7.29.2009

Things I didn't know I could bear...


Motherhood is like going from black & white to color. It's like when you put on a pair of glasses & finally see with clarity. It's like when you go to the doctor and they dislodge a huge piece of wax from your ear & suddenly you can hear (true story- but not my own story b/c I have good aural hygiene!) In a nutshell, the important stuff matters more and the dumb stuff matters less.

Below, a list of mommyhood battle scars and badges at this, the 3 month anniversary of my motherhood.

1. Most recently, being poo'd on in the tub with my daughter. And not to be graphic, but 3 month old breast fed baby poo is...like a bottle of mustard exploded in the tub. Did I care? nope. Couldn't care less. Although it raises a good question- what do you do in a situation you'd normally remedy with a bath, when you're ALREADY in the bath? Answer: shower.

2. Wondering for 2 days why you seem to have gotten CHUNKS of extra gel on the hair at the nape of your neck, now quickly turning into dreadlocks (which may look cool on some white urban hipsters, but will likely be nests for fleas, ticks and other unsavory characters in my case). Then realizing it is from holding a sweet little pea over your shoulder who deposits drool, slobber, and spit up right there.

3. Pump pump pumping it up, for 3 months, because little miss REFUSES and enthusiastically REJECTS the idea of nursing. Then one day last week, she decides she'll nurse. And out of nowhere. Praising God for this most beautiful and lovely blessing, and thinking the wonders of motherhood far exceed the wonders of nature or science or art or music.

4. Holding your entire heart and world still as you restrain her on the doctor's table so they can insert a catheter & take blood samples to help diagnose an unexplained high fever. Praying for God to just knock the fever down a few degrees and to bring your little baby peace and rest. Fretting and worrying...and then the immense relief and thankfulness that come when the fever subsides and she gives you an itsy bitsy smile, even though she must feel so wiped out and achy. Such intense gratitude to have weathered this, her first fever, and made it through unscathed. And even more terrifying, the awful realization that some mommies and babies have to endure far, far worse trials. Motherhood is just a circle of thankfulness and then fear and then thankfulness again, I think.

5. Best of all, watching grandpas & grandmas, aunts & uncles, reduce themselves to fools for a baby's smile. Seeing your 52 year old dad lying on his back on the floor under the [rather tiny] jungle gym mat as he plays with his granddaughter. Walking in to find him asleep next to her...on the floor, napping happily. New found and overwhelming respect for your brother in law, who is an expert dad at this point, and who was a parent long before you ever "GOT" what it meant to be a parent. Reading a letter your sister wrote to your daughter & realizing how profoundly impactful this child is, not just in your own life, but in the lives of others too. Listening to your very best friend, whom you've loved since you were 16, sing songs that he made up for his little girl.

7.22.2009

Rucker Loves Johonna

Johonna loooves her Ruckeroo. He likes to give her LOTS of kisses, which means we've only had to bathe her three times. Just kidding. We've bathed her at least 4 times.

Shout Out to the Heihns

la cucaracha!

This blog has been rumenating around in my brain for a while, but I had to wait for the dust to settle and my blood pressure to return to normal. Let me take you back to a little trip I took to Phoenix...
*also, for a bit of a pretext, please refer to Katie's post...http://yourheihness.blogspot.com/2008/07/re-encounter.html

While in Phoenix we made sure to bake or consume something delicious each day. Most days it was no-bake cookies (TO DIE FOR). Late one evening, the babies put to sleep, Katie & I decided it was time for a little something. Having eaten all our sweets, it was up to Katie to make some more. She went to the pantry to get the peanut butter, and as she opened up the door, three things happened in a simultaneous flurry:
1. Katie SCREEEAMED
2. She SLAMMED the door
3. She FLEW from one end of the house to the other and climbed on top of the chair for protection.

She had seen a COCKROACH in the pantry! Thankfully I had the presence of mind to grab my camera. To think this encounter could have gone uncaptured...

