Tuesday, June 29, 2010

5 little monkeys

The five little monkeys in their five little monkey pjs.

These photos were taken a few months ago, lost in downloaded clutter. I just found them and had to post.

Our good friends, Jeremy and Jennifer will be moving to Arizona for an great opportunity next month. The girls will miss their friends, and Lily is sad that Lucy isn't going to her school, but she is excited for a possible trip to visit and go to the Grand Canyon someday in the future.

We wish all the O monkeys the best. :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

I shall not be over flowed

I was trying to decide which verse I'd memorize this week.

By the way, I DID memorize the one from last week, successfully. Go me, it was like 15 words! I did NOT eat any candy for doing so, but made up for it by snarfing 3 of Addie's bday cupcakes last night after dinner. Those go good with the non-shredding I've been up to. Grrr. Time, time?? Where are you? I need you! Please come back! Thank you to a few of you who shared some of your favorite memorized verses last week. Please...Share!! Share!!

A friend of mine shared a verse that she'd memorized and repeated to help her through a rocky time in her marriage. While I'm thankful that I'm not in a rocky place in my marriage, it spoke to me. I've been thinking about it since she said it aloud to me, but I didn't know it well enough to recite it. What resonated about it was the image of not being overflowed. (I doubt overflowed is a word, but what should it be instead, overflew?) I decided to memorize it next so I did know it well enough to "use" it.

I often use the term drowning when describing how I feel when I feel overwhelmed. I feel the image of being washed over by a huge wave, and no matter how hard I try I'm not powerful enough to say standing it. I sometimes feel like I'm sinking. I know the term drowning shouldn't be used lightly. When I'm feeling like this, it helps me to remember, I don't have to keep myself afloat. I don't have to be powerful to stay standing.

The wonderful events of the weekend were many, and we had a full full full weekend. Friday I took Sabine to the Jewel concert at the Oregon Zoo as her belated birthday present, then Saturday Lawrence took Lily and Addie to the Tigard Balloon Festival at 5:30am, then I had a baby shower for Nichole at Mother's, then we went to West Linn to play in the sprinklers at the park before going to a Going Away party for Jeremy and Jennifer, Sunday Lily and I ran errands all morning for Addie's party and Lawrence and Addie make cupcakes. We had a 3rd bday party with 22! people at our house, 3 families + another AuPair and little boy. It's hard to believe my little Addie is almost three. This morning the girls started a VBS camp at Lily's school (the girls were so sweet at drop off - it deserves a blog of it's own, I literally love them to tears!). We are preparing for an upcoming 6hr+ trip accross the state to see my mom and a lot of friends. Life it so good and so full. I wish there were less worries and more time. I wish I could always remember the goodness and not sweat the small stuff. I wish I could love quicker and be slower to anger. But in the mean time, while I'm OF COURSE working feverishly at all these things, I will memorize a few more divine Words to help me through my moments of "drowning".

When you pass through the water, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. Isaiah 43:2

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beach Camping

Since this wasn't a Father's Day or a weekend that we want to go down in the history books, I wanted to write about the weekend before, an awesome weekend. We went camping at Nehalem Bay State Park on the Oregon Coast with ALL THREE KIDS. I like to say it that way, ALL THREE KIDS, because it felt like such an accomplishment, and it is, meeting all those little needs and attempting to enjoy ourselves and create memories for the kids is hard. But we did it.

Sometimes as a parent, you feel superhuman. Of course you also sometimes feel supertired or superimpatient. But there are the times when you do stuff that you are like, "WOW. We did it." "And we did it with three kids". ALL THREE KIDS. And we had fun. We'll sort of. In a really hard work sort of way! After packing up the entire car for the second time in 3 days, we pulled away exhausted at 9:30 in the morning, having been up since 4amish due to squawking birds, I said exactly that. "Well, that was fun." "Sort of". Camping fun has taken on a whole new meaning. It's not just sitting around the camp fire, drinking beer, talking leisurely walks exploring, and roasting hot dogs any more. It is 19 hrs of MADNESS and 5 hrs of broken sleep per day.

I remember camping as a kid, and it is such a highlight. And I really needed that uninterrupted time of fun with my family. A break from the world and the chores of the house to just be with Lawrence and the kids. And they had so much fun. No bedtimes or eating healthy. Getting dirty and a little sun kissed. Playing in the sand. Running in feety pjs and rain boots. Meeting kids at the playground, new "friends" whose names they never got and whom they will never see again. All the fun and no structure is a lot of work for mommy and daddy who used to camp to sit and do nothing. :)

Nehalem Bay on the Oregon Coast is one of our favorite State Park campgrounds. The ground is soft and sandy, the ocean is in ear shot, but it is just over some sand dunes, so you are protected from some of the wind. It's clean and nice, and we just love it there. The last time we went Lily was about 20 months old or so, so it was time to go back. Our friends Josh and Shawna and their little girl, Rachel, came too (not to mention their 24 week old bun in the oven!).

