Saturday, May 15, 2010


When packing up to move you can still try to have a little fun.  Why not...

Fall in love all over again with your Grand Wardrobe Boxes (such a sanity saver! I'm so glad we kept these from our last move):

Dig out some really hideous old shoes (seriously, what was I THINKING when I bought these?):

And then you will of course have to pose with them (you will note Inara's Harry Potter glasses to complete this fantastic ensemble):

Inara won't let me chuck those heels away, either.  She is still prancing around in them and calling them her "glass slippers".  I think she even slept with them on last night.  Oy vey (my friend Carrie said that I'm allowed to say that, even though I'm not Jewish)!

Keeping in line with the Most Fabulous Attire, you can also pose in your PERSONALIZED high school Jazz Choir jacket (bestowed upon only a select few uber-nerds) and get your Gleek on:

Those jackets took us to NATIONALS, baby!!  Who remembers Hull in a Handbasket?  Did we not rock Bridge Over Troubled Water?  Oh yes WE DID!!

You can stop laughing at me now.  And NO, YOUSUF - I AM NOT THROWING THAT JACKET AWAY.

Another one-of-a-kind outfit picked out by my little fashionista:

Hmmm.  Clearly I have tons of really bad clothing that needs to go...

Oh, and I finally got around to packing up my maternity clothes.  Only one year after the baby was born...woot!

See?  Moving can be FUN.  Or something.

Less than twenty-four hours till the movers get here...I gotta go get the rest of my packing on!  Who knows what other treasures I shall find!

Friday, May 14, 2010


All I can say is that I HAAAAAAATE moving.

And I hereby vow to nevereverneverever do it again.  Even if they build a skyscraper in my backyard (a la the movie Up) I am still never ever going to move.  Because I hates it, I do.

The whole process just drives me completely bonkers.  And I think it's carrying over to my kids.  I think they've officially gone 'round the bend with us.  You really can't blame them, though - their whole world is being boxed up and moved out.

So what else are two angelic cherubs supposed to do with no toys, no books, and parents that are busy with Very Important Moving Stuff?

Take a gander, my friends.  Oh, and that sound you hear at the end is the hysterical laughter of a frazzled mom who has gone completely off the deep end.

Maybe it's not so bad.  At least I know I'll always have clean windows at the new house, right?

Yep, we've officially lost our marbles.  And I officially hate moving.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Little Party for a Little Big Girl...

I wrote this post yesterday, but in my very frazzled state of mind (we're moving in THREE DAYS!) I didn't actually post it.  As a result, I am now convinced that I have set Nissa up with the perfect excuse for Second Child-Syndrome.  I can just hear her years from now on her therapist's couch: "All my self-esteem issues can be traced back to the day my mother FORGOT to blog about my first birthday....and it all went downhill from there...." So here's the post I forgot to post - sorry that I messed up, future Nissa!  xoxoxmama

Yesterday was Nissa's first birthday.  Now I could wax lyrical about what an emotional day it was for me, how the passage of a year has gone by in the blink of an eye, or how I was reliving every moment of my labor and her very dramatic delivery (she was born too fast for the midwives to get here in time, so it was just Yousuf and I), yadda, yadda, yadda...but I know most of you are tired of me being so sappy.  So here's another kind of story.

Inara and I ran out to the store yesterday to pick up a little birthday treat for Nissa.  I was feeling so guilty about not being able to pull off the same type of big birthday bash that I had for Inara's first birthday (complete with a made-from-scratch cake and a bubble machine.  Because EVERYONE needs a bubble machine at their first birthday party!).  Oh sure, I knew that Nissa would never remember the fact that her first birthday was spent amidst mountains of boxes and packing tape...but it was just the principle of the whole thing.  And honestly, I was kicking myself for packing up the flour and sugar and other baking supplies a few days earlier.  So, my Mommy Guilt Moment resulted in a last-minute dash to the store and bakery.

We picked up a few things - a funny birthday hat, banner, and tattoos (that last one was for Inara, due to yet another Mommy Guilt Moment.  I didn't want her to feel any less special on Nissa's birthday).  But of course that led to the following discussion:

Inara:  Mama, am I helping you with Nissa's birday (I find it adorable that she says "birday", so I had to retell it that way)?
Me:  Sure you are, honey!  See, you are a very important part of Nissa's life, and so you can help to make her birthday a special day!
Inara: (thinking) So...what else do we need?
Me:  We need a cake.  Or a cookie?  How about a cookie cake?  It's not too big, not too's just right (so that there wouldn't be lots of leftovers, get it?)!
Inara:  I like cookies.  And cake!  I think I LOOOVE Cookie Cakes! Let's give it a shot!
Me:  Alllright...ooooh, and we can write something on the cookie cake too!
Inara:  Can I pick what to write?  Because I'm an important part of Issie's life!  So I get to make her birday cookie cake!
Me: Oooookay....(knowing that something bizarre is surely going to ensue as a result of this fateful decision).  Sure you can, sweetie.  You can pick what the cookie cake should say.

And then off we went to the bakery section of the store. 

There was a lovely little lady behind the counter, a sweet grandmotherly sort who looked at Inara when we explained that it was her sister's first birthday and said, "And I'm sure YOU are going to be the one to pick the message, aren't you?  I can tell that you must be such a wonderful big sister!".

And Inara smiled at her so sweetly and said, "Of course I am.  But, I'm much much MUCH bigger.  But today is Issie's birday, so she is just a LITTLE big.  Not too much.  Not like ME.  Mamamammaamama!  I know what to write on the cookie cake!"

