Three day weekend

September 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Saturday, friends rented a 15 passenger van and we trooped down for an epic day trip to the beach.



Little bits and pieces

April 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lena thinks she is just so hilarious.

She’ll “read” the opening lines of Horton Hear’s a Who, which goes,

On the 15th of May in the jungle of Nool,
in the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,
he was splashing, enjoying the jungle’s great joys,
when Horton the elephant heard a small noise…

Except Lena now says,

On the 15th of May in the jungle of Nool,
in the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,
he was….PLAYING TENNIS…

And then she dissolves into giggles.

Like, that is kind of funny, you know? It’s her using irony and her little brain to conjure up some opposing situation that turns a paragraph on its end and it’s funny.

We had another amazing fun-filled weekend. It was our good friends Charlie and Christel’s wedding, and we just had a fun, sun filled weekend. At Sunday brunch, Shirene, a good old friend of Mikey’s, and a beautiful soul that I’ve encountered on various occasions for the past six or so years, complimented me and Lena, and asked, Are you doing this all on your own? And I knew what she was asking, and I responded, yes, but immediately said, What am I saying, no, I’m not doing this on my own at all. I’ve got the most amazing family, the most amazing friends, and we’re talking, and Lena is playing quietly in the corner, and I can see Alex through the window, and we’re all surrounded by friends in this celebration of love for Charlie and Christel, and we’re all here today because of them, but everyone’s really here for everyone and all that, and it’s all very inspiring and moving and wonderful, and No, I’m not doing this alone. I couldn’t do it without y’all, you know. So, Here’s to you.

What a weekend

March 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I think this weekend was one of the best weekends on record.

For one, I finally understand how loving the Tar Heels, loving college basketball, and hating duke becomes so entrenched when you’re little and growing up in Chapel Hill. For the past two weekends the Bloom-Yeh family has been having dinner around the TV, donning Carolina blue, and cheering our Heels on. Lena now jumps from couch to couch saying, “Go Tar Heels” and “I’m a Tar Heel”. (I’m working on positivity with her, so it’ll be a couple more years until she’s saying, “duke sucks”.)

This weekend proved to be cold and rainy, but the Blooms took advantage of the only non-rainy morning, and Pops and Lena and I ran a 5K in Durham. Alex came! He got to see me finish a race! Aspen and I ran together for, oh, about two miles, which was amazing because Aspen is a running machine and the best running partner in the world because she just glides when she runs, which is simultaneously frustrating/jealousy-inducing/inspiring. But I did really well! I was hoping for a personal best, because I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in in forever, but the course was super hilly, so I did, eh, fine. I finished. I was happy. Pops Lena and Alex and I went to Gughluphf for breakfast, and it was nice, the four of us. I think it’s especially nice for Pops that Alex is there because he’s not the only guy. It was a full day, that happens when you wake up at 7 to go for a run, and by 1 or 2, Alex Lena and I were all snuggled into my bed. Which by the way, is not really big enough for the three of us PLUS my computer on which Lena and I watched Toy Story 3 while Alex napped, which by the way, two things: I clearly need a flat screen mounted on my wall/a king size bed, and Toy Story 3 was amazing, and I sobbed, literally sobbed, through the last 15 minutes of it. It was so good and I am clearly overly affected by the Toy Story franchise. But it was so good, and I was really impressed, and really happy that they had a girl at the end showing as much imagination and fun as any boy. I had a some beef with Pixar because they seemed to really only show boys being able to have fun and be cool, and it was heartening to see a girl in that situation. Or like, Pixar tends to kill all the girls off pretty quickly. Like, Nemo’s mom and the adventurous girl in Up.

The whole fam was excited about the UConn/Arizona game, and then Butler/Florida after that, so Al and I decided to just go pick up Pizza and Wings for dinner. We took Lena, around 5:45, and no lie, on the way home from picking up the pizza, Lena falls asleep. And stays asleep.

This rara avis has only occurred once before in Lena’s lifetime, and it is just short of a miracle. We all leisurely ate our pizza and wings in front of the TV, the parents trundled off to a concert, and Alex and I got to flip between basketball and playing Lego Harry Potter for three blissful uninterrupted hours. Until I, most attractively, fell asleep on the couch at like 10:30. Lena slept over 13 hours. I told Alex that it’s moments/nights like these when I really do believe in karma. Or that there’s some mysterious force in the universe that recognizes a breaking point and dials back, throws you a bone. Gives you a break. It was one of those moments where I just thought to myself, we deserve this. And we did. It was a hard day of playing and tickling and jumping up and down, (okay, I’ll be honest, it was Alex and Lena doing these things while I watched.) It was just one of those few parenting moments of positive reinforcement, when you get a chance to breathe and say to yourself, Oh yeah, I remember why I’m doing this, and I’ll keep doing it.

