Free download, for personal use only! Print on sticker paper and cut out with scissors or a punch (I prefer the punches because you can even get a 2" scallop cut out and it's more uniform than cutting by hand).
Today, Dagny was sleeping and the boys were playing together downstairs. I was upstairs, had put the laundry into the dryer, put all the clean dishes into the cabinets, and was kind of bored. I ate lunch by myself, and for the first time, in a long time, I felt a bit lonely. I normally eat lunch while the kids eat, or before they eat, and there's usually a lot of noise around me with them running around or Dagny is sitting in her chair munching on something while I eat. Other times, I have my phone and can scroll through photos on Instagram or read the news. Today, my phone was charging in another room, the baby was sleeping, the boys were downstairs... and it was just me. Me and my thoughts. Or lack thereof. No projects. No magazines. A pile of mail I refuse to go through until tomorrow. Nobody to talk to on the phone. Nobody to talk to in real life.
I realized that the contrast from vacation (we just got back from SD) where there was always someone around (Andy's mom joined us Wednesday, his aunt, and two uncles were all there with us) may have added to the sudden realization of loneliness. But still it was a bit odd.
All of a sudden, I heard shrieks. Well, that didn't last long, was my first thought. As I was about to ask them what happened, and play judge again, Bubba ran right by me. Then Jordan ran up with a car built of these pieces my brother had gotten them last Christmas. Jordan told me, "Mom, we made the most amazing car ever!" and then he ran to the living room, where Bubba was waiting for him. Those shrieks? Not from fighting, but from pure elated joy. "Did you build a car with gege?" I asked Bubba. "Yeah!" he screamed back with excitement. "We're going to see if it works" Jordan told me, and off he went to the living room where there's enough wood floor for him to test it out.
It's moments like these that make motherhood so priceless. "Give me five Bubba, what a cool car!" I told him, and he just smiled and smiled and was giddy with anticipation while Jordan moved the car on the floor. It made me so happy to see them play together, in unison with such harmony.
I hope they always remember the times when they are working together to create something great and having a good time together. I hope they always remember the fun they have all day every day. I hope they always are this good with each other. I know they won't always be, but today was enough to remind me that they do love and adore each other.
This morning, like every morning, I woke up with five people in my bed. My second always sneaks in around 7 AM to my right, he likes this position so he's the only one on that side and he can grab my hair. On my left was my youngest, who had been crying for some miserable reason at 5 AM, so I gave her a bottle and she went back to sleep and I was too lazy to return her. On the left of her was her big brother, who had joined the party latest, so far - he likes sleep the most, but balanced with his disdain for missing out, he begrudgingly woke up, brought his yellow blankie with him, and then told us al that he was going back to sleep. To the left of him, lay my dear husband. Yet even without the kiddos taking over our bed, he still is far and away on his side as is the joy of a king sized bed.
I asked my eldest to please take his blanket back to his room as I made our bed. He told me he would in a bit and then proceeded to do whatever he was doing. I asked him again, and again, and then again. All nicely, no screaming, just calm and relaxed. I finally gave him my look of what the heck are you doing, I am about to lose it, to which he responded, "be patient Mommy, I'm going to take the blanket back soon."
I tried my best not to react, but I was dying on the inside. I then asked him again to please take the blanket back and that patience was something we reserved for situations not of the present. "Mommy, I'm praying that you will have more patience" this after he heard my own personal prayer outloud asking for patience and humility, especially when dealing with my kids. Funny that he should mention patience though, as much was needed as I plowed through making 250 French macarons (which are sandwiches, so really I made roughly 500 shells but probably only 200 came out nicely, the rest were burn or overcooked, or concave shells of nothing, but I filled 'em all! anyway).
We forget that Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways. Like how miraculously my eldest had a playdate in the afternoon, or how my youngest slept for 2 hours as I worked away on filling all the macarons, or how my husband's cousin offered to come help me fill the remaining shells after she had gotten off work, or how my MIL was free to come watch the babies while we finished them all. And then, there was the surprise when my husband came home from the bachelor party (paintballing and Brazilian BBQ) outing that started at 11 AM at 4 PM just in time to take over the kids and get us all ready to grab our car from the shop. And then, there was us getting lost on our way to a dinner buffet as the kids bugged us about how hungry they were, but then once we were there, the hostess told us if we had arrived 20 minutes earlier (about the length of the time we got lost), we would have waited for huge bus parties to finish. Well, in my book, that is serendipitous if we can have our kids buckled down driving around lost instead of waiting around (oh the complaining and whining that would have ensued!).
