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 I...er...tooted (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.
:: Finally, (finally!) in some up-to-the-minute news, we got a deluge of snow yesterday.