What followed next was a well practiced marital dynamic, the likes of which I've never seen before or since. Matt, unphased by the screaming, jumped to attention. It was like he KNEW his duty and made no fuss over what he had to do. He didn't once tell Katie to "buck up" or "deal with it" or "get over it." He went to the pantry and with his BARE HANDS tried to apprehend the little bugger.

Allegedly he HAD THE COCKROACH IN HIS HAND, but it scuttled away and hid behind the fridge. Matt armed himself with a puny broom for protection.

At this point Katie had pulled it together enough to re-enter the kitchen, but refused to stand on the ground. Instead she perched atop the counter. Notice how her talon toes help her balance?

Oops, Matt needs a flashlight too.

Katie agreed to help hold the light so long as she didn't have to leave the safety of the counter.

Zerkes was concerned about all the screaming so he stood in front of Katie, bravely,
to protect her.

What followed was unfortunately NOT captured on film because I had to put the camera down and help catch the roach. I pulled the fridge out while Matt got ready to squish him when he crawled out. And then we got the surprise of a lifetime. The cockroach ran out from under the fridge and in one final blaze of glory HE FLEW AT US! AHHHHH! We SCREAAAAAAAAMED. Well, Matt didn't. But Katie and I shrieked. We thought we were safe off the floor, but we were mistaken. Who knew these devils could FLY? Ugh. Skulking suits them more. Anyhow, Matt, the hero, landed the bug & squashed him with his flip flop. And then he disposed of the carcas, so we could resume baking. But Katie refused to open the pantry for several days. She wanted me to mention that having cockroaches in your home is not indicative of poor housekeeping. It just happens in Phoenix I guess. Which is why I live far, far away in Oregon. Where we have nutria and rain and poop in the willamette- but no flying cockroaches.
(NOT the actual bug. But you see they have wings, and know how to use them)

7.15.2009

We Love Our Cousin Kevin!

Today we took some better family pics to send to cousin Kevin who is fighting in Iraq with the US Army. We are SO proud of him and thankful for his service. We love him tons and hope he comes home safely, and soon! Here's some of the pics. In honor of Kevin, Jo broke out her BEST EVER SMILE FOR THE CAMERA. You cannot tell me this isn't the cutest baby in the universe...

Today is the first day in over a week that I've been able to wear mascara, thanks to my eyeball conjunctivitis (pink eye). I celebrated by taking a picture of me & jo

Family pic

We love you Kevin!

7.13.2009

Oh Snap.

Snapping. That is what I spent hours doing today, and not as in "if you're happy and you know it, snap your fingers." I spent hours snapping baby clothes together...and here is why:
Katie has COCD (closet obsessive compulsive disorder). And by closet I don't mean "hidden or concealed," I mean actual closets. Like the kind in your bedroom.

You might be wondering why my sis-in-law's compulsions are driving me to snap...and here is why:
Katie and Savannah generously entrust me with all of the clothes Sav outgrows. The girl's wardrobe is UNREAL. She has the absolute cutest clothes, and Johonna has barely had to buy anything because Sav keeps her in such good duds. The pact is that we will take good care of all our baby clothes & keep them so we can reuse them for the future babies. To symbolize my solemn vow I even bought spray & wash: one for the laundry room and a travel-size for the diaper bag. I made sure to bring this up in conversation with Katie in case she [accurately] perceives me to be a less-than-stellar laundress. I thought an $8 spray & wash investment would be my "in," but I was wrong. Very wrong.

Recently I spent a week with Katie in Phoenix. We had a great time, and I got to know her better. Actions speak louder than words...and here are some actions taken...
1. Katie re-arranged dishes after I'd loaded them in the dishwasher. Kimberly told me.
2. Katie re-folded clothes Kimberly folded because unless folded just so they would not fit in Savannah's closet.
3. I saw Sav's closet first hand...and here is a photo:






Folks...let me explain the degree of effort and organization that goes into maintaining this kind of closet. Blankets and towels have their own unique fold pattern, which varies by brand. Shoes are lined up in pairs. Pajamas are SNAPPED together before they are folded and put away. I actually confronted Katie about this. "Katie, don't you just have to unsnap them again when you put them on her?" "Yes," she said, "but I just snap a few of them to keep them in place." And then for show she haphazardly snapped only 2 of the 12 snaps on some pj's she was folding. I KNOW that Katie snuck back in later to snap the remaining 10 snaps. This is her way.

