Sunday, May 29, 2011

11 Months

Today Esmé is 11 months old and as cute (or cuter) than ever!

Lately, we've been experimenting on new hair-do's. Here we have the curly pompadour:
And this is what happens when Daddy does Esmé's hair:
She's just recently starting sporting the top-of-the head ponytail.

She is an adventurous girl, and with that comes a few bumps and bruises. This particular injury on the forehead looks like she had a recent run-in with Voldemort.
Disorganizing things is one of her favorite pastimes.
She usually eats with one foot on the tray.
She's such a sweet, silly girl! We can't believe she's almost one!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Case of Mistaken Identity?

There have been three strange occurrences of mistaken identity in my life lately.

First, about six months ago, I received an email that went something like this:

Dear Allison,
Thank you for your interest in (some kind of job opening...I forget what it was). We will contact you once we review your resume.

I thought, hmm that was weird. Someone must've mixed up my email address with this Allison person. Oh well. Delete. Then periodically over the next six months, I would receive email alerts for various job openings and automatic 'thank you for applying' response-type emails from some employment website that were meant for this Allison person. It was annoying, so I'd just delete them.

Then about two months ago, I got an email that went something like this:

Dear Windycitygirl,

Thank you for registering on You're gonna love using our website (or something like that) Click this link to update your profile and view your matches. (Followed by a bunch of login and profile information.)

I thought, uhh, that's weird. I didn't register for, and if I did I certainly wouldn't have chosen the username 'Windycitygirl'. Wanting the issue to just go away, I deleted the email. However, almost everyday for the following months, I would receive email updates from telling me that 47 men had viewed my profile today. Or that SexyAbs2000 wants to flirt with me. I had no idea why I was getting these emails. There must have been some kind of mistake. Having been winked at by one too many males (or so my daily emails would inform me) I decided to see if I could log in to this profile and see why I was getting these emails. It seemed someone (Windycitygirl) had mistakenly entered my email address when creating the profile. She probably just had to create a new profile when she couldn't get in using her own email address, and here I was, the recipient of her flirtations from her first failed profile attempt. Realizing that I had full access to this person's profile and account and, had I wished, could have masqueraded as her on the website, I got overburdened by the invasion of privacy and unsubscribed to the emails. Weird.

Finally, last Saturday while we were watching a movie at home, I received the following text message from a strange number I've never seen before in my life:

'I like u back then. Corey didn't deserve u. And when he wasn't making u happy I wanted to.'

Whoa. I'm flattered and all, but who the heck is Corey?

Then an hour later from the same number (a Tennessee area code, we found out):

'K have fun'

It took a lot of self discipline to not text back something like, 'I want u to make me happy. Can u come over tonite?' But while I was laughing about it, I began to wonder if something strange is going on.

You know how some medications make people do things they can't remember, like driving forklifts at night. Then they wake up and have no idea why they have a forklift on their patio. Or how some people live secret double lives. What if I am not only living a double life, but a quadruple life?! During the day I am Annie the housewife, but at night I am alternately Allison the unemployed; Windycitygirl the lonely; and someone who should have known better than to let Corey mistreat them so.

That might be the only explanation for these strange events.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Roo doesn't really like to draw. But sometimes I ask him to draw pictures for me, because few things are as guaranteed to make me happy as that.

Here are some of his pieces. He didn't give his permission, but I'm sure he won't mind.

Kangaroo. (Note the pouch)

When I asked why he had drawn such a small portrait, he said it's because she's small in real life. That made sense. I think the hair is pretty right on.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On Mothering

The Thursday before Mother's Day weekend, I was sitting with Roo in a busy Mexican restaurant at the height of the lunch hour. I was a lone housewife in a sea of suits and Blackberry-toting business casual-ites. As we waited to be seated, I watched the men and women stand in groups, discussing work, the office, their co-workers, the boss, and while struggling to prevent my baby from grasping a fistful of my hair, I felt oddly out of place.

