Sunday, February 21, 2010

weekend roundup

The weekend "done" list:

Friday evening:
acquire the remaining bits of Jim's Polar Plunge Costume
Willa's haircut
Turn the kids loose at the small mall play area, pleasantly run into friends

Bundle up and cheer Jim as he jumps into Reeds Lake for the Special Olympics fundraiser

Go to a bowling party to celebrate our friend's newly minted "Certified Financial Planner" status
Visit with Jim's parents
Cuddle and soothe Willa through hours of crying as she deals with her first (big girl) ear ache.
Stop the evening nursing session with Henry (after 16 months bittersweet)
Go to a friends house to consume wine and food and just BE with some excellent women (not worry about possibility of incoming calls from home; Jim can handle any issues with Willa)

Tylenol (see above)
Drive to Lake Michigan to walk on the frozen heaps of water at the surf.
Feed and clean kids, kiss their sweet (and once again healthy) foreheads goodnight.
Ignore the piles the busy weekend has caused in the house.
Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Willa's new 'do

Willa wanted her hair shorter than Henry's ("then I can be a boy!!"). That, obviously didn't happen.

Because she heard that birds might use hair to make nests, we came home with a pony tail to put in the garden.

PS, sorry Mom. It is darn cute though.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Willa words

Mama, my hair is like a cape for a superhero. A cape that -(wide eyes here) - comes out of my head!

I will be sad when I am a princess and I have to go live in Disneyland*. It's so, so far away from Michigan.

Henry! I need to to be quiet! This said at 3 am at my parents house after he cried for a bit.

* Someone told her that all princess live in Disneyland. I suspect it's the same someone who took her to the store and came home with princess valentines for the girls in her class. Nothing is sacred.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Not really dinner appropriate conversation

Jim: So, she asked me how the balloons got up there at the grocery store. And I told her that little monkeys blow them up, climb up the poles, and tie them there.
Me: Jim!
Jim: Okay, sorry. -sigh- Willa, there's something called helium, it's like air, but it's light and makes the balloons float. Monkeys fart helium.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Willa adds to her collection of loved items

Two days ago I took the kids to a local plant nursery.

Wait, let me back up.

Cabin fever/winter blues/seasonal affective... whatever, keeps trying to capture me. I fight back. I picked up a gardening magazine last week, and have been making hot tea at night and slowly reading it after the kids are asleep. It's like a mini-getaway, and it seems to be working.

There was a spread in the magazine about house violets that caught my fancy. When I moved into Jim's house, he had some beautiful violets that I promptly - though accidentally - killed. Seeking redemption (from Jim and the violet plant genus) I took the kids to a local plant nursery.

And found an adorable tiny violet to add to our terrarium. Willa fell in love with her own tiny plant (mini version of this) and I was willing to invest $3 in her happiness.

Yesterday, she asked me to bring it to school when I picked her up so she could show her friends.
And then after that? It went on a field trip to the Meijer Gardens. She carried it the whole time in a paper bag, cooing at it, and showing it to anyone who would look. I think we amused a few volunteers.

This morning I found her with Arlo on the couch. Phew, I thought, he hasn't been unseated by a houseplant. Except the plant was resting on the arm of the couch, watching over both of them.

Monday, February 01, 2010

what he says when he sees feet. And, strangely, chickens.

Willa + Arlo

One frigid morning a few years back, I pulled myself out of our warm cocoon bed, grabbed Jim's grey pull-over hoodie sweatshirt, and went to make coffee. From that day on, the hoodie has been mine. I had it, I liked it, it was mine.

In very much the same fashion, Willa has laid claim to Arlo.

Our upstairs consists of Willa's bedroom, attic space, and the room at the top of the stairs that I call our media room. It is the permanent home of our combined CD and book collection. Right now it also holds many bags and totes of clothes that are now too small for our rapidly growing children (sigh). In a month, the piano bench under the window will harbor hopes for Spring in the form of seedlings (grow, grow, grow).

Willa has been lonely up there. "I'm all alone," she states with sad eyes. I know it's a ploy to put off bedtime another 10 minutes, but those eyes... The fish tank was downsized and moved up into her room. "I'm still alone."

Two weeks ago, she started showing more interest in Arlo. I wrote about him a year and a day ago here. He's not my dog anymore, pals. In Baltimore, I would eagerly pat my bed, hoping my new dog would make a good cuddle and reading companion. He would give me a moment of his time, before hopping off and lying on the ground at the foot of my bed.

He sleeps in Willa's bed.

Right this very second, he is lying on the couch with Willa. His head is pressed against her shin and she is rubbing his longer, softer mane through her palms.

She talks to him constantly, and demands that he follows her through the house. When this all started, he was still very much the prematurely grumpy old dog who preferred to get attention on his own time, and spend the rest of his day napping under the kitchen table.

But now he wants to be with her. He's learned that little hands, that - two years ago - used to tug at his ears and poke his eyes, are now able to scratch and rub and pat him. He is recruited to wear tiaras and tutus and in exchange, she offers constant affection. He is her patient sidekick.

Tomorrow Arlo and I celebrate 7 years together. I suspect he'll be otherwise occupied.