Tomorrow is a new day…thank goodness.

Today by noon I found myself thinking “I’m sure glad this day will end and tomorrow will be a new day!”  I am so thankful for second chances, for new beginnings, for the fact that tonight I can go to sleep and start over with a clean slate.  The whole idea of the 24 hour day was really a stroke of brilliance (big surprise there!) since sometimes, the day gets all messed up for itself and it just needs to end so it can begin again.

This was that day for me.  Caleb went to bed hungry after choosing to go without dinner.  He was whimpering for a big breakfast with eggs and sausage and cheerios and toast with honey and orange juice and a little glass of milk.  I promised I would come through and got up and showered early so I could make a nice breakfast and be ready to be out the door shortly after 9 AM with my troop.

After a ridiculous amount of whining about breakfast, it was served.  But as soon as it was, there was

“He called me poopy!”

“He’s pretending to shoot me with a gun!”

“He made a mean face at me!”

“She isn’t allowed to eat breakfast with the kitten in the baby sling!”

“I want a spoon not a fork!”

So much whining.  I felt compelled to retort something rude about how everyone should appreciate the nice food I’d made and stop talking.  It made no difference and the slinging of words continued as I got Audrey changed and ready.  What should have been ample time to get everyone ready and out the door turned into now-we’re-going-to-be-late as we quickly burned through the extra time we’d had.

At about the time we were to leave I went to pick up Audrey from the back yard.  She was holding a stick I thought.  No, actually her hand was GLUED to a stick.  A fly trapping stick to be exact.  One that had just last night been hanging from the top of our house.  How in the world it got down I don’t know.  How sticky it really was, I also did not know.

Really sticky apparently.  I pried her little baby fingers off of it (along with the dead flies also stuck to it), threw it into the dirt and then looked at her hand.  It was stuck in a fist and she was trying to lick off the glue.

Not good.  This morning went from mildly unpleasant to moderately disastrous.  I tried to wash it off.  Not a bit came off.  I tried a mound of Purell hand sanitizer.  Nothing.  I tried hot water and soap.  Nope, didn’t touch it.  She was getting pretty annoyed now.  Was hoping to suck her thumb.  Big problem.  I didn’t have the package but was sure it wasn’t meant for human consumption, let alone baby human consumption.

I marched over to the neighbors (before my unspoken rule of ‘don’t knock on neighbor doors until 9 AM’). I asked for some rubbing alcohol and they gave me some along with that pumice scrub cleaner you use after you’ve worked on your car.  They worked somewhat mixed with some vaseline.  Audrey was at least able to separate her little fingers now and get her fisted hand undone.  That was enough progress to hightail it out the door.

I got all the kids buckled, ran back in to go to the bathroom super fast myself.  Which I did.  Only to find that Caleb in his hustle had peed all over the toilet seat and now my rear was very wet.  With pee.   This put me quite certainly over the top.  I ran back out to the car to leave but first opened Caleb’s door and yelled (or spoke very, very loudly enough for any of my neighbors to hear) –

“My bottom is ALL WET!  Do you know why Caleb?”

Caleb squinted his eyes at me and said no.

“It is wet, all wet because you peed on the seat, all OVER the seat and you did not clean it up.  Do you think I like having a wet bottom?  No, no I don’t.  If you happen to pee ALL OVER the seat that is fine.  But what is not fine is you not cleaning it up so that when I go to use the bathroom I do not sit in your pee and get it all over my bum.  That is NOT FINE WITH ME.”

I shut the door, hoping to feel somewhat vindicated but of course just feeling embarrassed that my neighbors probably heard me yelling about my bottom in the driveway and guilty for not having better control over my emotions this morning.

Then we spent 10 minutes talking about what everyone had done to contribute to the very poor morning.  After some silence and some apologies we all rallied and went to play in the fountains and had a lovely time laughing and chasing each other around outside while Rylee attended Princess Camp.

“Fit For Motherhood” that’s what the tee-shirts said on the trim, skinny, exercising ladies who breezed by me as my kids played at the outdoor mall this morning.  I was  happy sipping my triple shot latte, glad for a moments’ respite from the harried morning.  They stretched and strolled and departed.  I drank more coffee and pondered if I was “Fit for Motherhood” today.

Maybe it wasn’t a shining moment in my mothering marathon.  Maybe I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task today.  Maybe the day wouldn’t get much better.  Probably not.

But there are some things that aren’t maybe, things I know for sure.

My kids know I was sorry.  I know they were sorry.

They know I’m not perfect.  I know they aren’t perfect.

They know I love them.  I know they love me.

Thank goodness for a new day tomorrow.

