Friday, January 31, 2014

Piano and a Bubble

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . feeling healthy all day, after feeling lousy yesterday.  Health is something I appreciate more after I've lost it.

. . . playing the piano.  Funny that it seemed like such a chore when I was a kid, and now I do it in my leisure time and find it much more fulfilling.

. . . watching a soap bubble float through the kitchen.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Naps and Nasties

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . seeing sprouts coming up in the container garden: peas, colorful carrots, and pink nasturtiums.  At least, I hope the nasties will be pink; the last Cherry Rose seeds I bought bloomed bright orange instead.

. . . Todd taking long, solid naps.  Thanks, Baby Boy.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nearly Exploding with a Donut

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  feeling overwhelmed by my new assignment at church.  I know it's where the Lord wants me and I'll get the hang of it before I know it, but for now it's a lot to take in.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . cuddling my sleepy baby while the big kids played happily together.

. . . going on a date with my sweetheart, then coming home and eating a donut (he bought me my favorite as a surprise earlier this afternoon) and chatting with him while he did the dishes.  Sometimes life is really, really good.

And another thing . . .

. . . this evening I read a Huffington Post editorial which contained a very accurate description of the daily ups and downs of stay-home parenting:

"How was my day? Today has been a lifetime. It was the best of times and the worst of times. There were moments when my heart was so full I thought I might explode, and there were other moments when my senses were under such intense assault that I was CERTAIN I'd explode. I was both lonely and absolutely desperate to be alone. I was saturated -- just BOMBARDED with touch and then the second I put down this baby I yearned to smell her sweet skin again. I was simultaneously bored out of my skull and completely overwhelmed with so much to do. Today was too much and not enough. It was loud and silent. It was brutal and beautiful. I was at my very best today and then, just a moment later, at my very worst. . . . But I'm not complaining. This is not a complaint, so don't try to FIX IT. I wouldn't have my day Any.Other.Way."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Good Times

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . my kids sharing and encouraging each other.  I'm so proud of them when they do things like that.

. . . reading with my kids.  Sometimes I get even more into the story than they do.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Games and Trade-offs

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  trying to wrap up an Uno game with Daniel while Todd became progressively fussier.  My kingdom for a Wild card!  In the end I had to forfeit, and since Daniel had fewer cards in his hand I told him he had won.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing "Follow the Leader" with Anna.  I loved hearing her say, "Woo-hoo!" each time we hustled from the kitchen to the kids' room (or vice versa).

. . . running out to the car.  Literally.  Since I could barely walk three months ago, it's invigorating to be able to all-out sprint when I feel like it (and don't have any kids in tow).

And another thing . . .

. . . life is certainly full of trade-offs.  Having a young baby complicates virtually every aspect of my life, and I do look forward to the time when my days won't revolve around naps and nursing, but it is a pure delight to snuggle my little baby close, brush his soft hair with my face, and hear him make soft little newborn sounds.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Piano and Pease

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . a cooing conversation with Todd.

. . . Anna saying "Pease" and "Kank you."

. . . practicing the piano.  Funny how it seemed like such a tedious chore when I was younger, yet now it feels cathartic and gratifying.

. . . reading through the cookbook-memoir my grandma printed last year.  It had many recipes I've grown fond of over the years, including Grandma's rolls and my mom's holiday hot punch.  I also found the dessert recipe that went so terribly wrong in December, and discovered that I've been doing something wrong when I try to get it out of the pan.  Armed with that knowledge, perhaps I'll have more success with it in the future.

. . . helping the big kids work through a problem.  Sometimes I'm a really awesome mom (and other times I'm really not).

Sunset, Shape Ball, and Extraneous Scarf

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . cuddling a warm bundle of baby.

. . . admiring the colorful sunset.

. . . finishing a scarf for Daniel.  Ironically, he has no use for it this winter because the temperatures are supposed to hover around 80 for at least the rest of this month.  Weird weather.

. . . hearing Anna say "hmmm" as she solved Pink Grandma's shape ball puzzle.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bean Clams and Blueberries

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . strolling around a garden store, looking at the little blueberry plants and daydreaming about someday having a yard to plant some in.

. . . going to the beach, where the kids had fun playing in the sand and waves.  We saw lots of colorful little coquina (bean clams) that burrowed down into the sand every time a wave uncovered them.  I've noticed their shells on beaches for years, but I'd never seen live ones before.

. . . cleaning out the bowl after making mini cheesecakes.  Say what you like about the hazards of consuming raw eggs; I think cheesecake batter and cookie dough are worth the risk, and they haven't harmed me yet.

And another thing . . .

. . . don't envy Southern California's ridiculously warm weather (it was 84 today) too much.  You may not have warm sunny days in January where you live, but you also probably don't have massive brush fires, either.  We smell the smoke every time we walk outside our apartment.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Coos and a Choo-choo

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . trading smiles and coos with Todd.

. . . the kids playing with the big electric train Daddy set up.

