Wednesday, May 29, 2013

tiny dancers.

Guess what?


I am sitting here with my Asian Wonton salad at the corner bakery and its about to get some shady up in heya.

I decided that for this special night away, spent writing and recording and whatnot, I was going to shake up the ENTIRE blogging scene. Attempt something really different. 

I'm going to post pictures of my children.
Explore thoughts on motherhood
Demonstrate a pendant banner tutorial
Share a cupcake recipe
And lastly,
 photograph my shoes.

YOU GOT IT HERE FIRST FOLKS. internet revolution right here.

Okay fine. I don't know how to make a pendant banner. I will be eating a cupcake, but will not post the recipe. And I'm wearing old navy flip flops circa 2004. As much as you were hoping for saltwaters or rainboots. i know.

So let's just settle for talk and photos of my offspring?! Yes! Let's do it.

I always find it funny that whenever tyler and I actually get away, we spend the large majority of our time oogling cell phones pics of our kids and talking about how much we love them. It's so ironic that you spend your whole life waiting to get kids, then you get them...then you spend the rest of your life desperately searching for every possible opportunity to LEAVE THEM WITH A BABYSITTER. Your survival literally depends on the daily and weekly countdowns between nap time, bedtime, and away time. 
And sigh, that moment when you finally get AWAY. GLORY BE. And what do you do that time? Pull out your phone, watch videos from the day, and generally obsess over them for the entirety of the evening. It's a beautiful, twisted cycle...this parenthood thing.

But regardless of the night off, I am in the mood to think about my girls. 

The photos loaded in no particular order, so we will start with Miss Ellie Jane:

There are never words for Ellie Jane. Only metaphorical fireworks and dancing monkeys and sprinkles everywhere.

A perpetual nudist (still). In fact, we were introduced to the fourth house down the street via Ellie's escape...


Oh hiiiiii, we're the Haacks. 

(Insert: Sheepish what are ya gonna do? smile)

Donut lover. Life enthusiast. Joy injector.

Up next: London Rae.

London is the child whom Tyler and I exchange the most "SERIOUSLY WHERE DID THIS CHILD COME FROM?" glances over. Sometimes the glances express themselves in the form of pure adoration. Like, how did we get so lucky? and could she be any cuter? Other times the glances express themselves in the form of pure frustration. Like, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? and run for YOUR LIVES cuz you don't want to be anywhere within 200 miles of the volcanic emotion when this girl hits puberty.
 I still need to find the next Beverly Cleary-esque author and convince them that THIS IS THE CHILD they need to use for their inspiration. She is pure gold. She is pure LonDRAMA. We are smitten.

Just look at that stink eye: homegirl delivers the most legit stink eye. 

The other day I called over to her, "Hey London, will you please run upstairs and grab me Emerson's pacifer?"

She paused, sat in a quiet moment of reflection and replied sincerely and sweetly,

"Ummm. How about I stay and sit hewe and YOU go upstairs and geddit?"

or the other day when I caught her sneaking her hand into Ellie's bowl of popcorn instead of her own. Ellie started shrieking and I reprimanded London.
She protested in sly indignation:

"Mom! I wasn't eating her popcown!......
I was just oyganizing it."
{organizing it}

But for all her Londisms, she is such a darling and sweet big sister. A little mother by nature. A gigantic hearted carebear and I want to squeeeeeeeze this girl daily.

Now for my Lily Lu:

Lately, I call her my little mad scientist. She's all about projects and insects and scheming to amass her next monetary fortune, all so she can turn around and blow it in one shopping trip to Micheal's crafts or the Dollar Tree. Just today she asked me to help her boil an egg for her next "experiment". She's a good little worker, this one. She LOVES garage sales and flea markets, which I am not going to lie makes me positively loopy with pride.
She is transitioning well in her new school, praise to the heavens above. It causes me such anxiety to think of her being uncomfortable. The first week in, she wasn't eating her lunch. When I picked her up at school and saw her full lunch box I asked what was up. She explained she couldn't eat at lunch because there was a "strange boy" she couldn't quit looking over at.
Apparently, there was a little boy who only has one eye. It is Lily's first encounter with this, and she was getting totally freaked out and losing her appetite. When I discovered this my heart broke for the little boy. I quickly explained that God made him just the same as Lily, and only having one eye doesn't make a difference at all.
But I could tell, she still couldn't overcome her squeemies about it. I explained to her that often we confuse different for scary. It is a normal and common mistake, but one we have to recognize and correct. We need to spend more time WITH differences like these, and not run away from them. Once she got used to seeing a person with a disability she would become more comfortable and the squeemies would go away. She would see that they are people just. like. us. Just like her. She perked up a bit.

