Friday, July 31, 2009

I am a Mom? I am REALLY a mom?

I am a Mom?

I am REALLY a mom?

It's almost 11. And, your crying. You've been to bed for a few hours now - and yet your crying. I came to bed early, to read. Perhaps it is the light from the bedside light shining into the hall that is upsetting you. I switch it off. Then I hear,


You never really ask for me. Usually you call out for your Dad. I roll out out of bed, switch on the light. I creep into your room. There you are, legs all askew and your little hands are clenched together on your chest. Your eyes are as big as saucers. Its hard to tell if you are really even awake or if you are sleeping with your eyes open. We never took your hair down when you went to bed, and your using your beloved bear as a pillow. I pry your little hands apart, and soothingly stroke your cheek. I tell you that all is going to be okay, and that you need to close your little eyes, its time to sleeps and it's late.

As I stand there, the soles of my bare feet become stuck to the imitation hard wood flooring we put in your room. Suddenly, with no mental warning, I am instantly thrust backwards into a sea of memories - how my life with you started out. How things were, exactly two years ago ...

I remember the screaming and the writhing in pain. I remember the projectile vomiting of formula with in 15 minutes of you drinking a bottle. I remember pacing the hall with you, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day. Nothing made you comfortable. Nothing. You were inconsolable. We rocked grooves into the floor. You would lay on your tummy, clearly exhausted, deep purple rings under your eyes, to tired to sleep, to tired to eat, to tired to move and too tired to scream. I remember tracking every ounce you drank, every poop diaper and every time you burped. I remember being told that I was a new mom, that all babies cry and that you just have colic. I frantically read every parenting book I could get my hands and none of them really talked about what we were going through. I had finally reached my wits end and was ready for a vacation in a padded room. I knew having a baby and becoming a parent was hard - but, this, this wasn't parenting. It felt too much like failure mixed with fear. Enough was enough - this was not normal - babies cry - but you are in pain. The ER doc wondered if you had Pyloric Stenosis. I racked my brain trying to think of what I did wrong those 37 weeks I carried you. I worried myself into a panicked frenzy. I remember laying your little, teeny tiny body on the x-ray table, the bottle filled with barium and our diagnosis of Pediatric GERD. We tried Zantac, but that didn't work. And, finally, through trial and error, found that 15mg of Prevacid twice a day, would take just enough of burn out of your GERD to allow you to be comfortable. From the time you were three weeks old we had to medicate you to make you comfortable. You still puked up what you ate, but at least now you did it with a smile on your face. Eventually, we settled into a routine, bottles, meds, screaming, puking, bottles, puking, meds, bottles. We found our version of a comfortable normal.

Your eye lids are fluttering, your breathing in starting to deepen and the death grip you have on my index finger is starting to loosen just a bit. I wiggle my finger free, and your eyes pop open as if on springs. I whisper to you that I am just going to grab you a blanket - there is a chilly rain scented breeze coming in the window. I tuck it around you, and bring it up under your chin. I fold you little arm under the blanket and gently rub your cheek. Your eyes begin to close again, your breathing becomes rhythmic, and a peacefulness envelopes the room.

As I peer down at you, I am very aware of how tiny you really still are - half curled up on your side snuggled under a this thin cotton blanket. There is no denying you are finally fully asleep again. I kiss the tips of my fingers and gently press them to your forehead, murmuring to you how much I love you. As I turn to go out the door, I peek on last time over the edge of the crib. I need to make sure you haven't suddenly awakened in the the time it took me to move those five steps. Nothing changed.

I step into my bedroom, clicking the light off as I pass by the nightstand, and crawl back into the space I just rolled myself out of 30 minutes before. I can hear your Dad downstairs watching the game and roar of a starting car a few houses down the road. As I pull my own covers up to my chin, I wonder if your Dada is even aware of all that has happened in the last 30 minutes.

A stillness finally settles between your room and ours. I turn on my side, searching for my own sleep, only to find that my brain is lost in the memories of yesterday.

I start to cry.

I am a mom.

