labor your body tells you when to push, in adoption ,agencies and paperwork tell you when it is time.  When all is said and done, children are a blessing from G*d and the love, excitement, and joy is the same.

Anton, Christie, Quint and Keira Joy, may your blessings outnumber your troubles, the road always rise up to meet you with the wind at your back and the sun on your face and the strength of love, warmth and support that is Family be yours for always.

Love Valerie

Thursday, November 19, 2009


When you are the parent of an adopted child, there are certain roads you are going to cross that biological parents won't ever be challenged by.  Where do I come from? Why didn't my other parents want to keep me? Why don't I look like anybody in our family?  Are we a "real" family?

In the back of my mind I am trying to formulize how I will answer these questions and what the best way to answer them will be.  I want to be honest without causing pain, informative enough to ease the ache to know and not so selfish as to act as this was always how it was meant to be and part of a higher power not to be questioned.

In my thoughts my children are a part of me from head to toe, I couldn't love them any more if I had delivered them myself and in my heart, mind and soul they are MINE. 

I had an interchange with Lil Dude this week, that made my heart sing, and help me realize that the seeds of love, acceptance and being a part of a circle of love have definitely been planted and are taking root.

We were looking out my bedroom window and watching children coming home from school.  I pointed out a Daddy and his two daughters trailing behind him, then some boys riding their bikes home together, and several other sets of children who happened to be passing by us during this moment in time.

I said to Lil Dude, "One day you and sissie will go to school every day just like these kids.  You will make friends, learn about the world and have lots of fun.  Mommy will miss being with you when you are gone because she loves you both so much and wants to be with you all the time, but when you come home you'll tell me all about your day."

At this point he gave a soft smile and laid his head back on my shoulder and still gazing out the window he said, "FAMILY".

Yes my joy, family.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween can add two new members to it's mass of fans.

This is the first year the kids "got" what Halloween means. I was able to communicate to them about costumes and saying "Trick Or Treat" and "Thank You" and even to give candy away and say Happy "Ween" (Lil Dude wasn't quite ready to say the whole mouthful of letters together. Aubriana said nothing, but looked puzzled that we were giving candy away instead of eating it ourselves throughout the day and night.

We went to two Halloween events this year and the kids somehow managed to get two costumes each to wear for the various events (I know my rule over their costume choices will be a short lived one and there are so many couples I want them to dress as before my power is gone).

I don't remember Halloween ever being the "stressful" holiday, it was the friendly and fun leader of the official holiday season. This year the kids were actually going to participate in the holiday 100%. No more being dressed up and photographed and then put to bed.

I've been trying to teach them to say "trick or treat" for over a month. I had to search for Lil Dude's first costume for two months before finding exactly what I wanted on E-bay. I decided at the last minute to invest in back-up costumes for them the day before Halloween and that resulted in me driving all over town trying to create a "cheap"costume combo which resulted in a very expensive costume combo and a headache.

Last year we were able to dress and drag them through a local mall and gather a few token pieces of candy they were not able to enjoy..but this year, they had the gift of knowledge. The ability to understand, albeit on a simple level, that there was a give and take going on with people. They got to see that all the houses around us contain families and all you have to do to beckon them is knock and wait. The people also seemed so happy to see them that they gave them gifts - what a revelation.

When we got home, they heard our own door knocked on and were then greeted with many people who also seemed happy to see them, and they were allowed to give gifts to these visitors in turn which made them even happier.

After it was all said and done, the memories I have are priceless. They opened a new chapter of their childhood and I got to relive some of my fondest memories through their eyes.

Dorothy and her Scarecrow (she refused to wear the wig I bought)

The first event was held at a local fire station; candy + firemen = Yummy!

A kid sized version of our home town.

The Twilight Show Was Mickey and Minnie Mouse (Formal Wear)

They don't know what is in store for them yet.

I guess my Wicked Witch Hat doesn't make sense in this picture.

Shhh!  People are giving away CANDY!

Hitting make-up for the transformation f rom Mickey Mouse to Scarecrow

Post Minne - Now Dorothy

What could be more fun than having a friend join you? Quint was the cutest Turkey ever!

