Monthly Archives: May 2012

*Poof* Out of nowhere

The kids are both in a phase right now where they’re literally amazing us every single day.

It’s like they wake up and think… what new thing can I get up to today?

Levi spouts out new words as if he’s always said them.

“Oh, it’s windy!” he said the other day when we got out of the car.

All I could do is look at him and say, “yes, yes it is windy.”

We didn’t teach him that word – at least not in the repeat-after-me-I’ll-name-it-for-you kind of teaching.

He just learned it by picking it up.

A small example, but every day now he says many, many things along these same lines.

Seeing that little brain just explode with information and vocabulary is seriously awesome to me.

Not to mention potty training. By two hours into it he was already telling us when he had to go. And after the first two days he was waking dry from naps. And this morning (day five) he woke dry from overnight.

Hello, we aren’t even training him for overnight yet. We’ve kept him in diapers at night! Obviously he’s training himself. Smart cookie.

And Judah’s the same.

All of a sudden today he just stood up on his own and stayed there for seconds before falling. He didn’t pull himself up on anything, didn’t have assistance, he just stood.

At eight months old (yesterday) he’s seriously freaking me out the way he’s determined to move along. No doubt he’ll be an early walker.

And I guess that’s the thing with milestones. There’s all this developmental work in the background that’s going on that you can’t see… and then one day *poof* – it’s as if their skill emerges out of nowhere.

I wonder how much of that we lose as adults, obsessed with finding the quickest solutions and shortest routes to success. We want to skip straight to the results and rarely give time to work hard and build behind the scenes where no one can see us or where there’s nothing to show for our hard work and investment.

Or maybe that’s just me?

In any case, I’m completely astounded with my ambitious little boys at the moment.

They are so entertaining. And so fun to watch and learn from.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you witnessed a skill emerging from what seemed like thin air? (In an adult or a child.)

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

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A fifteen hour work day. Again.

At 10:00pm tonight I had finally finished with unpacking the groceries, putting away the clean dishes, loading the dirty ones in the dishwasher, finishing the laundry, and giving a quick wipe of the kitchen sink and counters.

That’s a fifteen hour work day right there. And that’s not including checking or responding to emails or anything ‘admin’ related. (Or personal stuff – like writing here on my wee blog!)

I’m not saying that to complain (though sometimes I desperately want to complain about it).

I’m saying it because I used to think it really sucked when I had to work late – until 6:00 or 7:00pm.

And now here I am at 10:00pm and I’m just now sitting down alone for the first time today. (When your job is like mine you work through your “lunch break” on a daily basis.)

The thought of sitting down in the evenings and zoning out in front of the telly is very appealing, but even that seems hard to come by these days.

I’m not sure why it’s taken me almost 2.5 years, but I think I’m just now figuring out how different my life really is since having kids.

I’m just now figuring out that I actually can’t compare it to “life before” when it comes to work hours and down time or else I just get depressed!

I wouldn’t trade my job if I could. Really.

But it is hard, and tiring, and consuming.

I have days (like yesterday) when I’m ready to call up a day care centre and see how much it costs to send the kids there. Seriously.

While at the same time I know what an absolute privilege it is that I’m able to stay home with my kids. (Something not every mom who desires to is able to do.)

I’m blessed. Tired, and blessed.

(And for the record, I know that everyone has days they want to quit their job. Being a SAHM isn’t any different – I realize that.)

Anyway.

Tomorrow morning I will get up and start all over again.

Rejoice!

STOP.

 

Q for you: Are you a SAHM? If so, are you deliberate about “clocking off” at a certain hour? Or do you find yourself pulling lots of late nights like me? How do you build in margin??

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Dread. Don’t do it.

Dread is a sneaky kind of fear that robs you.

It doesn’t exactly feel like fear, because there’s not that ‘afraid’ aspect to it.

But don’t be fooled, the dragging-your-feet-expecting-the-worst is a type of fear no doubt.

Recently I tackled something that I had been dreading.

For months I had imagined it. Loathed it. Resisted it. Put it off.

And then finally, I did it.

To my surprise it was much, much easier than I had expected.

