Soo…that was a shamefully long hiatus. Whoa.
Let us give a quick run down, shall we?
Elliott began kindergarten (!!!) this fall. The kid is Rocking. It. Maybe too much, I sometimes fear…his thirst for more reading, more writing, more math is blowing me away. I am so, so, SO thankful that I followed my gut on that whole don’t-push-him thing, because he took initiative over his desire to read this summer and never looked back. And can I just say how much it warms my heart to see the little notes and pieces of art that he’s constantly creating for his little friends, always squirreling them away in his back pack to pass out in the morning? I love that he has a passion for learning, but I love even more that he has a passion for loving his peers. My sweet, beautiful, compassionate boy.
Myles has really begun to come into his own since his older brother began school. I was almost as nervous for his transition as I was for Elliott’s- but I have to say that seeing him officially step into the role of the Biggest while his brother is away has been a delight. Always helping me, constantly loving on his sister (a dozen times a day he tells me, “Mommy, Hazel is so BEAUTIFUL. She is just so beautiful.” What a dream!), developing his own specific little preferences and dislikes, thinking aloud to himself all day long. His little imagination allows me away. And I cannot believe that this sweet middle child is turning four next month! FOUR!
And Hazel! Our little sweet potato is inching closer to that year and a half mark, and she’s a little pistol. Toddlerhood? Ya…that’s here. With gusto! She’s running, hopping, climbing, sliding, dancing, dancing, dancing. Her vocabulary grows by words daily, always wanting to know what she should call anything that she comes across. The majority of animals are “raffes” (giraffes), though…she has no interest in setting that straight. Also? Little Lady can throw a tantrum. More dramatically than the other two combined, she can.
So we are good. Busy, but good. And also, back to blogging with commitment in place! Promise.
However, my Facebook days are officially behind me- so I have no idea who reads this thing without the prompting of a post in their feed! Will you comment to let me know that you’re here? It’d be wonderful to know that I’m not writing to a wilderness.
In my scattered months of lax blogging, sweet little posts like my “Make Something Mondays”, “Thankfully Thursdays”, and “Pins Of The Week” began slipping silently through the cracks…but I miss recounting those little details, and I’m going to try to squeeze at least a couple of each in a month. If nothing else, they keep me posting when my mind is floating off somewhere else completely. I’m blogging mostly from my Kindle Fire now, though, and am still figuring out all of the little nuances of the WordPress app. I’d like to try out a “Photo Dump Friday” post, though, where I recount allnof the sweet moments that we captured over our week.
So here we are- Photo Dump Friday!
We were blessed with an extended weekend! Monday was Memorial Day, and Jeremy had the day off of work…so I woke early (!), poured myself some coffee, and then took all three kids to the Memorial Day parade alone (!!!) so that he’d have the chance to tackle some yard work without us all being underfoot. We survived. With so much candy.
We tackled the little raised bed that Jeremy built at the end of our driveway later that afternoon, planting a few small.rose bushes, some annuals, and a pretty little creeper that a friend recommended to us. Two days later? A rose actually bloomed! Green thumbs, hurrah!
Our sweet babe spent half of the week with an upset tummy, making May officially the most obnoxiously ill month ever. She began the month with thrush, followed by an ear infection, an accidentally discovered peanut allergy, a week of intermittent high fevers, a snotty nose issue, belly issues stemming from the list of foods that I was asked to elliminate following her allergy scare, and then snotty nose part II. See ya later, May. Take that junk with you.
The boys have been buzzing about the awesome art work that they created at their homeschool co-op all week…and who wouldn’t be excited about art that involves hanging cups of paint from tree branches? They want these hanging in their bedroom, and I’m happy to oblige.
Boys will be boys, right? This sweet scene feels like it’s straight from the pages of Peter Pan…little boys with stick daggars, tree bark swords, make shift archery…all thrown into a pile of rough-and-tumble together.
Hazel’s view of her brothers’ painting projects, tucked away in the pouch sling that ushered our family into the world of wearing our babies.
Seeing Elliott overcome the fears of scratches and dirt and general uncertainty recently has been such a joy.
And Myles? Well, he’s never really feared much of anything at all, has he? Always the first one in the tree, or knee deep in mud, or digging for bugs.
While driving to our weekly moms’ group yesterday, I peeked in the rear view mirror and found these two…pretty much a perfect representation of most of their waking hours.
I appologize, again, for my hiatus…I’ve been thinking about what this space means to me, what I’ve done here in the past, and what I’d like to do in the future. It’s not that I haven’t felt the pull to write here over the past couple of months…it’s more that I feel my ramblings taking a newer shape and I’m not sure if they should do so here, or if I should begin fresh somewhere else. Not that a new blog with a new name would effect much, but I’m craving a little bit of evolution and I’m not positive how to go about that. So we’ll see, I suppose.
But for now, a small reintroduction…I really hate when I let this place slip away from me for such long stretches at a time. I mean, two months? Two months is enormous in growing child time. Huge.
