A poem for my mood today…

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Penumbrae

BY JOHN UPDIKE

The shadows have their seasons, too.
The feathery web the budding maples
cast down upon the sullen lawn
bears but a faint relation to
high summer’s umbrageous weight
and tunnellike continuum—
black leached from green, deep pools
wherein a globe of gnats revolves
as airy as an astrolabe.
The thinning shade of autumn is
an inherited Oriental,
red worn to pink, nap worn to thread.
Shadows on snow look blue. The skier,
exultant at the summit, sees his poles
elongate toward the valley: thus
each blade of grass projects another
opposite the sun, and in marshes
the mesh is infinite,
as the winged eclipse an eagle in flight
drags across the desert floor
is infinitesimal.
And shadows on water!—
the beech bough bent to the speckled lake
where silt motes flicker gold,
or the steel dock underslung
with a submarine that trembles,
its ladder stiffened by air.
And loveliest, because least looked-for,
gray on gray, the stripes
the pearl-white winter sun
hung low beneath the leafless wood
draws out from trunk to trunk across the road
like a stairway that does not rise.
John Updike, “Penumbrae” from Collected Poems 1953-1993. Copyright © 1993 by John Updike.
I took this photo of the melted snow in field across from our house.

getting big.

For the longest time, we’ve called Lucy “baby Lucy.” Kind of in an all one word way, as if it were her given name. We did it so habitually that other people, like friends and family, do it too. Lucy even calls herself baby Lucy, all though she refuses to say the L in her name and so says “I’m baby Soosie.”

Here’s the thing, more and more lately, she’s really not a baby. She can do (and say!) so much now. This little girl loves to be busy and stimulated  – I can’t get away with our quiet afternoons puttering around the house, which is a shame, because I’m a first class putterer. She wants to “do something” all the time now and oh how she can voice it! I introduced her to water colors recently and it was like opening a floodgate (both literally and figuratively.)IMG_3746It happened to be right around valentines day so now whenever she wants to paint she says “make Balentines?” It’s so cute I don’t have the heart to correct her.

IMG_3792When I snapped this pic of her hugging the snowman today she was saying ” oh snowman, its gweat, i wuv it soooo much!” She has so much of her dad’s energy and enthusiasm. Sometimes the first words out of her mouth upon waking are ” go sledding? go to da store? On a train? in an airplane on vacation?” Such a lust for life! I need to take her on more day to day adventures.

IMG_3763We stopped at a coffee shop before gymnastics the other day and they had mirrored tables- it kept Lucy distracted until she spotted the muffins. ” Wow, mom, muffins! Look I see them! its amazing! Muffins! Look Mom!” I kid you not she said those actual words. Oh that she can keep this level of excitement about the world! It’s a little tiring for me sometimes, I’ll admit – I’m more quiet and reflective than she is, more of an introvert – but maybe that’s just what happens as we age? Right now for Lucy the world is just a big ball of wonderful experiences waiting to happen. She is so happy to see everyone, all the time, which makes me incredibly happy for the close proximity of our families. She cheers when she hears my brother knock on the door with his puppy for a visit and squeals when she finds out that Grandma is going to stop by. Like so many two year olds she has an exaggerated feeling of empathy for everyone around her – when another child takes a tumble at gymnastics class Lucy rushes over “are you ok? I help you!” and always, always hugs. If she hears a baby cry at the supermarket ” I go see baby? Baby sad? find baby mommy?”

IMG_4675She has so many wonderful bits of personality coming through and I love how much we can do together now – sledding! painting! crafts! games! dolls! trains! – every little thing is a thrill. I wan’t so badly to keep that level of excitement and wonder and to nurture that empathetic and caring spirit. Lucy deserves to big sister, one way or another – to have a another person to share all these wonderful feelings and adventures with as she grows up. She’s turning into such a fun little kid.

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but she’ll aways be my baby.

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Hope you had a great weekend…

-H

Life around here…

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I had a great time celebrating my 30th birthday. On Friday night Pk and I had a date night at a new restaurant called Found. We totally indulged (!) ourselves while Grandma was on Lucy duty. We spent the next day snuggled on the couch watching the Muppets movie until our friends and family came over for pizza. I got another orchid for my growing collection. Maybe I can actually learn how to get them to re-bloom?

photo-1This little exhausted peanut has been having trouble sleeping at night. Last night she was up every 45 minutes from about midnight until 4. I’m not sure what the deal is – teething? weaning? growing pains? nightmares? She does seem to have added a couple inches in the last couple of weeks. but jesus. I’m exhausted. Also, she got accepted into preschool for the fall. PRESCHOOL. And,drum roll please… we’re fully weaned! It’s been 5 or 6 days – she still asks, but is pretty content just to snuggle when I discourage her from feeling me up. I’m proud that we made it to two years (and almost two months!)

