Sunday, November 18, 2012

Too busy being in love

Dear Sweet Baby  Adele

I've been meaning to write you a little note of welcome for quite awhile now, but today you hit a milestone that I didn't think would come for a long time. So even though it's 11pm and my eyes are heavy, I'm typing to you. 

As I was trying to put you to bed, after a fussy, not-much sleep Sunday, it dawned on me that maybe you were teething? So I stuck my finger in your mouth hoping to feel your gums to see if they were tender or swollen and….lo and behold, a tooth! Two teeth to be more precise!! At only 3 1/2 months this is a big surprise to me and a big wake up call that you're growing up, even if I haven't documented it. 

You are such a beautiful, sweet baby. We all love you, some of us a little too much (over adoring brothers). The other day I was putting you to bed and kept smelling something and then realized it was a spit smell. And not spit up smell (cause you hardly ever do that). It was the smell of dried spit from Nathan kissing you with slobbery kisses so much all day. Yes, you are well loved over here.

After some rough weeks of you wanting to sleep all day and party all night, you've finally settled into a better routine of crashing sometime between 8-9 and sleeping for around 5-6 hours. You wake up to eat after that initial stretch but always go back to sleep for another nice long nap. You've even given me a few 7 hour stretches but only once or twice. Now if only I could learn to go to bed as soon as you do!

It's always while I'm nursing you that I have these beautiful, poetic thoughts come to mind, but my hands are tied up and I can never get them down. So I craft blog post upon blog post in my head, singing sweet songs of praise about your cuteness, your softness and your potential.

I love holding you and nestling you close to me while we have our midnight cuddle-fests. The curve of your little head as it mets your neck. The way your little bum fits perfectly into my cradling hand as I pat you to sleep. The smoothness of your stubbly little toes as I trace your feet through your jammies. All of these, plus a thousand more feelings make me tingle with deliciousness as I nurse you to sleep, your belly full and your eyes fluttering.

It's a powerful emotional tugging and a slightly bittersweet moment each time I feel the weight of your little body in my arms. Beautiful, because I know you're my baby now and I cherish every moment but fleeting since I know how fast you'll be out of my arms and into the roughness called childhood. Sometimes I know that I add to that roughness with my own shortcomings as a mom to toddlers and big kids and it breaks my heart to think I could ever get upset with the lump of dough in my arms right now.

But I know it happens, as I've watched all my other babies grow into bigger babies and little toddlers and then big kids that leave toys all over and talk back and I let down. Sometimes I find myself wishing for those little ones that were so easy to love and kiss and squeeze. I'm working on finding my niche with those big kids but for now, late at night, huddled under the blankets with your little body squished against mine, I breathe in the warmth of you, your milky baby air that moves in and out so calmly through your perfect little lips. I'd like to take that feeling and bottle it up so I can open it again someday when I'm 63 and old and arthritic and you're big with babies of your own.

There's a song by a well know country singer from the 1990s that talks about all the things he could have been inspired to do from the feelings of love. His only excuse for not doing anything was, "I was too busy being in love, yes, I was too busy being in love." I often think of this song while nursing and holding and rocking you. I could lay you down and get something done but I'm too busy being in love, yes, I'm to busy being in love.

I love you baby.



P.S. Lest anyone read this and think I have a favorite child (Ava, Nathan or Elias in a few years come read this!), I've felt this way about each and every baby I've had, just never taken the time to get it down on paper. I was too busy… being in love.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bathing Beauty

 Miss Adele at 10 weeks 

Somebody loves the bath - especially dancing in the bath!! 

And all of us love cuddling this chubby-a-lub after she gets out of the bath!! 

More Fall Fun

Homemade Tie Die Shirts. Fun for all, or at least me!
Nah, she's not loved. 

Typical Nathan. He's out of control. 

Me and 3. The fourth was being a pill. 


Bobbing for Apples 

Donut eating with no hands!

All lined up and ready to eat

My birthday decorations

Ava is very creative. No bananas were harmed in the making of these decorations, although they did get eaten afterwards! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween 2012

Ava's Spider Web

Homegrown 7 Large Yellow (that finally turned orange but wouldn't sit upright!) Pumpkins

Ava's homemade decorations for my birthday celebration!

Crouching Tiger

Duct tape orange and glued on white - nice! 

Spotted Leopard

Ebay find for $11 - score!

Big cats!! 

Fall fairy 

Costume by Ava 

Makeup by Mama (and a very excited-to-wear-makeup Ava)
Cute calf and cowgirl 

This is the third time this costume has been used for my babies. Elias was too fat to fit into it and had to be a hippo when he was a baby.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Back to school, back to school!!

