Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Mommy

2010 is about to come to an end. I have been following several bloggers who have been participating in a series of prompts through the month of December encouraging discussion on such things like what you might have learned during the year, what picture of you taken during the year most defines you, how you have grown over the course of the year, how you hope to grow in the new year, etc.

I am glad I didn't participate. Not only do I not have the time, I can never answer questions like those. Too much pressure, I guess. I can't even decide what the name of my first pet was for a security question. Was it the pet I had when I was a baby but don't remember? The first pet I do remember that we got when I was two? The first pet I had as an adult? And if the latter, should it be when I was in college or married? See. I'm a mess.

But I did want to look back a little bit and think about who I was and where I was at the beginning of the year.

Truth is, I was struggling. My dad had just died and I had just come home from being with my mom and sister for a month. I was home with Little G by myself for the first time in a while and I was truly struggling. Interestingly, I don't remember exactly HOW I was struggling...I just remember I was.

As I look back over the year, I can not pin point a moment where things changed or when I thought things were going to be ok...but somehow I have arrived here...almost a year later...and things are going to be ok.

One of my greatest fears of having another child is not that I won't be able to handle the logistics of it or that I won't have enough love for it - but I am scared of the emotional aftermath. I never wrote down the things I was feeling about Little G when I was feeling them because I was afraid that if, God forbid, anything were to ever happen to him, someone would look up whatever I had said in desperation one day on my blog and take it out of context and who knows what might happen. Maybe someone would toss me in a looney bin...maybe someone would take away Little G.

But on the other side of the abyss I am realizing that perhaps it is important to write those things down so that should I ever feel that way again, I can recognise it and seek out help.

I read on a friend's blog that she didn't believe that motherhood was the hardest job in the world. I beg to differ. I know I'm not fighting wars. I know I'm not in charge of a whole country. I know I'm not doing excruciatingly heavy lifting. I know I have it pretty cushy. But I totally believe that having a child is like taking a piece of your heart out of your body and watching it walk around and grow and become its own person. To me THAT IS the hardest job in the world. There is no boss to give me guidance or feedback. There is no win at the end - once a mother, there is no age that you stop wanting the best for your kids. Sometimes it feels like I am on my own.

But just as it is the hardest job in the world, I also think it is the most rewarding. In no other job can we directly influence a person in the hope of that person growing up someday and hopefully changing the world for the better. With all of the pressure that comes with that statement comes the grace of hope.

I look back on the year 2010 and I see that I am imperfect and that it is ok. That I hold myself up to a higher standard than I would EVER hold up any of my friends and family to and it is ok to to lower the bar a little bit. Heck, it's ok to fail miserably.

I look back on the year 2010 and I know that while it is not the year I became a mother, it is the year I learned, and believed, I am a good mother.

What have you learned this year?

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I don't have much to I'm not exactly sure why I'm here at the moment. Probably because for the first time in forever I actually have quiet time to myself to sit and write so I figure I should take advantage of it.

The month has been a good one but not without challenges. I took a stumble on our stairs in our home and sprained my ankle so badly that the tendons chipped a piece of bone off. The first three days after the ensuing hospital visit had me on crutches with explicit instructions to not put ANY WEIGHT on my foot at all. Perfectly feasible you know...with a 17 month old chomping at the bit to walk around as much as possible. So Little G went off to daycare for the whole week and had a blast. Mid week I had an appointment with the orthopedist and got a walking cast, so that made life easier...but I still can't drive. We are incredibly fortunate that my husband was able to work out a schedule where he could take Little G to daycare in the morning and pick him up in the evenings, so in the end I actually ended up with a lot of time to myself at the house...which was nice for Christmas wrapping and house cleaning and such. But BOY did that time go fast!!

That week also marked a year since my dad passed away. I was surprised at how sad I was with December approaching. I'm not one to glorify anniversary dates of things*, so I was frustrated that I was so emotional about it...until my sister pointed out that last year there was so much going on we didn't really have time to grieve whereas this year there was time to reflect. Either way, it was an emotionally difficult 10 days for me. He died on the 15th, his birthday is on Christmas Eve and then spending Christmas without him being around to spill on his shirt or drink too much champagne (that he RARELY drank) at my inlaws, or just repeat things that had been funny until he kept repeating them ad nauseum, was sad.

