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The Haps.

Jesse is, as always, a professional rock star. His jaunty gait has been a little hoppy-er as of late, however, due to a lateral transfer at work that put him into new waters. The guy loves to learn, and he’s happier than a pig in… extra muddy mud. He’s reading research books at night, trying to explain new concepts to his willing-but-clueless wife, and grinning at his computer screen.

He’s also obsessed with fixing up a “family truck”. The most recent one brought with it a troupe of black widows and came complete with both an ichthys (Christian fish symbol) AND an “I ❤ My Hot Wife” bumper sticker.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 1.27.40 PMCarter Patrick is obsessed with kindergarten. Watching him do so well and grow so much in a short time really makes me feel like we made the right decision to put him in a bit early. My mom-heart needed that validation. Within a few weeks, his reading and math skills and his love for science have picked up even more. He begs me to give him more homework at home, to practice reading with him. We read library books and pretend to be characters from them and run around the house, usually waking up or confusing poor baby Jack.

And I was worried about him socially. Because, well, he’s littler and he’s extra weird (my favorite). But seriously. Kid has so many friends. He went to his first classmate-birthday party this weekend and had a blast. And Allison (whoever she is, I’m coming for her) kissed him on the cheek at lunch and tried to hold his hand on the slide. And he’s won three “Pawsome” awards for being extra good in class or explaining what “rhythm” is in music class. And he comes home with paint on his nose and his gelled hair all a mess and he does NOT like the stuffed crust pizza in the cafeteria but begs me to pack him at least three pickled okras in his lunch. And he doesn’t care that he’s the only 4-year old, or that no one else likes pickled okra. And during show and tell, he told the whole class that he’s going to take ballet. Because Carter Patrick is the raddest, raddest kid.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 1.42.38 PMJackaroni and Cheese, Chumby, Quack. My littlest is not very little at all. He’s so, so long. And those thighs! But still with the furrowed brow and the raspy old-man laugh. And the thighs. Never has a babe had such thighs. Jack is his father’s image, but I’m pretty sure he has my exact personality. Too serious, and then suddenly all the happy. Eats without grace. The only thing missing is a love for sleep — but I think that can be learned (please?).

Cracker Jack has a mouth full of swollen gums and first teeth. He’s crawling everywhere. He has a penchant for the laundry room. I think the tile is the coldest in there. That, or he’s trying to get out to the garage to see the family truck. He loves his brother more than anyone else. He grows out of clothes faster than I can stock his drawers with his brother and cousins’ hand-me-downs. He is eating table foods, but he hates (HATES) anything with meat in it. Well, except fish sticks. He liked those. I’d say his favorite foods are carrots and coconut and strawberries. And everything else. Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 1.46.51 PMAnd I’m good. Like, really good. I’m breathing a little life into my resume with a bit of freelancing (and getting to work with a most awesome friend, Celeste, at the same time). I’m taking barre classes (which fully deserves its own post, as I’m exercise-challenged). I’m finally hanging pictures up in my house and pulling out the Halloween decor and getting all sorts of stoked for Arizona-fall. I get to have Sean over for preschool three mornings a week, and we basically do academic hoodrat things while learning our colors, ABC’s, shapes, and basic rocket science. I’m on a strange nonfiction kick and am finally reading this gem. My favorite bible study started back up, and I can’t wait to get into some volunteer service work with those ladies. I’m churchin’ once a week and mopping the floor three times a day; I’m meal planning and I’m Momming. So much Momming.

And I miss her. And I get sad sometimes. A lot of sometimes. But my life is really, really beautiful. And both of those things make me want to cry, and that’s probably not appropriate (since I’m blogging from a very packed Cabin Coffee), so I’m going to get on with my Sunday now.

xo,

H

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Predictable, and Nice.

Not every thing, but some things, have settled into a temporary routine around here, a life-season, and it is so nice. I’m not always a proponent for slowing down or enjoying the status quo, but for right now? Right now is wonderful.

Here are some things that I’ve come to count on:

Jesse Michael is a hard worker who kicks ass and wins at life. Example #246: After a 12 hour shift, he came home and learned how to replace our broken, leaking garbage disposal. My husband is infinitely (even) more attractive because he is so handy. So man. Such brawn. He works to help me raise a hygienic kid with manners and brains. He has the best ideas, like driving out to see dinosaur bones at the museum and then getting Ted’s Hotdogs. His gardening skills are the real deal. He also acquiesced to my request that he wear short-shorts, shave his prized Irish facial hair, and attend a Halloween party under the alias of Paulie Bleeker. He stole the show.

Weekly coupon cutting and meal planning and grocery shopping. Organic food co-ops and “What do you do with watercress?”. Post-its in cook books, Pinterest fails, a lot of Google-ing simple kitchen tasks that a moron could figure out, oven burns and a near loss of a digit to the food processor. Subjecting my boys to some risky taste tests. Poor Carter. After quinoa and eggplant and fish tacos and cabbage rolls, he had a catharsis over lunchtime nachos. “Thank you, Mom. Thank you so much for making something with CHEESE.”