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We’ve been making lots of Valentines around here. Nothing fancy, just the crinkly messy water color kind on construction paper that Lucy will probably find as an adult stuffed in the bottom of a keepsakes box.

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Maya likes Lucy’s Piggy-Bunny so much that I got her one of her own. Just kidding – I spotted a double of Lucy’s favorite stuffed buddy at a little boutique so I picked up a back up. I just caught Maya using them as pillows during one of her 27.4 daily naps.

Hope you’re having  a great start to the week! Any Valentine’s plans? I don’t think we’re doing anything special; I’m just happy Pk is in town this year!

xx-H

the end of the week.

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1/Our week started with warm temps and rain so we walked while we could. 2/ Lucy realized that trees can be really big. 3/The bear hat. it kills me. 4/when it got cold we stayed in side and colored. 5/ and watched the snow begin to fall. 6/I got a pair of pretty ikat pillows. I love the way the pattern is slightly mismatched. 7/ I finally had a pair of ankle boots that I picked up for $5 at a thrift store resoled by an angry russian cobbler. He did an excellent job! Now I just need to schedule a date-night with Pk so I have an excuse to wear them.

Have a great weekend!

– If you want some interesting reading for the weekend, this site is amazing (introduced to me by Lucy’s Nana.) Thanks Nana! Also, it looks like I’m not the only one thinking about authenticity in blogging lately.

How bout… nuts?

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In this moment, I felt extremely grateful that my child doesn’t have food allergies.

 

You guys. Two year olds can eat. A lot. and also sometimes seem to survive on nothing at all. Right now we’re in a heavy  calorie consumption moment. Lucy asks for food all the time.

Me: Lucy, do you want to go outside and jump in puddles?

Lucy: Ok,How bout fruit ‘nacks?

Me: Lucy, let’s go walk the dog!

Lucy: Maybe, chocolate milk? okay? and umm cookies?

Lately she is using all kinds of hilarious grammar too. Everything starts with “maybe, sometimes”, “and then”, or “how about”. I mean, where is she getting it from? Do I talk that way? Also, she lately just calls me “mom.” As in, I cough and she says “you ok mom?” Like the next thing out of her mouth is going to be “Mom, can you help me fill out my application to Vassar? I’m really busy watching Caillou.”

Sigh. They really do grow up fast.

ps. I read recently that dealing with a two year old is kind of like talking to a drunk. They mumble, laugh a lot, fall down all the time and accidentally pee in their pants.  They get belligerent when you take away their beer chocolate milk. So, so, so hilariously true (I worked at a faux irish pub for a few years – I feel like a verified expert on drunkeness).

Happy Wednesday!

 

Pictures of my kid sleeping and, not.

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Like many other families we’ve had our share of sleeping woes. It usually goes in cycles and is complicated by weaning, illness, Pk’s travel schedule, and perhaps ocean tides and other astrological phenomena. Lately we’ve all been sleeping crappily – probably because it’s so unbelievably and horrendously cold that we aren’t getting anything close to regular exercise and fresh air.

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She sleeps so SO well in her stroller. I’m desperate for slightly warmer temps so we can resume our afternoon rambles and lengthy naps.

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Today was a little warmer (18 instead of 0!) SO we braved the flurries and I kid you not we had been outside for approximately 30 seconds before she started snoring.

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When Pk travels Lucy likes to take “pictures for Daddy” where she pretends to sleep

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She also frequently requests photographs with her entourage of stuffed animals (see “Bearcat sleeping” above.) Thankfully our bedtime routine is getting better and she’s not night-waking as often.

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This is what happy morning bed head looks like. In the morning she says “‘nuggle me! ‘nuggle me mom! on da couch!”

I think it’s safe to say we have a hefty case of winter doldrums/cabin fever around these parts. I was a little negligent about scheduling playdates for this week and boy have I been regretting it (especially around 530 or 6 when she breaks out the crazy sauce and starts bouncing off the walls) We have one weekly Wiggleworms music class, which is like 40 minutes of unadulterated joy for her and then next week a parent and tot gymnastics class. I can’t seem to get Lucy to take a nap on her own at home, more often than not I have to toss her in the stroller or put her in the car to fall asleep – which,when it’s so cold that my shoulders are sore from hunching over in the wind, is quite an energy suck. What are you guys doing to get through these freezing winter days?I think tomorrow I’ll bust out the craft supplies so that we don’t die of boredom.

