To my 5 year old Sig

Very, very late but here’s a note to my 5 year old Sig!

Happy birthday Boots! Or should I say Happy birthday Butterfly as you now ask me to call you 🙂

You are 5. 5 years ago you made me a mama and though you’re growing faster then I want to admit, you’ll always be my original. My baby. My little girl.

I want to remember how you are now. An artist who wants to write and color on anything and everything around you (including your car door)! The world is your canvas, and you add more color to all of your surroundings everyday.

The world is also your stage. My great performer. Everywhere we go you dance and sing. It’s a fine balance between telling you to watch out for the people and things around you or to come on please and just standing and watching you in awe. Your spirit and imagination are like no other.

And your imagination is going 24/7. And I mean that, all day and night everyday. While dancing, singing and rocking the dress up clothes everywhere we go during the day, at night you love to stay up late and play with your toys, all of them together, all the time. You also frequently stay up late, lights out, singing songs to yourself and your toys. Sometimes they’re made up, sometimes they’re mash ups of different songs we know but they’re all sung with absolute heart and soul.

Your heart is so big. It’s worn on your sleeve and given so freely. I pray the world doesn’t harden that out of you. You love your brother beyond measure and are concerned how he’ll get on without you when you’re at kindergarten next fall. You love all of your cousins and your friends completely.

I love you. I love every part of you. And even though you don’t like to say it, I know you love me too.

Here’s to all the best 5 has to offer!

Love you,

Mama

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On your bad days

Later this week Pat and Keith are coming for a long weekend so we’ve been busily preparing the guest space and rest of the downstairs for them. Part of that preparation is putting up a curtain on one end of the room over the office area to make it feel more like a designated guest space (we hope). We made the trek to IKEA to get the wire curtain holder that was nearly perfect for the space. Then I scored an awesome deal on some white linen curtains to help keep the space light and bright, perfect except they were too long. No problem, I’ll hem them.

Ok, the curtains are 99 inches long and 76 inches is the length I need so I’ll hem them 23 inches. Great. Done.

After much finagling we were reminded that the stupid smiling IKEA man on all the instructions is their Swedish pipedream of how we look assembling their stuff. Anyway, we finally get done with the wire and I let down the curtains – tah dah! Except not tah dah at all, they’re way too short!

 

Turns out they were suppose to be 7 feet 6 inches. 7’6″ not 76. Turns out that’s 90 inches. Ugh. So now instead of being one step closer to being done we’re a step back. Bummer.

Sig witnessed this unfolding and after it was done I put her to bed. As I was tucking her in, with tears of frustration in my eyes she says, “it’s ok mama, everyone makes mistakes.” Man, straight to my heart! Then she says, “Some are small, some big, some medium but yours was really big. But it’s ok, you can fix it tomorrow.” And I’m thinking when did you get so grown up!?! As I pull her close and thank her I told her I loved her. She didn’t say anything. I told her it’s nice to say it back if you mean it. “But mama, I don’t love you on your bad days, I’ll love you tomorrow.” *jaw on floor* I asked her how she would feel if I told her I didn’t love her on her bad days? “You have to love me, you’re my mama.”

So I go call my mom to lament my mistake and the efforts she helped me put in and I tell her about Sig and her comments. She laughed and told me “Well, I love you!” to which I replied “You have to, you’re MY mama!”

Love you Mama and Sig, even on your bad days!

Nat

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How long have you loved me?

Every night when I tuck Sig into bed we tell each other how much we love each other. It’s normally like “I love you more than a monkey loves bananas” or “I love you more than Rainbow Dash loves kicking clouds” from me and something like “I love you more than the moon likes hot dogs” or “I love you more than Pinkie Pie likes mud” from her. Then we giggle, kiss goodnight and away we go. Tonight though was different. Tonight she brought me to tears with one simple question, “How long have you loved me?”

Wow, what a powerful question! Forever. Since I dreamed about having you when I was little and just wanted to be a mom. Since your dad and I met and talked about having a little girl named Signe. Since I prayed every month for a positive test while we were trying for you. Since that test came back positive. Since I first saw you on the ultrasound when you were the size of the sticker on your nightstand. Since I saw you again and you were the size of a banana. Since I felt you kick the can of cherry coke I rested on my stomach because you were so high I had a perfect ledge. Since I prayed for you to come out already. Since I held you in my arms the first time and got to kiss you the first time. Forever, Sig. I have literally loved you forever.

Then she asked me what it was like to have her live in my belly. I told her stories about when I was pregnant. Things I haven’t thought of in years, like the cherry coke kicking. In fact, she used to kick it off completely. How she would play games with me and how she hated the arm rests on my desk chair at Nonin.

Then she told me she loved me more than cows love ants. And that was that. For her. But here I am, almost an hour later, tears streaming down my face as I type this because it’s so all so real. A completely, all consuming love that you never knew was possible to have so deeply. Then to have it twice!?! What a blessing.

