Thursday, December 3, 2009
We've been cooped up in the house all week due to Reiley's strep-like infection. The days have involved much of the usual rhythm: eating, laundry, playing, cleaning, eating, napping, playing, eating; but have lacked some of the most vital aspects for me - regular outside time and getting away from my house. I'm more than a little stir-crazy and am missing some of my spunk. Meanwhile, Sawyer is full of I'm-going-to-walk-any-day mania. He's cruises round and round the table until he's exhausted; he flops around on beds, throwing off all of the pillows; diaper changes are medieval torture. Add to the mania a sick, screaming child and her less-than-stellar napping sister, and any spunk or even friendliness I might have is disappearing.
So when Sawyer was eyeing our premier learning-to-walk toy (our beaten-up, well-loved stroller), I wanted to hide it in the closet. I just didn't have the energy to make the dozens of circles my near-walkers demand of me while I ensure that while pushing the stroller, they don't body slam the hard wood when their feet slip out from under them. However, my mama guilt from days of neglecting Sawyer due to Reiley's sickness pulled me from my jobs and over to the stroller. He pulled himself up and started pushing. I was behind him, steadying the stroller, and he started saying "vroom, vroom", then stopping and doing his baby booty dance in celebration. He started pushing again and then looked straight up at my face above him. He smiled this incredible smile, and his eyes twinkled: Can you believe what I'm doing??? I'm doing it!
A moment almost lost. Rather than giving myself the typical guilt trip where I obsess over what other moments I must be missing other days, I stopped the judgment. Inevitably, moments are going to be lost because of various circumstances. I can't try to keep score about which children's moments I keep up with, and which children are going to grow up and hate me. I chose to be grateful for the little glimmer of happiness Sawyer and I shared today, and be thankful for motherhood and the everyday blessings it brings.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
While we've been held captive in the house by sickness, we've been trying to have some fun. Here are Ainsley and Sawyer giving Reiley and I a concert.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The girls couldn't wait to dance at the reception, and Grandpa and GrandMar did NOT disappoint them. Check out my Dad's twistin'! He should expect a call from "So You Think You Can Dance?"
Wedding season sent us to Kansas City for the wedding of one of my best friends from high school. Due to the tumultous travel with the entire family a few weeks before, we opted to have the girls have a slumber party at our house with GrandMar and Grandpa while we took Sawyer to KC. This was the first time that we have left the girls overnight (except when I was having babies), and it went fantastically! I had a great time laughing, dancing and talking for hours with Betsy (the bride) and Bri, my other high school BFF. It was such a fun getaway!
And feasted on a Dairy Queen dinner that included ice cream AND fries. Now THAT'S what grandparents are for. I've been hearing about the ice cream and fries for the last two months!
The next weekend we made a trip to Mill's Apple Farm for our annual apple-picking trip. We've found a new apple home in this farm that is much more mellow and less crowded than the ones we've been to in the past.
This was Sawyer's first apple-picking adventure. He grabbed on and ate almost the entire apple before we realized that he was ingesting it seeds and all.
Many, many fall adventures!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
At the beginning of August, we took a week-long trip to Chicago with Kevin's parents and siblings (Mike and Kalinda already live in Chicago, so we go to play with them a lot). Kathy and Lucy flew in from New York and we all stayed in a lovely hotel in Evanston. The location was great because it was just a few blocks from the beach, and the rooms were close enough and large enough that we could party with our wine and board games after the kids were sleeping. This vacation was a big milestone for our family because we haven't taken a long trip with all of the kids since Ainsley was about 6 months old. The sleep difficulties and difficulty transitioning would have just been too much to be able to enjoy a vacation. Now that everyone sleeps well and is a bit older, we though we'd try our luck, and I'm glad to report that everything was great! The kids made the 6 hour drive there and back fairly well, they napped while we were there, and we got to to do a lot of fun things without many crazy meltdowns. All in all, a very successful trip...and it was so nice to spend so much concentrated time with our out-of-town family!
The family enjoying tapas. I love tapas (and sangria...and margaritas...)
Sawyer and Lucy shared some baby blanket play time on the beach
Putting things away in her cubby
Playing with friends in "The Meadow" - their AWESOME outside playspace that has these huge tires, two huge sand areas, hay bales for playing/building, huge fallen trees stacked together as a climbing structure, wheelbarrows, shovels, buckets, ropes, bungee swings...a child's dream play area. They play outside at least two hours every morning in every kind of weather. We are well equipped with rain and snow gear for the coming months!
That got us to the start of Fall...I'll post again later with pictures of all the Fall Fun we've been having!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
In the whirl of birthday preparations, I didn't really have a chance to truly grasp that my girl is 5. FIVE! She's taller and leaner and more "kid-looking". She calls me Mom instead of Mommy (though she's now throwing in a Mama, which helps me think that maybe time isn't moving as quickly as it is). She tells me "you can leave now" instead of clinging in fear at separation. She chooses her own books at the library, reads them, and then tells me everything she's learned. It's bittersweet to watch her grow and learn and change and need me less. I feel so proud of the great strides she has made in independence and confidence, but I like to remember the way I would carry her on my hip and talk to her about the world. She walks on her own now, but at least she will let me walk side by side walk with her, and hold her hand.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Father's Day was a multi-activity fun day. We spent the morning opening presents and swimming at our neighborhood pool. This was truly the best swimming shot - check out those baby moobs (man breasts for those new to the term)!
The drummers let the kids try their drums after class (OK, OK...I tried them too).
We ended the day with dinner at Fitz's, complete with a milkshake treat! This picture just "melts my heart", as the kids like to say.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
That may have been why the gang of ducks and geese trailed us the entire time. Reiley was unphased by the distractions and waited for a bite (with a few near-catches) for two whole hours! I was pretty impressed with her patience. We didn't get a catch on this outing, but we learned what fishing was all about.Sawyer took a little snooze during the trip, and then played happily on the blanket. He loves to be outside!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
A few nights ago, when it was Ainsley's turn, here's what happened:
Ainsley: " (eyes closed, head bowed) Dear God, thank you for bringing me my delicious apple juice...(looks up, eyes open) Did God bring me my apple juice??"
Me: "Well, no, Daddy brought the apple juice to the table, but God made the trees where the apples grow, people pick the apples and make them into juice, we buy it at Trader Joe's, and Daddy brought it to you"
Ainsley: "God made the trees?"
Ainsley: "The apples grow on trees?"
Ainsley: "Oh," (head bowed again) Amen.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sawyer and I have developed this fun little game over the past few weeks. I give him a kiss on the cheek, and he grabs my face with his two chubby little hands, gives me a really wet baby kiss, and laughs. I LOVE it! I wanted to see if he would share some love with a baby too. Here are the results (try to filter out the far-too-enthusiastic Mom-talk from yours truly)