July 24, 2008

Rock-a-bye, Baby

Posted in Baby Talk tagged , , , , , at 3:57 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

There are so few perfect moments in this life – and rarely do we have the time to stop and fully appreciate one when we’re in the middle of it.

There’s the marriage proposal – it’s magical, except for your heart pounding in your ears and the screaming refrain in your head of “ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!!”

There’s your wedding day, which (as any married woman knows) is planned to death but ends up being a complete blur in the end.

There’s the birth of your child, during which hormones do funny things to your mind even if drugs do not.

But there’s one completely perfect moment that happens to me every single day, and I am eternally grateful that I have realized it now, before it’s too late. It’s that few minutes every night when I rock my baby to sleep.

After she’s in her pajamas, I turn out the bedroom lights (leaving on the bathroom light, so I can see) and sit down in the rocking chair to nurse her…during which we talk about her day (nothing too in-depth, just a recap) and I sing her bedtime songs – Rock-A-Bye and Baby Mine. Thankfully, she hasn’t yet learned that her mommy couldn’t carry a tune if it had handles. Then, once she’s had her fill, she sits up and I scoot her up onto my shoulder.

We rock, I pat, she snuggles in. She rubs her smooth, soft cheek against mine, and I rest my chin on her little shoulder. I revel in the sweet baby smell of her skin, her hair, her clothes. I remember when it was her sister that I rocked in that same chair – four and a half years ago, that feels like just yesterday. And I know that soon – too soon – my baby will be just as big, just as smart and just as independent. And that I’ll have no one left to rock to sleep.

So I enjoy it immensely, while I can. Whatever else needs to be done before bed can wait – the dishes aren’t going anywhere, the Tivo is recording any “can’t miss” TV, and truth be told, there’s nothing that I’d rather see than cuddle my baby anyway. Nothing that I want to do that I won’t have plenty of time for later, when she doesn’t need me as much. Nothing that could possibly rival this precious, fleeting moment with my sweet baby girl.

I have been blessed with the privilege of cuddling this child every night, and I intend to take full advantage of it – for as long as she’ll allow it.


July 22, 2008


Posted in Baby Talk tagged , , at 3:29 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

My baby girl has a tooth! The first little pearly white pushed through on Friday, and there’s another just beside it that will be here just any second now. Aside from a little (completely justifiable) grouchiness on her part, she’s handling the whole ordeal with remarkable aplomb.

Just to be on the safe side, I’ve stocked up on Baby Orajel and filled the fridge with teethers. You never know when her inner gremlin might be unleashed thanks to sharp little daggers ripping through her tiny gums, after all. Poor Boogie.

July 18, 2008

I heart my grandshrimp.

Posted in Crazy Homeschoolers tagged , , , , at 3:36 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

Guess I haven’t mentioned yet that we’re a homeschooling family, have I? Yep, we’re crazy homeschoolers. My kiddos are wildly unsocialized – don’t make direct eye contact with them. They’re like little wolverines.

Okay, that’s entirely untrue. Sass is anything but antisocial – in fact, we often find ourselves wondering just where her super-social gene came from, as she certainly didn’t inherit it from her parents. Boogie is too young yet to be antisocial; she’ll go to most anyone except my mother-in-law, for reasons entirely unknown to anyone but her little self. Although we have our theories. *ahem*

Anyway, I was browsing the toy department at Wal-Mart last week, looking for an appropriate bribe surprise for Sass, who was being reasonably well-behaved while we shopped for groceries, when I came across Sea Monkeys! My reaction, of course, was that of any former-kid who had drooled over the wordy Sea Monkey ads in the back of her Archie comics – amazing, live sea monkeys! Watch them come to live before your very eyes! And do tricks! And clean your room and eat your broccoli! That is, my reaction was: “Hey, cool! Sea Monkeys!” And since I wanted them, I immediately justified buying them for Sass by turning them into a summertime science curriculum. I need to do more science-y things anyway, as we mostly focus on reading and math. But hey, she is only four.

