anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Monthly Moments | September 2020

 



This salad has been my favorite food this month. In fact, I didn't try any new recipes this month, but this salad is a hodgepodge of a couple other recipes I have tried in the last few months and loved.

-Handful+ of mixed baby greens
-Sliced deli-meat (turkey in this case) chopped
-Feta Cheese


Greyson got mobile this last month and has been crawling around like crazy and pulling himself up on things. I don't really want him to start walking soon, but I won't be surprised if he ends up walking within the next month.


This. This was a good day. Living with my mom and step-dad for the past couple of years has been hard in a lot of ways. Partially because I just want my own space. I miss what it was like when Bstoll and I were out on our own. And, it is really hard to parent in front of your parents. Like really hard.
But this day we hung out upstairs and Everly made cookies with her Amma and Grandpa and we all sat around the table eating them warm out of the oven. I fed little bits of them to Greyson. It was just a really lovely visit and made me feel so grateful that Everly gets the chance to have this relationship with her grandparents.


I bought this sweater from the Little Mama Shirt Shop and have been wearing it every chance I can get. I've been hoarding my allowance for almost a year to save up and buy a new bag (I'm very much a bag girl. There are 4 on my list currently. All are over $100.) and took a break to buy this sweater. I'm actually wearing it right now 😂

Anyway, this was a good walk to the park. I've been trying to implement walks back into our daily schedule. This month it was mainly to get my 10 15-minute workouts to get my monthly challenge on my watch, but it has been nice to get out. I used to go on walks every day with Everly when we lived in the apartments. Then I took a hiatus after we moved here, then took it back up when she was just over a year old and took her out almost every day until Greyson was born. It takes more work to get 2 babies out the door, but it's still worth it. 




Everly AND Greyson caught colds. It was my first experience with having both the babies sick. I was not a fan. But I did love how snuggly it made Greyson. He hasn't slept on me in a long time, but he did quite a bit with this cold. I was really lucky that Brian got to stay home with me a few of the days they were sick because I definitely needed the help.



These were both from my Mom's birthday party. I took more videos than pictures this last month, so what you don't see is Everly throwing sticks in the fire, or, earlier in the month, opening her door during nap time.

This was also a lovely day. Family parties tend to leave me feeling left out and stressed and sad that I missed the normal time I would have to spend with my family. But this time, I got food with everyone else and didn't spend the whole time taking care of babies. Plus, this firepit was amazing and smokeless (unless you stick a pipe in it) so I didn't even end up smelling like smoke! And we ended the night with homemade raspberry ice cream. As Everly would say, "A GOOD DAY!"



My little crawling machine 😍

Books I've Read this Month:

The List of Things That Will Not Change   By Rebecca Stead
Spinning Silver   By Naomi Novik
Again, But Better   By Christine Riccio

Podcasts I've Loved this Month:


What I've taken from these Books and Podcasts:

- I want to be Rebecca Stead when I grow up. Seriously, every time, her books are amazing guys. The one I read is her most recent. Read it. Buy it in Hardback. I did.
- Meal Formulas will save your life. I really love the idea of having a Fall Meal Formula and a Winter one and a Spring one and a Summer one. I just really love the idea of seasonal living. Fun things to celebrate each season. Activities, food, clothing. I love the change of it. 
- I need to start holding myself to deadlines with my writing. This episode of Writing Excuses really got me thinking about my writing career. It's something I've started to take a lot more seriously lately. Partially because I have been doing more writing lately, and also for my mental health. Writing is in me. I need to be doing it. I would love to be published and I don't want to keep waiting for the timing to be right. It will never be right. So I'm working on making it happen now. With 2 tiny babies. Wish me luck!


Thanks as always for reading! This last month was really dark and then suddenly the light seems to be shining just a little bit brighter now. I'm hoping that keeps up. The next few weeks should see two more Poems of Motherhood posts! So keep your eye out for those :) I hope you had a great September. I'm looking forward to October and to General Conference this weekend!
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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Poems of Motherhood | July 2020


 


7/1/20

For Everly


Your tiny hands

With those delicate fingers


You have always been able to pick up the smallest things

Pressing thumb and forefinger together

Before anything else

You could bring those together


Now you use them to pick up crumbs

To “make string”

To find the tiniest hair that has drifted down to land on you


What will those precise fingers do in the future?


What have my hands taught you to do?


