Sunday, March 31, 2013

Is it? Is it...is it Spring, yet?



I'm hesitant to ask because I might jinx it! It's finally (finally!) starting to feel a little more like spring now. I'm from a part of the country where March is typically pretty pleasant. The daffodils start coming up in January or February, and many perennials start peeking out shortly after. This year's winter hasn't had record low temperatures or anything, but it just kind of dragged on and on. And we haven't even endured the snow that much of the country experienced. I told Justin that I don't think I could ever move further north, because I just don't like the cold. I like four seasons, thank you very much. Although, I could certainly do with fewer hot days in summer (especially compared to last year-ouch!)

Once the new year begins I can be found surrounded by several garden books, the laptop, and paper. I start planning in January what I would like to do in the garden. By March I hope to have winter cleanup done and be ready to get busy with the new season. This year I have grand plans for the Back 40. Mostly to get rid of the "grass" (coughweedscough), and do island beds around the trees. Basically trying to get it pretty natural looking. I hope to replace non-natives with mostly natives as it's a flood plain. Evan's Garden is in the Back 40. I decided fairly recently I'd like to move his garden to this side of the creek, next to the house (combining Evan's Garden with my Butterfly Garden.) That way I can enjoy it more often and not worry about flooding. And feel less guilty about the weeds in back. I seem to be able to keep up with the weeds nearer the house. Well, until it gets super hot. So, grand plans, indeed. And I haven't started, because it's been too cold and too wet (not complaining about the rain!) to get out there. So, now that Spring seems to possibly be here, maybe (just maybe!), I can get started!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cheese!

It seems like every kid likes to grab Mommy's (or Daddy's) camera and start shooting. Sometimes the kid can get some pretty amazing shots, but it usually is in between 20 or 30 weird ones. It's definitely interesting to see what ends up being The Subject.
 
 
 
Me, for instance! Here I am backing out of our sloped driveway.
 

 
 
Favorite reading material (Pinkalicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann.) From this shot alone one can determine that the camera was in the hands of my little girly girl. Duncan shuns anything pink.
 

 
 
There were several blurry finger shots, but I liked the arm shot best.
 

 
 
Ummm...still life.
 

 
 
Still in bed life.
 

 
 
Self portrait: Legs!
 

 
 
Self portrait. I think she does a better job than some adults I've seen!
 

 
Close up!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Princess Party! Squeeee!

 
I asked Miranda before planning her party if she would prefer a Pirate party or a Princess party. I was hoping a little for the Pirate party, because she has more male friends than female, but no, she chose princess. Because she is a princess, naturally. Except she says she's not. Anyway...

I booked the Gymnastics place nearby and she talked of nothing but "my birthday party at the gymnastics place" for weeks. We got there. She had her "gymnastics suit" on. We were ready to roll. Except she wouldn't go into the gym. We asked numerous times if she wanted to play with her friends. Nope. She did watch from the sidelines. It was basically, "It's my party and I won't participate if I don't want to, won't participate..." You get the idea.

 
Meanwhile, the other kids at Miranda's party jumped,
 
 
Fell down like a tree,

 
and Swung for their first activity.

 
And Miranda hung out in the waiting area. Ho hum.

 
The kids then did an obstacle course that included this big bounce house.
 
 
Miranda helped set the table with crowns and Ariel (her favorite princess!) napkins.
 

 
"Anytime y'all are ready to come over to my birthday party, I'm ready."


 
And finally, the activities were over and it was time to eat cupcakes.

 
Here is a crown that I made for the party hats. I wasn't sure if they would make the kids look regal or like Jughead.

 
The wonderful cupcakes! Beautiful and delicious! (Local folks I can give you the baker's information, if you're interested.)

 
And then down to business.

 
Miranda may not have wanted to play in the gym (I'm pretty sure she said it was scary), but she made up for lack of participation with her gratitude for her gifts.

 
There was no "I've already got that toy" sort of comments from Miranda. She talked about how beautiful the gifts were and how much she loved the unicorn and dolls.

 
One unexpected item, a musical birthday card, had her saying, "I've never seen that before!"


 
All too soon, the party was over and it was time to hand out the party favors to friends. I picked out these cute (but small!) boxes from a talented lady on Etsy.
 
 
It's been a week and Miranda is still talking about the party!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Toot Sweet

I have played the flute for almost 30(!) years! I still need to practice to stay in shape and be prepared for any upcoming performances. Unfortunately, that's not very often. I do get asked to play for church. When I don't have a "gig," I like to play because it's fun and therapeutic. I'm working on some pieces now for flute trio with a couple of gals from church. The kids hear (and see) me play, so it's not an unusual occurrence. When I practice in the dining room, the kids seem to always get involved in a game of chase. They come tearing around the corners, through the doorway, pass me, and through to the kitchen, round the rest of the house, and back again. There's not a lot of space between the dining room table and the little side table where I stand. They crash by, bumping into me and giggling madly. I remind them to take it elsewhere, but the dining room seems to always come back onto their chase circuit.
 
Last night I was in the computer room. It's a bigger space, so if The Chase was on, I'd have plenty of room, even if it did get noisy. I was working on some fun stuff, just to play a bit. I wasn't working on anything particular. Just enjoying some good music. Miranda came in to see what was going on. I guess her partner in crime was unavailable. Instead of chasing Duncan around, she decided to do laps around me. She circled around me as I played, and she sang or talked or just made sounds. In fact, she may have been skipping. 
 
 
 
I tried to not let the disturbance disturb me. It wasn't work, after all. And the Ring Around the Flute Playing Mommy had happened before. She reminded me of an almost two year old Evan. When I put my flute together and started to make music, he came into the room and would march around me, singing at top voice. I think he liked it. You see in the picture he's going for my stand? Yep, Miranda does that, too. 
 
 
 
Evan took this picture of me just a few months before he died. He was still circling me while I played, but this time he was armed with Daddy's camera.
 
I've talked about how a particular piece of music can stir emotion or memories. Who knew that a little marching person could do the same!
 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Swing

 
Evan, like most kids, thought the swings were pretty fun. I started putting him in the baby swing at home in those early days, and he loved looking at those adorable bears hovering over his head. The back and forth, back and forth motion was extremely soothing.
 
 
When he got a little bigger, we took him to the playground for some swing time.

 
He wasn't one of those kids that would sit on the swing and do nothing else. You know the ones. They get in that little seat, and Will.Not.Budge. Evan wasn't like that. He wanted to run around and play. And run around some more. But he did enjoy The Swing, if only for a bit.

 
When the kiddies are little like this, it seems natural for the parent (mommies in particular) to say, "Weeeeee!" with each push. With three or four baby swings lined up side by side, there's a whole chorus of "Weeees" from the mommies. The kids sometimes join in, and sometimes they look at us like we're nuts.


 
Evan was really part of the second camp. At least, at first he was. He looked at me like, "I'm enjoying it, what else do you want from me, lady?" But eventually, he too joined in. It wasn't like Mommy's musical, "WeeeeEeeEeeeee!" It was more of a deadpan, "wee." And it was tiny like that. This tiny little soft voice saying, "wee" like he didn't really mean it. Or maybe he joined in because these crazy mommies say the silliest things and sometimes you just have to join in to make them happy and make them smile. And that little tiny "wee" still does make me smile.

Friday, March 1, 2013