Snow Days

on 29 January 2014

I took some pictures of what Snow Days look like when you home school.

The Girl has been sick all week, so she was stuck inside while Chris and the Boy went out to play.  And since she was so sad that she was missing out, her Daddy made it snow again, just for her.  (How's that for love?)

One of the nice things about the South is that snow is such an inconsistent occurance that when it happens, we really, REALLY love it.  Don't believe me?

Look at that face.  That is the joy of childhood right there.  He played until his hands were bright pink with the cold, he literally rolled and wallowed in the snow like a dog.  In fact, he did BETTER than the dog...

She just got a snowy face.  The Boy was snowy from head to toes!

Mabel Bear

on 27 January 2014

My babies each have a bear and a blanket.  I didn't set out to have them love both, I fully intended that they would have a blanket they love, but the bears were adopted by the children themselves.

As you'll remember, my Boy loves his Monte bear.  And my Girl became obsessed with Monte fairly early on.  So in order to prevent mayhem, I encouraged the Boy to give the Girl her very own bear.  He went through all of the Softies and chose a small, white bear, which he promptly handed over and the Girl promptly became obsessed with.

From the time when she was very small, she's carried Mabel with her everywhere she goes.  (In addition to her pink blanket.)  But now that she's so busy, she's realized that she needs her hands for other (more interesting) things.  Being a clever girl, she's come up with an appropriate solution:

I understand now...

on 22 January 2014

From my adolescence onwards, my Grandma asked me what of her things I wanted.

It used to make me crazy.  I didn't really want any of her things. (And I took pride in my denial of material things.)  I wanted her stories, I wanted her to tell me about the places she'd been and the things she'd seen and everything she learned from those places and things.  But those were the things she wasn't readily willing to share.  And so for a long time we were at an impasse, she and I.

When I had the Boy, she sent me her rocking chair and I had grown up enough to accept it gratefully.  And every day, I would rock my Boy in that rocking chair.

And gradually over the last few years, her things have been creeping into my home.  Her knitting needles, one set at a time, pudding dishes and glass bowls, books, and cake pans.  So that now, there are bits and bobs of my Grandma in nearly every room of my small apartment.

Last night I was rocking my children in her rocking chair and thinking about my Grandma.  And that's when I think I understood for the very first time, why she was so eager to make sure that I would have something of hers.  Because our memories of people become tied to objects associated with them, because every time I rock my babies in her rocking chair I think of her.  Every time I knit my boy a pair of socks with her knitting needles, I think of her.  Because every time I see the bowls or the pans or the Thing, I think of my Grandma.

She died early this morning.  My Dad called me at dawn to tell me that she had moved on.

And while I still wish that she had told me her stories, I'm grateful for the things she gave me.  Because now there are memories of my Grandma in the most unpredictable places.  So that as I go about my day, I can remember her.

And maybe that's all she really wanted all along.

One Tough Cookie

on 15 January 2014

I made cookies yesterday.  Plain, normal cookies. Chocolate peanut butter chip, in case you were wondering.

How excited were the kids that I made cookies?  VERY.

Chris took the Girl out to run some errands while I finished schooling with the Boy and baked a pan of cookies.  They were literally just out of the oven when Chris and our overly eager daughter got home.  As in, the cookies were still on the pan, hot from the oven.

My Girl smelled the cookies as soon as she walked through the door and ran toward the kitchen singing, "KA-COO! KA-COO!  KA-COO!"  Which is how she says "cookie." 

I was chatting with Chris when I heard a surprised yelp and turned to see my Girl next to the hot pan and a look of surprise on her face.  I said, "Did you touch the pan?"  She nodded, looking at the offensive object.  I said, "Did you get burned?"  She nodded again and came to me for a hug and a kiss.  Which I obliged.

And since she didn't cry or make a fuss, I assumed it was just the tiniest of touches.  I was wrong.  I was getting her ready for bed, when I saw this:

It actually doesn't look as bad in the photograph as it does on her skin.  It's all red and there's a blister in the middle of it.

What amazed me was that she cried not at all. 

She's my kid that never slows down, rarely cries when she's hurt, and doesn't let a failure or an injury stand in her way. 

She's also the kid that I've named each and every one of my gray hairs after.  And the number of those gray hairs is increasing at an alarming rate.

How cold is it?

on 07 January 2014

There are icicles and frost on the INSIDE of the apartment.


And really, I love winter.  I love the cold.  I love the break from the heat of summer and the bugs.  But after four years in this apartment, I have no love for the apartment itself.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a sweater to knit, for ME.  It's cold!

Concession Speech

on 06 January 2014

Last Saturday I declared that I was ready and able to rise to the challenge of my Pile of Sewing Projects.  There was a baby gift to be assembled, a birthday dress to be finished and a pile of cozy flannel nightgowns to be put together.  I put on soothing music, I opened all the blinds so as to make the apartment as bright as possible, and Christopher took over the task of occupying the children.

I worked for an hour.  I gathered and pinned and sewed and unpicked.  And unpicked.  And UNPICKED.  Until I had an epiphany.

I was beaten.  Defeated.  DONE. 

I chocked the birthday dress up to a "learning experience" and promptly threw it away.  I had gathered that skirt FIVE times.  I had stitched it to the bodice THREE times.  I had unpicked more than I ever care to unpick ever again.  I acknowledged defeat and left the field of battle with shame, but with my sanity still (sort of) in tact.

I moved on to the baby gift.  And I cut and pinned and stitched until my machine jammed at which point, expletives were thought a-plenty, though, I remain proud of the fact that I did not utter them in the presence of my children.

At that point I moved on to LAUNDRY.

But my sweet husband, unjammed the machine and proceeded to do the first step in assembling for me.  I later returned, finished the gift and then wisely packed the whole mess AWAY.  Far, FAR away in the very top of my closet until I can regain some composure.

So as you can see, my skillz are not quite so MAD as some would mistakenly believe.

I'm going back to knitting.

Two Years In

on 03 January 2014

Today is my Girl's second Birthday.

In keeping with tradition, I told her the story of her birth.  About how scared Mama was and everything that happened.  She stared at me with big eyes and a slightly furrowed brow.  Probably because she only understood about half the words.  But, and this moment captures the essence of her nature, when I finished I picked her up and she looked me in the face, laid her head on my shoulder and patted my back with her tiny little hands.  She is so quick to comfort, and she doesn't need to understand what's wrong, she just loves.  And I look at her and think, "I could learn how to be more like that."

I know that I'm her mother and therefore not an objective source, but she is one of the most interesting people I've ever met.  She speaks only in exclamation marks and often prefers the sound effect to the actual word.  She's funny and adventurous and clever.  For someone with relatively no sense of fear, she is incredibly empathetic to others who are scared.  She either LOVES you, or she doesn't have the time of day for you.  But where she loves, she loves BIG.  In fact, Go Big or Go Home might just sum up daily life with this little one.

The Girl's Second Year from M.