searching the crowd


A friend of mine, who is an administrator at a school, shared with me the story of a student who graduated today. The child upon entering the auditorium, hopefully scanned the seats looking for someone, anyone who was there for her…waving…calling her name…taking her picture and recording her waving back happily…as did every other classmate of hers. Each and every single classmate had people there for them with happy smiles and waves as they recorded the moments, called out their names waving flowers, leis and other tokens of love. But for that one girl, there was no one.

How could you not just cry for that girl?

I can.

I did.

I was that girl.

For whatever reason, whatever excuse, my own mom was never at such events throughout my school career. Yet there I was, each and every time entering the auditorium ever hopeful that people, my people, would be there for me.

Yes, I cried for that little girl and said a little prayer for her…for her to hold on, hang in there, be strong and be so much more than her people who were not there for her.

So when Hazel came to me the other day with her earnest, big, blue eyes and gap-toothed smile, asking me to come to her kindergarten graduation of course I said yes…as I say yes to pretty much every single special event featuring my kids and now my grandkids that is humanly possible for me to attend because moments like this make my heart sing as it heals.

I will confess to you all that I was tired, bone-tired having been awake and running around non-stop for the last 27 hours prior for Daniel’s last days of school activities, Jodie’s graduation and chaperoning an all-night Sober Graduation party. All I wanted to do was just crawl into bed after dropping Daniel off to school for the last day and sleep for the blessed three hours until it would be time to pick him up. But this moment in Hazel’s life was only this day and she wanted me to be there. The moment where she came in and scanned the crowed auditorium looking for her family, her people, and then seeing us…that moment was so much better than the triple shot latte I brought with me.

Who needs sleep?

Meanwhile, her sister Fallon proved to us all that when it comes to what to wear to a kindergarten graduation ceremony we are all doing it wrong.

Congratulations to the future Class of 2026! Always remember: It is better to know how to learn than to know. ~ Dr. Suess.

new and adorable


There is nothing more adorable than a brand new baby…and the brand new parents. Everything is shiny, new, perfect, clean and sweet smelling. Oh that new baby smell! Then they burp and puke and fill their diaper with the most foulness that is literally twice their body weight. How is that even possible?

Still babies are amazing and the newness of them and their parents discovering it all is oh so adorable. Like how the newbie parents I know with their perfectly precious babies have discovered all things breastfeeding and babywearing and cloth diapering. I mean how did the parents before them…their parents and grandparents… manage before these awesome things? A new parent I know literally said that recently.

?

Oh you brand new parents! Y’all are absolutely precious!

Some of you I have known since you were kids yourselves. You know, back in the day when I seemed to be always pregnant or carrying a baby around…in my baby sling…when they weren’t attached to my breast like that one I nursed until right before she turned FOUR YEARS OLD. I’m pretty certain that my sister in law believed me when I joked that I was going to continue to breastfeed her right up until she graduated from high school. I was dead-pan serious when I told her that in answer to her question, “How long are you going to keep doing that?” And when I wasn’t babywearing or breastfeeding those babies of mine I was cloth diapering them with real SAFETY PINS. What can I say, some of my parenting peers and I were way ahead of our time. We were kind of hard core too because safety pins.

Erm, actually no.

To the generation or two before me I apologize for being certain that my baby parenting style of babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, breastfeeding was something we parents of the 80′s, 90′s and 00′s invented because, OMG, I was pretty obnoxious about it all, wasn’t I?

Note to the generation before me, this is likely one of the only times I will apologize about my early parenting know-it-all obnoxiousness so savor it while you can.

Now don’t stress my dear newbie parents. I’m not judging you or poking fun at you. I’m just observing and realizing that I was pretty much the same way. I think it is part of the process of figuring out what kind of parent we are going to be and feeling confident in who that is in spite of the grandparents’ well-meaning critiques. Sorry newbies, they never really stop that even when you have somehow managed to raise a human up to be an adult who makes an honest contribution to society…or makes human babies of their very own.

I know. It kind of sucks.

But you did invent this new cloth-diapering style with those sweet little fancy wraps and baby wearing amazing wraps for every day of the week that coordinate with your hipster wardrobe and co-sleeping and breastfeeding and everything else awesome that you are doing for your little ones. I know that you believe this all to be true. It’s okay for you to believe that because there are some exhausting days and sleep-deprived nights where it will seem like that is the only truth you can cling to in order to reassure yourself that you are doing this parenting thing right.

You ARE doing this parenting thing right.

You also might cling to the novel idea that it’s going to get better and so much easier when they are older and can mostly take care of themselves. Then, at long last, you shall sleep…like babies.

Oh you adorable parents of young ones who long for when they are older & can do things for themselves so you can relax and sleep well.

Heh!

You have no clue.

Absolutely no clue.

You think you do.

But you don’t.

