Wednesday, May 22, 2013

spring clean

can i call it spring?  we set a new record for longest snowfall, a nearly 60-year record at that.  i'm totally not proud of this sort of record.  disgusted, rather.  on saturday, when we were getting dumped on, i was a click away from  i was sooo ready to hop a flight - anywhere!  but, sunday came and the snow went.  now, we've had blue skies and warmth behind the sunny-sun.  i've been in tank tops; the kids already have some pink on their cheeks; and ben's working on his sunglass tan lines... bring on summer!

you'd think this would have left my system after the baby did... more nesting.  but, in my defense, i was robbed of those last few weeks and the weeks in between.  baby tess' room was never finished and because we didn't know she was a she, i had my rubbermaid totes of jack and dylan's baby clothes, just taking up space.  6 totes to be exact.  plumb-full of teeny tiny clothes.  some small enough to slip on a man's foot.  oh, they're so wittle!  you kinda forget how small they are (until you're pushing one out...) and then before you know it, they have triple-chins, and their wrists look like they're hiding rubber bands.  starfish hands and double-dimpled elbows.  ugh.  totally delicious.

with anticipation of my cousin coming to visit, i wanted to clean up tess' room so sammi had a place to sleep (since tess and i are still doing the co-sleeping insanity-dealie).  i separated out the girly clothes from boy clothes - pinks and yellows into the closet, trucks and puppy dogs into my largest tote - those boy clothes are headed south to a super-deserving and loved friend who is expecting a boy in september.  i admit, i was a little teary-eyed to say bu-bye to jackie's baby clothes, but nothing excites me more than knowing my girlfriend's little boy will be sportin' his duds.  after all the clean up, i had an overflowing tote for her, one tote of my favs that i just couldn't part with and five empties to return to the crawl space.    

fast-forward to this morning, i spent jackie's school day between the crawl space and the great room.  tote after tote, eight totes in all, of MY old clothes.  i guess i got to thinking - why am i holding onto these things?  when am i ever going to wear these things again?  mostly, i came across work clothes, dressy-type tops and bottoms from my office, high-heel days.  oh, those are long gone!  if i can't wear my smartwool socks or the shoe's not waterproof, forget it!  

it was a morning of walking through the 2000's, even some high school clothes.  wow.  remember wearing overalls?  i had two pairs.  doc martens?  i was so bold.  abercrombie & fitch?  goodbye.  i did put aside my soccer memories:  the cleats i wore in my last game, my nike shinguards, jerseys from my select teams.  it's hard to let go of some things, despite the pain from the memories.  other things?  a cinch to toss in a pile - a top from a first date, a dress from high school graduation, an outfit from an interview, a flannel from a sadie hawkins dance - like i said, a walk through my old life.  pre-kids, pre-benji.  a really odd concept!  none of it made sense to keep, almost like holding onto the past - and for what reason?  i'm happy to donate these countless pounds of clothes, and i wish them all the best in their new future closets.

and, what spring clean would be complete without the 6-month teething cleaning?!  i sooo enjoy taking the kiddos in.  it's humorous to hear (and watch!) their conversations while dealing with strange instruments in their mouths.  jackie was very polite, throwing out pleases and fank yous without being prompted.  dylan was little miss shy but so cooperative.  miss kathy asked her to open her mouth real wide, and dylan just that, including her hand open wide - see?  silly thing!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

8 weeks.

baby tess is 8 weeks today!  the good news is that everyone was right - she just needed time.  but oh, aren't we so used to getting what we want, when we want it?!  our society sets us up for failure from the get-go.  in so many ways, i had all the tools at my disposal but none of them were the right fit for her.  (and in actuality, nothing was.)

the hardest aspect of this entire baby number three experience is being unable to soothe and comfort my own child.  this is round 3 for me.  i should know what i'm doing.  i should be able to calm her down and figure out WTH she needs.  but.  you know how sometimes (and i'm speaking mostly to my female peeps) you just need a good cry?  somehow, that clears your mind?  well, obviously baby tess needs a good (ok, awful) cry every night.  hey, just go with me here...  i'm happy to announce that two outta three nights this week she has been calm and happy and cooing and smiling.  i kept waiting for the tears, and they never came!  i'm praying she's turning a corner.  that long, never-ending, winding, blind-where-you-can't-see-around, corner.  baby {tess} steps.

