Tuesday, April 23, 2013



(Our tree in our front yard.  What a gift!)DSC_0017


Spring in Western Oregon is rather idyllic. 

Assuming you don’t mind days upon days of drizzle-mist-downpour-gloom (I don’t), you will be rewarded with weeks-nay! months!- of mild weather and blossoms everywhere.


And I actually feel that the rainy days makes the sunny days better?


Cleaner, and clearer, and “We can’t waste this weather- get outside!”…-er.

I was sitting on a bench at a park today. 


Samuel was sleeping in the stroller (the only 15 minute nap he took this afternoon, but whatev.), and the boys were playing in the nearby wooded area.


Joseph kept wanting to go deeper, out of my sight, caught up in exploring and OFF OF THE COMPUTER!

Isaac was up a tree (we are postponing family photo retakes due to his recent tree-climbing escapades, and their effect on his cheeks/nose/forehead). 


The forest smelled all warm and sweet, and the sun was shining on me and I was filled with the feeling that, in that moment, I was exactly where I wanted to be.



Except for, you know, my bed.












ps,  Isaac at the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington DC in 2011


This tree was right outside the White House.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Family Pictures



Do you know what I love about getting professional photos?

I feel like I have officially preserved a moment in time.


This moment, right now, with three very little boys.


Check!  Here it is.


You know what else I love about professional photos?


Some day I will look back at them and remember what the boys were like at this age,


how they felt in my arms, and their sweet little smiles,


and I will NOT remember that:


1) I was a sweaty mess.

2) I yelled at Brian and was super mean before we left home because AHH! We were going to be late!! (except that we ended up being early)  (sorry again, schnookums!)

3) I brought the white shirts for ONLY the family pictures, and colored shirts for everything else, but because I was so distracted and trying to make sure things went smoothly (see #1), I FORGOT TO CHANGE THEIR CLOTHES until the photographer said, “We’re done!” and I had to ask for one more pose.

4)  One of our children was getting rough with another (smaller) one of our children (whatever.  It was Isaac being rough with Samuel, okay?) and I had to do some whisper-yelling and arm squeezing. 


5)  I panicked when picking out the picture packages and ended up buying the WHOLE PHOTO SESSION.  Whoops.

6)  The whole photo session costing 7 times more than the groupon that I originally bought for this session.  Double whoops.

7)  That I still didn’t quite get the individual shots I wanted of the boys, so I made Brian call and ask for a retake session.  For free.  With free rights to the images.   (it worked!  Retakes next week!)



Except, now maybe I will remember?


Because I blogged about it?


All I know is, just like motherhood, most of the crazy and the hard fades away, and you are left with the beauty of the job that you wouldn’t trade for anything.

And all I will see when I look at these photos, is how I am blessed beyond measure!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Two videos for your weekend



He gets his moves from his Mama!



And Joseph performing at church last Sunday. (It takes a little while for them to set up, so skip to 0:35 to get to the action!)

If his sincerity doesn’t get you, his mustard pants will! (He chose them himself out of a catalogue this fall!)


Happy Weekend everyone! 

We are off to get family pictures taken- Joseph has informed me that he doesn’t want to smile, and Isaac picks his nose constantly- so wish us luck!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On working from home and my occasional neediness.



Brian is going out of town overnight, sometime in the near future, and this is how I feel about it:


I have been grumpy all week, and downright morose, and making him answer lots of fun questions like, “Will you miss me??” and “But you don’t WANT to go, right??”


I have gotten spoiled, see, because Brian has been working from home for his NYC company for the past year.

I’m not going to lie, at first I was a little skeptical about him working at home all day.

In case you couldn’t tell, I am in CHARGE around my house and it is my BUSINESS and my WORKPLACE.  I wasn’t sure how having him, the actual head of the household, underfoot would mesh with things.


But, so far, the pros have been:

- He can satisfy any quick need for attention I might have.  (“how does this shirt look?” “watcha doing?”  “Let’s HUG!”)  Basically, I am friendly little puppy dog and he is my owner.

- He is almost always available for a quick fun fact! (“BRIAN!  Did you know that when they created Central Park, the grass was maintained by a flock of 200 sheep??  Now back to work!”)

- He is available to listen to me whiiiiiiine about our chiiiiiiildren when they are being particularly trying.



As for the pros for Brian?  Well, see above, people! 

So much time with me!

Fun facts! 

Plus breakfast and lunch and coffee served to him while he works!!


Now, for the cons:


- I feel guilty when he comes out and catches me eating some candy/ice cream I have hidden from him and have no intention of sharing.


- I feel guilty when he come out and finds me napping.


- Some combination of the two.


- Sometimes he is busy and can’t pay attention to me.


That last one in particular really stings.

