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Month: July, 2016

Lake Tour // 2016


Any creative energy I once had is pretty zapped these days. As if parenting three children, including a breastfeeding baby, weren’t exhausting enough, grief is an entirely different level of trying and tiring. Between the exhaustion and the anti-depressants, my creative mojo is nil. And so, I have little interest in or ability to inhabit this space. I trust my therapist when she says that one day everything won’t feel so devastatingly terrible all the damn time, but for now, I’m moving through the awful as it comes.

On our recent vacation, I opted not to bring our dSLR camera as I knew it would go largely unused. Fortunately, iPhones are pretty darn great at snapping the action, and in two of our destinations, we had friends with great cameras who snapped photos on our behalf.

Here’s a peek at our Lake Tour 2016, right before we head to the coast for some much needed ocean therapy.


First stop, Lake St. Catherine in Poultney, Vermont. Here, we celebrated the 4th of July with plenty of tubing and swimming and fireworks. It was a house filled with children and adults alike, so the girls had a blast playing with friends, while James and I had the chance to catch up with our own college pals.




^^Boating and breastfeeding FTW!^^








We then headed to New Hampshire to Silver Lake. It was a quieter scene, but equally filled with water fun and dear friends.

















^^One morning, my friend Kendra and I attempted some Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga, and I haven’t laughed so hard or had such fun in quite awhile. There was plenty of falling, but also plenty of zen among this absolutely breathtaking scenery.^^









Next, we stopped off for an afternoon with friends who recently purchased a summer home on Lake Winnipesaukee.




And finally, we hit the coast of Maine to introduce Sanderling to his great-grandparents. Which was simultaneously wonderful and heartbreaking as he’ll never get the chance to meet his grandmother.







This photo kills me. I swear we had a great time at York’s Wild Kingdom, despite what the above two images suggest.




Our final stop was to the Hubble Lighthouse, for Lobster Rolls, as Momar would have wanted. Lobster was far and away her favorite food.

Sanderling // Four Months

My darling Kewpie Doll,

This letter comes nearly a week past your Four Month Birth Day, and that’s kind of a metaphor for life as the third child. While I’m doing my best to keep up with marking and noting your milestones, it’s admittedly far less frequent and detailed as it was for your sisters, particularly your oldest sister. But rather than feel guilty about this, I find myself far more present in your babyhood than I ever was with your siblings. It’s perspective and wisdom that have taught me to slow down, enjoy, and just be in the moment with you. Because it moves far too quickly, and if I don’t stop and take in that delicious baby smell, or the comfort of that soft, fuzzy peach head, or the way you gaze up at me with those insanely blue eyes and greet me with those big, open-mouthed, drooly grins, it’ll be gone before I blink.

You’ve gone from being a grunty, wrinkly, cross-eyed infant, to a strong, social, busy baby. You grab with such intensity, often causing your female house mates to lament the epic fistfuls of hair that find their way into your grasp. You roll from tummy to back and back to front, and hold your head with such steadiness for a babe of your age. You arch and kick and flap and it’s clear that you are one adept and strong little one (little is relative, given that you are off the charts for height, but that’s no surprise given your genetic history). Which makes you all the more capable of handling the onslaught of hugs and squeezes and cuddles from your well-intentioned but overly-enthusiastic second sister. Both of your sisters love you so much, and they often quell your cries far faster than mommy or daddy. They coo and smile and sing and dangle toys and find as much joy in you as you so clearly find in them. It is so deeply meaningful for me to witness your connection and bond to one another, and my only wish is that you all continue to bring comfort and happiness to each other throughout your lives.

We took you on our first road trip as a family of five this past week. We visited friends at their lake houses in Vermont and New Hampshire, and then capped off the trip with a stop along the Maine Coast to meet your great-grandfather. While we’ve hit a bump in sleep thanks to the unwelcome four month sleep regression, you were amazingly adaptable as we dragged you from house to house. You road on boats so your sisters could go tubing or your daddy could go canoeing. You saw your first fireworks. You delighted everyone with your raspberries and giggles.  You’re like a cartoon character, your face is so very expressive like your dad’s. And it never ceases to amuse and bring smiles, even when I may be feeling low or having a hard grief day.

Staying at your great-grandfather’s nursing home for an evening was particularly challenging for me, as I couldn’t help but feel resentful that you get to meet him, and yet will never meet your Momar. Being surrounded by a community of people in their 70s, 80s and 90s made me ache with yearning and disappointment and anger. How is it possible that I’ll never know your grandmother as an old woman? How unfair and cruel it all feels.

But you have a way of pulling me from my darkest thoughts and shining light when I need it most. Our country needs so much of that right now. It is a scary time, both personally and nationally, and I’ve felt such anxiety about the state of the world in which I’ve welcomed you. But everyday, you and your sisters are a bit of hope and light and goodness that my life, this world, so desperately require. Thank you for continuing to be my anchor in the storm.

Happy Four Months, my Sanderling.

143 Mama