(Yes, I’m talking about potty training Levi here. But that’s not the point.)

The thing is, I had built it up into this momumental task in my head – something to be entered upon almost as a martyr… surrendering myself to the cause.

I put on my mom boots and got to work.

And found it to be…

Easy.

And… even fun. (*gasp*)

So all of those months spent dreading and procrastinating? I now realize those were moments wasted, robbed by a mundane sort of fear that never should have been there in the first place.

And I see this to be true in other areas where I’ve “dreaded” before.

So here’s the thing about dread: don’t do it.

It’s just not worth it.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What have you been dreading lately?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Like a wave

It caught me by surprise.

He climbed up onto the side bar of the swing set yelling, “Watch, mommy!” over and over again.

I’ve heard that phrase many times before.

But this time it came from a little boy with striped socks, a zippered hoodie dotted with robots, too-long hair covering part of his eyes, and green “big boy undies” peeking out the top of his just-too-short-jeans.

Like a wave it hit me – my baby is not my baby anymore.

This is not my first “moment” in motherhood. Nor will it be my last.

But today in that 4:00 shadow where my son enjoyed his freedom to climb and jump and be his funny, brave, amazing self… I realized the one who made me a mom is a boy I must get to know all over again.

I’m so proud of him. And yet I want to hold on to him just the way he is. Right now.

Dang. I love him so much it hurts.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you wanted to freeze time?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Gush gush

It’s far too late to be writing anything coherent tonight, but I’ve just now finished a few hours worth of editing my last two months of photos. (Otherwise known as deleting about five thousand similar shots of blurred little people.)

Oh, it feels good to finally be caught up on that little area of my life. (Prepare for an onslaught of Booker boys on facebook over the next week.)

I actually don’t intend to write tonight except to say this:

Lately my heart is bursting for my little boys.

Obviously I always love them (and would probably always say something similar), but at the moment they are just killing me with the cute. And the new skills. And the personality.

Everything.

Gush, gush, gush, I could write a massive old gush. (But I won’t. I’ll save that for their personal blogs that I write without succumbing the world to.)

And since it’s approaching the coach-turning-into-a-pumpkin hour, I will just finish by saying this:

My eyes are heavy but my heart is full.

Thankful, I am.

STOP. (early)

 

Q for you: Are you an out-loud gusher? Or do you prefer to just reflect internally on your emotions?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Six months. Almost.

I thought it time for a little check-in related to this blog.

Hard to imagine that it’s been almost half a year since I started this crazy five-minute a day project.

I’m so glad I did. Some of my favorite writing has come in the moments before bed in this little space.

Until recently, I had not missed a day. That alone makes me happy – shows that I’m growing in discipline.

This month has been harder. I think I’ve missed four days now. Maybe five.

But instead of getting cranky about it, I’ve decided to be gracious to myself.

I’m in the throes of life with littles right now and to say I’m tired is an understatement.

Ultimately, I’m proud that I’ve made it this far.

I’ve done more writing on a consistent basis here than I ever could have in another format.

It’s been liberating to not have a focus or a niche.

And it’s been liberating to not worry about editing.

Mostly, it’s just been liberating to write. (Cuz I am a writer, you know.)

Six more months to go with this project.

Can I do it?

I think yes.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What have you accomplished lately that’s been hard but makes you proud?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The one about falling asleep fully clothed

It was a fall-asleep-in-your-clothes sort of day.

One moment I was feeding Judah before putting him down for the night, the next moment I was waking up fully clothed (with my contacts still in – yuck) sometime in the middle of the night.

For every good intention I had of squeezing in some work after the kids went down, my body had another idea.

Seems lately I can barely keep my eyes open.

Lists sit untouched. Laundry sits unfolded. Emails sit waiting for replies. Blogs sit ignored. Projects sit half-done.

I’m behind on every single thing I’m working on, full of new ideas I’m unable to implement, lagging on some of my day-to-day responsibilities, and wondering how to live this season well.

I still have so much to learn.

I probably need to get into the habit of taking an afternoon nap again, like I did for the first few months after Judah was born.

(For the record, Judah is not a fan of sleep. And that? That pretty much just makes me tired. All the time.)

