Friday, September 19, 2014

the misfits.

i woke up late this morning because of a rough night with the baby. i knew it was the school fundraiser, where parents are invited to walk a mile with their kids, but figured i would have to miss it. like all the things i've been missing lately. all the late pickups from school. all the missed soccer games. all the forgotten tennis shoes for gym day. the unwashed shorts he wanted to wear today. the unprinted picture day form. the frantic email to the teachers...can you print that for me?

i was going on a walk anyway. i needed to get out and maybe the baby would fall asleep finally in the stroller.
i would do my regular course towards the school.
i would pass by the pathway going directly to the school and try to ignore it. no, it makes me nervous...i don't know anyone. people will judge me for my jankety stroller with the weird wheel. everyone has all the newest and best here. 
 but i would stop and turn around. i would decide that maybe i could catch lila's class on the track. a moment of bravery that was unlike me. and at best, not of me.

i saw lila's teacher coming up the trail off the track, colliding serendipitously with mine as i walked up the hill. i couldn't see lila in the crowd of children and parents and began to feel a bit of panic reach my cheeks. where is she. and why am i the only parent that didn't show up?

and then whatever angst was in my cheeks sank deep into my heart when i saw her at the very end of the group. there she was, hidden behind a mother and father  holding their little girl's hand, as she teetered between them. those three towering like a visible gate. you don't belong here. 

i wanted to burst into tears. the sleepless nights. all the changes. the inability to do anything right or on time--it had all softened me to an embarrassing level.
mom! skipping and with a smile, she saw me.

hi, baby. how was your walk?

fun. i walk. fun!

my head was spinning. i was thinking of how we don't fit in here. i saw the crowd of kids and parents ahead of us on the hill with balloons and music and celebration. except i was at a funeral of all the things we lost when we moved from her safe preschool where everyone was different and our safe church where we knew everyone and our safe neighborhood in the city where we belonged.

we walked up on the hill of people and no one talked to us. mom's grouped together in circles like cages.
ignored, we chatted with ourselves. and my voice wavering a little i said, lila. i love you.
i luh you, mom.
the teacher gathered some girls to take a picture. lila, come over!
and lila was stuck in the middle of the group without the fundraising tshirt on that everyone had on. and sandals. and purple pants.
 of course. of course! if ever i needed a visual picture of my life, there it is. we don't fit in...got it.



when they were done, i talked with the little girls. hell, if none of the adults would talk to me, i'll talk to the children. i tried to explain to them that lila didn't have a lot of words but that she still loves friends. she's different. it's ok to notice that about her.

and then the teacher hollered for the kids and they all left.
ok, go with them, lila. when all i really wanted to do was gather her up and go home where it was safe.
she ran to meet the group and i turned around to walk home. a mom i had seen in the pick up line passed me.

and the words, HEY! i don't think i've met you yet, flew out of my mouth as if by accident. i immediately wanted them back. what am i doing?
her accent was different and thick. we exchanged names, talked about our kids for a good while. i told her about lila. she doesn't really fit in, everythings new for all of us. 
and she lunged at me with a hug. i'm so sorry. that is very hard. i came here with no english. i know this feeling.
we exchanged a few stories of not belonging and moving to a new place...a few snippets about our lives and then we exchanged phone numbers.

it was the colliding of two misfits and it was beautiful and redeeming.
i walked away in a blur of the strange and painful morning that was laced with beauty. i thought of lila in the back of the line and could feel my wind hit my wet eyes.
i thought of how she didn't seem to notice that she was an outcast and i pictured Jesus holding her hand in the back of the line, laughing and looking down at her.

later as i stood washing dishes at the sink feeling sad again, i smelled that woman's perfume lingering on me from our hug. the fragrance of acceptance swirled around me and i remembered lila and Jesus at the back of the line together.

that.
for her and for me. he is holding us both.
that friendship is all i need to know. let me smell that fragrance every day.

i thought about how He knows how it feels to be an outcast, even in his own town. like me. i grew up in these very suburbs, and now i have no place here.
i thought about how He sympathized with her and me because he was rejected to the highest degree possible so that we would not be rejected before God. He knows because he lived it.
he had already walked a mile in lila's shoes that day and mine too, when he went to the cross all those years ago.

and so from his bravery, i will face this year. resting on all of his courage and none of mine.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

first day of school. where i act like i'm sad.

today we sent the kids to school.
this after i was up all night with a newborn.
i could write a sentimental post, but listen, they're in a better place. i.e. mom is a crazy lady who doesn't sleep and acts bipolar for sure.

this is literally how i feel inside. as seen in a terrible you tube video of an orangutan dancing. i actually heard this same music as we pulled up to the school.




