Thursday, March 25, 2010


I think when someone tells you that you look tired--what they really mean is that you look like crap.

Am I right?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Art of the Nap.

I remember sometime in graduate school reading Joseph Epstein’s essay, “The Art of the Nap.” I don’t remember much about it except that it seemed to offer an argument about the benefits of napping (who could argue with that) and then went into detail how best to nap. If I remember correctly the characterization of a perfect nap included sleeping on a couch or comfortable chair, never in a bed, taking off of one’s shoes, but not clothes, and never longer than twenty minutes. Since becoming a mother I have found another benefit to nap-taking.

A moment of peace.

Jane, the youngest of my children and therefore the one most likely to nap, has given up the practice of napping long ago. It seemed that for so many years I cleared a schedule for a baby to nap that I can’t, however impractical it is, give up those precious hours. So we are home, every afternoon for what I stubbornly continue to call “naptime,” even though we haven’t had consistent naps for years. Lily and Canyon roll their eyes in the summertime when we are grounded from all other social activities each afternoon for our ‘quiet time.’ We read or play quietly. Even outside play is sanctioned. But, there are no errands, no exhausting trips to the pool, park or library—we reserve those for morning or late afternoon. And even though I never, ever take a nap of my own, I just revel in a quiet time that is only slightly quieter than the rest of my day.

But occasionally on a very rare day, I find myself alone, in the afternoon, with Jane. And on an even rarer occasion of these days—she takes a nap.

And it is, once again, quiet.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Over the River and through the Woods.

A couple of weeks ago I did this certifiably crazy thing. I decided, in the middle of a stormy week, on a Tuesday that I was going to drive to Utah, on a Wednesday, with the little girls. I heard that Will and Eliza had RSV and their mom wasn’t feeling that great herself. Holding a baby—or two, or three was all I needed for an excuse to see my family. Luckily, Dustin was super supportive and even, dare I say, a little jealous. I left early in the morning. Dustin, Canyon and Lily were left to brave the next 10 days on their own.

Can I just say that driving to Utah in the winter is a lot like labor. Here are the similarities.

Equally as long: 14 hours.

White knuckle, tense, holding my breath: driving over the chain-required Sierra’s in the middle of a storm.

Long, very tiring middle section: the drive across Nevada. Luckily I had plenty of caffeine.

A moment of hope as I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel: finally getting to Highway 30.

Transition: Deer, fog, darkness and utter despair. Thankfully the girls slept through transition. Dustin had to coach me through on the phone.

The end: Finally arriving to Sadie and Christian’s house ready for a hot shower, oh wait, they didn’t have any hot water! Aargh!

Once we were there, though, we had an amazing time. We got to play with the twins everyday. Jane and Alice were a ton of help as Jane liked Will—or as she called him, the blue baby—and Alice was happy to play with Eliza.

{Here's Will & Eliza the first day, I was so proud to get them both to sleep}

The bonus was that there was also Baby Soren (it was like triplets) and of course, CJ. Angie & Hyrum were also a bonus and Angie and Jane found that they are truly “kindred spirits.”

{Soren had the BEST smile. It was wider than his face!}

It was nice to be helpful (hopefully) and get a lot of time with family. Dustin and the kids were doing great on their own. I think they ate out a lot and my friend, Trish, even brought them dinner one night. They loved being home without the noise of the ‘little girls.’ As my few days turned into more—while we waited out many storms—I finally decided to go the long way and stay with Daisy in St. George.

{Jane loved not being the 'littlest' and bossed those babies around all day.}

Alice was delighted with the desert and equally delighted to play with her cousin Kate all day long. Jane worked through a fever and cough and we got to witness Daisy’s endurance as she trained much of the day for her upcoming Ironman triathlon.

We finally drove home through Las Vegas, the Mojave Desert, Bakersfield and across the central valley. It was beautiful. Green. The orchards were either laden and overloaded with oranges, picked clean, or in the case of the almond trees full of pink and white blossoms. On either side of the freeway, for three hundred miles it was a carpet of green patterned fields with shimmering white rows of soft blossoms. The falling blossoms were like snow on the ground—except it was sunny and warmish.

We were oh. so. happy. to pull into the driveway and see our yard, our swings, the barn, the orange tree, and our people. We had such a great adventure. Next time we’ll take the rest of the family.