When we arrived, we started setting up camp. It felt awesome and I kept thinking, 'why wasn't I sure if we could do this, it was going perfectly'. The site was right next to a play ground, and while I planned it that way, I couldn't have imagined a better location or a nicer play structure. After about an hour Addie had an accident in her panties, #2. What a mess, just when we got that cleaned up, we discovered that Bryson was up to his neck in #2, literally up to his neck. Gross. So we took about an hour break to clean them both up, wash our hands a bazillion times and throw out some clothing, wash car seat covers, toys, bibs, etc. It was everywhere. Just when he was all cleaned up we had him standing there naked, and he smiled at Lawrence and peed all over the back of the truck and almost all over Lawrence. Lawrence just said to me, "Look at this guy!" as we watch the stream of pee splatter all over, we both fell over laughing, which made him laugh, and us laugh more.

The first night, sleeping went rather well, the second night Bryson had a really hard time falling asleep and you could hear him crying through the entire campground. I started to feel stressed and overwhelmed like, why did we do this? But finally Lawrence got him settled and when I went back into the tent, Bryson was asleep on daddy's chest. Lawrence was lying side ways across the air mattress with his shoes still on, sleeping on his back. Somehow he'd managed to get Addie and Bryson both asleep that way. We were all exhausted from our day of sun and sand - and eating and drinking lots of junk.

Here are a bunch of random pictures from the weekend. At the bottom there is a link to the whole snapfish album. I don't have the time to get them all in order to tell a story, and I don't really think that is necessary! :)

Bryson waking up from his nap in the Ergo. It was so loud with the waves and the windy, I only knew he was awake by the sounds of raspberries being blown into my neck!

Going Potty upon arrival. Unfortunately only a few minutes later, an accident followed. That's our giant tent (and Lawrence's early Father's Day gift) in the back.

After having a blow out up to his neck, he decided to pee on daddy's bumper while getting cleaned up. Yeah, he was pretty pleased with himself. At this point we'd been at the campsite for 30 minutes and already thrown away clothes from 2 kids due to, "Ugh, way to gross to clean with cold water alone!"
Me, my girl Shawna, Bryson napping, Fat Tire in a Can. Proof that we did spend some time together too!

It was just what we all needed. Everyone, including mommy - not including daddy, slept for the entire 2 hr drive home. We arrived home around 11:30am on Sunday and then had the rest of the day to enjoy in the Sun at home. If you don't live in Portland, you might not know, but it's been rather stingy with the sun so far this summer. Looks like that is about to change. Fingers crossed! :)

One more camping trip planned this summer, also on the beach to a State Park we've never been to, a little closer to home. That sounds just about right to me. I'm glad we have that, but kind of glad that's it. The girls absolutely love camping and sleeping in their sleeping bags on air mattresses. Bryson loves being outside so much that he could just look around at the sky and the trees all day. Lawrence and I love doing all of this for our kids.

And a lot for ourselves too

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bible Verses

When I was a kid, I loved going to Vacation Bible School or with my friends to Sunday School and Children's Church. My mom wasn't religious at all, but she allowed me to go and figure out for my self what I believed. For that, I am so grateful. Anyway, one of my favorite things was the...CANDY. Man, did they give our a lot of candy. I also remember memorizing Bible Verses. I was SUPER good at it. I didn't ever really stop to think about what the verses meant, except that if you got them right, they usually gave you more CANDY. Sometimes in my adult life, I'll hear a bible verse and remember little Jenny memorizing that verse, then reciting it the loudest/first/most accurate...to get some, you guessed it, CANDY. Man little Jenny with her big glasses was cute. I used to be excellent at memorizing. It served me well in choir, drama, heck, even in college. My mom used to tell me phone numbers when I was 6 years old, full on, with area codes, and I'd memorize them so she didn't have to remember where she put her address book. I always could remember things, and Bible verses were no different. People my age always complain, we blame it on cell phones and computers. We can't remember phone numbers or how to spell. We talk about how sad it is. We seem to leave out the fact that we have been getting, on average 4-5 hrs of sleep for the past five years or so, plus pregnancy brains are replaced by mommy brains, and now I see why my mom couldn't keep track of a silly little address book. Just this morning I told Lily something, of course I can't remember what it is at the moment, that she was to help me to remember to tell Sabine later, in case I forgot. Bad news is, I've already forgot, good news is, I know Lily still remembers. Maybe I should give her a piece of candy when she tells me, so I can keep this Pavlov's dog memory game going to get her through the hard subjects in High School.

