Posted in Children, Family, Love

Look Who’s Three!

My dearest Emma Kate,

Last night you went to bed as a two-year old and today you woke as a  three-year old!  But not technically.  You actually have until 2:47 this afternoon until you can officially say you’re three.  You are the absolute most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me.  I love you so much.

You are smart, beautiful, and funny.  I am easily entertained by your antics, whether it is the funny things you say or the silly eyes you make, you always can make me smile.

You enjoy coloring and painting.  Of course you love your books as you always have, and your cat Rocky Muffin.  You are super smart, knowing and recognizing all your letters and your numbers to ten.  You have begun to know how to make the letter E, and then you just scribble some m’s like mountain tops and a dot for the A.  You love all things princess related and we celebrated this past Saturday by having a Princess dress up party.  Three of your friends joined us and we had the best time.  Everyone had at least one wardrobe change.  We played Hide the Slipper and Pin the Kiss on the Frog.   Then we decorated foam crowns to wear.   I had a lot of fun making you a cupcake princess dress and seeing your sweet face full of excitement.  You were so good and well-behaved and truly acted like a princess should.

The funniest part of the story is that you are convinced since we already had a birthday party that today you are four years old. You insist that, “I’ve already been three!”  You are trying to convince me to have a farm party for your fourth birthday.  I hate to break it to you, but birthdays only come once a year.  You need to not rush things anymore than they already are.  It seems like yesterday that you were that bright-eyed, alert newborn baby.

You will always be my baby, no matter how old you get.  I thank God for you everyday and for the time I have to spend with you watching you grow.  You are my blessing, one I am ever grateful for.

I love you so much my sweets.

Happy Birthday!

XOXO,

Mommy

The birthday girl
The birthday girl
All About EK
All About EK



Now THAT's how you decorate a cupcake.
Now THAT’s how you decorate a cupcake.
Showing how old you are.
Showing how old you are.
princessess and friends
princessess and friends
a dress of cupcakes
a dress of cupcakes
mommy and her little princess.  I love this picture of us.
Mommy and her favorite princess. I love this picture of us.
Posted in Children, Family, Uncategorized

The Joy of Childhood

She just turned 26 months old.  I know I’m not supposed to do that anymore, you know, count her months.  But I’m just going to make my own rules up as I go.  Time is too precious to just cast it aside and not see every moment for the treasure that it is.

Guess what we did today?

We built a snowman.  Not a real snowman of course.   It’s actually a blustery, warm spring day, not a flake in sight,  but it was her first day to watch the movie Frozen.  Afterwards, she asked if I wanted to build a snowman with her.  “Come on,” she said patting her thigh as if calling a dog,  so of course I did.

She is such a joy.  So smart.  She pretends and plays make-believe all day long.  One minute she’s Cinderella, forcibly kicking off her plastic dress up shoe and saying she better get in her carriage while running to sit in her pink Barbie Jeep, and the next minute she is pouring tea for me and adding spoonfuls of sugar.  She goes on Bear Hunts and squelch-squearches through the mud and peels pinecones apart declaring they are surprise eggs and wonders what’s inside.

We built our snowman today with a carrot nose made from a blue piece of wire found in the yard and two eyes and arms she stuck in the ground.

Her shoes were on the wrong feet, chocolate smudged her lips.

Her dog-ears had long since lost their snugness and flopped haphazardly.

She searched for crickets and got scared by something and ran to my side.

I lay in the grass just watching her and feeling filled to the measure with happiness and joy that she is mine.

Our days are filled with magical make-believe, chocolate kisses and snowmen fashioned from dirt.

It’s been a very long time since my own childhood, but I can vividly remember the games I played with my own imagination.  How magical my world of pretend was.

Watching EK grow and play in this same make-believe way takes me to a place I used to know.  It reawakens a child I used to be.  I remember care-free days where nothing really mattered.

