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Showing posts from 2007

To My Four Year Old Girl

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Wait, didn't I just write your 3rd birthday letter? Has it already been a year?

And yet, when I look at you I can see the changes this past year has wrought, imperceptible at first from one day to the next, but looking back I wonder where my baby girl has gone.

To start with you are taller, and you are slender, barely any baby fat is left. You've suddenly started doing things independently, emerging from the bathroom wiped and washed and clothed. You've started wanting to stir your own yogurt and choose your own outfits and do your own "school work", and make your own bed, meticulously. I feel a sudden twinge whenever you come out of the bathroom as I realize that in the past month you have suddenly grown up in one more area without me saying or doing anything, besides not running to wipe you the instant you called. You got tired of waiting until I was finished whatever else I was doing before coming to help you.

You can pronounce the letter l now. Sometime this yea…

And the Teddy Bear Tea Party was Fabulous.

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Well, when you are a girl who loves pretty things and girly things, it seems that the best way to celebrate your 4th birthday is with a tea party, complete with mini tarts, sandwiches, finger jello and homemade chocolates.


Thanks to a tip from Mary about oiling the poor thing the sewing machine continued to bravely soldier on, which is a good thing, because I didn't really have a back up plan of this tent didn't workout. The Girl begged to sleep in it tonight, so I let her of course. (This used to be shower curtains at my MIL's. I tried dying them to use in my living room but the color was wrong. It's a perfect tent though. What you can't see is the window at the back with white curtains that can tie back, and that you can close up the door by sewing yourself in or out. Now that's done, I can maybe get some sleep.)

Little girls on their best behavior. I've been taking cues from Montessori with the Girl and it works. If you slow down and model proper and caref…

One Year Ago Today

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You emerged tiny and slippery. Your body was warm and firm. I found strength I didn't know I had birthing you. It was not the strength of stone, firm, hard, unmoving, but the strength of a young willow; the ability to bend, and not break, to yield to the storms instead of resisting them, to hold my arms up in surrender and let the forces around bend and shape me all the while trusting that it would not carry me away, trusting in the rock that holds me but no longer trying to be the rock. I learned at last not to try and uselessly fight the way things are, but to face the way they are and find a way through it instead. It's hard to believe that such a tiny bundle could bring in her wake such great wisdom and peace, but you did.

It's been really great to not have any depression this year, at all. I don't know why, but I'm grateful. Babies are a lot of fun when you're not feeling overwhelmed by life. And you are especially fun, perhaps the funnest baby ever. I hear…

My Little Hanukkah House

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I've been wanting to participate in boo mama's house tour since the last time she did one. Why? Oh, for the same reason that I like to bare my soul to the internet. Who knows. Anyway, we don't really get into Christmas decorations, but here is what you would have seen if you came to my house during Hanukkah last week.


Every night they would take turns to paint another candle flame until the whole menorah was lit.

These little stars were painstakingly cut out by my 6 year old, and the the Girl embossed them with a swirly pattern using the end of a wooden spoon. The silver ones are old foil plates. (I stole this straight from this months issue of family fun magazine.) They look much prettier than I can show in the photo.

And here is this year's home made menorah. Yes it looks like I just drilled holes in a 2 by four, but really it's white birch, and has such pretty colors in it. And I loved how this years was so sturdy and solid compared to the clay ones that we made la…

Can't. Stop. Sewing.

I hope everyone who celebrates Hannukah had a good time because we certainly did. I'm starting to get this whole holiday thing down and find the memories in it for my kids. It's harder than you might think to do that with a holiday you didn't celebrate when you were a kid. But we baked and sang and gambled for chocolate until we were almost sick. We made cute homemade decorations and the kids got to light candles each night and take turns updating the menorah we painted on our window. There was even dancing this year.

My sewing machine is making unhappy noises that may imply that I work it too hard. I don't know why it would feel that way. I finished all of the gifts that I had planned so far, except the
pajamas I was making for the kids. It turns out those are pretty hard to throw together without a pattern. It always irks me when I can't figure out a pattern myself and have to buy one instead. I mean, what's the point of sewing gifts out of what you have on han…

And now for something completely different

I love it when I throw out deep thoughts and don't even get a comment, let alone discussion or disagreement. And since i love the thunderous silence of an empty inbox so much, here's something cute my kids are doing.

