31 March 2012


One year ago, I was in pretty hard labor. It was fast, much faster than my doula anticipated. She wanted to be born, now.

I remember sensing through the entire pregnancy that this baby would see her "due" date come and go, just so she could have an April birthday like her siblings. More than that, I had an idea of what day she was aiming for. And sure enough, she waited almost two weeks past "due", holding out for as long as she possibly could . . . 33 minutes earlier and she would have been a March baby.

But, she waited for midnight to pass. The third April baby. The April Fool's baby, who, like the first Joke in Narnia, would serve to enrich our lives.

I still cannot believe that tomorrow we celebrate her very first birthday. My, how time has flown.

It seems to go faster each time. She's toddling, months earlier than her siblings managed. She tries so hard to catch up to them. To be big enough to really play with them like she wants. To do all the things she sees them do.

It is exciting. But I've already been missing my baby for a few months. This little girl isn't much of one anymore.

Happy Birthday, my love.

29 March 2012

what i thought i hated

Recently, my brother insisted that I go through Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Netflix. I wasn't interested. My family gladly ditched DS9 for Voyager in the old days. I referred to it as The Soap Opera of Star Trek. In other words, a complete waste of time. But he started watching it, and kept talking about how great it ends up being. At last he convinced me to give it a try.

It took me a very long time to get through the first two seasons. I still cringe when I think of those episodes. Horrid writing, abominable acting, and oh so much melodrama. Something is seriously wrong when the background characters are better acted than the main characters. So many times I swore that I would never watch another episode.

But then the writing started getting better. The acting improved (or, as Kim suggests, I'm just desensitized). The amount of melodrama decreased. And I found myself falling in love with Star Trek all over again.

It's definitely a different experience than the other Star Trek series. Mainly, the space station doesn't travel all over the place. Not only does this require more emphasis on character growth (which is handled very well), but it also increases the sense of home in the station, as the characters have their adventures on different planets and then return to it. Which gives the crew a bigger sense of family.

Then there is also the bonus of actually seeing battles take place, instead of having them imminent but narrowly avoided due to politics.

26 March 2012


Tonight I caught Arabelle sneaking her dinner into the trashcan so she could have dessert.

Her brother, who is two years older, has never even considered the thought.

I'm certain this is the result of some idle wish on Mom's part that I would have a daughter just like me to deal with.

That sort of idle wish I think is just so natural to a parent dealing with a trying child. I honestly try not to think like that about my kids, even if it has no real effect on the future generation's personalities.

But then the next moment of pure frustration happens (why must these children be so stubborn?!), and inside my head I hear myself rant.

I hope you have a kid just like you when you're a parent. Then you'll see! And I'll be laughing at your payback. Laughing!

hospital adventure

I have tried this last week to come up with something to write.

I'm not certain what I'd write about Dad's hospital adventure, or if I even want to. But it feels wrong to pretend like it never happened.

Not that I'm doing that in my day to day existence.

Well, here are the basics.

Dad had surgery on Tuesday, removing a tumor and a small chunk of intestine with it. Cancer. Again. My family seems to attract it like some families attract drama.

Thankfully, it's self-contained. Dad isn't expecting any further treatment, but we'll find out soon. He's home now. Healing. All is well.

19 March 2012

party plans

Today I've finally started plans regarding the 3-in-1 birthday party coming up. It's easier that way since all of them share the same birth month; but as the kids get older, with distinctly different interests, it becomes more challenging to find something that everyone likes and agrees on for the party theme. As Lila gets old enough to have an opinion, it'll be even more difficult.

We finally decided on the theme earlier. I had thought we had already decided on this last month, but they both ended up changing their minds. I wasn't too excited about the previous idea of hide-and-seek. Besides the blatantly obvious game (which neither child really understands the concept of), I was having a tough time thinking of other activities.

The new spy theme makes for easier planning. Especially since there is a specific TV show that they think of when they hear "spy".

. . . I may have deliberately influenced their decision by humming the song as they tried to think of a theme they both like and agree on. Who says Jedi mind control is just fiction?

16 March 2012


Today the kids and I made a spontaneous trip to the aquarium.

I was honestly expecting to be bored. After all, my first trip to an aquarium (that I remember, anyway) was in New Orleans. Certainly they would have a lot more stuff in the bigger city, right?

Certainly our aquarium is much smaller, but . . .

I don't remember an octopus in New Orleans. I don't remember nearly as many open tanks purposed for touching the fish, hermit crabs, clams, etc. There definitely weren't chameleons or an iguana. And while I remember seeing lots of sharks, I don't remember having the opportunity to feed and pet them. (We didn't actually do so today, though. The kids were too scared to touch any fish, and Lila too unhappy to let me try.)

Ours is also geared more for kids, so I didn't have to hoist the kids up so they could see nearly as often as I would need to in New Orleans. (That by itself wins first place in this young mom's book.)

Due to the trip's spontaneity, I didn't have my camera. But I was able to snap some shots with my phone - when Lila gave her permission, of course. Here's a taste of our day:

Less than 1/4 of the total fish in the tank. It was FULL.
The smaller octopus
This one, of course, is Pascal. For obviously Tangled reasons.
Since the other chameleon already had a name, Yonah named this one Hosky. We actually got to see him change color!

