Monday, August 29, 2011

quick. don't do this.

I've been reading. The same wise friend who suggested this book also suggested that I make a don't do list, as the author did. As someone prone to epic to-do lists, writing this out was fantastic.

1. I don't sew.
I really admire your beautiful handmade stuff. But I don't sew. I wish fabric wasn't so pretty, but I'm going to go ahead and not buy any and instead support your etsy shop. In the free moments that I have, I don't want to sew.
2. I don't cloth diaper.
Cloth diapers are cute and I do enjoy the planet, but we are on an ancient, temperamental septic system and I'm not down with the poo turning my backyard into a lagoon. I feel like admitting this makes me lose hippie cred, but whatevs. I don't cloth diaper.
3. I don't do decorative gardening.
If you've been to my house you're not surprised, but unless it's edible, I don't want to be responsible for growing it.
4. I don't homeschool.
I feel like there is an expectation that I would homeschool. I was in grad school for teaching, after all. But (at least for now), I am not going to homeschool. My wise husband recently told me that either the kids or I would need to be institutionalized and he thinks it should be them. I agree.
5. I don't can food.
This one is hard for me to admit. Normally I like canning but this year the idea of sweating in a hot kitchen during the few moments that my 3 (!) kids aren't climbing me doesn't sound fun. If I'm in the kitchen I'm cooking a meal or baking something awesome. That's it.
6. I don't clip coupons.
This could truly be a blog post of its own, but I am horrible with coupons. I admire people who save boatloads of money with coupons, but I am not that girl.

I love that I can refer back to this list and remind myself what isn't on my job description during this season. I love that I have friends who sew and homeschool and have AMAZING gardens (Hi, Tina!) I love that I have cloth diapering friends and friends who love canning. We have all been given so many hours each day and we get to decide how to use those precious hours. Maybe next time I'll share with you what's on my to-do list. It's gotten good.

What's on your don't do list?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

claire elisabeth: bright one, a gift consecrated to God.

Six years ago I waddled into church already feeling big as a house. I was barely pregnant, but my jeans already seemed snug. This baby growing inside of me felt like an invader. I couldn't believe that I was pregnant. We had just started our second year of marriage. I had a five year plan.

A girl that had gotten married right around the time that we had stopped me in the parking lot. She looked put together and cute and decidedly unpregnant. Maybe she asked how I was doing. I can't remember. What I do remember is telling her that I was pregnant. And that this was not my timing. I remember her saying to me that it probably felt bittersweet. In the moment, it felt less sweet than bitter. But as I warmed up to this baby taking residence inside my body, I clung to her words. It was bittersweet. I would surrender my idea of what my life would look like and enter into the most life changing relationship I could imagine. With this girl:

Being Claire's mother has taught me more about grace than any sermon. She IS the gift that I didn't know that I needed. Grad school, travel, skinny pants, all of it seems so small when compared to the joy of watching her unfold. She is my gift of grace.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

michelin man

My Mister, fast asleep on his floor after a wild night of tire changin'.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

speaking of mercies being new every morning.

One of the things that we're still navigating is the sharing of rooms. And mostly it has been okay because a)Ingrid is really cute and b) she doesn't get into Claire's things. I'm guessing Claire might feel differently about sharing a room with her sister when Ingrid becomes mobile or when she decides that she wants to wear a favorite skirt. But for now, it's been pretty simple.

The one tricky part is the nap/quiet playtime. Ingrid and Evie nap each afternoon but Claire just plays independently while they sleep. Lately, I've been having her truck her (extensive) collection of art supplies, dolls and toys downstairs to play. Today she decided to have a "show" down there during her quiet play time. She took a CD player and her voice traveled up the stairs. This is what she sang:
Don't worry about a thing.

Cause every little thing is gonna be alright.

Amen, Clairegirl. It really is.


I'm not going to be able to tie a neat little bow around this post. I wish I could.

So the thing about having 3 kids is that someone is always crying. And someone is usually awake. It feels harder than I imagined. This weekend's highlights included: near mastitis (me), stitches in a chin (Everett) and projectile vomit (Claire).

Going to a movie seems like an unattainable luxury.

I've been parenting with the goal of just getting them to go to sleep at the same time so that I could have a moment to breathe. This is not a good place to parent from.

If a blog post could be a prayer, then this is mine. Help me not to miss them. Help me not to wish away their neediness, their questions. Help me to see them with Your eyes. And when parenting feels like one really long day, remind me that Your mercies are new every morning.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

ham sandwich.

Confession: today I was really mad at Everett. The reason? He intentionally woke up my sleeping baby. The air went out of the room. I gave him a nice little lecture that I'm sure helped him to see why waking up a sleeping baby is a bad idea. Sometimes I think he's such a daddy's boy that he doesn't really mind that we've brought a new little someone into our lives. But he minds. So there have been a million little battles lately.

Tonight as Nate mowed the lawn and Mister was supposed to be sleeping, this is what I encountered:
Instead of getting mad, I laughed. I saw him. My sweet, goofy boy who would rather watch his dad mow the lawn than sleep, even when he missed his afternoon nap. If he needs to be in control of his sleep for a while, I can deal with it. I get it.
And this one? Didn't mind being awakened from her nap at all. If only I were as flexible as a 3rd baby.

Friday, August 05, 2011

its a beautiful day in this neighborhood.

1. We had a water fight (I won)
2. We had a lettuce fight (they won)

3. Claire discovered pbskids, and specifically fell in love with one of my personal faves. She now asks to watch Mr. Robbers about 12 times a day. If we ever find ourselves in 1975 we will totally know how to build red wagons, guitars, sneakers and rubber balls. Hooray.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

mama's little helper.

DIY Iced Chai:
Combine in a medium pan:
2 quarts water
4 black tea bags
1 cinnamon stick
2-4 cardamom pods
2-4 cloves
1 twist black pepper
ginger (only if I have it on hand)
Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
Add 1/4 c maple syrup and boil 5 more minutes.
Strain in a french press.
Pour over ice and add cold milk to taste.

Monday, August 01, 2011

gratitude up to 1,000.

3. Her caterpillar collection..7!
5. White-blonde cowlicks in the morning.
7. Ingrid's thighs.
For even more gifts, go here.