Monday, May 23, 2016

My Three

Cash boy is a week and one day old today! I will spare everyone the "it's gone by so fast" line because it seems that it's been everyone's go-to phrase when talking to me lately. YES I know it goes fast, can I punch you in the face now? We are in complete bliss over here. Jax and Jonah love their little brother. They ask me if they can hold him all day. Jax is quite the little babysitter. He holds Cash while I quickly shower and he does so great. He's a little overconfident at times. The other day he was holding Cash on the couch and McKay and I ran upstairs really quick and all of the sudden we hear "Mom! I'm coming up the stairs!" McKay and I both freaked out a little inside but tried to stay calm so he wouldn't drop him! It reminded me of when Jonah was a newborn, sleeping on our bed while I was across the hall in our bonus room. Then suddenly my two-year-old little Jax popped up in the doorway, holding his newborn brother. Scary! But Jax loves Cash so much. We have made lots and lots of "rules." We're still working on following them...

Cash is a dream baby. He wakes up either once or twice a night. He's a good nurser. He's a cuddler. If he can't sleep at night, I lie him right on my chest and we can both sleep for hours like that. I feel like I can't get enough of him. It still feels weird to have him not in my tummy sometimes. I feel like I just can't get close enough. I'm always amazed at the amount of love I feel for my new babies. It's a celestial kind of love. Yesterday in ward council we had a training and we talked about how on this earth, even though it is a telestial place, we can still experience terrestrial and celestial joy. It totally resonated with me. Because every time I bring a newborn baby home, I just can't imagine ever feeling that much joy and happiness and fulfillment in any other circumstance. I sincerely don't believe it's possible. How can any feeling ever be better? Maybe in heaven we just relive the days when we have a newborn. That would be my heaven.

Cash smiles all the time in his sleep! More than I think Jax or Jonah did. He never has cried unless he's hungry. He's just so perfect. Jax and Jonah are still adjusting. Today Jonah told me that I have "two babies" and I pulled him onto my lap and said, you're right! You are mommy's baby huh? I thought I would feel more guilt trying to split my attention, but I haven't as much as I thought. Cash is so easy, that it's easy to split myself three ways. McKay is the one who gets not much attention. We always tell each other we miss each other when we have a newborn haha. But anyways! Jax is at t-ball and Jones and Cash are sleeping- so this is precious time! I'll write more soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We Are Back

Ahh! Where do I even begin? How in the world has it been so long since I blogged? Part of me is sad that I haven't done so well with documenting and part of me is slightly excited cause I think most people forgot about this thing so I will just write whatever I want...which is how freaking cute my kiddos are and how obsessed with them I am.

Two more months until baby boy. These pics are from last month in Hawaii. We went during Valentine's Day week. It was warm and sunny and sandy (really sandy) and we spent time on the beach until the boys cried from sand in their eyes and then the rest of the time was spent in the hot tub (yes- Jax is OBSESSED with the hot tub- even in 80 degree weather. Jonah too). McKay spent a lot of time running after the boys and videoing them and 6-month pregnant me tried to keep up but most of the time ended up in the nearest seat watching them and kinda feeling guilty (but I had a really good book to read). It was good to get back home. I am always excited to get back home at the end of a trip. I was talking to my friend about it and she said, you know, I think about it sometimes and I am happy I have a life that I don't want a vacation from. Me too. 

We got home and first thing I did was get rid of our cat. many cats have we gone through since I updated this thing. I think four. Not even kidding. There were the two kittens we attempted to take from my mom (but they were ugly and I couldn't commit). And then there was Nolan who ran away. Then there was Lola. The cutest Persian kitten I had ever seen that we gave to Jax in November that I ran over with my car- but she didn't die, she just had to get femur surgery and go through a 6-week recovery in a cage in my kitchen and then when we got back from Hawaii I wondered to myself what I was doing stressing over a cat when I already have two kids and am about to have another one. 

I tried for a really long time. When the boys went to bed I would cuddle Lola and squish her face so she would look really cute to me and I would try to love her (and I kind of did). But then I would get up from my couch and have to lint-roll her fur off my pants. Sometimes I would cook in the kitchen and see a floating cat hair. Some people can live like that. I can't. But still, I really really made an effort to try to become one of them. So we got back from Hawaii and she had fleas. Fun fact: fleas bite cats and then poop out the cat blood. It just looks like little black specks on the cat. Anyways- got back from Hawaii and stuck Lola in the bath- black specks and fleas, etc. Right when I stuck her under the water, the water turned brownish-red from the black specks and then she shook ALL OVER me. That was the exact moment I realized I was done. 

