Friday, September 4, 2009

motherhood.

official long post disclaimer. if you'd rather have the one-sentence-summary, it goes something like...an emotional mama spews her heart but balances it nicely with every-day doodlings.

the great chinese philosopy of yin and yang describes how opposing forces are, in effect, interconnected and give rise to each other. complementary opposites constantly interacting yet part of a greater, beautiful whole.

i couldn't describe the last couple days any better. and yet, if i look back at every era in our life, it's always the same way.

good and beautiful moments followed by trying and sad. complex hurdles and challenges balanced perfectly with simple happy days. intricate layers of learning and knowing, feeling and being, moving forward and being content to simply reside in the moment.

and i don't think i'd have it any other way. i love the simple, the good, the happy. but without the trying, the complex, the sad, the good just wouldn't seem as good and there would be no propeling forward...to the better us we will be every day.

with that deep pondering out of the way...

the simple, the good, the in-the-moment contentment of our last few days...

grandma.
having her here a part of our home and our family seems like it's always been this way.



yarn.
we found our little yarn store jewel the other day and i was quickly reminded of trailing behind her in fabric stores as a kid and exactly what that entails as it ain't no ordinary shopping experience. unless you call spending 45 minutes deciding between two winter white shades of italian cotton yarns ordinary.





it's for little bean's home-from-the-hospital outfit, and big sis was happy to help wrap up that 45 minute decision with her own suggestions.





i am invigorated with my own project as my mama gave me a crash re-course in crochet...it's been a long time and anything i've ever made in the past was all cockeyed and crooked anyway. i made a lot of scarves back in the day, but they all started with 20 stitches and ended with like 59.

i chose a soft pink boucle for new little's blanket, and thirteen rows and one and a half skeins in, it is looking lovely.



i've finally figured out how to count stitches and have consistent rows. in fact, i'm flying and according to my mom, i am a stellar student. not that it means anything because it's simple crocheting in a straight line and lord knows i could never handle anything more. 'knit-one-pearl-two' would have me quitting in no time, i'm sure.

so, since she's been here, we've done a lot of sitting...like two lil' ol' ladies...just crochetin' away.

and when we're not crocheting, we're cooking and baking and stirring...

eatin'.
last night's homemade shrimp chowder...



and mom's cherry pie which so puts my butty-crust one to shame.





and mama loves her pellegrino, and i love cool bottles so the kitchen island has found a new centerpiece.



haircut.
and finally...
i did it.
after much deliberation over what to do with her sweet troll doll/spun sugar hair, we've caved to all the 'cut-it-and-it-will-grow-thicker' advice. she quietly sat motionless while grandma clip-clipped all that spun sugar off to reveal a new little pixie do...that i so, so love.







hello, little pixie.



mischief.
when baylee and lainey get together, there is always sure to be a laugh.
like when we opened the door to the too-quiet bedroom to find this the other day...



and when they saw us, they started laughing hysterically...and screaming...and rolling in it as if to show us that it was indeed, so much fun, certainly they couldn't be scolded.
and they weren't. because we were laughing so hard.

seriously. snow angels.


i asked lainey tonight, 'did you get in the powder with baylee?' ...and she smiled, climbed out of my arms, laid on the floor and scissored her arms and legs over and over.
'yes,' i smiled...'you did snow angels, didn't you?'

a couple days later, it was band-aids. about fifteen of them. and they were proud to show them off like little wonder-twin-powers-activate girls.



colors.
she knows them all now. all except the boring ones like white and brown.



and every time she says 'purple,' the corners of my mouth curl up into this uncontainable smile. pah-puh.

click HERE to hear it. (and i am flying through asking her colors all mario andretti-ish because i didn't have my memory chip and didn't know how many minutes of video our little camera could hold. or maybe i'm a drill sargeant at teaching colors. you decide.)

light show.
and finally, we sat in the driveway late the other night, completely entranced by this magical lightning storm about forty miles away (and how do i know that? because my little weather-boy husband thinks he's jim cantore. if i had a nickle for every weather gadget in our house and a dollar for every hour of weather channel we've watched...well, we could buy jim cantore, his network and everything in between. the thing is my weather-boy is always right when it comes to pressure and storms and air currents. always). but for the glow of our fountain, everything was black...and then suddenly, like magic, this hollow of sky and clouds opened up with this crazy beautiful light...and every time it happened, we gasped.



