Monday, August 11, 2014

A quote from an interlude

At the end of last week, Diego and Jamie were sitting together peacefully at the kitchen table playing with Legos while I was tending to the baby in the tub.  This, in and of itself, is an amazing and rare event worth noting.  Unless enmeshed in an extremely active and imaginative game together, they are usually fighting.  Especially when it involves Legos.

::: Sidenote: I think I finally understand why I fought so much with my brother who is five years younger than me.  I see it in action every day. :::

So anyway . . . Diego came into the bathroom and gave me this terrific quote from Jamie, who had been talking to him about the Lego motorcycle's kickstand.

Jamie said to Diego, "Do you know how to get this stander off? you?  It's pretty hard for big boys."

I love this in so many ways, in the fact that this is a perfect snapshot for Jamie's language and communication right now.  That they were getting along so beautifully and Diego actually came into the bathroom to tell me the story with pleasure and amusement, ahhhhhh . . . it made me so happy at the time.

But the icing on the cake was Diego's finishing touch to the story.  He said, "You'd better write that down, Mama."

The thoughtfulness.  His tender heart.  He knows that about me.  It left me feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside as I rushed to Jamie's Special Notebook to write it down before the next big emergency would knock it right out of my mind.

Then a couple of days later, I wrote it down in Diego's Special Notebook.

::: A final sidenote: I've noticed that if I don't write things down immediately, that particular thought or memory is essentially vaporized.  (Where is my mind?  Way out in the water, see it floating.)  But worse, I've also come to realize I don't remember some of the things I do write down.  Reading it either triggers the memory, or I thank myself for writing something down that would be otherwise lost to time and space.  My brain is too full, too full.  :::

Friday, August 01, 2014

Blahblahblah, cameras, blahblah

I've got to enjoy QT while I have it, but I wanted to get some kind of shout-out, some kind of something out here, to keep some kind of semblance of a "groove" in my blogging.

A groove.  Ha.  I lost that awhile ago.

I don't have any new pictures for you because I haven't had time to download the crappers (seagull, clam, blurry pictures, you remember), but we did just get our new camera in the mail this week.  We bought the exact same make and model as our last, a Sony Cybershot, except this one is pink instead of purple.  I don't want to go through the work of learning anything new, and besides, it was only $99.

We are giving the blurry purple one to the fellas.  Their pictures are usually all blurry anyway, so it doesn't make too much of a difference, and they are very excited about making videos with sound.  Diego has an antiquated camera that takes silent videos (which he has really enjoyed using), and Truen has our old-old black camera, a cheaper model that switches back-and-forth between the video and picture function, making it rather annoying to use (he has really enjoyed it nonetheless).

Kids with cameras are so great, just as long as it isn't my camera they're using.  Our old-old-old silver camera bit the dust when dropped on the root cellar floor by a certain little mister in the somewhat-distant past.  That was a lesson in parenting that stung a bit.

However, I love seeing the world from their point of view, not to mention the creativity ignited with the story-telling capability of the video function.  With my guys, Diego is always the director with Truen and Jamie in the starring roles in front of the camera.  "The stuff they come up with."  It's usually some kind of a battle scene on grand or miniature scale.

I love that they have cameras to use.  It makes me happy.

Jamie has been asking for a camera in recent months as well and I was so pleased when Diego found a Fisher-Price kiddie camera for him in perfect condition at a thrift store just the other week.  Awesome.  He's going to love it.

And now . . . to my book.  The Call to Brilliance by Resa Steindel Brown.

I'm trying to work books back into my harried life, as I'm always so much happier when inspired.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Photo Blow-out (all blurry and it has been too long, but still)

 Yi-ya's chocolate brown curls are so sweet.
The fellas were throwing balls down the walk.

 Accidental wren nest raiders:
Mice usually live in that particular bird house. 

 G&G O. came for a visit in late June.
Grandpa is funny!

 Babies are no match for this Grandma.

 On the front step at my grandparents' open house:
Diego looks like such a giant compared to the rest.
My grandparents are summering with my aunt & uncle in WI now --
I am so pleased about the potential for easier access. 

 Late-afternoon zonkfest.

 That sneaky little devil Truen.

 Too many pictures result in some interesting shots.

On their way to their first movie theater experience.
Truen barfed on the way home from too much popcorn --
Amazingly, he had the presence of mind to puke into his popcorn bag. 

 The 4th of July
Diego danced with his sparklers this year.

