October 14, 2014

i know it's already fall

I'm still a little bit holding on to summer. This was a big one for us. It was lovely and hard and I think all of us grew by leaps and bounds.

Sometimes I think older siblings get a little eclipsed when there's a new little one. Maybe not eclipsed entirely, but a lot of their identity gets funneled into being an older brother or sister. There are so many "how do you like having a baby in the house?" "how do you like being an older brother" questions - which are good and important and necessary, but it doesn't leave a lot of room for everything else.

I want to always remember that this was the summer Guthrie taught herself to read and became comfortable reading aloud to other people - not just her brother, though that was such an important step. She slowly, sometimes painfully, makes her way through short chapter books these days and almost always happily reads Laithe whatever he brings her. Bedtime usually ends with me reading a chapter from a longer book to both kids and then spending a few minutes cuddling after lights out. These days though she waits until Laithe is asleep and then requests to read one or two more books to herself. I feel like Marnie in Little Women when I kiss her head and admonish that she not stay up too late.

This was also the summer she started to really think outside of herself. She's always been so sensitive and empathetic to others, but she has this new desire to help others and to see needs that could be met. Many evenings she will ask if she can do anything to help me. This has also been the summer of needing privacy, needing some time alone to recharge and be inside her own head. She's spent hours drawing in her notebooks and I watch how sometimes the transition away from whatever is going on in her mind is difficult. I'll admit it's a little frustrating sometimes, but oh I remember those days! When I was so involved in my play that I stepping out if it was just the worst! She spends time quietly on the porch with her pocket knife sharpening sticks and I want to guard that time and space for her.

For Laithe I will remember how much he changed physically. Gone is my tiny boy with baby chub still hanging around. He lengthened and stretched until it's easier to see a six pack than a belly. He's always been so intensely physical and this summer was all about football and dancing and rough and tumble. His first trip to the ER for staples in his head (just a few, after a tumble down our top flight of stairs) and I steel myself that it will likely be the first of a few if he's anything like his father. He's intentional with his movements, but I've noticed that in the right environment he'll perceive the risk and then run towards it with all his might. Last summer with his mop of blond hair he reminded me so much of Dennis the Menace, but this year he's full on Peter Pan with an impishness I'm discovering is a personality trait as much as it is his age. Oh he makes us laugh! He tells terrible jokes!

I always knew he loved music, but I guess I didn't realize that there is a constant stream of song in his head. This summer there was so much singing! I occasionally sneak videos of him singing while involved in another activity. I love it.

Though she needs a break from him, Laithe has such a strong desire to be with his sister. She's as much his sidekick as he is hers. I worry sometimes about him carving out an identity separate from her, but he's got years and years to do that. In the past couple months I have also watched him start to really play with other kids, not just next to them. He's beginning to engage with some of our homeschool friends instead of just sitting by them while everyone does their own thing. He comes home from park dates with stories of shenanigans I didn't even realize were happening which makes me very happy for him -- even when they do involve decaying animals!

Both kids have become so independent. I find myself doing the dance that all parents do - to not hover, to let them go out of my sight at the park (within family rules), to help me in the kitchen with real tools and dangerous objects. Some days it's tough, but honestly most days it's a relief and a joy to watch them move comfortably outside arms length.

I have amazing kids. They are such a gift. And I'm so honored to be their mother! For sure it was a summer to remember.

October 11, 2014

one month, two month, three months old

This baby girl of ours! She is just the sweetest. Three months have passed since she made her entrance. And, if it's possible, we love her even more than when she arrived.

That first month, it really was full of sweetness. The five of us learned how to function with a newborn and spent so much time together. 

The second month, well, that one was a bit rougher, if I'm honest. You had a lot of tears that month and I got a little nervous you were taking after your sister a bit with the rough adjustment to the world, or you know colic. 
Life got back to normal with school and work and everyday life. No less sweet, but this mom got 
a bit of a rude awakening, or something. 

And now sweetness you are three months old and the days are just slipping by with you growing and changing every day. Your smiles are the best and your laughs and squeals, oh my goodness! Your brother and sister take such good care of you. They love to make you giggle. You are a flexible baby thankfully with easily dissuaded tears. As Guthrie says, I just love your little personality that's coming out every day!

Happy Three Month Birthday Juniper Leigh! 

September 5, 2014


My almost 8 year old daughter has a new word in her vocabulary: lazy.

And she's flung it about a couple of times in my general direction.

The first time it happened I was getting her and Laithe ready for bed. Bedtime almost always involves putting away the clean laundry that mom has washed and folded and sometimes sorted and neatly stacked on the end of your bed. The kids hate it. I don't really care. It gets done. This time though I'd sorted Laithe's clothes into 3 piles, shirts, pants, pjs, and left Guthrie's in one big stack. Because if left unattended Laithe will shove all his clothes into the top drawer and eventually the dresser will fall on him when he goes to get dressed. It's a small dresser, it causes no damage and I'm fairly certain it will still happen in college.

Laithe finished putting his clothes away and I was sitting on his bed with him nursing Juniper getting ready to start our nightly chapter book. Guthrie says, "why do you sort his clothes and not mine?" "Well, you're 7 and can be trusted to put your clothes away correctly, but Laithe is 4 and he still has a hard time."

She puts a few more things away and turns away from me and I hear ever so slightly not under her breath "You are SO lazy!"


She turns around, turns beet red and covers her face with her hands. Apology, reprimand and hugs, etc etc. And I laughingly told several people about it because 1. it was so out of character and 2. it's hilarious because, well it just was really really funny - I'd washed, folded, and stacked the clothes on her bed, I was multi-tasking nursing a baby, reading a freaking chapter book to my kids before bed. If that's not overachieving I don't know what is.

The next week we're at my mom's and the kids want us to play in her backyard with them. I wasn't up for it. Again with the "you guys are so lazy" but this time it was not under her breath and this time it was not one bit funny because, well, grandparent. Again with the reprimand and apology and eventual hugs. The end and hasn't been repeated.

Except it's stayed with me.

You are SO lazy!

Not that she said it, but that it's an echo of that inner voice I try so hard to squash.

The one that reminds me that I went to bed again with dishes in the sink, or didn't answer that text or email, or didn't pack my husband's lunch, or let the kids watch another show just so I could sit for a minute, or whatever. She says I'm not doing Enough.

Which, to be blunt, is just fucking ridiculous.


That voice, she is such an asshole! And she only gets particularly loud when I'm feeling overwhelmed -- which first week of homeschooling for the year, 8 week old baby, life in general, any one of those things could make a person feel overwhelmed. I'm well aware that I'm at the stage in life where things will get dropped, frequently, and as long as one of those things is not the baby then #winning.

I think one of the reasons I'm so annoyed by all of this is because I thought I was over this. I thought I had given that voice the boot -- or at least duct taped her mouth shut for the next 5 years. Because I truly believe that the greatest thing we can all do is just show up. Anything else is gravy.

So, here's to Showing Up and knowing it's Enough.  Every time.


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