Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Happy Christmas Peek

With all the fam home today, we are going sledding soon!  So here is a little Christmas snippet.  We had a wonderful Christmas. 


It's funny because we thought the littlest boy in the family was too little to really "get" Christmas.  Yet it has been such a joy to watch him have so much fun with his new little cars and trucks.  He didn't put these down all day.  An aunt present.  So cute, right?







Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a great weekend! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Our Hearts Are Broken

For the dear families who lost loved ones in last Friday's tragedy.  Our hearts and prayers go out in love and support to those affected.   Have cried more than I'd like to admit-- it's a little close to home with all the little ones around here who are so dear to me.  

I'm inspired by this video of one girl's father. 

In honor of his family, and all others affected, I'd like to dedicate this month's charitable donation to the victims of this terrible tragedy.  If you'd like to join, here are two links:  Sandy Hook School Support Fund (through United Way) and the Emilie Parker Fund (to help defray costs for family of the young girl mentioned in the video, to be buried in their home state of Utah).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baby Dancing

I have been looking for this video I took of the baby, around Halloween time-frame-ish, and finally found it!  I have been trying to capture his little dance moves for a long time and this one does the trick.  Don't you just love baby dancing?  I love it.

This video is only 39 seconds.  Enjoy!



We've been a little under the weather around here, how about you?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Funny Little Sayings, Take 22


Some funny little sayings around here lately.
E., who is now 19 months (not fair, going too fast I tell you), and who has never been interested in more than a lick of TV (5 minutes his whole life), has suddenly become obsessed with Bob the Builder.  He usually finishes out the night in our bed, or I finish out the night on the floor next to his bed, so I know the first things that come out of that little cute mouth.  One morning, while he was still in the act of sitting up, bleary-eyed, he said: “Bob!  Maia.”  Then he ran breathlessly off to his sister’s room, found her in bed and said “Maia!  Bob!  ‘Mon! (come on!)” with the cutest little fingers- curling-toward-his-little-chubby-wrist gesture.  He has learned to enlist his sisters any time he wants to watch “Bob,” which is a lot.  The morning after his first Bob awakening, the first thing out of his mouth was “YEH HE TAN! ("yes he can!" from “can he fix it?  Yes he can!”...said right before he tumbled off the bed to go find his sister)  Right now he swaps out all his “c” sounds for “t” sounds, so car is “tar,” you get the picture.  It is so stinkin’ cute. 



My three year-old had a dream that she grew a mustache and couldn’t remove it.  Then she ate a red  tortilla chip and her whole body turned red (not her clothes, she said with great emphasis, just her skinnn).   She turned purple when she ate a purple chip; even the underside of her tongue was purple.  This is the same child who just asked for a bow and arrow for her birthday (more later this week). :)

This same three year-old, taking a cue from her older sister, asked for a pony for Christmas.  When I gave her the same answer I had given her sister (maniacal laugh), she said "okay, then, I'll take a baby horse.  Not a wicked (she is the one who added the emphasis, not me) baby horse, a nice baby horse, that I can ride on." (where in the world did she learn the word "wicked"?)

This very same girl, just last night, prayed that she wouldn't have any bad dreams-- she prayed that she would only have dreams about something cute or funny.  Just moments before, in our family prayer, she prayed that her tooth wouldn't "get blood."  Thats it, the end.  The bloody tooth was the whole prayer. (sisters with minor flossing trauma a few minutes beforehand)
My nine year-old is getting over a case of strep throat, poor girl.  When we drove to the pharmacy, she noticed a new building being erected.  She asked me what it was for.  Then she said, “don’t they know they are killing like 40,000 animals?  ……Including the fleas?”  I didn’t know that she cared about the plight of animals or fleas, for that matter, or connected the dots in regards to building and animals, but I was pretty impressed. (maybe she witnessed me hyper ventilating when we went for a beautiful drive along some wetlands and saw a bunch of duck hunters carrying whole giant burlap bags full of dead ducks!  I couldn't handle this sight--ducks?  Why ducks?  But not to worry, gatekeeper man told us, there is a plethora of ducks because we are taking all of their habitats, so they would be dead anyway....stab me to the heart, why don't ya?  Ducks?  I love ducks!  Go ahead and kill the deer (with moderation, mind you, and then only if you are going to eat them), but not the ducks!  My husband had a good laugh at my expense, seeing as this was my first time even realizing that real, modern people hunted ducks by the dozen like that)

I'm kind of a softie when it comes to killing things (see here.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Home

Dearest readers, thanks for being so patient.  Goals tomorrow!  Happy almost weekend!



