Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are You There God, It's Me

There was a time in my life when I had no doubt in my faith.  Where I believed whole heartedly in a God watching over us and taking care of us.  I can't say that I'm still that way.

I do believe in something.  What that something is, I'm not sure.  I'm not saying I don't believe, but I'm just not as sure as I once was.  I don't know anymore.  I'm not convinced any more.

I want to go back to the way I was.  I want faith and unwavering certainty in a higher being.  I want to be one of those my mom is, like my sister is starting to be, like so many people in my family are...but I'm just having so much trouble with it.

The last couple of years have been rough and they don't seem to be ending anytime soon.  I know that everyone goes through rough patches.  Life is a series of hills and valleys.  You climb to the top of a mountain, only to find another crest and end up lower than you could have imagined. 

Unfortunately, these last couple of years have not made me turn towards my's done exactly the opposite.  It's made me ask "Why?"  It's made me question everything.  I'm not sure if I can find my way back to blind faith.

I don't go to church.  I haven't gone to church consistently since I was 10 or 11.  I've always said that I don't need to go to church...I believe, and so much of organized religion is just crap anyway.  I want the spirituality and the community and the morals that come along with religion.  I do not want the fire and brimstone, they are wrong and we are right, preachiness of religion.

So lately I've been toying with the idea of finding a church.  I want to see if I can find that faith again, feel spiritual again.  I've been searching for non-denominational congregations.  I've come up with a few, but how long before I know it's the place for me and my kids?  Do you have like an epiphany the moment you walk in the door or does it take months to feel at home?

I've mentioned before that I'm not good at making friends and I hate being the new girl.  And that's what happens at a church, you're the new girl and everyone knows.  And when you have to greet your neighbor, you stand there feeling like an idiot waiting for someone to talk to you.

But, I think I'm going to try again because I remember going to church as a kid and I loved it.  I loved everything about it - the stories, the friends, Bible Camp, Sunday School, Youth Group.  I want my kids to have that.  I want them to have the option of faith, because in my opinion - the alternative is not as nice.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

According to Ainsley #2 - Yeah, I'm Special

"Hey Mommy!" Ainsley says excitedly from the back seat.

"Yes, Ainsley?"

"I see a whale in the sky."

Caitlyn is sitting in the passenger seat next to me.  We are at a red light so we both look to the right at a cloud that could resemble a whale.

"Wow Ainsley!  I see that whale."

"Hey Teek, I see a turtle too."

Caitlyn smiles and says "Ainsley do you know that because you can see animals in the clouds, you are very special?"

"Yeah, I know" Ainsley chuckles from the back seat.

The light turns green and I turn onto the tree lined, two lane road.

Caitlyn continues, "Not all little girls can see whales and turtles in the clouds."

Ainsley looks out her window, bobbing her head up, down, left and right trying to get a better view.  She finally stops and sits back.

"I know Teek, the trees are in their way."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don't Worry, We Had a Gift Card

I close the checkbook and toss it on top of the pile of bills.  A very familiar feeling settles over me, just like it does every weekend when I finish paying bills and organizing the finances.  Mostly fear.  Fear that they won't renew unemployment, fear that next month we'll have an emergency, fear that the savings account is almost dry.  But on top of that fear is the anger.  The anger runs hot through my heart and mind.  It burns through my veins and hijacks my thoughts.  Sometimes it's all I see. 

There was a time that I thought this would be a good thing.  That Clif could find something he really wanted to do.  That he would suddenly land in something that would change our lives.  But that was early on.  When the job loss was fresh.  Now a year in, there's not much of a silver lining.  No grand epiphany or opportunity has knocked at the door. 

I lean back in the chair and stare at the computer screen.  The numbers are in red.  I say a little prayer that my latest written check won't clear until Friday and that the groceries we have will last the week.  I place my hands on my swollen abdomen and feel the baby move side to side.  Ten weeks and he'll be here.  Ten weeks and another bill will pull from the dried up well.  Ten weeks and my pay will be slashed for maternity leave.

I breath deep to fend off the tears threatening to spill.  I'm pulled from my thoughts as the door gushes open and a giggling bouncing two year old flows through.

"Mommy!" she squeals and rushes to my arms.  Clif is behind her carrying a balloon from Chick-fil-A, a stuffed dog and the spilling diaper bag.

"Hi Ainsley!  How are you?  What have you been doing?"

"We goed to da pwaydround at da mall and goed to Tick-fa-aye!"

