Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap day

 How did you spend this "extra"day of the year? Our's was memorable mostly because of the snow we woke up to . . . and then tromped through and tried to shovel (Trev had more success and I eased my guilt by vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom). The trees and scenery were gorgeous this morning, and then gave way to massive amounts of heavy, gloppy, messy slush. We also capitalized on a coffee date opportunity at Caribou.Happy Leap Day!

I need a place to capture quotes from books, articles, blogs - so many strike me, yet I seem to forget them almost as fast as I read them. This might as well be the place.

A recent line  I read in two different places within 24 hours (crazy! I think that means I should pay attention to what it says):
"Find new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold". If you are an "old" friend, and you happen to read this - well, please know you are a treasure.

A psalm said said daily around here:
118:24 "This is the day the the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it"

Another recently read from How We Love Our Kids:
"Not only do kids reveal our weaknesses, they frustrate our need for control and predictability . . . like little coaches pointing out weaknesses and defining our training, children point spotlights on places we need to grow in our lives."

So true, in a very good way. I'm reminded often that Karis's life is a gift, and Trevor and I have the privilege of raising her. This entails many, many moments of joy - and plenty reflected in this quote as well. Sometimes at the end of the day, I realize how many tiny decisions have been executed in just one tiny square box on a calendar - I need wisdom and grace to be making the best choices on behalf of this precious little person entrusted to my care.

I was also delighted tonight when Anne of Green Gables (the Sequel) stated that she likes when names are spelled with "K" instead of "C". And a scene when her class is singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful", a song that Karis asks me to sing every night right before bed. It's the small things, as always.

There's too much to write about that I can't even start right now - we enjoyed an awesome vacation last week that deserves its own post entirely, with lots of pictures of beach baby Karis.

Lenten thoughts also deserve another session of writing . . . in the meantime . . . 

Recent Karis-isms:
- "I want some hair 'jello'" (my latest favorite!)
- Having to wear her purple crocs inside at all times
- "Where are we going?" (asked at anytime of day, not necessarily when we're going somewhere)
- "What's on your face?" (awkward when asked of non-family members)
- "No, no!" (common reply to any question she is asked)
- "I want a girl scout cookie!"
- "Daddy, come inside!" (peeking her head out the door while he was shoveling)
- "Play legos! Build a house!"
- Favorite books lately: I Love You, Mouse. Corduroy, Sheep Take a Hike, Always Room for One More, Nursery Rhymes, Goodnight Moon, Napping House, Piggies, The Foot Book, Runaway Bunny
- Favorite song this week: "You Are My Sunshine"
From a month ago, a ride on an escalator

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day treats

I've always associated Valentine's Day with family, thanks to my parents who always made it a fun and special day for my brother and me (thanks, guys!). I have wonderful memories of time together, new pink socks, memorable meals and creative endeavors (like making crafty boxes for elementary school - wow, those were the days).

I had grand aspirations of having a little tea party with the tots today, but the morning just flew and no tea was steeped (Karis loves tea these days, just a wee bit of weakened chai suits her well). We did manage to get outside and shovel the freshly fallen snow (so gorgeous and refreshing), bake ginger cookies, and visit a neighbor . . . who sent us home with a special treat. She has a stuffed bear that sings "God Bless America" - Karis loves to sing along. So, neighbor Bonnie sent it home with us to "babysit" for a week.

We also enjoyed sending lots of mail, which to me is a favorite activity for this holiday. The other thing that I'll remember about this Valentine's Day is that for the first time, Karis wore her "big girl underwear" all morning without any accidents . . . and also went when I "offered" before going outside and after nap. What?! I'm so delighted and even more so am having fun watching Karis's excitement in this step of independence. I wonder what will happen when she realizes that getting gum after each session isn't an eternal occurrence?

Another couple of memorable moments today - Karis stuck cheese in her ears. Shredded cheddar, if you were wondering. ???? Also, I marked the day by getting my teeth cleaned, which I actually love. It ended up being such a treat (no sarcasm), I had a fabulous hygienist who ended up talking about her current relationship and asking about me and Trev. It was kind of a sweet interaction and seemed fitting for Valentine's Day. I forget how good it is to get out and do these normal things that are pretty much off my radar. Perhaps it's time to see the optometrist as well.

Tonight we kept our tradition started last year of Valentine's "BOGO" events. First, dinner a Qdoba (where it's buy one, get one if you kiss in line). We met dear friends there, and Karis just loved her dinner date with "D". Trevor had a very kind and outgoing "older" gentleman approach him and say, "There are only a few people in this world with good looking heads. Everyone else has hair." HA!

We ended the evening with our "BOGO" Caribou coffee and tried to recall memories of pre-Karis Valentine's Day celebrations. We couldn't remember many and so resorted to grade-school reminiscing.  We did carve in our own at-home date by watching some Harry Potter 3, which reminded us of when we lived in VA and we used a projector on a huge white wall to watch it for the first time- we completely rearranged furniture to make it possible - we both laughed recalling that memory. What really made my day is that in the cards we wrote to each other, we both talked about wondering where we will be and what we'll be doing on future Valentine's Days . . .

