Friday, September 30, 2011

Rough Patch

When Ian gets home at 5:30 the girls are always ecstatic. Louise squeals and claps and Ainsley runs and hugs. I smile and sigh relief and happiness. After the girls have had their fill I get mine. We embrace, cheek kiss, exchange words about our day and settle into our evening.

Last night was different. The moment I heard the click of the doorknob and the girls' squeals formed in the backs of their throats I collapsed. Ian took over immediately. The three calls he got from me that day clued him in to my desperation. With few words and thankful looks I trudged up the stairs, my burden lightening with each ascending step. I drew the bath hot and bubbly, sunk in deep and let it all go. All the stress of the day, all the pent up anger and frustration, all the repetitious momisms and faux strength. I let it all go.

Yesterday was a real rough patch. A day that I thought might actually do me in. But the beauty of it in the end, of all that terrible horrible no good very bad-ness was that I made it. We made it. Through all the tears and tantrums and holding my tongue and SCREAMING and time outs and no naps, we made it. We even managed to have a little fun along the way.

This morning I woke up with a new resolve. A resolve to step up my parenting game and put fun and friendship on the back burner. Ainsley is responding well and I can only hope that it gets easier from here on out.

We missed out on a quick trip to Minnesota because of all of this. I vowed I would never let my children control me like that, make me miss out on things that I really wanted. But it's for the best. I am so wiped today that I couldn't have made that drive solo with 4 espressos. We need consistency right now and rhythm. Oh rhythm. So today we celebrated fall. Spent the morning adorning our house with garlands and fresh candles and window art. We gathered components for Halloween costuming and drew out our designs Ainsley and I played the morning away as Louise crashed. Now Ainsley is crashing and I am finally relaxing.

It continues to astonish me, how hard this parent thing is. This stay at home always on call, always the mean guy boss parent thing. But the rewards are great. Last night Ainsley couldn't get enough snuggles from me. Even when I could barely look her in the face because the day had been really that bad...she loved me. And today? She's been an absolute delight.

I just hope this delightful child decides to stick around for a while. This terrible twos thing is no joke.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hum Day Nuggets: So Much Fun

"The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold cold wet day."

Oh Dr Suess, you speak of our sorrow. It's been oh so dreary and wet for days and days. The girls and I are desperate for outdoor time that consists of more than rainbooted walks and carrides. This is the time of year when the leaves are beginning to change and fall breezes blow cool and strong and we're missing it all, stuck in our little home months before we should be.

Of course this moment the sun is peaking through. Teasing the girls and keeping their naps from solidifying. Rest assurred it will be dark and drizzly just in time for their arousal, smiting any hopes of the park or a backyard romp. We know the drill. I miss being tired from fresh air and movement, not from cabin fevered short tempers and stale air.

Even so we've had some great moments this week. I look back on life even a year ago, getting used to a new little life in our midst, struggling to get even the most menial tasks and activities complete. Last winter felt SO long and hard that I seriously considered leaving the midwest for good. But now, these stints indoors, while not ideal, create such opportunities for bonding and play with my girls.


Louise has started to play pretend right along with Ainsley and I. Sharpening her "talk on phone" and "feeding people stuff" skills. When we play in the kitchen downstairs she cooks along with Ainlsey and then (mostly) sits calmly in her designated seat waiting to be served by Chef Ainsley. We have such fun playing and pretending all together. Most times now Ainsley introduces the agenda instead of me. I. AM. LOVING. IT.


I was a proud mama this morning in musikgarten as Ainsley sat front and center and belted out each and every song. One song, saying hello in 4 languages, she's particularly mastered with the hand motions and all. I'm not proud for myself, while we sing and dance to the beat a lot around here, that desire and ability to remember and learn is all Ainsley. She watches Miss Amy SO intently. Her new favorite pretend play is to lead music class as Miss Amy while Louise and I obediently watch and repeat. It's amazing how much she's learned in the year and a half we've been going to class. I always knew that music holds a special place in our hearts, speaks to us when words cannot, but man oh man, Ainsley is living proof.

