a sad state of affairs

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wednesday morning, Nya was escorted into our room crying.  She had fallen out of her bed and hit the corner of her eye on another piece of furniture. We kept ice on it for as long as she would let us, but as her eye slowly swelled shut throughout the day, my heart swelled with hurt. This was one of those kinds of accidents that gives a visual reminder of what happened every time you look at your child, somehow breaking a small corner of a mother's heart.

Day 1


Day 2
(different day - same jammies and hair bow)

 Day 3
(same hair bow, changed out of the same pink jammies moments earlier)

By day 3 the inevitable rainbow colors of the bruise began to show.
Nya thought this was kind of cool.


Day 4
(hair bow. jammies. Are you catching the theme?)

We are on day 4 now. 
The scab is beginning to lift, and the chameleon like qualities of the bruise are in effect - 
changing its colors to that unavoidable sickly yellow. 
Not nearly as pretty as the spectrum of the day before.

But spirits are high, and healing is just around the corner. 
The worst part (besides that she was hurt) is taking your wee one out into public 
and drawing the attention of every passer-by, and wanting to assure them that you 
did not give your child the shiner she now sports. 

April Showers

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We have many birthdays in this family in the month of April, 2 of them belonging to Emma (April 14th) and Darren (April 22nd).

Emma is 9 years old - FINALLY! She has been counting down to this day for longer than I can remember. Why has this one been extra special? Because it means the end to the booster seat. I guess this is big business when you are small.
Everyday I am grateful for Emma. In many ways I regret having named her that. Not because I don't love the name, but simply because of its popularity. I feel as though I've failed her in some way - silly, I'm sure, but the way I feel nonetheless.
But as I have watched her grow I have come to realize that she doesn't need a unique name to make her so. She is, through and through, one of a kind! Thank you Emma, for blessing my life with your ginger hair, your silly sense of humor, and your sweet, sweet heart.

Darren is 37 this year, and somehow that makes me feel old. But young or old, I can't imagine anyone I'd rather be with, from now through to wrinkled and white-haired. 
Thank you for spending your life with me, and sharing all that you have. 

Happy birthday!
I love you both.

Pickle Car {a.k.a. Richard Scarry's Busytown}

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On Saturday Nya and I, accompanied by Owen and Auntie julianne, went to the theatre to see Busytown. Every night before bed, leading up to that day, Nya would count down the days left until it was time to go and see the "Pickle car". I had such high hopes that this would be so much fun, for the both of us - my enjoyment felt through her excitement. 

10 minutes into the program Nya asked if we could go home. I was so sad she didn't have the reaction I had anticipated. And then I realized in the rush of everything we had done that morning, the million places I had gone before, and the shower I was determined to get in, I forgot to feed this poor little thing lunch. Luckily, there was an intermission. We followed our noses and found that the ice rink concession stand was open and smelling so good, especially when you are feeling so hungry. With a tummy full of hotdog, we made our way back up to the show, and the second half went much better than the first. 

She has talked about it everyday since, and asks when we can go back. I think that must mean she had a great time - even if the highlight was a hotdog with ketchup!


Monday, April 23, 2012

"The most important 'yes' we can say to our children is, 'Yes, I have time for you'."
Patricia Holland

How often I mistake the difference between quantity and quality.
How much more wisely I could use my days. 
I see these children transforming before my very eyes, and still I think I have all the time in the world.
The clock will not wait for me.
Children will not pause. 

shift work

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I was introduced to the mormon channel tonight, by my sweet sister-in-law Julianne. She told me of a couple of conversations/interviews she heard that she found truly inspirational. I was eager to get home, tuck my wee ones into bed and listen. As Julie Beck talked she related our lives to that of shift work. The simile made me smile, and I began to think about my own life. I don't mind the day shift. We wake up usually refreshed and ready for a new day. The day shift brings chores and self-care. It involves scripture study and family prayer. We fall into learning; books are opened, journal pages filled, and math puzzles solved. So many things await us; new things to learn, new adventures to have, some old ones to finish, and fresh games to play. 