 E-yi-ya wanted to do sparklers too --
Thankfully he was just as pleased with the cast-off riff-raff.

 I love the sun and action in this shot.
Too bad it's blurry.  That dratted seagull.

 The various poses in this shot crack me up as well.
Jamie's shirt says "Hola Amigo" and is now
a phrase commonly heard at our house these days.

One more of Eliah --
He's just a'nudder brudder now.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Misc. check-in

I'm eating a snack of a banana, walnuts, and kimchi.  Who knew it would be such a great flavor combination??  But it really is.  Bite of banana, handful of walnuts, bite of kimchi.  Yum.

My original snack plan of two boiled eggs with a side of kimchi fell through when I discovered raw eggs in the carton marked "Boiled".  Amazing, but not.  The culprit?  Old Leroy.  The guy absolutely destroys me in the Tidy and Organized departments, but somehow uncooked eggs always end up in the boiled egg carton.  The scallywag.  I love him.

My parents are here in their second half of a two week visit.  This afternoon they are taking the three older boys to a movie at a theater (their first time ever) and then out for dinner.  I'm home with the babe, who mysteriously took a half-hour nap as his usual time, which necessitated another nap coinciding perfectly with the late afternoon matinee.  The bliss: an hour at home by myself before a quiet evening at home with my mate.

Ahhhhhh.  And so, as to not waste time, my little bloggerific pop-in must be cut short.  I have the 2014-2015 school year to plan.  I normally do this in April, but this spring just didn't allow it.  When I started brainstorming my parents' visit, I realized that my planning time is literally "now or never".  Do or die.  So I've been pecking away at it here and there while they are here to manage the boy-ohs.

AND.  My mom and I are teaming up to clean out and wash our kitchen cupboards inside and out.  Yessssss!  My dad is reading all the boys' school books to them each day and almost done reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe aloud, the start of our second time through the series together.  Awesome.

My sister, who also came for the visit, is playing ponies with the fellas every afternoon.  My Little Ponies.  Diego would perish of embarrassment if he knew this was common knowledge.  Bwahahahaha.  They're playing with my old ponies, the ones that Jayna also played with as a girl, and they all looooove it.  It is the sweetest thing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Monthly posting, then a catch-up on E-yi-ya

A perfect visual for my life right now: chaos and action

Honestly, who has time to blog??  Apparently not mothers of four boys ages one through eight years old.  Holy smokes.  I have totally fallen off the bandwagon.  

I miss the out-processing, reflection, and connection of blogging, but feel completely unsure of how to fit it back in.  It seems impossible.

Summer is kicking into high-gear.  My weekly plan is to spend one day at the lake and one morning at the library, with the rest of our time hunkered down at home: playing, working, schooling.  Our school schedule completely derailed this spring, so we are just starting our third term, approximately two months behind schedule.  Ah well.  We'll just finish in August instead of June.

I also plan to have the neighbor boys over a couple times a week.  They are twins, a year older than Diego, and ideal playmates for our fellas.  They are kind, thoughtful, sweet, and love to battle.  It's a war zone every time they come to play, with all the fellas choosing teams, bellowing and running all around until everyone is red-faced, in severe need of water.

Meanwhile, Baby Eliah turned one year old.  Amazing.  I am surprised by the fact that I am not at all sad about this.  This has not been the case in the past, particularly with Baby Jamie when I was almost heartbroken at the thought of his baby year ending.  Perhaps there isn't time to be sad.  I've also wondered if he still seems like such a baby compared all his older brudders.  Whatever the case may be, it still stands to reckon: I'm not mournful this time 'round.

All about E-yi-ya

He is Franken-baby right now, complete with the unintelligible utterances, tottering all around, and the smashing up of everything.  He climbs up and over the baby gate, loves to climb to the back cushions on the loveseat in the sunroom, and makes a bee-line for any unblocked you-name-it.  If he's not allowed, he's all over it.

I can't set him down without him wandering off and getting into mischief, so he is either confined to 1) his booster chair or 2) the baby backpack while I keep the household in running order.  He protests, and loudly, hollering, "Da-dow!" ("all done!") almost as soon as I sit him in his seat, or cries the second I pick up the backpack.

Other tactics include sitting him in the sandbox with 1-2 brudders keeping an eye on him while I work and supervise from the kitchen window, keeping him caged in the bathroom if/when I'm working there, or requesting a'nudder brudder tail him while I quickly finish whatever I'm doing.