And YaWeez! That dumpling is exploding with joy during each class. She drums and pats along with the babies in her class and sits up like a big kid in Ainsley's. I am just so stinkin proud of my girls and happy for the joy of musikgarten in our lives.


Another perk of all this forced indoor time has been the extra project time. On a particularly wet pajama filled morning I pulled out the sensory bin and dumped in a 10lb bag of rice. It's the first sensory rice they've had since early spring, Louise's first ever and my goodness it's a favorite as always. The girls played happily for nearly a half hour, then when Ainsley and I moved into the kitchen to start a crock pot dinner Louise continued, pouring and rubbing, climbing all in, for a full hour. Ahh, the magic of sensory.

::baby in a sensory bin::

::um, I think she likes pudding paint::

::wait a second, they both do!::

::dumpling in a diaper photos::

::Louise reading, as per ALWAYS::


With the big stretch of fall (and at home!) in front of us I'm determined to make good use of it. After my vent post this weekend I'm working on making it happen. One thing I've very recently realized is that I NEED to get my body back. Not lose weight so much, according to scales I'm where I want to be, but goodness I need that strength and endurance back.

Pregnancy, bedrest, nursing, being a mom, these things didn't allow me to focus on me, namely what my body needs. I eat what's available when I'm hungry, usually thinking very little about it. I'm so focused on the needs of the girls that I sacrifice my precious free time to make them stuff and plan meals (or to just SIT for a MINUTE) instead of going for a good run, or lifting a few weights.

It used to be so easy to take care of myself because it was just me. Now that I have 3 (um, sometimes 4) people to care for I just seem to come in last. But really, those days that I take the time to make really delicious GOOD food and go for a run, I am a rockstar mom and wife. (well maybe not rockstar, but you get the idea). Endorphins are my drug of choice, oh how I miss them. So here's to feeling good about myself again and getting some of that muscle tone back in my life.

I am pretty pumped for fall. Our clothes are switched, the heater has already been put to the test, leaf art and pumpkin projects are in our VERY near future. Halloween costuming has been added to our project list and our corner windows will soon be festive and bright. I love this time of year and am excited to be settled into our house and our lives this season to REALLY celebrate.

Today I am thankful for the cool weather despite the rain, the joy of music to warm our spirits and my sweet family to keep company with.
Happy Hump Day!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rose Colored Glass(es)

Today is a gloomy gloom day, both in spirit and in weather. While I didn't mind watching the girls solo this morning, letting Ian sleep in after a long deserved night out, it drained me. We spent the morning lounging in jammies, playing pretend and switching out skirts and shorts for corduroys and smartwools in our drawers. While it's always fun to lounge and be a bit productive, I just needed something else this morning, and I'm not sure what.

I've found that lately I have avoided writing on these days. For all that I proclaim bravery and speaking the truth I prefer to put my best foot forward on here, to remember the good stuff, the fun stuff, the exceptional stuff. The beauty of a blog is the ability to paint a portrait of yourself that you admire, of the person you want other people to see. At the same time I fear becoming one of "those" people, the ones who claim perfection and exception all the time. I of course am not one of "them".

I'm coming off of a good streak. Despite almost preschooler and nearly toddler antics the girls have been wonderful. Playing has become so effortless and misunderstandings and frustrations are much fewer and further between, and of course cuteness and preciousness is always in abundance. While our new schedule is tiring it is great having things to do and places to be.

Still, when I stop to think about life, the BIG picture, I am overwhelmed. We have been living in this state of limbo for so long that it has become our new normal. In the next couple of years we face some real big decisions, potential changes. Quite frankly I feel done with change. I really like where life is at right now and I resent having to even consider it not being like this. I know it can potentially get easier, better even, but I simply cannot imagine it. I feel like my head is exploding with the possibilities.

A favorite blogger of mine wrote recently...
"I talked with a friend last night about how wild it is that when one is at the age of having small children, it is also when money is tight and creative endeavors are high. It is when days are the fullest and the most work needs to be done. This precious time when our kids are young and with us all the time is also a precious time of digging into growing careers and adventure. It is like, how many life-changing, important balls can we juggle at one time? Aw, hell, let's add another." (

Life is just SO crazy right now. The girls naps rarely overlap (if they nap at all) and now that Ainsley doesn't fall asleep until at least 9 I have literally NO time to myself in a day. I am just drained. There is so much that I want to do. I have SO many THINGS that I want to MAKE, BOOKS to READ, WORDS to WRITE. Then when I do find a free moment I am too tired to DO anything about all that passion and desire. Quite frankly it sucks.

