Feathered Aspen


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Every Last Drop of Summer

Papa and Granny drove into town for Labor Day weekend.  It was great to see them, and we fit in quite a bit while they were here.

I’ve developed an instagram crush on @dramapothecary.  There’s this comedy sketch that Joshua watched last year where a couple are in their car.  They have kids in the backseat, and the wife says, “oh look! A new restuarant.”  They make meaningful eye contact and deadpan, “we will NEVER go there.”  Anyway, it’s become a bit of a saying for Joshua and myself, and in the case of Dram Apothecary, I hope it’s not true, but thus far, it has been.  The 21+ rule, while understandable, is a bit prohibitive.  Oh and the location.  Silver Plume?  You’d blink and miss it, just past Georgetown.

Anyway again, I knew they were in town for a little tea workshop at the DAM, so I convinced the family to make an outing.  It wasn’t much of a workshop, really.  Just a make-and-take sort of craft, but it was fun to creep on my instagram crush and get a back of tea.

Inside the art museum, when went to see the flower exhibit.  WHY I have not yet gone through that exhibit is beyond me.  It closes in October, and I MUST see it again at least once.  The paintings are absolutely stunning, and the one above was my favorite.  Perhaps because of this little explanation right next to it:

Mmmmm…  So lovely.

On Saturday, we drove up past Silver Plume to the trail head for Herman Lake.  It was a stiff uphill hike for about three miles, but when we got to the top, it was well worth it.  Above treeline, we got a generous view of mountain tops and this here lovely lake, which made an excellent backdrop for a rare family photo.

If you’ve ever tried to take a photo with little ones in the mix, you know just how many photos have to be taken in order to get everyone looking/with a half-smile on their face.  Really, if you’ve ever done this, you know the half-smile is really asking too much.

Which makes me wonder, really, why there are so few photos of this here man and me.  They’re a relative breeze to take, and he don’t hurt the eyes, if you know what I mean.

Lily and mommy.

This guy.  What a dad.  I really love him.  Did ya know he’s running 100 miles this weekend?  Yeah.  That’s what I said.

Lily was a good sport.  She got out and hiked quite a bit, and then she took a little snooze in the Poco.

This picture pretty much captures it all.  Lu follows Lily everywhere and tries to do whatever she’s doing.  Cuties.

Grr.  I’m just now realizing that someone never sent me the photo of all of us (Papa, Granny, Sarah, and the four of us), but just so you know, we all did that hike, and I was particularly amazed by Joette, who is a bit of a miracle woman.  She’s conquering her Lyme’s naturally, with plant-derived anti-biotics and a strictly Whole 30 diet since this past January.  For a woman who has battled pretty severe pain for the past three years, she was a rock star on that hike!

On Sunday, we knocked out a few projects around the house, taking advantage of a couple of extra hands with the kiddos.  The dresser you see above was a castoff from the previous owners at Sarah’s new house, so I nabbed it painted it pink, and soaked the gold handles in turpentine (which smells, but did the trick).

We moved things around and I can finally say that our home feels a bit more moved into 🙂

I found this super tall bookshelf at the thrift store for $10.  Once I painted it yellow (with much help from David’s fiance/my future super awesome sister-in-law, Melanie – yeah, that’s a whole ‘nother story), it made the perfect storage spot for toys.

We played a game of musical couches and moved this one in the photo above from the porch to the kid’s room, the one from the living room into the porch (pictured below), and the futon from the back porch into the living room.  Cuz we like to make things complicated.

Porch is still probably my favorite room in the house 🙂

We had been making do with one toilet since we moved in, and then on Friday our other toilet broke, so Joshua and Tim took out the old ones and installed the new ones…  For $23 each?!  I guess with a rebate, that’s what they came out to?  How is that possible?  Anyway, I thought this photo above was hysterical #menandcoffee

Mischief.

Here’s the futon in the living room.  And our hopelessly dirty rug.

