Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Summer at Six Months

I wish you all could have heard Mike’s description of Summer’s discovery of his red tie – and rediscovery . . . and redicovery – throughout our three hour church block last Sunday. Each time it would seem to catch her as a gasp-worthy and totally new thing of wonder.

Then she’d get distracted for a moment.

Then suddenly, “Gasp! A RED tie! It’s like nothing I’ve seen before! I must grab it!”

Distracted.

Then, “WHAT is this wonderful thing I see! A red tie?? I really just want to clutch it in my little fists!”

Another distraction.

Then, “Where did THIS come from! It’s a red tie! Good heavens! Give it here!”

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Babies, for the most part, seem fairly . . . I don’t know . . . nondescript at this stage. Generally speaking of course. They are no longer their tiny, slumpy, little newborn self. But they aren’t yet waddling about and trying first words.

I always forget that when it’s my own baby at this stage . . . it’s absolutely intriguing. Riveting. As far from “nondescript” and boring as anything could possibly be.

I haven’t even been appropriately sentimental over leaving stages behind of late. I have in the past, mind. I recall feeling great loss now and then at the thought of my babies changing and growing. I’m sure I’ve blogged my little sorrows over our inability to freeze time. I know I’m not void of that proper and natural sentiment. It’s just . . . every new thing Summer starts doing adds so much to my enjoyment that I forget to be sad over anything we are leaving behind. I’m sure I will be at some point. I’m particularly fond of the early toddler days and can hardly bear to see them slipping away. But for now? I just kind of . . . like that she keeps growing and changing.

That’s all, I guess. Oh except . . . at Sunday dinner Mike announced that we were going to start working on showing proper displays of disapproval. The disapproving stare. The purse-lipped, raised-eyebrow look of slight disdain. Apparently there had been far too much of the opposite going on throughout dinner (displays of delight, laughter and encouragement over inappropriate dinner-time behaviors). Soon we will all have them sitting straight backed with high collars and stern faces. We will have them glowering at lesser children who engage in things like potty talk, eating with their hands, and laughing with their mouths full. Not too soon though . . . we had them practice their disapproving stares, and, most of what they came up with was wholly unsatisfactory – bordering between looking constipated, terrifyingly gleeful, or slightly insane.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Thomas, Cameras, and Placebos

I was slightly aghast yesterday when, shortly after taking these pictures, I heard Anders say that Thomas had just run over Sir Topham Hatt. Good heavens! I liked this response from one of my friends on Facebook: “Poor, dear Sir Topham Hatt! Another casualty of a boy’s imagination.”
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Speaking of taking those pictures. . . . Not long ago one of my children knocked my DSLR off of our computer desk (my fault – I shouldn’t have left it there). My one really good lens (which happened to be attached at the time – because it nearly always is . . . or was) now focuses sporadically at best. It sent me into a bit of self-wallowing that wouldn’t allow me to get my camera out at all for several weeks. Yesterday I decided that, perhaps, my moping had gone on long enough, so I pulled it out and attached my “it will do” lens. Still . . . I feel . . . loss. It’s silly of course. But I do.
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Anyway, this poor child:
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He was wronged in every possible way by every possible sibling yesterday -- or so it seemed to him, at the time that this picture was taken. Dear boy. He did wake up fevery and sick this morning, so perhaps the over-reaction to siblings (and life in general) was compounded by illness setting in.

