Wednesday, April 27, 2011

first showing, my birthday, very large beer

So... today was odd. Before I type anymore, I'll share with you that I have consumed 1/2 of a Long Island Iced Tea and a giant Dos Equis (so... a quatro equis or so).

At just after midnight, dear Jim came into the bedroom, where I was starting to re-read Anne Lamott's Plan B (Have you read it? You should.). He glanced at the clock and said, "hey! Happy Birthday." I grinned, sighed, and snuggled deeper into the comfy bed.

This morning, Willa got to school without incident. On the way, I asked her if she knew what today was. She said, "uh-huh. It's picture day. And show and tell. And your birthday. And someone is coming to look at our house tonight." I waited. And cleared my throat. And waited. Finally, she said, "oh! Happy birthday, mom!"

Henry and I went to the fabric store. We picked out fabric so I could make a curtain of sorts for the area that houses our garbage can and dog food. Henry sang "happy birthday" several times... Tra, la la... it was starting out to be a great day. We got home and I went to the basement to switch laundry around.

And then I saw what I thought was just a trickle of water, which I later upgraded to a wee spring. It was a stream. It's been raining a fair amount for several days, and our basement got wet. A rare occasion. And, of course we had our first showing tonight at 8.

I'm going to skip the many hours I spent, and later Jim shared, mopping up and cleaning the rest of the house. Because that's boring. I'm tired. He's tired. Onward.

So we went to Little Mexico for my birthday dinner. I had my favorite vegetable burrito. And drinks. The kids gave me a sweet blue glass beaded bracelet while we were there.

We got home and Jim gave me another gift. And that's what I'm typing on now.

So, our house looks fantastic. I had a great dinner with 3 of my favorite people. I got some terrific presents. And I'm a little tipsy.

36 is going to be great!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


My buddy and I went for a walk at the Calvin College Nature Preserve this afternoon. There was also an entire middle school there, so... not so quiet. We did manage to find one trail for our own. We sat on the dock at the pond and talked about how a red winged blackbird sounded like he was looking for "Maria." We walked on. I heard a small rustle, and saw a little snake. The snake wasn't scared. Henry wasn't scared. Just for the record... neither was I. We sat on the ground and watched the snake watching us. Then we stood up, and walked away. Henry slipped his hand in mine and told me, "I'm glad we went for a walk inda woods."

Friday, April 08, 2011

Five years old

Willa, you are five years old. On the day you were born, you snuggled into my neck as I held you and lifted your head to coo. On your birthday two days ago, you hopped onto your new red, shiny scooter and had it mastered in a few minutes. You amaze me. You delight me.

Your 5th birthday happened to coincide with Sinki family cabin fever and dad's vacation time. So, up to Traverse City we went. In the morning, you woke up in the hotel with mom's premade, frozen, and then microwaved pancake breakfast in bed.

And then a brief photo shoot.

Followed by a few presents:

Followed by a trip to the TC kid's museum where you got to dress up and have hens:

We also walked on the beach right outside our room:

You and Henry flew kites with Dad's help:

We took a little drive to Leeland, where the only fish we saw were an inch long and crammed hundreds in a square foot:

There was a lot of swimming in the pool, and fun at meals out, and few, but sweet quiet moments in the hotel room.

You are five now. On your first full day of five, we visited Old Mission State Park and the four of us walked on the beach. In the past few months, you've been fearful of new things. Falling down or not doing things right worry you. I was so, so proud of you when you followed me out to the tip of the rocks to put your fingers in Lake Michigan. You are growing up. And while I'm sad that it's happening so quickly, I'm pleased that you're becoming stronger and bolder while maintaining your sweetness, your compassion, your smarts, and your humor.

Every day, I am grateful for the gift of being your mom.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Tripping on love

When Willa was a small baby she cried more than most other babies. There was a 2 month period when she was inconsolable between the hours of midnight and 3 am. During those times, Jim and I took turns trying everything in our shallow bag of new parent tricks to soothe her. She had a crib mobile that played a song I had never heard before. After pacing the floor and bouncing her in my arms for an hour, I started humming it, and then making up lyrics. Mostly to remove my brain from the reality of the crying baby. Tonight, Willa asked me to sing her that song. I took a breath in, "mama loves you, and daddy loves you and Henry loves you (this is a rewrite to keep up with the times), and the dogs love you, and we're so happy that you are here with us, oh, our beautiful Willa." She grinned, rubbing her cheek on her pillowcase. "Mama, when you sang that all of those people love us, it felt like I was in all different colors." That baby will turn five years old on Wednesday.