Wednesday, February 22, 2012

tired, clumsy

My brain feels like mush.  I just want to post a bunch of pics and call it good.  I feel tired, clumsy, dull, pale, unshowered.  Last month I could hardly contain myself, creativity bursting from every pore.  But this week...oh, my.  Maybe it's these 4:00am mornings.  Today at a play group a woman held her almost-crawling baby and when I asked "How old?" she said, "Four and a half" and I asked, "Months?"  Oooh, my.  Maybe that's a little better than last play group, when I hopped in my husband's truck and drug a 100 foot yellow extension cord and a horseshoe--um, the horseshoe *used to be* attached to our garage wall--7 miles down the highway.  (I was wondering why that UPS truck didn't pass me....)  After play group today, a bottle of our salad dressing flew out of my hand, shattering oily glass all over the kitchen floor.  Juniper kept saying, "Mommy did an uh-oh!  Mommy, you wanna do another uh-oh?"  (You know we've made progress in our house when Juniper calls a shattered bottle of oily salad dressing an "uh-oh" and not an "oh shit!"  High five, please?) 
Creativity is a bit like parenting: all giggly rainbows one day, followed by the dark underbelly of exhaustion, poor decisions and self-doubt the next.  But whatever I've been lacking in imagination, my firstborn has not.    

Perhaps you thought Santa Claus returned to the North Pole after his Christmas day flurry.  You were wrong.  Turns out, Santa Claus hunkered down in our quilt rack for a spell, then reemerged in Juniper's care.  Santa gets fed, goes for walks, hides in the teepee, gets his (or her--it varies) diaper changed, drinks milk, gets burped and sleeps with Juniper every night.  Santa is...a quilt.  My great-grandmother's lap quilt, to be specific.  (I dug out the hat myself, making it official.)  
J bug choose her outfit on this day.  Notice the shirt, skirt and tights are all pink?  It happened sooner than I anticipated, the pink obsession.  More on that in a future post.  In the meantime, we made playdough (click here for recipe).  
Once she realized what we were making, she ran with it.  Her imagination took hold and she went bonkers, all talking to herself and stuff.  
She started with the edibles: cookies and muffins, placing them in tins and running them over to her oven. 
^Fine tuning the temp.^
When I sat down to nurse Hazel, J bug turned around and informed me that she had made a buffalo, an octotpus and a triceratops.  You go, girl.  

::Young Hazel Iris, too, has been coming into her own.  I keep talking about her irrisistable smile, her soft, mourning-dove coo.  But damn, that smile's hard to capture.  For every photo you see here, I've probably deleted twenty.  Thing is, Hazel's smile is nearly always accompanied by a head shake, flapping wings and kicking feet.  The girl gets excited.  At night (actually, the wee hours of morning) she lifts both legs high into the air and THWACK!  She tail-slaps the bed...over and over and over again.  My man has started calling her "Thumper".  

Two things I love: milk tongues and baby feet.  

And the one newborn body movement that makes me oogle with love and almost (almost) want another kid: The Scrunch.  That arched-back, tucked-legs, clenched arms, fists, eyes, mouth--sometimes a single fisted arm juts out like a superhero--I love the scrunch.  I could devour the scrunch.  Now that Hazel is 3 (three!) months old, her scrunch has nearly vanished--stretching into the open limbed, wide-eyed posture of babyhood.  The fourth trimester is over.    

:: The first known relaxation drug of humankind:  

:: Juniper has been obsessed with "the bears at the grocery store" for well over a month.  She won't stop talking about them.  We finally returned to the grocery store in question which has only reinforced her belief that the bears say "Ka-booooom!!" and are solely responsible for the lightening, thunder and "rain" in the produce section.  She is utterly in awe.

:: We made Valentine's cookies not once, but twice.  The first batch was eaten before we had a chance to frost them.  And I, ahem, was caught red-handed by my toddler: "Mommy, you eat tooties?  Come here.  Open your mouf.  Let me see."  

And speaking of getting caught, the other morning I was nursing Hazel in bed and (or--as we say in our house--had a frog in my pants) and Juniper saddled up to me and said, "Mommy, you wanna get your pants off and get your biaper changed?"

