Here are a few photos from my trip to Anchorage. Sorry they're not better...maybe someday.
We flew right over our house on the way out. One last chance to whisper goodbye. I usually never sit in window seats, but on the flights to Alaska, it's worth it.
This doesn't do it justice, but I love this view from Anchorage looking south towards Turnagain Arm. On the ground, these towering mountains appear to jut right out of the water's edge and it's truly breathtaking.
There is never any lack of stuffed animals in Alaska, this poor fellow ended up at the airport.
I was also able to visit our friends' brand new uber-chic townhouse, complete with an Ikea kitchen and glass garage doors. Yes, they're really glass! If he sends me the link again to the web site, I'll post it here.
I'm back from my trip. It's 9:00 p.m. and I figure I might as well get a little post in before tomorrow, since it'll be all babies, all day...and that's OK. (And a sick one to boot!)
Being away was easier than I thought it would be. Business trip or not, I thoroughly enjoyed my break. I discovered that giving birth puts you in a club where episiotimies, falling uterus's and other gritty details are discussed betweengails of laughter over glasses of wine....and this was with customers!
But hearing a baby cry or a toddler whine always brought me back to my little ones. So I'm glad to be home, and I can't wait to hold them... in fact, I hear a little fussing right now...what timing! Gotta go. :-)
This photo was sent to me from an Alaska friend. I hope it's OK that Im posting it here.
I'm leaving for Alaska on Monday. A business trip to Anchorage, so it's not exactly a white sandy beaches & Mai Tai's type of break, but it's a 4-day getaway nonetheless. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm looking forward to the flight-- the thought of sitting for a few hours and actually reading is such a luxury. Never mind my knees rubbing the seat in front of me, ha, ha I'm reading! Nobody will wake up from their nap at the best part and my eyes won't be crossed because it's 10:30 at night!
I keep wondering what Hubby's Mr. Mom experience will be like while I'm gone? Will he be more appreciative of what I do? Will he start reminding me that Boo likes her little pillow for naps or not to forget Bear's coat for daycare? Will I be able to sleep without the staticky hum of a baby monitor in the background, or wondering if that soft whimper will escalate to a full blown bawl in the middle of the night?
I know that every time I look at a clock, I'll think about what they're doing. "It's nap time, it's lunchtime, Bear is probably melting down now..." But I will relish this time away, this precious adult time. So I'm excited for the break, and I miss them already. I guess that's the deal with motherhood --you can have it all, but you feel it all too!
Here I am, one more person, adding one more Obama post to the blogosphere. I'm not a celebrity, I haven't written a song about him, so does it matter? Yes. Yes it can.
Yesterday seemed like a gigantic wedding for the country, it was so happy, and so was easy to be caught up by the fun details: the First Lady's outfit (trend setting lemongrass), their darling girls, Aretha Franklin's crown (I mean...hat), Barack helping John Roberts with the swearing in, waving goodbye to George Bush (yes!). I teared up countless times. But most of all, I loved how our President grounded us again during his speech: he didn't go on about what "he" was going to do, he was serious about the times ahead and what "we" need to do. All of us, together.
It's exciting to hope again and to have the whole country cheering right along. I'm excited for change, excited to buck up, pull together, plant a victory garden, prepare for sacrifices ahead. I'm ready to pay my price for the citizenship I was born into.
OK-but I do have just a couple teensy-weensy cynical comments about the media and this event. Hearing about Michelle Obama's fashion sense on every news cast is getting a little old. The woman is a Havard educated lawyer, she has other talents besides dressing! And as I watched yesterday and saw celebrity after celebrity, I started to feel a little put off. It seemed rather unfair that so many of them got great seats, but so many regular folks couldn't.
And I know that Oprah was really excited about the Inauguration (if you saw Monday's show)and even commissioned Wil.i.am & producer David Foster to write a song for it, but what I couldn't understand was: why were Bono (hello...citizen of Ireland) and Seal (from Britain) singing about America? Is it that hard to find American singers? I realize I'm being negative, and I truly don't want to take away from what we are all striving for...so, deep breath, I'm letting that all go. Now I'm off to see where I can volunteer a few hours a week.
