Friday, January 16, 2015

For Jamie and Gretchen


On this blah mid-January Friday morning, I gift you, Jamie and Gretchen, with a blog post...FINALLY. But I've lost my steam and am a bit out of practice, I have to say, so this might be the most random thing you've ever read.

Let's baby turned 16-months-old this week, but for the past four months the child has insisted on keeping newborn hours. I have been up since 4 am and yes, sat through an entire viewing of Frozen before 6 am. That kind of parenting technique could be the reason that Tess can actually sing Let it Go but still doesn't say the word mama. I seem to treat Tess with kid gloves, which I'm hoping won't make her too spoiled. From the moment she was born I will do anything to quiet her down so that she doesn't wake the other two before I am fully loaded with at least two cups of steaming coffee. This is progress though, because those cups of coffee used to go through enough reheats to make them taste like 3 am truck stop sludge. Now they're deliciously steaming (as long as Tess is distracted by Anna and Kristoff.) 

What else? It's that time of year where it's often too cold to go outside and if we go to any indoor activities someone inevitably catches something that puts the whole house out of commission for an entire week. We passed around an awesome (read: disgustingly violent) stomach bug right before the holidays which made for some overwhelming family togetherness. The girls apparently, thought it was kind of fun as Elin often reminisces, "Mom, remember when we had a slumber party in the living room and you helped me puke all night? And you held my hair? Can we do that again?", you weirdo.

Speaking of Elin, this girl is cracking me up lately. She and Anna love Cinderella and often play Cinderella, which means they both dress up in a pretty gown and high heels and take turns being Cinderella, running away from the ball, falling down, and losing a shoe. The other one becomes the prince (a cross-dressing prince in this scenario), follows Cinderella with the shoe and asks, "Can I have this dance?" They will repeat this twenty times in a row, I swear, alternating who gets to be Cinderella. This week Elin said to me, "Mom, where's my prince?" And I said, "I don't know." Then she let out a huge sigh and said, "I want to say, where's my dang prince, but then I'll have to take a time out in jail." Wow, pretty strict laws in the enchanted kingdom.

Elin also started laughing so hard at a six pack of Spotted Cow I had set on the counter after a trip to the grocery store. She said, "Mom, what is that?! That is the smallest box of beer I ever saw! Why is it so little?" which makes me think we are bringing too many cases of beer into this house.

I've noticed that I'm saying a lot of weird things myself lately.

Yesterday I said to my baby, "Tess, quit chewing on that syringe."

For the record it was a giant plastic toy syringe out of the girls' doctor kit. But still. Gross.

Also this week I asked Anna to take her baby out of the oven. A toy baby, of course, and a toy oven. Still a weird thing to say out loud.

So this is random and boring, which is pretty much the opposite of my life which is structured around meals, nap time, playtime, and meltdowns, and always keeps me on my toes. Everyday is an adventure. A very busy, very tiring adventure...that I love, love, love.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Come Lord Jesus...

The twins are turning three soon, and I love, love, love this age...well, except for the blood curdling tantrums when things aren't going exactly as they expect...but we're taking it in stride.

The things they say lately are incredibly entertaining. We laugh at them a lot. Lately, Elin has been asking for a hug by saying, "Mom, may I take a hug now, please?" (I must note that while Justin and I need to constantly remind them to use their manners lately, saying please when they ask for a hug makes everything better.)

Elin has also altered our dinnertime prayer and I have no desire to correct her because it's so dang cute.

Instead of the standard, "Come Lord Jesus, be our guest..." she now says, in her little cartoon squeaky voice,

"Come Lord Jesus, be the best..."

Ha. Cracks me up everytime. Thankfully, Elin, Jesus is our guest AND the best. All at once. Xoxo.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Tess

Tess Isabel,

Today, you turn one. I feel like it's one of those moments where I just can't find the right words.

I think of your eyes. Round and blue. Bluer when you're crying. I think of your hair. Straight, flyaway, and a little fuzzy in the back. I think of your squishy cheeks, your squishy belly, your squishy arms and legs. I think of that soft white baby skin that I brush my face against every chance I get.

I think of your baby babble. Your squeaks. Your high-pitched screams. I hear your sing-songy voice saying "da da" and "bye-bye" and "hi Tess!" You mimic so many words when we say them. I think of you wobbling all around the living room and kitchen, like a baby giraffe just learning to use her legs. You're so excited to be walking and trying so hard to keep up with your sisters...

Your sisters! I think of how, in the last month, they have not stopped loving on you. So many hugs and kisses and sisterly squeezes (which sometimes resemble headlocks.) I hear Elin's cartoon voice saying, "Hello little baby Tessie-bel," and I see Anna lunging at you for hugs and tickles anytime you get close enough to her. I see them both taking things away from you that you shouldn't be playing with and saying, "No Tessie-bel, not for you! You get hurt!"

I think of your ear-piercing screams when your sisters are being loud and crazy, and you want to be heard. I think of the way you walk up behind your sisters and depending on your mood, you either wrap them in a big bear hug or reach up and pull their hair until they shriek.