Back home and giving really is better than receiving!

Post script:
Today we went for a walk and Lil Dude went up to a house with pumpkins in the front yard, and knocked on the door - he has yet to grasp this was a one day event, but I love the idea of neighbors being happy to see one another no matter the date and being welcomed with a smile and a treat.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

No; Self

We are embarking on another turn on the road of growing up. Lil Dude is being challenged between wanting me to be a part of everything he does, even if it is just sitting next to him while he watches cartoons and his innate desire for independence. I tried to put a bib on him at breakfast only to be pushed away, twice, while he said sternly "No! Self". I am now obsolete when it comes to adding a bib to his meal attire. Aubriana, does not desire any assistance once the clothes are off with the removal of her diaper. How is it overnight, their minds decide tomorrow will be different, we can now do x,y and z?

The purpose of a parent is to prepare and release our children into the world. It is a struggle almost from the beginning to be free from the host that brought you to life, it is a dance of coming together and separating only to reunite again in the rhythm of life; although the tempo is faster than I had anticipated.

The pushing away is painful to me, while I know it is necessary, there was a physical and emotional discomfort in the act of being pushed away.

I was raised by a parent who tried to suppress that need and desire for independence in their children and know the repercussions of such behavior; but knowing now how it feels to be less needed everyday, I understand the thought process behind those actions.

If done properly the independent child turns into an adult who no longer needs their parents, but chooses to be with them out of love and desire.

Growing pains are not just for the young.

Lil Dude found the wagon by himself and was pulling Sister and pumpkins all around the patch.

Aubriana, is practicing her best pose for later parades in an open convertable.

They didn't need to be told to hug for the shot.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friends and A Pumpkin Patch

We meet at least once a week to play with our dear friends Quint and Christie.

They really like one another and keep themselves well entertained.

I love my little "Q" tip, he is such a doll.

Lil Dude, loves his Auntie C and his bud. Q, he even loves Uncle Anton, who he thinks is big.

My Princess is finding her smile more easily everyday.

He is as charming as they come and the words "no" are so hard to say to him.

Lil Dude and his "Crisseeee"

Brunch and then the Pumpkin Patch

Bounce Houses, hay rides, games and treats? Yippee

Lovely day for pumpkin patch hunting.

It was breezy and about 70 degrees. Perfect weather

Loving the wagon to survey the many pumpkins.

Are these the right ones?  Hmmm.

Lil Dude has perfected his "Cheeeeezzzzeeee" face

A great day with the kids.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Potty Training Season

Another thing I can add to the list of things I never thought I'd do...sitting on the floor with my legs straddled around the toilet base cheering on children to pee and/or poo in exchange for M&M's.

I would describe myself as somewhat of a prim and proper type when it comes to personal space and hygenic habits.  I am not one to use the bathroom facilities with the door open, or walk around the gym locker room half dressed.  So it is a strange sensation to be sitting with another human being, albeit a small one, and be so up close and personal. 

This is different than changing diapers, this is probably the final big thing I need to teach the kids before they are pretty much self sufficient.
1. They can feed themselves; like a monkey does, but the nutrition does make it's intended destination.
2.  They can clean themselves, if you don't take into consideration the large amounts of soap vs. the amount  of water and rinse time ratio.
3.They can make their needs known verbally; you won't see them hosting any tv. shows soon, but if you get them to repeat and point enough and use some basic charades mannerisims, communication is achievable.

The ability to listen to their bodie's need to excrete toxins is the final frontier in being a fairly well rounded individual.  Sure they will be a diamond in the rough, but once you can manage to not soil yourself in a public setting, the world's doors suddenly open up to you.

They can gain entrance to the best pre-schools, travel suddenly becomes do-able because diapers are a thing of the past.  Friends without children will offer invitations for you to come over now that the chance of accidents on thier antique furniture has gone down dramatically.  Relatives you haven't heard from since the infant days are now willing to take the kids for an afternoon or even overnight.

This is the missing piece of the puzzle, this is when you really graduate and get your "humanity card", when you can control your bladder and bowels, you can control the world.

