Wednesday, April 29, 2015

the better half.

getting london to wake up in the morning, and proceed with her preparations so she will actually make it to school on time is like....hmm...attempting peace negotiations in the middle east? getting a root canal at 7am daily? systematically plucking every single individual eyelash from your eyelids while simultaneously walking across a bed of hot coals?

take your pick. then multiply that misery by a factor of 3. is all i'm trying to say here.

she will wake up with an instant perma-frown. the fun begins when she refuses to exit her bed, claiming that the balmy southern california temperatures outside of her covers are too perilous to bear. then, when dragged from her bed with the promise of a heater which has been cranked up to 95 degrees, she will ask you to pick her clothes because she can't find anything to wear. once items are selected from her clothing supply - which rivals even a departments store's stock room - she will protest your selection. when given additional options, she will ask you to also choose from the new options. once chosen, she will again protest. too tight, i hate purple today, that's itchy, that looks like a baby. she will promise to brush teeth later. she will scowl as you brush her hair. the part is crooked! i don't want a braid. you're making me look like a boy! she will stare maniacally into the mirror in disgust and begin to shake her head and rub her hands furiously through her entire mane of hair, messing it up while screaming. lily, observing, begins to laugh. london will shout in response shut up lily i hate you! after which she will be summoned to stand in the corner for the next 7 minutes. seven minutes of a ticking clock she is already being defeated by. when she receives breakfast, she will complain that it is too cold, a breakfast which has cooled BECAUSE SHE'S HAD TO SIT OUT FOR 7 MINUTES BECAUSE SHE SCREAMED SHE HATED HER SISTER. the time for the bus arrives, a frantic dash to the door. as she exits, mom reminds her she doesn't have shoes on. she can't find her shoes. mom asks if she brushed her teeth yet. of course she has not. well, do you want poopy breath today, london? she rushes to brush her teeth while mom finds shoes. shoes are put on. out the door she goes. once on the bus, she realizes she has forgotten her backpack and lunch.

and so it goes.

day after day, my goal has always been to conquer this madness. when a power struggle arises, my go-to reflex is to apply more power. you don't go softer, you go harder with resistance. consequently, it will get to the point that london will be wakened on any given morning to my face, inched three centimeters from hers. tossing and turning slightly in her comfortable slumber, she will suddenly jolt in alarm at the close proximity of a penetrating stare. with eyes locked, she will be instructed in a menacing, commanding, hissing kind of whisper. london. it is 6:30 am.  it is time to wake up. you will get out of this bed. you will get dressed. you will come downstairs for breakfast. you will gather all of your corresponding school supplies. and if you do NOT do this within the next 40 minutes i will BURN ALL OF YOUR TOYS AND SEND YOU TO A BOARDING SCHOOL ON THE EAST COAST. 

this method has not been very promising.

a few weeks ago, tyler happened to be home (a rare occasion as he's normally out the door by 5:30). we were preparing breakfast and i glanced at the clock. it was time to wake up the girls. i groaned as i prepared to confront the dragon and slowly marched up the stairs.

earlier that month, tyler had taken over morning preparations for a few days when i had been sick. he called after me.

"hey rae..."


"i've found that she does really well with honey."

{{you win more flies with honey than you do vinegar.}}

{pff! what does he know? he hasn't been here for the regular suffering. i am the commander of the morning ship of misery. it is I who am regularly martyred as i am forced to deal with my mutinous crew, not him! every warrior knows you don't fight fire with WATER?!! you fight fire with FIRE! a big, flaming thunderous torch of a raving mother! a small fire must ALWAYS be engulfed with an even LARGER fire. you gotta burn that shiz DOWN. to ASHES. that's how this is handled! gah! amateur.}

but then i thought.


as i inched closer to her room, i decided it couldn't hurt to test his hypothesis.

i slowly crept inside, opening the door hesitantly to the sounds of quiet, early morning snores.  i climbed into bed with her. i cuddled her warm body, and touched my face to her cheeks, feeling the last remnants of childhood chub that are dissipating too quickly. i tickled her back. i lay there with her for a few quiet minutes until gradually, her eyes peeled open. she smiled.

"hi mommy."

"hi lundy. it's time to get up, okay?"


gosh. ya know, it is a ironically beautiful thing that the very manly man of our house is also the better nurturer. i should be ashamed to admit that, but i think it's probably the darned honest truth. he has often shown me how to be a better mother. it's been one of the most surprisingly fortunate effects of marrying up.

my girls had better remember how lucky they are to have a dad like him.

.....because if they don't, i will be sending them to a boarding school on the east coast.

Friday, April 24, 2015

a most splendiferous day.

here is emerson in her natural habitat. this is what the everyday neighbors witness on our front lawn. 

the pure unkept majesty of this predictably dirty, contagiously happy toddler. 

granted, it can be a messy sight and passerbys may raise an eyebrow or two, but i decided long ago i don't accept judgment from anyone caring for any number less than four children. and even then, i prefer they have anxiety issues and a disposition towards manic over-scheduling. if these criteria are not met, all opinions are rendered inadmissible on the basis of experiential lack of expertise.
so, meh, who cares what anyone thinks of the partially potty-trained nudist on the front lawn. 
{we belong on a farm.}

she is the DA BOMB.

right ems?


{it's the end-of-the-day Daddy's Home Dance!! hooray!}

for Emerson's birthday celebration, we decided to make a grand family day of exploring the great outdoors. We started by walking downtown to the local donut shop and toy store. 

Emerson was allowed to pick a new toy. I had high hopes she would choose something catchy and worthwhile. You know, something preferably wooden...educational...swedish;)

but alas, like her sisters before her, she went for the cheap plastic cosmetics. 

 sisters kindly took part in educating her on all the ins-and-outs of being fashionable...

{...that feeling when it's someone ELSE'S birthday... }

soooo pwetty!

and of course, emerson promised NOT to eat any of her make-up....

{mmm hmmm.}

later that afternoon, we took to the hills...

birthday girl enjoyed hours of running wild and free with her sisters...

sisters who couldn't seem to remember that we were in the safe confines of a Southern California canyon and NOT lost in the treacherous landscape of an African savannah...

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

 {no. actually there were none of those despite the girls imaginative insistence.}

and last, soap carving! 
the cherry blossom festival was going on in the glen...

it was an awesome, kid-friendly art project. i need to invest in a cheap case of ivory soap bars soon!

{side observation: i am so pleased with how friendly my little hooligans are. i caught this of ellie-jane and can't help but feel all warm and happy inside}

it was such a beautiful day to spend quality time together celebrating the baby of our family.

the day ended finally with a very, very tired little miss.

 my goodness, emerson, you are so adored. 

you are our little ball of sunshine and giggles
...and you are a naughty wild little stinker too. 

we possibly couldn't love you more for it. 

forever my baby.


A peek into the past: