Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the meaning of life with kate crab

it was two years since my mother's stroke last week. i was going to write about it but the cord to my laptop stopped charging and i had to order another one. well, actually ryan ordered it and i just waited for it to show up in the mailbox. one should always marry a computer guy. really.

my dad and i remembered by having lunch and making a quick visit to the cemetery with kate and sarah. it's been awhile since i went to the cemetery and even longer for kate to go (to be honest, all kate does when we go is try to rob all of the graves of their decor. it's embarrassing). in that time kate has really grown and come to understand a thing or two. so, when we started to pack up and i told her we were going to visit grandma sally, she was confused.

"we can't see grandma sally, she's in heaven and we can't go to heaven!" she protested.

she was right. i told her so. i told her that grandma sally's spirit was in heaven and that her body was at the cemetery and that we were going to visit it.

"her body?" asked a perplexed kate, "where is her body?"

"when you die, your spirit goes to heaven and we put your body in a box and bury it in the ground," i explained, suddenly mortified by our ancient custom (but seriously, what else would we do with it?) kate, too, was horrified.


then kate wanted to know what a spirit was. and i couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how to tell her. i started a time or two but i just didn't feel like i was doing a good job. what is a spirit? so i called in reinforcements: i asked my dad to help.

"well, kate, "my dad said, "your spirit is the part of you that laughs and loves and when--"

and then kate was crawling away crab-style saying, "i'm a kate crab."

my dad stopped, looked at me and said, "did she just say she's a kate crab?"

kate continued to happily crawl like a crab away from us and i felt disappointed in her lack of interest in a conversation i had felt to be so real. we went on to the cemetery where we talked some more about where grandma was, what she might be doing and why we did not remove any of the really fun decorations from the other graves (in the car i caught her snuggling with a styrofoam egg she'd snitched from a cemetery by the car.).

however, days later our home teachers showed up to teach us a lesson about the holy ghost. as one explained that the holy ghost is also called the holy spirit, kate suddenly shouted, "THAT MEANS HE DOESN'T HAVE A BODY!!!!"

you guys, she does listen. and she remembers. while this fact is both terrifying and reassuring, let's focus on how it is reassuring. this parenthood thing, on some super small scale, just might be working, kate crab or no.

Monday, April 14, 2014

an afternoon on a quilt

when it's 90 degrees out and we don't have enough time to head to the pool and the house is too warm to be in, i pull out one of our quilts and spread it out in the backyard, in the shade of our back fence and the neighbor's tree. sarah and i started off alone and it was quiet, mostly, but somehow the bunnies ended up out there, too, then the dogs, then seth and then kate (ava was at a friend's house). and then, we were all out there, and the breeze was cool, the shade felt nice and we were quiet and still. it was a good afternoon. 

 seth and oliver
 ruby in my lap
 kate was picking these flowers for the bunnies

 a sarah who can sit up to play with her toys
 playing games with the flowers
 seth playing with sarah

 jack and oliver
 kate eating the bunnies treat
 this is what kate and seth were originally playing before they joined me on the quilt; temple run. but not for real, pretending to play it on old phones they've inherited from ryan or me. that's right, they're pretending to play temple run. it sounds boring, but they were having a blast.
 seth and his temple run game

Saturday, April 12, 2014

4 on the 4th...

ava's been making a lot of unattractive faces at me lately. at first i thought i'd try to convince her not to, but i think i'm going to let her. this is a phase and it'll be a phase that makes me giggle and her cringe later on. this is life, people, weird faces and all.

Monday, April 7, 2014

half a year; baby sarah

dear baby sarah,

pardon my french, baby sarah, but what the hell?!? how are you six months already? this time together, where i am your mother and you are just a baby in my arms, is flying past us. i feel as though i have two choices: have another baby or just roll with it. 

i am undecided. 

this month, sarah, you did a great many things. it's as if you felt this six month mark as deeply as i did and you worked hard to make it more significant. 

first of all, you grew some teeth. this was especially fun since you grew those teeth by NOT SLEEPING AT ALL. seriously. you spent a couple nights getting up every 30-90 minutes. it was so totally not my favorite ever. by a long shot. i mostly coped well, although i was a little bitter about my lack of sleep, but there was a time when i felt particularly dramatic and emotional before i realized that what i really needed was a good, long nap. so you stopped sleeping, i grew desperate, and then suddenly, lo! teeth! one at a time, beginning with a thine white line across your gum, right front and center. i told everyone about that little tooth, even the grocery store clerk. 

"look!" i'd say, reaching into your mouth (excuse me) and pulling your sweet lower lip out of the way (you responded by grinning and sticking out your tongue to cover your tooth. it was a little frustrating, but i guess i deserved it after demanding that you open your mouth so a stranger can look at your teeth (like you're a horse or something!). but sarah, i'm really proud of those little teeth. also, i'm extremely relieved that you don't have an awful personality, you're just growing some teeth. although, to be fair, you're still an awful sleeper.

also an exciting development from the last month: sitting up. you love sitting up so much that when i lay you on your back you do your best to sit up, which you can't do, so you just sort of curl yourself, your tiny baby abs tight (and unpronounced because you're so chubby) until your face is beet red. my favorite thing about a baby learning to sit up is how they suddenly fall over and hardly notice. sarah, you will be happily sucking on a stuffed animal, begin tilting, then falling..and will continue to suck on that stuffed animal the whole time, only with half of your face smashed against the carpet.

babies are weird.

the sitting up stage of babyhood is my favorite, i think. they can entertain themselves, they are happy to entertain themselves, and they can't crawl away and endanger themselves by falling off something or finding something to shove in their mouth and ultimately choke on. it only lasts a short time, and i plan to enjoy it while it lasts.

this month i left you for eleven hours, sarah. the idea of it was awful. i thought by six months you and i could be a part that long, but if i can't even leave you home for girls night out, how am i going to shoot a wedding for eleven hours and leave you with your daddy? you did beautifully. here's the thing; you're such a sweet, happy little thing that even though you refuse to drink from a bottle and you miss your mommy very much, you never stop smiling. and so you hung out with daddy and kate, going to lunch and picking people up and dropping them off, finally ending up and grandma and grandpa's pool, all the while happy and engaging. and i photographed my head off until finally, at eleven pm, when i got home, you awoke when you heard my voice and we snuggled up together and stayed that way for awhile. you are so special, little sarah. your sweetness lights up this home, your goodness encourages us. your little bounces when you're engaged, your wild arms swinging with your sharp nails grasping, your chubby knees, your dimpled chin...we live for your happy noises, your wide smiles, your bright blue eyes. even though you hate to sleep, you drool like a faucet, you've been known to grab hair and pull, we love you. we live for you. you complete us and we are so very, very glad to have you in our home.

six months isn't long, baby sarah, but it's long enough for us to understand that it is with us that you belong, and we are comforted in the fact that you will always be a part of us. sweet baby sarah, we love you. now please, for the love of all that is holy, please, learn to sleep through the night. i don't know how much more of this sleeplessness i can take.



Monday, March 31, 2014

books to read (spring edition)- for grown ups

1. how to be a twenty first pioneer woman by neylan mcbaine. good book by one of my favorite women. want to read something even better? read her blog: www.neylanmcbaine.com 2. where'd you go, bernadette by maria semple. funniest, most entertaining book i've read in ages. written by one of the writers from arrested development. 3. wild by cheryl strayed. worth the read. also, now i want to backpack. 4. the language of god by frances collins. ryan says it's supposed to be good. he's been slipping this book under my nose for months. 5. writing motherhood by lisa garrigues. recommended by a writing friend.