Tuesday, April 30, 2013

That? That?

Every day is a new adventure with Genevieve, and I love it. I think I've declared that I love every phase THE BEST, but really (with the exception of the teething misery), *this* is where the fun really starts.

Genevieve has started talking with some regularity, and is starting to master communicating with us effectively. I've already talked about her incredible passive language skills, but this is both fun and funny. She has discovered that she has a magic finger.

With only a point of her magic finger, she can convince a table full of adults to all share their water with her. To endlessly put labels on objects. And in my father's case, get him to hand over *his* father's watch.

(To be fair, I'm pretty sure if she asked for a kidney, a lung, or his heart, he'd give it to her just as willingly. GrandpaDahling loves her *just* a little bit.)

The same little hand possesses the power to grab a grownup (of her choosing) and tow them down the street. While pointing at objects and demanding labels. I stick to simple labels, "tree, bush, flower, car, van, house". Andrew is more precise "oak tree, succulent, poppy, roses, Jeep". And my parents are doing it, too. Just not in English.

Mom, with her wealth of wisdom and experience, suggested that I ask her to repeat the words. I get "tss" for "kiss", "ahpoo" for "shampoo" , "ack" for snack, and "ock" for "Spock". (We have Star Trek drinking glasses. We are awesome.) The list goes on and on, and every little peep from her is a little more communication, another little window into her busy little world.

We ask questions, we get head nods, "Yeah" and multilingual "no"s. She understands body language, and now kisses boo-boos without being asked. She's "rex-ing"(pretending to be a dinosaur) in her own way, and will chase us with gusto, mouth wide open in a silent roar, then squeal with delight as we run away and squeal in mock-terror.

Taking a break to ring the windchimes.
Our home is full of life, laughter, language and love. And that? Is the best.

Monday, April 29, 2013

All hail

Last month, my sister-in-law asked me if I would take LittleJ's prom pictures. She told me the dates and times, and I agreed, because - why not? I have a camera, and enough knowledge to be dangerous.

So Saturday, I packed up my gear, got some inspiration from Pinterest, and headed over. I started taking pictures, and between the hair, the makeup, and LittleJ's natural beauty, all I could see is a 1940's Hollywood ingenue.

DSC_0012 copy copy

[Aside: I should really start calling her Not-So-Little-J, since she towers a head and a neck above me these days.]

DSC_0019 copy copy

DSC_0056 copy copy

It was a beautiful day, and it was a joy to capture all those small details and moments that really reflect how much LittleJ and RockinJ love each other. 

DSC_0089 copy copy

There really is nothing like young love.

DSC_0145 copy copy
The Rose Garden
The last part of the photo shoot was at the Rose Garden, which I - embarrassingly -  had never been to. There were *hundreds* of people there, using it as a beautiful and iconic backdrop for their photos. Fortunately, we were able to find a slightly less packed part for a few shots.
Inspiration from an iconic shot

All hail!
The icing on the cake? They were voted prom king and queen.

Friday, April 19, 2013


First, thank you all for the outpouring of kind comments, empathy, and positive mojo on my last post. As the comments came streaming in, I was touched at your honesty and willingness to share your own challenges with body image, and your struggles and strategies to resolve them. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now, on to something a little more cheerful. 

I've written about how I don't really see a lot of myself in Genevieve. When I was growing up, I remember Mom talking about what it was like having two kids who looked nothing like her. (When I hit adolescence, I started to look more like Mom.) I joked this last weekend that it only took Mom 30 years to have a baby who looked just like her.

Recently, I'm seeing a little more of myself in Genevieve, and in the best places. First I saw this:

But it's more than curly hair. Genevieve has reached the age where she's doing amazing and funny things every day. She has developed a sense of humor, and it is completely delightful. She has also entered the phase where she wants to do everything I do, and that is an unusual combination of challenging and a lot of fun.

The first Mousie-see-Mousie-do thing that happened was a couple of weeks ago.

The sun was shining, Genevieve had taken a fantastic nap, and we were in the van running errands. I had the windows down, the Pitch Perfect soundtrack(which is FANTASTIC, by the way) playing,
and I was singing along to Party In The U.S.A., when I heard a perfect, appropriately-timed, delighted, rock'n'roll "YEEEEEAH!" come from the backseat. [Parenting win!]

And then there was today.

We were at Rasputin Music, picking up a couple of CDs for Genevieve (my daughter loves Adele!), when the store music came on. It was jazzy, with a good swing to it. She stopped in her tracks, looked at me, and busted a move. Just like we do at home (or the produce aisle), when a catchy song comes on.

It's days like today that remind me to focus on the things that are wonderful. I could be stuffy. Serious. Perfectly coiffed and no fun.

Or I can dance in the aisles with my daughter. You can guess which I choose to be.

Me and my shadow.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ample, bodacious, big

This post hasn't been easy to write. I've been trying to find the words, to try and cheer it up, but that has just resulted in quietly, privately, agonizing over something that I know a lot of people have felt before, or are currently feeling.

I have only lost 25 of the 40 pounds I gained when I was pregnant with Genevieve. I can't blame not being able to shed the pounds on anyone but myself- I was down to 8 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight when I started *really* making ice cream last year. And then the scale crept up, the way it always does when my beloved ice cream and I rediscover our love for each other.

Me? I love the flavor, the texture, the euphoria that comes with each bite. And my beloved ice cream? Sticks to me like a faithful friend.

More specifically, it sticks to my rear end, making it more ample and ensuring the legacy that my mother bequeathed upon me, which her mother bequeathed upon her, which I will pass on to Genevieve. An ample behind. A bodacious booty. A big butt.

Fabulousness is also part of her legacy.
It never has bothered me before, really, because as soon as my pants started feeling snug, I would (and could) do something about it. The insidious thing is that the bad feelings don't just hit you like a tidal wave, they creep up on you until one day you realize that you don't like how you look in the mirror. Slowly, the same way your pants gradually get tighter and tighter, until the day you realize that you are being positively strangled.

The first time I noticed it was my birthday, when Andrew gave me a 10-class yoga gift certificate. It came with a very nice note, but all I saw was subtext. And the subtext read, "IT'S BEEN NEARLY A YEAR AND YOU ARE STILL FAT. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FATSO."

I didn't cry in front of my guests, but there were tears, later.

How do you reconcile not liking what you see in the mirror with wanting to raise a confident daughter with a positive body image? I feel like a hypocrite, but I know that I haven't ever felt this way about my body before.

The worst part is how keenly aware I have been; when you're crawling and squatting to play, you notice when you don't have room to move in your pants. After two months of letting my vanity win out, I gave up and bought larger pants. Fat pants.

You know what? I'm happier. I can comfortably play on the floor and the pants *look* better on me- imagine that, pants that fit properly LOOK better, too. The only problem is my perception of the number on the label.

What I can't manage to do is get out and *go* to yoga. But the great thing about yoga is that you can do it basically anywhere, with barely anything. So, I'm going to start doing yoga with Genevieve, and hopefully a combination of the yoga and the mouse-wrangling will yield some positive results.

(I also got fat yoga pants, since getting into my regular yoga pants was like trying to stuff too much filling into uncooperative sausage casing. There is nothing that motivates you less than your *exercise* clothes being too tight.)

Part of having positive body image is learning healthy habits. I need to model these if not only for my own health, but for Genevieve's as well.

Enough complaining. Let's walk, Mama.

Fortunately, I have my own personal trainer, who is a huge fan of long walks.