The night supper was late

Scott and I joke all the time how amazing it is that I haven’t given anyone food poisoning yet. I mean, barely a year ago, Scott was the primary chef and parent in the house and I was managing a 30-person team 65 hours a week.

And now, I manage to feed us somewhat-edible meals, clean, run two businesses and sometimes shower.

Last night, supper took longer than I thought it would, and so we found ourselves with this awkward not-part-of-our-routine half-hour when Scott got home from work.

And we lived a weekend’s worth of love and laughter in 30 minutes on a weeknight.

We had ourselves a little fake food party, all four of us, down on the hard dining room floor. I drank a teacup filled with an apple and a waffle and Scott had the most delicious slice of pizza, complete with olives, croissant and french fry.

We snuck in a ticklefest just as the oven timer started to ding.

I had barely finished my last bite of food when my son hopped down from his chair and held out a hand. Pointing with his right fingers at the TV, playing music, he bowed down.

“Dance, Momma?”

He looked like a little prince.

So I gladly accepted.

Dishes sat on the table and Addie and DaDa watched us like we were crazy, but my little Z-Man and I twirled and clapped and stomped together. A slower song came on and he reached those arms up, up, up, and we rocked back and forth together in a little circle in our living room.

After Addie and DaDa joined us for a crazy little dance party, we needed to start winding it down and get ready for bed.

But first, Zack, who had left the room, came running back in to where I was, tugged on my hand, and looked up at me with those smiling dark blue eyes.

“I wuv you, Momma.”

I’m so glad the supper was late.

Advertisements

Yellow car tracks

Sometimes, I forget to stop. To just stop and observe and enjoy and not worry about tomorrow or next day or even the next five minutes. To let the dishes sit in the sink another hour and to use a high-pitched princess voice or a mean and tough fighting turtle voice amidst a backdrop of laughter.

So today, I stopped.

I spent my morning with a little girl who seemed to appreciate my pause and to notice my effort. She wrapped herself around me like a pretzel, petting my hair and singing me songs and stopping to tell me “You never be sad again. You are my happy girl. You… I make you happy.” How could you argue that?

And so I was Aurora and she was Cinderella and we spent two straight hours crawling around and playing pretend.

I had to take the dog to the groomers (And yes, you should ask Scott about why his beloved puppy may or may not have a rhinestone crown and a ponytail, muhahaha) and we made it into an adventure.

It took far longer to get coats and boots on and then shovel the car out of the snow then the time it took to walk Izzie inside the building that was just four blocks away. ┬áBut when we returned to the car and Addie said, “I love adventure!”, I just couldn’t resist. So we drove around for a few minutes and looked for a tree and a heart and other fun landmarks. We got home just in time to get Zack off of the bus and my sweet girl was watching me from the living room window, waving and smiling.

And then we made baked goods because… well, because Addie came into the kitchen, sat down in the chair and proclaimed, “I help Momma cook.” And so now we have two dozen lemon bars.

Just now, I heard some noise from Zack’s room during naptime and so I went in to see what stall tactic he was working today. We’ve pretty much given up on an official naptime for him, but created a fun “nook” in his oversize closet with some books and blankets. We figure a quiet time is better than Mommy losing her sanity.

I peeked in through the crack of the doorway, and saw him hunched over pieces of his yellow car track. He had put about four curvy pieces together and was struggling with the last two parts. He looked up at me and said, very quietly, “Stuck.”

I sat down on the carpet next to him and didn’t put it together for him, but just brushed a blonde strand out of his eyes and encouraged him to keep trying. And when he did, after what felt like the longest five minutes of my life, he looked up at me with the widest grin and such twinkling eyes and wrapped his arms around my neck in a hug.

“Wuv you, Momma.”

I could have ignored the noise or not made an unnecessary dessert. I could have checked more e-mails or washed those dishes.

But today, I lived. I loved.

And I created adventures and soaked in successes.

‘Love is who we are… “

I am listening to Sara Bareilles’ “Love is Christmas” and “Winter Song” on repeat with giggles in the air and assorted play food on the floor. My daughter offers me a “teapot” and my son is singing random words to the song with a smile on his face.

We are preparing for a wintery coating and a couple of days without Daddy. My heart is content despite the shoveling and the missing I’m about to do.

“I don’t care if it’s gonna rain, our little room is warm and stable…”

*
We shared an amazing belated Thanksgiving celebration with 10 of the best loved ones. Giggles and good smells and gifts and delicious food. People who traveled far and wide just for a few hours in our new home.

We were cramped and it was loud but my gosh, was there love. In chickey kisses and hand pats and camera clicks and bites of yumminess.

“I don’t care if the house is packed or the strings of light are broken…”

*
One of my bestest friends and my favorite 2014 bride, Kacey (the Caboose!) and her hubby Drew came to our house on Saturday for a visit and again, full heart. They trekked up the TurnPike in a torrential downpour but arrived with smiles and excitement. We shared coffee and local pizza and silly games with the kids. We played adult games after bedtime for babies and even shared a glass or two of wine. We watched their wedding video and laughed over how I messed up the bouquet not once, but twice! Addie thought Kacey was a princess and both kids were attached to Drew the entire time. (The cat, too!)

I am so constantly grateful for loved ones who make the effort and sacrifice just for some time in our world.

“All we need is your best my love; that’s all anyone ever wanted…”

*On Sunday, we went to a fun Breakfast with Santa event. I finally located the local Down Syndrome support group, PODS of NEPA, and we were invited to their event this weekend.

