Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A First.

It's official, so dang official. This is the book. The first one she can read from cover to cover.
The human mind. My human's mind, is astounding.
Busy writing and teaching.

A beauty to behold.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Grand Opportunity.

We have the grand opportunity to live by our family again. Most of our marriage we have not, so we relish in this time with them. This is a small glimpse into what our family gathering looks like. The meal is usually roast, mashed potatoes (Donna's are absolutely the best in the world), vegetables, and salad with european style dressing (oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper). Laughter and conversation echo off the high ceiling and wood floor and there are literally babies everywhere, babbling and showing off their newly acquired walking skills. After we eat, the men watch the Discovery Channel and the women find a quiet place to talk about pregnancy, childbirth and other fascinating subjects.

On Saturday evening we all had the opportunity to attend the Relief Society Broadcast together as sisters in the church. I took a very important lesson home with me, a quote from Elder Uchtdorf's talk, "Happiness is your Heritage". This is a goal I can hold myself to this coming year. Just be happy with my daughters. I should give them the legacy of being happy and content with life. It was put simply and clearly at the conference that we need to be soft on ourselves and allow for more apprecation of our own talents instead of comparing ourselves to others. Can I get an A-MEN?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Exhausted, Happy.

I refused to let today pass by as just another regular day. I am tired of normal days. So me and the girls hosted a birthday party. A party for their two favorite stuffed animals. First birthday girl, Grace's kitty, a female originally named "Louie" who changed her name to "Kelsey" right before the party. I agree, it's much more feminine. Ruby picked Pluto, no Mickey, no Pluto, okay Mickey it is. Swaddled them like babies and we had ourselves some MAKE BELIEVE, darn it!! Add some sugar....
... and I caught Ruby drinking these sprinkles like rain. Bottle half gone in 2.5 seconds.
Singing Happy Birthday to "Louie-Kelsey" and Mick.
Soon after the party, we tried Lill out in her new Bumbo chair. A success. Won't someone donate some hair for that forehead of hers? It's going to take her awhile to grow some of her own...
Worried Lill? Ya, me too.This 5-yr-old knows just how to nuzzle a baby.

Her mouth tastes more delicious than you can imagine...
And yet another day has passed. Maybe it's this Jeremy Larson that I'm listening to, but I feel so much. I feel an ocean for these beauties.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monster Grace

Devil, please stop possessing my child between the hours of 3-7pm every day. I do not know how to excuse this behavior other than, "she's tired", or "she's just cranky from school" or "Monster Grace is here with us again", what else could it possibly be? She's regretting her decision to be part of our family? All the other moms let their children eat junk food and watch T.V. all afternoon and she feels left out? I am staying away from excuses like, "it's her personality", or "she'll probably always be like this". I will continue being patient with her if she can please spare me even the slightest possibility that I'll suffer any more emotional abuse. Because I just can't take it.
When she's sweet, she's so sweet. Telling me all about her friends and the table where she sits and how music and art are going. She tells me her teacher thinks she's awe-some and how I should put oil in her hair like Molly does and that she wants me to meet her for lunch. It reminds me of times past when we would be together all the time and I would be able to predict her mood swings coupled with the rhythm of the day and I was definitely more in control. Now, I feel like I just duck and cover.
How can a child (who can read and write words and sentences, counts in fives and tens, does math and homework) have absolutely no ability to put a cap on her emotions? It baffles me. Good thing I love her squeezable self so much that I don't pick up and leave the house in the middle of her cyclone of screaming. It's all I can do, just to sit quietly and not grab the duct tape, know what I'm sayin?

Monday, September 22, 2008


Tonight, like most other nights, this one smiled so big she got the hiccups.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

The girls' potted flowers began peeking through the soil, we ate waffles with chocolate syrup, bounced on the Little Tikes bounce house that barely fits inside our living room, played in the hose and used some crayons.

Ruby is still young enough to spend most of the day completely naked, totally unaware, and drink chocolate milk from Lillie's bottle just for fun. Gracie is just old enough to realize the reason that I want to help in her kindergarten class is so that I "can see what Nicholas looks like. Huh, mom?" Am I so obvious?

We gazed upon our little ones today and were so grateful, SO GRATEFUL to have all day full of their little jokes, tangly hair, and their constant need for us.

And if that wasn't enough, my gift from heaven? Grey's Anatomy. Season Premiere. This! Week! People!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Positive Note {no. 1}

-Reading THIS blog has inspired me to be a better person, mother, friend, sister and wife. I am going forward with more positivity, creativity and a zest for appreciating the little things.
-Today Ruby and I skipped T.V. time and read some books together.
-I talked to three of my sisters.
-The Terminix guy came to spray and he was so nice to Ruby. He carried a conversation with her while he worked and even said goodbye to her by name when he left. I love nice people!
-I ordered a very squidgy Halloween costume for Lillie. She is going to be GOR-GEOUS.
-Might be moving into a house next month. Halle-freaking-lujah.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Grown Up Thing To Do.

Gracie started dry heaving in the bath. As I write this, I am suppressing another giggle. See, we are constantly telling the girls not to drink, and no, not even to SIP the bath water. It's gross, it's dirty, it's disgusting. Apparently Grace has reached that ever-so-important age where she has started to imagine the germs that are housed in a body of water that she is sharing with her little sister.

Jake is constantly scaring the girls into obedience and this time was no exception. Just as he finished warning, "Grace, don't drink the water, Ruby could have peed in it!" she started the whole cough-up-your-trachea thing which turned into a high-frequency gag. And it was brutal. We now know she has quite the reflex! Only marginally funnier than the actual incident is the way that Jake recounts it. I have never seen him fake-puke so violently in my life. There was some hearty laughter in our household tonight.

