Archive for July, 2011

Sunday not so sunny, Lulu?

Lulu Struggles

Let’s turn this morning around and cook our first breakfast!

Coffee + Computer = First Attempt At Cooking Breakfast

Let’s get this breakfast party started…

Lulu's got skillz with the blade

Executive Chef Lulu oversees bacon experiment

Lulu, a.k.a. Lady of Pans. Cooking breakfast and taking names!

(Don’t tell her your name. She’ll take it from you.)

Lulu, our homie

Now things are looking sunny-side up!


A Feast Fit for Lu!

This morning’s insanity brought to you by…


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When you’re trying to start a family, it’s natural that your questions should be about the many possibilities that lie ahead. The practicalities of pregnancy (doctor’s appointments, pregnancy symptoms) and the realities of raising children (changing diapers, dealing with exhaustion) are far down the road, ready and waiting.

Today, I’m wondering about the hypothetical future, and more specifically, what my hypothetical children might be like one day in the (hopefully not-so-hypothetical) future.

I was thinking of this the other night while watching a re-run of Bob’s Burgers, one of my favorite new shows. (I’ve been watching Bob’s Burgers and Archer so much that my future children may respond faster to the voice of H. Jon Benjamin, who voices the lead character in both shows, than they will to my own.)

Bob has three children: Tina (an embarrassingly awkward adolescent), Gene (the affable, slightly dimwitted middle child), and Louise (the youngest child, sarcastic and bordering on the sociopathic). These animated children make for great entertainment, but what would I do if I were stuck raising one of them?

I always assume that my little ankle-biters will be like me, or like Gilly, or ideally a best-of-both-worlds blend. But what if they aren’t? What if they are nothing like either one of us? What if my child is a bit weird? Or dim? Or worse – a little bit of a sociopath?

I hope I will be the type of parent who loves my children unconditionally, even if they do not turn out the way I expect them to. I suspect most parents do love their children this way.

And this has left me wondering: Is this what the true miracle of birth is all about? That you’re going to love those little diaper-loaders no matter what they’re like?

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Recently I have been feeling more kind, more open, more gracious, and more kid-friendly. I’ve been thinking: Maybe this is part of the miracle of birth, or in my case, the miracle of desired motherhood. This new place of love and kindness was most noted by me and my husband when I giggled, and quite frankly reveled, as a child seated nearby  in a movie theatre called out excitedly as we watched the new Harry Potter movie. Not too long ago, I would have thought: Those parents should control their kid! I was a hater. But now I smile at children and babies as I walk through Target. And when they smile back, I proudly think: This is what hopeful maternal bloom is all about!

Lulu Feels The Love!

Blogs are a common forum for  this kind of baby-adoring revelry. In the mom-blogger world, adorable pictures of sweet angelic children cover web pages. Which makes me wonder: Will our blog transform from skeptical/worried ramblings to baby photos filled with smiles and milestones? Perhaps, but yesterday I stumbled upon a different perspective…

… that of an (in)famous mom-blogger who is candid about her experiences of motherhood. Don’t go to her blog expecting pictures with cooing, cuddly captions. This mother’s posts are sardonic, sarcastic, raw, and according to her blog title, sometimes scary.

I happened upon her blog via a retweet that read:

Wrong in so many ways!!! <link to blog>”

So, of course, I had to take a look!! And I was not disappointed!

For those of you that don’t want to read the link above, I will summarize. This mom swears at her kids… in her mind. When her kids are throwing temper tantrums, refusing to eat, or running around during bedtime thoughts like F#&k you, sweetheart and Are you ever going to shut the f#&k up? pop up over her childrens’ heads in little disgruntled cartoon clouds. Cursing out her children in her mind eases her tension. The result: she ends up verbalizing with kind words, soothing words, stern words, whatever the situation demands, but not swear words.

So maybe this sweet, generous, and loving change I feel is not baby-related. Perhaps part of the “miracle of birth” is not a change that takes place in which I shed my cynical, dry, and cruel thoughts to emerge with loving, kind, G-rated ones. It is more likely that this new gracious mindset is a product of being happy with the possibilities I imagine when I think of a future with a little one.

While I’m digging this softer moment, I know I could never lose sight of my core self—the teasing, often judgmental, and sarcastic me, equipped with a sailor-mouth on good days and a pirate-tongue on my worst. I relish the idea that I don’t have to shed all of that to become a mom. But embracing this newly predominant love-and-light side isn’t so bad either!

