Sunday, November 25, 2012

I'll Have a Latte Please. To Stay.

The girls turned their chairs around at breakfast this morning so that they could see out the window.  The fresh layer of snow that fell this weekend made the view very picturesque.  With our lack of neighbours and with the shop being closed on Sunday,  all they had to look at was the winter landscape.   They made up stories about foxes and bears and had pretend animal sightings.  Such sweet sister moments. 

We caught the holiday bug this weekend and we went shopping looking for gift giving gems in the local shops on Main Street.  The girls were shopping troopers, they loved all the ornaments in Canadian Tire and how they are all arranged by color.  Callie was shouting, "look mom this row is all blue!  Look, this one's all red!"  We took our time playing which one is your favorite in each of the sections.  Callie wanted the light up Rudolph nose and antlers from the dollar store so I splurged.  The blinking nose didn't survive the first drop on the kitchen floor and today I picked up the headband with one limp antler... holding true to the meaning of you get what you pay for.  Luckily we didn't have high expectations.

We took a break from shopping and I took the girls to the Orange Toad coffee shop for a treat.  This is a grown-up coffee shop that has great coffee and fresh home made baking.  It also has a sign that says, "unsupervised children will be given a free espresso and a puppy."  I'm always a little nervous when we go there that I may be buying dog food on our way home.  I used to get the server to make our order in to-go cups just in case we had to make a quick get away.  But it's not like that anymore.

I now confidently say, "to stay"  when I order my latte, strawberry banana smoothie with two straws and three of the muffins of the day.  The girls get a book from the children's section and we read and sip and enjoy.  I told Callie the story about when Lexi was just a newborn baby we would drop Callie off at preschool and me and Lexi would come and have coffee at this shop.  Lexi would sleep in her little seat and I would read the paper.  I always went by myself because I was never organized enough to make plans in advance.  

Callie then pipes up and says, "you came without me?"  To this I told her the story about when she was just a born baby Christine and I would bring our girls to this shop and the moms would visit and our girls would sit on our knees and all the grandmas in the shop would smile and comment on how beautiful they were.


I remember, a lot of years ago now, I was visiting my grandparents and on the side of their fridge the weekly church bulletin was posted with a magnet.  I glanced at the memo and read through the happenings of the little country church that they attended and on the last page was this poem.  It's funny that I can remember this poem from so long ago, long before I was even considering motherhood, when I forget so many other things (like my truck keys at the Wal-mart check-out! True story.) 

The words of this poem come back to me all. the. time.  Like when I look at the stained fabric on the kitchen chairs and think that I should clean them again or when I 've picked up the toys for the millionth time or tonight as I was writing this Callie asked if I could play Chutes and Ladders with her.  I think of those words I read so long ago and how short the amount of time it actually was that I had to order a my latte in a to-go cup.

(Oh, and I did play Chutes and Ladders in case you we're wondering.)

Hand Prints On The Wall
by Anonymous

One day as I was picking
the toys up off the floor,
I noticed a small hand print
on the wall beside the door.

I knew that it was something
that I'd seen most every day,
but this time when I saw it there
I wanted it to stay.

Then tears welled up inside my eyes,
I knew it wouldn't last
for every mother knows
her children grow up way too fast.

Just then I put my chores aside
and held my children tight.
I sang to them sweet lullabies
and rocked into the night.

Sometimes we take for granted,
all those things that seem so small.
Like one of God's great treasures...
A small hand print on the wall.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Outdoor Adventure

We went outdoors this weekend. And I just want to say that if winter wants to steal so much time from fall then he could at least give us some more snow to work with.  Callie did her best to take Lexi for a sled ride on the thin layer of snow that we have. 

Both girls love their one piece Toaster Suits.  There were only three colors for Callie to choose, blue or red.  I think she looks super cute in her red suit. We went on a big adventure around the yard.  We checked out World Rock and inspected all the different animal tracks in the snow and I prayed that we didn't happen upon the feet that made those tracks.

Jon helped the girls build a snow fort...actually just the first couple of rows of a snow fort, until all the snow on the deck was used up.  It will be a work in progress.  A little winter project for my construction workers.
Lexi is very much a union worker, taking her fair share of "swing" breaks.  Callie was in charge of the watering can, dad was the head bricklayer and me...I was the forewoman offering well intended suggestions to the bricklayer and taking pictures.

