Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Six years old

We had a celebration of the six year old sort this afternoon at hour house. I really can't help making birthdays kind of a big deal. Looking back at my own childhood there were two days of the year- every year- that stood out from the rest: the first was Christmas, the second was my birthday. Birthdays for children should be one of the very most exciting days of the year. It's a day of celebrating a new milestone reached- one more year older, two hands needed to hold up your age instead of just one. As she said, "Yesterday I was just five and now, today I am six!" So we had a party, and what a fun one it turned out to be.

Five of her friends came over after school for the party- an event that was looked forward to and counted down to for weeks by Lydia. I adore this kindergarten age so much! The girls are all so expressive, growing up so much, and still so sweetly little.

Yesterday, after school Lydia was the only kid home and she went out to play in the snow by herself. I was rushing around the house doing the infamous dash between the washing machine and the kitchen sink when I paused by the window at the top of the stairs to check on her. There she was- chatting away to herself, playing in the little mound of snow by the side of the drive, busy and content in a world of her own. It was one of those moments in life that sends your mind on a little slide show of days passed, while you stand frozen watching and marveling at real life.

Six. Six years ago on a Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, I was sitting in the hospital holding a sweet little baby girl. Our Thanksgiving plans were quickly changed in the best possible way. And, standing there watching her  yesterday I was brought back all those years and wondering how it could be she was already so big.

I've written her some thoughts, but I'm not sharing them here this year. Instead, they're for her alone. What I will say is, Happy Birthday, Lydia! I'm so glad you had a fun day.

Oh, and because I mentioned I was working on finishing this for her birthday, here it is: proof that it's finished. I put the final stitches on it yesterday. Whew!

This turned out to be such a fun project! I've never attempted putting together a quilt before this one, so everything was just an experiment. I never worried about the final outcome, or the little mistakes made along the way- just had fun with each step. Her doll has a matching one.

And now, I'm going to help myself to a bowl of birthday cake ice cream. Have you tried this stuff? WOW! It's like the best parts of childhood mixed into ice cream (and still so enjoyed by this, ahem, adult).

ETA: The instructions for this quilt can be found at the Old Red Barn Co. This was from a quilt-along she posted last summer. Very easy to follow and lots of great pictures to make everything visual.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Let the hunt begin!

I am loving the winter wonderland we woke up to this morning! The white everywhere brightens up the house and pulls me out of the gray November lulls right into Christmas-list-making, planning, dreaming. The majority of my shopping is completed thanks to the Internet, but there are a lot of projects I'm making or hoping to make and this snow... it just puts me in the Christmas project-making mode!

The kids are out in the backyard already this morning and I'm realizing how much different this winter could potentially be. Last year they wouldn't go out alone. They wanted someone to be out there with them and Hannah was too young to really play out there. And I spent the winter expecting a baby or with a very new baby so I wasn't too compliant, I'm afraid. So, they didn't get out except for when Ryan went out to clear the snow from the driveway.

This morning they were so excited to see the snow everywhere so they gobbled down their breakfasts and began pulling on their snow pants, jackets, mittens, and hats. We discovered that Jack has no boots that fit (oops) so he pulled on a pair of wool socks and his mud boots without too much conviction and they all happily shuffled out into the snow. Hannah looked sort of hesitant and unsure, but off she went. Lucky her to have to have a big sister and a brother to take her outside. And lucky mom, as well!

I heard the dear hunter in this house take off bright and early this morning as I burrowed back into the quilts. Ah, the excitement of opening day (for him).  There's a roast in the crock pot awaiting his arrival this evening. He's got several days off of work (he's pretty sure the best perk of working as a nurse in a female-dominated field is that none of them want hunting season off)!

So, I'm off to get this day going! Enjoy yours!

Monday, November 8, 2010

My fun trip to the dentist

Since when did going to the dentist become a free for all for the lady with the sharp picky thing to tear apart your gums? Seriously. I've taken ibuprofen twice since visiting the dentist earlier today because my mouth aches so horribly from the hygienist stabbing my gums/teeth mercilessly over and over and over... Now I know why people dread going to the dentist. Never used to be that great of an issue for me. I've never especially loved going to the dentist (it's true, those types of people claim to exist), but it's never really been that bad. Until now. Owww!

