March 30, 2010

An extra-ordinary experiment.

button

Today has been one of those take a step forward take MANY steps backward...
you know those days?

Oh sigh, I'm glad I actually have the motivation to even attempt to get a lot done but I think that frustrates me even more. I have all this drive and can not get ANYWHERE or anything done.


Pretty much any progress I make I turn around and that much more has been messed up in another room. It's nothing new, it's the same old story every Mom shrugs about.

I remind myself I have four kids and a job, and a husband that works long hours. It's hard, though. I should be able to do this.

I want to be able to do more than keep up. I want to be ahead!

But I can't even see the middle of the road, let alone the finish line.

Maybe it's the Venti latte I just had or the music playing right now or the breeze and the open window, but the pile of colored papers and stickers on the dining table makes me happy, really. It means we've had less TV time and more creative moments.


The dollies on the floor make my heart swell. I have a girl! And she plays with dollies.


The dishes in the sink, well, there's not much that makes me happy about that but I guess I am glad we use so many pots and pans- it means less convenience foods, it means meals are prepared here.


I wonder if motherhood has made me lazy, or apathetic to the dis-order.

Ivy and I sat and ran our fingers through buttons for the longest time the other day. Picking out the pretty ones, me teaching her colors, her showing me she knows not to put them in her mouth, me watching her turn from baby to girl.

I dry the tears from a broken cabbage plant, a school project that didn't quite survive the ride home on the bus. I put it in a pickle jar, and I'll try to save it.


I zip up a jacket, I velcro some shoes, I re-attach a Lego guy arm, I re-fill more juice, I re-place a battery, for the umpteenth time.

In the middle of finally tackling whatever it was I finally have a moment to do, everyone will want to go outside. And it's a beautiful day. And I choose who [or what] I say no to.

You know who wins.

ahlifes

I'll try again tomorrow or maybe the next day. Me in my pickle jar, watch me grow.

March 29, 2010

The long-awaited, the too good to be true. (But it is.)

Beth's baby Eli

Beth's baby is here. He's here. He's here.


HE'S HERE.

I almost can't believe it, but I can.


You see, this baby is so much more than a baby. He is renewed hope, and faith, he is manifestation.


He's here.
I saw him tonight, in her arms, I held him!, I sniffed him.

He is here.


March 28, 2010

Four in a row.

four in a row
Will there be a fifth? Or maybe even a sixth?

In my head, and on paper, we are content. In my heart, and my whole body, I would have ten more babies. Well, ok, maybe like two.

[For the potluck I finally decided to make two big Italian pasta salads & Rice Krispie treats. Someone made this awesome baked bean casserole thingy that was sooo good. I will get the recipe!
]

March 27, 2010

Pot Luck Love

THE CUTES
Potluck outfits are my favorite.


We are having a Potluck lunch tomorrow after church (you should totally come!) and I don't know what to make. I usually take this but would love to try something new (preferably something I won't have to heat up.)


Suggestions?


p.s. you've been asking again about her dresses. We heart Misha Lulu. Also, read The one about Ivy's clothes.

March 26, 2010

Let me tell you about my day.

happies

Hubby and Carter snuck out this morning to bring us breakfast. Our family eats lots and lots of hashbrowns.

carter & ives


We hung out in the living room together for a while. I wanted so badly to get my camera but I just decided to live in the moment. Then eventually I couldn't stand it any more and Noah brought it to me and I snapped away at my beautiful life.

hubs & gray

We drove to my in-laws' nearby to hear about my Mother-in-law's recent trip to Israel. I love taking pictures of people I love's hands.

Mom telling us about Israel

She brought back necklaces for the boys with their names in Hebrew, and a pashmina scarf for me.
Oh and King Solomon cologne for hubby oooh la la.

noah

In Israel she ate lots of salads and falafel, even for breakfast. I love Mediterranean food. I kinda want to go there just for the food.

I nursed Ivy.

 nursing ivy

Hubs took the boys to hit some golf balls and I came home to put Ivy down for her night-night-nap.

The house was so quiet.

