The Easter Bunny

I made a fatal error at Christmas time. I miscalculated the popularity of ALL photo-op Santa Clauses (at the mall and at other local Christmas hot spots), and then refused to wait in hour long lines with my six month old. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, guilt inducing photos of children on Santa’s lap kept popping up on Facebook and Instagram. Why couldn’t we find the right Santa at the right time like all those other parents? It was looking like we’d failed to secure the obligatory baby on Santa’s lap photo…. photo-419

Until: My Pop came to the rescue by breaking out a Santa Claus costume in the St. Nick of time! Here is Baby Zee with his great grand father, who is dressed up as Santa Claus, on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure Zee’s first one-on-one with Santa could have been any more perfect.   Knowing my family does not have easy access to an Easter Bunny costume, I knew I had to get this one right! (What is it with all the pressure to have your kids photographed with costumed strangers?).

The online invitation for our neighborhood egg hunt was sure to mention that the Easter Bunny would be in attendance for photos. Expecting to wait in a block long Easter Bunny line, we arrived one hour early and were the very first family at the park. And there was no Easter Bunny in sight. Panic. Hushed curse words. How had I fumbled the Easter Bunny picture too?!? photo-420

If not for the half dozen volunteers leisurely tossing plastic eggs into the grass, I would’ve thought I had the date wrong and hightailed it to another of the city’s egg hunts. Philip calmed me with a string of “it’s going to be okays”, and we settled in on a park bench to wait for the bunny. As I sat there in the park with my family on Saturday morning, I realized that it didn’t really matter if the Easter Bunny showed his face or not. It would be a flawless memory to share with my son someday regardless.
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For you, Zee: On the morning of your first Easter egg hunt, your dad made french toast for breakfast. We played and read books and then you took a morning nap. I paced back and forth in the kitchen when you slept for longer than normal not knowing if I should wake you up because I really wanted you to get to see the Easter Bunny at our neighborhood park. Your dad laughed at me when I decided to unload the dish washer because we both knew it would wake you up. And it did! We dressed you quickly. You wore a little blue polo shirt that matched your eyes, plaid shorts that looked like pants because you had short little legs and brown sandals that your Granna bought you. You’d never worn the sandals before, and you giggled when we put them on your feet. We hurried out the front door with your sun hat and Easter bucket, and as we buckled you into your stroller — we heard church bells ringing. It was April 19th, and the bells were ringing in downtown Oklahoma City to mark the anniversary of the bombing. Your dad and I walked the first block or so in silence as the bells rung. It was a beautiful morning. Warm sunshine filtered through the large barely blooming trees, the wind blew slightly and tulips blossomed in yards and along the sidewalk. I thought about how proud I am of our city, and how excited I am for you to grow up here. When we got to the park, we were the first ones there. We put you in a park swing (for the first time ever!). You loved it. When the Easter Bunny arrived, you loved him too. You tried to eat his ears, and then you sat on his lap without being scared. We laid out a blanket near the eggs, and sat together watching the neighborhood kids get their pictures taken and then watched as they all lined up to race for eggs. They let the babies get a one minute head start on the egg hunt. Your dad helped you grab one purple egg off of a tree branch. It was an ideal morning. You’re not likely to remember it, but it is a cherished memory of mine.

xoxo,

B

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Doing It All

Doing it all. Not to be confused with having it all.

Last year, I decided to change jobs, have a baby and buy and sell a house in the span of less than 12 months. I wouldn’t recommend making these particular life changes quite so close together. My advice is based on personal experience (obviously), and on evidence-based science…I know this because when I completed the Stress and Well Being survey for employee health last month, my results come back as basically “WARNING:Very High Level of Stress”.

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Now, these changes are good things. Mostly. But changing one’s life so completely is stressful nonetheless.

Here I am over the hump of one full year of change, and I’m still getting my footing. It’s like stepping off of a spinning carnival ride. Just when you think it’s safe to take your eyes off the steady ground, the world starts spinning again.

Things I still don’t have figured out:

1. How to be on time to work everyday.
2. How to find time to work out (I’ve talked to a few working moms about this, and I don’t seem to be the only one). And, no, I’m NOT willing to get up at 5 a.m., so you can save that advice for someone else.
3. Packing my lunch. Dinner. Grocery shopping. Food in general. If it weren’t for my mother and grandmother consistently stocking my freezer with meals, I’m honestly not sure how we’d survive.
4. How to not want to be with your child absolutely every second, which makes things like working and taking time for yourself or maintaining friendships difficult.
5. Making our new house feel like a home with a limited budget and very limited time.

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You guys were freaking out at that first photo, right? Thank goodness we’re not currently living in a construction zone. We bought an older home that was being completely renovated when we signed the offer. We actually had no idea what the final product was going to look like. I mean, why would that be stressful?

There are certain things about the renovation and about the new house in general that I really don’t like. Some days I have down-right-buyer’s-remorse. Other days, I really love this new place and the thought of raising a family here.

I also have doubts about the new job I’m in, and where my career is going.

Fortunately, I don’t have the same regretful feelings regarding Baby Zee. Phew.

It’s less about the job, the house, the baby than it is the culmination of all those changes at once. I’m trying to be gentle with myself. Still. To give myself however long I might need to adjust to the new titles I accumulated last year. Hopefully, my freezer will continue to be stocked until we get it together enough to have an organized grocery list + time to make dinner + motivation to fight the crowds at the store….whenever that might be.

What was the hardest part about becoming a parent for you? Gone through any major life changes lately? I’d love to hear how you work, work out and work it all out.

Stop and look around once in awhile,

B

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