Leike and the Boy

on 27 April 2012

I've had Leike a long time.

She's 14 years old this Spring and I've had her since she was maybe 5 weeks old.  She's been with me longer than Chris, longer than the Boy, longer even than Samwise.

She's starting to show her age lately...lots of puking, a couple of not-making-it-to-the-box moments that were super fun with a newborn.  More than making me nervous, it makes me sad...she's a good friend, and the prospect of letting her go, just makes me sad.

She freaked out a bit when we brought the Boy home from the hospital when he was born.  And by "freaked out" I mean she attacked me, which then turned into Chris attacking her.  But she settled in eventually.  And we've worked really hard to teach the Boy how to listen to the cats and respect their personal space.

She freaked out not at all when we brought the Girl home.  But nor is she particularly curious about our wee lass.  I think she's waiting for the Girl to do something interesting.

I was doing bedtime with the Boy last night.  We were reading and cuddling on his bed.  And Leike frequently comes in to the Boy's room when I do bedtime with him.  She purrs and (usually) is content to lay at the foot of the Boy's bed while we read and cuddle and then I take her with me when I leave the Boy to sleep (per his request).

But last night?  Last night, I was reading and cuddling with the Boy and Leike came in per usual.  She hopped up on the bed and started working her way in between me and the Boy.  I mistakenly thought she was coming to cuddle with ME.  No, no.  She purred happily and rubbed her head against my hands, and then curled up on the Boy's belly.  He looked at me and said, "Leike is on top of me, Mama."  And I said, "Yep, she came to cuddle you.  It means she likes you."

We lay there all together just cuddling and petting Leike's super soft fur.  I told the Boy about how I brought her home so long ago, so long ago that she fit in my left hand, I told him about how she and I moved across the country and met Daddy, and I told him about how she freaked out when we brought him home.

I know that not everyone is a "pet" person, not everyone gets the whole "useless animal in the house" thing, but it's moments like these that make me grateful for my animals.  They teach us different things than the people in our lives, they give us a form of grace.  And some day when Leike has drifted out of my life, I'll look back on these moments and be grateful for that grace.

And it only took FOUR months!

on 18 April 2012

Now, I don't want to give anyone out there a coronary episode, but...

Chris' Christmas socks are finally, FINALLY finished!

You might remember, I started some socks for him back in September.  I did the colorwork pattern but then couldn't for the life of me get the calf/ankle decreases to work in an attractive way, so after making FOUR attempts at it, I cut my losses and literally tossed the thing in the trash (wail!).  I then cast on these...

It's just a plain ol' vanilla sock with an Estonia folk pattern knit around the ankle.  I did nothing fancy with materials, as my main man likes his wool relatively unprocessed and worsted.  The color and toe are Cascade 220 which is marvelous stuff.  And the best part?  I finished them just in time for SUMMER.

I am AWESOME that way!

Not Hiking

on 16 April 2012

I've always loved hiking. 

Well, hiking in the Pacific Northwest is a soggy affair that leaves a lot to be desired, but when the weather is nice, there's nothing as beautiful as THAT.  But we have so much lovely weather down South, that hiking is a treat.  Well, except in the summer when you think you might melt.  But other than that, hiking is my favorite weekend activity.

Before I had Children, hiking was always a challenging adventure.  Chris and I would pick a moderate to difficult trail and up we would go.  And then we had the Boy but we were reluctant to let that one go, so we acquired an awesome toddler backpack and continued.  You might remember this one from the summer before last.

The Boy is now sufficiently big that he doesn't want to ride in the backpack anymore, he wants to hike with us.  And by hike, what he really means is play in the DIRT!

We're all in favor of dirt in our household.  I don't believe in Antibacterializing your Childhood, I think some germs are good for a healthy immune system, so I let the Boy play in the dirt.  But when we're hiking, I can't get over this mindset that it should be challenging!  It's a HIKE, not a Mosey, not a Stroll, not a Meander, it's a HIKE.

So needless to say, hiking at the pace of a 3 year old doesn't quite satisfy my desire for adventure.

Saturday the weather was gorgeous and I had absolutely nothing planned for our Saturday, so Chris wanted to hike.  After the chickadees had naps, we popped up to Eno River State park since it's reasonably close and familiar (we've hiked several of their trails before).  We only had an hour or so before we needed to hop on the dinner-bath-bedtime merry-go-round, so we chose the Cole Mill trail which is just over a mile.