Sunday was easy too. We played in the morning, Lena and I drove Alex back home, and she watched Toy Story, again, and then chatted to me merrily about the horses we saw on the way home. We had chili, at halftime of course, watched the Heels for the last time this season. (Still never been prouder to be a Tar Heel. I love this team.) Lena fell asleep, for the second time in a row, easily, at 8 pm.

What a great great weekend. Sort of exactly what a weekend should be, I think. Easy-peasy.

The best part about going away

March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

The best part about going away is coming back.

As Alex and I strolled down the promenade, jk, we were like, walking on the sidewalk, I was doing my normal random musings like, “I love being a mom” “we’re growing up”, I know, get a new tag line, right? And there are some horse drawn carriages and Alex says, “Remember that time in France when your dad tried to take Lena on the carriage ride?” And I laughed, because I did, and then because Alex proceeded to do this great impression of Lena really-really-wanting to go on the horse drawn carriage ride and then getting within ten feet of the horses and then freaking out. She ended up with a stuffed toy horse and an ice cream cone.

And then I thought, wow, I love that crazy little bean, but you know what? I’m ok right now, without her. I mean, I’m not enjoying this beautiful day in Charleston, South Carolina, because I’m longing for my child, you know? And I know, I’m describing this really inarticulately because I swear when I was telling Alex this there were tears in my eyes as I just thought, I don’t miss Lena right now, per se but instead, it’s better than that, because Goddamnit, I love that kid and I cannot imagine my life without her.

And then I come back, from being away for a while. (Two days, this ain’t a tour of duty or anything.) And Lena has changed so much. She’s more grown up, when she goes to hug Alex first. She’s the same, but she’s different. Little gestures, like putting our water glasses together. She fell off her booster seat, and the dining room table gave a collective intake of breath and Lena quickly declared, “I’m okay.” And we all dissolved into laughter. Lena demanded tickles from Alex then asked, “Are you going to sleep with us tonight?”

Lena’s acting more and more like a little kid each day. She even sleeps in a big bed now. No more crib. I check on her before I go to bed, and she’s asleep, head on the pillow, tucked into the covers, her giraffe’s head peaking out next to her. All of the sudden, growing up.

I better start going to bed early, knitting and listening to NPR.

…oh wait…

It gets better?

October 31, 2010 § 1 Comment

Lena and I are having a nice weekend on our own. Uhh. More or less. We went to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, and I ran into a couple of people. I saw Mary and Jack with Ty and Ty’s uncle, and gosh, it was crazy to see a baby. And I just remembered how at that age you’re just waiting for milestones…and it’s this huge revelation when they start to sleep for longer than 6 hours at a time…and then when they can sit by themselves….and then they can entertain themselves. It just gets better and better. Hang in there!

Then I ran into Gretchen and Desmond, twins from a class ahead of Lena, and I talked to their dad, Robbie, for at least 45 minutes while our kids played around the gazebo, and I thought to myself, wow, remember when I thought that being a parent was incredibly isolating? And now I’m discovering this emerging peer group, and making friends, and watching Lena interact with other kids is the coolest. And all these little personalities, and OMG THANK GOD I DON’T HAVE TWINS, etc.

And then L and I were on our own again for dinner and things…and being a parent was isolating again. And hard. But it gets better?

Being a parent is the most confusing amazing hard wonderful exciting insane awesome thing in the world. If I had to use one phrase to describe being a parent it would be WHAT THE FUCK. because you just can’t be prepared for all of the wonderful/crazy/suckiness that is being a parent.

And, you know what? I’m allowed to think that this is really hard. And I’m allowed to be amazed and astounded at all of these things that happen to me.