A dress I ordered for Ivy from etsy came! Maybe she'll wear it on Easter.


new etsy dress

Flowers were delivered from my friends at Old Navy, just to wish me a happy spring, (along with a generous Old Navy gift card.) What a nice surprise!

The deliveries woke sleepy Ivy and she wasn't too happy.

ohdear

I made a little bed for her on the couch by me and she fell back to sleep.

I needed to finish a bunch of laundry,

but I hated to squander all the quiet!


Soon, though, hubby texted : Gray threw up. We're on our way home.

Dot dot slash. : /

We were supposed to have a big dinner with our favorite friends and their families tonight, I've really been looking forward to it, and now what?

I think it was from bad strawberries he ate earlier. But I don't know for sure.

I was super bummed so I took off to Starbucks for an iced latte and lemon bread. Then to Target where I got new pretty rugs for the entryway and kitchen.

Now hubby has Ivy napping again in his recliner

the boys are playing nicely upstairs

Noah set fire to French toast sticks in the microwave and I threw them in the yard,

I've got my earbuds in and I'm listening to my friend Steven's new album on repeat (I love it)

and no matter what we decide about tonight,

things are pretty ok.

March 24, 2010

A moment, fleeting

extendedbreastfeedingc

It was after three in the afternoon and I realized this was the first time since waking up she was asking for "na-nap" (or more recently "na-nip" -- her words not mine.)


I started to notice that she isn't nursing as much at all. Definitely still enough at night and for comfort, and here and there, but less and less and less.

extended breastfeeding

We'll nurse a lot longer, extended, it's what we do, it's what I prefer and so far, her, too. But the end is near-er, still off in the horizon I imagine, but I see the shadow walking, and it's so incredibly bittersweet.



You Capture: A Moment.
(taken with my iPhone.)

I'm knitting again

on the needs
I can't say what it is yet because it's a gift for someone who might be reading.
Photo SOOC (straight out of camera)



We've all been crafty around here lately. I wrote about Spring Break, day 3 (and no Wii & no TV) at NWIparent today.


Also, when I knit I try to include my projects at my knitting blog And She Knits and also at Ravelry. I'll add this one when I'm finished and reveal the special recipient.


March 23, 2010

Some dreams I have.

silhouette 2

silhouette 1

I left this comment at Sorta Crunchy's today:

"I think about my dreams a lot. Simple ones are that I dream to have a large home (like the one on the Family Stone) big enough to hold all my family including when they get married and have kids so that they can all come stay overnight, I dream of having a huge beautiful backyard with the biggest table and enough chairs to seat whoever we invite, I dream I'll be the right example of a Christian woman (online and in real life) that never makes others feel judged or pushed away or uncomfortable, but draws them to the love of God."


March 22, 2010

Do I need to separate you two?

pillow gray

They've literally been at each others' throats. Gray was already having a "chill out quiet time" when Ivy came over and pummeled him in the eyeball with a Little People.

So she got a chill out quiet time on the couch.

And pretty soon those two [that can not stop aggravating each other] were trying to make each other laugh from couch to chair.

I sat trying to work, while watching over their chill out quiet time, SO FRUSTRATED LET ME TELL YOU but yet so heart bursting at the seams.

This is just the younger two. Mix in the two bigs that know the art of mind control and manipulation and oh the tears, the fighting, the screeching like a girl (they're boys). In a fit of I've had it! I took away the Wii for the week.

And today is the first day of spring break.

We'll be forcing ourselves to have a lot of chill out quiet time and I'm kind of looking forward to it.

March 20, 2010

Around my little house.

dishhope1
ivy's play dishes, she left them just like this. (i'll take a bowl of that.)


spring shelves
spring shelves in my dining room.

[clockwise: my Gram in a photobooth, her ceramic bunny, her jar of buttons, needle-felted babywearing mama & nursing mama purchased from asherjasper on etsy, Gram's old cookie cutter.]

dishnoah1
my noah, he's nine. NINE!


dishivy1
my ivy. she is always going.


my roses in jars
my roses in glass jars.



