Sunday, June 25, 2017

Weekly Happenings Post #419 (April 10-16)-- Holy Week in New York

This was our first full week in Brooklyn. It was also Holy Week, which was one of the two reasons I wanted to go in April. Easter Sunday ended up being tough, but overall it was a wonderful fun week in the city and we had a really great time.

Monday was a fun, low key day. Peyton got up with the kids and I got up a while later. We all had breakfast and did some school and I attempted to get Sallie to sleep, but she wouldn't take a nap. I got my bath and got ready and cleaned up the apartment some after I did some English and math with Annie. Peyton took Sallie to Trader Joe's and the big kids had media time and I did a few other things around the apartment. I took the big kids to the park and we had a great time and then met Peyton back at the apartment.

 Beautiful day in Bed-Stuy. 

We had snacks and then went to the library for a bit.

 Family stroll to the neighborhood library.

 Only took Peyton a hot second to get back in Brooklyn Dad mode. LOLOL.

We met a little friend at the library. Sallie is such a magnet (not surprising to me but I'm super biased) and even more so here. My hypothesis is that it's a because people don't have as many kids and therefore babies are less common. I love that she's number three and I know (or Graves has proven to me) that she's not super fragile. She's already licked the subway pole a la three year old Graves, so I'm letting go of germ worries, too. The cute little girl's momma was on a library computer and as best I could tell, searching for housing. They rushed out when she found a great deal. One of my favorite parts of being here- getting little glimpses intoother people's stories.

Man on his stoop to Graves: "Hey, Shorty!"....loving the everyday street things here so very much.

 We went by another grocery store and came home and the big kids had baths and then we had supper. I read to the kids- the Bible, a read aloud chapter book, and history. I did an ethics lesson with them and P and I discussed the religion book we got for them. We got them settled for bed and I got Sallie to sleep after a long time. P and I watched TV and I uploaded pictures and worked on a blog post and then went to bed.

Tuesday was another nice, relaxing day. Peyton got up with the kids and I got up shortly after them and got my bath. I did a bit of school with Annie and Peyton did some with Graves and Sallie took a short nap. When she woke up, we all got ready and went for a walk. We got a snack at a coffee shop and headed to our old neighborhood. We spent a long time at a park and then got a hotdog and headed home.

Another day, another park. (This time in our old neighborhood.)

 And no way was Spunky Little Sallie going to miss out on the action!

 Nursing break at the park. These little sneakers are on their last leg (no pun intended), but gosh I still love them.

We stopped at Walgreens and P took Sallie and Graves to the grocery store to get Graves a cake and pick up a few other things. Annie and I came home and I texted a friend and worked on a blog post. Everyone else got home and Sallie took a nap and Peyton fixed a snack supper. We all ate and then got the big kids settled. I started a blog post. Sallie got up and Peyton and I with her awhile and then all went to bed.

Wednesday was Graves's birthday and we had his special day. He wanted to go to a new park and do "jedi training". Peyton picked out a fun park they he had taken the big kids to once when I was at a writing class. We weren't doing any school that day, so we had a slow morning. We all had breakfast and I made the bed and then got ready. I took Graves's monthly pictures and we headed to Central Park. We found the playground and the kids had the best time. We stayed for hours.

 A bit of "jedi training" in Central Park, per the birthday boy's request. 


We finally headed back to the apartment late that afternoon. The big kids had media time and Peyton went to pick up some groceries. Sallie took a nap and the big kids took baths and then we all had supper. Sallie woke up and I fed her some sweet potatoes and bathed her. I took her monthly pictures and we played with her some and then got her to bed.

 Somebunny ready for Easter.

Peyton and I watched some TV and went to bed ourselves.

We all got up and got going at the same time on Thursday. It was around eight. We had breakfast and I made the beds and swept the floor. Peyton had done the supper dishes from the night before and I washed breakfast dishes. Peyton did school with Graves and Annie had media time and I got my shower. Annie and I took her math and went to the laundry mat to do the wash. We got it done more quickly that I had thought and came home and regrouped.

Laundry day in BK. Pretty sure we were the only ones there doing Singapore math and had the only machine with Peter Rabbit jams in it.

We all had lunch and headed to the Children's Museum. After that, we came home and I nursed Sallie and then went to the Maudy Thursday church service by myself. I got home pretty late and only Annie was up. We talked and then she went to bed. Peyton and I watched the news and Sallie woke up and I fed her. We got her back to bed and I worked on a blog post and went to bed myself.