We decided to go small with the futon in the living room so that we could fit in a small dining area.  And we finally managed to get a “W” up on the wall for little Lu.

This is a better pic of the dresser.

Mommy, take a picture of my white pigtails.  Yes ma’am.  On another note, this was the same morning after we had gone to the “soft” opening of Coda Coffee in Edgewater.  I got a FREE cold brew, and my mom got a FREE chai, and it was spicy and not too sweet, so pretty much the BEST MORNING EVER.

On another note, (drumroll) we withdrew Lily from preschool.  Yup.  After all that fanfare…  BUT I have to say that I have a lot of peace about the decision.  We debated for a good long while before we enrolled her and then decided to have a trial period.  After two weeks, we debated some more, and although it was a tough debate initially, I think we all arrived at a good decision.  We included Lily in the decision making process, and surprisingly (?), she seems to be pretty content with the decision too.  I’ll give you the deets some other time.

I guess the theme of September is squeezing out every last drop of Summer.  This past weekend, we drove up past Buena Vista and Mt Princeton Hot Springs to camp at Cascade Campground, just below the trail head for Mt Antero.  It was super beautiful and the aspens were just starting to turn.

Mt Antero is an old mining spot, and the summit is even known for having aquamarine and topaz just under the surface.  There are tons of old roads criss-crossing this high alpine area, and there were plenty of ATVs taking advantage of the trail.  Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous hike.

Sadly, I’m a total wimp when it comes to old forest service roads, so rather than encouraging Sarah to take her SUV up 2.6 miles of rough road, I made her chicken out and park at the bottom…  Which meant that a round trip to the top would be 15+ miles.  In addition, I had to keep a close watch on the time.  I figured that, at maximum, I had eight hours before my breasts would explode into massively painful mountains of mastitis (too much information????).

So we hiked our tails off.  And so did Ollie and Oscar.  And we hiked and we hiked and we hiked.  And then, less from a mile from the top, at roughly 13200 ft of elevation, I had to call it.  We weren’t going to make it.  Not if my boobs were going to make it back intact.  So we turned around 😦  I mean, we could TASTE the summit 😦 But I guess 13.5 miles and 3,400 ft of elevation gain round trip is nothing too shabby?

Joshua had some good bonding time with the girls while we were gone.  Doesn’t even look like they missed me, snots. When I got back to camp, we went for another little walk and then stopped to build a fairy castle with sticks and rocks and pinecones.  Lily finally forgave me for leaving her behind.  She asked me, “mommy, some day can I have a date with you and we can go up a mountain?”  Um, sure.  I mean, definitely.  I mean, thank you, dear child, for making all of my dreams come true.

Went for a run yesterday after the long hike on Saturday.  I was feeling pretty good after the hike but then my run humbled me.  It wasn’t pretty, folks.  No better than a fully pregnant slog, really.  But I saw these pretty puppies up there and decided to take a little break and smell the roses (harhar).

Would you just look at her?  I mean.

 

Today Lily drew a picture with two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and legs.  She also wrote “Hoil.”  Because, apparently, she can do that?  Who is this child?!

On the way home from the Children’s Museum, these two fell asleep holding hands.  Pshaw.  So cute.  Now if only they hadn’t fallen asleep on the bike ride home, they would have napped (which quite possibly would have been even cuter).


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Just the two of us

Dear Lu,

Here you are.  What a love.  A cuddlebug.  You and I, we spent the day together.  Just the two of us.  We hadn’t planned it that way.  This morning when you were playing with your daddy and sister, you scuttled over to daddy’s cup of tea and upended it over your foot.  What ensued was not pretty.  It involved being dunked in last night’s bathwater with your jammies still on, nursing between screams, sitting naked with your foot in a mixing bowl of water, rocking through your sobs and breaking your blister, falling asleep at the opportune moment where your mommy had to cut off the skin of the blister and bandage your foot, and then taking a three hour nap on mommy’s lap.

