Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Violet Love

Last week, I got to hold my daughter. I know that this sounds silly, because I regularly hold my daughter, but last week I simply held her without nursing her. For quite some time, too - this wasn't a stolen hug or a rushed squeeze, but clearly an intentional snuggle on her part. She's been letting me do this every day since then. Oh she's still nursing, but I am thrilled to have some physical interaction with her that doesn't require me being naked to the waist.

I got to kiss the top of her head and smell the sweetness of her hair. She played with my earrings, touching them gently with much wonder, cooing, "Oooh! Pwebby!" This moment of stillness seemed jarringly vaporous -- almost as if the very molecules of her soul stopped pinging around in a toddler frenzy and began vibrating with the same frequency my heart emits. Time stretched and the world narrowed in to my shoulders. This instant her soft, shallow breath barely dented the atmosphere, yet her gravity pulled every joy into the space between us.

I love that merely being with her is enough to fill her soul -- she demands so little from us, so easy has her infanthood been. She is steadfast in her curiosity and unrelenting in her quest for independence, but she clearly enjoys being with us. When she wakes in the morning, her first thought and first glance seek her brother. She peers anxiously over my shoulder, asking, "Milo?" as I pluck her from the crib.

"He's downstairs with Daddy."

Her face lights up, "Da-dee? 'stairs?"

"Yes, Daddy is downstairs with Milo. Do you want to go downstairs?"

Grin, "Yep!" Her first affirmation "huh-huh" has been replaced with the colloquial, "Yep!" This tickles me to no end. Milo was a "Yes" man and Violet is a "Yep" girl...

She gasps, "My bake-et! Pee-Bear bake-et!" She asks to bring her Winnie-the-Pooh blanket downstairs and squeals with delight when I scoop it up. She clutches it under her chin and repeats, "My bake-et!"

Little Miss loves it when we're all together, she'll grab my hand and drag me to the couch, saying, "Mere, mommy! Sit dere!" so that I'll sit next to Scott, then she scrambles up and wiggles in between us, beckoning Milo, "Miiiii-lo! Miiiii-lo!" Nothing makes this child happier than a family snuggle.

I can't say that I blame her -- that's pretty much my favorite time of the day, too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Scott's Lazy Day...

I was on one of the parenting boards that I frequent and a question was asked, "Why did you get married?" This is what I posted:

I like him, I love him, I want some more of him...

We got married because we fit together well. Alone we stand up just fine, but together we interlock and make the walls of our family. We support each other, care for each other and make the other a better person. We guide each other, laugh together (a lot), and see the world in a similar way. Are things always perfect? Nope. But we end each day the same way -- spooning on our left sides, his arm wrapped around me. I couldn't ask for more.

It's been almost 13 years that Scott and I have been married and I am still amazed by the man. Yesterday was a perfect example.

The kids and I got home from daycare a little early and were greeted by all six of our garbage cans rolling around in the street. I swerved to avoid hitting them as I parked in front of the house, all the while glancing to see if the front door would open and Scott would burst forth to rescue the dancing cans. No such luck...

I get Milo out and ask him to stand on the sidewalk, but he is the ever helpful child and, while I was extricating Violet from her car seat, he started dragging the first garbage can onto the easement. I peered nervously up the street to make sure that there was no oncoming traffic and, like is most common of our street, it stared back at me, silent except for the lusty spring wind. Together he and I rescued and lidded all of the jolly cans, parking them in our front yard. As I was nesting the recycling bins together, Scott appeared on the porch, looking surprised that we were home early.

He greeted the kids enthusiastically, asking them if they had had good days and what they did. Milo was concerned about ferreting out a Tootsie Roll and Violet was protesting entering the house. Both dogs tap-danced by the front door, eager to nudge their family for affection.

As I entered the house, I noticed that the dishes that were in the sink from breakfast were still there, plus a few more. I deduced that the dishwasher hadn't been unloaded and that, likely, no housework had been done. Scott asked me how my day went. I said, "Fine. Busy afternoon -- speaker on campus. How was your day?"

"I played my game all day long," he crowed. My heart fell. Here I was, at work all day. Bringing home barely-trained monkeys who were screeching for food (Milo for Tootsie Rolls, Violet wanted to nurse), stumbling through the front door to find a bigger mess than I'd left. Seriously, who can walk by a sink full of dishes all day and NOT want to put them away? It takes less than fifteen minutes to tidy our kitchen if one is not being helped by imps. And he'd played World of Warcraft ALL.DAMN.DAY. I started unloading the dishwasher.

"I'm getting a shower." What? What?

"What? Why are you getting a shower NOW if you played your game all day?"

He stopped in the bathroom doorway. I noticed that he was flushed and sweaty. He looked at me, smiling, realizing that I was not amused and said, "Courtenay, look outside."

I peek out the kitchen window. I look at him, eyebrows raised and stride past him to the family room door and look out at the deck. It has been partially re-deceked and there are landscape timbers carefully drawing an outline around our back fence. He'd been landscaping, and from the looks of the results, he'd been at it most of the day.

I turn to him sheepishly and say, "Thank you -- that looks great!" Fortunately, he's not held my initial reaction over my head. In fact, we spent a pleasant afternoon outside with the kids, discussing how we are going to transform the rest of the backyard swamp into a place where the kids can run without having to worry about stepping into landmines of the stinky variety.

Yep, that's my guy...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rock'n'Roll, Baby!

"I am Iron Man, nuh-nuh-nuh nuh nuh-Iron-Man." this is Milo's new favorite song. And, Scott, being the preschooler-pleasing daddy he is, went out and bought a Black Sabbath CD for my 3.75-year-old child. I really have no objections to the "Iron Man" song, but can't stomach the rest of the disc. I didn't do Ozzy when I was a teen and I'm still not getting the appeal.