I built up the courage to talk to Jax about it. I knew Jonah wouldn't care. He has a love/hate relationship with animals. Jax loved Lola though. He would cuddle her in the mornings and draw pictures of him and her together. When Nolan ran away, he drew pictures of sad cats (that's kind of why we got Lola). It took me a few days to talk to him about it. One day, I was in the laundry room and I just had a feeling it was the time. He was standing right outside the room on the rug by the garage door and I squatted down next to him and said, you know what?! The baby is coming really really soon. We need to get our house ready for the baby. We might have to make some changes so that we can be all ready for your new little brother when he comes. And right then Jax looked me in the eyes and sighed and said, "We have to give away Lola." I was a little caught off guard. But replied, ya...we do. And for just a second he got teary-eyed and sad. But then I told him how fun a newborn was. And how special it would be to hold his new baby brother. And we talked about when Jonah was born and about when they met in the hospital. And then we spent two hours going through newborn pictures of him and Jonah and telling stories. He laughed at the story of when he had a blowout all over McKay and me in the middle of the night and made me tell it over and over. After that, he was fine. That Saturday, a lady came to get Lola. Jax and Jonah were upstairs building a fort with grandpa when she came. Then we went to Dairy Queen. We played outside all day that day and while McKay and I were washing the van in the driveway, Jax found a worm with our neighbor and said, "Mom, I'm not sad about Lola anymore because now I have a pet worm."

He has been fine with it ever since. Jonah on the other hand...we were sitting in the driveway (weeks?) later and he randomly goes, "Where's my cat?" LOL

OH and P.S. Lola's new mom took her to the vet to get her femur pins out and turns out...Lola is a BOY. I probably would have been slightly mad when she never got pregnant and started spraying all over my house. hahahahah

Jax and Jonah can't wait for their new brother. Jax has felt the baby kick a lot. Tonight we were watching family videos and YouTube stuff and he asked if he could feel the baby. He is going to be the best big brother. He already is. He is so patient with Jonah. So patient and sweet and thoughtful. Jonah is confident and tough and cuddly. Almost every day he says to me, "Mom! Nuggle me on couch?!" And we get a blanket and he lays straight down my body, on top of the baby who kicks him sometimes. I am preparing myself for the mom guilt of a third. But I think it's possible to split my time in a way that I won't feel like that. I am enjoying every age. I love every age. Except I'm not looking forward to Kindergarten. Jax can't wait though. He has his Kindergarten shots tomorrow and then we are going straight to Toys R. Us just like my mom always did with us. 

I am going to update this blog more. It makes me sad that I stopped. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

the world is loud, we are quiet

Just so you know I’m writing this in a Word document. When I have something to say, I feel like that kind of helps. The pressure isn’t there. I don’t have to post it if I don’t want to. I keep the title in lowercase so it doesn’t seem so official. Today and yesterday I babysat our neighbor while her parents worked. She’s right in-between Jax and Jonah’s ages- and while she keeps Jax entertained, she’s loud. The kids fought and played and wanted snacks and jumped off bar stools mid-meal, trailing crumbs and sticky prints all over the kitchen floor. At one point, I hid in the laundry room to scroll through instagram as a mini escape- because there’s no way those three were going to nap together. Her mom takes breaks from work at about eleven, so like yesterday- she got here at around 11:15 to say hi to her daughter, and went next door to eat and then back to work. I kind of wondered what she thought. Both today and yesterday I answered the door in sweats. No makeup, air-dried hair, and smiling, asking how her day was. She kind of seemed down. And I don’t know her enough to even wonder what about. Maybe because she knew her daughter was probably not finger-painting and learning the ABC’s at my house like she did at daycare- or maybe because she wasn’t home, on the floor in sweats reading to the kids with dried snot on her shoulder and mayonnaise on her hardwood floor. Who knows. And maybe it was something else. 

The other day I came home from a meeting late at night. And McKay said to me something like, “Did you even hear what I said? Get off your phone.” That day had been bad. Like just draining. Also, I want you to know that I tripped at church in front of a ton of people and felt like the most awkward human ever driving home. And I had a late meeting that night- so earlier I asked McKay if he could have the boys in bed by the time I got home- sort of a plea to just spare me the bedtime routine one night and do it yourself. But he couldn’t. Because Jax took a late nap. So that night, Jax was up until ten and then McKay and I talked and we went to bed. I told him I was sorry for being on my phone and would work on it. It’s true. I take about 30 mini-vacations during the day scrolling through other people’s lives that have nothing to do with me. So if you really calculated that out- it’s at least an hour, I’m sure, of mindless time that generally makes me feel worse about myself or what I’m doing. And it’s probably more time than that. 

