(TCBTB)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

coming soon.

They call my name sooner than I expected. A nurse ushers me behind a curtain to check my height, weight, and blood pressure, and I sit beside her as she clicks through her list of questions. "Oh, it's your first visit to nephrology! Welcome!" I try not to sound sarcastic as I thank her, but I'm not happy to join this club. Out of the corner of my eye, a number jumps out at me from my chart.

35.

The patient is thirty-five years old, and I'm the patient, so I'm thirty-five. It's older than I feel, but biology isn't fueled just by emotions.

The nurse hums a little. "Any medications?" she asks.

"Nope," I respond. "Just a prenatal vitamin. We were hoping to start trying to conceive again soon."

She smiles broadly at me. "Oh, congratulations! How exciting."

And it is. But soon is a relative term, the implications of which echo in my heart as the nephrologist sits down with me to discuss our next steps. Soon, we'll schedule an ultrasound, a CAT scan, possibly a kidney biopsy; we'll know more soon. Soon.

At the end of this particular soon is, hopefully, my release from nephrology with a clean bill of health, and an all-clear to proceed with our family planning as we wish. It'll be at least four weeks before my next nephrology appointment, though, and before the next "next steps" are discerned. Weeks add up, and weeks turn into months, and my mind's eye keeps flashing back to the number on my chart.

35. Already advanced maternal age, already reaching the end of my reproductive years.

35. And at least thirty-six by the time I have another baby, to say nothing of another baby after that.

35. Three years older than when I was pregnant with Rowan.

35. Not old, but no spring chicken, either.

35. Maybe I've been waffling about adding another baby to our family, but let me just say, I don't like being told that I can't right now, and that we have to wait.

35.

The answers can't come soon enough.

(And you can tell me all you want to calm down and not freak out, and I will do my best to follow that advice while also trying to erase the pitying look on the doctor's face when I joked, "So it wasn't the cranberries?" Nope. Definitely not the cranberries.)

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Monday, January 25, 2016

a year from now.

I can't decide what the universe is trying to tell me.

Is it trying to tell me that I can never predict what might happen? Or that I'm the only one who can predict what will happen?

At the risk of sounding completely full of woo, it feels like fantasies of mine are starting to manifest. Like, dreams coming true, life getting flip-turned upside down, magic blooming...that kind of stuff. And all I can keep thinking is: Would I have predicted any of this a year ago?

Mostly, the answer is no. I wouldn't have guessed, a year ago, that I'd start having my writing published, or that I'd end up with two separate (very part-time) freelance positions. I absolutely would not have guessed that I'd be generating any sort of income from a freaking Etsy shop. And I was afraid to guess whether I'd still be a stay-at-home mom or not. That has been the single biggest - and most surprising - dream come true to date. 

I mean, it works the other way, too. Life has taken some frustrating, unpleasant, and downright crummy turns in the last twelve months. This time last year, we could plop Rowan in her crib at 7:00, and she'd be snoozing by 7:15 at the latest - none of her now-standard hours of bedtime shenanigans. This time last year, I had no clue that we'd soon be scheduling every-six-month dermatology appointments to monitor the progress of Rowan's vitiligo. This time last year, I assumed we'd have or be expecting another baby by now, and I never thought we'd have to postpone pregnancy until we get to the bottom of my kidney issues (which I still think are a fluke, but apparently, that's up to nephrology to determine). And this time last year, I'd put off calling my mom back because...that's just what you do sometimes, when you don't know you only have a few months left with her.

If you had told me this time last year that I'd have a day exactly like today, I'd have laughed at you, at the absurdity and amazingness of it all. Let's say it's January of 2015, and you're telling me about the kind of day I'll have today, in 2016. You'd say:

  • Your two-year-old will wake up at her new-normal time of 7:15 (not 5:00!) and chatter in her crib for awhile.
  • You'll kiss your husband goodbye as he heads out for a job that doesn't exist in January 2015.
  • You'll have a debate with your sweet girl about semantics...which will kinda blow your mind.
  • You and Rowan will go to story time at the library, where she's the "big kid" now.
  • At the library, you'll meet up with a friend to drop off three paintings you made for her kids. Yeah, no, I said paintings.
  • You'll spend nap time applying to a preschool for Rowan; commiserating with your mom group friends about toddler drama; and accepting a writing position with a local organization that you totally love and admire.
  • While Rowan is at Grandma's house in the afternoon, you'll swing by the post office to mail off another painting order.
  • And you'll listen to an NPR segment about the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination, who is...wait for it...Donald Trump.
  • At 8:45 that night, while you're trying to finish a blog post (for the blog that you actually update regularly now!), you'll have to go upstairs to tuck your daughter back in, because she's still awake and her pillow is "too high."