And now all that truly matters is that this little dog-eared 2-year-old (ahem……26 month old) who brings me such joy.

DSC_2154 DSC_2158 DSC_2137 DSC_2151

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Dream Job

I’m pretty sure I was an odd child.  No one ever told me this, but if they knew of my imaginary play they’d likely agree.   I was the youngest of 4.  My brothers were much older so while I was playing Barbies, they were cruising the drag picking up chicks, well attempting to anyway, and making the police earn their money.  My sister was just a tad bit older, almost 2 years, but still old enough to not want to be bothered with a younger sister.  I spent most of my time playing alone, using my imagination.   

I dreamed of being a ballerina or an ice skater.  I would don a black and white checked taffeta skirt and practice twirls, leaps, and one footed reverse triple axels in the living room.

I longed to be a teacher.  My parents gave me full reign of the garage where I created a make believe classroom.  I built a podium, drew out a map of the United States and rolled it up with a string to pull down during Social Studies.  Tired of using a sock for an eraser, I stealthily carried a real one out of my second grade classroom.   I taught my stuffed animals the 3 R’s to the tune of a dowel rod and never grew weary.

I tried my hand at song writing and wrote a song called “Black Thunder”.  It was Christmas season and my parents were out for the evening.  My sister and I hadn’t plugged in the Christmas lights on the outside of the house.  When they returned it was dark and they questioned why the lights weren’t on.   I showed them my song I wrote and they were so impressed they thought I’d plagiarized it.  In order to convince them that I really was a dadgum song writer (name that movie), my dad told me to go write another one.  He gave me the title, “it just ain’t Christmas if the lights ain’t on”.   It turned out to be slow and sappy and not near as good as my rock anthem “Black Thunder”.  That was the end of my song writing days.

There were times I set up a chair and desk perpendicular to my bedroom window and pretended I was a bank teller working the drive thru.  I sat at a desk at my Grandmother’s and pretended I designed cosmetics after watching The Bold and The Beautiful one day.  I’ve wanted to be a psychologist, I’ve wanted to be a journalist.  I was silly enough to want to be a waitress and even a maid.  I now realize I liked the aprons.

I’ve had many dream jobs in my life.  There is still much I wish I was better at. One of my husband’s professors once said, “find something you love, and then figure out a way to make money doing it.” But there is also something else I know:  once a hobby or interest becomes a job, the fun sometimes goes away and is replaced by responsibility and drudgery.

Right now in my life, having no job is pretty much a dream.  I’m glad to stay home with my baby and give her the time and experiences that help her grow.  But if someone wants to pay me to blog, that’d be alright too. 

 

 

 

This entry is #7 on a list of 30 things.  What is your dream job?

Posted in Children

Just the beginning

She’s barely one.

And I’m pretty sure I’m in over my head.

When she’s sleeping, I’ve got it made.  Piece of cake.

DSC_2098

But when she’s awake, she’s really trying to run the show around here.  Already.   At the end of some days, I need a 3 day vacation.  But alas, this is a 24/7 job I’ve signed up for.  Just hand me another coffee please.

She stiffens her legs, arches her back, and throws back her head when I try to put her in her high chair.     Then once I’ve wrestled her in,  in order to have the advantage on me, she throws all her food off her tray.  Is this typical one year old behavior?  Is she just not hungry?  Is she a brat?

I wonder what I’m supposed to do.  Should I break her spirit?  Force her to do everything that I, the all-knowing mother, think necessary?  Because really.  I’m kind of new at this too.

DSC_2085

We fight tooth and nail.  She usually wins right and left.

She is nineteen pounds of sheer determination.

DSC_2089

If she had her ‘druthers, she would walk around with a naked hiney, a dirty face, eating goldfish crackers and watching Elmo all day.  And then I’d be raising a wretch.

But whose to say I’m not.

IMG_1507

Mama knows best.  Well, about some things anyway, for instance children shouldn’t pee on the floor and occasionally they should eat a fruit.