I would also like to mention that my hard workin', warehouse managing, alligator hunting husband took the girls to Home Depot last night. And he bought some potting soil, a few packets of seeds and a medium-sized planter. And tonight they planted those seeds together with little tiny shovels and watered them and talked about what beautiful flowers they would become. And he pleaded with Grace to treat Ruby nicely and spent time explaining to the girls all about plants. Then he bathed them, brushed their teeth, read them stories and put them to sleep. All while I was out with Lillie.

I have everything I need right in the palm of my hand.

Monday, September 15, 2008


There's something fantastic about watching Lillie rolling over for the first time as I sit at the kitchen table helping Grace learn to read. It's really, really fantastic.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Your sister hit you last night. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I heard your cry. Such a confusing thing, protecting you from another girl that I love so much, but it had to be done. You deserve just as much of a chance at this life with all of its toys, bikes, and towels turned into baby blankets as all of us. When presented with a challenge, you set your jaw, lower your brow, and head straight into the storm. Every single time. First one on the boat? You were. Girl that wants to be tickled for hours on end? You. Absolutely the wackiest sense of humor? So you. Ready to smack any kid, any size, for messing with you? That's you all the way. And surprisingly, you are the most maternal little three year old, and I'm so proud of that. You're a creation that I would never half expect to be my privilege to raise. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you, Rubes.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In a Mood

I don't want to sound less than ecstatically grateful for what I have. I wake up every morning to the most beautiful human beings in the planet and I love what they say, what they do and who they are immensely. My husband is my best friend. Sometimes he's the obnoxious best friend, but the best nonetheless. We have very good times together and this is one thing that I have always wanted.

But I want to be something more and always have. I want to accomplish something extraordinary. And I know, I know, I already am accomplishing something wonderful by being a mother. I KNOW that. But sometimes, at the end of the day when my work is done, it seems like my efforts have once again disappeared beneath the pile of newly dirtied laundry, crumbs on the floor from dinner and handprints (which I love!) on the glass door. In all the worrying and fussing and cleaning throughout the day, there is very little progress. What are my accomplishments? Of course, in the smile of my children and the twinkle of gratitude in their eyes, but what about me? I once had dreams of traveling the world as a journalist, working as a therapist, or a high school counselor, or living in a cabin in Montana writing novels.

As a wife, I live under the umbrella of my husband. A lady on the phone said to me just today, "Are you still a stay at home mom, or are you working?" That's an interesting question. I am constantly in orbit. I provide my husband with a mountain of confidence, in person and over the phone while he is at work. I get jobs and quit jobs according to his schedule and preferences. I have slowly gone from a student supporting myself through school at age 18 completely on my own, to a mother of three not bringing in a penny, a job severely minimized by society.

I love being a mother, I do. I laugh at my babies all day. I look, I search, deep into their eyes and relish the fact that we are a family. I know my children need me with them, and I would never let anyone else raise these three beauties of mine. I am patient with them, I help them straighten their room, and I comfort them when they hurt themselves until my brain is a scrambled mess at the end of the day. I guess my fear is that at the end of all this I'll be chubby, pushed over the brink of insanity, not able to do simple logic or remember anything important and people will say, "...and she wasn't even that good of a cook".

Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's Rich.

Some days are a series of attempts at survival. One attempt after another, some pinning and tucking, skipping past fights, avoiding the bonfire. These days are usually Saturdays. The children had requests. We fell apart a few times, and picked ourselves back up. I fought a bee, cannonballed into a pool, wiped some bums. Jake worked a few hours, researched the motorcross races, bought some life jackets. In all this whirlwind, I mainly remember Jake and his girls, enjoying this bit of peace and quiet in a little jon boat in the middle of a lake.
He is in love with them and they are in love right back. I am in love with them all being in love with each other... This life is very, very rich. Now they are in bed, having cried about various random things the entire drive home while He and I enjoyed our Parent Club (glancing back and forth with weary eyes and tired smiles). Now my sweet Lillie is breathing her baby breath all over me and I want to eat her cheeks whole, but I restrain myself. I will lay her down in her crib so I can get my back scratched.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

St. Augustine, Florida

Me and Lillie had some one-on-one time while the kids and Dad swam in the pool for the second or third time. Apparently a hotel! pool! is a lot more exciting than other pools. Or the beach, for that matter.

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the nation. Ya. I loved it. Took so many photos it was ridiculous. There is a [haunted] lighthouse there that's fourteen stories high, accessed by a circular staircase that kicks my post-partum butt. Seriously, my legs are still sore. So embarrassing.

I made Grace rest on the middle landing for a photo (a.k.a. let Mommy rest). Dad and the two youngest waited at the bottom for us...

Looking north toward the Georgia coast. Below, looking east into the Atlantic.

And this house... the height of southern livin'. I kinda wanted to hang MY underwear on that porch. Just something about it drew me in.
And here are the girls, sitting in the back seat drunk on chocolate milk. They've told me every day since our return home on Monday that they "Really miss the hotel". I tell them that Mommy misses it more than they'll ever know. At the hotel there are no sheets to wash, no dishes in the sink, and no dumped out toy baskets, not to mention Marriott's delicious breakfast buffet. But my favorite? Watching the girls take a rip-roaring bubble bath and not stressing about dirty towels and a huge mess. I just watched calmly on, breathing deeply.