Thursday, June 30, 2011

a joyful mother of children

Already his little head has outgrown my hand.  I stroke it’s downy softness in the waning light of the day.  Already his little self has outgrown the crook of my arm.  Chubby legs protrude, wigglier as the days go by.   I think his eyes may stay blue.  They are piercing in their blueness, fringed by long lashes.  Already he is laughing, smiling and flirting with friendly faces.  He laughs at Daddy tickling his chunky thigh, or brother’s face pressed close to his own.  Today I wiped away a chocolatey kiss that I found on his cheek.  That was another brother’s sweet kiss, a fierce sweet sticky sort of love. “See Baby Pete” he says, with a hard “T” at the end for emphasis.  Seeing means not just with eyes but with a 2- year- old’s smackey kiss.  A little hand pressed on his head.   And I remember when he was just such a baby.  So I try to gather these moments and tuck them deep in my heart.
He wakes just before dawn, needing mama’s milk, and I don’t mind so much.  I flip on the night light and pick him up, squirmy in his crib, settle into our chair and he nurses contentedly.  I look for the first light between the cracks of the blinds.  I listen for that first birdsong, the trilling of dawn to a sleepy world.  I gaze at the soft curve of his cheeks, his nose, his forehead.  All soft and sweet and perfect.  I keep my hand on his head, the one growing so fast and I must stop and gather these moments before they pass.
I lay him back down to sleep, his eyes already shut tightly, his mouth sucking little sweet sucks as if he were still at my breast.  He sighs and I smile and touch him gently on the chest, reassuring him, mama is still here.  It won’t be that long really before the crib that held all my babies is packed away, sold even, and these babydays will be over.  The emotion of that catches in my throat and my eyes well up.  Yes, these days are not easy and I am easily overwhelmed with the needs of my home and my little ones.  But I love them.  These days and these babies.  My oldest who still likes to pretend she’s my baby girl and snuggle as I stroke her hair, who says, “sing to me, mommy” at bedtime.  My oldest boy child who always puts his little hand on my arm when we’re sitting on the couch reading, who cries sometimes if I don’t go in and kiss him goodnight.  My 2 year old who says “hold you” and reaches up his little arms at all the most” inconvenient” times but I can hardly resist; whose chubby hand presses my head down to his kisses at bedtime.  I want to freeze these moments and the love that wells up in gratitude to the True Father of these precious ones. 

But time is inexorable and the days fleet of wing so I must press the soft faces close to mine and beg for these moments to print themselves indelible on my heart.  So when these boys pull away from my kiss or speak words that cut, I can close my eyes and remember the tender baby boys that were and I will love them as fiercely.  And when there are slamming doors and rolling eyes, I will think of that sweet blue eyed baby girl who first called me “mommy” -of all the gathered moments, the sleeping faces, the patter of feet down the hall, the “kiss it better tears”, the laughter and chasing and eyes scrunched in prayer; the things pondered and tucked away that keep my heart tender and brimming with joy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

American Girl DC Grand Opening

So the Grand Opening of the DC American Girls store was Father's Day so we left our Fathers at home and had some girl time to check it out. 

Annalisa, Ruthie and Sarah with their dolls at the lunch table. 

Sweet Annalisa got her face painted

Peter was the only boy allowed.  He loved it. 

Our very pink girly lunch.

The store really is a fun destination for girls. Many of the girls were dressed like their dolls, and if you ate there and didn't have a doll you could borrow one to sit at your table.  They even have hooks in the bathroom where you can stick your doll while you do your bidness.  I must say, though, I was sort of shocked by the crass commercialism of it all.  I have never seen so many parents just buying up these expensive dolls and accessories.  I met several girls who have all the dolls, or close to it, and they go to all the stores and are totally wrapped up in it.  I know this is a wealthy area, but gee whiz.  Ok, there's my caveat, my rant, or what-have-you.  Don't get me started.  All in all it was a fun outing, and the store is really beautifully done.  But I hear the NYC store is fabuloso...

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

The weekend of June 18th we went to see the Nationals playing the Orioles- the Battle of the Beltways, they called it.  It was also the day kids got free jerseys, even Peter.  You can see he really enjoyed the game.  Note Jay's hat.  It is made of acrylic and wool.  It was a steal at $10, from a guy down in the metro.

No More Tangles

Ruthie got a summer cut recently.  This was something she wanted badly, but then cried right after the actual cut because it was too short.  (She has done this the last two times, so no surprise for me.)  At home she settled down and came springing in to see me with a smile.  She LOVES her new haircut.  Why?  Because it looks like Rapunzel after her hair was cut.  Whew.  Thanks Rapunzel.

Who me?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Farm Baby

Family Pictures on the Farm

These were taken on an old abandoned farm that played a part in the Civil War battles in Fredericksburg.  I love these pictures!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

a few of my favorite things

 a sweet girl crowned with clover

a boy has been here

new flowers in my old milk can

farmers market flowers

a topiary in my blue pot


The hydrangeas are in full bloom in our neighborhood and they are glorious this year!  If only I had one in my yard I could cut some...

The Creek

Our neighborhood backs up to a beautiful creek that empties into the Potomac.  It is lush with waterplants, filled with jumping fish, and surrounded by stately woods.  We have spotted a beaver swimming home to his dam, a few intoxicated high schoolers, and two Huck Finn-ish young boys on their way home from fishing here.  There is a path that leads down to the water and on cool evenings we like to walk down and throw a few rocks in the water, slap a few mosquitos and escape a bit into this little natural enclave just down the road.