Wednesday, August 27, 2008

they melt my heart

Daniel's language development has been exploding this summer. A few months ago, I was still nervously counting all the words he knows, but now there's no point. He's absorbing new vocabulary by the mouthful and his speech is getting clearer, too. He's even making sentences, though they're not entirely grammatically correct, of course. Here's a sample:

"My love my little sister."
"What's cooking, mom? Noodles!"
"My have crackers peez?"
"Anya say BA BA BA BA BA"
"Where's Anya? Hi chubby baby!"
"Mom! Cocoa 'ma 'pa house bottom cup no taste good!" (trans: Mom, the cocoa at Oma and Opa's house didn't taste good at the bottom of the cup)
"Daddy say Anya suck pakes" (trans: Daddy said "Anya, do you want to suck on a pancake?"-- Stu really said that and Daniel hasn't let him forget it)
"Chimps no eat poop yet!" (That's just what it looks like and it would take too long to explain, trust me. Let's just say it was a Learning Moment gone wrong at the zoo.)

Anya continues to be chubby, sweet and red-haired. She giggles and coos and plays peekaboo behind the door frame. She can't be without me at night (not without screeching like a cat devil, anyway). She adores her big brother. She's not trying to crawl but she's on the move anyway, scooting around on her chubby little butt to get to anything Daniel is playing with: books, puzzle pieces, kitchen gadgets, train tracks, pretty much anything but her own toys. Of course, at 8 months she isn't saying any words, but she utters a lot of "BA BA BA BA" and blows lots of raspberries. It's good being their mom.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

today's eye-candy

My garden is a scraggly, disorganized mess. This spring I did a nice job of getting some new perennials planted, and I did a half-assed mulching job in June, but now the weeds are taking over. There is serious work to be done, and I have some ideas for a major landscaping overhaul, but I just don't have the time or energy to do it. Plus, it would take a lot of money that right now is better spent on things like food and gas and college funds. Still, there are some things blooming, enough to attract lots of bees and butterflies.

Sometimes I let Daniel water the flowers. This entails filling up the watering can with the hose (apparently he hasn't figured out yet that the hose itself reaches the garden area), then asking for my help carrying the can to the garden because he's filled it so full of water it's too heavy for him to carry, then dumping most of it on a bare patch of dirt where I dug out some garlic a few weeks ago.

And by the way, no he hasn't been eating dirt. The smudges around his mouth are from a chocolate cupcake.

Stu and Anya cheered him on from the sidelines:

I am grateful for these nice summer days; they'll soon be at an end.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I was never really a worrier until I became a mom. Of all the things that have surprised me about parenthood, the one that blindsided me the most is worry. I worry about everything all the time. I worry about what my kids eat and don't eat. I worry about them getting sick. I worry about them getting hurt. I worry that they will be unhappy. These things keep me up at night (so does Anya, but that's a whole different issue). I look calm and collected on the outside but inside I'm often a tangle of knots and anxiety about nothing and everything in particular, this despite the fact that my two children are thus far happy, healthy and as normal as they can be.

I think part of the problem is that my children currently occupy just about every waking (and sleeping) moment of my life. I am not employed (my 5 piano students don't really count), and I am no longer in school, so I don't have any kind of professional balance right now. That's just how it's going to be a for a little while, I'm afraid.

Is there something wrong with me? Does every parent feel this way? I wish I could just let go and deal with the hard stuff as it comes, but I can't. It's not like if I worry about stuff before it happens I'll save myself the trouble later. I need some reassurance here, or some help.

(BTW: I am not concerned that I'm dealing with any kind of anxiety disorder or PPD. I know enough about those conditions to know that my problem is not that severe. I'm not having panic attacks or symptoms of serious depression. I just...worry a lot.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Daniel's apron

Remember how I said Daniel needs an apron his size? I made him one today. More details here on Mad Knitting.

