Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Best Friend

I suggested a Caleb-Mommy date to my son on our way to daycare this morning.

Since Ella arrived in our lives, the three of us are pretty much together non-stop, and I've been wondering lately if Caleb misses having time with me, exclusively to himself.

He is a remarkably patient little fellow, and even if I have to stop whatever I've been doing with him, to tend to Ella, he is always quick to tell me "my sister needs you, Mom." This, even when he knows his own interests will be interrupted.

Our conversation this morning went something like this:

Me: "Hey bud, what do you think about going on a date with me? Just you and Mommy?
Caleb: "Just you and me?"
Me: "Ya."
Caleb: "What about Ella?"
Me: "Well, I thought maybe you and Mommy could have some time together—just us. What do you think of that?"
Caleb: "We can't leave Ella. She has to come too."
Me: "Really?"
Caleb: "Yes. Me and Mommy and Ella. Ella is my best friend."
Me: *melts*

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

From Tip-Top with Love

I know I've already written a bit about our recent family vacation to Tip Top resort, but last night, Aaron surprised me and brought home the following video/slideshow of the pictures he took. (Keep in mind that Aaron is the one gifted with the camera—gifted.) Needless to say, I was overjoyed, and the results of his effort is so great that I just have to share it here. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Caption this Photo!

These days the chickens are doing just great. They lay in vast quantities and I'm not quite sure why . . . do they like my backyard? My son's swimming antics in the kiddy pool? Left-over baby cereal? Who knows! Regardless, I have eggs!

Aaron's caption: "Keeping all her eggs in one basket."

Sunday Morning on the Couch

This is how we spent our morning.
Pure sweetness.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rainbow Toes

Caleb: "Mom! MOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!"
Me: *Comes tearing up the stairs from the laundry room looking for blood.* "What?! Caleb? Are you ok?"
Caleb: *Utterly astonished* "Mom, There is a rainbow on our floor."
Me: *Sighs with relief and then smiles* "Cool huh? That comes from the glass on our door! See where the sun is shining in through the glass?
Caleb: *Nods*
Me: "The shape of the glass makes a rainbow out of the light."
Caleb: "But God made the rainbow so it won't flood anymore."
Me: "That's right!"
Caleb: "Is it going to rain in our house?"
Me: *Laughs* "No. No rain in the house. The rainbow is to remind us that God won't wreck everything He made with a flood again."
Caleb: *stares at the rainbow on the floor and tentatively puts his foot in it.* "Look Mom, God made a rainbow on my toes."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ella Bird

Ella will be 6th months old on the 7th. Unbelievable!

She is currently sitting in her exersaucer talking animatedly to an elephant. Ella is my talker. She goes on and on, intonations rising and falling, explanations sans words, songs—the whole bit.

I can't wait till she has words so she can tell me what she's been saying all this time. Once and awhile she will turn and look at me and mumble something totally unintelligible to which I respond, "Ella, you're brilliant. Say that again." She obliges.

Six months with my daughter has made me so thankful for my Mom—for all that she did for me and gave to me as a daughter— All the conversations she must have had with me before I had words; the nights she continued to drag herself out of bed so that I was not left alone and hungry in my crib at all hours of the night; the thousands of kisses, the millions of hugs, the endless sacrifices of self so that I could truly know what it meant to be loved. Oh that I could pop back in time and utter my first words again.

Instead of "bla, bla, bla" I would say, "I love you Mom. You're amazing. Thank you for loving me as you did—do."

Maybe that's what Ella's saying . . . I guess can hope!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Smell of Memory

My Grandma Rita, 1944

What is it about a smell that can spark a nearly forgotten memory, igniting it and bringing it back to life?

My little family just returned from a week's vacation at Tip-Top—a small Mom n' Pop resort—where, for five days, we played absentee from the rest of life and celebrated the final glorious days of summer.

One night, as lay my infant daughter back down to sleep following a midnight feeding, I pulled the sheets up around my neck and caught the gentle whiff of memory.