It will be one of the most important gifts I will present to them, one they will use late into their adult lives, until they get old and the circle of life completes itself with the need for Depends. 

Yes it is a dirty job, yes it tests my privacy boundries, and yet I do it with the pride that comes from knowing I will be releasing a respectable human being into the world and they will not make doo-doo where they should not. 

The next time you are out in public and surrounded by people who are managing their bodily functions, you need to send up a little prayer of recognition, gratitude and appreciation, because somewhere there was a parent who spent many a day on the cold hard floor of  life teaching their charges how and where to leave the "remains of the day" and that makes life a little bit nicer for everyone, everywhere.

You are most welcome.


Friday, September 18, 2009

I like you, I really like you!

The last day of summer, and I felt like "ruffles"

The Little Mermaid really is too "little" and this was her swan song.

When I visualised being a mother, I knew I would "love" my children. What I didn't fully comprehend was the power that love would have over me. It is an all consuming energy that is with you every second you are alive from the time you first touch them.

My children are in my thoughts every moment I am awake and even invade my dreams at night. I wonder if they are warm enough, hungry, safe, comfortable, bored, happy, sad, mad, do they feel loved?

This has to be what all parents feel, what I didn't expect was how much I would genuinely like them as people.

I have to say that in Lil Dude, I have found a kindred spirit that feels like we were cut from the same cloth. At the advanced age of 27 months old, I see a natural charm, sensitivity, empathy, and devilish sense of humor all bubbling to the surface.

We already have inside jokes with one another; he was up in the tower of a play area at McDonalds and was banging on the window to get my attention, then he proceeded to re-enact scenes from some of his favorite shows ala charades and I mimic it back to him and we both crack up.

I am head over heels for this boy, he is my little man.

My little empress is a different personality from me, but she fascinates me just the same. She possess' a fine mind and wants to analyze and figure things out. She wants to be in control of everything only to then use that control to take care of everyone around her. She still wants to be a "baby" and when her guard is down, she wants to be held and stroked and whispered to with loving words.

Someone really should warn you before you have kids, that there is no love to compare it to, just brace yourself to be overwhelmed with the feelings that encircle you and actually change you into a different person than who you started out to be.

It is a good thing...but somebody really should warn you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lord Help Me, I am living with mimics

Who knew that blended in with their own evolving personalities I would be smacked in the face with a good taste of my own vocal outbursts, mannerisms and yes even sarcasm.

The talking has been growing by leaps and bounds, new words and expressions are slipping from their little mouths so frequently it is hard to keep up with the evolving vocabulary and comprehension they are showing us on a daily basis.

Today during a tense moment of trying to cook lunch, post an ad on Craig's List and balance two toddlers on my lap....I chose to expel a long and exasperated breath, a sigh if you will. Lil Dude did it to near perfection not a 1/2 second later and then he blessed me with it 3 more times.

A little later Aubriana was eating a piece of home made banana bread we had all prepared together when she spilled it on the family room carpet(as is her nightly ritual,to gather food and spill repeatedly, apparently the carpet fibers blended in with the nightly snack add that certain something my original recipe is lacking). As I was bending down to re-claim the food off the floor I uttered in a semi-disgusted tone "Good God"..1/2 second later Lil Dude reiterates it perfectly and even his sweet child voice showed the strain and frustration I had in my original utterance.

I knew this would eventually happen, I'd have to re-learn the way I express myself, but as a life long sarcastic smart a**, this is not a change I think will come easy, if at all.

Do I want toddlers walking around grumbling like Red Fox, Archie Bunker, Mae West or George Burns? No, but I've been talking like those people and worse for decades. How can an emotional outburst give the satisfaction of expressing one's strongest emotions when it is watered down to such a weak substitution i.e. "Sugar, Honey, Iced Tea" or "Fudge Rucker", "Whitches", "Son of a Bunch", "Frig o ramma". They just don't release the pent up frustrations like the original words they must replace.

This is part of the evolution of parent hood, we think we are affecting them, but in truth, they are here to teach us.

Lesson learned you little Mother lovers.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Old School Mama

When did raising children become such a HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE AT ALL TIMES OR THOU WILLST BE JUDGED affair?

