Tag Archives: life

Untitled on a Thursday

I’m just going to say it.

I love having my mother in town.

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I don’t mind that we’re practically on top of each other when she’s here, staying in our little apartment. Fynn doesn’t mind that she snuggles with him at night, sharing his full size bed. Paige doesn’t mind having another person to carry her around upside down.

And even though I’m married, with two kids, in my late twenties, I still don’t mind if she wants to clean my stove top.

She wears the kids out, reads endless stories to them {even makes up some of her own, about little boys named Fynn going on rocket ships…} and gives so much love.

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One of the huge bonuses about having her here, 24 hours a day, is that I can take the kids out one at a time. Even if it’s just on errands, that time is precious, for all of us. We both get to see how the kids are one on one, which regular days don’t always allow.

Today I stole Paige away and we went and picked up my new glasses. They’re similar to the ones I wore in college, the ones I wore up until last fall. The most recent ones were nice {and not terribly different…} but they weren’t really me. Paige saw the new glasses on me for the first time and smiled and pointed. I’ll take that as a compliment.

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After we picked up my glasses we went on a spur of the moment trip to Barns & Noble. I had a few things in mind… but wasn’t sure I’d be able to find them. Books on faith, alcoholism, recovery. A magazine that features a new friend. Normally when I go in to a huge bookstore I get overwhelmed, and find everything but what I came in for.

Today? Each one of the four items I was looking for practically leapt out at me.

So I had to get them.

I’ve been so good at using the library. I believe so deeply in the library. But I wanted to hold these books. To be able to dive in with a highlighter and to underline the passages that speak to me. I want to dive in to escape. But to escape to a place similar, except with different names. I want to live what I’m going through, but to do so I have to see it from different eyes, different words, at times.

Through this trip, I got to spend some alone time with Paige. It doesn’t happen often… Fynn normally jumps at the opportunity to get out without his sister. But today he said he wanted to stay home. Thanks to my mom he could {and apparently they had a wonderful time together… they drew pictures of Saturn, went swimming through a sea of couch cushions, and then greeted me at the door in his Wall-E underwear}.

At the book store we saw the nurse who discharged me from the hospital with both kids. She was kind, and sweet. Part of me wanted to run up to her and give her a hug, show her Paige. But I kept my distance. Kept the thoughts of how it was funny to run into her today, since Paige will be 18 months old tomorrow.

In those 18 months, she’s blossomed. Grown so much, and is such a sweet little girl.

Paige carried a copy of Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies through the bookstore. At the checkout counter she was reluctant to hand over the book, but she did. She waited anxiously for the cashier to give her the book back. No bag necessary for Paige. She clung to that book like it was gold. On the ride home she thumbed through the soft pages, ooo’ing and ahh’ing.

She’s my girl.

So yeah, I don’t mind having my mom in town. She brings with her moments and memories that are never planned, but always leave imprints on my heart.

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February, Dar, and girly crafts

This February brings with it so many different emotions, I can’t even begin to describe the way I’m feeling right now.

February often does that to me. Emotions coming down like sleet, hitting hard at first, then softening once they hit your skin and you embrace them with warmth.

It’s just… so… February.

Do you know Dar Williams? I love Dar. When Lucas and I were first dating {actually… almost exactly six years ago…} one of the {many} reasons I fell in love with him was the fact that he had one of Dar’s albums. You see, Dar and I are on a first name basis… I saw her in concert once in Portland when I was in high school. She played at a church… if I remember correctly…. and I have loved her ever since. Which puts us on a first name basis.

In any case, today I had her song February stuck in my head. Playing over and over.

And February was so long that it lasted into March
And found us walking a path alone together.
You stopped and pointed and you said, “That’s a crocus,”
And I said, “What’s a crocus?” and you said, “It’s a flower,”
I tried to remember, but I said, “What’s a flower?”
You said, “I still love you.”
~Dar Williams, February

Love it. That part of the song makes me smile every time I hear it.

You know what else makes me smile? Little girls who get practically giddy while making a Valentine for a certain Daddy! We had our weekly playdate with the kids grandparents today, and their Grandma Lou brought out all sorts of things to make Valentine’s with. Fynn lasted about five minutes… but Paige? She LOVED it! She could take or leave paint, but give the girl glitter stickers and some doilies and she’s ready to rock and roll. I can see craft boxes filled with glitter and sequins in our future…

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Maybe February isn’t all that bad after all…

{and yes… that’s blue marker on Paige’s face… Grandma Lou – I’m sorry, but it was too cute to edit out! It’s faded a bit… hopefully it’ll come off by the time she’s twelve! :)}

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Imperfect days

I am trying to find the good in today.

I’m trying. Very very hard.

But today ended with my son telling me “I’m so sorry you yelled at me Mommy” while he sat on the potty.

So yeah… trying. Very hard.

My daughter broke one of my favorite necklaces. Handmade paper beads strewn all over the kitchen floor. The moment hubby got home. I jumped up and down, stomped my feet, and yelled that I was done.

Not my most shining moment.

Yesterday Kristen posted about the long days and magical moments of parenting. She asked in her post how we can stay present, grounded in the now. I commented that when I need to get kicked into gear I tell myself that my children did not ask to be born. We made a conscious decision to have them. To turn our love into something more. To give life to our love, and create something so much bigger than us.

That being said, I told myself no less than a thousand times today that I chose to have these children.

And it didn’t help.

What does help is looking back.