I woke up really early this morning and just laid in bed thinking about….well honestly thinking about trying to go back to sleep. And then around 7:30 I heard Lena from next door, saying “Maaamaaa….” And I called back, “Lena…” and she called back, “Mama…” And this went on for a few renditions until I got up and opened the door to find her smiling at me from her crib.

it’s sort of cheating, mikey said the other day. And it is. I have this little kid that just makes me happy the instant I see her. The way she hugs me around the middle when she’s standing up in her crib. It’s cheating because I’m not sure if I could be doing this by myself. Do I have the ability to rely solely on myself and make myself happy? I won’t find out for a while, I don’t think. But you know what? Fuck that. I have the ability to do the best things I can for my kid. I have the ability to give to her. I know what’s best for her, and I’m doing that. And that’s not cheating myself. That’s giving myself the greatest gift ever.

Or whatever. I’m going to be okay regardless.

lions and TIGERS and bears, oh my

March 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Did you know that there are Siberian tigers in Greensboro?

That’s what I thought.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Lena has had a bout of sickness that has left her a complete mama’s girl, which is a new experience for me, and wow to I have more respect for my mom now. (Hi Mom!) It’s an ego boost for sure, it calms that one fear in my heart, the one that was afraid L wouldn’t know who her momma is, but no, I’m definitely her person. I’m her person! I’m someone’s person!

The downside of this, 7:45 and I’m about ready to pass out and I say, Lena, Don’t you want Nana to read you that book?–No! Do taco with mommy! [Taco: This great (sarcasm) game that Alex invented than involves a person (the taco filling) lying on the pillow (the taco), having that pillow folded up around you (ala a taco) and being lifted up into the air. Lena loves this game. Alex gets more air than I do, although recently Lena has been doing taco to various stuffed animals, and when we were talking to Alex on the computer the other day, Lena said, “Do taco Alex?” And Alex thinking futuristically says, “yeah, sure” and before I can stop her, Lena lifted up the computer and set it back down on the table.]

Sorry got off on a tangent. But as I was saying.

So this weekend we go to visit Alex in Greensboro. We’ve hit a year. Lena and I have been making this trip for over a year, and thinking about it in terms of Lena, it’s really crazy. A year ago Lena wasn’t even talking, and our weekends consisted mainly of walking around outside and cooking elaborate dinners. This weekend Lena happily repeated “Pizza’s here!” And declared firmly at 9 PM that “I like pizza.” And we could do nothing but acquiesce.

But this weekend we decide to go to the Natural Science Center of Greensboro.

Have I mentioned how much I love Greensboro? The science center is one of those humble institutions run, predominantly it seems, by volunteers. A nice old man greeted us as we entered inquiring as to whether we had been here before (we hadn’t) and if we were sweethearts (his words, not mine). We were informed that the otters were being fed in 30 minutes, and that the tigers were Siberian tigers so they love this weather. Uhh…did he just say tigers?

THE TIGERS WERE SO COOL. Did you know that tigers are the largest solely carnivorous land mammals? Or, that if you shaved a tiger it would still have stripes? I didn’t.

The tigers were not only HUGE, seriously, this thing had a head the size of a microwave, and they were CLOSE too. This one tiger was pacing back and forth right in front of the glass.

They also had a cheeky little sign up next to the fence that said “Tiger Spray Zone”.

The Natural Science Center has a lot of really cool things going for it, besides the tigers too. They have a boardwalk over the maned wolf enclosure that’s made from recycled telephone poles. A lot of the tires and pipes and play things in the monkey exhibits were recycled and donated. Pretty cool!

Okay I swear I’m not being paid by the Natural Science Center of Greensboro, but it was super cool. You could walk right up to the wallabies, and you could pet the sheep. The otters were really playful and came right up to Lena which she was tickled about.

Oh and they had a TWO HEADED TURTLE. SERIOUSLY. TWO HEADS.

And the play area was great. They had all of Lena’s favorite things, mini shopping carts and cereal boxes and plastic veggies. I watched her push her cart to the cash register and “scan” each item. Another story for another day–but it was a cool lesson in gender roles, boys and girls were both happily playing house.

Lena had such a great time we had to literally drag her kicking and screaming to go home.

Having a two year old is so much fun.

No really! I wasn’t being sarcastic! Because she’s so little and so full of emotions, it’s so fun to watch her cope and categorize. She now says “I’m happy” or “I feel better” after she’s been crying, a perfectly succinct way to just get back on track. She’s so matter a fact about it it’s as if she just decides it right then and there. I admire her resilience. She’s a really cool kid, getting more and more kid like each day. At this point I’m just doing my best to keep up.

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