Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fierce and Four

Four years ago, it was another grey February day. I was nearing the 17th hour of labor and wondering if I was ever going to have a baby.

Three hours later, I had him and it seemed like he'd always been here.

These past four years, I've yelled more than I ever intended. I fed him more sugar than I should. I've lost my patience and found frustration too often.
But I've also found laughter, hugs, and a reason to get out of bed each and every morning. As we closed in from two to three, I could see that the threes were going to be terrifying and tumultuous. And they were. But closing in on the fours, I see that they're going to be fierce and fabulous.

The constantly asserted independence has calmed down a bit. The temper tantrums? I hardly remember them (except that Tommy throws approximately 25 a DAY so it's not like I could really forget). Instead I have a little boy who owns his opinions. A little boy who tells me I look beautiful almost every single day. A little boy who hands me his very own camera and tells me to take his birthday picture, while rocking this pose:


A little boy who had a last minute downsized birthday party but still declared it to be the best party ever


Who blew out his candle, then told us that we needed to clap for him

It's going to be a good year.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Funny Valentines

Growing up, I was always quietly envious of the girls who, on Valentine's Day, would navigate the halls arms laden with balloons, flowers, and stuffed animals. I was never dating anyone on Valentine's Day until Shane came along, but still, I loved Valentine's Day. I could always count on a box of chocolates or a flower or some other small item to be sitting next to my plate at dinner on Valentine's Day. I love my parents for this.

This morning, on my way to work, I was angry at my Valentine's Day. Angry because my phone took a swim in water, angry because I was rushing around this morning, angry because I was late to work already when Luke asked me to play Go Fish with him and I had to tell him no. Angry because my pants are tight and they're the only pair of dress pants I have that fit. Angry because I bought Shane a book that he really wanted for Valentine's Day, only to have him come home with the exact book after a trip to the library Saturday. Angry because I felt like I should've done more for Valentine's Day, made little baskets to drop on friends' porches, made treats for co-workers.

I thought about all of this and then I realized that I can't do it all in one day. Instead what if I live each day like Valentine's Day? Instead of trying to cram all the goodness and surprises and chocolates into one day, what if I spread them out and let the days that need that extra little bit of love find it? The special thing about today, the really special thing, is that my three valentine's, the friends I wanted so badly to give gifts to, the treats that weren't made... all of the people, all of things, they're in my life the other 364 days of the year, too, and if I can't let them know today what they mean to me, there's always tomorrow.

I bought him this shirt on clearance last year. I couldn't imagine him being big enough to wear a 18-24 month outfit, but here we are. So big. My littlest Valentine.

Today I sent Luke off to the sitter with a mailbox full of Toy Story valentines for his friends. He was so excited that he talked about it all weekend. He's staying a little later tonight so they can have a party and I can't wait to pick him up and hear all about it. He's so big these days.

Yesterday, my one and only Valentine made breakfast for dinner, my very favorite.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus

It's cold outside today. -11 according to the wind chill, so I hope I can beg for forgiveness for not taking my cold photo outside today. Have you ever noticed that the sun shines with a certain intensity when it's cold outside? Like it's trying to make amends for the fact that it is so.very.cold. This kind of cold makes me sad, makes me feel like it'll never be warm again. This morning, though, I was able to capture a little bit of hope next to the bright, cold sun.


It won't be cold forever!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowy, Snowy Day

Four years ago, we had a snow storm on Valentine's Day. I remember this because my maternity leave was to start February 15th (my due date), but it started two days early because we had no school on the 13th and 14th. It left me feeling weirdly discombobulated, because I'd planned on packing up room on the 14th. Although my maternity leave sub was set to go at a moment's notice, I still had some things I wanted to put away before she came.
I remember fielding call after call from people who were concerned about what would happen if I went into labor during the worst of the storm. Shane's mom called and said we'd need to call an ambulance. I joked that I would happily deliver the baby myself in a snow bank. She was horrified. Of course, Luke didn't come until the 20th (and of course, NO ONE was worried about me not making it to the hospital in July), so what happened instead was that Shane and I had two days of nothing. We played Yahtzee and Uno and he made chili cheese dogs for dinner. It was the last two wide open, responsibility-free days we'd ever spend with just the two of us. It was awesome. Also awesome was the knowledge that since I was on maternity leave, I would not be making up those two snow days in June.

Today it's been a little louder and I have to make up this snow day, but it's still been so much fun. Last I night I brought in bowls of clean snow and we boiled maple syrup to make maple candy, just like Laura Ingalls Wilder. Today, Luke and I ate popcorn and watched three episodes of Duck Tales. We had Lucky Charms for breakfast and for dinner, we're plannng make your own English muffin pizzas. As soon as the snow dies down a little bit, we're going to bundle the boys up and head outside.
Last night I measured the snow in the way that you might expect an English teacher to measure; that is to say, not very scientifically. I put a 1.75L bottle on the deck and snapped pictures every hour, from 3pm to 8pm as the bottle slowly disappeared. By 5 this morning, it was gone completely, buried somewhere under that gigantic drift.

As for the dog, well, he measures snow days by how comfortably he can rest after plowing through drifts taller than he is. I think he'd give today an A+.