Oh dear.  To see you pain is another kind of pain itself.  You were writhing, little one, and I was nearly crying with you.

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But, as your sister would say, you are “tough as nails.”  When you woke up from your nap, you were cuddly and wanting to be held, but calm and sweet.  The open blister larger than a quarter on the top of your foot couldn’t keep you from smiling.

So we went for a walk in the gulch.  We rode the train, we walked through campus.  I sang to you, and you sang with me.  Your sweet little voice made the flowers bloom as we walked by.  You made the apple blossoms smell sweeter.

You’re growing up so fast.  You lift up your arms when I declare “so big!” And you giggle when I play peek-a-boo.  Your sister makes you laugh, and you make us laugh too, scuttling over the floor.  You’re not crawling, but you may as well be.  While not quite as fast, you can get everywhere you want to go, leaning forward and sliding your dust-covered bottom behind you.

You love to eat.  Asparagus, peas, spinach, cheese, eggs, pear, apple…  You want a little bit of everything.  I spread little raisin-sized bits over the tray of your high chair and you pick them up and feed them to yourself.  I love watching your focus as you set your sights on a piece, reach for it, and then pick it up between your pudgy index finger and thumb.  You use such care and quiet with small things.

While we were out and about, daddy and sister went on a date.  They fed chickens, ate fro yo, and shopped for our groceries.  Before she left, she counseled me:  “mommy, nurse my baby, she’s sad.”

We talked on the phone when they were out, and she asked, “Lu ok?”

And then, when we were back, she kissed Lu.  “You happy, Lu?”

I love watching your relationship with your sister unfold.  Every morning, both of you are eager to smile at one another.  Lily says “good morning,” and you squeal with delight.

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Watching the two of you makes me think of Khalil Gibran’s poem On Children, specifically:

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

I know I can’t determine the type of relationship the two of you will have.  I can’t be certain that you will be close or that you’ll seek each other out for advice or comfort.  But I hope.

The poem reminds me of an artist and their canvas or bronze.  They have intent, they exact form and color, they hope.  And then, the art works independently of the artist, inspiring things or provoking thoughts the artists could not have predicted.

Dear Lu,

Thank you for spending the day with me.  You even spirit is better than meditation.

I love you,

Mom


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Lily is Three!

We’re all a bit burnt from a busy birthday/Easter weekend.  There was a strawberry themed party, three church services, two baptisms, and Easter Dinner.  We have Papa and Granny visiting, and Joshua is coming off a few intense days of housework with Grumpy, who’s also in town.  It’s been so good, but now we’re all exhausted.

Birthdays mean I get to buy flowers :)

Birthdays mean I get to buy flowers 🙂

I always forget how much it takes to throw a party, and much of Friday and Saturday were spent making snacks and treats, cleaning and decorating.  Luckily, we had a ton of help with Papa and Granny.

Pretty eggs pre egg salad.

Pretty eggs pre egg salad.

We dyed eggs at the party.  Last year, I blew out the eggs and used natural dye….  Needless to say, we just hardboiled these suckers and used cheap dye this year.

Lily got a bike for her birthday :)

Lily got a bike for her birthday 🙂

We bought Lily a balance bike for her birthday.  She’s a bit nervous, but I’m dreaming of a summer day when we go for a walk and she’s independently cruising along.  Helmet courtesy of Boobah and Zeydah (thanks!) and lovely Elephant dress courtesy of Catherine and Donal (this is seriously my favorite little dress ever).

She's a bit hesitant...

She’s a bit hesitant…

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Lily has been lovely all weekend.  Yesterday I was still asleep when she leaned over me and said, “Mommy, it’s my birthday!”  She was very excited.

Threenager

Threenager

Egg hunt

Egg hunt

Joshua and Lily both have birthdays that will sometimes land on Easter Sunday.  An egg hunt was good birthday fun 🙂

Tricksy bunny hid one in the chandelier.