We were seated and enjoying our lunch when in walked a long line of twenty-something women dressed to the nines, budding professionals in their heels and trousers and purses. Suddenly my efforts to get "dressed up" by wearing my yellow sandals rather than my plain brown flip flops felt feeble. It had been long week of mothering for me, and I knew I had an afternoon of ironing and playing blocks on the family room floor ahead of me. It was one of those moments that sparked a flicker of one thought which we all experience at some point no matter our circumstance: what if things were different? What would that life be like? It was a fleeting thought, nowhere near regret, but closer to curiosity. I watched them flip their hair, check their phones, and order some drinks before Esmé's tiny slapping hands upon the table top reminded me she was ready for her next bite.

I thought a lot about being a mother for the rest of that day, about the choice I had made to become one. Of course, the wonder and joy of having a child is Mt. Everest compared to any other wonder or joy I've experienced before, but existing in the shadow of that mountain is the temptation to entertain the tiny thought 'where would I be without her?' Idle thought, really. But it was suddenly pushed from my mind as I watched my baby tottering on her little feet, reaching out to walk to me, and the thought came to me 'Where would she be without you?'. I realized that among the varied joys of being a mother, to be so needed by someone else is one of my favorite. I am everything to her. She needs me to put her jammies on and replace her binki and clip her tiny fingernails. She needs me to protect her and love her and teach her to love herself. I realized that to be a mother is to be utterly indispensable. What an honor.

Where would I be without her? Well, I'll never be anywhere else but with her, she is an eternal part of my existence, and I am so blessed because of it.

And to our own mothers, thank you for always being there for us. We love you!
And to Roo, thank you for the fruit.

On Saturday, I woke up from my nap to find a big bouquet of purple flowers with a note that said, "Happy Mother's Day. Look in the bathroom closet." Inside the bathroom closet was a watermelon. On the watermelon was a note that said, "Look inside the fridge." Inside the fridge was a carton of fresh raspberries and strawberries which had a note that said, "Look inside the freezer." Inside the freezer was a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

So, among all those other joys of being a mother is the joy of getting fruit and ice cream after a nap.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Month 10

Month 10 of Esmé's life brought some great advancements.

Her hair is now long enough to sport cute barrettes.
She loves animals! We took her to Petsmart to watch the doggies and she just stood there with her hands against the glass and smiled. When we carried her over to see the dogs being groomed, her big smiles and laughs made every groomer in the room stop and smile at her.
She can order off the menu. Or at least, she can eat more adult food cut up into little chunks. She can and does eat almost anything all the time. She would eat constantly if she could.
She can ride in the shopping cart like a big girl. No more lugging that massive baby carrier into the store! However, now most of my shopping time is taken up by trying to block her from sucking on the shopping cart. I'll put my hand in the way to block her mouth, and she'll just sit there and bite it. Don't worry, germ-aphobes, it just builds character. And we try to disinfect often.
She loves her toys! This is how we spend a lot of our days.
She still scoot/crawls on one foot and one knee. She's pretty fast.

She is beginning to understand that sounds have associations to things. Meaning, she knows that when I say 'dada' I mean Roo. When I talk about 'dada' she'll look at Roo or crawl to him. When he comes home from work or gets her out of her crib, she says 'dadadad'. I wouldn't say it's her first word quite yet, because it's more like babble, and because she also says 'dadada' when Roo isn't around, but I can tell she's learning. It's very cute.

When I sing Popcorn Popping to her, she has learned to open and close her little hands to mimic my hand actions during the song. A small thing to most people, but to her mother it is amazing to see her develop like that.

To sum up her personality:
  • Determined
  • Enthusiastic
  • Happy (everywhere we go, people comment on how happy she is. She smiles at everyone and loves people.)
  • Demanding
  • Smart
  • Energetic--she's always on the move and rarely wants to sit still or be cuddled.
  • Funny
I can't imagine possibly loving her more than I do now, but I bet by month eleven she'll make it possible.