Saturday, January 31, 2009

colorado, earth, the milky way?

last night was a much needed girls' night out for me. i went dancing with my dear friend, lady a, co-founder of our official "dance club" trio (we sorely miss our third co-founder, chou, who is now dancing her way around canada). it was really the first full blown dance night for me since becoming pregnant with braeden. we had a fantastic time.

at one point in the evening, i was dancing near this gentleman who introduced himself as marcus (i say gentleman because that's what he was. not all of those that grace a downtown dance floor are such, but marcus was genuinely a nice person). he asked me, "are you from colorado?"

"yes," i answered.

"huh!" he said. "you don't normally see girls from colorado that move like you do."

well, at first i was a little taken aback from such a comment. as opposed to a simple pick-up line, i sensed this was meant as a pure observation. he was probably right.

then i thought about the question. where was i from? what does the question mean, and what then, my answer?

"i was raised in jersey," i admitted.

"AH! alright," he said, and something seemed to click clear to him.

born in iowa, raised in new jersey, calling colorado home- where do you think i'm from?
where are you from?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

no bunny is safe

after less than a week of learning the basic mechanics of crawling, 8 month old braeden's crawling has reached new levels. literally. we have one of those silly multi-level houses with two steps separating the carpeted family room from the hardwood floored kitchen. last night, with a ton of encouragement, and only a slight amount of help from his sister, braeden managed to climb the two stairs into the kitchen.

todd was excited about the crawling in general, but expressed some concern about braeden rushing to accomplish steps. my opinion (as if it matters, there's no stopping the growth freight train)- crawl, pull-up, stair climb, cruise, walk, go, go, GO! yes, it means more work for me to keep up with him and try to keep the electrical wires out of his teeth, but it also means less frustration for him with regards to his mobility. ultimately, i'm not one of those people who adores babies, and wants to keep them little and tender forever. i like to watch the growth. each phase comes with its own challenges, so i won't say having kids is easier than having babies, but i am comfortable in saying i just like it more once they're 2+.

admittedly, the mobility causes issues. especially as it coincides with the phase of the finger pinch grasp. now, not only crap from a two foot square area of floor can, and does, end up in his mouth. now, it's the whole damn floor acting as a giant dust bunny buffet.

abi, i believe, has come up with the perfect solution to this little problematic phase. last night i saw her sitting on top of her tall plastic laundry hamper as it sat, inverted, over a seated and confused braeden.

points for ingenuity, abi.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

did you ever have one of those naps?
one of those late in the day naps that you are sure will refresh you yet you wake in some alternate universe?
an alternate universe where it's an hour before the kids go to bed, and they still need to eat and bathe, and one kid is bouncing around like tigger on speed and the other is so spent that he just sits and cries endlessly?
one of those naps where you're quite sure a quiet, calm wake-up would have served better than the bathroom-sink-torn-up-and-the-full-glass-of-water-spilled-on-the-floor-and-the-baby-peeing-all-over-the-carpet-the-moment-you-take-the-diaper-off wake-up your alternate reality seems to be actually dealing you?
one of those naps where you think surely this isn't the messy, noisy, strung out life you imagined ever having for yourself, much less waking abruptly into?
did you?
did you ever have a nap like that?
uhh... no? um... ahem... no.
no, me neither.

Friday, January 23, 2009


my dad told me this morning that in the period of a ten minute conversation, everybody lies no less than three times.

all of a sudden, i don't feel so bad.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a new era

amazing times are upon us. things that have never happened before are splashing into the brisk waters of reality, whether welcomed or dreaded. some fear change, admitting its difficulty and avoiding it to its ever encroaching border. some embrace it, noting it as one of life's only constants and adjusting their sails for the shifting winds. i can only hope that as the coming years crash change upon my shores, i am able to proceed with vigor, stolidly carrying my passion for life like a burning torch.

abigail is newly enrolled to begin attending school this coming fall.

braeden is propelling himself mobile into a crawl.

oh, and i think i also heard a black man was sworn in as U.S. president.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

they play!

Braeden is about to turn eight months old. Abi has loved playing with him. She is a fantastic big sister. When he started laughing, she made it her business to get as many laughs from him as she possibly could. This is a task she sets upon daily. Sometimes her play is a little too rough. For me. He rarely cares unless he takes a wooden block to the face, or a wooden floor to the back of the head.

About five days ago, a beautiful thing happened. They started playing their very first game together. As equal, willing participants.

