Monday, April 27, 2009

the sky on Sunday, and other spring things


I took this when we were spending yesterday afternoon with my dad. We ate lunch outside and Liam went wild in the big, big yard and even got grass stains on his bare knees.




You guys, it's spring! It's been so warm and it's getting green. I don't remember ever being so excited for spring.


Oh, also: I'm planting a vegetable garden! Liam's a good helper. He thinks worms are awesome. He finds them and says, "Oh, wum."


Saturday, April 25, 2009

the open, foam-padded road

With the pretty weather we've been having, we've seen lots of people dusting off their motorcycles and cruising around town.

Gabe really wants one, and I've always been against it for safety reasons. That doesn't stop him from talking about motorcycles ALL THE TIME.

GABE: If I have a motorcycle someday, would you let Liam ride with me?
NORA: Only once he's a teenager.
GABE: Yeah.
NORA: And in full body armor, or a space suit.
GABE: *laughs*
NORA: And only at like ten miles her hour. Barely enough to keep the bike upright.
GABE: Of course.
NORA: And I'll be in the car creeping along behind you.
GABE: And only out on abandoned dirt roads in the middle of nowhere?
NORA: Pretty much.

And I'm only kidding about the space suit.


Saturday, April 18, 2009


I didn't mean to write a post about the sleepless hole I fell into and then disappear dramatically for a week and a half.

But I got some rest and spring came and I was sucked outside into the sunshine and little sprouts on the ground and puffy summer-tinged clouds. I happened to have a crappy day today, but it's no one thing in particular and blahhhhh I don't want to dwell. It was 73 degrees yesterday!

I have another art show tomorrow, which I'm already freaking out about a little because WHAT WILL I WEAR? and this time I'm going by myself because Liam's getting... a little too, um, toddlery for art shows. A little too fussy and squirmy and all "LET ME TOUCH EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE SHARP METAL SCULPTURES!" I would love for him to be included but he doesn't enjoy it because he's only twenty-two months old! and I don't want to force him to grow up spontaneously and behave like a little man. He can BE twenty-two months old. He can BE all toddlery at home with Gabe where they can play and wrestle and chase and screech and cuddle and fall asleep together on the couch.

So yeah, everything's ok.

Now, I will leave you with this movie trailer which I DEMAND you watch because it's magical.

Did you get a little misty-eyed?

The correct answer is YES.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

not so good

Last night, Gabe and I stayed up late to watch a movie and although I was exhausted from the day I'd had with Liam, I was unable to really settle in to sleep until almost 1 a.m. (Thank goodness That '70s Show is on The N in the middle of the night.)

Just before 2 a.m. Liam began stirring again. Instead of just talking in his sleep (telling me about whales like the previous night) he was fussy and fitful. Woke up with a scared scream- bad dreams again. Into our bed he comes, where he played with my hands FOR HOURS and eventually asked to eat. I snuggled him into the crook of my arm and he drank a cup of milk in the dark. I thought he was asleep again so I tried too, but despite my aching tiredness I couldn't sleep. Then he started moving again, murmuring, playing with my hand. Sticking his elbow up under my shoulder blade and into my ribs. FOR AN ETERNITY. At 4:30 a.m. I decided to move to the couch but once my body left the bed he screamed for me again. Back into bed. He's sleeping now. Back to the couch. Eyes heavy. Maybe a couple hours of sleep before Gabe gets up for work, then...

"Maaamaaaaa," he cries in his sleep, heartbroken, reaching for me in the dark. I pull him onto the couch with me, where he settles onto my chest like a newborn, listening to my heartbeat. The calm should soothe me back to sleep too but I'm losing control of my ability to function, and I start crying. Less than an hour of sleep? my body asks. No way, lady, my mind taunts, and I start to hyperventilate.

I haven't hyperventilated since the 8th grade.

Gabe calmed me and I layed there with Liam still on my chest. Feeling like a bad mom for having a meltdown while I am holding my sleepy child. I ask for some water. In the dark, I look down and see the faint light from the kitchen reflecting off of Liam's tired eyes. I run my hand over his golden hair and kiss his little lamb locks.

"I'm sorry you're not sleeping well," I whisper to him. "I'm not either. I know how you feel."

