Thursday, April 29, 2010

Broken table, broken heart...

I could tell by the pitch of the cry that something serious had gone awry!
Little M came to me s.o.b.b.i.n.g., holding a broken toy in her little girl hands.
"She did it on PURPOSE!! It is BROKEN!!! SHE. BROKE. MY. TABLE!!!!"
Of course, she was referring to Sweet K, who'd lost her balance and toppled over onto a toy, snapping it in half. A little pink table for the doll house that the girls got for Christmas. The beloved doll house that receives many hours of play. I could see that this was going to be an issue!!

Holding her as she wept, I assessed the situation. And panicked slightly. I am not very good at fixing things, and yet there was a part of me that desperately wanted to soothe my little girls' heart. It seems like such a "little problem" to have, and yet there's nothing like watching your child cry through a broken heart that sets every parental fiber in your being on edge; the desire to ease the ache, regardless of the cause, becomes so very strong.

The table was in two very jagged little pieces. The crises of life are seldom smooth and clean-cut. I could see this would take a bit of creativity (and a bit of hot glue and duct tape!!) to mend it back together. Then, in a flash of inspiration, I promised Little M a trip to the sewing room. There, she was free to pick a piece of fabric, which we would fashion into a little table cloth, to cover the unsightly wound and tacky duct tape! Instantly the tears dried, and we were off on an adventure. The table has been put to good use once again, and the table cloth has found multiple uses as well :). All's well that ends well.

In her 4-year-old-world anyway. But not in mine. I am far too aware that there will be heartaches to come that are less easy to tend to; far messier, far deeper. Where I'll have to face my own limitations and inability to fix it and make it right, and allow her the freedom and support to begin to navigate life's persnickity circumstances.

Until then, we practice and pray! We work through the situations of life that rise up already - working out our responses to the big and little things that come our way. And we pray. For guidance. For wisdom. For special mentors and teachers that will help to shape our children.

And, as the waves of life come and go, we sit together quietly until things have passed; listening, learning and leaning. We practice love with St. Francis' approach to preaching --- "when necessary, use words." 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oh the things we do for fun :)

1. We make techni-color cupcakes!!!
Well, this was one project I tackled alone :) while the girls splashed in the tub.
Baking with kids is adventure enough; baking with food coloring spells disaster (even when I'm by myself!)
These little goodies were for the Sunday School Beach Day back in February.
Generously coated with confetti icing, they were a hit ;).

2. Cozy Cruisers
We drive around The Brick in style :). Our mission was to hunt out bunk beds, but the girls got a kick outta these buggies!!

3. We make a joyful noise unto the LORD :) (Psalm 100:!)
Sometimes singing, sometimes dancing, lots of times, laughing :).

4. We play dress up.
Sharp dresser, don't ya think ;)?

5. We play with bugs :).
Notice the snow outside. This was one of those days I was itching to mow the lawn or do some gardening. SO we decided to paint our own bug collection. 
Spring is a'comin'!!

6. Baby Countdown!!
Little M often asks me when the baby is coming.
How do you explain 7 weeks till due date to a four-year-old!?
So. We crafted a countdown chain. 
Each day at supper we take off another link - a visual reminder that we are getting closer and closer to meeting Little One face to face for the first time.
Of course, I was also careful to include the disclaimer that the baby might come SOONER or a little LATER - but this gives us an idea of when :).

Just a few things we do for fun ;).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bed Bugs :)

This weekend marked a milestone around here.

Jon set up the bunk bed :).

The girls were giddy with excitement (understatement of the year!!), feeling all grown up. Many times throughout the day I find Sweet K just sitting on her bed, hanging out. In fact, she totally surprised me by climbing allllll the way up the ladder, dangling precariously at the top and scooting onto Little M's bed before I had a chance to stop her.
I thought we had a little bit before she figured that trick out :). We now remove the ladder for the day!

Normally I love love LOVE the novelty of something new. When I buy a new shirt, I will wear it around the house the next day just for fun :). Ya just never know when you need to look a little more dressed up :).

And, with all the price shopping and internet searching for just the RIGHT BUNK BED, I was just as excited as the girls were. Yet with mixed feelings. In fact, if we didn't have another wee one due to arrive soon, I think I would've been down right depressed!

