Saturday, August 6, 2011

Totally 80s

Went to an 80s party last night, at the home of a fellow "Mocha Mom." We had such a good time watching 80s movies, eating, drinking, and laughing.

Nothing like watching "Coming To America" twenty years after it was released.

The hostess was soooo sweet. She presented each of us with a pair of colorful socks, colorful bangles, and glittered lip gloss. It totally took me back to high school.

The weird thing is, when I pulled into her subdivision, it was easy to tell that the community had been hit hard by the economic / housing downturn. These are BRAND new houses, yet some sit vacant, and there are grassy spaces where you can tell that additional new homes were supposed to sit.

Anyway, I notice that none of the homes on her block have address numbers. Since I've never been there before, I have NO idea which is her house...not to mention one of her neighbors pulled up as I was sitting, and was watching me like I was casing the block. I started to feel so awkward. I tried to call her several times, but she didn't answer.  I texted her, and she called me back. Instead of just describing to me which house was hers, she told me that she would come out on to her front porch. Well, the neighbor was carrying things into his house one after another, keeping one eye on me at all times. I just wanted her to hurry up. But she wasn't. Crazy thoughts started going through my mind, like "what if she doesn't want me at her party?" "What if she plans to leave me just sitting here stranded in her half-finished subdivision?"

     I totally start freaking out. I can feel my throat start to choke up and tears start to well in my eyes. I say outloud, "*Mocha*, this is crazy! What are you about to cry for? Stop trippin'." But I don't. I start working myself up more by constantly repeating, "She's trying to embarrass me (in front of whom,crazy lady?). If she doesn't come by the time the clock gets on (some random number), I'm going home!" Now even in my frenzied state, the mentally healthy me is telling the crazy me that I can't go home. How embarrassed would I be the next time I saw this group of women to admit that I drove all the way to the party, but left because the hostess didn't come to the door quickly enough? So, I'm going though various cycles of craziness and sanity, when she finally calls me and directs me to her home. Which by the by is BEAUTIFUL. And the watchful neighbor...of course it's HER husband!

     All I can say looking back on it, is that this month's menstrual cycle is probably gonna be a DOOZY!!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hey Beauty!

     Every morning, I make eye contact with my baby and greet him the very same way, "Hey Beauty." My husband dislikes the fact that I call our son, "Beauty." He wants me to address the baby as "handsome", or something else "manly" like that. But I won't. Not to be difficult, or "cutesy." But because every time I look at him...I simply see BEAUTY.

     In my son's face, I see a long-awaited conception. A surprise "positive" pregnancy test. A challenging, but exilerating pregnancy. A quick and (all things considered) relatively "easy" labor and delivery. I see a scary admission to the NICU. A never-ending stay there (that lasted four days, but seemed to me like four years, as I wanted to take my baby home). Fear from an unexpected medical diagnosis. I see the black cloud of depression hanging over me from the overwlemingness of it all. A praying husband who kept me spiritually covered when I couldn't pray for myself. A supportive teenage daughter who let me cry, and assured me that everything would be all right. I see a harrowing series of doctor appointments that lasted from his birth in October to the following April. Undescribable relief when each and every test came back as "unremarkable." Happiness as he met milestone after milestone on time, and even early. And I see a void in our family filled with a little boy, who exudes joy, energy and love every single day of his life.

     Who doesn't find that beautiful? I certainly do. I love my "Beauty." And I thank God for him!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

You've Got to Pick Your Battles

I have a sixteen year old daughter. She's going into her senior year of high school. I have completely mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, she was my only child for FOREVER. So, I already know that I'm gonna miss her terribly. I mean, I refer to her as my "left hand" (as I'm a right handed person). So, I will miss her, like I would miss my left hand. But on the other hand, at about age 16/17, your teenager really starts getting on your nerves, so you kinda want them to go (smile).

My daughter and I get it in. We fight, and disagree, and ignore one another.  But I've learnd to pick and choose my battles. Like, the fact that I want her to take the ACT for a 2nd time, but she's on the fence. Or the fact that I want her to apply to at least seven different colleges and she has maybe, three on her list. But the situation that brought things to a head between us, was the fact that she didn't want to take her senior pictures.

For weeks we went back and forth with her pulling and me pushing. She insisted that she "hates" taking pictures, because they never come out cute. And me insisting that I wasn't gonna let her senior year pass without getting at least one picture of her in a cap and gown (as she attends an all girl high school, that dresses their graduates up as "miniature brides" in all white for the commencement exercises).  Anyway, after hour 99, I grew tired of fighting. I threw up my hands and told her that if she was cool with putting her future husband's senior picture on their future mantle, and not have one of her own to place there, that was her business. I guess those were the magic words. She finally conceded and took the pictures.

