Find Me
TwitterRSS
Madeline
Past Posts
Peace
Blog For Peace. Not Swag.
Stats

Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category

Want/Need

I would rather be wanted, than needed.

Neediness reeks of desperation, loss of control, weakness.

That is not what I want to see in your eyes when you look at me.

Don’t need me. 

Your need is the suffocating heat weighing heavily on my chest in the middle of a barren desert.

Your need is a small and dark place that leaves me scrambling…

          for the open sky,

               for a cool breeze in my hair,

                    for pavement passing swiftly beneath my feet.

Don’t imprison me with your need… hands grasping, voice begging.

Don’t need me. 

Want me.

Want me for who I am…

Not what I am to you. 

Not for what you think you need me to be.

Let me walk away….

     and revel in the joy you will feel if I choose to return.

*** Originally published as a guest post at Princess Prose ***

Once a Father, Always a Father

In honor of Father’s Day, President Obama made his feelings known about what it means, to him, to be a dad.  He made a point that fatherhood extends far past conception, and is wrapped up in the way a dad raises his children.

I’ve known some wonderful fathers throughout the course of my life.  I appreciate my own Dad more and more every day, especially now that I am a parent myself.  My husband, the father of my children, is an amazing Dad.  He lost his own father at a very young age, and had three wonderful men step up to the plate to fill that role.  Without those men in his life, he wouldn’t be the person he is today.

There is one father whose dedication to his daughter has always amazed and inspired me.  Today, Mike Spohr spends his first Father’s Day without his beloved Madeline, on whom he showered countless kisses and an immeasurable amount love and care. 

The ladies of Room 704 (Dawn, V, and Leslie) created a lovely tribute to Mike, and many of us are posting it in his honor today.  And Mike?  Please remember, once you’re a father – you are always a father. 

Much love to all of you fathers out there – today is your day!

——–

Serenity Now Sunday -For Mike, For Father’s Day

Sometimes, the best we can do is share a person’s experience and let them know we have their back. That while we may not how they feel, we recognize that there are days that are just going to suck beyond the telling of it. So today we celebrate firsts. Just a very few of Maddie’s firsts from the Spohr family flickr photostream:

2076852803_c1d2af7506 
First time being held by daddy


2065222434_4bb9eb6ad0 
First time being held by mommy


2123731003_07325255c4 
Chillin’ after the first bath


2157042311_18e0dd1c4a2 
First Christmas


2201957095_551db8202a2 
First Sunshine, First Car Ride

2292444356_f66cd916e2
First nap, when a totally embarrassing picture of Mike was taken  


2420517740_3277f98065 
First Baseball Game

We celebrate all the joyous firsts with you,
and stand guard over you for all the firsts to come.

The Women of Room 704.

Heather, Mike & Maddie – My Friends

Today’s guest post was written by V of VDog + Little Man and Room 704.  V and I go way back – back to my early days of blogging, to be exact.  She’s the sweetest cracker you’ll ever meet.  Kind of like a graham cracker with whipped cream.  And strawberries.  And chocolate.  Aaaaand, now I’m hungry.

————–

Heather, Mike & Maddie – My Friends

I first met Heather at BlogHer ’08, during the Macy’s party.

Casey said, “This is Heather from ‘The Spohrs Are Multiplying. If you aren’t reading her, YOU SHOULD.’

Well, okay then!

I interacted with Heather intermittently on Twitter after BlogHer and knew that she was my kind of girl. The Cracker kind.

When we met at Blissdom, it was clear that we would be friends.

We both had preemies, we both liked to drink and cuss, we both just don’t give a fuck — a perfect union!

Our relationship was solidified on the plane ride home from Blissdom. I had to fly through LAX and Heather saved me a seat on the plane since I was the crackah-ass-crackah that got on the plane damn near close to LAST.

Heather and I talked BlogHer ’09 and we cried — YES, we CRIED — about our darling preemie babies. On the gottdamn plane. This is when we bonded. For life.

Three weeks ago, Titi and I went down to Los Angeles to stay with the Spohrs for the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party In Real Life (featuring Chris Mann) and we got to meet the illuminating spirit that was Maddie. (THREE FUCKING WEEKS AGO, PEOPLE. I was holding and loving and cuddling that little girl.)

