Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Hot Chocolate Day (that turned into the most skewampus post. ever.)

Oh my. I've been trying to get a post written for three days. But other things keep boxing this little blog out for priority. the thing that's really made life wonky lately is lily; she's been so sick! i finally took her to the doctor today and the poor little dear's got a double ear infection. No wonder she's been so upset. I felt bad that I hadn't taken her in sooner. We got some bubble gum pink amoxicillin at the pharmacy this afternoon (if that stuff doesn't take you right back to third grade...) and after two doses we were already starting to see glimpses of our girl tonight. She is such a treasure. They both are. I know I crow on and on about them here, but what's a family record for if not to delight in the darlingness of one's children?

We all played in the kids' room tonight before bedtime and we had so much fun. so many snuggles and so many laughs. it was just one of those nights when my heart didn't feel big enough to hold all the love and joy family life brings me.

one of my favorite things about our little bunch is the way Lily adores Henry. story to illustrate: we had a nutty night last night - lily was up several times, so we moved Henry out of their room (they're sharing now and it is one of my favorite things ever in the world. if they go to bed at the same time, they stay up for at least a half hour laughing and making a rumpus together. i hope they never stop loving each other like they do now.) anyway, back to last night -- so in the midnight chaos and general sleeplessness, Henry somehow made his way out to the couch. And at six am I woke up to a wet, shivering Henry at the foot of my bed. "mama...I peed all over the couch," were the first words to meet my ears this morning. awesome. (it actually made for a pretty fun day as we stripped all the cushions from the couch, chucked them on the floor and then played all sorts of games on them all day.) in a groggy haze, I got him into dry cozies, stripped the cushion covers off the sofa and got things to a pause-worthy state so we could all get a little more sleep before the day really began. but i could not find one of the couch cushions. "do you know where the other cushion is?" I asked Henry.
"Oh, yeah. It was all wet with pee pee so i just threw it in the dirty clothes." sure enough -- there it was, bigger than the actual laundry basket, nearly as big as Henry, the awkward cushion -- carefully wedged in the corner of the laundry room, just waiting to be cleaned. how can you be mad about early morning pee pee on the couch when the perpetrator is so sweet and helpful?
okay, so getting back to the cute story about lily loving henry so much (I get an F for flow on this post), when she woke up this morning, he was still asleep (in the living room, on the other, not-peed-on couch). she toddled up to him, teeming with excitement and started poking at his face, squealing, "dee-dee! dee-dee!" and then she looked at me with a concerned expression, like - "why is he not waking up to play with me??" if she gets up before him in the morning, I have to keep a close eye on her or she'll head straight back to their room and pounce on her brother. It's just not worth being awake if her favorite buddy's not awake, too!

Last night Henry was building a city out of legos and cars and guys in the living room. I slipped out to use the bathroom and while i was in there, i heard him say, "Lily, do you want me to take a little break and play with you, sweetie?" She, of course, whispered, "Yaaaaah" (as she does to 80 percent of the questions she's asked,) and Henry said, "okay. I'm sorry it's been taking me such a long time to build my city. I'll be happy to take a break to play with you."

He's had his share of frustrated moments with her this week as well, especially with all the crying (she's never been so fussy and irritable in all her life). Henry's quite noise-sensitive (he still runs to his room and closes the door every time I vacuum), so when she really wails, he gets pretty rattled. The other day she was crying (and had been for a long time) and I was holding her in my arms and I kept feeling her weight shift to one side. finally, i realized that henry was right beside me, yanking on her right leg in frustration every time she cried. kind of funny. and at one point on one of these hairy day, they were both crying - lily because she was miserably sick and Henry because he was miserably...miserable from so much crying!

i think we've all learned a few lessons about patience and compassion from these sick days. i've thought a lot about both - this was a pretty rotten week for me - really hard and no fun at all. but i kept thinking about how much learning and growth exists in those kinds of days/weeks if we recognize it. sometimes it's nice to have a forced slow-down (although I feel like our life is kind of slow by most peoples' standards anyway, so a slow down for us is like a screeeeeching halt...) but it was good (and maddening at times) just to be home. to watch movies with henry (he said to me yesterday, "I like it when you watch shows with me, mom. i like it when your eyes actually look at the TV"), to just sit on the couch and snuggle my kids and not feel pressed to be anywhere or do anything, to feel surprisingly "filled" even after so much giving. i prayed for patience and capacity every night and i really feel like those prayers were heard and answered.
and yes, this is all a little glossy in the rosy lens of retrospect (there were hours of this week where I really just felt like running away; see below) but there really were some neat things that emerged even through all the snot and tears and cabin fever.

