Hello and welcome!
I’m Marie Green and my husband’s name is David. Well, actually, those are not our real names, but that’s how I refer to us on this blog. This is a picture of our family- one of only a few of all six of us. Sometimes when I see a photo of all of us together, I’m BLOWN AWAY. All those kids!… are MINE!!!
We live in Tiny Town, Minnesota, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average. If you recognize that quote, you probably live in Minnesota, too. That, or you listen to Garrison Keillor. I used to hate Tiny Town, mostly because I was lonely, and I missed shopping at Target. Now, I love it here, and credit our incredible group of friends for making this such a great place to live and raise children. Really, you should meet these people.
I love cake batter ice cream, old things (like dishes and table clothes), ragdoll cats, handmade anything, finding ways to live our lives more simply and “green”, and long hot showers. Which are decidedly NOT green, but there you have it. Recently, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole that is otherwise known as cloth diapering. I have yet to emerge, even though I’ve been using cloth for over two years. I also love supporting women in labor as a doula (but have recently been on haitus in order to focus on our busy family life), and just about anything else that goes with babies.
I still put two spaces after a period. I love writing and taking photos, and I am always in the middle of reading a book (or often, several books), and GEEZUZ this is starting to sound like a blurb for Match.com.
Oh but of course, I love my children.
This is Joan (pronounced Jo-Anne). She’s my first-born wonder-child, the little girl I always imagined having. She’s 11 years old, in 5th grade, and is fiercely stubborn and yet equally sweet. She’s very petite. She weighed 4 lbs at birth, 15 lbs at 1 year, and has gained about 5 lbs/year since then. She is a good head shorter than most of her classmates. And yes, there will come a day when I stop talking about her size on the internets.
She’s a smart girl who excels easily in school and makes friends without much effort. She likes everything to be perfect and gets frustrated when things are not, so we’re working on this. She also loves taking dance and gymnastics classes, playing piano, being outside, usually to make mud “soup” or fairy houses. Sometimes both; soup for the fairies!
Next we have our 2nd born, Kate. She was our “surprise baby”, the one who seemed to be hiding in my womb for 5 months, and she is honestly the best surprise I’ve ever received. Kate is also 11 years old and in 5th grade. She’s every bit as smart and outgoing as her sister, with an extra element of sensitivity thrown in. If she had her way, she’d stay by her mama’s side, day and night, and nothing bad would ever happen to anyone, anywhere, in the world. Oddly, since birth Kate has been consistently 1 lb heavier than her sister, so she too is quite petite.
Kate is probably our most challenging child to raise because of her intuitive nature and soft heart. Also? Her ever-loving WORRYING. However, she stretches me in beautiful ways, and I’m so grateful for all she’s taught me, both about parenting and about myself. Like, for example, being a dickhead to a sensitive child doesn’t help anyone. Ahem. I’m learning, I swear. This year Kate has been enjoying being on a gymnastic team, and spends most of her free time doing flips across the living room floor.
They are identical twins, so alike and so different that I can’t even wrap my mind around it. Most people cannot tell them apart, though they usually have different haircuts. Both girls are at ease around their peers but PAINFULLY SHY around adults, even adults that they know well, though in the past year they are getting better about this. They have been equal parts a challenge and a blessing, both to us as parents and to each other. I am privileged to witness their unique bond, even though that sometimes involves a great deal fighting and crying.
Next, we have our 7 year old Marin. From the moment I saw her, I was instantly, wholly smitten. The combination of her chubby cheeks, her dimple (singular), her sparkling brown eyes, her soft curls, and her sweet little voice makes her charming to nearly everyone. She’s loud though, whoo-boy is she ever loud. Also? Bossy.
She came into our lives when her twin sisters were almost 4, and has been the easiest baby/child from the start. Well, minus that 6-month-long ear infection. That sucked. But usually she’s happy and EASY-GOING. She (thankfully) is nowhere near as stubborn and willful as her sisters; however, she somehow manages to get her way a surprising amount of the time. She is in first grade and loves her teacher so much that it makes my heart swell.
After months of agony of deciding “should we or shouldn’t we?” (back story here, here, here, and here as well as several other posts in late 2010), I became pregnant with our fourth child in December 2010. It was a difficult pregnancy (as documented in nearly every post from February 2011 until her birth in September 2011), and my husband and I were both feeling ambivalent at times about having one more child. I expected this out of David, but it surprised me that I also felt that way, considering how badly I had experienced babywant.
With David by my side, Olive was born into my arms, in a birth tub in our living room, in September 2011. The fact that she was born at home is a dream come true for me (it was a HBA2C, or Homebirth after 2 Csections), and I’m still basking in the glow of that day. So far it looks like we’re going to keep her, despite her nightly habit of hollering at us no matter what we do. In fact, during the entire first year of her life, I’m not sure she got a combined total of 8 hours of sleep. I’m very tired, as you can imagine. Not the easiest baby, this one. At least she’s adorable? Updated to add: at two years old, she finally sleeps all night long (most nights), and life is so much better when lived rested.
We are a fairly normal family living a fairly mundane life, yet finding the spectacular in the ordinary and having struggles where others find ease. Isn’t that what we’re all doing?
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