Equality

My wish is that someday this blog become a sort of “baby book/journal” for my girls to read about their childhood. Yes, yes – I realize there are quite a few explicative-laden posts. But, let’s be honest – it’s not like they haven’t heard it come out of my mouth every now and again, and I’m sure the older they get the less careful I will be about swearing. For what it’s worth, my brothers, my father and I all have HORRIBLE mouths and dirty senses of humor. We get it honestly – my Papo (my dad’s dad) was a real pistol. I think it might get worse with each generation. Sorry ’bout your luck, future in-laws of the Feldmann girls. They’ll be cute and have manners, but they’ll swear like sailors.

Speaking of spouses, this segues nicely into the point of this post (which doesn’t happen very often). In light of the recent rulings on the DOMA, I feel compelled to weigh in on the issue. Not just because I’m a mother, but especially because I’m a mother.

First, part of me wants a large percentage of the country to go into a big “Time Out.” Why? Because, I see the opponents to same-sex marriage much the same way I see my girls when they are tired and are having trouble playing well with each other or other kids. Lots of times my fellow homemakers and I will be trying to gossip and chat supervising a playdate when one of our children will come up and whine about something another child is doing. Oftentimes, the conversation looks a lot like this:

P: “Mommy, Blair is playing with the tea set.”

M: “Did she take it away from you? Were you playing with it?”

P: “No.”

M: “Are you hurt?”

P: “No.”

M: “Is she bothering you?”

P: “No.”

M: “Okay, why don’t you worry about yourself and find something else to do? That’s a great idea, don’t you think?”

Every ounce of me wants to take those who oppose same-sex marriage, shake them, and then have the conversation above. What I really want to ask them is, “Why the HELL do you care so much about this?!?!? Are these people bothering you? Are they hurting you? No? Okay, worry about yourself and find something else to do! For the love of God, maybe start putting your energy into helping the environment or fixing the public school system!”

Whew. Okay. Let me pull myself together. I get a little worked up.

My point is this: why are these people so concerned about something that has absolutely nothing to do with them? Lots of people point to the Bible. Okay, so the way they (opponents) read it, these “same-sex spouses” will not get into Heaven. What difference does it make to you? If anything, there will be more room for you and your pals up there.

Not that I believe a second of that, by the way. For as long as I can remember I have always said that the God/Jesus I believe in would never, ever say that too much love in the world was a bad thing. Isn’t a world filled with love better than a world filled with hatred?

I consider it important to have my own personal views on this well-tuned. And, yes, even though my girls are small I already make sure to try to educate them in the most age-appropriate way. Once, we were in Chicago and a bride got on the elevator with two of her bridesmaids.  Paige said “Mommy, she is getting married today! Where is her groom?” I was quick to point out that it could have been TWO brides at the wedding. And I’m pretty sure her little head almost exploded at the thought of all that beautiful-gownness/makeup/sparkly jewelry in one place.

Because, here’s the thing – none of us, not ONE of us who are parents to young children, has any idea who they will choose to love someday. I can promise you this – I won’t always be pleased with their choices. I mean, that’s what your twenties are for, right? To date people that piss off your parents?

But I can promise my children this: whomever you decide to love, regardless of race or gender, I will love them too. As long as they love you as you deserve to be loved, as long as they treat you with the respect I hope I raise you to demand, as long as they treat people around them like they matter, and as long as they promise to raise my grandchildren with good values – I will love them too. (Oh, and as long as they promise to live next door after you’re married … but we can talk about that later). No one, NO. ONE. Will ever take away your right to be whomever it is God has decided you will be. No one will tell you that you are wrong for loving another good human being. No one will make your life more difficult for simply trying to spread love into this world.

I promise you that, girls. I will fight for you and your rights to my death. Never forget that equality is what makes us human. It is what makes us remember to respect, honor and care for all those around us. It is what pushes us forward to continue to fight for those who are less fortunate and who need more. It is what keeps the world around us from crumbling into an apathetic, selfish mess.

Never forget that.

Love who you want to love, and do it with all of your heart and all of your soul. You might get hurt in the process, but it will not be from someone telling you that you have no right to love that person. Not on my watch. (Unless they have a motorcycle. That’s just dangerous. Dad, you were right.)

“I Love You”

This is a post on the fly, and I don’t even have any pictures to go with it. I just had to capture it so that someday I can look back on this day and remember. (Who am I kidding? It will probably be later today and I’ll need to look at this to remember they can be sweet to each other.)

