Sunday, July 28, 2013

iBreak.

Our 3.5 year old daughter loves our iPad. It was originally a birthday gift for ME in May 2010. But let's be honest, she uses it most in this house of three. It's crucial when we travel on planes, long car drives and more. She gets 5 minutes of it before nap time which can be as long as 15 minutes if we need it. Okay maybe 20. She has discovered sushi candy making kits, How-to do Princess make-up, and How-to bake cakes - especially her own 3 year old birthday cake she requested thanks to YouTube. She plays games, watches movies, decorates cookies, buys make believe groceries, and more...

But this weekend, we went to the island - a ferry trip away, to hang with her grandparents, Mimi & Gramps, and there was NO ASK for the iPad. Not one time. Not until we walked into our house 48 hours later, did it even come up.

On the island there was plenty of family to play with her, grass to run in, paint to paint with, chalk to draw with, new experiences to explore.

I'm grateful for our mini break for many reasons, reasons that I expected (visit with Grandparents and family, new scenery, grass time, beach time, chill time, fresh(er) air, good food, good laughs) but also for the unexpected (iPad break!!!)

Photo: Mt. Rainer view from Fay Bainbridge

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TGIAS kinda day...

In April, I committed to posting Mondays and exclaim my happiest moments as a SAHM on Thank God I'm A Stay-at-Home-Mom (kinda) Day. I never posted another TGIAS - until today. Yes, that's reality of every Stay-at-Home-Mom-Day...you want to do so much, but you don't get it all done. Even our girl has been mimicking me lately saying "I can only do 2 things at a time...." Guess I've used that one a lot lately.

BUT, this week has been filled with TGIAS moments and I'm taking the time to say thank you. Our girl and I have been hitting up the local lake less than a minute away and swimming (aka, floating around in 2 feet of water; me on her inter-tube  our girl in her life jacket) after nap time. We've been riding my bike with her in her iBert seat - singing songs in the wind heading to and from camp. And I can't forget this afternoon, taking our Snow White dressed girl to the Farmer's market watching her pretend to be a Disney Princess - signing autographs and singing about the birds in the trees.

These are the moments that make my heart smile with joy. Plus, the sun has been shining us all week (knock on wood) and we've been outside a lot. Makes my heart shout "thank you, thank you, thank you!" 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mango firsts.

Our daughter's first fruit was mango. I put it one of those fresh food feeders - and she devoured the fruit in late June 2010.

2.5 years later, she still loves mango. Fresh, frozen, dried.

My first time I had mango, I was about 7 years old (I think - maybe 6...) and in Nassau, Bahamas visiting my Great Aunt's home with my Mom and Dad and baby sister. Her amazing PINK house overlooked the crystal clear blue ocean. The pink house with the 2 poodles, the amazing pool, the hot sun, and the mango trees. We would go outside in the morning and grab a fresh mango and eat it. I remember eating mine over the sink in the kitchen looking outside the kitchen window - dripping juice down my chin. Just like our baby did years later.

To this day, I look forward to those few weeks in the summer where I can find in season fresh mangos here in a place where mangos can't grow on PNW trees and our houses aren't pink.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lunch Date.

This week after our 2 week vacation, instead of waking up our girl early to rush to her first day of camp, I decided to have a mellow, try to catch up kinda day. I did have one MUST DO on the calendar, a dentist check up on some work I had had a few months ago (10 minutes max) downtown at 11:30am, which I figured we could manage.

I decided to make it an official M&M day - Mommy and M day - something I thought we could do weekly. Just the two of us, focusing on us. No friends. No Daddy. Just us.

I asked her if she'd be into the idea and if she'd want to head downtown for Blue C Sushi, her favorite conveyor belt sushi restaurant. She squealed with delight. We usually hit up the location near our house, but I figured we'd check out the downtown location instead. Big lunch date in the city.

What I could not have planned--was us having lunch with other working grown-ups. All of sudden, agency type hipsters were strolling in for some conveyor belt sushi too. Within 5 minutes of arrival, we were surrounded by other lunch dates talking about things I used to discuss. Clients who loved/hated/wanted to change creative.... Bosses who were focusing on the right/wrong/new thing.... Deadlines that were/weren't/might be missed.

I looked around the room while enjoying my lunch with my girl and realized though I missed dressing-up for work (seriously, my style has declined TOO much...something I need to work on!), that what I did not miss in anyway was the focus of what the conversations were about. All the nonsense from all ends of the business world I come from.

This day, my lunch date was talking about her noodles and how much she loved lunch with Mommy and how she really wanted another cucumber roll with way more soy sauce.

Now that's my kind of lunch meeting. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It takes a village.

My family and I just returned from a trip to my parents house in the midwest. As we got on our first flight (always 2 flights to and from Mom and Dad's house), I was in shock we'd be in a tiny 2 row, 2 seater plan for the next 3 hours. BUT with the invention of the iPad and our 3.5 year old's kid headphones, along with snacks, plenty of books and markers, I realized we'd be okay.

It wasn't so for another Mom.

As soon as she got on the plane with an adorable blue eyed, bald headed 5 month old baby girl, the baby started crying. And I'm not referring to a whimper, I mean a screeching, tear jerker, kinda cry.

All I could think about how hard it is to travel without your partner in moments like she was experiencing.

But of course the baby would stop crying once we took off ...right? 

She didn't.

This poor Mom just walked up and down the aisle of the tiny plane for 30 minutes, then 60, then 90 minutes. Back-and-forth. Each time, I smiled and tried to strike up conversation about how our daughter was like when she was a baby - just could cry for hours no matter what we did....How nursing helped her on planes....how a bottle might help....maybe try the baby carrier...

I wasn't helping really.

After 90 minutes the Mom said to me,

"She's gotta stop sometime right?" 

This adorable baby was basically hysterical. This Mom was on the verge of crying herself now too. And I thought of my awful experience on a flight - flying solo with our daughter and how no one really helped me and I had really needed help. I needed another Mom to reach her hand out to me and say, "How can I help honey?"

So I asked If I could give her  break. She handed her off with no hesitation and her whole body smiled. And here's the thing, so did the baby. She stopped crying. We bounced for about 20 mins in the aisle and then I decided to take her back to our daughter, who had no clue what I was doing (yes, she was watching a movie on the beloved iPad.) So I sat down next to our 3.5 year old and asked her if she could help me keep the baby happy. And here's the amazing thing, our girl did help. She made the baby smile, giggle, coo and same with our baby, now preschooler. The two girls just played for another half an hour.

Like any break in Motherhood goes, this break ended too - but even though this cutie was starting to whimper again, the Mom looked relaxed and calmer and was able to give back to her baby girl again.

And even though the baby kept crying other folks on our tiny plane started helping and playing and holding the baby till it was time to land. Nothing better to see a man who was 6'4", muscular, (He actually looked A LOT like Hulk Hogan) holding a 5 month old baby girl about 15lbs.

Nothing like building a village on a tiny 2 row, 2 seater 3 hour flight home.