Saturday, July 30, 2011

Five hundred twenty six thousand six hundred minutes

Elle's 0th birthday

1st Birthday


2nd Birthday

Note the recurring theme: Serious Focus On Cake. That's my girl.

And in some crazy time warp, Birthday #3 is right around the corner...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Departure from the lighthearted...

Last week, one of my residents had to say goodbye to his 4 month old baby, after the unfathomably horrific experience of finding him unresponsive in his crib during a nap. My heart has broken for this family a thousand times over, and every time I come to the edge of asking myself what I would do in that situation, my entire being backs away from the thought as if even coming close to it is more painful than I can bear. I don' t think you recover from that kind of loss. Ever.

But it does, even if heartwrenchingly so, remind me to hug a little longer, be a little more patient, cherish every i-love-you, stop looking toward the next big thing and just take a second to treasure the moment. Even if that moment holds the exasperation incumbent to a nap-protesting, public tantrum-throwing, make-me-late-for-work-every-morning almost 3 year old. How insignificant and trivial are the exasperations of my day, when so abruptly put into perspective.

I used to throw around the term I love you. But I'm not sure that I had ever loved anyone yet, because I was years away from having a child of my own, and until you’ve done that you’re just guessing about love, gesturing toward it, assuming that it’s the right name for a feeling you’ve had. And I'm convinced that you can't love something that much without accepting the risk of equally magnanimous hurt. So my heart hurts for this family, and all I can offer is my prayers and a vow not to take my little one(s) for granted...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

There is a reason why I chose not to have flower girls/ring bearers in our wedding. We didn't have any close family or friend tots we felt obligated to involve, and even in my pre-Mommy state I was not crazy enough to rustle up a pair of 2-3 year olds whose unpredictable and often socially unacceptable behaviors I am now all too familiar with. My (Jay's) niece, on the other hand, is far more brave. Elle was asked to be the flower girl in her outdoor wedding, and I must admit her performance at the rehearsal struck fear in my heart. There was aimless wandering... ok, blatant recurrent distraction... as she attempted to walk down the aisle.

Oh look, a caterpillar! Oh look, grass! Oh look, the ring bearer mom's stash of gummy bears!

Painful. 10 minutes and several dismembered gummy bears later, she finally arrived at the altar, only to immediately fall and hit her head. Which of course led to ear-shattering screams, and insistence that FlowerGirlMommy come hold her for the duration of the event. Don't say my trepidation for the actual wedding wasn't justified.

But the kid knows when to turn it on. And perform she did. Wedding night transformed her into the most perfect little angel, who nailed her role as Flower Girl better than Daniel Craig pulled off James Bond (and clearly, that's saying something).

She authoritatively (ok, bossily) grabbed Turner the ring bearer by the hand and said "Come on Turner, let's go to our Mandy", practically drug him down the aisle, and stood there angelically during the whole ceremony.

I beamed. I teared up. I noshed on gummy bears.

Post wedding got just a touch more sketchy, as we had long surpassed bedtime. Elle's too.

Apparently overtired Elle copes by making the "impending defecation" face.

But we both managed to stave off the over-tired grumpiness for the first few minutes of the reception. This photo was taken moments before the Flower Girl decided to plunge head first into the fountain. And nanoseconds before she leaned into the candle and we came a little too close to finding out just how flammable tulle can be...

Unfortunately, angel wings apparently disintegrate at 9:30pm, taking the flower girl's behavior with them. So she and I darted back to the hotel where I mistakenly thought she might actually go to sleep. Several drinks of water, potty attempts, rearrangements of bedding, and q30 second implorings of "Mommy?", "Mom?", "Mama?"....."Lauren!!" later, she was still awake. Guess the day's excitement was just too much... that or the gummy bears.