I might not know much, but at least I know that.

DSC_2085

I’m hoping she’s receiving some vitamins and nutrients from the dirt she eats, because she’s rather fond of that too.

IMG_1504

She is a busy girl.  And this is her childhood.  The only one she’ll ever have.  The one she’ll look back on with either fondness or dismay.  The one that will shape her. The Nurture to help balance her Nature.   It’s kind of a big deal when you think of it.

IMG_1499

She’s exploring, discovering, and learning.   As all children should be allowed to do. Within reason, of course.

IMG_1506

While she’s busy growing up, I am  busy watching, worrying, and trying to find the fine line between interfering or giving her the space she needs to become the independent little girl that she is becoming.

And  trying desperately not to raise a wretch.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pets

 

This cat belongs to my niece Ashlynn.

He goes by the name of Biggie.

It’s short, or maybe it’s long, for Big Cat, his real name.

One might think him to be gigantic with a name like Biggie or Big Cat.  To the contrary.  It’s that Ashlynn had two identical cats.  One was bigger than the other, so naturally they got penned Big Cat and Little Cat. 

Little Cat pooped all over the house and something very mysterious happened to him.  He just vanished one day.  Up in smoke.  He should have been named Houdini the way he magically disappeared.  It was during a time when my sister was in town visiting.  I do believe she was the last one to see him, but oh nevermind about that story.  Perhaps you’ve had a pet Houdini in your life as well.

Yesterday I received a phone call from my mother.  She was moping about.  Biggie was gone. 

Then later I received a text from my niece.  It read:

ATTENTION:  yellow tiger cat, named and listens to Biggie.  If found plz call.  THANK YOU!!!

This isn’t the first time Biggie has run off.  One other time my mom needed to leave town for about a week, so Ashlynn came to stay with me and brought Biggie with her.  He was in the yard 12 seconds before he promptly disappeared.  The next day, he still hadn’t surfaced.  We checked the pound and made posters to hang on the the lamp posts.  My sweet niece was beside herself with grief.  Did he get lost?   Could he not find his way home in this strange neighborhood?  Had he been picked up?  After 3 days, we put an ad in the paper.  No one called.  Then one night my husband popped in the door late after work and announced to Ashlynn, “I just saw your cat running across the street.”  We were then able to breathe easier knowing that he was simply out tomcatting in a new neighborhood and would return when he was through prowling.  And he did.  Three or four days later, he came back and infested us with the worst case of fleas I do believe I have ever witnessed.  Needless to say, that was the last time I kept Biggie when my mom went out-of-town.

Yesterday when my mom phoned, I reminded her of that story.  Remember mom?  Remember?  Oh yeah, she remembered.  She felt better and relaxed with the faith he would return.  And he did.  Today he is back home sleeping off his wild adventure.

 To many, one of the worst experiences in their young life is when their beloved pet goes missing.  My childhood pet, the one I dearly loved, was a cowdog named Fancy.  Loyalty was to her as orange is to the sunset.  I remember losing her one Saturday.  My friend Misti and I had been hanging out at my house early that day.  We decided to walk around the block to Misti’s house and of course Fancy followed, her little stub tail wagging.  We played a while inside Misti’s house, then ventured out to her back yard.  After a time on the trampoline, boredom set in, so we opened the back gate, went down the alley and back to my house to engage in something more exciting.  After a day full of play, dusk came, and we couldn’t find Fancy.  We looked and called and called and looked.  Finally, we discovered her lying on Misti’s front porch, waiting.  Waiting on us to come back out of the house we had entered hours earlier.  That was the last place she had seen us, and she would not abandon us.  No matter how strong her hunger.  Or her thirst.  She had followed us to Misti’s house and when we went inside, she stayed on the porch. Unaware that we had gone out the back door and down the alley back home, she faithfully remained on the porch.  

For the entire day. 

I do believe she would have waited there all night.  I’m just glad she didn’t have to.