...but then i did say this post was something yin-and-yang-ish and, well that's all good and beautiful.

so there is complex...challenging...but yes, good and beautiful all the same...

we had our big half-way point ultrasound the other day and, even with all this funky stuff we've dealt with this time, i always look forward to ultrasounds. even if they are to monitor that stupid blood clot. because, right above that stupid blood clot is this little thing called our child. and getting to see her...to know her more...to take her in just gets me.

and yes, again, it's not the perfect ultrasound we'd hoped for. at least it didn't seem like that when i kept questioning the poor ultrasound tech every time she got quiet and moved the wand a little slower...and then i'd dig for all the what-could-that-mean-s and nearly fall apart after.
but, after a long thoughtful day yesterday, a chat with the doctor, a chat with the nurse, a call to ldr-friend-nurse, lots of huggy-kissy family e-mails, a follow-up call with nurse and her final words of--i think verbatim--'stop worrying and go write a blog post or something,' ( i love you, dot!) i've come to this complete peace that, for the most part, everything is out of my hands and will be just fine. the baby is perfect...there just might be some questionable issues with my placenta that might alter the delivery plan a bit. but then again, it might be just perfect and no issues at all. brett says we don't knock on the cockpit when the plane's flying...so sit back and relax.
and so i will.
i've never ever been a worrier. ever. to the point of i didn't worry about things i should have worried about. but i think my grandma's passed-on worry genes were just lying dormant all these years until babies entered my world. and now...all this love...well, the genes have erupted like vesuvius.

but, hey...look. cute, eh?



and if that wasn't enough, after a somewhat emotional day yesterday, my girl woke up in the middle of the night with a fever. and clingy. and needy. and i did that give-her-tylenol thing again which made her throw up. and so we cleaned off stinky jammies and freshened up with new ones. and we rocked. and loved. and she was quiet and happy and soon fell asleep in my arms. and today, she just wasn't herself. her eyes said 'sick,' and her bubbly personality was absent...replaced by this sweet, clingy babe who couldn't leave my side. she needed us a lot today...



so we read a lot of books. and just laid around, her legs all intertwined in mine and her hot little head nested as close to me as possible.



and, at one point when her drowsy eyes closed and her hand curled around my arm, i just couldn't hold it. i cried. not because it was hard and trying. maybe because i'm emotional and pregnant. but mostly? mostly because i felt like a mama. (and talk about yin and yang...here i am lying there in the quiet of the room and my big girl is falling asleep outside my tummy while my tiny girl is waking up inside. hello. profound.)

and it dawned on me...all these times we look forward to before we're mothers. the moments we think we'll feel like a mom--like park dates or proudly 'showing off' that wrapped little bundle, birthday parties and art projects...yes, they all define motherhood. and while i feel every bit of mamahood during those happy days, it's the not-so-right times that truly pull out of me the primal mama within. checking temperatures half-awake holding a warm head close. sweeping back tendrils of wispy hair from a hot cheek and kissing sad, heavy eyelids. feeling that painful pull on my heart when the ultrasound tech takes a second look at a questionable area. kissing her tiny helpless body under blue lights in the hospital. comforting her sickness. being needed. sacrificing anything and everything to make them both okay...these are the moments i feel my soul has been matched with its calling. where i know i'm doing exactly what i'm supposed to be doing. for a doctor, it might be the day they are published in the new england journal of medicine. a struggling politician, perhaps the moment they celebrate their election to office. but for me...my 'this is it' moments...they are witnessed by none and felt in the dark...when we're rocking quietly together and our souls are synched. in the middle of the day when everyone's at work, but i am happily glued to the couch, intertwined with my feverish girl. when i don't have all the answers and i don't know what to do...but i sure know how to love. that's when i feel it most. this mom thing. i don't know why or how or when...but i know so deeply how to be a mom because my soul was carved to be one and these littles fit in the hollow of those carved grooves...right in the place of my being that says 'mama.'
the rest, we'll figure out.

i may or may not be a great many things...but today, i was so incredibly happy to be a mama.





