what's up weekly.

nothing happened last week.

happy weekend.

my recovery in his sickness.

he hasn't slept in hours, though he wants to and needs it.  his eyes rimmed red, swollen, voice gravelled from pleading, and what can i do?  it's a minor sickness, and certain to be gone within a day or two, but that brings no reassurance to a baby who is only now, for the first time, realizing that there is such a thing as a fall.

so we rock.  his hot little body wrapped up in fleece, his snot on my shoulder, we rock.  the weight of his head presses, releases, presses, releases with the force of gravity, and i stroke his soft blonde hairs.

i don't know why i do it.  i have never been one to coddle illness, but i rather take to it as though to punish it for trespassing upon our family.  i rarely have the time or patience to cuddle sick little ones, though i'm not entirely frigid and do encourage lots of blankets and couch-time and even movies and treats.  after all, it is not the child's fault for getting sick but rather the fault of the illness itself for daring to show up uninvited and without so much as a hostess gift.  but it's not my fault either, and daily life cannot stop for a runny nose.  there are dishes to do, other children to occupy!

but now, today, with two other healthy children underfoot and plenty of messes to both perpetrate and sentence, i rock my smallest and do not wish i was elsewhere.  it is dark where we are, and secluded, and the air is warm, cozy, bordering on stuffy.  i sit, my back aching, in a spindle rocker purchased at a garage sale from a woman i can only assume is a good six inches shorter than i.  the chair has no seat pad, though i've made do with a lumpy pillow unfit for sleeping on, and i've positioned myself so that my spine curves between the spindles that compose the back of the chair.  i lean my head back against the top arch of the rocker and rest the baby on my chest.

his hot breath is a necklace as i sing the regular hymns.  his inhales are interrupted by his attempts to suck his principal fingers - he can only breathe through his mouth since wind in his nose just rattles around and stops dead before ever entering his lungs.  both of us struggle to relax into this.

but then, slightly, softly, i feel his chest bump-bumping against mine.  my heart beats bigger and slowly compared to his quick (though slowing) rhythm.  our hearts are beating against each other, through my shirt, through the fleece, through the fever just under his skin.  and i think about the days when we shared a body, when our lives were completely woven together and there was no separation.  but i am more intimate with him now than then.  i can smell him and feel the heaviness of him in my arms and i know the deep blue of his eyes.  we're not together, hearts together, now because of necessity or pure biology, but because of comfort and warmth and being known and choice.

his labored breathing eases and slows, and i stop singing but keep rocking.  i pray for him and he is asleep.  i keep rocking.  now it's just for my own comfort, relishing the little life that has been entrusted to me, and grateful for the glimmer of contentedness in the muck and exhaustion of motherhood.

i lay him down, curled up, finally at rest.  i go lightly out the door and pull it closed behind me, better now, finally at rest.

video vednesday: eating has been around since the medieval times. and colors has been around since the 1950's.

happy birthday, a bag of skittles.

(i seriously wanted to simply use a transcript of this entire video as the title of today's post.  NEED I SAY MORE?!)

i think this dream is showing up about thirteen years late.

hey, so i know how you're probably all, 'i have the weirdest dreams,' and i know how whenever you say that, there's at least two or twenty people that are like, 'no, i have the weirdest dreams.  you lose, sucker.'  and then you go home and fall asleep with tears on your pillow and then don't dream anything weird.  i know how depressing that can be; i feel you.


i really did have a weird dream the other night, so i'm going to brag on it.  stop reading now if it's too difficult for you to bear.

i was newly married to mike seaver.  (WHAT?!  you better know what i'm talking about, Child of the Eighties.  and you better know every single word to the theme song.  or we can't be friends.)  no, not kirk cameron.  mike seaver.  and me and mike went to visit his sister, tracey gold, and his mom, joanna something.  i know this is getting confusing since mike seaver is a character and tracey gold is the actress who played his sister, but let's keep up and move on, shall we?

