Last Friday the kids and I stayed home all day. We barely got out of pajamas before noon, and then when we finally did get dressed I longed to be back in pajamas snuggled under blankets with two squirmy little warm bodies. It was kind of a dreary day with a misty drizzle. The kind of day that to not be in pajamas snuggled under blankets is an insult to the universe. Dreary, misty, drizzly days scream “Stay home! Stay warm! Stay dry!” so we skipped story hour at the library and strung ornamental fall leaves on butcher’s string and created a homemade decoration for our living room. Or rather, I strung ornamental leaves. Lance was pretty content to “help” by destroying a roll of scotch tape , molding it into a
frightful masterful sticky ball.
Sometimes during the day, it is so nice to just be home with the kids in the midst of routines and places to be during the week this fall. On Monday I take Vivian to Kindermusik at 11 a.m. Lance tags along, too. Both of the kids go to the Day School on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 9 a.m. until noon and sometimes longer. On Wednesday’s we visit The Wise Old Owl next door. This is also our one and only stay-at -home day of the week, even though we don’t technically stay at home all day since we visit Charlotte. But since we don’t actually get in the car to go anywhere I count this as our stay-at-home day. Then on Friday’s we go to story hour at the library at 11 a.m. and to the park to meet friends for lunch if it’s nice outside.
So even though I love that we are back into a regular weekly routine, sometimes it feels so nice to deviate from the plan to stay in pajamas, eat cookies under a blanket, string leaves, and scotch tape it up into a big ole cozy mess. As we embark on another fall season, I have fond feelings and remember last fall like it was five minutes ago. I could tell you about the pumpkin patch. I could tell you about trick-or-treat and what I wore. I could tell you about places we visited, people we saw, etc. This isn’t unusual because I truly have an uncanny memory and can easily recollect dates, times, places, people, faces, you name it. But this fall it feels weird to be able to remember all those memories about last fall because so far since Vivian was born I haven’t been able to remember what happened 12 minutes ago, let alone 12 months ago. Slowly, slowly as we’re falling back into a new rhythm and into a new fall season, I’m falling back into my old self again and my memory is restoring itself.
Vivian will be eight months old in two days, and I’ve always lamented “pregnant for nine months = brain recovery for nine months.” I guess what I mean is the mind has a lot of catching up and always seems to be running full speed ahead after having a baby in order to keep up with a spinning cycle of changes. So much happens after having a baby that it’s so hard to keep up because it flies by in the blink of an eye. I guess I feel like my mind has almost finally caught up to present time, and has truly settled into a predictable, comfortable routine for our family. Shorter days in the coming weeks means falling back, not just in a sense of time when we set the clocks back, but in a sense of a slower, relaxed pace. A part of that stems from the fact that it’ll start getting dark so early at night that there’s nothing much to do, but cozy up and enjoy quieter indoor activities. Of course, I know life will pick back up with lightning speed around the holidays (eek!), but for now I relish in this time of year. Almost two more months of cool, crisp air and sunny afternoons, crunchy leaves and all of the other wonderful activities and foods that arrive during the fall season.
Can you tell I love fall?! I wrote about fall so much last year, that at the risk of sounding redundant I’m going to keep pace this year with fall ramblings because I just love it so darn much. Hay ride? Sign me up. Oktoberfest beers? Sign me up. Pumpkin cream cheese? Sign me up. Gingerbread spiced latte? Sign me up.
And lucky for me, this year I have a new little one to snuggle. Please, please let the time slow up even more so I can keep my little girl this way as long as I possibly can. Each day I am mindful to be present during baby snuggles, baby smells, baby coos, baby bottles, baby toes, baby, baby, baby… I just love having a baby in the house, and I am enjoying her so much. We relax together before Lance wakes up from nap, we talk, we clap, I sing, she shakes her head, we hug, we kiss, we smile.
As I’ve felt more and more adjusted to all of the changes we’ve had this year and all the “unpregnant feelings” that accompany my thoughts this fall, I started perusing some pictures from the hospital when Vivian was born to “catch up” just a little more since that day. I found this picture that I had never seen of Lance and I in the hospital the day after Vivian was born. The very day he came to see me and meet Vivian for the first time.
