Thursday, February 26, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh Baby.

Lillie, seriously.

We spend so much time together. And I love it.

You wrestle me. Like a spider on a wall. Over, under, on, beside. If you could crawl down my throat and back into my warm insides, you probably would.

You will someday see that that's the thing about babies. They demand attention. Because they don't know any better. They don't know it's inconvenient. They don't buy into Mommy's subtle hints that she is busy and needs you to bond with your teething ring. You are a normal baby by that definition and I say, bring it on.

This is what I wanted. Babies. This is what I signed up for. Don't let any of my frustrated moments ever convince you otherwise. Don't let the memory of my tired face slip from your every-day thoughts. Inevitably, it will, as you choose to fill your head with other things and let that big heart of yours spread out among all those who know you. But poured like cement in my mind is your feathery hair, your warm mouth, your strong twenty pound body under my arm as I do my chores.

For now, I will take on the title of Center of your Universe with my head up, sweats on, and you perched joyfully on my right hip.

Rad Outfit #382

Everyone back on the Ferris Wheel, it's Monday again!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I don't care how long we've been married.

If you clean my kitchen, you are a drop-dead gorgeous man.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Life is for those who Love.

"Mommy, I love you more than all duh eyelashes on all duh girls in all duh houses in dee entire planet."

Ruby is a sweetheart. And I don't mean "sweetheart". I mean really, she's got the sweetest little heart that beats solely to love people, talk about love, sing about love, love friends, love family and everything else. She gives it, she loves receiving it, and it's all she wants to do.

Ruby, may I freeze you?

The toy that she's holding belongs to Grace. Ruby cuddles it from 8-3, until Grace sucks it back into her after-school tornado of possession.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Emotional Baggage.

Had a super duper weekend.

Rented "The Ring" on Friday the 13th. Watched it. Got a little scared. Then the kitchen lights flickered on and off independent of the TV staying on and no other lights flickering. Just the kitchen ones. This resulted in me not sleeping well the last few nights. And did I mention Lill is sick again? And not your usual. She's got way more snot than the usual. I can't control it.

So enjoy your snot-free Monday. Do it for me. After all, spring is just around the corner.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

When do I realize?

It's when I ask you to print something for me and you not only print it, but you staple it for me.

It's that noise you make when I plop on the couch next to you. That little sigh, the little groan, telling me you just love my warm self right next to you.

It's the way the side of your face looks when you're describing something to Ruby.

It's your sexy hands.

It's your I don't give a damn.

It's the way your eyes crinkle when you smile.

It's the way you hold your head so high and puff up your chest when you cook dinner for me.

It's the fact that you keep talking to me late at night, even when I hint that I'm too tired to, you still talk to me because you love it.

It's the way you handled me almost giving birth to Lillie in the car, the way our tears fell together when we first laid eyes on her.

It's when I peek in from the hall at church and I see you sitting on the bench with two of our girls on your lap. Each of them drawing pictures on your face with their hands. And your shoulders and back are relaxed. And you're letting them love you, and you love them 1,000 times more.

I shouldn't need a reason, but--

Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

She Crawls.

Every night I roll my eyes and load the dishwasher while Jacob "works with Lillie" on crawling. She's never done it. She is a little late by our previous daughters' standards and this causes him to worry. Not me. Just him. She comes so close. He never gives up. He keeps telling her (even though she doesn't speak English yet) how, where to put her hands, encouraging phrases, pep talks. He gets a blank, blue-eyed stare in return. Up until tonight.

We had just caught the American Idol theme song on Fox. Homework done, kitchen clean, and older daughters put to bed when out of the corner of my eye I saw Baby Girl Einstein put one hand, one knee, other hand, other knee, shakily forward to reach out and grab her balled up dirty diaper I had just changed her out of. The filth! The grossness! The Genius! We both cheered like the seasoned-but-still-interested parents that we are. We got the girls out of bed! We made them witness it! We video-taped it! We sang and clapped and chanted and kissed!

Then we turned off the video tape and promptly forced everyone back into bed.

But we are so proud of our baby. So proud of her. She crawls! Not that I doubted her brain function with that massive cranium of hers, but still. She could have graduated Harvard for the proud glances we gave each other.

And of course Jacob takes all the credit. Credit that is rightfully his.

Some Great People.

(Our oldest daughters together, 2006)

My dear friend Lori came to town with her husband and children to spend a week at Disneyworld. I live close, so we drove to meet them and spend the day. Lori and I had a few precious minutes in her hotel by ourselves while our husbands took the noisy girls swimming. It was just her and I and our 8 month old babies.