It started out bad and kept getting worse. First, the hygienist started out all nice- making pleasant conversation, chit-chatting about the weather, blah, blah, blah. Then she interpreted the x-rays. And proceeded to point out that it appeared as if I had "cavities". As in plural. I gulped, balked, started to fidget nervously. I haven't had a cavity since I was 12 or so and I feel like I take decent care of my teeth. Then, she started with the whole sawing away at my teeth and gums with her pick machete for nearly 45 painful minutes. And then, just when I thought I could breathe a safe sigh of relief, the dentist came in and informed me my wisdom teeth need to go. The roots are all twisty and I'll need to go to the oral surgeon to have it done. Bonus, though, I only have three. There is no fourth one. Um... Yay?

He also informed me that I indeed did have cavities. Two. Between the teeth. Pretty sure all logic was lost on me at that point and I stammered something like, But I brush! After every meal! And I floss with those little flosser things, too!, as if that might make him change his mind or something and make him say, Oh! Well, in that case- forget it! No need to fill those cavities, if you're taking such great care! And forget about pulling the wisdom teeth as well!

Pretty sure I walked out of there like a wounded dog. Funny, because I was just in the dentist with Jack last week and I think he was tougher than me. He asked me before I left who was going to "take care of you" at the dentist and I assured him I could take care of myself. An hour after sitting in the chair, I was thinking I could have used some taking-care-of right about then.

But about those wisdom teeth... I'm scared. Like, not just average scared, but really-really-feel-like-I-want-to-puke-scared. The only experience I have with people getting them pulled was with my husband-then fiance- who had them pulled. I drove him to and from his appointment two hours away and I just remember being so appalled afterwards that he was in so much pain. He barely ate for 10 days he was in such pain. Now... I know guys can be kind be... how to say this nicely?...less than the tough macho men they think they are at times, but is- that, like, gulp- a normal occurrence with wisdom tooth extraction?

At least I have till January to worry about it. I think I'm going to go into denial till then. It's easier that way. {Yeah, I'm a wimp. And worrier, too. Welcome to my world.}

Monday, November 1, 2010

And the first place finish goes to...

Hannah was the winner this year- she hit the bottom of her bucket first. The devastating (on her part) incident occurred at about six p.m.this evening when she peered into the bottom of her pumpkin and declared, "Uh-OH!" And I cheered. And then I noticed with dismay the other two buckets were approximately 50 and 95% full. Which means tomorrow (and several tomorrows to come) will be filled with a whole lot of Hannah trying to steal candy and Lydia and Jack having multiple fits over that fact.

New and original hiding spots will be sought out only to be discovered by Hannah's uncanny sense of discovery which we like to affectionately refer to as digging. Tears will fall, feet will stomp, tempers will flare. And then newer and more original hiding spots will be found once again. This could go on and on and on. Which is why I arrived at the perfect solution of pushing my healthy eating start date off (till an undetermined point in time) so that I can, uhhh, remedy the situation a bit.

Whoever came up with the whole trick-or-treating idea anyways? My guess is it was most definitely not a mom. I mean, can you just picture that? Hey, kids! I got a new idea, listen up! We're going to all gather together and strew wands and hats and wigs and masks all over the ENTIRE house. Then we're going to don those fireman suits and butterfly wings, smear paint all over our faces, grab a big bucket and go stand on peoples steps and yell until they give us candy! And then- just wait, here comes the good part- the next day you can consume that pail full of sugar at alarming rates until your bellies ache and your teeth feel as if they are going to fall out of your mouth. Until you are climbing on top of the piano and jumping off the back of the couch.

No. Not a mom. Now, a dad who conveniently gets called into work early on the day after Halloween and does not return until the children are tucked sweetly in bed in their sugar-induced comas? That's a much better wager.

Ah, well. It's all fun. I do enjoy Halloween. Watching the kids get excited, knowing how unbelievably awesome it feels to lug around a pail of candy, sorting out the candy bars, the licorice, the dum-dums... smelling that sweet mixture of chocolate and Skittles and Starburst whenever you look inside to decide if you're going to have some Whoppers or some M&Ms next... What could be better?

But, when the candy buzz finally does settle down a bit, let me say, I am exicted it's November! Excited to work on some Christmas projects, settle into the cold weather by keeping cozy inside, and reconnect with the forgotten art of reading. Quiet, dark evenings just seem made for reading. And knitting. And quilting. And cuddling up with the kids, listening to them tell stories. For whatever reason, November just seems like the start to all of that and I am so ready.