Wrapped up in
Mike’s arms when we walked through the door, Maddie and her infectious smile was the welcome mat for the Spohr household.

Titi and Maddie took to each other right away; acting almost like brother and sister.

When it was time for us to pack up and leave, my son didn’t want to go. Neither did I. Some people you just *connect* with. Some people are your Crackers. The Spohrs are my Crackers.

*******

Every time I open the computer, I am bombarded with purple and the sweet face of Miss Maddie Moo. Titi sees his friend and talks about her.

I don’t know if it’s a sick compulsion or what, but I asked him, “Do you want to hang out with Mama H and Maddie again?”

Titi said, “YEAH.”

“Night night?” he asked.

I said, “you want to spend the night at Mama H’s house again?”

“YEAH!!”

I did not have the heart to say a damn thing.

*******

I am completely heartbroken and have been at a loss for words about this devastating tragedy. Tonight, I sat down to write because
so many others have written such unbelievable tributes. I can do at least this much. 

At the service on Tuesday, I stood with Heather and Mike, wishing that instead we were at their home, standing and playing with their dear daughter, Madeline, and not in a Church at Forest Lawn. 

I will be strong for my friends. And even though I cry, I will remain strong enough to hold their hands, and offer my shoulder, because I am the one with my precious preemie still alive. And they are not. And it crushes me. The weight of it all.

Our hopes and dreams and plans for our children to grow up as friends.

titiandmaddie2

Dashed.

Co-Parenting

Kirsten, of The Norwindians, really knows how to lay down a well-balanced rant.  That’s one of the reasons I love reading her blog – she always seems to play fair, and what’s not to love about that? 

You know what doesn’t play fair?  The stomach flu, which decided to pay a visit while I have jury duty and my kids are on spring break.  Fortunately, I haven’t crapped my pants in court.  Yet.

Co-Parenting

Let’s talk about co-parenting.  I’m not talking about a divorced couple who must figure out how to split time with their children and parent them through two different households.  I’m talking about happily married couples who decide to have a baby or three.  Then in theory they share the responsibility of taking care of those children.   Are there any couples out there that truly share the nitty gritty work of taking care of the kids?


One of the many reasons I fell in love with my husband was his easy way with children.  I knew he would make a great father one day.  And I was right… he is a great father.  When he’s home.  He leaves for work before me or the any of our three kids are up for the day, and usually gets home right as the kids are finishing up dinner.  He spends about an hour or so with them and most of that time is spent on our bedtime routine.  While his travel has slowed down quite a bit lately, he does have an impressive amount of frequent flier miles racked up.


So here’s the thing.  We do not co-parent.  We do not share the daily parenting tasks 50/50.  I stay at home with our twin girls and little boy.  I don’t long to go back to work (yet), house wifery suits me just fine.  But it does sometimes irk me that 99% of the kids’ needs are met by me. 


Even on the weekends when we’re all at home, if the kids need something, they come to me.  I often find myself saying, “you know you can ask your dad to get you a snack.”  It would be really nice if one Saturday afternoon my husband said, “hey, it’s about lunch time, how about I fix some grilled cheese for the kids?”  Or perhaps, “I’ll put the laundry away and get the kids dressed, why don’t you sit down and catch up on some reading.” 


Not to say that my husband doesn’t pitch in.  If I have my book club or something else to attend in the evening, it’s never a problem.  Assuming he’s in town.  I do make it pretty easy for him by already preparing dinner for the kids and putting them in their pj’s.  If I didn’t do those things, he’d manage just fine.  So it’s partly my fault.  Sometimes I silently fume when we’re heading out the door with the family and he has the car running while I’m running around making sure everyone has a jacket, water, the right shoes, snacks if we need them and everything else we might possibly need.  He just puts his shoes on and starts the car.


We were at my niece’s birthday party the other day and the difference between the moms and the dads really struck me.  There was a basketball game on TV and most of the dads were inside watching while the moms were outside doling out snacks and watching the kids.  It was the moms who supervised cupcake eating, face painting and gathered the kids and their belongings when it was time to leave.  My sister told me after everyone left, her husband complimented her on throwing a great party.  He had no idea what went into planning an executing the shindig.  He asked her that morning what time the party started.  Sound familiar to anyone but me?


