Tag Archives: motherhood

Don’t smile… don’t do it!

Feb 17, 2010 027

This afternoon Paige was running around in circles, giggling, with her snow hat and her slightly too big 2T clothes {seriously, when did she get so big?? I learned with Fynn to skip the 24 month size, so we jumped from 18months to 2T… holy mama in shock!) her eyes danced as her feet stumbled…

She was hysterical. Until I broke out the camera and asked her to smile.

Thank goodness I have kids pulling shenanigans right and left, making me smile when I just don’t want to {enter feet stomping and arms crossing…} Laugh when I want to cry. Laugh when I want to pull my hair out and jump up and down over spilled milk. Just laugh. And smile. And giggle.

They tempt me. They tease me. They sit there with their silliness and their 3 year old and 18 month old antics, taunting…

Don’t smile Mommy, don’t do it!!!!

But I always do.

My pint sized blessings… smelling of white grape juice, covered in crumbs and dripping with love.

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Today, I understood

There are days when I look at my kids and I’m awestruck. By their hearts, their beauty, their being. The hugeness of it all.

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And I wonder how it’s possible that they are their own beings, and yet so much like me. Like Lucas. Like each other.

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It boggles my mind that I had a hand in creating them. I can’t put into words what I feel… I’m amazed that they can think for themselves, that they have intuitions, that they function. Does that make any sense? They were just babies not that long ago, but now… now they have opinions and likes and dislikes. They’re growing into themselves.

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And we get to watch all of it. The stumbles and falls. The hopes and dreams. We get to see, and sometimes fear, that we live in them.

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Today I stood back and watched my children explore a new place. I watched them learn new tricks. They jumped, and sometimes fell.

Today, I understood.

“Having children is like letting your heart walk around outside of your body.” ~Author unknown

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Found

He sways to Ben Folds in his chair at ‘Donald’s. Fynn sits on his knees, piercing blue eyes darting from one area to the next. He watches a little girl in a sweatshirt covered in ballet shoes as she dances to the ketchup pump.

The accents are thick with Boston.

I’m trying to stay present in this moment. Focus on where we are, trying to not want for another place.

Or something more than Diet Coke from a soda fountain.

The kids meal sits between us. Chicken nuggets, fries, a prize knight atop a squirrel {don’t ask…} and a castle made out of a jug of milk.

He tells me about the knight and how he must find the castle. And then he glances outside and sees someone hurrying by on the street. Going for a walk in the subzero windchill.

Fynn starts worrying that the little boy lost his mommy.

As we leave, he falls in the parking lot. Scrapes his hands and teardrops begin to fall. In a natural mommy moment I scoop him up in my arms, fly across the parking lot to our car. Into the carseat, check hands, check knees, check noses, wipe tears.

Breathe in salty frozen tears. Focus.

He asks about the little boy again. He needs his mommy. He lost his mommy. We need to catch up, mommy! We drive a ways, and he’s satisfied in knowing the little boy must have made it home. He found his mommy.

And we drive to our castle. Princess and King waiting for us. We’re found.

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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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A quiet time for all

When I was pregnant with Fynn I was blessed with an abundance of advice. From everyone who saw my bulging baby belly. I took most of it in stride, nodding my head, saying thank you. From my just over three years of experience as a parent, I can say the best parenting advice I ever received was this: sleep when your baby sleeps.

I know plenty of people who laugh off that advice, like it’s an impossible feat. It’s not. When Fynn was a baby we would spend hours doing vertical dance of nursing and napping. Paige often cuddled between me and Fynn when she was a wee one, or was content in a wrap while I swayed with her as I stood next to Fynn’s bed and waited for him to fall asleep for naptime. Then the two of us would sneak off to the couch and snuggle together, repeating the nursing and sleeping dance of a few years past.

