Monday, March 31, 2008

Out like a (snowy) lion

Last nights the weather reports were full of dire predictions of 7-9 inches of snow due to fall today between 7am and 7pm. I'm not sure how much we will really get - I think it is warmer than anticipated and perhaps not quite so much snow, but we have probably made it to at least three or four inches by now, and the flakes are still falling.

Our usual Monday morning playgroup at church didn't meet this morning, so Cora and I were free to enjoy the snow from within our snug little house. And, we got to watch Sesame Street, something we usually only can do on Fridays. Can you believe it - on Sesame Street this morning, there was NO Elmo's World segment! What is the world coming to?!

After that, we played the blanket game, a current favorite, which involves Cora sitting in a chair and shouting "Blanket!" and I put one on her, she shouts it again, I put another one on her, and so on. We have quite a collection of blankets down here now.

Then there was jumping practice (She's starting to actually get both feet off the ground at the same time) and dancing to our new Father Goose CD and snacktime, and then (bliss!) sitting and reading to ourselves! Cora read her books to her babies and I was able to sit and read my new Brain, Child magazine for a whole 15 minutes. Then up to naptime, for her, while I had lunch, read some more, cleaned up the kitchen and the blankets, and decided to spend some quality time with my personal friend, the Internet.

Our big plans for the afternoon? Walking in the snow and trying on all of Cora's accumulated sweaters and sweatshirts and raincoats and jackets to see which ones actually fit and which need to move on to new homes. Maybe we will bake some cookies. Maybe we will watch a little WonderPets. Maybe we will play with blankets some more.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring: it loves me, it loves me not

I took this picture on Thursday and intended to use it as my Spring/Easter photo, suggesting as it does, the coming back to life of our lilac tree and the promise of leaves and flowers and so on. There was also this picture, which I called in my head "What the snow left."

Thursday was what we in the Upper Midwest would call a beautiful early spring day: the snow had almost completely receded and melted from the yards, there were birds about, it was above forty degrees, and the sky was blue, blue, blue.

Thursday was also the day we left for our mini spring break trip - an overnight to a small town about two hours south of us where we planned to watch for bald eagles over the river and visit a toy store we've been hearing about for years. Thursday was a really nice day. We had a really nice hotel room with a river otter headboard, a big tub, and a carousel animal mural. Cora especially loved the hotel room - exploring all the little corners of it, lying in a bed to watch TV (we have discovered WonderPets), being in a really big tub with bubble jets, and just generally getting to goof off.

(fashion tip from Cora: the really cool people wear socks on their hands and really big shoes!)

Then there was Friday, the first day of spring, when we woke to four inches of snow and more falling. We ditched all our plans in favor of having plenty of snowy daylight for the drive back home, and hoping to beat the worst of the storm before it reached the metro area. But, we (or at least one of us) still had some fun in all the winter leftovers.

Not the spring break adventure we were planning on. But, on the plus side, Thursday night Cora had her first ice cream cone - a little kid sized one at the DQ off the highway (on the way there we drove off with the diaper bag on top of the car - it hit the road with a semi coming towards it, the bag with not only all the diapers, etc., but also my wallet, the camera...the only thing we lost was the little plastic wipes holder box - the semi was extremely careful not to run over the bag. Whew!)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sunday is my Dad's birthday!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Here's a special photo-essay post for my Dad, who is such a terrific dad, a fabulous grandpa, and a great guy. My Dad has always been special to me, and as the years go by I appreciate him more and more. I've always loved his sense of humor (except maybe when he would try to tease me out of a really good sulk) and his sense of fun. I've learned a lot from him - from tying leaders and cleaning fish to navigating treacherous corporate waters to keeping an ethical head when everyone else is losing his (or hers).

Whenever I tell myself that I may as well give something a try or when I remind myself to do my best whether anyone will notice it or not, and when I try very hard not to complain about something - I hear his voice in the back of my head. When I have a nearly uncontrollable urge to make a bad joke, well, that's his voice, too.

