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Do you remember a toy that you played with that brings back memories of your childhood? Maybe it was the Big Wheel you got for Christmas or a certain kind of Barbie doll that you just HAD to have? You see it and immediately, those feelings rush back.
Mine was a squeaky toy that I really can’t remember. It was stolen from me when I was too young to build those memories.

Since the birth of my son, I’ve been looking online for toys. I stumbled on this squeaky toy and catapulted to the very last real conversation I remember having with my grandmother.

It wasn’t the first time she mentioned it. She would always say, “When you were little, you had the prettiest little squeaky giraffe toy. You loved that giraffe. It was this big and had brown dots everywhere. And the sweetest face. Then one day, there were a lot of kids over at the house. We never saw that giraffe again.”
It really bothered her that my favorite toy…her first and only grandchild’s (at the time) was stolen. She described it so well, I ‘saw’ the giraffe…even though I really had no recollection of playing with it myself.
So when I saw this giraffe, I immediately went back to that last conversation. I KNOW this is the giraffe. (“How can the same giraffe be sold now?” you are thinking to yourself. Apparently this was ‘born’ in 1961 so it’s been around a while…and the design hasn’t changed.)

My memories of my grandmother fades a little more each year. I feel like I am losing her again. At one point in my life, she was my primary caretaker. She was the one to pass on the love of gardening. She had natural artistic talents…that she also passed on. Aways so gentle: I cannot remember her ever being harsh with me.
And beautiful!
Even though life crushed her tiny body until it bowed, when you looked at her delicate features, you knew she was a stunner when she was young. I so wish I had a picture of her in her youth.

As I type this, I can’t help but think about all of my regrets: not knowing enough of the language to really converse with her…not having had the forethought to ask her her story…not having taken care of her later in life. But most of all, that last time, I wish I could have wrapped my arms around her tightly, kissed her and told her how much I loved and appreciated her.
I wish my son could have met her. She would have loved him.
So many regrets…useless, I know.

Being the practical person, I cannot justify buying this squeaky toy for $20. I just can’t.

It’ll be enough…just to look.
When I see a picture of this giraffe, I will see her gentle face. It’ll make me so happy I will cry…again.

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When I first started this blog…or rather the first versions on other blog services…I was doing it more as a ‘diary’ and a place to keep all of my internet ‘finds’ and fav sites.

Looking at all of my past entries, I can see how I have changed…don’t know if I have ‘grown’ necessarily…but definitely changed. The biggest change lately is the fact that most of my entries revolve around my pregnancy and motherhood. I never meant this to become a “mommy blog.” And it won’t always be one. I figure while this is the biggest ‘new thing’ in my life, that will be my focus. As I get used to it, it will be back to being more random.

Speaking of ‘mommy blogs’, I have a few I read pretty frequently. Not specifically ‘mommy blogs’. But things to do with babies and children:

But my favorites? Daddy blogs. And there are tons out there. My personal favorite is MetroDad. If you are easily offended by blue language, don’t read him. But if you want to read a funny, poignant, interesting view on parenting from a dad’s point of view, he’s your man.

Mommy blogs are fine…it’s neat to be able to share experiences, commiserate, and read what others are doing. However I like reading what the ‘other half’ thinks about fatherhood. (which, surprisingly, is similar…yet very different) It’s fascinating.

It’s also made me realize something: If we are so blessed to have another child after Noodles, I really, really hope we have a daughter. Yes, a ‘matching set’ would be nice. And a testosteron-y household may be a little overwhelming for this lone female. (And the horror stories about B and his brother growing up keep me up at nights.)
It’s more than that: I think B would be missing out on a life changing experience.

As I see it, when a man has a son, there is an element of selfishness to it. Yes, yes. He does want to provide for his child so he has a better life, protect, etc.
But if he’s honest with himself, there’s a lot of ‘me’ projected onto a son. For example, he wants a son to carry on the name…traditions. Do “Daddy and Son” things that either he did with his dad…or wished his dad had done with him. Live vicariously through him…things he (the dad) wasn’t able to do.
If the little scamp gets into shenanigans, he says, “Son, you know better.” But secretly, he’s rather proud of the cojones the kid has on him. Even telling his buddies about what ‘my boy did’…couching it in terms that implies disapproval yet body language and inflection that says, “Yup, that’s my BOY…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!”

A reflection of himself…projected into the future. (Probably a reason why fathers have a more difficult time dealing with a son ‘coming out’ than mothers.)

However, when a father has a daughter, I think it changes him fundamentally. It’s no longer about ‘me’…but more about her and her place in the world.