Tricksy bunny hid one in the chandelier.

Birthday strawberry shortcake cupcake.

Birthday strawberry shortcake cupcake.

Egg dying at the party.

Egg dying at the party.

Lily had a couple other toddlers at her party.  I wish we knew more kids!  But I don’t think she noticed.  We had Grandma, Grumpy, Nana, Papa, Granny, Auntie RaRa, Uncle David, Melanie, and Auntie Val in attendance too.

Evrrrythang strawberry

Evrrrythang strawberry

Sooooooo close to crawling.  Scooting just about everywhere.

Sooooooo close to crawling. Scooting just about everywhere.

Threenager take two

Threenager take two

Prolly my only successful baking attempt.  Ever.

Prolly my only successful baking attempt. Ever.

And that’s a wrap!  Happy Birthday Lily!  You are a light in my life.  I love spending every day with you, and I am so lucky to be your mom.  I love you so much.

If you’re curious, here’s Lily’s first and second birthdays.


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Pancakes for Breakfast (and other misadventures)

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Sometimes, being almost three is hard; sometimes, being the mom of an almost three year old is hard.  This morning, Lily had a little tantrum over….  Well.  It seemed like everything.  She freaked out when I didn’t pour her enough milk.  She cried because she wanted chocolate in it.  She cried when I didn’t make the pancakes fast enough.  She cried trying to figure out how to put on her underpants….  And then her pants and her dress and her sweater and her socks and her shoes.  She cried when I had to nurse Billie and she wanted to go.  She cried over the snacks I decided to bring to the Science Museum (apple and hard boiled egg).

She cried when she had to walk from the truck to the museum.  She cried when we got into the museum because she couldn’t see me for a second.  She cried because she wanted to see the whale exhibit that has since closed and moved on.  She cried when I needed to use the restroom and she didn’t want to go.  She cried when she wanted to see birds and then dinosaurs and then turtles and then butterflies.  She cried when she was hungry for snack and then she cried when she realized she had lost her water bottle.

She cried when we sat in the Leprium Atrium for snack, and she cried when I asked her what was wrong and if she wanted to go to the park or go home.  She cried when I told her that it was hard listening to her whine and cry all morning long, and she cried when I told her that she could go sit over in the corner and cry because I just couldn’t listen to it anymore.

She cried when I asked her if she wanted a hug, and she cried when I kissed her forehead and told her I loved her.

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The hardest part about all of this is not knowing whether it’s normal, whether I’m doing something terribly wrong.  The hard part is being congratulated and told I’m doing something right when my children are happy and smiley and then going home to Lily sobbing and whining.

Kiss and an “I love you” first thing in the morning?  Check.

Pancakes on request for breakfast? Check.

Warmed and frothed milk?  Check.

Let her choose her outfit/hairstyle?  Check.

Let her choose today’s adventure?  Check.

Offers of hugs and help when upset?  Check.

Go find the lost water bottle?  Check.

Offer to go to the playground?  Check.

I would think these are the ingredients to a pretty splendid day, but instead, Lily sobbed, writhed, and whined through the whole thing.  I tried narrating the emotion, “are you hungry and frustrated?  I know you’re sad that you lost your water bottle, we’ll go find it.  Do you feel jealous?”  I tried telling her to calm down, “Lily, screaming ruins the experience for everyone around us.  I already told you were going to the room where we can have a snack.  If you can’t calm down, then we’re going to have to go.”  I tried explaining how I felt, “Lily, it’s really hard for mommy to hear you so upset.  Can you use your words?  I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what you want.”  In the end, I even tried ignoring her, walking out in front of the screaming three year old and glancing back every now and then to make sure she was following and safe.

