Wednesday, May 23, 2012

s c a t t e r e d

I'm so glad I have been waking up feeling a little more refreshed lately. I don't have to drag my feet, I am happy to plant them on the floor and start my day. Our morning was peaceful, well, as peaceful as it can be with three little people all in want. The fourth slept soundly in her huge bed that we borrow at night. I pull her blanket to cover her toes, to trick her. Mama's warmth is not so easily replaced but this will be sufficient for the time being, I think.

I have three little birdies who love to sing. They sing in their nest, and they sing out in the world where open ears can hear them. While we shop, while we drive, while we walk. Observers often pause to hear and take in the sight and sound of my precious choir. It will soon be a quartet, undoubtedly.

On our drive home from dropping the oldest at school, we roll the windows down. There are no more curls to protect from the wind. We can be free again. Mama, the sun is in my face! I hear her shriek from the backseat. It's okay, Emme. The sun is beautiful. Let it shine on your face. See, it is bright and warm. We can't live our whole lives in the shade. You are like a flower, you need sun. I tell her this with the thought of my obsessive sunscreen rituals that must be plaguing her memory. But your flowers are dead, Mama. She speaks with intensive concern somehow coupled with sarcasm that not many people with less than 4 years of life under their belts possess.

My flowers are dead. Not all of them, however. I still have one hanging basket that lights up our front porch. During the hot days, it signals to the outside world that life still exists in this home. On the other side of the porch, hangs the dead basket that I haven't been able to successfully revive. That is another story in itself.

Today I am feeling more than ever that we should live somewhere else. Somewhere out, away from things. I hate to think of being away from my family, but I feel like we don't belong here. The manufactured rows of dwellings, so symmetrical. Of course there are a whole breed of us, dreaming of living where the colors we love exist. For some it is the yellow sands of the far-reaching desert. For others it may be the painted mountains as their backdrop or the cascading green hills of the open landscape. I want green. Trees, flowers, hills, creeks. Everything that scares me about the outside, like killer bugs who know no personal boundaries and even their less lethal counterparts would be worth the mental anguish. Because I'd be there. I don't feel unhappy here, how could I? My babies are my home. It is in their love and need for me that I live and breathe and grow. One day they will give me back my time and my direction and I feel that it will take me somewhere I dream of, out in the open. For now, I really am thankful for the huge backyard I have. It has lots of trees and interesting plants. I will put some of that longing energy into what I do have, and nurture it.

thankful that they have a place to explore

Monday, May 21, 2012

what i wanted - tea time

“As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it.”
― Andy Warhol

Although I complain about the intense heat here in this lovely city, it gives me all the more reason to sit back and enjoy a nice cup of iced tea, my favorite summer drink. For some reason, tea reminds me of my beautiful mother. Perhaps that is why I love it so much. She has a collection of tea sets with beautiful tea pots and tea cups. Growing up, she always made sure I had a tea set and I still have wonderful memories of that. My own children are enchanted by the same love of tea parties that most children are, and Luciana already has 2 sets in her collection. One from Malaysia that her father sent me when I was pregnant with her and another from my mother. Emme is following suit with her own little plastic set that her and Roslyn use everyday! I think the art of tea will have a permanent place in our family culture for generations to come. I am a tea lover. However, I don't know why I don't take pleasure in the little things I love more often. I think that is one of my faults, that I discount myself on enjoying simple things like my love for tea. I used to have a pretty bright yellow tea kettle, but I have moved a few times over the last few years, and I fear it may be buried in the boxes in my dad's garage somewhere. On the search for a new tea kettle, I ran across an awesome site, Tea Havana, and it has everything a tea lover could ask for. It has all the information one might need to discover new teas or enjoy current favorites. There is a great selection of tea kettles and even more equipment than I knew existed for tea time. The best part is the tea for beginners page where you can find all the information you might be interested in. Thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

this glass tea kettle is exactly what I would want

tea is best served in beautiful glass tumblers such as these

this exotic iced tea blend looks perfect for summer

And here are a few other pretty finds that caught my eye:

a really cool tumblr site with all things tea. this would go perfectly in my kitchen.

what better to go with a solo cup of tea than a good book

and finally, who wouldn't love some new tea towels?

