Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rock the Baby

OK, so I went to Nordstrom today, and on my way to the escalator I walked past this contraption, which completely mesmerized me.  It's a baby rocking machine, and it comes with a speed control and an MP3 connection, so the mommy can play soothing music or white noise or French lessons.  The Nordstrom folks had a white noise recording playing; you can hear it above the jibber-jabber of passers-by if you turn up the volume on the short little video.

My first thought as I gazed at this very pricy baby accessory was: I have lived too long, if I live in a world in which we cannot rock our own babies any more.  But then I thought, now wait.  I used an un-motorized "bouncy seat" with each of my three urchins when they were younger; does that make me a bad mommy, or a good mommy -- or a bad mommy who at least had a chance to rinse a dish or two before she picked up the kid again -- so maybe I was a bad mommy with clean dishes?

This baby rocking machine had me re-thinking all of my life choices.

So then I got to thinking some more. This contraption is kind of like when I put the inconsolable infant sunny girl, strapped into her carseat, on top of the [empty] laundry dryer and turned it on.  The dryer hummed and vibrated, and the sunny girl was temporarily soothed, and I lay down on the cement in front of the dryer, in case the baby sunny girl vibrated off of it.  I figured she would fall on me, which would make me a great mommy -- or at least a martyr, which is the same thing.

It's also kind of like when the infant tall boy would not shut up could not be soothed, so I loaded him and me into my little two-seater Honda CR-X (God, I loved that car), and off we went into the night.  I drove completely around the I-495 beltway that circles Washington, D.C.  That's sixty-four miles. Y'all, I did that more than once, and at the time it felt like a great solution: the tall boy slept in his carseat, I listened to a combination of oldies and talk radio, and no babies were thrown out of any windows.  A win for everyone.

The mommy gig is a tough one; you all know this.  And any help an infant's mom can get as she juggles her baby, her toddler(s), her groceries, her hormones, her laundry,  her intertwined love and angst, and her latte is help she should welcome.  Once, when I was trying very hard to pay for groceries and the newborn girl in charge had had it (she has been in charge since Day One -- believe it), a lovely woman said to me -- as I struggled to gently bouncy-bounce my screaming, hungry infant and find my checkbook and appear as if I was fine with the milk leaking from both of my breasts -- "I don't want to offend you, but would it help if I held your baby?" People, I could have kissed her.  Maybe I did; that whole post-natal era is a bit of a blur.

So my conclusion? Rock your babies the best way you can.  You are a great mom. You were a great mom.  You will be a great mom.  Being a mamma -- especially a new mamma -- is hard as shit. We deserve all the help we can get.  And in the middle of that "what am I doing?" moment, don't let anyone (including a snobby Nordstrom shopper) make you feel bad.

We're not rocket scientists. We're better -- we make rocket scientists.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Small pleasures: it's red, y'all!

So here I am coming out of blogging seclusion, and it's to share the fabulosity of this awesome red stapler. Because so often it's these small little pleasures that make my day better. 

And yes. I've seen Office Space. I still love my red stapler. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

You be the judge

Who can tell me what's hilarious about this picture? No, It's not that my Christmas wrapping paper is still at the ready as we all turn to face the sun, wearing our traditional and festive Vernal Equinox garb. That's just sad.

But look a little more closely. As I was shoving a pile of laundry out of the way so the vacuum could have a path, I glanced down at the cover story of this magazine (which I think was slipped into my bags as I was leaving the fabulous mother-in-law's place one night -- because she is never one to drop a hint when she can roll it up in a magazine and swat your behind with it).  People, I almost fell over laughing.  Or maybe it was crying.  I can't remember which.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Christmas!

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men."

Luke 2: 13-14

Happy Christmas, my friends!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Las Posadas!

Here is a fabulous video of a Las Posadas procession that took place in the Olvera Street marketplace -- the oldest part of the city of Los Angeles (it was established in 1781).  Las Posadas is a Latin American custom that re-enacts the journey of Joseph and Mary as they searched for a place to stay; the procession focuses on the words, "there was no room for them at the inn."

+ + + + + + +

Our Advent story today is about the response of a rejoicing earth to the birth of the newborn King. Throughout the world, the animals respond to the miracle they sense is coming.  Song of the Stars, by Sally Lloyd-Jones, is a beautiful story, that reminds us that Christmas is the time when we celebrate the birth of the King of all creation.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dennis was right. As usual.

So my friend Dennis has been harassing me for three years now to include his favorite Christmas book in my list of Advent favorites.

I was leery, frankly -- because he is a Three Detectives man from way back, while I have always been more of a Brains Benton and Robin Kane girl. But I finally gave in and read his stinking book, and loved it.  Of course.


Mrs. Coverlet's Magicians, by Mary Nash, is a great little chapter book, second in a series.  The three Persever children, Malcolm, Molly, and six-year-old Toad are left with their cranky neighbor as Christmas approaches.  Without their father and Mrs. Coverlet, who will make Christmas happen? The Toad takes things into his own hands with the help of a magic kit he orders from the back of a comic book.  And Malcolm and Molly take steps as well, while Miss Eva, the bossy and disapproving neighbor, takes mysteriously to her bed.  Has Toad created Christmas magic, or is something else going on?  The friendly pastor who looks in on the children has his own opinion.
     "There's been magic around us, all right," he said.  "I felt it very strongly when I came to your house last night and saw you and Molly filling the stockings."
     "Then you do believe in magic?"
     "I believe in magic at Christmas," said Mr. Forthright reflectively.  "The amount of goodwill which is set loose every year at this time is quite unaccountable."