Clif interjects, "Don't worry, we had a gift card."  He says things like this often, we don't spend money on extras.  We use gift cards and find coupons and attend free events.

I smile as Ainsley pulls away to join her daddy on the couch.  He turns on Sleeping Beauty and they continue with their day, cuddling on the couch watching Ainsley's favorite Disney movie du jour. 

The same day they always have.  Daddy and Ainsley together always.

This post was written in response to a prompt at The Red Dress Club: This week we want you to recall something in your life that seemed terrible at the time, but looking back, brought you something wonderful.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Was the Easter Bunny Good to You?

Even though Easter was late this year, it still kind of snuck up on me.  I was not at all prepared.  However, I was determined to color Easter eggs this year.  I hadn't done it since I was a kid and I figured Ainsley was old enough to enjoy it.

We had planned on doing them Wednesday or Thursday.  Wednesday something came up and Thursday...well, our dogs managed to escape so we spent a good part of the night searching for them.  No worries, everyone is home safe and sound.

So, Friday night...we colored Easter eggs.

But not just any Easter eggs.  Tinkerbell eggs!

Sunday morning was the big day!  Here are the baskets before the kids pretty, for such a short time.

Then the children arrived and the chaos ensued...

Ainsley also found all of the eggs that the sneaky bunny had hidden...

After the morning excitement and a much too short nap on Freddie's part, we met Nanny and Poppa for lunch, dressed in our Easter best.

Later in the day we went to a friend's house for another Easter egg hunt...which I did not pull my camera out for.  I think Clif got some pics on his iPhone, but currently I don't have them.

I will, however, leave you with these pictures.  I'm thinking of getting her an agent since this was her "movie box picture" pose.  

Then this is Ainsley Rapunzel getting ready to fight Flynn with her frying pan.

And here she is wrapping her magic hair around Flynn's wounded hand.

So yeah, I'm thinking we have a star in the making.  

Friday, April 22, 2011

I Used To Be Able To Do This

Yesterday I took the kids to the playground.  It's a small playground and most of the time there is no one else there.  However, yesterday we ran into a family that we have seen there before.  It's a mom, probably around my age with two girls.  The oldest is a year younger than Ainsley and the baby is a couple of months younger than Freddie.

When we first met this family, I said to Ainsley, "Why don't you ask her what her name is?"

"What's your name?"
"I'm Ainsley."

I lean over and say to Ainsley, "Ask her how old she is."

"How old are you?"
"Two and a half."
"I'm three and a half."

This prompted her mom to speak to me a bit.  Ask me about Freddie and so forth.

Then we both left the playground going to our separate houses and I kept thinking to myself, here was a perfect opportunity to maybe meet someone my own age, with kids the same age as mine, that lives in my neighborhood.  But I did not take the opportunity.  I did not ask her name, I did not tell her mine.

So yesterday, I see this family approach the playground and I'm determined to do better.  But I'm so bad at it.  I'm so bad at starting a conversation. I'm so bad at making small talk.  So instead of trying to meet someone new, I often come across as a cold, unfriendly, snob.  I know this because I've been told it by people after I get to know them.

So I say hi and that's about as far as I get.  The girls play together and talk easily.  The mom eventually asks me about my daycare situation and we discuss preschool and the neighborhood a bit.  But I still don't ask her name and I don't tell her mine.

The whole time I'm thinking, I should get her email or give her mine and we can let the girls play together.  But I don't. 

I mean, at one time in my life I could make friends, because I do have friends.  (Although, it's possible a lot of those unions were catalyzed by alcohol.)  It's just that not a one lives within an hour of me, so there are no playdates or get-togethers.  Those friends that I used to be so close with, I'm just not really anymore.

So why now can I not just say...
"Hi, my name's Jaime.  What's yours?"

Seems easy enough, but the anxiety of opening my mouth and letting that spill out just overwhelms me and I can't make it happen.  I can even prompt my daughter to do it...but when it comes to me, I just feel like such an idiot.

Then I usually just convince myself that I don't need friends.  I've got my kids and my husband.  And my sister and my mom...although they live pretty far.  But then I see friends together, and it makes me sad.   I wish that my friends that I do have lived closer so I could spend time like that with them, but mostly it makes me realize that I will probably never have that bond again because I'm too afraid to put myself out there.

Why is it so scary?

I load the kids back in the wagon, nervous about how I'll end this meeting.  Not sure what I'll say so I don't sound stupid but I don't seem like a jerk.

I look at Ainsley and say, "Ainsley, say bye."

"Bye," they respond.