I hope everyone has a great Monday. I'll be dreaming of my new tea kettle.

Friday, May 18, 2012

mama magic

I wrote the post below a week ago, but didn't get around to posting it. Thought I would post it so it wouldn't go to waste.

I can't believe the weather. We just skipped right over spring weather and went straight to the heat. Yes, I know it will get even more hot as the weeks go on, but I must say I am disappointed in this sorry-excuse-for-a-spring-season weather. It makes me want to move even more. The days for going outside were so limited this year. If I want to take all the girls somewhere, or even just outside, I have to do it extra early. If we go out in the evening, we become mosquito dinner. Yikes. I guess this summer will be a lot of indoor activities, because I hate taking babies out into the heat.

I need a patio, stat. It would be nice to have breakfast and maybe even a late, bug repellant included dinner outside this summer. Don't get me wrong, I love picnics. That will be our go-to activity I'm sure. I still remember picnics with my mother. Amazing how she could pull out anything from a bag and it would taste wonderful, just because she handed it to me. I still have this vague memory of an authentic picnic basket, too. I wonder what happened to it. I need one. It adds a special bit of magic. I need to remember the magic I have, as a mother. I get so BUSY. I forget that no one will ever be able to uncover the simple beauty of moments for my children better than I can. So many children in this world don't get to experience the magic, so I have to be mindful of creating as many special moments as I can for my girls. Time goes by so quickly. My 7 yr old would probably start looking for her own apartment if given the chance. I need to focus on creating a little bit of childhood magic, every day. I will. I am.

Here are a few magical moments we had recently:
Another recent backyard picnic

Pretty food is tasty food

See, all gone!

Happy girl

A special weekday dinner

Even daddy can create little magical moments

Hope everyone has a great weekend. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

happy thursday

I stayed up a little later than usual, surfing pinterest. For every 5 DIY pins I make, I should be required to create at least one. For a site that is used to inspire and motivate, it sure makes me feel like I get LESS done because I spend my time looking at what everyone else wants to do. Time sucker! I was tired this morning, but #2 decided that our day should start a little before 630am. Or was it #1? I don't know. Their shadows look the same when I ease out of my slumber. Despite my extreme fatigue, I remembered my promise the night before- and I started mentally planning our outdoor breakfast picnic. Mentally planning for me is the same as just doing, because I like to know exactly what I am going to do before I start. Yes, that is what I tell myself. Then I pulled myself out of bed and created a sweet little picnic for my babies. They loved every second. While I was getting everything ready, I promised myself I wouldn't stress over the mess and enjoy watching them be happy. It was perfect.

On the menu:
mini-pancakes w/ butter and a sprinkling of powdered sugar
wheat toast w/ butter and grape jelly
scrambled eggs w/ herbs de provence
fresh blackberries
blueberry mini-muffins
orange juice
tropical island frozen smoothies

 Roslyn could barely contain herself while I snapped a few pics, so sissy helped. 

Who needs syrup?

 I told you there was reason to hoard the milk jars. 

 Look mama, my cute little pancake. Take a picture!

 These....are delicious!

A little morning magic.

What a great start to another beautiful day with my little birdies. We even had time to do a little outdoor sketching. They all helped me pick up, and I had everything clean in 15 minutes. (Yay!)

They were all grateful, but Emme is known around these parts as being precociously adept at conveying the most genuine sentiments. It's the genuine sounding words that she speaks from her heart that catch me off-guard sometimes, even though it happens every day. 

"Thank you so much mama, I appreciate it!" She's 3 1/2, but she's been like that since she could speak. 

