Thursday, September 29, 2011

Life is Beautiful.

Our sweet Grandma Vivian passed away this last weekend.

We were especially blessed because we were able to travel to see her twice this summer. With the hectic schedule of life and traveling with children, it felt so good to know that we all gathered together this last time.

When Tyler and I received the news, I was lying in bed not feeling well. Tyler lay next to me and we talked about Grandma. We were glad to know she passed peacefully, a much needed rest after the suffering she had been enduring. We were sad to realize it was also the weekend of their 67th wedding anniversary. 

But happy too. A perfectly serendipitous time to reflect on the magnificence of a life spent together for SIXTY SEVEN years. Wow. Tyler and I marveled a bit at the fact that life as we know it, a mere 27 years, was only about a third of their time spent together. We can't even comprehend it if we tried!

There is such a beauty to this cycle of life. Here I was lying down, my body literally creating the next generation. Grandma's life work is now complete, and she can rest and celebrate a life that leaves behind so many to continue on her legacy. Just like the seasons I love so much to observe and celebrate in nature, so is life. It's ebb and flow is both magical and heartbreaking and inspiring.

I like to think of what Vivian was like at my age. In fact, I am sort of fascinated by it. I think I annoy my in-laws on occasion with too many questions. She lived during the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam, the first man on the moon, the name it. Stuff we only read about, she was a first hand witness to. There is a richness to her experience I can only imagine.

I wonder what she thought of us. Of this generation.  

She was always so gracious and kind, but I wonder: did she ever want to call us a bunch of ungrateful, money-hungry, entitled bunch of neenies? I would think that coming from an age before the invention of washing/drying machines, she would probably laugh at some of things I so easily complain about.

As I cleaned my house yesterday, I listened to the latest Relief Society General Conference addresses. In one discussion on living a life with charity, a scripture made reference to "silly women".
As I listened it struck me, am I too often a silly woman?
Do I worry about the dumbest things?
Am I too caught up in the act....the facade....the superficial?

I don't want to be a silly woman. 

I thought of the women who surround me in my life. The very models of charity. Wendy, who arrives every morning to get Lily and bring her to school so my mornings can be less stressful during this pregnancy. Summer, who calls regularly to see how I'm doing - always reminding me to call her at any moment and she will come help. Janet & Mitzi, who pick up my girls for a play-date simply so I can rest. Christie, who on a moment's notice teaches my Sunday RS lesson for me. Mary, who comes to my doorstep and refuses to leave until she has cleaned my bathrooms and floors. Debbie, who shows up armed with books and toys to read and play with my girls while I teach HER children piano. 

And each of the above mentioned have MORE children than me!

 And don't even get me started on my mother or mother-in-law, the pregnant hormonal fountains of emotion will just unleash and the tears won't stop flowing until sometime next week.

The list is endless, I could seriously go on forever. All of these women...all of these not silly (and yet remarkably FUN) women. I want to be like them.

I want to give back as much as has been given to me. I want a life as long and fruitful as Grandma Vivian's.

And mostly, I want at least sixty-seven glorious years here on earth with this guy, 

And beyond that: I am banking on eternity.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just a few things.

 {Seeing to all bed-time duties before heading off to his prized weekly basketball night with the guys. Such a good Daddy}

Missing him already. Business trip.

As I lay in bed, once again lethargic and nauseated and miserably within the strangle of this first trimester, I thought: what would I do without him?

Well, I would not be knocked-up and sick, for one thing. Hmmmmm.....

And thus the twisted humorous irony is born: the person who helps create the very depth of your existence is also the one who must sometimes save you from it.


Other item that is saving me....

Half chocolate/half vanilla almond milk. Over ice.

Weird huh? And YUMMY. I like to imagine it coating the raw and squeamish insides of my stomach with comfort. Plus it gets rid of the constant swiss-cheese-like taste in my mouth for a good five minutes.

Almost as weird as the above beverage is my affinity for tacos as my main form of sustenance. Every pregnancy I tell you! I believe strongly in the body's natural ability to regulate itself. So naturally, such cravings are clearly stemming from the biological underpinnings of the hunter-gatherer age when Taco Bell was at the height of its reign. Surely! I am simply a woman in touch with her body.


Quote of the week:

Larissa: "Um Rae...if it's okay I'm going to go ahead and vacuum your floors because there are hardened macaroni&cheese pieces everywhere."


Can't promise posts will be regular. Nothing in my life is very regular right now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This little Elle of mine.

I think only a mother really knows the fascinatingly complex personality of their little babies. Or she at least has spent enough sleepless nights hungover with exhaustion examining every last detail of a cherub face that she begins hallucinating character traits and non-existent communication techniques.  I think a case could be made for both.

We've all encountered the type of mother who believes her baby can speak in sign with the family dog.
Or the other mother who refers to her baby as so noble.

Noble? Really?

