Friday, December 31, 2010

the obligatory last post of 2010.

words fail me.

it's amazing what a difference a year can make in the life of a mama.  i thought i understood it with the first two.  i finally am starting to understand it with the last.

last year at this time.  (my belly.) 

this year at this time.  (i still have a belly.  but i also have my baby boy.)

wow.  we're teetering on the edge of one. 

as i drove home this afternoon from another baby belly that i have blessed to be able to photograph ... i realize that this year has given me more than i have ever asked for or thought i deserved.

thank you for being here with me and reading these little tidbits of my life and encouraging me in more ways than you will ever know. 

have a blessed new year. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

once upon a time i told my husband that it wasn't a problem if he picked up those extra few days of work.

and now?

totally regretting giving the go-ahead for that one.

because looky here.

if the sheer amount of medicinal cups and syringes isn't enough to give you clear indication of the last few days ... then here's some more proof.

yes dear ... those are popsicles on the couch.  i only wish i could have peeled the children off of the couch in order to have fed them popsicles at the table where they belonged.

this picture was taken before the advil wore off.

poor girl ... this is what she looked like 30 minutes later.
if she hadn't been quite so cranky and ornery and whiny ... i might just agree that there is a certain amount of angelic cuteness there too.

this is what prompted the camera-coming-out-while-children-are-sick moments.
because dude.  those eyes.  and that shirt.  and the color of the popsicle ...
you would have thought i planned it.

but i couldn't have because ... i should note ... every single one of us is sick. 

(and totally NOT able to plan the coordination of said clothing and popsicles.)
like fevery.  shakey.  achey.  sneezy.  crabby.  sleepy.  whiny.  and drugged.

it's like the winter version of the seven dwarves.

there is one certain someone that seems to be enjoying it though ...

for my next life ... i totally choose cat.

Monday, December 6, 2010

i might live in the land of the mall of america. but i don't enjoy it.

have i ever told you about that time that i HATE SHOPPING?

and then my mom put my 3 year old in the stroller ...
and took the 6 year old by the hand ...
and handed me the 80 thousand pound baby.

because i needed to go and look in a scrapbooking store for some ridiculously overpriced tag things to make up some stupid crazy i'm totally kind of regretting it story about an elf that lives in our house.

and she said. 
in her sweet mom voice.
we'll be right here.

and then i come out of the store about 2.2 seconds later because i couldn't even find the tag thing that i had in mind and she ... and my can-actually-both-walk children are with her.

and i'm left holding the 90 thousand pound baby.  and i don't have my sling.  because it's on the stroller that she's going to be right here with ...

and then the baby gets hungry and i have no b00b pads or blankets or anything to cover myself up with and i'm in the middle of the mall DURING CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SEASON ON A SATURDAY and none of the stupid men will give me their comfy seats that they are lazily sitting on while reading their dumb books that aren't even written on paper anymore ...

and so i have to sit on a creaky chair at a wobbly table IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MALL SO THAT MY MOM CAN FIND ME ... feeding a baby that looks big enough to be three.  while gazillions of people walk past giving me that look.  and the baby is whacking his foot over and over and over and over and over against the wobbly table.  so that it creaks and squeaks.  over and over and over and over and over and over.

and then three teenage boys sit down at a table just a bit away and start talking about sex and girls and periods and circumcisions and their moms finding out that they are having sex with girls with periods.  and i'm totally grossed out and i just want to kind of maybe walk over to their table and let them know in all of my infinite wisdom that usually the boys that talk the most about sex are the ones getting the least of it.  but i don't.

i just stare into my baby's eyes and whisper things like ...
you won't ever do that to me, will you?
please never have sex until you are 33.
i hope you learn that girls are to always and forever be respected.
please don't get distracted and look away from me because i really don't want to have a pdb (public display of b00b).
where the hell is your grandma?

and then i walk around trying to find her.