I can't wait til our next picnic. It'll have to be a nice dinner. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

nap time

#2: Mama, who was that man that used the bathroom?
Me: That was a man from a company who fixed things on our house.
#2: Well, why did he use the bathroom? Did he have to pee?
Me: Um, yeah, I'm pretty sure he needed to.
#2: Did you see his butt? 

Half of my day is over, half still needs to be lived. The first half was morning routine, a little outdoor time, mini-meals which seem to happen every 45 minutes, lots of cleaning, ordering from the Schwan's home delivery guy, and a few nursing sessions with the baby. Funny thing I realized, I usually clean the front part of the house first. I am guessing I have been subconsciously doing this in case I have surprise visitors. You never know when there may be a knock at the door, ya know? I'll get to the second half in chunks of free time.

I've been thinking a lot about homeschool again, and I feel this conviction to address it. I think this summer we will start dabbling in more home education. I have a passion for it, I have to admit. There are so many different methods. I feel like a kid in a candy store, deciding which ideas I will expose my children to. Imagine that. Being responsible for the concepts, theories and ideas that my children learn about. I am wondering why I don't know one person who has homeschooled their child or was a  homeschooled child themselves. I have been wanting to do it for so long, and I don't want to have any regrets about something so momentous in a child's upbringing. I can do it.

I have a mental to-do list a mile long. Maybe I should write it down.

#1 got her art journal, finally. If she had a good day at school, I think I will take them all outside this evening to journal a bit. I want to enjoy these days. I can't wait until the weekend to take things slow with these babies of mine. I need to slow down. I should take my own advice. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

it's over

Today was just one of those days. I start to feel overwhelmed, I text him. It's only 10:05am "I'm slowly becoming overwhelmed," I say. But he's working. The next text I get from him is at 3:48pm, "Be home at 5, got a ride." The universe just throws me a hand now and then, and it comes in little less obvious forms sometimes.

I woke up to the sound of #1 busting out of her room at 630ish. The door gets jammed, we should fix that. She dragged her Hannah Montana blanket out with her. Ol' Hannah. Glad we grew out of that phase in one piece. She laid on the couch next to me and #4, sleeping soundly. Out of all the room on the huge couch, she still wants to be next to us.

Within a minute, #2 follows her big sister's trail but veers off in her usual, somewhat obsessive, direction. I hear the familiar sound of a soda can being checked for remaining fluid. "HA, got you," I think to myself. "Get out of the kitchen" I say from the couch in the loud but still not quite yelling voice I have been perfecting. I try to sound as serious and stern as dad, but still hold back in fear of being too harsh over something so innocent, as almost all of their actions are rationalized by me. Or so I hear. "Mama, I'm so starving, I really am, please I can't wait," right on cue. "You'll be okay for a few minutes," I take a lesson from dad, once again. She sits and asks for Scooby-Doo, again.

I lay still until I send #1 off to get ready from my small cocoon that #4 keeps me in. She's like a magnet for snuggles. Just as expected, I soon hear the familiar "Maaama!" coming from #3 because her sister is in the bathroom, which shares a wall with her room. Maybe we should move her crib to the other side. Nah, she'd probably learn to open the window and crawl out. She loves being outside.

My day was beautiful because they were all a part of it. This is another page in my story. I tended to their wounds today, 3 of them have what I call, active wounds. #1 has this bug-bite-gone-awry, #3 busted her chin while standing on a kid's ikea stool apparently reaching for the sky, and #2 found a mark on her body after a long search just so she could get some of my TLC, too. Of course I gave it to her.

Sometimes I have to take a few deep breaths because there are four of them, needing me at once. Not just someone, but me. Attention. I am practicing the art of dividing it, keeping it quality, and enjoying it. This is it. That was my day.

I love them. Tonight they sleep, tomorrow they will wake. We will do a very similar routine, but I will smile at each expected turn.