Sunday, October 14, 2012

the bAAAAby.

Poor Evie Sue. Poor thing. I have totally missed out on some serious posts about this child. And, I've missed out on taking some really sweet pictures of her. Not knowing where the camera was, not knowing whether I was coming or going. Allowing myself to get completely overwhelmed with the business of moving, I'm afraid that I haven't given her the consideration on this thing that she deserves. I guess I've got no choice but to start now.

She's a sweet, sweet thing. One of the sweetest. She's a happy baby. She loves all of us. Her daddy. Her sister. Her brother. Her mama. And, we all love her back.

She loves to eat, as evidenced by the chunky size of her short little legs.

She loves to speak, as evidenced by the cute way she repeats the sounds back to us that we say over and over and OVER again.

She loves her play gym, and she rolled over for the first time on that thing on September 17...despite what her daddy says (assisting the roll doesn't count). She loves kicking and batting her little toys and staring at them with these huge, imploring eyes.

She loves to snuggle. So much.

She is so patient with us. She hardly cries, as if she understands that sometimes life is really busy for everyone and she doesn't want to create more drama (wish her sister could take a hint...:)).

And, she loves to smile...these gigantic, open-mouthed, toothless smiles that make her big baby blues sparkle and shine.

Mostly, she loves to love. She's such a love.

First Day of School!

Ella and Summit started their first day of school in August. (I'm clearly trying to catch up here.) They were so cute in their matching outfits and with their hair looking cleaner and prettier and more handsome than it's bound to look for the rest of the year.

Here's to kindergarten and third grade! Goodbye to late mornings and homework-free afternoons. I'll miss you lazy days of summer, but I'm so thankful for the opportunities that my kids have to learn in such a wonderful school.

Where did you come from, Kindergarten?

Well, last week really happened. Really. I've been dreading the moment since summer began, but dreading  it did me no favors. Neither did the crying or the fretting or the hemming and hawing. None of it. None of it prepared me for one of the hardest days my life has ever seen.

Taking my little fella down the hall and into that kindergarten classroom was rough. Even though I know he's in good hands. It was rough. We're peas and carrots, me and my Summit. Peas and carrots. He's been right there with me for 5 years. Right there. He loves me the most. He gets me, and I get him. I get his sense of humor and his sweet little ways. I know what he needs; that he's kind of sensitive and sometimes shy; that he's anxious about certain bugs; that he says he doesn't like math, but he really does; that when he gets scared, he really needs someone to hold his hand a little tighter. And he needs me the most.

And, I need him, too. I like having him around. He's funny. Really funny. And, he's sweet. Really sweet. He likes to be silly and laugh and make other people laugh. And, when I'm having a bad day, he tries to make it better, because he likes people to be happy the way he is always happy. I think it's awesome to watch him play with his toys (right now his favorite ones are the cheap little guys that come out of the gumball machine at San Jose); his imagination is so huge, and it makes me want to be fun and carefree and creative. I love his questions and his easy conversations. He keeps me grounded and young at heart (...clearly not on my face). Ha!

Still, it had to happen. Kindergarten had to happen. I had to let him go, and in doing so, know that this was the first of many times that I'll have to let him go a little farther from me. That morning was hard. Super hard. But, we did it. He was nervous, and he held my hand tighter than he's ever held it before. And, even though he wanted to cry, even though he didn't want to do it, he did it. He was brave and strong and ready. He stood there, contemplating his cubby, contemplating his new classroom, and he said his goodbyes and gave us his biggest hugs. And, he let us go. I think it was proof that we had done all we could to prepare him for moments like this. We're doing something right. Thank goodness.

And me? I bawled my eyes out, wondering where this kindergarten business came from.

Dusting Off the Keyboard

After quite a hiatus, I figured I best get to dusting off the old keyboard and direct some of my focus back on the business of blogging for my family. Part of it wasn't my fault, my neglect of cataloguing our family affairs; the insanely busy moving process has kept me and my computer hostage for more than a month.