As I was lying in bed tonight with my boys, ages 4 and 2, waiting for them to fall asleep... I began to think about memories. For some reason, one of the vivid memories I have of life living on the Westside in California (near Santa Monica) is not in the apartment or even in the car (where I spent most of my time commuting through LA), but running (which I don't even do often) in the dark on the streets of LA, trying to keep up with my roommate who was a hs and college track star. I remember it was on the way to darkness and gradually got darker as I was running. I was focusing on the sidewalks, not wanting to trip over an uneven step, wondering how far I'd have to go before I caught up to her. I couldn't fathom why anyone would run for fun. I was miserable. As my feet hit the sidewalk with each step of pathetic attempt to catch up, I wondered if I'd get lost, get hit by a car, or die of lung failure.
I never ran in the streets again after that night. Shortly thereafter, I signed up for a gym, and I would continue my pathetic attempt at running for as long as my track star roommate, but it would be in the lighted comfort of a gym that made me feel safe despite the lackluster smells and overcrowded stuffy room.
I often wonder why that is the one memory I have of life on the Westside. I try to remember what the bathroom looked like, what my bedroom set-up was, what the kitchen layout was, even the living room with our tiny TV. I don't have a lot of photos from our apartment, a few here and there, but I wish I did so I could remember more. Then again, it's not a time in my life that I want desperately to recall, but in a way the emptiness I cannot seem to piece together displaces me a bit.
And then, as I think of all the things I want to remember each day, the smells, the sounds, the happiness, the irritation, the bursts of desperation, the moments of genuine joy, I realized I should probably try to record it all again.
I want to remember the random things Bubba started mimicking his brother in bed at night that honestly made me want to slap them both, but also tickled me a bit at how fast they're growing. I want to remember the sound of Jordan's legs scratching the walls as he tries to stay awake while I'm next to him. I want to remember Bubba annoyingly grabbing my hair and murmuring "I want your hair" or "let it go hair Mommy?" when he's older and not even giving me hugs willingly. I want to remember that I swept the kitchen floor (where we eat) about 5 times today and when I walk across the kitchen barefoot (that's how we Asians do it), I still picked up some crumbs - of what, I do not know nor do I want to know. I want to remember Bubba drumming my hair back and forth with his eyes wide open not even a bit tired as I admitted unwillingly that it may be time to give up that two hour nap that gives me so much free time during the day. I want to remember Dagny's sweet look of glee when she sees her Daddy come home, how much of an accessory she is on my hip (more than my other two), and how she has for some odd reason, taken a liking for her binkie once again today. I want to remember the mustache tattoos I put on both boys and then took off with scotch tape and baby oil. I want to remember having a sink clear of dishes because my sweet mother in law had us over for dinner again (we go about twice or three times a week). I want to remember how quickly I was able to superwoman calm my son who walked into the bed frame in the dark after he closed the door with just a sweet hug and whisper that I love him. I want to remember thinking how awesome I was that I cleaned both upstairs bathrooms in half an hour, but then how pathetic I was when I only managed to get ten minutes in on the elliptical before I decided I needed to comfort my happy baby who was awake in the room next door. I want to remember my husband spending hours dedicated to setting up the projector that he is so excited about getting (both for his birthday and Christmas) as I pondered whether I should get him anything for his birthday that is this Saturday. I want to remember making 100+ macarons for my husband's best friend's wedding this weekend. I want to remember talking on the phone with my BFF and sending her photos of my straight legged jeans circa 2007 with a thumbs up since flares are coming back in. I want to remember sending my BFF songs from the throwback hip-hop station I found and jamming to 2Pac and P Diddy on the radio. I want to remember Bubba picking out his own salmon shorts and a monster t-shirt to wear today. I want to remember Jordan telling me it was okay that his PJs were still wet (because I put 'em in to wash too late) that he had originally wanted to wear for PJ day at school. I want to remember that we had frozen pizza and a smoothie for lunch. I want to remember all these things in my life. I'm not sure why, but I just want to. And they seem so mundane as I type them all out, but I still want to. And so I'm going to start documenting again.