Thursday, December 24, 2009

REPOST: The Little Fabric Tree

I know it's a little bit of a cop out to do a repost, but I just love this story, and I think at this time of year, for me, anyway, it bears repeating. I think the articles have long since been removed, but I had just read an article about a woman fondly remembering simple Christmases in her family and it sent me into a reverie about the true meaning of Christmas.

" many of us as children, or even adults, for that matter, would be satisfied with the Christmases the author so fondly describes? I mean, a homemade doll and a pair of new shoes as opposed to an iPod for everyone and months and months of debt?

But it made me think of my husband telling me about his fondest Christmas. His family was living in St. George at the time, I think, and didn't have a penny to their name. There was no money for food or electricity, let alone a Christmas tree with presents piled all around. Trav and his siblings put lights on a small, tabletop fabric Christmas tree his mother had made and decorated it the way you would a full blown 9 foot tall tree from the lot. Then he and his sister (the only two kids old enough to work at the time) pooled their money, went to the store and bought five dollar presents so the other kids would have something to open on Christmas Day.

I've never had a Christmas like that. When I originally heard Travis and his siblings remembering that Christmas, my heart just bled for all of them, particularly my parents-in-law. I can only imagine how they must have felt wanting to give their children the world but having to tell them that Santa won't be coming this year, oh, and PS no Christmas dinner either. Even though the circumstances are totally out of your control (ie layoffs, medical problems, etc), that would kill a parent.

But instead of focusing on the sad, depressing part of the circumstance, they ended up having the best Christmas in my husband's memory. He never talks about that time as being miserable, but rather about how they all came together as a family and made the best out of a crappy situation. He remembers playing board games and chatting with his family rather than sitting around watching football or the millionth showing of A Christmas Story or It's a Wonderful Life. And now I think of how proud his parents must be that their kids actually got the point, even at a young age. I hope I can instill that in our child.

My mother in law made all of us a fabric Christmas tree for our table top and it's the only decoration that Travis really gets excited about. It's not that he's a full blown Grinch (though "the term 'Grinchy' may apply when Christmas cheer's in short supply"), but I think it's the one thing that doesn't seem so...commercial to him. I think that, though he'd never admit it lest he lose Man Points, it reminds him of the true meaning of Christmas and I frequently catch him looking nostalgically at our table with the little fabric tree and remembering his favorite Christmas ever."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This one's for you, Jules!!!

Okay, so I'm a total blogging slacker. And it's not that I have nothing good to write about. Walker's as adorable as ever and the new baby is growing like a weed making his presence known any time I sit in such a manner as to squish his small home. Between work, Walker, the fatigue of pregnancy, home, Travis, and the holidays, I've let this little section of the internet fall by the way side.

Here are some things I've thought "oh, I should totally blog about that later" about:

  • Walker's new found acceptance of his "bruh-zer." He'll now pat my stomach lovingly or lay his head on it to say hi to his upcoming playmate. And, lately, he's taken to giving Brother puppy kisses. Yes, he licks my stomach. I'd feel really weird about it if he didn't giggle hysterically after doing it. I mean, officially, it's still a little creepy, but it's so damned cute!
  • While at a family function, Walker had the opportunity to interact with two newborns. I was somewhat apprehensive, but my mind was put at ease while watching W run from boy to girl, petting heads and giving sloppy kisses. The little girl began to cry and W rushed over, very concerned. Travis tried to continue the conversation and was sternly reprimanded by his son: "SHHHHH!!! Crying!" as if to say "Look, we're trying to deal with something over here. Could you pipe down??"
  • W's little personality is developing by leaps and bounds and we're considering (reluctantly) putting him into a day care that focuses on early education. He loves to play with Travis' cell phone (T downloaded an app that allows W to learn shapes) and is amazingly perceptive and observant, sometimes to a fault. He's a smart little bratsky, but we love him!
So I just realized that all of that is about Walker and now I feel like I'm favoring one child over the other, and maybe I am. It's just that how much can you really say about a kid while he's still in-utero? Baby's doing really well. No, no name has been selected yet, but we do have it narrowed down and hopefully we'll be making an announcement before his Kindergarten graduation.