:: I started this post on Saturday (and here it is, Wednesday?), but my first weekend with just me and the chickadees resulted in some interesting nights and Juniper's first fall off the bed.  I wrote about it all in an eloquent essay, which was promptly deleted by the faceless, absurd void of modern technology.  Total bummer.  I wish I could remember what I wrote.

:: Despite what I said about the lack of creative inspiration, there has been some sewing going on.  I can't show you now, but I will soon.  In the meantime, we drove just down the road and went sledding.  Hazel cried most of the time and my man said, "This isn't exactly what I was imagining."  I know, the Mr. has a tendency to fall into Christmas Vacation, Chevy Chase-stlye day-dreams of perfect family outings.  The baby wasn't cooperating, but we had fun anyway.

Plus, our porch-side sled hill is growing.  It's pretty fun.

:: Lately, Juniper wants out on the upper deck even when clad only in pajamas.  I let her out until she says, "It's toooold.  I need my boots on."  

I know I often show photos of that great, majestic mountain behind our house--whose vigilance I am so thankful to be raising my girls under--but turn 180 degrees and the view is still beautiful, in it's own dilapidated way.
^Yes, that is our very own collapsed animal shelter thingy.^

:: Finally, (finally!) in some up-to-the-minute news, we got a deluge of snow yesterday.
New snow accumulation: 1 1/2 feet.  Promptly followed by warm, chinook winds.  These chinooks are really the only time it gets windy at our house, and damn, is it windy (and 40 degrees).  Everything's melting including our snowmen and those icicles at the beginning of this post.  Juniper keeps looking out at the decrepit front porch snowman saying, "The snowman died!!"  (We're not sure when she learned about death, but it must have been dear old Osa.)
Heading to Montana very soon.  Yee-ha!  First road trip with the new, carseat-hating babe.  Wish us luck.

Friday, February 17, 2012

{this moment}

                           "Out came the sun and dried up all the rain and..."

Pssst.  Real post coming soon!  Maybe tonight?

A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week to savor and remember.  If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
~inspired by SouleMama 

Friday, February 10, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week to savor and remember.  If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
~inspired by SouleMama 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

from the archives

We have a little *bright orange* point-and-shoot camera that is nearly always lost.  We're not sure how this happens as it's bright orange, but anyway.  Typically we lose it for several months, find it for a week or so, then lose it again.  But finding it is a gift on a frosty February morning.  And particularly if I wasn't around when the photos were taken, it's a special glimpse into a world that's not mine.

Juniper's birthday-wish fishing trip with her birthday fishing pole:

Also from the archives:
^Grizzer bear tracks, do you see them?^

^My man's mule deer last autumn.  This is one of the lovely creatures feeding my family this winter.  I am really proud of my husband when it comes to mule deer hunting.  He has spent the last two years reading and researching and truly learning about this animal he loves to hunt.  And even though he has been hunting mule deer for...14 years?  15 years?...he is only now beginning to figure them out, becoming something of a rutty mule deer buck himself.  They pull him into some steep, nasty country but he loves it.  And I love to see him diving into his passion.  As I write this, he is probably in bed reading about the biology and animal behavior of what we affectionately call "mulies".  Love that man.

Friday, February 3, 2012

{this moment}


A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week to savor and remember.  If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
~inspired by SouleMama 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

making it

"I draw a buffalo.  And a moon.  They're dancing together."
I have been enjoying the aesthetic beauty of unabashed toddler creations.  Lately we have been making, and making it--this life with two kids.  We weave inside and out and I loudly congratulate myself when the out happens without fanfare.
^Hazel under my coat, as per usual.^    

Making: cooking.

