July 31, 2010

There's a first time for everything at the county fair.

The hubs is washing dishes while I blog. And I don't feel guilty about it one bit. We're a team in that way.

train ride
Yesterday at the county fair.

Gray was too short for most of the rides. Carter was so sweet to offer to sit on the bench seat with him on the merry-go-round, but Gray was still required to ride with an adult and so I had to stand next to him on a horse, with Ivy in the mei tai on my back. Oh yeah, way more safer than he and Carter sitting on a bench. [:sarcasm.] [also: I'm still dizzy] [ps: of course it was safe.]

babywearing on the merry go round
extreme babywearing

Carter got called up on stage during the Kenny Ahern show and it was possibly one of the most adorable things I've ever seen in my entire life:

Kenny Ahern & Carter on stage

Also, the very first thing Kenny did when he came out was go SIT ON MY MOM'S LAP in his big red pants. It's like he just knew it was her birthday! It was awesome.

July 29, 2010

That Girl


She's crazy. She doesn't look before she leaps. Yet

she always lands on her feet.

She's so much like me.

And makes me realize how much I'm like




Speaking of which.

It's her bershday today.

Go send wishes?

(and see a ridicuton o' cute photos by me)

comments closed- go comment over there!

July 27, 2010

life inspired

A few days ago, or so, I decided to join a flickr photo group called "life inspired" created by someone I admirefromafar, Sara at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly. It's a group where you submit photos of "beauty in the little details of life...and share what makes you happy."

You take un-edited photos with your cell phone camera, and I try to do this once a day. Sometimes with my phone, most times with my mind. Like:

Cleaning day

Friday, cleaning day. I took a break, and got Ivy to nap. And the bed was made, with us dreaming (and daydreaming) on top, and in this fleeting moment all was right with the world.


Saturday, at (a friend's) the lake house.
Carter taking a leap. Hubs and I talked and decided we'd much rather a beach in our back yard vs. a pool. I could sit and write and think and "waste away" an entire day on a shore, and never have to get in.

[nursing Ivy to sleep in church]

Sunday, if I had taken a real photo, it would have been me in the back of church sitting on the floor nursing Ivy to sleep. She didn't want to go in the nursery that morning and I couldn't resist her hug so tight to me. Breastfeeding her to sleep, listening to the message, singing praise songs, taking communion, with her asleep in my arms was pieces of heaven, I imagined. (Ok, maybe I did try taking a photo, in church no less, but it was too dark where I was sitting.)

[yellow ducky towel smiling at me amidst a pile of laundry]

Monday, I made piles of laundry and back and forth to the washing machine I regarded the mound of towels on my bathroom floor, the way they were there in front of my ruffled shower curtain, the way the mid-day sunlight poured in, the yellow ducky hoody towel was peeking out, playfully. Made me smile.

[spaghetti family dinner]

I don't have a habit of having my phone with me during dinner but if I did I would have captured a shot overhead of us tonight, sometime after the prayer and Ivy's premature amens and before a dessert of popsicles and getting the atlas out. Me sighing that my white Vera cloth napkins are always the only ones clean when we have spaghetti. And realizing that having dinner together, with cloth napkins, and popsicles, often leads to playing basketball outside and riding bikes on the driveway together, and then coming inside to look up videos on youtube together like this one and having a dance party, together. Such a chain, of events. Of together.

My life inspired set can be seen here when I actually do take the pictures, with my iphone camera.

July 26, 2010


little lulu
[little lulu

I had to take some headshots of the kids today for something fun and I thought I'd share them here.

sweet gray
[sweet gray]

casual carter
[casual carter]

noah all grown-up
[noah all grown-up]

Last night I snuggled up with Noah in my bed and he told me that when he's a Dad he might order Frappuccinos.

Who are you going to marry? I asked.

A pretty woman.

Then he had a serious look on his face and I listened intently. Sometimes... he said. Sometimes I burp before I even know I had to burp.

July 24, 2010

May all your days be gold my child

on the dock, sooc

My favorite part in this whole day was watching their hair blow when we took the speed boat out on the lake.


I'm reminded, who am I to not let them be kids?

with my expectations, unnecessary burdens,

These days are theirs as much as they are mine.

dock overheard

July 23, 2010

Changing sheets on bunk beds should be a sport because it's one I'd actually be good at.


just a picture, that I love.

