Friday, February 25, 2011

"Oh My Man, I Love Him So"

I love my baby boy.  I can not help myself.  I love to kiss and kiss and kiss those deliciously chubby cheeks.  I love to watch him walk like a wicked (as in "super cool") combination of a drunken sailor and John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.  That Cam Man puffs out his chest and struts his stuff....shortly before walking into the wall!  I love all the faces Camren makes--from surprised to delighted to ticked off to contemplative.  His goofy, cheesy grin (with that gorgeous Chiclet tooth) is so stinkin' cute it makes my toes tingle!  I love his big, pretty eyes--light brown, like melted milk chocolate--and I love the swirl of olive green, right in the middle of all that brown, that circles his pupils.  Obviously, I spend a lot of time staring into those dreamy eyes.  I look right into his eyes, and he looks right back into mine, and I tell him I love him.  I swear to you, I can see a light twinkle in those eyes whenever I coo my sweet sentiments.

This may sound kooky, but I came to a powerful realization just a couple of days ago.  While cleaning out some drawers, I happened to find a disc of photos I didn't know I had.  Curious about the contents, I popped it into the computer and began perusing the folders.  I found a picture of Cam and I.  I don't think I had ever seen the picture before.  I do not remember it being taken.  As I looked at it, this overwhelming feeling of warmth and light and joy and "mommy love" came over me.  Clarity struck my mind like sunlight's rays on a large body of water, and the result was dazzling.  I knew.  I just knew that Cam knew me...In that picture, and even now.  He knows I am his mother.  He knows he rocks my whole world. 

And I know--with surety, with conviction--that he loves me too.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

CHICLET!


 You know the expression, "When you've reached the bottom there is no where else to go but up?"

Bologna, with a capital B!

What they (and who the heck are "they," anyway?) don't tell you is that sometimes life throws you a shovel while you're down there at the bottom of your murky, stinky, poopy pit... and you just keep digging deeper.

Let me explain:  I've had a long week.  Everyone in my household is sick AGAIN.  Kids and McHubby are crabby and ornery.  We've had additional stresses unrelated to illness that don't warrant any "blog love."  It's been a weird, hectic, and lousy week.  I'm starting to wonder if it has something to do with the cosmos.  Are the planets aligning?  Is it a full moon?  Where are the hidden cameras?!  Is a camera crew lurking about my bushes?!

A couple of nights ago, I took Ms. Lilly and the Cam Man to McDonald's.  Not just to the drive-thru.  INSIDE the restaurant.  By myself.  Against my better judgment.  Lilly had been acting stir-crazy all day, and was itching to run around the play land.  James was STILL sick in bed, and everyone was starving.  I hadn't cooked anything (it had just been one of those days), and even if I had wanted to cook, it would have been interesting.  I needed to go to Wal-Hell for groceries.  Sadly, the only thing in my cupboard was a box of blueberry muffin mix and a bag of pretzel M&Ms.  SO...off to pay Ronald a visit.

I ordered our Happy Meals, then paid for the food while Cam and Lilly played "follow the leader" in front of the cash registers.  I picked up the tray and headed to the condiment station (do they call it that?) when suddenly I heard a SMACK!  A "newly-walking-baby-losing-his-balance-while-toddling-around-and-falling-and-slamming-his-face-into-the-tile" kind of SMACK!  It was followed by hysterical crying.  I turned--hands full of ketchup and napkins and soda cups--and saw Cam lying face-down on the floor.

I scooped up my bawling boy and was greeted by blood, blood, blood.  He had split his lip and it was already beginning to swell like a bad lip injection treatment!  As I wiped the blood from his mouth, I noticed two tiny white spots or flecks of something on his bottom lip.  I wondered what they were as I cleaned them off.

Then it hit me.

TOOTH!!  Pieces of tooth!!

