Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting a Message

Katie sent a birthday card to Ada. It reminded me that it was about this time last year that we visited Portland and fell in love with my friend's new home. Something about the city opened my mind wide, inviting my to dream and dream big. We are a year closer to being able to go after those dreams with all our might. The countdown is about to begin. Details on that someday really soon.

Welcome to the world Lily!

The universe might be sending me a message. Last weekend we visited our friends who had a baby girl the same day as Ada's birthday. Today I got to hold and snuggle a co-workers 8 month old baby and it was divine. The weight of a baby just kicking her legs and gurgling because she is happy? Oh, how I want one! She made me think that drinking Chinese herbs every night might actually be worth it.

It's an interesting thing - there is little else you can really think about besides having a baby when you are trying to conceive. Any woman who has tried unsuccessfully, maybe even suffering a loss along the way, can relate to this especially. So something as arbitrary as my summer bucket list is readily reduced to a list things we might or might not get around to. I guess it's a good thing that I feel so complacent about the summer bucket list since we can already cross off "spend July 4th somewhere warm" - Tim is on call this weekend so we can't leave the city.

What I'm saying is that I want another baby so that we can have more moments like this:


Last Sunday when I was at work Ada found the diaper rash cream when she should have been taking a nap. She rubbed it all over the crib, her sheet, her clothes, and herself, including her hair. That stuff isn't easy to wash out, by the way, so the next morning she had a crazy hair thing going on: greasy up front and frizzy in the back. It's a new kind of baby mullet.



The weekend was full of time to play with friends, breakfast dates, pre-preschool...very fun and active.


Getting a decent picture of a two-year-old turns out to not be an easy thing to do. They really want to know what that hulking black thing is! 

The result was one satisfied, happy, tired girl. It worked out well as we plowed forth to our week. She is so much more tolerant of Tim and I taking care of business when she is filled up with love and attention from us.  There was business to take care of too. I chuckled to myself as some co-workers were cooking up the idea to get our workplace it's own reality TV show. There is enough drama there that it could totally happen. I have 5 days off in a row. I know, unheard of, right? the winds just happened to blow this way and I am thankful.    


Peaceful dreams...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Home to an Empty House

Tonight I walked home from work. This was Pride Weekend so crossing Market Street or going anywhere near the Castro in a car was just unthinkable. Pre-Ada I used to do this every day in the summer. It stays light forever and the mission and Castro are lively. These days I drive with the hopes that I'll make it home before she's in bed.

Pride weekend was winding down and girls were hailing cabs in their short shorts and men were walking arm-in-arm flirting shamelessly. There were people making out in doorways. And there were people crying in doorways. I kept my headphones on and my step brisk so that I could get home to Ada. I saw a stroller and my heart beat a little faster - until I got closer and realized that some homeless guy chose that over a shopping cart to carry all his stuff. It made me miss my baby more.

I took the slightly shorter route home even though it was steeper. When I came through the door the house was empty. Tim and Ada weren't back from the Lucas's yet. The windows were open and the strong wind was blowing in off the Pacific ocean rattling the screens and chilling the house. It was quiet - too quiet. It was lonely. I can count on one hand the number of times I've walked alone into an empty house since Ada was born. The clatter and mess and noise have become central to my existence such that without it I am purposeless.
For a moment I thought what life would be like without them - my heart sank and I started to panic. I stopped thinking about it and went to the front window. Sitting on the couch, I looked out the window just waiting until they came home.

When she came through the door she was all smiles and so was I. I miss having Sundays with my Heart.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Buckets of Summer

A few months ago my summer bucket list, modest though it is, came to me in a flash. I scribbled it down on the white board in the kitchen in hot pink Sharpie. There it stayed until last weekend when I cleaned the kitchen for Ada's birthday party.

"Crap!" I thought, "I really need to get moving on this!"

And then I realized that I live in San Francisco and for us summer isn't half over. Rather, it's just getting started. It's not uncommon to be down in the Haight at 6:00 pm some early August evening watching the fog literally roll down the street as the temperature drops perceptibly by tens of degrees over the course of an hour. You can tell who the locals are because we're toasty warm and happy in our jeans, sweaters, scarves and winter jackets while the tourists are shivering in their flip-flops and sun dresses. Poor things.

Point is, we have plenty of time. Good thing since some of these were carried over straight from last years summer bucket! I also realized that most of my list revolves around food. It's just an observation.