I wave, smile and pull the kids back down the sidewalk - away from another missed opportunity.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We Rock

I walk the narrow strip between the crib and the rocker.  Freddie is perched on my shoulder trying to catch his breath from the latest outburst.  Every few moments he pushes against me, cries out in anger and repositions himself in my arms before collapsing in exhaustion.

I walk back and forth, back and forth singing and humming his favorite song...Baby Beluga.  My back is screaming and my arms are sore, but Freddie doesn't like to rock if we're not nursing.  And we are. Not. Nursing. Period.

I am at war with myself right now.  This has been going on for over an hour. 

The comforting female in me cries "He's so young and this is obviously wrong because he's fighting it so much!"

The logical woman in me screams "It's not like I'm weaning, he just needs to find another way to go to sleep.  No more night nursing."

The selfish girl in me whines "Oh my, this is just like Ainsley.  Hours and hours of torture to get a kid to sleep. This can't be happening again."

The tired mommy in me yawns "I just want to go to bed.  Can he just sleep with me tonight and we'll try again tomorrow?"

Freddie has been silent for a few moments.  I wonder if he's asleep but can't see his face.  I make my way to the rocking chair and sit down slowly.

He fusses in protest but only for a moment.

I rock and sing.  I rock and hum.  I rock and stroke his hair.  I rock and kiss his cheek.  I rock and whisper "I love you, mommy's here."  We rock and rock and rock.  His eyes are closing but I can tell he's still alert.  His body is still at attention.

His face screws up and he releases a husky moan.  He is 24 pounds of rage and fury.  Fists push against my chest.  Toes scrape at my thighs.  He cries and yells "Baba! Baba!"  He wants to nurse and I want to give in.

I close my eyes and count to ten.  At the end of this breather, I'm giving in.  I don't care what anyone says. This is just too hard.  It's so much easier to just nurse him.

When I open them, he is changed. 

His face has become soft and his lips are slightly parted.  His rigid body has succumbed and gone limp against me.  His eyelashes flutter ever so slightly, tickling my collarbone.  His feet and hands dangle and twitch now and then.  His breathing is deep and smooth.  No more hiccups, no more gasping, no more screaming for Muma.  He is my perfect boy and all at once relief and sadness wash over me. 

I didn't give in, tomorrow night should be easier, but my baby is growing up so fast. 

I hold him for longer than I should.  I smell his sweetness and watch the corners of his mouth twitch before placing him in his crib.

I walk out of the room thinking about how easy it would be to keep doing all the things that keep him small and young and dependent on me.  Things that would keep him at my side always and keep my heart from breaking.  Things that would keep these little moments at bay and unnoticed forever.  But then, I wouldn't be his mother.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

According to Ainsley #1 - The Birds and The Bees

"Mommy?" Ainsley questions from the back seat.

"Yes, Ainsley?"

"How will my baby sister get in your belly?" she asks.

"What?" I respond, more because I need to stall rather than I didn't hear what she said.  I have to admit, I'm shocked to be getting this question right now because first, I'm not pregnant, so why is this on her mind and second, I could have never imagined that she'd ask this at 3 1/2 years old.  My mom says I was 5 when I asked, so I should be granted another year and a half before I have to tackle this question.

"How does my baby sister get in your belly?" she repeats.

"Well," I begin, "When there is a Mommy and Daddy and they love each other very much, then sometimes they make a baby and the baby lives in the mommy's belly until it's ready to come out."

I glance in the rear view mirror, hoping there are not follow up questions.

She goes on, "Mommy, I want a baby sister.  I do not want a baby brother anymore."

Phew.  "Well, Ainsley.  You're going to have a baby brother for the rest of your life.  Forever and ever Freddie is going to be your baby brother.  Maybe one day you will have a baby sister.  Ainsley?  Would you like me to tell you a story?"


"Once upon a time there was a Mommy and a Daddy and they loved each other very much and they had a little girl named Ainsley."  Her smile grows by miles at the mention of her name.

"One day, the mommy said to Ainsley 'Mommy has a baby in her belly.  Do you want it to be a baby sister or a baby brother?" and Ainsley said 'baby bruder' and the family had a baby brother named Freddie."

I stop at a red light and glance back.  Ainsley is not smiling and seems to be pondering the story.  Then she looks at me, her big blue eyes narrow, her thick pink lips tighten.

"Mommy!  When I was a baby sister I wanted to have a baby brother, but now I am a big girl and I want to have a baby sister!"

"Ainsley, you..."

