Tuesday, July 19, 2011

.....savoring the ordinary.....

.....our summer has been fast and furious since Elsie had her graduation day.......the nursery school doors closed and within hours we were ramping up for a visit with loved ones, followed by a family summer vacation to remember.....we blissfully enjoyed our time at each gathering, as our trips sped by more quickly than we wanted, just as time away often does......and then we literally dumped our bags at our door and fervently jumped into the first week of summer camp and gymnastics.....more of that later......or better yet, it went something like this......dump the bags, throw everything in drawers or the dirty clothes, wash towels and extra blankets, fill the refrigerator with food and hide our standard, summer clutter to make room for more family visiting from afar......more of that later, too......

.....so it's been sprint, recover.....accelerate, coast.....mayhem, tranquility.......the ebb and flow of busy and festive versus slow and lazy......sliding the latter of the two in between the big and special summer events.....and in the grandeur style of enjoying the momentous occasions that will be easy to remember; I have to take time to highlight the smaller, more ordinary times too......because if we didn't recognize the magnificent and modest, the impressive and intimate, the lavish and little; well then, it wouldn't be savoring it all now, would it?.....and quite honestly, the modest, intimate and little things always add up to the one mighty life each of us are given to live to the fullest......

.....and in no particular order, here are a few of our favorite, small and ordinary happenings this summertime......

....sleep overs with besties......


.....our way down to North Carolina for our family reunion afforded us a night to stay in Baltimore at Cyndi and her husband Jay's house.....one of my dearest and closest friends from college, we relish any opportunity to bunk up for a night.....we carve out time in between the shenanigans of our 5 collective kids to fill each other in on the details of our lives, laugh at the anecdotes about our children and catch up on who is doing what from the days we lived on Park Avenue in Tallahassee, Florida.....

....and the time together is always so easy.....




.....my time with Cyndi is always rejuvenating.....we laugh so hard our bellies hurt and I always leave her farewell embrace feeling as if I am filled to the brim with boundless energy.....she restores my dry well with her compassion, perspective, her humor, her beauty and our history......we could stay up for days catching up, talking, sharing stories.....it's a special bond I don't quite share with anyone else and I love the sacredness of our friendship.....


.....and because our good friends who used to be on the other side of the Hudson are now also Maryland residents, we changed the 5 kids to 8 kids and made our Baltimore drop in even merrier......




.....and even though merrier sometimes means more chaotic and harried, we laughed our way through the bewitching hours of the day.......rocking babies, soothing tantrums and bribing good behavior for summer desserts.....I wish everyday I could co-parent with my best friends.....we would laugh the stress and tiresome times away and the joyous and easy moments would be made even sweeter......








.....rolling on.....

.....potty time....

.....or lack there of.....as much as we encourage and cheer our girl on, she just isn't interested.....I will keep trying, as there would be nothing better than Callie starting nursery school in the fall sans diapers.......but as I have learned well by now, she does what she wants, when she wants.....


.....fresh and local veggies.....

.....every Tuesday I am challenged with the task of collecting some amazing fresh veggies delivered nearby from a local farm and figuring out how to use them for our meals for the week.....the crops are plentiful and have helped kick start our family in it's time to get healthy gear, as my pregnancy with Brody let our eating habits slip.....ice cream became a staple in our home and it's been long over do for our family to make a change......


.....I have loved adding the colorful veggies to new recipes and having the girls help with the process of picking up our crate of goods, washing and naming the veggies, preparing and cooking them......Elsie actually coaxed Callie into eating the summer squash for dinner this evening simply because Elsie helped stir them in the skillet.....and because the helpings are bountiful, we are eating these beauties for lunches and dinners.....yum, I am craving eggplant as I type.....


.....catching fireflies.....

.....it was a split second moment that I caught from a window 50 feet away.....


.....there isn't anything spectacular about it, other than my city girl didn't even know what a firefly was......and now she does.....


.....pink lips....

