deep breath out

Today was a giant relief on many levels. The biggest one is that at this moment, my living room is really quite clean and tidy and you would not believe how much easier I breathe when everything looks like it’s supposed to. It is astonishing just how difficult it is to do basic stuff like shower and clean and cook with the current assortment of small children – it’s probably at its most challenging. It won’t last – I expect that it will be considerably better in six months. I’m doing my best to hold on to the lovely things about the final moments of Clara’s baby time, and Rowan’s toddler time, and Lucy’s preschool time (kindergarten is basically preschool, let’s be real) because I know that I will blink and it will be gone, just like the entire last difficult, amazing, awful, wonderful year. But you guys, one day I will be able to have enough of a brain to read real books again, and clean my house on the regular, and maybe even have the energy to work out and eat properly. O glory and trumpets.

The other giant relief is that during my mama time off, I got my eyes checked and I was right. They’ve devolved since before Clara and I need glasses now. I picked some green ones from this company, and they’re totally flexible, like Lucy’s baby glasses were. The company makes children’s glasses too, so I’ll be getting some for Lucy next time hers need replacing. I went here, in case any local people want a good optometrist or children’s optician (in addition to Whitworth’s, downtown, which is also fantastic). You can hold your breath for a week until I get them and post a picture.

I am not quite yet relieved about tomorrow’s Advent narrative, as it’s not finished and I am in the wrong headspace to work on it. I keep looking at it and feeling annoyed, and I’ve written enough of these sorts of things to know that it will feel right at some point, but good grief I am nearly out of time. Being a works-best-under-pressure sort of person is great in terms of the efficiency with which I can crank out my writing when crunch time strikes, but I do feel like a pressure cooker getting up to pressure right now.

If you can believe it, I’m on top of my game for Christmas. The to-do list is ticking itself off merrily and the gifty knitting proceeds apace. I love the stuff I’m giving this year – I obviously am not going to spoil things for the grown-up literate people who read my blog, but the kids are getting Wedgits, this fire station, and bugs in a jar. I leave it to you to determine who is getting what. I have a plan for my baking, we have an itinerary for our road trip, and the Christmas cards should be ready to mail on Monday, provided I can find my return address labels. I feel that return address labels are a true sign of adulthood – I have learned to prioritize my time, and writing 100 return addresses is not a valuable use of time.

I have a post percolating about the dichotomy between Advent and the festive season and how I am working through that, particularly in relation to the small ones, but it is not ready to be written yet. Soon, I hope.

Happy second Advent!

saturday, snow, and other items of perfection

Today was about as close to perfect as Saturdays get these days. With the help of a little Benadryl to deal with the runny nose I picked up from Clara, I finally got an entire night of sleep and woke up feeling glorious. Last night was Clara’s first ever bedtime without me and she was a little sad but just fine. Even though each little milestone is another move away from babydom, it’s so great every time I get a little more independence. Mama needs breaks, yo.

So this morning I got my morning snuggles and loves, and then abandoned ship for the Third + Bird craft sale. It used to just be the Vineyard craft sale, but they clearly needed to hipsterize their brand. At least half the vendors were “blank and blank,” and half of those had an x-styled logo, but trends, hipsters, what ya gonna do. The stuff was pretty awesome. I found something for each of the girls and a couple of things for me, and also cinnamon buns.

It snowed like Narnia in the night, so I forewent the car and took the bus to the sale, which was an ace decision. I miss taking the bus without children because it’s so relaxing. I am not concerned for the wellbeing of the vehicle, and I can read my book and just chill out. I had university flashbacks in the very best way.

When I got home, I was sure that Clara would be desperate for me, but instead this happened.

Mama, you were gone too long.

So I went right back outside to shovel the driveway. It’s pretty big, and a bit tricky, but I secretly love shoveling snow so I had fun, even if my back is a bit cranky now.

Then I took the girls to the Christmas at CMU concert, to mixed reviews. I’m hoping that it’s one of those things that is better in memory than it was in actuality, because Lucy was unsure about having to sit and listen to other people. “This is just like church but we don’t get to do any singing” was her comment. But one of her beloved babysitters was in the women’s chorus, and we went to the Grinch reading and the interactive children’s session, so all in all it wasn’t bad. I said hi to at least fifty people in the Plenert tradition.

And my agenda for the evening is tea & blankets & knitting & something fluffy on Netflix, so that should round out the day just right.

Except that every half hour I remember that I have to do my Advent story in church tomorrow and I have a moment of panic. But if things were perfect it would be terribly boring. Or something.

Look at my cute wintry house!

Our house looks so cute in the snow.

And scene.

a bit of catch up

I missed blogging.

With three smalls who are still very small, I have a difficult time finding any sort of balance, consistent or otherwise, between everyone’s needs. Even when it’s just me finding a balance is hard, and currently it’s the Battle of Five Armies for my attention. And I feel like Bilbo, knocked unconscious wearing a ring of invisibility right at the start. Three children accounts for at least three of those armies.

