Monday, February 28, 2011

During Recess

Mom. I made this book for you.

I open the envelope she pulls out of her kindergarten backpack.

Open it.

I open it.

I read it and really really love it and smile big. Did you make this at school??

When all the other kids were going to recess, I just stayed in the classroom so I could make this book.

Lollie Today.

Tada's pants... unmatching socks... and a binkie she found in the back of the car from when she actually used to suck one. I love this girl. She keeps me on my toes.

I didn't get a Sunday Photo this week... something wonderful happened on Sunday....

My brother's wonderful wife Katie gave birth to a little boy this weekend: one week early! Around 6 a.m. on Sunday, their 6 lb, 13 oz baby came crying into this world. My brother is so in love with his son and even more so with Katie. She went completely natural and was in so much pain, but she accomplished the birth she wanted. 

After six little girl grandchildren born to my parents, this is the first boy!

Photos to come...

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I'm having my morning hot chocolate. Sitting down at my computer to "get a few things done"...  Which usually entails:

Put baby by the toybox
She crawls over to me
I hold her
I put her by the toybox
She crawls over to me
I hold her
I put her by the toybox
She crawls over to me
I hold her

Meanwhile Lillie wants personal attention. 

By this time, my hot chocolate is cold. But I keep reading and learning and paying bills and updating my calendar and planning for trips and school and our future and grocery shopping and lots of other mom stuff.

I have yesterday's hair and Tuesday's jeans. I feel uninspired and spent. I feel comfortable and blessed.

And Matilda crawls over to me again.

Monday, February 21, 2011



Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Photos.

--They're swirling energy. They're souls jumping and yelling. They're a billion barrels of potential.

(I postponed my trip to California. My Grandmother is doing a lot better and I've been in touch with my mom quite a bit.)

Right now Lillie's in a time out for not staying in her bed. Bedtime is a joke. The girls read every night for 30 minutes and then it's a "controlled free-for-all", which means the minute I walk out of the hallway for the tenth time they're back to antics. Playing, singing, messing around. I try to get mad but it's only when I go overboard that they get scared enough to comply.

It's this time every night (and several times throughout the day) that I dream of a house with a full basement. Where the girls can walk downstairs and the noise will follow. I will have that sometime, and it will be fantastic.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


If I could make a Tada Smoothie I would... and it would be delicious.

She is chunks of love and honey... With a snotty nose.

She's big and huge and old and her size percentiles are off the charts (and she dresses cute).

Snot nose and I are going to California this weekend. My Grandma Dotty ("G-Dot") isn't well and we're going to visit her. Be back Wednesday...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Top Soil.

Lillie crashed on her bike today so Jake and I took her on our date with us since her scrapes needed nurturing. Her spirit, her fight... is so strong. Her drive comes barreling at you. It's tough to know what to do, so you spend most of the day picking yourself up off the ground. She's an amazing human being.

It's both hard and wonderful to be the mother of a bonfire.

She looked exquisitely beautiful in the low light of the Cheesecake Factory. Her top lip was swollen where she hit the pavement and she had a bump on her forehead. Jake brought a bottle from home and put coke in it to keep her awake in case she had some sort of concussion. She sat at our booth, all beat up, sipping coke from a bottle with her bandaid-ed hand, playing an iPhone game with the other.

I simply want to be a moist helping of top soil in which she can spend a lifetime growing her very best self.

Love Day

I cannot ever put into words how I feel about you, Jake.

I would write you a love poem if I could. But then they'd just make fun of us, wouldn't they?

I'll say this. There has never, and there never will be, anyone I love more than you. You are the beginning, the end, and all the in-between. You're my super-crazy best friend and I love you times a thousand.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Photo.

There are hints of spring. Today was a sunny day where the sun was actually WARM on our backs. It's cruel, really, because real spring is still far away.

Man, parenting is tough. And not just because my house is filled with chaos and emotions. It's because I look at each of the faces in this photo and it would take me years to compile the list of all the things I want for them!

They are the world's most precious gems. Realizing their magnificence is like watching a meteor shower night after night.

What wonderful people they are turning out to be.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Dryer.

Things I remember from today...

--Lollipop (our newest, most favorite nickname for Lollie/Lillie) has been getting a bit better. Less screaming, more smiling and talking. I love it!

--It snowed last night and today was clean and crunchy and cold!

--I was so happy to see Jake at 6pm. I get so so happy when I know he's coming home to me.