and then the baby gets hungry.  again.  and the only open seat is the one i left and the boys are still there.
still talking about stupid things i don't want to hear.

and then i finally give up.  and i walk around with the 100thousand pound baby that is screaming to be put down.

and find my mom.  and my girls.  FORTYFIVE MINUTES LATER.

and she says, i've been calling you.
and i ask, on the phone that is in the stroller?
and i look and the phone has vibrated a minimum of 8 times. 
and she didn't notice it?

oh to the no.  with an extra helping of ho ho ho.

so i leave the mall.  with a super sour taste for christmas shopping in my mouth.

looks like you'll be getting a handmade (with love!) christmas present this year, mom.  i've always wanted to learn how to make a life sized santa out of recycled wine bottles and glitter.

teething. and all that other mommyblogger kinda stuff.

oh holy night.
so ... i'm kinda wondering ... is this whole teething cannot stop wailing and wanting to be held ... a boy-thing?

my girls had several teeth pop up in their mouths without. me. noticing.

but this boy?
apparently i will be blessed with the knowledge of every tooth until it finally makes it's grand appearance.

is this similar to the old men are from mars / women are from venus comparison ...
wherein ...
mommy has a cold.  but can still manage to do the dishes.  wake at 4:30 am.  watch the children.  birth a baby.  write birth announcements.  bake cookies for a bakesale to raise monies for world peace.  craft christmas ornaments out of acorns and pinecones that she hand picked in vermont.  and save baby kittens.  ON THE SAME DAY.

whereas ...
daddy has a cold.  and must stay in bed.  moaning for someone to rub his feet.  ON THE SAME DAY.

why hello there mr. snaggletooth.  you sure are superty cute.

or is that just me?

i was lamenting about this to another mother ... a so-called copycat that has managed to have all the same sexes of children approximately 1-3 months AFTER my childrens were born.  all of which have the most superb of names.  seriously.  i wish i could share them with you.  (her children.  not mine.  though i'm kinda partial to my children's names too.)

off topic, much?

anyhoo.  yes.  and she mentioned her middle child (girl ... obviously ... if you've kept up at all.)  got some crazy number like 7.  read that ... SEVEN ... teeth in one weekend.  and she didn't. even. notice.  because she is a girl.  and we can endure crazy amounts of pain.  and then decide a few years later ... to do it again.  because it was fun. 


if that's what you call childbirth and then staying awake for the next approximately 18 years.

so.  yeah.  where was i going with this?

who knows at this point.  we best just look at another picture of the cute bubbers, shall we?

i promise to stay awake for the next forever if he promises to always look at me with that much happy on his face. 

oh and for the record.  the biting fiasco of 2010 is already over.  a mere 2 days after it began.  i'm like a no biting the b00b expert.  and for just $9.99 ... i'll send you my secret to success.  then you can be an expert too!

Friday, December 3, 2010

the night on which i realize that i don't HATE winter.

i hate winter.
seriously.  i lie to myself all summer long and tell myself i love the idea of 4 very absolutely positively distinct seasons.  lie lie lie LIE.

and then at the very first moment of a snowfall ... i remember that there is oh-so-much to very much dislike about living where i do.

it's cold.
there's SNOW.
not just a bit of snow.
lots of snow.
and the driving on ice sucks.
superty bigtime.

and then?
sometimes.  everyone in my family falls asleep ... including the husband.
and i walk outside ... because now the job of taking the dog out has fallen onto my shoulders too.
and i see this.

and this ...

and catch a glimpse of this.
 and i start to do crazy things like this.
while holding a camera outside as the snowflakes land upon my lashes at rather late an hour ...

and i realize that maybe HATE is too strong a word.
because there really is something ok about late at night when the world doesn't seem quite so dark with a blanket of white snow.

