In a girl who finally lost the battle against the “But I’m not tired!”
In a house of playing and scheming and running cousins
In walks by the lake and kids in trees
In realizing I have two issues of Mars Hill Audio that I haven’t listened to
In beautiful books
In books that minister to a soul that has been confused and in need of encouragement
In beautiful weather and late-March cold snaps
In kids reciting poetry
In boys discovering the world of Settlers
February and March have always seemed like the quiet months in my years. My birthday pops up in the middle of March but other than that, life is usually quite steady. This year, though? There were two trips to North Carolina in nine days – one planned, one not. One trip was bittersweet. Sadness and sweet friends and fellowship were all mixed together. The second trip was restful and full of encouraging conversation and good food and my friend’s sweet family.
And life here continued. Kids called me to tell me of lost and found stuffed animals, detailed (always detailed) events of their days, and all the great places Grandma and Grandma and Papi took them.
Now I’m back with no trips on the horizon for a few months. School has found its winter groove. Plans for first day of spring celebrations with the cousins are in the works. The caterpillars that decimated our butterfly plant have rewarded us with daily, sometimes hourly, transformations into butterflies. Everything marches on.
I think that I could live in south Florida for 50 years and still be shocked at how blue the water is here. Every time I walk up over a dock or a sand dune or a path and look out to the ocean it amazes me. And I will never get tired of taking pictures of little people running and jumping and crashing into sand and waves.
I make a banana cake while they make picture upon picture to fill up their school folders. They’re enamored with the three-hole punch. I’m enamored with the cream cheese frosting.
I read them Little House in the Big Woods while they interrupt me to pick out random words on the page to read back to me.
I listen to my boys recite Christina Rossetti’s The Caterpillar, and they listen to me recite the bible verse I’m trying to memorize. They’re a lot better at this whole memorization thing.
I write thank you notes while one writes a few lines from PInocchio and the other writes slanty Ks and Ns.
I am listening to Mars Hill Audio Volume 115 (great article on Ken Myers here), and they are listening to Jim Weiss telling the story of The Three Musketeers (lots of Jim Weiss stories are on Spotify, by the way). Together we are listening to repeat playings of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
it was bound to have happened. there was no way that the sickness from three kids swirling in the air around me was going to leave me untouched. i tried. i tried to herbal, juice, rest, and chicken broth the thing away, but in the end it got me.
and so here i sit, drowning my sick sorrows in magazines and books and the fifteen or so channels we finally picked up from our rabbit ears when we found that sweet spot in the middle of the family room floor between the sofa and piano.
we needed to see if the vcr still worked so we popped in our wedding video for us to test and the kids to see. the boys thought grandpa’s uniform was cool, and lenna kept asking if we could watch curious george.
the rest of the day was spent tending to a sick boy, and to show solidarity among the sibling group, the other two got quite needy and needed tending to more than normal, too.
goodnight from these parts.
christmas music playing
today asher found an old bag/purse of mine that he realized he could use for toting around legos, nerf bullets, and random bits. i told him that i got it when i was about fifteen and used to use it all the time.
a little while later he walked into the kitchen with it slung across him and asked me the following: “mama, tell me again how you wore this when you were a kid. i need to know because i need to make sure i don’t wear it like you because you’re a girl. i need to wear it like a man-bag.”
my kid used the phrase man-bag. ha!
therethere was voting! and story time! and bbq!
everything felt rather exciting today. omar (oh so wisely) suggested that after completing 9 weeks of school i take a week off. today was the first “no school” day in a while.
in celebration i tried to make it my goal to say yes to as many of the suggestions the kids tossed my way (within reason…). head to story time? sure! wander the dollar section at target (that i almost always say no to because little hands grab at too much stuff)? sure! eat lunch out? sure! watch a movie? sure!
and did i send them to bed a little early with them none the wiser because it’s so dark out? yes!
my daughter loves to bring me my shoes when it’s time to go out.
she loves to open the refrigerator door and pull out random things she says she’s going to use for lunch.
