Thursday, September 26, 2013

The last days.

Summer is winding to a stop over here.

We're still squeezing the last few drops out, but this time around the anxiety isn't building because I don't have to fear the hard grasp of winter here like I did in NV. In fact, I'm hoping that it will at least get a little cold. I am a slightly envious to think of everyone back home, feeling the first bites of a frosty morning and getting cozy. That is such a good feeling. But it is short lived for me. Within a few, brief weeks I'm just plain cold and annoyed and ready for Spring, which takes another 5 months to resurface and is so darn rebellious in its consistency.

It's been about six months since our move. Sheesh. Time flies. I feel a nervous breakdown coming on just thinking about how much transpired in that time. It was so much work, and I'm just starting to feel like I have sunk my toes into this place. I can look around and see the familiar. The roads are easier to navigate, I've gathered my bearings and can orient myself in our 20 mile radius, and all boxes are unpacked. Well, there is one closet still stuffed full of junk to be sorted, but meh.

We've made some friends too, which has made a huge difference. Kind folks who have really opened their arms and their homes to us. We knew we needed to be more social, and this move gave us the chance to open up and be a little more...vulnerable I guess? For all my blabbing I can get a little cantankerous when it comes to sociability. Not to mention it is always interesting to learn about oneself when you move into an area where you are entirely new. Nobody knows me from Adam. As such, I've learned that I'm kind of a blathering moron in new social contexts. I can hear myself speaking whilst thinking the entire time, you sound like a complete idiot. Luckily, many of my new friends come from church, where you are regularly commanded by Jesus Himself to be friends with the complete idiots and as such they are generous and forgiving and naive enough to think maybe it's just a first six months sort of thing? Here's hoping!

Tyler has been so good and attentive towards me during this whole process. Gosh, I married a good man. I knew he wanted to do right by our family, as always. And he knew it would be weird for me to lose all of my support system and start fresh with four babies to tend solo. I'd been a spoiled diva for some time, and nobody was more aware of this than Tyler. He's been so good at assessing our days and pulling out the raemometer to foresee a pending explosion. Just last night he got home, took the girls to the park while I taught a few piano lessons, fed them dinner, and handled the entire night-time-pajamas-reading-wrangling unruly girls-bedtime routine so I could slip out and go spend my "night off" eating sushi with friends. Doesn't get better than that, I tell ya. We've kinda worked out this system and it's going nicely. Tonight is his night off, which means he'll probably go play basketball and cash in his get-out-of-all-evening-responsibilities-and-bedtime-routine card. Well deserved, my love!

So that's my six-month check up. We are content and there is plenty of joy, even though life is crazy and rather chaotic on a day-to-day basis. I'm back in school too (?!!), so blog posts are sure to be more erratic than ever. Which makes me sad because there is so much I want to share. I have another installment of Radical Homemaking coming up. Also, I've been getting my home decorating on, and want to share the progress we've made on the house. I've been consulting home design ideas with a pal here and oh boy is she ttttrouble. I might photograph her house and show you just for kicks. Homegirl has an eye. Such an eye. And Meal Planning Mondays, where have they been? I have food recipes to share!

All of these things will come, with irregular regularity. Now there's a true theme of this blog if I ever did hear one.

{{Goodbye Summer!}}

Thursday, September 19, 2013

On babies.

Take a look at this:

Redd Alexander Hansen.

My newest nephew.

In a word: DANGER.

This face, these perfect little pictures, are dangerous for me. They bring me back, back to that magical place that I'm jealously pining for just a bit as I think about Dan and Ali sitting there, in their home, cuddling his cuteness. I think about that feeling and that first day with your new person. The introductory hours that are both so primal and transcendent, as you stare and study and obsess and then stare and study and obsess some more over their little features, their presence, their little being. Sniffing and snuggling and nursing. Mmmmmm shiver mmmmmh! It's unbelievable. Just so unbelievable.

And it's like when I'm in it, when it's my baby, I'm almost not even aware enough to understand what I'm experiencing. I'm in the story so deep I don't really look around all that much. So watching it from the outside, watching someone else welcome their baby, and just knowing on some level what is happening, what it means? Getting to simply witness all of this miraculous-ness? So, sooooo dangerous for me. Because it re-opens that sneaky temptation that maybe, just maybe, my self-proclaimed purpose in life really should be to keep having babies until my uterus explodes.

 I mean, just look at him!


Now, onto my babies:

Just look at them

Buckle your seat belts, 
cuz this shiz is about to get fa realz.