You see Tryg, I have loved you forever too. Since I was a little girl and dreamed of having a boy and a girl. Since we decided it was time to try for another baby. Since I once again prayed every month for a positive, and especially when it came back positive. I was scared to love you, I wanted you so badly. I’ve loved you since I first saw you when you were teeny tiny, and again when we learned you were without a doubt a boy. Since we had complications and so many tests had to be run to make sure you and I were ok. Since you failed movement test after movement test and we got the excuse to see you again to be sure you were fine. Since I had 3 solid nights of labor from sun down to sun up only to have contractions stop when I saw the sun. Since the doctor said after all of that I could have you that afternoon with a little induction help (yes please!). Since I held you in my arms the first time and kissed your perfect 10 apgar self. I’ve loved you forever Tryg.

And while I’m reminiscing, you were completely the opposite of your sister for pregnancy. You sat so low I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sit any longer. You didn’t kick me nearly as much as your sister did, but when you did, you sure got my attention. The only time you would reliably kick was if your dad or Sig was talking to you. Not for me or anyone I was trying to let feel you, not for the doctors during ultrasounds and tests, no one else. You have ALWAYS been living life on your schedule and that hasn’t changed.

How long have you loved me? I can only imagine the memories and feelings that question brings up for anyone else.

Nat

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Happy 2nd Birthday Tryg!

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A Little Update

As the days fly by, I think of our little blog so often when I’m in the middle of doing dishes, working or snuggling a sick kid for the 10th time since we woke up 3 hours ago. I feel sad for missing out on capturing the memories of the day and I find a quote from a book I’m reading right now (called “Out of Sorts”) so incredibly right for this time of my life: It’s the kind of moment you want to put a bookmark on in your life so you can remember everything about it. That’s my everyday.

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I want to remember the complete happiness Sig had when we said yes, she can go out and play in the snow while Patrick cleared the driveway, which by the way didn’t last long. After 2 passes with the snowblower he stopped to play and is still, as I type this. In this moment nothing else matters.

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I want to remember the relief I felt for many reason when the ENT told us last week he would do tubes surgery on Tryg who has had 6 ear infections in the last 9 months and ruptured his right ear drum earlier this month. I’m also scared beyond measure but I’m more relieved there is a resolution in sight for the poor guy.

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I want to remember the happiness Patrick and I get when we unpack one more box. And the defeat when you can’t even tell you took one away. Someday we will be able to though.

I want to remember the strange feeling of spinning our dining room table so it has the head by the stairway wall instead of the kitchen wall (I really wish we could have seen our house staged before we bought it!)

I want to remember Tryg and his constant chatter with only a few understandable words. And his repeating today at our playdate with my cousin Jessie and her boys yelling at Sig, Dom and Isaac to stop screaming as they ran through the playplace. “Ninnie dop dat!”

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I want to remember Sig yelling “hot dog!” when you want to take her picture because they said that when they took her preschool class picture and it was surely THE FUNNIEST thing she’s ever heard.

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Basically I want to remember everything. Not possible I know but I sure want to try.

Nat

 

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Sounds that make my heart happy

Tonight as I’m bustling about cleaning the house so Monday doesn’t quite feel so overwhelming I had to stop because I heard something. I heard a sound that makes my heart happy.

At this moment it’s listening to Patrick and Sig having one of their nightly parties. She asks him, “what did you make me for breakfast?” and he replies, “what do you want me to have made?” “Pop tarts and froooooot looooooops” she says. He deadpans “well you’re in luck, I made you pop tarts and fruit loops.” She was so excited I could hear her bouncing up and down saying “I’m the luckiest girl ever!” And in this moment I am happy (to quote Incubus).

Earlier tonight there was another one of these moments. As we pull into the garage after grocery shopping as a family Sig told me she wanted me to start dinner and “me, Daddy and Tryg are going to play knock over for just 5 minutes if you could handle that” Well I handled it very well, how could I not? I was prepping stuff for dinner with no kids under foot, no tv’s or pads going and listening to them having a giggle fest playing in the living room. Once again, hearing sounds that make my heart happy.

A few days ago it was listening to the kids preform a song together on their stage (our old dining room table top that was waiting to be donated).

We have many others, sometimes it’s with me, sometimes other family members, sometimes it’s just the kids but when life gets so loud and I start losing focus of what is truly important, I need to listen for these sounds. It puts life back into perspective.

Nat

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Happy 4th Birthday Signe!

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4 years old! Wow. It feels like I was just figuring out the post for Sig turning 3 and here we are, now she’s 4.

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In the past year Sig has gone from an adorable 3 year old almost-could-call-her-a-kid to an independent, mostly sweet no-doubt-about-it-you’re-a-kid kid. Man alive, Sig, you amaze me everyday.

