chocolate cake

today is decadent, one of those rich, delicious days that you just want to gorge yourself on.. 80 degrees, sunny, breezy, happy, perfect. no work, just play. i could spend this post (and did contemplate it) catching up on the last few weeks, but that is boring and most of you know about it anyway- passed my classes, passed the HESI, graduated Nursing School. BSN. Waiting to take the boards. work starts july. wedding in 5 weeks. forest fire at the wedding site, huge change of plans, got lucky and found a beautiful venue last minute. lots to do.

but today I get to enjoy my daughter.. this amazing ridiculous brainy little houdini/ADD/renegade/excited to be alive little girl. toddlers are incredible. so challenging. by the end of most days, about an hour or two before bedtime, i’ve had about enough of the whole ordeal– the whining, picking up food off the ground and eating it, playing in charlie’s bowls, trying to get outside, wanting to wash her hands and brush her teeth (play with her toothbrush) for an entire hour, asking for elmo and then not watching it, wanting to play in the cabinets, asking to go to the potty fifty times (fifty wasted clean diapers– yes I do try to reuse them but most of the time they get destroyed) trying on every item of clothing in her dresser, shoes on, off, on again, off, help! on again; bucking charlie’s harness and needing help unbuckling it so she can buckle it again, the ABC’s, “again, again? nother song? nother song?” “daddy coming? gigi coming? GIGI COMING!!” and crying when they aren’t, filling the crayon cup and then dumping them all out (“colors!”) and chewing on them, bubbles in the bath– “more bubbles! more! MORE!” and hour long baths with whole bottles of burt’s bees bubble bath wasted… “soap? more soap? peeas? peas mama?” and the boo boo’s. i can’t forget the boo boos.. how much mileage she gets out of them, unbelievable.

and then bedtime comes and I miss her, the chaos, her needing me, her loving us.

but being able to spend my days, my whole entire days with her (though challenging, tiring, no, exhausting, rendering my brain mush) is joy, absolute pure decadent chocolate cake perfection. watching her long legged toddler body run through the playground, looking so much more like a child these days (where’s my baby?) really communicating with me, climbing like a pro, not wanting my help but still checking to see that I’m watching. it’s luck. it is pure dreams come true. this is why people reproduce. this is why the world continues to grow- because being a parent really is truly the best thing in existence. this body came from my body; this body has it’s own mind, it’s own agenda. miraculous.

withdrawal

8 days I’ve been apart from Tessa. Serious withdrawal. The longest I’ve gone is 3 or 4 days and at the end of that I promised it would never happen again… It has been incredibly helpful that I’ve been able to study nonstop and come and go as I please, but it’s also so, so distracting.

The anxiety is building and palpable… It is 245 and I absolutely cannot sleep. I studied from 1030 am until 1130 and then laid in bed for two hours, flashes of wedding and nursing and tessa in my mind. The more I study the more I freak. And the boiling point is that if I don’t pass the comprehensive HESI the first time on Saturday, it’s another whole week before I can go home. So I have to pass. Because I have got to get back to my life. There is SO much to study, and so much that I’ve forgotten over 11 months of loads and loads of information jam packed into my brain and filtered through as needed, and all of a sudden I need every fucking bit of it, by Saturday please. How the hell am I going to do this? Did I mention I have to get an 87% to pass? Minor details. Supposedly 50-75% pass the first test. That’s all. Jesus fuck, which percentage am I going to fall in… I mean really, enough is enough. I am so over this. I’m going to be a competent nurse, okay? Isn’t that enough? Please please pleassssseeee……

How to prioritize and sort through and study the right things and get the 87… oh good lord I really am gonna throw a CVA right about now.

mama, i’m coming home.

So fortunately to everyone who has to see my face on a day to day basis, I’ve snapped out of that awful funk I was in after being sick and the week from hell. Tessa is still suffering a bit but no more fevers or hissy fits. As of today, we only have officially one more week of classes– and that’s it. Next week, classes, the following, finals. Then DONE. 19 days left. I have been watching this moment from afar since March 29, 2010.. watching it creep ever so slowly.

