20 April 2009

Conversation at bathtime

Daddy to Annalivia: Annalivia, did you draw on your kneecap today?

Annalivia: (regarding obvious penmark on knee) Ummmm...no.

Daddy: (skeptical) What happened then?

Annalivia: (thoughtfully) Weeeelllll, I think, yesterday, a little bee made a hole in my tights here (points to ankle) and crawled all the way up... and then bit me!

Daddy: Wow. (Looks at knee again) Hmmm. It sorta looks like pen...

Annalivia: It could be.

18 April 2009

The momma is necessary

Last night, I went out with two of my three sisters for a few hours and left Dennis home with the kids. Dennis had been sick this week and, for some reason, I just felt really weary. So, after I got dinner together for the fam, my sisters came and picked me up and we headed out for a bit. We went out for sushi (something I don't make and Dennis doesn't eat, which was my only real request in figuring out where to eat). And then to a bookstore, where they read magazines and I read a couple of chapters in a book I've been trying to get through. It was very nice and when I arrived home, I felt refreshed.
While I'd been gone, though, Dennis had been worked over. Emmeliese was fussy and had been crying -- really crying -- off and on for the three hours I'd been gone. Annalivia and Daniel were fussy, too. (An aside -- I've decided it's one thing to deal with newborn fussiness which is tiring enough. It's quite another to add to it, at the same, time fussiness from two kids who should know better. That's just exhausting.) Consequently, when I arrived home, Dennis, who hasn't been feeling too great, was feeling a tad fussy, too.
Anyway, when I came home and saw that Dennis was overwhelmed and Emmeliese was still awake and fussy, I took Emmeliese. And I took off my shirt and her clothes, snuggled her in the crook of my arm in a little ball and fed her, skin to skin. She took about 20 minutes to do her typical routine of a few cycles quieting down, falling asleep, burping, waking up, eating more, falling asleep again, burping, waking up again before she fell sound asleep on me. I held her for a little while longer and then put her down in her co-sleeper. And there she stayed asleep for about 5 hours. Very nice.
Every-once-in-a-while, I get in a funk about my efficacy, purpose, etc. as momma. Sometimes it feels like everyone needs something from me, but that I have a flawed product to offer. Post-partum this becomes a little sharper for me. So, it was nice last night to take a breather and then come home and be able to do exactly what at least one member of the family needed and thereby, provide relief for another member of the family, too.
I was thinking about it this morning and realized that maybe this is what the momma role is about for our family. Maybe I'm less the cog in the wheel of family functionality and more the lubricant that lets the other parts move against and with each other with greater ease. Whatever. It comes down to this -- I'm necessary. I like that.

17 April 2009


I found the computer cable and downloaded several hundred pictures this afternoon. I'm hoping to post a few in the days ahead.

Dennis happened on this scene a few days after Grammy's death. Harold the Helicopter, Jeremy the Jet, Sir Topham Hatt in his car, and a couple of miscellaneous cars/ farm equipment are gathered around a little ceramic church. Dennis asked Annalivia what was going on and she said, "They're all at a funeral!"

7 Quick Takes on Friday: IT'S SPRING!!!

1. Things have gotten kind of busy around here lately; it seems like my hands are never free to type up a blog post. Obviously. I'll apologize now if this one remains the only new post for a bit.

2. Spring has finally, FINALLY, arrived in central Illinois! The Spring Beauties are out. We call these flowers Edelweiss in my family, though I'm not certain whether that's just because, perhaps, we were overly-fascinated with Julie Andrews. Anyway, there is an old home here in town with a big front yard that is positively carpeted with Spring Beauties when it finally gets warm enough. And today it was finally warm enough. It was so beautiful -- thousands of little white flowers raising their heads to the sun. I took Annalivia and Daniel by it and sang Edelweiss for them. And then I sang it another 15 times, at Annalivia's request. It may be time to introduce her to Julie.

3. People are always asking me what it's like to be a mother to three kids and here is my answer -- I really truly love being a mother to these three children. My mom is still being a huge help taking the older two kids to her house for several hours almost every day, so, granted -- I don't get the full effect. But everything has been made easier by the fact that both Annalivia and Daniel simply adore Emmeliese. In the morning, when Emmeliese is awake, I put her in the middle of the bed and let Annalivia, and, to a lesser extent, Daniel, talk to her and take care of her and put her pacifier in her mouth. They love it. Daniel reports on the goings-on with mixed up subjects and objects. "She kissin' me!" he says when he kisses her. Or "She touchin' my hand!" when he takes her hand. Last night he said, "She really love me," which, if the pattern holds, means, "I really love her." I believe it.

4. Amy and Sarah were two of my dearest friends in college. We were in the same sorority, lived across from each other, graduated together.... we're dear, old pals. :) We were all pregnant at the same time this year and Sarah delivered a little girl on April 3. Amy's little girl was born this Monday, April 13, after losing two sons in the last two years. I am so happy for both of them, but am especially rejoicing for Amy this week. I think it's so neat that we all had daughters within about a month. And I think they are all about the same size now. Sarah's Lucie was 8 lbs. 9 oz and Amy's Amelie was 9 lbs. 1 oz at birth. And Emmeliese is nearing 10 lbs, I think. I can't wait to meet them someday and take pictures of our girls together!

5. We might still buy the house we have been oggling. We had an inspection done on Wednesday. It turned up what we expected, which is both good and...not so good. We realize that we may be overly enamoured with the house. We've decided that it just doesn't exist elsewhere in this town; i.e. its size, location, age, price, availability, just aren't found in another home. And we can both picture our Christmas decorations there. :) So we'll probably try to buy it. It will be a big project. As my sister said, this house will be our fourth child. And it may require more attention than the other dependents combined.

6. I read a good book recently. Jen, at Conversion Diary, who hosts 7 Quick Takes, had mentioned a book by Holly Pierlot, A Mother's Rule of Life. I read it, and though it is written by a Roman Catholic for Catholic mothers, it has a TON of good info in it. I found lots that was very applicable to our lives. I would highly recommend it, especially for liturgical families, though any Mom capable of filtering theology that is not directly applicable would probably find it useful.

7. Yesterday was a gorgeous, gorgeous day here. The kids and I took a long walk in the morning and then went out to the lake in the afternoon. We saw some turtles sunning themselves and immediately Song of Songs came to mind, "For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."
You know, I once was the pastor who didn't know scripture by heart. No longer. Spring is here! Renewal comes.

Come away, loves...