(layne's hair =lloyd christmas)

child: mom, why are you eating cupcakes for breakfast? and is that your second?

me: guys. quit being so observant. eat your bland cereal and be thankful.


so basically, we got to school. spent way too much time in lila's kindergarten class with all the other excited/sentimental/pretend sentimental parents. and lila told me to leave, so whatever. i left. after i showed her her desk and asked her if she wanted to join the other kiddos playing legos on the floor. she said no. she just wanted to unpack her school supplies and then went over to the teacher's desk where she found a cup of markers.

you should have seen her face. she was in heaven. ALL THESE MARKERS, mom!
that's when i knew she would be ok. i told the teacher, hey...she found your markers. you might want to watch out for that one. 
(should have shown her pictures of all the lampshades, walls, couches, lila's "arted" all over.)

then chuckled awkwardly /slightly evil-ish as i left. i was not sad. lila was not sad. this is going to be a good year for her with lots of things i can't give her at home.


for instance, attention. minor detail of parenting.

reference this picture if you don't believe me: it's a known fact no child takes you seriously when you try and parent while nursing. they laugh in your face.
winter garb in the summer. 


anyway, of course we were late getting to layne's classroom and we literally shoved him in the door. he looked back with anxiety on his face. i whisper yelled, it's going to be fine, buddy. , i mouthed 3rd grade! with one hand in the air cheering and through the little window in the door.

i'm sorry. it's all i got right now, layne.

penelope will go to preschool in a couple weeks and i'm wondering if there's a newborn preschool. PRE pre school. jay kay. i love having pruett all to myself. and even penelope. i haven't been able to really spend a lot of one on one time with her either. yay to a year of firsts for this family! (that was my pathetic cheer). at least we're doing it together.

alllll six of us.

ok giant parenthetical statement coming up:

( i feel like i should reference for memories sake, last night we went out-- without any kids...even Pruett, for my birthday. we have awkward proof.


and the kids and hubs got me cards that were so sweet.
and i won't remember any of it because i don't sleep and everything is a blur.
so this makes it real. this happened, tired self! )

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

er'day life

having a newborn around is truly crazy town. i mean, a blessing. that's what i meant...it's a blessing.
and it is. it's also nuts.
(sure. wear your brothers tank top today. don't care.)

of course, when we methodically planned all this having a baby stuff out (fine, we didn't plan it out. it was a really long winter?), we didn't take into account the sleepless nights, the other kiddos schedules, being places on time... like school. why can't schools give you an hour window in which to drop the kids off. anytime between 8am and 9am is great! we know you're nursing a baby, who has no schedule and that he will probably poop out of his onesie when you're walking out the door to come here with your 3 other kids...that you had to dress with real clothes.
(hi, little bald eagle)

me for president.
that would create world peace, i'm sure of it. well that, and naps. i'm very convinced that most people are mean because they just needed a nap. these are the deep thoughts i ponder throughout the day. you're welcome.
(i decided layne should do some summer spelling review work before he goes back to school. on thursday. oops.)


so i have been wanting to use my normal camera...not the iPhone, to capture some every day life. now that we're stuck in the house (i.e. i'm too scared to take all 4 out at the same time), it seems like a perfect time to start back to documenting life.
(a gentle binky shove never hurt anyone)

not pictured is me being mean in the early morning. i am so rude to the kids when i wake up. but i'm hoping no one remembers the crazy mom days. also, i'm saving for their therapy. no one will call me unprepared ever again!

but ya, life right now is pretty unpredictable. in all honesty, i am not equipped for 4 children. i sing, you sustain oh Lord, you sustain. healer of the broken, your nearness is good. (insert microphone emoji and mariah carey hands).