...and i'll take my yin and yang. because, together, they make me so completely whole.

28 comments:

jen said...

i'm in the midst of the yin and yang too.
you aren't alone.
i had a crazy placenta with stella ... not sure what the issues are ... pretty sure that everything i say may not help ... you have people surrounding you that know so much more than i. but i've been there ... and sometimes the just knowing ... helps.
thinking of you and yours.

jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abbey bernardi said...

Hey Kelle, your words give me goosebumps and bring me to tears-love it!! Funny I was just discussing the yin and yang with my husband this evening. I had countless ultrasounds that left me an emotional yet enlightened basketcase, yet kept my "everything's going to be okay" attitude towards it all. Your glorious attitude will get you through anything. Your "this is it" moments are what make this world a wonderful world. Mamas are everything.
Take care,
Abbey

Heidi Lee said...

Kelle, I too had questionable ultrasounds...mine were always "on the small side" but the ultraound tech always said, "look at you and your husband..your not big people...therefore, your baby isn't going to be big" she was always irritated with the doctors for freaking me out a bit. And of course, everything turned out fine, and I am confident it will for you as well.
I love the ultrasound picture!

Amy said...

That is one seriously cute bean- she's already posing for you!

Lisa Y. said...

Love her haircut!!! ANd I think little bean will be a dancer. Did you see how high she kicks?

Still praying for you.

Nicole said...

Goodness, how you make me long to be mama more than I already do...simply beautiful, your words. Praying for you and your new little bean....I'm thinking a pretty tiny little easter bonnet (pink eyelet perhaps..)gift is in order for my favorite blogger, gimme a couple of weeks and watch your mailbox :0)

Oh, and if you get a minute...shrimp chowder recipe please!

Smiles & Hugs!

The Manrings said...

oh kel, big tears reading your beautiful words. nothing better than being a mommy and being in that moment. thank you for sharing your ups and downs and passing on all your goodness. can't wait to see pretty lainey's new big girl hair. xoxo
ps. lainey and baylee's powder angels crack me up!

Chanel said...

That little bean is oh-so-cute! I know is its easier said than done but don't stress. Its the yangs in life that make it all worth while. Lainey's hair is adorable! What a cute little pixie girl she makes!

mrc-w said...

Baby-Hampton has some nice legs! :)

Trailing Mira said...

I am with Nicole... reading your blog makes me so excited to be a momma! I read the first couple of paragraphs of the "this is how we do it" posting (from last week) to my bf .... I am gonna try to stay home with our (future) kids too :)

Heidi said...

this post is so beautiful kell!.

the words are so real and couldn't have been better written. seriously though, you should write a book.

the picture of brett and lainey...with his worried, concerned expression about made me cry.

lainey's bum pic...should be framed as bathroom art.

the baby looks JUST LIKE LAINEY!!!! i'm tellin' you...i am really good at reading ultrasounds. i'm callin' it now...lainey's twin;)

carie said...

just got caught up after a few weeks of absence from the blog world. always love reading your words, viewing your pics and peeking into your world.

Anna Ruth said...

I have tears! What a beautiful post. The girls together brings a smile to my face. What love they have for each other at such a young age. Hugs for you and the little one growing inside you.

Kristy said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Hope Lainey's feeling better...hang in there. You're both amazing.

Nicole S said...

Where did you find that gem of a yarn store in Naples? As an amateur crocheter I would love to poke around there!

Also? I just LOVE the bare bottom photo of Lainey! Adorable!

Tammy B said...

Loving your words Kelle. Love the haircut, and the baby powder, and the bathtub pic. And that lightening picture is spectacular.Oh, and the yarn store - jealous. I want to go there too!

Kelle said...

the yarn store, for you naples yarnies...is called 'knitting with nancy' on the east trail. it's totally a gem...and super colorful inside.

dig this chick said...

My favorite:
my 'this is it' moments...they are witnessed by none and felt in the dark

xo

joykerns said...

