Friday, July 24, 2009

Inside Looking Out

Ever felt like you're on the outside looking in? Me too. Yet this time in converse. I am on the inside looking out. Having spent most hours in July (I should count them up) sitting on my bed feeding the babies, I have watched...

Neighbors drive by (I know who speeds and who strolls), the AC man pull up to the curb, friends come up the sidewalk bringing dinner, the mailman come and go, the girls play in the pool outside, and shadows sprawl slowly across the front lawn as the sun ducks below the western tree line. Sometimes I think - what a humdrum way to spend your summer - mostly indoors. Summer has been a haze of hospital journeys, milk milk milk, diapers, and snatches of sleep. Already the talk has turned to school starting again.

I laugh at myself as I linger in the driveway, savoring every step outside the front door to load my girls into vehicles for play dates, to feel the sun on my skin or drive the car for a quick errand. Every evening after the boys are in bed and the blue light of evening still hangs in the air, I step outside to feel the warm summer breeze that cascades out of the eastern canyons and swirls around our home. We live in a unique spot. The wind smells of pine and in the evenings I drink it up. I do love it here.

So the days of confinement continue. Humdrum? Maybe. But in reality, they are content. Precious. The boys at last weight check were 7 lbs 3 oz (Spencer), 7 lbs 6 oz (Gordon). They finally handle like newborn babies. Sturdy with surprisingly strong arms and necks. They have healthy appetites and I wonder if it's a premonition of their teenage years. Both boys love to be held, touched, and talked to.

Wonderful things are happening inside and out. Ali and Sami are exploding with new words and delightful conversations. "Why you giving Gordon a bath Mommy? Why? Mommy Why?" (Tonight's conversation.) "Because he's dirty and needs to be washed." "But why?" Ali asks. "Because it's been a few days." "Why?" "That's what we do. We bathe them every few days." "Why Mommy? Why?" "Because he gets dirty." And we're back to where we started.

Eliza has bravely chosen to stick out her swimming lessons and is even enjoying them. (For a fearless four-year old, we were surprised at the fight she put up about "going under" the water. Goggles helped. Thank you Kara for manning the Mommy post on this one. I owe you!!)

So here is a look at what's been going on Inside.

Lots of tender talk and kisses on foreheads. These boys are loved loved loved by their big sisters. (Ali with Gordy).

Eliza with Spencer during his two days of oxygen-free glory. Unfortunately he is back on the O2 but moving in the right direction. We suspect he has another week or two to go.

The house has been filled with many helping hands. Here are my standbys (next to my Mom and mother-in-law who have definitely spent the most time here). This is my sweet cousin Mary reading books with Ali. Between school and student teaching she offered to help out as our nanny. The girls adore her but our time with her has been all too short. She married a darling boy yesterday (pictures to come) and we only have a couple more weeks with her in August. We love you Mary!
And these beautiful girls are Amanda and Melanie - TWINS I used to nanny my last year of high school into college. I nannied for the entire family (they actually have a Gordon and Gordy that we love). And now they are nannying my twins! Life is beautiful.

Amanda and Melanie are fraternal, just like Ali and Sami. I think the four of them look uncannily similar. Amanda and Mel - if you two weren't sixteen with a social life, horses to ride, and soccer to play, I'd keep you here all the time! We love you!

We've heard lots of lullaby singing. Here is Eliza singing to Gordon - her own lullaby about sparkles, rainbows, Jesus, and how much she loves Spencer and Gordon.

There's been a little bit of hand-holding (this is actually a rare occurrence).

And sadly - a fair amount of time-outs. The effect has rubbed off in such a way that Sami and Ali are putting their toys in time-out. One evening Sami pointed to this dangling Polly Pocket and flatly said to Doug. "Snow White in time-out." "What did she do?" asked Doug. "She made a mess." (Wheat Thins duly noted on the floor below). So in the end it wasn't the poisoned apple that did Snow White in. It was death by sliding pantry door!

We've had some visitors. This is baby Ethen (Dave and Shirlee's four month old boy). He and his sister Maya (yellow crocks below) came to visit from Switzerland. It was wonderful to have them there. But not long enough. And by November they will have relocated to Cairo! Wow. Take me with you! We wish you guys lived closer but maybe once we get these babies bigger we can come and visit!

And truth be told - we've had a lot of crying. Sami's cry is the hardest for me to ignore. Look at that face. The drama! The pain!