I have a hard time saying that word-- home. Why? Probably because in part my heart has a home in many places now, because it is connected by delicate fibers too fine to be seen, to others hearts across oceans and mountains and yellow-grass fields. People who have inspired me or touched me or been my friend. Somehow if I say the finality of that word, will it feel like I am severing those threads, threads that have woven into my heart and helped to make me who I am? It is because of people I have left behind, people who secretly in my heart I want to just come on over for dinner or a walk to June's seat or blab an hour away at the park like we used to, that I have the very hardest time saying that word-- the "h" word-- because it means I'm somehow letting go of those times and recognizing they won't come again.

And another reason, as a child I often caught myself imagining climbing the mountains where I was born so I could see what was on the other side. I think there will always be a part of me that wants to see what is on the other side. An insatiable wanderlust that makes me want to see, experience, and sometimes, --live-- on nearly every inch of this sweet planet.

Home also means letting go of the grass-is-greener syndrome-- recognizing that happiness isn't found in a place, it's found in one's heart and way of life. Nor is any dwelling perfect-- there will always be something left to be desired. Moving doesn't solve problems, it just swaps them out for different ones.

And lastly, because home means commitment. Commitment to something. It means we are going to ride this thing out together no matter what happens, thick, thin, hot cold, happy or sad. And that is a little bit frightening. In some ways, it is staring down the barrel of death. Of accepting what life will throw at me, and being okay with it. Growing old, experiencing loss, watching loved ones grow and move on. Will I ever be able to say that word without a little hidden tremor in my voice? I don't know.

But I do know one thing. I do love where I live. I love watching the seasons change on the mountains, then creep down the valleys, or the reverse. I love places I can escape to just minutes away where I can think and see God face-to-face. I love having so many thoughtful neighbors watching over me. And knowing every last one. I love one last thing. That I brought a baby home here. And others have come and gone and dropped their coats on the floor and we've said goodbye and hello as the seasons have changed with the whoosh of cold or warm air from the back door. We've buried pets and hidden teeth under pillows and decorated the Christmas tree and snuggled under warm blankets. We've laughed, shouted, helped each other, fought, and danced like weird people in the living room. If there is anyone worth putting down roots for, it is these little ones that I want to give stability to and let them make friends without worrying about whether they'll have to say goodbye to those friends. It is for memories and for family and for good enough.



Home

Sitting in the night study
Only the glow of the
Weekend's photos
Clicking across a
Computer screen,
Baby nursing into sleepy
Bliss
In his soft felt Dino jammies.
Black cloud
Dances with streaks of
White,
Inching along the
Hills.
Little oohs and ahhs
Trickle down the stairs
From little out-of-bedders
Pressed against an
Upstairs window.
Then it comes,
A sheet of water
Orange from the glow of the
Streetlamp standing sentinel
Outside.
Now we're snuggled up in
The dark,
Watching
the Glow
Hero wall,
Partially finished pine shelves,
And a train of little
Feet down to watch
The show.
The tapping of rain on the roof,
Gorgeous glut of plenty
Outside and in,
Protected,
Safe,
Happy,
Rain,
Lamplight,
Little feet,
Wonder,
Heroes,
Projects,
Home.


 
What makes a place home for you?  Do you also have a hard time calling a place "home" or is it easy for you?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lucky Girl

...to be featured on BlogHer this week!  See here.  (update 9-13-16: I asked Blog Her to remove my posts during my high conflict divorce)

Thanks for your support, dearest patient readers!

Living in England and Some Little Reminiscinces

The time has come and gone: remembering the time we moved here four years ago, when I was big and pregnant.  I've been thinking a lot about the different places we have lived and the people we left behind (more on this tomorrow).


These two used to hold hands in the car.  They are still best little buds.



