Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hide and Peek

Where's Tye?

There she is!


 I just finished reading Katrina Kenison's book Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry.  It was filled with insights and ideas for taking time to appreciate the non-tangible aspects of family life.  In one chapter, she discussed the importance of hiding spaces for children.  She wrote:
Every child needs such a place, a place that invokes the processes of the imagination and the possibility of transformation.  A place that is at once a haven from the adult world and a source of mystery and wonder, a place that a child can discover and shape and lay claim to, simply by virtue of his or her own quiet presence there, and deep observation.
I began to think about our home, with it's new construction and lack of obvious hiding spaces, and I wondered where Tye would ever hide.  Of course, I didn't need to worry.  Tye found a space on her own, and she spends time there every day now.  Sometimes she hides and yells for me, asking me to come looking for her, and then giggles hysterically.  Other times, she hides and tries to coax the cat into her space with her.  Occasionally, she'll bring a snack, or she'll just sit quietly on her own for several minutes.  Whenever she does, I think back to the chapter in Kenison's book and reflect on the peace Tye is discovering in her own secret space, hidden away from the rest of the busy world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vintage Style

A few weeks ago, Tyler and I joined his family at the wedding of a family friend here in Chicago.  It was a stunning ceremony at historic Old St. Patrick's Church and a lavish reception afterwards.  Being pregnant, the dress options in my closet were limited. So I decided to have some fun and wear this stunning gown, a vintage piece that captured my heart when we lived in Ithaca, NY.  I adored the bright color, the flowing volume, and the delicate beading so much that I visited and revisited the vintage store to drool over it.  I couldn't afford the dress at the time (especially since I didn't have any idea when I would ever wear it), but my girl friends surprised me with it for my birthday that year.  
After the ceremony, a woman walked up to me and introduced herself as Kathleen.  Then, compliment of compliments: she asked if she could photograph me for her pregnancy fashion blog!  Um, of course! She shot some beautiful photos and featured me later in the week here.  What an honor.  

Unfortunately, the dress barely fit over my belly then (there's a fitted inner layer), so there's no way it would fit my growing belly even now.  If it did, I would likely keep it at the front of my closet to try on any time I'm having a hard time dressing my bump, just to bring back that feeling of glamor.

Thanks, Tammy, for leading the Ithaca girls towards that dress almost 6 years ago!  

Monday, September 19, 2011

When life hands you change...

I can look back at my life and see certain points in which my journey suddenly took a new direction.  Tyler's military deployment, which led to our earlier-than-planned marriage and our move to Germany; a chance interview and a teaching position in an integrated classroom, which unveiled my calling in Special Education; that first unplanned pregnancy that, though lost, awakened our desire for children; that moment in which Tye emerged from my body and I was instantly overcome with fierce love for her in a way I could never have imagined.  Intense, life-altering times of transition.


I'm standing on the brink of one of those moments now- or perhaps smack dab in the middle of it- and that awareness is unnerving. 


We're moving our family.  We've decided to pack up what is most important to us, leave our entire extended family and the majority of our friends, and head to New York City so Tyler can take a new job that will allow our family more time together.  I feel simultaneously terrified and relieved.  Since we moved to Chicago four years ago, Tyler has been consulting with a firm that has required him to travel at least four days a week.  We never planned for him to continue in this position as long as he has, but right when we had hoped he'd be able to leave, the economy took a nosedive and we were grateful he was employed.  


Now, Tyler has found a position in Corporate Strategy that is not only an opportunity to leave consulting but is also with a company that excites him.  I'm over the moon for him to have a job he enjoys more and that won't leave him dreading each new workweek.  And to see Tyler every day?  A dream come true!  After all, living together was part of the plan when we married.  For Tye to see Tyler each day will be even more exciting.  She has reached the age in which she is sad when Daddy leaves each week, and she spends much of each Monday talking about Daddy leaving.  It's heartbreaking.


Of course, this move terrifies me.  Our family plays such a huge role in our lives that I can't imagine how we'll survive without them sometimes.  Each Sunday, our siblings and their significant others join us for Family Sunday Funday, which pretty much consists of cooking and eating delicious food together.  Adapting to Sundays without them is going to be really painful.  We see both sets of our parents regularly, too, sometimes even both on the same weekend.  They've been our go-to babysitters for Tye, for which we've been extremely grateful.  


And of course, we're leaving just months before our second child is born.  When I discovered I was pregnant, I instantly thought of my amazing support system- family so closeby, and all my amazing like-minded mama friends, who I knew would ease my transition into a mother of two.  My heart breaks when I think of leaving everyone.  I've cried over and over as we made this decision.  But then I see something like this:
video


Isn't this enough of a reason to make a change?  Our family unit will be together.  We'll have each other, and I fully expect this move to bring us even closer.  From our past experiences together, Tyler and I know we can face anything with each other.  Heck, we're moving to a place where I speak the native language- we're going to be just fine.  


