Monday, June 23, 2008

Time Flies

(Enjoying a chocolate chip cookie that she helped to make.)

I just realized that, along the spectrum of time, my daughter is as close to high school as I am. I graduated eleven years ago. In eleven years, she will be beginning high school. *Gulp*

[This is a little hard to believe. Right now she is running in circles around the laundry basket yelling, "Bears love honey! Bears love honey!"]

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Local Life

Last night my family and I decided to get outside for some fresh air, so we went to a local farmer's market. Our goal of walking for exercise was pretty well negated by the fact that we came home from the market with a scrumptious marionberry pie. Hm. Oh, well. We also brought home some beautiful flowers. I love farmer's market bright and big and varied.

While at the market, our daughter found the ocean. Yes, that's right. With her sharp eye and keen sense of direction, she was able to locate the largest body of water in the world. She was quite proud of herself. (Okay, so it was Puget Sound. It's still part of the Pacific.) Unfortunately, "the ocean" was not within walking distance, which disappointed our little girl, so on the way home we detoured to a nearby beach. It is less than five miles from our house, but in our three years of living here, last night was the first time we had visited (although Andy and I had been several times before we moved here). Isn't that pathetic? Our daughter was so excited! She threw rocks (and sand...lots and lots of sand) into the water, found seashells and pretty rocks, all but destroyed her sandals (so glad she happened to be wearing sandals!), and was fascinated that "the ocean got [her] hands" as she played in some gentle waves. My husband found a dead crab, which was another object of great interest. There was also a drunk man who appeared to be standing in the woods yelling at himself, which, you know, always makes for an interesting time.

It was such a pleasant evening. Beautiful weather, pretty flowers, delicious pie, the ocean, and a little girl's wonder. It doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Mississippi

Please remember to pray for those affected by the Mississippi River flooding.

I lived in the Upper Mississippi River Basin during the flood of 1993. I lived in central southern Illinois, about equidistant from the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Our immediate area, being about 60 miles from either river, was not flooded, but the areas along the rivers were devastated. It was supposed to be a flood so terrible that it would statistically occur only once every 500 years. This year's flooding has already broken the 1993 records in some areas...only 15 years later. Many people who have spent the last 15 years rebuilding their homes, farms, and businesses are preparing to lose them (or have already lost them) again. It is a terrible tragedy.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Potpourri

I'm very excited about this. Have I already posted a photo like this? I may have. I bought this fabric four months ago...on the very same day that morning sickness set in. I didn't even wash and iron it until a few weeks ago. Now I'm ready for it. This will be the beginning of my daughter's "big girl" quilt. I am sorry to say that I never made her a baby quilt. My mother-in-law did, though, and it is beautiful and cherished. My girl received ten other handmade blankets (quilted, knitted, crocheted, and fleece) within her first six months of life, and has received a few more since then, so she certainly is not lacking in that department. But those blankets are all receiving or crib sized, and now she sleeps in a twin bed, so it's time for a new blanket.

The Weed Patch has joined Bella Dia's Thoughtful Friday posts. Check out The Weed Patch's blog to see what is inspiring them this week.

I finished Jack and Jill last night. In its storybook way, it is all about beauty, goodness, duty, health, and sincerity (like all of Alcott's children's books). Very refreshing. Now I have to decide what to read next. It is best for me to only have one book waiting at a time. Any more than that and I have a terrible time deciding which to start.

My unborn child appears to have acrobatic aspirations. I felt only the lightest flutterings for a long time, and then suddenly she decided to make her presence known. Now there is a steady barrage of kung fu going on.

My two year old child was more than happy to take a nap today when I read Daddy's email to her saying that he would bring home a special surprise for her if she took a good nap. I have it on good authority (from Daddy himself) that the surprise will be new whiteboard markers. Daddy is, as our daughter herself said, "gene-uh-us". (genius)

My girl has recently learned to write her name. I really wish I could show you all, but I do try to not post her name all over the Internet for all the world to see. You'll just have to trust me on this one. Her signature is really, really cute. She first wrote it on Mother's Day. We were at a restaurant waiting for our dinner, and she was drawing. She said, "I will write my name now". We said OK, not thinking anything of it. Then she wrote her name. I was astonished. Granted, if you didn't already know her name, you probably wouldn't have been able to decipher it from that first autograph. (That probably means I would be safe in posting it. But I won't.) Now, however, a month later, it is quite legible. I won't be asking her to sign for packages any time soon, but still...