We had one of those conversations, that dips and flows and is truly enlightening. As if your brain finally starts working (usually only happening every few months) and you start encouraging each other's talents, confessing weaknesses and trials through motherhood.

There are some very real things that all of us feel and are sometimes too afraid to tell each other. And you know what? We've known each other for years and we rarely get enough peace and quiet to really dig deep. And this was one of those times, in a Disney hotel, that I had a face to face conversation with an amazing mother and I realized how I lack that interaction so much.

I text, talk on the phone, email, whatever else... and I read a post on one of my favorite blogs, Remarks from Sparks, about this very subject, about how all of us need more "person to person" in our lives. We need more facial expressions, natural pauses, body language. Conversations, the good ones, don't usually happen any other way.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Usual.

Today started out like any other. Grace was too tired to get herself dressed so I brought her in my bed and put clothes on her limp body at 7am. She woke up to walk herself to the car. Lillie got nursed in my bed early this morning, without one single hope of going back to sleep. Ruby walked in the room late and disoriented. Her hair disheveled and a scowl on her face, I said good morning to her in my best high-pitched-cheerful-mom voice and she declared that she was "thirsty and hungry". Lill had a bubbly bowel movement that I changed like the second nature that it is to me. Ruby and I have eaten snacks all morning and thought vaguely about taking a walk.

I feel blessed today. I don't always, half the time I wish the morning shift would show up so I could do other things. But today I feel lucky to be a mother.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I Kiss These Lips All Day.

Our little heart-faced girl slept in our bed last night. Her feet constantly in my back was very far from a massage. Lillie woke up at 11pm, 1am and 5am. Then this morning at 7:30, Jake and I snuggled in bed and heard all three girls on the baby monitor. They were all in Lillie's crib. At one point Gracie shouted, "Let go of her! Put her down! No, Ruby let her go!" That was the trigger for Jake to get out of bed and investigate. That was when our day started.

So far it's been the usual pattern. Pick up Lillie. Do something complicated with one hand. Put Lillie down. Rapidly consume cereal. Pick fussy Lillie up. Let her wrestle my entire torso while I read a few pages of real estate class. Put her down. Take a shower. Wash ice cream out of my hair from yesterday. Rapidly put on clothes from 2003 while I hear Lillie fussing in the high chair. Nurse Lillie to sleep. She doesn't want to sleep. Put her down. Help Ruby get dressed. Get Ruby milk. Make mental note of things to do (insert mundane tasks here). Pick up Lillie. Finally ready for nap. Now I have an hour! What should I do?? Clean? Laundry? Completely ignore 3-year-old? Make grocery list? Do a few things that I am supposed to? No. I think I'll finish this and then make my husband talk to me on yahoo chat about random subjects. That's always fun.

Lillie has her second ear infection in the space of 6 weeks. The threat of ear tubes is on the horizon...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Lillie Donna Smylie.

Nittow Niws,

As a circle of great men surrounded you to finally give you a name and a blessing, I felt the spirit of God above us. The feeling in the room was thick and I knew without a doubt that you were a gift from Him that I was afforded last year, on one of the last days in June. For your blessing day, Grandma Mary sewed you a beautiful white dress and bonnet, and there were many people there who love you very much.

You are a very unique baby. If Grace enlarged my heart with love, if Ruby divided it in two and gave me the ability to love two girls with everything I have in me, then you multiplied my heart into a million pieces, each growing in love, admiration and experience. It really is that way. You breathe air into a room, shake your head and our giggles echo through the hall, demand that we give you all the spare time and attention you deserve while gaining the perfect amount of weight in your thighs. How DO you do it?

You don't crawl, no you don't. You pull yourself up to a standing position against the couch and bounce up and down until your large head becomes the liability that it truly is and you lose your balance and fall. Not to be even temporarily deterred, you get up and do it again and again. You love your daddy and trust me, that's a welcomed change from Ruby at 7 months.

Let me tell you something. When I look at you, the noises in the background, people on TV, messes on the floor and even the sound of my phone ringing melts away. There is nothing else but your babyness. A soft pudgy body that I birthed and nursed and teased into the little person that you are now. You are unbelievably supported and loved by friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and sisters. You are fed well, dressed well and protected. All of these things are necessary, but will never compare to the things you give us. Thank you for arriving here safe and sound, nurturing us into more loving adults, and teaching me that sleep is for the weak.

Gideon Returns.

My wonderful parents came and my mom spent the week with me while my dad drove up to Atlanta to pick up our missionary. Here he is, the most mature 21-year-old around:

I love these guys. I dropped them off at the airport today. Upon returning for church and stepping foot in the primary room, I heard the children singing We are as the armies of Helaman. I may or may not have bawled my eyes out.