Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weekend.




Uncle Alex gave the girls gift certificates to Playful Potter for Christmas.

Thanks Uncle Al!!!



We redeemed them this weekend after a few weeks of the girls begging and begging and begging.
It was a hit. And thankfully, due to the very washable nature of the paint,
 I didn't have to turn Kate Gosselin on everyone.
Kate, I get your crazy. Truly. 





We went ahead and made a family outing out of the whole day.




The sunshine and mild temperatures gave us a good excuse to play outside.



Aw, my dear Lundy girl. Will I ever stop adoring you so? 

Tyler made an astute observation as she plowed through the park on her scooter, awkwardly shifting back and forth with her head bobbing furiously and her hair whisking behind her round, determined face. It all looked so...uncomfortable.

"She balances on the wrong foot. You see that?! Instead of keeping her weight on the scooter, she's shifting it to the leg that is doing the pushing. She's her mother's daughter."

It is pure comedy watching it unfold. Lily gliding smoothly at a fast speed around the perimeter, and poor Lundy girl attempting to keep pace as she kerplunkity plunks her way behind. That is until she joins Tyler and I lying on the grass and declares,

"Wow Mom, I'm weeally ti-Ed. Can I lay on your belly and hab saMo Cheetos?!"
{Wow Mom, i'm really tired. Can I lay on your belly and have some more Cheetos?}

Sweetheart, if you will promise to retain even a trace of this sort of four year-old enchanting vulnerability that makes me want to scoop you up, swallow you whole, and fiercely protect you against not only the large but also the smallest and most trivial of life's challenges: I will feed you Cheetos daily until the very end of time. Can you do that for me? And always ask to lay on my belly?







It was a good way to spend the weekend.








Thursday, January 26, 2012

Worth sharing.



{click titles for links}

1. Book we're reading:

Tyler's co-worker actually recommended it. I think it is rather cute to think that two grown men discussed a book about marriage with each other. Written by a Christian pastor and his wife. I love a good husband/wife book-club together. Books can be such an awesome segue into meaningful discussion and insight into your marriage. If you have a husband sweet enough to participate, chances are your marriage is a success anyways. Right?! Don't let the hype fool you: marriage can get better and better with time: i'm still learning that in amazement...eight years and almost four kids deep!
We are aiming to read a chapter or two a week and discuss on date night.


2. Hilarious and poignant article:
Don't Carpe Diem.
My favorite part: the author's distinction between Chronos vs Kairos Time. If that isn't just the best dangnabbit truest observation of all time...read it!

Piggy-backed to it from this cute blog (thanks Anne!)


3. The many faces of Ellie Jane.










Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The infinite work of progress.



Last night I may or may not have referred 
to my children as the spawn of satan.

Not to their faces of course. I am, after all, a good and emotionally balanced mother who saves all accusations of demonic possession for tear-filled rants to my mother over the phone. Duh.. 
Her telephone timing was impeccable, as Tyler can attest when he was able to hand over the phone quickly as he saw me unraveling after a disastrous family night. Here! Talk to you mother....



I think it is safe to assume it was a poorly executed day. She kindly reminded me that every first day back after a vacation is always doomed for failure. It just is. I will have to keep that in mind, because the guilt was all consuming that evening as I collapsed on the sofa in tears and thought: I can't even hold it together for one lousy day - the very FIRST day back from a 36 hour hiatus in which I missed them terribly. Mom also generously testified that after spending 36 hours tending to these 'spawn', both she and my Dad could agree that yes indeed: we have our hands full. Wonderfully, blessedly, entertainingly full.

But FULL.



There are just days when they seem to conspire against you.

{Yes, examine closer and you will see: oh how cute! The baby is playing with an electrical outlet!}


Days when they kick/scream/claw/bite/fight through 
every attempt you make to create a decent existence for them. 