And there was NO amount of cajoling or convincing or even, I am sorry to say, bribing (not even for more tattoos!  Shocking!) that would get her to change her mind: "But Mama!  You said that I could pick what the cookie cake says!  And you SAID that I could make Issie's birday special!  And I LOVE HER!"

Seriously.  How can you even argue with that logic? I have a sneaking suspicion that she just threw in the "I love her" part as a last-ditch attempt to get her way, but it certainly sealed the deal for me.  I was horrified by the thought of me refusing to let her dictate the terms of the cookie cake and how it would forever taint her love for her little sister.  We can't be having that, now can we?

Man, she is SO good.

And so Nissa's birthday will forever be remembered, not only as the day on which we celebrated amongst boxes and packing tape everywhere, not just for the fact that Mama didn't pull off the Party To End All Parties, but also as the day that Inara declared her eternal and unending love for her little sister with this masterpiece:

Happy First Birthday, my sweet little girl.  I know it's going to be hard to tell sometimes, but you are so very loved - by all of us.  We have enjoyed every second of this past year, watching you grow into a Little Big girl...and we can't wait for all the beautiful memories yet to be made with you as a part of our lives.

I should also take this opportunity to say that I'm sorry in advance about your future birthday cakes.  I'll try my best to make them have much more normalish messages in the future, but who are we kidding? Your family is anything but normal.  You're just going to have to get used to it, sweetie.  Sorry about that, too.

But we do love you so very much, our lovely Little Big Nissa.  And we'll pretend not to notice you acting like you don't know us when you get just a Little Bigger.

Us on Nissa's First Birthday. All those boxes make for such a nice backdrop, don't they? 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One Year Later, And We're Rockin' On...

A year ago today was my due date for Nissa.  I was HUGELY pregnant and so ready for her to join us on the outside - but of course she had her own plans.  I've been feeling rather nostalgic all day, so I found an application on Facebook that let me see all my old status updates.  Exactly one year ago today I wrote:

"It's my Due Date!  WOOHOO!  But...still no sign of baby. :P"

Little did I know that it would be another SIX DAYS before Nissa decided to make her grand entrance into the world.  Here's two pictures that sum up me on my due date perfectly.  Everything looked great from the shoulders up (except for my trademark freaky hair), but as you make your way down you are blown away by the sheer size of my torpedo-shaped belly (I was told on more than one occasion: "you could take an eye out with that thing!"):

To offset this horrendous imbalance, I had the SUPER BRIGHT idea to get a pedicure.  I figured that as long as people were looking at my well-pedicured feet then they might not notice the fact that it seemed as though I was about 15 months pregnant. My amazing sister in-law (shout out to Becky!) humored me and took me to get the pedi, but I'm sure the joke was on me when we left the salon.  Becky came away with beautiful normal-looking feet, and mine just looked like swollen-and-pregnant-for-15-months pontoons.  I'm not even exaggerating, folks:

AAAAAHHH! Ugh!  Isn't that just horrendous?!?  My feet looked like well-maintained Sumo wrestler feet.  Blech! I bet you're going to have nightmares about me now.  Sorry about that...I should have warned you in advance.  I'm happy to report that in time, my feet did return to normal(ish) looking size, although sadly, other parts of my body did not follow suit.  I won't scare you with the details about those bits, as I'm sure you've already seen enough of me to frighten you for a lifetime.

Lately I've been feeling so emotional - and it's been hard to blog because of it.  I think that planning for this move (which is scheduled to happen in a week!  Yikes!) combined with Nissa's first birthday (also in a week) is just a lot to handle all at once.  I can't believe how quickly one full year has gone by, and I can't believe that in one week I will leave the house that Nissa was born in - forever.  Every time I go to pack in my bedroom, I just can't do it.  Right now the rocking chair sits on the very spot where Nissa made her dramatic entrance (but a year ago there was a birth tub sitting there).  Whenever I see that chair I am struck by the fact that not very many people get to snuggle their babies to sleep in the exact spot that they brought them into this world.

You know what? I'm not ready to leave that spot just yet...probably because physically leaving it feels like I am leaving behind a year of Nissa's life.  A life that started in that spot, that wakes up every day in that room, that has learned to crawl around and pull up on that rocking chair, and that falls asleep in my arms at the end of the day- all in the very same place that she was born.

But as I am thinking about this, I am also realizing that even though I can't take my old house with me - I do have that not-so-pretty but oh-so-comfy rocking chair, which is much easier to transport than an entire room.  That chair has held two babies, in two houses and two states, and now it's moving with us to a third house - and our first owned home!  I don't know if it will rock a third baby, but something about having our rocking chair in the new house will be such a comfort.  I feel like I'll be taking all those beautiful memories with me, and then I'll be able to sit with them from time to time...just to remember.

I can't wait to make more memories this year.  I can't wait to watch my babies grow and laugh and play in their new (and hopefully forever) home...even though it's going to be so very hard to leave this one.

And, I'm beginning to think that I'm really going to enjoy finding the new perfect spot for my rocking chair.

(Click on a picture to view larger)

It's going to be a whole new adventure for our family.  And you know what?  I think it's gonna be great.

ETA:  I have gotten so many questions and compliments about the quilt in the photos above.  I was lucky enough to receive that gorgeous quilt in time for Nissa's birth a year it has a very treasured place in our lives.  It was sent from Heather, who owns an Etsy shop called A La Mode Fabric.  I was able to get in touch with Heather today, and she was just as lovely as I remembered.  She told me that she's taking a bit of a break from her Etsy shop because she (coincidentally) just bought a new house!  BUT!!  She does have a blog and she mentioned that any news about her shop will be shared there.  You have to check it out - she is so wonderfully talented. I am now personally drooling over these coasters and potholders.  We can't wait for you to reopen, Heather! xoxoxmahreen
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