Friday, October 26, 2012

Andrew is One!

Since Nathan and Jonah got home at supper time, we opted to have Andrew's birthday cake right after supper, by ourselves instead of waiting to have a party with friends.  I find myself torn between my preference to celebrate "on the day" and my fear of loneliness.  I think I'm getting better about enjoying celebrations with just our little family, without feeling like we have to share it with loved ones in order for it to be special.

So he got his cake, and was fascinated by it...

...but he sure didn't get the whole "blow out the candle thing", so he grabbed it.

Owie... poor baby.

After that, there was not getting that kid to maul the cake.  That cake bit him!  He wasn't about to touch it again!  He's no dummy.  He wouldn't even let us put some icing on his tongue.

...but when confronted with a slice...

...well, that's a different thing altogether.

He even had enough to share with Daddy.

I love how babies are so excited to look at their cards.  It's just all new and exciting to them!  They don't know enough to be wanting to "get on to the presents".

Tearing pretty paper is all part of the gleeful experience!

Soft new jammies with puppies on them are exciting, too!

Am I supposed to gush and wax poetic all about the great "vintage" puppy pull-toy I found for him?  Isn't that the trend these days?

Hm.  Well, I actually just pulled it out of a random bag of toys I've had around "for a rainy day".  And it doesn't have batteries or make loud noises, while still being quite interactive, so I'm satisfied.

He was delighted.  Evan couldn't understand why such a fantastic thing wouldn't be for him, since he's bigger, after all.  I saw Evan pulling it around and talking to it very sweetly when he finally got his hands on the coveted new toy.

So Andrew is a whole year old now.  That baby who made us wait and wait for his arrival, and has continued to insist on his own terms for everything ever since.

Oh, and not to overshadow Andrew's milestone (which I've been happily celebrating with him all day), but there's just one more thing...

Yeah, that shirt looks just a little big for him, doesn't it?  Well... he'll grow into it sooner than you might think.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Almost Not a Baby Anymore

This little cutie-pie is turning one this week.  One!

My Mom was reminding me how a year ago we were sure this baby would never --never!-- come out and join us.

And here he is.

Walking.  Playing with his brothers.  Crying at my legs to be picked up.  All the time.

I'm still not sure just what we'll do for his birthday.  I'd like to invite some friends and have cake and a little party.  I know he couldn't care less, but I think first birthdays are so fun, and important for the mama.  So I wanna have a party.

But Nathan and Jonah are spending this week in Minnesota, visiting Nathan's parents without us, and we're not sure what day they're coming back.   We figured that Evan and Andrew wouldn't be much help up there, and nor would I with the awful back ache I've had lately.  As it turned out, I spent the first day Nathan was gone on the couch sick all day.

I was a little worried about how I would manage the kids, animals, woodstove, and other chores by myself with these afflictions (and so was Nathan-- he almost didn't go, but he really had to and I twisted his arm), but so far it's been fine.  My house is deteriorating with me in survival mode, but that's nothing new.  I think the little guys actually do better with me laying around on the couch.  Maybe I should do it more often.  That way I'm always available for them to slam their heads into my belly and whine for a few minutes whenever they want to.

Don't you think life would be better if you could just lean on someone soft and whine when life isn't going your way (approximately every 2-10 minutes)?

So, instead of working on all the tasks piling up on me (blah, blah, blah, you've heard it all from me before), I sat on the porch for a while yesterday and watched my babies play.

Andrew started walking much earlier than the other boys did.  He's quite a pro now, and not even a year old yet.

I find it so entertaining to watch such a tiny person walking around.  He's a baby!  He looks like a baby, but there he is, tottering around like a funny little man.

A funny, little, almost-one-year-old man with his fly open.

And brown eyes!  How on earth did that happen...?  They're still a little flecked with green, so they're probably hazel and not truely brown, but they are actually turning more brown all the time.  It's amazing and strange and adorable.

