Friday, January 30, 2009

Snowed In

Usually by the end of January I am done with the cold and the coats and the dry skin, and ready for winter to be over. I simply endure the next 2 months and finally rejoice at the end of March.  But this week a big snow came, and it has renewed and extended my love for winter. I really enjoy these snow days.

This is the small hill in front of our house.

He didn't get very far, as his sled was like a snow plow and pushed a big mound. I had to get in there and smooth a path.

Here he is collecting snowballs, which he uses for snow ice cream.

Here is a lovely bowl of snow ice cream. We make this at least twice a day. 

We got about a foot of snow.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Sentimentalists

I was planning to write a flashback friday post, but there is one more Christmas thing I wanted to talk about. Since it's nearly the end of January, I figured I better do that now. There's a little bit of the past in this story too though, so it fits.

I have always had a very hard time with change. No, make that a terrible, awful, horrible time with change. I am better at handling it now that I'm older, but it is still hard for me.

My parents used to own an Oldsmobile Cutlass. I have a picture of it, but in the picture my sister is bending over to look under the car. I don't think she'd be very happy if I posted it.

It's the first car I remember from my childhood. One night my parents went out with my aunt and uncle while my sister and I stayed with my grandma.

In the morning, I found out that they had been in a car crash. Everyone was fine, but the car would need some repairs. Specifically, the door on the side where I always sat was smashed in. My door was smashed. I was devastated. My door was going to be replaced with a new, different door. Yeah, I know that's strange.

Anyway, my parents were so utterly amazing that in light of my shrieking protests, they opted to replace the outer part of the door, and let me keep the inside part. The part with the cracked handle and the hole. This small act made me feel as if I mattered. I felt understood.

So it was with this in mind that I allowed our Christmas tree to stay up for a month after Christmas, even though I'm a take-it-down-the-next-day kind of gal.

You see, I have brought into this world a child like myself in many ways.

We put away the Christmas decorations very slowly. Finally all that was left was the tree. My kid said that it looked so sad and lonely, so he redecorated it himself. He used milk jug seals that we save for crafts.

Finally the tree is down.

Now if only we could do something about Housefly-itis. You know, housefly-itis? It's when you get sad every winter when the house flies begin to fly slowly and clunk around, banging into windows. I used to sob about these sad flies. Now they don't bother me too much, but my boy...whew. I think he inherited this disturbing condition from me. He doesn't cry about the flies, but he makes them tiny beds out of tissues. He calls them his buddies. He tries to take care of them and prevent the inevitable. Meanwhile, I try to prevent him witnessing the inevitable by rushing around the house with the dustbuster to sweep up any poor, lost fly souls.

I love my little sentimentalist.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Mom is Better at Sharing

I have a childhood memory of my mom carrying a book and a small plate of crackers with butter spread on them. Obviously she was getting ready to relax with her snack and a good read. I had never seen crackers with butter. I walked up to her and said they looked good.

She gave me the plate. She just handed over her entire snack.

I don't recall if she made herself more or just sat down. Either way, I remember that she gave me all of her snack. I remember the way the crackers slid around on the plate as I took it from her.

Snacks are a very important part of my day.  Snacks are the way to my heart.

It stuck with me, this snack donation of my mom's.

She's still a giver. A giver of food, of gifts.

One of my favorite things that she gives these days is her time to my children. When she visits, or when we visit her, she gets down on the floor and plays. She pays attention. She listens to the stories only a preschooler can tell, she reads them long books. She takes them on walks when they need fresh air.

And she laughs with them.

She has a fabulous laugh.

I have a fabulous mom.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flashback Friday: Junior High Romance

I was in 7th grade. I had noticed my guy at the 6th grade camp the year before, and boy was he a cutie. In 7th grade all the elementary schools in the district combined into one junior/senior high school and now my guy and I were going to the same school. We had English class together, right after lunch. Sometimes we even talked. Being nearly 13 years old, that was a big deal.

One weekend there was a school dance, and we were both there. I spent most of the night hanging out at a table with my friend Amy. But suddenly he appeared and asked me if I would dance with him. I freaked out and said no. Part of the reason was that I had a cast on my arm that was due to come off soon, and it smelled horrible. The other part of the reason was that I was simply terrified.

So I did the only logical thing. I spent the rest of the weekend regretting that I said no, and on Monday I asked him to be my boyfriend. He said yes.

We fell into a pattern, and talked on the phone several times a week. We also held hands on the walk from lunch to English.

It became apparent to other people that we were a couple. One morning, my friend Lois called me over to her locker between classes. She showed me a picture she had stuck inside the cover of a book. It was my guy in his football uniform. Mere weeks earlier, she had been my guy's girl, and he had given it to her. They broke up, and now she was interested in someone else, so she wanted me to have the picture. I took it, and hung it in my locker. It was the first picture I ever hung in my locker. I still have it. Want to see?

It's a little interesting to me that several of the pictures I've posted of my guy have involved him playing sports. After junior high, the only sports he participated in were swimming and street hockey. He doesn't even watch sports. But this is who he was in junior high.

Anyway, we had 7 glorious weeks together. During that time we attended a Valentine's Dance together. We got our picture taken. Please ignore my glasses. And my hair. My mom handmade that dress though, so don't ignore it.

One day, my two best friends cornered me at lunch. They told me that they felt he was taking up too much of my time; that I was neglecting them. They told me they wanted me to choose between them or him.

I chose them, and I broke my guy's heart.

But don't worry, the love story continues when he called me up out of the blue 2 years later.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Guy Had A Birthday

My husband turned 31 this weekend. 31! It's kind of wild to think that I've loved him for nearly half our lives.

Friday we went to the Children's Museum, and stayed from the time it opened until it closed, and then went out to dinner. 

Saturday and today were a whirl of cake decorating, Uno, relatives on my couch, dinner out, and lots of fun.

I've been with him for 15 wonderful birthdays. It's rather amazing how a person can still learn new things about someone after that long. I never would have guessed that he'd pick orange icing for his cake.

Thursday, January 8, 2009



Today we got cookies at the bakery in the Student Union and ate them by the giant fireplace.
Then we rode the escalators.
Then we sat on some fantastic old furniture.

Then we went home to continue the togetherness.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Can Do Almost Anything While Holding My Baby

If I need to carry Sylvia for a long period of time, I usually wear her in a sling, like this day when we went to the pumpkin patch.

But over the last few months, she has entered into the separation anxiety phase of her development. She wants to be held. A lot. So I hold her as much as I can. She spends lots of time playing on the floor too, but for a large percentage of our time, I hold her in my left arm.

I can nurse and walk at the same time.

I can hold her and do laundry.

I can hold her for 2 hours while I stand outside with Walter, monitoring his cookie-selling business.

I can hold her while I decorate for Christmas.

Last week at the post office, after standing in line for a very long time, an elderly gentleman told me that he wouldn't want to arm wrestle me.

My husband has several days off work, and so last Friday we took the kids bowling. For most of the time, he held her while I bowled, but she was fussy and wanted me. So I bowled with her on my hip. 

The truth is, I know this phase won't last long. I'm enjoying it while I can. It seems though, that no matter how much I try to savor this time, it is still passing by anyway. I take heart in knowing that even 5 year olds still wants a snuggle now and then.