Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Belated Easter Post

-Saturday morning I awakened Abraham early (9:00 am -- so don't feel too bad for him) so that we could take Soren to his very first Easter Egg hunt in Idaho Falls. We were very excited. On the drive to town, we talked about how cute it would be to see Soren and a bunch of other little 0-to-2-year-olds toddling around, picking up plastic eggs and putting them in their mouths, wandering off in the wrong direction, tripping over each other, and being generally cute. We brought a camera and prepared ourselves for some serious cuteness. And then, as it did on Christmas, reality kicked in. We arrived at the park, lined up with the other kids in Soren's age group, and waited with great anticipation for the signal to turn our kids loose. At last the horn sounded. We sat Soren down on the ground, encouraging him to walk forward and look at the brightly colored objects on the ground. In the meanwhile, all the other parents had swept their children into their arms and were shoving their way through the fray, stuffing as many eggs into their baskets as they could get fit into their gigantic adult paws. Soren just stood watching, dazed. Everything was gone in twenty seconds.
Soren stands outside the fray at his first Easter egg hunt.

The highlight of our Easter egg hunt was running into our good friends Ressa and Ryan, who had brought Ressa's daughter, Grace, to try her hand at the warlike art of Easter egg hunting. She seems to have had a more successful experience hunting eggs with the 3-to-5-year-olds.
Grace showing off her spoils.

-Saturday afternoon Auntie Loriann came over and we (me, Abe, Loriann, and Abe's brother Quentin) dyed eggs during Soren's nap. We'd gone through two dozen eggs when Loriann noticed that Quentin hadn't yet dyed a single egg. "Are you going to dye an egg?" she asked.
"I was going to," replied Quentin, "But while I was thinking about a design, you guys dyed all the eggs."
Loriann rolled her eyes and handed him a freshly boiled egg. "HERE'S an egg," she said. "Hold on to it until you decide."
Quentin sat for a few more moments, then quick-dipped an egg into a cup of blue dye. "There," he said. "Done." And he set the egg back in the carton to dry. Loriann was deeply perturbed. Here she is pictured demonstrating the similarities between Quentin's egg and an undyed egg. Quentin maintains that it is elegantly subtle. I tend to agree.

After the egg-dying festivities, Soren awoke, and Loriann set out some eggs in the front room for Soren to find. He immediately found two, sat down, and smacked them joyfully together until they cracked.
-The Easter bunny showed up late Sunday afternoon and left baskets for Abe, Quentin, and Soren. (I guess I haven't mentioned that Quentin's been living with us for the past month. We're planning on having him here until Fall, when he starts school at LDS business college with his (favorite?) sister, Briar.) I think the Easter bunny did a pretty dang good job.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Newsletter # 1

(This idea is copied entirely from Dooce's blog. Just to give credit where credit is due. I think it's a fabulous thing to do. I only wish I'd begun sooner.)

Dear Soren,

You've been a part of our lives for nearly fifteen months now. A year ago I was still getting accustomed to the cold wave crash of love combined with crippling exhaustion that marked my entry into motherhood. I loved you passionately and felt intensely anxious whenever we were apart; at the same time I spent a lot of time fantasizing about a hotel room in Maui where I could go live by myself, sleep as much as I wanted, and forget about this crazy thing your father and I had done in choosing to procreate.

A year later you and I are both sleeping a lot better, though you still wake up once or twice a night for a few minutes of cuddling. I know I should let you cry yourself back to sleep so that I'm not still getting up with you when you're three, but my resistance is so low at night and your cries so utterly heartbreaking. A couple of weeks ago I decided I would go into your room so that you knew I was there, tell you I loved you, and lay you back down. I did this for a couple of days, then you started wrapping your arms tightly around my neck the moment I picked you up, and that innocent trusting baby monkey grip broke down any resolve to teach you how to go back to sleep by yourself, forced me to sit down with you and rock. When I hold you at night you always tuck your legs and arms up underneath your torso, and I bury my nose in the soft downy hair on your head and rub your curved back. Daddy says you're like a drug for me. He's right. There are times when my soul feels like it's rotted through and will never be good for me again and I will pick you up and the purity of your little spirit will permeate mine and I will feel clean and bright and good again.

We moved into our first house when you were one year, one month, and one day old. You were just barely starting to toddle around then. At night I'd sit in the rocking chair in your room and watch you practice walking: you'd stand behind the door by the wall, shove the door closed, and walk to it. Then you'd swing it back open against the wall, and walk to it. You'd go back and forth for maybe a half hour-- until I got bored and dumped you in your crib. At the beginning of your adventures in bipedalism, you felt that crawling was still a much more efficient way of getting around. But now you walk everywhere you go-- and you're even working on learning to run (practice sessions currently consist of a few hurried steps followed by a face plant that you don't even seem to notice.) I'm in no hurry for you to master the technique of rapid ambulation; I have a hard enough time keeping up with you as it is.

Anything that is electronic, wheeled, or mechanical holds special powers over you. When I'm filling the dishwasher, you're busy pushing around the wheeled rack, opening and closing the door, and spinning the water blades. When I'm in the bathroom, you dash off to your bedroom to shove over the fan, turn it on, turn it up, turn it down, move it around. You spend a lot of time, your eyebrows knitted and your lips pooched out in concentration, examining things, tweaking them here, pulling them there, turning them this way and that.

