our week

i don’t know where these days are going.

it’s friday and i got up early to write out a little about our week and i really can’t remember much that has happened save for a few big events. we spend much of our time here at home these days and i fear i’ve not really been able to stay present while here. my mind seems hyper-focused on chores and organization and cooking and errands.

and it all seems so ordinary.

and i feel like that has taken up a lot of my brain space this week: reconciling with the fact that i’m going to lead an ordinary life.

i, like most of my generation, was ingrained with the idea that i was a special little flower and that i was going to go out and do great things in the world. i have genuinely, 100% honestly always believed that I was going to lead some out-of-the-ordinary life. mainstream life was not good enough for me.

but here’s what i see when i step back from myself:  31 years old, lives in ohio, full-time mom, drives a pt cruiser, listens to neil sedaka live in concert on the 60s station….

it’s so ordinary. it’s so vanilla and blah. it doesn’t feel like this was the life i was supposed to lead. it’s not how my life played out in my head. and it certainly doesn’t seem to measure up to the adventurous lives of my peer group before i got myself saddled with motherhood. 

and feeling that way feels terrible.

then i sit down here to this space and i start to take a look back at the weeks and i’m once again glad that i’m recording life here because when i scroll back through the days and weeks and months i see a whole mess of ordinary, every day beauty.  it’s not over-the-top exciting and most of it is mundane but there is so much beauty shining through this ordinary life.

and i feel a bit foolish that it took me SO LONG in my life to see that. i feel like even from my earliest days i’ve wanted to live a life different and more exotic than the one i have. i’ve wanted to be a completely different person. i’ve even survived much of these last few years by telling myself that this is just a little pit stop in my life and that i’ll be zooming off to great adventures before long.

but that is not guaranteed to me. nothing is. and what a waste of an ordinary life it would be if i never ended up in this spot able to see how beautiful even the dullest of moments here on earth are.

so, this week i sat around on my porch a lot, watching my child cut grass with a pair of scissors {seriously}. i cooked some meals for my family. i took my girl to the pool. i ran errands. and i spent a whole lot of time gazing at a growing belly.

it was thoroughly ordinary. and it was beautiful.

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* sending you all the best for a super, super moon weekend *

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our week

a

small

collection

of moments

from our week…

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^^^ juiciest. i think i swallowed a watermelon seed. ^^^

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^^^ back to the berry patch ^^^

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^^^ where there’s fruit… ^^^

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^^^ there are fruit flies ^^^

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^^^ feather brain ^^^

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^^^ my spot at the pool ^^^

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^^^ we had A LOT of fairy action this week ^^^

weeks like this one make me grateful for the end of the week round up. it’s easy to forget just how lovely life is during your everyday hustle & bustle.  not much more to say here. just taking some quiet reflection time over this past week, listening to wind and chimes outside the open window, thankful for a great morning with my family.

*sending you patriotic vibes for the freedom of your heart and the liberty of your soul. i hope you get some cake in there somewhere along the way, too.*

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mothering the mother, parenting the parent.

resting

this may not look like much to you, but it was a game changer for me. that’s me putting my feet up and getting a little extra rest this past weekend.

my parents came into town and offered their love, care and support to my family. my husband and child showed me extra kindness. i benefitted from some extra back rubs, some help with chores, a couple extra pairs of hands to care for my girl. and a nap. A NAP! it has me thinking and feeling.

oh no! here I go again:

in my birth doula and postpartum doula training we studied the idea of mothering the mother and how important this is for an expecting or new mom. i feel if we get down to it, it could be applied to any mom at any stage of her motherhood and yeah, partners too. we all need a little mothering. and i’m not talking about “smothering.” i’m talking about the real work of mothering we do. the mothering that sits next to you and rubs your back while you talk about your fears. the mothering that fixes you a snack or helps you make your bed. the kind of mothering that reminds you that you can do hard things, that you are capable of great things. real mothering empowers you and reminds you that everything is going to be okay. real mothering reminds you that you are loved.

it’s a goddamned impossible world out there and this kind of mothering has always helped me face it with a little more courage.

when i receive even a small dose of this it helps me to give it away more freely. part of being a mother, in my experience, requires drawing from a bottomless emotional well to make sure the lives around you are adequately watered and flourish. it can sometimes be hard to find others that are willing to deposit back into your well, because maybe they are running low too.

i cannot stress how much kindness and caring can mean to a pregnant mother or new mom. the small things add up. a little bit of kindness goes a long way. we all know this applies to many relationships in life but my point of view right now is that of a full-time mom, giving her all away to one courageous and cute child outside the womb and giving her all physically to one growing within. even though i’ve not yet met this little person earthside, my body is still mothering this being 24/7. and that is exhausting. my 5 year-old at least gives me an 8hr break during most nights. after those two little peoples, most of my other relationships in life require some level of mothering. and i meet those demands with various levels of success depending on how much i feel i have to give away on any given day.