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So…. That’s where we are today.  And see?  All the lovely photos?  I think that’s one of the parts that makes me feel like I don’t know what is normal.  In these photos, we’re all smiling.  Lily looks happy, like she loves her sister and her momma and she had a fun day, eating pancakes and going to the Science Museum.  Nope.  She didn’t.  And while I certainly hope she loves her sister and me, it was pretty dang hard to tell today.  I look at photos of other families and they look like this.  It makes me feel inadequate, but then again, I do the same.  I take pictures of us smiling, I try to tell you about all of the good and wonderful things in life, because recording those things is a form of thanks.  But then there are those days when the specter of all those smiles is hard to live up to.

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Dear Lily, I hope I’m doing this right.  I hope I’m not spoiling you or ruining you or pushing you away from me.  I hope that you grow up to be happy and strong.  I hope that you grow up to show love with your words and your hugs and your actions.  I hope you are good at solving problems and resilient and patient and kind.  I hope you can come to me when you need something, even if it’s just a hug (especially if it’s just a hug).  I hope you are confident and can see all the good in yourself.  I hope you know that you’re funny and sweet and smart.

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Maybe someday you’ll choose to be a mom, and maybe you’ll get how scary this is.  Who knows.  Maybe you’ll read this and your three year old will be giving you a run around too.  Or maybe you’ll have chosen a completely different and lovely life.  I hope I get to be a part of it, no matter what.

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And that photo above, that was the best moment of my day.  I told you that I was sad and frustrated and after another tantrum, “I’m nice! I’m nice!” You crawled on my back and laid on me for five minutes.  I’m a little worried that I mind-played you into it (is that my problem?  Trying so many parenting strategies that your mind-boggled?  Is it ok to ask your toddler to make you feel better when they’re so obviously not ok themselves?  Is Lily having problems because I’m too sensitive or there’s something wrong with me?  Is this the beginning of her hating me?  No, seriously, welcome to my mind’s narrative.)

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So, forgive me my self-doubt, my rant, and my frustration.  I’m so hopeful that I’ll be back soon to tell you about the sweet things Lily has done or said, Spring, and all that is good in life, because there’s so much.


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8 mos/35 mos

Hello World!  The sun is shining, Stacy and Ellison* are in town, and this coming weekend we’re off to Salida!  Life is so good, especially now that February or as I like to call it, the longest shortest month of the year, is done.  There are many things I love about winter, but without some nicely groomed ski trails nearby, the cold and the ice can be a huge drag.  Especially with kiddos.  Plus, there’s something about those dark months of January and February after the bustle and cocoa of the holidays that’s just plain lonely.

But right now, we’re feeling great! Nothing like friends and a little Vitamin D to give you a whole new perspective.

So, in those 10 minutes when both of my daughters are sleeping, I thought I’d share a few brief updates:

Lu:  Eating more and more these days.  After a slow start (she really wasn’t interested until a couple of weeks ago), she’s now grabbing for my food, reaching to intercept spoons, and getting frustrated when she doesn’t get a little of what we’re having.  She’s had pureed tortellini with pesto, egg, purreed rice with kale and mushrooms, broccoli, potato, polenta with ragu, apple, carrot, and a bunch of other little nibbles of anything we’re eating.  She’s got a pretty strong gag reflex, so we’re trying to blend everything or give it to her in tiny grain-sized bites, but I’m looking forward to when I can just hand her an apple to gnaw on.

In terms of movement, she’s leaning over and grabbing things, scooting on her butt, and traversing quite a distance that way.  She’s pulled herself up onto her knees a few times, and she also has gotten onto her hands and knees and rocked, but no crawling yet.  She loves picking up small objects, and I like letting her do that while I watch because she’s so graceful and focused on coordinating her fingers.  Right now, she’s loving anything that’s paper, and I’m constantly removing choke-sized bits of paper from her fists, much to her dismay.  She also loves plastic bags, so I let her play with little sandwich sized ones sometimes.

In terms of interaction, she’s smiling so much these days, fooling people into thinking that she might want to be held by them 😉 She’s so easy going, but it’s rare that she’ll tolerate someone other than her mama holding her.  Joshua definitely has the most luck (though I’m afraid it doesn’t feel like it to him).  She also is giving snuggles that look and feel more and more like hugs, and the other day, she even played a little peekaboo with my scarf and then leaned her face into my chest every time I asked for a hug.

