Life as MommyMo

Friday, September 22, 2006

Building hope makes you tired

I just got back from Celebration on the Hill 2006. I'd been part of the New Jersey/Eastern Division ACS contingent back in 2002. It was the experience of a lifetime, but made me feel VERY tired! (As it turns out, I had reason to be tired from an undetected pregnancy, but I was certain it was all Celebration's fault.)

Well, silly me, I had NO IDEA what tired felt like back then. As part of the national Operations Team for this year's event, I can truly say I know what it feels like to be tired. I'm actually spending my few hours of down-time trying to coin a new term for what my muscles, bones, feet, legs, shoulders, neck, etc. are expressing. The closest I've come to describing it is "weary," but that feels like a wimpy word for the utter exhaustion I'm experiencing.

Enough complaining. I try to keep perspective by realizing that what I'm feeling is nothing compared to what someone in treatment is feeling, and some of those very people were at the same event in DC this week, sending the same message to Congress. That's what it's all about.

For the record, we visited EVERY SINGLE Member of Congress in a single day. That's unprecedented. More than 310 of them signed our Cancer Promise. Let's hope those Members remember who put them in office and follow through with unprecendented action when it's their turn to vote on the budget.

My little part of this incredible endeavor was coordinating the communications efforts. We had an insane amount of coverage. I can't wait to see the clips and pictures. Wednesday certainly was a testment to how lucky I am to have the job I do. Being bone tired is a small price to pay for really feeling like you made a difference.

Celebration was an event of incredible magnitude, but on a personal note, having my mom, Rob and Sam there with me was probably the best part of it all. Poor Sam and Rob were both sick, so they headed home pretty early, but it was amazing to stand next to my mom during the largest luminaria ceremony ever. The Capitol Reflecting Pool glowed with the light of 16,000+ candles and a very cool guy named Sean made sure the word "HOPE" was spelled out on the steps behind the pool. It was quite a moment when the "green shirts" were headed back for an after party and we noticed a small group had changed the word to CURE... clearly some dedicated Relayers. Not many were there to see the transformation, but it had great significance to those of us who live Relay For Life.

This typing is wearing me out and I hear Sam playing in his room. Time to get off of the computer and soak up more snuggles.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Is this reverse child rearing?

When you build your family through adoption, there are some things you just know aren't part of the deal. We didn't get to experience Sam's birth, see him roll over for the first time or hear his very first word.

We did, however, see his first steps on his own, heard his first English word, and give him his first taste of ice cream -- a milestone as important as any other in my book.

Another thing we did not have as much of as some other parents were sleepless nights. I'm not complaining about that. We had a few days of jet leg, then settled into a routine that generally includes about 11 hours of uninterrupted slumber a night. Sure, he has the occasional restless night because of teething or illness, but I have off nights now and again, too.

I've apparently counted this particular blessing a bit early, as it seems.

For the past two nights, the little bugger has played in his crib for the usual 45 minutes, then, rather than peacefully drifting off, he begins to scream his bloody head off.

I'm not talking about the whiny, I-miss-my-mommy kind of crying. I'm talking red-in-the-face, hiccuping, lose-part-of-your-hearing-if-you-get-too-close wails.


Those five hours are apparently all it takes to exhaust him. He's then passed out, only to attempt to run a marathon in his sleep. Against my left kidney.

Yes, we've learned that on some nights, only dragging the child into our bed gets anyone any rest at all. I'm sure some experts will criticize me for caving, but after five hours, suffice it to say my patience has about worn off.

I also defy anyone pure enough in their parenting technique to avoid the occasional night of co-sleeping to tell me they can also put the finishing touches on an event for 10,000+ people (and, by the way, make sure lots of media covers it) with no more than two hours of sleep, interrupted by a couple of size sixes in your ribs.

Perhaps I'm being defensive, but I'm telling you, it can't be done.

For now, my sweet boy seems to have crashed for the night on his own. We'll see how long it lasts. TGIF has taken on a whole new meaning this week.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sam: a teacher's study

So Sam's new teacher, the delightful Ms. Mary, had a whole day filled with the joy of 18 new toddlers needing her attention today. Poor woman.

I am happy to report that she and Sam both appear to have enjoyed their first day in each other's company. That's no small feat given the fact that my child was a form of the beast that is a teething toddler over the weekend.

The word after Day 1 as a Hummingbird?

Sam had "a really great day."

"Wow. He sure talks a lot."

"He REALLY likes trucks, doesn't he?"

"The kid can eat!" (Actually, a bit curious to me. He's done more throwing of his food at home than real eating. Note to Mommy: pack the nutritious food that he really needs to ingest for lunch. Maybe he'll eat that stuff for Ms. Mary.)

And, yeah. "He really does talk a lot."

I'm a happy mommy tonight. He was excited to tell me about his day when he came home. He ate a real dinner. He took a bath, read books and was out like a light before 8 p.m. A happy boy! Just the way I like it.

Without a backward glance

It's back to the routine today... It's been years since the Tuesday after Labor Day has been a "back to school" day for me. I'm used to Rob grousing about returning to work, but this day hasn't been about kids and backpacks and packed lunches for me in a long time.

Last year, this day was about trauma and tears and guilt. Sam wailed when we took him to daycare for the first time. He continued to wail for many days after that (at least while I was listening or watching. I quickly learned that it was all a show. As soon as I got around the corner, the stinker was already playing with trucks!)

I just got home from dropping Sam off for his first year in Ms. Mary's room -- a.k.a. Where The Big Kids Play. (There are obviously bigger kids at the school, but as a graduated Sparrow, Sam views the Hummingbird room as Truck Mecca.)

We weren't too worried that the drop-off would be tearful, but we made sure to both be there and prepare him as best we could. Turns out our effort either paid off or wasn't even necessary. Sam got so excited when he walked into the school, saw two girls he used to play with last year, and remembered how many toys await him in the Breakfast Room that he didn't give us a second thought when we got to the end of the hallway.

It's so cute to witness his independent streak serve him well. (It's not nearly as cute when that same streak means throwing food because what was given to him wasn't what he planned on eating at that very moment.) Amidst all the other crying kids, Sam quietly revisited his favorite truck in the corner of the room, and sat right down with a bowl of Fruity Cheerios before saying bye-bye.

What a big boy he's getting to be.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ma-ma-mole-y no more

We've always thought it was hilarious that one of Sam's favorite foods is guacamole. Ever since he first tasted it last year, he's begged me to make "ma-ma-mole-y" for him. I do admit, there's not much I can cook, but I do make a tasty batch of the green stuff.

Anyway, I was making it tonight at our friends' house. Sam saw me cutting avocados and said, "Mommy? Making gwabamoley for me?" We were amused at the new "translation" but alas, when the bowl finally made it to the table, he would have no part of it. I told him, " But, Sam, you LOVE guacamole."

His reply? "No, Mommy. I do not."

Oh, well... He really IS only eating beige food now, I guess!

I realized when re-reading my very first few blog entries how much Sam has changed overall. And I've only been doing this since January! I blogged about how impressed I was that he used the word "pocket." Now he speaks in long sentences and virtual strangers comment on how well they can understand him and the crazy words he uses.

Now, if only his food repertoire were as diverse as his vocabulary...