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Showing posts from February, 2008

Moments-13

"Mommy, do you want some orange juice?"

I crack one eye open and squint blearily at the small figure beside my bed.

"We don't have any."

"But mommy we made some, would you like to try a glass of orange juice."

"Sure honey, leave it on the bureau for me."

I drift back to sleep for 5, maybe 10 minutes.

"Mommy, mommy, are you going to drink your orange juice now?"

Once more I squint and sure enough, there is a purple plastic cup sitting there with some kind of liquid in it.

"Okay, I'm getting up. I'll drink it before I shower."

"OKAY!"

I hear running footsteps disappear down the hall and then a voice, "She said she was gonna drink it before she showers."

I roll out of bed, eying the glass suspiciously. It's sticky. But it smells like oranges. I take a cautious sip and then quickly swallow the rest. It's good. Apparently while I sleep, my children teach themselves how to make fresh squeezed orange jui…

Moments-12

We take a little field trip. The weather is fine and we take ourselves to the little outdoor historical village in the park out behind city hall where the children's museum is. There is an old train car, next to the old train station and inside it has a little model train track that shows all the landmarks and places where it once visited. They follow it around, and around, and around, tripping, sometimes falling, they bounce back up, never letting the train out of site.

We visit the little house, it may be two stories with a porch, but the square footage is only slightly larger than our two bedroom apartment. Maybe not even, the three bedrooms are smaller than ours. We peer into the kitchen, with the little wood stove in the corner, where all the cooking was done. Rather than consider the hardship of living without electricity or running water we are amazed at the ingenuity. Small metal gadgets and gears, hand cranked whipped cream and sausage grinders and apple peelers. All of it…

Moments-11

We go shopping. Just us girls. It's nothing special, the post office, Kinko's, Target, but the Girl wants to tag along and so I let her. As we walk she stays right beside me and the stroller. I notice her watching us walk together in the various reflections. She is studying me today, she is learning a lesson. There is no running off to jump off of things or to get to the highest point as there usually is. She stays close and walks soberly rehearsing the days events. "First we go to Kinko's, then we go to the post office to mail uncle AJ's birthday present and then to Target!"

Once in Target she helps me remember our list. "Contact solution, contact paper, tortillas, and hair clips!"

The last is always triumphant.

She deliberates over colors and styles of hair clips and I marvel at how decisive she is, how sure of what she wants. I try to trip her, up, producing the same choices in different orders, upside down, making sure that she doesn't just lik…

Moments-10 Sick reprise

There are some nice things about being sick with your family all together. As much as I'm fond of waking up in the middle of the night alternately dripping with sweat and shivering with cold, or determining conclusively that Charmin' toilet paper is gentler on a nose than Target brand tissue, people who wake up screaming because of leg cramps or just over all aches or cleaning up puke, those aren't the nice things I am thinking about.

For starters, when you are all sick, there is a collective lying around, which is easier on a pounding head than perfectly healthy children bouncing off of the walls and your stomach while you groan and hold your head. You give up on having anything like a normal day, the dishes may or may not get done, food may or may not be made, or eaten, school can take a flying leap, and movies may be stared at consecutively, or back to back House reruns downloaded from the internet. Because there's nothing sick people like to do more than watch other…

Sick

Too sick to write. And everyone else is sick as well. Be back when my head clears.

Moments-9

The Baby has been trying to get outside all morning. She keeps going to the door and trying to force her tiny fingers into the crack near the door frame and force it open. She's been restless and cranky and a little bit feverish as well.

I am sitting down and she is asleep in my lap, finally, when the front door bursts open as the GH stops at home in between jobs. The Baby jerks herself awake at the sound and throws her self toward her dad, flinging her entire body at his neck and holding on tight as he hugs her back. I guess she's been looking for him.

Soon it's time for him to go back out and she follows him out the door and up the sidewalk. She's going too. She keeps looking up at him as if to say, "Do you see me walking here. Do you see that I'm a big girl now? I'm big enough to go places with daddy now. Take me with you."