As Lily pouted through her 5 minute piano practice session, 
and London tore her worksheet to pieces instead of tracing her letter 'm's 
and both complained about the fresh pineapple served with their homemade and rather expensive organic scrambled eggs
and Ellie Jane ripped off her new shoes for the 19th time in the grocery store
leaving us re-combing aisle seven looking for her socks
And all three colored with markers all over their freshly painted bookcases
After they stole the gum out of my purse
and the pens
and the checkbook
and the credit cards
and my iphone
and then filmed me with said phone
threatening them with extinction if they didn't sit in their car-seats
and remain silent for the rest of the ride home
During which we listened to the latest chapter of Chronicles of Narnia
which we checked out from the library
where they emptied every plastic toy bin out on the floor
of the children's story-time room
and where Ellie was discovered standing on the computer keyboard
on top of the computer desk
before I forced her back into the stroller
when we promptly exited

All
three
wailing
the entire
way
out.



Yes, yesterday was no good.



But redemption is often serendipitous in its arrival.  



As today a fort was built.


Where they happily listened to stories.
And giggled. Because no matter how naughty they may behave...


there are always giggles.


These faces continually remind me to dust myself off,
have a good laugh, and as my Dad always says:



"Keep pluggin' away."












Monday, January 23, 2012

Back in action.



It is week thirty for this babe in the belly. 
I can't believe how fast it has gone by.
I can't believe how eternal it also seems.




Our weekend was great. 
Food, sleep, food, sleep, movies, sleep, food.
Just enough to make me miss the munchkins and gain an appreciation for a life of productivity.
It doesn't take much for me to get stir-crazy. Three days does the trick.

The Spa...oh glory be The Spa!!!!

How do I let such lengthy intervals stretch between visits? Why is it that over the course of six months I can manage to justify seventy-five dollars in the clearance craft bin at Micheal's on spools of ribbon I'll never bother utilizing and yet adamantly refuse myself a luxury that rejuvenates not only my calloused heels but my very. soul. ?

Genius hubs booked two separate treatments on two separate days so I was allowed full, undisturbed access for forty eight hours. I would return just to sip more lemon cucumber water and re-serve myself the pistachio almond cranberry nut mixture. 

Which got me thinking: expectant women should labor in spas. Check in, get a massage, soak your feet, change into a fluffy robe, lie down in a dimly lit room on a plush velvet sofa propped up on pillows watching a high def slideshow of the French countryside in a misty rainstorm while being serenaded by wind pipes and spanish guitar melodies, deliver child.

Sounds easy to me.
Consequently, I will refuse to believe we have ever attained a suitable benchmark for women's rights until this is included as a regular insurance benefit {sans higher premium...this is how the very vehicles of humanity should be covered}. 


{Room service: Banana bread French Toast anyone?!!!!!}



And I will end with a message....

Dear Tyler,

It was perfect.
Thank you.
Sorry about crying that night in the bathroom after the massage.
Massages release emotion, did you know that?
Here's to many more awesome island breakfast buffets in the future. {Inside joke, sorry.}

You 
make 
me 
love 
life.




Forever and eva,

Me














Thursday, January 19, 2012

Living the dream.

{What is it about a man and manual labor?! Rarr.}


He surprised me with the perfect gift for Christmas.

A STAY-CATION.
A weekend retreat booked at a local hotel, spa treatments, and arrangements made for the Grandparents to watch the hooligans. We leave tomorrow, and I couldn't be more excited and relieved to get away for a solid three days of sleep. Smart man, this husband of mine. He knows just what the doctor ordered before we welcome baby four into our chaotic den: time together and alone!

I hope I never overlook how lucky I am to be matched so well to this guy. He gets my weirdity.  That is the best part of a life lived together...working through all of that weirdity together. 

And weirdity isn't even a real word.


We enjoyed a quiet dinner out together this New Year's Eve. I pulled out my handy dandy wide ruled spiral notepad and began jotting notes, suggesting we come up with goals together for the new year (how fun!?! Right?! Party at the Haack table!). He gave his usual oh-my-poor-embarrassing-wife-living-in-the-Ice-Age-still-writing-things-on-actual-paper sigh and signature here-we-go-again-why-don't-you-just-tell-me-what-my-goals-should-be-so-I-don't-answer-incorrectly-and-this-can-be-done-quickly smile and graciously appeased.

