Friday, July 29, 2011

Just Call Me Auntie

by Susan Sey

My summer has been frantic.

All summers are frantic, I know. They're billed as the height of relaxation--all hammocks & cool lemonades, campfires & fishing--and I seem to remember that experience from when I was a kid. But now that I'm a mom, I'm manufacturing summer rather than experiencing it & it's a hell of a lot busier.

This summer, for example, one of my kids got the theatre bug so next thing I know we're committed to rehearsals from 6-9 p.m. four nights a week.

And then there was Summer Academy for one kid. (It's an extension of the school's Gifted & Talented program, so how can a decent parent say no?) Summer Academy had us at the bus stop at 7:15 a.m. for all of June. So our day started at 6 & wrapped up at 10.

Then there was RWA's national conference backing up to the Fourth of July weekend, and then there were houseguests. Lots and lots of houseguests. Beloved relatives, yes, but...right there in the house.

Then my sister had a baby. And whenever one of my sisters has a baby, I load up the kids in the big green van & we drive twelve hours home to Michigan to greet the new cousin. (It happened twice last year, & once this year. I have a lot of sisters.)

As you might imagine, I was exhausted by the time I rolled into Detroit. Really, honestly, to-the-bone exhausted.

Then I met Lucy Abigail. (This isn't her, btw. Out of respect for my sister's privacy I found a random cute baby on the internets for your viewing pleasure.) But still, there she was. Lucy. All 6 lbs, 10 oz of fresh-out-of-the-oven miracle & I thought, "Why don't I drive home more often?"

Seriously. That is the severity of my weakness for babies. I hadn't slept more than five hours at a pop for a month, I'd left house guests behind & would come home to another set (once more beloved relatives but still) and here I was trying to slot more travel into the schedule.

I'll admit it. This is an addiction. I have an addiction to babies, & I will move heaven & earth to feed it. Especially if they are my sisters' babies. Holding those fragile, precious little bundles of brand new life, inhaling that new baby smell, knowing this is my blood even though I didn't have to do irreparable damage to my own ha-cha-cha to bring it into this world? It's a miracle, & it gets me every single time.

How about you? Do you have any unreasonable addictions you'll go to any lengths to feed? Obviously mine is nieces & nephews, but I'll also cop to Diet Coke & romance novels. Your turn!

60 comments:

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I have an unreasonable addiction to a certain fowl...

Sheree said...

Roosters need to be stewed because they're so tough. :)

flchen1 said...

LOL, AC and Sheree :)

Ah, Susan, congrats on your cuddly bundle of joy--how VERY fun it is to be an auntie! We have a newish nephew to spoil ourselves, and it is quite lovely!

Other indulgences... definitely books and chocolate! And sometimes ice cream... mmm...

Enjoy that bird, AC!

Lolarific said...

I'll have to go with deserts (not just eating but making and baking new ones), books (all things related), & the thought of having a baby girl ( I have two sons already and four brothers...need....girl...).

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Cindy, you got him! Congrats!

Susan, what a lovely post. And congratulations on being an aunty again.

I think my addiction is romance novels. And everyone I know is going, "D'uh, you think?"

marybelle said...

All my addictions are reasonable thank you very much. I have to laugh. I think coffee & tea would be my worst addictions.

Sheree said...

Mine is books with Paul Marron on the cover. :)

Sheree said...

Oh, and coffee!

I just got a new nephew, too! Having taken cared of younger sibs and cousins since I was 6, I still think little boys aren't as good/smart/strong as little girls (though they do even out when they get older, like 10 and up).

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh yes, babies do it for me too. Unfortunately, no sisters, my daughter could only have one and she is ten now so other than the peeps at work I don't even get to see any babies let alone feed them.

Helen said...

Well done Aunty Cindy have fun with him

Susan

Congrats on the new Bub in the family I gotta say I too love them and I have been blessed and have had 6 grandchildren in 5 years and have loved every minute of it I even watched 3 of them enter the world, our youngest Josh is now 4 months old and giggles all the time LOL.

Other than babies I am seriously additcted to romance novels and Tim Tams can never have too many

Have Fun
Helen

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

LOL, Cindy.

Cute post, Susan. Babies are so adorable, aren't they? When my first niece was born, lordy 15 years ago, I couldn't get enough of holding her. Hard to believe she'll probably be driving in a year!

