choose your own adventure

As I was balancing Ruby on my thigh, careful to keep her out of reach of my pad thai, “So, they named their new baby August, Gus for short. He…”

“Daddy! Papa! Dadadadadadadadadaaaaaaaaad.”

“Margot, mama is telling me about Jen and Jeff’s new baby. I’d like to listen to her. What do you need?”

“Look at my yellow truck. Isn’t is awesome?”

“Yes. Awesome. I’d love to check it out and play with you after dinner.”

“So, anyway, he is so sweet and you really do totally forget how small newborns are and it was so wild to hold him on the day Ruby went into the ICU. They totally loved…Ruby, no baby, that’s too spicy for you,” as I pry pad thai out of her fist and she arches her back in protest.

“How did the birth go? Were they…”

“Mama! I really need milk right now! And I think we should eat cookies instead of dinner.”

Andy fetches a cup of milk. Margot lets him know she wants the ‘smaller silver cup’. He transfers the milk. He tells her we can’t eat cookies until after dinner. Ruby wants to nurse. Margot wants to tell us a story. Alice hovers seven inches from my plate. Sam, our 18 pound cat, meows incessantly, terrified we have forgotten to feed him.

“Remember that deer? He had a broken leg. I felt sad about that. I really do think we should eat cookies.”

This is why Andy and I need dates. Our conversations happen in fits and spurts. I still haven’t told him how the birth went. It’s like one of those choose-your-own-adventure books. Our kids pick a different chapter and we follow, changing the story forever.

Our time with the girls is funny and rewarding, especially so when balanced with time without the girls.  I re-remember this every time Andy and I have time together, where silence cushions our fluid stories and space surrounds our hand-holding. We had a date last Saturday. I wrote about it in this week’s mama digs, PUNCH IT*.


*A fun little tid bit: the PUNCH IT lady happens to be a local politician…

26 Responses to choose your own adventure

  1. This sounds like virtually every conversation I have with my husband!!!

  2. Annie says:

    Choose your own adventure. That really covers it. And gives it a positive spin. Love it!

  3. Jenny V says:

    Sounds a lot like our house. Great post Nici…you’ve inspired me to orchestrate a date night. Love that reconnection with my love!

  4. Lillian says:

    I’m laughing so hard at the “choose your own adventure” comparison. My little ones are and 3 and you could not be more right on – I’m right there with you:)

  5. Sarah says:

    laughing out loud with

    Dude, this homegirl and that ski fiend, we’ve gotta punch it.

  6. Angie says:

    Montana Homegirl, You are speakin’ my language…this is exactly every conversation I have with my husband. So many interruptions that by the time there is a short lull I have totally forgotten what I was going to say. I am so very glad you had a great date with the hubs. My hubs surprised me by taking me out to breakfast this morning :) The 5 & 3 year old were in school so we ONLY had the one year old with us. Yes, there was spoon banging and the intermittent shout out but, for the most part, we were able to finish sentences and only cut up our own food (the little one snacked on cheerios…no cutting required!)We even browsed the aisles of Target before picking up the half day kindergartner and half day preschooler.

    Oh, and I think you’re awesome. I’ve been following for awhile but I don’t always comment :)

    Angie from Ohio (Ohio Homegirl)

  7. Anonymous says:

    So often, I tell my husband, “I have something I would like you to read.” He always says, “let me takes a guess….Montana? Or Kelle (Hampton)? Or Facebook? Or….” Think after he reads this mama digs, we’ll officially have to start calling you “Montana Homegirl” instead. ha!!

    Punch it! Hilarious! You and Andy will be punching it for many years to come!

    My husband and I went to Jamaica for our honeymoon. Some man must have said, “Look at those sea urchins” a thousand times during our 30 minute boat ride. 6 years later, my husband and I still find ways to fit “sea urchins” into conversation. It guarantees a laugh every time.

    Hmmm, maybe we should start shouting sea urchins or punch it every time the kids interrupt our conversations….which is about every 5 seconds! =)

    So happy you still were able to get away for your date!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  8. EcoGrrl says:

    love the photograph and the way you both are looking in your eyes…so lovely…happy holidays…

  9. Sarah S. says:

    So true – the choose your own adventure family dinners are daily at our house. And what a coincidence that my sister just had a baby in Missoula ten-weeks ago named Augustus or Gus for short?!

  10. Erin says:

    GOOD GOD. I am so relieved that this routine isn’t limited to my house.

