Growth

12 Aug

Pickle, if sometimes I look at you with a bewildered look on my face, it is because you’ve just used the word “concentration” or “distract” or “predator” correctly and I have no idea how that is possible. 

Pickle

 *****

Plum, if I laugh at you when I’m supposed to be grumpy at your utter disregard for direction or instruction, it is because you have seen my displeasure, and instead of heeding my request, go your merry way saying simply, “Be HAPPY, Mama!” 

Plum

 *****
Pistachio, if I spend too much time kissing your wobbly cheeks each evening, and making you chortle, it is because I see my baby turning into a thinking, exploring, social little being and I know you will change into a toddler too soon. 
Pistachio
 *****
True, some days bedtime can’t come early enough.  But even on those days, I can’t imagine my luck, my three dear ones. 

I Miss Brunch.

3 Aug

I saw them. Sitting outside in the August overcast cool. They had drinks, cocktails, beer, small plates. They were leaning back, relaxed. They were talking. Laughing. Sipping.

Brunch. 2pm on a Sunday.

I looked at them and thought that perhaps after brunch, they’d wander home, flip through a magazine, take a nap under a spinning ceiling fan, belly full and head a little swimmy from the mimosas. They’d wake up, maybe shop a bit for nothing in particular, and without a list or itinerary. They’d pick up a piece of fish or some scallops for dinner. They’d take a walk. They’d take a drive. They’d go pick some raspberries. They’d consider going to the movies and decide against it. They’d finish reading the Sunday paper or the latest New Yorker. Maybe that woman would research a new bathroom fixture, pluck her eyebrows. Maybe she’d spend some time sorting old photos or looking up new recipes, listening to a podcast of storytellers. Maybe she’d finally clean out that closet. Make some raspberry muffins. Fold some laundry. Lie in bed in the quiet and think.

I miss that.

I miss brunch.

I miss the me I used to get to be. I miss being untethered.

I would like to say that I am the same person I was before I had children. But I’m not. The very center of me has changed. I am tied to them and there is never a moment they aren’t with me. In me.

And now, even when I get that time, that time to myself, to enjoy lazy brunches, to browse bookshops, to just be, by myself, and to recreate those untethered times, I recognize they are just that — recreations. They are wonderful and restorative times, but they are recreations of a time and a me that no longer exist. And when my hour or two is over I slip off that costume of my former self and return to being me, the current edition.

Still, sometimes, I miss brunch. I’ve replaced it with unreasonable wake up calls, too much cold coffee, Cheerios on the floor. But I also get tiny toenails, perspectives on the world from those new to it, and the warmth and heaviness of small sleeping bodies laying, growing, breathing, against mine. And though sometimes I miss the way brunch used to be, the changed me wouldn’t trade. And I know that’s the way it is supposed to be.

New Normal

Things I Like Thursdays

24 Jul

Happy Summer! Sun, fun, more sun! Hooray!

But one thing I dislike about summer? My big kids need a bath every night.  It goes like this…

Me: No fighting! No splashing! No spitting! No hitting! Don’t even pretend to splash! Don’t get the floor wet! Don’t even look at each other! Don’t bug each other! Yes, Pickle, growling in your sister’s general direction is considered “bugging” her! Plum, while I didn’t specifically state that pouring a huge tub of water over your brother’s head wasn’t allowed, it is, indeed, not allowed!!!

Them: WAAAH!  SCREEEEEAM!  SPLASH!!!

But then, when it is over, and they are cozy in their PJs with combed hair that doesn’t smell like sand, sunscreen and pretzels (pretzels?) I love bath time.

I cursed the purchase of those Crayola bath crayons with the swirly colors, because they dyed my tub, and then got stuck in the drain. Ugh.  But the Crayola color Bath Dropz for the bath? MAGIC.  They are awesome.  And so far, I haven’t let the kids see me drop them in, so they actually think that I am magical and have the power to change the color of the bath water with my mind.  Just another mommy super power, yessir.  Word to the wise?  Red is a little shocking to see spreading through the water, and yellow, well yes, it looks like a big tub o’ pee.  But the kids don’t care.

dropz it like itz hot

 

I don’t get any kickbacks for writing about these products. I just like them. I should look into that kickback thing though…

(Don’t) Mind the Gap.

29 May

You know how sometimes an old friend will cross your mind and you’ll think “I’ll write! I’ll call! I miss them!” and then life runs its normal course, and time slips away, and it is months (or – gasp! – years) later and you start to think, “Gee, it might be awkward if I called now,” or “It is probably too late to respond to that e-mail, anyway”?

And you know this is silly, because whenever an old friend calls or writes to YOU, out of the blue, you are more than thrilled to hear from them?

Yeah.  That.

It starts to feel like it is somehow too late to get back in touch – or in this case – getting back to blogging.

But I’m getting back in touch.

Hi.

How have you been?

It’s hard to avoid the use of the word “busy” here. I’m tempted to say that my life has been busy, that I’ve been busy having and raising babies, working, living life.  But I don’t really like that word.  It seems rushed, harried, un-fun.  My life has been full. And mostly fun.

Pistachio arrived in late-January.  My dearest third. My baby boy. He is a delicious – a scrumptious! – little human.

Handy

Life with three children under the age of four?  It is… well, GOOD.  (What, were you expecting me to say “busy”?)  Three small, loud, needy, hysterical (in both senses of the word) people do require much time, love and attention.  But that lovely third child has made my days feel more like a dance than a tennis match.  I struggle to keep the beat sometimes. But three means it is no longer either/or, him/her, you/me.  Three means us.  I am, surprisingly, less stressed than I was with two.  Perhaps this is due to the new balance, but perhaps it is me letting go of things, too.  Whatever the reason, three is good.  So good.