What would I have said to all of these predictions? Does it matter? They still seem mostly unbelievable to me, even after living them today. And while I'm in no hurry to rush through this sweet, sweet, dream-come-true time of my life, I'm beyond curious to know what it'll all be like a year from now.


Let's dream for a minute. Like - hey. This is what your life will be like, a year from today:
  • Your three-year-old will sleep past 7:30, which is great, because you're due with Baby No. 2 soon, and you need all the sleep you can get.
  • You'll kiss your husband goodbye as he heads out for the job that he still can't believe he gets to go to.
  • You'll have a debate with your sweet girl about hurrying up on the potty.
  • You'll drop Rowan off at her co-op preschool, and you'll head back home to do some quick chores. And, let's be real, to spend some quality time with Netflix.
  • You'll spend afternoon nap time counting your lucky stars that your three-year-old naps at all...and getting some work done. You have writing deadlines coming up and blog sponsors to respond to.
  • While Rowan is at Grandma's house in the afternoon, you'll run some baby-related errands. You'll spot an adorable newborn outfit and you won't feel guilty dropping $20 on it, because you're no longer needing to pinch every single solitary penny.
  • And you'll listen to an NPR segment about President Sanders's new student loan forgiveness policy. Hooray, you qualify!
  • At 8:45 that night, Rowan will be long asleep, and you'll be finishing some more work (from the couch, natch). Funny how you spend just as much time writing/working as you did in January 2016, but that now you're making a respectable living from it!


It could happen. You never know. But also - it feels like the universe is pretty much saying, "You do know. You do. Make it happen, cap'n."

What about you? What's different in your life today that you wouldn't have imagined (or were too scared to imagine) a year ago? What were the big surprises - the good, the bad, the ugly? I really think our collective answers are meaningful, and, importantly, that you have nothing to lose by starting to dream now.

(Rowan's like, "A year ago, my goals involved finding the optimal surfaces on which to wipe my nose. My goals remain the same today, and will surely be the same in January 2017. Also, Mommy let me eat half her Jimmy John's sandwich today, so I'm pretty much set for life in terms of dreams come true.")


dream come true (the sandwich for her...the scene for me).
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

totally TMI Tuesday.

So like. The good news is that my new little Etsy business is booming (hooray!), and that I had what seemed like a successful interview today for a fun, albeit infrequent, freelance writing position. The bad news is, all that means I've been very busy, so the only blog fodder I have today falls under the category of "things normal people probably definitely don't want to know and that I probably definitely shouldn't share, but why start having boundaries now?"

We'll call this a PSA.

A Pee-S-A, actually.

(Oh my god I highly advise that you just stop reading now.)

Maybe I went to the grocery store by myself when J.J. got back to town Saturday night. Maybe I was feeling giddy with freedom, as my temporary solo parenting duties had just been relieved. Maybe I went wild and bought a big bag of dried cranberries.

Maybe I ate the whole bag over the course of the next twenty-four hours. The whole bag. Maybe.

Maybe on Monday my body protested the massive cranberry consumption, and maybe I had to hightail it to my doctor's office that evening because certain things were, I don't know, the color of cranberries. (My pee, okay? My pee.) Maybe they were unconvinced that the cranberries were the culprit, and so maybe now I have to be seen by nephrology next week. And do you know what nephrology wants me to collect prior to the appointment? Mm-hmm, that's right. And do you know where that collection needs to be stored?

Maybe don't drink any...apple juice...from my fridge over the next couple days.

(I TOLD you to stop reading. Remember? You have only yourself to blame.)

What's especially fun is that now I'm having phantom pains in my belly that are either:
     (a) acute dysfunctional bladder implosions
     (b) kidney tumors doing somersaults
     (c) the cranberries revolting
     (d) anxiety over what is surely incurable kidney and bladder death
     (e) psychosomatic nothingness

So, here's the PeeSA I promised you: Don't eat an entire fucking bag of dried cranberries in one day. Maybe you already knew that. Maybe everyone else is the world is totally grossed out by even the thought of doing that. MAYBE SCREW ALL OF YOU, with your common sense and uncolorful pee.