The girls found a new play structure. It was fun but it in no way meets any of the safety standards necessary for child's play. Callie slid off the top in slow motion and landed on the ground, unharmed, but that was enough for mom to pull the pin on this adventure.

And of course, every outdoor adventure is concluded with a warm cup of hoco choco.  That's what Lexi called it all last winter and we still call it that in our house even though she can now clearly say hot chocolate. Cheers.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

When Time Stands Still

Let's turn back the clock, not just an hour this time, but for an entire week.  Last Thursday we celebrated the  birthday of the best mama in the world.  My mom.  Sometimes there are streamers and balloons and lots of people and other times its just us with take-out pizza and a store bought cake...because that's just the way we roll. 

I want to write about the time we had last weekend on a little mini vay-cay to the city to visit with our friends.  I could tell about the crazy confusion of how our city weekend came to be or the snowstorm that we drove through to get there but I'm just not feeling like finding all the joy in the little details today.

Because when we got back from our weekend in the city, time stood still.  As I sat next to my good friend Monday afternoon during a conference for work, the RCMP discretely pulled her out of the room.  When I went out into the hall to see what was happening, Christine turned to me and said, "I gotta go.  It's my dad."  And the clock stopped.  The pit of my stomach began to feel empty and my brain was trying to trick me by not letting me think of worst case scenarios.

The events of the remainder of that day make my heart ache and my tears flow.  Because after the work of being supportive and being as helpful to my friend as I could...when the work is done you begin to feel again.    And it's so much easier to bake a loaf or take care of the kids or do busy work than it is to let your emotions come back.  To start thinking about her loss and the void that has been created in her family is such a vulnerable feeling.  Because our lives have been intertwined in so many ways for most of our lives, the loss of her dad reaches far into my life as well.

When time starts to move again I will be back to writing about girls who make silly faces and I will tell about "medeso medaso" and all the other little things that have been floating around our house.  But until then...

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Sunday, November 4, 2012

This & That

 None of the things I have to say today are connected in anyway.  It's like one of those mystery grab bags.  A little of this and a little of that.

1.  Today we gained back the hour we lost in the spring.  Yay.  The world now feels more balanced.

2. We've been having some unwanted playdates in the yard this week.  We were in the middle of dinner the other night and this little buddy knocked on the back door to see if anyone was coming out to play.  He didn't stick around very long but today he sent his much bigger brother over to check things out.  Lexi was brave, putting her hands against the window as if she could pet him like a little puppy.  Callie, like her mama, was not quite as brave and grabbed Lexi's hand away from the window just in case.  

3. The girls found their craft groove this weekend.  Somedays I'm a cool, "ya, go ahead girls and create," kinda mom.  I try to relax about the mess and not worry too much when they get the paint colors mixed up.  But eventually the I like things clean and organized mom comes in and ninja kicks cool, creative mom out of the way and starts recapping glitter glue and washing paint brushes. After everything is all cleaned up and the glue has dried I love finding their creations all around the house...

We looked at the Christmas decorations being put out at Wal-Mart today.  It looks like someone found some inspiration.

4. Jon's mom delivered us a bag of Jon's school work that she has been hanging onto for over 30 years!  What fun it was to look through and see his rows of neatly printed letters and to read his stories.  It makes me think about what treasures I will keep from my girls.

I smiled when I read this one.  It's like he already knew at age seven that something was going to happen to his hair...

5. Sunday morning waffle making.  Sure you can help girls.  Remember, I'm cool, laid back mom.  Of course that is until the dispute over who was going to stir began.  I finished making the waffles myself as each girl went to their respective rooms.  We love making memories.  Even if they all don't have happy endings.  The dispute was settled with some apologies and breakfast was delicious.

6. We all went skating today.  Callie was thrilled.  She said to Lexi, "you get to do whatever you want because there are no teachers."  And whatever you want includes giving rides on chairs...

Lexi is improving a little bit each time she gets out on the ice. She very sweetly says, "I skate really fast, right mom?"  And Callie seems to have mastered the all important skill of stopping before colliding full tilt into the boards. 

7.  Now I've used up the extra hour that was given today.  Backpacks are by the door.  Lunch is packed.  Eyes are heavy.  Here's to a great week.
Good Nighty.