I am REALLY a mom.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grinning From Ear to Ear

**excuse me** (clearing my throat)
**is this microphone on?**
**testing, 1, 2, 3, testing, 1, 2, 3**

I would like to take a moment, and give a HUGE, yes, a HUGE, THANK YOU TO Chrissy, at Bitter Sweet Moments, THANK YOU!, for bestowing upon me, this award:

To quote from her blog:
"I am sure you will find these lovely blogs as amazing as I do!!!"
**Chrissy thinks that my blog is amazing! *me grinning from ear to ear!***

The rules of this award are:
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Listed below, is just a snippet of my favorite reads in blog land. Please, take a minute...check them out. Take your time, look around, read a bit, and maybe leave a comment or two or four. And, then feel free to come back here and poke around. When you get done, I will be sure to have brownies and coffee ready from the bakery.

And, so, without further ado, I would like to award the following:

The Young and the Relentless
Sew Not My Day
These are probably two of the first blogs I ever read, and read faithfully E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y. Usually Connie's and Val's new posts are the first go be marked as read in my reader.

The Wandering Sagittarius - this is my sister's blog. Read her Murphy & Me series. You can thank me later when she's a famous author and world renowned Chemist, that you read her first, thanks to me, on her blog.

I really like the no bullshit, tell it like it is parenting, advice, and overall words of wisdom that can be found at:
Who Put Me In Charge of These People
In The Trenches of Mommyhood -

I love reading Cookie Crums and finding out about her latest afternoon and weekend adventures with her Lil' Man.

Karly's Strawberry Crostada recipe, at Buns In My Oven has quickly become a favorite go to recipe of mine. But, I will warn you ahead of time, she has an obsession with bacon. Yep, you read right, bacon.

And, after you read the following, you will know why they also top my list of favs and are part of this list for the award:

Blissfully Caffeinated

Life Not Finished

Muthering Heights

Again, Thank You Chrissy and I hope you all enjoy the blogs on this list as much as I do.

DISCLAIMER: I read a lot more than this as well - and I ENJOY every blog that I read. I certainly hope that anyone that visits here on a regular basis doesn't feel left out or that I slighted you in some way, if you ware not on the list. Because that was not and is not my intention. These were just the first blogs that popped into my head when Chrissy gave me this award.

Wordless Wednesday - Going Green

WANT MORE? other than mine? Check out - 5 minutes for Mom , Wordless Wednesday , & 7 Clown Circus

Monday, July 27, 2009

Turning Two!

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Madaline!
Happy Cake and Candle Day to YOU!

(*disclaimer - Her birthday was actually Sat. the 25th of July - but, with 30 people to entertain inside, because it decided to rain - I didn't have time to post this then)

This was you two years ago:

And, this is you today:

Since that time, we have beaten GERD, and have been med free for almost 8 months!

After 6 months of Speech Therapy you became an ST Grad! And now we can't get you to shut up!

Slowly but surely, we are working on Potty Training. You are ready, but it is taking a bit longer for Mommy and Daddy to get on board.

But most importantly - We don't know how we managed without all those years, without the wonderful, Magnificent Mayhem you put in our daily lives.

(one very, very, tired, Mayhem Maker!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Help Choose the Invitation!

The lil' Mayhem Maker is turning 2 in 9 days. I am a bit behind on the invitations, and last year I had made them all. This year, I just don't have the time to make what I want.

So, as I was looking at really cute skirts for Madaline on Etsy this morning - I thought - why not look for Birthday invitations as well?

And, as usual I can't decide - so can you all help me?

Take a look at the following four and then leave a comment letting me know what you favorite it.





I will place my order, based on the invitation you all choose, tomorrow morning at 9am.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Friend Making Monday: My Favorite Things

Here we go! Let's get the week started off right......Kasey is still on vacation - and so, Mamarazzi over at Dandelion Wishes, is hosting this weeks FMM.
**hint, hint - if you get a chance, please take a moment to check it out. **

This week's task:

Tell List 5 - 10 of your FAVORITE THINGS. And, of course, how can you not do this weeks task, with out the song running through your head at the same time?