anyway.  tracey gold was pregnant but you couldn't tell.  and joanna something was mean and frigid and very upset that i kept breaking the crystal chandelier bobbies that she had hidden all over the house.  then i clumsily broke these ones that she had hidden in a drawer under the coffee table, and can i just say that was the straw that broke the mother-in-law's back?  she went APE CRAP and she and tracey gold told me i was not welcome in tracey gold's beach house anymore and that i had to go outside and wait on the dock.  then i told tracey gold that she's bulemic.  then tracey gold told me that she was naming her unborn daughter penelope just to spite me.  and i was all, TRACEY GOLD, NO YOU DIDN'T. 

so i went out to the dock to brood and admire the many tricycles left laying around, and because it was tracey gold's neighborhood it was clearly very fancy (although also on what appeared to be the mississippi river and set back in a forest simultaneously, so it was very 'hill people chic').  all the beach houses were painted in coordinating shades, and the neighborhood headmistress handed out fan decks of the paint colors used to all visitors to the 'village.'

i spent the rest of the dream hating tracey gold, looking through paint swatches, and admiring a particular foresty green used in the outdoor nursery of her next door neighbor.  also, i had to paint my nails red because otherwise no one would believe that i was mike seaver's wife.  the end.

anyone out there adept at dream analysis?  if you tell me that i have a deeply buried longing for my husband to grow a curly mullet, i'll probably be all, 'tell me something i don't know.'

the biggest little van voorst.

one of the things i've always loved about kids is that they say the funniest stuff.  it's really a shame that most kids don't write blogs, although it would probably put me out of a job if they did.  and by 'put me out of a job,' i mean, force me to do stuff normal adults are expected to do instead of blogging all day and shirking my responsibilities.

so i have taken it upon myself to record the thoughts and feelings of my kids, in their own words.  today, let's have peek into the mind of atticus.

...the other night we had some friends over and celebrated communion together.  todd described to atticus what was happening, explaining that the bread represented jesus' body and the grape juice represented his blood.  when atticus asked if he could have some juice, todd said he could have some later but that during communion, only people who have put their faith in jesus should participate.  later that night, atticus was like, 'dad, can i have some of that?' and todd was like, 'some of what?'  and atticus was like, '...jesus' blood.'

...on our anniversary, todd printed out a couple of our wedding photos for the kids to carry around, including a photo of our whole wedding party.  penelope was looking at it and said, 'i want to wear a white dress like mommy.'  i responded by telling her that she could wear one when she grows up and gets married.  atticus replied, 'when i grow up, i'm going to get married five times.'  i told him that no, when we grow up we pick one person and marry that person one time.  so he studied our wedding photo, pointed to my bridesmaid jeska and said, 'i pick that one!'

...atticus hit his head and started crying.  i asked him if he wanted me to put a kiss on it, and he replied, 'no, jesus will heal it.'

...atticus told todd, 'when i grow up, i want to be like you.'  todd replied, 'are you going to have a wife?'  'yeah.'  'are you going to have kids?'  'yeah.  and a water bottle.'

...the other night when atticus was saying his prayers with todd, he said, 'thank you jesus for my big boy bed, thank you for my mommy, thank you for a thousand dollars.'

that's right little buddy.  thank you for a thousand dollars.

i seriously have the best job in the world (meaning, raising my kids, not blogging).  and i'm hoping atticus shares those thousand bucks with me; it's about time i get paid to do some stuff around here.

again with the '(bi)weekly what's up.'

last friday i failed to post a family update since it was our anniversary and i considered the summary of the past five years of our lives to be a sufficient update for the week.

but lo!  we've done some stuff.  so it's time to update yet again.

when last we left you, it was august 10, so we'll start there.  todd took the day off of work and we took the kids down to the zoo.  it was downright frigid, although you can't tell from the photos since i dress my kids rather inappropriately for the weather more often than i'd like to admit.  the zoo store sold a ton of sweatshirts that day, so maybe i wasn't the only one underprepared for the desolate tundra that was the des moines zoo on an august day.  i would have dedicated a whole blog post to this, but since we were only two normal two-handed humans with three kids, we got like three whole pictures.

