Christmas Card Archive

Instead of writing a long drawn out post about our year in review. I think I’ll just post the last six Christmas cards we’ve sent out. Because I’m tired and forming sentences is a lot of work. I actually need to nap after I wrote those last three sentences.

((yawn.))

My husband took the photos and designed each and every card, because he’s awesome. Except this year we got to retire the camera/tripod/remote control combo, because we finally got fancy and hired a real photographer.

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First Christmas with Berlyn. She's about 9 months old.

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This was our second year with Berlyn, and Zoey managed to include her anus in the shot, so we were super thrilled with that.

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I was a few weeks away from delivering Hudson, and I think I let Berlyn dress herself for this photo.

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Our first year with Hudson, well technically second, because he was born 4 days before Christmas.

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Then there was our Royal Tenenbaums Christmas card, I think we were both drunk when we conceived this idea.

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2012 Christmas card. And now our family is complete.

I hope you had an amazing Christmas and I wish you all a happy New Year!

 

Hudson: 3

 Happy birthday Hudson, now you are 3.

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I find myself writing down little things that my children say. The sentences that fall in between conversations about trains, and sandwiches and markers. The words that I find prolific or funny. I write them down because I need a reminder of what it’s like to think like a child; to be untethered from logic and to be completely free to say whatever your mouth feels like.

Hudson is creative.

The thing about creativity is we are all born with it, a huge mound of it, it pours out of us like light beams, we dance in it, and we build it up with towers of blocks. But then we start to grow taller and our eyes become more aware of the world around us, and then slowly our tower of creativity becomes smaller and our light beams darken.

For my children I want to celebrate the creative, to let them bathe in it, to always tell them that they are something unique. Because the unique is the fascinating.

And so Hudson, when you put stickers on your eyebrows I will applaud you, when you make an tractor out of dried up bugs and rocks we will dance, when you ask “why” an unending amount of times, I will answer each of them. Because it’s important for you to grow up knowing that you are unique and special and creative.

***

Here are some of my favorite things Hudson has said that I have found unique, special and creative:

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I have a lot of spider webs in my cough.

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I had to close my ears because that show was too lumpy.

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I’m all covered with the feel of baby hands.

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Ice cubes— they burn me with cold.

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Me: Do you remember when you were a baby?

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Hudson: Ya.

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Me: Do you remember what it felt like to be so tiny?

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Hudson: It felt like strawberries.

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Happy birthday Hudson. You have filled me with an immeasurable amount of joy. Your sweet disposition has captivated me. You have taught me what it means to really slow down because you are mild and never in a rush. The person that you are becoming is bright, imaginative, and caring. You draw me in with your eyes. And when you tuck your hand into mine, and lay your head on my chest I melt.

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You hold my heart, Hudson Jack. Having you as my son for the past three years feels like strawberries.

 

 

Diagnosis: Hypercondriac.

It’s been a slow journey back to our new normal over here. Some days are amazing and I’m all, look at me, I am on fire! I feel like I can conquer mount Kilimanjaro, or Trader Joe’s…same dif. But other days, I fail to take off my sloppy sweats and I make toast for dinner. Bon appetit family! And you guys are all, we get it, you just had a baby, can we pull-eeze talk about something else? But, NO! We can’t because it’s all my brain is dialed to. You can be talking with me, and somehow the conversation will always come back to my baby. I have baby brains. I can’t help it.

Oh and here’s a silly thing I find myself doing: I’ll tell complete strangers my birth story. What? Crazy, right? In the parking lot of Bed Bath and Beyond I’m suddenly divulging all the intricacies of Silas’ birth. Complete with hand gestures of gushing vaginal blood. And mid-way through my one-woman, one-act play, I hear myself and I think, Seriously? Please shut up Beckey. But I can’t. The lady I’m talking to is invested, she wants details! Meanwhile I want to quickly run to my car and drive far away.

Then there’s my little trip to the E.R. the other night. I woke up at 3:00 in the morning, well, actually I was already up, because, hello, is this thing on? I don’t really sleep anymore. And I had the most severe leg cramp of my entire existence. It was like the equivalent of a sucker punch and a fiery burn all at the same time. I’ve had leg cramps off and on all during my pregnancy, but this one was different. And way more intense. Ordinarily I would have just gone back to bed, but something told me to call the doctor (and that something was called Google. I made the mistake of looking up “leg cramp after c-section”), so I called the doctor, and she told me to come into the E.R. ::Gulp:: I finished nursing my baby, and left. While driving alone down the freeway at sleepy-time o’clock, I kept imagining all the horrid things that could possibly happen to me. A blood clot is surely traveling around in my veins at this very moment, and it’s hi-tailing it to my heart, or my brain, and then I’m going to die…in this dirty car, wearing unflattering underwear and a scrunchy in my hair.

At the hospital I waited in a curtained room all alone. Just me and my hosiptal gown. And my phone that wouldn’t connect to the internet. So there was really nothing else to do other than take photos of my feet, and listen to the sounds of the hospital at night.

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Then they gave me a blanket and a flashlight band-aid:

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They told me to sleep; made some half-assed joke about this being my “me-time.” But how could I sleep? There was a guy who I think had overdosed on drugs in the curtained room next to mine. I heard him as he had a cathiter placed. I heard him as he vomited. And I heard him when he voilently snored, even as the nurses clapped in his face and yelled at him to wake up.

This is where I found myself, instead of in my warm bed sandwiched in between my husband and my sleeping baby.

