Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Growing Up and Other Miscellany


I don’t know why I always cry my eyes out at the thought of my newborns leaving their precious, tiny, newborness behind. Yes, yes, I can (and have) wax on and on with great sentiment over little people “growing too fast”.

But . . . I always like the new little people they become so well!

I know, there’s missing and the sorrow of forgetting, but there’s also . . . smiling, and cooing, and sleeping longer at night!

Also, I threw a little, pink jacket on her the other day and braved a run with the jog-stroller!
Photo Sep 26, 9 33 46 AM (1)Photo Sep 26, 9 36 53 AM (2)

And “braved” is the correct term. One can’t be sure these new people are sturdy enough not to slump – mid-run – into a miserable little ball of themselves; one can’t be certain they are hearty enough that the wind won’t take their breath away and cause them to panic; one can’t be positive they won’t start screaming several miles away from home.

She did well though! And for a minute I thought perhaps I could start exercising with some regularity again; of course, now the weather has changed to cold, blustery and rainy. Sigh. Between nights with interrupted sleep and mornings that are already far too early – just to get kids ready for school, half-day Kindergarten pick-ups, and Mike’s late nights of work, I fear I shall never exercise routinely again. Weep.

And now, for a few more bits and pieces from the cell phone this past month:

Six of seven:
Photo Sep 16, 3 35 08 PMPhoto Sep 16, 3 35 33 PM
(Summer was sleeping. Heaven help the person who wakes her. . . .)

This and that:
Photo Oct 01, 8 59 57 AMPhoto Sep 10, 5 59 31 PMPhoto Sep 10, 5 59 56 PMPhoto Sep 11, 4 54 41 PMPhoto Sep 11, 4 53 49 PM (1)Photo Sep 11, 8 00 44 PMPhoto Sep 11, 12 04 44 PMPhoto Sep 12, 7 41 02 PMPhoto Sep 13, 1 57 34 PMPhoto Sep 18, 9 02 43 AMPhoto Sep 23, 4 57 59 PMPhoto Sep 23, 6 41 09 PM

I love these pictures. Goldie got this particular pig from her aunt Megan when she was first born. She adores pigs. For her last “special day” (one kid gets to go do something special with Mike or me each month) she went to see Mike’s co-worker’s piglets.
Photo Sep 10, 5 49 00 PMPhoto Sep 10, 5 49 08 PM

Speaking of “special days”, Daisy’s was in September. She and Mike went to some pottery place. She got to paint her own little piece – which came back the next week (after firing) bright and shiny as could be.
Photo Sep 19, 6 39 50 PMPhoto Sep 19, 8 44 16 PM

These!!! Swoon. Her recently-developed chubby arms, her soft skin, her chin and neck, her little sleeping pout!
Photo Sep 22, 8 58 07 AMPhoto Sep 22, 8 58 16 AM

And . . . learning to bat at things. I always feel like my babies are geniuses when they do things like . . . bat at something, or . . . like . . . grow teeth.
Photo Sep 24, 4 22 50 PMPhoto Sep 29, 9 23 03 AM

Also, Halloween décor is up. Last week pretended to still be summer with near 90 degree days, but, the weekend simply begged to be filled with cornstalks and pumpkins by bringing in rain and 60 degree temps. Penny kept holding Anders hand and walking him past the “Ghost Crossing” sign. Eventually that had to be done in costumes from the basement.
Photo Sep 27, 2 31 44 PMPhoto Sep 27, 2 31 46 PMPhoto Sep 28, 12 31 30 AM

Again . . . I’m noticing my older two are far too absent in my pictures. I like them. Where are they all the time? Is it their busier schedules? Their unwillingness? (Can’t be totally that. Daisy is typically willing when pressed.) What kind of a mother am I?

Which reminds me of last night when Abe dropped the Creamie he was eating right on his math homework and I instinctively said, “Haha! Abe just dropped his Creamie on his homework.” and then wonderingly, “What kind of a mother would say that?”