So here I am.  Back on track.  Back at it.  A return to my Sarky self.

I hope you are well.  I’ll be in touch.  No really, I will.

The Real Christmas Card

17 Dec
The Real Christmas Card

(idea shamelessly lifted from my friend, Ellen)

Anyone with small children (or pets!) knows that getting a good photo of a clean, still and shiny small person/pet is nearly impossible.  If I made my Christmas card using the actual photos I’ve taken over the last year, it would look something like this…
card
Clockwise from top left:
  • Blurry memories.  How many of my photos are blurry?  All of them.  Kids don’t sit still.  And if they do, it is only to stare at a television.
  • Pistachio’s ultrasound photo.  Or Skeletor’s.  Or something.  Who the hell can see anything in these?
  • Photos of cute sibling love always end up being of injuries, or other dangerous kid behavior. (Her eyes were fine.)
  • Don’t take my picture! #1
  • Pickle’s Actual “Smile” Face
  • Violent Kid Love.  Hug or choke hold?  You be the judge.
  • Plum’s Actual “Smile” Face
  • Don’t take my picture! #2
(I have left out the entire collection of photos my husband has taken of me and the kids this year.  First of all, there are about 8 photos.  When the kids get older they’re going to wonder where the heck I was during their entire early childhood. Second of all, he tends to take photos when I am grumpy, not expecting a photo shoot, or sans pants. Or all three.  Awesome.  You’re thankful I left these out, trust me.)

 

Note: I found this cute card template on Shutterfly.

Things I Like Thursdays

14 Nov

I haven’t done a TILT in a while.  So here goes!

Honest Kids Goodness Grapeness is delicious.  And yes, I'm the one drinking it (my #1 pregnancy craving is always cold beverages). I've enjoyed the Honest Tea brand for years, because I like things on the less-sweet side, and their juices haven't disappointed either. Organic, less sugar and yummy?  I might even share this stuff with my kids! (Image from www.honesttea.com)

Honest Kids Goodness Grapeness is delicious. And yes, I’m the one drinking it (my #1 pregnancy craving is always cold beverages). I’ve enjoyed the Honest Tea brand for years, because I like things on the less-sweet side, and their juices haven’t disappointed either. Organic, less sugar and yummy? I might even share this stuff with my kids! (Image from www.honesttea.com)

Sweet Lemon Body Butter by The Body Shop. This was a gift and sat in my to-be-used-someday drawer of bath and body products for a long time. I brought it out when my expanding belly was itching one day, and just finished the tub up today. (Not to worry, another tub has been ordered and is on the way - it is on sale!)  It moisturizes well, and isn't too stinky. It smells like Bee Balm, which I love. (Image from www. thebodyshop-usa.com.)

Sweet Lemon Body Butter by The Body Shop. This was a gift and sat in my to-be-used-someday drawer of bath and body products for a long time. I brought it out when my expanding belly was itching one day, and just finished the tub up today. (Not to worry, another tub has been ordered and is on the way – it is on sale!) It moisturizes well, and isn’t stinky. It smells like Bee Balm, which I love. (Image from www. thebodyshop-usa.com.)

Make Your Own Snow Globe Kit by Seedling.  Okay, I don't actually own this - I just think it is awesome.  I would have loved this as a child.  And I'd probably still like it today.  Instructions say it is appropriate for ages 6+, and it can be found all over the web (Giggle, Yoyo, Amazon, etc.)

Make Your Own Snow Globe Kit by Seedling. Okay, I don’t actually own this – I just think it is awesome. I would have loved this as a child. And I’d probably still like it today. Instructions say it is appropriate for ages 6+, and it can be found all over the web  at stores like Giggle, Yoyo, and Amazon. (Image from www.uncommongoods.com.)

A porcupine in my throat…

5 Nov

This Mama was down for the count.

Strep visited 3 of the 4 family members and I was the third. When I felt a strange burning on my tongue I hoped for the best. But I was up at 2:30 that night, pretty miserable, and making calls to my doctor’s office (did you know that the answering service can make appointments?! Most excellent!).

The doctor’s office swabbed me to confirm (rapid strep tests, also most excellent) and sent me packing with a prescription and directions to lay low for a day while those antibiotics started working. Kids at school, I called work, told them I was in quarantine, had them send me some work, picked up my prescription and went home to change into my pajamas.

Here’s the thing about being home sick.  It is hard not to look around my house and see things that need doing. In my mind, I had laid out my plan for the day.  The plan consisted of mostly work, with just a few “I’m-sick-but-not-on-my-deathbed” housekeeping tasks thrown in.  Work 3 hours, change sheets, put away laundry, change diaper genie, take out trash, return library book, start dinner, work three more hours, get kiddos. Sounded good to me.

But you know what?  My plan was dumb.

I was tired.  I was sick. And I was (am!) 6 months pregnant.

Mamas, self care is too often sacrificed for the sake of laundry. Aren’t we smarter than that?

Laundry is never going to go away.  But hopefully, with rest, fluids, and Amoxicillin, strep throat will.

So I amended the plan.  Housekeeping triage.  I removed the stinky things from the house (trash and diaper genie), made some tea, did some work (but not enough) while sitting on the couch in pajamas, and took an hour-long nap.  Much better.

The laundry will still be there tomorrow – and yes, there will be more of it – but I’ll be feeling better.

Sick.
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