Kai is desparate for me to have another baby.  “A baby of my OWN.” he clarifies, when I tell him about this-or-that thing this-or-that baby cousin just did.  New baby cousins don’t cut it.  He wants a Hagan Baby, from my belly.

It’s an interesting thing to reflect upon on this day, the day of my first nephews birth.  Having Baby Owen appear and seeing all the photos and stories from across the pond (we did get a lovely bonding time last Christmas, when he fell asleep in my arms and his father offered to take him back from me and I just smiled and said “nope!” and kept walking and rocking and loving) having Owen join the family opened up this new possibility I’d never experienced – getting some Baby time without having to go through the shenanigans of having a darn Baby.

I just got back from a trip to see Baby Charlie, and oh!, what a dear baby he is.  I got to see smiles, and hear his first laugh, and I also rocked him to sleep in my arms and held on for hours (seriously, it’s just bliss.  I have a problem.) and since there are only 4 states in between us and not an ocean, I’m hoping for more Baby Charlie in my near future.

But Kai.  Kai has not met Baby Charlie.  Kai was unimpressed by Baby Owen’s doing nothing but nursing and sleeping.  Kai wants…                                     maxresdefault

I don’t know what Kai really wants.  A sibling other than Isaac?  Someone to be older than?  “A girl,” he insists when I ask, “we need a girl on Team Hagan.”

He’s started asking questions about gender and babies and where they are grown and how they are made, and we’ve gotten to the egg and the sperm and all the specific genital parts, but not quite to how it all wham bam thank you ma’ams.  I’m really pleased he’s totally comfy asking me everything, and pretty pleased with how I’m responding.  Honestly, accurately, only answering what he asks.  Andrew walked in on Kai and I looking over a picture I”d just drawn of men vs. women’s nethers, and he went “oh!” and slowly backed away.  But Kai and I are doing good, I think.

“You’re my baby,” I said last time he asked for me to please, please, please have another baby, and he responded, “but I”m in first grade, Mom.  It’s not the same.”  And he is, of course, right.  That precious bliss of a baby falling asleep in my arms, that’s not where we are any more.  But this place of discovery and questions and teaching and laughter and learning the word “testicle” and commenting that is sounds like a popsicle brand – that’s pretty fun too.

Fly-by – hellloooooooo!

Fly-by – hellloooooooo!

Hi!  We survived August!

And jumped right into a busy, mostly joyful, September.  The boys are thrilled to be back in school, and everything seems to be going swimmingly with that.  The cost of all the back-to-school shenanigans has, once again, taken me by surprise ($22 for the cheapest school photo package! $25 for PTA! $15 for back-to-school picnic!) and I’m a little grumbly, but really, I should just go ahead and adjust that cash envelope already and write Future Erika a note not to adjust it back down in the winter when She thinks “we can’t really need this much for back-to-school shenanigans.  It must’ve just been a strange year.”, as She does every year.

Andrew and I have been finishing up a long-desired outside project – we’ve cleaned up the “junk” corner of the yard (where previous owners have been throwing yard and construction waste, Christmas Trees, and rotting firewood, for YEARS), framed and mulched it, and moved the trampoline over there.  In the new spot vacated by the trampoline, we are putting up a swingset for the kids.  We got it for free off of freecycle, and have been cleaning, staining, replacing some stuff, getting it ready…all summer.  We got half of it up last weekend, and (fingers crossed!) will finish up this weekend.

Stage one - pretty corner, shifted trampoline.

Stage one – pretty corner, shifted trampoline.

Both our jobs got CRAZY this September.  My work house increased, and the growing pains of shifting everything else I do around that haven’t quite settled yet.  Andrew has an AWESOME new not-ready-for-public-sharing project at work, which involves rather more travel than we’re used to. We’re both thrilled at the new creative opportunities at our jobs…but it’s a lot of crazy too.  Waiting for the dust to settle.

Before I got my new work hours, I’d planned to spend those hours working on my new creative project: my Eating Liturgically blog.  It’s all planned and worked out, with the first month or so of blogs and recipes planned…IN MY HEAD.  I have got to start getting some stuff in 1s and 0s, you know?  I’m hoping not to have to go all JK Rowling on this and get up at 4am and work before my kids get up…but maybe?  Ugh.  Creative Muses are so mean sometimes. (Also, I’m really excited for this! I want to do it! Just at, you know, 10am.)

Anyway, that’s my flyby update – mwah!

Silver Linings. Very thin ones.

Silver Linings. Very thin ones.

August is, as always, August.  Both kids are rough without school structures and therapies, Andrew and my work schedules remain full, childcare is costly and logistically complicated, it’s stupid hot, etc, etc, etc…but there are a few good things.  Kind of good.  You can note their goodness as you sink into the bog of August soul-sucking angst.

  1. Family rallies.  We have a steady stream of family coming in to adjust the adult to child ratio, to watch the kids so we can squeeze work in, to facilitate the Camp Hagan schedule I set up to try to give the kids some sense of order.  Aunt Kyla is here this week, Cousin Lena is coming for a long weekend, then Grandma Kathy comes on her heels…and then it will very nearly be the first day of school.  It is wonderful not only to see family, but to feel their love and support in their sacrifice of time.
  2. Be in the now.  The only way to get through August, I find, is to shut down the long-term thinking.  It’s too much.  It’s impossible.  It’s an unreasonable time frame of hard.  When you look at it, you get completely overwhelmed and kinda bitchy (I mean, I do anyway).  So – you only look at today, and maybe a peek at tomorrow to be sure you have childcare.  And you find that today, this hour, this minute, this breath, you are, in fact, doing it.  You are okay.  And the next breath.  And the next.  It’s – good? – to be reminded of that.  It does take some mental discipline.
  3. Setting expectations.  We’re not new to this August thang.  So, when you say year after year to your job, your church, your friends, your facebook feed “August Hard.  We can’t do August.  No, it’s August.”…well, people eventually get it, and stop asking you to do things in August.  My daily log in my BuJo has way less items on it, and that’s essential because I can’t do anything, it’s August…but it’s kind of nice to have a few less plates going in general.
  4. First Day of School Joy.  I’ve heard other families talk about their kids (and even sometimes the parents, which I do not understand, but whatever) mourning the end of summer.  Resisting the new school year.  Whining about getting up in the morning.  Not my family!  We all eagerly see the day count get shorter and shorter, and on that First Day of School, there is so much rejoicing in our house.  That much joy has to be a good thing.

This August is additionally hard as it’s our first in Trumplandia.  The internal stress from the home combined with the external stress of poking the bear of North Korea/nuclear war and Nazi’s marching about in Virginia  (good Lord, who’dve ever thought I’d type that sentence in freaking 2017…?) is at times simply too much.  But we do have these small silver linings as well.