(dear anymommy.  i promise.  i'll still move to somewhere warm with you.  because tomorrow might be a whole 'nother story.  love me.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

where i've been.

over the last month ... i have had this unbelieveable privilage of spending some time with some really amazing and wonderful and talented ladies in an online workshop.

ha.  workshop.  that doesn't even begin to describe what this was to me.

this is sheye.  do you know her yet?  if you don't.  you should. 
her workshop - click here ... i would recommend it in a heartbeat.

is amazing.  it's like paying a minimal fee to be given an unbelieveable amount of supportive like-minded people that give you boosts of confidence.  and give you critique in the most-nice of ways.  and they encourage you to do things like this.

which is a quick glimpse of the me ... right now.  with a sleeping baby on my lap.  studying her class on my laptop.  my camera manual to the side and my girly-girls sharing their halloween candy ...
 and this.

a glimpse of the old me.  through an opportunity that i put together to have my stellers feeding an apple to a horse that i trained when i was much much younger. 
 and this.
an attempt at capturing joy.  in my stella ...

and these ... my backup attempts at finding joy in all of my children.

which is funny.  because what i really found?
was joy in me.

and i've realized through all of this amazing interaction that these images are all me.  magnified. 

i am more energized and excited and scared of this photography piece of me than i have ever been.  i still don't know if i'm ready to officially call myself a photographer.  but i've most definitely become a manual using eye opened finder of the beauty-full things in life.

and it is near impossible to find a way to say thank you to these women for something so big.

oh.  and i've been over here some more too.  babies.  and baby bumps.  and families.

Friday, November 12, 2010

sometimes you just have to shake it.

we finished our boring dinner of french toast and bacon.
i craved a cup of coffee.  with cream.  at too late an hour.
so.  instead we had a **dance party**.

finn seemed initially very confused.
amidst chaos.
and loud hip-hop coming from the on-demand channel.
that above picture is evidence that my girls have GOT THE MOVES.
probably from me.

finn is safely in mama's arms.
and yes.
that is a play mat posing as a living room rug.
is there a problem with that?

not to be outdone.
the boy must show some of his own moves.
he probably gets them from his dad.
who also frequently dances around in just a shirt.

please note.
the girls simultaneously were shaking it.
and turned around and stuck out the tongues.
they had to have planned it.
i'm totally outnumbered here.

send help.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

i thought it was the 28th.

all day.
i spent all day long thinking about how it's the 28th of september and i need to tell stella who she is today ...
because that's what i do on her half birthdays.  4 1/2.  5 1/2.

and then i realized that it was actually the 29th.  and i was already late.  and i didn't have pictures available at that moment.

and hello?  haven't i mentioned that i suck at getting shit done on time before???

so. yeah.  and now.

holy.  when did i get here?

so my belly.  this is who you are ... today.
and probably tomorrow ...

... you still love pink. 
... like REALLY love pink.
... but mostly just light pink.
... though you decided that sometimes you might just like turquoise.
... but it doesn't matter what color cup/bowl/spoon/pillow you have anymore.  that's SO last year.

... you are a voracious reader, as your teacher would say. 
... which means you read everything.  phone numbers on signs, street symbols, and sometimes crows. 
... your favorite word to write on everything lately?  bromenschenkel.  
... (yes.  i know those last two won't make sense to most people.  sorry.) 

... you can make the baby boy laugh.  just. by. jumping. 
... and i kinda think you feel that's one of your greatest life achievements thus far.
... you are still figuring out the whos of who you are.
... sometimes you yell too much - and i think that's my fault.  i'm trying to be better.
... sometimes you stress too much - and i think that's your daddy's fault.  but he's getting better.

... you love art.
... and music.
... and making people happy.

... you love french onion soup.  and people always have a look of confusion when you order it at the restaurant.  (apparently children aren't supposed to like french onion soup.)
... but at every possible opportunity - you tell people that your mommy actually makes the best french onion soup.  ever.

(you are very bright ... har-dee-har-har.)
... your brain amazes me daily.
... you are a thinker. 
... an observer.
... and a social butterfly.
... in other words?  you are well rounded.

