Monday, February 11th, 2013
When I first found out I was having a boy, I kinda freaked. I was so used to the girl thing. Boys seem so rowdy and wild. Fia is a little on the wild side, but a wild girl still seems tamer than a bouncing boy. Obviously I had no choice in the matter and got over it.
Then Emmett came into the world. With a penis. Which meant I got peed on constantly in the beginning. I learned fast. As he grew, his first sounds weren’t sweet little coos. They were more like caveman grunts and groans. I swear once when he was snoring, I looked to see if old man hair was growing out of his ears. He is that much of a boy.
In the first 6 months our pediatrician told me she has never seen such an “active baby.” At one point she suggested OT (Occupational Therapy) to give him tools to calm down. In the crib we call him Thumper because he lifts both his legs and thumps them down–hard– over and over again until someone comes in.
The thing is, I didn’t do OT or get frustrated because he does all this with absolute glee. He has an energy that is pure joy. He laughs incessantly. He even giggles in his sleep; I want his dreams. He plays cheerily by himself for up to 45 minutes; I want his focus. He cries only if he’s hungry or tired; I want his temperament. And despite his almost constant active state, he is incredibly affectionate. He loves being held. He loves falling asleep on me in the Ergo or being carried around on my hip. He loves to burrow. He is my little koala bear. And he’s delicious.
Then there’s his beauty. Deep set blue eyes, a wide brow, olive skin, and an angelic face. He is the kind of baby where I get stopped in the street. “Where did you get him? I want one,” they say. But there is only one. And he’s mine.
Phil says I shouldn’t brag about his looks. But I’m not bragging because it’s more than just his appearance. It’s his whole being. He makes old ladies laugh and shop clerks smile. The beauty of being Emmett is he spreads his spirit. He radiates his golden energy from the inside out. Truly. I am smitten.
So now he’s 1 year old. We made it through the first year and came out laughing on the other side. And since I’m now a veteran mom, I know what’s coming. I know it only gets better and better.
Fia’s my girl. The connection to my soul. Emmett’s my boy. The connection to my spirit. Together they are the connection to my heart. Both have a vital force that sustains me, keeps me grounded, and reminds me what’s important in this life. Both are giving me the honor to share this journey with them.
Happy Birthday, Emmett and Welcome to Toddlerhood.
Sunday, January 6th, 2013
It’s 2013. Time to toot my horn! Time to tell you my favorite blogs that I wrote from 2012. This, in hopes you have so much free time, you’ll dive in and read all of them! Yes, I’m starting off the New Year giving you work and working on my own issue with modesty (screw those resolutions).
In all honesty, I’m going to throw my editor, Sherry, under the bus and tell the truth: She asked me to give a list of my favorite blog posts from last year. I’m not saying this to brag, but it was actually really hard to choose. Do I go funny? Serious? Newsy? Controversial? Each post I do is so personal and most of them I really try and put something out there that I feel strongly about. Whether by humor or conviction.
In the end, I picked a variety of subjects and tone. The ones I left out, but am still really glad I wrote (in case you feel like getting extra credit) are the saddest. The nanny who allegedly stabbed two kids to death, the Connecticut Shootings, the Penn State (my alma mater) molestation scandal. There actually is one that is incredibly sad that I did choose. But it’s a more personal sadness. You will know which one I’m talking about below. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. The Failure Hour. My most brilliant invention yet, and what I think every mom should do!
2. Fia Turning Three. Before you roll your eyes or skip over this one, I urge you to read it (assuming you have kids. Why else would you be reading my blog unless you’re really really bored?). It’s not just about Fia. It’s about the unquenchable love these babies bring to our lives. And our quest to hold onto it. Tight.
3. Losing Justin. The magnitude of loss is still hard to fathom. Father of two young boys. Son to my Baba Yaga. My first cousin. When Justin was killed, so many hearts shattered. I would do anything to turn back time and say it isn’t so. I want people to read this to understand how quickly life can change. And to send peace and light to all of us who will forever grieve his death.
4. Losing My Mom. I wrote this on the one-year anniversary of my mom’s death. It actually gave me great peace to write it and to know she is in a better place. Especially since much of her life was so tragic.
5. My Embarrassing Pregnancy Problem. Okay, this has the word “Ugly Vag” in the first sentence. How can you not be intrigued?
6. Should Depressed People Procreate? Hell yeah! I did and I have the happiest babies on the block. Lots of judgment here from those who have never been depressed.
7. The Death of Rody. I’m happy to report we have a new one. He is blue. And he’s an indoor Rody now. This, after the still-mysterious toy killer hit our yard. Last night we saw SIX–yes SIX coyotes on our street. I have my suspicions…I’m thinking coyote puppies who are teething…
8. Homebirth–I Don’t Get it. And still don’t. But I will say I am lessening my judgement with baby #2 on a few things…like cosleeping. I still believe strongly in sleep training. But I do get on some level why people sleep with their babies–because they are delicious. I do it from time to time. And did quite a bit with Emmett for the first 8 months. I just think you have to have a baseline of good sleep, both yours and your baby’s, before you go down that road.
