Squirms & the Sexy Vagina

At age three, Lily sat with a book my mid-wife had provided, mesmerized by the illustration of a baby being born.  The mother was standing, leaning on the father, supported in her pushing.  “The baby is coming out of her butt, Mama!”  Lily finally exclaimed.

I clarified about the holes.

A week later, Lily was in Target with my mother-in-law, buying something for the impending baby sister.  The check-out woman questioned the item and Lily shouted enthusiastically, “My Mama is having a baby.  And she is going to PUSH it out of her VAGINA!”

Thankfully, I have an amazing mother-in-law who thoroughly appreciates the humor in these kinds of situations.

At age five, Lily pointed to my stomach after I stepped out of the shower and said matter of factly, “THAT is where a baby grows.  Girls have eggs, and boys have these squiggly little things.”

“Sperm,” I said, “And yes, that is correct.”

“And the sperm travels up a very dark tunnel and a lot of them get lost but they race to find the egg.  And when one finds the egg, it turns hard and the other sperms are sad because they can’t get in.  And THAT is how a baby is made.  I watched a video with grandma.  What I still don’t know, Mama, is HOW the sperm gets in that tunnel.”

I paused, turning on the water to brush my teeth and gather my age appropriate and honest response, and a second later, she asked, “Where does our water come from? “

I clarified about pipes.

Lily’s six year old questions about sex are much more poignant.  Since preschool, the same little boy has been in her class every year.  Now that the little boy lives a house away, love letters are often passed back and forth; declarations of I LOVE YOU scribbled in red crayon, paper folded in a very special and deliberate way.  Lily often speaks of marrying this little boy.

“Why do you want to get married, honey?” I asked one night over dinner.

“Because I want babies,” she replied instantly, “When can I have a baby?”

“Your body has to be ready to have a baby; remember us talking about getting your period?  But it’s better to wait until your mind, your body and your life are all ready before you decide to have a baby,” I explained.

“Why can’t I have a baby when my body is ready?”

I clarified about teenage pregnancy.

“Hmm,” she thought for a moment, “Age 28 is probably good.”

The other night, over bowls of ice-cream and chocolate sauce, Lily asked, “You know those things that boys have, Mama?  Squirms?”

“Sperm, honey.”

“Oh, right.  Sperm.  Well, if the sperm comes out of the penis, and the egg is inside the girl’s body, how do they find each other? HOW?”

I clarified about vaginas and penises fitting together.  The somewhat horrified look on her face made me assure her we’d check that book out at the library again.

Suddenly, Vivienne leaped out of her chair, started running around the living room and chimed in with, “Vagina!  Vagina!  Sexy!  Vagina!”

“What is sexy, Mama?” Lily asked.

I mentally screamed.  Why do they even know the word “sexy,” really, at age three and six?

“Sexy means a lot of different things, honey,” I said, “It is a grown up kind of thing, and there isn’t just one example I can tell you to explain what it means.  It can be about your body, or your clothes, or your attitude.”

“Is ‘sexy’ inappropriate for kids?” she inquired.

“Yes.  Kids don’t need to think about being sexy.  It is tricky though, because some clothes that are made for kids could be considered ‘sexy’ if a grown-up wore the same thing.  That is confusing because then it seems like maybe kids should think about being sexy.”

“Oh right, like a little tiny bikini swimsuit?  That is inappropriate.”


As we scooped out our last bites of melting ice-cream, Vivienne’s shouts ceased and we decided to have a dance party.  The Go-Go’s, Ramones, Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson filled the living room.

Bedtime followed and questions were put to rest for the day.

I relish these conversations, even when the topics of their inquisitions floor me.  I delight in their unabashed queries and fascination with the world around them.

As my girls grow older, I hope they keep a tight grip on the ability to question, challenge, and push.  I want them to be insistent in finding answers, not stopping until they hear the entire story.  I expect them to be greedy for knowledge as they seek out their own truths.

Curiosity is fabulous.

Posted in Birth, Family, Parenting, Sex | 5 Comments

Those Summer Times

As the weather shifts, school starts, and our pumpkins begin to orange, my little family remains embedded with the sparkle and shine of this past summer.  Weekend adventures became the norm, dazzling gems crunched between my eight to five, Monday through Friday work week.  Our summer weekends have been melded into memories of visiting out-of-town friends, backpacking, roasting s’mores in the fire pit, squeezing into constantly wet swimsuits, watching tiny seeds grow into a hearty veggie plot, and fitting in bike rides before bedtime.

We actively seek adventures to embark upon, but this past summer felt different.  Lily and Vivienne grew a year older in the spring, and our family aged a little too.  I used to shy away from this type of fun, overwhelmed by the preparation, planning and packing every adventure “needed” to be a success.  My husband, Jake, has always been better at fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants living, and this mentality has finally rooted itself in my soul.

I’m not nervous about taking three hour trips alone with the girls anymore and the instances of screaming in the car have become few and far between.  I’m quicker to press pause and just chill when the girls are on the verge of a meltdown due to too much being packed into one day.  I’m more apt to say, “Grab your shoes!” and simply go, no need to work around a nap-time or pack extra snacks.

What is planned for this weekend?  Nothing is set in stone, but I guarantee it’ll be fabulous.

Posted in Family | 5 Comments

A Work in Progress

Where did we really begin?

It was the first glance. If “OMG” and texting had been the norm, my friends would have been sick of hearing from me that day.