We just sat down to lunch and Paige decided she “wanted to sit next to her baby sister.” Little did I know that this actually meant she wanted to sit RIGHT next to her. As in, sharing a chair next to her. Whatevs – not a battle I have the energy to fight, and Blair seemed fine with it.

We were all quietly enjoying our lunch (shut it – some things really do happen quietly in this house). Out of the blue, Paige turned to Blair and said, “I love you, Bear.” Blair turned back to Paige and said, “I wuv ewe tu, P.”

Stop it. I think my heart might explode.

Then they both decided they were done with lunch, hopped down from their chairs without asking, and I just heard Paige tell Blair to “give me that back or I’ll knock your head off.” Then she screamed as Blair bit her. Again. (WTF? Why so violent, ladies???) Sounds at lot less like love than a few minutes ago …

Oh well …

If fleeting sisterly love is all I’ll get, then I guess I’ll have to take it.

 

 

T-Ball

Okay, this past Saturday was Paige’s last t-ball game. Yes, I realize I haven’t yet posted anything about this big adventure. But, in my defense, I first drafted this post on May 1st. I just got so overwhelmed with all the pictures and stories when I started to finish it that I decided to write about other important things. Like Band-aids and bananas, apparently.

You might remember that Paige tried soccer last Fall, then promptly decided we should “put soccer away.” She fought going to every single game, but always had a terrific time once she was actually there. Enter t-ball – which is a 2 month-long “season” that includes practices AND games.

All I can say is, thank God for post-game snacks. I’m not sure we could have gotten her there otherwise. And, true to form, she had a blast every time after the first 3-minutes. (Except for that one game that started at 3:30 in the afternoon. Let’s just say that a mid-afternoon game on a Saturday might need to be reconsidered for a bunch of 4 year-olds. By the end, each child on the opposing team had a parent on the field with them, and more than 80% of all the kids were crying.)

So, a quick overview – each inning consists of each team going up to bat. Each team member bats once, then the teams switch. No score is kept. No outs are made. No ‘R’s are ‘B’d ‘I’. In fact, most of the time, the majority of kids are  fighting their fellow teammates for the ball. Or picking up interesting-looking rocks in the dirt. Or just deciding to stroll over to the “stands” and say hi to a parent or grandparent. Or … well, you get the idea.

I probably could have stopped with the description of “4 year-olds playing an organized sport” and been done with it. (But how very unlike me.)

It was a clusterf^*k, to say the least.

But it was also one of the cutest stinking things I’ve ever seen. I mean, there is just too much cuteness and craziness to capture it in one post*. I thought I’d just let the pictures (and some captions) do the talking.

IMG_2771

Uh-oh. We may be a little under-prepared for t-ball. This is what I got when I said “Show Mommy a t-ball pose!”

IMG_2826

And then she insisted on wearing her batting helmet (which she calls her t-ball glove) in the van on the way to practice #2. She’s definitely showing off sports skills similar to her Mommy’s.

IMG_2827

Paige’s Number 1 Fan (had to wear a hat because her big sister was wearing one).

IMG_2881

The Rockies – 2013

IMG_2861

Seriously? Enough said. Mu-wa!!! Smooches on those cute cheeks!
IMG_2888

Woo-hoo!! First time on base! I’m not sure who was more proud of her – herself or her Mommy!

IMG_3081

Blair and I cheering along during a game (with Botsie cheering in the background … or more likely trying to figure out what the heck is going on and why no one ever gets tagged out.)

IMG_3089

Blair at a game later in the season. Clearly over the novelty of t-ball. And her sister. And pretty much life in general at this point.

These next few shots were taken by a photographer from First Baptist Athletics. I think they eloquently capture Paige’s struggles and triumphs with learning to bat:

IMG_3103 IMG_3102 IMG_3101 IMG_3100 IMG_3099 IMG_3098 IMG_3097 IMG_3096

IMG_3104

This is “Coach Greg” giving Paige some pointers. Luckily, he is a long-time friend of mine … and seriously perhaps one of the most patient men I’ve ever met!

IMG_3106

Two teammates struggling over a ball … notice Paige in the background. Dancing, obvs.

IMG_3109

Yep – this seems about right. Aka, Paige playing 1st base.

IMG_2897

Congratulating the other team after the game – aka, one team always ends up standing still while the other walks by and gives high-fives. On both sides of the team.

IMG_3192

IMG_3183

Following the last game, the entire team got to come up to a podium to get a medal. The Olympic theme music may or may not have been playing. Then they each got to sign the ball. Seriously? Cuteness overload.

 

 

IMG_2903

IMG_2904

Go Rockies!!!