You're kid is cute and all, but I would characterize him as more along the line of fantastically normal. You're reading too much into your child, my dear. Relish this phase with unapologetic pride when he loves nothing more than crinkling a newspaper and flinging cheerios from his highchair! Hold you head high when you find him splashing in the toilet! It all passes too quickly.

However it has come to my attention that there is someone so deserving of public attention that I, a completely objective and unbiased bystander, am about to plead the case for the following piece of perfection:

Ellie Jane.

I'm telling you, there is simply no baby like her! Awwww, I could eat her.

Ellie Jane, you are so marvelously sweet.



Charming charming charming.

Mildly spunky with a newfound bend towards sassy.

And look!!

You've begun standing on your own.

Taking a step or two...

Just look at you! So proud of yourself.

Oh my, you are so fun.

You say "maaaa maaa"
and "daaaa daaaa"
and "neee neeee"

You wave hello and clap to "Pat-a-cake"

You reach into my mouth to try and grab whatever it is I'm chewing.

And by revealing these darling idiosyncracies, I can no longer hide behind this mask of humility....
you are just the best baby there is.
It's just fact.

I feel so sorry for all those other normal moms with their normal babies.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

We're ready.

When do you plan on pulling out your Halloween/Autumn decorations?

I've decided we'll put ours up the first official day of Fall, Sept 23rd.

A bit premature, but the little people have been getting in the spirit ever since the candy and costumes were unleashed at Costco. 

And I'll admit, I'm a little overly excited too. It's hard not to get into the spirit when I have squealing girls who shriek with pure excitement the moment I talk about pulling out our miniature Haunted House and filling our candy corn dish. We browse the Martha Stewart magazine and plan what treats we'll make as London says, "Oh my goshhh Mom I luv it soooo sooooo much, I luv you sooooo sooo much". I pull out my calendar to plan our apple-bobbin' pumpkin carvin' activities and they suddenly think Disneyland sounds lame in comparison.
Children simply make the holidays, and vice versa - the holidays make me a kid again.

Every year I grab a couple of items to add to our decor arsenal. 
Retail therapy has been just that for me lately: therapy.When the grocery store suddenly seems like nothing more than a warehouse of smelly barf-inducing possibilities, and just as my couch was beginning to swallow me in a sweep of lethargic depression, I was pleased to find that a good comb through Marshall's home department had all opposite effects. It brought hope with all of it's black glitter and orange pumpkins! 
October is coming, and in that month I will feel better! Let's celebrate October!

I came home with bags of clothes to finish stocking the girls' winter wardrobe. As I piled the cart with article after article, I had to explain to my BF that this isn't normally how I shop. I'm not in the habit of plunking down wads of cash on a weekly basis, but rather go a little nutso about twice a year. I shop a year ahead for my kids to get the latest and smokin' best sales. It's a trick I learned from my Aunt years ago, and I can tell any mother on a budget that it is simply the BEST way to go about dressing your child. Every six months (during prime sale-of-the-season markdowns), I stock up. 
I love this system. 
It is so nice that by the time the weather hits (whether hot or cold), we are ready. 

I dress four women on a daily basis so I have to take this stuff seriously. It is such a large task of my day. If I didn't enjoy it, I think I would quite possibly die {not to sound dramatic or anything}.


And I'll finish today's post with this week's top 'isms:


Lily asked to ride her bike outside. London immediately chimed in that she wanted to go too. Lily turned to me and spoke softly to keep London from over-hearing:

"Um, Mom....Mrs. McP (kindergarten teacher) showed us like a news report today about how there would be all these bad guys out know....three year-olds. And you know, two year-olds. And one I don't think it would be safe for London to go outside."

"Oh really, Lu?"

"Uh huh."

"Is that the TRUTH?"

Smile cracks, she buries her head in her hands.

Where does she come up with this stuff?



After a morning of errands and a final stint at the library, London received her bribe treat for behaving like a semi-civilized human being. She picked Reese's peanut butter cups out of the vending machine (her favorite).

As we walked to the car, she suddenly threw the package and fell to the ground sobbing,

"It's BLEEDING!!!!!! It's BLEEDING!!!"


I maneuvered the 45 books we had just checked out to the side of the car, shifted Ellie on my hip and bent down to grab the discarded treat package. I examined the semi-MELTED contents as London continued to lie sprawled out on the cement, looking up into the sky wailing.

"London, for goodness sakes! It's just a little melted. Here, try it."

She smeared the chocolate peanut butter combo over her face as she gobbled it down and smiled sheepishly through her tears. Apparently she likes bleeding candy after all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let's start with the part where Rae lost control of her entire existence...

I am 27 years old and now the mother of almost four children. F.O.U.R. 


When I think of it, I skim through a wide array of thoughts/emotion.

