Friday, June 21, 2013

a promise to my kids, in swimsuit season

I'm headed to a hotel with a pool this weekend. Blake loves hotel swimming pools. Adores them, really. Vesper also loves to play in the water. And so I am left in a quandary: do I join them and don the dreaded swimsuit, or do I hope some older child or other family member will play with Blake so that I can remain safely clothed on the deck?

Zach Galifianakis, swim calendar, 2010
Like many women, I don't tug on a swimsuit, look in the mirror, and think with satisfaction, "YES! That is exactly how I want to look in such a tiny amount of stretchy material." I avoid the mirror, or look with discouraged eyes at my muffin top, pasty pale skin, and visible veins, and secretly plot cosmetic surgeries we cannot afford and which I'd be terrified to undergo even if money were no object.

Blake doesn't see that, though. He sees me in a swimsuit as game, up for fun, ready to play, but maybe please don't splash my face.

My pledge to Blake, today: I will get in the pool and play with you.

I will set aside my insecurities about my body, remembering that no one else is as critical of me as me, and no else really notices or cares that I do not have the body of a swimsuit model. No one expects me to, either.

I will set aside my selfishness and vanity and get my hair wet and have mascara down my face and get splashed and dunk you and maybe let you push me in.

I might even let someone take a photo of us playing together, because what you will see and remember is the part about us playing together, and not Mom's squishy tummy, dimpled thighs, raccoon face.

That's the part I want to remember, too. The part where I laid down the thing that seemed so important to me (the towel) and picked up my kid and threw you in the pool, then jumped in after. I want to have more fun in that pool than you do.




Thursday, June 20, 2013

wrapping this up

Remember once upon a time when I promised to meter photos out in a few days? This is the last of them. God help me when I offload what's CURRENTLY on my camera (B playing with V in her walker, time in Canada, V's first birthday party {WAT? STAHP, ADDIE, SHE IS NOT ONE ALREADY!}, and the start of summer). I have no stories, really, because I have decided that I am the type of person who has stories when things are hard or my mental state is fragile (read: borderline depressed). Rob and I aren't in the midst of drama, there's no conflict - not that I could talk about it here anyway - no major upsets or excitement or whatever. Things are just easy-going-ish, I'm in a generally positive place, and the sarcasm and biting humor that tide me over in the hard times just sound mean and bitter right now. Made up, like I'm trying too hard to find funny in the mundane life of homework and diapers.

Oh, but here's a story for you. The three of us with teeth worth looking at have had dentist appointments recently. Blake had a filling while I had my x-rays and exam, and on the last tooth she prodded, there was a sticking that I know means a cavity. I muttered a very bad word very quietly, and she exclaimed, for Blake's benefit, "Oh, your mom has a cavity bug, too! She's going to have a filling just like you did. Darn it!"

Me, glumly, "Yep. That's what I said: darn it."

Blake chirped, "Really? I didn't hear you say that. I heard you say something else."

I turned beet red while the dentist lost her mind laughing along with the dental tech. Seriously, doubled over, laughing.

There. There is your story. I might always have THOSE kinds of stories: the ones where I mortify myself. Two more just came to mind, in fact, but I'll save those for later! And, I'm sure Rob will appreciate me pointing out that, of the three of us, he is the only one who did NOT have a cavity this time! Well done, you jerk.

See? Bitter and mean. BWAHAHAHAHA!

Safety first, guys. We're really serious about it around here. What you can't see are the shin guards and ankle protectors we walkers need when little miss is scooting around.

"What's in THIS one?"
She's very curious about all the cabinets, but the handy walker only permits them to open a little way. She can't even see in them, it's such a small opening, unless she cranes way over. No fingers pinched yet, but I'm sure that will come, as will me discovering kitchen errata scattered all around an impish beauty who still doesn't understand the word "No." And man, can she get around in this bad boy. We had her outside with it, barefoot, and she got two blisters on a big toe with all her walking! Little tenderfoot.

Blake at the Fun Run! I love this: our schools put on one fundraiser. Kids run for 30 minutes and raise flat sums or a per lap amount. I'm paying him to exercise, 100% of the funds stay with the school, and I don't have to wonder where to put the overpriced candy/wrapping paper/decor of other fundraisers.

It was a lovely warm day for it, too, and the little bugger ran 30 laps!

V, cheering him on by her presence. We crouched by the side of the track and high-fived kids as they went past, and I loved knowing all the names of all the kids in Blake's class. I volunteered once a week, often bringing V in with me, and getting to know his classmates was good for me. Knowing the kids and having the kids know me helped when setting up play dates with some of them, it helped if Blake was in conflict to be able to assess and counsel him based on what I knew of individuals, and added bonus: they all wrote me a thank you note at the end of the year. I thought I'd just read them and toss them, but I will keep every single one. They are dear and hilarious and a precious snapshot of what is important to second-graders: Vesper. 100% of them thanked me for bringing her in and mentioned how cute she was. I hope I can make the same commitment each year for each kid - I get as much as I give!

Oranges and water, post-run, with some of the girls in his class.
Oh good, two other boys snuck in. For a while there, Blake looked alarmingly like a ladies' man!

Hands down, baths are her favorite thing ever. She splashes excitedly with her hands when sitting up, and kicks her feet so energetically when lying down that I get absolutely soaked. 

Dad is SO FUNNY!

V, I hate to tell you, but you have a little something - a few little somethings, actually - stuck to you. Gosh, lady, check a mirror once in a while, am I right?!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

best thing ever

This is about two months old, but it never GETS old, you know?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

fires, babies, chocolate - but not in that order

Here's the last stack of what I managed to snap while all of us were together at the Myers' house:

Bing and Audrey - she looks SO much like Bing's mom, Marcia, and yet SO much like Lane, too. She's also got some pretty rad dancing skills whether she is standing or sitting.

Gunner and Audge, handing Papaw rocks. That diaper also seems full...

The folks built a new fire pit right off their deck, and it's become the new place to gather, so long as it's not raining. Notice my chocolate and grahams in the lower left, getting melty and warm? Yeah. Those come into play later.

Happy little dancer! In... jeggings?

Jetty, do you know where aunt Addie's chocolate went?

Turns out he just leaned in and swiped at it, then licked it off his hands. I will guard it more carefully next time! Or not. That's an awfully cutie face.

Monday, June 3, 2013

does it get any better than "awkward fun?"

 Some friends came up for the night, and we went on a hike. V was entranced by the new sights, smells, and touches. Rob was nonplussed about hiking, period.

 It's not what it looks like (us laughing at a crying baby)...

 ... really...

 ... she's laughing.

 Little spinach smile on my salad-loving buddy. Rob was not available for comment.

 All three of us girls managed to get to Billings for a night. Three daughters, nine grandkids, and it was pure chaos. This is Smitty and Papaw, burning dinner.

Double dose of blue-eyed beauty! Gunner G is Reese's one blue-eyed boy, and he looks so small because he's two or three feet behind Vesper. It's an optical illusion that makes my baby look ENORMOUS!

Throwbacks - I already posted these (and others) on Facebook, but I have friends who see this blog that aren't on the FB (stay strong, Jordans!). Thought you might enjoy the awkward fun!

 First day of school, backpacks and perms at the ready.

 My first hunting trip. I remember being particularly pleased with my bangs that day. Ah, thirteen... 
I don't miss you one bit.

Spirit days at school! (Spirit week: a full week of a different theme each day for homecoming.) One friend mused that I "do nerd" well, and Rob snickered.
R: Yeah, you do. You REALLY do.
A: Are you still talking about the picture?
R: (wicked laugh)