Right now, I'm reading the book, "The Power of a Praying Parent". Sometimes in life, there's not much else that you can do, other than pray, and that applies to your children as well. Mine as small right now, so I get to keep them in a safety bubble, mostly. Except that I work, so they aren't always with me in my protective bubble, but even so, I consider Sabine's care an extension of my safety bubble. She cares for them and their safety as closely as I do. She is careful and diligent, and I consider them safe when they are with her, or me, or Lawrence. But with Lily going off to Kindergarten next year, and Addie starting preschool, my bubble has some impending holes lingering out there. And so all I can do is pray. That's a lot better than feeling helpless, or leaving it to "chance". I like this book because it gives me ways to specifically pray. It reminds me that we are not alone in our parenting and care taking of our children. God is with us, and with them. We can not be everywhere, but He can. How nice is that?

Today I realized that someone was (must have been!) praying for me when I was a kid. I don't know who you are, or where you are, but I'm almost certain of it. Maybe you are Annette Lathrop or maybe Lorretta Hoole, maybe you are Donna Bronson or Roslyn Clegg. Maybe an unknown neighbor or teacher. I don't know. But whoever you are, thank you. Your prayers were answered and God kept me safe. Sure, I got my bumps and bruises, but I came out of it all as a happy, healthy, and blessed adult. I look around me and I could weep at His faithfulness in blessing every area of my life. If a kid like me can grow up to be an adult like me, then my kids DO have a fighting chance. Yay for realizing that. Really.

I've decided that I'm going to start memorizing Bible verses again. One per week. One that I can use and reflect on, and rest in. One that I can repeat in my head to replace the worry and guilt and anxiety that likes to take up residence there. Something that will help me to breath when I feel like things are just too much. And who knows, maybe it will make my memory a little stronger too. I'll share it here too when I can, partially to be accountable, partially to be able to find it again when I need to (because like my mom, I now lose my little notebook - or it's always in the other diaper bag), partially to possibly share it with another mom/woman/person out there who could use a good Bible verse in their day. And who knows, once I get it memorized, maybe I'll treat myself to a piece of CANDY, you know, just for old time sake.

Here is the one I've chosen for this week:

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. PSALM 4:8

Monday, June 14, 2010

Half a year


Bryson is six months old today.


So...what's he up to?

He is eating 3 solid meals a day, usually some rice cereal with a mixture of green beans, sweet potatoes, pears, or carrots. Just like his sisters, he loves the orange stuff the most.

He is pooping more than once a day most days! This is a big improvement after not pooping for 9 days at a time!

In the last month he has camped twice, meaning slept and napped in a tent 4 nights!

His cheeks get really really red when camping, all the cold air, wind, and sun.

It is hard to put sunscreen on his face because he wipes it into his mouth and eyes.

He smiles so much, almost every time you look at him, he will smile back, even when on the verge of tears.

Lily seems to be his favorite person in the world. HE LOVES her! And she loves him right back. She is so helpful with him, and I make sure she knows it. She's very careful and good at distracting him. She can also feed him solids, and gave him a pumped bottle in the car last weekend on the way to the campsite!!!! That meant we didn't have to stop when it was time for him to eat, and it meant that we also didn't have to listen to him scream. What a help. She knew she was important, and that made me so happy. Anytime I ask her to distract him or keep him happy while I run to the bathroom or anything else, she does it joyfully. She just loves that he is hers.

Bryson really loves Addie too, and if he hears her squeaky little voice coming from anywhere in the house, he looks for it. Especially if he in nursing or trying to go to sleep. She loves to give him his "monk-monk" and likes to make sure he has it at all times. She has a "bear-bear" similar to his "monk-monk" and she loves it. So by her constantly offer to get his MM, I know it is an act of love. She is still a little rough with him, and I can't really trust to leave her in the same room with him, but when she does hurt him, she seems genuinely sorry, and she does really like to be around him. She looses interest much faster than Lily.

Bryson is rolling and scooting everywhere, but is not sitting up yet. Today he rolled himself out of his bumbo seat by himself and didn't get hurt. He still likes to reach for things hanging above him, play with the toys in the exersaucer and reach for anything he sees. He is getting good at grabbing on to things and going for things with a purpose. He seems to spend an equal amount of time on his belly and his back, and since it is his primary way of transport he goes back and forth between the two quite easily and quite often. We are baby proofing more every day. Mostly regarding the girls little toys not laying around.