. . . hugging my sweetheart.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Peas and Carrots

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  nearly dozing off while observing Joy's piano lesson today.  I really need more sleep.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . helping Joy harvest her last two carrots (she shared a bite with Daniel, but ate the rest of them herself), then plant some pea seeds.

. . . Anna asking for a hug after we had a frustrating interchange and I left the room.  Oh, sweet Anna.  Her hugs heal my frazzled soul.

. . . Daniel finding little ways to entertain Todd.  I had assumed they wouldn't be able to play together for at least a couple years, but Daniel has already found ways to make his little brother smile.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Oatmeal and Magnolias

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  the unmistakable feeling that I'm coming down with a cold.  I think I have Anna to thank for that.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . eating oatmeal on a chilly morning (and yes, I know that "chilly" is a relative term and it's 60 degrees colder in St. Louis without the wind chill factor).

. . . watching episodes of Super Why! with Daniel.  His preschool teacher recommended them, partly because they're educational and wholesome, but also because Daniel's classmates love to play make-believe games based off the show, and she wanted Daniel to have some context to help him join the fun.  We checked out a few episodes on YouTube, and Daniel really got into them.  As a mom, I like the themes of helping friends, learning from books, and making education fun.

. . . noticing the Chinese magnolia trees in bloom around our neighborhood.  I love seeing their grey branches adorned with big, lavender blossoms when little else is blooming this time of year.

. . . Joy's piano teacher being so patient and encouraging with my daughter.  I'm learning the piano from her, too, but I think I need to study her manner more than proper fingering and posture.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Broccoli and Bugs

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hanging out with the kids out front.  Joy wanted to practice skating on her new roller blades, but she spent about half the time sitting on the ground next to an anthill examining its residents.

. . . talking to Todd.  He's a very good listener.

. . . checking out front yard vegetable gardens as we drove home from a library.  One house had its entire front yard packed with edibles like onions, cabbage, and broccoli.

. . . daydreaming with the kids about what kind of tree house we might build in a back yard some day.

. . . reading the adventures of Gossie and Gertie to Daniel and Anna.  Anna loves to point out Gossie's boots when the gosling hides behind a tree, and she always looks very concerned when Gossie can't find her boots at one point.  Daniel thinks it's hilarious that Gertie would sometimes rather follow a butterfly or beetle than her best friend.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Olive Oil and Toddy

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna calling her little brother "Toddy."

. . . my two youngest children napping at the same time. Yes!

. . . receiving a Christmas gift from an old friend.  The cookies were yummy, and I'm looking forward to playing around with the chipotle-infused olive oil.

. . . listening to the Bee Gees on an easy listening radio station.  I suppose my delight in that station is further evidence that I am no longer young.  That and the fact that whenever People announces a new "Sexiest Man Alive" I don't recognize him.  Channing who?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Books and Cabin Fever

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  going stir-crazy in our apartment because the kids are out of school, Todd naps a lot, and we didn't have any plans for the day.  I think Todd will be taking at least one nap in the car or the sling tomorrow.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . saying family prayer.  We usually do it in the morning when the first person leaves for work or school, but since no one left this morning we forgot until halfway through the day.  After we finally remembered and knelt together, the day suddenly seemed less stressful.

. . . taking a walk out to our parking area with Anna.  Even a mundane activity is fun when you do it with someone you like, and I think it did us both good to get out in the fresh air.

. . . reading our new board books to the little kids, and a Magic Tree House book to the big kids.  I read them  a chapter or two each night, and when I stopped at a cliffhanger this evening Phillip immediately picked the book up so he could see how things turned out.

And another thing . . .

. . . Phillip and I took the Christmas decorations down today.  As my grandma would say, Christmas is gone and it didn't take long.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas Carols and Chipmunks

During the Christmas season, . . .

. . . my not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  getting ready to wrap a gift I've wanted to give Todd since before he was even conceived, and discovering that it had arrived damaged and would need to be shipped back to the company.  Todd didn't mind getting a temporarily broken present, but I was sure peeved.

. . . making a dessert that didn't turn out.  It's an old family recipe notorious for sticking to the pan in places half the time, but I like it so much that I'm willing to gamble on it about once a year.  I've never had it turn out this badly, though.  Sigh.  Good thing I had a box of Trader Joe's chocolate star cookies in the pantry.

. . . my favorite moments included . . .

. . . seeing my family smile as they opened their presents Christmas morning.  It's fun to give someone something they're excited about.

. . . Pink Grandma's annual Christmas program, comprised of scriptures and favorite carols.  As always, it lifted my spirits and reminded me that our magnificent Savior is the true reason we celebrate Christmas.

. . . hanging out and catching up with relatives.

. . . taking a walk along a creek with the kids, Papa, and my brothers.  Joy announced that her goals for the outing were to collect nature and take some perfect pictures.

. . . seeing chipmunks dart around outside my parents' cabin.  Watching those cute little guys always makes me happy.

. . . making a snow smurf with Anna (when there are only a few shallow patches of snow on the ground, a snow man isn't really an option).