She runs along excitedly vocalizing until I finally scoop her up and take her back inside. I'm expecting her to yell but she …

Moments-8

It's a tiny little red dress with a little white onsie, long sleeved with red flowers printed on it and little bow details at the shoulder and cuff. It's adorable. The still intact price tags say it's for a new born. It needed to go to a baby who could wear it now, this month. Next month it will be too warm for long sleeves here.

My neighbor brought me this dress. He found it in a gift bag sitting next to the dumpster. Whether it was left there by accident, or on purpose we'll never know and in a complex this size, there is no way to find out who the original owner is. He thought I would know someone who could use it.

I didn't, but I held onto it anyway, looking for a home for this little dress. I kept wondering last week why I left it sitting out instead of tucking it away in the giveaway bag I have in the storage room. I couldn't shake the idea that this dress was meant to bless someone in particular.

I asked friends with friends who have babies. I tried taking …

Moments-7

They like to play this game called friends. The Boy and the Girl take turns pretending that they are a guest in our house. The "friend" will go out side on the patio and mount the bouncy horse or bike. This is a critical part of the game for they must journey from their own house to their friends house which, remarkably, looks just the same as their own. Then they will knock on the door and the child playing host will invite them in.

In unnaturally loud and blustering tones they will act out, often for hours, this strange fantasy that they are entertaining a guest rather than playing with a sibling.

"Hello friend."

"Hello, can I come to your house?"

"Yes, I was just playing with play dough. Would you like to join me?"

"Okay."


"Mommy, is it okay if my friend stays for lunch?"

"Sure."

"What are we having?"

"Soup."

Turning back to the "Guest" the host will ask, "My mom is making soup for lunc…

Moments-6

Every night it's the same. We send the kids to floss and get their toothbrush ready. We do the brushing and check the flossing in the evenings because of some cavities that appeared when they were left to themselves. Mornings are when they brush their own teeth and get the practice for this all important life skill.

Lately the Baby has been trying to get in on this part of big kid life too. She will haul her little body up onto the stool, clutching at the edge of the sink for balance, and grin expectantly. She is so proud of her new found ability. I brush her four little teeth with exaggerated care and then hand her the toothbrush to chew on while I attend to everyone else's teeth.

Tonight while I am brushing the Girl's teeth the Baby squeezes in between us and climbs atop the stool. I have a knit poncho on and her laughing face peeks out from just beneath the fringe, her chin just barely clears the counter top. She laughs her I'm a big girl look what I did laugh and the…

Moments-5

The plan was simple really. Make a few Valentine cards and chocolate's the day before, package them and deliver after lunch and leave the cards made for family and their chocolates as place markers for a comfort food meal of chicken stew and dumplings. A tip of the hat, slight homage if you will to the hallmark tradition, and the guy who was one heck of a letter writer.

At 11:30 I had yet to bathe. I crawled back into bed at 7am because no one else was awake yet and I was tired. Woke up late and had to rush through the morning.

Cranky baby finally went to sleep, and I slipped into the shower. Halfway through I look up to see a man's face staring at me over the curtain rod. It was familiar though, so I didn't scream. much. The GH doesn't usually come home mid afternoon. He was done for the day and took himself and a splitting headache that's kept him awake for 3 nights or so to bed.

The children have taken every pillow in the house and laid a trail from one end of the …

Moments-4

The Girl is combing her hair, and the Baby is trying to climb over me to reach the pretty candles on the counter behind the couch. I somehow feel like I can't go on to the next thing until I have seen the completion of the hair combing. Why is that? Oh yes, because the second I look away she has a tendency to forget completely what she's been told to do and lapse into fantasy play once more, and then she'll lose the comb. She is moving so slowly. And the Baby's shrieks grow louder as she tries to play with the little shiny rocks in the candle holder.

"I'm hungry momma, can you make lunch?"

That's the Boy.who is alternately whining about his empty stomach and trying to run up the door.

"AAAHHHH!" (Baby talk for, give it to me now!)

Tick...

tick...

she slides the comb across the same place again, flat against her scalp. She's accomplishing nothing.

She starts to edge towards the toy on the ground, completely forgetting the task at hand. The comb …

Valentine's Day project

I've just posted the directions for our Easy Valentine Treats that we are about to start.

The chocolate is melted and I must dash to supervise. If you haven't thought of anything to do yet, and you like chocolate, go check it out. We're making our own homemade Valentine chocolates.