The pregnancy's going swimmingly. Other than the normal aches and pains (Baby likes to hang out in the "bay window" a lot, causing my gut to hurt), I really have no complaints (though Travis will tell you that doesn't stop me...and he's right). The emotions of pregnancy are starting to take a toll. This is the part where I insert a public apology to my friends and family who bear the brunt of my mood swings. Particularly Travis, who has really been such a loving and wonderful husband, keeping his mouth shut when I'm being irrational even when I'm driving myself nuts. The other day, after I took something someone said (can't even remember now) WAY too personally, I was raving and ranting and he told me he was really sorry and was there anything he could do? "No, just give me 20 minutes and I'll be having a whole other emotion." Poor guy.

At any rate, that's life in the Tabbal house for you. Christmas cards were dropped in the mail this morning (yeah, I know...I've been really tired, okay??), so they should be arriving shortly. I hope everyone has a very happy holiday and I hope to see you all soon!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm Pregnant with Son No. 2!!!

Giving us the thumbs up in utero.

As many of you already know (and most wish I would just shut up about it already), I'm having boy number two sometime around the beginning of February. I can't wait! Yes, it was somewhat of a surprise, but still, THRILLED.

After a doctor's appointment last week, my due date was moved up a week, putting me in the "yeah, we can probably see what you're having now
" zone, so I hastily scheduled an appointment at Fetal Foto and we found out Monday that Walker's going to have a baby brother. I was absolutely positive it was a girl, and thought for certain that I would be disappointed if it wasn't, but when I saw the tech pass over his "area" and caught a glimpse of the goods, a little jolt of excitement went through me. When she confirmed it, I almost cried. I'm sure I would have had the same reaction had he been a she. Really, I don't care. I'm just excited. Now for the daunting task of coming up with a name. Suggestions are welcome!

'Cause he's cool like that.

In other news, Walker's become quite the little chatter box. He'll talk in his own little language and then throw out real words at random. And there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the words he can say. Among them: cookie, broke, Melmo (for Elmo), grass, bird, duck, juice, mommy, daddy, Unck (for his Uncle Chris), Lella (for Ella), and MaiMai (for Amaia). And he's spoken his first sentence! Some children say "I love my Mommy" or "I want Daddy." My kid? "Oh, it broke" after squishing a chip on his tray. And this morning we got sentence number two. While getting ready for work, we turn on the TV and let him watch a little something. This morning the selection was Sesame Street, to which he said reverently "I love Melmo." So freakin' cute!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Momversation: Why isn't just being a mom enough?

I love It's a panel of mommy bloggers that get together, pose a question, and then a few of them answer it in video form in the "episodes." I highly recommend checking it out (particularly the one about telling your kids where babies come from...even my husband laughed out loud at that one).

One of this week's questions got me into that "I'm over tired and think I'm being really deep" mood, so here are my thoughts.

The Question: Why isn't just being a mom enough?

I'll admit to having said "just a mom" and not really thinking twice about it. Never in a derogatory way, mind you, but more like "I really want to be just a mom."

But, watching this episode, it occurred to me that what I do in my professional life is my "Just A." I'm Just A Billing Clerk in a law firm. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, sure there would be the token sadness from my co-workers, laments from people who really don't like me now and couldn't care less as long as I get their bills right and out in a timely manner, but once I've died a tragic death, "wow, she was an amazing person." But then they'd hire someone to replace me, remember my many downfalls and obnoxious behaviors and move on about their lives.

I get hit by a bus tomorrow, and no one will ever replace me to my son. I have a wonderful family who would, of course, step up and help out my grieving husband (who would remarry for the sake of our son, but always remember me as his only true love and mourn my loss until the day he dies). But when he falls down on the playground, my son won't look for the new hire mommy. He'll still cry for me. No one will ever kiss it better the way I do. And not that I'm the end all be all of mommy existence, but I'm HIS mommy.