Lily:  Is potty trained!!!!  Hurrah!  Sure, it may have taken almost exactly a year, but when it really happened, it happened fast.  One day we were in diapers, and the next, we were only in diapers for nap and night.  We had two accidents in the first couple of days, and now, I’ll sometimes ask her if she needs to go, but usually, she just takes care of it herself or let’s me know when we’re out and about.  I’m so proud of her.  In the end, it took the push of me saying, “no more diapers” and her crying a little bit, but the transition was so quick that I think she really was completely ready.  I know there’s lots of kids out there that have been potty trained for ages and Lily’s might seem late, but it doesn’t diminish how proud I feel of this independent little girl.  You go Lily!

This past week, we had another rough patch.  Lily tried something new:  an insult.  I’d like to be that confident woman who is not even phased, but even after years as a middle school teacher, it still hurt, aaaaand as usual, my wounded response just made things worse.  God, I can be such a mope sometimes.  I texted Brittaney, and she was just great.  She’s so encouraging, and I come away from those exchanges feeling like this is normal! Keep on! Show her love and be firm!  It’ll be ok!  There’s nothing wrong with you or her!  And it’s that last one that really gives me the strength to go back and set the tone.  To show her that it’s not ok to treat others poorly, but even when she does, I’m not going away and I’m strong enough to be there through it all.

And then, like any other almost three year old, she can also be so sweet.  “I love you SOOO much, Ellison!”  Kissing my “lonely” cheek, and curling up on my lap for stories.  The other morning, I was at my wits end trying to get out the door, but once we were outside, she grabbed my hand (unsolicited) and announced cheekily, “Mama, I’m a monkey.  I’m a green monkey!”  (She had dressed herself from head to toe entirely in kelly green.)

I was asking my mom about myself as a little girl, curious about how Lily and I were similar or different.  I think our intensity and affinity for order and schedule are very similar.  (For example, whenever we move furniture, Lily breaks down in sobs.)  Although both my mom and dad say that I was a little more serious and quiet.  I do see some of myself in her in social situations where she’s clearly fascinated by watching other people and seeing them interact, but often too shy to go and join in.  And, like me, when she is comfortable with a group, she has no problem talking up a storm and being in the thick of it.

That’s all for now.  Spring is in the air, and even though I’m sure it will snow again, our little seedlings are coming up and the sun feels warm on our bare arms.  I feel like singing 🙂

*Yeah.  That’s my name.  Yeah.  That’s this little one’s middle name.


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Dear Lu

This morning, Lily and I crawled out of bed and left you sleeping.  Your hands were curled shut and flanking your cheeks like little bookends.  Somewhere between coffee and eggs, I hear you sigh.  It’s half a song and a yawn, and when I walk in to say good morning, you smile with your whole face.  You kick your legs and give a wriggle when I kiss your nose.  I pick you up, and you curl into my shoulder, nuzzling my neck.

You’re so patient in the morning.  I sit you in the sunlight, surrounded by pillows and rattles and books that crinkle, and you pick through them methodically, grasping each with your little fists, smacking them into the floor or gumming them.  Your sister gives you kisses and hugs, she runs around, takes your stuffed animal and hands you another.  Sometimes she makes you cry, and sometimes she makes you laugh.  I’m always telling her to be gentle, to pull back, to be a good big sister, and she tries.

We eat breakfast and get changed.  Just before we leave, you nurse.  I almost always think you’ll fall asleep, but you rarely do.  You curl in, trying to get some peace while your sister competes for my attention, playing the harmonica or banging about in her little kitchen or asking for a story.  “Not now, Lily.  Lu’s eating, she’s trying to sleep.  Shhhh.  We’ll leave in a little bit.  Go play with your toys.”

