Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blessed Warmth!

Yesterday we were blessed with a day in the 50s. A day full of sunshine, picnics, sliding, swinging, running, laughter and lots and lots of mud. Our day started with gloves, hats and scarves firmly in place for the task of filling a bucket with snow to melt for our fish tank. Bella, as usual, started the project off with gusto, shovelling with the help of her brother.

But, after about ten minutes, she got bored and moved on to the next thing, which happened to be finding and planting a milk weed seed.

Then it was on to collecting pine cones in the red wagon.
Kane, however, kept on filling that bucket until it was full.
He moved from the big, cumbersome snow shovel to his little garden spade. When the spade proved too small, he decided to try his broom and dust pan, which worked perfectly to get the job done.
Eventually it was time for food, and the hats and gloves came off for a nice picnic on the deck. Maxwell woke from his nap and joined us for a wind-blown lunch.

No multi-tasking challenge is too big for my little man.

Apple slice, two carrots and a spade while chewing on a veggie chip? I can handle that!
After eating, we had to play some ball. Here the ball popped out of his hand on one of the several warm-up swings that he always does before he throws the ball, and I just happened to catch it in mid-air.

After every throw he gave me a good "I REALLY want that!" face.

A lot of time was spent mastering the stairs, also.

I got in a little bit of knitting in the winter sun.

Then Max just couldn't stay put on the deck any more. He had to have some mud under his feet. So into the yard we went. There's nothing better than a January thaw, when there is still some snow left to collect, but it's warm enough outside to dig in with your bare hands and not freeze.

Max would grab a handful of snow, which by this point was more like loosely packed ice, and squeeze it until it popped and little pieces flew all over. Then, of course, curious one-year-old minds must know what this cold wet stuff tastes like.

It was a glorious, renewing, rejuvenating day, which was exactly what we all needed. Each little head was peacefully resting on a pillow by 7:30, and MaMa went to work painting the laundry room. But that's a story for another day. A story of a wonderfully thoughtful husband wh
o.'s on a roll with perfect gifts, a 30th birthday and dear friends. Tomorrow, perhaps...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bloggers Block

Okay, so I am having a major bloggers block right now. I have been pondering the possible reasons, and I have come up with a complex excuse. First and foremost, my creative brain has been on overload as of late. I really think this has been a major factor in my inability to get on here and type out anything worth reading. I decided to make all of the Christmas gifts from us to all of our family and friends. I loved every minute of it - and am still loving it, as many are still being finished - but I was a little dissappointed with myself in not getting all done for Christmas day, and my back and feet were killing me from standing at the sewing machine. I would love to share with you a list of what I have made for Christmas presents. By all means, feel free to skip to the next paragraph if you either don't care or if you get bored, for it is extensive. For my kids I made an awesome puppet theater, doll hammock, doll swing and sweet fleece coats. There were dolls, handmade blocks, rattles, teethers and knitted farm animals on my list, but they got dropped because there was no way I was getting them done. For my niece Serena I made a puppet theater, fleece coat and knitted a headband to match the one I made for her Mama. I also knitted a headband for my niece Kyrstin, a wool hat for my nephew Ehtan, and made a tote for him as well. I knitted wool hats for my father-in-law and my brother-in-law, and a (special-order) cotton hat for my brother, in hunter orange, measuring 3 feet long. I am still working on (plan on starting today) purses for all of the ladies in the family and totes for all of the gents, as well as some more headbands, I think. It is hard at this point to remember all that I still have to accomplish. Oh, and some things for the ladies and children in my knitting group that I can't mention, because they will all see it on here :-). And some knitted sheep and puppet theater for Baylee, my babysittee. And I still have to make some place mats for my sister-in-laws parents, because most of the material that I used for all of my sewing projects came from her grandmother, Grandma Frieda, who recently passed away. Wow, I am sorry for unloading all of that on you, but I apparently just really needed to get it all out there for myself. Ahhh, big sigh of relief. I am really glad that I did it, I just started too late and was too ambitious (such a nice way to say I was fool-hearted and unrealistic!), so it will be nice when I am done. I already have projects in mind for everyone for next Christmas, so I'm anxious to get started on them all! The problem will be to get them done before Christmas and keep my mouth shut, because I hate having to wait to give something to someone...