Here's a cute video to wash your brain clean after reading this. Rowan has been really into pretending she is one of a number of other significant grown-ups in her life - her gymnastics coach, her teacher at play group, the children's librarian. Tonight, she was pretending to be Miss Sarah, who sings and plays guitar at library story time. (The song Rowan's singing is "Bell Horses," and she totally nails it!)




There. Are your eyes sufficiently cleansed after reading about my kidney function, or lack thereof? Good. Sorry about that, and let's all cross our fingers that nephrology just laughs me right out the clinic.


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Friday, January 15, 2016

words to remember us by.

So, it's not been the best week, right? David Bowie died, Alan Rickman died, and I definitely didn't win Powerball. (Or maybe I DID and am just going the super-sneaky anonymous route. Hang on, my new butler is trying to hand-feed me Cheez-its...okay, I'm back.) Plus, J.J. is out of town, I've had to shovel three times in as many days, my state's governor is all, "Poisoned children, meh! NBD!", and I somehow slammed the car door on my leg. Coping mechanisms of mine have included over-utilizing Grandma's Best Baby-Sitting Service, consuming mass quantities of MSG, and scrolling through Facebook pretty much constantly.

Which means that I've seen all the inspirational-quote photos of Bowie and Rickman that everyone's been sharing on Facebook. You know the ones I'm talking about - as soon as we hear that someone we admire died, we Google-race to find the most touching or obscure quote from the dearly departed, and then share it to prove our level of fandom. (Guilty as charged.) I've included some here in case you need a reminder (and no, I don't have sources for any of these, as they were lifted straight from friends' Facebook posts. Sorry):








(This one legit breaks my heart.)

And the quote-photos are nice, right? They remind us why we loved and admired these people - their wisdom, their wit, their creative genius - and how connected we were to them, even as strangers. It's healing, in a weird way, to publicize your grief with visible, heartlifting sentiment.

So naturally, being self-centered, I started to think about me. Like...wtf will people use when *I* die? I'm no celebrity, but aren't you all going to want to match my visage with my deep thoughts for online tributes after my tragic plane crash?! For your convenience, I plumbed the volumes of sagacity published here, in my very own Blog of Deep Thought Oversharing, and whipped up a few inspirational-quote photos for you to consider. (For the record, I'm banking on us reaching Singularity before I die, in which instance these photos will be rendered superfluous.)


(read the full inspirational quote source here)


(read the full inspirational quote source here)

(read the full inspirational quote source here)

Y'all are welcome.

And - here's a bonus inspirational pic. Because part of the reason I felt like I'd been sucker-punched when I read about both David Bowie and Alan Rickman is that they were born within months of my own mother, and they both died within months of her, also of cancer, also way before their times. It was harder than I anticipated to come up with an inspirational quote / photo combo for her - for two reasons. One, finding a photo where she wasn't squeezing a grandchild was nearly impossible, and two, her wisdom was always, always laced with humor. Usually inappropriate humor. Okay, raunchy humor. She stood and told a joke at my wedding shower (held at her country club, mind you) that was so naughty, I truly can't repeat it here. Her humor was legendary, and it just wasn't her style to share advice without making it funny.

So rather than plastering a flowery line next to my mom's beautiful face, I'll instead bestow her picture with the philosophy she lived by for the decades that she spent raising five children. It's the phrase each of us, along with all our friends who spent any amount of time at our house, heard nightly - and a phrase that each of us has come to appreciate as adults, and especially as parents. Because, for Christ's sake, there has to be a point in every mom's evening when you can just shut off and have some space to yourself. My mom deserved that as much as anyone. Plus, I think she'd completely crack up if she saw THIS as her post-mortem inspirational Internet picture. And, finally, the phrase makes me laugh every time I see it, which was my mom's literal final wish - that she be remembered with a smile. Mission accomplished, Mom.




H/T to Stevo for reminding me of this perfect quote. Happy weekend, friends.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

TBT to 1991: What To Wear To Orchestra Camp: An Illustrated Guide.

For this week's installment in our Throwback to Hell series, please rid your surroundings of any distractions so as to gain maximum enjoyment. Because, people, we have ILLUSTRATIONS.

Of what, you might ask? Not the optimal level of liquid hand soap as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency; no, something much more relevant: what to wear to (are you ready for this?) ORCHESTRA CAMP.

