Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ooh la la.

So it has been just over six weeks since I had the babypi. And Riley is taking me to Ruth's Chris tonight. On a date. Without the kids.

Have I mentioned it has been six weeks since I had the baby? Ahem.

This is the song I will be listening to all day to get ready for our night on the town.

Ooh la la.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

At 4 a.m.

Dear Viola,

You are six weeks old. A darling 9 pound little girl with a cotton candy tongue. Dark brown hair and eyes as blue as your lovin' daddys'. You have begun to smile and you know our voices. Sleeping, at night at least, seems to hold little appeal. You and I have a standing appointment at 4am every morning. We meet over a warm bottle and a rocking chair. Holding you in the dark of the morning is not something I am quite ready to give up. There is something special about just you and me and the stars. As I listen to your little baby sighs, I wonder who you are. What dreams were you born with and what dreams will I help you find? How will you decide to live the moments we are given on this earth? And always, how can I help you? Because little girl, I live to help you. The questions are there and the answers, the lovely, bright, happy answers will come. Until then you snuggle in closer and I bless you as only a mother can. I bless you with a family that loves you. I bless you with the life I hope for you. A life with pride of accomplishment, a man to love, a little girl to hold at 4 in the morning. I bless you with adventure and love and warmth. With hopes unhindered by fear or regret. I bless you with curiosity and desire and faith. That you will know your Heavenly Father and your divine heritage. That you won't waste the beauty I see behind those blue eyes. And I hold you and love you and in the dark it almost seems possible that I can give you all these things.

See you in a few hours.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Creative Thinking

Virginia Woolf said, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

Just a few spaces I would not mind calling my own.

This room of my own business may be more than a couple paychecks away. A kitchen table free of cheerios will do until then.

Monday, October 24, 2011

To do list

Today I...

Drove around and ran errands for three consecutive hours
Made a pot of beans ... double the salt pork
Took Viola Honey to the Doctor, Hello Acid Reflux.
Picked up a prescription, GOODBYE Acid Reflux
Read Goodnight Moon to Margaret before her nap
Listened to Margaret cry before her nap
Caved and read Goodnight Moon to Margaret THREE more times before she finally napped
Held Viola while she cried
Held Viola while she smiled
She cried some more
Picked up Riley from work
Ate leftovers for dinner ... pizza for Margaret, corned beef and cabbage for the parents
Watched Antique Roadshow
Cried while watching Antique Roadshow...they are just so happy...How can you not cry?
Took a bath
Collapsed into a puddle of blogging, Pinterest and facebook

Tomorrow I will...

Seek my Heavenly Father first

Happiness will follow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A good day

There are days I go to to bed knowing that I am not living my life with the fullness it deserves. Photographs have gone untaken and stories have remained unwritten. A day blooms with marvelous capacities. The potential for color and creation. Sometimes I waste that. Waste it on uncertainty, indifference and Bones re-runs. (but seriously, David Boreanaz? Sure. I'll take that.) There are days when I capture the blues and pinks and yellows. The subtleties and the stories and the loveliness. Those are good days.

A few things other people have made on what must have been good days.

                                                  2012 Calendar,  Sycamore Street Press

Handmade invitations, junkaholique

Presence by Cassandra Barney

To more good days for all of us.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthin' that baby

When I had Margaret I was fairly uneducated about the whole birthing process. I had heard there were women that had their babies at home while a shaman chanted and the husband, children, household pets, in-laws and gardener watched. All of it followed by a hearty meal of placenta and self-righteousness. I had also heard of women that scheduled c-sections around pedicures and work meetings. Hey Doc, could you hurry it up? I think I just broke a nail. In my infinite wisdom, (hear that sarcasm?) I decided both groups of women were overthinking the whole thing.  Let's face it. Placenta tacos sound a bit exotic for me, my nails are always a mess, and I have never been able to stick to a schedule in my life. Women have been birthing babies since Eve went east of eden.  Couldn't I just show up and push the thing out?

Which is exactly what I did. I went into labor while Riley was at a basement...out of cell service. So, with my contractions 5 minutes apart, I drove myself to the hospital. Please picture how pathetic I must have looked crawling alone into hospital admitting. Now multiply that by ten. Yep. You got it. A worried Riley got to the delivery room as I was being given the epidural. Just an hour later I had a nearly nine pound baby. The birth had been quick, chaotic and damaging. My family came in and cried over the little girl's loveliness and I stared at the ceiling wanting to be anywhere but there. I kept staring at ceilings for another three months. I won't argue that the labor made my postpartum worse, but it was certainly a difficult beginning.The next time things would be different.

And they were.

