Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things I'm Afraid I'll Never Again Have

I've been a mama now for 10 1/2 years...expecting our sixth little Farm Fresh Blessing. I should be used it by now...and yet sometimes I'm afraid.

I'm afraid I'll never have a house clean for longer than twenty minutes.

I'm afraid things will always move around seemingly of their own accord. I'll forever be finding hairbrushes on the floor and never knowing what happened to my orange handled scissors and my flour sifters will always be taken out to the sandbox.

I'm afraid...

I'll always wake up to the sound of people fighting.

I'll never go a day without someone crying.

Mopping will only happen because someone spilled something.

Someone will always be touching/pushing on/grabbing at/pulling on/poking at/sitting on/kicking (from the inside) me.

I'll forever have to listen to petty squabbles--because how else should one handle it when someone is reading the book someone else checked out from the library?

I'll never again have an uninterrupted thought.

I will be repeating myself ad nauseum for the rest of my life. I will be repeating myself ad nauseum for the rest of my life. ISAID, I will be repeating myself ad nauseum for the rest of my life.

I will constantly have to think about what we need when we leave the house; will this outing coincide with a hunger time, do I need snacks, do I have extra bundies/diapers/outfits/wipes, does everyone have shoes, does everyone have a coat, do we need waters? Et cetera, et cetera.

Someone will always be peeking in on me in the shower.

Someone will always be bluntly commenting about my body.

I will forever feel crowded.

I'll have to listen to other people screaming for the rest of my life.

I will always be stepping over small socks strewn in a swath of other disembodied and discarded clothing, toys and sundry other household items.

I will never be able to do just ONE load of laundry.

People will be making their birthday wish lists nine months in advance and talking about them in great detail every single day... forever.

No one will ever again say to me "I wuv you so mutz, Mama."

I will never ever be woken up at the crack of dawn by someone asking permission to open my curtains, "betuz I just wanted to share the sunrise wif you, Mama."

No one will ever again fold their long limbs into my lap saying, "I just need a snuggle."

I won't have anyone to rock and breathe.

No one will ever again come banging into the house leaving the door ajar smelling of fresh air and little boy.

There will be no one to enthusiastically make me a cup of coffee.

I won’t have any adorable tiny

bodies to clothe in handmade creations.

I won’t need to teach or correct or corral or remind or reprimand.

I’m afraid because these days are so long and so arduous and so tedious and so challenging and then one day, these days will be gone.


My job will be completed.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Grandmother's Hands

Buckling your little shoe
Making toast and jam for you
Caressing your chubby face
Folded neatly, saying grace
Lifting you onto her lap
Tucking you in for an afternoon nap
Helping you plant a tiny seed
Bandaging a scraped up knee
Gently brushing wispy hair
Serenely snuggling in the rocking chair
Wrinkled, sun spotted, capable,
     Carriers from above
Calloused, experienced, soothing
      Reminders of His unending love
A grandmother's hands
     work hard and create fun
A grandmother's hands
     a life well done.


Dedicated to my children's grandma Joyce


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Smack Dab in the Lap of Imperfection

7:20 a.m. Hear someone crying. Get up.
Find sweatshirt and sweatpants and robe. Come downstairs barefoot. It's one degree outside and the floor in the bathroom feels about the same. Feel annoyed with Elivette for pulling on my sweat pant strings and untying them while I'm trying to pee. Feel guilty that I'm annoyed, especially since I did get to stay in bed past seven.

Denton gets hit in the face with a light saber while I'm trying to navigate the whole coffee and creamer and right side up cup ordeal with half open eyes and I feel guilty about looking in the refrigerator for the creamer while halfheartedly comforting him.

Sit in my comfy chair by the corn stove with toddler on the left and preschooler on the right arms of my chair. Elivette snuggles into my chest and asks to nurse. This child who hasn't nursed since November still asks me nearly every single day. Shot of guilt for weaning her when *I* was ready and not when she was ready.

Read several books to Elivette while I ignore the boys upstairs bothering their older sisters who are still in bed. She and I have lots of giggles about the pictures and faces in her book. Wonder if I should interfere with the situation upstairs. Wonder if I were a "better mom" if they would still torment and tease. Wonder if my kids are normal or if there is too much yelling in this home and that is why they yell. Feel guilty.

She starts pulling on my hoodie strings and kind of choking me. I put her on the floor where she cries. I let her climb back up when she starts "smooshing baby" and pushing uncomfortably on my belly. I put her down again and she cries again and I feel like a heartless mom who doesn't just sacrifice herself for her toddler but I must maintain boundaries and take care of myself too which feels like an impossible task.

The kids want to listen to a CD only we can't find the cord to the CD player. After looking in several places, I pirate the cord from my camera charger which miraculously fits. Wonder if we would still have all the lost things if I were better at organizing and teaching the kids how to put away their things. Feel guilty. Denton starts screaming and slamming doors because Cadrian is the one who gets to hold the CD and put it in the player.

Cadrian finally goes to begin unloading the dishwasher after having been asked roughly thirty times. Denton comes out of the keeping room and begins pulling on the CD player and making the CD skip and yanking on the camera cord, which makes me feel angry and anxious that my camera cord will get ruined and the library CD will get ruined. After asking him to stop several times and gently pushing his hands away and moving his whole little body away, he will not be altered in his destructive course. I not so gently push him away and bodily pick him up and plop him on the couch in the keeping room and shut the door. Feel on the verge of tears that I've already had a temper fit and it's not even an hour into my day.

