Monday, April 30, 2012

A Winner! A Brawl?

Thank you to all who entered the SweetPea Maternity giveaway.  It was fun reading your comments and thank you to those who shared their kooky, progesterone-induced dreams!

The winner of the Sweetpea Maternity giveaway is Ms. Kelli of "The Newly Mormon Idalifornian."  (Stop by her blog, she's a doll face!)


CONGRATULATIONS KELLI!  Enjoy dressing up your baby bump!

Speaking of baby bumps...Baby bumps eventually lead to actual babies, and babies lead to little people, and the little people of my house have been making me long for cupcakes and trips to a spa.  Translation:  They're driving me to the brink of insanity!

Lately, Ms. Lilly and The Cam Man have been fighting like cats and dogs; like my girlfriends when there's only one tube of a much-coveted Sephora lipstick left in the store; like my creepola neighbor who yells at his daughter in his front yard when she steals his last cigarette.  Eek!  It.  Ain't.  Been.  Pretty.   

Yesterday, as I was lifting Cam out of his crib, I noticed an angry red welt on his cheek.  Curious as to what had happened, I called Lilly to my bedroom to ask her about it.

Mama Leisha:  Lil, look at Cam's cheek.  It's all red.
Ms. Lilly:  Hmm...well that's interesting.
Mama Leisha:  Do you know what happened to his cheek?
Ms. Lilly (averting her eyes to the floor):  Gosh...I don't know.
Mama Leisha (giving "the mom look"):  Lilly?
Ms. Lilly:  I like your hair.
Mama Leisha:  Lilly Mae!  I will ask you one more time.  I want you to tell me the truth, okay?  Do you know what happened to Camren's cheek?
Ms. Lilly, quietly:  Yes.  I hit him.
Mama Leisha:  You HIT HIM!!
Ms. Lilly:  Well, what was I supposed to do, Mom!?!  I got into his crib to play with him and he started doing his karate?
Mama Leisha:  He knows karate?
Ms. Lilly:  YES!!  And he was trying to karate me!

See?  See?  This is what I deal with.  This is why I drink a keg of Diet Coke before nap time!  And this is why I'm contacting the producers of "America's Got Talent."  Because if my two-year-old knows karate, I've got to get him on that show.

One million smacks would buy a lot of diet soda.

 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What To Wear? (And a Giveaway!)

Kooky things happen to you when you are pregnant.

You crave weird things--like nachos topped with hash browns.  You DO weird things--like put your car keys in the refrigerator.  You rearrange all the living room furniture in a hyper frenzy that everyone politely calls, "nesting."  You burp.  You swell.  You ache.  You waddle.  You pant.  You cry during Lowe's home improvement commercials because "let's build something together" is such a "beautiful" slogan.


And you dream at night--really vivid and really bizarre dreams.  Hormonal changes--like a surge in progesterone--make you dream more frequently and more vividly when you are pregnant.  This was true for me, when I was pregnant with Camren.


I dreamed Camren was born with tiny, sharp fangs for teeth.  (It was frightening!)  I dreamed James went to jail for embezzlement, and I was so upset all I could do was eat cookies on my bathroom floor.  I dreamed I was back in school and lost on campus; unable to find my class that would teach me how to be an astronaut.

BUT...my favorite and most memorable dream involved maternity clothes!

I dreamed I was with my ridiculously hip and insanely good-looking dad.  (I had gone to visit him at my childhood home.)  He sat me down in the living room, and in all seriousness said, "We really need to talk.  Your mother and I are fairly concerned about you."

I gulped, and asked, "What's wrong?"

He said, "Well...I don't know how to say this, but...it's your maternity clothes.  They're terrible.  They are out of style.  We're embarrassed to be seen in public with you.  Not to worry, though...I want you to take this money and go shopping for some new clothes."

My dad then gave me exactly $71.34!  After several hours of shopping, I went back to my parents' house feeling downtrodden and glum.  You see, the ONLY thing I was able to find was a pair of leopard-print stirrup pants!!!!!!

Isn't it nice to know that nowadays you don't have to settle for mu-mus or your hubby's football jersey or leopard-print stirrup pants when pregnant?  Maternity clothing has become more hip and stylish and fun.  You can rock pretty duds while rockin' a belly!

Sweetpeamaternity.com is a great place for cheap and trendy maternity clothing.  The quality of the clothing is as excellent as the sassy style.  I love all the patterns and ruffles, the ruching and the small details.  The best part?  The prices!  (If my dad's $71.34 had been real, and not part of my subconscious, it would have gone a long way at sweetpeamaternity.com!)


