Saturday, June 29

In Between- A Five Minute Friday Post

Daddy in between his girls on Father's Day!

(This post is part of 5-Minute Fridays...a space where Lisa-Jo Baker offers a prompt and hundreds of lovely ladies write for 5 minutes about that word(s). Here goes!)

In Between...

So I sit here, in the nursery, clicking away on computer keys.

The baby is in my bedroom sleeping. Her bedroom, which is mostly unused right now because she is sleeping in a bassinet in ours, is the only "safe", clean, quiet place in the house these days. 

And so when I was looking for a bit of respite this morning, a quiet place to call my own, a place where I could drink coffee, read a few pages in a book, and write a very short blog post, this was the only place in the house suitable for such "activity". 

The rest of the house is cluttered and the older girls are running rampant with sheets, which they are using to make tents, and prompting each other with noisy voices. The kitchen is still in its beautiful Saturday morning breakfast shambles...

Our lives feel a bit like the "in-between" right now...The baby is just eight weeks old and so it feels as if we are in-between a lot...there is no new "rhythm" quite yet...There is little time for writing or running (the two things that keep me sane!), much less the daily house tasks. The hubby and I share rigid words at tired hours and are in much need of some fun together.  

If you read my last blog post you also know I recently turned 35...a very IN-BETWEEN number indeed. In between 30, which seemed kind of young and 40, which seems...ahem...very MATURE. 

I'm in-between my old self...the young gal working at a publishing company in Boston and taking weekend trips with my boyfriend (now hubby) to places like New Hampshire and the Cape...and the new self...Momma to three girls who is working to etch out a full life for her family while still finding snippets of time to do the things she a rocking chair, in the corner of a nursery, while the baby sleeps and the girls thud around below. 

It seems that much of life is "in-between." It reminds me of my high school math teacher's telling me to  "show our work", or the steps we took to arrive at the answers to our homework problems. The "work" was what lie between the questions and the many ways it was actually more important than the answer itself. 

 I'm realizing that those math problems might have had implications for my life after all.  We live most of our lives in the middle space- in between the questions and the answers. 

The real goal then might not be to arrive at the answer but to be content doing the "work" in the middle.


Saturday, June 22

Birthday Banter

Alright, ya'll know I'm pretty honest about things, right? 

So here's the deal...I celebrated my birthday this week and it made me feel...dare I say...o-l-d. 

I know, I know...I'm still young by many standards, however...turning 35 makes a girl  stop to think! 

The day started with a conversation with my six year old about whose birthday was more fun...

It was later in the day and Ava had already wished me a "Happy Birthday" on several occasions, but wanted to tell me one more time...probably because the look on my face may have read, 'this is more funky birthday than happy birthday'

"Happy Birthday Mom," she said.

"Awww, thanks sweetie."

Silent pause.

"You know," I went on, "it's a lot more fun celebrating your birthday when you're 6 than when you're (gulp!) 35."

"Yeah...I know!" she retorted with big eyes. "I got lots of presents and cake and got to go to a bouncy house place."

"Yes. Yes you did."

Maybe that's what is missing, I thought, I should have booked myself 2 hours at a bouncy house place and bounced till my 35 year old self was content...or tired anyway! 

Honestly, it was kind of a funny day... I won't go into all of the details, but lets just say it was a definite reality check to the fact that I:

1. am definitely 35 years old
2. am definitely a mom to three children
3. have definitely been married for 10 years

It did end up including some cake from our fully comped dinner at the Olive Garden (comped because the $18 dish that I ordered because it was my birthday came out lukewarm, took a very long time, didn't include the grilled ciabatta the menu promised AND Scott's dish came out with the wrong type of pasta-- all a full 25 minutes after the girls got their kid's meals, finished eating, were bored and now crawling on the floor and being bribed with mints. Aubrey fortunately slept through most of it, but of course woke up demanding to be nursed 2 minutes before our food finally came to the table, which I tried to do as nonchalantly as possible under a nursing cover in the corner while answering questions about whether or not I'd like cheese on my dish) and some presents.

The day also included children whining about not having anything to do before 9:30 (it was Ava's first full day of summer vacation) and me griping that they had already left 17 messes around the house from things they had spent about 7 minutes each playing with...and then fighting with each other.

The baby cried a couple of times in between...and spit up all over several of my shirts...

Alright...I confess...I briefly shed a tear or two.

A self-pitying, "Are you serious right now...this is my birthday?" kind of tear.

"What's wrong Mom?"

"It's my Birthday and you guys keep fighting and the house is trashed...and...and...and I don't know!"

And that is pretty much how the day went, on and off. I ended up over at my sister's house, we both have newborns mind you. Between the two of us there were six children ages 6 and under running around, but I figured I'd rather be in the fray with another momma than at home facing it by myself!

She had her own bout of tearfulness at one point...her little guy is very colicky and fussy and she was at the end of a string of very long days when one of the kid's lunch plates tipped upside down onto the chair spilling ketchup, ranch dressing and cucumbers all over the chair and floor.

It was the straw...err the ranch dressing...that broke the camels (or mommas!) back, so to speak.

Ava happened to walk in right around that time and so after everything was cleaned up we mused about how much of all of this our poor children were going to remember someday and whether or not they would recall their mothers as solid loving women or emotional basket cases?! We're still hoping for the former (:

And while I'm on confessions, I must say turning 35 has thrown me for a bit of an emotional loop...the kind where you start asking all sorts of questions about where life is going and what you are doing...and then you clean up more toys, nurse the baby, make dinner and attempt to color your hair with a home coloring kit that turns your hair orange-ish red AND still leaves the grays to show in the front!

 Its kind of a funny place to be in and there aren't any solid answers to the questions...  I get that... I get that these are the days of just doing your best to parent well despite the craziness of it all.

I'm trying my best to do my best...and in between I take what I can get in the way of small, SMALL slivers of time to write and read a couple of pages in a book or a magazine (If you hadn't noticed my last blog post was almost a month ago!). I am moving (slowly) through Season 2 of "Parenthood" on Netflix (and LOVING it!) and I am trying to bring some order to the chaos that seems to be our house on a daily basis. My only consolation is that my sister, who is by nature MUCH cleaner than me, says that even  her house is always messy lately...when her house is messy you know things are nutty!

So here's to 35! The year of reality checks, sporadic blog posts and digging in my heels to making the most of the mayhem-- and learning to find more ways to see the beauty in all of it too.