I acknowledge that I am an "older" parent; one who was raised to "shake it off" when injured, ride your bike everywhere (just call when you get there), play outside until the street lights come on, drink from the hose, stay out and play no matter hunger, thirst or pain type of gal.

We survived 2ND degree sun burns, cuts and wounds, bangs to the head all without visits to the E.R. There was lack of proper vitamin intake, Spaghettio's was our favorite vegetable, the park was filled with rusty metal equipment, an old plane body where we crawled deep into the fuselage hidden in darkness and told deep secrets to our friends. Somehow living without a personal television, stereo, radio, cell phone, and plethora of electronic toys was survivable.

We could turn an old box into a car, house, ambulance, garbage truck or any other vehicle real or futuristic we imagined. Many of our favorite toys came from Texaco with a full tank of gas. One give away was little plastic animals from Noah's Arc, each of which was inventively named by my brothers and me by simply adding a "y" to the end of each said animal i.e. Skunky, Elephanty, Hippopatumusy, Snakey etc.

We watched the Banana Splits, Three Stooges and Looney Tunes cartoons and were even allowed to see the commercials. The big adult show was Johnny Carson, and even this we watched from the hallway lying on our sides to get a glimpse of what was making the adults laugh so heartily.

I bring all this up , because it has come to my attention, that parents today are SO uptight about their children. What they eat, drink, see, learn, who they play with, what is considered "safe" and over-scheduling them in classes and sports to help them to compete in futures so far away that I wager most psychics and Magic 8 Balls would say in unison "TOO SOON TO TELL, ASK AGAIN LATER".

As an example, we went out to breakfast and dinner today. At breakfast, the waitress busily cleared all glasses, sugar bowls, jellies and butter knives from the table. I wanted one or more of each of those items as did my husband (and the kids for that matter). I asked her why she was punishing us, and she stated that most people don't want anything breakable or sharp near the kids. I nodded and noted the thermos of hot coffee on the table (for which there was no sugar).

I let our kids drink from actual glasses, and if they are encouraged to use a fork, what more damage can a butter knife do? I had to wonder about the jelly, because this is great fun to stack and knock down while waiting for your meal (and the kids like that too). My kids have even been known to eat one or three, because they are yummy and who needs all the carbs from bread anyhow?

After our meal, the kids like to clean up the joint by pushing the carpet duster and hand the busboys dishes from our table and any other tables that may need busing. I have no fear they are going to catch a disease or get dirty, and I like that they want to help people and understand that work is nothing to be ashamed of at any level. They think the cooks, servers, and busboys are like superheros, and they are. Thank G*d for people who are willing to do the menial and unrewarding jobs out there, they make our everyday existence pretty nice.

My son recognizes the American Flag, and whenever he points to one I say "God Bless America" and he echoes with his version "Bleez Merika". I want him to be proud of his country and honor it, but when he said this near a lady outside of McDonalds, she looked at me like I was teaching him to say "Sieg Heil"

Then we went to dinner, where the kids had energy to burn so afterwards we took their little cars into the mall, which had been closed for over an hour and let them ride up and down the elevators pushing buttons, and screaming to hear their own voices echo, and then while riding their cars the length of the mall we found the deserted ice rink with the doors open. We often watch Hockey games here and they love it, when we were showing them the ice rink they wanted to venture onto the ice so we let them walk on the ice. They were so excited to experience the feel of the cold ice on their hands and slide around in their sneakers, the looks on their faces were priceless. They were squealing so loud an employee came out who was closing up and told us due to liability issues, we had to get off the ice. Thank you sue happy people and lawyers who in the name of "safety" have made having fun a rarer and limited event.

We were leaving the mall and close to the exit doors were the escalators which were turned off. The kids thought it was great fun to go up and down the "stairs". Gary was following them up and down, but by the third time he was not as close to them as before (his assistance was not really necessary anyway, the kids had it under control). They went up one set and he followed them up the other (they are side by side). When the kids got to the top and ready to come down he was about 5 feet behind them and suddenly several restaurant customers were telling the kids to "wait, freeze, where are your parents, does anyone know who these children belong to?"
It was becoming a little "worrisome" for these people and a crowd started to gather. Gary said "they are with me" very calmly and the looks coming from these people were as if they had witnessed some sort of abusive behavior.