Abe, while mostly pleasant in every way yesterday, seemed, at least momentarily, unduly put out about the wet rag Penny was wandering around with. I think he was laboring under some fear of it actually touching him. But, you see . . . I’m a rather strong proponent of . . . placebo treatments of nearly every imaginable kind. “Your stomach hurts? Lie a pillow under it. That always works.” “Your leg hurts? Here, wrap this blanket around it. It’s a sure cure.” “Your wiggly tooth hurts? Hmm. Maybe suck on a wet cloth. That always fixes wiggly-tooth pain.”
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It’s just there are soooo many aches and pains around here. Separating the real from the imagined is already more of a task than I can fully rise to, moving beyond that to actually curing the host of ills presented to me daily? Well . . . that’s asking far too much of any human. Even a mother kind of human. And . . . I suppose my methods typically cure them . . . enough. Once I convinced a child that holding a rock on her skinned knee would stop it from hurting. It got us home. And, Penny was quite happy with her little, wet, duck washcloth yesterday. In fact, her wiggly tooth didn’t bother her again.

And now . . . for those who can press on: a bunch of shots taken with my phone while I was moping over my “real camera” situation.
Photo Dec 29, 6 10 06 PMPhoto Dec 31, 12 41 25 PMPhoto Dec 31, 8 43 36 AMPhoto Dec 31, 2 07 16 PM (1)Photo Dec 31, 9 06 31 AMPhoto Dec 31, 3 24 30 PM (1)Photo Jan 01, 2 46 38 PMPhoto Jan 02, 7 49 37 PMPhoto Jan 02, 9 25 09 AMPhoto Jan 02, 10 37 06 AMPhoto Jan 03, 10 28 05 AMPhoto Jan 06, 10 00 06 PMPhoto Jan 07, 2 02 20 PMPhoto Jan 07, 2 03 32 PMPhoto Jan 07, 2 05 22 PM (1)Photo Jan 12, 9 09 17 AMPhoto Jan 12, 9 12 47 AMPhoto Jan 16, 2 06 39 PMPhoto Jan 14, 7 32 43 PMPhoto Jan 14, 12 01 01 PMPhoto Jan 17, 8 18 28 AMPhoto Jan 19, 10 46 41 AMPhoto Jan 16, 2 24 22 PMPhoto Jan 14, 12 05 32 PM (1)Photo Jan 15, 9 22 16 AMPhoto Jan 16, 2 06 41 PMPhoto Jan 21, 3 14 07 PMPhoto Jan 25, 6 54 52 PMPhoto Jan 21, 3 51 20 PMPhoto Jan 23, 3 50 26 PMPhoto Jan 23, 3 51 49 PMPhoto Jan 23, 6 42 19 PM

It would have been better to have separated them and written about girl cousins and crafts, McKayla (our neighbor and babysitter for years in both WA and, by a twist of wondrous luck, UT), Jesse getting to take apart our dish washer, Spider-Man acquiring hair, Mike assembling and hanging clip frames for me, and Mike when he plays his fiddle (which is not nearly often enough), etc. It would have been better, but also . . . more work. And, it’s rather late, and I’m rather tired. So, goodnight, sleep tight you all (if I had any claim to southern anything, I certainly would have said “y’all”).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jesse, Anders, and The Ordinary

Jesse

Recently, one of the older kids asked me about a possible visit to the zoo. Before I could answer, Jesse broke in. With great passion he exclaimed, “I don’t like the zoo! I don’t want to go!”

“Why don’t you like the zoo?” I questioned (more than a little taken aback).

“Because it’s hot, and we stay there a long time, and it’s just no fun.”

“But,” I pressed, “don’t you like the animals?”

“Well,” he said (with only the briefest pause) “nope.”

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During a cold snap last week Jesse said, “When I’m a dad, I think I might forget about my kids when they’re outside. I might forget to bring them in at night time.”

Yah. I know. I did that with plant starts one time. It happens.

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I was standing next to Jesse’s top bunk the other night – waiting for him to finish his bedtime prayer so I could tuck him in. Among other cool things he prayed, “We thank thee for my awesome mind.”

Amen.

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Daisy gave a little lesson for “Family Home Evening” the other night. (Monday nights are reserved around here for family adventures, discussions, or lessons.) She had created little cut outs labeled with words like “Pre-Mortal Life”, “Birth”, “Earth”, etc.