Perhaps I boast about my productive free time (as rare as it happens) and my occasional amazing multitasking (again, sporadic at best) because it's all I have. The days when I can create with and for the girls, make wholesome food for my family, scrub out the bathtub, nurture my marriage AND my soul? now that's a day worth writing about.

Today is a day of getting by, enjoying my family, but secretly wishing for a bit of a break, a bit of time to be just me, not mom or wife or household CEO. Someday I'll get there. Just not today. Today I write to be ok with that.

I leave you with another great excerpt from the above blogger (seriously, you need to check her out if you haven't)

"Several times, I studied the room, pulsing with the intense, happy energy of hundreds of women with varying passions and influences, united by one thing: we are moms. My village. Breast or formula-fed, public or private school, epidural or incense, soda pop or carrot juice, circumcised or not, cloth or disposable…eh. We are moms. We love our kids so much, we are so committed to raising compassionate, strong, self-aware humans, that we are prioritizing time away from our kids to ensure we are good models of compassion, strength and self-awareness.

I left the event having fed the pieces of me that existed before motherhood, but of course, it’s different now that all I am is within motherhood. Not that I am held hostage by being a mama, rather my everything is dancing around and through being a mama. It was a good way to spend the day before Mother’s Day. It was thirst-quenching and inspiring to be surrounded by all that greatness."

Today I could use a little of that greatness and inspiration. Today I feel totally held hostage and miss those pre mama pieces of me, or at least the ability to cultivate them. So tonight I sit tired, worn out, defeated, knowing that tomorrow is another day, another chance to make it all happen. And if nothing else I am raising two girls, helping them form and thrive and someday I'll have the time I need for me again. I just really hope it's soon.

I know happy photos don't really "go" with this post...but we all need a little sunshine...even on the gloomiest of days...

The state of our home at morning's end...can you tell I was DONE?!?

Louise had similar feeling about the day as I did...I think poor baby is teething again

Rest assurred we ended the day with full bellies, sleeping girls and a clean house. Tomorrow's looking up already.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hump Day Nuggets: Craft Time

As a girl craft time was always my favorite. I LIVED for the few days a month when the travelling art teacher and her cart of goodies visited our classroom. I begged my mom for that summer class filled with cooking adventures, woodshop and creative endeavors. In my free time while other kids skinned their knees riding bikes and jumping out of trees I preferred to sit quietly, drawing, creating and imagining.

One of the things I looked forward to most before becoming a mama was getting to create for and with my children. When Ainsley was born I bombarded her with handknit toys and clothes, booties and blankets, a rug for her floor. Before she could even know or care I wanted her to be surrounded with things made with love and care, and I just LOVED making it all (lest you erroneously think these were all selfless acts).

Yet it wasn't quite enough. I salivated from very early on to create WITH Ainsley (and now Louise too). I longed for the moment when she could hold a crayon and swipe with purpose, match a cut out shape or scrap of fabric to a dob of glue. I racked my brain to find ways to make with a baby, then a toddler, ever hopeful and ultimately deflated whenever she lost interest or worse, ate the craft.

People used to laugh when I explained our craft adventures. "well of course she ate it, she's too young!" I heard over and over. But I just couldn't accept it. Creating is so deep and thick in my blood. How could it not be in hers?

So for a while I gave in. After one more crayon ingestion I packed up my carefully arranged craft area and put the box high up out of site. I let the summer fill our days with wild outdoor play and water adventures and left the creating to after hours knitting and sewing alone.

Then, with the first gust of cool fall air the spirit of creativity returned to our house. Out of the blue Ainsley started requesting to "make things mama". She has long lists of things she wants to do, we've begun mapping out our days so that we can fit it all in. I'm discovering new ways to make creating relatvively effortless and routine and we're both thriving in this new environment.