We weren’t sure to expect, and honestly, I had to do some convincing to get Scott excited about it at all, but boy, were we surprised.

We walked through the doors of a catering hall 40 minutes north of us and before we spotted the beautiful decorations and centerpieces, the magnets and other 3-21 giveaway items, the kindness of strangers, we noticed hundreds of people. At least 50 families who “get it” or “got it” or are “getting it” just like us.

Babies with almond eyes and adults with kind smiles; verbal and nonverbal kiddos of all ages; talk of aides and school and independent living.

We sat with a family of four — a nine-year-old boy with DS, his 12-year-old big brother and their mom and dad. By the end of the morning, with coats on, we were celebrating their son’s bravery in finally trusting Santa’s lap and exchanging business cards and well wishes and promises of friendship.

I just kept looking around, whispering “Look at this, my love,” to the toddler on my lap.

I watched little Alex stroke his Mom’s cheek with a piece of hair he pulled from behind her ear and told her how Z-Man does the same thing to me. We shared one of my favorite smiles and a nod.

And while Zack was quite happy to meet Santa, Addie was not so pleased — at least not until the snowman character picked her up for a few minutes. Sorry for crashing your photos, other kids! She tells us on repeat still:

“Addie cried… I just wanted to see Snowman… Snowman said ‘hi’ to me…”

Even after five goodbyes, when I spotted Alex’s mom in the lobby on our way to the car, I went in for the sort-of-creepy-mom-who-needs-to-get-out-more hug. And she hugged me back tightly. And Scott and I both keep saying how we feel much less alone now.

“I’ll be your harvester of light and send it out tonight so we can start again…”

I think as I get older, it’s not that I realize what’s truly important — it’s simply that I appreciate it all — the good, the bad, the easy, the hard, the dreams and the surprises.

Even something as simple as a makeshift tea party with a snowman-phobic little girl and her hair-petting big brother is an absolute treasure.

We have more Christmas carols to sing, snuggles to snuggle and traditions to turn into memories.

My life is very good. My life is filled with love.

Just another day

Just another day, just a few random thoughts.

When did she go from sobbing at the mere impression that she was disappointing us (you know, that moment when one small hand is laying on top of the dog food, “NO!” has just been screamed from across the room and the lip begins to pucker up) to looking at me the way I used to squint my disgusted teenage eyes at my dad years and years ago?

We had five steps right off the bat today — five steps to follow a kitty the very second her feet touched the hardwood floors this morning. (The record is still seven steps at once).

She turned 11 months yesterday and the fact that it’s a matter of weeks or days until her first birthday terrifies and amazes me. I can say that we have made the most of every day in this house this past year. I can also say that while there were times, especially early on, that I locked myself in the bathroom to simply sit in a quiet room and breathe for five minutes (or times like today when I cracked open a Sam Adams with the country-song-proclamation that it’s “five o’clock somewhere), I think we’ve done a damn fine job at juggling two babies.

Anyway.

She’s always looking at something from the corner of her eye. She’s always busy, but she’s always watching, don’t doubt that for a moment.

He is always moving. Climbing up on the radiator, squeezing (and then getting stuck) through an open gate or doorway, landing on top of a cat at fifty miles an hour.

But he’s still so loving. He understands “kisses” and now “smooch!” and gives them away with a beautiful smile to accompany them.

He said “waffle” this morning and is perfecting his “push” and “pull” and “out” sounds. Speaking of out — this boy wants to be outside at ALL times. As soon as the door opens, he’s grabbing the first shoe he can find (usually one of my ballet flats or a slipper of Scott’s) and has a hand on the back doorknob.

I can’t help but laugh when he plays his latest game of grabbing a nearby ice cream bucket, empty baby wipes box or a blanket and throws it over Addie’s head. I say “can’t help but laugh” because in that moment, Addie FREAKS THE FREAK OUT! And there I am, laughing like a good mom.

Oh and there was that cute little outburst of what sounded like “Oh s—!” from Little Man during one of my best friends’ baby shower. (You know, that quiet moment in between opening presents). Giggles.

Addie is finishing up her nap (I know she’s still sleeping because she hasn’t begun slamming her crib against the wall in protest — no, seriously, you can’t make this up) and Z-Man is sitting in his Cars seat eating goldfish and moving his arms up and down (“dancing”) to the music I’m playing currently. It’s a good moment.

I’ve got a pork roast in the crock pot with homemade barbecue sauce Scott created yesterday sometime in between a 10-hour-day, dinner, playtime and bedtime with two babies and cooking a delicious dinner for us last night. Laundry’s underway. I cleaned half of the house (and rediscovered our basement and one of the first photos of myself and Scott together in the process!). Almost done with that Sam Adams. Did some photography research and practiced some Lightroom editing. And even did a blog entry! And it’s only 3 p.m.

I flip on the news every now and then, yell at myself for watching all of the frustrating events in Boston, turn it off, flip it back on, and around and around we go.

But soon, the TV will turn off, the computer (and iPad and iPhone…) will go away, the camera gets put down and I’ll make sure I’m truly living in the moment. I’m sure there will be squished goldfish in my future. Maybe a slamming of a crib against a wall. Probably another Sam Adams.

And love.
And giggles.
And just another beautiful, beautiful day. April19-1

April19-2

April19-3

April19-4

April19-5

April19-6

April19-7

April19-8

April19-9

April19-10

April19-11