Saturday, April 13, 2013

What we Were up to Last Fall

Played with oats, cars, and brothers.

 Renovated with little ones afoot.
(And an even littler one in front)

 Washed dishes with naked babies.

 Built things.

 Slept in.

 Hopped on Pop.

 Made cookies. Lots of cookies.


 Pretended to take naps, but only pretended.

Lots of forts.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No baby loves bath time quite like Jude.
I hold his head and he floats in the kitchen sink.
The water laps his baby soft skin, hugs his round tummy and thighs.
He stares at me. I look in his deep, blue eyes.
He doesn't even protest when I lift him out to wrap him in a towel.

This is a ritual that I love.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Party

Poor, tired boy. This is the closest he would get to his cake.

Luckily Dean had no problem stepping in to blow out the candles.

Shared the party with cousin Andrew (Happy 11 today Andrew!)



I'm serious about my frosting layers, and about my seriously delicious boy!

Stubbs never misses a party.

A chunk!


Maddux's 2nd!

It was warm and sunny on Maddux's birthday, so we went outside in our shirtsleeves to soak up some vitamin D. Dean ran ahead, Jude slept slung to my chest, and Maddux held my hand.

For the past two years Maddux has been the baby. I balanced him on my hip, Dean held my hand and we intrepidly ventured out and about. He started walking at 13 months, running last summer, but if I intended to get anywhere alive, not lost, and timely-ish then I held him. Even at one of Jude's early doctor check-ups I had to resort to carrying a car seat in one arm and Maddux in the other. Would he ever just be able to walk with me and not run nilly willy here, there, everywhere?
Yes, we're getting there. The shadow on the grass of the chubby little arm attached to mine showed me that. And I remembered that it was the same with Dean before Maddux. It seems as if right up until the next baby the previous one is glued to my hip soaking up all their babyhood.

My sweet baby Maddux Ray is two. He has ginormous smiles, and torrential tantrums. He is oh so vociferous, although unintelligible--unless you understand...whatever language it is that he shouts. Heaven help anyone who tries to change his course, or his shirt, or put on his shoes, or take them off.....But his happiness is exuberant, his laughs and hugs and wet kisses melt my insides.

Dean is his favorite person to play with and to bite. And oh those bites.....lightning fast with piranha force.

He looks like his daddy. They make the same expressions. Sometimes I make Maddux laugh, just so I can see Luke's smile.

So here's looking forward to his year of two. A year of holding hands, aaaand chasing him down, because he will run off. Yep, he will. And I will find him, kiss his chubby cheeks, and man-handle him back to my side. Amid screams of protest, because he is two. Good thing he is irresistibly cute.


Last night I paced the floor of the room on the second story of my parents' house, the room that is full to the brim with sunshine in the morning and moon shadows at night. Two and a half years ago I paced the same floor with my first baby, then 15 months old. Holding him close, bouncing to a Nat King Cole song, hoping that the bouncing would work my calves out, and looking at the imprint of my feet in the carpet and wondering what it said of my posture. I think I would have laughed if I had been told that in two and a half years I would be back visiting doing the same thing with my third baby. My third boy two months old.

I've been writing a post more detailed about Jude's birth, but it has turned into a personal journal item, not really right for a blog open to all the Internet. So the short and sweet version:

My past labors were quick, but Jude beat them all by coming suddenly and furiously fast--at least that is how it felt to me. We had an appointment at the hospital that morning. Nothing seemed to be happening so my doctor didn't check me. We left at 12:30 p.m. By 2 p.m. we had driven out of town, turned around in pain-ridden near panic, raced back, and had a baby. No epidural, he came too fast. And although I love epidurals dearly, and the pain was crazy intense and scary I would do without an epidural next time too. If I'm brave enough.

I held and nuzzled Jude, then while he was being warmed, wrapped, and checked out I'm pretty sure I beamed at Luke, "we have a baby!" Sappy I know. You'd think we didn't already have two, but it feels just as exciting every time.

Luke held on to me and I was feeling very proud of myself. I had survived! The human body is an amazing thing. Our sweet baby Jude is-----AMAZING.

Jude Robert Christiansen, 7lbs. 12oz, 20 1/2 in. long. My biggest baby yet. I'm pretty awesome (I can say that now its over, during I'm pretty sure I was a mess of I-want-this-over-now-and-I'll-be-as-loud-as-I-want!).

