April 27, 2010

Spring Break Part 1

We had such a fun Spring Break. I wish you all could have joined us. The weather was pretty good, and the scenery amazing. We kayaked around Penobscot Bay visiting several of the Merchant Islands. We camped for three nights. The kids are ready for more.

April 17, 2010

Before the Next Holiday...

Who forgot to post Easter pictures?
Ooooh! Oooooh!
I bought way too much candy. I ate way too much candy. She really was thrilled to get her own chocolate bunny. She wondered how hard it must have been for the person who carved him out of chocolate.
I finally made wheat grass baskets.
They kept on giving as I'd mow them and put them in smoothies. The kids thought it was great. I thought it tasted kind of grassy.

April 14, 2010

Sneaky Mom

I was thinking of all the things I should be doing when it hit me. Jesse is gone. The kids are at school. Time to make a goodwill run while no one is the wiser.

I love moving.

April 12, 2010

The Roller Coaster Moving Machine

UP- new friends, new church callings, new house to decorate. Maybe I can talk J into those chairs at Target
or a new couch.
A yard. A dishwasher.
New stomping grounds to explore.
We'll probably be closer to family.
We can go to DC and relive my childhood memories.
Where will we be next year?

- making friends is hard. and it takes time. i feel a little guilt about leaving our ward. it's tiny and really needs people.
i just barely started working out again. how will I do it by myself?
J's going to make me move that awful couch. again. And he'll probably try to make me get rid of my red chair.
what if our neighborhood is even worse?
what if they try to give me the one calling I hate. cub scouts. gag.
we'll just have to move in a year again.
finding a place is hard.
moving is hard.
where will we be next year?

April 7, 2010

Two Plus Two

The Mermaid, Around 11 months

For her first five years, she was the "ooops" baby. I got my period the day after the honeymoon, so she wasn't conceived there, but the next month the stick said there was a reason I was constantly tired. After a year and half of trying, her sister joined the family. Two pounds smaller than sis, champion sleeper, I was ready for more.

When we got married, J and I knew we'd have between 4 and 6 kids. We liked our big families. Liked the craziness, chaos, closeness that comes with multiple siblings.

But three years later, a couple rounds of fertility drugs, and two years more, we're still a little family of four. There's no obvious reason. We haven't been exhaustive in treatment, but can't afford to financially or emotionally.

Jesse's much more zen about the situation. I fight and cry, railing against God, the universe, myself. People ask if we'll have more. Sometimes I explain, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I just say "we'd like to."

Sometimes people try to reassure us that we'll have more, or encourage us to try more treatment. And though they mean well, we just don't think we will. The last stage of mourning is acceptance.

We may grow our family other ways. We may adopt or foster. I can imagine one or more of the cousins living with us at some point (someone is bound to rebel, right? or maybe they just want free room and board at the college we live by.) And there is the chance that I could get pregnant, I guess.

But if none of this happens, if it's just the four of us, we're a family. And both of those girls, though we were too young and naive to know it then, are miracles. Absolute miracles.The Monkey, also around 11 months.

April 6, 2010

The Talk

We had our first sex talk a couple of months ago since I knew the kids would have a lot of unsupervised time with cousins (and doesn't that always seem to be when erroneous information gets passed along in a hush-hush kind of way? BTW cousin Cindy, you can sleep with your bra on and not die because your circulation has been cut off by your bra band. Thanks for that little tidbit that had me jolting awake from naps as an early teenager.) I probably jumped the gun a little since their cousins aren't that much older than they are, but you never know what other kids are blabbing about on the playground.

Today, the monkey barged in on me in the bathroom (someday, we might have two bathrooms. Or a lock.) She was really upset that I was menstruating. I tried to explain that it wasn't a big deal and I wasn't in pain (although I really was, but didn't think that would help matters). Luckily, I had picked up a book at the library that has models of all the systems of the body. A quick explanation of the reproductive system, the uterus, with pictures, and we were on our way to story time (she's had several talks about eggs and fertilization). She even said "maybe next month we'll get a baby."

The book we had on hand was The Visual Dictionary of the Human Body. And I got some great ideas and courage from the Values Parenting website. They are the folks who do Joyschool, so if you have a membership, you have even more information available. Their free information is a good place to start, though.

Raising girls is kind of tough. They are smart and funny, sensitive, kind, beautiful, and full of so much potential. Helping them understand sex and sexuality is just a little part. But it's scary to think that these first chats are what opens (or shuts) the door to future conversations.

April 4, 2010

New Crafty

Last trip to NY, Amy gave the girls these sweet penny round tile samples that they were thinking of using for their bathrooms. We thought about putting them in the dollhouse, but that would have been ridiculous. (We're already making a stone fireplace and foundation. We're crazy. We know.)

So while Jesse was mortaring the fireplace, I decided to affix the tiles to one of the our 4 kitchen carts (the one that spent a month outside de-smoking itself). So there weren't exactly enough tiles to cover the whole surface, so I tried to make it a touch artsy. I call it Order into Chaos or Vice
Versa (w/ border). I still need to seal it, but since its main function is to hold my kitchenaid, I think it'll be ok.

If anyone else has assorted penny round samples they're trying to unload, I have two other wooden kitchen carts and 3/4 box of mortar.

April 3, 2010

Glam Hikers

Jesse worked today, so the kids and I went to Thorncrag (our local bird sanctuary) for a little hike in the splendid weather. We had fun tromping through the somewhat muddy forest. Monkey brought her sand pail (she just won at the Easter egg hunt) and played in the water. She really wanted to make mud, but I think there was enough naturally occurring, she didn't feel as compelled to as she did in the beginning. The lighting was good and my subjects were feeling posey, so we took some glam shots. They are growing so quickly. We're a bit stunned at how beautiful Mermaid is becoming. Thank goodness she needs glasses and no matter what the dentist says, those braces are not going on until her 16th birthday.

The Egg Hunt

We were lucky enough to get ourselves invited to the karate dojo's Easter egg hunt this year. One of the senseis leads our exercise group in the morning. The kids had so much fun.
Monkey found a mud puddle, but she also found a special egg and won a sand toy set.
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