Right now, we have a system where I peek in the door, and if he is busy, he doesn’t turn around and/or make eye contact.

And have you seen a friendly puppy when you ignore them?  That is me, sad sad sad, as I slink back to my children and dishes.

So, to lessen the cold-shoulder-induced hurt feelings,  I am thinking that we should come up with some kind of a color-coded system?  Maybe on popsicle sticks that he can hold up over his shoulder?


Like  GREEN means; Come in and tell me EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY!

and YELLOW means: YOU are important, my beautiful wife, but is what you are going to tell me important? (yes.)

and RED means: I love you more than life itself, but I am momentarily going to have to resist your charms as much as it hurts.  But here, let me pat you on the head quickly first.


In closing,

- I wonder why he is needing to go out of town?

- Me + Brian at home all day = LOVE!

- It’s true about Central Park and the sheep.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Just when you think it’s safe to leave your six month old on the floor unattended for a few minutes…



…your three year old feeds him a Sixlet candy.



On the bright side, we have finally found a solid food that Samuel enjoys!

Saturday, April 6, 2013



Yesterday, I didn’t take any pictures.


Those days seem especially poignant to me,

because I know how soon they will fade

into the general buzzing of the next day, and the next, and the next.

Another grain of sand in the lopsided sandcastle of my life.


Like this post, yesterday remains untitled. (see? poignant!)




Soon enough, I will forget the warmth of my 2:30 nap bed for two- just me and my baby.

Soon, there were three. 

Then four. 

Finally, briefly and crampedly,  five until we all spilled back out in to the house so I could face the lunch dishes I abandoned. (macaroni)




I will forget the desperate, bursting, gasping feeling that sets in around 5:00, when I turn to Brian and say

“I need your help!  I can’t do any more!”,

the pressure inside made worse by the knowing that he has to go, that he isn’t mine yet. 

The click of the front door behind him.


Then, the relief that comes from belatedly (always belatedly) asking for strength from the One who can help.

The One who is always there and mine.

I am refreshed.  I can push through.



I won’t remember the sound of the great, epic, flood-of-Noah-type rain that pounded our roof at 6:20. 

Calling the children to “Come! Look!” 

Isaac complying, laughing,

Joseph barely looking up from his book. (“Lego: Stop That Heist!”)

I watch it with amusement, knowing that it is currently soaking my poor tired husband

(trudging home to his needy wife).



Then, there he is, and I open the door, ready to offer my sympathies. 

Only to find that yes, he is soaked, but he is also smiling.

And he finds me smiling too.

His shirt sticks to him, water streams from his hat, his brown eyes are twinkling and man alive!-he looks just like high school and it takes me back with a rush.

Those days of dreaming of this life with this man.



He grabs our big boys and dashes with them through the pouring rain (shrieking, barefoot, muddy).

Something the cleaner-of-messes wouldn’t have thought of doing.


And I’m holding the baby in the doorway, watching them laugh, wishing for my camera, but forcing myself to stay.                           

To just look

I watch my dripping husband laughing with our children and I think, suddenly; 

oh!  This is just how I knew he would be!


This is just how I knew we would be.




The dream often lost in the drudgery.


Not bad for a day with no pictures.




Thursday, April 4, 2013

Catching Up


It has been so long since I blogged, and I’m feeling kind of rusty.   I don’t feel like my thoughts are flowing cohesively (ever) (could it be because I have to say everything at least 3 times in a row during the day?) (see?  Rambling!)

So, I’m just going to go for it, and see what comes out.

Caitlin, unedited and unprepared.

Late night edition.

Also, I’m extremely hungry because of my diet.

Wait, where were we?

Yes, catching up.


Let’s start youngest to oldest- shall we?





How did he get to be SIX MONTHS OLD??!   Oh, heavens!  How I love this baby!  I mean, I really, reaaally love this baby!  His smells, his squishyness, his feather-soft hair! 



I am pretty much his slave.


He whimpers, and I pick him up and snuggle/comfort/feed him.


Luckily, he hasn’t realized that this ALSO applies in the middle of the night (he sleeps through about 5 nights a week), but his naps have still been a bit of a bust. (20 minutes, once or twice a day).


And anyone who says that I shouldn’t complain about a non-napping baby- seeing as how he sleeps through the night- has never spent the day with a 20+ pound ball of exhaustion and whininess strapped to them while dealing with the shenanigans of two others!



But there’s hope!  This week his naps are getting better! (knock on wood!  knock on wood!) Mostly because I have been a hermit so that he can get on a schedule! Pros and cons, I suppose.


Anyway, besides his sleep habits, which can be a bit monotonous to people-who-are-not-his-mother (at least I’m not talking about his poop!) Samuel is now sitting up pretty well, and rolling over one direction!