He shifts a little, resting his hand on my wrist as I keep smoothing his hair.

"I love you, Liam. I love you and I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you."

More kisses.

"Did you dream of whales again?" I ask.

"No," he replies, and I'm glad he's listening.

"Did you dream of doggies? Of duckies? Of climbing mountains?"

Everyone who had children before me was always saying to me, Take in every moment. They grow up too fast.

Which is totally right, and I know that, but this 22-months-old thing isn't going so well so far. This phase is bringing broken sleep and OH MY GOUDA THE NAUGHTINESS. Our 22-month mark is making a cranky toddler and a hyperventilating mommy. I don't want time to fast-forward, I just want the kind of partnership between my son and I that leaves me feeling content and adequate. He seems to have forgotten about my little breathing episode and we had an easy day but I want him to only feel strength and comfort from me. Not panic and anxiety.

Those who've had babies before me say, You have no idea how bad it'll get, and I find no comfort at all in this normalcy.

Liam slept into the afternoon; a nice, long, misplaced nap. When Gabe got home from work we hopped into the car with him and swung by the grocery store. Liam sat in the little plastic car at the front of the shopping cart and steered around the aisles. While we were checking out, he started using his feet to steer and he stuck his little face through the window and shrieked, as if to say to me, "HOW AWESOME IS THIS???"

It is. It is awesome.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today's Inventory

Didn't get enough sleep. Liam was moving around and talking in his sleep all night.

Leaky diaper false alarm before we were ready to get up; slapped my head repeatedly.

Three tantrums by Liam within 10 minutes of waking.

One pee puddle on the bathroom floor next to the potty, also by Liam, in this same 10-minute time frame.

Three time outs.

While in time out Liam discovered he could reach my CDs so time out was not effective.

Time out spot was moved three inches, out of reach from CDs.

Wrestling matches occurred during every. single. diaper change.

Liam knocked the X-Box off of the TV.

Lots of kicks and defiance.

One piece of paper stuck up Liam's nose for at least twenty minutes. Feared surgical removal would become necessary when I was losing sight of the paper up his nostril; almost called the doctor.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Danger Dad and the Flying Baby

Danger Dad and the Flying Baby, and other recent photos for a lazy, foggy Friday post.

This is the now-infamous Danger Dad Official Photo. The reason I wasn't as psychotically scared as I should have been was what a freakin' awesome photo this stunt happened to make.

Liam is a budding artist, specializing in crayon art.

As this photo shows, he's also showing an interest in composition and sculpture. This particular arrangement is called Still Life with Crooked Cow.

This is how he feels when I photograph his work without prior permission. (Actually this is just his funny screechy face.)

Liam and I clap and make beats on our knees when we hear "Another One Bites the Dust."

Here we are hanging out on the couch after the Queen dance party.

Last but not least, this is the wet sticker he blew out of his nose one day when I noticed the extra attention he was paying to his nostrils. Ahh, motherhood.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Hate April Fool's Day

Unless there's something I have successfully blocked out all these years, no one's ever pranked me in a big way on April 1. That didn't stop me, though, from April Fool's Anxiety. Starting in seventh grade, I used to fake sick every year the holiday rolled around so I wouldn't have to go to school.

I guess I was afraid someone I didn't even know would trip me in the hallway, or slip a whoopie cushion under my bum- something everyone would eventually forget. Everyone but ME.

Looking back, I know there are other issues in my life that I should have focused my energy on, but tell that to a thirteen year old. Life is already hard enough.

A scene from The Virgin Suicides comes to mind- when the youngest Lisbon, Cecilia, is sitting across from a therapist. He says, "What are you doing here, honey? You're not even old enough to know how bad life gets." Straight-faced, she replies, "Obviously, Doctor, you've never been a thirteen-year-old girl." That strikes me right through the heart.

For the record, I'd like to state that most of my other sick days until I graduated from high school were legitimate. The sinus infections, the flu, the cramps, the migraines, THE MONO... all very real.

Oh, and there was Senior Skip Day. My friends and I had a pancake breakfast, went to the mall, and then Pizza Hut. Oh, the life.

Have you ever been pranked in such a manner that you still cringe at loud noises or dread the ringing of the telephone on April Fool's Day?