You know the one. It's a baby's favourite early game... yours too, I bet... push air out of the lungs, hum against the vocal chords, hang the lips slack and wiggle the fingers against the lips making a charmingly embarassing blub-blub-blubble sound for self enjoyment, and the enjoyment of others (because OH! look how this makes mommy SMILE)! This game, when played alone, can provide a little human with a good amount of mileage. Add into the equation a big sister that waggles her fingers against your lips FOR you, and all of a sudden you have an interactive game for two!

I have to say that, it's been a joy to see... or, hear. They mostly play their game in the car, while sitting side by side with little else to do, but I think it's wonderful that they interact this way together- both smiling. I'll try hard to remember this time when they're smacking each other with book bags and fighting over the playstation.

Friday, January 16, 2009

open mouth, insert foot

i've been called insensitive and callous more than once. no one wants to be those things. i understand that i am often received in this way. i am learning to accept it.

but really? i just want to help. that's what i really want to do. sometimes too honestly, but i'm not afraid to apologize.

i'm melissa.
i say the wrong things, and i smell like baby vomit.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

chicken salad

Necessity assisted me in mothering a new chicken salad recipe this past week, while Todd was away. Not a fan of chicken salad, at lunchtime one day, I realized I had leftover chicken breasts that I had sauteed in garlic and served over salad greens the night prior. Anyway, I remembered what my sister has told me over the last couple years- that I have cooking qi- and I pulled out a wizzbang of a hit! Well... for chicken salad.

My dog, Violet, likes it too.

I made the chicken salad again today with what was left of the chicken breasts. Chicken, chopped onion, grated carrots (OUCH! knicked my knuckle!), dried cranberries, and light mayo. Abi had finished her bowl of noodle soup. Braeden was sleeping in his swing (the lazy bum).

I like to sit on the floor sometimes. It helps me feel grounded. With no one to join me at the table, I plopped down on the fraying throw rug by my kitchen sink. The clever Violet took her spot patiently by my side. I looked into her darling little eyes. Noted how innocent she was. For some reason, my mind flashed back to a night I spent at Palm Beach Atlantic College, when a girl, then my room mate, worked very hard to search her bible to convince me that animals do not go to heaven. No animals in heaven? How can that be heaven? I looked at Violet, considering that she might not see a heaven. With a virtual smile on her face, I think she reminded me of the classic truth all little children know: All Dogs Go To Heaven.

I gave her a pet under the neck, knowing if I go to any kind of heaven, so will she. I followed the pet with a piece of chicken from my chicken salad. Lick, lick, lick, gobble. I gave her another piece of chicken. Less licks, more gobble. I noticed that knick on my knuckle had bled across my finger. I offered the bloody finger to Violet. She sniffed. Hey, aren't dogs supposed to lick our wounds? Isn't their saliva said to contain antibacterial agents? I told her so. Instructed her on her responsibility. She sniffed again. Looked away. I rinsed my finger at the sink.

So, I can say at least this for my chicken salad. It's apparently better than the prospect of consuming human blood.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

five stinking thirty


"Mommy?" came the whisper again from the foot of the bed, the place where Abi crawls in at some silent unknown moment of the night, to a pillow that waits for her there.

"Huh?" I grunted, half asleep. She recognized this as the questioning grunt, akin to, 'What is it, my dear?'

"Mommy, how do cows get milk?"

"How do COWS get MILK?" she whispered again.

Processing is slow. She knows milk comes from cows, and now she wonders how cows get it. I glance at the bedside clock. It's five stinking thirty in the morning (yes, I think the clock actually said 5:stinking30).

Seriously? We're to get into a discussion of mammary glands and bodily changes hormonally instigated by the onset of generating offspring at five stinking thirty in the morning?

I have come to handle the line of questioning I normally receive at that time of day while remaining half asleep.

"Mommy, can I go play dress-up?"

"Mommy, I'm hungry."
"Luna Bar"

By now, she has been known to just slip out, get dressed into something grossly inadequate for a Colorado winter, help herself to something edible, and apparently set small bombs off in her room until sometimes close to seven.

But this morning? Cows?

Alright. I should be proud, right? Pleased that my four year old daughter has such a curious mind, asks questions, doesn't blindly accept or take things for granted. I should be excited that she's so smart, and leap into instruction, guidance, and encouragement.

"SHHHHH! Be still! Be quiet! I'll tell you later."

New family rule: Nothing more substantial than primitive grunts until at least six o'clock.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Go Gators?

