Monday, October 31, 2011

Control.



Our Sunday was a bit of a surprise. What began as an ordinary Sabbath day with intentions of peace, worship, rest, and family unexpectedly turned. I felt on top of the day as the morning began, we had a few hours before church began and I folded the last bits of clothing from summer that were to be boxed away. The piles were neatly stacked and labeled, ready for the attic.

Then.
I.
climbed.
into.
the.
attic.

What happened next can only be described as a maniacal frenzy, a burst of the most premature nesting instinct that has hit our home in a long time. Tyler arrived home from church meetings expecting to pick me and the girls up pressed and primped. What he instead encountered was the wrath of the organizational monster, the deranged gaze of a woman knee deep in boxes and fiberglass and indignation. 


Tyler said nothing, he knew well enough that nothing would be able to withstand this momentum. Not even God, The Ten Commandments, or any talk of a Sabbath Day. The woman was crazy. The fury spread like wildfire, and swept through every closet and cabinet. Linens, sewing materials, household utilities, decorations, clothing, shoes: all of it purged purged purged. The office that had so long been a source of unfinished aggravation was focused on. Come to think of it, anything that had ever been a source of aggravation or even the mildest irritation was addressed with direct and merciless attention.

Broken curtains were repaired. The unfinished corner painted. Pictures framed. Bulletin boards hung.


Three trips to Goodwill and approximately 8 hours later, a garage was full of neatly assembled containers. The office stood looking fresh and workable, the floors on our bedroom closet rediscovered. My fabrics were finally folded and color coordinated in my new sewing cabinet. I established a space to house all the birthday wrapping paper and supplies that had been stuffed for too long in my hall cupboard of shame.....

and 
felt
so
tired
and
yet
so
much 
better.

A few things have been aggravating me of late. And I find when there are circumstances in my life in which I have no control, I tend to refocus my energy on the myriad of smaller things I can control. Control what you can control...I tell myself. If it be finances or family relations or just the realities of life, I can channel the pent-up energy to do something. And if that means reclassifying our home library according to the dewy decimal system, then so be it. I justify this psychosis by titling it the 'conscious creation of my home', my best reality. 

My good friend's little 18 month-old daughter was recently diagnosed with leukemia. My heart sank when I heard the news. The shock hit hard, and has since settled into quiet and somewhat tormented introspection. I can't help but hurt for my friend, and shudder at the truth that life - any life - can change in an instant. Your perfectly darling child, the center of your world and object of your heart's most earnest prayerful desires, can still fall ill. Your pleas and attempts at safety and control can never prevent everything. She was just over playing with my girls two weeks ago! What was a month of Halloween goodies and treats and costume preparation has morphed into chemotherapy and heartache. It haunts me and makes me feel so helpless. And yet her mother is so strong, and hopeful. We all are. We have good reason to be so. 

It serves as another solemn reminder of how silly my own daily problems may seem. Life, if but for a moment, shifts into its rightful perspective.


And so I'll keep praying, and continue cleaning.





























Friday, October 28, 2011

Funny People.

We're heading back for our last day at our favorite Pumpkin Patch: 
Andelin Family Farm (our good friends).
It's become quite the hit of the area. And I think it is so well done we decided to buy a family pass for the month so the girls could continue visits to the storytime barn, the hay maze, the puppet shows, and to see and feed all the animals. The llamas are my favorite. Their teeth are so dorky and lovable. It was well worth the price, and yet I still finding myself overspending on all of Natalie's assorted homemade jams and goodies.

Lily is on break for a month - hooray!


Yesterday I found myself remembering how lucky I am to spend my days with these peeps.


{The Corn shed, where the kids can sit and scoop and play in all the kernels. How fun is that?!}

What could be better than spending your time with the people you love most?
As exhausting as it can be to care for children, gosh it feels full.
And I don't think I've ever smiled or laughed so frequently throughout my day in my entire existence.




For example, yesterday as I brushed the girls hair as they lined up on their bathroom stools selecting hair accessories, the following conversation began:

London: "Mom! I don't got boogas in my nose, Lulee has boogas in her nose."

Lily: "Yeah, well you've puked before!"

London (looking down shamefully in admittance): "Yeah, I did las night*."
(Last night is London's extremely broad term for last night/last month/last year/last half decade. She hasn't been sick for months.)

Mom: "Girls, Lily has allergies and London is feeling good today."

Lily sighs and puts her hand to her forehead: "Mom, it's just complicated."