I blame it on Shrek the Third, though part of it is my fault. I mean, if they had already heard some of the great songs in the soundtrack before they watched the movie they wouldn't
keep yelling, "Mommy it's a Shrek song." whenever they hear it on the radio.

Right now the boy is in the shower singing at the top of his lungs, and carrying the tune very well I might add,

"Everybody's got soul, got so much soul....

You've got soul and I've got soul,
Everybody's got soul...

got so much soul."

In the other room the Girl is yelling, over and over again, the only line she remembers from a Beatles song.

"Live and let die!
Live and let Die!
Live and let Die!
Live and let DIE!"

She says die so gleefully that it's really hard not …

I am slowly going crazy...over towels

I hear the screams from the far bathroom. "I had an accident."

I walk in to find the girl hanging from the counter where she's been washing her face, her legs dangling 6 inches above a giant puddle of pee. Why she isn't in the bathroom with a stool is a total mystery.

I get her down and plop her into the bath tub and grab the nearest towel to deal with the mess. I silently pat myself on the back for dealing with it so calmly.

I go into the kids bathroom to get the spray bottle for the floor and find a white floor mat with an odd brown spot on it lying in front of the tub. I stoop a little bit closer to investigate. Tell tale signs of partially digested food and feces sit nestled in the white folds.

Oh no, she didn't.

I return to the naked Girl splashing in the other tub and ask, "Did you use the mat to wipe poo off of your bum?"

"Yes, because it was on my leg."

"Why on earth would you think a clean towel could do the job when you are standing ne…

My life in numbers

4 the number of teeth grown by the Baby in the past week or so
1 her very first head cold too
20 the number of times she wakes up at night
3 the number of times I have gone to bed without flossing this week
7 days before hanukkah starts
8 presents I need per child before then. I wonder if I can get away with new toothbrushes for one night again this year?
4 major sewing projects for said gifts
4 projects that I haven't started yet
4 days before MIL's birthday. I haven't started her present either.
2 little girls who have birthday this month
3 relatives who will be hurt if I don't give them a Christmas gift, (no matter how many times we ask them not to give us gifts or make a big deal.)
3 different craft projects begun for said relatives
1 hand knit washcloth finished so far
0 the amount of extra cash I have to work with this month
5 hours of sleep
27 straight days of posting for the real food revolution
87 random items strewn across my living room floor
5 wet towels on the bathroom fl…

All I have needed thy hand hath provided...

This might sound sort of cheesy, but I'm thankful this year that I've made it this far.

When I think about it for a moment I realize that I have gotten 30 years with more happiness than sadness. I have had more than 7 years with the man I love with out tragedy or incident. I have beautiful children who are healthy and smart and, thus far, safe. When I think about how remarkable that is, compared to what most of the world experiences, I find myself over whelmed by gratitude.

Sure it hasn't always been easy. There have been difficulties to face, and challenges to overcome, but we have faced them, we have overcome. We have choices, options, and we have pulled through every hard circumstance thus far. I have faith that we will do so again if need be.

I feel that with such blessing comes great responsibility, to be wise with the privilege and wealth I have been given. I am poor by many western standards, but just in terms of education I am wealthier than most women in the world. I…

11 months

Well, it has finally hit. You are a little terror, but an adorable one, so we forgive you. You are mobile and excited about all of the cool stuff that you can grab and soak in your drool and then destroy before throwing it down on the ground and widening the path of desolation and litter that follows in your wake. Grab, growl at, bang together, throw to the side and then wrestle the next thing down, that's your current mode of operation. I once saw a show on Discovery channel about feral children. They told the story of children who had grown up with dogs or other animals and had survived in the pack somehow by acting like dogs. I remember wondering how a child, a tiny human child ,would be able to survive that kind of thing, and then I met you. You growl, you prowl, you feed yourself scraps and aggressively seek out food that mommy didn't give you. You like to grab leaves off of trees and berries and just chow down. I get the feeling that if anything ever happened to me, you&…

Small Joys Friday

It's been a while, I know. My creative urges have been heading in the direction of knitting silver yarn to look like chain mail, for the Boy, altering a ball gown for my friend so it would fit over her nursing breasts and she could wear it to the Marine ball. Which I guess is prom all over again for military wives. And finishing slings, and trying to keep up with nablopomo at my other blog, the real food revolution. So you know, I suddenly look up and realize that it's been weeks and I have this back log of stuff to say. This Friday's small joy's are brought to you/me, mostly by my husband.

