Thursday, July 30, 2015

Midsummer Night's . . . Reality

Catching up . . . 

Some happenings:

Youth Group-ing - it was a highlight of early summer to reconnect with some of our former youth-groupers. Who as it turns out, are all now old enough to enjoy going out for an adult beverage, which is so crazy to me. What amazing young woman, and so beautiful to watch their lives unfold, to vicariously experience their adventures and wide eyed dreams.

Kids CAN-ing - our church's VBS, this week was a full one for all and we loved every minute. I am the long standing snack lady, a position I enjoy tremendously. It's amazing to watch everyone work with their gifts to bless the children. The children are beyond amazing, watching their joy and creativity and confidence and growth . . . as they partook in music, drama, dancing, story-telling . . . doing real things at tender ages, such a profound opportunity.

Concert-ing - at the end of the KidsCAN week I left the kids at dinnertime to meet Trev at his work rooftop summer party. Beautiful view and loud music, it was a treat to be with him. We then met D & M at Loring Pasta Bar to hang out and then go to a My Morning Jacket concert together. I greatly enjoyed about half of the concert (and not necessarily the beginning or end half- just overall half). I woke up with a bad cold the next day, so I'm wondering if part of some moments of misery was that . . . anyway, so glad to have gone and watch Trev rock out and to experience it (because it WAS an experience) with D & M, who we love so much. I woke up feeling like, "Did that happen?"

4th of July-ing - we hit the lake for a couple days and loved every minute. Highlights were Karis baking a "flag cake" with gma (her cutting and serving was the sweetest thing). Watching The Sound of Music (deserving of its own post, I'm quite obsessed with it at the moment and completely inspired by Maria). Boating to Zorbaz for pizza.  Kayak (Trev and Judah), paddleboat. Smoke bombs and snake thing-ys (???) in the driveway. Karis getting to watch fireworks for the first time (in her pj's, precious).

Trevor birthday-ing - I think we celebrated in Pandolfo style quite well and stretched it out. Dinner with my fam at the Smack Shack. I rarely get him a gift and this year sprung for a kindle (after hearing him say once in a while, "I think you should have a kindle". Which I took to mean he wanted one. Twas true).  We stayed up late to watch The Kingsman (bizarre), he got a Saturday at home to do what he wanted, Pizza Luce with neighbor friends on THE day, a late week date at Milton's and then he went with his cousin Lee to see Ant Man (uff da). He wrapped it up just this week by spending some birthday money on digital copies of Star Wars. Oh Trevor, I do love who you are - it's a treasure to get to know you and be on this journey by your side. Your character and sincere heart and kindness and humor speak volumes to all.

Duluth wedding-ing - we got there mid morning on a Saturday and hit the harbor with grandparents and great-grands. Togetherness, climbing up a huge boat, resting for hours in the hotel room (ahhhh, lovely),  being with friends and family at the Glensheen mansion for the Storslee wedding and reception. Karis says her favorite part was watching a ton of TV in the hotel room. I would add the gorgeous scenery, fab family, catching up with the Storslees. I did notice Karis's self awareness, she didn't want to dance (was "shy"). She's growing up so fast . . . Judah on the other hand had a ball and went out dancing on Trev's shoulders. We also did a family breakfast the next morning as an early b-day celebration for Karis - joy to watch her munch a choc chip cookie with whip cream before her syrup soaked sprinkle pancakes.

Neighborhood walks - The kids and I have spent some after-naptime walking a loop in the neighborhood (to be honest, inspired by Maria) that brings us to a meadow and winds back home. One day we saw a doe and then sang "Doe a Deer" the rest of the way home - Judah now begs (demands): "Mommy, run, sing!" when we get to a certain part in the walk. Where did Maria find all that energy?

Camping-without-camping - oh thank you dear Dierkers for letting us completely mooch off your genuine camping trip. We visited them at Baker Park Reserve in time for a walk through the woods to a beautiful beach/lake, swam, hiked back for fire building & dinner/dessert roasting. They are so generous and inclusive. Memorable was watching Trevor eat smores (fun to watch the kids too).

Not doing anything organized, planned, or adventurous - at the beginning of summer I get this familiar feeling of "should we get ourselves 'in' things or just take it as it comes". It's an uncomfortable place sometimes, and then I remember how usually I'm glad when we can come and go as we please. I did envision some exploring of museums and farther-away parks and splashpads, but it turns out the back yard sprinkler and time with neighbors and friends has been the best rhythm. I do have that "school is coming" stirring, mostly excited and a little bit devastated.