I played the violin for...I don't know, maybe four or five years? I don't recall if I was good or bad, and all I retained from my years of school-based instruction is a dim ability to read music and a scar on my knee from that time I tripped getting off the bus and landed on my violin case. I quit in seventh or eighth grade, once my classmates started getting increasingly serious...and talented. More to the point, one year I was making my class schedule and had to choose between Dorkestra and Photography with ~*~Mrs. York~*~. It was no contest, and I went from smelling like rosin to smelling like stop bath without a second glance.

Prior to my photography-induced freefall into teenage emo-hood, though, I was a skinny fifth-grade graduate preparing for a summer trip to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. I'm pretty sure we were required to go to Blue Lake if we wanted to play violin in sixth grade, but I really can't remember. In fact, I had completely forgotten about Orchestra Camp until I stumbled on this journal entry.

Let me preface this by saying I STILL love to make lists of what to pack. But I don't...illustrate them anymore. *sigh* Here we go...




********************
Summer 1991

SUGGESTIONS FOR CLOTHES TO WEAR TO ORCHESTRA CAMP




(Thank goodness for the key at the top of the page, letting us know how to decipher the "white socks" drawing. Also, it's SUCH a relief to have those white socks as a backup if the purple socks just aren't possible. #blessed)





(Just to clarify, I had to actually draw the designs on my suggested shirts. For you Bloomfield Hills folks, there's an Eastover sweatshirt and a Surf Club t-shirt. Awesome.)


So these lists started out pretty basic, right? Pictures of what I planned to wear aren't THAT strange. But then I had to take it a (├╝ber-dorky) step further: a packing chart listing each of the items I planned to bring, organized first by clothing category and then by day. (omg.)






(When I say "good shoes," I meant my newest, and therefore whitest, pair of Keds.)


AND.

In the event that I was actively PACKING and simply couldn't decipher my previous charts, there was yet ANOTHER chart - a handy little packing checklist:




Should we double-check that awesome concert outfit? On POINT. And complete with photobomb by the girl in the background, who sort of stalked me during camp and then sent me letters for months and months afterwards. Awkward.




********************

A very happy Throwback Thursday to each of you, and may this shitastic week come to an end quickly and quietly (more on that tomorrow).


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Monday, January 11, 2016

the stuff of nightmares.

Last week, my friend mentioned that her son has started waking up in the middle of the night in tears. She wondered if he might be having bad dreams. It's hard to know for sure, since explaining to toddlers what dreams are and then asking them to tell you about their dreams is a bit of a mindwarp-clustermess. But it makes sense that we'd see an uptick in nightmares at this age. Two-and-a-half-year-olds have typically already gone through some major physical and speech developmental leaps in their lifetimes; now is the time (at least, one of the times) for huge cognitive advances, which necessitates a lot more mental processing time, which probably doesn't stop during sleep, which could lead to increased dream activity, including "bad" dreams.

Yeah, I have no research handy to back this up, and I don't recall learning about dream development patterns while hemorrhaging [that word took me like four times to spell correctly] money to my friendly local university during graduate school for early childhood education...but it makes sense, right? Either way, I hadn't had any similar experiences with Rowan and nightmares to share with my friend. I always ask Rowie about her dreams, but I couldn't tell if she has any clue what I'm talking about or not.

Until today.

My poor sweet girl woke up from her nap crying, then shouting, then screaming. I took the stairs two at a time and burst into her room, where she was a sobbing heap in her crib. I scooped her up and cuddled her, asking what was wrong, but she just cried. We rocked in our chair and I rubbed her back, telling her that sometimes we're happy when we wake up, and sometimes we're sad. That quieted her down, and I asked her if she'd had a dream that made her feel so sad. "Yeah," she sniffled. "What was it about?" I said, but she couldn't say. I'd heard her wail, "No two more minutes, no two more minutes!" on my way up the stairs, so I ventured a guess. "Were you having a sad dream about two more minutes?"

She pulled back and looked at me. "Yeah, about two more minutes!" She burrowed into my chest and mumbled, "I not want two more minutes."

Pretty sure this is straight from the What NOT To Do Parenting Handbook*, but I laughed out loud. A lot. Seriously? My baby girl's worst nightmare is being told she has two more minutes before having to do something? It happens a lot during our days - I give her two-minute warnings before undesirable activities, mostly because I maintain vague hope that the warnings will help with transitions like they did when she was a young toddler. Now, they tend to trigger her...apparently, to the point of nightmares.

