Friday, December 31, 2010

Willa Awesomeness

A week ago a friend who has a daughter about the same age as ours shared that watching his daughter start to put letters together to read words was cooler than watching her learn to walk.

Tonight, I was taking Willa upstairs to tuck her in. On the wall up the stairs we keep the signs we hang on our front door for every holiday. Our Valentine's Day sign is a word with a bunch of wooden hearts around it. She stopped walking and pointed, "mom! That says love! l-o-v-e spells love."

In print, she recognizes her name and Henry's. She knows mom and dad. And maybe a few others. But this was her first non-prompted work, in my book. Look at her read! And what a sweet first step.

Dear 2010,

It is New Year's Eve. We just finished a dinner of Beach Bar Tomato Soup and garlic bread. Our family, over the last year, has started to pray before dinner. We hold hands, and thank God for specific things, and sometimes ask for a little bit of help. Tonight I got choked up when it was my turn. I was following Henry, who thanked God "for beautiful friends, and beautiful family, and uh.... beautiful windows, and... what are those?" Blinds. Beautiful Blinds. And after he finally said amen, it was my turn.
What a year. What a beautiful/challenging/growing/pull my hair out/weep with gratitude year.
Willa has grown 5 shoe sizes, and is growing into such a compassionate kid. Henry has gone from a few words to speaking in paragraphs and (no boasting here) actually pausing to consider verb tenses.
Jim is nearly done with his Masters degree. We have grown together this year, forming a tighter partnership, a better love. We're working together to sell this house.* We're working together to increase patience and have more fun.
I have have moments in my day that make me want to send a thank you letter to my former employer for letting me go. This is a pretty good gig, and I wish I didn't have to continue to search out what's next. Being at home with the kids for more than a year now has let me fill up my memory tanks with intense love, and I can't even write about it.

Dear 2010, thank you.

Friends and family who peek in here occasionally, thanks for your selfness. Camp Sinki wishes you much love and peace in the next year.

For the first time tonight, both Jim and I were completely content being home with no plans on New Year's Eve. So nice to be there.

*Oh, our beautiful inadequate house. I can't bear to take the Christmas tree, knowing that we'd like this to be our last Christmas in the house. I mourn the anticipation, and yet can't wait to see what's next.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Willa finds out

Uncle Bill and Aunt Jackie called us a while ago with big news. I let Bill tell his niece if Ben was going to have a brother or sister. Watch her face after she says, "what?" That's when Bill shares...

it's a girl. She's pretty excited.

Again, sorry about the sideways video. I have started to record only in landscape. I've been holding on to this to be sure that Bill and Jackie have shared the news with their peeps first.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Willa shares and there's some music

The most amazing thing just happened...

Willa who is full "I want, I want, I want" mode just came down stairs from her room with a book in her hand.

"Here, Henry, I brought this down to give to you. It's a Harold book, and I know you like those."

I peered at her just above the laptop screen. I think my jaw had dropped.

"What? I thought he would like it, so I'm giving it to him."

I'm typing this quickly so I don't forget. It looks like the Toys for Tots shopping trip and the talks about giving really sunk in past the part of her brain that's been marinating in the toy ads that come in the newspaper and with Saturday morning cartoons.

She's "reading" it to him right now. It's hard to hear over my heart which is singing a little Handel.

Friday, December 10, 2010

House update

Just before Thanksgiving, I had had enough with our realtor. Quick summary:
August - signed contract with friendly, honest, down-to-earth realtor
September - having some connection issues with our realtor.
October - wishing the freakin' realtor would show some initiative and... call us sometime
November - cursing the day we signed with realtor. Considering taking the person who recommended her off of the Christmas card list. It really shouldn't take 5 phone calls on my part to mention that I'd like more communication (as in.. any), right?

So... I pulled out my handy binder where I've been keeping notes on stuff we like about different houses, and documentation with communication stuff. The documentation was all of 3/4 of a page long. And so...

I called her boss and let him know what a terrible job she was doing for us.

And he said, "ohmygosh! I'm sorry. Let's get you working with someone who will do a good job." He asked, and I gave him permission to share my documentation with realtor #1.
The next day she called me to say she was sorry, and to explain.

And then I was really tested because she had just been diagnosed with clinical depression. Like, Brian Wilson depression where she didn't get out of bed for two months. But now she's on meds and seeing a counselor, and would we consider giving her a second choice?

"What?!" I know that's what your mind is screaming, because that's what mine did too. I'm pretty sure she didn't hear my mind over the cell phone, though. I told her that I was very sorry that she had to go through that, that I was glad she was getting some help, and feeling better. I asked her to continue to take care of herself. I then informed her that I would not be able to give her another chance, as this is a huge deal for Jim and I, and any confidence that she had earned in the meeting and walk through of our house had been lost.

I know I did and said the right thing, but it still bothers me. A teeny percentage of me wishes I could have given her another shot. But that's not the percentage that wants/needs a house with a hall closet, a fenced in backyard, and a better school district for the youngin's.

We are now onto realtor #2 who pretty much knocked our socks (and $10,000 of the asking price) off. This woman is pretty much going to sell our house. We have it off the market for a few weeks. To give us time to celebrate Christmas in the comfort of our clutter/cookie making mess, and to let the house and our psyche rest from a little post traumatic stress caused by realtor #1.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

vocab lesson from Henry

I need to stop turning the camera for videos. Sorry.