[Scene] We've been doing big time cleaning today and the boys are helping put clean sheets and pillowcases on their beds.

Mmmmm. Smells so good.

The fresh sheets? (Said with satisfied grin in my voice.)

No, this grape chapstick I found under my mattress.

Are we moving?


Is someone coming over, then?


Why are we cleaning?

: /

[end scene.]

July 22, 2010

It might be me

I've taken your spot in the grocery line, when the cashier opens a new lane and you're next but she motions for me to move on over, she'll check me out. And I took it because I wasn't paying attention to who was next. I was checking my phone and digging for a coupon and trying to keep Ivy from jumping out of the cart and Gray away from the candy bars and lip balm and you had a little baby, too, but I didn't notice until I was already putting my groceries on the belt. And you watched me the whole time and probably thought I was so rude, like I did it on purpose. But I didn't. I promise.

I cut you off the other day in the parking lot. I was coming from the other side and got to the spot you might have been waiting for ? I'm not sure but the look you gave me said so.

And at the park when your son was crying and couldn't find you, I came looking for you to let you know. I didn't do it because I thought you should be a better Mom, believe me I like to chat with my friends, too, and lose sight once in a while, I just wanted to comfort your little boy.

It's not too big of me to read and comment on your blog even though you have way less comments than me.

It's not too big of me to read and comment on your blog even though you have way more comments than me.

Sometimes I just don't have the time at all to do either.

Please know that I almost always have the best of intentions. And I'll try to remember the same for you.


noir et blanc

back carry
big yawn

There were two hours yesterday when Ivy actually napped and the others played quietly

and I sought solace in making a huge pot of minestrone, with my apron on and Pandora radio and there was calm. It was comfort.

When she woke up she finished about another hour or so by sleeping on my back in the mei tai. I couldn't stop looking at her face in the mirror above my sink.

root beer

Gray ate two bowls of the soup and was thrilled that I let him have his own bottle of root beer.

Later I would put my contacts in and apply sparkly makeup and have a late dinner outside with friends downtown.

It was lovely.

you capture: black & white

[psst enter to win dinner for four at Key Lime Cove water resort, ends tomorry.]

July 21, 2010

I have stuff to say.

I was moving along quite nicely there and then all in a jumble I haven't been able to run as much because of the heat, the kids are at each other's throats (literally), and I found myself washing dishes last night scrubbing and resenting harder harder and trying to remember the last time I was physically alone, by myself.

It was in my car, last Thursday.

I go back and forth. I love having my kids home, and dread their return to school next month


I have hit that imaginary line during summer break where I can not wait for school to start. Bring it on! Then I feel guilty, for just a sec.

All day long it builds up, depending how we start our morning and I've been striking out every day so as it goes on it keeps adding more nails on the chalkboard until I usually snap while making dinner GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!

Then I take lots of deep breaths and we eat, they are finally quiet, and my cold heart starts warming up again. We play outside until time for bed and all is back to being kind of well. Then they have to get all pj'ed up which always leads to some chaos because Ivy will let you take her diaper off and then will want to run around naked and I have absolutely zero energy to chase her and Gray can't find a shirt to sleep in (happens everysinglenight.)

They'll get in bed. I'll try to get Ivy to sleep. And when earlier or another day I had felt like I would be sad when she weans, at this point I think how much longer can I really do this?!

I want my body back- I want some time to myself- I need to get away- I want to be able to hear my thoughts- I love my kids- I am a good Mom- GAWD this is hard

Something like that.

July 19, 2010

I love your face.


dirty and shaggy and summer

ivy face catchlight?

I was crawling into bed remembering when there was a time that after we put Gray in his own bed he would still sneak and sleep with me at some point in the night and now, he doesn't do that anymore. It seems like forever ago. And it seems like I never thought he'd sleep in his own bed. (He now crawls in with Noah most of the time, but less and less now.) And so, I was comforting myself, calming in my heart, that ::click:: all to soon this time with Ivy in my bed, "wasting" much of my night time getting her to sleep, will some day ::click:: seem like forever ago.