I think of how you always, ALWAYS wave to Auntie Jamie. Now you wave to everyone, but for awhile it was like waving was Auntie Jamie's "thing", and no one else knew about this cool little secret you two shared. I think of how it took you months to wave to me, yet everytime you saw Jamie you'd start waving and laughing.

I think of how lately, sleep is eluding you. I think you're finally pushing some more teeth through. Your sisters had all of their teeth by the time they turned one, and you've got four. But it's not stopping you from keeping up with us at the dinner table. You're totally over baby food and purees and now it's all about keeping up with your sisters with avocados and bananas and chicken and cheese.

Mostly, on your birthday and every day, really, I think of how much I love you, and how it's impossible to tell someone how much you actually love them. That there are no words in the English language that convey the pure, unconditional love your Dad and I feel for you and your sisters. I think of how blessed we are that God gave us you. I pray. I say thank you. I try to express my gratitude by being the best Mom I can be for you guys. I try to live in the moment and experience you and know you in all your one-year old glory. Some days I fail, but some days I succeed.

This love we have for you. For your sisters. It's huge. Bigger than you can imagine. Impossible to describe. And it's not because you bring us so much joy, or make us laugh or turn us into puddles of mush when you're being adorable. It's simply because you're you. We are so blessed.

Tess Isabel, I wish you the happiest of birthdays today and a year of wonderful things to come. (Your sister made you cupcakes with electric blue frosting, so I'll just turn away and let you enjoy.) Dad, Annaleise, Elin, and I are so happy you came to us. We love you more than you could possibly know. Our Tessie-bel. Our baby girl.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Tess.

Love, Mom

Monday, September 8, 2014

Learning to Fly...

Yesterday morning Elin, Justin, Tess, and I were all in the living room watching Brave, when we heard Anna crying from the playroom.

"Anna? What's wrong?" Justin called.

Anna came out, still crying. She was holding her toy broom and she said, point blank, "I want to fly. But no me have wings."

Justin and I exchanged a look like, oh my gosh, how sweet is that? But before we could jump in with any consoling, Anna's twin took over.

Elin looked at her and said with very mom-like inflection, "Oh sweetie it ok. Just need to practice."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Summer is No Time for Computers

A few of my friends have mentioned that I haven't written anything here which I think, "Oh, you read that?"

Gretchen has even made some post suggestions, which I will take eventually, Gretch. Thanks! But the truth is, no blog posts means no time for blogging, and no time for blogging is a beautiful thing because it means it's summer and gorgeous and way too nice outside to sit down in front of a computer!

The summer has been full. The days have been long and short and slow and quick; full of joy and frustration and smiles and skinned knees and sunshine and thunderstorms.

Life has been full. Tess was baptized. We visited friends. We took some day trips and some longer road trips. Door County. Milwaukee. South Haven. Farmer's market. Picnics. Swimming lessons. Potty-training. Grilling out. More visits to the park than I can count. Hours worth of swinging for all. Baby shower. Wedding shower. Bachelor and bachelorette parties. Zoos. River walks. Softball. Yoga. Bubbles. Chalk. The beach.

September means more of the same as above, but with an extra layer on. The month hasn't even begun, but it's already jam-packed. Plus, football. Badgers and Packers. (Weekend attire is so simple in September.) So...hopefully there still won't be time for blogging. Heaven knows winter will arrive soon enough.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

Oh Captain, my Captain!

Oh, Robin Williams, where do we even begin to find the words?

You were certainly one-of-a-kind. I first remember you when my parents watched Mork and Mindy all those years ago. Then in your serious roles in Dead Poets Society (is there any better movie?), Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams. My favorite characters, by far, were in Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin. I can't wait until my girls can double up in fits of laughter because of your talent. No one else could have brought those characters to life in the way that you did. (The Genie is Justin's favorite character of all time. I know the girls have years of Aladdin viewings in their future.)

You were not the Hollywood of today. You were down-to-earth. Funny. Authentic. Talented. Kind. The way true stars should be. The way we all should be. Thank you for being one of the few who still had class.

I have a feeling God is very, very proud that you took the talent He gave you and stretched it to its limits, making the world a happier, more joyful place. You were so blessed. Not everyone is able to make millions smile.

It's impossible to overlook the tragic way in which you've died, but the brain is a very mysterious, powerful thing. Something we will never fully understand. I pray that God is with your family and friends - those who will feel your loss deep in their bones, to the depths of their souls. For this loss is truly theirs.

May we all remember you in the inspiring way that you lived, and not the tragic way that you died. May we all let loose and turn on the crazy once in awhile. May we laugh at the absurd. May we speak in funny voices and say ridiculous things and strive to make one another just a little bit happier. May we find something that feeds an unstoppable energy within us; things that ignite our passion. May we seek to find our own God-given talents and show them to the world, in the tremendous way that you did. And for the not-so-happy times, when our load in this world feels like it is too much to carry alone, may we reach out to one another and get through the dark places together.

You made this world a better place. Thank you for the smiles. May you rest in peace, Robin Williams. There must be a lot of laughter in Heaven today.