  • find a great pair of bright colored flats
  • July 4th somewhere warm
  • make rhubarb ice cream
  • make home made mozarella
  • picnic GGP
  • camp in a tent overnight
  • Taylor's peach tomato corn salad
  • make matching yellow aprons
  • plant veggies
  • strawberry jam
  • wear yellow

OK, a few random things to catch up on:

Our friends Jen and Andrew had their baby daughter - on Ada's birthday/ fathers day. This little coincidence is endlessly amusing to me with no real reason.

Waiting for Tim to get us when we returned the rental early Tuesday morning. Ada wouldn't put on pants so she wore a shirt and her tights. I pick my battles...
See the red American Classic off in the distance? Bitch came back from vacay after all...

Last week the American Classic decided she needed a week-long vacay at her favorite spa, The Cole Garage. Ada and I were hanging around in Cole Valley waiting for the rental car people to come pick us up.   We sat outside the Boulange de Cole to share yogurt with granola, the only reason I endure the worlds rudest service. At the next table was a baby I recognized from the playground. Her mom and I started talking and she offered that she sees Ada at the playground with the nanny all the time and that Ada is the nicest kid there. She shares and brings the other kids toys and snacks. My little benevolent Heart. I know she's a super loving kid, but this was fun to hear from a relative stranger.


Ada learned all about MUNI (choo-choo!) and buses. I must say - every single MUNI driver waved at Ada, which I thought was nice. Airplanes are another mode of transportation that my Heart is completely obsessed with. She points them out everywhere, "Airplane!? Airplane?!" Yesterday I took her to a little park near SFO. We sat on a bench and watched across the water of the San Francisco bay as planes landed and took off. My father-in-law would be mortified that my summary of the Bernoulli principal included, "the plane goes really, really fast until it FLYYYYYS up into the air!" I had my camera but my Heart was too overcome by a mix of excitement and fear at being so close to the planes (we weren't really that close). She clung to me like a baby moneky so no pics.

We are looking forward to a weekend of breakfast dates and afternoon activities. I got three separate emails that other little ones were asking specifically to play with Ada. If Ada had the language to express it I'm sure she'd be asking for them too. I love it! Maybe my Heart won't follow after the Dad and I when it comes to social graces after all. Thank God.


Happy weekend. Do you have a summer bucket list? Do you know why we don't make a winter bucket list? Or a spring or fall one?

* Pics with my Droid this week. Camera will be back in my hands this afternoon. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm All Grown Up Now

Part of growing older is knowing and accepting yourself. This is easier said than done. Especially when you push your own envelope, do things you are afraid of, and put yourself out there every day. It can be easy to let the seed of doubt be planted and take root when things don't go your way.

The wrinkles and gray hairs are the proof that I'm slowly getting to a place where failure doesn't shake me like it used to. So I'm ready to accept a few not-very-deep things about myself:

  • I like trashy novels and reality TV
  • I don't like spicy food or scary movies
  • I will never blow dry my hair and put on make-up every day
  • I prefer to wear black
  • I have junk in my trunk. Been there since puberty. Doubt it's leaving.
  • I love cute shoes
  • I love anything styled after the 40's but not so much that I'm willing to commit my style to that only
  • I am judgmental and don't forgive easily
  • I suck at team sports, especially if any kind of trajectory object is involved
  • I don't like overhead lighting or animal print clothing
  • I'll never be a dancer or a Rhodes scholar or a supermodel
  • I like time alone - lots and lots of it
  • I will always choose Bobbi Brown over MAC
  • I love massages and pedicures
  • I enjoy silence
  • I like nature but I don't like to rough it
  • I like to clean - for fun

Now that you're older, what wouldn't you, couldn't you have accepted about yourself when you were younger?  Pouring My Heart Out over at Shell's place

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2 Years of Firsts and Lasts

One morning last week Tim scooped up Ada and gave her a tight squeeze. She was wriggling out of his grasp because she is a very busy toddler and he said, "Squeeeeze...I can't believe you came out of your mom's 'G-rated bleep' two years ago!" I don't think he knew I was listening - he doesn't say this stuff all that often but when he does it comes out with a flair that only my husband can deliver.

Ada turned 2 years old today. I simply can't believe it. My mind is randomly turning over the thought of what I was doing 2 years ago today. I wonder if I will do this every time she has a birthday? When she turns thirty will I be churning these same thoughts, "Oh, thirty years ago at this moment  I was doing X, Y, or Z." I have the feeling that my sentimentality will only intensify with the years.

