Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Camping 2015

I walked up from the bathroom to my friend's husband, coffee in one hand, Annie in the other like an outward facing, casted football just breeze right past me towards the camp fire with every intention of planting it in a chair with our youngest for a gradual morning wake up.

**side note: camping kids wake up hella early**

My own husband -- a couple tents down -- was showing two little girls (neither of them my child) how to help take apart (or perhaps put together??) some part of the tent. Gabriel was off with my friend and her son renting what would later become hilarious petal bike chariots, Lucy was hiding out in her bestie's sleeping space and Molly was far across a field, halfway up a tree, all lanky and laughing in the morning sun.

Of all the very many ways to love me... this moment was by far the best.

I think that it is very possible that for the first time in about 13 weeks, I took a deep breath and welcomed in that moment of beautiful and easy.

People sometimes ask how it is possible that Kelly and I manage to survive camping with four smallish children. The answer is so very simple.

We don't. We camp with 17 smallish children.

We know our limits. The power of community is something fierce and magical.

It's loud, chaotic and somebody is almost always naked.

But the chance to charge head strong in to battle with your freak flag just a blowin' in the air?

take a topless, glow-stick, hayride under the stars with your favorites...

coordinate an egg hunt between 19 fast moving, overly exhausted little people...

forever changes your heart.

Where exploration is endless...

The company is vast...

and the sunshine is abundant...

How can you do anything but grow from it?

If only I could capture that much sunshine in my everyday. Oh, the possibilities that would bring.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sun through the storm.

I was dreaming of a post night shift slumber but awoke instead to a very persistent voice on the monitor reminding me there was some sunlight to catch in our day.

Sunlight and Coffee.

Honestly, that is pretty much all that is holding the fort in our pantry these days...

It would seem the grocery store has become a long forgotten friend and while I sincerely had every intention of paying a visit.. my sleepy brain accidentally landed us at the park instead. Oops.

Who knew that a 43 minute jaunt to the park would gift us unexpected fun with a neighborhood friend who Lucy insists is "definitely named Duckling" and his precious baby brother...the proud recipient of all of Lucy's persistent affections? While sweet baby boy is the youngest of four and perhaps more tolerant of crazy, I am pretty confident Lu still managed to push that threshold a bit.

*Sidenote... ant bites are healing*

Early afternoon welcomed the most ridiculous "diagnostic appointment" with a plumber-- which essentially consisted of him standing in my home doing absolutely nothing and me yawning in the corner of the room while this appointment crept dangerously close to nap time.

Had I not been so sleepy from my previous night-shift and distracted by the cuteness of Annie eating puffs (which completely adhered to her drooly spots like glue and had Lucy in deep belly laughter)

I would have landed the plumber a classic Gabriel May, "I'm super annoyed" face.

That would have showed him.

You see, Mondays can tend to be long as I have limited sleep, lots o' extra curriculars and then a good ole' additional night shift to boot. Yet, when your kid comes bouncing to the car exclaiming how she can't wait for her next math session, as she had just hula-hooped some math concepts in the sunshine with her teacher after school, immediately my crunchiness softens and I find myself detouring from dance towards impromptu chocolate dipped cones--- all the while thanking the heavens for the amazing teachers of this world. More of that, please.

Spring is finally coming, friends.

Her palate is flourishing through the grays and browns and calling us to play.

Play... too bad we know nothing about that.
*Sidenote...Lucy is terrible at guessing flavors*

Here's to more sunshine and a bunch less gray.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Math and stuff.

I'm quite a fan of math.

In fact. I even married a man that for all intended purposes was a math major for a good ole' chunk of his lengthy collegiate experience. He loves math too...even if he now works in software sales. I'm told there's math there too.

These days it is all about correlation. I've come to realize that a quiet blog is in complete correlation to a Julie in chaotic overload.

or for you fellow mathletes:

NXY(X)(Y)[NX2(X)2][NY2(Y)2]NXY(X)(Y)[NX2(X)2][NY2(Y)2] correlation (r) = nxyxynx2(x)2ny2(y)2

where as x is my lack of blogging and y is my failing sanity. My covariance is most definitely non-zero.

Feeling lost?? WELCOME.


Friends, it has been a season. I would be lying if I told you that the past 7 weeks have been the easiest walk in the park for my family. My sleep tank has reached critical levels of low and we are just weathering this storm.

Let's pause for a second though and take a minute with this storm. My storm has sleepy and waking up a bunch at night, limited self care/hygiene, a baby that can't roll over anymore and would really like to and crazy couped up kids ready to bust out the doors once the rain lets up and spring can FINALLY pour in. But my storm does not have death, or major disease, organ failure, or limited access to Downton Abbey (we all know how bad that could be). I have my daily reality check at work and definitely remember to cut myself a piece of humble pie at the end of the day on my way out the door. Please know that I see the difference. LOVE ME.

All I am saying is that for the majority of my parenting, I feel like it goes something like this:
 I kid, I kid. Remember? I ate that humble pie.

Kelly and I laugh though because most often... our end of day is much more something like this...

Only right now with all that night waking... our start of day feels like that too.

Let's take this week. In the past 8 days all the following have transpired:

  • Annie had surgery for her 2nd spica placement (It is green and fabulously LIGHTER)
  • I took Molly to the doc for blood work due to this random acute leg pain and a week of bloody noses (note: NO leukemia. I repeat...NO leukemia.)
  • I had epidural cortisone injections in my L5:S1 herniated disc
  • Annie caught RSV (and recovered!)
  • We cancelled our St. Patty's party
  • Lucy rested her head in a fire ant bed and is now rocking 42+ bites on her face, neck and chest 
  • Kelly has poison ivy ON.HIS.FACE
  • The water pressure broke in our house, repair guy can't make a visit until Monday...so we line up and shower in trickling water like we are visiting some rare and barely functioning waterfall in the desert. (Note: The whole brown flush it down nooooow takes about 4 flushes.)
 So. What I'm saying is that it's really been awesome and it is the perfect time to come visit the Mays. No?

I am intelligent enough to know that this will all pass and we in someway we will walk away from it all so very much stronger... even if only in our sense of humor and appreciation for good hygiene. I am trying so very hard to remind myself that I am good at my job (despite the back pain, exhaustion and crunchy attitude these past weeks) and I will be a better friend to people here soon when I'm not so pooped. It's when I am most sleepy that my self esteem takes the biggest punch to the gut. 

So... if we haven't called, or blogged, or waved in the carpool line, or you caught me nodding off in the check out line at HEB with my shirt inside out... you now know... I don't have dementia... I'm not deliberately trying to be a bad friend, I do know how to put on a shirt.

Life's just taken a bite out of us.

But don't you worry...we fully intend on biting it back.