Whew, with that all said, I have more excuses as to why I haven't been blogging. I had so many blogs this past Autumn that I didn't get to that my mind is still stuck on those. The problem is that I have a hard time backtracking and writing about those things. My mind is in the present and it craves sharing events when they are happening, and I just can't seem to get myself back to the frame of mind I was in when I was forming those posts in my brain. Now, I am sure I can go back and share those events as memories, but what I want to do is finish my unfinshed tasks, and I will have to let go of those old thoughts and ideas to make a new post out of them. I'll work on that, I promise. It is NOT easy for me to do.

My next excuse is the unfortunate state that my camera is in. So many of my posts revolve around my pictures, but like a doof I left my camera sitting on the kitchen counter and accidentally caught the strap and knocked it off onto the floor, directly onto the lens. So my best lens is not auto-focusing at all, and it makes my sick to my stomach to even think about it. I will be calling the company I got the camera from and inquiring about that extra warrenty I purchased, and hopefully will get my lens fixed. But today, I decided to stop fighting the lens and stuck on my good ol' 50 mm. I forgot what wonderful pictures it takes, and am delighted to dance around taking shots of the kids again without cursing my blurring manual focussing. So I think that will help me pull out of this un-blogging time.

My only UNexcuse is that my bloggers block is NOT the result of winter! I refuse to let winter take me down the way it usually does. I am normally in a huge slump for the winter months, but I have been working through that this year. I always felt like I was not a winter person, but in truth I am. I love the crispness of the air, the feeling of the sun at its winter angle on my face, and my kod's rosey cheeks and rudolph noses. I love hot tea, fuzzy slippers and cuddling up on the couch with a warm blanket and a snuggle-buddy, be they husband or offspring. I just have a tendancy toward hibernation, which brings me down, but so far this winter we have taken many bundled-up cold-weather walks, played more times in the snow than any other year, and will be taking winter hikes with friends as soon as Maxwell gets his winter hiking boots made by the wonderful Kaboogie on Etsy. And finally I feel like I love winter. It is a beautiful season, and I mean to enjoy it to the fullest. So that is definitely NOT a reason for my bloggers block.

So I am finally to the point where I feel like I can start improving on my bloggers block. But here's the thing -I started this post a week ago. Yup, an entire week ago. Granted, I am still finishing Christmas gifts. Maybe once they are done I can get on more of a schedule. But I just can't promise anything. Partly because I have a little terror of a one-year-old who seems to insist on getting himself into something he shouldn't be into every minute or two. Of course, I love every minute of it, but it keeps me on my toes, and hopping up from the computer in the middle of posts. I'll leave you now with some wonderfully RECENT pictures of our fun with some straight-from-a-tree-in-FL oranges given to us by a client of Adam's. Oooo, were they delicious. So juicy and ripe you couldn't even peel them, which meant perfect orange-smile slices.

Max thought it was really funny, giving us his hearty party laugh that he's perfected lately.

Okay, maybe it's just me as his Mama, but can't you just see, from the little side of his face here, how hugely he is smiling?

And it made me realize, as Bella repeatedly shoved the rind in her mouth to dramatically spit it out with proper sound effects, that my girl has her Papa's roomy mouth.
Oh, I know he'll just love me for this... "Honey, look, when she shoves that rind in it reminds me of your monkey face! She has your mouth... Come on, give me that monkey face. PLEEEEEASE?"

I take the shot, and he says, "Did I give you a good 'I can't believe you're making me do this' look?" Yes dear, you did. It is just perfect.