Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feeling Sentimental

One of my favorite times of day lately is when I nurse Mack before his morning nap. I love closing the bedroom door and having some quiet time with my baby. I love sitting on my freshly made bed, light coming in through the window, and holding my sweet, warm boy in my arms. The end of his babyhood is rapidly approaching and I'm finding myself in a constant state of sentimentality and mild panic at the thought that this part of his life, and this tender time for us together, will soon come to a close.

Maybe that's why I nursed Amelia for so long. If I was nursing her, she was still my little baby and I could still hold her close to me and give her something no one else could. I'm definitely one of those women who really loves babies. Even with the sleep deprivation, I find so much satisfaction in feeling that little body next to mine. I love to feel Mack tug on my shirt or stroke my skin while he eats. I love to watch his beautiful face while he sleeps. I love to listen to him sigh and coo (although those days are mostly over.) I love the feeling of his limp body curling over my shoulder or resting in the crook of my elbow.

I've been indulging in some naps with Mack the past week or so. Instead of putting him in his crib or laying him beside me on the bed so I can sleep myself, I've layed him on my chest, tummy to tummy, and basked in the quiet feeling of his chest rising and falling against mine. As I listen to his breathing and feel his heart beat against mine, I am reminded that we once were one and I want to hold him forever.

I'm certain there is one more baby in our family, but even as I think of that, I get sad because I still want Mack to be the baby. I don't want his time to be over. And then I think about what this will be like when Baby #4 is about to become a toddler. I can't keep having babies just because I like babies. I have to continue being a good and attentive mother to my big kids, too. I've been in a pretty good place emotionally for the past couple of months, not too stressed out and coping with being a stay-at-home mom pretty well, but I've had times in the past and I'm sure I will continue to have times in the future where my depression gets the upper hand and I'll feel completely overwhelmed and wonder why in the world I had so many kids. But trying to imagine the feeling of knowing that I will never have another baby fills me with great anxiety and sadness.

It sounds like I'm baby hungry, but that's not it. I'm just hungry for my Mack to stay a baby awhile longer. And I'm hungry not to have this part of my life be over. How does a woman cope with saying goodbye to her childbearing self?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Wyoming fairy tale

Here's what I ate for breakfast the morning after Halloween:

I'm drooling on my keyboard, how about you?

The Halloween sugar cookie project lasted about three days. It's a lot of work to roll out, cut and bake a double batch of sugar cookies, then mix, color, and bag multiple colors of homemade buttercream frosting (plus clean up the whole messy ordeal.) By the time I finally had the frosting ready to decorate the cookies, Lily had totally lost interest and Amelia only stuck around to decorate two or three cookies. I ended up doing most of them myself, but to be honest, it was nice to decorate in peace.

At one point, when my wrist was cramping up, I thought, "This is dumb. Why am I doing this if the girls don't even care?" But then I look at the above picture of sweet, sugary goodness and I have my answer. Amelia just looked at the picture of the cookie tray and said, "I want some of those cookies!" We may have some more pumpkin and leaf sugar cookies in our future!

Amelia is a complete fanatic for anything pink, so this was her favorite cookie.

Lily preferred to just decorate her fingers and lick off the pure sugar delight.

Mack was totally grubbin' on the plain sugar cookies and left a nice mess on the floor.

Now, on to the costumes. I was on the ball this year and ordered costumes from Amazon early in September. The only problem with that was trying to keep them in good shape for the next six weeks! Amelia wore her Cinderella dress almost daily, but she was restricted to wearing it only in the house and had to take it off whenever she ate.

Luckily she was still enamored with her "Cinda-yeh-yuh dess" by the time Halloween arrived. It was a great improvement over last year when she wouldn't even wear her costume. She was super excited to wear makeup and she even let me do her hair.

Lily chose out a Spanish dancer costume, but if you asked her what she was, she declared that she was a Spanish Princess.
She was in love with the makeup, too, and the ringlets in her hair. When I look at this picture, I'm afraid of what my future holds as the mother of a beautiful teenage girl!

Now, what princess tale is complete without a dragon? Becca loaned me this costume for Mack and when I stood him up in the wood pile I totally squealed with delight at how cute he was!

The two princesses declared that Mack was a "good" dragon who protected them and chased all the bad guys away.

He even had a forked tongue. The fairy tale was complete in the Wyoming wood shed castle.

The girls' favorite babysitter, Ana Cook, helped them carve their pumpkins the night before Halloween while Dan and I were out for our date. The small pumpkin and the chubby kitty pumpkin both came from Grammie's garden.

We got lucky again this year with no snow and warmer than freezing temperatures, so sweatshirts were sufficient for trick-or-treating. Dan and I took turns taking the girls out and enjoyed picking out all the nut and peanut butter candy bars from Lily's bucket and hogging them to ourselves.

Y'know, while you're in the moment of trying to make things festive and memorable for your kids, it seems like a big hassle. But in looking back, you realize it's worth it and there is more to mothering than just doing dishes and folding laundry. We really are the driving force behind how they will look back on their childhood.

Here's wishing you a happy holiday season. Forget the shopping and parties and Santa expectations and just make fun memories spending time with your family.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wood Stove Perk #17

The perfect place to warm your tootsies on a cold morning.