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Sunday, March 2, 2014

So back in October...

Will someone please explain to me how a month can pass in the blink of an eye but the 28 days it consisted of individually lasted an eternity?  Goodness.  Anyway, my brain is fried and I don't really have any beans to spill so I figured I'd do a catch-up post that I've been meaning to do since...October.  that's right. October. true story.

Once upon a time, in October, we got a big ol' batch of family pictures taken by the uber-talented, gorgeous, kind, and all-around fabulous Kamian Christenson.  Man, I love that lady.

Anyway, originally it was just going to be a kid shoot, since no girl in her right mind wants photographic proof of her body at less than 2 months postpartum.  Spencer, however, managed to convince me that my children would one day want actual proof of my existence other than their own existence.  So...a family photo shoot it became.

For the record:
Ezra and Scarlett were only a couple of weeks shy of 8 years and 5 years, respectively.  Oak was 2 years, 4 months and Georgia was about 6 years, 5 months.  Fischer was about 6 1/2 weeks old. Spencer was about 31 1/2 and I was 28.

Warning: There are A LOT of pictures.  I kid you not.  Probably more pictures then I've ever put in a single post before.  I just couldn't resist! Also, they are in no particular order.  It might also seem like I love some kids more than others.  I don't.  Some just happened to thrust themselves more in front of the camera more than others.  It's just the way the cookie crumbled.


phew!  I told you it was a lot of pictures! I just couldn't NOT post these pictures.  Despite Oakie's overall stinky-pants-ness and Fischer's fussiness when we finally got around to taking a few photos of him, I think it turned out smashingly.  Glad you made it through to the other side.  Hopefully it won't be a full month before I post again.  We'll see, though.  I'm still somewhat in survival mode, so we'll see what the month brings.

Monday, February 3, 2014

here's to you, comrade.

Today, on a whim, I decided to take #3, #4, and #5 to the library while the Bigs were at school...ok, maybe not a totalwhim since we had movies due, but I could've just renewed them from the comfort of my own home instead dragging the mowglis out in the cold and letting them pick new books and movies...

aaaaanyway, so, we went to the library.  While there, I noticed there seemed to be an unusual amount of dads alone with their kids (3 to be exact) in the children's section.  I even wondered if there was a stay-at-home dad (SAHD) gathering going on or something, since I'll sometimes stumble across mommy groups at the library.  After the kids settled down at their at their respective play (Oak...settle?! hah! who am I kidding?), I started a rousing game of tetris on my phone (I'm old school, I know, feel free to mock) near-ish 2 of the dads, who were chatting together.  Tetris, while oh-so-enthralling and exciting, doesn't take a heck of a lot of mental concentration, at least not until the 10th level or so (the highest level I've reached is 14, just in case, you know, you were wondering and all).  This, of course, enables rampant eavesdropping.  Which, I did (I couldn't help it! They were sitting like 5 feet away from me!). Contrary to my assumption, they didn't know each other and were obviously just meeting for the first time.  One of the guys was a long-ish haired, north face-clad, skinny, hipster-ish type, while the other was a big, burly, athletic-looking man's man.  Regardless of their differences, it soon became obvious that they were pretty excited to meet another guy who was similarly occupied during the daytime hours.  As I listened to them chatting about their respective histories (one was a born and raised Kansas City-an, the other had lived all over the country), current employment situations (one stayed home while his wife worked during the day and then he worked evenings, while the other was a stay-at-home dad with no other job), and trade tips on teaching your kid to draw shapes and letters, I had a thought...

Stay-at-home dads are kind of the unsung heroes and victims of The Mommy Wars.  Is it hard to be a stay-at-home mom in today's society where women are lauded for having their cake and eating it too? Absolutely (although, for the most part, I just choose to literally have my cake and literally eat it too...I just have to make the cake myself first).  You know who has it even rougher, though?  SAHDs.  As much as we SAHMs whine and moan about working society looking down their employed noses at least our occupation is an age-old, socially acceptable one.  SAHDs, on the other hand, don't even have that.  SAHMs have long shouted the battle cry that women are the natural nurturers of mankind, so it makes complete sense that many of us would choose to stay home and do what we do best: nurture.  SAHDs don't have any of that.  What they have, instead, is the everyday battle of swimming against the current and kicking against the pricks.  They probably have a hard time fitting in with their daytime-employed peers and they probably have a bit of a rough time fitting in with the SAHMommy-peers as they commiserate about breastfeeding and husbands who get to eat business lunches instead of the kids' leftover chicken nuggets (think I'm bitter much?).  Men have long been assigned as the breadwinners of the home and SAHDs are, well, often not.  It would just be hard.  That's all.  Hard on them to give up that breadwinning status.  Hard on them to make friends.  Hard on them to sort through advice, articles, products, etc. not geared towards them.  Hard to deal with mean men who act they the traded in their masculentity for a babysitting gig.