7/7/20

For Greyson


We’re in the cry it out phase

So I put you down

Walk away before your eyes have closed


Most of the time 

It’s fine

But 

Sometimes you cry so long that I come back in

Lean over you

Wrap my hands around your tiny head

Lean my head close so that my hair comes down like curtains around us

I smile and hope that you are inhaling the scent of me

Feeling those fingertips that you would wrap your hands around as you fell asleep

Some part of me hopes that these tiny moments let you know that you are safe

That they carry you through the moments when I’m not coming through the door

I’m hoping that the angels around you

Really do stand guard

Just like I pray that they will do every night in your nightly prayers

I can see them standing around you now

A few faced out to stand watch

While the others lean down around you

Waft the scent of my hair toward you

Just like I still sometimes catch whiffs of your great grandpa’s cologne

My heart is there with you

All night sweet boy

Just like it would be if you were sleeping beside me

Head curled into my chest. 



7/12/20

For Everly


You wore a cornflower blue polka dot dress today

One that was mine when I was small


I couldn’t get over the way you spun around in it, just for fun

Or the curl of your hair over the white lace and buttons


I could tell that you felt beautiful in that dress

The kind of beautiful that has almost nothing to do with how you actually look


Maybe someday you will pass that dress down

Watch your own babies spinning in that vintage magic



7/14/20

For Everly


You trailed after your grandpa today

Willing to put on shoes and completely abandon the kiddie pool to follow him over to the side of the house where he was gathering branches and sticks from the trimmed honeysuckle bushes

Today he was your best friend

You followed him into the garage and got into tool boxes that he didn’t want you to

I watched this little relationship blossom from a distance 

Knowing that you felt none of my complicated emotions about this man

To me, he had always been a step out of sync, a little too late to the game to feel like family

But, just like my own grandparents 

To you he is just grandpa

And that is just how I want him to be for you

no less than any other grandparent you have. 



7/17/20

For Everly 


Yesterday you slept late for your nap

I don’t like to wake you on days like that

You look so peaceful

You get so upset sometimes to be woken

So I sat on the bed

Rubbed your back 

Waited

For you to be ready

Slowly you opened your eyes

Laid there pillowed on those cheeks that take me right back to your baby days

I sat on the ground in front of you

Still waiting and rubbing your back

Then it was like you saw me

Finally awake

And you smiled

This huge grin that reached up to your eyes

That one moment 

That smile 

Was like the day I fell in love with your daddy

I’m sure if he could see me

I would have been wearing the new smile

The one that says that happy endings are real

That darkness can never last 

Because moments like that are too real for words



7/18/20

For Greyson


I know I will forget 

The way you rested your head in the crook of my elbow

Left your tiny hand on my breast 

Settled back to sleep

I will forget

The way your profile looked in the pale blue light of 8:44 on a summer night

At peace with just the slightest furrow to your brow


I will forget the weight of you in my arms


So this poem will remember for me 

That you were once so small

So trusting

So completely mine



7/22/20

For Everly


I found you curled up

In your chair from when you were small

You had fallen asleep there

One arm around your bear

Greyson’s blanket trailing out of the left side of it 

(You like his blanket better than your own)

Daddy and I tucked you in

Laid blankets over you when we noticed your goosebumps 

And talked softly about how you were the best thing we had ever made


7/23/20


I don’t think I’m ok

I think the monster has come for me

And it doesn’t look like I thought it would



7/24/20

For Greyson


You were sick

I came into your room

Thinking that the boom of the fireworks

That had kept me up for the past hour 

Had kept you up too


But then I settled you into the bed with me

You threw up

And I knew that you weren’t ok


I laid you against my chest

With your head up resting on my shoulder

You were exhausted 

Wilted into me

One arm curled around my neck


You wanted to stay right there while you puked

Cried when I turned you away from me to lose it in the sink or a bowl


I spent the night with you in my arms

Slept all night with you there


It was hard

I was tired

My dreams were stilted and strange as if I were the one who was sick


But always you were there

And I was with you

Like I never thought I would be able to be 

Because I lose it

When people lose it


It was a Mama moment

Hard

A rite of passage

Beautiful

Heartbreaking 


Like so many moments of motherhood

It was everything at once




7/28/20

For Greyson


You give me kisses

So many kisses

Open mouth

Clamped down on my chin

Fingers knotted into my hair

To cling onto me

Pull me in tighter


You don’t kiss anybody

The way you kiss me


It means a lot


These days seem so hard

So lonely


But those kisses feel like connection

When I feel about to break

They bring me right smack dab into the middle of that moment 

I can’t help but be present in those kisses


I need that




7/31/20

For Everly 


2 and a half

Baby girl


Daddy called today my Pre-launch 

For my 30th birthday


But in my mind

Today was yours


We threw rocks in the river 

Watched Scorpia

A “different” Frozen


Got French fries

Ate them in the grass

Then filled up the pool


It was a good day

For a pre-launch


And for a half birthday. 