Daddy's shoulder is still hurt and he finally went to the doctor. They gave him two very deep and painful cortizone shots. So far he is still sore from the appt, but they have also scheduled him for 6 physical therapy appts and surgery is not an option at this point. That made us happy. He is going to be a whole new man when he can use two arms again. His hurt shoulder kind of hangs limply by his side. If he anchors the elbow to his hip, he can use his can't marginally. I can't believe all he lifted and loaded while camping. Holding Bryson is difficult for him, because he is so heavy and very wiggly. But he's got a few tricks and helps out with him as best as he can.

Bryson sure does love his dad. He gives so many smiles to him. Daddy still likes saying, "son", and I hear him calling him son more often than not.

Although he is generally as happy as she was, when he is ready to move, Bryson definitely loses his temper faster than Addie did. When he is done, he is done NOW. He also gets really fussy when getting buckled into the highchair. Once he is in and eating he is fine, but getting in there seems to really piss him off, especially if the food isn't ready.

He eats a whole jar of food at a time, something neither girl did. Grandma Carol is really going to love feeding him because he eats so neatly. Our girls both ate so messy and ended up wearing more of the food than they ate. They both ate better once they could put it in their mouths themselves, but B just opens up and lets you spoon it in as fast as you can go. This makes solid food time go quick and fairly easily. But again, when he is done, he is done. There's no utilizing high chair time for you to get stuff done around the kitchen as we were able to do with both girls.

He spits up just a little each time he eats. So yes, that means I've been cleaning up orange spit up off the carpet most days. Our new carpet isn't so new anymore. :) He's also ruined a shirt or two of mine and Sabine's.

He's also still a massive drooler with no teeth yet. He blows bubbles and raspberries nonstop. Man, that kid is a faucet! He goes through 2-3 shirts and 3-4 bibs A DAY!

I'm eating dairy again!!! So far it hasn't bothered him that I can tell. He is still drinking one bottle of formula a day, sometimes a little more in another bottle of half breast milk half formula. Using Soy formula for now.

When I look at him, I just LOVE him, ADORE him, he has been a real gift to our family. While we decided not to decide until he is two, we are both leaning toward keeping our family a Party of Five. This fits. Bryson seems to complete our family perfectly.

Family photos will be coming soon. We are having them taken this weekend. It's hard to believe the pictures in this header are from when he was six days and now he is six months. And while the time hasn't been easy like it was when we added Addie, it hasn't been as difficult as when we added Lily. Life is fuller, busier, and crazier because Bryson is in it. Soon he'll be sitting and crawling, before we'll know it, our baby won't be a baby anymore. For now, I'm going to eat this baby chub every day that I can! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A day that changed my life

Eleven years ago today, I wore a black long tight skirt with slits up both sides, a tight red v-neck shirt, and some slip on sandals that made a flippy flop sound when I walked. I was so carefree and tan and thin and blond, who knows if I even showered that day, or if I just brushed my hair, teeth, and put some deodorant on and walked out the door. I probably threw on some eyeliner, lipliner and chapstick at a red light in my rear view mirror, because that was where I did my "make-up".

Off to NYK quality training. It was a day off work. My first company - sponsored training. Every new employee had to go to Quality training, and I was a little bummed because I was going to the one in Boise, ID. It wasn't exciting for me, because I lived in Boise, ID. Everyone else I knew went to the one in LA*, NYC**, Chicago***, or even Seattle. But I'd gotten chosen for the lottery of the first ever locally sponsored training. I'd been at my new job for about 9 months, and I was liking it quite well. It was my first thing after college, and I felt like quite the little professional, with my own desk and email address and whatnot. I'd just been offered a position to move to NEW YORK** the day before, and I'd accepted it, I was going. It was a good day.

(*Long Beach, CA; **Secaucus, NJ; *** Lombard, IL; - But, whatever, at this point, I'd grown up in Joseph, OR, went to college in Missoula, MT, and lived in Boise, ID. My pond was small)

I walked in to training and sat across from a pretty cute guy eating a bagel with butter on it. I heaped on cream cheese on my own bagel and chit chatted with him over breakfast. The cute guy was from the Chicago office, as were most of the people in the room who were not from Boise. He was originally from NJ, so I told him I might be moving to the NY office. He corrected me that that office was not in fact in NY, but NJ, and that he'd worked at that office too - just had been transferred to Illinois at his own request. He wanted to know WHY I would want to move to NJ? Had I ever been there? Why did I think I would like it?

I was 22, and really...who CARED? Of course I would like it! My company was moving me accross the country and I was gonna be a CPA, it would be AWESOME!! What did cute guy know about it anyway?