In real life, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m moving back home. Charlottesville in the Spring.. ahh, the feelings it brings to think of… picnics at the river, steamy barbecues in the country… bourbon, sun dresses, floppy hats.. Breezy open windows and NRN on the radio, wine spritzers, babies (toddlers!) playing in the grass, heirloom tomatoes on my vines, herbs, herbs, and more herbs, my garden! getting dirt on my knees and my sundress, swatting away mosquitoes and flicking caterpillers off the vines (sorry, no sympathy here), burying my nose in a big, big book, sleeping with just a sheet on, sandals, actually enjoying the weekends: Fridays after 5, the Market, local green, real green produce, pilates at ACAC, strolling downtown, foxfield! can’t forget foxfields. I love, love Spring and Summer in Charlottesville. Overbearing heat insists on relaxation, being with friends, moving more slowly… enjoying life.

I have a job. I’m getting married in 2.5 months. I’m going home. Good things a plenty on my side of the fence.

sick

i took her rectal temp and she likely thought i abused her.
i spent 50 on an ear thermometer and she hates me even more.
the last two days have been the toughest that the little girl and i have been through together, excluding the time i forcefully (meanly) pushed her out of her warm cozy sac and into the cold, mean world. the only way I can compare this would be in saying it’s like she’s a teenager and we’re fighting over anything and everything.
we are weak, exhausted. the week started off well enough; I had 5 amazing interviews at UVA that resulted in 5 equally amazing job offers. i’ve spent the week trying to decide. this is my future! my FIRST CAREER! holy shit.
and then we got sick. tessa started puking the day after. i came home early, and (then didnt puke) but havent been able to eat since. she won’t eat. I can’t eat. she won’t drink. well, on her own terms. it could be worse. but the fighting! i keep trying to get her to eat, drink, nothing. she throws it. across the room. asks for a banana and then screams when I give it to her. but more. it’s not worth the blow by blow. i’m exhausted, she is. my back hurts from clinical, i’m exhausted from this cold or whatever it is.
I barely made it to clinical today, and when I came home, Charlie barked his little pain in the ass off and woke her up. I had been DREAMING about a nap after clinical, and there it was, gone. and i lost it. the house, a wreck. no time to study. no time to clean. no clean clothes. emails unanswered. wedding planning unfinished. obligations unfulfilled.
a screaming baby (neighbors, there is no abuse going on here, i promise) a crying mama, a dog shrinking away. it’s getting to be too much. i’ve been doing this for 11 months. i can’t give up now, but i want to. I’m so, so ready for my life back. it’s been so, so hard- like a summer camp where you can’t call home and the rules suck ass. i want to go home. i want to talk on the phone with my friends like i used to. i want to have obligations like normal people do, not like we do. i want to be done. that’s all.

since today is about love

and i’m a sucker for love, anyway, here is my top 3 (in no particular order 😉 list of people/animals i love to pieces.

I don’t particularly dig the romancy-fancy-pants aspect of valentine’s day, but I think it’s a good day, like mother’s day or birthdays, to celebrate something special. Today I celebrate all the love that I’m so lucky to have in my life… my family, my amazing friends, my crazy dog… and more, of course.

I didn’t get to be with Alessandro today, but I was surprised this evening by a delivery of a dozen pale pink roses. I’m so excited to marry this man in EXACTLY 3 months.

On a different note, we’re on night two of Tessa sleeping in her big girl bed. Well, a toddler bed to be exact, but nonetheless, it’s pretty amazing that she has slept soundly and without complaints in her new bed. Big steps for a little girl.

First Big Girl Bed.

And so this is a big day for me. A tiring day. I feel old. I feel like I’m really, really not the mother of a baby anymore.

Why was I so excited— that she now could climb out of the crib, so it was time to get her a big girl bed… so we didn’t potentially have to deal with any broken bones. What was I thinking? I just effectively ended her days of sleeping in a crib. For my own silly safety reasons. And now my baby, my sweet girl. She’s cuddled up in her big girl bed. She didn’t fight it, she was excited. But when I peeked in on her, she looked so small… so tiny in that big bed, and I felt sad. Did I jump the gun? Should I have let her be a baby in her crib for a while longer?

Isn’t that really the question, anyway? How long can I baby her for? Forever?