then, todd dug a big hole.  it was a major undertaking.  i'll tell you about it next week.

finneas had his first sit in the exersaucer, though i don't think he had much fun considering the seat gave him a major wedgie and he spent the entire time looking on in terror as his siblings fought over who got to mess with the exersaucer the most.  poor child.  i'm guessing third children rarely have any unadulterated fun in their lifetimes since they're always having to be conscious of which limb they'll likely have to chew off if things turn ugly.  but, on the positive side, i'm guessing most people who die stranded in the woods are firstborns because they have irrational levels of confidence that got them into the woods in the first place, and have never had to cope with their own mortality before.  so, i'm glad to know finneas will likely never involuntarily die in the woods.

we celebrated our five-year anniversary by eating fish tacos at home with the kids.  it was nice to celebrate five years of blessings, in our home, with the kids god has given us.

the next day, we tried to attend a friend's party, but when we pulled out of the driveway our tire was majorly flat.  as in, completely coming off the wheel. so our handy neighbor helped us put the spare donut tire on and we gimped our way to town to get a new tire.  instead of yummy picnic food like they were eating at the party, we ate at the mcdonald's in the walmart, dropped way too much money on a new tire, and left just in time to get the kids home and in bed.  sad night.  happy anniversary to us.

we have at least two mice that were living in our house.   and one more that probably still is.  i'll tell you next week how todd found himself having to strategically run over one of them with his car.

and here we are already.  ready to see what a new week holds.

what were you guys up to?

i wish i could say i rarely do stuff like this.

let me just paint you a little picture:

the other day, todd was leaving to put gas in the car and asked if i needed anything while he was out.  i said no, so he left.  but then!  i thought of something!

so i went busting out the sliding door as he was pulling out of the driveway.  he was too busy looking at the neighbor to notice me as i was frantically trying to wave him down.  the neighbor thought i was waving at him, so he waved back.  todd thought the neighbor was waving at him, so he waved back.  and kept driving.

so then i went busting across the lawn to try to catch up with him before he turned into the street.  but he was too busy looking at the lady across the street to notice me flailing both arms over my head and sprinting at him.  the lady across the street started pointing at me to try to get him to turn around.  instead, he was all, why's she pointing at me? and kept driving. 

he pulled onto the street, so i started running down the sidewalk alongside his car, yelling and waving my arms.  when he finally saw me, he slowed down and rolled down his window so i could breathlessly tell him what i needed him to get.

oh, what i wouldn't do for some sunflower seeds.

oh chandy, you came and you gave without taking.

so, most rooms in my house have nothing hanging on the walls, and the same depressing paint colors and  boob light fixtures that were there when we moved in over a year ago.  one bedroom is entirely void of furniture, finneas' room has a duvet cover nailed to the wall for a black-out curtain, and our master bedroom has dropcloth curtains and bare, cracked, chipped, sad, paintless, grey, plaster walls.  our rugs are all too tiny for the rooms they're in, and one of them was covered in cat hair when it was found in the dumpster behind our old apartment building.

sad, sad, sad.

part of the delay in settling everything has been due to the busyness of the last year.  we closed on our house in may, moved everything out of our apartment and cleaned it before it turned over in june, found out we were pregnant in july, went on vacation in august, went on another vacation in september, got through the fall and holiday season, spent january and february nesting and making freezer meals before finneas came, actually brought finneas home in march, and pretty soon it had been a year and very little had been done in our house.

the other part of the delay was due to the fact that we're raising and diapering and clothing three kids on a single income, while also paying for such luxuries as heat and food.  as much as i would love to be able to drop a couple thou on rugs and curtains and lighting and more practical seating for the living room, it's just not do-able.  so that's my other excuse for not having done anything at all: that i'm not a bajillionaire.