He has chocolate brown hair in tight curls, the cutest thing ever.  I also noticed just last month that he has a lip-tie, where the frenulum attaches all the way down to the bottom of his gum in between his front teeth.  How have I never noticed this??  Lip-tie babies are supposed to have trouble with nursing, but out of all my babies, he came out nursing like he'd been doing it for months.

He says / signs
  • Hiiiiiiii-dere (Hi there)
  • Da-dow! (All done!)
  • Dada
  • T-ts (our cat, Toots)
  • Sign: More
  • Sign: Milk
  • Sign: Potty/poopy
  • Sign: All done

I sit him down on the potty every morning (and sometimes other times too) and he pees and poops on it almost without fail.  He seems to really love cooked carrots.  He love-love-loves his brudders.  He hits when he's mad (mostly mad flailings, but he had a few calculated whacks on Diego & Jamie the other week).

This fella calls all cats and dogs "T-ts" and is loving the chase-and-tickle game, particularly on the stairs.  He adores his daddy.  Just this morning, Eliah went to his Da and didn't want me back, even pushing my face away from him when we attempted the hand-back.  It was the cutest thing.

E-yi-ya.  What a fella.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pregnant again

Just kidding.  Ha.  But hopefully that got a few hearts thumpin'.  We were at the local garden center yesterday and Truen had the hilarious idea to stick his head in my shirt and say that I was pregnant again.  And just think: that little bugger actually did fit in there at one point.

In other semi-related news, this picture is completely blurry because a SEAGULL dropped a GIANT CLAM on my CAMERA in April.  I've dumped my memory card at least once since being home, but never had the emotional energy or time to actually examine anything.  I finally did today and realized that every. single. last. picture. in the last two months is blurry.  Oy vey.  Time for another new camera.  Again.

Finally, one last exclamation: can you believe our spring??  The trees are just starting to leaf out.  It has been an unpleasantly late and cold spring again (same thing as last year).  Until just the last couple days, nights are getting down into the 30's F and temps in the day hang in the 40's.  Freezing north winds, cloudy skies, cold, drab and dull.  We are so ready for spring.  In the middle of May.  Un-un-un-un.

I'm hoping to get back into posting more regularly soon.  It has been hard to get back into the swing of life, let alone anything extra.  We are still very sad.  It has been amazing though . . . life is forcing us forward.  Nothing is allowed to stand still, not even grief.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I've noticed that people tend to stop blogging during times of great distress or sadness, and so it is with me.

My brother-in-law died at the beginning of this month.  It wasn't unexpected, though still a complete shock to the system.  He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer last August and chose to do chemo; it has been a slow downward spiral since.  I haven't blogged about it at all because it has been too painful and private.  Too terrible.  Too unbelievably sad.

He was 44 years old, a devoted husband and father of five children ages 20-12.  While it is devastating for so many of us, it is amazingly hard to fathom the hole left in the hearts and home of his wife and children, or the pain of losing a child for Blaine's parents.  We are heartsick.

I was at my parents' house in WA during the time of his final decline.  It was incredible and very fortunate timing.  We didn't realize this at the beginning and felt upset at being separated, but how were we to know?  The trip had been planned months ahead of time.  And while he was struggling, we had no idea that death was so close.

But it was good, so very good.  In our absence, Blaine was completely unencumbered, both physically and emotionally, and able to be there with his brother in the final days.  It was an incredibly important and transformative experience, to be there with his parents and sister, our sister-in-law, nephews and nieces, loving their beloved into the transition of death and life beyond death.  It was so incredibly painful, but also so incredibly amazing.  The depth of emotion.  The devotion.  Love, raw and real.  The intensity of pain.

I spoke of this to Blaine's aunt at the funeral, of how simultaneously terrible and remarkable the experience was.  As I fumbled over the words with my heart so heavy with emotion and grief, she looked right into my eyes and said, "I know." 

So now we are pushed into the realm of understanding death as an amazing experience, an event that holds its own against the incredible joy of birth.  Accompanied with grief and desolation in place of the anticipation and elation, but singular and astounding nevertheless.  We just never knew.

Ultimately, we are left with the grief of losing him.  Now that we have moved back into the unrelenting duty of life, it is easy to pretend that he is still at work and home, like "normal".  The pain has dulled with each passing week, but stabs in waves with the remembrance that he isn't there, which is a leisure his wife and children don't experience for more than a few moments.

As my sister-in-law said, "Everything goes back to him."  And it hurts.  So much.