I'm happy to say...they came out beautifully!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hip Hip Hooray...It's a Gymboree Day

Wednesdays are the day that I take my nine month old son to Gymboree. Gymboree (for those who don't know) is a children's place where they offer structured play for little ones, that is "secretly" designed to help them build strength and learn motor skills.

     When my daughter was a toddler, my husband and I enrolled her. At that time, I HATED it. It was offered in an area that was less than friendly to people of color, so my family and I were somewhat "outcasted", and never really made to feel welcomed, even by the owner/operator. But 15 years later, I hoped that attitudes had changed. I took my son and was happy to find that they had. Gymboree is still offered in the same exact area, but I guess time changes (most) everything, color lines have blurred, and now, all are welcomed.

     I started taking my son to Gymboree when he was 4 months old. Once he learned how to sit up (5 months), he was promoted to the next level class. I was a proud mom. My 5 month old son was promoted to a class that was billed as being for 6 - 10 month olds. The new class was a lot more interesting. Instead of just laying on his back, looking up at the ceiling, while I ran my fingers up and down his body, and gave him "baby" massages, in the new class the world was his. He could explore (with the help of mommy) slides, and tunnels, and inner tubes, and even the "crawl-igator." He was the youngest in the class, so it was no big deal that his only claim to fame was the he could sit up unassisted for several minutes at a time. "He's still so little", the teacher insisted, as I attempted to encourage him to crawl up or down something.

     Weeks became months, and after a while, he was no longer the youngest in the class. But still, he wasn't crawling. Younger babies would race pass him on all fours, and he would watch...unimpressed and uninterested. I decided in my mind that he would crawl by 7 months, so that he could "catch up" to the others. Before  knew it, he was on the cusp of turning 8 months, and was no closer to crawling than he had been at 5 or 6 months. I scheduled an appointment with the doctor. Before the appointment, I was talking to a friend, telling her how I probably wouldn't have this expectation of him crawling at 7 months, if other kids at Gymboree weren't doing it. Now, I felt so much pressure for him to crawl that it kept me up at night. I debated with myself about dropping our membership. I even considered taking a leave of absence until he started to crawl. My friend said, "Imagine that. The baby not crawling at 7 months, embarrassing you at Gymboree."

     Was it pride? Was the pressure I was putting on my son to make it down that "purple wedge" on all fours about me, and not him? After a fruitless doctor appointment, and even a visit to a physical therapist (maybe he's too weak physically to crawl), where I was told that there was nothing physical preventing my son from crawling, (the physical therapist put it this way, "he's just not motivated to crawl.") that I decided that it was pride. He would crawl when he was ready, and not a minute before that time.

     No longer is Gymboree a place I dread visiting each week. No longer do I force my baby to struggle down the "purple wedge" for my benefit. Now, we go and enjoy the things he can do successfully. We laugh with each other, and share secret smiles. We hug, and engage...just the way that the creators of Gymboree probably envisioned parent and baby doing. And when we leave, it's with happiness, not disappointment.

     So, today I honestly felt it when I tossed my beautiful, non-crawling, nine month old son in the air and said, "Hip hip hooray, it's a Gymboree day!!!!!!"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And So It Begins...

So, here I am finally starting my own blog. I've been thinking about and longing to start one, ever since I saw the movie "Julia & Julie." I thought the idea of having a place where I could write out my thoughts, (instead of justing thinking them) was soooooo cool.

     A little about me: I'm married to my best friend. We've been married for 15 years, now. He's the love of my life, and I wouldn't trae him for anything. Besides, the idea of having to learn somebody new at this not on my agenda. Not to mention, that "Best Friend" is the world's ABSOLUTE best father. So, he's most definitely a keeper.
     I have two children. My daughter is 16 and going into her senior year of high school. My son is nine months old. That's right. Nine months old. And no, he wasn't a mistake or an "oops" (as some family members of mine have sugested). Mike and I actually set about the business of trying to conceive him. It took six long, arduous (LOL) months, but it finally happened.
     While I was pregnant with my son, I decided that I was going to have a third child. My husband jumps on and off this particular bandwagon depending on whch way the wind is blowing. Some days, he's very gung-ho about having a third. Other days, he adamantly insists that he is happy with the 2 that we have. I can't get caught up on the opinion of somebody who's so wishy-washy. So, in my opinion...we're currently trying for a 3rd.

     By trade, I'm an author. I have one published title, but I'm currently shopping a deal for my next book. And when time allows, I'm even writing on another. In between book deals, I'm a stay-at-home mom.