First American Mother’s Day in the UK

The UK observes Mother’s Day on a different day than the US, so this is my second this year. UK Mother’s Day fell on Matt’s birthday, so this is the real one (USA! USA! USA!). The weather is beautiful, sunny and breezy. We’ve opened the windows. I’m on my third mimosa.

We had planned brunch, but rather than spending the $, I decided I’d just eat brunch food all day, instead. I’ve had avocado toast and eggs and smoked salmon. Strawberry waffles are in the works.

Matt is on top of making everything special. Dexter colored the living hell out of a card for me. We have been to the park and both kids are napping.

Mother’s Day used to be about grieving, for me. That crappy feeling that only those who have lost their moms can understand, where I’m so, so happy for people celebrating the love of their mothers, but every photo and tribute feels like a punch to the gut because my mom is gone.

And then I became a mom, and the meaning of the day shifted, but my path to being a mom was not what you would call smooth, so that hangs out in the corners of my psyche, as well, because the story of my family is bound to the story of my children and how and why they exist.

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Baby’s first shiner

I have told Dexter approximately 5,034,552 times not to run back and forth across the sofa. If I can, I just grab him and move him to the floor, but Dex is an evil genius and will wait until I’m trapped under Theo before climbing up and sprinting back and forth like a madman. Yesterday, it caught up to him.

I saw Dex faceplant into the arm of the sofa and heard the sickening THUMP. Honestly, I want to think he tripped and fell but I suspect he actually dove face-first into the arm, because toddlers do dumb stuff like that ALL THE TIME.

And then, there was this horrible, silent moment when he was face-down, not wailing yet, and I imagined him emerging with a smashed nose gushing blood. 

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A short list of reasons I am freaking out

1. Matt returns to work next week, leaving, nay, ABANDONING me with these two little urchins. ALL ALONE.

Yes, I know how lucky we are that Matt got a couple months of maternity leave. Yes, I have a deep appreciation for this time we’ve spent with brand new Theo, both for practical reasons of tag-team parenting and emotional reasons of allowing Matt to bond with his new son. But that doesn’t change the fact that I am soon outnumbered and I am FREAKING OUT.

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Dexter’s Second Birthday Scrapbook

Lucky, lucky kid Dexter Ian turned two years old April 10.

We kept it pretty low-key. Matt and Theo and I woke Dex up singing, then made him wear his “It’s My Birthday!” crown immediately. He wore it to the mall while we ran errands and got lots of birthday greetings, which was nice and made me glad we practiced “What are you going to say when someone asks you how old you are?” even if sometimes it takes Dex both hands to raise just two fingers. 

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Dex and the T. Rex: Theo is one month old

Theo Rex turned one month old on April Fool’s Day.

London insider tip: If you’re going to waltz around the city with a newborn baby, you sure better be ready to have long, in-depth conversations with British grannies about how lovely the baby is. Woe is me, I get to brag about my charming, adorable kid to a rapt audience. It’s a real trial, it is.

Theo’s overall aesthetic is grumpy old man who occasionally disarms with a beaming, gummy grin.

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When Dexter met Theo

When Dexter met Theo, the new baby and I had been in hospital for a full day. Dex was wearing the special outfit I’d bought for him, envisioning adorable photos which of course didn’t happen, because as we’ve discussed, toddlers don’t give a damn about their parents’ photo ops.

Dex came into the curtained, shared room (weird), saw me on the bed (weirder), eyeballed Theo, who was still very tiny and kind of red (even weirder), and backed up, like, “No, thanks.” He wouldn’t get onto the bed with me and he really did not want to hold his brother. We gave him the gift that “Theo” had bought him and Dexter did give the baby a kiss on the top of his head before he left with Matt to have dinner and go to bed.

Theo and I didn’t make it home until almost the end of the second day. We hoped Dex would be more interested in his brother when we were on his home turf and our hunch was correct.

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My Wiggle Walk morning with Dexter

As certified parents of two kids, Matt and I are officially switching from man-to-man to zone defense.

I am exclusively breastfeeding, which means Theo gets most of my time and attention, while Matt either hangs out with Dexter or Dex plays independently and Matt gets stuff done around the house. I’m finding moments to give Dex hugs and kisses, or play with him for a few minutes, but we’re not really getting any quality time.

I see him all day, every day, but I miss him so much. I guess I miss Us.

Dexter’s and my favorite playgroup meets Monday mornings, so I decided I wanted to take Dex, just the two of us. Last night, a post appeared on the group’s Facebook page: 

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