Archive for the 'Mommy' Category

Tomorrow is another day

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Wasn’t that a Scarlett O’Hara line…?  Normally, I would Google it to confirm, but I’m too tired for that right now.

Anyway, it’s the same sentiment that my mother always expressed as “Everything always looks better in the morning.”

And since I know that’s generally true, I guess I’d better get to bed.

It was kind of a rough week on the office front, and then, today, I got stood up for a mom/kid play date. 

Well, stood up isn’t really an accurate description.  I’m sure my friend would never have been a no-show on purpose.  And we made the plan to meet up at a playground with our kids quite a while ago, and didn’t confirm since then – I almost forgot about it frankly, myself.  It’s partly my own fault for not remembering to confirm, and for not having her home number.  But still.  I was so looking forward to this little social get-together with an old co-worker who left our old firm before I did, and with my two kids and her two kids.  

The funny twist is that, although I never knew of her until I started that job four years ago, I learned after meeting her (and learning that her maiden name was the same as my husband’s last name) and doing some genealogical calculating, that she is Paul’s 4th cousin, and therefore that our kids are 5th cousins!  Her ancestor came from the same tiny Austrian village from which Paul’s ancestors hail – and which we had the pleasure of visiting a few years ago.  I know – that’s a pretty distant relation.  But it’s still funny how that connection – even though my ‘family’ connection to her is by marriage – still makes us feel some kind of an urge to keep up to date with one another.  We have a lot of lifestyle issues in common, as well, though.  We’re working attorney moms, who had children (her second, my first) within two days of one another, and can relate about having one the exact same age.

Anyway, she’ll see the e-mail at her office on Monday morning, and feel terrible, I’m sure.

I’m not taking it TOO personally.  I know that life is busy, and that I’d forget every obligation I ever made, almost, if I didn’t write it down.  But even so, I just felt kind of bummed. 

Still, the girls and I played at the playground for about an hour or so.  It was a beautiful Fall day here in Wisconsin.  Then we did a little grocery shopping (Sarah slept through all of that), and then came home and shared a little dinner with my dear old Mom, who kept us company while Daddy Koog is away on an overnight golf/casino trip with some pals.

Nice that he has such good buddies. 

I wish I had more local lady friends.

Mom and Emma Day

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

Things have been so rushed lately.

We arrived home from our vacation after midnight on a Monday. On Tuesday, it was back to the office, and by Friday, I was giving two public presentations.

The day after the presentations, we took Emma to the portrait studio for her one-year photos, and the next day, we had a birthday party for 10 people, duly decorated in a barnyard animal theme, at our house.

The next week, I was under the gun on various client deadlines.

And on Friday last, I finally finished the most pressing of them.

So when Paul left town early Saturday morning for a Golf/Poker overnight trip with the guys, and since my mother left at the same time for a seminar in San Francisco, I had all the cue I needed for spending a fun, relaxing day with Emma.

Just Mommy and Emma.

After the requisite Emma’s breakfast, morning play and morning naptime, we headed out for our fun day.

We had lunch out together at the Cheesecake Factory. While waiting for my food to arrive, I fed her in her highchair.

Then, we went to Barnes and Noble, and picked up a few fun little board books. I think my new favorite is the one called Little Gorilla.

Poor Jim (the cat)

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.

After the bookstore sojourn, it was off to the Build-A-Bear store, where we procured a new outfit and shoes for Gloria, a bear her cousin Alex previously built (and named) for her. (That’s Gloria, on the left, in the picture).

I felt like a regular Grandparent with all the baby shopping. It was fun.

After we’d had our fill of the mall, we went to the park, where Emma crawled and crawled and crawled, stopping every few feet to hand me interesting objects that she found. She handed me an acorn, several sticks, leaves, blades of grass, and pieces of pieces of weeds that she tore off just for me (Awwww….).

She also enjoyed being pushed in a swing.

After our big day out, it was time for her dinner and after that, for a bath.

It was a lovely Mom and Emma Day.

Blowing Bubbles

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Blowing Bubbles, originally uploaded by Koog Family.

Here’s just some of the fun we had on our Happy June 23 — blowing bubbles in the yard!

Gratuitous Baby Picture and Mommy Pride

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

Here she comes!, originally uploaded by Koog Family.

Look at this pink-cheeked little sweetheart crawling around! How can I help but be smitten!?