Loving Pirate Lulu

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Gilly and I are, by nature, worriers. We sweat the small stuff (cribs versus bassinets), we worry about the seemingly random stuff, and we “Worry” with a capital “W” about the big stuff. But for the most part, our worries are normal, everyday fears that any prospective parent might have: Will we conceive? Will Gilly have an easy pregnancy? Will the baby be healthy?

But this weekend I’m worried for a different reason and in a different way, and the idea of being a parent truly frightens me. How does one handle the horror involved when confronted with the news of the attacks on youths in Norway? Or when the following day we hear the news of a Texas man shooting six at a child’s birthday party? How is it even possible to be a parent in a world where these events happen on a seemingly daily basis?

It makes me stop and consider if we are doing the right thing, bringing a child into a world that can be so horrific. I wonder too if I will have the emotional strength necessary to let my children do anything on their own – go to school, to a sleepover, to summer camp – without the constant dread that something terrible might happen.

How does anyone have the strength to let go and let their child walk out the door alone in this world?

I have a ray of hope, however, and it’s giving me the strength I know I’ll need. This morning, as people throughout Norway and all over the world mourn the victims of this senseless attack, a dear friend of ours who lives in Norway posted this as her Facebook status, quoting the words of the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg:

‘We will retaliate with more democracy.’ I’m proud to be Norwegian.

And maybe that’s the first step to a better world for our children. Maybe we all need to be Norwegian today.

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Lulu Can't Drive Without the Keys!

What Time Is It? Breakfast Time!

Lulu Tries Black Coffee (Good For Hangovers)

Lulu Prefers Cream

Decisions, Decisions...

Hearty Breakfast for Our Hearty Lamb, Lulu!

This concludes Lulu’s delicious outing!

(Yes, this is how we chose to spend our morning…)

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Whilst investigating crib styles/colors the other night, I asked Patrick for his opinion, just to see if our tastes match. He chose my least favorite of three choices in round one (of course), but his second choice was spot on. Crisis averted.

As I closed the web browser, Patrick stated, in a tone appropriate for commenting on a favorable weather pattern, “I don’t think babies sleep in cribs though.” My reply was more like a frantic storm, “Don’t sleep in cribs? What do you mean babies don’t sleep in cribs? Where do they sleep? Is the crib just for show?” I opened the web browser again and Googled this obviously incorrect presumption. O…. M…. G.

True Story: Newborns do not typically sleep in cribs, but bassinets. (Which, by the way, are designed to look like straw baskets. Does baby want to go to sleep or the farmer’s market?) Fact: I don’t know anything about babies. Aside: How did Patrick know that? Why does he have innate baby knowledge and sensibilities? And I have the innate ability to fix a running toilet?

Lulu In A Basket

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Lulu Potter

Patrick and I declared, early in our marriage, that we did not want to have kids.  For the life of me I cannot remember why we stated this, but we did and took it off the table. <Yank!> For a couple of decided kid-abstainers we sure enjoyed catching up with our friends’ kids and our nephews and nieces. We even enjoyed doing stuff kids did: playing video games (I was obsessed with Animal Crossing); munching on loads of candy (well, that’s just me); and reading Harry Potter (and similar books, but NOT Twilight)….

Admittedly, we didn’t just like reading Harry Potter; we were kind of obsessed. Patrick and I waited in long lines together during the midnight madness to get our prized copies of the 6th and 7th book. We were engaged when we were in line for the 6th book (and took the book along to our honeymoon). We had been married for two years when we waited in line for the 7th book. We each got our own copy of that final book so that we could read simultaneously. We got home at 2 AM, tucked in on either side of the sofa and read all night. We were careful to keep pace so that we could exchange glances of surprise, excitement, or heartbreak. When we got to the end, it felt wrapped up. I was crushed that this was the end, but where could it go from there?

Last night we finally saw the last movie. Like each movie that came before, it could not beat the book, but it was fantastic to see the characters and plots I loved to read (and re-read) about come alive.

Spoiler alert: For those of you not in the know, the story of our three favorite Gryffindors ends with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, now grown up, seeing their own children onto the train bound for Hogwarts. Four years ago, I thought, “They are all grown up now. The end.” Tonight, I excitedly thought, “Harry Potter has kids and I want them too!”

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