Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mothers Day

I know what you're thinking.  This is going to be a post all about how great my Mothers Day was, and how spoiled I am by my darling husband and adorable children, and that I had the most incredible day ever.


I'm having a hard time with Mothers Day lately.  When did a holiday about Mothers become so political?

I know so many people who want so desperately to be a mother, and yet they can't, for reasons out of their control.  So how cruel is it to have a holiday that is focused completely on motherhood to remind these women that their dreams are unattainable, and make them feel like a lesser woman for their lack of progeny? 

Or, say, the stepmother situation.  She's not a "real" mom, so Mothers Day becomes this day where she hopes that she is getting what all the "real" moms are, and if it seems to fall short, she feels like her stepchildren don't love her.  No pressure on the stepchildren, or anything.

And even when we become mothers, we feel like Mothers Day is the day everyone talks about how wonderful and perfect mothers are, and we don't quite measure up.  It's a day to feel like a Bad Mom.

Or perhaps you feel like a good Mom who might deserve a day off, a day of pampering and general relaxation.  Only to find that kids still need their moms, even on Mothers Day. 

I mean, really.  It seems like nobody is happy.

I love my mother.  I am so grateful for all she has done for me, and continues to do for me.  She is always willing to help me whenever I need it.  And I feel like it's appropriate to honor her.  But for some reason, I don't want to be honored myself.  And, perhaps more to the point, I feel like this is a holiday about trying to avoid making people feel bad, to make all women feel loved and valued, but in the end they feel bad anyway.  You can't win.  Does anyone else feel this way?  Or is it just me?

In case you were wondering, I did have a nice Mothers Day.  It was low key.  Most of the day was just like any other Sunday.  Clark took care of dinner.  I played with the kids.  I expected very little, and my expectations were happily exceeded.  So I guess I can't say "nobody is happy," because I seem to have struck a happy balance this year.  But this is the first year in a quite some time that I can say that.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mama. . . present. . . birthday!

Yesterday Ella helped Clark wrap a gift (yay, Mothers Day!).  She was pretty excited, and kept saying, "Mama. . . present. . . birthday!"  It was very sweet.  She was excited to give it to me and help me open it (yay, new book light!). 

A little while later, we were talking about how Ella's birthday is coming up in a couple months.  I said, "Ella, did you know that your birthday is coming up?"  She replied, "Me??"  "Yes," I said, "your birthday!  And you'll get presents."  "Me???"  I had just rocked her world.

Then she went looking for Ella's presents, and was sadly disappointed when we told her that her birthday isn't for 2 months.  But oh!  That moment when she realized that she'd get a birthday, too!  And presents to boot!  It was priceless. 

And I'm pretty sure 20 minutes later she was asking for cake, though I'm not sure.  Soon enough, little chica, soon enough.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Big Bird

I made Big Bird out of Duplos the other day.  I was pretty proud.  It's the simple things.

Monday, May 07, 2012


I totally missed the boat on getting a post up for Julia's birthday.  Let's make up for that, shall we?

Julia is now 4!  I know every mom says this, but I cannot believe she is so old.  It wasn't so long ago that we brought her home from the hospital!  And now she's a preschooler!  She's a walking, talking, sassy, silly, beautiful girl, and we are so lucky to have her.  Sensitive soul and all.

In case you were unaware, Julia is all about dinosaurs these days.  We have Dinosaur Train to thank for this.  She has watched all she can on netflix.  She goes to pbs.org and plays the Dinosaur Train games.  She even sits and looks at the Field Guide they have on there, which tells you about all the different dinosaurs.  The other day she pointed out an Elasmosaurus.  I didn't even know that was a real thing.  We check out dinosaur books from the library.  We've got the dinosaur bug, and we've got it bad.

So we had a dinosaur party!  We had a dinosaur egg pinata, that I made myself.  (It's a good thing an egg is shaped exactly like a balloon, or else we would have been in trouble.)  We had dinosaur hats.  We had a dinosaur dig (find the dinos and the eggs in the sand).  And we had dinosaur cake!

Originally I had planned on making a Dinosaur Cake, you know, a cake shaped like a dinosaur.  But then I realized, I have no cake decorating skills, why on earth would I add that kind of stress to my life?  So we settled for a couple of dinosaurs slapped on top.  It turns out?  She's 4.  There are dinosaurs involved in some way.  She's happy.

Whew!  Blowing out those candles looked exhausting!

So, this party was a few days after her birthday.  I realized that I hadn't taken a single picture of the birthday girl on her birthday.  I was feeling pretty guilty, when I remembered that we had our family pictures taken on her birthday.  Ha!  We DO have pictures!

Oh, I love my sweet Julia.  She is kind and thoughtful.  She is a little mother, who wants to take care of every baby in the world.  She is (usually) a good big sister.  She revels in the silly.  She loves to dance.  She has mad pretend skills.  She can still pull out some pretty big meltdowns, but oh, the games of hide and seek we play!  The bike rides we have!  Don't grow up too fast, little girl.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

A Tribute to Clark, the Teacher

Things I've learned from Clark:

  1. How to fly a kite.
  2. How to give a man a haircut (or at least most of a haircut).
  3. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.  Especially in an argument.
  4. How to be adaptable, especially when moving to a new place.
  5. Action movies can be fun to watch.
  6. Numbers are important, and can tell us lots of things about the world.
  7. How to laugh at a situation.  Not every bit of bad luck needs to turn into a dramatic crisis.
  8. That I love to go hiking.
  9. That I was never a true nerd in high school.  I was on the very outskirts of nerd-dom.  
  10. Also, nerds are cool.
  11. How to set up a blog.
  12. The rules of football (we go over this every year; not much retention going on).
  13. People play professional Starcraft.  And other people commentate on the games.  And other people watch this.  A lot.
  14. I have talents, and I should take confidence in them and share them with others.  I'm actually pretty good.
  15. What a good dad looks like.
  16. Everything a husband should be.   
Just a small sampling.  My Clarky is a great teacher.  Happy Anniversary.

How has it been 4 years since I wrote this post?  And 2 years since I wrote this one?  They are some of my favorite posts.  Probably because they are about my favorite person.