But we have been having a lot of fun including my dad in mom and sister and nephew had celebratory cupcakes that they scarfed down in between Christmas Eve services in honor of his birthday. And last night at my inlaw's we put out an extra glass of champagne for him. Still...I have the hardest time thinking about how much my son has grown and changed in the past year and how much he will continue to grow and change in the coming years and my dad isn't here to see it. I also am disappointed that my son will never have any memories of his Zayde. He will be able to rely on the stories...the many, many stories...but he will never have known the joy of playing with the pens in his shirt pocket...or racing with his wheelchair...

Ok...well sorry to cut this short, but as it is Little G is up from his nap and crying so I won't be able to wrap this up...or even try to transition this from mopey to reverent.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and safe and happy New Year's!!

-- Coasting anon --

* Ok...who are we kidding here...I'm TOTALLY a card-carrying sentimentalist, so it isn't necessarily that I was surprised that I was emotional about the anniversary...I just thought I wasn't supposed to feel so emotional and that if I told anyone they would make fun of me...turns out everyone was feeling blue so it wasn't just me being typical, overly-dramatic, wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve, emotional wreck me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Indie Owned

As you know, I am a small business owner. I design and produce custom invitations and announcements over at LimoncelloSTYLE. Anyway, I shared this over there, but wanted to share it with you all as well...

I recently participated in a publication called Indie Owned. The premise is to highlight independently owned businesses in and around Boston.

The publication was distributed to every home here in Roslindale, MA. Unfortunately, they weren't put in mailboxes like I originally thought they would be, but still it was great to get the exposure. Many of my clients are not local, so it is great to dip my toes in the local market a little bit more.

Here's the profile I created for the can see it up close here.

The last paragraph reads a little like a Miss America bio...guess I should change that.

Anyway, I'm very thankful to Indie Owned for the opportunity and am hoping that this will be a successful stepping point for growing my local presence.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do what I say...not what I do...

Last year, my hard drive burnt out on my laptop and I lost everything that wasn't on my external hard drive. I wrote the post you will see below but did I follow ANY of my own advice about backing things up? NO! FAIL FAIL FAIL!!

So when my lappy's hard drive failed again last month I was right back at the beginning...except with no recourse or fun IT department to retrieve it all for me.

Honestly, it isn't THAT hard to back stuff up...I just never remember to do it...or if I remember to do it, I'm in the middle of something that I don't want to interrupt.

I know, excuses, excuses.

How do you remember to back up your stuff? What's your go-to solution?


this past week my hard-drive failed. as you know, my laptop is not that old, so it was very discouraging to have this happen.

i have an external hard drive where i keep all of my files, so i was in a good position. but the hard drive can be a pain to lug around when i am working in different rooms in the house, so i also have an 'in limbo' file on my desktop where i keep things organised until i can get them onto the hard drive.

well, as is want to happen, i was procrastinating setting up the external hard drive so i hadn't backed up my 'in limbo' file for at least a month.

sadly, that meant that i lost almost everything that was near and dear to me that had been in that file.

thankfully, i am friends with some extraordinarily smart computer type people and with the help of two back-up hard drives, an iPod and a new hard drive, they were able to extract all of the information from my broken hard drive...including the 'in limbo' file, all of my emails, my internet favorites (which i use to keep track of ideas, inspiration and sources), and my financial files.

i was only off line for about a week, which is great considering what the alternative was!

this experience got me thinking about how sad it would be if this happened and the original hard drive was too damaged to retrieve anything off of. now THAT would have reallllly made me cry.

so lesson learned...i plan to back up my 'in limbo' file every night; i also discovered this will help you upload all of your 'favorites' to their system which will keep track of them on their server so should you ever be at another computer (or experience a hard drive failure) you can just access them from someplace else.

ok...i'm off my soapbox.

Apparently I wasn't off my soapbox...whoops.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Amazing day.

Today was an amazing day.

It's late and I should go to bed, but I just want to hold on to today for a little bit longer.

Little G and I have a habit of going to the Boston Children's Museum on Wednesdays. Usually, we hang out in the toddler area. There is a fun car to sit in with buttons that play music and a steering wheel...oh what I would do to have a steering wheel installed on one of our walls. I'm sure it would entertain Little G for months...and a huge train table that you can crawl into and under and a tree house to climb around.

