30 August 2009

Kelly and Lorry came by today for a visit and to drop off a camera. Lorry saw my Facebook status about my still-missing camera and generously offered us an extra one they had at home. As a scrapbooker and a sappy mom, not being able to take pictures for around 3 weeks of Olivia's 6 weeks out in the real world was making me sad and Kelly and Lorry's thoughtfulness was very touching.

We all took turns snapping some photos this afternoon (seeing Lily's gave me a better idea of how our house looks to 3-year-olds!) and when I was taking a whole bunch of Olivia, Lily asked me why I was taking so many. I told her that sometimes you have to take three hundred pictures to get a good one.

Out of over a hundred I downloaded from the memory card, our entire life can be summed up in just 3 photos.

First off, a picture that Liam took of Nick, Olivia, and I. Nick's there in body but not in mind. That's the kid I have so frequently these days. Physically, he's home with me, but his thoughts are elsewhere, whether wedged between the pages of his current book or somewhere just beyond himself where he's re-living this morning's video game or plotting out his next project to build with treasures from the recycling bin.

Then there's me, not a trace of the makeup I used to wear every day, hair kind of pulled back into a falling out ponytail, and wearing stretchy clothes that mostly cover the bulges and bumps that my postpartum body is made of. While I do miss the way I used to have time to straighten my hair, carefully put on makeup, and pick out nice outfits that compliment my body, I'm far too enthralled with the little squishy person in my hands to really mind that I totally lack the time and energy to do these things anymore.

And then there is, of course, Olivia. She's cute. And squishy. And you can almost smell her milky goodness from the photo. And that is currently the entirety of her existence.

And then we have a picture I took. It was supposed to be of Olivia but Lily felt the need to get in there too. My dear, amazing, beautiful Lily. I can't get a normal picture of her. Or maybe all the crazy faces are normal since she makes them all the time. And the jumping in on whatever Olivia's doing? That's almost the entirety of her existence these days. She seems to alternate between loving up the baby and trying to be one of the big kids with Nick. If there's action somewhere, she wants in on it. If my attention is on something, she wants to make sure I'm still aware of her too. What she lacks in patience, she more than makes up for in enthusiasm and pure spirit.

And finally, we have Liam in a photo all by himself looking slightly pained. It often feels like there's a three-ring circus going on at home and Liam's off at work, stressing and making his brain smoke a little. I sometimes have these moments when he leaves the house when I envy his bus ride to work where he gets to listen to his own music or read a book uninterrupted, but the reality of the situation is that I don't envy the load he bears in being our breadwinner. I know that the worries and problems he confides in me are only the tip of the iceberg, and that his efforts and responsibilities are enormous.

So there you have it, a package of Johnstones all wrapped up in a package of three snapshots. I look forward to the days when I'll look back on these pictures and swoon over the memory of Olivia's babyness, wonder how I ever thought that Nick was old at almost 9, laugh at the young woman that nutty little Lily grew into, appreciate the time and energy I have for myself again, and feel ever more grateful for my incredible partner in life.

05 August 2009

This post was originally going to be all about babywearing, its benefits, and my history with slings, wraps, and my Ergo, but somehow between the business of life and the giant gaping hole where my brain used to be, the writing in my head is not materializing into writing on the screen.

Here, instead, is a brief glimpse into the love affair I'm enjoying with my wrap. It's a Merry Carry that I purchased from my dear friends at Tadpoles and Butterflies.

First some pictures. Right off the bat, we have a shot love the lovely Olivia enjoying a wrap-induced snuggle a few hours after her birth:

A naked afternoon nap on day 2:

Her first outing on day 3, a walk to the playground.

My activities while wearing Olivia in the wrap these past couple of weeks include:
  • eating
  • sleeping
  • blogging
  • sweeping the kitchen
  • cleaning the toilet
  • riding the bus
  • buying groceries
  • going for a walk while Lily rides her bike
  • chilling at Folk Fest
  • preparing meals (I was going to say cooking, but that's a bit of a strong term for the food prep I've been doing lately)
  • doing laundry
The only thing I've yet to manage that's really important to me is nursing her in the wrap. Once she's a bit bigger it'll be easier and I'll be more mobile. Woo!

For anyone who's interested in reading more about the benefits of babywearing, here's a list of informative links from The BabyWearer.

03 August 2009

Life these days seems like an endless series of bodily functions. Someone needs to eat. Someone needs to sleep. Someone needs to pee or poo. Part of it has to do with adding another person into our family and part of it has to do with how much that small person's bodily functions require my personal attention.

Every day is a bit better, but we're still miles from what was normal life a few weeks ago. Today, the sum total of my productivity was keeping most of my family taken care of and purchasing $300 worth of groceries. A year ago, that would have been a small part of my day and I could have gone on another outing or two and still had time and energy to spare. Today, though, by the time I shipped the older kids off to Grandma's house, fed the baby, washed the puke off the baby, dressed the baby, fed the baby, changed the baby's diaper, and got the baby to sleep so I could drive the five minutes to the grocery store, it was 4:30 in the afternoon. That's an entire day gone. Woosh!

Times like these help me determine my true priorities. Sleep, food, clean(ish) clothing. Those are the bare minimums. From there I can add in things like getting some cleaning done, playing with the big kids, poking around on the computer or talking to someone on the phone (or not, right Chad?!). A big leap above that is actually leaving the house. I'm only finding that I'm up to that feat every couple of days, which should make the upcoming 5 day stint of Folk Fest very interesting.

And now my priority is shifting from this rambly blog post to the frustrated baby who won't settle for her Dad...

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