(Here's the portion of this post I wrote on Wednesday).
today is a hot chocolate day.
we woke up to snow.
it was magical.
nate stayed home later than usual.
henry helped himself to half a can of frozen juice concentrate while his father and i were (ahem) otherwise detained.
then the children had a bath. and i lotioned henry thoroughly from head to toe as he has a very severe case of eczema. poor little goat.
then he started moaning and complaining that his belly hurt.
then he threw up (purple-ish) all over the table. then he said he felt all better. no more juice concentrate for you, mister, that's too much sugar in the morning, we told him.
then we had hot breakfast - sunny side up eggs over buttered toast. mmmmm.
then nate went to work, (even though we begged him to stay) and we scratched our heads about what to do with this blustery day (we had fever in our house yesterday (Lily) so no outings for our little bunch).
we pulled out books and magnets and stickers and made merry on the floor for a few hours. then we opened up advent box #2 and discovered that we got to unwrap a christmas book today. we read "Snow Place Like Home."
and then we made cream-cheese-frosted pumpkin bars.

it's been a really, really nice day.

we also had a really, really nice thanksgiving weekend. time with the rampton's and beaton's is maybe the funnest thing on earth. seriously. we loved our time together so much, we're all trying to scheme a way to reconvene for Christmas '09.

Now for Thursday's installment:
My morning started at 4:48 with a fussy girl. And that's pretty much how it's been since. Fussy. Snotty. Grumpy. Girl. My compassion's wearing thin.

The cabin fever is kicking in and I'm itching to get out. And poor Henry - he's begging to play with a friend. Only so many indoor activities you can do with a 4 year old boy before he's just sick to death of crayons, books, baking, and you (his mom).

There are good lessons to learn on days like today. i'm sure. probaby about having more compassion. and patience. i hope by the time it's all over, i'll feel like i learned some of them. right now i feel like i'm barely keeping my nose above water.

Funny how your mood/outlook can be so different one day to the next, no?

(back to Friday night one more thing i have to mention - you still with me?)

tonight we had ourselves a rockin' dance party in the living room while we waited for nate to get home from work. it was so, so fun. henry brought out hair brushes for microphones and we jammed on our air guitars to "You Belong With Me" (probably replayed it 12 times- we're good at repeat in our house :) it made me feel young to shake it in the living room and sing into my round brush. during a between-songs pause, Henry looked at me and said - "I love this song; that girl rocks it!"

oh, i laughed!

amazing how the priceless little moments can eclipse a whole week of not-so-hot.
hoping we all wake up well in the morning...

pictures coming. someday.


  1. I can't tell you how thoroughly I enjoy the sweet, simple, sincerity of your posts, Em.
    I giggled when you said that Henry is sound sensitive...I wonder who he got that from?! His poor mother had to endure living with the LOUDEST person on earth for a year :) tee hee.
    I hope Lily bug gets to feeling better soon.
    Have I told you lately how I miss you?

  2. Hi Emily,

    Just have to second in on Joan's comment...I too adore the sweet sincerity and simplicity of your posts. Makes me recognize the sweetness of my own moments too.
    Hope your Lily feels better soon...double ear infections are the pits! I know, I had one myself a month ago (?), and I suddenly had a newly refreshed empathy for the pain those suckers cause!


    Here's to a better week,


    Ps. I also have to tell you how sort of therapeutic and healing a visit to your blog and Bloom has been today, I just finished attending one of my English Classes (finally finishing that degree), and read the most disgustingly pornographic and miserable work of "literature" ever. The kind that makes the soul feel gross and violated. I'm in the computer lab writing a research paper but hopped over to your blog - it was like a little chicken soup for doubly ear infected mind! haha.

    Sorry, my comments are always WAY too long.

  3. oh, Joan & Rae...thanks for your kind comments. you have no idea how much sunshine you added to my day.


  4. There's nothing like giving to family...your patience, your time, your love. It's hard but it's worth it!