And then there was one…

…what a lucky one she is!  After a two week kitten trial period/interview of sorts, it was clear that Basil was the only kitten conducive to our family.  The two boys were very anti-dog and poor Maggie was being hissed at and growled at every day.  So the other two have another happy home with a (I think) dog-less family.

And we have Basil.  She is the perfect cat for our family.  Highly tolerant.  Relaxed.  Purrs as soon as you get near her.   Loves to sleep snuggled next to kid heads.  Love being worn in a baby sling.  Really?

Yes.

Rylee with Basil

Need a photographer?

Cousins

This is just a tiny taste of what’s to come-I could not wait to share.  We recently, through another friend, found an incredible photographer who we actually new in jr. high/high school.  We were all through with mall photos and wanted something unique, something beautiful and something that captured our kids in their natural state instead of in a studio.  Alicia resides in Arkansas but has family here so spends a fair bit of time in the Seattle area.  My sister and I were both lucky enough to score photo shoots with her this past week.

I had high hopes and I haven’t even seen my own kids pictures yet but if they are close to as amazing as the ones of my nephew and sister and brother-in-law, they will be amazing.  Alicia still has time open later this month and I think again in late August/early September if you are in need of some incredible photos.

I shopped around a lot.  With some photographers costing nearly $1000 for session and print fees, Alica’s prices were extremely reasonable.  And more than that, she takes great photos, which after all is what matters most.

I can hardly wait to see the shots from the nearly two hours she spent with our four children.  She was brave.  And very, very patient.

If you want to see more, visit here and click on ‘blog’ for Alicia’s top picks.  If you want to see the whole gallery of Jorgenson photos, click on ‘website’ instead of ‘blog’, then ‘clients’ then ‘Jorgenson family’.

Isaac

Seriously?  Look at those gorgeous eyes.

Can’t wait to see what those two come up with next-talk about a good gene pool…

Just Heard Thursday

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Caleb and Rylee (shrieking, observing that the neighbors house had been TP’d):  “Kyler, look at that, how wonderful!!  They decorated their house for your birthday!”

I didn’t have the heart to explain the whole concept of TP-ing someones house.  They thought it was so celebratory!

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After stopping on the side of the road to see if a baby kitten was still alive (I don’t think it was) Rylee and Mama had this conversation:

Rylee:  “It’s too bad we can’t give it to Auntie.”

Mama (confused):  “Why would Auntie want a dead kitty?”

Rylee:  “Well, I mean it’s too bad it was dead and we couldn’t give it to her.  Because she told me that she’s giving up on getting married.  She said she’s just going to adopt more cats.  So maybe she would have wanted it.”

Mama (smiling):  “Oh I didn’t know that, I see.  That’s very thoughtful of you.”

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Keeping in mind we’ve been out of milk for 5 days due to deliquent planning….

Caleb (at dinner):  “Can I PLEASE have some milk?”

Mama:  “We’re still out of milk, maybe tomorrow, would you like some water?”

Caleb (BIG sigh, very frustrated): “Still there is no milk?  And I have no clean underwear?  And every time I want clean clothes I have to go out to the family room floor?  And there are no jammies in my dresser?  No milk?  I don’t even like water!”

Mama (realizing that my inability to tackle Laundry Mountain does actually bother him and feeling slightly bad about it):  “I’m sorry.  I promise to get milk tonight.  Water then?”

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Rylee speaking about her kitten:  “I had to get him to a certain point where he would fall asleep with me last night.  I only had to flick him a few times.  And he only bit me like, maybe 6 times?  Then he fell asleep in my arms.”

Finally, some summer!

After days of July cold and rain (yes, this is Seattle I know) the weather changed yesterday and when my sister called at 4:30 with the suggestion of an impromtu beach adventure for dinner, we were quick to hop in the car (as quick as anything is with us!) and head for a beach we’d never been too.  We grabbed cheap pizzas on the way and had so much fun we ended up staying late enough to watch the sunset over Puget Sound.  It was stunning.

Swinging cousins

The babies enjoyed a nice swing together, they are almost too big to do this anymore!

Audrey checking out rocks

Our new walker was not too happy about navigating the bumpy rocks

sweet sandy toes

but she did like playing with her sandy toes

Rylee

Rylee did a good solid foot test before jumping in…

Log work

…to help the brothers move a big piece of driftwood

Kyler on the rock

We were unprepared for swimming…so the pants quickly got tossed

caleb and rock

as did every rock Caleb could find.

family pic
counsins and mamas

Isaac and Audrey were happily entertained for a long time

kids at sunset

After some ice cream and local beer samplers (for the daddy’s) we headed out to the docks

ferry at sunset

There is something so ‘Seattle’ about the ferry

rylee and mama

Loving the sunset(and that sweet toothless grin) – such a great evening!

