June 30, 2010

crazy heart

sleep


"Motherhood is extremely complicated and difficult, though I suppose some mothers would say it's as natural as breathing." - Yoko Ono



co-sleepers


Some days for me it's like breathing, deep and cleansing,


and others more shallow, desperately gasping for air not taken up by children,

like, oh, my God, what have I gotten myself into?


hippo


I've been reading Mamaphonic, a book of essays about balancing motherhood and other creative acts (at the recommendation of my long-lost twin Elizabeth, it pains me physically in my heart that we can not live next door to each other, or in a commune together maybe? Someday?) Anyway. Longing.

And in case this post makes it sound like I am in a scary place or something, I am not. Actually, I am seeking and prayerfully asking and receiving. Where my heart is, dangerous, and [finally] living.


June 29, 2010

Kids in the heaven

We were out shopping yesterday for "Ivy da backpack" (she insisted on picking out her own, shaking her head no at all the ones I thought were cute, and finally after some convincing we met in the middle on a cute plush butterfly one in just her size.)

(Oh, bee tee dubs, she's ONE YEARS OLD WITH THIRTEEN YEARS WORTH OF OPINIONS.)

As I was pushing her in the cart to the parking lot, an old man was sitting in a car nearby, with his window down, and he said "Can I look at your baby?"

I obliged, and Ivy smiled and he went on about how special children are, what a blessing, and I agreed.

And he was one of thirteen children, and told me a story, "My Mama always said if there are children in heaven, then I don't want to go there."


And he laughed. And told me that story again like he hadn't just seconds before.

June 28, 2010

The Season When The Sun Shines Most, A Haiku

ivy in summer


Popsicle stained chin

door open SLAM! open SLAM!

(open SLAM!) sum-mer.



Tell me your haiku.

Share yours here in the comments (can be about anything!) or at your blog (be sure to leave a link if you do) and I'll choose the one I love the most, and buy the winner a gift, something fun and specifically for you that I'll pick out from the farmer's market or one of my favorite boutiques around town...

(winner can be from anywhere, I'll ship to wherever you are)


June 27, 2010

Theme From The Bottom Lip

ivylip

What made her so sad?



ivylips

She didn't want her picture taken any more.

[Oh noes!]


Comments closed in hopes you'll say something over here and maybe win a $250 Marriott gift card.

:)

June 25, 2010

[Bloggy] Things That Make Me Go Happy

a little beachy
from the beach last week


Some pics and posts I've loved recently.


Zakary: Straightening The Curves, Flattening The Hills

Amber: what can only be hinted at with words

Rebecca: Twenty Nine Years A Mother

Me: How Steph met Harry



ivy window
I am leaving her overnight for the first time, evs.


June 24, 2010

Backstage

backstage

Read the story (oh what a story!) here: How Steph met Harry.



June 23, 2010

The Jig Is Up


Found out Gray told the neighbors that hubs and I were planning to rob their house next time they are gone.


! ? !



AWKWARD.




::wink::

Park days are in full swing.

full swing



June 22, 2010

M e t a

"...and all the stars were watching them. Stars are beautiful, but they may not take an active part in anything, they must look on forever. It is a punishment put on them for something they did so long ago that no star now knows what it was. So the older ones have become glassy-eyed and seldom speak (winking is the star language), but the little ones still wonder." - Peter Pan
lake-side


I read a chapter or so from Peter Pan to the boys each night. I sit on Noah's bed and he and Gray fuss over who gets to comb my hair. They are gentle, and quiet, and they listen.

I'm surprised they don't ask questions like "what's a perambulator?" or "can you really lose your shadow?"

They just let me read, and they almost just al-most drift off to sleep when I find the right place on the page to stop.


It's hard to explain but- all these years as a mother I watch my babies grow and change right before my eyes, insides and outs, and I find it so very delightful!, but I ignored myself, and the changes taking place inside me, outside of me. Not meaning to, not to be a doormat or a saint,

honestly

I didn't even think much about it. Sleep deprivation will do that to a person.



