Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Hallowon't

I seem to have gotten a head start on getting my "Scrooge" on this year. I have done NOTHING for Halloween ~ save a trip to Wal-Mart for candy yesterday.(True story: Mariah actually lost a tooth in a caramel apple a classmate's mom brought in yesterday. Sigh of relief that 1. it was a baby tooth and 2. it was already loose). Usually by now, I would have pumpkin patched, decorated, stitched together a costume or two, and be doing reconnaissance for trick-or-treating. Not this year, though. Zay went to his Literacy Parade Friday dressed like the first grader he is every day. I'm just not feelin' it. Maybe it's the pressure of this being our first Halloween in this house. Maybe it's because the kids are getting older. Maybe it's because I am in denial at how this year seems to be slipping away. In denial at how soon it will be Thanksgiving. And then Christmas. And then 2011.

Bah hallowbug.

In a last ditch effort at enthusiasm, I took the kids out to a local park/farm for some fresh, crisp air and sunshine. Not exactly a pumpkin patch--in fact I only saw two actual pumpkins there--but it was calm place to take in some autumn beauty.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Pop.

Today is my father's birthday. If he hadn't passed away 2 years ago, he would be turning 66 years-old.

Days like today, Father's Day, and the anniversary of his death give me pause. My siblings and I stop whatever we are doing and check on each other. Comfort each other. Encourage each other. And we laugh. Oh how we laugh. Our father provided us with some First Class, Grade A comical moments ~ with the most classic being at his very own expense.

Hey Pop, remember that time at Denny's when Jacoby got a hold of your glasses...?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baby Fever

Today I found out another friend of mine is expecting. Add her to the ever-growing (no pun intended) list of friends having babies next year. I share in their elation with every announcement. And then, inexplicably, I'm startled and ashamed by my own feelings of envy.

Let's face it: I'm 38 years-old. I have not one, not two, but THREE children. Not only that, but my youngest has special needs. I've been changing his diapers for 6 years--with no end in sight.

And yet, I am not immune to Baby Fever. It's not as though I want another child. My family is complete, as far as I know. It has to be a purely "pregnancy/baby" thing. Unlike some women, I loved being pregnant. Even dealing with polyhydramnios and hospitalization, I would do it all over again.

Oh the wonder of it all. The flutter of the first movements. The pregnancy glow. The attention that belly commands. That literal bond with the unborn baby. I'll never forget the first time I heard my babies cry. I was amazed at my seemingly innate ability to identify their cries in a crowd of wailing infants.

And I'll never forget the first time I held them. With Isaiah, it happened a day after he was born(he was whisked away in the delivery room and transferred to a different hospital. I could only touch his leg through one of the portals of the transport incubator).

I remember the NICU nurse undoing his wires and handing him to me. I remember holding him gently and kissing his face over and over again....whispering into his tiny ear how much I missed Mommy was here he was going to be all right.

Sometimes, I find myself holding him like that all over again--his (now) long legs dangling down near mine. It's in those moments that I can't help but kiss his face like I did on that day I first held him. All over his forehead. Both cheeks. On that recessed chin. On that special place on the bridge of his nose between his wide set eyes. He tolerates it for the most part. Smiles and leans into it---anticipating. But when he's had enough, he's gone like a shot. In search of mischief and adventure like most kids his age.

I guess that's why, at least in my case, Baby Fever is so strong. In those moments, I know why I was put on this Earth.

But if there is anything close to a remedy for Baby Fever, I'd put my money on a borrowed, colicky 3 week-old.

Or a sassy 10 year-old.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Falling for Fall

Today is gorgeous. Rewind 48 hours and you would have thought God had broken His promise and was going to, indeed, destroy the world with water again. The sun is shining now and there's just enough crispness in the air to know that autumn is here to stay. Although, I did have to turn on the A/C briefly last week. So to recap, fall is here ~ unless we get back up into the freakish 80+ degree range anytime soon.

Last weekend, we took advantage of the picture-perfect temps and took the kids down to National Harbor. It was less crowded than the summer months and therefore much more enjoyable. From the charming restaurants, to the picturesque pier jutting out into the Potomac, to the glorious grounds and gardens of the Gaylord Hotel ~ it was a treat for the senses.

This particular batch of pictures was taken prior to "The Event". And I don't mean that new T.V. show with Blair Underwood. My event involved my precious camera.

I handed it over to one of my daughters in order to get a picture of my standing on a rock. Sounds lame now, but trust me--it was going to be epic. What I failed to do was secure the strap around her neck. So when my skittish child was suddenly swarmed by yet-to-be-identified insects, my camera took a dive--lens first--straight to the concrete below it.

My shriek startled even me.

Nominate me for Mother-of-the-Year now because YES: I scooped up and cradled my Canon before even thinking to check my child for harm. My camera and I just celebrated our 1st anniversary together (J bought it for our wedding anniversary last year ~ our 15th anniversary just passed). We had it insured, but its demise never crossed my mind.

Upon further investigation (and a consult with both J's "camera guy" and a geek working at Best Buy), it was determined that the connection between the lens and body was compromised in the fall. One of the connectors on the lens is chipped. I get an error message after every single shot. I can't so much as review the images or take another picture without turning the camera off and back on. Not exactly ideal shooting conditions for a shutterbug like myself.

Soooo, it looks like Mama will be getting a new lens. I have been considering an upgraded lens for a while, but just not seriously. Until now.

Oh and you'd better believe I'll be trading in one of my kids for a really good tripod.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

About a Boy and a Ball

Watch out, Donovan McNabb.