It was the first kiss.  I liked him, oh so much, but was attempting to play it cool.  I wanted the opposite of what I had just come from, to be aloof in the face of love.  But in the end, confusion clouded my thoughts.

It was the first date.  On Valentine’s Day, a movie, fancy truffles, and making out were on the agenda.  Being that I was a senior, and it was a Saturday, I was allowed out until midnight.  Being that he was a junior, and a rebel at heart, he had gotten himself grounded.

It was the first admission of love.  On a regular night of chain smoking and diner coffee, I told him, through serious, “I really mean it,” tears.

It was the first separation.  All in all, a span of twelve months.  In the face of Italy, New York City, London, Spain: my thoughts drifted back to him.

It was the first “this isn’t working.”  In what twisted reality does a high school romance really last?

It was the first exchange of vows.  Among friends and family, we made a promise to something bigger than ourselves.

It was the first child, then the second.  Those tiny, entrancing, beautiful beings that made everything around us simply stop for a moment.

It was the first thought of escape.  The grown-up life of marriage/house/children/career felt more like sacrifice than happiness.

It was the first realization.  We have so much more to learn from each other, more love to cherish, more paths to explore.

Where did we really begin?

We are a work in progress.

And oh, what an fantastic work it is.

Posted in Family, Marriage | 4 Comments

A Year in Happiness

I welcome the new year lovingly with open arms, laughter, and a smirk.  I flippantly wave goodbye to year 2011, a small part of me wondering if perhaps a double middle finger is in order (this is the same small part of me that only swears when #1: children are not present #2: I am slightly intoxicated #3: I am talking about something that gets me riled up such as “Legos for girls!  They’re pink!  RUN to the store!  Aren’t those marketing researchers brilliant?!?”).  Last year was not unlike the first weeks and months after a baby is born: you get through it because you have to.

2011 delivered so many changes, so quickly, that it was hard to catch my breath.  The new year started with an error in judgement on my husband’s part.  We rode the roller coaster of Jake quitting and gaining a new job, to find that the same old monsters hid underneath the shiny exterior.  My parents world drastically changed, leaving the rest of us, my sisters and I especially, trying to navigate through the rocky terrain.

But it is unfair to judge 2011 so harshly, to focus on the negative without highlighting the brilliant light that was always there, shining through the cracks.  Moments of happiness peaked through every day.  Last year delivered more happiness than I can account for, now that I try to recall: Lily’s sweet “I love you, Mama” and watching her boldly step into her own kindergarten self; Vivienne’s intense gaze and small hand stroking my cheek; weighty goals accomplished; secrets shared between friends over a cup of coffee, a martini, a lunch; insanely fun adventures traveling to new places; connecting with a family who “got” us, with love and acceptance, from the very beginning; joy in first birthdays; new opportunities to grow our careers; promises vowed and love renewed.

2011 threw some curveballs and piled on the complication.  But happiness was always there.  Happiness IS always there.

Sometimes it is hard to know where you left it, and where to look.  Sometimes you forget that there is always someone there waiting, wanting to hold you when the light is just too hard to find.  Sometimes you don’t realize your world creates itself through the choices you make, and even when you are utterly stuck, a path can always be uncovered.

A new year marks a new beginning like a breath of fresh air.  I breathe in the hope, the humor, the love, and wrap my arms around 2012.

Posted in Family, Friends, Marriage, Work | 2 Comments

My Husband is Fabulous

My husband, Jake, is fabulous for many reasons, most of which I probably don’t talk about enough, and definitely don’t blog about enough.  Stepping through the doorway after coming home from work, it is oh-too-easy to focus on the wet laundry in the machine, mountains of dirty dishes piled up, random toy bits scattered about the living room.  Why isn’t is just as easy to focus on the wonderful dinner waiting to be served, the fact that he took our daughters to the grocery store and taught them about new foods, that he is the kind of dad who sits on the floor and plays dolls?

My husband is an incredibly fabulous man.

Case Study #1:

Jake has been an Executive Chef for the last five years.  His drive, passion and commitment lend itself well to the culinary industry, and he seemed to thrive on the 50-80 hour weeks.  He recently took a position as a Sous Chef and now works a *gasp* 40-hour work week.  So what has happened to those other 40 hours he often worked in his job before?  He grasps at any opportunity to be creative with cooking, which often leads to fabulous results.

Our friends held a jello shot party tonight.  These were their rules: “Don’t buy a package of jello at the store for a few bucks and throw some booze in there.  This is going to be a hard core jello shot party, with prizes!  Prizes will be awarded for 1. fanciest, 2. most unique, 3, most delicious!” This is what has consumed Jake for the last week (We are SO going to win all of those prizes.  Do you like how I say “we” like I had anything to do with this?).

Jake’s Jello Shots

#1. Pancake and Bacon; buttermilk pancake base, bacon infused vodka and maple “jello,” cooked bacon



#2. Dirty Martini; vodka, vermouth and olive juice “jello,” cocktail olive

#3. S’more Shot; (nonalcoholic) graham cracker “shot glass,” chocolate panna cotta, homemade marshmallow fluff, toasted












#4. Bloody Mary; jalapeno garlic infused vodka, tomato juice, hot sauce, bloody Mary seasonings, celery, gerkins, black sea salt

#5. Rum & Coke; coca cola, rum “jello,” mandarin orange vodka “jello” (for the ice cubes)

Cheers to fabulousness!

Posted in Arts & Crafts, Friends, Marriage | 4 Comments