Sunday, February 28, 2010

Parenting 1315

As an infant she nursed every fourteen seconds; dozing at the breast. Just enough watery mama milk to get a bit of a snooze in. Mama was raw with exhaustion.

She didn't nap well until one, and by two outgrew her naps entirely.
She had a colicky sister by then.

She was hard to settle at night, her mind and body wouldn't quiet. In my own state of weariness, I crawled into bed beside her to comfort her into quiet and rest. We read stories and sang songs, and I insisted she stop moving. After she fell asleep, I would tiptoe out and head to my own nest for some much-needed rest. Eventually, she would find me.

A double bed can hold a surprising amount of bodies but it doesn't ensure a refreshing sleep.

But somewhere between grade one and grade ten, she figured it out.
She lost interest in the family bed.
She slept.
I slept.

I've heard say that the toddler years are a foreshadowing for the teen years and it's true that my daughter needs me again. She tells me things at bedtime. Can't fall asleep. Needs a backrub. Doesn't settle. Won't stop moving.

We're beyond the story books and singing now, and she hasn't crawled into bed beside me for years. But she tells me I have magical powers, and she can fall asleep with me in her bed. And I do. I'm insanely grateful that she trusts me. Needs me.

And I'm really, really, really tired.

*If I had the chance to do the toddler years all over again- I'd do it the same way. I'd sacrifice my rest. Almost my sanity. When my kid needs me and I can come through, there's nothing I'd rather do. Except, of course, I'd rather be sleeping.... but I'm not, am I. I really believe that she heard what she needed to hear. That I'm here for her. That her needs matter. Every day, and every night.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Eleven for Eleven

  • Scenes of Brian making espresso. Carefully, meticulously, anticipatory.
  • My dad. All 87 years of him. His now watery eyes, papery skin, halting walk. Attitude of surprised, humble gratitude. ("every single day, I thank God for my loving children..")
  • The sun, kissing the planet from a new angle now, sticking around for longer hours, teasing the snow into droplets to drop from my roof in icicles.
  • Cycles. The change from work days to weekends. I enjoy them all, but without the contrast, the sweetness would be lacking.
  • My daughter who just called to tell me that her basketball team won in zones, and are headed for provincials.
  • The sound of the furnace. Sometimes the house actually gets quiet enough to hear the furnace. It sounds warm, and cozy, and secure. Like we're a family, and we're going to be all right.
  • An hour of quiet. Which for the very first time in what feels like a really long time.... I just might begin right now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm So Happy I Could Puke

I'm so happy that there are people in the world who enjoy paperwork, phone calls, columns, spread sheets, calculators, files, figures involving more than one digit, transaction records, and special number codes.
I'm even happy that there may be one person out there who even loves one of the aforementioned abominations.
I'm so very, very happy today, that its difficult to conceal my euphoria.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Happy #9.
But Seven is the age of my lastborn child.

Now, I really, really like little kids. I find them highly entertaining and quite remarkable in many ways. And I'm pretty sentimental about my babies growing up.


Today's happy involves the fact that my baby has already been around for over seven years. Which means that when my work day (er... the paid portion of my work day) ends at 5:30 pm, the youngest mammal aside from the pets is well beyond preschool aged.

As a matter of fact, he is an auto-bum-wiping, self-feeding, anti-diaper-wearing glorious seven years old.

I'm particularly happy about that reality today.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy #8: Hoar Frost

Manitoba has been particularly beautiful lately.

Gorgeous hoar frost to wake up to in the morning, and it lasts throughout much of the day.

Brian and I went out for a nice morning walk, enjoying all that pretty white stuff on the trees, and getting a chance to catch up on some stuff.

And you know what's going to contribute to further happiness today? This book-- Sewing Green, by Betz White. Gorgeous, porgeous book. Very inspiring.
I'm hoping its going to give me the gumption I need to re-attempt sewing myself something to wear. Like a skirt. Refashioned from a tablecloth.
My past attempts at sewing myself clothing has always been borderline disastrous.
But today just might be different....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

7th Day of Sheer Bliss and Happiness

This Boy.
He makes me happy.

