Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Sub.

When's the nanny coming? Because she's late, real late. The girls are fighting about cereal bowls and the baby's gums are pregnant with teeth and my face is still smooshed where I was drooling into my pillow only a short blissful time ago. Can someone else do my job today? This includes but is not limited to, meals, laundry, cleaning, organizing, calling, driving, shopping, bathing, reading, bedding. Also included may be: reassure each child multiple times they are special in their own way, kiss the baby's face once per 10 minute period, make punishments fair and just without completely losing your own likeability, finish a few Florida real estate classes online in your 'spare time', administer Motrin to a squishy, fussy, teething, cheeky baby while her head waggles back and forth in frustration, and give endless amounts of comfort to wounded little ladies whose pain threshhold did not arrive intact. And one more thing. Nurse the baby. Nurse her until she drifts off to sleep and even then, hold her until her pain subsides. After you gently lay her down she'll wake up again when she needs an extra tight hold and she'll bury her face into your arm and only then will she be truly asleep.
Good luck.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reasons Why I Brave Toys R Us.

Our holiday went like this:

And then a little like this:

Does this make you want to come visit me yet? Because you're totally invited.
On another note,

A kind soul, Cindy, who reads my blog and whom I have never met, sent me this book along with a few others for Christmas. I sat with my girls last night, one under each arm, read this book aloud to them and wept. I cried for the many things this book made me feel as I read through the last few pages. If you don't have this book, get it somehow. It's one of my absolute favorites and it will make you cry, too (unless you have a heart of stone and then, well, good luck with that).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What We Did On Christmas Eve.


Grandma Mary.

At the train station, December 18. This is the incredible first meeting between Grandmother and Granddaughter. It is the job of women to pick apart every feature on a baby and identify it, tie it to some part of past family member or relative with a fair amount of confidence. The consensus? Lillie is gorgeous. No doubt about it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Amoxycillin, Benadryl, Advil.

We are back from our journey, me and Lill. It was her first time on a plane and she did okay. Remind me next time: bring extra diapers for the plane ride home in case she does multiple diarrheas in reaction to antibiotics for her double ear infections (just remind me!). We flew into town to greet my sister Hannah who incidentally LOVES my daughter...
And I got to see this little nugget again! She is to die for. Who knew how much I could really love a neice?

The cute couple riding the train from Salt Lake to Sacramento on the way to their wedding... sort of romantic, isn't it? Let me tell you what's not romantic. Falling off the train seat in the middle of the night and bruising my precious back fat on the metal footrest. So not romantic.

A few bridal shots I took in Provo before we left.
Here's Dad giving her a little advice. "Wait awhile before you start a family" was most likely included there somewhere.
My brother the photog, lookin' fine. He's single, anyone? Anyone?
My grandmother, my mother, Miriam, Aaron, my dad.
These ladies are the loves of my life. Our time together is always so short.
Now that is the face of a girl excited to be married.

Miriam has always been the quiet middle child in our huge family. She's slightly withdrawn, agreeable, insurmountably gifted in music and intelligent. She met her match. He is lucky to have her and likewise. A great love is a beautiful thing to witness.
Wild Side confirmed.

Jacob survived thinly while I was gone, eeking out the minimum to survive. The girls' hair was very tangly, the car very messy, but the house was clean and the girls were healthy. And that's all I ask! He never complained to me once and it only further proved what a wonderful father he is. Thank you to Ashley and my other mother, Donna for helping!

I was surrounded by people whom I love so passionately and I return to Florida only to be surrounded again by more people whom I love. I feel lucky, tired and full to the brim with fresh memories.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What Rules?

Finally I printed some photos! Putting them up took me 'til 1a.m. Then Lillie chose last night to give me the worst version of hell... which was waking up every half hour to complain about certain things. She doesn't speak English yet, so it gets a bit confusing about what she actually NEEDS. I pick up her warm swaddled body, put her against me and feed her every last drop of milk that I have, tip my head back, and think about twenty years from now. How much free time I'll have, how much I'll miss this... etc.