also, sometimes my lunch is a graham cracker. or 5. maybe a string cheese if i have some extra time.
(lila doing some "mummers"...aka numbers work)

i find that the more children i have, the more i don't know what i'm doing. and the less i cling hard and fast to particular ways of mothering. you will see formula on our counter along side of pumped breast milk. with layne, i wouldn't have even dreamed of supplementing. and i cried in the middle of the night wishing i could. now i just do.
(birthday flowers lila picked out)


look around at the world and all the giant problems and then supplementing with bottles doesn't seem like a huge deal. at all. nor do the hundred million other things we fuss about as parents. so i'm just not doing it this time around. happy world breastfeeding week. ell ohh ell.
(annnnnd a lot of watching shows is happening)

anyway, my birthday is tomorrow and i could care less. pruett stole my heart and my desire to do fun things for my birthday this year. just a sleep deprived, unpregnant, non kankle-ee,  quiet dinner with the hubs is as close to heaven as i can think of at this point. my standards are at a new low, but i'm liking it. i can only go up from here, right?

later gators.

Friday, August 1, 2014

welcome, pruett james

it's 4 am and i should be sleeping right now, but i can't. i guess the insomnia, even though exhausted, will continue of a bit longer.
there are lots of things going on in my brain right now, and i don't know if it's hormones or just normal, but i swing from complete joy to overwhelming thoughts of oh myyyyy word, how do i do four kids?

i sent pruett to hang with the nurse for a bit, so i'm hands free and thought writing would help maybe. i'll tell you about his birth and maybe reliving the thought of how he came to be will make me really tired.

i showed up almost an hour late for my induction because. i don't know. it's my fourth and i was like, oops. sorry guys...not a morning person. so around 8 they do my IV and set me up on pitocin. everyone hates pit, but i love it because it makes me have a baby really quick. when the contractions started getting uncomfortable around 9:30, we sent for the magical epidural.

this is where it gets tricky because epidurals make me a bit nauseous and i'm such a baby with needles and blood and--you'd think by now i could handle all this. so of course my blood pressure gets really low and i want to puke. i'm sweating. and it's only working on one side. i think i might faint...

but within 20 minutes they gave me some meds...
and put me on my side. the epi was working great. i felt much better...magical even.  so we waited and i sort of napped off and on while my body was doing some crazy hard work. who invented epidurals? let's make out. what?

also, i told my family not to come up to the hospital. i don't love crowds or chaos and i knew that would come later with visitors anyway. there's something great about just sharing that moment with the one that got you into this pickle in the first place.

my doctor broke my water at 10 and although i normally progress super fast, my body was taking it's sweet time. i was completely content with this as i was riding the magic carpet ride of an epidural. i got to a 5 at noon and i told my husband, my body usually turns into a machine at this point. 

a little before 1, my nurse checked me again and was like, umm, don't move. 
my doctor rushed into the room a couple minutes later.
give me a push.
great!  
one more...
no stop!
here he is!

he truly fell out. which goes to show that my lady parts need to retire.
but, no tearing, no stitches...praise Him!


of course i cried.
that little human has been inside of me growing and i've been loving something i've never seen.
 and now i really get to meet him.
i kept staring at him, he looks so different than i thought he would. i guess i was expecting another little layne twin, but he's his own person.


now, he's been loud when he doesn't like something and super aggressive while eating (i.e. my poor nipples). Lord, please let my milk come in...before this little guy destroys me.
but i guess if you're going to be the last of four, these are qualities you'd want to have.

and tomorrow reality hits when we go home.
(lila was not into the baby! and this photo will be hung on a wall it makes me laugh so hard)
(she eventually warmed up to the idea of pruett joining our family)


and since we're talking reality, glad to be going home with this man. i will never get over the fact that our family should've been destroyed, but instead gets added too. how crazy is God?


-----

pruett james
7lbs 5 oz
18.5 inches long
july 30, 2014




Monday, July 28, 2014

9 pregnancy must haves for this gal.

before this baby is out, i thought i'd tell you my faves during this round of pregnancy. by number 4, you'd hope i'd figure out things. there are so many products out there, but here's what i've loved and really used.

1)unisom + B6 for really bad morning/all day sickness. i talked about it more here. life saver.

2) skinny jeans from motherhood maternity. the house brand. cheaper than other fancy brands i have but they do not fall down and slouch all weird in the crotch. i think i bought them for around $30 on sale... but right now they are buy one for $30 get another pair free. HELLO. and they are true to size. if you are a medium, buy a medium.

3)maxi skirts: i mean especially at the end. like wearing yoga pants but socially acceptable and even called dressy. yes please. because PANTS ARE IMPOSSIBLE NOW--my faves are from gap. the fold over top!


