Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So maybe we won't sell Jack to the circus just yet

I found this in his cubby at school this morning.


Jack's latest trick is hiding things just to drive me bonkers. Last night, we were both overtired from our Thanksgiving travels, us both recovering from colds, and me having a long day at work. The plug for Jack's small ceramic piggy bank from Nordstrom was missing, and he and I escalated into an argument before bedtime about its whereabouts. It was irrational and fueled by our tiredness and Jack's overall contrarian behavior.

Jack and Jossie share a bedroom, and our arguing woke a sleeping Jossie, who started crying, adding to the situation. I told Jack if he couldn't take care of his things, I would take his piggy bank. He followed me as I huffed into my bedroom, and Jeremy, carrying a crying Jossie, was close behind.

The arguing continued and then I - quite without thinking - dropped the piggy bank. Intentional or not, I don't know. 

Piggy didn't break into a few clean pieces. He broke into a million zillion little pieces. We all stopped, shocked. Then Jack escalated into hysterical crying, which set Jossie off as well.

I needed a moment to collect myself, but then a calmness washed over me. As Jeremy comforted Jossie, I took a sobbing Jack into my arms and settled him into his bed, which the day before I had made with flannel sheets as the weather is turning colder. He cried and clung to me, desperate for my acceptance and love. I was able to speak calmly and plainly to him - that he needed to listen but that I also was pushed too far and no one is perfect. He wound his skinny arms around my neck and promised he would be a "good listener."

Jack feel soundly asleep quickly. Jeremy brought Jossie in and gently laid her down in her crib. We closed their bedroom door softly behind us.

And then I cried. I cried and I cried. I asked Jeremy and God for forgiveness for showing such weakness in front of my children. Jeremy comforted me. I feel overwhelmed with my work and managing my home life with two small children who depend on me. And the holidays are almost upon us - a time I love but also a time that brings more work and planning. I climbed into my bed and fell asleep.

Okay. I don't want you to worry about me (Mom). The change from the piggy bank is in a plastic bag on Jack's dresser and the ceramic pieces have been swept up. And I'm pulling myself together as well.

I believe that if you're in a difficult situation, you should take action over simply complaining. It's the early hours of Tuesday morning, and I'm already feel some clarity about steps I can take at work - at an organization I care deeply about - and some changes I can take at home to ease my mind.

I haven't gone to a dark place, to be sure. I love my family and I feel loved. The fact that I can write about these things to you, gentle reader, must mean something too.

As we approach the Christmas season, I wish for peace in our lives. I pray for focus on what really matters and to dwell less on the niggling stuff. We'll get there, I promise.

Friday, November 25, 2011


I'm pretty sure if City Sweet had an official holiday, it would be Thanksgiving - a holiday built around food and feeling grateful.

And yesterday was a perfect day in New York - sunny and high 50s. We're visiting Jeremy's family, and Jack continued Papa's tradition of heading to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And my mother-in-law made a perfect turkey (just ask Jossie, who had three helpings and you should see that girl around pumpkin pie - she made her mama proud).

All that said, I didn't have much time for reflection. I've got lots to reflect upon from this past year, but not a lot of focus this day. Jack was acting defiant - I was taking it personally until I realized he was just acting four.  And Jossie clung to me most of the day, like my little baby monkey. I'm still a little sick too - so I took a long nap in the afternoon. The end of the evening, I was curled up in bed with Jack and Jossie sleeping around me, Jossie half-grousing/half-nursing and Jack routinely kicking me in the shins.

Jeremy found us all in bed when he came to bed. He settled Jossie into her travel crib and got ready for bed himself. As he settled in, he said to me (sorry, Jeremy, you're married to a blogger), "Everything I'm thankful for is because of you."

Well, then.

I'm grateful for love.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

World Prematurity Day

Today is the first-ever World Prematurity Day and Jossie's 10-month birthday to boot. A few facts from the March of Dimes:

  • 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely.
  • Worldwide, 13 million babies are born too early each year.
  • Each year, 1 out of every 13 babies will die from being born too early.
Jossie was born January 17, weighing 3 lb 6 oz.
We were in Prentice's NICU for 22 days.
Between today and January 17, Jossie's first birthday, we are raising funds for the March of Dimes in honor of our strong girl. Please consider making a gift of $5, $10, $25 or more if you are so inclined, to Jossie's fund.

Jossie is 10 months and 18 pounds today.
Thank you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy 4th birthday to Jack

I'm sitting in the back of cab on this rainy Tuesday afternoon, clutching shopping bags - one with a few Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, a balloon from Nordstrom's kids' shoe department, and my purse. Jack is sitting next to me, playing with his new toy airplane and talking in robot-speak. I look up to the front of the cab where I see a paper November 2011 calendar taped to the dashboard, and I smile.

Today Jack is 4.

I don't think my heart could grow any bigger to love this guy, but it does. You know when you're in a new relationship - be it dating or friendship - and you're trying to figure out the person and their personality? Well, I'm realizing that can also happen with your own children, nieces and nephews. Sure, you know these little people since birth, but there are subtle revelations along life's path where you get to see your little one's personality and character reveal itself, and that's pretty cool, to say the least.

I was fortunate to take off today from work to spend the day with my guy. I was touched by the birthday celebration the teachers did for Jack at preschool - they had him stand in front of the class as they celebrated wonderful him. Kids are no angels to be sure, but his preschool teachers invoke such a strong sense of love, respect and responsibility in the classroom, that the kids can't help but follow their lead. And when my guy declared his favorite colors were pink and purple, and I braced myself, all of the other big boys took it in stride. As one teacher asked him a few other questions, I couldn't help but smile. It was like watching a little Jeremy - with all of Jeremy's mannerisms - speaking before his class.

The day was rounded out by having lunch with Daddy at Nordstrom's Cafe, a new pair of Batman rainboots, a lovely party at Mommy's office, complete with cupcakes and presents (seriously, it will never be lost on me how awesome my workplace is), our cab ride home, and dinner with Maria and her daughter Ruby.

I don't have a lot of parenting perspective just yet, but here's what I know so far. The three's weren't so bad. The two's were like reasoning with a crazy person, but the three's were much smoother. We had our moments, and I certainly lost my patience big-time here and there, but overall, Jack is growing and maturing, and it's wonderful to see. This year, he became a big brother and a preschooler. He says things like, "You look so beautiful, Mommy," and he's empathetic. Jeremy and I have moved past the stage of just feeding and watering Jack - now we're on to helping him grow his emotional, intellectual and spiritual self, and that is an overwhelming privilege.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy.