Monday, October 25, 2010

Planting is required for blooming

Bloom where you're planted, the saying goes. I've tried my hand at blooming mums this fall.

The first one, I left in the pot from the store, set it in a bigger pot on the porch, and promptly watched it shrivel up and die while I forgot to water it.

Still determined to come home to blooming mums every day, I sprung for another one (OK, three). But I knew where to find help keeping these ones alive. The good old soil and sky. They went straight into the dirt in front of my house, where they can soak up water out of the ground and out of the sky. No more relying on only me and a tiny little pot of sandy soil. And they're still blooming!

My little mum experiment reminds me that before we bloom in our lovely new hometown, I can't over look some serious planting: getting out deep in the local dirt, being exposed to the elements, soaking up life from many directions.

Happy fall!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Boys just wanna have fun

They're 11 months old today! Their personalities have just exploded this month. Danny is now our chief explorer of all hills and corners of the yard, climber of gates and dryers, attacker of feet and mouths, inspector of all things machine-type. Jimmy is our chief belly laugher, cuddler of all, climber of chairs and couches, inspector-driver of all things with wheels. They've started to interact with each other more and more every day, chasing each other around, attacking each other during changing time, cracking each other up at every meal and every hour in between, and talking to each other when they should be napping. These guys make me (and all of us) smile a ton and laugh hard every single day.

I finally managed to catch a little snippet of their good times this afternoon...hope they bring a smile to your face too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How babies are kind of like sunrises

I love watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. It sinks, sinks, colors the sky beautifully, and then it is gone. And I just stare out at the ocean through the entire thing.

I got to see it rise over the Atlantic Ocean for the first time this past weekend.

It was my first time out to the Maryland coast, one of those little adventures that John and I are addicted to yet sometimes loathe until it's happy hindsight. You know, stressing to get out the door, arguing over how to get there and who sucks at directions on the fly (that would be me) and being constantly overwhelmed by the large size of our family and the big work of our little guys that crowds out so much else.

But we did squeeze in some fun between eating, sleeping, eating, and sleeping. The girls and I hustled out a block to the beach, hoping to catch the sun rising, and I was thrilled to get there with no sun in sight. The girls fiddled around in the sand while we waited and waited for the big moment, watching the horizon get just a little brighter. And then suddenly, this big brilliant light burst out of the water, and it was so bright that I COULDN'T WATCH IT ANYMORE! So much for the peaceful gazing I'm accustomed to at sunset.

And then, I realized, babies are kinda like ocean sunrises. You wait for it, wait for it, and then BAM it's brilliant and beautiful and blinds you all at once and you go bumbling through the rest of the day (or life?!), glad that it's there but unable to soak in all the greatness until, well, sunset?

(And, babies or sunrise, it turns out having a camera to capture what you can't see at the time comes in kind of handy too :)).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A little crisis is good for the house

My housekeeping style these days is purely crisis-driven. OK, to be more specific, my floors ONLY get cleaned when there is a crisis. Exceptions: when our house was the on the market last year, and when the lovely Jess babysat AND cleaned my floors for me three years ago!

Massive dry oatmeal spills (which my girls sneak for snacks?!) tell me when it's time to vacuum.

Wet spills tell me when it's time to mop. Between breakfast, showers, homework, and the bus coming this morning, the boys raided a giant jar of soap (nothing new) and spilled half of it all over the kitchen (new). By the time I got there, they'd slipped and scooted to the entry, spreading the love. Time for the bi-monthly appearance of my mop and bucket, and while I'm at it, I might as well throw the spatula in to scrape a dozen petried green beans off the dining room floor. Some months, I'm lucky enough that it's just a pitcher of water or juice that spills. This month, I guess we needed the extra cleaning power.

Oh, did I mention that the boys also got a bath out of our little crisis too? Baths are also purely dictated by crisis around here. Crises of sticky messes or incredible smells that is.

Yay for clean floors! However, I do truly hope that I don't have occasion to clean them until at least next month. I have been ignoring the little piles of oatmeal upstairs for a week though...
update: Would you believe that I stepped in a new puddle of the very same soap when I bumbled downstairs to make bottles this morning? Apparently more fun was had while I was at work last night. And I'm the genius who put the soap right back where they destroyed it yesterday! No mop today, just a few towels. I chose to hunt down the oatmeal instead.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Praying less

Praying with less words that is. In the church that I grew up in, prayers were long, proper, and made more powerful by including lots of Bible verses. In another church I've called home as an adult, I learned that it was also OK to pray a lot less formally and the verses were often replaced with expecting that the Spirit might speak to me or someone else powerfully through the words that showed up in my prayer.

But in the last year of many changes and especially TWINS, things have often been more urgent and desperate. You know, holding a baby who will not fall back to sleep at night again, laying in bed listening to someone crying back to sleep, coming to the end of a tough day. Nothing spectacular, just beyond my control.

This is the stuff that drives me to ask for God's help. But with the burden of all these kids and responsibilities, the last thing I need weighing on me is the need to pray only in a way where I "help" God show up, either by Bible verses or being all spiritually in tune. (Maybe he'll show up in that way, but maybe not. Maybe that's not the point at all.)

So this is how I've been praying lately. "Rest." "Peace." (No, not rest in peace dear babies! :)) "Patience." I'm literally out of words/thoughts/energy/spirituality to say more. I think God gets the message just fine. Maybe he even prefers it that way sometimes.