Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Musings From the Outside of "My Little Egg"

My sister Abby wished me a Happy Birthday over the phone this morning. The conversation went something like this.

Abby: "Happy birthday, Bethy! You're twenty-four!!! You're such an old fart now!!!"

Me: "Thanks, Abby, but I am NOT an old fart! Twenty-four is NOT that old. Maybe if I was turning twenty-five it would make me an old fart, but I'm only twenty-four!"

Abby: "Twenty-four is SOOO OLD! YES YOU ARE AN OLD FART!"


Abby: "WHAT?!? I'm only ELEVEN! That's not old at ALL!"

Me: "Well, it is to me, because I was there when you were born. And now you're almost twelve! So YOU'RE the old fart!"

Abby: "Well I was there when YOU were born, so there!"

Me: "What are you TALKING ABOUT???!!? You weren't even close to being ALIVE when I was born!!!!"

Abby: "Yes I WAS! I was waving to you from my little egg watching you leave!"

Me: "You were...WHAT??!?!"

Abby: "I could see you from my little egg! And I was crying and waving to you in my little egg since you were leaving...and I was saying, 'There goes my older sister Bethers! I'll see you again soon!'"

Me (laughing hysterically): "Yeah....twelve years later.

And now I'm twenty-four....... and you're almost twelve."

The funny thing is, even if I don't have any recollection on life inside my own "little egg", I still remember life so clearly when I was twelve. Abby was born that year, and filled our house with energy and excitement from the first day she entered into our lives. In a way, it feels like no time has passed and twelve years have past all at the same time.

How does this happen?

One day I'm a scrawny twelve-year-old with braces, baggy t-shirts, and a newborn baby sister, and the next day it's twelve years later and I'm a twenty-four-year-old woman with a husband, two cats, and my own nine-month-old daughter.

The years go faster as you get older. My baby is growing and gaining her own independence more and more each day. It's going too fast, and I feel like I can't keep up. I am so afraid of waking up one morning and finding that it has been twelve years. And then twelve more. And all of the sudden, I am the woman with a twenty-four-year-old daughter....who still feels like I was twelve only yesterday.

[Feel free to start tearing up now...I definitely am.]

But since getting older is an inevitable reality that cannot be stopped (no matter how hard some people may try), I will cheerfully wish myself a happy birthday to me. And I will rest assured that while it may go fast, I am here now. And even though we may not see it at first, every day is always a start to something beautiful. Which is something I can't help but look forward to.

So, Hello to you, beautiful twenty-four.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Swinging and Sneezing

Sickness has taken hold of our household this week, hence the no-writing spree. Alexandria caught something awful and when she coughed during Moms Group this week, one of the ladies said she sounded like some sort of ancient dinosaur.

Basically the entire week can be summed up in chasing Lexi around the apartment trying to wipe the snot off of her face before she smears it on everything else. I've been busy, to say the least.

And then Eric caught the grossness (probably during one of Lexi's cute, but very slobbery "besos") and has been sniffling and coughing for the past several days. In spite of his not feeling well, he took me out on a nice date this week where I decided to be brave and eat veal. Despite my initial hesitation to order the poor little veal, it tasted incredible. And then I spent the rest of the night awake while my stomach screamed in protest about the injustice of it all. Ironically, Lexi chose the same night to wake up every hour and cry for no particular reason... It was not very fun.

But today is Friday and while I am feeling just fine, Eric and Lexi are still gross, which is unfortunate, because today is warm and absolutely BEAUTIFUL outside. And this is why February is a much happier month than January (as previously stated), because we get days like this interspersed in the bitter cold. The snow from the infamous Blizzard 2011 has almost completely disappeared and the watery sidewalks are finally stroller passable (if you don't mind rolling through 6 inches of water in the low spots). Of course, it is still Chicago, so we still have a good month or so of winter left to get through, but I will enjoy today for what it's worth. I may even get out the camera today and make a trip to the park with Lexi for some swing time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Alligators and Kitty Tails

Eric went to Florida this week on business and took lots of video and pictures of alligators. I was ever so slightly envious of his three days spent in warm humidity, since last week was the coldest it has been all winter (at least it felt that way to me). Today is a balmy 35 degrees F, and yes, I celebrated by spending some time outside in my t-shirt.

I also discovered this last week that it is lots easier (and more fun) to read everyone else's blogs instead of writing my own. After all, seeing through a window into someone else's life is always more entertaining than reflecting on your own. Hence the reality TV show fad that America has embraced whole-heartedly.

Alexandria has been impressing us with her "furniture walking," climbing over barriers that are bigger than her, gagging when I feed her spinach, and pulling our cat Lily's tail until Lily is forced to hiss and bare her teeth. Lexi thinks Lily's warnings are quite amusing. But Lily remains tolerant enough, and has never bitten or scratched any of us three, which is better than I can say for my family's psycho dog that terrorized cute Abby when she was just a little crawling lump of a baby. (We kissed that dog goodbye shortly after, and she is now spending the rest of her life being coddled by a childless couple who chose to put up with her poor addled mind and crazy outbursts.)

We have been very busy sugar-loading over here since the arrival of our annual Valentines box from Eric's generous Mom. 18 lbs of goodies...(you really did out-do yourself this year, Mom Staswick!) Needless to say, Eric is happy with his favorite treats, and our neighbors think we are the BEST after receiving abundant plates of our sweet bounty.

Lexi even had a special Valentine treat for her very own!

In parting, I will leave you with my secret to making and keeping friends: Seduce them with yummy food, and keep them coming back for more. Works every time.

I should write a book.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

Having a car has been quite an adventure today.

Today I am thankful for anti-lock brakes, which saved me from sliding through a slippery intersection on Kimball.

I am also thankful for a car that definitely locks when you push the lock button and then shut all the doors...whether or not you accidentally left the keys in the car. I apparently have impeccable timing, given that this happened at 2 pm and "Blizzard 2011" (yes, they went so far as to name it) is currently roaring outside our windows at 4 pm. I also had Lexi with me, who was thankfully out of the car and in my arms in the roaring wind and snow when I shut the car door and then turned as pale as a ghost as my heart stopped in realization of what I had just done. After checking my pockets a zillion times, knowing it was completely futile, I ran with Lexi to the warmth of the grocery store and called Eric with the less than wonderful news.

So I am thankful for Luc, who, fifteen minutes later, found (a slightly embarrassed) me waiting in the incredibly backed up check out line (you would think the Apocalypse is coming with how crazy everyone is acting!) and handed me Eric's set of keys (which I am also thankful for, by the way) and reminded me that it happens to the best of us.

I am thankful that I made it home safely (thanks to our all-wheel drive vehicle and those handy dandy brakes), found a relatively close parking spot, and with our neighbors' Pete and Rachael's help got the milk and produce and Lexi inside just as the wind and snow really began to pick up.

And now I am thankful for our cozy apartment, my happy little family, and our wonderful friends who make living here so great. And as Eric reminded me this afternoon, at least I didn't lock the keys in the car while being the first in line for the Ferry in Washington!....(yes, Staswicks, you know exactly what I am talking about...).

So bring on the snow!