Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why I Do What I Do

Because of things like this name tag that Girlie made me. Can you read it?

It says "Awesome".

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Stuff of Life

My house looks like it's been ransacked. Truly. Like someone came in and wreaked havoc all over the joint--someone who knows just what to wreck so that they might cause the most psychological stress to me. The kids are finally in bed, and by 'in bed' I mean that I'm trying not to hear the jumping and maniacal laughter floating down from upstairs. I should be running around like a crazy trying to undo the damage of the day, but I'm not.

Because I'm holding her. And she's tiny and she's newborn perfume-y and she's sleeping curled up on my chest. And while the dishes, the leftovers, the floors, the laundry, and scattered toys will all wait patiently for me, this moment will be gone all too soon. I'm listening to the soft, caramel-scented breaths and already it's bittersweet that six weeks have passed so quickly. She's outgrown her newborn sized clothes and, thanks to my SuperMilk, is now 11 lbs 11 oz. I'm trying to memorize all her little "things"--all her delightful expressions, the sighing sound she makes when a sneeze doesn't happen, and the very early morning smiles I got a few days ago that made my heart want to burst.

Life is chaotic right now. That's why yesterday I accidentally burst into tears at my post partum checkup. My doctor asked me one too many times how I was doing with everything and finally my smile cracked and tears got through. I didn't want to tell her about feeling overwhelmed with 'stuff', about missing J when he was gone all last week, about being so tired that my brain hurts and--to top it off--I may have just discovered that my feet may be different sizes because one of my new shoes kept coming off as I was walking. There have been times that three, count them--three, kids have been crying simultaneously and it's enough to make me hide in my closet.


there are other times. Like rocking my baby back to sleep in the fuzzy, predawn hours when the world is still and the sky sort of glows, or the times that I'm reading favorite books with all four kids and magically everyone is quiet, or having everyone around the table eating apricot-almond pie that I somehow managed for family night treat.

Those times are the 'stuff of life', as we like to call them. The moments that real Life is made from. Those are the things I don't want to be so busy that I miss. I'd hate to miss out on my kids' lives so that my house can look perfect, because that lasts only until the first child wakes up in the morning. I don't want to ever wish that I had enjoyed my kids more, or held my babies longer. And that's why I'm sitting here with my laptop balanced on my knees and a sweet little girl in a pink strawberry outfit is cuddled on my chest, stretching her soft fingers and 'rubber band' wrists.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why I Don't Have Time to Answer My Phone

I'll tell you. It's because I've got four little someones.

Someone is crying because they're hungry.

Someone wants to know why I picked this kind of jam, because it's ruining their napkin.

Someone hit his head. Again.

Someone just can't remember to stop jumping on the couch. And he doesn't know why.

Someone wants to be an astronaut when they grow up. That's the reason he's wearing his bike helmet, his winter coat and his moon boots.

Someone had a potty accident from laughing too hard.

Someone spilled smoothie on his clothes, but it's okay because 'just put some stain sauce on it.'

Someone needs a diaper change. Make that two someones.

Someone is on her fifth wardrobe change by 10:00 a.m. Make that two someones also.

Someone is crying because she's hungry again.

Someone keeps talking to me, even though I just wanted two minutes to use the bathroom by myself.

Someone is a hypochondriac and wants to know exactly what 'the flu' feels like.

Someone is having a really hard time because they wanted the green cup.

Someone doesn't think it's fair.

Someone has decided she doesn't like her swing anymore and needs to be cuddled.

Someone has decided they don't like peanut butter and jelly anymore. Could they please have a different lunch?

Someone is just too tired to help clean up, despite my joyful singing of the cleanup song.

Someone picked up air quoting, and wants to know where the "boys" are. (I'm pretty sure they're "upstairs.")

Someone is very artistic, and he's got bedroom walls to prove it.

Someone is hungry. Again.

And four little someones need lots of love.

That's why. If it's important, please leave a message. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...Mom

My mom is back in Kansas now, but she spent last week here in Seattle running my life for me. And by running my life I mean, doing all the things I wish I could do, but simultaneously and better. She could fix dinner and take care of the resulting dishes, sweep, keep the laundry done-folded-and-put-away, all while burping the baby and reading to my kids... whom she took to the library... where they were signed up for the summer reading program.

New Baby Week #1--Bliss, peace, cooperation, love.
New Baby Week #2--Unravelling just a little. Sleepless nights are taking their toll. And why, oh, why is J just lying there, pretending to sleep?? I know he's awake.
New Baby Week #3--Just make it until Mom comes, just make it until Mom comes, just make it...

I like to think of myself as moderately competent, but adding a baby to the mix tips the scales just a wee bit. We're happy and utterly in love, but it takes all we've got to keep the show going. (Although, I think I had the same thoughts with the arrival of each of my kids). If this gives you any idea, I just now realized that my clock has gotten slower and slower and is now 17 minutes behind. How is one in such a complete time warp that one doesn't realize one's clock is 17 minutes slow???

Mom somehow seems to come and wave a magic wand of peace and order. I could almost see the clothes dancing themselves into the closet and on to hangers. It's inspiring, and probably the reason she was able to successfully raise seven children, while I remain quite satisfied with four. The kids were thrilled with having someone who had endless patience to sit through a week long show-and-tell, home movies, and detailed retellings of 'Madagascar'. Never mind the ability she had to pull endless surprises out of her carry on, trips to the park, IKEA, and the solo shopping I was able to do (can I just say--an hour at Hancock Fabric by myself?? Boo-ya. Scratch the 'boo-ya'. It's been awhile since I mixed with normal society and J tells me I can't--and shouldn't--pull off a 'boo-ya'. Apparently I'm not the boo-ya sort.).

Hours after she arrived, we went to church and had Sweetie's baby blessing. Mom helped me put finishing touches on her dress and make the headband. Her dress turned out a lovely alternative to the $189 one I fell in love with online. She felt differently, apparently.

Come on, honey. This is for posterity. And the scrapbook.

This is more how I thought it would go. I caught this shot in between sniffles after J swooped in to be her hero and rescue her from the madwoman with the itchy dress and big camera.

My darling friend Mandy (whom, apparently, many of you know from her Little Birdie Secrets blog) taught me how to make the rosettes for the front (below) and made the center fabric rosette for the headband (above).

We felt so lucky that Mom was here for that special day--it was a beautiful blessing. Thanks, Mom, for everything. You're amazing and it was a fabulous week. And the offer still stands if you want to move in.