We had a lovely day celebrating Clover’s 3rd birthday. There was a playgroup on the morning of her birthday and so we brought cupcakes and a candle. It felt like an instant party with friends and all. After school we discovered a nearby indoor pool with a kiddy area and waterslide. The older girls saw some school friends there, so that ended up being really fun for them. The plan was to order fish n’ chips takeaway for dinner since Clover’s most favorite food is French fries, but we insist that she has to eat something else besides just fries. She says, “in New Zealand you call French fries chips”. We ate dinner, sang and had cupcakes, and played pin the tail on Peppa Pig. We all enjoyed the day and, to be honest, it made me want to make an effort to have family parties more often.
Two was not terrible, and I am hoping that I don’t have a “three-nager” soon like I did with her older sister. Clover is a “go with the flow” kind of gal and I feel like she has grown up so much just since being in New Zealand. Because she is the youngest and there are 4 and 7 years between her and her sisters, she is quite babied by all of us. We are probably creating a monster. I’ll let you know soon. 😉 She beats on her sisters, kicking them or hitting them over and over even when they say stop. Not to be vicious, just to be annoying. When I walk into the room, she hugs them and kisses them and says she’s sorry. Clover loves numbers and talking about numbers, but the context is always quite interesting. She’s adjusting to this new business of being 3 and is quite confused because she has been 37 since November. Ever since I had my birthday she has said she is 37 as well. She kept saying that she would be 35 on her birthday but seems to have decided against it. The other day when someone asked her how old she was, she hesitated and said, “Ummm, uhh, a gwey (grey) number” referring to her #3 silver mylar balloon. When her sisters were commenting on how her hair has grown, they asked her how long her hair was she said, “$60”.
If I could freeze time and remember her right now, this is what I would say about Miss Clover. She does not like chocolate, but loves lollipops. She is an animal lover and talks in a high voice when she sees dogs on the street and has to be warned every time not to pet any dogs without asking the owner. She loves to do everything her sisters do and refers to them as “my sisters” which is of course darling. “Are we going to pick up my sisters today?” and cute sayings like that. She uses the words “her” and “hers” for “your” and “yours”, which can get confusing sometimes when she hands me a marker and says, “that’s hers” and even more confusing when she says that to Brian.
I can’t count on my memory to remember all of her cute ways, which is why I have to write them down. So, thank you for bearing with me.
If you were to ask me the best part of being in New Zealand, you might be surprised by my answer. It is not the wild outdoors, though I love that, nor is it the pristine coasts that stretch on for miles. Though I love that too. My answer would be the same if I were here, or in Kentucky or even Antarctica. I hate being cold though, so I don’t have a huge desire to go to Antarctica. And let’s be honest, the great outdoors help. They definitely make the transition easier. But what I really love is that I have a free schedule. It can be lonely, but lonely mostly when I spend too much time thinking about it. It is also so freeing. I can leave my phone home all day and not worry about missing a text, remember those days? It wasn’t that long ago that you didn’t have a phone probably. You would go somewhere, enjoy yourself and not worry if someone was trying to get ahold of you or not. For the most part, no one is trying to get a hold of me, and I am okay with that. I can’t ever get this back. This is a season, a season that is only here because we are the newbies. I want to see this as a gift.
I feel like I know the goodness that can come from this experience, and perhaps, I can see it as good since I know it is not for forever. My heart felt worried about being lonely when we first arrived, but as the first month passed in what seemed like a flash, I realized that June is going to be here before I know it. The worry eased, as well, when I felt like I knew what to expect from Brian and his new schedule. Perhaps next week it will be back, but for now I am relishing our short time here. It is freeing to spend time with Clover and not have the phone ringing or dinging for a message. Interesting enough, I left my phone in the U.S. and life is still going on. It is going on for me, and it is going on for all of those people in my contacts list despite the fact that the phone is in a drawer somewhere at home. It is making me rethink how I want to use the devices we are so attached to. Is it necessary to have a sound go off when a texts comes through or can it wait? Can I have a designate time in the day that I check emails? This little gadget which was sold to us with the hopes of making our life easier can complicate things so much! And so, while you are waking up early just to get a few minutes to yourself before the kids wake, I am over here twiddling my thumbs. Okay, not really, but my house is getting picked up and cleaned more regularly. I have had time to paint and write on my blog. I was invited to coffee, and was able to say “my schedule is open, any day!” Here I am. Being still more. Reading more. Praying more. Sleeping more. I love sleep 🙂 . And most of all I get to be present more. That is a gift.
written in the summer of 2012, but might be just what some of you with littles need to hear.
So, I know this isn’t news to anyone, but I really want to enjoy my kids and soak up this time because I know it isn’t going to last. I’m getting sentimental these days because my baby is starting school and I don’t know where the time has gone. I mentioned in my Mr. Just Right post that we were considering homeschooling. And even though I was extremely critical of homeschooling 8 or so years ago, I have grown to love the idea of getting to be a teacher to my own children. However, we have kind of (still afraid of saying definitely) decided to send Piper to kindergarten. I could always homeschool starting in 1st grade and this way I will have a year with my little Tater tot to do fun stuff with just her. It really is the only time I could have this opportunity. I get caught up sometimes in change and turn into a sentimental sap pretty quickly. And then sometimes I get caught up in the future. Where are we going to be in 3 years? Are we going to have more kids? I am okay with staying, I am okay with moving. I am content with my 2 girls and would be happy to have more too, but I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE PLAN IS! I am not so okay, content or happy with the unknown.
I’m kind of a believer, not always a follower, of Eastern medicine. You may wonder where I am going with this, but trust me there is a connection. I love looking at the body holistically and learning about how foods and different things affect our well being. So I have been reading the New York Times best seller, Clean. It’s very interesting and informative and that is the detox that I am currently on. Now whether you would never do a detox or would never pick up a book, I think there is a lesson learned. In his “Yogi” ways, the author began talking about meditation and the “energy of life” and it was so interesting! He said (not exactly in these words) think about your hand, put your attention on your right hand, don’t stop reading, you don’t even have to look at it, but put your attention there. Feel the temperature, and the edges of your fingers. Feel if there is dampness or if it is dry. Your hand was always there, but you weren’t feeling it. You weren’t aware. You only became aware once you put your attention there. Your hand becomes your experience the instant you put your attention on it. Now listen to this part! “So we can conclude that wherever your attention is at any given moment will determine your experience at that moment. The total experience of your life is the sum total of every one of those moments…When your attention is flowing into your hand, it stays in the present. Your hand is right here in the now. It’s not the thought of the hand, past or future.”
Whoa. I don’t want that to be me! I don’t want my reason for missing out on the here and the now to be because I am too focused on what happened and what’s about to happen. I want to love them for the stages and ages they are right now. We know that worrying about the future is fruitless. There are so many unknowns and things out of our control that can disrupt the plan, but lingering in the past is just as bad. Obviously we know this when we are dealing with unforgiveness and resentment, but I think even in the small ways of wishing and willing that my babies would stop growing and changing robs me some of the joys they can bring me right now, at this moment.