instantgramification

7 Oct

Its no secret that I love me some Instagram. Out of all the social media time wasters available to smartphones everywhere, you’ll find me instant gramming all the photos all the live long. Sorrynotsorry I have a terrible camera phone that takes mediocre pictures for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome.

I’ll still post multiple times a day-ish and use the generic filters. Sometimes I even up the brightness. And. And. I have no shame in vignetting to my hearts content. Don’t tell the professionals.

But.

Besides inundating my 11-ish followers with grainy, blown out snaps of the kids and sometimes food (shameless) I also found a fun new way to waste time on my favorite app. I booted all my friends and filled up my feed with artists, typographers, photographers and a few surfers.

Sorry friends. I’ll still see your kid/food/kidseatingfood pictures on Facebook (who doesn’t have their accounts linked these days?). You’ve been replaced with these guys:

Oh my instant eye candy. These are just a few of the recently added accounts that I follow. I make no promises as to the quality (read: G rated-ness) of their portfolios, nor the state of their souls…but their Instagram skillz are top notch in my not-asked-for opinion.

Follow with care, y’all. The endless scroll is…endless.

(and if you’re actually interested in the stuff I consider not boring enough to publish, follow along on, will you?? The Heart of Life Blog on Instagram. Fun!) 

updated

1 Oct

A quick update because life is moving so fast right now that I don’t for a minute want to forget what “the good old days” were like.

Jack

This kid is learning to read! I am so proud of him as he sounds out ‘ssss aaaa t..sat!” He once told me that “I wike school better dan dessert, Mama” and my heart melted while I laughed at his people pleasing attempts. He constantly begs to be outside and can play for hours by himself. His manners are adorable and he knows to throw in an extra “please, ma’am” if he is in trouble or wants something really bad. His innocence adoration of his Mama, his Dad and his sisters is priceless.

Lucy

I can’t make this stuff up. The child is never clothed, has an imaginary friend named Minga (who is three years old and has a different Mom, apparently) and can flash a perfect know-it-all smile and nod to get just about anything she wants. Lord help her father and I when she is a teenager. She has already learned the art of telling Dad “Mom said I could” despite never having asked me first, and knows that she can get out of any timeout by using the potty. She is still just two though, and at the end of the day she needs her Mama to sing her a song and “wub my back jus one minute, Mama?” before bed. The snuggles with her hot and heavy body, her long hair brushed across her face and sweet lips parted in deep sleep are priceless.

Della

This baby. Where do I start!? She is barely 9 months old and already taken her first steps. Her chubby legs and cheeks are impossible not to kiss and she smiles and laughs all freaking day. For the love. A real life happiest baby on the block. She can say “Mama”, “Dada” and “Uh oh”. Her goal in life is to get into the kid’s bathroom pull all the toilet paper off the roll. That, and dump the dog’s water bowl. She adores her brother and sister and her Dad. She cries when they all take the dog on a walk without her, standing at the glass door till they are out of sight and then speed-crawling to the door when she hears them returning up the walk. Her sweet, chunky love and toothless (!?) smiles are priceless.

Brock

He works hard and is hot. What else can I say? My ever loving husband is putting in hours upon hours at his new job and loving it. He was awarded Agent of the Month by his office and is already on track to meet the goals he set for himself by the end of the year. The man was made to be his own boss. He also has worked so very very hard for his clients, praying for and with them, putting in extra time on their contracts and following up with them to make sure he covered everything. It feels good for him to be serving our family this way and we are so blessed by his hard work. He’s also added surfing to his growing list of accomplishments and I couldn’t be happier about that.

 

If you want to stay even more updated, be sure to head on over to Facebook and ‘LIKE’ The Heart of Life Blog, follow me on Instagram and (gasp!) even Twitter :)

 

mama must haves

27 Aug grobag-swaddling-blanket

My very first advice to any new Mom is this:

Do what’s right for your family.

Cosleeping/breastfeeding/delayed solids or two-week eviction notices/formula/rice cereal at four months?

Do what’s right for your family!