well, folks.  that popcorn ceiling massacre a while back released something in me and i've decided to do what i can with what i've got.  and you know what?  necessity is the mother of invention ugliness and tightwad-edness are the mother of my recent powder room overhaul.

let's look. 

the 'before' shot.  don't let the lighting fool you, the paint color was a dead-ringer for the color of a smoker's fingernails.  you can't see the boob light in this picture, but i promise she's up there, watching over you with creepily-unsubtle maternal protection.


yeah, baby.  (austin powers, anyone? is everyone too young and/or with-the-times to act like they remember that at this point?)  the wall color is journey by valspar and is a really rich brown with charcoal tones.  the paint is the only thing i spent money on specifically for this project, and if i had gotten paint and primer in one (like i requested but didn't get and didn't notice until too late), it would have only taken a quart.  i painted the trim with semi-gloss white i already had on hand. 

as far as the previous owners can tell, the toilet was original to the house.  the plant i bought for 50 cents at a garage sale, and though it's in a cheapo plastic pot, i tried painting it with acrylics to make it look more clay-like.  i also bought the picture frame at a garage sale, where it was priced at ten cents because it looked like this:

i just hot glued some fabric scraps to it and declared it art.

the tiny counter.  large canning jar filled with soap, old listerine bottle, silver goblet thing also filled with soaps, and basket on left filled with tissues, all purchased for less than $3 total at garage sales.

the curtain is an old pillow sham that my mother in law found while cleaning out her house and gave to me.  clearly, i need a curtain rod rather than permanently hanging it with painter's tape, but you do what you gotta do to be modest without spending any money.  maybe someday i'll at least buy a podunk tension rod.

that little sign on the door says "WC" and it makes me feel british and also hoity-toity because i bought it on clearance at pottery barn a couple years ago.  three bucks maybe?

this was clearly already here, but i love it so i took a picture.  sue me.

and the BEST PART OF ALL! the over-the-top, covers-half-the-ceiling, stolen-from-the-formal-entryway chandelier.

when i had todd's dad move this from the entryway into the tiny bathroom, i'm pretty sure he thought i was crazy.  i KNOW todd thought i was crazy.  i also strongly suspect that any male guests who use our bathroom and hit their face on it while trying to pee also think i'm crazy.  but isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful?

i painted the ceiling grey (just the wall color mixed with white) to offset the medallion we bought a long time ago.  i'd also like to point out that the ceiling is popcorn-less thanks to the many hours and the right bicep i sacrificed for the cause.  totally worth it.

one more look at the 'after' shot? okay, you twisted my arm.

so there you have it, our on-the-cheap bathroom makeover.  it motivates me to try to tackle more projects.  and save up some greenbacks for a tension rod.

thwr: disease prevention.

todd:  fight cancer?   how 'bout i give cancer a kick to the crotch?!

and that's how we roll.


as of today, i have spent five years of my life being a married lady.  and you know what?  probably the best five years yet.  i mean, there was that one year where my family spent a couple nights at the disneyland hotel, which was pretty good.  but that was evened out by that other year that i was supposed to go to horse camp but instead sprained my ankle by slipping off an intertube into embarrassingly shallow water so i had to stay home.  so - all things weighed, being married has been better than that time i got to spend the night at disneyland.  which is saying something.

in seriousness, i am dumbstruck by how hugely god has blessed our marriage.  todd and i  he's the person that i would choose to spend time with if given the pick of anyone ever.  we're like those people who look like their dogs; half the time we're basically the same person.  and it's not that we haven't had our issues or areas where we bicker, but our marriage is generally just smooth-sailing and FUN.