so, the extra “mothering” and “parenting” i received from my own parents and family this weekend has helped me hit the reset button a little bit. i’ve said it before and i know i’ll say it again: i am so lucky to have been born to parents and into a family that gets this idea of support and love as fundamental to the functioning as a family unit. i know how hard it can be for people who don’t receive that love and support from their families. i think my parents did a great job of backing off and letting me spread my wings as a young adult but then stepping back in to be by my side once i became a parent.  they did not do so in a smothering way, but in a way that tells me they will be there while i go through the hardships of middle-life. they did so in a way that tells me my life is still my own to figure out but they’ll be there to listen, to remind me i’m doing my best and that every once in a while i deserve a nap.

i hope i will remember their example when life calls me to step into the role of grandparent and tread the waters of parenting a parent. because i can feel right now how important and necessary that is during this phase of my own life. and i can feel the effects of their presence in our lives these past few months in the functioning of my own nuclear family. i can feel how we’re all seeming to pull together a little more and offer up a little more kindness. this during a time when it would be so easy to buckle under the stress of it all and lash out a little more often. but no. there’s a closeness and kindness that keeps building and makes me feel excited to bring a new life into the loving folds i feel growing here.

so, in closing, i just want to express gratitude for all the mothering of mothers that takes place out there, and all the parenting of parents. these are small things with great compounding effects on the world. at least, on my world.

our week

a

small

collection

of moments

from our week…

 card game

^^^ early morning uno games ^^^

sore loser

^^^ sore loser ^^^

go fish

^^^ but she won at go fish so don’t feel too bad for her ^^^

smurfling

^^^ if only i had a dollar for every time this kid painted herself blue ^^^

craft time with dad

^^^ craft time with dad ^^^

double melon

^^^ she ate most of an entire watermelon herself ^^^

i don’t have words or stories from the week to share at this point. that’s kinda what summer does to us, huh? it steals our words and demands we just live it until we head back to school in the fall and write out those “what i did this summer” essays. i look forward to that first crisp day when it will all seem so clear as to what these hazy, lazy days of summer are all about. until then we’ll take slow mornings. we’ll take these long daylight hours by the pool. we’ll take these watermelon afternoons. we’ll take all that we can get.

*wishing you a watermelon afternoon {or two} of your own this weekend*

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weekending

i didn’t get a weekend post written out last night, as some lower back pain sent me to bed early and drained. to be honest, i was wondering if it was going to progress to some early labor but i woke up this morning still full-bellied, if not fully rested.

for midsummer’s weekend we:

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took in a show downtown while darla played in the fountains,

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walked down the street for a family breakfast date

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and i got to gaze at my handsome husband over diner coffee.

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darla, the bump and i attended the pride festivities.

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and darla was given a rainbow hair extension, which rocked her world.

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we made balloon animals

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and picked up a local themed onesie for bebe

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and other than that we just hung around our house and darla stalked the neighbors…

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solstice comes around every year and i always tell myself i’m going to have something appropriate planned for the next one. i love summer solstice. it really does feel like there is something special in the air on the first eve of summer. but it came and went again this year without anything special going on for our crew.

maybe next year i will have more energy. maybe next year i will have more time. maybe next year i will have been able to have spent more time fostering relationships and friendships so as to have friends that might actually want to spend summer solstice with us. what do you think? do you think these are realistic goals for a woman about to have a baby?

*anyway, i hope you spent your solstice out under the stars. good luck with your first full week of summer*

our week

a
small
collection
of moments
from our week
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someone sent around an article from the internet about ctfo parenting for the summer time and it has greatly eased my mind this week. i’ve been feeling guilty about not having our days filled to the brim with activities and unschooling field trips this year. but my feeling for this week is that we’re doing all right.  if we accomplish nothing else but getting to the fruit fields, cooking up something delicious with our friends in the kitchen, playing with lincoln logs, or hosing ourselves down in the yard then we’re just fine. it might even be the best summer yet.

don’t get me wrong, we’re always busy but we’re just not on the go as much. and we certainly won’t be picking up any speed in the coming weeks. i’m ok with slowing it down for a bit. do you ever have those moments when you realize life has been a beautiful, whirlwind mess for the past couple of years? we deserve a bit of a familymoon, a babymoon if you will, here this summer.

so darla has predicted we’ll have a summer solstice baby. i wouldn’t be opposed to that. however, i’m happy to have a few more days with just my one girl before breaking this open for two little ones in my life. we’ve had some really good days as of late.

and…strawberry picking was hilarious. darla managed to get herself on camera for a local news crew. they cut the piece, i think. probably because of the big ol’ sweaty pregnant lady in the background but it was fun to see D have that experience. or maybe they cut it after she took her shirt off in the field and flipped “my body, my choice” at me when i asked her if it was necessary. and that second photo is of her showing me that she’s a strawberry blonde. she’s a great daily companion.

* i hope you had a wonderful week. wishing you all a magical solstice this weekend.*

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bump day

bump day this week is another homage to our baby shower when i was growing darla. i’m happy to keep this circle and tradition going with her. i asked her to draw her prediction of whether this will be a little brother or sister.

she set to work with her predictions….
belly drawings

and prophesized that i would be giving birth to…

belly art

Bubbles from the PowerPuff Girls.

bubbles belly

and of course she wanted to sign her artwork.

so now we just wait and see if her predictions are correct…