4) any pregnancy app that tells you how far along you are. i forget constantly...but the app is always there to remind you! i used "baby bump" because it was free but i'm sure there are other ones.

5) crushed ice. i have a weird obsession with ice this time around. but did you know sonic sells bagged crushed ice and it. is. magical? plus it's $1.50
please tell me where i can buy a machine. uhhhhhbsessed.

6)triangle/wedge pillow: i either have heartburn or my feet are swollen, so this magical pillow is used daily.
thanks internet for this delicious pic.


7) young living essential oils. it was so awesome to have another tool in the belt for all the annoyances that come with growing a human in your body. here's what i used the most this pregnancy:
-lemon or grapefruit oil on the ankles for swelling/edema
-peppermint for heart burn and when the baby was breach, i put it on the top of my stomach and at the next appointment, sure enough, he turned!
-digize for constipation right on the top of the stomach under the ribcage. it worked faster than miralax!
-peace and calming for insomnia
-clary sage and geranium for inducing labor (on the bottom of feet)
-pan away for restless leg syndrome applied on the spine and lower back

go here to learn how to purchase them if you're interested

8)these magical underwears with the yoga-like panel! so much more comfy than regular underwear, particularly in the 3rd trimester. when you accidentally gained 45 lbs. but will likely have a 6 lb baby. awwwwkward. don't know how that happened? *cookies

9) h&m basic tank tops. these aren't officially maternity, but they are super long! i went a size up than i normally wear. at 2 for $10, you can't beat it. buy one in every color...you'll wear them under everything. because your shirts will get so stretched that they become see thru. as it turns out. learned the hard way. my B.


hope that helps you pregos!

i'm getting induced on wednesday, so pray for me if you think about it. also...omg, i have to actually have this baby? ugh. i forgot everything. and i'm nervous. and

Thursday, July 24, 2014

living room before and after

next up. living room.
now we can't put the rug down yet because the floors need one more week to breathe freely. or something. whatever...this is one occasion where i'm happy to follow the rules. i don't want to have to go through another floor sanding and staining for a long, long time.

here she is before. what i affectionately called, an oak festival.

and after the white paint got a hold of her:

the beams are actually owl grey by benjamin moore. it's a super super light grey.
the trim is off white by sherwin williams
the walls are white dove by sherwinn williams
yellow circle artwork from minted (they seriously have super high quality prints and the best customer service)
and lila painted the black and white one. genius, i tell you. 
my sis painted that globe for me.




the window seat is perhaps my fave place in the house. perhaps because i heart throw pillows.

perhaps because penelope thinks it's a stage.
would love to take the doors off the cabinets under there and put baskets instead. this too can wait...for now. 
 what? small obsession with black and white? noooooo.

again, lila painted the the dots with the line painting. she calls it a "happuh face!"
the map is from one kings lane and i've also seen it on zulily 
the white rocker chair is from zulily
and the gold table is from target

to my defense, i did try and add pops of color every now and again. 

one thing not lacking in this home is storage. and can i just say that built in bookshelves are changing my life. bold statement. but, it's really hard to be messy when everything has a place...and can be closed into a cabinet. i would like some open shelving in this room, but until i live with the space a little longer, i'm not ready to commit to doors off. 

tv hidden! it kind of is exciting, considering we've always displayed it. there was shelving in here but we knocked it out to fit the tv. 


those little chalkboard pails are in the target $1 spot, just FYI.



we used to have our tufted couch in the living room annnnnnd, it sure was pretty. but then we dominated it hard. it was ripping and sad, so we moved it into our bedroom and put the comfy sectional back. honestly it's a way more comfortable and fitting for this stage of life. 
the couch was our very first purchase together as a couple--at a restoration hardware floor model sale. we of course dominated the original slipcover with permanent markers and had it recovered. grey with white piping. 
the urban outfitters coffee table is super low and round. not an amazing bargain, but i love it for this stage in life, no harsh corners and the kids can color or eat at it. what? i never let my kids eat in the living room while i'm laying on the couch watching shows... wait. that's real life sometimes.
and just because...scenes from the living room with the girls. 
poor, poor dog. 

 needlepoint pillow is on sale at PBteen




and just for shock value, one more time:

if you want to see the kitchen redo, you can go here

the dining room before and after is here