Yay winter!

xx-H

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These trains are our frequent dinner guests.

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this kid has really learned to ham it up for the camera.

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tiny dancers.

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did I mention she’s a ham? Also, I bought the Eames chair.

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I have no regrets, but man the eighties fabric is ugly! I’ve sent out some emails to get some quotes for the cost of reupholstery. Any recommendations in the Chicago area?  I also just realized why the fabric is so familiar. It’s the exact same chair that Nicole got for her office. It’s super comfortable, and luckily, the previous owner had replaced the cushions. It’s extra squishy.

Have a great weekend!

H

 

Happy Holidays xoxo

IMG_3999IMG_4000IMG_4003IMG_4053 IMG_4016IMG_4067 IMG_4029IMG_4071 IMG_4091Lucinda and I had a little impromptu holiday photo shoot, and I just couldn’t narrow them down. I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. We host an open house on Christmas day and do a bit of rushing around Christmas night, but mostly we eat and drink and listen to music and revel in the wonderful moments that the holiday season provides. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

xoxo-H

Lucy’s Dance Party

On Sunday we celebrated Lucy’s 2nd birthday with family and friends. Her actual birthday was yesterday, but we wanted to give the main celebration a little breathing room from Christmas. The first ingredient in a successful 2 year old birthday celebration/dance party is this.

disco ball

This is the best $30 bucks I’ve spent in awhile.  Seriously. Go buy one. Lucy is obsessed with the “di-co yite” and wants to have it on whenever possible. It comes with a base/turntable  and a spot light that you can set anywhere to create instant dance party awesomeness. Pk and I created a huge dance music playlist (Madonna, Deeelite, Stevie Wonder, etc) to play during the party and cleared out some furniture to make a dance floor.

IMG_3930IMG_3931 While the adults were grooving, the kids were mostly trashing the playroom (which is exactly what playrooms are for).

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I made cupcakes and a star shaped cake and we put out a bunch of finger food and drinks for thirsty dancers (pink prosecco for the adults, juice boxes for the kiddos)

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IMG_3959We had such a good time. It was so great to show off all the work we’ve done on the house and to see how all those things make a great space for having get togethers and celebrations. I love that we have a party girl (or at least I love it now – not sure how I’ll feel when she’s a teenager sneaking out to the club!) I think the disco ball might stick around – at least through the new year.

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Even though we had a great time, I think all the parents in the room celebrated with a heavy heart. The tragedy in Newtown is so hard to fathom. While we were celebrating I thought about all the families who were planning for their babies funerals instead of parties. It’s hard to think about Lucy growing up in this world, and harder still to think that there will be a time when she’s not always right next to me. That’s the terrible reality of parenting though, you devote your everything to this tiny being and then set them loose in the world to experience everything that is both wonderful and horrific about humanity. My deepest hope for Lucy that it’s mostly wonderful, and I feel a both great and terrible responsibility to make the parts of her life that are with me as wonderful and full as possible. I love you baby girl. These have been the best two years…

easy splat mat.

Lately Lucinda has been super obsessed with markers after I finally broke down and let her open some we got as a party favor. I thought it would be fun to make a little play mat that we could pull out when she wants to let her creative spirit run messy wild.

IMG_3811I picked up a scrap of pretty oilcloth at my local fabric store – it was just about a yard -for $8. There are tons of Etsy shops devoted to oilcloth products, but this is a really easy project to make yourself.

IMG_3815My assistant helped me bind the edges with some brightly colored duct tape that coordinates with with the colors of the oil cloth. I didn’t even trim the edges. Seriously the easiest diy ever. Just lay half the tape over the edge and fold. I suppose if you wanted to get fancy you could trim it with fabric and sew it on, but that sounds like a lot of work. The purpose of this mat is to be wiped off so I thought the tape would work perfectly. The total cost of this project ( a yard of oilcloth and colored duct tape) was $12 bucks.

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Now my wee artist has a devoted place to make messes that easily wipes clean. It folds up easily (I store it in her play kitchen) and could probably withstand being rinsed off in the sink if I needed to.  I may need to since I got her  a paint set for upcoming SECOND BIRTHDAY (oh my god how is that already happening?) This would be a great gift for a new mom since it could slide right under a highchair. You can find tons of different oilcloth fabrics here. I like the vintage appeal of the pattern – very sweet.

Have a fantastic weekend! We are celebrating Lucy’s birthday on Sunday so I’m going to furiously clean and maybe finish painting the porch today? (harrumph. I hate painting.)

xo- H

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