I have as many opinions as the day is long about childbirth, baby-raising and kid contraptions but that doesn’t mean my opinion is right for you. In fact, I know its not right for you – your family is YOURS and its different than mine. And I’m really glad about that :)

I do have three kids though and I’ve been to the rodeo a few times. In doing so, I’ve found something some things (products, skills and experiences) that I absolutely love/couldn’t survive without and I wanted to share them here in one place. So, if you want to read for the next 20 minutes I present to you:

Mama Must Haves 2014

1. A stroller. Specifically a Phil & Ted:

philandted

Its $700 but its worth it if you plan on having more than one kid, so buy it for the first baby. (Hint: I found mine on Craigslist for $50.) The configurations seem endless for the baby+toddler combo, its easy to maneuver, people will stop you at the park and ask about it. My sister has the zip-on sunshade and I think that is a worthy add-on. While we’re on the subject of add-ons, I also suggest getting the carseat adapter so baby can go from car to stroller without waking up. I don’t have that option and wish I did. I also have the world’s heaviest carseat and regret that purchase every time I lug my sleeping butterball to church in her carseat only for her to wake up for the opening song. Curses! What I’m saying is this: Choose your carseat wisely. (And if you want my opinion on convertible car seats I only say this: We use Britax because I was a little paranoid as a first time Mom (although I think Costco ones are perfectly safe) I will probably stay a Britax Mom due to their incredible easy LATCH belt clip. We’re forever moving carseats around and that fact alone is worth the extra money what with my easily-getting-frustrated-and-swearing-tendencies.)

2. Arms Reach Cosleeper:armsreachcosleeperIts pretty much a glorified pack-n-play, with the added benefit of a side that drops down to bedside height so it offers all the benefits of cosleeping without the fears of cosleeping. Its probably a terrible time to tell you that I never once used it as its intended, instead setting up 18″ away from the bed so this c-section Mama could put her feet on the floor to pick up the baby who would eventually fall asleep nursing in the bed anyways. But. But. It was nice to still have the side dropped enough to see baby whilst my tired head lay on my pillow. The less effort the better. Again, super expensive retail, but I got mine for $50 on Craigslist. Its also one solid color, comes with no extra dangly things, mobiles, shelves, and/or musical abilities making this simple Mama’s heart glad.

Side note: I recently saw a pack n play that you could open and close with one hand. I think I’d throw my Arms Reach cosleeper out the window if I could get my hands (hand?) on one of those bad boys. I’m fairly certain the devil himself created the instructions for how to set up a baby play yards. Proceed with caution, patience and maybe a glass of wine.

3. An Ergo baby carrier:

ergo

Lifesaver. I’ve had mine through three babies and its still good as new. It truly is ergonomic and easy to wear. Front, back and on the side (which I haven’t tried). The instructions say wait till baby is 12lbs before you use it or buy the infant insert, but I found that after the first few weeks I was able to use it if I rolled up a receiving blanket under baby’s bum. Save your money ;) They go for +$120 in the store and online, but Amazon usually has them on sale, so put it in your cart and just keep checking back. I think I got mine for around $70. Blueberry picking, the beach, hiking, grocery shopping, cooking dinner…carrying your baby close to your heart AND being hands-free? Priceless. I even learned to nurse baby while wearing it which made it even more useful.

4. A Moby wrap:

mobywrap

My friend had one made for me and I cannot say enough how cute it is and how much of a hassle it is to put on. FOR THE LOVE. But. But. After I learned how to wrap it on (tighter than I imagined at first) it was the best. Especially in those first few weeks when the Ergo was still too big. I know Mamas who use them for bigger babies, but I usually stopped using it after baby was big enough for the Ergo.

5. Nursing caddy – Mama, let me lay it out for you. After taking 5 minutes to arrange your nursing pillows just so and just after undressing to a point that feels awkward even in the privacy of your own home and just after spending 10 minutes fighting with a surprisingly strong 7lb person who is screaming to eat but can’t manage to close his or her mouth long enough to accomplish that goal you will remember the thing(s) you forgot to pick up 17 minutes ago when the house was still peaceful. Its like a law or something. You will get tired of asking your husband to please just fetch me my phone/a burp cloth/the nursing log/a drink/a snack/the remote/the iPad/book/my nipple shield/lanolin/medication 12-15 times a day. (“Wait,” you’re thinking, “did she just type nipple shield?” I’ll get to it, sister) So for the love of sanity, make yourself a little basket to toss all of life’s essentials into when you’re feeding your bambino and take it with you when you nurse. Your husband will thank you and you’ll make it through those first few weeks with far less swearing than I did :)

