Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Grandmommy

My maternal grandmother was born 90 years ago today. Although we lived hundreds of miles apart, and I was barely eleven years old when she died, she had a profound impact on my life. Never underestimate how much meaning and joy a grandparent can bring to a child. I'm so glad to have known her.

Today, in honor of her birthday, the girls and I planted pansies. My mom says they were my grandmother's favorite early spring flower.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We Went Hiking

By Betsy, Transcribed by Becca

We went to the playground. We played there and we played Princess and the Frog. And I also stomped in puddles. My shoes turned brown and I sang, "I love my brown shoes.*" And then I looked at my mom and I said, "Let's go on the balance beam, please, pleasy please cheese." We also saw signs and fun stuff to play with. I found a walking stick in a log. We saw white and blue flowers. And also a stick. I love you family.

*The song Pete the Cat sings in the book of the same title when his shoes get muddy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring is Coming

So many things are blooming around the neighborhood now; crocuses, daffodils, maple and cherry trees. I love spring in Virginia.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hi. Hi. Ay yi yi.

I love baby babbling. Lately Abigail sounds like she's saying, "Hi!" and "Ay yi yi yi yi."

Elizabeth and I "Hi" and "Ay yi yi" back to her until we all giggle so hard we can't talk.

Monday, March 7, 2011

(Just a Few) Reasons to Be Thankful

10 Things I am thankful for, off the top of my head, right at this very moment:

1. A great production of Footloose. It's wonderful to see dear friends and my dear husband carrying on with their love of theatre and passing that on to a new generation. I'm fortunate to be close to such kind and talented people.
2. Getting to take my kids to see live theatre, with live musicians. The kids on stage were superheroes to my girl. And she was mighty proud of her first props; ketchup and mustard bottles she'd filled with playground gravel to keep them from rolling off the tables. (Thanks for giving her that job, S.)
3. My washing machine. I complain about having to put the laundry away, but I'd complain a lot more if I'd had to wash it all by hand.
4. My dishwasher. After the 7+ years in Arlington with no dishwasher, I sure am glad to be able to put everything in and press start.
5. NPR. I like to hear what's going on in the world while I make/clean up from dinner. And it's much better than the network TV coverage, which mainly seems to be about The Weather. (It's coming our way! What this means for your commute, after this commercial.)
6. My husband, who is crazy busy, and who still dropped everything to come home tonight when his girl needed him.
7. Baby carriers, and the babies who sleep in them when nothing else will do for soothing.
8. The opportunity to watch my baby grow and change each day. Last night she figured out crawling. That change, from sitting unsupported to moving unassisted is a monumental one.
9. Kitties who keep us company on good days and bad.
10. The way my husband looks at me, still, after 7 years of marriage.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tomato Sauce

As I was thawing out tomato sauce for dinner, I noticed the date on the bag; September 16. Abigail was born August 19, which means this was from the batch I made when she was less than a month old. I rolled my eyes at myself. What was I thinking, chopping and simmering 20 lbs of tomatoes into sauce when I was a brand new stay-at-home-mom with a brand new baby? I remember that day well, too, how I felt so put together as Elizabeth and I sat on a blanket in the living room, ripping up a bowl full of basil from the garden while Abigail did tummy time next to me. “THIS is the life I want to live!” I thought.

And how things fell apart soon after, how it was such a hot fussy chore to get everything done, and how when my husband arrived home many hours later I was in despair because I thought the sauce was terrible, and I'd worked so hard all day to make a pot of acidic mess. (It wasn't. It just needed a meeting with the immersion blender.)

As the sauce defrosted on the stove last night, and that wonderful fresh tomato and basil smell wafted up to me, I was glad I had made it. I thought about how quick I am to discount my own hard work. “That was silly; what was I thinking; why did I push so hard?” Yes, I also thought that I could have been doing a little less, maybe spent more time just enjoying my new baby who is already so big. But I also recognized that I should be proud of what I have done. As a stay-at-home mom, there are no awards, no bonuses, no performance measures to meet. I rarely hear a thank-you from anyone other than my husband, who has been a stay-at-home parent himself. So sometimes it's good to enjoy the tomato sauce and say, “I don't know how I did that, but I did, and it is a tasty treat on this cold March day.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Duplos Duplos

Tonight the girls played Duplos together. Well, Elizabeth played and Abigail chewed. Sort of a parallel play/snack. But they did it together, for the first time, and for nearly 20 minutes!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And Her Face is Bliss

Sometimes in the middle of a very busy week
Of a very hard semester
A dad
Takes the day off from work
To be with his family
And takes his daughter
On a ride on the trail-a-bike
And she pumps her pink hiking boots so hard
Stopping only to adjust her sunglasses
And she is so happy.