On our way out the door, my hands are full.  You’re in your car seat, Lily’s still resisting her winter coat, and I have my purse, the keys, my phone, a carrier, and a bag of library books looped through my arms and banging the sides of my legs.   You were crying on the way out, but once you see the sun, you start cooing and smiling again, happy to be outside.

I wrangle the two of you into the car.  Once I’ve buckled in your car seat, I run half way down the block to chase after Lily, who’s giggling and looking behind her to see if I’m in pursuit.

We drive to Walgreens for passport photos, and I hold you in front of the white screen awkwardly, trying not to get in the photo.  No matter.  You smile anyway, and then it’s your sister’s turn.  She’s a little alarmed.  She thinks we’re going to Mexico today; the link between this photo and our summer trip doesn’t quite make sense.

You’re happy in the car.  No cries.  You play with my wallet, hitting the sides of your car seat with it.  When we get to music class, I can tell you’re tired and you want to nurse, but I’m wearing a dress, and I’m still not completely comfortable nursing in public.  I try to avoid it when I can.  I hate that.  I’d like to invent a nursing bra with the image of a hand flipping the bird to anyone who doesn’t like it, but it does bother me, the looks.  So I hand you my watch to play with, and we go inside.

You like music class, but the time’s all wrong.  You’re ready for nap.  You cry after we put away each instrument, and when Lily tries to dance or cuddle with you, your face crumples.  Even so, you smile and sing along.  You like bouncing on my knee and shaking the rattles, ringing the bells.  You love when we get up and dance.  Today we danced to ‘Send Me On My Way’ which is one of my anthems.

At the end of class, we sing ‘so long, farewell, goodbye my friends, so long, farewell, goodbye.’  I load you into your carrier, and we walk the six blocks to the library.  On the way, you nurse and then you fall asleep, head into my chest, heavy weight.  I cajole and bribe Lily the whole way.  ‘You can have a snack after we are done with the library.  Hold my hand.  Lily, watch where you’re going.  I know it’s a long way.  You have strong legs.  Wow!  I’m so proud of you!  You’re such a great runner!  Are you going to be a runner like you’re mommy and daddy?’

You sleep through it all.  I wrap you in my jacket, but the sun in shining, and you head feels warm.  I kiss your downy hair.  At the library, you start to cry because your sister is worried that I won’t let her scan the books at the self-checkout.  She calms down when I set her up, stacking the books and lighting up the bar codes, but you’re a little grumpy that you’ve been woken up.

We get outside, and you smile up at me.  Something about that sunshine and cool air.

Lily looses it on the way back to the truck.  It’s my fault.  It’s one thirty, we’ve walked nearly a mile, and I’m out of snacks.  She’s tired and hungry and… Tired.  I carry her on my hip for a block, and she sniffs through her tears and kisses you.  You’re not pleased with the additional passenger, encroaching on your space.

Finally, finally, we get to the truck.  I buckle the two of you in, slide into my seat, and pull out the passport photos to take another peek.  So darn cute.  I look at my watch.  It says 2.8 miles, but I’m not sure how much of that is from shaking a tambourine in music class.

We drive the residential roads home, but neither of you fall asleep.  Back at the house, I set you up in the sun again.  You play while I make lunch and pour myself another cup of coffee.  Lily bursts into tears over her eggs and beans.  I change your diaper and put Lily down for nap.  I scoop you up and we nurse.  You fall asleep and I pull out the computer, trying to write without waking you up.

These are our days.  This is you.  You’re still so little that you feel like a part of me.  I know your cries, and your comfort is mine.  Nursing, cuddling – these are my rest too.  Soon, you’ll be crawling.  I find you on your tummy often, having launched there in an effort to grasp a toy just out of reach.  But for now, you’re in my arms or sitting in the sun.