Her birthday is also a point of reflection much like New Years Eve. Unlike NYE this isn't an arbitrary date. Rather, the moment when she was born marked an incredible life change that has reached into every single teeny tiny crevice of my existence. The past two years have marked so many firsts and lasts: hers, mine, Tim's, ours...


Her first birthday was marked by a big party - I had something to prove to the year that had so greatly blessed us and then so badly beat us up. This year, we kept it intimate: just a couple of kids we hang out with normally.


Erika's daughter Josefine loves little kids. She sweetly wanted to present Ada's piece of birthday cake to her. 

Between insisting to the little ones that they really could share the toy and providing party staples to our guests I was making a mental list of all the things I wanted to remember about who she is right now. Things the camera can't show (at least not in my hands). So sweet and special are these little things that I am afraid I will forget them and that would be a shame.
Things like: she loves the playground. With no yard to speak of we make the trek daily to a playground to let her run around like a lunatic. She is unbelievably kind and generous. Last week we were outside of our local coffee shop when we saw a little girl from our nearby playground. Her mom was telling me that even when I'm not there (the nanny is) Ada is the nicest kid on the playground - sharing her snacks, bringing the other kids sand toys, and sharing openly and freely.

Photobucket she wants to do whatever we are doing. This could be really good if we are careful and channel this appropriately!

Photobucket she's in a pre-pre-school now. Kathi invited us to try out the one that she and some parents in her neighborhood started up. It's for a little more than an hour every week. We are so lucky to have been extended such an invitation. The parents are a delight and Ada had a great time. When she does something good or another little kid does something good she will respond with a "Niiiiice!"

Photobucket she brings parts of outfits to her dad to put on her. When she starts picking her own clothes it will be really fun and interesting! Here, she looks like Bridget Jones in that scene at the end of the movie where she runs after Mark Darcy into the snowy street wearing only her sweater and sneakers.

Photobucket she is creative. She also knows what she wants.

Photobucket she loves balloons. She melts my heart when she says"bwoom".

Photobucket she points out airplanes everywhere, "Airplane!! Bye bye airplane!"
...her little projects that she comes up with like lining up her stuffed fruits on the edge of the couch she looks so free when she runs all swiveling her hips and kicking up her heels to the side and her little fists balled up as he tiny arms pump when you do something she likes she will clap her hands and say "Yay"

Two years ago right this moment I was holding her and looking at her. Mothering wasn't coming naturally because this was the fulfillment of the moment I had waited my whole life for. It was only a few years previously that it occurred to me that maybe I wanted to have kids. Now that I had one I wasn't sure what I was going to do with her but I knew that I loved her and we would figure it out. She has taught me so much in only 2 short years, my Heart.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fart. I'm Tired.

This was my first full week back at work full time. Holy shit. I am exhausted.

Veterinary medicine has busy seasons and times when business is a bit slower. We are entering a busier season. I am feeling it. At 19 appointments (only 20 minutes long), 2 day cases, phone calls (38 phone messages waiting for me on Sunday morning), cases to research, and transferred hospitalized cases my day is full. Today was just one of those days when I wanted to quit on the spot.

I work at a place whose mission is literally to be the biggest and the best hospital in the United States. We practice a high quality of medicine is all I'm saying. Sometimes I feel like I can't compete. Well, really I feel like I don't want to compete. I'm OK with not being the fanciest fish in this pond. Some people I work with or for would see this as a major character flaw. So what.

That's not to say that I don't do right by my patients and clients. I do. In fact I give and I give and then give some more after that. Out of 14 vets I am the most requested second only to the guy who's been there for 30 years. Why? That's because I give a shit and I deliver good care. It comes at a cost though. I wake up thinking about cases and unable to fall back to sleep. I leave my child in someone else's care for the majority of our waking time together. I am aging faster than what seems normal. I ignore my own health. I am stressed - stressed enough that I suspect that this is why we haven't been able to pull off another pregnancy.

One part of me is thankful that I have less that one year that I have to do this. Another part is pissed that I have to do this for one year more. Still a third part of me will be sad when it is time to go. I have true feelings of love and concern for the vets I work with. The animals will be there always. I suppose too that there will always be someone willing to sacrifice their life (literally or figuratively) to try to save them. The first lesson I learned in animal rescue was that you can't save them all. I hope, however, that I can still save myself.