what i know about him five years down the line: he likes puns.  he listens to books on tape.  he actively doesn't like to eat breakfast.  he makes up new words.  he listens to sermons and podcasts like it's a fun hobby or something.  he's great with our finances.  he has the strongest work ethic of anyone i've ever met.  he notices the work i put in.  he puts the kids to bed for me.  he's willing to eat rice all the stinking time.  he buys things like slipcovers for my birthday because he knows i like things like slipcovers.  he delights in good food.  he really likes new clothes, but rarely buys them.  he hates mowing but used to do it all the time because he assumed i hated it too.  he unloads the dishwasher.  he seeks god.  he loves my extended family.  he has gone so far as to say he doesn't mind our REALLY brown bathroom even though he doesn't like brown, just because i like our REALLY brown bathroom.  he is a great dad.  he is a thinker.  he wants to grow out a nasty long beard but doesn't because i don't like nasty long beards.  he brings home surprises for me, like gallons of the good milk or soda i can actually drink.  he doesn't make me watch violent or gory movies, even though it means he doesn't have anyone to watch them with.  he deals with my quirks, like how i always leave the cupboard doors open or how i insist on having my pans stacked in size order, without complaint.  he pretends not to see it when i pick my nose.  he gives me back rubs and leg rubs when i ask because he knows i'm a physical touch person, even though he hates giving massages.  he watches friends with me without much grumbling.  he keeps brass knuckles under our mattress.  he is a list-maker.  when we take the kids places, he is usually the one making sure they don't die or get kidnapped.  he thinks i'm cute and never says anything about the backloaf i've retained post-baby.

there are about a million more things i could list but i'll respect the fact that no one's reading my blog because they have a novel-sized hole in their life they've been hoping i'd fill.  i just want to say that i love my husband, i'm grateful for the time we've been given, and i'm excited to see what god uses us for together.  other than making the world's smartest, cutest, funniest kids, clearly.

happy anniversary to my incredible husband!!


once when we were dating, todd subtly got me on the subject of proposals and if i had anything specific in mind.  and in all honesty, i hadn't really thought of anything that i would find especially cool or romantic or stroke-inducing.  i just mentioned that i thought it would be nice if i could have pictures or video to look back on later, but i recognized this was kind of a pipe dream since having a photographer in your face kind of ruins the surprise of the moment i'm guessing.

in october of that year, todd's dear friend ami (yes, yes, as in the very womb that brought forth lisagrace alsbury herself) called me and said she was planning a surprise party for todd's birthday and could i find a way to get him there without giving away the secret?  and i was all, I. AM. ALL. OVER. THIS.

so that morning we were just hanging out at todd's apartment before running some errands when i was all, oh, i need to stop at ami's and borrow a book from her (stealthy, i know.).  so we hopped in the car, todd started shaking and sweating for some weird reason, and we drove over there.  and when we got there? SURPRISE!!! TODD!!!! IT'S YOUR BDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

there were presents and cake and games.  it was pretty awesome.  someone suggested playing pin the tail on the donkey and i was all, I. AM - AGAIN. - ALL. OVER. THIS.  so i waited my turn and when it came, i prepared myself to blow everyone out of the water with my uncanny ability to divine the exact spot on the donkey butt where my pin needed to go.  (also, this was the point in the afternoon where i loudly yelled, 'YES! I LOVE THE TEACUPS!'  which is a weird thing to yell.) only, when they took my blindfold off, someone had removed the donkey poster and replaced it with another sign that said in huge letters, 'will you marry me?' 

apparently todd had arranged the whole thing.  and i was all, TWIST!

of course, i started nervously laughing and going 'ohmygosh ohmygosh i'msosweaty ohmygosh.'  and because it was set up like a birthday party, there were approximately 700 people watching and taking pictures and video, so i can prove it to you sometime if you'd like.  then after i nodded a lot (but never actually verbalized 'yes,') and after todd also commented on how sweaty i was, we all awkwardly sat around and tried to pretend that we weren't all really uncomfortable and unsure of what to do next after the climax of the day was clearly over.

sometime when i learn technology, i'll have to upload the video and show you.  it's pretty much the most awesome and awkward thing you'll ever see.  here are some photos to convince you:

so if you're ever dying to hear me talk inappropriately about my perspiration levels, or hear lisagrace talk and laugh nonstop in a really shrill this-is-getting-exciting-but-you-have-no-idea-what's-coming kind of voice, or hear todd nervously smack his lips a lot, well then my friend, have i got a movie for you.  you just bring the gf'in' donuts and some corn-free popcorn (or, as todd calls it, popcorn't) and we'll do this movie night up rizz-ight.

