Friday, January 27, 2012

My New Favorite

One of my dearest friends, Rosana, sent me this today.  It was perfect timing as it goes so well with my thoughts from two days ago.  Read and Enjoy! 

On Being A Mom
By Anna Quindlen

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves.

Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.
Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with "Goodnight Moon" and "Where the Wild Things Are," they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.
What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One boy is toilet trained at 3, his brother at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.
I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month-old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame. The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language - mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I
include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.
Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity.

That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Same Dress

The girls chose their clothes today and decided it would be awesome to be "twins."  Here they are right before we went into school :)  Happy Thursday!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

3rd time around. {vent}

So, it's begun.  The unsolicited advice portion of pregnancy.  That part where strangers as well as people who know me start to give me input on what it's like to have three kids.  This crap infuriates me.  Don't get me wrong; I've often referred to this pregnancy as the "b*&%h-on-wheels" one.  So, the fact that people giving me opinions and sharing stories about their 3rd, 4th, 5th, kids is annoying, is not that surprising.  Here's the thing, I don't want to hear it unless I ASK you.  Often in pregnancy books there are whole sections about "strangers touching your belly."  This is not the problem I have.  People must know not to mess with me.  But, in the last week I've heard "Good luck!" (insert sarcastic tone), "That 3rd one really threw our family off balance" as well as "I don't even remember what that last one weighed/said/ate/drank/etc."  The thought there being that one is too busy with the older children to really care about that last one. 
I am opposed to this idea.  I do not, for one second, believe that this baby's upbringing will be exactly like either of my other two.  But to know me is to know that I document everything and that I'm very present with my children.  I know their birth weights (lbs. AND oz.s), I know their first words, I know the age at which they moved into "big girl beds," and I know when they got potty trained!  I don't forget or act flippant simply because I've done it before...
For example, both girls went to Gymboree once a week with me (starting at 6-9 months) and guess what?...that's the plan again.  Both girls spent the entire first 2 years of their lives at home with me...again, still the plan.  Both girls became fabulous sleepers because of a book I read in every pregnancy and follow almost to a tee...still going to happen.
I do understand that I'm not in control of everything.  If God has another plan, then I will follow it.  But I refuse to think that because I've done the baby/toddler/kid thing before, this time laziness will be sufficient.  It's just not me.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

18 weeks :)

It's almost that time....

We find out whether this baby is a boy or girl a week from tomorrow.  It's funny how you go half way through without even an inkling of what he/she is.  I've had 2 specific dreams related to the sex of this baby; and they have proven that it's literally a 50/50 chance.  In one dream, I had a new baby boy.  In another dream, a girl offered me some cake (there were two choices; one pink,one blue).  She chose my piece for me and it was pink.  So, who knows?!?  Either way, we will be overjoyed.  8 days and counting....

**Also, At the top right of my blog, I've added a poll for you to make your prediction about the gender of this baby.  Please take a moment to vote!!**

Friday, January 20, 2012


This week seemed to be a very busy one!  But I was able to catch these two really cute pic's :) 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Good Afternoon

This is how I found Mad's and Tuck when quiet time was over ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Good Morning :)

Such a nice way to start the day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

White House Tour Collage/1st Day of 2012 Collage :-)

Tour of the White House December 23, 2011

Family Walk through our local nature preserve January 1, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012


Christmas was very busy and fun!  Enjoy the pic's :)

Christmas Time December 2011

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

There has been so much going on around here that blogging has fallen way to the bottom of the list; or possibly even off of it.  Starting on December 18th, I had family visiting and staying with us, and the last of them left yesterday.  It was the BEST time!!! I took lots of pictures (that still need to be uploaded) and created so many memories with and for my children.  It was pretty awesome. 
Christmas night, Gabe said to me that this is our last Christmas with just the girls.  He said it seemed a little sad; like the end of a chapter.  I hadn't thought of it that way but in that moment I totally understood what he meant.
By next Christmas, we'll have a 6 month old hanging out with us.  That seems pretty amazing.  I've had a lot of thoughts about this little person growing inside me but perhaps I'll share that later this week.  On that note, we will be finding out if this little baby is a boy or girl in 1 month from today.  That feels exciting.  Most people who know us, believe it's a boy.  I'm leaning the other way.  In all honesty, I know God is giving us the perfect conclusion to our family.  Either way, we will be pleased :)
So, adios 2011.  Our family is really ready for 2012!