... you love your bff.
... you love your sister. 
... you love your brother.
... you are a family girl.  you just plain love your family.
... you love.  plain and simple.
... you are so confident,
... and unconfident - it's hard to explain.
... i want to do what's right for you - but i'm having a really hard time figuring out what that is lately.
... if i could teach you one thing and you would really truly listen to me? it would be that i want you to love yourself for exactly who you are at this very second.  there's no need to think of who you will become or what you couldshouldwould do ... you only need to love the who that you are. already.
... you are beautiful. 
... inside.
... and out.

i love you as big as the universe.  (and just for the record ... that is really REALLY big.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

more orange - at i {heart} faces

so... just a few weeks after i capture had an orange challenge -
i {heart} faces has an orange challenge ...

and because there is just something about this picture that makes me smile ...
i'm subjecting all of you to it, yet again.

my boy.
and the best teething toy ever ...

boy oh boy ... i love this boy.

can you tell i'm starting to fret a little about him turning one?  already.  i still have just under 3 months and wow.  i'm already feeling a bit nostalgic about the whole thing. 
my baby.  gah.

check out i {heart}faces for more orange!

Friday, November 5, 2010

i'm going to sneak in some pictures of halloween all quick like - before anyone notices.

someone had a first halloween
though he had absolutely no choice in what he would be wearing.
 because big sister, cora, decided she must be dora. 
(though for oh-so-many months prior she was determined to be a toilet.  that opened.  and flushed.)
but still.  dora.
and where there's a dora ... there's a boots.
(and a backpack).
and stella (finally!) decided this year to NOT be a princess. 
she chose a cowgirl.
you know.  the cowgirl in the costume catalog that looks all slutty-ish.
whose boots would never be found anywhere nears a pile of horse shit.
so mama ... said yes.
but with a bit more skirt.  please.
and boots that might actually someday find themselves in a barn.

while still maintaining the pink cute-factor.

and i didn't really make my kids use the jack o' lanterns that the squirrels "carved".

trick or treating is hard work.
this is what we came home to at the end of the night after dropping finners off with my dad ...
sleeping monkeys are cute.
sleeping boppas are not quite as cute.
BUT ...
sleeping monkeys sleeping on sleeping boppas are super cute.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

you wiggle your nose when you nurse. and other observations i've made in our mere 9 months together.

you do.
your nose makes this little twitch twitch twitch as you drink.  it's funny.  i hadn't noticed it before this week.  though i'm fairly certain you've done it all along.
it's just that we've gotten to this lovely point during our nursing journey where feeding isn't difficult or time consuming.  it's just lovely.  and easy.  and i enjoy it.

you wiggle.
out of seats.  out of highchairs.  out of strollers.  out of my arms.
you are bound to be much-more of a mover than your sisters were.  are. 
(why didn't any of you moms of boys mention this little fact?  and yes.  anymommy.  i'll be bolting everything to the walls.  thanks for the heads up.)

you love being with the boys.
daddy.  boppa. 
they are your go-to-guys.  you just want to be with them.  doing whatever.  doing nothing.  you will gladly push yourself out of mama's arms to crawl over to them.  unless you are hungry.  or thirsty.  then see the first paragraph of this post.

you observe everything.
you are a watcher.  and i'm pretty sure that you are internally categorizing everything that you see so that you can perform those tasks when the appropriate occasion arrives. 

your swing your feet when you are bored.
as you sit or balance upon my hip or hang out in someone's arms ... your feet swing.  back and forth. 

your eyes are brightest when watching the people that you love.
those beautiful blues shine when you are watching us.  your family.  there is no denying the deep love that you have for your sisters.  and mama.  and  ... of course ... dada.  and those family members that you have absolute trust in.

your laugh is infectious. 
it makes my days shine.
i can't imagine a life without you. 