Where else do you get such fabulously inane conversation?!! We spend such a huge portion of our day discussing things that make absolutely no sense: purple monsters are nicer than green monsters and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance while playing hide 'n' seek and marrying Justin Bieber and Daddy and Mommy at the same time. I love it.

Or later, as I dropped Lu off at school and noticed she was having difficulty lifting her backpack.

"Lu! Get back here! What do you have in your backpack?!"

It was stuffed to the brim, with what I thought was her fluffy jacket.

Guilty look.

I pull out:

1. An entire Costco bulk plastic container of almonds.
2. Our GLASS cookie jar, FILLED with sugar cookies.
3. A container of Pillsbury frosting.
4. A set of sprinkles.
5. Her American Girl catalog.




Nice try Lily. Homegirl had a party in a bag.
I wonder what her teacher would have thought of me as Lily brought it into class, but given that I showed up last Friday with my maternity dress on inside-out, I don't think she would have been too surprised at my lack of attention.



I find it frustrating and hilarious at the same time, all the moves this kid pulls on a regular basis.
It seems I'm always laugh-scolding, if there is such a thing. (I think most would just term that ineffective discipline)





And ya never know what shenanigans they'll pull next. 
I'm so lucky I'm here to almost catch them all.




Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oktoberfest Presents:




















A success. 

I think London's face says it all.



I am Rae, and I enjoy scaring children.

{On Halloween}

{And if you think I'm cruel, you should know that titling the narrative told by Grim-Reaper-Daniel a "scary" story is akin to calling Mother Goose rhymes satanic folklore. I think the scariest part involved the word 'coyote'. It doesn't take much to spook this child. BooOOOOOOooooHHHAAaaaaaAAAAA!!!}























Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just a taste....





Eden (check her out here) just sent a sneak preview of our photo session.





Can you see why I love her?!!


Can't wait for the rest!





Monday, October 24, 2011

Itching Fashionistas






Bedtime pajama selections:



A bit bunchy for my preference




But fashion before comfort? Ladies, you make a momma proud.




One night as we read stories, Lily threw her Fancy Nancy Book down in dismay.
{dismay is a fancy word for consternation. Consternation is a fancy word for distress. 
If you do not read Fancy Nancy books, I cannot help you.}


Why don't I have fancy clothes like THAT?!!!

Excuse me Miss Priss, what exactly is your wardrobe - chopped liver?!!! Do you understand the time and money and giggling and dancing-in-one-spot-jumping-up-and-down-begging-pouting-bargaining-pleading with Daddy-to-please-hand-over-the-credit-card-just-one-more-time that comprise your own ensembles?!!!



I looked closer at Nancy's outfits.

Hmmmm, that is a lot of ribbon.

Ruffles. Patterns, poodles, fluff.

Oh my!!!





As winter settles in and the darkness pervades our day, I just might try my hand at sewing.
I've seen too many sewing blogs to not feel inspired. I do own a good sewing machine, I should get it out.

I have a few Fancy Nancified ideas of my own to add.

And if I have a little precious diva (diva is a fancy word for Lily/London) willing to sport it, why not?!













Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Conference.


{Dancing Queen}



I had Lily's parent/teacher conference this week.



I arrived neatly trimmed, showered and motherly looking. Notepad in hand. Really, I was attempting to look like I'm up to the challenge, but even more-so to distinguish Lily as anything but ordinary. Isn't that what all parents try to do in some way?: try to get the teacher to realize that our child, this child, is so soo unimaginably special. Even if all the other children are legitimately so soo unimaginably special too. 

I feel that way in an OBGYN office or heading in to deliver a baby. 
I would like to give the following speech:

Attention Distinguished Doctors, Noble nurses, and Honorable staff,

Your work is greatly appreciated. 
I know that this is just another run of the mill, ordinary day in your work week. 
You have lives, schedules, families, friends, relationships, headaches, and stresses of your own.
But today, right now, for this patient:
I need to you act like your mother-freaking life depends on this visit.
That every ounce of your own hope and happiness hang in the balance, dangling in the unknown expanse of the consequences resulting from this child, this very day.
This baby is not my baby, this is YOUR baby. 

So act like it.

Thank you so much. The end.




I'm working through an adapted final draft version to be delivered to all future school teachers as well.




Lily's teacher is great. The conference was dandy. 

"Mrs. Haack, Lily is doing very well. As you can see from the progress report she is coming along beautifully academically. You'll notice the only areas I marked for improvement were in the social department. She's has a penchant for tattling and is a bit of a chatty-kathy."