June 21, 2010

Misha Lulu at The Mini Social!

lulu lighty
little lulu


Our friends at Misha Lulu (you know, our favorite) are a featured sale at
The Mini Social today (Monday 6/21) - a great chance to snatch up some deeply discounted designs.

Not being paid to say this, just wanted to share the love. However I did just sign up (on my own free will, looked it up myself, wasn't asked to, etc!) for an account at The Mini Social and if you sign up, too, (and click my link or include my email as your referral [stephanie.precourt@gmail.com] then I get a little bonus when you make your first purchase.)



June 20, 2010

father, daughter

father, daughter

June 19, 2010

For me.

kelly rae roberts 'believe in healing'

A few weeks ago I was shopping and found this canvas, and it took my breath away.

It didn't just speak to me, but it was me. For me.

-kelly rae roberts 'believe in healing'

So I didn't even think about it really, I picked it up and bought it quickly. And when the lady asked if it was a gift, should she wrap it? I said yes. It was a gift. For me.

If you only knew. Sometimes I want you to, want someone to.

Kelly Rae Roberts believe in healing
I am a broken writer, I collect the words all day.


I am a lonely painter. I live in a box of paints.*


I think I'd like to take an art class. I'm going to look into it.




Canvas "Believe in healing" by Kelly Rae Roberts, photos taken by me and posted with Kelly's permission. I also just bought her book and have just decided that Today is the perfect day to start reading it.


*lyrics Case of You, Joni Mitchell

June 17, 2010

She's not afraid

sweet i

She's not afraid

of climbing the top bunk/counter top/tall dresser
and jumping down from the top bunk/counter top/tall dresser

She'll go down the highest slide, eat and drink anything (and I mean ANYTHING), play with bugs, chase bees, skateboard, try to ride her brother's bike...

lulu

But she runs to me Mommy, hold you! when the loud garbage trucks come and the train horn sounds.


June 16, 2010

let me have my cake and eat it, too.

I am on the edge of crazy right now. Closer to it than normal. And so I am giving myself a time out and sitting down with a piece of chocolate. And a can of Coke.

It started out as a good day, but slowly, my skin started to not fit right and I felt the unraveling begin- maybe a pull at the string from the whining, the hitting, the fussing at each other. The un-gratefulness of the popsicle they just had when the ice cream truck drives by.

Another pull at my sanity string, from the bubbles- See? Fun! Play! Bubbles! Whee!!!- but then they spill (even out of a NO SPILL BOTTLE) and she rubs her eyes and now BUBBLES ARE BURNING MY BABY'S EYES.


And I send them all to their room. So I can have a time out. Knowing that means all four are in one small room,

but if I remember correctly,

the one thing that would bring my brother and I together, even after a day of constant fighting- was that look in Mom's eye, or hearing the snap,

of her mind


Now it's me

and I'm trying to hold it together.


The faucet in my kitchen is leaking.

The faucet in my kitchen is leaking.

Dripping- loudly- into a sink full of dishes

and it pulls

pulls

p u l l s

and continues my unraveling.


Please Lord, I need Carter, Gray, and Ivy to sleep at least one hour after Noah gets on the bus for summer school. I need some time to myself while they are ALL ASLEEP. Please, DEAR GOD.

I just want to get the playroom cleaned up without them un-doing it within 20 minutes. Just enough so I can freaking vacuum it.

I need to hear myself think.

I need

I need them to stop touching me.

I want to be able to do this and I do not want a break. I do not want someone to come take my children for the day. I do not want someone to clean my house.

I
want to do it all.


I'm going to hit publish, despite my better judgment, and once I do, it's going to feel all better. I promise.

The Scientist

"What did you like to make when you were little?"

Make? Like crafts? I loved making sock pupp-

"No- like, electricity, or books and all that."

Oh. Books. I was always writing books, typing on my typewriter, or drawing pictures.

"I like to make electricity. I'm going to be a scientist when I grow up."

You so will.

summer school
He wouldn't look at me because he was watching for the bus for summer school,
and didn't want to miss it.