"I know Mommy!  I am not a baby sister anymore, I do not want to talk about this story anymore."  With that she throws her arms across her chest and directs her glare to the window.

Well alright then!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Out of My Funk

I haven't been writing as much as I'd like...I've felt uninspired.  Not sure why, since I have two extremely inspiring creatures to fuel my stories.  As I've mentioned I've been in a funk. 

There are a few reasons.  I know what they are.

First of all....I'm moody.  Always have been and pretty sure it's not changing anytime soon.  My mom is not the best at recalling all the details of my childhood.  If I ask, she can usually give me a few tidbits...but one thing she always remembers...I was born on a Wednesday.  "Wednesday's child is full of woe," she always tells me.  I wouldn't exactly say that I'm full of woe...but I do tend toward the dramatic and I'm emotional and easily hurt and sensitive and moody. 

Second...winter.  I. Hate. Winter.  I mean, I can deal with winter in like December, but then January SUCKS and February is even worse!  It just drags on and on with no sun and no warmth and blah, I freaking hate it.  I need spring to arrive.  I love spring and summer and fall.  I want a winter home in a warm, sunny place.

Finally...the move.  I know this is the main cause of my funk.  I don't want to live here.  I want to go back to Richmond.  I just feel dreary here.  Life seems harder and more complicated here.

However, I have made the decision that my funk is over.  It's done.  I'm over it.  This realization started to come over me last week.  A few things happened that made me realize I was just feeling sorry for myself and I needed to end the pointless, self-loathing tendency toward wallowing.

First, I spent many afternoons after work at the playground with my kids.  Various playgrounds, because there are a crap load of playgrounds around these parts.  My nights have gone from a crazy, chaotic, sprint to get to bedtime to a more relaxed, memorable stroll through the evening.  I often worry about my kids in daycare all day and me at work all day.  I'm their mother, shouldn't I be the one teaching them, caring for them, playing with them?  Well, here's the cold, hard matter where I live...not going to happen!  We just can't afford to live on one income.  So the best situation I can be in?  Is right now.  I get off at 3 and have a couple of hours before I have to start getting ready for the next day.  That means that those hours can be spent being the mommy I want to be instead of the one I have to be. 

Second, I read a lot of blogs.  Let me give this little piece of advice.  If you are feeling sorry for some blogs.  Because there are people out there writing about lives and events way harder than anything you or I have seen or been through.  There are women who write blogs because they can't get pregnant.  There are mom's who write blogs about their severely disabled children.  There are people who write blogs about the death of a child.  All things that I can not imagine.  All things that make me hug my beautiful, healthy babies a little tighter.

Finally, I spent 2 weekends in a row away from my kids and I missed them to death and could not possibly imagine life without them.  I do not want them to remember mommy being in a funk.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the life we want, or wanted, to live that we forget about the life we actually have.  So that is my new goal, to appreciate every day for what it is and what it gives me.

Also, I've decided I'm going to start a weekly post called "According to Ainsley" where I will write about the conversations I have with my 3.5 year old.  Because seriously, the girl is a wealth of material.  Look for that to start tomorrow.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Boob Man

I breastfed Ainsley until she was almost 15 months old.  Mostly I did this because I couldn't bare the thought of not nursing her.  If you know me, you know that I. LOVE. Breastfeeding, and I have been lucky.  It has come relatively easy for me.  Also, I am well endowed in the milk department.  So I've never had to supplement.  Even if I've felt like my production was dipping or I was going to be away for a weekend, I could always pump it up again.

However, when Ainsley was about 14.5 months old I went out to dinner with some friends for my birthday.  At that point I was only nursing her before bed and when I pumped that night, I didn't even get one ounce, so I decided it was time to move on.

This time, with Freddie, I have not worried about the timeline.  I haven't obsessed over whether or not I'd make it a year, I haven't wondered how long I would go, I haven't thought much about it.  Until now.

Freddie will be 13 months old soon...and there is not a breastfeeding end in sight.  I'm not necessarily saying I want to stop, because I don't think I'm quite there yet.  He's still such a baby to me and even though Clif and I both want another child, that may not happen for awhile given our current financial and living situation.  So, he will be my baby for awhile and I'm cool with that.  However, this weekend I went out of town for the night and I was able to pump 8 ounces still!  At 13 months!  I was shocked.  Which means Freddie is still drinking a lot of breast milk.

He's a little more aggressive with his want for the boob than Ainsley ever was.  I'm thinking maybe it's a boy thing.  You see those babies pulling at their mother's shirts?  They're boys...and that is Freddie.  You see babies throwing fits in public when they want to nurse?  They're boys...and that is Freddie.  You see babies trying to suckle through their mother's shirts?  They're boys...and that is Freddie.