“That’s what I was about to ask,” Abe said.

Ah well. At least I’m the kind of mother who gives a homework-doing kid a Creamie in the first place!


Kara said...

I'm with you....I want to go back and relive my newborn days with each child.....only in those younger versions of my body and with my acquired (ha!) maturity.

Marilyn said...

Okay, I know this is about you and not me, but I have to just address your "never exercise routinely again" comment. Isn't this so hard? I've been pregnant-nursing-pregnant-nursing so long, I have had everything I USED to think about myself disrupted. I used to be a runner, a real runner. (Not a _spectacular_ runner, but a good one. Multiple 3:27 marathon times and almost-effortless long training runs. I feel like I can say this without it being bragging, because it's like I'm talking about some other person.) And I FEEL like, deep down, that I am STILL entitled to consider myself a runner. And yet--by NO definition, if I'm honest about it--can I realistically consider myself one anymore. Sure, I still run sometimes, but anyone who saw me (and I run very early to minimize that chance! :)) would NOT think, "there's a runner", I guarantee it. I'm slow and inconsistent and I'm sure my form has become terrible. You seem to have held onto your talent much better than I did. So---what was it all for, all those hours and years of training? I never cared that much about racing or winning races, it was the satisfaction I felt and the joy I got from running itself that mattered. But NOW I don't have that! (I mean, I do still like running, but it comes with such a high cost of lost sleep or lost time or aching hips or pregnant-stretched out-of-shape muscles). I used to like how others were impressed with me. Now I don't have that anymore either (and it doesn't sound half as good to tell people you USED to be a runner). :) And you know, no one really cares anyway, I've learned. This sounds whiny, and I don't mean it to be, but I just think about it a lot. In high school or college, running was not just something I did, it was part of my identity. Now, though I would LIKE it to be, I just can't realistically say it is. But of course I didn't have motherhood as an identity, back then, so I can't complain. I love my babies. But I still just wonder. Will I get the benefit back, someday, of all those years of running regularly? Will it somehow benefit me when I finally am able to "exercise routinely" again? Or is it back to square one, as if I never did it? Getting out of shape happens so fast, and so ruthlessly. And I'm not as young as I used to be, which is something heartbreakingly and piercingly true instead of a cliché like it used to be.

My patriarchal blessing says, "The things you can't do simultaneously, you will be able to do sequentially." Sometimes that comforts me. Sometimes not. :)

Sorry for the million-word response. I realize these are probably things every mother has thought (who am I? what is this body?), so it's not like I'm saying something new or profound. I guess you just struck a chord. :)

P.S. I was feeling like I'd said all this somewhere before, and found this post: but now I look back on the time I wrote this post and think how much I've deteriorated since THEN! I don't run every day now. Twice a week is a good week. So . . . everything I felt then is just doubly true now, I guess. And I am able to leave my oldest home now to watch the other kids, so really my excuses are dwindling . . . it's more mindset/mental exhaustion that keeps me back these days. And THAT doesn't go away when you have teenagers, from what I hear! :)

Beautify Pacify said...

Hey, what can I say....swoooon sums it all up: that baby of yours is too cute!
Congrats for this idea of a special day. When you have several kids, it's such a great, unique thing to offer them some time alone with one of their parents! We did that at some point, though I must say the beautiful tradition went down quickly (dad very busy, and noone to look after the younger ones if I'm away....)

Nancy said...

Oh Marilyn, I so relate. And yes, it is so hard. So hard feeling like a small part of your identity is slipping from your grasp -- so hard feeling like someone others knew you as, they would never know you as now. And, I think it happens over and over in our lives as we pass through different stages. Nobody now would know me as the "Outstanding Zoology Major" -- the one who taught anatomy lans and assisted professors by holding study sessions for their lower level classes. Few people now would know the cross-country and track runner of my former glory days. And even if they know other versions of me -- ones that might even matter more -- the me who loves their child in Primary, the me who is raising a passel of awesome kids, etc. . . . part of me still cries out "but wait! I'm this person too! Even if . . . I'm kind of not anymore. Still . . . don't just forget that me! It wants to be acknowledged! It wants to thrive!"