Posted in Uncategorized

My Tree Harbor

There is a mimosa tree and an evergreen tree growing in the yard at our new place.  They are both young sprouts right now, but I hope they grow big and strong and formidable.  I love the mimosa tree, never tried the drink, but I adore the fuzzy, pink flowers that bloom and the rattle of the seeds in their pods that fall from the tree.  I love the way they close their leaves at a touch.  A mimosa tree makes one of the best climbing trees.  Of course this is just my opinion, but I am as close to an expert on climbing trees as you’re likely to find.  The limbs of a mimosa branch off the trunk low and you can practically step up into it.

My grandmother had a mimosa tree on a perfect square patch of green lawn in her front yard.  I spent much of my childhood in that tree.  Each branch was, in my mind, a pretend room in an imaginary house.  I flitted around from branch to branch passing the hours.

There was another climbing tree at the back of my grannie’s house.  A tall evergreen.  Probably 30 feet.  This tree was by far the absolute best climbing tree around and also my dear friend.  Sap on my hands and bare feet were as common as dirt under a little boy’s fingernails.  The branches of this evergreen hung nearly to the ground.  It was necessary to duck underneath the heavy green limbs, but once underneath it was like a secret place.  A shady, quiet, dark circle of dirt.  The limbs of the tree grew straight off the trunk nearly parallel to one another practically forming a ladder.  A tree climber’s dream!  Once up in the arms of the tree—off to the right about 20 feet up, one branch curved and crossed over another branch forming a little settee, a cradle if you will.  The perfect size for a little girl’s body to recline in.  It was possible to squeeze another person up there too, out towards the edges, and I shared this branch, my branch as I like to think of it, occasionally with my sister, cousin, or friend.  Here nestled up in the branches of the tree I could spy on things down below, but I much preferred to gaze upward.  I would recline back and peer upward through a little window of branches imagining the angels sitting on their fluffy white clouds, watch the birds flit in the sky, and dream my dreams

This tree was my oasis from divorcing parents, my retreat from a big sister, my reprieve from boredom.

The mimosa died, and someone cut it down.  Then one day I came to visit my grannie to find my beloved evergreen hacked.  She had hired someone to trim the trees and they had sawed off my trees ladder-like branches at least 10 feet up.  Tears poured down my cheeks as I gazed up and realized I couldn’t reach my sanctuary.  I wrapped my arms around the tree hugging it, pressed my cheek against the trunk, and using the sawed off nubs as foot and hand-holds, I shimmied up, much like a bear would.  But the bark scratched my skin and hung on my clothes.  It was so much effort and getting down was no longer as simple as climbing down a ladder.

I don’t remember ever having an ill-thought towards my grandmother before that day.  But at that time I was furious because she had hurt me.  Not intentionally of course.  She apologized when she realized how much it meant to me.  She said she didn’t know they were going to cut it like they did.  To her it was a tree, to me it was my harbor, my haven, my hide-away.  I told my secrets to those branches, swayed in the breeze in its limbs, imagined I was an angel floating on my own fluffy cloud right up to Jesus.  I eventually accepted that  I had no more trees to climb.

My mother now lives in my grannie’s house and the tree is still standing.  The other day I grabbed my niece Ashlynn and said, “Help me climb this tree.”  I discovered I’m too heavy to hoist myself up, and she is too little to boost me.  It was so effortless 25 years ago.  But I was winded in 2 minutes and never made it off the ground.  She decided to shimmy up and perched on the lowest branch, but I looked up at her, paranoid she was going to fall and break her neck and demanded she get down.

It’s probably for the best that I couldn’t climb it.  I’d probably be disappointed once I got to my sitting spot.  Adult experiences are always so vastly different from our childhood memories. 

But writing this makes me want to get a ladder and get up there anyway. 

Find my sitting spot and recline

And put the fire department on speed dial just in case I need them to help me down.