SweetPea Maternity contacted me about hosting a giveaway; an offer I readily accepted.  They are graciously giving one lovely reader a $25 gift card!  Entering is easy:  Simply follow Mama Leisha via GFC, if you don't already.  (If you do, THANK YOU!)  Then, leave a comment stating you'd like to win.  (Comments regarding your crazy pregnancy dreams are optional but welcome!  *giggle*)

*The giveaway will be open until Saturday, 10:00pm MST.  Winner will be announced April 30.* 


Thank you, SweetPea Maternity, for your generosity! 

For if pregnant chicks are going to eat "hash brown nachos" and cry during Lowe's commercials, they should look (and feel) pretty while doing it!             

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ode to Siblings!

Siblings.  They are the keepers of our secrets, and the supporters of our dreams.  They are our first friends, our youth's constant companions, our biggest fans.  They teach us about sharing our toys as well as our hearts.  They are there to share in our laughter.  Though they may make us angry, they make us forgive-- And in that we learn pivotal lessons of love.


Siblings.  They are our allies on playgrounds, in school yards, in careers and growing up, in life.  They are the patient listeners of our sorrows and the cheerleaders of our accomplishments.  They are similar versions of ourselves that often make us crazy, occasionally make us cry, but always--in the end--make us soar.

 
They are the recipients of our hugs, whether they like it or not!

Siblings.  They are the givers of the prize in the cereal box, and the singers of goofy songs on family road trips.  They are the ones who are happy to see us; they are sad when we have to leave.  They are the precious holders of our childhood memories, and the makers of the memories to come.  They are God's sweet gift to us--evidence of his compassion and wisdom.

And we should always remember--in our lifetimes and forever--we are God's gift to them as well.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ART!

I have always wanted to be an artist.
And yesterday I discovered I am one.

If Camren's perfect little head is my canvas,
then my trusty pomade is my paint.


Just look at what I created!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

For Stacy

(April 29, 1967-April 10, 2012)
Today, I went to the grocery store and had a good ol' fashioned "ugly cry" in the cereal aisle.  I am no stranger to crying in grocery stores.  Or cereal aisles.  The only difference this time was that you were not with me.  Do you remember, Stacy?  Crying together in front of neatly shelved Cocoa Puffs?

I remember many things...   

I remember when James and I loaded our ugly, thrift store furniture into a truck, boxed up all of our belongings, and moved into the neighborhood near your street.  You were one of the very first people to say, "Hello!"  But you didn't just say hello.  You wrapped your arms around my waist and kissed my cheek and made me feel like I had stepped into the sunshine.  It was warm and wonderful, and I knew we would be friends.  You were one of the first to love my family.  And you were easy to love in return.

You invited me on lunch dates with our lovely group of friends.  We would cackle about good looking vampires, embarrassing moments, or trips to the gynecologist.  One day, you introduced me to your favorite restaurant, Grinders--a greasy dive with big, mouth-watering sandwiches.  We ate lots of fries and giggled over the size of our diet sodas.  We laughed and cried over the silly and beautiful things in life.

You always made me laugh.  You knew how to light up a room.  You rubbed my tummy when I was pregnant with Camren.  You frequently told me I looked pretty. 







I remember when you welcomed my little family into your home one Halloween night.  We came trick-or-treating, expecting a package of Smarties or a miniature candy bar.  Instead, you fed us homemade chili and sent us home with a loaf of french bread and a plate full of cake.   That's how you were--always so selfless, willing to give to the people around you.

You made me feel like I was enough--easily accepting me for me.  You would sit by me in church, and hold my hand like a sister.  I never doubted that I mattered to you, or that I was truly treasured.

And lastly, you were the one to share my sadness; the one who cried with me in that cereal aisle.  Camren was just six weeks old, and I was overwhelmed and exhausted.  I confided in you that I didn't know how to juggle being a mother to two small children.  It was busy, hard work, and I didn't think I could do it well.  I felt alone.  We cried, embraced beside our carts, and scared many of the (wide-eyed) shoppers who had come to the store that day!  I will never forget what you told me.  You looked me in the eye and poignantly said, "Things are going to get better.  You are an incredible mother, and I know you can do this.  You can.  You were born to do this.  I love you and I will be praying for you."

Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese-American poet (and my favorite), wrote:  "When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

You were a delight, my dear, dear friend, as was your genuine friendship.  My life has been exponentially blessed--my world made more joyful--because you have been a precious part of it.  Oh, to feel your kisses on my cheeks once more, to hear your laughter, to sit beside you!  I look forward to the day when I will embrace you again.  (Are there cereal aisles and grocery stores in heaven?!)