I am delighted, no thrilled to see that a little of me has taken hold inside her. With all of her rambunction and craze she has a calm deep down fed by careful work and concentration. I am amazed each time I pull out something new and watch her determination and pride as she works and then completes.

We are loving craft time.
*I listed some of our favorite crafts at the bottom of the post*

Ainsley got an early Christmas present, new down booties (the rascal found my thrifted stash of goodies for Christmas...I gave in and gave her one thing and re-hid the rest). Here she sports them with a newborn sized dress and a tank top, and not a lot else.

Louise will only feed herself now including anything spoon fed and as she LOVES oatmeal, yogurt and all other things spoony I finally gave in and let her try. She does really well and at least half gets in her mouth, but the result is trashed clothes at least 3 times a day.

Ainsley is getting better and better at her scoot bike and requests to ride it daily. Now that Louise is such a pro cruiser we spend hours outside our house up and down the sidewalk. It's great to have such effortless fun on these beautiful fall afternoons.

Craft time in action.

This past weekend was Oaktoberfest here. While not the most kid friendly event we had fun listening to music, munching on corn and sipping dollar root beer. Ainsley loves any event that involves a purse and Auntie Sonya.

::cutting up old books and magazines, Ainsley's favorite project,
she could do this for HOURS::

I am trying to get into a new routine for cooking. I've noted that I go through spurts when I am crazy motivated and organized in the kitchen and then a string of days (or weeks) when grilled cheese sounds like too much effort. So I'm starting to cook LOTS when I'm in the mood, making double batches and freezing half, cooking two or three meals at a time, making lots of snack and goodies for the girls to freeze and pull out when motivation is lacking. I love a cleaned out pantry and freezer restocked with fresh stuff and ideas. And Ainsley and Louise LOVE helping.

::homemade fig-apricot-apple bars,
even I grab one of these in lieu of breakfast somedays::

We continue to struggle with Ainsley's sleep. Her busy fall scheudle has her zonked and when she gets overtired...WATCH OUT!. So we're finding a new balance, getting the energy out early and quieting later. One of my favorite things to do with her is to go for walks. She requests them all day long and once dinner has been eaten and Ian is home I indulge her most nights. No strollers or carriers, just Ainsley and I (and usually a baby or two). I love these walks because there is no destination, no hurry. We can just meander and chat and giggle and run. Last night went much better for her and LOOK! I'm blogging at 1:30 so her naps are back on. If there's one thing I know I've learned as a mom it's to adjust and revamp, find a balance between routine and rhythm. I think we're all starting to settle and it's feeling good.

Today I am thankful for beautiful weather and sleeping girls, for busy mornings and lazy afternoons. I am thankful for good moods and lots of new projects on the horizon.

Happy Hump day out there!

Favorite Crafts::

Our favorite "clean or dry" crafts::

Cutting up magazines and old childrens books and gluing to make collages
contact paper crafts (sun catchers, window art with tissue paper, place mats, nature collages)
body tracing on big paper (hands and feet too) then coloring away
free drawing time by candelight before bedtime
toddler needlepoint (sewing with a plastic needle into potato/onion bags or coarse muslin)

Favorite messy crafts

painting in any form (easel color mixing, stamping with veggie stamps, toilet paper tubes and wine corks, making wrapping paper and fabric to sew with)
clay and dough (making and then playing with, forming creations to dry and paint later)
puffy paint and glitter glue (my girls LOVE the sparkle)
fingerpaint (with homemade paints and colored vanilla pudding-even Louise can do that harm if she eats it!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Kitchen Table

Of all the things that I love about Oak Park the houses are far and away my favorite. I love the character, the uniqueness, the stories that their 80 year old frames have to tell. I love that somebody walked on our old wood floor when it was new and shiny, perhaps dancing the charleston in the 20s, cooking on the gas stove through long winters during world war 2, rocking on the creaky back porch watching the sunset in the 70s. Now this house remembers us too and I love that.

I love that this house has forced me to get creative. Space planning and fung shui are really just fancy ways of saying FUNCTION, PLEASE FUNCTION. Really any house with children and multiple functions needs a little creativity.