At this point I could say this incident was "the straw that broke the camel's back."  Remember that proverbial shovel I mentioned?  It felt as if life had handed it to me.  I didn't know what to do.  Cam had broken his tooth, everyone was hungry, our warm, salty fries were getting cold.  I decided to stay and try to get through dinner.  I sat and cried over my cheeseburger in the middle of the McDonald's play land; young children gleefully screaming and running all around me.  The more Cam grinned at me with that hillbilly smile (please, no offense to the hillbillies), the more I would cry.


The next day--after phone calls to a mom friend for a pediatric dentist referral, the pediatrician's office, and the dentist's office--I had an appointment for Camren.  The office I took him to was so nice, and all the people working there were lovely...especially the dentist!  Imagine my delight to find that the dentist who would be repairing Cam's tooth was a total babe--dark brown eyes, great smile, and the prettiest, whitest teeth I have ever seen!  "Dr. Babe" took excellent care of my little man, and treated him with tenderness.  (He kept calling him "Bubba.")  He explained everything to me--the work that needed to be done and the best way to go about completing it.  He couldn't have been more kind or more sympathetic. "Dr. Babe" did a fantastic job on Cam's tooth.

After an exam and x-rays, two hours in the dentist's office, a lot of red-faced wailing (from Cam, not me), and a partial crown, Cam has a pearly white that resembles a Chiclet.


So when those hidden cameras reveal themselves, when the crew finally comes out of the bushes, Cam Man will be ready for his close-up.

Motherhood: Sometimes it's a real kick in the teeth!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Decollete

I have had quite the week...and IT IS ONLY WEDNESDAY!  

My week has been long and horrendous (kind of like that Pearl Harbor movie...hardy, har), with one of the few highlights being my exchange with the big, burly dude who owns Great Harvest. 

I ran in to Great Harvest on Valentine's Day to pick up some heart-shaped, frosted sugar cookies.  (Side note: Hubby was sick in bed, Lilly was being attacked by the "green snot monster," Cam was cranky, and my one and only Valentine's Day kiss was given to me by my hip, hot mama friend, Jeni...which was kind of awesome.)  SO...in an effort to cheer myself up, I donned my newly purchased shade of Sephora lipstick (named Decollete, which I believe is French for "cut low in the neckline") and headed for the bakery.  Or patisserie.  Oh la la! 

I'm a bit of a regular, so the guy who owns the joint recognized me as soon as I walked in the door.

Big, burly dude:  "Hi, Hon!"

Mama Decollete, waving like a ten year old (because I haven't quite figured out how to wave like a grown-ass woman):  "HEY!"

Big, burly dude:  "WOW!  You look great, girl!"

(Another side note:  I was wearing a shirt dress and leggings.  LEGGINGS!  If you know me, I don't need to mention I have legs like a chicken.  Yikes.  Best part of the outfit?  The super-dee-duper sparkly flats that resemble disco balls, but for your feet.)

Mama Decollete:  "Big, burly dude (but I didn't really call him that), you are SO sweet and you just made my day!"

I stepped up to the counter, bought my sweet treats, and flashed the world's nicest guy/Great Harvest owner my Decollete smile.  He handed me a couple of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, in addition to the cookies I had paid for.  I looked at him--I'm sure with an expression of surprise and bewilderment-- and started to say, "What?!?"  He interrupted me and said, "On the house."

Holy shmokes, free cookies.

FREE COOKIES! 

Never underestimate the power of a beautiful shade of lipstick.
Au revoir! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

IS Cupid wearing a diaper?

Wanna talk about love?  "Love is a many splendid thing," isn't it?... despite times when "love bites," and "love bleeds," and "love stinks."  And although "love is a battlefield" occasionally (gosh, I love the 80s), when you get right down to it... All you need is love!