"Oh my goodness that really surprises me, but come to think of it there was this one time that we asked her to tell us about her day at school and after she went on for twenty minutes we had to say good gracious Lu that sounded like a fun day but in our heads we were thinking man this kid can sure go on and on and on and this particular day was of interest because I remember my husband got home late that day and we were attempting to discuss a business meeting he works for a concrete fabrication company as their division manager and oversees the development of lift stations so naturally we were discussing that even though I don't really care for discussion of concrete as you can imagine but business ideas do get me churning with creativity, speaking of creativity i would love to help with the halloween costume party i am really excited i was thinking that lily would like to be little bo peep even though she already was little bo peep years ago who am i to stop her from requesting it a second time around and at least it spares me from having to buy another costume so i was thinking she could bring her baby sister as a sheep but if we can't bring her actual sister i have a few darling stuffed animal lambs that were purchased at Build-A-Bear with her Nonna, Nonna is always spoiling those girls silly just like last week when she took them up to Virginia city and they rode the train and had so much fun and came home with buckets of candy...
anyhoo i'm not really sure where she gets it but i'll be sure to speak to her about getting her chattiness under control."










Monday, October 17, 2011

Inspiration and Photo Session!


I had to hurry up and post something new to get that last post moving into the archive section at the pleading requests of my siblings. Too much Rachel! I stopped reading the moment I read the word 'thigh'. EEEEeeeeeew. Gross. Shoot me now. I just vomited in my mouth.
Okay fine. ExxxccUusse me for being open and honest, which I hope you always will be with me, kids. At least you know who you can come to when you encounter your own problems with prenatal flatulence!! You should be thanking me!

I really think that between this blog and my laissez-faire displays of breastfeeding at my parent's house, my brothers are permanently damaged. I'm so. sorry. Point taken. I'm going to get a handle on this.

Onto today's post!:


.........................................................................

Inspiration!



So here is the book I have selected as Ellie's first birthday celebration inspiration:


Minor confession: I picked up the book and thought instantly "Ah hah! This is it!" because I misread the title as CHARMelia. The first word that comes to mind to describe Ellie-boo is "charm", so hooray!


Wait, not so fast. Oops. Chamelia. As in a chameleon named Chamelia. Got it.
But as I read on I realized it was still just perfect.




It's all about little Chamelia, who always wants to stand out from the crowd and not blend in as chameleons are famous for doing. Chamelia is her own spectacular little person, a diva extraordinaire! 
However, sometimes she tries a little too hard, and gets herself into trouble.


Then one blessed day, Chamelia realizes she already stands out on her own merit. No fancy antics needed. She is special just. the. way. she. is. 

I love it because I think being the youngest of three sisters might leave Ellie-belle feeling a little last place at times. Hand-me-downs might get-'er-down on occasion. And she'll want to find her niche. Or so I would imagine.

But just by virtue of being Miss Elliotte Jane Haack the First she stands out enough. And always will! Ain't nobody gonna stand in the way of her sparkle.
Not even two older sisters.


................................................................................


Photo session!

This is my fave photographer in town: Eden Rose.


I had her do Ellie's newborn shoot, which in turn gave us a Christmas card that had multiple people asking if I had copied an Anne Gedde's print. Um no. That really and truly was my baby. Boo yeah shocka!


{Christmas card 2010}
front


back




So IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when I got an unexpected email from Eden telling me she follows my blog and wanted to offer a special photo shoot for my girls! 
After expressing my sincere apologies (it's just what I find myself doing anytime someone mentions reading my blog) I replied,

GET OUTTA TOWN YOU ARE LIKE MY FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHER EVER AND YOU ARE SUPER IN DEMAND AND NOW YOU ARE SERIOUSLY OFFERING ME A SHOOT???!!!!

i think I'm going to faint.

YES! YES! YES!

I couldn't believe my luck!

I will be shopping this week for outfits. 

Hooray! Stay tuned, and check out her stuff!
















Saturday, October 15, 2011

Don't let me blog lonely AND past 9pm

It's 9:30pm Saturday night and my two oldest are watching the second episode of Hannah Montana on Netflix (long naps today, and i have no legitimate excuse for allowing Hannah Montana. They also still steal Ellie's binkies and I don't take them away if it means ten minutes...or thirty...or three hours of silence. Sue me.}.