If he is a good man, he’s started that journey already…getting away from The Lord of the Flies mentality and stupid frat boy pranks that he thought were hilarious…right around the time he decided to care for someone else more than himself. (like a wife/life partner). Ideally.

But when he has a little girl, he goes beyond his wants and needs. He wants to make the world better and safer for his little princess. He realizes what a jerk he was…and never to let anyone like him near his precious child. He does things he never thought in a million years he’d do…as a man: tea parties, putting a ponytail in just so, soothing tears, having homicidal thoughts towards another being for, well, doing things he did when he was a young lad.

B’s always said that ‘Women Civilize Men.’ But a daughter takes the ‘civilized Man’ and temper him further, smooths out the rough edges, softens him. Makes him see beyond himself and his desires.
A daughter makes him a better man…a better human being.

Reading MetroDad’s entries…and how he describes himself “pre-daughter”…I don’t think I would’ve liked him much. But his experience with his daughter…how he talks about her and his wife…I wouldn’t mind ‘hangin’ with that guy.

We want to try to have another child soon after Noodles’ birth. If we were to have another son, I will still celebrate it and love him unconditionally. But I must admit, a small part of me will be sad for me. But a bigger part will be sad for B: All those tea parties he will miss. The daddy/daughter bonding that is so special. And the bittersweet tears of walking his little princess down the aisle.
Making the world just a little bit better for her.

It’s a good thing he’s a “good guy” to start with. 🙂

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I will soon be joining one of the oldest, most exclusive, but inclusive club: Motherhood.

Yes, we are pregnant! All of our doctor’s visits were successful. We are about 19 weeks along.

This sonogram is from an earlier doctor’s appointment. I should be posting the newest one next week sometime. I haven’t posted anything because 1) I didn’t want to write anything about the pregnancy until we passed the first trimester 2) we wanted to let all of our family and friends know before ‘announcing’ it online and 3) this was on my mind a LOT so I really couldn’t write about anything else.
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So there you go. We are pregnant…and scared spitless!

It’s too late to think about ‘if we are ready’…kinda too late for that. But still, am I ready to be a good mother?

Being an elementary school teacher, you see day-to-day the things that kids can get into. It’s scary out there!

Please, God…let me be a good mother! Ready or not…here he comes!

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“You can’t fix stupid.”

You have a lot of worries about your child as he grows: You can’t always be there to pick him up when he falls, choose the right friends for him, or make the good choices for him. You worry about all that…even though you know you can’t do anything about them.

But when your child is yet unborn, your worries are simple: “Please, God, let my baby be healthy.”
The prayer right after that is for our child to be smart. At least that would be ours.

No, not “Let him/her be pretty/handsome.” Yes, that would be nice, but if I had to choose between smart and pretty, smart wins out every time.

You could argue that pretty people have it easier in life. That is true…but pretty without intelligence, you will always be dependent on others. And on your looks. Once that goes, what do you have?

However, if you are going to be…not so academically inclined then you better be good looking. Or the world is going to be a cold, cruel place. Oh to be unattractive AND dumb. You might as well call it a day. Go home, take a sheet of paper and write “Kick Me” and stick it to your shirt. Your one saving grace would be if you had a great personality/out look on life. That could be your one saving grace. You see movies about things like that happening all the time. Doesn’t happen a LOT…but it does happen.

On the other hand, pure intelligence is not enough. According to Daniel Goleman, “Emotional Intelligence” weighs more than IQ in society. And for the most part, I do agree. You know those super brainy people with no people skills? They only go so far in life unless they learn how to deal with people. You steer clear of them. Admit it…you might even make fun of them…all the while wanting them to do your homework. (There are always exceptions to the rule…like Bill Gates. I personally think his wife had a lot to do with that. Doesn’t he seem more ‘personable’ nowadays.)
I bet you could name many people who don’t seem particularly smart, but they are very successful. They know how to work people. They are good at networking. Some would say they are ‘people persons’.

Defense rests.

So maybe I should amend my prayers from first healthy, then intelligence ALONG WITH good social skills.

It keeps getting longer and longer the more I think about it.

No, we just want a healthy child…10 fingers, 10 toes, perfect little bundle of joy.

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B’s maternal grandmother stayed with us for 2 months, his paternal grandmother for about a month (on and off), my sister was visiting during the holidays for a week…and my parents JUST left today.

Don’t get me wrong. We LOVE our family. But for the first time in 3 months, we have the house to ourselves…with no plans for  weekend guests.  Woo hoo!

We are actually going to schedule a ‘be bored’ day next weekend. We’ll finally get a chance to clean up the house, put up Christmas stuff (yes, it is STILL up), clean up the garage, start thinking about putting up a fence, the list goes on….

But the house does seem a little empty…

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