Archive for the ‘The Rest’ Category

My Week(347) in iPhone Photos

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Plugging on, while I have two kids passed out and two kids watching Lord of the Rings, which should keep them entertained for approximated 4832 hours.

Sunday:

Matching father-son kayaks

THIS is a vacation

Moana needed help with the wifi’

Monday:

Pretty serious relaxing

Rain delay

Dreaming about Disney World

Tuesday:

It’s tubing time

Big helper

Really excited about watermelon

Wednesday:

The only photo I took, but at least I got everyone in it.

Thursday:

Busy baby

Headed to swim call

Dinner at the club

Friday:

Actual thing my dad got for Father’s Day

MY CORN DON’T TOUCH IT

Saturday:

Waiting for his waffles

Boating is exhausting

Finn screams the whole time on the boat unless he’s nursing

We’ve been go go go go all week – basically just to keep us sane and out of the house and not sitting here in the heat wanting to strangle each other – so having an at-home day feels SO PRODUCTIVE. I cleaned things! And put away laundry! We finally called my mom for her birthday! I did a bunch of stupid adulting paperwork! I might even have time to finish setting up my bullet journal because I am determined to get organized so my life doesn’t collapse this fall when I have 3 kids in school and/or activities.

Literally as I typed that the baby woke up, so now I’m done being productive for a while.

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It’s Pregnancy Season And I’m Not Pregnant

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

I’m at Target to pick up diapers and I’m pretty sure every other woman in the store is pregnant. I pass them everywhere: in the grocery aisle, in the baby clothes, wandering home decor. It’s 87 degrees with 95% humidity outside and all the pregnant women are wearing tank tops and pushing toddlers in their carts stocked with goldfish crackers and beach buckets and ice cream. To me, they are all glowing and adorable and lucky to have so much to look forward to. But I know they probably feel enormous and uncomfortable, cursing themselves for a summer pregnancy, crossing their fingers that their toddler will take a nap later (or at least eat their goldfish for lunch while zoned out in front of Disney Jr so mama can lie on the couch under a fan).

My last baby is almost a year old now. I am far enough removed from being a pregnant woman at Target that I silently think “enjoy those moments” but still close enough that I know better than to say it out loud. A woman is not going to suddenly realize being hot and swollen and sore and tired and nauseous are all such blessings just because a stranger says “it goes so fast” or “I miss those days”. I am close enough to being a pregnant woman at Target that I know that is not entirely true. I do not miss those days. I do not miss being hot and swollen and sore and tired and nauseous and wondering how, exactly, I was ever going to manage a newborn when I couldn’t manage to put on pants every day. Not only do I not want to a pregnant woman at Target, don’t actually want to be pregnant at all.

And I’m not. I will most likely never be pregnant again. (I would say NEVER with 100% certainty but I know better than to tempt fate like that.)

What I do miss is being in that season of life. It doesn’t matter if those pregnant women at Target are technically older or younger than I am in years. They’re still at the stage where they will have a newborn. That’s a stage before the one I am in. New life is in their future, the moment when they meet a new little human they created. I don’t long to be pregnant again, but I do feel nostalgic for that particular flavor of joy. It’s not baby fever – I am thoroughly immunized against that particular strain by four children who all insisted on growing up – but it’s like a bruise. You don’t really notice it until you bump into it by accident, in the checkout at Target, and then it’s a dull ache that says “you’re not in this club anymore”.

I suspect these feelings are just biology, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling them. So this is me acknowledging it, writing it down in words, trying to explain it to you so I can explain it to me. Instead of being sad, I will let myself drift further towards the stage of life where I become the person who says “Oh it goes by so fast, treasure these moments” to pregnant women in Target. I will recount stories about my newborns in absolutes: “Oh my baby was such a good sleeper” “oh my baby loved being swaddled “oh my baby hated tummy time”. I will forget how much being pregnant sucks and only think of it fondly. And when gray-haired grandmas at Target look at my four not-babies and say “Enjoy these moments, it goes so fast”, I will smile and nod and say “It sure does.”

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Summer is Almost Here

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Huge thanks to Gymboree for once again sponsoring this post and outfitting my constantly-growing children.

We are T-minus 4 days away from the unofficial start of summer around here because this weekend our lake opens! I’m not actually sure how we survived summer before we had a lake membership, but for the past few years it has been a lifesaver for hot summer days, the cure for too much screen time, a meeting place where we almost always find friends to play with and a much-needed break for me from cleaning up the same mess day after day.

But it’s not just the lake I look forward to in the summer. I’m an ocean devotee – the sand, the salt, the smell, all of it is necessary to my happiness. Just knowing I can be at the ocean in a few minutes makes me feel better. It’s why I don’t know if I could ever live in a non-coastal state. How do you handle so much dry land?

Thanks to a few true summer weather days last week we’ve already been to the beach once this May and are going back during Memorial Day weekend to share it with some flyover state relatives coming to visit. They specifically requested the ocean be on the itinerary, so we’ll probably take them to Ocean Beach where they can get the full Atlantic experience: cold water, hot sand, the boardwalk, the rickety rides, the overpriced ice cream. It’s all important. And thanks to my friends at Gymboree the kids are going to look stylish and patriotic for all our weekend plans. Their new Star Spangled Days collection is perfect for Memorial Day, 4th of July, or any summer day where you’re feelin’ the red, white and blue vibes.