As of late you've developed a voracious appetite for books. And I wish I meant that you simply thirsted after their content; alas, I mean it quite literally. Whenever your solitary playtime grows quiet, Daddy or I will immediately come to see which book you've found to nosh. We'll fish the cardboard out of your mouth and take the book away, but this doesn't stop you from sneaking away and indulging in this strange appetite when our attention is diverted. Most of your books have edges and bindings that have been eaten away, though I must acknowledge that books are not your only source of edible cardboard: earlier today you ate a good portion of a Ziplock bag dispenser; a couple days ago you gnawed off the bottom of an oatmeal container. I feed you several nutritious meals a day, but this doesn't stop you from saving room for your one true culinary pleasure. Sometimes I feel like I've mothered a goat, not a child.

Words hold very little interest for you. You do like to hear books read aloud and you'll listen while I recite a nursery rhyme or tell a story, but it's the rhythms and intonations that are fascinating to you; the meanings and forms or words seem to you to be of little consequence. The only word you'll say right now with any consistency is "Dada." Sometimes I'll patiently remind you that it isn't Dada who nursed you for thirteen months, who gets up with you in the night, who bathes you every evening, who dresses and feeds you, who tiptoes into your room to make sure you're covered properly with your blanket. I'll explain to you that "Mama. Mah-Mah. MAH. MAH." is the person who does these things, but you'll just smile your twinkly little smile at me and say, "Dadadadadadada!" And then maybe you'll throw back your head and crow like a rooster.

I cut your hair for the first time on March 14th. It was getting scraggly and a bit mullet-ish. I plunked you in your high chair, handed you a bunch of hair clipper guards, and did my best to trim things up. You, of course, wiggled, whined, jerked your head around, and grabbed for the scissors. So your new haircut is a bit uneven. Even so, it looks much better. I know some moms dread their baby's first haircut and weep afterwards, declaring that their child no longer looks like a baby. I felt no such sentiment. I was just relieved you no longer looked homeless. I didn't even save a lock of the hair for your baby book; I tossed it all callously in the garbage. Today I molded your newly shortened hair into a jaunty little "faux-hawk." Your father groaned, as he always does when I spike your hair, and declared that I was sending you straight down the path of juvenile delinquency.

Other cute things that you are doing right now include: puckering up your lips and breathing rapidly through your nose; speaking Sorenese alternately in very high and very low voices; and laughing maniacally whenever you knock something over.

You're at an age of self-destruction. It seems that every time I turn around you're bleeding. Just this week you've sliced your thumb on my razor, split your chin open on the cedar chest on the landing, and dived off our bed, splitting and bruising your lip. On this latter occasion, I gathered you up in my arms and took you into the kitchen so you could bleed on the hard floor instead of the carpet. You sat on my lap and screamed while your dad looked on in great concern for the welfare of my blouse sleeves, which he tenderly rolled up to keep from getting bloody.

You've also started developing your masculine thrill-seeking behaviors: during your bath, you find it hilarious to put your face in the water, breathe in, and emerge sputtering and coughing. You giggle a little, then do it again. And again. And again. Eventually it scares you, you start to cry, and I have to take you out of the tub and give you some loves. But that doesn't prevent you from trying it again next time.

Little boy, you grow up so fast. You are the greatest joy and greatest challenge of each of my days. You are sometimes a burden, but you are always sometimes a help: when no one else can make me laugh, you can. Thank you. I hope that I help every day brings new surprises and discoveries for you. I pray that every day I help you feel hat you are loved, cared for, and capable. You are my little angel and I love you very much. Please always know that I love you very much.



Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Post for the Sake of Posting

Also for the sake of avoiding housework.

It's nearly 10 pm. I'm sitting at my computer, my contacts growing stale and crusty, my stomach growling mildly, the dishes in my kitchen growing mold, my mind clouding over. I should be cleaning. Or organizing. Or doing some work-at-home work. Or reading something worthwhile and mearningful. But instead I'm perusing blogs, checking out the local MLS, watching Improv Everywhere videos, and generally wasting time. My brother-in-law Quentin, who does not feel guilty about wasting time, is sitting at the other computer in our library, listening to loud music that makes it difficult for me to form a cogent thought.

Just thought I'd record this moment of my life, as it is representative of many others.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

For those of you who are thinking, "You've already forgotten this one!"

It's not that I've forgotten this one. I think about posting all the time. It's just that I have all these doubts. I'll think, "I should post about _________." And then I'll think, "No. _______ is boring. Nobody wants to hear about that. And they'll read that post and decide my blog is boring and never read it. And then I won't get any comments at all on my posts. And I just don't know if I can take that kind of rejection!"

But I will strive to set aside these doubts and post about the things that I want to post about. Even if they're boring. Even if you all desert me. Because, gosh dang it, it's my blog and I think I'm pretty dang cool.

Also, no posts is more boring than boring posts.


Blog Adultery

I've got another blog. But don't worry, I won't forget about this one.

Check it out:



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