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Eve of four

Four years ago I was in labor. 10 hours in.

Three years ago my baby was about to turn one and I was completely overwhelmed by how fast and slow my newborn was becoming her own little creature.

Two years ago, my sweet toddler was about to turn two. She was a newly anointed big sister and seemed suddenly SO BIG.

One year ago my preschooler was about to turn three. She was a week into preschool and a month away from fully weaning.

This year my dear oldest child is about to turn four. Today she helped me pick three pounds of hops off the vine, picked apples from our tree, and helped clean the house.

I can’t wait to see what the next year looks like…if only she would go to sleep…

Haircut

For the last several months Darwin has talked about getting her hair cut short. For so long she had been effusive and proud of having long hair, and even when she would talk about a hair cut she seemed uncertain, so we were hesitant to have her get it cut really short until she was sure.

The day came a couple weeks ago, and this kid is just ecstatic with her new hair. She gets a huge grin every time she catches sight of herself in the mirror and generally seems suddenly more self confident. I think she knew what she wanted and spoke up for herself, and that was really empowering for her. I’m so proud!

Climbing to the top of a play structure like she’s been doing it forever.

Summer all grown up

I love summertime. The long days, kids out of school, our college town emptied of its near 30k students. Our bean and tomato plants are grown food in exchange for a daily water. Apples and grapes are promising to give us a banner year for apple sauce and grape juice, and the hops are, as always, promising to fruit far more than Leah can keep up with for her herbal needs (anyone want to come get some fresh hops in a month?).

All that said, the good things about summer are feeling bittersweet right now, because I have to crush them ask into a few hours before bed and the weekend. It’s led me to saying ‘yes’ to more evening activities with the kids than is prudent (see: stupid hour-long bedtime meltdowns from easy overtired kids), and generally has me bumming a bit. I want to go home, drag the hose out with the sprinkler and let the kids run away from the water for a couple hours while I garden.

It’s not that I dislike my job. I love most of what I do, even with the high stress moments when my boss I’d getting pressure from his boss and we get the same pressure as a result. But my work is really great, I just wish I could have a two month vacation to be home and play with the kids and parent and get house projects done.

And to be honest, I sometimes miss being bored! I spend so much of my time running from one thing to another, I’m starting to look forward to the day when all the kids are of at friend’s houses and Leah and I sit on the couch and do nothing for once. Haha. Kidding, that will not happen until the….ever.

Thinking about three

Timing with a first child feels huge and weighty. Like a decision that is both scary and unknown and full of possibilities. We spent years planning and waiting for the right time to expand our family.

A second child is a little different, but for our family it was still a matter of when, not if, we would try for another. Once Darwin was born, Leah was ready to start trying for a second when Darwin was around 8 or 9 months old. At that point, I was still nursing every two hours around the clock, working 24 hours a week, and generally just trying to get through each day without having a breakdown. But. Leah waa going back to grad school, which changed our schedules dramatically (she had been working a high stress 8 to 5 job that was very inflexible), and we had always said we wanted our kids to be close together in age. So we went for it, got very lucky, and after three months were shocked to see a positive test that resulted in our silly little Bee.

We’re now in a completely different space. We have two incredible kids who are equal parts fun, frustrating, and exhausting. At this point, its territory again that is unexplored. We had only every really considered growing and birthing two children (with that understanding that twins happen). Here we are facing the choice to either try again for a third child or not, and are currently leaning towards trying.

Why try for another? We’ll be outnumbered. We would have to pull out the diapers again. The joy of labouring for over 24 hours? Round the clock nursing? As much fun as all of these things sound, it’s the long view that gets me. A third set of footsteps running down the hall in the morning. Three kids growing up together. Something about our family just seems open right now. I’m still working on putting that feeling in to words though.

We’ve passed a couple of ‘we’ll try this months’ now because of timing with Leah’s program. So it feels kind of like we’re off the fence and considering when more than if we’ll try again. It’s a strange feeling and, curiously, not something I often see blogged about. I know when we were trying for Linnea it felt like some kind of very secretive thing that I didn’t want to share until we knew for sure. This time I’m feeling less of that. Maybe there’s less riding on having a third since we already have two awesome kids? Who knows.

I’ll sign off now. Happy weekend everyone.