Breaking points and Baby Jesus

If you saw my life over the past few weeks you would have seen this (next time I won’t make them face the sun)…

and this

and this

become this

and this

and this

amazingly with the help of The Village, become this

It’s no secret that it’s easier to share pictures of my life more than sound bites.

If you heard my life right now you would, in turn, run screaming.

Tonight, I fled to FOOD LION, and Food Lion is not quiet nor peaceful. It doesn’t even smell good like nice grocery stores.  But it’s nearby and no one screams at me – usually.

Because, right now, there’s just a lot of yelling and crying and asking and yelling and shrieking.

Leila is swiftly developing her language skills. But she practices by shouting a word and waiting for us to repeat it. If we get it wrong, she shouts it again and again louder. If we get it right, she shouts it again and again louder.

The pattern culminated this week when Leila got attached to the Baby Jesus from our Little People Nativity Set. When we cleaned out the garage, she discovered the Christmas bin and because she is a third child and I am tired, nearly deaf, and with low standards, I opened it up and we celebrated Christmas in September in the driveway.

But then she fixated. So now if we get in the car and head off somewhere without the Baby Jesus she begins screaming, “JESUS!!! JESUS!!!”. I say “JESUS!!! JESUS!!!” to affirm. But then she keeps screaming it because she wants me to hand her Jesus. Which I can’t because he is somewhere on the floor of the garage.

People, I found myself, at a true breaking point, in public, in all of my maturity,  yelling back to a 22 month old.,”LOOK. HE ISN”T HERE!!! Jesus isn’t here!  We left him at home!! We LEFT JESUS AT HOME!!!!”

Any signs in your life recently that something needs to change?


At Summer’s End

We sold our house on Wednesday. Like in the papers signed, keys exchanged, someone else now lives there sort of way. I vacuumed it out for the last time Tuesday night, locked it up, and gave myself seven seconds to feel something BIG. You know what I felt?  Grateful that we bought a quality vacuum cleaner a few years ago.

But when I got the text from our realtor the next day that the closing had finished, I had a long ugly cry in the shower. Not because I’m sad to leave the house but because I remember so acutely a certain day last February when the unknowns in our lives seemed insurmountable and I had no idea how we were going to get from here to there. And here we are. (Which is actually the “there”.) Here/there is not what I could have imagined or planned and it so much better than either.

The last month has been spent doing final moves from the old house (there is something both dreamy and devastating about an incremental move), endless discussions with LL Bean customer service that went like this “No, I want the Original Bookpack not the Original Jr…in Beach Rose. What – it’s sold out? Connect me to your Tysons Store.” and phone calls with the school nurse that went something like this,” She’s missing the polio vaccine? Is THAT going around again, because I can’t face another shot appointment” ( I’ve never been so ecstatic about a clerical error.)

We spent last night at the pool. It was an End of Summer Potluck and  a magical time of being with old and new friends. Tonight we will say our official goodbye to summer by letting the girls slide down the stairs in sleeping bags. They’ve never lived somewhere with stairs and Sophia has been asking since we moved. I have to think this one through logistically because we have yet to be vaccinated for concussions.

Here are some pictures from the second half of summer which I found had a theme of cousins, goats, rabbits, pigs, and pretzels.

We went to Virginia Beach for a week and did the obvious – fed goats at Hunt Club Farms. It was a huge hit. A little interactive for my tastes…but who can resist a good pony ride?

Don’t be deceived by this child’s serious public persona. She’s wild.

She spent most of the summer with a scraped up nose and chin. There was a two day period when Olivia wouldn’t look at her because it grossed her out. Ahh. Family.

Speaking of family, we’ve had a lot of great cousin time this summer including the addition of our new favorite Baby Cousin Granger!

Granger felt the weight of Leila’s training and experience,

She and I just have a few disagreements on holding technique.

Now take a deep breath before this one.

Yes, that’s a Roasted Pig in my parents dining room. Ole! We celebrated my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago with a huge, wonderful, joyful party in which the ceremonial pig was brought in for the event and, wait for it, named. My grandfather bellowing, “What are we going to name the pig?!!” still echoes in my ears. They decided on Elsa, which we vowed to never tell the small girl cousins who were outside at that moment dominating the salsa-intended dance floor with a Frozen Sing-a-Long. Help us all. I take pictures such as this one to bring to therapy to explain my life.  But honestly what I missed was the Puerto Rican Photo Booth which is when everyone poses with the pig. I had to draw a line.

Now on to rabbits.

We have a rabbit who lives in the backyard and loves to play with Leila. She wants very badly to touch the rabbit. He’s considering it.

Some final highlights:

The Pool Lost and Found Pretzel:

The Sandbox:

Co-Sleeping (it’s not just for Parents and Babies anymore)

But it’s definitely not for sleep.

Summer 2014 has been one for the record books. Tomorrow we will bike the older girls over to school and then I might sit down and really reflect on it all.

Or I might just pray for what is next.  There is always something…

Happy Summer’s End!