I have a big weak spot for puppies. I see one and I want to hold it and pet it. I may saw "awwww" a lot. :)

Janga said...

I too am addicted to romance novels, and I am a recovering ice cream addict. LOL

The youngest--and probably the last--grand will be three in a few months. She is adorable, but I do miss that small baby sweetness. I agree there's nothing like it.

Susan Sey said...

Oh, AC, you're addicted to the Rooster! I can see how that would happen. He's a charming devil...

Susan Sey said...

Sheree wrote: Roosters need to be stewed because they're so tough. :)

I think he prefers to be marinated. In martinis. But I could be making that up....

Susan Sey said...

Flchen1 wrote: Other indulgences... definitely books and chocolate! And sometimes ice cream... mmm...

Oh, I did all three last night. Made myself faintly ill but I don't regret a bite. And I finished up Jessica Andersen's latest Night Keepers book at about 1:45 a.m. But I don't regret that either. It was Dez's book & I sort of love him.

Susan Sey said...

Lolariffic wrote: ( I have two sons already and four brothers...need....girl...).

Oh, you DO need a girl! But I can tell you from the opposite side of the fence (three sisters and two daughters), it can be hairy over here, too. Less violent, to be sure, but there's a lot of plotting as well as a great many snide remarks regarding one's hair.

Joan said...

Didn't Jimmy Durante used to say "Ha cha cha" a lot?

Oh, Jimmy......what you were saying!

I have an addiction to ducklings :) and while I have a brother he like me has "adopted" kiddos....belongs to others but WE get to spoil them!

Susan Sey said...

Anna C wrote: I think my addiction is romance novels. And everyone I know is going, "D'uh, you think?"

I think we can all cop to that one. :-) I know I love my ereader not just because it's wonderful but because it disguises exactly how many books I'm consuming.

Susan Sey said...

marybelle wrote: I think coffee & tea would be my worst addictions.

Ah. The classics. :-) I also have a tea addiction, though I call it off in the summer. In the winter, though, I probably drink tea all day long. I make a huge thermos & just have it all day. Is that bad?

Susan Sey said...

Sheree wrote: Mine is books with Paul Marron on the cover. :)

Oh, he's yummy, no? Somebody was speculating as to whether that was his chin & chest on the cover of MONEY HONEY, my first release last summer. I have no idea who it is but I do enjoy that chest/chin combo.

Susan Sey said...

Sheree also wrote: Oh, and coffee!

Yep. That's a classic, & definitely not as bad for you as some of mine. (The ice cream thing has got to stop.)

Sheree also wrote: I just got a new nephew, too!

Oh, congrats! I have one of those, two, sneaked in between the nieces last summer. I can't wait to spend some more time with him now that he's 1 just to compare & contrast him with all the girls. You say it evens out around 10? I'll be very interested to watch this play out...

Donna MacMeans said...

Awww...Susan - that is so sweet! I love little babies. They're so accepting. They yawn and smack their tiny baby gums, curl and uncurl those little fingers - and it's riveting! LOL Love them.

But I'm long removed from sisters having babies (they're probably rolling on the floor laughing at the thought). I'm hoping to be a grandmom one of these days - LOL - I want to babysit! Just mine though, before the offers start pouring in.

My addictions include Diet Coke, Diet Dr.Pepper - I drink WAY too much of carbonated beverages, Blizzards from Diary Queen, chocolate - even it's chips right out of the bag, romance novels - and my husband. I could easily kill the man sometimes, but I guess that's the problem with an addiction.

Susan Sey said...

hrdwrkmom aka dianna wrote: Oh yes, babies do it for me too.

Yeah, the ten year olds aren't so much for the snuggling or bottle feeding, are they? :-) You'll just have to hit up your co-workers for some baby time. It's worth it.

Susan Sey said...

Helen wrote: I gotta say I too love them and I have been blessed and have had 6 grandchildren in 5 years and have loved every minute of it I even watched 3 of them enter the world, our youngest Josh is now 4 months old and giggles all the time LOL.

Oh, Helen, that sounds so wonderful! I'm back in MN now, a twelve hour drive from our little Lucy & my arms ache every time I talk to her to mom (my sister) on the phone. Snuggle those babies for me!

