Friday, August 31, 2012

A Normal Summer Week

We have had an entirely normal week of summer.  We roll out of bed one after the other, usually Hugo first, then Zosia and finally Lily (me and Ben somewhere in there).  We slowly eat breakfast, get out of our pajamas, send Ben off to work in his cute biking clothes, and then play it by ear.  Should we go to the park?  The pool?  Stay home and play?  Play in the yard?  Visit a friend?  Go to the market for an errand?  Each day develops its own rhythm.  We are usually home for some lunch, Hugo goes to sleep, and us big girls have our own quiet time.  After our afternoon snack, we might tidy the house up and slip out to the pool until just before dinner, when we all come home and I throw something easy together.

It has been wonderful.  Totally, utterly wonderful.

And of course a bit crazy at times.  Hugo gets into all sorts of mischief (see him up there?  That's him playing on the table, and then doing his little happy dance once I have discovered him), the house is never really clean at the same time, and I can never quite give each person the attention that they might want.

Zosia is quite obviously ready for school.  She is famished for knowledge, holding on to every little fact that she can dig up or overhear.  She loves school, this little scholar of ours.  She thrives there, and has such a wonderful kindergarten class with a sweet teacher and good friends.  And Lily will love preschool.  She has started flagging down strangers when we're out on a walk just to talk to them.  This little sunshine beam of a girl is ready for a wider sphere of friends, ready to see and be seen in the world of toddlers.

So all of the changes that are coming up these next couple of weeks are good things, things that make us proud of the children and so incredibly thankful.  I will have three mornings a week to delight in Hugo, to play games with him and chase him around and give him time to explore the world a little.  I will have lots of time with Lily, and a nice long afternoon with all three kids.  I think it will be just great.

But pardon me as I go back to one of my last days of summer.  I am going to go read aloud to the girls and cut up some apples for a snack and do my best to not think about the next few weeks just yet (because whenever I do, I tear up).  We are going to soak up as much sunshine as we can.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Waffles, Nails, a Party, and Turning Five

Zosia turned five yesterday.  Which meant breakfast of her choosing in bed (homemade waffles, strawberries and milk), a mother-daughter date in the late morning (getting her nails done, her favorite), and a late afternoon pool party with many good friends.  Turning five is sort of wonderful.

It was a great day, and I just might have caught myself staring throughout the day as I noticed how big and beautiful this first baby of mine has become.  Five.  Wow.  She is clever and mature and very very sweet and carries herself like someone ages older than five.  An old soul.

I am just amazed by the whole thing and perplexed by the fact that a quarter of her time here at home with us has passed.  I totally understand mothers who are left scratching their heads with empty bedrooms and babies off at college thinking, "Where did the time go?"  All the more reason to enjoy every single second of this precious time.

Happy Birthday, my darling!  Oh, we love you so much.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

back home from the journey


We are home, our laundry has been done, and we have food for the week.  We're settled back in, and somehow managed to have the most restful, rejuvenating vacation imaginable with three little ones (plus Selma our dog!) in tow.  We headed over to Canaan Valley West Virginia, to the same little chalet my family used to rent when I was a little girl.  A small house right on a small lake surrounded by beautiful wilderness.  As a child, it was heaven.  I loved those vacations, and figured that even if things looked more beautiful through the lens of my childhood, the kids would have a good time.  The good news is that it is still breathtakingly beautiful as an adult.  Maybe even more so.

We have learned that vacations are always better with an extra set of adult hands and the company of someone we love.  My mom spent the whole week with us, and we were joined for the last weekend by my dad and Ben's parents.  I feel so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such love and warmth!  

There was much swimming and canoeing, the girls rode on a horse, we saw the cutest little kitten, and we were all in sweaters and vests in the evenings and mornings and wore the few warm things I had packed day in and day out for the whole week.  We made s'mores, picked huckleberries, rode a ski lift, and were visited by black bears (thankfully at night while we were asleep!) and beavers.  Oh, and we hiked and hiked.  With the kids, without the kids, with just the "big kids" (I write this realizing that one day it will seem silly to have called an almost 5 year old and a 3 year old big, but they're big by our family's standards).  It is wonderful to see such diverse natural beauty and to have the adventures stored in our legs and our hearts.

We are happy to be home, but I know that there are certain members of the family who are already dreaming of our next vacation.  Okay, maybe we all are a little bit.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Wave Hello from Across State Lines


Much more to come soon, but for now I'm off to sip on some hot chocolate and see if the beavers are making an appearance tonight.  Ah, vacation.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012



Hugo has learned to climb with utter passion and singularity of focus.  He still engages in other activities, like eating, playing, and the mandatory snuggle.  But if you look deep in his eyes, you will see the truth revealed: he really wants to be climbing.  And if you leave him unattended for a mere second, he will follow his heart... onto a table, couch, chair, toilet.  Anything that is on hand, really.  And then when he is on top, he will pick up anything within reach and throw it to the ground and do a little victory dance.  You see, Hugo really knows how to live the good life.

Much of my time these past days has been spent moderating his newfound hobby.  Keeping an eagle eye on him seems to be key, because even when I have completely babyproofed everything, his ingenuity finds a way around my obstacles.  Perhaps he will be an engineer like his daddy, this one.  

These days I am endlessly thankful for two little girls who delight in imaginary play both by themselves and together.  I will find little clues to their storylines: a face made of flowers (above, made by Lily), an invitation carefully written out to a "nachr parte" (nature party), and a little story drafted on the chalkboard.  Sometimes all it takes for creative play to blossom is for a parent to stay out of the way, don't you think?

Some of my favorite moments have occurred while watching the girls take care of their little brother.  Yesterday while I was getting dinner ready, Zosia literally chased him up and down the hallway for 15 minutes.  I think it tired both of them out in a good way, and it was the only thing that kept Hugo from, you guessed it, climbing on the table.  And then today when I needed a few minutes to pick up the house, Lily entertained Hugo for a good one hour (!) on our very baby-proofed deck.  I peeked out on them every few minutes, and was delighted to find Lily singing (quite loudly, as she is prone to do) "YOU ARE MY BEST FRIEND, BROTHER!"  

Siblings are absolutely the best.