Thanks for reading!

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Friday, September 11, 2020

Cloth Diapering | 1 Year In

 


Well, we made it to a year. Honestly, it snuck up on me! Time has been so weird since quarantine started that I almost missed the anniversary entirely. I'm not sure if I'll do another post on cloth diapering after this since 1 year seems to be the most significant milestone to me. Maybe if I change our stash or something ha ha. 

Our current stash:

Pretty sure our stash is the same as the last time I posted at 6 months except for the addition of 4 more Grovia O.N.E. diapers. We got them to use on Greyson at night and used them for a good long while. However, Greyson has never consistently slept through the night. I'm pretty sure that for a long time he got most of his nursing done at night, and so we experienced a lot of leaks. It got to be so often that I finally decided to switch back to disposables at night. Instead, we used the extra ONE diapers on Everly for naps, since she was also frequently leaking out during that time. Since we switched, we haven't had as many issues with that for her. 


Washing:

We have switched our detergent since my last post to BioKleen. It works even better than All Free and Clear Powder. I like that it isn't powder (it always seems to get everywhere) and we haven't had any issues with smell since we switched. We decided to switch mainly because we had no choice. Our regular detergent wasn't available because of COVID-19 and we needed something. I'm SO glad we switched though. It's more expensive, but lasts so much longer. Even with washing every day (because we still have 2 in cloth), it lasts me about a month. 

Before we switched we had issues with Everly's overnight diapers. They had no odor when we put them on her, but the ammonia smell was pretty strong every morning. Since we switched we haven't had those same issues. 


Overall: 

Cloth seems so normal now. I was so glad that we switched before quarantine hit because I honestly didn't even know that people were having issues with finding disposable diapers for their babies. We still have had no real issues with diaper rash which is a huge blessing because Everly has had some really rough ones in the past that I worried would leave scars. We do put diaper cream on often, because they're often red, but it never progresses very far and is usually gone within a few hours.   

I honestly just want to tell everyone to try it. It is so much easier than you think it will be. Switching to cloth doesn't mean that you can never use a disposable again. We still use them for Greyson at night right now and that's ok. We will still probably use disposables when we travel, which is also ok. The thing to remember is that any time you cloth diaper, it's one less diaper in the landfill. That's how I think of it and don't punish myself for the times I do add diapers to the landfill. 


If you have any questions about cloth, please feel free to reach out to me in the comments or by email at  anchoredinlightblog@gmail.com I'm happy to answer any questions you have honestly and to help any way I can! 

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Poems of Motherhood | June 2020



6/1/20

For Everly


I love the little things

That you call small rocks “crumbs”

That you say “Daddy is a man right now”

The way you kiss Greyson goodnight before his naps

Tell us each night that you “threw rocks in the river… car wash… milkshake… GOOD DAY”

Even when none of those things happened

The way you say “hold you for few minutes”



6/3/20

For Greyson


I thought I heard gunshots last night 

As I was rocking you 

With everything that has been going on

I wondered if they were coming for us


Because of our privilege

Because of our skin color

I wondered if they were going to show us how it felt to rock a baby to sleep

Not knowing that someone would come for them later


As I tried to rock against that voice

Telling me to be afraid

I googled “gunshots in West Jordan”


There was nothing

I was scared anyway 


I want to teach you not to be afraid

Not to judge 

to fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves 

Not because they are weak

But because our system is not built for them


We must rebuild it

You and I

We must tear down all that keeps them from showing their strength 


Because we should not be afraid of them



6/4/20

For Everly 


We were enjoying the morning

Sitting in the shade

Your brother in Ama’s arms


When a fly flew in your face


It scared you


More than doctors

More than anything I have ever seen


I held you

You needed me

To hold you tight


You would not let me put you down

All morning

All day really


My little one

So big in my arms

Needing me. 



6/13/20

For Greyson


I can’t believe that in just

Days

We will be 6 months into this journey together


6 months of midnight feeds

Of smiles

Of holding you


You’ll be eating solid foods

I can already see your face

The expression on it as you discover these new textures 


It’s all so fleeting

This first year

here we are


Almost halfway through. 