July 18, 2010

Summer In The City

downtown chalk drawings
Picassos on the square

Ivy rocks out
Ivy rocks out and makes sure everyone is watching

Valpo Velvet
chocolate covered banana, chocolate in a cup w/sprinkles, vanilla in a cup w/sprinkles, mint chocolate chip

little me

My favorite part: when people we know saw Ivy and said to me "Oh my gosh! She looks just like you."

early eve walk

And also, when Gray said "I'm so glad I had this day."

July 17, 2010

An entry probably meant for my anonymous blog, if I had one*

hand hand

This week has been a trying but good one for me. I feel like I've rounded yet another corner (so.many.corners.) but for once (in my life?) (in a long long time?) I'm happy with who I see when I see me. Like, I actually can feel myself going in the right direction. If that makes any sense?

I still struggle with reading my Bible like I think I know I should, but I find my heart starting a crave. That is new.

I'm sensing a lot of new things within me but it's almost like they aren't new, but that this was me all along.

Like, I was underneath a bunch of stuff that I'm throwing off, purging left and right and while I was running the other day it was like I saw it all happening, and I passed this bench and envisioned the old me, sitting there and I kept running and it was like, I'm leaving her behind. And it made me so happy.

I'm ready to live.

*[I'm seriously thinking about starting one.]

July 16, 2010

I Play My Street Piano At Night

The other night I took the three boys to meet up with three of Love's girls for ice cream downtown.

ice cream day
Superman, Superman, Blue Moon (soy ice cream*)

While we were waiting my boys finished their cones and asked for another so I said why not and sent them inside with money.

blue moon soy, superman, zanzibar
Blue Moon, Superman, Zanzibar

There was piano

street piano in the summertime

and street

piano bench

and night.


So summer.

*the only time I let him have soy milk, because (he's dairy-free) he can have what looks like real ice cream with his brothers. And because I know you'll ask why no soy and I don't really know why, I just try to avoid soy milk in general.

July 15, 2010


Toy Story train

Pretty much the only things my boys play with (aside from sticks and pretend play clothes and water) are LEGOS.




My kind of ride
The rare disgruntled black unicorn.

And more LEGOS.

Jessie says get me off this crazytrain
Crazy-eyed Jessie says get me off this lego train.

You Capture: vehicles.

Also, if you're a local or traveling through the midwest any time soon, you might want to enter a giveaway I have going on at NWIparent Magazine. Or just read about our latest family vacay. :)

July 14, 2010

Through The Years

Look at me not napping.

[Right now I'd planned for us to be at the park, but instead Ivy fell asleep in my arms and so I thought I'd take advantage of that nap but soon the mail man would interrupt and then the boys would be scrounging around in the fridge for lunch and before I know it Ivy is awake and shaking garlic salt all over
everything. I swear I am still breathing it in.

So I sent them outside to eat freeze pops and of course they are also filling up the pool and neighbors are over to play nerf guns. I washed dishes and packed snacks for the park. (We'll still go, believe me there is a Starbucks on the way, we will still go.)]

Anyway. I've been getting all nostalgic and was looking up old posts of mine from this time of year.

2006: talking about having a "smaller than normal" child: All Shapes & Sizes
2007: things look different from down there: God In A Blue Shirt
2008: that time I broke up with my OB & a 30 week belly shot: Au Naturel
2009: Rockabilly Ivy one year ago today: the fru fru tu tu

July 13, 2010

Needles in my hands.

This project, not ready for reveal just yet.

I'm knitting again. It's such a stormy relationship, me and my needles and my yarn. It's either an obsession or becomes something I almost despise. So the trick is to finish the project I'm currently working on while I'm still obsessed.

July 11, 2010


She thinks all parties are her parties.

(my best impression of the sound of blowing out a birthday candle.)

July 10, 2010

boy eight

today carter is eight.

  1. Bakery donuts breakfasted.
  2. Early birthday Lego building.
  3. Nellie McKay on the CD.
  4. Chocolate cupcakes in the oven.
  5. Air Multiplier multiplying*.
  6. Iced coffee pour moi.
  7. Carter birthdaying**.
  8. Day going up, and up. And up.

*Dyson sent it to me.
**Carter's birth story.

July 9, 2010

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.*

summatime swing

We've been enjoying our summer.