Anyway, we haven't been to the museum since the week prior to it's been three weeks since we were there. Little did I realize how much three weeks (one of which spent playing with his almost-6-year-old cousin, W) would make a difference in the amount of fun Little G would have at the museum.

Little G walked. EVERYWHERE.


And when he fell down, he would crawl over to a bench, or a bar, or me (last choice...he's still an independent little sucker) to get back up (we're still working on the getting up from the floor without pulling up on something bit). And when you walk everywhere at the Children's Museum...there is so much to see!!

We walked into a music and movement class...played with a parachute...walked down the hall...found some exhibits to ourselves lunch...walked on and off the elevator...pressed the buttons (side note: why is it 2010 and the bottom [and thus, easiest] button to press on the elevator is the call for help button? I know the world can't cater to toddlers...but you would think at the Children's Museum they would be sick and tired of the call button getting continually pressed)...climbed stairs...went down slides...discovered new areas...walked on a floor that lit up...found a huge basket ball...washed our own hands at the kid-sized-sink...played with play-dough...trains...other kids... was amazing.

And then I took a very tired little boy through the financial district, down into the subway, onto a bus and back home to his crib where he napped for three hours.

Yup. An amazing day.

What an amazing kid.

Friday, December 03, 2010

I've Been Everywhere, Man!'s been a while, eh?

As with every blogging lag, there's been a LOT of action here in our little household.

So, we had a baby...

Oh wait...maybe it hasn't been THAT long.

Well, that baby started walking...I know THAT's news!! As you know, Little G scooted on his bum for the longest time. He didn't crawl until one day at the end of August in the Children's Museum. We were hanging out with a friend who was born a couple of days after him and SHE was taking her first STEPS there and her mommy was so proud of her and I was excited for them too and then to show his excitement Little G crawled over to us! Which was awesome...because the plateau in development from sitting-up-from-a-lying-down-position way back in July all the way to the end of August when he took those first crawling motions was loooooooooong and though I KNEW not to get worried...I still got to a point where I was wondering at what point I was SUPPOSED to worry.

Anyway, over the next three weeks, Little G figured out how to crawl REALLY well, how to pull up on things, how to cruise, how to climb up our stairs and how to let go from a cruising position and just stand there. As the pediatrician put it, he did three months of development in three weeks. Which isn't surprising...this is a kid who did days worth of labor in 5 hours once we reminded him it was time to come out. And this is also the kid who teethed his four top teeth all at the same time and then turned around and teethed all four first year molars and two bottom teeth all at the same time. Apparently it is in his nature to be all or nothing!

So let's see...where were we? Crawling...and pulling up...and cruising. At his 15 month pediatrician appointment, the nurse practitioner asked us to let her know if he was walking or not in five weeks.

Two and a half weeks later on Halloween night at a party, Little G took his very first steps. (Note - the picture below is of us at Halloween...we were various Lawn Ornaments...but what you need to notice is in the bottom right of the picture is a coffee table...during the party, Little G was standing at that table, turned, looked at me and walked right over to me. Granted...I was only three little steps away from him...but was. awesome. Also, I'm fascinated that the perspective of this picture makes Little G truly look the size of a garden gnome. I promise you that no children were exploited or shrunken in the making of this Halloween Ensemble Costume)

The week after Halloween, Little G was in our kitchen and just let go of the cabinet and took some steps towards me. And then the next week, he was really letting go of things and walking places.

Fast forward to our trip to PA to visit my family for Thanksgiving and he was toddling all over the house traipsing along trying to keep up with my 6 year old nephew, two large dogs and a bunch of kitties.

So that's what's been going on around here.

My business has picked up too. If you've been over to my business blog for LimoncelloSTYLE than you've seen that I became a licensed dealer for Envelopments. This means that I no longer have to waste time sourcing paper because they HAVE almost everything I need in the level of quality that I strive to provide for my clients. However, this has meant I have been busy, busy, busy!! Plus, I'll be honest, writing my posts for FLOR sometimes takes everything out of me. I totally love doing it...but I definitely earn my keep there.

Alright...speaking of...I need to go write a couple of things for them before the day is over so I guess I'll go head over there.

Thanks for stopping in even though I been a blog stranger for almost a month!! Hope you all are doing well.

Coasting anon

PS - here are some more pics of our Cutey-McCute garden gnome from Halloween. Enjoy!!