Things Mama Leisha loves (besides the OBVIOUS friends, family, faith, books, and shoes):

1.) The smell of Crayola crayons.
2.) Reading in the bathtub...while soaking in a hot, steamy, bubble bath of course!
3.) Listening to jazz while cooking.  (Can't think of anything better than Diana Krall's "Peel Me a Grape" to make me feel like a better cook than I actually am.)
4.) Pretty, yummy-smelling candles.
5.) The sound of my children laughing.
6.) The sound of JAMES laughing, especially when it is the result of something silly I said or did.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  I live to make that man laugh!
7.) Pirate's Booty!  Baked rice and corn puffs with an aged white cheddar flavor!  Argh, matey!  Thar be good!
8.) Mumford and Sons, "Sigh No More."  Leave it to scrappy looking Brits to make the banjo sexy!
9.) Sephora Collection Rouge Creme lipsticks in Cortisane, Decollete, and Jealous!  (As Little Lil' says, "Wow Mom, you look so cute when your lips are red.")
10.) Smashburger!  Cheese burgers and fries!  Fry sauce!
11.) Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.  It just might have magical powers.
12.) Paul Mitchell's "Freeze and Shine" hairspray.
13.) Two very important men BESIDES Cam Man and the hubby:  BEN and JERRY
14.) Mini golf!  I'm a rockin' putter!
15.) Sunshine, blue skies, green grass, and PICNICS!
16.) Egg rolls.
17.) Riding a bike.
18.) The "kids pack" at the movie theater--perfectly sized portions of popcorn and soda.  (The Laffy Taffy rope is just a bonus!)
19.) Funny greeting cards.
20.) Getting packages in the mail!

Happy Valentine's Day, darlings!  What do you l-o-v-e?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Homage to the Bullseye

Happiness is a pink and red heart-shaped wreath hanging on my front door.  (Super cute way to greet Cupid when he comes calling!)

Happiness is a new toothbrush, complete with tongue cleaner.  (Fancy!)

Happiness is a package of the new "Skittles Blenders."  (Ooohh, you can't go wrong with flavors like "Melon Berry Burst" and "Cherry Tropicolada!)

Happiness is finding it all at Target!

I love Target.  I believe it is a little corner of heaven right here on earth.  I bet the angels among us visit the Target stores.  There's something about that big, beautiful, red bullseye that sends my heart aflutter.  I love the red carts, the red signs, the red dollars bins.  Hmm...maybe it's all the red.  It's cheerful--like a field of poppies or the bright cherry on a sundae.

I go to Target when I need a birthday present for a friend, a Mother's Day card, Christmas wrapping paper, or a baby shower gift.  (Don't even get me started on how adorable their baby clothes are!)  I go to Target when I need to purchase a household item we're out of, like paper towels or light bulbs.  I go to Target when I don't need to purchase anything at all, and usually walk out of the store toting a new purse.  (Bad Mama Leisha, bad Mama Leisha!)

I go to Target when I'm happy; I feel happier.  I go to Target when I'm sad; I feel happier.  I go to Target when I need a little pick-me-up or a sassy ballet flat.  I go to Target when the kids have been fussy and crazy and whiny and have unrolled a new roll of toilet paper and have emptied out Ms. Lilly's closet and have dumped goldfish crackers all over the kitchen floor and have broken through the child proof gadget on the cleaning supply cupboard beneath the sink and have proceeded to bleach out their pants with the Clorox spray and have dropped alphabet letter magnets into the toilet...WHEW!  Yes, I go to Target then too.  To escape.  To buy a "Congratulations-you-get-the-Mother-of-the-Year-Award-because-you-are-so-unbelievably-awesome" treat, which is usually a Diet Coke and those Skittles I mentioned.

Last week, I found myself at Target with Ms. Lilly and the Cam Man.  We were there purchasing new toothbrushes for the entire family.   As I pushed my cart towards the checkout line, Lilly--who was sitting in the cart--said to me, "Mom, you are the cutest mom ever."  I admit I was slightly distracted, thinking about the infinite to-do list that's constantly running through my head.  I managed to mumble, "Oh, thanks Lil," then got in line behind several other customers.  Cam just grinned at me from the cart's child seat; sticky gummi bear slobber on his chin.

