July 21, 2014

right where I am: 2014

Ailis Evelyn - 7 years, 1 month, 8 days
Noah Griffin - 4 years, 10 months, 21 days

Last time I wrote for this linkup I had no idea that a brand new baby boy had only days before begun making his determined way into my life. Throughout those long months, even as my belly grew and despite his constant movement, I did not really think it was possible until the night I finally held him in my arms, all grey and slimy and completely, utterly calm. Fingers curling and uncurling, as theirs never did, eyes open and alert, as theirs never were.

I marked Lissie's day in my heart only this year, my head and my hands being mostly full of her new brother. I expect Noah's will be the same. A little extra kindness for myself, a little extra softness for those around me. A grateful heart.

I love you, my babies. Always have, always will.

I am homesick for their faces. It would be the greatest gift imaginable to know their voices, to hear them speak just once. To feel their hands in mine. To have patted their backs and smoothed their hair and kissed their cheeks, as I do for their brother. The one who stayed. The one who lived. There are moments when the distinction crushes me, but I am ever resilient.

I am asked all the time if Hunter is my first. Sometimes I hesitate, but I always say yes. I call him Biggest, because he is. They never got to be so big. But it's ok. He is not his brother or his sister, and I don't need him to be. He is himself and he is perfect. He is just exactly right. In my mind's eye, the ghosts of his siblings trail him wherever he goes. And they are just exactly right, too. I know and I believe they know: right now, we are each where we need to be.

Previous years' posts: 2011: part 1, 2011: part 2, 2012, 2013
Join in here: still life with circles

July 18, 2014

fake it till you make it

Things were seeming pretty bleak these last few weeks. In retrospect it really comes down to not taking good enough care of myself, and no one else stepping up to encourage me to do so either. Had to struggle through some tough decisions and have a few hard conversations with Phil and lost no little amount of already elusive sleep. Even though not everything is resolved yet, in the meantime I have adopted a full force campaign of Fake It Till You Make It, and I must say, it is working wonders, helping me to slowly shrug off the layers of creeping resentment and despair. I feel so much better. It is amazing what conciously deciding to be positive, optimistic, and affectionate can do for your outlook on life.

July 17, 2014


I smell different now,
of sweat and breastmilk
intermingled, but it is
not unpleasant
it reminds me
of bread rising, wholesome
welcoming and warm.

July 10, 2014

working mom problems

Shouldn't the Breast Pump be as Elegant as an iPhone and as quiet as a Prius by Now? (Article from the New York Times)

I was already thinking about whether I could invent a better breast pump, because they are just so awful, but finding out that they have remained largely unchanged and unimproved for decades is appalling. And they were originally designed by men, give me a frickin' break!

Anyway, I think I may have found a calling.

July 7, 2014

rice cereal and existentialism

I thought life was passing quickly before, but nothing makes time seem to pick up speed like watching a baby grow and change right before your eyes. He is so awesome and active and awake to the world.

He started rolling for real-real after I went back to work. He could roll before, but he didn't very much, probably because his big sweet head is too heavy. Though even now he mostly kind of rolls around his head. Like a pinwheel, or like you may have seen a breakdancer do. He likes to sit up, but still falls forward after a second or two. I tell him not to worry, his head is just heavy because he has such a big smart brain. Like mama, Phil adds, smart as well.

I bought Hunter a booster seat last week, where he leans nonchalantly and practices picking up rice snacks. He eats cereal and bananas on the regular, and has tried squash and mangoes and apples and other squishable things. But his favorite food so far is avacado, which makes me oddly happy for reasons I can't explain. He gets super excited about it and makes us laugh. He also tried drinking water out of a plastic cup recently, which he first thought was a funny joke, then decided was a mean one.

I love every single one of his facial expressions, and all of the noises he makes, especially when he surprises himself with a particularly loud squawk. He doesn't really chatter, so it feels special when he tries to talk, like he really wants to communicate something important with you.

He has met so many milestones so suddenly that for a few days I was experiencing some level of panic as my own mortality was made abundantly clear to me by way of his rapid development, and I saw his (and therefore my) whole career as a human playing out as if in fast forward on a movie screen in my mind. All I could think was, Holy shit, it's not going to be like this forever. One day he will be an adult and I will be old and then it will all be over and I don't know what comes next. And then my brain would start melting, like, How the hell am I supposed to deal with the weight of this knowledge? Shit, shit, shitshitshitshitshit, holy fucking shit, no stop no, etc.

Usually I have no fear of death and can rationalize the end of my own existence quite well, but I am so attached to this tiny person and his progress is so easy to see and I care so much about it that it throws many of my complacent attitudes into disarray. I think this is a big part of what we are getting at when we say we wish that babies could stay babies forever. It was easier when I had no strong attachments. There were people I loved very much of course, and who loved me, but I knew they could get on just as well or almost just as well without me if they needed to. My son would not get on just as well without me.

And I actually like being alive most of the time now, too, so there's that.

I have adjusted mentally and am doing better, but it was an uncomfortable bout of insecurity to say the least. Thank goodness our minds are generally good at distracting us when things get too intense. Self preservation and whatnot.


I haven't started his baby book yet (though I did finally purchase one, omg!) so I am using this space to help document his firsts and my personal/parental freak-outs alike. My instagram has also turned into mostly Huntergram since he was born but for the same reason so I am unapologetic.

Seasons, you know?