I kept Grace home from school today. She's been bringing home notes from her teacher that say things like, "off task and not following directions", and "very talkative today!" with a frowny face. Here's my note to the rest of the world: "Grace needs a break from the rigors of Kindergarten life. That, and I'm going to miss her when I'm gone next week, so take that and write it down on a sticky note" (ten frowny faces). Of course, Grace is the master mind behind most messes, so in about five minutes, this happened:

I'm pretty sure they were playing "Bolt" and apparently when Ruby is "Bolt", she needs to eat cheerios, on the floor, with water... and syrup. And the syrup needs to be measured with measuring spoons. I would like to point out that the syrup bottle was FULL AND UNOPENED before she started. Do take note. All this while I had casual phone conversation with a friend. And I haven't even checked the bathroom yet.

Here she is getting ready to wrap the rest of the stuffed animals to put under the tree. Today, no uniform, no school rules, no homework, just a girl dressed in five different patterns and her "dancing shoes with heart socks". Ahh. Breath. Sigh. Love.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Miriam's Wedding

Remember this saucy girl? She's getting married to this manly man:

I want my daughters to be deliriously happy and in love one day, and the next best thing is seeing my sister deliriously happy and in love.

Lillie and I leave this weekend to go to Utah for a few days to help her prepare, and then onto Sacramento for the big day. Posting might go on a diet next week, but will return Christmas week.

Speaking of Christmas, I have angst. I think Jake and I aren't going to buy the girls any toys. This notion may change when Jake gets ready to shop, but I want to get things for them that will last, like roller skates or a little kid camera or things of that nature... With a lot of little toys, they get so overwhelmed and the amount of plastic packaging waste that's involved gives me the shivers. I really liked my sister-in-law's post on one of my favorite blogs about homemade gift-giving. Something I will implement one of these years for our family. So much more exciting.

(Engagement photography by my brother. His link is having issues today, ironically, but try back. If you need a wedding photog in Utah, call him. He's the best.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

On Being A Mother.

-Cookie dough tastes better when you have to hide it from the kids.
-The baby wants you all of the time, every time.
-You feel powerful, but only at 11pm when they are all, finally, asleep.
-You become a master of distraction. Causing distraction and being distracted. You stop responding to just, "Mom?" and need something more like, "MOOOOMMM!!!!".
-The smells, both deadly and heavenly, are so nostalgic they could never be forgotten.
-You train the children that "just a minute" means "ask me later or don't ask me at all, because I'm busy".
-Society really doesn't expect much from you. You can show up in sweats and it's ok because you're a "Mom". On the other hand, keeping a household together is the most demanding by society's standards. Sigh. Big sigh.
-You really don't even know what size you wear, it changes so often.
-Decorating your house is defined as, "hangwhateveryoucan in the 3 minutes that Lillie will sit on the floor unentertained".
-You're only in a few pictures each year but that's ok because remember? You wear sweats a lot.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Few Pros.

In our 7 years of marriage, this is the 12th time we've moved. I don't know why it is, but we habitually leave. We decided to try out staying, perhaps it has its benefits? We left our apartment last week, a place my brother lovingly refers to as, "The Meth Lab". It was a little small and a little dark, I'll give him that, but we made it work. We left our apartment and moved into our beautiful home. We've owned homes before, but for some reason, living in The Meth Lab has humbled us into oblivion. Not an hour expires without us appreciating! and loving! our mansion of a place. The water runs clearer! The air smells better! The ants are kinder here! The mud is less muddy! I love the fresh paint, the way the light shines on the lake in the evening, and those trees? They're OURS. And folks, I don't have time to explain how much I love trees. I appreciate the doorknobs, the closets, the cold tile. I just love everything and I know how lucky we are. We haven't always had it good, but I have to say... it's good right now.

People I'd like to thank:
Ruby for not squeezing Gogurt on my new carpet yet.
The girls for confining the deposit of bodily fluids to the bathrooms for once.
Lillie for sleeping better in her new room.
Donna, Donna, Donna.
My Jacob.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Insides.

Morning vs. Evening. This shows how long it took me to just take a few photos. ALL DAY.

Anyone have any ideas on what to do with a long stucco entry way? Plants? Year-round halloween decorations? Police tape?
Now I must go watch Ghost Hunters with my husband so I can get super freaked out and run to Lillie's room for our 3am feeding while looking over my shoulder...