Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wild and Wonderful

Apparently blogs and journals don't write themselves, even though the reflections are a constant din in my mind, waiting to find their way to somehow solidify and capture the daily-ness and the momentous-ness of what feels like an ordinary life.

Sometimes bullet points and writing one post over several weeks seem to be the only way . . . the past month was wild and wonderful (which is also the title of a book I recently devoured with delight: Your Four Year Old: Wild and Wonderful. Indeed!).
  • Birthday (well, covered this in a recent post . . . )
  • Bismarck and Bowbells: we traveled to Bismarck for a weekend of more birthday bashes (thank you, all grandmas and grandpas!) and a day trip to Bowbells (look it up on a map) for a cousin's wedding. Wonderful memories, so good to celebrate the covenant with family. Other highlights are Karis getting a "coup" and her first "big girl bike" with training wheels. Not to mention two cakes, hopping on hay bales, running around parks, going to get a pedicure, lunch downtown at Urban Harvest. Loved every minute.
  • Drew & Melanie's wedding: the summer all built up to this amazing occasion . . .  wow was the whole time blessed, and I can't possibly sum it up here. From the rehearsal (where Judah pooped all over me five minutes before it began), to the western-themed groom's dinner (gorgeous, fun, meaningful) to getting ready on Saturday (kids stayed home with Trev and my cousin until picture time), to the ceremony (sincere, spirit-filled), the reception & dinner & dance truly blessed. Karis has been recounting the event with sweet phrases: "Mommy, I had fun being a flower girl - did you have fun being a bridesmaid?", "Mommy, was Melanie the bride?". There's a video of our little family singing "In my Life" at the reception to get the couple to kiss - Karis loves to watch it and always exclaims, "They kissed!". 
  • Collapse: there was a week of let-down, the build up of the summer over . . . a bit aimless, a bit recovering, a bit of not much. Oh, and a weekend of filling the void by cooking way too much. Which just left me tired and wondering what compelled me to have two crock pots going at one time. This was the week during which the phrase "Whatever is not a nice word" evolved. I started it. Deep disgruntled sigh. 
  • On to the next things: 
    • Kids got fevers last weekend and thankfully recovered quickly
    • Trev and Karis had their annual trip to the MN State Fair, a blast for all (including me, who got a morning of quiet and quality cuddles with Judah). They came home talking about: nursing pigs, pregnant cows, butterfly gardens, big slide, beef jerky, idaho nachos, and mini donuts
    • A former coworker was here for part of a day last week, we wore her out - which made me feel oddly justified at feeling fatigued even though I'm getting more sleep. I have energetic and exuberant children - my introvert does scream at me sometimes
    • I've been reminded why McDonalds is such an iconic place for all ages: decaf coffee and ice cream for $1.71. Not to mention, to drive there it's five minutes all along Medicine Lake, and there's a play land for Karis - this is an escape when the heat index is over 100
    • Water hopscotch has saved a few steamy and long afternoons here
    • Karis's 4 year well child check that left me almost in tears thinking of how blessed we are to have such healthy children. That visit was followed by a quick stop by Karis's new preschool to get a small tour before her first day next week. The rest of that day was interesting, I could tell K was processing everything deeply but I just couldn't draw it out of her. Which had me flashing forward to how it could be in the future and how much I have to learn about how to best reach her, how to let go, how to let her know I'm here no matter what - and that when she's ready to talk, I'll listen. 
- When talking about what "four year olds do", BEFORE she turned four, she said: "Sleep like a big girl" (which around here means going to sleep by yourself). AFTER she turned four she said, "Oh, I'll sleep like a big girl when I'm five".
- "My mommy says . . ."
- "Mommy, what should we do now?"
- "I just want to be cold" (said on a day with heat index of 100 degrees)
- "Mommy, I had fun being a flower girl. Did you have fun being a bridesmaid?"
- "Can you tell Everett and Marissa to not come by me so they don't get a fever?"
- "Judah adores me" (yes, he does!)
- "My cactapus's name is Kerono" (she draws "cactapus's" ??? They look similar to an octopus)
- "Bummer!"
- "Mommy, 'whatever' is not a nice word to say"
- "Okay, now I'm all ready for Mark Storslee"
- "So mom, the youngest goes first" (when playing Memory - she's so good at this game)
- "Okay, now I'm ready for Mark . . . can you send that video to Mark . . . I'm going to be shy with Mark . . . I can't believe we got to see Mark again" (Trevor's best friend who was here twice in the past week)

Judah updates:

- He makes delightful "ah-bah-bah-bah" noises, and seems so surprised and delighted with his new babbles. He also squeals, screaches, and nearly exudes happy screams. Hilarious to us all, especially Karis
- He squirms and laughs through diaper changes. Like, it's hard to change his diaper because he's trying so hard to roll over. And his full-on giggle seems like he knows he's making it difficult. I start laughing, and it's a wonder his diaper gets on straight
- Twirls his wrists when he's excited, all you have to do is talk to him to evoke this response
- Does "head bumps" with gentleness and delight
- Squeals, screams, scrunches his face
- He's in that blissful stage of two predictable, long naps (9 - 11, 1-3). Otherwise known as "nap jail" for me and Karis
- Grunts when he's eating
- On occasion, he sleeps through the night. Oh, bliss. Sweet sleep
- I wrote all the above over the course of two weeks. Judah now CRAWLS!
- He also gets so excited to see a spoon full of anything on its way to his mouth: cottage cheese, yogurt, egg yolk, and beans are recent new things to the mix
- Judah loves shoes, he crawls to your feet with urgency. Melts my heart when he scurries excitedly to Trevor when he walks in the door. Contented sigh
- He is exuberant, joyful, pure delight

In Media:
  • Ironically, as we prepared for D & M's wedding, I was reading a couple books that made me ponder marriage: What Alice Forgot, and A River Runs Through It. A couple quotes for the record:

"Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It's light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But love after time, after you've hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you've seen the worst and the best - well, that sort of a love is sacred. It deserves its own word."

"Savor the whole day, try to catch it, pin it down, keep it safe before all those precious moments become yet another memory" (both from What Alice Forgot)

"Let's never get out of touch with each other" (from A River Runs Through It)

  • We are enjoying being able to watch movies again . . . which as I see it, is really good for our marriage. Recent viewings that we both loved: Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook. Both tremendous in their own way.
  • I'm almost through East of Eden. There are many true-isms, one here:

- "Perhaps it takes courage to raise children."Yes, I think it does. Parenting continues to consume most of my thoughts: how to be intentional, real, graceful yet firm.

  • As I said, a recent read was Your Four Year Old, Wild and Wonderful. Some points I hope to remember:

- "If you can add respect for what is going on to your natural love and affection for your preschooler, you will add immeasurably to your enjoyment of these early years as well as to his/hers"
- "don't fail to enjoy this extremely amusing, lively, enthusiastic age while it lasts, even though some aspects of your child's behavior may not be entirely charming"

  • Karis faves lately are: Bear Hugs and I Will Rejoice by Karma Wilson, On the Night You were Born is part of bedtime at the moment
Ironically - read this page on a day when I was a bit weepy about Karis starting preschool . . . 

Super ironic - read this page while having a "special day" with Karis, watching Mary Poppins while Judah napped

Found when roaming the library aisles by myself one Saturday. While not completely true - I mean, bedtime isn't awful - it's defnitely not always the best part of the day. I thought this was at least good for a laugh.

That's a butterfly. And a 4 year old unsure of butterflies

Monkey suit! One of the few pictures I have from D & M's wedding . . . will I ever learn to take pics?