ONE MORE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wherein i go into vague detail about that one time i had diarrhea.

i had an indescribably massive case of the flu the weekend todd and i 'officially' started dating.  he came up to spend the weekend with me at wartburg, and he had this whole thing planned out where he brought a towel and bucket and he washed my feet. (you know, like jesus did to the disciples to represent servant leadership.  somehow i got me a good one.)  oh, and then right after that i got all squirmy and asked him to stand in the hall so i could blast my insides out in the bathroom without him hearing (or smelling) anything and then regretting ever having liked me.  because, really.  that's a lot to sign on for: someone who can't even wait until the second date to go all mentos-and-diet-coke on you.

i felt like CRAP the whole weekend. (harhar. no, really.)  he tried his best to make it a memorable weekend (and also not gag), but i'm afraid most of what i remember about that weekend was that he paid twenty bucks for me to be able to get sick in the movie theater bathroom rather than at home.  i hope that as a twenty-seven-year-old guy sitting by himself watching Chicken Little in public, he was able to appreciate the quality of the animation and all that.  you know, to make it less weird that he was on his first real date with me...without me. 

i, on the other hand, spent that hour and a half trying to ignore how sticky the bathroom floor was.  (seriously, why are bathroom floors of movie theaters covered in popcorn butter?  who is doing what inside those stalls?!)  also i spent a good portion of that time praying that god would stop up my bowels and also dupe todd into thinking that i had only been gone for a normal-person amount of time.

anyway, long disgusting story short, we got back to my dorm, todd slept on the floor and i slept on the futon because i was too weak to make it up my loft, and too scared that i might not have enough time to make it down the ladder should another wave of disaster strike in the middle of the night.  (thinking through it now, it may not have been wise to allow todd to lie unconscious in the middle of my unlit path to the bathroom that night.)  but all's well that ends well, i guess, because here we are, nearly seven years later, close to celebrating five years of marriage, and ironically i have another stomach bug.  what a nice way to bookend our early years.  at least i'll never have to question whether todd knew what he was signing on for when he married me.

those are corn leaves in front of my dress. we're pirates from iowa. we're iow-ates.

aaargh, y'all.

this coming friday commemorates the day todd and i walked the plank down the aisle and said, 'i do, matey' five years and 20,000 leagues ago.  so get ready for some piratey, van voorsty fun on the high seas this week.  and by high seas, i mean blog.  clearly.


the (bi)weekly what's up.

i'll be honest, nothing has been going on around here this week.  so, since i didn't post one of these last week, i'll combine the two weeks to make what still only ends up being a half a blog post.  and awwaaaaaaay we go! 

a couple of weeks ago i got super hyped up about this miracle wheat flour that gf'ers have been having a great time with - no reactions or anything.  so what did i make first with mine?  chocolate chip cookies, of course.  and who did i have help me?  my favorite three-year-old, of course.

here he is picking out which one he wants to eat first.

unfortunately, i'm not so sure i'm going to have great luck with this flour, although i did react to it less than regular wheat flour.  atticus was more than happy to eat my share.

my garden is going to CRAP and i'm pretty T.O.'d.  i had to rip out six pumpkin plants, two zucchini plants and six hills of cucumbers because of bacterial wilt and squash borers.  all of my roma tomatoes are diseased (that'll teach me for buying them for super cheap at walmart at the end of the planting season), so i ripped two out and left two that are producing cherry-sized tomatoes with blossom-end rot.   my onions went to seed, and then the tiny little onions i did harvest got rained on while they were curing.  GAH.  GARDENING SUCKS.  I HATE SOIL AND ALL LIVING THINGS TOO. 