So my little brownish-eyed boy will turn one this week, with or without a party, with or without his Daddy present.  He won't even know a thing about it, but his mama will.  Maybe we'll have a party on Sunday instead.

I'm not the sort of mama to shed tears about "my baby growing up" (at least not now).  Rather, my heart bursts with joy at watching it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Beginning of the End

The early morning of the first frost is always so breathtaking.

The entire garden --world, it seems-- completely still.  Frozen, as it were, in time.  Everything is held just as it was before the sun set.  Still.  Preserved.  Mummified.  Like maybe my garden could just remain in a fixed peacefulness all winter, unmoving in static lifelessness.

But that beautiful, crystalline tranquility is only temporary and hides lurking violence.

As the sun's rays stretch over the horizon and reach out, sweeping over the last remnants of summer, tender herb must bend it's knee and crumble into limp, brown desolation.  Only decay can follow and the impermanence of earthly life is keenly felt.

But what a delight to breath that cold frost just before the sun is bright, gaze on frosty splendor, stuff chilled hands in pockets...

...and bid summer goodbye.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rantings of a Feral Insomniac

It's Saturday.

Most Saturdays make me long to engage in some not-so-gentle removal of my eyeballs with a blunt instrument.

Saturdays are Sermon Days.  Nathan is home, but he's trying to study in the office.  He studies off and on throughout the week, but Saturday is the big study-day.

He desperately needs a soundproof room.  Or, as he half-jokes, a bomb-proof cabin out on the edge of the property, as far as possible from the house.  I really do feel for him.  I know how hard it is to concentrate around here.

There has been a lot of screaming and fighting a bickering this morning.  This may or may not have been only the kids.  In any event, it's been loud.

He usually locks the office door, puts on his el cheapo earbuds, and tops that with his chainsaw hearing protection.  But today, it seems that the hearing protection was left out in the rain, ostensibly by some child who shall remain nameless, but whose first initial is, without a doubt, E.  ("So what?" I said.  "They'll warm up as you wear them.  The water might give an extra layer of sound barrier...")

Nathan is very sweet and patient about it all today, really.  I'm impressed. He knows that I haven't had a lick of sleep last night or in the last ten thousand nights, approximately.  Insomnia is a bi.......ig fat meanie.  So he goes off to work, but ends up popping back out of the office every few minutes when someone screams, or is crying inconsolably, or yells, or otherwise engages in the usual unruly racket. He tries to get the kids involved in something (raking leaves outside-- 5 minutes.  Building blocks-- 5 seconds, or however long it takes to knock down what he built for them to play with) so he can sneak off and work while they play and I continue slog around through mud and pretend I'm doing something productive.



Anyway, so after I got done baking the bread and putting milk through the cream separator, alternating with feeding, comforting, changing diapers, wiping up spills, and generally spinning my wheels, Nathan's had it with trying to work through the noise. He let Evan sit in his lap and listen to music with him while he worked, but that didn't last long, and Andrew wanted to be involved, too, and that just doesn't hold up.  His patience is wearing thin.  Very thin.

So I start some dishes.  And I... invite... Evan to help.  (Ah, where are those blunt instruments?)  And then Andrew is screeeeeeeeaming at my feet, prompting Nathan to come out again, but by then I already have Andrew in the ErgoBaby on my back, even though my back is like death-warmed-over these days.

We're happily (depending on who you ask) doing dishes together.  But I hear playing coming from the living room.... Playing...  And there's Nathan, setting up blocks for the little guys.

The little guys.  Are with me.


"But I..."

He loves me.  I know it.  He's helping me, not himself.  He knows my patience is non-existent.

But I... I have no mercy.


"I just thought I... really quick..."


He blinks.  We smile at each other.

"You're hard to deal with sometimes, you know that?" he says as he closes himself, once again, in the office.

Yes.  Yes, I am.

Oh, I do love that man.