Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cross section

The days have been rolling downhill lately, picking up such tremendous speed that this weekend I purposely planned nothing.  No work projects were brought home.  No commitments were made. It was the only way I would have the energy and endurance to catch up to that ball rolling swiftly down the decline.  I decided would take a moment to grab that ball and cut it in half so that it can't get away from me again.  

When I cut that ball of life into two it created a cross section of our days.  And I'm going to mount that cross section on a slide here today as a way of preserving the seemingly minuscule parts of our life.  The parts so tiny you would need a high powered microscope to see their importance.

Slide 1:  World Rock
With the snow gone, we have been on many adventures around the yard.  The girls have been exploring the yellow, lifeless earth that is still in hibernation.  During one of their adventures they discovered World Rock.  World Rock received it's name from Callie for the simple fact that "you can see the whole world when you stand on it."

Slide 2:  Full to the Top
We hear those words about fifty times a day.  Callie can drink water like she's on a trek across the dessert.  She is forever asking for her Lighting McQueen cup to be "full to the top".  And sister can tell by the weight of it in her hand whether its right to the top or not!

Slide 3: Hoodies
If there is a hood on a sweater it is on the head.  It doesn't matter if she is inside or out.  Hoods were simply meant to be up.  

Slide 4:  Big Girl Bed?
The side rail of Lexi's crib is broken and I will not be ordering the replacement parts. We have set up the portable pack & play in her room for now.  Soon it will be coming. When I am ready.  The shift to the big girl bed.  The crib is the last sign of a baby in our house.  Moving to the next stage has never been easy for me.  I am patient, never in a rush to get my girls to the next phase and I'm anticipating that the removal of the crib may be an emotional day.  

Slide 5: Alvin 
Lexi's Easter basket had the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie in it.  Her last words before I tuck her into bed at night are, "I watch Alvin in the morning?"  Her first words in the morning, "I watch Alvin?"  Alvin, Alvin, ALVIN!  Callie called a family meeting tonight to discuss the overdose of Alvin and she lead us through the intervention process coming up with a complex TV watching schedule.

Slide 6:  Seatbelt Mayhem
There was a time, not that long ago, that getting Callie dressed in the morning required buckets of patients and an endless supply of deep breaths to make it through the meltdown that occurred when the clothes just didn't feel right.  This super sensitivity to sock seams and anything that wasn't elastic waist seems to be easing up a little but the frustration hasn't just got transferred to the seatbelt!

Slide 7:  Emerging independence.
 "I do it all myself!"  "I do it, I do it, I dooooo it!"  Little sister is growing up.  Learning and doing.  Mostly just trying to copy big sister but still emerging into her own, unique little being.  Our early morning rendez-vous is beginning to fade out making the mornings that I do scoop her up out of her bed even more valuable.  She huddles in between Jon and I, grabs me tight around my neck so that we are nose to nose, breathing each others breaths, and says, "'nuggle me, mom, 'nuggle me!"

Slide 8:  Color Change
After a lifetime of being blonde, I am trying out being a brunette.  I had it colored about a month ago but just haven't posted a picture here yet.  I have adjusted to the change and even forget that it's drastically different until someone comments... proof that you can change the outside all you want, as often as you want, but ultimately, you are who you are.

I will now add the cover slip on top of my prepared slides.  To preserve these simple, microscopic moments in time.  The small things, the inbetween days or whatever you want to call them... are basically real life.  Enjoy your real life moments this weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2012


I am feeling out of sorts this week.  I started the week with a trip to the city for a conference for work.  This adventure at the beginning of the week has my routines confused and my internal compass spinning in circles.    I am careful when choosing my time spent away from my family, weighing pros against the cons, costs versus rewards and this time work won, pulling me away from my girls for three nights.

I went to the city to learn and grow and development myself for my work.  But in all honesty, my work is not very far removed from my life as Callie and Lexi's mom.  And if one has ever thought that I took my responsibility as mother bear seriously before, all I can say is that after listening to the theory and principles of Gordon Neufeld, this mother bear is even more committed to protecting and nurturing her cubs.