And the winner is…

At the beginning of the month we had hosted a little contest on who could guess the weight, length, and birth date of little Melissa Jane Rich.  Well she decided to say hello to Mom and Dad last week and we now have our winners.  Yes, winners, because no one got everything correct.

MJ

Melissa Jane Rich

Born July 8th, 2009

8 lbs 7 oz 21 inches

People who got the birth date correct – Nate and Monica (some inside info?), Stephanie (who joined the contest on July 7th at 9:43pm)

People who got the length correct – Monica (again with the inside info), Bekki, and Chris (oh snap, that’s me!)

And the winner of the one that I think is hardest to predict, little MJ’s weight – Pat with a guess of 8lbs 6oz.

Great job everyone.  Now it is up to Karissa to figure out who she wants to give the prize to.  Congratulations to Nate and Monica, you both have a beautiful daughter to treasure forever.  We can’t wait to meet her!

A day of beauty

For our anniversary, Christopher gave me an afternoon at a spa that included a massage, a lengthy manicure and a pedicure.   After an unusually long week, this Saturday was the perfect time to put it to use.  It made me think back of the days of youth work when Christopher was a Jr High Pastor, the girls in my small group were always content spending an evening painting fingers and toes, watching sweet movies, eating candy and reading old love letters that Christopher and I had exchanged many years ago.  I don’t know if that’s what Jr High girls now do, but those were some fun times.

Somewhere along the way,  I gave up all nighters with 12 year old adolescent girls and took up all nighters with crying newborns and sick toddlers.  There are wonderful blessings to be had with both.  But what I’m realizing I miss is the plain old girl time.  Some days, I forget that there is anything feminine about me at all.  I am tired, dirty, stinky, unshowered, unpainted and just plain messy.  I’m not complaining as I really do love spending my days with my children.

I’m just saying there’s something to be said for taking time out to act, feel, think and look girly.  I would argue this to be true even for the un-girly type girl.  There is something rich, something wonderful about being a woman and while that does look different for everyone-it should be experienced in it’s fullness every now and then.

For me, having my nails cleaned (even though she had to use three different tools to get the grime and gunk out of my nails/skin), having my toes painted (even though my feet are dry and cracked to bleeding some places) and having the absolute pleasure of laying on a warm table for a whole hour having a massage-well, that was a little bit of heaven.  It was my 10 year anniversary gift, of course not practical on a regular basis.  But it made me think that I still need to invite beauty and the feminine into my life in little ways when I can.  And if I do, it really makes me happy.  Goodness, even just hanging out with another girl and no kids made me feel more….like a woman.

In an effort to bring the perfect end to my perfect afternoon, my sister met me at the mall to shop and eat.  I was relaxed as could be (nearly fell off the massage table when it was over) and happy to oblige.  We walked through a few stores and looked for a cute shirt.  You know, not a tee shirt from the Old Navy clearance rack that was $3.99 on sale but a real shirt.

We ended up at Nordstrom’s after the stores geared to teens clearly did not work out.  My sister beckoned me upstairs to the youthful section (where back in the day she shopped every single weekend) and she grabbed a bunch of cute things and sent me to try them on after I argued that they wouldn’t work.

After no success even getting one pair of the jeans over my hips that have birthed four children and no luck getting shirts buttoned over my…..well, you know…..the very nice, very young, very skinny sales lady came to our door.

“How’s it working out in there?  Do you need any new sizes?”

I smiled at my sister and quickly replied the honest truth “Well, no I think I need a new body!” as I thought to myself Yes, to fit these blasted junior sized clothes meant for girls half my age-there is nothing ‘junior’ about my rear end – what in the world am I doing here?”

Honestly, I am not too bent of shape about the whole thing.  I don’t lose sleep about my roundness though I’d prefer my old clothes to fit and to have a little more energy.  So, this whole adventure is not at all traumatic but I could see my sister didn’t want any rain on the parade of this lovely afternoon.  So, seeing that this wasn’t working out just as she’d hoped, Steph had a spark of brilliance.

“How about we head to Lane Bryant?  Surely they’ll have something cute there!”  in her every so perky voice.

I’ve never even been there but in my uber relaxed, all-is-well-in-my-world state of mind I said “Wonderful idea!”

So, in an instant we went from clothes meant for tiny teens to clothes meant for more full sized women.   Suddenly, the smallest size available was a tad bigger than me.  They even adjusted their jeans sizes, a size 14 = a size 1 at Lane Bryant, a size 16 = a size 2.  How great is that?