Cute guy didn't want to go to the training in Boise, IDAHO either. It was a 5 hr flight with stops. The only direct flight into IDAHO comes from UTAH. Period. He wanted to go to the one in NJ, free 2 hr direct flight trip home to see his family and friends.

But here we both were. We were in the same group during small group time. We might have had to do some sort of skit together. Cute guy was funny, and smart. His smile had an extra little twinkle for me. I was gorgeous and confident, with a sparkley smile of my own...but I didn't know it at the time. After the training was over, my friend said, 'Wow, Cute Guy from Chicago is totally CUTE". "Yeah, but he's totally in Chicago" was my only reply. I'd just gotten out of a long distance disaster with a stand up comedian, and was not in the market for finding love in another time zone. Still, he was cute. And funny...

As it turns out. Eleven years ago was the day that made me decide that fate really does exists.

That one day training seminar for NYK Quality.

That cute guy from Chicago changed my life. He was the first man to ever show me unconditional love. Five months later, he gave up Chicago and moved to New Jersey even though he didn't want to live there. Two years later, he asked me to marry him. I remember that day, thinking, I can't believe someone actually wants to marry me. And he did marry me. Then he gave me a daughter, and then another, and a finally a son. The first time I saw him whisper 'I love you' to our child, when he didn't know I was looking, I wept at how beautiful it was.

He changed me and loved me in all the ways a person can be loved. He showed me that all the things that didn't work out in my life led me to him. He taught me that when you need a change in your life, you just need to walk home from school another way. He showed me the beauty in my disappointments. He made me feel safe. Every single day he makes me feel like I'm not in this alone. I'm not in anything alone. I'm not perfect, he's not perfect, but we are perfect together. Cheesy as that sounds, it's true. I still remember the little things that impressed me about him in the early days. And I laugh at how easy it was to impress that wounded but strong little girl. I love how he wasn't trying to impress, he was just a great guy. Anyone who knows him knows that he is 100% real. I never have had to wonder where I stand with him, because he puts it out there and doesn't pretend he's anything he's not. If he's mad he acts mad, and if he's happy he acts happy. If he offers to help you move, he wants to help, if he doesn't want to, he won't say yes. If he wants to watch Sportscenter, he wants to watch Sportscenter. :) He did send me 2 cards per day every single day for the five months that we were long distance, so maybe he was trying to impress...just a little. And every once in a while he'll write me a poem or give me a card, just because. Just because he thinks I'm great.

He tells me all the time that he's lucky to be married to me; that I'm the best wife, mother, and woman there is. And he believes it. He believes in me. And that helps me to believe too.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


A week ago I said I was on fire to update my blog and declutter the draft list. But I just can't get there. I'm really in a mental funk, and I'm having a hard time getting out.

Being a working mom is hard. At the end of the day it feels like I just get the scraps of parenting left, missing their happy and well rested days that I work so hard for. On the weekends I get re-filled by the time with my children, it feels like it's going to be enough to get me through another work week to reach the weekend on the other side. But sometimes it's not.

Yesterday it was only Monday and it was not. It started too early, it lasted too long. My stay at home mom friends will tell you that their days are really hard too, that their 'to do' lists don't get done, that the stress and frustration of the day often overwhelms them to their limits. And I know that's true.

But, at the end of their day - spending a few minutes with their kids, is not still waiting at the top of a very long to do list. And that's the difference. A very hard difference that often isolates me and makes me feel very lonely in all this.

At the end of yesterday, I cried. Because I was tired, because I was sad, because I was frustrated, because I want to be more than I am.

I can feel my self wanting to withdraw. Me! The wants-to-connect-with-everyone-all-the-time-girl. Wants to withdraw. This is so not like me. Every small request that comes from any direction gives me anxiety. Whether it's a request to meet for coffee, come to a funeral, drop something off, send a card, email a picture, pay a bill, check a date on the calendar, come to a birthday party. I panic. And then I feel pissed. I'm so overwhelmed and I guess my brain is telling me that if I shut down and disconnect from more people - I won't have to deal with as much. I want to be in a little bubble with just me and the people who live in my house, and that's it.

Of course that's not really the root of my problem. Nor is it really my answer.

The problem is I'm a working mom who has 3 kids who aren't yet school age. In my pity party last night, I realized that I do not know a single mom who works with 3 children who are not yet old enough to be in school. In a way that's a little bit comforting, it allows me to give myself a break, but it also hard because I feel really alone. I don't have someone I can connect with relating to this.