Just hard.

So, from one stay-at-home parent to another, I applaud you.  I'm impressed, dads, that you're choosing this route and doing this job.  It's a hard one, I know, I'm right in there in the trenches next to you, stay-at-home comrade.  Know that I'm impressed that you're ignoring the naysayers and putting what's best for your kids and family before your own ambitions and society-accepted definition of masculinity.  Nothing, in my opinion, is more masculine than a dad that puts his family first...which you're doing every. friggin'. day.  So, thanks.  Thanks for showing society, one kid at a time, that it's ok to think being a parent is the best and biggest gig in the world.

'cause it is.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

mental meanderings

Poor little blogosphere, I've neglected you so.  I've actually wanted to write a snippet here, snippet there, a dozen times, but it's the fear of The Great Catch-up that keeps me from doing it.  So, today, I decided I don't really care if I'm writing random thoughts rather than catching up.  I just want to write.

Fischer is getting so big it kills me.  Like literally breaks my heart into a million and one pieces so that I die.  literally die. I'm trying to be ok with him being my last, I really am, but to say I'm in mourning is an understatement.  I would have babies forever if my sanity could get away with it. Oh well, c'est la vie. In the meantime, I'm just trying to soak his baby-ness in.  I look at him and try to memorize every small little detail. I just breathe in his baby sent and rub his baby softness.  I realized a couple of months ago when I picture my other kids as babies, I don't really remember very much.  When I picture them, I'm actually picturing photos or movies we've taken of them. Those moments I captured on film.  It's a very sad, scary thought, but it makes me soooo grateful for the photos I do have and for this blog.

Anyway, back to Fischy.  He's finally starting to plump up a bit.  We're up to 12lb 7oz now and 2%.  We're finally getting some thigh and wrist creases, even if not full-on rolls.  He's almost entirely on formula (we nurse about once a day, or so).  It makes me a little sad that he's done nursing so early, but it's rewarding to see him finally get a little bigger, so that kind of makes up for it (although how 'bout the price of formula...yikes!).  Poor little man is currently fending off an earache, but he's normally such a happy baby and super-duper social.  He definitely prefers to be held, though.  He's lucky to have 4 older siblings who are (mostly) willing to hang out talking to him when I need to set him down.  Fischer has the darkest eyelashes and eyebrows.  He has a tiny dimple on the back of his ear lobe.  His fingernails are always splitting down the center for some reason.  He has such long, skinny feet (just like Scarlett's were). Fisch has lost pretty much all of his baby hair, but he has a velvety layer of dark hair coming in.  Seeing that makes me ridiculously happy.  While Spencer and I are both dark-haired now, he was actually blonde as a kid and I've always been brunette. So, when I have brown babies (only Scarlett and Fischer), it makes me extra-happy.  I see so little of myself in my children that it makes me extra happy.  When he sleeps and his cheeks go slack, so he looks a little more angular, he looks just like Miss S did when she was a baby.  It's craziness.  I've never had matching babies before.

As for Oak...he's a crazy.  Like a real-life actual crazy-pants.  I honestly don't know what to do with him.  He doesn't hesitate to push anything and anyone out of his way.  He's definitely got a little dog complex going on and doesn't realize that the 8 year old girl at chick-fil-a whose shoes he's trying to steal is actually twice his size.  I read Mark Twain's quote the other day, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." and immediately thought of Mr. O.  It's funny, a guy in our ward consistently refers to him as Mighty Oak.  I couldn't think of a better nick-name for him if I tried.  He's just such an intense personality.  He laughs loud, plays hard, hits harder, loves passionately, and spends his day running literal circles around me.  I love him so darn much, but he just bewilders me.  I'm thiiiis close to shipping him off to his Uncle Eric and they can go live in the woods together until he's ready to come home and re-join civilized society.  The only thing stopping me is the fear he'll end up even more feral than he already is.