    We had a date night on Friday and got stuck in a huge traffic jam. It was awesome to have a conversation. :)

  11. Tonya says:

    Having uninterrupted time to enjoy your spouse is so important. Dh and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in New Orleans this weekend. We had an awesome time. I think the fact that we don’t get to do it whenever we want, makes us appreciate it even more.

    Glad y’all had fun!

  12. Jeanne says:

    Lovely picture. I especially like how you were able to capture the skis in the frame.

  13. Raina says:

    Thanks for the giggle! My husband and I don’t date enough either, but when we do our conversations revert back to our highschool days and terms like “dude and punch it” would most definitely sneak their way in and make us laugh!

  14. Sage says:

    Ah yes, I know that chaos! And as always, love your positive spin. It is most always less stressful to just go with it. I keep reminding myself that in just a few short years, the family conversations will be so different and much less chaotic. Thank goodness, they wear on me. xo

  15. Gramomster says:

    Oh yes, entire days of this conversation, or exceedingly close analogs. Sometimes it’s 2 or 3 days later that I’ll suddenly remember exactly where we were in a conversation, and go running to find Jim, or get on FB or text him… “HONEY!!! I just remembered what I was in the middle of telling you! It actually WAS really important!!!”
    Someday my brain will ooze its way back into my skull, and I will be slightly less acutely wacked out, and revert to my quieter, chronic state of wackedness that is just the lotsofstufftokeeptrackofallthetime normality of mother/wife/womanhood.

  16. Amy says:

    Ha, totally planned my own ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ blog all day… so in fear of copying, just included it in the post, not as the title.
    Loved this and the mamalode… for some reason it brought tears to my eyes??? uhh… whats that all about?
    Anyone else? Am I crazy? (maybe pregnant?!???)
    Anyways, love it.

  17. KWQR says:

    Yep, same at our house. The whole non-linear-ness of pretty much every conversation was a big shocker for me when first becoming a parent. I knew to expect the tired, the crying, the poop… but the new way of communicating in fits & starts & bits & pieces was a big adjustment.
    Dates with husband are oh-so-important… reminding me why I love this crazy life so very much. They are rare & time speeds up during such dates, but that connection is so vital for the whole family.
    “Punch it” cracked me up!

  18. TRB Holt says:

    I remember those days with you and your brother…more so when you were older and I was fixing breakfast, packing lunches, finding lost books, making sure running gear and soccer gear was clean & in sight all in about a 15 minute span before the bus came….ahhh to have that back again! Love you so….xoxo

  19. Rachael says:

    Margot’s quotes kill me every time. I literally can’t read your posts in the library anymore because I cause a disturbance.

  20. Marti says:

    This is awesome!

  21. Katie says:

    Very entertaining! Eric and I rarely have a date, but when we do we always remember why we got married. Checking in with each other every now and then keeps us strong when everything just feels like utter chaos.

    Sounds like it was a lovely Saturday!

  22. I can so relate-kids,cats,dog–random neighbor children–can’t get a complete thought together. I treasure our alone time. I remember every moment of our few dates too. Actually at this point they have obtained a totally mythic proportion of perfectness in my mind!

  23. Zoe says:

    Oh sweet!! I love the photos! So much snow up there already. Awesome!
    Hell, dude, I drove up that road when we were in Missoula in June, just to see, and I don’t think I went over 25 then! I’d had thoughts of taking the lift to the top, but they weren’t open as rumored.
    Cannot imagine going 30 on the way down in snow! Dude… tried to punch it. Dude… spun out. Dude…
    What a fun and adventurous day! We get few dates either. Which was not the plan for this stage of life! But, the nifty surprises we get, eh? Anyhoo, we’ve got one lined up for tomorrow night. Hubby got drafted to man an Amnesty International table at the Ozzy concert downtown, needed a crew of 4, so he and I and a couple friends are doing the table, and then we may wander around downtown a bit, grab a snack, converse in full sentences. The wonder of such a simple act!
    And Ozzy! Youth reclaimation much? LOL

  24. Tina says:

    This post makes my heart happy.

    Glad you got to have some time to hit the slopes and reconnect with Andy. My husband and I were able to get out on Saturday (for his work Christmas party) without the kids also… we hardly spoke on the hour drive there, just enjoyed the silence. It was lovely.

  25. Kelle says:

    Loved this article…checkin in for nuggs before i run off with the girls. I’ll come back with a beer later tonight. xoxo

  26. lizbonj says:

    Your post on essential oils has me really interested in testing some out! i wonder if you recommend a book or what resource you use in order to know what each oil is for and how to use it.

    Thank you!!!