I read somewhere that after a mother has another child she shouldn’t be holding the new baby when the other child(ren) comes to see her for the first time. Since Lance was barely two I met him at the door and gave him some reassuring and extra loving squeezes before we walked in to meet
the impostor baby Viv. Just looking at this picture and all that has changed since the our tiny lady behind the hospital door joined our family, I am engulfed with nostalgia. Will someone hand me a tissue?
So while those few months after her birth are hard to remember in too much detail, it seems like just yesterday that I was “crunching” leaves with Lance last fall while carrying around a big pregnant belly. Nowadays I am not even sure he remembers life without Vivian. Even if he does remember a small piece of that time, eventually those fragmented memories will fade. The other night I was giving her a bottle and Lance came in to tell her goodnight before Jan took him to read stories. He leaned real close to her face, as he often does, patted her head and said, “I’ll love you forever Vivian.” Can I get another tissue, please? Geez, I can’t even blame these emotions on post pregnancy hormones! Wait, I have another month until Vivian is nine months. Whew, I’m safe a little longer according to my philosophy about mental recovery.
Oh, but to keep it real and just when I was beginning to think I couldn’t adore him anymore, he goes and makes a comment like, “Mommy can we leave Vivian home today?” And just like that, he’d rather not take her along and confidently assumes she’d be fine at home alone. Other times if I am in the kitchen and they are in another room and I hear him ask her, “Do you like that Vivian?” Undoubtedly when I peek around the corner he’ll have knocked her down from a sitting position and be pinning her down with all of his weight. Yeah, I’m sure she must love that.
But at the end of the day, it’s always obvious to me that he considers her his pal and little sidekick. He even calls her the “Vivster” more often than not, and is happy to include her in whatever he’s playing with at the time. He also almost always goes into her room to talk to her when she wakes up from naps or if she starts getting fussy while I am trying make dinner. They even enjoy watching cartoons together.
Jan & I are probably set with two kiddos, but I did see a friend’s FB status about getting rid of baby clothes for the first time because she and her husband are officially “done.” She commented on how even though she knew it was time to get rid of some things, it was hard because of all the sentimental attachments mothers form toward clothes and toys that kids wore and played with when they were newborns and toddlers. My cousin used to always act the same way, and I could never understand it… until I had kids. Right now, it is unfathomable for me to even go there with Lance and Vivian’s baby clothes. But I guess I’m like that with other artifacts, too, because in the same week, another FB friend posted about finally recycling old college notebooks. I kid you not, I still have them from not only college, but high school, too, because even though “I might need them!” I’ll probably never reference them again. Ever. Or have another baby.
So what does all this mean? Should you grab me another tissue? No. Oh shoot. I’m a hoarder?!?!
Nonetheless, we are busy making new memories this fall. In the mornings Jan & Lance walk Luke together while Vivian and I sit on the porch wrapped in a blanket. I drink my coffee and she looks around and watches the leaves on the trees while
playing putting a toy in her mouth. When the guys are done with the walk, Jan goes into the house to get ready for work. Lance then likes to play hide-n-seek, his latest favorite thing to do. The hysterical part is he has only two or three hiding spots and usually gives himself away before I even have a chance to look for him. Then he cracks himself up and says, “Mommy how did you know?!?!?!”
In reality it probably won’t be as long as I hope until November 3rd rolls around and we “fall back.” Despite my desires for a slower pace I am not too naive to realize we are springing forward every day and not just during daylight savings time. We are living new moments, establishing traditions, and Petrich family norms — all part of what makes me excited to start creating and keep up with seasonal traditions. I still feel like I am pretty new to this Mommy and family of four lifestyle, but, I for one, cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings whether falling back or springing forward. In the near future I look forward to more football Saturday’s, cooler days, cars that aren’t stifling hot when you get in to go somewhere, red wine, pumpkin-everything, and two kids to snuggle this fall.
In closing, happy 40th birthday tomorrow to my brother Keefe!! Another great reason to love fall.
It must have been a dreary, misty, drizzly fall afternoon in 1983 since we are in pajamas under a blanket. I bet my Mom was, too.
Make each day better than the last!
The Banter Lady