4th Birthday Love

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On December 20th, Potamus turned 4. We had celebrated his birthday earlier in the month, but with grandparents and aunties in various locations around the state, really this kid is getting birthday month (um, as it should be? Speaking as another December baby for a minute here…).

Four years. I have so many thoughts about these last four years. I used to tell people that when you move to a new place it takes four years to settle in. I really believe that about places, but I also believe that about parenting. I have felt an amazing connection to motherhood in the past four years, but what I have noticed lately, is my distinct lack of angst about getting him yet another peanut butter cracker/glass of orange juice/etc. What used to feel like having competing Internet Explorer browsers open, now feels a little bit more like a humming program running in the background, while the internet browser is open to whatever tab I want it to be.

I know that in 8 weeks this will change with the birth of my second kid, but it feels like year 4 with little dude is in a really good place.

And look at how sweet he is in that picture? So big. So big that Boof said, “I barely recognize him in those pictures from his first year.” I know. It’s crazy.

Happy 4 Years Buddy. I’ll leave you with this recent quote of his:

“Before you were born, I was just a lady. And you made me a mommy.”

“Yeah! And you made me a [Potamus] and I made daddy a daddy. We all made each other.”

WE ALL MADE EACH OTHER.

Wisdom from a 4 year old.

 

Thanksgiving Re-Cap

My mini-meltdown ended after 45 minutes of sitting in the idling car listening to Macklemore’s The Heist cd on repeat. And angry blogging. Once I identified that I had felt disrespected, I was able to articulate it to my family, and things blew over. My problem is having a hard time identifying my emotions and switch right to raging bitch pissed, rather than calmly being able to articulate what’s really going on. Like I felt disrespected that I was the only one doing parenting duties and everyone else was acting 12, shouting at football games and barking orders.

The rest of our visit was relatively calm, though sleeping on a 167 year old double mattress with egg crate for ‘support’ was less than ideal. Especially with a squirrelly nursling who would pop up, even in the middle of the night, to assess his surroundings. On Friday night we took my dad out for his 60th birthday, and had some yummy Italian food that didn’t sit well with me, but at least we didn’t have any major arguments. And Potamus enjoyed feeding carrots to the horses was scared of the horses, but was obsessed with going out in the pasture with us anyway. Also, hearing him say “football” is adorable, though it sounds a hell of a lot more like ‘butt ball” which makes me laugh, every time.

We’re home now, and trying to recover from being out of my comfort zone for two days (and trying desperately not to think of the return trip in three weeks for ‘Christmas.’ Eek!).

dads birthday dinner

60th birthday dinner for grandpa!

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Me & Little Man

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he’s really loving the horses (not)

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stripes & grass

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out for a brisk walk with grammy

feeding the horses some carrots

 

First Birthday

Birth & One Year Later

Happy Birthday Potamus! Today you turn  1, and I couldn’t be happier that you are my sweet little boy.The moment you were laid on my chest I said, “I love you, and have waited so long to meet you!” It was an early morning, 6:29 am, but I felt so much love and energy that I couldn’t stop smiling and snuggling you. After about an hour, your daddy had to ask if me if he could have a turn! This year has been filled with so many adventures, from family reunions all over the state, to a wedding in Oregon, to local fun events like KidsQuest Museum and a concert for your favorite musician, Caspar Babypants. You are my little adventurer, happy unless hungry (or tired or poopy or sick), and social. You love spending time with your grandparents and aunties (both biological, and non) and especially love 4 legged creatures like our pup Scrummy. You are also always on the move! You started crawling at 8 months and haven’t looked back, since. You currently enjoy throwing the ball down grammy’s stairs and going to chase after it! And you love to eat, tortellini with marinara sauce is your current favorite, which makes me happy because I love it, too!

I wish so many more wonderful things for year 2! I am excited for you to begin walking unassisted, and for you to sleep longer stretches at night in your big-boy bed! I am excited to take trips to the zoo and the aquarium and for all the friends you’re going to make at “school” when you start in January. I miss some of your babyness, but am loving the little boy you are turning out to be! I hope your birthday was a happy and special day! Know that your mama and daddy love you very much. We are so happy that your are in our life!

Potamus One year later

Some Birthday Shenanigans

While Potamus isn’t officially 1 until Thursday, we celebrated this weekend with some fun festivities. As my parents found out, when I turned 1 (and NO other time), Potamus was not a big fan of birthday cake. He did enjoy being passed from guest to guest, though, flirting with all of the ladies.

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Anna Karenina: A Movie Review

There is nothing like celebrating one’s 30th birthday, than with a Russian tragedy, er, love story. At least that’s what I convinced myself, and Boof, when he pressured to know how I wanted to spend today. I am usually terrible about thinking of celebratory things (especially things that don’t involve spending $100 on filet mignon at Daniel’s Broiler in Lake Union). But Anna Karenina is one of my favorite stories, a thick Russian love story/tragedy that occupied one good summer while I was lifeguarding and dreaming of someday being in love and married and possibly a mom.