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It's often frustrating being the spouse of an insomniac. Mine in particular has the hardest time
falling asleep, and stays awake all night staring at things and wishing he could sleep. Or lying in bed fidgeting and feeling irrationally angry at all of the peacefully sleeping people around him for being able to do what he can't. It's frustrating because I find myself …

And the winner is....

Lesha.

Congratulations.

(I had the GH draw a name, since it's midnight and my kids are sleeping.)

Email me at shelaughsatthedays dot gmail dot com with your address by Tuesday and the height of your boy, neck to mid calf.

If I don't hear from you by Tuesday night I'll draw again from the remaining names.

Dear Big Box Kids Everything Store-aka.Toys'R'Us

It's time we had a talk you and I, just one on one. In a relationship such as ours it's easy to let things slide, I can ignore a lot of the things that you do that are annoying, biting my tongue and gritting my teeth until our brief meeting is over. I tell myself that we only meet a few times a month, often less, and I cut you slack. But that time is over.

You see, I have three children, all of whom are at the very beginning of their lives as parasitic consumers and I have this sinking feeling I may have to see a whole bunch more of you before this is over. So I'm not willing to just grit my teeth and bear it any longer. The gloves are comin' off.

You know that thing you do where you don't put prices on staple kids items, like socks and underwear, and you neglect to post signs also? Yeah, that' really irritating. Have you ever tried to drag three children through a toy store? Because if you have you might be aware that having to walk out of the dark dingy back co…

More to give away

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So I did promise to have another giveaway soon, this time for the boys cape. Seemed like the bloggy giveaway would be a good time. So, if you want to win this fabulous cape, perfect for young kings and knights in training, leave a comment below and I'll draw for the winner Sunday at midnight.
I'll make the cape to fit the winner.

And now you are 6

And you are all grown up. This last week has been peppered with phrases like, "But I'm eating my dinner Mom because I'm six, and six year old boys know how to eat their dinner." This of course is said in great seriousness while you are polishing your halo so that I notice the brief second during which you are better behaved than your sister.

And while you are grown up enough to do your own school work and put on your own shoes, and bathe and dress and, I still enjoy this one, wipe your own bottom, and wipe up the puddles around the toilet and get yourself your own breakfast, though I don't know if scarfed granola bars and the occasional secret scoop of ice cream you try to get away with instead of muesli really count as breakfast, you still need to sit in my lap sometimes and get hugs and kisses. It's so strange to hold your long bony muscled body that smells of sweat and faintly of pee and remember the tiny baby who stole my heart 6 years ago.

I'm sometime…

A Truly Wonderful Sight

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There, the view from my door, do you see those? Those are real clouds in the sky, not smoke. And notice also that everything is still standing. The ash has been washed away and life continues as normal. Except we're all exchanging stories of our adventures this past week running from the fire.
This is rain. It's been raining. Happy day. The air still smells of smoke, but it's more like what it smells like when you are camping, instead apocalyptic type ash blotting out the sun. The kids can play outside again.
I didn't even think to take a before picture when I was cleaning up my patio. It was a huge mess. But I can now say with authority that mint does not like hot dry conditions and no water for a few days. That used to be a full pot, and now it's mostly dead.

We came home on Friday, and I've been busy putting things right, and wondering how a whole week could disappear like that out from under me. Today we went to the beach after church and spent hours just play…

From One Haven to Another

Last night before we went to sleep the wind was calm, but we could see red glowing all along the horizon. (The genius husband informs me that I am an idiot to think that Santa Ana comes from the ocean when it's a desert wind. But it still smells like ocean to me, how weird is that?) We woke this morning to a smoky haze and ash raining down on us.

A neighbor who works at the nearby fire station called to inform us that we were about 1-2 hours away from an evacuation notice. Beema started loading the cars, the men pulled out chainsaws and started cutting back everything growing near the house, and I made chocolate icing.

The freeway heading north was closed yesterday. We joked that the Boy's great grandparent's would have a great excuse to miss his party, what with a brush fire between us and all. But this morning the freeway was open once more, the fire had burned out during the night. The air grew thicker and thicker as the guys cut back more trees and shrubs. Such pretty vi…

The Fire is Coming

The wind started late in the day, wild and smelling of the sea, though we are miles inland. We walked in it, reveling in the warm power. It was exhilarating.

At midnight we went out again to smell it, to feel it's warmth push against us in the cool night. Gusts pushed in against the windows, rattling the blinds. We left the windows open to let it in.

