Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Ornaments

Every year, the kids get a new special ornament.  We try to find something that is meaningful to the experiences the last year held.  When they were born, we decided that Willa would get a bird ornament, and Henry would get a bear.
Here are this year's new additions.
Henry's is a Rock and Roll koala bear. You will not find this guy with a guitar in the stores; the guitar is hot glue gunned on. Henry really connected with music this year. He sings all the time (click that link for proof). He dances even more. Life with Henry is like living in West Side Story (minus gangs and tragic star crossed lovers). He got a kid-sized guitar for his birthday, and when I took him to the fabric store to pick out something to make a guitar strap from, he picked a zebra print, "because it's like a rockstar's, mom." He's so retro. Also, the bear's orange scarf and rings are great, as orange is his current favorite color.

Willa's new ornament is an owl.  In her last year, she's learned to read.  She asked Santa for one thing: a book.  She got about 30 of them.*  She's learned to make friends with a whole new crop of kids.  She's growing in knowledge, compassion, and hauls around wisdom far, far beyond her five years.  Her love for books and animals, her frustrating habit of needing accuracy, and the way she can turn a pile of blocks into hours of adventure and imagination (as is happening at my feet right now) feels like living with a child version of myself.  The owl (in her current favorite color) represents the awareness of the world that she's gaining, and the wisdom that she's bringing to it.

*Many of my friends will be delighted to read that my mom and dad gifted Willa with the first 20+ books in the Boxcar Children series.  We're 1/3 of the way through book 1, and I can't believe I missed out on this as a kid!  Also, Santa brought Willa a giant illustrated children's dictionary.  She spent an hour last night on her new beanbag paging through the book that weighs 1/2 as much as she does.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Keeping Seasonal Affective Disorder at bay

We've had a mighty kind late fall in the Mitten State.  There's been almost no snow on the ground (in our fair city, anyhow) and we've had decent sunshine.  I know what lies ahead, though, and I got out my "happy light" to prepare.  The bulb is burnt out.  Deep breathing.  I know I can go get another one at the store.  It's just... well the metaphor of it all...

Anyhow, a few days ago, I was outside and smiled to see that we still have a few healthy looking petunias and more than a few snapdragon flowers outside.  In December.  In Michigan.

It's not likely they'll survive into January.  This puts us flowerless (outdoors) for January.  In late February my crocus come up.

One month with no flowers?  I can do this!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Technology is fun.

I posted this video nearish Father's Day.
And then I played with my new computer and did this to it:

And I never put it here? Oops. Done.

My little pal

Dear Henry,
When you read this, you'll be older and I have - God help us - shared this blog with you and your sister.  I know that lately the posts here have been about Willa.    Yeah, I know, you've noticed.
You and I spend our days together alone now.  For three whole months it's you and me during the weekdays.  You've been my sidekick on errands, on walks in the woods, at home doing chores, on the floor playing games and doing projects, and on the couch watching PBS kids.
My arm is with me all the time, and I don't write about that.  But my arm is not full of crazy-energy, affection, questions, demands, humor and ideas.  I've been taking your awesomeness for granted, I think.  Rather, I've been taking my access to your awesomeness for granted.  And I'm sorry. 

Henry (and Chilly Willy the Penguin) at the
Detroit Thanksgiving Parade

Yesterday we were walking at a store, and without thinking or talking about it, you reached up, and I reached down at the same time and we held hands.  Not because there was a crowd or cars nearby.  We just like to hold hands.
At night I sigh with relief when you go to sleep.  You talk a lot.  No, that's an understatement: you talk all the time, and my ears need a break at night.  But what you have to say is delightful and challenges me to learn.  I think you're on the ending edge of your "how do they make" question phase.  Thanks to that, we've watched videos on how pencils and light bulbs and plates are made.  We've talked about roads and crayons and cars being made.  I'm learning some things right with you.
You are a very bright 3 year old.  This morning you explained (in your characteristic paragraph format) what metamorphosis is.  You invent funny pranks.  You are sensitive to feelings.
Kiddo, you're a neat person.  I'm glad to be able to spend this time with you.