And, sadly, I don't know if we can just start where we left off. I never had injuries before. Now, just since my last marathon in 2009, I have had multiple major run-stopping injuries, foot surgery, etc. BUT, I do think there is value in having already done it -- in already knowing how to build up and get where we were. I think our bodies retain, if not the physical shape, the memory of how it needs to start working. And, that line in your blessing is awesome -- and so hopeful. (For you anyway . . . mine doesn't say that . . . so maybe anything I can't do now, I won't ever do! Ha!) Maybe you'll be like my sister in law who had seven children, and now, with her youngest being ten, runs marathons left and right -- at a 3 hr to 3:10 pace no less! (Which I could never have done even in my prime, still, it's hopeful). Or, maybe it won't be running at all. Maybe you'll be at peace about whatever other things become a priority, a focus or give you joy.

One thing my husband reminds me of is that things don't only have value if they are taken to some extreme or intense level. I will sometimes feel sheepish like . . . I can't say I'ma runner because I'm not running races, or, I can't say I'm a photographer because I don't have the energy or desire to run a business, or I can't say I'm a writer because I'm not writing anywhere but on a quiet little blog. But, if I'm not careful I can rob all of those things of the joy they give me or the skill I do have with them. I think it's OK that running clears my mind and allows me to think clearly -- even if it's twice a week and slow. I think I can appreciate that I can capture some awesome photos of my kids or memories in writing, etc.

Sigh, but yes, I know. I know. I know. :)

Nancy said...

Val! I have to admit, it's kind of a miracle that this whole "special days" for each kid business has actually lasted! We are the types to start things only to have them fade out a month or two later; but somehow this has lasted for a good year or two now -- maybe because the kids get so excited for their day that they won't let us out of it! ;) Sadly, with this many kids, they still only get two special days a year. It's something though I suppose.

Marilyn said...

Me again. I've been reading and reading in your archives and having a lovely time. (Why yes . . . I do have laundry waiting to be folded in the other room . . . why do you ask?)

I just want to take a moment to say, that: I have now learned your son's name is said JESS not JESSE! Whaaat. My mind is blown! But--and this is nothing against JessEE, which is a lovely name--I am surprisingly pleased at this news. Like, somehow Jesse-said-Jess just fits in right with your other kids' names. I feel a sense of satisfaction with the world.

That's all, thank you.

Nancy said...

Marilyn, Yes! I got your other comment too and the frostbitten bum story is soooo great. Hahahah! Also, driving a stick isn't all sunshine and rainbows. We only had standards growing up so it was my only option for using on the driving test and I was HORRIFIED of stalling it. Anywho . . . I may or may not have failed my first test -- which is funny now, but to 16 year old me was pretty much devastating humiliation.

AND, I'm so relieved you discovered that Jesse is pronounced JESS. I should really re-submit that little bit of information to my blog posts every few months. Sigh. I tried, with ALL MY MIGHT, to have his name spelled Jess because . . . while Jesse looks cooler, it is, by all accounts, pronounced Jess-ee. But Mike would not, nay COULD NOT budge. It was his grandpa's name and he insists it was always spelled with the e but not pronounced with it. His grandpa wasn't around to ask, and while we knew it was spelled Jesse and, while we knew it was always pronounced Jess by his loved ones, I submitted to Mike that, for all we knew, his parents had intact named him Jess--EE, but he'd just gone by Jess. I complained that, for all his life, he'd be called Jess-ee and be correcting everyone and they'd wonder why the heck there was an e there, but Mike could not be moved. It was tradition, it wouldn't really be naming him after his grandpa if we spelled it different or said it different. Whew. ANYWHO, yes, Jess . . . plus a silent e.

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