This is happy
this is insane
this is not that insane
well, a little
i am completely overwhelmed
i am so grateful
i am scared
but not that scared
but okay, a little scared
i always wanted this
am i normal?
i hope so
i hope not
what will people think?
who cares what people think
will i be a good mom to four?
of course i'll be a good mom to four.
no, no i will quite possibly be a terrible mother to four
i'm barely holding on with three
but they are a marvelous bunch
i am doing a good job
i am at least trying to do a good job
nobody has it better than me
somebody save me

Who could have possibly foreseen that this stream-of-consciousness would be the direct consequence of a random weeknight date turned utterly reckless after husband utilized a dangerous amount of flirt-eye while complimenting my $7 Target Merona shades over a sampler of dessert Pazookies? I had just gotten a smokin' deal on self-tanner as well. The sheer vulnerability of this situation was obvious in the manufactured golden hue of my legs....

somebody was feeling a little too invincible.

So, Ladies beware:

self-tanner + pazookies + sweet talking husband = babies babies babies.

We've known since the last week of July, as I nervously paced the floors biting my nails and lamenting to Tyler the predicament I believed we had gotten ourselves in. And in all honesty, I was scared and very much feeling like this was not the time to have a baby. I already have a baby!, I thought. 

Once I received the positive test, I cried - then smiled - then cried - then smiled.

And as miracles go, it didn't take long for a gentle peace to settle over my being. 
This baby is meant to be, a blessing indeed.

As far as I'm concerned, 
there are no 'mistakes' in this family.
no 'accidents'.

Just surprises.  

And I've always loved a good surprise. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ready for this?

Pleased to introduce

our happy surprise.

Little baby bean, #4.

And if you think you're shocked, you should have seen MY reaction.

Details to come...

I am happy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back with a BANG. We're talking a BIG bang...

So we're back.
San Francisco was lovely. However I have no decent pictures to provide. SERIOUSLY?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I left with the best of intentions to document everything. And everywhere we'd go I'd say, oh shoot I forgot the camera! And worst yet, even back at the cute apartment I never ended up shooting any pictures of the darling decor because the porta-crib and pull-out bed always seemed to be out. We'll clean up and then take pictures I'd say....but then nothing. It is such a cute little place too, all fresh and newlywed with no booger clad children's hand-prints on anything. And the towels, oh the towels! Am I the only one who remembers the glory of newlywed towels? Soft and clean and expensive because you weren't the one doing the purchasing!?! 
Sigh, the luxuries of that first married year.

 All I have is this shot of Baker's Beach with Ellie. The newlyweds live right up the street, so Sarah and I walked down from their place and took a stroll one lovely afternoon. The air was heavenly and cool. But I won't insult Sarah or myself by posting the pictures we took of each other. No sirree. 

However, I must say our trip was hardly cliche. We didn't really hit up the usual touristy locales. Instead we opted for Sarah and Christopher's favorite Farmer's market spot for some fresh flowers and to-die-for pluots and juicy oranges. We ate the most amazing 'millionaire's bacon' at Sweet Maple for breakfast. Tyler and I also sneaked away for a while and went downtown to do some shopping. I love that my man loves a good pair of shoes. We grabbed him a couple of much needed pairs. I find him so sexy in a new pair of kicks. It was fun to stroll hand in hand through the stores without interruptions. There was once a day Tyler would roll his eyes and beg to leave every store, but I think having children has taught him that any event which does not require toting diaper bags and strollers and car seats and cheerios and baby food and bibs and blankets and binkies is really worth savoring, even if it means your wife drags you into sample the latest bath products at The Body Shop.

We loved the usual token crazies as well. The winning weirdo of this trip was a homeless man with a huge sign that read, 
"Please give me some pot so i can get REALLY HIGH."

Sweet San Francisco, life just wouldn't be as interesting without you.

{Thank you for hosting us Sarah and Chris!}



There are some BIG changes brewing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Tyler and I are escaping with Ellie this weekend.

Nonna is taking the two older girls for a special Nonna/girl vacation, I hear they have special plans at a fun hotel with a great pool. sPoiLeD!

Tyler and I are taking advantage of the free childcare 
and going to San Francisco to see the newlyweds.
I can't wait to see their cute apartment and roam the misty, salty aired hills of the city. It will feel so crisp and refreshing. San Francisco has long been one of Tyler and I's favorite get-aways. I'm so glad I have a good reason to go more often. 
Christmas shopping in San Fran?
Sarah has been begging us to bring the girls, so we are happy to take Ellie-belle and leave her in the care of 'Auntie Sawah and Uncle Cwistofer'. We're sure they'll want a baby immediately after she leaves. She has that effect. 
Lately, she follows me around the house wherever I go, babbling "Ma ma , ma ma, Ma maaaaa!" 
Oh my sweet baby, I love her.

Hope you have a happy up-coming three day weekend!

The workings of Autumn are in the air, can you feel it?