Lawrence is so sweet and supportive, and he wants to know what he can do to help me feel better. And so I give him some things, relating to consistency with discipline, or mood, or tone, but mostly there isn't anything anyone can do. I don't even really want to talk about it because I don't want sympathy, I don't want pity eyes, I don't want, "I don't know how you do it". So for yesterday he said, "Let's control the one thing we can, and you go to bed early". So I did, and I was asleep by 9:30 and he fed Bryson his dream feed at 10pm, and I slept until Addie came in at 6am. And it helped. Some sleep helped.

Yesterday I had planned to start day 1 of a new 30 day shred in 40 days. I need to incorporate exercise back in my life. Not only for the physical, but mostly for the mental health it provides me. But I didn't. I'll start that today I guess, yesterday I needed to melt down and then go to sleep.

Work is extremely high pressure right now. There are so many things that are high priority. I'm blessed because I have a great job, and a great boss, and a great staff - and because of all of those things, I am able to barely do all I do.

Addie still continues to have the hardest time with me back to work. It is heartbreaking to see her, she just seems generally less happy, or less happy around me. She and Lily both cling to me and act like bed time is torture, they whine and cry when it's time for me to leave for work, especially Addie. Working from home 2 days a week, saves me the commute time, and the rat race in the evening. It allows me to have lunch together with them and put Addie down for her nap. It allows Sabine to do something with the girls while Bryson naps. But it is hard for Addie to have me home and not to be with me. It's hard for her if I'm in the same room or if I even come in to get a drink of water. She has to readjust to me going back to my office to work again. She is just a mess at least 50% of the time. It pains me to see her hurting. I'm dreading a few months from now when happy & smiling Bryson will start going through separation anxiety and will cry when I leave as well. It will break. my.heart. He is the easiest of the three right now, but requires the most amount of time. But he's so loving and happy, so it seems easier. He's needs are basic and easy to meet, and I don't second guess my self or feel guilty on a daily basis like I do with the other 2. Lily continues to get the short end of the stick with my patience, but she's really an awesome help. She and Addie have been fighting more, and I'm told that happens when, out of survival, kids feel the need to win the heart of moms and dads. To win their time and attention. Some of this is normal, but it's really stepped up a notch over the past month. Great. I know kids are resilient. I know we will all be okay.

And I will continue to revolve my weekends and evenings around them. I will continue to let the laundry and dishes and filing and clutter and mess in the garage pile up so that I can spend every moment with them in the evenings until bed time. I will get to bed earlier, leaving emails unanswered and thank you cards unwritten. I will get my exercise in so that I can have more energy and patience. I have to, because these are the things I can control. These are the things that can do with out me. My husband and my kids cannot, nor can I do with out them. I have to find a way to do less, so I can do more.

But if it seems like I've been missing, from phone calls and facebook and emails and from this blog, it's because I'm struggling, that's where I'm at. I'm withdrawing to put a protective bubble around my house.

If you are my friend or if you are my family, you know I have a generous heart, and I give of my time and my energy and my heart to everyone, all the time. It's hard for me to be selfish. It's hard for me to say no. So I guess I can ask you to not ask anything of me for a few weeks...I'm hanging on by a thread and I just can't do any more right now.

I didn't write this to sound like a downer. I wrote it to be honest about what life is like as a working mom of three. Sometimes it is kind of a downer, that's the truth. Being a mom and a wife and a friend is awesome. I refuse to be discontented with the hard things in my life. And that's kind of where I've been during the week lately, I come up on the weekends gasping for air. So I just need to find a way to get through this tough time. I'm someone who loves my life. I'm someone who loves my family and my friends. And I'm someone who always finds a way to see the good, have faith in God's plan for me, and who will walk through the tough stuff, holding tight to the great stuff.

This is just a season, and this too shall pass. I know that. I'm not even really looking for it to pass. Passing means they grow up, and I know there will be a day that I look back and LONG for them to be this size. So I want to savor this time, not hope for it to pass. And as long as I'm in my little bubble with my little household, I'm really okay. It's when the outside world, good intentioned as it may be, starts crashing in, that I start to feel that can't handle any more.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Answer

I complained on FaceBook yesterday about how yucky my day was. Then I prayed a little that my foul mood would turn around.

I hate being or feeling negative. And I just couldn't get out of the funk all day yesterday for a million little reasons, fortunately no big ones.

But then...

I got an answer, as this reminder appeared outside my office window...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If you cry yourself to sleep, does that mean it was a good weekend?