I will say this: for all the things I’m failing at, one thing I’m doing right – I’m playing with my boys and helping them to grow and learn.

(Levi knows his left and right. Seriously? Can I just brag about that a tiny bit? I think it’s amazing considering I still sometimes have to stop and think about which one is which. So yes, my children are genius. *snicker* At least I can be proud of them. *grin*)

I’m multi-tasking less. Trying to listen more. Focusing on enjoying life more.

I know I’ll never regret that.

But still? Dang, I’m tired.

And dang, I’m half-drowning in the not-yet-done.

STOP.

 

Q for you: I didn’t write last night because I fell asleep at 7:30pm fully clothed. When’s the last time you were that tired?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

 


More

I’m having one of those “alien” days.

The kind where you feel like a foreigner in your own land.

I’ve written about this before – about the feeling that you belong, but not quite. The longing for something more.

It’s the hope of heaven. The promise of a real home.

And it’s not that I’m discontent where I’m at.

The opposite really – I love my home, my family, the life we’ve built.

But I know there’s more.

Perhaps it has something to do with returning from a place (Sydney) where I always feel a glimpse of destiny. A something “other” that I don’t even know how to pinpoint.

Perhaps it has something to do with remembering what it’s like to connect with friends from a special (favorite) season of my life.

But whatever it is, the feeling is there. Real, raw, a little bit nagging.

The calm after the storm and the anticipation of the next one all rolled into one.

And I remember that I’m an alien here.

I really don’t belong.

My passport says USA. My address says Australia. But my heart says heaven.

My home is not here.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you ever feel like you belong, and yet don’t belong?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Going away and coming home

I just returned from the most refreshing three days I’ve had in a long time.

Judah and I went to Sydney where I met up with friends–most of whom I haven’t seen in five years–and visited family.

We ate Thai. We picnicked in the park. We got absorbed in the city. We talked about deep and meaningful issues. We walked miles and miles and miles, pushing strollers all the way.

I had pockets of “alone” time – small ones – but enough to remember how much I love breathing city air and merging into the bustle. (Alone time, meaning just Judah and I.)

There were special moments between my son and I that are hard to articulate, but I’m so grateful for. We’re closer because of it.

It’s hard to explain why this weekend was so perfect, but it just was.

And as I collapsed  into bed last night – exhausted and sore – I had a smile on my face knowing that I’d wake up and go home again.

Home to my family, home to my loves, home to my heart.

Going away is amazing. But coming home is even better.

(I missed this guy.)

I’m so grateful for this weekend away. My heart is truly full.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you been away lately? Do you love coming home as much as I do?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


City and country

I’ll probably never fully be able to understand it or explain it.

I was born and raised in small towns but I feel most at home in the city. Always have.

I remember as a kid going to Portland – a small city that I thought of as a “big city” back then. It always gave me a thrill. I loved the traffic and freeways and tall buildings and bustle.

I loved the fashion. I loved the movement.

I’ve never been to a city I didn’t love, although I’ve travelled in cities all over the world in both developed and developing countries.

But no matter where they are, cities captivate me.

The countryside is gorgeous and I adore the mountains… but I’m happy to seek rest there and then return to “normalcy” in the city where life bursts from the seams and sidewalks are filled with diversity and rhythm.

I’ve always known I would be a city girl.

As an adult I understand the pull a bit more:

I love the nations and they way they melt into urban centers and yet still bring with them so much culture and interest. (There’s a togetherness in the separateness–and a separateness in the togetherness–which I love.)

I love the beauty they offer – the art, the music, the theater, the style.

I love that they are a microcosm and a snapshot of the nation at large.

I love that they are the seat of power and government and commerce and education.

I love them so much that I find it hard to understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else.

And yet after seven years of living in the city I’m once again living in a small town (and have for the last four years).

We’ve never really been a great fit – the small town and I.

And yet I know I’m where I should be – my small town by the sea.

If I’m lucky, someday I’ll live in my city by the sea.

Sydney would do just fine.

STOP.

 

 

Q for you: Are you a city person or a small town person?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink FIve | Five minutes a day, unedited