Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pregnancy Brain Strikes Again

The water was sparkling, the wind was whipping through our hair, Luke was all asmiles at the waves, the ducks that followed us, and the general bobbing and floating that is a boat ride on The Queen aka Lake George.

There I sat taking in all of his expressions of glee and worry, of true happiness at watching his dad jump off the boat for a dip, and of his little sweaty body, stiff as could be in his life vest snuggle next to me to catch a few moments of shut eye. I took the pictures in my mind because you guessed it, I left the camera at home. It as a gorgeous day spent with friends and a few unforgettable hours aboard the Camp Burleigh Boat. Luke in a life vest is just too adorable for words, priceless I tell you and you'll have to take my word for it this time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Fabulous Life of Luke

He can sleep like a rock for almost 12 hours straight. I'm lucky if I get 7 solid uninterrupted hours. Maybe I need to wear Depends to bed. Okay maybe not.

He thinks it's fun to tear through all of the clean and folded clothes that never made it farther than the couch or in the laundry basket 'cause that's either already full of clean clothes or he's using it as a fort for his toys. Pretty sweet.

He literally shovels food in his mouth. At least he's being polite and trying to use it as a spoon.

His little sandal shoes have officially mixed in with ours. I glanced over at the shoe pile and noticed this the other day. Once again it is eye opening to see your childs shoes, not booties or Robeez, but his shoes sitting next to yours. On our evening walk tonight John said, "Do you think we're in the stage of our life where everyday is the same as the last but the time speeds by faster than we realize? Like we're going to wake up tomorrow and Luke's going to be asking for the car keys and Ellie's going to want money for the mall." The first year has seemed that way, I feel like it was just yesterday that we were keeping track of how many times he nursed, pooped and peed and then today I walk into the living room to find my son standing in the middle of room, pointing at me and sternly telling me, "no!" Whoosh. It's flying and only going to go faster. We're anticipating bumps and hanging on for all of the new milestones to come.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Saw God Today

I looked into the face of a ghost today. A familiar and gentle face, a kind and tired face. It was comforting and moving and tear filled.

We moved from Third Street across town to Prospect Street when I was almost 5 years old. As you may have read Prospect Street is where my father's family settled when they landed in Glens Falls from the far reaches of Bari, Italy. Prospect Street was home to mostly Italians, vineyards and wine cellars, chicken coupes and elaborate gardens were (and in some cases) still are the staple of every home. On the far end of the street lived an Irish-Catholic family with a young girl whose mother died when she was just a teenager. She lived there with her aunt, and honestly I don't know much about her childhood, just that she married a protestant named Richard Potter from South Glens Falls. Her aunt passed away and they grew their family of five in the same house she was raised in, the same house that my father grew up next to before his family moved to Dix Avenue.

The Potter's had five children, the youngest being my brothers age which meant they were all quite a bit older than I was. I looked up to the girls and thought the boys were totally cute. They were always around playing basketball or street hockey, teaming up on paper routes and getting into general neighborhood trouble with the old folks, losing stray baseballs to crochety old men and the like. When their oldest daughter married her very upstanding Navy boyfriend the party ended up at The Potter's house where the men played quarters in the kitchen and the women chit-chatted. Legend has it that my father was stuck in the far corner of the room with a full bladder. The beer was flowing and my dad was riled up, when they wouldn't let him out he stood up and walked across the kitchen table to get to the men's room. It's been more than 20 years and when the old gang gets together someone is bound to bring up the time "Tom Center walked across the Potter's kitchen table."

I remember at their youngest son's wedding, my father whispered something to their other daughter who was going through a tough time in her marriage, he brought her to tears. They hugged, she thanked him for saying whatever it was he said. I asked him later what he said to her and he wouldn't tell me. It was a moment between them and I respected that. I still wondered though. Obviously it was a kind, fatherly thing, he felt for her.

Ironically today, her father whispered in my ear.