Addie tastes S'Mores for the first time

My happy mom and happy Bryson "Grandma Lanie" (or Manie as Addie calls her)

Last year, my blog got all bottle necked after Memorial Day weekend. I had 500 awesome pictures that my mom took, a few mediocre ones that I took, and I wanted to wait and write the perfect blog about the perfect weekend. I was also 9 weeks pregnant with Bryson last MDW and I was worried that I wanted to share how I shared our pregnancy with my mom, but I couldn't because I wasn't ready to go public. Anyway. So this year, I AGAIN don't have all the photos I want, because some are on my moms camera and some are on Sabine's camera, and I'm sure there are even more on various cousin cameras, but if I don't write about the weekend, the details will be lost, and I'll be bottle necked again for summer.

And I'm already bottle necked from March - April - May...starting with a hike to Multnomah Falls, skiing with Lily, feeling alive, Oaks Park, Roller Skating, Au Pair news, etc, etc, etc. (I even looked back at my drafts and much to my chagrin, there is still a draft of Lily's bday party from October sitting in there. YIKES!). Anyway.

Well the annual 4 hr drive to our family's ranch outside of Pendleton, Oregon, in Coombes Canyon went well. Sabine sat in the back with the kids, so she handled a lot of the requests for a snack or to open something or to calm fussy Bryson. We stopped in Pendleton for a potty break, lunch, and to let the kids play. In Pendleton, the only place you can do all three of those things is McDonald's, so that is where we went. While there, my cousin Rosy came by to visit. Then as we were leaving my 92 year old Great-Aunt La France and her daughter and son in law, Gay and Woody stopped by. I was SO happy to see Aunt La France and for her to get to meet Bryson. Only in a small town do you stop at McDonald's 4 hrs from home and see 4 relatives by chance!
We pitched our new tent once we arrived, and one for Sabine too, giving her the option to join us or to sleep on her own. We did introductions and people were still arriving so we set up camp. The kids ran and played and ran and played and everyone doted over Bryson and his non stop smiles. My mom and brother arrived shortly after, more hugs and fun. The girls can never get enough of their uncle and his girlfriend. I opened a beer around 5pm ish and went to bed at 10pm ish with over half of it left, just to give you an idea of my sitting and indulging time. It was a very fun night, but not much rest for me, not much sitting and talking for me either. "Honey, we have three kids, this is just how it is now when we travel...CRAZY!"
Between trying to get our camp set up and playing with the kids and getting people fed, including my nursing baby, keeping my little people warm and myself warm, it was just a lot. Addie didn't nap that day and begged to go to bed after Bryson was asleep, instead she went in the tent, woke him up, and then came in and out 5x. After I told her she'd have to sleep in the house with the dogs if she came out one more time, she stayed in the tent, but didn't get to sleep forever. Bryson stayed up forever that night too. It was SO cold in the tent and they both woke a bunch. Bryson slept in my sleeping bag with me, meaning I didn't sleep much, you know, making sure he was breathing the whole night and not face down in the air mattress. Lily did awesome.

My cousin Amber is about to have a baby girl in Boise, so my other cousin - her sister, Grace, stayed with her and didn't come to the ranch this year. But their mom, my Aunt Sylvia, brought Grace's older son Caleb, who is 4.5. Lily and Caleb were stuck like glue most of the weekend. It was so awesome to see them play at the Ranch. Running free without worrying about traffic or strangers, it reminded me of my childhood and playing at the Ranch with Amy, Rosy, & Suzy. There were other cousins, but those 3 were the ones who played the most with me when I was Lily's age, all within a year of my age.

They had glow bracelets and flashlights and went on "adventures" looking for footprints and bugs. It was so awesome. The first night, Addie was too tired to join in, but the second night she got to as a reward for taking a great nap. She had so much fun with them, and they didn't make her a 3rd wheel, she got to join right in.

My cousin John took Lawrence and Sabine up on the hill to shoot guns. They had a great time, I was glad that Sabine got to experience something she probably wouldn't otherwise. Some Au Pairs go on vacation with their families to California or Hawaii, we take ours to Eastern Oregon, the middle of nowhere to freeze her butt off in a tent. But at least she got to shoot a gun! :) Lawrence also enjoyed the target practice and thinks my cousin John is pretty cool to hang out with.

The weather was nice on Sunday, warmer and not as windy as on Saturday. We all got sunburns on our faces because it was overcast and I wasn't thinking. We had our annual fund raising auction and I got to be the auctioneer. I wasn't great at it, but it was fun. Last year we used the funds to make DVDs out of all my grandpas old home videos. I'm not sure what the $$ will go to this year, but we raised close to $300, mostly reselling stuff from our own houses that we didn't want any more + selling regifting type material. I had a few things I wanted to sell that I realized were given to me by people who would be at the auction. Then as I'm auctioneering, I see at LEAST 3 things that I gave to people being sold. I totally shoulda brought my stuff. If I had any room in the truck!