June 14, 2010

freckles or no freckles

silly girl

Today was a laaaazy day. I paid someone my hair coloring money to weed and trim the landscaping out front, so that I wouldn't have to (because let's face it, I was never going to go out there and do it myself. Maybe after first getting a new pair of gardening gloves from Target [$12] and then everything else I would put in my cart that I don't need [$morethanwhatIpaidtheguy])

So see there? I actually came out ahead.


We had friends over and went on two walks, but even with all that we did (and didn't) do, the dishes got done, the laundry got put away, the kids ate good meals, and it was a pretty good day.

happy life
purified happiness

Also- I logged into my Feedburner account for the very first time since I created it however many years ago, and I set up a way to subscribe to my blog via email and have my posts sent right to your inbox.

And, I wrote about Father's Day at NWIparent.

gray green eyes
I had a dream he had freckles across his cheek, over his nose, to his other cheek.


(these photos are just random ones I happen to love that I've taken in the past week.
)

June 13, 2010

to the wind

bubbles



crinkle in her nose



freely



whooooooooooew



bubble wand



caught one


I listen to my words but they fall far below

I let my music take me where my heart wants to go

-The Wind, Cat Stevens


[comments closed]

June 12, 2010

readthebook

read the book
Books: the original laptops

I found an awesome collection of Bernard Waber books on ebay and they came yesterday. We tore into the package and immediately began reading.
I love all the little stories in Nobody Is Perfick. One of my all-time faves is Ira Sleeps Over (when I was a little girl, I had a blankie I slept with every night, even at sleepovers) and one of my sweet boys has something he sleeps with, too.


book snuggle

My favorite thing about reading stories to my kids is when they lean in close, whether in my lap or by my side, I can turn or bend and kiss their heads and breathe in their hair. And even this morning hubby was reading Lyle Finds His Mother to Ivy and I caught him kissing her cheek just like I do...


I confess sometimes I find myself wanting to check my phone or email too much in the presence of my children.

A must read: New York Times: The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In

I've been keenly aware of it since the kids have been off school this week and needing so much more of my attention. I want them to remember reading together, the best books, and not watching TV or getting into trouble or just flat out being ignored or dismissed while I have my face behind my laptop, or my attention on my phone instead of on their beautiful face.


Of course, I work at home, so there is a required amount of screen time, and so often I thought I was doing better than others since I never watch TV in front of them- but- I'm still plugged in.

And of course I'm sure there's plenty of people out there whose heads are about to fall off from all the nodding because they don't EVER do this in front of their kids, so, if it's not being on the computer for you it could be something else, whether it is keeping a clean home or holing up in the kitchen always cooking or watching your soaps or being too involved in your church or bible study or whatever. Whatever is stealing you away from the valuable time you should be spending elsewhere.

While not always reasonably possible every single moment (hey, nobody is perfick), my hope for my family is that there is more eye contact and physical touch and hands-on-creative time and [good] music and dancing and book reading and adventure than screen time, even in this very plugged in world we live in today.


June 11, 2010

sssssssnap

THURSDAY, 10:50 PM

I am weary.

And tired.

I have been a good Mom- a good Mom this week, and it is exhausting.

Noah has summer school every day until the end of this month, and he has to be out front for the bus by 7:25AM. IN THE MORNING. That's a whole hour earlier than when school was even in session.

Every day this week I planned to go back to bed after he left but Every day this week all four of my children have been awake to see him off... and so... my day begins early, and it lasts so very long.

We have filled it with the beach, with bubbles, with arts and crafts on the rainy days, and with books (so many books- Ivy says sentences now and her most often said (no joke) is "Read the book" readthebook readthebook readthebook she says it eleventy million times a day.)

Readthebook.

The other night was tiring just from the accumulation of normal life stuff and then on top of it Ivy had an awful diaper rash, so I put her to bed naked from the waist down, so her little hoo hoo could get plenty of air (I put towels down underneath, of course, but she was dry the whole night!) But I woke constantly checking her, to see if she was ok, to see if she'd wet, to adjust the towel, etc etc.

