Thursday, August 12, 2010

Morning Fog

Nick is out of town on business. In San Diego. Staying at a lovely hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Last night when he called on his way to grab a drink with his team I could hear the strains of a steel drum band in the background and the sound of laughter and general warmth and "vacation-ness" streaming through the phone.  I know Nick is working his tush off to be honest, and that moment was probably the only moment of non-business on this whole trip for him.  I also know that I have had plenty of work trips in lovely locales and it is always nicer to be doing business with a bay in the background, as opposed to an industrial park in Somewhere, America.  I am glad he gets to travel some fun places for work (soon to be balanced out by a trip to Mossville, Illinois by the way). And I know it is always bittersweet because he misses us.  But it was a funny contrast.

You see, the kids kicked my butt yesterday.  I keep thinking back to those Bill Cosby "Himself" bits where he talks about parenthood and it's daily challenges.  It was a stand-up comedy material generating kind of day.   I found myself repeating things 20 times in escalating tones "Stop it  STOp it STOP it STOP It STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!"  No tactic seems to work on days like these. It was one of those "Please let it be bedtime soon" kind of days.  I feel bad for having low patience. And they don't feel bad for pushing it.  Shrug. So be it. It happens. In true Scarlett fashion, I think to myself "Tomorrow is another day"!

Another day, yes.  :-)

Kate joined me in my bed around 11pm last night.  Well, I was still up working, but she crawled in, so I let her sleep there. When it was time for me to go to sleep, I had to rearrange her shockingly long limbs this way and that to find a spot in the bed that I could rest on.  As soon as I was snuggled in, an elbow to the temple immediately welcomed me and after more adjusting and sweeping her "Cousin It" hairdo back so she did not choke on own hair, I think I fell asleep around 1 or 2 AM.  Snooooze.

Shake. Shake shake. Shake shake shake shake accompanied by a furitive and somewhat strangled sounding whisper "Mooommyyyy" followed by the sharp double-intake of breath that is our boy's sobbing cry. "Moooommmmy".  Oh. It is Liam. I peer through one barely open eye and see his tear-stained face contorted in front of me. On top of me. Inches from me. I swivel my eye to the clock and see that it is somewhere around 4am.  Why is Liam wearing a Spiderman shirt and Bermuda shorts at 4am? Where are his jammies? What is going on?

"Buddy! What is it?" I croak.

"My teeth!!!!!!" he cries.

"What?" I mumble, alarmed. Scenarios immediately begin to form in my half-awake brain.

"My teeeeeeeeth! (Sob gasp sob)  Someday I will lose my teeeeeth."

At this point I have no idea what he is talking about. Is he talking about dentures? Did he have a dream that he knocked his teeth out? Of course he is referring to the "Tooth Fairy" as Kate has been desperate to lose her first tooth and has been insisting that all of her teeth are loose at once. It all starts coming into semi-focus. At 4am.

"Bud. It's ok. Kids lose teeth. All kids. But then even better ones grow back!"

"But Moooooommmmm. (Sob gasp sob)  without teeth in my mouth, I will 'tawk wike THITH' aaaaand I will have HOLES in my smiiillllleeee".

Hugs, squeezes, kisses. Foggy attempts to be rational and soothing and attentive. Begging for him to go to sleep. Which he does. For a while. Until the turf war starts on the bed. Remember Kate is in there, too.

"Move your arm." "Mom, his elbow is in my face." "Get off of my HAIR" "Don't BREATHE on me".


Early morning. Lots of coffee. Mystery of the spiderman shirt and bermuda shorts solved as I go to make Liam's bed and discover "an accident". Laundry. More laundry.

Then. Perspective.  A friend posted a video on Facebook of a montage of children welcoming their moms or dads as the parents return home from the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. I cried my eyes out. And realized that those parents would probably give anything for 4am wake up calls from their kids and would probably squeeze into a shoebox with their kids for a night if they could.  They probably would welcome a mountain of laundry and morning coffee and bed-headed overtired kiddos.  So I literally put down the computer, ran upstairs to the playroom (where the kids are playing beautifully - woops, jinxed it now) and squeezed them as hard as I could.  I know it is all relative and all that - but remembering the ways in which we are fortunate is important.

So - in melding all of this. I think of how the kids greet Nick and I every time we travel. We always get the big run and hug (someday I gather that will dissipate as they get older and we have to beg them to look up from whatever handheld device of the moment that they hold to grunt a "hello" our way).  I am glad that they exhibit such joy, even if he is "just" coming home from San Diego or Mossville or wherever.  And I am also glad that, should the kids want to crawl into bed with us when he gets home, he can snuggle them after his 2 nights in a hotel bed alone and I can maybe sneak up to the kids room and get a full night's sleep. :) tee hee

Friday, August 06, 2010

Moments Captured

We are so lucky to have so many wonderful and talented friends!  A dear and longtime friend, Julie, is a phenomenal photographer. In demand around the Twin Cities, she kindly agreed to come out to the lake and photograph the kids and the cousins all together.  It was a beautiful day and Julie has such a way with children that they all behaved beautifully.  Below are some of the pics from that very fun day. I highly recommend Julie to anyone looking for a professional photographer. She specializes in photos of kids and families and also does professional portraits and more....check her out at