Sunday, March 3, 2013

7 & 8/ 52

Two busy weeks flew by. Daddy had a vacation week and then a birthday and "way led unto way," and Mama is tardily updating.

So many lovely moments, tiny victories, tantrums weathered, cat food eaten (Tess), restless nights survived, a full moon reveled in, anxieties calmed, revived and calmed again, snow shoveled and trudged in, the sad grey end of winter cheered by the spark of you, my children.

These past two weeks, my sweet baby,

-- You started to actually love playing in the snow, not just tolerate it. What a change from a few weeks ago!

-- Your language skills are just exploding. Nearly full sentences now! Smart baby.

-- You started teething again even though I thought you already had all your 2 year molars. Huh?? Let's see what happens, shall we?

-- You ate cat food. Enough about that.

-- You decided you can never be without your stuffed puppy.

-- You learned to count to 16. 

-- Your favorite tea is now rooibos with honey and a splash of milk. Yum.

-- You took your first serious nap NOT in the car or on my arm or my back. That makes me so very happy. We even documented it. 

-- Favorite story: What Will Little Bear Wear? You have it almost memorized. 

-- You had a naked toddler dance party with your cousin the night before she moved out of state. You know how to do send-offs.

These last two weeks have been full for you, my sweet girl, 

-- You went with mommy and Nonni (and no sister!) to Portland to see a production of Peter Pan. You were absolutely transfixed and became obsessed with Peter Pan again. We also went to Bam Bam bakery and you wanted one of everything.

-- You eagerly helped me with everything for Daddy's party. And then helped him open his gifts. 

-- You loved listening me read the book "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" and so we did a mini unit study on China.

-- You learned to count to 10 in Mandarin and write some simple characters. 

-- You invented a bunch of things, mostly games, and made a "microphone" out of a cup and tea strainer so you could go around the house announcing things. Like that Tess had eaten cat food. 

-- You got married to Tess, twice. 

-- You cried when you realized how far away your cousin moved. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013


A little late this week, but better late...

This week, Wild Irish Rose:

-- You finally walked in the snow!!! And loved it! A major breakthrough and I couldn't be prouder of you. It was just like it "clicked" and you saw that you were safe and watched how Emmaline loves it. Whew. 

-- We had a blizzard, your first. You enjoyed watching the snow and were un-phased and happily ate and played as if it were nothing.

-- Valentine's Day came and went without much fanfare from you but you did learn to shout "canny!" when you see a crinkly red package. Ehem.

-- Favorite song, A Tisket, A Tasket. Preferably sung by your older sister. 

-- You have zero interest in potty training (dreadful phrase) but love to listen to me read Once Upon a Potty over and over again. You especially like the picture of poop in the potty. 

-- You finally learned how to climb down the stairs. Yay!

-- You like to pretend you are a "pinchess." It is ridiculously cute. 

This week, Emma Bean, 

-- You enjoyed the blizzard. You said it made you feel cozy, like Little House in the Big Woods. You helped us shovel afterwards too. 

-- We went to the ocean when the weather warmed and you fished for "mackerel." You definitely have your Boppa's love for fishing inborn.

-- You loved every minute of Valentine's Day. Your favorite part was either getting a flower as a present or dancing with your cousin Penelope in Nonni's kitchen. You couldn't decide.

-- Your favorite story of the moment is the original Peter Pan. We're reading it aloud at night and we're both savoring all the big and interesting words. You stop my reading to make me define them. 

-- The story you told to me while I snapped those last two photos was about a prince lost in an ancient forest and how a wandering minstrel upon a white horse saved him. It was dramatic, sweet, elaborate, nuanced, and ultimately happy. Much like you, my sweet. 

Friday, February 8, 2013


My smart and sweet girl, this week:

-- You discovered that your new favorite word is "gusto." 

-- You made a plethora of Valentines with a deft hand and a storm of red glitter. You continue to impress me with your creativity and focus while completing projects. 

-- Your favorite story (redux) was Stuart Little. Favorite song, Suzanne by Leonard Cohen. 

-- You insisted on tasting sriracha. You were not a fan. But you do love sweet potato kale tacos. 

-- You danced with your little cousin Penelope. It was the sweetest thing ever. 

This week, Noodlebug:

-- Your new-found independence retracted slightly and you wanted to be held, rocked, snuggled, worn by either mama or daddy a lot. The push-me-pull-you of toddlerhood. 

-- Your favorite story (by far) lately is We're Going on a Bear Hunt. You almost have it memorized, clever baby. Favorite song, The North Wind Doth Blow. 

-- You got a "boo boo" by clunking into the table but you wore your shiner with pride. You are a tough bug. 

-- You continue to smoosh food in your hair at almost every meal, so your new hairstyle is a "top knot" and your head tends to smell like sunflower butter or tomato sauce or banana or cheese. I will probably tease you about this someday. 

-- You climb onto the stool in the bathroom to "washa hands" several times a day. It's really cute. 

Friday, February 1, 2013


This week, my "wild Irish rose": 

-- You spent the first full day perfectly happy without being strapped to me in the backpack. Bittersweet. 

-- You pretended to be a "supow-hewow." 

-- You were so very very happy that we had a strange thaw and all the snow (which you HATE) melted away. Once the wind calmed and the sun came out, you played hard in the mud. It should be a fun spring!

-- You really started to speak in full sentences: "Mama, Emmaline play dow (doll) a' me in a' playroom." You like to observe and report to me what exactly is happening in the house as we go about our day. 