Then there is the afternoon shift. This is the shift that is the very hardest for me. Everyone is learned out, worked out, tired out, and hungry. We might even be a little bit tired of each other. This is the shift that as Sister Beck puts it, "we need to be at the top of our game". Tears come more easily, feelings hurt more readily, and little ones need extra love. Dinner is also anxiously awaiting preparation. This is the shift I anxiously await the arrival of a much needed new pair of eyes, ears, and arms - Daddy! 

The evening shift follows. This is usually my favorite shift, and not just because bedtime is only around the bend (although there are days when nothing is more appealing). This is a time for bubble baths. It is my time to wash and wrap warm towels around clean heads and toes - to snuggle, to read, to kiss and hug, and to tuck away for the night. This is a time I use to bond one on one with the older children. The younger ones usually take up much of my energy during the day, simply because they demand my attention in a different way than the older ones do. But the older children and I have a special routine at night. When the smallest of the smalls are snoozing, when the house has gone to bed, when jammies are donned, I exhale and we bond in the pages of books. Each child has a novel that I read to them. We snuggle in my bed, and enter a world of fiction. This doesn't happen every night, but as often as it can. It is our time to escape into imagination.

Noelle and I are reading this book. This is our second time through - we love this book. 
It reminds me a bit of The Lord of the Rings, but girly.

 Bergen and I just finished this one. It made us both laugh out loud. 
This is a book for boys, about boys, involving pirates, murderous mermaids, and gigantic flying reptiles. 
If you have a boy, I think I can safely say they will love this book.

 And this book, which is a sweet story about a ballerina, a mouse, and a missing voice, is being enjoyed my Emma and myself. 

Not only are we shift workers, but overtime is mandatory. Vacation days are few and far between. And the pay does not come in the form of many digits. Neither is it in fame.

No, It is subtly revealed in sticky jam kisses, and spontaneous I love you's. It is in the eyes of the child who seeks your comfort when hurt or discouraged. It is in the little hand that holds yours. It is in the plea, "mommy, watch me". Our reward is in a place we cannot see. We are the president, the princess, the pop-star that first captured the hearts of our children. It is in that part of them that is just for us. The corner of their hearts that only we can fit into. That is something money could never buy and fame could not fulfill.

We are the shift workers, we are the mothers.

here comes the bride

Sunday, April 15, 2012

 We kept it a secret until the very end. 

 The groom delivered her right on time - pretty and perfect and unsuspecting.

  Maid of honor Stephanie - a.k.a Cousin. 

 Laurie (mother of the groom), and Debra (dear friend extraordinaire)

 Bridesmaids - Stephanie (Nya on hip), Paisley, and Krista.

 Laurie - beautiful mother of the groom.

 Aubrey, the bride, and Kirsty, mother of the bride.

 Spencer showed up at the end and was just in time to open the last present, which happened to be from his mom. 
She put together a bag of things for their honeymoon to Mexico, including matching flip-flops and t-shirts!

Of all the photos this is my favorite! 
Darren had taken the boys out dirt bike riding before the shower began, and when they arrived home, an hour into the shower, things were in full swing. 
 It was standing room only. 
This is Tate in a house bursting with chatting, laughing, happy women. 

There are so many people I have to thank for this night, and although thank you does not seem enough I hope you will know just how grateful I am. 
First of all - thank you Emma, for sharing your day, your birthday, so that we could have this shower.
Thanks to everyone who came, including family from the mainland.
Stephanie and Kirsta - thank you for everything you did. I sincerely cherish the time we spent together preparing for this shower! 
Naomi and Laurie - thank you for the food you so willing and lovingly made for this evening. 
And dear Debra - the power behind the vision. Thank you for everything. From party favors to mini cheese cakes, peach tulle, punch, prizes, and tissue paper, from candies to table cloths sewn in the final hour - thank you. I love you.

Aubrey - I love you and I wish you the very best. I will be forever grateful that I was able to have this small part in this most exciting time in your life. 

Love, Shelli