My closet...which looks ok from afar but is full of a variety of folding techniques. Onesies every which way, some pants bi-folded, some pants tri-folded. Shoes tossed in a bin. One entire bin of mixed onesies and pants that don't match up well into outfits, just all thrown together like no one cares about them. The blanket shelf was just too shameful to even show.






Here's a closer look- the bin on the left is an example of me folding at my best. The right bin is the pj bin, so nothing is folded or snapped.









I hesitate to air this dirty laundry for fear Katie will never trust me with Savannah's hand me downs again. So I began to feel guilty over the state of Jo's closet at home. Prior to seeing Sav's closet, I felt EXCELLENT about Jo's closet. I dare say it is the most well kept and organized part of my home. I hang the dresses and fold the clothes into outfits. BUT I DON'T FOLD PAJAMAS. I throw them (unsnapped, gasp!) into a bin for easy access. I mean come on- pj's don't need folding! Since Katie doesn't live here I'm not too worried about her seeing the closet. If for some reason she pulled a surprise inspection, we'd probably have weeping, gnashing of teeth, and reposession of all unfolded, unsnapped, un-color-organized hand me downs.

So where does all the snapping come in? I realized, in a panic, that all of the clothes Jo has outgrown are stored in bins in my garage (for the next baby girl) and IF Katie has the next baby and IF that baby is a girl, and IF I meet my untimely demise before I can get to those bins, Katie will see hoards of newborn clothes unsnapped and folded in mediocre fashion. Mediocre fashion in this case might also be called "slopped together."
So today I dragged out the bins. I meticulously snapped 738 snaps. I folded pants and shirts. I even folded onesies...which really is about as practical as folding underwear. But I folded. And smoothed. And snapped. Because I love my Katie, I don't want her to die of a panic attack at the expense of my crappy clothes management, and I want to ensure that Sav's stylish duds keep coming my way. This is why I snap.

7.12.2009

Mas Phx Pics

Pool babies!

I think Savannah was trying to push her in...she REALLY wanted to play Marco Polo

Suck your finger & grab your cousins ear

Look at her litle grin. Don't you just want to eat her!?

Borrowing Sav's suit, b/c oregon babies don't need many swimsuits

This is what the boys did most of the time: video games

Hee hee. We left the babies with the boys one night & went to see "the hangover." When we returned Luke had taken it upon himself to change Jo's diaper. It was his first time loading the g-diapers...and he forgot the critical plastic liner. Jo didn't seem to mind, and the mom's thought luke's valiant attempt was SUPER cute.

Little g-diaper cousins!

Best Week Ever!

Johonna, Kimberly & I went to Phoenix last week to stay with Matt, Katie & Savannah. Luke & Chris came too for a long weekend. It was so much fun: the weather was over 100 every day. We ate about 3 batches of no-bake cookies and 2 batches of brownies. We saw the movie "The Hangover." And we brought the flu and pink eye...that part sucked. Anyhow, here are some pics...

Here's Uncle Chris holding Sav as she tries to feel out Jo...

My pink eye. Lame

Jo sitting up in the bumbo, and Savannah sitting up sans assistance like a big girl!

Quite pleased

Hey Cuz, what's up!?!

My doll

Auntie & her two girls

Other Auntie & her two girls

Chillin


Annie & Bob

If you've heard Jo, Luke or I sleep, you know we are a household of heavy breathers. Today I was in Jo's room and I heard breathing. I was alone in the room so it took some time to figure out...but Annie (also a heavy breather) was sitting in the Bob which was facing the corner. Who knows how she climbed up there.

Oh Snap.

Snapping. That is what I spent hours doing today, and not as in "if you're happy and you know it, snap your fingers." I spent hours snapping baby clothes together...and here is why:

Katie has COCD (closet obsessive compulsive disorder). And by closet I don't mean "hidden or concealed," I mean actual closets. Like the kind in your bedroom.