Getting out

Making: painting & drawing.
 ^Contributions from dad on this one.^

Getting out:
Around the time I was over in Idaho pushing a baby out of my body, Juniper's imagination took hold and by the time we returned, she was regularly serving up sandwiches, milkshakes, cupcakes and salsa and carefully laying out elaborate picnics.  This was the start of her pretend play.  It's super fun (and goes to show how dumbed-down we become as adults).  Well, now days, we go fishing.  We catch the fish, bake the fish, fry the fish and--most importantly--eat the fish.  On this day, Juniper picked up a flake of snow and proclaimed: "I caught a fish!"  And thus began our post-lunch walk.  
^Carefully carrying the fish to the oven.  Not so carefully eating the fish.^

Making: crafting with seemingly useless stuff:
Borrowing the idea from this blog, I saved all the pine needles that had fallen off our Christmas tree for a "rainy day" (re: too damned cold to take a newborn outside) project.  We just mixed pine needles and glue together, formed it over a bowl covered in plastic wrap and let it dry.  Ta da!  We made a nest.  Only thing was...I didn't have any non-toxic, kid-friendly glue.  So, we made some.
It was ridiculously easy.  And edible too!

1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vinegar
Combine flour and sugar in a saucepan, add half the water and mix until it's clump-free, add second half of water and mix until smooth, add vinegar and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until a thick paste forms.  Supposedly, you can let it cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for several months.  But we used the whole thing, warm,  with our pine needles.
I probably either should have let the glue cool first or taken our nest off the bowl before it was completely dry, because now we have a cute little pine needle nest with just a touch of mold in the center.  But I think I can fix it up with more glue and some sparkly bling.  I'll keep you posted.

:: In the meantime, this mama's been in a making kind of mood, sneaking it in when I can: naps, car ride, late nights.  My first needle-felting project:
  (What?  It's an egg.  You know, for the nest.)

Also, finished those booties for my preggo friend.  I'm kind of on a bootie kick and I know five pregnant women right now.  Hmmmm.
  Made a knit-felted bowl for Juniper.  Right now, she's using it to store her crayon rocks.
Prior to this bowl, rock crayons inevitably ended up in pockets:

Getting out:
 ^Juniper nearly always removes her mittens and has thus perfected the art of falling without sinking delicate flesh into icy cold.^
Juniper pooped while on one of our walks the other day.  This is unusual.  She usually doesn't poop while playing outside.  We talked about it a lot and began to make our way back home for the diaper change.  We passed a pile of dog turds and I *tried*, really I did, to steer J bug away from it because I knew what was about to happen:  "POOP!!"  Yeah, that's dog poop.  "HI DOG POOP!!!  Mommy, you wanna wave to the dog poop?"  Oh, toddlers are so fun.  Yes, my friends, this is how you find yourself waving "hi" to dog shit on a Sunday afternoon.

:: "Where'd Hazel doe, mom?"  Maybe you're wondering the same thing.  Well, sometimes, at the start of a walk, Hazel looks (and sounds) like this:
But after a few minutes, she snuggles in and sleeps soundly next to my heart.

And while Juniper and I are busy making, Hazel works to strengthen her little neck:
^My step-mom made this playmat/quilt for Hazel.  If you think this side is cool, wait 'til I show you the other side.^  
We always joke how Hazel "suffers in silence."  I might find her--even in my own lap--flailing her arms all around, eyes wide and stricken, face scrunched and mouth wide open as though she's absolutely wailing...except she's perfectly silent.  Really, this girl doesn't like to make a fuss unless she has to.  
^Junebug loves entertaining her sister.^
And sometimes, when Juniper naps, I get Hazel Iris all to myself.
^That baby bottle is evidence of a (so far) failing mission.  Despite almost daily efforts for over a month, it seems our girls are nipple-snobs: they won't settle for less than the real McCoy.  We gave up with Juniper early on.  But not this time, I'm sticking to it.  I want to go to book club and knitting group and have some one-on-one with my firstborn, without worry or fuss.  Keeping my fingers crossed.^    

:: Random note to my future self; a little tidbit I want to remember because it's happening less and less: For a long time now, Juniper has had her own version of Tourettes syndrome.  When she is tired and mad, she'll start spewing out words:  "OTAY HERE WE GO NO JUST LEAVE IT ON I SLEEP RIGHT HERE HAPPY BIRTHDAY CUPCAKE."  Then she falls to the floor.   

:: Goodness.  It really is a 2012 goal of mine to keep these damned things shorter.  Thanks for hanging in here.