"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings, These are a few of my favorite things

*OPI I've Got the Blues for Red & Sweet Heart Nail Polish
*My bright red Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
*The scent of a freshly bathed Madaline the Mayhem Maker

"Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels, Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles, Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings, These are a few of my favorite thing"

*Zabar's Cappucino & Fudge Coffee
*Slippers with Fuzzy Linings
*'mommy, Mommy, MOMMY!' - as I come through the door after a llloonnnggg day at work

"Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, Silver white winters that melt into springs, These are a few of my favorite things"

*The Tart Sweetness of Strawberries
*The Smell of Fresh Cut Grass
*Emerging Toddler Independence

"When the dog bites, When the bee stings, When I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things And then I don't feel so bad"

*Freshly made & Slightly Warm Rice Krispie Treats
*Big Beautiful Peony Blooms
*Lil' Mayhem Maker in Braided Piggy Tails

Song Lyrics courtesy of

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Summer's Winter

This is how COLD! Yes COLD! It's has been. Jeans, sneakers, sweatshirt and WINTER hat cold in my neck of the woods, in UPstate NY. (as you can see)

WANT MORE? other than mine? Check out - 5 minutes for Mom , Wordless Wednesday , & 7 Clown Circus

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An 'Afternoon w/ Ollie - Take 3

Molly: My god your child has reached the terrible twos and its isn't even her birthday yet

: U don't say?!?

: Pants!!!!

: ????? Huh?

: Finally got pants on your child

:oh. Good for you. Thats better than I can do some days.

: Yeah.

Me: Its only pants. Pick ur battles. Usually pants is not high on my lists of battles .

: Considering I'm the aunt, pants is one of my battles.

: Good luck with that

: Thanks. Ruby is buying Max new overalls. And where do they get their money? They don't have jobs or parents. Grandma must be rich

ME: Pimping? IDK.

: I can see ruby on the street corner.But she'd be into BDSM or something because whoever picked her up would have to gag her or something


: Think lady heather from CSI

: Oh.

: Yeah.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday: Best Friend Forever Edition

Usually, I try to keep things here in Mayhem Land centered on Madaline. Monday's are pretty much the only exception to this - as I LOVE, ADORE, did I mention, LOVE, Friend Makin' Monday.

I know about FMM because I read Connie, who writes, The Young and the Relentless. And, I think the whole idea got started over at All That is Good, by Kasey, but, since Kasey is on vacation, you will find today's FMM master link over at Outside My Kitchen Window. **hint, hint - if you get a chance, please take a moment to check it out. **

This week's task:

Tell us about your BFF...where did you meet, was it BFF at first sight, how long have you been friends, etc.What makes him/her your BFF...what is it about this person that makes him/her so special to you?

I have few friends. I have also been the type of person that would rather have quality over quantity. So, it is hard for me to narrow down to just on BFF, but, if I had too, and while I feel as if I am slighting all my other good friends that are also deserving of this title, I would have to crown my little sister - Molly, a/k/a, Ollie. There are 12 years, yes, 12 years between Molly and I. Last year, I wrote this piece entitled "I remember..." to celebrated her graduating from high school. I will post it here - as it covers all the questions about Why Molly? And, why she really is my BFF.

I remember, the day that you were born, it was the day after Thanksgiving, 1989, and I spent the evening at the Height’s Theater watching “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”. You arrived into this world at 10:25, and I got to see you shortly there after.

I remember, that while you learned to walk, you preferred to run. One time, your newly found talent landed you in the emergency room for doing a forehead plant on the stairs at my house.

I remember that when you were a little girl and you were afraid to go outside – and any time we left the house, we use to have to do a sky check.

I remember that for some reason you didn’t think it was necessary when you were a little kid to sleep in a bed – you slept by it, under it, or next to it – but hardly in it. This made it necessary to always check the floor next to my own, as not to squish you when I got out of bed.

I remember that when I graduated from High School you graduated from Kindergarten – At graduation you managed to find a cricket – and if you look closely at most of the pictures from my HS graduation – you are holding this cricket.

