Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Little Serenity

This is a little corner of our new backyard.  Not pictured is a lovely sitting area with iron gliders, chairs, and a wicker table.  It is such a nice spot to sit and watch the kids play with their new friend, who lives downstairs, and Gracie, the dog.  On nice days, we lose track of time sitting out there and enjoying the company of our new neighbors.  It feels like stepping back in time (and it should since these buildings are over 100 years old).

Even just looking at the picture gives me a sense of calm and peace...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Little More Fall

Last week, I went to a frame shop to have a Chicago map poster framed, and while I was talking with the shop keeper, Caterpillar kept trying to get me to look at the fancy frame samples.  She thought it would be great to frame some of her artwork in a fancy frame.  So, after some time of her telling me how great the fancy frames are, and my telling her that we couldn't use a fancy frame right now, the shop keeper gave her a small fancy frame.

We discussed what to put in it.  She thought it should be something pretty and special.  The first thought was that she would draw a picture of humming birds, but after a bit she didn't like that idea.  I suggested a rubbing of fall leaves, but our leaves didn't offer enough relief to work well.  So, on our morning walk to the park today, Bumble Bee collected some pretty leaves, and we framed them.  Caterpillar has yet to see the result, so this may not be the final use of the frame, but I sort of like it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall is Upon Us

Fall used to be my all time favorite season.  I love the changing colors of the leaves, the brisk winds, wearing warm, cozy sweaters without a coat.  We're having some lovely cool weather with golden leaves today.  Since moving north, I've really relished the leaves which aren't as dramatic in Louisiana.  However, as much as I still love fall, I'm beginning to dread winter.  The snow is fun for a bit, and we do love to frolic in it from time to time, but when people don't shovel their sidewalks, it becomes difficult to go out with a stroller.  Plus, once winter comes it seems to stay forever, and I quickly get tired of putting coats on children and searching for missing mittens.  One year I bought several sets of mitten clips to keep mittens attached to coats (we've lost and found so many mittens, I could pretty much put a set with each coat.), but they've started falling off anyway.  So, as I think about all the fall activities I'd like to do, I am also dreading the next season.

I guess I must simply focus on the moment and enjoy this season, knowing that eventually we'll make it to Spring.  In that optimistic vein, here are a few...

Things I'd like to do the fall:
1. Pick apples, but as all the orchards around here seem to use pesticides, I may try for pumpkins instead.  You can find farms and orchards around the country to visit here.
2. Sit in the yard with a cozy blanket, a cup of hot chocolate, and friends while the girls run around.
3. Do leaf rubbings on construction paper with crayons or oil pastels.  Do other autumn crafts as well.
4. Bake an apple pie from scratch, including the crust (I always buy the crust!).
5. Watch the girls jump in a pile of leaves.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

I started to write about this day and had to delete the entire post because DH showed me that my memory of the days surrounding this attack was flawed.  I had indeed forgotten some of the chronology of events.  What I do remember still are the emotions that I felt.

I felt anger at the perpetrators for interrupting so many lives, including my own.  We had gotten engaged in the wee hours of September 10, 2001, and I had only a day to share my news and joy before this national tragedy struck.  I felt saddened for those whose lives were not only interrupted but ruined.  I cried alot hearing the stories of loved ones lost, lives that were forever changed, children who would never know a parent.  I felt anxious.  We had a friend who lived in NYC and worked in the financial district.  I tried to reach him as soon as I heard about the attacks.  It wasn't until early evening that I finally heard from him. He was okay, but shaken.  I felt confused, and even guilty.  The attacks were so overwhelming and senseless.  They tinged my happiness with devastation.  But my life would still continue while so many others wouldn't.

Although I had forgotten much and had not thought much about September 11, 2001 in the past few years, I still remembered some minute details, especially those from the stories of the United flight 93 passengers.  I remembered that one was a father of two boys and his wife was pregnant with their third child.  He was the one who said, "Let's roll" before the passengers attacked their hijackers.  I remembered that another man's wife had just had a baby a weeks before.  As I watched anniversary coverage on the news this weekend, I remembered these stories and more before they were retold.  As I watched the images of people in the windows of the World Trade Center towers and heard the calls to 911 dispatchers, all of those emotions that had lain dormant in my memory for ten years flooded back.  With them came tears that I just couldn't stop.  I cried again for the loss, and I cried for all that hadn't changed in ten years.  These attacks were supposed to be a wake up call.  We were going to change for the better, make the world a better place for future generations.  I cried because things seem worse, or just as bad, and not better.  I hope, though, that the world will still someday change for the better, and as long as we do still remember that day there will still be hope.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Where is the Tooth Fairy?

We just moved a few houses up the street -- a more difficult undertaking than moving out of state.  We finally got everything into the new place in the middle of last week.  Then, last Saturday Yaya lost her seventh baby tooth.  I was busy unpacking and organizing things, but we were all excited when she showed us the tooth and hoped that there would be something special to go with tooth number 7.  She had no doubt that the Tooth Fairy would find her in our new home because earlier in the summer the Tooth Fairy visited her when she lost a tooth in Louisiana.

Alas, the Tooth Fairy is not as good as one might hope.  At about 6:20 on Sunday morning, I heard a cracking voice say, "Mom, the Tooth Fairy didn't come!" I was still groggy, but in the instant realization that I had forgotten to sneak in her room with a dollar, I said, "Oh, shoot!  She must have gotten mixed up because of the move.  Maybe she'll come during the day or tonight.  She's probably still looking for us."  I felt so dreadful to be the cause of such disappointment, but although Yaya was still tearful, she was willing to wait and see before loosing all hope.

We got dressed and headed to church, where she related her tale of woe to everyone she encountered. At the end of liturgy when everyone else went next door to coffee hour, I snuck out, ran to the toy store for a "so sorry" gift, and ran home to slip it and a dollar under her pillow.  I returned to coffee hour to find I wasn't missed at all, and when we all returned home later, Yaya was ecstatic that the Tooth Fairy had not only shown up and left a dollar, she had also left a locket charm that we had been eying for some weeks now.

And so all was well... until she arrived for the first day of school yesterday and a friend told her that "The Tooth Fairy is just your mom and dad."  Yaya vehemently refuted that statement, and all I could do when she looked to me was smile.  I wonder if she's going to be mad at me when she accepts the truth.