I chose my doctors carefully. Told them what I wanted and needed. I took the hospital tour and packed my overnight bag three weeks before the baby was due. Preparation, hello, my name is Megan. Nice to meet you. On September 10th, I went to my nephew's first birthday party. The food was good, the company was nice and my back hurt. By eleven pm my back still hurt and I had had two, count them two, contractions. Not exactly the stuff rushing to the hospital is made of. My mom was positive I was in the throes of labor. I was positive she was in the throes of crazy. For not the first time, Riley took my mom's advice over mine. So we left Margaret at Gamy and Papa's and went to the hospital. This time I got to walk into admitting with my best friend.

The next bit was quick, painful and lovely. Dilated to a six. Broken water. Contractions. Waiting for the epidural. Contractions. Waiting for the epidural. Contractions. Where the $#%& is the epidural? Oh. There it is. Much. Better. We had been in the hospital for two hours and it was time. The doctor and nurses bustled around the room setting up. Riley held my hand and we laughed. Laughed because life is consistently scary and new and bright and hopeful and inconsi stent. Laughed because we are still just kids. Laughed because there was no turning back. And because we didn't want to. Laughed because everything is just so damn much better when he is holding my hand.

 And then she was here. Didn't push once. Just laughed that little Viola Honey right out.


She was tiny and black haired and quiet. I held her and I knew that this is one thing women can't overthink. The women with the shaman and the women with the schedule had understood something that I had not. Perhaps they approach birth in an extreme way because it is an extreme thing. It is the future and the past. It is blood and spirit. For just a moment heaven meets earth and we get to be there. What a profound blessing.

By 6am Riley was asleep and Viola breathed steadily on my chest. I was tired and sore and just a little scared. And happy. I was happy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Sang this song with Riley all morning while we got ready. I do the lyrics, he rocks the vocal guitar. Nerdy. Fabulous. Lucky me.

As Ms. Krauss says, I've got all this and heaven above.

Have a happy day.

Oh Atlanta, by Alison Krauss and Union Station

Monday, October 10, 2011

It doesn't take much partum depression. What a b-word, am I right?

There I will be. Having a perfectly lovely day, nothing but reasons to be happy and then suddenly the floor falls out and I can't breathe.

Take Saturday.

The weather was a cold excuse for indoor activites. We straightened up, played with the babies and read books. There was even talk of Chick-Fil-A for dinner. A day of clouds topped with fried chicken sandwiches. Yes. Please. Thank you.

However, by four o'clock, the babies, the reading, the promise of deep fried goodness on the just wasn't enough.  Riley could sense my anxiety. I can't imagine how. It may have had something to do with the fact that I was pacing back and forth and mumbling under my breath. He suggested that I might want to get out the house. Or maybe it was more like he needed my crazy self to leave for a little while. Either way.

I wrote a shopping list, grabbed the car keys and headed east to...Harmon's. A locally owned grocery store that carries everything from poor mans potato chips to a selection of middle class hipsters french cheese. I know there are much more exclusive markets in other parts of the country. I understand that Harmon's is no Dean & Deluca. But it is what this Provo girl has, and heaven knows I will take it.

 I spent an hour wandering the aisles. Picking out the food we needed and looking at the food we can't afford. (Have you ever really immersed yourself in the world of high end pickled goods? Oh. Delicious. The decadence of a ten dollar jar of pickles is one I hope to experience in this lifetime.) The anxiety began to ease by the time I had passed the locally made sausages. The sadness got lost somewhere near the in-house bakery. By the time I reached the produce section my cart was nearly full and I felt almost human. I dawdled around the exotic fruits, pondered the purchase of kale (we really should start eating better), and finally put iceberg lettuce and a couple of apples in my basket.

And then a treat. A nice lady with a nice smile was handing out samples of a root vegetable soup. Would I like some? Oh, yes. Yes I would. She ladled the burnt orange goodness into a cup, topped it off with a goat cheese crostini and handed it to me with a, "there you go, hon." It looked like something Martha Stewart would make on a camp out. In other words, beautiful. Seriously. That plastic crostini topped cup was the fanciest thing that I had held in months. Which is embarrassing. But not nearly as embarrassing as what happened next. Root soup in hand I looked up at the woman who had given it to me, eyes welled up with tears and said, "Oh my goodness. Thank you so much. This is really just too nice." She looked terrified. I can't really blame her.

I savored that soup one mini spoon bite at a time.

I think I need to get out more often.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Royal Treatment

Today has been a simple day. Pot pie and Sleeping Beauty for Margaret. Bottles and rocking for Viola. Both kids asleep and Friday Night Lights for me. It is cold outside. Riley is at work. I am grateful. We have, as Margaret would say, "MORE THAN ENOUGH!"

More than enough warmth in our little house. More than enough food in our yellow cabinets. More than enough opportunity in the still hazy future.

And more than enough $%#& diapers.

They are everywhere. Spilling out of  the trash can, hiding under the couch, I found one behind my pillow last night. Surprise.