*See? I could have gone on forever … and it even kind of seems like I already did! Until soccer season, y’all (which Paige is already telling me she doesn’t want to play … as she wears her medal from t-ball).

Band-aids

Folks, I just had a 20 minute argument with Paige about Band-aids.

Yes, you read that right. Freaking Band-aids.

Let me back up. Those of you who know Paige know that her reaction to pain of any sort is to scream. Loudly. Like, at-the-top-of-her-lungs-loudly. We often say that we’re never sure if she’s stubbed her toe or lost a limb … the reaction would be the same. In fact, I may or may not have said to her once upon a time, “Listen! You are only allowed to yell like that if someone is trying to steal you from us! I mean it!”

Obviously, that worked well.

So Paigers came out to help me water the flowers after “quiet time” today. She LOVES to help me work in the yard and garden, and it’s really pretty great to have her company. (Let’s be honest, if I’m out there by myself I usually have the theme song for “Bubble Guppies” or some Daniel Tiger advice/song stuck in my head anyway.) It’s fun to have her out there chatting away with me, playing pretend and asking me lots of questions. (The girl is a sponge, and I worry that I’m going to run out of answers before she starts Kindergarten.)

So, today she was helping me “rake” (we weren’t actually raking anything, but it’s a light enough tool for her to hold), when she tripped over a bump on our brick walkway.

Sidenote to her Daddy reading this: IT’S BEEN SEVEN YEARS!!! FIX THE FREAKING BUMP IN THE SIDEWALK ALREADY!!! Please. Thank you.

As you can imagine, summertime = shorts, which in turn = skinned knees. The screaming began, and I ran to pick her up. I’m not going to lie, her knees looked pretty gross. So we went inside, I cleaned her up, and she got to have a cup of juice and the iPad on the porch to recover while I finished the flowers. I knew better than to bring up any sort of medicine or bandages at this point – it always sends her into a tailspin.

Bedtime tonight, however, was another story. Her little knees were still bleeding and I know they hurt from being washed in the shower, so medicine and Band-aids were non-negotiable (the ‘medicine’ is Neosporin with pain reliever – if you are not familiar with this, mommies, get familiar. It truly does help with the pain – I’m clumsy and have had to use it multiple times on myself). So, the medicine went on, and I brought out the Band-aids.

Cue the hysteria.

And, no, that is actually not an overstatement on her reaction. She was rolling around on the floor, crying hysterically and screaming at the top of her lungs.

For 20 minutes.

I’m pretty sure that her phobia of Band-aids stems from when she was little. She would get shots and the awesome nurses at her pediatrician’s office had the Band-aids on before she even realized what happened. But I’ve come to realize that she ended up connecting the pain with the Band-aid instead of the shot. While most kids her age are stealing Band-aids out of the cabinet to decorate their bodies, I can’t remember the last time I put one on Paige.

Enough is enough. I didn’t want to clean up bloody pants and sheets, I knew that having them on overnight with the medicine would make a huge difference by morning, and at some point she’s got to get over this. I mean, a life without Band-aids? For a girl who actually would rather wear her shoes on the wrong feet and is basically blind without her glasses (and is already missing a tooth!)? I don’t think that’s possible.

She is now in bed, and I told her that if she still feels the same way about them in the morning, she never has to wear them again.

Wish me luck. Or else someone’s going to have to come unload all these Band-aids I have stockpiled.

 

Father’s Day

How lucky are my girls, you ask?

Lucky enough to have a daddy that is already teaching them the ways of the world. He makes sure they get to listen to music other than “Mommy Music” (which is what my kids call music like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones). Without him I mean, they would never know the words to the chorus of Gangnam Style or the lyrics to Ke$ha songs.

He is teaching them the importance of a good bowl of cereal, and that it can be eaten any time of day. And is best chased with ice cream. And to never, ever, EVER pass up a doughnut. That’s crazy talk.

They’re learning that keeping up with technology is important. The use of iPhones, iPads and the internet is critical. When Paige waits for a webpage she says “loading, loading, loading.” In fact, I’m pretty sure they might know more about it than me. They will be so, so much cooler than me.

They’re learning to be sure to right a wrong. No. Body. Can get a customer service rep to bend like their daddy. Seriously. It’s an art form. We may or may not have the premium package from U-verse because he keeps threatening to leave. And if we had a dollar for every time he talked to Sprint … well, we wouldn’t be calling U-verse anymore, that’s for sure.

All kidding aside (I know – crazy from me), he is teaching our girls many, many things I cannot. He is teaching them patience – something I am seriously lacking (it’s a Whitacre thing, so I take no responsibility).