Our power was out in the kitchen. No fridge, no lights, no dishwasher. Ack. I called my brother to see who we should call and he suggested Mr. Potter. John didn't want to bother him, he's retired, he won't take any money, what if he gets hurt, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I called him anyway. He updated the electrical in our house, switched out light fixtures, added new outlets where we needed them, all for free. Well we gave him a nice gift certificate but he told me we broke his rules, he didn't want anything. So I called him and thought if it's over his head he'll tell us, if it's something easy then no worries.

He was a little stumped when he came over at 8:30am, very apologetic of his appearance as he'd just woken up. After about an hour and a half he thought he had it figured out and told me to get to work. He was going to go home for a bit as we had the fridge plugged into another outlet so really there was no huge emergency. He said he's come back later in the morning and spend time testing what he thought was the problem. He certainly did not want us to call an electrician and waste our money.

As he was leaving, with his hand on the door he said, "it must be hard for you? To move on without your dad, to have a son and a daughter and not have him here. But you have to move on, I know it's hard. I pray for your family every night, you're all so special."

I started to cry. He barely said boo to me my entire childhood and only after my father died did I come to exchange more than pleasantries with him. I know my father's death greatly affected him. He made Luke an Adirondack chair when he was born and is always here if we need him to help get my mom's snowblower running, or put the lawnmower away for the winter. It's like he's become the patriarch of the street.

I told him how lucky we are to have neighbors like him and that I felt in a way like he was telling me exactly what my father would be telling me. It felt almost like I was having a heart to heart with my dad for a second. I was looking at Mr. Potter but talking to my father.

He teared up and said, "I could never be your dad, but you know I love you. Now I have to go, stop making me cry!" And off he went, laughing a bit with embarrassment.

He said some other things throughout this short 2 minute conversation that I guess I should keep between me and him as that's what my father would do I'm sure. It was a moment, an understanding and one to keep close, not to exploit.

These moments make me so grateful for having grown up here, for having close family ties, for in the true sense, loving your neighbor.

I've been to church
I've read the book
I know he's here
But I don't look
Near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I just slowed down to stop and stare
Opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today
-George Strait, "I Saw God Today"

I can't post just some of the lyrics so here's the whole thing, this song is too much

Just walked down the street to the coffee shop
Had to take a break
I'd been by her side for 18 hours straight
Saw a flower growin' in the middle of the sidewalk
Pushin' up through the concrete
Like it was planted right there for me to see
The flashin' lights
The honkin' horns
All seemed to fade away
In the shadow of that hospital at 5:08
I saw God today

I've been to church
I've read the book
I know he's here
But I don't look
Near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I just slowed down to stop and stare
Opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today

Saw a couple walkin' by they were holdin' hands
Man she had that glow
Yeah I couldn't help but notice she was startin' to show
Stood there for a minute takin' the sky
Lost in that sunset
Splash of amber melted in the shades of red

I've been to church
I've read the book
I know he's here
But I don't look
Near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I just slowed down to stop and stare
Opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today

Got my face pressed up against the nursery glass
She's sleepin' like a rock
My name on her wrist
Wearin' tiny pink socks
She's got my nose, she's got her mama's eyes
My brand new baby girl
She's a miracle
I saw God today

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where's The Baby?

We've been trying to talk to Luke about "the baby". He really has no clue what a baby is or how it's impending arrival is going to affect his life. We show him my belly and have him put his hands on it, he slobbers on it, sticks his finger in my belly button and laughs hysterically.

When I got home from work today I asked him if he wanted to say hi to the baby, he cruised over to me as I lay on the floor amongst all of his toys and open mouth kissed my big 'ole belly, we both laughed and shrieked and the baby kicked. She was I'm sure, rudely awakened from her slumber. I moved on to cooking dinner and entertaining him, with bouts of disciplining him and keeping him away from the stove, outlets and tv buttons. These things have recently become the most fascinating items in our house. As he stood in the corner looking sheepishly at me, but still grinning I asked him where the baby was and he stuck out his belly, rubbed it like a buddha and laughed.

Too cute!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How does this happen?