You might be wondering why my sis-in-law's compulsions are driving me to snap...and here is why:

Katie and Savannah generously entrust me with all of the clothes Sav outgrows. The girl's wardrobe is UNREAL. She has the absolute cutest clothes, and Johonna has barely had to buy anything because Sav keeps her in such good duds. The pact is that we will take good care of all our baby clothes & keep them so we can reuse them for the future babies. To symbolize my solemn vow I even bought spray & wash: one for the laundry room and a travel-size for the diaper bag. I made sure to bring this up in conversation with Katie in case she [accurately] perceives me to be a less-than-stellar laundress. I thought an $8 spray & wash investment would be my "in," but I was wrong. Very wrong.

Recently I spent a week with Katie in Phoenix. We had a great time, and I got to know her better. Actions speak louder than words...and here are some actions taken...
1. Katie re-arranged dishes after I'd loaded them in the dishwasher. Kimberly told me.
2. Katie re-folded clothes Kimberly folded because unless folded just so they would not fit in Savannah's closet.
3. I saw Sav's closet first hand...and here is a photo:

Folks...let me explain the degree of effort and organization that goes into maintaining this kind of closet. Blankets and towels have their own unique fold pattern, which varies by brand. Shoes are lined up in pairs. Pajamas are SNAPPED together before they are folded and put away. I actually confronted Katie about this. "Katie, don't you just have to unsnap them again when you put them on her?" "Yes," she said, "but I just snap a few of them to keep them in place." And then for show she haphazardly snapped only 2 of the 12 snaps on some pj's she was folding. I KNOW that Katie snuck back in later to snap the remaining 10 snaps. This is her way.

My closet...which looks ok from afar but is full of a variety of folding techniques. Onesies every which way, some pants bi-folded, some pants tri-folded. Shoes tossed in a bin. One entire bin of mixed onesies and pants that don't match up well into outfits, just all thrown together like no one cares about them. The blanket shelf was just too shameful to even show.

Here's a closer look- the bin on the left is an example of me folding at my best. The right bin is the pj bin, so nothing is folded or snapped. I hesitate to air this dirty laundry for fear Katie will never trust me with Savannah's hand me downs again.
So I began to feel guilty over the state of Jo's closet at home. Prior to seeing Sav's closet, I felt EXCELLENT about Jo's closet. I dare say it is the most well kept and organized part of my home. I hang the dresses and fold the clothes into outfits. BUT I DON'T FOLD PAJAMAS. I throw them (unsnapped, gasp!) into a bin for easy access. I mean come on- pj's don't need folding! Since Katie doesn't live here I'm not too worried about her seeing the closet. If for some reason she pulled a surprise inspection, we'd probably have weeping, gnashing of teeth, and reposession of all unfolded, unsnapped, un-color-organized hand me downs.

So where does all the snapping come in? I realized, in a panic, that all of the clothes Jo has outgrown are stored in bins in my garage (for the next baby girl) and IF Katie has the next baby and IF that baby is a girl, and IF I meet my untimely demise before I can get to those bins, Katie will see hoards of newborn clothes unsnapped and folded in mediocre fashion. Mediocre fashion in this case might also be called "slopped together."

So today I dragged out the bins. I meticulously snapped 738 snaps. I folded pants and shirts. I even folded onesies...which really is about as practical as folding underwear. But I folded. And smoothed. And snapped. Because I love my Katie, I don't want her to die of a panic attack at the expense of my crappy clothes management, and I want to ensure that Sav's stylish duds keep coming my way. This is why I snap.

7.10.2009

Toe-may-toe Toe-mah-toe

I fooled all of you. Except my Dad...the horticulture expert. In a previous post I said of this photo: "here Jo & I are picking berries." But we are in fact NOT picking berries. I am posing next to the tomato plants b/c we didn't feel like walking all the way back to the berry bushes. So we faked this picture & wondered who would be the first to call us on our lie. Dad wins. As for the rest of you, I suggest spending a little more time in the produce aisle...