This weekend, Tyler and I are flying out to NYC to look at apartments, hopefully with a move-in date of early October.  Did you catch that? (No, not the early October part, even though that is insanely soon.)  Tyler and I are flying- without Tye.  Tye is going to stay home Saturday night with GG, Tyler's mom.  Between the flights there and back, a full day of in-and-out of a car and in-and-out of apartments, and a night in a hotel room, I honestly believe this will be easier on Tye.  But maybe not easier one me- this will be my first night without Tye since she was born, and I'm super emotional about it.  I know she'll be with someone she loves dearly who will be able to comfort her in my absence, and I truly believe this is in her best interest.  But I'm going to miss her like I'd miss my right arm.  Maybe worse.


We have a lot of changes coming up- a new home in a new state, a new job and family schedule, new friends (hopefully!), new midwife care....  There will be a lot changing in a short amount of time.  Having experienced changes like this in my past, I've learned enough to be excited for myself.  I know that I'll survive, and that even if it's really hard, I'll come out better for it.  However, this is my first time making a transition of this magnitude with Tye.  I'm hoping and praying that we can make all these changes as easy as possible for Tye.  I hope to support her ability to adapt, her confidence, and her resiliency by taking full advantage of the strong attachments she has developed with us.  Hopefully we can re-establish our routine once we arrive in our new home and create as much stability as possible even as the changes continue.  After all, it won't be long before an even bigger change arrives in January.  If nothing else, this is going to be a REALLY exciting six months.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

To Tye, at 22 months

Dear Tye,


Happy 22 Months!  Two years is right around the corner!  This month has been a really enjoyable one from my point of view, watching you as you learn so much each day.  Most of your communication now is two to four (or more) words strung together, giving you more power to convey your comments and requests.  A few of your most used phrases include "I do it," "I did it!" and "Want _____, please."  One of my personal favorites is hearing you say "Bless you!" to someone after a sneeze.  You've begun to sing along to your favorite songs and sing them to yourself later, an incredibly sweet show to watch.  


Last week, our friends Talitha and Charlie took us to see a performance of Disney on Ice.  Your response to the show was adorable- lots of pointing with mouth open in amazement and saying  "Whoooaaa!"  I never would have guessed you'd sit through the whole two hour show, especially not recognizing any characters, but you were entranced by the skaters singing and dancing in their intricate costumes.
The show was just one example of how your growing attention span is changing what you enjoy.  Last weekend, you wanted to watch the baseball game in the park for a loooong time. Now when we read books, you enjoy stories with more words per page than before, especially I Love You, Little One.  This afternoon, you sat at the counter while I made a batch of cookies, enthralled by the mixer and each new ingredient.  I think your reward was worthwhile....
This week at our monthly Attachment Parenting group, even more than the toys or your regular best friends, you were interested in sitting and playing with our six month old friend Lily.  You laid on your tummy to be at her level and talked to her quietly, even gently patting her head.  Seeing you interact so willingly with a younger girl was absolutely precious, and my emotional, hormonal self teared up.  You're going to be such a great big sister.


I can't believe these days have totaled up to a month already- they fly by so quickly.  Happy 22 months, Tye.  I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.


Love, 
Mama

Friday, September 9, 2011

Apple Season

I can't believe it's already fall!  Kids are back in school, the water fountains at the playgrounds are turned off, and the beaches are unguarded.  Summer ended abruptly in Chicago, with a 20 degree drop in daily temperatures overnight.  I'm not sure where summer went, but it's been with a strong hint of sadness that we've welcomed the fall season and it's weather.


Today our nature meetup group went apple picking at a farm in the suburbs.  Despite the intermittent mist, the day was a huge success.  Tye noticed right away that there were apples on the tree and gasped with excitement as she pointed to them. Though her basket was filled mostly with fallen apples, we managed to find some delicious apples to pick off the trees and take home.  We also picked our own pumpkins and kale (the latter of which Tye ate raw as we returned to the farmhouse).  




 As soon as we returned home, we cut up a couple of our freshly picked apples, spread them with sunflower seed butter, and enjoyed one of my own all time favorite snacks from childhood. 
While I'm looking forward to baking with our freshly picked produce, by far the best things I took away from today were intangible: watching Tye learn enthusiastically that apples grow on trees, exploring a farm and feeding chickens together, and sharing a nostalgic childhood snack.  This part of fall I love.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Seeing Similarities

Thanks to my brother, Mark, for pointing this one out.  It's all in the hair....
Tye

Doc Brown from Back to the Future

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