How can that ever be termed a "Just A" in life? Being a parent is the only irreplaceable job in the entire world. There's nothing casual or unimportant in that at all.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Perspective Changes Everything

Last night I was nostalgically listening to MJ on my iPod and the song You Are Not Alone came up. It used to be that when I would hear "love songs" the love was always romantic love. but lately when I hear this song, it reminds me of my dad: me mourning him, even eight years later, and him reminding me that he's never gone away. So there I was driving along, stereo blasting, singing at the top of my lungs, and bawling my eyes out (very reminiscent of the Carpenters scene in Tommy Boy):

...You never said goodbye. Someone tell me why did you have to go...
You are not alone. I am here with you...I can hear your prayers. Your burdens I will bear...

And then I remembered when I was pregnant with Walker and the same thing happened with I Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith. I only ever thought of that song in reference to a couple never wanting to be apart. But when I was pregnant, all I could think of was watching my baby sleep and never wanting to stop watching:

...I could spend my life in this sweet surrender...And then I kiss your eyes and thank God we're together...I don't want to miss one smile. I don't want to miss one kiss...

Tommy Boy again. And to this day, any time that song comes on, I think of my son and there go the water works again.

One last one: Heaven by Los Lonely Boys. When my Gram died at 93 years old, my uncle, her youngest, really wanted this song played at the service, which I thought was strange. Really? An upbeat kinda party song at a funeral? And then I downloaded it and listened to the lyrics:

...Save me from this prison, Lord...'cause only you can save me now from this misery...I've been lost in my own place and I'm getting weary...I've been locked up way too long in this crazy world...

Needless to say, we played this at her graveside as we released 93 balloons to celebrate her life.

Funny how growing up and changing circumstances makes you reevaluate even the smallest of things.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


So this morning I woke up and told Travis "I totally dreamed that Farrah Fawcett died. Was that on the radio or something?"

"No," he replied. "It must've been a dream."

Just now, I found this article.

Farrah Fawcett died this morning at 9:30 PST, which, I think, is 10:30 MST, four hours AFTER I had my dream.

How weird is that??

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Weekend Exposure: What have you let fall by the wayside?

I haven't done these in months...hell, I haven't blogged in months. But I figured I would catch up on the Weekend Exposure project. Learn about it here.

House Work by Ping Timeout

Quick But Cute

The other day Walker and I were walking past our kitchen window, where I have two little ceramic chickens. Walker pointed at one chicken and very clearly said "Duck."

"Yes!!" I praised him. "That duck is called a chicken." I figured run with it. He's 16 months old, for the love of Pete. He saw the similarities and said the closest thing he had a word for.

He looked at the chicken again, then at me and corrected me:


Monday, February 09, 2009

One Year Ago

Last night, as I was climbing into bed, I looked at the clock: 9:15 (yeah, I was a long weekend).

"Hey, do you realize it was one year ago RIGHT NOW that we checked into the hospital to have Walker??" I commented to Travis.

One year ago right now I was sitting in a hospital room, having just had my water broken, and was getting an epidural. It had been a long night of trying to rest while the contractions began to increase in intensity. We had been watching movies all morning, visiting with friends and family, and generally just sitting around waiting.

It would be another fifteen and a half hours before we welcomed our little boy into the world. One failed attempt at pushing left me convinced that I would have a c-section, something I've come to realize now I thought I'd have all along. While "giving my uterus time to work the baby down" before resuming pushing, I tried to rest, but mostly thought "I can't do this! It's too hard."

Round two started. My mom, mother in law, sister and Travis were all rooting me on. I never thought I'd want anyone in the room but Travis, but after 31 hours of labor, the janitor could have been in the room mopping and I wouldn't have cared. There were a few tears of frustration, many four letter words, and even one "Tell me how far up he still is! I mean, give it to me in INCHES!!" And then for one horrifying moment I thought "what if he's funny looking? What if he's really cone-headed and gray and squishy faced? I don't think I can love him, because right now? Not his biggest fan."

And then he came out. I sobbed in relief. I admit it. I was SO glad to have it over with. And then I heard his sweet little cry. And I bawled even harder. The doctor wiped him up and put him on my tummy. We looked at each other and all of a sudden, trite though it may sound, we were the only two people in the room. Everyone else seemed to fall away as my son (MY SON!) and I got to know one another.