--I had a long conversation with a friend. She's amazing. You know those friends, that when you talk, time stands still? You cross continents and knock down walls, all in a conversation between two moms.

--Grace moved up a level in gymnastics and did excellent today in her new class!

--Ruby's tiny fingers played with my hair and I wanted it to last forever.

--More of Tada's top teeth are almost all through the gums (mama's starting to wean). She's switching to one nap, too, which makes our evenings a little "awkward" and "fussy" and "so totally chaotic".

--Another day's gone by, just like that, and tomorrow always comes much too early...

{I also blogged at mymatilda.}

Monday, February 07, 2011

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sunday Photo.

I still can't get over the fact that I can take a photo with my camera and upload it immediately... now it's here.. documented. It was that easy. I was meant to live in the age of the internet!

Grace: Last night Jake took Grace to a Jazz game. She was dancing and cheering so well she made it on that big screen (Jake says it's called a jumbotron?) where they show members of the crowd. Daily she tells me I'm great. She doesn't have to, but she does. She's so tall and grown up now but she'll saunter over to me and curl up like a bug in my arms. She'll put her head right in my neck and it's my absolute favorite thing.

Ruby: Two nights ago I went to her bed to kiss her goodnight. I laid my head on her chest, she wrapped her thin arms around my neck and whispered into my hair: "you'll always be mine". It was so beautiful, I almost collapsed. We have used that phrase now all weekend. It just fits so well...

Lollie: She's communicating so much better. It's helping her overall behavior, too. Over the weekend a nice man walked up to her and started joking with her. He asked her a bunch of questions and she answered, smiling and giggling. He said, "You are so precocious. Can you say precocious?" She wrinkled up her nose and with a straight face she said, "No I don't! Ah don't talk to me!"

Tada: Sun still rises and sets in the folds of her neck. We kiss her all day and especially now since she's so mobile and thinks she's so in charge of her life. Jake and I are nervous. It's around this age or a little older that babies start showing their "true personalities". We're on the edge of our seats to see if she has Lillie's fire...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

This is called a "Mom Mauling".

It's what happens every time I lay on the floor... these two go into full body attack. They are only momentarily distracted before they once again zero in on the prize.

Man.. today was a DAY. Jake is out of town for work and the emotions in our house ran high... ran a marathon, in fact. Some days, I really think I wasn't cut out for this. Like maybe I was meant to be in International Relations, traveling around, seeing sights, listening to the hum of a jet engine or drinking a red bull in between business meetings in my pin-striped chick suit. Using a different part of my brain...

I prepared to be a mother all those years and now, in the thick of it, I question my ability for managing chaos. I'm a lover of peace. And there are moments of it. But twice as often, moments of chaos so intense my brain starts to disintegrate.

It's not half bad. And I think most people understand that. But I want to be honest. Especially to those with young children. Let's take a collective sigh, together: tomorrow is a new day and children are forgiving. And if I can just reach deep enough I know there are some wells of strength and patience I deserve to draw from.

This time is so short, when they're young. When they squawk and scream and squeal and need and bite and pinch and cry. I, among everyone else, hug my babies close with stinging eyes as I tuck them into bed. They are growing up. So fast. And all this struggle, all this hard-ness that I call my "stay at home mom" days will pass so quickly. Like my childhood. Like high school. Like college. Like my almost ten-year marriage. Flying by like a bat at twilight. Waning. Disappearing. A memory in its place.

I sit here wanting more than anything to deserve my babies. To look them in the eye and tell them I am doing everything in my power to be the mother they deserve. After all, I brought them here. I accepted the responsibility. It's time for endurance. For patience. For speaking kindly. For leaving my phone and computer. For grabbing them, one by one, and letting them know how utterly important they are to me.

{Starting tomorrow.}

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Update: Caroline passed away late last night... What an amazing woman.

Keep Caroline Rober in your thoughts and prayers tonight as she begins to leave this world. My whole body aches for them. Click here to read and leave a comment if you can.


I think there will be a small group of photos in my life that I will truly, deeply appreciate. Because they mean something so real and so raw, I could never forget them. This is one. Thanks Jake for snapping this on Saturday. Me and my Lollipop. We travel miles and miles together each day.

I also posted some maternity photos on MyMatilda Blog... Waiting for Babies... Two maternity sessions from two women whose births I'm photographing in March (and for one I'm wearing a GoPro HD head camera!).