I've had this picture for months and for obvious reasons, it seemed like the perfect Holy Week throwback. I didn't share it then in part because I didn't want to hurt anyone with the accompanying thoughts (that I saved as a "note" on my phone)...Graves put a crown of thorns on Luke Skywalker and crucified him and we had lots of good (and exhausting) conversations. I really felt like he had a better grasp on this stuff when we lived here in New Yorl. Lots of factors- he had this reality whispered in his own tiny ear every Sunday when he took communion, I was better at getting him to focus during services (which were shorter), and to be honest the theology was more cross heavy at Calvary than at Northside (hopefully it goes without saying we LOVE Northside, it is what it is, and honestly it's my working assumption that the theology at Calvary is more cross heavy than just about anywhere and while that was, and is, deeply important to me, I've had to keep my expectations within the realms of reality and I've found myself deeply grateful for what we HAVE found at Northside). Back when I took this picture, Annie asked how Jesus really defeated death if Granny had died (it was weeks after that happened) and I explained that death just meant her life here was over and I'm as certain that Granny is in heaven as I've ever been of anything in my life. If I'm honest, I often struggle with if I'm doing enough in this area. Graves loves to tell me that Heaven will be "awfully fun" but he also told me this week that he thought the pagan gods ancient people believed in were real; so it's REAL touch and go with him. Annie will say frequently (often when *I* need to hear it the most) that she knows that God will never stop loving her no matter what she does and that she knows Peyton and I will never stop loving her either. There's a lot more I hope she understands one day but her (and Graves) feeling secure in that love is what I most care about right now.

Friday was Good Friday and we woke up and got moving. Peyton helped both the big kids get baths and then he got his and I took my shower. We all got ready and had breakfast and then headed to St. George's for a children's Good Friday service. We realized halfway to the train that Annie had left her backpack. Peyton and Sallie turned around to get it and the big kids and I headed on. Peyton told me later that he saw us getting on the train but he couldn't make it in time so they had to wait for the next one. Anyway, we were a little late, but we made it! It was a beautiful, special service. After that, we visited with some friends and I fed Sallie and then Annie and Graves played on the church playground a bit. We headed to lunch at Chipotle. We realized we had lost Graves's stuffed frog so we went back and checked the church and the restaurant. We never did find him and then we headed to Strand. We couldn't find any books we wanted and Peyton got SO stressed out. It was kind of huge and overwhelming and Graves kept getting away from us and wanting everything. Anyway, we started to head home and popped in a Goodwill on the way. Peyton really wanted to get the kids a couple of books to read at night/during down time. They didn't have much of a selection but we got a couple. I nursed Sallie and we headed home.

Sallie had been SO tired on the train but refused to nap at home. We tried for awhile and I took a nap and the big kids had media time. We ended up just letting her play and have a snack while Peyton did school with Graves and I did school with Annie. We got a lot of phonics and spelling done and then some math. Peyton fixed the big kids some supper and I got Sallie to bed. She woke up twice the next two hours but went back to sleep. Graves talked to Cookie on the phone and then I read to him and Annie- we did the Bible, Trumpet of the Swan, an ethics lesson, and history.

Saturday was so much fun. We got up and had a slow morning. I made the beds and got my bath and had breakfast. Annie did her independent work, Sallie played, and P and Graves did some school. I finished up a blog post and started drafting a new one. Sallie had a snack and I swept and then we all got ready and headed over to the TGC Easter festival. It was so much fun. The big kids had a blast and Peyton and I got to visit with a lot of old friends.

The kids were big fans of the petting zoo at the Easter celebration at Trinity Grace Crown Heights (we also went to church there when we lived in Brooklyn). So much fun getting to visit with old friends!

 This one ain't scared of much.

 I never thought I'd see the day I said this, but I think he's SO cute in his little Levi's. 

 And of course this girl just had the best time being around a bunch of people...

...and being doted on by her brother! Nothing like having your best friend bounce you. 

 Love their matching shoes...And faces. 

We came home and Sallie took a nap and we all relaxed a bit.

 Brooklyn's blooming.

One of my most favorite things about Brooklyn is the murals. They are everywhere and when we lived here I loved finding new ones. I just think they're amazing and add so much color to an already beautifully vibrant place. I think ones depicting famous people are interesting but I'm often more drawn to the murals that represent the ordinary humans who together make a community. And I love that those two folks at the front of the truck got to be part of it again for a month.

 Sammy the Owl and this castle in the middle of Bed-Stuy.

Graves and Annie played and I got on IG for awhile and ate some lunch. Annie and I did a bunch of school work (mostly grammar) and Graves had media time and Peyton went to the grocery store. Sallie woke up and Peyton got home. Annie and I finished up and Peyton cooked some supper. We all ate and got the big kids settled. Annie had her media time and then they played a little more and went to sleep. Peyton and I talked and played with Sallie and then got her to sleep. We watched TV and Peyton worked on pool stuff.