Caroline’s favorites from here look are the sunglasses and her “high heel” wedges.

 4

You can find the shoes here, which you should definitely do because they’re so adorable. They also come in big kid sizes.

One of my favorite things about Gymboree is that they still make clothes for ALL my kids so it’s easy to match even when my cool-guy 8-year-old maybe doesn’t want to wear exactly the same shirt as the 2-year-old. Although who doesn’t want super sweet glasses like those?

My very attractive and well-behaved children are the perfect fashion models. In opposite world.

Evan has worn that hoodie every day since we got it, which is about as strong of a recommendation as anyone can give.

Four more days before Memorial Day, 18 more days before we ditch school to start our summer vacation, 43 days until the 4th of July, and my fingers are crossed every single one of those days is perfect New England summer weather. What are your plans for the holiday weekend? Is it summer yet where you are?

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Fresh Air and Sunshine

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Our Disney Training Plan continues! We’ve walked these kids all over town, practiced wearing Linc and Finn in different carriers, worked to break in new shoes, discovered Evan’s new sandals give him blisters, tried different combinations of kids in the stroller, and caught a ton of Pokemon. Because it turns out PokemonGo is a really great incentive to get a reluctant 8-year-old out of the house. Our town has lots of pokestops and plenty of gyms, so if we’re willing to put in a couple miles it’s pretty much guaranteed something exciting will happen in the app. I am fine with this plan. My new sneakers have proven themselves to be both light-weight and comfortable, my portable phone charger works great, and my legs are showing some definite muscle definition. WHO KNEW walking was good for you? WHAT A TOTAL SURPRISE.

As a photographer, it kills me a little when we’re in an amazing location and my kids are in…not the best outfits for pictures. I want them to be comfortable and be allowed to express their own preferences. I also want to take pictures I can hang on my walls. But as far as real life goes, this is accurate.  No children wear spotless neutrals ALL the time.

The next time we went walking, I brought my film camera. I’m super excited to see how this exact same photo looks on Kodak 400. It’s hilarious that after all the money and time I’ve spent on digital photography I am most into my $26 film camera right now.

p.s. She doesn’t have a scrape on her forehead. It’s barbecue sauce. I didn’t ask any further questions.

I will never stop being amazed by how much happier I am when I’m getting a daily dose of fresh air and sunshine. I mean, I’m not ready to throw out my Zoloft quite yet, but my stress level being down means the whole house is calmer. I few more weeks and we’ll all like each other so much our Disney trip will be extra magical.

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Next Steps

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

This guy. None of my other children make me want to rip my hair our more than Lincoln. And I don’t think it’s just because he’s the current 2-year-old and 2-year-olds are sort of terrorists.

Linc still struggles with his expressive language skills. He’s had a speech therapist for months now, and has made a lot of progress when it comes to trying to say new words. But for some reason he can’t. Like, he physically struggles to make ANY hard consonant sounds or string words together. “Cereal” is “bee-yo”, even though he can make a “ssssssss” sound separately. “I love you, Mommy” is “Ya. Boo. Mama”, with full sentence breaks between each sound. It makes him completely unintelligible to most people and even I struggle when there aren’t a ton of context clues to help me guess. We had a fight the other day because he yelled “bosh” at me for 20 minutes before I realized he wanted to go play on the “porch”. Did he point at the porch? No. Did he stand in the middle of the room and shout “bosh” louder and louder while I begged him to try a different word? Yes. It can be pretty exhausting.

Right now he is lying across the couch, headbutting me in the ribs because he wants to sit closer to me that is physically possible, hanging off my arm while I type with one hand. I asked him what he was doing and he said “nah-sa”. “Nothing”.

At the end of May, we have a meeting with the transition team at the preschool, to see if they have space for him in their special needs program when he ages out of the state Birth to 3 program. I both really hope he gets in and am super nervous about it. He has gotten a lot out of having a therapist to work with him one-on-one, especially during these past months when a lot of my time has been taken up with a new baby. I am sure his improvements have come from Miss Jill and he’d be even further behind now if it weren’t for her help. But he has so much trouble with his language, I worry about him being away from me. He can’t give me a report of his day, or relay what he’s nervous about, or tell me if someone is mean to him. He won’t be surrounded by people who “speak  Lincoln” and know what he’s trying to say with the nonsense words he uses consistently for other words. Is a teacher going to have time to learn those things? Is he just going to end up more frustrated and having more meltdowns and basically hating everything about school starting at 3 years old? That is not a good start.

Of course, there is also a chance at our meeting the team says: “Sorry, a severe expressive language delay isn’t enough of a problem” and he isn’t accepted into the school at all. Then we’re looking at a whole different set of questions.

I am sure that one day, whether it’s one year or five years from now, Lincoln will talk like everyone else. We are being as proactive as possible to make sure this doesn’t hold him back long term and it seems unlikely a speech delay is a permanent problem. I am looking forward to the day when I can read this post (like SO MANY posts from 5, 6, 8 years ago) and think “Oh man, I totally forgot that was such a huge deal”. Reaching out towards that future helps during the screaming fits and tears and frustration. This too shall pass and one day Lincoln will tell me “I love you, Mom” and sound like a big kid instead of my baby. And I’ll have mixed feelings about that too.

 

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