He is teaching them what I like to call “morning skills.” I have none. Paige has her daddy’s jump-out-of-bed-and-attack-the-day-with-gusto morning skills. Blair is more my speed, but still much more pleasant to be around in the morning than me. Each morning she and I sit side by side in my bed while I sip my coffee and she sips her milk. It is not too shabby.

He is teaching them how to have fun. Yes, yes, I know, I know. I am also super-fun. But, he teaches them HIS kind of fun. It’s much different than mine, a lot louder, and usually involves a lot of bouncing, throwing and yelling.

Those who know us well know we are awfully snarky with one another (so I guess together we’re also teaching our kids sarcasm…whoops), but all in all, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Happy Father’s Day to a wonderful man, husband and father. We love you!

IMG_2878

img_23841

DSC_0047

 

It’s Bananas

I used to think of myself as a fairly sane, level-headed person.

Then I had kids.

Now I’m pretty sure they have taken it upon themselves to try to make me question my sanity at least once or twice a day. I could give so many examples of this, it could fill a library (which would, in turn, drive all of YOU insane). So, I’ll just go with the most recent example.

Blair loves bananas. Like, she’d-eat-them-for-every-meal-if-I-would-let-her, loves them. She does not however, call them “bananas.” She refers to them as “ooh-ooh ahh-ahhs” (yes, like the sound the monkey makes) while loudly yelling at me at pointing to the fruit bowl on the counter. Don’t worry – we’ll try for an athletic scholarship for this one.

Here’s the thing about Blair and her bananas: she’s two. So, of course, she wants to do everything herself. Every. Freaking. Thing. And God forbid she decide to let the village idiots her mommy or daddy help her, because we will inevitably do it the opposite way of which she wanted it done, and a nice little tantrum will follow.

Here is what a typical exchange between she and I is like (about an ooh-ooh ahh-ahh, obviously):

B (running into the kitchen like she just remembered she left the oven on): MAMA!! MAMA!! MAAAAMAAAAA!!!

M (startled, quickly turning around to see what’s on fire): Yes??? YES?!?!?!?

(pointing to the counter): A ooh-ooh ahh-ahh, Mama! A ooh-ooh ahh-ahh!!

(still trying to save a smidgen of respect after being yelled at, and probably having had my pants pulled down in the process, as Blair tried to get my attention. Did I mention she was already yelling? No need to also de-pants me. Uncool, Blair. Uncool.): Whoa! That’s not how you ask for something, Blair!

(doing what looks a LOT like an eye roll): Peas? Peas I hab a ooh-ooh ahh-ahh, Mama?

(reaching for the banana, starting to break the top of the peel for her): Sure!

B: No, Mama! NO! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! MAMA, NOOOOOO!!!! (also picture vintage toddler motions of being so upset with me that her face, neck and chubby fists are shaking about 100 miles/second)

M: Uh, okay? You want to open it? Here you go…

(somewhat rudely grabbing the banana from my hands): Tea-tu.

Then, she quickly realizes that she does not, in fact, know how to open the banana herself. So she needs my help. So she sweetly hands me the banana, and I start to peel it for her again.

B (again, shaking like her little head is about to pop off): NOOOOO!!!! NO, NO, NO, NO MAMA!!!! NO! NO!!!!!

(DEEP BREATH): Okay. You would like to open it? Here you go…

See above. And re-read. About 100 times. Because this exchange goes on and on (and on) until I have finally lost patience and I end up turning around, secretly snapping the banana peel, quickly handing it back to her and then act as though she is a genius for opening it on her own.

What I want to do is get down on her level, and say “I mean, seriously? Seriously, sister? We both know you DON’T know how to open this banana, and you need me to do it. Let’s stop pretending, just let me open the freaking banana and let’s both get on our merry way. K?”

But I don’t. I try to let her learn how to do it herself, all the while wondering if this is all part of her evil plan. To make me look like an idiot while still getting me to do things for her.

She’s bananas.

Morning

As I log in to write this post, it is 6:56 am. Pre-7:00. And I’m actually sitting up and my brain is semi-working – which means I’ve had an entire large cup of coffee already. And it’s not even technically morning yet in my book.

In related news, I recently received a Jawbone Up bracelet for Mother’s Day. Don’t worry, it wasn’t Derrick and the girls telling me they think I’m fat … I hope. Right?