I don't know what I expected him to look like, but he was more amazing than anything I could have imagined. His tiny little hands, his perfect little face, they all took my breath away. He wasn't even a little bit funny looking. He was pink and disgruntled looking and perfect in every way. I snuggled him in and realized that I've never loved anyone more ever in my life. And then Travis was next to me. "Would you like to hold your son?" The look on his face was pure shock and amazement. It was the single most beautiful experience of my life.

Now, when I was in your shoes and I heard people say that, it was all I could do not to roll my eyes. But there's no other way to describe it. It was amazing and weird and miraculous and surreal and astounding and messy and...beautiful. And suddenly, I wouldn't have traded one day of the previous nine months, not one second of the last 31 hours, if it meant giving up that moment.

The next few hours, if not days, were a blur. But that moment, that experience, will never fade from my memory. Looking at Walker, seeing him for the first time, hearing his faint little cry, my entire life changed forever. And I wouldn't go back for anything.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Only in America

Today our great nation welcomed a new president to the White House. I've never taken too much of an interest in politics, but watching the Inauguration ceremony, I found myself surprisingly choked up with pride. Though proud of what? To be an American? Of course. To finally put into the highest office in our nation a man who, mere decades ago, was not allowed to cast a vote? Absolutely. But that wasn't quite it. What was it about the Inauguration that caused the tears of joy to spring to my eyes, even though I didn't vote for the man being sworn into office?

And then my friend Melia wrote this on my Facebook page: "I didn't really expect to watch any coverage today, but find myself verclempt at the change over. To see our country change hands of leadership in peace is great!" That's exactly it. Our nation has a peaceful change of power every 4 - 8 years. How amazing that, in a world overridden by men trying to bully their way to power, murdering and torturing along the way, trying to forcefully control their nations greedily, we as Americans watch as the Former President and the newly sworn in President embrace!

Without guns or violence we give another man a turn at running things. And THAT is what makes me proud to be an American today. No, I didn't vote for him. But he's MY President now.

Congratulations, Mr. President! And God bless you!!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Back by Popular Demand...

...which basically means that two people said to me "hey, you never update your blog anymore. What's up with that?" So I'm back in business, baby!

The holiday season is over, and I wish I could say that it was all packed neatly away in the storage area for another year, but, alas, it is not. It's still Christmas around the old Tabbal house, a situation I'm hoping to rectify this weekend.

Walker's first Halloween / Thanksgiving / Christmas were awesome!! He really is just the cutest little thing! And having him made the holidays that much more fun for Travis and I. Though we didn't get the decorations up terribly early for some holidays and others not at all (how do people have time to work, parent, run a house AND decorate for the holidays!?!?), it still brought something new to the table having a kid to share it all with.

For Halloween, Walker's Nana Tabbal made him a bumble bee costume. He looked adorable!

We took him to a pumpkin patch all dressed up for a photo op, and he knocked 'em dead! He didn't really seem to get what the fuss was about, but he loved being put down in the field and allowed to pick up the straw from the ground and perform a little taste test, play with the pumpkins, and screech to his little heart's delight.

We trick or treated my mom a week early, as she was going to Disneyland with Connie, Chris and the girls over Halloween, and then "trick or treated" the Tabbals the night before Halloween. Trick or Treated is in quotes because Walker wasn't really dressed in his bee costume, but rather his Little Monster jammies.

The jammies couldn't have been more accurate. Walker wasn't in the best of moods, but his Auntie Tristin was visiting from "The Mitten" (Michigan), so we braved it anyway.

On Halloween, we worked the neighbors. We started with my Uncle Niel's house, where he was treated to Smarties (well....Mommy ate them....choking hazard....that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!).

Then we visited Uncle Jerry and Aunt Gina and the kids, where he was rewarded for his cuteness with a package of baby links (his favorite teether in the world).

Finally, it was on to Auntie Beth's house, where he was spoiled rotten with Tootsie Pops. You'll notice that that's Tootsie Pops, plural. Every time he'd give one a couple of sucks and then drop it, his Auntie would grab another one and let him keep sucking. The result was one happy kid, one sticky bee costume, and one trip to the grocery store for Walker's first tooth brush (only two teeth, but come on...he's never had that much sugar before).

Images of Thanksgiving and Christmas soon to come!