I've had to stop myself a lot lately, cutting short daydreams of a craft room to sprawl out in, an enclosed back porch to sip coffee in, a patio to grill on while the girls scoot around on bikes and ride ons. But really I am content in this place as it is now and get a real thrill out of making it work, no, making it the best for us and our needs.

Take the kitchen table.

Our table is our art table. As soon as the breakfast dishes are clear Ainsley begs for a project. I determine if I'm up for messy or not and we go. Today it was making stamps out of apples and potatoes and printing with fabric paint on a muslin remnant. SO messy. I had to take deep breaths as I watched Ainsley wipe her red paint covered hands on the top and underside of our eating surface. I let it go, knowing that with a good baking soda scrub it'd be fit for food once again.

Our kitchen table is our factory. Cards and envelopes spread. I stuff and address as Ainsley decorates and embellishes. Then when that gets old we pull out the clay or dough, smashing and creating. I may never get that out of all the nooks and crannies.

Our kitchen table is our stage. Despite how many times we tell her no, Ainsley insists on performing for us up top. She loves the new vantage point and attention, the way the wood sounds under her red party shoes. Louise has started to join her, crawling up from her attached chair, beaming with mischievous pride. I mean, I am right there, what harm can it really do?

Our kitchen table is our counter because OH GOODNESS there is no room in our tiny kitchen for 6 eager chef hands. We roll dough and cut out shapes, form pies and cookies and chop chop chop. Thank goodness that table is so close to our kitchen, easy peasy we are cleaned up and ready for the next adventure.

Our kitchen table is our jungle gym, our fort, our puppet theater and escape. It so easily becomes a wonderland for the girls with a few blankets, scarves, and pillows. They disappear into their own little girl world and I am far away but close at hand.

I find myself falling more in love with this home everyday, with these walls and what we've done with them. After nearly two years it's starting to sink in that it's ours and we're so blessed and lucky to have it.

As the weather starts to turn and after three rainy days I'm reminded of the long indoor months to come. I feel even more blessed. For once I am looking forward to more time here, the thought of ever leaving too sad and too much. So why think of it? Today I won't. Today we'll work in our factory, lounge in our fort and love on this place all our own.

All summer I was asked "when are you coming back?" "when are you moving HOME?" For the first time my mom spoke up and of course said just what I needed to hear. "It's ok to be home there Becky. It may be your home for longer than you think. That's wonderful." It feels pretty wonderful here. I guess I just needed the ok to go ahead and admit it.

So our kitchen table may be used for much more than just eating, my desk a dumping ground for all things toddler and baby, our entry console doubles as our art cabinet, and our buffett is about 1/1oth an actual buffett. Turns out I think things this way. Simple and complex all at once. 1300 square feet is just fine with me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hump Day Nuggets: Move and Groove

I've been trying to find my own unique way to update everyone weekly of our happenings. I've tried embarrassingly catchy (or just embarrassing) titles and rhymes but nothing has really stuck. So I'm adopting the title of a favorite blogger of mine because nuggets is just what our lives are about these days. Now lets see if I can be consistent!

*and sorry for the lack of photos, my camera's battery ran out :oP


There is an odd feeling in the air today. We woke up to a freezing house (whoops for leaving all the windows open!) and dark skies that were supposed to be sunlit and bright. Ainsley has been in a funk lately, wake ups, bedtimes, and everything in between have been a complete struggle. Yet again her surge in stubbornness and single mindedness seems to coincide with my resolve to do more, play more, be more present. It's so ironic that when I try my hardest she fights the most.

So I take a lot of breaths. I put her in her room a lot. I walk away when I have nothing left to say. I go on long LONG walks with my girls to get the tension out, run and wrestle and dance the blues away. I find a way to bring her back to me when she is in the depths of despair and most times it works and we all float on.


This week we have continued to try out new "projects". Everyday it's something and Ainsley is so on board. She loves her projects, making and creating. And I love seeing my little girl emerge. This week so far we've collaged from pictures in old books, made clay and formed figurines to paint and play with, colored colored colored, and cooked cooked cooked.

Louise loves the art too. She can color almost as well as Ainsley and will sit happily NOT eating crayons and make cold marks for whole chunks of time. Perhaps I'll have my little artist afterall!

