Sunday, October 31, 2010

Something Fantastic.





I will confess, I've never really liked Halloween. I really don't know why since I do like little kids in costumes and I definitely like candy...

Above is Ruby at her Halloween carnival. She even has the uncombed hair of a little witch.

And Jake carved the pumpkins to the girls' specifications. He did a fantastic job as they hounded him and climbed on his shoulders and jumped about as he cut.

I just really really love my girls. Like, head exploding love. They're different and amazing and creative and funny. And even when we're at the park and someone's pooing in their underwear and another is crying the entire time and the other needs to be nursed and the other's ignoring me when it's time to go...

Even then and especially then.

I look at my life and am astounded. That I had a great childhood and I don't need therapy or drugs or an outlet for pain. That I'm a mother, a strong one, with four girls.

I hope we take the world in the palm of our hands and do something fantastic.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Private Island.


Dear Matilda,

I want you to know, someday when you're older, that you're not what you'd picture the youngest child to be. You're not the baby that's always fussing in the high chair. You don't have an unattended runny nose and you're not always dressed in hand-me-downs and left to your own devices. You're none of those things.

You are the love of my life.

My one soft pillow, my favorite food, my dream that became real.

You're beautiful, exceptionally so, and I never get over it. I agree with people with my eyes open wide, "I know, I know, she is isn't she?" You smell like honey and cinnamon rolls and limeade. You're pliable and content and friendly and luscious.

You will forever be happy on my hip, as my appendage, hooked to me by an invisible tether, you sway to and fro back and forth as I scrub my entire house clean of little girl messes with my one free arm.

You like everyone else, but you love me and you don't try to hide it. We go most places together. To girl's nights, to get-togethers, to help in school classrooms, to doctor's appointments, to the grocery store.

You rarely cry, and rarely even make a sound. Only soft, infrequent ones, and they surprise even you. You look around, "who could have made that cooing sound?", and continue on sucking your fingers.

Most days you're wrestling me, you're up and down and all around. I tickle the back of your thighs, kiss your wet chin, scratch and tickle your pudgy back. You've got saddlebag legs that can stop my healthy heart, just like that. Sometimes you close your eyes for a second while you smile, and it creates sunlight inside of me.

I never let you cry to sleep, I never let you cry at all.

When you lay on the floor, tired and frustrated, you start to cry out for me, just a little. I start toward you right away, Lillie and the other girls following close behind, wanting and needing my attention, perhaps the phone ringing, and Daddy emailing.

I drop everything for you.

You get me, you get me first, everyone else can wait just offshore. It's just me and you, Matilda, on our own private island. Loving each other.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Photos





My girls, in my bed, where they usually are 20 minutes before church starts.

The wind is blowing fiercely. Tonight all the kids are asleep in their beds. Even Jake, asleep seconds after his head hit the pillow. All the lights are out except the kitchen where I just pulled a few loaves of pumpkin bread out of the oven. 

Silence settles like peaks of dust on my body. Just the tap of this keyboard parts the thick quiet. And that wind! Sweeping across the state of Utah like a bucket of bleach. It makes me feel so good inside.

Everything that I live for is sleeping now. They are safe and resting and calm. Agenda says I must drag my body down the hallway and into my bed, hug my pillow and scoot my feet in between Jake's toasty ones. 

Life is good.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

#3





A good friend of mine also has four daughters and we went up in the mountains today with seven girls (Grace was at school).

We probably won't ever try it again, but it had specks of "adventure" written into it if we looked close enough. "Emotional abuse" is what comes to the forefront of my mind, though, and I'm talking about the child-to-parent kind of emotional abuse. Lillie cried 93% of the hike. I gave up minutes into it, but there was no choice but to press on.

She is all-consuming. When she's not crying, I tiptoe around my life as not to disturb the delicate state of peace. When she is crying, it's all I can do not to walk out the door. Hear the birds chirp. Remember who I am for a moment. The first few minutes of a fit is not bad, it's the tail end that kills me. It's the last five minutes after the first five minutes and just after the second five minutes.