And, what a crazy month it's been. Following 3 plus years of having our little old house on the market, we FINALLY received an offer on the damn thing. Could it have happened before the baby was born? Before she was 2 months old and needy as all get out? Before Summit started kindergarten? Before the start of the school year? Before I went back to work? Before summer was over? Apparently not. No. It had to happen RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of it all. Right in the middle. So, was it wild? Hell yes it was!

Mortgage borrowing ain't a pretty thing to deal with. Not at all. It's like being forced to stand on a stage naked, without having shaved ANYTHING for months or being able to work out for years, in front of everyone in the world. It's ugly. And stressful. And unpredictable. And can get you in a bit of trouble when your significant other sees that credit report with some of those shopping cards on that piece of paper, and all you can do is avoid looking anyone in the eye and whistle. And no matter how much you want everyone to stop looking at you, they look at you more. And, then they want more stuff...letters about how you had your first born and how you pay for toilet paper and how much it costs you to drive to the moon. (To be clear, we aren't deadbeats. We have very good credit.)

Also not pretty is dealing with nit picky psychos who want to buy your house. Or, rather, who want to buy your house for their kid and who don't have anything else to do except put everything you have put your heart and soul into for several years under a magnifying glass and pick it apart. How emotional. How exhausting.

But at least we sold the flipping thing. And, at least we found a great new place to live. It's beautiful and quiet and peaceful and perfect for our little family. And, we are so thankful to finally be here.  And, I'm so happy to be back to the blog. Please forgive my neglect, my loves.

Here's our new abode.

Here's my new favorite plant. This bush is covered with butterflies in the warmer months.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

We Love Fripp.

Our one trip out of town this summer was to the beach. I'd been to Fripp as a kid, and my dad grew up around Beaufort, so he used to take us all over the low country down there. But, Matt and Ella and Summit and Evie Sue (I know that's not really her name) had never been, and that made our time on Fripp even cooler.

We hunted crabs on the beach at night, armed with iPhone flashlights (don't worry sea turtle lovers, they aren't that bright), a net, a bucket, and beer (don't worry DSS, we don't let the kids drink it).

We hunted crabs on the docks during the day. We failed.

We went for long walks on the beach and went swimming in the ocean.

We relaxed.

We saw friends we needed to see.
We did not feed the deer, to the lady who talked smack about stupid people feeding the deer.

We found time for each other.
We found cool stuff.

We saw beautiful things.

We love Fripp.

Summit's Summer Story

After Evan was born, I knew that life would be a little tricky. Just a new baby throws kinks into a daily routine. Add on a house for sale that has to be in showing condition 24/7 and the utter volatility of a schizophrenic real estate market, and things escalate from tricky to maddening. Toss in a broken arm (what?!) on a 5-year-old fella, and it'll knock your socks off.
And, that's what happened. Just when we decided that things had settled enough to book a beach trip, my little buddy's ulna and radius lost out in a shuffle with some monkey bars. My sweet Summit... who'd just a month earlier learned to ride his bike without training wheels, who may as well be a fish for the amount of pool time he gets in, who, in his own mind, plays basketball like Jordan, who really needed to practice writing his name before kindergarten... ended up in a cast all the way up to the top of his arm right smack dab in the middle of July. Talk about taking someone down for the count. We kept trying to tell him that it would make a good story one day, but he failed to see the benefit. And, when the doctor said he'd have to have surgery to place a pin to hold the bones in place, I was like, "What?! But, we have a beach trip!" And, he was like, "But, we'll do it first thing in the morning the day before you leave." And, I was like, "What?! But. But. But." And, he was like, "You'll all be fine. And, be sure to stop at the Shrimp Shack on the way out to Fripp." He was like...this is so easy. And, I was, it isn't.
And, it wasn't so easy. It was awful when he ate the brick on the stairs in my parents' garage in an attempt to protect his broken arm when he tripped a few days after the monkey bars fall. It was crazy when I looked in his mouth to check out the damage, and I saw the teeth that had shifted back from their proper position. I was relieved when the dentist said his x-rays showed no root damage. Only, his mouth looked like he hopped straight outta Honey Boo Boo's family tree. Great look for kindergarten pictures, no?
When we finally made it to the beach after the doctor's and dentist and hospital visits, we thought we'd made some progress away from the crazy. Luckily I'll be doggoned if the first morning we were there that boy didn't wake up with an ear ache that sent us to the Urgent Care where the kid was diagnosed with severe swimmer's ear. The irony. He'd been swimming maybe twice in the two and a half weeks since he'd broken his arm, and had half as many showers (don't judge until you've walked a mile, people). Awesome. Swimmer's ear at the beach. Broken arm at the beach. Summy Poopers felt like total doo doo for the first three days of our impromptu vacay. Eventually we made it through the doo doo, which helped make the decision to extend the trip for a couple more days a good idea.
Finally, my boy is feeling better. He's still got a cast, though it was downgraded to one that stops just at the elbow. This should help for his first days at big kid school. Unfortunately, the handwriting practice that never happened and the jacked up teeth may do him no favors. However, he's got a story to tell about his summer...all about how he had to learn to sword fight with his left hand. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Sweet Summer Solstice