i love you bubbers. 
xoxo.  mama.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

i'm so busy, i hired pumpkin carvers this year.

with everything going on in my life ... (ohwoeisme!) ... i just couldn't stand the idea of having to carve my own pumpkins this year. 

the time involved!
and the mess!
 and the sharp utensils!

so i hired some help.

so, yeah.  they're a little messy.  but they are extremely productive.  they practically work 'round the clock!  though i have noticed a few squabbles here and there.

they work for peanuts pumpkin seeds, i tell ya!  totally affordable.

and they are pretty cute!  in a rodent-y sorta way. 

and they bring their own tools for the job. 

i think they do a fairly nice job, don't you?  let me know if you need their contact information!

think of the things that you could do with that extra time not spent carving pumpkins with the children!

unless, of course, your children prefer faces and such on their jack o lanterns.

(think my kids will notice if i just pop a tealight in that gaping hole on halloween?)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

orange you glad...

quick lunch.
handed over to finn the BEST TEETHING TOY EVAH. 
(thanks nici for the idea.)

while standing in my green kitchen with amber-orange accents.  because i wanted an orange kitchen.  and jeremy wanted something less-bold.  but i still got my orange.

quick look to my left ... and wow.
apparently i surround myself with orange.  a lot.
or i feed my kids a lot of orange.  maybe.

and as i stood there ... i grabbed my camera to capture the moment ...
and although i'm late to the party ... my kitchen is pretty much evidence that i should join in.

and now ... i'm about to run back to a thrift store where i spotted an orange le crueset pan on thursday.
and i'm hoping it's still there.
because according to pamela ... i need it.
i figure if i'm still thinking about it 3 days later ... it will be fate if it's still there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

in related, yet unrelated news ...

i've finally realized what it's like to be that bus driver that drove me to camp each year.

three children. 


singing row row row your boat in a round.  because finn loves him some row row row your boat.  (it is just about the only thing that stops him from crying instantly.)

oh ... and don't forget the newest version ... fall fall fall is here.

and singing some quite possibly made up version of (but probably not ... thank you first grade) song from your childhood that cycles through verses by just changing the first sound of the nonsense words. 

fee fi fiddley-i-o.  fee fi fiddley-i-oh-oh-oh-oh, fee fi fiddley-i-oooooooohhhhhhhhh.  fee fi fiddley-i-oh.
something something /f/.  something something do! (insert new sound here.)

for the record - first graders don't like when you request "x".

oh yeah.

that was a super fun 12 minutes.  of my life.  that i will never. get. back.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

a letter to my husband on a day 9 days past his actual 36th birthday.

dear husband,

i fretted a little knowing that i hadn't bought you a birthday present the day before your birthday. 

and then the washing machine not-so-lovingly obliged by disintegrating it's motor (in a rather smelly fashion)... which forced me to realize that it was almost better that i had yet to spend money on you ... because ... well ... you were about to get a new washing machine for your birthday!

and then, that afternoon ... the garbage disposal died.  and ... yippee!  you were going to get one of those too!

and yet?  we celebrated you turning a number that can be rounded up to forty
with a gigantic leaf pile, a bonfire, hotdogs and s'mores. 
because that's what you wanted.

topped off with family.  and friends who are LIKE family.
because you realize THAT is what is most important in your life.

oh.  and cheetos.
because cheetos.  are important.  and yummy.
and messy.
and every year i think back on how i've always wanted to get you
something that's really you for your birthday.
about how i thought about that when we were dating.
and when we were first married.
how i would love to give you a grand present.
one that i had to scrimp and save secretly for.
something that could surprise you.
and how i woulda thought i could have done that by now.

and i sit here and realize ...
that truly?
what you want.  is already here.
your wishes have evolved to include things like me.
and these three beautiful children that we have created and love.  together.
and time to enjoy them.

 though i'm pretty sure that you would still take that corvette if i could afford it.

you are truly the love of my life.
happy birthday.