Then I got overly cocky with my parental ingeniousness and empathetic savvy and everything derailed from there. I got rolling and before you know it this came out,

I know! When we get home I will GOOGLE one-eyed people for you. We'll go take a look at LOTS of one eyed pictures and you will get used to it!"


I know I know. Once I SAID it, I HEARD it.

 Dear Unfit Parents Club, please accept my enrollment form. 
{What? I'm already a member? The elected PRESIDENT you say?}

I quickly changed the subject from there and we moved on. But, it made for a lovely moment when Lily exclaimed to me in front of another adult later that week, "Hey Mom! You forgot! You promised we were going to look at the one eyed people on the intranet!"

Oh my gosh you silly girl where did you get a silly idea like that I never said that funny thing this kid always saying the darndest things i never said that we don't google one eyed people how insensitive and strange and oh my gosh i never said that lily let's go get ice cream see you later bye! the end.


mMMMMM. mMMMMM. MMMMM. This is getting hard to type because I want to go home and squish her up. My baby.

We're down to our last bits of breastfeeding. I am happy and I am sad. The best part of breastfeeding  a fourth child is the total refuge they create. When breastfeeding I have no choice but to find regular, solitary moments when the two of us can escape and run away from all the hooliganism and anarchy just outside a locked nursery door. Once safely inside, while disregarding all the banging coming from the monkeys trying to bust into our holy retreat, she and I sit and nurse. I stare over and over at the perfectness of my sweet baby girl. And with her smiley eyes she looks back at me and I am almost certain that she is promising she will never turn as naughty as those three older sisters of hers. Never not ever. Right Emmie girl? Right.

Her temperament is so golden. It really is. She is cheery and Buddha-like: a wise little observer who instills peace and good vibes on anyone who rubs her belly. Fourth kids just come equipped with better survival mechanisms and instinct, I swear! 

Emerson, slooooow down. Stay my baby forEVER, please.


{Dance routines and dress ups are a daily occurrence in our living room}

Yes, even on my nights off I love to think about my girls. How different they each are.

How each little aspect of their unfolding personalities creates a new dynamic to our fold.

They are each their own little instruments, composing their very own songs.

Comprising quite the family band.
A loud band.
A maddening band.
A deafening band.

a. rockin'. band.

They are so alive

They are so wonderful.

They are my music.

and we be jammin'.

Monday, May 27, 2013


we will tell our children who we really have to thank for the ability to enjoy a BBQ and and some glorious California sunshine:

the men and women 
who gave their lives
 to keep this country 

God bless our soldiers!

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

back in time.

I took the girls last week to roam through the hills and farms just ten miles up the road from us. Acres and acres of apple farms. Most of them open to the public and hosting a variety of events and selling tons of fresh, apple-y, farm products. Amaze.

When trying to decide where to buy a house down in the bustling, busy, popular, extremely populated lower vicinity of this state, we knew that a) affordability was obviously the most influential factor and b) because affordability was the most influential factor we would not be living anywhere particularly close to what one would envision a "Southern California" lifestyle to look like. Which is mainly to say we aren't very close to the ocean. Bummer dude. 

BUT...not really. When we decided to live further east, we also landed ourselves nicely into quieter neighborhoods and less traffic. I've come to realize this also means we've mostly avoided the monstrous task of learning an entirely new language. Because down here, natives speak in Traffic. It's a jumbled jargon of highway and freeway numbers, crossways, toll roads, wait times, car pool lanes and travel hours to avoid at all costs.

In fact, our little suburb is tucked into a beautiful historic canyon where I am greeted every morning to rolling hills and shady oak trees just out my bedroom window. We sleep to the sound of crickets and frogs from the nearby ponds. The train in the bed of the canyon rolls through as well, summoning our attention a few times a day with its clackity steel rhythm and classic horn, warning all of its impending passing.

Our town is currently peppered with red signs shaped like cherries, notifying all of the upcoming local Cherry Festival that will last for three full days over the first weekend in June. U-pick signs abound, tempting us daily to gravitate over to those fresh strawberries and oranges just waiting to be plucked from their birthplace. This, yes thisssss, is what I love about California.