I love you, Lu.  You’ve taught me so much.  You’re resilient and curious, patient and happy.  When I labored and delivered you, I felt your little spirit the whole time:  calm, patient, and sure.  You’re first months have shown me the ease and joy of new life.  You help me to be calm, to be patient, to be sure.

Love,

Mom


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Vivienne et Cecil et al…

Some photos from the past few weeks.  Sarah, my sister-in-law, and I have been working hard to put on a little vintage pop up shop.  This past weekend, we had our first sale.  Leading up to the sale, we tore out cabinetry from inside her garage, painted the interior all in white, hung rods for clothes hangers, dug up all of our thrifted, vintage clothes fit for sale, made price tags, flyers, signs, steam cleaned everything, took photos in the freezing cold, and created a facebook and etsy site.  It was quite the production, but it was fun, and our first shop was very successful.  We had probably 60 people stop by, and we made almost 70% of our overhead.  We plan to open again on March 14 from 9 to 3, so if you’re in the area, please stop on by.

We named the shop Vivienne et Cecil, using Grandma Vivienne’s and Grandma Joanie’s middle name.

When I’m not working on the shop, I’m snuggling with the girls and traipsing all over this city, finding little adventures.  On Friday, I have my Human Anatomy and Physiology course, and this week is my first exam.  Combined with church, running, and A Simple Year course, my life is decidedly a little less simple and a little more busy, which means that I’m failing February’s mission of owning my busyness and prioritizing few, rather than many.  Oh well, it could be worse, and I am having fun.  One of these days I’ll give ya’ll an update on my minimalism adventures in the past four months.

Lu and Lily.  Lily's face is smeared with raspberry puree from a failed attempt at making Valentine's Day cupcakes....

Lu and Lily. Lily’s face is smeared with raspberry puree from a failed attempt at making Valentine’s Day cupcakes….

Lily, act surprised.

Lily, act surprised.

Lily and one of her best buds on a hike at Matthew Winters.  He's moving to San Diego next month :(

Lily and one of her best buds on a hike at Matthew Winters. He’s moving to San Diego next month 😦

IMG_6267

At the library, playing on the iPad (sort of).

At the library, playing on the iPad (sort of).

My lovely sister-in-law.  Lookin' like an american gangster ala 1960s.

My lovely sister-in-law. Lookin’ like an american gangster ala 1960s.

Cute

Cute

Love the light in this one

Love the light in this one

Nursing Lu.

Nursing Lu.

Clockwise:  Valentine's Day night cuddling with Lu while Joshua is chaperoning the high school dance; in the changing room of our shop, with Lu in her sling and me in my killer hat; Lu gazing up at me <3

Clockwise: Valentine’s Day night cuddling with Lu while Joshua is chaperoning the high school dance; in the changing room of our shop, with Lu in her sling and me in my killer hat; Lu gazing up at me ❤

Clockwise:  shop; changing room; coats and scarves.

Clockwise: shop; changing room; coats and scarves.

Clockwise:  shoes, hats and jewelry; lacy things; dresses.

Clockwise: shoes, hats and jewelry; lacy things; dresses.

Clockwise:  some Nana Made things in the shop; one of the photos of me for the etsy site; Sarah in a skirt.

Clockwise: some Nana Made things in the shop; one of the photos of me for the etsy site; Sarah in a skirt.

Clockwise:  Sarah looking fabulous; me in the coveted polka dots; Sarah in Koret.

Clockwise: Sarah looking fabulous; me in the coveted polka dots; Sarah in Koret.

The poncho (can I really sell it?  It actually keeps me awake at night.); Italian silk; Velour Navy gown.

The poncho (can I really sell it? It actually keeps me awake at night.); Italian silk; Velour Navy gown.

Red Dress; 80s pants and turban wrap; pink cheetah print.

Red Dress; 80s pants and turban wrap; pink cheetah print.

Old Hollywood gown; the gorgeous dress I wore to Caitlin's wedding; all in black.

Old Hollywood gown; the gorgeous dress I wore to Caitlin’s wedding; all in black.