It’s quite possibly one of the coolest things ever. So cool, it’s a little scary. It tracks my steps and movements, I can enter food and drink consumed, and I can track my mood (it’s been ‘Meh’ for the past week. Seriously, ‘Meh’ is a choice. Love.). And most coolly (most coolest? most cool?) of all is that it tracks my sleep. I don’t know how it works, but I can see how much deep sleep vs. light sleep I get each night, what time I actually fell asleep, how many times I was awake … well, you get the point. I think a little witch lives inside – it’s that magical*.

*Author does not work for Jawbone, nor is she being paid to provide this post. In fact, author’s bosses are two little girls, ages 4 and 2. Which is why author obviously has no idea about technology and still believes in magic.

How does my magic bracelet relate to this morning, you ask? Well, when I went to see how much sleep I got last night this is what I saw:

1h 11m

W.T.F.

For those of you who are also just waking up, that translates to 1 FREAKING HOUR AND 11 FREAKING MINUTES. “Freaking” is an actual measurement of time in cases like this. In fact, it should be it’s more-abrasive f-word cousin, but I didn’t want to burn your eyes this early in the morning.

Here is what our “morning” has been like:

1:45 am – Blair wakes up screaming (this has been happening a lot – night terrors are awesome). I kick Derrick, he goes into Blair’s room, grabs her out of bed, brings her back to our room and tosses her on my chest.

1:46 am – Both Blair and Derrick are snoring. Blair is sleeping directly on top of me, with her head on my mouth. If she didn’t love me so much (I hope), I’d be worried she was trying to kill me.

Next few hours am – I try to doze off and on, but am awakened every few minutes with either a smack to the face, a grunt from Derrick as he gets kicked by Blair, or hearing our dog fart and/or snore. Awesome.

5:13 am – I hear little footsteps on the stairs, and Paige appears inches from my face.

P: Mommy, I fink I’m not a very good sleeper. I fink it’s almost morning time, right?
M: Shhhh…your sister is in bed up here. Do NOT wake her up!
P (in ‘kid whisper’ – so, um, not a whisper at all): She is?? Ohhhh – so cute! HEY! I want to be in your bed.
M: Shhhhh! Fine! Get up here but PLEASE be quiet!

5:25 am – After minutes of Paige and Blair whispering to each other (which, I have to admit, is pretty stinking cute) Blair starts freaking out and yelling nonsense. Then somehow this conversation happens:

B: Owo! Owo! Owo!
M: What? What are you saying?

This was repeated for about two full minutes …

B: Owo! I wa OWO!
P: Mommy, she wants an owl.
M: Is that it, Blair? You want an owl?
B: Yes!
M: Honey, you can’t have an owl.
B: Why?
M: Well, where would we get one?
B: Ow-side. (smart girl)
M: You’re right, honey. Owls live outside. But we can’t get one and have it in our house.
B: Why?
P: Hey! I want an owl, too!
B: Mama! P waa a owo tu!
M: Girls! Come on!! We are NOT getting owls!
P & B: Whyyyyyyy?!?!
M: Owls are predators, girls. We cannot have a predator as a pet, okay?
P: What’s a predator?
M: Well, (thinking that this is what I get for answering without coffee thinking) – it would just be like having a shark for a pet. Or a dinosaur. We just can’t do it, okay?
P: Please, mommy! Please can we have an owl?
B: Peas! Peas!!! Owo!!! Owo, Mama!!! Owo!!!

This was repeated for about two full minutes … 

Now, I’m about to let you in on one of my parenting secret go-tos when my girls request something like this. Which happens surprisingly often. For example, last week Paige asked (for about the 10th time) if we could have a squirrel. Last year, she wanted to take the dolphin home from Mote Marine in Longboat Key.

M: Okay, ladies. I tell you what. Later we can go outside. If we find an owl and you can catch it, we can keep it, okay?
P: But we want two owls, Mommy!
M: Fine. We will find TWO owls, and if you can catch them, they can be your pets. Mommy and Daddy won’t help, because we don’t want pet owls. Got it?

Cheers all around, and I am the mom of the year. Because these two silly girls actually think they’re going to catch themselves owls today. Seriously – if they did catch them (or the squirrels or the dolphins) I really WOULD let them keep them. A) I’d be super impressed with their mad trapping skills and B) let’s be honest – it would be pretty cool to have an owl.

So, that’s my morning, folks. Just another pre-dawn at the Feldmann house. Shortly after this conversation, coffee was started and so was Nick Jr. It’s now 7:27 am and we have seen half an Umizoomi, 2 Pocoyos, and a Dora. Paige has covered our dresser with baby dolls and other miscellaneous toys, it’s been my birthday twice, and we are now pretending that it’s her birthday and I’m having a surprise party for her.

I should go. I’m being told to focus.

Sigh.