I lay in bed listening. Like the distant ocean that sent it always changing, shifting, swirling, in new directions at every breath it blew around us. I feared the wind, it's whisper, "Change is coming, change is coming."

"I'm not ready for change," I thought. "I'm just getting to know this place I am in."

I thought the change was one that we have been discussing, another move, a new direction. I finally fell asleep to the restless shifting of the Santa Ana.

This morning, 7am, two babies asleep on me and the doorbell won't stop ringing. It is the wind, so strong it' s ringing all our bells. …

Bye- Bye- Look of Death

Once upon a time, a little over a decade ago, my little sister and I used to sing together. We used to busk at street festivals and events as a sort of fun way to try and pick up cash; sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't. One of the things that people singing together do often is use their facial expressions to talk to each other while their mouths are otherwise occupied with making the right sounds some out. For example if you are singing with someone and it seems to you that they are flat, you might arch your eyebrow at them to make them think higher, you might smile when things work well, and out of a performing habit, and you might scowl if the other person is making mistakes. One fine summer afternoon next to a booth that was selling dresses made from old saris I noticed that my little sister seemed unusually surly. The short version is that she didn't want to sing with me anymore because I was always giving her The Look of Death, a phrase that we had just coined. My r…

10 months

I am fascinated by your sounds. You've taken to chirruping around making little trumpeting noises and blowing raspberries. It's adorable. Your daddy said a while ago, wistfully, "She's gonna grow out of that someday."

And you will, your a baby on the cusp of toddler hood, thank heaven you're so tiny and like to snuggle still.

You love to go outside, you love to run away from home and you are really fast now, scary fast.

You charm everyone you meet and you continue to be full of smiles and delight. Oh my goodness how did two such pessimistic people get such a happy baby? You are always happy, it's fun.

And you adore your daddy. I'll have you almost asleep and he'll come home. You'll wake up at the sound of his voice and then yell when he walks away from you until he comes back to play.

You think your big brother and sister are pretty cool too. They carry you around and make you giggle and you get pretty cranky sometimes when you can't find them,…

"Show us a picture" they said.

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Show us what your slings look like. And so I dutifully went through the pictures I have and found this one, which isn't a very good picture at all, and it's of the first sling I ever made and use every day, and never finished sewing the pocket in because, well, I use it every day.

So in response to the tyrants, I mean lovely internet friends, hi Jody, wow it's good to hear from you, I decided that today I would make the sling that I owe to a dear friend and then take pictures of that to show you. But I have this really cool idea for a pocket that is reversible and that turns into a bag that you can tuck the whole sling into when you're not using it. In my mind's eye I would show it to you and you would all say wow, what a great idea, I want one, and I would say, why thank-you, and you are looking very pretty today and what fun this all is. Only I hadn't actually made one yet, only planned it in my head, and the fabric I'm using for my friend isn't the ki…

Name that Sling

I am launching a new venture that involves selling the slings I make, instead fo just giving them away to friends and family, which I am happy to do but the GH thinks I should be trying to make money with this, and I agree that there is some potential. I'm actually really excited about this. I've been in contact with some women in Thailand that are from a Karin village in the North where all of the ladies hand weave wonderful bags and shirts and such, and they are going to send me some hand woven samples in the right size for slings so if all works out in addition to the kind I already make, I'll soon be able to offer a line of handwoven slings that will help out the village as well.

So, I have a lovely and talented graphic artist friend who is designing a logo for me, hi megan, and I'm working on business cards as well. It turns out it's really hard to make a logo if you haven't decided on a name yet, which I haven't so here are the top of the list and you …

Fearful Peoples Anonymous

Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.
Bertrand Russell
(1872-1970)

Well, back to the regular everyday of life. The booth is down, my laundry patiently waits to be folded. No matter how badly I neglect it it always waits faithfully for me until I can attend to it, like a dog that follows you home and refuses to leave. A half sewn pinafore sits at the table for a birthday gift tomorrow. Three year olds dressed as princesses, it doesn't get any cuter than that.

I had three things on my mind today to blog about. The first was the arrival of the pretty, pretty, pretty, stroller. I love it, I took pictures. The second was idiot drivers who don't look for pedestrians before making right turns, or left turns. I am that woman standing in the middle of a cross walk and yelling at the drivers while pulling up suddenly to keep the person who tries to sneak his turn in before we're across from taking …

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