So what have we been up to since the summer? We did a road trip and we’re going to do it again, this time with bonus prairie blizzards and probably more wrathful baby sounds. The driving part is not going to be spectacular, especially since there’s always a blizzard at some point, but I can’t wait to be festive the Plenert way.

We trek to school twice a day now, bundled up to the eyebrows. Lucy is continually asking me to slow down because walking in snowpants is harrrrrrrd. Clara is fully, 100% prairie baby, because she fell asleep in the stroller when it was -20 with wind. Rowan has made friends with a pickup truck that we have to walk around every day, and when it is not there when we pass, he is distraught. Why are vehicles such a thing?

I have hardly had any time to knit this week and it’s been terrible. Woe. I’ve had to use my spare time to write a thing for the Advent series at church. It’s not done yet and my deadline is Sunday, but it’s a self-imposed deadline for the latter three Sundays so it’s just not going to happen. Tomorrow is the big Christmas craft sale and also the CMU Christmas concert, so I am busy. I also have some actual parties this year (parties! plural!) so that requires attention.

Tomorrow we are also setting up the tree, so you can look forward to some great pictures of Clara trying to pull it down. And that’s all I’ve got for now. My blogging muscles are feeling stiff. So rather than a clever denouement, here are my children. Look! Cute!

She's so funny.

tap tap hi

So, blogging? Do I still do that? The jury is out, But for now, here’s a general status update.

I have three kids now. Three! I did when I posted last time, but the three kids thing continues to jump out at me at regular intervals, especially since they keep growing and stuff. En masse we are quite the little gang, and I decided via Facebook that the group noun for children is madness, so I have a madness of children. I do my best to divide and conquer, as it’s hard to be the right parent for a kindergartener and a toddler and a crazy crawling baby all at once, or even two at a time.

In spite of three kids, I am making some stuff. I have finished six sweaters so far this year, five small and one big, plus various hats and things. I knit 85% of a sweater for me and it turns out that it doesn’t fit as well as I want it to, so I think it’s going to be frogged and reknit. But so far it is wadded into a bag and sitting in the corner to think about what it’s done, and I’m knitting a Christmas present instead.

I have to write a series of things for an Advent series at church, and I am in terrible denial that Advent starts in one week and two days. That is just not on, calendar. I need more time.

I realized the other day that I am not a type A personality; I am squarely type B. I like the big picture and the perfect ideal that I visualize, but when it comes down to getting the work done, let’s just crank the thing out so that we can move on to the next big idea. Realizing that has meant that I can let go of this sense that I ought to be a perfectionist. I’d like to be, because having everything just so would be terribly nice, but it won’t happen, so I can lay that to rest.

I also did a bunch of enneagram tests (it’s a personality testing thing) and I am a 7. Enlightening! A 7 is motivated by fun and adventure, which, yes. Also, this explains why routine stuff like cleaning my house is not my forte, since it isn’t fun. Once I have a routine locked down that’s fine, but without that, why should I start cleaning when there’s something else more awesome that could be happening? I’m not sure that this realization has been freeing or just enabling. Time will tell.

I’m also not sure that I can maintain ye blogge, but I’ve sort of missed it. Having a writing outlet is nice, even if only my mom reads it now (hi mom!). But on the theme of self-realization, it’s going to be a lot of navel-gazing because at this point, if I’m trying to write less about the kids, it’s going to be about me. I am a child of the hashtag generation and we are all narcissists. So.

If you read this, thanks! I appreciate your eyeballs.

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hey there

Again with a long gap in posting. I keep thinking I should just give up, but I still like my blog, so instead I’ll just let it be what it is. It might become less about the kiddos and more about the stuff I make. Or maybe write, if I ever get around to writing all the ideas in my head. Or just continue to be random and sporadic and read by my mom and a few of my friends. That’s okay! I don’t want to be a viral sensation anyway. I don’t want to live in a fishbowl with everyone evaluating all my life choices.

So, here’s a listy list of what’s up these days:

– I have two births this summer. Yes, really! One is soon. I’m excited to get back to doula work but a bit nervous about the Clara situation.
– The Clara situation is that this girl does not like to sleep on her own, won’t take a bottle, doesn’t nap much, and needs a lot of snuggles. It’s lovely, but also challenging. I do have other children and a raging sleep deficit. Aiee!
– But she’s still the cutest little muffin you ever did see.
– Rowan is very two.
– Lucy has her preschool orientation tomorrow. She’s also in soccer and doing a great job. She wants to be an architect these days, and I keep finding very interesting structures built out of all sorts of things.
– I’m still into knitting. I have many projects in my queue from tiny sweaters to grown up sweaters. Lucy has chosen sweaters for everyone in our family, so I’m going to be busy for a while.
– I want to be into sewing too, but there is just not time. It’s way easier to pick up knitting than it is to pick up sewing. So alas, all those ideas have to just wait.
– Can it please be sunny and warm outside? We’re so ready.

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