Now I realize our kids don't match us physically and people are wary and conditioned to assume the worst, but honestly people, for the most part with the exception of the random weirdo out there, unless your surname is Trump, Rockefeller, Winfrey, or Gates, NOBODY WANTS YOUR CHILDREN!

Parenting has got to be one of the hardest, beat you till your down, crush your will to go on, thankless, volunteer jobs that exists. The only thing worse might be someone who volunteers to dig latrines in a foreign country, and I bet the recipients of said latrines are pretty darned grateful compared to kids.

My children are always in my line of vision, but I DO allow them to have the freedom of movement without being attached to me every second of the day. This has actually encouraged them for some strange reason to not challenge space issues and therefore they usually stay in very close proximity. I have had numerous people stop my Chinese daughter to help her find her mother when I am 5 feet behind her.

The alarmists I keep running into are usually younger, 35 and under. They truly believe someone is waiting around every corner to take a child.
In this country, even in these times, we are actually a pretty safe society. We are so safe that the media has to come up with all this B.S. nonsense to scare us into thinking we are not safe. You can' t watch the news without hearing that tomatoes and peanut butter are killing the masses. Now your flip flops are out to get you too.

I guess what I am trying to say is, relax. loosen up, life is filled with unplanned occurrences some good, some bad but NONE foreseeable; I would rather raise my children to be proud, independent and fearless than try to keep them protected from reality and fears that are unwarranted and most often, beyond human control.

I better go get Lil Dude off the roof now, he was installing a flag pole and re-directing the satellite dish.

Relax and enjoy your Labor Day.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Resistance Is Futile

I awoke this morning to something sticking me in the back, and upon closer inspection discovered the magnetic dog without his complimentary skate board which came with a recent kid's meal from Sonic Burger. This was not our first encounter, in fact he had been embedded in the bottom of my foot not 2 days earlier when I shouted out (to no one in particular) "What the frig! Throw this thing away someone is going to get hurt with the knick knack crap."

Apparently when you say things to no on in particular, no one in particular takes action, and thus the little dog somehow made it into my inner sanctum. The one place I used to be able to retreat to away from all the stresses of the world...the Master Bedroom and En Suite. I threw the plastic predator across the room making a mental note of where he landed so I would not repeat another pedi-union again and retreated even deeper in the oasis which is the whirlpool tub.

I filled the tub with luke warm water and added my favorite bath oil and sunk into the forgiving and welcoming bubbles and water, but could not shake the feeling that I was not alone.

I peaked through my closed lashes and could make out the shapes and figures of several guests whom I personally had not invited to share this sacred time with. One of the invaders had a reddish cast to his skin and the most bulbous eyes, which would intrigue the greatest of Thyroid specialists, the other was more orange in tone with the wide open gasp of what his own large peepers were showing him - quickly my eyes darted to a hairy little fellow with a self assured grin accompanied by his partner in crime a cropped haired girl who looked as if this was one adventure she hadn't planned upon. I, in short, was surrounded, encircled like a wagon train who'd caught the enemy and was trying to figure out how to handle the situation.

There to my left was Dora, and her companion Boots a few feet over safe in their tug boats were Earnie and Elmo (I could hear his sarcastic giggles in my head). I started to really take in my surroundings, off in the distance were Hello Kitty and Winnie the Pooh surveying the scene from afar.

The once lovely bathroom retreat is now a shadow of what once was. The mirrors covered in toothpaste smears and water spray from the nightly onslaught of raucous rinsing. The towels enhanced with expensive trim and for show only, askew and uneven like a strong wind has blown through. Various tooth brushes and foam blocks were all around me. My pumice stone for some reason no longer the usual gray color now covered with marker streaks of red and blue.