Recent Relevant Quotes:
From Anna Hibiscus (so delightful):
"It's not good to be alone . . . we have to help each other. A husband and three children is too much for one woman alone" (HA!)

"Grandmother and Grandfather had lived so long, they had become so wise and so calm that anybody who was with them was happy to accept their last word on everything."

"'What are you talking about, Anna Hibiscus?' her mother said, cross and tired. . . Uncle Tunde heard. He saw Anna's tears. Uncle Tunde had not been cooking all afternoon, and he was not so tired." (SO TRUE).

From Better than Before:
"In the chaos of everyday life, it's easy to lose sight of what really matters, and I can use my habits to make sure that my life reflects my values."

From an old Reader's Digest:
" . . . while I wait to make a grand heroic gesture, I should just stick to the small inconveniences that let me share in life's inevitable, occasional calamity."

" . . . the volume of words a baby hears in the first few words of his life is even more vital to brain development than scientists had first thought. By the time their kids are three, some parents have spoken 30 million more words to them than others have." (I laughed inside, between me/Karis/Trev - Judah should be in good shape)

Random Musings:

I long ago discovered that I am here for GIVING hugs, not receiving them. But wow, I've come to appreciate random hugs from Karis and Judah. Karis's arms wrap around my front and her head buries into my stomach . . . Judah sneaks up behind me and wraps his arms around my shoulders - or sometimes he hugs my face. I want to remember these moments.

You can often find us post nap coloring with sidewalk chalk in front (they have the most fun coloring their legs, arms, and faces), then tromping to the back to make and play with mud - they are so happy doing this, and it's hilarious to watch. When they're done, inside for baths and sometimes a quick "Cosmic Kids Yoga" (adorable to watch them do this) youtube video while I get dinner on the table. Trev walks in about 6, we eat, they go upstairs for "TWO GUMMIES!" and I clean up and listen to the thumping upstairs until it's time for devotions in our bedroom and then tuck-ins. I love these rhythms, and the kids do too.

We've had some uncomfortable play dates lately that have sent me to a thinking and praying place, wondering how much to hover/how much to let kids be kids and work things out. We (moms) can only hover for so long, pretty soon these precious littles will be in school and having more private play dates and - well, I want to be wise in shepherding but also understanding and empathic of everyone's feelings, and help these sweet hearts navigate the world of feelings and interactions and the meaning of friendship. As always, I can go to serious places quickly and so my challenge is to go this new road with a light heart.

Things you might hear me saying lately: "I love who God has made you". "I apologize and I will try to slow down more this time". "I love uppa Judah. Yes, let's go to the rocking chair." "Time for splish splash and Lion song!" (transition from mud time to bath time). "No thank you. All done". "Popsicle stays outside".

As I hit "publish" right now . . . Judah greeted us this morning (for the first time) by opening his door and saying "hi Mommy!". Which means, games are changing for a crib crawler outer. It was followed by an hour meltdown - it is so hard for this guy to wake up. Oh these ages and stages.

- "Look mom, we're walking the plank!" (chair cushions)
- "I call the cushions toast. They look like toast"
- "It's so much fun having a brother!"
- "Mommy, my neck feels heavy" (after I told her that I had a neck ache. Uff da)
- "Judah, you have flowers growing where your mouth should be!" (when he stuck flower stickers over his mouth)
- "Judah, will you play with me forever and ever?"
- "You know what we're pretending to be? S'mores. So the marshmallow runs into the graham cracker with this pillow" (while insanely running with Judah around the house)
- "Mom, you have triangle head. And you look like a boy"
- "Well, you sure did pick a difficult spot to put your mower!"
- "Was this your idea (qdoba) so you didn't have to make dinner?"
- "Happy half-birthday to you . . . this chocolate cake is good for you . . . "
- "So daddy, me and mommy have a plan: we're going to have Grandma Nancy potty train Judah"
- "Mommy, thanks for getting me this! You don't shop for me very often!" (the Rosetta t-shirt I got her . . . months ago, that she didn't like but now does)
- "I'm making company dolls. They're to keep people company" (she's been making paper dolls during rest time, adorable)
- (on a recent drive back from the lake): "Well hey there Mr.! Wanna eat some potato chips on this hot summer day?" "Judah, here use my foot as a phone! Put it up to your ear!"
- "I'll gladly sew bonnets and shawls and dresses for the [porcelain] dolls when I have my own sewing kit"
- "Lauren's a double mommy, because she has a baby in her belly"
- "This is so interesting!" (said while sitting on my lap at an Arbonne party)
- "Luke Skywalker made some hasty decisions, which is why Princess Laia is in charge"
- "Well, when they cut out your moles I'm going to go look at the fish [I then explained I'll go see the derm by myself] Okay mom, just make sure you bring a sucker back"
- "It's good in its own way" (referring to homemade popsicles)
- "I can hear your heartbeat" (said while cuddling at bedtime)
- "Daddy, it was a baking day"
- "Mommy, Judah's picking the green tomatoes" (oh brother, literally)
- "Mommy, are you so surprised that you snore?"
- "Well, kind of like how you like basements, daddy just likes to sleep on floors" (true, true)
- (in tears one Sunday night) "I don't want to grow up, I want to stay five forever . . . I won't be able to cuddle with you anymore!" (oh sweet Karis! Did we ever have a good cuddle after that)
- "Mom, my meatball is wet" (um, that's called gravy)