9. A Monkey Made Me Lactate. Enough said.
10. Why The Boob Rocks. You would think this post would have been well-received by most. But oh no. There is a line in there that stirred so much controversy, I had to open another bottle of wine while blissfully nursing Emmett. In fact, I got so drunk I passed out and decided to make drinking to oblivion while breastfeeding a nightly habit. In fact, I’m in a blackout now.
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Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday, Mom Situations, Must Read | Tags: alcohol, antidepressants, breastfeeding, Connecticut shooting, cosleeping, depression, drinking, failure hour, homebirth, penn state, popular blog posts, Rody, sleep training, taking antidepressants when pregnant, toddler birthday
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
Cynthia Roelle, mom to a 2-year-old daughter and award-winning photographer, shares her own birthday cake disaster.
I don’t know about you but I laughed the entire way through Jill’s Birthday Cake Disaster. Not for reasons you might think. I wasn’t wondering why she thought she could pull it off when she nearly failed Home Economics (though I was wondering how in the world…I thought everyone got an A).
I wasn’t wondering why she thought flipping the layers would work, or why she didn’t just let Phil buy a cake (or why Phil thought Reddi-Whip was a good idea—it wasn’t). I wasn’t wondering why she didn’t give up, or even why she wanted to do it in the first place. I’m with you Jill, I get all that. I too want to bake my own cakes for my daughter’s birthdays. All two of them, to date.
Unfortunately, I hate to bake. It requires far too much precision for my taste. It’s tedious and time consuming and after I’ve used every last bowl, appliance, and utensil I own, my kitchen is a disaster. Plus, I don’t really like cake.
Notwithstanding, I set out to make a 3-layer cake for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. From scratch. I made the flowers and leaves from smashed gumdrops so it required absolutely no skill whatsoever in the decorating department, which was convenient because I have none.
I’m happy to report it turned out beautifully. If you will, please refer to the lovely photo above. I made that cake, all by myself. Please keep that in mind as you continue reading.
So the real reason I laughed my way through Jill’s Birthday Cake Disaster is because all I could think was that it could have been worse. Much, much worse.
After completing my daughter’s lovely cake, I found myself with a left-over layer. My sister’s birthday is only a few days before my daughter’s. We celebrated their birthdays the same weekend so I thought I would decorate the extra layer for my sister. After all, I didn’t want it to go to waste. But what to do with one measly layer?
My sister was turning 40, so I got this brilliant idea (the brilliance part is debatable) to chop the layer in half, smoosh the two half circles together and stand them on their sides to make a hill. Get it? Forty and over the hill?
Next, I slathered the entire blob in green icing. Only I couldn’t achieve grass green, just an unnatural mint green.
I then populated one slope of the hill with 39 candles. Using pipe cleaners, I fashioned arms and legs for each candle to make them look like little people running up the hill. The 40th candle, representing my sister, was positioned in front of the others, just over the crest of the hill. Lest the message not be crystal clear, I made a banner that said, “Happy 40th Birthday” on one side and “Over the Hill” on the other.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was pretty funny. At least I thought so.
It takes some time to light 40 candles, so my husband, my mom and I started lighting them as soon as my sister and her husband pulled into the driveway. It was instantly clear we would have only seconds to get the show on the road.
I don’t know if my sister and her husband took time for some backseat snooky, if they took a scenic detour from the driveway to the front door, or if they were abducted by aliens and taken aboard their spacecraft. All I know is that all the candles were lit and my sister was nowhere to be found.
I yelled for my husband to find my sister and get her inside. In the next instant all the pipe cleaner people were ablaze. Then the paper banner caught fire and it, too, went up in flames. We’re talking flames that were at least 2 feet high. Still no sister.
As I stood there watching the pyrotechnics, I vaguely wondered how long I could wait before getting the blaze under control. It wasn’t until the flames started lapping the balloons hovering above the cake that I really started getting worried. Holy s–t, is helium combustible? Visions of the Hindenburg flashed through my mind. Are those balloons going to explode and burn down the house? WHERE IN THE HELL IS MY SISTER?!
Just as I decided enough was enough, my sister materialized in the kitchen doorway. She didn’t appear surprised by our little party or the least bit alarmed to see 2-foot flames shooting from her cake. Instead, she had this look of disgust on her face that said: “WTF is that hideous blob? Oh Cindy, Martha would not approve.”
Turns out, that is EXACTLY what she was thinking. That and, why I would make her a flaming pile of crap when I made such a pretty cake for my daughter. I don’t know how she managed, but damn if she didn’t blow out the candles, too.
So Jill, all I can say is yay for your effort. You can water the lawn with Fia any old day, but she only turned three just that once. It looks to me like she had a grand time, so it wasn’t a complete disaster by any stretch. At least not on the order of this:
I feel compelled to add two things that my scientist husband pointed out. First, helium is not combustible and, second, the Hindenburg was actually filled with hydrogen which, unfortunately for the airship, is highly flammable.
If you have a birthday cake disaster that can top mine or Jill’s by all means, make us feel better and share it!
Categories: Cynthia's Guest Blog, Mom Situations | Tags: 40th birthday, bake, birthday, birthday cake, cake, cake on fire, candles, decorate, disaster, fire, over the hill, toddler birthday