They are growing. up. Fast.

Feels like just yesterday I tucked first Little M, then eventually her sweet little sister, into that crib. And now they are both little girls. The past few weeks have been tough slugging in the parenting department around here. I love learning about each one, the nuances that enhance their individuality, how their personality is shaping their character. It's a fascinating journey that has me on my knees often. Yet some days it is h.a.r.d. work. Not so much because their phase is particularly difficult, but because of the things I need to learn, the ways in which I am being refined (which are many!), and the control I need to learn to release.

It means saying "yes" more than "no," or saying "no" for the right reasons, rather than avoiding an inconvenience.
It means embracing an interruption rather than resisting it.
It means letting Little M color on my coloring page, even after I've colored it "just so"
or letting Sweet K get her clothes all wet from playing in the sink while we "work" together at the counter.
It means praying on the run, sometimes, because quiet time is scarce.
It means taking time for myself, even when it is not convenient OR it requires a lot of organizing!
It means loving and allowing myself to be loved in our cozy little corner of this crazy world.

It is where I'm meant to be, and it is good.



Surprisingly, the transition to the "big kid bed" has gone remarkably well. This morning we had a hoot sticking wall stickers all around the room. It's surprising how far the 300 sticker bonus pack will go!!!!! That's a llllllloooooooooooot of stickers :P. And as Little M flitzed past me today, she exclaimed, "our room is soooooo pretty!" I'm glad they like it, because a cozy little bedroom corner has always been important to me. Glad they can enjoy theirs too.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pondering the deeper things of life ... like COOKIES!!

I have a question. Or two.
Well, several, actually, but most of those I'll save for a different day. You're welcome ;).

I have issues with cookies. Many issues. Like, investing all that hard work of pouring everything into my mixer, shaping them into perfect little balls with my cookie scooper and then watching them F.L.A.T.T.E.N.  before my very eyes.
It. is. frustrating.

So. I'm doin' some research. Maybe you can help me out a little.
1. To flatten or not to flatten - how does one know? Now, ahem, I'm only referring to rolled cookies here. I strongly suspect that rolled out cookies cut into shapes do NOT need to be flattened with a fork. But some recipes seem to work better with a fork stamp, others not so much. How do I know!?

2. 350 vs. 375. Is it better to go slow and steady or bake quickly?

I've had a lot more success using my food processor to mix the dough (using that pulse button sparingly to avoid over mixing!!) and adding a little extra flour to make the cookies firmer. But this is one reason why baking is not my friend. I get so frustrated when things don't turn out. Even when I've taken the energy to follow the directions!!!

What cookie-making tips have you learned along the way!?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Songs I'm singing these days...

As a journal-er, I often think of the experiences of daily life in journal entry captions.
Clarity PLEASE!
Today is already not the best day, and it's only 7AM!!
Sunshiney daze!

Then there was that slightly moderately creepy phase where I began to process random occurrences as facebook entries.
 - Leah is really really really tired of saying the same thing - the exact same thing - the very same thing - at least one hundred times in a variety of ways throughout a given day.
 - Leah is somewhat perplexed by having developed a tendency to refer to herself in the third person. "Mommy said ... Mommy loves you ... Mommy said please. don't. argue!!!!"
 - Leah has officially reached the age where selective hair-plucking has become a priority. Ouch!

Every so often, though, a line from a song will zip through my head (and I may or may not have the misfortune of singing it all day long!), capturing the essence of a moment. :)
1. Take my breath awayyyyyy, awyyyyyy, ayyyyyyyy - Top Gun Soundtrack
These days, all Jon has to do is mention the word "walk" (as in outside, enjoying the great outdoors, which is great exercise but requires a substantial amount of "oompha" at the end of the day!!) and I go into a 45-minute long Braxton Hicks contraction. Seems my dear little uterus wants to get in on the exercise too! All fine and dandy, but ---gasp--- it gets soooo hard to breathe! Even just making the bed, or sheesh, simply walking up the stairs leaves me breathless, and if I happen to be on the phone at the moment, I sound like an obscene caller!! I may feel like I've done a workout, but I can assure you, it's been a long long while since that has happened!!

