Sunday, January 20, 2013

below zero

Or, What We Do When Daytime "Highs" Reach Negative Two.
Most days, we get outside.  Even if that means spending more time putting on the clothes we need to get outside than actually being outside itself.  On those days, we talk about the sun and how amazing it is that our noses can be so cold and yet our cedar-sided south-facing garage wall is so warm.  We press our cheeks against it, kiss it with our lips.  And then, "Aaaah!  Mama!  My hands are cold!"  And we head back inside, unload our frosty layers in the mudroom, and explore the mountains and caves within our home.    
Now, especially now, that Juniper has started preschool two mornings a week, I am learning to cherish the empty days.  Those perfectly white squares on the calendar.  I look forward to them, anticipating drawn-out breakfasts of ebelskivers, pajamas until noon (if not all day), getting down on the floor and just playing--being--with my kids.  Don't get me wrong: I adore our friends, our playgroups, playdates and story time.  If it weren't for the inked-up days, those white-square days wouldn't feel so special.
The children take lead, and I follow.
:: We find the sun spots.
:: We paint, draw, sew, decorate.
We took our Christmas tree down the other day (actually, we stuck it in the snowbank so we're continuing to enjoy our tree just outside the living-room window), but Juniper continues to rattle on about Santa Claus and she's ALWAYS up for decorating.  I think we'll have to decorate for Valentine's, Saint Patrick's, the Spring Equinox, Easter, May Day....
:: Hazel's faves: stairs, balls, cars and trains.
^My man built this play-table as a Christmas gift for the girls--it has made evening toy clean-up a breeze.^ 

:: Evenings with dad bring dance parties and music-making.
:: Juniper and Hazel's relationship has entered a new chapter.  A chapter with a lot less pushing, scratching and pinching, and a lot more "I love you Hazel" and "I'm so happy to see you Hazey!"  And, extending her hand, "Here Haze, let's walk together."  Or, at the dinner table, "I'm thankful for Hazel."  There is still pushing, of course.  And Hazel has turned the tables and taken up scratching and hair-pulling.  And Juniper tends to hide the very things Hazel wants (sippy cups, books, favorite ball, etc.).  But still.  Mostly, we've entered a new, loving, adorable, sisterly chapter.  
And all of these things combined make the below-zero, nose-hair-freezing days not only tolerable, but magical.  
Negative two?  Bring it.  


  1. Your girls relationship description made me laugh!
    My girls are 3 (just yesterday!) and 15 months..and it has gone from alot of love to the pushing and shoving. And thats just the little one!

  2. Hey Sis.....
    Your photography is remarcable (better than my spelling), the shot of the garlic and ginger cooking in the pan was magnificent!
    It does suck watching a little one cough and wrech so hard they puke. I totally felt it every time with Aspen. There is not much one can do to ease the suffering. It is (for me) the hardest part of parenting not being able to effect in a benificial way) Hope things are well, other than ill chillin's


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