Love, love, love him.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Yesterday was a bit craziness. It makes sense now that I know the boys have Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, which sounds much worse than it actually is. It's highly contagious, mostly for children, and passes in a few days. Since another little friend of ours has it I'm assuming nursery at church is ground zero. Oh did I mention Sunday was Maddux's first day of nursery, and he did amazingly? Well he did, so here's to about four months of sitting next to Luke in Sunday School, until the next one comes along!

Back to yesterday. The boys and I dropped by my favorite little place, Camden City Market, an absolutely wonderful produce store. Dean holds the basket and we fill it with all sorts of yumminess until it is too heavy for his three year old hands, and Maddux runs around with a lemon or potato to keep him from trying to run around with all the pretty preserves in breakable glass jars. The woman who works at the store also belongs to our church and mentioned to me another woman who had complimented me and had said she wanted to be the sort of mother that I was. Yesterday was the day that was great to hear, even though I have her completely fooled. 

My boys are crazy. I'm not the mom who can take her children out of Sacrament and have them sit or hold still or fold arms, or be quiet. I admire moms with the tenacity to hold their child while they kick and scream until they settle down. But that's usually not me. Last Sunday Maddux took off running down the hallway, and to stop him Dean chased him and took him out with a flying tackle.  Too much football with Daddy? He was very proud of himself for stopping Maddux like I had wanted. Boys. So it is nice to hear that somehow, someone finds something to admire about my mothering.

Especially since after the produce store we went to Food Lion where Maddux wigged out when he had to stop pushing the cart to wait in the check-out line, and Dean ran off to the nether ends of the store wanting me to chase him. I finally caught him hiding behind the paper towels in the lower shelf. Still not as bad as the time I was holding a fiercely struggling Maddux and pulling along a wild Dean as he pulled arms off the mannequins in Nordstrom. Picture me with two out of control boys as I dumped an armful of mannequin parts on the sales desk, gasped "sorry," and ran out the door. Hilarious and I sincerely hope I never forget any of it. I really do love all of my life with them.

What's the point of all this? Well it's just the sort of randomness that I feel like calling up my best friend and chatting about on an afternoon. But I can't, at least for a while. It's been almost two years since she passed, but I absolutely know she has the same gleam in her eyes, laugh in her voice, and determination to work hard and accomplish things dear to her.
Love you Meg, happy 29th yesterday!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fences Make Better Neighbors or Why I Should let Luke Answer the Door

(Nothing to do with the following. I just loved the way the flowers for the 40th Anniv. Party
turned out I had to include another picture.)

When we bought this house the yard was meticulous. Painfully so in my opinion. Hedges and bushes perfectly cropped, shaped, contained and thwarted. Not me, not us. Wildness is beautiful, refreshing, more interesting, and MUCH easier to care for. Just let things grow--I'm all for it. But sadly, that attitude puts me at odds with the majority of the near-by yard maintenance community.

Enter our neighbors, a very nice family who beat us to the Welcome-to-the-Neighborhood goodies. And they moved in after we did. We were gone for a month this summer--that's my excuse. A few days after devouring their delicious brownies they dropped by again. They wanted to know to whom the hedge between our houses belonged.

Ours (it runs along either side of our front yard).
Would we mind if they trimmed their side?
Of course not.
Great. So they'll take care of their side, and we'll trim our side?

Sigh. I had trimmed the extreme offshoots, but in general I was letting the hedge grow out. It was just getting to the point of making me smile when I looked out the window. But the neighbors seem like a very nice family with very nice kids, so I stayed up late to make cookies for our We-Really-Aren't-Negligent-Neighbors/ Welcome-to-the-Neighborhood gift. I resigned myself to making my hedge a little more "presentable" than I prefer, but worth it for good neighborly relationships right?

Fast forward a couple days to the motorized whirl of yard equipment and there is my hedge not just being trimmed, but loped off, forced into an uncomfortable boxy shape. I guess we all have different definitions of "trim." Luke was as un-thrilled as I, luckily for me, so I could be as upset as I wanted to. You can roll your eyes at me all you want, it is just a hedge after all. At least my husband humors me.
So what is the moral to all this? Next time someone comes to my door at odds with my vision for my yard I will just call for Luke. One of the many perks of marrying him is that he fights my battles, even if they are absurd. So why didn't I? He was in the shower. And I really don't want to be those kind of neighbors.