I remember being confused at first, with a huge list of characters to memorize, and the Russian way of using nicknames and surnames that change, it was quite a challenge, and yet, I was drawn to the story, the woman: Anna. Tolstoy had this beautifully magic way of making her come alive on the page, and it was almost as if he was telling a story that was buried inside my soul, which shows his ability to not only relate to the greater human condition, but somehow understand a little about what goes on inside the hearts and minds of women. And the fact that I believed and knew and related so much to this beautifully awful complex woman made the ending that much more tragic.

But not so, in the movie.

The movie failed to capture the complexities of Anna, instead, the beautiful cinemetography and lack of substantial dialogue or even an omnipresent narrator given the task of explaining her innermost thoughts (they could have done with more actual quotes from the novel, I think), left the character of Anna more on par with that of Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attractions. She seemed mad with love, and yet it didn’t seem pure or good or anything explainable other than lusty desire and…madness, in the film. The character of Vronsky was also flat, and gave me, the viewer, little insight into what made him tick (besides his penis picking Anna) and failed to leave me with any reason why Anna would have picked him, even if it was with her ‘heart.’ If looks were the reason that brought them together, then character casting could have done a better job, at that. Because I knew the ending already, I was almost looking forward to her suicide, thinking, “when will Anna finally jump in front of the train,” which was a thought that caught me off guard since I so understood her in the book.

Because of my preconceived notions from the story, I was actually surprised that I felt a compassion and empathy with Anna’s husband, who appeared in the film as a man who had done nothing at all to deserve the roller coaster ride that she put him on. I wonder, is it age or wisdom or simply the movie-maker’s take on the story that has changed my experience of Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin.The setting, filmed as if this were a play, added confusion to the storyline and I felt like it was trying to hard, though the actual filming of the scenes were beautiful.

In the end, though, I am happy I saw the movie, even if it was only a pure escape for two hours. I so rarely get to sit in a theater and enjoy myself, so that was a real treat. And I am happy that I laid my fantasies about the story aside and got to see a different view of the same old tale of love and loss.

But I’ll leave you with a quote from the book:

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Agree? Disagree? Thoughts on the book or the movie or both?

Birthday Reflections as I turn 30

Tomorrow I am turning the big 3-0, which means that I have been kickin’ it on planet Earth for three decades! Whew!

I normally get crabby around my birthday. It’s happened ever since I could remember, and I didn’t really understand the correlation until I was an adult and in support with other adoptees. I wrote angsty journal entries as a teenager that would often ask my diary the question, “is this because I am adopted?” and now, as an adult, I can unequivocally say, “yes, it is.” For most people, birthdays are celebrations of birth, but for me, a celebration of my birth is also a bittersweet reminder that my birth resulted in a separation from my mother, father, and all my extended family. For the longest time I didn’t really feel born, more like I had simply somehow poofed into existence here, like an alien arriving from a different planet. And, until I was 25, I did not have any pictures of me, as a newborn. There was a few taken a few days later, but none of that moment, the one where I took my first few breaths and was held by my parents. But, when I met Father J, one of the first things he did was pull the two pictures of me that he had, out, and gave them to me. Two pictures. That’s all I have. One of me in my mother’s arms, she is not visible, except for her iv marks, which is strangely appropriate and sad, as a foreshadow of things to come and come and come. And one of him holding me. It’s been doubly exposed, though, as it was either taken over previous film or vice versa. Which is also appropriate…a life captured and then gone to be replaced by something different.

Baby Monk-Monk with Mama Ebaby monk monk with father j

So, this week, I’ve managed to oscillate between feeling excited about my upcoming joint birthday party with Potamus, and pissed off. I’ve mostly felt pissed off. I’ve sulked and tromped around and thrown mini-internal tantrums. Because,  I didn’t really understand the importance of a birth day or a birth story until I gave birth to Potamus. I wonder if I should simply start celebrating his birth as my own, since the day he was born, was the day I became a mother. Maybe in the future I will simply start celebrating my birth on the 2oth, as it was both the day I became a wife (anniversary) and a mother (birth of Potamus). Hey, I kinda like that idea.

Potamus 1 hour old Snuggling

But here I am, an individual, who was earthly born out of my mother’s body on December 13th. In Scandinavian tradition, the 13th is St. Lucia’s Day, typically thought to be the darkest day of the year, which is celebrated with children wearing crowns of candles and bringing their parents hot coffee and cinnamon buns. I think it appropriate that I was born on this day, and have loved the tradition and symbolism since I was a child. In fact, I created elements of this tradition in my wedding, with a red sash and crown and wedding favors of Norway Spruce.

6a00e5521f4a68883401053655aeaa970c-800wi Monk-Monk Wedding Dress & Sash

But in so many ways, 3 decades have gone by quickly. I’ve gotten to meet lovely people, and have had many many adventures. From spending a year barefoot, to river rafting in the Ganges, to riding in the Fremont Solstice Naked Bike Ride. I have a lovely group of friends, a comfortable home to come home to, and a sweet little family that I have created with Boof. I have so much to be thankful for, and am looking forward to the next 30 years. But growing old and looking back is still hard.

Taj Mahal Manastash RidgeSeattle Sounders Fremont Solstice Parade

Baseball