Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Instagram

Any of my little blog friends on Instagram? If so, let me know so I might find you there. I’m on as nancyaharris. I’m quite fond of the simplicity of it. I like seeing brief images of my friend’s lives without first weeding through all the extra stuff of Facebook. I use my cell phone to take pictures any time I’m feeling lazy or my dslr isn’t convenient. The wide-angle view from my phone isn’t great for many things, but it’s perfect for others – like capturing newborn babies on beds without standing on ladders! Anyway, Instagram has been a fun place for me to share my phone images.

Recent shots with the old phoney-phone-phone:

Photo Oct 02, 7 44 21 AMPhoto Oct 02, 7 55 44 PMPhoto Oct 03, 5 29 05 PMPhoto Oct 04, 5 34 18 PMPhoto Oct 07, 4 07 20 PMPhoto Oct 07, 4 45 58 PMPhoto Oct 09, 8 26 47 AMPhoto Oct 09, 8 27 28 AMPhoto Oct 08, 4 11 32 PMPhoto Oct 07, 11 45 01 AMPhoto Oct 11, 7 59 30 PMPhoto Oct 04, 10 56 49 AM (1)Photo Oct 05, 12 46 19 PMPhoto Oct 04, 10 56 52 AM (1)Photo Oct 17, 2 48 47 PMPhoto Oct 10, 8 08 15 AMPhoto Oct 11, 12 01 39 PMPhoto Oct 19, 3 23 17 PMPhoto Oct 20, 4 39 14 PMPhoto Oct 20, 12 19 26 PMPhoto Oct 12, 12 49 11 PMPhoto Oct 13, 5 48 44 PM (3)Photo Oct 13, 5 49 23 PMPhoto Oct 13, 5 49 38 PMPhoto Oct 13, 5 49 41 PMPhoto Oct 13, 5 49 39 PMPhoto Oct 18, 5 03 03 PMPhoto Oct 21, 1 54 03 PMPhoto Oct 21, 1 44 40 PMPhoto Oct 21, 8 51 08 AM (1)Photo Oct 21, 11 59 48 AM

If you are the skimming kind, you are done with this post. If you are the detail seeker, well, here are a few “I spy”s for you:

-- Daisy’s “special day” to the ceramic-painting place last month was such a hit that Goldie chose it for hers this month.
-- Also . . . I came home one day to discover Goldie had made a vegetable person. I have no idea how my girls know how to do things like this . . .
-- People have a little trouble distinguishing baby gender without loads of hair, I’ve discovered. Pink bows, pink blankets and heart bracelets do little to help. I don’t mind really. I’m probably just as clueless (though I’m clever enough to make plenty of small talk -- “Cute baby! What’s your little ones name?” – while still managing to leave gender totally out of it). Still, I had to laugh when Mike suggested I make it easy by writing “girl” on her forehead. Haha. I love my Summer-girl!
-- A 5:00 pm trip to Wal-Mart . . . which is bad . . . to get ingredients for a family-night treat . . . which is worth it.
-- We’ve had our first Halloween party of the year. Costuming and de-costuming happens on repeat, it seams, for the last week or two of October.
-- Daisy has been giving Penny piano lessons. Kind of cool.
-- Goldie insists on saying goodbye as formally as possible to everyone as they leave in the morning. She stumbles out of bed in the darkness when she hears Abe and Daisy open the door to catch the early bus to Jr. High, and she insists I stop doing her hair mid-ponytail if Mike is leaving because she must wave goodbye as he drives off. Most mornings Penny joins her in the send-off.
-- And . . . on a return from a run, I was yelled at by a bunch of small swing-set hecklers. Typical.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Glitter, “Chickenese”, and Wombat Droppings

In re-reading old blog posts, I discovered, much to my horror, that I often used the word “bare” when “bear” was called for. How humiliating. . . . Though, perhaps not as humiliating as the errors I may currently be making in a blithely unaware manner. I’m a work in progress I suppose.

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Kids often come up with made-up but far better words. Jesse used to tell me things that happened “yesternight”. Of course! Perfect. Currently, he sometimes requests “chickenese” food – which I think is sweet-and-sour chicken from our local Chinese restaurant, but may also refer to plain old Wendy’s chicken nuggets.

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As I groggily rolled out of bed into the darkness of yet another early morning last week, I moaned to Mike, “Will we ever just be able to sleep . . . all we want.”

“Maybe in the millenium,” he comforted me. Then, upon reconsidering, he admitted that “sleeping all we want” might never EVER be part of the plan. Sigh.

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Recently, Daisy got her fist official babysitting job. She was very excited as I talked to her about things a good babysitter should do. Abe, who was semi-listening from the kitchen, chimed in with his own helpful advice: “Also, it’s really polite to ask them before how much they plan on paying you. Then, whatever amount they say, tell them it’s not enough.” Hahah. Smart alec.

IMG_7317_edited-1IMG_7340_edited-1(I love that little eye-spy Anders’ head in Daisy’s photo.)

Speaking of Abe. The other day we were waiting in the car for the girls. Abe looked up at the sign of a nearby Babies-R-Us and said, “So, does Babies-R-Us sell baby stuff or . . . babies.”