Does anyone else feel like they are controlled by their job? Tell me about it if you remotely do.
Linking up with Shell at Pour Your Heart Out. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ten on 10

ten on ten button

Check out Rebekah's site. The objective of Ten on 10 is to take one picture every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of the month. This is the third official time I've participated and I find myself pushed to look for  and document the beauty in every day life. Her blog is lovely beyond Ten on 10 so do take a look. 


Spinarette on the front porch. Ada likes to climb up on the couch to look at it spinning. Sun? Check. Wind? Not according to the spinarette. It's shaping up to a beautiful day. 


Judy brought foam puzzles when she visited. Ada is smitten with them and plays with them non-stop. 


This barrette lasted all of 10 minutes - nearly a record for longevity. She won't stand for anything in her baby fine, sweet hair. 


Nap time. I love these feet. I had no idea that something as simple as my child's feet held the power to drive me to madness for my love of them. 


She obsessively peels the paper from all of her crayons and I have the good fortune to find the shavings all over the house. Ada is just stirring from her nap. 


We met two women I worked with at the park today. This playground is at the edge of the Presidio and overlooks the Golden Gate bridge, north bay, and Mt. Tam. It was a sunny day in SF - barely a cloud to be seen and no fog - rare for this time of year on this side of the city. 


Still at the park. Maybe this is why Erika, Christy and I would all get out of work so late when we worked together. We can't stop talking...and I love it! Ada is sifting through Erika's bag looking for a snack. Everyone else's goods are way better than whatever she has. 


These were mine when I was a baby. I want to bronze Ada's first baby shoes too. These are dusty - I want to hire someone to come every couple weeks because I can't keep up anymore. I've been vetoed. 


Yes, we are back to the foam puzzles. 

Sadly, Annalea closed her Etsy shoppe a few weeks back. When she announced it, I was sad but went to have a look. This gem was in the shoppe early on but was bought up quick. I saw one there and knew it was destined to be mine. She has a great explanation of where "Hold Fast" comes from and while I do like the biblical reference I find that seeing these two little words are a great reminder and cheerleader to me. 

Seattle Was Awesome

Tim and I got  home from Seattle yesterday. What a beautiful city. I was there for less than 48 hours and I made the absolute most of every single minute. I leisurely shopped, struck up conversations, drank wine with lunch, ran and then ran some more, took long baths, slept in, read a book, and admired the view from our hotel room.


I did wander down to Pike Place Market where I didn't watch them throw fish. I was too starry-eyed over the flowers. Rows and rows of them wrapped in paper and bowing their heavy heads ever so slightly.

OK, I did stop to stare at the monster shrimp (center). Only for a second though because then I spotted the poppies (lower right). Holy cow!

There were street performers playing the flute and the cello.


And there was humor to be found everywhere.


Tim had benefited all week from the benevolence of radiologists who are gainfully employed. I kept hearing about these amazing meals he was having and I was hoping I would have a chance at it too. I was not let down. We met for drinks at the hotel bar until the dinner club, which included Courtnay, was gathered.

We went to the Pink Door. We descended the stairs into the concrete basement to hear Squirrel Nut Zippers playing while the band set up. I knew it was going to be good. Starting with champagne in the bar while we waited for our table. Dinner included candlelight, crystal chandeliers, handlebar mustaches, beautiful wine, oysters, prosciutto, and laughter - so much laughter. We moved into the lounge again for dessert. We lingered for nearly an hour and a half over hazlenut ice cream with hot chocolate, limoncello, coffee, and a really fun band. If you ever get to see Bakelite78, do check out this macabre mix of jazz and cabaret.


We haven't had a night this relaxed since Ada was born. We've been out and we've had fun it's just that this night there was a freedom we haven't really felt in a while. See, usually, we know that we will be up with her at the crack of the dawn no matter how late we were out or how much we indulged. In the back of my mind is always the tally of how much we owe the sitter and how much the cab ride home will be. There was none of it Tuesday night. Our girl was safe and happy without us and we really didn't have a thing to worry about.

That's not to say that I didn't miss her. Oh, I did. In fact, I find that when I am apart from her for any reason I turn into a crazy baby-stalker lady. I notice them everywhere I go. If I hear a baby cry my body responds physically  - similar to after giving birth when your milk would  let down if you heard any baby cry, it doesn't even have to be your own! I strike up conversations with total strangers about their babies or I gaze at them from across the restaurant with a far-away look in my eyes and my lips curled into a smile as I remember my own baby.