And all I could do was laugh about that. Laugh, and be so unbelievably thankful that the hardest thing my daughter has to endure in her daily life is being told it's almost time to get a new diaper, or clean up her toys, or take a bath.



I snuggled Rowan close to me in our rocking chair, breathing deep her sweet post-nap scent (my favorite smell is freshly-wakened Rowie). You know, the newborn and young infant days were so tough for me; my baby wouldn't eat and then wouldn't sleep, and that sucked. I very much wanted to punch the goddamn faces of people who told me then that they wished they could back to those "easy" baby days. But...I do see it now, how comparatively easy it was to entertain her back then and (once we got the whole eating and sleeping things down) to keep her happy and calm. More so, though, I look at her these days and see the bigger, scarier issues on the not-so-distant horizon. School, with bad teachers and bullies and - you know, mass shootings. Puberty, with mean girls and violent boys and self-loathing. College, which appears to be impossible to get into and then impossible to pay for.

And so when my two-year-old had a bad dream today about having to stop one fun activity to move on to another fun activity, I sat with her, rocking and soothing and kissing her, and I counted my blessings. She does not lack food, clothing, or a roof over her head. She does not know the sounds of a bomb or a gunshot or a smacking hand. Her worst nightmare is having developmentally appropriate boundaries peacefully enforced, and for that, I feel like the luckiest mama in the world. I may not be anywhere near ready to give her wings, but roots? I am working damn hard on fostering those. And every once in a while, I get a sign that they're flourishing.





*For the record, if anyone wants to actually write the What NOT To Do Parenting Handbook, I'd be all over that shizz.


********************
:: Post-script ::




:: And these children that you spit on
   As they try to change their worlds
   Are immune to your consultations
   They're quite aware of what they're going through
   Ch- ch- ch- ch- changes
   (Turn and face the strange) ch- ch- changes
   Don't tell them to grow up or out of it ~

          - David Bowie, "Changes" ::


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Thursday, January 7, 2016

TBT to 1991: Cathy G., Fifth-Grade Social Worker

Tonight I learned that my graduate school entrance essay was secretly composed back in the early '90s, when I was ten and so very worldly and wise. [Sarcasm font, for you in the back.] In other words, I found my fifth-grade school journal. I'm happy to report that although it was available for public consumption by my teacher and therefore not as rife with juicy gossip as my private journal (DO NOT READ!), it's still chock-full of utter shame and embarrassment. 

Let's take, for example, my astute editorials on three pressing global issues: poverty, war, and the environment. I'm telling you, I was clearly a born social worker.

(AKA, please don't judge my privileged tween self for the simplistic, classist, and redonkulous ideas I espoused via my red spiral notebook circa 1991. Also, whatever, it's not like any of you have eradicated homelessness yet, either.)





********************
Cathy G. on: POVERTY

January 8, 1991
POOR PEOPLE
     There is a solution to the poverty problem. We - people who have luxuries and don't need them - can give poor people food and even money. Maybe even luxuries!
     All over the world there are people who have luxuries (and don't need them) and people who don't have luxuries or food or money. We might be helping them right now, but we need to help poor people a lot more.
     We should help poor people before people that aren't poor become poor. Because the homeless problem is getting really out of hand. People should help lots of people. Lots!

[Props for my primary-prevention approach to poverty - helping people before they become poor - and my borderline-Communist approach to wealth redistribution.]


***************
Cathy G. on: WAR

January 15, 1991
     I'm scared about war. It affects so many people. I hate it. Saddamm Husane should be named Saddamm Insane.

[Editor's note: Sic on the spelling of Saddam Hussein's name, and please note that the "In" of "Insane" was underlined three times in the original text. For proper emphasis.]

[Editor's other note: Was this entry prior to or following the fifth-grade spelling bee, which I was favored to win, but where I lost in the first round because I failed to clarify whether Mr. Schrote meant affect or effect? Anyway, clearly, I DID know which one to use and when. #TheRealInjustice]


********************
Cathy G. on: THE ENVIRONMENT

April 22, 1991
EARTH DAY: The Three R's
     Want a landfill in your backyard? If your answer is YES, don't recycle, don't reduce, don't reuse! If your answer is NO, REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE!
     The three R's may someday be the answer to lots of problems. You can recycle paper, cans, and other things. You can reuse almost anything. Reducing is cool. It helps. Cut back on lots, and you can reduce.
     Someday people will want to be packrats...because they'll be reusing things and cutting back on garbage.
     If you get junk mail, DON'T THROW IT AWAY -- you can draw pictures on empty spaces. Then you can hang it up all over. (WARNING - ONLY HANG UP PICTURES WHERE YOUR PARENTS WILL LET YOU!!!)
     Reduce, reuse, and recycle, and you can become part of the coolest club on earth...if there still is an earth by the time you join.