We came up with a few good ones. Personal, financial, parenting. When the topic turned to our marriage, I suggested we both request one thing each of us could regularly do to make life a little easier for the other. Simple. Just one thing.

My turn:

"You could pick up your clothes off the floor on your side of the bed. That would be the one thing that would be pleasantly helpful to my day. See! Simple! Okay, that felt better. You're turn."

 His expression turned thoughtful as he warmly smiled, suddenly seeming more eager to engage in our New Year's therapy session. He leaned in, tilting his head and whispered sweetly...

"I know what would really help make my life easier...You could pick up my clothes off the floor on my side of the bed. That would be the the one thing that would be pleasantly helpful to my day."


touche.

Once again illustrating what I've known all along: we were made for each other.








Happy weekend!





















Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stick it to the man.





Winter night at our house.



Anyone want to clean the kitchen?


Mmmmmmmm.

I will not be cleaning. Nor shall the husband tonight.
I am sticking it to the man. Forget schedules! Screw Productivity!




Tonight all I can think about is sandwiching two warm peanut butter cookies between a thick slice of homemade chocolate cake, drizzling it in melted marshmallow cream, hot fudge, and topping it all off with a krispy kreme donut.




Craving a bit much?

I can't help it!
I'm trying hard to be good. Attempting to beat my previous pregnancy weight record by at least a couple of pounds. Oh it would be so nice to deliver an eight pound child and NOT have thirty five pounds to go! I must somehow channel those insatiable cravings into something more suitable like....blueberries.

l.a.m.e.





Doesn't it feel good to lose a little control every now and then?
I mean, come on!...who wants to be around a scheduled cleaning nazi obsessed with day planners and to-do lists, whose naughtiest splurges consist of fresh berries and an online spree to Zappos? Surely I can do better than that!




I remember the time I walked into a group of women and confessed that I had just eaten four glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. The shock and silence that followed was palpable, but was completely secondary to my own stunned reaction at their horrified gazes. Seriously, you mean you guys have never done that? I thought everybody did that. But instead of cowering in shame I couldn't ignore the sudden urge I had to strip down, batter my naked limbs, deep fry myself in a barrel of butter and roll through a life-size pan of powdered sugar while eating yet another donut.

That's right: FOUR! AND NOW FIVE
Make it SIXXXXX! 
SEVENNNNNN!!!

OOOOOGEY 
BOOOOOGEY 
BOOOOOOOOO!

I could watch as each one ran away screaming in a panic while trying desperately to avoid the flicks of frosting shooting from my fingers. 
That's right, you heard me:
 I said Four donuts
You uptight bunch of calorie counting freaks.



What exactly does any of this have to do with the fact that my house isn't clean and I've posted a bunch of pictures of my handsome husband being attacked by our rowdy girls?

Not much,

Other than:

1. To lose a little control can be a good thing.

2. I am really craving a Krispy Kreme donut right about now.













Monday, January 16, 2012

This marks the end.




Lily's birthday bash marked the end of the official Haack girl {back-to-back-with Christmas sandwiched in between- worst-family-planning-system-ever} birthday season


It also, I soon discovered,  marked the end of my patience.


It's no coincidence that I am choosing today to post pictures, hoping she'll instead remember these happy memories instead of the fury unleashed on this ordinary Monday afternoon when I found greasy lip gloss stains on every article of clothing and nail polish stains on the carpet.

Who, i ask you, is the moron who manufactures little girls' lip gloss to have some sort of detergent resistant mineral oil that forever destroys any piece of fabric that it comes in contact with?

Who, I ask you?


You may respond with: who is the mother who allows her children to flagrantly gloss and polish themselves silly - completely unsupervised?


To which I can only respond that I police this house like a gestapo madwoman bent on the complete eradication of all childhood cosmetic gaiety. Does this sound a bit harsh? A bit over-the-top? Possibly. But it is, without question, the inevitable result of ninety-seven thousand hours spent in a laundry room soaking tee shirts and scrubbing carpets. When the girls so much as take a bathroom break I sweep through their bedrooms, gutting every small article of aggravating luxury and stuff them into a safely labeled and locked container. Containers are swiftly hidden away with the intention of discovery reserved only for moments when I'm feeling unusually generous and playful.

