Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Day in Pictures and Absurdly Long Captions (#OneDayHH 2016)

As I was combing through my November Pictures, I realized that I never shared the pictures of a really fun little challenge I participated in at the first of that month. And after I looked through them (the pictures and the captions on Instagram), I realized it definitely merited its own blog post. As I've said so many times lately, with a few notable exceptions, my blog and IG are basically the same content wise and I really have mixed feelings about that. And some of this stuff is doubly redundant- I've even shared it in other posts on the blog. But it is what it is and I'm not going to worry too much about it.

So basically, this was just a fun challenge to slow down and document your day. Per usual, I decided to write some absurdly long captions. A lot of them were things that had been rolling around in my head and I had been meaning to share. It was a good excuse to share a lot of miscellaneous stuff at one time!

Here was my day! 

First thing on the agenda: pumping a bottle to replace the four ounces (?!?) Sallie drank over the course of eight hours that I was gone the day before. I'm almost one hundred percent confident that if I was working full time she'd be one of those babies who hardly ate anything and then made up for it on the nights and weekends. And to be honest, she was (and is!) nursing so frequently, I'd kinda hate to see what making up for missed feeding a would entail.

 Peyton took the big kids to Annie's P.E. class after wrestling her to get dressed and brush her hair. Sallie and I had a slow morning and I was about to hop in the tub. I saw this on FB. P and Graves are lions. Annie and I are wolves. And I'm afraid Sal may be a dolphin. It hadn't really occurred to me but maybe the reason I have a relatively easy time with newborns/infants is mine and Peyton's wolf/lion dynamic combined with his non traditional work schedule (i.e. I'm up at one in the morning anyway and then can sleep late-ish most mornings). 

Messaging my sister in law about our weekly get together and responding to an encouraging comment from a deacon at our church on a post I was afraid to share. The blessings of a wonderful church community and family that live close are not lost on me. 

Started a load of cloth diapers. I know some people have intense systems with like three cycles but I just set it to "sanitary" and trust it's done its job. It's worked for over seven years! And it sure takes long enough. I always do a load right before or right after and dry them together or the diapers never get dry.

About to leave for my Mistletoe shift. Mistletoe always gets me a little introspective. Every year I get a little worked up thinking about people's preconceived notions about the Junior League. Because over the years, these four hour shifts have included some of the hardest, most humbling, most backbreaking, most gratifying physical work I've ever done. And it's been my great privilege to do it. I've pushed (and spilled) a Coke cart, moved (with several other women) two hundred full size Christmas trees, lifted furniture exactly to the extent I felt safe during my pregnancy with Sarah Lamar, and hauled around heavy metal parking barricades with flashlights and picked up food, gum, and cigarettes at eleven pm after the preview party. And it's raised over a million dollars every year since I've been in the League. NBD. Oh, and y'all know how all those Sister Baby pictures were so dark and blurry? I thought we just had bad lighting in our bedroom. Turns out P had unscrewed three of the four overhead lights.

6 PM
 That's a wrap (aren't I punny?) and sitting in 5 o'clock traffic allowed for more reflections. Y'all know that I can get defensive of the Junior League when people are critical. I realize it has it's problems like any organization, but I get frustrated when people see it only as a pretentious social club- the patronizing group of wealthy white women as represented in The Help. Over the years most of my good friends have asked me about the League. And honestly it's usually not in a mean-spirited way and they are truly curious how the Junior League is a fit for me. I don't fit the image many people have of it- I have a nose piercing, I'm slightly crunchy in ways, I'm a bit progressive in others, I homeschool my kids, and I try to practice Voluntary Simplicity. I'm glad I've had so many friends feel comfortable asking me about it. But the stereotypes hurt my heart and each year I grow more protective of it as I grow to love it more. I love it because the ideals of the Junior League do align with what I think is important. Did you know...
- that the League House (which the cool kids now call headquarters) is in the process of becoming ADA accessible? Yes, I understand why people see it as an exclusive group but we are working so hard.
- that we now have a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and a focus is Cultural Competency. Because we know we do have a certain amount of privilege and it is so important that we learn to interact better with the community (be that children with terminal illness, families in poverty, or at risk teens) for us to be as strong of a force as we can be in Jackson.
- that the pediatric Cancer Center (the only one in the state) at our children's hospital was made possible by the fundraising efforts of the Junior League back in the 90s?
Most of us can laugh at ourselves! At our first meeting they had a spoof video where someone was asking JLJ members if they were sipping wine and talking fashion when actually they were hard at work on their community projects. I am fiercely protective of this organization. It's never brought anything but good into my life and it's brought so much good into the lives of others.