.....it's Callie's new thing.....she is constantly asking for pink lips after I let her put some make up on with me one morning......and after three not right nows responding to her pleas one morning after breakfast, I asked her to wash her hands to get the syrup off her fingers......after several quiet moments too long alone in the bathroom, I peeked around the corner to see what she had found......


.....like I said, my girl gets what she wants when she wants.....and she wanted some pink lips after breakfast.....


.....and a little mascara too....

....new playgrounds in the neighborhood....

.....people often told us when we moved to NYC that once we settled in a neighborhood, we would never leave it.....and I did not like the sound of that......the city has too much to offer to stay confined in a few blocks radius.....pre kids, Stefan and I would make a point to try new places.....there were many  Saturdays he and I would hop on a bus, ride it for a good conversation; hopping off to explore a new neighborhood with hip restaurants, unique shops and rowdy happy hour locations......it was a dreamy time of our lives and we found several local gems that we have revisited over the last 8 years.....

.....well, post kids it has become much harder to be as adventurous.....strollers do not always co-exist peacefully with subway steps and the bus's strict rules of collapsing 45 pounds of metal and rubber wheels prior to boarding.....there have been many times when I have ventured out with my babes to a far away place on this tiny of island of ours......times like this, or this or this.....and upon arrival,  I am jumping for joy at the sheer exhilaration of getting out of the house with small children, conquering mass transit, having enough snacks packed, finding the one clean public restroom near us for a potty break- or better yet, coaxing the cashier at a local establishment to letting me parade my crew in to monopolize their bathroom for a while without buying anything.....

.....and then there are the less strenuous out of the ordinary events.....the ones that don't necessarily take you out of the neighborhood, but still push the limits......walking 10 blocks, opposed to five, for instance; just to check out a new playground......those times may not be as rewarding for me, because walking a few extra blocks isn't a rock star moment; but for my girls and their buddy, we mine as well have.....













..... I love that our children teach us to enjoy the smallest things....


.....so I strive to do that in each moment.....I strive to learn lessons from them because their lessons happen continuously.......but honestly, I find that lately, I have to force myself to pry open my eyes and suck the moment dry......our family is still making minor adjustments with our new arrival.....my little man still likes to eat a lot and a tired Momma isn't always the most energetic.....I run on low fumes physically and am still trying to manage fitting life into raising three small kids.....cooking healthy dinners, shuffling the kids to their activities, planning fun adventures on days there aren't activities, exercising to get back in shape, feeding Brody every 3-4 hours, keeping up with the housework, finding a few minutes alone with Stefan, documenting their little lives so we remember this time.....I'm still not quite making it all happen around here.....

....but as mothers we do our best, even when we feel like our best isn't stellar......it's all hills and valleys.......adjustments, the uncomfortable shift of change, and then contentment that it's all working well......until the cycle begins again......all of it combined keeps our life interesting and allows us to grow......ebb and flow, baby......




......so the ordinary is essential for recovery......time to rest, preserve and save it all up for the next big thing......and with that, I'm signing off to rock my baby boy to sleep.....


.....nighty night.....

....and special thanks to Sara for the park pics....I love every new adventure with you, Sara......you always make it so much fun....

4 comments :

Amy said...

Tracy you are doing an amazing job keeping up with your three beautiful babes! I am jealous of how you are able to do it all and document it all so perfectly and timely! Big hugs!

Babymama said...

New follower frm voiceBoks.
Such great pics - I especially love
The "babe in arms pushing two more on tire swing pic"...
We moms are SUCH great multitaskers.

xo
Babymama

Kelly said...

Oh those park pictures are my favorite ever! Shows you loving your babies in all the ways they need! They brought tears to my eyes! Then the last one of Brody made me stop and stare at him for a solid minute! What a beauty!!!! My heart is full after ever post!!

Love the idea of co parenting with girlfriends - what a genius idea!!

Ang said...

Truly impressed by your pictures! My husband and I are really into taking pix of/with our kids as well, although I must admit recently I haven't done it as much as I would like (something about a newborn? Hmmm? Ha)
Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Have a great rest of the week!
Ang
PS Lovely to see a beautiful mom with such a great smile!