Let them eat Berries

on 28 February 2012

Chris is dangerous at Costco.  So much that there should be some sort of FBI posting somewhere with the words "notorious" and "can't stick to a LIST to save his life" on it.  But last week, I wasn't complaining at all when he brought home  a big box of fresh strawberries.

And neither was the Boy.

We were ostensibly "sharing" but by "sharing" he meant that I could have ONE and he would jealously guard all the rest for himself.

I was thinking of the end of Lord of the Rings, when they said that the summer after the "Scouring of the Shire" the strawberries and cream were so abundant that the children could have bathed in them.

If it weren't so sticky, I might have suggested that.

As for his hair...yeah, there's a story there.

Celebrating my Boy

on 27 February 2012

There have been a lot of Girly posts around these parts lately.

Lest any of you think that I'm completely bumfuzzled by her to the point where I have cast aside my child who refuses to stop growing up, think again.  This week, we're celebrating the Boy, because he's so awesome, why wouldn't you celebrate him?

We were dogsitting Hogan last week.  The Boy decided that Hogan was just a really big, really animated toy dinosaur.  Hogan did nothing whatsoever to counteract this misguided notion, since he just laid there and let the Boy run the dinosaurs all over him.  It was awesome.

The Empress of Cheerfulness

on 15 February 2012

February 7th was Charles Dickens' 200th birthday.

I celebrated by starting my favorite biography of him.  It's a behemoth, but very well done, so worth the weight.  I'm up to the 1840s, Dickens is now established as THE author of his age, and one of the many nicknames the British public had for him was the Emperor of Cheerfulness, which is sort of ironic because I don't believe for a moment that he was naturally predisposed to being cheerful, and now that I think about it, his books are melancholy and pessimistic as much as they're lighthearted and fun.  But I digress.

I was reading away yesterday and I came across that nickname and I thought, "That's how I feel right now.  Like I've been crowned the Empress of Cheerfulness."

Chris is deep in his annual Melancholy February Funk, he's snappy and impatient with all of us.  I know it comes every year and I've just accepted that this is part of loving him, but every year I still work hard to cheer him out of it.  I open all the blinds and let the winter sunshine fill up our home.  I play happy music, I let him sleep in, I keep a steady supply of yummy treats in the house.  I try to do as much of the home work as I can so that he can just regroup.  And this year, I've been shepherding the kids out of his space as much as I'm able.

See, I'm an adult.  I understand that Chris is just human...that he has grouchy days, days when he's tired, days when he's impatient and frustrated or discouraged.  But the Boy?  Not so much.  He still thinks his daddy is a superhero who can DO anything.  And he has plenty of time to discover that Mama and Daddy are made of clay, just like him, that we're human and get tired and impatient and have bad days.  While he's small, I'd like to foster this belief in our Superhero-ness as much as I can.

But can I just whisper a secret here?  Just between you and me?  I'm tired.  The Girl is down to eating only once in the night, but that doesn't mean she doesn't wake up, or that she doesn't wake ME up.  So between the sleep deprivation and all of my energy going to try cheer up a grouchy husband, and shield a puzzled child from his grouchy Daddy, and feed an adorable but bemused baby girl, I'm just a little tired.

I've been thinking about Margaret Hale from North and South.  How after her mother died and her father went to Oxford to visit friends she said, "[she] felt how great and long had been the pressure on her time and spirits.  It was astonishing, almost stunning, to feel herself so much at liberty; no one depending on her for cheering care, if not for positive happiness...she might be idle, and silent, and forgetful, --and what seemed worth more than all the other privileges --she might be unhappy if she liked."

I lay down yesterday afternoon to try to sleep a bit, but I couldn't.   I was thinking about how every year I get to this point.  Chris sinks into his funk, I spend the first two weeks of the month working myself into a lather to try to cheer him out of it, and the last two weeks of the month being tired and just keeping my head down and letting him work it out on his own.  I'm torn between a long established habit and a strong desire to persevere, to continue to work hard to cheer him up and make home as happy as it can be for him.  Because, tired as I am, I still love that man of mine.  It breaks my heart a little to see him be sad and disgruntled.  And so I wonder if it's our actions, or our desires that end up earning a title like the Empress of Cheerfulness.

Even if I don't feel particularly cheerful myself.

Blessing our Blessing

on 06 February 2012

We don't do christenings in our church.  New babies are given a name and a blessing by their fathers, and we did the Girl's on Sunday. 

My sisters combined their formidable talents to sew a blessing dress for her and it's just as exquisite as you might imagine.  Chris' mom and Aunt came up from the low country for it and my sister and her family and my parents and my own formidable 96 year old grandmother joined us for the occasion.

If you're wondering where the Boy is, in all these pictures, he had run off with his cousins as soon as the cameras came out.  Child after my own heart, alas, I couldn't very well skive off since I am the Mother...

Little Miss Squishy did great, just like her brother.  And just like her brother, she too reached a point when she could tolerate no more...

And in other blessing news, today is Christopher's birthday.  We celebrated last night with my family, my sister made us an awesome dinner and topped it all with a red velvet cake for Chris (my mom supplied a peach pie that I smiled over and then spirited away...I'm making peach milk today...).  I made him biscuits and gravy for breakfast this morning, and surprised him with a subscription to some gun magazine that he wanted.  I'm grateful everyday for this man of mine.  If you perchance to see him, or are friends with him on Facebook, wish him a happy birthday, would you?

1 Month and Feeling Strong

on 03 February 2012

Guess who's a month old today?

And just for comparison, these were the same pants she wore home from the hospital, but back then they looked like this:

Please note how they do not touch her anywhere!  I'm quite proud of myself, and given that I've done precious little in the past month but feed her and the Boy and myself, I need to take a little pride in that.

She's so cute.  And she really is a sweet baby.  We're having a minor battle of wills in the evenings.  She wants to nap from 6-9pm and then stay awake into the wee hours, and I prefer her to stay awake until 9pm and then SLEEP in the wee hours.  There's quite a bit of howling in protest on her part and I calmly remind her that we all make sacrifices to be part of a family, and this is the sacrifice her father and I are asking her to make so that we can all get a little sleep at night.  (Thank you, Brett, for reminding me of that one!)  It's really just a couple of hours that we battle, since she gets a bath and unlimited nursing after 7pm.

The Boy still loves her and insists that she's HIS baby.  He doesn't want to hold her much, he claims she's too heavy for him, but he's quick to climb up to wherever we are so that he can cuddle and pet her.

All told, she fits in just great and I think we'll keep her on.

My Alter Ego

on 01 February 2012

I had a strange realization late Monday night.

Are you ready for it?

I am the Laundry Fairy.

I've been bemoaning the fact that the Laundry Fairy (she who shows up in the night and washes, dries and neatly folds all of the laundry while we sleep) never visits my house for years.  And Monday night, I found myself surreptitiously washing, drying and folding laundry for the whole family and then sneaking into my son's room to put the folded laundry away while he slept.  Then neatly stacking Chris' laundry for him in a chair in the bedroom for him to put away.  And finally folding and sorting and putting away teeny, tiny, no-longer-covered-in-poop-or-pee clothes for the Girl.  That's when I knew that I had a not-so-secret Identity.

And that's also when I knew that it wasn't some sort of undeserving behavior on my part, it's more that I didn't realize that it was really my nocturnal self that I needed to discover.

But I'm curious, am I the only Laundry Fairy out there?