Is it any wonder I can't relax in this space, it has been invaded? I abruptly let the water drain from my calming bath and hurriedly exit the master quarters only to walk directly into the hallway which is diaper changing station #1 as I ignore that table of terror I am reminded of the kids birthday party back on July 18 by 10 balloons stubbornly clinging to the ceiling 20 feet above me, taunting me that they will be around to witness Christmas and there is nothing I can do about it.

There are 2 new scooters that get less riding action that a one legged horse sitting in the corner.
The remains of breakfast for two people weighing in at a combined weight of 62lbs looks like the aftermath of a catered event for 20 or more.

I slowly sigh....this is the still new normal. It has been two years, and I'm still adjusting. But when I see these photos of the kids turning 2, the changes are welcome and I try to remember I had the old way for a long time. Now is the time for discovery and carefree days of learning about life together. You get two chances at childhood, once for yourself and the second time through your child's eyes.; it is a gift both times.

Just a moment I needed to take, to remember what was, and appreciate what is.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Aubriana Rose

You are two years old today, how fast the days go by and you changing everyday right along with them! You continue to reveal a very independent nature, a deep curiosity to figure out the how and why of everything you come into contact with. You are a natural helper and caregiver; who likes to help out with things such as setting the table and cooking. You are very generous with toys and food as long as YOU are the one to pass things out. Your smile and laugh are joyful to behold, but you bequeath them very selectively. My love for you is overflowing, sometimes it seems my heart cannot contain so much love, and yet it does. You are the bloom that completed my life's bouquet.

Happy Birthday my beautiful angel.

Love Mommy

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mid-Life Review

I rarely have time to note the date on the calendar anymore since the arrival of the two little ones. But it has been brought to my attention that the anniversary of my birth is upon me.
I am shocked to tally the number of years and come up with a number that seemed so "advanced" to me not so long ago.

In my head I remain somewhere between 19 and 25. These were the years where I was most satisfied with my physical/emotional/mental state. This is not the reflection I see in the mirror. That stranger who has been following me around looking more and more haggard with the passage of time is someone I wish would go away and stop blocking my view of the lovely, sweet, innocent girl I see in my memories.

This woman shows signs of wear and tear and time served that have accumulated and reproduced in such a way that no amount of concealer, foundation, bronzer or even primer can conceal their presence.

I suppose it isn't fair to resent the image we become, life experience shows itself differently on every face. Some people progress through life gracefully and age rests gently on their countenance, others wear it like a battered shield of battles won and lost. I put myself in the category of a shadow of what once was, but not so road weary as to be unpleasant to gaze upon in the present.

There is something in the eyes, those windows to the soul, that reveals the trials and tests not so easily overcome, a knowing and in that knowing the loss of innocence and expectations not yet dashed. This is the trade off for growing older; with wisdom comes age spots.

They have a category for older single women looking to date "Cougar", the name implies a lithe, stealthy predator who will ensnare her intended prey with the precision of a skilled hunter, not to be outdone by the sweet fuzzy kittens tempting the same pray with adorability and innocence yet to be destroyed. Who will win in a battle so uneven.

I would have to be placed into an entirely different category yet to be acknowledged on public forums. I propose we start a new movement for women who have entered the 4th decade of life and actually been at the party for a while now....I picture this group to be filled with women who are still "cute and appealing, intelligent, keeping their stories hidden behind an alluring mask of mystery that protects others from seeing too much of their varied and diverse history. Shared characteristics would include an independent nature, deep curiosity about the world around them would be self evident, dedication to set and achieve goals, nimble physical traits to keep them current. A sense of fun, perhaps even a mischievous side to keep things interesting. But ultimately a creature that doesn't need anyone specific in their lives but who chooses to do so if it pleases them. We would be known simply and humbly as "Coons" (as in raccoon). Not so terrifying as a cougar, more of a nuisance animal at worse and an endearing character to be admired and encouraged at best.

I digress in my ramblings, I am not in a position to be a full fledged "Coon" at the moment, as I am running late from my Kitten years and am spending what should have been the later stages of my "Cougar" time mothering little children.

