Thursday, December 1, 2016

thanksgiving: before and after

fetus thoughts by miriam

internet, i feel bad. i'm pretty sure i wrote a bunch of letters to fetus sarah and i haven't really written any letters to fetus nathan. or mentioned that he's a boy. and we're probably going to name him nathan.

can i sidetrack for just a second? when naming ava ryan and i AGONIZED. what names did we like? what name was going to fit her? was this a good name or a bad name? did it suit her? and i remember looking at her in the hospital and the nurse was like, "you need to make a decision" and i was looking at this little red baby with her mohawk and her tiny pink bow and i was like, "is she an ava?" and then i thought, "i have no idea WHAT she is. i just met her." and then i said to ryan, "this is dumb. if we name her ava, then she's an ava and we'll love her and the name."

so thus ava was named. (that's not the whole story, there's a better half to it)

and with this baby we were like, please don't let it be a girl. we can't think of any more girl names. and they were all, it's a boy! and we were like, oh good.

ryan said, "i like nathan."

and i said, "me, too. and i like ben."

and ryan said, "me, too. but i like nathan better."

and i said, "can we name him nathan ryan?"

and ryan said, "that's perfect!"

and thus nathan was named. unless we have him and he's a girl and then we're really screwed (although i really love the name june)

reason for that sidetrack: how we named nathan! and also, once you've named things together long enough, it gets easier. which might apply to all of marriage: do enough things together and they get easier. which means whichever child marries last is going to be our easiest wedding and i really look forward to that wedding. unless the bride is kate. then i imagine it'll be harder. because kate is kate...and that's a wonderful, but also a little more entailed thing.

anyway, no more sidetracking.

so i've got this fetus and his name is probably nathan, and i haven't even really written about our experiences together as sharers of the same body, and i feel a little guilty about this because no one wants to have their last child constantly referencing all of the times they were forgotten about because this family has too many damn children. poor nathan.

things have been rough this pregnancy, i'm not going to lie. i've been sick, exhausted, my thyroid stopped working, i've swelled up like a parade float, my hands are going numb when i sleep at night, my round ligaments hurt like hell, and for a few days this friendly little fetus sat directly on my sciatica nerve and refused to get off. i literally didn't know how i was going to get into bed at night. ryan suggested i roll, but i don't think he understood that wherever i rolled there i slept and that was going to be pretty rough for both of us. so it's been awful. and also, guess what? apparently all of this is NORMAL. like, other women who've had five babies have suffered the same. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS???

it means that one hundred and fifty years ago, when i would be a woman in the prime of her baby having, only halfway done, i'd be doing laundry FROM A TUB outside my LOG CABIN in the WOODS WITH ALL OF THIS PAIN. generations and generations and generations of women have just suffered and suffered and SUFFERED to bring all of these people here and my heart has been going out to them, especially this last month. you had to churn your own butter BY HAND and walk and walk and walk (and walk) across the plains and FEAR FOR YOUR LIFE because gynecology wasn't even a thing yet and i just can't fathom your sacrifices. for your families. for humanity. i'm touched at your ability to sacrifice and also baffled by it. because if i had been a woman who had done all of this hard work to have all of these babies and keep us all alive and then my country was like, WELP CIVIL WAR CALLING ALL BOYS TO THE NEAREST BATTLEFIELD i would have been like, NO MORE BABIES FOR YOU.

but nope. women just keep on soldiering. and having babies, which to me represents hope.

women, you're badass and i'm so proud to be one of you.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Halloween 2016

 halloween means a parade at the school where sarah spotted mr. laguardia the music director at the school dressed like a t-rex and instantly became obsessed. we took several photos, and he indulged her many hugs. she's still talking about him.

And then we trick or treated with friends and headed home for soup and bread and this trifle that my friend Rebecca makes that's the stuff of dreams. good dreams. the best dreams. i also managed to hand all four of our un-carved pumpkins off to my friend jen and her children for them to carve. my kids didn't even notice. i'd call that a solid win.
kate- a greek goddess, sarah- little red riding hood, seth- commander cody, whoever that is (star wars), ava- a horse rider. how different for her

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

3. years.

dear sarah,

well, congratulations, baby sarah! you are officially three now, no longer a baby, which is perfect timing because we've got two months before a baby arrives and you're no longer indulged like a family pet, but instead we insist that you carry your own blankets around the grocery store. this is a little frustrating to you, because you feel you ought to be able to bring as many things with you wherever you go. for example, at sprouts the other day you tried to bring willa the doll, three blankets, a pair of binoculars, a stuffed rabbit, a plastic horse, a sip cup (empty), an extra pair of shoes and three barbies. you walked in with two blankets. they rode in the cart the entire time and you carried the cheese with you as you shopped.