Here’s the thing, I might have taken this a tad bit too far. I still lay down with my kids on the days we’re home for naptime. It started a few months ago when I needed the rest thanks to migraines. I’d gather up the kids right after lunch, plunk them in my bed, lay down with one snuggled on each arm, and we’d all drift off. Truthfully Fynn can go without his nap, and had before I started our new nap routine.

Paige is normally the first one to close her eyes. She nuzzles my shoulder, I smell her soft hair as she holds my finger like it’s the most precious commodity. Then I turn to Fynn, who is snuggled up to me on my arm. We gaze at each other, he sometimes whispers silly things to me, tells me about the stars and spaceships on the ceiling. We have some quiet alone time, though Paige is inches away.

Even if the kids have been devil children all morning, once we hop into bed they are the snuggliest, warmest, and sweetest little beings on the planet.

I’ll take them over a freshly cleaned kitchen any day.

That’s the price for these naps. While other mothers get things done during naptime, I sit with my babies. And truthfully I rarely sleep, mostly because the three hour nap has never graced us with its appearance {my children still think sleep is evil… but we won’t go there…} and also because Paige will wake up several times needing to be recuddled and loved back to sleep. So the minute Fynn finally closes his eyes, Paige’s pop open, and vice versa. So it’s a process. But naptime lasts longer with me involved than it would otherwise… which is another bonus.

These naptimes, where my arms are pinned under children, force me to be with myself. To listen to what’s going on in my head, to feel things. To ponder. Which is a big part of who I am. Half of my blog posts get written in my head between the hours of 11:30am and 1:30pm {on a good day} Honestly, I cherish that time.

Last weekend we tried to get the kids to nap separately, figuring they each needed some one on one time with one of us. Paige had the hardest time settling into slumber. She was with me, so I thought she wanted her daddy. We switched off but that wasn’t it. After many tears she finally fell asleep. After we were all up, she clung to her brother’s side for the rest of the afternoon.

She apparently cherishes that time with him as well.

We’re a very laid back family. We don’t over schedule ourselves, we’re secretly home bodies {and have a huge need for a yard to satisfy the need fresh air while we’re at home…} and we like to keep things simple. And happy. While the time is nearing an end for them… at this point the whole sleeping while the babies sleep thing… that keeps this mama happy. And her house a little less clean. But none the less, happy.

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Locking the door

When Lucas is home, I lock the bathroom door when I take a shower.

Otherwise, the kids run in, opening the door, letting in the cold air… letting the peaceful steam that has collected fly out the door.

And I like hot showers. And bathrooms so steamy you need to run cold water in the sink to catch a breath now and then. It helps me focus on my breathing, it slows me down. I can see the spots on the mirror where I once drew “I {heart} L” and where he once wrote “I {heart} C” with clean fingers on a steamy mirror.

So today, with Lucas at home thanks to the holiday, I locked the bathroom door.

I heard them, moments after I stepped into the make~your~skin~red hot shower. But I zoned out, lathered up, washed hair, rinsed, stood, breathed. And then I turned the water off. And I heard. “Mommy, the door won’t open!” and then “mommy, the door is stuck!” and finally “mommy, you need help getting out!! Why won’t the door open???”

The last straw? The hand that fit under the door. Fingers urgently reaching, waggling, trying  help me escape.

I giggled, told him I’d open the door if he backed up, threw a towel on and got myself ready for the cold air to suck the breath out of me. The door opened to a little boy cheering. Jumping up and down, pushing past me to get into the bathroom to sit with me as I dried my hair.

After all, why would I want to be locked away from a smiling chatty little boy, and a little girl who won’t let a waterfall of snot slow down her spunk? It’s hard for me to believe that one day they’ll both be the ones locking the bathroom door, on the other side, looking for privacy. But right now, I’ll take a few minutes in a steamy shower, as privacy is something everyone needs for five minutes at a time. I’ll even take the hands under the door reaching to get in, because after all… it’s good for a mama to know she’s missed and loved every  now and then.

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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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