That's amore:  Karis, "D" and their PDA at Q doba

Sunday, February 12, 2012

As I write, my fingers smell like turkey. I like it. Spring is in the air or something, I've had these bursts of energy to get things done that I've been meaning to all winter . . . like cook that huge turkey that's been sitting in the freezer for longer than I will admit to publicly. Turkey-cooking is also a part of our plan to "grow up" this year, it was fun to watch Trevor carve it and then to enjoy the results together. The simple life, that's what we're all about here - or at least try to be about. In many ways, Karis has helped us slow down, find a regular rhythm, relax at night.

The above paragraph was written on Monday . . . this paragraph is written on Friday as the turkey is turning into soup on the stove. Mmmm. Turkey is our new friend and fits a new motto and method I'm incorporating into cooking: "minimum input for maximum output".

Today (still Friday!) was momentous for Karis, she got her very own library card. Wow, she was SO excited, I wish I could've gotten her reaction on video. The awesome part of her getting her own card is that now she can check out 30 books at a time. Keeping up with library books is like a part time job, a juggle of when things are done, which ones to renew, which ones to reserve. I love it.

Momentous happenings this week also include diaper-ish things. I decided to be done with cloth diapers, I don't know what happened but I'm just done. As it would happen, Karis seems to think she's about done with diapers, period. I haven't changed a dirty diaper in about a week, she's literally training herself and just lets us know when she has to go. That was easy, all credit goes to Karis.

Before the memory fades, I have to recall some moments from last Sunday's church service: it was the first Sunday that I was called upon to help serve communion, which involves a good 15 or so minutes of me (and other servers) standing at the front of the church. I did wonder what Karis would think of that situation, my girl can be unpredictable about her mommy-separation moments (although less so lately, she is really growing up). Well, she was great, I didn't hear her at all . . . until Trevor actually brought her up front for communion. At that point, she started bawling and crying very loudly for mommy. Oh my Karis, I could see the tears pooling in her eyes. I appreciated many sweet glances from those receiving the juice I was offering, those who know Karis and understood and appreciated the moment - who, like me, knew she would be absolutely fine (nothing a bagel from the back couldn't fix!) and also knew it was a slice of time I'd remember forever. A friend who is a seasoned grandmother-of-five told me after the service, "You know, someday she's not going to like you!" While I hope that's not true (!) I do realize that these little memories are ones I will treasure, ones I will tell Karis about in those moments that she thinks she doesn't need me. 

Random highlights of our week are included, but not limited to:
Having neighbors join us for pizza one evening; meeting an aunt and uncle for dinner one night; celebrating a dear friend's 30th birthday here (with what else but turkey?!); seeing Trev's brother who was here on a long layover; meeting former coworkers for a mall playdate; watching The Help; going to the library book sale and finding some terrific treasures; spontaneously meeting my bro for coffee; purging closets and drawers & organizing piles of clothes - watching Karis try on old favorite dresses and put together hilarious outfits for herself.

It's a simple life and we're thankful.

- "Hey mommy!" and then proceeding to tell me anything and everything that is happening to or around her. This is my favorite exclamation right now.
- She knows our first names and sometimes calls us by them, especially when yelling down the stairs
- She stuck a ball of kleenex up her nose, we were able to fish it out but I was having visions of candy or small toys going up there . . .
- "Watch the turkey!" (peering into oven). When they turkey was out, she just wanted to touch it
- "Cover Karis up!" (she likes to have a blanket over her now - after watching me cover Lukas up for his naps here)
- "I have a little cough! I need honey for my cough"
- "I'm gonna be a flower girl" (it's true! Thanks, Jordan and Cassie, for that exciting honor)
- "I set the table" (true)
- "Let's go to ca-meh-rah!" (Karis-speak for "Panera")
- "Date with Lukas!" (true, we took Lukas on a birthday date to the playplace at a local mall and dinner at Chipotle)
- "Mommy go bathroom so bad" (true - usually after being out and about and having to go right inside for a minute before playing outside)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cutest thing I ever did see

Well, yes, the picture below would depict one of the cutest things I've ever seen. But right before I snapped the photo, I saw something else pretty adorable: a cute old man from the "big red barn" house at the end of the block (the same one with the singing inflated reindeer at Christmas time) was walking to his truck . . . and what was just too cute was that he had a blue tooth in one ear and was chomping on a big old piece of red licorice. The whole scene just kind of made my day. It's the little things, don't you think?

Is it okay to say "cute old man"? Because he was. It was cute, I wish I could've gotten a picture of him, but that probably would not have been okay.

So, here's the picture I did get (please don't tell me you'd rather see a picture of an old man?!):

Another scene was Karis seeing Trev (after a few days of him being gone) at the end of block and biking as fast as she could to him. Pure delight.

- "Mommy blow on hands!" (when we get back inside and her fingers are cold)
- "I'm freezing!" (can you tell it's cold and damp here lately?)
- "Walk on ceiling!" (she loves for Trevor to hold her upside down so her feet touch the ceiling)
- "I want quinoa! I smell quinoa" (yes, she smelled it cooking without even knowing what was in the pot)

And one more, because it's Monkey Monday around here . . . Karis holding a book she pulled off the shelf this morning. Can you tell what it is?

You can't see it well in this shot, but the t-shirt displays Rainbow Brite - a shirt I wore at her age. Thanks, mom, for keeping it!