I was in a beeping hospital, waiting for staff to take me to radiology, questioning whether or not I should really be there. I grew more and more anxious as the minutes ticked past. My heart started beating faster when I thought of my baby waking up while I was away. I didn’t have any stored milk, and he didn’t sleep longer than about 2 hours at night. My eyes kept filling with tears when I thought of the sacrifice I was making. And the longer I laid in that hospital bed the more ridiculous I felt. I shouldn’t be here.

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Finally my leg was ultra-sounded.

There weren’t any clots.

And I was free to go.

I ran to my car. I sped like a crazy-person, and flew through the front door. I ran upstairs expecting to hear a screaming baby and a frustrated daddy, but instead Silas was dreaming peacefully. He was completely unaware that I had spent the last 3 hours in a hospital, with tears and milk leaking out of my body. The same hospital that saved both of our lives just 4 weeks before. And maybe that’s what drove me to the E.R. that night — the memory of near death, the complications, the anxiety of not being in control, the irrationality of fear. Things don’t make sense when you’re scared.

I used to think I was invincible, but now my body scares me. To me it’s incompetent, and capable of breaking down.

So, sometimes that means that I run to the hospital in the middle of the night because of a leg cramp. Ya, I might be a little crazy, but I’m playing it safe. I’m sure I’ll get better with time, but for now, I think I’ll invest in an ultrasound machine.

 

Tasty

The fine people over at Axl’s Closet asked me to be a tastemaker for their super cool clothing site for kids. Which means I pilfered like a mad woman through their entire catalogue of clothing and picked out my favorites; it was kinda like shopping without the pesky nuisance of actually buying anything. But the good news is you can buy stuff! Use the code Hippo25% you get 25% off your entire purchase! And it’s valid through the end of the month.

Click the image to start shopping.

hippoTaste2They also had me do this fun fill-in-the blank-mad-libs-thingie:

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The Bare Minimum

I do the bare minimum around here. Sometimes I think I can do more, but then the more laughs in my face and knocks the breath out of me. And that’s the part where I cry, because, can you say hormones? Ahhh!! The hormones! They race around in my veins and one minute I think I can bake christmas cookies and do a homemade nativity craft for Berlyn and Hudson, and the next minute I’m taking a 45 minute shower and telling everyone to BACK OFF and FIGURE IT OUT, because mommy needs a break from you.

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Berlyn has a fever today.

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She’s not at school, which means she’s home with me. Which means that I have all three children under one roof ALL DAY. Which means that if they need mommy today, chances are I’ll probably be in the shower. Not only that, but now I’m mortified about Silas getting sick, so I’m wandering around my house wearing a surgical mask while spraying everything in a thick coat of Lysol and demanding that the children wash their hands every 13 minutes.

It’s super fun, wanna come over?

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We recently discovered that Silas is a little different than his brother and sister in that he’s considered a “high-needs baby.” Which is the polite term for saying that he likes to cry. A lot. Berlyn and Hudson were dream babies. Always content in whatever baby apparatus I’d stick them in. They would sleep when they were supposed to sleep, and eat when they were supposed to eat, and in general be pretty awesome. Silas, although awesome, does not enjoy the same peaceful existence that his siblings once did. Which means he’s attached to me all day long. Fine if I never had to poop, or never had the desire to anything without a tiny baby, but it just makes everything a bit harder.

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Well, it’s actually kind of sweet that he always wants to be near me. We went through a pretty traumatic experience together and he finds comfort in me. So I feel conflicted complaining about it. A break every once in a while might be nice, that’s all I’m saying.

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I just looked over old blog posts of when Hudson was this small, and believe it or not he was the same exact way. Funny how you forget all these things:

“I mean, really.

How much boob does one tiny baby need?

Every hour just seems ridiculous.

Right?

And do you see what it’s making me do?

It’s making me loose my mind. And Dr. Sears doesn’t have a chapter on that, I know. I’ve checked.

But I know what Dr. Sears would say, he’d say if your child wants to eat every hour, feed him every hour.

But every hour at night?

Dr. Sears, do you have any idea what this is doing to my brain?”

***

“Then there’s Hudson, who keeps sharting. And he keeps spitting up, in his ear.

UGH, so his ears smell like baby stomach acid.

I thought newborns were supposed to smell like Cabbage Patch Dolls.

Mine smells like a shart and barf.”

The Printed Word

I wrote the cover article for OC Family magazine this month. It’s kind of a big deal because it means that someone printed my words. Someone out there read them, and then printed them. And no matter how many times that happens (let me assure you, it’s not much), it’s always going to blow my mind.

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If you live in Orange County you can pick it up all over the place. I got a fat stack at Ruby’s Diner. I unashamedly grabbed about 13 copies. And then had my 2-year-old take this incredibly unflattering photo of me:

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You can also get it at Wahoo’s or at my daugther’s old preschool. And at the donut place by my house. But if you don’t know where my daughter used to go to preschool or where the donut place is, you can find a digital copy online here.

I donno, for some reason I’m lukewarm about the article. I feel as though it’s not my best work. Maybe it’s having a prompt. I’m not good with prompts. I learned this in college when I had to write huge essays for my literature classes. If you want me to say something precise, chances are I’m not going to be able to do it in 2,000 words. Instead let’s just take a journey together, shall we? If I start to answer your prompt, then yay. If not…well it was a fun ride, right?

So with this article I struggled, and it reads a little clunky, but hey, maybe you like that sort of thing. Or maybe that’s what I was going for…Well, whatever, you should read it, and let me know what you think.