The following photos were taken by my talented mother {who I wish I could link to, because it just dawned on me that she needs her own blog} If my memory serves, it was my first outing after Paige was born, and she was probably about a week old. I remember how my legs {and other areas I will not mention….} ached with recovery. How everything seemed possible because we took the kids to the park for a the afternoon. Even with a spit up incident on our way out the door {now it’s all coming back…} I was frustrated, overwhelmed with the sudden reality of having two, and possibly yelled a bit as I ran back into the apartment to clean myself and change the baby into a new outfit… all while keeping in mind that we had so many minutes before the baby needed to nurse yet again.

I remember how it seemed so impossible to get out the door, but how rewarding the sunshine and fresh air felt. How Paige felt so small, and Fynn felt so big, and how much I wanted to cry because nothing fit me and nothing felt right and why couldn’t everything just be perfect?

It’s not perfect. It wasn’t meant to be that way. We’re not. I’m {most certainly} not.

And that helps.

Today was one of those days. Of which I’m sure there will be many. And with each one that comes, I’ll look at the previous one, get a little teary, and wonder why the day seemed so impossible when it was, in fact, filled with picture perfect moments.

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{on this one, notice the finger pointing to get down off whatever he was on at the moment… ahh memories!}
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Blue skies

Today, there are no fevers. Just blue skies and fresh snow, calling for slippery snowpants and footprints.

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Devilish smiles when glancing down a slide that’s filled with snow…

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And proud exclamations
Look Mommy! A biiig snowball!!

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LOOK Mommy!!

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And these cheeks. And little red nose. And the watery eyes that leave single tears… Oh. My. Goodness.

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We all desperately needed that hour of fresh air this morning. In the worst way.

Especially me. Because in about twenty minutes, my 6 week writing class starts, and I’m a bundle of nerves and nervous energy. It’s online, and sounds similar to classes I’ve taken previously, but it’s six weeks, twelve assignments, of writing. Creative writing. And it’s something just for me. Which I really truly need right now. So I’m excited, but very nervous. Anxious. Ready for it to start, and to see what’s in store for me and diving into the craft.

So this morning, I needed that breath of fresh air to push the nerves aside, to know I’ll be just fine – even if we lost one of Paige’s boots on our way outside and didn’t realize until after she soaked through her sock… had to come back in and relive the whole stuffing everyone into snowsuits and boots a second time…

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

~Irving Berlin, Blue Skies

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These moments, these hours

Our days go by so quickly. One minute we’re fighting off walking alarms clothed in warm fleecy pajamas, the next they’re snuggling with blankies and loving on tattered elephants. We sit, we play, we laugh and love. Our days are slow in the moments, fast in the hours.

I breathe, taking the long moments as they come.

Moments filled with toddler anguish, one year olds coloring off  white couches with purple dry erase markers, snack bowls and emails.

Hours of play. Hours of laundry.

Seconds that stop me in my tracks, with the surprise of a lingering sweetness in the back of my mouth from licorice tea.

A whole day passes with 12 hours of my baby girl wanting to hold a finger, any finger, just to be close.

A week of snow. A month of cold. A season of indoor play and longing for warm sunbeams.

These slow moments and fast hours are ours for the taking. Long and drawn out, sometimes sweet, always envied by someone. They’re ours, every fleece covered second.

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Elbow deep, five stories high

I am elbow deep in tissues.

And poopy diapers, and runny noses, and sore throats. Moments where you wonder if you should wipe a baby bum or nose first {always the baby bum…} moments filled with is it really that necessary for them not to dance on the table? Everything takes so much effort.

This morning before he left, I asked Lucas to bring out the tv. He knew better than to oblige, instead setting up the laptop with a movie for Fynn. But I was desperate.

Now I’m floating five stories up thanks to some cold medicine, and some energy hijacked from a Diet Coke {I know… clear liquids…} It lets me smile instead of wallow. Because wallowing is a friend to no one.

We rest, and snuggle, and head butt, and snuggle and giggle. All a little more silently thanks to the sore throats. They want love, I give them love. They want veggie chips for lunch, today they got veggie chips for lunch. We give to each other and we feel warmth. We feel five stories higher than we should. We rest because, ultimately, there’s a girls night that will possibly involve sushi that I will be at tomorrow night. Because even though I might not be able to taste the spicy tuna rolls, I’ll feel the warmth that comes with friendship, in the passing of a tissue and turning a blind eye to red runny noses.

Chicken nuggets cooking, movie in progress, naps completed. My fingers are gliding and and typing because I need them to. Stringing together sentences that I didn’t know could exist.

Now there is a glow worm playing classic melodies in a cabinet where it was deliberately placed with the tupperware. There is a little boy telling me he just went pee pee {and not in the bathroom} and in the same breath he needs a little something to eat. And I am elbow deep, and five stories high, still smiling, still moving, still wiping noses and dishing out chicken nuggets and veggie chips.

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Wearing Paige

I completely forgot.

I forgot how wearing a baby, or toddler, can calm a situation. It had slipped my mind for the past month or so how much I could get done at home if I was wearing one of my little ones.

Maybe it was because my beloved Ergo was stashed in the car, and every time I wanted to use it inside… it was ten degrees outside… and my mei tai was in my closet somewhere hidden behind boxes of Christmas decorations and gifts.

This morning, I remembered.

With a clear shot to the beautiful handmade {by my mother} carrier that I caught a glimpse of over the weekend as I stored decorations, I dawned the fabric, and wore Paige. Within minutes, I remembered.

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And I got a lot done. With little fuss, and lots of snuggles.

And even though her stash no longer includes a pacifier, she carried whatever was precious to her, as I carried one of my precious babes.

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With her long lashes brushing my chest, and her fingers clasped around her dolly we moved quietly and swiftly through chores today.

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