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March 17, 2010

Hall monitor. And I'm taking names.

beastie boys cover

When you have a gaggle of kids it's perfectly normal when your 4-year old asks if he can be the hall monitor.



lookalikes
Blurry BUT they actually look related in this photo, no?


all fours
Yes Carter wears [clip] ties with tee shirts and Gray has on mismatched socks. Totally normal, carry on.

little voices in my head

burpies
Ivy making her I'm pretending to burp face.


You don't want to miss this Conversation piece (with Gray)


Also, Dyson is having me over for lunch this week. (And I can't wait.)


Some of my latest articles at Real Moms Guide:

As always, your comments over at the places I [get paid to] write mean so much! And please be sure to leave a link to your blog.

*Also, I'm hearing there's some issues commenting at Real Moms Guide. Let me know if you have any problems and we'll try to fix it!


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March 15, 2010

On having a daughter, and having me.

Little Schroeder

Eighteen months ago today.

I was feeling pretty great, powerful, and amazed at my Mother-Earthy-ness. I mean, I had my baby at home, on my bedroom floor, only light from candles by my bed and a flashlight in my midwife's hands.

I am WOMAN!

Eighteen months ago today I felt like there wasn't anything I could not do.

I need that reminder this day, especially, because I can't really think of much I can do well right now. I'm blinded by the glare of the many many many defects of myself, my wifely-ness, and my mothering.

Eighteen Months Ivy

Eighteen months ago today I was finding out what it was like to have a daughter. [I'll be honest, it's awesome.]

But it kicks my butt sometimes. I know that boys need a good example of a Mother just as much as girls

BUT


for me
it really kicked in when I had Ivy. Like, I can't fake my way through this one. I'm learning so much I never knew about myself. She is so much like me. She is so much like me. She could be like me.

And she can do anything.

I can do anything.
And do it well.

Beth took this one & I stole it because it's my favorite picture ever.


Ivy is 18 months old today!
Read our homebirth story.

March 14, 2010

On new hair, and feeling beautiful

new hair

So, here's my new 'do. And it probably doesn't look all that new to anyone but me. It's still long even though I came thisclose to chopping it all off. I'm just not ready. It is a lot lighter, which I like. It was like an instant tan. I've been pretty pasty lately.


I have a new plan, though- I am going to grow out my bangs and get a much shorter, stylish look in the near future.

And I know it's just hair, but you know what?

I care about stuff like that. I do.

I care about how I look and I want to have nice hair. It makes me feel good, when I look good.


I like to feel beautiful.

Why does this feel like a confession? Isn't it ok to want to feel and look beautiful?

And that doesn't mean I always have to be all dolled up, - most times it does take how I feel on the inside to shine thru on the outside, but lots of times? It's because I feel good in the clothes I'm wearing or I'm having a good hair day or did my eye makeup just right.

Lots of outward beauty stuff.

And truly, I don't think I'm a very pretty (on the outside) person. I have never been a "natural beauty", I don't usually like photos of me, and I don't even really like the photo I finally posted here.

I want to be pretty for my husband, and when out in public, and for my kids, and when I pass a mirror in my house.

I know these things shouldn't matter. But they do. To me.

Also?

I'm 33 years old and secretly want to get my nose pierced. [A teensy weensy tiny speck of a nose piercing], but I'm 33 years old and think I'm past the expiration date on that one. If you have one already, you're grandfathered in (I think that's how it works?) But for me to go get it done now? Aren't I a bit too old for that? I'm still not convinced.


Anyway.

I have new hair. And it makes me feel pretty.

March 13, 2010

By special request

Zakary needed to see a video of Ivy doing her "people on the bus say shh shh shh" (She [Zakary] did say please and thank you, so):

The people on the bus say shh shh shh by Ivy




Also, sheesh there's been a lot of buzz in the news lately about babywearing safety and dangers and such. I wrote about it here at Real Moms Guide: Babywearing safety alert: CPSC issues warning about certain baby carriers causing deaths - please check it out and pass along to anyone that might have doubts or confusion as to what all the hubbub is about.