When I moved out to MN, my Dad drove me and my little white truck (which has previously been his). We traveled together for three days, two nights, and I was glad to have his company. Later it occurred to me how many women I know who would not want to spend that much time in such close quarters with their father, who would even perhaps be afraid to, and that knowledge makes me marvel at my luck.

In recent years, it has been a real pleasure to be able to talk about more books with my dad - how many other women have had the experience of a 45-minute conversation with their dad about Eat, Pray, Love and Elizabeth Gilbert's appearance on Oprah?

I can't say that my Daddy is perfect, because no one is (and there was that time he thought it would be a good idea to save my broccoli and make me eat it for breakfast the next morning - HA!). But I can say that I love him dearly, that he is one of the bright lights of my life, and that I can't wait until he and my Momma move back to MN! (hint, hint, Dad)
We love you, Grandpa Dave!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Revolution will not be televised (but someone might blog about it)

I don't know how long this devious plan has been in the works, but tonight is when it all came to fruition. The evening started off normally enough (isn't that always the case?). Did Cora want to put on her pajamas? No. Did she want to now? No. How about now? Only if it means taking clothes off first. Oh. right. OK, pajamas on, phase one complete.

Did Cora want to brush her teeth? No. Did she want to now? No. How about now? No - she's rather...brush teeth! Why didn't you say so? Brushing teeth! Yes! Hooray! Let's run to the bathroom while wiggling the upper half of our body from side to side! Hooray! Phase two complete.

And now, time to go upstairs. First, of course, we need to find and cuddle Baby Tidoo. No. Wait - what about Baby Tidoo? No. Ivy. Baby Ivy. Well, okay, here's Baby Ivy, and here's Baby Tidoo. No. No?

Very firmly and with an unmistakeable pushing away of Baby Tidoo. So, finally, tonight Baby Ivy got to go upstairs and be held for stories. And for songs. And then... Blankie. Baby Ivy Blankie.

She got her own blanket.

I don't know about you, but I smell revenge in the air.

Baby Tidoo plots her return to power.

Here comes the weekend

This coming weekend I'll be attending two - yes TWO - baby showers, both for moms expecting boys, first babies, etc. One of them Cora is invited to, also, which is a good thing, because Chris will be watching the live Met broadcast of Peter Grimes. I don't think Cora is too into all-male seafaring operas. Though I could be wrong about that.

I'm happy to go to the baby showers, understand, I just wish there was a bit more breathing room in between. One thing this weekend makes me think about is the shower my friends Tricia and Cara threw for me around this time two years ago (again - TWO!). It was fun, the food was amazing (Tricia and Cara - you guys can come make those plaintain empanadas and berry-topped cheesecake ANYTIME!), and I remember feeling so overwhelmed that my friends would actually all gather together and wish me so much good, so much luck, so much happiness. (Plus, my sister-in-law sent me my gnome pjs - best pjs ever! I find gnomes both horrifying and fascinating.)

For both showers, guests are asked to bring their best advice for the parents to be. So I've been thinking about that, too. And there's lots of advice I have to give about many subjects (breastfeeding, baths, food, shopping, clothes, car seats, and so on). But, here's what I think is truly the most important thing I learned and that I have to keep reminding myself of, too:

My days with Cora are frustrating, irritating, and annoying when I try to make her keep on my schedule and I don't take into account her "schedule". When I think to myself about how Cora likes to do things, how much time she really needs to, say, get ready to go, or to brush her teeth, when I can let go of my own insistence on the way I want things to go, then we have our best days and our best times. We can still get where we need to go on time, we can still get to bed at a reasonable hour, we can still run all our errands, just maybe not the way I would do it if it were just me.

Now, I just have to find a way to say that in about 50% fewer words so it will fit on the little card!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

How do you get the water-loving baby out of the bath?

You kiss Mr. Froggy good night and let out all the water.