The Tulip Festival

A few Saturdays ago, we spent the morning at the local farmer's market. I love the market here in Troy! They shut down the main street in historic down town and it seems like the whole city comes out to enjoy the morning sunshine and fresh eats. I've become addicted to fresh milk, goat cheese, pesto, and fresh lemonade. But the food trucks aren't bad either!


Later, we went into Albany for the annual tulip festival. A few friends told us about it so we thought we would just wander by. It ended up being a HUGE festival! There were bands and performers and food trucks and carnival rides and a whole lot of stuff we didn't get to see. A certain baby boy didn't nap well on the ride there and all the noise was making Sophie rather unpleasant. But we saw a few of Danny's med school friends, got some delicious BBQ, walked around the pond, and took pictures of the tulips. 



It was one of those Saturdays that had gorgeous weather and felt like we were on a vacation. I love exploring this new state with my little family!


Karle Wilson Baker

"Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees."

When Danny and I were engaged and living somewhat studious lives in Provo, we spent much of the spring at Kiwanas Park under a gorgeous oak tree. We would lay out my jean blanket and read our books and let the sun warm our backs for hours. Those simple memories are some of my favorite. I learned so much about D under that tree; about his childhood, his dreams for our future, his worries. I spent almost an entire afternoon trying to count all the freckles on just one of his hands (impossible!). 

This afternoon we laid out that same jean blanket in our front yard here in New York. We set our sweet littles on the blanket and took refuge from the sun under the huge maple tree that must be a hundred years old. Sophie, so happy to be outdoors, laid and giggled with delight every time the wind blew. Linc, always mischievous, spent his time trying to eat grass without us noticing. And the worries and difficulties of these past few weeks floated away. The humidity softened my skin, the sun kissed my cheeks, and my sweet family grew taller in the shadow of the maple tree.




Mother's Day

When I was growing up I only ever wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Sure I considered a few other options when I was in college, but I always knew I would end up at home and then maybe work a bit after the kids left home. And when I considered those careers (teaching, law school) I took certain things into consideration. What would the hours be like? Would it be rewarding? Could I be creative? What was the salary like? Would I feel passionately about it? All questions about how I, Michelle, would fit in that job and if it would be rewarding for me.

But when I thought about motherhood, I never considered any of those questions. I never approached it as a job. If motherhood was a job I could apply for, I would read half of the ad and move on. I didn't consider if I would be a great fit, if I would like what the job really is (refer to paragraph three), if the hours or workload was something I could handle.

What I considered was that I wanted the joy of children. And I wanted my kids to have what I had growing up. (This is not a SAHM vs working mom post, simply what my own experience was, thank you very much for not being offended.) And that was a mom that was home when I got off the bus. A mom that often made me "a toast" after school because I was just too hungry to make it to dinner. A mom that drove me and my friends all over the state to find the perfect Prom dresses. A mom that would pick me up from school in the middle of the day because I just needed to escape the drama of Jr.High. A mom that made our house a haven for me, my siblings, and all of our friends.

My best friend had a prominent person in her life pass away when we were seniors in high school. No one was home at her house yet so she showed up on our door step. But the thing is, she wasn't there to see me. I stood in my parents bedroom door frame as she sat on the couch, tears streaming down her face, with my mother's arm wrapped around her. And I thought, "I hope I'm a mom just like mine".

Flash forward several years:

I have been taking a serious butt whooping the last few weeks. 

I sat on my dirty kitchen floor, in my messy pajamas, and dirty hair looking at the mess of pureed carrots splashed across the floor and fridge like a Jackson Pollock painting today. Two little babes sitting in the dinning room yelling for their lunch. And I thought, "What is the point of all this?".

Sometimes this thing called "motherhood" is like, the hardest thing ever. I just need an hour (or dare I say...a whole day!) to calm down and step away from the situation. The cries, the grabs, the toy stealing, the find something mysterious and put it in my mouth, the pushing, the falling, the drooling, the pull everything off the shelf, the grab every cord, the escape into the hall, the spit-ups, the throw-my-cereal-off-the-table-never-going-to-nap-scream-all-afternoon days of never-ending-feedings, diaper changing, bathing, nail clipping, medicine dosing, therapy sessions, clothes changing, laundry switching, are just too much!

Just. too.much.