That's all for now. Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Now that's more like it

This afternoon, after naps (for both of us), the sun finally made an appearance. We went outside as soon as we could.

She has been waiting for this.

Now, at 8:00 at night, clouds are moving in again. I won't speculate, though. Anything could happen while we sleep tonight. I'm just thankful for this afternoon.

Summer, or the lack thereof

While I have been racking my brain for indoor activities to keep my little one's mind and body occupied this past week and a half (of rain, rain, rain), she has effortlessly found her own amusements. Rowing her boat with Lambie and Monkey. A smiley face stamp makes a great oar.

Practicing her ballet positions.

My personal favorite - making play dough people. This one appears to be directing traffic.

Meanwhile, my husband and I have started the process of making room for Baby. There is plenty of room in our house for four people, but, as usually happens, stuff has grown to fill the space. We just have to get rid of some stuff. This is usually a pretty fun task. Who doesn't have extra stuff? Toys, books, clothes, gadgets, furniture, linens, dishes - all are being examined with a critical eye. Is it beautiful, useful, or loved? No? Out with it! My baby sister is about to move into her very first apartment, so hopefully she'll be able to put some of these items to good use as she sets up house for the first time.

It's not all work around here, though. I'm choosing to trust the calendar over the weather, and thus I believe that summer is mere days away. (This is a real exercise in faith, since it is after noon and currently 54 degrees outside. It's 90 degrees in my hometown in Illinois right now.) We're planning weekends away and days at the beach, we've booked barbecues and jam canning days (will there be berries???), and I've picked up a few summer reads: Jack and Jill by L.M. Alcott (one of my favorite childhood books, as all her children's books were); Mr. Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston; and Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (this one was recommended to me by my dentist, of all people). I will proceed with summer-like behavior, despite the weather. So we'll probably end up wearing sweaters and boots to the beach instead of bathing suits and flip-flops, and we're more likely to come home with frostbite than suntans. I will not be shunned by summer.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Rainy Wednesday

Today was Day 2 of dreary, rainy, soggy weather. This shouldn't be a problem here in western Washington. Two days of rain is nothing. But I have a two year old daughter, and since spring arrived (finally) and she has tasted the joy of playing outside every day, two days of indoor-only play is torturous to her...and thus to me. Yesterday, Day 1, wasn't so bad. It rained heavily all day, but I had an engagement in the morning which allowed my girl to play with a group of children for a few hours. In other words, we got out of the house. Today...not so much.

So here's a look at our indoor day. I should note that the day was broken up every few minutes by this conversation: "Can we go outside now?" "No, sweetie, it's too wet." "Oh. I will wear my raincoat." "No, sweetie, it's really wet." "Oh. Can we play chalk outside?" "No, sweetie, chalk doesn't work when it's wet." "Oh."

The first order of the day: Fix the magic wand. My girl is a do-it-yourself princess. When her magic wand is broken, she pulls out her socket wrench. Bet she could change a tire on a pumpkin coach, too.

Does this look like a guilty face or what?

Yep. Caught red-handed with a bag of cookies in the closet. I only wish I knew how many cookies were in the bag originally. Guess she really worked up an appetite with all that wand repair.

She was so disappointed that we couldn't play hopscotch outside (and even more disappointed to look out the window and see that the rain had washed her beloved hopscotch clean away). Mommy to the rescue! Ten sheets of construction paper + crayons + duct tape = indoor hopscotch. My girl arranged them herself. None of this ridiculous tiered stuff like the outdoor hopscotch pattern that I made for her. Just a good old straight line, one through ten.

And yes, as the photos indicate, she did stay in her pajamas all day.
We did make it outside late in the afternoon, pajamas and all (just her - I got dressed this morning), much to my daughter's delight. There were some great puddles out there, and we couldn't let them go to waste. The neighbor's dog had the same idea. Too bad I didn't get a picture of that. Anyway, I had a very happy daughter after that. I love fresh air.