i'm guessing my soil is about as nourishing as cat litter, so this week when i heard that the garden store was selling everything for 50% off, i stocked up to try again next year with better results.  i am DETERMINED to win this.  and the next person who even hints that gardening is easy since you just need a seed, some dirt, some water, some sunshine and some love will get a punch to the neck.  just try me. 

i'm nearly done with seasonal cleaning.  yes, i started on july 4 and yes, i still have to do the storage room, the attic, and the kitchen.  but i'm considering myself close, only six weeks after starting! (remembering the days in our two-bedroom apartment when it was just me and todd and i worked full-time and still got it done in three days flat.)  now i have four and a half months before i get to do it all again.  yippee!

i'm really excited for next week on the blog.  it's anniversary week in the van voorst house, and there will definitely be pictures of todd with a peg leg.  just wait around to see what that has to do with anything.

finneas at five months

finneas is now five months old!  so, i know, i know.  old ladies and your mom will never fail to tell you how quickly the time goes, but those old ladies and moms are right.  i feel like time is just snowballing away from me and pretty soon finn is going to be having his own kids (well, he will have a wife and she will be having them) and i'll get all jack handy and all, 'children shouldn't be having children,' but then finn will be all, knock off the jack handy act mom. i'm thirty.  and i'll be all, NO YOU'RE NOT YOU'RE FIVE MONTHS OLD.

wow.  anyway.  five months.

weight: 14.2 pounds (8th percentile)
length: 26.5 pounds (67th percentile)
wrestling moniker: the lightning rod

as you can see, he's a long, lean drooling machine.  he actually hasn't all...since his last weigh-in, which would normally freak me out.  i just have to keep telling myself that all my kids have been like this, where they come out pretty good-sized and then grow sloooooowly.  and from his diapers and contentedness and puke volume, my milk supply seems to be doing okay as long as i eat and drink enough.  just a slow grower.

he just moved into his 3-6 month clothing, although i really could have moved him sooner.  i was just selfishly avoiding the black hole of laundry that comes when you move a child into a new size.  i swear, it's a vortex that you never escape from.

no wife on finneas' radar so far, thank goodness, just a lot of rolling around and getting himself stuck under the coffee table.  if i set him down and leave the room, i can't guarantee exactly where he'll be when i return.  he is WIGGLY and interested in everything.  duplo blocks? taste good.  infant hairbrushes? taste good, but tickle.  rattle actually intended for a baby to chew on? doesn't taste so good.  toes? taste AWESOME.

his hair is coming in and it's SO BLONDE!  i am in love.  i can't remember a time that i didn't wish i was blonde, so having a blonde baby is the next best thing.  although it's hard to imagine living vicariously through a blonde son since i'm sure he wouldn't look better in a bikini than any given brunette.  anyway.  he has these little spots in his hair, the largest one being the diameter of a dime, that are really light, almost pigmentless.  and i hope they never ever go away!  i love those little quirks and idiosyncracies that each kid has that makes them unique, like atticus' ear-cartilage dimple and his wonky pinky toenails, or like penelope's adorable glasses and the birthmark on her knee.  those little things that make them them, and make you feel privileged to know them so well as to know those things.

um, what else? we started him on egg yolks, and he tolerates them at best.  definitely doesn't love them.  which, yeah, makes sense.  luckily we've not had any kind of spitting-up incident after them; i can only imagine the disaster that would end up being.

he is so snuggly and cuddly when he's tired, and so ticklish when he's awake!  he doesn't seem to like being tickled though (which he comes by totally honestly and i try to respect that. i HATE being tickled).  so instead of all-out laughing, he gets all red-faced and his eyes water and he goes, grrrEEEEEEEEEEEE.  it's pretty funny, so i can't help doing it sometimes.