this is about THE best:  smiling.  isn't it what we just strive for, since they're born?  ohmygoodness.  those first big grins just about knock me off my feet.  she was smiling for gramma a few weeks ago, and she was smiling at my you-know-whats during feeding, but i had yet to see her smile, an intended-for-me smile.  THUD.  yep, that's me on the floor.

 oh fan, i wuv you.
 but alas, not all times are joyous...

last saturday was gorgeous.  we met up with friends for an early walk, as benji had to put in some hours at work.  although, that didn't stop us from playing outside ALL DAY.  the fun continued when dada returned home, as jb begged him to ride his four-wheeler.  he's getting a little too comfortable, these days.  but oh - it's so fun to watch him grow and learn and do his own thing.  i'm sure dylan would love the chance to zoom! around our island, but for now, she's limited to a different kind of four wheels...

one of the first pictures - since her birth - of me and my THREE children.  it's kinda hard to believe.  still.  even with tess and her very known presence, it's a little surreal to say i have all these kiddos constantly vying for my attention.  some days i feel like i'm barely staying afloat, but other days, like today - i'm blogging, i'm freshly showered, my hair is dried AND flat-ironed, i have a full tummy, and i'm hydrated!  what?!  life seems practically normal.  eeek!  did i just put that out there?!  they do say bad things come in three's:  we battled the stomach bug around week 4; week 7 was mastitis for mama, and now - what's next?!  c'mon, universe!  give it to me!

i know everyone looks at jb and sees a mini-ben, but let me just say that duey is very much ben's mini.  attitude, spunk, spirit, tenacity, wild-side, craziness... yep, she is ALL her dada's girl. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

sunday family dinner

at least once a month, ben's side of the family gets together for sunday dinner.  it's not always feasible for us to make every one, but when we do, we're grateful for our family time.

dylan LOVES ryan and mike.  
she always finds her way to their laps.
nana micki & cousin olivia, gazing at their baby josey
 livi feeding, dada mike the perfect resting place & snuggling with nana micki
baby tess gets love, too!
cousin kate, {great} grandma, auntie lory & nana lynn

we thought it was time to capture all the great grans together.  i didn't realize this would be such torture.  jb was clearly not up for the photo op...

 yep, over the top.
but with all of us, he started to come around...
 ...and the idea of funny faces was a hit...
...until he was done.
"here, take baby tess!"

these are the sort of pictures that we'll laugh (even harder) at in the future.

Friday, May 3, 2013

6 weeks.

i wasn't sure if we'd make it this far.  well no, i knew we would, but my outlook was bleak.
it's incredible what lack of sleep will do to you.  

i was at a real low when i should have been at an all-time high.  i mean, the first few days postpartum, you're elated with this new being you've created.  disbelief.  astonishment.  ooey-gooey drippy baby love.  but.  then the lack of sleep kicks you in the arse.  and, when was my last shower?  my teeth feel like they're wrapped in sweaters, and i'm sticky from my boobs to my bellybutton from leaking breast milk.  hungry.  did i mention sleep deprived?  changing so many diapers and washing hands that your knuckles are white with dryness.  ugh.  who knew being a 3rd time mama would be so incredibly exhausting?!

i don't remember the last time i've seen so many tears.  me and tess.  she started this colic-nonsense just before week 2.  was not expecting that.  when you can't soothe your baby, you kinda feel like a failure.  add to it that the big kids were getting a little neglected by mama, and the whole house seemed to be breaking at the seams.  i thank God and say my prayers every night for my mother and my husband.  if benji wasn't so understanding, so patient and so loving, i don't know how i would have weathered this storm.  my mother has been over every morning to either snuggle baby tess or help me play man-to-man defense against the big ones.  so blessed.     

was i wrong to think this was going to be easy?  ok, yes.  i never thought it would be easy, but i certainly didn't think it would be this hard.  i wasn't expecting baby 3 to be so entirely different from my other two.  i didn't realize how unbelievably chill jb and dyl were!  they were content little things.  happy to sleep in their own cribs from day one; swing throughout the day; feedings here and diaper changes there.  baby tess?  oh.  my.  word.  she is like a whole other creature!  needing to be held 24/7.  has never slept in a crib or the pack-n-play that was next to our bed.  has slept every night of her 6 week life either next to me or on me - hello, i thought i was done being pregnant!  i really think she would just rather climb back up inside...  and diapers?  she doesn't do a drop of pee in her pampers.  it's borderline ridiculous.  