There is a part of me that will call those places home, places I sorted life out as I walked or ran, watched the seasons change, brought babies home, helped them learn to walk, laid on the couch all day moaning with the stomach flu together, visited church parties and walked with friends and laughed over my cardboard box Yorkshire pudding served with Salmon or my cold custard (oops). 

Life in England wasn't perfect.  I was sick all the time.  We were separated from our family by time zones and distance.  We lost our dear mother only a short time after we returned due to cancer.  My house was frequently a mess (now it's worse, ha ha), as I adjusted to new motherhood, pregnancy, and new motherhood again.  While we were there, I tried to force myself to spend a certain chunk of time with my little ones each day, as I'm trying to do now as part of my project.  It was not easy.  It was hard.  (not hard in the sense that I loved it, it was just hard learning to juggle all of the housework and stuff on top of it)  I resurrected this poem I wrote after we returned.  Isn't it funny, looking back with the clarity only time can give, what it is I remembered most?  Yes, I loved England the country and all her little quirks and beauties and customs.  No mentions of wishing my house were cleaner or that I had chosen more fashionable furniture or something, the things I remember best, the memories that are fondest, are of people, especially my little ones.  It was worth every little sacrifice.

Sorry, this poem is super sentimental, and choppy, and won't always make sense (though it does to me).  But you get the picture.

PS The Elizabeth reference is to my daughters, the first of whom was born in England.  It is in reference to this drawing by Da Vinci, which was (probably still is) hanging in the National Gallery and which I fell in love with.  The Windsor reference refers to our first trip to England, when we were house hunting, and how we fell in love.  So many happy memories there.


Goodbye, Cedar Drive

Goodbye, number 49
Where we brought baby home,

Listened to clickety-clacking trains,
Returned from rambles

With leaf in hand--
And sticks and rocks.

Goodbye little footpath,
Through our forest -- slanting sunshine,

Kade’s “yah” roots,
Skipping down our dirt path,

Leaves trickling down in red and amber,
Old stream,

And bridges of sink or float.
Goodbye park,

Goodbye book truck,
Goodbye little horse trails around

The solitary fat oak tree
We passed in rain,

Under stars,
Early morning mist, and sunshine.

Goodbye church spire,
Little room where we sang to

“Sleeping Bunnies,”
Stroller walks and autumn walks.

Goodbye Sunninghill High Street of donut days,
Walks from work and Stock Exchange,

Goodbye Sunningdale train station,
Waitrose.

Goodbye Ascot,
Where I cried,

The only person in the world,
Because of the perfect life inside me.

Goodbye St. Peters and Frimley,
Where He gave you to me,

Elizabeth.
Goodbye Bracknell,

Coral Reef,
And Sainsburys,

Christmas dinner with the Joneses,
Little drive of swans,

Midsummer Night’s Dream,
And Rudges.

Goodbye little church of friends,
Summer Sundays

Chasing baby across the grass.
Goodbye London,

Where St. Paul's rose
Above me

Over a spanning cable bridge.
Goodbye winding streets,

Trafalgar,
St.James Park,

National Gallery.
Goodbye, Sir Winston,

Presiding thoughtfully over
Parliament’s golden spire,

Goodbye English countryside,
We loved your cottages,

Ivy,
Garden walls.

Goodbye
Winding cobblestone

Streets,
Climbing roses,

And ancient thatched roofs.
Goodbye creaking streets,

Bending into
Surprise endings.

Goodbye Windsor,
Happy wanderings,

Family days,
Queenly Mc’D’s,

Doll houses,
Bustling shops.

Goodbye, Queen Victoria
And a Christmas tuba

Under twinkly pine garlands.
Goodbye Great Park,

We loved your ancient trees,
Your promises,

Your Long Walk,
And your silent Copper Horse.

You were our
First

Love.


Tell me, how do you carve out time for your little ones? Share your secret.

Monday, December 3, 2012

This Month (8)

I'm going to take a few days and research discipline. Then I'll let you know my specific goals for this month.


Enjoy these photos.  First one is on the way to Thanksgiving #2.  I thought she looked so cute I made her sit for a quick photo.

This is at Grandma's house during Thanksgiving #2.

How was your weekend?