In the past two months, my darling Elliott has truly morphed from this little boy into this kid. All set for the next phase of his life, all that he talks about is kindergarten. Right. The first baby, the one that I swore I’d never let out of the nest…the first reason that I so diligently researched our homeschooling options: he is registered for kindergarten and counting down the days. He can’t wait, and it mutually breaks my heart and makes it soar. I’m glad that we’re in the position to be true to our children’s needs, individually- that we can tackle this education thing the way that feels most perfect to us; one child and one year at a time.
It’s just crazy that the first year is already looming over us.
And Myles! Myles is a pistol, as he has been since he began…but his creativity lately is astounding. The stories that he weaves, the songs that he sings, the jokes that he creates- he is amazing. We’ve witnessed a more sensitive part of him emerging over the latest few months, and I’m not sure how much of it was always there beneath his surface and how much of it is developing in response to his growing into his role as the middle child. He can go from the highest of happies to the most sorrowful of sorrows in moments, and it’s evident that he feels everything so deeply. He reminds me so much of myself, and I find myself trying to find new ways to make sure that he feels validated. Big emotions are difficult enough for big people to handle- they must feel so much heavier to one who’s only yet knee high.
And then there’s sweet Hazel. Our darling little baby- but she’s just not that little anymore. Ten months and two days have glided by effortlessly since our little girl came along. In less than two months we’ll be celebrating her first year, even though it feels like she was breathed into our lives just last night. I’m sitting here in our bed, typing this just inches from where she was born, and next to me (snuggled up to her Daddy) I see a jumble of limbs and potential energy where a newborn, knees tucked to chest, was just lying. Her baby fat is melting into little steps and first words and new preferences and ideas and loves. I’m simultaneously amazed and devastated.
And I’m just here, taking in as much as I can and yet, somehow, missing so much. Blessings and curses all wrapped up in days that feel tedious, but that fly by too quickly in piles of weeks and months and, I’m afraid, years.
March? Twenty-fourth? Only a week left of this, apparently, quickest month EVER? I don’t know if I know what to do with that information. And the fact that it’s been close to two months since I updated this blog is a tiny bit shameful. In fact, the only reason that I even noticed that it has actually been that long is because I came by to peek on past entries, suspicious of the notion that, it seems, I wind up occupying the same head space every year at this time.
Maybe it’s the impending spring, chasing the cabin fever out of our blood, that makes me feel itchy and inadequate. All of those months spent trapped inside of these walls, grating on each other’s nerves, pushing buttons, gasping for air and grass and space to run- by late February, we are just SO DONE. I find myself attacking every mothery thing that I would normally be holding sacred, questioning my ability to pull this off, craving just one more minute to myself.
And just when that desperate feeling peaks, March throws me a rope and we have the break that we so desperately need…air to breath, peace of mind. Thank God.
PS- I promise to do this bloggy thing again, and soon. I crave this outlet when I don’t utilize it, for sure.
It’s been an entire year now since we wandered into that over-crowded waiting room at Hillcrest Hospital and waited for our turn with the ultrasound technician. One year since we found out that the little baby that I’d longed for, prayed for, mourned for, hoped for was going to be our sweet little girl. One year since we looked at each other and agreed without a doubt that her name would be Hazel Jane.
To be clear, we’d have been just as ecstatic to add a third rumble-tumble son to our family. Maybe it would have stopped in their tracks the random strangers who now comment “You’ve got your girl now! Are you finished having babies?” But I knew. I knew that God was going to give us a daughter. I’d prayed for this little baby through so many early losses- the entire year before Hazel was given to us was riddled with small holes, tears, heart breaks…positive tests and moments of promise followed swiftly by an end. Over and over and over. My care provider’s suggestion was to stop taking pregnancy tests, but not knowing that we were losing babies wasn’t going to change the fact that it was happening. And so I prayed. And prayed and prayed and prayed. And I broke down and asked for prayer. And I experienced signs that, if I typed them out here, would make me seem absolutely out-of-my-mind crazy…but they were comforting to me, all the same. I didn’t care if the baby that I prayed for was a son or a daughter, but I knew that this longing to add to our family wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t, indeed, someone who was missing from us. Even still, I knew that God was going to give us a daughter. I didn’t want to dwell on it, on the small details…but I knew.
I can’t believe that it’s been an entire year since we saw that first hint of our little one’s identity.
Sweet Hazel Jane, we’re so glad that you’re ours.
It’s practically gone- this first month of a brand new year feels like it’s completely slipped away unnoticed, and I’ve got zero idea how. January is usually our busiest month, filled to the brim with birthdays and anniversaries…but this year, immediately after the birthday celebrations, we were blind sided by a wonderful winter illness that, I guess, knocked us out for the majority of the month. Yikes.
Oh, well. A month in review, shall we?
And January concludes tomorrow- with our eight year wedding anniversary. Eight years! It’s cliche, but I really can’t believe that we’ve pulled off 80% of a decade already. Amazing.
