Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Birthday Bash!!

Pictures of Party
Last night we celebrated Mielle's first birthday by having a little "mini" party with her cousins.

The kids were prancing with excitement as soon as the "Birthday party table cloth" came out of the drawer. Quinny began squealing and shouting "Happy Birthday" as soon as she saw it. Gabe came barrelling out of the office to turn off the lights and insist we immediately sing "Happy Birthday" to Mielle. So by time Mary got home the small children were whipped into a state of extreme excitement.

Gabe assisted in frosting the cupcakes and attempting to cut the pizza while no one was looking . His mama then directed him into counting the guests at our party to determine how many cupcakes we needed.

Quinny assisted by blowing out the candle the moment it reached the table causing us all to laugh and re-light the candle giving Mielle a chance to actually glimpse the dancing flame.

Peevers assisted by crawling about on the floor grunting and crying untill her loving Uncle took pity on her and picked her up, and giving her a better view of the festivities.

Mary assisted in documenting the moment (see photos above) and directing her children's involvement.

Papa and I glowed with happiness and kissed our darling daughter's cheeks.

Mielle Anne, the star of the show.... she smiled at the flame, listened to us sing, looked at us quizzickly and then happily sucked frosting off her fingers.

It was good.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Packing up

The unbelievable racket of cicada's fill the air, buzzing loudly from the tree tops. I can hear the small children playing together in the next room over.

My dearest darling husband is here and the kids are taking turns crawling on him, tugging at his arms and begging him to play. His IS the human equivilent of a jungle gym. small children take one look into his deep twinkling brown eyes and know.... they know he will patiently listen to their rambling tales, he will tumble and tickle and giggle uproariously with them.

I'm so glad he's here with me now as I pack up to leave again.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Dress up time

Playing dress up is AWESOME!
Just ask Gabe and Quin, they'll tell you all about yesterday's fun activities....

Gabe dressed up a BATMAN!
(Batman ready for shop class perhaps...)

Quin dressed up in a lovely purple dress
with pink high heels and got to wear
Aunt Anna's cool new hat!

Aunt Anna wore a gorgeous pink scarf
and was crowned "Dress-up Queen" for a day

Mielle wore a rag tag assortment of clothes
mostly picked out by her cousins
including a bright orange cape,
a pink peace sign necklace
and a white filmy skirt... on her head.
Which kept falling over her eyes like a bridal veil.

After much giggling, flinging about of clothes
and eager requests to help with tying on capes and such
we were all set for pictures.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Evidence or Artwork?????

Exhibit #1

Exhibit #2

How do you keep a straight face?

Is it possible to explain to a 5 year old that drawing with markers on the face of his one year old cousin is unnacceptable, while trying not to giggle? Especially after running to get the camera in order to properly document the moment......

Friday, August 26, 2005

Red Hot Mama!

Check us out!

Yes, my hair is really and truly that ultra violently red shade!
I felt it was time again...
every so often I need to remind myself that
I'm not someone's boring old mother.

I'm Anna Banana!

Being a mama doesn't mean
I can't continue to shock and alarm prim and proper old ladies
and tobacco chewing, baseball hat wearing, small town hicks!

Being a mama doesn't mean
I can't go shopping simply for some clothes
that matches my newest hair color.

Being a mama doesn't mean
losing yourself in the daily tasks of diaper changes, snuggles, episodes of Dora repeated incessantly, cooking food, cleaning up after food, doing laundry, sweeping floors, scrubbing toilets, picking up a MILLION toys a day, and nursing day and night!

Being a mama means being yourself,
the person you were before,
but more intensely, more brilliantly,
more colorfully and more vibrantly alive.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Mid afternoon today my beloved nephew informed me that I was receiving an "F" . Yes, that's right, an "F"! He actually wrote out a capital letter F on his etch-a-schetch and circled it! Oh the horrors! My face must have be priceless, I think I froze in place, shocked into complete inaction. In retropsect it's pretty funny... and heartbreaking.

He was mad that I was not allowing him to go "work" on the computer. I had outlined which of the 3 activities he could choose from, computer time wasn't one of those. His immediate frustrated response was to whip out his handy etch-a-schetch and draw out a big bold letter F and present it to me, while informing me that I was "not his friend!"

Ouch! Man, talk about ingratitude! In recent months, I've spent nearly a month of my time, caring for him and his sisters, day after day, separated from my husband and my home. I cook for him, cajole him into eating proteinaceous food and clean up after him, all the while he's begging for "treats", like cookies and popsicles. I turn on the T.V. shows he likes, play Scooby-Doo games on the computer with him, for hours on end.... I wipe his rear end after he poops, for chrisake!

But still, his reaction to not getting his way involves flunking me.....

I must admit it is dissapointing, I want to be the "Fun and Exciting, Aunt Anna" that he looks forward to seeing, that he laughs with and plays with. And I am, sometimes. We have great moments, but somehow in the midst of cleaning up after the million disasters a day created by one of 4 small children, I lose my patience and my sense of humor. I can come up with a million reasons or excuses for why I get so frustrated, or what "they " did, or how my anger was well deserved, but it doesn't change the fact that I lose it.