i will say, it's getting better.  she's getting better.  we're having longer stretches of sleep (see: 3-4 hours at a time rather than 1.5 hours) and she's tolerating the swing for her late morning nap.  thank God.  truly.  i can actually complete a load of laundry (i washed the same load 3 times before my mom just took on the laundry task, too) or take a shower (and shave BOTH legs) or even snuggle a big kid (yes, please!).  and, her nightly (colic) crying is less and less.  i'd like to think the chiropractic worked or maybe it is the essential oils and the infant massage techniques.  or maybe it's my prayer for her calm and comfort.  but, it's likely just time.  

6 weeks.  feels like it's been as long as our winter... (it was snowing yesterday.)  today, she weighed in at 12.2 pounds and her head measured 15 1/4 inches round.  i don't know what that means, but it was one of the measurements peggy recorded.  actually, it means she's growing.  yes.  she's extremely chubby with rolls upon rolls on her arms and back.  and legs.  and, she's working on a terrific double-chin.  yum.  

the kids are so in love with her.  every morning, dylan wakes to tell me i yike my baby seester.  every morning.  jb has this wonderful baby voice he uses to greet tess each a.m.  hiiiyeee, baby test.  he adores her, and vice versa.  he's the ultimate soother, really.  he's got down the ssshhhing and pleads to hold her throughout the day.  i couldn't be more happy at the big kid's take on baby tess.  what a relief.  

 so much love between them 

papa frank visits

my pop came to visit the big kids and meet baby tess.  jb was so excited for him to arrive, pestering me all day about when papa fwank get here?  so as soon as ben walked through the door, i pleaded with him to drive into anchorage, surprise him at the airport, and get jackie outta my hair for a bit!  well, surprise him they did!  jack hid behind a column, ran up behind him, then yanked on his pocket, giggling the entire time.  sure wish i could have witnessed! 

his visits are never long enough, but we always make the most of it.  come back soon, pop!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

duey's 3.

we celebrated dylan's 3rd birthday at our home, or rather, in our shop.  we rented a bouncy house and gathered all our cozy coupes, scooters, bikes and trikes and took over ben's spot.  it was perfect.

i see many future birthday celebrations in that space.  

so much, that after the party ended, ben and i were scouring craigslist for bouncy houses to purchase.  yep, just need to pull together 15k or so... but oh - look how much fun was had!  can you imagine how much faster our winters would go if we had this sort of entertainment just a few feet from our back door?

in addition to the bouncy, dylan found a pink piggy piñata.  on Pinterest, i saw a lady filled her piñata with individual gift bags of candy, so everyone gets equal amounts.  i LOVE this idea.  birthday party after birthday party, my shy guy has sat back and watched, rather than jump right in there.  and, can you imagine the tears to follow?  ugh.  so, this worked out great.  (although, isn't it delightful to see something explode with candy-goodness?!)  i guess we'll give him a few years.

everyone took turns, politely waiting in line.  littlest to biggest.  i loved all the poses of these future softball/baseball players; tongues out, teeth bared over lips, wide stance, and the swinging for the fences.  what fun!  jack's already planning the piñata for his birthday...

i'm just now realizing i didn't take a single picture of the cupcakes for our friends!  dang!  they were super cute.  pink piggies, duh.  some snouts, some tails.  and, because she was the birthday girl, she got a jumbo-sized cupcake, full pig.  

she was so tickled that it was HER birthday.  
she even sang to herself.

the grandmas are in heaven.
 so in love with both of these beings.
 this started out sweet, but quickly turned into jack screaming for his life.
paybacks, bud.

after the party, gosh, i think 5-6 hours later (!), we made our way home.  all. the. way. home.  we bounced so long and enjoyed great friends, devoured so many sweet treats, that before we knew it, it was time to say our goodbyes - and we didn't even get to the gifts!

hugs and goodie bags later, we were tucked inside with bedtime right around the corner.  we attempted a family picture, but you'll notice who was not in the mood for cheeeese.
 {just a few days earlier, our bully turned 9!}
and to top off a super-fun-filled day, a snowplow cruised by making jackie boy's evening.