Most days I have Noah fill up all our bottles with ice and water, and Carter goes in search of Gray's and Ivy's shoes. We head to a park. And stay as long as we can until the heat gets us or we run out of snacks.

summatime park

Nothing gets done around the house. And I always say I'll get to it when they go to bed. But then, when they are all fast asleep, and I can hardly keep my own eyes open, I say I'll get to those things tomorrow.

But it's summatime. Everything moves a bit more slowly, heavy, lazy. It's like I don't even have any stories to tell. We're just moving about, happily.

backstage summer

We did have Chinese for dinner last night (Cantonese chow mein, Kung Po Chicken, pan fried noodles, fried rice) and here are a couple of the fortunes in our cookies (including grammatical error):

Ask yourself this question: "Is my attitude worth catching?"


No one is standing in your way anymore, time to moving forward.

on stage twirl

*Title quote credit: Celia Thaxter

July 7, 2010

American Beauty

american beauty
Beth's lovely home, on the fourth of July.

suburban america

you capture, america

Some questions, some answers.

Babywearing + breastfeeding

Extended breastfeeding- how do I do this?

Anne asked me a question today about extended breastfeeding:
...The one thing that was hard for me was the inability to really go away anywhere w/o baby, even for a night or two. (My first had a horrible time with a bottle) I'd love to know how you handle this?

I think a big part of extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting I suppose, for me, is always having baby near. That means I keep my baby with me until I feel we both are able to handle being apart (as well as whoever is watching the baby being capable to night parent as I would .) Recently I left Ivy for one over night (she is 21 months old). I never left Gray until he was older than 2, I just wasn't ready and neither was he.

A big
part of this belief, or desire, is that this is what I want.

Of course I would love to get away, go on adults-only trips, go to blog conferences like BlogHer in New York, but I want MORE to be with my nursing child and family right now
. Call it a sacrifice if you must, but for me it's just a choice.

(I recently sent a best friend a note about motherhood journeys. This is my motherhood journey and it will probably look very different from your own.) (And that's ok. And actually how it should be.)

Babywearing and changing the world- how can we help?

Baby So Smart has put a call out for help to mothers in Honduras. Please take a moment when you can to read about this beautiful and worthy cause.

Have any babywearing or attachment parenting questions you'd like to ask? I will certainly try to answer according to my own humble mothering experiences, in the comments below.

July 6, 2010


I find Legos in my bed. They are treasures from Gray. Usually small shapes, always unique, and special. Left under the covers, in my jewelry box, on my makeup bag.

Noah has my old iPod and is obsessed with keeping it charged. And his new favorite song is Ray Charles' Georgia On My Mind.

Carter's birthday is in three days. Carter's birthday is in three days. Carter's birthday is in three days. Hey, did you know Carter's birthday is in THREE DAYS?

(Of all my children, he anticipates his birthday most. Starting with the day after his birthday. Every year.)

Ivy is almost 22 months old. And still breastfeeding like it's her job (and she's one of those wacky workaholics.) I see no reason to even consider stopping anytime soon. And I will never make excuses, hide it, or feel embarrassed, for something so wonderful.

We've been busy, hopping weekend to weekend. But the days in between, we throw a blanket on the ground and watch each other. Look at clouds and then fireflies and then stars. Lying so close our noses touch.

iPhone photos while my life is on hold my computer is being healed:

Found a bowling pin in our yard
We sometimes get litter in our yard, hubs found a bowling pin.

Sometimes she falls asleep like this when I'm working or just need time for myself. [ha]

Pinned the tail not on the donkey
Pinned the tail not on the donkey. Without a blindfold.

Those are the things I want to remember,

the fillers to the planned trips and parties and events and big deal days. The little things that will surely be forgotten even though together they make up the most important stuff.

They squeeze and mold and gently pat and brush off the dirt and form my heart back into the right shape.

July 4, 2010

+ boom +


all-american boy + hometown parade


daddy hold you when the sirens came

boys on waiting for the parade



My grandfather

is 79 years old
has tattoos like popeye on his arms from when he was in the service
loves the U.S.A.

old hands

he said "Come'ere, the Poppal will put yer shoes on yew."

Mommal & Ivy

iva ruth + ivy la rue



it was a sparkle-r