-- You continue to show me your impressive memory: you will say, "Mama, dance a' Cracker" (ha) and then hum almost the entire Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy correctly. You know a lot of songs and titles of book by heart. I recognize myself in you more and more every day. 

This week, my Bluest of the Blueberries:

--  You went ice fishing for the first time with me, Aunt Lauren, and Uncle Jonathan. We did not catch any fish, but you were a great sport and enjoyed "skating" in your boots all over the ice. You helped collect firewood to build a fire on the ice and helped Jonathan pull up the lines when we were done, un-phased by the process of killing the bait fish. 

-- You enjoyed the late January thaw immensely, playing outside in the sun for a full five hours, building the first fairy house of the year. 

-- You loved going to the beach on a rainy, windy day. 

-- You slept in a couple of times. It was fun to watch you so still and peaceful. 

-- You begged, again, for a dog. And dislike, much as I did as a child, the phrase, "We'll see." 

-- You really got a kick out of playing with Tess. She got you to laugh hysterically while you played ball together. You are such a joyful and playful child. I love that you will play with anyone, of any age, and enjoy yourself. That's a talent I hope you never lose, my love. You are anyone's and everyone's peer. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


This week, dear Tessaroo:

-- You deepened your obsession with books, asking everyone (Nonni included) to "read it, book" and snuggling with joy when someone takes you on her lap to read.

-- You put on an accent for the first time, deepening your voice, pretending to talk on the phone and saying, "Hello? Who dat? Name of Tess. How a' you? Gooood."

--You've started to mimic everything your big sister does and says. I know you'll soon have an excellent vocabulary. 

-- Favorite story: Still pretty obsessed with Big Red Barn but Rosalind and the Little Deer was in heavy rotation. Favorite song: To sing, Jingle Bells (ha) and to hear, All Through the Night.

-- I discovered you know the ABC song. I am amazed at your vast knowledge for someone who is 20.5 months.

-- You spontaneously started saying, "I luss you, mama" and "I luss you, Emmaline, kiss" and giving us kisses. Such a love baby.

This week, sweet Em:

-- You pretended to be an Arctic explorer, got licked by a cow and your third loose tooth is extra wiggly.

-- You asked repeatedly when it will be spring. Let's hope soon, love. 

-- You wanted to dance with Tess every day and said she was your bride. She sometimes cooperated. You are a very gentle and patient big sister. You make me proud every day.

-- Favorite story: Peter in Blueberry Land. Favorite song: "Hop Up My Ladies" by Elizabeth Mitchell

-- You planned a ball to which "every illegible man" was invited and wore an old dress of mine, proclaiming, "My mother used to be fancy until she married my father." Ha! When I asked what type of music we should play, you firmly said, "A waltz. Decidedly." You are so smart.

-- You declared pumpkin soup to be your new favorite food. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

the 52 project, week 2

Starting a week late, I know, but inspired nonetheless. The 52 Project = take a portrait of your child(ren) each week for a year to mark how they change. Beautiful idea. Here goes.

Emmaline/ Em/ Blueberry/ Blue/ Bluest

--- This week you learned to whistle. For real. No more "woohooing" instead. 

--- You begged to stay up to "read" later than usual and went through about 20 books.

--- You were obsessed with the idea of a locket so "Tess and Mama and Daddy could be close to my heart."

--- Favorite story this week: The Snow Queen.

--- You made a giant snowman with Daddy in the wet snow and tried not to cry when he fell over. 

--- You carried water to the chickens without being asked, and fed Mittens too. 

Tess/ Tessaroo/ Buttercup/ Noodle/ Noodlebug

--- This week you started saying "peek-a-doo" when playing hide and seek.

--- You started to call "nanoor" "pillownurse" instead. 

--- You truly started to "smi-ow" for the camera, as evidenced here. 

--- Favorite story this week: Big Red Barn.

--- You played pretend with your sister for the first time; your dolls were sledding down the mountains of your pillows. 

--- You still dislike the snow, but enjoyed our walks in the woods on my back. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Cold March Cure

A cold spring:
the violet was flawed on the lawn.
For two weeks or more the trees hesitated;
the little leaves waited,
carefully indicating their characteristics. [...]
-- Elizabeth Bishop, from A Cold Spring

Today there was an abrupt change in the weather. Last week we were at the beach, and today, well, it was spitting snow. I lit a fire in the stove. It felt strange, as if we were thrust into a foreign country without traveling there. The wind was howling around the corners of the house. Poor Buttercup, cutting her third molar, had made for a long night for us all. I searched the house for strong tea or coffee and discovered I was out. The day was shaping up to be a failure. So Blueberry and I determined to search for an antidote to the cold and grumpy morning.

Here is what we found.

Picture of a rocket ship headed to space.

Red striped straws contrasting with the pretty cup.

Blueberry's birthday cards still gallantly standing on the sideboard. Babar and pirate and ballerina and fairies being conspiratorial.

Finished birthday thank you notes.

Buttercup's first bowl of porridge.

Buttercup's enjoyment of said porridge. Mmmm!

Dressing Buttercup in a new silk before her bath.

Freshly washed pretty baby in a cheerful outfit.

Amazing-smelling stock from Nonni.

Buttercup's bright baubles.

Making lists in Mama's lovely Christmas journal with a good pen.

Making the perfect cup of maple hot cocoa.

And drinking it out of a spring-y mug.

Dancing silly to Elizabeth Mitchell while making dinner.

Brainstorming for craft ideas.

Delving into new birthday books.

Pajama dancing before bed.