Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer in the Clark Lane

This is my life at the moment.  My days are filled with diapers and tickles and singing and dancing.  They are filled with bouncy houses and playgrounds and the beach and pool.  They are filled with very little silence and even less time to myself.  I think I hear the words, "why?" and "Mommy" in my sleep.  But, luckily for me, I'm living my dream.  I dreamed about getting married to the man of my dreams (enter Jim Clark) and having gorgeous little children running around.  I've blinked and I have three of them.  And they're perfect.  I don't take that for granted.  Jim and I have been married for six years.  Hannah is already five months old.  Her gummy grin will too soon have little teeth poking through.  Her spiky hair will inevitably fall down--it can't grow vertically forever, right?  But I want it to.  I want her hair to stick straight up because that's who Hannah is.  She giggles and squeals and squeaks and makes everyone around her happier.  She made her pediatrician feel guilty this week as she was smiling at him right up until the second he gave her her shots.  I want to freeze this time.

Lilly, dressing herself and doing her afternoon yoga.
Jack loving his Phillies jersey from Uncle Joef.  Joef gave it to him when he was just 2 months old!
"Where did my play mat go?"
My moving 'helpers'

A breakfast picture to send to Jim, who is out the door so early for work now that he doesn't get to see the little ones in the morning anymore.

One of Lilly's quiet time creations--a drawing of Minnie and Mickey mouse
Another quiet time project--her tree, complete with real leaves and acorns!
The girls hanging out with an exhausted Hannah who wanted to play with us instead of nap :)

Hannah has just discovered how amazing her thumb is!

Jack, with his little boy grin that melts my heart every time.  
Oh yes, I'm exhausted at the end of every day.  Our house isn't always filled with smiles and rainbows and sunshine--in fact, my gorgeous little children do their fair share of taking each others toys and arguing when I ask them to do something.  They're little and learning where their boundaries are and they drive me crazy sometimes!  I don't pretend to be an expert at raising three children.  I often don't know how to immediately respond to Lilly's ever inquisitive little mind when she asks questions about dying or where babies come from or why some women look like they have babies in their bottoms instead of their tummies (that was a direct quote from her up at the lake).  I don't have enough hands to give Jack the constant "huggies" that he wants from me while patting Hannah's back to try and get her to sleep and I'm not strong enough to carry Lilly, Jack and Hannah down the stairs "like Daddy does." But I know that I try really hard to be the best Mum (or as all my little ones say, Mom) that I can be.  I love these three little children so much that it hurts.  I tear up when I think about potty training Jack next week (gulp...) and Lilly going back to school.  These days, months and years are passing by at a speed that is out of my control.  When Hannah rolled herself out from under her playmat today and ended up in the middle of the living room, I told her that I wasn't ready for her to be mobile yet--she's still supposed to be a newborn.  Lilly chimed in from the kitchen (because Lilly hears everything) to tell me that "We have to grow up, Mum, because that's how God made us.  We don't get to be children forever." Cue more tears.  That's one of my favorite Lillyisms.  "...because that's how God made us."  She uses it for everything--to talk about why people don't all look the same or are better at certain things or live in different countries or have long or short hair.  She'll tell you that God made Papa with no hair, and made Lilly with long beautiful hair.  God gave Dad short boy hair like Jack (who in no way has short boy hair!), Hannah has spiky hair (absolutely right), and I'm lucky enough to fall into the long, beautiful, "guuuurl" hair category.  She came home saying, "...because that's how God made us" from school one day last year and it has stuck.

So, while I could go on about how happy (and exhausted) I am at the moment, it's getting late and another day of puzzles and trains and books (and coffee) awaits me.  I'll end with a snippet of our afternoon yesterday.  'Jake and the Neverland Pirates' is Lilly's absolute favorite show at the moment.  So when I played some of their songs on Spotify for her, she couldn't believe her luck! (At the end, Jack is saying he wants a drum, so you can imagine how much quieter my afternoon got from here).      


Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I've always loved mornings.  After I get past the initial alarm going off and getting out bed while it still feels like the middle of the night, nothing beats quiet mornings.  Mornings make me think of jumping into the pool at 5:30 every day during high school.  College mornings were spent running down to the boat house and rowing while the sun rose on the Charles River.  Mornings remind me of bottomless coffee and Karunesh and fresh air.  I think of Bali and family and our breakfasts accompanied by traditional, yet somewhat ecclectic, Balinese music.  They remind me of Ironman training when I was in the best shape of my life, and of 5 mile walks (or waddles...) towards the end of each of my pregnancies.  I've spent mornings running 10 miles by myself and listening to music, running 24 miles with Jim where we'd chat about life, and running 3 miles with one of the little ones babbling away in the jogging stroller.  Lilly, Jack and Hannah were all born between 5:30 and 6:50 in the morning.  It's like they knew that morning is my favorite time of day, and what better way to start it than bringing a baby into the world.

Picture courtesy of little hunches--one of my favorite websites.
Mornings have evolved over the years, but they're still the time of day that I enjoy most.  After having children, Jim and I quickly learned that we prefer to wake up early and have some time to ourselves before little people start talking and running around.  Before we start changing diapers and answering questions and being parents.  That doesn't mean that we're always up before the kids--in fact, this week, while we're up in New Hampshire, we've been sleeping until we hear Jack's inevitable, "Mommmy...Dadddddyyyy, where are you?" or until Lilly comes running into our room telling us her clock is green (greatest invention ever, by the way...a clock that changes from yellow to green when Lilly and Jack are allowed to come out of their room, which is currently set to turn green at 7:30).

Every time a new baby is born, our morning routine changes for a little while, and now it's changing again.  Jim has taken a new job in NYC, which means that he has to wake up at 4:30 to be on the 5:10 train.  I've been trying to get up with him (or at least to be awake with him as he gets ready) so that we get to see each other for that brief quiet time in the morning.  It's only been a week of this new job so we're still figuring out how things will work but know that this is temporary and a move in the right direction, even if our day now starts at least an hour earlier than it used to.  After Jim leaves to catch the train, I still have two hours before my day really begins. I've discovered that those two hours are my most productive time of the day.  Sometimes Hannah is awake and sometimes she's still asleep.  Lilly and Jack are asleep.  I get to decide whether I'm going to workout, read, write, or take a long shower.  It's like I've been given the gift of time to myself, which is funny, since it's always been there.  Early mornings mean early bedtimes, which works for us.  All three little ones now go to bed by 7, so Jim and I can still have a couple of hours together and be in bed early.  It's definitely a transition.  And we're tired.  But mornings are still my favorite time of day.