Besides my loves' birthdays, my very favorite day of the year is the longest one. I don't know when it began, but I feel like I've always loved the day where the fun lasts the longest, where people hang out the latest, and where time seems to hold on the strongest. The summer solstice has always held a special place in my heart; for me it's a bigger marker of the year than January 1. It's the beginning and ending date of my year. I love the days that lead up to it when spring finally shoots out flowers and grass and love and life after the winter. I love the days surrounding it, and those after it that nod their heads toward lazy summer days and total relaxation. It's blissful.
When we found out that Evan was growing inside of me, and when we figured out when she would be due, I just knew that her birthday would be something else. I felt it inside of my soul. Way deep in that mixture of intuition and love. True to that little nudge of mommy knowledge, her birth date could not be more perfect. June 20, 2012. The Summer Solstice. The longest day of the year. According to the doctors and their fancy ultrasounds, she was 2 1/2 weeks early, but I know better. She was right on time. Cooked to perfection and ready to meet the world. Or, maybe the world was ready to meet her. I'm unsure of which, but I do know one thing for certain, I was so ready to meet her.

She's perfect. 9 pounds of perfection in one 19 inch body. I'm serious, friends. Perfection. Born on one of the most perfect days of the year. She's gentle, so gentle, and snuggly. Beautiful. Sweet. Soft. Full of love. Baby kisses and brand new sounds. Everything is fresh and everywhere is unchartered territory. Holding her little body in my arms, feeling her breath against my neck, smelling her baby smell, I'd give anything in the world to freeze time, to put myself in these moments with Evan and Ella and Summit for all eternity. This is my heaven. This. Instead, I try to memorize each and every little thing. Time is so fleeting...
And, even though I can think back to June 19 and all the dates before and remember what happened and who was there, I can't picture my world without having her right in the middle of everything. I can't imagine my heart not having her inside of it. I can't fathom my soul separate from hers. It's such a surreal idea, considering when relationships like this begin, as if they always if they were always meant to be...and you just know that absolutely nothing can cause them to cease. They always will be.
Before she was born, I was a little hesitant. How ever could I meet the love that is required for three children? I had heard people say that there's not less love to go around because of the extra kid. I had heard people say that there's more love. But, I didn't believe them. It didn't make sense. What I found, though, was that it is exactly as people said. There's so much more. So much more. This is not to say that life is easier or that it's without challenges and inevitable heartaches. But, it is to say that it's even more worth it. All of it. And, I get to live on the summer solstice every day of the year.
I love you, my sweet Evan, my sweet summer solstice.