Hubs is {yet again} out of town, and since I find myself lonely and unable to use the only workable television in the house, I've chosen instead to be wildly productive and peruse blogs and update myself enough on facebook to feel mildly suicidal. Is it just me that this affects so?

{Backyard explorations: Ellie edition}


I can't complain about Tyler's business trips. They haven't been nearly as frequent as they were with the last pregnancy. Plus he has a job, a job that he loves no less. And in this economy, that means we are about as lucky as can be. But this month he happens to be gone two weeks out of the entire month. BBBblllleeeeh.

Oh yes, speaking of husbands and inappropriate late night revelations, I forgot to mention the sweetest bit of advice he gave me during that last motherly meltdown.

I think you need more sex....


Sigh, if only I had a dime for every time a man suggested such a solution...we wouldn't need husbands with jobs at all, now would we? How sweet of you darling, of course! Why didn't i think of that?


Oh yes, I know! Because in the spare moments that I do get time to steal myself away from the constant pull of raising our offspring and over-caffeinate myself enough to be able to climb into the cozy confines of our sheets without entering an instant coma so that I can actually nuzzle your hotness...., the second I so much as shift an article of clothing on my body in chimes the freak internal 'sports commentator' dialogue voicing alternately between the likes of John Madden and Al Micheals.

Whooooa! Would you look at those thighs!! She's pulling out all the BIG stops now....


John, in all your years of broadcasting have you ever seen anything like this?


Knowing her history I might have guessed this maneuver, but in order to win somebody is going to have to address this serious problem with lighting....


The whiteness....the whiteness of it all....John, it's blinding!


shut up shut up shut up shut up.

And if it that's not the issue, it's that I have forgotten to take my daily dosage of Tums/Beano to silence the squelching of my squished intestines.Wrong type of moaning.

Was that just your stomach making that weird gurgling noise?

Nooo. No! 
I was just smelling your neck...
MMMmmmmmm. MMMmmmm.


It didn't really sound like that.


What? huh?! MMmmmmmmmm


MMmmmmmmmm


Mmmmmmmm


shut up shut up shut up.





In other awesomely pathetic information that MUST. BE. SHARED.

Ever used a Neti-pot?????

Oh my flipping lanta it is to die for. A sinus rinse, who knew?!!! The wonders! My allergies almost instantly improved, my nose cavities moisturized! I beg you, please get one. You will not regret it.


So let's see,

Kids in total control of Netflix past 9pm
I'm alone on a Saturday night
Perusing sister's best friend's mother in-law's daughter's wedding album on Facebook
Blogging about my (way too somebody please stop her i will never think of her the same) personal life
and lack of self esteem and control over gastrointestinal region
While recommending Neti-pots for sinus health


Yep, that about covers it for tonight.


Here's wishing you a happy weekend!




Thursday, October 13, 2011

Motherhood.






A little ambitious for only 14 weeks, wouldn't you say? 
Okay fine, I'm not sucking in. 
Truth be told, I could have given you this shot last May right after finishing lunch.

The belly is 
15% not sucking in
15% residual traces of previous pregnancy
25% Taco Bell soft tacos smothered in hot sauce
10% squeamishly bloated intestines (refer back to tacos)
35% baby


I could just die when I look at my children's faces. Honestly, I wonder if there will ever come a day that I don't feel that intense tug on my heartstrings every time I watch Lily run up to her classroom as I drop her off in the morning. Her ponytail bobbing back and forth and the backpack that envelopes seventy five percent of her perfect little girl frame. Last week as I volunteered to help in her class, I sorted through papers and put them into the corresponding folders. I came across hers and felt a giddy warmth of the same strand I would feel whenever I would hear the name "Tyler" as a teenage girl. I'm hopelessly in love and obsessed. The way she writes her name. Her love of multiple colors. It's bizarre and strange and I'm completely biased as I arrange the papers alphabetically. Lily's is the best. Simply the best. 
She challenges me daily. If there ever was an expectation set about my motherhood experience, this child was sent to redirect it. She's made it clear from birth she is her own person, and no amount of motherly controlling shenanigans on my part is going to hamper this spirit. The scary part for me lies in balancing this relationship. She needs direction, discipline, and explanations daily. But like a horse, she can smell fear, and I just know she senses my occasional intimidation with her almost astounding level of smarts and charm and humor. I dread the day she realizes she is smarter than me: which I am guessing, at her rate, will happen around the time she turns twelve. 


