Friday, May 27, 2011

In Praise of a Niece

Aside from my own babies, she is the first human I witnessed being born into the world.


She had a tiny little body.



I have been so blessed to watch her grow.




She has learned to do so many things. She is super funny.




I've been lucky to be along for the ride for many of her experiences.



The above photo is how she looks most of the time these days. She is probably the happiest, most cheerful baby I have ever met. Even when she's grouchy, she seems cheerful, if that's possible.

She loves fiercely, she plays with exuberance, and her existence lights up my life.


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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Newborn Kittens!!!

Walter spent two nights with my mom, and just returned home today. It was a nice break but it's wonderful to have him back! Right now both kids are in bed and my husband is downstairs making an extension cord (I know, weird right?) and all I can think about are the teeny baby kittens my sister has.

We visited her after we dropped Walter off, and I was so thrilled to see those 6 day old treasures.

Squeeeeeeeal!

We always had a lot of cats around us growing up on the farm: literally dozens of cats. We loved it when a formerly round-bellied cat showed up one day with a flaccid belly. That meant we could spend a couple hours searching the hayloft and barns until we found the litter of little squeakers. It was so exciting to count them and see their colors.

We didn't have to search for this bunch, they were born in a box in my sister's home. But it was still really exciting to see them. It was Sylvia's first experience with newborn kittens.




I couldn't have counted how many times she said, 'Aaaaaaaw!"

It reminded me so much of the time Walter first encountered newborn kittens, so I want to share some pictures from that day too. It was 2007.





I like to watch dogs and be near dogs, but I am through and through a cat person. When I was pregnant I would dream almost nightly that I birthed my baby and it was a cat. Dream-Me was thrilled. I would love to get another cat, but my husband is allergic. Maybe someday we will get a Russian Blue.


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Monday, May 23, 2011

Differently Similar

My son, bless his sweet heart, is not capable of being rushed. You cannot prod him into action. Directives go into his ears and take a nice long nap before rising to meet the challenge. He is a guy who takes his time. Even if we're going somewhere completely awesome, like the zoo, he will spend 20 minutes finding his shoes. Another 20 to put them on.

To be honest it's one reason we homeschool. Getting him out the door and ready for kindergarten was tricky every day. He would be awake 2 hours before we had to leave, and still it felt like we were rushing. Nowadays we have a very relaxed schedule. Really the only place we have to be at a specific time is taekwondo. I give him half an hour to put on his uniform.

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My daugher, bless her sweet heart, is ready to go. In kind of an extreme way. If I tell her in the morning that we have to get ready because we're going to the store, she runs down and puts on her shoes in 15 seconds flat, then stands by the door hollering that she's ready to go. Ready. To. Go. Never mind that I still have to shower, no one has eaten breakfast, and she's still in pajamas. (Not that she'd mind being in pajamas.) She's the one sitting in the car for 15 minutes while everyone else is still getting shoes on and making sure they remembered the camera and the water bottles and the library books that are overdue.

For her, I don't mention any plans until the very last minute. I will spend as long as I need helping her brother get ready, whispering in his ear so she won't hear, "We're going to the zoo! Put some clothes on. Remember, the zoo? Are you moving yet?" Then I will try to engage her in an activity so she won't know we're getting ready to leave the house.  Because as soon as she knows, that is the moment we must leave.

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I love these children. They are wonderfully different from each other. They are also similar in many ways. It doesn't matter if I'm trying to get one kid moving or trying to slow the other down, they are both perfectly, absolutely who they are meant to be.





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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Funny Kid Quotes

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My girl said several cute things this week, and right now I can only remember three of them. I want to write them down before I forget.

1. "Do you know what I like the best? Glitter!"
2. "Did you know this dime is a penny?!"
3. She was feeling my knee, and I hadn't shaved that day: "Mama, your knee has a beard!"

She lives her life in exclamation points, that girl.


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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dishes

Sometimes it's fun to take the long way.






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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Growing

Because I see my children every day, their growth seems fairly gradual. But sometimes I look at them and am absolutely gobsmacked at how big they are.

Recently I was looking through the newest batch of pictures from the memory card, and was shocked by two images. They aren't technically the best photos, but I love what they capture.

There is this one, of my girl sitting at the dinner table:

Look at her arm! Tiny but so slim, like a kid's arm, not a toddler's arm. Her neck! Her ponytail! Her posture! She looks 6 years old to me in this photo.

Then there's this one, of my son in the kitchen. His sister actually took it when she was playing with the camera.


Look how tall he is compared to the counter! I am aware that he can reach the faucet to get his own glass of water, and I remember the day I could first see his head poking out above the island. But this picture, from this lower perspective just makes him seem very tall.




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