Last year our car was STUFFED to the brim. This year we have that same car and added 2 people, one who takes up a GIGANTIC car seat. Needless to say we are getting much more creative with our packing, and only bringing the "essentials". I say it in quotes because among the "essentials" there was a muffin tin and badmitton rackets. Lily made fork flowers to sell and was thrilled to see them going like hotcakes. :) Grandma Lanie won some for $3.00 but it was a lot of bidding on them. If I would have remembered her Mother's Day gift from Lily she would have gotten some for free. Sigh.
Saturday late night it POURED rain, POURED. It was fine, because it was just before bedtime, so we all got in to the tent. The night was warmer and we'd also borrowed my uncles small tent space heater. So we were toasty. I'd also been given a super warm hooded sleepsack for Bryson and dressed everyone in more unneeded layers. Sabine was given an extra 2 sleeping bags at least! So we were warm, and the sound of the rain on the tent is relaxing. Our new tent is waterproof...until you unzip it, then in dumps the water. But it was okay. Putting it back in the car was interesting, with Lawrence's hurt shoulder. Everything was wet. I had it all timed out that we'd be leaving right around Bryson's nap, but instead we were late, and he took his nap in my mom's arms waiting for Lawrence to finish loading and puzzling us all together. I offered for Sabine to ride up front so I could be close to the kids and give her a break on her day "off". Lawrence turned on the truck, it didn't start. He blamed me for leaving something plugged into the cigarette lighter all night. Okay. Luckily we were in the company of 3 mechanics and within a minute we were jumped and running. So then we get to Pendleton and I hear Bryson starting to poop for the first time in several days. We pull off at Wendy's, decide to get some lunch since Addie is sleeping. I started getting the flashes in my eyes that means a migraine headache is coming on. We stopped somewhere around The Dalles so I could puke and find some Exederin Migraine. I did both, and within 50 miles I could feel it working. Oh, and Sabine traded me back for the front seat.

By Portland my headache was there, but by some miracle it was no longer a migraine and I could see a future to my evening where I would be able to help unpack the car and take a shower. Not in that order.
We got home and everyone showered and bathed, and showered again. We set back up the tents in the Portland sun and let them dry out. Then we played outside with the girls new bug catchers they won at the auction. As we went to bed we heard Lily crying and crying in her room. When we went up to see what was the matter, she was crying because she missed the ranch. On and on she cried. There was no reasoning with her and we had to just let her be sad.

I know this isn't the most interesting blog I've ever written, but sometimes you just have to get the details out there, the ones that will be boring to most everyone who wasn't there.

Lily's favorite part: Seeing a wishing star

Addie's favorite part: Daddy's hat flying off while on the 4 wheeler and Lily going to get it for him

Sabine's favorite part: Shooting guns

Mommy's LOL: Lily runs up to my lap after a long day of running and playing and having so much fun with her cousins. I pull her close to me and kiss her cheek and say, "Lil, I feel like I've barely seen you today", she says, " I know mom, maybe next weekend you can schedule us some family time".

Mommy's favorite part: Seeing the kids run and play at the ranch, carefree and without worry. Loved knowing that bigger cousins were watching out for my little guys. Also loved watching Lily and Addie play the game of life.

Mommy's biggest regret: Not enough time to sit and talk. Especially needed more time with Rosy.

Daddy loved : His new tent, his Fat Tire in a can, his packing ingenuity, indulging his "shoulda been a cowboy" heart!

Other honorable mentions: Kite flying, bubble blowing, playing with Elyssa, paling around with Nick, seeing Marley and Shelby, ALL the Wilke's, lots of time with Susannah and Clemy, Lily and Clementina walking on a log
Titus and Ruth sharing big baby supplies, making a mud-pie Y, Suzy's boyfriend buying all the stuff they didn't need and outbidding himself, Matt and Heather camping at the top of the hill...sounded better in the heat and the daylight, silly zoned Addie high on Benedryl due to itchy watery eyes, everyone getting to the bottom of who drove Nick so fast on the 4wheeler up to Laurie's house, only to find out it was Laurie, and last but not least Lawrence bidding on dumb crap we didn't need at the auction, only to win a little rascals puzzle that is SURE to not have all it's pieces. I was a pretty biased auctioneer and only let him actually win once! :) Unlike Jeff and John, who I left win OFTEN when trying to bid other people up.

I've rambled enough...that's it! See you tomorrow as I attempt to unclog my blog and post some old stuff. It's June 1 and I feel the need to be caught up. Hot damn, it's June 1! The forecast is RAIN!