This baby slept just like this for over an hour. So sweet.
I drafted a short letter in my head after I took this incognito picture:
Dear rich, buttery french food,Please don't clog my arteries leading me to an early death. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,Monica 

While terminal 2 at SFO makes me think I'll never fly anyone but Virgin, the Sea-Tac airport made me reconsider flying again altogether. Tim and I both opted out of the security x-ray because hell, no I don't trust them to callibrate the machines correctly or give me honest information about exposure. Like I need more radiation in my life! My eggs are on the brink of extinction as it is. So Tim and I both opted for the pat down, which wasn't so bad. It was the passive-aggressive, annoyed behavior of the security staff as they made us wait to be patted down that was a real bummer.


We came home to our girl, hugged and kissed her, and watched her play with her friend Sophia. Life is good.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Wild Ride

If life is comprised of meandering swivels, erratic zig-zags, and wide oscillations then we're still accelerating out of a long, sharp bend in the road. It's hardly the first time and, to be truthful, I'm getting pretty good at holding on even if it's not always been the most graceful process. In fact, I do better than just "hold on" most of the time. If there is a big lesson to be learned over the past few years then it is this: Recognize which life circumstances can be changed and then learn how to think differently about the ones that you can't change.

The end of Tim's training has been dangling in front of us like a giant, golden carrot. This past weekend we got a little closer when he graduated residency. I am so proud of him. He is brilliant, has an amazing work ethic, and is a great team player. He's also a great Dad to our daughter and a loving husband.



One year of fellowship remains and then we are free agents. The vastness of possibility returns and with goal attained, we can let our roots sink deeply wherever we land. There is nothing I have ever wanted more than stability in my family life. We have waited so long and worked towards this so diligently...I'm sure you've had this feeling. It's like the month before your wedding or the week after thanksgiving: nothing is actively happening yet, but the big day is close enough to start getting really excited.

Tim's Mom came for his graduation and to watch Ada while we are in Seattle for a couple of days. I am once again transported to Grandparent land and it is just as lovely as ever. I can see why people look forward to this phase of their lives. They really do have the chance to do nothing but enjoy their grandchildren in this amazing, magical stage. What parent doesn't crave more cuddling and story time for themselves?


Judy likes to point out things Ada did or said during the days - things that I've seen her do or say before but absorbed and processed differently. It's fun to see my child through the eyes of another person. Maybe it's because I see her every day or maybe it's because I don't have a lot of experience with kids to compare it too but I have a tendency to let her accomplishments be celebrated momentarily and then absorbed quickly into our daily routine. Maybe I should make a bigger deal of things for longer. For example, it's only over the past week or two that Ada is talking up a storm and using full sentences too. She's saying things like, "there's the mommy," and pointing out every time there is an airplane overhead. Her sweetness and cleverness has extended from her by her words now. I love the sound of her voice too - angels singing.

There has been a healthy dose of getting spoiled to death by her grandmother too. The iPad is ruinous. Ada is totally addicted:


While we were getting ready for Tim's graduation she played in Judy's makeup:


A little lipstick and a kiss. 

She ate ice cream:


She learned to shoplift...or something. Ada is playing with these little craft puff balls. Judy made this video with her phone and sent it to me at work:

Thanks, by the way for all the supportive comments and emails on the last post. Deep down, I know I'm a good mother but it really helps to know that I'm not alone in those rare ugly times.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Loving by Instinct

I thrived in the American school system. I enjoy pulling out a heavy textbook, lined notebook paper and my multi-colored pens and sitting down to outline a chapter and then do the questions at the end. I like taking a test to see what I've learned and mark the conclusion of that chapter as a clear success or failure. Didactic learning: it's for me.

If life were set up this didactic way I would feel more confident about ... well, a lot of things. Slowly, as I've grown older and accepted more responsibility I've picked up on the fact that it just isn't that simple. Rarely does a single measure apply and everyone sees it from a different set of experiences and dreams. What would I do to have a singular, clear directive? For example, had there been a textbook entitled "Monica's PhD" I probably would have finished the damn thing faster and with far less frustration. Had I skipped ahead to the chapter where my advisor turned out to be a cheater I might have shelved that book and done something entirely different. I found breastfeeding difficult because I couldn't quantify how much milk she was getting: the scientist in me couldn't handle the inaccuracy of "baby is satisfied" or "baby is hungry". Can I put this on a scale from one-to-ten?


