Friday, December 17, 2004

Okay. I am resisting the urge to post yet another sleeping Papaya picture, or mom and Papaya sleeping, or brother holding Papaya... What can I say? The girl likes her sleep time, and the pictures of her awake (at 3 a.m.) are not being taken. Actually she is spending more daylight hours awake, and following the faces and sounds around her. She is easy to console. She still likes to scrunch up in to a small warm bundle and be held closely, which is delightful. She makes surprisingly loud grunts, grumbles, squeaks and growls, and she can still turn a deep cranberry red when she stretches or cries.

Our Christmas tree is ever-gray; we brought it home after Thanksgiving and upstairs by the east facing window it has had plenty of opportunity to get dry, droopy and drab. Poor tree. Perhaps all the presents that are accumulating beneath its haggard boughs will make it look more festive than faded.

And the gingerbread house is looking a bit picked over. My fault. I discovered a loose gum-ball, found it was really tasty, and have since loosened a few more gum-balls. The purple ones were best, then the green ones. The red are my least favorite. Don't tell the children.

Max has learned the alphabet, which he considers quite dull compared with counting, adding, multiplying and dividing. He prefers counting the letters to reciting them. Alex is reading Stuart Little. I think he misses his friend Tamsyn. She is in New Zealand. Next week Alex and William will be at computer camp. The first week will be devoted to using Flash, and the second week will be for game programming using Stage Cast.

We need to sit for a family picture to send out in Christmas cards. It's important. It's one of those things that has been impossible to coordinate, thus stressful and frustrating, but I can't let it go. We also need to finish some shopping, and we absolutely need to ship a package to Hawaii. And last week it seemed like a perfectly delightful idea to host Christmas Eve here with my brothers and their wives and Holly and Rich and Nicholas... and I am not wussing out, but I can see that I won't be setting the table with China, hand-printing place cards, or serving figgy pudding.

Remember when I thought, wishfully, that I could write pages and pages about the joys of pregnancy and the magic of carrying life in my holy womb? I am challenged during pregnancy. It was difficult and trying. I barf. I become exhausted and get worn out... Now is my time to shine. Really. I love labor and delivery, and postpartum is no problem. Sure, I am a little sleep deprived and I was achy enough to take Advil for two days, but otherwise I feel good. I can rest, given the time. And I no longer feel nauseous, or beat up. Best of all? Our baby is healthy, and wants to be held and sung to. She makes faces and funny sounds and her tiny feet meet when we change her diaper. William, Alex and Max love their sister. They hold her and watch her, and laugh from amusement and wonder when she opens her eyes and takes us all in. I could write pages and pages about the joys of being a mother to these four children. I could write a few pages about the messes and challenges too, but mostly I feel gratitude, and a deep sense of contentment, bliss and something else that I don't know the word for. What do you call it when you are very sleepy, your nipples are sore, your breasts are heavy, you don't fit in your favorite jeans, the house is messy and then the baby smiles in her sleep and you suddenly feel profoundly happy?