I'm not totally sure that you'll see this comment but I wanted you to know that this has to be one of my favorite of all your posts. I think I will go back to this one and read it during those times I feel that maybe I'm not cut out for this whole mama thing. Because I know I truly am. And you're right to say that even if you don't have all the answers, you know how to love and that's all that matters. I especially love that you wrote:
"and i don't think i'd have it any other way. i love the simple, the good, the happy. but without the trying, the complex, the sad, the good just wouldn't seem as good and there would be no propeling forward...to the better us we will be every day." I wonder how many times in your blog you "knew" what was in store for you. So totally meant to be and I'm not sure anyone could do it better. Thanks for all you share.
Joy

Evelyn Louise said...

Hi Kelle - I've been following since Nella's birth and just happened to see this one at the bottom of your page. (Great new layout by the way)
So I popped back in time to read your post about "motherhood" and this LEAPED off the page at me:
"i've come to this complete peace that, for the most part, everything is out of my hands and will be just fine. the baby is perfect...there just might be some questionable issues with my placenta that might alter the delivery plan a bit. but then again, it might be just perfect and no issues at all. brett says we don't knock on the cockpit when the plane's flying...so sit back and relax."

You were right - Nella is perfect. Love reading your blog. As I've said before - you inspire me!

Kelsey said...

You are special. You have a beautiful spirit that often makes me think "I know just what she means!!". Sometimes being a mother of 2 and 3 yr old girls makes me doubt everything i ever thought I'd feel. Like, How can i really think having to lie with my daughter until she falls asleep.every.single.night a hardship?? Sure, I could be doing dishes or laundry, but one day I will be lying awake wondering if she'll be home at all that night...and who's driving her? It's all too terrifying to think about. You keep it real, Kelle. I love your blog.

avaliandellab said...

I have to tell you. This was an amazing and beautiful post. It's so so true. As Moms there is so much good and bad in every day. I never thought I would see another picture of snow angels made in baby powder. After laying my baby boy down for his nap one day 2 years ago, I came downstairs to a mess like I had never seen before.
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t284/avaliandellab/Fun%20with%20a%20two%20year%20old/P1030646.jpg
And like you... they were laughing to hard to get in trouble for it.
Motherhood is so beautiful and trying... all wrapped up into some beautiful little packages!

Life with Kaishon said...

I loved this post.
I am sorry that is the only thing I can ever say after I read one. I do though. I love every one.

BlackCatsAngel Designs said...

Kelle, I decided to make it my job to read your blog from the very first post because I love your posts SO much, but upon reading this particular one, I noticed something...

In this Ultrasound pic, she has her legs up - almost every photo from when she was born, her legs have been up in the air! Cute!

She's a gorgeous little lamb, and I can't wait to catch up to the newest posts and read the entire blog in order!! I can't tell you how much I have laughed and cried!

Much love and light,

Melani

KM said...

Kelle, I have been reading old posts on your blog for a few days now. About a month ago at my first trimester screening ultrasound, the doctor mentioned some possible markers for T21. Were these words that we wanted to hear at the time? No. But over the past month with time and some grace, we have reached a state of peace that no matter what life brings we will be okay and we will love.this.child. Your words (and your beautiful children) have helped me immensely not only to feel at peace, but it have encouraged me to enjoy the little moments with my firstborn and to savor every second of this second pregnancy. THANK YOU.

Molly Doyle said...

Hi Kelle,

I know this is a really old post, but I come back to it from time to time because it's like you took the words right out of my heart.
I don't have kids yet, but many of my friends do, and when they talk (complain, mostly) about their children being sick, I always think of this post. Someday, when I have a baby who needs comforting, rocking, cuddling because they're not feeling so great, I know I will think myself privleged to be the one they rely upon - their mother. What a joy!

Thanks for your blog, and keep waving that happiness flag for all to see!

Molly

emae gutowski said...

I have been reading your blogs for the last half hour. I have cried, laughed out loud, and said "aw". your family is beautiful in so many ways. thank you for sharing your stories with the world and especially me. both of my children were born early, small and fragile.... I am a nurse and nothing prepares you for the ups and downs of labor, delivery or the rest of their lives.... but they (my children) are 10 and 11 years old now and I embrace every moment I can with them. I am grateful for the reminders that special people like you send to the rest of the world to love your children and cherish them. thank you!!! emae, Michigan, usa