I just know that if I could talk to the younger version of myself who I still see in my memories I would have told her to be less harsh a judge of herself, she was really beautiful, and fun and smart and she sold herself short. On the flip side I look to my future self and can see her looking at me and shaking her head that I wasted so much time courting the past and overlooked that I still had all of the gifts I had been given earlier and they were still in good running order, so don't waste the present idling at a light that is green and waiting for you to pass through. Life is a one way street, you can't go back but you can enjoy the view as you journey along this road.
Whatever stage of life you find yourself in, embrace it and accept it for what it is, another page on your life's journal if you don't like it change it, if you love it duplicate it. Whatever you do don't regret it or begrudge it, that is the same as ripping the page out of your story. A full book to present to G*d for review at the end is what the journey is all about. Make your story full and interesting to live and relive through other's perception of you and the choices you make.

That is my mid-life rant. If I were a man I would have just shown up in a new sports car and dating women in their 20's. I'll settle for self reflection and blogging. Maybe I'll trick out the minivan with a massage seat and stoked up A/C for those upcoming hot flashes I keep hearing about.

Happy Birthday To Me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Lil Dude x Deux

Happy 2nd Birthday Lil Dude

Two years, since you surprised us with an unexpected arrival directly into our hearts. How lucky I feel to be your mother, to witness all of your firsts and share your joys and accomplishments; how lucky to be the one to soothe your pain and sadness and be able to make things better in some small way; how lucky that God knew you were meant to be with me and I you and that my capacity to love you grows bigger everyday; how lucky am I that you are my one and only "Beautiful Boy"?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Growing too fast

"We aren't sure what is going on, but together we will weather through it"

Are you having as much fun and I am?

I was off to the side trying to get him to leave his hat on. His eyes are clearly saying, "I don't see it happening for much longer". True to his "word" it was off in the next moment.

Anyone can see that he is very excited with the brown bread and butter about to be served to him.

This intent gaze was to let me know her shoes were hurting and plenty of candy had been gathered by all; "Let us call it an evening, shall we?"

This look was one of recognition and the reconnection of souls destined to be together, this was the first day we met.

This look practically screams, "Soon I will have control of my limbs and will then be able to remove all of the items you place upon my person which I do not deem Lil Dude doable. Until then, snap away Mama, cuz this window is closing soon".

My children are 30 days apart in age, July 1 and July 31, so with the passing of every month and the welcoming of another we celebrate the aging process on back to back days. We are now officially 22 and 23 months old, next month they will be (double big gulp) TWO!

I think this is the time when parents stop reporting their children's ages in months and will start to respond "Oh, their 2; 2 1/4; 2 1/2......3,4,5,6, blink 13, 16.........time seems to be traveling at full speed ahead.

They are on the verge of speaking, telling me their individual needs in words and no longer the mix of a private sign language of pointing and facial maneuvering and made up words which tickle me to repeat and say along with them, rather than correct them...I am in no hurry for them to speak.....soon enough that is all they will do. I love this secret language that I'm positive is native to heaven from whence they came. The innocence of babydom is fleeting, and soon they will learn the reality of life on earth.

I want to hold it back as long as I can because now in order to understand them I have to truly "see" them, give them all of my attention and search their eyes and facial expressions to understand them....and it is beautiful to stare into the eyes of someone who wants you to "hear" them.

Soon enough they will be yelling from behind closed doors about dinner, homework, and stay out. I want to savor this time of total communing communicating before vocabulary gets in the way.

Now when we don't understand one another, it is OK, we can always change the subject with a diversionary tactic such as a hug or a kiss - it always ends up OK and each of us is satisfied that we had a good chat.

Words get in the way I will not push them to enunciate and mimic my way of talking, there is yet time for that. I want to join them in their native tongue which is pure and joyous and honest in it's meaning and intent. There is only trust and exchange of ideas and desires and we somehow get along wonderfully.

I know that zzzshack is Jack, and maaaa is water, ta is two, mamoo is maggiemoo, sheese is cheese and sometimes keys.

I know they won't go to school speaking this language we all start out knowing but somehow quickly forget. I for one will celebrate it while it stays with us on this short visit.

Why not try to speak it to someone you love, just search their eyes and look deep within, everything you need to know lies there before you.