Addressing the younger kids she asked, “Does anybody know why we came to earth?”

“To have a hard life,” Jesse sighed.

Hahaha. Oh dear. I have tried to help my kids understand that part of our mortal experience will include dealing with difficult things, but perhaps I’ve hit that point home a little too strongly. Next lesson? 2 Ne. 2 : 25 “. . . men are, that they might have joy.”

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Anders

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“Anders? Did you go potty in your underwear?” I ask.

“Well,” he replies, looking down, “somebody did.”

I guess him. But, who knows.

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I kind of feel like I should be posting something . . . rebirthy. You know: the new year, fresh starts, renewal, goals and the like.

But, I’ve just been changing diapers, and putting away Christmas, and staying up late with Mike to take care of life’s very non-special requirements such as: clearing everything out of our fridge and freezer so it can defrost for the repair man.

My mind has just been plodding along in its normal fashion, taking in its normal things; and I haven’t been struck with any thoughts of a new or goal orientated nature.

Instead, I suppose, I’ll just look for motivation and story-line in the ongoing and ordinary. Finding inspiration in the fridge might be difficult, but the rest of the ordinary? Surely I can find some things there. Stay tuned.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

38

Today is my birthday.

I’m practically an old woman now and will probably be dead soon. But, the awesome thing is, I don’t really mind. (Well, about the old woman part. I’m not totally on board with the being dead part yet – only because there are all these needy little people here that I feel some obligation to.) I recall being sad-ish when I turned 30. I was no longer in my twenties; those young adventurous twenties that I so identified with.

But, of late, I seem to have embraced some Native American or Asian (surely not American?) reverence for old age and all its accompanying experience and wisdom. I feel kind of awesome that there is a good chance I’ve already accomplished – maybe not half – but surely well over a third of this mortal living business. I feel admiration and borderline envy for those who have waded life’s storms and managed its troubles for 60 and 70 and 80 years.

Someday I will be them.

And I will be so wise.

Or . . . not (as the case may be), but we can always hope.

In the meantime, I’ll take 38 with a “thank you kindly”; and, also, I will quit pretending to not like my just-after-Christmas birthday. “Blah blah blah. It’s a busy time. It gets lost in the shuffle.” Actually, I’ve always loved that my birthday is all tied in and associated with Christmas (and with my dad’s birthday – which was yesterday, but which he often postponed a day to celebrate with me during my growing up years). I also like starting my own new years with . . . you know . . . the new year.

Anyway, happy birthday to me. 38 years ago . . . my mom and dad had me. My mom was just two years older than I am now – 40. My dad was 46. It was their tenth time being in the hospital about to welcome a little new person to this earth. And I got to be that person! 38 years ago. Today. I love that. Such a happy thing!

Earlier the kids painted a little wooden army of people with me. My four were pretty awesome. (As were red-beard, Chewbacca, the ninja baby and others.) Now, I’m off to eat the birthday dinner Mike has been making and the birthday cake all covered with whip cream and pudding that the girls have been making. And then, Mike will wash dishes and force the kids to clean up and insist everyone let “mom” relax.

That’s nice.

Photo Dec 18, 2 43 11 PMPhoto Dec 18, 3 00 46 PMPhoto Dec 28, 4 03 45 PMPhoto Dec 28, 4 05 16 PMPhoto Dec 18, 2 57 32 PMPhoto Dec 20, 9 37 37 PMPhoto Dec 23, 3 25 36 PMPhoto Dec 23, 3 34 07 PMPhoto Dec 23, 3 39 51 PMPhoto Dec 23, 11 26 14 AMPhoto Dec 23, 11 26 37 AMPhoto Dec 25, 11 32 23 AMPhoto Dec 27, 9 48 33 AM (2)Photo Dec 27, 9 48 56 AMPhoto Dec 27, 9 49 00 AMPhoto Dec 28, 4 53 45 PMPhoto Dec 28, 4 54 40 PM

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