Friday, October 29, 2010


I said goodbye to mom and dad on Tuesday. Hard. I smiled when we hugged and cried as I drove off. It felt like a piece of me was leaving. A part of me grieves every time I say goodbye to any of my family.  But when I saw Spokane's skyline I suddenly felt a warm, homey feeling. This is my home and I love it. It might be the first time I've felt like this about Spokane. I used to despise this strange city that crowded me. It was a place where neighbors barely made eye contact and church felt like a big company meeting where my input wasn't really needed. I still have a hard time sometimes. It's easy to feel alone and I often spend entire days inside because I honestly don't know what else to do. I long so much for a simple country life where being alone is an expected and comfortable feeling. But right now I somehow am content where I live and it seems a more friendly place than ever before. Maybe it's the fall weather.

Having my parents here was like having a vacation. It's easy, at least for me, to share a house with them. It almost felt like we were somewhere else in a cabin, eating more food than usual and bumming around. I did hardly any housework (thanks mom!) and mom wanted to hold Benjamin almost every time he cried. It really was a vacation. We watched PBS shows, shopped at thrift stores, ate lots of food and played with the boys. I didn't take enough pictures (sorry). But it was so wonderful and I look forward to their next trip up. We even discussed road tripping and meeting half way sometime.

It's hard being away from my family. But I have slowly been digging my roots into the Northwest, even into this little neighborhood. It's wonderful making your own adventure in a new land. I realized as I drove my parents through town that I knew my way around Spokane really well. I knew shortcuts and scenic routes. I found my way to the historical mansions on the South Hill even though I had only come by them accidentally before. It reminds me of when I left Illinois to go to school in Arkansas and I was sad to leave a place where the roads were so familiar. I like familiar roads and knowing shortcuts to places. It has taken me a long time to get to that place again.

Love you, Dad and Mom. See you again soon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oh, the mix of motherhood.

I wrote these entries on two very different days, but they balance both the bliss and the heavy load of being a mother.


Benjamin is three weeks old!

Amazing how close I feel to him and how it feels like we've known each other forever. His face is so familiar.

He is sleeping wonderfully (about 4 hour stretches at night) and eating very well. He has, however, become more fussy. I'm pretty sure he has gas problems, poor kid. A little patience and different positions usually help that though. Sometimes it's just a wet diaper. I've been trying different folds with the cloth diapers in order to find out what is most comfortable for him and what won't leak. I'm doing A LOT of laundry, but fortunately, it's probably the one house chore I don't really mind doing (usually).

Oliver hasn't really shown jealousy or disappointment. He says countless times throughout the day, "I love Benjamin." He loves to touch his little feet and pet his soft baby hair. But Shane and I are definitely experiencing the difficulty of spreading our attention to two kids as opposed to one. It just takes more effort to not leave one out when another is requiring so much of you. We both feel somehow closer to Oliver though and I think it's because our attention to him is more intentional. He is at the forefront of our mind because we want to be careful not to let him be forgotten. Shane said today, "How can my love for Oliver grow even more when I have two sons to give my love to now?" But I know exactly what he means. Before Benjamin, we were comfortable as a family of three and things got predictable and normal. But now that things aren't so comfortable we're pulling together even more and appreciate more what we are as a family.

It has been wonderful to have days at home. I needed this time off whether or not we had a baby. Work can become so consuming and it's nice to just let it go. Shane is helping fill in for me when I'm gone so I don't feel completely disconnected. I haven't decided if I'm glad about that. But I AM glad for the extra income and for Shane to have a regular outlet for his creativity.



That was my morning alarm today. He peed. In bed.
Stumbling out of bed after a night full of pee issues with both my kids I can't believe this is how the day is starting.
Take him to the bathroom. Strip him down. Wipe him down. He's crying. Sigh. "It's ok, Oliver. It's ok."
Take him to his bedroom. Strip the bed. Get him new underwear.
Take him to the kitchen. Stick him in the high chair with some cereal.
Start a new load of laundry with literally every single pair of underwear Oliver owns because these last two days have been full of out-of-the-blue accidents. I thought we were over this, Oliver! I feel horrible because there's apparently something in that little brain of yours that is suddenly not connecting to the bladder. Why? Have we been unknowingly neglecting you? You seem perfectly normal on the outside, but are your emotions in upheaval on the inside? I'm sorry, Oliver.

I guess I'll have some cereal too. "Mommy, some juice?" Ok. Here's some juice. "Mommy, Elmo slippers?" Seriously, Oliver, you can be such a prince. Ok. Here are your slippers.
NOW, I'll have some cereal. 2 minutes of quiet breakfast. But not really quiet. My mind is suddenly very loud.

I need to do a second load of laundry once this one is done. This kitchen needs swept REALLY BAD; it's embarrassing. I can't believe I made that huge error in the checkbook. I wonder why stuff like that has to happen and how I can avoid making mathematical mistakes when I'm functioning like a zombie with kids. I hope Shane still isn't upset about it. Money somehow doesn't really bother me like it does him. When is my mother-in-law showing up? Today? Tomorrow? Maybe she'll sweep my kitchen. No, I should just do it. It will take 5 minutes. After I do the dishes. Later.

I hear Benjamin cry in the other room. I get up, then it stops. Oh yeah, Shane's in there with him. He can take care of him for now. "Mommy I done." Me too. I'm tired. It's Saturday. I turn on cartoons for Oliver then check on Benjamin. He's asleep on Shane's chest on the bed. They look so peaceful. Maybe I should go back to bed. Is it bad to sit your toddler in front of the TV then go back to bed? Hmm. I'll just stay up and watch cartoons too.

I wish I had time and energy to just sit and read. Or print out some pictures for those empty frames. Or even make a pot of coffee. But I feel like if I go back to bed I'll just have to crawl out of it again and that's a very disappointing feeling.

*This blog was cut short by who knows what.*

Let's end on a good note....