Just looking through my Photo Booth pictures o' fun, and literally watching my life flash by.

Can we just slow time down a little? Please?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Are you pregnant?"

We spent the weekend doing house chores and babysitting the nephews, napping and debating what to do with our house (again) and by 6pm with no dinner plans in sight we decided to head to The Harvest for a cheap night out. It was completely packed with summer tourists and locals alike, we were handed a vibrating buzzer thing and told it would only be about a 10-15 minute wait. Not too bad we thought and headed outside to wait on the stoop rather than wait inside getting bumped in the bump. As we stood there Luke greeted and smiled at the oncomers and those heading home with their doggy bags. One lady exited the door with her daughter, son, and mother, they were all in their Sunday best and as she held the door for her mother she whispered to me while looking at my expansive stomach, "are you pregnant?"

"Uhh, yeah!" I laughed, kind of like, are you kidding? I'm totally pregnant, LOOK at me woman!

She proceeds to tell me how I need to hire a doula.

"Oh, yeah, thanks, but it'll be a planned c-section, so luckily I won't have to go through the pain of contractions."

"It doesn't matter, get one," she insists. "Or at least hire a student, they're cheap and even free."

Okay. Sure thanks again.

Then her mother passes me by, John was holding Luke. She exclaims, "that's the best age and to be pregnant to boot, what a blessing. I was like that for many years, I had 11 kids."

Her granddaughter quips, "yeah, she's a machine!"

So I retort with, "Two is enough for me, I can't imagine 11."

The grandmother leaves with, "well back in my day you could afford 11, you couldn't today, nope, not today, you just couldn't do it."

And so the strangers with pregnancy advice begins. Thankfully I've seemed to avoid it the past 7 months.

A) What if I actually wasn't pregnant and was otherwise infertile with a distended stomach? You NEVER know.

B) What if I actually was pregnant with sextuplets, that would make 7 kids, could you "do" 7 kids in today's world? Or would we be destitute and up a crick?

C) Am I just being overly punchy?

Vacation Updation

Luke's first beach experience! Life IS good!

So it's been awhile, eh? Vacationing with a busy 1 year old wore me out and well I guess I just needed a blogging break. Maine was fabulous, though rainy and although we've been at this parenting thing for more than a year we didn't realize how different vacation would be too. He was up at 5:30am everyday, and due to the tiny yet cute house, was bunking with grandma. So we had to rush in quickly to save her some extra sleep while we corraled him in the upper living area (yes the kitchen/living/dining room was on the top floor). Somehow she and Joyce slept through his early morning gear up and go action.

We also realized that no longer can we selfishly lolly-gag in beach chairs reading indulgent magazines and when the sun beats too hard, go frolic in the ocean.

My idea of vacation bliss (though actually I did get to do this a bit as John was super-dad!)

He ate sand and seaweed, thankfully he was spared ingesting any seagull pooh.

Daddy tried to keep him contained in what he called, "Luke-A-Traz"

We chased him all over as he met friends, tried to keep him from eating whatever he could find in the sand, and happily sat in the crashing surf regarding the fact that our suits were filling up with wet sand. It is the beach afterall and I'm not complaining. Seriously. It was just kind of funny how we were so excited to have a vacation, thinking it would be like all of our other sans children vacations. A totally relaxing, sleep in, do what you want week off. How naive of us. Obviously parents don't get weeks off and vacations as we knew them are now different. Just another enlightening experience in parenthood.

He totally loved the ocean, no matter the temperature!

He ate his weight in clam chowder and shamelessly flirted with every waitress we met. Grandma and Joyce certainly helped keep him entertained with long walks on the beach and gave us a night off to dine alone. Even though we had lots of rain and even a tornado warning we made the best of it, enjoyed our ocean view and loved falling asleep to the lullabye of crashing waves. On our last day at the beach as we were packing up all the gear I looked around and said to John, "are you sure we've got everything?" He put his arm around me, kissed me on the cheek and said, "honey, the only things we're leaving here are our memories."