I've been trying to slowly wean...not completely, but at least lessen the number of times he nurses.  For instance, I'd really like him to stop nursing in the middle of the night...not that this is a huge problem.  I'd say he sleeps through the night about 85% of the time, but when he wakes up, he wants the boob.  I've been really good about not giving in, and after a tough couple of nights, he seems to have accepted that.

But then last night...

He could not be soothed.  He could not be calmed.  He screamed for over an hour.  So, I gave in.  I was so tired and looking at only 4 hours of sleep, so I put him in bed with me and let him nurse.  I'm pretty irritated with myself, since we had been doing so well for 2 weeks...but I just couldn't take it anymore.

So I guess we're starting over again...I think I'll probably wait until after this coming weekend, when I will be out of town again.  I'm pretty sure that's his trigger for ULTRA nursing.  He doesn't get it for a solid 24-48 hours and he must make sure that the boobs are mommy is never out of sight again!

Wish me luck...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Weekend

Nothing to say today so just some cute pictures to kick off your weekend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cinderella Park

Behind my in-law's house there is a creek.  Along the creek there is a path and at the end of the path there is a playground.  Nothing fancy.  It's called Cinderella Park because one of the aparatuses is in the shape of a carriage.  The playground equipment is old.  Made of metal and wood that's been coated with many shades of paint, the most recent of which is begining to chip.  Except for one tube slide, there is no plastic in sight.  The monkey bars in the shape of a spider are a bit rusty.  The wood in the carriage is splintered.  The rubber seats of the swings are cracked.  There's not a lot of mulch covering the ground, just dirt which often is mud.  It's not brightly colored and it's not elaborate.  It looks nothing like the playgrounds you see today with hard plastic strucures, wood chips covering the ground and sprawling landscapes.

Yesterday I took the kids there.  They've been a few times.  And when we go, I think about how playgrounds aren't made like this anymore.  We, as a society and as parents, are so worried about safety.  Now, I'm not saying we should throw all caution to the wind and go back to the days of no carseats and walkers...but sometimes I wonder if we take it overboard.

Remember those hot summer days where the metal slide burned the back of your thighs?  But they were so fast and so steep that it didn't even matter.  Remember see saws?  Remember having to work together and not bailing on your partner so he didn't get dropped to the ground?  Remember jumping off of a spinning merry-go-round?  Hanging upside down from monkey bars?  You don't see these kinds of things at playgrounds anymore.  I'm sure that kids got hurt on all of these and that's why.  But isn't that also part of growing up?  Being curious, taking action and learning from it?

While at the playground yesterday, Ainsley fell into the mud and this horrible look spread across her face.  The feeling of the mud and the realization of dirtiness set in.  I'm not going to lie, my first instinct was "Oh crap, now she's dirty!"  But I stopped myself and remembered all those millions of times I had to strip down out of my dirty clothes on the back porch because I had been playing in the nearby creek or digging for worms or building tree forts. 

So I helped her up and said "That's okay.  You'r a little kid, you're supposed to get dirty."  And all that concern and worry left her face and she dropped to her knees and shoved her hand right in the mud.  I think we can tolerate a little mud and outdated playground equipment in the name of fun, don't you?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Things That Make Me Smile

Lately, I'm having trouble finding things to write about and I'm still not really feeling my normal self.  So to try and bring me out of my funk for today's post...because really I do not want to turn this into "oh poor pitiful me" blog - who wants to read that...I'm going to list the top 10 things that made me happy this week.

10 - It was 80 degrees on Monday!  And the 10 day forcast shows nothing below 51.  Whoo Hooo spring is FINALLY here!

9 - Clif and I started a new budget/financial plan and so far, 7 days in, I'm super psyched about it.  I think it's really going to work and half way through the pay period we are looking okay and not wondering how we will buy groceries next week.

8 - I started working a new schedule which requires me to be there at 7 (ouch!), but I get to leave at 3.  That means an extra hour or so with the kids each night.  And they spend less time in daycare.  And there's way less traffic.  Other than the waking up earlier, win, win!

7 - I got a free frappuccino at Starbucks Monday.

6 - At the playground, Ainsley tried to catch a bird.  She said "Birdie, don't fly away, I won't hurt you."  When the bird did, of course, fly away she turned and asked me, "Mommy, why doesn't the bird want to sit on my finger?  Can he sit on my finger when I am big and I have magic?"