Babies are sly devils. They really sucker you in with their charm and cuddlish-ness and Redd Alexander-ish vibes and juju. And before you know it, just you wait...

Monsters. They become monsters. Not even human beings, really. Because all the humanizing, civilizing part? That's YOUR job. Parenting is nothing more than Civilizing the Uncivilized, as my Papa Dan used to say.

And, much to my shock and dismay, forming humans and fostering civility requires discipline and consistency.

Oh mother of all that is holy, consistency is such a bugger. It's just demands so much...?...I dunno, being consistent? Really. It's super annoying.

Take meals, for example. Just one line item on the infinite list of parental responsibilities. Do you remember all those pediatric pamphlets they gave you at the hospital, detailing all that blahblahblah information about how children need at least THREE square, healthy meals every day? Well, apparently they really mean it. Like there are all of these charts and scientific theories and laws that prove it or something. eye. roll. Snacks too. Snacks in between meals. That essentially means that motherhood and kitchenhood are one and the same.

Mom, I'm hungry. What's for lunch?

What?! Whats the matta' wich you? I fed you lunch yest-ah-day! What do I look like here? The patron Saint of Spaghettios a' somethin?! You twalkin' ta me?

And kids, let me tell you, have a terrible sense of humor. Their repeated, blank stares in return signal absolutely no appreciation for my jersey/bronx accent and earth shattering wit. 
Tough crowd eh eH? How aboutz we do this? mamas gonna get you a real nice hawt dawg, smotha it in some kechoop and bada bing bada boom, you gonna nominate ya mama for motha of the frigginyear awawd, how bout them apples?

{{{More blank stares}}}

And then there's the issue of mornings. Babies, and children, wake up in the actual morning hours. And morning, by their tyrannical definition, means something earlier than 10 AM. In my world, morning was once a lovely, brief window of time between 9 and 10 AM. 10am until noon signaled late morning. Noon to six was the afternoon, and six to 1am was the evening. The hours between 1am and 9am were largely non-existent to my consciousness, unless it involved reckless shenanigans and behavior unbecoming-of-a-lady with my husband.

And I've discussed before how mornings aren't my thang. But, I'll be danged if you can't help but get sucked right in when a swishy diapered person comes barging through your bedroom door shouting happy things and acting like the world really is a super awesome, worthwhile place. And the craziest part of all? All of this momentum, all of their excitement and parading through the hallways seems to be largely directed at seeing you!? You are the superhero. They run up to your disheveled, hot mess of bedhead and morning breath and kiss you and hug you like they haven't seen you since, well, yesterday.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Worth Remembering.

Lily can frequently be found upstairs in her room, door shut, working anxiously on her next artistic masterpiece. I am amused at how motor-driven she can be. She has a harder time sitting and imagining scenarios with a couple of toys. She much prefers to utilize her imagination to create something she can tangibly appreciate.

Right now, outside our front door, is an elaborately designed city she created for the snails in the front yard. Complete with leaves propped on popsicle sticks as walkways, discarded paper cups acting as high sky towers, plenty of grass in little piles for beds, and even a few empty bottle caps filled with water (just in case they get thirsty, you know). She has repeatedly asked me that nobody accidentally throw away her village, and I've promised her to keep close watch while she's away at school.

I kind of want to preserve it for the rest of eternity, really.

I've kept this little book she illustrated and composed one afternoon, almost a year ago now. A project that consumed a good three hours of the afternoon, all self contrived. She left it lying on her desk, and when I read through it my Mama heart exploded and shattered in another billion pieces and I found myself once again praising the heavens above that I was gifted this child.

I am so glad that her six year-old memoir included bubblegum and family and rainy days and tulips, a page dedicated to her younger sister's scribbles (which I'm sure she was enormously frustrated about)... and especially volcanos. She really loves volcanos.

This is the stuff, I tell ya. This is the stuff.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Random musings on Friday's Phone Dump and the return of The Voice (back and better than ever).

Tired hooligans.

London on the tea cup ride. In a picture, all you'll ever need to see to understand London's approach to risk-taking. {Mother's daughter.}

We suckered her into a ride on the Tower of Terror. This, upon retrospect, was a poor decision. She refused to speak for a record 3 minutes after riding.

 Lily's response? "That. was. AWWWWWESOME."
Which, in a phrase, is all you'll ever need to know to understand Lily's approach to risk-taking. {Father's daughter.}

Lily approached me a few days ago and requested that I help her pull another tooth out. She had discovered this was a much faster approach to earning three dollars than a boatload of chores at $.50 per day. Considering the tooth was hardly loose, I informed her I would require a pair of pliers in order to rip the tooth abruptly from the roots, which would inevitably lead to profuse bleeding and a great deal of pain. She paused in a moment of reflection, then responded,

"Ok. Where do I find the pliers in the garage?"