The chaos. The monotony. The repetitiveness.

And sometimes I feel this incredible guilt over feeling so frustrated. D works so hard at school and misses out often on our growing kids. I'm the lucky one! But school has NEVER sounded so relaxing! I imagine getting showered, dressed, and clothed (what?! all within one day, let alone one hour!). Then leaving the house, being alone in a library, sitting in a chair listening to lectures, eating an actual lunch at what ever pace I desire, talking to other grown ups. And suddenly, I'm frustrated that Danny has this life of luxury and I have been home wrangling in the circus animals. And again I think, "What is the point of all this?".

Oh, but then!

Then the babes fall asleep and I stand over their cribs and watch them lay on their tummy's with their puffy-diaper-butts in the air. Their chubby little fingers relaxed against the white sheets as they breath heavily, exhausted from a long day of exploration. I stand for just a few moments and try to memorize their little faces. Just how they are, and promise to keep that image forever. Not on my phone, not in a camera, just in a perfect memory; paired with the sound of the wave machine, rumbling trucks on Hoosick street, and the faint smell of lavender oils and baby lotion.

And in those moments of quiet, I'm completely overwhelmed by how much I love those kids. And how much I love this little life we are making here in upstate New York. And really, that is the point! Learning to love selflessly. And nothing, in my experience, demands the loss of selfishness like motherhood. So on my first Mother's Day, instead of spending the day relaxing and napping, I sit on the floor one baby in front playing with blocks and one wobbly baby using my arm as support to stand. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for the exhaustion of motherhood.


Cristina Yang

I read an article at some point in college about how when we watch characters on TV the same neurons in our brains fire as when we have conversations with our friends. Why are TV shows so addictive? Somewhere in our brains we have made real connections with the characters! We care about them. We want to know that everything turns our for our favorites and the jerks get theirs in the end. Just like with real people! (Don't most of us follow our frienamies on FB just to see how things turn out....oh...that's just me? moving on)

Now, I'm not a crazy. I know that the people on my favorite shows are not, in fact, real. I know that they don't lay awake at night worrying about me, they didn't come to my wedding, and when I move again in a few years, they aren't going to show up and help. 


In more than one way, those connections have helped me. Judge me for loving Grey's Anatomy if you must, but I spent those few months after the babies were born in a dark place and it brought me a little bit of a sanctuary. A place where I could go and not be bombarded by anxiety, or worry, or sorrow. I could just escape and the characters would make me laugh. Something that I really needed during those dark days. 

And however corny this is, Cristina Yang has helped me. There are parts of myself her character embodies. And not her good parts. I watched her change and progress and make mistakes, sometimes the same kind of mistakes (though very different context, obviously) I was making. And I learned. 

So tonight, on Cristina Yang's last episode, I will curl up on my couch, eat Chinese food and probably shed a few more tears than I should. But don't blame me, it's my brain that is firing the wrong neurons!

(a favorite moment)

Med School Update

People keep telling me all I ever update them on is the babies. But how are YOU AND DANNY? Oh, ya. We still exist too. Sometimes we forget that or we are just too tired to think about it.

But we are alive and well and tired, but mostly just really happy.

Danny is doing so great! He is studying non-stop and really excelling in med school. He has learned a lot this year (only three weeks left, then he gets a week off then he does eight weeks of research until school starts back up again in July). He has made some really great friends that I love and get to see now and then. They are also really great and double as babysitters on occasion so we can go on a date. D has been interested in a lot of topics this year but still thinks he would like to go into something pediatric, probably oncology but maybe psychiatry.

It amazes me daily how he manages to fit everything in: the morning feeding, running to get milk, letting me hit the gym, studying all day, working on research proposals, spending time with the twins in the afternoon, helping do the dinner feed, putting a baby to bed, having dinner and a few minutes with me, then studying all night until he does the 11 o'clock feeding with Sophie and then finally gets to bed sometime after midnight! He is the best. I'm exhausted just thinking about his schedule. 

D was also called as the Young Men's president a few weeks ago, so add those responsibilities to the list. He is a busy guy but really enjoying his experience here in New York. I can see him constantly growing and being shaped into an amazing leader. He is the best dad and husband, that even with everything going on I never feel like we are dropping in his priorities. I'm so proud of him!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...