Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Saturday Morning

A quick hello from a Saturday morning that brought us croissants from the farmers market (because can you imagine a better way to start your weekend?) and morning at the park playing Frisbee and climbing stuff.  Perfectly entertaining.  And of course it is sort of telling that here I am posting something about Saturday on a Wednesday, but as you can see it was quite fun and I have been blissfully occupied with little ones.  Ooh, it's over halfway to the next Saturday morning.  I would say that deserves a little happy dance.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Week in Captions

He loves to look at trucks.  The little one, although I guess the big one, too.  You can tell a truck is passing the house based on the squeal of joy.
It was definitely a week to buy flowers at the store.  Perfectly bright and happy.
Of course Hugo finds them irresistible, too.  How does he get up on that table?
One bowl, two uses.  Cole slaw and some homemade bread.  
I will never tire of being my children's favorite (notice Selma's nose sniffing my head... those of you who have visited know she is obsessed with deodorant and shampoo, neither of which she gets much of in these parts.  Lucky for her, it was a shampoo morning). 
The girls' room just might be the best spot in the house.  Quiet, peaceful, and perfect for reading.  Everyone knows to go there when they need a solitary moment.
There is nothing like some cool autumn air to get me baking.  Wild blueberry pie, complete with fancy schmancy lattice top.  
 Zosia was home with a cold, and these two just played and played and went about their day side by side.  I love it.  All of it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Good News is


We are all here, still goofy and squirmy, and at times grumpy.  You know, fully human.  I must start by saying thank you: it has been incredibly moving to receive such love and support from friends and family near and far.  We have experienced an outpouring of love and it has sustained us.  The last week has been a roller coaster.  We have found ourselves feeling perfectly cheery and fine one moment and feeling utterly devastated the next.  Grief is a strange and powerful thing.

With each passing day we have experienced a deeper peace and understanding (okay, let me be honest: there are still days we wake up just feeling emotional.  Who knows how long that will last).  But we know that this sadness has its place in the bigger picture: there is meaning and purpose to this part of our stories.  This, too, is good.

Yesterday we released balloons to the baby.  Ben and I had thought up the idea for the kids: a way to release our sadness.  But as soon as we explained it to the kids, they started shaping it with their own ideas. "Oh," Zosia said.  "We're sending balloons for the baby to play with in heaven."  Of course.  It would take the heart of a child to understand the perfection of this sentiment.  "It's a party for the baby!" Lily exclaimed.

Each of us has been dealing with our sadness in our own way.  Lily wants to talk talk talk about it, asking about where the baby is, saying she is "sad for the baby to be in mama's tummy."  Zosia  has been quiet and independent, and then every now and then will smile as she looks at me to ask, "Is mommy pregnant?"  Ben and I have been fine one moment, sad and grumpy the next, bickering for 30 minutes about Zosia's lunch sandwich, which is really not like us.  And then we spent the weekend organizing the basement like the cast of some home improvement show.  Yikes, there is a lot of energy here.

But the good news is that God is still good, that we have an incredibly powerful love sustaining our family, and this loss has made us so incredibly grateful.  Because even in the moments that being entrusted with all of this life seems terribly exhausting, there is such infinite beauty and miraculousness in each moment of it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I was supposed to be here today with happy news.  The happiest type: a celebration of a life 12 weeks in the making.  "We will sit next to you," Lily whispered into my belly with a smile.  Ben and I laughed as we talked about names and imagined just what this new chapter in our family would look like.  Everyone agreed Hugo would be thrilled with another baby around to keep him company.  And we all smiled about another blessing in this family of ours.

But sadly that's not why I'm hear today.  There was some spotting and cramping, and then a midwife appointment where we couldn't find the heartbeat we had so hoped to hear.  Any mother, any family, really, who has experienced such a loss knows the deep sorrow.

We are surrounded by a million blessings.  Abundant life, the love and support of family and friends, and a beautiful autumn day outside my window.  God has loved this baby from the very moment of her creation and holds her closer than ever.  With every passing day our eyes our opened more and more to the beauty and joy all around us.  We can breathe and smile and our grief is no longer crippling.  But even in the midst of all of this, we are just feeling sad.  And that is okay.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The First Day of Preschool

We now officially have one girl in kindergarten, another in preschool.  We have been whittling things down to their most essential state around here to smooth the transition.  Laid back afternoons without any scheduled activities, a nice and open weekend with plenty of family time.  Day one of kindergarten was wonderful, but, apparently, totally exhausting.  I, who was super mellow in the weeks leading up to that first day, laid awake at night asking a million questions.  Is she ready?  Is kindergarten too long? Too much?

All of those questions seemed to answer themselves over the coming days.  Zosia loves school.  I get glowing reports from her teachers.  It has been a very good thing for her and she is excited and happy and surrounded by wonderful teachers and good friends.

Today, Lily bounded out the door to her big milestone.  She put her chosen "first day of school clothes" on the moment she got out of bed and spent the morning waiting by the front door asking, "Is it time for schoo yet?"  She ran into the classroom, not even looking back at me and Hugo as she dived into a bin of toys with a classmate.  Hm... I'm thinking she is sort of ready for this.

I think one pleasant surprise to me, as a very attached mother with very attached children has been that attached babies (and I'm talking super-attached-won't-let-anyone-but-mama-hold-them babies) often make for very independent children.  There's something about nurturing that special mother-baby bond that makes them confident, assured, and ready to go out into the world when they're ready.  Of course now, the challenge becomes letting them go forth.  Hrmph.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The First Day


We gently woke her up before her siblings, and when she looked at us quizzically, all we had to say was "It's your first day of school" for her to bound out of bed.  Over breakfast, just the three of us, me Ben and Zosia, she smiled and simply said, "I can't believe the first day of school has come."  I think she's been looking forward to this for a long time.

We got her out the door just barely in time, but I think she had everything she needed: backpack, lunch box, morning snack, and a thermos of milk.  We've been keeping busy with an out of town guest and a few morning outings.  Lily looks up at me every now and then and asks, "Where is Zosh?" and we spend a few minutes imagining what she might be doing.  Lunch time?  Recess?  Reading time?  

She's home in a few minutes, and I can't wait.  What a great adventure.

And for a trip down nostalgia lane, here she is her first day of preschool, two years ago (that's a bird's nest she wanted to take in to show her class in the basket):

and on her first day of preschool last year: