Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thinking About Blanche

Sometimes late at night I think about Blanche. Always after she has fallen asleep and looks so peaceful sleeping snuggled up to her stuffed fox. My thoughts are fairly normal processing the day type of thoughts. For some reason though the tough moments fade a bit and other moments stand out more clearly. Moments where she asks me to play blocks first thing before eight am. I hadn't coffee, and I really didn't feel well. I told her maybe in a bit. I never played blocks. Not that this makes me a bad mother, because I did interact with her. But sometimes I wish I could just have a better and clearer perspective in the moment. Late at night I think about how she is only three. And that's her way to connect with me. To play. Even though I don't want to.

Being pregnant is really hard for me. I am just realizing that it is actually harder for me than I let myself believe. I am a sensitive and emotional person. And pain and discomfort just gets to me. I am proud at the amount of perseverance I have obtained over the last four years. I have come a huge way. It is just the fact that if I don't feel well, it is written all over my face. I have always been this way. I am really not good at faking it. My friends have always been able to tell when I am just done. Andrew now knows when these times are here and even how to fix them most of the time. Blanche however... she sees the tiredness, and she just doesn't want me to be tired. I mean, me neither girlfriend. But it just kind of stinks. I was buckling her in the car the other day completely exhausted. I bumped her face or something. I sighed and said sorry. She said not to use that voice. Not in a bratty kind of way. But more like, "Come on mom. Don't sound tired and totally disappointed. Be happy mommy." These sort of expectations drive me a bit mad. I am a perfectionist and it makes me sort of wish I could be happy robot mommy all the time. But I know I can't. And part of it is Blanche understanding what it means for me to tired. Part of it is me being bit nicer when I am tired. We are both learning and growing together through this pregnancy.

Rosemary is still a baby. She is only 17 months old. She really exhausts me physically more than anything. And even that seems to be getting a bit better. But she is still in the easy phase of feeling loved with kisses and hugs and reading a book together. Blanche, at almost four asked me today, "Mom do you still love me?" when I was completely exhausted and she wasn't listening. Sometimes I feel hurt that she would ever even have to ask me that. But then I remember that she's not the perfect angel either. Blanche doesn't nap regularly. She is slowly becoming better about "quiet time." The big problem however is that she is a very big people person and hates to be all alone in a room. So this normally means me half asleep in the recliner, while Blanche watches a show, or asks a whole bunch of questions, or even at times dumps toys on me and opens my eyelids. I don't stand for the last two things. But she still tries to do them at times. I'm sure I could be more strict about letting me rest, and maybe that would help the rest of the day. Maybe I am just rambling... but it is frustrating to want to be a certain high energy mom... but feel like I am slipping into a coma all afternoon, even while drinking coffee.

Blanche and I snuggled in the chair this afternoon and read books together. We colored shapes she drew on big pieces of white paper. I talked with her all day about all sorts of things. I was tired. I sighed a lot. I told her to please just don't grab the fly swatter and try to kill the fly. I was almost in tears about it I was so tired and couldn't handle one more thing.

This too shall pass.

It will all pass.

I won't be pregnant forever. Blanche and I will both hopefully come out on the other end realizing we are just two humans that are a lot alike, trying to be together almost 24/7. But I still can't help thinking about Blanche at night. I tell myself and pray that I could maybe say yes to playing blocks tomorrow morning. Or even just grab a cup of coffee and sit with the girls and play. That maybe when they are sleeping I can make a resolution to play for awhile and put the laundry down. That maybe these feelings I get once they are asleep can help me remember that soon blocks won't matter so much anymore. That window of time will be closed. And that maybe I am sentimental at night for a reason.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Old Driveway In Gower

Life has been nonstop since our trip to Missouri and Arkansas. But the pictures are still here waiting for me to write words alongside them. As a tired and (often) pregnant mom, I don't write as routinely or well as I would like. What I do enjoy about keeping up a blog is how time is organized here in this space. I have my thoughts alongside pictures for months upon months. Many memories and seasons I would have probably already forgotten even now. I gain greater understanding about life by looking back at photos and words, even if they are my own. It feels like I was able to slow down time and look back and see what was happening more clearly.

Even just a few weeks later, looking back at pictures of our trip to the Midwest I see some things so clearly now. I remember before we left I told Andrew's mom I was excited to let Blanche ride bikes "in the street." Because in the street is a mostly quiet cul-de-sac that sees little traffic. I was excited to be in a place where I wasn't having to worry about a car flying around the corner of an apartment complex while Blanche rode her bike from sidewalk to sidewalk.

During our trip there were a couple of beautiful evenings after busy days, where we got to play outside at my dad and stepmom's house. The hardest element of the trip was the feeling of having to try and see everyone in a short amount of time, which left me often feeling a tad rushed and exhausted. But these two evenings outside on my old driveway were refreshing. Blanche and Rosemary were able to be outside and play and be part of a childhood I once knew myself.

Looking back at these photographs, I have realized that although my own adult life looks different than my country childhood, I still long for the same things. I desire simplicity and quality time with those I love. It almost hit me all at once as to why I take the girls to the park all afternoon, or why I love hikes in the woods with just my family. I love the city and all of the perks. But I also love escaping that and enjoying the quiet air and connecting in a different way with my family and friends. In Gower Missouri I think the quiet just comes easier, if you know how to look for it. The simple is already there. I always wanted to escape the small country town as a teenager, but would ironically walk the cornfields to do so. There will always be a part of me that remembers riding my bike alone all over my neighborhood, knowing which dead end street had the biggest and fastest hill. I didn't like everyone in town knowing my name, but I escaped and rejuvenated often in the silence of simplistically around me.

This is why I love to travel. Because almost every time I do, I find out something new about myself. I realize my own creative ideas that call for giving my children a childhood "in touch with nature, simplistic, and creative" are many of my own memories of what it was like to grow up in Missouri. I am building a nest of memories and safeties for my own children, based on my love for them and what I know best. I just never knew how close those things fell to life playing out on the driveway in Gower.

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Beautiful Place

I know it's too late for me to start writing. I really should go to bed. But right now all I hear is the dryer running and the keyboard moving as I type. I have missed moments to sit in silence. Andrew is working and unless I am beyond exhausted, I normally sleep in a half awake state waiting for the door to open.

I couldn't wait to look at these pictures, and they are just as beautiful as I thought they were on my camera screen with the bright sun shinning on it. Our little family just took a very long road trip. We saw so many loved ones. We put almost two thousand miles on our van. This trip revealed things to me. I get so use to my own little habitat, that when I leave it, I can see I am still changing and becoming someone, even when I don't see it very clearly. So much of the time my focus is on the girls rather than myself. I honestly just don't have much time to think about what things I like or what I find enjoyable. There are things to enjoy. I smile every day. I just don't dwell on my personality and trying to figure out who I am so much anymore, like I did during my college years. I'm mom. I'm Jeran. I'm just me.

When we first got on the road the old me came rushing back. I was so excited to be on the road. I was happy for an adventure and a change of scenery. We all had fun stopping at a Whole Foods in Dallas for breakfast and also in Oklahoma City for lunch. Andrew loves to see how other stores are set up and running. The high really lasted almost until Wichita. A lot of it probably had to do with Rosemary literally sleeping more than she was awake, and Blanche being happy with snacks and shows.

By Wichita I was starting to panic inside my mind. The girls had slept enough. No one else was going to sleep. The snacks were not as special and the shows were getting old. And we still had over three hours. A long three to four hours short, we made it. I had a mini meltdown inside a chick fil a bathroom. Sitting in the van my stomach felt like it was caving into my uterus. Even using the restroom while the girls got their meals through the drive thru was testing my patience. A set of ten year old twin girls were taking an eternity to wash their hands. One was more socially aware than the other. One girl was just taking her sweet time. I literally wanted to rush time to wash my hands and be at my dad's house. I didn't want to be in that bathroom or get back in the car.

But we made it. I was closer to a full meltdown than the girls. Rosemary ended the trip by taking an award winning shot of Andrew driving all by herself on my phone. I swear google maps told me only 11 hours one day before the trip. With stops it took us 16 hours. From 4:15am to 8:15pm. Just writing it out is painful. I fed the girls 14 pounds of food and crawled to the backseat 23 times. Which is basically like working out for four hours.

So maybe I arrived a bit worn out. But we were all so glad to finally be there.

These pictures are not from the first day in Missouri but actually the last. But I love these pictures. I thought about doing lots of posts and going day by day. But then I figured this blog is mostly for myself and maybe my kids one day. So I'm just going to share what I want, when I want.

The day we went out to my Uncle Mike and Aunt Pam's house was such a retreat from all the busyness of our travels. There were fruit trees and gardens and birds and bees. Andrew wore Rosemary for her nap on his back in the ergo. He was barefoot with his jeans rolled up and he just walked through the grass and gardens for over an hour. I love seeing his heart fill up. This little slice of land was what we dream of being able to have one day. It doesn't see possible right now, with Andrew working for Whole Foods in a city... but Andrew told me that day that he is just on the other end of it right now. He is a voice for the farmers, selling their organic food. My Uncle Mike is growing it. Maybe one day Andrew will too.