And Lundy girl, don't even get me started. I'm as wrapped up in her enchantments as she is with Disney's Tangled. And oh boy is she developing the widest spectrum of emotions. Dances and twirls and giggles can almost instantly (and without warning) dissolve into the most dramatic heap of sobs and screams. Tyler and I just look at each other in stupor. This child is crrraaaazy. My favorite of late are her verbal tirades, when she unleashes all angst with her wide almond eyes and jumbled vocabulary. I just want to grab her little face and mush my cheeks into hers. They are so mushy and good, and now framed by the most adorable A-line bob EVER. Did you notice?! She alternates between love and pure hatred for this new hair-cut. But mostly hatred, which makes me feel guilty for chopping the longer locks that I'm sure assisted her in identifying confidently as the actual, literal Rapunzel. It was a selfish Mom move on my part. I just wanted that gloriously little round face properly framed so I can stare at it and gush. She has her Daddy and I wrapped around her chubby finger. She still loves to snuggle and cuddle with me, a complete lovebug, and I am clinging desperately to the hope that this just might remain a permanent inclination of hers. Right now, as I type this, she is playing 'piano lessons' by herself in the other room. From what I can interpret, she is both the teacher and the student. I hear her exclaiming "Good job! Now try da udder sing!". Poor girl, with Lily at school she is all by her lonesome, but with her imagination it's never been too much of a struggle.

Ellie Jane jane jane. This little stinker. I can't even fathom that she is walking. Her first birthday is coming up and I spent the other night at Barnes and Noble, combing through every book on the shelves, until I finally found the one that will serve as my inspiration for her first birthday party. I like each of my girls to have a book that is "theirs". Somehow representative of their life, or personality, etc. I will reveal it later! It is cute as can be, just like my Ellie girl. Every morning, between exactly 6:45 and 7am, she wakes up and stands in her crib and begins calling out "Hiiiiiiiiii! hhhhhiiiiiii" to me. Her crib is in our room, about three feet away from where I sleep. We're real hippies like that. Co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand and nudity and the whole shabang with our babies. They're either going to end up wonderfully secure in their adulthood or in repressed memory therapy. We'll see. The gamble is worth it, because aside from the misery of being pulled from my deep slumber, it is so fun to turn to the side and see her beaming little face smiling at me and ready to begin the day exploring. Her explorations have become quite expansive. I have frequently ended up calling for her throughout the house for a good five minutes before I find her: sometimes playing happily in my closet and sometimes splashing in a toilet. Just this morning we had a massive tug of war over a razor she had retrieved from under my bathroom sink. Luckily, it had a cap on it, but still! I was surprised at the amount of fight she put up for it. But a quick swoop up and a tickle on her fat belly still fixes about anything. I love this stage.

But make no mistake, this love and adoration doesn't exactly erase the plain and simple fact that this world we live in can be so, sooo difficult. Motherhood has stretched me to lengths of which I didn't realize I would stretch. Just the other day I had quite the meltdown. I locked the three of them in the backyard and allowed myself a good cry. The day had been one of nothing but whines and complaints, little fights and constant spills. It was miserably circular and I was running on extremely low fuel. By the time London dumped an entire glass of milk on Lily, I reached my breaking point. I cried to my mother, and later to Tyler when he saved me and took me to dinner for my regularly craved Vietnamese spring rolls. I was honest about my feelings. As shameful or guilt-inducing as they were, I felt no need to deny that I was feeling very much (at that point) disenchanted with my existence. This is hard... I cried. I wasn't ready for this....I feel trapped right now....I've never been very good at stuffing emotion. I think it is probably a good thing. No resentment build-up here! Denial has never been my go-to coping mechanism. I just explode on occasion and, for me at least, it seems to speed up the healing process. A few sweet and simple words from Tyler brought immediate comfort, namely when he said Remember Rae, we've been through this before, most of this is the hormones talking. Lol. It's a fact. Damn hormones! But sometimes, it isn't hormones. It's legitimate, damn truth. And that is when we know we need to change up things a bit. Re-assess and re-assign and re-organize. What I took from this meltdown was simply that I needed more sleep. And a get-away weekend with Tyler where we can just lie in bed and eat room service for three days. It's now on the calendar. Hallelujah! The next day I felt refreshed, and the day was miraculously charming. I found myself at multiple times throughout the day smiling internally at the blessings of my life and felt a renewed vigor to tackle the hard things. I think God has a hand in that. Uh oh, Rachel is really losing it....better send in some angels. Or something like that.


It's a crazy, beautiful ride around here. So grateful for it!