15 March 2012

playing along

I spent the afternoon playing a video game that Yonah is crazy about right now. When I've casually observed his playing, I've always found it to be lame and unnecessary. (As if Halo isn't the only necessary video game . . . ) But he loves it.

So, today I picked up the controller and tried it out.

It isn't that bad. I rather enjoyed it, actually. Easy enough to not be overwhelming, but challenging enough to maintain my interest, and a whole lot of fun. (Even if the humor for the most part falls flat.)

The downside is that I lost my excuse to not help when Yonah gets stuck on a difficult part (like one of the bosses), since he now knows I can play it better than Kim can. Oops.

13 March 2012


Last night I had an accidental experiment that proves my theory that the choice to stay awake is important.

Lila has been teething all weekend and is continuing through today. She was the most miserable yesterday. Whimpy and whiny and clingy and needy. So, expecting mass sleeplessness, I figured it was as good a time as any to start the second book of The Hunger Games.

The little one had absolutely no trouble sleeping, however, and I promised Kim (and myself) that as soon as the current chapter was over (you can't just stop in books like this), the light would be off and I'd be on my way to a full night's sleep.

I next looked up at 6am - but only after turning the very last page and experiencing extreme frustration over not having access to the third book yet.

But, even after only getting my (for now) usual amount of sleep, there is a very significant difference. Today I am much more alert, cheerful, relaxed, and patient.

I'm also quite sore/stiff. Next time I will be more careful about my reading position.

10 March 2012


Yesterday, we took advantage of the beautiful weather by walking to a little nearby park. Yonah prefers it to the big one we live very close to. He says because he's "still a little bit little", the little park is best. I think what he really likes is the walk.

The little park, our usual destination, is too far for him to walk there and back yet - especially with the playing done while we're there. So for now he still rides in the double stroller. Really he's too big for it, but he hasn't yet mastered the concept of pedaling. He's very close. It's just difficult to learn when you've outgrown the bike you have.

(We're thinking of getting him a new bike next month for his birthday. Shh! It's a secret.)

Today, we got to turn off the heater and have all the windows open, enjoying the fresh air during our Dungeons and Dragons game.

It was also nice to be able to send the kids out to play when they were just a little too rambunctious for the indoors.

I'm definitely looking forward to more of these beautiful days.

08 March 2012

sleep, or lack thereof

An unfinished painting; seven crocheted rows of another (failed) attempt at giving life to the pattern I see in my head; an empty Pages document that taunts me with its emptiness; a messy house; a diapered toddler who still isn't potty training; laundry piling up again.

All mixed with exhaustion from too many late nights, too many demands, too many fights, too much whining.

I'm not ready to think the thought that I'm not as young as I used to be.

But . . .

Just a few years ago, it seemed that I was most passionate when only getting small amounts of sleep.

Or perhaps the only difference is that before, I chose to stay up all night. Yes, I had regular, horrific nightmares that made it very difficult to sleep. But the choice was always mine. To chance another nightmare or to stay awake; writing, reading, thinking.

Now, it is my children with the regular nightmares. Now, it is my littlest child restless from cutting teeth. Now, it is my oldest daughter terrified of sleeping. Now, it is my oldest momentarily forgetting how to use the bathroom.

And I have no choice.

It is my duty to care for these children during the night. A duty I cherish. (Honest.)

It's just that, sometimes, I am almost painfully aware of Kim sleeping peacefully through every nightly disturbance.

In those moments, it's easy to feel resentful. To believe the lie that I sacrifice so much while Kim does nothing to help. To forget that I wouldn't give up these nightly disturbances for anything.

07 March 2012

the evils of facebook

Recently, my husband and I agreed that I would be taking a break from Facebook.

I first signed up for Facebook when I had no use for it. It wasn't yet The Cool Thing that it is now. I didn't really begin using it until I began realizing the isolating properties of depression and the betrayal of people that I believed to be friends.

Facebook made it easy to see that people I looked up to were interested in me. It was something I desperately needed to feel, and I thought Facebook was part of my "cure". As I started having children, I began spending more and more time interacting in that virtual world. I didn't have very much husbandly support, in part because I didn't know how to ask for it. I felt that without Facebook I would have zero adult interactions in my life and would then literally go insane.

In the short time since beginning my Facebook break, I've realized that I was right. In part. The primary adult interaction I get now is with my husband. But insanity is no further away than it was before. Okay, so I regularly couch my thoughts in imaginary Facebook statuses, and often contemplate the reaction I'd get for posting this random thought or that child's (mis)adventure . . . But, overall, I've been feeling something akin to a breath of fresh air. And, perhaps, I am more sane than usual now.

It's come to my attention that, though it was supposed to combat my loneliness and depression, Facebook actually strengthened the walls of depression that would cage me in.

I am absolutely not saying that Facebook isn't a good tool, or that it has this effect on everyone. But for me, this break from the social network is a long time coming.