And, pretty much daily I am asked/emailed/facebooked/twittered about Finding the perfect baby carrier... which one is right for you and every baby stage? So here's my latest suggestions. Please let me know what your fave is in the comments there (and be sure to include a link to your blog).

While you're clicking around town, you can read my latest (and the funny things my kids say) at NWIparent this week: Region Rats.

Oh, and I'm up for votes to speak at the next Blog Indiana this fall. Vote for me?

Hope you have a great weekend. I'm off to the salon in a bit for a cut & color oh yeah.



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March 12, 2010

World traveler

he sees the world

Tracy Morgan (love him, he cracks me up) was on Bonnie Hunt yesterday (I always want to call her Helen Hunt) and he was talking about kids

and how he wants his kids

to see the world before they become parents.


Carter & Noah at the park


And that is a nice hope for them, but I had to think about my own travels... I've seen Paris twice, but not many other places-- (I just turned down a trip to NYC --and I've never been to NYC-- next week because I don't want to upset my nursing relationship with Ivy, and it wouldn't be appropriate to bring her.)


(Can you see where this is going?)



park picnic

Yet.

Every day
I get to see the world,

and am taught more about it,

through the eyes of my children.



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March 10, 2010

it sneaks up on you, it does.

innocence.

I was driving to the park today for a picnic dinner with friends and this feeling washed over me-

the way the sun hit the road and even though it was the same way I always take (and lately I've been feeling nostalgic for things past, as that happens with the season change, so many moments like this, the smells, the colors behind the clouds remind me of that one time) but this moment was different... I felt something new.

Same old me, same old road, same old everything. Yet I felt like something new was ahead, or is happening right this very now.


tippy tappy on the lappy top

So anyway, earlier I was photographing some roses I bought for myself and it was especially quiet, only open windows and nothing "on" to make distraction. I looked up to find Ivy had snuck up on the chair to tippy tap at my laptop.

shh shh shh
[the people on the bus say shh shh shh]


You Capture: quiet. All sooc "straight out of camera" this week, folks.

Psst. Ivy's dress was a surprise gift from Sister Sue (etsy alert!), in a package of gifts sent to Beth.


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March 9, 2010

The journey of me & her: on dancing, and beauty.

free

It was in the middle of a moping session turned kitchen dance party. As I twirled and she twirled and hands raised and we swayed.


Where would she learn to dance and be free if she doesn't see me do it? Would it happen at a friend's house when she is older? On her own in front of a TV?

there she is

How will she learn to feel beautiful if she doesn't see me feeling beautiful, finding loveliness in simple things, even [especially] on the un-beautiful days?


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March 8, 2010

Couches

noah on a couch
Noah, circa 2001

It was a futon couch, brown, probably dirty but it didn't smell. My first apartment in Chicago on my own- my roommate's couch. We had the couch, a houseplant in the windows, and a TV. For a while my Gustav Klimt poster hung with ticky tack to the white wall. But then I moved it to my closet door. I think my roommate hung a Pearl Jam poster instead or something I don't really remember.

I don't know why I picked to write about this couch. I never really sat on it. I'd sit on the hardwood floor. My roommate's ferret would scurry around & always slid inside the cushions from underneath and we'd have to get him out.

I'd come home from work (Art Institute) and make peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches with day old bread I'd get around the corner on my way. I'd come up the back entrance most times. I had a lot of keys on my keychain and I never could get the alarm code right the first time.

I was always alone in the apartment and I'd sit cross-legged on the floor, with my peanut butter sandwich (or sometimes Taco Bell) and I guess that couch sitting there by my side kept me company. My life was so full of lots of things back then but couldn't have been emptier.

Then I moved back home-



[I performed this writing exercise with pen and paper, to ensure no "backspace" editing. I set a timer and then just wrote. I transferred it word for word here.]

[P.S. three minutes goes FAST!]


[I kinda want to keep on writing this story.]


Please visit Casey (Moosh In Indy) for her couch post: the constant stuffed it.