Lilly sensed my distraction and refused to be discouraged by it.  In a desperate attempt to get my attention, she yelled loud enough for the entire front-end of the store to hear:

"MOM!  YOU ARE THE MOST WONDERFUL MOM EVER!"

The store went silent.  I gulped, and looked around at the people starring at me; everyone, except for the man directly in front of me in line.  His back was to me, but I could see that his shoulders were shaking from laughing.  I smiled sheepishly and did my best "Ms. America" wave.  I smiled at Lilly, put my hands on her dainty, pretty face, and said, "Thank you!"

Later, I was buckling Lilly into her car seat.  I told her how much I loved her as I adjusted the straps across her chest.

Happiness is being the mother of the most wonderful four-year-old ever!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Secrets of Adulthood

In her book, "The Happiness Project," author Gretchen Rubin talks about the invaluable wisdom we gain with time and experience as we move through various stages of adulthood.  She stresses the importance of writing this wisdom down in a list she likes to call "Secrets of Adulthood."  Rubin claims that writing down your "Secrets of Adulthood" is a conscientious way to remember them and think about them; this is a good thing, a source of happiness.  Happiness can be found in realizing just how much our life experiences have taught us!

2010 was a big year for me for the simple fact that I turned 30!  To honor my milestone birthday, to celebrate myself and the woman I have fought and struggled and pinched and pulled and toiled and worked to become (and am STILL working to become...hey, it's a lifetime process right?), I decided to write down my own secrets of adulthood--30 of them for my 30 years of beautiful life.  These are the things I know to be true.

Secrets of Adulthood?  Wise like Yoda, I am.

Mama Leisha's 30 Secrets of Adulthood

1. Some people will like you, and some people won't.  That is OKAY.  The important thing is that you like yourself.

2. A "good hair day" usually means a "good day" in general.

3. You are never too old to play with dolls.

4. Kindness never hurt anyone.  There's nothing wrong with being a little more kind.

5. Every woman needs a gorgeous pair of shoes she can feel sexy in!

6. Don't be afraid to love others.  Open yourself up to loving the people around you.

7. Don't ever beat yourself up for eating chocolate cake for breakfast.  Sometimes it ends up being the best part of your day!

8. There is nothing better--nothing more peaceful or more soothing--than rocking a sleeping baby in your arms.

9. Be honest.  If you are, people will trust you.  Trust is priceless.

10. Accessories are anti-depressants.

11. Prayer is EVERYTHING.  It is remarkable and humbling to know that every single prayer I have ever uttered has been heard.  There is incredible solace in that knowledge.

12. Epidurals are beautiful things!

13. Fight to find the joy in every day.  Sometimes you will fight like hell, but you WILL find it.  (A dear friend taught me that!)

14. Kissing a man who loves you deeply and unconditionally will make you feel pretty...even when you are wearing sweatpants.

15. The happy sound of children laughing has the ability to uplift the souls of those who hear it.

16. A good cry is cleansing.

17. A good friend is a treasured blessing.

18. Music makes a day better, dancing makes it great.

19. Texting will never replace the beauty of a "face to face" conversation.

20. Remember to say "I love you" often.

21. In my treasure chest of life, good books are the most precious gems!

22. Laugh and laugh often.

23. People remember how you make them feel.

24. The bathroom is the best place for crying, praying, hiding, decompressing, relaxing, screaming, unwinding, thinking, and regrouping.

25. Never underestimate the power of a lovely shade of lipstick.  It not only brightens your face, it can brighten your day.  

26. Everyone is a literal child of God, and we are all part of one great big heavenly family.  We're not all that different.  We're related.

27. It's hard to eat your vegetables when you are a kid. Guess what? It's hard to eat them as an adult too!

28. Stay positive.  Be grateful.  Speak sincerely.  Be yourself.

29. Life if hard, but you can do things that are hard.

30. You only have one life.  This is it.  Make it count.  This is your chance to work to be the best version of yourself.