I'm currently stuck in the fog that is postpartum depression.  I've upped my zoloft a bit and I'm just trying to make it through to the other size.  The good thing about having done this twice before (post-Ezra and -Scarlett) is that 1-I actually recognized it this time around and 2-I know it doesn't last forever.  I started to feel like my old self by about 8 or 9 months postpartum with those two and I'm hoping I follow the same trend this time around.  Right now, I'm just trying to get through the day in one piece; I'm very much in survival mode.  The holidays helped for a bit, but January is always kind of a depressing month and the hormones aren't helping.  I haven't lost a single friggin' pregnancy pound since I came home from the hospital 4 1/2 months ago.  I've never had this happen before and the whole thing has me quite flummoxed.  It's definitely not helping my mood any, to say the least.  I'm really trying hard, though, to exercise and eat better.  Hopefully I'll start seeing some results soon.  I have a solid 25 pounds to go.

I recently discovered this blog.  I love, love, love it.  She just gets it.  The depression.  The frustration.  The joy.  The insanity.  all of it.  I highly recommend you check it out.

Well, I think I've managed to pour the thoughts out of my head, so I guess that's it for today. Thanks for reading my mental meanderings.  Sometimes a girl's just gotta write.

Here's a few pictures in for kicks and giggles.  Some you might recognize from facebook/instagram, but I like them enough to share them here too. Plus it's easy...and right now, easy is about all I can handle.  Enjoy!

little-big man

me, on a 50s housewife sorta day

Fischer's first time in the bumbo
(and Ezra photobombing)

Georgia's long-awaited first lost tooth
(she pulled it out herself at 9:30 at night)

Oak helping Spencer fix the dishwasher.  He hung out the whole time with a wrench in his hand "helping" 

Spencer and Ezra during an intense game of chess

nothin' I like more than a little boy in big boy jammies

 The little mommy with her baby

The End

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to All...

...and to all a good night!

Monday, December 23, 2013

November in a Nutshell

One of these days I'll stop playing catch-up and just be caught up...that day is not today.  I am soooo tempted to skip November, but I couldn't possibly since that is the month my first-born got baptized!  So, instead, you'll get a few slapped-together pictures with or without captions and we'll call it a day.  Anyway, November was a busy month, culminating in a huge Thanksgiving family visit for Ezra's baptism.  I, in typical fashion, was too busy chasing the chillun' around and baking 50 million pies to take any pictures.  Luckily I swiped some baptism pictures from family, so you'll at least get to put names with faces, for a change. Enjoy!

At the start of the month, Ezra was lucky enough to go with Spencer to the Church's 100 year anniversary of their Boy Scouting connection-thingy (don't ask for details...I'm tired).  What a fun first activity!  Ezra is BEYOND thrilled to be a cub scout.  He's been waiting anxiously since going with Spencer to an occasional cub scout activity when he was a den leader a few years ago.

 My handsome boys

Mid-month we took a Saturday afternoon trip to the Kemper Museum of Modern Art.  That stranger in the middle is one of the girls' besties, Lilly (she lives next door).  The boys, however, refused to cooperate for a picture. just get an estrogen-laden one instead.

Here's a few random pictures from sometime during the month.  Most of which were taken by and/or with Georgia when she stole my camera to document every nook and crevice in my house.

My scrawny, scrawny baby at 2 months, 3 weeks.
We're working our darndest to get some meat on them bones.

The kids were lucky enough to have Spencer's parents here for their Grandparent's Day, which fell on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  They got to watch the kids in each of their classrooms perform a little program and then got to join them for lunch.  They claim they've never seen our kids eat so much as they do during lunch at school.  Knowing how picky they are at home (especially Ezra), I'm not surprised!  I guess that's the perk of homemade lunches...I only pack things I know they'll eat!

a full-mouthed Ezra and Grandpa

Grandma and Miss G

Georgie and Grandpa

And FINALLY...the baptism!!!
(thanks to my mom-in-law, Eric, and Stephanie for providing 99.9% of the baptismal pictures.  I was too harried to take them myself)

All in white :)

Ez and his bestie, Liam
(who oddly makes Ezra look like a midget)

 Georgia, Ella (cousin), and Scarlett

Most of the mowglis together in their finery
(minus Everly, Oak, and Fischer)

 Everly (cousin), Uncle Phillip, and Ezra

 Mimi, Grandad, and Ezra

Cooper (cousin) and Fischer

Spencer and me with our eldest

All 4 of my boys

A real-live successful family picture

Uncle Phil, Auntie Steph, and Ezzie boy

Waiting to action to start

Ezra with his idol, Uncle Eric (one of the other EE Lifferths)

Ezzie and Grandpa

A rare smiley picture of Oak

The man of the hour
Congrats, Ezra Emil!!!