First Haircut.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/19899749″>tessa’s first haircut</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user4111114″>kate bacso</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

here’s how I know.

that my baby isn’t so much a baby anymore, and that she’s closer to the “kid” side of the spectrum. we applied, and were accepted to the International School of Charlottesville, http://theisc.org/ an amazing foreign language (spanish for us) immersion school for toddlers through preschool and then kindergarten. This is extra special for us because we want Tessa to learn Italian at some point, and judging by how my spanish (though pretty dusty) got me by pretty well in Italy, due to the vast similarities, this seems like a pretty awesome way to go. It’s a structured program, which is OK by me.. kids thrive with structure and boundaries, and foreign language at such an early age gives the mind a new kind of elasticity.

I’m so excited. And kind of sad! The first day of school? Holy crap. How did this time move so quickly?

Which makes me think, with time going by so fast, have I spent enough time making my life as fulfilling as possible, pushing to be better, stronger, more thoughtful; a kinder person, a better mother, a better wife-to-be? Sometimes I feel like I closed my eyes and life happened… But not so, no, not these couple of years past. I think I’ve never been so proactive. And I am so excited for what’s to come. There is SO much on the horizon.

In the next three months, I will graduate school and become a nurse, I will be married and become a wife. I’ll have a newly renovated house, a child in pre-school, a job, a LIFE. It’s been a long time coming. But I finally feel like I’ve grown up. I finally feel really, truly,  proud of myself and my accomplishments. I fought a battle and won! It was a good fight, tough but good. Now, I’m not quite there yet, but it’s inevitable. Thirty some days left of school.

These wonderful things that are happening to me! And for the first time, I know I deserve it, because I myself worked for them. It’s a huge transition, going from college student cared and supported by parents, to mother, to adult… fully responsible for everything I do. But it is so much more fulfilling.  I can’t wait. I am so excited that life is happening to me. It’s good things from here on out… so good.

I don’t even know what to title this nonsense rambling thought-puke of a post.

not very pleased with life right now. sometimes it doesn’t matter that you put mind over matter. sometimes being mature and together just isn’t enough, and life just hands you that big ol’ bag of lemons anyway. it’s midterms week and I need to study, but instead, I have other personal crap on my mind. how do you ignore it and make it go away? how do you just make it crawl back into its hole where it came from and F off?

i need some silence. i need some peace and a fresh start.

hey, baby

so we’re going to throw this post in a different direction… amidst all the craziness there is a lot of planning going on. well, that much is obvious, but in particular, future planning… wedding.. house….. family planning. As in, the “family planning aisle” in CVS. And by that, I don’t mean the condoms section.

NO, I’m not pregnant. I’m just saying we’ve been talking about it. Well, I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and talking about it some, and Alessandro has thrown a bit of an agreement in the mix. That is that once I start working, we can start making. A baby. Making a baby, yes. So I BETTER get a job, damnit! Because I have been dreaming, planning, and thinking about babies for a while now, mostly since my baby is becoming less of one.

I love A Baby Story on TLC… but it’s not helping the situation. But in all my thinking, I realized that the first baby is really the one that needs the planning. It’s the one that changes EVERYTHING, right? It’s the curveball. It makes or breaks your relationship. It transforms you from woman to mama, from sexy, sexual, free, fun, spontaneous, to leaking breasted, diaperbag armed, spitup/sticky finger stained, list-making, plan-oriented, saggy-bodied MOM. And after that transformation, what does one more baby really do? Your life is already F’d (in the best, best possible way, I swear I do mean that and love motherhood to the moon and back) you are already dirt poor and broke trying to save up for PRESCHOOL, tired and dark circles under your eyes. Your sex life is hanging out at the end of the driveway waiting for the garbage men to come. Your toddler is taking a nap and you have a choice: a) chase down that sex life and bring it home, or b) bite the bullet and get down to some non-sexy baby making. I’m not sure that c) chase down that sex life, bring it home, and have some hot, dirty baby-making sessions- exists- if it does, i’d love to know about it..

Point being, we are where we are, and yet there is all this planning… Maybe we’re doing it because we didn’t get to the first time. Maybe this is our way of taking the reins in our life for once; maybe we’ve finally grown up. Either way, if I’m lucky, I might get to be a mama X 2. If not, I’m still a lucky mama X 1.