I just don't know what to do. I've learned by now that she has little control over her emotions. This well of frustration is inside of her, and it has to come out. But my head hurts and my ears are ringing. Why didn't my mother (or at least someone!) tell me it would be this hard sometimes. Did they forget? Did they gloss over the details on purpose, their hands moving straight to my pregnant belly exclaiming "Congratulations" with a knowing smile on their face?

That's it? "Congratulations?" That's it? Nothing like, "you are about to be run over by a cement mixer". Or, "give yourself a few years, you'll look as haggard as the rest of us". Something that might've helped, "you may have to teach your five-year-old how to read while your two-year-old creates a crying, screaming soundtrack just feet from your eardrum".

I'm sure if they were being honest they would have warned me. I'm sure the warning would also have been accompanied by a river of gladness that they did it anyway, that they made it through.

Here's hoping!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just a normal day.


Watching the dragon movie after school.

... Nothing I love more than having all my girls home.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Evening nap.


Ruby's origin is often speculated on.

How could a heart be so tender? What gracious god could have made a fountain of a girl, and brought her to me? She sat there, begging to hold the sleeping little monster. Finally able to manipulate Lillie's fingers and rest them in her hand.

There's a hundred reasons to collapse when Ruby speaks, but I'll let you in on just one:

"Daddy if you died I would melt into a puddle of tears and just be a wet puddle on the ground".

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Photos-- the original gangsters.






I so appreciated the comments on my last -complaint session- post. Thank you so much for the support. You didn't have to respond, but you did. Thanks!

I think this set of photos should have a hard-core hip hop soundtrack. Some old school 1992 Snoop Dogg.

They really do fit the description of hard criminals. Their crimes are minor, yes, but they carry not a speck of remorse. They feign guilt, but mama knows the truth: Bunch-a thugs.

Matilda is five months old. And she weighs 18 lbs 6 oz. Seriously, what? She's the size of a 10 month old!

And look at Lillie's neat set of grimaces and Ruby's gang signs. See what I mean? THUGS.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Realize.



It's 1:15p.m. and I'm still in my pajamas. I have done lots of things, but showering is not one of them. Oh! And as I write, the Little One just spit up on my pants. How appropriate!


On another note, I don't know what to do with Lillie. She's given up naps. If she takes one, she's up until  11p.m. So we're done with naps. Which makes functioning in the afternoon impossible. Take for instance, yesterday. She cried on the 15 minute drive to gymnastics, she cried for the first half hour of me attempting to watch the girls while she pinched her fingers in every single door in the building. She cried on the way to get french fries. She cried on the way back. She cried when I went in to pick up the girls, which I was late to do, so they were trying to phone me from the front desk, Grace with tears in her eyes. She cried while we drove up the road to get on the freeway.


I entered onto the 90th south onramp, and noticed that traffic was at a dead stop. There was an accident up ahead. Rush hour, Matilda and Lillie crying, stopped in four lanes of traffic trying to merge onto a stopped freeway. I almost did a lot of things... including smash my forehead into the steering wheel to dull the pain.


How do other people do it? I can't be the only mother in Utah stuck in a mini-van at rush hour with screaming kids. No wonder women lose it. No wonder some are on medication. No wonder moms are on edge, and are known for it.


Four kids has really tested me. Before this, I'm going to say that motherhood was challenging at times, but I felt I could handle it. It was fairly easy. Since Matilda was born, Lillie has entered into a constantly changing tide of emotions, personal problems and breakdowns. She doesn't leave my side. Which makes everything else so difficult. I love her. I tell her a thousand times a day. I am here for her. I tell her that, too. But the bad, the bad is so hard.



My life is now filled with so much noise and distraction it's hard to even remember my name. At times I want someone to come and relieve me, like a relay race, you would run through my front door, I would hand you my apron and take off for a long run. I would run over hills and past houses and stores and little neighborhoods until I found a hill top somewhere with green grass and trees. 

I would sit down to be alone with my thoughts and enjoy a little peace. 