5 - Freddie screaming "Mummma" from his highchair at daycare the moment I walk in the door.

4 - Watching my favorite version of Alice in Wonderland with Ainsley

3 - Freddie (dare I say it?) sleeping through the night all week!

2 - My horrible laundry monsters are finally clean and put away.

1 - Freddie loving on his sister every morning when he first sees her.  Freddie loving on me when I get to daycare.  Freddie loving on daddy when he walks in the door. 

Yes, I definitely feel better and I realize that I could have gone on.  Maybe I'll do this least until I can get back to normal.

Happy Hump Day All!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Scent of a Woman

I don't remember her like I remember my other grandmother.  The one I've dreamed about and the one who bought me banana splits.  However, there are certain things that I can attribute to her.  I think of her every year when I place 15 hand made, personalized ornaments on my Christmas tree.  She taught me how to dive when I was 8 or 9.  I still can't swim, but I can dive - both backwards and forwards.  I'm pretty sure she's the first person who made me a peanut butter and pickle sandwich - hey, don't knock it until you try it. Those are all just little snippets.  I don't have the deep, broad memories that I have with my other Grandmother.

But there is one thing that immediately brings me back to that tiny little kitchen in that old farmhouse.  Her scent, heavy and thick, hung in the air.  It was rich and indulgent.  I could walk in the door and that scent would fill me up.  So powerful that it tingled my taste buds.  I could close my eyes and savor the creaminess pouring into my belly, feel the smoke burning my throat.  It would surround me and stay with me long after I had left her.  It clung to her always.  No shower or swim or hard day's work could erase it.  The perfect mix of her vices - coffee and cigarettes.  The warm, bold aroma of her most recently brewed pot swirled sweetly with the harsh smell of the freshly burned tobacco.

I loved that smell.  To this day, I still love that smell - but it has to be just the right concoction.  Too much coffee and it's just coffee.  Too much cigarettes and I hate it.  Neither of the smells independently do anything for me.  But the combination of the two, in just the right amounts always makes me smile.  For a fleeting moment I can hear the rough smokiness of her laugh, feel my small fingers inside her weathered hand and remember the woman she was before she was gone.

This post was written in response to a prompt at the Red Dress Club: This week's assignment was to write a post about a sound or scent that brings you right back to your past.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Some days are hard.  Some times, when you're knee deep in snotty tissues and hacking coughs and sprints to the bathroom, it's tough to put on a smile and appreciate being a mom.  I do appreciate it.  Every day I'm thankful for those soft curls and big blue eyes and tiny fingers that squeeze mine.  But there are days that I have to remind myself to love it.

There are days when you're just holding on, racing at top speed down a hill, trying not to fly over the handle bars.  Inevitably, you crash.  You hit a rock, no matter how small, at just the right speed and angle...then suddenly you're air born.  Screaming, clawing, tucking, angling...whatever it takes to protect yourself from the unrelenting asphalt below.

Saturday was one of those days.  It was the end to a tough week.  One of those weeks where those bad days string together and you forget when you slept and what you ate.  Hell, you forget if you slept or ate.

Clif was down and out with a stomach bug.  Ainsley and Freddie both seemed on the mend, but runny noses and coughs persisted.  On top of that, I'm getting it.  What it is, I'm not sure.  I had a combination of everything.  Nothing full blown, but everything battling for my attention.  Sore achy muscles, headache, congestion, raw throat.  I was not feeling the mommy vibe, but what do you do?  You push through, and let everyone know how miserable you are along the way.

I was not a good mommy Saturday.  I didn't play dress up. I didn't sing songs.  I didn't read stories.  I didn't bake cookies.  I barely made meals.  I did only what was needed to get by.  I went to bed feeling down.  Sad, that half my weekend was over and it had been wasted on illness instead of imagination and cuddles and laughter and silliness.

Freddie woke up with a smile on Sunday and I felt a bit better.  So we headed downstairs to make breakfast.  He played in the other room while I cooked.  When Ainsley appeared in the doorway, I greeted her with a big hug and a "Good Morning!"

She said "Good Morning!" back and from the living room I heard Freddie let out a huge giggle.  He ran, as much as he can run really, to us and threw himself into Ainsley's arms.  It was as if he hadn't seen her in days.  He planted a big open mouth kiss on her belly and wrapped his chubby arms around her waist

Ainsley reciprocated with a kiss on his head and pinch of his cheeks.  Freddie pulled away and laughed as he headed back to his toys.

In that moment, I stopped having to remind myself.
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