5½. Nipple shields and other weird stuff:

breastshellsIf anyone has lead you to believe that nursing your baby is natural, wonderful and easy do me a favor and go punch them in the face. They lied. Well, sort of. The first few weeks (months) of nursing your new baby might be the hardest thing you have ever done. I know you JUST said that after pushing a person out of your lady parts but, congratulations. Now labor and delivery will be the second hardest thing you have ever done. Here is a confession: I took the rest of my blessed Percocet that the doctor prescribed me NOT for the major abdominal surgery I’d just undergone and NOT for incision pain as my uterus fused back together under my severed abs…no. I took it because of the vise-like grip that baby had on my boobs every two hours sohelpmejesus. Even after the third kid. Do yourself a HUUUGE favor and obtain a nipple shield and/or breast shells (handy little cups for your bra that give your nipples some much needed contact relief) and use lanolin like it is your best friend. Bleeding, cracked and blistered should never be ways to describe your girls.  Just sayin’. Here is another confession: It gets easier. I promise! My theory is that your baby’s mouth eventually gets big enough to not be so vise-y and pinch-y, but the reality is probably that you get good at it because you are a Mama and that’s what we do. Get good at the hard stuff. And then nursing IS natural, wonderful and easy. Pinky swear ;)

Disclaimer: See a good lactation consultant if you have any questions; they can help a lot/nipple shields may reduce milk flow & letdown reflex so do your research/not everyone can nurse for various reasons, but I really really really urge you to give it a really good try before you quit/some women don’t experience pain while learning to nurse and I hate them a little bit. J/K about that last part ;)

6. Rocking chair – Maybe I’m just nostalgic, but I love love love the big ol’ armchair we bought when Jack was born. It lived in our bedroom for awhile, and now its in the living room. One can never rock a baby enough so make sure you have someplace comfortable to fall asleep. Many many hours were logged rocking the baby under the naive impression we’d eventually get back to bed. Such newbs. We also have a glider in the nursery, and while its smaller and less “Hi, I’m from the 90’s!” as the big brown behemoth, its not QUITE as comfortable for all-nighters.

7. A video monitor – We didn’t get one till Lucy was born, having been completely happy with the Fisher Price audio monitor my Mom used for my baby sister twenty years ago (Thanks, Mom!). But when sweet/devious Lucy finally got bunked with her brother we splurged and got the eyes so we could spy on their nighttime antics. Interestingly enough, when we started using the remote microphone function to discipline the escape artists, they thought it was the “neighbor lady” yelling at them? Weird.

8. Kickass diaper bag

katespadestevieJust do it. This is my thing, ladies. Get yourself a diaper bag you LOVE. Its going to be your purse for the next 3+ years. I hated every single flower-printed, baby-themed, vinyl-y sided tote I came across in the baby section. When I finally found a relatively boring but functional diaper bag by Gerber I bought it for $30. It has a slightly metallic sheen to it and definitely looked more BAP than baby bag. When it fell apart after Lucy was born, I just schlumped all the baby stuff into a regular purse I’d gotten at the outlets for $14. It fit everything, but since it had no pockets on the inside it was a hot mess most of the time. Purse, meet Mama. Finally, after somewhat obsessive searching while I was pregnant with Della I found the holy grail of diaper bags. Enter the Kate Spade Stevie. It has side pockets for quick access to bottles and my phone, has inside pockets for diapers and a changing pad included and stroller straps for easy transport. It zips closed to keep the minions from sneaking snacks out from under the pew at Mass too. Messenger type bags are the bane of one-armed Mom activities (which are pretty much all of them – try fumbling through a shouldered diaper bag while holding a screaming child on your hip, anyone?) and open totes are the joy of my klepto-kids existence. Trust me. Get a zipper. Most importantly, it met my ridiculously high “doesn’t look like a diaper bag” standard. People, it is CUTE. But the price tag?  $395.  Ouch. I still asked Brock for it. Of course he said “absolutely not” as any good husband should have. Since I am nothing if not persistent, I found out that Kate Spade offers a 75% off sale pretty often to their email subscribers. I waited a few months (I didn’t like the color they had on sale the first time they ran it) and I forwarded the email of my dream diaper bag to Brock . . . this time it was $150. Still outrageous, but I was in love. He again said “no”. Wailing and gnashing of teeth and “whyyyyyynoooooot!?” from yours truly. Not my finest moment. But. But. The day after my third child was born my sweet husband handed me my very first “push present” . . . and he is forever the best husband ever. Ever.

I just might have to do some soul searching about my diaper bag obsession after re-reading the above paragraph. Moving right along.

