Wednesday, August 28, 2013

15 Minutes

Earlier this summer, David and I had the unique opportunity to record part of our family story with a national organization, Story Corps. Story Corps travels the country, helping to weave together bits of American history through the storytelling process. Interviews are then archived at the National Library of Congress. It's like we get to become historians without making any effort...or taking out any student loans.

I will give you one guess who David and I used that opportunity to talk about. Our time in the booth was centered around Morgan, from the minute she was born to the way she continues to keep us on our toes. We got a call on Monday that our local affiliate wanted to air part of our story. We provided the radio station with pictures of our family and gave them the green light to share with the entire state our first few moments as parents.

Take a listen; this little interview documents for all time and eternity just how little we know about being parents. That, and it's about as close to celebrity status as we're ever going to get.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tea Time

Five years ago today, I was at the car wash, feverishly vacuuming my car while navigating around one VERY pregnant belly. I had just left the doctor's office after receiving some vague assurances that I would eventually go into labor. 24 hours later I gave birth to the most precious and dynamic little bolt of lightening who has literally rocked my world every day for the past four years and 364 days. But because Morgan doesn't actually turn five until tomorrow, I will save my emotional trauma for another post. Instead, I bring you tea.

The irony of a tea party for my child was not lost on me. As many of you know, my child is wild and full of life. Her spirit is often overwhelming, occasionally on the verge of feral. But she asked for a tea party and that is just what we did: 

We set the table, complete with fancy paper plates and a mismatch of tea cups and saucers we found at thrift  stores around town.  

The tea set was real silver, on loan from my mother in-law. As the mother of two boys, she literally swooned when she received her party invitation and realized her little set would be the main event for seven little girls. I think she spent an entire afternoon polishing it while my father in-law tried to figure out if they could have gotten any money for it when the Antiques Roadshow was in town.

Of course, no tea party is complete without finger foods. I talked David out of making cucumber sandwiches, but everyone did get a PB & J (sans crust, of course). If you look really closely, you will see tiny little cups filled with macaroni & cheese...always know your customers.

Once David helped everyone decorate their party hats (he's totally getting Father of the Year), we officially kicked off brunch.

I heard plenty of "please and thank you" and maybe even spotted a few pinkies in the air. The "tea" was pink (of course) and may have tasted mostly like kiwi strawberry Crystal Light. Again, know your customers. 

I sent the girls on a treasure hunt for tea bags, forgetting to consider just how perfectly little sandals can crush an entire row of pansies. There was a brief moment, despite the fancy hats and dresses, that things got a little intense. A tea bag was spotted, elbows went flying, and several pairs of Hello Kitty undies were flashed - one child rose as the victor, a crumpled little pouch clenched between her tiny little fingers. I had no idea this day was going to become a contact sport.

I then lined each girl up for her chance at "Pin the Spout on the Teapot" - Half the group refused to let me spin them in their blindfold, which may have significantly altered the results. Either that or they could see under their mask and conveniently failed to tell me.

These two little activities accidentally led to a very big life lesson and one very sad birthday girl. Apparently, I forgot to tell her that even though it was her birthday, she didn't get to automatically win all of the games. 

Of course, she eventually rallied. There were presents to be opened and more tea to drink. The show had to go on, as did the backyard parade. 

As we get ready to close out another year, big things are on the horizon. We start kindergarten next week and are working feverishly on learning how to both read a book and ride a bike. As I watched my daughter and her friends spend their first little afternoon as "ladies," I couldn't help but wonder where she will take me next. That, and marvel at the fact that, for the first time in her life, didn't use her dress as a napkin.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Let me go ahead and disclose that I already know that these might be the single worst photos I have ever posted on my blog, which is saying a lot because my photos are usually terrible. None of that matters. However blurry or grainy, these photos represent one of the most important days of my daughter's life. Girlfriend can now swim. I am not going to suggest it's pretty or graceful, but it involves her holding her breath, flailing limbs, and an official Speedo swimsuit because, "That is what they wear at the Olympics, right Mom?"

You may remember a few weeks ago, when Morgan crossed swimming lessons off her summer to-do list. Well, at 40 bucks a pop, David and I put it right back on the list. My goal for her first official class was just to get her comfortable enough to put her face in the water. By setting the bar low (a standard practice at our house), no one would be disappointed. 

What I quickly learned is that by constantly underestimating your child, you will always be impressed by each and every milestone. For example, it was full on shock and awe when Morgan literally took to the water like a little spastic fish, throwing herself into the pool time after time. She tried floating, she trying sinking, she even tried pushing over two little boys who were directly in her way. Whatever, their swim diapers were totally slowing them down.

After about 15 minutes of "practicing," Morgan was ready for the main event. It may have only lasted 30 seconds, but it was a lifetime of accomplishment. She spent the next hour testing herself, trying to stay underwater longer, swim a little further, grin a little bigger. I spent the entire time cheering on the sidelines, acting like Morgan was the last leg of the 400 Meter relay.

At the end of our class, Morgan earned her first set of flippers. We get to shell out another 40 bucks for the next class, Morgan gets to earn another ribbon, and I get the satisfaction of (yet again) being so very impressed by my daughter. You amaze me, baby girl. Now let's go get you some goggles.