Monday, August 18, 2008

discuss, please

Perhaps this belongs on my knitting blog, but I'm interested in the opinions of a wider audience. If you read The Yarn Harlot, then you've probably already heard about the libraries in Ontario banning arts and crafts from their branches. (Go read the article I just linked. It's short.)

In short, a group of girls age 6-10 are no longer allowed to have their weekly Itch and Stitch meetings at their library because the branches want to make more room for their literacy-centered programs. Now, as you may know, I'm an avid knitter myself (I have a whole blog for it, even), and I think a person can knit just about anywhere. Personally, I'd knit anywhere I can breastfeed, and that's pretty much anywhere: church, waiting rooms, public parks, Borders, and yes, the library. I think it's too bad that a library can't (or won't) host a quiet group of girls who want to knit and crochet together. BUT. Knitting isn't reading or literacy-oriented, and if the library space and staff are needed for activities more relevant to reading and literacy, they have the right to ask groups to take their arts and crafts elsewhere. It seems to me the library isn't anti-knitting (or anti-crafts in general), since the librarian interviewed suggested the girls start a book discussion group and knit during that. In fact, I think that's an excellent idea. I wouldn't mind being part of such a group myself, in fact. I admit I got a little hung up on the part of the article where the library is hosting a video game group to attract a younger crowd, but I'll reserve harsher judgement since I don't run the library or anything.

OK, now what do y'all think?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the best people never change

Last week some friends of ours spent the night at our house on their way to a wedding in Indiana. We haven't seen W & S since our wedding seven years ago, but we've all known each other since our early college years. We were all in the concert choir, which takes an annual spring break tour. Usually this tour involves busing all fifty singers plus the director around the Midwest to sing at various churches. My freshman year, though, the choir went all the way up the west coast, from southern California all the way up to Seattle. It was way more exciting than (insert small town here) Nebraska/Iowa/Ohio, but it also meant many, many hours on the bus. W and S and Stu and I discovered a mutual love for card playing early on in the tour, and for every long stretch of the trip, we all made sure to sit together so we could play 500. 500 is something between Spades and Bridge. It requires skill and experience, and we weren't about to allow just anyone to play. None of us were paired up yet (though I think probably everyone but us knew it would happen eventually), but we were all fast becoming good friends.

The friendships stuck. We kept playing cards. W and S got together, then Stu and I got together. W and S got married a little more than a year after that fateful choir tour, and Stu and I had the honor of being candle lighters at their wedding. Stuart learned a couple things the hard way at that event: 1) Wax candles don't last long in the glove box of a dark blue station wagon in 95-degree heat and 2) One must never, under any circumstances, wear white socks with a dark suit. In fact, the day W & S came arrived was their 10th anniversary. Stuart somehow remembered this and said "Happy Anniversary!" to which W responded "I couldn't think of a better way to spend it!" and S added "We'll have to do it every year!" (They'd been driving for 9 hours with a 2yo and a baby in the car.)

W and S are farmers in rural South Dakota. The distance between us and our busy lives are responsible for the length of time since we saw them last. We have two kids; they have two kids roughly the same age as ours. When they arrived at our house, it was like nothing had really changed between us, save our growing families. Our boys played together and didn't fight too much (Daniel had some issues with sharing his toys, but he's 2 and 1/2. It's normal.) Our babies stared at each other and grinned. We complained about red states (and oh my is South Dakota red, bleeding red), swapped birth stories, and made each other laugh and laugh. There was no time for 500, alas, but I doubt I'd have remembered how to play.

The best people never really change.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

my little chef

I think he needs a little apron just his size, don't you?

Saturday, August 09, 2008


We're home. We had such a lovely time in Kentucky that I didn't really want to leave. You can't stay on vacation forever, though, so back we came. We're all so glad to be out of the car, especially Anya, who made the last 15 minutes of the drive feel like an eternity, poor thing. The weather here is beautiful, so I've opened the house to let the fresh air in and the stale air out, the kids are playing [somewhat] nicely on the deck, and I'm making fresh pesto and homemade pasta for dinner. The whole kitchen smells like basil...Life could be worse, I suppose.