9. Eleventy billion pairs of cotton underwear – The super adorable undergarments they give you to go home from the hospital with are great for a few days buuuuut…just do yourself a favor and buy a pack or two of Fruit of the Loom granny panties to make life easier postpartum. Buy a size up. Its less attractive but things are weird down there and comfort is key. You should probably stop wearing them after say 8 months, but who’s counting ;)

10. A haircut right before baby is born – My Mom is awesome and usually treats my sisters (sister-in-law included!) and I to a pedicure and/or a haircut in our last month of pregnancy. Its an expensive habit seeing as how she has 6 grandbambinos ;) Its the best present ever. In those bleary-eyed first few weeks of motherhood ain’t nobody got time for hair washing or toe nail painting. When you’re standing in the mirror looking at your stylish new underwear and the “I still look 5 months pregnant” lump where your baby used to live, just look a little farther down and check out your cute toes. You can see them now! See? Feeling better already.

11. A degree in swaddling

grobag-swaddling-blanket

Swaddling is not for the faint of heart, y’all. You must learn proper technique and style. A large, lightweight baby blanket is crucial. None of those cute flannel generic receiving blankets work past the first week. Trust me. Its a constant battle, keeping your little ninja properly swaddled. They are small but smart. Just when you think they are asleep, a hand pops out and whacks them in the face. OK maybe they are not that smart. But still, keep ‘em swaddled at all costs. Sleep, theirs and yours, will depend on these skills. Learn them. Perfect them. I once swaddled a baby into its 9th month of life in the name of sleep, so swaddle on, strong Mama.

12. Learn to nurse side-lying, in bed – Seriously. Best Mom trick ever. More sleep for everybody. I even got so lazy good at it that I can nurse both sides without rolling over. Just lean a little more when the bottom boob is empty.  Prop a pillow under your butt to help. Bam. More sleep for you.

Obviously, my sleep issues are, well…issues.

13. Crocs Flip Flops 

crocs

I have logged the past two years in these flip flops and they are hands down the best shoe in my closet. Fat pregnant feet or tired water-park-all-day feet they are so comfy and not that un-cute. I’ve converted at least three friends into believers. Try it, you won’t regret it.

 14, 15, & 16…23. – There are a bunch of other things that I found indispensable in the first few months of motherhood. Things like baby swings (get one that as an AC adapter – eight D batteries cost as much as gold), bouncy seats, baby bath tubs, Bumbos, Johnny jumpers, Baby Einstien play mats, Exersaucers and scary looking plastic containment contraptions are all great. I’ve used all of the above at some point or another and they all serve a purpose. However, I highly suggest borrowing these items. Maybe its because we live in less than 1,000 sqft casa, or maybe its because their Toys R Us price tag seems crazy to me when you only use them for a few months – but I would suggest finding a small group of Moms to share these items back and forth with. At the very least, look for them on Craigslist or at yard sales and then loan them to the next new Mama in your group when your baby no longer needs it.

22. Baby medicine – If you’re reading this because you want to know what to give your BFF for her baby shower, think about this: Make a cute little remedy kit for the new Mom. Going to the store for things like children’s Tylenol/Advil, (a good) thermometer, Mylicon, baby saline nasal spray, and the best diaper rash cream (we like Bourdoux’s Butt Paste) seems like a monumental task the first time, especially if your little one is already sick. Having it on hand before you need it can be a sanity-saver. If your BFF is more crunchy than I, there are natural products that can help alleviate baby’s first fever, teething pain or congestion, too.

And there you have it. Do you agree? What couldn’t you live without the first few weeks/months postpartum? What baby gear was indispensable to you? What could you do without? Are wipe warmers really that awesome? And honestly, don’t you hate those Moms who say nursing didn’t hurt a bit!? Just me? I needed to go to confession anyway….

daniel and jayjay in the lion’s den

22 Aug

Yesterday we were sitting at the breakfast table with bowls of oatmeal and unpeeled bananas when Lucy announced:

“I dot a banana phone!”

Like any good 80’s kid I had to respond,

“Who ya gonna to call?”

But as the Ghostbusters punchline rang in my head she instead answered,

“JayJay.”

JayJay is their newest imaginary friend, joining the ranks of Tommy and Jake. He is usually up to no good.

Suddenly Jack interrupts us,

“Ducy, JayJay isn’t alive, he is dead, remember?

Emphasis on the dead.

Wondering how our 7am conversation went from banana phones to death in less than five seconds I asked,

“Yikes, how’d he die?”

“In de wion’s (lion’s) den.” he replied matter-of-factly.

“Wait, doesn’t God save Daniel in the lion’s den? What happened to JayJay?”