Those grown and nearly grown beautiful children of yours go out and sometimes make bad choices. Of course sometimes they don’t because of your amazing parenting skills but they are still out and it is late. Are you beginning to understand now why years ago I declared to darling daughter #1, Hollie, that the car had a curfew even if she was 18 and an adult? One night she came home, bringing the car home in time for curfew and offered that I didn’t have to wait up for her. I immediately answered back that yes I did. Nineteen year old Hollie would never understand that yes I did because though she be all grown up and an adult, she was still my baby girl and how in the world was I supposed to sleep like a new baby if she was out and about town?

How?!

I think mother-of-two-little-girls Hollie might begin to understand…soon…as soon as her girls let her have an uninterrupted night’s sleep. I know that big sister Hollie definitely understands.

Meanwhile, there isn’t enough coffee to get through today after last night’s epic bad choices because part of becoming a grownup sometimes involves making such mistakes…the kind you’ll likely never, ever make again and the kind that you will never, ever let the children you might have in the future (the distant future) ever even try to make.

Good luck with that.

Excuse me, I’m going to pour myself another cup of coffee.

nobody sleeps


Sleep during a weekend of dance competitions? Are you freaking kidding me?!

What makes you think that anyone got any sleep??!!

Okay, fine, some of us managed to grab a few minutes here and there.
POWER NAPS FTW!!!
And some of us managed to catch the hacking cough and fever known as the Dance Stars virus. As Hollie declared as our dancing weekend came to a close, competition is not for the weak.

Indeed.
:::cough-cough-cough-cough-cough:::
Excuse me while I try to recover.

 

how to get a volleyball to sleep


Having a 7 week old baby who may or may not be colicky and has difficulty sleeping means you are the recipient of LOTS of unsolicited expert advice.

Lucky, lucky you!

Since Fallon seems to enjoy nightly rages against the world and she doesn’t care that mommy needs to sleep and go to work in the morning, Holly is receiving more than her fair share of advice. Here’s one gem she sent to me just yesterday:

Holly: Here is the schedule I SHOULD have Fallon on by now care of an unsolicited advice giver of baby care.

I have a close friend who had a baby the same week as you. Her in-laws bought her one of those Moms’ on Call sessions (They have this kind of crazy service?…they do!) to help set a sleeping/eating schedule…I was telling her about you not getting much sleep and she wanted to relay this schedule to you…very helpful. She stuck to it and baby Wilson is sleeping and eating regularly without fuss.

6 AM Feeding
7-9 AM Nap (in crib, swaddled)
9 AM feeding
10 AM-12 PM Nap (in crib, swaddled)
12 PM Feeding
1-3 PM Nap (in crib, swaddled)
3 PM Feeding
4-6 PM Nap (in crib, swaddled)
6 PM Feeding
(can stay up or nap until bath time)
8:30 PM  Bath time – every night, don’t have to use soap, but get into the routine of bedtime
9 PM night time feeding (if supplementing she recommends formula for this one)
10 PM Bedtime (in crib, swaddled tight)
2 AM Feeding (formula here to)
6 AM Repeat…

I know you’re back to work now, but this might help you get more sleep.

Mom- Holly, Wilson is a volleyball that is why this works.

Fallon, on the other hand, is not a volleyball! As maddening as her nightly rages can be they can also be normal for a baby her age.

Colic is one of the great mysteries of baby life. About 20 percent of babies become colicky. The condition is equally common among firstborn and later-born, boys and girls, breastfed and formula-fed. No one knows why some babies are more prone to it than others, but theories abound. And there may well be more than one cause.

A baby may have colic because his digestive system is a bit immature or sensitive.  A newborn’s digestive tract contains very few of the enzymes and digestive juices needed to break down food, so processing the proteins in breast milk or formula can lead to painful gas.

The act of screaming itself can cause a baby to swallow a lot of air and that, too, leads to gassiness. If a baby has colic because of tummy trouble, you may notice that the symptoms get worse after a feeding or before a bowel movement.

Some experts believe that long bouts of colicky crying are a physical release for overwrought babies. The baby might be easily overwhelmed if he’s sensitive by nature, for example, or was born prematurely and his nervous system is still developing. By the time evening rolls around, these babies just can’t handle any more sights, sounds, or sensations, and they cry to blow off steam…kind of like many people at all ages and stages are feeling at the end of the day. Volleyballs, however, always sleep soundly after their bath time and feeding…when they are tightly swaddled in their cribs.

daily Fallon #12


Three weeks old today and already making changes in the world around her. Currently on Fallon’s agenda is Occupy Mommy’s Sleep.

Sleep?

Who needs a luxury like that when quickly growing newborns are hungry, hungry, hungry…and sometimes bored… all the time. According to her mama, Fallon has set up her tent and has taken over any sleep that is more than 45 minutes long in the life of her mommy and sometimes her daddy and big sister. Lucky for the little, lone protester that she is so adorably cute.

Ah, those blissful days (and nights) with your sweet-smelling newborn. Kind of makes your ovaries just ache doesn’t it?