Without warning the face of my Grandma sprang up before my eyes, and I saw her brushing her fine silver hair with a comb in her bathroom. Brisk, swift strokes. I stood beside her, watching, my three-foot-tall self just visible in the bathroom mirror over the vanity. Whisk, whisk—she brushed, and the smell of her clean hair and clothes, her powder and lotion, laundry soap, and something else, the smell of my grandma, filled the air around me. Even as a child I loved breathing her in.

Smells were very much a part of my grandma's life—or at least my memory of her. She was an Avon Lady—I don't know that she ever sold the products, but she certainly purchased them. I remember the beautiful pressed and loose powder cases, tiny mirrors, various colors of lipstick, and wonderful face creams. These are some of her smells. She was an utterly meticulous woman. Her clothes were always beautifully pressed—even her underwear and her white, flour-sack dish towels. She was so meticulous about absolutely everything, that I can imagine having me underfoot was not always terribly easy for her—though she always seemed delighted to have me around, dirty skinned knees and all . . .

I have one particularly beautiful memory of time spent with her—one among dozens of memories—

I was very small. Probably no more than four or five. My Mom and sister and I were visiting Grandma at the Lake. It was summer time and my sister and I had spent all day playing in the water, until following supper, we were so happily exhausted that even bed seemed like a good idea (and this to a child!). I'd had a bath in Grandma's huge ugly brown tub. I had delightedly propelled my small naked body from one end of the tub to the other, on the slippery bottom once the water drained away. My hair was still wet, and it made the back of my nightgown damp. I was tucked into bed and Grandma had come to kiss me goodnight. As she bent over me and kissed my forehead pulling the sheets up around my neck, the smell of those sheets, and the smell of her washed over me in a glorious aroma of summertime, lake-water, fresh-cut grass, and Avon products in a combination that I am still searching for.

As I pulled the sheets up to my neck in the darkness of our little rented cabin, that smell washed over me—transported me—drawing my heart into my throat and tears to my eyes. My own childhood memories flooded around me in the warm summertime night, brushing against the memories my own children were making.

They will never know her as I did—my Grandma. But the smell of her lingers like a lost perfume in the most unexpected places.

Three-year-old haircut

So after doing the bare-minimum in regard to hair cuts, (I could not bear to part with the gloriously-soft red baby hair), Caleb had his first real big-boy hair cut today. The kind you can style and everything. He looks seriously handsome. Back off ladies, the boy's mine. For now.


And After:

Handsome, non?

Roasting Marshmallows

Caleb and Daddy Roasting Mallows

Ella Roasting Mallows

Sandcastles & Swimming

We spent a great deal of time on the beach at Tip-Top.
There, we learned several things:
1. Caleb is an awesome digger.
2. Old sunscrean does not work.
3. Ella loves to take naps on the beach.
4. So does Beth
5. August is a great season for swimmers itch
6. There is nothing like a great beach sunrise!

Caleb has, for as long as I can remember, been terribly afraid of swimming in anything larger than the bathtub or back-yard kiddy-pool. In the land of lakes this has been a bit frustrating—for him too, I think. Finally, this week, Caleb and Daddy spent some serious time at the beach. They played in the water constantly until bit by bit, Caleb's fear evaporated. Now, rather than being terrified, he is cautious. Hooray!

Birthday Boy!

It's Official. My son is Three. THREE!
When did this happen? *Shakes her head and suddenly feels old*

This year we decided to take our first (one of many similiar to come, we have now concluded), family vacations. And for the venture we chose Tip-Top Resort, a little family-owned resort on the Whitefish Chain. Close to home and thus convenient for the inevitable trips home during our week away. (I think we made three trips home, to retrieve forgotten and necessary items).
This week-long stay coincided with Caleb's birthday, and so we celebrated at Tip-Top and had a fabulous time.
Though, Aaron and I have realized that vacations with little ones are much less relaxing than vacations with just the two of us. I know, we're a little slow.

The Birthday: A huge success! We kept it pretty low-key, but Caleb celebrated royally and loved every minute!

Officially Three.


The Long-Awaited and Much-Anticipated "Blue Mackie"