While I was contemplating if the kids even knew what happened in Biblical lion’s dens Jack answered,

“Well, He saved Daniel but an angel fell asleep so JayJay didn’t wake up in time.”

Suddenly Lucy screamed,

“NO DAK! JayJay was NOT in Daniel’s wion den! He was in a different one!

Jack rolled his eyes at his sister because he knows that killing off her imaginary friends upsets her.

“Den where was it, Ducy?”

Emphasis on the was.

Lucy, in the most serious voice ever:

“In Norfolk.”

And apparently, that settled it.

in which I join the masses remembering Robin Williams and blogging about depression

14 Aug wpid-hook.jpg

There has been an internet outpouring of emotion as the world reacts to the death of Robin Williams. I’ll admit, my usually cynical self cried a little at one point when I read a Facebook tribute post that ended with “Bangarang”. He was everyone’s actor, we all have a favorite movie, a favorite quote. The sad news was made sadder still when it was revealed that his last days, and indeed much of his life, were and was plagued with a dark depression and his death was ruled a suicide.

Stop reading for a minute and offer your prayers for him, his family and his fans. The depth of this tragedy is devastating.

In the backlash of the news though, we’re suddenly all psychotherapists and moral theologians. We have an opinion about depression, medication dosages, culpability and fault. Robin Williams is both a hero and a coward, pitied and revered, so understood and so misunderstood by so many. In trying to make sense of his death, we’ve shared stories, argued points, and added first hand accounts of how depression and suicide have affected us.

Much has been said on the topic and I don’t feel the need to add anything.

Except this.

Go hug someone with depression.

I know it sounds cliche but hear me out. Since my theology is beginner level at best, and my knowledge of the brain consists of one psychology class in college, I’m relying heavily on personal experience to make this request. We all know a spouse, a family member, a friend, a co-worker who has shared their battles with us. Find them, hold their hand. Hug them. Most likely their struggle wasn’t confided lightly and took great courage. Honor that.

As someone who has dealt with depression personally I can tell you Robin Williams death stopped me cold. His smiling face staring off the screen at me, so happy and filled with good memories captioned with the words “depression” and “suicide”. Because WHAT IF? What if that was me?

Thankfully, I’ve never even been close to that kind of darkness. Its been scary and long and sad, but never THAT. But. But…WHAT IF? WHAT IF it was?

WHAT IF it was someone I love dearly?

WHAT IF it was someone in my family?

WHAT IF it ends up being one of my kids?

WHAT IF it was my friend? Again.

I have seen first hand what depression looks like in myself, my family and my friends. I know what depression talks like and know what depression hurts like. Even as a happy-not-on-an-antidepressant-right-now Mama, I know that the struggle is real and the road to that darkness is slow and unnoticed. When I hear of another soul struggling with the questions and the darkness and the guilt and the apathy and the worthlessness and the sadness…it makes those WHAT IFs come racing back.

So when I type “Go hug someone with depression” its because I assume that they may feel like me. News of Robin Williams death made me want to kiss my babies and make sure my blue pills are still in the cabinet and get under the covers and then get up and go to adoration. It made me worry about the WHAT IFs and the darkness that isn’t here right now, but could be again.

But mostly, it made me mentally run through my list of loved ones who struggle with depression and it made me want to hug them. To hold their hand and just wait with them for a minute. Because we’re all balancing prayers and pills, logic and lunacy, relapse and recovery. We’re all reeling from the loss of a father, husband, son, brother, friend and actor. We’re all wondering WHAT IF.

So go. Hug someone tight if only for a minute. Value, worth and understanding are light, and where there is light there is hope. And hope is where the WHAT IFs get smaller and darkness fades.

For me, depression doesn’t look like life ending plans and feelings of utter worthlessness. It comes much less scary than that. It creeps in when I’m not looking, robbing me of the ability to look at life as good, and makes me believe that there it’s nothing I can do about it. Both are lies. Life is meant for joy and you can get help.

Your compassion won’t replace prayers and medication and counselors and support people and safety plans. But it will be joy for a hopeless heart, a show of solidarity for those thankfully not in the darkness and maybe even a life line to those who are.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, mental illness and/or suicide, please do not hesitate to seek help. Tell someone.

image

we need more

11 Aug

There is a cute little slogan going around Pinterest and I’ve come to dislike with enough passion to blog about. I know, right? It must be terrible.

It is.

Ready?

coffeeandjesus

Its cute, its catchy and it makes me crazy.

We repeat the catch phrase when we’re tired, or lonely, or feeling left out.