Just to clarify, this isn’t about jealousy. And to clarify again- it’s not about fulfillment. I completely believe that you can love your life, believe in how you spend your time, be completely fulfilled, and still feel like you don’t measure up. And with other people’s lives so public and vivid around us, it’s usually the world’s yardstick with which I’m measuring. 

Today I read this awesome post written by this guy named David duChemin. He’s a photographer, writer, leads workshops, and the list goes on. Anyways, he wrote that as photographers, we kind of measure ourselves up against the current trends. He specifically was talking about the sharpness, clarity, pixels, whatever. Those are the things that matter to us (and he was generalizing obviously). The people with the clearest, sharpest photos are the best (generally). But it’s a trend. It’s just the way we measure ourselves as photographers now. And in ten years, when the camera technology is better, the trends are different (or whatever) the photos we took today will be outdated and armature because they don’t measure up. So we’ll buy a new camera. But this is what he said:

When we have nothing interesting or important to say with our photographs, and I’m talking in broad strokes as a community in this particular place in time, all we have left is “look how good my camera is.”

So what he’s saying is that there are all these photographers, who by current standards, are skilled. They have nice cameras, and are doing everything right, but really, aren’t saying much of anything. They are following a trend- working (or buying) to measure up to some visual standard that’s easily attainable because of technological advancement. But nothing is inspired or crafted or risked

But to a large degree these things don’t – they can’t – define what makes a good photograph, and I feel nothing but sadness for those for whom they do. Because they will never make a good photograph. Ever. Because the target keeps moving, and at a rate we can’t hope to keep up with.

Isn’t it the same for us. In our lives. When we scroll through photos of other people’s. There are some pretty loud trends: fitness, fashion, healthy eating, beauty, take-your-kids-to-five-museums-a-day, take pictures of really good foodie food, etc. And that’s not to say that people who post those are super inspired- or inspiring others. They say things that are valid, and important, and motivating, encouraging, and helpful. I just think that there is a lot more to say- to show- to teach, and sometimes those things don’t fit into a current category so they aren’t said. And more often than not, it seems like if we are to be unique, or different, it has to be so intentional- like we have to think it over, craft it perfectly- and then put it out there for everyone to see as something that’s different, that doesn’t keep in line with everything else. It is intentional and planned. I just don’t think it has to be.

Make your art with the tool you have. Use a Polaroid or a RED camera. Use film or digital. Use Leica lenses or Lensbabies. Create abstracts and impressionistic studies of shape and colour, or stunning landscapes that are tack-sharp @ 400%, but don’t kid yourself – it’s not sharpness that makes it great.  It never has been. Humanity doesn’t need more sharpness. That is not one of the things for which we hunger. We hunger for beauty, and meaning, for stories, and for love – among other things, things that are communicated visually through light and composition – through our use of balance and tension and movement and scale and colour and a hundred other things that you can’t buy in the B&H catalog, and won’t be found in the manual of your new camera, no matter how much money you spend, no matter how much better your camera is than mine. We get it. Hell, every one of us has, right now, at least one camera that’s better than what every photographer who created a truly iconic image before the year 2000 ever had. You can make sharper, larger, cleaner images than any of them, together, ever made. And you know who cares?

Okay, so in full-transparency disclosure- today I was scrolling through Instagram or Facebook or something and I saw that some girl I knew growing up was going to be a Beachbody coach. You know what I pretty much immediately thought? I was like McKay and I have been doing Insanity for months and eating super healthy, I wish there was some way to show that without being annoying or obvious. WHAAAAAAAT. Like seriously. Even typing it out is so embarrassing and dumb! Why would I even care? And not to say that people who are public about those things aren’t passionate about them, I bet they totally are. And not to say that people who don’t aren’t. But that’s the thing. It’s kind of easy to define each other by what we post online. That girl is all about fitness. That girl dresses her kids the cutest. That girl has the best house. That girl always has dinner on the table and is the best wife. And some of us feel like when we have it all (or some of it) together in life we have to make sure people know about it- or it’s almost kind of worthless. But I bet those girls have a lot of other things together- and a lot in their life is probably a mess. And it’s the same with us. 