Susan Sey said...

Trish wrote: I have a big weak spot for puppies. I see one and I want to hold it and pet it. I may saw "awwww" a lot. :)

Aw. :) I, too, love puppies & kittens. I've had zero luck owning them, however, so I limit myself to aw-ing. But there is absolutely nothing cuter than a golden retriever puppy. Just saying.

Susan Sey said...

Janga wrote: The youngest--and probably the last--grand will be three in a few months. She is adorable, but I do miss that small baby sweetness. I agree there's nothing like it.

Oh, I know. My youngest is 4.5 now & I adore her but...she's big. And she smells like a kid. And while I love each new stage my kids go through, I think as a mother I peaked at the baby stage. Their needs weren't easy to meet, but at least they were simple & I felt capable. Now they're complicated. I miss that little bundle that just wanted to eat, sleep & be warm on my chest.

Susan Sey said...

Joan wrote: I have an addiction to ducklings :) and while I have a brother he like me has "adopted" kiddos....belongs to others but WE get to spoil them!

How lucky! I'm addicted to Mama Ducks! :-)

And your adopted kiddos are blessed and lucky to have you in their lives. You can tell them I said so. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Donna wrote: - and my husband. I could easily kill the man sometimes, but I guess that's the problem with an addiction.

Ha! You're absolutely right. Mine's been driving me up the wall this week doing nothing--seriously NOTHING--wrong. I'm just in a mood. But I wouldn't give him up for anything. I've picked my poison & I'm sticking with him.

Pollie the Pug said...

Susan what a beautiful article today. Thank you for sharing. You make me realize we have to make our summers worthwhile for us too!! I'd have to say a long leisurely bubble bath with a cold glass of pinot grigio is my summer indulgence..of course with a romance to read.

Susan Sey said...

Pollie the Pug wrote: I'd have to say a long leisurely bubble bath with a cold glass of pinot grigio is my summer indulgence..of course with a romance to read.

Isn't there something wonderfully satisfying about hitting all your addictions/indulgences at once? A book WITH wine WITH a bath? Nice. I'm totally going to do that later. :-)

MsHellion said...

I have an unreasonable addiction to Chinese food (esp dumplings), real Pepsi (though I tamp this with diet mountain dew), Harry Potter (books and movies, and websites, et al), romance novels, movies in general, Captain Jack Sparrow, Facebook, sex, and chocolate.

Wait, wait, I'd like to say that my addiction to sex is not unreasonable, so maybe it shouldn't be on the list.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Susan: ha-cha-cha

You didn't really say this, did you?

I mean, girl, I've heard many varied and rather oddly descriptive euphaisms for the female body parts, but ha-cha-cha?

LOL

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Addictions?

Diet Coke, for sure. (I mean you, me, Joanie and one of your chapter mates crossed Times Square in the middle of a conference day just to get a McDonald's Diet Coke fix!)

Romance novels. The kind that make me crave the hero, laugh and cry, sigh at the HEA!!! (I see enough of life's tragedies, I need my HEA fix to balance it all.)

Chocolate...(another trip across Times Square just for a huge bag of multi colored m&m's...which I still have a majority of...miracle!)

TOMBSTONE..."I'll be your huckleberry." Watched it again last night.

Baseball. 162 Indians games a year on TV, Home games of the Rangers. It isn't summer without the boys on the diamond!

Now, given my day...er...night job, you'd think holding babies would be one of my addictions, too. Uhm. Nope. I like getting them born, handing them to their mothers and poof that's it. The ONLY babies I ever wanted to hold were mine, my sister's and my daughters'. I think it's the sense of my blood, my family.

Susan Sey said...

MsHellion wrote: Wait, wait, I'd like to say that my addiction to sex is not unreasonable, so maybe it shouldn't be on the list.

I just like it that sex is on the same list as Harry Potter, chocolate & Pepsi. All the good things in life, right there. Yum.

Susan Sey said...

Suz wrote: I mean, girl, I've heard many varied and rather oddly descriptive euphaisms for the female body parts, but ha-cha-cha?

You're right. I should've said hoo ha. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Suz also wrote: TOMBSTONE..."I'll be your huckleberry." Watched it again last night.

Ooooh, Val Kilmer. When he was hot & sexy & Doc Holiday. Yummy McYummerson. I'm going to Netflix that immediately.