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Today, after preschool on our way to pick-up McDonald’s for our weekly lunch with Nana and Papa, we had a conversation about what it meant to be considerate. I told her it was like when it’s 10, 3 or 7 (snack times) and she gets herself a snack but also gets one for Tryg because he can’t get it himself yet, that’s being considerate. Or when she helps him reach a book in the car while we’re driving (to “Tarrick” or anywhere else) without me even saying a word. She asked how she could be more considerate and we brainstormed ideas which ended with her cooling down a fry for him so he wouldn’t hurt his mouth when we got to give it to him back at Nana’s (in 10 minutes mind you). But that’s how she is, she’s considerate and kind. She actively tries to make sure everyone around her has what they need and does what she can to fix whatever is wrong.

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Her imagination is crazy and so fun! Yesterday we spent almost an hour and a half playing superhero and bad guy, switching back and forth, testing our super powers, rescuing the people of the city, and sparing in the living room. That’s just how it goes, she finds her cape that she hasn’t seen for a while and we’re off! Or she gets a new crown and is a new princess who is too shy and doesn’t know anyone except her horse (which is the horsehead on a stick my Aunt made in school and Great Grandma still had in her closet).

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We have picnics and camp-outs everywhere we go. It can be 10x daily and they don’t lose their sparkle. It’s just as funny the 10th time as it was the first to eat on the floor, and it’s just as serious to sleep in your sleeping bag (whatever it be made of)!

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We’re also to the fun age where dolls have personalities and pool parties and sleep overs and fights (always sad to see one left out!) She’s asking for dolls (and My Little Ponies!) for Christmas and frequently asks me to help her dress her Groovy Girls in new outfits for various occasions. I love it.

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Every night we still have parties, read “just one more” book, have “just one more” snuggle and “one more” long hug before AND after prayers. She loves to come into our room in the morning after Patrick leaves for work and get some snuggly sleep for the last 30-45 minutes before her clock turns green – aka 7:00 am. She kicks and flails alot which isn’t cool but I appreciate the snuggles so I can’t complain too much 😉 Baths every morning it seems (with bubbles to the rim) and wearing dresses everyday is the norm. Today I convinced her to wear a shirt and pants for the first time in weeks. It could be worse.

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To Signe – I love you more everyday. I love it when I tell you “I love you more than ____”(think Anna loves Elsa) and you reply with your own version which is generally like “I love you more than the sun loves Chex!” or something to that effect. I love your silliness, your uniqueness, and your kind heart. I love you on your best days and in your worst moments and that will never, EVER change. Here’s to you Boots!

Love,

Mama

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It’s the little things

The big things intimidate me a lot right now so let’s focus on the little things in life.

This morning Tryg read me a book for honestly 10 minutes. It was like listening to a Chinese audio track with the occasional word in English. He was so proud when he was done.

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Today Sig taught my mom how to play the matching game by reading her the “constructions” (her deck of cards game instructions).

Sig now will tell you her mouth hurts so she can’t eat anymore _______ (hot dog, chicken, etc) but some orange chips (Doritos) would be good.

Some days the highlight for Sig is a shoulder ride with Daddy upstairs to bed.

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Today when my mom and I were working on getting the kids clothes for cold weather out, Tryg went into his room and managed to reach his pacifier that stays in his crib and took it and ran away downstairs with it. A little while later when I came down and took it he was genuinely heartbroken. Big crocodile tears and all. I sat there and consoled him and just thought of how tough it is to be little.

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Speaking of tough to be little, Sig wanted to go to the park today with my mom. When I said it was time for a nap she too was heartbroken about not getting to go. It was really sad and in her little world that was a huge deal.

We have happier times too. We were at Costco and Sig found this little book reader set and she so desperately wanted it. Being the sucker I am for my family, I bought it with the agreement that she’ll act surprised whenever I give it to her. A few days later she found it and walked into my room holding it with this smiling shocked look on her face. I asked her “What’s up?” and she said “I’m being surprised, can I have this now?”

Sig loves to dress herself and I love to see what she comes up with! This one included 7 ponytails and was finished with blue socks and silver sparkly shoes. (We were making pancakes before school)

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When Tryg can’t find you now he hollers “Where are yoooooouuuuuu?”

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Tryg also believes if he covers 1 eye with 1 finger that you honestly can’t see him 🙂

Sig loves to color “beautiful pictures” that are 50% of the time edge to edge, top to bottom a single color.

And trying on new hats at Target makes you “so adorbable”!

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It’s the little things in life that make it all worth it. Let’s focus more on that.

Nat

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Time with Tryg

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Today, as Sig is having meltdown after tantrum after meltdown, I am thankful for my time with Tryg. Sig went down for her nap a startling hour early so I get some real time with him (and I’m spending part of it blogging, sorry buddy) but man, I did not appreciate how easy it was with one kid. I didn’t appreciate how much you can do, the focus you’re able to give them and just the time you can spend with them. It’s tough with 2, I can’t imagine more, but right now I’m thankful for my time with 1.

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When I put Tryg down for his nap this magical time will be over, but hopefully this afternoon will be better. Hopefully she wakes up my happy girl again. We’ll see. But for now, I’m going to just love up my little guy!

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Nat

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