she hovers while i’m getting ready in the morning to be sure she doesn’t miss the magical moment when the lip gloss comes out.
she sings happy birthday the second a match appears.
she talks to me through the wall from her room once she’s down for the night and in her crib.
and it’s during those times that we’re laughing at each other through the walls from different rooms that i realize she is growing up quite quickly.
sunny morning breakfast with omar. cool enough to be eaten with a scarf. the scarf came off as i found my way to what i thought would be a quiet library with a short line for early voting. everyone else thought the same thing.
warm afternoon lunch eaten on the run while on the hunt to buy the first jacket in over six or so years.
breezy evening dinner with husband and kids and parents and cousin. doors were open and boats were watched and the scarf wound its way back around me.
november first is the day that i secure my title as Keeper of All Sweet Tarts.
it is the day that a little girl can’t handle the excitement from last night and is fussy.
it is the day that i scheme to find ways to dump the candy (minus the sweet tarts) without anyone noticing.
it is the day that i get to turn the calendar page to my favorite month. november = holiday spirit and food without the stress.
it is the day that marks one week until new york.
when we moved into our house it was still hitting highs in the steamy 90s outside. the kids would ask to go down to the lake by our house and go on a walk. i would say, “no way!” without any guilt and then toss them in the pool to satisfy their need for the outdoors.
but now? now it is glorious outside, and we head to the lake often. the boys bike and climb trees and chase ibises and look for alligators (which we usually find). lenna rides along in the stroller and plays safety patrol for the boys.
at about a mile into our walk there is a playground that has swings that are a tad high for the kids but are perfect for my height.
after much swinging and much sliding, we head back and the kids are sufficiently tuckered for nap time.
since the boys were old enough to realize they had pockets, they have been filled to the brim. pants have even been known to fall off of certain little boys when they are stuffed beyond capacity.
i’ve never been the best at remembering to check pockets before i throw the clothes in the washer, but the past few weeks have been even a bit out of the ordinary in pocket-finds. how did i not notice that a pair of shorts had a phone and a watch in it?? i’ve been tossing all the goods in a little bowl on the washer and at the end of the week snapping a picture. a few weeks into this, the boys found the bowl and quickly dumped the contents back into their pockets.
i love that a lot of the stuff is found back in their pockets each week. asher climbed on top of the washer last week, found the bowl, and then said, “hey mom! why do you always put the good stuff in this little bowl?!” there is a part of me that thinks he really believes i go grab the toys from their room rather than fish them out of washers and dryers.
last week’s peanut got the biggest laugh out of me.
and lenna? most of her clothes don’t have pockets, but i noticed that yesterday and today her pockets have been filled just like her brothers’.
remember prudence? (one of my favorite posts, by the way) i think i wrote somewhere last year that prudence was still beloved. actually, that would only have really been true had it been talking about beloved by me. i’ve always loved prudie. lenna? ha. prudence the owl has spent the majority of her two years with us being chucked over the bars of the crib and face down on the floor when mama dares to try to sneak her in lenna’s bed. it became a joke that even lenna caught on to. in the car one day lenna started getting tired and fussy. i told her i was tired, too, and that we’d be home soon and she could give mama her bear (whom she loves) so mama could take a nap. she thought that was hilarious and said, “no! lenna’s bear!” i then proceeded to run through her beloved buddy list and tell her that i thought i needed them for my quiet time. “no!” she’d squeal with half delight/half fear that i was not joking. then i said, “ok, i’ll take prudie with me to my quiet time.” and her response, “NN- (pause) YYEESS!!”
and then we moved. and in that move prudence the owl somehow found her way into the inner circle of the beloved buddies: beary-bear, baby, and angus the bunny. i pulled her out of a box and that was that.
these days she’s been known to eat breakfast with lenna, go on day trips with lenna, and even coordinate with lenna (that was an unintentional but cute accident).
so now lenna loves prudence, and mama has a slightly irrational fear that this is just a brief love affair that will end with prudie back on floor. but so far so good.