he laughs occasionally.  the hardest i've heard him laugh was this one time when i waved painter's tape in front of his face.  yeah, we're a bunch of lunatics.

and...sleep.  ahh, glorious sleep.  he is the grand champion of all my kids, and penelope was a rock star herself.  he usually eats around 9:30 pm and sleeps until around 8:30 am.  sometimes he wakes up around 6:30 wanting to be covered again with his blanket, but then he zonks back out.

god has been so, so, so faithful to us.  having finneas in our family has been so great, and to think i had been so worried!  i can't thank god enough for the gift of the last five months!

how to make both the mediacom salesguy and your husband uncomfortable in a single transaction.

the other day i was in the kitchen when i heard a knock on the front door.  i had been waiting for some landscaping guys to come give me an estimate on this half-mangy tree by our driveway, which is the only reason i ventured to the front of the house.  (hello? i stay at home with three tiny children by myself, plus i'm nearly always in pajamas or worse, so i don't prefer to answer the door during the day.)

it turns out it wasn't a tree guy, but a guy trying to sell me dish network in some kind of 'neighborhood, one-time-only, your neighbors will think you're a loser if you don't' deal.  he was all, who and how much do you currently pay for tv?  and i was all, no one and zero because we don't have tv. and he was all, dead silence.  and then some wiggling around.

apparently he had not heard that response before.  it kind of threw his pitch off for a second.

but then it was back on track! he was all, why don't you get tv? (probably thinking i'd say something about the cost, which is honestly part of it) but i was all, mostly personal preference.  we don't really watch it.  and again, he was all, crickets chirping.  wiggle wiggle.

then he launched into his pitch anyway, about how cheap it was and what a great deal it was and how he'd even install it for free on wednesday.  and you know what? it was a great deal.  and you know what else? i miss swamp people.  so i got swept up in the deal of the moment was all, can i get your info and talk to my husband?

which is why, when todd got home that evening, there was a folded up slip of paper in my pocket that read:


and i was all, i'm pretty sure todd is going to think i was propositioned by a stripper.  which was my sign that we are not prepared to get tv. so that was that.

back in black.

hey all.  i'm back from blogcation.  and i'm a little sad about it.

it was a wonderful week of laying low: no appointments, no trips, no grocery shopping, no visitors (well-loved though they always are).  just me and the kids and my monstrous to-do list which is now slightly-less-monstrous.  it made me want to hole up with my kiddos and my window squeegee forever and never see the light of cyberspace again.

and i really evaluated over the week whether or not i should continue blogging on a set time schedule like i have.  sometimes it feels like a burden to come up with something for each weekday.  but i also realized that, because i put myself on the spot to come up with something on a regular basis, much more of our lives end up on here, which is why i started the blog in the first place. 

i want to remember these days.  i want to remember losing it when i get toddler poop on my leg (which just happened on friday), and i want to remember the joy and comfort of snuggles from my kids after i lose it.  (after the poop thing, atticus climbed into my lap and snuggled and kissed me on the cheek and rocked me back and forth and said, 'are you okay, mom?')  i want to remember the hard stuff so that i can comfort and empathize with other mothers going through it, and also so that i can use it as leverage when my adult children try to do something i don't approve of, like moving away or putting me in a home.  and i know that with three kids under four, and with plans to grow our family even larger in the future, i need to have things written down and photographed or i won't remember just whose poop stains are whose and i'll regret that.

and as for scheduling, if i don't discipline myself to write regularly, many things will get lost at the expense of chronicling our larger, more memorable events.  which is why our once-a-year christmas letter looks different than our near-daily blog.  (that, and the fact that my grandma might actually read the christmas letter so i don't write about how i flashed my undies at the trash guy.  but see? that's the stuff actually worth remembering anyway.)

so that long and more-self-reflectively-involved-than-necessary essay is only there to say, i'm here to stay.  sometimes begrudgingly so.  but for my memory's greater good.