It is pretty typical when you're in the presence of inspiring people to come back to work and home with your guns a blazin'.  Ready to make changes.  Ready to incorporate your new knowledge into your prior thinking.  Meshing them together to form your own unique style and approach.  You may recall the last conference I attended introduced Baroque music into our life.  

This weekend I will be reorienting myself.  Slipping back into routine.  Catching up with my girls.  Getting back to the tasks at hand... like continuing to encourage spring to make a real appearance.

Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter "Blister"

Our quiet weekend at home started off very quiet.  We woke up Saturday morning to flashing clock lights and a heavy blanket of wet snow.  The power went off because of the spring snow storm that happened while we were sleeping.  Having no electricity brings new meaning to the word quiet.  Without the humming of appliances or the TV buzzing in the background, we could literally hear each other breathe. The only modern day convenience we had was Jon's cell phone, not mine because if you know me, the truck is always moments away from a low fuel light... and my cell phone is always just a fraction of a bar away from shutting down.  I'm a hot mess in an emergency situation.

I called my mom and dad to tell them to hold off on coming over for our Easter brunch that we had planned.  A short time later the power came back on... but it was just a teaser.  It lasted just long enough to begin cooking breakfast.  So after another hour of listening to each other breathe, we packed up the girls, the French Toast and the partially cooked sausages and moved our brunch to mom and dad's where the heat was on and the coffee was warm.  Callie says, "mom, it's a blister out here!"

The only sign of spring around here this weekend was my mom's flowers.  A snowstorm is April really isn't that unusual.  Winter and Spring generally continue their battle until the end of May.  No April showers bringing May flowers for us.  If nothing else, we like to obsess about the weather.  Because every year we play little mind games between ourselves and Mother Nature.  Secretly hoping that this will be the year Spring shows up, for real, on March twentieth.  I dream about outdoor egg hunts and picnic blankets on the grass and girls in party dresses with white patent shoes.

We headed back out after brunch, braving the treacherous roads and the sloppy wet snow.  We felt like bears who poked their heads out of their winter dens, looked around and said, "nope it's not spring yet" and returned to hibernation.  When we got home, the girls got their jammies on even though it was early afternoon.  We just settled in for an afternoon matinee and whoop... silence. 

The power was off most of the day which allowed for true quiet time. Games of Chutes and Ladders, puzzles and books for the girls and one good closet clean out for mom. 

The Bunny came.  And this year he had eggs hidden everywhere.  I guess he heard Callie's question earlier in the week when she asked me why the Easter Bunny only came to the living room.  It was time for E.B. to up the ante and put a little challenge into this egg hunting business.  There are still some eggs the girls haven't found.  I'm anticipating the excitement weeks from now when they stumble upon them.

Chocolate for breakfast. 

An unsuccessful attempt at some snow art. 

Power off.  Power on.  Power off.  Power on. 
It was a perfect, quiet, blistery weekend at home. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Things

Last week we had our final skate to bid farewell to winter.  The outdoor rinks have melted.  The lakes are slushy.  And the local arena is removing the ice surface.  Goodbye first year of official skating lessons.  

Hello spring projects. 

1. Flowers
Spring needs a lot of encouragement in our part of the world.  So we continued to rally in it's corner by planting some seeds.  I love how the box shows these big, beautiful flowers growing in these teeny tiny pots. Our only hope is that they will survive until spring shows up for real.

2. Puddle Jumping
The girls have been giving their rubber boots a work out in the back yard. Our guests are greeted by a small lake at the back door.  Without boots, you need a ferry to get across.

3. Crafting
I had never thought of dough art for spring... until Pinterest of course!  And long after the girls have ditched their projects you'll find me still there, painting away, putting on finishing touches, modge podging until the sun sinks behind the horizon.

Now it's starting to look a little more spring-y around here.

4. Eggs
Dying eggs with friends is fun.  And it's the same amount of effort to make Easter eggs with one child as it is for four kids so it was great to have our friends share in the fun. And, like crafting, after the kids had moved on to other things Christine and I added our own touches to the rainbow of eggs left on the table.  

Lexi got to participate this year. She is such a big girl these days.  And feeling much better too.  She passed her last doctor's test...goodbye nasty, mean bronchitis.

Hello Easter Long Weekend. 
We are looking forward to a quiet weekend at home with family... and chocolate.

What are your favorite spring things?