Thrifty and fun. I'd promise pictures but my battery is dead.

Moments-3

A bag of new clothes sits on my bed. Well, not really new, they are cast offs, hand me downs, gifts. We are very excited. But there will be no looking at this bag of clothes right now. The Girl already has far more clothes than she needs stuffed into every available space. All of it free, all of it thanks to the generosity of other little girls who got taller before they wore them out. WE need to once again sort through what she has, discard what is too stained or torn to keep, store what is too small for the Baby someday, and start to put away some of the winter things now that we are swimming already in the afternoons again. She runs to find bags, but she wants to keep everything.

As I put clothes on hangers, once again wondering if there is some way I can lower the rod so she can reach it, I get lost in the rhythmic task and the sounds around me start to blend together. And then I realize that she is telling stories. She is sitting curled up in the basket that holds the Baby's …

Moments-2

I kind of wanted to do what everyone else is doing these days and post 30 pictures of everyday moments for a month. It's called 30 tiny moments. But I'm not a camera at the ready type of gal and uploading everyday is something I don't have that much time for. And I have yet to join flickr. And then Mary at Owlhaven started to record 15 minutes better as a way to remember to focus on the people in her family instead of all the tasks. And I really loved that idea too. So pardon me, I'm going to try and do both at once, with words.

******************

I'm trying to get past the slight fog that has clouded the morning. I've lost all awareness of time. I can't decide what to do next. I've lost my bearings. My routine is breaking down. I flit restlessly from one task to the next, none of them holding my attention for longer than a few minutes and there is a baby stalking my every step. She yells and reaches for everything my hands touch. She squirms, she wriggle…

Moments-1

She was naughty. She hadn't picked up her clothes and put them away. She had however taken the trouble to pick up her clothes and hide them somewhere else so that it would appear that she had obeyed, for a little while. She didn't like the consequences of her actions. We sat together on her bed, her tear streaked cheeks wetting my shirt as I offered her another chance. She could have a do over. I would tell her to pick up her clothes again, and this time she could obey me and do it very fast, and cheerfully. She could get stronger.

"But first I have to tell you something very important," I said.

"What?"

"I love you." I whispered, leaning in to kiss her.

She smiled and turned to see my face, "That's not important."

"Yes it is, that's the most important thing of all."

"No it isn't."

"Yes it is."

"Mommy you are just joking."

"No I'm not. I love you is the most important thing of all that I…

13 months

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I don't feel all that bad that this particular update is almost 3 weeks late. Mainly because it's not been written because you prefer that I hold you and play with you instead of type away at my computer. You don't think that I should put down the sick snotty baby to write about the sick snotty baby, so I haven't.

But there are so many sweet moments that I'm dying to record since you turned one and I am trying to hold them all in my head until I can get them down.

There was the day you carried the noisyguitarshapedmusicaltoythatIhate from the great grandparents into the room and started dancing to it. You don't just bob up and down on the spot. Now you put your arms up and spin around, all the time maintaining eye contact and smiling your beautiful smile. You know you are cute and that we ought to be looking at you, only you, the entire time. Because you may do something even cuter next.

You love to empty things out and throw them all into a pile on the floor. And…

Happy Birthday to me

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I love how cool I am to 4 year olds when it's time to blow out the candles. I think this is so they are closest to the cake when it's cut.

The afternoon of my real birthday I was deciding that even though I was going to have a party another day I still wanted something special for dinner. I started herding children toward the door with plans to buy a chicken and roast it or something and make myself MY favorite side dishes when my in-laws showed up, some of them anyway, with birthday presents, and cool swag from India. I have a new sari, and a marble bread and pastry board. The kids all have adorable and elaborate costumes from India also.

Once they had gone I once more began the herding process, finding shoes, tidying rooms, and telling the Genius Husband my dinner plan, just in case he had had time to think of something thoughtful. We had just gotten to the point in the conversation where there is a deep pause and he asks, "Should I be planning something?" when I int…

Don't forget the Blanket Party

Go right now and donate to Mary's Great Blanket Party.

Proceeds go to buy blankets for Ethiopian newborns who would otherwise be cold.

Why are you still here?

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