I consider myself a fairly mentally healthy person, however, this motherhood thing affords such opportunity for guilt. After a week of: a new daycare schedule, a doctor's appointment, the kids discovering our kitchen cabinets and their exciting, throwable contents, Christmas boxes to be packed, I could feel it--a sour mood spiraling into....
....indignation: "Why didn't Hubby put the toys away? He was up ten minutes earlier than me!"
...irritation: "Bear, do you have to shriek so loud?"
...self pity: "My back is so stiff. I'm getting old."
My husband, attempting to cheer me up, reminded me of a time when I didn't know if I would have kids, where this type of scenario would be a dream come true. I wasn't feeling it.
I finally cracked this morning when the kids' babbling and shrieking made me miss an important segment on the Today show---hopes for Michelle Obama revitalizing a sagging fashion industry. Standing in the kitchen, hair a mess, pajamas mismatched, I needed her style, her cool, her J. Crew ensembles. Because maybe, just maybe a little bit would rub off on me. But, alas, it was not to be, and in frustration, the "F" word slipped right out of me (loudly I might add). I was done. Finished. It was quiet, I turned to see two little faces looking up at me wide eyed from their high chairs, and I felt the guilt. Watching. Accusing.
"I bet Michelle Obama wouldn't do that."
A few minutes later, I received a call with an opportunity to leave the house for a few hours while J. (a trusted childcare person who now works at our office) watched the kids for the day. But as much as I had been wanting a break all morning, a sadness came over me when I thought of leaving them. Friday is my baby day. But as we spoke I heard the siren songs of Target and Costco (country moms are easy to please) and said "Yes". This time the guilt surprised me, it slipped in when I wasn't looking and took hold.
It turns out this opportunity is happening tomorrow instead, so I've had a chance today to sit and play with my children. Really play, not just pointing them in directions and letting them go. We all felt good. No shrieking, no clinging and no guilt.
I also ate a big bowl of popcorn and watched the Ellen show. C'mon, I'm not perfect!
This is precious time right now. It's nap time and I'm pushing it: I've checked my email, started some laundry, made a couple work calls, raided my children's Pirate's Booty snacks (addictingly crunchy goodness!) and now I'm on to my blog. I know any second the fussing will start and it'll be over. This post and you, my audience of four, will have to wait patiently until my next opportunity to blog. You have heavy competition too! So many things in front of you...dishes, laundry (always laundry), bills to pay, and a Christmas tree to break down (yes, it's still up). Oh and the huge decision of what to make for dinner...again. Geez, I just did that yesterday!
I now recognize the wads of time I had before the kids. Scads of minutes, half hours, even hours, that I frittered away, always feeling there was never enough. Things I took for granted like weekends being a time to sleep in, staying up late to watch movies, leisurely breakfasts, styling my hair have become things that need to be planned. Now here comes the corny part when I say that I wouldn't trade my babies for all time in the world, and of course that's completely, absolutely true.
Here comes the fussing, in stereo, so I have to run.
This year I'm trying my best not to make resolutions, but they keep sneaking into my psyche. Years ago, when I was quitting smoking, we were told to tap into our "inner junkie": a nasty, Gollum like creature that's responsible your urges ("we needs just one little ciggie"). I'm realizing that resolutions are no different, I crave them because they assure me that next year will be OK, if only I do ________ . New Year's resolutions pose as a 50% off luxurious, cashmere pullover that's ever-so-slightly tight, but will fit perfectly once you're 10 pounds lighter (we needs it, we must have the precious) only to end up as that cheap pilly sweater you kick yourself for buying as you toss it into the Goodwill pile.
I've decided that in 2009, I'm not swearing off anything, rather, I'm letting things unfold, and they can take their own sweet time. A dormant well of creativity has been bubbling up recently, but this year, instead of intending to paint this wall (which must be the perfect shade), or creating a modern folk art paint job for our kitchen stool (one that shows I'm really an "artist"), I'll relax and see where the flow takes me. So while I want to declare that 'I'm losing 20 pounds', 'I'm going off sugar', or "I'll fold the laundry right away", I'm resisting. Hands trembling, coffee drinking (well, tea in '09) resisting.