Not only that but the not-supermodel-skinny salespeople were ever so helpful and not the least bit intimidating.  We giggled our way through the store, had a lovely time and found a very lovely, bedazzled brown blouse that rode the fine line between too-tight-on-my-belly and looks-like-maternity shirt.  I am wearing it right now and enjoying feeling like a lady in it.  It really is kind of nice every now and then.

We ended the day with some delectable food at P.F. Chang’s and it surely lived up to my expectations.  Just about everyone I know has been there except for me.  It was very tasty despite a very crummy waiter.

I am well aware that not all husbands are willing to watch four children (plus the neighbor boy) for a 7 hour stretch.  It is quite a pull.  I am really thankful for the chance to get away and remember what it feels like to be a girl.  Not a mama or a waitress or a cook or a lover or a driver or a nurse or anything else.

I love getting to be all those things.

But sometimes it’s nice to be a plain old girl.

Happy Birthday Kyler!

After celebrating Isaac’s birthday on Friday, then the 4th of July on Saturday, we geared up for Kyler’s birthday this past Monday.  It was a crazy weekend but wonderful.  Christopher had his first paid day off since starting his new job in January.  We (just mama mostly) are still getting used to a different schedule and a lot less time with Daddy than we’ve ever had before.  It’s still hard.  So to have more than just a day or half day was such a special treat.

I had felt some sense of urgency and a lot of pressure to make Kyler’s birthday extra special.  We had worked hard to make Caleb’s birthday special to him and I wanted Kyler’s big day to be no exception.  I ordered fancy cupcakes from a bakery.  I shopped around for baseball figures to top the cupcakes.  I made a special trip to mall (which I despise) to go the Mariner’s store.  I shopped several thrift stores looking for M’s gear.  I dealt with the buying of tickets then on game day trying to get everyone theirs at the right time and place which proved no small task.  I bribed kids to take naps so that we’d be in good shape for game/birthday night.  I made caramel corn to bring to the game.  I put baseball favors together.

Upon thinking and reflecting on why I was so wound up over this birthday, I think the reason is two fold.  Because of the challenges and behavior of one of our children, Kyler sometimes….regularly is the brunt of difficult behavior.  And that’s hard.  It’s actually not fair.  He is the sweetest little curious boy.  He melts my heart almost daily.  And he puts up with a lot.  For one day, I think I desperately wanted him to be the center of attention with his darling self.  I wanted him to have HIS way.  I wanted him to be treated exceptionally well.  I wanted him to totally delight in something.

And delight he did.

july 2009 113

from the front porch…

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to city sidewalks…

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to statues of players past…

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and of players present…

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to examining gifts…

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and blowing out candles in the wind…

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to watching Jared Washburn pitch a complete shutout game against the Boston Orioles.

It was the perfect day for our sweet boy.

(Forget the fact that 5 minutes into the game and already Caleb was sobbing because he had dropped his SECOND $6 hot dog on the ground…or the fact that my husband was sitting 7 seats away from me and I had to dole out 7 hot dogs without spilling mustard on our lovely friend Jill’s lap-which proved to be a small miracle in itself…or that getting 5 children ages 7 and under down several city blocks was more stressful than I’d pictured…or also the reality that several people still needed to get their tickets from us outside the field 20 minutes before game time…or the issue of traveling with 15 fancy cupcakes in a bag simultaneous to the traveling with 5 small children-trying to care for all).

Yeah.  Forget about that and everything else.

It was the perfect day.  The perfect celebration of our third born child.

He could not have loved it more.

And we could not love him more.

For that, it was all worth it.

Happy birthday Kyler boy.

A sweet little nephew

Last year on July 3, after nearly 26 hours of labor, my little sister welcomed her first baby into the world.  After the delight of getting to be pregnant at the same time as my sister, I had the joy of watching her endure an incredible tough labor that ended in a c-section to deliver her son, my darling nephew Isaac.  He was one of those babies who is genuinely cute from birth and still is.  Getting to watch as he captured her heart and overnight made her a mama is something I had looked forward to for a long time and it was more amazing than I’d imagined.

I knew she married well and we adore her husband but with Isaac’s arrival it was more clear than ever how well matched her and Todd are.  I saw love that day that many people go a lifetime without finding.  They were incredible.

This year, we celebrated his birth alongside a multitude of friends and family and I did not get any too great pictures but here are a few.

Audrey's very favorite food
Audrey's very favorite food
Isaac's baby dedication at the party
Isaac's baby dedication at the party
Isaac had LOTS of help opening gifts
Isaac had LOTS of help opening gifts
the baby cousins last august!
the baby cousins last august!
the cousins this June on a stroll
the cousins this June on a stroll