Until then, I will carry your memory with me--keeping it close to my heart for my lifetime.


I want you to know that I'll miss you so much.
I want you to know that I love you.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter; A Letter


Dearest Camren,

Yesterday was a beautiful day, typical of a Utah springtime.  The white snow in the mountaintops rivaled the loveliness of the white blossoms in the trees.  The sun was shining.  The cloudless sky was a brilliant shade of blue, and a cool breeze whispered through the cherry-red tulips.

You looked up at me, with your dark, dreamy eyes, and asked, "I go outside?"

There was enough of a chill in the air that we decided to sit on the sun-drenched front steps, taking comfort in the warmth of the cement beneath us.  You sat down right beside me--the weight of your head against my arm, your hand, like a puppy dog paw, resting at my knee.  We sat together--quiet, content--listening to the ducks quack in the pond across the street.    I relished in the gentle nearness of your little body, as you happily sucked your thumb.  I closed my eyes, tilted my head back, and turned my face to the sun.

I sighed as the warm rays danced across my cheeks, and thought:  You won't stay a little boy forever. 

You will grow up quickly--it's painfully inevitable.  So here is what I want you to know:  You have a wondrous, awe-inspiring life ahead of you, filled with love and laughter and springtime days.  Strive to find the joy in the little things your life offers...like sharing a warm front step with your mother.

And when April showers come and the rains of loneliness, sorrow, and despair threaten to wash your faith away--remember, you are not alone.  You are not forgotten.  For now matter what happens--in good times and in challenging times, in peace, in confusion, in fear, in triumph and success--always, always remember this one invaluable thing...

Turn your face to the Son.

I love you, darling,
Your mama

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Holy Zits!

The sad, sad skin on my chinny-chin-chin has been a dermatological conundrum since having my babies.  I'd like to blame this "little dude," for part of that, but I can't...he's too "kiss-that-face-off" adorable.


Call it hormones.  Call it adult acne.  Call it a pain in the face!  Whatever it is, it's no barrel of monkeys!  I am a very mature (I can *hear* you giggling), thirty-something, grownup woman with the chin of a pubescent junior high kid who cannot be late for Math class!

So, I scrub my face with PanOxyl.  I use topical benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.  I eat cookies.  (Not relevant.)  I visit the dermatologist's office a couple of times a year, and primarily see the physician's assistant, Mike.  He's a nice guy, usually helpful, very smart, with dermis as smooth as glass.  (Grrrr.)

Today I found myself in a small, sterile-white exam room, deliberating over whether or not I should browse, "Parent & Child," or an outdated "Time," while I waited for Mike.  The reading material was uninteresting to me, and I refused to study (or even glance at) the graphic, disturbing posters on the wall...lest I toss my breakfast.  Those posters depicted types of skin cancer in their various stages of growth.  One long and lasting linger by my peepers, and I knew acute paranoia would set in--thus resulting in a frantic, compulsive check of my body for "cancerous" moles.  Instead, I reflected on the last time I had been in that exam room...      

"Aleisha, let me grab your chart and quickly review my notes.  It will help me get caught up on what we've been doing for treatment.  Just give me a minute to read over this," says Mike, as he leafs through several sheets of paper in a brown file.

"Sure, no problem," I reply.  I sit quietly and listen as he proceeds to skim-read my chart aloud.

"Patient saw significant results after round of oral antibiotics...using topical Duac with success...main concern was mild breakouts along hairline and forehead...but should be noted that patient uses a substantial amount of..."

Mike pauses.  He clears his throat.  I see his eyes quickly dart to where I am sitting.  I smile, fold my arms, and wait for him to continue.  I'm watching him, daring him to say it.

"I beg your pardon," he says, all professional and "Mr. Manners" and such.

"No, no.  It's fine," I respond, forcing myself to hide a smirk.  I wait for him to read the comment that gave him pause.  I have a hunch I already know where this is going.  He proceeds:

"Should be noted that patient uses a substantial amount of...HAIR PRODUCT."

AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!  HA HA HA HA HA!!

A rapid knock-knock-knock snapped me out of my reverie.  Mike--donning a crisp, sparkling lab coat--strode into the room; my brown file tucked under his arm.  I bit my lip to keep from giggling as he greeted me, sat down, and pulled out his glasses.  I knew what was coming next: he was going to "review."  I didn't need to listen, yet.  I already knew what was in there.

I gave in and looked at those blasted posters instead.