So we came home with her nifty new little blue Sea Monkey tank, filled it up and added the water purifier, and waited the requisite 24 hours before adding the eggs to the tank. The next morning, while squinting into the water, I distinctly saw a little squiggle swimming about. Later that day, I saw a bunch more little squiggles – at least a dozen of them, and a few of them actually identifiable as the teensy brine shrimp they are. (But “monkeys” sounds like so much more fun, doesn’t it?!) I pointed them out to her, and we spent at least two happy minutes peering into the water at them. Sass immediately christened the largest squiggle Wall-E, and the next-largest squiggle Eve. Girlfriend is a little obsessed with Pixar films.

That evening, I was multitasking as usual – making dinner (chicken casserole, which is semi-June-ish), straightening the kitchen and talking on the phone to my mom. I was telling her all about our new little critters, how neat they were, how excited Rachael was, etc. All this while I was wiping the countertops around the tank. And then, just as I’d finished talking about them… *THUNK*  That was me knocking over the sea monkey tank, in case you didn’t recognize that particular breed of “thunk”. Water and sea monkeys flew all over the kitchen counter, into the floor…there was no saving the poor little things. I couldn’t even SEE them, much less rescue them. Sass, being in the next room, flew into the kitchen in a rage, placed her little hands squarely on her hips, stomped her foot and yelled, “ASHAME OF YOU!”

Ashame of me indeed. I felt terrible. Horrible. Miserable. Lower than low. I am pond scum. I am the amoeba that feed on pond scum. I murdered my baby’s pets. It was accidental shrimp-slaughter, but it was a massacre nonetheless.

I did what any mom would do, I suppose. I hugged her and told her how very (VERY) sorry I was, and that I would hie to Wal-Mart that very evening to buy her all new Sea Monkeys, and that she would have two tanks instead of just one. And I did.

Round two of our sea monkey experiment is now in residence on the kitchen counter – we just added the eggs to the water tonight. I’ll be looking tomorrow to see if there are new baby shrimp wiggling around in the water, but you can rest assured that I won’t be getting too close.

July 16, 2008


Posted in I Wanna Talk About Me tagged , , , at 7:23 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

Oh, June Cleaver. Her dress always neatly pressed, pearls gleaming at her throat, merrily vacuuming away the afternoon whilst her perfectly well-mannered children quietly complete their homework at the glistening kitchen table. (Well, okay, one of her kids might have done that. But it’s not like the Beav’s mischief was hardcore.) June of the never ending patience, June with all the answers, June who handled everything with style and grace.

How I loathe June Cleaver. And how I want to be her.

I have my moments, but I’m mostly the anti-June. I wear what’s clean and comfortable, and usually on sale. I think I still have the pearls I wore on my wedding day, but they’re surely buried in a jewelry box and haven’t seen the light of day since. My vacuum cleaner and I are on speaking terms, but barely.

My children are well-mannered enough – for other people. Even the baby, who will scream at me for attention all the live long day, instantly turns babbly and precious when handed off to someone who is not Mommy or Daddy. As for my older child, manners sometimes fly out the window in favor of rambunctiousness, but hey, she’s four. I suppose it’s to be expected. And I hope she’ll grow out of it.

Never-ending patience? Please. I get irritated when my Minute Rice moves too slowly. Patience is not and never has been my forte. I keep hoping I’ll find some on clearance at the Wal-Mart, but no luck yet. I’m nowhere close to all of the answers, and handle practically nothing with style and grace, although I’m pretty good at winging most anything when I have to.

So, if not June Cleaver, then who am I? I’m a stay-at-home in Virginia, wife of seven years, mother for four and a half. I left the working world when my oldest was born and have never looked back, even on the days when I’d gladly have traded a kidney for just two and three quarters minutes of absolute silence. I learned to knit when Princess Sass was a year old – too late to knit cute baby things for her, too busy to knit anything for the next babe. Ditto with scrapbooking – at least I’ll have a ton to work with when the girls are grown and gone and I have time to unearth it again. And I’m a bit of a computer addict – it is, after all, my lifeline to the outside world, where Barbie and ballet are not perpetually the topics du jour.

I used to blog – I started a blog at Xanga when Sass was just a wee thing, to document the cute things she did. It ended up being a venting place to document her inability to sleep for longer than three consecutive minutes, and later, her inability to be quiet for as long between waking and going back to bed. Hate to leave the ol’ blogplace, but it was time for a little more variety – ’tis the spice of life and whatnot. So here I am. Looking forward to learning my way around, meeting some new people, and documenting whatever is to come.

And continuing my quest to be more June-like in my mothering. Of course.