Friday, March 28, 2014

Christmas in March

I love the hum of a dishwasher. It is a home-y sound to me. It feels like things are in their place, night is coming, time to relax in front if the tv and cuddle, or feed a sleepy baby one more time. The drone fills up the quiet spaces and it just feels comfortable.

I heard the song Away in a Manger as I was nursing Finn. It felt so fitting, and I think I will love that song a little more from now on. Christmas hymns are so holy and so perfect for a new baby. Maybe I should start singing them to Finn even though it's March. 

As I nurse him right now, he is looking up at me with his innocent eyes, forehead wrinkled up. Lay down his sweet head. His hands are hanging on to me and he stretches his toes in delight as if to say "milk!" No crying he makes. I love thee... Stay by thy cradle till morning is nigh. He's wearing only a diaper, so I can see his perfect skin and the folds on his back. Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever and love me I pray. Bless all the dear children in thy tender care and fit us for heaven to live with thee there. His eyes are so intent. I pause to burp him, kiss his shoulders and soft arms. The stars in the heavens look down. Yes, it is a holy thing. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday musings

I was thinking about how hardships make us draw toward Christ more than anything else. They also make us see ourselves in a new light. How has pain moved me to see God? To see myself? Last night I was laying in bed and thinking that God knew all along that Adam and Eve were naked in the garden. He just waited for their experience to allow them to see it too. God has seen all my nakedness all along. It has always been there. What could the nakedness be? I guess anything He sees about me that I still haven't learned or experienced. I'm just starting to know myself the older I get. I'm starting to see myself in a more honest way, starting to know my heart. It can be hard to be honest with yourself about those kind of things. To not look at them the way you want them to be, but as they really are.  So maybe one of our life goals is to have sight like God's- to come to know ourselves. Really know. Once I take a real look at my pain, my likes and dislikes, my deepest thoughts and feelings, my core beliefs, then I can start to become who I'm capable of becoming.

A lot of my views of myself have changed since I've been married. The things I think I'm capable of, the things I want to accomplish, the way I feel about myself, the things I will give up to achieve the others, the things that essentially make me me. I guess that perspective evolves over time. Each time I've had a baby, I've had to say goodbye to life before the baby, and grow accustomed to and accept the new version of my life. And so it is with any big life changes I guess. There might even need to be a mourning period to let go of old expectations or lifestyles before being able to start anew. I am having to relinquish control in this new phase, and that is probably pretty important in my life story.

Yesterday I heard something that was hard to hear. Something that might have an impact in my future. It hurt. On the one hand, it made me grateful that I have 2 perfect, healthy babies. On the other, it forced me to see some limitations I may have in the future. It had already been a tiring week and I felt like crying about it. I didn't. It was just another of those moments when I had to see myself and my future in a new way. I didn't like it.

But I'm only just coming to see what all these pieces of me are, both the good and the bad. And to figure out what to do with them. And what way I'm supposed to go with it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My kind of morning...

This is the kind of morning I've had. 

The only picture missing is of Finn crying. Everyone is sick, I'm supposed to go to my doctor in two hours, and I'm half-naked, and everyone is crying. Really fun morning. It will be a successful day if the children are all still alive when Raimo gets home.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A letter to my baby

My darling baby,
I am rocking you as you sleep soundly. You are five weeks old, but still have your new baby smell and it is possibly the most intoxicating thing to me in the world right now. The past two nights you have shared our bed, belly down, in between mom and dad. You could get lost in the sheets; you are so tiny and that bed an ocean. You have been sick with a cold, and I can't bear to make you sleep alone and on your back when I know how you dislike it so. I like to rub your back, smell the back of your head, pull your blanket up. You are still helpless in a very big world, and I feel the weight of my responsibility to you: to love you and to teach you and to show the world to you and you to the world. I waited for you. I knew it was time for you to come, and it was a long nine months of waiting for you to grow and stretch to just the perfect size. But you finally arrived, and we all felt a little closer to heaven when we met you. Our souls must have met before. I can't remember it, but now I get to spend some time (years) relearning yours and nurturing it. On the day you were born you were a stranger to me, but I knew you. I pored over your wrinkly elbows and long fingers and blonde eyelashes and elfin nose just to know you again. Today we rock in this chair together and we are physically as close as can be. You know my voice now and my face too. You have looked me in the eyes and smiled, knowing it is me. Swoon! You have the best smiles- we are all delighted by them. 
Watching you experience your first sickness, your first real hardship other than being born, is so painful. I can't stand to see you suffer, but I remembered that you are His first, and that He has power over the details of our lives. It is not mine to control. And though there is pain, there is peace in knowing that. 
I keep all my silent prayers in my heart, of gratitude and of pleas for my little baby. They run through my mind in the middle of the night as I lie in bed. The night plays tricks on me that way, and all my worries converge... And I remember that God was the one who made you. He just handed over the reigns to me for a while, and asked me to do my best. I am lucky.  So I say one more prayer. I love you, Finn Aleksis, so fiercely. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


The following is a list of Rose phrases that I started jotting down in my phone last October. It hardly captures her extensive vocabulary. I'm always surprised by things she knows. The other day she used the word "also." Really?! You're two. 
Recently I added the part about possessives. I think it's really cute watching her try to figure them out. She'll try a couple out, look at me to see which is right.