right now you're super into playing with the guinea pigs, riding your scooter, horses, and talking to strangers. you're super into strangers. with ava and seth and kate i felt like i had to teach them to look people in the eye and to thank them, or ask them politely for what they want, but sarah, with you i feel like i have to teach you to be a little wary of strangers. because at this rate you're going to be kidnapped and it's going to be as easy as some creepy man in a creepy van asking, "want to go to disneyland?" and you'll be throwing open his van doors and climbing in shouting enthusiastically, "YES!!!" and slamming them behind you.

hobbies that you have not abandoned since your baby days: keeping me from getting absolutely anything done ever, destroying stuff, and being picky about your food. "i'm hungry." you say. and then i offer you a thousand options and you hate every single one of them and also you're writhing on the floor and holding your stomach and crying because you're dying of hunger. with a thousand options. because you're hungry. but sarah, JUST TAKE THE OPTIONS. it's not like i'm some sort of health-crazed mom and i'm only offering you roasted kale and bell pepper slices. i'm offering you bell pepper slices to dip in RANCH. no child ever says no to ranch. SO WHATS THE DEAL BABY SARAH.

mornings usually begin with you dragging every blanket and pillow you can find into my bedroom and requesting breakfast. daddy usually gets it for you and you usually insist he sit beside you while you eat. both you and kate are very particular about never eating alone. if you find yourselves eating alone you bring your food into a room with people in it, or your cry into your cereal. then you refuse to eat your cereal because cereal with tears is yucky. which, i can't blame you. it sounds awful. you eat cereal and then you patiently wait for the kids to go to school and then you request some eggs. and sausage. and cheese. and yogurt. (but not vegetables to dip in ranch, please mother)

touch is your language. sarah. you love to have you back rubbed, your legs, your arms. this morning after a particularly heartbreaking and lengthy petition to eat a popsicle at 8:10 in the morning (which was denied) i actually pet your head like you were a dog, and it worked. you both loved it and calmed right down. i kind of love that about you. i love snuggly kids. you've always been snuggly.

you really love people, you really love your friends. you are happy and enthusiastic (and a bit forceful, but we're working on that). when the dentist checked your teeth he noticed that you clench your jaw a lot. and he was like, kids who have a lot of feelings often clench their jaw. does sarah have a lot of feeling? and i wanted to laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh because OH MY GOSH DOES SARAH HAVE A LOT OF FEELING. but i didn't. i think i chuckled. and i was like, oh yeah. and then he said i need to try to STOP you from clenching your jaw when you're feeling so much and THEN i laughed and laughed and laughed and it came dangerously close to crying, but i managed to check myself by trying to remember all of the mundane things i have to do back at home. you know, change the sheets. scoop dog poop in the yard. dishes. figure out what to do with the massive amount of clutter collecting on my desk. facebook.

even though you're totally into people, you're also quite amazing at playing by yourself. you can spend hours with a dollhouse, or a collection of barbies, a babydoll, or some of the many horse things we have in this house. i think it's because you are a natural storyteller. you LOVE a good story. books, but also telling stories. you like to make stories up if you haven't any to tell, which we've had to work with you on because you used to begin those pretend stories with, "one time? my sister kate? she went to the store and bought ALL OF THE GUMMY WORMS." and then kate would howl because SHE HAD NOT GONE TO THE STORE AND BOUGHT ALL THE GUMMY WORMS AND THIS IS AN OUTRAGE. so now you use pretend names and tell pretend stories and i have to admit, i love it a lot.

anyway, you're three, sarah. and we celebrated by going to disneyland, just the two of us (as in, no other family members, but jen and josh were there!). and we went on every ride in fantasyland that wasn't scary (except peter pan because that line never moves). we saw the frozen show. we had cotton candy. you threw up when we got to the car. it was a wonderful, wonderful day. and sarah, here's to the end of your babyhood, both the physical and the social standing in the family. you've been an adventure, and i treasure you and the spin you have brought to the family. what a dynamic you've brought! i love you my squishy, sweet, wild, funny, little bratty darling girl.



Utah 3

utah trip highlight: a lot of my favorite people in the same place together, eating delicious cupcakes (made by my sister). ava turned ten in utah and seth turned eight only two weeks later, so we celebrated their birthdays while in utah. 

photos include: uncle james playing barbies with a bunch of little kids (because he's the best). burke crying. i don't know why, but the fact that in both photos he's crying with food on his face is endlessly entertaining to me. amanda (the shortest member of our family) and james (tallest) together. james makes me feel little (at 5'9" i don't often feel that way). i can't imagine how he must make amanda feel. sweet grayson's little face. brand new baby emma. kali and sarah together. ava. being goofy and looking old. 

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