Every day at lunch break, my eleven year old boy walks home from school for lunch. Now, for most of you urbanites, that's no big deal because that's what most kids do. Go to a lunch program, or go home. Well, in these rural pockets, we still have quite a bit of "Hoo-Ville" going on. Kids go to school with their lunch bags and stay there all day. They are supervised at lunch by school staff. I know. The things people around here take for granted! In the real world... one just can't assume that one's child will be looked after at lunch break.

But I digress.
Perhaps I don't live in the real world? My son not only doesn't go to a lunch program, or pack a sandwich for school.... he chooses to come home to a household full of ankle biters on his lunch break.

I always enjoy seeing him, even though I'm often extremely preoccupied and busy feeding and wiping and sopping and instructing.

He usually doesn't like what I made for lunch. (fussy, fussy. Runs in the family). But he doesn't complain. He just figures something out for himself.

Sometimes its half a dozen mini applesauce muffins with chocolate chips.

Works for me.

He always says; "Bye, mom" before heading back to school.
I always say, "Bye, honey-- I love you..."
And then he always says; "I love you too".

I really like that part.
It makes me really happy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 6- Happy

Please make the time to watch the youtube short film entitled Validation.
It is well worth the fifteen minutes. If I can't convince you; read the following description from streeteditors:

Films have a powerful effect on the human psyche. Some of them make you laugh, cry, question and comprehend and some educate you about worlds unknown. Short film Validation is one of those films that will make you smile. It tells the story of a parking attendant who gives his customers validation by dispensing both free parking and free compliments. Above all, it profiles the importance of acknowledging and ‘validating’ people. It’s a great reminder of how we can all create a better world, by sharing a smile and a few kind words. Validation has been played at 34 film festivals worldwide and has won 17 awards, which shows that people are searching for films with a more spiritual and enlightening angle. For 16 minutes of inspiring film, take a moment to watch Validation. (streeteditors)

I had the pleasure of viewing this film at church on Sunday. Like Pastor Peter indicated-- there are millions of messages that could be preached after an intro like this. (just an FYI- its not preachy or religious in any way, so don't let that throw you.

It's a particularly happy feeling to sit through Sunday morning and come away inspired and joyful.

Happy, even.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy. 5.

A turquoise vingnette that makes me happy when my eyes fall upon it.
  • an old metal play fridge that I found at a local yard sale kind of shoved off to the side. I was really afraid that the vendor had realized what a treasure it was and decided against selling it. So, with fear and trepidation I approached her. She was busy overpricing really ugly Wal-Mart type stuff and seemed mildly embarrassed about the dirty old fridge. I got it for a dollar. I nearly died with happy.
  • Inside the fridge are some vintage play dishes, and some Lee Valley watch piece containers stuffed with buttons and trim. Ahem.
  • The iron. Thank you, Lisa, for allowing me to choose that iron out of the box of junky toys that we bought at that auction sale. That iron makes me so happy just to look at it. Just Look At It! (Don't you feel happy?)
  • a vintage children's sewing pattern, thanks to my kind mother-in-law. Her name is written on the front in really pretty, feminine script. I really like that touch.
  • It is held in a gorgeous vintage glass picture frame. (where did I get that from, again? hmmm. I usually remember these things. I forget school forms, appointments, suitcases, geography, and mathematics. But I remember where really great stuff came from. Except in this case....)

That little collection sits on a shelf in my sewing room.

It puts happy into my life.

What helps you find your happy today?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 4 of Happy

Vintage valentine cards. boy, they used to make really beautiful cards. I'm sorry, but in my world; "Tinkerbell" and "Mac the truck" just don't quite give me the same thrill.

To add some reality to someone else's valentine cards; a poem written by my very own Valentine some thirteen years ago.

I'm so spoiled that I have a few people loving on me in kind and generous ways.
Flowers and wine from a daycare mama? Wow. That felt like an amazing reward for my semi-annual day of crafting with the pre-schoolers...