But I tell you, I could hide these trinkets on the planet Jupiter and this Lily child will somehow manage to build a viable spaceship of legos and hair ribbon traveling faster than the speed of light, only to return and smear a vat of jelly glitter all over her freshly laundered bedroom duvet.


Today as I screamed the moment I saw London covered to her elbows in purple nail polish, Lily responded quickly with,

Mom, you're yelling.
You're yelling.
You're yelling.

That's right I'm yelling!!!!!!
So much for the integrity of a New Year's Resolution...which I asked them to help me keep. (Girls, Mom is going to try and not yell anymore, and I need your help to remind me.) Bad. idea.



Look at that cute face, making her birthday wish.
As long as it has nothing to do with her kindergarten crush 'boyfriend', I hope it comes true.
Oh yeah, and as long as it won't involve anymore makeup:
it will really help with that rather difficult resolution I'm determined to keep.
{no matter how many times I miserably fail.}


















Friday, January 13, 2012

Ice Cream.



Hey Mom, can I have some ass cweam?


Sure, you grab the sprinkles and chocolate syrup, 
I'll grab the ass cream.

London's voice occasionally has this New Jersey meets The Bronx twang to it. It makes for some memorable phrases. This one is the record-worthy sentence of our morning.



Happy weekend!














Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Becoming.

{Rub a dub dub, three - soon to be four!?! - girls in the tub}


Today my eldest climbed into bed with me in the dark, wee hours of the morning. She was too excited to succumb to slumber for long...

Happy Birthday Lu-bug, I sure love you, I whispered and snuggled her in close to me. I love the lack of resistance produced by a drowsy morning, the busyness of her day not yet increasing the space between us. I am so lucky you're my daughter, you big SIX year old...

I love you Mommy, and I'm SO lucky you're my Mom.


I hugged her tighter as my heart did its usual cascade of dribbling, aching emotion in response to her sweet words and raspy voice. Oh child, if only you knew. You barely hit the jackpot with me, a mere even return on investment at best. But me? I hit the lottery. The supremo jumbo bit fat outta of this world ka-ching ching the day I got you.


I'm a huge crier now. So much more so than in my earlier days. Engagement parties: wipe a sentimental tear. Weddings: bring the tissues. Baby births/announcements: get a mop. Two mops.



When I have the privilege of witnessing such events in other's lives, I can't help but sob into Tyler's shirt sleeve mumbling things like, 
"It's just .so. beautiful.  
Do they even know?!! DO THEY EVEN REALIZE?!!?
{At this point it becomes more of a wailing sob, insert hefty nose blow as I stand at attention and strike my fist high into the air. I'm prepared to give an impromptu speech until Tyler forces me back into my seat and reminds me that this is the reason we don't have friends. Only obligatory family wedding invitations for us...and don't even think about allowing me in a delivery room unless you're prepared to hear my ballad rendition of Echoing Green's "This is the Story of Our Lives..."}

  Do they comprehend the magnitude of this day, of this moment?!!! 
How this will change everything forever?!!"

I used to find it mildly annoying to hear women talking about motherhood. Blah blah blah...enough with the birth stories! The labor saga! The epiphanies! Newsflash: this has been going on for thousands of years. Snooze fest: your story has been told like...yeah, a billion times. You're like a weird club I'm second guessing joining due to all of these frequent public displays of emotion and verbal exchanges centered around your cervix and 'sleep solutions'. Shudder....

I also clung firm to the notion that motherhood would not solely define me. I would not be that woman who couldn't carry a conversation beyond diaper brands or playdates. No sirreee...not me. Motherhood would not swallow this vixen, this master of her own destiny, only to later chew me up and spit me out as an empty-nester left aimlessly frequenting nail salons and Kohls sales as I try to rebuild some semblance of an individual existence. Not I! Take that motherhood...just try and catch me! I will keep you at a distance as I outwit your cunningly invasive, individuality-sucking title.





But, six years ago today a little girl named Lily Tyler made her entrance...

And the world changed. 

And i surrendered

{Happily.}






{Happy Birthday Lu-bug, I owe ya big time.}