Oh my. For the entire month of March, Sweet K did not sleep well. Therefore, neither did I. The first week was manageable. The second, tolerable. But by the third, my memory was pretty much wiped clear and I couldn't remember important information like people's names (gets a little awkward!) or my own age (I'm perpetually 25, which I know isn't true, but somehow, I can't seem to move on!).
AND, for the entire month of March, Little M has honed her arguing skills. Seriously. She'll argue just for fun. And due to the aforementioned lack of sleep, I found myself (too often, I'm afraid!!) getting pulled into these little tiffs until we were both so hot and bothered it was just plain ridiculous!! I finally succumbed to reading parenting books that I've started in hopes of finding some direction (and I got some, they are actually very good books!) - however, I can't seem to remember anything I've read ;).

By Week 4 I had almost entirely lost perspective. During our little getaway, I stood at the counter of a fabric store. With 4 bolts of material. On SALE! Ready to make one more quilt - boy or girl - needing to be prepared. There before me stood one of the cheeriest fabric workers I have ever met in my entire life. His zest for helping customers find the perfect material was evident. Perhaps mid fifties, little round spectacles, a couple of earrings and slightly less hair, his name fit him perfectly. Gandolf. I showed him my stack. And I asked his assistance. As he eagerly launched into the information about measurements and what I'd need, my mind began to melt. No coherent thought could be formed. It was 5:30 at the end of a very long day, and I could no longer process information or make decisions. I finally blinked blinked blinked at him and told the poor fellow that my brain had turned to mush (he looked a little concerned!!). I ended up buying less fabric than I actually needed, and though it'll do, I may need to visit the local fabricland one more time! This whole scenario almost had me reduced to tears. Funny combo those hormones and fatigue. Almost enough to make a person really crazy!!

3. Weebles weeble wobble but they won't fall down!! - For those of us born in the 70s, we may have played with Weebles :). I love being pregnant. Not always comfortable, but certainly quite enjoyable. However, over the past several weeks, I've developed that distinctive "sway" (I refuse to call it a waddle, because that just sounds plain rude!!!). As I've puttered around the house, somewhat clumsy and slightly off balance, I've caught myself singing this catchy jingle :). And I've yet to really take a tumble, though I do misjudge door ways, stumble on stairs and bump my kids in the head with my belly :).

There ya have it. My life is a song :). Keeps me laughin' anyway, even on the days when things get tough.

Monday, April 5, 2010

S.P.R.I.N.G. B.R.E.A.K.

This week was spring break around here, and a delightful deviation from the regular routines of life. Knowing that we would work more and play less if we stayed home :), we decided to take the kids to a hotel for a couple of nights (and squeeze in a little bit of shopping too ;)...). This meant, of course, that certain projects didn't get tackled - but in the long run, WHO CARES!! It is probably the last outing of its kind for quite some time (I have adamantly refused to "holiday" in this way until Baby is sleeping well, eating well, and all around quite travelable :)!!!).

As the girls get older, it is so much less work to go away. In fact, this time we crossed a major milestone - we left the playpen at home!! This doesn't seem like a big deal to some, but the sight of seeing my two little sweethearts curled up in the same bed, s.o.u.n.d.  a.s.l.e.e.p. felt like a major accomplishment indeed (and they were so darned cute too!!).

Two little jellybeans, who lovingly let me sleep all night long too!!
It's a m.i.r.a.c.l.e.!!!

Highlights :) ...
 - We enjoyed our first warmer-weather picnic lunch at a playground.
 - I got to dangle my legs in the hot tub while Little M took Daddy from one cold pool to the next ;) - Sweet K isn't so keen on chilly water, so she was my warm-water buddy :)
 - We found bedding for the bunk beds we've ordered. I asked for Little M's help in selecting some wall decorations. We finally settled (because momma is momma, and that's a good enough reason!!!) for some delightful ladybugs and butterflies, rather than the Spiderman wall-clings that she insisted she just LOVED!!
 - But more than all this, we just really enjoyed spending time together. Shopping isn't as ... easy :) ... and meal times aren't as ... relaxing ... but there are more than enough giggles to go around :).

And now, it is Monday, and back to our regular, normal, everyday, very-lovely life :)!!


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