The other disc he purchased for my not-yet-in-schooler, however, is Led Zeppelin 4. And I'm way cool with that. Turns out Milo likes a grinding guitar and driving rock rhythm. A lot. And baby girl can rock'n'roll, too. She's a headbanger... Who knew? I am A-OK fine with this because it means that we've been listening to much less country pop crap. Never thought I'd be so glad to tune in to the classic rock station.

Miss Violet has hit another milestone -- she pointed at her reflection and said, "Vi-let!" Yay, baby girl! She's also actively trying to start conversations about things around her, whether or not I can understand her is a completely different matter. Ah, my happy child... She greets each spring day with a sense of wonder and charged excitedly into the morning. She is so dang refreshing...

Mr. 'lo has been enjoying the spring weather by adding to his "c'lections" of sticks and rocks, mostly sticks. We look like we have a pathetic pile of kindling on our porch, but it's actually Milo's "C'lection" of sticks. They are used as light sabers, staffs, swords, guns, and "Inny Jones'" whip. Fortunately, though my child is armed to the teeth, he is not aggressive and actually feels quite badly if he hurts someone. As in may even cry harder than the child who was hurt.

As for me? Well, I don't know if we'll have enough people to field a competition synchro team next year. We need to have eight and may only have five, so who knows... I would likely be coaching next year and that will require some money up front for credentials, background check, and taking judging tests. I don't really want to pay all of that unless we're actually going to compete, but the application deadlines are due 13 days before we resume practice and, I assume, learn if we'll have a team. What do I do? I dunno...

I think that if I'm not skating on a team, I may not continue to skate. I might pursue local fitness opportunities by taking a pilates or yoga class. I would save gas money and time because I'm driving 35 miles to the rink and back, but, on the other hand, I kind of like getting out of town every now and then. And I'm afraid that if I start doing stuff locally, I'll be less anonymous in the community -- although, I'll lose some of that anonymity when the kids get into school. Particularly since they'll be the rock'n'rolling Olingers...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Feelin' Lucky or Curse Me -- You Pick!

It was snowing today when I met Scotty for lunch. April 2 and it was snowing... sigh... I am really ready for winter to be done. I want to put my kids to bed in their totally cute spring jammies! I want to go for a run outside so that I can listen to music and daydream of a bigger house. Or maybe just a cleaner house...

It is going to be a long week for the kiddos -- both Scott and I were gone last night (him for final dress rehearsal and me for synchro) and we're going to opening night of his show tonight together -- so babysitters for two nights in a row. Boo, hiss... It's times like this that I fantasize about winning the lottery.

What are my lotto plans? (After the charitable giving, endowing, and trust-funding, of course)
1. Stop working. Yeah, I like my job, but I'd sure as heck like more time with my kids.
2. Join the gym and take some cardio kick, yoga, and pilates classes. I miss group sweat...
3. Buy a large-ish parcel of land and build a house. Maybe this one: cool house
4. Lasik eye surgery. So that I can see without glasses for a while before I'm old enough to need reading glasses.
5. Get a bigger vehicle. Not that I dislike my clown-car Jetta...
6. Eat organic and HFCS free. Why doesn't the government make this food more accessible to more people? Seriously...
7. Cloth diaper Violet's little tushie! I wouldn't have to work around the "no cloth diapers at daycare" issue since she wouldn't be at daycare. Of course, this could resolve itself if she potty trains this summer.
8. Buy expensive shampoo and cosmetics. I'm Estee Lauder fabulous on a Target budget.
9. Conceive Baby Olinger #3 ASAP. No waiting until Milo is in school so we can afford to complete our family.
10. After Baby Olinger #3 and the miraculous effects of #2 and #6, I'll have lost so much weigh that I'll need a tummy tuck. OK, so I normally think plastic surgery is for the vain, but I really hate my stretched-out, flabbily-hanging belly. If I lose weight, it's still gonna be there and I'm sort of appalled by this. I think I'll have the plastic surgeon do the tummy tuck and pierce my navel at the same time.
11. Travel. There's so much of this world that I want to see... Of course, Scott dreams of going OFF this world, so he'll likely want to buy a seat on some space mission. Because I nearly have a heart attack watching him balance on the top of a ladder, let alone blasting into space...
12. Drink a glass of lovely wine every night. In a not-an-alcoholic way, of course. But I really am craving a peppery shiraz right now.
14. (I skipped 13 so this can be a luckier list) Learn to play the cello and throw a pot. I think that these are two things at which I might be pretty good.
15. Skate more often. Like taking lessons again. Learn to spin, fer cryin' out loud! I don't really care if I jump, but I think I'd love to ice dance.
16. Buy almost everything in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. I seriously want those rooms for my kids! Violet Milo Baby #3 or Baby #3
17. Entertain friends in our home. No one can really stay with us right now -- we've got two bedrooms. It would be nice to be able to fly in people we love for a visit...
18. Go to more cultural events. I'm swamped by mommy-guilt and stymied by lack of finances, but I would support the local arts organizations if I spent all day with the kids because I wouldn't feel terrible about leaving them at night. And, if I was rich enough to sneeze $20.00 bills, then affording tickets wouldn't be a worry.
19. Reset my wedding ring. There's an itty-bitty-teenie-weenie-little diamond that fell out of my ring 10 years ago. And got lost. And hasn't been replaced. I'd also do something channel set so that it doesn't double for a weapon anymore.
20. I'd probably stop blogging. Since I'm really a lunch-hour blogger and rarely, if ever, get on the computer when at home with my children.

I dunno... I guess if you enjoy reading my blog you could curse me to never win the lottery. It's OK -- I wouldn't know it was you, anyway... So, let me know -- are you wishing me luck in my endeavor or will you curse me to a lifetime of blogging?