Coffee and Jesus.

We repeat the mantra when life gets tough, when days get long or when nights never end.

Coffee and Jesus.

When our life seems lost or we want to hide sadness behind a happy face.

Coffee and Jesus.

 

NO.

 

We need more than coffee and Jesus, y’all.

WE NEED MORE THAN COFFEE AND JESUS.

Sorry for the internet-rage caps lock. But I don’t for one minute believe that reading my Bible and caffeine are enough.

First. First, don’t get me wrong here.

I have three kids. I wake up at disgusting hours, multiple times a night. I definitely need caffeine.

I am also a hot mess Mama and I need the good Lord to remind me of my worth. I need prayer time, adoration and Mass. I desperately need Jesus.

But I need more.

We need more.

We need husbands and inside jokes and late nights watching dumb TV. We need chicken biscuits delivered at 7am by BFFs. We need text messages that read “CTFO” from someone who cares and plumbing advice from our Dads.

We need people to tell us the hard stuff because they love us. And we need to tell people the hard stuff because that’s where real starts.

We need friends to hold it together for us when we can’t.

We need family to share the joy with and hold our hearts when there is none.

We need Moms to tell us that it happened to them too and that we’ll be OK. Sometimes, we have to tell our Mom that it’ll be OK.

We need someone to approve yoga pants and dirty dishes in the sink and hey, your hair DOES look great. (It really does, I promise!)

We need somebody to admit their prayer life sucks and for there to be silence because yours does too.

We need old friends to become best friends. And best friends to become old friends.

We need company who doesn’t even trigger the self-preservation instinct to change out of your pajamas when they show up at your door unannounced.

We need new friends and old friends and surprised-we’re-actually-friends friends.

We need sisters who will say “Yep. I’ll be there” and bring wine and sit on the couch and listen.

We need husbands and wives, brother and sisters, Moms and Dads and friends, coworkers, neighbors, parishioners and heck, sometimes strangers.

We need to talk, and to share, and to cry, and to pray, and to argue, and to disagree, and to sympathize, and try to understand, and fall apart in uncontrollable laugh-crying over inappropriate subjects.

We need more than coffee and Jesus.

We need the messy, beautiful, broken, redeemed Church.

And coffee.

And Jesus.

#endrant

:)

facing our fears

4 Aug IMG_20140804_073652

Last week the kids and I went to our local public library to take our special kind of crazy there rather than coop it up in the living room. My house thanked me. The librarians did not.

Jack and Lu were fascinated by the outdoor book return. They slowly added their previously borrowed books to the automatic “mouth” and watched them disappear. All was well until the last book, a children’s version of Moby Dick, was pulled from our library bag. Lucy screamed and clung to the book, refusing to let it go. I had to pry it from her tiny toddler grasp and promise we could borrow it again another day.

She unhappily tromped into the library and wanted to know if we could get it off the shelf again. I knew it was her favorite book from last week’s library trip, having read it multiple times a day to her. What I didn’t understand was this: Her face twisted in horror every time we read about Captain Ahab and his desperate quest. Her chubby hands clapped over her mouth when Moby Dick smashed up the whale boats. A soft “Oh NO!” escaped her each time we read about the harpooner who got hung up in the lines. For the record, it was a kid’s book that told its story in rhyme but it was still pretty detailed and maybe I shouldn’t be winning mother of the year for continuing to read it to her.
Her fascination bordered on morbid curiosity.

This week, the same thing happened with a children’s picture book of Beauty and the Beast. Again and again she requested it, horrified by the story of a terrible beast keeping a girl from her family and she was only marginally pleased at his princely transformation at the end of the book. Every night,

“Dis one, Mama, ’bout de BEAST!”

and we’d read it again.

We had stacks of books about hippopotamus friends, a grandpa and a dog, and my favorite: Poor Doreen. A story of a idiot fish and her blissfully ignorant journey to see her second cousin twice removed and her 157 babies. It was hi-larous.

But no matter the other books, Lucy demanded the scary books every night. It was a habit I did not understand till I brought it to Brock’s attention.

After explaining how weird she was about insisting on literary horror before bedtime and wondering why she kept asking me to read it if she KNEW it scared her and maybe you don’t think she has some sort of mental illness pleasesayno, he sarcastically remarked:

“Oh, she’s just like her mother. You know, the one who insists on opening all the curtains and blinds during severe thunderstorms alerts to watch for tornadoes?”

My #1 fear in life and I want to see it coming.

I gotcha, girl. Read on.

lucys books

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