August 29, 2017

Taking a remember

I'm sitting here on the chair with my family all quietly tucked into the sheets, fans blowing in the windows for these hot summer nights.  James was up twice after I laid him down - we are working on obedience -  and Indigo was exhausted after a long day of only three 15 minute naps.  Life is a funny thing.  Yesterday, I was driving home the back way, and some song came on the radio that reminded me of elementary days.  I recalled picking blackberries at a friend's house, painting our nails with the iridescent blue nail polish, and the look on my friend's face when she told me that her favorite singer, Selena, died.  Those things are all just moments - minutes passing in time.\

I remember my first grade classroom having weird smelling bathrooms, and that every story was about some kid named Carlos.
I remember being in a panic because I wrote my piano practice time on the paper on the piano and dented the wood on the other side.
I remember peeking into the open Christmas bags with my cousin in California to see the dolls from Grandma.
I remember cutting morning classes my senior year of high school because my heart was sad, and I'd drive out to the lake just to sit by the water and listen to the bugs and the waves.
I remember being so excited to get a plum cropped sweatshirt to go with my wide legged jeans because I thought I looked super cool.
I remember driving home the first summer from college with the windows down, stuck in horrible Seattle traffic, but I didn't have one single care.
I remember watching my then fiance sob uncontrollable tears at our wedding, and then upon getting the phone call that our precious Graham wasn't quite right - the only two times I've seen those tears from him.
I remember the water glinting off canoe bow as we paddled around the lake on one of many dates that first only summer of dating.
I remember birthing our three children, and holding them after shocked at the love and mess.

All these moments - did I realize I was recording them then?  Did I know they were making marks on my soul?  Memory is an incredible thing...our memory plays such a huge role in who we are.  And its so personal.  My memories are different from what my siblings have written on their childhoods.  When I die some memories will get passed on, but most will not because they are my experiences and belong to no one else.  It is such a strange thought.  Maybe I've been thinking about it of late, as my and Brad's grandparents are getting older and memories are fading.  It must be a scary thing to forget.  To forget what you've done, or where you've been, or what you walked in the room for.  A frustrating thing to fade in and out of what you know and what is a mystery.  I'm a documenter - always have been, always will be.  And so as I think about fading memories, I found myself trying to squeeze every ounce of memory out of my children's lives.  Can I remember...?  Can I remember?  It gets stressful to think about.  I suppose that actively trying to make a memory won't really work anyway because who knows what my mind will hang on to.  I hope this little brain of mine keeps the good with the bad, the triumph and the struggle.  And so I'm left tonight wanting to pick the brains of my elderly family - what memories are they hanging on to?  What left a deep enough mark to stay?  What will my children remember?  I don't have a nice little bow to tie on this...just streaming some thoughts.  So good night. 

August 15, 2017

Dear Indigo: 8 months

 Dear Indigo,

Happy eight months.  A you lay sleeping in my arms, I mentally take note of your cool, soft, squishy limbs.  Your elbow and knee rolls and your round apple cheeks...I'm so amazed at the spirit your little body holds. I cannot wait to learn more about you as you learn to can get out a mama or rather mamama when you are upset and reaching for me.  What other words will you be forming next?  I can see your peaceful slumber has shifted into dreams because your fingers have started to twitch and you break out into big grins.  You sometimes smile just like your dad...closed mouth and wide.  You month you've gotten the hang of crawling on your knees and have even started trying to pull yourself up.  I better start planning for our stairs.  Little lady you are such a happy sweet baby, with shy smiles for just about everyone.  And those big blue eyes of yours with their black fringe...they slay me with their intense focus and loving stares.  Indigo you've been more interested in table food, stopped sucking your fingers, grasping cheerios, and love blowing raspberries and shrieking for joy.  We love you lady!

Mama, Dada, + James
 James left : Indigo right (both 8 months)

July 31, 2017

Portrait of the Month: July

These two...  they adore each other.

Almost as much as they adore their new backyard!

July 29, 2017

Dear Indigo: 7 months

Dear Indigo,

Baby, you are doing so well  This month you cut your first tooth and are sitting up like a little professional.  You are eating purees like a champ, and prefer applesauce the best of all. You are waking up once a night, and much to my chagrin have decided to become a morning girl.  Of course you do then nap at 8am.  You love going for walks, and have moved houses this month.  These were taken in our rental.  You sweetheart are the smiliest, happiest baby.  You prefer me to hold you, but when you're recently fed, you will be content with everyone.  You are decidedly not a snuggler because you have so many things to see, and do and try.  You love to wiggle about!  We love you little lady, and are amazed at how fast you are growing.

Love you baby,

July 2, 2017

Camping with small children: Northfork Campground

Indigo had her inaugural camping trip the first weekend of June.  The weather was wonderful, the campground empty (save for one other family), plenty of spring flora and fauna and s'mores...practically perfect.

Except the complete lack of sleep portion.

The first night, Indigo was up every 2 hrs, and James tried to be as close to Mama as possible by curling into a ball around the top of my head...yeah.  The second night I forgot to put a pull-up on him, so around 4am he wakes crying, soaking, and the tent is filled with a pungent urine smell.  Ahh, sweet bliss.  Lest I scare you off from tent camping, it usually goes so much smoother.

But there are really a few essentials that will make your camping with a baby/children so much easier.  
1.  Embrace the activity.  While my idea of a perfect camping trip involves laying quietly in a hammock by the fire, reading books, and eating s'mores and enjoying campfires with a walk beginning and ending each day...children, my children, groove less with this idea.  James needs to have an activity - he needs to be moving his big muscles, running, exploring, being loud, or throwing balls.  So we have a big full body activity in the morning and afternoon.  Yes, he ran almost the entirety of that straight stretch of road.  Lots of activity now, means tired children later. :)  Its almost my camping mantra. 
2.  Bring a ground blanket for the baby.  Seriously, do you want to be holding/strapped to/baby strapped in something for 48+ hours?  Neither does he/she.  Bring a big blanket to put out on the ground so baby can stretch, relax, and be part of the goings on outside of the tent.  This way they aren't eating too much dirt.  
3. Have an huge bouncy ball.  The cheaper, the bouncier and the more brightly colored the better.  Easy to spot if it bounces into the ferns/woods.  5 million game options - catch, kickball, volleyball, bouncing, bowling, dodgeball, throw it at the trees, kick it into the tent, the possibilities are endless here.  We scored ours for $1.00 at a local store on our way through town, and it was the only toy, besides a lovey, we had the entire weekend.

Thats it!  Those three things are huge lifesavers for us when camping.  Maybe these are common sense for you, but these three things really made camping with kiddos so much easier and more doable. And now a few gems from the weekend.
bracken fern
Cispus River
 wild lupine and bracken fern
Happy camping!