A bit about me and this blog

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Hello!  Many of you visiting today are new here, so I’d like to formally introduce myself and my blog.  Relax, grab a cup of coffee, and try to catch your breath if you have children hanging off of you.

I live in St. Louis, Missouri.  South county, to be more specific.  I live with my husband Tom, and with Picasso, who is 5 and in Kindergarten, and Cassatt, who is 3 and started preschool this year.  That means I have two child-free mornings each week!  Mornings that go by all too fast with cleaning, errands, laundry, meetings, Bible study, and I try to fit some writing in there too.

I am active in a local MOPS group.  My time there is a chance to breathe.  Picasso is upset this year that he doesn’t get to go, and I am still adjusting to picking up only one child from childcare!  I am the fundraising chair for our MOPS group, which keeps me busy at the beginning of each semester (and during fundraising time, which is now.)

I am also heavily involved in CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD); I am the coordinator of our local chapter.  So I am working hard to spread the word, and somewhat overwhelmed by how big and separated our city really is.  It’s amazing how much work goes into marketing!  Hats off to those who do it well on a small budget.

Once upon a time, I went to law school. I had my own law practice, where I practiced family law and advocated for families working through the IEP process at school.  My license is currently inactive, as my life is too busy to practice right now.  I do keep active with my advocacy work through CHADD, however.  For a while, I had a series on the Advocating for your Child on this blog.

For now, I write.  Most of my writing right now is short fiction, which you can read over at my other blog, Fiction as Life.  I have been published in MOPS’s Hello Darling blog, and have a poem that will be published in When Women Waken in early November.

IMG_20140715_084342This blog is a haphazard mix of posts.  If you stick around, you will find I am not very consistent with posts.  I have made a commitment recently to post more regularly, please help keep me on track with that!  I post everything from kitchen how-tos to posts about my family and my garden to advocacy posts.  I have posted a few times about Ferguson, which is very close to me and appeals to my yearnings for justice.  For the most part, however, I stay away from political posts.

Now you know about me, I would love to hear about you!  What are your hobbies?  What would you like to see more of on this blog?

Hi Ho, to the ER we go

Cassatt made his second trip to the ER yesterday.

We have VBS going on this week, and he was so tired afterwards (my interpretation) that he fell down the steps on the way to the car.  He hit his head.  There was a nurse there who tended to his scrapes and looked at the bump on his head. She told me if he threw up or acted extremely tired, to take him to the ER.

Well, he was so worn out that he fell asleep in his chair after lunch.  He’s done that at dinner before, but never in the middle of the day. He slept. Hard.

While I put him in bed.

While I worried and decided to take him to the ER, just to be safe.

While I put him in the car.

While I put him in the stroller and walked him into the hospital.

And then he woke up when the nurse took his temperature.  After a period of grogginess, he was flirting with the nurses and back to his normal self.

Sigh.  Well, that was unnecessary.

And Summer Begins

Is it possible that there are only three days left of school?  Today is Memorial Day, the “official” start of Summer. The school year went so quickly, and it is not yet ready to let go.  Even though Picasso graduated from Pre-K last week, school drags on, and he will be going again all through June.

Even the summer reminds us of our long winter.  We went to the swimming pool on Saturday, opening day. We just couldn’t miss the first pool day.  The blue water was inviting, and the lazy river was irresistible.  We stayed only until Picasso’s teeth were chattering and he was shivering, even as he insisted he was not cold.

I was hoping to enroll Cassatt in summer camp so that I could have some time to myself.  After a week of potty training, however, he is far from being accident-free.  We have two more weeks to have him “potty trained,” but I don’t see it happening.  Maybe three days of camping next weekend will give him the boost he needs.  At any rate, we shall see how crazed I am by the end of it.

Happy Mother’s Day!

IMG_1166 I want to wish all of my readers a happy Mother’s day.  I hope you enjoy some relaxation and some fun with your family today. If nothing else, find some tranquility in this picture.

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Nighttime is Parenting Time

Oh, the gentle calm when bedtime is finished and the kids are asleep.  For now.

And then, in the middle of my creative work, we hear running and crying upstairs.  This presents two choices: either I could go to bed NOW, curled up next to Cassatt (in my bed, of course), or Tom can go, calm him and put him back to bed.  We default to option two when I hear him calm down and continue my work.

Once I go to bed, I get about an hour child-free before Cassatt comes into our bed.  He is stealthy; I rarely awaken when he appears.  His brother, on the other hand, climbs over and wakes me several hours later.  It is close to morning when he comes in, but I am too groggy to walk him back to his room.  Tonight he tells me explicitly to get out of bed so he can have my spot. I refuse. After some negotiation, he walks to the other side of the bed to crowd Dad, who later goes to sleep on Picasso’s bed.

No parent is allowed to sleep in, and we are no exception. Cassatt is insistent that I get out of bed at 6:30 this morning, which is actually late for him.  After much insistence I finally get up.  This morning I cave and let him watch cartoons while I wake up and write.

One day, we will get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.  It may not be until 15 years from now, when they are out of the house.  For now, I will enjoy my little guys’ cuddles in the middle of the night.  Because, as with everything in parenting, this too shall pass.

Day one

It was a cold day–the coldest it had been in decades. (This is before the negative double-digit temperatures of this past winter.  At that point, I didn’t dare contemplate temperatures below 4 degrees.). I was scheduled to be in court that morning. Thank goodness I got that changed so I wouldn’t have to walk my 38-week pregnant self to the courthouse. Also my date after which I refused to schedule anything just in case my expected late baby came early. (Because, as little as I expected a 38 week baby, there was no way I was having a preemie.) As it was, people laughed for stopping appointments so early. First babies are always late, right?
So here I am, just barely 38 weeks pregnant, and I wake up before my alarm clock with contractions. OK, Braxton Hicks, I know you’ll go away soon, but that HURT! An hour later, I’m in enough pain that I want to be in the hospital. When my husband drops me off at the door, I take the elevator up to L&D and say, I think I’m on labor. They tell me to pee in a cup.
They ask if I want an epidural. Natural mama as I am, I know I can’t handle this level of pain for the 24 hour labor I have planned, so I desperately agree. Then they tell me I’m too far along. I give no thought to the baby I am birthing, I just want this pain to STOP!
An hour and 3 pushes after I walk in the hospital doors, I’m a mother. Nobody knew I was in labor and they are shocked at my announcement. Meanwhile, there is a new person that has emerged from my body, now what? Welcome to the season of Motherhood. Life pushed me through the door, plans not yet made and nursery not yet finished.
Were you prepared for motherhood? Did it explode on you like a storm or come gently like a summer breeze? (OK I know motherhood doesn’t come to anyone like a summer breeze, although I’m sure things went as planned for some people!)

What’s on my menu?

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