A child's prayer
Business time
Ring around the Rosie's
Swinging up high
Rock-a-bye, don't you cry
Do as I'm doing
Jesus wants me for a sun-beep

What shape is this (rectangle)? A phone
Sings Happy bday song when I light scented kitchen candle
Mm das berry good!!
Wan some?

That's my's. (Stops and looks at me) my's or mine's? (I respond "mine") she says "that's mine's"
Grammar girl :)

That's him's (Finns)

Is it yours? Or mines?
No, it's yours
... Scratch my head

It's me's. (Corrects herself) Mine's.
Haha- You with me? It's hard to translate these conversations in writing.

Rose is sick. For the third time in 2014. Enough!!!
Finn is hangin in there with his sister and zombie mama. We sleep a few hours at night.

I vacuumed today and picked up the house and showered and collected the trash. And made dinner. Accomplishments, you know. I made one of my favorite restaurant foods- fried zucchini. It was good! And a summer salad with spinach, avocado, strawberries, and walnuts with poppyseed dressing. 

This is "I wanna eat, mom"


Finn loves the bath. But watch out! He pees every single time as the warm water rises. He always gets me when I change him. He became notorious for it at the hospital with the nurses. And every time he's peed or pooped on me, I scream and scare him. I can't help it- it's just my initial reaction.  Especially when the poop went in my hair! Anyway.., He loves to relax in the water. He also loves motion. He sleeps when I put him in the backpack and walk around. I push Rose in this thing simultaneously, and we probably look like the circus coming to town
 Or rock or drive. The car is my new favorite place because everybody is strapped down! And I get a break!

I've been trying to go for walks or do yoga. It helps put my body back together, and it's relaxing. There isn't always time. I'm also working on thank you cards and a project with family photos on shutterfly. And I'm working on all the seasons of Prison Break. I thought the first season was better than the second, but we're still chugging through.

And the length of this post is me nursing Finn. 
The end 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My babies

Today my dear friend Lindsey was kind enough to have Rose for a play date so I could get some rest with baby Finn. I took full advantage. Though I wasn't able to fall asleep, I was able to lay down with him for a good long time and rest up from the long nights of the past few weeks. I have had so many people serving me this month. We had lots of meals brought over, people offering to take Rose, and people genuinely loving and caring for us. What a change from Rose's birth when we didn't have a ward family supporting us. I think delivery is pretty traumatic! It takes a pretty long time for me to feel like myself again, especially with breast infections and a cold and breastfeeding issues and some other unmentionable pains. After I picked up Rose, the three of us went to the beach. I felt like I needed to see the ocean. Sometimes I just feel that way. I like to stop by or drive by just to enjoy the sounds, the colors, the waves, and to do some thinking. Plus, it is Finn's one month mark today, and I thought it would be fun to show him the ocean. He didn't see much.
The sound of the waves basically put him into a coma, and he slept the whole time under a blanket (it was a really windy evening). 
Rose was delighted. She didn't want to leave.
We sat there for over an hour, and I felt happy. It fills something in me. 
I can't believe my sweet baby is already four weeks old. He is very good natured and handsome! He loves breastfeeding so much and is growing much quicker than Rose. I really love his dimples and his sweet smiles when he's dreaming.
Rose is having fun with him- she likes to talk to him, fetch diapers and binkies, watch me change his diapers and clothes, and occasionally asks to hold him. 
Finn is fun in the mornings, after he's eaten of course. He will lay on the floor and look around. 
I love his hair! and his cute faces! His eyes are already quite blue. 
Life with these two is pretty insane. I can't do much other than feed Finn for hours, feed Rose in between, maybe bathe them and change diapers, and play with Rose/entertain both of them. There is no more me-time. It can be pretty tiring, and I'm sure it will take an emotional toll long term, feeling like I'm not an individual person anymore with personal growth or successes, etc. However, there are these occasional golden hours of the day when I find myself very happy playing  on the floor or rocking my baby and I am so grateful these particular babies are mine and that I get to spend all my time with them.
There was a story yesterday that reminded me just how lucky I am to have a happy healthy new baby. I was already pretty enamored with him, but I was reminded that I get to enjoy him- not get distracted or focused on silly things. I am allowed to let things slide and just hold him and smell him and snuggle him.
That was one of my New Years resolutions: to just let my babies come first. I have a hard time saying no to other obligations, fun things, service opportunities, assignments, play dates, and such. But I want to be better at assessing their needs and just letting them dictate what I choose to do. 
Love them

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Boy oh boy!

I've been a little busy taking care of this little man. We named him Finn Aleksis Valentin. He was 7 lb 13 oz, born exactly two weeks early on February 13 after only 5 hours of labor (barely had time for an epidural- ouch!) He has lots of blonde hair and has been an easy-going little guy so far. I love him!!!! Can't believe he is already 2 weeks old!