I’m sure there are lots of exceptions, but as I look around and observe our friends I rarely see couple who truly shares parenting responsibilities 50/50.  For the most part, I’m fine with the division of labor in our house.  I really don’t have any desire to tackle home improvement projects, balance the checkbook or do our taxes… things my husband excels at doing.   If I speak up and ask for help, he is more than willing to jump in.   What bothers me is the assumption that I’ll do it all no matter what.


A few weeks ago my husband met a friend for lunch on a weekday and said he would be home in time to pick up our twins from school.  I knew the girls would love it since he rarely drops them off or picks them up at school.  Turns out he got engrossed in conversation with his friend and didn’t come home until over an hour after school was out.  He missed pick up.  Of course, I picked them up, but I was angry.  I was angry because when I have lunch with my friends I can’t just get caught up in conversation and assume my spouse will pick up the kids.  If he wants to stop at the gym on the way home from work or get his haircut, he just does it.  If I want to go for a run in the evening or to a meeting, I have to make sure he’ll be home. 


I’ve come to accept the fact that this is just the way things are.  I don’t resent my husband or the fact that I stay home with our children.   I wouldn’t trade places with him.  I really wouldn’t.  It all just makes me wonder if we are the exception.  Do other families out there truly share parenting 50/50?  And if so, how do you do it??

NYC: The Skinny

If I ever manage to suppress my neuroses long enough to leave my children and make a long-delayed trip to NYC, I plan to stalk the hell out of Marinka while I’m there.  If her blog is any indication, hilarious things happen around her every minute of the day, and who wouldn’t want a little taste of that?  Maybe I’ll hop on a plane as soon as I’m done with jury duty.  Yeah, probably not.  I need a bit more therapy first.

NYC:  The Skinny

Disclaimer: This post has some crude humor. In no way am I mocking terrorism or missing children or emaciated celebrities. Humor is just the way that I deal with tough subjects.  But just in case, no way am I putting this post on MY blog. Good luck, Andrea!

Sometimes I get the sense that people think that living in New York City is really fun and glamorous and strewn with celebrities. Well, the last part is true. Last week I saw one of the Olsen twins getting out of the car right in front of me. I was really excited, but mostly because I thought that it was Madeleine McCann and I was starting to prepare for the rewards and accolades that would surely be forthcoming as soon as I liberated her from her driver-kidnapper, but then I realized that she was too tiny to be a six year old, and was, in fact, an Olsen.


But NYC isn’t all fun and games, you know. It’s also fucking terrifying and we’re all pretty much scared shitless over here. Although we know how to use it to our advantage.


A few weeks after 9/11, my friend John and I started a diet. Our stomachs were in knots as a result of the biggest terrorist attack on the United States and the fact that almost daily the streets around our office and homes were blocked off with bomb squads attending to suspicious packages really worked wonders to suppress our appetites. We decided that since the terrorists gave us a jump start on our diets, we might as well roll with it. We figured that a few more months of being on this heightened alert and we’d be in the best shapes of our lives and if the war on terror kept going strong, we’d be a really big splash on the beach and not just when we jumped into the ocean.


Being super smart, however, we worried about dying hungry.


“I mean, what if there is another terrorist attack and we’re killed,” I asked. “Shouldn’t we have some chocolate before we take our last breath?”


John had to concede that there was a lot of wisdom to what I was saying and we agreed that maybe we should carry some small “forbidden” snacks with us at all times, in case of such an emergency.


Unfortunately, as soon as I started to carry a few Hershey’s kisses, it appeared that I was in constant mortal danger. Once, on my way to work, I was certain that I spotted bin Laden sitting across from me on the subway. Somehow he made himself shorter and blond, but those terrorists will stop at nothing to harm to our country. I had to have a few chocolate kisses because I’m not going to be caught dead hungry.


Because I value my life and the terror threat didn’t abate as quickly as I’d hoped, I was forced to upgrade from kisses to fun-sized to regular to King in a matter of weeks. This had an unfortunate effect on the size of my ass. John long decided that I wasn’t a worthy diet partner and went off on his own, so I had to deal with that rejection as well. I highly recommend Reese’s Peanut Butter cups as a salve for a broken heart.


Really, I have no idea how that Olsen girl stays so skinny. She must commute to Afghanistan or something.