Most of the aged valentines came with a wagon load of fabric from the lovely Mrs R. They are really something. I love it when people don't "clean up" the stuff they give me. That way, I get to discover old ziploc bags in amongst the fabrics. The ziplocs contain things like these cards! (like little surprise love notes from the past)
Another heart love of mine is vintage hankies. I tied up a stack of them to enjoy. This particular stack was a gift from Nancy Cameron to one day use in the bags for Darfur project. Meanwhile, they look great with old cards and some vintage dollhouse plates, and all nestled in an old tin child's toolbox that I once found at a yard sale in Winkler.

After my grade six overnight outdoor ed field trip..... My thoughtful friend Lisa took me on a bit of a spa experience. Well, our idea of a spa. A road trip to some out of the way thrift shops- Winkler and Morden. I was more than a little thrilled to discover this full sheet of vintage valentines, never-been-cut for an astronomical fee of ten cents. I rushed it straight into a frame and hung it up with my other heart day goodies.

Remember that set of milk glass vases?
Well, we've managed to fill two of them this weekend. We both got flowers, and they look wonderful in the window surrounded by all that white and red.

Kitties need love too.
Floey really enjoyed chewing on the grasses that came with these carnations. (I love carnations) Poor puss needs spring at least as much as I. She couldn't stop rubbing her nose along those fresh smelling greens.

A little red, a little white, and a whole lotta love.
Take a little of what you have, and make someone happy today.
Or just make a point of reminding them that they are special to you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 3- a new hairkyle

Somebody please give this poor woman a make-over. Please.

What's that you say? Kyle's back in town?!

and bada-bing!!

Kyle, Kyle.
I don't know how you do it, Kyle, but you always make me very happy.

Very, very happy indeed.
(even though, no matter what, you always make me look exactly like my sister.....)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 2 of Happy

St Valentine's Day.
One of the greatest days ever. So friendly. So non-controversial. So utterly lacking in pressure of any kind. (at least at this stage in the game. Back in the olden days... ooooh, the pressures. But not now.)

We could call highly organized, adult oriented daycare crafts "pressure" and usually they feel that way. That's why I make them semi-annual, and therefore a very appreciated big deal.

What fun to use Brian's cooking grater to mulch up some bits of crayon.

Make a craft sandwich.
One ironing board; layered with one sheet of parchment paper, four layers of clear plastic (bread bags), one sprinkling of crayon remnants, then three or four more layers of plastic, and another layer of parchment.

Cook it.
Kind of like a panini.
Only different. (smells weirder)

Look at that yummy mess of colour! And all made out of garbage.

Draw some heart shapes on the fused plastic so that the kids practise their cutting skills.
Be glad that you thought of that, and even more glad that they lose interest after 4.5 seconds. That means you get to cut out most of them, and just get the kids to act as runners. They want to run anyway, and by giving them one heart at a time, they think they are uber important running those precious pieces to the sewing machine, one by one.
And the heart shapes are actually turning out to look like heart shapes. (control freak? Me? pshaw.)
Besides. It's way safer than letting them run with scissors.

Find some trim in your fifty four billion containers of stuff that you will someday use in a bag.

Sew hearts to the trim randomly.

And festoon every sunny window with your garbage turned charming garland!
When your family comes home, they'll just know how much you love them. (they might even excuse you from cooking dinner, after they see how much Wonder bread plastic you've cooked).
In light of all that light coming through your garbage hearts, you can't help feeling happy.
You just can't.
**I know I'm being hopelessly trivial, but I just must clarify.
I hate wonder bread.
I don't buy it.
But somebody wonderful gave me all those gloriously polka dotty bags and they are just divine in their splendid craftiness.

30 Days of Happy

A challenge to me.
(and you?)
Thirty days of happy would bring me pretty close to spring break.
Which is pretty close to spring.

Things around Blunderview have been feeling pretty heavy. And melancholy.
So, let's "force a bulb", shall we?

There is so much goodness around, it's time to make a choice to point some of it out.
To me.
And you.

If you decide to post some happy, leave a link, will ya? we need to feed off of each others. It'll get us all to spring.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Little Happy

How do you feed a pesky baby?

With a spoon, silly.

Okay.... Two spoons. One for you, and one for her.

Okay.... Two for her.

Mustn't forget one or two more for flinging on the floor.

Feeding one teensey weensy itty bitty little baby?
Nothing to it, really.