6/14/20

For Everly


You are a girl of extremes

From high to low

I wonder if it will last


My 0-60 girl


How can I teach you to ride the highs

To embrace the lows 

Without losing yourself to them? 



6/15/20

For Greyson

When I put you down

After nursing you back to sleep

I leave my hand on your cheek

And you cuddle into it


It’s natural

Instinctive 


It has been this way since you were new

But you’ve already changed the face you make when you want something

When just last week it was the same as it has been from when you were new


So I’ll keep leaving my hand there 

Until the day you no longer cuddle into it

Maybe even 

After that 


6/17/20

For Greyson


There’s something sacred

In the way you fall asleep in my arms

Mouth nursing

Hand resting on my breast


Sometimes I forget

That these little moments are limited

Get lost in the normalcy of these interactions 


The same way I sometimes forget that your father is magic

With the way he loves and cares for me


The way I sometimes forget that your sister is a miracle

That I grew her and birthed her


The way I grew you

The way I forget that

I am magic


So when you fell asleep in my arms

After I had climbed out of the bath to nurse you

Wrapped in just a towel


I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror

Bare back with a sleeping babe in my arms


I remembered that I was magic

That my body

This body

Has housed and fed two humans besides me

Has been the one to carry tiny bodies to and from cribs

Up stairs and up mountains

That these hands have calmed and soothed hundreds of tears and tantrums 

You reminded me of the magic, dear one 


6/18/20

For Everly


Sometimes we get to the end of the day

I wonder what we’ve done with all the hours in between

Waking

And sleeping


I run everything backwards 

Until I remember that we watched She-ra 

And before that Frozen

Before that was nap time

Daddy stayed with you before you fell asleep 


We ate ice cream

“Turkey” (roast chicken)

You had me stay in your room

While you repeatedly said goodnight to your bear

Which you had wrapped in Greyson’s blanket

Tucked into your pillow

We played outside 

I wind it all back to the moment when I got you from your room



6/20/20

For Everly 


You looked lost when we got to Little Dell

As the other kids rushed around you

You held your shoulders tense

As if sensing that they would try to touch you 


It took almost the whole time

For you to warm up

You carried your rocks in your hat

New and already dirty

Waiting for the river


When we found it 

More of a stream

You could have stayed there all day



For Greyson


I nursed you go the sound of the waves against the shore

Gentle waves

It was just you and me

Tucked in against the water

with wild yellow roses

Like our own secret garden

Everything was quietly alive 

Even you and I

Especially you and I



6/21/20

For Everly 


You stained your fingers blue and purple 

Eating frozen berries in the sunshine


You sat in my lap as you are them

Because it was the only place “safe”

From the flies


Sometimes I wish I could go back to those childhood moments

Where you didn’t worry about stained fingers

Or clothes 

But then I remember childhood fears


Spiders

Mice

Darkness


I’m not sure I would trade knowledge and wisdom

And the opportunity to be a safe place

For feeling safe in my mother’s lap


For Greyson


A few days ago

I put your sister’s old hat on your head


It wasn’t until we were across the yard

Following your sister to “see snakes”

That I caught a whiff of it

The smell of summer 

Captured in the fabric of that green polka dotted hat


Sunscreen 

Chlorine

Something else I can’t name 


I couldn’t stop myself

From holding you close

Kissing your head through the fabric 

To smell those memories of summer



6/25/20

For Everly


We picked raspberries

From the bushes along the side of the fence

Where they’ve spread through the grass

Popping up in wild flowers


You carried a little bowl

It never held more than two or three berries at a time

You ate them quicker than I could gather them


There’s something about motherhood 

That makes me share these things with you


The taste of summer raspberries 

Half my smoothies

The last bites of my favorite treats

My fries


Anyone who knows me

Knows that sharing fries means deep love


So I gave you all the best berries

Only taking one or two for myself


You never would have known the difference 

But I would. 


6/29/20

For Everly


I tucked away a memory of you today

I remember noting it as it passed

Pressing the details into my memory

Only to find that when I got to the end of the day

Each one had slipped away

Like sand or dust in the wind


I wonder now

What that moment was

What it meant to me

Because I can only see the edges of it now

You playing

Me trying to take it all in


So many moments are lost this way

But well lived in the moment 



Thanks for reading! I hope that you all had a great summer! I am looking forward to the fall. It's my favorite season.


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