I actually watched a large amount of the Bowl Championship football game between Florida and Oklahoma tonight. Given how I positively drip with affection for brutal, cranium bashing, idiot attracting sports, I'm sure you're wondering how such a thing came about. Alright, football isn't so bad. Truth is, I've been known to watch sporting events from time to time, but SHHhhhh. Don't tell my husband. He thinks I'm a nice girl.

On Wednesday morning, Abi went to her gymnastics class. The boys' and girls' classes held at 10:30 that morning are often combined at least for warm-ups, as the attendance is usually low. The owners, a married couple, run each of the classes (Coach Steve with the boys, Miss Kathy with the girls) and tag team the warm-ups with the mixed group of children. Abi, therefore, has become familiar with Coach Steve as well as Miss Kathy over the last several weeks.

Yesterday, as we climbed into our car after class, Abi said to me, "Mommy? Do we have Coach Steve's number?"

"His phone number? No, we don't have that, honey. Why?"

"Because HE said that there is an important football game on tomorrow night. We HAVE to call him to find out when it's on so we can watch it!"

Well, I was taken aback. I had no idea there was a game on this week. Pro playoffs, i hear about vaguely, but a college football game? Have I even seen one of those since my room mates at Rutgers stopped pulling me along to them (or, it. I think I only went to one- even when I knew a few players)? Was my four year old really telling me she wanted to watch college football?

I sat and thought about it. I could've told my Abi that we were by no means watching such shenanigans, put on Noggin, and been done with it, but I just couldn't. One of her teachers had shared a personal interest with her, and she chose to value that interest, and dig around inside of it for a while. I had no choice but to myself value that, and respect my daughter for holding her teacher (or, her teacher's husband, anyway) in high regard.

"Alright. We'll find out about it, and watch it," I said.

So we did.... and I can't wait to tell her in the morning that the team she chose, the players in the orange helmets, were the winners.

But what really made an impact on me was the way my daughter reacted to something Coach Steve might have said just in passing. I really love how her big take away from class this week wasn't how she hated waiting for her turn on the balance beam (her standard gripe), rather it was exposure to, for her, something new (albeit a somewhat grotesque sport known to occasionally bring out the worst in man). A teacher touched her existence for more than just class time... for no good reason other than the fact that they were there, sharing life.

Then, a flashback for me. Second grade. Ms. Dangro's class had a student teacher named Miss Bavuso. I remembered how I ADORED Miss Bavuso! She was pretty and kind, had long dark hair, wore pretty shoes, and also had a job working at the Clinique make-up counter at Bamburger's back before Bamburger's was Macy's. I loved that she shared that personal part of her real life with us- her other job. For at least a year or three, whenever we went to the mall, I'd want my mom to walk me into Bamburger's so we could see if Miss Bavuso was working or not. A teacher touched my existence for no good reason other than the fact that we were there, sharing life.

What a special thing. What an experience for my child to have, and for me to witness. I think I have a certain reverence for that.

... but not necessarily for college football.

Monday, January 5, 2009

it's about time

"where is the last place it turns new years anyway?"

the question came at me from a dear friend- something of a hot shot in the realm of specialized publishing (despite his protests of humility)- who shares a love of writing. as he bounced around his thoughts of a fictional storyline focusing on time zones, he tossed this question out on the fly, but it stuck with me through breakfast.

where was it still 2008, while the rest of us were already deeply mucked into breaking our 2009 new year resolutions? this seems the type of thing people should just know. i didn't know. in fact... i didn't have a clue. should i be appalled at myself for being so ignorant? regardless, i now had a question which required an answer.

i turned to the compu-junky's best friend, google, and, oh, the things i discovered! i knew about the prime meridian, and greenwich mean time being of central importance, but how far did a day go either way? where did one day meet another? the concept of the international date line sounded like one i'd heard and conveniently disregarded due to it's clear lack of pertinence to my daily life. there, looking at the date line in its hap- hazard wiggle-waggle between island chains in the pacific lay the answer to the question. samoa looks like the last good place to ring in the new year (wait... isn't a samoa a girl scout cookie? can i get a time zone patch for my sash now?)!

the most interesting thing i read during my research was that for a particular 2 hour time frame in a day, there are three different days in operation on our planet. i didn't see that one coming, and i find it really amazing. don't you? living so far from that part of the world allows for such "out of sight, out of mind" about such things.

so now you know. if you have a good year that you want to keep for an extra long time- head to samoa.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


welcome to the embryogenesis of my brand new blog! please limit alcohol and caffeine intakes during this important developmental phase so as to avoid the likelihood of blog defects.