I remember the summer before I went away to college – we traveled all over the place – we could spend whole afternoons browsing the books at Barnes & Nobel, at the State Park Pool, or over in Ithaca at the Discovery Center – we would really go anywhere we wanted, as long as we were back to Watkins by 5 – to pick Mom up from work.

I remember the day I left for college – you helped move me in my dorm room and mom said you cried all the way home – she often said she thought you would wear your first HWS sweatshirt all day, every day, if she let you…

I remember that mom & dad took you to get a cat after I left for college – Buttons – he’s was a nasty little thing – flea infested and the whole nine yards – I was the lucky one that got to give him a bath the next time I came home for a weekend.

I remember when your second grade teacher though I was a figment of your imagination – until mom set her straight and at your second grade end of year picnic, I introduced myself to her by saying “Hi – I am Molly’s imaginary sister Heather”.

I remember when you broke your leg, attempting to do a cartwheel – It also happened to be April Fool’s day, so I thought it was a joke at first. I was the first one to sign your green cast…

I remember when you went tub diving - scary then, but rather funny now – and unfortunately, it does not look like the Olympic committee is going to make it an event for the next round of summer games.

Two Words……”Townsend Terror”

I remember the way we laughed as we sorted through a couple of decades of photographs the summer before I got married – remember Dad in those plaid pants? I remember that was also the same summer that I heard you say – I can drive if you want…..

I remember when you play Varsity Soccer as a freshman – and last year when you put in two plenty shots during an Odessa game. I also, unfortunately, remember the one you missed and how I could feel your pain and disappointment all the way up in the stands.

I remember how you blubbered like a fool at my wedding rehearsal, but kept it together like a champ for the actually ceremony. And, I remember how your maid of honor speech even made my husband cry

I remember a year ago, when Daryl and I moved in at mom and dad's while we finished the house – it was real, it was fun, but it wasn’t always “real fun” – but, I did get a kick out of standing over you while you slept on the couch, staring at you, until you woke up, cause you felt a “presence”.

I will always remember that your face is one of the first faces that my own little girl saw after she was born as well as the first time she puked on you. And, I remember that Madaline said “lolly” before she said mum.

I remember taking you last fall to visit the HWS campus, that will be your home for the next four years – and thinking how proud I would be no matter where you choose to go to school while silently wishing and hoping that you chose my Alma mater.

I know that we have many more years to create memories that can start with the phrase “I remember” – but I want you to remember, mom will always make the “Geneva Ice Cream Run” when you need it, don’t ever let Dad catch you with less than a ½ tank of gas in the car in the middle of winter, ….but most importantly, I want you to remember, that no matter how big, how old, or far away you get – you will always be my little sister and my BFF!

Come out, Come Out, Where Ever You Are.....

I haven't disappeared. Really. I haven't.

I was knocked a bit off kilter last week and was just a bit taken back. I had my first experience of mommy-blog/twitter meanness. I am not new to Twitter or Blogging by any stretch of the imagination, but it was still no less of a shock to me. As a result, I spent too many hours, too many days, and WAY to much effort on on a post, that will never be viewed by my readers. Because, at the end of the day, and after some self reflection, its not worth it.

So, I have gathered up my marbles, straightened my shirt, stepped back into my heels, and will be back in full swing over the course of the next few days.

And, just to give you a taste of what is to come - We, I, Us, have been busy!! Both in The Townsend Bakery as well as in Mayhem Land. Madaline has been providing me with a LOT of funny stuff and Holy Cow! parenting moments. And Ollie - Oh! Ollie - Ollie commented the other day, via text, while she was watching LMM that she needed to censor herself for fear of winding up on my blog. So - Of course, I have another installment of 'An Afternoon w/ Ollie' coming up.

So, please, sit back, put your feet up, stay a while....I am glad you stopped by and hope you continue to do so. I am glad to have you - and if your new here - WELCOME! - May I offer any of you a brownie & a cup of coffee while you wait?