So when my kids are playing perfectly in a spotless room and I feel like I should get my camera rather than enjoy the moment, I like to think about these inspired words, 

Do you know the other day my kids were PSYCHOTIC in Albertson’s. Jax was mad that I wasn’t getting him cake batter Teddy Grahams so he screamed for probably 20 minutes straight. Strangers tried to calm him down with bribery, nothing worked. Jonah kept pulling his hair and Jax literally punched Jonah in the face. PSYCHOTIC. We got to my car and as I unloaded my cart, still holding my screaming kids, this older man with tattoos up his arm pulled up to my car and stopped. I am ashamed to say that for a split second I thought, oh great, pleeeease don’t say something weird or try to teach me a life lesson right now. But you know what? He stuck his head out his window and said, “Just so you know, we have twin four-year olds at home…And I think you’re doing great.” And he’s lucky he was in his car or I may have just cried for a half hour on his shoulder. But my point is, there’s no way to really documents the moments that define who we are. I mean, we can post a picture and write about it (which I actually did). But nobody saw me struggle to keep it together inside the grocery store that day. Nobody is there at the end of the day when we are completely defeated, and it’s 11:00 and our kid is kicking our legs and screaming on the floor of his room, and we want to just slam the door and turn on the TV downstairs but we don’t. We kneel down next to him, pick him up and rock him to sleep. NOBODY SEES THAT. And those are the moments that I feel define us as people. As mothers. As wives. As friends. As sisters. Or whatever. And documentation is important, and so is passion. But some things don’t get documented and some passion is private. And how silly is it to diminish worth in the things we do when there’s nothing to show for it.

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Walk As the Sun Goes Down

These pics are from a while ago. Gosh I am so behind! About a month ago, we went on a walk. Jax is obsessed with "wishes" (dandelions). We went on a walk to the beach with our neighbors a while ago, and on the way up the hill he ran around trying to get all the wishes first. It was kind of mean and kind of cute. He loves them. Ever since he was a baby, we have picked them and made wishes- just not in front of McKay because he starts screaming if they get near our grass. He's becoming a total old dad. (he is almost 30). JUST KIDDING MCKAY. I'm excited for this summer. The boys are at such fun ages. Watching their brother relationship is so stinkin cute. Just today I couldn't get Jonah to fall asleep for a nap, but finally in the afternoon he got tired and climbed right up on Jax's lap, put his little arm around Jax's neck, and was out! They hug all day. Jax looks out for Jonah if we are around other kids. And of course, they have their moments- like two days ago when they were both SCREAMING at the store as Jonah pulled Jax's hair and Jax punched him in the face. It's so hard to tell with Jonah when he is about to do something. Jax is so easy to read. I have always been able to tell by his expression if someone is about to get smacked. Jonah- total surprise! You never know. Jax is starting to rationalize so much more like a grown up. I keep having to remind myself that he's only three. The other day we were at the mall with friends and Jax and his friend were fighting over our stroller seat. Mikilah was sitting in the seat and Jax bent down by her and said something like "Mikilah...I know you really like this stroller...but it's my stroller...can I sit in it please?" I was DYING. And impressed. No preschool next year for that kid, I am keeping him and his freckle-y nose home with me. One more year, that's all I have. School is so awful. Don't worry, we will practice letters and be social. MAYBE be social. 

We are kind of at a stopping point/break with the house projects. It feels sooooooo good. I don't even go on pinterest. I am so impressed with myself. I literally go on, and close out after a minute or two. I don't even want to think about my house. Earlier this year, we made some goals. We wanted to get bathrooms and other random things done before Jason and Jan got here- which seemed totally doable. UNTIL we didn't start until just about the month OF and McKay had a business trip one week and I got the flu and we were just scrambling and grumpy. Now I just feel like I'm in one of those dazes you are in just after you run the mile in high school. Feeling accomplished, but get me out of here and get these running shoes off me. SPEAKING OF EXERCISE. This is the first time in my life when I have been active. McKay and I have been doing Insanity for like two months! I cannot believe it, it is a miracle. I have been drinking green smoothies and feel so athletic. It's a new feeling to me. You may not know this, but I am rarely allowed to participate in any kind of sport with my family- and if it is an everyone-is-included game, I am usually picked last. So I had a plan to bring Insanity to our lake house and make everyone do it.  I am proud to say that I kind of whooped my brothers. And I was allowed to play in two...TWO volleyball games. Still not allowed in the "competitive" ones though. Next summer. 
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