Four Things I Never Knew About Motherhood

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

There have been several surprises along this journey called motherhood that I hadn’t known about before. Here are four of them:

Once a woman stops nursing, for whatever reason, her body starts shedding hair. I’m not talking about a little bit. I’m talking about gobs and gobs coming out in the hairbrush and in the shower. I’m talking about my stylist having a very concerned look on her face and telling me, “there’s just not as much there as there used to be.” I’m talking about the fact that I used to barely be able to squeeze my thick pony tail into a large barrette. And now, if I don’t use a small tiny one, it slips out. I probably lost fifty percent of my hair, if not more. The good news is that it is growing back. The new growth is about an inch and a half long now. When I wear a pony tail, the new stuff groups together into little flippies that kind of look like horns coming out from the side of my head. It’s strange. But it’s normal. Other mothers¬†at work confirmed that they experienced exactly the same thing.

2. This Book Makes Me Cry This Book Makes Me Cry, by Koog Family.

I never knew that the rush of love, emotion, hope, and protectiveness that came over me as I bonded with my new baby for the first hours and days of her life would become physically?, chemically? imprinted upon me somehow. And that images or words that remind me of the intensity of my new-mother feelings can set me off on a crying jag. This sort of silly little book, “Love You Forever,” by Robert Munsch, did it to me. It came in a basket of various baby items upon which we made the winning bid on at a fundraising auction. When I read the book, I melted into a weeping heap of blubbering emotion.¬†¬†¬†¬†

3. Wham_-_Make_It_Big-front Wham_-_Make_It_Big-front, by SuedeyAde.

How could I have ever guessed that leaving Emma at home with Paul in order to drive a half-an-hour away to the dinner place to pick up food, combined with a Friday night “Retro Eighties” radio program, could be such a source of joy and renewal. Driving alone to do errands these days feels, again, like driving alone did when I was a teenager. Just me, the road, and the radio station. I’m quite sure that “Burning Down The House,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” and “Dancing With Mysel-elf” have never before been played at such a high volume or sung along to with such passion inside the space of a mini-van as they were last Friday evening.¬†¬†¬†¬†

4. Tiny Baby Tiny Baby, by Koog Family.

I hadn’t realized that a parent’s attention to a child is so grounded in the moment. I’m so aware of what Emma does every day, and I take in and adapt to each change as it comes along. But that focus keeps me from remembering many of the details of her earlier stages. Paul and I looked at some of her early baby pictures last night, and reacted with stunned laughter to her amazing smallness and her difference from now! We can’t clearly remember that, as we’re following her around the house, now, to keep up with her crawling.

Emma Sends Her Second E-Mail. (Mom didn’t “help” right on the first one).

Friday, May 5th, 2006

From: Emma
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 10:44 AM
To: Paul 
Subject: OOpS.

OoPPS, DaDdyy,


MoTHer’s Daa iz NoT uNtiL MaY 14.


Emma Sends Her First E-Mail! (ok, Mommy helped)

Friday, May 5th, 2006
From: Emma
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 10:33 AM
To: Paul 
Subject: dADdy?


Thiz is EmMA.  I aM sEndyNg mi 1sT E_MaIL too YUU. 

iT iz MoTher’s Daa thiz SunDay.¬† I’m noT sHure, BuT Aren’t wee SupPossed To dO sOme tHing fUn with mOMmy??

ShoULD we uzE your gifT CertificATE at tHe 7 SeaS for BruNCH?  If sO, taLK to MoM about MakInG a ReserVation!



Mom and Daughter – 6 months old

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Mom and Daughter – 6 months oldOriginally uploaded by Koog Family.

“Six Month” studio portraits of me (left) and Emma (right), separated by approximately 33 years and 9 months (the difference in our ages. My father pointed out that this was also the exact age at which my grandmother had her first child [him]).

So far, Emma has my eyes, something of my upper cheeks, my hands and feet, and my quiet focus [she’s great at entertaning herself with toys].

The rest (dimples when she smiles, head shape, mouth shape, having less hair and earlier teeth) is all Paul…

Like me as a baby (and very unlike colicky baby Paul), Emma hardly ever cries. But unlike me, there’s more of a drama queen element going on here. When she does cry, watch out Рshe means it. The shrieks are short-lived, but shrill, and enormous tears well up immediately. These have to be wiped away, usually always after she’s calm and happy again, because she settles down again so quickly.

She shares a birthday with Napolean and a couple of German Kaisers. So far all indications are that she shares with her birth-date-fellows the desire and great ability to command attention. (While being MUCH cuter, of course!)

Mom Screws Up; Neighbors Come to the Rescue

Monday, April 10th, 2006

Hero Neighbors and Emma, originally uploaded by Koog Family.