I lose my cool, I lose my composure, I lose my enjoyment of spending this time with all of these children whom I love so much.

And really it is MY loss.

And that hurts... a lot.

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, kids are very challenging and I'm learning a lot about myself and about what kind of parent I am. Before long my own sweet little Mielle will learn to articulate her needs, her feelings and her frustrations. And then I'll be the one shaking my head over the words coming out of her mouth.

For instance, right now she'd be saying "Mama, get off the computer and CHANGE MY DIAPER!"

And I REALLY want to get an "A" so I'm gonna stop typing and go change her diaper, while bestowing apon her a thousand kisses and smiles...

Water Babies!

Miss Mielle at the pool

Playing at the YMCA with lots of water babies!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Family Hug

Mama, Mielle and Papa -August 2005

Back to blogging

Well, I have arrived at the land of plenty... plenty of small children to feed, clean up after and cajole to play nicely with each other. ...plenty of daipers to change.... plenty of reality shows on T.V. to numb my poor aching brain with..... and best of all... plenty of COMPUTER TIME!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Adventures in nursing

It's official! She's a toddler.

Nursing has become an olympic event, involving spins, kicks and even.... sound effects. Ahhh, the drama, the power, the excitement, that is nursing a toddler!

She has discovered that my shirt can be lifted, pulled down and generally torn at untill those sweet warm milk jugs appear, wherein she nurse for about 3 seconds and then turns away distracted by her cousins playing across the room, her Papa coughing in the next room, a car passing on the road, the dog licking it's butt.... you name it.

I am left holding my breast in my hand like an offering to the gods, my nipple gleaming in the sunlight, wet with mama's milk. I click my tounge at her trying to regain her attention, she stares vacantly at whatever sight has so engrossed her in the first place. I gently tap her on the cheek and call her name, she continues to stare off into the distance.

Finally I sigh and pull my shirt down over my exposed breast. Like magic she turns to me, mouth open expecting the breast to be waiting patiently for her to return. A shocked expression crosses her face and she begins tearing at my shirt again, lifting from the bottom in a bizzare game of hide and seek.

Resignedly, I offer up my body once again while pinning her more securely in place. She wiggles and squirms her way out of my grip and proceeds to do leg squats, twists and kicks in her own personal little ballet, while remaining face down against my breast. As her feet fly past my ear, I smile to myself.

My once tiny helpless infant has become so active and energetic that even the sweet fount of mama's milk no longer holds it's captivating power any longer. I remember holding a tiny fragile little person to my breast struggling to connect mouth with nipple, watching tiny little fingers move against my skin, tiny little scrabbling movements accompanied by the sound of her tiny gulping swallows....

A resounding raspberry startles me from my reverie, Mielle has her face pressed into the flesh of my breast and is blowing OUT. The resulting fart-like noise is quite impressive, and nearly musical to hear. Wiggling in place, she sends forth another depth charge. "FFFLLLBBbtttt!" My breast shakes as though it were made of jello, surprising a great laugh out of me. Mielle's face pops up and off the breast as though reminded of my existence by the sound of my laugh. She grins up at me and we laugh together.

She definitely has MY sense of humor!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ain't nothin' in this world like a blue eyed girl.....

....to melt a mama's heart!

More Photos here!

Blogging withdrawl...

Boy, does this suck!
I have been without computer access for over a week!!!! Between the birth of my sister's son, helping my mom move to a new house, and a family gathering, I haven't had any time to sit in front of a computer and compose a new post.
I've got tons of new photos all whispering to me, telling me stories... the thoughts and feelings that arise from viewing images from my life. But, no time in which to sit and share these images or thoughts!!

It's REALLY frustrating not having internet access at home... speaking of my home, Man alive is it weird to see your home with new eyes after being away for a few weeks. First you need to understand that I share my home... with many people and animals. I live in an ancient worn down ramshackle old-ass farm house. Albeit a beloved familiar and "special" place it remains truth be told, VERY dirty. Yes, very dirty. And at times very stinky.
Stinky, you ask? yes..... stinky.

There are currently 4 dogs (down from 11 earlier this winter!) 3 cats, (up from the 2 I brought with me upon moving in) and a couple of sadly neglected fish tanks. (don't forget the assortment of baby chickens, rabbits or other barn yard animals can be found residing in my home at various times) There are currently 2 babies in diapers and 5 adults that live in my home.

The combination of all our smells can be alarming. At least I found it so, when walking into my home after being gone for 2 weeks. Alarming, yes that is precisely the word. I was ALARMED at how stinky and dirty I found my home to be. Alarmed and embarrased and even a little angry.

Don't get me wrong, I love my home in all it's old worn down beauty, just wait till you see the gardens!!!! It is an amazingly special place and I love it deeply. I just don't appreciate the aroma that greeted me upon re-entering my home. I'm not even gonna go into details, suffice it to say, Dogs and Cats stink at times.