And I had finally fallen to a good sleep when I could hear Carter crying in his bed, he was sick with a very sore throat. So I doctored him and (because all of my kids have inherited my baths-make-everything-feel-better gene) gave him a bath at two in the morning.

I was bummed because I hate when they are sick and miserable, and I hate that I wasn't going to get any sleep, and we had also planned a fun park day with friends and that was all going to probably not happen now and I was frustrated that we were in the middle of switching pediatricians- again- because our awesome natural pediatrician's office moved too far away and so we are back to going local and I had to deal with all that hassle and explain why they hadn't seen my kids in so long,

and I just don't have the energy for this.

But yet, I am a good Mom, and I muster it up somehow.

I took him to the doctor, and even brought books for the wait and read out loud Shel Silverstein until the doctor came in, and it was quick and fine. Just a virus, to be treated as I already was doing, but at least now we have peace of mind (that we bought for $80, thanks, sucky insurance.)

And by the time we made it home, my eyelids were filled with cement and my arms and legs felt like spaghetti and I wondered how I was going to make it the next few hours until hubby came home, let alone the next few minutes.

I started fighting back the emotional over-tired-ness tears, and kept thinking about all the things you don't think about when you are planning to have several kids. Just because you finally get the baby to sleep doesn't mean you are in the clear. I've found they're all very timely about taking turns when they are sick or needy, but when is my turn? For a break from that cycle? Oh, that's right, I don't get a turn.

[And oh, such timely fashion! As I am writing this, it must be Noah's turn. I just had a spell holding him in his bed during a night terror. ]

water balloons

In the middle of making dinner today, I'd take breaks to fill water balloons at the kitchen sink. My plan is to stockpile them at night, so that the kids have plenty for the next day. But these water balloons, I carried in my shirt, and brought them outside where the kids were playing. And I grabbed my camera and snapped this photo and then SNAP! one of the balloons burst and I gasped! Soaked, cold splashed through my skirt, to my feet. It was like my water broke, literally.

The kids were surprised, too, and then we all started laughing. I rung out my tank top. They tossed the other balloons and within about four seconds all of them had burst.

Something needed to break today. And I'm glad it wasn't me.

Back to the sink I went to fill more up.

Back to my knees I go to fill me up.

So I can do it all again to-morrow.


June 10, 2010

click.

summer

We drive twenty minutes straight to The Beach. I park in the same parking lot my Mom did when I was little, and we walk past the bathhouse, where the kids are still playing hacky sack.

We find a spot close to the water and lay down our towels and big-bag-of-shovels-and-buckets and dig holes until we find water -chase seagulls - find smooth rocks - bury our feet in the sand and

there is no time

summer1


there is no place

summer2

there is just us.


You Capture: Fun



June 9, 2010

[Lovely] Things That Make Me Go Happy

She was needing to be held all through making dinner,

so

in to the mei tai she goes,

again.



lovely happy things

I realized there are many
Things
That Make Me Go Happy

about this un-planned photo:


camera [NikonD60]
ruffled shower curtain
orange cardigan [Gap outlet]
mei tai (pattern: Lucinda and Jane)
ruffled camera strap
ruffled leggings



not pictured:
new sandals
fresh basil & goat cheese pizza baking in the oven :)
oh my heart, my friend





*all items linked were purchased by me except
the mei tai, which was a gift from Baby So Smart,
who also happens to be an advertiser.




June 8, 2010

Still babywearing

still babywearing

It's doesn't happen as often, but I still keep a sling or mei tai with me at all times. It's usually to keep her safe, or to help me when I'm on my own with the other children.

At the beach yesterday she played nicely for so long, but eventually just wanted to run off and away from me, so I told her she could play in the sand or she'd have to go in the mei tai. She climbed right onto my back [she chose the mei tai.]

It allowed me to be attentive to the boys and still know she was safe.

Just when I think our babywearing time is coming to an end, I am assured that for both of us, it's still hanging on tight... holding us close.


June 7, 2010

Pick your battles, and other tales from my time in prison.

I made a deal with Gray on Saturday that he was going to wear whatever I picked out for church in the morning. (Ok, so it wasn't really a deal, it was a punishment, because he broke my BRAND NEW(ish) jump rope after I had told him he could not play with it.)