Silly-ness. (Ali)
Dress-ups. Dress-ups. Every day. Dress-ups.

And a lot of dancing. Eliza in her new Cinderella dress.

While I've been inside, many of you have taken the girls outside. To our fantastic friends and family who have had the girls for play dates and outings - THANK YOU!! They would be crazy with out you. And I would be even worse! This is our cute cousin Sidney holding Gordon. Sidney and family took the girls one afternoon. They had a fabulous time. (Thanks Jill!)

So what's been going on OUTSIDE?

Doug took Eliza down the Alpine Slide at Snowbird. They could have stayed all day.

On July 4th we had our own little fireworks display. Here are the girls getting ready for the big show. Gotta love all those "fountains" with charming names that light up exactly the same!

Ali kicking back with her glow rings.

Popsicles in the backyard with cousins Abby and Emma.

Neighborhood Parade and Picnic for the 24th of July (Utah Holiday that celebrates the entrance of the Mormon Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley). We are falling in love with the Pine Tree Neighborhood.

From our bedroom window I watched the parade of bikes, wagons, tricycles and old-fashioned cars make its way around the corner by our home as I nursed the boys. Look at that determination on Eliza's face!

How to eat a hot dog. Whoa. That's our Sami!

On the 4th Doug took the girls with his family up Big Cottonwood for the annual Brighton Breakfast and a hike. They hiked to Mary's Lake. The girls loved it.

And here is our free-spirited Eliza. Perched on the edge of the rocks. Shoes abandoned. Twirling her fingers in the water.

It's almost August. But don't mistake my inside/out perspective as pining for greener pastures. I'm content right here. With my kitty pillow. Ruminating, appreciating, watching. I know what I am doing is significant. It is where I need to be. And that is enough.


  1. Great post Catherine! You always have such a great attitude!!! I think it is easier to be stuck indoors during the winter. . . however, when you have to be inside, those few nice moments outside in the summer are precious, huh? I love the picture of the doll in time-out. I always laugh when I hear Jessica talking to her doll "children" in a certain parenting tone of voice that I must use too often with her. She is such a parrot. Love you Cath! I'm glad you are hanging in there!

  2. Hey Catherine! I just left a long comment, but I guess it didn't post. Just wanted to let you know I am always impressed with your attitude. I'm glad you are hanging in there!

  3. Its hard to believe you been gone almost 9 months now--its been so nice to keep up to date with your happenings on your blog. You are amazing to juggle so much--and you are right, you are where you need to be, doing what you need to be doing! Those little ones are ALL so darling! We miss you!

  4. Steph - I know it's hard to believe a whole gestation (9 months) since we left Fairfax. We still think of everyone there daily and miss all of you. I enjoy keeping up on your blog as well. The girls are so darling!

    And Tricia - thanks for the note. It's true. Our children are always modeling (and mostly after us!) Telling when you hear yourself in their words or tone of voice! Your family is so cute. It was great to see McKay. Thanks for connecting. Love you too!

  5. Love your posts, Cath. I especially love how your girls sing to the boys. Carter once sang a lullaby to Beckham. It involved monsters, ghosts, and the incredible creeping goo.


  6. Brodi. Thanks for your comment. With all the sparkles, rainbows and pink around here - some incredible creeping goo would be a nice change! Thanks for stopping in this week. It was so fun to see you. And Carter too! I hope he enjoyed his cookie!

  7. You are beautiful. Inside and Out. I'm yearning for your friendship these days. I miss you more than I can express. Thanks for the blog posts. It makes me feel connected to you again, if only for a moment. Somehow, I just know, you are one of those forever friends. When we meet again, we will pick up conversation like it never ended. We are just that sort of connected. Love you.

  8. Ang. Thanks for your sweet note. Ditto here. I see your blog, the pics of your yard, and remember all our good mothering times with the kiddos there in Fairfax. I was just talking about you with my Mom the other day. It makes me miss you and VA. You are indeed a "bosom friend". For that I am so grateful! I love and miss you!

  9. Ang. Thanks for your sweet note. Ditto here. I see your blog, the pics of your yard, and remember all our good mothering times with the kiddos there in Fairfax. I was just talking about you with my Mom the other day. It makes me miss you and VA. You are indeed a "bosom friend". For that I am so grateful! I love and miss you!

  10. That first photo of you holding both of your boys like that brings back memories. I have very similar photos. :)


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