So, what can you do? One single human being in the face of a stinky dirty house shared by many people all of whom seem to be to busy, lazy, inherintly procrastinating or simply distracted to take responsibility for cleaning... not just picking up some clutter, but scrubbing and sweeping and vacuuming and scrubbing some more. What is one lone frustrated mama to a year old baby to do?

Get out a bucket of soapy water, I guess. Which is what I did. Which is why I have not been lurking about the computer room at my mother's new house playing with my new fun blog.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Baby Tristan is here!

Tristan Lee with his Aunt Anna!
Born August 6th at 12:19 p.m.
Weight 6 lbs 10 oz
Length 20 inches
Congratulations Sarah and Gary!!!

The sweet scent of newborn baby flesh......

Ahh... breathe in deeply.
The smell fills your nostrils,
courses down into your lungs and sets your skin a tingling.
New Baby!

Oh the raptures of tiny little fingers and mewling little cries.
The fleeting yet fierce expressions that cross their miniscule faces....

The weary joy on a newly made Mama's face and
the tender glint in a Papa's eye,
tender moments that transfigure and transform new parents.

The downy softness of a fluffy baby mohawk,
stroked by loving fingers and tucked away
within a fluffy hat to be discovered anew by loving friends and family.

The sweetly pursed lips of an infant,
awaiting mama's milk, all unknowing and infinitely content.

The eager excitement filling the hearts and minds
of Gramma's, Grampa's, Aunt's and Uncle's,
each revived and refreshed by the taste of joy in the air.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Sisters Make The Very Best Friends

Today I'm getting in my car and driving home... home, to my darling husband, my spoiled kitties and my idiot Laborador Retriever. Despite my excitement to see all of them, to wrap my arms around my husband and squeeze him tight, to snuggle my kitties close and take my puppy for a walk...despite all these great things, my heart aches.
My heart aches to know I won't hear the kids tell knock, knock jokes or listen to Dora shriek at me to "Say Espere!"Gabe won't show me his Chicken Butt.......
But most especially, I won't get to share knowing smiles of enjoyment, frustration and amusement with my darling sister as we laugh to together over the children's heads.

I will miss you all very much!

All my Love

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sleepy chickens

Two sleepy chickens snuggled in a nest
Darling, dearest ones, that I love the best.
Their breath whooshes in, and then whooshes out
I wonder, what do they dream about?
A baby girl, limbs freely hang down
A papa's arms, so safe and sound

Top photo - Mielle age 10 months
Bottom photo -Mielle age 2 weeks

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Guess what?

"Guess what???" I whisper to Gabe.
"Psstt,.... Guess what?" I say again and he turns to me inquiringly.

"What? " He asks.

With a mischevious glint in my eyes I wait a moment
before blurting out,"...... Chicken butt!!!"

Momentary confusion clouds his face,
he obviously was not expecting that.
A moment later he grins, realizing I'm telling a joke.

Again I whisper"Guess what?"
with a conspiritorial air and waggle my eyebrows at him.

A grin of anticipation lights up his face
and he asks me
"Whaaaaat?" in a high pitched squeal.

"Chicken butt!"
I announce while slapping my own rear end to accentuate my point.

Laughing loudly he squirms in place
as he shouts out "Guess What, Guess WHAT?!!"

Faking confusion
I inquire politely, "What?"

"Chicken Butt,... CHICKEN BUTT!!!"
he yells uproariously while turning about to slap at his derriere.

We laugh together,my 5 year old nephew and I,
joined by the bonds of "Butt humor".

Pausing, I ask him solemnly
"Do you know the rest?"

"huh?" he says as he turns to me.

dissolving into laughter.

Being "Aunt Anna" can be pretty darn fun sometimes.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Monkey see, monkey do!

"NOOOOoooooo! BAby Mel!" Q-girl shrieks as she clambers up onto the first stair.

With a lurch Miss Mielle turns and focuses on her cousin's retreating form....
"humm, what's SHE doing?" Gathering her limbs under her she begins to crawl at top speed twords the towering mountain of steps.

I moan to myself and follow thinking mournfully that my peace of mind has just dissapeared.... "Not the stairs" I think to myself.

A mindbooglingly high pitched teradactylish shriek erupts forth from the grubby faced Q-Girl at the sight of "Baby Mel" coming to get her. "And, do what?" I wonder to myself.... What could my 11 month old crawler possibly do to her 2 year old cousin??? Whatever it is, Q-girl is convinced of the emminent danger and backs up a few more steps.

Emboldened and curious Miss Mielle places her small hands on the first stair pulling herself upright. The tantalizing sight of her cousin dances before her as she begins to mount the stairs.

I follow with camera in hand torn between capturing the moment and hovering anxiously behind my daughter as she embarks upon her mission.

Motherly instinct proved right as she slipped slightly and caught herself, turning to look at me as if to say........... "See I can do it."

As I reflect on this, I know that my daughter is growing up, getting bold and will mount many more steps as time passes. I can not hover at her side keeping her from every fall, every hurt, every dissapointment. But, I can try to be there to watch her meet challenges however they may turn out.

Because she can do it.