We get started and it's nice a flat, and the Boy (who loves dirt) is in 7th heaven.  We're walking along the trail, well, walking is a bit of a stretch because the Boy is stopping every couple of steps to pick up STICKS!  STICKS, MAMA, STICKS!  And Chris keeps reminding me that this isn't adventure, it certainly isn't exercise, this is a family walk in the woods now.  So we let the Boy pick up sticks.  After 50 feet or so, it becomes apparent that this child is CLEANING the forest floor!

But we let him, at least until his hands were so full that he couldn't carry anymore, and he was so focused on the STICKS that he kept falling down.  At that point I asked him to please drop the sticks and just WALK for the love of mike.

So he did.  He's very obedient this one, and I love him for it.

He took 2 steps when I hear from behind me, LOOK, MAMA, LOOK!  PINE CONES!"  And before I could turn around he was picking up pine cones in every shape and size he could find.

At that point Chris and I looked at each other and just burst into laughter.  This child...I'm at a loss for words.  He is hilarious.  He is adventurous.  He is wicked smart.  He did the exact same thing with the pine cones that he did with the sticks until he kept falling down.  At which point I asked him to please drop the pine cones and just WALK.

I kept waiting to hear, LOOK, MAMA, LOOK!  ROCKS!  But I didn't.  At least until we reached the river, and then, oh dear people, it was all we could do to pry him out of the throwing-rocks-in-the-river-playing-in-all-the-amazing-mud that he could find.  It's a good thing we like dirt in our family because by the end of that mile we were covered in it.

The Girl was in the bjorn and happy as could be watching her crazy brother.  Chris was endeared of the tiny little wildflowers, and we had a great conversation about the potential metaphor there.  That there's value and great beauty in just being small.  Not being a beautiful and highly cultivated rose in some magnificent garden, but just a small little wildflower, brightening our corner of a very big forest.

All in all, it was a wonderful day.  But it was NOT hiking.

Proof is in the Pudding

on 11 April 2012

The Girl is so mellow and sweet that I have a hard time convincing my family that she fusses.  And when she fusses, it's best to be in another town so as not to hear the racket.

She was annoyed with me the other day.  (I had a freelancing job and my attention was divided.)  She let me know just what she thought of that...

 (Incidentally, I have another freelancing job this week, which is great, we need the money...but well, now you all know what my apartment is going to sound like the entire time I'm working.  AWESOME.)


on 09 April 2012


I spent about 40 minutes Easter morning trying to capture my precious children on the camera.  And this is what I got...

She was not best pleased with me.  As you can see, she's in a dress.  Also frilly socks, shoes and a darling matching sweater.  This, all on a girl who loves nothing better than being NAKED.  I guess I'm lucky I got a shot of her NOT fussing.

Aaaaaaaaand, asleep.  At least the Boy is smiling, right?  I did try for a non-fakey-fake smile, but when I requested a sincere smile he just pulled an even goofier face.  C'est la vie.

Some Days

on 04 April 2012

Some days you just need a woobie on your head.

I'm not sure why.  But he just needed to have his woobie on his head.

He's such a big boy.  He's more and more about his Daddy and less about me.  I have some moments as a mother that just break my heart.  And I know that I just have to stand and let my heart break because it's better for my babies.  It's hard not to have the luxury of sitting down for a good cry, or having a Tired Day, or going to the bathroom alone.

3 Months Sweet

on 03 April 2012


This is me.

Throwing in the towel.

In the Battle of the Bink. 

My darling daughter is not foul.  She's not mean.  She's just deliberate.  If there's a bink and we help her out, she takes it.  She doesn't fling it.  But nor does she cry for one.  She's found a solution she prefers.

She's three months old.  The boy is realizing that she's not going anywhere.  He's not actively mean to her, but it's becoming more obvious that he's missing his role at center stage.  I keep quietly reminding him of all the cool things he can do because he's Bigger, I've preserved and protected our bedtime cuddles and read-aloud, and I feel a tremendous amount of sympathy for him, but I try to remind him that having a family is totally worth the inconvenience of it.

Have you heard of the Wishing of Biddy Malone?  In the course of the story the thrushes sing "Biddy Malone all alone!  Biddy Malone all alone!"  And when my poor, mellow girl gets left all alone in the bouncy seat while I'm making dinner or cleaning up with the Boy, she starts to fuss.  She hates being left all alone...she doesn't need to be held all the time, but she wants to be able to see us.  And when she starts to fuss the Boy sings, "BIDDY MALONE  ALL ALONE!"

I still have days when I can't get my balance between the babies, the house, and all the things I need to do and the other things I want to do.  But my blessing is the night.  I lay down my un-coordination, my off balance day, and I get up in the morning and try again.

And thankfully, my babies let me.