There I'm sure I would find my mind wandering. Over my life, over my husband, over the faces of my beautiful daughters, the shadows and valleys of their noses and lips, their questioning eyes. I would think about their hair falling over their shoulders and bouncing as they ran. Their shocking beauty as they sleep.


Then I would realize it. That I want them so badly I could cry a billion tears. And I would haul myself up, as fast as I could, and run home again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

J.L.H.










Let me proudly introduce my neice, Jade Lyndee Hone. Born October 6, 2010, weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces. 

My sister Miriam did fantastic. She surprised me by taking all day, night, and morning to dilate to 5 cm. And within a few minutes of me arriving, dilated to 10 cm and birthed this little thing. 

My sister has become a mother, and it is every bit as beautiful as it sounds.

She is the sixth granddaughter born to my parents, and Katie and Gideon just found out yesterday they are expecting a boy in March! 

Until then, we will bask reverently in Jade's deliciousness.






Congratulations Miriam and Aaron!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Photo


Even after a warm muffin with butter, I still feel completely drained. The girls are all finally asleep, bedtime was a catastrophe once again. I realized two girls probably have ear infections, not one of them really eats any of the dinners I cook, the house is still a perpetual mess and I'm completely out of dishwasher soap.

My carpets are dirty, my laundry's not folded and my errands aren't done.

My emails aren't answered, my hair's not clean and my weight's not lost.

Mothering and fathering is a sacrifice, a big honkin' one with fanfare and its own parade. It's shocking how much patience and focus is takes to care for the basic needs of those four little girls. It's back-breaking work, it goes unrewarded by the world and partially by my little ones. The constant exposure to noise and chaos renders me speechless by the end of the day.

But I want my girls to know. I want them to know I love them with all of my frazzled, peace-loving heart. The whole thing is theirs, to do what they will. I will ride every wave of anxiety, disappointment and frustration they will go through. Their highs and lows will be just as much mine as they will their own.

I can't look at this picture without shouting to myself, you are the luckiest woman in this world. Lucky to have those four little girls to watch over. I would pay millions of dollars to be their Mother Hen, but look! I get to do it for free.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Reunion.


An old bird and a young bird.
 



Watching Conference

iPhones...
Dad and his mama.
The Saturday group.
Mom-- forever reading and telling stories. And too short for my couch.


The most amazing, Grandma Jeannie.
Mom, Lynn and Katie taking a walk after breakfast.



Drawing a picture of Grandma and Ruby together.
Girls in their underwear from playing in the sprinklers in the backyard.
Playing the Wii... 
Dad and his infectious grin. Some emotion would be nice, Jared.

 Music, music, a thousand times music.


Lynn loving Lillie.
Beautiful little sister-in-laws. Katie and Lynn. 







9 years in...



A lot of these photos were taken by Hannah. Thanks, Hannah! You stepped in with your camera equipment seconds after my lens hit the tile!

Wow. The weekend was incredible! On Saturday my toilet overflowed caused by the use of my washing machine and the pipes being backed up or disjointed. Disgusting toilet water flowed out of the bathroom, onto the carpet and we grabbed towels to mop it up as fast as we could. The catch? No washing machine to wash them until the plumber came on Monday. It was an interesting situation. It happened right as all of the girls in the entire family sat down for a game and dessert and all the boys were gone.

The incident brought our functional bathroom total from 1.5 to 1 for the rest of the weekend. 

But really, really.

When my parents are in my home it makes me feel half adult and half little girl, still looking to them for guidance and comfort. You relive the old days, laugh at ridiculous things with your siblings and eat so many carbs your vision blurs.

It was so fantastic. And I missed Rachel terribly. She was the only one who couldn't make it. She was jumping out of airplanes in California with her team, the Army's Golden Knights

A few things I learned this weekend:

I miss my parents and I need their influence more now than I ever have.
Tami, who my parents got guardianship of two and a half years ago has been through so much in her life. She's lucky to have us, but we're luckier to have her. I love you Tami.
My mom is the peppiest, most positive person. And if your toilet overflows, she'll mop it up with towels and then ring them out with her bare hands.
We love each other and we really, really like each other too. It's fabulous.