This was not the response I anticipated. Nevermind. My sweet, dear child, something is wrong with you.

Another tired hooligan...

My cute baby.


Sometimes Emerson and I like to sit on the couch and watch the Insanity workout together. We imagine what it would be like if Mommy actually stood up, got off the couch, and did the work out along with them. We imagine it would be awful, and wisely choose to stay on the couch.

On those rarer occasions in which Mommy DOES arise from her morning coma and work out along with all those annoying, defined, peppy, muscle-y people on the TV, she does so in a big pair of cotton Hanes granny panties and an old, faded grey sports bra. I figure nobody is around to see me so what the heck. Until my children awake and come clomping down the stairs to witness the horror of what is transpiring, and perspiring, in the living room. I'm usual in the middle of jack-downs or suicide drills (fittingly named).

"Oh! ...*pant*gasp*wheeeez*... Morning girls! Mom is just finishing her... *gasp*cough*
Morning exercise!!!....*wwwwwheeeeeeeez. ......Be done in a few... *pant*pant*i'm dying i'm dying i'm dddying.... minutes!"

"Why are you in underwears Mom? Wow, your face is weaaally weaally wed {really red}.
Your stomach looks kinda funny. It's bouncing up and down."

"Oh that!? ...*wheeeeez. inhale. 
*dizZZzZZzy.* gasp.... Well, it's really hot right now. And my stomach is bouncy because... *pant *pant *pant *breeeeeath through nose.... when Mommy decided to selflessly sacrifice...... *cccccccough barrkkkkkkkk...her body to bring YOU into the world....* stomach was stretched from here to Montana..... *Wheeeeeeeeeeez.... So essentially, no matter how much Mommy ever has or ever WILL work out with this {obnxious group of college co-eds on steroids}, my stomach will ALWAYS be more 'bouncy'...*cough wheeeeez wheeeez...Now go ahead and stand back cuz it might accidentally smack you when I do this next set of Mountain climbers....*room is spinning. inhale exhale panting....and no, lovies, I'm not bitter...Cheerios coming in a second!



Back to my cute baby. This time standing on our table. Her newest thing. Apparently, now we can see Emerson's approach to risk-taking.
And we all know Ellie Jane's approach to risk's another morning in which the mascara in the house has been discovered. You know, I look through all of these pictures of my life and two words come to mind. Order. and Peace.

And Ellie Jane in her romper. To die for.

And last but not least, THE VOICE.

London recorded HERSELF singing. I discovered this the other night and praised the heavens above that this was captured. My favorite ever. I laughed then cried then laughed then cried.

The london improv rap...


London's version of our favorite lullaby...

The end!

Monday, September 9, 2013

The hipsters take Disneyland.

Of course, no visit from relatives is complete without a trip to the Magic Kingdom!

I have a feeling there are going to be frequent recurring disney albums posted to this blog throughout the coming year. But never fear!

The little ladies have decided to add a new fashion twist to the narration of family adventures.

Hipster rims make multiple appearances, as you will soon see.

{another day of {{excruciatingly HOT}} Haack family fun, in no particular order}

{we spent a large chunk of time in the splash land of Bug's life. It was seriously sooo hot, thank heavens for water!}

Dear hipster movement,

I have a feeling that in just a few short years, you are going to be really, rrrrrreally embarrassed. Take it from a girl who gets caught up with multiple trends, only to find herself ceremoniously burning every photo album dating over 3 years-old in abject self-shame and humiliatingly clear 20/20 hindsight. I look like sssssssssuch an idiot. And most of the time, so do you.

However, you are welcome for the generous loan of my daughters to your fad. I think you will have no choice but to agree: they make it all look really, rrrrreally cute.

{cute Uncle Al and Ellie Jane: total buds.}

{London prefers to ride in comfort and style. We bring the stroller more for her than for the babies. We've even managed to pack ALL FOUR into it. Yep. Now that's what I call efficiency - or, "How to get a lot of curious stares from onlookers"}

{look who lost her first tooth! The second one had already grown in behind it, so I guess we have to keep hoping for the future toothless grin}

But regardless of the heat, it was a great, memory making day. So glad we convinced Nonna, Papa, and Alex to get annual passes so they can come back and go again!

The End!