Viola's diapers are tiny, inoffensive things. If the waste of a human being could be cute, let me tell you...hers' is. Margaret, on the other hand. Oh.My.Goodness. At two and a half the little darling is still not interested in potty training. She has the system pretty well figured out. I can see it in her eyes every time I extol the fun, beauty, fantasticness! of using the toilet...

Sure, Mom. Like we are going to change anything. You read me all my favorite books, serve Chef Boyardee at least twice weekly and literally wipe my butt. What, pray tell, needs to be altered about this situation.

Yesterday, I brought out the big guns. A princess themed training potty. Pink, bedecked with Disney and sparkles, it even has a magical wand that chimes when you "flush." If this couldn't get Margaret to stop messing in her own pants, I honestly don't what could.

We presented the potty with the royal fanfare such a throne deserves. And.She.Loved.It. The girl was positively hysterical about the beauty of the thing. She shouted "PRINCESS POTTY!" over and over again as we set it up in the bathroom. Then she and I had a talk,

(Side note: I hate talking about bathroom related issues. I have avoided the p word, poop, for most of Margaret's life. Euphemisms have included mess, muddy and my favorite, absolute silence on the subject. I won't have any problem sitting down and talking to my kids about sex. But a candid discussion about waste? Absolutely horrifying for me.)

"Margaret, this princess potty is just for you! You are a big sister now. Do you know what big sisters do? They go poopy and peepee in the potty!"


"Yes. So you just tell mommy when you need to go poopy or peepee and I will help you go in the potty. OK?"


She then proceeded to carry the potty around the house telling both the real and imaginary occupants of our home all about her beautiful new potty. After the grand tour she returned it to bathroom and sat by it...stroking it...for 15 solid minutes. By the end of the evening she had filled the inside of it with all of her treasures. It is bursting with doll shoes, puzzle pieces and play food. Let me tell you, cookies coming out of the top of a toilet, even one as glamorous as this one? Seriously disturbing.

The one thing I am certain Margaret will never allow inside her beautiful new potty?

Anything that comes out of her butt.

Maybe it is just time to invest in a bigger trash can.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How it's done

 My baby is three weeks old and I am two days past being absolutely bonkers. Some mothers are slowly driven crazy by their children. Mine make me mental from birth. It is not entirely the darling dears' fault. My chemical make up is particularly prone to post-partum depression. Combine that tendency with sleepless nights, diaper blow outs and HOW-MUCH-WEIGHT-DO-I- STILL-NEED-TO-LOSE? and you have one notsohotso mess. Nearly a month into this two child experiment and I am finally waking up. I can smile in the mornings and haven't fallen asleep crying on the floor for DAYS! Yes. This is big and beautiful news.

Sunday was one of my last actively psycho days. By mid morning, I had pushed past the panic and sadness. The question sounding since Viola was born, HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS?, had become a bit quieter. In celebration, I made a fancy breakfast. And by "fancy" I mean that hash browns were involved. The table was set and I had only broken one egg yolk. Time to eat. Of course, Viola decided she was scream-till-I-just-can't-scream-anymore hungry at the very moment I had dressed my beloved potatoes. (three shakes of salt, two from the pepper and a generous ketchup-ing.) By the time I was done feeding the baby, my egg had congealed and Margaret had been taking bites of my bacon. The hash browns, however, still looked just perfect. Yes. My baby was fed, my family had enjoyed a meal made by my hand. Who needs eggs? Who needs bacon sans two year old slobber? I have everything. Everything with a side of fried potato strings. Content, I lifted a forkful of the hash browns to my mouth and...

they were cold. Freezing. Glacial.

I got up. Threw the plate in the sink and locked myself in the bathroom for an angry cry.

How are we going to do this? How are we going to do this. How am I going to do this?

Twenty minutes and one make up application later, I emerged. Margaret was in her room, Viola was asleep and the kitchen had been cleaned. Riley was waiting for me in the front room. The poor man looked very confused. He sat next to me, pulled me into his arms and asked what was wrong. I started crying. The ugly kind - with hiccups and a runny nose.

"Don't you see?" I said, "With two kids I am really just a mom and I will be eating cold potatoes for the rest of my life." This followed by more tears. Hiccups. Snot.


The good - patient! - man laughed, pulled me in closer and said the most romantic thing this crazy girl has ever heard,

"Meggi, don't forget. I am here. We will take turns eating cold potatoes."

And there it was. My answer. That is how we are going to do this. We will all laugh and love. The girls, Riley and I will color the world with sidewalk chalk and read about the places we can't reach. I will remember the man I married and follow him to the bright lights he has always seen. He will remember the girl he married and give me time to write and space to dream. We will touch and make out and ahem, you know, so that for just a little while it feels like we are the only ones in the world.

 And we will take turns eating the cold potatoes.