Our town library building was built in 1911 (!). We pulled up last Thursday only to (unfortunately) realize it was closed that day, so we headed into Redlands instead. And geez, if I thought our little library was a charmer, we were blown away in this mission-style masterpiece. circa 1898! Complete with rickety wood floors, the smell of books that have graced the shelves for decades, and framed Norman Rockwell prints in the children's corner. I mean really, PEOPLE, this is FantasayRAE. Indeed.

I think my girls are slightly perplexed over my love for old things and history. It's a passion I'm desperate to foster and implant in their budding minds. I'm always looking for the opportunity to water those tiny seeds of imagination and historic adventure, hoping they'll sprout into full bloom one day as we read through the entire Little House on the Prairie collection. Consequently, when we enter an older building I start shouting and hurrahing like we're in Disneyland. Unless we're in a library, of course. Then it is more like a quiet hissing and whisper-shriek.
Lily raises her signature Lilybrow and puts her hand on her signature popped Lilyhip and says, "Seriously mom. Seriously?"

Whose the parent here anyways?!!

I just need my girls to know how highly I recommend living almost entirely in the imaginary world of the 19th century from ages five through seventeen. I mean, come on....did it. So I should know.

Okay fine, it did present a few problems come high school. Scratch that. I'll settle for  ages five through eleven. Kids these days, growing up so fast.

Together with my sister Sarah and cousins Paige and Meagan, we created quite the imaginary, intricate, spectacular world of "olden days".

For starters, we all regularly went by our middle names. My name was Elizabeth (sigh, so fitting right?). Paige was Marie and Meagan was Rose. The middle name rule applied to all but Sarah. She was dubbed Tooty. Simply because that's the sort of abuse little sisters must suffer in the imaginary world of make-believe dominated by a ruthless dictator who has all the makings of a future control freak (who, me?!).

We mapped out each of our homes: Sarah and I's house was properly labeled South Dakota for all its open terrain. Paige and Meagan's house was North Dakota...well, was near our house and the only other state we knew at the time? And Grandma's house, that fancy house that always smelled of potpourri and had the real old fashioned Singer Sewing machine sitting in the living room:

that was Boston.

Our large family also had a special camping spot where we annually met up for a weekend. It was an old ranch nestled in the back hills of the barren NV landscape. And contrary to what was typically dry and dusty terrain, a lush stream and trees ran through a narrow canyon where we would pitch tents and trailers. Papa Dan would often bring the horses too.

This was a favorite place to meet up and play old'en days. I remember a rainstorm hitting hard one year. We nestled into our tent and watched the storm, mesmerized by the pitter patter of rain falling on our canvas tent. I spent much of the day tucked into my sleeping bag reading The Long Winter. One of the top ten moments of MY LIFE, i tell you. OF. MY. LIFE. I was Laura Ingalls Wilder that day. STRAIGHT UP. METAMORPHOSIS COMPLETE. all of my pioneer fantasies real, tangible.


There is a massive GEEK GENE running through my bloodlines. 

Hopefully Tyler's contributions will diffuse this a bit. The thick strain of geekster coursing fully undiluted through my veins made integration into the middle school scene a bit of a debacle for me, so let's hope with future generations this won't be the case. Soon, I'll be sure to tell lily that if she so chooses to develop an affinity for wearing prairie bonnets around the house, let's go ahead and leave it at home when she's invited to a sleepover party in 7th grade. let's not repeat your mother's mistakes, shall we?

Oh yes, and while I'm handing out advice, now would be a good time to tell your future middle-school self that no other thirteen year-olds read or enjoy The Work and the Glory series. Best to discuss that at a church book club with elderly women. None of your friends will take you up on your invitation to save their babysitting money for a future vacation to tour the Amish Country. Never, ever, mention Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman. And, nobody needs your pumpkin bread recipes either.

However, you will be free to foster whatever bizarre strain of NERD your heart desires within the safe surroundings of our home. I think it is here where you will discover a few other nerd friends just like you. Hopefully your sisters?

And together, I wish your imaginations to be free. Running wild and creating lots and lots of warm memories that will stay with you when you finally step slowly into the real world. It's not nearly as cool, I'm warning you.

Feel free to reserve a small sliver of that remaining imagination for days when reality is so bland and stark and even cruel. Protect your mind. Escape into your books and your interests.

And remember, your imagination doesn't have to look or sound like anyone else's imagination either.

That's what makes it so fun. Mom's dreams and imaginings will not be yours. Your childhood will not just be a remake of my own.

 I know this. I accept this.  I am GRATEFUL for this.

but... you will come tour the Amish country with me one day, yes?

i hope so.:)