This is also the same movie that produced one of my favorite movie quotes ever. I believe it was Kurt Russel's Wyatt Earpp was drew down on somebody & encouraged him to return the favor by saying, "Skin that smokewagon, son, or I'll turn your head into a canoe." I mean, you can't buy lines like that. Good stuff.

Deb said...

Ha! I just had to get my chocolate fix late last night and, with no milk chocolate in the house, grabbed a handful of chocolate chips. (The convenience store was already closed.) I used to be addicted to Pepsi and I haven't had one since last July; it has been very hard not to buy one and chug it down. I'm not crazy about Diet Pepsi either. :( Nothing has been able to replace Pepsi either.

Louisa Cornell said...

Yes, you do, Aunty! And he has an addiction to you as well! You, Tim Tams and martinis!


What a lovely post, Susan! Congrats on the new niece! I have two nephews and a niece, but they aren't babies anymore. Sniff!

Fortunately working at Walmart I see plenty of babies, many of them the children of coworkers and for some reason babies like me. Hand me a screaming baby and in less than a minute they are either cooing happily or falling asleep. Don't know why. Kids and animals are putty in my hands. Grown ups? Not so much!

My addictions? Romance novels. Regency research books. CHOCOLATE! And tea!

Louisa Cornell said...

Oh, and Trish, didn't I see something about you and a certain someone named MAGGIE ????? Congrats, girl !!!

Joan said...

Diet Coke, for sure. (I mean you, me, Joanie and one of your chapter mates crossed Times Square in the middle of a conference day just to get a McDonald's Diet Coke fix!)

LOL Suz, and that McDonalds was TOTALLY unprepared for 2,000 plus Diet Coke addicted writers...one evening they ran OUT!!!!

For God's Sake!

You're right. I should've said hoo ha. :-)

Recently, I took care of a young Marine with an unusual yet DIRE diagnosis. Stressed wasn't the word. I talked with him, tried to make the medical tests etc. less worrisome. I was referencing his Marine-ness and said "hoo ha" instead of "oo rah"....All the worry left his face for one minute while he laughed....only THEN did I realize my mistake...but hey...made him forget for a moment

flchen1 said...

I know, Susan--my youngest is well past the tiny, adorable, sweet-smelling cuddly age, and yet I still sometimes force him to endure some hugging and smooching. His elder brother doesn't even pretend to allow that anymore... *sniff* I have to go over to my nephew's more often so I can get my fill of that little one time :)

Oh, and um... when might there be more Ms. Sey I can indulge in? I just finished Money Shot, and am in the "it sits on the counter and I pick it up and re-read parts of it often" period... but this can't go on forever! ;)

Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations,Susan, to you and all
the family on Lucy's arrival!

With me, it's grandchildren, Diet Coke
Lime, and romance novels! Ten grand-
children, in age from 20 to 3, who
reduce this grandmother to puddles of
love! In fact,several of them will be
visiting with Honey and I tonight. I
can hardly wait!

Minna said...

Let's see... Chocolate, books, knitting and swapping stuff, which really feeds the other 3 addictions since I can swap stuff for books, yarn and chocolate. I visit Netcycler, BookMooch and Title Trader every day and right now I'm really hoping to get rid all that stuff I don't need bacause I'm moving next week and because I desperately need some Title Trader and BookMooch points.

Beth Andrews said...

Congratulations on your new niece, Susan! I adore babies so I understand your addiction quite well *g*

I also find myself addicted to Project Runway and Top Chef. Very fun addictions for sure ;-)

Susan Sey said...

Deb wrote: I used to be addicted to Pepsi and I haven't had one since last July; it has been very hard not to buy one and chug it down.

You know, I gave up Diet Coke no problem when I was preggers and/or nursing. Better part of six years, Diet Coke free, no worries. The minute I got my body back I celebrated with a Diet Coke & it was like we'd never been apart. Bummer.

Nancy said...

AC, congrats on the bird!

Susan, I don't have addictions so much as I have what the dh calls serial obsessions. I get interested in something and have to read as much as I can find about it, see any documentaries I can locate, check out relevant websites. Once I've exhausted those resources, the interest scales back to a more normal level until something new revives it or something else supplants it.