Since Adele showed up just a week before our kids started school this year, I totally felt like I missed out on the beginning of school. I've ben playing catch-up since then! 

I just met the last of the kids teachers last week and finally got into volunteer in Nathan's classroom.  Luckily, they're all pretty independent this year and no one was traumatized by a new school year so I haven't had to worry about anyone having a meltdown with a new situation.  

Ava's in third grade this year and has Mrs. Way for homeroom, Mrs. Shankle for Language Arts, and Mrs. Gangel (or G - ANGEL as Ava kept telling me the first few weeks). She is in all the advanced classes and except for a few rough weeks of math, is doing great in everything. I think she's realized now that the math book really does have to come home everyday and that math homework really doesn't need to take an hour a night! 

By far, her favorite area is reading and writing and she brings home original poems and stories daily. She is at that "adoration" stage with a few of her teachers and makes little drawings and writings for them often. Most of them reciprocate and when I finally met them they raved about Ava and how they wished all students were just like her.  All my memories about school start in third grade so I really hope she has a great year to build good memories for the future. 

Nathan's in first grade this year and has gotten more used to the idea of school. He's still not in love with it and asks me every few days if I will homeschool him (I'm pretty sure that my kids think homeschool = doing nothing but I think they'd be sorely disappointed if they were to really figure it out).  

He has Mrs. Proper (Ava had her also and we loved her so much we requested her again!) for homeroom and got Star Student the second week of school. Again, I dropped the ball cause I thought the certificate was just something that everyone got until he started telling me (a week later) about how the little girl who got it the week before him got a new dress for being Star Student. John asked him if he wanted a new dress too but he settled on dinner at Pancho Villas instead. I was tempted to ask them if they'd gotten the wrong kid since he's so crazy at home but I've heard from his teachers what a model student he is while he's at school. I'm glad for them but wish he'd bring some of that "model" behavior home! 

He has Ms. Turpen for reading and is making huge progress there, thank goodness, since he was pretty much reading in kindergarten and then regressed, I think, during that year. He's in the highest reading group and just told me yesterday how he noticed that some of the other kids are reading harder books. Hum, I sense a little competitiveness here. Oh, and a touch of narcissism as he told the pediatrician that he's the fastest runner in 1st grade. 

How fun is it to have a local school and a dad who takes the time off work to walk you in the first day? I'd like to say this is just because I wasn't in walking shape but really, he'd do this for them even if I wasn't laid up with a new baby. I especially love this picture because I even know all the people in the background, which makes me feel like we're really integrated into the community. Yay! 

After checking out a few different preschools for Elias, we settled on Epiphany Catholic in Culpeper. Ava had gone there and it was a great family involved preschool, which is what I really like. Also, it offers a 2-day four year old program and, lets be honest, there's no way I'm getting Adele, me and Elias out the door more than 2 days a week! 

He started 2 weeks after the big kids and he was so excited to have his own bookbag. I was nervous that he'd be sad but he marched right in - after giving me a hug and kiss, of course. He's grown up so much over the past few months that he really isn't the baby anymore. Good thing, cause he really isn't anymore!  

He has Mrs. Terry (we practiced this name a ton the first few weeks since Perry the Platypus is one of his favorite cartoon characters and he was scared he was going to call her the wrong name) and Mrs. Watson as a helper. Every Tuesday and Thursday when I pick him up his book bag is bursting with his artwork. Painting is his favorite, followed by cutting and gluing and I'm told he's one of the best with scissors in the class. 

Lias is extremely detail oriented and will take 10 minutes to tell you anything. He has to fill in the color of shirt everyone was wearing and how exactly they moved ("and then the-ay went over to the garbage and threw thee paper a-way and then the-ay walked back to the chair and pulled it out and sat down and then the-ay….etc) all with hand motions and restarting if you dared to interrupt. It's endearing and exhausting all at the same time. I can say that today since he's on a 4 day trip to FL with John and I haven't had to tell him to "get moving or I'll light a fire under you!" at all in 2 days. Ah…..

He loves preschool and jumps out of bed each morning to ask me, "Is today a preschool day?" and "Which clothes should I wear today? Play or nice?". I'm so glad he loves it (Elias doesn't ever just like something - it's either he loves it or he doesn't) since there's a little bit of this going on over here lately. 

He absolutely loves her too, but sometimes a boy has had all he can take and wants his picture taken too! 

With all that school that leaves just me and this little pumpkin together for a few hours each week. I keep thinking I'll get something productive done but usually we just grocery shop or take naps in the car.  And that's ok with me cause it's just a few hours till everyone comes home and the craziness begins again.