Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rainy With a Chance of Fun

I came home early today with plans to pick up James and take him to the park or go for a run on the greenway.  But it rained.  And instead James stood at the door and stared through the glass that separated him from the freedom of the outdoors. 
 We had become prisoners in our own home. 
So we sang (meaning I sang because James was too troubled to partake in such childish non-sense) Rain Rain Go Away and It’s Raining It’s Pouring and If All the Raindrops were Lemon Drops and Gumdrops and the only two lines I know from Purple Rain mixed in with some random song I made up because I was tired and couldn’t think of any more songs about rain.  
But my “Rainy Day Concert” didn’t hold a candle to the real thing.  James was too spellbound by the falling rain and despite my very best attempts to convince James that playing in the rain was a bad idea in the most logical adult way possible, I was unsuccessful.  So, instead of defending my rationale all afternoon to an almost 2-year-old with a stubborn streak as irritatingly long as my own, I called a truce and compromised with a snack on the front porch.
The rain let up around 7 just long enough for all of us to explore the mud-puddles, slick grass and the sensation of rain on our faces.  James squealed and splashed and chased Max and we all soon became so lost in the excitement of the rain that our original plan for a sunny afternoon seemed pretty darn  boring.

I’m kind of looking forward to thunderstorms rolling in tomorrow afternoon…

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Easter Best

For me, the month of April did not exist this year.  Only a vague memory of a terrible sinus infection the week after the Pollen Blizzard in March, something about running around in circles at full speed for a good period of time, and losing my keys for half an hour before realizing I had forgotten to turn the car off.  Then l can recall being really tired from working and studying and chasing an energetic toddler around, falling asleep and waking up on May 1st…RANDOM – I wonder if the Easter Bunny even came?

I love Easter – always have.  The bright colors it brings to give the grays of winter that final boot, the thrilling feeling of searching for buried treasure during Easter egg hunts, the egg dying, the message of the Easter story, the chocolate bunnies, Peeps, flowers, jelly beans – I think I’ve made my point. 
This year though, Easter was comically brutal.  
We started our Easter festivities early and celebrated the return of warm sunny afternoons by sharpening our egg finding skills with impromptu egg hunts.  At first, James didn’t get it…but then we turned Easter egg hunting into a game of “pick-up” and when we started singing the “clean-up song” everything clicked.  James would run from egg to egg picking up as many as he could carry, losing only a few, before dumping them into his bucket…SCORE—James was going to dominate the egg hunts this year.
Getcha Game Face On!!
That’s not how it happened…
I think the pressure got to him...

He figured why search for eggs with candy and toys inside when I've got a perfectly good kitchen play set here?
James picked up TWO eggs.   
I'm pretty sure I made Eddie throw this one back onto the ground so that I could get a picture of James picking up at least one James decided to make sure I got more of his butt in the picture than of him and the egg.
And that was after a lot of coaxing, plenty of pointing and, honestly, a bit of begging.
"Mom, don't worry all these other kids are 'cleaning up' the eggs.  They don't need our help."
P-Lease lady, I'm too cool for this.
 The Easter Bunny sighting went as expected…
Okay...that's NOT cool.
Then James gracefully fell off of a tricycle and scraped his face…
You should have seen the trike...
I found myself completely exhausted Saturday night after staying up a little too late dying eggs with James and “MoMa” (Eddie’s mom) while still nursing myself back to health after the sinus infection from hell.  I had plans to clean the house and throw up some Easter decorations and magically transform this place into a Easter wonderland fit for a photo shoot in a Pottery Barn Children’s Magazine…but I accidently closed my eyes instead…No decorations, no eggs, and on Easter morning my house resembled an animal barn more than Pottery Barn.   The only decorations (with the exception of the blocks and puzzle pieces scattered on the floor) was the balloon we bought on Valentine’s Day and an Easter Lilly Eddie had picked up at the grocery store. Thankfully, I had managed to convince Eddie to help me with the Easter basket the night before and we made an attempt to Easter-fy the morning with some bunny-shaped pancakes and an unrehearsed performance of “Here Comes Peter Cottontail”.  
Eddie did a great job with Easter breakfast!
After searching high and low for the perfect Easter outfit for James, I was still left empty handed Easter morning and ended up hodge-podge-ing together his only pair of khakis without of stain, a button-up shirt and a size 6-12 month dress coat (James is in a size 18-24 month but I made it work like all good moms do on Easter). 
If you haven’t noticed, I stress about silly things, like Will James sit quietly in church long enough to make it to the children’s sermon?  NOPE? He likes music so, instead he cheered after every song the choir sang and every hymn the organist played...I’m pretty sure he was also sending up a special request to God when he yelled “MOMMY” during a prayer.  And boy did I need it.  If I had only known then how our Easter afternoon would go I may have also called out to God because James chose to scream instead of sleep through his naptime – and his naptime happened to be during Easter lunch with Eddie’s family.  If you’ve ever tried to eat a nice meal with a persistent 18 month old upstairs wailing, you know that trying to pretend like you don’t hear chaos ensuing from above is like trying to pretend like you don’t hear that annoying person behind you that talks through an entire movie.  
Yep, we let our kid have M&Ms  for breakfast...
 The rest of the day was a blur.  We played outside, we saw family, and we battled through the emotional roller coaster with James.  But, my vision of Easter 2012 with all of its pastels and Easter eggs and new Sunday suits and flowers was no more.  
We settled into pajamas early that night and looked out of the window to find the moon like we always do – Finally, perfect contentment in the simplest of simple everyday things.  It reminded me once again that so many of the goals and expectations of motherhood are more for me than for my kid.  Still, I stress about getting things just right – making things extra-special.  There’s this idea of perfection moms strive for with every holiday, every vacation, every afternoon outing, every family photograph.  Even as mothers-to-be, complaints about not getting a good profile or face shot during an ultrasound or grumblings about an unplanned c-section roll off our tongues so fast that we forget the true miracle of a healthy child – perfection in the simplest of simple things.  
Not all memories and traditions originate from grandiosity and perfection, in fact, most don’t.  Easter 2012 certainly did not. It’s the plain and simple that sustains us.  They come by the basket-full and they are just as special.