My most recent obsession, thanks to Nora Roberts' Chasing Fire, was smokejumpers, which led me to an interest in wildland fire.

Congrats on your latest new niece! I'm sure she's even cuter than that anonymous photo.

Susan Sey said...

Louisa wrote: Hand me a screaming baby and in less than a minute they are either cooing happily or falling asleep. Don't know why. Kids and animals are putty in my hands.

Man. You want to come over sometime? I could use a gift like yours. I'm good with kids but every dog I've ever owned has bit me. Seriously. Don't know what's wrong with me, unless somebody has to balance out your cosmic gift. :)

Susan Sey said...

Louisa also wrote: Oh, and Trish, didn't I see something about you and a certain someone named MAGGIE ????? Congrats, girl !!!

That goes double for me, & I'll throw in a few gratuitous exclamation points for good measure. !!!! Way to go, Trish!

Susan Sey said...

Joanie wrote: I was referencing his Marine-ness and said "hoo ha" instead of "oo rah"....All the worry left his face for one minute while he laughed....only THEN did I realize my mistake

Ha! I love it! I wonder what he'd have thought of my ha-cha-cha reference? I like it because it makes my girlie bits sound sort of disco-y. I don't know why that pleases me but it does.

Susan Sey said...

flchen1 wrote: I just finished Money Shot, and am in the "it sits on the counter and I pick it up and re-read parts of it often" period... but this can't go on forever! ;)

Oh, that is so nice to hear, flchen1, thanks! The next book's release date will largely depend on whether or not Berkley decides to buy it, so I'll keep everybody posted.

And I'm so glad to hear you also force your kids to snuggle sometimes. I do, too, & it makes me feel more normal.

Susan Sey said...

Pat Cochran wrote: Ten grand-
children, in age from 20 to 3, who
reduce this grandmother to puddles of
love! In fact,several of them will be
visiting with Honey and I tonight. I
can hardly wait!


Wow, that's a lot of kids to love! Have a great night & snuggle them for me!

Susan Sey said...

Minna wrote: Chocolate, books, knitting and swapping stuff, which really feeds the other 3 addictions since I can swap stuff for books, yarn and chocolate.

Oh, well, that's handy. When your addictions feed each other, you can just keep going enjoying one after the other. :-) I'm going to see if I can work out a thing where Diet Coke rewards me for drinking with books.

Susan Sey said...

Beth wrote: I also find myself addicted to Project Runway and Top Chef. Very fun addictions for sure ;-)

Ooooh, are you tuning in for the new season of PR that starts this week? We don't have cable so I always just watch reruns but I can imagine how addictive it would be in real time.

Susan Sey said...

Nancy wrote: I don't have addictions so much as I have what the dh calls serial obsessions. I get interested in something and have to read as much as I can find about it, see any documentaries I can locate, check out relevant websites. Once I've exhausted those resources, the interest scales back to a more normal level until something new revives it or something else supplants it.

This is awesome, Nancy. I love the idea of just following the rabbit trail until your interest wanes or you fall in love. It's like that first few weeks with a new boyfriend. It's all love love love until it's either LOVE or it's...not. Heh.

Susan Sey said...

Okay, everybody, I'm off to the North Shore for the weekend, so I may be incommunicado while I'm on the road. I'll check in later tonight when I find WiFi again. Have fun until I get back!

flchen1 said...

Fingers crossed, Susan, that you'll hear good news from Berkley soon!

And yep, I cannot give up the forced snuggling yet... At least I don't make the kids hold my hands or kiss me (or really, even speak to me) in public ;) At least not often :D

Cheryl Ann Smith said...

New babies are awesome!

I'm addicted to crime shows. I love to see how the crimes are solved!

Cheryl Ann Smith said...

Waving hi to Susan. It was nice meeting you last week at the art fair signing!

Joan said...

girlie parts feel like a disco?!!!

"Night Fever, night fevvvver..."

ROFLMAO

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Sorry I've been incommunicado today. It's been very hot here in NorCal and the GR spent most of the day lounging by the pool. Feathers clogging up the filter... WHAT A MESS!

Time for me to relax with one of my food addictions... ice cream! Remember those plums the GR helped me pick a few weeks ago? Plum sauce on vanilla ice cream -- HEAVEN!

AC