Ainsley's imagination has completely taken over these past few weeks. Without effort or prompting she makes up elaborate stories, plays them out with her dolls and toys and us. She sparkles as a little girl should, as her mind fills with magical places and scenes and I love being brought back to that sacred place of childhood wonder with her.


Last night Auntie Sonya came over for dinner and us 4 girls went for a post dinner walk. Ainsley had one baby strapped to her back (like you do mama) and one in a stroller. She RAN down the block and while Sonya and I talked about adult stuff like life and love and childbirth Ainsley screeched at her baby in her best mama impression voice "you don't understand baby! You don't understand what I'm saying!" Ha. I must say that a lot. Really, she didn't understand what WE were saying and was talking to us through her play. I love this stage.

Then later in the walk I was about to lose it as she paused YET AGAIN in the middle of the street we were crossing to do goodness knows what. Just as I was about to swoop down and pluck her little disobedient self up her face lit up. "Oh! What's that!" giggle giggle run twirl jump try to catch. It was a moth. A simple little flapping moth just out of her reach and like a little girl in a perfectly scripted film she poetically and joyfully ran after it trying to catch it's wonder in her little hands. Sonya and I looked at her and smiled. What a little girl she is.


Louise is talking. Not just babbling and signing but communicating with words we understand. She has said about 15 recognizable words and repeats a lot of what we say. This morning she woke up too early and after a little milk and unsuccessful play I asked her "Louise do yuo need to go back to sleep?" she NODDED and said "yea". She says "up" when she wants to climb the stairs, her new favorite sport. She is switching over from baby babble to full long strings of sounds that sound more and more like sentences every day. We carry on conversations all day long and though I have no clue what she's saying most of the time I love every second.


The library is our new favorite place. We've been twice this week so far and while I'm becoming increasingly worried about keeping track of all the books I am delighted with our finds and the girls enthusiasm about new material. I picked out some penguin books for Ainsley and she thanked me profusely for my finds. Louise too has her preference in lift the flap books. She'll sit and "read" them to herself over and over while carefully lifting the flaps. I love that they love books so much.


Musikgarten started this week and we're in a baby class for Louise and a 3 year old class for Ainsley. We decided to move Ainsley up after our very large and young session today. I am so excited for the new material and friends to be made. The girls LOVE it as always, almost to a ridiculous degree. Louise wants to sit right in the middle of the circle with her sister and literally just claps and laughs the whole time. I'm glad to have found such a great activity for them.


So this week has been good. Today I am thankful for music class and playdates despite the rain, for slow cooker meals and a clean house thanks to a productive early morning. I look forward to another successful playschool drop off tomorrow and new music class on Friday. I can't wait for fun festivals and dates this weekend, new projects on the horizon and harvest in the air.

Happy Hump Day out there!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Rhythm is Gonna Getcha

Today marks the start of our "real" fall. This week we get in the action, fast and thick. Activities and schedules and all kinds of things that I've dreaded and vowed I'd never do, not because we all won't benefit and it won't be fun "at the end of the day" but because it's a lot and it's tiring. I knew it was coming, told myself to hold on to those last lazy summer days. But truthfully I'm already exhausted.

Aside from the "fun" busy there is always SO much to be done. Phone calls to be made, bills to pay and agonize over, decisions, BIG decisions to make, people to miss and hours to fill so I don't go crazy. Just one morning I would like to wake up slowly, enjoy my hot coffee with my girls and sweet boy and NOT think about that looming, f-ing to do list.

WHENEVER and I do mean WHENEVER I am out with the girls I get comments on them, about them. Mostly always sweet and thoughtful like "oh how cute!" or "such sweethearts!" but lately I've been getting a lot of "oh, to be a baby again...that was the life" and "how happy they look! Not a care in the world".

Its made me think, made me feel better in fact, that I'm not the only adult out there that thinks "this kind of sucks!" every once in a while. I feel so fortunate that in between the bill paying and meal planning, worrying and scurrying, that I get to play with my girls, remember what it felt like to be that secure, that carefree and happy. Of all the great things about being a parent, that's one of my favorites.