Motherhood has so many of the same elements. Yes, there are parenting books out there. Too bad I don't have a USB port in the back of my head to obtain the information within those books. These days, if I sit down with paper and pens I find myself drawing Elmo, a horsey, and a balloon on demand. It's not a bad problem to have, I'm just saying that I haven't actually finished a book since Ada was born. Not to worry, there is no shortage of feedback and unsolicited advice for parents.

Tim and I were grinding our teeth and heaving heavy sighs recently at Ada's penchant for the high-pitched scream. She's been at it since she went from a newborn to an infant. I may miss Cheerios on the floor and the constant demand for cuddling once she is grown but I won't miss the screaming. My Heart can clear a room with that ear drum-busting, headache-inducing scream of hers. When in public I find myself muttering "sorry" with my head hung down, gaze to the floor to avoid eye contact with a glaring strangers who make rude assumptions about my kid. I feel like I'm abandoning her while I cave to this social pressure to, above all else, keep my kid quiet lest she invade someone else's cool urban experience.

We've been counseled to ignore it. We've been told to say 'no'. Recently we were advised to yell at her. At the time I pointed out how counterintuitive that seemed and the conversation moved forward. Later that night it was just eating at me. Why did this suggestion bother me so much? I ran through a few self-queries before I landed on this one: yes, it will shut her up but it also steals a chunk of her spirit. The last thing I want to do as a parent is crush my child like you would break a horse. In fact, that's precisely the opposite of the mother I want to be.


Confession time.
We all have a parenting moment that we aren't proud of. Here's mine: Two weekends ago about 48 hours after I had a "non-viable" embryo sucked out of my uterus my hormones were taking a nose-dive. Tim was studying non-stop and the stress was like a thick, impenetrable fog. Things were not good. Ada and I had to leave the playground and she was carrying on because she had to leave a toy stroller behind. I buckled into her car seat all screaming and arching her back with tears sliding down her round cheeks. She kept it at full blast over my right shoulder as I drove the car. I didn't know she had this kind of stamina!

I could feel it rising in my body, how angry and frustrated I was feeling and I knew I was close to my boiling point. What I should have done was pull the car over and just get out. Just take a break. Instead, I did something that I still regret terribly: I yelled at her. I mean, I really yelled with a hard edge to my voice and I was loud to out-scream her enormous volume. I yelled something horrible like, "Ada! Shut up! Stop crying! It was a fucking stroller!" She quieted and whimpered with her tiny chest heaving and her lower lip quivering in a way that I hadn't seen before. She balled up her fists and twisted them over her eyes, turning her head tersely to the right to shut out what had just happened; to shut ME out.

I could tell that I had crushed her - I really, really hurt my child's feelings because I couldn't keep myself together. I felt like total shit, just ashamed of myself. I couldn't take it back - I couldn't undo what I had just done and I wished so feverishly that I could. The flurry of panicked questions flooded me: What mother behaves that way? Had God take my second child because I don't deserve one? I pulled the car over and sobbed with regret. I vowed it would NEVER again act out of anger and frustration. I promised her out loud I wouldn't.

Strategically spoken words carry as much sting and all the destruction of the back of a hand on a cheek. She will never have a reason to think she has lost my love even for a moment. For as long as I possibly can I will do everything in my power to preserve her purity, wonder, innocence...


her cooperative, kind, giving heart...


her goofiness, exploration, curiosity...


Compassionate parenting feels natural and right. I think I should trust my instincts on this one even though this isn't how I typically prefer to operate. I love my daughter - she is the very best of my own heart. I want to provide boundaries because it feels safe to know where those are. I'm pretty sure I can do this without being violent in my thoughts, words or actions.
I've heard it said that when you want to strangle your kids is when they need a hug the very most. Yes, she screams when she doesn't get her way. I can ignore a temper tantrum most of the time. The rest of the time, she really just wants attention. She needs it and I'm not always great at giving it to her. As if a kitchen sink empty of dishes is really more important than laying on the wool-ball and cheerio covered carpet doing puzzles with my daughter? Again, the point drives home and I wonder how many times do I need to learn this lesson? Will I "get it" before her childhood has fled?

Love your kid. Actively show love to her by actively paying her attention.
Nothing is more important than filling her tiny, blossoming soul with a bottomless well of love. 

I'll bet if it were in a textbook somewhere and I could outline it on lined notebook paper with multicolored pens that I would get it. I want an A+ on that exam.

Linking up with Shell at Pour Your Heart Out. So funny, I went to grab her button and read her post from last week. I guess I'm not alone after all. Everyone has a journey. I would love to hear all about it if you can relate to the most recent leg of mine.