In fact, he rolled over the DAY before his 6 month appointment- so that when the doctor said, “he IS rolling over- right?” I could proudly announce- “YES!”


Also, he is 22 lbs 8 oz, and 28 inches long.  Bigger than Joseph, but not as big as my 25 pounder, Isaac!


Lastly, and surprisingly given his weight, Samuel LOATHES solid foods!










Is, as I’ve said before, extremely mischievous.  And physical.  And filled with 3-year-old angst.  (Terrible Twos?  Pshaw!  Terrible THREES in our family!)



He makes me laugh every day, and makes me CRAAAAAZY every day!

He LOVES his Mama, and is always up for a Mama snuggle, kiss, or book! (His current favorite is “Llama, llama, Mad at Mama” which he thinks is titled, “Naughty Sheep.”  Ha!)



He got into the fun this April Fool’s Day by trying to trick me (btw: the most common one I heard ‘round here was “Mama!  There’s poop on your face!”  Luckily, it was never true.) However, for whatever reason, he could not pronounce “fools” and instead called it “fourrrrs.”


I even tried telling him: “Say pool” 


“Say pools” 


“Now say  April Fooools” 

“April FOURRRS!”


Did I mention that he makes me laugh?!


He has also taken to telling me, “Don’t worry, Mama, I not break my collarbone- I pwomise!”  Before he attempts something dangerous and generally against the rules!







Is super in love with his baby.

All day long he exclaims, “Isn’t Samuel so cute and chubby?!”  “Isn’t he the cutest baby in the whole WORLD?!” etc etc etc.


He is reading amazingly well!  I should take a video soon, because it is glorious for my Mother-ears to hear.


He is growing older right before my eyes- and it is painful!  Why does he have to grow up?!  And how soon can he be out of the house all day?!  I feel both things at once!!!

We are gearing up for Kindergarten in the fall, and we checked out a private local school last night

(Joseph waiting for our orientation- BEFORE he saw me watching him, when he had his natural nervous face on: )


(And after he saw me watching: )

image (1)

The school was fabulous!  And right up Joseph’s alley! It would be WONDERFUL for him!  And so many great things!

But… $700 a month!

So- public school it is!

Brian and I laughed a bit about it last night. 

Sorry, little honey Joseph, that you have siblings and parents saving for a house, and all those things that are keeping you from some potentially great opportunities!


But, I will tell you one thing- He will be FINE!  I will help to instruct him at home to fill in any gaps he might have!  And some day, all of this angst and indecision about Kindergarten will seem so inconsequential!






Working hard!


Still not looking much like our children!




And, last, but certainly not least:





I chopped my hair off.


Because it was making me hot, and getting covered in spit-up, and my plan of waiting until my cheeks got less round before I cut it didn’t seem to be panning out.

So, I just went ahead and did it!


Let’s see, what else?

I may have said this before, but I am realllly in the thick of motherhood right now.

THANKFULLY, I am able to realize this, and to also realize that it won’t be this way forever, and to stay relatively calm about the whole thing.


(Except on Tuesday night when- at 2am- I told Brian, “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!” to which he replied, calmly, “Okay, what does that mean?” to which I whisper-yelled, “NOTHING!  Of course I have to do it more!” and went back out to nurse my gigantic baby AGAIN.)


I also had an embarrassing experience recently when I ran into a deaf woman with my shopping cart.

I (obviously) didn’t know that she was deaf at the time and said, “Excuse me, I’m going to squeeze behind you!”, but of course she didn’t hear me and a collision ensued.

When she started making hand gestures towards me, I cringed and looked away New Jersey-style (I have been “gestured to” enough to be traumatized) only to realize that she was speaking and signing “I’m sorry!” to me!

I apologized profusely as well, and tried not to over-pronounce my words since I knew she was lip reading (but –guys- I TOTALLY DID ala fake-accenting when I was in England!!) and I used the three signs I know, “milk” “more” and “thank you” in relation to a conversation about my baby.  haha!  Why, Caitlin, why do you do these things???


I am also still struggling with the whole eye-contact thing, specifically with regards to a gas station attendant who ALWAYS seems to be on duty when I pump my gas.

He is really friendly, and just a nice guy who has never said anything remotely flirty or inappropriate.  But, he is

1) male


2) a stranger

which makes me all rambly and how-much-is-too-much-looking in the eyes?!….y.

All compounded by the fact that I have not been wearing a wedding ring lately (Because it was a 4 1/4 size and apparently now I’m a 5 1/2??!  Whaaaaat?!) and the other day when I was talking to him I REALIZED that I wasn’t wearing it, and then the conversation faltered and, do I hide my left hand?  Or just go with it?  Waaaaah!  Please tell me that I’m not the only one with this social awkwardness?!



So, basically we are all about the same!

And, now you’re caught up!