Instructions:

At Blissdom, in our Writers Workshop with Hallmark writers Sarah & Molly, & Casey from Moosh In Indy, attendees were given a writing assignment:

"In her amazing book, What It Is! writer/artist Lynda Barry shares (among other flashes of genius!) a simple exercise she learned from her college professor and mentor Marilyn Frasca. It's one I use all the time to get my mind in gear.

Here's how it goes: With pen and paper, make a list of ten couches you've known in your lifetime. (This also works with other words, but couches are my favorite because they are central to many moments in your memory.)

When you've made your list, take a deep relaxing breath and find the couch that has the most powerful emotional charge for you. Then begin writing about it in the present tense. Describe the scene.

What's behind you?
In front of you? To your left? To your right? Above you? Below you?

Who
is there? What are they saying? How does the scene unfold?

Keep writing for three minutes until you've reached the end of the vignette. Keep the pen moving. Three minutes will seem like a long time. But don't stop. If you run out of words, doodle a little till they come again.

Don't edit! Keep the memory and emotion there in all its raw glory!"


Link up your post (not your blog, your post) here in the linky below and visit others as they write along with us.





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March 7, 2010

Coming soon...

eden in the sling, & Beth
Here's a sneak peek at shower pics from yesterday. (more to come!)


Winners of all the Nest Feathering giveaways will be announced & linked later today, probably while I'm watching the Academy Awards, fyi.


I love these people.
love, sarah, beth, erin, me, donya & eden


Also!

At Blissdom, in my Writers Workshop with Hallmark writers Sarah & Molly, & Casey from Moosh In Indy, attendees were given a writing assignment. I'd love if you'd like to play along, too. Tomorrow Casey & I will host a link up to share your post if you'd like.

Molly gave the assignment:
"couches":

"In her amazing book, What It Is! writer/artist Lynda Barry shares (among other flashes of genius!) a simple exercise she learned from her college professor and mentor Marilyn Frasca. It's one I use all the time to get my mind in gear.

Here's how it goes: With pen and paper, make a list of ten couches you've known in your lifetime. (This also works with other words, but couches are my favorite because they are central to many moments in your memory.)

When you've made your list, take a deep relaxing breath and find the couch that has the most powerful emotional charge for you. Then begin writing about it in the present tense. Describe the scene.

What's behind you?
In front of you? To your left? To your right? Above you? Below you?

Who
is there? What are they saying? How does the scene unfold?

Keep writing for three minutes until you've reached the end of the vignette. Keep the pen moving. Three minutes will seem like a long time. But don't stop. If you run out of words, doodle a little till they come again.

Don't edit! Keep the memory and emotion there in all its raw glory!"

Sound fun? Get your post ready for the link-up tomorrow!


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March 6, 2010

Shhhh... it's a SURPRISE


So, I've been keeping something from you.



Beth is on her way over RIGHT NOW to pick me up for "coffee" at a nearby cafe.


We're (Erin, Sarah, Donya, Lovelyn, & me) throwing her a surprise baby shower!!

Some friends and family will be waiting, with gifts and the cutest decorations ever and lots and lots of hugs and love and blessings.


You still have until midnight CST tonight to enter the big "online" baby shower.
I'm hoping she'll be super surprised to get a real-life one as well.

I will share photos from today when I announce all the winners tomorrow!

Also!

The sun is shining today and we are running around without coats on!

It's such a beautiful day.



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March 5, 2010

These are days

grays gray

Grayson has another big dentist appointment today. Keep him (and me) in your thoughts? I also wrote about guilt and taking kids to the dentist at NWIparent.

You have until tomorrow night to enter all the Nest Feathering shower giveaways. I had no idea it would turn into what it did. But am so glad.
And I'm totally scheduling a massage [for myself] after this week.

Some of my recent articles at Real Moms Guide:
(love you forever if you click over & leave a link to your blog in your comment)


days of ivy

The sun has been shining for three days in a row here! I hope you have a lovely weekend, friends.


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March 4, 2010

Soonly.

spring
watching for spring


visit
impatiently


soonly
blue eyes waiting



You Capture: hopeful

Be sure to stop by Beth's Nest Feathering baby shower! I'm still listing more gifts today!


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