Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tough love

I finally shared this blog with some friends and family. Yikes, people may actually tune in now! I guess I should explain where the name "Can You Hear Me Smiling" came from.

When I went to college, 4 hours west of good ole Glens Falls I found myself terribly homesick. Even after all my ramblings on of "I can't wait to get out of GF!" Little did I know that most of the students lived within an hour of the school, when I would say where I was from they would say Glens Falls? mean Watkins Glen right? No, wrong, I mean Glens Falls. Where's Watkins Glen? I eventually found my niche and made friends for life, but those first few months were tough. Probably more so for my parents. I would call home and the sound of my mom or dad's voice would render me speechless. I was paralyzed by the enormous lump in my throat. "How's things" they would ask and I would cry or complain about this or that, when all they really wanted to hear was that I was enjoying this time, one they never got to experience. One weekend day while I lamented to my father about all my woes and asked for the hundredth time why he couldn't just come and get me for the weekend?! He had finally had enough. He said so sternly into the phone, "You know no one came to pick me up in Vietnam! Go iron something or study or whatever, but stop complaining!" I was speechless, he was fed up. I felt like such a heel after I hung up. Here was my father, born into a family of six with no money, no family car, ever!, and certainly no means for college education. His only way out was to join the Navy and serve two tours of duty. And I, so priviledged to be going not just to college, but to a private college and not for business or teaching or nursing, but to be an artist? Graphic designer what are you going to do with that? My parent's never asked me that though, they never doubted, if I wanted to be a circus clown they would have tried their best to make it happen (well maybe we would have had a little discussion about gypsies and stability and does the circus provide health insurance?).

Throughout all my trivial whining he would send me notes and cards to cheer me up. For my 19th birthday he sent me a card with a curious little girl sitting on the beach in her bikini holding two seashells to her ears and out of the shells it says "Can you hear..." and on the inside "me smiling?"

He wrote, "Amy, Keep smiling, go for your dreams, have fun on "your" day. Love, Dad"

I guess we all need a little perspective in our lives at times. and sorry mom, if you're reading this, you get a whole lot of credit too, you mailed me cupcakes and suprise packages of love. Thanks for not coming to pick me up, tough love makes us better people. Too bad I can't use the "Vietnam" line on Luke someday, I doubt "No one came to pick me up in Scranton" will make that strong a statement!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bless my heart

Luke has decided the last month or so that getting up between 3 and 4am is okay. Oy! He was peacefully sleeping through the night for a week and I thought for sure we were on to something. We had our routine down to a T and were rewarded with 8 or 9 blissful hours of sleep and quiet. And then he switched it up again. Haha joke's on us I guess. I've come to wake just prior to his squeals and yelps, we're in tune to each other's wakefulness. I dread getting out of bed (although John usually gets him and brings him to bed for me) but I also cherish those early morning quiet moments of mother-son bonding. The one thing that can soothe him back to sleepytown is the comfort of me, our bellys touching. More often than not I stare at him quietly nursing away, his tiny hand proudly covering his little heart while the other is in a fist, thumb saluting like a hitch-hiker. He pulls off, stares up at me and smiles a smile that I know is saying "I love you too, thanks for the drink mom, I'll see you in an hour!"

He won't be this little forever, I know I will miss these early mornings...the decadance of a solid nights sleep certainly doesn't trump sweet baby love.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Charmed Life

So I was chatting with a co-worker the other day about my life as a working mom. We from time to time regale each other with the ups and downs of our lives, commiserating over holiday snafus and family duties. She asked what our daycare situation was. I explained how lucky and spoiled we are at the moment. A family friend and former childhood neighbor (who's full-blooded Italian and married to one as well) who now lives two blocks away from us offered to watch Luke, and insisted she do so at our house not hers. It would be the best thing for the baby she said. We didn't have to ask, she begged. So every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning her husband drops her off (they're both retired and have one car), or on sunny days she walks. She and Luke have the absolute best time. When she walks in the door he lights up, smiling so big his eyes squint. She sings, and plays, and walks him all around the neighborhood to meet and visit with her cronies. Plus! She cleans out our fridge when it starts to get funky, organizes our kitchen cupboards, does our dishes, and on occasion brings us soups, stews, and yummy treats.

The coworker was like, huh, you have your very own Magda (you know, Miranda's Polish nanny from Sex and the City). I was like, OMG I totally do! Then said coworker says "wow, you really have a charmed life Amy. The angels are certainly looking out for you (meaning our two deceased fathers). You do realize that? You have so much support and love all around you."

I was taken aback. She was completely right. This was the same girl who was complaining about how her parent's were visiting for the weekend from Long Island and something about her father helping her boyfriend with some house projects. She was really annoyed or upset for some reason, I can't remember why, but I remember telling her how I would give anything, ANYTHING to have my father help John around our house. She shouldn't take it for granted. While taken aback at first by my honesty, she later thanked me for saying that.

So thank you Angels. I know you are watching over us. We hear you smiling too. In fact I'm certain Luke hears you, he's always smiling.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Firming up

Today I ordered The Firm workout tape set (I mean DVDs, get with the times Amy!). I am feeling quite UNfirm as of late and need something to fix it. This whole mom thing kind of takes up all hours of the day, especially after working full-time. How do all those workout moms do it? I sadly came to the realization that the only real time I have to workout is at like 5:30 or 6am. I have to make it a priority and I have to just do it, and get it overwith...which is the only bright spot in this whole wicked-early workout it early and get it outta the way!

We're headed over to my brother's house this afternoon to watch the Giants play the Cowboys and have some chili and cornbread. Luke is wearing the Giants jersey that my dad bought for Jake 10 years ago. Very sweet and fits him perfectly. It's a chilly fall Sunday. Perfect for football, family, and a cozy evening huddled around the fireplace cheering and jabbing and laughing together.

PS this jersey is a size 2T, ummm he's 5 months old!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Can you hear me smiling?

Call me a virgin blogger. I've never done this before, my fingers hesitate as I decide to bare all. The thoughts, emotions, silly-ramblings-on of my simple life. I decided today that I need to blog. I need to share and I don't know why. I'm a first time mom of a now 4 month old son (decidedly the most amazing baby to have been born thus far) a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a graphic designer, and well you get the idea.

I lost my father almost 5 years ago. It happened in an instant. He called me at 5pm out of the blue like always, "just calling to say hi, and tell you I love you Acey-cakes (one of many nicknames)." At 7pm he was dead. Brain anurysm? Massive heart attack? We'll never know. My world was so turned upside down. I had just met the man who would become my husband, and in the same month lost the man that for my entire 26 years had meant the world to me. How could it be that these two men who I had and would come to share so much of life with never meet?

It's been 5 years and the emotions are still so raw. When does it fade? When my nephews were born I had a whole new realization that my parents were once regular people with dreams and lives before my brother and I entered with the hostile take-over. I appreciated them so much when I watched as we all fawned over my nephew as if he were the king of kings, realizing that they once fawned over me and Tom in the same teary-eyed joyful way. And now here I am gleefully saddled with my own child and the feelings are even deeper than I imagined. I want Luke to know that I love him with wild abandon, that his dreams are my dreams, that life is an adventure and you need to go live it to figure it out. Support, trust, freedom, rules, respect, integrity and passion are the words that my father instilled in me. I feel honored to have been raised in that way and honored to pass the morals on.

Dad, can you hear me smiling? Life is sweet, you are ever-present and I am so thankful that you were mine.