So this morning as I SCREECHED at Ainsley yet ONE MORE TIME to just PLEASE come downstairs, STOP messing with the soap in the bathroom and for the love of all that is good and holy PLEASE PUT YOUR SHOES ON SO WE CAN GET SOME GROCERIES!!!!! I had a moment. I stopped and chuckled to myself. How great to be so distracted, so CONTENT with a handsoap pump and some water. How great to NOT have to think about groceries and budgets and hauling 5 bags full plus 2 gallons of milk plus 50 pounds of child from the house to the car to the store and back. How great.

So today during nap I got some things done. I forwent the laze and summer heat that was calling my name and made some phone calls, did some work and while I may not feel rested I sure do feel better, clearer, and more able to focus on the afternoon fun with my girls. Afterall library books won't choose and collages won't glue themselves.

Today I am thankful for one last day of summer heat to remind me of the lazy days gone by. Today I am thankful for stuff getting done, both of the fun and icky adult responsibility persuasions. Today I am thankful for a hot house because tomorrow it will be cool and empty as we greet the fall with a full on bustle. Today I am thankful for my girls who once again bring me back to the important stuff, and for my husband who helps me take care of the icky stuff and so much more.

Happy Monday!

::a few photos from the weekend, quiet Louise time and apple picking::

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Nuggets: Full and Good

What a week. Today I am almost thankful for the rain and gloom to give us an excuse to lie low. Goodness we've been busy.

Ainsley started playschool on Tuesday. She goes two days a week for a mere hour and a half in the mornings. It's felt a bit traumatic, mostly because of the wicked drop offs we've had (she writhed and screamed and it took every ounce of ex preschool teacher in me to give her one last kiss and turn my back and walk out because I knew this is what she needed, what was best, and before she could see the tears forming in my eyes), but also because she is just getting too darn old. She does in fact love playschool and I was reassured by both teachers that within minutes of my departure she calmed and perked and had a blast. Ainsley reassured me too with the endless tales of fun from school and new friends. It's a good thing, just an adjustment for us all.

After the Thursday drop off I called my mom in tears. It was so hard to see my girl so sad, and made me question if this is the right thing to be doing. I have this constant divide within me about raising my girls. On one hand I want them to be adaptable, and flexible to the world around them. But really I want to give them everything they want, conform our home world to theirs, move out to the country somewhere and teach them myself in just the way they need. It's a hard conundrum to balance in theory, but in practice it's even harder. Putting Ainsley in playschool has entered us into this external academic world and I'm having mixed feelings about it. For now I'm trying to let it go, know that she's having a blast and I'm loving my one on one time with Louise. I'll deal with the really big stuff when we need to.


This morning we had double drs appts. Ainsley has gained a few pounds since her last check up bringing her up to a whopping 26 and Louise is right there with her at 23 (80%!) They're both still measuring average for height and healthy as can be. I'm always so thankful for strong healthy girls.

Ainsley's new FAVORITE show is the Little Princess. Yesterday when she decided not to nap we snuggled under a silky comforter and watched it for the first time. She is in love with the story and the beautiful soundtrack. We listened to the music for a full hour even after the movie was over. (Take my heart in your heart, kindle it with your heart) I love that we found a princess movie that sends a good message "I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young. They are still princesses. All of us." I forgot how truly beautiful that movie is. I cried about a million times.

We've been keeping up well with the new "curriculum" this week. The girls have loved trying out some new activities and projects and I've loved having days full and planned.

::veggie peel sensory::

::paper tube prints::

::water table/veggie peel sensory::

::sister love in the bath::
::dried apple snack in the park::

::after reading the book The Paper Princess by Elisa Kleven for the umpteenth time we ventured to the park to draw and cut out our own...we had such fun::

::stopped by the bridge to spot a train before heading home::

::a happy dumpling waiting to spot the train::

::who needs a sand pit when you have a freshly groomed volleyball court?::

::sand love::

::beef stew before marinating...yes that is an entire bottle of red wine that it's soaking in...SO GOOD::

So we've had a good week. The weather has been perfection, the girls have been happy and willing and I have had energy to indulge them. I'm thankful for a family filled weekend and an even fuller week next week. Happy Friday!