Perfect Moment Monday: My Miracle

To say our first four days at home as a family of four have been difficult would be an understatement. My daughter not only had a gnarly cough but a stomach bug of some kind. We thought we’d have two days at home with baby while our daughter was at school but of course she couldn’t go when she was so sick, so instead we had four days of a very sick, unhappy three year old who was not pleased with how unavailable her mother was. Even without the constant changing and washing of bed sheets it would have been really, really difficult.

Sunday our daughter was finally feeling better and that night she was actually in a good mood. I got to spend quite a while with her that afternoon reading books and snuggling in bed, so later that night when I was feeding baby brother she was happy to be playing with daddy.

So for about twenty minutes I fed my son and watched my partner and daughter get exceedingly silly in the make believe games they were playing. For the first time I was seeing a glimpse of what are new family looks like, what our new life might look like and I was struck by the fact that I’d finally arrived at the end of my journey. I have my two children, my family of four. There was a time, not long ago, when I thought this dream would never be realized and now it has been. It’s an incredible feeling, having arrived at this life I thought might elude me.

And right now my son sleeps soundly on my chest while I type this. He is here. After all the struggle to conceive him, all the anxiety that he might not arrive safely, he is here. My family of four has been realized and every time I am reminded of that is an absolutely perfect moment.

My miracle.

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Perfect Moment Monday: Early Morning Snuggles

This baby boy inside me, my son, is due to arrive in three weeks and my daughter’s world will be turned upside down. I’m trying to carve out important moments with her because I know there won’t be much time to linger with her once the baby comes.

It’s hard with toddlers because every time you do something you worry about setting a precedent, that they will expect it again another day. If you offer them a milkshake with their hamburger will they throw a fit at the next restaurant when one is not offered? If you go into their room in the wee hours of the morning and offer to sleep with them will the wake up the next day expecting the same?

On Saturday Osita woke up whimpering that she’d had a “scary dream.” She asked to come into our bed but I offered to sneak into hers instead and she was more than pleased with that compromise. After I’d maneuvered my hulking body into place she snuggled up next to me and whispered that she loved me and fell peacefully back asleep. I never reached that sweet state of dreams but I spent my own blissed out hour just lying next to her, watching her skinny chest rise and fall, gently smoothing her hair away from her face.

Those are the kinds of moments we won’t be able to share once the baby comes. I’m trying hard to make space for them now and to revel in their quiet beauty. I am so lucky to have my daughter in my life and I never want to take those perfect moments for granted.

This post is part of Perfect Moment Mondays. For more perfect moments, visit lavenderluz.com.

Perfect Moment Monday: Worth It

You know that moment when you realize that despite all your planning and the ridiculous amount of money you spent and your selfless intentions, that day you had been waiting for is blowing up in your face?

It’s disappointing right?

I was having that moment, at Sea World in San Diego this past Saturday. We’d spent well over $140 just to get into the park, not to mention the $50 on parking, lunch and snacks. Despite a good night’s sleep and an early start, the day had not been going great. Half way through the Shamu show (complete with baby orca swimming around with his mom–which made me positively swoon), Isa decided she was not interested in seeing the finale when she could be “swimming” in the spouts at the kid park we’d seen earlier. Begrudingly I left the show (and the adorable baby orca) to let my daughter play in the water, only to have her freak out once we got there and refuse to even get sprayed. Moments later, when she realized the Sesame Street characters were singing and dancing, she literally peed in excitement, and since swim diapers are more for show than anything else, most of that pee ended up running down my favorite maxi dress. It was right around this pee-drenched moment that I realized we’d left Isa’s shoes by the water and after a crazed five minutes of searching–during which I was sure she’d have ot remain shoeless for the remainder of the day–I finally found them tucked in a planter not far from where we’d left them.

After the Sesame Street show we realized a line had been forming to meet the characters. Of course it was long and slow moving. I decided to wait in that line while Mi.Vida took Isa to ride her favorite: Elmo’s Flying Fish. It seemed like a good plan until he returned less than five minutes later with a sobbing toddler who’d found it much too difficult to wait in line for the ride. At this point we both wondered if we should just cut our loses and leave the park, despite having a good two hours before we had to be home for Isa’s nap.