6:30 PM
Walked into the bathroom to find our new bidet Peyton ordered

 Bathtime for Babes.

Night Party vibes. These next three are four hours are usually my most energy filled and efficient, though less so since Little Sallie Sunshine joined the party.

 Working on getting stuff together to consign. I also have some bags to donate and some stuff in a bin that is going to my patents storage unit to wait in a climate controlled environment for (still down the road) Baby Reynaud and (very very hypothetical and also adopted) Babykins #4. And just like that my house, for the first time in over seven years, will have no itty bitty baby clothes. I'm not AS heartbroken as I expected to be. I finally came up with a good purge plan. I was having a hard time picking out what to save for Cookie down the road. I decided to just keep what I love and what I'd personally want to hang on to in the case we end up fostering/adopting- a very simple, paired down wardrobe with just my favorite pjs, play clothes, and dressy things.Voluntary Simplicity and living in the present and feeling happy hopeful about the future.

Working on English with Annie. Bless P's heart- he had to do math with her that day. I know lots of people wouldn't agree with it, but I have a new strategy for math this year. Basically, Annie typically has two to three workbook pages after I teach the day's lesson plus about fifteen "mental math" problems. Our agreement is that she is allowed to pick one of the workbook pages to save for the following day and she does the rest, including the mental math, with zero complaints. It's actually usually a pretty good system- she starts math each day by reviewing the previous day's lesson, her written work is broken up and she's doing part before the lesson and then has a break for instruction and more hands on learning, and I love that I can get her going and then have a bit of time myself to prep her actual lesson or do some school with Graves or feed a baby or whatever. I could not have come up with anything better even though my only prerogative initially was to give her a bit of autonomy and cede a fraction of the control we both hold so tightly. It's like so much, I'm realizing- I certainly want her to be able to function in the real world where actual deadlines abound but I also want to give her ownership of her time early so she'll know how to do just that.  

Away from the pressure to do housework and my elusive attempts to catch up on blogging and the siren call of social media, I finally got most of these addressed on our camping trip. I was working on the last batch that wasn't in my address book. It's funny how the day before I wrote an email to a friend basically saying I felt worthless and like I never accomplish anything and that day I felt extremely productive. Two things:
- I didn't spend near as much time as I'd like with my babies this particular day and in this season, I want that to take priority over other business/busyness.
- My internal dialogue about productivity is draining but good because it requires me to constantly preach the Gospel to myself (i.e. my worth lies not in what I do but in who I am-- a beloved child of God).

 One of the five of us is asleep and snoring loudly. I will likely never say motherhood is easy but it's much simpler than I once believed. I was telling a friend that sometimes it helps me to have a few focus points for a season. Right now, I really just want to show them that they're deeply loved and there's no mess up in the world that can change that, that it's best to avoid moralism, and that God is big enough for their questions, doubts and fears.

 Pro-tip that I learned from some footballer players at Prep: two peanut butter sandwiches- as thickly spread as you can tolerate- right before bed to put (or in this case, keep) the weight on. When I was nursing Graves, my OB told me I looked malnourished (not the most diplomatic, but Peyton looked up my BMI and I was horrified to know it was past "underweight" and all the way onto the anorexic part of the spectrum). I just didn't realize how many calories you lose when you breast feed (you need to be taking in even more than when you're pregnant). I scared myself a little this time when I realized I had lost twenty of the thirty pounds I gained within a week of Sarah Lamar's birth. Things have slowed down a LOT as evidenced by Graves constantly asking me no less than twenty times why my tummy is smushy. (I feel like this does not bode well for his chances that his future wife will go for his hundred thousand babies idea.) That's sort of discouraging (the other two times, it was gone at this point) and to be very honest sometimes I do have a really hard time with it even though it's not that many extra pounds. That said, I want to make sure I'm doing this in a healthy way. I was (and am) determined to do better- for myself, for Sarah Lamar, for all of us- this time. And P is a big help-- he's cooking a lot more and makes smoothies on the regular. He told me that first week "you take care of her and I'll take care of you" and he's done just that.

 Not necessarily the last thing I do before I go to bed, but typically the last thing I do in a day. Right now, taking that little pill is (still) one of the most important things I do each day.

Minnie and I saw Our Town the night before at a favorite little theater in Jackson. Of course one of the themes of the play is life's beautiful ordinary moments. Emily, the protagonist, asks after her death if it's even possible for humans to notice them and the response is that perhaps poets and saints do. I'm certainly neither of those, but over the past few years it's been a joyful discipline to try to notice the details. And on this particular day, it was fun to share them.

1 comment:

Bestadvisor said...

Very cute photos!
You guys are awesome! :)