He had to wear whatever shirt I chose (even if it had a small tag) and whatever pants I chose (they would NOT be the Aunt Lisa pants) and sandals (NOT shoes with socks like he insists, even in the hottest of weather.)

Come Sunday morning he played it off like I forgot. Hey Mom, I can't find my Aunt Lisa pants... and then he saw what I'd laid out for him to wear (a shirt and shorts that I'd bought a few months ago from Mini Boden (not cheap) and he still hadn't ever worn). His face contorted and yet he remained strong. He might have mumbled Aunt Lisa pants a few times under his breath but he wore that outfit- with a SMILE, actually.

He looked so cute. I haven't seen him in clothes that look "right "in so long. Seriously, when I've written about the Aunt Lisa pants before, it was NO exaggeration. Ask all my friends.

I got myself ready for church and started getting everyone in the car. There, standing in the door is Gray, still in his new outfit, mind you, but-

with a few added accessories.

superhero

[Cape, Spiderman glove, and backpack, I'll take you over the Aunt Lisa pants ANY DAY.]

Yes, he wore it the whole church service.



Later that night as we were fixing dinner, Jeff was trying to get something out of the scary utensil drawer and the vegetable peeler put the measuring spoon in a headlock and the vegetable peeler lost, breaking off a blade.

Me: "Whoa, this is dangerous. I could totally shank you with this." I held it up and gave a little cut throat hand motion.

Jeff: "Hey, kids, your Mom's prison days are coming back to haunt us."

Kids: "Mommy was in PRISON?!"

Me: "NOooo. No no no. No. Daddy just made an awful joke. I was never in prison. Great, that's all I need, Jeff, for them to tell people I was in prison!"

Jeff: (in a girl voice) "I think we need more bird paintings on the cell walls."

Me: "Hahaha I probably would say that, actually."

Then I shanked him. Only not. But kinda, in my mind.


June 5, 2010

Sister For Sale!

nowandthen

Carter said if Ivy were his daughter, he'd sell her for INFINITY DOLLARS.


[Ivy on the left: 20.5 months, Ivy on the right: 11.5 months]


June 3, 2010

GO 'HAWKS

mohawk shadow

Carter wanted a mohawk.



he is cool


It's pretty awesome



he is happy


raising really cool people.


When Nothing Means Everything

Memorial Day

We went to a baseball game on Memorial Day and it was canceled due to thunderstorms. It seemed appropriate, as my boys looked out over the completely empty stadium, this day.

It told a story and I understood.


You Capture: Favorite shot of the week.

June 1, 2010

June ONE

June ONE photo
Off-centered and scrappy but I have no doubt my kids are happy. :)

The other day I talked to myself in the mirror (I totally did) and I was like, HOLY CRAP you have a 9 year old.
How in the world????

But seriously, I am being absolutely honest, it is the BEST thing watching them grow up. Yeah, it's sad to say good-bye to the baby stage but
oh, my goodness... watching your children grow older, and the oldest for me is Noah (who thank the LORD he grew older at all, as, if he wasn't healed he probably wouldn't be here this very day) so nine years old might seem awkward and ancient to some and young to others but I love him so much, I tell him every day, as I rub his hair (that keeps getting longer and longer) and I also crawl into his bed and whisper it in his ear while he's sleeping...

It only gets better, my friends.
Better and better.

back to back
Back to back measure-ups.

Things are getting easier, especially with Gray. I know I always say I think I'm rounding a corner with him but hey, there are many corners in parenting. So, it might mean giving up on certain battles and he might still wear the same pants everysingleday (shown here, of course) but his spirit (what I've been most concerned about) is more cheerful, is delightful actually, and I fall in love with him more every day. (I happened to pray for this very thing, so.)

This is the June 1st photo - see the past
"month ONEs" here. Normally I'd have them dress a bit cuter but Ivy was already in her jammy jams and we were about to go on a long walk and I remembered that it was time for our June ONE photo, so here you go, it's really raw and uncut, but that is the stuff of life.
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