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My body weirding me out, mostly in a good way. (Morning Pep Talk: Pregnancy is awesome, Heather Lynne. Look at your body, being a BAMF, making a baby.) I feel guilty when I hear myself complaining. This is temporary, and really the most beautiful thing, and Baby J is going to be the best.  PS — It’s a boy for sure.

Babies. Babies everywhere. All the lady-friends joke/complain that their Facebook feeds are overflowing with pregnancy announcements. Yep. Welcome to our late 20’s. But I feel like my present experience is rather elevated. Currently, my list of knocked-up friends is at an all time high, yes. But Baby J will also be the last of four same-age cousins:

Miles: July 30
Genevieve: August 28
Jolie: October 6

There really aren’t words to describe what this phase of life feels like, with your family growing, growing and so many happy moments.

…And Carter Patrick and all that is CP right now. Home school in the morning. Big Block Sing Song. Extra long baths until he’s pruny. #StayWeirdCarter. Gymnastics and cousins and play dates and trying to keep up. “Hey, I love you” and “Hey, Babe”. Cuds and snugs and games and puzzles and backseat singing. So handsome and so smart and so kind and so loving and so three-almost-four. So excited to be a big brother. So much energy and then out like a snoring light. All blue eyes and impish smirks and belly laughs. The best part of every day.

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Not everything is predictable. Apparently my uterus is a disco; Baby J’s movements are erratic and fierce. Jesse Michael’s work schedule is haywire. He’s gone a lot, and we miss him, and we’re proud of him. One week’s schedule of work and school and sleep is never the same as the next. There are ankle-biters. There are ankle-biters everywhere, and they are the loudest kind of loud. I really, really miss my caffeine addiction. But this little phase of life, I’m going to remember it as one of the best.

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I’ll eat you up, I love you so.

Dear Carter Patrick,

“I love you, Mawm,” you half-giggled when you sat on my knees tonight grabbing my face. “Triiick urr Treeeat.”

On our drive home, an hour past your bedtime, you listed off the items you’d like to eat. “Chickin nuggits. Chickin nuggggits. Pea Nut But Ter. ‘Nems (M&Ms). Yullow ‘Nems.” Nevermind that you’d had a rather impressive stack of green beans and steak for dinner. “Drink. Finch Fies. Juice. Anana. Chickin nugggits.”

Twinkling holiday lights hanging in the mall. Soup steaming on the stove. I watch your eyes as you observe the smallest of minutia — what’s it like to be Carter and see the neighbor walking his dog? What does Carter think of the rain droplets on the windshield? To be honest, I don’t think I’d be half as mindful of my surroundings if I wasn’t constantly trying to see life from your fresh eyes.

You are pretty pleased with yourself when you are let to have your way. Today you had a snack in the bath tub, and as I stood in the doorway, I heard Jesse tell you, “Carter, get your cheese stick out of the water.” Fabulously entertaining, the things that I hear escape adult mouths, mine most included, these days. Can’t thank you enough for that.

You (still) love footballs, baseballs, orange-yellow-green-red-or-purple balls, “bass-kit-balls”, and all sporting equipment in general. You also like anything with wheels, anything that beeps, and anything that glows, but above all, you like anything that has to be figured out. You still love Mickey Mouse. You like reading and have started saying the words off the page before I get there. You’re smart that way. You put your toys back in the baskets and have an affinity for putting garbage in the trash can — you’re mimicking “hoops”. This week I found three sippy cups at the bottom of your hamper and a bottle of shampoo inside a drinking cup. Well played.

You are so very awake to the world these days. You’ve started to ask questions, your little voice pitching higher at the end of words and phrases. “Mawmmay, whereaaaaaaaa you?” You point and investigate and hunch down to get a closer look. “Wutts tat?”

Who I was before you, I can live without. Waking up and falling asleep, I think about you down the hall, and I know just what you look like and just how you’re breathing. I think about these past two years, and how I’ve known your sweet soul since you were the size of a blueberry, a kumquat, and and an orange. I knew you’d have blue-blue eyes and smell like summer laundry on the clothesline. I thought you’d be just like you are, charming and sensitive and and rough and tumble.

We have a lot in common, you know. Your indignance and sass, that’s me, and it’ll get you in trouble. Your dancing rhythm, or lack thereof, and the way your legs are ever so slightly bowed. Sorry about those two. Hopefully they’ll be endearing to others. The way your brow furrows when you’re thinking, and how you are compelled to laugh before the punchline. Your awe and love of nature and learning — how your eyes whisper at the moon, and the way you sigh when we finish books. I find myself wonderstruck, looking at a little boy-sized mirror.

But we’re also notedly different. You’re never shy. You’re coordinated. You’re dynamic. That’s all you, Carter Patrick. Watching you is exciting and heavy and light and breathtaking.

I can’t avoid that you’re going to have to turn two, my little walking clock. But in trying to keep up, I’m having the time of my life. I’ll eat you up, I love you so.

Mom.