Loudly remind Cadrian to finish his job for the umpteenth time. Loudly remind Elivette to take her sippy cup to the kitchen for the umpteenth time. Try to read a couple articles in my Holistic Parenting magazine which are about the importance of real food which I then translate into my being a 'bad mom' because all I've fed Fizzy Baby is a couple cups of coffee and a cookie and we're going to have frozen breakfast pizza for breakfast.

Change Elivette's stinky pants the smell of which makes me internally puke a bit. Feel guilty that I didn't take her diaper off earlier so she would have gone in the potty and that the wipes are so cold and that taking care of her basic needs makes me want to retch.

Now Elivette and Denton are fighting over pulling up the antenna on the CD player. Cadrian is playing with the BopIt in the other room. The girls are chatty and overwhelming me with questions and comments and anecdotes.

Brielle is writing a story she intends to submit to PBSKids about a little girl whose parents are so mean they don't let her watch X or R rated movies or drink alcoholic beverages, not even margaritas. Wonder if the PBS people will think WE watch X movies and wonder how she even knows what that is, and if I should make her change it or just ignore it and wonder why I even care what these strangers think when I know we don't do anything "wrong" but then again it's appearances that seem to matter and...what if?

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Until I wrote this out, I didn't even realize how much of my day is punctured with guilt. I don't know where this comes from--other than the Enemy who wants to steal my joy.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

23 weeks pregnant--or pregnick


We started calling the baby Baby Fizzy--those early movements can feel fizzy, but mostly it's because my friend offered up her children's names if we wanted to use them...only starting with an F of course: Femma, Folly, Foolia, Fandrew or Fizzy. We are definitely going with Fizzy.

Although, four year old Denton did suggest we name the baby Fat.

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I have figured out why I've kind of quit blogging.

I am lazy.

It's infinitely easier to post on Facebook or Instagram little sound byte snippets of my life, rather than to sit down and "think" of a blog post.

Additionally, blogging has changed so much in the past eight years. When I started this blog, expecting Brielle, blogging was fairly new. No one really knew what it was. Now, everyone has one.

And, I feel like everyone expects a blogger to have some sort of revealing insight or amazing intellect to offer, and frankly, I'm just too tired for that jazz. When I started this blog, my parents didn't live locally. Facebook hadn't taken off yet. It wasn't so easy to share photos and life bits with people as it is now, and that was my primary reason for starting this blog.

I love to write. I just feel like I don't have much of anything to say.

Monday, December 15, 2014

15 weeks pregnant


11 weeks pregnant



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Six weeks pregnant

Yep. It's true.

I made it facebook official, but hadn't spread the news to the wider world of my blog.

I'm really thankful I've had no real sickness this first part. Some days I'm super exhausted and want to be in my bed at 4 p.m. This hasn't been really handy, since Kevin is deep in the throes of harvesting and is working longer hours than usual.

There is a lot more mental and emotional processing happening because of the way Elivette's birth went down. We want to have a solid plan in place to keep me safe and keep giving the Farm Fresh Family their mama.

I also had gotten serious this year about getting my doula certification from DONA and possibly even taking midwife assistant's class, and I'm disappointed to put that all on hold. I know there are a lot of working moms out there, but for me, and our style of parenting, I'll need to wait until the baby is about a year old before I take new clients. I'm still taking clients while I'm pregnant though!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chores

I get asked now and again for advice.

One of the questions people hit me up for is "How do you get your kids to do chores?" The last time someone asked me this, I was caught off guard and probably half asleep and answered, "I don't know exactly. They just do."

My friend got a lot of mileage teasing me about my perfect well behaved little cherubs who just do their chores. Let me assure you, that is NOT the case. We have balking, stalling, uneager children who don't want to help just like everyone else.

I thought I would share some of what we do around here.

We start early. Elivette is two and puts away the dishes from the dishwasher with whichever sibling is on task. We don't make her do it every time, but we encourage her to do it frequently. We have moved the plates and glasses to a lower cabinet so the children can reach to put them away and get them out. When a job needs done, I generally ask the youngest child capable of doing that chore to do it. Frequently, I ask an older sister to accompany said younger to ensure the job actually gets done.

Littlest Kitchen Helper 
We have assigned tasks. We have a zone chart. The house is divided up into zones and the children keep their zones for a month. This helps me know whose job is whose because it's not always switching. It also helps the child get good at their designated area because they have lots of chances to practice. We do get the "But it's not my zone!" complaint when I ask a child to help in another area, but I respond with letting them know it doesn't matter. We are a family living in community and we all help one another.

It's expected. It's just part of our life, our routine. We all pitch in.

We pay them. We opted to pay our kids five dollars a week for doing their jobs. The caveat is if I get annoyed by having to ask them too many times or because they have been consistently doing a poor job, their pay is reduced by a random amount. Never once has a child argued with me about this, because they know if they've been shirking. Sometimes I'll even ask them, "If you were me, how much would you take off your pay this week?"

We do it together. I work with a younger child, helping them become successful at the task at hand until they are capable of doing it themselves. We sometimes all swarm on a certain zone and get it perfect. It's amazing how fast they'll pick up when they can watch a show when they are done :). Sometimes we set a timer and holler "10 minute tidy!" and we turn on some music and all work on our individual zones until the timer goes off.

I don't know exactly how I "get them to do chores", but with consistent chore doing, we manage to do them.