Sunday, June 22, 2014

Published 3:03 PM by with 0 comment

Weekending: III

"Weekending. My favorite part of the week. A time to relax, live, love, just be. ~ Amanda" 

Linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise

Birthday decorations still up
for the little girl who just loves to sing
"happy birthday", a memory
of the party past.
Family gathered around
to celebrate two years
of joy with Harmony!
My Little Pony as the theme
with hand-made decorations, cake, cupcakes,
by her grandma; home-made french fries
by request of the new two-year-old,
with hamburgers and watermelon
and Fitz's local rootbeer on the side.
Thrift-store dress just her style
kept miraculously clean the entire time.
Time to open the gifts
and many thoughtful cards and letters
sent by sweet friends.
New outdoor toys!
New books!
First time for a trike!
A pony play mat!
A hand-carved wooden cradle
from grandpa to go with her first baby doll!
Ponies all evening, and every day
afterwards, too.
Then the flurry of errands, shopping,
meals, church, and appointments
that the weekend always brings,
enjoying the summer solstice
and the presence of family still visiting.

All pictures taken by my mom, Harmony's loving grandma!

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Published 8:27 AM by with 1 comment

Harmony Turns Two

Dear Harmony,

You are turning two. You valiantly try to hold up two fingers, thumb keeping the other two down, while looking serious with the effort. But you're not serious all the time. You have a quirky sense of humor already! Little jokes happen occasionally, and you're always trying to make us laugh by saying ridiculous things (not to mention the potty jokes... I didn't know toddlers your age did that!), all with a twinkle in your eye and a ready laugh.

This year brought a lot of surprises, as I'm sure every year will! Mostly good things, but also a few bumps in the road that we are learning how to work through together. Here are a few:

~ You have memorized almost the entire alphabet.

~ You "read" books out loud to us, when we aren't busy reading books out loud to you. Pretty sure you're going to follow in both your mama and daddy's footsteps by becoming a voracious reader!

~ You are enthralled with the songs from Mary Poppins. Not only do you watch scenes from the movie and listen to the soundtrack almost every day, but now you are beginning to sing the songs yourself. I didn't realize hearing "Feed da birds, tuppence a bad, tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bad..." would make my heart melt so much!

~ You have developed an obsession with My Little Pony.

~ You are terrified of other children touching you, because you're afraid of them taking away your toys or knocking you down (it does happen often, unfortunately, since you're still quite small for your age), which makes going to the park or a playdate very difficult sometimes.

~ You love cold water, like a fish. Always you insist on immersing or at least placing a part of yourself in any-size body of water you can find, including but not limited to puddles, ponds, lakes, swimming pools, bathtubs, sinks, streams, gutters, cups we are drinking from, bowls you've filled with water, and windows wet from rain.

~ You want to call your grandma and grandpa on the phone constantly, to tell them hi or inform them of your latest exploit or jabber about your ponies or simply to ask them to "come soon... see you later".

~ You are a bit of a picky eater. We don't keep junk food around very much, and almost all the snack choices around here are healthy ones, but in spite of me doing everything possible to diversify your mealtime options, you continue to be choosy about what you eat, preferring even to go without rather than eat something you don't like.

~ You enjoy watching Star Trek with your daddy (just the older series; the new ones are too scary).

~ You have already begun to develop your own sense of of fashion. Yes, you insist on taking your purse everywhere on your own, not because I make you do it.

~ You listen attentively every Sunday to us rehearse with the church choir, often singing along while holding your own hymnbook.

~ You play more imaginary games than any other toddler I've met. Your ponies hold conversations with each other, your stuffed animals talk with you, and I've seen you have more than one chat with garden statues!

And just like last year, my dear, you are helping me grow, too. As a toddler, you have many episodes of absolute melt-down sobbing, so I am learning how to do two things in order to parent you better: have more deep compassion, and take-no-nonsense.

Even a stern look when you are doing something wrong will send you into a spiral of tears. A bump on the head or tripping on the sidewalk brings wails far more powerful than I think are necessary. We try to not coddle you, but it is becoming evident that you are sensitive to many things. So I am learning compassion: gentle kindness and care for a little one who feels so deeply.

However, sometimes you need me to just help you get back on your feet and GO. No nonsense. No fretting. No whining allowed. Maybe if we learn how to cut back on unnecessary drama now, then it will make the teen years just a tiny bit easier. Maybe? Maybe.

So, because of these lessons I am learning with you, I am slowly beginning to apply the same with life at large. Sometimes I am too harsh with folks who need gentleness... hopefully my heart is changing to be more sincerely compassionate towards everyone instead. Yet sometimes there is just too much DRAMA going on, so I remind myself of the proverb (which has lately been going around Facebook) that this is "not my circus... not my monkeys" and push past it, trying to stay on the optimistic side.

It's a hard balance to know when to give compassion and when to say no to drama! But it's something that I'm working on, and you are a big part of that.

With so much walking and talking and thinking and playing and imagining and running and singing going on around here, I'm going to be calling you my little girl soon, instead of my baby. For now, we'll enjoy all the moments of toddlerhood that we can. You're still my Bug, my Tiny, my Mininsky.


Your Mama

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Published 8:34 AM by with 0 comment

Weekending: II

"Weekending. My favorite part of the week. A time to relax, live, love, just be. ~ Amanda" 

Linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise

The to-do list now has an end in sight
as the final boxes wait to be unpacked,
the house begins to look like a home,
and we start settling in.
The old apartment, bare and empty,
still needs some work,
but that will happen soon.
For now we are preparing
for the birthday of a very special girl
who will be turning two!
With sore muscles
we continue to finish tasks during the day
in anticipation of family visiting
and the upcoming celebration.
Late nights are for sitting together
with a glass of wine
on our new-to-us yellow flowered couch
listening to Erroll Garner play piano on the radio
and talking about how grateful we are.

How was your weekend?

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Sunday, June 08, 2014

Published 4:56 PM by with 1 comment

Weekending: I

"Weekending. My favorite part of the week. A time to relax, live, love, just be. ~ Amanda" 

Linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise

Beginning to lose memory of a time when I wasn't absolutely tired,
dragging from late nights and early mornings.
But full of good energy from good friends visiting,
a sermon of encouragement while sock-knitting
("if fingers are busy, ears will be open" is my policy, even in church)
and a much-needed date night with My Love 
laughing with flashmob friends
watching "Henry IV" at Shakespeare in the Park
while another best friend cared for our daughter at home.

More and more moments of joy 
with Harmony too, as she climbs closer to the two-year mark.
Reading "Blueberries for Sal" and eating blueberries just like Sal.
Splashing in puddles in our rainboots in the parking lot
of the local produce stand, soaking up the spring rain.
Cooking together; she peels the garlic
and hands me the potatoes to wash.
Dancing with daddy in the kitchen!
Listening to the Mary Poppins soundtrack for the seventh time
today as she learns to sing "feed the birds, tuppence a bag".

Boxes everywhere in anticipation of the move to New Haus
six days from now.
Bare walls already here
with the last minute scramble for boxes, tape, organization of drawers.
Still taking the time 
to sit quietly in the morning and write down gratitudes
while listening to "Mother Falcon" on headphones
and read selections from Romans, Hebrews, 
Genesis, or the Psalms,
trying to not be distracted 
by the million little projects
close at hand.

How was your weekend?

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