Also, he’s been doing a project for school on the wombat. He designed a T-shirt for part of it that said, “It’s cute and fat, save the wombat.” He also has to prepare a short presentation. In discussing this with me he said, “I wonder if it would harm or benefit my presentation to bring up how the wombat has cube-shaped droppings.” Then, pondering, “I mean, I could actually do the entire presentation on the cube-shaped droppings.”

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Anders, who just turned three, is rapidly catching up to nearly-six-year-old Jesse in height and especially weight. It is evident however that Jesse’s age still trumps Anders’ size: when Jesse plays R2D2, Anders has to be C3PO; when Jesse is Wall-E, Anders has to play Eve; and when Jesse wants to be Jake, Anders is left to be Cubby.

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It has come to my attention that those of you who are new to my blog don’t know that Jesse . . . isn’t actually Jess-ee. The last e is silent. He’s just Jess. You’ve been saying it wrong in your head all along. I know. It’s upsetting. I’m sorry. I fought for no strangely silent e. I insisted everyone who ever read his name would assume his name was Jess-ee (and they do). But, it’s Mike’s great-grandpa’s name. Spelled like Jess-ee and said like . . . Jess. Mike would not be moved.

IMG_7369_edited-1IMG_7368_edited-1(Oh, don’t feel so bad for the little fella when you look at that picture. He’s only blue because I’m making him be in a picture for two seconds. Also . . . look! We gave one small boy a haircut!)

But . . . another small boy still lives with his hair wild and free. What the . . . ?

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I have no words for his face, and hair, and hands in that first picture. Also, no real words for whatever this is:

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The other night Penny was supposed to be sleeping when I heard a small voice from the top of the stairs call out, “Mom? Can I have some ice-cream?”

“How do you know we’re eating ice-cream?” I called back.

“I can hear it,” was her quiet, little reply.

Blast clanking spoons. You can’t really say no when someone “hears” the ice-cream they are missing out on. You just have to consider yourself caught and let them right back out of bed.

As she finished up her bowl of “heard” ice-cream, this conversation happened: “Mom, from now on I’m going to bring a knife with me wherever I go.” (Thoughtful pause.) “Should it be a butter knife or another kind of knife?”

“Well,” I responded – carefully, “as nice as it would be to have a weapon with you all the time, I’m afraid you can’t. You’d get kicked out of school.”

“But mom,” she insisted. “I’d only use it for special occasions. Like for robbers.”

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As we drove home from the dollar store the other day, Goldie (who had claimed the front seat) was telling me of her purchases. A wooden plane that needed assembling, some treats, a puzzle, “and then I just bought some glitter, just in case we need it for something. You never know when you might need glitter.”

Truer words were never spoken. You never do know when you might need glitter.

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One Week and Three Attempts at Starting a Blog Post Later . . .

Recently, as I sat nursing Summer, I read a blog post from last year at this time. It related the happenings of a busy, husbandless Sunday – one full of meetings, juggling, and readying – that somehow still ended right: books read, cookies made, sunset walks taken.

Reading that post left me with a dull and quiet little sense of longing. Not for the day itself exactly, more . . . for the quite moment I'd somehow found, despite the busyness, to record the day. I must have found it – that quiet, peaceful moment -- because, there that blog post sat: a little, perfect peek into my life, our life. It captured a day that, otherwise, would surely have been sucked into a mixing bowl. It would have swirled around and around with the thousands of days before and the thousands of days after until its individual ingredients could no longer be tasted. It would have made up a part of the wonderful whole, sure, but how much lovelier to have that day exist -- to be able to pick it out of the mix and examine it – separately and clearly.

I'm certainly not trying to play the “who's busiest” game (a game I find rather tiresome to be honest). I have much less on my plate and much less on my typical daily “to-do” list than so many of you. I know that. It's just that I love writing. I love finding completely free spaces of time to churn happenings and thoughts over and about in my mind. I love to watch how they spill out and then come together on paper or a screen; and, as I remembered finding that moment for that Sunday post of long ago, a small sigh escaped me, and I felt a bit wistful for more of those moments right now.

And not just moments for writing; I wanted completely free stretches of time to fill . . . however I wanted, doing whatever I wanted, even . . . doing whatever I needed.

Those stretches of time seem rather hard to come by just now. And, I know it’s all right. I know I’ll have phases of life where my time is much more likely to be sitting there – patiently and expectantly -- waiting for me to make what I will of it. I also know that, even without those entire phases, those moments won’t ever be complete strangers. I’ll find minutes here and there in bits and pieces to write, or read, or run, or organize, or learn, or ponder. And I’ll get along. Those bits and pieces will be enough – as much as I long for an increase in their frequency and duration.

And, I suppose I also know that the bigger things in all of this living business are still happening. If I never get several days to learn new photo editing software, and I never run another marathon, and I never get our photo albums caught up, and I don’t read three-quarters of the books on my “to be read” list; it won’t matter much -- if the majority of my moments are filled . . . well . . . I guess . . . pretty much as they are.

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