In a last ditch effort, Mi.Vida and I switched places and I attempted to stand in the Elmo’s Flying Fish line while Isa melted down on the concrete path of the queue for the entire twenty minutes we waited. Finally it was OUR TURN! and we rode the thirty second ride, which she enjoyed well enough. By the time we returned to Mi.Vida at the Sesame Street meeting place Cookie Monster and Zoe had left for the afternoon and Elmo was on a “water break.”

It was a long ten minutes until Elmo returned and it was our turn to finally meet him, during which Isa melted down twice. By the time we had reached the front of the line we were both sure the whole thing had been a huge mistake.

Except it wasn’t.

Isa’s face when we told her it was her turn to meet Elmo was worth all the drama of that day. She literally shook with excitement as Elmo came over to hug her. She ran into his arms,¬†screeching¬†with delight. Then she requested her picture be taken with the “whole family” and we happily obliged. She was so enamored of this giant walking, “talking” Elmo she could barely contain herself, which was evident in both the photo they took with my phone and the expensive one we bought in the trademarked Sesame Street frame.

Watching our daughter vibrate with excitement as she hugged her idol was everyone’s perfect moment that day.

For the rest of the weekend Isa gushed about meeting Elmo, about how her furry friend had given her “a smooch and a hug.” Over and over again she reminded us it had happened and I know the picture of her encounter will be a favorite keep sake for years to come.

And even if she never looks at it again, I know I will. And that picture will always transport me back to that perfect moment, when my daughter’s excitement made all the insanity before hand totally worthwhile.

photo-156For more of today’s Perfect Moments click here.

 

Perfect Moment Mondays: The Whole Family

Yesterday morning my daughter woke up and requested pancakes. I don’t generally cook but I’ve been practicing my pancakes. It was decided that this morning mommy would make breakfast.

And so I did. And my pancakes were awesome. I flipped them at just the right time and I didn’t even get batter everywhere when I did. When I was done I had a stack of beautiful golden pumpkin pancakes (courtesy of Trader Joe’s mix of the same name) and a little girl who couldn’t wait to eat them.

Then we all sat down to eat breakfast together. With a two year old who wants to eat dinner almost immediately upon returning home from day care, we rarely get to sit down to eat as a family. On weekends we make a special effort to do so and it obviously means a lot to our daughter. As soon as we all sat down and starting in on our perfect pancakes, my daughter looked up and said with great fan fare, It’s the whole family!

In that moment I was reminded how incredibly lucky we are to have each other, to have our family.

Perfect Moment Mondays: The Parking Ticket

I always want to participate in Perfect Moment Mondays but honestly, when the time comes, I usually can’t think of something to share. I believe that speaks volumes about the mental space I’ve occupied for the last four months.

So today, even though I’m typing this from the Juror Assembly Room at the SF Superior Court: Criminal Division, I will be sharing a perfect moment I’ve experienced recently.

A couple of weeks ago I realized I had forgotten to move my car for street sweeping. By the time I ran outside, dropping f-bombs all the way, there was a shiny red and white ticket tucked into my hood. I slumped over to the car, cursing myself for not setting an alarm on my phone as I’d promised myself I would. I was also angry that Mi.Vida hadn’t reminded me to move it when he walked right past it earlier that morning on his way to work.

But then, sometime magical happened. I reminded myself that in a year’s time this ticket would mean nothing to me, it would be a distant memory if that, and that I could spare myself unnecessary grief if I just let it go now.

And I did.

For some reason, that time, I was able to just let it go. I took the ticket inside and even when I see it every morning, reminding me it needs to be paid, I’m not upset about it. Needless expenses like parking tickets have always inspired an inordinate amount of anger in me, and I’ve always wished I could embrace the reality of the situation: that not far down the road it just won’t matter that much. And this time, for some reason, I could. And I was so thankful for that.

So that is my perfect moment, getting a parking ticket, as told from my first (and hopefully only) day of jury duty.