January fifth holds more significance to me than almost any other day of the year. On January fifth 2002, my now husband asked me out for the first time and, as we’d been friends for a pretty long time before then, the situation was cushioned by an understandable layer of uncertainty. We went for it, anyway, well knowing that badly timed dating has the potential to permanently ruin decent friendships. About six months later, he dumped me. (I KNOW. Don’t worry- we’re past that now.) And come the following winter, we reconciled and decided to give it another shot. On January fifth. But not intentionally on January fifth. Funny, no?
We were engaged a handful of months later, married the following January (not the fifth) and the rest, as they say, is history. Love and marriage and all that.
The fall and early winter of 2006 was an awful one for me. First, we lost our first baby at 13 weeks in September. We hadn’t expected or planned for a baby this early in our marriage, but warmed up to the idea pretty quickly- but it seemed that as soon as we were over the shock of the pregnancy, we received the news that our baby had stopped growing and that our pregnancy was nearing its end. For those of you who’ve been through this, you know that there’s really no more devastating feeling than the loss of a baby. It’s choke-it-back hard, and there’s no good way to deal with it. Almost immediately after our loss, my grandmother- who had been ill for some time- began to show signs of further declining health. The last conversation that I had with her before she passed was about our lost baby and, by the next time I saw her (weeks later), dementia had taken over and I wasn’t sure that she even knew exactly who I was. She passed away in early December and I remember driving home that evening, after waiting with our family in her home all day for her last moments, seeing a shooting star over the freeway near our home.
I guess that now is a good time for the shooting star tangent- but warning: it’s going to make me sound crazy.
I’ve seen shooting stars surrounding significant events in my adult life. I saw one the evening that I realized that I was in love with my awesome friend. I saw one in the midst of one of the most depressing, hurtful periods of my life. I saw one after my engagement. I saw one the night before my wedding. And I saw one on the way home from watching my grandmother leave.
A few months later, right after our first baby would have been due, I decided to get a shooting star tattooed on my upper back. My husband, being ever so supportive, suggested that I’d not be able to stand the pain and that I should schedule the black and white background first, and then schedule the finishing of the tattoo later. You know. Ease into it, right? So I get the tattoo (and, ahem, really Dear?) and schedule the appointment to complete it weeks later. Days before I’m due to head in for it, I realize that something’s feeling off. I pee on a stick. I’m pregnant. Ha!
So when you’re pregnant, the first thing that you do (obviously, right?) is hit the internet and pull up one of those little “Due Date Calculators”. My estimated due date is, of course January fifth. Our little 1-5er’s estimated conception date? The due date of our first baby. Tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Of course, though, everyone knows that babies don’t come on their estimated due dates- in fact, only five percent of babies come naturally (not via induction) on their EDDs. And an average first time mother gives birth at well over 41 weeks- so I wasn’t going to have my baby on January fifth. But it was funny still, you know?
So we can go ahead and fast forward to January fourth, 2007. A group of friends and I had been meeting weekly for coffee for a pretty long time and, seeing as how we were meeting the night before my EDD, they prayed for me and my impending labor. As soon (AS SOON) as their prayer was over and their hands were lifted off of me, my contractions began- perfectly spaced at five minutes apart from that moment until the next morning, when headed to the hospital in very obvious labor. And so, a few hours later, our little Elliott Holden was born…on January fifth.
I’ve always looked at Elliott as a confirmation that we’re on the right track, that we made the right decisions all of those years ago. And as a promise that, even in the middle of one of the most emotionally exhausting seasons of loss in my life, God had a much bigger plan for me and for us than I could have conjured up myself.
Our little Promise Baby is five years old today- the same day that our relationship arrives at decade status. It’s cool to call that a coincidence- I’ll call it amazing.
Twenty-twelve. Holy wow.
I’ve never been big on new year’s resolutions, mostly as a cop-out. If I don’t make any, I can’t break any- am I right? But I’m thinking about giving it a try this year. It’s a biggish year, anyway, being my thirtieth and all. So here goes:
I resolve to read two books a month. Something about having young children has lent me to convenience reading, mostly blogs and on-line news articles and such…but I used to be (and really, still am) a complete book hound. Multiple books a week. For years. And in the past few years, I’ve only really read through books that I HAD to read. So in twenty-twelve, I resolve to read two books a month- both books that I actually want to read.
I resolve to make more. I’ve been working towards this for a long time, anyway- I already make most of our cleaning supplies and sew some cutesy items, but I want to further limit our convenience consumption.
I resolve to make time for myself. It may come as a surprise, but this stay at home mom gig can get to be pretty consuming, and I wind up justifying the fact that I don’t take much time for myself by counting things like a few minutes on Facebook and taking showers as “me time”.
I resolve to be grateful more, and to let it be known. Little things, like dropping a thankful email when I have a good experience at a store or telling my husband and my children how much I appreciate them- I’d like to pay more attention to the little details that really mean something to someone.
I resolve to go easier on myself. No further explanation necessary, right?