Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

Getting lost on the way to school

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Every time I start to feel like I’m getting good at this whole “living in Vienna” thing, I get a reminder at how out of my element I really am.

I had an appointment this morning to meet with Benjamin’s teachers at school, and we were running late.  I’ve been wanting to sit down and talk to them about how he’s doing — some days he seems to really enjoy school, some days not so much, and since I’m not there when he’s there, I have no idea how well or poorly his days actually go.  I started asking them to set up this appointment back in January, but since we were collectively sick most of February, it kept getting put off.  One of B’s main teachers goes on maternity leave at the end of the month, though, so I’ve been anxious to get the chance to sit down and talk to them soon.


A hug, a kiss and a gentle squeeze

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

When Benjamin was very little, he was a terrible sleeper.  He would almost never take a nap unless we were holding him.  He didn’t sleep in the car or in the stroller.  And at night, he’d only sleep if you walked with him . . . constantly.  Dan & I walked miles and hours around our apartment in the middle of the night.  If we tried to sit down, he’d typically wake up and cry.  Most nights, we’d walk with him for a few hours and then finally be able to ease him into his crib, only to be up again with him an hour or so later.  We used to take turns, and we’d cap each “shift” at 3 hours — beyond that, we’d go and wake the other one up — earlier if we were starting to get frazzled (which was easy to do).  Getting him down at bedtime was the worst.


Mina is coming!

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

In less than two weeks, my sister will be here to visit.  I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it.  I haven’t seen her (or any of my sbilings, or my dad, or my stepmother) since we left for Austria last April (and I haven’t seen my mom since August) — it will have been nearly a year by the time she arrives.  I miss her terribly.


Chalk on the terrace

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Over the winter, we’ve done a lot of indoor art projects.  There were a few that included fun and messy things like glitter and glue, but mostly we stick to (relatively) clean and orderly art in the winter when we’re stuck indoors — things like dry erase markers, stickers and coloring books.  (I’m working on being less worried about messes in favor of fun, but I’m making slow progress.)  I was more relaxed about this at home, where the house was ours, and I’m more concerned about it here, with parquet floors that we’re only renting.  So, our messiest art projects (like painting on the easel) principally happen outdoors, which means they have to wait for the warmer weather.



Saturday, March 10th, 2012

I just found my first gray hair this morning.  I know, I’m incredibly lucky that it’s taken this long.  I’m sure there are others in there somewhere, but they’re tricky to distinguish from the blond ones, so it’s possible that I have a ton of them (maybe my “blond” hair has just been progressively becoming grayer over the years, and I’ve never noticed).  I doubt it, though.  My dad is still really blond, so I suspect it’s just good genes and I’m just exceptionally fortunate.

I’m not traumatized at all.  I actually like it.  Not only is it pretty and kind of sparkly, but I really have no issues about getting (and looking) older.  (Maybe it’s because I’ve always looked relatively young?)  I think I would be bothered if I looked older than I am – for any reason, hair color or otherwise — but as it is, I don’t mind my gray hair.  In fact, I  have this image of myself, one day in the future, much older, with a long gray braid — and I’ve got to start somewhere.  (I hope that works out for me, eventually.)  I tried to point it out to Benjamin this evening.  He was unimpressed.

I’m a mom.  I’m 35.  Life is good.  I don’t mind looking like all of those things are true.

I’ve been thinking about getting my hair highlighted for years, but I’ve just never gotten around to it.  My hairdressers and my more fashion conscious friends have assured me that it would be flattering and make me look more youthful.  Maybe I’ll get around to it one of these days, but I’m certainly not going to do it now — it might cover up my gray hair!

The liberation of anonymity

Friday, March 9th, 2012

For most of my life, I’ve been a pretty self-conscious person.  I’m constantly judging myself, and I imagine (much more than is probably true) that other people are judging me, too.  I have spent years of my life evaluating every little thing that I did, trying to see if it was “right” and adjusting it if it wasn’t.  I spent many years trying incredibly hard to be, do or say what I was “supposed” to or what was “expected” or what (I thought, probably incorrectly) would make people like me — I denied who I really was a lot.


One more snow

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

The weather forecasts here in Vienna are surprisingly inaccurate.  We’re not sure why — whether people just care more at home, so more resources are put into forecasting, or whether something about the climate of Vienna makes it hard to predict the weather.  But it’s common for the temperature forecast to be off by 10 Celsius degrees, and occasionally even more.  Likewise, when any kind of precipitation is called for (or not) we don’t really count on that happening.


Nothing to say

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

I’ve been staring at my computer for over an hour trying to think of something to say, and I just can’t.  I’ve been trying to switch my mind off of the track that it’s on — to something more upbeat, or clever.  But I can’t.

A friend of mine from Sweet Briar (I don’t know her terribly well, but it’s a small place — we’re all friends) has two little boys.  Carter, the youngest, was diagnosed this past fall with a malignant, inoperable brain tumor.  He’s too little for the kind of radiation therapy typically used on this type of tumor, so they’ve been fighting his cancer with chemotherapy.  He’s 2.  His older brother and dad have been at home, trying to maintain some version of “normal” (which included relocating the family at one point) while his mom has been with him while he gets his treatment (partially administered at St. Jude’s).


Liam’s nap

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Is it possible, little one, that there will come a time when you don’t know how special you are?  Your open mouth, your tightly curled fingers, your little body snuggled up against me.  Here, while you sleep in my arms, is a perfect moment.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  I love to feel your soft breath and see your eyelids flutter while you sleep.  My sweet baby.  I am awed and grateful to have been given the responsibility of being your mother.  When you are awake, you embrace life so thoroughly — running, laughing, cuddling, smiling, demanding what you need.  And as you sleep, you are so content.  You are such a happy child, and so comfortable and confident in who you are.


Outside the lines

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

I am 35 years old and just a *little* particular . . . about many, many things.  So, when I color, I color inside the lines.  I distinctly remember coloring with one of my older cousins when I was 6 or 7 and being impressed and envious of her coloring.  Not only did she stay inside the lines ALL THE TIME, but her pictures had shading and contour.  They were lovely, and I couldn’t replicate it.  Now I’m all grown up, and I can, so I do.