[Strong opening, and even stronger closing line, don't you think? Yeah, that's because I - no joke - used to pretend that I was a celebrity who'd been tapped to do a series of public service announcements about the value of...wait for it...reducing the overusage of liquid hand soap. I'd practice in the bathroom for my promo spots as follows: First, examine my hands and frown at how dirty they were. Second, squirt an infinitesimal drop of soap on said hands. Third, scrub hands under the running faucet. Fourth, glance up and notice the camera in my face. Fifth, smile and say, "Oh, hello! I didn't see you there. Did you know that just a tiny bit of soap can get your hands completely clean, even after playing outside for hours? You don't need four or five pumps of soap to get the job done. So next time you wash your hands, try to use less. Because -" - and here comes my AWESOME AMAZING TAGLINE, which I composed myself - "- a little goes a long way." Then, obviously, my smiling face would fade into a The More You Know shooting star streaking across the viewers' TV screens. In the meantime, the freaking water was running continuously from the faucet. But it's cool, water is an endlessly renewable resource, unlike...hand soap.]

[Also, look at me, always watching out for my peers by sharing lessons I apparently learned the hard way: "ONLY HANG UP PICTURES WHERE YOUR PARENTS WILL LET YOU!!!" Just doin' you a solid, friends.]

********************

Happy Throwback Thursday, and Happy New Year from all the old years that were, thankfully, so meticulously documented in stacks of diaries.

{Don't forget to check out the entire cringe-worthy Throwback to Hell series!}





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Monday, January 4, 2016

this is seriously the best thing I've written this year.

(Don't let the title get your hopes up. It's also the only thing I've written this year.)

Okay. I've done the math on this about fourteen times so far, including using my fingers, because it JUST SEEMS WRONG - but this will be the fourth calendar year that Rowan has been alive. Right? Or am I wrong?! She's not even two and a half, but she's been alive in 2013, 2014, 2015, and now 2016. In fact, I hesitate even to say that out loud (Internet = out loud), because it honestly feels like someone's going to leave a comment pointing out how this is wrong and stupid because of some obvious error that I'm just overlooking. But it's right and true, as far as I can tell: four calendar years.

I haven't been able to get out from behind the camera lens on my phone recently; I'm obsessed with the latest pictures of this girl. She just looks so grown-up and person-y, doesn't she?






And then today, Facebook greeted me with this timehop memory:



A year ago today, I posted those comparison pictures of Rowan at three months and at fifteen months. And then I couldn't help myself - I had to take a new one today, too.


:: three months, January 2014 ::


:: fifteen months, January 2015 ::


:: two years, three months, January 2016 ::

I can't stop going back and forth among these three pictures. How did she turn into this child? Most of you know (from having been bombarded with the evidence for FIFTY-TWO WEEKS) that I took a picture of Rowan on our couch with her little bear (Mosby) every week for her first year, starting when she came home from the hospital. I miss our weekly ritual. In fact, today I'm missing her babyhood in general, having just endured the hell that is toddler dinnertime. She's diving into the deep end of food pickiness, and it's just. pushing. my. buttons. Particularly, it's her new habit of chewing up her food and then letting it trickle back out of her mouth while she stares at me. Deep breaths only get me so far. And tonight, after a long day that included realizing I'd forgotten my wallet after the grocery checkout had begun, I - well, it's weird. I didn't yell at Rowan when she started spitting out her food, and I didn't put her in time-out (which she's never had - not because I don't believe in them, but because it hasn't been necessary for us so far), but I was pissssssed. And she knew it, and she got upset, and I was not sorry that she was upset. Ugh, whatever. Thank goodness for partners who come home at just the right time and are willing to take a pass-off. Here. She's yours. I need some Facebook and chocolate, excuse me.

Anyway. It's been a long couple weeks of busy days and late bedtimes and funky routines, so I'll just blame my short temper on that and stare at more baby pictures for awhile.









...And, okay, maybe some big-kid pictures, too.






I hope your Mondays were a little kinder to all of you today, and that if they weren't, you have plenty of leftover holiday chocolate and a few more episodes of Making A Murderer left to tide you over.

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