Minnie texted P at one in the morning, texted us both at six am, and called me twice at eight...Because there were no Instagrams the day before and she was worried. Ironically, I posted ELEVEN on Saturday. This was the last one.
Sunday was Easter and we all got up pretty early and got going. I took my bath and made our bed and got everyone's clothes out. I wrapped up Easter presents and ironed and Annie had a meltdown because he dress was too tight. Peyton bathed the big kids and then I bathed Sallie and fed her. We finally got out the door and were late, despite us all getting up early. There were train delays, but we finally made it there.

 Pretty much the way I felt most of the morning. I woke up in tears for reasons I can't even articulate. I think I was tired and it also partly had to do with Peyton mentioning that it's been almost a year since Sallie was born and it might be time to think about getting off anti-depressants, which sort of terrified me. (Aside: I'm a big fan of an SSRI when necessary. A BIG fan. But I'm also just as convinced as I've ever been that we are a culture that pathologizes and medicates way too much- normal, low risk births; neuro-typical little boys who function absolutely appropriately for their ages and developmental level; and so much more. And I would like to push back against it when and where I can.) Then Annie cried because the dress I tried on her a month ago was too snug and uncomfortable. I was particularly frustrated because I DID try everything on because I knew I wouldn't have a closet full of backups, because I don't buy the girls a ton of matching stuff, and because Annie and I had made a very clear agreement that she'd wear the Easter dress I picked and could wear her bird and bunny dresses the other Sundays we're here. I know this kid and I know she just wouldn't even think to tell me something was uncomfortable when she just wanted to wear something else. She's blunt and she tells things like they are. She literally told someone at church today "sometimes I do; sometimes a I don't" who asked if she liked having a sister. She don't care. And yet...I raised my voice and asked if she was lying to get out of wearing the dress I wanted her to. And then I cried more because I decided I didn't blame them if they didn't like me much. And then Graves ran I to a bodega and tried to hide from me when we were already running late and Peyton had ran back to get my phone. And then a bird popped on my dress I was wearing for the first time. But He WILL wipe away every tear and everything sad and terrifying is becoming undone and He's making all things new and that day and everyday I remind myself of that. 

Re: them not like me. That week Annie said, without realizing at all that it could bother me "well, I like Momma's rules the best, but Papa is my favorite". We discussed why this was (the former is because I don't make them get up as early as Peyton the task-master does and the latter has a lot to do with his knowledge of Star Wars and how he plays rough with them) and Peyton later talked to her about how we love how honest she is and it wasn't a big deal in this case but it could hurt other people's (e.g. grandparents, friends, ect.) if she talked about who was her favorite. And then Graves told me how he thought Peyton was a better cook than I was and explained that it shouldn't hurt my feelings; I just wasn't as "skilled". When I asked if I was more skilled at anything, he replied, very earnestly, that I had the squishiest tummy of anybody in our family. When he realized maybe that wasn't the response I was hoping for, he tried to redeem himself by saying I had the most "glittery eyes" (you know, because none of the other four people in our family wear eye shadow). I kind of let it go at that point. None of it devastated me, which I'm really proud of, but both interactions did sting a little. And Sallie is becoming more and more of a papa's girl by the day. Peyton reminded me that their preferences will change a lot over the years and Minnie did the same- I think there were plenty of phases where Cookie and I preferred one of them and also many phases where they preferred one of us and I'm so glad that was a normal thing and not something any of us obsessed about. But Sallie is SUCH a momma's girl and if I'm honest, she's kind of my security blanket in some ways, too. So I'm gonna be real sad when she discovers that I'm not the fun parent. I'm just holding out hope for when the hormones hit and they need a sweet, sensitive parent more than a fun parent again. Cause I'm that one.

 Back to the day, though. It was a beautiful service and afterwards we went to brunch at Jake and Mel's and then there was an Easter egg hunt. We got home around four and the big kids had media time. Peyton and I relaxed and Sallie napped. Annie and Graves ate their Easter candy and played and then had supper. Graves took a second bath and Sallie got up and played awhile. We got the big kids settled and P and I talked. I got Sallie to sleep and we watched TV.

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! 
The best shot of the lot. I had a plethora of "not my finest" moments that morning but I realized this was my first Easter ever spent at Calvary-St. George's (the first year we lived here I had JUST discovered it and the second year I had sick babies and P was working). Reminiscent of those days, it took just about everything in me to get there and equally reminiscent of them, it was worth it ten times over to gather with friends, come to the Table, and hear the Gospel boldly proclaimed.

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