Judah Jibes:
- "Head and toes!" (fave song lately)
- "Popcorn plant!" (whenever he sees plants in a store)
- "Jeffe! Rupa! Elevator! Pretzels, hold them" (recent visit to Trev's office)
- "Daddy in water. Towel" (at the lake, when Trev was putting the canopy up - Judah was very concerned)
- "Chin up!" (when in the bath, washing hair)
- "So fast!"
- "Snack-a-lady"
- "Concert!" (correctly used while listening to fabulous music at KidsCAN - aka VBS at our church)
- "Mommy get it!"
- "Q-doba"
- "My morning jacket"
- Judah's thoughts on Barbie: "Pretty!" . . . ."Barbie, poopie. Take off diaper?" (while turning her upside down) !!!!!!!!
- "Why not?!" (my phrase to the kids when they were playing with mud)
- "Break-a-fast outside!"
- "CHOC-O-LATE DONUT!" (said angrily while he had a maple and his friend Ted had a chocolate. He later pushed Ted to the ground. Please help)
- "Napping House!" (a latest fave book)
- "Sit like big-a-boy"
- "No carrots!
- "Let's do that"
- "Letter book!" (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom)
- "Deer home"
- "Egg in there" (in  his french toast - my kids loathe eggs)
- "Grandma do it!"
- "Lion!" (when he spotted a big labradoodle dog)
- "Ha ha ha song! Karis turn it on!" (a new fave)
- "So fresh!" (phrase he picked up when gma got him out of the bath)
- "Little man clean carpet - vacuum!"
- "Han Solo. Princess Laia. Boat!" (reading a Star Wars board book)
- "On the table!" (during bedtime routine - wants his milk to be placed there)
- "No feet Marco" (as in, don't kick Marco)
- "Cat, twinkle star!" (please read Pete the Cat)
- "Mommy sit table!" (sit at the table while I dance - please don't join me dancing)
- I'm still savoring our bedtime chats (Judah now turns around after reading "by you" - sitting beside me - and says "chat". And then eventually he burrows his head into my shoulder and I tell him what I love about him and pray for his night - it's amazing how he relaxes into this, such a gift)
- "Huge!"
- "Have huge date" (as in the food)
- "Caroline sad. Joshua fall down" (after a play date . . . I was amazed that he was paying attention to those details and included them in his pre-nap chat)
- "Judah pooping"
- "Judah's school. New friends. Sucker picnic!" (registering Judah for a couple hours a week at Karis's "old" school and then eating suckers at a nearby park)
- "Courtney, Judah back to bed" (neighbor girl while babysitting - had the wisdom to see Judah wasn't quite ready to get up from his nap and so put him back to bed successfully)
- "Cosmic kids YOGAAAAAAAAAA!" (a sometimes tradition while I make dinner)
- "Daddy, go to sleep!" (their little lay-down routine while I'm tucking Karis in)
- "Go help you mommy" (translates, please help)
- "Eeeewwwwey bathroom!" (our name for port-a-potties)
- "Careful, Karis!" (said while she was going in a porta potty!)
- "Other one boat" (or, other one anything - his way of saying "another", I think)
- "See Kate, Taylor's new house"
- "Beetle up there!" (took me too long to figure this one out as he peered up at an outdoor window . . . turns out it was "BEES" - finally understood AFTER he got stung. Poor guy)
- "Hi mail man!"
- "Construction!"
- "Sing letters!" (sing the "ABC's" after reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom)
- "Soooo many boat motors!" (continues to be obsessed with boats)

Rooftop party
My gardener loves to harvest tomatoes and assemble apps 

So gratifying to watch things grow. Next year we'll plant something they actually like eating
Right before leaving for fireworks. I just love this memory