**********It’s not really a newspaper headline, but it is a true story.**********

On Thursday night, I did something that busy people (or at least absent-minded busy people) should never do:

I varied my routine.

The stomach-turning result was that I found myself, adrenaline and blood pressure suddenly rising, on the wrong side of a locked door from my baby!

Yep, just after arriving home after the daycare pick-up, I managed to lock myself out of the house, while my keys, cell phone, and EMMA, strapped into her car seat, were inside on the dining room table.

I ran right to the neighbors’ house and asked to use the phone. I tried calling Paul right away, but he was in class. Luckily, I knew that he was due to have a break about 15 minutes from the time I tried to call him. Still, the fact that I had to leave a message for him instead of speaking to him directly didn’t do much to calm me down.

Sensing my maternal panic, the neighbors kindly helped me in every way possible. They let me look up phone numbers on the internet at their house. And when I came outside after doing that, I found them busy at work on Operation Baby Rescue. Janet was at the foot of a ladder looking up, and Pete was on top of our garage, about to enter in through a window.

Luckily, I finally reached Paul on his cell phone, and he was quickly on the way.

Pete and Janet stayed talking with me in the yard while I waited so that I didn’t “have to freak out all alone.”

Emma did some crying that was audible through the windows, but Paul finally arrived with keys, and the K. family was happily reunited.

Afterwards, I took Emma over to Pete and Janet’s to say thanks and to get a picture. You can just see the glowing eyes of their cool Great Dane, Vegas, in the picture above. Or, click the small picture, below, for a better view of handsome Vegas.

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Great Dane
Great Dane,
originally uploaded by Koog Family.

Thanks, again, guys, for your enormous help, and for being such terrific neighbors!!!

Sweet Aching Baby Love

Monday, March 27th, 2006

It’s true what people say. . . and what I knew when I was pregnant. . . That you just don’t know what to expect until that baby finally arrives.

Some friends of ours will be having a baby soon, and we (Emma too!) had dinner at their house a couple of weeks ago. The mother-to-be was eight months along when we were there – as pregnant as the day is long. But when I was talking about having a baby, she told me that she just doesn’t know what to expect. How will it be? It being life with a baby.

I remember that feeling. That months-long, sometimes happy, often anxious wondering. The not knowing.

It was a relief to finally know what it felt like to hold my little baby in my arms. By the end of the third trimester, it was a physical relief as well as an emotional one. And I’m now convinced that the labor and delivery process stirs up a cocktail of love hormones that carry you through a blissful high for about three days.

It’s on about that fourth day that you start to notice that you’re exhausted. And that this baby is crying a lot and needing attention almost more often that you can give it. But you wake up every time. You come groggily and willingly to her side because you have to. You have to for her, and you have to for you. There’s no other choice.

I’m very happy for our friends who will be having the baby soon. Part of me feels sorry for them, though. I know that they’re in for a very steep learning curve. If things go in their house like they did in ours, they won’t get a full night of uninterrupted sleep for months and months to come. And then there’s the not knowing. The not knowing yet how to give a bath. How to nurse. How to prepare a bottle, when it’s time for that. Is this normal? Is that normal?

We were addicted to baby books for at least the first four weeks straight. Actually, I can’t remember when we stopped reading the baby books. At some point, we found our confidence and the books fell away. And then the baby helped by eventually learning to hold up her head, which meant that she could be carried around the house sometimes in one arm, instead of always two. And later, just when we thought our hearts would break from the lack of reciprocity, she learned to smile at us and reward us for all our nurturing and mush. Then she learned to sit. And finally, to play with toys on her own while – get this – we can actually take care of something else for a few minutes. And she becomes more independent, in her still very dependent way, each day. We’re out of the woods now. I started feeling that way as soon as she was five months old, or earlier, but I feel more and more that way every day – that the hardest part of her tiny infancy stage is over.

And at our friends’ house, soon, together with all that joy and new-found love, there will be the tiny, high pitched cry. The literally sleepless nights. The rocking of the baby in the dead of night for hours. The looking at the watch and knowing that it’s 3:00 a.m., and you’ve already been rocking for two hours. The wondering when he’ll just fall asleep. Just sleep. The not knowing.

We’ve come a long way already on our parenting journey. And our friends will travel the same road. They’ll arrive in the same place we have. But they’re going to look and feel like they’ve been hit by a truck at least a few times before they get there.

And so I’ll do the only thing I can do. I’ll do the only thing that anyone can do. And people do it all the time. Now I know why. I’ll give them a baby gift, and keep them in my thoughts. Their sweet aching baby love will pull them through.